La Santé Mentale, Psychologie

Stress On The Body: How It Really Affects You

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Stress On The Body: How To Deal With ItWe all get stressed from time-to-time, however how do you deal with it and what are your warning signs? Do you get that anxious feeling deep in your stomach, do your eating habits slip, or do you find yourself unable to engage in everyday conversations because your mind is skipping to your next task?

These may be subtle signs that we pick up on, however there are many signs that we don’t notice which are having a damaging affect on our bodies. This infographic provides some revealing insights into the damage stress causes our bodies and exactly how it works against us, slowing our cognitive functioning down.

If you find yourself slipping into continuous highly-stressed state – listen to your body, it’s telling you to take care of yourself and slow down. While the demands of a stressful job or home life may not always be easily avoided, there are some very easy things you can incorporate into your everyday life to help you cope a little better.

1)    Meditate. There is a reason this practice is constantly preached – because it really works. While sitting still and letting your thoughts calmly flow past you may feel counter-productive when you have what seems like a to-do-list that would rival a small army. Running around in a panicked stressed out state only hinders your ability to think clearly, whereas meditation provides clarity and helps drown out the unproductive thoughts streaming through your mind.

2)    Exercise. One of the best and easiest ways to release stress is to build up a sweat and hit the pavement, treadmill, yoga mat or whatever your weapon of choice is. Not only does it give your mind something else to think of, it puts it through its paces and increases the release of that all important serotonin (the happy hormone!).

3)     Tune into your brain waves. Unless you’ve been living in the remote wilderness your entire life with no interaction with the outside world, you’ve probably experienced the calming effects of music! The ability for it to shift your mood as the beat takes you on a journey is a magical sensation that is incredibly easy to achieve. However, next time your heart racing, why not try listening to binaural beats, specially engineered sounds that are scientifically proven to affect your brain wave, helping you to achieve deeper meditation or to relax?

These are just three very simple ways to give your body some much needed respite when you feel your stress levels rising. What do you do to relieve the stress during these times? If you’re interested in trying binaural beats, download your free track here!

Guide to Inspired Life

La Santé Mentale, Non classé

11 Things That Can Happen To Your Mind & Body If You Don’t Socialize For A Long Period Of Time, According To Science

There’s a fine line between staying in on a Friday night and avoiding social engagements for an entire weekend. While sometimes the body needs rest and solo time, having a social network boosts well-being, and your mind and body can negatively react to not socializing for more than a day at time. It’s totally fine to be an introvert, where you’re shyer and value alone time more than others, but if you’re anxious about being around others or you isolate yourself too much, it might lead to loneliness and a worsened quality of life.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding a healthy, happy balance between work and play, and between alone time and social engagements. According to healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines over email with Bustle, having a great network of friends and family can boost happiness and health, and it can make you feel more connected to the world at large. When you don’t make time for social commitments, it’s hard to foster deeper connections with people, and you’re at risk of missing out on some really memorable moments and good fun. When you avoid social occasions too often over time, your mind and body can negatively react to the isolation. Here are 11 things that happen to your body and mind if you don’t socialize for more than a day.

1. Poor Self-Esteem

« There’s quite a bit of research in mice/animals that shows interesting physiological responses of the body to isolation, however I don’t like to make a blanket statement until the human studies are published and vetted, » says Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT in an email to Bustle. « With that said, I do know from my work history that clients who were continuously isolated day in and day out not only developed a poor body image and self esteem over time, » says Shaw.

2. Depression

Shaw says that depression can be associated with isolating yourself and not socializing for more than a day at a time. While you don’t need to go out to happy hour every day of the week, it’s important to at least chat with co-workers, phone a friend, or attend a fitness class, in order to see people you know and care about during the day. If you don’t, your mental health could suffer, explains Shaw.

3. Loss Of Reality

According to Emily Moyer-Gusé, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University in Columbus, in an interview with Huffington Post, if you stay in too often to binge watch TV shows, games, or movies, and they come to an end, it can trigger depression due to the perceived loss of reality. Deciphering between fiction and personal reality is important, and alienating yourself to tune into media too often can interfere with this brain’s mechanism.

4. Increased Tumor Risk

A study at University of Chicago Medical Center reported that social alienation can lead to increased tumor growth, and this can cause abnormal growths and reduction in physical health and longevity. Cancer is really scary, so staying in too often and not making meaningful connections can definitely be worrisome.

5. Body Chills

According to a study by the Association for Psychological Science, you can literally feelchills from isolation in social circles. If you aren’t surrounded by warmth and comfort, and you are isolating yourself regularly, you might notice a decrease in body temperature and increase in body chills.

6. Decreased Ability To Learn

According to researcher John Cacioppo at the University of Chicago, over interview with How Stuff Works, a science website, people who are lonely are less able to perform on learning tasks, such as puzzles and mind games, due to the rewiring in the brain. Next time, try a puzzle or work task with a friend for better results.

7. Decreased Sense Of Empathy

Cacioppo found in his research that people who are lonely are less empathetic than happier, socializing people, when shown images of pleasant and unpleasant scenarios. By isolating yourself, you’re changing your brain’s neurological pathways and may hinder your ability to feel and love as well as others can.

8. Inflammation

According to Traines, when you’re too alienated and have a lower quality of life and happiness, it can cause depression and stress, which then shows on the body, itself. Inflammation occurs from these lifestyle aspects, and it can lead to bloating, increased risk of illnesses, digestive issues, and inability to function up to par, explains Traines.

9. Shorter Life Span

According to research by Andrew Steptoe, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London, and reported in Time, being socially isolated for more than one day can lead to a chronic reduction in longevity and an increase in mortality. This fact is pretty scary, so boost physical health by putting yourself out there more with others.

10. Increased Risk Of Dementia

“Many scientists believe that social interaction is necessary for maintaining good mental health and may even help prevent or delay certain mental diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s, » says Rita Milios, LCSW, psychotherapist and expert writer for Pro Corner on over email with Bustle. « A 2008 study in American Journal of Public Health found that older women who had large social networks had 26 percent less risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment, » says Milios.

11. Reduced Resilience

« No matter the struggle that is causing pains and isolation, social occurrences are crucial for a person’s happiness. Close, loving relationships and social interactions lead to the development of resilience, coping skills, and higher self-esteem, » advises Milios. « In the absence of these crucial connections and the resulting benefits, it’s much easier for isolation to form, which can lead to loneliness, » says Milios.

If you notice any of these conditions from staying home too often, it’s worth trying to get out more and make plans with friends, family, and co-workers. Being around people and having close connections can be such a joy in life, so try to embrace it and find a happier balance between solo nights and those with others.

Images: Pixabay (10); Pexels (2)

La Santé Mentale, La violence, Psychologie

Why Does Trauma Change Your Memories?

Do people who experience trauma have problems with their memory? It seems as if many people who talk about experiences they have endured cannot offer detail about the events that transpired. Why is it that it seems like people who have PTSD have the worst memories?

What were you doing three Sundays ago at 8:15 PM? Don’t look at your calendar,  just take a second to think. It’s likely that you can’t remember every detail. But let’s just say something really exciting happened. At 8:15, maybe you were down on one knee proposing to the love of your life and can remember every detail from the curtains to the way the lasagna on the table smelled. If this is the case for big events, why does it seem like people who have experienced trauma can’t remember specific details?

About Your Memory

Not everyone who experiences trauma will have problems remembering their incidence. However, if the event affected the individual enough to make them develop PTSD, they may have some problems remembering what happened. They may remember really odd details like a cup off of a coaster or that the clock was broken, but they may not be able to remember who was there or how it all came into fruition. This concept is easier to comprehend when you know a little bit about the memory.

Types Of Memory

There are four different types of memory that are separated into two categories. The first being explicit memory which involved semantic and episodic memory. The second category is implicit memory which includes emotional and procedural memory.

I’ll go over the different types of memories with an example of a traumatic event. In this event, someone has experienced a fire that has burned down their home, and they barely made it out alive.

Semantic Memory

This is the memory of general knowledge and facts. You would remember that the fire was hot and it started in the living room. The clock read 7:00 and you were wearing your pajamas. All of these things are facts and aren’t tied to any emotions felt at the time of the incident.

Episodic Memory

This is the autobiographical memory of the experience answering the questions of who what and where. You remember the fireman who saved you from the fallen ceiling beam. You remember being taken to the hospital a town over and that your childhood home was burning down to the ground as you sped off in the ambulance. These memories are specific to you and your viewpoint. This is normally remembered in order, but our imperfect memories can rearrange these events.

Emotional Memory

Your emotional memory is remembering how you felt during the event. You remember being confused that the smoke detector was going off. You remember the shock you felt as you came downstairs and saw the flames licking at the curtains. You remember how devastatingly terrified you were when the ceiling beam fell onto you. You remember the relief you felt when the firemen busted down the door.

Procedural Memory

This is the memory that helps you know how to perform a commonly done task without having to think about it actively. Things like how to light a match, how to go down the stairs, and how to call 911 when you start smelling smoke.

Trauma And Your Brain

Now that we know a little bit about memory and what each of the different types of memories do for us, we can learn how trauma comes in and messes it all up. Each of these types of memories are controlled by different regions of the brain and studies have shown that PTSD causes changes to these areas creating memory and behavioral issues.

Trauma And Semantic Memory

So if something happened to someone, why can’t they get all of their facts straight? They must be lying! Of course, this is a possibility. But there is a reason that people who come back from overseas or experience assault don’t have all of their facts together. Two reasons actually, the temporal lobe and the inferior parietal cortex.

Trauma can make certain parts of your memory like words or images not combine to make a cohesive semantic memory. The temporal lobe and inferior parietal cortex collect information from different regions of the brain to create these factual memories, but there might be a miscommunication in people with PTSD.

Studies have shown that PTSD has an impact on communication between the temporal and parietal regions of the brain. Even when the patients were in remission, the miscommunication was still occurring. With people who have experienced trauma and developed PTSD, their brain isn’t keeping their unemotional facts straight.

Trauma And Episodic Memory

Trauma can shut down this type of memory as well as how the sequence of events is perceived. Someone who experiences trauma and develops PTSD may say that they went to get food after the hospital and then in another instance say that after the hospital they went straight to the motel and got back out to go eat. The hippocampus is to blame for events being spun in a blender.

Your hippocampus helps to store and retrieve your memories and also plays a role in the ability to overcome the fear response. This is because the amygdala sends messages to this region of the brain, but I’ll get into that part later.

Studies have shown that constant stress may damage the hippocampus because of the hormone called cortisol that is released. This chemical is great because it helps to mobilize your body during a time where you are threatened, but at high levels, this chemical can damage or destroy cells in the hippocampus.

An interesting note is that scientists believe that a smaller hippocampus may predict your vulnerability to developing PTSD after experiencing trauma. This may be due to its inability to control your response to fear when the amygdala sends its signals.

Trauma And Emotional Memory

You know how people joke about being triggered? And how annoyed people are by trigger warnings? Well hey, guess what, triggers are a real thing. Trauma can make a person start to feel a painful emotion without any context; It can be like having a panic attack after you hear your fire alarm beep because it makes you remember the sheer terror you felt trapped under a ceiling beam. And we can thank our amygdala for that.

Your amygdala is what is in control of your fear response. It is what creates the fight or flight response you get whenever there is a threat nearby. A tiger running at you? Your amygdala elevates chemicals like cortisol to help pump blood into your muscles so you can run as fast as you can for safety. People who have experienced trauma, their amygdala sees tigers everywhere.

Your subconscious never forgets the events that transpired, which is why your amygdala is always on guard. “Never again,” it thinks as it gives you anxiety while you cook an omelet constantly imagining flames growing from the pan.

Trauma And Procedural Memory

Trauma can even change the patterns of procedural memory. Someone who experiences trauma may form new habits when they do things that once were a breeze like cooking over a hot stove after your house just burned down. Sure, you know to turn it on but you can’t help but feel that every muscle in your body is tense like it isn’t sure what to do. This happens because of the striatum.

The striatum is what forms habits. It helps to control the reward center and motor functions in your brain. Studies have shown us that people who have PTSD have hyperactivity between the hippocampus and the striatum and the activity is very difficult to reduce.

This overactivity can lead to habit-like responses towards memories that involve the event that caused the trauma. Like flinching every time you hear a beep because it reminds you of a fire alarm. Scientists believe that this makes sense because of the behavioral manifestations that are related to patients who developed PTSD from combat.

They Don’t Remember, But They Do

Like I said before, your subconscious remembers everything. This is why the primitive aspects stay with us while the words do not. The heart palpitations are there, but the exact order of events may be fuzzy. This isn’t because anyone who has experienced trauma wants to lie or has ill will, it is just that their brain is damaged from the excessive stress they have experienced.

The memory issues don’t stop here. Even after the event, people who have PTSD can have a difficult time remembering things that are unrelated like appointment dates, where they set their keys and the name of the waiter. This makes it troubling for people in school or work to go about their daily lives. Many people who have experienced trauma can become successful and happy; it just takes more work for them because their brain is a bit behind.

Can CBD Help?

CBD oil has shown in studies to help the damage that occurs in the hippocampus and reduce the activity of the amygdala. Research suggests that it may be able to help patients with PTSDwith their memory issues. It may also help with the anxiety, anger, confusion, and depression that comes along with this disorder.

Sarah Potts has been writing about the wonderful benefits of cannabis for CBD Instead since 2017. Medical cannabis has changed her life and her goal is to show others how it might help them as well.

La Santé Mentale, psychiatrie

10 façons d’augmenter la dopamine dans votre cerveau

Les niveaux de dopamine faibles peuvent causer la dépression, une perte de satisfaction, des envies, les compulsions, une faible libido et une incapacité à se concentrer.

Tyrosine est un autre acide aminé important (un bloc de base des protéines) dans les produits laitiers, les viandes, les volailles et les noix. Il encourage votre cerveau pour libérer de la dopamine et la noradrénaline.

Ces neurotransmetteurs agissent comme substances stimulantes pour le cerveau et peuvent vous aider à requinquer en vous faisant sentir plus alerte et aiguiser votre pensée.

La dopamine est le précurseur de l’adrénaline et de la noradrénaline, deux hormones qui sont également considérés comme des neurotransmetteurs agissant comme régulateurs de l’humeur, du métabolisme et comme stimulants du système nerveux et de la circulation sanguine.

Une déficience ou un excès en dopamine est relié à des pathologies comme la maladie de Parkinson ou des phénomènes de dépendance aux drogues.

Il est intéressant de noter que:

La dopamine est un neurotransmetteur puissant dans le cerveau. En fait, c’est le produit chimique directement responsable de la motivation et de la concentration du cerveau.

Qui ne souhaite pas être plus motivé et concentré?

Ce qu’il y a de vraiment excitant avec la dopamine c’est qu’elle peut être augmentée! Oui, vous pouvez efficacement améliorer votre motivation, votre concentration et votre humeur en prenant des mesures naturelles permettant d’augmenter les niveaux de cette substance dans le cerveau!

Donc voici 10 façons d’augmenter les niveaux de dopamine et de stimuler la productivité:

1. Faites de l’exercice

On ne peut nous le répéter assez souvent. À maintes reprises on nous rappelle l’importance et les avantages de l’exercice physique, et c’est un détail qui doit de nouveau être ajouté à cette liste. Car non seulement l’exercice nous aide à soulager le stress, atteindre une meilleure santé physique, nous rend plus productif; mail il stimule notamment le niveau de cette substance.
Plus précisément, l’exercice augmente la production de neurotransmetteurs – la sérotonine et les endorphines, en plus de la dopamine (qui augmente notre sensation de bien-être) reçoit un coup de pouce.

Notez que: l’exercice ne doit pas être ardu. Vous promener ou monter des escaliers permettra d’atteindre une montée de ce neurotransmetteur.

2. La purification des toxines

Bien que notre corps soit miraculeux, nous accumulons des toxines et des bactéries qui sont mauvaises pour nous. Les endotoxines peuvent affaiblir notre système immunitaire, et limitent également la production de dopamine. Voici quelques conseils pour aider à nettoyer l’intestin des endotoxines: manger de la nourriture fermentée, dormir suffisamment , et résister aux aliments gras ou sucrés.

Peut-être que la meilleure façon de débarrasser notre corps de ces toxines désagréables est de faire une purification des toxines. Jetez donc un coup d’oeil à ce processus et décidez si oui ou non ceci est pour vous.

3. Créez quelque chose

Pour nous les écrivains, peintres, sculpteurs, poètes, chanteurs, danseurs et autres artistes, nous pouvons nous identifier à cela. Lorsque nous sommes en phase créative, nous pouvons devenir hyper-engagés. Par conséquent, nous pouvons entrer dans un état particulier de réceptivité.
En résumé, la dopamine est la substance chimique libérée par le cerveau lorsqu’un comportement nous permet d’atteindre cet état.

Voici la leçon que vous devez retenir: adonnez-vous à un passe-temps ou une activité dans laquelle vous créez quelque chose qui a des effets bénéfiques tangibles. Essayez quelque chose comme les arts, l’artisanat, la réparation automobile, le dessin, la photographie, ou autre chose qui semble intéressant.

4. Ne développez pas une dépendance

Beaucoup de gens développent une dépendance à quelque chose parce que cela leur apporte une sorte de satisfaction instantanée – drogue, alcool, relations intimes, pornographie, shopping, et autres comportements de dépendance auraient l’effet contraire sur les niveaux de dopamine à long terme. Fondamentalement, lorsque nous sommes trop dépendants de quelque chose, « le circuit de récompense » de notre cerveau devient surexcité et nous implore une « solution rapide ». Ce n’est pas une solution viable pour la production de dopamine, qui peut et doit être accomplie naturellement.

5. Augmentez les niveaux de tyrosine

Cet autre acide aminé est lui un précurseur de l’adrénaline, la noradrénaline, la dopamine et la DOPA. Des neurotransmetteurs et hormones ayant un rôle important au niveau du système nerveux, de l’humeur, de la stimulation du métabolisme, de la régulation de l’appétit et du bon fonctionnement de la glande thyroïde.

Une déficience en tyrosine peut être associée à des symptômes tels qu’une basse pression sanguine et un abaissement de la température corporelle.

  • Les amandes
  • L’avocat
  • Les bananes
  • Le boeuf
  • Le poulet
  • Le chocolat
  • Le café
  • Les œufs
  • Le thé vert
  • Le lait (bio)
  • La pastèque
  • Le yaourt

Il y a un tas de bonnes choses ci-dessus, donc il ne devrait pas être difficile de trouver quelque chose qui va bien servir vos niveaux de dopamine.

6. Etablissez une série de victoires

Comme avec la création d’une liste de tâches, établir une série de victoires est une excellente façon d’augmenter les taux de dopamine. Cela est un rappel visuel du nombre de jours consécutifs où vous avez réalisé quelque chose.

Procurez-vous un calendrier précisément dans ce but: écrivez ce qui vous passionne, votre but, et les jours et les mois où vous avez prévu de les faire. Par exemple, si vous travaillez lundi, mercredi et vendredi, marquez ces jours dans le calendrier pour le mois. Lorsque vous effectuez une séance d’entraînement, marquez-le sur le calendrier. En établissant une série de victoires, vous maintenez l’élan de la dopamine.

7. Une liste de petites tâches

La production de cette substance augmente lorsque nous sommes organisés et que nous accomplissons des tâches – peu importe si la tâche est petite ou grande. Alors, ne laissez pas à votre cerveau se soucier des choses qui doivent être faites. Au lieu de cela, faites une liste de ces tâches puis cochez les points au fur et à mesure.
Il a été démontré qu’il est plus satisfaisant pour les niveaux de dopamine dans le cerveau d’élaborer une liste de tâches à accomplir de façon à les énumérer et pour s’en rappeler.

8. Méditez

Comme avec l’exercice, nous découvrons de plus en plus les avantages de la méditation. De nouveau, nous l’ajoutons à la liste des pratiques. Comme nous en avons parlé, le cerveau humain est sensible à une variété de dépendances. Une autre dépendance que nous avons est ‘la suranalyse’. Au point que certains bouddhistes ont une expression pour cette addiction: « esprit de singe ».

La suranalyse est non seulement une habitude distrayante, mais aussi une contrainte réelle qui nous laisse dans un état troublant, tout en ayant un effet négatif sur notre développement spirituel.

Cependant, les scientifiques sont enfin en train de rattraper ce que les bouddhistes savent depuis des milliers d’années: la méditation et la pleine conscience sont essentielles pour un esprit sain.

Il a aussi été démontré que la prière et l’auto-réflexion augmentaient les niveaux de dopamine.

9. Consommez des suppléments

Bien qu’il existe quelques bonnes façons d’augmenter les niveaux de ce neurotransmetteur, parfois nous manquons d’équilibre en matière de gestion. Heureusement, il y a des suppléments naturels sur le marché qui s’avèrent aussi augmenter les niveaux de dopamine. En voici quelques-uns:

Acétyl-L-tyrosine: Un bloc de construction d’un produit chimique appelé acide aminé; de ce neurotransmetteur. Une bonne dose facilite sa production dans le cerveau.

Curcumine: Un ingrédient actif de l’épice « curcuma » entrant dans la composition du curry et du curcuma.

Ginkgo Biloba: Un supplément étonnant extrêmement populaire qui est également soupçonné d’augmenter ses niveaux et de la faire circuler dans le cerveau plus facilement.

L-théanine: Augmente plusieurs neurotransmetteurs dans le cerveau, y compris la dopamine. Le thé vert en est une formidable source.

10. Ecoutez de la musique

Vous êtes-vous déjà demandé pourquoi la musique vous rend heureux? Nous pouvons avoir le cafard, mais une fois que nous jouons notre morceau préféré, nous retrouvons le sourire …et nous nous sentons plus sûrs de nous aussi!

La raison de ceci est qu’écouter de la musique augmente les niveaux de dopamine. En fait, les scientifiques disent que cela a le même effet que de manger ses aliments préférés ou regarder son émission de T.V. favorie. Donc lorsque vous vous sentez déprimé, écoutez certains de vos morceaux préférés et laissez-vous porter par la musique!

Sandra Véringa
La Santé Mentale

20 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You Have a Mental Illness
20 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Have a Mental Illness (4)

For people who don’t live with a mental illness, it can be difficult to know what someone struggling with one is “like.” If we aren’t careful, stigma can easily inform how we view these individuals, even though mental illness expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might may appear to be functioning well — it’s different for everyone.

To find out how mental illness shows itself in ways other people can’t see, we asked our mental health community to share one thing people don’t realize they’re doing because they have a mental illness.

Here’s what they had to say:

1.“[I] dodge phone calls. I’d much rather talk via text. I don’t know why, [but] there’s something about talking on the phone that makes my anxiety act up.” — Christa M.

2. “I sleep until noon, but it isn’t [just] sleeping. It’s hiding from the world. I still get my job done, but just getting out of bed and facing the world hurts.” — Ryan M.

3. “[I] let my room get messy. It sometimes gets to the point where in parts, you can’t see the floor. I hate looking at it every day but there is just no drive inside of me to clean it.” — Teigan M.

4. “I am the queen of being busy. I mean, I work full-time, but besides that, I don’t visit family because I’m ‘too busy.’ I keep to myself because I’m ‘too busy.’ I don’t clean one day because I’m ‘too busy’ and I just need a break.” — Tiff K.

5. “Putting my physical health at risk. I tell myself it’s in my head because that is what I have been told so many times before. I will avoid doctors until I develop unbearable symptoms or become [incredibly] paranoid.” — Charlotte U.

6. “It is something I’ve overcome, but driving! I was 23 before I got my driver’s license. I still don’t drive on the freeway, and I’m 26. It’s been a [debilitating] thing I’ve always had to fight.” — Krystal M.

7. “People don’t realize why I miss work so much. I can barely get out of bed anymore. It’s painful to always be told how ‘lazy’ I am when I’m trying to stay alive.” — Alicia F.

8. “Doing nothing and not having an explanation for being disconnected from society in a way and being consumed in isolation and silence. Alternatively, doing certain actions based on impulse that don’t really have an explanation, as well occurring seemingly at random. I believe both are induced by my mental illnesses, the former being from depression, and the latter being from anxiety.” — John C.

9. “People think I don’t listen because I can’t remember things. The brain fog sucks.” — Laura G.

10. “I sleep way too much. I hide from people. I avoid talking to people, which damages relationships. I chew on the inside of my lips and cheeks and the sides of my tongue. I have permanent blisters. I do everything myself because I cannot ask for help. I stay exhausted.” — Kaity O.

11. “I have to ask for clarification on directions or instructions multiple times. I know what to do, but I get so worried I’m going to forget so I have to make sure I know every step. It’s the same with when I meet people places, especially if I am going by myself. I have to triple check the time and place before I feel comfortable enough to go. Both of these scenarios become extremely frustrating to those around me. I always feel like they think I’m ‘dim’ or unable to understand anything, but I am just trying to calm the voices in my head.” — Emily H.

12. “[I] forget important events. Such as final exams and important projects. At first I thought it was just my memory, but after making three schedules, I still forget everything.” — Briar P.

13. “When I’m out and about I always [have] my headphones in. Even if it’s to the shop across the road. [There is] too much going on outside for me to focus. Also [if] I’m in a busy area, I need someone with me and I wear my sunglasses. I wear the sunglasses to trick my mind [into thinking] it’s darker outside. Whoever is with me has to stay beside me at all times so I don’t feel overpowered by all the other people around me.” — Michael D.

14. “People don’t realize I feed off of their mood. One minute I will be having a great day and then someone comes along with negativity and drama and my whole day is ruined and they are over it in five minutes.” — Jennifer F.

15. “[I] sit staring into space, even when in a social situation. Or [I] just lie in my room in bed not moving. Sometimes you just have no drive to do anything, stuck in the ‘in between’ stage [when] you aren’t dead, but you don’t feel alive. It’s like you’re drifting halfway between.” — Georgia C. 

16. “[I find myself] picking my skin. When I feel an anxiety attack coming on, I pick at my arms.” — Mikehla D.

17. “I have a bad habit of keeping things bottled up when I really want to talk, although I can’t convince myself to just talk to someone because I feel a burden. Then I go quiet and say I’m alright when I’m really not.” — Robbie M.

18. “My friends don’t understand when I just disappear for a while and ignore everyone. I come off as rude to them but they don’t know that I just need some time to gather myself occasionally.” — Nathan D.

19. “My impulsivity and intensity are not because I am mean, ignorant or reckless — they are due to my bipolar disorder. I feel way too many emotions at once or I feel one emotion strongly and no others. I cannot control certain urges sometimes, such as impulsive raising of my voice, going on dangerous shopping sprees, starting arguments with people because my emotions are more powerful than my logic in the moment, etc. [I] think of my brain as a scale like the sign of Libra. The emotion side is far heavier than the logic side. The right system of medication and therapy help me to realize and work on this.” —Betsi L.

20. “[I] act perfectly normal. Usually I’m smiling, laughing and talking as I normally would, appearing functional. The reality is I’m exhausted, sad and empty. In fact someone said to me today it’s so hard to tell I have a mental illness because I cover it up so well in front of others.” — Amy B.

What would you add?

Thinkstock photo via bruniewska.