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Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality

Dr. Elaine Hunter

Elaine Hunter is the consultant clinical psychologist and clinical lead of the Depersonalization Disorder Service (DDS) at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and since 1999 has been developing a cognitive behavioural model of DPD.

She is the co-author of “Overcoming Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques“, and has written many published papers on the theory and practice of working psychologically with Depersonalisation Disorder.

Dr Hunter has a longstanding interest in international development work including 7 months teaching CBT to Public Health Clinicians in Uganda and Zimbabwe, and helping to set up a psychology service in Sierra Leone for nationals who worked in the Ebola treatment centers during the epidemic.

In today’s episode we explore what it feels like to experience depersonalization (and derealization), whether depersonalization is a symptom of anxiety or the result of a chemical imbalance, common circumstances which can trigger an episode, the cognitive behavioral perspective on how and why depersonalization becomes chronic, and some tips and advice on how to deal with the symptoms.

 

Related Links

What is Depersonalization? – YouTube

Depersonalization Disorder Service at South London and Maudsley NHS – YouTube

The disorder that makes people unable to feel love – BBC Two (Victoria Derbyshire)

Watching the world through a clear fog – BMJ Podcast

Depersonalization Disorder – BBC Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine)

Book Recommendations

     

Images courtesy: Amy Elyse 

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Building Resilience

Glenn Schiraldi, PhD

Dr. Glenn Schiraldi is a graduate of West Point, a Vietnam Vet, and founder of Resilience Training International.

Glenn has served on the stress management faculties at The Pentagon, The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, and The University of Maryland, where he received the Outstanding Teacher Award.

Glenn is also author of a number of books including “The Self-Esteem Workbook“, “The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion “The Resilience Workbook: Essential Skills to Recover from Stress, Trauma, and Adversity“.

In today’s episode we discuss what precisely resilience is and what it means to be resilient, how resilience can act as a barrier that protects us from things like stress, depression and anxiety, and some tips on how you can cultivate and building resilience in yourself.

 

The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice as to inspire in the soldier no feeling, but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them respect for himself. While he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect towards others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.

— John M. Schofield

Related Links

Resilience Training International – Glenn’s website

How Resilient Are You? – Take Glenn’s Resilience Checkup

Book Recommendations

                         

Image courtesy: Gabriela Fab

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Sex, Spirituality, and Self-Consciousness

Jessica Graham

Jessica Graham (@deconstructjg) is an actor, producer, and meditation teacher.

She has appeared in a number of films including “And Then Came Lola”, “Devil Girl”, and “2 Minutes Later” which won her the Best Actress Award at the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

She is a contributing editor of the popular meditation blog “Deconstructing Yourself“, and the author of the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out”.

In today’s episode we explore Jessica’s journey from sexual trauma and disengagement to sexual awakening and spirituality.

We discuss the influence of social media on body image and how different environments can have positive or negative effect on our sexual self-image, common reasons why people feel self-conscious and dissatisfied with their sex lives, the importance of honesty in getting what you want in the bedroom, and how practicing mindfulness between the sheets can lead to a more satisfying sex life.

 

Related Links

Wild Awakening – Dedicated to helping you become more human through psychospiritual evolution, using meditation and self-inquiry.

Mindful Sex with Jessica Graham – Facebook Page

Jessica’s YouTube Channel

Follow Jessica on Instagram

Simple Habit Meditation App – Get two weeks free with this link (for limited time)

Book Recommendations

          

Images (modified) courtesy: Hey Paul Studios (Brain, Gut

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What Makes a Soldier? What Breaks a Soldier?

Dr. Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a clinical psychologist at the Veterans Health Administration specializing in the treatment of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He has published extensively on the treatment of PTSD in combat veterans, masculine identity in the aftermath of war, stress and rank in organizations, and the interplay between religious practice and psychopathology.

He is the author of “Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression“, and his TED talk about training soldiers to return home from combat has racked up over 1 million views.

In today’s episode we discuss the evolutionary psychology of warfare, how the combat theater mirrors the environment of early humans, common causes of PTSD in a military context, and the evolutionary justifications for viewing PTSD as an adaptive survival strategy.

We also explore what aspects of the military experience make it difficult for veterans to return to civilian life, what separates veterans who settle back into peacetime environments from those who don’t, and, in light of Hector’s TED talk, after training soldiers go to war, we ask how do we train them to come home again?

 

Related Links

Hector-Garcia.com – Hector’s website

Video of violent chimpanzee attack on a neighbouring troop – YouTube

About Face – A video gallery of veterans, their family members and clinicians talking in their own words about how treatment for PTSD helps

PTSD Consultation Program (US) – A free service available to any healthcare provider treating veterans, including providers outside of the VA

Book Recommendations

                                   

Image courtesy: The U.S Army (Spc. Breanne Pye)

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PTSD: Trauma, Meaning and Malevolence

Dr. Nick Grey

Nick Grey (@nickdgrey) is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and Clinical Research and Training Fellow at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and the University of Sussex.

His research interests are in the development and dissemination of cognitive-behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He is also a member of the Wellcome Trust Anxiety Disorders Group led by David Clark and Anke Ehlers.

He is the editor of “A Casebook of Cognitive Therapy for Traumatic Stress Reactions“, co-editor of “How to be a More Effective CBT Therapist“, and co-author of the forthcoming 3rd edition of the psychological self-help classic, “Manage Your Mind”.

In today’s episode we explore the definitions and subjective nature of “trauma”, why women are twice as likely to suffer with PTSD than men, the difference between a normal and disordered trauma response, what differentiates PTSD from other anxiety disorders, we discuss the nature of malevolence and why acts of evil are more likely to result in trauma than accidents and natural disasters, why narrative and meaning plays such an important role in a person’s recovery.

 

Related Links

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – NHS Choices Summary

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies – The largest professional organisation focused on traumatic stress

UK Psychological Trauma Society – UK version of ISTSS, includes listings of specialist UK trauma services

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – The NICE guidelines for PTSD provide a summary of PTSD assessment and treatment

National Center for PTSD – Program of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs which maintains the free access Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress (PILOTS) database

PTSD Coach App – The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that often occur after trauma (iOS), (Android)

Book Recommendations

                                   

 

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Image courtesy: RANT 73

Dads in a Dark Place

Mark Williams

Mark Williams (@MarkWilliamsFMH) is the founder of Father’s Reaching Out and co-founder of International Father’s Mental Health Day (19th June).

After experiencing a traumatic labour during the birth of their son Ethan in 2004, both Mark and his wife Michelle struggled with crippling anxiety and post-natal depression.

While Michelle recovered, Mark continued on a downward spiral which eventually culminated in suicidal ideation and a complete nervous breakdown.

After finally seeking help, Mark has since made a full recovery, and now makes it his life’s mission to raise awareness of perinatal mental health issues in fathers.

Mark has spoken around the World at over 150 conferences and events, and has written about fathers’ mental health in several publications.

He has appeared on numerous TV news outlets and has also appeared in television documentaries concerning mental health including Channel 5’s “My Secret Past” discussing post-natal depression.

In 2012 he was awarded “Local Hero” at the Pride of Britain Awards and Inspirational Father of the Year.

 

Recommended Links

Father’s Reaching Out

Dads Cymru

Dads Matter UK

Fathers Mental Health Network

Maternal Mental Health Alliance

Postnatal depression and perinatal mental health (Partners Page) – Mind

Books Mentioned in This Episode

               

 

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Image courtesy: Andrés Nieto Porras