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World of Psychology


Depression

When All Else Fails: Hold Steady

There is no shortage in today’s world of methods for treating depression. Ranging from a regime of medication to more naturalistic approaches that rely on identifying sensitivities of diet and exercise. It is great to have all these options and more to choose from, because everyone is different and different methods work for different people. But management of many different approaches can become exhausting and what about when they simply don’t work?

For someone who struggles with cyclical depression, the heavy return of symptoms can seem to compound suffering even more. It feels like you work so hard, do all the right things, push yourself to the limit, seek all the resources, do all the work, confront the self-discovery, only to feel as though you are brought back to square one, hiding under the covers from your day to day life again. It can feel like nothing is working. It can feel like wasted effort. It can feel like making no progress. The pattern is almost more frustrating than the condition itself. 
Creativity

The Biggest Killer of Creativity

Does the following sound familiar?

You have an idea, and even before it’s fully formed, you realize it’s stupid. It’s lame, and won’t lead to anything, anyway… and with that, your brainstorming session is over.

You hand your latest work to a teacher who points out all the problems—and suddenly, your initial excitement and enthusiasm have evaporated.

You start working on some other creative project, and can’t stop judging it. You can’t stop your inner critic from berating everything about it.

Not surprisingly, in each of these scenarios, your creativity suffers. It takes a nosedive. You get stuck. And your heart stops being in it. Because the biggest killer of creativity is criticism.
Mental Health and Wellness

Free Live Webinar: Learn All About Passive Aggressiveness

(Please note: This free live webinar will be recorded and a copy made available to all who register.)

Passive Aggression is basically directing hostile or negative feelings indirectly at someone rather than directly. Other symptoms include a general avoidance of conflictual situations, displaying sullenness, procrastination and any type of anger in an underhanded manner. They deny feeling angry and reassure that everything is fine. Instead, they are indeed angry and resentful and will also display “shutting down” behavior and often use the silent treatment in order to make the other person feel responsible rather than be accountable.

General

Dr. Epstein, Political Bias, & Google Search Results

I'm a little confused by claims made by Dr. Robert Epstein and his assertion, based upon a single study of 95 participants, that Google somehow intentionally biased the results shown before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And therefore, likely impacted the election results itself.

That's a huge assertion to make. One would hope that an esteemed researcher such as Dr. Epstein would have the scientific data to back it up. Unfortunately, I don't see it.

Brain and Behavior

Mass Shootings & Mental Illness: Sloppy Reporting Paints False Connection

There's an unfortunate confusion that exists when talking about mass shootings in America. This confusion is reinforced by politicians and the media, each pushing their own agendas and biases.

Some have erroneously claimed it's a mental illness issue. I'm not being pedantic when I say we should not confuse mental illness with other, related concerns, such as psychological distress. The two are very different things. A person can be under psychological distress and still not have a mental illness.

Here's why the distinction is important and why sloppy reporting by both journalists and law enforcement paint a false connection between mental illness and mass shootings.

Anxiety and Panic

Accepting Your Feelings and Bodily Sensations Now

While snorkeling in the ocean, I had the opportunity to remember an invaluable lesson regarding willingness -- to take what is offered in the moment. Willingness is an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) principle that, when applied correctly, can help us live more meaningfully, despite unpleasant external and internal events.

My snorkeling story illustrates how easily we forget that we should not try to fight the unfightable. We can learn to accept what is offered to us in the here and now, so we can focus on whom and what matters most in our lives.
Children and Teens

Low Stakes Ways for Kids to Practice Emotional Regulation Before Going Back to School

Endless summer. Whoever came up with that phrase must not have had kids in grade school. One minute you’re signing your little one up for day camp, the next you’re at Target for some last-minute back-to-school shopping. On the other hand, after cleaning up yet another summer-activity-related mess, you might be muttering to yourself, when do they go back to school again?

Amidst all the summer hustle and bustle (and hopefully a few quiet moments for Mom), it may be easy for you and your child to forget that they’ll be back behind a school desk before you know it. That’s probably for the best. School means learning and friends and 6-7 hours a day when parents don’t have to worry about where their kids are, but it also means that kids have to tamp down some of the more colorful and loud aspects of their personalities, the things that really make them unique.