Why Does Depression Make it Difficult to Function?

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Sometimes depression can sneak up on us, seeping into our lives without detection until it hits hard weeks, months, or even years later. Other times it shows up suddenly, like a heavy, wet blanket that has been thrown on top of us.

Either way, one of depression’s hallmark features is our loss of interest in seemingly everything, whether it’s a favorite pastime or the people closest to you — it can make getting out of bed at all nearly impossible. The world, which once seemed round, flattens out. We’re no longer having any fun and sometimes it’s downright hard to function.

The culprit? In the case of clinical depression, usually it’s a symptom referred to as anhedonia.

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How to Emotionally Prepare Yourself for Your Next Relationship

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I’ll admit it: when my Talkspace editors suggested that I write about how to overcome harmful relationship patterns, my first thought was “Hey man, I wish I knew.”

I, like most of us, have had my fair share of bad relationships, from “it’s complicated,” to “it’s really complicated,” to abuse (and there’s no Facebook status for that). I, like most of us, have gone into each new relationship hoping it will be different this time, but worrying that old patterns will come back to bite me in the derrière. And I, like many women and queer people, have swiped through a dating wasteland of those too eager to show me their genitals, wondering why it has to be so difficult to find someone who will treat me with respect. And of course, I’ve had my fair share of wonderful moments, sweet partners, and fulfilling relationships, too.

But in a world where many of our experiences of intimacy are marked by trauma or negative patterns of behavior, how can we work through the bad stuff to find enduring, healthy love?

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How Not Expressing Your Needs in Bed Harms Your Mental Health

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Noted hip-hop philosophers Salt-N-Pepa once sang, “Let’s talk about sex baby / Let’s talk about you and me / Let’s talk about all the good things / And the bad things that may be.”

They were definitely onto something. Talking about sex isn’t always easy, but seldom does the best sex happen without some sort of communication. Now, for a lot of people, asking for what they want in bed is no walk in the park. But ask someone who has pushed through and communicated even if they felt awkward doing so, and while they may say “yes,” they’ll likely also tell you it’s well worth it.

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Are You Projecting Your Problems Onto Your Partner?

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Often, people come into therapy complaining that their partner is difficult, or depressed, or self-absorbed. Yet, over the course of counseling, it becomes obvious that they, themselves, struggle with these issues.

However, instead of openly admitting and acknowledging these issues in themselves, their subconscious throws up a defensive wall, and they instead tell themselves that these issues characterize their partner.

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Is it Okay to Crush if You’re in a Committed Relationship?

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Having a crush feels amazing — the butterflies, the newness, the way you find yourself smiling when you’re thinking about that special someone. But wait, what if all those warm fuzzy feelings are happening when you’re in a committed relationship…and they’re not directed towards your significant other? Depending on the nature of you and your partner’s relationship, you might have a bit of a dilemma on your hands.

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What to Say to Someone When They’re Inconsolable

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We have all faced moments in our lives where we felt completely inconsolable. Maybe it was after a loss like the death of a loved one — or perhaps after a devastating breakup, job loss, or any other life-change that seemed out of our control and that we grieved deeply.

At times, though, there is no discernible cause: those of us who suffer from depression or anxiety know that sometimes our feelings overwhelm us so intensely that they become hard to shake — and it feels like nothing can console us in those moments.

But what if you are on the other end of such an experience, not suffering from these feelings yourself, but witnessing an inconsolable loved one?

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5 Ways to Turn Your Day Around NOW

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Science knows the secret to happiness — and it’s a lot more simple than you’d think.

That, at least, was the message of a recent New York article that summarized the scientific consensus on what makes humans happy. And, well: turns out that you could probably guess the answers. Beyond having your basic needs met, money, as your mom probably could have told you, does not buy happiness — though it can buy free time to do what you want, which does make you happier. Gratitude is good. Social connection is important. Doing things for others makes us feel better about ourselves.

This is all well and good for the long term. Sure, we all plan to incorporate more family time into our days, take up a hobby, and give back. But when you’re having a crappy day, it’s not enough to plan for the future — you want to know how can the research on happiness can make your day better now.

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5 Daily Habits That Are Actually Hurting Your Mental Health

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If you’re anything like me, you have a routine set in place from the moment you wake up.

Open eyes.

Check the dog…yep, still breathing.

Roll over and check on my boyfriend — yup, he’s still breathing, too.

From there, I immediately grab my phone and open each social media app to see what breaking news I’ve missed over the last, oh, six hours, and then begin my day.

Some of my routines, the morning workout, might be beneficial, but the more I work on my mental health, the more I realize that some of my daily habits could potentially be harming my well-being. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and former business writer for the New York Times, writes that “Routines are the organizational analogue of habits,” and that starting new habits can be as difficult as breaking bad ones — but that harnessing the power of routine can have powerful effects on both productivity and our mental state.

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3 Ways City Living Increases Your Anxiety

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Many are drawn to big cities for their vibrant culture and promise of better career opportunities — just ask the 80 percent of the U.S. population that lives in an urban area. And while the allure of “city lights” can both inspire and provide an escape from the monotony of more rural environments, the constant crowds, congestion, and noise can actually trigger and worsen a person’s anxiety.

It is widely understood that many who live in a city experience daily stress, such as public transportation issues and rapidly rising rent costs, but research reveals the stress of urban living is more than just a daily annoyance — it significantly impacts a person’s mental health. So what is it about the city that makes a person’s anxiety spike?

There are three primary ways.

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The 12 Best Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day (According to a Therapist)

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Everyone has their own way of embracing self-care and addressing their mental health. It’s important for your mental well-being and can provide a valuable reset that leaves you more positive and productive going forward. Today, we’re sharing some secret tips from a therapist on the best way you can spend your mental health day.

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