Disorders

Psychology Around the Net: August 20, 2016


A few weeks ago, my beau and I decided to tackle a huge home improvement project together.

According to Amy Kipp, a couples and family therapist in San Antonio, "Working through the ups and downs of a big project helps you hone your communication skills [...] The sense of accomplishment and teamwork that results from a challenging shared experience strengthens a couple’s bond. (Her quote is featured in 7 Relationship Milestones That Are Just as Meaningful as Marriage.)

Thus, it seems working on this project is a way to strengthen our relationship. This project is not an improvement our home needs (i.e. we're not renovating a bathroom with a leaky toilet and busted shower tiles); it's an improvement we -- as the homeowners -- want (basically, we're a large part of our backyard into a sort of outdoor oasis). As such, creative ideas are flying everywhere. We have both collective and separate visions, and we're working to combine those visions while making sure each of us is happy.

We haven't thrown any paint brushes at each other yet, so I'd say we're succeeding so far.

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General

We Need More: A Call for Action

Dear Hillary,

Congrats on the Philadelphia convention. It had to feel good to accept the Democratic nomination. Even rumpled Bernie managed a smile!

With the Donald self-immolating, your likability ratings are cresting. Chelsea humanized you, and then you delivered a Hillary special: a heady, policy-laden convention speech.

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Addiction

Prescription Drug Addiction: Legal But Very Risky

Generally when we hear the terms "drug" or "drug addict" we assume the reference is geared towards illegal street drugs. There seems to be a silent acceptance of the addictive qualities and negative impacts that legal drugs have on society. When/if the negative impacts they have are addressed, an overt finger is pointed at the person who found themselves addicted to the substance that was either prescribed by a professional or advertised repeatedly through media outlets as a fun, enjoyable way to spend downtime. There are warning labels but for the most part these drugs are depicted as a fairly safe means to cure an ailment or a recipe for a good time.
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Depression

15 Quotes to Inspire People with Chronic Illness

Being sick is no fun. We all know that. But being chronically ill while maintaining a pleasant disposition is a daunting task even for the Greek gods. Every biological response in your body wants to lean into the creeping despair you feel. But by doing that with regularity, you'll soon feel as if you’ve given up entirely on life. You no longer have the strength to try to tease apart threads of joy from the suffocating blanket of pain that covers you.

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Addiction

Finding Pain Relief When There’s Potential for Addiction


I am a woman with a family history of addiction who is also in chronic pain. What if someday I need opioids to manage that pain?

First, two discs in my lower spine degenerated. Then, they herniated, both bulging out and impinging nerves, inciting an excruciating, sciatica-like pain that affected me around the clock. More than a year since my discs were damaged, pain has become my daily reality. I wake up stiff and sore as though I’ve just been hit by a car (having been hit by a car as a kid, I actually know what that feels like). The only thing I struggle with as much as the pain itself is finding the best way to treat it so that I can have a better quality of life.

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Brain Blogger

How Vacations Really Boost Physical and Mental Health


Multiple new research studies indicate that there are many physical and mental health benefits to gain from taking a holiday, some reportedly remaining even two months after we have returned to the daily grind. However, research also shows that certain habits and attitudes can neutralize these benefits, and even leave you more tired, stressed out, unhealthy and overwhelmed than how you started out.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: August 12, 2016


Best-selling author Dr. Barbara De Angelis has said, "We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity."

Sometimes, those difficult times come from the dynamics of a relationship. Other times, they come from dealing with our own personal matters.

All times, though, we can pull strength from ourselves and conquer to those difficult times to obtain the courage we need to face any other trials that come our way -- and let's face it, there will be more. Such is life, but also such is the resilience of humans.

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Disorders

Poison Pills? When Meds Strike Back

This narrative details my personal experience with medications. Medications impact each person differently; please consult with your psychiatrist if side effects persist.
The medication bottle gravely intones, “May cause drowsiness, use care operating a vehicle, vessel, or dangerous machinery.” If only.

Over 15 years ago, a well-meaning nurse at UNC-Chapel Hill prescribed an antidepressant. “It will make you feel better,” she soothed. Capitulating to her, I begrudgingly placed the tiny capsule under my tongue.

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Addiction

Best Ways to Deal with Pain

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

Pain is an equal-opportunity phenomenon. It strikes the rich and poor alike, is not dependent on age or gender or socio-economic status. Pain doesn’t care if you’re a college graduate or a high-school dropout or if you’ve never even gone to school. When you experience pain, however, you join the millions of others in one common thought: How can I deal with this and get it to go away?
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Disorders

Mental Health: The Biggest Company Perk

“Working yourself to death?” your friend teases.

In America, this is more than a hackneyed expression. We stifle yawns on our morning commute; we slump into cramped seats on our way home. In between, our mental health hemorrhages. Yes, we are accessories to our mental health crisis.

The average American is overworked, clocking in at 47 per hours per week. In the legal and medical professions, young lawyers and doctors surpass 100 hours per week. Half of salaried employers average 50 or more hours per week.
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