Psych Central

Psych Central Blogs

Our blogs highlight different topics and concerns in mental health and psychology, bringing fresh perspectives, ideas and news updates in small, digestable nuggets. Below, you'll find an index of the most recent entries from our blogs.

Click to view the cartoon911 is Not a Good Number to Call on the Holidays
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

3 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others On Social Media
By Psych Central Staff in World of Psychology
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~ Steve Furtick We all have certain triggers that can cause our confidence to take a sudden nosedive. For some, it’s a trip to the gym. If you’re self-conscious of your body, watching...
Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: Staying in Touch — And in the Loop
By Sarah Newman, MA in World of Psychology
It’s difficult to know where you stand when your sibling is diagnosed with a severe mental illness. Their treatment can take up so much time and their symptoms can be so encompassing that there may not be a lot of room for you, let alone your relationship. The dynamics of...
Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. in World of Psychology
For people with depression, the holidays can be a challenging time. People with the illness “tend to have a negative view of themselves and their lives,” said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating depression in Rockville, Md. “If they have overly idealized beliefs about what...

Click to view this cartoonDiabetes and Bipolar is Serious: 10 Foods that Lower Blood Sugar
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
5 Mindful Steps to a more Grateful (and Happy) Life
By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
Thanksgiving is upon us in the United States. little things There is no better moment than now while reading these words to consider what you are thankful for. In fact, there is actually no other moment than now. The poet Hafiz writes in his poem “It Felt Love”: How did the rose Ever open its heart And give...
I Just Got Fired:
WTF Should I Do?!

By John D. Moore, PhD in Reaching Life Goals
i just got fired If you just got fired, chances are you feeling a wide range of emotions, including shock, denial, sadness and anger. All of these emotions are perfectly normal. The uncomfortable realization that you will soon be going without a paycheck is enough to stress out anyone! This is particularly true if you were canned...
3 Things That Everyone Needs to Know About Ferguson
By Dr.J in Diary of a Therapist
Ferguson Missouri has been in the spotlight since August 9th, when African American teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed. There has been anger and tension in the community the past few days as we await the grand jury decision. 1. Race relations in St.Louis have been bad for a long time. Race relations in St. Louis were more...
Giving Thanks (When It’s Been a Crap Year)
By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
You might be wondering why I’m even suggesting the idea of gratitude when you’ve had a lousy time of it. It’s because appreciation beats the alternative: spending your holidays in an extended wallow, reinforcing your helplessness over your life. If you’re reading, you’re considering.   So I hope you’ll read on.This post isn’t about finding a silver lining.  It’s...
Self-Discipline Season has Begun
By Jonice Webb in Childhood Emotional Neglect
Almost everyone struggles with some aspect of self-discipline, but never more than during the holidays.  After all, from Thanksgiving to mid-January, we see-saw back and forth between over-indulging in treats, and making resolutions to exercise in the New Year. Then, when we fail to carry it all out as pledged, we kick ourselves when we’re down. I think that most people see self-discipline...
The Skinny Behind Weight-Loss Supplements
By Jerry Nelson in One Sober Life
Wendy Foulds Mathes, PhD, is trying to create an eating disorder in rats by allowing them to binge on Oreo Cookies. Many people would believe that getting stuffed on cookies would come natural to a rodent, but it doesn’t. By controlling when the rats are given cookies and then looking for changes in the brain, they are trying to determine when changes...
Overweight and Invisible – part 4
By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
shutterstock_124014661What follows is part four of a fictional exchange between a client, Carrie and her therapist. Carrie is 16 years old, and she weighs 173 lbs. She has a younger sister, Tori, who is just 15, pretty, popular and athletic. It has been two weeks since her last session. Therapist: “Hello Carrie, how are you doing on your homework?” Carrie: “Well,...
Therapist Blog Challenge #17: Surviving the Holidays
By Julie Hanks, LCSW in Private Practice Toolbox
Therapist blog challenge #17 focuses on how to help readers make it through the crazy emotional stress of the holiday season. Headline Come up with a catchy title for your blog post.  Here are a few examples: Crazy Christmas and Hectic Hanukkah! How to Make it Through the Holidays How to...
Prevent a Traumatic Thanksgiving in 3 Steps
By Sara Staggs, LICSW, MPH in After Trauma
DSC01566Today’s post is for those who are lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with family, though none of us get to choose our families and not everyone gets a good one. Wednesday’s post is for people who don’t have anyone to spend it with. Have a Plan (or 3) You can plan for specific types of boundaries, strategizing your time, or...
Celebrating the Essence of Thanksgiving
By Debra Manchester MacMannis, LCSW in Parenting Tips
file9021344553210“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”   -Tecumseh, Shawnee leader Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every day had a little bit more of the...
We Are Capable Of Far More Than The Limitations Most People Accept
By Tom Wootton in Bipolar Advantage
195bfbe6ba9978d1d2d9766b_640_choicesDo you have bipolar disorder or know somebody who does? What would change if you could learn how to turn depression and mania on and off whenever you wanted to? The entire way we look at bipolar disorder would change in profound ways. Some of them are beyond most people’s imagination, but a simple illustration...
Your Inventory of Good
By Ran Zilca in Going on the Ride of Your Life
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines gratitude as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks”, and appreciation as “an ability to understand the worth, quality, or importance of something”. To be grateful is to run an inventory-check of the good things in your life, and to be reminded of their value. It’s an interesting exercise, because when you do it you often realize...
Overweight and Invisible – Part 3
By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
shutterstock_124014661What follows is part three of a fictional exchange between a client, Carrie and her therapist. Carrie is 16 years old, and she weighs 173 lbs. She has a younger sister, Tori, who is just 15, pretty, popular and athletic. Carrie: “I thought overeating had to do with instant gratification, and that food equals the love I am not getting...
Mind Over Matter
By Linda & Charlie Bloom in Building Relationship Skills
cardamine-pratensisCreative Commons License mindfulness via Compfight “Mindfulness is not something that is only done in the meditation hall, it is also done in the kitchen, in the garden when we’re on the telephone, when we...
Why Some Kids Bounce Back from Challenges and Others Don’t
By Heather Gilmore, LLMSW in Reflections from a Children's Therapist
Here is an amazing infographic I came across from the blog of Renee Jain, MAPP, called Stress Better here on Psych Central. It describes why some kids are able to bounce back when they experience a challenging situation while other kids struggle to overcome difficulties. (This information applies to adults, too.) ABCs_Final112114_rev5 ...
Vegans, Vitamin B12 & Depression, Top 10 Controversial Posts
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
SONY DSCC.R. writes: As someone who used to be vegetarian and even vegan for many years in my past, I remember being leery of people telling me my diet might be lacking certain nutrients. I’d point to studies which showed how healthy a balanced and well-thought out vegetarian diet was. Was my diet balanced and well-thought out? Only occasionally. This week we got a...
Thanksgiving is Much More than Saying “Thank You”
By John and Elaine Leadem in Couples in Recovery
romantic_dinner-300x199Someone once said “it is really hard to have a good day with a bad attitude.” It is just as difficult to have a bad day with a good attitude. The same is true of the satisfaction we feel in our romantic life. It is very difficult to maintain a heathy romance with a bad attitude, and it will be just...
Are the Chicago Cubs Cursed?
By Andrew Muschel in Sports on the Couch
stock-photo-16532231-wrigley-field-outsideWhen Pablo Sandoval caught the final out of the 2014 season, it marked the 106th consecutive season that ended without the Chicago Cubs as champions. The absurdly long drought, a full 40 years longer than the runner-up Cleveland Indians, makes some fans wonder if their team is simply cursed. Under new general manager Theo Epstein, the team is pushing to be...
Medical Negligence :
Sometimes Caused by Substance Abusing Physicians

By Jerry Nelson in One Sober Life
        “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will quit.”   That is what Marc Myer, a Minnesota family practice doctor, kept telling himself every time he stole prescription opiates form his patients to maintain his addiction. But for Myer, and my doctors, “tomorrow” never came. Doctors addicted to prescription medications seldom stop unless an intervention by peers and co-workers occurs.   For...
The Paradox of Genuine Love:
Why Loving Your Self Equals Loving Your Partner (And Vice Versa)

By Athena Staik, Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Relationships
HeartCreative Commons License seyed mostafa zamani via Compfight   The permission to fully love and embrace your self and life with wonder, compassion and acceptance is no small matter. Paradoxically, you need your own love and acceptance to...
For holiday orphans, depression is real
By Christine Stapleton in Depression on My Mind
I have made it 55 years without cooking a turkey. I used to be ashamed of that fact. How could a one-time wife and mother get this far in life without ever having made a turkey? It’s a sad story with a happy ending. I don’t have much family and the family I have don’t invite me to holiday dinners. They’re either too far away, or they don’t know me...
Missing a Loved One on Thanksgiving:
A Way of Grieving

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP in Healing Together for Couples
Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in this country across cultures, religions, ethnicity, geography and socio-economic levels, is an emotional mile marker. It brings to the table and to the mind and heart, those we love, those we will call to exchange loving sentiments, and those we love but who we have lost this year or many years ago.fall flowers Grieving...
A Sign of Addiction?

By David Sack, M.D. in Addiction Recovery
DUI: A Sign of Addiction?If you have ever been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), or in some jurisdictions driving while intoxicated (DWI), you quickly learned the legal and financial consequences of driving while impaired, but you may have been left wondering what the DUI means for your personal well-being. Did you make a one-time mistake, or could a...
The Secretary of State Takes on Singlism, in Prime Time
By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
It can be a pretty discouraging task – trying to take on the stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against single people that I call singlism. Plenty of people think it doesn’t even exist, despite the copious evidence and the fact that discrimination against people who are not married is written right into our laws. Just in the federal statutes,...
Starting a Counseling Practice Part 3:
Your Business Plan

By Miranda Palmer, LMFT in Private Practice Kickstart
Starting a Counseling Practice Part 3: Your Business PlanThe four little words that strike fear into the hearts of therapists “Create a Business Plan.” We’ve already talked about how we’ve found that less than 15% of therapists in private practice report having a business plan, and how that negatively impacts them. A business plan Let’s talk about what should...
The perils of perfection. Part II
By Diana C. Pitaru, M.S., L.P.C. in Unleash Your Creativity
Is perfection the goal or can we change our perspectives and expectations to reflect a more realistic image of our potential? There is a paradox in the idea of perfection: on one hand you think you have very high standards and on the other the pressure of perfectionism keeps you from actually achieving your goals. Perfectionism can keep you...
The perils of perfection – Part I
By Diana C. Pitaru, M.S., L.P.C. in Unleash Your Creativity
“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it” (S. Dali). Is perfection an attainable goal? We want to be the perfect artist, parent, manager, student, etc. We want perfect lives, perfect jobs, perfect parents and perfect selves. We learn from an early age that 4.0 is the goal and that we “shouldn’t” want...
#126 Mothers and Fathers and Daughters
By Ellen Toronto, Ph.D. in See-Saw Parenting
shutterstock_32433679The relationship of parents to a daughter is similar in many ways to that of a son but, it seems to me there are important differences. The basic elements of a healthy parent/daughter relationship are, sadly enough, not something I experienced in my own upbringing. As I said last week my mother raised me as though I were an extension of...
Conscious Relating
By Jake & Hannah Eagle in Healthy Romantic Relationships
Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 4.48.43 PMWe often put a lot of time and effort into raising our consciousness. We meditate, practice tai chi, and do yoga to stretch our bodies and our spirits. But all the mindfulness practice in the world doesn’t help our relationships if we don’t choose to integrate this growth of consciousness into our relating. Off the...



When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
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