What is a Sociopath?

eye in broken glass

“What a sociopath!” one might exclaim to describe someone’s erratic, cruel, strange, or manipulative behavior. It’s not a term that should necessarily be thrown around loosely, yet many of us use it to describe someone who is off-putting, secretive, and doesn’t seem to be cognizant of other people’s feelings, or how their actions impact others. The term sociopath may also describe someone who seems dangerous or unhinged.

What you might not know, however, is that the term “sociopath” isn’t really a psychological term, at least not anymore. It’s more of a figure of speech, though it’s linked to a personality disorder that is recognized by psychologists. Continue reading What is a Sociopath?

5 Reasons People Avoid Mental Health Treatment

girl curled up under umbrella

You’ve accepted that you need to go to therapy — but getting yourself out of the door and into the office feels like an insurmountable challenge. After all, most of us aren’t familiar with therapy. We don’t know what we’re going to say. Should we actually lie on the couch like they do in movies, or is it okay to just sit? (Sitting, by the way, is fine and often preferred.)

Overcoming your fear of therapy is the only way to reap the benefits that it can provide. Here are five common reasons people avoid getting treatment. Do any ring true for you? Continue reading 5 Reasons People Avoid Mental Health Treatment

How Do I Find a Psychiatrist Near Me?

map with marked locations

If you’ve ever searched for a “psychiatrist near me” — as many of us have at one time or another — you should be proud of yourself. Deciding to seek help from a local psychiatrist can be intimidating, but being proactive and taking that first step is incredibly admirable!

If you are experiencing signs of a mental health condition — whether clinical (e.g. depression or anxiety), circumstantial (relationship troubles or a new job) or individual (life’s inevitable ups and downs) — seeking psychiatry services is an important way to address those challenges. Even after your first search for a reputable “psychiatrist near me,” the process can feel like scaling a mountain. Continue reading How Do I Find a Psychiatrist Near Me?

Can Ketamine Really Treat Depression?

IV tube

With Denver recently legalizing psilocybin mushrooms, discussions of microdosing — using a tiny dose of a psychoactive drug that is too small to induce a “trip” — are on the rise. One of the most popular microdosing treatments being studied is using ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, i.e. depression with an inadequate response to two or more antidepressants of adequate dose and duration.

But does it work? Initial studies are mixed, and it must be cautioned that further inquiry is needed. Continue reading Can Ketamine Really Treat Depression?

The Difference Between Psychology and Psychiatry (and How They Work Together)

Two people talking

“Oh, my daughter is a psychologist too!” my seatmate gushed when I told him that I was a psychiatrist. As I settled into a long-haul overnight flight, I didn’t feel pressed at that moment to highlight the differences between the two oft-confused professions.

Indeed, ask the average person what a “shrink” is or to differentiate between the roles of a psychologist and a psychiatrist, and expect to receive a host of different answers.

While both psychiatry and psychology deal with the assessment and treatment of individuals with a wide-range of mental health needs, there are important differences worth noting between the two fields as well as their practitioners. It’s especially important for the individual left wondering: should I see a psychologist (or another kind of psychotherapist) or a psychiatrist? Continue reading The Difference Between Psychology and Psychiatry (and How They Work Together)