Brain and Behavior

The Power of Your Thinking

You talk to yourself all day. All your waking hours, you are thinking in words and sentences. You carry on an internal conversation with yourself. You comment on events, ask yourself questions and then answer them. This is normal. We all do it, but we usually aren’t aware that we’re doing it.

Have you ever stopped to consider the impact of all this internal chatter? You might be surprised at the degree to which your thoughts influence your mood, guide your perceptions and direct your behaviors. We would all do well to pay attention to the content of our thoughts, and consider their influence on our mood and choices. Have negative thought patterns caused you to experience unnecessary pain or make unhealthy choices?

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Anxiety and Panic

What if You Woke Up Tomorrow and Were 15 Years Old Again?

A woman recently told BBC News that she woke up one day in 2008 believing it was 1992. Then 32, Naomi Jacobs was convinced she was 15 years old. She was baffled by modern technology and had no recollection of her 11-year-old son. Even her voice didn’t sound familiar to her -- it was much too deep.

"Everything from fear to joy from seeing this child that I didn't have any memory of giving birth to, but knew undoubtedly that he was mine because he looked so much like me, to terror of having the responsibility of this small child,” Jacobs
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How to Let Go of Letting Go

The art of moving into the peaceful state of Letgo.

After thirty years in the mental health profession, I have grown leery of psychological catchphrases. Sure, they make good headings on posters and coffee mugs, and as personal mantras they can even have a stabilizing and healing effect.

However, much of the time these Neo-Freudian one-liners have all the sincerity of political sound bites and the illuminating power of an Itty Bitty book light.
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Memory and Perception

Choosing and Doing: Don’t Live by Default

"What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing." -- Pablo Picasso
In a world where we have so many options, so many choices, many of us find ourselves not choosing at all. Ironic, isn’t it?

Often, we have the intention of doing something important, but it is perhaps too much for us to think that we could actually get it done. So we end up choosing, and thus living, by default. But is this a wise choice?
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Brain and Behavior

The Secret to Remembering More

I was going to write this post weeks ago when I first read the story about triggering memory.

But I forgot.

I also forgot where I put the notes, and the research. But, I did remember the number for the Chinese takeout and to invoice early as per my client’s request.

What’s that about? Why do some of these must-do details stick in our memories, while others -- which we had contemplated just moments before -- don’t?
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Psychology Around the Net: March 21, 2015

Learn more about the stigma of mental illness, how to use your memory to make better connections, the rampant misuse of ADHD medications among college students, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net!

Combating the Stigma of Mental Illness: When as many as "as many as 25 percent of adults and 40.3 percent of adolescents reported suffering an episode of mental illness within a 12-month period," why are we still stuck in a world filled with stigma?

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Anxiety and Panic

How Anxiety and Guilt Affect Your To-Do List

Do you keep a running to-do list that never seems to end? Do self-directed commands such as "send emails" or "write resume" or "buy salad ingredients" always end up on tomorrow’s list because of a lack of time today? You may even find yourself saying, "There just aren't enough hours in the day!"

A new study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, brings encouraging news for those of us who feel we can never get it all done: It may not be more hours that we need, say the researchers, just an emotional readjustment of sorts. In other words, if you were to break down each item on your to-do list into minutes or hours, you would probably find that, yes, timewise, you could squeeze everything in this week.

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How to Start Over — Starting With You

Often when a couple with a long history together comes to me in an attempt to save their relationship, I find myself recommending that they ritualistically end the old relationship -- even if they want to stay together.

It is a bit akin to having the right ingredients for a meal, but the wrong recipe. It is okay to say goodbye to that recipe, but that doesn't mean that you need to throw out the ingredients.

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Schizophrenia: Delusions, Voices, But Not the Memory Loss

When you hear the word "schizophrenia" a lot of symptoms probably come to mind. Some of them, unfortunately, are sensationalized or completely inaccurate, like "split personality." You might have said hallucinations, hearing voices, being paranoid, and thinking you’re God. Sure, that could be schizophrenia. But what about memory loss?

My brother Pat was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2006. For a year he thought people were surveilling him, coming into our home to install cameras, listening to his conversations whenever he was outdoors. He didn’t have a reason for it. He didn’t thinking he was a god, a king, or the Second Coming. He believed he was a target for the government -- this was around the time the media began to cover the privacy violations stemming from the Patriot Act.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Redefine Boundaries to Your Own Personal Freedom

“The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

- Tara Brach
I was in the heart of my Ph.D. program when I received the diagnoses: OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder.

It explained a lot, of course. All those years of anxiety, self-doubt, and intrusive thoughts were not normal after all. Eating to the point of gaining forty pounds in a few months was foreign to most people.

I wanted an explanation. Why me?

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3-Step Plan for Your ‘Why Me?’ Moments

With a single sentence, life can knock you down. Here's how to get back up and keep swinging...

Have you ever noticed how a single sentence can feel as if a bomb exploded and life as you know it is irrevocably transformed?

A single sentence like:

"It's cancer."
"You're fired."
"I'm pregnant."
"I'm leaving you and filing for divorce."

Suddenly that single sentence, uttered by someone you love or care about, changes your life -- derailing your sense of purpose and direction -- in an instant.
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: February 21, 2015

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

This week's edition of Psychology Around the Net brings you information about the subtle signs of depression, how to change your attitude even when you can't change your circumstances, the connection between being locked up and mental illness and poverty, and more.

(Oh, and we even get an appearance from the Duchess herself!)

Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Getting Everything Done Every Day: Tired of feeling defeated because you didn't accomplish every last thing on your to-do list? Ask yourself these five questions and you might just feel a little more relaxed at the end of the day.

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