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Inside a Tipping Point

Inside a Tipping Point

A few months ago, I wrote about “tipping points:”

..a time in people’s lives when the strategies they have been using to compensate for their ADHD challenges no longer seem to be working.  This “tipping point” is often experienced along with feelings of overwhelm and chaos.  Up until a “tipping point,” people have been able to balance known or unknown challenges with ADHD with strategies they may not have even realized they were using.  Up until the “tipping point,” they had been able to adapt and cope well with their symptoms, even going as far as being under the radar for an official diagnosis of ADHD (in other words their symptoms were not interfering with their functioning). But for some reason a life change – it could be a job promotion, relationship change, a school change, or any myriad of different things – renders the current strategies ineffective and over time there is a sense that things are no longer “going well” and in fact, life seems to be falling apart in a big way.

This article really resonated with people. I received many emails from readers stating they had coasted along most of their life, never knowing they had ADHD until they changed jobs or had kids (the overwhelm and chaos that children bring seems to be one of the biggest tipping points). Yet once they read the article, it all made sense- they had ‘tipped over’ and were floundering with no idea why or how to right themselves.

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Forgiveness in PTSD Recovery: A Fresh Take

Forgiveness in PTSD Recovery: A Fresh Take

That pesky conundrum: to forgive or not to forgive in PTSD recovery? I recently interviewed a psychologist who had a terrific approach to forgiveness. She said that it can be done at any time according to any process dependent on the perspective of the survivor. Why do I love that position? Because unlike others who say, “You must forgive before you can heal!” it leaves the decision in the hands of the person in which it belongs: you.

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Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Using Motivational Interviewing

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Using Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing has been used for over 25 years to help treat those living with substance abuse and mental disorders. This evidence based practice involves using the five stages of change.  This video explores these five stages.

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You Always Have a Choice

Learn how to make choices that benefit your self-esteem and happiness by evaluating your values. This identifies easy ways to make the right choice for you.

You Always Have a Choice

Knowing yourself, your likes and dislikes, and identifying your values is one of the key elements in developing healthy self-esteem.  In order to feel good about your interactions with others, you need to makes sure you are clear about what you want and deserve from these interactions.  Looking at your values system and how you feel after the interaction is over, is an important way for you to evaluate if this is someone you should be spending your valuable time with.  You may not be able to change others, but you always have a choice on how much time you give to them, your response and if you want to engage with them in the future.

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Starting Conversations About Bipolar (When You Have Bipolar)

Starting Conversations About Bipolar (When You Have Bipolar)

After reading my last post, Starting Conversations About Bipolar Disorder (When You Don’t Have Bipolar), a commenter requested a similar piece on how to start conversations on mental illness when you do have bipolar disorder. I thought this was a good question as it’s as hard for people with a mental illness to bring up this tough subject as it is for those around us. After all, we don’t want to frighten people or get into major emotional upset.

So are there things to consider when bringing up bipolar disorder with people who don’t have a mental illness?

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Planning Ahead For Relapse When You Live With a Mental Illness

Planning Ahead For Relapse When You Live With a Mental Illness

Mental Illness and relapse go hand in hand. Sort of like addiction and relapse. The statistics for both are rather dire: relapse, at some point in our recovery, often occurs. Having said that, there are some damn lucky folks who become stabilized and never become unstable again. I hope they recognize how lucky–how blessed–they are.

But in this post we are not talking about those who live a life of sustained recovery. We are focusing on those of us who falter from time to time–falter and pick ourselves back up. The majority of us.

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When Your Eating Disorder Isn’t Your Only Worry

When Your Eating Disorder Isn’t Your Only Worry

I caught myself thinking the other day, “I wish I JUST had an eating disorder” or “I wish I JUST had bipolar.” Meaning, of course, that I wish I only had to deal with one of my many mental health diagnoses as opposed to dealing with them all at once.

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The Hidden Tale of Domestic Abuse

The Hidden Tale of Domestic Abuse

Friends & family of abuse victims miss the signs because so few penetrate the wall of secrecy the abuser initiates and the victim eventually embraces.

Continued From The Fairy-Tale Beginning

Storytellers leave out the middle portion of our fairy-tale because it occurs behind palace walls, secreted away from the prying eyes of peasants. The princess, swept off her feet, rides into the sunset with our knight, heading to his land and his castle. He promises love never-ending, and the princess cannot wait to begin life with him by her side. Her woodland friends promise to visit soon, and all seems well…

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Combat PTSD: Winning the Battles After the War

Combat PTSD: Winning the Battles After the War

Combat PTSD can be successfully treated. Melanie Davis speaks of her many endeavors helping veterans recover from combat PTSD and other injuries.

Combat PTSD, specifically PTSD resulting from having been in combat, was once the only kind of PTSD we thought existed. Of course, shell shock wasn’t called PTSD at that time. We’ve come a long way in understanding that trauma (of all kinds) may result in PTSD. Melanie Davis, founder of the Love Your Veterans program, has specific advice for combat PTSD sufferers, and she’s working hard to pass it along. 

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2013 The Year In Review From A Mental Health Perspective

2013 The Year In Review From A Mental Health Perspective

It’s been a long time since I had a manic episode, but I certainly remember them vividly. One of the hallmark components was an intense sense of urgency. I lived entirely in the moment, a state of being at once exhilarating and terrifying. It was as if I had been cut loose from the restrictions of time; I had no past or future. My existence resembled the reality described by William Blake – infinity in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour. When one is strapped to the nose cone of a rocket one does not think much about time – one thinks about each instant as it happens.

An essential element of living successfully through every manic moment, for me at least, was the ability to move wherever, whenever, I wished. Boundaries of any sort were anathema to me. I was always ahead of the moment, faster than reality, pushing life along so it would catch up with me. I was ready for whatever came next even though I had no idea what that might be. I flicked the ashes off my cigarettes before there were any. At bars and restaurants I always paid in cash – using exact change – so that I was free at the exact moment anxiousness set in. To fully embrace the feeling of absolute freedom I felt it was necessary to believe I was already prepared for what was to come. I was hyper-vigilant.

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