Personality

‘High Schizotype’ — It’s Not as Bad as It Sounds

Human beings have a strong need for order and a compulsion to categorize phenomena we encounter in the world. Binary thinking stems from an ancient tradition: success or failure, happy or sad, black or white, good or bad, introvert or extrovert. Yet, does anything ever exist in dichotomy? There is for example, always some good in bad and some bad in good; no one really falls neatly into the category of an introvert or an extrovert.

The concept of schizotypy represents a movement away from traditional categorical models of schizophrenia -- and illness states more generally, in recognition that boundaries between normality and abnormality are not always clear, try as we may to parse the two terms into organized tiers.
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Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: October 22, 2016


Once again, my friends, I come to you from behind a computer screen with a box of tissues on one side and a trash can on the other. Tears are running down my cheeks, I can't stop sneezing, and even though I can't breathe my nostrils aren't too stopped up to -- well, I won't get gross.

Wasn't it just a few months ago I was suffering from allergies? Can you even get allergies in the fall? According to WebMD, you sure can, and thanks to a myriad of potential culprits (mold spores and pollen hiding out in fallen leaves and dust mites triggered from turning the heat on for the first time), I am once again down for the count.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from bringing you this week's latest in mental health news! Keep reading for healthy tips for how to break off a friendship, Instagram's new mental health "flagging" feature, ways you can beat election stress, and more.

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Bipolar

Helping Children Cope When a Loved One Suffers from Mental Illness

I have a loved one that suffers with severe mental illness. He's a brilliant, beautiful, creative person who told spellbinding, captivating stories of far away places and taught me to not be afraid of the dark. But just as quick and easy as flicking a light switch on and off, our lives changed from moment to moment.

As a child I didn't understand. I remember thinking everyone's home was just like mine... a place where the stairs turned into an escalator only for the person who knew the magic word and where the cupboards were locked at night to keep out the mischief-making fairies.
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Disorders

Psychology Around the Net: August 20, 2016


A few weeks ago, my beau and I decided to tackle a huge home improvement project together.

According to Amy Kipp, a couples and family therapist in San Antonio, "Working through the ups and downs of a big project helps you hone your communication skills [...] The sense of accomplishment and teamwork that results from a challenging shared experience strengthens a couple’s bond. (Her quote is featured in 7 Relationship Milestones That Are Just as Meaningful as Marriage.)

Thus, it seems working on this project is a way to strengthen our relationship. This project is not an improvement our home needs (i.e. we're not renovating a bathroom with a leaky toilet and busted shower tiles); it's an improvement we -- as the homeowners -- want (basically, we're a large part of our backyard into a sort of outdoor oasis). As such, creative ideas are flying everywhere. We have both collective and separate visions, and we're working to combine those visions while making sure each of us is happy.

We haven't thrown any paint brushes at each other yet, so I'd say we're succeeding so far.

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Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: July 30, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's the last weekend of July so I hope you're all going to go out and make the most of it!

Right after you check out our latest mental health news updates, of course, wink wink. Keep reading for new information on the psychology of superstition and luck, research regarding transgender and mental illness, ways to find happiness in today's tumultuous times, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

Change Can Throw You Off

A lot of things have been happening in my life recently. I just got a big job that I’m very nervous about, it’s something that hard to do but I’m also looking for a challenge. On top of that I’m moving to a new place at the end of the month.

Suffice it to say that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff.

Anybody would have a hard time with two huge things on the horizon, but as I live with schizophrenia I have to be extra conscious of the compounding stressors that I’m putting on myself.
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Family

Handling New Responsibilities

At some point in time, we all face new and challenging responsibilities. It may be for work, for our family, or even for the sake of living on this planet with 7 billion other people.

These responsibilities can encompass small everyday things -- brushing our teeth, putting on clean clothes, taking showers, or eating dinner -- or special occasions -- buying gifts and sending thank you notes to loved ones on their birthdays. They can be boring and tedious like finishing up a report for work or attending that meeting that you really don’t want to go to.

The point is we all face responsibilities we’d rather not. The alarm goes off in the morning and we're filled with hesitation.
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Children and Teens

Helping Adult Children of Mentally Ill Mothers

I’m not a psychotherapist. But I’ve sat in front of one. It took me decades to find the chair in front of the psychotherapist and maybe that’s got something to do with me being the adult child of a schizophrenic mother.

I think it took me a long time to sit facing a psychotherapist because adult children of seriously mentally ill mothers are trained since they were young to believe three things:

Chaos and crises are normal.
The focus is not on me. The focus of care is on my mother.
Don’t speak too much about what goes on at home -- people don’t like it, it’s too much for them.

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Disorders

Another Step to Unlocking the Genetic Secrets of Schizophrenia

An interesting new study has found four specific genetic variants that suggests that schizophrenia may not be a single disease, but rather a group of distinct disorders that have similar outward symptoms.

Researchers discovered the importance of coding variants of these four influential genes that may suggest different schizophrenia subtypes. That is, schizophrenia may be a complex constellation of symptoms that vary based upon the underlying gene variant.

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Bipolar

Dealing with the Pressure to Succeed When You Have a Mental Illness

I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but I feel a constant need to succeed, and there are definite moments when I feel desperately overwhelmed with the amount of pressure I’ve put on myself.

For years I’ve had the goal of living in a mountain house surrounded by a large grove of trees. I’ve worked hard to try to get to that point, but here I am, still on Section 8, still receiving money from the government for my disability.

I’m frustrated and, at times, angry with myself for not being able to mentally do what I have to do to get to the point where I’m satisfied.
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Anxiety and Panic

Three Tips to Muscle Through Social Anxiety

Something strange happens when I have to talk to a new person or someone I don’t feel comfortable with. My heart rate increases, my hands shake a little and I can feel a tightening in my chest.

It happens to everyone to some extent when they socialize, especially in instances where you're taking a risk (, asking for a raise, asking someone for a date). But for me the anxiety happens every time, from...
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