Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: April 2, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I'm hoping you all ended your week with some funny April Fools' Day shenanigans, and are ready to start the weekend with some of the latest developments in mental health!

Read on for news on how men are more vulnerable to developing stress-related depression, how people with mental health issues fit in when it comes to physician-assisted suicide, ways you can effectively help another person cope with anxiety or depression, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

Living with an Anxious Spouse

All couples have their share of life challenges or issues throughout their relationship. However, when one spouse has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the couple faces a whole new set of challenges. Normal, everyday life issues seem to become exaggerated and can inevitably put a significant strain on the relationship.

Living with an anxiety disorder is typically associated with a great deal of personal distress, but it can be just as hard on the partners of those diagnosed with anxiety. Their significant others often take on more than the normal share of financial burden, household responsibilities, and emotional support.

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General

When a Trauma History Feels Like Unlimited Limitations

Sometimes I try to do things that regular people do, people who don’t have a trauma history, and my PTSD steps in and says, “No, no, sweetheart. I don’t think so.”

I listened to a podcast recently where a handful of people kept dream recordings for a few months and then the most intelligible ones were made into an episode. It required participants to record themselves talking about their dreams with as much detail as possible as soon as they awoke, which could mean in the morning or in the middle of the night.

It was fascinating. Lots of dreams about bosses. Obviously there’s something there, something to be examined. I wanted to try it. I went to bed on a normal, comfortable Sunday and kept dreaming of being raped.
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Anger

Keeping a Balanced Body After Abuse

Recovering from trauma of abuse often means learning to be more in touch with the body. Victims of abuse have a tendency to dissociate. In order to cope with the trauma, the mind is removed from the present physical condition. The body becomes "not me."

Practicing self-compassion honors the feelings that surround the abuse. It can be an uncomfortable experience grappling with shame, guilt, resentment, hostility, or desire for retaliation. Unfortunately, we might turn to food or addictive substances to self-soothe. A healthier, long-term way to
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 19, 2015


Happy Holiday, Psych Central readers!

OK, so we're technically still in the throes of the holiday season, for those of you who celebrate, but you won't get another Psychology Around the Net until after Christmas -- which means, you need lots of goodies to read until then, right?

Fortunately, we have them for you!

Keep reading to learn about how small talk helps us bond with others, the research related to mental health courts, the one trick to a happy and successful relationship, and more!

See you next week!

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Bullying

I Won’t Make the Same Mistakes My Parents Made

“I will not make the same mistakes my parents made.” It may be one of the most common sentiments in the world of parenting. But when we express this desire, it is often met with rolled eyes or some other doubtful response. Why is that? Deep down inside, I think we all sense it is much more complicated than we are willing to acknowledge.

Changing our parenting approach from the way we were raised is extremely difficult. The only easy solution is to swing the parenting pendulum to the opposite extreme, which does very little to improve the situation.

It is as though we are hardwired to behave in the same manner. In reality, that may be the truth. Our brain has been wired to perceive reality in a certain way.

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Anxiety and Panic

Memory Isn’t Important to Recover from Trauma

Memory comprises all the ins and outs of our lives. We go looking into it for everything from survival to simply making a joke. We use memory every day and sometimes it’s hard to separate the things we’ve done or experienced from our very identity.

For survivors of child abuse, memory isn’t your best friend. Memories may be intrusive. You might flashback suddenly and relive the trauma all over again. You can be well on the road to recovery, and these images and all the feelings they evoke may return.
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Bullying

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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Personal

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

How Trauma Can Trigger Positive Transformation

There’s a common misconception surrounding trauma. We assume that after someone experiences trauma, they might develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or return to their old life.

But many individuals also experience something else: positive change. In fact, in 1996 psychologists Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun coined the term “post-traumatic growth” to describe this phenomenon (in this
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Brain and Behavior

More Basic Information for Trauma Survivors

In my last post I presented reasons why trauma survivors often fail to get the support they need, what it feels like after trauma, how easy it is to misdiagnose trauma, and how valuable psychoeducation can be. In this post I suggest important reminders and a list of things you can do after trauma that will lead you toward trauma integration.

Trauma also brings emergence of new life .

The moment that you experienced trauma, your survival system called upon unused personal resources to help you survive. It continues to do so. Most trauma survivors are barely conscious of the strengths they have already displayed in coping with trauma. These are innate survival instincts that have helped you to hold on to life even at its most challenging. They are an important source of energy in your trauma integration process.

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