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Anxiety and Panic

Experiencing Goodwill


As someone who shamelessly scours Goodwill for second-hand finds, this confession is particularly painful: New is better.

New experiences -- that is. I will forever cherish my vintage t-shirts and maps.

Over the past year, I have put those vintage maps to use, traveling to five countries.

While traveling can tire (that said, I have a sneaking suspicion that you are not shedding any tears for me), fresh experiences rejuvenate -- at least anecdotally. Even when they seemingly sap every reservoir of energy and patience.
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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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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How to Chase Away Your Summertime Blues

Does your stomach turn when the thought of summer begins? Do you feel lonely, sad, or depressed in the summer months? Is it hard for you to plan a vacation, or get some good shut eye? If so, don’t feel bad, because you are not alone. In fact, reverse SAD occurs in about less than 10% of the population during the summer months.

Most people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD when winter rolls around, the more common form of SAD. But summertime reverse SAD, while temporary, and short lived, can still be very emotionally taxing for the summer months that are endured.
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Depression

Therapist Grief

As a therapist, many people come in with issues with grief. For years I have tried to help clients figure out the well know Elisabeth Kubler Ross Stages of Grief and what stage in their grief they are in: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It has been sad to watch clients suffer and deal with grief. I have wished many times that I could...
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How New Generation Drugs Are Targeting Depression

Two years ago, I talked with a prominent psychiatrist about what could be done for all the people who have treatment-resistant depression who do not respond -- or only partially respond -- to the drugs on the market today.

“We wait for better drugs to come out,” he said.

I wanted a better answer, because my experience with the newer drugs like Zyprexa (olanzapine) -- atypical neuroleptics (a type of antipsychotic) that were supposed to treat bipolar disorder with fewer side effects than typical mood stabilizers like lithium and Depakote (divalproex sodium) -- proved to be a disaster.

But I am coming around to agree with the psychiatrist.
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Depression

Podcast: What Is Postpartum Depression?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome guest Dr. Emma Basch. Dr. Basch is a licensed clinical psychologist as well as the author of PsychCentral’s Maternity Matters blog. She joins our hosts (two childless men, it should be noted) to discuss the many aspects of postpartum depression. Listen in to learn some surprising facts and statistics about postpartum depression, including how common it is. Learn how it differs from “regular” depression, the ties it has to anxiety, the known causes of postpartum depression, and several suggestions for how to treat it.
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Anxiety and Panic

Speak the Evil

See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.

And in case you were wondering, the proverbial “evil” would be my dormant mental health issues.  

Growing up in an upper-class family in Des Moines, Iowa, mental health was an afterthought -- sandwiched in between tennis matches, gawky Homecoming dance photos, and college football Saturdays. While I struggled with perfectionism (presaging a later struggle with OCD), my mother glossed over my mental rigidity.  

“You just have high standards, Matthew,” she soothingly reassured to me and -- perhaps -- herself.
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Bipolar

Psychology Around the Net: August 12, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I have a busy, busy day today. First, I'm having a meeting with family members to make some important (but fun!) plans, and then after a couple of hours of downtime (I hope), I'll be out celebrating one of my city's annual events.

You, too, might have a busy Saturday planned. However, that's no reason to skip out on this week's Psychology Around the Net! Bookmark it if you have to, because this week we have information about why people in supportive relationships are more likely to accept challenges and experience personal growth, why some of us are so dissatisfied (apparently it boils down to biology?!), how a board-certified psychiatrist is part of the world of exorcisms, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

The Real Reason You Should Laugh Today

Laughter has long been regarded as a healing remedy of sorts. Laugher is not only beneficial for the soul, and one’s spirit, but laughter therapy is currently being utilized alongside traditional therapy and/or medication for those suffering from anxiety, and other depressive symptoms.

Since a person’s moods can ebb and flow while he/she rides the waves of life, even without an anxiety/depressive condition present, it is important to keep in mind the scientific benefits of laughing, or humor in general. The benefits below might give you a reason to smile today.
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Depression

Success-Syndrome: The Ambition-Depression Connection

When she was just 13 years old, Jenn Cohen fell in love with the circus and was determined to make a career out of it, which was highly unusual at the time.She explained in an inspiring TEDx talk that she worked incredibly hard to get to a point in her career where she “arrived,” performing in Europe, garnering accolades and attention -- the place where she always aspired to be.

And yet she felt empty.

“I was under the illusion that once I was able to prove myself, that those feelings of self-doubt and low self-worth would disappear,” she said.
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