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Anger

Trump’s Nicknames and the Psychology of Bullying

In his Sept. 19 speech before the U.N., Donald Trump mockingly referred to the President of North Korea as “Rocket Man.”

During and after the presidential campaign, Trump bestowed offensive nicknames on several of his opponents. There was, famously, “Crooked Hillary”, but there was also “Little Marco”, “Crazy Bernie” and “Lyin Ted” for Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Ted Cruz, respectively. Trump also repeatedly referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” a jibe at her assertion of Native American heritage. More recently, Trump has given Sen. Chuck Schumer a series of nicknames, including "Head Clown," "Fake Tears" and "Cryin' Chuck."

Why does any of this matter? As a psychiatrist, I believe Trump’s habit of bestowing offensive nicknames opens a window into the psychology of bullying -- and
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Anger

The Las Vegas Shooting: A Therapist’s Perspective

In texting with my mother and sister about the mass shootings in Las Vegas, they shared their concerns, sadness and confusion. “Mental Illness?” my sister asked, as I am the professional… I suppose.

In my career I have worked with clients who have committed murder, who have had multiple cases of sexually assaulting young children or disabled victims, who have been witnesses to traumas of being held at gunpoint, sex trafficking, watching one parent shoot the other, incest by a parent. These are extreme cases and I wish I could say they are rare.

My reactions to mass shootings, the opioid drug epidemic, and other heart-wrenching situations that you wish were not reality, are extremely mixed. I have to react as a human being and as a therapist in the field. Maybe saying I “have to” is not accurate. In actuality, I am just internally torn.
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Anger

Not Sure How to Respond? Take These 5 Steps to Assess Your Feelings

Feelings are essential in our daily life. Unfortunately, many people shy away from their feelings, often out of fear of expressing them. While others end up giving their emotions free range and allowing them to rule their lives.

But feelings have an important function. They allow us to better understand our environment and our relationships. And research shows that emotions that were once deemed “bad,” such as anger and contempt, are not necessarily so.  

There are times when it's necessary for you to express anger, such as when you observe an injustice. In fact, you actually do yourself more harm by bottling up these emotions. But this doesn't mean you should go ahead and express anger and contempt all the time. It's necessary to assess whether you're having healthy emotional reactions.
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Anger

What You Can Do Before Anger Becomes Violence

When I heard about the violent attacks in Las Vegas, my heart sank. Why does this keep happening and what can we do to prevent it from happening again?

Awful things are happening with much more frequency. The sense of powerlessness with each tragedy can feel paralyzing. What can we do? Blaming and crucifying the perpetrator doesn't stop the violence. 

There are things that you can do. While you cannot control or prevent another person’s behavior you can help. First, pay attention to anyone in your life that's really struggling. Check in with them and listen. It's not your job to assess their mental state but notice what's happening. Not everyone suffering is in crisis, but don't be afraid to ask questions. If you have concerns, share them with their family. Don't stay quiet.
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Anger

Psychology Around the Net: September 23, 2017


Don't let the picture fool you! If you're dealing with depression, you might want to cut back on counting sheep and take a look at what sleep deprivation can do to help your moods (says some research).

Also, keep going for a look at how psychology training might benefit entrepreneurs more than business training, why getting angry every now and then is a good thing, the psychology behind paying so much money for an iPhone (or any product you don't expect to cost that much), and more.

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Anger

How to Survive in an Unhappy Marriage and Thrive

You’re unhappy in your marriage, but you’ve decided to stay. It’s been a gut-wrenching decision, and you’re beginning to wonder how you can stay and keep your sanity. You alternate between wanting to leave and praying that it will get easier.

This article shows how to make the best of an unhappy marriage. It takes a lot of soul-searching to make this decision. When you’ve been together for several years (or longer) and there are kids, making this choice can weigh heavily on your heart.

Despite being in an unhappy marriage, there are reasons you are willing to stay.
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Anger

Podcast: What’s the REAL Link Between Anger and Violence?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss mental illness and violence. More specifically, they address the real culprit behind the vast majority of violence: anger. Their discussion dispels the myth that anger is an unhealthy emotion, teaches ways to express anger in a healthy fashion, and addresses the widely held belief that most mentally ill people are violent (and why people hold this belief). The discussion also covers the real factor in predicting whether someone might become violent and ends with suggestions on ways anyone can learn how to get control of anger in their lives.
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Anger

The Surprising Health Benefits of Swearing

No one needs to tell you that having a potty mouth is crass and vulgar. In fact, ever since we were little children we were told not to curse or swear excessively. While this advice seems well intentioned with respect to social decorum, science says otherwise. In fact, science reveals that a little cursing here and there can actually be a balm for our soul. How so? Let us examine how this seemingly bad habit can turn into something surprisingly comforting when the moment calls for it.
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Anger

How to Transition from Enemy to Friend

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King
It certainly sounds like an impossibility. If you have an enemy, how can that person ever become a friend? This isn’t the recommended religious practice of turning the other cheek that we’re familiar with from the Bible, but close. Still, something about the process involved in transitioning from enemy to friend seems rather difficult.

Maybe not. Here are some examples of effectively transitioning from enemy to friend. Hint: A lot of the transformation has to do with
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Anger

The Problem with Yelling


“The problem with verbal abuse is there is no evidence,” Marta shared. She came for help with a long-standing depression.

“What do you mean lack of evidence?” I asked.

“When people are physically or sexually abused it’s concrete and real. But verbal abuse is amorphous. I feel like if I told someone I was verbally abused, they’d think I was just complaining about being yelled at,” Marta explained.

“It’s much more than that,” I confirmed.

“Much more,” she said.
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Anger

Bloody Brothers: The Fraying of Sibling Relationships

Blood is thicker than water?

Well, what if the blood contains petty feuds, simmering resentments, and the occasional volcanic eruption?

Welcome to the fraught world of sibling relationships.

Spending our childhood terrorizing our Des Moines neighborhood, my brothers and I were thicker than thieves. In the family scrapbook, there are endearingly awkward photos of my brothers and me mugging with oversized tennis trophies. Or vacationing in Colorado. Or celebrating the latest family milestone. With our toothy grins, the pictures radiate a boundless joy.
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