When I got my dog, Digby, I had no idea how much he would help me with my depression. Standard recommended treatments for depression pretty much never recommend getting a dog or spending time with a dog, but maybe they should.

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Anxiety: worry, concern, apprehension, uneasiness, fear, agitation, angst, nervousness, tension. Anxiety: an awful state of being that encompasses our very being — mind, feelings, actions. The Mayo Clinic describes it as “intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.” Many of us live with it; few, if any, of us want it. What do we do about it? Keep reading »

Unwanted trauma memories are soooo hard to get rid of, aren’t they? You try to ignore them, suppress them, pretend they don’t exist or didn’t really happen. But they persist with more determination than ants discovering an untended picnic spread. This means that a trauma memory can hang in an activated loop that makes it feel like threat continues and the experience is present. And then what happens? Whew, PTSD and fatigue, for one thing!

Memory is important when it comes to PTSD and integration, so I decided to ask a pro about all of this – and what can be done about it.  Dr. Michael Smith, of Life Extension Magazine, outlined for me fascinating information about the brain, the processing of memories, and how one simple supplement can help improve brain function in areas hugely important for trauma recovery. Keep reading »

What’s worse than a panic attack? Having panic induced publicly. In many cases, the public display of anxiety is more troubling than the attack itself. Having an anxiety attack is quite a bit to worry about and adding in the concern for how you are perceived by the people watching is another level entirely.

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One of my friends from AA relapsed recently. Her struggle has caused me to learn many things. One is that alcoholism is a progressive, deadly disease that is “cunning, baffling and powerful”, and that you must always be on guard because alcohol relapse is easy, no matter how many years sober you have. The second is that you have to have a reason to stay sober, and you have to work at it. The third is that alcoholism relapse can happen to anyone. Keep reading »

I dedicate this post in loving memory of Benjamin Eric Smith.

Being Thankful For My Bulimia Recovery

Almost a year ago this month, I was invited to be a guest blogger on this Surviving ED blog. ‘Why not?’ I thought, after finding out more about what it entailed.   Keep reading »

April is Stress Awareness Month according to Brownielocks.com. Stress is common to all people, but it is especially challenging for a child with mental illness. I know how stress affects me, but I can also tell when it affects Bob. Parenting a child with mental illness also means dealing with stress as a trigger instead of being a by-product. Here are some tips to help your child with mental illness. Keep reading »

Hello again, everyone, my unmet friends with adult attention-deficity/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I’ve been thinking this week about what to write about and I’m struggling. There are so many topics I have in mind that are not fully fleshed out – how do I pick which one? I feel like this is a constant adult ADHD problem – too many good ideas! What else are common adult ADHD problems? How do you know you have adult ADHD and not just a mind that’s working fast and is occasionally distracted by cute cats online? I have compiled a bunch of quizzes from around the internet and have created my own adult ADHD diagnostic test. Like all online quizzes, though, please know that this is no way diagnosis you with anything – other than the potential ‘enjoy online quizzes too much’ pathology. Keep reading »

Not only did I forget to recognize The Semicolon Project on April 16, I also didn’t submit a blog on the day I was supposed to. I praise myself for being timely and recognizing days that I see as important. I typically am very organized and sometimes I become obsessed with routine. However, when I am a little off with my schedule, I tend to be filled with regret and frustration.

You can’t regret something you did or should have done – we are humans and it happens. Don’t let regret lead to self-harm. Keep reading »

From the hot tears of anguish to the cold, unfeeling stare of indifference, depression and emotions go hand-in-hand.

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