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Fears of Starting a Family When You Suffer from Depression

How do you manage depression when SSRIs and other medications are not an option?

I try to divorce Michael at least once a month. I blame this on my PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or what I like to call "PMS on crack"), though I've also been diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety and, once, a psychopharmacologist told me I had obvious bipolar tendencies. Either way, I'm not the easiest person to live with (as if you didn't already feel bad enough for my husband, due to my sexual
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Anxiety and Panic

Tips for Thwarting Panic Attacks

I awake in the middle of a summer night, hot and uncomfortable and possibly disoriented from a disturbing dream.

Feelings of nausea intertwine with the heat, rendering me physically drained.

I sit in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices, feet tapping in sporadic rhythm, nervous at the onset of blood pressure readings and other evaluations.
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The Estimable Neurologist Oliver Sacks

As you've probably heard by now, the eminent neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks has passed away at the age of 82. Cancer, the great equalizer in death, was responsible for his passing. As he recounted to the New York Times in February, a melanoma in his eye had spread to his liver.

British-born, he made his literary splash in the world with his eye-opening book in 1973, Awakenings, which was later turned in an Oscar-nominated film starring the Robert De Niro and the late Robin Williams. Other Sacks' best-selling books include The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales and An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales. These are two books that anyone interested in psychology or mental health should read.

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What to Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Attend Couples Counseling

When your partner doesn’t want to go to couples therapy, you might feel frustrated. You might feel helpless and powerless and believe there’s nothing you can do.

But there are helpful actions you can take. First, it’s important to understand your partner’s reservations. Psychotherapist Meredith Janson, MA, LPC, suggested asking your partner if they’d be willing to share their concerns. If they are, give them your undivided attention, and “mirror” or summarize what they’ve said. If you disagree with their concerns, try your best to empathize and validate them anyway, said Janson, who works with couples in Washington, D.C., and is certified in Imago Relationship Therapy.
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Children and Teens

How Does Parents’ Technology Use Affect Children?

“When my mom and dad are on their phones they act like I don’t exist. It makes me sad. I call and call their names and sometimes they don’t even look up or act like they hear me.”

A child client of mine, 6 years old, told me this during our last session together. This child is sensitive, intuitive, and brilliant. I wondered if a child who was less vulnerable to feeling abandoned would react the same way if his or her parents were on their phones.

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Children and Teens

Respect Your Child’s Boundaries During Divorce

In a healthy parent-child relationship, a child’s emotional boundaries get stronger as she ages. A baby has very few thoughts or feelings that aren’t shared with a parent, via crying, smiling, pointing, or fussing. A preschooler keeps a lot more of his thoughts and feelings private, and a teenager is exponentially more private than that.

In contrast, parents’ boundaries generally get more permeable as children age. With older children, parents share more of their thoughts and feelings. It would be ridiculous for a parent to tell a baby about household finances, and this would be confusing and possibly burdensome to an elementary-school-age child. But, a parent can and should be able to discuss finances with a teenager to a greater extent, particularly as this may be relevant to plans for a job or college tuition.

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10 Signs You Need a New Therapist

If you are in counseling now or consider seeking a therapist in the future, it is important to choose a counselor who is the right fit for you. I am always saddened to hear of an individual or couple giving up on counseling after one bad experience. Therapists are each unique in their specific approaches and you deserve one who is qualified to meet your needs.

Here are a few signs that you may need a new therapist.
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Brain and Behavior

Is Mindfulness Meditation Safe?

There has been some growing concern recently about the safety of mindfulness meditation. Some claim that the practice can have severe side effects, such as panic, depression, and confusion. Are these concerns well founded? Maybe.

The main study cited by opponents of meditation is a British study of the effects of mindfulness meditation on a group of prison inmates. The inmates participated in a 90-minute weekly meditation class for 10 weeks. The study found that the inmates’ moods had improved and they had experienced a lower stress level, but remained just as aggressive as before the intervention.

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Psychology Around the Net

Psychology Around the Net: August 29, 2015

As we savor the last summer's rays and delve into fall, it's a great day to catch up on what's going around the web this week.

Can marijuana use cause permanent changes in the brain? Should you be concerned if your group of friends have significantly diminished since you were in your twenties? Are magnets involved in the next alternative treatment for depression? Keep reading for answers to all of the above and more in your latest...
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3 DBT Skills Everyone Can Benefit From

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a highly effective type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), originally created to treat borderline personality disorder. Today, it’s used to treat a variety of conditions, such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders and depression. DBT teaches clients four sets of behavioral skills: mindfulness; distress tolerance; interpersonal effectiveness; and emotion regulation.

But, whether you have a mental illness or not, you can absolutely benefit from learning these skills and incorporating them into your life.
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