Identity Confusion: Will you ever know yourself?

This topic is inspired by a teenager wondering when they will ever fully know themselves.

Some of us believe we will just wake up one day and have life all figured out. We hold out for that day where we are just so sure about everything and we know who we are; that’s that, nothing left to consider or explore.

We could just go out in the world with the most confidence because we are no longer confused about who we are so there is no need to question our identity. NOT!

I don’t think anyone ever stop feeling confused about their identity.

Yes, sometimes we are more confident and self-aware but it does not last always and this is why.

We are always growing. With every life experience we change. We go through so many life transitions that can possibly give us a new outlook on life and an increase in self-awareness.

For instance some major life transitions are moving to a new location, starting college, getting married, starting a new career, becoming a parent, breaking-up with someone, getting a divorce, ending friendship, being diagnosed with a condition, losing a loved one and so on.

At some point people begin to question themselves when new situations arise that they have never dealt with before or when circumstances are difficult to handle.

We have a habit of defining ourselves based on what is going on our lives. If we perceive it as good, we get motivated and more confident about ourselves. We feel secure in who we are because everything seems to be working out for the better.

When things look bad, this is when we begin to question ourselves and not feel so confident in the identity we created for ourselves.

This is my experience. With every new season and new chapter in my life, I discover a new me. The process is stressful, but I always end up learning something new about myself and my capabilities as person.

We are more powerful and resilient than we think. We just have to remember that no matter what we encounter, we are capable of adapting. When you look at it on a bigger scale, it helps you to see loss of identify as temporary and opportunity for growth.

So don’t worry, we are always becoming better version of ourselves. We sometimes might not be sure about our identify, but we always have the power to create a new one that serves us better.

So the take away is, have confidence that you will make it through and that is all you need.

Do you think you know yourself? What would be helpful to know for someone who is struggling to find themselves? Comment Below!

Do you believe you deserve depression?

I seen a question online that stated “why do people like me deserve depression”? My heart caved wondering how someone could think they deserve to suffer with depression.

Then someone with their meaning-well yet, insensitive response stated “it is a disease”. Just saying disorder could have been okay if we have to go there. Words hurt people. Let’s be more sensitive and empathetic.

NO ONE deserves depression (not you either).

It just happens to them like any other uncontrollable event.

Depression is tricky. It can have you believing all kinds of negative things about yourself that are not simply true. It can be difficult to see positivity or faulty thinking when you are depressed. Depression can make you believe everything you believe negative is real or factual.

The feeling is definitely “real”, but the cognitive distortions cause individuals to perceive reality inaccurately.

One helpful way to perceive depression is a temporary moment where you might perceive your life as “bad” or “pointless”. It will not last forever. It is just an indicator that chemistry has changed in your body and your thought processes have changed into a negative outlook. Sometimes I describe it as “having negative glasses on”.

It is important that now since you understand you struggle with depression, you learn how to take care of yourself. Understand what it means to struggle with depression and what can you do daily to work towards relieving it.

It’s all about adapting to your individual needs. You have to learn what you need and how to give that to yourself. If you have difficulty in improving, you can always seek professional help.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

The take away is to research and learn more about you and how to manage your depression. You are very much deserving of a happy and more fulfilling life. You do not have to settle for anything less.

Comment below! In what ways have you learned to overcome your depression? It may help someone else on their journey.

PMDD or Bipolar: What’s the difference?

I’ve seen arguments arise on the internet with some quick to say what Bipolar is and what PMDD “ain’t”.

Of course medical doctors who do not have experience with PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) have field day as well, not knowing the latest research or understanding the various symptoms of PMDD.

Some say that if you have a manic or hypomanic episodes, you are definitely Bipolar, no need to look further into to this thing.

Honestly, contrary to popular belief, there is really only one way to figure out if a person has Bipolar or PMDD.

PMDD does include mania and hypomania episodes in a woman who may have severe symptoms; along with other symptoms like depression, suicidal thoughts, tension, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, anger, irritability, lack of interest in daily activities, trouble thinking or focusing, fatigue, low energy, food cravings, binge eating, trouble sleeping, feeling out of control, and physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain as well.

This is why many women with PMDD are misdiagnosed with rapid-cycling Bipolar.

The only way to establish the difference in the two is charting a menstrual cycle and symptoms.

If symptoms begin to appear up to 10–14 days before the menstrual cycle and begin to ease up as your period appears, this is PMDD.

But what about Bipolar with premenstrual mood exacerbation (PME)? (I know someone is thinking of this). Well if this is the case, you should and can experience a variety of symptoms throughout the entire month instead of just 2 weeks. It just may get worse around your menstrual cycle.

Also, you may want to take into account any other underlying issues that could be contributing to those issues during the 2 weeks you are not battling PMDD.

For instance, say you have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) as well. Some people with PCOS experience depression and/or mood swings. The rise and fall of hormones are more rigid and dramatic than a woman with the reproductive system without PCOS. Your body can have some discomforting reactions for quick shifts in hormones.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

So the take away is to know your body and do your research. You are your own expert on you!

What do you know about PMDD? Anything you can share with others could help someone else on their journey. We are never alone! Comment below.

Self-Care: Are You Good, Mentally?

It seems that nothing can be more scary than having health issues and needing to go to the doctor for a checkup, but what about having mental health issues and needing a counselor or psychiatrist?

That can be even more scary for some people. No one wants people to think they are “crazy” or “not holding it together”. Or, what about sharing some of the most vulnerable moments about yourself to a stranger and being afraid of what they will think about you afterwards. There is so much stigma revolving around getting help with mental health issues. 

In today’s society, we all walk around with different hats on, trying to fill our roles at work, at home, at events, and in the community. But where does mental health issues fit into these roles we play out in our lives. Most of the time mental health issues seem to provide obstacles to everyday life. Why does it have to be embarrassing to need help?

If it was a physical injury or illness, most people would encourage you to see a physician without even giving it much thought. But what happens when it’s an issue that people can not see or do not understand. It can be difficult to know what to do about it, who to talk to, who to trust, and to reach a understanding about yourself and what is really happening to you. 

This is why it is important to seek professional help, even if it was just to learn about your options and how they may be of service to you as it relates to your symptoms. 

What does a mentally healthy person look like? People who display good mental health:

  • Adapt to new situations
  • Feel Good About Themselves
  • Set Goals
  • Have Meaningful Relationships
  • Able to Make Decisions and Solve Problems
  • Display Empathy
  • Take Responsibility for Their Behavior
  • Express Emotions in Healthy Ways
  • Able to Cope With Daily Stressors
  • Have a Balanced Life
  • Engage in Positive Social Interaction
  • Take Care of Their Bodies
  • Are Productive

Getting help as soon as possible could make the difference between you struggling day to day and having the tools to live a more balanced life. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Let’s take better steps to self-care and good mental health. 

How do you know when you are at good mental health or how do you know when it’s time to improve? Comment below!