Anxiety and Panic

My Life with Anxiety

Since I was younger, I knew that I thought in a different way than most children. As I grew older, I became consumed with death and its aftermath. I couldn’t understand why my biggest worry wasn’t which dress I would wear to prom. I felt like a fish out of water, and no one would understand.

After seeking help, I grew to realize that living with anxiety is not so abnormal. Some people have low cholesterol, some are allergic to peanuts, and some, like me, have an anxious mind. Honestly, I would pick anxiety over a peanut allergy any day.

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Anxiety and Panic

Surprise Diagnoses

When I was diagnosed with PTSD at the beginning of the year, it came as a surprise to me. I’d gone to this psychologist for a potential BPD diagnosis. I walked out with not only that, but four years' worth of PTSD as well.

It was surprising because in these four years I’d not once thought about this disorder; it never even occurred to me. But as I thought about it, letting it sink in, things started making sense. And since the diagnosis, I’ve had to think about what happened. Because I really didn’t deal with it; I'm still having trouble figuring out where to go from here.
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Addiction

How Sex Addiction Can Change Mental Illness

I was married to a sex addict narcissist for close to 20 years. My father was a sex addict. I was a stripper many years ago and worked for many years around sex addicts. It started when I visited my father’s house on his weekend to have me after my parents' divorce. He was at work and I was a nosy child. I found a Playboy magazine. I remember it well. Suzanne Somers was on the cover. I slowly turned each page, looking at and soaking in the beauty and perfection of these women.

My immediate thought was that these women looked nothing like my mom. They were doing things my mom would never have done. I think I was only 8 or 9 years old. In that moment, I knew in my mind, like it was complete truth, that if I grew up and became a woman like that, I would be able to keep a man.

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Bipolar

My Bipolar Care Plan: A 3-Legged Stool

I often find myself putting other people I meet who have bipolar disorder into two clearly different categories. Either they are like myself and they are manic, or they tend to have depression more of the time. For me, if I have depression, it is normally mixed in with feelings of regret of what has happened in the past. I try hard to not dwell on the past.

As a person with mania, there are many things that I feel are different for me than for other people. For instance, I tend to have manic rage and manic anger. I have manic disappointment as well.
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Borderline Personality

Always Recovering, Never Recovered

"Always recovering, never recovered." A simple sentence that can be a harsh reminder. That's not to say your efforts or how far you've gotten were for naught, but to keep getting back up when you do fall.

I've learned over the years, of course, that it's extremely important to know you are not alone. Others are struggling and surviving alongside you and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

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Bipolar

Ode to the Duke

I saw my shrink today. I call him “The Duke.”

We had a perfectly fine half-hour meeting. He wrote me some scripts and listened to my current take on my life. Mainly, we talked about my son Tommy’s fear of entering sixth grade. The Duke warned me that the junior high years are awful and to brace myself. The Duke is a straight shooter. At the end of the appointment, I asked him how he thought I was doing.

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Brain and Behavior

Why I Self-Sabotage

The mind is razor sharp, the water glass is refilled, and I am ready to unfurl my latest thought-providing Psych Central article.

Sitting down in my favorite chair, I fire up the trusty laptop and within minutes am listening to a belting Michelle, Missy, and James Corden in Carpool Karaoke. I am chuckling at Chris Martin’s delicious irony (stopping at a lemonade stand in a clever Coldplay reference). And, of course, I had to see if Jennifer Lopez had graduated from full-fledged diva into semi-relatable starlet. The answer: she was surprisingly likable.

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Addiction

Finding Pain Relief When There’s Potential for Addiction


I am a woman with a family history of addiction who is also in chronic pain. What if someday I need opioids to manage that pain?

First, two discs in my lower spine degenerated. Then, they herniated, both bulging out and impinging nerves, inciting an excruciating, sciatica-like pain that affected me around the clock. More than a year since my discs were damaged, pain has become my daily reality. I wake up stiff and sore as though I’ve just been hit by a car (having been hit by a car as a kid, I actually know what that feels like). The only thing I struggle with as much as the pain itself is finding the best way to treat it so that I can have a better quality of life.

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