The 7 Warning Signs of Shopping Addiction

Shop 'til your dopamine drops, then stop.

Some love to shop. Some hate to shop. And some need to shop.

“I was like a lot of girls in the U.S. who are interested in fashion, clothing and cosmetics, and I liked to shop,” says Avis Cardella, author of Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict. “But after my mother died unexpectedly when I was in my early 20s, shopping became problematic for me. I used it as a way of escaping my grief and filling a void for how much I missed her.”

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How to Be Selfish

If you’re reading this you may think you know what it means to be selfish, but do you really understand how to be selfish? What if you haven’t actually been selfish in years, what you thought was selfish was actually just barely glancing the surface of dignity and self-preservation, and you've been giving blood all this time?

This isn’t a how-to guide for narcissists. They don’t need any pointers. This is for all the people who often feel like doormats. The people who get stuck with the extra work at the office, the parents who can’t remember the last time they took a moment for themselves, the spouses who feel they can never win, and everyone who chronically puts the needs of others first.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: December 1, 2015

Happy December, Psych Central readers!

Wow, can you believe how quickly 2015 has flown past? Well, we have one more month of 2015 goodies here for you at Psych Central, and our bloggers have already started it off with their best work.

Read on to learn about the surprising thing your laundry basket might say about depression, ways you can find and maximize your happiness, how bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as anxiety, and more.

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12 Tips to Get Motivated When You’re Stuck in a Life Rut

Don't worry: It's only a temporary rut.

It's common to look at unproductive people and just call them lazy. After all, we all know what laziness "looks" like. We've been lazy ourselves, but it's been a temporary, short-lived condition, and we move on to pursue our goals and dreams with plenty of determination.

But what happens when we lose that determination, and why do we lose it? Have we become one of the "lazy" people we've been so quick to condemn in the past? Or has fear taken over and stopped us dead in our tracks?

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The Brilliant Way We Avoid Our Emotions

Mary picks a fight with her husband at night so she doesn't have to deal with her sex anxiety. Looking for what’s wrong with her husband distracts her from her discomfort and the feelings of vulnerability that are causing her anxiety in the first place. By not directly addressing her core feelings with her husband, Mary misses an opportunity to be understood and problem-solve.

Michael doesn't feel settled or at ease with himself unless he drinks beer after beer. The alcohol calms his physical tension and mental anguish, but that strategy for dealing with his underlying pain is not sustainable. Eventually his drinking will lead to health and relationship problems.

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6 Ways to Cope with the Limitations of Depression

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders,” says a Jewish proverb. A member of my online depression group, Project Beyond Blue, posted it recently. I asked them for ways they cope with the limitations of depression because I needed inspiration.

My kids have had maybe eight full days of school since before Christmas break. This is a big problem for a highly-sensitive manic-depressive whose desk is in her son’s bedroom. Every time I get a coherent thought -- which isn’t often -- I am interrupted by a yelp or some gross twerking motion, thanks to Miley Cyrus.
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Inspiration & Hope

You Have Permission to Cut Off Your Abuser

I know that other abuse survivors go searching for confirmation that it’s righteous and acceptable to cut their abuser out of their life forever. But when you’ve been abused by your parent, sibling, or other family members, it’s rare that anyone will tell you, "It’s unresolvable" or "Walk away from the relationship completely."

Recovery from child abuse was always bringing up conflicting attitudes for me. 
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Now that I’m Married, How Do I Talk to My Spouse?

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. -- Mignon McLaughlin
Can you imagine your partner and yourself holding a weekly formal meeting? The idea might intrigue you, but what if it turns into a gripe session or a series of demands?

Knowledge is power, so it’s best to learn how to hold a successful meeting with your spouse before actually trying one. I wrote Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted to provide this information.

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5 Reasons Not to Go Home for Christmas

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays...” So begins one of the Christmas songs that is incessantly on the radio this time of year. The song celebrates the holiday fantasy of a happy family going on a sleigh ride, enjoying themselves around a table laden with holiday foods or gathering around a warm, homey fire. The strong cultural mandate to go “home” is hard to resist. But there are good reasons for staying put in the new home you’ve made.

It’s hard to disappoint the people who will be disappointed, but maybe the healthiest thing you can do for you and yours is to take a bye this year.
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How Internet Addiction Almost Ruined My Life

Is my life that attached to the Internet, or was I using it as an escape from life altogether?

It was nearly a decade ago that I transitioned into a career that involved working almost entirely in the digital space, and social media began to take over my life.

Since basically forever, the online world always held a certain siren's call. ICQ and LiveJournal, IRC and Friendster. I illustrated my mood via cryptic AIM status messages, and exhibited deep feelings of hurt when I'd put someone important to me in my MySpace Top 8 and they didn't do the same for me.
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Brain and Behavior

Head. Heart. Repeat.

We can restore contact with our emotions even after years of them being buried. Psychological suffering, symptoms, and even character armor (the tough defenses we erect to protect ourselves from vulnerability and hurt) can be reversed because our brains are pliable. We have heard much in recent years about neuroplasticity.

Contacting emotions is not enough though. We need to utilize them as a catalyst for change for the better. On our own or with a therapist, we can transform our shame, guilt and anxiety and begin again to sense our core emotions (sadness, fear, anger, joy, disgust, excitement, sexual excitement).

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: November 28, 2015

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

If you live in America, chances are this was a pretty...eventful week for you, what with the Thanksgiving holiday and the ever-controversial Black Friday.

We hope today is a day a peace and relaxation, and we've gathered all the latest mental health-related news across the 'net to help you settle down and refocus.

This week, you'll learn more about how to manage the holidays when you have anxiety, the most important things everyone should know about seasonal depression, and the one thing you're likely not doing for yourself if you're unhappy.

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