Depression

Suicidal? Don’t Throw Away Your Shot

One of the most famous lines from the hit Broadway musical comes from the song, "My Shot" by Lin-Manuel Miranda. In it, Alexander Hamilton acknowledges he comes from a very different background than most Americans at the time. That his real only value to the world lies in his youth, scrappiness, hungriness to make his mark, and his brains.

"I am not throwing away my shot." Although death eventually takes Hamilton, as it does with each of us, he recognizes that he has only one life to give in order to make his contributions count toward the American Revolution. While I'm not sure he was ever suicidal, there were times he probably ought to have been.

These lyrics inspired by Hamilton's story can also act as an inspiration to those contemplating suicide.

Continue Reading

Friends

How to Stop ‘Fear of Missing Out’ from Ruining Your Career

You’ve felt it before. You’re at home on a Friday night with Shark Tank on the TV, a cold glass of Pinot Grigio in hand, feeling anxious and insecure instead of relaxed and self-assured, all because you glanced at your Instagram feed and saw the proof that all your friends, colleagues, and even your dorky younger cousin are living it up. So much for enjoying a rare night of rest and quiet, much-needed for mental restoration.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

How to Use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Once we understood the brain as a fixed, static entity. Now we see it as a changeable, growing organ. This should give much encouragement to those who feel limited by their beliefs that they are somehow stuck in habitual patterns of thinking, since the brain itself can be rewired because of its neuroplasticity.

Before brain imaging was possible, many psychotherapists were already using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people reframe their experiences and learn to modulate emotions and thoughts to rewire their brain into healthier patterns. The idea behind the method is that “you become what you practice.”
Continue Reading

Addiction

6 Reasons Why I Hate My Therapist

Editor's Note: This is intended to be a humorous piece.
So just when you are getting sick and tired of all those people giving you heartache for no apparent reason at all, you decide to shoot yourself in the head and find yourself a therapist so that he can give you more heartache than all the people put together.

But there is one big difference between now and then: Earlier you were getting your heartache for free. This time you are paying for it.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How to Shift from Work Stress to Calm in 3 Seconds Flat

When you’re on the treadmill of workplace stress, it’s hard to stop the cycle of escalation. With deadlines to meet and demanding bosses to appease, nothing you do seems good enough. It would be better if you didn’t work in that toxic job, but there’s always the specter of economic uncertainty haunting you, as well as the prospect of a long wait between jobs.

When you’re stuck in a difficult place, the best resource you have is to harness your creativity to come up with a genius exit plan. For that you need a calm, clear mind. Enter the simple and easy three-second breathing technique to go from stressed to calm.

Continue Reading

Family

Why Narcissistic Parents Infantilize Their Adult Children

One trait that nearly all narcissistic parents have in common is the need to infantilize their children. This can be as direct as making the child feel incompetent every time they try something new, or it can be as subtle as always stepping in and offering to do something they can clearly do for themselves.

Unfortunately, this behavior rarely stops even after the child becomes an adult. In fact, it can sometimes become worse as the narcissistic parent fears their children’s growing independence and the end of their narcissistic supply.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Getting to Know Your 3 Brains: Part Two

In Part 1 of this brain mini-series, I hoped to excite your desire to learn more about the brain. In this post, you will learn what you need to know to enhance your well-being.

To begin, think of yourself as having not just one brain but three brains:

your thinking brain;
your emotional brain;
your body brain.

Although they are all connected, they act and are very different. The thinking brain conjures your thoughts. The emotional brain is where emotions and impulses arise. The body brain causes changes in the body when emotions trigger.

Continue Reading

Addiction

A Higher Power for Those Who Don’t Believe in a Higher Power

This article is not directed toward individuals who do not find themselves struggling to embrace a Higher Power of their understanding while working toward recovery. It is directed at those who may want to embrace something, yet cannot identify with what they are comfortable.

Several of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (and Narcotics Anonymous) involve a Higher Power, so one could imagine this being offputting to someone who does not identify one. It can be challenging to wrap your head around the steps if God or a Higher Power is not in your life.

Continue Reading

General

Childhood Trauma: Overcoming the Hurt of Invalidation

“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”
-- Brene Brown
I talk about my childhood trauma because I lived in denial for most of my life. I write about it because I didn’t understand what happened, why it happened, what it meant. I couldn't explain all these feelings of shame, depression, and disgust. As I grow to understand it better, I hope my writing can help other victims who feel lost and scour the internet for answers -- for a childhood they can relate to.
Continue Reading

Aging

How to Deal with Difficult Parents

As kids, we put our parents on a pedestal. When we were growing up, they could heal every wound, solve every problem and fix anything that was broken.

As adults, we realize they don’t actually know everything and also have shortcomings. Sometimes, the tables turn -- our parents begin to come to us for financial help, relationship advice, or career guidance. We may start to feel like we are their parents and have come into a role of supporting them much sooner than we expected.

Continue Reading

Children and Teens

7 Ideas for Date Night When You Have to Stay in with Your Kids

Maybe your babysitter cancels. Maybe you’re trying to save money. Maybe you’re not ready to leave your baby. Maybe you don’t trust anyone else to watch your child. Maybe you’re too exhausted to leave the house. Maybe there’s some other reason. Either way, the end result is the same: You’ve got to stay home with your kids, and you’d like to spend some quality time with your partner.

“Nourishing your connection with your beloved is essential in your relationship and ultimately, your family thriving as a whole,” said Lily Zehner, EdD, MFT-C, a Denver-based therapist who specializes in sex, intimacy and relationships.

But date night doesn’t have to mean going out. As Zehner said, staying in “just gives you an opportunity to think outside the box.” Below are seven connection-strengthening, stay-at-home ideas.
Continue Reading

Addiction

What if They Find Out?

A regular worry that I've had as of late is about people finding out I struggle with mental health issues.

Although I have been casually open about having “anxieties,” there are few people who know the depth of what that means in my case. My recent coming out of the mental health closet has been attempted before, through previous blogging that I quickly halted before “they” might see.

Continue Reading