Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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What I Want You to Know about Mental Illness

Even on my worst days, I feel extremely lucky to have my job. It grants me the opportunity to hear stories and engage with people in the most raw, vulnerable way possible.

I have the privilege of studying, knowing, and working intimately with mental health issues; placing me on the front lines of this issue.

But it is easy to forget that an all-too-real stigma exists within the four walls of a therapy room.
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Has Your Doctor Told You These 6 Brutal Depression Truths?

You'd be surprised at everything you DON'T know.

Depression isn't just about being unhappy about something or feeling blue. It's a legitimate and very serious medical condition with many emotional, physical, behavioral and cognitive symptoms. It isn't inevitable for anyone living in the modern world, and it also doesn't mean that you're a bad or weak person if you suffer from depression.

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Bipolar Disorder and Drug Abuse

It’s very common to find people with bipolar using drugs of one kind or another. If you were to experience the constant interference, disruption and pain that bipolar brings about, you would understand why one would resort to using drugs. Bipolar disorder makes it hard to get up in the morning, hard to hold a conversation and almost impossible for many to hold down a job. With problems like these it’s no wonder that medication is abandoned in favor of street drugs.

You see, medication doesn’t always quite hit the spot. Medical teams and patients spend years trying to find the right balance of medication. In the meantime, the patient suffers emotionally and psychologically. Often there is little support during this period as the patient is half better and looks okay -- so they must be okay, right? Wrong. That’s not the case at all. We can look fine and feel horrendous.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Handle Panic Attacks

There are many things in life to be afraid of. You can be injured or killed in myriad ways. You can get lost. You can make a fool of yourself. Something can happen to your loved ones. Another terrorist attack can happen at any moment. So much to be frightened of. It’s enough to make you fearful of leaving your house!

And so you don’t. Or, you do with much trepidation. And when you do, you may feel your heart racing, your body trembling, your breathing tight. You may feel chest pain and wonder if you’re having a heart attack. You may feel sweaty and wonder why your body temperature is out of whack. You may feel dizzy, unsteady, faint and more.

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Brain and Behavior

Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Drugs: Not There Yet

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. Many of us could drive a bicycle on a freeway, but it wouldn't be a wise thing to do. Many of us could pay money for "brain games," but it wouldn't necessarily help our brains' health.

And so it is with genetic testing for psychiatric drugs. While you could pay for such a test to help you better understand how your body might react to certain psychiatric drugs, you're probably better off not. At least not at this point.

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Succeeding in College When You Have ADHD

Navigating the first year of college is hard for anyone, but staying organized and productive is especially difficult for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). My impulsivity and lack of attention caused me to attend four different schools and declare three different majors.

Once I figured things out, though, I graduated with honors and secured gainful employment. Now I’m five classes away from earning a master’s degree.

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I Hope You Never Understand

I hope you never know what it’s like to wake up and wish you hadn’t. Not because you’re tired and you want another few minutes of sleep; not because you’re hungover; not because it’s Monday and you don’t want to go to work.

I mean you wake up, and you realize tomorrow came -- and it’s not a good feeling. I mean you wake up and you open your eyes, only to close them right away and silently will yourself away from it all. I mean you wake up and you are disappointed that you didn’t, by some miracle, die in your sleep.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

8 Things to Consider When Your Depression Is Not Getting Better

I keep getting the same email over and over again, and my heart aches each time I read it: “I have tried everything to overcome my depression, but nothing has helped. Is there anything else I can do or will I have to live the rest of my life plagued with sadness?”

First, hear these three words: There is hope. If there wasn’t any, I would not be alive writing my blog. I am one of the worst cases out there like you are. I have spent more years of my life fantasizing about death than wanting to be alive. I get it. But now I do enjoy some really good days -- where I feel better than I ever have. And those good days keep me motivated to get through the harder ones.
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Spreading Misinformation About ADHD

John Rosemond, MS is a nationally-syndicated columnist and parenting expert who's made a name for himself by promoting a lot of old-fashioned parenting skills. You know, like spanking. I suppose there's nothing wrong with ignoring research data and science that's been published in the past few decades (if that's your thing).

But I was a little taken aback by Rosemond's recent answer to a parent's concern that her child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Rosemond starts his reply off with this outrageous claim: "First and foremost, there is no good science behind the diagnosis of ADHD."

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