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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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Divorce Recovery: Dealing with Jealousy

You know that moment. Some of us know it all too well during and after divorce. The moment when one of your grown children, after spending the weekend with your ex, tells you about the "new friend" who is at your ex's house. Or when you hear about the trip your ex is taking to Europe while you’re struggling to make ends meet.

Ah, jealousy.

The Green Eyed Monster that consumes us, when what we should really be doing is focusing on our own divorce recovery.  

You’re not alone when it comes to dealing with jealousy, especially after a divorce. And I have to share with you two very ugly truths about this emotion.
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Recommendations for Reporting on Mental Health & Mental Illness

Despite providing education online for mental illness and mental health issues for more than two decades, here at Psych Central we still see people -- and sometimes even fellow journalists -- reporting on mental health and mental illness in ways that perpetuate ignorance and misunderstandings. I'm sure that in many cases this is not intentional, but simply because the journalist didn't know any better.

In celebration of mental health week (Oct 2 -8) this year, we've developed the following guidelines and recommendations for journalists on how to report and write more thoughtfully and respectfully about mental illness and mental health issues.

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3 Ways to Stop Resentment from Ruining Your Relationship

It’s like there’s an invisible wall between you and your partner. Each of you is annoyed or even outraged at the other’s behavior. You think your spouse’s actions are unfair. They think your actions are ridiculous. You don’t feel connected, emotionally or physically. In fact, even though you’re inhabiting the same space, it feels like there are miles between you. And you’re withdrawing more and more from each other. Maybe you even feel like roommates.

This is resentment.

Resentment often occurs when partners become parents. Each partner compares how hard they’re working and how much they’re doing. Usually, new moms feel especially resentful because they’re overtired, overwhelmed and lonely, said
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: October 3, 2017

There was a time when we thought we could turn our backs on people who were "weird," or "different." Until the day came when we woke up to the truth. Everything that affects him or her also affects us.

We can turn off the television. We can close the newspaper. But we can't turn down the people in our lives. Every day someone is affected by mental illness. Maybe that person is you.

There's no "us," and "them." There's all of us. The sooner we wake up to our own insecurities, feelings of emptiness and helplessness, the sooner we will be able to accept others who are suffering as well.

We can't solve the problems of the world alone. We all need to be in it together.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Long Journey Home

Nearly three months ago, I found myself quietly celebrating an anniversary that very few people knew about. I really didn’t want to give it too much attention to be honest. I wanted to avoid triggering thoughts that would take me back to those moments when life wasn’t so great. However, as I sat with my computer I began to remember and I actually smiled.

Prior to 2016, I had lived with family members for over 7 years. After being hospitalized for my mental health condition, I was unable to maintain consistent employment, provide for my daughter, or live alone. It was challenging to find the right combination of medication, self-care techniques, social supports, faith guidance, and therapeutic connections that would allow me to regain my self-sufficiency. In addition, I lived in constant fear of failing.
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Deliberately Untruthful: Normal vs. Abnormal Lying

Everyone lies at some point. When children reach 2-3 years old, they can understand the rules set in place by parents. They can also break them. When children become teenagers, the art of deception often increases. Usually, this stage of lying is normal. Abnormal lying occurs when the reasons for the lies change.

These two scenarios demonstrate normal lying versus compulsive and pathological lying:

Mark enjoyed his job even though it was stressful. He worked six days a week and although his wife had voiced her concern about a lack of quality time together, he continued to work long hours. Every year, despite the workload, Mark planned an extravagant vacation-weekend for their anniversary.
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How to Get More of What You Want

“It is a universal principle that you get more of what you think about, talk about, and feel strongly about.” – Jack Canfield

Do you have dreams that make you smile? Goals you make fervent plans for and do your best to achieve? Do you share these dreams and goals with your loved ones, family members, co-workers and close friends?

If so, you’re probably well-versed in how to get more of what you want. If not, perhaps you could use a little encouragement. You can get more of what you want. Here’s how.
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OCD and Shopping Anxiety

By the time my son Dan entered a residential treatment center for OCD, he was barely functioning. Using exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy he tackled his hierarchy (a list of anxiety-provoking situations created by the person with OCD), and slowly but surely regained his life.

During his stay, one of his exposures was to go on shopping trips and make purchases. All types of shopping proved difficult for him -- buying groceries and necessities, clothing, etc. But the more expensive purchases, particularly if they were for himself, seemed to be the most stressful.

But he did it. And he felt the overwhelming anxiety. And he refrained from doing compulsions. Over and over again until shopping was no longer an issue for him.
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Gender Differences: Some Thoughts on Female Embodiment and Disordered Eating

In September 2016, Psychology Today ran a cover story about narcissism. The accompanying visual was of a young, white, conventionally attractive woman preening into her cellphone. She was wearing a tight little mini skirt and had the body of a fashion model. Leaving aside the tedious misogyny of this image -- with some difficulty, but that’s not what this article is about -- I do want to say something about the host of assumptions about women and their bodies encoded in this image.

What are those assumptions? That stereotypically attractive women (that is, women who are white, young, small, and in clothing that reveals their bodies) are vain and narcissistic; and that such women gleefully use their physicality as a commodity to promote themselves. The image both uses and enforces the idea that female-bodied beauty takes a specific form. It also both uses and enforces the connection between women and their bodies as social capital, and moreover as social capital that women themselves delight in and profit from. The realities of rape culture, of the ways women are objectified and commodified and tacitly understood to be cultural property, and the toll this takes on the personhood of so many women, these realities are actively denied by this image.
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5 Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Yourself

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship. It is the beginning. It is the foundation. Everything starts and sprouts from here. Which is why focusing on this relationship, prioritizing it, is vital. It is essential.

“Your relationship with yourself affects every other relationship in your life,” said Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, a therapist in private practice in San Francisco. For instance, if you’re regularly berating yourself, you might assume that others are berating you, too. Which can lead you to feel defensive or inferior, she said.

Self-criticism also activates our body’s stress-response system -- fight/flight/freeze -- making it harder to think clearly and respond to what’s actually happening in the moment, she said.
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