Mental Health and Wellness

America Needs Talent

Need a talent?

Try doing nothing.


In our hyperkinetic society, we scan our inbox, check our cell phones, and -- for good measure -- refresh our inbox. The average Americans checks his email 46 times per day.

Was the latest GroupOn coupon that crucial?

Riding the bus to work this morning, I observe my sleep-deprived busmates fidgeting in their seats. As the bus rumbles downtown, my busmates are Twittering, Snapchatting, and Facebooking away. Some are feverishly working -- engrossed in the latest project. Me? I am hunched over my iPhone, scanning my mind’s recesses for a catchy intro. We are all busy, running on life’s treadmill. But is the ceaseless need for productivity sapping our mental equanimity? Averting our eyes from our overflowing inbox, we both know the answer.
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Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 3

This is part 3 of the series "Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven." Don't miss Part 1 and Part 2 too.

The Future of Therapy and Recovery

There is not a one track solution to this problem. Various schools of thought will need to come together to thoroughly evaluate the best ways to make high quality care affordable and accessible. The World Health Organization promotes ways for institutions to integrate mental health services into primary health care, aiming to raise...
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Why Are We Still Labeling Children as ‘Emotionally Disturbed’?

I'm not perfect at my job, but I know my presence makes a world of difference

I proudly landed my first school counseling job at a public school in New York City. I had been warned by fellow counselors we can never be fully prepared to take on the enormity of our role.

I admit to feeling intimidated upon hearing the label given to children of whom I would be working. The term, "emotionally disturbed (ED)" also intrigued me, but painted a picture before I even met a single child on my caseload. Not learning specific special education classifications in graduate school, I read up as much as I could about this identification. The image my mind had created included children appearing older than their natural age, possessing negativity and a toughness about them; similarly, to the many Hollywood movies about inner city kids, and contrary to the children whom I grew up with in suburban schools. And then I arrived to work on my first day, wide-eyed and with a tough exterior of my own that I anticipated I would need.
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Why Do Drugs?

Any casual look at media, billboards, online popups, and banners and signs in stores is enough to show that medications and drugs are ubiquitous. Whether used initially for a legitimate medical reason - with a prescription from a doctor - or socially, drug use can and does morph into something much more serious, including addiction. Why, then, do drugs?

Just as there are many reasons people drink alcohol, there are equally as many why they do drugs. Here are some of the more common:

To feel euphoria, pleasure and empathy, even though temporary
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Finding Empathy Across the Political Divide

No one can figure it out. It is a mind-boggling mystery.

"Who ARE these people who support Trump?" "Who ARE these people who like Hilary?" "Who ARE these people who are planning to vote for a third party candidate?"

Well, "these people" are our neighbors. Our dentists. Our airplane pilots. Our children. Our old friends from high school.

These people are us. We are all members of the community of the United States of America. Yet so many of us feel like we are living in a totally different reality from ‘these people.’ We cannot grasp how anyone can think about things SO differently from how we think about them.
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Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 2

This is part 2 of the series "Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven." Don't miss Part 1.

Hear the Rattle and Click as the Door Slams Home. Welcome to Prison.

Without true understanding of how many people were touched by mental illness and what actions needed to be taken to help care for their personal welfare upon release from healthcare facilities, a concurrent rise in homelessness and surge of patients into correctional facilities began to unfold. (11) In a 2013 report to Congress...
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Is Your Man Cheating on You with His Smartphone?

Does it seem like every time you look over at your partner, he is glued to his smartphone screen, doing who knows what? You ask him a question, wait for his response and all you get is a simple, “what was that?” or “huh?”

What could possibly be so interesting and taking up this much of his time? And how do you live with it, without grounding him from technology or throwing it out the window?

Your partner doesn’t have to be messaging other woman via email or social media in order for technology to be causing damage to your relationship. Feeling like you have to compete with a smartphone, tablet, or other device can easily lead to resentment and dissatisfaction in your relationship.
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Controlling Your Anger on the Roads

No one likes bad drivers, especially those who don’t know how to use a turn single. For many, frustration turns into anger that’s hard to handle on the road.

Friends and relatives feel uneasy and unsafe riding in the car while with an angry driver, especially when behavior escalates. Muttering under your breath becomes cursing and flipping your middle finger.

Instead of words or gestures, road rage leads to aggressive driving.
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3 Creative Activities for Couples to Cultivate Your Intimacy

All relationships require regular tending. They require effort, attention and time -- like anything worthwhile. One of the best ways to tend to your relationship is to focus on your intimacy.

Intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about cultivating your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connection.

Specifically, intellectual intimacy is sharing thoughts or interests that each partner finds stimulating, said Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, an Arizona-based art therapist who believes in the value of creativity and communication in helping couples play, heal, and grow together.
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Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 1

If you go into your internet browser’s search bar and type in the word “asylum,” a host of terrifying images of dirty hallways, rusty beds, and screaming faces will pop up. Let’s face it -- asylum is mostly known as a negative word, a place where unspeakable things occur in the movies that keep us awake at night. Regardless of its roots in providing protective safe haven, the concept of asylum receives a bad reputation mostly because of historical documentation of the awful and dehumanizing conditions of psychiatric hospitals.

"It's not easy to talk about. You don't want people to think you're 'nuts' when everyone in there is not nuts," Ann explains while sipping a cup of coffee. "During certain stays I had dignity, but there was one hospital where there were bed bugs all over. They had to keep changing my sheets and the staff would come in to clean them out of the lights." Now in her fifties, Ann has experienced many years of hospital stays at different institutions while combating major depressive disorder (MDD).
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: October 25, 2016

I thought I was over my dysfunctional relationship with one thing. You know the "one thing" I need to make me happy.

As soon as I lose this much pounds, I'll be happy.

As soon as I meet my soulmate, I'll be happy.

As soon as I marry him, I'll be happy.

When I have two kids (one boy and one girl), I'll be happy.

When I publish a book, I'll be happy.

I realized all I did was exchange one thing for another. But I realized that happiness wasn't a destination. It was a choice. And it wasn't even really happiness, I was truly searching for. It was a life-a messy, but meaningful and all my own life.

Those don't come with conditions. They come with feeling the painful hard stuff, growing and making tons of mistakes. So I've tried to throw away the "one thing," in exchange for this moment and everything beautiful and brutal (or as author Glennon Doyle Melton calls "brutiful") in it.

If you are on the same mission, you'll enjoy our posts this week on learning to love yourself and the wonderful things that can come with spending time alone.
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Brain and Behavior

Pillow Talk: You Need More Sleep

“You can sleep when you are dead,” a friend chides.

Offering an awkward chuckle, I was too tired to supply a witty response. In America, we stifle our collective yawn to meet the next pressing deadline. But there is a more important deadline than the latest accounting project: our (sleep) health. For a painful few, sleep is an elusive dream.

In American society, we sacrifice sleep for employment or academic obligations. In competitive academic programs, we brag about the number of all-nighters we pull. Time has chronicled the sleep fatigue of first-year residents and its damning effect on patients.
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