by Jeff Emmerson
There I was in 2011, ready to hang myself in the cold, dark basement as my wife worked upstairs in her home office. I was wearing my robe, crying profusely, and had quietly walked down to the bottom floor where our home gym was. The cold cable that was used to pull weights down while working out felt horrific as I put it around my neck — as my brother had done three years before.
He was successful in killing himself, and a piece of our family died that day as well. Perhaps I hadn’t gotten the help I needed from a counselor after my brother’s death, since the statistics of family members who commit suicide rises once another does it.
Sure, that played a part. But the deeper issue was that I had been living with undiagnosed adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And it almost killed me.
by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
Someone told me recently that I strongly identify with labels. Instead of saying, “I’m worried,” for example, I might say, “I have anxiety.” Instead of saying, “I’m down,” I might say, “I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
In hearing this, I realized that not only did I begin to associate “I am” with illness, but that a lot of people in my life did the same thing. We were jumping from symptoms to diagnosis. We were categorizing experiences in neat, little file folders like good and bad, as if life could be placed that way.
Just because you received a diagnosis or are labeled as “troubled,” or “broken,” you don’t need to accept and embrace that title. You have an illness. But you are not your illness. Defining yourself by a disorder or illness will end up limiting your life.
You may be struggling with symptoms of anxiety and worry. You may be dealing with a difficult relationship with others or yourself. The key is to let in what is and then let it go. How do you do that? Read on to discover how to be more open to whatever you’re experiencing without putting a label on it.
by YourTango Experts
As a sex addiction therapist I’m asked all the time, “How can I stop my sexual acting out behavior?” While the acting out behaviors are different for everyone, the root causes are very similar.
Treating the root causes of the addiction is how people gain sanity in their lives. Sanity is gained by attending 12 step meetings, attending individual counseling, attending sex addiction group counseling, and living a life that includes recovery from addiction.
Participating in all that recovery work may seem overwhelming for people early in their recovery process, but that is what it takes to become free from sexual addiction. Those who have had the best recoveries are the people who make recovery their number one priority.
by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Nowadays, nearly everybody turns to Google (and to a lesser extent, Bing or a Bing-powered website like Yahoo) to search for information. And nowhere is that more true than when we want to learn about a health or mental health concern.
It also, however, makes you wonder… Google seems to do a pretty good job in giving us relevant results for all kinds of information. But how’s it do with mental health information results specifically? Are the results you get from Google and Bing when you conduct a search for mental health information of high content quality and useful?
So last year, I ran a research study (which was just recently published) to find out.
by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Group psychotherapy specializing in helping people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a relatively new treatment method that has been gathering a lot of very exciting data and attention lately, especially when budgets can be tight and one on one therapy isn’t always an option.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce a free webinar on Monday, Nov. 25 @ 7:00 pm ET, entitled CBT for ADHD: Manage Adult ADHD with Leading-Edge Group Therapy.
In this free webinar, therapist Alina Kislenko explores how a group approach can speed up the therapy process even if you’re already seeing an ADHD Coach. Please click through to learn more and to RSVP today.
by Keith Fraser
Last Christmas, I received as a gift Deepak Chopra’s book, Super Brain. As a person with a mental illness, I wasn’t sure if this was good news or bad news.
A majority of my prior Christmases have been lackluster because I relive the same year, in and out, without seeming to make the progress I desire in my life. It’s kind of like the movie Groundhog Day , only for years and years. I wasn’t sure if analyzing my brain any further would be a good idea.
So how does OCD relate to all the books, paintings, and movies that a society produces? Essentially, these supposedly give us hope that our lives will get better. My real question is: Does art really achieve any more than false hope for those of us with mental illness?
by Lauren Suval
“Your age is your age. But more importantly, your life is your life. Enjoy where you are. Here. Right here.”
~ Today Was Meaningful Blog
My birthday recently passed, and I jokingly announced to everyone that I’m turning the same age again. (Look at me guys, I’m forever young — literally!) I think it’s safe to presume that many of my 20-something friends are also a bit reticent that we’re another year older. It’s not that we don’t know this obvious fact of life, but it still somehow hits us hard that time seems to fly incredibly fast.
But perhaps aging is just a small part of our moaning and groaning. Societal expectations — age expectations — could be what have us sighing. It’s as if we’re all on a timeline to achieve this by this age, and be in this place by that age, and on and on the cycle continues.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
You might find it tough to talk about physical intimacy with your partner, or reveal your real career goals to your parents. You might find it tough to disclose your disappointments to a friend, or divulge your deepest feelings and fears to your closest people.
Any topic can become a difficult topic to discuss. It really “depends on the person and their relationship,” said Aaron Karmin, MA, LCPC, a psychotherapist at Urban Balance.
Below, Karmin shares specific tips and examples for talking about tough topics.
by Candy Czernicki
A friend who shares my bipolar II diagnosis said something recently that really resonated with me. He commented that “nobody understands people with bipolar II because there’s no high, there’s just anger and angst.”
Best description I’ve ever heard.
Say “bipolar” to the average person and they imagine somebody out-of-control manic — spending tons of money, doing rash activities and the like. Say “bipolar II” and they often don’t know what it is, or they can’t differentiate it from depression.
by Therese J. Borchard
Insomnia is often aggravated and kept going by a set of false beliefs.
Sometimes we don’t even realize what we believe about sleep — and how those beliefs trigger anxiety and compromise a good night’s sleep — until those beliefs are laid out before us. In their book, Quiet Your Mind & Get to Sleep, authors Colleen Carney, Ph.D. and Rachel Manber, Ph.D. list several myths about sleep and explain why they are not helpful.
They have helped me in my most recent bout of insomnia, and I’m hoping they can help you, too.
by Sophie Henshaw, DPsych
You probably regularly come across people who need professional help. They may be in the midst of a crisis, an important relationship isn’t working, they are emotionally unstable or their behavior is erratic. When drugs or alcohol are involved, especially around children, then it’s critical to take action.
However, it’s not easy to say to someone “I think you should see a therapist.”
It may offend them, shame them or disrupt your relationship. Your friend may hear: “You think there’s something wrong with me” and get angry, defensive or vehemently deny there’s a problem.
Rarely does a direct approach work in these circumstances.
by YourTango Experts
Lately I’ve been hit with a lot of messages about women, masculinity, and femininity that I’ve begun to realize just how out of balance I’ve been.
Working longer hours, dealing with both of my dogs being diagnosed with cancerous tumors just months apart, and my mother-in-law being diagnosed with cancer have all contributed to a just-barrel-through-it attitude.
This attitude is totally masculine. Someone has to take charge and make decisions — feeling too much might lead to a breakdown. Besides, who has time to not just do it? Perhaps, that’s why I’m noticing all of the messages.