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Anxiety and Panic

Depression: An Illness, Not a Choice

I am not proud of it.

A few weeks ago and for the first time in many decades, I unpredictably dipped into a depression that, to put it mildly, kicked my ass. Haha, I'm joking.

Actually I'm not.

For the most part, throughout my life, my mental health issues have stemmed from severe anxiety and agoraphobia, with moderate depression rearing its ugly head only every now and then. But not this time. This one was more than ugly, it was hideous. Blue days, black nights -- the whole shebang.
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Brain and Behavior

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Your New Year’s Resolutions

The time-honored tradition of making New Year's resolutions is deeply rooted in our modern culture. Perhaps because when it is a new year, we feel it's a good time for us also to be renewed. We can change. We can become a better person.

Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of people make New Year's resolutions (American Medical Association, 1995; Epcot Poll, 1985). But how many people actually keep at least one of their resolutions?

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“Just Say No”: If Only Boundary-Setting Was That Easy

Sometimes it’s easier to say yes than it is to say no. Nobody likes to feel mean, just as nobody likes to disappoint. When women are faced with the choice to either please themselves or feel guilty for not pleasing others, "no" can feel like a double-edged sword. 

"Just Say No" is more complicated than it seems. The slogan, once-popularized by Nancy Reagan for fighting the drug war, has crept its way into sexual assault awareness. Even today, society pressures women to be "nice" and polite, making assertiveness more difficult. If women refuse to say no and instead, go along with whatever is suggested, despite their actual feelings, the repercussions can be major.
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Happy or Resilient?

Everyone wants to be happy. This goal is so central to the human experience that its “pursuit” is written into the US Declaration of Independence.

Is perpetual happiness possible? And even more -- is it even desirable?

In 1962 Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a book called Cradles of Eminence: A Provocative Study of the Childhoods of Over 400 Famous Twentieth-Century Men and Women. They chose people who had had at least two biographies written about them and had made a positive contribution to society. Their subjects included Henry Ford, Louis Armstrong, Frida Kahlo, Eleanor Roosevelt and Marie Curie.  
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Anxiety and Panic

How Fear Traps You into Being Someone You Are Not

The fear response is triggered when facing danger. The
"danger" could be not measuring up to a desired or imposed standard, not getting done what you set out to do, not fulfilling expectations (your own or someone else's), being seen as less than perfect or failing at something. There is also the "danger" of not fitting in and being noticeably different from the norm. All these fears and anxieties stem from questioning your ability to cope with life’s challenges and people’s responses to your actions.
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Come Face to Face with Your Biggest Weakness

It’s time to slay your biggest weakness by facing it head-on and overcoming it. Here’s how.

Let's face it, we all have weaknesses — and most of us ignore them, pretend they don't exist, and choose to focus only on our strengths, which means we don't do anything about our shortcomings. So they grow and continue to hold us back.

Here's the straight truth: your biggest weakness is a security blanket (more on that later) that's preventing you from achieving your full potential.

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Brain and Behavior

How to Put Down Our Devices and Step Into Our Lives: Four Strategies for Finding Balance

I think it crept in insidiously. I saw others getting “addicted” to their phones, to social media, to needing to check their electronics constantly, and I wanted no part of it. I was the last stronghold to get a smartphone. I had no need or desire for one. While everyone else had one for years already, I was content with my “un-smart” phone, quite satisfied to set aside a few designated periods in my day to check emails, get on the internet, and do my other business from my computer -- and only when necessary.
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A Season of Understanding My Dissociative Disorder

A poetry retreat got it all started. It was an emotionally intense retreat about finding our voice in response to the world’s brokenness. After we read a poem about the rocks crying out to us, I wrote a poem about my different selves crying out to me, and then losing myself within the multiplicity of them.

As I read the poem, tears welled up in my eyes. Through my tears, I stammered that I had multiple personalities. An old friend met my eyes from across the room. His voice cracked as he spoke of my deep empathy, and how he never knew about my internal struggle.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: January 12, 2018

I've been watching the HEAL documentary which features spiritual teachers including Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra and Reverend Michael Beckwith. The idea that our emotions can heal our physical bodies is a complete change in mindshift. For years, our power has been displaced.

Watching how our bodies have the potential to heal by our own efforts was a hopeful reminder of just how powerful we are. Instead of believing we're victims solely dependent on doctors and their prognosis for us, we have the ability to heal and restore our own health.

I think it's an important message whether you're seeking advice for how to raise your child, deal with the narcissist in your life, or control your anger, remember experts are important guides for support and insight, but you are also an expert in your personal experiences. Using both resources is the way towards our own physical and emotional healing, and well-being.
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