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 cartoonThe Upside of Being in Hell
From Donna Barstow's Quick Fix
(click on cartoon for larger image).

The Cost & Solutions to Stress and Mental Illness in the Workplace: An Interview with Graeme Cowan
By Therese J. Borchard in World of Psychology
The direct cost of depression to the United States in terms of lost time at work is estimated at 172 million days yearly. According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada. Australian Graeme Cowan, who experienced a horrific five-year...
How Much Does That Free Prescription Drug Sample Cost?
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in World of Psychology
This may seem like a trick question because, after all, it’s free. How can something that’s free cost anything? People and professionals have long wondered whether there was a downside to giving away free samples of prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies keep doctors’ offices well-stocked on such free samples, so they...
Best of Our Blogs: April 18, 2014
By Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A. in World of Psychology
When your heart sinks from disappointment, rejection, or loss, how do you cope? Do you get engulfed in it falling into a pool of despair? Do you see it as a single moment or an example of more dark ones to come? Is it possible that your latest challenge has...

Click to view this cartoonAre Your “Peeps” Eye Candy?
From Chato Stewart's Mental Health Humor (click on cartoon for larger image).
Meditation Part II:

By Michele L. Brennan, Psy.D. in Living a Balanced Life
Yoga Breathing Breathing can be considered one of the most important functions in keeping us alive and healthy. Oxygen comes in through the nose or mouth and travels down to our lungs. Here it spreads through the lungs, down to the alveoli where it enters the blood stream. The oxygen then spreads through the body feeding all the cells....
10 Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself This Weekend
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
anastasia island, 2014, taken by mama Yesterday I talked about experimenting with self-compassion — despite the disapproving whispers and roars of our inner critic. Because the negative thoughts — whatever they are — don’t matter. They don’t have to drive or dictate our actions. They don’t have to rule our worlds. We can act with kindness, no matter...
Our Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media
By Julie Fidler in Amazed by Grace
241ebdd759d8b7ed503aa59258d464ed Ah, social media. I kind of hate you, but I can’t quit you. Facebook is great for many things. I love keeping in touch with my family in California on a daily basis. I like seeing pictures of my friends and their kids (and their cats, and their dogs), and even their food, sometimes. It’s a good place to...
Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
By Linda & Charlie Bloom in Building Relationship Skills
Catching a ThoughtHartwig HKD via Compfight When I left home for college, I thought that I had been admitted by mistake, and didn’t think I would graduate. I expected failure. I expected to fall in love but would probably be left by my beloved. I had no...
Rethink Perfection
By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. in 360 Degrees of Mindful Living
9781572247567Perfection is not an achievement but a baseline, not the fruit of being we reach for, but the very ground of being we stand on. Rethink “what is” to rethink perfection: all that can be… is. More: Hunting Unicorns A Vibe of Ordinary Perfection ...
Why Try To Be Normal?
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
Snapshot_20121010First, we’d have to define normal. What is normal? Every child knew someone they wanted to be like. It was how we learned. We watched others and saw how they were treated. Then we chose how we wanted to be treated and acted accordingly. Or tried to. After a while we came to appreciate that it might be easier to...
5 Ways to Plan an Unforgettably Happy Summer :

By Ran Zilca in Going on the Ride of Your Life
When I moved to New York years ago, I didn’t think much of summer. I grew up in Tel Aviv, where it’s always warm, and I was surprised to see my neighbors getting all excited at the first signs of spring. Starting April, they prepared long lists of things to do, places to go, and events to book. It seemed...
Dealing with Bipolar Criticism
By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
bipolar criticismI was just interviewed for an article that will appear here on Psych Central in the coming weeks. The topic was how to react to dismissive statements about mood disorders. I won’t reveal what I had to say in response to the editor’s questions (you’ll have to wait for that), but thought I would approach it as a whole...
The 2nd Most Popular Question Asked of Google?
By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D in Single at Heart
toasterEvery month, 60,500 people go to their Google search bar and type the question, “Is Santa real?” That’s from a study by Search Factory, an Australian optimization agency. I like to read the original versions of studies, but I can’t find this one, so I’m relying here on press reports. Risky, I know. In articles discussing the results of the research,...
4 ADHD Things That Make Me A Good M.C.
By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
MC KellyMC Kelly “I once caught a fish this big.” I love to talk. I know this to be true. I mean, blogging is really just talking with text. And I do that regularly, right? So what would be a good job for me? What about talk show host? Maybe, but...
Not Manic at 37
By Erica Loberg in Tales of Manic Depression
candlesI’m turning 37 in a couple hours and not afraid, but there is a lot to consider at this juncture in my life.  Lets not get into the egg-freezing basket conversation with your gyno but, what am I wearing out tonight.  I have my mania curbed with medication but that doesn’t mean that I can’t go for the old times.  ...
A Very Sad Hiatus for ‘Panic About Anxiety’
By Summer Beretsky in Panic About Anxiety -- A blog about panic attacks, panic disorder, and anxiety.
A Very Sad Hiatus for 'Panic About Anxiety'There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just blankly blurt it out as if it doesn’t twist my insides into a million knots. My father died unexpectedly...
Parental Responsibility In Tragedy:
“Paying” For Your Child’s Behavior

By Támara Hill, MS in Caregivers, Family & Friends
peter gustafsonHow would you feel if your child (under the age of 18) committed a violent crime or “tortious act” such as a knifing attack, campus massacre, or a simple assault that results in prison time? Would you feel guilty, begin to blame yourself, or question what went wrong in the mind of your child? Even more, how would you...
How Religion and Spirituality Can Help (or Harm) You
By Rachel Fintzy, MA, MFT in Cultivating Contentment & Happiness
Spirituality“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.” (Billy Sunday) Is it better for your happiness and health to belong to an organized religion or to be “spiritual”? Does it matter? Being religious refers to believing in a specific deity (or group of deities) and following the regulations...
Preparing for a Crisis
By Holly Brown, LMFT in Bonding Time
breezeI know this might sound oxymoronic: If a crisis is sudden, how can we prepare? There are ways to strengthen yourself and your relationships so that you (and they) will bear up better under the strain of a crisis.  Here are some ideas on how to increase your resilience. I notice in my practice (and my life) that some people...
Making American Mental Health Care a Priority
By Kat Dawkins in Her Bipolar Life
9/11 American Flag In the wake of several recent violent attacks across America, including three people killed at Jewish faith and community centers, the stabbing of high school students in Pennsylvania, and the shooting of soldiers at Fort Hood, it’s that time again for the media to question and explore gun control, the root of...
A Problem That Starts and Ends at Home

By David Sack, M.D. in Addiction Recovery
Bullying: A Problem That Starts and Ends at HomeUnless it’s happening to your child, you probably haven’t given bullying a lot of thought. A bold Wisconsin town is trying to change that by hitting parents where it counts: in the pocketbook. Under the town’s “parent liability” approach, parents of bullies who do not cooperate with authorities in addressing their child’s...
The Search for Our True Identity
By Jessica Beltran, MS in Thrive
3432086929_a089d12e00_oWho am I? What makes me unique? What am I here for? Where am I headed? Many of us go through life on automatic pilot, without much reflection on who we are or where we’re going. We fail to realize that our identity is fundamental to create a life with meaning and purpose. The achievement of an identity is...
Give It Time:
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

By Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC in Lessons from the Couch
il_570xN.419748855_eq1sHaving patience can be a real challenge at times.  Whether it’s patience with changes in life, with things that we expect or even with things that we are about to do.  Patience is required with people, places, things and situations.  Most importantly, patience is required in a loving relationship with ourselves. There is sometimes the tendency to rush ourselves, to...
What No One Wants to Talk About:
Male Sexual Assault

By Sara Staggs, LICSW, MPH in After Trauma
Ceremony recognizes Military Working Dog, MWD, Kevin, who died while on his tour of duty Sexual assault is typically identified as a form of gender-based violence.   Women are more likely...
Children Are People, and We Don’t Hit People
By Rita Brhel in Attachment Matters
It’s time to acknowledge that children are people. That may sound silly, but there are parents who swear by discipline methods that don’t reflect their child’s value as a person. This reminds me, there’s new study led by George Holden of Southern Methodist University has found—based on real-time audio recordings of parents who volunteered to wear a wire during their daily interactions—that of parents who use corporal discipline, spanking and...
Choose One Of These 11 Insights And Make Your Life Better
By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski in Therapy Soup
1105726_67191626Psychiatrist Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning is one of the most powerful, even transcendent secular collection of insights into how to be the best human being you can be. Dr. Frankl survived four Nazi concentration camps, and during his imprisonment, spent much of his time thinking about freedom, life, and what it means to be truly human. Many people...
Experimenting with Self-Compassion
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS in Weightless
roses One of the hardest things about building a healthier relationship with ourselves is changing our inner dialogue. The inner critic can just be so darn loud. For instance, when we even think about being nicer to ourselves, the nastiness starts. Why do you think you deserve this? You still haven’t lost the weight. Who are you kidding? ...
What I (Really) Learned from Taking Defensive Driving
By Shannon Cutts in Mentoring and Recovery
copRecently I may or may not have turned left in a bus-only lane. When this allegedly occurred, I was blissfully unaware….as I had been for the past approximately seven prior months’ worth of turning left at that very same corner. I was genuinely mystified when I parked, looked in my rearview mirror, and saw flashing blue and red lights behind me...
Risking Connection After Trauma
By epower in Trauma Informed Systems
ConnectionRisking connection is the most challenging task for people who have experienced trauma—that is, any event so overwhelming that it causes the inability to cope resets expectations for the world and can adjust your opinion of what people are capable of. Trauma can big “big” or “small,” and being overwhelmed is being overwhelmed. It’s subjective, because “it” (trauma) is measured...
Preventing Struggle:
Enabling Dependency

By Aaron Karmin in Anger Management
hand Maria has been through two bad marriages and is struggling to raise her two sons all by herself.  She came in for counseling because she was angry at life, for what it had done to her, and at herself for letting it happen. Both of her ex-spouses had been charming and irresponsible, much like her brother, Sam....
Emerging Identity #1
By Ellen Toronto, Ph.D. in See-Saw Parenting
Bere Gratis live performance Sergiu Bacioiu via Compfight Sergiu Bacioiu via Compfight  As our sons grew into adulthood, the choices that would inevitably lead to their life’s work emerged from the fertile field of family interests, talents, and passions. We watched...
5 Facts About Domestic Violence Every Woman Should Know
By Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW in Psychology of Women
11388261396_1a3722e08bWashington D.C., 1994 I remember hearing hits, screams, and crying coming from an apartment below me when I was a graduate student living in Washington, D.C. I called the police and ran to the apartment I had been hearing the screams from. A man opened the door in a white, sleeveless undershirt that I have heard jokingly referred to as...



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