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Did Childhood PTSD Teach You To FIT Yourself to CRAP?

One of the harmful effects of growing up with abuse and neglect, is that we get ALL too good at fitting ourselves to unacceptable people and situations. Long after normal people would have left the scene, our minds tell us it’s our fault, it’s a unique situation, we should stay and make it work. In …

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CPTSD: Four Discoveries That Revolutionized Treatment

Now that we know adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can cause neurological changes, the old, mostly psychological approaches to treating CPTSD are making way for newer, brain-based treatments that hold promise for millions of survivors. In this video I talk about four discoveries that transformed our old understanding of the problem. I describe more effective strategies …

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The Never-Ending Wreckage of Growing Up Poor

Today you’d probably lump me in with the middle class, but I carry some residue of having grown up poor. I work with people who work hard to help the poor, but have not themselves ever been poor. There are things they don’t understand. People who grew up with money tend to think that poverty is …

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Friends With No Benefits: Why Normal Rules Of Dating Don’t Always Work for People With Childhood PTSD

Here’s what they tell you: Work hard in school. Love yourself. Get enough sleep. Say no to drugs and tobacco. Don’t consume sugary drinks. Use a condom. Don’t let yourself be pressured into sex. Accept your body. Get a career before you have children. Eat five fruits and vegetables a day. Breathe!  Don’t bully. Dream big. …

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Growing Up “Hippie Poor” vs. “Hillbilly Poor”:

Recently I finished J.D. Vance’s excellent Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, a book that’s part sociological analysis about poor white Americans, and part memoir about growing up with a drug-addicted mother and all the crappy crap that goes with that. I come from the opposite corner of the socioeconomic spectrum (well, the …

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Does Growing Up With Trauma in the House Make You Overweight?

Last year was the best year of my life. For one thing, I finally lost the extra weight I’d been carrying — about 40 pounds. I was (and am) thrilled to be back in a right-sized body. I’m happy about how I look when I try on clothes, and about how I feel when I …

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