We all have moments where flashbacks occur and we want to give in to the unsafe triggers around us. However, even though flashbacks can be haunting to those who self-harm, they can also make you realize how far you have come and how much you have grown. If you look at your past with a positive mindset, even if the past you are looking back at is negative, you may be able to gather a fresh perspective. Keep reading »

This blog is specifically geared toward combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however, there are many people outside of this situation who also suffer from PTSD. This blog is not meant to suggest that this significant group of people doesn’t exist. Here is some information about PTSD in multiple populations. Keep reading »

I’m scared for this winter. It’s not simply the vicious cold and the almost daily dump of snow that I’m dreading, but the annual worsening of my depression. While I haven’t been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, I know that winter affects my depression symptoms.

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Have you heard of social media addiction? In droves, we engage on social media with selfies, Likes, follows, and shares. These are actions that positively re-enforce the idea that social media tools provide us with good feelings. Like any pleasure-seeking activity, social media tools are addictive. With our society’s dramatic shift toward interacting over the internet and social media tools, it is easier than ever to develop an addiction to social media. Just recently, a man was treated for an addiction to Google Glass™.

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When I said that The Courage to Heal isn’t on my recommended reading list, I thought I knew precisely why I felt that way. Written for survivors of child sexual abuse and popular among people with dissociative identity disorder, the book seems to assume that the reader has repressed memories, even going so far as to say in its first edition, “If you are unable to remember any specific instances [of abuse] but still have a feeling that something abusive happened to you, it probably did.” That quote felt deeply problematic to me, but in hindsight, I see that I didn’t fully understand why. Now I do: it’s unintentionally reminiscent of the mind-bending child sexual abuser logic that helped cultivate my dissociative identity disorder. Keep reading »

My trauma happened in childhood and completely severed me from any healthy sense of self. Later, one of my biggest problems in recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was this: I felt completely disconnected from who I had been before my trauma and who I had never had the chance to be because of my trauma. I grieved that lost girl and the woman she might have become. In fact, the grief I experienced was so vivid it felt like a jab in my soul. I resented that trauma had taken from me so many opportunities at the same time that it turned me into someone I neither liked nor completely understood. Keep reading »

I hear voices. They’re different than the voices of a psychotic disorder. A person living with schizophrenia, for example, can physically hear voices as if they were real. There is a sound to them in the brain. There are other ways to hear voices that do not involve psychosis. I happen to have a voice in my head, and it speaks to me loudly and clearly. The voice, in my case, belongs to anxiety, and it never seems to shut up. Keep reading »

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you are more than familiar with the complications that arise on a regular basis. The extreme shifts in mood, ranging from mania to depression, can be exhausting and, if not properly managed, can pave a path of destruction in the individual’s life. In general, the goal of bipolar disorder treatment is to stabilize mood swings and prevent the highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder that put the patient, and those around him/her, at risk. But what happens when things go awry? Keep reading »

Many years ago, when a friend was a bit down or depressed, I thought, “Suck it up princess,” or “Have a cup of concrete” were appropriate responses from one man to another. After living with depression for the last 14 years, I realize what a jackass I was. Keep reading »

My name is Gabe Howard and I have bipolar and anxiety disorders. As a public speaker and writer using my lived experience with mental illness, I say that sentence often. Some version of that is on my business card and website and it is how I start most of my speeches. But, is that my identity? Is a set of diagnoses really who I am?

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