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General

Count Your ‘Lessings’

You’re exhausted from listening to the news describing, in ever greater detail, the latest horror in the world. Yes, you know that if it bleeds, it leads. But still, an unending supply of tragedy and disaster leaves you with a wish to be anesthetized.

You’re worn out from trying to get him (or her) to change. You’ve said what bothers you about his behavior a thousand times and yet, he does as he damn well pleases. He’s willing to sell his future and your future down the river because he can’t be bothered to change his ways.

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Anxiety and Panic

Mindfulness in Action

If your mind constantly nags, criticizes and hammers you with its incessant demands, it's likely that you experience a lot of anxiety.

You've probably done a lot to help yourself already, including reading about mindfulness and meditating. When you try it as suggested, though, you squirm, get distracted and can't sit still. It’s worse when mindfulness meditation just seems to make you feel even more anxious -- you wonder whether you’re going backward.

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Caregivers

Why Every Pediatrician Should Screen for Postpartum Depression

I feel like I should be on a first-name basis with my kids’ pediatrician. It feels disrespectful to call her by her first name, but with three kids, there are quite a few visits -- annual checkups, sick visits, my daughter’s repeated ear infections and my baby’s acid reflux. I see the pediatrician a lot, far more frequently than I see any of my own doctors.

Recently, prior to my daughter’s 3-year-old checkup, her pediatrician had forwarded an extensive developmental and behavioral assessment form for me to fill out. Following a string of questions about my child, such as “does your child run around in settings when he should sit still?” and “does your child have a hard time staying asleep and falling asleep?” came a series of questions directed to me.

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Anxiety and Panic

I Am Not My Experiences: Letting Go of Negativity

Angry someone cut you off in traffic? Envious that somebody didn't invite you to their dinner party? Feeling low because someone refused your help? When you sink deeply into your negative experience, do you find yourself knowing nothing but your response in that moment -- as if the rest of your identity has just disappeared?

As Sophie Henshaw, DPsych, writes, "This is truly the definition of suffering: overidentification with experience."

As an anxious person, there are times I catch myself sitting and worrying. Nothing else really exists, just this hump I have to get over. I become my worry.

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Depression

Global Day of Hope On May 2 Supports Millions Living With Depression

The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) is galvanizing support on Saturday, May 2, for Global Day of Hope, when people around the globe will plant sunflowers in support of the 350 million people living with the treatable disease of depression. The sunflower is the international symbol of hope for depression and Global Day for Hope seeks to amplify the organization's mission to shine a positive light and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education.

On that day planting events will span from the U.S. to Asia including Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, South America, Nepal, Germany and more. People from all corners of the globe are invited to join the movement by planting sunflowers in their own communities and joining the conversation on social media using #Hope2015 and #PLANTHOPE.

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Depression

How Difficult Times Can Lead to Incredible Breakthroughs

"Beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."

That was the password to the file share (motherboard))at the technology company where I used to work. I was expecting, "Cloud123," or something boring and bland like that. Not the quintessential Japanese aesthetic known as "wabi-sabi."

I shed a tear or two when the engineer setting up my computer told me the password. It brought me such consolation. Here I was, a mental health writer with a mission to save people from suicide, confined to an office job where I sat in a cubicle for eight hours a day composing press releases about cloud text analytics.
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Children and Teens

The Importance of Play

With a full-time job, errands and responsibilities I often overlook the importance of integrating play in my life. After all, play and play therapy is for children, right? But when I take even a few minutes a day to play in the sand, draw or dance, I don’t regret it.

Play allows for the abstract, another means to express our thoughts and feelings. Do all of our adult daily activities have to be goal-directed? Is there a value to integrating play into our adult lives?
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: April 28, 2015

"First, say to yourself, I'm totally independent of the good and bad opinions of others.' Second: 'I'm beneath no one.' Third: 'I'm fearless in the face of any and all challenges.'" - Deepak Chopra
I tell myself the first statement often. As a sensitive person, I'm often vulnerable to comments that are unwanted and unkind.

For years I've been told to grow a thick skin. But what's helped is to not completely shut myself out from my feelings, but to try to depersonalize any opinion whether complimentary or just plain rude.

The second and third statements also help. When we realize that no matter what any one says, we're all equal and we can rise about any challenge, people's opinions flow right through me. I hear it. I feel it. But I can choose whether to let it in or let it go.

This week if you're struggling with people's hurtful comments towards you and it's making you feel depressed, misunderstood or shameful, keep reading. Our posts are packed with resources, tips and helpful advice to remind you that you're powerful, important and worthy of compassion, understanding and happiness.
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Brain and Behavior

7 Scientifically Proven Ways Love Transforms Your Brain


Your heart doesn't just feel better it IS better. (Plus other cool things love's doing to you.)

When we fall in love, we often think of the wonders it does to our heart and soul. But there's another organ that's deeply affected by your loving relationships: your brain.

And it goes far beyond feeling emotions from sappy love songs, puppy dog eyes and emoji heart-filled texts. When you're head over heels for someone, some parts of your brain are activated, and others are switched off. That's right, love, both romantic and parental, is actually altering the way you think.

Smitten with someone? Here's how your brain is handling your romance...

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General

How Affirmations Can Turn the Tables

Ever tried psyching yourself up before a job interview so you could bring your best self to the table? Still didn't get the job? Maybe the emphasis is in the wrong place.

Perhaps you started your day like Annette Bening in "American Beauty": "I will sell this house today. I will sell this house today. I will sell this house today." But instead you didn't achieve what you set out to do and felt your self-confidence retreat. Maybe visualizing and focusing on success isn't the right way to go. Maybe what you should recognize and affirm are the precise skills you know you already possess.

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Books

3 Ways to Cultivate Genuine Self-Esteem

When we have low self-esteem, we feel anxious, helpless and depressed. We may not be able to accomplish our goals, have fulfilling relationships and create a meaningful life for ourselves.

If you’re struggling with low self-esteem, you might see yourself in the below words. Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D, includes them in her newest book Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem: A Guide to Building Confidence and Connection One Step at a Time.
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