Surprising Differences between Lonely Women and Lonely Men

It’s certainly true that men and women handle negative emotional states differently. When things aren’t going well in a woman’s life, she tends to interpret it as depression. When a man doesn’t feel good about himself, he tends to express it as anger.

But men and women have loneliness in common. Do they handle it differently? Who's more prone to it? Who’s better at overcoming it? Let’s find out.

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Coming to Terms with a Chronic Illness

It can be difficult to deal with a diagnosis of a chronic illness. News of a long-term or lifelong condition can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. It can also affect your relationships, home, career and finances.

Each person diagnosed with a chronic illness likely will react differently. There will be challenging times ahead, but adopting certain strategies and knowing that you are not alone can help you cope in the best way possible.

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Brain and Behavior

Silence is Golden

The old song by Simon and Garfunkel was so right: silence really is golden, but maybe in more ways than we realize. In our urban, busy world we don’t get enough outer silence. There’s always the sound of traffic, TVs, other people in their apartments and the general buzz of the city as we go about our daily business. These days we have to hunt out the quiet spaces, but they are there as I discovered just the other day.

I’m selling my apartment, so we have the bi-weekly ritual of having to go out with the dog for 45 minutes during house viewing and find somewhere to be. As my dog is a bit old and grumpy (he’s 85 in human years), we try to seek out places that avoid other dogs and small children, which is hard in a café-obsessed beachside suburb of Sydney. As we took a walk up the road we discovered a small nature reserve that had been recently restored. Pristine bush tucked away in the city, green, tranquil and no sound, that’s bliss.

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Setting Boundaries Around the Holidays

The holidays are a good time to set boundaries. That’s because there are a lot more demands coming from all directions, said Meredith Janson, MA, LPC, a relationship expert and therapist in private practice in Washington, D.C. This might include everything from buying gifts and sending cards to traveling and attending get-togethers to hosting people -- just to name a few.

By setting boundaries, you’re able to focus on the real meaning of the holidays: gratitude, spiritual traditions and family togetherness, Janson said.

A boundary is simply a “dividing line,” she said. “In psychological terms, it's a catch-phrase meaning setting limits or asserting your thoughts, feelings, and needs even when these are in opposition to the person with whom you're interacting.”
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Trauma Survivors Aren’t Disgusting

Something I hear all too often from other abuse survivors is that they feel disgusting. Having been sexually abused makes us feel repulsive. People of all ages from every stage of healing have encountered this feeling at some point, and it may very well come up again and again.

My disgust kept me from uttering the truth for most of my life. I couldn’t accept the fact that I was sexually abused. It seemed like if I told the truth the people around me would cease to love me. They would think I was contaminated with something dark and corrupt. It would spread to their families and then they’d also have no hope for a normal, healthy life. I wondered, “Who would want to know someone with such a disgusting secret?”
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Patience Required

Several years ago, when ordering a fish sandwich in a fast food joint, I was told it would take a while. “How long?” I inquired. “About a minute.”

A minute. I have to wait a whole minute! I don’t know if I can handle that!

Nowadays, requests for patience have shrunk to “wait a second!” And quite often, the answer is, “No, that’s too long!”

Think I’m kidding? How many times have you surfed the Web, clicking on another site if the download didn’t happen immediately? How many times have you skimmed your emails, deciding what to delete in less than a second?
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Children and Teens

Teen Depression and Suicide: The Tough Lessons I Learned

There are important warning signs -- knowing them could save someone close to you.

It started out like any other Friday Fall morning. The foliage was slowly turning to stunning yellows, reds and oranges. Workers and students alike were heading off to their respective responsibilities, likely looking forward to the weekend.

And then the devastating and shocking news started to circulate amongst our friends, loved ones and community.

A 15-year-old 10th grader had taken her life.

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5 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude Throughout the Day

The benefits of practicing gratitude are innumerable. It helps release toxic emotions such as frustration, envy, regret and resentment while increasing sensitivity and empathy toward others. Being grateful also improves self-esteem and personal relationships by reducing social comparisons and supporting prosocial behavior.

While it’s common knowledge that cultivating gratitude is good for us, it’s not common practice for many of us. Here are five ways to change that.

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Holiday Coping

Using Lists to Get Organized and Actually De-stress During the Holidays

Every year the holidays seem to sneak up on us, don’t they? Come December many of us are surprised – and overwhelmed – by the extra responsibilities, extra tasks and extra events. We start to panic and wonder how the heck everything is going to get done. And all this stress only takes away from the meaning and beauty of the holidays.

The reality is that a lot of our stress is self-afflicted, said Paula Rizzo, a senior health producer and author of the book
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Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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