Coming to Terms with a Mother with BPD: An Interview with Kathy Ewing

woman“I never understood why my mother, who died in 1993, was so unhappy;” author Kathy Ewing writes in a description of her memoir Missing: Coming to Terms with a Borderline Mother, “why she wanted to be the unluckiest, poorest person in the room; why she was so closed off, so harsh, so absent. I wanted to understand her and hoped ultimately to forgive her.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1.6% of the adult population suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). More than half of those with the disorder are not receiving treatment. Many of these individuals, like Kathy Ewing’s mother, are our loved ones. And like Kathy, many of us are hurt and confused by a parent, friend, child or co-worker, especially when we don’t know or understand the symptoms of the disorder. Continue reading “Coming to Terms with a Mother with BPD: An Interview with Kathy Ewing” »

Your Feelings and Music: Does Musical Awareness Impact Emotional Understanding?

musical awarenessListening to music is often an emotional experience. You can certainly see the emotional impact of music on TV and in movies. Movies and television use music to let us know when a dramatic scene is occurring. Music might induce joy and hope: think of The Rainbow Connection in The Muppet Movie, determination and excitement: Eye of the Tiger from Rocky 3 or complicated feelings such as sadness, despair, calm or acceptance: The Sound of Silence at the end of the movie The Graduate.

Off the screen, music can continue to affect our emotions. A favorite song can remind us of summertime and evoke feelings from the past. The music played at a spa is designed to help you unwind and feel calm, while music at a club can make you feel excited and joyful and want to get up and dance.

Many psychological therapies, including DBT, suggest the use of music as a means of managing intense and overwhelming emotions. What music you use and how you use it is individual, but music can be used to calm a mood or alter a painful feeling. Continue reading “Your Feelings and Music: Does Musical Awareness Impact Emotional Understanding?” »

Mental Health Day Blog Party: Bringing Mindfulness to School

school girlChildren, today, juggle a wide variety of pressures and demands, often while living in a hectic and fast paced world. In today’s world children are likely exposed to a wide variety of electronic gadgets, often have long days, multiple after school activities and may face a wide variety of pressures, including peer pressure and pressures from parents to perform well in sports and academics.

Students today seem to be increasingly stressed. The MECA Study (Methodology for Epidemiology of Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents) estimated that almost 21 percent of U.S. children ages 9 to 17 had a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder associated with at least minimum impairment. Continue reading “Mental Health Day Blog Party: Bringing Mindfulness to School” »

How You Can Overcome Intrusive Thoughts

intrusive thoughts“Meditation, mindfulness and other tools can help us avoid unwanted thoughts,” says social psychologist Daniel Wegner in this month’s edition of Monitor on Psychology.

Have you ever wanted to avoid thinking about a particular experience or topic only to find that it continually intrudes into your thoughts and activities? And the more you try to suppress the thought the more intrusive it becomes? Wegner, a Harvard University Professor, terms these thoughts “white bears” and after encountering these thoughts 25 years ago, delved into research on thought suppression.

Continue reading “How You Can Overcome Intrusive Thoughts” »