Kids From Trauma NEED Someone to Tell Them Their Normal Isn’t “Normal”

It took me a quarter of a century (literally) to realize that I experienced trauma throughout certain points in my childhood. It took me another year to realize that my behaviors were deeply rooted in how I responded to that trauma. And it took me even longer to realize that my emotions during those years were not normal.

It seems obvious, doesn’t it?

The thing was… no one told me that the things I was doing weren’t normal. And a lot of times, as a kid, if someone doesn’t outright tell you something, then you have no idea.

I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal to self-harm at twelve years old. All of the friends I’d chosen were doing it so I assumed ALL preteens were doing it. None of us hurt ourselves to fit in with each other (we actually knew each other for quite a while before admitting to one another that we were self-harming), but we were all doing it to cope with something. We were all kids with messy stories, which drew us together like magnets.  more

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13 Documentaries On Mental Health That You Can Stream Right Now

A range of various mental illnesses, such as depression, substance abuse, and psychosis, are linked to the same personality trait, research suggests.

Neuroticism is one of the five higher-order personality traits and pretty much everyone has it to some extent.

People who score high on neuroticism are easily worried and are more likely to experience negative feelings such as fear, anger, frustration, jealousy, guilt, and loneliness. They tend to interpret common situations as threatening, or to feel that small challenges are hopelessly difficult.

Now Eivind Ystrøm, a professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo and his colleagues say that this trait best defines the risk of developing psychiatric problems.

Research also shows that it is mainly your genes that determine your personality, and thus the risk of mental illness.  more

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Talking to Men About Depression

Not so long ago I had to approach a friend to discuss what appeared to me to be a battle with depression. It was clear to me that this debilitating disorder was affecting both him and the people around him, and that some type of loving intervention was needed. But wow, was this a nerve-wracking conversation to have. And I’m a therapist!

Part of the difficulty was that my friend’s symptoms were more about impatience, irritability, and anger than behaviors we typically associate with depression, such as crying, moping, and an inability to get started with any task because everything seems so daunting. And this is often a reason why depression in men can be more difficult to identify than depression in women. Depressed women tend to “act in” (sleeping too much, crying, overeating, drinking too much, failing to fully function, etc.), while depressed men tend to “act out” with unpleasant behaviors. So a depressed woman might look and act depressed, while a depressed man might just seem like he’s being a jerk.  more

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Are Mass Murderers Insane? Usually Not, Researchers Say

It is true that severe mental illnesses are found more often among mass murderers. About one in five are likely psychotic or delusional, according to Dr. Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University who maintains a database of 350 mass killers going back more than a century. The figure for the general public is closer to 1 percent.

But the rest of these murderers do not have any severe, diagnosable disorder. Though he was abusive to his wife, Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub, had no apparent serious mental illness. Neither did Stephen Paddock, who mowed down 58 concertgoers from a hotel window in Las Vegas.

Ditto for Dylann Roof, the racist who murdered nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, and Christopher Harper-Mercer, the angry young man who killed nine people at a community college in Oregon the same year.  more

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The Vicious Cycle of Alcohol and Mental Health Disorders

An untreated or undiagnosed mental disorder can wreak havoc on an individual who is suffering from a disorder as well as those around them. When a person is suffering from a mental health disorder, often, they are unaware that the disorder exists. While the individual will not understand their feelings or the mental problems that they are suffering from, they may experience feelings of hopelessness, depression, anger, or impulsiveness. Because of this, they find themselves feeling lost and at times can turn to unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to numb their psychological suffering. This process is known as self-medicating. One of the most frequently used substances for self-medicating is alcohol, although illegal drugs are also commonly abused by those with mental health disorders. Although the alcohol may temporarily numb the symptoms that the user is experiencing, self-medicating can lead to serious problems.

When a person turns to alcohol for self-medicating purposes, they are more likely to become dependent upon alcohol than an individual who consumes alcohol without having a mental disorder. This is a result of trying to get rid of the psychiatric problems as well as possible impaired judgment as a result of the mental condition  more

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