General

PODCAST: Discussion with Award-Winning Bipolar Author and Blogger

In this week’s Psych Central Show, Gabe and Vincent interview popular bipolar author and blogger, Natasha Tracy.

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer and speaker living with bipolar disorder. She has written more than 1000 articles on mental health and is considered a subject matter expert in bipolar disorder. She has also been published in the peer reviewed journal, Primary Care Companion CNS Disorders. She was the winner of the Beatrice Stern Media Award presented by Didi Hirsch for her work in reducing prejudice against the those with mental illness.

Natasha writes the award-winning blog Bipolar Burble at NatashaTracy.com and her writings are also featured on many other sites. She recently released the book Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar which one reviewer said will “certainly save lives.” Her book is being received very positively by those with bipolar disorder or depression, their loved ones and even healthcare professionals. Lost Marbles and its reviews can be found on Amazon.

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Bipolar

It Shines: Living with Bipolar II Disorder

I’m quick to reflect on high school glory days. It’s pretty silly, seeing as how I’ve not even reached the 10-year reunion mark. Flipping through my old yearbook, I noticed one of my favorite teachers wrote “Dear Beth, calling you a delicate flower would not give justice to your violently cheerful exuberance. It’s been amazing to watch your shifts from scarily giddy to sleepy to gloomy then back again.” I didn’t learn until later that this was a much abbreviated but also decent description of someone with type two Bipolar Disorder. Even with the intensity of my demeanor back then, no one would have pegged that onto a cheerleading prom queen.
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Marriage and Divorce

Marriage Mentors Are Everywhere

When it comes to marriage, I cannot overstate the value of mentoring. If you were blessed to have grown up with happily married parents who communicated well, you probably learned, as though by osmosis, how to become happily hitched. Your live-in mentors paved the way.

But what if you grew up with parents who stayed together unhappily or divorced? Or if you were raised by a single parent? Typically, couples who see me for therapy grew up without viewing a healthy marriage. For them and for others desiring a happy, lasting union, good mentoring can fill the gaps.
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Anger

The Role of Make Believe Play in Adult Life

“You cannot change the past, but you can change how you feel about the past.”

We often hear how important it is for children to use their imaginations. But did you know adults can strategically use imagination and make believe play to manage their emotions and feel better? In fact the use of fantasy is one way trauma therapists heal psychological wounds.

Amazing scientific fact: The brain cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: November 29, 2016

It's Cyber Monday. As I'm going through hundreds of sale emails telling me what I need, I'm reminded about what really matters.

It's not finding the best deals or presents even.

Connection is what we're truly after.

Anger, disappointment and grief often comes from fear of disconnection. I used to think we learn more from being alone than we do in partnerships. But I was wrong.

On a path towards joy, happiness and self-growth, we need both, time by ourselves and time with others.

As you get lost in holiday errands, decorations, and shopping, remember that you'll be happier and enjoy the season more if you devote time to both.
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Happiness

How the 4 Traits of Emotional Intelligence Affect Your Life

We know that general intelligence -- referred to as IQ — is fairly consistent throughout life, though studies have found some age-related dips in certain skills as we age.

We typically use IQ scores to identify areas of cognitive strengths and deficits. For example, those with lower scores qualify for additional school services or those with higher scores are designated gifted or talented.

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Friends

Being Love

“I’m not interested in being a ‘lover.’ I’m interested in only being love.” – Ram Dass
How can you be love? It’s an interesting question, probably not one most people ever consider. Yet the idea that you can embody love in everything you do is quite appealing. Akin to saintliness, perhaps, or what we imagine holy people do. But not us, right, surely not everyday people just trying to get along in life?

Not so fast. This isn’t a concept to dismiss out of hand. Think for a minute about doing the right thing, helping others instead of yourself all the time, going for the greater good in life and not striving for an accumulation of wealth and things. These are components of being love, although they only begin to touch at it.
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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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