Cultural strife leads to personal stress

More people today are concerned more about cultural stress than about personal stress. They are more stressed out by the conflict between Democrats and Republicans or the problem of race relations in America than they are about their marital difficulties, their phobias, their anger at their father-in-law or their worries about getting ahead in their career.

In the last few years, a great many of my clients have spent whole sessions venting about Donald Trump or about political correctness. When Trump was elected, several of my patients went on about him for months. They would rage for the whole session without needing me to say a word. In fact, they didn’t want me to say a word. A few years back when Google fired an employee who complained about the political correctness there, many people were venting about that for months.


Pot During Pregnancy causes child psychosis?

, Children born to mothers who smoke marijuana during pregnancy may have an increased risk for psychosis, according to new research done at Washington University in St. Louis. The authors of this study, Jeremy Fine and Ryan Bogdan, analyzed data from a nationwide study of child health and brain development.

The nationwide study covered 4,400 children born to about 3,800 mothers between 2005 and 2008. It was determined that 201 of those children were exposed to marijuana in the womb , 63 after their mothers knew they were pregnant.


Why Are One of Three Preteens Suicidal?

A small study by the National Institutes of Health found that about a third of preteens suffer from suicidal ideation. The NIH didn’t speculate on why such a large number of preteens are suicidal, but it seems obvious that something in our culture is adversely affecting them.

In the study, 23 preteens screened positive for suicidal risk during hospital emergency room visits, while 79 screened negative. Researchers examined youth...


Persecuting Trump: Its Psychological Results

From the time he announced his candidacy, Donald Trump has been the target of persecution, usually coming from the left but sometimes coming from the right. He has been demonized, mocked, degraded, jeered and generally viewed as a glass half-empty rather than a glass half-full. He has labeled as everything from a sexist to a Hitler to a tyrant to a psychotic madman. The liberal news...


Persuasion and Manipulation

Photos by Adair733, If you want somebody to believe something or do something, there are two legal ways to go about it: persuasion and manipulation. The emotionally healthy way is to persuade. The emotionally destructive way is to manipulate.

Persuasion is the emotionally healthy way because it is the simple, honest way and it has no side effects. When you persuade people to do what you want them to...


The Rise of Brother-Sister Incest

What was once a taboo has now become, to many brothers and sisters, a cool pastime and an even cooler way to make money online. Brother-sister incest seems to be on the rise, at least according to my unofficial survey of incest websites.

In perusing websites that feature incest, I found two types of brother-sister incest clips. Both were more prevalent than in previous years. One kind was the fake kind in which porn stars pretend to be brother and sister or brother and step-sister. The other kind consisted of actual homemade clips by real brothers and sisters. Many were appearing in “cam shows” in which they undressed and had sex for internet audiences who gave tips or paid for private showings.


Humility and Mental Health

Ancient philosophers and poets knew humility was important. Socrates, the Greek philosopher, checked out all the men who were known to be wise, and he concluded that he was the wisest of all because “I know what I do not know.” Of one reputed wise man, he said, “he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance.”

Confucius said, “I have traveled far and wide and have yet to meet a man who could bring home the judgment against himself.” Shakespeare said in Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true,/And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Both of these ancients pointed to self-objectivity, which requires humility, as a cornerstone of mental health.


Our Judgmental Society

Every day in every way people in America are whining. They are judging, complaining, bemoaning, finding fault with, protesting, resisting, bad-mouthing, showing disgust for, and generally deriding everything from somebody’s bad shirt to another person’s contemptable tweet. I have collected the following headlines to demonstrate this phenomenon.

Kim K accused of making Manchester blast “all about her”

Passenger with Prosthetic Was Told to Give Up His Seat

Mayor's confederate monuments speech goes viral

Aly Raisman hits back...


Why Happy Countries Have Sad Kids

Two studies by United Nations organizations found a paradox. A number of the countries that led the world in signs of happiness—quality of life, education and healthcare—also led in the number of their young people who suffered from depression and anxiety.

When the UN released its annual World Happiness Report, the usual suspects were again at the top of the list—Nordic countries such as Finland, Denmark and Sweden as well as New Zealand and Australia. In the meantime, another study by the World Health Organization on the ratio of citizens affected by mental health disorders showed that the same countries that were at the top of the Happiness Report also had high ratios of young people who suffered from some mental health problem.

Defense Mechanisms

Liam Neeson, Reaction Formations and Hysteria

Recently Liam Neeson confessed, in an interview by Clémence Michallon about his latest film, Cold Pursuit, that he had once had a racist reaction when a woman friend of his told him she had been raped by a black man.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh [edge], hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [uses air quotes with fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”