You wake up in the hospital, restrained, with tubes sticking out of your body. The staff is unfriendly and you are confused about how you ended up here. You have attempted to end your life. Once you realize where you are and why, then what happens? You either are terrified of what you just tried to do, or you are frustrated that you are still here. You are then sent to a locked psychiatric facility for further evaluation. You feel hopeless, helpless, worthless and alone.
1 in 4 people in the US are diagnosed with a mental illness. People with mental illnesses are survivors, and so are the people who love them. Like the daisies growing in the most difficult of places, you deserve to be honored for that strength. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way though...
Many people know that DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan about 35 years ago to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, and it's one of the most effective treatments for BPD. What a lot of people don't realize is that DBT works for many other problems, like depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar, eating disorders, substance use, caregiver burnout, relationship problems and self care.
Bipolar disorder is nothing to mess around with. The highs can feel good but are dangerous. The lows, well the lows aren't anything you want to experience. Meds can really help regulate your moods but they are not the end-all be-all for bipolar treatment. Research shows that medication combined with therapy and lifestyle changes are the most effective approaches to managing bipolar disorder.
"Don't talk to strangers." For most of us that's the sum of our training in setting boundaries. There are no grade school classes or college courses on human interaction and boundary setting. So how do we learn?
Answer: most of us don't.
I don't know of any 12-step groups for sugar addiction, but I wish I did. Research shows that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine or heroin. It's toxic and will ruin both your health and your mood.
Emotions are confusing and complicated, and sometimes they take over our lives. This is called being "hijacked". When emotions hijack your life, you quite literally can't think - the part of your brain that is reasonable shuts down and you're left with the part that feels like the Tasmanian Devil on a bad day. So what do you do right at this moment?
When I first tell people I am a therapist, they inevitably end up asking for advice and often later tell me painful stories that they typically don't share. You see, the person that you think "has it all together" is often struggling quietly and they think that showing the pain will somehow make it feel more real. Does this sound familiar?