BPD Sucks Balls: What it Feels Like to Have Borderline Personality Disorder

Friday, September 26, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Earlier posts have offered some background on Borderline Personality Disorder, including the fact that BPD may have some genetic links. But the clinical definitions only go so far in illuminating how these issues feel. So today, I invited a friend and fellow author to assist me by discussing her experience with Borderline Personality Disorder. If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone. 

By: Chris Dean

I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Funny how two-dimensional letters with no depth can represent something so wild and big and chaotic. At least that’s how it feels from the inside looking out. 

I could try and use all kinds of flat, clinical words to try and explain what it’s like to live with BPD, but I’d rather explain how it feels. After all, the hallmark of this particular beastie is basically out of control, extreme emotions....  continue reading

"I Didn't Know I Had Postpartum Depression": One Woman's Journey Through Undiagnosed PPD

Friday, August 22, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Postpartum depression can happen to any mother. While the symptoms usually occur in the first months after birth, they may start any time from pregnancy all the way through a year postpartum. The symptoms of PPD vary from person to person, but the most common include trouble bonding, racing or scary thoughts, feeling empty or numb, changes in appetite, feeling overwhelmed, sadness, hopelessness and other depressive symptoms. (Find out more in the post: Things You Probably Don't Know About Postpartum Depression: Maternal Investment Theory and The Drive to Abandon.)

There are a number of hormonal and evolutionary reasons that PPD occurs and even more reasons that contemporary women fall victim at such high rates. And with so many suffering every year, there are a number of ways for those symptoms to play out, a huge continuum on which women struggle. So I invited someone who has suffered from PPD to share her experience. Because while it isn't comfortable, it is common. And no one should have to feel like they are going through it alone....  continue reading

Don't Be A Dick: An Alternative To Authoritarian Versus Permissive Parenting Styles

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

I am always hearing that parents are doing it wrong. According to random articles, television talking heads and Supernanny, we are all too permissive which is leading to increased stress. I don’t disagree that we could do things a little bit differently, but not in the ways these individuals often encourage: with more discipline and less tolerance for “bad” kids.

But if I had a nickel for every time I treated a “bad” child turned adult,  I’d be a fucking millionaire. Because badness doesn’t disintegrate. It creeps up on you when you make mistakes, even honest ones, later in life. I don't believe in bad children and I don’t think that most parents are bad either. I think we are all kind-of victims in this weird mesh of cultural expectation at odds with evolutionary process and children who are just trying to find their way. 

Disclaimer: I am the antithesis of Supernanny. There I said it. And I will not take it back because we define “discipline” in completely different ways....  continue reading

"Knock, Knock. Who's There? PTSD. Oh Shit." One Woman's Struggle with Depression, Suicide and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Friday, June 27, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a complicated process and can involve a number of symptoms discussed at length in the last post. Today, I was going to run a post on treating PTSD, but I received a number of questions surrounding how these symptoms play out in individuals.

"I see the symptoms, but how do I know if I have it or if I am just anxious?"

"Can I have PTSD without having something traumatic happen to me?"

The short answer is that the way those symptoms come out varies greatly. Not only are the traumas themselves different, but individual tolerance also matters when determining how someone feels.   

So today, I wanted to share a personal story to illustrate how PTSD might feel before we launch into the treatment interventions. This is one woman's story of loss, trauma, strength and survival. See if you can relate....  continue reading

Why Am I Thinking About All This Weird Stuff? Real Stories About Intrusive Thoughts and Anxiety

Monday, June 09, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Have you ever felt like your thoughts are on hyperdrive? I'll tell you a secret: a lot of people do.

So today, we are going to do something a little bit different. Instead of quoting research, I am employing the help of Kristen Mae, fellow writer extraordinaire, to tell you about her personal experiences with anxiety, racing thoughts and the physical process she experiences. She has also shared some tricks that she uses to calm down.

This anxiety process is not the same for everyone, and everyone has a different level of tolerance for the symptoms themselves. But most with anxiety struggle with some physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, and trouble breathing along with scary or intrusive thoughts of some type, from losing their minds, to fear of embarrassment, to suddenly blurting out something inappropriate.

Even though it can feel horrible when it's happening, those around you are usually blissfully unaware that it's occurring at all. Everyone around you is going through something, their own struggles, their own "weirdness" regardless of what outside appearances may lead us to believe.

It doesn't feel normal to most people. But it is. It's those little pieces of "weirdness" that makes us all normal....  continue reading

Pressured to Diagnose: One Woman's Anxiety About Labeling Her Toddler

Friday, May 02, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

There is a fine line between celebrating uniqueness and fearing it.  There exists a commonly accepted standard for what is normal and we are expected to live within those parameters.  At times, we are permitted to dance dangerously on either side of the limits, but at what point do we go from being pleasantly eccentric to being diagnosed with a mental illness?  It's a very fine line, indeed, and it becomes even more difficult when talking about children.  ...  continue reading