Children and Teens

The Psychology of ’13 Reasons Why,’ Suicide & High School Life

After watching the Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why," I can see why it was picked up for a second season.

It's an engaging story with well-drawn characters that are more complex than typical high-school stereotypes. It's a story that deals with a bunch of difficult topics students in high school face -- texting, photo-sharing of a sexual nature, drinking, drugs, bullying, sexual assault, and, yes, suicide.

Some say the series idolizes suicide. Critics claim the series makes suicide look attractive, beautiful, tragic, and that the show contributes to dangerous suicide contagion.

Some say the series isn't that bad and it's a realistic portrayal of the challenges of modern high school life.

So where's the truth? Somewhere in-between.

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Anxiety and Panic

Perfectionist’s Prey

My late mother and I discussed how to deftly handle the vexing interview question, “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Instead of providing a sincere answer (stubbornness for $100, Alex), we collectively rehearsed the answer. And, yes, my over-practiced answer hinted at those dreaded -- and inescapable -- tendencies.

“Well, I am a perfectionist. I am not satisfied until the project is perfect. And I will strive -- relentlessly -- to meet the project’s objectives,” I dribbled out to the interviewer in chief.
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Bipolar

Shopping ‘Therapy’ Only Gets You So Far

For many people, when things get tough and they feel down, if they can afford it, they go shopping. I know I do. And because I have a mood disorder (bipolar illness), I’m especially prone to feeling bad quite often. I don’t spend an exorbitant amount of money at a time. Maybe $30.00 or $40.00. But I do spend. The last time I shopped when I was depressed I bought a nightshirt that said “Don’t Wake Me I’m Dreaming,” a coffee cup that said “Call Your Mother,” some socks and an artificial purple orchid.  All to the tune of about $45.00.  TJ Maxx to the rescue.

But I’m learning that shopping “therapy” only gets you so far.
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Alzheimer

Psychology Around the Net: May 6, 2017


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or, "Mental Health Month"), but of course you knew that, didn't you?

Whether or not you did, Mental Health America (which started Mental Health Month way back in 1949) has provided a ton of information for individuals and organizations to help them promote mental health awareness this month. There's even a handy dandy toolkit you can download.

Go check it out and get busy this month! But before you do, check out this week's Psychology Around the Net which covers political correctness personalities, how Alzheimer's patients' caregivers can take better care of themselves, how maternal smoking does (or doesn't?) affect a child's mental health, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

Will Work for Food and Health Care

Health insurance: only when you don’t need it.

Confused? Let me explain.

In our illogical model, our society provides health insurance to the gainfully employed. But, ironically, it is the gainfully unemployed who most need mental health coverage.

In the United States, our employer-based health care model is predicated on -- surprise surprise -- employment. For the standard nine to five set, employer-based health insurance is a satisfactory option. Generally, employers subsidize out-of-pocket health care costs -- including mental health coverage--for their employees.
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Bipolar

How to Let Go of the Thoughts that Cause Depression

Depression is different from other illnesses in that, in addition to the physiological symptoms (loss of appetite, nervousness, sleeplessness, fatigue), there are the accompanying thoughts that can be so incredibly painful. For example, when my Raynaud’s flares up, the numbness in my fingers can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t tell me that I am worthless, pathetic, and that things will never ever get better. During severe depressive episodes, however, these thoughts can be
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: April 29, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Regardless of which day you read this, chances are I'm trying (or have succeeded for that day) to get some exercise in. I made an appointment with my doctor last week to find out why I've been so, so exhausted lately. Any mental health concerns were ruled out, and my blood test results were top notch (as usual -- go me!). So, she asked me about my exercise routine and, well...let's just say my answer wasn't what she wanted to hear.

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Children and Teens

The Importance of ’13 Reasons Why’ and It’s Reflection of Teen Mental Health

Warning: This article does include spoilers for the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".

On March 31, 2017 Netflix released a new series titled, “13 Reasons Why”, based off the book by author Jay Asher. This series depicts a young man, Clay Jensen, and his journey to bring justice for his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah, a seventeen-year-old high school junior with nothing but the future before her, took her life on a seemingly calm afternoon. Why is this important? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
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Bipolar

Bipolar Loses Its Romance

For years, I thought my mental illness was romantic. I felt I saw things clearer than people without mental illness. I felt I was somehow more real, more in touch with reality, more capable of feeling. I thought it made me more interesting.

When, a year or so ago, I tried again to take medication, I was worried it would make me bland, that it would take away the thrills I found within my highs and lows. I liked the waves of emotion, of not knowing when or where my next episode would happen. The intensity of both mania and depression was exciting. Within the past 6 months though, things have gone from entertaining to incredibly painful, and I no longer want to be this way, I no longer look down upon normal people. Now I am jealous of them.
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