Disorders Articles

What Suicidal Depression Feels Like

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

How Does Low Self-Esteem Negatively Affect Us?I don’t know if you have noticed, but ever since Robin Williams died, I have removed the filter from my writing that keeps me safe of jaw dropping, disappointing head gestures, and all kinds of judgments that authentic writing invites. I just really don’t care anymore what people think because lives are at stake.

If this brutal beast of an illness is strong enough to kill someone with the passion, determination, and genius of Robin Williams, than we must do everything we can to protect those who are more fragile. That means being brave and writing as honestly as I can, on a taboo subject so few people understand, even if it means getting disapproving stares from other parents at my kids’ school.

Introversion Versus Shyness: Drawing a Line in the Sand

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Sarah Newman and her French Bulldog KeatonI’ve heard these two words used interchangeably, perhaps because being introverted often goes hand in hand with staying home a lot. But there is a big distinction between the two. If you don’t recognize that, social anxiety can take control of your life.

I used to use introversion as an excuse. It was an excuse to avoid parties, an excuse not to make new friends, and an excuse to bury my face in my phone in new social situations.

Psychology Around the Net: January 17, 2015

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The Paralysis of Analysis: On Overthinking

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net will help you fill your weekend with ponderings about potentially healthy ways to change your perspective, what it really takes to fall in love (or, at least, feel closer to someone), how your state ranks when it comes to mental health services, and more.

Enjoy!

5 Ways to Adjust Your Perspective in 2015: Feeling moody? Want more creative inspiration? What about help focusing on the “important things”? These five tips might surprise you.

New Research into Anxiety Disorders

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

New Research into Anxiety DisordersNearly one in five Americans have been diagnosed with some form of anxiety disorder. These range from panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder to social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants can curb symptoms that interfere with day-to-day life. And these drugs are big business. In 2013, Americans filled 48 million prescriptions for the benzodiazepine drug alprazolam (Xanax). Patients also picked up 27 million prescriptions for sertraline (Zoloft), an antidepressant drug that also helps some people with anxiety.

Top 10 Bipolar Blogs of 2014

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Top 10 Bipolar Blogs of 2014Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood, from mania to depression, which are different from the ups and downs experienced in day-to-day life.

A person’s energy and activity levels reflect their mood. Mania is a period of euphoria, where a person may be unable to sit still or stop talking. During a manic phase, a person may be super-productive and filled with new ideas, but they may also engage in reckless behavior, such as risky sex or gambling. At the other end of the spectrum, during a depressive phase, a person may feel listless, hopeless and worthless, sometimes struggling even to get out of bed.

These blogs have been selected to show the differences in functioning across the disorder and together demonstrate the complexity of the disorder and its treatment. Along with the stark, poignant honesty of personal stories, they offer intelligent reflection and discussion on what science has to say over a condition which is far from easy answers.

I’m Not Psychic: The Cold, Hard Truth about Catastrophizing

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

difficluty-making-decisionsThere’s something about the year rounding out and a new year begun that makes me feel there are endless possibilities in the coming year. As exciting as that is, it also feeds the beast of anxiety inside me. While personal history has taught me that change usually brings joy and happiness to my life, my anxiety says it’s going to be a disaster and that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

That’s my anxiety. It’s not based on reality, experience, probability or usefulness and yet it comes to mind and runs the show. It makes me hesitant and tightly wound. I’m so busy waiting for the bottom to fall out when I do something new that I miss a lot of the great things happening right in front of me.

Introducing the new Blog, Of Two Minds

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Introducing the new Blog, Of Two MindsAuthor Mike Hedrick has been writing for us since May of last …

How to Make the Most of Therapy for Your Child

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

How to Make the Most of Therapy for Your ChildTherapy isn’t just helpful for adults. It’s important for kids, too. Therapy provides kids with “a ‘safe’ place to process and explore their world without the inhibitions that the world places on them,” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Therapy can help kids with everything from nightmares to social anxiety to difficulty concentrating in school to trauma to mental health issues, she said.

In therapy kids are able to work on these issues without worrying that they’re hurting their parents’ feelings or disappointing them, she said.

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for Depression

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for DepressionMainstream media love to highlight anytime a researcher suggests we’re on the cusp of developing a blood test, saliva test, or brain scan to “properly” diagnose depression. This is seemingly driven by a never-ending belief that the only way to legitimize mental illness is if we create a medical lab test for it. Nevermind the fact that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of medical diseases that have no single lab test to diagnose them.

Somehow, an MRI will magically make depression acceptable to society. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The latest twist on these tests is a biomarker or blood test that will let us know which treatments may work best for depression. Naturally, such tests raise as many questions as they may answer — and make the process of getting an accurate diagnosis for depression vastly more expensive and complicated.

Psychology Around the Net: January 10, 2015

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Healing My Inner Child

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.

Partner Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder? 10 Truths You Need to Know

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Therapist listening to the couple sit on the couch in front of h

I was 18 years old, pregnant, scared and lonely when I met my now husband. We became best friends and two years later, he married and had a baby. Fast forward six years, we were madly in love and engaged, then married.

One year after that, my husband came home after work, sat down at the kitchen table and told me he wanted a divorce. I refused. Not very nicely.

A few months after that, he was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, and our marriage was in for a hell of a ride. Ten years later, I’ve had a book published about our marriage, a lot of sleepless nights, and a heck of a lot of a lessons learned about loving someone with bipolar disorder. Here’s a few biggies:

What is Commitment Phobia & Relationship Anxiety?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

commitment-phobia-relationship-anxiety

For most people, relationships are fairly easy things. They come as naturally to life as breathing or making a meal.

For some, however, relationships are not so easy. In fact, they present such a challenge to the individual, that a person can be said to have relationship anxiety, a fear of relationships, or suffer from “commitment phobia.”

Commitment issues in relationships are nothing new. But our understanding of how the fear of commitment for some people can be paralyzing has increased. And while you won’t find “commitment phobia” in any diagnostic manual, it is a very real experience of anxiety and fear.

Here’s the lowdown on commitment phobia and relationship anxiety.

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