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A critical aspect of dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the parts, or personalities (including young personalities), that are within the headspace of the individual with the condition. It took me years before I was finally able to identify my own parts, converse with them, and create a healthier place in my mind for them to exist, especially when I have been experiencing suicidal ideation. That being said, it isn’t impossible, even when it may feel like it while dealing with younger parts. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
The suicidal thoughts that plagued my mind in the throes of my eating disorder recovery were expected. I hated my body. I hated myself. I hated my life and the society in which I lived that kept telling me I was not enough. One thing I did not expect was to still feel suicidal thoughts during my eating disorder recovery. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
In general, suicidal thoughts are not normal, but they have been for me lately. I have been actively working toward my recovery for over six years now, and yet for the last two months, I've experienced some kind of suicidal thought nearly every day. I don't want to die, I just want to hit "rock bottom" so I can finally actually get better. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Lately, I have been thinking about what it looks like when someone experiences mostly invisible illnesses, like anxiety and depression, and feels suicidal. Depression and anxiety are not always visible. People have expressed to me their surprise that I have dealt with chronic anxiety for a long time. But it's true, and I guess at some point I became really good at always acting like everything was fine. (Note: this post contains a trigger warning.)
I started doing monthly check-ins a couple of years ago when I first recognized that I had a self-esteem issue. Poor self-esteem often keeps us stuck in the past with regrets or pinned to the future with hopes and dreams. My monthly check-ins keep me grounded in the present and give me a realistic view of my accomplishments and productivity level, which keeps my self-esteem healthy. Before I started doing monthly check-ins, I lived with a never-ending to-do list which made me feel like a failure and less than enough.
Self-harm and suicide are somewhat shrouded in mystery. Many consider them a teenage fad, a call for attention, or, worse, an act of selfishness. On the other hand, research suggests that self-injury and suicide often go hand in hand with trauma, which is a serious matter. And yet, the phenomenon is not fully understood. Is it because we choose to suffer in silence? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
What is it really like to live with suicidal ideation? Suicide is still heavily stigmatized, with accusations of selfishness being one of the most prominent pieces of stigma used against it. Would knowing about suicidal ideation help reduce the stigma that's so quickly thrown at those who struggle with thoughts of dying by suicide? I believe understanding its impact can shed light beyond the misinformation that fuels suicide's stigma. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Anxiety disorders and suicidality are connected, but when I think about how anxiety is perceived by society, I think about what I've seen on tv and in movies. I've seen so many shows where anxiety was portrayed with someone sweating a lot on a first date or being unable to speak when asked to talk in public. Some forms of anxiety are even used for comedy, like in "Parks and Recreation" where Leslie's mom meets a former love interest whose anxiety led to a comedy of errors after Leslie brings him to a party. There isn't anything wrong with these portrayals, but it is striking to me that none of the imagery associated with an anxiety disorder implies suicidality. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
My name is Jennifer Lear, and I am the co-author of the "Coping with Depression" blog here at HealthyPlace. I am thrilled to be joining this community and am excited (and nervous) to be sharing my experiences with you. I started exhibiting symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at age six. By 18, I was riddled with so many ticks and compulsions that I could barely function, and I finally took it upon myself to seek help from my family doctor. I was diagnosed with chronic OCD and depression and placed on medication. There was no offer of counseling, no reassurance that I was not alone, and I was left feeling more depressed, more ashamed, and more terrified to publicly acknowledge how I was feeling.
Birthdays are supposed to be exciting. Unfortunately, for many of us, birthdays trigger depression, anxiety, and stress in general. Given that I happen to be one of those folks who suffer from birthday blues, I can tell you that just like clinical depression, birthday depression too is real and not a choice.

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Comments

Zaylin
I have a little, i am in highschool, how do i keep her from coming out in a lesson? im not sure how to communicate with her i have no idea how old she might be, and i have another alter who tries to front, but does no work, and doesnt really care. i dont know if i should give her toys and bring them to school? i dont want her getting lost and i dont want the body to start acting like a child.
Jennifer Lear
Hello, Lizanne! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and your warm welcome! You're absolutely right- we really do need more people to come forward and share their stories, and I love the way you put it - "so that it can light the way for others." Thank you so much for your support, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Tasha
Oh lord that’s me...2 years after making a mistake that hurt someone’s feelings (as a result of trauma inflicted on me by someone else), I cannot forgive myself though they have forgiven me. I am suicidal almost every day in spite of therapy, medication, etc. Hopefully, this will change some day.
Sarah Sharp
Hi, Lizanne!

Thank you so much for reaching out. I'm really excited to be a part of what we're doing at HealthyPlace, and I hope I can help some people. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to read on "Life with Bob."

Kind regards,

Sarah Sharp
Martha Lueck
Hi Maureen,

I am very sorry that you have struggled so much. You are a very strong person to have endured all that. Can you think of any specific piece of advice or affirmation that a counselor has given you? Is there a support group in your area for people who struggle with grief, disabilities, or mood disorders?

At this time, there is a lot of online support. One app I use that is very helpful is called Wisdo. You can connect with people who have been through many difficult situations. The best part is, you can stay anonymous. So it is completely safe. I know that virtual communication does not replace the value of face-to-face conversations, but apps and the internet can be useful for convenience.

I don't know if any of those ideas will work for you, but I want you to know that you are a resilient person worthy of love and care. Thank you for reaching out on here.

Here are some links that I would recommend visiting.
-https://venturebeat.com/2018/12/13/wisdo-launches-chat-app-to-discuss-illnesses-job-losses-and-other-challenges-out-of-beta/
-https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-illness-overview/how-to-find-mental-health-services-in-your-area

I wish you the best of luck!

-Martha Lueck