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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Anger

How Meditation Helps Our Relationships

We may think of meditation as a way to gain inner peace and tranquility. But have you considered how a meditation practice can create a climate that deepens intimacy and improves communication?

John Gottman’s research into what makes marriages succeed rveals that when partnerships are marred by a high degree of criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness, they often end up in divorce. How can we reduce these intimacy-busting behaviors and create a climate that supports the love we want?

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Antidepressant

PODCAST: Aspirin, Yes; Psych Meds, No – Why the Difference?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, Gabe and Vincent discuss why so many people stop taking medication for psychiatric disorders or even refuse to start on them at all.  In a society that is always searching for a “magic pill,” why are so many people resistant to the idea of taking medication to treat mental illness?  Why do doctors and others so easily dismiss the complaints of side effects?  And does stigma prevent many from getting the treatment they need?  Gabe and Vincent give advice and reassurance on how to cope with the many pitfalls of being “med compliant.”

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Addiction

5 Reasons the Christmas Season Is the Worst Time for Workplace Incivility

We’re rapidly approaching the worst time workplace incivility. What is that time? I believe it’s the Christmas season -- but why? Here are my 5 main reasons:

1) Social activity ramps up during December. There are work Christmas parties to contend with (oftentimes more than one) and difficult people are even more difficult with an increased blood alcohol level. Harassment, gossip, “walking on eggshells” and “making nice” can all place you under such increased strain that the temptation to drink and “make it all go away” is powerful.
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General

21st Century Cures Act Becomes Law, Improves U.S. National Mental Health Efforts

When President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13th, he signed into law one of the most sweeping efforts to provide additional programs and funding for health conditions and innovation in America, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, opioid addiction, medical devices, access to new drugs, and mental health. The Cures Act includes the major provisions of the Senate mental health compromise bill, Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, as well as a few additional provisions from the House's over-reaching Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 bill.

While the bill goes a long way in helping fix certain components of mental health care in the nation, it does little for the vast majority of people who suffer from mental health concerns and receive outpatient treatment. Here are the highlights of what just became law.

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General

Universal Health Services (UHS) Skewered (Again) by New Report

Universal Health Services (UHS), America's largest psychiatric hospital provider, was skewered last week in an investigative journalism report by Rosalind Adams and published by BuzzFeed News. This wasn't some hastily thrown together hit piece, but rather an in-depth look -- talking with 175 current and former staffers at UHS hospitals and 120 additional interviews with patients, experts, and investigators into the claims brought against the company.

The report paints a picture of certain hospitals within the UHS system that seem to have significant problems and deficits. Worse yet, the company apparently has its head in the sand, denying any problems exist in its facilities, and spinning data that appears to show the company emphasizes money over patient care.

This report should act as a wake-up call for the entire inpatient psychiatric hospital industry.

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Children and Teens

Steps to Successful Co-Parenting

Being a parent is a huge responsibility and often times one that is shared with a co-parent. A co-parent is the person (or people) who helps to raise your child in one way or another. This could be your spouse, an ex, your ex’s spouse, or even a friend or family member.  

In my experience as a clinician for children and adolescents, having adults that are able to co-parent in a respectful, collaborative, and accepting way is one of the most important factors in my clients’ ability to access his or her treatment.
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Family

Family Matters Even More During the Holiday Season

“I love my family -- but from a distance,” I chuckle.

For many of us, the holidays can be emotionally harrowing. We confront our past -- strained relationships with siblings, an uneasy coexistence with our parents. As festive lights glimmer, we stew over petty grievances and simmering resentments.

Flying into Minneapolis for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was anxious about seeing my immediate family. Since my mother’s passing, my brothers and I have slowly drifted apart. Four years following her passing, there is a coolness -- even chilliness -- rivaling a Minneapolis winter. Greeting my siblings for the first time in a year, I questioned how, and whether, I could contain the bubbling emotions.
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Bipolar

PODCAST: Why Does Depression Make Us Feel Guilt or Shame?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, Gabe and Vincent discuss feelings of guilt surrounding a mental illness diagnosis.   Lots of us feel guilty about our diagnosis or our symptoms.  We feel badly for the effect it has on our loved ones, especially when they don’t sympathize.  Where does this stigma come from?  Why does society make us feel guilty for being sick?  Mental illness is something that happens to us, not something we do to ourselves, so why do we feel like failures?  How do we help our loved ones understand, and how do we move past this self-condemnation? Listen in to learn more.

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Family

Eat, Pray, Relate!

Personally, I grew up with no encouragement to pray. I used to have a vague sense that prayer was for simple, naïve folks - that it was the “opiate for the masses.” So I do understand if you don’t relate to the concept.

But perhaps you do.

Because according to a Pew Research Center survey, 55% of Americans say they pray every day. Another 21% say they pray weekly or monthly. Even many who are not religiously affiliated say they pray daily.
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