Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: December 10, 2016


My neck of the woods had its first snow yesterday! It wasn't anything major -- just some steady flurries, really -- but it lasted several hours and made me happy. I love the first snow of the season; it's just...magical to me. It always puts me in a good mood.

According to the forecast, it won't snow any this weekend, but at least I got to enjoy it yesterday.

Anyway, off to this week's mental health news! Get ready for how the 21st Century Cures Act will affect mental health care, a list of essential habits to help boost your everyday life, how training teachers in mental health could help students, and more.

Continue Reading

Marriage and Divorce

The Three Relationship Killers and How to Overcome Them

As a marriage and family therapist for over 30 years, I've seen a lot of couples. And over and over, the demise of marriages and relationships in general, is not over money, children, or health but crummy communication styles. Unfortunately we were not taught in school or at home about how to communicate so we resort to a free-wheeling and unconscious style, unaware of the consequences of how our message is received.

Here are the three relationship killers of love, connection, openness, and intimacy and how to cut them off at the pass.
Continue Reading

Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: December 3, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's pretty dark and rainy in my neck of the woods today, which doesn't give me much Christmas spirit (I'm finally decorating today...or hoping to, anyway); however, such weather does do a little something interesting for my overall spirit.

Have you ever heard the term "pluviophile"? Basically, a pluviophile (a term that derives from "pluvial," meaning "of or relating to rain") is someone who -- you guessed it -- can find joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Continue Reading

Bipolar

It Shines: Living with Bipolar II Disorder

I’m quick to reflect on high school glory days. It’s pretty silly, seeing as how I’ve not even reached the 10-year reunion mark. Flipping through my old yearbook, I noticed one of my favorite teachers wrote “Dear Beth, calling you a delicate flower would not give justice to your violently cheerful exuberance. It’s been amazing to watch your shifts from scarily giddy to sleepy to gloomy then back again.” I didn’t learn until later that this was a much abbreviated but also decent description of someone with type two Bipolar Disorder. Even with the intensity of my demeanor back then, no one would have pegged that onto a cheerleading prom queen.
Continue Reading

Bullying

Trauma: The Lie Whisperer

Many, if not most of us, have been through some traumatic event in our lives. When you think back to your childhood you may see flashes of violence, abuse, neglect, or addiction. This might have been your "normal." This might still be your "normal." When we live through trauma something happens to us, without our knowledge. Lies are quietly spoken to our psyches. So what are these lies and who whispers them to those of us who have suffered trauma?

First, let’s define trauma. Merriam-Webster defines trauma as:
a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.
But why does “a very difficult or unpleasant experience cause someone to have mental or emotional problems”? Sounds like a silly question, right? One could answer; because it was scary, anxiety provoking, hurtful, debilitating, horrific, physically painful, and the list goes on. But this still does not answer the why of my question. Let’s break it down even further. What is the connection between experiencing trauma and internalizing it, resulting in, what Merriam-Webster calls, “mental or emotional problems”?
Continue Reading

General

Got Insurance? You’re Going to Have a Frustrating Wait for Rationed Mental Health Care

Yet again, insurance companies are getting away with rationing mental health care in America and treating mental disorders unequally when compared to physical conditions. And nobody seems to be listening -- or care.

We thought we had this problem licked with the historic passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, a law that banned insurance companies from discriminating against people with mental illness.

Unfortunately, insurance companies just found new ways to deny patients care for their mental health conditions -- through rationing access to service providers.

Continue Reading

General

Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 3

This is part 3 of the series "Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven." Don't miss Part 1 and Part 2 too.

The Future of Therapy and Recovery



There is not a one track solution to this problem. Various schools of thought will need to come together to thoroughly evaluate the best ways to make high quality care affordable and accessible. The World Health Organization promotes ways for institutions to integrate mental health services into primary health care, aiming to raise...
Continue Reading

Creativity

Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven, Part 2

This is part 2 of the series "Asylum Was Once a Place of Safe Haven." Don't miss Part 1.

Hear the Rattle and Click as the Door Slams Home. Welcome to Prison.


Without true understanding of how many people were touched by mental illness and what actions needed to be taken to help care for their personal welfare upon release from healthcare facilities, a concurrent rise in homelessness and surge of patients into correctional facilities began to unfold. (11) In a 2013 report to Congress...
Continue Reading

Addiction

The Importance of Good Nutrition During Recovery


Dietary habits in early recovery can be the difference between staying clean and relapsing.

As the opioid epidemic combined with a rise in illegal drug abuse spreads across the country, effective substance abuse treatment services and inpatient recovery options are needed more than ever before. Since the Affordable Care Act has made these services mandatory coverage, a much sharper lens has been focused on what is being offered and its success rate. As the founder of Nutrition In Recovery, David Wiss, MS, RDN, does not understand why the critical role of good nutrition in early recovery is being largely ignored by rehabs and sober living facilities. In long-term recovery himself, David intimately knows how challenging the struggle to restore personal health can be after the damage done by addiction.

Continue Reading

Children and Teens

ER Beds for Kids Lacking, But School Programs Can Help

Everyone who is a front line clinician in an emergency room (ER) knows the hard reality of the lack of psychiatric services available. Discharging someone from an ER into inpatient mental health treatment is virtually nonexistent for adults. For kids, the situation is usually far worse.

The good news is that if we focus more on preventative care in school -- helping kids and preschoolers long before they have a full-blown diagnosis -- we may be able to stop them from ever having to use an emergency room. All we need do is start making mental health a funding priority for both the states and the federal government.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Mental Illness Is More than ‘Worried Wellness’

“So what kind of work do you do in your private practice?” asked a colleague.

“I specialize in depression, anxiety, relationship problems, work-life issues, and low self-esteem,” I explained.

“Ah,” he said with a knowing smile. “The worried well.”

I cringed when I heard this. My patients would cringe, too, if they heard themselves referred to in this dismissive way. But it happens all too often.
Continue Reading