We Never Spoke of It

My father’s nicknames defined him. Bones, for his length, and “Glue Tips,” for his good reach and sure hands as a tight end on the football team. He won a football scholarship at BYU. It wasn’t until Dad returned home from the Korean War that he set about wooing my mother. She wasn’t easily convinced, and in hindsight, she said if it weren’t for his good genes and long legs, he might never have had a chance with her.

My mother was in her early 20s when she married, and she started having children faster and easier than either of them wished. We were all beloved, and my mother recounts those early years, with five children under the age of seven, as her favorites. I was the middle child, squeezed between two standout older siblings and two mischievous younger ones.
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Borderline Personality

Borderline Personality Disorder: Facts vs. Myths

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious psychiatric condition marked by a pattern of unstable and stormy relationships, an unformed sense of identity, chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom, unstable moods, and poor impulsive control in areas such as spending, eating, sex, and substance use.

Fear surrounding real or imagined abandonment from loved ones is a profound concern for people with BPD and often is what underlies their destructive behaviors. Some people with BPD will go to dangerous lengths to avoid this fear, for example, by becoming suicidal or engaging in self-mutilation.
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

The mental health community has come to understand that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be as common in children as in adults. What began as a disorder mostly of combat veterans has been shown to affect numerous trauma survivors across many situations.

Trauma comes in many forms. A child could be traumatized by a major event, such as physical or sexual abuse, a car accident, or by witnessing a horrifying event. Those are the easier ones to identify. But children also can be traumatized from a conglomeration of daily toxic stress, such as living in poverty, constant bullying, or moving to a place much different than their previous geographic location (culture shock).

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Anxiety and Panic

5 Reasons Your Fear of Change is a Waste of Time

Change is anxiety-provoking and exciting all at the same time. We get anxious about the unknown and how change may affect our lives. On the other hand, we get excited about what the future might bring.

Living in a society in which change is revered doesn’t help. We are told to be “change agents” and expected to be constantly looking for novel approaches to ideas. Unfortunately, those more hesitant about change can often feel left behind.

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3 Challenges Unique to Women with ADHD and How to Overcome Them

As a woman with ADHD, you might try your best to keep everything together. But because of your symptoms, it’s that much harder to pay attention, prioritize, perform, get organized and complete tasks. ADHD affects every facet of your life. It comes with a variety of challenges -- some of which are especially unique to women.

The good news is that you can successfully navigate these challenges. The key isn’t to work “harder,” which you’ve likely already tried. And tried.

Instead, it’s to be open to other strategies and perspectives; and be OK with seeking help.
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Brain and Behavior

Schizophrenia’s Genetic Makeup is Super Complicated

New research into the genetic makeup of schizophrenia has confirmed what many researchers have long suspected -- the genetics of schizophrenia is super complicated. In order to better understand diseases like schizophrenia, researchers developed a new algorithm to better map its genetic architecture.

The new research demonstrates why there'll likely never be a simple way to diagnose schizophrenia through a genetic or blood test.

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What Will It Take to Make Depression a Good Cause?

Once a year or so, I’m tempted to shave my head like I’m going through chemo to make my depression visible to others. I’m thinking if I pulled a Sinead O’Connor, people would take the illness seriously.

I saw a commercial the other day for some leukemia association and I was jealous. I know that's not the response the advertising team was looking for. But as someone who is now responsible for fundraising for a
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Anxiety and Panic

4 Tips for Finally Facing Your Fears

We know that the best way to deal with our fears is to face them. But, naturally, this sounds like a terrifying proposition. After all, these are the very situations, experiences and events that we fear.

Thankfully, we can learn healthy ways to approach our fears instead of avoiding and denying them, which most of us understandably do, because these strategies feel better in the short term.
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Seeing More Clearly After Trauma and Denial

Have you ever been surprised by watching a movie or television show a decade after you first watched it and saw it in a whole new light? You’re older, you’re in a different place and so the experience of watching that film or show again is different. Different emotions come up, you identify with different characters and notice brand new things in the narrative making it a truly novel experience. It’s like you’re seeing the movie or show for the first time.

If you’re the victim of abuse, seeing an old movie or show can actually be a trigger to those old emotions, and all that emotional pain can come flooding back. But once you begin healing those wounds, the trigger disappears and you begin to see things with new eyes.
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Anxiety and Panic

Why Worry Is Nothing But a Gloomy Daydream

Do you consider yourself a worrier? Although everyone worries from time to time, some people are plagued by worry on a daily basis. They tend to fall into a pattern of catastrophic thinking -- always preparing for the very worst case scenario. Not only is this mentally and emotionally draining, but physically damaging as well, potentially leading to frequent illness, ulcers and heart problems.

Imagine the following scenario: Your loved one, who is almost always on time, is half an hour late. You try to call, but it goes to voicemail. What is your initial thought? If you automatically imagine a disaster and drop into panic mode, you may not be living the type of life you deserve -- one of optimism, peace and contentment.

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What Bipolar Mania Really Feels Like: A First-Hand Account

After just a few weeks in Tom Wootton’s Bipolar IN Order course over at Bipolar Advantage, I have already learned so much. One important lesson I’ve realized is the difference between bipolar behaviors, which is what you see, and bipolar symptoms, which is what we experience and feel.

Let's take a look at some of the symptoms of mania as I experience them. You may be surprised at how complex they really are.

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