She wanted to be the perfect mom — then landed in a psychiatric unit

Lisa Abramson says that even after all she’s been through — the helicopters circling her house, the snipers on the roof, and the car ride to jail — she still wants to have a second child.

That’s because right after her daughter was born in 2014 — before all that trouble began — everything felt amazing. Lisa was smitten, just like she’d imagined she would be. She’d look into her baby’s round, alert eyes and feel the adrenaline rush through her. She had so much energy. She was so excited.

“I actually was thinking like, ‘I don’t get why other moms say they’re so tired, or this is so hard. I got this,’ ” she says.   more

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Hearing Voices: PTSD and Auditory Hallucinations

Hallucinations and Combat Veterans with PTSD

Among combat veterans with PTSD30-40% report auditory hallucinations(AH). AH are more frequent in combat veterans with chronic PTSD and it has been suggested that this may reflect a distinct subtype of PTSD that may be under recognized for two reasons: first, patients are reluctant to report AH and, second, more emphasis has, traditionally, been placed on the intrusive images associated with PTSD and less on intrusive auditory hallucinations.

It is important to recognize that such patients do not have the overt changes in affect or bizarre delusions characteristic of other psychoses e.g. schizophrenia.  AH in PTSD appears to be seen more in veterans with higher combat exposure and more intense PTSD symptoms and who report more severe symptoms of hyperarousal. The AH are typically: ego-dystonic; contribute to an increases sense of isolation and shame; associated with feelings of lack of controllability; consist of combat-related themes and guilt; non bizarre; not associated with thought disorders and, overall, more refractory to treatment interventions.  more

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How to tell if someone is having mental health issues

I recently noticed my colleague’s change in behaviour over the past year. For the last nine years that I have known her, she was a happy and well-adjusted person whom the other team members looked up to as ‘big sister’. People went to her for advice. But this year, she has been having bizarre and erratic behaviour swings. What is strange is that when she is unhappy, she will tell you that she is sad, but she will be wearing a happy smile. I find this very odd, especially when she has never been like this in the past.

There are many causes for a sudden or gradual change in behaviour in a person you know well.  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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Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is a subtype of major depression that occurs when a severe depressive illness includes some form of psychosis. The psychosis could be hallucinations (such as hearing a voice telling you that you are no good or worthless), delusions (such as, intense feelings of worthlessness, failure, or having committed a sin) or some other break with reality. Psychotic depression affects roughly one out of every four people admitted to the hospital for depression.  more

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What should you do if you have constant anxiety about being murdered, even when you know your are safe?

If someone is chronically anxious about murderers, then it is almost certain that they are also acting in a defensive way, such as checking for possible murderers (under the bed), or avoiding situations  where there may be murderers (dark alleys). It is this constant acting as if you are in danger that makes our anxiety worse.

Anxiety is a primitive defense mechanism that does not understand the world, but guesses from our actions whether or not the world is safe.  more

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