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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When Men Feel Trapped: A Practical Guide

Male midlife crisis is a term used to describe a male identity crisis that occurs around midlife. Men in a midlife crisis feel trapped in an identity or lifestyle that is constraining, and they want to break out. There is a shift in their awareness of time and themselves. With a sense of only a finite amount of years left, men are grasping at a last chance for a feeling of vitality and pleasure.

This is...
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Early Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Making You Depressed

Everyone dreams of meeting their soul mate. Our brains actually encourage us to fall in love when we meet someone who we connect with by increasing the production of the hormone oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. Oxytocin production increases early on in a relationship and enhances the feelings associated with finding new love.   

Eventually the relationship evolves, the honeymoon phase passes and each person's...
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Depression and Men: Why It’s Hard to Ask for Help

Fans surprised Supernatural star Jared Padalecki at Comic-Con on Sunday, July 12, by lighting candles in the audience -- over 7,000 of them -- as a thank you for opening up about his struggles with depression and as a tribute to his Always Keep Fighting campaign that supports people struggling with depression, self-injury, addiction, or suicidal thoughts. You can see Padalecki's Tweet here:

View from stage. #ComicCon pic.twitter.com/aIy04Cf6ak
— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) July 12, 2015
During filming of the third season of Supernatural, Padalecki broke down in his trailer after shooting an episode. A doctor soon diagnosed him with clinical
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5 Proven Ways to Avoid Losing Your Cool at Work

At one point or another, we’ve all felt totally irritated while at work: You pull an all-nighter on a project that then gets scrapped; a client criticizes your team for no apparent reason, or your co-worker shows up late for a meeting again, dumping all the prep work on you.
These office aggravations can make your blood boil. Your focus is immediately hijacked from the important task at hand. Instead, your mind goes into fight-or-flight mode and you become reactionary; not thinking clearly, blaming others, or beating yourself up for getting upset. In this state, you’re prone to making poor judgements and saying things you may regret later.
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Children and Teens

How to Focus on Your Job Search During a Major Life Transition

Going through a huge life transition such as a divorce can already be difficult, particularly if you need to make your kids a priority. But what happens if you also need to find a job? With so many stressful factors colliding, it can feel like there isn’t enough time or brainpower to go around.

This goes doubly so if it’s a situation involving a divorce and child custody talks; since both of these processes can be emotionally draining, it’s difficult to find the energy and the focus needed to properly search for a job. In fact, a blog post at
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Anxiety and Panic

A Husband’s Guide to Understanding Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Approximately 20 percent of all postpartum women experience a perinatal mood disorder such as postpartum depression (PPD) or anxiety. These are medical conditions which can be successfully treated. Knowing the risk factors and understanding the signs and symptoms are important for a spouse in order to get his wife the appropriate care and help.

Any new mom can develop a perinatal mood disorder; however, there are some risk factors to be aware of:

Personal or family history of depression or anxiety
History of severe PMS or PMDD
Chronic pain or illness
Fertility treatments
Traumatic or stressful pregnancy or birthing experience
Abrupt discontinuation of breastfeeding
Substance abuse

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3 Reasons It’s So Tough to End a Toxic Relationship

Sometimes life is freaking TOUGH.

Bad relationships don’t happen all at once, they creep up on us. If they were bad in the beginning, no one would ever enter into them. So, why do we stay in bad relationships long after it dawns on us that it’s time to go?

Here are three reasons why leaving a bad relationship is a lot harder than it sounds:

1. You Feel Like You've Invested Too Much Time to Give Up Now

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The Difference Between Sex & Love for Men

As a psychotherapist who specializes in emotions, and as a woman with my own personal history of serial monogamy, I have come to realize that some men channel their need for love, intimacy, soothing, care, and comfort into sexual desire.

Here are some examples:

Dylan wants sex when he feels sad because he likes the comfort the physical holding provides. Dylan, like most people, wants to be held when he is sad. In fact, the need to be held when we feel sad is biologically programmed into our brains.

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Rekindling the Spark in a Long-Term Marriage

People tend to work very hard to get into that “once-in-a-lifetime” relationship. The honeymoon phase of courting and dating requires great effort to let the other know that she is special, that he is “the one.”

Falling in love with your partner for the first time is all-consuming. Maintaining the love and affection once a relationship is well-established also requires effort. Often the responsibilities of life, work, and children may get in the way of focusing on the love and happiness that one feels toward his or her spouse. Your spouse may start to feel more like your roommate than your lover. It is possible, and actually enjoyable, to recapture the romance and fall back in love.

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Why Men Stay Away from Therapy — and Why It’s Actually a Perfect Match

A man went to see psychologist Ryan Howes solely because his wife wanted him to. She wanted him to work on his communication and become more comfortable with intimacy. He wanted to be anywhere but there.

Many men feel this way about therapy.* And many men avoid it -- even when they’re struggling and need it most. They often see attending therapy as a “sign of weakness or inadequacy,” said Jean Fitzpatrick, LP, a psychotherapist who has extensive experience working with both men and women and whose practice focuses on relationship and career issues. In particular, men over 50 tend to have a harder time being vulnerable and putting their feelings into words, she said.

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