Kings of Leon “Mechanical Bull” Tour: Worth the Tickets?

By Alicia Sparks

Copyright: Alicia Sparks All Rights Reserved

Guess which blogger has two thumbs and went to see Kings of Leon this past weekend?

That’s right: this girl.

Continue reading… »



Take Note Ladies: Lauren Conrad Reveals Her Favorite Position

By Alicia Sparks

So, how much do we love Lauren Conrad right now?

I know, I know, I never thought I’d hear myself say that either (not that I have anything against Conrad; I’ve just never had anything for her, either), but her response during a Sway in the Morning interview with former MTV VJ Sway Calloway has taken the Internet by storm — in a damn good way.

(Just so you know, the interview was from October 2012; that it’s resurfaced and gained so much attention now shows you just how awesome was her answer.)

During the interview, former Laguna Beach star Lauren Conrad pulled three questions from a hat. She answered the first two fairly quickly, but when the third piece of paper asked her the age-old “What’s your favorite position?”, the Paper Crown designer and best-selling author clearly was taken aback — for just a hot minute, before answering, “CEO.”

BOOM!

Ladies, Lauren Conrad has shown us whether it’s mother, wife, teacher, counselor, or CEO, your favorite position doesn’t have to be — or outright isn’t — what brings you the most joy and satisfaction in bed.

It’s what brings you the most joy and satisfaction in life.

You can see the full clip over at Us Weekly, but if you want to skip to the good stuff it starts around 6:15.

Whether you’re a fan or not, what’d you think of Conrad’s response?



3 Reasons Why We Love Jennifer Lawrence

By Alicia Sparks

Is it just me, or has America (and possibly the globe) gone wild for Jennifer Lawrence lately?

I mean, don’t get me wrong: I like her. A lot, even. She’s a great actress and seems to be a pretty down-to-earth person.

However, lately?

We really, really love us some Jennifer Lawrence.

Continue reading… »



Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead at 46; Police Suspect Drug Overdose

By Alicia Sparks

Philip Seymour Hoffman

(UPDATE 2/5/14: Four individuals have been arrested in relation to Hoffman’s drug overdose, according to The New York Daily News and CNN. Authorities found more than 350 bags of heroin in three different apartments. (Upon further investigation, 70 bags of heroin were found in Hoffman’s apartment. Currently, police aren’t certain whether those four individuals sold the heroin to Hoffman or if they’re part of a larger drug ring.)

(UPDATE 2/3/14: CNN reports Hoffman failed to pick up his children Sunday, as was scheduled, and law enforcement found Hoffman surrounded by eight empty bags, the type of which generally contain heroin. The bags were labeled “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Hearts.” Both are known street names for heroin.)

Celebrity Psychings has sad news to report today: actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died.

The 46-year-old Oscar-winning actor, famous for his roles as Truman Capote in Capote and Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, was found dead in his New York City apartment at noon (February 2, 2014).

At the time of this post, a cause of death is unknown or has not been released; however, police do suspect a drug overdose due to a needle in his arm:

The official cause of death is still unknown at this point, however, the police confirm to “The Insider With Yahoo” that he may have died of a suspected overdose, as he was found with a needle in his arm.

Hearing about Seymour’s death is especially tragic because — less than one year ago — the actor had completed rehab and was on a seemingly strong road to recovery. He’d wrapped up his role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and, at the time, was working on indie film God’s Pocket.

I’ll update as news becomes available.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to Hoffman’s three children Tallulah Hoffman, Cooper Alexander Hoffman, and Willa Hoffman, and his partner Mimi O’Donnell.



Celebrity Psychings: Officially Off Hiatus!

By Alicia Sparks

wbcp

Some of you might remember, my father was diagnosed with malignant ascites and, eventually, stage four colon cancer, this past fall.

During that time, and for a couple of months after his passing, I decided to take a break from Celebrity Psychings. It became to difficult to keep up with celebrity news and construct meaningful, mental health posts based on celebrity goings-on without coming across as gossipy or pageview-seeking.

(For example, I’m much more interested in writing pieces like 5 Mental Health Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities, 7 Celebrity Quotes On Getting Older, Wiser, and Better, and Wentworth Miller: The First Time I Tried to Kill Myself I was 15 than I am on, say, minute-by-minute updates on Justin Bieber and his inevitable DUI.

(Though I’m definitely not saying there’s not a lesson to be learned there!)

Fortunately, my good friend and founder of everyminute.org, Michael Corbin, stepped in and contributed a few posts for my readers.

(Have you checked out his piece Celebrity Recovery From a Person Perspective yet? Great article inspired by Richard Dreyfuss and his battles with bipolar disorder.)

Now that the dust has settled, so to speak, I’m ready to begin writing Celebrity Psychings again. So, basically I just wanted to take this post to explain my absence, thank Michael for stepping up when I needed him, and ask YOU, sweet readers, what you’d like to see in upcoming Celebrity Psychings posts?

Thanks for sticking around! It’s great to be back :)



The World According To, Me

By mcorbin

As an advocate, I have been given a chance to speak for those that have yet to be heard.  I have been given a chance to speak out through my own experience, good and bad, and understand that everyone deserves a chance to become anything they set out to be in life.  I also understand that choices have consequences.  Until you find it in yourself and put that aside in order to move on with your dreams, you will never succeed in yoM. Corbin everyminute.orgur ultimate goals in life. That is why I’m honored to have a forum that allows me the opportunity to “humanize” the issue of mental health. It has also come to my attention that I needed to give you, my audience, a bit more background about, me.

I don’t consider myself the greatest of writers and worse yet I have terrible time writing strictly about myself.  It comes naturally to insert my “background” into the relationship of other people’s issues as a means to identify empathy.  It comes      a little more naturally for me in a speaking forum where I can read the audience and answer any questions they might have     for further clarification of issues that I have either, already mentioned and need further elaboration, or discuss specific    issues that I may have unknowingly glossed over.

I’ll start out with some background info that is already written on the about page of my suicide awareness campaign everyminute.org.  Some of my proudest moments include speaking to the criminal justice community at the 2007 CIT International Conference with my then wife-to-be Lisa and making great friends with the Blacksburg VA. Police Dept.;  speaking at the TBI TIES Training Conference for law enforcement here in the State of Tennessee;  and being part of a university research study that measured the efficacy of knowledge-based contact for the reduction of stigma and improvement of mental health literacy in adolescents.  Just having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people nationwide while speaking and training other advocates in the art of public engagement has been the best part of being me.

I’ve also been absolutely blessed to have Gregory Montgomery on my team as a National Spokesperson.  Some of my other notable endeavors have been accompanying Blue October on their 2010 Pick Up The Phone suicide awareness tour and the Music 4 Mental Health tour with Tommy Edwards.  Oh, and who could ever forget presenting at the SAMHSA Voice Awards, which was absolutely nerve-wracking being one of my first “Big Venues” with a crowd of celeb’s and the head of every MH advocacy organization in the US.

Well, like it or not that’s me.  I’m excited to be getting back in the game and look forward to being a part of the mental health advocacy arena once again on a regular basis.  There aren’t too many people that can say when they wake up every morning that they actually enjoy the thought of “going to work”.  I truly consider myself blessed in every way.

Thanks for listening,

Michael Corbin



Staying Hungry……

By mcorbin

In a recent interview for a New Zealand newspaper, The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire star, Jennifer Lawrence, spoke out about her struggles with debilitating anxiety and hyperactivity as a child.  Lawrence, not one to shy away from talking about mental illness, spoke openly about her social anxiety which interfered with school and eventually caused her parents to seek help from a psychologist.  “When my mother told me about my childhood, she always told me there was a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly”, Lawrence said.  “When I entered school, the light went out.  We never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety.”

I can completely relate to this.  As a free-spirited child, I came and went as I pleased.  When I went to school, I started acting out for reasons I didn’t understand.  I started missing school because the anxiety I was experiencing caused physical symptoms, such as nausea, headaches, nervousness and tension.  This eventually led to my first suicide attempt when I was 9 years old. Jennifer Lawrence (AP)

I don’t think we’re going to stop until we get rid of the stigma for mental illness… It’s so bizarre that in this world if you have asthma you take asthma medicine. If you have diabetes you take diabetes medicine. But as soon as you have to take medication for your mind there’s such a stigma behind it.”

 According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), social anxiety disorder (SAD), is the most common form of anxiety disorder in the country, affecting about 15 million adults annually.   Although, it often starts in early adolescence, most people see the full effects of it by the time they are 20 years old.  It’s more than just shyness.  It is characterized by negative self-talk and the extreme fear of being evaluated by other people.  These factors make it hard for people to be in public, hold a job, or have a healthy social life.  The ADAA reports that 36% of people with SAD have had symptoms for 10 or more years before they seek help.  However, a recent study at Stanford University suggests that mindfulness techniques have proven to be very helpful in coping with the symptoms of social anxiety, especially when paired with exposure therapy techniques.

 

It is no surprise, then, that Jennifer Lawrence noticed a drastic reduction in her anxiety when she began her acting career.   “As soon as I was on stage, my mom started to see the change in me.  She saw my fears disappear.  She found her daughter again, the one who had this light and joy.  I finally found my path in life and something that made me happy, because I felt capable, whereas before I felt useless.”  As any actor will tell you, you have to be focused on “the moment” when in front of the camera.  This is as much a mindfulness technique as you will ever find.  Also, acting provides a different “character”.  You are no longer the person in your head that you fear others will look down on.

When asked for advice by young girls on the subject of body image and her opinion of people who made judgments about others based on appearances, “Well, screw those people,” said Lawrence genially.  “I experienced that in school.  You see this airbrushed, perfect world, but if you don’t look like that, what are you going to do? Be hungry every day to make other people happy?  That’s just dumb.”

I look forward to seeing Jennifer Lawrence’s fire and hunger continue in this ongoing saga in the battle to end stigma.

So, I’d like to hear from you.  There are lots of types of anxiety. 

What are some of the things that have made you anxious in the past?

How have you dealt with them?  Good or bad.

Stay Hungry,

Michael Corbin

everyminute a suicide is attempted

 

 



Celebrity Recovery From a Personal Perspective

By mcorbin

Alban Wyters/Abaca

Alban Wyters/Abaca

Recently, Richard Dreyfuss spoke up about his battles with bipolar disorder.  He has become one of many celebrities as of late to step “out of the closet” to show that yes.. You can experience the roller coaster of ups and downs, yet still be highly successful with the proper care.

 I’ll use this as an example to give you my perspective on recovery as an introduction, while I’m filling in for the fabulous Alicia Sparks.

This is the type of recovery story where you can really see how the general media can be misleading about the process of recovery itself.  I have seen differing viewpoints about this type of reporting.

    1. Wow that’s inspirational!

    2. What meds does he take so I can try them too?

    3.  He recovered, but he needed the best care possible to do it.

    4. (And finally,) He is creating more stigma by using his illness as an excuse for bad behavior.

I’ll try to address each of these viewpoints from my own perspective and point of view as way to give you a looking glass for my future postings.  (I’m trying really hard not to lose any of Alicia’s fans while I’m sitting in, so, help me out here.)

    1.  Yes.  It is inspirational on many levels. It proves to those that have been struggling with this process, (both the individual and their loved ones) that it can be done.  It gives some the will to stay in the battle, rather than just giving in to the despair.  That’s the type of story that has a two-edged sword for me.  When I have spoken in public, I am always elated that I have been able to inspire people, yet sad that they have been struggling through these difficult times without any real hope of recovery.

     2. Naming specific meds that have been a positive or negative experience along the way can imply endorsement, or turn people away from something that might actually aid them in their own journey through this maze of uncertainty.  It also opens up personal liability if someone has a bad experience on meds that have been “endorsed” without the manufacturer’s legal consent.

     3. Yes, maybe they did have the best possible care.  Everyone deserves that and should be motivated by this example enough to put the hard work into their own journey.  By that I mean being proactive rather than reactive in the process.  It means building your own support team that will give you the necessary tools to reach your goals.  This means finding the right doctor who you trust to have your best interests at heart.  It means building your resources to be used outside of the doctor’s office.  The most important thing it shows is that you have to educate yourself and those on your team of what your expectations are and lead the way in making that happen.  That may mean having to lean on those that you have brought on board during the most difficult times.  In the end only you can be the judge of where you want to be, how far along you are, and what your future expectations continue to be.  That can be a very fluid concept for some; others may stay focused towards one goal.  Arming yourself with an array of tools to use as aids through future rough spots is also “a must” in my opinion.  The road to recovery is a difficult one.  It’s not always linear and there can be plenty of potholes along the way.  Take the time to find out who you are; identify things that drive and inspire you to get through this rough patch; recognize the things that give you the relief needed to stay there.  Then you’ve got a great start to putting things back on track.

      4. Ok… Who really thinks in today’s atmosphere that someone would benefit by using mental illness as an excuse?  I haven’t seen enough acceptance of these issues to think that having a mental illness is a truly successful platform to run on politically or professionally.  It gives me hope that there are those out there willing to lead the way to gain that trust in time.  I also think we as a society have a long way to go before mental illness would equate into a generally accepted “excuse” for bad behavior.

I look forward to blogging here and pray for Alicia in these tough times.  It is quite an honor to know that she has entrusted me to hold down the fort here at Celeb Psych while she and her family does the best they can to understand and get beyond this roadblock in their lives.

So until next time friends, same bat time, same bat channel..

Michael Corbin

Language is the key to world peace. If we all spoke each other’s tongues, perhaps the scourge of war would be ended forever – Bruce Wayne (Batman television series)



5 Mental Health Lessons We Can Learn from Celebrities

By Alicia Sparks

My family is currently going through a health crisis, and in light of that I’ve decided to place Celebrity Psychings on hiatus.

Combining the two topics–celebrities and mental health–isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so it’s always been my goal to do so in the most respectful and educational way possible.

I can’t guarantee either of those while my attention now is primarily focused on my family.

Continue reading… »



Kim and Kanye: Have We Set a Standard for Double Standards?

By Alicia Sparks

When is it acceptable for a woman to behave toward a man in such a way that is unacceptable for a man to behave toward her?

Is it ever?

I read a piece of of an interview Kim Kardashian gave London’s Sunday Times Style supplement the other day during which new mom Kardashian talks about her weight loss and post-baby fashion choices.

Overall, yawn, right? We’ve heard enough about Kardashian’s closet for a lifetime.

Continue reading… »



 
 

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