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

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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 health treatment. She soon learned that her location determined her access to 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 from her county was full. So 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.

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“You can’t think your way into right action, but you can act your way into right thinking.” – Bill Wilson, from the 12-step program Alcoholics Anonymous

Opposite action is a behavioral therapy skill that helps lessen the impact of self-destructive tendencies. And living with anxiety can be rife with opportunities for self destruction. Here’s some ways for those of us with anxiety disorder to use opposite action for our benefit. Keep reading »

It’s a fact: There are some days, weeks, months or even years when you will feel it’s impossible for you to move forward on your quest to feel better from symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We all face those moments. Fear, disappointment, doubt and disorientation all promote the idea that you’re stuck the way you are forever.

Of course, that’s all it is, an “idea” because you can’t know for certain that you’re doomed. Especially when research and science point to the fact that your brain contains the possibility to change until you take your last breath, which means the possibility for you to heal is imminent in every moment. Keep reading »

As a speaker and blogger, I answer a lot of questions about recovering from mental illness. I am asked many different things, from the technical, to the personal, to the deeply personal. I sincerely enjoy the conversation, and leading group discussions is one of my favorite activities. Answering comments and emails is a close second.

It is because of my love of interaction that I decided to write an interactive blog. Every blog on HealthyPlace is technically interactive, in that they all have a comments section. This is a little different, however. The goal of those blog posts is to be read and the goal of this blog post is for you to participate. This won’t be an interactive blog if you don’t.

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In a traditional model of bipolar disorder, a mood episode (depression/mania/hypomania) lasts (untreated) for a prolonged period of time. Typically, an episode will last from weeks to months. In a traditional model, people with untreated bipolar disorder only experience three or fewer mood episodes per year.

To many people that actually sounds like a great blessing because, for many people, mood changes come far more rapidly. People who experience more than three mood episodes per year have what’s known as rapid cycling bipolar disorder. People who have moods that only last days have ultra-rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

And people whose bipolar moods last less than that? That’s known as ultradian cycling bipolar disorder. Keep reading »