Creatine: Not Just for Muscle — Human Performance Psychology

If you’re involved in sports that require speed, power, and strength, then you’ve likely come across creatine before. The supplement gained prominence in the early 1990s as a method of enhancing strength, and since then research has continued to explore its use as a sports performance aid. Beyond muscle, creatine is a supplement that […]

Creatine: Not Just for Muscle — Human Performance Psychology

Putting Effort Into Your Relationship Means Putting Effort Into Yourself — Thought Catalog

Putting effort into your relationship means more than planning dates. It means more than sending the first text. It means more than checking in with your person to make sure they’re doing okay. Putting effort into your relationship also means making sure your own mental health is okay. It means putting effort into taking care…

Putting Effort Into Your Relationship Means Putting Effort Into Yourself — Thought Catalog

Fear Of Intimacy

Brunette woman experiencing fear of intimacy by lying in bed covered by white blanket

Trouble Committing To Close Relationships

Not everyone desires a close relationship. Many relationships that have the potential to go the distance fall short of reaching any meaningful significance, because someone backs out and sabotages it. The fear of intimacy is exactly what it sounds like: the trouble to commit to a close relationship because of a certain mental discomfort associated with the idea.

Many people who experience a fear of intimacy have a low self-esteem, or confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. As soon as they sense another person forming some sort of attachment, they back away by either ghosting or respectfully informing them of their lack of desire for more.

Others who experience a fear of intimacy have trust issues. They may have been in one too many unstable or failed relationships where they were cheated on or abused, and thus have trouble trusting any new person who comes their way. They fear more pain and have adopted a defense mechanism that prevents them from forming close relationships.

Some people experience episodes of anger when intimacy arises. The closeness of the relationship somehow influences their unconscious mind in some way: maybe they were abused by their parents growing up. All the anger they have built up from their abuse as a child, when all they wanted was to feel close and loved, they take it out on their current partner. And so they fear intimacy in order to avoid feeling angry.

Some women actively avoid physical contact. They might have had a bad experience with men in the past, so as soon as they sense a man becoming intimate, they back away and disappear. Some women may just not be ready for physical contact or are confused by their sexual orientation.

It’s not surprising to learn that many people have trouble forming or committing to a close relationship. They have either been single their entire lives and are just used to having their own ways, or they simply do not know how to become intimate. Maybe they want to become intimate so badly, that it actually backfires and turns off the other person. And some people are actually diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder or avoidant personality disorder, preventing them from developing intimate relationships.

Believe it or not, some people are unable to share feelings or express their emotions. They either feel uncomfortable doing so, or just don’t know how to bring them out in a natural way. This leaves the other person wondering, “does he even feel anything? He seems so robotic!” And the relationship ends before any chance of intimacy develops.

Lastly, some folks have an insatiable sexual desire: they crave sex and cannot get enough of it. But when their partner wants more than sex, they become turned off, because they do not feel the desire for intimacy, due to their high sex drive. So again, they either ghost the person or the person gives up on their intimate quest and just succumbs to a sexual relationship.

If you have a fear of intimacy, please feel free to share with The DSM Ready Community.

(And as always, feel free to check out DSM Gear for some cool accessories)

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Financial Stress

Stressed man holding dollar bills on his face

Thinking About Money Everyday

It’s not just young people who experience financial stress. Middle-aged folks as well as the elderly experience worries and concerns regarding their financial situations. Even the wealthy are concerned about making more money, but we’ll leave them out of this one for now. Thinking about money everyday is something that most people do, whether rich or poor.

There are more people who experience financial stress than people who just think about making more money on top of their fat bank accounts. Many college or postgraduate students have loans ranging anywhere from 50K to 500K. The expectation of having to pay back these loans is frightening and even distressing to their mental health.

People who choose to live in Manhattan or San Francisco know very well what it feels like to experience financial stress. Expensive apartments, groceries, car insurance, gas and paying the bills leave us wondering, “how much longer can I go on like this?” Many people live paycheck to paycheck, and not everyone has the opportunity to leave these expensive cities, because of their jobs.

One can always pack up and ship out, but it’s not that easy to just leave your family and friends behind and go job-hunting in a different state; this is especially true as one gets older. In addition, the uncomfortable feeling of waiting for your bank webpage to load so that you can see your account balance, becomes very stressful over time.

But is there a way to handle financial stress without continuing to sacrifice your mental health? Of course there is. You should try to incorporate the following on a daily basis:

  • Practice mindfulness
  • Exercise at least 2-3 times per week
  • Socialize and go out to places
  • Manage your budget and don’t overspend on unnecessary items
  • Keep track of your bills and spendings each month
  • Try to work your way up in your job field in order to make more money
  • Remain positive

The most important factor mentioned above is remaining positive. It’s so easy to become bitter and negative when experiencing financial stress. When this happens, everything slowly starts to crumble in your life, including your relationships and hope for the future. The reality is that you’re most likely not going to get rid of your financial stress within the next couple of years, so why sacrifice your mental health and risk losing it all?

No matter the hardships that you are going through, always remember that you are not alone! There is always someone in your exact situation or even worse. So rather than stressing yourself out over your current financial situation, do your best to maintain a positive outlook on life.

Financial stress is something that we all have to deal with, but poor mental health should not be.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Stop Judging Others

Bald man with gray beard arguing and shouting with someone on the phone

Putting All Religious Differences Aside

There is so much negative energy in the world based on religious and cultural differences. Rather than humanity being whole as Jesus’s heart, we have become divided like Satan’s heart. This is because we rather judge others rather than love them and be understanding of their ways. Putting all religious differences aside, we need to stop judging others and start working with each other.

Christians criticize muslims for not believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and muslims criticize christians for reading the bible which has been corrupted by man. And others criticize jews because they took away the land of the Palestinian people. And don’t forget the Hindus who practice polytheism.

Do you see how many differences there are and we haven’t even touched upon all religious beliefs? All these differences, in addition to the many different cultures, is dividing rather than uniting us. This is exactly what Jesus did not want humans to do. Jesus did not only come to Earth to help those already in good hands, but to also help the tax collectors and thieves who were lost.

The same concept applies here: we cannot continue to divide ourselves based on religion, skin color and cultural differences. If our hearts had an unconscious side to it like our minds, it would probably be fair to say that it’s filled with a great deal of hate. And this is because we are allowing our minds to separate us, by polluting our hearts in the process.

Even if you feel very strongly about your religion, at the end of the day, you’re a human being! Don’t allow the information that you read in a book separate you from groups of other practicing faiths, just because they don’t share the information that is in your book. Look at the person in front of you: how you treat them matters!

We can all continue to hate each other and argue about which religion is more accurate, or we can use that negative energy and flip it around so that we can love each other and learn more about our differences. You see, society is going to continue to make progress in technological and medical advancements, improving our options for communication and treatments for physical and mental health disorders.

But what good does that do for us, if we cannot even get a basic concept right: to love each human being despite the differences that we carry! Some may argue that it’s not possible when there are 7.7 billion people currently living on planet Earth. But it is possible if we spread these kinds of messages to others, and find room in our hearts to change our ways, so that we can love each other!

Stop judging others. It’s a difficult process because you’ve been doing it your entire life, but start today by telling yourself, “I want to love everyone, even though we may carry many differences.”

Meditate on that.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Three men sitting on brick stairs outdoors

I’m Just Stuck In My Own World

Many people would agree that they wish they could just have the will and power to step out of their comfort zones in certain situations. But for whatever reason, they cannot and just can’t seem to figure out why. “It’s not you, it’s me” is something we have all heard people say to one another, and there is some truth to this saying.

Everyone develops a certain impression of you based on what you say and how you act. Sometimes you’ve never even spoken a word to a certain person, but you wish you just had the courage to do so. That certain person wonders why you guys still haven’t talked yet, quickly forming an opinion of you that is most likely inaccurate.

The truth is that many times we are just stuck in our own world and do not know how to coast out of it. If you just so happen to not be part of “my world”, then you will most likely not have anything to do with it. There are so many occasions where we desire certain people to be part of our world, but we just don’t know how to reach out to them.

It’s like an invisible fence is separating and preventing us from crossing paths. And if we happen to cross paths, something goes wrong within a few days to a week and we become separated again, as if we had never met. Is there an invisible force that controls human interactions and decides who is meant to meet who?

And if there is, how do we get in contact with this invisible force in order to express our wishes and desires? Is this force God? The solution besides praying for better outcomes is to continue living your life in abundance, by counting your blessings and maintaining a positive state of mind.

You have to learn to accept your current situation, even if your current situation has been replayed into your reality more times than you can imagine. That’s why it helps to be consistently strong and to remain positive. Currently in the United States, there is an epidemic of youth suicide and we do not even know why this is happening.

Many people can relate to the “it’s not you, it’s me” comment. What are your reasons for why you identify with this saying?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Escaping Panic Attacks

Anxious man holding his head during a panic attack

How To Help Someone With Panic Attacks

Anyone who has ever experienced a panic attack will tell you that it’s one of their worst experiences; maybe more terrifying than a natural disaster. Panic attacks are like intruders who invade your mental space and do not allow you to have peace. They disrupt everything about you during those 5-10 minutes. Escaping panic attacks must be done right!

The more that you fight a panic attack, the greater it becomes in strength. Panic attacks want you to fight them, because they strive on your fear, pain and struggle. Panic attacks are also very sneaky: they’re like snakes coming from behind you and snapping without your awareness.

But once you become cornered by a panic attack, you become more aware of them than anything else. Your surroundings quickly become irrelevant as all you can focus on is the war zone that has just erupted in the depths of your mind. And just as any war zone, you become fearful for your life and consider running away from your current location to hide in a safe haven.

But there is no safe haven outside of your immediate surroundings. Because if you do run away, you are actually beating yourself up. What do you accomplish by running away? You may be in an important meeting, in a room full of people or even seeing a patient in the office; running away will make your current situation awkward.

The safe haven lies in your mind; it always has and it always will. Panic attacks are just intruders that capitalize on the chemical imbalance in your brain; their high is your low! As long as your serotonin levels remain on the low side, panic attacks remain high and elated. So when you attempt to run, you are actually running away from yourself, because everything is happening within your mind.

Besides medications such as antidepressants or benzodiazepines and psychotherapy, such as CBT or psychodynamic, the real way of helping yourself or someone else from panic attacks is by learning how to become comfortable with panic attacks when they do strike. Medications and psychotherapy do help a lot, but if you cannot learn how to become comfortable in your own skin during the attacks, you will continue to struggle.

Experience is key. The more panic attacks you have under your belt, the more comfortable that you become at handling them. And the way to handle them is to remain calm in your present environment and continue to focus on what you were doing prior to the attack. This technique helps prove to yourself that you are still in control of your mind and that you do not have to get up and leave.

You can also try incorporating a technique such as massaging your hands without making it noticeable to those around you. For most people, hand massages feel good and put you in a state of relaxation. Hand massages can be a coping mechanism that you only perform when cornered by a panic attack: they help redirect your thoughts to the good feeling of your hands, and take away your focus from the uncomfortable sensations of the panic. Call it a “hand job” if need be.

Overall, the only way to properly escape a panic attack is by not reacting to it. No matter how difficult and uncomfortable it may be to ride it out, the more experience you have remaining cool, calm and collected during the attacks, the more control that you will gain over future ones.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Helping Those Around You

Black African children washing dishes outside

Planting The Seeds Of Knowledge

The garden becomes more beautiful as more people become blessed with the opportunity of knowledge. Helping those around you is about sharing the knowledge that you accumulate on a daily basis, in order to help humanity elevate and bring upon the missing peace. This is planting the seeds of knowledge.

You should want to help others! Anyone with a heart can do it, you just have to put yourself into it. Many people do not have a heart for those around them, because they keep it for themselves or their immediate family members. But helping others is going beyond your family and reaching those with less fortunate opportunities.

But it’s important to remember that helping is not always about the less fortunate, but even the most fortunate who are wealthy and living the life. It doesn’t matter how rich one is; when you help, you leave all doors open. Anyone is free to join the fun and learn more about how life works! We can all learn from each other about how life works.

Your challenge should be to see how consistent you can be with spreading knowledge on a weekly basis, with eventual improvement to the daily spread of knowledge. If you happen to go through a day concluding that you haven’t helped one single person, then you can start keeping record and continue to aim for improvement.

Planting is not as easy as some of you may have thought! To tend a garden requires the start of a garden and without the gardener up to par, the seeds won’t spread to far. This calls for unity: let us all come together and happily join each other on a beautiful platform based on honesty and trust.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

10 Gratitude Quotes — HeartyPsych

1. Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. —Zig Ziglar 2. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, […]

10 Gratitude Quotes — HeartyPsych

Mental Illness In Children

Young girl with depression covering her face with palm

Understanding A Young Child’s Mind

Children are much different than adults in many aspects, one of them being how mental illness manifests in them. While mania is mania and depression is depression, it doesn’t mean that a mental illness demonstrates the exact same presentation in children as it does in adults. Mental illness in children can be quite different. That’s why it’s important to understand a young child’s mind and where they’re coming from.

Children view the world much differently than adults. Jean Piaget established stages through which a child develops intellectually throughout the course of childhood. While the stages won’t be mentioned here, one can easily find them and understand what children experience when growing up.

For instance, depression in children does not always manifest with the obvious sadness that can be observed in adults. Children with depression often display irritability and oppositional behavior. Parents may report that their child “does not feel like doing anything anymore” and “he’s always moody or angry!”

Some children may display borderline traits such as self-injurious behaviors, unstable relationships, risky behaviors such as smoking marijuana or cat-fishing the opposite sex on dating apps, etc. But these same children may also experience inattention and hyperactivity.

It becomes a challenge to properly diagnosis a child: is it borderline personality disorder, ADHD or normal childlike behavior? Some children and teens may even present with psychotic features. Parents may complain that their child talks to themselves, refuses to leave their bedroom, has a hard time making friends, is isolated and even hypersexual!

In child psychiatry, it is very important to listen to the parent’s side of the story as well as the child’s. But most importantly, understanding a young child’s mind is key to making a proper diagnosis or any diagnosis. Some children may need a lot of time to express their thoughts and feelings, and they will often shy away in front of their parents.

While mental illness is mental illness, child psychiatry is a different world from adult psychiatry. As much as the patient comes first, the parents or caretakers are just as important for collateral information. This makes child psychiatry a very team-dependent field.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)