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Family

How Childhood Emotional Neglect Affects Relationships

Childhood emotional neglect (CEN) is a deep, long lasting wound that is not easily detectable in adults or by those in close relationships with them.

When you have exposure over time to an adult with childhood trauma, you will notice that the person may have trouble communicating emotions or feelings, constantly withdraws instead of exploring feelings, and uses only functional, simple sentences. At first, you may wonder if you have harmed this person by something you’ve said. But when it becomes a continual pattern, it’s best to understand the underlying elements before thinking it’s something you can fix or change.
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General

5 Ways that Being Appreciated Nourishes Us

We all like being appreciated, right? But have you ever wondered why? What is it about being appreciated that affects us so much?

Here are five possible reasons why it touches us, tickles us, and delights us when others float appreciation toward us.

We’re Being Valued

We do a good deed and someone offers a warm “thank you” or a reassuring nod or gesture. Or perhaps we share a poem, show an art project, or fix a leaky faucet and we’re praised and validated for it. In that moment, someone values and notices us amidst our fast-paced life. There is something about being valued that feels good -- if we can only let it in fully.
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Inspiration & Hope

3 Ways Confident Women Take On the World


Stop making your life so miserable.

I don’t know any woman who doesn’t want to feel successful in her life -- be it work, relationships, finances, family, etc. But often, the very pursuit of that success makes us, as women, feel miserable. Why?

Perhaps we’re never satisfied with what we have in life because we’re too busy defining "success" by someone else’s standards... instead of our own!

Women are sometimes ruthless in their judgment of each other, only validating someone else’s success if it validates our own -- breastfeeding moms against non, working moms against stay-at-home moms, married women against single women, women with children against women without children, etc.
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Anxiety and Panic

For Those in Despair: You Are Not Alone

Whenever we’re struggling with something, we assume we are alone. We are the only ones. I’m the only one who can’t get through the day without crying. I’m the only one with sweaty palms and terror swirling through my body while grocery shopping. I’m the only one who isn’t blissed out after having a baby. I’m the only one who can’t shake this all-consuming sorrow or rage. I’m the only one who can’t sit still. Who can’t stomach myself.  

But you’re not alone. You’re not alone in your confusing emotions, dark thoughts and daily struggles. You are one of hundreds, of thousands and even of millions. Two recently published essay collections remind us of this. They remind us that while our stories may be unique, the themes are not. We are connected. And there is hope.
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Disorders

How Solitary Confinement Affects People with Mental Illness

In 1990, Jack Powers was put in prison for robbery. A few years into his sentence, Powers witnessed the murder of one of his friends by members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Powers agreed to be a government witness and testify against members of the Brotherhood in exchange for a sentence reduction, but when he was denied the reduction, he decided to escape from prison in 1999.

He was caught a few years later and put in solitary confinement at ADX, the same place where the Brotherhood members he testified against resided. Even though Powers was diagnosed with PTSD due to his friend’s murder, he never received proper treatment and ended up horrifically mutilating himself several times.
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Friends

The Link Between Introversion and Loneliness

Introverts love solitude. As a full-fledged introvert myself, I relish my time alone and completely understand the desire to forego socializing. Socializing is draining for introverts and, frankly, a lot of it feels like pointless chit-chat.

Solitude is like the air that introverts breathe.

But this deep need for solitude -- a legitimate need, by the way -- does have the potential to turn into harmful social isolation. It’s a balancing act that all introverts face: How much time alone is too much time alone? How do I know when I’ve crossed the line from delightful alone-ness to fretful loneliness?
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Anxiety and Panic

What to Do When Your Anxious Brain Throws a Tantrum

We do all sorts of stuff when we feel scared or anxious -- we worry, we overanalyze, we re-play both real and imagined scenarios, and we seek reassurance, whether it’s from others or ourselves. We do all these things because anxiety feels downright crappy and taking some sort of action, even non-productive action, gives us a semblance of control, which feels oh-so-good compared to the unease that anxiety brings.

How come we can’t always see this anxious thinking for what it is, rooted in fear and insecurity, not truth? Well it’s because we are always feeling our thinking. Emotions (especially intense, not so pleasant ones) have a way of making our thoughts appear way more personal, important, and real than they actually are. So we innocently get tricked into spending a lot of time trying to avoid, prevent, and/or run away from those negative thoughts and the uncomfortable emotions that follow -- as quickly as possible. One way we do this is through habitual reassurance.
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Happiness

A Little Dose of Perspective Can Lead You to Eternal Optimism


It's not what you think it is.

Anyone who knows me in real life (or even who's connected with me on social media) will tell you that I'm somewhat of an eternal optimist, for better or worse. I choose to live my life looking at the silver lining. Searching for the "frosting" on the cake. Looking at the bigger picture.

On many occasions, people have asked me how I stay so positive all the time. The truth, the real truth, is that I don't.
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Anger

How to Express Your Anger Effectively

When we’re angry, we yell, criticize, judge, shut down, give the silent treatment, isolate or say, “I’m fine!” (without of course being fine). These actions end up hurting both the other person and us. They feel bad, and we might feel worse. We might regret the insults and judgments we hurled their way. We might feel frustrated that we didn’t articulate the real reason behind our anger. We might feel frustrated that we weren’t heard.

Maybe we’re even afraid of anger in general because we associate it with aggression. But as Alexander L. Chapman, Ph.D, RPsych, and Kim L. Gratz, Ph.D, write in their comprehensive book, The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook for Anger: Using DBT Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation Skills to Manage Anger, “Aggression involves actions or statements that might be harmful to someone or something, whereas anger is an emotional state.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: February 26, 2016

The most hurtful thing I've had to accept is the person who held me back the most from my dreams, happiness and success was me.

Similarly, the things that prevent you from what you desire such as love, connection, and optimal health and wellness, may appear to be a burdensome past, critical relative or current illness. These are legitimate obstacles. But what keeps you from overcoming them is you.

Your resistance could be related to fear. It could be a lack of knowledge and awareness. It could be a lack of support. But the good news is that you have the tools to change things. May this list of top posts on everything from people-pleasing to abuse trigger the beginning of the end of your self-sabotaging behavior and towards a greater sense of support from and trust in yourself.
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