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Author: Joseph Carver

Personality Disorders: Controllers, Abusers, Manipulators, and Users in Relationships

Who are these people? In romantic relationships they are controlling, abusive, manipulative partners who can ruin not only the relationship, but our self-esteem, finances, and reputation. As a parent, they can put the “D” in Dysfunctional Family and be the parent that abuses, neglects, ignores, or psychologically damages their children. As a friend they may be irresponsible, selfish, unreliable, dishonest, and often create significant problems in our life. As a neighbor, they spread rumors, create disharmony in the neighborhood, and steal our lawnmower. As a family member, they maintain themselves as the center of attention and keep the family...

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The Chemical Imbalance in Mental Health Problems

Over the years, advances in neurology and research have simplified the way psychologists, psychiatrists, and others diagnosis and treat mental health problems. In over one hundred years of mental health treatment, the symptoms and behaviors associated with certain mental health conditions have remained the same. Psychotic disorders, where the individual often can’t distinguish between reality and their fantasies, still have auditory hallucinations. Depressed individuals still can’t sleep and remain preoccupied with the past. Hyperactive children (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD) still exhibit uncontrollable restlessness. When patients first began reclining on the couches of psychoanalytic psychiatrists, the depressed folks talked about their past. This led the founders of psychology and psychiatry to believe that issues that began in childhood caused many mental health problems. But questions were still not answered. Why would a bad relationship with your mother create the appetite loss found in depression, especially when eating problems only started several months prior to the session? By what strange mechanism would a childhood issue create an auditory hallucination, often years after the reported traumatic event? Many people had difficult childhoods, but they didn’t hallucinate and have a great appetite. It became clear that many mental health problems also had a physical component that involved changes in concentration, sleep, appetite, speech pattern, energy level, perceptions (hallucinations), and motivation. Studies began to determine the connection, if indeed one was present, between...

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Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Depression is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems, currently felt to affect one in every four adults to some degree. Depression is a problem with mood/feeling in which the mood is described as sad, feeling down in the dumps, being blue, or feeling low. While the depressed mood is present, evidence is also present which reflects the neurochemical or “brain chemistry” aspects of depression with the depressed individual experiencing poor concentration/attention, loss of energy, accelerated thought/worry, sleep/appetite disturbance, and other physical manifestations. When this diagnosis is present, the individual will exhibit at least five of the following symptoms during the depressive periods: Depressed mood, most of the day or every day Markedly diminished interest in all or almost all activities Significant weight loss or gain or appetite disturbance insomnia or excessive sleeping Psychomotor agitation or retardation (restlessness) Low energy level or chronic tiredness Feelings of inadequacy, loss of self-esteem, and/or self-deprecation Decreased attention, concentration, or ability to think clearly Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, an expressed desire to be dead Causes of Depression: Depression can occur under many circumstances but most commonly is present in these two situations: Sudden Severe Loss In this situation, the individual has experienced a sudden, perhaps surprising severe loss. This loss may be the death of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of friendship, or other grief process....

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Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder in children. This handout has been developed to educate parents regarding the causes, symptoms, and issues associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Designed as an overview, years of experience with ADHD children and adults has prompted the identification of several patterns of behavior described in this handout. Information in the handout has been obtained from several sources – professional experience, books, parent/student interviews, and internet websites. This handout is not a substitute for professional evaluation or assessment of ADHD in children and is placed on the internet as a resource for...

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Warning Signs That You’re Dating a Loser

Very few relationships start on terms other than sweetness and politeness. In the beginning, “the honeymoon” of the relationship, it’s difficult to determine what type of individual you are dating. Both you and the date are guarded, trying to obtain information about the other as much as possible without seeming like a police detective. “The Loser” Romantic relationships can be wonderful with the right person. A relationship with the wrong individual however can lead to years of heartache, emotional/social damage, and even physical damage. A damaging adult partner can damage us, damage our loved ones, and even damage the way we feel about love and romance in the future. They can turn what is supposed to be a loving, supporting, and understanding relationship into the “fatal attraction” often described in movies. There are a variety of “bad choices” that may be encountered each week – most of which are easily to identify and avoid. We all know to avoid people that appear insane or abusive and not select them as a dating partner. However, some individuals are better at hiding their personality and behavior abnormalities. In an effort to provide some warning about these very damaging individuals, this paper will outline a type of individual commonly found in the dating scene, a male or female labeled “The Loser”. “The Loser” is a type of partner that creates much social,...

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