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.

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General

Differentiating Shame from Guilt: It’s Not So Easy

It is clear that toxic shame is a destructive emotion that saps our energy and robs us of the joy of being alive. But does that mean that all shame is bad

Brene Brown defines shame as “The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging -- something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

But toxic shame cuts to the core of our identity. We carry a dark sense of being deeply flawed and defective. This is so painful that we desperately try to hide it from others and develop compensatory behaviors (such as seeking power and wealth or constantly joking) that are designed to distract people from noticing how flawed we are (or think we are).

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Creativity

10 Problem-Solving Strategies that Work

Nobody likes problems. But they are a part of life, so it’s important to find effective ways to deal with them. The following strategies can help you navigate through potential solutions to find the one that works best in almost any situation.

1. Sleep on it


With often-conflicting problems and demands on your mind, it can be difficult to find an inroad to a solution. When you’re faced with such difficulties, a wise course of action is to get some sleep. While you’re resting, your mind is actively working to sift through the list and help sort things into more recognizable shape. You might even wake with some solutions to certain problems. Writing down a list before you retire for the night can help with that.
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Anxiety and Panic

9 Socialization Tips for People with Social Anxiety

When you suffer from social anxiety and receive an invitation to attend an event, your first reaction is usually "ugh, how am I going to get out of this one?" -- followed by the feeling of intense guilt when you start to think about how your refusal may sadden the host.

What happens next usually involves a rollercoaster of emotions: intense fear, dread, panic, and sometimes tears. The emotions eventually settle -- until the date approaches and you realize you have to make a decision.

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Disorders

OCD’s Little Secret

This is our little secret: I robbed a bank.

At least that’s what my mind spits out. And according to my mind, I am likely to rob again and again.

When I walk into a bank to deposit a check, my heartbeat skips. Sweat trickles down my forehead. A boulder forms in my throat.

Why? Not because of my dwindling bank account or the imperious teller. My sneering mind is ready to pounce. An obsessive-compulsive disorder advocate and consumer, our vivid imagination has a darker side. We have committed unspeakable atrocities according to our deceitful thoughts.
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Brain and Behavior

How to Become a Morning Person in 5 Steps

Different people prefer to work at different times of the day. Some find themselves most productive in the mornings; other are better as night owls. However, mornings are traditionally seen as the start of everyone’s day. Regardless of whether your body clock is ready for it, you’ll need to adjust to early mornings, especially if you’re in a 9-to-5 job.

You can try temporarily forcing yourself to wake up early in the morning, but it’s difficult if you aren’t fully committed to being a morning person. Want to learn to be a morning person? Here are five psychological tricks to train your brain:

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ADHD and ADD

Adult ADHD: 5 More Tips for Managing Technology

Psychotherapist and ADHD coach Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, believes that technology is a double-edged sword for adults with ADHD. It helps you be efficient. But it also distracts you from your work. Because before you know it, you’ve spent one hour surfing the web for something you can’t even remember. Or you find yourself sending just one more text when an important project requires your attention. And, inevitably, just one more leads to 20.

“Technology is like a drug, providing that dopamine hit after dopamine hit. It’s really stimulating," said Eric Tivers, LCSW, also a psychotherapist and ADHD coach. And that's powerful for people with ADHD since they have low levels of dopamine.
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Bipolar

Bipolar Lenses

Explaining utter darkness to someone who has only lived in the sunlight would be a difficult task. They would have to believe you and trust in something they have never experienced. If you haven't experienced the darkness, perhaps after reading this you can help someone out of it.

Mania


When my eyes open in the morning, my mind goes from slumber to 100 mph. "I don’t know why I haven’t thought that! I need a (brain singing the Three’s Company theme song) new car! If I sold my current car and (dang I need a burger) sold my Xbox and TV I could afford the down payment and if I sell those baseball cards in the attic I can still pay rent! Wow! I am so handsome today! I know that I flunked out of college, but I am smarted than 90 percent of people so does it really matter? I want donuts. What DVDs do I have that I can sell to afford them?"
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Addiction

8 Healthy Reasons to Ditch Your Bad Habits

There comes a time of self-reckoning in everyone’s life. After months and possibly years of indulging in known vices and allowing yourself to slip into bad habits, you realize that this isn’t what your life is supposed to be. While you’re not quite sure where to begin, you know that you need to do something different. Consider these reasons for changing things up.

1. Feel better about yourself.
The decision to change is never easy. The pros and cons for doing so will occupy a lot of time at first. But once you commit to a decision to make a change, you will start to feel better about yourself. The fact that you’re taking proactive steps is reinforcement that only builds over time. When you start seeing improvement as a result of the actions you take, your mood lifts and your perspective changes. It’s no longer a corner you’re backed into, but a wide open path that beckons.

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Brain and Behavior

Black and White Thinking: Finding the Space Between

You've heard it before: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!"

This is a frequently used saying, but what does it really mean? Picture it. Baby, covered in strained carrots, yogurt and dried cereal. I've been there. You put the little chubby giggle monster in the water, and it just gets gross. Things are floating around, and the water changes into this murky swamp of ick.

Does that water make the baby less precious and snugly? Not at all. They are separate things. Gross water. Baby. Gross water does not make gross baby. We can put that together so easily with the baby metaphor, but not so easily with other situations.

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