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Family Survival Roles

Family Survival Roles

You may have heard of the five “survival roles” often taken on by alcoholic families–Chief Enabler, Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, and Mascot. Sharon Wegsheider-Cruse is credited with identifying these roles within families living with chemical dependency in 1976. I learned these roles in high school when I attended a meeting for children of alcoholics to support a friend. Imagine my confusion when, in the course of the meeting, I began to recognize at least a few of the characters within my own family, even though none of us were chemically dependent. (The survival roles have since been applied to the broader scope of “dysfunctional” families.)

A family is a single, cohesive unit (no matter how loudly some members may protest to the contrary). When part of the family doesn’t function as it should, the other parts adapt in an effort to retain or regain that function as a unit. Every member contributes in some way. Unfortunately, even the youngest members of a family take on roles when the need is sensed.

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Diet and Bipolar Disorder

Diet and Bipolar Disorder

The area of diet and mental illness is a contentious one. I suspect that’s for several reasons:

1. Many alternative practitioners make their living telling people what to eat and they want to believe this will help.
2. Individuals want to believe the treatment is simple, drug-free and something they can control.
3. The placebo effect leads to dramatic anecdotes.

Here’s what we know about diet and bipolar disorder.

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Video – Life With Bob Blog

Video – Life With Bob Blog

Angela McClanahan discusses the state of life with Bob, and reacts to a recent comment.

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: I’m Not Multiple

Dissociative Identity Disorder: I’m Not Multiple

When it comes to understanding Dissociative Identity Disorder, most people get too hung up on the concept of the alternate identity. Identity alteration is widely and mistakenly accepted as the essence of what DID is. And so the two most popular theories about the development of Dissociative Identity Disorder revolve around the existence of alters: the Broken Vase Theory, and the Multiple Vase Theory. Neither are satisfactory explanations for how DID develops and ultimately both theories’ inaccuracies stem from the same error: the assumption that early childhood identity is cohesive and intact when in fact it is anything but.

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Signs of Abuse in the Workplace

Signs of Abuse in the Workplace

At one job, my boss manipulated and controlled her employees and acted like a narcissistic diva. She tried to win over her employees by becoming overly familiar with us and then using the information to manipulate our actions, even play one employee off another. She obviously manipulated my supervisor, Dean, and after becoming his friend, I found she abused him in hidden ways, too. The signs of workplace abuse made it obvious I needed a new job (Dealing With Verbal Abuse At Work).

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Professional Diagnosis Critical in Mental Illness – Video

Professional Diagnosis Critical in Mental Illness – Video

It’s tempting to think that because we read a list of symptoms for a mental illness, we can diagnose ourselves. We might think that taking a self-test online indicates the presence of an illness, or lack thereof. These things, however, are simply not the case.

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Productivity Habits for the Bipolar or Depressed Individual (Part 2)

Productivity Habits for the Bipolar or Depressed Individual (Part 2)

Productivity Habits for the Bipolar or Depressed Individual (Part 1)

Many people don’t make the best use of their time. If possible, avoid meetings that you are a fly on the wall, having little input. Are the projects you are currently working on more important than this meeting? Can you get the minutes or highlights of the meeting? Most business meetings take twice as long to complete than what is required to get through the materials needed. If you are curious on how much a meeting costs, for every $10,000 of salary, each hour is worth typically $5.95; a salary of $50,000 is worth $29.75 times each person in the meeting. Six people with all the same salary of $50,000 makes each hour worth or costs the company $178.50 per hour. This only includes the meeting time; preparation, photocopying and power point presentations are additional.

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Parenting an Autistic Child

Parenting an Autistic Child

Ginger Taylor's son has autism. Watch the video interview as she talks frankly about the risks and rewards of parenting an autistic child.

If I’d had to win the job of mother to my son on a Survivor-style reality game show, I would have been voted off within the first 6 months. As it is, I’ve lasted almost 13 years and done okay for the most part. But much of that success has to do with the fact that my child is physically and mentally healthy. In other words, he’s not that difficult to parent. Children with autism have special limitations and needs that are bound to make parenting an autistic child an exponentially greater challenge than parenting already is.

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Or Not Keeping Your Head

Or Not Keeping Your Head

Did you read my last post (about keeping your head in the heat of the moment) and feel like telling me to shove it?

Yeah…me too.

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Should All Psychiatric Patients Be Handcuffed When Transported?

If the patient has to worry about a humiliating admission, he or she will be less likely to seek help when needed. This usually ends badly–injuries from a suicide attempt, suicide, and in some cases suicide by police. Even one incident involving these scenarios is one too many.

Should All Psychiatric Patients Be Handcuffed When Transported?

April 8, 2008, around one in the afternoon, was one of the worst experiences of my life. My borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other mental illnesses basically derailed my life. I agreed to go to the state hospital voluntarily, and did not contest the court order.

The transfer began with 10 minutes notice.  A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy put a chain around my waist, handcuffed me to the chain, and snapped shackles on my legs. She escorted me to a paddy wagon, and so began the longest 90-minute trip of my life.

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