Anxiety and Panic

Life Lessons from the Roach Motel

Even from the airport taxi, I could tell that the motel's website had been more Photoshop than reality. From my after-work evening flight, I had just landed in Florida for a professional conference where I was to chair a discussion panel. Always eager to score a bargain, I had selected and booked this budget motel over the official five-star conference location.

A friend helped me find and unlock my room, and before she left -- of course, she had booked the five-star conference hotel -- she said, "I’ll leave my cell phone on all night. Call me immediately if you …"

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Anxiety and Panic

Global Day for Hope Kicks Off Mental Health Awareness Month

The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) launched the first annual Global Day for Hope on May 2, 2015, to support the 350 million people living with the treatable disease of depression. Organizations and individuals from around the globe joined together in solidarity to plant sunflowers, the international symbol of hope, in an effort to raise awareness for treatment of depression and help end the stigma that prevents so many people from seeking support.
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Depression

Global Day of Hope On May 2 Supports Millions Living With Depression

The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) is galvanizing support on Saturday, May 2, for Global Day of Hope, when people around the globe will plant sunflowers in support of the 350 million people living with the treatable disease of depression. The sunflower is the international symbol of hope for depression and Global Day for Hope seeks to amplify the organization's mission to shine a positive light and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education.

On that day planting events will span from the U.S. to Asia including Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, South America, Nepal, Germany and more. People from all corners of the globe are invited to join the movement by planting sunflowers in their own communities and joining the conversation on social media using #Hope2015 and #PLANTHOPE.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

12 Supplements I Take Every Day for Depression

I hereby confess that it takes me a half hour each week to fill up my mammoth-sized pill container with the supplements and vitamins I take each week to give my brain every lift I can. It’s expensive, it’s time-consuming, it’s a pain in my arse, but I would rather spend my time organizing fish oil capsules than in front of a therapist explaining why I can’t shut off the negative intrusive thoughts.

I'm doing much better today than I was seven months ago, the afternoon I first met with a holistic doctor to determine which supplements could help my depression.
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General

Spring Cleaning of the Psyche

Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go.
Ask the way to the Spring.
Your living pieces will form a harmony. ~ Rumi
With all the chaos in our world, information overload on our computers, and daily tests of our emotional equilibrium, how do we stay the course? How do we keep mind, heart, and spirit clear for what matters most?
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Brain and Behavior

The Healing Power of Awe

The mountains. The stars freckled across the sky. A fiery sunrise. A rich cup of coffee alongside a piece of flaky pie: These things are awesome.

Though I’ve seen a million sunsets and stared at the oceans for hours, I’m still moved by their wonder and mystery, touched by their beauty, and profoundly grateful that I can experience them again and again.

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General

Four Ways Spring Rejuvenates Us

Last week, New York was hit with a steady snowfall and blankets of white covered the ground. This winter has entrapped us time and time again. Stuck inside. Icy roads. Frigid temperatures. Plans cancelled. What do they say about March? That it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb?

As I type this, the weather is beginning to change, and I feel inklings of spring -- the start of something brand new, the season for beauty and rejuvenation.

So, how will spring’s gracious arrival benefit us?
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Children and Teens

The Importance of Involving Children in Household Chores

As much as we parents like to protect our babies, we are also responsible for preparing and teaching them about the various realities of life. The ability to cope with disappointments, accept the consequences of their actions, develop problem-solving skills, and become functioning, independent adults depends largely on our parenting choices.

Self-respect, responsibility, and accountability are not things that come naturally to toddlers and young kids. We must repeatedly teach them, show them, and help them to develop these traits and skills through our own actions as well as the expectations that we set for them.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Good Nutrition is Important in Depression, but Often Overlooked

As anyone who has had depression can attest, your mood isn’t just created by circumstances. How you feel is the result of neurotransmitters sending information through your neurons by binding to receptors. Each neurotransmitter is made of amino acids that are either obtained through food or created by the body.

Deficiency in proper nutrients is one of the key ways a depressive episode can be caused or worsened by...
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

10 Nutritional Deficiencies that May Cause Depression

I’m not sure why more psychiatrists don’t first test for nutritional deficiencies before dispensing Zoloft or Prozac, and especially antipsychotics like Seroquel and Zyprexa. The good ones will send you to get lab work done before upping your meds or adjusting anything. Sometimes we do need antidepressants. But other times we need spinach -- think of Popeye.

In addition to seeing a psychiatrist regularly, I now work with an integrative health physician who tests my nutrition levels every year. If you haven’t ever tested your nutrition levels, you might inquire with either your psychiatrist or primary care physician.
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Brain and Behavior

Infestation Anxiety: The Enemy Within

As Ebola fears wane, don’t be fooled. The next great threat is always upon us.

There is a little-known psychological disorder called "Ekbom syndrome" in which a person believes that insects are crawling underneath their skin. Patients often tear their skin off in an attempt to extract the invisible vermin.

Even though it’s a rare disorder affecting about 100,000 Americans, somehow we can all relate to the maddening anxiety of those afflicted. There is something universally cringe-worthy about the experience of infestation.
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