Psych Central

Self-Help Articles

How Adults with ADHD Can Become Better Listeners

Monday, March 31st, 2014

How Adults with ADHD Can Become Better ListenersBecause adults with attentive deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are easily distracted by their environment and their own thoughts and feelings, listening to others is a challenge, according to Beth Main, a certified ADHD coach.

It’s a challenge in all kinds of settings, from one-on-one conversations to classroom lectures to work meetings.

After all, “Inability to sustain attention is one of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD.”

4 Proven Ways to Overcome Adversity

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

4 Proven Ways to Overcome Adversity   Does it seem like every challenge that you experience becomes a big headache in your life?

No matter what adverse events you are currently experiencing, there is a purpose behind each one. For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine that losing a child or finding out that you have cancer is a blessing. I know from personal experience.

Signs Your Boundaries Are Too Loose or Too Rigid

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Signs Your Boundaries Are Too Loose or Too RigidMany of us might not realize it, but the boundaries we currently have may be too restrictive or too permissive. Since boundaries are our rules for relationships and really how we live our lives, it’s important to make sure we’re maintaining healthy limits — which both protect us and permit intimacy.

Psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC, described healthy boundaries as the “midway between Diva and Doormat.”

The Diva is grandiose and entitled, while the Doormat is passive and has low self-esteem. The Diva doesn’t respect others’ boundaries, while the Doormat doesn’t respect her own, she said.

Fidgeting Strategies that Help People with ADHD Focus

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Fidgeting Strategies that Help People with ADHD FocusWe’re taught that we need to sit still and focus on one thing when we’re studying, writing, working or engaging in other activities.

But for people with ADHD those things usually don’t work. They’re especially ineffective when they need to focus on tedious or mundane tasks. People with ADHD often work best when they’re doing something else, too.

Dancing in the Rain: Learning to Live With Treatment-Resistant Depression & Chronic Pain

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Dancing in the Rain: Learning to Live With Treatment-Resistant Depression & Chronic Pain“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … it’s about learning to dance in the rain,” wrote Vivian Greene. Dancing in the rain is the modus operandi of folks living with chronic pain. They spend a lifetime figuring out how to dance gracefully — with little effort visible to the observer — and to resist the urge to sit down and close their eyes until the sun comes back out.

Living with treatment-resistant depression, the kind of melancholy that hangs around for years or decades or sometimes a lifetime, requires the same skills. We don’t often categorize it as such, but treatment-resistant depression is a type of chronic illness, sometimes involving disabling pain on a daily basis.

Like most people with compromised health, I have concentrated my energy for the last 40 years on how to get rid of the pain, how to get to a better spot where I will be able to live more freely and won’t have to spend so many hours with my nose to a self-help book or scribbling symptoms in my mood journal, recording the day’s number, between a serene 0 and a suicidal 5.

How to Fix a Common Mistake Newlyweds Make

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

How to Fix A Common Mistake Newlyweds MakeIt’s a mistake that many newlyweds make, and it can chip away at their marriage. Thankfully, it’s  a mistake that couples can avoid and fix.

The mistake?

Many couples confuse their loyalties and don’t set boundaries with their family and friends, according to Nicole Massey-Hastings, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Hinsdale, Ill.

When People Are Dismissive of Your ADHD

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

When People Are Dismissive of Your ADHDIt seems like everyone has an opinion about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And that opinion may not be grounded in fact, according to Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“ADHD is one of the most misunderstood conditions.” And that misinformation leads to a litany of misconceptions, he said.

ADHD doesn’t exist. It was invented by drug companies to make money. It’s just an excuse to be lazy. Can’t you just try harder?

Everyone has ADHD. You can’t have ADHD. You have a college degree. You’re too smart.

ADHD doesn’t affect adults. It only affects kids.

As an adult with ADHD, hearing such remarks is no doubt difficult, especially if they come from loved ones. (Even mental health professionals hold these myths, Olivardia said.)

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Success

Monday, March 24th, 2014

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to SuccessSuccess isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. But many of us make the mistake of believing it is. We may compare our lives to others. We may worry we don’t measure up.

We may strive for material things at the expense of what’s truly meaningful. We may be unsure of what success looks like in our lives.

Natasha Lindor, a coach who helps professionals have a successful career while working less and living more, defines success as “feelings of joy, happiness, gratitude, peace and soul-satisfaction that you experience throughout the process of reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself.”

She helps clients get clear on what’s important for them, why it’s important and how they want to incorporate those values into their lives.

Below, Lindor, founder of The AND Factor, shared three obstacles that sabotage success and how you can overcome them.

Healthy Ways to Navigate Negative Thoughts

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Healthy Ways to Navigate Negative Thoughts

I’ll never be able to do that. Nothing ever works. I can’t do anything. No one cares. Everything is terrible. I am terrible at everything.

These are examples of the negative thoughts that can bombard us on a regular basis, according to Tamar Chansky, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who helps children, teens and adults overcome anxiety.

Negative thoughts are “automatic thoughts in response to uncertainty, anxiety, disappointment or other challenges.” She described them as “knee-jerk reactions of the mind.”

We often interpret our negative thoughts as cold, hard facts. We assume they’re accurate assessments of our performance, circumstances and anything else going on in our lives.

Yet they’re not.

How to Get Over a Verbally Abusive Relationship

Friday, March 21st, 2014

How to Get Over a Verbally Abusive RelationshipWhen a destructive, verbally abusive relationship ends, it’s normal to feel a host of conflicting and unresolved emotions.

Verbally abusive relationships can destroy your heart and soul and make you feel like a completely changed person. The recovery process takes time, support from others, patience and self-love — but you can get through it and emerge stronger, happier and healthier than you were before.

Cut All Ties with Your Ex

People who have ended abusive relationships often feel the need to contact their former partners. On some level, you know that you shouldn’t have any contact, yet you might feel compelled to show your ex that you’re better off — or you may feel the need to offer forgiveness. Yet it’s vital to cut off all contact.

3 Therapy Exercises to Help Couples Connect

Friday, March 21st, 2014

3 Therapy Exercises to Help Couples ConnectBecause of daily responsibilities, long to-do lists and stressors big and small, it’s easy to feel disconnected from our partners. It’s also easy to take each other for granted, especially if you’ve been together for a long time.

Your connection with your partner needs cultivating. That’s why we asked relationship experts to share the exercises they assign to couples to help them get closer and nourish a stronger bond. Here are three activities to try.

Why Your Depression Treatment Efforts Aren’t Working

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Why Your Depression Treatment Efforts Aren't WorkingTackling depression or bipolar sometimes feels like an endless battle against an external invading force in your mind.

Almost everyone I know who suffers from either illness has — at some point or another — come up against the two greatest fighting forces it deploys against anybody seeking to bounce back and thrive: anticipation and inertia.

These powerful forces target your arsenal of depression- or bipolar-fighting strategies. But you can defend yourself and prevail. Here’s a field guide to knowing thy enemy and exploiting their weaknesses.

Anticipation hits when you are in the planning stages of your depression or bipolar battle master plan.

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