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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Bullying

Recovering from Abuse: Collecting Pebbles

One of the most common things I hear from survivors of psychological abuse is their confusion about why they didn’t notice the red flags sooner in the relationship.

It doesn’t matter if the toxic person is a parent, co-worker, friend or love interest, almost all survivors seriously doubt themselves for not seeing the toxicity earlier. Once a survivor’s eyes are opened to the abuse they have endured, they wonder why they didn’t set better boundaries before they found themselves in a world of hurt from the psychological games.

Survivors of this type of abuse have their lives completely rocked and thrown into chaos. The common question is “How did I let this happen to me?”
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Anxiety and Panic

Fear as a Teacher

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Taking a deep breath as I am typing these words about a topic that is inherent in the human condition. I consider myself a pretty brave person, having faced deaths of family members and friends, injury, an ectopic pregnancy, financial challenge, a heart attack, shingles, kidney stones, job layoff, illness, relationships ending, and loss of my home in a hurricane. These are all common life events; some expected, most arriving out of the blue. When they have occurred, I have, like many, shaken my head and muttered WTF? I questioned, “Who thought this one up?” as I hastened to find a solution to these erstwhile dilemmas.
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Anxiety and Panic

3 Simple Steps for Breaking Free from Worry Loops

Have you ever wondered how to break free of a worry loop? You know the experience. You’re in the shower, at the computer, or out to dinner with the family and there is a worrisome thought running through your mind over and over -- a looming deadline, an awkward social interaction, the finances, etc. It doesn’t matter if the worry is irrational -- or recognized as unhelpful -- you still can’t shake it. No matter what you try, your mind keeps returning to the troubling thought.

Sound familiar?
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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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Addiction

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: For More Than Borderline Personality Disorder

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan in the late 1980’s is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).  It is now considered the treatment of choice for individuals with characteristics associated with symptoms of BPD such as impulsivity, interpersonal problems, emotion dysregulation, self-harm, and chronic suicidal behaviors.
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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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Anxiety and Panic

The New Perfection: Pretty Good

Welcome to the University of North Carolina or, more apropos, the University of No Chance. At least regarding my likelihood of graduation.

A self-conscious freshman, I remember the red ink coating my first Chapel Hill exam. As I replayed the exam, those latent doubts about my academic ability crescendoed into full-throated roars. What am I doing here? I wondered. I don’t belong at such a prestigious university. Will I even make it to graduation?
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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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Anxiety and Panic

Living with “What If” — Addressing Anxiety

There are many people who don’t know that their hesitations, fears, and even compulsive “musts” throughout the day are actually stemmed in anxiety. Regardless if the anxiety is caused from stress or trauma, the longer anxiety is ignored -- the worse it usually gets.

If your life is plagued by “what if” moments, then it is time to address your quality of life from a mental health standpoint. It is important to know that not all anxiety disorders are the same, however all of them can cause such distress that it interferes with your ability to lead a normal life. The “what ifs” can become immobilizing and then the stress can lead to actual physical disability.
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