Depression

Maternal Mental Health Screening: What I Wished I’d Had

When I was pregnant back in 1997, I wish my doctor had told me I might be at risk for postpartum depression. Her words wouldn’t have alarmed me. They would have prompted me to get treatment when the darkness did indeed hit.

During my six-week postpartum checkup when I was at my worst, I wish my OB/GYN had handed me a mental health screening and explained the difference between the “blues” and depression.

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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: July 16, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I must say, I hope you've all had a better week than I. During a quick getaway last weekend, I managed to catch a nasty summer cold (isn't getting sick during the summer the worst?) and, suffice it to say, I've spent a lot of time couch surfing with a box of tissues and all manner of cold medicine that doesn't. work. at. all.

Cue sneezing fit.

Still, I managed to scour the interwebs for some of the latest in mental health news just for you! Read on to find out the psychological benefits of writing, why time seems to go faster as we age, and -- oh yeah -- why the new all-the-rage app Pokemon Go is actually good for your mental health!

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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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General

Navigating the Tricky and Often Triggering World of Social Media as a Mom

For many moms, social media can be a triggering space. It can be a breeding ground for comparison, which so many moms are already prone to in their offline lives. Comparison only creates more and more doubt about everything from your parenting choices to how you are as a person.

Maybe you compare yourself to the mom on social media who makes creative meals, has a spotless home and entertains her kids with fun activities and adventures. Maybe you compare yourself to the mom who gushes about every part of parenting, while you’re crying and covered in throw-up. Maybe you compare yourself to the mom who’s back to her normal routine only days after giving birth, while you’re lying in bed in excruciating pain from your C-section.
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Bullying

Recovering from Childhood Abuse: The Past Keeps Getting Clearer

In trauma recovery it is said, “You’ve done the hardest part -- you survived the abuse.”

After a year of accepting that I was sexually abused as a child, I’m finally starting to understand that recovery isn’t the hardest part. The shame is less automatic now, and the past is getting clearer.

As a child suffering abuse we don’t understand exactly what’s happening to us. Sex and sexuality is a mystery, so it’s not easy to recognize sexual abuse. Physical abuse is also confusing. We are tricked into thinking we’ve done something to deserve maltreatment. And in the end, we give in to this naive hope: “Everything is normal. No one would let abuse happen to me. I’m not in an unsafe situation.”
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General

7 Confidence-Killing Words and Phrases to Ban from Your Vocabulary


If you have great ideas, you need to know how to communicate them. At work as in relationships, it all starts with conveying confidence. But a challenge many high-achieving women run up against are bad speech habits that have been conditioned in us over the years. Without us even knowing it, these verbal crutches can damage our internal and projected confidence levels and can even negatively impact how we’re perceived at work.

Women’s brains are naturally tuned for emotional intelligence and specialized for masterful communication. The female mind is hardwired to pick up nuances in spoken language and
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Books

Going Back to Work After Having a Baby

The last thing you might want to do is go back to work after having your baby. Your maternity leave was likely too short. And it’s very likely you’re still exhausted -- and very upset to be leaving your little one.

According to Allyson Downey in her information-packed book, Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenting, one woman said: “I felt like I was leaving a part of my soul at daycare every day.” Another woman’s husband had to drop their baby off at daycare because, if she did, she’d be a wreck the entire day.

Or maybe you’re more than ready to return to your job. Maybe you’re even excited because you’ve missed working and you loved your work (or you need to get out of the house -- whatever the reason). Either way, there’s a lot to figure out and some challenges to navigate.
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ADHD and ADD

How to Stop Stressing about Work & Finally Fall Asleep

If you’re like most people, you’ve been affected by stress-related sleep problems at some point, lying awake at night filled with anxiety about your career and the future.

Often everyday worries about impending deadlines and your to-do list give way to bigger, more stressful questioning, “Is this job really what I want to be doing with my life? What if I quit? Will I ever discover
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Anger

5 Proven Ways to Avoid Losing Your Cool at Work

At one point or another, we’ve all felt totally irritated while at work: You pull an all-nighter on a project that then gets scrapped; a client criticizes your team for no apparent reason, or your co-worker shows up late for a meeting again, dumping all the prep work on you.
These office aggravations can make your blood boil. Your focus is immediately hijacked from the important task at hand. Instead, your mind goes into fight-or-flight mode and you become reactionary; not thinking clearly, blaming others, or beating yourself up for getting upset. In this state, you’re prone to making poor judgements and saying things you may regret later.
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Children and Teens

What to Do When You Feel Unmotivated in Your Career (And 3 Ways to Do Your Best Work)

We’ve all faced days at the office where we’re just not feeling motivated. Off days happen to everyone and it’s tough -- if not unrealistic -- to constantly do your best work. There are bound to be times when you procrastinate too much, lack focus, or struggle to start important projects.

You may react by getting down on yourself, wondering where your determination has gone. It can be disappointing to feel like you’re not living up to your aspirations, especially when there’s important work to be done, which there almost always is. Speed, efficiency, and productivity are what drive results, and when our energy doesn’t match our ambition, it can be frustrating.
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Habits

Psychology Around the Net: May 14, 2016


It's been a great week for me, sweet readers!

Not only have I made great strides in getting back on track living a healthy lifestyle, but I finally took Your Body, Your Mind off hiatus!

For those of you who don't know, I write the Your Body, Your Mind blog here at Psych Central. I took a break from the blog for several months because my "healthy lifestyle" slowly but surely came to a halt. However, thanks to some good talks with good people -- and teaming up with some inspiring friends -- things are looking up!

If you're interested in exploring how exercise and healthy foods can help manage mental health, head on over to my re-intro post, Welcome Back to Health Living!, and subscribe to the blog.

Now, let's get on with this week's news in mental health!

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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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