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Our Mental Health Blogs

Childhood Mental Disorders Are Not Always the Parents’ Fault

Childhood Mental Disorders Are Not Always the Parents’ Fault

Childhood mental disorders are not always the parents’ fault. When I graduated from college, my mother dragged me to see a Christian psychiatrist who she was convinced could fix me. She asked the psychiatrist what caused my borderline personality disorder (BPD). The psychiatrist looked her in the eye and explained that BPD is caused by poor parenting. That is not always the case, and we as a society need to change our attitude that childhood mental disorders and illnesses are somehow the parents’ fault.

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Discussing Mental Health Stigma With Children Is Important

Discussing Mental Health Stigma With Children Is Important

More and more, people push for discussing mental health with children and to include education on mental health, mental wellness, and mental illness in the classroom and outside of it (Where is Mental Illness Education?). I wholeheartedly agree with this idea because it has the potential help children recognize mental health trouble in themselves and in others, and to know there is something that can be done if they’re struggling. Another big reason for the push is the aim to reduce stigma, but I can’t think of an instance in which it was said there should be lessons about stigma, too. Discussing mental health stigma is just as important as talking about mental illness.

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Don’t Let Toxic Thinking Patterns Rule Your Life

Negative thinking patterns can interfere with self-esteem and confidence. Therapist Emily Roberts has five tools that can help you transform your thoughts.

Don’t Let Toxic Thinking Patterns Rule Your Life

Toxic thinking patterns interfere with one’s self-confidence in a major way. How are you supposed to feel confident, or make the space in your mind to feel good when you focus on the bad? Your brain becomes attuned to looking for more negativity when you focus on it, so small shifts towards the positive can be powerful (How to Overcome Negative Thinking Patterns with Ease). You can identify and erase toxic thinking patterns from your mind.

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A Benefit of Going to Therapy Is Defeating Indecision

A Benefit of Going to Therapy Is Defeating Indecision

Knowing there are benefits of going to therapy doesn’t make the decision to go much easier. The decision to go to therapy can be a deeply personal one based on a number of key factors. For me, the decision was not at all easy. In fact, it took me years of knowing I probably needed to go to therapy before I actually went. In the process of realizing that I needed some talk therapy, I also realized a benefit of going to therapy was defeating indecision.

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Remembering My Hospitalization for Schizoaffective Disorder

Remembering My Hospitalization for Schizoaffective Disorder

I have schizoaffective disorder, which is a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I recently completed a partial hospitalization for a schizoaffective disorder program, and taking the train to the hospital every day reminded me so much of the time, nine years ago, when my schizoaffective symptoms got so bad that I was admitted as an inpatient in the psychiatric ward of this same hospital. Here’s what it’s like to experience hospitalization for schizoaffective disorder or any mental illness.

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A Conversation with Anxiety Is Like Talking to a Bully

A Conversation with Anxiety Is Like Talking to a Bully

If you live with anxiety, there’s a good chance that you’ve had conversations with your anxiety. “Conversation” might be too generous a term for the inner dialog that occurs with anxiety. A conversation with anxiety isn’t really a back-and-forth, rational exchange of ideas. Far from civil banter, anxiety’s talk is loud-mouthed, one-sided, boorish, and toxic. It is through this type of manipulative conversation that anxiety is able to maintain power over us. Let’s take a look at an example of a conversation with anxiety to objectively see one of its methods of manipulation.

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Signs and Symptoms of Dissociation Aren’t Always So Obvious

Signs and Symptoms of Dissociation Aren’t Always So Obvious

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) and other dissociative disorders go hand-in-hand with signs and symptoms of dissociation. You can find these signs of dissociation included in many lists, and in books like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). But symptoms of dissociation aren’t always so black and white. The reality of dissociation goes beyond the obvious signs and symptoms of dissociation that you read about.  So what is dissociation really like?

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Stop Saying “I Can’t” in Eating Disorder Recovery

Stop Saying “I Can’t” in Eating Disorder Recovery

Stop saying “I can’t” when it comes to eating disorder recovery. “I can’t” is a phrase uttered out loud or in the secret caverns of our minds. I can’t recover. I can’t eat that. I can’t stop exercising. I can’t stop throwing up. I can’t keep food down. I can’t love myself in the mirror. I can’t love the part of my body that I despise. I can’t be kind to myself. Eating disorders are filled with the words “I can’t,” but there’s one ultimate reason to stop saying “I can’t” for the sake of your eating disorder recovery (Why We Believe Eating Disorder Lies). 

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Alcoholism Symptoms Should Not Vary By Culture

Alcoholism Symptoms Should Not Vary By Culture

I recently returned from a trip to Quebec, where I learned alcoholism symptoms should not vary by culture. Sadly, they do. In the United States, having a drink in the morning is called an eye-opener and is one of the CAGE Test symptoms of alcoholism. Even WebMD lists it as a sign of a drinking problem. In Quebec, a brunch cocktail such as a mimosa or a bloody Caesar is normal. I even posted to my Facebook page that I had no clue how Canadians diagnose alcoholism because it seemed like everyone drank like fish. Interestingly enough, the alcoholism rate is higher in the U.S. than it is in Canada–but is that because of culture? There needs to be a clearly defined international standard for alcoholism symptoms–not one that seems to vary according to where you are.

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Manage Problem Behaviors Caused by Childhood Mental Illness

Manage Problem Behaviors Caused by Childhood Mental Illness

It’s important to know how to manage your child’s problem behaviors caused by mental illness when you’re not there. When your child struggles with mental illness, going into public can be terrifying. More terrifying is wondering what your child is doing in public when you’re not there (Parenting Children with Behavior Problems). One of my son’s diagnoses is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I’ll discuss more specifics about parenting children with ADHD throughout March, but for now, just know that ADHD sometimes makes children socially awkward and they display problem behaviors that you need to manage even when you’re not there.

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