As much as we want to believe it’s gone, it isn’t

It’s May, and mental health awareness month has started. Every year I look forward to the social media programming: the people who share stories of recovery, those receiving support for their current struggles, and the community of providers on social media sharing amazing mental health content. I feel so much solidarity with all of these groups because I’ve been one of them at some point in my life.

As a psychotherapist and someone who identifies as a wounded healer, I feel so honored to witness others’ stories, especially on social media. Even just a few years ago, some people wouldn’t…


Different strokes for different folks

Introduction

In the psychiatric community, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) tend to be spoken in the same breath. Diagnosed with BPD? Then you need to enter DBT treatment. I was one of those individuals for whom DBT was the first-line treatment when I was diagnosed with BPD in 1990, following my second suicide attempt.

According to the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD), “BPD can be defined as a serious mental illness that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively. …


Finding connection in a lonely world.

Since the beginning, humans have needed others — regardless of gender, ethnicity, or geographic location, we are social creatures. Quality relationships make us happier, healthier, and more productive. Social support buffers stress and fulfills an important psychological need to belong and feel accepted by others.

In an ideal, harmonious world, we would all enjoy plenty of health-protecting relationships, but that is not the reality for many. A startling number of people struggle with loneliness. …


It isn’t over, just because the pain is gone.

What most consider a “migraine” is actually just one stage in a complicated neurological illness. The other stages can play out invisibly but still negatively impact quality of life.

There are four stages of a migraine: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome (what most of us migraineurs refer to as the “hangover”).

For each migraineur, each stage plays out differently. For some, the early stages go unnoticed; others have visual displays that rival LSD, facial numbness, or audio hallucinations. As someone with a migraineur in their life, it is important to understand that the “attack” isn’t the whole story.

Prodrome — the beginning

Prodrome can…


She got a COVID-19 breakthrough case this summer

So, during this past August, my wife got a breakthrough case of COVID-19. She’s okay, but she lost her sense of taste and smell. It’s slowly coming back as of this writing.

Now I know there are lots of stories out there about autistics having empathy, and most of them are written by women autistics. A 2005 study noted women are more empathetic than men. This could explain why early ASD suffers were labeled as lacking empathy since many were males.

But there are two major kinds of empathy; cognitive empathy (“the capacity to understand another’s perspective or mental state”)…


And you should be questioning the intentions of those that try to convince you otherwise

Trigger Warning: this article contains mention of suicide and disturbing facts about social media and mental health

Based on what I have heard from other people’s experiences, I do not think I have mental illnesses at all. But a lot of my experience on social media is not different from many people’s experiences.

Even with hardly anyone that follows me (if we are to consider significance as being an influencer), I still have times when I have gotten into my head over social media. I constantly think about whether or not I should post, when I do post, I get…


Pre-requisites to deep diving into systemic memories of abuse

It was 1990 in Brooklyn, N.Y. when I was hired as a treatment coordinator at a facility for adolescent and adult drug addicts. The crack epidemic was ravaging communities on a national scale and AIDS was a global health crisis. I had just completed post-graduate work at Coney Island Hospital, where I was employed in a detox unit and a partial hospitalization drug treatment program. It was in equal measure inspiring and heartbreaking.

Many of my clients were victims of sex trafficking, mandated through the criminal justice system and child welfare services. A vast majority were IV heroin addicts if…


You were full of life

I was dumbfounded when I found out about your condition. They said you were having trouble breathing and you needed to be intubated. My doctor friend said that’s painful; I wish I can ask you how that experience was.

Your brother had trouble looking for a hospital for you because most have reached their maximum capacity. We were relieved when your mother texted us that you were finally admitted to a private hospital outside the city. No one could visit you even if we wanted.

You were stuck, with your family waiting for you at home. They must have suffered…


How my mother’s reaction to my depression shaped my perception of her.

There is no real discernable time to point to and say, “Here. This is when I became depressed. And here’s why.”

These are things that we can’t really communicate. They are just facts. The way we live life now.

As an adult, I can integrate this into my self-perception: There is no reason to feel like this. This is just the way I feel. Let’s cope with these feelings that don’t make rational sense.

I do that because, as an adult, I have that control and the experience to understand that this is my reality.

But when you’re a teenager…


Understanding the way we acquire knowledge

Introduction

Developmental psychologist Howard Gardner’s 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences separates human intelligence into different abilities rather than a single general aptness as it was previously believed. He originally identified eight intelligences which will be detailed in this article.

The theory of multiple intelligences is valuable when assessing and developing methods of pedagogy. It is also an important tool in understanding how you and your children learn.

At the end of the article, the reader will find websites that offer tests based on this theory. …

Invisible Illness

We don't talk enough about mental health.

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