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Anxiety and Panic

Why Won’t Anxiety Go Away?

If you were walking through the woods and noticed a bear walking towards you, you would probably either run for your life or be so scared that you freeze. On the other hand, if your friends told you to watch out for a person dressed as a bear scaring people in the woods, you might initially get startled but would otherwise remember it was just a person. This heads up would make all the difference in your reaction.

Life is like a walk through the woods. We know that anxiety is going to manifest itself because it is a part of life. At one time or another, all of us will experience mild or severe anxiety. But what happens when anxiety shows up? Many individuals report that they hate it. They wish they could send anxiety to another galaxy. They try many strategies to get rid of it, or to at least manage it.
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Agitation

Feeling Disgruntled? How to Change Your Mood

“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Everyone experiences a bad mood from time to time. In fact, it’s considered normal to have different emotions given circumstances, physical ailments or condition, lack of sleep, too much work or other stress and a variety of other causative factors. Still, when you’re in a funk, feeling disgruntled, you want a quick way out of it. After all, feeling dissatisfied is no way to live on a continuing basis. So, how do you change your mood? Perhaps these tips will help.
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General

Video: I Don’t Have to Apologize; I’m Mentally Ill!


Transcript For "No Apology, I'm Mentally Ill" Video


Q: Why do I have to apologize for things that I did when I was really symptomatic? I was sick, it's not my fault!

People bring this up to me a lot. For some reason they think if you have a symptom of an illness, that you have, I don't know, immunity. I kind of look at it like this: if you're driving your car and you pass out because of low blood sugar, and you ram into the back of somebody else's car, the explanation for why you did that isn't because you're a bad person or even a bad driver. It's because you were sick and that's why you rammed the back of their car. But see here's the thing -- you still have to fix their car!
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Books

8 Ways to Support Yourself Through Bereavement

As we age we are inevitably bereaved more often, and it is at a time of our life when we are more vulnerable. Research shows that the generation that are in their 60's and older are the least likely to access or receive appropriate support when someone dies, and this is particularly true of men.

Through my work as a bereavement psychotherapist for the last 25 years, I have learned from my clients what can help them at such a difficult time, and I have developed the concept of "pillars of strength" -- these are active things we can do to help us manage the pain of loss, and build an internal structure when we feel there is a terrible black hole inside us.  
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Communication

Am I in a Jealous Relationship?

Jealousy is a common problem in relationships. Romantic relationships can certainly cause jealousy, but so can family members, friends and co-workers. According to Gordon Clanton, a professor of sociology at California State University, jealousy is a protective reaction to a perceived threat to a valued relationship.

Without jealousy, there may be little protection or ownership of the relationship. Too much jealousy, however, can lead to unhealthy patterns of attachment.
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General

How to Feel Normal Again

“The possibility of stepping into a higher plane is quite real for everyone. It requires no force or effort or sacrifice. It involves little more than changing our ideas about what is normal.” – Deepak Chopra

When I was a young girl, I often felt as if I was not normal. It wasn’t that I had a noticeable birth defect or considered myself ugly or stupid, though. My feelings likely stemmed more from a sense that I was too sensitive or fragile or in need of protection and couldn’t stand up for myself. I had an older brother who sometimes was tough on me, yet I loved him dearly. He was my protector against the bullies in the neighborhood. Still, I wondered why I didn’t feel normal. My quest to achieve what I considered to be normal took many years. Maybe some of these hard-learned tips can help others learn how to feel normal, or normal again.
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Anxiety and Panic

7 More Ways to Navigate Anxiety with Art Journaling

Anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion with uncomfortable physical sensations. Our chest tightens. Our breathing gets shallow. Our stomach feels like we’re on a rollercoaster with exactly one thousand drops. We feel restless. Our thoughts are fast and furious, like a game of ping pong. Maybe we’re ruminating about everything we have to do. Maybe we’re ruminating about losing our job and not being able to pay the bills. Maybe we’re ruminating about a relationship, an upcoming project, an upcoming move, a mistake we’ve made—or many, many other things. Or maybe we're not sure what our anxiety is about, but it's still persistent.
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Habits

What a Beautiful Life: The Fulfillment of Failure

Can you imagine things going right on the first try?

It would be fantastically … boring!

Just picture sitting down to center clay on the pottery wheel. Your hands wrap around the mud. Your foot hits the pedal. And within seconds, the job is done. Instead of clay flying out to splatter your neighbor’s face with a roar of laughter, it stays put. Instead of trying and trying and finally learning something new, you simply know how to craft a pot from the start. The sense of accomplishment would be lost. The beauty of brilliant artwork would be commonplace.
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General

The Basics of Self-Love


“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.”
– Sidney J. Harris


It is very difficult to find a loving partner if you don’t love yourself. Yes, love. Love means acceptance, compassion and a general positive, even affectionate feeling about who you are. Finding unconditional love from someone else is almost impossible. Everyone has some conditions. But acknowledging and deserving unconditional self-love is the basis for having a loving adult relationship. Why? Because you can’t expect others to love you if you don’t.
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Books

Valentine’s Day Exclusive: A Strengths-Based Approach to Happily Ever After — Author Interview with Suzie and James Pawelski

PC: Your book Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love that Lasts has just come out and it shot to the top of Amazon’s new releases. Why do you think there is such a demand for this new approach and your work?

S&JP: We believe people are hungry for information on how to be happy together. We wrote this book because there is so much focus in our culture on getting together rather than being together and staying together. So much emphasis on the wedding -- rather than the marriage -- and all the decisions we need to make for just one day, a magical day no doubt, but what about all the days to come once we are married? There isn’t much out there that tells you how to be happy together. Unlike in fairy tales, “happily ever after” doesn’t just happen. It’s healthy habits that build happiness over the long haul.
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Books

How to Use Writing to Ease Your Depression

After receiving another round of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which she’d been receiving every other day, Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D., lay in a hospital room and felt hopeless. In the past ECT had “worked wonders” in treating her deep depressions, the devastating lows part of her bipolar disorder. But lately it’d seemed futile.

As she writes in her beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring book Writing Through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen, “Desperate, I reached for an empty notebook. My brain was too flat and blurred to put together sentences, so I scribbled a list of words about my situation and slammed the book shut. Immediately, I felt some lifting of the black cloud of depression, so bleak that it scrambled my thoughts and choked my breath.”
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Depression

Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?

I'm often asked, "Am I depressed or just lazy?"

It's a legitimate question, in that many people who suffer from clinical depression will initially feel like they're just being lazy, not wanting to get off the couch or out of bed. On the surface, the two -- laziness and depression -- appear to share some similarities.

But dig just a little deeper and you can quickly determine whether you're depressed or just being lazy.

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