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  3. Hi all, to be honest wasn't too sure which forum to post but here goes my story: I am 57 years of age and I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 11 years ago, so far I continue to live life to my full ability I have now stopped working due to exsessive fatigue, I had phased down to 16 hours a week anyway. Now I know that depression and anxiety are symptoms of PD but somehow I feel these are possibly panic attacks I have sudden onset of palpitations, my whole body feels trembly I feel like bursting out crying become so overwhelmed I can't be doing with loud noise and just want to go away and hide usually to my bed.......last night this occurred while watching the film American sniper which I had seen before but it is a graphic film but at one point I just fell to pieces.......I have just had another episode flicking through my face book and seeing someone had posted a video of a small child being taken away from their parents by social services and I didn't even watch it just the sentance below the video " daddy you will come and find me " just killed me.....I'm getting quite concerned
  4. You only need to spend 10 minutes in a supermarket these days before noticing that half of the items seem to be marketed as “gluten-free.” Even raisins and nectarines are labeled that way, as if they ever contained gluten in the first place. Is it a fad much like the “fat-free” hype of the ’80s? Maybe. But based on my own experience eliminating gluten from my diet, and the stories of people who struggle with chronic depression that I’ve read in the online forums I participate in, I believe the stuff can be toxic to your mood, especially if you have a sensitivity to it. While only 1 percent of the U.S. population has celiac disease (where eating gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the intestines and keeps nutrients from being properly absorbed), many more may be living with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. For these folks, consuming even a small amount of gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) causes digestive problems, drops in energy, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. “[Gluten and dairy] are the main allergens and foods that cause bad brain reactions,” writes Mark Hyman, MD, in his best-seller The Ultramind Solution. “Stopping these foods can be life-changing for the majority with brain and mood problems.” Gluten and Depression A small study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics in May 2014 demonstrated the psychological effects of gluten on people with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In this study, 22 participants ate a gluten-free diet low in FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) for a three-day baseline period, and then received one of three dietary challenges (supplemented with gluten, whey, or placebo) for three days, followed by a three-day minimum washout period before starting the next diet. Researchers assessed the participants at the end of the study using a psychological tool called the Spielberger State-Trait Personality Inventory (STPI). People in the study who consumed gluten had higher overall STPI depression scores compared to those on the placebo diet. The high correlation between celiac disease and depression is also telling in regards to gluten’s effects on mood. One study published in 1998 in Psychiatric Quarterly determined that about one-third of those with celiac disease also have depression. Another study published in April 2007 in the Journal of Affective Disorders evaluated approximately 14,000 people with celiac disease and found that they had an 80 percent higher risk of depression. Swedish researchers reported in August 2011 in Digestive and Liver Disease that the risk of suicide was moderately higher in people with celiac disease. Gluten and Schizophrenia The first research into how gluten impacts the brain and could lead to psychiatric problems occurred more than 60 years ago with groups of schizophrenic patients. In a study published in January 1966 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers calculated the numbers of women admitted to mental hospitals in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the United States from 1936 to 1945, and the consumption of wheat and rye during the same period. They found a significant positive correlation between the increase in average annual admissions for schizophrenia in each country and the increase in consumption of wheat or wheat and rye. The reverse was also true; as gluten grain rations decreased so did the rate of first-time admission to psychiatric institutions. There is an increasing volume of research associating gluten consumption to schizophrenia, such as the study published in September 2013 in the The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry that found elevated levels of antibodies to the gluten protein gliadin in people with schizophrenia. Researchers compared the anti-gliadin antibodies of 950 adults with schizophrenia to those of 1,000 healthy controls. The odds of having anti-gliadin antibodies was 2.13 times higher in schizophrenics, indicating the possibility of an adverse reaction to wheat proteins among this population. In a study published in January 2011 in Schizophrenia Bulletin, researchers discovered that people with schizophrenia have higher than expected antibodies related to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. How Gluten Affects the Brain So what is the link between gluten and psychiatric disorders? How might wheat impair the brain? That’s what I find most fascinating. In 1979, Christine Zioudrou, PhD, and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health found that gluten contains polypeptides, or protein fragments, that are able to bind to morphine receptors in the brain — the same receptors that the polypeptides in opiate drugs bind to. They dubbed them “exorphins,” short for exogenous morphine-like compounds, distinguishing them from the endorphins (also morphine-like compounds) that we produce internally and occur, say, during a runner’s high. These receptor sites impact the degree of pleasure and reward we feel and, because of the withdrawal effect, alter brain chemistry. They can have a distinct effect on mood. According to William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly, researchers speculate that exorphins might be the active factors in wheat that caused the deterioration of schizophrenic symptoms in a famous study led by F. Curtis Dohan, MD, during his time at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. “Wheat, in fact, nearly stands alone as a food with potent central nervous system effects,” Dr. Davis writes. “Outside of intoxicants such as ethanol (like that in your favorite merlot or chardonnay), wheat is one of the few foods that can alter behavior, induce pleasurable effects, and generate a withdrawal syndrome upon its removal.” The Gut-Brain Connection In people with celiac disease, gluten causes intestinal dysbiosis, a condition in which the gut bacteria are out of balance. As I’ve written about before, gut bacteria can certainly impact mood — so much that our gut is sometimes dubbed our second brain. In some people, gluten could also erode the gut lining when certain foods enter our bloodstream: Our immune system, responding to an attack by a foreign object, sends an SOS message through our nervous system, which can generate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Basically, gluten triggers inflammation, and the response to that inflammation can affect different organs and tissues, all of which impact mood. A damaged intestinal wall also means that we are not properly absorbing essential nutrients, especially those critical to mood, like zinc, the B vitamins, and vitamin D. Finally, if our intestines are unhealthy, that means we’re not manufacturing as much serotonin, since 80 to 90 percent of serotonin is produced in our gut nerve cells. Gluten could also limit the production of tryptophan, an amino acid that is the precursor of serotonin. I eliminated gluten from my diet two-and-a-half years ago and noticed a substantial improvement in my mood — but it didn’t happen instantly. It took as long as nine months to reap all the benefits. Now that I’m gluten-free, I’ve become much more sensitive to it and can feel its effects almost immediately: anxiety, brain fog, and death thoughts. Fad or no fad, I’m a believer in gluten-free! Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. View the full article
  5. You only need to spend 10 minutes in a supermarket these days before noticing that half of the items seem to be marketed as “gluten-free.” Even raisins and nectarines are labeled that way, as if they ever contained gluten in the first place. Is it a fad much like the “fat-free” hype of the ’80s? Maybe. But based on my own experience eliminating gluten from my diet, and the stories of people who struggle with chronic depression that I’ve read in the online forums I participate in, I believe the stuff can be toxic to your mood, especially if you have a sensitivity to it. While only 1 percent of the U.S. population has celiac disease (where eating gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the intestines and keeps nutrients from being properly absorbed), many more may be living with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. For these folks, consuming even a small amount of gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) causes digestive problems, drops in energy, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. “[Gluten and dairy] are the main allergens and foods that cause bad brain reactions,” writes Mark Hyman, MD, in his best-seller The Ultramind Solution. “Stopping these foods can be life-changing for the majority with brain and mood problems.” Gluten and Depression A small study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics in May 2014 demonstrated the psychological effects of gluten on people with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In this study, 22 participants ate a gluten-free diet low in FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) for a three-day baseline period, and then received one of three dietary challenges (supplemented with gluten, whey, or placebo) for three days, followed by a three-day minimum washout period before starting the next diet. Researchers assessed the participants at the end of the study using a psychological tool called the Spielberger State-Trait Personality Inventory (STPI). People in the study who consumed gluten had higher overall STPI depression scores compared to those on the placebo diet. The high correlation between celiac disease and depression is also telling in regards to gluten’s effects on mood. One study published in 1998 in Psychiatric Quarterly determined that about one-third of those with celiac disease also have depression. Another study published in April 2007 in the Journal of Affective Disorders evaluated approximately 14,000 people with celiac disease and found that they had an 80 percent higher risk of depression. Swedish researchers reported in August 2011 in Digestive and Liver Disease that the risk of suicide was moderately higher in people with celiac disease. Gluten and Schizophrenia The first research into how gluten impacts the brain and could lead to psychiatric problems occurred more than 60 years ago with groups of schizophrenic patients. In a study published in January 1966 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers calculated the numbers of women admitted to mental hospitals in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the United States from 1936 to 1945, and the consumption of wheat and rye during the same period. They found a significant positive correlation between the increase in average annual admissions for schizophrenia in each country and the increase in consumption of wheat or wheat and rye. The reverse was also true; as gluten grain rations decreased so did the rate of first-time admission to psychiatric institutions. There is an increasing volume of research associating gluten consumption to schizophrenia, such as the study published in September 2013 in the The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry that found elevated levels of antibodies to the gluten protein gliadin in people with schizophrenia. Researchers compared the anti-gliadin antibodies of 950 adults with schizophrenia to those of 1,000 healthy controls. The odds of having anti-gliadin antibodies was 2.13 times higher in schizophrenics, indicating the possibility of an adverse reaction to wheat proteins among this population. In a study published in January 2011 in Schizophrenia Bulletin, researchers discovered that people with schizophrenia have higher than expected antibodies related to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. How Gluten Affects the Brain So what is the link between gluten and psychiatric disorders? How might wheat impair the brain? That’s what I find most fascinating. In 1979, Christine Zioudrou, PhD, and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health found that gluten contains polypeptides, or protein fragments, that are able to bind to morphine receptors in the brain — the same receptors that the polypeptides in opiate drugs bind to. They dubbed them “exorphins,” short for exogenous morphine-like compounds, distinguishing them from the endorphins (also morphine-like compounds) that we produce internally and occur, say, during a runner’s high. These receptor sites impact the degree of pleasure and reward we feel and, because of the withdrawal effect, alter brain chemistry. They can have a distinct effect on mood. According to William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly, researchers speculate that exorphins might be the active factors in wheat that caused the deterioration of schizophrenic symptoms in a famous study led by F. Curtis Dohan, MD, during his time at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. “Wheat, in fact, nearly stands alone as a food with potent central nervous system effects,” Dr. Davis writes. “Outside of intoxicants such as ethanol (like that in your favorite merlot or chardonnay), wheat is one of the few foods that can alter behavior, induce pleasurable effects, and generate a withdrawal syndrome upon its removal.” The Gut-Brain Connection In people with celiac disease, gluten causes intestinal dysbiosis, a condition in which the gut bacteria are out of balance. As I’ve written about before, gut bacteria can certainly impact mood — so much that our gut is sometimes dubbed our second brain. In some people, gluten could also erode the gut lining when certain foods enter our bloodstream: Our immune system, responding to an attack by a foreign object, sends an SOS message through our nervous system, which can generate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Basically, gluten triggers inflammation, and the response to that inflammation can affect different organs and tissues, all of which impact mood. A damaged intestinal wall also means that we are not properly absorbing essential nutrients, especially those critical to mood, like zinc, the B vitamins, and vitamin D. Finally, if our intestines are unhealthy, that means we’re not manufacturing as much serotonin, since 80 to 90 percent of serotonin is produced in our gut nerve cells. Gluten could also limit the production of tryptophan, an amino acid that is the precursor of serotonin. I eliminated gluten from my diet two-and-a-half years ago and noticed a substantial improvement in my mood — but it didn’t happen instantly. It took as long as nine months to reap all the benefits. Now that I’m gluten-free, I’ve become much more sensitive to it and can feel its effects almost immediately: anxiety, brain fog, and death thoughts. Fad or no fad, I’m a believer in gluten-free! Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. View the full article
  6. One of Rachel Dubrow’s clients was anxious about a big presentation at work. It wasn’t because she was worried about speaking in front of her boss and colleagues. It wasn’t because she was worried about doing a good job. She was afraid that she’d be judged for not having straight teeth. (Instead of discussing public speaking anxiety, she and Dubrow explored her self-image and others’ perceptions.) Another client of Dubrow’s insisted on completing all his work before leaving the office, which meant that he stayed late. Every single day. He wanted his performance reviews to exceed expectations. This stemmed “from his childhood when his parents told him that in order to be happy, he needed to clean his room, put away his toys, do his laundry, and do the dishes just like they did before bed each night,” said Dubrow, LCSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in helping people who feel buried under ongoing anxiety, stress, relationship issues and depression. Psychotherapist Lila Braida, LMFT, was seeing a client who was having anxiety about keeping her dog safe in the yard. Even though she knew her fear was unfounded, she didn’t feel any better. After digging deeper, she and Braida identified the root of her anxiety: “She was preparing to pursue a second pregnancy after life-threatening health issues had come up during her first,” said Braida, who practices holistic counseling psychology in Napa, Calif. “She had not had any sense of control over that situation, and it became clear that staying hyper-vigilant over her dog’s health was a way for her to maintain at least a small area of safety and control in her household.” With other clients, Braida also has witnessed how much of their social anxiety stems from their own sense of self. “Our ideas of ourselves as ‘overbearing,’ or ‘not good enough,’ can lead to an experience of social disconnect, where we aren’t comfortable being ourselves in relation to someone, unless we are compensating for our perceived shortcomings.” Maybe we compensate by going out of our way to seem non-confrontational (because we fear that others will think we’re too much). Maybe we compensate by people pleasing or caring for others (because we think people won’t accept us if we don’t; a lesson we learned in our childhoods). “That constant effort to be different from who we naturally are leads to stress and anxiety in social settings,” Braida said. “[A]nd it’s easy to see how someone could begin avoiding those settings over time when they associate them with feelings of stress.” Braida also has seen clients experience tremendous anxiety over keeping their homes spotless or proving themselves at work—because they were in the midst of redefining their identity. Because they’ve become new parents or recently divorced or experienced some other major change in their lives, shaking up their status quo. Our anxiety often has a root cause. Maybe you get anxious at work because you don’t trust yourself to excel, to succeed. Maybe you get anxious over final exams because you don’t think you’re capable. You don’t believe in yourself. Maybe you grew up in a home where independence was lauded and expected, so asking for help—at home or at work—terrifies you. So you try to do it all—even when you’re crumbling. “Finding the root cause of anxiety is tricky because it can creep up on us,” Dubrow said. “We might start feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, unable to focus, or not able to fall asleep at night because we are thinking about so many things.” This leads us to focus on the physical symptoms and sensations of anxiety and to overlook the psychological ones, to not explore any further. It can lead us to focus on techniques to reduce our anxiety—deep breathing, meditation, yoga—without really understanding what’s going on, without addressing the real issue. To dig deeper, Dubrow suggested asking ourselves these questions: “How long has it been since I felt differently than I do now? What has changed in my life over the last 3 months, 6 months, or year? Are there other times in my life, past or present, where I felt the same way but the situation was different? If yes, what are they and is there a common thread?” When she starts feeling anxious, Braida also pauses and turns inward. “…I compassionately check in with my emotional state.” She gently asks herself: Why am I so freaked out? What is this really about? And she listens for the answer—without judging herself. Anxiety is complicated. There may be layers upon layers to unpack. There may be surprising causes—like Dubrow’s client and her insecurity about her teeth, like Braida’s client and her hunger for control where it didn’t exist. Seeing a therapist is always a good idea—and so is journaling about your anxiety. So is compassionately exploring what lies beneath the shakiness, sweaty palms, tight shoulders and butterfly-filled stomach. Because getting to the root can help us to genuinely diminish the anxiety—and better understand ourselves. View the full article
  7. There is a relatively new field of research known as computational psychiatry, which focuses on the development of mathematical models to better understand defects in the brain — defects that lead to adverse behaviors. A new study published in the journal Neuron discusses findings from this type of research into the fundamental processes of OCD. Senior author Benedetto De Martino says: “Medicine today is very much about decoding the mechanisms in the body. When we are talking about something like a heart valve, that’s a mechanical part that can be clearly understood. But the brain is a computational device that has no mechanical parts, so we need to develop mathematical tools to understand what happens when something goes wrong with a brain computation and generates a disease. This study shows that the actions of people with OCD often don’t take into account what they’ve already learned.” In other words, what those with OCD know as true does not correlate with how they act. De Martino uses hand washing as an example. Some people with OCD know their hands are clean, but still they can’t stop washing them. That is a separation of belief and action. It’s interesting to note that the degree of separation between beliefs and actions directly corresponds to the severity of OCD symptoms. To those of us familiar with obsessive-compulsive disorder, this is not surprising news. We already know that those with OCD are typically aware their compulsions make no sense, but are unable to stop them. De Martino, however, is hopeful that continued studies will be beneficial. He says: “Just as studying people with lesions in the hippocampus has historically taught us about the inner workings of memory, studying people with OCD can give us new insights into how beliefs and actions are linked.” Christopher Pittenger, director of the OCD research clinic at Yale University finds the study interesting, but also acknowledges it can be difficult to generalize findings from computerized methodology to the real world. Dr. Pittenger says, “In order to make things trackable, you make them simple.” As we know, the real world is not simple, especially a world with OCD, so it is important to repeat these studies with different types of tasks. You can read here for more details about the study and what tasks were used. I understand that studying the brain in relation to the disconnect between belief and action has potential value, both in understanding OCD and in treating it. How great it would be if researchers could actually pinpoint the physical cause of OCD and other brain disorders! Still, I have to admit I’ve yet to wrap my head around computational psychiatry for OCD. I think it’s because I’m so used to dealing with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of those with the disorder, it’s hard to put that all aside and just focus on the science. The bottom line is we need both — the researchers who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the professionals, advocates, and loved ones who continue to support those who are truly suffering from the disorder. Together, hopefully, we can beat OCD. View the full article
  8. Earlier
  9. “Do you not give a damn about your father?” my Dad growled into the phone. The truth is I cared — probably too much. And for my own health and well-being, I had to step back from my Dad’s snark-filled comments and Mt. Vesuvius rage. Family — or at least the idealized notion of family — is sacrosanct to me. I cherish my relationships with my beloved aunties and uncles. When they aren’t teasing me for the latest Mattism (losing my keys, wallet, or mind), they are prodding me about my latest love interest or travel escapade. And as for my late mother, she was equal parts mentor and matriarch. From joyfully recalling the day’s events to lunching with her and her tennis girlfriends to Thanksgiving bowl-a-thons, I smile — ruefully — at the fond memories. There is a tinge of sadness too as I recall our family’s joyfulness. More than molding me, my mother moderated — with her trademark compassion and wit — my father’s sharper edges. More professional than personable, my father would never be in the running for Mr. Congeniality. But with my mother’s not-so-subtle influence, he concealed his gruff demeanor with an amicable, if not warm, countenance. How times have changed. Without my mother’s softening influence, my father’s shrillness has spilled out. Never particularly warm or engaging, his biting commentary (“If you really cared about your father”) now imbues our conversations. As his eldest son, I vacillate between compassion and disdain toward him. Yes, I am sympathetic that your wife of 37 years passed away. I want to help. Why are you hurling mean-spirited invectives toward me? I don’t understand. While the debate rages on, compassion would normally eke out a narrow victory — and I would endure his caustic comments and morose self-pity. Until it didn’t. After four plus years, I pulled away — more for my own self-preservation. After another dispiriting conversation, I would rhetorically ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” During each father-son conversation, anxiety would ensnare me as Dad collected and filed his weekly grievances: my brothers, aunts and uncles, and me. While I wanted to support him, the emotional toll was too exacting: my own health and well-being. And so I went cold turkey. While I still cling to my idealized family hovering around the kitchen table or, yes, commemorating the latest Thanksgiving bowl-a-thon, I now understand that you create your own family. For some, that will include a doting father; for others, that will consist of beloved aunties and uncles. And, perhaps for you, that will include lifelong friends spanning your recess through university days. Your family doesn’t have to share your last name; it is more important that they share a sense of love and appreciation for you. Pulling away from my father’s domineering ways, I have luckily found that with my beloved aunties and uncles. You can too — even if takes screening one family member’s call(s) for another. View the full article
  10. “Do you not give a damn about your father?” my Dad growled into the phone. The truth is I cared — probably too much. And for my own health and well-being, I had to step back from my Dad’s snark-filled comments and Mt. Vesuvius rage. Family — or at least the idealized notion of family — is sacrosanct to me. I cherish my relationships with my beloved aunties and uncles. When they aren’t teasing me for the latest Mattism (losing my keys, wallet, or mind), they are prodding me about my latest love interest or travel escapade. And as for my late mother, she was equal parts mentor and matriarch. From joyfully recalling the day’s events to lunching with her and her tennis girlfriends to Thanksgiving bowl-a-thons, I smile — ruefully — at the fond memories. There is a tinge of sadness too as I recall our family’s joyfulness. More than molding me, my mother moderated — with her trademark compassion and wit — my father’s sharper edges. More professional than personable, my father would never be in the running for Mr. Congeniality. But with my mother’s not-so-subtle influence, he concealed his gruff demeanor with an amicable, if not warm, countenance. How times have changed. Without my mother’s softening influence, my father’s shrillness has spilled out. Never particularly warm or engaging, his biting commentary (“If you really cared about your father”) now imbues our conversations. As his eldest son, I vacillate between compassion and disdain toward him. Yes, I am sympathetic that your wife of 37 years passed away. I want to help. Why are you hurling mean-spirited invectives toward me? I don’t understand. While the debate rages on, compassion would normally eke out a narrow victory — and I would endure his caustic comments and morose self-pity. Until it didn’t. After four plus years, I pulled away — more for my own self-preservation. After another dispiriting conversation, I would rhetorically ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” During each father-son conversation, anxiety would ensnare me as Dad collected and filed his weekly grievances: my brothers, aunts and uncles, and me. While I wanted to support him, the emotional toll was too exacting: my own health and well-being. And so I went cold turkey. While I still cling to my idealized family hovering around the kitchen table or, yes, commemorating the latest Thanksgiving bowl-a-thon, I now understand that you create your own family. For some, that will include a doting father; for others, that will consist of beloved aunties and uncles. And, perhaps for you, that will include lifelong friends spanning your recess through university days. Your family doesn’t have to share your last name; it is more important that they share a sense of love and appreciation for you. Pulling away from my father’s domineering ways, I have luckily found that with my beloved aunties and uncles. You can too — even if takes screening one family member’s call(s) for another. View the full article
  11. Who’s ready to learn more about why some of us are likely to spend more money on certain items, how cannabis could increase violent behavior, a new documentary about anxiety and depression, and more? You sweet readers, I hope! Why Friday the 13th Is Considered to Be Bad Luck: Yesterday was Friday the 13th (well, depending on when you read this), and several psychologists and other scientists weigh in on why many of us don’t like the number 13 (also known as triskaidekaphobia) and where Friday comes into play. Michael Phelps Talks Anxiety In ‘Angst,’ A New Mental Health Doc: After wrangling his own anxiety and depression, five-time Olympian Michael Phelps became an advocate for mental health awareness. Now he’s appearing in a Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, a new documentary that focuses on children and young adults who talk about their experiences with anxiety. The Psychology Behind Spending Big: You might not be surprised to find that people tend to be attracted to more expensive items that they could actually purchase for far less because they believe that high price tag just must mean better quality. However, you might be surprised to know that it’s more than just “all in our heads”; it’s actually in our brains, too. Example? One study not only recorded people giving high ratings to wine they were told was more expensive; it also showed via functional magnetic resonance imaging of their brains that they actually enjoyed drinking the expensive wine more. Psychiatrists Can’t Stop Mass Killers [New York Times Opinion Piece by Dr. Richard A. Friedman]: After a mass shooting, there are two social matters you can bet your life savings will pop up: gun control and mental health reform. On the matter of mental health reform, Dr. Friedman — a professor of clinical psychiatry — says psychiatrists can’t prevent mass murderers for many reasons, not least of which many of them avoid the mental health system altogether. Cannabis Consumption Increases Violent Behavior in Young People in Psychiatric Care: Am I the only one getting whiplash from the contradictory research reports involving cannabis? A new study out of the University of Montreal involving more than 1,000 patients between 18 and 40 years old with mental illnesses and who have been seen five times during a one-year period after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital “demonstrates that sustained used of cannabis is associated with an increase in violent behavior in young people” and that the association between continuous cannabis use and violence is stronger than the association between alcohol and/or cocaine use and violence. Gabe Howard: Why We Should Talk About Mental Health At Work: Last but not least, Psych Central’s very own Gabe Howard — host of The Psych Central Show — was recently interviewed by Dan Schawbel of Forbes regarding how mental health conversations have changed, how employers and employees are handing mental health discussions in the workplace, his advise to human resource workers, and more. View the full article
  12. Who’s ready to learn more about why some of us are likely to spend more money on certain items, how cannabis could increase violent behavior, a new documentary about anxiety and depression, and more? You sweet readers, I hope! Why Friday the 13th Is Considered to Be Bad Luck: Yesterday was Friday the 13th (well, depending on when you read this), and several psychologists and other scientists weigh in on why many of us don’t like the number 13 (also known as triskaidekaphobia) and where Friday comes into play. Michael Phelps Talks Anxiety In ‘Angst,’ A New Mental Health Doc: After wrangling his own anxiety and depression, five-time Olympian Michael Phelps became an advocate for mental health awareness. Now he’s appearing in a Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, a new documentary that focuses on children and young adults who talk about their experiences with anxiety. The Psychology Behind Spending Big: You might not be surprised to find that people tend to be attracted to more expensive items that they could actually purchase for far less because they believe that high price tag just must mean better quality. However, you might be surprised to know that it’s more than just “all in our heads”; it’s actually in our brains, too. Example? One study not only recorded people giving high ratings to wine they were told was more expensive; it also showed via functional magnetic resonance imaging of their brains that they actually enjoyed drinking the expensive wine more. Psychiatrists Can’t Stop Mass Killers [New York Times Opinion Piece by Dr. Richard A. Friedman]: After a mass shooting, there are two social matters you can bet your life savings will pop up: gun control and mental health reform. On the matter of mental health reform, Dr. Friedman — a professor of clinical psychiatry — says psychiatrists can’t prevent mass murderers for many reasons, not least of which many of them avoid the mental health system altogether. Cannabis Consumption Increases Violent Behavior in Young People in Psychiatric Care: Am I the only one getting whiplash from the contradictory research reports involving cannabis? A new study out of the University of Montreal involving more than 1,000 patients between 18 and 40 years old with mental illnesses and who have been seen five times during a one-year period after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital “demonstrates that sustained used of cannabis is associated with an increase in violent behavior in young people” and that the association between continuous cannabis use and violence is stronger than the association between alcohol and/or cocaine use and violence. Gabe Howard: Why We Should Talk About Mental Health At Work: Last but not least, Psych Central’s very own Gabe Howard — host of The Psych Central Show — was recently interviewed by Dan Schawbel of Forbes regarding how mental health conversations have changed, how employers and employees are handing mental health discussions in the workplace, his advise to human resource workers, and more. View the full article
  13. I feel like a massive hypocrite writing this piece, because substantial messes are found in virtually every square foot of my home. In fact, the last time I broached the topic of clutter in a blog, I posted a photo of my book piles and nut collection and was immediately contacted by a hoarding show to be “fixed” by an expert. Even though I fail miserably at decluttering my home, I do know it’s an important piece of mental health — that our environments affect us more than we’d like to believe. And it’s not even the Post-its all over your desk, the plastic dog toys strewn about the floor, or the homework on the table. It can be the 99 files on your computer desktop, or the 28,000 emails you haven’t deleted. In our modern society, when we get lambasted with information — dozens of pieces of junk mail in our physical mailbox and more in our email, not to mention social media. It’s an monstrous task to stay on top of the clutter, and most of us don’t. Refrigerators: Clutter Magnets UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) studied the homes of 32 Los Angeles families over four years (2001 to 2005) and published their findings in the book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century. The families were dual-income, middle-class households with school-age children and represented a wide range of occupations and ethnic groups. But the results generated from almost 20,000 photos, 47 hours of family-narrated home video tours, and 1,540 hours of videotaped family interviews made clear one thing that virtually every middle-class American home has in common: lots of stuff. Take the refrigerator. The typical refrigerator in the study held 52 objects; the most crowded displayed 166 different objects (about half of the number of magnets on ours). In these homes, stuff covered as much as 90 percent of the fridge. According to a UCLA Magazine article explaining the study, “The Clutter Culture,” researchers noticed a correlation between the number of objects families put on the fridge and the rest of the stuff in their homes. Clutter Leads to Distress “The American workplace is intense and demanding. When we come home, we want material rewards,” says Elinor Ochs, director of CELF and a linguistic anthropologist. But the group’s study found that the bigger the mess, the more stress — at least for the moms interviewed. Two of the CELF team’s psychologists, Darby Saxbe, PhD, and Rena Repetti, PhD, measured levels of cortisol in study participants’ saliva. The researchers found that higher cortisol levels were more likely in moms who used words like “mess” and “very chaotic” to describe their homes, and who had higher “stressful home scores.” Lower cortisol levels were more likely in moms who had higher “restorative home scores.” In a report on their findings in the January 2010 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Drs. Saxbe and Repetti wrote: These results held after controlling for marital satisfaction and neuroticism. Women with higher stressful home scores had increased depressed mood over the course of the day, whereas women with higher restorative home scores had decreased depressed mood over the day. The Hoarding Brain In 2012, David Tolin, PhD, and his Yale School of Medicine research team recruited three groups of people — those with hoarding disorders, those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and folks without any type of hoarding or OCD issue — to bring in a pile of junk mail from home. The pieces of mail were photographed, as were pieces of mail supplied by the lab. Researchers had the participants lie in an MRI machine while viewing the photos and make a decision about which items should be kept or shredded. Compared with the control and OCD groups, the people with hoarding disorders showed abnormally low brain activity in the insula (within the cerebral cortex) and the anterior cingulate cortex when they reviewed the lab mail. But the same brain regions lit up with hyperactivity when these people assessed their own possessions. These are the same regions of the brain associated with pain, both physical and psychological. The more emotional attachment to an object, the greater the pain. The results of the study were published in the August 2012 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. As the abstract says, the people with hoarding disorders were the ones who experienced “not just right” feelings. In order to avert more anxiety or satiate their growing unease, they hold on to stuff. Dr. Tolin believes that hoarding bears more relation to autism and anxiety than to OCD, even though hoarding has long been considered a type of OCD. “[Hoarding] isn’t a house problem,” Tolin was quoted as saying in Tara Parker-Pope’s blog in The New York Times. “It’s a person problem. The person needs to fundamentally change their behavior.” How to Clear the Clutter Again, I do not feel equipped to give advice here when I’m tripping over piles of books on the floor of my bedroom. But I like the behavioral tips offered by Dr. Gerald Nestadt, director of the Johns Hopkins OCD clinic, in an issue of The Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin: Make immediate decisions about mail and newspapers. Go through mail and newspapers on the day you receive them and throw away unwanted materials immediately. Don’t leave anything to be decided on later. Think twice about what you allow into your home. Wait a couple of days after seeing a new item before you buy it. And when you do purchase something new, discard another item you own to make room for it. Set aside 15 minutes a day to declutter. Start small — with a table, perhaps, or a chair — rather than tackling the entire, overwhelming house at once. If you start to feel anxious, take a break and do some deep breathing or relaxation exercises. Dispose of anything you have not used in a year. That means old clothes, broken items, and craft projects you’ll never finish. Remind yourself that many items are easily replaceable if you need them later. Follow the OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once. If you pick something up, make a decision then and there about it, and either put it where it belongs or discard it. Don’t fall into the trap of moving things from one pile to another again and again. Ask for help if you can’t do it on your own. If you feel these strategies are impossible to carry out and you cannot cope with the problem on your own, seek out a mental health professional. Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. View the full article
  14. I feel like a massive hypocrite writing this piece, because substantial messes are found in virtually every square foot of my home. In fact, the last time I broached the topic of clutter in a blog, I posted a photo of my book piles and nut collection and was immediately contacted by a hoarding show to be “fixed” by an expert. Even though I fail miserably at decluttering my home, I do know it’s an important piece of mental health — that our environments affect us more than we’d like to believe. And it’s not even the Post-its all over your desk, the plastic dog toys strewn about the floor, or the homework on the table. It can be the 99 files on your computer desktop, or the 28,000 emails you haven’t deleted. In our modern society, when we get lambasted with information — dozens of pieces of junk mail in our physical mailbox and more in our email, not to mention social media. It’s an monstrous task to stay on top of the clutter, and most of us don’t. Refrigerators: Clutter Magnets UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) studied the homes of 32 Los Angeles families over four years (2001 to 2005) and published their findings in the book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century. The families were dual-income, middle-class households with school-age children and represented a wide range of occupations and ethnic groups. But the results generated from almost 20,000 photos, 47 hours of family-narrated home video tours, and 1,540 hours of videotaped family interviews made clear one thing that virtually every middle-class American home has in common: lots of stuff. Take the refrigerator. The typical refrigerator in the study held 52 objects; the most crowded displayed 166 different objects (about half of the number of magnets on ours). In these homes, stuff covered as much as 90 percent of the fridge. According to a UCLA Magazine article explaining the study, “The Clutter Culture,” researchers noticed a correlation between the number of objects families put on the fridge and the rest of the stuff in their homes. Clutter Leads to Distress “The American workplace is intense and demanding. When we come home, we want material rewards,” says Elinor Ochs, director of CELF and a linguistic anthropologist. But the group’s study found that the bigger the mess, the more stress — at least for the moms interviewed. Two of the CELF team’s psychologists, Darby Saxbe, PhD, and Rena Repetti, PhD, measured levels of cortisol in study participants’ saliva. The researchers found that higher cortisol levels were more likely in moms who used words like “mess” and “very chaotic” to describe their homes, and who had higher “stressful home scores.” Lower cortisol levels were more likely in moms who had higher “restorative home scores.” In a report on their findings in the January 2010 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Drs. Saxbe and Repetti wrote: These results held after controlling for marital satisfaction and neuroticism. Women with higher stressful home scores had increased depressed mood over the course of the day, whereas women with higher restorative home scores had decreased depressed mood over the day. The Hoarding Brain In 2012, David Tolin, PhD, and his Yale School of Medicine research team recruited three groups of people — those with hoarding disorders, those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and folks without any type of hoarding or OCD issue — to bring in a pile of junk mail from home. The pieces of mail were photographed, as were pieces of mail supplied by the lab. Researchers had the participants lie in an MRI machine while viewing the photos and make a decision about which items should be kept or shredded. Compared with the control and OCD groups, the people with hoarding disorders showed abnormally low brain activity in the insula (within the cerebral cortex) and the anterior cingulate cortex when they reviewed the lab mail. But the same brain regions lit up with hyperactivity when these people assessed their own possessions. These are the same regions of the brain associated with pain, both physical and psychological. The more emotional attachment to an object, the greater the pain. The results of the study were published in the August 2012 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. As the abstract says, the people with hoarding disorders were the ones who experienced “not just right” feelings. In order to avert more anxiety or satiate their growing unease, they hold on to stuff. Dr. Tolin believes that hoarding bears more relation to autism and anxiety than to OCD, even though hoarding has long been considered a type of OCD. “[Hoarding] isn’t a house problem,” Tolin was quoted as saying in Tara Parker-Pope’s blog in The New York Times. “It’s a person problem. The person needs to fundamentally change their behavior.” How to Clear the Clutter Again, I do not feel equipped to give advice here when I’m tripping over piles of books on the floor of my bedroom. But I like the behavioral tips offered by Dr. Gerald Nestadt, director of the Johns Hopkins OCD clinic, in an issue of The Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin: Make immediate decisions about mail and newspapers. Go through mail and newspapers on the day you receive them and throw away unwanted materials immediately. Don’t leave anything to be decided on later. Think twice about what you allow into your home. Wait a couple of days after seeing a new item before you buy it. And when you do purchase something new, discard another item you own to make room for it. Set aside 15 minutes a day to declutter. Start small — with a table, perhaps, or a chair — rather than tackling the entire, overwhelming house at once. If you start to feel anxious, take a break and do some deep breathing or relaxation exercises. Dispose of anything you have not used in a year. That means old clothes, broken items, and craft projects you’ll never finish. Remind yourself that many items are easily replaceable if you need them later. Follow the OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once. If you pick something up, make a decision then and there about it, and either put it where it belongs or discard it. Don’t fall into the trap of moving things from one pile to another again and again. Ask for help if you can’t do it on your own. If you feel these strategies are impossible to carry out and you cannot cope with the problem on your own, seek out a mental health professional. Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. View the full article
  15. I feel like a massive hypocrite writing this piece, because substantial messes are found in virtually every square foot of my home. In fact, the last time I broached the topic of clutter in a blog, I posted a photo of my book piles and nut collection and was immediately contacted by a hoarding show to be “fixed” by an expert. Even though I fail miserably at decluttering my home, I do know it’s an important piece of mental health — that our environments affect us more than we’d like to believe. And it’s not even the Post-its all over your desk, the plastic dog toys strewn about the floor, or the homework on the table. It can be the 99 files on your computer desktop, or the 28,000 emails you haven’t deleted. In our modern society, when we get lambasted with information — dozens of pieces of junk mail in our physical mailbox and more in our email, not to mention social media. It’s an monstrous task to stay on top of the clutter, and most of us don’t. Refrigerators: Clutter Magnets UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) studied the homes of 32 Los Angeles families over four years (2001 to 2005) and published their findings in the book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century. The families were dual-income, middle-class households with school-age children and represented a wide range of occupations and ethnic groups. But the results generated from almost 20,000 photos, 47 hours of family-narrated home video tours, and 1,540 hours of videotaped family interviews made clear one thing that virtually every middle-class American home has in common: lots of stuff. Take the refrigerator. The typical refrigerator in the study held 52 objects; the most crowded displayed 166 different objects (about half of the number of magnets on ours). In these homes, stuff covered as much as 90 percent of the fridge. According to a UCLA Magazine article explaining the study, “The Clutter Culture,” researchers noticed a correlation between the number of objects families put on the fridge and the rest of the stuff in their homes. Clutter Leads to Distress “The American workplace is intense and demanding. When we come home, we want material rewards,” says Elinor Ochs, director of CELF and a linguistic anthropologist. But the group’s study found that the bigger the mess, the more stress — at least for the moms interviewed. Two of the CELF team’s psychologists, Darby Saxbe, PhD, and Rena Repetti, PhD, measured levels of cortisol in study participants’ saliva. The researchers found that higher cortisol levels were more likely in moms who used words like “mess” and “very chaotic” to describe their homes, and who had higher “stressful home scores.” Lower cortisol levels were more likely in moms who had higher “restorative home scores.” In a report on their findings in the January 2010 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Drs. Saxbe and Repetti wrote: These results held after controlling for marital satisfaction and neuroticism. Women with higher stressful home scores had increased depressed mood over the course of the day, whereas women with higher restorative home scores had decreased depressed mood over the day. The Hoarding Brain In 2012, David Tolin, PhD, and his Yale School of Medicine research team recruited three groups of people — those with hoarding disorders, those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and folks without any type of hoarding or OCD issue — to bring in a pile of junk mail from home. The pieces of mail were photographed, as were pieces of mail supplied by the lab. Researchers had the participants lie in an MRI machine while viewing the photos and make a decision about which items should be kept or shredded. Compared with the control and OCD groups, the people with hoarding disorders showed abnormally low brain activity in the insula (within the cerebral cortex) and the anterior cingulate cortex when they reviewed the lab mail. But the same brain regions lit up with hyperactivity when these people assessed their own possessions. These are the same regions of the brain associated with pain, both physical and psychological. The more emotional attachment to an object, the greater the pain. The results of the study were published in the August 2012 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. As the abstract says, the people with hoarding disorders were the ones who experienced “not just right” feelings. In order to avert more anxiety or satiate their growing unease, they hold on to stuff. Dr. Tolin believes that hoarding bears more relation to autism and anxiety than to OCD, even though hoarding has long been considered a type of OCD. “[Hoarding] isn’t a house problem,” Tolin was quoted as saying in Tara Parker-Pope’s blog in The New York Times. “It’s a person problem. The person needs to fundamentally change their behavior.” How to Clear the Clutter Again, I do not feel equipped to give advice here when I’m tripping over piles of books on the floor of my bedroom. But I like the behavioral tips offered by Dr. Gerald Nestadt, director of the Johns Hopkins OCD clinic, in an issue of The Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin: Make immediate decisions about mail and newspapers. Go through mail and newspapers on the day you receive them and throw away unwanted materials immediately. Don’t leave anything to be decided on later. Think twice about what you allow into your home. Wait a couple of days after seeing a new item before you buy it. And when you do purchase something new, discard another item you own to make room for it. Set aside 15 minutes a day to declutter. Start small — with a table, perhaps, or a chair — rather than tackling the entire, overwhelming house at once. If you start to feel anxious, take a break and do some deep breathing or relaxation exercises. Dispose of anything you have not used in a year. That means old clothes, broken items, and craft projects you’ll never finish. Remind yourself that many items are easily replaceable if you need them later. Follow the OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once. If you pick something up, make a decision then and there about it, and either put it where it belongs or discard it. Don’t fall into the trap of moving things from one pile to another again and again. Ask for help if you can’t do it on your own. If you feel these strategies are impossible to carry out and you cannot cope with the problem on your own, seek out a mental health professional. Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. View the full article
  16. “Oh, the weather today was beautiful. Do want to talk about the meaning of life?” I ask. While I facetiously save meaning of life questions for the second date (first date conversations generally revolve around morality tropes and ethical dilemmas — I kid), I abhor small talk. Small talk is the conversational equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal: plastic and headache-inducing. While I can smile along at small talk, my mind is jumping to more far-concerns concerns, “Why are we talking about Beyonce’s latest outfit when the refugee crisis is blotting Europe or the Republican health care plan threatens the Affordable Care Act? Or my mental health issues are strangle-holding me into submission?” I consider myself a deep, contemplative person. And while I can and do feign interest in the latest reality TV hit or Beyonce’s sultry outfit (or non-outfit), I would much prefer to talk about substantives issue: politics, philosophy, or psychology. Sorry (but not really). For years, I wondered if this insatiable need for deep, meaningful conversations warranted my own dating intervention. “Matt, practice asking her about her pets. Women love talking about their dogs, not Darfur,” my mind would remind me before the latest date (debacle). And before I would spend a couple hours feigning interest in a female’s best friend. But, fortunately, I don’t have to fake it until I make it — or until the check finally arrives. And neither do you. Happiness and connection are rooted in deep, meaningful conversations. And with apologies to my previous dates, not mindless conversation focused on her dog’s designer duds. Sorry (but not really). While small talk is a necessary evil (more evil than necessary — at least in my opinion), researchers have found that substantive conversations are linked to contentment and happiness. According to a Psychological Science journal, the happiest person in its study had twice as many substantive conversations (and only one-third the amount of small talk) as the study’s unhappiest person. For the study’s happiest person, nearly 46% of conversations were substantive. Your next question: Well, Matt, what constitutes a substantive conversation? And my cheeky — and truthful — response: Let’s talk about what constitutes a substantive conversation. In all seriousness, substantive conversations provide meaning and a sense of connection. More than the reflexive “I’m doing fine,” I have a greater understanding of how you are really doing. There is a valuable exchange of information and reciprocal trust undergirding substantive conversations. So for my fellow deep divers, you aren’t strange or odd for craving a meaningful conversation. In fact, you may be happier doing so — and much happier than awkwardly smiling/gritting your teeth as your date discusses Fido’s formalwear. Woof (even if her dog is delightful). View the full article
  17. “Oh, the weather today was beautiful. Do want to talk about the meaning of life?” I ask. While I facetiously save meaning of life questions for the second date (first date conversations generally revolve around morality tropes and ethical dilemmas — I kid), I abhor small talk. Small talk is the conversational equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal: plastic and headache-inducing. While I can smile along at small talk, my mind is jumping to more far-concerns concerns, “Why are we talking about Beyonce’s latest outfit when the refugee crisis is blotting Europe or the Republican health care plan threatens the Affordable Care Act? Or my mental health issues are strangle-holding me into submission?” I consider myself a deep, contemplative person. And while I can and do feign interest in the latest reality TV hit or Beyonce’s sultry outfit (or non-outfit), I would much prefer to talk about substantives issue: politics, philosophy, or psychology. Sorry (but not really). For years, I wondered if this insatiable need for deep, meaningful conversations warranted my own dating intervention. “Matt, practice asking her about her pets. Women love talking about their dogs, not Darfur,” my mind would remind me before the latest date (debacle). And before I would spend a couple hours feigning interest in a female’s best friend. But, fortunately, I don’t have to fake it until I make it — or until the check finally arrives. And neither do you. Happiness and connection are rooted in deep, meaningful conversations. And with apologies to my previous dates, not mindless conversation focused on her dog’s designer duds. Sorry (but not really). While small talk is a necessary evil (more evil than necessary — at least in my opinion), researchers have found that substantive conversations are linked to contentment and happiness. According to a Psychological Science journal, the happiest person in its study had twice as many substantive conversations (and only one-third the amount of small talk) as the study’s unhappiest person. For the study’s happiest person, nearly 46% of conversations were substantive. Your next question: Well, Matt, what constitutes a substantive conversation? And my cheeky — and truthful — response: Let’s talk about what constitutes a substantive conversation. In all seriousness, substantive conversations provide meaning and a sense of connection. More than the reflexive “I’m doing fine,” I have a greater understanding of how you are really doing. There is a valuable exchange of information and reciprocal trust undergirding substantive conversations. So for my fellow deep divers, you aren’t strange or odd for craving a meaningful conversation. In fact, you may be happier doing so — and much happier than awkwardly smiling/gritting your teeth as your date discusses Fido’s formalwear. Woof (even if her dog is delightful). View the full article
  18. Landon was a bright intelligent child. He had excelled academically and also enjoyed sports. However, OCD appeared to be getting in the way of his life. There were times when he could not get out of bed because the thought of having to get dressed overwhelmed him. His socks needed to feel just right as well as his shirt and pants. He would repeat the behaviors until he felt just right about it. He seemed to be late to school every day. Things in his room had to be just so. He would be angry and become aggressive when he noticed someone had been in his room. New belongings were challenging as well. When his parents bought him new items such as a backpack, shoes, or clothes, he refused to use or wear them. He quit violin lessons because playing the wrong notes distressed him. His parents felt helpless and lost. Parents may miss the “just right” OCD symptoms and misunderstand their child’s behavior as defiant and manipulative. It may not make sense that their child is refusing to get dressed or do anything because things just don’t feel right. Kids who experience this type of OCD may feel overpowered by the dreaded feeling they often can’t explain. They just know it doesn’t feel right, and they believe this discomfort and tension in their body will last forever. Parents can watch for signs of “just right” OCD also known as symmetrical, organizational, or perfectionism OCD. Possible worries or obsessions: Feeling overwhelmed and stressed when someone disturbs them in any way. Maintaining possessions perfectly. Being judged when performing and feeling incomplete. Not looking perfect — clothes, hair, overall appearance. Not being understood by others perfectly. Learning about a specific topic. Having said, done, or thought something imperfectly. Reading and understanding things perfectly. Not being perfectly honest. Having things out of order, messy, or imperfect. Worrying about feeling stuck forever. Those worries are intense, and OCD sufferers feel like they need to do something to feel right or complete. They create rituals that provide relief. Possible Compulsions: Arranging objects or possessions in a special order or symmetrical way. Insisting their new possessions stay intact and in a perfect way. Maintaining belongings and room in a perfect order. Saying, reading, writing, drawing, memorizing, or doing something perfectly. Learning everything possible about a particular subject. Maintaining perfect appearance such as hair and redoing it until it feels just right. Being perfectly honest and “good.” Procrastinating homework and chores to avoid feeling doomed. Difficulty making decisions for fear of making the wrong one. Repeating behavior compulsively, such as getting dressed until they feel just right. Purposely doing an activity extra slowly to avoid making a mistake. Avoiding places or things such as rooms, beds, drawers, closets, they have been done perfectly so they won’t feel out of order. Avoiding certain behaviors or activities to circumvent feeling incomplete. Reminders: Children’s disruptive behavior may appear defiant or manipulative; however, it is most likely due to the overwhelming discomfort. Obtain professional help as soon as you notice your children’s behavior is getting in the way of school, friends, family, or other areas of their lives. When children feel too overwhelmed, they may let go of their perfectionism and their rooms may become chaotic. They may become depressed. Children’s tension and distress may paralyze them. Validate and acknowledge their feelings as needed. When they feel stuck, they’ll want your assistance. Be cautious and remember that it takes time to change their inflexibility. Become aware of your own rigidity and avoid going from one extreme to the other such as doing everything for your child to becoming an OCD sergeant. Ideas to get you and your child started: During peaceful moments talk about how they can delay the rituals when Mr. “Just Right” OCD shows up. Teach them that they can do this by sitting quietly and noticing their breathing. Younger children can notice how their belly goes up and down as they sit quietly. Ask them how long they think they can do this activity. Make a note of their prediction and set your stopwatch. Sit quietly with them and when they start becoming restless, notice the time that they were able to sit still. Have fun establishing a daily routine of sitting still and noticing. During quiet times, talk about the activities they wish they could be doing if Mr. “Just Right” OCD weren’t bossing them around. Talk about the things they enjoy doing. Create a sense of hope and confidence as you talk about the things they can do and make a plan. When an OCD storm shows up, encourage them to be curious and find out what may happen when they practice sitting still. Remind them why they are doing this routine. For example, “Let’s see how long you can sit still and notice your breathing. Remember, Mr. “Just Right” OCD doesn’t have to stop you from going out to play with your friends and having fun. You can do this!” Praise their efforts even if they just sat still for 5 seconds. Remember it’s about the process. When OCD begins to disrupt your children’s life and yours, remember the love and support you have from family and friends. They are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate to ask for their assistance. You deserve and need time to recharge and come up for some fresh air. Don’t ever forget that while there is life there is always hope! View the full article
  19. The ninth annual OCD Awareness Week begins today. It always takes place during the second week in October with the purpose of raising awareness and understanding of OCD and related disorders, as well as the appropriate treatment. Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder know that finding the right help is often one of the toughest battles in the fight against OCD. Some estimates say it can take as long as 14-17 years from the onset of symptoms to get a correct diagnosis and treatment. Though my family didn’t realize it at the time, my son was one of the lucky ones — it took about two years after his diagnosis to get him the right help. While that’s “not bad” in terms of OCD treatment, it is still much too long, in my opinion. It should have taken days, maybe weeks, but certainly not two years. I started writing about OCD in 2010, a year after OCD Awareness Week was launched. My goals have always been to spread the word that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable, and that exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy is the evidence-based psychological therapy for the disorder. My message continues to be one of hope – no matter how severe your (or your loved one’s) OCD is at this moment, you can recover and live a happy, fulfilling life. But you need the right therapy. So how are we doing with spreading the word about the right treatment? Not great. I get five or six emails a week from those with OCD, or parents of those with OCD, who just don’t understand why they or their loved ones are not getting better, and often are in even worse condition than they were before therapy began. How could this be? They are doing everything the therapist advises, and then some. They want more than anything to be free from the clutches of OCD, but they are losing hope. People are losing years of their lives – needlessly – to obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s not enough for those of us “in the know” to be spreading the word to those with OCD. Doctors, school counselors, and all professionals who might be the first point of contact need to be educated; they need to know there is a specific therapy (exposure and response prevention), that is used to fight OCD. There are actually therapists out there who are either not aware of ERP therapy, or choose not to use it. Indeed, it is sometimes the very people who are supposed to be helping us that steer us in the wrong direction, perhaps not maliciously, but due to ignorance. While there are many ways to get involved in OCD Awareness Week, I think approaching these “experts” might be one of the most valuable things we can do. I think most professionals really want to help and would appreciate being educated. How great it would be if we could wipe out those unacceptable statistics, and get those with OCD the help they need and deserve – within days. View the full article
  20. We often poke fun at our fears, but for many people, fear gets in the way of well-being and compromises quality of life. An estimated 8.7 percent of Americans, or 19.2 million people, suffer from a specific phobia like glossophobia (fear of public speaking) or necrophobia (fear of death). Even if you don’t have a specific phobia, you can probably appreciate that feeling of fear that blows in like a severe storm, interrupting your daily responsibilities and robbing you of your enthusiasm for life. Here are some great insights from entrepreneurs, political leaders, religious figures, philosophers, writers, and luminaries of all kinds that may help you when the black cloud of fear rolls in and tries to take over your life. Courage! “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie “Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – President Theodore Roosevelt “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt “Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone, American businessman and philanthropist “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks “What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti, philosopher, speaker, and writer “There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.” – André Gide, author and Nobel Prize winner “Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” – Marilyn Ferguson, author, editor, and public speaker “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela “The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.” – Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” – Mary Anne Radmacher, author, artist, and speaker “When you walk to the edge of all the light, you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or you will be taught to fly.” – Patrick Overton, director of the Front Porch Institute “Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” – Pope John XXIII “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose.” – Mary Shelley “Leap and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs “Do the next thing.” – Elisabeth Elliot, author and speaker “The only devils in the world are those running in our own hearts. That is where the battle should be fought.” – Mahatma Gandhi “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson “Come to the edge He said. They said We are afraid. Come to the edge He said. They came. He pushed them, and they flew.” – Guillaume Apollinaire, poet, novelist, and literary figure “Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening.” – Gertrude Stein “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.” – Bruce Lee “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. View the full article
  21. When my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder was severe, he was always exhausted. At first, I attributed his lack of energy to the fact that he rarely slept well. But it soon became obvious, even when sleeping was not an issue, that he always felt tired. Why? I think there are many reasons why those with obsessive-compulsive disorder are often exhausted. Living with nonstop anxiety can be draining. Many people with OCD are also depressed, and depression and lack of energy often go hand in hand. Additionally, some medications used to treat OCD are known to cause fatigue. The very nature of OCD (left untreated) is exhausting just to think about, let alone live with. Relentless obsessions and compulsions — an endless cycle that takes up every ounce of your energy. And the pretending! So many people with OCD do whatever they can to hide their disorder — to keep up that facade of “normalcy.” How much energy does it take to hide compulsions or carry on a conversation while obsessions are taking over your brain? I think it would be surprising not to be tired! So what’s the best thing to do when you feel this overwhelming exhaustion related to obsessive-compulsive disorder? Sleep until you feel better? Wait for it to pass? After all, the way you feel now, you have no energy or motivation to do anything, especially exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy which is exhausting in its own right. As with so many things related to OCD, you should do the opposite of what you feel like doing. I know it’s not easy. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult. Mental and physical exhaustion take their toll in many ways, from physical ailments to depression to doubt in your ability to improve or change your life. Ah, that old word — doubt. Those with OCD often doubt their strength and ability to get through difficult times, but in fact they are just as capable, if not more so, than those without OCD. Studies have shown that attitude plays a big part in overcoming adversity. If you’re so tired that you feel there’s no way you can fight your OCD, then you won’t fight it. However, if you acknowledge your exhaustion but still vow to move forward, even in small ways, then you will be one step closer to fighting your OCD. A good therapist who specializes in treating OCD can be helpful with setting goals. So many of us wait to take action until we feel motivated, but sometimes we just need to do the opposite. We need to take action and eventually the motivation will follow. If you are feeling exhausted, lethargic, and completely drained from your OCD, please don’t wait for it to pass. It won’t — OCD will just keep getting stronger. Take some steps to plow through the exhaustion and move forward to fight your OCD. The more you fight, the weaker your OCD will become, and slowly but surely, you will beat OCD and your exhaustion will give way to a renewed joy in life. View the full article
  22. Researchers from Brazil and Texas have started testing on humans a new strategy to increase the effectiveness of topical anesthesia used in dentistry, used by dentists to reduce patient discomfort during the application of injected anesthesia - required for more invasive procedures such as fillings, tooth extraction or surgery. View the full article
  23. Nearly three months ago, I found myself quietly celebrating an anniversary that very few people knew about. I really didn’t want to give it too much attention to be honest. I wanted to avoid triggering thoughts that would take me back to those moments when life wasn’t so great. However, as I sat with my computer I began to remember and I actually smiled. Prior to 2016, I had lived with family members for over 7 years. After being hospitalized for my mental health condition, I was unable to maintain consistent employment, provide for my daughter, or live alone. It was challenging to find the right combination of medication, self-care techniques, social supports, faith guidance, and therapeutic connections that would allow me to regain my self-sufficiency. In addition, I lived in constant fear of failing. I felt as if I had lost so much of myself that I questioned my ability to pull my life back together. How could I work and live on my own? I felt professionally crippled by this disease. I feared rejection by other mental health professionals. I feared being viewed as lacking the capacity to serve others. I doubted myself. I wondered about being triggered, my ability to engage people, and what would happen if anyone found out about my illness. Regardless of how many times I spoke openly about it, the fear that I would be treated differently lingered. In my attempt to move beyond this, I had to learn how to manage my life in spite of my fears. Recovery became an ongoing process of discovering what worked for what situations during any given moment. Moreover, I had to recognize how my condition affected the way I lived. As a former therapist, I experienced assisting others on their wellness journeys. As an individual with lived experience, I needed to obtain the courage to focus on my own. In doing so, I had to redefine my identity within the field of mental health. I discovered that practicing in certain areas of the field no longer suited me. I processed through the shame and embarrassment, then found a healthier way to reconnect to the work I loved. My road to mental wellness also involved developing new social connections. Online communities played a vital role in assisting me in increasing my social interaction. Through various social media platforms, I conversed with women and men across the country. Some individuals managed mental health conditions and some did not. Regardless, I developed relationships that helped me expand my network of people who I could reach out to for support. There were people who never met me who were willing to help walk with me through some of the more challenging moments in life. This became essential during the times I felt like a burden to people closest to me. These opportunities became life lines and assisted me as I regained my strength and made advancements toward self-sufficiency. Fast forward to now, I still navigate through a maze of doctors, medication increases, and therapy appointments. Some days are a real struggle. My mind can race a thousand miles per minute. And I have to be mindful of how much of something is too much all the time. In spite of all this, I manage to get up most days, get dressed, and go to work. Sometimes I have no clue how it gets done, but it gets done. I no longer ask why life chose this path for me. I never found an answer anyway. What I did find was I could do all the things I feared would never happen. In fact, as I type this I am in my apartment… MY APARTMENT! I have resided here for over a year. For the first time since 2009, I am living on my own and self-sufficient. I guess it might not be a big deal for some but for me it meant everything. I made it to the place I wanted to be for so long. I finally made the long journey home. View the full article
  24. Nearly three months ago, I found myself quietly celebrating an anniversary that very few people knew about. I really didn’t want to give it too much attention to be honest. I wanted to avoid triggering thoughts that would take me back to those moments when life wasn’t so great. However, as I sat with my computer I began to remember and I actually smiled. Prior to 2016, I had lived with family members for over 7 years. After being hospitalized for my mental health condition, I was unable to maintain consistent employment, provide for my daughter, or live alone. It was challenging to find the right combination of medication, self-care techniques, social supports, faith guidance, and therapeutic connections that would allow me to regain my self-sufficiency. In addition, I lived in constant fear of failing. I felt as if I had lost so much of myself that I questioned my ability to pull my life back together. How could I work and live on my own? I felt professionally crippled by this disease. I feared rejection by other mental health professionals. I feared being viewed as lacking the capacity to serve others. I doubted myself. I wondered about being triggered, my ability to engage people, and what would happen if anyone found out about my illness. Regardless of how many times I spoke openly about it, the fear that I would be treated differently lingered. In my attempt to move beyond this, I had to learn how to manage my life in spite of my fears. Recovery became an ongoing process of discovering what worked for what situations during any given moment. Moreover, I had to recognize how my condition affected the way I lived. As a former therapist, I experienced assisting others on their wellness journeys. As an individual with lived experience, I needed to obtain the courage to focus on my own. In doing so, I had to redefine my identity within the field of mental health. I discovered that practicing in certain areas of the field no longer suited me. I processed through the shame and embarrassment, then found a healthier way to reconnect to the work I loved. My road to mental wellness also involved developing new social connections. Online communities played a vital role in assisting me in increasing my social interaction. Through various social media platforms, I conversed with women and men across the country. Some individuals managed mental health conditions and some did not. Regardless, I developed relationships that helped me expand my network of people who I could reach out to for support. There were people who never met me who were willing to help walk with me through some of the more challenging moments in life. This became essential during the times I felt like a burden to people closest to me. These opportunities became life lines and assisted me as I regained my strength and made advancements toward self-sufficiency. Fast forward to now, I still navigate through a maze of doctors, medication increases, and therapy appointments. Some days are a real struggle. My mind can race a thousand miles per minute. And I have to be mindful of how much of something is too much all the time. In spite of all this, I manage to get up most days, get dressed, and go to work. Sometimes I have no clue how it gets done, but it gets done. I no longer ask why life chose this path for me. I never found an answer anyway. What I did find was I could do all the things I feared would never happen. In fact, as I type this I am in my apartment… MY APARTMENT! I have resided here for over a year. For the first time since 2009, I am living on my own and self-sufficient. I guess it might not be a big deal for some but for me it meant everything. I made it to the place I wanted to be for so long. I finally made the long journey home. View the full article
  25. By the time my son Dan entered a residential treatment center for OCD, he was barely functioning. Using exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy he tackled his hierarchy (a list of anxiety-provoking situations created by the person with OCD), and slowly but surely regained his life. During his stay, one of his exposures was to go on shopping trips and make purchases. All types of shopping proved difficult for him — buying groceries and necessities, clothing, etc. But the more expensive purchases, particularly if they were for himself, seemed to be the most stressful. But he did it. And he felt the overwhelming anxiety. And he refrained from doing compulsions. Over and over again until shopping was no longer an issue for him. At the time I thought this fear of shopping was an odd obsession, but I have since heard of others with OCD who, for whatever reason, have difficulty shopping. For some people it might be about having to make the “right” decision, others might have an issue with spending money, and still others might feel something tragic will happen if they make a particular purchase. The list of possibilities goes on, but no matter what the reasons are behind a fear of shopping in those with OCD, the treatment is the same — exposure and response prevention therapy. But what about the opposite of being afraid to shop? Hoarding disorder is very real and can affect both those with obsessive-compulsive disorder and those without. While it is related to OCD, it is considered a distinct disorder, and a complex one at that. Those who hoard form very powerful attachments to objects and for many, having to dispose of possessions makes them feel as if they are losing a part of themselves. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating hoarding disorder. It can get even more complicated. While my son Dan’s fear of shopping was tied into an obsession (and his compulsion before treatment was avoidance of shopping), for others with OCD, shopping might present as a compulsion. For example, a person with OCD might feel as if they have to buy a particular clock they saw in a store or something horrible would happen to someone they love. Or they might believe if they go ahead and buy the clock, something terrible could happen. In both cases, the obsession is something terrible happening, and the compulsion, which gives temporary relief, is buying (or not buying) the clock. Shopping as a compulsion may or may not be related to hoarding disorder as well. Yes, it can be confusing! If you have OCD and deal with shopping (or fear of shopping) as an obsession or compulsion, I strongly suggest seeking good professional help with an OCD therapist. What it all comes down to, once again, is learning to not give in to OCD but instead accepting the uncertainty of life. Once this is accomplished, most people with OCD experience a level of freedom they never thought possible. View the full article
  26. Mental health problems are infamously complicated. Although psychologists have a successful guidebook to identify and diagnose mental illness, those manuals are merely suggestions for treatment — and can’t predict exactly how you experience your psychological and emotional well-being. With that in mind, some people experience multiple forms of mental health disorders, often in various degrees. If somebody has several mental health conditions, it’s known as “comorbidity,” and anxiety and depression are the two most related diagnoses. What Is Anxiety? Anxiety is a sense of unease, for instance, worry or concern, which might be mild or severe. Additionally, it is the primary symptom of panic disorder. All of us have feelings of anxiety at some stage in our life. For instance you may feel nervous and worried about taking an exam, having medical testing done, or a job interview. During times such as these, experiencing anxiousness can be perfectly normal. However, many individuals struggle to manage constant worry. Their feelings of anxiety tend to be more frequent and can influence their everyday life. What Is Depression? Feeling depressed generally is a typical response to loss, life challenges, or wounded self-esteem. However, when feelings of extreme sadness, which includes hopelessness and worthlessness, continue for a number of days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally, your feelings could be something more than sadness. It could possibly be major depressive disorder. Anxiety disorder and depression frequently manifest together. They have similar symptoms which can be hard to tell apart. Either can result in frustration, insomnia, not being able to focus, and worry. Untreated anxiety and panic disorder can raise your potential for more serious conditions. These conditions include depression, drug abuse, and suicide. Anxiety disorder doesn’t just influence emotional well-being. This common disorder could be intense enough to result in or aggravate headaches, gastrointestinal syndromes, abnormal heart rhythms and sleep disorders. The link between depression and anxiety is so powerful that some antidepressants are used to address people who don’t have depression and are alternatively living with anxiety disorders. Anxiety coping strategies are often recommended for people with depression, even when the individual doesn’t suffer from anxiety. Other studies have also revealed that the same neurotransmitters might also lead to both anxiety and depression. Depression can develop due to anxious thoughts. This seems to be particularly true of those with panic disorder, possibly since panic attacks tend to trigger feelings of fear, helplessness, and disaster. Furthermore, those coping with anxiety may not be living the life they had dreamed of and this reinforces feelings of powerlessness or loss which can ultimately lead to depression. Many people who have anxiety and/or depression assume that treatment for these disorders may not be effective — that if you have previously tried therapy or medication without much relief, then nothing can be done for you. But it is simply not true. It may take time and effort, but don’t stop until you find the right treatment. Current studies suggest that treatment should start with addressing depression first. A decrease in depressive symptoms often means a reduction of anxiety symptoms as well. Also, some common and efficient prescription drugs for depression hold the added bonus of decreasing anxiety. To recover, you’ll need to be as relentless, invasive and powerful as the depression and anxiety. You are unique and treatment can be complex, but freedom from depression and anxiety is possible. Do not let your anxiety and/or depression go untreated. If you are experiencing chronic and unexplained feelings of anxiousness, fear, or worry, sadness or suicidal thoughts, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. View the full article
  27. Mental health problems are infamously complicated. Although psychologists have a successful guidebook to identify and diagnose mental illness, those manuals are merely suggestions for treatment — and can’t predict exactly how you experience your psychological and emotional well-being. With that in mind, some people experience multiple forms of mental health disorders, often in various degrees. If somebody has several mental health conditions, it’s known as “comorbidity,” and anxiety and depression are the two most related diagnoses. What Is Anxiety? Anxiety is a sense of unease, for instance, worry or concern, which might be mild or severe. Additionally, it is the primary symptom of panic disorder. All of us have feelings of anxiety at some stage in our life. For instance you may feel nervous and worried about taking an exam, having medical testing done, or a job interview. During times such as these, experiencing anxiousness can be perfectly normal. However, many individuals struggle to manage constant worry. Their feelings of anxiety tend to be more frequent and can influence their everyday life. What Is Depression? Feeling depressed generally is a typical response to loss, life challenges, or wounded self-esteem. However, when feelings of extreme sadness, which includes hopelessness and worthlessness, continue for a number of days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally, your feelings could be something more than sadness. It could possibly be major depressive disorder. Anxiety disorder and depression frequently manifest together. They have similar symptoms which can be hard to tell apart. Either can result in frustration, insomnia, not being able to focus, and worry. Untreated anxiety and panic disorder can raise your potential for more serious conditions. These conditions include depression, drug abuse, and suicide. Anxiety disorder doesn’t just influence emotional well-being. This common disorder could be intense enough to result in or aggravate headaches, gastrointestinal syndromes, abnormal heart rhythms and sleep disorders. The link between depression and anxiety is so powerful that some antidepressants are used to address people who don’t have depression and are alternatively living with anxiety disorders. Anxiety coping strategies are often recommended for people with depression, even when the individual doesn’t suffer from anxiety. Other studies have also revealed that the same neurotransmitters might also lead to both anxiety and depression. Depression can develop due to anxious thoughts. This seems to be particularly true of those with panic disorder, possibly since panic attacks tend to trigger feelings of fear, helplessness, and disaster. Furthermore, those coping with anxiety may not be living the life they had dreamed of and this reinforces feelings of powerlessness or loss which can ultimately lead to depression. Many people who have anxiety and/or depression assume that treatment for these disorders may not be effective — that if you have previously tried therapy or medication without much relief, then nothing can be done for you. But it is simply not true. It may take time and effort, but don’t stop until you find the right treatment. Current studies suggest that treatment should start with addressing depression first. A decrease in depressive symptoms often means a reduction of anxiety symptoms as well. Also, some common and efficient prescription drugs for depression hold the added bonus of decreasing anxiety. To recover, you’ll need to be as relentless, invasive and powerful as the depression and anxiety. You are unique and treatment can be complex, but freedom from depression and anxiety is possible. Do not let your anxiety and/or depression go untreated. If you are experiencing chronic and unexplained feelings of anxiousness, fear, or worry, sadness or suicidal thoughts, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. View the full article
  28. Ah, the leaves are changing and the air’s getting crisper…goodbye September! I can’t say I’ll miss you (you kind of whizzed right on by?!) and October is my favorite month anyway! This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers the real psychology behind taking a knee, what really creates the “grit” personality trait, why some people don’t need to hear “I love you” in relationships, and more. Study Challenges Validity of the Psychological “Grit Scale”: For the past decade or so, various industries, from practical psychology to selecting employees, have used the Grit Scale to help measure a person’s “grit” — a supposed personality trait that combines perseverance to reach goals and consistency in interests. However, a new research shows that while the Grit Scale does measure perseverance and interest, the two components do not form a single trait. The Psychology of Taking a Knee: When Colin Kaepernick took his first knee, did he realize he was starting a scientific conversation that goes way beyond his reason for the protest? A Stanford Psychologist on the Art of Avoiding Assholes: You read that correctly: Robert Sutton, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has released The Asshole Survival Guide — seven years after his The No Asshole Rule — and he’s given an interview on everything from what exactly defines an “asshole” to how you can avoid being one. What New Depression Drug Possibilities Are Out There? Researchers combining certain classes of medications have found these combinations can increase effectiveness, which can help doctors more quickly and efficiently determine which medicines will be the most effective for their patients. This Photo Is A Powerful Reminder That Mental Illness Isn’t Always Visible: Many of us associate pictures of sad, gloomy-looking people with mental illness; however, there is no single — if any — kind of picture that shows mental disorders, as mental health advocate Milly Smith is trying to tell us. Smith posted a picture of herself looking and feeling happy one morning — and then tried for the third time to commit suicide seven hours later. Why You Don’t Have To Say “I Love You” To Feel Love: Perhaps the most important thing — as simple as it sounds — is knowing what you want from the relationship and making sure you get it. View the full article
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