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Month: January 2009

Relationships, Perceptions, and Communication

The perception of reality is subjective. I have been aware of this for many years and am gradually understanding the deep effect this has on relationships. Very little in life is absolutely this way or absolutely that way. Recognizing this can be helpful for an individual who is struggling with the idea that anything must be perfectly this way or that way. It becomes more complicated for two individuals and even more complex when a number of people are involved. It’s actually quite healthy that we don’t all perceive things exactly the same way. Remember the story of the...

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Brief Introduction to Flashbacks

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Flashback as: “A recurring, intensely vivid mental image of a past traumatic experience.” Abreaction is defined as: “To release (repressed emotions) by acting out, as in words, behavior, or the imagination, the situation causing the conflict.” While these are both accurate technically, they are missing some detail. coping with flashbacks is the mind’s way of dealing with a traumatic event that it was unable to make sense of when the event happened. The trauma can be anything, a car accident, war, rape, torture, childhood abuse, or even embarrassment. The event can be experienced directly...

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What Are Panic Attacks?

Panic Attacks suddenly overtake the person with a sense of imminent doom, death or destruction. They normally strike outside the home, and the person feels they are in a life-threatening situation from which escape is necessary. This life-threatening situation may be medical (heart attack) or natural (earthquake) or an act of war (a nuclear explosion). Although the timing of the Panic Attacks is unpredictable, there may be situational stressors that set them off on a regular basis. These are called situational panic attacks. Situational Panic Attacks are indicative of social and specific phobias. Panic Attacks that appear without any...

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What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?

oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a disorder in which children ignore or defy adults’ requests and rules. They may be passive, finding ways to annoy others, or active, verbally saying “No”. They tend to blame others for their mistakes and difficulties. When asked why they are so defiant, they may say that they are only acting against unreasonable rules. They are different from children with conduct disorders in that they do not violate the rights of others. These behaviors are present at home, but not necessarily in other situations, such as school, or with other adults, although they may be. Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually begins by age 8, and not later than adolescence generally. Often times, it is the child with the difficult-child temperament who goes on to become oppositionally defiant. Boys manifest the disorder more often before puberty, but after puberty the ratio evens out. The children display a low self-esteem, mood changes, low frustration tolerance, and temper outbursts. ADHD may also be present. Children with oppositional defiant disorder may continue on to manifest conduct disorder. Treatment of oppositional defiant disorder has poor outcomes. When the parents are overly restrictive, the child fights back more, resulting in a power struggle. Some individual therapies and family therapies have been successful, but not to a great...

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Managing Mental Illness: Charting

In a simple overview, charting is the ideal way to begin to see your signs and symptoms of relapse before you have fully entered into the main stages of the disease. In order to chart, take a sheet of paper, and draw a large box. Divide it into one large column on the left, and 7 smaller columns on the right. Make as many rows as you would like to place signs to chart on. Some common signs that people chart on include: change in appetite, change in sleeping, irritability, etc. You can add any signs that you believe...

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