What Does Depression Feel Like?

I’ve lived with depression my entire life. As far back as I can remember, I thought about suicide every day. On good days, I decided that I wouldn’t commit suicide and on bad days, I would think about how I would do it.

When I was younger, I didn’t realize this was abnormal. I assumed everyone thought about suicide daily. I just thought it was part of the human experience to weigh the pros and cons of living on an ongoing basis. I did recognize that I was sad -- mostly because I recognized that others were happy.

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Taming the Modern Shrew

You know the shrew type person. She (or he -- yes men can be shrew-ish too) is always criticizing something. No matter what you do, it isn’t enough or you aren’t enough to please them. Even when you think you are doing exactly what they want or exactly what they said they want, all that comes your way is either a begrudging acknowledgement or new demands that you do it differently. It’s frustrating. It’s angry-making. It’s painful.

With all due respect to Shakespeare, shrew-ness isn’t easily tamed. But when the shrew (the person who is constantly harping on you) is someone who is significant in your own life or in the life of someone you love, then it becomes really, really important to try. To completely break away from a relationship with an important shrew you would rather love often leaves a raw place that never quite heals.
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Psychology Around the Net: June 24, 2017

I conquered a fear last weekend, y'all. I went whitewater rafting for the first time. It wasn't a phobia, but the days -- and especially hours -- leading up to it...well, I was terrified. What if I fall out of the raft? Crack my skull? Get sucked into one of those underwater cave things under some rocks?

Fortunately, none of those things happened, and I'm chalking it up to two factors: One, I gave in and trusted my friends (and especially our guide), and two, I gave in and trusted myself. We couldn't control the whitewater, but we could control ourselves, and we did.

Fear and trust make for interesting bedfellows, don't they?

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OCD and the Pervasive Reassurance-Seeking Compulsion

“Are you sure I have OCD?” “What if it is something else?” “Am I going crazy?” “Are these thoughts normal?” These are among many questions individuals struggling with OCD ask themselves. Even when they have been thoroughly assessed and diagnosed with OCD by their mental health provider, sufferers’ doubts and the need for reassurance seeking continues.

It has been said that OCD is the doubting disease. Uncertainty is the driving force behind OCD. The need to know the consequence of their thoughts or behaviors leads individuals to compulsions.
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How to Be a Witness to Your Thoughts

“Develop the ability to stand back and be a witness to your thoughts. This will make your mind strong.” – Amma
If you’ve ever suffered from a jumble of thoughts and struggled to make sense of them all, be comforted that you’re not alone. Each of us has this unsettling experience, and some of us on more occasions than others. At times like this, it’s difficult to make any decision, since there’s often doubt and confusion clouding sound judgment. What’s a person to do? How can you quiet the discordant thoughts and arrive at some sort of clear thinking?
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 23, 2017

There are certain things that need to happen in order for healing to take place. One of the first things is awareness.

Most of are stuck in our situations never believing there could be something better. Maybe we don't think we deserve it. Maybe we grew up in similar households so it feels comforting even though it's damaging. Maybe we don't think we're strong enough to do the hard thing.

But once we see light-from a kind friend, new opportunity or desire to change our lives for our children-we can never go back.

This is the first step towards our healing, empowerment and redemption.

No matter where you are on your journey, you can and deserve a better life. Thankfully our posts on coping with feelings of emptiness, narcissistic people, and letting go will help you begin the process of greater self-awareness, healing and ultimately self-care.
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Brain and Behavior

This Is Your Brain On Gossip

We talk a lot. We are the only species on the planet that exchange information predominantly through talking. Other species, such as dolphins or primates, have their own languages, but they do not rely on verbal communication to the same degree, almost to the exclusion of other communication channels, as we do.

Verbal communication is a cornerstone of society. So what are we talking about so much? According to scientific research, we talk mostly about other people. In fact, a whopping two-thirds of our conversations consist of gossips. Of course, we discuss other things such as work, politics, sports, and weather, but overwhelmingly we talk about other people’s affairs, often not in a very positive light.

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On Trying Too Hard with Depression

There's such a thing as trying too hard.

Anyone who has ever suffered through a case of insomnia knows this well. The harder you try to sleep, the less rest you get. Sleep only comes if you can relax and let go.

It’s true for many other things, too. Like garage-door controls.

The other day, I was trying to get into my neighbor’s house to walk his dog and pressed the code into the box outside the garage more than 20 times, but the garage wouldn’t lift.
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Podcast: Should Religious Figures Give Advice on Mental Illness?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Katie Dale, a young woman with bipolar disorder who was convinced by a pastor to discontinue her medication and instead put her faith in God to heal her.

Unsurprisingly, going off her meds plunged Katie into a serious bipolar episode. She resumed her medications and has been living well ever since.

Katie shares with listeners a touching, yet very pointed letter that she wrote to this pastor explaining how she understood his motives. But, she cautions, this doesn’t change the fact that his advice was harmful.
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3 Triggers that Cause Us to Reach for Our Phone & Miss Out on Life Experiences

How often are you picking up your smartphone and checking your notifications every day? If you are like most users you say around forty times, maybe less. Which means you are probably underestimating your phone usage by as much as 50%. The real number, according to a survey done by Nottingham Trent University's School of Social Sciences, is closer to 85 times per day, and that is a conservative estimate.

Just think of how much time is being spent staring at that screen. How often are we distracting ourselves from more important things? How much additional time is spent getting back on task? What are we missing out on in our day to day lives, or in our important relationships, by ignoring real life? Probably a lot, and it isn’t just our time that is being impacted.
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