Books

5 Ways to Live Well with Chronic Pain

None of us ever set out to live a life with chronic pain and illness, but it happens. There comes that moment when you are sitting in yet another doctor’s office going over your symptoms for the third time that week, and the physician is simultaneously squinting his eyes, trying to make sense of your laundry list of complaints while scribbling something in your file -- when you realize that your story might not ever have a Cinderella ending.

You panic. You may throw things (when you get home). Niagara Falls begins to erupt from your eyes. And then gradually, over time and much heartache, you embrace Plan B.
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Anxiety and Panic

Can You Use Denial to Deal with Anxiety on Your Terms?

You don’t always have to accept reality.

Remember those old Road Runner cartoons where Wile E. Coyote would accidentally run off a cliff? And he’d spend a few seconds suspended in mid-air, tentatively dabbing the nothingness beneath with his toe, as if to reassure himself that the ground was still below him? As viewers, we all know that the second Wile looks down and confirms the reality of his situation -- he’s going to plummet to his doom.

Human beings do the same thing all the time. We get ourselves into harrowing situations, we surround ourselves in stress and anxious emotions, but we find ways to delay in the inevitable -- we force ourselves to NOT look down -- so we can spend a few more seconds walking on air before the universe reminds us that gravity does, in fact, exist.
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Books

Psychology Around the Net: October 29, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers a myriad of interesting topics, if I do say so myself!

Keep reading for information on how the way you twist your paperclips could highlight your personality (yes, really), a new three-second brain exercises to help you find joy (it's a lot deeper, and yet just as simple, as it sounds), a few misconceptions some of us might have about male sexuality, and more.

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Books

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Growing Brain

You drive your child to soccer practice three times a week so she will get the right amount of exercise. You rush through your evening routine to make sure he is in bed on time and gets enough sleep. You engage in an endless battle of wills at mealtime to make sure they eat all of the broccoli on their plates. On any given day, you do all kind of things to make sure your children’s bodies are growing and developing in healthy ways.

Taking care of our children’s bodies means more than just making sure they grow big and strong -- it also means taking care of their developing brains! Recent neuroscience research in the area of child development has shed light on many different strategies you as a parent can use to make sure you are nourishing your children’s bodies and minds as they grow.
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Books

A Box Full of Darkness: Growing Up in the Shadow of BPD

Someone I loved once gave me
A box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
That this, too, was a gift.
-Mary Oliver

I can’t remember now how I ran across this poem by Mary Oliver. I saved it, because the box-full-of-darkness metaphor seemed genius. As time went by, its relevance to my experience became clearer. The poem eventually served as an epigraph for my book Missing: Coming to Terms with a Borderline Mother.

First, here’s what I won’t be saying about these lines. I won’t say that all dark boxes become gifts. The loss of a child or debilitating pain or one’s own mental illness? Starvation? Violence? Are these gifts, or can they become gifts? It feels presumptuous to say so. I can speak only to my own experience, and a largely blessed and lucky experience it has been.
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Books

3 Tips for Helping Your Kids Develop Empathy

Every child is already empathic. We all are (with a few exceptions). We are wired for empathy. We are wired to connect, communicate and collaborate with others.

Empathy develops in infancy. “A child first learns to tune in to his or her mother’s emotions and moods, and later on to other people’s,” write Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl in their new book The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids.

They further explain, “What the mother feels, the child will feel and mirror. This is why things such as eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice are so important in the beginning of life. It is the first way we feel trust and attachment and begin to learn empathy.”
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Books

Psychology Around the Net: October 8, 2016


If the image didn't give it away...today is my birthday!

I've been celebrating since last night -- not because I'm a person who likes a big deal made out of her birthday, but because I have family members and friends who love me and want to celebrate life with me.

I'm blessed, and I'm eternally grateful for it.

So, while I take a break this morning and check out What Science Has to Say About Being in Your 30s (much of which I'm pretty used to at this point, I'm sure), why don't you check out some of this week's latest in mental health news such as how psychology explains our fear of clowns, how we're sabotaging ourselves during the pursuit of happiness, how our personalities can help us choose the best careers, and more!

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Martha’s Story: TMS Offers an Alternative to Medication & Electroconvulsive Therapy

I haven’t read many paragraphs that articulate depression as accurately as this one, in Martha Rhodes’s riveting memoir, 3000 Pulses Later:

At that moment, my pain felt equal to -- if not even more than -- what I imagined any physical illness could pose. The constant anxiety, sadness, fear, and despair strangled me. I felt inexorably alone and as if I were dying a slow death of emotional asphyxiation. I may not have been diagnosed with incurable cancer of a vital organ, but I knew I was in the throes of battle with what felt like cancer of the soul.

It appears in her “Medication Merry-Go-Around” chapter right after she lists all the drugs that she's tried, but which failed to give her any relief.
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Books

3 Strategies for Supporting a Loved One with Depression

Your loved one has depression. Maybe they’re isolating themselves. Maybe their energy and mood have taken a nosedive. Maybe they’re irritable and angry. Maybe they aren’t enjoying much, if anything, anymore. Maybe they’re having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Maybe they’ve mentioned feeling hopeless or worthless. Maybe they make negative comments about themselves. All. The. Time. Maybe they wear a happy face, but you know they’re struggling.

And, understandably, it’s really hard to watch. Because all you want to do is fix their pain. To make it go away. To make it all better.
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Books

3 Ways to Navigate the Emotional Side of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful and miraculous time. You’re growing a baby for goodness’ sake. And for many moms-to-be, it’s also a tough time. There are the physical symptoms—marathon-level fatigue, nausea, heartburn, appetite loss—which ensure that you don’t feel like yourself. The days might be limping by, and all you want to do is spend hours on the couch, vegging out.

There also are the emotional symptoms. You might be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated and sad—all in one day or all in one hour. It can feel like 500 different concerns are running through your mind (and heart). There are just so many unknowns and question marks. And what-ifs. Is my baby OK? Will I be able to carry him or her to term? Are my symptoms normal? What will labor really feel like? What if I can’t handle it? Should I get an epidural? What if I need a C-section? What will I do with work? Daycare?
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