1. Is my relationship abusive or unhealthy?
-Firstly, if you’re asking this question, that’s a clue. If someone asks you if you feel safe in your relationship and you can’t immediately, uninhibitedly say yes, that’s a problem.
-An abusive partner will separate you, if not isolate you completely from your family or friends. There could possibly be an ultimatum, verbalized or otherwise, a threat about what might happen if you decide to hang out with anyone else. The more time you spend with friends and family, the less power your abuser has, so they don’t want that.
-An abusive partner will invalidate your feelings or reactions in order to maintain control. Phrases to look out for include but are not limited to “are you STILL upset about that?” “Why can’t you just let it go?” And “we were having such a good time, don’t ruin the good times we have.”
-It should also be stated that the best abusers will not be all bad, otherwise they’d have to get new victims more quickly. My abuser cooked for me, took care of me when I was sick, drove me to surgeries, held my hand at the dentist. These positive experiences make
Disorganized Attachment – An Explanation for Non-Clinicians
Many clients who end up in the therapeutic chair or couch are impacted by a disorganized attachment style. Disorganized attachment serves as a diathesis (risk factor) for many difficult psychological syndromes including depression, dissociative disorders, various personality disorders (especially Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorders), PTSD, and Complex PTSD. I have found it useful to explain the etiology and manifestation of disorganized attachment to my clients as a way to begin understanding their confusing and dysfunctional coping methods and behaviors. However, my search of the web has yielded little information for the non-clinician. As such, here is my jargon free explanation:
Usually, when infants and young children are frightened or sad they approach their parent or caregiver for safety and comfort. When the parent or caregiver is able to empathize, soothe, and care for their children, it teaches them how handle their own uncomfortable emotions and be caring and empathic for others. They also learn healthy boundaries and know how to seek out and rely on others for help. This is the basis of healthy interpersonal relationships and is called “secure attachment.”
Applying for Social Security Disability with Mental Illness
The symptoms of a mental illness can make it impossible to work. For example, those who suffer from bipolar disorder may have days when it is impossible to get out of bed. Their frequent mood swings may make it impossible to maintain gainful work activity. Fortunately, if you are unable to work due to a mental illness, you may be able to get help in the form of Social Security Disability benefits.
There are two types of disability benefits that disabled workers may qualify for. These include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Qualifying for SSDI
In order to qualify for SSDI you must have earned enough work credits through your past work history. As of 2013, for each $1,160 you earn, you get 1 work credit. You can earn up to 4 work credits each year.
If you are under age 24, you will need 6 work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. If you are between the ages of 24 and 30, you will have need to have worked half of the time since turning age 21. For example, if you
Life in Both Chairs
I’ve been listening to this podcast for about a month now, and I’ve been so happy that one of my clients introduced it to me. It’s completely different to hear these incredible stories of pain, loss, and healing outside of my office and to engage with them as a survivor of mental illness, rather than a therapist. I don’t tell my clients about my personal experiences with mental illness (hence the anonymity), even though there are times when I really, really want to. Currently I’m a graduate student in a counseling psychology program, but five years ago I was depressed, suicidal, and hopeless. This is a (very) abridged account of how I went from client to counselor.
It’s actually a little surprising that it took me so long to seek therapy. I made it through two years of physical abuse (between the ages of 5 and 7, when my aunt looked after me) and several panic attacks throughout childhood and adolescence, but eventually it was depression that made me look for outside help. The symptoms of depression started in my last year of high school, and came to a head the summer before my first
There is a strange sort of unspoken theory that once a woman has been raped, sex is no longer a viable option for her. Sex has been replaced by trauma, fear, pain, and anxiety. I’m not saying this is never the case. Every survivor’s story and experience is different, but too often the assumption is that if you have been raped, you are sexually broken and forever unfixable. That sort of discourse is not healthy or empowering or even sympathetic. What I want to say is what I wish I had been told: rape is not a form of sex, it is a form of assault. Sex feels good. Assault is traumatizing. It is possible for sex to exist after rape because they are different experiences, just like it’s possible for you to still enjoy going out to eat even if you got food poisoning once. You might never go back to that restaurant again, but it doesn’t mean you will get food poisoning every time you go out.
Admittedly, I don’t know what sex before rape is like. I lost my virginity to rape at 14. People are willing to give
5 Signs You’re A Binge-Dater?
By Jessica Levith, M.A.
To binge is to indulge excessively in an activity. This could be any activity like eating until you’re sick, drinking until you pass out, or gambling away your home. In many cases, binging is an unhealthy, potentially dangerous behavior used to mask underlying anxious or depressive feelings. It can also be the hallmark of an addiction. So what is binge-dating? Binge-dating is pressing the fast forward button on a relationship, speeding up the process of
getting to know someone in an intimate way. Often, this
Binge-dating is surprisingly common and without proper intervention, it can lead to repeatedly setting partnerships up for failure. A desire for a partner or wanting to avoid uncomfortable feelings isn’t in and of itself pathological. These are often normal human impulses. Binge-daters, however, have gone most of their lives being partnered. They dread the notion of being alone, and go to great lengths to keep that from
Below I’ve complied a list of common binge-dating signs. This list is by no means exhaustive or intended to diagnose. Each person’s pattern for dating is based on one’s own unique life history. This is simply a guide meant
I am a pedophile.
I have written that sentence a scant few times, spoken it aloud only once. And yet here I am, exposing it to a limitless audience, baring my deepest, most horrible secret to anyone who comes across it. I do not know what drove me to this point after years of hiding, though pseudonymously publishing this on a site run by someone else isn’t exactly ‘coming clean’. Regardless, after I decided to take the opportunity to put my true self, and my existence, down into writing.
There are people like me everywhere. All around you, perhaps among your closest friends or family. But before a panic rises, before I am flooded with requests to help identify these ‘monsters’, let’s return to a basic definition that no one remembers any more.
Not all pedophiles are child molesters. Not all child molesters are pedophiles. A pedophile, or one who suffers from pedophilic disorder, is defined in the DSM-5 as “a psychiatric disorder in persons 16 years of age or older typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interested towards prepubescent children”. A child molester is, obviously, someone who acts out sexually in some way with
I am a 38 year-old wife and mother of two.
My seven year-old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 4. He exhibits traits of ADHD and possible ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and struggles with negative thinking. He’s an amazing young man with a passion for entertainment.
We also have a sweet daughter, who will be six in January. She loves animals, but more specific cats. She shows some attention difficulties and mimics her big brothers behaviors. Throughout the years we’ve had lots of support, but it just didn’t seem to get to the heart our struggles. These struggles happen daily and affect our whole family, but it impacts our daughter greatly. My daughter sees the way my son behaves and mimics his outbursts. It is difficult for her to cope with all of his outbursts, screams and frustration. There are many laughs in our house, however when there is a blow up, it is extreme.
7 Ways to Help Kids Stay Focused in School
Multitasking is a skill most kids are great at nowadays. From listening to iPods while instant messaging, from texting to Web-surfing, the interruptions are everywhere. With so many potential distractions, it’s no wonder kids have a hard time staying focused.
7 Tips for Helping Children Focus Better in School
Your child needs to develop effective concentration, focus strategies and self-discipline skills early on. These skills will increase his/her chances for long-term success throughout life. Here are some tips for parents hoping to help their kids with staying focused in school.
- Set and Share Expectations Early On
Adults have many vital responsibilities within their communities, at work, at home, etc… To prepare your children for adulthood responsibilities, they need to have some of their own right now. What’s the most important job in your kids’ lives? That would be learning. The sooner you establish your expectations and normal learning, studying and homework routines, the simpler it will be maintaining them.
- Manage and Minimize Distractions