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Schizophrenia and Parenting: Step In or Let Go?

Schizophrenia and Parenting: Step In or Let Go?

I have an adult child with schizophrenia. Parenting is about the precarious balance between stepping in to help - especially where mental illness is concerned.

A message comes to me via social media, along with an invitation to connect. It simply says, “My 27 year old child has schizophrenia, but will not get treatment.” Oh boy, can I relate to that. Unfortunately, this is a major dilemma facing all of us who deal with mental illness in our families.

Parenting is always about the precarious balance between stepping in to help, and letting go to allow learning from experience. From a child’s first steps to his or her first relationship, car,  job, apartment…when to give advice? When to help? When to step back and watch them sink or swim?

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Losing Time: The Insidious Nature of Dissociative Amnesia

Losing Time: The Insidious Nature of Dissociative Amnesia

Losing time is a natural part of living with dissociative identity disorder. But it's not usually as dramatic as most people believe. Dissociative Living blog.

Nothing about dissociative identity disorder is quite what the most popular phrases used to describe it imply. “Losing time” is no exception. When we talk about losing time we’re talking about severe dissociative amnesia which, in a milder form, is something I believe everyone experiences. But the phrase “losing time” suggests a highly dramatic, easily recognizable aberration. In my experience, however, dissociative amnesia is startlingly surreptitious. It’s easy to be unaware that you’re losing time at all.

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Depersonalization Disorder: Living in a Dream World

Depersonalization Disorder: Living in a Dream World

Most of us never have the experience of feeling as if we are disconnected from our own body and mind, but if you are suffering from depersonalization disorder then you feel this detachment far too frequently. Our guest, Jeffrey Abugel, has experienced depersonalization disorder personally and has co-authored one of the seminal books on the topic. Recently, he has authored a second book about the experience of living with this disorder and he came on our show to share a deeper look into the world of depersonalization.

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“Lowered Expectations” or “Giving Up”?

“Lowered Expectations” or “Giving Up”?

As much as I hate to say it, I may be taking the “BMX Mom” bumper sticker off my car this summer. Bob hasn’t really expressed much interest in racing so far (I believe he’s mentioned it once in the past few months), and frankly, I’m not eager to drop that kind of cash for his activities when his behavior and attitude are as lousy as they have become.

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Warning Signs of Future Abuse in Your Relationship

Warning Signs of Future Abuse in Your Relationship

Now that I’m out of my abusive marriage, I never want to enter another abusive relationship again. I think about how I came to believe my ex-husband was my knight in shining armor and how I fell under his spell. Although he alone is responsible for the abuse, the abusive cycle was partly my fault; in effect, I gave him permission to abuse me. I don’t want to give anyone permission to do that again! Here are four signs I ignored that warned me of future abuse in the relationship with my ex-husband.

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Navigating Triggers During Eating Disorder Recovery

Navigating Triggers During Eating Disorder Recovery

It was inevitable. The first step in recovery from anorexia nervosa is weight restoration. I knew that I had to gain weight and that it eventually would be noticeable.  I often wanted to crawl in a shell like a turtle during the early stages of my weight gain because I felt so different. So much larger. I took up too much space, and I still wanted to hide.

I wasn’t entirely comfortable in this new body. However, I slowly grew used to my body with its feminine curves, and several times I would look in the mirror and think how much better I looked than when I was emaciated and skeletal.

But I knew what was coming…

One day I was in the bathroom with a friend. She commented that the new weight looked good on me. Unfortunately, she didn’t stop there. She then went on to point out the slight roundness of my stomach, and helpfully suggested I could wear looser clothes if it bothered me.

It hadn’t bothered me until then. But this seemingly innocent comment reverberated throughout my mind days afterward.

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Please, Don’t Say Prozac

Please, Don’t Say Prozac

Recently I read a great article on the use of brand names when referring to drugs. The author, a doctor, decries the practice and says doctors should use the name of the drug rather than the brand name. The brand name of the drug, after all, was chosen by a marketer and a focus group and is really just advertising for the drug.

The only trouble is, patients don’t know, or can’t remember, the actual names for drugs.

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It’s Not Like I Can Say, “Well, I Only Have a Little Bit of PTSD”.

It’s Not Like I Can Say, “Well, I Only Have a Little Bit of PTSD”.

Even after all this talking, and doing, fixing, and mulling-over, and redoing, I still find that I go through stages of really, really disliking dealing with myself, all this: the anxiety.

  • I worry about the things that maybe I can’t fix.

That’s potentially the hardest thing to face about the words which preface my diagnosis; It isn’t PTSD. It’s ‘chronic, severe’ PTSD.

So you see, there’s really no getting out of it. I can’t say, “well, I only have a little post traumatic stress,” or “Anxiety only gets this bit of my life!”. It gets rather a lot, actually. And people with anxiety disorders don’t get nearly enough say about it. Not. nearly. enough.

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Ending Abuse Begins With Educating Our Children

Ending Abuse Begins With Educating Our Children

If I’ve learned one thing over the past two years, it is that our society is ill-equipped to deal with emotional and verbal abuse, and more than 75% of the time, we do not recognize it when it happens to us. And if we do know it is happening, we’re reluctant to label it as abuse. Instead, we seek to “understand” and “forgive” or “toughen up and deal with it” believing our minds and hearts should be able to “overcome” somebody’s hurtful words and manipulations.

We think we should be “better men” and “rise above” the verbal violence via passivity and silence (and maybe an apologetic smile if the abuser lashes out around friends, family, or the strangers in the canned goods aisle at the grocery store).

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Helpless, Hopeless? It Doesn’t Have to Always Be That Way

Helpless, Hopeless? It Doesn’t Have to Always Be That Way

I come up against this wall plenty, in treating anxiety: Combating the sense of hopelessness, of powerlessness, that only too often accompanies the worst symptoms of anxiety disorders.

  • How do I not get stuck when simply feeling things seems way above my pay grade?

“If you know neither yourself nor your enemy,
you will always endanger yourself.”

The Art of War

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