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I’m blogging for World Mental Health Day
Blog For Mental Health 2015
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My Favourite Blogs
“When "I" is replaced by "We", even "illness" becomes "wellness"
MilestoneThis Blog's 3rd Anniversary!March 29th, 2016Happy 3rd Anniversary!
Lucky Otter’s Haven
A dialectic occurs when multiple things – which are seemingly incompatible or opposite to one another – can both exist and be true simultaneously. For example, it is possible to be both happy and sad at the same time; to love someone and hate them at the same time; to be both scared but also willing and brave to push through that fear, at the same time.
The core dialectic in DBT is that of ‘Acceptance’ versus ‘Change’. Much of DBT is centred around balancing these two concepts. DBT aims to validate and acknowledge someone’s experiences as acceptable whilst at the same time flagging them up as potentially maladaptive and requiring change.
In many situations, dialectics can be especially difficult…
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Bridging the Gap – from Basic Science to Treatment Implementation: a summary of the 4th World Congress for Borderline Personality Disorder – On Medicine
Following the 4th World Congress for Borderline Personality Disorder, Lisa Lyssenko summarises the key messages that emerged.
BPD is a debilitating condition that is often misrepresented in popular culture and misunderstood by the general public. Further, the relationship between BPD and addiction is a volatile one, leading to further misinformation and often, ineffective treatment. Obtaining accurate information is di
“You are too sensitive,” your father bellows. “Quit taking things personally,” a supervisor mutters. “When are you going to toughen up?” a coach asks. As a sensitive soul, the admonishments sting. You feel misunderstood. Family members chastise you as emotionally needy. Work colleagues disparage you as weak. In school, bullies ridicule you as soft. They are wrong. We live in world where bombast trumps self-reflection. Look at Donald Trump blustering his way to the Republican nomination. Look at an autocratic corporate executive thundering about soaring profit margins. Life is a full contact sport — or so mentors advise. And if getting ahead requires an elbow and demeaning comments, so be it. If you want to discuss your feelings, you can turn on Ellen. Lesson learned. Determined to “be tougher,” you brush past office acquaintances with a stone-faced glare. You dismiss interrupters with a brusque wave. But in this misguided attempt at toughness, you come across as stilted and rude. The
Things are good, y’all. I mean, really, really good. LarBear and I are all moved into a really nice new (to us) home, things are organized, tons of junk and clutter has been purged, it looks good, hell, it even smells good. There is nothing I don’t absolutely love about this new house.
And other things are good, too. I started a mini dose of an antidepressant two weeks ago, and have had no manic symptoms. I am slowly weaning off another medication that my psychiatrist believes is leading to my mysterious weight gain.
Things are going great with LarBear, have actually never been better. I am in the most stable and healthy romantic relationship of my life. We are a team and we lean on each other and we care for each other and we just make each others’ lives so incredibly much better than they ever have been.
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The kits cover 12 topics, including: alcoholism, anxiety,bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, chronic pain, depression, eating disorders, opioid addiction, schizophrenia, substance abuse, suicide ideation, and teen stress. “With so many outlets online that people use as their sources of information, it’s also important to be able to put concrete reliable medical information directly into someone’s hands,” said Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of Wilton Library.
I think this is an excellent idea! Check it out:
Learning to allow myself to feel difficult emotions without pushing them away
Please check out my recent blog post in Dialectical Living about my first time using DEAR MAN. It did not go over well but I still came away with a very valuable lesson about not being able to control others.
I have found it frustrating over the years that I have learned so much about how to become a more improved version of myself and yet these skills do not always translate well to others due to their inexperience with them. It has always fascinated me that I have learned self-reflection, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal skills because I was deemed to have a deficit and yet I am surrounded by people daily who demonstrate the same deficit, they just are just not labeled as “mentally ill”.
Have there been moments when you have practiced a skill with someone and it didn’t work out? What about moments…
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“Validation: Making Sense of the Emotional Turmoil in Borderline Personality Disorder” | McLean Hospital
Hosted by Gillian C. Galen, PsyD, Program Director, 3East Intensive and Step-Down Residential Programs Dr. Galen will review the critically important skill of validation. She will discuss the ways in which you can either begin or continue to practice the skill of validation with those in your life particularly those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
Hosted by Christopher M. Palmer, MD, Director, Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education This will be an open discussion forum in which participants can ask questions and engage in a discussion of borderline personality disorder and its treatments with Dr. Palmer. Those seeking information about BPD, any of its treatments, and at any stage of treatment are encouraged to join us.
‘Her’ Draws Attention To A Disorder That Disrupts The Lives Of Many Teens And Robs Them Of Their Self-Identity | Houston Style Magazine | Urban Weekly Newspaper Publication Website
While mental health issues are more freely discussed these days, it’s still difficult to approach someone who might have a problem. But ignoring it is not an option. With courage and great hope, Felicia Johnson deftly portrays the struggles of a girl with borderline personality disorder in Her (8th Street Publishing).
During my therapy session yesterday, I was highly annoyed with myself. I told my therapist that I feel I should be better by now. That I should just get over everything and move on. She told me that I’m very harsh on myself, and set very high expectations. That’s very true. I’m my own worst enemy. My harshest critic.
Then I got to thinking. I’ve read articles before on treating yourself as you would treat a friend. Back then it didn’t make much of an impact on me. But now I get it.
If a friend tells me that she’s a terrible person because of something she’s done, what would I tell her? I’ll tell her something along these lines:
“I can understand that you feel like a terrible person. But you’re human. We all make mistakes. The good thing is that we can fix these things. And those things…
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This past Saturday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Please take the time to read a blog post I wrote about for Dialectical Living, a peer-based DBT organization based in Toronto. In the post, I share 4 events that have happened in my life that I am glad I got to experience. I was able to experience these events because I did not die when I tried to back in 2005.
I would love to hear how you celebrated World Suicide Prevention Day, your thoughts and feelings and anything else!
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day close to my heart. As you may know, my brother committed suicide last year. 10% of people with BPD commit suicide. DBT can help BPD suffers cope and even recover from their illness. It helped me recover. There are many events out there to take part in for World Suicide Prevention Day. Please consider taking part in them. There are suicide prevention walks going on all over the United States. I’m not sure who else is doing them but you can look up who is doing them and when.
My brother never showed any signs that he was about to take his life. He never left a note or anything. I couldn’t help him but I hope that maybe I can help others by raising awareness. If you feel suicidal, please get help immediately – go to the ER, call a crisis line. Just don’t deal with it alone. There is help out there.
Till next time,
I had a request on Facebook recently to talk about having a “favourite person” and how it involves splitting. They wanted me to talk about letting go of a “favourite person” and learning to validate ourselves. I am not an expert on BPD, just a peer in recovery but I believe that having a strong sense of identity helps in letting go of a “favourite person”
I had an experience several years ago with having to let go of a “favourite person” of mine. It did not go too well. I felt terribly abandoned and cried for weeks. This was after I had completed DBT. I am not perfect. This person left town all of a sudden and her friend told me that my “favourite person” had told her that it was all my fault. This was at Christmas time. If I’d had some time to prepare myself, it might not have been so bad. I did not have the validation of my husband at the time. We had never really discussed my BPD; I felt totally lost. Years later, we started discussing my BPD and he realized that I’d felt abandoned by my “favourite person” and I felt validated. We need to try to have that validation come from within.
Having a solid sense of identity really helps in this situation. I thought I had a sense of identity at the time.
In DBT, there are things called “Cheerleading Statements” They are statements that are very validating. They are not statements that feel impossible to achieve. We can practice saying these statements over and over to ourselves until they feel more real to us. The more we practice saying them, the more we build up our self esteem. The more we build up our self-esteem, the more we cushion the blow if we have to let go of our “favourite person”
How do we build a sense of identity? There are several parts to our identity: our likes, dislikes, values. Think about what each of these are for you to start building a sense of identity. This can be hard at first. Most of us with BPD are like chameleons; our sense of identity comes from other people. Try to think really hard about things about you that don’t change based on who you’re with. Those things are a part of your identity. Other things may include culture and heritage, race. For example, part of my identity is that I am a Canadian.
Part of your identity could be from work. It could be that you are a wife and mother. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, my husband and I were separated several years ago, just before my diagnosis. I was unable to see my husband or kids unsupervised. All of my identity was being a wife and mother. Suddenly, I was a wife and mother without a husband or my kids. I felt totally lost. I was like a zombie. Eventually, we got back together, through me doing a lot of hard work in an intensive DBT program for a year. It taught me that I really needed to try to build more of and identity for myself that just being a wife and mother. I needed and identity that was not totally based on people other than myself.
One part of my identity that I own is that I love Country music. I went through my rock phase as a teen but went back to Country music. I wanted to be liked by others as a teen and everybody else listened to rock music. I had no sense of my identity. I didn’t even know this at the time. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was about 35.
So, part of my identity is that I am a Canadian who loves Country music and am a wife and mother, and I am also a grandmother.
The thing about tying your identity to a certain “favourite person” is that, if that “favourite person” is no longer there for whatever reason, you’ll feel totally lost without them. When I was unable to see my husband and kids, I felt like my right arm had been cut off. A huge part of me was missing. I had no sense of my own identity without them. It took a whole year of intensive DBT to start finding my own identity that included more than just them.
I hope that this post helps explain a little bit. I’ll repeat: I am not a counsellor, just a peer in recovery. This is just my understanding of the topic. Feel free to contribute in the Comments below. Till next time,
Since my trip to the Gulf Coast, I’ve been noticing this…shifting inside. Other people have mentioned that they’ve noticed something in me has changed. I think something has.
I don’t know exactly what it is, but I feel like more and more, I can see things as they actually are–and they almost always aren’t nearly so bad as I had feared.
I’m also starting to realize just how much I project ill will onto others where it doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have an emotionally toxic mother and a thoroughly evil husband, but it means that a lot of my paranoia, hypervigilance, suspicion and fear of others is often unfounded. it’s nothing but a defensive mechanism, part of my disorder.
In a post from a few days ago, I talked about my mother in law. I thought she hated me for a long time, but during…
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I read an article today called “How the Trigger Warning Debate Exposes Our F*cked Up Views on Mental Illness” on Everyday Feminism. This comes at a good time since the University of Chicago recently sent out a letter to students saying that they do not support trigger warnings or safe spaces. The argument against using trigger warnings in a classroom environment is that students should be able to just deal with what triggers them and to have trigger warnings is to limit freedom. While I do believe that exposing ourselves to our triggers can loosen its power over us that is something we need to decide for ourselves. We decide where and when, how much or how little and who is with us when we do it. Having the exposure sprung on us in the middle of a lecture surrounded by random classmates and a professor who potentially…
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Mental health blogger Fiona Kennedy looks at how taking a new perspective can help when it comes to managing a mental illness