Disorders

Video: What’s in a Label? Pros and Cons of the DSM

A recent proposal to remove transgender identity from the ICD, the World Health Organization's manual of medical conditions, has reignited the debate over what should and shouldn't be a mental health diagnosis.
Many feel that classifying transgender identity as a disorder is unnecessarily stigmatizing. Others argue that leaving it as a recognized medical diagnosis has practical benefits. For example, as a New York Times article on the controversy points out, classifying...
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Addiction

Prescription Drug Addiction: Legal But Very Risky

Generally when we hear the terms "drug" or "drug addict" we assume the reference is geared towards illegal street drugs. There seems to be a silent acceptance of the addictive qualities and negative impacts that legal drugs have on society. When/if the negative impacts they have are addressed, an overt finger is pointed at the person who found themselves addicted to the substance that was either prescribed by a professional or advertised repeatedly through media outlets as a fun, enjoyable way to spend downtime. There are warning labels but for the most part these drugs are depicted as a fairly safe means to cure an ailment or a recipe for a good time.
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Depression

Don’t Let Depression Steal Your Sexuality


Just work with me here...

I’ve been having a hard time writing these last couple of weeks. New insurance led to a switch in which particular generic form of my antidepressant I received, and lo and behold, the different one isn’t quite getting the job done.

I’ve been a bit weepy (ok, more than a bit -- pretty much anything involving dads gets me choked up...just happened while I was typing that) and a bit brain-foggy. I'm having a hard time focusing or getting stuff done (sorry if I owe you an email!). And I need to take occasional sobbing breaks while I am also getting hit with intermittent waves of free-floating guilt and paranoia.

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Depression

15 Quotes to Inspire People with Chronic Illness

Being sick is no fun. We all know that. But being chronically ill while maintaining a pleasant disposition is a daunting task even for the Greek gods. Every biological response in your body wants to lean into the creeping despair you feel. But by doing that with regularity, you'll soon feel as if you’ve given up entirely on life. You no longer have the strength to try to tease apart threads of joy from the suffocating blanket of pain that covers you.

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Anxiety and Panic

5 Tips for Helping Your Troubled Teen

It can be tough to tell when a teen needs help. Because adolescence is a time of transition -- and even turbulence. Your teen is likely irritable and moody. They question their identity. In fact, they try on different identities, which can lead to inconsistent behavior.

According to psychotherapist Sean Grover, LCSW, this is known as developmental depression, which is totally normal for teens. “[T]eenagers go through a dramatic transformational period driven by biological and psychological maturation, hormone imbalances and irregularities in brain development.” Which fuels their emotional instability, he said.
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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: August 13, 2016


The world is deep in the throes of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and while such competition has to bring a certain level of anxiety and stress to athletes, sports can help to improve both your body and your mind.

Of course, Olympic athletes face much more pressure than those of us who dabble in the occasional friendly tennis match, which is where professionals such as sports psychologists can help. Learn more about these mental health experts, as well as the latest on the mental health benefits of those who volunteer, how you can make performance anxiety work for you, a new non-medical approach to mental health care that's gaining ground but leaving some psychiatrists skeptical, and more.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: August 12, 2016


Best-selling author Dr. Barbara De Angelis has said, "We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity."

Sometimes, those difficult times come from the dynamics of a relationship. Other times, they come from dealing with our own personal matters.

All times, though, we can pull strength from ourselves and conquer to those difficult times to obtain the courage we need to face any other trials that come our way -- and let's face it, there will be more. Such is life, but also such is the resilience of humans.

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Disorders

Poison Pills? When Meds Strike Back

This narrative details my personal experience with medications. Medications impact each person differently; please consult with your psychiatrist if side effects persist.
The medication bottle gravely intones, “May cause drowsiness, use care operating a vehicle, vessel, or dangerous machinery.” If only.

Over 15 years ago, a well-meaning nurse at UNC-Chapel Hill prescribed an antidepressant. “It will make you feel better,” she soothed. Capitulating to her, I begrudgingly placed the tiny capsule under my tongue.

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Anxiety and Panic

Why It’s Important to Be Positive About Mental Illness

I love hope-filled stories of recovery from mental illness. Living with bipolar disorder has led to many instances of triumph over my circumstances and I often write about them. As anyone who lives with or knows someone with mental illness is aware, it’s a horrible disease.

Do Positive Experiences Glorify Mental Illness?


As a writer and speaker about my experience with bipolar and
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

10 Ways to Cultivate Good Gut Bacteria and Reduce Depression

We are all born with genes that predispose us to all kinds of things -- in my case, most of the psychiatric illnesses listed in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

While we have some control over the way our genes express themselves or “turn on” -- a new science called epigenetics -- we are more or less stuck with our human genome. But we are by no means permanently attached to a diagnosis of Major Depression Disorder (if that is what Mom and Dad kindly handed down).

Each of us also has a complex collection of bacteria living in our guts -- our distinct microbiome -- that also has genes. And THOSE genes we can maneuver in any way we want.
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