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Our Mental Health Blogs

Sadness in PTSD – What You Can Do About It

Sadness in PTSD – What You Can Do About It

Posttraumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) involves a lot of sadness: about your having been victimized, about having developed a persistent mental disorder (and that’s exactly what it is), about how few people understand what happened to you, about how few people understand how your life has been changed as a result, and about how difficult it is to get it all resolved – fixed – taken care of. And that’s hardly a complete list. What do these all have in common? Loss. Sadness is a reaction we have automatically and outside any direct control when we realize we’ve lost something that matters.

What can you do about it? Two things, basically. You can shift your attention or you can deal with the problem directly. The first option is almost always the easiest, but you should know that it’s temporary at best.

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Loose Winter Blues – Boost Your Bliss EQ!

Loose Winter Blues – Boost Your Bliss EQ!

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The [winter and] dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Start Visualizing Spring

When winter blues start to set in, start visualizing spring to boost your bliss emotional intelligence (EQ).

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Can Love Make The Abuser Stop Abusing?

Can Love Make The Abuser Stop Abusing?

  • “But I love her (so I stay).”
  • “He had a horrible childhood (so I stay).”
  • “She never learned how to love (so I stay).”
  • “I want to show her that someone in her effing life cares (so I stay).”
  • “He is really sick and has no one else but me (so I stay).”

Can You Love The Pain Out of an Abuser?

Victims of abuse stay in the abusive relationship for many reasons, and many of the reasons relate to love and/or empathy for the abuser.

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Abuse Can Change A Victim’s True Nature

Abuse Can Change A Victim’s True Nature

A lifetime ago, as I sat on my bed unable to put my feet on the floor and get going, I cried to myself, “I am better than this! I deserve more than this!” I knew intellectually that my relationship with my husband Will caused me great harm, but I couldn’t quite get my emotions and my mind to align. My head told me to RUN, but my emotions cemented my feet in place. The best I could to get out of that bed was to tell myself that today I would get through to Will. Today would be the day I led Helen Keller to the water pump…today Will would understand. Today, my husband would change and we would break through the walls between us. Today I would get it right.

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Sadness vs. Depression: What’s the Difference?

Sadness vs. Depression: What’s the Difference?

When you live with a mental illness you understand depression. You know how much depression hurts, the damage it can cause, and the fear that results from it. But it can be hard to distinguish a state of sadness from that of depression. And it be scary not knowing if you may be relapsing or, with any luck, just feeling plain sad.

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Laughing ’til It Hurts: The Hidden Pain of Domestic Abuse

Laughing ’til It Hurts: The Hidden Pain of Domestic Abuse

Big ol’ belly laughs that catch you by surprise feel so good! They feel better now that feeling happy doesn’t make me sad. That idea is confusing; laughing until you cry doesn’t usually mean you cry sad tears, but it happened to me a lot during my abusive marriage. Usually, the laughing started during a phone call with my sister. Anything could get us going, and for a few beautiful minutes, nothing mattered except the funny bit between us. I laughed until my sides ached and the tears flowed like water.

But then, when the laughter dried up and I started wiping the tears from my eyes, the tears wouldn’t stop. My face, sore from smiling, suddenly dropped into a frown. I covered my face because I felt embarrassed to feel so…damn…sad. Those last tears fell because when the laughter was done, I returned to my sad, closed-off life of mind-numbing pain. Sometimes I would stay on the phone with her when she asked what was wrong. Usually I cut the conversation short when I felt the change to pain begin.

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Co-Parenting With An Abuser: How to Help Your Kids, Yourself

Co-Parenting With An Abuser: How to Help Your Kids, Yourself

It seems that the courts would have more sense when it comes to co-parenting with any abuser, but especially a proven-in-a-court-of-law abuser found guilty of domestic violence, child abuse, or any sexual crimes. There is a disconnect between criminal court and family court that endangers our children with the mistaken belief that two parents, of any sort, is preferable to protecting our children from dangerous people.

And yet, many of us find ourselves co-parenting with our abusers.

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A Little Hope Can Go A Long Way

A Little Hope Can Go A Long Way

A little hope can go a long way. In my parenting journey with Bob, there were many times when I lost hope. On days when all I wanted to do was cry – cry for Bob who was brilliant, but couldn’t focus long enough to complete a test; cry because it took him three to four hours a day to complete homework. Or cry simply because I was his mother and felt helpless.

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Taking A Stand Against Abuse Requires A Touch of Fear

Taking A Stand Against Abuse Requires A Touch of Fear

I feel responsible for teaching my oldest son that it is all right to act out physically when things don’t go his way. I allowed him to watch his father and I perpetuate the cycle of violence in our home. I didn’t walk away from my marriage as soon as I now wish I could have. My son learned that when a grown-up man doesn’t get his way, it is normal for him to physically intimidate everyone around him until they submit to his wishes. Then, it is okay to forget it happened without an apology or discussion so long as some of his behaviors improve. So long as he turns on the charm and pretends to go along, there is no need for further conversation or remorse.

The other day, an argument with my son reminded me that doing what is right makes me feel as scared as doing what is normal makes me feel numb. The altercation began with Marc’s violent push of a full coffee cup that spilled across the table, instantly dripping into the laps of all who live in our home (except for Marc’s). The four of us immediately jumped up from the table in surprise; I instinctively ran to the kitchen to grab a towel to clean up the mess.

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Depression and Building Self-Esteem: The Power of Awareness

This weeks vlog gives insight into the role that self-esteem plays in depression and how becoming aware of your depressive symptoms can help you build your self-esteem for life.

Depression and Building Self-Esteem: The Power of Awareness

Many readers ask me how self-esteem can be improved if they suffer from depression or have in the past. Frustrated and confused,  they have tried to increase their sense of self and fell short due to underlying symptoms of depression.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and in the following vlog, I talk about how depression and low self-esteem are related, but also can stand alone.

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