As we reach into the latter part of June, I’m also reminded that my birthday is coming up. Each year I take advantage of Facebook fundraisers to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As you might imagine from my frequent writing about mental health I have had my share of problems in the past, and quite frankly, I am lucky to still be here to share this information with you. Not everyone is that lucky, and we need more research and programs to help prevent suicide. It’s taking too many from us much too soon.
If you have ever wanted to say think you for the things I share, please consider a donation to my fundraiser. It is the best gift I can get.
The time it takes to heal from trauma is based on how your mind and body was impacted. That has nothing to do with someone else’s timeline or expectations.
— Nate Postlethwait (@nate_postlethwt) June 19, 2022
New From the Blogs
Sharing – Most Male Suicides in Us Show No Link to Mental Health Issues — www.childabusesurvivor.net
The suggestion is that more focus should be on triggering events for men; breakups, job loss, and other traumas. That is true. The findings make it clear that a combination of triggering events, alcohol/drugs, and gun ownership will increase the likelihood of suicides. Here’s the thing, though. I can’t help but wonder if the reason this combination is so deadly is not so much because men do not have mental health issues and then are suddenly contemplating suicide at the first sign of trauma, but that this is simply the final straw in a prolonged mental health struggle that they have never talked to anyone about.
Sharing – Talking to Others About My Mental Health — www.childabusesurvivor.net
I do understand this. I don’t make a habit of talking about my mental health when I get to spend time with friends, even though many of them read this blog and know about my history. Mostly, that’s because we’ve bonded for years over other things like work, shared interests, music, etc. Talking about mental health just hasn’t been what we’ve done in the past when we’re together and it’s comfortable to simply slide right back into those same roles when we are together. There’s nothing wrong with that. Talking about mental health doesn’t have to occur each and every time we communicate with friends. We all get to have fun nights out without having that deep of a conversation. But, talking about it some of the time lets everyone in the group know that, when they need it, they can talk about it.
Sharing – The Key Differences Between Social and Emotional Loneliness — www.childabusesurvivor.net
I think it’s important that we understand our need for both. As science keeps telling us, we are social creatures. Even introverts like me need some sort of social activity and friends. We also need those intimate relationships where we can hit those emotional connections. Romantic relationships are an obvious example here, but other relationships can also be our emotional connection. The lack of one of these will feel like loneliness, but the “fix” will be different. If I’m well-connected to my wife but missing out on the variety of social connections that a larger friend group might provide, that’s where my focus should be, and it might show up differently. The lack of an emotional connection would also look different and brings with it a different set of risks.
Sharing – What Do I Do When Mental Health Coping Strategies Don’t Work? — www.childabusesurvivor.net
Sometimes our coping strategies need to adjust to these new realities. That doesn’t mean you are failing, it means you need to adapt. It’s no different than what I often encounter at work, where the technology we work with and assist clients with changes and evolves, and we need to change and evolve with it. What we did yesterday isn’t going to work in today’s reality. The same is true for our mental health toolkit. We need to keep evolving with it to adapt to changes.
Shared from Elsewhere
Destroying the Monster: How We Can Protect LGBTQIA+ Youth Mental Health — themighty.com
Pediatric psychologist Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos shares her advice for protecting the mental health of LGBTQIA+ youth, with evidence and experience based on her work.
This Is How EMDR Therapy Can Help You Cope with Anxiety
Here Peta Stapleton, Associate Professor in Psychology, Bond University, explains how EMDR helps people cope with anxiety and trauma.
7 Children’s Books That Explain Tragedies, News, and Other Difficult Topics — themighty.com
These children’s books explain tragedies, gun violence, and other difficult news topics to kids in a way they can understand.
Understanding My Guilt and Shame Is Helping Me Heal | HealthyPlace — www.healthyplace.com
Understanding the guilt and shame elicited by my acute panic and anxiety is helping me heal. Find out why that is at HealthyPlace.
10 Ways to Teach Children to Speak Up About Sexual Abuse – Child Mind Institute — childmind.org
Prevent sexual abuse in your children by following these important steps and teaching children skills to protect themselves.
Racial disparities in mental health care: An explainer and research roundup — journalistsresource.org
Little has changed since a federal report on mental health disparities was issued two decades ago. Several experts explain why.
Dear Mental Health Professionals – You Need People With Lived Experience On Your Team. Here’s Why. — katiesanford.net
There is a very important perspective missing in world of mental health professionals – that of lived experience. Here’s why it matters.
From the Archives
Just Stop – The Universe did not Cause My Abuse For My Greater Good — www.childabusesurvivor.net
I was abused by people who made the decision to abuse me. I did nothing to cause it, and there was no lack of purpose to which I needed to be directed. I was a little kid being beaten, and eventually molested, for years. My purpose in life was to be a little kid. There was nothing fair about it, there was no sense to be made of why it happened, it was the result of another person’s actions which happened to be directed toward me because I was there. And, I was there by chance. Not by divine interference, just random chance.
Reviews Elsewhere – The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How we Learn from Love and Loss. — www.childabusesurvivor.net
Losing a spouse, parent, sibling, etc. for me would be different than losing one of my friends. I love them differently, and I imagine I would grieve differently.. Losing anyone you love hurts but you likely have a variety of different relationships with people so it only makes sense that you would grieve them differently too, and then it also becomes obvious that we all will grieve differently from each other. There’s no straight line, there’s no “normal” way to grieve, there is just one individual processing the loss of another person that they had a unique connection to. Wherever you are in that process is where you are. It’s not a contest and it’s not a pre-defined timeline. It’s a loss and you are free to mourn that.
Overcoming Childhood and the Stories We Tell Ourselves — www.childabusesurvivor.net
I caught an interesting, short podcast episode on this topic recently. The host, Dave Fraser is joined by Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb to discuss the question of whether we can overcome our childhoods. It’s an interesting episode, and I think many of you might learn a thing or two about how the stories we’ve been told about ourselves in childhood can be rewritten and how a good therapist might assist in that. You can get the links and notes from the show here: