General

Differentiating Shame from Guilt: It’s Not So Easy

It is clear that toxic shame is a destructive emotion that saps our energy and robs us of the joy of being alive. But does that mean that all shame is bad

Brene Brown defines shame as “The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging -- something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

But toxic shame cuts to the core of our identity. We carry a dark sense of being deeply flawed and defective. This is so painful that we desperately try to hide it from others and develop compensatory behaviors (such as seeking power and wealth or constantly joking) that are designed to distract people from noticing how flawed we are (or think we are).

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Addiction

8 Healthy Reasons to Ditch Your Bad Habits

There comes a time of self-reckoning in everyone’s life. After months and possibly years of indulging in known vices and allowing yourself to slip into bad habits, you realize that this isn’t what your life is supposed to be. While you’re not quite sure where to begin, you know that you need to do something different. Consider these reasons for changing things up.

1. Feel better about yourself.
The decision to change is never easy. The pros and cons for doing so will occupy a lot of time at first. But once you commit to a decision to make a change, you will start to feel better about yourself. The fact that you’re taking proactive steps is reinforcement that only builds over time. When you start seeing improvement as a result of the actions you take, your mood lifts and your perspective changes. It’s no longer a corner you’re backed into, but a wide open path that beckons.

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ADHD and ADD

Confidence-Building and the Special Olympics

Tommy was terrified to travel to Columbus. He was scheduled to compete in the Special Olympics that weekend. Tommy has anxiety disorder, ADHD and autism, and anything out of the ordinary such as a road trip to a place he’d never been before threw him way off. “Talk to Daddy,” he kept telling me. “I don’t want to go. Can you tell him I don’t want to go?”

Steve was not surprised at Tommy’s resistance to going to a new place and doing a new activity. It was the story of our lives.

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Caregivers

How to Promote Your Child’s Good Mental Health

Everyone knows the importance of good mental health, but how do you help your children achieve it? Here are some points to consider.

1. Give your child unconditional love.

Every child deserves and needs unconditional love from his or her parents and other family members. Love, security and acceptance form the bedrock for a child’s good mental health. Make sure your child knows that your love doesn’t depend on them getting good grades...
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Disorders

Are You Seeing a Good Therapist? 5 More Tell-Tale Signs

If you aren’t in the psychology field, it’s hard to know what you should expect from a therapist. After all, choosing a therapist is different from looking for a surgeon or chiropractor or dermatologist. Therapy is a unique process; one that requires you to be vulnerable. In fact, you might share things with your therapist that you’ve never shared with anyone.

So how do you know if the therapist you have or one who you’re considering is actually a good clinician?
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General

Self-Mutilation Helped Me Cope with Depression — Briefly

I had always believed that injuring oneself is ridiculous. What could one possibly get from cutting assorted body parts? Who wants scores of ugly scars and scabs all over their body? How can people indulge in and actually enjoy it? How can it be a means to cope with depression?

Suffering from emotional trauma is one thing; add to that the physical pain of self-injury, and what is the result? Nothing fruitful comes out of it, or so I believed until I tried this seemingly overrated practice myself.
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Personal

7 Tips to Raise Your Self-Esteem and Keep It There

"Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth." -- Iyanla Vanzant
Aren’t you tired of it?

You know, that sneaking suspicion that you aren’t enough.

That inner commentary about where you fall short all the time. The mean internal remarks about your ability to handle life and how you just don’t measure up.

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Children and Teens

5 Tips for Reducing Ever-Growing Mom Guilt

Moms tend to feel guilty for all sorts of things. They feel guilty for working full-time or part-time. They feel guilty for not breastfeeding or for stopping too soon. They feel guilty for not being able to join their child’s field trip. Again. They feel guilty for taking time for themselves. For not cooking from scratch. For the dirty clothes in the corner and the dirty dishes in the sink. For not making enough money. For making mistakes. For being too tired. For anything.

As psychotherapist Krysta Dancy, MA MFT, said, guilt “begins in pregnancy and childbirth -- all the different ways to give birth -- flows through infancy -- feeding choices, sleeping philosophies -- and never lets up.”
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Anxiety and Panic

Change Can Throw You Off

A lot of things have been happening in my life recently. I just got a big job that I’m very nervous about, it’s something that hard to do but I’m also looking for a challenge. On top of that I’m moving to a new place at the end of the month.

Suffice it to say that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff.

Anybody would have a hard time with two huge things on the horizon, but as I live with schizophrenia I have to be extra conscious of the compounding stressors that I’m putting on myself.
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General

Self-Doubt: How to Place Self Above Doubt

I should have tenure. Maybe even a corner office with a panoramic view of the quad. No question, I have the research background.

I second-guess (or third-guess) my decisions, craving irrefutable evidence that my decision-making is sound. As I analyze and overanalyze, sinking in mental quicksand, life whirs past. Indecision is a decision. And that decision is measured in missed opportunities.

As overthinkers, information is our frenemy. Analytical and creative, we are natural thinkers. Our inquisitive minds crave nourishment. But, in a lot of cases, we overindulge.
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General

Tackling Mental Health One Meal at a Time

There is so much information out there about eating healthy to get in shape. Broader society has a general idea of an ideal shape that is ever-evolving and almost always an airbrushed, unattainable goal. Ideally the information at your fingertips should be about self-improvement through and through, not predominantly outwardly. The reality is that what you are putting into your body may be contributing to issues with depression, and in turn, your self-esteem.

Although popular media may tell you otherwise, working on a happier, healthier self starts from the inside out.

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