needs Archive

Four Ways to Help Show Support to a Loved One with a Phobia

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Nic Alea. In their first post with us, they give valuable tips on how to support someone with a phobia or other anxiety disorder. Thanks for sharing with us, Nic!

One thing that has hurt me over the years is my consistent effort to try and tell people that I have Ichthyophobia (Fear of Fish) and people not taking it seriously. Well it’s serious. This phobia, although somewhat uncommon, can trigger me anywhere, whether it’s a picture on the internet or in a museum, a fish market, or walking into a shop with a fish tank, shit can be really scary sometimes. It’s already hard to tell people intimate things about ourselves and it’s even worse when people don’t believe it.

Make Recovery Your Own

I always say ‘I’ve been in recovery for…’ and then either go on to say ‘Just about two months’ if I’m talking about my eating disorder or ‘Just about seven years’ if I’m talking about alcoholism. I’m not sure why. I guess because I have come to believe that recovery is only recovery if I’ve been ‘clean’ for a length of time. I’m not sure why; I do not hold others to that standard. I’m pretty much alone in that category.

The stigmatization of Mental Illness in a Modern Society

It remains difficult for some to fathom the weight of stigmatization that is carried on the backs of the millions diagnosed with mental illness each year. Mental illness is, indeed, an illness. A disorder of the mind that equally affects the body. Mental illness is something that can make living day to day extremely difficult, painful (both emotionally and physically), and nearly impossible.

DBT Skills: Interpersonal Effectiveness

I have to admit that social interaction and communication are not my strongest points. This is a relatively new development for me, or so I thought. I used to think I was great at using my voice, at standing up for myself, at being in social situations. Today there are a number of barriers that prevent me from being effective in interpersonal communication. One of them is mental and emotional health issues. It’s really hard for me to connect with others when I don’t feel so great myself. Another is acute hearing loss, in both ears, coupled with tinnitus. And finally – and probably the most overwhelming for me, especially when it comes to asking for what I need and speaking up for myself, or saying no when being asked for something – I was raised in an environment that didn’t really encourage me to use my voice under any circumstances. In fact, it was preferred if I was invisible, or at least that’s how I translated it.

My Partner With Borderline Personality Disorder (Hanners)

It is my pleasure to introduce the newest series, “My Partner With…” to QueerMentalHealth.org. Relationships can be a challenge for anyone, though they can be especially difficult when they are impacted by mental health issues. It is my hope that we can help others understand how to approach a partner’s mental health concerns. I’m starting this series off by talking about the issues that come up for myself and my partner, who has Borderline Personality Disorder.

If you were to get all your information about Borderline Personality Disorder by going to online support groups for partners of people with this condition, you would learn the following:

  • Borderlines are always abusive
  • Borderlines are always in denial
  • Borderlines never take responsibility for their actions
  • Borderlines will love you one minute, and hate you the next
  • Relationships with borderlines are notoriously unstable

Codependant Relationships: What They Are and What You Can Do If You Find Yourself In One

Previously in time, codependent relationships were typically described as a relationship involving one person with a substance abuse problem with a sober (or generally non-addicted) partner. The idea of a codependent relationship regarding substance abuse is that the sober one continuously tries to help the person with the addiction. Seeing as how an addicted person struggles with their own issues and their focus is primarily on feeding the addiction, often all the work in the relationship to keep it functioning lands on the non-addicted partner. The substance abuse becomes the main focus of the relationship and the non-addicted person allows everything to revolve around their partner’s problem, often ignoring their own needs in the process.

Involuntary Invisibility: How It Hurts LGBT*Q People Mentally

We clearly have this need to see ourselves in and to identify with some of the images we’re being shown daily. It satisfies two of our humanistic needs: to belong and to have self-esteem. If we do not see ourselves represented in politics and the media, we might not feel included; we might not get that sense of community we need. Furthermore, if we do not see ourselves in these images and are being given the message that these images are the “right” or the “normal” way to be, we will most likely have a lower self-esteem.