A Guide to Not Being Miserable During the Winter Months

sad penguin alone looking down at feet

Even if you don’t have seasonal affective disorder or another kind of depression, it’s absolutely possible for you to feel the winter blues. Unless you’re one of those people who enjoys the cold and shorter days, you may have to take some precautions to make sure you don’t slip into a dark place…and I’m not just talking about the lack of daylight hours!

As the winter barrels ahead, use it as an opportunity to really get in tune with your feelings. Take note of your emotions and evaluate if the holiday season and the colder weather have been affecting you negatively. If they have been impacting you, don’t worry. There’s a bunch of things you can do to cheer up, even just a bit.

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How Psychology Stigmatized Female Orgasm (and How We Got It Back)

woman's hands on bedsheets

For most of us, orgasms are, simply, awesome. Yet from the origins of modern psychology in the late nineteenth century, a combination of cultural stereotypes, pseudoscience, and plain old misogyny created an enduring notion that women’s orgasms were a problem to be solved, rather than a normal part of sexual pleasure and mental wellbeing.

From the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, many psychologists, inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis, argued that women should only achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration by a man. Any other kind of female sexual pleasure — including masturbation, queer sexuality, and any stimulation of the clitoris — was considered a sign of “masculinity,” imbalance, or even insanity.

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Should You Disclose a Mental Illness During the Hiring Process?

man interviewing disclose mental illness during interview

I run around my apartment a little out of sorts, throwing random items of clothing into an overnight bag. From reading the hospital’s website, I know I can’t bring anything with drawstrings, but I throw my green hoodie in the bag anyway. I can’t imagine being without it.

My packing done and my hospital check-in time set, I’m not sure what else to do with myself on a Friday afternoon. I haven’t been to work in three days, but I guess I should inform them what’s happening. I hop in the car and fly over to the office to catch up on a few hours of work before being locked in a mental hospital for a week or to officially ask my boss for more time off, or…I don’t know what I was thinking. I was clearly in a paranoid, panicked, mentally ill state.

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How Staying in a Job You Hate Affects Your Mental Health

man with head in hands across from boss

When it comes to your career, there is nothing worse than a job you hate, literally.

According to a University of Manchester study, having a “poor quality” job — a job you hate — is actually worse for your mental health than having no job at all. It may sound hard to believe until you’ve been there — hostile co-workers, a passive-aggressive boss, or mind-numbing assignments. Not to mention we often spend 40 or more hours a week invested in our job, and that’s a lot of time to spend in a bad situation.

For the 51% of Americans employed full-time who reported to Gallup in 2017 that they’re uninterested in their jobs and the 16% who dislike their workplace, staying at a job you hate is bad news for your mental health. Here’s why.

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How to Address Your Mental Health During Hiring Season

young woman nervous during job interview

Networking and business cards. Cover letters and resumes. Applications and interviews. It all adds up to the same thing — job hunting.

If any of these concepts, say networking or interviewing, make your hair stand on end, you’re in good company. According to a 2013 study, 92 percent of Americans fear at least one part of the job interview process, whether that’s having the jitters, showing up late for the interview, or not knowing how to answer difficult questions. This doesn’t even cover the nail-biting anxiety of waiting for a return email or phone call after you’ve sent off yet another application or completed an interview.

Combine the normal job search stress with a mental health issue, and the task may seem impossible.

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Therapy for All

smiling young asian woman in hat using text therapy

Therapy for all isn’t simply a slogan. It isn’t just a philosophy. Therapy for all is an imperative. Mental illness is a global health problem and, in the United States specifically, 1 in 5 adults suffers from mental illness in a given year. Look around you: I’d hazard a guess that one person in your direct vicinity has dealt with a mental health challenge in the past year.

In fact, a recent study by psychology researchers Aaron Reuben and Jonathan Schaefer has shown that we are more likely to experience a bout of mental illness than we are to develop diabetes, heart disease, or any kind of cancer. And yet it’s far more common (and, yes, culturally acceptable) to fear eating too much sugar and fat than it is to consider the possibility of seeking out mental health care.

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Bipolar Disorder and Relationships

woman facing away from man on rooftop

When you have a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder, navigating relationships can be difficult. Not only is it difficult to overcome the self-limiting factors those with bipolar disorder may place on themselves, but it’s difficult to get over the limitations that may externally be placed on a person with bipolar disorder. These are challenges that can feel impossible to overcome but people with bipolar disorder can have social and intimate relationships, and what’s more, doing so can even improve their mental health.

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6 Reasons Why It’s Hard for People With Depression to Exercise

Asian woman depressed in bed

Everyone knows exercise is great for depression. Studies show physical activity has an equivalent effect to medication for Major Depressive Disorder. As helpful as these findings are, they are of no use when people are unable to get motivated to exercise. So many people with depression feel they are lazy when they don’t exercise. This self-criticism makes them feel worse and, in a vicious cycle, leaves them feeling even more depressed.

Nonetheless, there are many reasons people with depression find it difficult to work out, none of which include laziness. Below are only a few. If you have depression, you can use the insights to better understand the condition and forgive yourself when you have trouble getting motivated to exercise. Continue reading 6 Reasons Why It’s Hard for People With Depression to Exercise

As Workplaces Discuss Sexual Harassment Prevention, Are They Neglecting Treatment?

female therapist holding folder comforting woman client

As Workplaces Discuss Sexual Harassment Prevention, Are They Neglecting Treatment?” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women. 

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, workplaces across the country are discussing how to prevent sexual harassment and penalize guilty employees. But, like all national issues, it’s important to not only consider prevention, but also treatment for those already affected.

New research published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology warns that sexual harassment at work is a “chronic problem” for women in the workplace — one that can cause lasting mental illness. Continue reading As Workplaces Discuss Sexual Harassment Prevention, Are They Neglecting Treatment?

How Mental Health Activists Are Fighting Racism

black woman asian man coordinating activism efforts on table

During the Civil Rights Movement, white psychologists invented a so-called mental illness. Dubbing it “protest psychosis,” these psychologists used the racially-motivated “syndrome” to explain away the reasonable rage of black Americans demanding an end to segregation.

Sixty years later, racial disparities in the mental health care system remain, including lack of access to mental health services for communities of color, inadequate addressal of the real psychological trauma caused by racism, and racially-motivated diagnoses like the now-scrapped “protest psychosis.”

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Increasingly, anti-racist advocates in the mental health community are encouraging us all to recognize mental health as a racial justice issue. Continue reading How Mental Health Activists Are Fighting Racism