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Addiction

America’s Drunk History: An Interview with Christopher M. Finan


The Fix Q&A with Christopher M. Finan, author of Drunks: An American History, on our nation's history of alcoholism, recovery and AA.

The origin story of America is typically told as a fight for freedom. But a new book, Drunks: An American History, by Christopher M. Finan, recounts a struggle that predates our wrestle for independence: a three century long battle to sober up.

Drunks begins in 1799 with the story of Handsome Lake, a member of the Seneca Nation whose drinking reduced him to “yellow skin and dried bones.” Stripped of their land and decimated by poverty, Natives sought solace in yet another empty gift offered by Americans: booze.

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Bipolar

No Matter Your Age, Never Say Goodbye to Play

In recent months, physical, playful activity has been the only way out of painful rumination for me, providing a temporary respite from debilitating depression. Its transformative power is surprising to me for its ability to help me manage my emotions.

Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.”

And psychiatrist and play expert Stuart Brown, MD, said, “Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.”
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General

Do You Know How to Be Present Amid Someone’s Suffering?


I was speaking with a friend tonight about the discomfort some people have in being present for and/or knowing what to say when someone is diagnosed with a life-challenging illness. What happens is that folks sometimes disappear, or are inclined not to step up and be of support. It's not because they don't care, but more likely because they were never taught how to deal with loss and change. They might imagine themselves in that situation and it is too immense to consider, so they practice cognitive dissonance. They may also rationalize the someone else will volunteer their time and energy, so they don’t need to.
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Depression

PODCAST: Interview With The Mental Health Editor for The Mighty

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent speak with Sarah Schuster, mental health editor for The Mighty, Psych Central's partner and story-based health community focused on improving the lives of people facing disease, disorder, and disability. The Mighty publishes real stories about real people facing real challenges.

Sarah Schuster graduated with a journalism degree from Syracuse University, and currently lives in Los Angeles. You can find her on Twitter @saraheliztweets.

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Interview

Mindfulness and Sleep: Advice from Experts

This article is Part Three in a series, click to read Part One and Part Two.

I am just a little bit obsessed with sleep. My own, my children’s and... well... even yours really. Of course I am not alone in that. There are many books, websites, organizations and careers built around getting better sleep!

When you are a new mother, the level of sleep deprivation you experience can be a shock, unlike any kind of tiredness you have ever felt before. It can undermine your health and well-being very quickly, and clearly has flow on effects on your enjoyment of motherhood and your child’s well-being.
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General

PODCAST: Discussion with Award-Winning Bipolar Author and Blogger

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, Gabe and Vincent interview popular bipolar author and blogger, Natasha Tracy.

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer and speaker living with bipolar disorder. She has written more than 1000 articles on mental health and is considered a subject matter expert in bipolar disorder. She has also been published in the peer reviewed journal, Primary Care Companion CNS Disorders. She was the winner of the Beatrice Stern Media Award presented by Didi Hirsch for her work in reducing prejudice against the those with mental illness.

Natasha writes the award-winning blog Bipolar Burble at NatashaTracy.com and her writings are also featured on many other sites. She recently released the book Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar which one reviewer said will “certainly save lives.” Her book is being received very positively by those with bipolar disorder or depression, their loved ones and even healthcare professionals. Lost Marbles and its reviews can be found on Amazon.

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Interview

On Retreat with B. Alan Wallace Part Two: I’m Exhausted — Why is That?

This article is Part Two in a series, click to read Part One: "Getting Mindfulness Right: Expert B. Alan Wallace Explains Where We Are Going Wrong."
B. Alan Wallace made a big statement during the retreat -- that he hardly ever feels exhausted. He has a demanding schedule by any standard, traveling the world teaching, speaking and collaborating on significant issues -- but without exhaustion.

This immediately had my full attention: how did he explain this? In my late teens and early twenties my mother would light heartedly end my sentences for me when she asked me how I was -- because I would often answer "absolutely exhausted." What could I learn?
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Habits

Getting Mindfulness Right: Expert B. Alan Wallace Explains Where We Are Going Wrong

How many of us found our inner self critic was triggered by this headline?

When I first heard that long time mindfulness teacher and former Tibetan Buddhist monk, B. Alan Wallace who was ordained by the Dalai Lama, with degrees in physics, the philosophy of science and religious studies was leading a retreat on “getting mindfulness right” in my home town of Melbourne I immediately wondered -- what was I doing wrong? Cue my self critic!
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Children and Teens

Are We Losing Touch with Our Sense of Touch?

In a society where digital connections are accepted as the norm, "Skinship," written and directed by London-based filmmaker Nichola Wong, implores us to ask a disconcerting question: are we losing touch with our sense of touch, with human skin-to-skin contact?

"'Skinship' was conceived on an idyllic beach in San Sebastian, where I found myself captivated by a group of 20-something Europeans, whose obsession with their devices rendered them oblivious to the beauty that surrounded them and also one another,” Wong told me via email. “I thought it was a shame, but I thought ‘who was I to judge?’ I'd done the very same on many occasions. It was something that got me thinking about my own relationship with technology, and I had observed at that time in my life that I was feeling very disconnected from myself with the increasing prevalence of technology in my day-to-day life.”

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Anxiety and Panic

Mind Over Mood: Q&A with Authors Dennis Greenberger & Christine A. Padesky

When you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, it feels like you’ll never get better. You'll always feel this way. It feels like the dark clouds will never lift. Or the anxiety, worry and restlessness are permanent. Understandably, you feel hopeless and helpless. You feel stuck.

The great news is that you can get better. There are many resources that can help. For instance, workbooks can be incredibly valuable. You can use a workbook while seeing a therapist or attending group therapy. Or you can use a workbook on your own.
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