Hi, I’m Melissa, and I parent a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), and anxiety. I am many things. I’m a clinical social worker in Minnesota. I am a writer and a gamer. I am a fan of cats, and I’m a bit of a geek. I am a parent of two beautiful children. And, yes, one of them happens to have a mental illness. Keep reading »

When a parent experiences PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), it is important to understand the potential impact this can have on the children, including the possibility of secondary traumatic stress.  While children can have negative reactions when a parent suffers from PTSD, they can also thrive and develop unique strengths (A Parent with PTSD Can Affect the Whole Family). Watch as my oldest son offers his unique perspective on growing up when a parent has PTSD.  Keep reading »

A setback in mental health recovery is a challenge because many have this idea that recovery must be perfect. The rhetoric tends to be that we’re strong when we’re recovering and we’re weak if we have a setback; I’ve even had someone tell me she won’t relapse because she’s strong enough to avoid mental illness relapse. The way I see it, though, a setback in mental health recovery — and mental illness as a whole — are not that simply defined. Keep reading »

Many of us have grieved over the loss of a close friend or relative. After such a loss, we do not always know what to think. It is normal to be in denial for awhile and then just out of the blue feel extremely bitter. In fact, we can feel so lonely that we might even feel jealous of everyone who still has their best friend or relative. After losing my father, jealousy is a big part of my grieving processKeep reading »

Knowing when you’ll need to cope with PTSD triggers is an unpredictable aspect of posttraumatic stress disorder. Despite knowing many of the situations where encountering a PTSD trigger is likely, there is no way to anticipate or to avoid every trigger (PTSD Recovery: How to Cope With Triggers). PTSD triggers that occur in social situations call for a toolkit of coping strategies that you can use even when it isn’t practical to leave the group setting.

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Most people are unlikely to create life-goals that accept anxiety because anxiety can be unbearable physically, mentally, and emotionally. Chances are, you’d prefer your life to be anxiety-free. Of course you would; that’s a very natural thing to want, especially if living with anxiety has you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted. Creating life goals is an important component to accepting anxiety, but living anxiety-free isn’t an effective part of life goals. It’s okay if your life goals accept anxiety. Here’s why. Keep reading »

EMDR treatment, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, can help eating disorder recovery (EMDR: Treatment for PTSD). What are those four strange letters and how can they help me you might ask? EMDR, which is performed by someone licensed and trained in EMDR, is a rapid eye movement therapy usually associated with PTSD, because it works to treat trauma. According to the director of the New York Center for Eating Disorders, 40-60% of men and women who they treat for eating disorders have experienced sexual abuse. Since sexual abuse is traumatic, EMDR can help on the road to eating disorder recovery. Keep reading »

When you let stigma be a barrier to employment and relationships, it means you are letting stigma win. By resisting stigma and fighting it, not letting it be a barrier, you are taking control of your life and will be on your way to recovery. Relationships and employment are not privileges, they are a right. As a human being you not only don’t have to put up with stigma, you also have a right to find work, make a living or supplement your income, and have healthy relationships. In other words, it is important not to let stigma get in the way of you being a full, happy and productive member of society. Keep reading »

One treatment for my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) I am interested in is called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It’s a relatively new treatment – developed in the mid-nineties – for various psychological issues and disorders. From what I have read about it, EFT seems to be gaining some momentum as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practice for the treatment of PTSD symptoms. Keep reading »