Mental Health Library

Welcome to Psych Central's mental health library. This is our primary repository for all of our articles on mental health, relationships, parenting, children, human behavior and psychology.


Teach Your Children Well — About Substance Abuse

“Teach your children well,” a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young classic encourages. Children are impressionable, like sponges that soak up whatever liquid they are immersed in.

Some parents say they’d rather have their teens drink at home than elsewhere, where they’re...

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Changing Face of Problematic Internet Use

I've been following the evolution of "Internet addiction" from its early days when originally proposed (first, as a joke -- then for real) in the mid-1990s, to the time it transmorphed into "problematic Internet use" disorder, to now. It is fun to look back on that early research that discussed how people were either "online" or "offline," because getting online was a conscious behavior you had to initiate, much like a phone call (well, because, that's how we accessed the Internet back in...


5 Tips to Combat Senior Social Isolation

1. Encourage Their Hobbies

You may be surprised to hear that hobbies are an important thing to have when you reach your golden years. Whether it’s card games, bingo, gardening, baking or volunteering, hobbies help create a sense of purpose, and they also give your aging parent a reason to get out of the house.

So find what they really enjoy, or try to remember what got them excited years ago and...


5 Boundaries That Actually Bolster Your Bond in Your Marriage

We think of boundaries as keeping us away from our spouses, as creating distance, as thinning and weakening our bond. But boundaries—healthy boundaries—can actually strengthen our connection and bolster our relationship with our partner.

For instance, when you set a boundary that creates space for both partners to focus on their interests and desires, rather than one person having control over the other, each spouse feels heard, said Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT, a psychotherapist who specializes...


What Can Be Done to Reduce the Risk of Suicide

Suicide rates are high and have only been increasing over the years. Over 800,000 people die all over the world by suicide each year. A proportion of the suicides are murder suicides resulting in additional loss of life. Attempts at suicide occur more frequently and we have about one million suicide attempts occurring each year.

Suicide is a heart-breaking problem that is growing and needs to be addressed in as many...


Defining Narcissistic Abuse: The Case for Deception as Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is a serious form of abuse that is estimated to affect somewhere between 60 and 158 million people in the alone (Bonchay, 2017). Just recently, June was recognized as Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Month. Despite its prevalence and the efforts to promote awareness, however, there is almost no public knowledge of this type of abuse.

Most types of abuse, such as physical abuse and psychological abuse, have generally agreed-upon...

Children and Teens

Mental Health Days for Children

Adults use mental health days to recharge, refocus, and reduce stress with the ultimate goal to return to normal activities more focused. Producing high-quality work takes its toll and dedicated rest and recuperation are necessary to ensure whole health and wellness. As mental health illness becomes a rising problem in the workplace, resulting in more missed days and poorer work performance, the cost to employers rises as well. Not only do employees miss work...


Can a Narcissist Love?

Anyone who’s loved a narcissist wonders, “Does he really love me?” “Does she appreciate me?” They’re torn between their love and their pain, between staying and leaving, but can't seem to do either. Some swear they’re loved; others are convinced they’re not. It’s confusing because sometimes they experience the caring person they love, whose company is a pleasure, only to be followed by behavior that...

Children and Teens

How Parents Can Best Help Their Kids During a Bitter Divorce

“Family is the first school for young children, and parents are powerful models.” – Alice Sterling Honig

Divorce is always rough on all concerned, especially children. No matter how amiable an impending split between the parents starts out, it’s almost inevitable that strife, disagreements, conflicting direction and seemingly arbitrary changing of family rules will have a profound effect on their children. Still, not everyone can or should stay married...

Attention Deficit Disorder

6 Critical Tips for Making the Most of Your ADHD Coaching

Working with a credentialed, experienced ADHD coach is critical for helping individuals with ADHD achieve their goals, capitalize on their strengths and build a fulfilling life. And like any important endeavor, this requires effort and hard work.

For instance, ADHD coaching is highly active and collaborative. It requires that clients try out different strategies and tools, said Aaron D. Smith, MS, LMSW, ACC, a certified ADHD coach who helps individuals with ADHD and executive functioning challenges...


Consumed by Depression: Mental Illness and Its Pain

Pain is universal, varied, and subjective. An evolutionary deterrent and motivator, in some ways essential, in some ways utterly pointless. It can provide common ground, or be the most isolating of experiences. Everyone falls somewhere within its range.

My pain came from depression. Not everyone experiences depression in this way; for some it may be a numbness, a complete absence of emotion. For me, it was active, physical. It began as a little ball of discomfort...


My Struggle with Bipolar Disorder

I find that I often have very typical symptoms of bipolar disorder when I read articles about what others have experienced. Like for instance, even though I have been married since I was 19, I still have had moments of hypersexuality. I actually worked for a while in a strip club when I first lost weight after bariatric surgery. I always loved the idea of working in a club and loved the nightlife...

Diet & Nutrition

Sleep-Related Eating Disorder: Causes, Treatment, and More

Sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) is a parasomnia that links eating disorders to partial arousal during the transition between wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. It is characterized by dysfunctional eating and drinking upon partial arousal from a stage of NREM sleep (also known as slow-wave sleep). As a form of sleepwalking, it entails partial or complete amnesia of the event. According to one study, the estimated prevalence of SRED was nearly 5% in the general population....


Can You Sleep Too Much (Or Too Little)?

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties our health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

I used to think you could never get too much sleep. Of course, that was years ago when I was chronically sleep deprived due to working full-time, going to college at night, raising my kids as a single mom, and trying to have some sort of social life when they were with their other parent. Turns out, there’s a...


5 Lessons from a Cancer Caregiver

I am a caregiver to my wife, as you will soon find out, and it has taught me some very important lessons that will serve the life of anyone. If you are a caregiver, I truly hope this inspires you. If you know someone who is a caregiver, I kindly ask that you please share this with them.

To me, these 5 lessons that I learned through my journey of being a...

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