General

5 Ways to Make Peace with 2016 and Authentically Move into the New Year

With just a few days left of 2016, we inch toward the final days of this tumultuous year. Many of us may be looking forward in hopes of a fresh new start in 2017, but if we are to do so authentically then we must make peace with what has passed.
For many of us, the world as we knew it was turned upside down this year. Our fears and shadows rose to the surface to be seen on the personal and collective stage. 
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General

PODCAST: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent discuss New Year’s Resolutions: why we make them, but frequently abandon them long before the year is over. They share some interesting statistics on the most common reasons for such failures. They share tips from PsychCentral blogger Sharon Martin's "26 Questions to Help You Know Yourself Better." In addition to talking about their own personal failures with resolutions, Gabe and Vincent share some easy ways to make keeping your resolutions much, much easier.

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Addiction

Five Tips for Breaking Your Tech Habit

It’s tough to disconnect in an always-on world. Many people have shared with me how their devices are an extension of their bodies to them. Arriving at the store or their office, realizing they’ve forgotten their phone, results in anxiety. Most of us probably know that overuse of the internet is not a good thing for us, but like all habits, they are hard to break.  Since connectivity a bit part of today’s culture and can negatively influence our mental health, it’s a trend to we need to pay attention to. Here are five of my favorite tips that address negative tech habit.
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General

E-therapy Provider Talkspace Under Fire, CEO Oren Frank Responds

Talkspace, one of the latest attempts to try and provide online therapy (a modality available to people since 1996), is under fire yet again. This time it comes from Cat Ferguson writing over at The Verge, questioning Talkspace's patient anonymity protections and the use of freelance therapists to staff their service.

The article, published last week, is based upon first-hand accounts of presentations, emails, and interviews with numerous Talkspace therapists. And despite Talkspace's insistence that therapists are freelancers, the firm apparently forbade therapists from talking to the reporter -- an odd directive if the company isn't your boss.

Let's see what The Verge discovered -- and get exclusive responses from Talkspace's CEO.

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Addiction

Carrie Fisher, Bipolar Disorder, Addiction & The People She Inspired

When Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday morning at age 60, she left behind a legacy of being one of the first and most vocal Hollywood celebrities and actors to speak openly about mental illness. Specifically, Fisher battled bipolar disorder and addiction throughout most of her life, but never was shy speaking about these demons, all the while never letting herself be solely defined by them.

So while most of the world will remember her as Princess Leia -- the fierce, independent heroine in the original Star Wars movies -- many people will remember her for her ability to give dignity to those living with the most debilitating silent disease -- mental illness. As a champion for people with bipolar disorder and addiction, we remember her today along with millions of others.

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Brain and Behavior

Suddenly, VC Guy Notices Mental Health Care

The quality and resources available to mental health care and treatment in the United States has been on the downswing since the 1980s. It started with the closing of government-run state psychiatric hospitals (putting our most at-need patients at risk, and often, on the streets), without the government offering a comprehensive network of community-based care to take their place.

Then managed care -- companies driven by profit and greed -- came along and mid-level managers with no mental health background started dictating exactly what kind of mental health treatment was appropriate to which patients.

Now we live in a time where venture capital (VC) firms believe that technology can magically solve many of the ills connected with receiving high-quality, timely mental health care. But of course, like the managed care companies that came before them, many too are simply driven by potential profits and their return on investment, all the while offering the "solution" of lower-quality, shoddier care.

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General

On the Destructive Belief That No One Can Make Us Feel Anything

When I studied psychology back in the day, Fritz Perls was very popular. I felt a new sense of empowerment reading his compelling writing about “owning” the self and developing radical self-reliance -- moving from environment support to self-support.

Perls’ views may have been what the doctor ordered when social values encouraged being agreeable and placating others rather than honoring our experience (our feelings and wants) and staying connected to ourselves. Perls cajoled, jolted, and perhaps even shamed people into becoming self-reliant and self-sufficient. One popular view was “No one has or ever will make you feel anything.”

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Friends

Surviving Infidelity: Why It’s Necessary to Prove That the Affair Has Ended

Recovering from the painful damage caused by infidelity is never easy. In the aftermath of infidelity, marriages and committed relationships that have been built and nurtured over years, even decades, can quickly crumble, leaving one or both partners devastated.

But there is hope and a way forward for those couples who are willing to make the commitment and do the hard work. The trauma of infidelity needn’t last a lifetime.
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Creativity

PODCAST: Why Do Some People View Mental Illness as a Gift?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent discuss how some individuals with mental illness view their condition as beneficial, such as giving them enhanced creativity, deeper empathy, more insightful, and so on. They share their own personal stories and anecdotes heard from others. They discuss the reasons behind why some people believe this and why others do not. Ultimately, they offer their own opinions on whether mental illness is more of a giver or a taker.

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Anger

Coping in the Post-Election World

The results are in. Like it or not, Donald J. Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States. And you’re likely to have feelings -- or very strong feelings -- regarding the outcome of the 2016 election. For millions of Americans, Trump’s victory has been reason for celebration; for others, great disappointment. Even if you are neutral about politics, this can...
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