Brain Blogger

The Science of Preventing Dangerous Psychopathy


What makes someone a psychopath? Nature or nurture? And can we stop at risk children from growing up into dangerous adult psychopaths? One of the oldest queries in psychology -- nature versus nurture -- asks if what makes us who we are is predisposed by our DNA, or by life experiences. It is a pretty poignant question when it comes to psychopaths, who are estimated to account for up to 50% of all serious crimes in the US.

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Anger

How to Cope when You Have a Problem with Over Empathizing

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Nature allots all of us varying degrees of empathy. Those in the helping professions (psychologists, social workers, counselors, etc.) tend to have a higher level of empathy than those in other positions. To that effect, they often find themselves spending an above average amount of time thinking about other people’s issues. So much so that they feel guilty when they can’t come up with a resolution for that person’s problems.
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ADHD and ADD

You May Need to Rethink Medication for ADHD

Let me start by saying that the decision to give medication to a child always rests with the parent. If a parent feels uncomfortable about medication, they should not be shamed or coerced into feeling differently. That being said, there is a lot of misinformation and misguided notions out there on not only ADHD medication, but the disease itself. My goal is to educate people on what ADHD is, what it is not, and the facts regarding treatment. I have no agenda other than that, and no, there is no pharmaceutical company paying for this article. Let’s answer some questions!
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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: December 24, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I celebrate Christmas, which means today -- Christmas Eve -- I'm surrounded by friends and family and fortunately an extremely low number of gifts (our families decided to focus on the children this year, much to my delight). Over the years, I've become more and more aware of -- and sad to the point of sobbing about -- how our society has turned Christmas into a gluttonous commercial nightmare. To me, the holidays aren't...
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Bipolar

Helping Children Cope When a Loved One Suffers from Mental Illness

I have a loved one that suffers with severe mental illness. He's a brilliant, beautiful, creative person who told spellbinding, captivating stories of far away places and taught me to not be afraid of the dark. But just as quick and easy as flicking a light switch on and off, our lives changed from moment to moment.

As a child I didn't understand. I remember thinking everyone's home was just like mine... a place where the stairs turned into an escalator only for the person who knew the magic word and where the cupboards were locked at night to keep out the mischief-making fairies.
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Books

3 Strategies for Supporting a Loved One with Depression

Your loved one has depression. Maybe they’re isolating themselves. Maybe their energy and mood have taken a nosedive. Maybe they’re irritable and angry. Maybe they aren’t enjoying much, if anything, anymore. Maybe they’re having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Maybe they’ve mentioned feeling hopeless or worthless. Maybe they make negative comments about themselves. All. The. Time. Maybe they wear a happy face, but you know they’re struggling.

And, understandably, it’s really hard to watch. Because all you want to do is fix their pain. To make it go away. To make it all better.
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Anxiety and Panic

Waiting for an Autism Diagnosis

Tommy was having trouble growing up.

He wasn’t talking at age 2. We waited it out for a bit, but, at 3, when he was still barely communicating, we sought out professional speech therapy. We found a great therapist at our local children’s hospital. With help, Tommy began to communicate more. The therapist worked on his vocabulary and eventually on one-step commands.

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Caregivers

What Did Your Parents Teach You?

What teachings did your parents offer you in your childhood and teen years? Be mindful as you answer that question of the spoken and unspoken teachings and messages that were given to you and what you received.

Let us first consider the spoken teachings from your parents or primary caregivers. The elements necessary to parent a child well are multi-faceted and require consistent love and effort on the parents' part. The parents' attitude and energy level also must be considered. The parents' history and background are factors in how well or effectively they teach by word and example.

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Bipolar

Ode to the Duke

I saw my shrink today. I call him “The Duke.”

We had a perfectly fine half-hour meeting. He wrote me some scripts and listened to my current take on my life. Mainly, we talked about my son Tommy’s fear of entering sixth grade. The Duke warned me that the junior high years are awful and to brace myself. The Duke is a straight shooter. At the end of the appointment, I asked him how he thought I was doing.

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