General Articles

Your Inner Voice: Friend or Foe?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Your Inner Voice: Friend or Foe?Who is the person you speak to most frequently?

Why, it’s yourself, of course.

And what is the nature of those conversations? Do you tend to be harsh, nasty and punitive about who you are and what you’ve done (or haven’t done?) Do you frequently expect too much of yourself? Are you your own worst enemy? Does your self-judgment pierce your heart, deflate your energy?

If so, it’s time to take two paths to change your inner voice from foe to friend.

How to Navigate Anger When You’re Used to Stuffing it Down

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

How to Navigate Anger When You’re Used to Stuffing it DownMany of us are afraid of our anger, so we shove it down. We may worry that if we express it, we’ll do damage to ourselves or others, said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anger management in Rockville, Md.

We may say or do things at home or at work that we regret or will trigger negative consequences, she said.

Society also plays a role in shaping our fear or mistrust of anger.

What it Means to be Vulnerable

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Flickr photo by gato-gato-gatoIt’s a fact of life that you can’t truly form a relationship with at least some degree of vulnerability. You have to open up at some point or another. This has been one of those particular problems for me and as I get older I’m slowly learning how to let people in.

The truth of it is that I tend to keep people at arm’s length. I tend to maintain a distance even between my closest friends and that may be to my detriment. Jumping in wholly and completely just isn’t something that’s easy for me to do. Whether it’s a result of being hurt in the past or a result of the paranoia I feel every day as someone living with schizophrenia I’m not sure.

Do You Want to Be Depressed?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

running“Do you WANT to get better?” a family member asked me a few weeks after I graduated from the psych ward in 2005.

I was furious and hurt.

Because it was just one of many insensitive comments that seem to imply that I was causing my illness.

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: Staying in Touch — And in the Loop

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Siblings by Travis Swan

It’s difficult to know where you stand when your sibling is diagnosed with a severe mental illness. Their treatment can take up so much time and their symptoms can be so encompassing that there may not be a lot of room for you, let alone your relationship.

The dynamics of the family change after a diagnosis and you may feel like more of a caregiver than a brother or a sister.

Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression For people with depression, the holidays can be a challenging time. People with the illness “tend to have a negative view of themselves and their lives,” said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating depression in Rockville, Md.

“If they have overly idealized beliefs about what the holidays should look like, the resulting discrepancy can be very difficult.”

How to Build a New Habit — And Make it Stick

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

How to Build a New Habit and Make it StickAre you a master of a skill?

Perhaps you’re fluent in a language. A world-class pianist. A master craftsman in carpentry.

If you are, it’s not necessarily a result of your income, personal circumstances, upbringing, or any other variable. It’s a result of something a lot more powerful, something you have complete control over. It’s a result of habit.

Getting Past Those Awkward Moments — in Baseball and in Marriage

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Getting Past Those Awkward Moments -- in Baseball and in MarriageYou might not expect to pick up marriage tips from a baseball team. Yet as my home team, the San Francisco Giants, moved toward the World Championship, I was struck by how they showed similar character traits to those I encourage in my couples therapy clients.

Some spouses I work with have explosive personalities. They become verbally abusive when their partner doesn’t do what they want. Such impulsive reactions harm their marital relationship. In sports and other competitive games, we call someone who acts this way a “poor sport.”

5 Sneaky Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

Monday, November 24th, 2014

depression symptoms

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years when it comes to our ideas about depression. In the 1980s and even the 1990s, people often still saw it as a moral weakness, a sign of being “crazy,” or as something to be dismissed completely.

Today most people not only know someone who has struggled openly with depression, but they can probably also rattle off a handful of symptoms just from watching the many depression medication television commercials that dominate the airwaves. The voiceover asks “Are you always sad and tearful? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? If so, ask your doctor about this medication.”

7 Genuine Ways to Practice Gratitude

Monday, November 24th, 2014

7 Genuine Ways to Practice Gratitude Some people avoid practicing gratitude because doing so feels fake. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to Susan Orenstein, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

That’s because any time we try something new, it’s going to feel awkward and unnatural, she said. In fact, such reactions can be good, because it means you’re noticing and paying attention, she said. “If you can lean into the experience, you’ll be more likely to let go of your self-consciousness and take in the experience.”

How to Deal with Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 24th, 2014

inside_mind_schizophreniaI’m no stranger to nasty thoughts. I recognize when they’re present so innately that it’s safe to say it almost hurts. In my almost nine years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to battle my fair share of these thoughts and I’ve gotten so good at it that I can almost see them coming from a mile away.

If it wasn’t the notion that people were making fun of me it was the idea that I’m more important than anyone else, i.e. grandiosity.

I’ve been subject to many nights where I just stared at the ceiling in the dark letting these little monsters run and play their tricks through all corners of my mind.

RIP: Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D.

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

RIP: Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D. Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D. died in the early morning hours of November 21, 2014. He was a well-known media psychologist in America.

Dr. Fischoff was the founding President of the American Psychological Association’s Media Psychology Division (now called The Society for Media Psychology and Technology) and was responsible for creating the first Media Psychology Lab, co-founding the first Media Psychology journal, starting the first graduate program in Media Psychology, and assisting in developing the first Media Psychology PhD program.

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