Bullying

Emotional Abuse in Children

Much of the work on emotional abuse has been written about adult relationships, yet children, pre-teens and teens have their own unique needs in these very important formative years. There are certain experiences, such as secure attachment, that need to be met in order for children to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, they do not always have that safe place in their own home.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Antidepressant

Could an Antidepressant Prevent Depression After Traumatic Brain Injury?


The prevalence and functional effects of depressive disorder following traumatic brain injury are significant. Now, sertraline may be effective for preventing depressive symptoms after TBI.

A group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine evaluated 94 patients aged 18 to 85 years who had been hospitalized for mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Most of the patients (n=92) were Caucasian and more than half (n=56) were male. The research team randomized the patients to receive either 100 mg daily of sertraline (48 patients) or placebo (46 patients) for 24 weeks or until symptoms of a mood disorder occurred.

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Family

Caring for Trauma Survivors and Caring for Yourself in the Process: Everyday Tips for Non-Professionals

Elise just told me about her past. I knew she had been through a lot, but not all that. She said her mom hit her and left bruises when she was a kid, her neighbor touched her where she didn't want to be touched, and I guess her brother was alcoholic. There was a lot of other stuff, too. It has gotten better in the last couple years so that is good. I have known their whole family for a long time and never knew any of that.

What do I do now? I want to help somehow, but is there anything to do? I don't know if I should tell someone. I feel sad.

We hope abuse and trauma never happen to ourselves or someone we love. When your sister, long-time friend, or neighbor tells you something you never expected, it can be confusing, upsetting, and scary.
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Bullying

Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Today

It’s clear that people from every socio-economic status have experienced one or more life events that have caused emotional trauma, thus creating PTSD. It’s not just a “veteran’s ailment,” and PTSD is gaining needed recognition in the psychotherapeutic healing community.

PTSD can be caused by childhood trauma, financial disasters, recession, loss of employment, loss of a relationally close family member, divorce, loss of home, sudden shift in life responsibilities such as having to be a primary caretaker for an elderly family member, physical and chronic pain, loss of health, or many other scenarios.
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Bullying

Trauma: The Lie Whisperer

Many, if not most of us, have been through some traumatic event in our lives. When you think back to your childhood you may see flashes of violence, abuse, neglect, or addiction. This might have been your "normal." This might still be your "normal." When we live through trauma something happens to us, without our knowledge. Lies are quietly spoken to our psyches. So what are these lies and who whispers them to those of us who have suffered trauma?

First, let’s define trauma. Merriam-Webster defines trauma as:
a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.
But why does “a very difficult or unpleasant experience cause someone to have mental or emotional problems”? Sounds like a silly question, right? One could answer; because it was scary, anxiety provoking, hurtful, debilitating, horrific, physically painful, and the list goes on. But this still does not answer the why of my question. Let’s break it down even further. What is the connection between experiencing trauma and internalizing it, resulting in, what Merriam-Webster calls, “mental or emotional problems”?
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: November 12, 2016


I won't begin this edition of Psychology Around the Net by saying "Happy Saturday!", as I usually do, because I -- like the rest of the country, and the world -- am well aware that many of you are not happy.

Whether you voted for Hillary Clinton and are outraged that -- and perhaps feeling scared and threatened because -- Donald Trump won the election, or you voted for Donald Trump (or a third-party candidate) and are hurt because some of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers are accusing you of not caring about important human concerns such as racism, sexism, and the safety of the LBGTQ community, chances are you're not happy.

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Friends

Why Am I Uncomfortable Getting Close to People?

Many of us are hesitant to get emotionally close to others. Getting close means sharing feelings, thoughts, wishes and dreads. Getting close means sharing your true self, flaws and all, with someone else who totally accepts us.

Many people, who are hesitant to get close to others, wish they were not hesitant. They yearn for intimacy. They yearn to be known. And, they feel lonely.

But, closeness can be uncomfortable  --  not only mentally but physically as well.
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Depression

Where’s Maslow? A Lifelong Search for Security

Since the late 1980s, I have seen dozens of therapists due to depression and low self-esteem caused by financial distress.

One of these therapists once told me that everyone deserves a certain level of comfort. Whether this is factually accurate has been subject to much debate -- both in philosophy classrooms and in politics.

Regardless, if you do have the intellect to debate this subject, then you have likely had at least one course in basic psychology.

Upon sitting through a semester of Psychology 101, you know of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs -- developed by the American psychologist, Abraham Maslow. In short, this hierarchy addresses human needs -- everything from the need for food and job security to the need for love and self-esteem.
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Children and Teens

How Can Childhood Emotional Neglect Make You a Stronger Adult?


All it takes is growing up in a household where your feelings don't matter enough.

With their heads held high but their spirits lower than should be, they walk among us.

"I don't need any help," they say with a smile. But "what do you need?" they ask others with genuine interest.

Loved and respected by all who know them, they struggle to love and respect themselves. These are the people of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN).

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Creativity

Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 2

This is part 2 of the series "Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven." Don't miss Part 1.

Hear the Rattle and Click as the Door Slams Home. Welcome to Prison.


Without true understanding of how many people were touched by mental illness and what actions needed to be taken to help care for their personal welfare upon release from healthcare facilities, a concurrent rise in homelessness and surge of patients into correctional facilities began to unfold. (11) In a 2013 report to Congress...
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Books

A Box Full of Darkness: Growing Up in the Shadow of BPD

Someone I loved once gave me
A box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
That this, too, was a gift.
-Mary Oliver

I can’t remember now how I ran across this poem by Mary Oliver. I saved it, because the box-full-of-darkness metaphor seemed genius. As time went by, its relevance to my experience became clearer. The poem eventually served as an epigraph for my book Missing: Coming to Terms with a Borderline Mother.

First, here’s what I won’t be saying about these lines. I won’t say that all dark boxes become gifts. The loss of a child or debilitating pain or one’s own mental illness? Starvation? Violence? Are these gifts, or can they become gifts? It feels presumptuous to say so. I can speak only to my own experience, and a largely blessed and lucky experience it has been.
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