The Power of Kindness

by Michael Hedrick

The FuneralThe last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had some issues with depression and paranoia. Living with schizophrenia is a rollercoaster and even little blips can turn into crises.

This depression, though, has had me feeling a deep sense of loneliness. The paranoia makes me feel ostracized from the world, and it’s really hard to feel like no matter where you go, you’ll never fit in.

This was weighing on me the other day until something happened that struck me. It put a long-overdue, sorely-needed smile on my face.

 

Are You Guilty of Low Self-Esteem Workarounds?

by Anneli Rufus

Sad Woman

Those of us who struggle with low self-esteem might not like ourselves very much. But, because we’re alive, we like other people and other stuff. As scathingly as we might view our reflections in mirrors or our performance at work, a few things out there in the world still bring us unadulterated joy.

No matter how harsh I’ve been to myself all day, no matter how much I’ve regretted a certain morning’s dialogues, let a crow land near me and I am rapt. Transported by its sleek black muscularity, its knowing eyes. Transformed. Make it a raven and I might treasure this moment all my life.

 

Pumpkin Fest Madness & the Age of Narcissism

by Ronald Pies, M.D.

pumpkin-fest-madness-age-narcissism“It’s just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops … It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”
– Steven French, age 18 [1]

When I first saw the headline — “Pumpkin Festival Riot” — I thought it might be a parody, along the lines of spoofs published by The Onion.

But it was all too true: there really was a riot at the “Pumpkin Festival” held Oct. 19th, 2014 in Keene, New Hampshire. What is it about a small-town annual festival that has turned it into a chance to party — and riot? Does it say something about changing societal norms?

 

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep Better

by Polly Campbell

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep BetterThe fancy digital, pedometer-bracelet thingy around my wrist tells me I slept six hours and 25 minutes with four interruptions. As I struggle to awake, my body can tell you, that isn’t nearly enough.

An estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many nights, I am among them.

Aside from the health risks associated with inadequate sleep, such as depression, memory and attention issues, mood disorders, and the higher risk of physical illness, researchers at the University of Oxford now believe a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also contribute to brain shrinkage. That thought alone might keep you up at night.

 

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Creativity

by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s CreativityLast month I interviewed Tom Sturges, a music executive and mentor, about his tips for cultivating creativity in kids. This month I wanted to share some great tips from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cameron, she penned a bestselling book on the creative process called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. She’s also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet.

 

When Conflict Gets Dangerous

by Harriet Pappenheim, LCSW

When Conflict Gets DangerousAll couples fight. It’s perfectly healthy and normal. Disagreements are a natural part of relationships, and even if you’re deeply in love, some level of conflict is inevitable. In fact, avoiding conflict does more harm than good. Letting anger and resentment build up is a surefire recipe for trouble.

However, constant arguing can be a red flag that there’s something deeper going on — especially if the same sorts of issues keep rearing their heads. Don’t ignore them. You need to take action — and the sooner, the better.

 

Introducing Women’s Wellness Corner

by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Introducing Women's Wellness Corner

Sometimes women’s issues get a short shrift — both in psychology and society. How women cope with stress, treatment strategies, and life can be very different than how men cope. Yet all too often researchers and clinicians clump the two genders together. Women lose out.

That’s why I’m pleased to introduce Women’s Wellness Corner with Donna M. White. Women’s Wellness Corner is a blog dedicated to women and all who support women. This blog will explore a wide variety of physical, emotional, and mental issues while providing practical skills and information to cope.

 
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The Secret to Living with Treatment-Resistant Depression

by Therese J. Borchard

sad_woman09dYou’d never suspect this by listening to pharmaceutical ads, but only one-third of people with major depression get better after trying an antidepressant. The others go on to try different drugs, or combinations of medicine and psychotherapy, and usually seven in 10 achieve remission.

The other third?

They are labeled with the three most dreaded words in the mental health profession: treatment-resistant depression.

 

Best of Our Blogs: October 21, 2014

by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
Best of Our Blogs

If you have ever forgotten to hit save on a document and lost hours spent on work you can’t recover, you understand the horror, shock and astonishment of accepting what feels unacceptable.

If you have ever lost precious, photos, your wallet or phone, you can relate to the anguish of not seeing something again.

If you have done something untraditional and nonconventional, you get what it feels like to be different.

If you understand that, you have a small glimpse into the world of someone who is struggling with illness, discrimination, or loss.

We often think we can’t understand what others are going through because we haven’t experienced it. But pain, hardship and loss are universal.

You can connect with others through empathy and compassion by reading our post on living with obsessive compulsive disorder. You can also do so by going inward, building up your own mental strength and cultivating compassion for your own struggles with criticism and self-doubt. The key isn’t to find the perfect thing to say, it’s about connecting, compassion and communicating as best as you can your love, understanding and support.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

 

How Self-Compassion Builds a More Positive Body Image Than Self-Esteem

by Traci Pedersen

Body Image

“Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.” — Diane Von Furstenberg

A new study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has touched on a somewhat taboo question: “What if women were to accept themselves with deep self-compassion — flaws and all?” In other words, what if we looked upon ourselves with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as we would a loved one or a dear friend? Would we gain a more positive body image?

The answer is yes.

 

The Benefits of Being Scared

by Dr. Carol Langlois

The Benefits of Being ScaredBeing scared isn’t always a negative. You can be scared in many different ways.

There is the “scary movie” kind of scared, where you don’t know what’s going to pop out on the screen. There’s the jumping out of a plane kind of scared, where you fear real death and your adrenaline is pumping loudly. Lastly, there is the taking a chance kind of scared, where you have to address someone or something that’s anxiety-producing and you don’t know if the outcome will be favorable.

 

Radical Self-Care for Moms

by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Radical Self-Care for MomsAs a mom, when you hear that it’s important to take care of yourself, your eyes might glaze over and you may be thinking something like: “Another thing I need to add to my to-do list: ‘self-care.’ How am I supposed to do that?”

That’s the reaction Elizabeth Sullivan sometimes gets from her clients.

 

 
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