Brain and Behavior

Your Life Choices Help Determine Energy Flow

If you are growing and maturing in emotional health, you'll notice that your choices flow less from the stark oppositional realms of good vs. bad and and flow more from the less obvious subjective realms of good, better and best.

Sometimes we may fare just fine with any of them. But it may be worth the mental toil of exploring all angles and potential outcomes of each choice, since it's much harder to undo most choices than not making one at all.

Our free time needs to be used to optimal measure for re-energizing, so it's critical to weigh the benefits and costs and really choose well.

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Brain and Behavior

Why Withdrawing Doesn’t Always Work

Before Busy Philipps moved to "Cougar Town" or James Franco was partying with his buddies at the end of the world, they were Kim Kelly and Daniel Desario of Judd Apatow and Paul Feig's beloved-yet-short-lived series, "Freaks and Geeks."

Despite having their heartfelt moments throughout the series, Daniel and Kelly were generally either arguing, breaking up or making up.

At the beginning of episode 12, "The Garage Door," Daniel thinks he has it figured out: withdraw. But does such a strategy actually work?

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A Short & Simple Guide to Finding Friends

You might want to make new friends for various reasons.

Maybe your relationship just ended, and many of your friends followed your ex. Maybe you just moved to a new neighborhood and don’t know a soul. Maybe you lost your spouse, with whom you happily spent all your free time. Or maybe you just want to broaden your circle and meet new people.

Whatever your reasons, there’s no doubt that meaningful friendships are good for us. “Having solid friendships is important for both our physical health and emotional well-being,” said Irene S. Levine, Ph.D, a psychologist and producer of The Friendship Blog, a popular online advice column on friendship.

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Brain and Behavior

Schizotypal Disorder: Similar to Other Disorders, Yet Unique

Not to be confused with schizophrenia, nor schizoaffective disorder (which it is often confused with simply due to its name), schizotypal personality disorder is in a league of its own.

The biggest distinction in diagnosis, at least, is that schizotypal disorder is one of the personality disorders (along with borderline, obsessive-compulsive and several others, including a few mentioned below). 

Delusions and hallucinations are the hallmark of schizoaffective disorder, almost akin to schizophrenia. In schizotypal disorder, however, these two traits are not so extensive as they are with people with schizophrenia.

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Life as a Mentally Ill Professional

I am a Social Security disability attorney and I just won another bipolar case for the most deserving of clients.

I have a soft spot for her myriad problems: psychotic breaks, commitment to psychiatric hospitals, deep depression, panic attacks... you name it. Today was a glorious day when I feel proud of my profession and lucky that I have found somewhere to do good while living with a mental illness.

Yes, living with a mental illness. I am 37 years old and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in February 2000.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 30, 2013

Life is a dynamic balance of internal and external realties. Our external experiences often shape our personal thoughts, opinions, and judgments; likewise, our internal realities affect how we perceive and evaluate what’s happening around us.

This week, several Psych Central bloggers take a look at what’s happening in our minds as well as our external worlds — and how it all works together.
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Why You Shouldn’t Date These 6 Types of Online Guys

This guest article from YourTango was written by Rebecca A. Marquis.

If you have ever tried your hand at online dating, chances are you've undoubtedly encountered at least one of these six types of guys. Now, keep in mind, these are broad generalizations, and even a guy who fits into one of these categories might be the exception to the rule.

But have you ever thought about what's behind the common profile type, and whether or not he'd make a good boyfriend? Or even longer-term partner?

With these men, you should read the warning signs before you get too involved with him. It's not a "sure thing" that he's not the one for you (hey, maybe you're a perfectionist too!), but it's a possible sign.

More from YourTango: 3 Reasons Why We Rush Into Relationships

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Grieving My Lost Childhood

I have been in recovery for a while now. Most days, I feel pretty good. Most days, I can keep my anxiety from paralyzing me. Most days, I function well.

However, I don’t have to look far to see my pain. All I have to do is think about my parents.

Last night, I was watching a TV show, and a woman was grieving the loss of her mother to cancer. It had been about nine months since her death, but since the woman was planning her wedding, she was particularly upset. I could feel the intolerance building up inside of me. I may have even rolled my eyes.

I thought to myself, “at least you had a mother.” This doesn’t happen every time. My compassion has come a long way. But last night, the feelings were there.

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7 Small & Simple Habits for a Happy Marriage

Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in couples therapy, believes that relationships don’t require hard work. They do require "attention and intention."

She likens a relationship to a plant. In order to stay healthy, a plant requires daily attention and care, such as water and sunlight. Taking care of a plant isn’t difficult, but “it does require nourishment.”

Bush has written a book with her husband Daniel Arthur Bush, Ph.D, called 75 Habits for a Happy Marriage: Advice to Recharge and Reconnect Every Day.

What makes a happy union?

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7th Canadian Conference on Dementia

Dementia, a term used to describe declines in mental ability, such as memory and thinking, that interfere with daily life, affects millions of people in the U.S. and Canada. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just two of the debilitating diseases encompassed by the term dementia.

From October 3-5, 2013, a world-renowned faculty of national and international speakers will gather at the 7th Canadian Conference on Dementia in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference offers a wide range of topics related to dementia. There will be opportunities for stimulating debate, interactive workshops and exposure to the latest research via oral and poster presentations.

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Brain and Behavior

Is Coffee the New Cure-All for Depression, Suicide?

I recently came across the headline, "Drinking coffee linked to lower suicide risk in adults." The article detailed a recently published study that examined coffee and caffeine intake of 208,424 people enrolled in three different multi-decade studies. Consumption of caffeine, coffee, and decaffeinated coffee was assessed every 4 years by food-frequency questionnaires.

During the study periods, 277 people died by suicide, according to their death certificates.

The researchers found a correlation between people who drank more coffee (2-4 cups per day), and a 50 percent decrease in their risk of death by suicide.

But, like with most studies of this nature that simply follow a cohort of individuals over time, researchers can't really tell you which way this correlation goes.

Are people who drink more coffee really at less risk for suicide?

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