Archive for March, 2012

UMass Fails Student with Depression

Monday, March 26th, 2012

UMass Fails Student with DepressionIf you’re a college student and you’re depressed, chances are you have a student counseling center that’s available to you, at no charge.

Sounds good, right? In an ideal world, the student counseling center would properly assess, diagnose and even treat students with mental health concerns — such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more.

But we don’t live in an ideal world and student counseling centers don’t make a university any money. So they aren’t necessarily well-funded, overflowing with well-paid staff or have access to all the resources they need.

That’s why Emily Merlino’s column about her experience at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), supposedly one of the better universities in the country, was a bit disheartening to read. In it, she details how she was experiencing depressive feelings and sought out help from a professional at the UMass Mental Health Services clinic.

Mindfulness and the Military: Does Self-Acceptance Help Veterans?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Mindfulness and the Military: Does Self-Acceptance Help Veterans?“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.” 
~Thich Nhat Hanh

 “You have to make the mind run the body.”
~General George S. Patton Jr.

A recently published article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology by Kearney, McDermott, Malte, Martinez, and Simpson (2012) may have broad implications for veterans suffering with symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

These researchers demonstrated that engagement in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) showed significant improvements after six months in reducing soldiers’ symptoms of PTSD, depression, behavioral activation (the ability to engage in activities to achieve a goal in spite of aversive symptoms), and self-acceptance. 

Introducing Parenting Tips

Sunday, March 25th, 2012
Introducing Parenting Tips

Parents need all the help they can get in this day and age where technology is …

Overwhelmed? 9 Quick Tips for Keeping Your Home Organized

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Overwhelmed? 9 Quick Tips for Keeping Your Home OrganizedBecause of the subject of my next book, Happier at Home, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about — you guessed it! — how to be happier at home.

Here are a few very simple suggestions. These aren’t the most profound things you can do to make your home feel more serene and organized, but they’re steps you can take fairly quickly.

Click through to read my 9 quick tips to help you feel less overwhelmed and more organized.

Are Your Partner’s Social Skills Embarrassing?

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Are Your Partners Social Skills Embarrassing?This guest article from YourTango was written by SaraKay Smullens

I hear about it week after week, month after month. From men and women. No, it is not affairs. Here’s what it is:

“When we are home together, life is great. But when we are with friends, family, workmates, bosses (take your pick—all are mentioned by various clients of all ages), he/she does things that make me want to hide under a table, or better yet, run.”

The examples are endless…

A thirty-something bride with a demanding PR job has recently married. “It took me so log to find him,” she explains. “He is kind, hard working and great in bed. But when he is with my friends or co-workers, he is forever saying stupid things and acting like a total jerk. He’s asked my friend who is desperate to have children, what she is waiting for. He’s gone to my boss’s house, reached across the table for bread and spilled red wine all over a white table cloth.”

Psych Central Week in Review #9: Math Anxiety, ADHD, and Guns

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I remember the first time I held (and shot) a gun that didn’t shoot water.

I was a teenager. Fourteen? Fifteen, maybe? I was young.

My dad spent an hour one afternoon playing with his new BB gun. I found him in our backyard on a warm summer day taking shots at an empty cardboard shipping box. He was aiming at the “F” in “FRAGILE”.

I stood on our back deck and listened to the obligatory stories about how he and the neighborhood kids used to shoot birds and squirrels with BB guns when he was a teenager.

A teenager? Hmm. I was a teenager. I’d never shot a gun before.

I asked if I could try shooting it. If he used to play with a BB gun at his age, why couldn’t I?

Somewhat reluctantly, he let me try it.

“Aim for the G,” he said, “because it’s right in the middle. And be careful.”

Despite my best aim, my first shot went straight into the dirt. My second shot hit the top edge of the box and my third hit the wall of the garage. (I don’t remember my dad being too happy about that last one.)

9 Tools to Help Kids Cope Creatively with Stress

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

9 Tools to Help Kids Cope Creatively with StressLike adults, kids also get stressed out. They stress over school, bullies and fights with friends. They worry when their parents argue. They experience loneliness and have fears about many things from failing an important test to not fitting in.

In her book The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success, child educational psychologist and UCLA professor Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D, shares nine tools that help kids access their inner world so they can better traverse the trials and tribulations of growing up.

Here’s a brief look at Reznick’s valuable tools.

Best of Our Blogs: March 23, 2012

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Life is such an interesting mix of push and pull. There are some things, for example, that require us to go beyond our comfort zone less we become too complacent in life. At the same time, there are things that can’t be forced, like our moods, relationships, and even our happiness.

It reminds me of the ocean. As a child, I watched as the water seemed to flow with the current and against it in order to make those great big waves that peaked at its crest and fell back onto the sand.

To stay afloat in the world and current of the times, we may need to take note from the ocean and find our own balance. This may mean trying social media as a new way to increase our support system. It may also mean discovering new ways to be happy or confronting a loved one who may be depressed.

Obviously, life is not easy. And venturing outside what’s familiar and embracing, not resisting change, takes a considerable amount of courage and the ability to manage discomfort, fear and the unknown. We’re not meant to be static creatures. We’ve been falling down and picking ourselves up since we were children. Like the ocean, we must move with the flow of change while resisting the things that are just not working in our lives. 

Introducing Character Strengths

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Introducing Character Strengths

I’m pleased to introduce Character Strengths — a blog about positive psychology and figuring out how to …

Interview with EMDR Creator Francine Shapiro

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Interview with EMDR Creator Francine ShapiroEMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) helps clients process traumatic experiences and get past their past.

This month we had the pleasure of speaking to EDMR creator Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., whose book, Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, was recently published.

In our interview, Shapiro shares more about the book along with how she discovered EMDR, how it works and the research that supports it.

Click through to read an excerpt from the interview.

Kony 2012 Director: What is Brief Reactive Psychosis or Brief Psychotic Disorder?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Kony 2012 Director: What is Brief Reactive Psychosis or Brief Psychotic Disorder?According to news reports earlier today, the Kony 2012 director Jason Russell, 33, was “hospitalized last week in San Diego after witnesses saw him running through streets in his underwear, screaming incoherently and banging his fists on the pavement.” His wife now says he’s been diagnosed with brief reactive psychosis, which is technically called “brief psychotic disorder.”

Brief psychotic disorder could be most simply thought of as a form of short-term schizophrenia, since many of the symptoms of the disorders are exactly the same. The primary difference is that in a brief psychotic disorder, the psychosis is less than 30 days.

Let’s delve more into brief reactive psychosis and talk about how one “gets it” (don’t worry, it’s not catching).

Publication Bias Again, This Time For Antipsychotics

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Publication Bias Again, This Time For AntipsychoticsAs we reported earlier today, new research has discovered that pharmaceutical companies withheld a handful of nonsignificant and negative data from publication when working to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve atypical antipsychotics. However, the problem was significantly less severe than the publication bias researchers found when looking at antidepressants.

Antidepressants have been especially hard hit when looking at the FDA pre-approval research. In fact, in Lesley Stahl’s recent 60 Minutes report on antidepressant research, she walked away completely baffled by the meaning of it all. What does it mean when researchers find such negative findings that were never published?

Let’s find out…

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