Setting Boundaries with PTSD

When it comes to overcoming PTSD, setting boundaries is a crucial part of your recovery. There are many different kinds of boundaries that you might need to set, and these are going to depend on your own personal needs and preferences. The most important thing to remember when setting any sort of boundaries is that you need to be practicing open and honest communication. If you know that certain places and things are going to trigger you, everyone else around you might not. Communicating these things to them can go a long way in helping you, and helping them to help you.


If you’re in therapy, you might find yourself feeling uncomfortable with the things that your therapist wants you to talk about. Or, if you’re doing exposure therapy, your therapist might be moving you along too quickly.  If either of these is the case, it’s perfectly okay to tell them that you’re not ready to go there yet. Communicating this to them can help them to know where you are in your progress, and help you to go at a pace that works for you. After all, no one knows yourself better than you do, and that includes your therapist.


Another boundary to remember when taking therapy is that your relationship with your therapist should remain friendly, yet professional. Thinking that you have feelings for someone who you share private details of your life with can be an easy thing to do, and can even be a normal outcome. But acting on these feelings is not, and keeping things purely professional is a strict boundary that you should always keep with your therapist.


You should also consider setting boundaries with your family and friends. Again, communication is really important here. The people that you have in your life might not know your trigger points, and they can only have an idea if you tell them. Sometimes this is difficult to do because you don’t want to have to admit weaknesses to them, or you don’t want to seem like a burden. Your triggers are not weaknesses, and telling your loved ones can actually help them to help you.


It also helps if they know more about PTSD. Sometimes, friends and family can make things worse without meaning to. If they don’t realize the seriousness of what you’re asking them, they might think that overstepping your boundaries is a harmless game. You can help to educate them by giving them informational pamphlets or even inviting them to one of your therapy sessions.


If someone you know violates the boundaries that you set, it’s also important to enforce them. Set consequences and let them know what those consequences are. Stop spending time with those that don’t respect your boundaries or that make you feel less than you really are. Instead, hang out with those that support you and help lift you up. This will help you develop into a stronger person and lead you on your way to healing from your PTSD.

Do Narcissists Live in a Complete Fantasy?

If you want to be able to understand a narcissist, you must first realize that they believe that the world really does revolve around them. They are called narcissists, after all. They believe that they deserve to have anything and everything they want, and they shouldn’t have to do anything in order to get it. Instead, they want everything handed to them. While it’s completely normal to dream big and have grandiose goals, it’s not normal to expect them to be handed to you on a silver platter. Their goals are usually pretty unrealistic too, such as expecting to walk into a job interview and instantly become the new boss with no prior work experience or becoming rich and famous instantly overnight by writing a few short poems. Unfortunately, these kinds of examples the regular thought processes of a narcissist.


This mindset, while not sounding very promising as far as achieving results, still might not sound very harmful. Until you take into consideration that this person is living in a fantasy world, completely disconnected from reality. The problem is that they expect everyone else to want to live in that fantasy world too. They believe that everyone thinks very highly of them as if they have already achieved their unrealistic goals, and they yearn for compliments and praise from everyone around them.


But what happens when the narcissist stops getting that positive attention that they so desperately need in order to thrive in their made-up world of perfection?


To the narcissist, they think that surely someone else is the reason behind their failed success. After all, they are perfect, and everyone else thinks so too! So why don’t they have everything they desire? These thoughts are what cause the narcissist to begin lashing out at those that are closest to them. They blame their partners and children, thinking that if it weren’t for those people, they’d have their way. Or maybe if everyone was as wonderful as they are, then they could all help the narcissist, instead of making things worse.


The narcissist’s natural response is to look for someone to be their scapegoat because the narcissist thinks that they can never do anything wrong. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, their high expectations of themselves might actually fall on you as your responsibility so they don’t have to take the blame when they aren’t successful. If their goal is to become famous and they just can’t seem to find a way to make it work, they will likely expect you to do it for them. Then afterward, when you fail at these unrealistic requests too, they will begin to attack you and eventually come to resent you for failing them. After all, they trusted and counted on you to do just this one thing for them. Because to them, they didn’t ask a lot from you. Living in their fantasy world, they truly believed that they weren’t asking for much, and you couldn’t even do a simple task. They will make you feel like the failure and tell you how terrible you are, but don’t let this all get to you.


You are not the crazy one – they are. And that is something that’s very important to remember. They will make you feel crazy, but it’s your job to keep your head held high and don’t let them get into it and take over.

Unspoken Symptoms of PTSD: Hypervigilance

You’ve heard about the grand list of PTSD symptoms, but some of them can be overlooked or misunderstood. Have you ever heard of hypervigilance? Having hypervigilance means that you are constantly on the alert, looking for danger and waiting for the next attack to hit at any moment. People that are hypervigilant usually have a hard time relaxing, especially in public. They feel the need to always watch their backs and have a plan of escape or defense wherever they go. Does this sound like you? If you have PTSD, you likely have hypervigilance too.


Hypervigilance is a natural bodily response for having been exposed to dangerous environments for a long period of time, but always being on the lookout can be pretty exhausting. Your body can become tense from unease, creating stiff and sore muscles. Your lack of focus on anything else can also interfere with work and relationships with people. The stress and anxiety of it all can leave you feeling ready to collapse at any moment.


So what can you do to get some relief from hypervigilance? There are a few options available. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one that can help you learn to control the way you respond to the world around you, while Exposure Therapy is a great way to conquer your fears. Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy is yet another great form of therapy. If none of this enough, you can also consider taking different kinds of medications. If you want a more natural approach, you can try mindful training to help you be able to “live in the moment.”


PTSD is a difficult battle, but not an impossible one. There are lots of options out there to help you fight the symptoms and eventually overcome PTSD for good.

A Rise In Homelessness

The capital of North Carolina has been booming for a long time, and it still continues to grow. But as more and more people and businesses settle here, the cost of living goes up. And that means the number of homeless people is increasing too. Even the employed struggle to keep a roof over their heads as low-income wages are beginning to decrease while the cost for rent increases.


Because of this, homelessness is becoming a real problem in Raleigh, North Carolina. During the 2016-17 school year, 3,465 students were found to be homeless, which is 2,940 more kids than just the year before. This is a scary number to look at. What could this mean for the upcoming generation?


Being homeless is serious stuff. It means bouncing around from place to place, creating never-ending instability. They are also more likely to end up in more dangerous and unhealthy situations, such as sleeping in the cold, standing on the side of the road, and taking help from strangers. All of this is a perfect recipe for high stress and mental health issues as a result. Worrying about their education is difficult enough for children and teens, but fighting to survive is a whole other level. It could cause issues that they might have to carry with them for the rest of their lives.


We all know what it’s like to have to face stressful situations in day to day life, but homelessness, especially in children and teens, is another level that could have a deeply negative effect on the mental health of the upcoming generation.

Is Facebook Safe Anymore?

While most forms of social media only appeal to specific age groups, Facebook is one that is used by nearly all generations around today. It’s a great platform for keeping in touch with family and friends, staying updated with the news, and sharing anything you wish with the world. But you might want to think twice about what you share on the web.


Facebook has multiple privacy setting options, but it might still be less private than you think. Facebook has had its share of hackings and scandals in the past, sure. Every business hits a couple of bumps and makes a few accidents every now and then. But as we enter the new year and look back on 2018, we can see that Facebook has endured a bunch of issues – more than in previous years. In 2018, it seemed as though there was a new Facebook scandal each week.


All these constant issues arising made a big dent in Mark Zuckerberg’s, the co-founder of Facebook’s, net worth. He started the year out with about $73 billion, rose to a peak of $86 billion, then dropped down to $53 billion by the end of the year. He’s still a billionaire that is richer than ever, but this is still a big drop in numbers.


So what kind of issues has Facebook been facing in particular? When we break it down in chunks, we can see just what happened over the course of the year.


January – Mark Zuckerberg stated that his New Year Resolution was to fix lots of problems with Facebook, but it looks like things just continued to go downhill from there.


February – Facebook got in trouble with both the German and Belgian court for failing to ask for permission before breaking into people’s privacy.


March – The Federal Trade Commission opens an investigation on Facebook’s privacy practices.


April – Facebook admits that 87 million people’s information may have been “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica, and Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress for nearly 5 hours.


May – Zuckerberg is once again questioned about Facebook’s privacy policies, this time by E.U. Lawmakers.


June – Facebook admits that a software bug may have revealed the posts of 14 million users.


July – Facebook admits that they’re under investigation by the FBI, SEC, FTC and the Department of Justice over the scandal with Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook’s stock drops drastically.


August – Complaints are filed on Facebook by The Housing and Urban Development department for discriminatory housing ads.


September – Almost 50 million Facebook accounts are taken over by an unknown party due to a security flaw that let them get through.


October – Facebook is fined about $645,000 by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office for a data breach.


November – magazines, media, senators, and lawmakers from 9 different countries all attack Zuckerberg for all of Facebook’s problems.


December – Unpublished photos are exposed to app developers due to yet another security flaw, and Facebook apologized for the accident.


Knowing that one of the most popular forms of social media has so many flaws that can put your privacy at risk is a scary and stressful thing. But that doesn’t mean you should stop using it. The best thing to do is be careful who you allow in your friend group, and be careful what you post.

Smear Campaign – a Narcissist’s Public Attack

You’ve finally gotten yourself unhooked from the claws of the narcissist, but the problems just don’t want to go away. You’re having to debunk rumors left and right, and the embarrassment just never seems to stop. When a narcissist continues to attack you indirectly and publicly like this – spreading rumors, telling lies, and making everyone you know start to doubt you – this is called a smear campaign.


The narcissist has already lost the battle with you, but in doing so, you have further damaged their ego, and they fear that you’ll ruin their reputation too. They know that if they don’t do something, the truth about their behavior will soon come out, and they can’t let that happen. So instead, they begin to tell on you. The narcissist will tell your friends, family, and coworkers that you are the crazy and abusive one. This way, everyone has it in their minds that you’re the bad one first. Now you’re left on the defense and it becomes a battle of he-said, she-said.


While you can’t stop the narcissist from talking to everyone you know, your reaction to their efforts to destroy you can make them do a double take. If you find yourself in public with the narcissist, getting angry and upset with them with everyone watching is only going to make the narcissist’s false stories seem truer. But by disengaging, the narcissist could even lose interest.


When dealing with a narcissist, it’s always a good idea to have a great support system and even a plan in place for when bad things happen. Through all the mess of the smear campaign, you’ll find out who your real friends are, but you will be the one to come out stronger in the end.

7 Celebrities Who Suffer From PTSD Too

Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with PTSD or have had it for a long time, you don’t have to feel alone in this battle. In fact, PTSD is actually more common than you might think. It’s a mental health issue that can happen to anyone, and it doesn’t discriminate against white or black, man or woman, or rich or poor. Even celebrities can end up suffering from it. Here are 7 famous people who have been diagnosed with PTSD:

Mick Jagger – We all know this famous rock star from the Rolling Stones, but what many of us probably didn’t know is that he has experienced some pretty traumatic events in his life. It wasn’t until after he found out that his girlfriend, L’Wren Scott, committed suicide at the place where they were living, that he was diagnosed with PTSD.

Alanis Morissette – The song, “Jagged Little Pill” really took off when it came out. It made the music charts and had everyone singing along every time it came on the radio. But all that love and attention for the singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette was a lot to handle. You could say that her rise to fame with this song was a hard pill to swallow, and Alanis ended up developing PTSD from all the overstimulation and invasion of personal space that comes with becoming famous.

Whoopi Goldberg – All jokes aside, this comedienne faces challenges caused by her PTSD on a regular basis, but she doesn’t let it stop her. As a child, she witnessed two planes run into each other in the air and seeing something like that happen right before her eyes has created challenges that she still deals with today. Being a comedienne, actress, and talk show host, her job requires her to fly on planes. She has experienced numerous panic attacks when boarding planes, but she gets through it and continues to succeed.

Darrell Hammond – you might know Hammond from his hilarious Saturday Night Live skits and celebrity impressions, but you probably would have never guessed that he suffers from PTSD. As a child, Hammond was abused a lot, and when he got older, he abused drugs and alcohol and even practiced self harming. Fortunately, he has sobered up, gotten the treatment he needed, and is the comedian that we’ve all come to know and love.

Barbara Streisand – After a single mishap on stage where she forgot the lyrics to a song while singing in front of thousands in New York’s Central Park, iconic singer and actress, Barbara Streisand was stricken with PTSD. She was terrified of performing ever again, and only did so 30 years later, after having received both treatment and medication to help her out.

Monica Seles – During one of her tennis matches in 1993, Monica Seles was stabbed. You can imagine how traumatic this must’ve been for the athlete, and it took her a long time to work up the courage to get back on the tennis court. Even after something as big as this, Seles managed to take control of her PTSD and not let it control her.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – When John F. Kennedy was shot, it was Jacqueline, the First Lady of the House, who was there beside him. She experienced the shooting first hand, more so than anyone else, and that kind of experience led her to live in fear. She was afraid that she would be targeted next, and she would obsess over the event, never able to get any sleep.

While each and every story is different, they all share a commonality, and that is the way in which they suffer. PTSD is real and it’s scary, but just like many celebrities, you too can overcome it and not allow PTSD to stop you from living your life and doing what you love.

Christmas – A First for Refugees

Christmas is that wonderful time of the year when families gather together to celebrate and have fun. It’s a time to be thankful for all that you have and to delight in all the new things that are to come. Sometimes we forget how lucky we truly are to have a hot meal on the table every night, and to live each day without being in constant fear of violence and war. Something like that is really worth celebrating, and no one knows this better than Cecil Furaha, her husband Saidi Roger, and their 7 children.


Furaha was born and grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she faced danger and violence. She watched people’s heads being smashed in, including children’s heads, and she lost both of her parents in the wars. They finally made the decision to run away in the middle of the night when Roger’s father was murdered with a machete to the neck.


After running for 2 miles, they made it to a refugee camp run by the United Nations. They spent many years there, going through the application process and waiting to be granted asylum in America. When they were finally granted asylum, they had given birth to 4 children, and had adopted 3.


Moving to America was a huge change for the entire family, and they are still slowly adjusting. The children are getting help in school, learning English, and finally getting the educations they deserve to have.


This year was the first year that they celebrated Christmas in America, and there’s no better Christmas gift than freedom. After years and years of waiting, they can now live in an environment where they feel completely safe.


The family says that Christmas is a much more exciting time of the year in America than it is in Africa. There, Christmas is just another day of the year where you might get together with family, have a soda, and say “thank you, Jesus,” but here, it’s a much bigger deal. All the kids were very excited and had a blast with setting up a fake tree and decorating it – it was definitely something new to them.


Christmas is the perfect time of the year to help someone -or even an entire family- out. And Sharon Fine couldn’t have been happier to have her synagogue sponsor refugee families. She has become personally invested to help this family in particular, and her family visits them at least once a week. Her teenage children spend time with and help Furaha’s kids learn to speak English, and Fine’s husband is always just a call away if they ever need any help. The families are so close that they consider everyone to be part of one big family now.


Stories like this are heartwarming, especially during this time of the year. But less and less families are being helped now since Trump’s travel ban. In just this past year, there were 31,225 fewer families that were able to seek asylum and get the help they needed. Christmas and the New Year is supposed to be a time for giving to others and great new beginnings, but it seems that we are lacking in that. Maybe the new year will bring some much needed positive changes so that we can continue to grow and help others.

Could Psychopathy be Causing Divorces?

In these blogs, we tend to focus on narcissistic personality disorder. Having a narcissist in your life can be really difficult, especially when you’re in an intimate relationship with them. Staying in the relationship can also prove to be quite a challenge, given their selfish personality and constant belittling. Because of this, narcissists have a hard time maintaining relationships, and the few that make it to marriage usually end in divorce.


But narcissists aren’t the only kinds of people that fuel divorces. People with antisocial disorder, also known as psychopaths, have very similar behavior patterns as narcissists, but they are much more extreme. Not only are psychopaths selfish, but they also feel no guilt or remorse for doing anything wrong. A narcissist might be able to recognize their actions and apologize or make changes. They might even have limitations for how far they will go to try to get their way. But not a psychopath. Without those nagging negative emotions, psychopaths have nothing that will stop them.


Psychopaths are much more manipulative than narcissists, and you likely won’t even know that they have the disorder until they have you wrapped around your finger and there’s no way to escape. They are very convincing and lie way too easily because they are incapable of feeling bad about anything. If they do show feelings, it is only to fool you. Don’t fall for this trickery.


As if simply lacking emotions isn’t bad enough, psychopaths also have a complete disregard for the feelings of others, and they don’t logically think of the consequences of their actions. Because of this, not all, but many psychopaths can quickly become angry and turn violent out of nowhere. They can have explosive and unpredictable personalities, but you might not find this out until it’s too late and you have become the victim.


So how common is antisocial disorder, anyway? Psychopathy is more common in men, occurring in 3% of the male population. It only affects about 1% of the women though. Despite the small percentages, 1 out of every 17 divorce cases deals with a psychopath. Antisocial disorder can cause a lot of issues, especially when it comes to close relationships. And this number proves it.


If you have found yourself married to a psychopath, it can be a difficult situation. It may have taken you a long time to put all the puzzle pieces together to find out the truth, especially with them right there in your ear, telling you everything you need to hear. Psychopaths, after all, and very manipulative, and will do anything they need to do in order to have their way, regardless of what the consequences might be.


When you take a psychopath to court for a divorce, they will lie flawlessly, and likely have no problem getting away with it. They will tear you down in every way they know how because they don’t care about your feelings. Be prepared for this, and don’t let them have their way. Stay strong and fight through it, and you will come out better by the end of it.

It’s Time to Speak up about Mental Illness – Kennedy’s “Don’t Deny Me” Campaign

If you suffer from PTSD or any other mental illness, you know how difficult it can be to get the care, treatment, and coverage that you need in order to get back on your feet. It’s no wonder that suicide rates are climbing higher and higher when people aren’t getting the proper treatments for mental health and substance abuse.


The rate of suicide has been steadily increasing for years, so much so that it has actually brought the average life expectancy down in the US – yet again. The life expectancy in 2017 was 78.6, where it was 78.7 the year before. The percentage of the country’s deaths by suicide increased from 1.6% to 1.7% between 2016 and 2017. If those aren’t drastic enough numbers for you, the number of drug overdose deaths increased by 10% from 2016 to 2017, setting a new record with over 70,000 drug related deaths.


It’s hard enough dealing with an illness like PTSD, depression, or anxiety every single day, but it’s even harder when you feel that there is no hope because it’s hard to get the coverage that you need. These kinds of illnesses have been taken far less seriously than others like cancer and diabetes. Because of this, as far as mental health and addiction recovery go, we are in a complete crisis.


Luckily, Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy has stepped up once again by launching the “Don’t Deny Me” campaign, in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This act was created a decade ago to ensure equality and parity for mental health and addiction treatments, but many don’t know about this act, and those in law and healthcare can use this lack of knowledge to their advantage and still choose to deny you the care you need. We still have a long way to go if we are going to eliminate the suicide epidemic.


With the “Don’t Deny Me” campaign, Kennedy hopes to spread awareness of mental health and further share the knowledge that the Parity Act is there to help those that suffer. If you feel that you have been wrongfully denied treatment for a mental illness, then it’s time to step up. Many that suffer from addiction or mental illness feel that they are in this battle alone. But that is not the case, and Kennedy and everyone else involved in the “Don’t Deny Me” campaign wants you to know that. We can’t make any forward progress if we don’t come together as a community and stand up for ourselves and what’s right.


That’s what this new campaign is all about – working together to make positive changes in the healthcare community so that everyone can – and knows that they can – receive the proper treatment that they deserve.


Mental illness like PTSD, addiction, depression, and more are something that needs to be taken seriously once and for all. It can easily be bypassed by some, but don’t allow someone to deny you treatment if you are struggling. If we stand by each other, support each other, and work together as a community, we can finally make the difference that this world needs.