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Disorders

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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Family

It’s Not the Wedding — It’s the Marriage!

Mia found wedding planning stressful. Her mother’s was obsessing over the invitations, flowers, color scheme, favors, hors d’oeuvres, guest list, and other details -- so much that it seemed like she was the one getting married.

Exasperated as her mother droned on about ice sculptures and chocolate fountains, Mia wished she had decided to elope. She finally blurted out: “It’s not the wedding, Mom! It’s the marriage.
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Family

Christmas with Nana: The Joys of Giving and Giving Back

We called our grandmother on my mother’s side “Nana.” Nana was a widow for most of my life. Back in 1965, my grandfather died when I was about two-years-old. Nana supported herself after that, and although she worked a full-time job, she was poor. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment overlooking Lake Erie. She enjoyed the simple pleasures: watching the boats float on the water, entertaining her family on the weekends, swimming alone at midnight in the apartment’s tiny swimming pool.

How did we know Nana was poor?
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Children and Teens

Talking to Your Children about the Threat of Nuclear War

On Nov. 29th, the Today Show reported on North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch and then my 13-year-old son Tommy asked, "Is North Korea going to bomb us? Mom, is this going to be our last Christmas?"

I was struck by Tommy's intelligence and lack of innocence in his startling inquiry. I was born in 1963, the year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and grew up during the Cold War. But I would have never had the wherewithal to ask something such as this. Schools had stopped teaching duck and cover. I don't think I even knew in junior high what a nuclear bomb was. The only hint I had that these types of weapons existed was the fact that my older brother had a poster on his wall which offered advice about what to do if a nuke bomb went off. It said, "Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye."
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Creativity

What Is a Mood Journal and Why Should You Keep One? (Includes Video)


 

General Transcript For "Mood Journal" Video


My name is Gabe Howard. I’m the host of The Psych Central Show Podcast, and I am also a person that lives with bipolar disorder. Managing bipolar disorder takes a lot of time, and people often ask me, “Gabe, what are some hints and tips to help manage my bipolar disorder? Or my depression? Or my mental illness?” Well, I keep a diary.

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ADHD and ADD

Mental Health Stigma: A Doctor Who Has Been in Your Shoes

Your doctor may relate to your mental health concerns more than he or she can say.

Imagine you are sitting with your primary care doctor sharing your symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, or anorexia. Imagine in that difficult and lonely moment, your doctor makes the decision to disclose that she not only understands your symptoms from a professional standpoint, but also personally as someone who also struggles with a similar diagnosis.

What would you think?
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Addiction

Your Diagnosis Does Not Define You

I've been diagnosed, at one point or another, with depression, anxiety, PTSD and ADHD. It’s an annoying characterization of myself because my medical 'diagnosis' does not define me. Yet it has also been incredibly helpful to me as it explains certain behaviors and reactions, and gives me the tools I need to research and manage them.

But let me be clear. What I 'have' does not equate to who I am. As despite the challenges, we can all thrive.
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Anxiety and Panic

Running from Our Problems

Running away has always seemed so much easier than facing the problems we have in life.

We believe that, if we get ourselves as far away as possible, our problems won’t follow us. I once ran away every single time. I thought that one day I could outrun my problems and leave them in the dust so I could finally start living again.

There are a few ways we run away from problems. We might ignore them and pretend they're not even there. This seems rather silly since it’s no different from a young kid closing his or her eyes thinking such an action makes whatever scares them go away. Yet, that hasn’t stopped us from doing exactly that by distracting ourselves with other things.
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ADHD and ADD

ADHD and Abandonment: A Powerful Lesson

Abandonment has been an issue of mine for as long as I can remember. I'd have an absolute panic going to school, hugging my mom relentlessly asking her not to let me go. When she went to work, I'd hold on to her leg and she would drag me around the house, explaining that while she loved me she also had to help others (a school counselor) and I would have fun when I got there (which, I might add, I always did).

Then there was my grandfather's death when I was in high school. My calm, comforting, patient, understanding grandpa Pete. He was always my island of calm in the storms of my life. And watching him succumb to ALS when I was in high school, it literally crumbled me. I remember at his funeral I locked myself in the bathroom in a ball on the floor sobbing uncontrollably at his departure.
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