The Psych Central Show is an award-winning, weekly podcast that approaches psychology and mental health in a casual and accessible fashion. Listen as our hosts speak candidly with experts to break down complex topics in simple and understandable ways.
The Psych Central Show is hosted by Associate Editor Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales. Learn more about them here.
Want to appear as a guest on the show? Please contact us at show at psychcentral.com.
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Episodes of the Psych Central Show
It’s often claimed (and not without good reason) that we are addicted to technology, from the tiny screens of our phones and the temptations of social media to the progressively bigger screens of that multi-generational babysitter: our televisions. But is it actually true that we have such an addiction? This episode looks at the effects of technology on our personal and social lives. You’ll hear about how technology is a double-edged sword, making our lives easier and more complicated at the same time. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to form and maintain a healthy balance in your relationship with technology.
Emotional overeating is an extremely common problem for many people, particularly among those who live with depression. Many of us have a tendency to “eat our feelings,” resorting to food to make us feel better and as an escape from the things that bother us. As one would expect, this kind of behavior leads to weight gain, which only adds to the negative feelings that we’re trying to escape from. In this episode, we’ll learn about emotional overeating, including what it is and isn’t, its relation to hunger, and how to deal with the ever-present food during holidays, work functions, and more.
Despite all the efforts being made in suicide awareness and prevention, death by suicide is still rampant in society. The obvious observation, then, is that bringing awareness is not enough, and that our current methods of suicide prevention are not working or, at least, not working well enough. Spurred by her brother’s death by suicide, our guest this week became a self-described “change agent” who stresses the importance of being more innovative in our approach to suicide prevention. She speaks of different approaches she has taken, herself, including “Man Therapy,” a social enterprise approach, and various initiatives she has started.
Bullying is a huge problem in society. Many people believe that it’s something that takes place just in school and online, but it’s also unfortunately present in the work environment, as many listeners will likely agree. This episode looks at the topic of workplace bullying, covering the definition and causes of it, the extended damage it can inflict (including the damage “taken home”), and the pattern that workplace bullying often follows. Also discussed is “mobbing,” where entire groups of employees are being bullied. Listen to this episode to learn just how widespread workplace bullying is, and about instances where perceived bullying really isn’t bullying at all.
When future NFL player Erik Coleman was eleven years old, he discovered that both of his parents were addicts (one to alcohol, one to harder drugs). This was a traumatic discovery, but made worse when, one day, he returned home from school to find his father had moved out. Erik shares this and more with us, including how this affected him as a child and as an adult, even through his years playing in the NFL. He shares his thoughts on what is most important for children of addicts to know, and of what happened to his parents later in life.
Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, right? That depends on what generation you live in. Today, many people disregard such silly color assignments, or at least go for “gender neutral” colors. But a hundred years ago, all the top fashionistas insisted that pink was a masculine color and blue was feminine. Masculinity has long had an identity complex. How much “girly” stuff can a man enjoy without being viewed as non-masculine? Women have redefined femininity, so why can’t men redefine what it means to be masculine? Listen to this week’s episode and you might begin to understand.
Bipolar disorder is an often misunderstood (and misdiagnosed) disorder. Our guest this week is a psychotherapist who has worked with many individuals with this diagnosis. He discusses the nature of the disease, therapy plans for treatment, and the multi-phase stabilization process. He also talks about the “Grand Bargain” between the bipolar person and his/her family, which helps keep everyone informed. Most importantly, he makes it very clear that bipolar disorder is a very manageable disease that will not prevent someone from leading a stable, satisfying life, on one’s own terms, rather than the terms dictated by the disease.
Okay, “extravaganza” might be a bit of an exaggeration. But it really is the 100th episode of The Psych Central Show. As such, we thought it would be fun (and maybe a bit educational) to take a look back on The Psych Central Show, from its conception to the current day. Michelle Hammer, co-host of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, joins the show as “host for a day” to ask Gabe and Vincent to share their perspectives on the show as its hosts and to answer some common questions. Listen in for some inside scoops and a lot of laughs.
Most of us spend a large portion of our days at work, where we’re exposed to all sorts of different stressors that take a cumulative toll. And many of us are already dealing with some sort of mental health issue unrelated to our jobs. Put together, it can be a recipe for a breakdown, which is why it’s so important to address mental health in the workplace. Host Gabe Howard shares his insights on the subject, including his story of being fired from a job due to his mental illness, and the ensuing years of exploring the nature of mental health at our places of employment.
Most people are familiar with postpartum depression (a topic we’ve discussed more than once on this show) or even bipolar mania. Less well known is postpartum bipolar disorder, despite the fact that childbirth is a significant trigger of bipolar disorder. Our guest this week is a woman who developed this condition very soon after the birth of her second child. She shares her stories of hypergraphia (an overwhelming need to write or draw), how her husband dealt with the condition, the treatments she adhered to, and how she stays stable with the condition today. Listen in to learn more about this little-known condition.
For the millions of individuals with drug addictions, there are plenty of facilities out there for help. Some are public, some are private, but all have the goal of helping addicts to move on from drugs and live healthy lives again. Nothing in life is perfect, however, and sometimes things go awry at such facilities. Our guest, Mia St. John, is a 5-time World and International Boxing Champion. She's used to fighting. Listen as she tells the story of her son, who entered such a facility and never came out. She speaks of her own investigation of her son’s death, officially ruled a suicide, and the obstacles she encountered – and overcame – in her fight for the truth.
It’s no surprise that gay men have been one of the many groups subject to mental health issues. What is surprising, though, is how well they bounce back from such issues. Our guest this week has studied resilience in gay men and literally wrote the book on the subject. He shares with us some stories found in the book and behind-the-pages experiences from the writing of it. He stresses that the book is not just for the gay community, however, as many of the issues are fairly universal, including the anger we feel due to our experiences. Listen to hear more.
Child sexual abuse is a deeply disturbing topic, made all the worse because of just how widespread it is. The vast majority of the victims of child sexual abuse know their abusers, all too commonly a family member. This week’s guest addresses some misconceptions of child sexual abuse, speaks on the survivors of incest, and the fact that much of the continual trauma suffered by these victims is due to keeping silent about the event. She also discusses the Four Rules of Sexual Consent and addresses the question of whether it is possible to have one’s abuser in one’s life and still be healthy.
We often hear about the healing qualities of nature. We’re told that connecting with nature is important, especially in this age where many people are tech connected during all waking hours. Sebastian Slovin believes this. In fact, he believes it so strongly that he became a developmental coach, now working with people to help them develop a stronger connection to nature, improve their well-being, and generally improve their lives. Listen in as he shares his story of why he chose this direction in life. He also speaks on how nature is important to mental health and why it’s so important for us.
When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder, our minds typically imagine war veterans or perhaps police officers and firefighters. Sometimes we’ll think of people who endured something horrible, such as a terrible accident, a home invasion, or other shocking events. But few of us picture children. Our guest on this episode witnessed a murder when she was quite young. She shares how this impacted her life, which included time spent in the Witness Protection Program. Listen to hear about the symptoms of PTSD in children, how to identify and avoid triggers, “restorative justice,” and about breaking the cycle of violence.
The rate of depression in children and adolescents continues to grow, leaving many parents clueless on what to do. What is driving this increase? Are things truly different for young people today, compared to twenty or thirty years ago? This episode welcomes a child psychologist to address these issues and more, including: how and why kids today are overloaded with activities, the different ways depression expresses itself in youth versus adults, how to tell when kids are “just being kids” versus dealing with depression, how to recognize the various signs of depression in young people, and how parents can stop feeling like failures.
A mental illness diagnosis is not only hard on the individual, but the person’s entire family. This week’s guest shares the story of one of his brothers, whose behavior would ultimately be diagnosed as schizophrenia, but who went untreated for many years, coming into and going out of his family’s life for long stretches of time. This would come to an end only after his brother went behind bars for the murder of their parents. Listen in to hear the story, how it affected the family both before and after the tragedy, why his brother was unable to use a mental health defense, and how treatment could have prevented it all.
For decades, students have been taught about the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which volunteers were assigned as either “prisoners” or “guards” in a mock prison. The “guards” in this scenario allegedly became abusive and controlling toward the “prisoners,” thus it was concluded that average people, given power and control, would turn to such negative behavior. But was this a legitimate experiment? New evidence reveals that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than was originally reported. Listen as we discuss the origin of the experiment, the controversy surrounding it, and what (if anything) we can actually learn from it.
Sex therapy. The very term is one that produces a flush of embarrassment in many people and is also prone to being misunderstood. But sex therapy is like most other psychotherapy, focusing on how to fix your issues. In this episode, our guest sex therapist talks about what his work consists of, dispelling a few of the misconceptions. He talks about the three main hallmarks of arousal, discusses common problems, such as erectile dysfunction and partners with extremely different libidos, and introduces practices such as “simmering” and “lazy sex.” He also offers some thoughts on polyamory, including the main factors leading to it failing.
More than 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Addiction is powerful and can easily destroy lives. Many approaches exist to fight such disorders, including the familiar “twelve-step” methods, but none of them have tremendous success rates. Now, two counselors present a way to use mindfulness in the fight against addiction. They speak with our hosts, discussing the evidence that mindfulness works and how it can be used to treat addiction. They speak of their new book on this topic and explain how it can be used by the reader. They also talk about forgiveness as a powerful therapy tool, both forgiveness of oneself and of others.