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Helping Others Can Heal the Brain

The greatest show in Las Vegas history must be the recent outpouring of the best of humanity. The courage shown by professional rescuers and regular citizens reaching out to help, and even risking their lives to do so, leaves many of us wondering what would we do and what can we do to help others.
Making a positive difference in someone’s life doesn’t take a life-threatening effort. Simple kindnesses can go a long way for someone struggling. I was lucky enough to receive such help this summer.
I blew out my ankle. Really blew it out. As I enjoyed a walk with my husband, on slightly uneven pavement my foot slid off the side of my two-inch platform sandal. Three bones broke and the ankle dislocated.
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Coping With What You Can’t Control

There are many things in life we can’t control—everything from tiny annoyances to tragedies. We can’t control if our grandmother gets cancer and passes away. We can’t control if we get cancer.

We can’t control what others think, say or do. We can’t control what others think of us. We can’t control who our loved ones hang out with. We can’t control who we work with or who’s in charge. We can’t control Mother Nature, or today’s traffic.

But, of course, we can control our reactions to all the things we can’t control.
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When You Don’t Feel Like Yourself

Lately, you haven’t felt like yourself. Maybe you’re feeling extra anxious, a nervousness that’s taken up residence inside your stomach. Maybe you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Maybe you’re experiencing a deep self-doubt, which you’ve never felt before. Maybe you feel disconnected from yourself.

Maybe you can’t pinpoint it. (Yet.) But all you know is that you feel off.*

Many people stop feeling like themselves after experiencing a major life event or major role change, said Dezryelle Arcieri, LMFT, a psychotherapist and yoga instructor in Seattle. Maybe you recently moved or started a new job. Maybe you just ended a relationship or got married. Maybe you had a baby or are grieving the loss of a loved one.
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Anxiety and Panic

Why We All Have Clutter and How to Get Rid of It

I feel like a massive hypocrite writing this piece, because substantial messes are found in virtually every square foot of my home.

In fact, the last time I broached the topic of clutter in a blog, I posted a photo of my book piles and nut collection and was immediately contacted by a hoarding show to be "fixed" by an expert.

Even though I fail miserably at decluttering my home, I do know it’s an important piece of
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Children and Teens

Everything I Was Too Afraid to Be: On Fatherhood and Mental Health

Recently, I had the good fortune to meet a fellow mental health advocate in person. Gabriel Nathan (Gabe – just like me) is the Editor-in-Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries and a man who lives with depression, anxiety, and obsessive thoughts. We talked about a great many things, but the topic that fascinated me the most is that he is the father of twins.

“How on earth can you manage mental illness AND a child -- let alone two?” was my first thought.

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10 Simple Mindfulness Practices to Try Right Now

People often tell Zen teacher Jay Chozen Bays, M.D., that they’d love to practice mindfulness. But they’re too busy. They have too much going on. You probably feel the same way. After all, it’s another activity to add to your already full schedule. It’s another activity to feel guilty about not doing. And who wants that?

Thankfully, you can easily include mindfulness in your life. Yes, it requires a switch in perspective. But you don’t need to be on a meditation cushion for an hour to savor the benefits.

Bays, also a pediatrician, wife, mother and grandmother, understands what it’s like to have a bustling life. She created a wonderful deck of cards, aptly called
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Announcing a Global Hope Challenge: What is Your #OneThing for #Hope

Today, on Global Mental Health Day, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) launches a global challenge to spread Hope. They invite participants to share the one thing they turn to when feeling hopeless, anxious, depressed or stressed through a contest on the HeroX platform where the top three videos will win prize money ($1,000, $500, and $250). Kicking things off with powerful submissions from ’s network of young leaders, the goal is to help inspire others to...
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Ethics & Morality

Pathologizing the President Reinforces Mental Illness Stigma

A large group of psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and other mental health workers have declared Donald Trump mentally ill and unfit to be president.

They don’t name the mental illness, or cite any specific behaviors that make him a threat to the country or constitution. They merely state that he is sick and call for his ouster.

“Duty to Warn” has the signatures of 60,000 mental health professionals, none of whom have assessed the president, on a petition calling for Trump’s removal due to “serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.” [Ed. - Actually, as we pointed out here back in August, this is simply a petition of 60,000 signatures -- NOT of ONLY mental health professionals. For context, there are 340+ million individuals in the United States. Psychology Today was pedaling its own version of "fake news."]

To take the petition at it’s word, it is not any deviant acts that disqualify Trump, but the mere fact that the undersigned believe he has a mental illness, and that alone disqualifies him. Many responsible people have serious mental illness that they manage, and they function very well. But they still have a serious mental illness. Would these doctors disqualify this group of patients from doing their jobs?
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Marriage and Divorce

More Terrible Relationship Advice

There’s a lot of bad relationship advice out there—whether you find it in how-to articles, on the shelves of your local bookstore, or in conversations around the dinner table. When followed, it can spoil your relationship or a future relationship.

We’ve already featured some terrible tips in this earlier piece. Today, we’re sharing several more unhelpful perspectives, along with advice that genuinely helps.

Adjust your age or number of sex partners. Beginning your relationship with a lie is basically the antithesis to what relationships are. “The foundation to a healthy and successful relationship is security; both people need to know they can be vulnerable, open, and honest without losing the bond,” said Jennine Estes, a marriage and family therapist who owns a group practice called 
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The Worst Relationship Advice

There’s no shortage of relationship advice. You see it all over the Internet—from dating do’s and don’ts to habits that build your bond. You see it on the shelves of your local bookstore—titles on everything from how to communicate to how to behave to how to understand men (or women). You hear suggestions from your best friend, mom and even your colleagues. And certainly, many movies and TV shows paint all sorts of pictures of “real” love.

Of course, not all advice is created equal. And following some of it can actually be detrimental to your relationship or future romance.

We asked relationship experts to share the worst relationship advice they’ve ever heard. Below, you’ll find their insights—along with what really works.
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Brain and Behavior

The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories: Why Do People Believe Them?

Conspiracy theories are as old as time but it's only in more recent years that psychologists have begun to unravel the belief that some people have in them. According to researcher Goertzel (1994), conspiracy theories are explanations that refer to hidden groups working in secret to achieve sinister objectives.

Whether it's the killing of a U.S. President (Kennedy), a mass-shooting involving a seemingly-normal older white, adult male (Las Vegas), or the Charlie Hebdo murders, conspiracy theories are never far behind. Even climate change has a conspiracy theory attached to it (the U.S. government is to blame, naturally).

What drives people's belief in these "out there" explanations for significant events? Let's find out.

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