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.

Book Reviews

Book Review: American Snake Pit

As a society, we often forget those who are in the most dire need. We tend to wave off any thoughts of the developmentally disabled or those left behind due to severe mental illness. While their families never forget, most Americans would rather pretend...


5 Secrets to a Happy and More Productive Life

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

Everyone has a favorite theory about what constitutes a happy life. Likely you know a few people who’ll readily tell you theirs. Allow me to share my five secrets to a happy and more productive life.

1. Only do what matters.

On any given day, we’re assailed with nonstop demands on our time, from the insatiable fount of...

Book Reviews

Book Review: Above The Fray

Perfectionism, it has been said, is a blessing and a curse. While it drives us to try harder, it also moves the goal we are reaching for just far enough away that, try as we may, we will never reach it. But what if...


Affect Dysregulation and C-PTSD

One of the most important features of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is that of ‘affect dysregulation’. The meaning of this somewhat opaque sounding term is perhaps made clearer by using its synonym: emotional dysregulation. It consists of strongly felt emotions, in particular anger and fear, which seize the sufferer rendering him or her powerless to control them. These emotional outbursts can be terrifying both for the victim and anyone else present,...

Book Reviews

Book Review: Rock & Water

Rock and Water is a book meant to help readers better manage their thoughts and worries in order to enjoy a less stressful life and achieve greater happiness. According to the author Scott Cooper, our pursuit of happiness is often derailed by our reaction...

Book Reviews

Book Review: Running with Mindfulness

Over the years I have run track and road races of every distance, from the mile to the marathon. Many times, it felt like running was what kept me together. It got me through emotional ups and downs, connected me with nature and friends,...


Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy for OCD

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you know I’m a big proponent of exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I don’t delve into the details often, as I’m not a therapist or an expert on ERP. However, I do think it’s important for anyone whose life has been touched by OCD to have a good basic understanding of this therapy.

The premise behind...

Ethics & Morality

A Therapist Practices Necessary Self Care

It began as it always does, with a tickling cough, a raspy form of asthmatic breathing that would do Darth Vader proud, which is enhanced by a crackling sound that resembles rustling tissue paper. It is like a motley crew of musicians are performing a bizarre symphony that could have been whipped up by composer John Carpenter. Add to that the feeling that several wayward dwarfs: Sneezy, Achey, Drippy, Cranky, Whiny, and Pukey...

Book Reviews

Book Review: Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness

Mindfulness seems to be the current “big thing.” It is touted by not just therapists and mindfulness practitioners but also by life coaches, motivational speakers, the popular press, and more. You can hardly look at any form of media without coming across articles and...


The Damaging Beliefs of Bipolar Disorder

When writer Elaina J. Martin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she felt “less than.” “I felt like other people were better than me, less damaged than I was.”

In the first few years of her diagnosis, psychotherapist Colleen King, LMFT, worried she’d never be able to function at a higher level. “During those years of struggle, I saw myself deteriorate, become less capable, and felt like a failure in many ways.”

Bipolar disorder is a...

Book Reviews

Book Review: How to Be a Person in the World

Under the name “Ask Polly,” Heather Havrilesky writes a popular advice column for The Cut at New York Magazine. How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life is a collection of some of the most...


Bullying and Mental Health Consequences

According to the American Psychological Association, bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Even though bullying commonly happens in childhood, the impact can last well into adulthood. Duke University recently conducted research that shows the rates for agoraphobia and panic disorders greatly increases with bullying. Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and low esteem haunt many...

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Forgotten Art of Love

In 1956, The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm became an international bestseller as the first real guide to understanding love. Decades later, the book became out-of-step with contemporary thinking and fell into obscurity. Even so, Armin Zadeh, a cardiologist and professor at John...

Children and Teens

Helping Your Daughter Navigate Social Media

It’s hard enough to navigate social media as an adult. Many of us start feeling envious of others’ lives and experience self-doubt. Even one image can lead us to question everything from our weight to our worth, from our career choices to our day-to-day routines. We know the images are highly curated and captions are carefully selected, but that doesn’t stop us from getting sucked in. We also might feel hurt by insensitive comments and...


11 Ways to Cultivate Resilience

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung

Bouncing back is a concept well understood in the context of recovering from a sports injury. Following favorite players’ comeback stories fills fans with inspiration, encourages perseverance in pursuit of personal goals, and fosters a sense of self-confidence, like we can do it if they can. Cultivating resilience in the face of all life’s challenges is a...