Autism and Anxiety – 5 Ways to be a Support

Colin Roy

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To someone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an anxiety burst feels like an internal hurricane: overwhelming, devastating and intense. The only response is to batten down the hatches and shut down, or to let the hurricane out to express itself in a variety of challenging behaviors, including injury to self and others. As we support individuals with ASD, we need … Read More

9 Strategies for Supporting Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

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If you have a friend or family member with borderline personality disorder, you know the stress of this difficult problem. And you may be at a loss for how you can respond helpfully. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) involves emotional instability, interpersonal difficulties and impulsive, often self-destructive, behaviors. People with BPD experience intense emotions and often distrust themselves and others, making … Read More

Depression: Don’t Believe Everything You Think

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At times our thoughts can be so convincing that we do not question their accuracy; we simply accept them at face value.  Whether we’re seeking a happier, more positive way of feeling or trying to cope with experiences of depression, we can make choices about how we feel and act by challenging the seemingly factual nature of our thoughts. Many … Read More

Helping Those Who Self-Injure

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Self-injury behaviour is a complex and often misunderstood act. When a person is cutting or burning their own flesh, picking and interfering with the healing of wounds, or hitting themselves, it can be confusing and scary for their loved ones, and even for the professionals who try to help. It is critical that we attempt to understand the function that … Read More

4 Keys to Helping Someone with a Mental Illness

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Someone you care about has a mental illness – what do you do? The temptation is to try to persuade the person to think or act differently, but that doesn’t work very well. You end up arguing and talking in circles, only to get frustrated with each other. What now? 1. It’s all about the relationship If your goal is … Read More

5 Tips for Managing Your Anxiety

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Anxiety is a normal part of human life, as well as a common mental health issue. It’s normal for people to feel worried or nervous about new or challenging situations such as public speaking, job interviews, or a first date. However, anxiety can become problematic when the level of distress is extreme, and the nervousness and worry reoccur or are … Read More

Four Common Questions About Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder is a term I hear many people use conversationally or as slang, without understanding what it means. But bipolar disorder is more than just wide mood swings. Learning accurate information about this disorder is the first step to getting help for yourself or others who may suffer from it. Here are some experiences or characteristic feelings often reported … Read More

How to Be a Strong Family When Facing Mental Illness

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Serious illness often lands like a bomb in the middle of the family system, disrupting routines and scattering the family members. When it is a mental illness, the impact can be particularly severe, compounded by stigma, fear and social isolation. What can a family do to maintain strong relationships with each other when mental illness has joined the family? Family … Read More

Depression – 2 Key Insights for Helpers

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The word depression gets thrown around a lot. Socially, the word has become an overused synonym for sad, annoyed, frustrated, or simply disappointed. People often make offhanded comments like “I am so depressed that sweater hasn’t gone on sale,” which shows little thought or regard for those who bear the true weight of the word. The flippancy of its use … Read More

3 Strategies for Reducing Risk of Suicide

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Emotional intelligence has been defined as a key protective factor against suicidal ideation and behaviour. This concept refers to the ability to understand, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately. Additionally, it refers to the capability to use emotions to guide one’s thinking, to use emotional knowledge effectively, and to regulate emotions to promote both emotional and intellectual growth. Emotional … Read More