4 common myths about mental health

Mental health is an important aspect of overall psychological well-being. Additionally, mental health is more than an absence of mental disorders—it is an integral part of health, determined by a range of socioeconomic, biological, and environmental factors. It is the ability to cope with normal stresses of life, maintain a positive outlook, manage one’s emotions, … Continue reading 4 common myths about mental health

Dangerous thoughts of the Inner Critic

Critical voice is a well-integrated pattern of destructive thoughts towards ourselves and others. The voice can become dominant in our daily lives, continually transforming itself into inner dialogue, where we split ourselves into two parts: the Critic and the Listener. Soon we catch ourselves doing things we have never done before, like binge eating or drinking, to soothe the mental pain. Instead of being led by one’s core values, the person who obediently listens to this voice no longer acts in their own self-interest, simply because the Inner Critic stubbornly discourages them to do so. One no longer lives a fulfilling life inspired by one’s values. Distancing themselves from the life of purpose and meaning, the person might also distance themselves from their partner, or threaten relationships with significant others. They could also have problems in everyday performance and productivity at work, suffer from low self-esteem, become increasingly distrustful in themselves and others, turn to alcohol and substance abuse, etc.

The importance of pain

Pain is part of life, companion of many important life events, a clear sign that something demands our attention, a conspicuous signal that something is wrong or not quite right, and an invitation that we should ask for help. Pain might be physical or mental/psychological. Psychological pain is sometimes defined as “the affective state associated with discrepancy between ideal and actual perception of self.” Psychological pain is tied to any form of inner suffering or intense unpleasant feelings (e.g. guilt, fear, loneliness, panic, helplessness, despair). Suffering can be caused by frustrated psychological needs, such as need for love, belonging, autonomy, success, etc. Fulfilling these needs is a drive to action—it can be big part of human motivation per se. However, personal meanings and the unique story of each person differ from one human being to another, even when the same or similar needs are not satisfied. So, suffering and pain of each person are specific: in order to understand something about them and to approach the inner core of their problems, we must first understand their life story. Psychological pain is at the heart of many psychological problems. In depression, the pain is often described as “physical,” which can further lead to an over exaggerated reaction to negative images and stimuli. Consequences might include feelings of unhappiness, guilt, ruminations, etc. Very intense pain could lead to suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviors. The risk of suicide rises as general psychological and emotional pain becomes stronger. Suicide happens when the pain becomes excruciating—when it becomes intolerable—so the very act signifies escape from unbearable suffering.

The vicious cycle of depression and how to get out from it

We all feel down and sad sometimes. It is hard. It is difficult. It can drain our energy and empty our resources. But what if there is something we can do about depression to at least soften its influence on our lives? According to American Psychiatric Association, depression (or major depression disorder) is a treatable … Continue reading The vicious cycle of depression and how to get out from it