Exercise & Fitness

Reading Your Medical Chart: How One Word Can Ruin Your Day

So many things have changed for the better in the past decade when it comes to a patient's transparency and ability to access their medical records. Online portals make such access to review your medical file as easy as logging in and start reading.

But with transparency comes an unexpected downside -- too much information, not always couched in gentle language. Knowing what your health care practitioner thinks of you can have emotional consequences few people are ready for -- and that few physicians or therapists understand.

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General

Got Insurance? You’re Going to Have a Frustrating Wait for Rationed Mental Health Care

Yet again, insurance companies are getting away with rationing mental health care in America and treating mental disorders unequally when compared to physical conditions. And nobody seems to be listening -- or care.

We thought we had this problem licked with the historic passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, a law that banned insurance companies from discriminating against people with mental illness.

Unfortunately, insurance companies just found new ways to deny patients care for their mental health conditions -- through rationing access to service providers.

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Friends

Why Am I Uncomfortable Getting Close to People?

Many of us are hesitant to get emotionally close to others. Getting close means sharing feelings, thoughts, wishes and dreads. Getting close means sharing your true self, flaws and all, with someone else who totally accepts us.

Many people, who are hesitant to get close to others, wish they were not hesitant. They yearn for intimacy. They yearn to be known. And, they feel lonely.

But, closeness can be uncomfortable  --  not only mentally but physically as well.
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General

Grief & Loss After the Election


After the historic election of 2016, where underdog businessman Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton for the presidency of the United States, many people are in distress. There have been large anti-Trump protests of thousands of people in major cities across the country chanting, "Not my president."

Large groups of people were grieving yesterday, trying to come to terms with the failure to elect the first woman president. How do you cope with grief and loss after a contentious election like this?

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Bipolar

Podcast: My Mental Illness vs. Yours – Whose Is Worse?

The Psych Central Show is our newest offering -- an interesting, in-depth weekly podcast that looks into all things mental health and psychology. Hosted by Gabe Howard and featuring Vincent M. Wales.

Should People Compare Their Mental Illnesses?


In this episode, our hosts discuss how society sees different mental health diagnoses. Gabe Howard has bipolar disorder and Vincent M. Wales has persistent depressive disorder (also known as dysthymia). In addition to each discussing his diagnosis, they compare how the conditions are similar and how are they different, and what each thinks of the other’s diagnosis. Ultimately, they ask the question: Is one worse than the other? And if so, in what ways?

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General

Healing After the Election

After any acrimonious election -- and the election of 2016 will go down in history as one of the worst -- there needs to be a time for the country to come together once again and heal. Healing is a normal, healthy part of any good relationship. And in order for our relationship with our government, politicians, and fellow citizens to heal, we need to remember the commonalities that bring us together.

Healing after an election may not be easy for everyone, and it may be especially difficult this election year. But we must heal in order to move forward and continue to grow our great nation.

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General

Understanding the Different Types of Infidelity

The expectation of exclusivity and monogamy is common, although not always adhered to in a marriage or long-term relationship. When this expectation isn’t met, emotional damage can occur, including feelings of severe anger or rage. Some people experience a sense of betrayal and loss of trust in their partner while some lose a sense of personal confidence and self-esteem.

Many people have struggled to differentiate between platonic friendships and infidelity. While a friendship with the opposite sex is not the determining factor, the issues of faithfulness, deception and betrayal are.

There are several different types of infidelity that may occur in a relationship. Understanding the differences is important, so one doesn’t fall prey to one or more types of infidelity. It is also helpful to know the types in order to be able to continue to nourish and work on one’s couple.
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General

Podcast: Interview with Psych Central Founder Dr. John Grohol

The Psych Central Show is our newest offering -- an interesting, in-depth weekly podcast that looks into all things mental health and psychology. Hosted by Gabe Howard and featuring Vincent M. Wales.

Our Inaugural Episode Features Guest Dr. John Grohol


This week’s episode features an interview with Psych Central founder, Dr. John Grohol. Dr. Grohol was gracious enough to answer questions about how Psych Central got started, the motivation behind the site, and how this resource has survived and grown for over 20 years -- and his thoughts about the next 20.

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General

Dealing with the Looming Cloud of the Possibility of Early Death

Five years ago, I had breast cancer. To rid myself of it, I had chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy.

Flash forward five years. One day, I noticed a strange, bright red splotch on my breast, the breast where the cancer had been. The doctor did a biopsy of it, and the results came back malignant. It was an angiosarcoma, and the suspected cause was the radiation treatment I’d had five years before. This was a very rare form of cancer that, again, results sometimes from the radiation itself. That which was meant to heal me, made me ill.
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Bipolar

You’re Depressed, But Are You Depressed Depressed?

Depression is a slippery word. Like many mental health terms, the way people use it in everyday speech doesn’t always line up with the clinical meaning of the word.

We might say: "This year’s presidential election is depressing." It’s understood, of course, that we aren’t literally claiming the electoral process has triggered a serious mood disorder that’s interfering with our day-to-day functioning.

In other cases, the line between colloquial "depression" and clinical depression gets a little more subtle. What’s the difference between being depressed and having a really bad day -- or a really bad month for that matter?
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

8 Fall Foods I Eat to Improve My Mood

Even with its gorgeous foliage and festivities, autumn triggers anxiety and depression for many people. The shorter days and lack of sunlight affect our circadian rhythms; we feel the stress of upcoming holidays; and the claustrophobia of winter is lurking around the corner. I’m not a dietitian, but I’ve learned a lot from experts about food and mood, and I’ve learned what works for me.

Mother Nature, fortunately, has done her part in providing many foods and spices during this season that can aid our sanity. From enjoying freshly picked apples to munching on dry pumpkin seeds, autumn is full of good-mood foods that can help us enjoy the season.
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Alcoholism

Are You Using Alcohol as a Crutch?

One of my friends hasn’t had a drink in over a year. She stopped drinking because she realized that it clouded her thinking. She realized that she was using alcohol to relieve stress and escape from her thoughts and feelings. No one would call her an “alcoholic.” In fact, many of her friends don’t understand why she quit.

But, without alcohol, she’s seen many positive changes. She has more clarity. She feels more motivated. She sleeps better. She’s more present in her life.

We think of drinking in two ways: Either you’re a normal drinker. Or you’re an alcoholic. Either you have a serious problem. Or you don’t. But drinking is way more nuanced and much more layered than that.
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