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Overcoming Guilt in Depression

“There is a voice that says I'm doing something terribly wrong and that I'm a horrible person,” said Therese Borchard, author of the book Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes.

In the book, Borchard lists the many things she feels guilty for, everything from not cleaning the house to letting her kids eat more candy to worrying too much to being overly candid with her writing to overeating. And that’s just a snippet she jotted down while penning that page.

If you also have depression, you, too, probably have a list. And you, too, probably can relate to the gnawing, stubborn and heavy weight of guilt.

It’s guilt that can lead to self-doubt or even self-harm. For Borchard, guilt sparks insecurity, indecision and even poor decisions. “It colors my decisions and my conversations and I'm always second-guessing myself.”

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Twitter Addiction: Advice from a Cognitive Therapist

One day, after hours of sliding my cursor from Twitter to Facebook to stats for my blogs and back to Twitter -- when I should have been writing instead -- I emailed Dr. M., a cognitive therapist.

Dr. M. had previously helped me understand that worry is an addiction -- it hits the same pleasure center of the brain that other addictions, such as alcohol, do.

The more I worry, the more it reinforces me to worry. Ever the pleasure-seeker, I worry more and perpetuate the cycle. Yet, once I understood the worry addiction, I worried less.

While I am inclined toward overindulging in pleasurable activities (In my mother’s words. “Susan, you’re an extremist!”), I am also driven to avoid the consequences in the quest for maximum pleasure.

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5 Tips For a Drama-Free Divorce

This guest article from YourTango was written by Dr. Lisa Kaplin.

Divorces always seem to come in one of two packages: slightly amicable or miserably dramatic. Most people prefer the latter, yet are unsure of exactly how to achieve it.

With that in mind, here are a few, useful tips to make your divorce far more pleasant than you originally expected:

1. Leave defensiveness at the door.

Defensive behavior will not only lead you to feeling rotten but will only add to increased tension between you and your soon to be ex. How can you tell if you've hit the defensive door? Watch for words like, "no I didn't" or "you started it" or "that's not true." When you find yourself being defensive ask for a time out to get yourself together. Even if your ex is finger pointing, yelling, blaming, etc., don't do it.

Take the high road. You will never regret calming yourself down but you will regret trying to change his opinion with defensiveness. It's not going to happen -- so let it go.

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10 Time Management Tips for Those with ADHD

People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often struggle with everyday tasks and getting things done in a timely manner. For instance, a task that would be otherwise easy to complete in an hour takes 3 days instead.

Do you often find yourself distracted until time is wasted? The challenges of ADHD and attention deficit disorder (ADD) are very real. But there is hope. When you understand how ADHD has been affecting all areas of your life, you can learn to minimize its impact and live successfully with ADD /ADHD.

Here are some steps to help you build confidence, clarify and prioritize your goals, minimize your ADHD challenges, and get you past being stuck to actually following through with your plans.

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6 Quick Story Exercises to Spark Your Creativity

At the recommendation of a friend, I read Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need. She told me that while she wasn’t writing a screenplay, the book was extremely helpful for writing any kind of story.

She’s right, it’s a fascinating look at storytelling, and it also includes some terrific exercises to foster creativity. This kind of playful thinking is fun. It’s fun to mess around with ideas, to have new thoughts, to come up with a great idea. It might even inspire you to write a screenplay or start a novel.

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Introducing Divine Intuition

We all have intuition, but we may not all recognize it — some may be more attuned to their own intuition than others.

What if you could tap into your intuition more easily?

That’s why I’m pleased to welcome Lynn A. Robinson, and her blog, Divine Intuition to Psych Central.

“In all my writings, consultations and speeches, I emphasize combining the spiritual with the practical,” says Lynn. “I believe there’s a Universal wisdom...
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: March 29, 2013

You've probably heard the term, "mindfulness" a million times. If not on this site then from a friend, on TV or in a magazine. It's a buzzword that has been spoken by your neighbor and Oprah. But what does it mean and how does it apply to real life?

I was watching an old Oprah show recently where she talks to Seat of the Soul author Gary Zukov. Although they were discussing relationships, he said something I thought could be applied to everyone, single or in coupledom. Instead of blaming or holding someone responsible when you are upset or hurt, he said to work on finding out what's making you feel this way. Learning to focus on yourself can help you grow as a person, enrich your relationships and change your life. What does this have to do with mindfulness?

Instead of checking out when things get hard or running through your to-do list when you're with others, mindfulness requires you to pay attention. And in paying attention, you may discover the difficult moments you've been trying to hide. When faced with your own stuff, you may learn that you've got a lot of inner work to do. Being mindful opens you up to the bad as well as the beautiful moments you might otherwise miss. Read our posts below and you'll find that mindfulness is a surprising way to empower yourself and truly live your life.

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Brain and Behavior

One Mistake Doesn’t Define You

I was just catching up with the latest Lakers news and was interested to see the new drama surrounding Kobe Bryant and Dahntay Jones of the Atlanta Hawks. It turns out that Kobe hurt his ankle after Jones walked into him on a fade-away jumper, and Kobe landed awkwardly, twisting his ankle.

What does this have to do with mental health?

Well, it’s interesting listening to sports analysts talking about this as a ‘dirty play’ and debating whether Jones is a ‘dirty player.’ Similarly, people often begin to depress themselves by rating their whole self negatively for making mistakes in their lives.

This self-rating doesn’t make any sense, and is totally illogical. What these TV reports do, though, is reinforce the idea that if we do something wrong, our whole being is now judged as wrong. And because this type of reporting is on so many TV channels, repeated over and over again, it is easy to understand why we, as people, have bought into this illogical nonsense of self-rating.

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The Pursuit of Happiness: Characteristics of Happy People

Into every life a little rain must fall. Does your rain come from a stray cloud on an otherwise sunny day, or is it from a gray, overcast sky that never goes away? Personal forecasts of sunny days and sunny moods contribute positively to a person’s health.

It is no surprise that a contented mind and cheerful spirit improve physiological functioning. We know the opposites -- stress, depression and anxiety -- can cause physical illnesses. Stress and depression both can lead to heart disease and heart attacks. People with heavy job stress have 50 percent higher health care costs.

It is a common misperception that life will always be better in the future: when we have a larger home, a nicer car, a corner office; when we are married, have children, or get divorced; once we finish a difficult task at work, or change jobs altogether.

In truth, life is always full of challenges. We must decide to be happy in spite of circumstances.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Support an Anxious Partner

Having a partner who struggles with anxiety or has an anxiety disorder can be difficult.

"Partners may find themselves in roles they do not want, such as the compromiser, the protector, or the comforter," says Kate Thieda, MS, LPCA, NCC, a therapist and author of the excellent book Loving Someone with Anxiety.

They might have to bear the brunt of extra responsibilities and avoid certain places or activities that trigger their partner’s anxiety, she said. This can be very stressful for partners and their relationship.

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How I Use Mindfulness to Help with Hypomania

I wrote in a post titled Using Meditation to Diagnose Your Mood that one of the benefits of meditation to a person with a mental illness is the ability to detect episodes early. Well, I’m in one.

It’s been hard to sit at all, let alone for the 30 minutes I meditate each day. I find myself agitated and fidgety. My thoughts are all over the place.

This is not unusual during meditation, but in taking note of the subjects of my thoughts, I can see hypomania creeping in. I’m thinking of buying stuff. I’m thinking of trading stocks. I’m thinking of another career change, discarding good ideas for more exciting, if undoable, ones.

All of my thoughts are about getting and doing. Anything. Right now I feel smarter, more creative, and more energetic than I usually do. That might be dangerous, but that’s what I’m feeling, and that’s what I encounter during meditation.

And here’s where mindfulness meditation really helps.

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Brain and Behavior

3 Reasons We Need Eeyores in This World

“You have to decide... Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?”

That’s one of the questions Randy Pausch, famous deceased Carnegie Mellon professor, asked in his presentation “The Last Lecture.” It went viral, landing him on Oprah and a host of other afternoon and late-night shows.

I loved every other part of his lecture but that.

Because I think the world needs its share of Eeyores: solemn, stoic, realistic, pensive creatures. And I don’t think I’m saying that because I unapologetically claim to be an Eeyore.

I mean, imagine a world of hyperactive, happy Tiggers. How long can you stay with that image before you want to throw something at the striped orange guy?

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