Brain and Behavior

Men: How to Awaken Passion in Your Wife

For men, it’s easy. Your wife gives you a glance, a naughty side-turn or wears some sexy lingerie and you’re rearing to go. For women, foreplay is a bit more complicated.

Sex and intimacy are essential ingredients to remaining close and connected to your spouse, but often, it’s the first thing to go. Not only do you battle with the stress of everyday life, lack of sleep from demanding kids or just feeling plain old “not into it,” you also have to worry about setting the stage precisely. Otherwise it loses steam.

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Addiction

The Brilliant Way We Avoid Our Emotions

Mary picks a fight with her husband at night so she doesn't have to deal with her sex anxiety. Looking for what’s wrong with her husband distracts her from her discomfort and the feelings of vulnerability that are causing her anxiety in the first place. By not directly addressing her core feelings with her husband, Mary misses an opportunity to be understood and problem-solve.

Michael doesn't feel settled or at ease with himself unless he drinks beer after beer. The alcohol calms his physical tension and mental anguish, but that strategy for dealing with his underlying pain is not sustainable. Eventually his drinking will lead to health and relationship problems.

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Brain and Behavior

Head. Heart. Repeat.

We can restore contact with our emotions even after years of them being buried. Psychological suffering, symptoms, and even character armor (the tough defenses we erect to protect ourselves from vulnerability and hurt) can be reversed because our brains are pliable. We have heard much in recent years about neuroplasticity.

Contacting emotions is not enough though. We need to utilize them as a catalyst for change for the better. On our own or with a therapist, we can transform our shame, guilt and anxiety and begin again to sense our core emotions (sadness, fear, anger, joy, disgust, excitement, sexual excitement).

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: November 28, 2015


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

If you live in America, chances are this was a pretty...eventful week for you, what with the Thanksgiving holiday and the ever-controversial Black Friday.

We hope today is a day a peace and relaxation, and we've gathered all the latest mental health-related news across the 'net to help you settle down and refocus.

This week, you'll learn more about how to manage the holidays when you have anxiety, the most important things everyone should know about seasonal depression, and the one thing you're likely not doing for yourself if you're unhappy.

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Brain and Behavior

Silence is Golden

The old song by Simon and Garfunkel was so right: silence really is golden, but maybe in more ways than we realize. In our urban, busy world we don’t get enough outer silence. There’s always the sound of traffic, TVs, other people in their apartments and the general buzz of the city as we go about our daily business. These days we have to hunt out the quiet spaces, but they are there as I discovered just the other day.

I’m selling my apartment, so we have the bi-weekly ritual of having to go out with the dog for 45 minutes during house viewing and find somewhere to be. As my dog is a bit old and grumpy (he’s 85 in human years), we try to seek out places that avoid other dogs and small children, which is hard in a café-obsessed beachside suburb of Sydney. As we took a walk up the road we discovered a small nature reserve that had been recently restored. Pristine bush tucked away in the city, green, tranquil and no sound, that’s bliss.

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Anger

Patience Required

Several years ago, when ordering a fish sandwich in a fast food joint, I was told it would take a while. “How long?” I inquired. “About a minute.”

A minute. I have to wait a whole minute! I don’t know if I can handle that!

Nowadays, requests for patience have shrunk to “wait a second!” And quite often, the answer is, “No, that’s too long!”

Think I’m kidding? How many times have you surfed the Web, clicking on another site if the download didn’t happen immediately? How many times have you skimmed your emails, deciding what to delete in less than a second?
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Addiction

Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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ADHD and ADD

Psychology Around the Net: November 21, 2015


With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we're in the throes of the holiday season here in America; unfortunately, this isn't a happy time for all. However, psychologists have a few tips and tricks to keep your holiday blues in check.

Of course, we've also got the latest on sex and happiness, how a mother's age could affect her daughter's mental health, whether your child's ADHD medication puts him or her at risk for bullying, and more.

Have a happy Saturday!

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Brain and Behavior

Embracing Your Inner Self

Embrace and make peace with life because in this very moment you are right where you were meant to be. We have the opportunity to grow and learn from the past and create an amazing future.

Growing up, I never felt good enough. Not only was this my internal dialogue but it was reiterated by my father. So for years I had to learn how to embrace positive cognitions and self-talk. It hasn’t come naturally to me, but with time and coaching I learned how to embrace myself and take control of my life.

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Brain and Behavior

Old-School Interventions for Today’s Stresses

We are so busy being busy we approach the day with a vengeance. Today is not a marathon; it’s an Ironman triathlon. To stay ahead we cut corners: skip breakfast; work through lunch; eat frozen dinner while glued to a digital screen. And we wonder why we are tired (but can’t sleep), sickly (yet can’t quite pinpoint the malady), and unfulfilled (in spite of the sacrifices, things are still not coming together).

There are a few old-school interventions that can help to get your head back in the game:

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Brain and Behavior

A Trance of Unworthiness

Mothers tell me their No. 1 challenge is being overwhelmed by too much to do. They never feel like they finish what needs to be done and they feel exhausted from trying. As a mother, psychologist and mindfulness teacher, I know that feeling intimately.

Our culture values achievement and “doing" so highly that this feeds our compulsion to be busy: our addiction to cataloguing what needs to be done and steadily and relentlessly working our way through it. And the consuming nature of parenting often means we can’t get much else done. When, at the end of a day, we don't meet our unrealistic expectations, we are left feeling that we are somehow deficient.
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Brain and Behavior

Think, Feel and Do Your Way to a Healthier You

Change is a three-pronged process because we are trying to change what we think, how we feel and what we do about our habits. It’s not always easy juggling all three. As thinking, feeling and doing beings, we must explore each one when implementing long-term change in our lives. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviors hold valuable information about the purpose of our habits and the balance of our inner ecosystem.
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