by Alison Pelz, LCSW, RD
If you have a teen who is struggling with an eating disorder, you know it can be overwhelming, frustrating, lonely, scary, and sometimes feel like a full-time job. Your teen may be reacting angrily one day and the next day melt on the floor in tears.
Eating disorders can disrupt family and work life, create stress in relationships and be a financial hardship. Here are some tips to weather the storm:
by Alicia Sparks
Still afraid you’ll contract Ebola? Ever thought about how your city affects your happiness? What about reverse psychology–does that really work?
Read up on all this and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.
Quiz: How Does Your City Affect Your Happiness?: TIME has compiled 13 questions to help you determine if your city is contributing to or derailing your own happiness.
The Psychology Behind Our Collective Ebola Freak-Out: Are our extreme fears simply human nature?
How to Turn Your Anxiety Into a Productivity Booster: Check out these seven ways you can use anxiety to become more productive.
by Dennis O'Grady, PsyD
Therapy is about the fine art of asking directive questions. So what should you expect from your first appointment with a counselor, social worker or psychologist?
The answer is simple: You should expect easy, brain-expanding questions, questions and more questions. A “change map” (often called “treatment goals”) is then created to guide you in solving the problems that are currently plaguing you.
Here are 10 of the more typical questions a psychotherapist will ask to prime your mental pump for positive change during the counseling process. Following the question is an example of what it might sound like.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
As I wrote in this piece on journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery, part of building a healthy relationship with ourselves is keeping an open and honest dialogue. It’s continually asking ourselves questions and welcoming the answers. It’s getting to know ourselves, at our core.
Another part of building a healthy relationship is cultivating self-compassion. But I know that for many of us this is hard. Really hard. Being kind feels foreign, and unnatural. Instead, after many years, our automatic reaction may be to bash, berate and bully ourselves.
by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
Something we all struggle with or have struggled with is self-worth and self-love that’s not conditional on external circumstances.
And it’s not just loving yourself despite your depression, mistakes and imperfections. It’s about loving the whole of who you are and realizing you’re worthy of love regardless of the things you haven’t quite figured out yet.
It’s not easy. But we are all works-in-progress. If you find yourself being particularly critical these days, try to remember the following:
You are worthy just by nature of being born.
Celebrities, famous people and even therapists are not more worthy than you.
To be less critical and judgmental of others, you must first start with yourself.
It’s okay to love who you are even though you haven’t found your calling, stick your foot in your mouth, mess up on a daily basis and know people who tell you different.
It’s not about racking up the most accomplishments, being problem-free or even perfectionistic in increasing your self-worth and self-esteem.
It’s about acknowledging where you still have to go and working toward loving yourself whether or not you’ve mastered anything.
by Renee Jain
Sometimes joy is found, not in what you receive, but in what you finally let go.
I can pinpoint “the happiest moment of my life” almost to the second. I was on a plane taxiing down a runway en-route to visit my parents in Chicago. The airline attendant began the all too familiar announcement: “Should oxygen be required, a mask will drop down from a compartment above your seat … if you’re traveling with an infant or someone in your care, make sure to secure your own mask first.”
The depth of those words suddenly hit me. Secure your own mask first. Being a mother now, I can hardly imagine the idea of putting myself before my child. Yet, at that moment, I understood this profound truth: You must love yourself and make yourself happy before you can extend that love and happiness to others.
by Gretchen Rubin
Many people were very intrigued by my interview with behavioral scientist Brian Wansink and his ideas. He studies eating behavior and consumer habits, and has a book that just came out: Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.
I asked him for some of his top tips, and he gave me these excellent suggestions to “Help your kitchen make you slim.”
by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Psych Central and our affiliated non-profit organization, the Psych Central Community Connection, have partnered with the National Dialogue on Mental Health, the White House initiative started in 2013 to help increase the national discussion about mental illness, treatment and general mental health.
Creating Community Solutions, who is also part of the national dialogue, has brought face-to-face dialogues on mental health to over 170 communities. They’ve done this with an innovative texting app to help get the conversation started with groups of friends about mental health.
On October 6, they held a contest to see who could bring the most folks together to talk about mental health.
On behalf of the Psych Central community, the Psych Central Community Connection — which provides micro-grants to community members in need — entered the contest and, to our surprise, was one of the many winners!
by Michael Hedrick
The last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had some issues with depression and paranoia. Living with schizophrenia is a rollercoaster and even little blips can turn into crises.
This depression, though, has had me feeling a deep sense of loneliness. The paranoia makes me feel ostracized from the world, and it’s really hard to feel like no matter where you go, you’ll never fit in.
This was weighing on me the other day until something happened that struck me. It put a long-overdue, sorely-needed smile on my face.
by Anneli Rufus
Those of us who struggle with low self-esteem might not like ourselves very much. But, because we’re alive, we like other people and other stuff. As scathingly as we might view our reflections in mirrors or our performance at work, a few things out there in the world still bring us unadulterated joy.
No matter how harsh I’ve been to myself all day, no matter how much I’ve regretted a certain morning’s dialogues, let a crow land near me and I am rapt. Transported by its sleek black muscularity, its knowing eyes. Transformed. Make it a raven and I might treasure this moment all my life.
by Ronald Pies, M.D.
“It’s just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops … It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”
– Steven French, age 18 
When I first saw the headline — “Pumpkin Festival Riot” — I thought it might be a parody, along the lines of spoofs published by The Onion.
But it was all too true: there really was a riot at the “Pumpkin Festival” held Oct. 19th, 2014 in Keene, New Hampshire. What is it about a small-town annual festival that has turned it into a chance to party — and riot? Does it say something about changing societal norms?
by Polly Campbell
The fancy digital, pedometer-bracelet thingy around my wrist tells me I slept six hours and 25 minutes with four interruptions. As I struggle to awake, my body can tell you, that isn’t nearly enough.
An estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many nights, I am among them.
Aside from the health risks associated with inadequate sleep, such as depression, memory and attention issues, mood disorders, and the higher risk of physical illness, researchers at the University of Oxford now believe a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also contribute to brain shrinkage. That thought alone might keep you up at night.