Kyle MacDonald: Why Do People Worry?
"I've been told I worry too much. Why are some people worriers, and what can I do about it?" - Lifetime worrier
There is little shortage of things to worry about. As I write this, everything I read tells me I should be very worried about the outcome of the US presidential election. Global warming, terrorism, even our household cleaners can kill us apparently.
Worrying can always seem like it makes sense, because from a certain perspective, it always does. We can define worrying as thinking about future threats and problems, and planning to avoid or otherwise solve them.
However when we worry we make a choice we often don't know we're making. We choose to focus on that which is negative and frightening. We pick out the negative and chew it over in our mind. We set our own emotional tone.
Kyle MacDonald: How to Manage Stress Better
Do you wear your stress and "busy-ness" like a badge of honour? Psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald explains the problem with modern day stress and how to manage it.
"How can I manage my stress better?" - Stressed out
It always amazes me how easy it is these days to wear your stress and "busy-ness" like a badge of honour. How frequently "how are you?" is responded to with "really busy!"
One of my all time favourite book titles (and yes I do judge a book by it's cover and, even worse, its title) is about stress. Why Zebras don't get ulcers is a great guide to stress by Robert Sapolsky, and my favourite book on the subject.
Kyle MacDonald: Why Not All Parents Feel Joy Over Their Baby
After the birth of my child, I thought that I would feel so much joy, but instead I'm irritable, worry constantly and feel totally overwhelmed. Is this normal?
As a father, you always feel like you're looking at something you will never quite understand when you see the bond that develops almost instantly between mother and baby. Psychologists have called this "maternal preoccupation" because, of course, something so obvious needed a label.
But what happens when this initial joy, this "preoccupation" doesn't happen?..
Kyle MacDonald: Why Do We Need Mental Health Awareness Week?
By now, shouldn't we all be aware of what mental illness looks like? Kyle MacDonald explains why Mental Health Awareness Week, which began on Monday, is crucial.
When half of us, on average, will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime, and one in four New Zealanders are currently, it's a reasonable question. By now, shouldn't we all be aware of what mental illness looks like?
Dealing with mental health is a constant battle against the tidal wave of denial. The history of psychotherapy is a century-long effort to demystify and promote the treatment of mental distress because, for many, their personal battle is one against their own - and societies - denial.
Kyle MacDonald: The Problem With Tough Love on Teens
When it comes to disciplining teens, tough love tactics sound good, but most approaches are more tough than love, writes Kyle MacDonald.
I'm worried my teenage son is using drugs. I've been told I should use a 'tough love' approach. What's tough love?" Concerned parent
Tough love sounds good, and there's little question that parents of teenagers need to set and maintain clear and consistent boundaries. But most approaches are more tough, than love.
Kyle MacDonald: How to Avoid Drunk-Posting on Social Media
Most people know alcohol tends to make all of us less likely to filter what we say. The thing is, says Kyle MacDonald, social media can too.
"I have a friend who posts things on Facebook they regret, often late at night, sometimes when they've been drinking. Why do they do this?" Via Twitter
We all have a filter in our head that stops us saying all the things we think. There are individual differences in people's ability to filter, we all know someone who tends to say more than they should.
When physical illness leads to depression
Kyle MacDonald discusses the common occurrence of stroke victims in particular experiencing depression during their recovery.
"A family member recently had a stroke, and while they were recovering they also got really depressed. Is that common?"
There's this weird split in medicine, right around the neck, between what's "physical" and what's "mental". (Philosophers interested in how the mind works call it "dualism".)
The problem is, we're so used to thinking about the brain and the body as separate things, it can be hard to recognise...
Kyle MacDonald: What does it really mean to 'let something go'?
How do you let go, and how is it possible to let go of the pain that the avoidable loss of a loved one causes?
Saturday September 10 marked World Suicide Prevention Day and with it came the very painful stories of loss endured those left behind by suicide.
"Letting something go" is the idea that when we're hurt, or in grief, we should just be able to move on. It's also true that people often feel stuck and unable to stop hurting about loss or past hurts and injustices.
Kyle MacDonald: The Healing Power of Sharing Your Story
This week, I decided to ask myself a question: "What is the People's Review of the Mental Health System, and why are you asking for people's stories?"
I hear people's stories all day. Therapy is about stories, how we author the chapters of our own lives, re-writing and editing them as we move forward through life. While most will never actually write their own memoirs, we all have a detailed autobiography writ large across our minds, and hearts.
It's always been this way. Humans seem to innately understand their existence through stories. Myths, legends, creation stories, family tales told over Christmas dinner. It's universal.
Kyle MacDonald: Are We All Racist Deep Down?
Research on unconscious bias suggests we are all more racist and xenophobic than we would like to admit, writes Kyle MacDonald.
Why is it people only care about those immediate to them rather than applying the same caring to all in society? via Twitter
If you believe the research: deep down, we're all racist and xenophobic.
So why is it hard to generate caring for people we don't know? And for others, why is that caring limited by political views?