Mental Health and Wellness Articles

It Helps to Focus on the Positive Stuff

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

It Helps to Focus on the Positive StuffThings are OK as they are. That’s the one fact I’ve been struggling with recently.

I have this image in my mind as to how I want things to be. I want to make lots of money, I want a house in the mountains, I want to get married. All of this I worry about on a near-daily basis. These are also the things that drive me to work, to be better, and to achieve more things.

Why Real Love Is Hard Work

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

rainbow loomA month into our relationship, my now-husband asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I didn’t hesitate.

“As a nun in a third-world country doing missionary work,” I said.

“Interesting.”

Somewhere around that time I also told him it would be five years before I slept with him. It was the quickest five years of my life.

Stories that Sabotage Coping and Spike Stress

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Stories that Sabotage Coping and Spike StressOur belief systems, or personal stories, dictate our behavior. The stories we spin about ourselves can shape everything from the decisions we make to how we interact with others to the goals we accomplish.

“Our thoughts have tremendous power and largely create our realities,” said Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist who writes the Psych Central blog The Psychology of Success.

Psychology Around the Net: October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Mental Health Blocks

Suffer from insomnia? Ever feel you might be addicted to the Internet? Interested in seeing what a schizophrenia episode actually looks like? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Hip-Hop Therapy Is New Route to Mental Wellbeing, Says Psychiatrists: According to researchers in the U.K., hip-hop music might be a viable mental health treatment for illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia. How? By providing people with a sense of empowerment and self-knowledge.

Man With Schizophrenia Records Episode to Give Glimpse Into Life With the Disorder: Social media has made it easier to share experiences with mental illness, and Scottie Long is just one patient to do so. Long documents his schizophrenia episodes via YouTube and sends a clear message: When treating mental illness, sooner is always better.

Reflect & Reframe

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Reflect and ReframeWe all know people who are well-educated but somehow aren’t very smart. We also know people without much formal education who are quite wise. So, it’s obvious that it’s not just what we learn in school that makes us smart. It’s more about how we use our mind and live our life.

To live life with a high degree of competence, it’s essential to frequently reflect and reframe.

Personal Experiences of Depression

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Personal Experiences of DepressionSome of the biggest myths about depression are that it’s a character flaw, a sign of weakness, a lack of trying, a lack of will, a choice.

You just need to think differently. Remember, happiness is a choice. You just need to suck it up. Be strong! Why aren’t you trying harder? You don’t even have anything to be depressed about!

Interesting Person, Boring Life

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Interesting Person, Boring LifeYou might think that if you are a person who has interesting ideas and inspired imagination, you would be living an exciting life. Sorry, it’s not necessarily so.

Why not?

There may be an abundance of reasons, but the one that wins the prize for robbing you of that exciting, inspiring, interesting life you could have is (drum roll, please) an abundance of fear.

The Solitude Dilemma

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Solitude DilemmaThis week The Atlantic shared a video in its Editor’s Picks series called ‘The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain.’ It followed a young man named Leif Haugen, a Forest Service firefighter in Montana. For three months out of the year, Leif lives alone at the lookout on top of a mountain.

Watching the video, I couldn’t help but feel a rather fervent mix of desire and fear.

Living in solitude like that, with no one to talk to and nothing to distract you but books and chores seems like a dream to me. At the same time, though, it made me wonder if, were I to live like that, I would get lonely.

7 Ways to Navigate Self-Doubt

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

7 Ways to Navigate Self-DoubtEveryone experiences self-doubt. It’s one of the most common concerns psychotherapist Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, encounters in her therapy and career counseling.

Self-doubt shows up in different ways. It might manifest as seeking advice or validation for decisions because we don’t trust ourselves, she said.

It may mean minimizing yourself, such as saying that a personal idea was something you read online “to avoid rejection in case others don’t like your idea.”

The Truth About Anxiety

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The Truth About Anxiety When you feel panic washing over you, the sweat collecting in your palms and dripping down your knees, heartbeat blaring through your chest, the inner shakiness and shallow breathing, the butterflies stomping inside your stomach, all you want to do — desperately —  is to make it stop.

In those moments anxiety feels dangerous. It feels like something is terribly wrong. Or maybe we know that we’re not in real danger, that we’re experiencing a panic attack, but our bodies are in such a state of terror that we don’t care. The panic is too persuasive, and we yearn to escape. We yearn for anxiety to go away forever.

You Can’t Force Things

Monday, October 13th, 2014

You Can't Force ThingsIt’s been tough getting to sleep the last few nights.

I’ll go to bed and turn off the light and then the thoughts start pouring in. I’ll worry that I didn’t do the right thing in any number of situations during the day. I’ll worry about the work I have to do the next day. I’ll worry that no matter what I do, I’ll never be closer to my dream of buying a house in the mountains.

It occurred to me last night while I was lying there, though, that you can’t force sleep. If you try to fall asleep and see that you’re not, that’s just one more thing to worry about. The sleep will come; it always does. There’s no point in trying to force it to happen.

Sidestepping Depression Stigma

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Sidestepping Depression Stigma According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. These figures aren’t too dissimilar to those for cancer; it is estimated that more than one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Despite these statistics regarding the prevalence of mental health issues, they haven’t been addressed with nearly the same attention or support as physical illnesses. This could have to do with the stigma surrounding mental health.

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