Understanding Orthorexia

"Ah, I can't do lunch, but would you want to grab coffee later on?" This is something I would say often to my friends. My circle was growing smaller. I rarely saw friends or even family. My apartment was my temple. The holder of all things healthy.

I prepared all of my meals after returning from my trip to Whole Foods. It was Sunday, my meal prep day, where I would hover over a stove baking bland free-range chicken, grass-fed steaks, organic broccoli and sweet potatoes.
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6 Things You Need to Know Before Starting OCD Treatment

If you suffer from OCD, you likely feel exhausted every day. The anxiety and tormenting thoughts may lead you to internal and external rituals. These compulsions provide relief -- at least temporarily. You probably wish there was a magic pill or treatment that could take the suffering away permanently.

If you were told that the answer to a better life is found at the top of a high mountain, would you be willing to climb it? You would be warned, “It will be a stormy and an arduous ascend, but once you get to the top, you’ll find what you are looking for!” Would you take the chance and do what it takes to get there? It could be the hardest thing you’ve done in your life. Would you still consider it?
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: May 30, 2015

This week's Psychology Around the Net will teach you about the connection between personal scents and happiness, how brain stimulation techniques might treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, the similar effects between oxytocin and alcohol, and more.

Do People Transmit Happiness by Smell? Using scent samples, new research shows you could pick up on others' positive emotions through their sweat.

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Anxiety and Panic

Intrusive Thoughts: When Having a Great Imagination Seems Like a Curse

At any given time I can bring to mind a fatal accident. Something violent and tragic is upon me, and it's going to happen any second.

Riding in the car -- a vehicle will suddenly crash into the back of us and send us careening off the freeway. Walking the dog -- a larger animal will come out of nowhere and eviscerate my pet. Blowing out the candles on my birthday cake -- a gas line will explode. Sitting in front of an open window -- someone will reach inside and hit me over the head.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Redefine Boundaries to Your Own Personal Freedom

“The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

- Tara Brach
I was in the heart of my Ph.D. program when I received the diagnoses: OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder.

It explained a lot, of course. All those years of anxiety, self-doubt, and intrusive thoughts were not normal after all. Eating to the point of gaining forty pounds in a few months was foreign to most people.

I wanted an explanation. Why me?

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: January 10, 2015

Happy Saturday, readers!

As cliche as it might sound, we can't help but think of new beginnings when we think of a new year, and what better way to welcome new beginnings than by keeping up with all the new mental health news, research, and even opinions as we launch into 2015?

After all, we want to stay as healthy and informed as possible!

This week's Psychology Around the Net features research related to pets and their owners' personalities, gut bacteria and how it relates to anxiety, how childhood guilt can affect adult mental health issues, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

Finding the Source of Your Fears

Knowing what is causing your fear and anxiety can go a long way toward finding the solution. Below are some suggestions.

1. Self-evaluation. A person can find the source of his or her own fears by doing some self-evaluation and also by talking to a professional. Asking yourself questions such as: “Why am I afraid?” or “What is causing my anxiety?” will lead you in the right direction.

2. Determine a solution. Once you find the...
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Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Most people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” -- to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

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Psychology Around the Net: September 27, 2014

Need caught up on this week's psychology-related news around the 'net? From Alanis Morissette's view on happiness to what NOT to say to someone with bipolar disorder, we've got you covered.

Behind the Online Comments: The Psychology of Online Trolls: We've all experienced them. Now find out what motivates them.

Most US Kids Who Take ADHD Meds Don't Get Therapy: Fewer than a quarter of US children prescribed ADHD also receive talk therapy, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics recently reported of the findings from study conducted by the nonprofit research organization RAND.

Tax Court: Anxiety, Depression Are Not Physical Injuries: Ever wonder how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) views anxiety?

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Children and Teens

Passing it On: Parenthood & Mental Illness

“Aren’t you afraid he will get your disease?”

This question was uttered by a colleague at a department picnic this past summer when I was still working as a college instructor. This colleague had known me for a few years. She had known me when I was still adamantly not going to have children. She knew of my diagnoses. This was the first time she had seen me since I had given birth, and the first time she met my son, who had just turned one year old.

She chose to ask a question about my fear of passing on my psychiatric illnesses.Not a question concerning the million other things that happens with new motherhood -- a question of genetic loading.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Paralysis of Analysis: On Overthinking

A friend told me the other day to stop overthinking.

“Bah ha ha ha!”

That’s like telling the pope not to get on his knees, my daughter to stop craving sweets, or a teenage boy not to think about sex.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who didn’t need a second longer with a menu. The truth is, I don’t even read the whole menu because I get so overwhelmed. I go to the salads section, where I only have to choose between five items. And I hope that it comes with dressing, because that decision could involve up to 10 candidates.

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