Disorders Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

What is Toxic Shame?

January 15th, 2015
When shame becomes toxic, it can ruin our lives. Everyone experiences shame at one time another. It’s an emotion with physical symptoms like any other that come and go, but when it’s severe, it can be extremely painful. Strong feelings of shame stimulate the ...

Scrupulosity: When OCD Targets Your Religious and Moral Values

OCD The Enemy or an Unwanted GuestWhenever Marian was exposed to religious issues, she felt overwhelmed by doubt, guilt and anxiety. She had been steadfast in her devotion since childhood. Lately, though, she’d try to avoid anything or anyone that triggered her spiritual obsessions. Her loved ...

How I Conquered Binge Eating Disorder

How I Conquered Binge Eating DisorderI developed binge eating disorder when I was 26 years old, after spending countless hours and mental energy on dieting, eating perfectly, and obsessing about my body and weight. Of course, I didn’t actually realize I had BED right away. Instead, ...

Parents Who Have OCD

Parents Who Have OCDBecause my son Dan has obsessive-compulsive disorder, my articles often focus on a parent’s perspective. But what if you are the child, and your parent is the one struggling with the disorder? Of course, the issues children and their families face will differ depending ...

Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Therapist Helen Nieves

Helen Nieves, LMHC Every month we turn the tables, and ask clinicians to share a slew of tidbits about themselves and their work. They reveal everything from the trials and triumphs of conducting therapy to how they personally cope with stress. They also share their insights ...

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens

BOOK REVIEW.
For many of us, large department stores like Macy’s can lead to sensory overload. We walk in and are assaulted by bright lights, crowds, noisy customers, colors everywhere, and the smell of very strong perfume. For me, personally, I know that if I stay too long I can begin to feel trapped, frustrated, or overwhelmed. You might also ...

4 Psychological Tactics for Overcoming Social Anxiety

4 Psychological Tactics for Overcoming Social AnxietyFor over a decade, social anxiety put my life on hold. My inability to relax around people and feel free to live in the moment was holding back my relationships, my job prospects and my enjoyment of life. The beta ...

A New Treatment for Depression

A New Treatment for Depression For six months, clinical psychologist Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D, had been working with a man who was struggling with depression. He was having a hard time shifting his negative thinking, and kept talking about his bleak circumstances. In one session, Vilhauer asked him: ...

Psychopharmacology Problem Solving: Principles & Practices to Get It Right

BOOK REVIEW.
A longstanding debate in the field of psychology is whether or not psychologists — specifically, PhDs and PsyDs who serve in a clinical capacity — should, like psychiatrists (who have MDs), be able to prescribe medication. At present, two states permit prescriptive authority for appropriately trained psychologists: New Mexico and Louisiana, with more states on the horizon ...

No Longer Suffering in Silence

Defusing ShameMy name is Chiquitta. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My parents came from Guyana, South America to Canada for a better life; acid attacks were occurring in their homeland. My father is 13 years older than my mother. My mother was a housewife and ...

Symptoms of OCD

Symptoms of OCDFor those who think they, or a loved one, might be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is easy to do an online search and find a list of typical symptoms. In some cases, people’s obsessions and compulsions might be quite obvious and they will present ...

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

couple upset woman man 7Caring about someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tosses you on a roller coaster ride from being loved and lauded to abandoned and bashed. Having BPD is no picnic, either. You live in unbearable psychic pain most of the time on the ...

Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Leaning DownWhen it comes to dealing with seasonal affective disorder -- an extreme lethargy and sadness that accompanies the onset of winter -- most sufferers have already heard it all when it comes to solutions. Here’s the drill in a nutshell: spend a good chunk of ...

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderPeople with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience obsessions, compulsions or both. “Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses that an individual experiences over and over again,” said Andrea Umbach, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders at Southeast Psych in Charlotte, N.C. They’re ...

More Transforming Negative Self-Talk: Practical, Effective Exercises

BOOK REVIEW.
“I can’t believe you just did that. How could you have said something so stupid? I mean, seriously, how could you be such an idiot? Where did you graduate from again? Did you graduate? You shouldn’t be here. You’re dangerous.” It was my second shift as an intern in the ER and I was telling ...

In Recovery and Surviving the Holidays

empty-chair-holiday-tableHere come the holidays. In American cultural myth, it’s a time for good food, good company, and good times. If you are struggling with recovery from alcoholism, it’s also a time of stress and challenges. Alcoholic beverages often make an occasion feel celebratory. How do you ...

Living with an Alcoholic

Living with an AlcoholicLiving with an addict can be a living hell: unpredictable and dangerous, yet sometimes exciting and romantic. We never know when we’ll be blamed or accused. We can't dependably plan social events. As the addict becomes more irresponsible, we pick up the slack and do ...

Anger and Anorexia

Anger and AnorexiaIt took an eating disorder to finally teach me how to get angry. Many people with eating disorders are like me in that they feel reluctant -- even downright refuse -- to express anger. This is by and large a learned behavior. I grew up in a ...

Children, Rituals, and OCD

Children, Rituals, and OCDWhen my older daughter was about 2 or 3 years old, she had a bedtime ritual where she lined up 10 of her dolls and stuffed animals on the floor. They had to be in the right order, at the right angle, touching or ...

Living with Binge Eating Disorder

Living with Binge Eating DisorderIf you have binge eating disorder, please know that you’re not alone. Binge eating disorder (BED) is actually the most common eating disorder. It affects about 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men. You’re also not weak, wrong or crazy. BED “is ...

You Are a Key Member of Your Treatment Team

You are a Key Member of Your Treatment TeamHowever much the pharmaceutical companies would have us believe it, taking a pill or even a cocktail of pills probably won’t make your diagnosis of mental illness go away completely. Recovering is a verb -- a series of ...

Alien Landscapes? Interpreting Disordered Minds

BOOK REVIEW.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychiatrists were called alienists. That archaic term is given a nod in the title of philosopher Jonathan Glover’s new book as he describes the often foreign-seeming terrain of a disordered mind and the ways that we have historically analyzed it. A professor of ethics at the School of ...

Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT & the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children

BOOK REVIEW.
Say "shock therapy" to most people and what comes to mind? For many, it is some version of Jack Nicholson’s experience in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a patient writhing on the table as a crazed doctor sends waves of electricity through his brain, all with disastrous consequences. Even during my psychiatry clerkship as a ...