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Sleep is a crucial part of our natural life cycle. A good night’s sleep is what makes the difference between a good day and a ruined one because when you lose sleep you no longer have the necessary drive to engage in activities. Therefore, the lack of sleep can be detrimental to our health, happiness, and success.

How the Lack of Sleep Influences Us

It has been clinically proven that the fact that humans can adjust to sleeping less is nothing more than a myth. According to the US National Library of Medicine, losing sleep can have negative effects such as:

  • Loss of productivity
  • Injuries
  • Decaying physical health
  • Mental disorders

In terms of how sleep deprivation affects physical health, there is a lot to say. Not only does it contribute to the development of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, but it can also lead to a premature death. Thus, making sure you get a good night’s sleep as often as possible can make all the difference in the world for your physical well-being.

On top of that, your happiness and soundness of mind also have a lot to gain when you’re rested. In recent years a lot of studies and literature on how insomnia affects one’s mental health revealed some interesting finds about how lack of sleep is linked to the development of mental disorders.

The Unfortunate Consequences

People working in a variety of fields have shared their personal stories of how insomnia has affected their professional life. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Insomnia makes you unfit to perform a job you once excelled at because it cripples your thoughts. This sabotages not only your physical and mental well-being, but also your success.

But how does schizophrenia affect your mind exactly? Well, recent studies have proved that lack of sleep is also to blame for the onset of various mental health issues. Research published by Harvard Medical School proves that, while sleep deprivation was considered a symptom of some mental disorders in the past, it can be a cause for them as well.

1.   Schizophrenia

While there is a general medical consensus in the community on how schizophrenia arises, there is still have very much to learn about this mental disorder. Research so far has uncovered that the underlying cause of schizophrenia seems to be genetic and that one’s environment can also trigger the onset of the illness.

But there might be more causes for schizophrenia than it was previously thought. New studies conducted at the University of Bonn in collaboration with King’s College London showed that twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation lead to symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia in otherwise healthy subjects.

2.   Anxiety

Lack of sleep is generally perceived as a symptom of anxiety disorders. However, it seems that the relationship between anxiety and lack of sleep is a mutual one. Studies detailed on the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website show that, while sleep deprivation is indeed a symptom of anxiety, it can also be a trigger for it.

This means that if you already suffer from insomnia, there is a heightened chance you might develop an anxiety disorder as well. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, a good idea would be to consult with a medical specialist. Alternative therapies such as meditation, music and even hypnosis also help you sleep better and relieve your anxiety.

3.   Depression

The results of several studies detailed by Harvard Medical School showed that the adults who admitted they were struggling with insomnia were four times more likely to develop clinical depression later in their lives. That is all the more surprising when you think about how most of us consider the urge to sleep all the time as a clear sign of depression, not the opposite.

So, where do depression and insomnia fit together? John Folk-William’s own tale of depression has many complex facets, but he distinctly recalls being prescribed pills to help him sleep by a psychiatrist. Other people’s stories might not sound the same. In fact, he himself recalls his mother having long bouts of depression-induced sleep.

Mental health issues manifest themselves in different ways are triggered by distinct things in each person. In the same way, everyone copes with their depression differently. For some a mindful attitude can work wonders, while others need an outlet for their negative feelings. The only constant would be that by coping with your depression, you will also handle your insomnia, and vice versa.

Sleeping More Means Better Mental Health

There is still a lot of progress that needs to be made in this field to better the general understanding of it. But this new discovery can certainly help a lot of people find the adequate treatment for their disorder.

On top of that, medicine ca now prevent a simple case of insomnia from leading to something more severe. What matters most is believing enough in yourself to not let your insomnia ruin your chance at happiness and success. Find the appropriate treatment for you.

The post How the Lack of Sleep Is Sabotaging Our Health, Happiness, and Success appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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Everyone needs support and motivation at times. Sometimes it helps to have an assistant, trainer, or friend with you, but it’s not always possible. Consider using your phone for something more than texting, calls, and pictures. Self-improvement apps can assist in achieving your goals. Develop your brain and personal power using apps that help you stay focused, organized, and productive. Whether you’re looking to change your lifestyle or make small adjustments, these apps are perfect for a richer, happier you.

Simply Being

This app sets you up with a guided meditation. Choose between 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes and start your meditation session. Add ambient music and background sounds to the mediation. Use the app to meditate, calm down, or fall asleep. Guided by a soft welcoming voice, take as much time as you need to get to a relaxing state.

Lifetick

Lifetick is an app that is focused on helping you reach your goals. Using the calendar, the app tracks your progress towards goals while helping you realize what’s the most important you to. Whether setting short term or long term goals, keep track of what motivates you to be the best you can be.  Share your goals with others to feel proud of your accomplishments.

ThinkUp

In need of a boost of confidence? Try ThinkUp if you’re looking for positive affirmations that help keep you positive. Select from a huge array of affirmations in different areas of life, and personalize it by recording in your voice. Create your own aspirations or add background music for further relaxation. Slowly push negative thoughts out of your head and fill yourself with positive uplifting messages.

Coach.me

Coach.me acts as a personal leadership coach from your phone. Input your activities for the day and analyze the patterns that arise. Figure out how to better manage your habits. If you’re in need of assistance, connect with a coach to lead you through an issue. Whether you have issues at work, home, or personal problems, don’t worry about being too far from someone to help.

MoodSpace

Looking to be more mindful, consider downloading MoodSpce to help combat stress and depression. MoodSpace helps build positive thoughts into your habit. Write out three good things that you experienced and be able to look at what motivates you each day. Also, keep your thoughts and emotions organized using the digital diary.

Self-Help for Anxiety Management

Better known as SAM, the app educations and helps to alleviate forms of anxiety that bother you. Discover what triggers you and use specialized exercises to combat the issue. Work on your breathing, stretch your muscles, and keep yourself calm using guided exercises. Monitor your anxiety level and use multiple techniques to reduce your anxiety level.

7 Cups

7 Cups is an interesting app as it connects users to people that are actively listening to user’s problems. Sometimes it makes a world of difference to talk about your problems. Maybe you don’t want to share them with friends or family. 7 Cups gives you the opportunity to connect with other people that are present to help you through hard times.

Pocket Yoga

Need some guidance on your yoga? Look no further. Pocket Yoga shows you single poses or entire routines to perform. Choose different styles and change the difficulty level of your yoga session. The app provides audio and video instructions to help users through poses.

Breathe2Relax

Breathe2Relax takes the basic necessity of breathing and shows the user how powerful it can be. The app includes guided breathing exercises using a method known as “diaphragmatic breathing.” Learn the best type of breathing techniques to combat stress and anxiety. Based on your mood, the app provides specialized exercises to lessen the effects of stress.

Pacifica

Tracking your mood and energy level throughout the day, Pacifica provides personalized methods of combating stress and anxiety in your life. Pacifica is based on cognitive behavioral therapy that combines deep breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. The app helps you understand your behavioral patterns or triggers.

Technology is constantly changing and improving. While difficult to stay with the latest and greatest, it can be incredibly helpful for someone who is looking to make changes to their lifestyle. There are so many ways to combat and prevent stress-related problems. Everyone has to figure out what works best to tackle his or her issues. In a culture where most people have a smartphone now, why not use it for more than phone calls and pictures?

The post Beat Stress with these Self-Improvement Apps appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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Relationships bring a host of positive and negative experiences to a person’s life. While we generally all want as much positivity as possible, it’s not realistic. In every relationship, there are times of stress, struggle, and heartache. If you’re experiencing these emotions but not dealing with them, it could lead you into an even worse situation. Below are ten different things you can reduce stress in your relationship.

Honesty & Communication

Be forthright about your feelings or whatever you’re thinking about. It’s important to communicate with people to gain a sense of where they are and vice versa. For instance, if you’re mad about something, you should speak about the occurrence when it happens so that you and your partner can be on the same page. Lack of communication can create a host of other stressful issues.

Practice What You Preach

If you find that you’re complaining a lot or are criticized often, it’s important to hold yourself to the same standard that you expect from your partner. Don’t yell at your partner for doing something then do the same action afterward. It makes you look that much more hypocritical and unapproachable.

 Use Empathy

Take the time to understand your partner’s feelings. Sometimes in conversations and arguments, people get locked into their mindset, making it difficult to see any other perspective. It may be a matter of listening more, changing your thought process, or learning more about your partner.  Unless you know exactly why they are saying something, it helps to learn as much as possible about their thought processing.

Create Intimate Moments

Don’t wait for the perfect moment to happen. Take charge and make it happen. Switch up your activity or style and do something different. Consider bringing sex toys and other goodies into the bedroom to add more spice to the experience. Having an intimate connection with your partner can reduce outside and internal stress.

Find Fun Things To Do Together

Discover new places to dine at or take a trip to a new location with your partner. This is an easy way to bring some variety into the relationship without too much effort. Sometimes having a routine can be a localized stressor that plays havoc with your relationship and life.

Hand Out Compliments

Everyone likes to feel good. Make sure you give nice compliments and motivational words to your partner often. While your partner may know that you love them or think they’re attractive, it doesn’t hurt to tell them that often.

Respect Each Other

If you are in a hard time or argument, don’t disrespect your partner. Problematic thoughts, using harsh language, or aggressive behavior, can hinder growth in the relationship. In some instances, it can be the thing that breaks a relationship. You should never say or do anything that you may regret. A lot of people get caught in the moment, but don’t consider the consequences of their actions.

Be Happy in Your Truth

Don’t be afraid to state your feelings about the relationship. If you’re unhappy, present it in a manner that is understandable for your partner. Ask questions that help get to the bottom of a situation so that you can both determine where you stand on a topic. If you don’t speak up, the pressure and unhappiness are likely to build up until you explode.

Accept What’s in Front of You

While we all want to change things about loved ones, or ourselves it’s not always possible. The more one may attempt to change, the more pushback can occur, especially if your partner feels like it’s not in their best interests. While it’s easy to focus on the flaws or inconsistencies of another person, it’s also an easy way to remain unhappy or stressed.

Leave the Relationship

Sometimes there’s nothing else to do that will change a situation. In those cases, it’s best to cut your losses before they become larger. This should act as the last step on a list of actions if the relationship doesn’t improve. Staying in a bad relationship is draining, stressful, and mentally destructive.

Life is going to bring stress and hard times to any person. If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to consider the effects of your behaviors on your partner. You should never want to argue or deal with stressful situations, but doing most of the mentioned behaviors will help ease the possibility and impact of stressful situations. Don’t wait until your stress is too high to manage. Work to keep your stress level in your relationship as low as possible so that you can enjoy life to the fullest.

The post 10 Ways to Improve a Stressful Relationship appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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Approximately one in every five young adults between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four suffer from clinical depression. Nearly five thousand within this group commit suicide every year. Even more disturbing— around seventy-five percent of people with mental disorders, never receive the treatment they need. Depression belongs to a cluster of mental disorders that have a tendency toward comorbidity. This means that two or more mental conditions exist simultaneously in a given sufferer. Common disorders that sit alongside depression include anxiety, bipolar depression, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Diagnosing depression is handled on a case by case basis. Although there is no official depression testing regime, primary doctors can give insight into personal symptoms and background history. If a doctor suspects a mental condition is likely, he or she may suggest visiting a mental health professional such as a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist. These specialists can determine the best path of treatment and medication options for the given case.

Signs of chronic depression are different than the hormonal or event-driven depressive episodes that are typical in developing youth and young adults. As a mental condition, depression includes suicidal thoughts, insomnia or unstable sleeping patterns, poor concentration and memory, and severe dips in motivation and energy levels. Individuals may also express strong waves of irritability and self-destructive feelings such as apathy, inadequacy or worthlessness.

Through the eyes of a sufferer, the following poem describes what depression feels like…

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a purpose.
Life can suck even when theres no reason for
it to. I try to remember I’m loved but its hard
to believe when I’m so depressed.

I wake up a ghost.
My skin is cold,
and there are creases under my eyes
like ruffled dirty sheets.

Salt and pepper static blocks my line of vision
and I shuffle slowly. So slowly.

You can’t tell but with each step my veins pulsate, as if
they’re ready to jump out of my skin and into
the body of someone like him—
someone brighter and more approachable
than my head allows me to believe I can be.
There is an emptiness that lingers inside my heart

and I just want to sleep
a little while longer
to see if something changes
and mostly,

to dream of a love thats here to stay.

Dear Brother,
This love exists and I see you.

How Exercise Can Heal

In addition to seeking the support of mental health professionals, depression sufferers may also benefit from the mood boost of physical activity. Although it may feel like the last thing on their minds, sufferers who engage in regular exercise reap substantial benefits. According to Dr. Miller of Harvard Medical, ”For some people, it works as well as antidepressants.” Regular, low-intensity exercise results in improved brain function. When this feeling clicks in, it makes us feel good. Dr. Miller also explains that “In people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain—the region that helps regulate mood—is smaller.” By partaking in regular, moderately intense (but still enjoyable) exercise, nerve cells are able to continue appropriately. This is what is biologically responsible for relieving depression.

Like most things in life, exercise is best done in moderation. Start small. Take a brisk walk or light jog for five or ten minutes each day and experiment. You don’t have to be another Julian Michaels mule or drop weights like those jerks at the gym. See what consistent exercise does for your mood, energy, and even your sleeping patterns. If you’re looking to heal, it may be time to get serious and get your heart pumping.

This article was written by Lindsay Mazza.

The post Depression – Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Healing Through Exercise appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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I’m sitting outside on my patio with a cup of coffee mixed with vanilla soy milk. The kind of milk my fiancé calls “too plant-y.” There is a knit throw on my lap, and Local, a super chic hipster cafe is roasting what smells like sweet potatoes and sausage next door. A man is shouting (okay, singing) along to De’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel” as he waits for traffic to clear.

Across the street Los Globos Nightclub waits patiently for nightfall, the time when the bar crawlers emerge and form a line out the door the length of a football stadium.

This is Sunset Boulevard, a place I’m happy to call my home, a place far more grungy than tourists expect it to be, and therefore, a place all the more lovable. I like places that are messy like this. Loud and overstimulating. Rude and busy. I like that LA is filled with street garbage, and that no one bothers to ID me at Ralphs when I pick up my cranberry Mikes Hards each week. (What? Don’t tell me you actually like the taste of Jack). I like it here because its real and there aren’t any exchanges about what nice weather we’re having. People here are proud of their community, they give back, but they don’t take any crap either.

For me the little things are where I live, the coffee I drink, (more the daily ritual of having coffee, I’ve never even been to Seattle), the obnoxious, inescapable awareness that I’m not the only dearly beloved one living this thing called life. I’m grateful for this porch, and for this knit blanket that keeps me warm as I sit out here and marvel at the number 16— the number of beds I’ve slept in, the age that I first fell in love, the number of donuts I can eat in one sitting.

The little things are also the things I’ll never have, like dogs that can walk themselves, the ability to bite my tongue, the chance to have truly known my sister.

I’m grateful for these little things because they allow me to thrive. I rock the relationships that I do have in my life. I make sure my brother knows I’m there for him, that my partner knows my faithfulness, that my dogs although rarely walked, are spoiled and loved like crazy.

I wrap the blanket around me tighter and watch the breeze settle into the eucalyptus tree above my head.

The little things are really the big things in the end.

This article was written by Lindsay Mazza.

The post The Little Things – Not another ode to meditation appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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I’m sitting outside on my patio with a cup of coffee mixed with vanilla soy milk. The kind of milk my fiancé calls “too plant-y.” There is a knit throw on my lamp, and Local, a super chic hipster cafe is roasting what smells like sweet potatoes and sausage next door. A man is shouting (okay, singing) along to De’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel” as he waits for traffic to clear.

Across the street Los Globos Nightclub waits patiently for nightfall, the time when the bar crawlers emerge and form a line out the door the length of a football stadium.

This is Sunset Boulevard, a place I’m happy to call my home, a place far more grungy than tourists expect it to be, and therefore, a place all the more lovable. I like places that are messy like this. Loud and overstimulating. Rude and busy. I like that LA is filled with street garbage, and that no one bothers to ID me at Ralphs when I pick up my cranberry Mikes Hards each week. (What? Don’t tell me you actually like the taste of Jack). I like it here because its real and there aren’t any exchanges about what nice weather we’re having. People here are proud of their community, they give back, but they don’t take any crap either.

For me the little things are where I live, the coffee I drink, (more the daily ritual of having coffee, I’ve never even been to Seattle), the obnoxious, inescapable awareness that I’m not the only dearly beloved one living this thing called life. I’m grateful for this porch, and for this knit blanket that keeps me warm as I sit out here and marvel at the number 16— the number of beds I’ve slept in, the age that I first fell in love, the number of donuts I can eat in one sitting.

The little things are also the things I’ll never have, like dogs that can walk themselves, the ability to bite my tongue, the chance to have truly known my sister.

I’m grateful for these little things because they allow me to thrive. I rock the relationships that I do have in my life. I make sure my brother knows I’m there for him, that my partner knows my faithfulness, that my dogs although rarely walked, are spoiled and loved like crazy.

I wrap the blanket around me tighter and watch the breeze settle into the eucalyptus tree above my head.

The little things are really the big things in the end.

This article was written by Lindsay Mazza.

The post The Little Things – Not another ode to meditation appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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When you’re stressed or depressed about something, it’s incredibly hard to be productive or do anything meaningful towards a goal. Many times people feel overwhelmed, sick, irritation and other unpleasant feelings. While difficult to avoid stress completely, it’s not impossible. Consider doing a creative hobby or activity to increase your mood. The goal of creative activities in this manner isn’t to create a masterpiece, but to change your mindset.

Write it Out

Writing or typing your thoughts and emotions can be a great way of dealing with stress. Some people will write with the notion of coming to an idea, others may write just to get the thoughts out. Writing about an issue bothering you can help to find clarity in the situation. It may help to write about topics that are completely different from stressors or daily activity. Journaling your experience is one of the easiest methods of dealing with a situation without placing more energy prematurely into it. Writing can be done anywhere as long as you have writing utensils. Let writing be your therapy.

Draw, Color or Paint

Much like writing, drawing is a powerful creative outlet. Whether you’re drawing from real-life, abstract, or some sort of combination, art is therapeutic. Experimenting with color, style, and patterns give you a greater variety of aesthetic to look over. Art can easily transport a person to another place and time. When dealing with stress, “transporting” to another space is a happy distraction.

Listen to Music

Just listening to music can elevate your mood. Depending on your energy level, the type of music you listen to will influence you as well. Ambient or instrumental music lets your thoughts wander without specifically directing them. Dance, reggae, and other upbeat music gets you moving. Dancing with the music is a fun way to relax and work out as well. While listening to songs is great, if you know how to play an instrument, you’ll be even better off. Concentrating on something that is a direct extension of yourself, is powerfully uplifting.

Try a DIY Project

Putting your mind and energy into DIY projects can be creatively fulfilling and relaxing. Projects can range from creating décor to learning a new skill. Many times the project will be useful to you in some way afterward. DIY projects present you with a unique option to relax because you get to decide how big or small the project is. If you’re stupid stressed, a longer project could be more beneficial. Learning a new skill takes your thoughts off of anything that isn’t related to the process.

Cook or Bake

Creating something that looks good and tastes even better is uplifting. Make the time you spend preparing food fun and relaxing. Experiment with a new spice or flavor to add something different to your taste buds. Discover new ways to make your favorite food and be inspired by the experience. Cooking doesn’t require anyone to be a highly trained professional, so people have a ton of options and recipes to choose from.

You don’t have to be “creative” to do these activities. They just require some imaginary and free time. Whatever you do, make sure you use the time as a way to relax and get away from stressors. Depending on the situation, you will have a different amount of time to work on the activity. Find enough time to relax and unwind while expressing your creative side.

The post 5 Creative Outlets to Relieve Stress appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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Creative outlets are therapy for your mind and body. They allow you to take your thoughts off of demanding situations. Sometimes the activity just gives a person time to refresh and gain mental clarity.  Being creative or doing something that is creative doesn’t have to be complex. As long as the outlet is outside of your general activities, you’re in a good place. Creative activities reduce the amount of stress you feel in several important ways.

Relaxation For the Mind & Body

Creative activities influence the body in the same way that mediation helps. It gives you mind a chance to relax and reflect on past instances. Sometimes you may not even be creating anything. Sometimes just observing the process can be relaxing and beneficial for your body. Give yourself time to engage in the process. Whether you schedule a time or give yourself additional time, enjoy the moment when you’re around it.

Strong Brain, Strong Body

Taking part in creative projects refreshes the brain’s function by creating new neurons. This is important for having a strong central nervous system. If your nerves are bad, this is a great option. CNN reported that people that participate in these activities when they’re older have a reduced chance of developing cognitive issues. These activities help your brain and body to recover from a sickness or injury.

Gain A Better Mood

Creative activities raise a person’s mood as well. Sometimes drawing or singing can elevate your energy level. While emotional stability is important, many people don’t consider it until there is a problem. Being stressed or depressed can take a dramatic effect on your mood and energy. If you participate in creative activities during those down times, you’re likely to increase your emotional stability. This comes from the reflection time that occurs while doing the project.

Increase Your Social Interactions

Creative activities also increase your social interaction. Some people find others that like doing the same activities and perform them as a group. This builds communal connections and raises your emotional standing. Communal hobbies like knitting, dancing, and pottery making give people a chance to communicate about topics they don’t normally discuss.

Creative activities can be fun and inspirational, but they are also a powerful natural remedy. Clearing your mind and focusing on something presents you with the opportunity of relieving stress and keeping positive. Stress is destructive to creativity, but creativity helps prevent stress. Limit the effects of stress in your life with creative activities. If you feel stressed or depressed, consider doing fun hobbies to better your mood, mind, and body.

The post How Creative Activities Fight Stress appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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Fighting the stigma of borderline personality disorder

Girl Interrupted, Single White Female, crazy bitch syndrome—these are the associations the severely uninformed link to borderline personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder, (a mood disorder characterized by variations in identity disturbance), is one of the most stigmatized mental illness out there. Psychologists and medical professionals alike, deem these sufferers as simply “untreatable”, out of their own inexcusable fears of paranoia. Ok, Doc. Borderlines are violent, manipulative, good for nothing vixens and playboys. Right? Its in the name after-all— we’re bordering the line that separates normal from psychotic.

But you know, for a sufferer, that line isn’t a label or a precaution— it’s a goddamn tightrope. And we are terrified of falling off.

Oh yeah, and we’re not crazy. We’re some of the most intellectual and creative people you’d ever be lucky enough to know. We are your beloved musicians (Amy Winehouse, do I even need to specify), your athletes (Brandon Marshall, wide receiver of the Chicago Bears), your comedians (Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live) and your idols (love you, Angelina Jolie). I mean sure, we are that good in bed, (hey, if you got it flaunt it), but as far as the rest of those rumors go— those are unauthorized, false declarations of the stigma of which dear reader, we are actively fighting against.

Here is What BPD Really Looks Like

In an excerpt from her memoir, “Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl” Recovered BPD sufferer Stacy Pershall, writes,

“Borderline means you’re one of those girls…

…who walk around wearing long sleeves in the summer because you’ve carved up your forearms over your boyfriend. You make pathetic suicidal gestures and write bad poetry about them, listen to Ani DiFranco albums on endless repeat, end up in the emergency room for overdoses, scare off boyfriends by insisting they tell you that they love you five hundred times a day and hacking into their email to make sure they’re not lying, have a police record for shoplifting, and your tooth enamel is eroded from purging. You’ve had five addresses and eight jobs in three years, your friends are avoiding your phone calls, you’re questioning your sexuality, and the credit card companies are after you. It took a lot of years to admit that I was exactly that girl, and that the diagnostic criteria for the disorder were essentially an outline of my life.”

If you read this carefully, Pershall is depicting an endless struggle of identity– a severe symptom of the illness, as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Identity is the foundation of self-esteem. Without it, we are vulnerable. We are weak. And most of all, we are begging to be loved and accepted by just about anyone who will have us. We are often children of neglect, abuse, poverty, and forgotten trauma. Our perceived “craziness” is a cry for help when we don’t know any other way. So yes, we yell, we scream, we throw things. But it’s not because we’re out to murder you. Its because we don’t know who we are and we don’t understand why.

So before you dump your “crazy” partner for “acting like a child”,
Ask them who wasn’t there to kiss the boo-boos?
Ask them why there’s a cut there in the first place.

This article was written by Lindsay Mazza

The post Borderline Personality Disorder – A Better Version of Me appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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I remember those dreaded manilla envelopes. Those awful signed, sealed, and delivered educator-sopped letters of approval, (or in my case, lack-thereof). You know, those bitter, vague formalities of invalid judgement. Report cards were filled to the brim with statements like, “your child expresses satisfactory work” and if you were lucky enough, phrases like, Joe is a pleasure to have in class” displayed themselves proudly against the card stock.

You were sent home with a rating of 1 2 3 or 4— a rating that determined not only your academic value, but also whether or not you were worthy of dessert or TV that week.

I’d watch my mother wet her fingertip with her tongue, then turn over the first page of my report card. There it would be, the inevitable remark, “Your child is progressing at a below average rate”, it would say.

Heart racing, lungs hyperventilating, my mother’s eyebrows stretching so far up her forehead, I swear she’d turned to silly putty, she’d read aloud, “Your child needs improvement.”

So, in comes the tutor. I would take the early bus to school (because 6:45 am wasn’t early enough) and spend the hour I should have been sleeping, practicing addition and subtraction facts with an old lady who smelled like spoiled milk.

This is how children learn to feel inadequate.

Inadequacy is learned behavior. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we learn to salivate at the slightest ring of reward. But most of the time, we’re not so lucky. We’re told we’re not good enough, that we should try harder.

As children, we look to our teachers and our parents as the key holders off our own self worth as well as our primary source of love. As children, we want them to be proud of us so we can feel proud of ourselves.

So what can we do then, to respect the vulnerability of young children? What can be done to allow young minds to gain the confidence that is their god-given birth right?

First, we need to start implementing mental health advocacy in schools. An East Midland teacher stated to Guardian,

“We had a child lose their eyelashes due to stress, as well as numerous other pupils whose self-esteem has been damaged. The current assessment system is placing great pressure on children, which is leading to anxiety and mental health issues.”

Hair picking, an impulse control disorder called Trichotillomania, is just one of the many horrific side effects that feelings of inadequacy and school stress can cause in young people.

According to a recent report collected by Columbia University, implementing mental wellness support in schools is more than effective.

Studies indicated that by utilizing emotional and social outlets for support inside schools, student’s academic achievement tests actually increased from 11 to 17 percentile points.

In addition, students were twice as likely to stay in school with a 44 percent decrease in expulsions and suspensions. A 2017 study also indicated that students receiving mental health advocacy within the school environment were able to increase their GPAs over 5 semesters compared to those students without the care.

This is great news, but its only half the battle. We also need to start holding poor parenting responsible.

Dr. Ayo Omotoso, a psychiatrist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital says that poor parenting has the ability to cause mental disorders in children.

Omotoso states, “If the strength of the brain is weak enough, it can lead to a mental problem.”

Neglected children, as well as children who have experienced or witnessed abuse during their upbringing, are more inclined to partake in criminal behavior and face juvenile delinquency.

These same children are the ones most likely to have difficulty thriving and growing both mentally and physically.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “But, I’m a good parent.” Yeah, here’s the kicker-parenting does not have to include abuse to be considered “poor parenting”. Don’t forget, neglect can take on many forms.

Do you work late hours?
When was the last time you took your kid out, just the two of you?
Do you take the time to have dinner each night as a family and check in?
Do you ride off signs of depression for teenage angst?
Do you compare one child to another with statements like, “Anna is the brain of the family”?

Every parent, no matter how wonderful they feel they are, has areas to improve upon. Being a parent is a job. You are raising another human being.

So before you scoff and call me judgmental,
Ask your kid what they think.
Sit down.
Be humble.

This article was written by Lindsay Mazza

The post Inadequacy: A Learned Behaviour appeared first on Try Stress Management.

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