Mental Health Awareness: Dual Diagnosis

In this installment of our Mental Health Awareness series, we'll discuss dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders.  Comorbidity: "When a person experiences two or more illnesses at the same time, those illnesses are considered 'comorbid.'" - National Alliance on Mental Illness A specific kind of comorbidity: "Dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders…
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Mental Health Awareness: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen when someone's head suddenly and abruptly hits an object or when an object suddenly and abruptly hits someone's head. It can also happen when an object suddenly pierces a person's skull and enters their brain tissue. Initial symptoms after the incident can be mild, moderate, or severe.  A…
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Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Forms of Dementia

Dementia refers to a group of illnesses with symptoms like impaired memory or inability to process thoughts. One kind of dementia that many people have heard about is Alzheimer's disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association,other types of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. Some people think that a…
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Mental Health Awareness: Mental Illness in Fiction

Welcome to a new year to continue our discussion on Mental Health Awareness and, hopefully, to reduce stigma.  To read previous entries in the Mental Health Awareness series, visit the blog author page on our website. Over the past century or so, many novels have been written about characters living with mental health problems. Some…
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Mental Health Awareness: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In this segment of our Mental Health Awareness series, we'll take a look at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.  In general, people diagnosed with ADHD have difficulty with some life skills, like paying attention or listening to instructions. People who have ADHD may have trouble remembering details or completing tasks. Impulsive or 'reckless' behavior…
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Mental Health Awareness: Suicide Awareness and Prevention

This Mental Health Awareness blog post is about awareness and prevention of suicide.  Any conversation about suicide is difficult. Some people worry that talking about it might cause someone who is thinking about suicide to act on those thoughts. But not discussing suicide at all isn't an option either. Treating suicide as a taboo topic…
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Mental Health Awareness: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

In this segment of our Mental Health Awareness series, we'll take a look at Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD.  People tend to have misconceptions about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Sometimes people jokingly say "She's so OCD!" about someone who is very organized. OCD is often unrelated to a desire for tidiness and it isn't a joke. OCD…
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Mental Health Awareness: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Not all injuries caused by trauma are visible. In this segment of our Mental Health Awareness series, we're going to discuss Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD,"PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like…
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Mental Health Awareness: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

We continue our Mental Health Awareness series with a look at borderline personality disorder, an often misunderstood and misdiagnosed condition.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,"Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time…
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