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Mental Illness: Put on a Happy Face

Mental Illness: Put on a Happy Face

I’m not known for my cheery everything’s-going-to-be-OK-puppies-rainbows-lollipops perspective. In fact, I’m against such perspectives. I find them disingenuous, phony, or seriously ill-informed. Save the rose-colored glasses for Sir Elton John, thank-you.

I find smiling, being positive and telling people how great everything is to be just another chore on my list of things to do today when I’m already busy just trying to keep breathing and possibly pay rent.

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Dissociative Identity Disorder and Boundary Setting

Dissociative Identity Disorder and Boundary Setting

How many times have those of you with Dissociative Identity Disorder drawn a boundary of some kind and later felt awash in guilt and anxiety? If you’re like me, the answer is “just slightly less than always.” And it’s not just those of us with DID that struggle with boundary setting. That backlash of guilt and anxiety isn’t unique to Dissociative Identity Disorder. But I suspect the path to resolving it might be.

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Talk Therapy: Whining is Good for the Soul

Talk Therapy: Whining is Good for the Soul

How does psychotherapy work?

Isn’t it just self-indulgent rubbish? What could talking ever accomplish?

Talk therapy is basically permission to bitch about anxiety, in a heavily supervised and hopefully well-structured manner.

Seriously, even if it’s only with one person in your life, and you happen to pay them: whine, vent, cry, squeal, delight and dream. Then do it all again next week. It’s good for you!

About anxiety

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Boundaries Help Overcome the Victim Mentality

Boundaries Help Overcome the Victim Mentality

A personal boundary is a rule that YOU SAY cannot be broken without consequence. Consequences for breaking your personal boundaries are not punishments for the person breaking them. The consequence involves you doing something good for yourself right away.

For example, this is one of the boundaries I set for myself:

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Family Dynamics Can Impact Eating Disorder Recovery

Family Dynamics Can Impact Eating Disorder Recovery

jennifer0037“It’s really important to understand that no single factor or person or event causes an eating disorder,” says Jennifer, “but parenting and the family dynamic can play a large role.” Jennifer, who is diagnosed with bulimia, believes her chaotic upbringing not only had an effect on her developing an eating disorder, but also impacts her eating disorder recovery today.

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NEDA Week 2011: What Have We Learned?

NEDA Week 2011: What Have We Learned?

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2011 ends Saturday, Feb. 26. Each year as it draws to a close, I always think about what I and others have gained from the presentations, articles, and other activities devoted to helping people understand eating disorders.

The prevailing message each year is one of hope and belief that eating disorders do not have to rule anyone’s life.

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Spring Exacerbates Psychiatric Symptoms (Part 2)

Spring Exacerbates Psychiatric Symptoms (Part 2)

We may not know exactly why, but as parents of children with psychiatric conditions affected by season changes (seasonal affective disorder, SAD), we can be pretty certain when our kids are going to develop their own version of “spring fever.” The question is–what can we do about it?

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Zealotry and Rules for Discussing Mental Illness

Zealotry and Rules for Discussing Mental Illness

I am lucky enough to have many people out there who love my writing, love my perspective and yes, possibly even love me. Sometimes these people contact me privately, sometimes publically, but either way, I certainly appreciate all the positivity.

On the other hand, there is a small, yet amazingly vocal, number of people who hate what I have to say, and yes, possibly hate me. These people tend to denounce me, and what I have to say, publically.

And honestly, I don’t mind the differing opinions. Disagree with a point I’ve made? No problem, that’s what the comments are for. But zealous, hateful stances on mental illness, treatments and psychiatry tend to hurt those with mental illness far more than it helps.

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Help for Parents of Teenagers

Help for Parents of Teenagers

My son is 12 and will officially enter the realm of adolescence in a matter of months. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard dire warnings and grave well wishes from parents who have been there and know firsthand the unique challenges that go along with parenting teenagers. I’ve assumed for some time that parents-in-the-know exaggerate the difficulties facing parents of teenagers for comic effect. But as my son nears the age of 13, I’m forced to consider that maybe they aren’t kidding. Already I struggle to deal with behaviors and attitudes I’ve never encountered in my son before. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of advice and help for parents of teenagers available to guide those of us new to parenting adolescents.

coveradolescentownermanualExpert Help for Parents of Teenagers

Dr. David Laing Dawson is the author of The Adolescent Owner’s Manual and our guest on this week’s edition of the  HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show. Dr. Dawson is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and has been focusing on children, teens and families for over ten years. His book offers a refreshing look at the puzzling world faced by today’s teens and their parents who are trying to guide them. Incorporating advances in neuroscience, Dr. Dawson clearly describes how teen brains work and offers practical advice and help for parents of teenagers in a fun and relaxing style.

hp-vid-david-laing-dawson-smYour goal as a parent should be to get your adolescent child into adulthood, alive, healthy, preferably educated and skilled, without a major drug problem or criminal record or pregnancy. Anything more is icing and a pleasure to behold. – Dr. David Laing Dawson

Video on Parenting Teenagers

Watch the video interview with Dr. Dawson, Successfully Parenting Your Adolescent, as he discusses some common parenting challenges and offers practical help for parents of teenagers.

You can find all mental health video interviews from the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show in the table of contents.

Share Your Experiences with Parenting Teenagers

Are you the parent of a teenager? What challenges do you encounter? What strategies and tools have you found most effective? We invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences, insights, and help for parents of teenagers. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

I write about Dissociative Identity Disorder in part because I’m disturbed by the sheer volume of false and misleading information about DID. It bothers me that an overwhelming number of online resources are teeming with misconceptions so profound that the end result is a definition of the disorder that further shrouds it in mystery and controversy. Not to mention the fact that nobody seems able to explain it without relying on a misnomer, Multiple Personality Disorder, to do so. It took me a long time to wade through all the jargon and arrive at a definition of Dissociative Identity Disorder that accurately explains my experience of it.

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