Disorders Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

A Daily Plan for Overcoming Agoraphobia

October 8th, 2014
Agoraphobia narrows your world, literally and figuratively. People with agoraphobia avoid certain situations or places that may cause them to panic or feel trapped. This may include standing in line, driving on a bridge, being in open or enclosed spaces ...

5 Myths about Parenting

10 Fantasies to Examine before Deciding on ParenthoodParenting tips are aplenty. It can seem like there’s a new trend every week boasting about the best way to raise your kids or warning about the worst. With so many prescriptions for good parenting, naturally, it can quickly ...

Depression Kills

Depressed manLast month, I was sitting on my sofa with my laptop when I saw the headline “Robin Williams Found Dead.” I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news and the loss. It seemed like such a conundrum as to why someone with his persona ...

African-American Women and Depression

listening skillsDepression is a huge health concern among African Americans -- particularly women -- but mental health is often stigmatized in the Black community. Although it can impact people from all walks of life, cultural habits and historical experiences can cause depression to be expressed and ...

OCD vs. Eating Disorders

OCD vs. Eating DisordersThere was a time when my son Dan would go days at a time without eating. When he did eat, it would have to be a specific food at a specific time in a specific place. There was no negotiating with him, and, ...

Change How You Feel: Change How You Breathe

MeditationEmotions add flavor to life. Joy, love and contentment make living a pleasure. Anger and fear act as warning signals telling us when to protect ourselves. Most of all, emotions are the glue that binds us to family and friends. But those same emotions can be so ...

Two For: Memories of a Manic Father

Flickr Creative Commons / francois karmA shopping spree. Retail therapy. The high of a manic episode. Call it what you will, an out-of-control buying binge, especially one with a credit card in hand, is a very dangerous thing. My father was what we then called "manic-depressive.’" ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

Diabetes Drug Makes Brain Cells Grow in MiceDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/executive functions) or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed by our higher mind, they are more likely to lead ...

What’s the Best Treatment for Hair-Pulling Disorder?

What's the Best Treatment for Hair-Pulling Disorder?After school, Henry would sit down and watch TV, but one hour later, his mom would discover he had been pulling his eyelashes and eyebrows. It wasn’t that he didn’t want them, he just couldn’t stop plucking them. When his friends ...

How to Spot Manipulation

How to Spot ManipulationWe all want to get our needs met, but manipulators use underhanded methods. Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern ...

The Third Wave of CBT

The Third Wave of CBTThe approaches of the first two generations of Behavioral Therapy (BT) share the assumption that certain cognitions, emotions and physiological states lead to dysfunctional behavior and, therefore, therapeutic intervention is aimed at eliminating, or at least reducing, these problematic internal events. Third wave therapies ...

Therapists Spill: What I Learned from My Toughest Client

Therapists Spill: What I Learned from My Toughest ClientWe often learn our most important lessons from our toughest trials. These are the lessons that’ll likely stay with us years after we’ve learned them. When it comes to lessons, therapy tends to be a two-way street: Clients learn ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

How to Tell If Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive BrainDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/ executive functions), or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed ...

Bipolar Disorder Genes Uncovered

Bipolar Disorder Genes UncoveredNovel genes have been identified as possible contributors to bipolar disorder. The condition, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a chronic and devastating psychiatric illness, affecting 0.5-1.6% of the general population across their lifetime. Its causes are not yet ...

You Can Worry and Be Happy

anxious_worrySome time ago, there was a popular song by Bobby McFerrin that urged us “Don’t worry. Be happy.” The lyrics suggest that worrying and being happy are contradictory feelings. They’re not.

When

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DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis

BOOK REVIEW.
I had just come off my first overnight shift. From 8pm to 8am, I was the go-to resident for any issues that arose on any of the three psychiatry units, along with any emergent psychiatric consults from anywhere in the hospital. A psych patient couldn’t sleep? My pager went off. Another fell while getting himself ...

Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles & Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians (2nd Edition)

BOOK REVIEW.
It was a few weeks into my psychiatry residency, the print barely dry on my medical school diploma, when I met a patient we’ll call Sarah. Up to that point, the majority of those I had cared for on the inpatient psychiatry ward had been in and out of mental health care for years. When ...

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCD

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCDRoger’s parents were nervous about the new school year. They remembered how Roger’s OCD had surfaced. His fear of possibly choking on lunch food had kept him away for weeks. This problem subsided, but Roger’s OCD had morphed into contamination ...

OCD and Mindfulness

mindfulnessWe hear a lot about the concept of mindfulness these days. Simply put, mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. It involves noticing and accepting what is. If you or a loved one suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, I’m wondering if ...

Lessons from my Depression

Lessons from my DepressionI was in a hopeless, dark place about seven years ago. I was living in a single room on the thirteenth floor of a building. One day it felt like it made more sense to jump from the window than to find the ...

The Fog of Paranoia: A Sister’s Journey through Her Brother’s Schizophrenia

BOOK REVIEW.
When a loved one develops a mental illness, we sift through the sands of memory looking for clues. Running our hand through the fine grains, we examine past events, vague memories, comments made in passing. As we home in on a recollection, we ask ourselves: Was this the moment we knew something was wrong? Or ...

Therapists Spill: When You Have a Bad Therapy Experience

Therapists Spill: When You Have a Bad Therapy Experience It takes courage to seek therapy. Therapy is a vulnerable act, as you entrust a stranger with your innermost thoughts and feelings. So it can be especially disappointing and distressing when you have a bad experience. It ...

Book Review: Emotional Life

BOOK REVIEW.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions, I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” That quote from Oscar Wilde is how psychologist Doreen Davy kicks off Emotional Life: Managing Your Feelings to Make the Most of Your Precious Time on Earth. Whether an experience is good or bad ...