Brain and Behavior

Surviving Abuse: Rejecting the Scarcity Lie

Survivors of abuse often live a life plagued with scarcity. We were taught at a young age that we weren’t enough, there wasn’t enough and life would not provide enough for us in the future. When we suffer financial abuse or trafficking, things are often worse. We can believe we have a finite worth, we are a commodity, and we have already expended that worth. All these beliefs leave very little hope for an abundant future.

My relationship with money has been a struggle for my entire life. I always made enough to survive when I worked in the corporate world. As I have started working for myself, I have come face-to-face with my monetary dysfunction. The lack of stability, the self-doubt and the intense commitment required make it scary on the good days.

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Anxiety and Panic

The Science Behind PTSD Symptoms: How Trauma Changes The Brain

After any type of trauma (from combat to car accidents, natural disasters to domestic violence, sexual assault to child abuse), the brain and body change. Every cell records memories and every embedded, trauma-related neuropathway has the opportunity to repeatedly reactivate.

Sometimes the alterations these imprints create are transitory, the small glitch of disruptive dreams and moods that subside in a few weeks. In other situations the changes evolve into readily apparent symptoms that impair function and present in ways that interfere with jobs, friendships and relationships.
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Brain and Behavior

The Perfection in Being

When I was growing up, my parents wanted me to be perfect. They were very clear that I must exceed all standards. They wanted me to have perfect grades, perfect looks, perfect extracurricular activities. They pressured me to be the picture of everything society wanted from a human being.

This expectation created a storm inside me. I was sure I was none of those things. I had been abused long enough to know I had no real worth. I was sure I had nothing to offer the world. I was an imposter. I had no value to add to the human race. I was only here to be victimized.
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Alcoholism

Psychology Around the Net: June 13, 2015


Learn about the summer version of seasonal affective disorder, how creative people might carry genes for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the importance of proper nutrition regarding mental health, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Does Summer Make You Depressed? Although we often associate seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with the winter months, it actually affects some people during the summer months, with symptoms such as decreased appetites and insomnia.

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Anxiety and Panic

Lessons from Urban Living: Circling Helicopters, Trauma and Anxiety

It was about 3:25 a.m. when I awoke to what sounded like a car with no muffler driving by. I live near a busy stretch in Mid-City L.A. so I didn't think anything of it.

I got up to use the bathroom when I heard what I knew was a helicopter. A moment later it made a strange whirring noise and shot by again. I leapt up and ran to the window. Clouds were low in the sky and the helicopter was beneath the cloud cover. It circled above my house again, this time it was closer. The walls vibrated. The chopping echoed off of everything.

My husband woke up and asked if a helicopter was about to land on our house.

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Anxiety and Panic

9 Tips for Self-Care

Living with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mental illnesses takes a toll, often in more ways than we realize. Our wounds leave us fragile and sensitive to the suffering of others. It is not uncommon for those with mental illness to find it difficult to read about certain subjects, view movies with disturbing themes, or even to read the news. This is referred to as being triggered, because witnessing or learning about the suffering of others may trigger the reopening of our own wounds.

While mental illness leaves us vulnerable and sensitive to others' suffering, it also has a way of increasing our interest in those stories that feel familiar. We have been through a lot, and we can easily identify with how others feel. We don’t want to shut the world out as a result of our reactivation.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: April 11, 2015


Learn more about changing mental health-related terms, the psychological factors that might lead to overeating, a new Medicaid and mental health law proposed by the Obama Administration, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Can We Replace Misleading Terms Like 'Mental Illness,' 'Patient,' and 'Schizophrenia': Find out why one Duke University professor feels these and other related terms can both "provide clarity" and "badly mislead."

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Happiness

5 Practices to Create Purpose From Trauma


If you want to support friends, family, acquaintances and strangers suffering from trauma, Rule #1 -- Skip the "everything has a purpose" line.

Please don't place "purpose" on other people's trauma. Purpose may eventually exist around our devastation, but only because we found it. We worked for it, answered the hard questions, and cried for hours trying to release enough pain to grab hold of it.

Sure, I can see purpose in why God made the sky blue, the grass green, and the sun shine. I can get behind that; but, I don't believe God somehow expects us to find purpose in our trauma. We can choose, however, to find purpose after we first open ourselves to healing the wound itself.
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Best of the Web

Top 10 PTSD Blogs of 2014

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often is linked to military veterans, but it can affect anyone following a traumatic event. There are five subtypes: normal stress response, acute stress disorder, uncomplicated PTSD, comorbid PTSD and complex PTSD. Sleep disturbances and flashbacks, where the sufferer relives the trauma, are hallmarks of the disease.

PTSD has several other symptoms, some of which overlap with other disorders. These include a loss of interest in regular activities, feeling depressed, anxious and difficulty concentrating. A person with PTSD may find it difficult to relate to loved ones. Instead they are emotionally distant and consumed with a sense of dread.

These blogs have been selected because they contain links and strategies specifically for people with PTSD in its various forms.

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