Anxiety and Panic

How Childhood Trauma Affects Adult Relationships

Childhood experiences are crucial to our emotional development. Our parents, who are our primary attachment figures, play an important role in how we experience the world because they lay the foundation of what the world is going to look like for us. Is it a safe place to explore and take emotional risks? Are all people out to hurt us and therefore untrustworthy? Can we lean on important people in our lives to support us in times of emotional need?

Complex trauma refers to prolonged exposure to a stressful event. This would include children who have grown up in physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive households. Without the safety net of a secure attachment relationship, children grow up to become adults who struggle with feelings of low self-worth and challenges with emotional regulation. They also have an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety.
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Anxiety and Panic

4 Things I Learned in Trauma Group Therapy

I never wanted to go to group therapy, especially for my trauma history. Child sexual abuse didn’t seem like something I was ready to share with a group of people, even if they had walked a mile in my shoes. As long as I didn’t reveal my dark secret to anyone else, they saw a normal woman before them. If they learned I was abused, I thought for sure they’d see me as some kind of festering wound on society, a reminder that there are perverts among us, operating beneath the otherwise cheerful and wholesome social world.

I'm sensitive about my faults. In fact, I'm sensitive about everything. I didn’t want to take what I considered to be by far the ugliest thing about me to a group of strangers on a weekly basis as if to say, “Here it is again!”

Sadly, I never considered the fact that I didn’t feel that way about other people who had been abused. Why would I ever imagine they’d feel that way about me?
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 12, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but from where I'm sitting it's a sunshine-filled, 70-degree day, and the last thing I want to do is be indoors!

Still, I suggest you take your phone or tablet or laptop or whatever (oh, technology) outside, because you definitely don't want to miss this week's updates in the world of mental health.

Read on for the latest on how to create habits that revive lost motivation, why binge-watching television could be linked to depression, what some mental health patients have to say about a certain Bernie Sanders comment, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Permanently Eliminate Insecurity

What is it about insecurity that makes us so uncomfortable? Why do most of us pretend we don’t have insecurities, or even worse, suppress them?

While it is common to deny insecurity, we must be aware of the drastic consequences of doing so. The very act of pushing something down automatically creates resistance. It takes a great amount of energy to push down our insecurities and not just physical energy, but mental and emotional energy as well. Any person or situation has the potential to trigger these emotions, and it is inevitable that they will rise to the surface. At that point, we must decide if we want to keep building on these insecurities, or if we want to face them once and for all.
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Bipolar

Is Depression Always a Disease?

Like most mental health writers, I have compared depression to illnesses like diabetes in the past, and stressed the biochemical aspect of mood disorders in my efforts to reduce stigma. Somehow talking about the gene G72/G30 located on chromosome 13q (that may predispose individuals to depression and bipolar disorder) makes it more legitimate, as if the gene proves we aren’t making it up.

However, the more I read about how abuse, trauma, and chronic stress --unresolved issues of all kinds -- can cause and aggravate depression, the less I want to compare it to diabetes.
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Books

10 Books on Happiness & Success for Your Reading List

Being an entrepreneur is stressful work. You pour blood, sweat, and tears into making your business work. Even though it can test you down to your last nerve, there’s nothing more rewarding than starting your own company.

While it can be challenging to successfully balance your workload plus family, friends, fitness and some personal time, there are few things that rings true for most successful entrepreneurs. It’s their unwavering commitment to continuous self-improvement in all areas of their life from their business prowess to their personal relationships.
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Anxiety and Panic

For Those in Despair: You Are Not Alone

Whenever we’re struggling with something, we assume we are alone. We are the only ones. I’m the only one who can’t get through the day without crying. I’m the only one with sweaty palms and terror swirling through my body while grocery shopping. I’m the only one who isn’t blissed out after having a baby. I’m the only one who can’t shake this all-consuming sorrow or rage. I’m the only one who can’t sit still. Who can’t stomach myself.  

But you’re not alone. You’re not alone in your confusing emotions, dark thoughts and daily struggles. You are one of hundreds, of thousands and even of millions. Two recently published essay collections remind us of this. They remind us that while our stories may be unique, the themes are not. We are connected. And there is hope.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: February 20, 2016


Good afternoon, Psych Central readers!

First, I have to apologize for the late post. Generally, I try to publish these earlier in the day, but, alas. Technology is a wonderful thing, but unfortunately there are some blips along the way -- and I've had a few connection issues over the last couple of days.

Fortunately, that didn't stop me from collecting some fascinating pieces for you over the week, so let's get down to business, shall we?

Read on for the latest about mountaintop removal's affect on mental health, how your personality affects your taste in music, yet another research report on marijuana use and its contributions to mental illness, and more.

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Depression

Does Seasonal Affective Disorder Exist? Can Depressive Symptoms Be Seasonal?

In late January, researchers published the results of their study that seem to call into question whether seasonal affective disorder (SAD) actually exists. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of clinical depression that appears to be related in some way to the changing of the seasons (primarily winter and summer).

The new study contradicts dozens of previous studies that have found evidence that seasonal affective disorder does exist. So how do we square the results of the new study with the previous studies?

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Antidepressant

This Is Why Taking Antidepressants Makes Me a Better Mother


It wasn't until I had visions of smothering my five-month-old daughter that I knew I needed help.

I've struggled with depression since I was 15 years old, and I've tried to effectively treat that depression for 16 years and counting. I've tried talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and light therapy. I've tried changing my diet, changing my job, sleeping more, and drinking less. I've tried prayer, meditation, yoga and running, and I've tried more medications than you can imagine: Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil and even Depakote. And while some things have worked and others haven't, one thing I'm certain of is that antidepressants make me a better person.

Also: I'm a better mom because of medication.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Does Crying Make You More Depressed?

“Live to the point of tears,” said Camus.

That’s not so hard if you have treatment-resistant depression or any kind of chronic mood disorder. You learn to take tissues with you wherever you go. In the middle of a depressive episode, especially, crying happens as naturally as sneezing or blowing your nose.

Two or three days of every month are tearful ones for me. Sometimes the crying is triggered by hormonal changes. Sometimes it is a release of stress. And sometimes I don’t really know why I’m crying. I just do.
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