Sleep disturbances are very common in combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, two types of sleep disturbances — nightmares and insomnia — are actually diagnostic criteria for PTSD. We’re not sure why PTSD affects sleep so profoundly but research is getting closer to finding out. But can sleep disturbances in combat PTSD be treated and if so, how? Keep reading »

Video games can help reduce the stigma of mental illness as popular video games are known to fictionalize real life scenarios for entertainment. Video games that fictionalize the state of the world are often irresponsible and damaging, likely due to the portrayal of the video game’s interactive characters. Role-playing type games hold immense power and influence, but choose to negatively demonstrate the stigma of many life’s circumstances, in particular, mental illness. However, the game genre is an ideal place to work on improving mental health education by, instead, reducing the stigma linked to mental illness, and this is an opportunity to contribute to positively shaping the perceptions and attitudes of our population, especially our youth. Video games can help reduce mental illness stigma. Keep reading »

There are three alternatives to self-injury that I have found helpful. Some of them are well known, while one is new to me (by which I mean I learned it two days ago). Self-injury borders on being an addiction, and sometimes we can feel obligated to self-injure. However, we need to remember that there are at least three alternatives to self-injury. Keep reading »

Knowing when to get rid of social media relationships is tricky. We all know them. That person in our Twitter or Facebook feed that we don’t see eye-to-eye with. Or the friend from highschool that, for some reason, annoys you with the endless pictures they post of their new dog. Having so many social media relationships in so many places can stir lots of emotions, some of them good and others bad. But there are times and situations which signal you must get rid of social media relationships. Keep reading »

Someone recently asked me what the low point was of my binge eating disorder. Why did I seek help for a problem that I had had for years? What was the final straw? Immediately, I knew exactly what it was. Here is the low point of my binge eating disorder. Keep reading »

Therapists and counselors use specific addiction diagnostic criteria when considering alcoholism or addiction in their clients. However, they only know as much as you, the patient, tell them. Therefore, you are really the only person who can determine whether or not identifying or diagnosing alcoholism is appropriate for you (take the Alcoholism Test). Keep reading »

Three years ago this month I joined the HealthyPlace blogging team by creating this blog. I did so because I wanted to write about symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and what it takes to heal. This was a personal mission: I am a PTSD survivor who struggled for almost 30 years before launching a healing rampage that led me to freedom. And now, while I’m sad to do it, I must say goodbye to Trauma! A PTSD Blog. Keep reading »

You can help kids and teens manage school anxiety. School anxiety, whether it’s back-to-school or any other time of the school year, can make life miserable for kids of all ages, and it can present numerous challenges for parents and other adults in the life of a school-anxious child or teen. School anxiety and stress can make kids worry, it can make them afraid, and it can make them hurt. School anxiety can interfere with friendships and with school success. As daunting as this can be, there are school anxiety strategies to help kids and teens manage anxiety. Keep reading »

Tuesday, August 18, will stand as a pink-letter day for women’s sexual health with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Addyi (flibanserin), the first drug to treat low sexual desire in women. As one of the investigators who performed studies that ultimately resulted in this action, I am particularly excited about the approval of this medication. I was privileged to be available to present information to the FDA advisory committee that recently voted 18 to 6 to recommend approval to the FDA. The approval of Addyi was a long time coming. Keep reading »

I’ve been seeing a therapist for a while to help decrease my anxiety. We generally just talk, but, today, we tried something new. Well, it was new for me, anyway. He’s been using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for a number of years with his other clients. We did a session today using EMDR, and my therapist really helped me decrease my anxiety levels. Keep reading »