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Bipolar

Psychology Around the Net: October 21, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's a gorgeous day here in my neck of the woods, and trust me when I say we'll be taking full advantage of it! After all, the days are getting shorter and soon there won't be as many warm and sunny days (at least, not here) until spring. Many people begin experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as fall really kicks in. As many of you know, for a lot of people light therapy is an effective way to treat SAD.

However, did you also know light therapy might be able to help with bipolar disorder? That's just one of the topics we're covering in today's Psychology Around the Net!

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Celebrities

#MeToo: You Too?

A viral campaign that has been making the rounds on social media comes equipped with a hashtag and an attempt to bring attention to the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse, both in the workplace and in personal life. It arose because of the not so secret secret of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (no relation to this author) threatening and assaulting women.

On October 15th, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet." She
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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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Celebrities

Psychology Around the Net: September 2, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

If you're here in America, I hope you're taking advantage of the three-day holiday weekend -- unless, of course, you or a loved one has been hit by tragedy Hurricane Harvey has caused. I've seen so many donation requests over the past few days -- everything from money to basic items you wouldn't even think of (at least I didn't) like diapers -- and it makes me proud to know that even in this country's turbulent times, we're still here for each other.

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Celebrities

Psychology Today Promotes Its Own Trump Fake News

No matter what your political view, it is disconcerting when we run across news online that is not factually correct. President Trump refers to such news stories as "fake news" -- but also includes in this category any news story he simply doesn't agree with.

Earlier this month, Psychology Today ran an article titled, "60,000 Psychologists Say Trump Has 'Serious Mental Illness'."

The problem with this headline? It wasn't true. But that didn't stop the editors at Psychology Today from publishing it on their web site for four consecutive days, before they were called out on the issue on Twitter for its inaccuracy.

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Addiction

When Creative People Are Afraid Medication Will Dull Their Spark


Creative people worry that their essential spark -- that which makes them artists in the first place -- will disappear forever, or at least be hindered, if they seek chemical relief for depression or anxiety.

Like everyone else, writers today can address their depression and anxiety in numerous ways. Treatment options are omnipresent. It’s impossible to watch a TV show without encountering pharmaceutical commercials, after all.
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Anxiety and Panic

Surviving Mental Health Issues: Am I Unique or a Freak?

Years ago, when I experienced debilitating bouts of anxiety, I would easily lose my perspective and feel like an outcast -- a freak. I momentarily transformed into a negative abstract of myself that possessed undignified emotional and behavioral idiosyncrasies. But, over time when I regained perspective, I appreciated my odd peculiarities as not only “unique” but as vital assets that helped me achieve some success in my life.

Perspective: Use it or lose it.

Got it. Seems easy. Not.
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Addiction

Jerry Garcia and Heroin Examined in Grateful Dead Documentary


"[Jerry was] a complicated, creatively talented and unconventional person...he had an equal proclivity for transcendence and self-destruction.”

Amir Bar-Lev’s rockumentary, Long Strange Trip, about the Grateful Dead, is aptly named for what is arguably the band’s most famous lyric: What a long, strange trip it’s been. The film takes you on a four-hour ride (much like the band's live shows) but this is not just another indulgent music doc.

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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: June 10, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's an especially happy one for me. The weather is phenomenal, I've managed to eat super clean and worked out or ran almost every day, and it's my sister's birthday! So, I'm probably at her birthday brunch as you're reading this.

I hope you have fun plans too, but before you take off take a minute to catch up on dangerous types of small talk, the shortage of psychiatrists we're experiencing, tips for getting the quality information about mental health, and more.

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Bullying

13 Reasons Why … You Should Stay Alive

The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has definitely caused some recent controversy. Some feel that the show encourages teens to think about suicide as a viable option to deal with their problems while others feel it spotlights the issues of youth suicide, bullying, and sexual assault which plague our society. What’s important is that the show has people talking, especially about the taboo subject of suicide and we’re overdue for this discussion.

There’s a stigma to suicide which is perpetuated by the silence surrounding it. We need to break this silence so those suffering will feel safe reaching out for help.
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