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Trusting Your Instincts in a Psychologically Abusive Relationship

Most people understand the concept of physical abuse. If you’re in a relationship where your partner is physically hurting you, this is an obvious sign that:

1. Things are not okay
2. This will probably not be the last time.
3. This relationship has the potential to be very dangerous.

Emotional abuse is more confusing. Depending on how someone was raised, where they grew up, and who influenced their life, the term "emotional/psychological abuse" may vary. While there is no
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Detachment: A Strategy for Friends and Family of Adult Addicts

For every adult who struggles with addiction, there are many affected by its destruction. Family, co-workers, and friends are among those who become witnesses to the downward spiral of self-destructive behavior. Attempts to fix a friend or loved one experiencing addiction become increasingly frustrating as the chaos becomes a part of daily life.

When you are affected by someone else’s drinking or drug use, it is important to remember that even though you cannot prevent what’s happening to them, you can regain your sanity by practicing detachment.
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Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Road to Recovery

Persistent neglect in childhood can lead you to believe that you don’t deserve to be loved or cared for. This idea begins to define you: you are a person who ought to be treated badly.

When we think of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a specific list comes to mind: soldiers returning from combat zones and police officers connected to terrible incidents in the line of duty; victims of sexual trauma and women who were beaten by their partners; the families who stood on the roofs of their houses in the aftermath of Katrina and those who managed to walk away from the horrific South Asian tsunami in 2004. We are right to think of these people and to recognize their experiences, but there are many others living with an equally damaging -- yet much more invisible -- condition: complex post-traumatic stress disorder or C-PTSD.

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Anxiety and Panic

Challenging the Stigma of Counselors with Mental Illness

My small Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum class gets out twelve minutes early. I strain to catch the eye of my classmate and friend on the other side of the room, a tall Indian woman with her hair in a sagging bob and sympathetic eyes locked on another classmate. I turn impatiently towards our classmate, who favors red lipstick and dramatic retellings of her life events.
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ADHD is Real (Like All Mental Disorders Are)

I recently came across an unintentionally funny op-ed piece by John Rosemond, a family psychologist known for his controversial views on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other childhood behavioral issues. In the piece, he laments how he was disinvited from a recent speaking engagement because of his views.

In short, he says, "Those facts include that ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and bipolar disorder of childhood are not realities; rather, they are constructs."

Yes they are constructs. But so is nearly everything we've created to navigate human existence.

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7 Ways to Find Happiness After Depression

Feeling sad can actually be a good sign.

Depression is a clinical term used to label a group of behaviors and internal experiences associated with a depressed mood. It is also a clinical diagnosis. Depression is different than being sad. Sadness is a normal part of life and, as long as you are not feeling it all the time, it is actually a healthy thing for you to feel.

It is important to realize that learning how to be happy again after depression looks slightly different for everyone.

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Coping with Bipolar Disorder & Depression Around the Holidays

The holidays present a special challenge to people who live with bipolar disorder or depression. The challenge is a combination of the increased stress that the holiday season often brings combined with the symptoms -- such as mania or depression -- of these disorders. As a result, people who live with bipolar disorder and those who live with depression might dread the upcoming holidays.

Whether you're stressing about money, family issues, remembering a loved one who's gone, or just feeling lonely, there are a few things you can do to cope better this time of year.

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Your Autistic Teen and Family Holiday Gatherings

Little kids with autism grow to be teens with autism. As is true with all adolescents, pressures both inside their bodies and in the social world can make them sometimes be irritable and reactive. Parents who live with them adapt and adopt new strategies for supporting their children over time. Relatives who see the kids intermittently often aren’t prepared for what it means to interact with a bigger kid who can’t be as easily directed or managed as when they were young. This is especially true if some of the teen’s behaviors are socially awkward or even potentially frightening.

Christmas is a time of year when many families have a big family gathering to celebrate. Parents of teens with autism and their extended family members are often torn: The teen is a loved member of the family who should be included, but will including him be disruptive to the family or even harmful to the teen?
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