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.
 

Family

The Need for Family Therapy After Cancer

Although cancer has become more treatable due to advances in medicine that lead to earlier detection and effective treatment options, it still carries a life-altering diagnosis. It is frightening, scary, and is accompanied by a range of emotions that will impact anyone’s life -- both in the patient and their loved ones as well. A cancer diagnosis is given to an individual, but often because of the impact of cancer...

Children and Teens

’13 Reasons Why’: Critique by a Recovered Depressive

I almost had the same fate as Hannah Baker.

After having teetered so close to the edge of death, I am surprised a lot of days that I am actually still alive, that I didn't perish in the bathtub when I dropped the hairdryer into the water.

I finished watching the second season of 13 Reasons Why last night, and this show has stirred up a storm of thoughts and emotions...

Anxiety

Why Do We Worry So Much?

Worrying seems to be commonplace for many, if not, most people today. The question I often asked myself is, why do people worry? A little worry is probably necessary in order to motivate us to do things that need to get done. On the other hand, excessive worry tends to keep us incapacitated to the point of indecision and inaction.

In asking myself the question of Why Do People Worry? I draw upon my 25+...

Attention Deficit Disorder

How to Find the Right ADHD Coach for You


When you have ADHD you can easily feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. You may have a hard time with everything from prioritizing tasks to completing projects to managing your time to organizing your home.

You also procrastinate. You’re constantly running late. Planning makes you break out in hives (figuratively). You feel like life is pulling you in a thousand directions, and you’re all over the place. You feel like you’ve yet to reach your potential, and accomplishing...

General

How to Handle Things When Therapy Is Not Working

One of the most challenging scenarios for those seeking psychotherapy is figuring out what to do if progress has slowed, stopped or the therapy just doesn’t seem to be doing anything to support your growth. Some people handle the situation by abruptly switching therapists or dropping out therapy all together. Worse, others continue working with the same therapist blindly hoping that the process will work or drawing unhealthy conclusions about their inability to change....

Anxiety

Managing Dental Anxiety

Fear of going to the dentist is a common health-care related anxiety. Patients often express a broad range of triggers, such as the fear of pain, claustrophobia, needles, sounds, or sensations. Unfortunately, long term avoidance of oral healthcare can lead to deeply debilitating problems that can be physically, psychologically and socially impactful. Our mouth represents a center point for our survival, by impacting our ability to eat comfortably and communicate. So, caring for...

Bullying

Learned Helplessness and C-PTSD

In 1967, Martin Seligman, one of the founders of Positive Psychology and his research group carried out a fascinating, if somewhat morally dubious experiment in his quest to understand the origins of depression. In this experiment, three groups of dogs were confined in harnesses. The dogs in group 1 were simply placed in their harnesses then released after a period of time, but the dogs in groups 2 and 3 did not have it...

Autism / Asperger

Were You an Intense Child?

People’s brains vary. Research has shown that some people are born with a neurological make up that can make them more emotionally or intellectually intense, sensitive, and more open to external stimuli than the general population.

They are more aware of subtleties; their brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. At their best, they can be exceptionally perceptive, intuitive, and keenly observant of the subtleties of the environment. Yet they...

Bipolar

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship When Your Partner Has Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a difficult, complicated illness. And like any illness, it can naturally spill over into your relationship. As couples therapist Julia Nowland noted, “Bipolar disorder can be an emotional roller-coaster ride for the couple, with many ups and downs that mimic the disorder itself.”

But this doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed to fail.

Having a strong and fulfilling relationship is absolutely possible when both partners are committed to working as a team and creating a...

Aging

10 Benefits of Tai Chi for Better Overall Health, Well-Being and Living Longer

“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” – Kenneth H. Cooper

In the search for effective ways to experience positive outcomes in the all-important life aspects such as overall health, well-being and mortality, one of the sleeper strategies to consider involves adopting an ancient Chinese practice called tai chi. Here are some of the benefits of tai chi documented by research.

Live longer.

Tai Chi is a mind-body practice...

Abuse

Confronting Narcissistic Abuse

We’re all capable of abuse when we’re frustrated or hurt. We may be guilty of criticizing, judging, withholding, and controlling, but some abusers, including narcissists, take abuse to a different level. Narcissistic Abuse can be physical, mental, emotional, sexual, financial, and/or spiritual. Some types of emotional abuse are not easy to spot, including manipulation. It can include emotional blackmail, using threats and intimidation to exercise control. Narcissists are masters of verbal abuse and...

Depression

What You Need to Know About the Newest Antidepressants

In addition to therapy, medication can be an invaluable treatment for clinical depression. It may alleviate symptoms and literally save lives. Which is why having an array of medications to choose from is vital.

Recently, in the , three antidepressants were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression: vilazodone (Viibryd) in 2011; levomilnacipran (Fetzima) in 2013; and vortioxetine (Trintellix; formerly called Brintellix, but renamed to avoid confusion with the blood-thinning medication Brilinta) in...

Addictions

What’s Under His Suit? Depression and Anxiety

Let's get candid about male mental health.

Men don’t get a lot of compassion -- not as a gender, not toward one another, and not toward ourselves. We are the more impulsive, less refined gender that has not progressed much since our cave-dwelling days. We’ve learned to use a salad fork since then, however, and we pretend to enjoy chivalry.

Sadly -- and perhaps due to our ruffian status -- men are...

General

How to Find the Best Therapist for You

Many people start looking for a therapist while they are experiencing significant levels of distress, sadness, troubling symptoms, or other difficulties. While we are in this state, we simply want someone who can help us and hopefully make us feel better. However, just as you would want to meet and discuss things with several professionals for home repairs or try out several models prior to...

Addictions

Sex Addiction: Not Just a Man’s Issue

According to The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, sexual addiction is, “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Although, in some circles, the very idea of sexual addiction is debated, since it comes across as sex-negative or shaming, like any habitual or pattern- oriented behavior, if engaging in...