Brain and Behavior

Never Feel Like a Loser Again with the Right Locus of Control

How you did on a test, how well you stick to your diet and how accurately you execute a new recipe is seen differently depending on your locus of control.

Who is to blame if you failed the test? Who should be rewarded when you lose weight on your diet? The way you view the control you have over your life will determine whether you have an internal or external locus of control.

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Anxiety and Panic

Spirituality vs. Mental Disorders: God Doesn’t Hate Medication

I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me, and I have personally struggled with anxiety. For several years, I thought that my anxiety was a normal part of life. I didn’t realize that I should not have been having full-blown anxiety at the age of nine, but I was.

My family didn’t believe in mental illnesses, besides those that were obvious to the untrained eye. We did, however, attend a church regularly. I was highly interested in Christianity and studied it on my own. I was able to combat the unnatural anxiety through my relationship with God, and was able to overcome the anxiety throughout middle and high school. College, however, was different.
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On Being Ourselves — What This Really Means & What It Might Look Like

So often we hear “just be yourself.” Or we read articles about being “authentic.” But what does this really mean? And what does it actually look like?

“Being yourself requires knowing and being comfortable with the different parts of yourself, owning those parts and remaining true to it, even in the face of doubt,” said Ashley Thorn, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is something we explore regularly because we naturally evolve and grow, she said.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: July 9, 2016

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

I hope my fellow Americans enjoyed last week's Fourth of July celebrations! Unfortunately, my neck of the woods has been devastated with rain and extreme flooding, so I didn't get to celebrate as much as I would have liked.

However, the sun is shining today, and it's time to catch up on this week's latest mental health news! Keep reading for information on how medical marijuana has lowered prescription drug use, see pictures one photographer uses to chronicle his quest for peace amid anxiety and depression, which habits say a lot about your personality, and more.

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A Journey to a Diagnosis

I knew that I had a mental illness. I had for a very long time. Ever since I was 15 and tried to kill myself I knew that I had a mental illness. But I wasn’t very accepting of it. Don’t get me wrong, I tried all of the meds. I always took them. That was, until I got manic and stopped taking them. Nobody knew that I had bipolar disorder. They thought that I had depression or schizoaffective disorder.

In all fairness, I didn’t tell them all of my symptoms, but then, I didn’t know, either. I thought that mania was normal. I thought that that was how normal, happy people were supposed to be. I didn’t think anything else of it.
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Brain Blogger

Fostering Self-Actualization During Child Development

Finding out who we are meant to be can be a difficult task and most won’t take the time and energy involved in the journey. Perhaps, not that they won’t, more often than not they can’t.

Many people struggle daily with meeting other, more base needs, rendering them unable to direct their energy towards higher, more fulfilling needs. In no way am I a self-actualized person, in Rogerian terms I am self-actualizing, that is, I am tending towards my real self and this is necessary for proper and healthy development, and should start no later than once the child is born.

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How to Deal with Difficult Family Members

Everybody has a difficult family member. It could be a toxic mother-in-law, a domineering father, a manipulative cousin, or even your own bratty child. But no matter who they are, they know how to push your buttons and just drive you crazy.

The bad news is, you can't get rid of these people completely; they are family. The good news is, learning to deal with difficult people is a considerable advantage in life, and can be valuable in any number of situations. So here are a few things to keep in mind.
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New Quizzes on Bipolar, Eating Disorders, Paranoia & Stress

Here at Psych Central, we're always developing new quizzes to help you better understand yourself. We believe self-knowledge is power, and so the better you know yourself, the more in control of your life you will become. It's a simple equation that works.

That's why I'm pleased to introduce a number of new self-help psychological quizzes that we've been working on over the past few months. We now have two new ways to test for bipolar disorder and eating disorders (which join our existing quizzes on these topics), and two new topics we've never had quizzes on before -- paranoia and stress.

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How to De-Escalate Fights with Family Members

Ever find yourself on the receiving end of verbal attack? Many people have loved ones who lash out in verbally abusive ways. Some of these people refuse to listen to reason when angry. They take no accountability for their role in creating strife. They might insist that you are the cause of their abusive behavior and they would stop hurting you if only you would change. But relationships are always about two people. Each person interacts and affects the other.

For example, Moira, a 45-year-old wife and mother of three, was abused as a child. Moira was easily triggered into jealous rages. These rages could be set off by the smallest thing: perhaps her husband glanced inadvertently at another woman, or complimented a coworker. Or perhaps her teenage daughter talked back to Moira or expressed affection for a teacher, igniting Moira’s jealousy.

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Learn How to Let Go of Shame and Forgive Yourself

"Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once." -- Unknown
I haven’t always been the woman I am today.

I used to be scared. Of everything. And everyone. Painfully shy and insecure, I saw myself as a victim of my circumstances, and was always waiting, on guard, for the next rejection. I masked my insecurity in a blanket of perfectionism, and worked hard to put forth the image that I had everything together and had it all figured out.

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Brain Blogger

9 Personality Traits Risky for Developing Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a very serious condition affecting 10-15% of mothers in most developed countries (that’s 400,000-600,000 women per year in the US). Research shows that mother really is the heart of the family, and when she is hurting, the whole family unit is at risk, where the stress and low quality of mother-infant interactions can affect the child’s brain development, with long-term negative consequences for school years and beyond.

Despite how common and devastating postpartum depression can be, or how effective therapy is, it is still a societal taboo. Many mothers don’t even want to mention the words, with studies showing that most women choose to hide their burdens and turn down much needed help.
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How ‘Mad Men’ Taught Us about Trauma, Shame & Healing

Don Draper, a character on the TV series "Mad Men," was a survivor of childhood trauma.

But when we first met Don, we met a man who had it all. He was at the pinnacle of his career, happily married to his gorgeous wife, Betty, and father of two adorable children. His haughty, arrogant and aloof facade was easily mistaken for genuine confidence.

We soon found out, however, that Don was a man with flaws. An alcoholic, a womanizer and an adulterer, he lied about things, not the least of which was his fake identity. These flaws, or what a therapist would consider symptoms, were an indication that Don was unwell. Symptoms are often brilliant clues that let an individual know they have underlying yet blocked emotions, often from the past, that need attention and release.
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