Communication

Male Borderline Personality Disorder: What You Should Know

Do you or someone you know exhibit the following characteristics: frequent self-injurious behaviors (SIB), suicidal ideations or suicide attempts, frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, unstable and intense interpersonal relationships that include alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation, identity disturbance, impulsivity (acting before thinking), chronic feelings of emptiness, and inappropriate and intense emotions that are sometimes disproportional to the trigger? Many of these characteristics make up the term Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD tends to be a frequent diagnosis for females, primarily those females who have many of the above symptoms including frequent SIB and suicidal thoughts. Sadly, many males (adolescents and adults) also exhibit symptoms of BPD but are often misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. The key to identifying BPD in males is to look at the constellation of symptoms and the intensity of the emotions of the individual. This article will focus on highlighting male BPD symptoms and some of the red flags to look out for.
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General

5 Reasons Why Strong Emotions Can Heal

What has been your experience with suffering, pain, and sorrow? Did you sink under its pressure or become angry and fought back? Perhaps you did not come to the conclusion that you must fight back because the depression and the sorrow sucks every ounce of "fight back" you may have had. Believe it or not, if you feel this way that is because so many millions of other people feel the same. Sadly, we live in a society "controlled" by perceptions that are inaccurate. The perception that life is ALL about being happy and trying to achieve the "highest" level of happiness is one of the biggest and most negative misconceptions we have to deal with. This article will explore how negative emotions (i.e., pain, sorrow, rejection, resentment, depression, compassion fatigue,  etc.) can affect us and teach us a lot about ourselves and the life we live.
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General

6 Things Depression & Suicidal Thinking Can Make You Do

Do you have personal experience with depression? What about suicide? Do you (or someone you know) ever struggle with feeling overwhelmed by life's torrents and waves? Do you (or someone you know) struggle with feelings of guilt, lack of motivation, anhedonia (i.e., not enjoying things once enjoyed), insomnia, poor eating habits, and rumination (i.e., thinking of things repeatedly in a fashion that works against you and not for you)? If so, this article is for you. This article will discuss depression and suicidal thoughts and how these two things often occur simultaneously. This article will then explore 6 things, as a therapist and friend that I have come to recognize, that seems to occur in individuals who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. 
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Advocacy

Understanding Suicide: 6 Questions to Ask

Have you ever thought of suicide? Have you ever considered what life might be like if you were not around anymore? What about having thoughts of dying after the loss of something important to you, such as a child, a spouse, a possession that meant a lot, or some kind of relationship that contributed positively to your life? If so, that is absolutely okay, as many people have "flirted" with the idea of ending the emotional and psychological (and sometimes physical) pain that feels imprisoning. Thankfully, we are living in an educated culture that seems to be more understanding of the topic of suicide. Sadly, for many years people have looked negatively upon those who bring up the topic of suicide and who have attempted it. But it is important to educate ourselves to what causes a person to feel so helpless that death appears to be the only remedy for the pain. Unfortunately, this topic is be far too entailed to write about here, but we will certainly discuss what signs and symptoms to look for, what six questions you should ask someone who is talking about suicide, and who to seek for help and why.
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General

Mental Health: 5 Things Alcohol Addiction Makes You Blind To

Do you know someone who seems to self medicate with alcohol to cope with life, symptoms of a mental health diagnosis, or simply to de-stress? It is a known fact that alcohol is often the "drug" of use for individuals suffering from a mental health condition. Alcohol is a substance that either works as a medication for symptoms that are becoming out of control or a way to increase the properties of a psychotropic drug. Either way, alcohol can be a dangerous substance if used unwisely and to self-medicate. As you know, alcohol is such a socially acceptable substance that many people won't suspect anything is wrong with someone who frequently drinks alcohol. Why would there be? Alcohol is found almost everywhere and almost in every restaurant across the nation. It isn't being sold in a variety of flavors at a restaurant, it can be found in a variety of foods. Alcohol is also culturally acceptable as many kids from higher socio-economic statuses tend to drink wine with dinner at various ages. It's no wonder so many people use and become addicted to alcohol. Unfortunately, out of control alcohol use can lead to a variety of challenges including increased depression. This article will highlight some of the ways that alcohol negatively affects those with mental health challenges. 
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Communication

Understanding Trauma and the Cycle of Abuse

Have you ever heard of the Cycle of Abuse? What about Traumatic Bonding? If not, this article is for you. One of the things I find myself doing in my practice with families is providing what mental health professionals call "psycho-education." Psycho-education is education about a topic related to psychology such as relationships, mental illness, diagnosis, trauma or abuse, etc. So many of us can easily become the victim of abuse, trauma, or unhealthy relationships and attachments. Sadly, if you are in a human relationship you are susceptible to the cycle of abuse or traumatic bonding. Both of these concepts will be discussed further in this article to highlight the importance of identifying and being open to the possibility that the cycle of abuse may be happening in your own life or someone you know. It is important to highlight that his article is certainly not specifically about romantic relationships. It is about any relationship that you may find yourself in (working, romantic, platonic, parent-child, etc). 
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Communication

Emotional Attachment: 5 Thoughts of The Needy Person

Do you know someone who struggles with emotional attachment? Someone who struggles with becoming emotionally attached too soon or too fast? What about someone who struggles with putting up appropriate boundaries for fear of losing a person, angering a person, or expressing their own needs? Emotional abuse and bondage may be more prevalent than we all think. You can Google the term "relationships" and find multiple topics on co-dependency, emotional attachment, emotional and psychological abuse, and narcissism. It is a topic that many of us feel drawn to because human beings must have relationships. We're constantly challenged to figure out how to keep them healthy, respectful, or at least somewhat "normal." This article will discuss 5 thoughts the emotionally needy person may have and ways to correct defeatist or narrow views.
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Communication

10 Things You Should Do With Someone Who Suffers Delusions

Do you know someone who struggles with delusional thoughts? A delusion is defined as a belief, that is strongly held to be true, despite evidence to the contrary. It is a fixed and pervasive way of thinking that is not easily derailed by logic. For many people attempting to cope with loved ones who have delusional thoughts, it can be extremely difficult to communicate with the person or live peaceably with them. Another component that results in much stress in families is that the person with delusions does not always seem to be ill. In other words, the individual may go in and out of "consciousness" and show moments of insight, emotional awareness, and engagement. However, this only lasts for a short duration. Are you experiencing a situation like this or know someone who is? If so, this article is for you. This article will discuss the things we can do to make communication slightly better with those who struggle with delusional thoughts. 
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Communication

10 Things You Should Know About Delusions

Do you know what a delusion is? If I were to ask you to define it would you be able to? If not, that's okay. Many people struggle with the thought of what a delusion is. So I will define it here. A delusion is a false belief, held to be true, despite evidence to the contrary. A delusion is a fixed and stable/pervasive belief that is held for as long as the delusion makes sense to the person. The delusion, often a belief that becomes more complicated as the person seeks evidence to support the belief, is as strong as the belief of someone who has evidence to support their beliefs. For example, you may have a belief that your cousin is lying about everything based on the fact that she or he may have a long history of lying. That belief cannot be changed by anyone else, primarily those who contradict what you so firmly believe is true. This is often how a delusion is formed and maintained. The belief makes sense to the person suffering from the delusion and no one, even the closest family member, can change that belief. This article will briefly review delusions and provide tips on what not to do with someone who may be delusional.
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General

5 Truths About The Cycle of Abuse & Mental Illness

Abuse is a very difficult topic to discuss with my clients. It is even more difficult to accept when it you are the target of the abuser. Abuse can come in many forms, even sneaky forms, and it takes not only experience with people and relationships but also appropriate boundaries to cope. Abuse can be described as any act that creates some form of suffering for the target of the abuse. The targeted person can suffer multiple emotional and psychological wounds, even if the abuse is physical. The psychological and emotional wounds can lead to decreased self-esteem, fear, uncertainty, lack of motivation, anhedonia (lack of pleasure in things once desired or enjoyed), and mental health symptoms. Considering all of this, can you imagine how vulnerable a person can be living with and trying to cope with someone who has an untreated or severe mental illness but also engages in abusing others? This article will briefly discuss the "victims" of the abuser who also struggles with mental health challenges. This article is meant to highlight the emotional toll abuse takes on an individual and possible considerations for the victim.
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