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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The cost of staying silent on mental health

When his self-employment worries escalated, a writer found it hard to ask for help

Earlier this year, I admitted myself to psychiatric hospital. I went in voluntarily, only to watch nurses search through my possessions to remove anything I could harm myself with: razor, pills, iPhone cable. I was put on watch, and for days I was not allowed outside unaccompanied.

I shared a ward with people in financial services, law, advertising, the drinks industry, commercial aviation, the military, and more. Men and women diagnosed with depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, self-harming, personality disorders, and chronic addiction to drink, drugs and gambling.  more

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What Happens When You Mention Suicide in Therapy?

Mental health clinicians are trained to navigate discussions about self-harm.

The first time John came to my office for treatment, I asked him many questions about his background, his symptoms, his strengths, and his goals. And then I came to a standard question about suicide: “Have you been thinking you’d be better off dead or wishing you were dead?”

John hesitated, then replied, “No . . . Not really.”

“Not really?” I asked, sensing there was more to be said.

John looked away and sighed. He then explained that at his lowest points, he sometimes feels like maybe it’d be better if he were dead, and at times, he had wished he could go to sleep and never wake up. I spent some time assessing how serious the risk was that John might end his own life, and concluded that the risk was low. We made a plan for how John and I would monitor and manage his thoughts of suicide.  more

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