Anxiety and Panic

How Media Shapes Our View of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Most people would consider an abuse victim as a person who experienced “trauma.” However people often don’t view them as potentially experiencing “post-traumatic stress disorder.” PTSD is more commonly thought of as a condition affecting combat veterans, but the number of civilians suffering from PTSD is 13 times more than military personnel, according to a release from Drexel University. So what gives? According to researchers at Drexel, the media plays a large role in what the general population and lawmakers associate with PTSD.

The Drexel study reviewed 35 years worth of articles on PTSD published in the New York Times -- from 1980, the year PTSD was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to 2015. Of 871 articles a little over 50 percent focused on military cases of PTSD. The occurrence of PTSD in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is 20 percent. But research shows the condition is far more likely to affect civilians who suffer sexual assault (30-80 percent of survivors), nonsexual assault (23–39 percent), survivors of disasters (30–40 percent), and car crashes (25–33 percent).
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Children and Teens

Helping Adult Children of Mentally Ill Mothers

I’m not a psychotherapist. But I’ve sat in front of one. It took me decades to find the chair in front of the psychotherapist and maybe that’s got something to do with me being the adult child of a schizophrenic mother.

I think it took me a long time to sit facing a psychotherapist because adult children of seriously mentally ill mothers are trained since they were young to believe three things:

Chaos and crises are normal.
The focus is not on me. The focus of care is on my mother.
Don’t speak too much about what goes on at home -- people don’t like it, it’s too much for them.

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Dealing with the Pressure to Succeed When You Have a Mental Illness

I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but I feel a constant need to succeed, and there are definite moments when I feel desperately overwhelmed with the amount of pressure I’ve put on myself.

For years I’ve had the goal of living in a mountain house surrounded by a large grove of trees. I’ve worked hard to try to get to that point, but here I am, still on Section 8, still receiving money from the government for my disability.

I’m frustrated and, at times, angry with myself for not being able to mentally do what I have to do to get to the point where I’m satisfied.
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Child Abuse Survivors, Victims Need You to Talk About It

How do you recover from childhood abuse? Is healing possible? Will the shame ever go away? Will I always struggle with depression or anxiety?

These are important questions as we enter April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month. While the answers to these questions are different for everyone, sharing our stories can inspire hope and help other survivors heal.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela
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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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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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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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