General

Got Insurance? You’re Going to Have a Frustrating Wait for Rationed Mental Health Care

Yet again, insurance companies are getting away with rationing mental health care in America and treating mental disorders unequally when compared to physical conditions. And nobody seems to be listening -- or care.

We thought we had this problem licked with the historic passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, a law that banned insurance companies from discriminating against people with mental illness.

Unfortunately, insurance companies just found new ways to deny patients care for their mental health conditions -- through rationing access to service providers.

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Anxiety and Panic

Mental Illness Is More than ‘Worried Wellness’

“So what kind of work do you do in your private practice?” asked a colleague.

“I specialize in depression, anxiety, relationship problems, work-life issues, and low self-esteem,” I explained.

“Ah,” he said with a knowing smile. “The worried well.”

I cringed when I heard this. My patients would cringe, too, if they heard themselves referred to in this dismissive way. But it happens all too often.
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Books

3 Strategies for Supporting a Loved One with Depression

Your loved one has depression. Maybe they’re isolating themselves. Maybe their energy and mood have taken a nosedive. Maybe they’re irritable and angry. Maybe they aren’t enjoying much, if anything, anymore. Maybe they’re having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Maybe they’ve mentioned feeling hopeless or worthless. Maybe they make negative comments about themselves. All. The. Time. Maybe they wear a happy face, but you know they’re struggling.

And, understandably, it’s really hard to watch. Because all you want to do is fix their pain. To make it go away. To make it all better.
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Books

Awesome Mental Health Resources You Probably Didn’t Know About

We come across a lot of announcements for this new thing or that, and most of it is garbage. We do, however, like to promote ideas that we feel offer a valuable community service to both mental health consumers and professionals alike.

I've discovered two awesome mental health resources you probably didn't know about, both of which are absolutely free. Whether you like mental health and psychology apps, or psychology and mental books, one of these services can have the potential to change your life.

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Depression

Why Self-Care is Essential

Most of us will suffer from depression at some point. It could be triggered by a traumatic event, such as a relationship breakup, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. Or it could take the form of experiencing a gradual decline in your enjoyment of life, and a general feeling that things will never get better.

When we sink into the black hole of depression, it can sometimes be hard to get out again. Our waking life may seem so bleak that we seek refuge in sleeping in late and staying in bed all day. But the more we give in to the dark side of depression, the harder it can be to overcome it. Being severely depressed for long periods of time is a terrible way to live. So what can you do if the black dog has got you down?

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Psychotherapy

Who Can Benefit From Individual Therapy?

If you're thinking of meeting with a psychotherapist, you might have a general feeling that you want to try therapy but not be sure exactly what a therapist is going to do for you. You might even wonder, "Can I really get that much out of talking to a therapist?"

The short answer is: yes. Everyone stands to gain from reflecting on their lives and improving their coping skills.

But there's one group of people who have a problem that is an especially good for therapy. I'm talking about people who feel they need another perspective.
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Brain and Behavior

How to Use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Once we understood the brain as a fixed, static entity. Now we see it as a changeable, growing organ. This should give much encouragement to those who feel limited by their beliefs that they are somehow stuck in habitual patterns of thinking, since the brain itself can be rewired because of its neuroplasticity.

Before brain imaging was possible, many psychotherapists were already using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people reframe their experiences and learn to modulate emotions and thoughts to rewire their brain into healthier patterns. The idea behind the method is that “you become what you practice.”
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Addiction

6 Reasons Why I Hate My Therapist

Editor's Note: This is intended to be a humorous piece.
So just when you are getting sick and tired of all those people giving you heartache for no apparent reason at all, you decide to shoot yourself in the head and find yourself a therapist so that he can give you more heartache than all the people put together.

But there is one big difference between now and then: Earlier you were getting your heartache for free. This time you are paying for it.
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Addiction

A Higher Power for Those Who Don’t Believe in a Higher Power

This article is not directed toward individuals who do not find themselves struggling to embrace a Higher Power of their understanding while working toward recovery. It is directed at those who may want to embrace something, yet cannot identify with what they are comfortable.

Several of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (and Narcotics Anonymous) involve a Higher Power, so one could imagine this being offputting to someone who does not identify one. It can be challenging to wrap your head around the steps if God or a Higher Power is not in your life.

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Aging

How to Deal with Difficult Parents

As kids, we put our parents on a pedestal. When we were growing up, they could heal every wound, solve every problem and fix anything that was broken.

As adults, we realize they don’t actually know everything and also have shortcomings. Sometimes, the tables turn -- our parents begin to come to us for financial help, relationship advice, or career guidance. We may start to feel like we are their parents and have come into a role of supporting them much sooner than we expected.

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Disorders

OCD’s Little Secret

This is our little secret: I robbed a bank.

At least that’s what my mind spits out. And according to my mind, I am likely to rob again and again.

When I walk into a bank to deposit a check, my heartbeat skips. Sweat trickles down my forehead. A boulder forms in my throat.

Why? Not because of my dwindling bank account or the imperious teller. My sneering mind is ready to pounce. An obsessive-compulsive disorder advocate and consumer, our vivid imagination has a darker side. We have committed unspeakable atrocities according to our deceitful thoughts.
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