Is Depression a Brain Disorder? Yes and No

by Jon G. Allen, PhD December 12, 2014

Thirty years ago, I submitted a manuscript for publication and received the following response from the editor: “There is nothing new here, but some ideas warrant repeating.” The manuscript was published. I have already written about the problems in reframing psychiatric disorders as brain disorders, but I was inspired to write yet another post about […]

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Of course I’m envious!

by Herman Adler, MA October 17, 2014

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about the trait of stubbornness and its application to personality disorders. This time, I’m here to delve into the complicated and misjudged trait of envy. According to the DSM–V, the trait “often envious of others” is among the traits of narcissistic personality disorder. Two perfectly reasonable […]

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Tackling the Problem of Domestic Violence

by Dallas Adams, LCSW October 10, 2014

Why write about domestic abuse and violence in a mental health blog? Especially since these two behaviors are not caused by mental illness? I write about domestic violence and abuse here because domestic violence and abuse can result in physical injury, psychological trauma and, in severe cases, even death. The devastating consequences of domestic violence […]

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Quiet: A Book for Introverts

by Jon G. Allen, PhD October 3, 2014

Being a prototypical introvert, I was drawn to Susan Cain’s popular book, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. Cain’s subtitle could have been shorter: “In praise of introversion.” Sadly, her subtitle also could have been: “In defense of introversion.” The basic premise of her book: About a century ago, […]

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Is anomie the enemy? Another perspective on the increase of school shootings

by Hannah Szlyk, LMSW September 30, 2014

Anomie: the breakdown in the bond between the individual and community is evidenced when there is a discrepancy between the values and ideologies of society and what is achievable in normal life. This term, popularized by French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his 19th century book Suicide, was referenced in a discussion of the recent school […]

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We Are Becoming Less Violent

by Jon G. Allen, PhD September 25, 2014

Perhaps I can be forgiven for my pessimism about ameliorating the violent side of human nature. Like everyone else, I am assaulted on a daily basis by stories of violence, including war, genocide, terrorism, homicide, rape and child abuse. Compounding this routine assault, I have specialized in psychological trauma, which entails professional immersion in suffering […]

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Robin Williams and the Power of Suicide

by John Oldham, MD, MS August 13, 2014

For the last several days, we have been riveted by the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, a larger-than-life favorite on both the large and small screens. However much we know about the prevalence of depression and of suicide itself, we are still shocked when someone who feels so familiar chooses this way to disappear. Yes, […]

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Attempting suicide (and living to tell the story)

by Thomas Ellis, PsyD, ABPP June 2, 2014

I have been attending professional conferences for more than 30 years, so they have become rather predictable to me. Plenary sessions, research paper presentations, skills workshops: Sessions are generally informative, though sometimes deadly dull. That said, my experience at the 2014 conference of the American Association of Suicidology in Los Angeles a few weeks ago […]

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Speaking up and out to reduce the stigma of mental illness

by Nancy Trowbridge May 28, 2014

As a staunch advocate for eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness and brain disorders, Menninger encourages conversation in our homes, our communities and our media outlets. So let me begin this conversation by offering kudos to the Houston Chronicle editorial writers for the May 19 admonishment “Low Blow” that said the tactic of leaking a […]

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Addict, junkie, pothead, crackhead, loser: Putting tired old labels to rest & challenging stigma

by Beth Eversole, LMSW, LCDC May 22, 2014

Labels play a large part in defining our experiences; they also play a role in stigmatization. Webster’s Dictionary defines stigma as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” Just take the word “addict,” a common label for people who use substances. The mark of disgrace here is the label. Many […]

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