Relief from Anxiety: Right Here and Now, in the Middle of the Pandemic
Anxiety. Everyone is feeling it during the pandemic. Anxiety about the virus, anxiety about going places and not knowing how safe it is due to the virus, anxiety about the economy, anxiety about paying rent or medical bills when finances have been impacted by the virus, anxiety about sending kids back to school, anxiety about dating during the pandemic, anxiety about missing out on experiences, anxiety about the future, anxiety about having anxiety! Did I name yours yet?   As an expert in treating anxiety, I’ve seen the spike in anxiety caused by the pandemic for my clients, my friends and family and neighb...
Source: Psych Central - August 3, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Amanda Good, LICSW Tags: Anxiety Coronavirus Self-Help COVID-19 Mindfulness pandemic Stress Reduction Source Type: news

Complex Trauma: A Step-by-Step Description of How it Develops
Ela was happily married — or so people thought — until the day her husband came home with a DVD he had bought. Not a common practice for him. The name of the movie was Sleeping with the Enemy with Julia Roberts. Ela loved movies and made some popcorn to watch it with her husband. “Who recommended it?” she asked. “Myself,” he responded. “I think it’s time for you to wake up.” That day marked the beginning of Ela’s understanding of her dissociation, her depression, her submissiveness, her lack of enjoyment, and many other symptoms that she had developed through sev...
Source: Psych Central - July 27, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Antonieta Contreras, LCSW-R, CCTP-II, BCN Tags: Abuse Psychology PTSD Trauma Treatment C-PTSD complex posttraumatic stress disorder complex trauma Depersonalization Dissociation Emotional Dysregulation Traumatic Experience traumatization Source Type: news

Collaborating with My Doctors to Treat Schizoaffective Disorder
The patient/doctor relationship has to be one of  honesty and insight. I have to be honest with my doctors and tell them what is going on. If I am honest, I have nothing to hide. I know my doctors are here to help me and not to hurt me, so being honest with them about what is going on in my life, as well as what symptoms I am experiencing, will help both of us to do a better job.  I have confidence in my doctors’ ability to both diagnose and treat my severe mental illness. They have vast experience and knowledge in the treatment of schizophrenia. When I was first diagnosed I began to do online research myse...
Source: Psych Central - July 24, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jason Jepson Tags: Antipsychotics Personal Stories Schizoaffective Disorder Schizophrenia Treatment long-acting injectables Source Type: news

What Is Trauma Therapy Like? Part 2: How Neurobiology Informs Trauma Therapy
Therapy and the Brain It seems ironic that after Freud, as a neurologist, abandoned his studies on brain functioning to replace them with the studies of the unconscious — and that he actually abandoned his studies on traumatization — the trauma therapy world is arriving to a point comparable to the point where he started: the understanding of the brain as the basis of understanding the mind. Trauma therapy is leveraging neuroscience because having an understanding of how traumatization affects the brain helps to not only dismantle common misconceptions and to stop victim-blaming statements, but it also explains...
Source: Psych Central - July 23, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Antonieta Contreras, LCSW-R, CCTP-II, BCN Tags: Neuroscience PTSD Trauma Treatment Autonomic Nervous System complex post-traumatic stress disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Trauma Informed Care Traumatic Memories traumatization Source Type: news

What is Trauma Therapy Like? Part 1: Less Talking and More Doing
Freud called psychoanalysis the third impossible profession (the other two being education and government). It may be as valid to say that psychotherapy is another impossible profession. Many therapists desire to master several of the countless therapeutic modalities available today in their endless pursuit to feel more adept at offering hope, especially to the large number of individuals looking to alleviate the despair rooted in the experience of traumatization. Trauma therapy requires mastering several modalities and unlearning most of what therapy was before. Not “impossible” but definitely a fascinating an...
Source: Psych Central - July 22, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Antonieta Contreras, LCSW-R, CCTP-II, BCN Tags: Abuse PTSD Trauma Treatment Violence & Aggression C-PTSD complex trauma Neurobiology Trauma Therapy Traumatic Experience traumatice memories Source Type: news

Moving Beyond the Anxiety and Perfectionism Feedback Loop
Forget everything you thought you knew about anxiety and perfectionism. Here’s an inside look at what actually works. We all feel the need to be accepted, to fit in, feel loved, and that we matter to someone or something.  As someone who struggles with anxiety myself, I understand how hard it is to combat the anxiety feedback loop. As a psychologist who has worked with this material for nearly a decade, I supposedly know all the tricks in the book. I have a tool kit 10 pages deep ready to go whenever I experience a bout of anxiety. Even still, I struggle to practice what I preach.  Moving beyond this feedba...
Source: Psych Central - July 20, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jennifer Anders, PsyD. Tags: Anxiety Perfectionism Psychology Intrusive Thoughts Self Worth Self-Esteem Source Type: news

How Do You Know if a Child Is Traumatized?
While working at a mental health clinic in Harlem years ago, I got used to hearing the most traumatic stories I could have ever imagined. They were the normal way to live for many of my clients. One day a woman in her 40s, who lived in a drug den and had gone through a frightful marriage before her husband was imprisoned, asked me how she could know if her son was traumatized. As a then-inexperienced clinician, I took out the last version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) off my shelf the same way a cowboy would take out his pistol from his belt, ready to shoot off a diagnosis. Diagnostic ...
Source: Psych Central - July 9, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Antonieta Contreras, LCSW-R, CCTP-II, BCN Tags: Children and Teens Psychology PTSD Trauma C-PTSD Child Abuse Childhood Trauma complex trauma Developmental Trauma Developmental Trauma Disorder Emotional Dysregulation Hypervigilance Traumatic Experience Source Type: news

Coping with Voices
Like a lot of people with schizophrenia, I hear voices. I fully understand that these voices are one of the symptoms of my schizoaffective brain disease. Usually I hear these voices when I am alone. I hear voices throughout the day, even when I am driving my car. The medication I am prescribed helps me to manage the voices, but the meds do not make the voices totally disappear. Some of the voices I hear are a running commentary of what I am doing at the moment such as: “He is at the computer,” or “He is walking.” If I am cooking then they might say, “He is cooking.” When I am cooking, th...
Source: Psych Central - July 7, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jason Jepson Tags: Antipsychotics Personal Stories Schizoaffective Disorder Schizophrenia Coping Skills Delusions Hallucinations Music Therapy positive symptoms Psychosis Source Type: news

When Your Child Is Struggling with an Eating Disorder
In the Spring of 2018 my daughter began to want to “eat healthy.” There is nothing wrong with eating healthy, I thought. After all, I am a certified health coach and am a huge advocate of eating healthy. My daughter began reading food labels on some things and I thought, I’ll keep an eye on that. This went on for a few months with no other signs of anything unusual. Until, one day we were riding in the van with my daughter and her two  younger siblings and the two littles asked if we could grab some lunch. I happened to look in the rearview mirror at the same time. My daughter had a look of fear com...
Source: Psych Central - June 23, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Ariel Selwyn Tags: Anorexia Bulimia Eating Disorders Parenting Personal Stories Adolescence Body Image Self Harm Self Injury Teenager Source Type: news

How PTSD, cPTSD and BPD Can Impact Relationships
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as a fear-based disorder with several features necessary for a formal diagnosis which include: avoidance behaviors, re-experiencing, increased arousal and negative affect and/or cognition.1 Avoidance behaviors may include avoiding people, places or situations that could be emotionally ‘triggering’ of a traumatic event. For example, some veterans may avoid amusement parks or festivities that have fireworks or excessive noise as it may cause flashbacks or anxiety. Re-experiencing behaviors often include emotional flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or nightmares. Someon...
Source: Psych Central - June 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Dr. Annie Tanasugarn Tags: Borderline Personality PTSD Relationships & Love Trauma Avoidance Borderline Personality Disorder C-PTSD complex trauma Emotional Dysregulation Source Type: news

4 Types of Narcissism Share This Trait
Narcissism is many faceted and comes in several types. Narcissists will use a variety of tactics and defenses to keep you insecure and ensure their status and that their needs are met. It’s easy to be confused, but it’s important to understand and spot which type of narcissist you’re dealing with. Recently, two research teams have identified a common trait. The Grandiose Narcissist Although there are different kinds and degrees of narcissism, for years research mainly focused on the familiar — exhibitionistic narcissists who seek the limelight. These are the boastful grandiose narcissists who are pu...
Source: Psych Central - June 5, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT Tags: Narcissism Personality Codependency Covert Narcissist entitlement grandiose narcissism Malignant narcissism Narcissistic Personality Disorder Source Type: news

Anorexia in Limbo
When I was sixteen years old, I met every requirement in the DSM-IV criteria for Anorexia Nervosa. My Body Mass Index (BMI) hovered just below 17.5, I was obsessed with counting calories and becoming skinnier, I was terrified of gaining even a single pound of weight, and I lost my period for longer than three consecutive cycles. My iron and ferritin levels fell below normal and I was tired all of the time. Before long, I was avoiding eating with my friends and family, and I had given up my favorite sports because I was too weak to run the warm-ups. I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, however; I refused help beca...
Source: Psych Central - June 2, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Anna Beloborodova Tags: Anorexia Bulimia Diet & Nutrition Eating Disorders Body Image Source Type: news

To Mothers Struggling with Addiction: You Are Not Alone
I had an idyllic childhood. I was a cheery kid with great parents, raised in a wonderful neighborhood, always cared for and never wanted for anything. When people hear this background from someone whose addiction was so strong that they planned their methamphetamine use around their pregnancy, it can be hard to reconcile. There is no blueprint for addiction; this disease has no face. Not one person in my life would have guessed I’d be homeless with multiple DUIs, totaled a number of vehicles, and would have my son taken away by authorities twice before his second birthday, but it happened. And despite how absurd it m...
Source: Psych Central - May 28, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Karen McGinnis Tags: Addictions Parenting Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery custody Methamphetamines Motherhood Source Type: news

10 Novel Steps You Can Take Right Now to Reduce Anxiety and Panic Attacks in the Age of the Coronavirus
Recently, anxiety overtook depression, ADHD, and all other conditions to be the Number One mental health challenge.  We’re currently under siege by an invisible enemy, and most of our anxiety levels are higher than before. For some time, however, anxiety has been on the rise as we face all the everyday choices we have to make, both small and potentially life changing. We live in a highly complex world that complicates our existence and creates newer tensions.  The Process of Anxiety Most people think of anxiety as an emotional state, and it is. But anxiety is also a process that starts with several uncomfor...
Source: Psych Central - May 12, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jeffrey Chernin, Ph.D., MFT Tags: Anxiety Coronavirus COVID-19 Source Type: news

Are You Dating a Narcissist?
You won’t realize you’re dating a narcissist. Narcissists are skilled at making people like them. They can be very alluring and charming and exciting to date. In fact, in one study, it took seven meetings for people to see through their likable veneer. In a dating situation, a narcissist has greater incentive to win you over — sadly, sometimes all the way to the altar.  Narcissists are often physically attractive, charismatic, and sexually appealing. We’re drawn to their intelligence, entertaining personality, special talents, or professional success. Their company can be pleasurable and never ...
Source: Psych Central - May 10, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT Tags: Codependence Narcissism Relationships & Love Codependency Dating Manipulation Manipulative Behavior Narcissistic Abuse Narcissistic Personality Disorder Perfectionism Source Type: news

Getting Off the Roller Coaster of Emotional Eating
With spending so many hours inside, it can be so easy to seek comfort in food. Especially when some of us have enormous stock piles of tasty snacks and quick shelf stable carbohydrates like cereal, pasta and rice. Perhaps emotional eating is a new phenomena or we’ve struggled over the years with binge eating. Binge-eating is defined as consuming unusually large amounts of food typically in a short period of time and feeling unable to stop eating. During these stressful times we want to maintain emotional, mental and physical balance. Ensuring that we are getting the right nutrients without the self harm of overeating...
Source: Psych Central - May 3, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Ivy Branin, ND Tags: Binge Eating Coronavirus Eating Disorders COVID-19 Cravings Emotional Eating emotional overeating Source Type: news

How Intergenerational Trauma Impacts Families
Intergenerational transmission of trauma may be understood as the ongoing impact of traumatic events and situations that happened in prior generations and continues to impact the current generation. Trauma can be passed down through a multitude of factors, including epigenetic processes that increase vulnerability to various mental disorders 1, repeated patterns of abusive or neglectful behavior, poor parent-child relationships, negative beliefs about parenting, personality disorders, substance abuse, family violence, sexual abuse, and unhealthy behavior patterns and attitudes 2. In some families, poor parenting and unsupp...
Source: Psych Central - April 21, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Fabiana Franco, Ph.D. Tags: Abuse PTSD Trauma Violence & Aggression Anxiety Child Abuse intergenerational transmission Intergenerational Trauma Parenting posttraumatic stress trauma bonding Source Type: news

When It Comes to Addiction, Abstinence Is Key — Or Is It?
“Hi, my name is ____, and I’m an alcoholic.”  When conjuring up images of those suffering from substance abuse disorders, the phrase above is one most people first think of. This greeting of sorts is deeply entwined with the alcohol recovery group, Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that in the majority of cases promotes abstinence, or in other words a complete removal of alcohol from one’s life.  This approach of complete and permanent rejection of alcohol has garnered much attention and success, and has become over the years the forefront of substance abuse treatment, leaving many una...
Source: Psych Central - April 18, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Carly Heyn Tags: Addictions Substance Abuse Treatment 12 Step Program Abstinence Alcohol Dependence Harm Reduction Holistic Approach Moderation Source Type: news

The Power of Delusion
Back in the Army when I was in the depths of undiagnosed schizophrenia, I wrote long letters asking my friends and family if they could see and feel what I was experiencing while stationed in the Mojave desert. I thought if I could persuade them to stare at a TV or computer screen and fixate on it, then they would be able to hear my voice, and I could hear theirs.  I tried to write everything that went through my mixed up mind into the letters I sent to my friends and family. For example, my brother was a cook at this restaurant at the time. In my mind, I thought I could see him driving and showing up to work. In the ...
Source: Psych Central - April 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jason Jepson Tags: Personal Stories Schizoaffective Disorder Schizophrenia Delusions positive symptoms Psychosis Source Type: news

Worried About Something? Here ’ s Why You Should Stop Talking About It
If you have a big worry on your mind, you probably feel compelled to do something to try to resolve it as soon as possible. In my experience specializing in treating anxiety disorders, there are three main things people tend to gravitate towards when they are worried about something: analyzing it in their own head, talking to someone else to get their opinion/reassurance, and researching it online. All of these things can sometimes make us feel better in the short-term but really perpetuate the anxiety and cause more suffering in the long term. In this article, I’m going to focus on one of these behaviors: seeking op...
Source: Psych Central - April 11, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Michael Stein, Psy.D. Tags: Anxiety Communication Avoidance Catastrophizing Living With Uncertainty Reassurance Rumination worry Source Type: news

5 Ways to Give Your Brain a Break from All This Stress
Right now we’re in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Just that sentence is stress-inducing! But even when the world isn’t experiencing a health crisis, we’re still bombarded with media, to-do lists, family, work, and all sorts of expectations. I found myself this past week not making any time to take a mental break. I’m up at 5am with the baby to feed him, pump, check the news, talk to my husband, get some work done, feed the baby, check Facebook, pump while watching TV, reply to a text, send some emails, stress about daycare and the Coronavirus, feed the baby, start dinner, brainstorm idea...
Source: Psych Central - April 4, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Sandy Woznicki Tags: Anxiety Coronavirus Personal Stories Relaxation and Meditation COVID-19 Stress Reduction Source Type: news

Self-Isolation, Meditation & Mental Health in Times of COVID-19
Most of us have never before experienced enforced self-isolation and lockdown. What can we learn from people who have voluntarily gone into isolation for prolonged periods of time? A group of people who self-isolate regularly are meditators, be it monks spending years in caves or laypersons going to silent retreats. Although there are big differences between meditation retreats and lockdowns, we can learn much from linking the two. When people begin and end meditation retreats, they often have trouble adjusting. Many experience alienation from everyday life, and some struggle with their changed role or idea of self.1 Going...
Source: Psych Central - March 31, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Christine Kupfer, PhD Tags: Anxiety Coronavirus General Loneliness Relaxation and Meditation COVID-19 Mindfulness pandemic Source Type: news

When Will You Know You Are Ready for Treatment?
While some people who’ve become addicted to alcohol and drugs have to hit rock bottom before they’re ready to accept treatment, most realize or can be convinced of the need to get professional help long before such a calamitous event. As for the timing, knowing when you are ready for treatment, it’s different for everyone. It may help to know some of the common signs you’re ready to take the crucial next step.  You’ve Had Enough — And So Has Everyone Else The list of addictive behaviors is long and varied, including problem drinking and alcohol abuse that descends into alcohol use d...
Source: Psych Central - March 27, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Suzanne Kane Tags: Addictions Alcoholism Habits Substance Abuse Source Type: news

Fritz Perls, the World Needs You More Than Ever
On March 14th, 1970 — fifty years ago — Fritz Perls, the man behind Gestalt Therapy, died. Few people reading this will know who he was, let alone the significant influence he had on the world of psychology. He was a complex and interesting man. He could be manipulative, grumpy, dismissive and harsh but also funny, insightful, sentimental and warm. His parting words to this world were: “Don’t tell me what to do!” He barked that to a nurse who demanded he get back into bed after surgery. He dangled his feet over the side of the bed in defiance and promptly died. That is classic Perls. Nobody to...
Source: Psych Central - March 24, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Drew Coster Tags: Anxiety Parenting Psychology authoritarianism Blame bullying Comfort Zone Communication Control Facebook Fritz Perls Gestalt Therapy Mindfulness Present Moment social media Source Type: news

Using DBT Skills in the Time of the Coronavirus
Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) provides us with many excellent concepts and skills to practice and incorporate with various areas of distress and dysregulation, including the current uncertain times of living with COVID-19. The way in which this pandemic illness is spreading all over the world and is the focus of most any current conversation requires that we find a way to cope effectively. Marsha Linehan, the founder and developer of DBT, provides us with several excellent ideas about how best to manage stressful times.  Many of us Americans struggled to radically accept that this virus was in our midst and needed ...
Source: Psych Central - March 19, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Sandra Wartski, Psy.D Tags: Anxiety Communication General Healthy Living Self-Help Coping Skills coronavirus COVID-19 Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Emotional Dysregulation Interpersonal Effectiveness Interpersonal Skills Marsha Linehan social distancing Source Type: news

Easy and Effective Tips to Get Rid of Morning Anxiety
Apart from the Sunday Scaries, weekday morning anxiety is more commonplace than you think. Despite this notion, there are simple, natural, and drug-free ways to combat your AM anxiety in about five minutes. It might just be a small amount of time, but this payoff could make your morning — and potentially your whole day — a lot better and less stressful. That’s a great return on your time investment!  Below is a list of things to do as soon as you wake up and feel panicky. As said above, these only take about five minutes of your time with a big boost in a sense of calm and wellbeing. Try one of these...
Source: Psych Central - March 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Emily Waters Tags: Anxiety Habits Self-Help Sleep Habit Change morning anxity sleep hygiene Source Type: news

The What, Why, When and How of Detaching from Loved Ones  
Codependents become overly attached — not because they love so much but because they need so much. Attachment is based upon need — need for someone to be a certain way so that you can feel okay. Although it’s painful to see a loved one being self-destructive, detachment allows us to enjoy our life despite another person’s problems and behavior. What gets in the way are codependent patterns of managing and controlling, reacting and worrying, and obsessing.  Attachment and caring are normal. It’s healthy to get attached to someone in our family or with whom we’re intimate, but codepen...
Source: Psych Central - February 28, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT Tags: Addictions Codependence Relationships & Love Substance Abuse Codependency Codependent Enabling no contact reciprocity Source Type: news

Overcoming Agoraphobia
Anxiety and agoraphobia are two of the most searched for terms related to mental health in the UK. On average the two terms are searched for 122,000 times a month on Google suggesting a large need for help with this area. Agoraphobia is typically found in up to 3% of the population. Mainly people aged 20-30 with it being twice as prevalent in women. But anyone can suffer from this regardless of age, sex or gender. Under the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, agoraphobia is defined as a condition where individuals have a disproportionate fear of public places. People often see environm...
Source: Psych Central - February 24, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Gregory Warwick, DCounsPsych, CPsych, AFBPsS Tags: Agoraphobia Anxiety Panic Disorder Exposure Therapy Panic Attack Source Type: news

Handling a Stressful Day
For me, the most important day of the month is when I go to the veteran’s hospital where I get my medication. I wake up before 8am to make sure I get a parking spot. I immediately go to the blood lab where I get blood work done to ensure that I am not experiencing any adverse reactions to my medication. After my blood has been taken, I go to my appointment with my doctor. This would be a normal schedule for me. When things do not go as planned, an interruption in the routine can create stress. Stress can be a trigger for my schizophrenia. I take deep breathes and deal with other triggers like needing a cup of coffee...
Source: Psych Central - February 21, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jason Jepson Tags: Schizoaffective Disorder Schizophrenia Antipsychotic Psychosis veterans Source Type: news

Increasing Attachment in Grandfamilies and Kinship Care
While working as a family therapist with kinship families, also known as grandparents raising their grandchildren, I came across families who were struggling with the ability to rebuild broken trust. Raising your grandchild (or another relative) brings with it attachment challenges you may not have faced when you raised your biological children. By “attachment” I am referring to the safety and comfort that develops, over time between a child and caregiver. For example, the bond between you and your children probably grew organically, beginning in utero, and continued to develop from the first day of their life...
Source: Psych Central - February 19, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Beth Tyson Tags: Addictions Aging Caregivers Children and Teens Family Grief and Loss Parenting Substance Abuse Adverse Childhood Experience Attachment Bonding Child Development Grandfamily Grandparents grieving kinship family Source Type: news

Blinders for Coping with Schizophrenia
When horses pull a carriage, sometimes they are wearing blinders over their eyes so they cannot look to the right or left. They can only look forward without any distractions coming into their view. This is a good picture of how I approach my life in recovery from schizophrenia. Metaphorically speaking, putting on blinders each day is a way I have learned to cope with my diagnosis of schizophrenia.  Every month I go to a veteran’s hospital to get blood work for my medication and to get my monthly injectable. On the drive there, I am the only one in the car so if I hear a voice, I block it out because the doors a...
Source: Psych Central - February 10, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jason Jepson Tags: Personal Stories Schizoaffective Disorder Schizophrenia breakthrough symptoms Delusions Hallucinations Paranoia Source Type: news

We Are the Luckiest: An Interview with Laura McKowen on the Magic of a Sober Life
Addiction affects a staggering number of lives in the United States; not just those who use substances, but family, friends, co-workers and society at large. According to Defining the Addiction Treatment Gap, a CATG review of the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and other national data sources, addiction continues to impact every segment of American society.  “Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs,” said Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, director of the CATG...
Source: Psych Central - January 27, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW Tags: Addictions Interview Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery Alcoholism Sobriety Source Type: news

Choosing Freedom, After Decades of Switching Addictions
This article includes references to self-injury, intravenous drug use and disordered eating.* One in five US high school students have reported being bullied. Approximately 160,000 teenagers have skipped school as a preventative measure. I encountered bullies for the first time in second grade, in the midst of such an innocent time of my youth. I dreaded entering my elementary school classroom, as I was well aware of what my presence would entail. I endured both verbal and physical harassment from my fellow peers for nearly a decade. I was passive, inevitably leading to the acceptance of my “fate,” in addition ...
Source: Psych Central - January 20, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Megan Lane Tags: Addictions Anorexia Bullying Depression Eating Disorders Personal Stories Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery Anorexia Nervosa Drug Use heroin Self Harm Self Injury Source Type: news

Kicking Toxic Love
The last man that used the words “I love you” used them to control me.  He used them by not saying it back, ever, when I said it.  He used them by smugly making me say it when he wanted to hear it.  He used them by only ever saying them himself when I would work up the strength to try to end things.   He used them to make me feel bad when I didn’t “behave” how he wanted me to.  He used them to convince me of a false future that he had no intention of ever providing.  The words “I love you” meant absolutely nothing. They were alternately a crowba...
Source: Psych Central - January 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Jessie Monreal, CADC Tags: Addictions Codependence Narcissism Personal Stories Relationships & Love Addiction Recovery Alcoholism Breakups Emotional Abuse Substance Abuse Source Type: news

How Social Anxiety Is Killing Your Cells and Why the Internet Can Help
Just over 19 percent of US adults experienced an anxiety disorder at some point last year (that figure jumps to nearly a quarter when looking at US women in particular) and over 12 percent of people suffer from social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. So needless to say, quite a few present readers are about to get some bad news: it’s not just your retinue or lack thereof that’s feeling the consequences of sub-functional mental health. No matter how well you’ve co-opted your mental illness and colored it as an endearing eccentricity, if you’re still chronically distressed, impaired or b...
Source: Psych Central - January 7, 2020 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Greg Hughes, PharmD Tags: Aging Anxiety Neuroscience Social Networking Technology Treatment Brain Social Anxiety telomeres Source Type: news

10 Strategies for Surviving Dysfunctional Family Holiday Gatherings
Holidays can be a very stressful time in general — but if you were raised in a dysfunctional family system, it can go beyond ordinary stress and enter the “danger” or  “crisis” zone very quickly, depending on how toxic your current family system dynamics are. In this article I share 10 strategies that have helped my psychotherapy clients feel more at ease during family events via careful planning, self-caring acts, and having realistic expectations. Holiday Gatherings with Dysfunctional Family Can Be Stressful It is common to have high expectations when thinking of family gatherings. Alte...
Source: Psych Central - December 19, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Rebecca C. Mandeville, MA, MFT Tags: Family Holiday Coping Narcissism Personality Boundaries Dysfunctional Family family systems holiday gatherings no contact Toxic Family Toxic People triggers Source Type: news

On Mental Health Stigma
One thing I shared with my wife Rachel about a year into our relationship was the time I suffered a nervous breakdown in graduate school. It would be an important moment in any relationship because I shared the time in my life when I was most vulnerable and at my weakest point. Did I technically suffer a nervous breakdown? I’m not sure, all I remember is the turning point came when I drove home late one night, collapsed on my kitchen floor and started crying uncontrollably. Up to that point, I had developed a quasi-schizophrenic outlook on life and could no longer bear the weight of the world-view I constructed. In p...
Source: Psych Central - November 29, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Gregory Duncan Tags: Borderline Personality Personal Stories Stigma Suicide Antidepressants Borderline Personality Disorder college Delusions Life Transition Nervous Breakdown Paranoia Psychosis Shame Stigmatization Source Type: news

This Under-Utilized Drug Is Actually Critical for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Many people with clinical depression have tried an array of medication and still feel sick. Maybe they’ve tried different selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Maybe they’ve taken these antidepressants along with an antipsychotic (a common strategy to boost effectiveness). Either way, the lack of improvement can make individuals feel even more hopeless and fear the darkness will never lift. If this sounds all-too familiar, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, up to 30 percent of people with depression don’t respond to the first few ...
Source: Psych Central - November 27, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Tags: Antidepressants Depression Disorders ECT General Medications Treatment Atypical Depression difficult to treat depression Managing Depression MAOIs medication for depression Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors Severe Depression Treatin Source Type: news

Remembering Loved Ones Lost to Suicide: Give Yourself Permission to Heal
My sister, Amber, died by suicide on New Year’s Eve 2013. I’d last seen her just a few days prior at Christmas. She seemed “off” — depressed and over-apologetic — but certainly no one expected that she was suicidal.  She’d been struggling with depression and substance use, but had also gotten help and was working to get her life back together. In fact, she’d been a patient in my facility just six months prior. As a counselor and as her brother, I had so many questions. How could I have missed the signs? Did I fail her? Did I let her down? In the immediate aftermath, I fe...
Source: Psych Central - November 23, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Marlon Rollins Tags: Depression Grief and Loss Personal Stories Stigma Suicide Trauma International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Source Type: news

Intimacy Without Intoxication: Is Sober Sex Better?
The sun is streaming through the curtains of a room that you have never seen before. You squint and rub your bloodshot eyes, as your hand reaches out to feel the prone body of the snoring person who a few hours earlier was a stranger. You notice your own naked body and wonder how the two of you spent the interceding time. You look at the floor next to the bed and see your clothes, strewn across the carpet, wine bottles and glasses, a few joints, and a line of cocaine on the dresser across the room. You slide out of bed, gather your belongings, hightail it to the bathroom and quickly get yourself street ready. Wondering ho...
Source: Psych Central - November 22, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW Tags: Addictions Sexuality Substance Abuse Drug Abuse Rape Sexual Assault Sober Support Sobriety Trauma Source Type: news

Why Getting Off My Mental Health Meds Was a Bad Idea
I created this artwork while smack-dab in a low mental health place over the jummer. My anxiety was causing my hand to no-joke shake with the paint brush in it, yet I felt so sure: everything I was going through was material and it would take me somewhere. (p.s. Is it obvious that I’d just seen the newest Aladdin movie?) Well, it happened again. I feel like life for me over the past decade has basically been this: me scurrying around scooping up my marbles, then losing them again. Scoop em up, lose em again. Scoop, lose, scoop, lose. The particular Marble Scattering that just occurred, though, I mostly did to myself....
Source: Psych Central - October 22, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tricia Arthur Tags: Anti-anxiety Attention Deficit Disorder Medications Personal Stories Adhd Adult Attention Deficit Medication Compliance Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Source Type: news

Is a Gray Rock Strategy Advisable?
One strategy for dealing with a narcissist or sociopath is to act like a “gray rock,” meaning that you become uninteresting and unresponsive. You don’t feed their needs for drama or attention. You don’t show emotion, say anything interesting, or disclose any personal information. Nor do you ask questions or participate in conversations, except for brief factual replies. Limit your answers to a few syllables, a nod, or say “maybe” or “I don’t know.” Additionally, you may have to make yourself plain and unattractive, so your partner gains no pleasure in showing you off or...
Source: Psych Central - October 18, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT Tags: Abuse Codependence Communication Narcissism Relationships & Love Coping Strategies Domestic Violence gray rock grey rock Narcissistic Personality Disorder Source Type: news

What I Do When Anxiety Infects My Favorite Relaxation Tool   
I was on my belly, my cheeks snug against the massage table’s doughnut pillow, my muscles getting nudged this way and that, when the gal doing the magic asked this question.  Jean was short, shorter than me even. Round cheeks and a stocky build, conservative shoes and black clothes. Maybe fifty years old. Just minutes earlier, when I arrived at the quaint, creaky little massage studio desperate for relief both from my two toddler children and a bad case of winter cabin fever, she greeted me with a soft smile that made me want to curl up inside it and stay.  But once the massage started, I was distressed to ...
Source: Psych Central - October 15, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tricia Arthur Tags: Anxiety Mindfulness Personal Stories Massage negative energy Relaxation Stress Reduction Source Type: news

10 Tips for Gauging the Quality of an Inpatient Rehab Program, from an Expert in the Field
When you’re suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction and/or another serious mental health condition, quality inpatient treatment is often critical to recovery. But finding quality inpatient treatment isn’t always easy in an industry that has at times been prone to scams. A case in point: a recent story on NPR described how some addiction treatment clinics are claiming that nutritional IV infusions (or “NAD infusions”) can cure cravings and addiction. The news is the latest in a string of reports in recent years revealing how some rehab facilities have preyed on and profited from individuals’...
Source: Psych Central - October 2, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Rami Sleiman Tags: Addictions Substance Abuse Addiction Treatment Source Type: news

Can You Recover from Dissociative Identity Disorder?
We used to refer to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as multiple personalities or Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). The creation of multiple identities occurs often in response to extreme abuse in childhood. Individuals who have developed different identities have described the experience as a way to escape the abuse.  Recently, an Australian judge made a landmark ruling allowing six of Jeni Haynes’s personalities to testify against her father for the horrific abuse she suffered as a child. In response to the extreme and persistent abuse, the woman created 2,500 different personalities to survive.1 The ru...
Source: Psych Central - September 30, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Fabiana Franco, Ph.D. Tags: Dissociative disorders Personality Trauma Dissociative Identity Disorder Multiple Personality Disorder Source Type: news

Can Narcissism Be Healthy? Does It Differ from Self-Love?
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,” wrote Oscar Wilde. Known for his wit and irony, was Wilde referring to narcissism or real self-love? There is a difference. His use of the word “romance” suggests the former. That’s a key to differentiate the two concepts.  In contrast to genuine love, romantic love is filtered by illusion and idealization. In the romantic phase of relationships, intense feelings are predominantly based on projection and physical pleasure. All is rosy, because we don’t really know the other person or see his or her flaws. In Wilde’s nov...
Source: Psych Central - September 24, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT Tags: Codependence Narcissism Boundaries Ego Empathy Self Love Self Worth Self-Esteem Shame Source Type: news

3 Stages of Healing from a Toxic Relationship with Your Mother  
“You were my home, Mother. I had no home but you.” – Janet Fitch Healing is a journey, not a single strike of willpower. In this article, you’ll learn about three stages of healing so that you can gain clarity about where you are and what you still need to work on in order to complete your journey.  Healing is a path we must travel to live joyful lives aligned with our values — lives of our choice. There’s no quick fix. Rather, it requires commitment, courage, patience, and determination. But where does the journey begin? At the moment, you may feel like you’re on a shaky...
Source: Psych Central - September 18, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Irina Bengtson, PhD Tags: Bullying Family Narcissism Trauma Boundaries Codependence Narcissistic Personality Disorder toxic mother toxic relationship Source Type: news

Controlling Screen Time for Children with ADHD
Parents are often concerned about their child’s screen time and report difficulty enforcing limits. Screen time includes time with all screens including social media, online gaming, and watching videos. Enforcing limits on screen time can be particularly challenging for children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) due to difficulties with self-monitoring and inattention. As a child therapist, parents often tell me that their child grabs their phone out of their purse, asks to use their tablet constantly, and cries when denied. This leads to parents often giving in to such requests, which only enc...
Source: Psych Central - September 11, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Mercedes Pratt, M.A. Tags: Attention Deficit Disorder Parenting Social Networking Source Type: news

What Is It Really Like to Stay at a Psychiatric Hospital?
Most of us have very specific, vivid ideas about what staying in a psychiatric hospital looks like. These ideas have likely been shaped by Hollywood or sensationalist news stories. Because how often do we hear about someone’s real-life stay at a psychiatric facility? If going to therapy is rarely talked about, the conversations surrounding psychiatric hospitals are virtually non-existent. So we tend to imagine wild, worst-case scenarios. To provide a more accurate picture, we asked several individuals who’ve been hospitalized to share what it was like for them. Of course, every person’s experience is diff...
Source: Psych Central - September 6, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Tags: Disorders General Stress Suicide Treatment Bipolar Disorder hope Hospitalization Inspiration Manic Episodes Psychiatric Hospital suicidal Source Type: news

Vitamins for Depression
In trying to cope with the debilitating symptoms of depression, people often turn to vitamins, supplements, herbs, or home remedies first. And it’s no wonder — such efforts to alleviate symptoms are often far less expensive and easier to obtain. For some, it may be a part of their rationalization that their depression “isn’t all that bad,” if it can be treated with vitamins and supplements. Many people find relief in taking vitamins and supplements for depression. It is also one of the most well-researched topics, so we know what the science has to say about the efficacy of such treatments. Bu...
Source: Psych Central - September 3, 2019 Category: Psychiatry Authors: John M. Grohol, Psy.D. Tags: Depression Diet & Nutrition General Medications Miscellaneous Drugs supplements for depression vitamins for depression Source Type: news