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Celebrities

What Does Trump’s MoCA Cognitive Test Really Tell Us?

President Trump recently underwent his annual physical checkup. At Trump's apparent insistence, the physician also administered a test of cognitive ability, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).

Some are citing this test to demonstrate that Trump does not have a mental illness or any other personality disorder. However, what does this test really tell us about the president's mental health?

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Start Conversations with Strangers

How do you enter conversations with people you don't know?

I grew up with gregarious parents and have enthusiastically emulated them. Although my mother referred to herself as shy, I never observed her that way. She seemed to be able to engage with people in various scenarios. My father was raised in South Philly (home of the iconic pugilist character Rocky) where talking to people on the stoop or street corner was commonplace. He learned how to communicate with those from all walks of life from his own blue collar, working class sensibilities. No matter where our family went, it seems my father always knew someone, and it took forever to say goodbye as we attempted to take our leave. I would also marvel as he would strike up conversations with people he had never met. 
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Children and Teens

How Pets Can Teach Children about Life, Love and Loss


Why kids and pets are the perfect pairing.

As parents, we try to protect our children from life’s pain, so we tend to keep them in an illusion -- a rosy bubble -- as if life is a one-sided experience. At least, I do, while knowing full well that life is both pain and joy, highs and lows, light and darkness. But recently I had to reconsider my parenting approach, as the time had come for me to outgrow it and step out of my own bubble of fear.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: January 16, 2018

Many of you may not know this, but I live in Hawaii. Most days are the same when you live on an island. We don't get seasons here, and for much of the year news is rather light.

This is why when I received a text from my dad and our emergency alert system that a missile was on its way and it was not a drill, it was pretty terrifying.

Fortunately, I missed most of the drama since by the time I woke up, everyone discovered it was indeed a mistake.

Yet, it's been a few days now. Every once in awhile while it was quiet, I'd feel a surge of fear. What if it was real?

As I write this it's Martin Luther King Day. Reading through all of his quotes are like strings of hope, a soothing balm to heal the soul. This one in particular has helped me: "We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."

I decided that courage and love are far more powerful than fear. As you attack your own personal struggles, I hope his words, which you can also read more about
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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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Self-Esteem

“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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Celebrities

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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