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General

Mental Health & the Psychology of Surviving a Hurricane

Having lived through my second hurricane in Florida (Hurricane Andrew was my first), I have some ideas about what makes the experience less stressful for those who are stuck in place. While I can't begin to imagine the devastation experienced by many people living in the Florida Keys and many of the Caribbean islands, I think there are some things you can do that will help your mental health and stress levels.

The most important thing is your physical safety and that of your loved ones. But after you've accounted for everyone's physical well-being, your psychological and emotional safety are equally important. Here's how psychologically to survive a hurricane.

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Criminal Justice

Hurricane Irma: A Chance to Lock up the Homeless in Miami

You know how many people pull together in a natural disaster, treating each other with more kindness and pitching in to help? While hunkering down here in the path of the hurricane that has devastated parts of Florida, I've seen many people lending a hand to help strangers. It's been very heartwarming.

But I've also seen a darker side here in Florida. Some officials have discovered that Hurricane Irma is a different kind of opportunity -- to clear the homeless from the streets of Miami. Police, working in conjunction with an activist group and a handful of mental health professionals, gave homeless individuals what seems like a simple choice: either go to a shelter or get sent for a psychiatric evaluation against their will.

This is a flagrant violation of a person's individual liberties, twisting a law meant to protect people with a mental illness. The law was not crafted to make people do all manner of things against their will.

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Anger

The Problem with Yelling


“The problem with verbal abuse is there is no evidence,” Marta shared. She came for help with a long-standing depression.

“What do you mean lack of evidence?” I asked.

“When people are physically or sexually abused it’s concrete and real. But verbal abuse is amorphous. I feel like if I told someone I was verbally abused, they’d think I was just complaining about being yelled at,” Marta explained.

“It’s much more than that,” I confirmed.

“Much more,” she said.
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Bipolar

Bullying Isn’t Just ‘Child’s Play’

My name is Gabe Howard and I’m forty years old. I’m outgoing and charismatic, and I make my living as a writer and speaker. Despite a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, my adult life is stable and I’m content. When it comes to my childhood, many things stand out, but — even all these years later — the biggest defining event is that I was bullied.

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Bullying

The Ties Between Crime and Malignant Narcissism

What do Jim Jones, OJ Simpson, and Ted Bundy all have in common? They were charismatic, charming, and had the ability to influence almost anyone. They also demonstrated specific characteristics associated with malignant narcissism.


Malignant narcissism is known as a mixture of narcissism and antisocial personality disorder. They lack empathy and often live in grandiose fantasies that compete with reality. If the fantasies are revealed as such, the afflicted person may become hostile with high levels of rage.


Malignant narcissism is not an individual diagnosis in the DSM, rather it is a subset of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. As well as having symptoms of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a person with malignant narcissism also displays paranoia.
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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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Anger

Start Living a Life Without Your Inner Demons


It's only slowing you down in life.

The lighter you travel in life, the more you can enjoy the journey.

In life, you have all kind of experiences. Some are great and there are some who will throw you off kilter. When that happens and you were hurt deeply, it is then understandable that you want to forget that episode. But, if you don't deal with the emotions and feeling you have around the hurt, you will carry it with you until you deal with it.

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Bullying

How to Create Emotional Boundaries

Those who have experienced physical abuse are often advised by therapists to create physical boundaries with the abuser. In some extreme cases, that might  warrant a restraining order.

The same method should be employed when toxic emotional abuse arises between two people.

It could very well be that a person turns to abusive behaviors after years of not exhibiting any, which will necessitate the need for a boundary.  
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Children and Teens

Growing Up Too Fast: Early Exposure to Sex

Children are naturally exploratory beings. As we develop, we engage with the world around us using all our senses. Imagine yourself at 2 or 3, crawling around in a grassy field on a summer day. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the gentle breeze blowing through your hair, you breathe in the aroma of the fresh green grass, perhaps even pluck a piece and sample it. A puddle from a recent rain storm beckons you and you splash about in it, drenching yourself. An ice cream cone is offered to you and you savor the sweetness and stickiness as it drips down your chin and onto your clothes.
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Brain and Behavior

The 3 Parts of Your Brain Affected by Trauma


An inside look at the traumatized brain, and how you can start to heal.

Approximately 50 percent of the population will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives.1 While reactions to trauma can vary widely, and not everyone will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trauma can change the brain in some predictable ways that everyone should be aware of, especially if you or someone close to you is struggling to cope after trauma.

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Children and Teens

Developing Interdependence in Children

If you’ve paid attention to parenting as well as teaching techniques over the years, you’ve probably noticed that there are many different styles of parenting and consequently many different outcomes of child behavior that are shaped by these styles.

Children are born with a certain number of fixed attributes. Yet the question arises, how much of their personalities is shaped by how a parent is guiding and training them?

That’s not easy to know but fostering a good parenting style is a way to minimize many behavioral issues.
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Bullying

The Art of Persuasion

“You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.” Michelle Carter, found guilty of manslaughter, encouraged her boyfriend over text messages to commit suicide.  

She texted him dozens of times saying things like: “You can’t keep living this way.” And, “Just do it, babe.” The messages continued for days until finally her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck.

One of the reasons this case is controversial is because Michelle Carter was not at the scene of the crime. She was put on trial for the power of her own persuasion.
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