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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Do Beliefs Shape Outcomes?

"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning." - Gandhi
I would venture a guess that most people who are reading this article have heard of a phenomenon called the
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Depression

Is Your Internet Use Killing Your Productivity and Making You Depressed?

We’ve expanded our minds. It’s no longer contained inside our heads -- it now includes our devices, social media, and essentially anything digital. While the connectedness available to us today has opened a number of doors, it’s not always a good thing. We no longer have time to think and create our own ideas. In fact, too much digital connectedness can be a bad thing -- for our mental health as well as our creative ventures.

Constant surfing and intake of bite-sized information crowds out time for contemplation. Because of neuroplasticity (which is the ability for our brains to change), the more we use the web, the more we train our brains to be distracted. As a consequence, we then rely even more on the net because we have trouble remembering. We don’t need to recollect anything. Most people are constantly attached to a smartphone, which has become a portable brain.
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Anorexia

Why Too Much Self-Control Can Be a Bad Thing

Self-control refers to our ability to restrain acting on momentary urges, impulses, and wants in favor of longer-term goals. Who doesn’t want more of that? 

Most of us think that it’s important to have a lot of willpower, to be able to resist temptation. We all hope that we’ll be able to avoid giving into that impulse to eat more ice cream; keep ourselves from expressing anger at a loved one; or make ourselves finish an important project even though we don’t feel like it. And generally, self-control is a good thing. Society needs people with high levels of self-control, those who can inhibit their momentary desires, think about long-term goals, and take well-thought action toward them.

What if we can have too much of a good thing?
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ADHD and ADD

Mental Health Stigma: A Doctor Who Has Been in Your Shoes

Your doctor may relate to your mental health concerns more than he or she can say.

Imagine you are sitting with your primary care doctor sharing your symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, or anorexia. Imagine in that difficult and lonely moment, your doctor makes the decision to disclose that she not only understands your symptoms from a professional standpoint, but also personally as someone who also struggles with a similar diagnosis.

What would you think?
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Anorexia

Eating Disorders Breed Disconnection

I have worked with hundreds of women who struggle with disordered eating and poor body image. Some clients obsessively track calories or Weight Watcher’s points. Some try to restrict their food intake all day then order large quantities of food to binge on at night. Some purge after meals or excessively exercise. Others restrict entire food groups. Some have tried every fad diet. Some say mean things to themselves when they look in the mirror, in hopes that this will motivate change. Some have found a community -- in Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous -- to hold them accountable or to reinforce their guilt after a weekly weigh in. Some have convinced themselves that a juice cleanse is necessary for detox. Some only eat “clean” foods. Some only eat purple foods. Some never eat purple foods... (Those last two I haven’t come across, but I imagine someday I will).
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Children and Teens

New Guidelines for Treating Transgender People


The Endocrine Society has recently updated their recommendations for caring for transgender individuals. Previous guidelines recommended that hormone treatments not begin before sixteen years of age, but the Society notes there are now compelling reasons to beginning hormone treatment earlier.

Joshua D. Safer, MD, one of the task force members who authored the guidelines, said:
“Sixteen is the typical age cutoff in many areas of the world for some decision-making capacity from a legal perspective, but when you think about hormones and puberty, 16 is pretty late. If we’re going to use biology for guidance, then hormone interventions for transgender kids should begin occurring earlier, when puberty really happens, like around age 12, 13, or 14. However, we’re in a situation where we lack a test. We can’t diagnose anybody as transgender with excellent confidence, outside of talking to those kids. When we start talking about hormone therapies, we talk about some things that will be irreversible. That’s a fraught place to go, but we recognize that people are going to treat kids under 16 in many instances."
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OCD

OCD Awareness Week 2017

The 9th-annual OCD Awareness Week begins today.

It always takes place during the second week in October with the purpose of raising awareness and understanding of OCD and related disorders, as well as the appropriate treatment. Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder know that finding the right help is often one of the toughest battles in the fight against OCD.

Some estimates say it can take as long as 14-17 years from the onset of symptoms to get a correct diagnosis and treatment. Though my family didn't realize it at the time, my son was one of the lucky ones -- it took about two years after his diagnosis to get him the right help.

While that's "not bad" in terms of OCD treatment, it is still much too long. It should have taken days, maybe weeks, but certainly not two years.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Long Journey Home

Nearly three months ago, I found myself quietly celebrating an anniversary that very few people knew about. I really didn’t want to give it too much attention to be honest. I wanted to avoid triggering thoughts that would take me back to those moments when life wasn’t so great. However, as I sat with my computer I began to remember and I actually smiled.

Prior to 2016, I had lived with family members for over 7 years. After being hospitalized for my mental health condition, I was unable to maintain consistent employment, provide for my daughter, or live alone. It was challenging to find the right combination of medication, self-care techniques, social supports, faith guidance, and therapeutic connections that would allow me to regain my self-sufficiency. In addition, I lived in constant fear of failing.
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Caregivers

OCD and Shopping Anxiety

By the time my son Dan entered a residential treatment center for OCD, he was barely functioning. Using exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy he tackled his hierarchy (a list of anxiety-provoking situations created by the person with OCD), and slowly but surely regained his life.

During his stay, one of his exposures was to go on shopping trips and make purchases. All types of shopping proved difficult for him -- buying groceries and necessities, clothing, etc. But the more expensive purchases, particularly if they were for himself, seemed to be the most stressful.

But he did it. And he felt the overwhelming anxiety. And he refrained from doing compulsions. Over and over again until shopping was no longer an issue for him.
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Anxiety and Panic

Pedophilia OCD: When OCD Targets the Children in Your Life

Rhonda was a kind and religious woman. Most importantly, she adored her kids. However, one day, a fleeting thought showed up in her mind, “Did I touch Ronnie inappropriately,” as she was buckling her son in his car seat. Rhonda became anxious and couldn’t stop worrying about it. “Did I really touch him? What if I did? Am I a pervert? No, I’m not! I would never do such thing! But then, why do I feel anxious? Does that mean I did something wrong? Otherwise, I would not feel anxious.”

These and many similar thoughts began to occupy Rhonda’s mind. The more she tried to “get rid” of the thoughts or figure out why she was having them, the more they stuck.
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Anxiety and Panic

The New Normal

“On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel?”

It’s a question that most psychiatrists ask when assessing mood and medication maintenance. The scale is used to monitor feelings of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. A patient’s response is the main test used for treatment.

But if 1 means that a person feels ecstatic, and 10 means they are suicidal, what is a 6 or a 3? What happens if a patient feels like something is wrong, but nothing has happened? Or if they can’t stop crying since their dog died last week? How much of an impact do average issues have? Are they really feeling an 8 or is the magnitude of sorrow dependent on the specific moment they are experiencing at the time? The scale has problems of its own.
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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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