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Celebrities

#MeToo: You Too?

A viral campaign that has been making the rounds on social media comes equipped with a hashtag and an attempt to bring attention to the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse, both in the workplace and in personal life. It arose because of the not so secret secret of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (no relation to this author) threatening and assaulting women.

On October 15th, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet." She
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General

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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General

Free Live Webinar: Healing from an Unloving Mother

As central as the mother-child relationship is to psychological health, that of the mother and her daughter has its own specificity. Daughters whose emotional needs weren’t met in childhood or who were actively disparaged, ignored, controlled, or scapegoated emerge into adulthood with specific deficits. They may not even know the degree to which they’ve been wounded by their mothers’ treatment until they begin to flounder in life, embark on a series of failed relationships, find it hard to stay balanced and focused, or engage in self-destructive behaviors.
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Anger

The Las Vegas Shooting: A Therapist’s Perspective

In texting with my mother and sister about the mass shootings in Las Vegas, they shared their concerns, sadness and confusion. “Mental Illness?” my sister asked, as I am the professional… I suppose.

In my career I have worked with clients who have committed murder, who have had multiple cases of sexually assaulting young children or disabled victims, who have been witnesses to traumas of being held at gunpoint, sex trafficking, watching one parent shoot the other, incest by a parent. These are extreme cases and I wish I could say they are rare.

My reactions to mass shootings, the opioid drug epidemic, and other heart-wrenching situations that you wish were not reality, are extremely mixed. I have to react as a human being and as a therapist in the field. Maybe saying I “have to” is not accurate. In actuality, I am just internally torn.
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Anger

What You Can Do Before Anger Becomes Violence

When I heard about the violent attacks in Las Vegas, my heart sank. Why does this keep happening and what can we do to prevent it from happening again?

Awful things are happening with much more frequency. The sense of powerlessness with each tragedy can feel paralyzing. What can we do? Blaming and crucifying the perpetrator doesn't stop the violence. 

There are things that you can do. While you cannot control or prevent another person’s behavior you can help. First, pay attention to anyone in your life that's really struggling. Check in with them and listen. It's not your job to assess their mental state but notice what's happening. Not everyone suffering is in crisis, but don't be afraid to ask questions. If you have concerns, share them with their family. Don't stay quiet.
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Anxiety and Panic

Secondhand Trauma — Is It Real? The 2017 Hurricane Season Is Affecting Everyone

As we have all witnessed in the last few months, 2017 has produced an incredibly destructive hurricane season. For many of us not living in the affected areas, just watching the devastation on TV and hearing about it on the radio or social media can also cause a deep sense of fear and anxiety.

It can even cause many to suffer secondhand trauma or more specifically, Secondary Trauma Stress (STS). STS is a psychiatric condition which mimics symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It affects individuals who did not witness the traumatic event firsthand but were still exposed to it in other ways.
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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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