Pieces of Memory: Trauma, Fragmented Images and Flashbacks

Saturday, May 30, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Trauma

Trauma changes the brain in ways many do not fully understand. While other posts go into more detailed explanations of traumatic response, the issues of fragmented memories and flashbacks are often first and foremost in the minds of those who suffer. These issues were prominent in my time working on the locked inpatient unit at the VA. 

This post is an exploration of why memories fragment, how they become integrated and the story of a man who fought flashbacks for sixty years before his traumatic memories returned.

The real cost of war can be seen at any VA hospital, but post-traumatic stress is not isolated there. You can also see traumatic reponses in those who fled for their lives on 9-11, in those with a history of abuse. Hug a veteran today. Hug someone you love. Celebrate them and the fact that we are the lucky ones. We are still here....  continue reading

Curiosity My A**: Josh Duggar, Signs of Abuse and How to Keep Your Children Safe

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Over the last week, my inbox has exploded with questions about the Duggar scandal. “What makes someone turn into a child abuser?” “How can I make sure my kids don’t inadvertently hurt someone when they get curious about sex?” And my personal favorite: “Isn’t everyone just being too hard on Josh Duggar? It’s unfair, he was just curious and experimenting.” 

We will get to all of these questions today, but on that last one…no, people. Just NO. I mean, I’m sure he was curious, but psychopaths are often curious about what the inside of your organs look like. It doesn’t mean we excuse their behavior when they pull out your liver. 

It’s not simple curiosity. He snuck into his sisters’ bedroom in the middle of the night so he could touch them without consent or repercussion. He’s ill. He needs help. But that doesn’t mean that he should be our focus today....  continue reading

The Never Ending Amusement Park Ride: How it Feels to Have Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

In previous posts, I have talked at length about the genetic triggers to Bipolar Disorder, the evolutionary advantage of Bipolar and the link between Bipolar Disorder and creativity. But rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder feels a little different, so I have invited a dear friend of mine to tell you about her experiences with this condition. 

By: Misty Browne

The rapid mood changes associated with Bipolar Disorder are like my favorite carnival ride: the big swinging pirate ship suspended in mid-air. As a young girl I loved the way it felt to be lifted to one side so quickly you hardly had time to catch your breath before you were suddenly swinging back the other way. 

But if I relate this carnival monstrosity to the rapid shifts in mood I experience these days, I imagine myself backing away from the ride. Stumbling over other children and adults, looking for an exit. Fighting the urge to run as fast as I can away from the looming evil in front of me....  continue reading

"Get the F*ck Away From Me, Doc!" Iatrophobia, Hypochondria and Ways to Cope With Medical Phobias

Monday, May 18, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Most people have some fear of medical procedures. We are preprogrammed to be squeamish at the sight of blood or to be upset if we see someone else bleeding. Though we tell ourselves we’re being silly, it isn’t unreasonable to be anxious about going into a room so someone can stab us with a needle. We see it as being threatened. You say, ‘I need to get this test done,” your amygdala says, “What the fuck are you doing!? RUN! She’s trying to attack us with a sharp metal object!” 

This is normal, rational, and okay, particularly because we do it anyway and feel fine about it afterwards. 

But not everyone has it so easy. For some, phobias make medical situations unbearable. Luckily there are a number of ways to cope. First, the basics.  ...  continue reading

Why I Hate Mother's Day

Saturday, May 09, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

As Mother's Day approaches, many are gearing up for celebration. Today I have a guest post from someone on the flip side of that coin. This post is for anyone out there struggling today. 

By: Scarlet Hayes

The day of the year that I dread most is upon us: Mother's Day. 

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing that I love more than being a mother. Having my children is the best thing I have ever done. I look at them and my heart skips a beat, much like it does with new love, except that feeling never goes away. The love of one’s children is love in its truest form. 

But on Mother’s Day, I also feel a pang of emptiness, because I know that the woman who gave birth to me does not, actually cannot, harbor the same love and feelings towards me. 

Sometimes, mothers suck. I know because mine did. She tried to destroy my career, my family, and my life. My womb donor was, and is, a piece of shit....  continue reading

Hugs, Help and Hope: Assisting A Loved One Through Suicidal Thoughts

Monday, May 04, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

Why do people commit suicide?

Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t commit suicide because they hate themselves or because they are cowards. They truly believe that their families will be better without them. For most, suicide is seen as a way out. This does not bode well for all who must suffer their loss.

But as the Dalai Lama notes in The Art of Happiness, those who want to kill themselves want to end their suffering, showing that they have at least some self compassion and self love left. I tend to take this approach and see suicidal thoughts as a last ditch effort to make themselves feel better, because somewhere inside they know they don’t deserve to be unhappy. 

You want to die? You love yourself enough to try again.  

But how to drive this point home? How can we help someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts?

First, let’s do a little background. Understanding matters....  continue reading