Brain and Behavior

Teenagers Can Benefit from Meditation

Teens are under more pressure today than in previous generations. This massive increase in stress and anxiety is believed to have caused an increase in teenage attention disorders. Often they believe they're doing things wrong. That makes it difficult to focus on the present.

Meditation can help. Most teens find it difficult to sit, breathe, and focus on the present. Their world runs at a mile a minute, and they need to keep up. This, more than anything, is why they should give meditation a try.

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ADHD and ADD

7 Strategies for Thriving with ADHD

Having ADHD can be incredibly frustrating. You want to get things done. But because of the nature of ADHD, you have a tough time with organizing, prioritizing, planning, initiating and completing tasks. This is why it’s so important to have your ADHD properly treated, whether it’s with medication, therapy, ADHD coaching or all three.

Specifically, it’s vital to have systems and tools in place. Because even the smallest strategies can make a big difference in helping you thrive with ADHD. In the book
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Anxiety and Panic

Spirituality vs. Mental Disorders: God Doesn’t Hate Medication

I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me, and I have personally struggled with anxiety. For several years, I thought that my anxiety was a normal part of life. I didn’t realize that I should not have been having full-blown anxiety at the age of nine, but I was.

My family didn’t believe in mental illnesses, besides those that were obvious to the untrained eye. We did, however, attend a church regularly. I was highly interested in Christianity and studied it on my own. I was able to combat the unnatural anxiety through my relationship with God, and was able to overcome the anxiety throughout middle and high school. College, however, was different.
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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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Depression

Suicidal? 10 Tips for Keeping Yourself Alive

I remember having my first suicidal thought at the age of 13. At that time, I had discovered that my brother was gay and my sister and father completely abandoned him because of it. I had been molested by a female when I was young, and this revelation about my brother made me wonder if I was going to be gay, too. At the time, I had no clue how a person became gay.

I went on to have tragedy after tragedy arise in my life. To name just a few, I have lost two children and both of my parents; breast cancer at the age of 40, double mastectomy, chemo, two reconstruction surgeries, discovering at the end of my treatment that my husband had been living a double life for many, many years which led to my divorce, and an almost-successful suicide attempt.

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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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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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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 15, 2016

Death is an obvious reason to grieve. But after reading, "3 Kinds of Grief Nobody Talks About," I was reminded of the less discussed sorrow we go through.

There is the loss of the person you knew before mental illness and addiction. There is the grief that comes from realizing your parents were not there for you the way you needed them to be. There is also the loss of the you before your diagnosis.

Although we don't give attention to these changes, they deserve to be mourned too.

Whether you're grieving a toxic relationship, your anxious child or a recent diagnosis, take time to process how you're feeling. Be compassionate towards yourself. Life is difficult, but even more painful if we don't give ourselves sufficient time and space to grieve.
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Habits

Don’t Put Off Goofing Off

One of the advantages of being a writer is that I have a lot of control over my time. However, I often don’t take advantage of that. I feel uncomfortable if I’m not being “productive” when I feel like I should be working -- and most of the time, I feel like I should be working.

But the other morning, I made a good happiness choice. I was going to the Panoply studio in Brooklyn to record an episode of my podcast,
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Brain and Behavior

Mom Knows Best: Overcoming Life’s Hardships

Life bruises. For others, it cripples. And, for a select few, it empowers.

As we marvel at others’ resilience during uncommon adversity, what lessons are applicable to our lives?

On a gloomy October day, the doctor’s diagnosis numbed us. “Pancreatic cancer,” he spat out. My aunt and I recoiled. The word -- cancer -- buzzed in our ears. Shoulders slumping, our mist-filled eyes met. We were dazed; cancer happens to others. Not our familial matriarch.
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