What Bipolar Mania Really Feels Like: A First-Hand Account

After just a few weeks in Tom Wootton’s Bipolar IN Order course over at Bipolar Advantage, I have already learned so much. One important lesson I’ve realized is the difference between bipolar behaviors, which is what you see, and bipolar symptoms, which is what we experience and feel.

Let's take a look at some of the symptoms of mania as I experience them. You may be surprised at how complex they really are.

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ADHD & Parenting: Tips for Creating Calm

When your child has ADHD, there may be a lot of frustration. Your child might get frustrated with having to complete homework that bores them. They might get frustrated with so many thoughts ping-ponging in their brains. They might get frustrated that they have such a hard time focusing -- and have to deal with many other challenges triggered by ADHD.

And you might get frustrated with everything from their taking forever to get ready in the morning to not following your rules. As a result, you might apply more pressure, thinking this will motivate your child.

But it only backfires.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: October 31, 2015

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's been a busy week in the world of mental health and wellness and we're here to bring you some of this week's most interesting news.

Learn about how your company's performance review policy could negatively affect your mental health, how spreadsheets help some combat depression episodes, whether your head movements are actually effective at conveying your emotions, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

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Has Your Doctor Told You These 6 Brutal Depression Truths?

You'd be surprised at everything you DON'T know.

Depression isn't just about being unhappy about something or feeling blue. It's a legitimate and very serious medical condition with many emotional, physical, behavioral and cognitive symptoms. It isn't inevitable for anyone living in the modern world, and it also doesn't mean that you're a bad or weak person if you suffer from depression.

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Alcoholism & Depression: Frenemies Forever

I’ve heard a thousand variations of this problem: “My brother is depressed, but he also drinks a lot, which is probably causing the depression. So which do you treat first? The alcoholism or the depression?”

The two conditions are so intertwined that it can be impossible to separate them.

Just last week I met with an executive director of a behavioral health program here in Annapolis. We were discussing how to start a faith-based initiative.

“Should we also include substance abuse?” he asked.
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Psych Central Supports the Bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2015

We believe that mental health and behavioral healthcare reforms in the United States are vital. The vision that President Kennedy had in 1963 about accessible mental health care for all Americans was never realized. While the United States has cut 90 percent of the inpatient psychiatric beds available, we never made good on the community mental health services President Kennedy thought would replace them.

Instead, the U.S. shamefully sends many people with mental illness to prison -- an expensive alternative that naturally does little to treat the person's problems.

While we've previously explained why Rep. Tim Murphy's second attempt at a mental health reform bill remains a bad bill (e.g., tramples patients' rights; guts SAMHSA in a vendetta against the federal agency; creates even more unneeded federal bureaucracy), we've found a ray of hope. It comes in the form of the bipartisan Senate bill, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 (S. 1945) by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn) and Bill Cassidy (R-La).

It takes a more moderate, common-sense approach to reforms in how the federal government funds mental health care in the U.S. Here's why you should support it.

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Should You Use Your Employer’s Mental Health Screening Tools?

In a word, no.

Employer's screening tools for any kind of mental health issue -- if not required by working in a sensitive industry -- should be avoided, as they bring little value to you, the employee, that you can't get elsewhere. And with much less risk to your health privacy and data.

While I'm sure such tools are well-intentioned, the downsides to providing this level of health data directly to your employer (and your insurance company) are still too many. We have not yet come to a point in our society where mental illness is treated just like any health diagnosis.

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Anxiety and Panic

Mind Over Mood: Q&A with Authors Dennis Greenberger & Christine A. Padesky

When you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, it feels like you’ll never get better. You'll always feel this way. It feels like the dark clouds will never lift. Or the anxiety, worry and restlessness are permanent. Understandably, you feel hopeless and helpless. You feel stuck.

The great news is that you can get better. There are many resources that can help. For instance, workbooks can be incredibly valuable. You can use a workbook while seeing a therapist or attending group therapy. Or you can use a workbook on your own.
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Schizophrenia is Best Treated with Combination of Meds & Psychotherapy

Going against decades of conventional wisdom, new, robust research from the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that schizophrenia shouldn't just be treated with antipsychotic drugs. Instead, a multidisciplinary approach that includes both psychotherapy and family support, combined with lower doses of antipsychotic medications, appears to work much better than drugs alone.

This new research should act as a wake-up call to all mental health professionals, people with schizophrenia, and their families.

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Anxiety and Panic

How Trauma Can Trigger Positive Transformation

There’s a common misconception surrounding trauma. We assume that after someone experiences trauma, they might develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or return to their old life.

But many individuals also experience something else: positive change. In fact, in 1996 psychologists Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun coined the term “post-traumatic growth” to describe this phenomenon (in this
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Brain and Behavior

6 Secret Signs of Hidden Depression

Lots of people walk through life trying to hide their depression. Some people with hidden depression can conceal their depression like pros, masking their symptoms and putting on a "happy face" for most others.

People with concealed depression or hidden depression often don't want to acknowledge the severity of their depressive feelings. They believe that if they just continue living their life, the depression will just go away on its own. In a few cases, this may work. But for most folks, it just drags out the feelings of sadness and loneliness.

Dealing with the black dog of depression through concealing one's true feelings is the way many of us were brought up -- we don't talk about our feelings and we don't burden others with our troubles. But if a friend or family member is going through something like this -- trying to hide or mask their depression -- these signs might help you discover what they're trying to keep concealed.

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