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Our Mental Health Blogs

Using Mindfulness in PTSD Recovery

Using Mindfulness in PTSD Recovery

Using mindfulness in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery can be a lifesaver. One of the most difficult things about having PTSD is dealing with the PTSD symptoms — but mindfulness can help, even when triggered. There are a number of things that I know will trigger me, and I do my best to avoid those triggers. Some things sneak up on me, though, and I have to deal with the anxiety and fear that is caused by the fight or flight response my body has. One of the most effective ways I have found to get through those types of situations is by using mindfulness in my PTSD recovery.

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Beauty for Ashes: Finding Peace Amidst the Pain

Beauty for Ashes: Finding Peace Amidst the Pain

I’ve written about my abuse at the hands of the Antioch movement and my escape. It took a long time before I could attend church again, and the abuse did much to exacerbate my symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD). I had to find what the Bible calls “beauty for ashes.” I had to find peace amidst the pain.

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Mindfulness-Based Therapies for Combat PTSD

Mindfulness-Based Therapies for Combat PTSD

As I’ve mentioned previously, medication and psychotherapy (such as prolonged exposure therapy) both have a place in the treatment of combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, there are additional therapies that can help veterans. One such type of therapy is mindfulness-based. You might have heard of this as mindfulness meditation and you might have thought that meditation wasn’t right for you, but mindfulness is much more than that and a 2013 study shows that veterans found mindfulness-based therapy was accepted by, and effective for, veterans with combat PTSD (more below).

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How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 2)

How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 2)

A few weeks ago I wrote about how to stop PTSD anxiety, flashbacks and panic from the perspective of putting mindfulness and intention into action. My colleague, Megan Ross (Trauma Therapy Coordinator at Timberline Knolls) and I had a whole conversation about this and I wanted to share her insights with you.

But there was a cliffhanger: Once you understand PTSD symptoms and how mindfulness can help change your physiological experience, the question arises, “What do I do now?” Specifically, what can you do to interrupt or stop flashbacks?

Megan Ross and I talked about this too. See what you think about the tips that we covered.

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When Mindfulness Doesn’t Calm Anxiety

When Mindfulness Doesn’t Calm Anxiety

Mindfulness can calm anxiety. Sometimes, though, focusing on the present keeps us in our anxiety. Learn what you can tweak to make mindfulness more effective.

Mindfulness is an amazing tool for all types of anxiety. Except when it isn’t. Wait. What? Mindfulness is touted, rightly so, for its ability to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of stress hormones in the blood, relax tense muscles, quiet racing thoughts, and soothe roiling emotions. Experts from all disciplines, from the sciences to the spiritual, offer solid evidence of the ability of mindfulness to decrease anxiety. Yet there are times when it does more harm than good. What do we do then?

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Adult ADHD and Relaxing, Part 2

Adult ADHD and Relaxing, Part 2

I know you have all been wating with bated breath for this follow-up post to last week’s discussion about relaxing and Adult ADHD. Let’s have a quick refresher of the definition of “relax” we are using:

  • make or become less tense or anxious;
  • rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious;
  • cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid; and,
  • straighten or partially uncurl (hair) using a chemical product

We agreed (at least in my head) not to tackle the fourth, so let’s go ahead and dive into numbers two and three!

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Adult ADHD and Relaxing

Adult ADHD and Relaxing

I have a three day weekend and I think it’s time to talk about the interaction I’ve experienced between having Adult ADHD and being able to relax. Let me start off by defining the word “relax.” This is the definition I found during my quick internet search:

  • make or become less tense or anxious;
  • rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious;
  • cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid; and,
  • straighten or partially uncurl (hair) using a chemical product.

I’m going to address the first one today and the next two next week. As someone with insanely curly hair (when long) I’ve tried the fourth and felt no less anxious after, [insert smiley face here] so it will not be discussed.

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Self-Compassion and Positive Self-Talk in Bipolar Disorder

Self-Compassion and Positive Self-Talk in Bipolar Disorder

Regardless of whether or not you’re experiencing a state of depression or in a crisis or feeling pretty positive, it can be hard to love yourself and practice self-compassion. A lot of times, I hear other people who live with bipolar disorder and other mental health problems say that they hate themselves or feel ashamed of the things they feel (My Irrational Bipolar Brain Makes Me Hate Myself). For me, personally, I can tell myself, cognitively, that my feelings aren’t my fault, but it’s very hard to believe that emotionally.

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Don’t Give In To Bipolar Symptoms: Life is Precious

Don’t Give In To Bipolar Symptoms: Life is Precious

Bipolar symptoms can cause us to do dangerous things (Bipolar and Managing Extreme All Or Nothing Behaviors). Although not suffering bipolar symptoms, a family friend was killed yesterday morning in a work-related accident. He was admired and loved. After learning of the accident, I felt my heart breaking.

I live my life as if I am invincible. I drive maniacally and participate in potentially dangerous behaviors, and I do it all while thinking that nothing can possibly hurt me, that I am too young, and that I have so many things to accomplish. Are bipolar symptoms a part of that thinking? Just yesterday, though, our family friend, who was loved and always helping others while doing the things that he loved, was gone in a split second – taken away from us. I’m sure he thought the same things as I do, that nothing could possibly happen to him. That he was too young and had so much to live for.

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Reduce Social Anxiety and Increase Self-Esteem

Learn how to reduce social anxiety and increase confidence with three tips from therapist Emily Roberts, author of the Blog Building Self-Esteem

Reduce Social Anxiety and Increase Self-Esteem

Social anxiety and feeling insecure in new or uncomfortable situations can contribute to low self-esteem.  With practice, skills and emotional regulation, you can begin to have an easier time in social situations. Whether you need to assert yourself,  meet new people, or feel uneasy in most social situations, the tips in this vlog can help you build your confidence.

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