Many individuals believe that self-harm and suicide are directly linked but, in fact, this is not the case. In all honesty, self-harm and suicidal behaviors are completely different. Unfortunately, it is common for these two behavioral disorders to get grouped together because they both have something to do with inflicting pain on oneself. Additionally, there are some instances when an individual who self-harms will end up committing suicide. The simplest way to put it is that, generally those who self-harm do not wish to kill themselves, while suicide is a way of ending life. Keep reading »

Two things happened last month that stirred me to revisit an often-examined question:

Am I too involved in my son’s life? Have I “stolen his manhood and his rights” by insisting on treatment?

One reminder came in the form of a reader’s book review on Amazon.com for Ben Behind His Voices, calling it a “Testament to Abuse of Power and Parental Authority,” the only one-star review in a sea of 5-star praise and gratitude. Clearly, a man with an agenda, so I didn’t take it too personally…but this is not the first time I’ve been called an over-involved parent. On the other hand, I’ve also been criticized by others  for not “stopping” Ben from dropping out of high school, for “allowing” my son a period of homelessness in Idaho, “letting him fail” when he gained and then lost five different jobs after he returned.

And then there is – there always is – the question of “forcing” Ben to take medications to help restore balance to his brain. The second reminder came from a voice student of mine, who shared how well his son with schizophrenia was doing without meds, having “learned to recognize the voices and deal with them” instead. Of course, that’s wonderful. Some people, I understand, can do that – but often it takes all of their energy just to keep those voices at bay. And then there are those – like Ben- who cannot, in a million years, manage the full-time job of keeping his inner thoughts (or voices, or whatever they are) quiet enough so that he can attend to the outside world. Keep reading »

Back when I was struggling with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) I was also struggling with mercury poisoning, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease and suspected liver cancer. Sounds crazy, right?

How your body expresses the level of psychological stress in your mind is a very real and very treatable situation. Keep reading »

Human beings are not always the easiest to deal with. In fact, people can be absolutely intolerable. With all the different beliefs and personalities swimming around us, it makes absolute sense why some people are made for one another while others should stray far from each other.

Differences in personality traits can cause trouble amongst social groups – including family gatherings. It’s natural not to get along with everyone, but some people push that truth aside. When people start to force their intense personality and beliefs on everyone else, anxiety may rise.

At times, anxiety brings forward other mental health issues. Keep reading »

If you’ve returned home from a combat zone, you have likely experienced trauma, and almost all people who have experienced a trauma have some posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as a result; however, this does not necessarily mean that you have combat PTSD. In order to be diagnosed with combat PTSD, a formal assessment must be made by a healthcare professional and you must have a set number of symptoms that raise to a certain level of severity. You cannot determine, yourself, if you have a diagnosis of PTSD.

There are changes in the brain in someone with combat PTSD and the symptoms they have fall into the categories of:

  • Re-experiencing – a reliving of the past event
  • Avoidance – avoidance of situations that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Arousal – a feeling of being “keyed up” and always on the lookout for danger
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings

Keep reading »

I talk to parents about technology on a daily basis, and it’s a problem. Many parents are years behind the times and tend to give into the technology that their teen or tween is begging for. Technology can be great, but without proper guidance and supervision from parents, it can turn dangerous, even deadly. Don’t be the parent who get’s snowed by their technologically savvy teen, get empowered and feel confident. Keep reading »

After being medically discharged from the Army, More Than Borderline‘s Becky Oberg returned to Indianapolis to begin mental illness treatment. She soon learned that her location determined her access to borderline personality disorder (BPD) treatment almost as much as her insurance. She first saw a doctor in private practice, but transferred to a sliding-scale clinic after her COBRA ran out. She became suicidal and psychotic, but the hospital that treated cases like hers from her county was full. She was admitted to a different hospital, which wiped out her life savings because she was not eligible for its reduced rate. Keep reading »

My recovery from depression often feels like it isn’t going forward at all. I feel like my emotions go all over the map, up, down, sideways, backwards, and then forwards again. Some days my depression feels better than the day before, but other days it feels worse than I did the day before. Even in the span of one day, I can go from feeling pretty okay about things to feeling like I want to throw in the towel. It’s so confusing and frustrating. Keep reading »

In a fit of anxiety, or in the throes of a panic attack, our minds sometimes turn on us even more than they already do. Our brains might be consumed with worries, fears, and thoughts of going crazy, and our bodies overcome with agitation, sweating, trembling, aches, and pains, yet our minds produce another thought that bursts through the chaos and slaps us painfully across the face: “What is wrong with me and why am I like this?” To add insult to injury, sometimes when we turn to someone, perhaps a friend or a family member, in search of understanding and help, the message we can receive is “What’s wrong with you? Why are you like this?” Keep reading »

Schizophrenia is a disease that affects our perception in ways that are unimaginable to most. Deep within the schizophrenic mind are a plethora of villains that haunt us our every waking hour. At one time I believed that these villains physically existed and would bring about my inevitable, torturous death. They stalked me, haunted me, and watched my every move all the time. They knew my thoughts, actions, whereabouts, and movements. They could manipulate my emotions and thoughts at will. I could even sometimes hear them. They would speak to me in angry, torturous ways.

In this article I will introduce you to several of these villains. Some of them are human while others are not. Though none of them exist, all of them were capable of inflicting indescribable pain upon me. These are the villains of schizophrenia.

Keep reading »