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The Elusive Self-Worth, or The Vicious Cycle of Low Self-Worth/Depression/Even Lower Self-Worth/More Depression…

The Elusive Self-Worth, or The Vicious Cycle of Low Self-Worth/Depression/Even Lower Self-Worth/More Depression…

We all want and need validation, right? It helps us become well-adjusted and realize that we are worthy. Well, I’ve been learning quite a bit about that lately. Take my relationship with my mom, for example. She’s great, really. She has always let me make and learn from my own mistakes and has never really butted into my life, which I appreciate. And yet… I spent a couple decades trying to “make” her proud of me. I would send her…

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The Many Faces of Depression, Plus 10 Tips

The Many Faces of Depression, Plus 10 Tips

It used to be that depression, for me, was pretty straightforward. I sounded depressed, I acted depressed, I looked depressed. I felt, well, depressed. It’s not so simple anymore. After dealing with it for over thirty years, I assumed I knew all there was to know about it. I’ve researched it, I’ve (over)analyzed it, I’ve lived it. But the first couple weeks of this current episode were different. Even CeAnne thinks so. I didn’t “just” feel deeply depressed, I felt…

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Is a Thought Just a Thought? **TW: SI/Suicide**

Is a Thought Just a Thought? **TW: SI/Suicide**

**Personal Note: Though I have been diagnosed with three different mental health conditions, I usually speak mostly of depression, as that is the one I have the most experience with and have done the most personal research on. But much of what I share (in any post) can apply to other mental health diagnoses.**   One of the most profound – and helpful – things I occasionally remember learning from my DBT class is that thoughts cannot hurt you. Say what?…

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High Hopes, Failure, and Emotional Relapse

High Hopes, Failure, and Emotional Relapse

***I wrote most of this post on Wednesday and finished it early Thursday. It is now after midnight on Friday/Saturday and I finally have enough mental (and physical) energy to post it. That’s how depression works.***   My heart hurts. As I sit here on the couch on a dreary Wednesday morning, attempting (unsuccessfully) to keep our two-year-old cat, Zander (aka Little One), off of my wife’s keyboard, I can feel the very specific sensation in my chest that signals intense…

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Ignorance is Not Bliss: About Suicide **(T/W)**

Ignorance is Not Bliss: About Suicide **(T/W)**

Here in the U.S., National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16, 2017) just ended. Did you know that? And, according to most mental health organizations in the U.S., September is National Suicide Prevention Month. I bet you didn’t know that. World Suicide Prevention Day was last Sunday, the tenth. I bet you didn’t know that, either. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 [1-800-273-TALK]) has designated the Twitter hashtag “#BeThe1To” as its message for suicide prevention. If you’re on the Twitter, please…

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When Life Imitates a Rollercoaster

When Life Imitates a Rollercoaster

This week, the rollercoaster of life came to visit me. Five days ago, I found out that my dearest friend, the woman who has helped me the most in my sobriety and in my life, has lung cancer. My heart almost stopped when she told me. This woman (I’ll call her LG) means the world to me. She has stuck with me through relapses, life’s circumstance, poor decisions on my part, and more, and has never, ever judged me for…

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Stop the Presses: I’m Quitting Therapy!

Stop the Presses: I’m Quitting Therapy!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been doing several different things to treat and manage my depression and anxiety lately – TMS, DBT, meeting with my wonderful case manager and therapist regularly, and seeing my rockin’ psychiatrist (pdoc). I’ve been doing so well, I’ve made some changes to all that. After consulting with Dr. Nelson (my pdoc), I decided to stop doing TMS after only ten sessions (a routine course is twenty to thirty sessions). I can…

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Self-Medicating

Self-Medicating

Okay, everyone – hands up if you’ve ever heard this term. Now, hands up if you’ve ever done it? Yup, that’s what I thought. People with mental illnesses are likely to use substances in an unhealthy way in an attempt to relieve their pain and suffering. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. It may work for a few moments or a few hours, but then you’re right back where you were – with the added guilt, shame, and remorse to…

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Regulating My Emotions

Regulating My Emotions

Right now, I am very angry. I also feel a lot of guilt and shame about something. I don’t really feel like getting into it, as that only allows me to ruminate and marinate in the negatives more than I’m willing to do. That’s growth right there! Instead, I will use this opportunity to prove to myself that it is possible to do something I don’t really feel like doing, even when my emotions might get in the way. For…

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Depression Doesn’t Have to Last Forever: My Experience With TMS

Depression Doesn’t Have to Last Forever: My Experience With TMS

I’ve been fairly stable since last fall, after my second round of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). But after a more recent bout of bad days, occasional panic, and a bit of suicidal ideation (not anymore, don’t worry!), my psychiatrist, Dr. Nelson, and I decided to start another round of it. Of course, I talked to CeAnne about it, but ultimately, it’s my decision. I take my mental health care seriously; I have to. I pay attention to Dr. Nelson during…

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