Coping Skills Articles

14 Of My Bad Habits: Write About Your Worse Habits

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

cheese240As a creature of habit, I know I have a routine that has its rotten apples. Despite our differences, and illnesses, we all have our vices or habits we hate but engage in regardless.

Here is a list of my 14 worse habits as a hypo manic person:

  1. I fake phone calls when I walk by someone that I don’t want to talk to
  2. I interrupt people all the time, and know it, but still do it
  3. I overdue everything in my life from eating, to working out, to emotional outbursts
  4. I eat cheese, every day, and every meal
  5. I don’t like being tied down so don’t wear a watch and prefer to be naked most of the time
  6. I listen to music so loud to match my brain that I’m sure the neighbors hear it but, are too kind to complain
  7. I check my points of departure I like to call it: Do I have an anklebone? A collar bone” A wrist bone” Am I still skinny? Pathetic habit, but true.
  8. I sprinkle salt on my salad
  9. I graze the buffet at Whole Foods instead of buying it
  10. I pretend I don’t bite my nails
  11. I feel a surge of anger when I put my shoes down and the right falls on the left and the left falls on the right
  12. I don’t honk enough when some jerk scribbles outside the car lanes
  13. I pluck my moustache in pain versus getting it all done in one threading
  14. “I bite the heads off of live chickens in the middle of the night.” Ren aka Kevin Bacon (I watch the movie Footloose way too much and listen to the Top Gun soundtrack when I work out all the time.)

Ok… not so bad but…. what are your bad habits?

Fork food photo available from Shutterstock

Side Effects & My Sex Drive

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

womanonbed240I always said that once I get said effects from any medication I am done. Off. Out. Period. The three top side effects I refuse to live with are: weight gain, a tremor, and a loss of sex drive. But, for the first time in the decade that I’ve been on different meds with an array of side effects, I am letting the lack of a sex drive go. Why? Weird.

To be honest, I didn’t even realize that my sex drive had diminished until I was cleaning up my apartment and found my vibrator under my bed. And I asked myself, “When is the last time I used that?!” For weeks masturbation never even crossed my mind. I chalked it up to the fact that I had no man in my life or steady relationship, I have sworn off dating for a while, and one night stands are not my thing, so somehow I managed to forget that my sex drive was gone.

Sweating the Big Stuff: 10 Things to consider when you find yourself in a sweat

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015


Most of us have heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Rarely do we hear “Don’t sweat the big stuff”; it sounds like an oxymoron. I locked myself out of my apartment today. I was either going to call the building manager, or deal with it when I got home from work. Knowing that, I knew I would spend the day on and off thinking about the fact I didn’t have access to my place. Now is that big stuff, or small stuff?

Being Social: In-Q

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

audienceI was given a ticket for a live poetry show for Christmas. It was a gift. It was s ticket with a price tag on it so, I had to go. I don’t recall the last time I went to a social event where I went to will call, got my ticket, took my seat, and found myself surrounded by people; people from all walks of life.

Is Your Bedroom Depressed?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

bedroom window                          

I live in a loft in Downtown Los Angeles. It has three large windows facing East where the sun rises in the early AM hours. As I fry in the early morning hours, I am forced to get up. I can’t relax in bed and “sleep in.” Recently I bought some curtains at Bed Bath and Beyond and hung them outside the window in my bedroom. It has impacted my life.

Since I hung the curtains I find myself participating in my depressed. I can stay in bed longer and hide from the sun. I welcome the darkness, and a break from the sun, yet, I know the curtains play a fundamental part in my darkness. I am not forced to get up. I don’t fry like a Vampire in the morning anymore, and I don’t open them when I wake up and actually get up. I leave them covering my window and darkening my bedroom all day, and all night.

I thought the curtains would help me with my insomnia. Insomnia is riddled with anxiety. The curtains have played into this anxiety.

It’s Hard to Go to Your Psychiatrist

Friday, January 9th, 2015

shutterstock_130134740It’s a hard thing, for me, to go to my psychiatrist. I know it’s coming on the calendar, and I dread it. I actually forget the date and have to call my psychiatrist and leave a message:

“Hey Dr. I think my appointment is on Thursday the 15th….at 2:30? If i’m wrong call me back, otherwise I’ll be there at that date and time.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left that message. I have a memory. I don’t forget my dentist appointment in three months. I don’t forget where I parked. I don’t forget long or short-term things, yet, I always manage to forget my appointment. And I’m straight up with my Doctor:

“I do not want to be here. Nothing personal, just don’t want to be here.”

It’s a lot of pressure to squeeze your mind into one session. Figure out what drugs work, or not. Figure out how you feel about yourself, your place, your job, your relationships, your family, your life. It’s a lot. Maybe that’s part of it. The feeling that I have to make sure I give up all the information I can to better my mental health; to better help my Doctor determine what’s best for me. It’s a lot of pressure.

But I do. And I feel better afterwards when I walk down the stairs out of the building. It’s a weird sensation.

You walk in terrible, and walk out better. But the next time I go through it all over again. I forget the time and day, I dread the drive there, I hate the sitting down and now spill it all out in a finite amount of time and hope that you say the right thing. Cause you can say anything. Maybe that’s the bizarre challenge.

It’s hard to go to your psychiatrist.

Woman at door image available from Shutterstock.

4 Tips to Help Manage Insomnia

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Insomnia has always hovered over my bed, especially when I am on an antidepressant. Although it’s supposed to help me work through an episode of depression, some medications affect my sleep. Since my medication has kicked in, I’ve been struggling with sleep in the past several weeks. I am caught between doing off my antidepressant to help reclaim my sleep, or just deal with it for now and when my depression no longer requires a medication I can look forward to a more regular sleep pattern. In the meantime, here are some things I’ve done to try and better manage my insomnia.

  1. Anger: Waking up periodically throughout the night and knowing it is going to take time to fall back asleep makes me very angry. That anger only exacerbates the problem so when I feel the irritability taking hold I recognize it, accept it, and do my best to let it go.
  2. Routine: Keeping a bedtime routine is crucial to curbing insomnia. I impose a rigorous routine on myself during the workweek that I stick to no matter what comes up. If a friend calls and wants to get together for a drink after work? No. I have to be in bed by 8 pm cause I know I will be up periodically throughout the night so have to anticipate that fact and prepare accordingly.
  3. Movement: People say if you find yourself in bed awake you should get up and do something else. Read a book, watch TV, something. I haven’t really done any of that that cause I’m that afraid filling insomnia with another task isn’t going to exhaust me. I fear it will keep me up so I’ve ditched that one.
  4. Bathroom Breaks: Most people get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. That is a problem for my insomnia cause if I have to go, there you go, you’re up again, so good luck getting back asleep anytime soon. Maybe it’s not the healthiest thing but I try to not drink any beverages late in the night. An empty bladder only lessens my chances for insomnia so if I can get through the …

My 20 Psych Resolutions for 2015

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Most people make New Year’s resolutions. I tend not to, but this year my resolution is to make resolutions. Here are my 20 Psych Resolutions for 2015:

  1. Don’t tamper with my meds
  2. If I self-medicate, don’t over medicate
  3. Don’t lie to my shrink
  4. Don’t date Axis II people
  5. Don’t wake up to popcorn kernels in my bed
  6. Don’t drunk dial, drunk text, drunk Facebook, drunk selfies; take away all forms of social media communication when I’ve had too many skinny margaritas
  7. Don’t obsess over my stomach rolls
  8. Fill up my pill box every Sunday before the week begins
  9. Work on curbing my addiction to cheese
  10. When I’m feeling depressed, don’t wear the same clothes over and over
  11. When I go on a date, don’t let talking about my mental illness take center stage
  12. Don’t spend every Saturday night dancing alone in my apartment
  13. Don’t question my gut instinct
  14. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when I need it
  15. Don’t become stagnant, always keep moving forward
  16. Stop binge watching reality television when I’m bored
  17. Don’t lose it when I forget my passwords, write them down somewhere
  18. Don’t give up on meditating even when I feel like I am getting nowhere
  19. Stop lying to people that I watch Mob Wives
  20. Don’t beat myself up down the line if I find myself in bed, eating cheese, while watching the latest and greatest junk food television for hours on end.

Happy New Year Everyone!

What I Learned From My Depression

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Well, we are coming to the end of my depression series. It took a lot of strength to climb my way out of the cave. I can see the sun on the horizon, and thankfully, I finally feel better. It’s not completely over, or perfect, but I can reflect on the past few weeks to educate myself on what helped, and what didn’t. Everyone’s depression is unique, everyone’s coping skills are personal. Looking back here is what I learned from my depression:

Therapy: After years of fighting it, or being in denial about the need for professional help, I finally started working with a therapist and thus far, it has been an extraordinary experience. It has been eye opening in a way I never thought I would experience. I can’t believe it took me this long to take a step toward help. I always thought that I knew my issues, I just didn’t want to deal with them, but now I have a safe place and person I can trust and help walk me through understanding myself, and my behaviors. Therapy is going to be in my life period, and I am truly grateful for that.

Not Working Out: I stopped beating myself up for not working out as regularly as I used to, and initially I feared getting out of shape, or gaining weight, but the guilt that weighed on my shoulders only made my depression worse. I learned that it is okay to allow the body and mind to rest. I agree that working out is important to helping the mind handle depression but, if you can’t make yourself get to the gym, that is okay. Feeling bad about yourself for taking a break only exacerbates depression so don’t let your lack of your normal pattern of exercise get the best of you. Give yourself a rest and a break during hard times.

7 Tips on How to Survive Christmas Dinner

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

I’m just gonna cut straight to the chase. Christmas dinner can be ROUGH. Once you sit down with your loved ones, it is game time. Here are seven tips to help get through the Christmas feast, or fiasco, or whatever you want to call it:

One: Being put on the spot

When a conversation that you are not interested in participating in turns your way, or requests your attention, or a response, just sip on your egg nog, your water, your wine, your gravy, whatever, and fake a coughing fit. Most likely you’ll get a get out of jail free card cause, quick frankly, you can’t speak. You don’t have to engage in every conversation.

Two: Fake a phone

Your cell phone can be a major ally when you need an out. It could be considered rude to take a phone call during dinner but so what, for example, “It’s work, I gotta take this.” Just make sure you set your alarm on two or three minutes before you plan to exit and when it rings, pick it up, fake talk to a person that is not on the other line and put up your finger to the table and say “One sec.” Simply put: Anyone can be on the other line when it is fake. 

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