After trauma there’s a need for life to feel safe and in control. Sometimes, we put in place really good and healthy habits that help the transition from trauma to life afterward.

Other times, it’s easy to slip into habits, cycles and patterns that are very destructive. For example, co-dependence. When you put this type of behavior together with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) you can increase the time it takes to heal tenfold. Keep reading »

Assertiveness doesn’t come easily to many people, myself included. Sometimes, the mere thought of having to express oneself or make some need or another known is enough to kick anxiety into high gear. When engaged in a situation where it’s necessary to assert oneself—from speaking up to a supervisor about something you think isn’t quite right to informing a friend that you hate the restaurant she chooses every time you have lunch together, and a million other situations—anxiety can stop us in our tracks. Indeed, it’s difficult to be assertive when we’re nauseous, dizzy, sweaty, and unable to breathe properly let alone think clearly or concentrate. Happily, we’re not doomed to a life of passivity. Keep reading »

I recently finished reading How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide For The Chronically Ill And Their Caregivers. The book was written by Toni Bernhard, a once very active attorney and law professor, who in the midst of a full life, was randomly struck down by a mysterious, debilitating illness that keeps her primarily contained to her home. For any of us dealing with the uncertainties of depression as well as the uncertainties of life in general, Bernhard’s insights are a welcome respite.

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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is the root of many debates ranging from whether it really exists to how to treat it – if at all. Current public perceptions indicate that ADHD is over medicated and over diagnosed, and despite several studies that find the opposite of these beliefs, many people still hold on to these ideas.

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I’ve got generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and I’ve also got some serious issues with concentration. As in, my ability to concentrate on almost anything for more than five minutes at a time stinks. There are some days when I can barely string two coherent thoughts together, and I swear my brain is turning into mush.

While it’s true that a lot of peripheral detail goes by the wayside, I have a core self that functions reasonably well in the world despite the stress of managing anxiety. Maybe I’m also just getting more comfortable with being a middle-aged slob. I don’t know. But I consider myself lucky that I function as well as I do. I know lots of others aren’t so lucky. Keep reading »

If you are a person with mental illness, your relationship with your psychiatrist is one of the most important relationships in your life. This person will hear you relate some of the most intimate details of your life.

They will help you decide what medications to take at what dosage to help you. They will be privy to your most personal feelings, like no one else in your life besides your significant other. They will have the power to hospitalize you against your will if they determine you are a danger to yourself or others.

This is why I believe we should take our relationship with our doctor just as seriously as we do any other close relationship.

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Mental health stigma affects all people differently and it is particularly unique when you are experiencing mental illness as a man. Men are raised to be tough, dependable, and the majority of men may even find it difficult to express emotion. There is prominent stigma in our society that tells men who have a mental illness that they simply just have to ‘suck it up.’

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Most everyone engages in conversation daily. From talking to the members of our household, to answering the phone, to ordering our coffees in the morning – talking to those around us occurs often.

One doesn’t need to have an anxiety disorder to know that certain conversations provoke a sense of discomfort or even dread. Arguing with a loved one, consoling someone at a funeral, or even telling someone “no” can cause anyone anxiety.

This, of course, makes us wonder: if it is reasonable that certain conversations or subjects cause most people anxiety, what does it do to a person with an anxiety disorder?

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A while back, I wrote a post on making unimportant decisions when you have bipolar disorder. I was talking about things like deciding on what socks to wear or what to eat for dinner because even those types of decisions can baffle people with bipolar and cause great anxiety. But what about when you have to make the big decisions? How can you make life choices when you have bipolar disorder? Keep reading »

Recently I was talking to a volunteer from a domestic violence shelter and I asked if calls had increased since the Ray Rice video was made public. The answer was yes, because awareness was being raised. According to HealthyPlace, women with mental illness are at a greater risk of being abused. So I decided to write about signs of an abusive relationship, how domestic abuse can affect a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and the warning signs of an abusive relationship via the Domestic Violence Screening Test. Keep reading »