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Stress

How Childhood PTSD Can Trigger Self-Defeating Behaviors

Here’s an excerpt from my new online course, Healing Childhood PTSD. Here I talk about three negative emotions that can hijack a person’s thoughts, driving negative impulses and then, self-defeating behaviors. For a deeper dive into all the symptoms of Childhood PTSD — how they happen, and what to do, take my online course Healing …

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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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Childhood PTSD and Your Brain: A Simple Technique to Get Calm, Clear and Focused

You know that hamster wheel that spins in your mind, filling you with thoughts and worries and blocking you from being your wonderful self? And you know how emotions and upsets makes it really hard to focus sometimes?  If you had a crappy childhood, you may be feeling the effects of brain changes from neglect, …

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What’s The REAL Cause of Depression and Anxiety? (Hint: It’s Rarely a “Chemical Imbalance”)

The last time I was truly depressed was 23 years ago, yet almost every time I see a doctor, they suggest I take antidepressants.  They push them for everything from stress to headaches to foot pain to insomnia to hot flashes, even though I tell them, again and again, that (short of imminent death) I …

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The Unexpected Healing Power of NOT TALKING About Your Trauma

Many years ago, I found a dead body. It was a man I had been dating for a few months, who had turned out to have even more problems than I knew when I met him. He showed up at my house high on something one night and I made him leave. I told him …

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Why Does it Seem Like EVERYBODY Suddenly Has PTSD? Ten (Unscientific) Theories

Since “post-traumatic stress disorder” appeared in the DSM-III in in 1980, the concept of PTSD in the public imagination has grown from a novelty to an accepted reality to a comic hyperbole that can be used to mean “overreaction” or “lingering stress,”  as in “Ugh, that traffic jam gave me PTSD!” PTSD is real, but its …

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Poor Girl’s First Real Job (Ten Things I Learned as an Admin Assistant)

When I was sixteen I interviewed for a job at McDonald’s and didn’t get it. Before that I’d worked as a phone solicitor and before that, a babysitter, yard worker, necklace stringer and flower-seller, and I raised and sold baby rabbits, and made nachos to sell at fairs.  When I was in college I worked …

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Boyfriends Are Poison (and Other Tips for Girls Who Grew Up Poor)

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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