Rice Psychology Team Archives | Rice Psychology
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The Stigma of Mental Health in the Black Community

The origins of modern psychotherapy date back to Sigmund Freud in Vienna in the late 19th century. At that time, patients visited Dr. Freud several days a week to lie down on his couch and say anything that came to mind. During treatment for mysterious emotional or behavioral difficulties, Dr. Freud, who didn’t say much during the session, was the ultimate authority: interpreting, diagnosing, and prescribing treatment. Psychotherapy, in its original form, though helpful, wasn’t without its problems. It could be a judgmental environment where someone didn’t know what it was like to be his patient (most were women), and it...

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With a New Year Comes a New Diet and Mindset!

Today’s story is personal since it’s mine. Please consider it as it relates to this week’s topic. I’ve struggled with my weight since high school and have gone up, down, and practically sideways on the scale over the years. Breaking my leg in 2005 was a huge setback, and the effects of the weight gained that year have lingered. I’ve heard many people with poor diets and lack of exercise complain of feeling sluggish, both mentally and physically. Like many, there have been days when I’ve had particular trouble focusing and lacked the motivation to get off the couch. After speaking with...

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What Are the “Post-Holiday Blues?”

Even with the holidays looking different this year, for those like you, there is still a lot on your plate. You’re decorating, buying gifts, cooking, taking photos, and connecting with family - even if it’s through Zoom. After all of this time preparing and connecting, the family departs, decorations come down, and your emotions could shift. Suddenly, you may be feeling lonely or even empty. These feelings can cause our brain to bring up other memories that’ve made us feel this way in the past. When big events (like weddings, graduations, birthdays, and holidays) are finally over and all of the...

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It’s Okay to Not be Okay: Looking Back at the Rocky Year of 2020

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. I was extremely anxious and worried when the pandemic began. At first, I found peace thinking we would shelter in place for a few weeks until things went back to normal. Now, we’re in December and things don’t seem to have changed much at all! I’m having a harder time keeping up my “this is just a bump in the road” outlook. On top of that, it’s brutal to see my family struggle as well. I feel like my sunny and positive demeanor is now cloudy and dull. I’m finding...

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Feeling Better During the Holidays While Missing a Loved One

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. Growing up, I loved the holidays. My dad always made them so special and we had so many great traditions. This year, though, will be different because I lost him a few months ago and am dreading the upcoming weeks. To top it all off, getting together with family is impossible due to COVID-19 group guidelines. I don’t want to completely miss out on the holidays, but I’m just not sure how to face them alone. What can I do? In our most recent blog, we discussed helping your family cope...

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Thanksgiving Doesn’t Have to be a Write-Off

This week’s story isn’t just any story – it’s my story! I adore Thanksgiving. It may be my favorite holiday. It was my father’s holiday. With divorced parents, I loved traveling to Old Greenwich, Connecticut on Wednesdays after school to spend the fall weekend with my dad. He and his wife were the best feast-preparers, and we indulged in turkey, stuffing, and leftover sweet potatoes with extra marshmallows in little white ramekins all weekend long. Ever since my dad died, I’ve continued to celebrate this special day with family and friends of choice. However, this year, despite invitations, I’ve struggled with the...

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“Should” Thoughts: Doing More Harm Than Good for Your Mental Health

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. I’ve always had a bad habit of telling myself that I should be doing this and shouldn't be doing that. I apply it to everything: work, family, friends, you name it. These thoughts haven’t cured me of my misdeeds and don’t seem to motivate me at all. For example, I ate way too much junk food last week while telling myself that I should’ve been eating healthier instead. This morning when I looked in the mirror, I regretted it all. I was really disappointed in the choices I made and...

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What’s So Funny? Why Having a Hearty Laugh Can Help During These Times

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. With so much negativity going on this year, my mindset was in the red. Somehow, I’d turned into a pessimist who focused on the negative side of things almost exclusively. I was so tuned into seeing the negative things in everything. It got so bad that my therapist diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. During one session, we got to talking about turning things around and seeing the other side, the optimistic or positive side. So far, I’ve been doing great, and one thing that’s helped is laughing more. I’d...

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How Depression, Anxiety, and Even ADHD Can Lead to Unhealthy Coping Habits

This week, I’m sharing my own true story. Here’s part one. When the pandemic hit and people started shopping because they thought it was the end of the world, I was a bit late to the party. I missed the memo about buying toilet paper and ended up ordering mine from Wish.com but found tons of delicious treats in all of the other middle aisles in the supermarket. Suddenly, I was back to my childhood eating habits and had my kitchen stocked with Oreos of all varieties, sugary cereals, cookie dough, cake and brownie mixes, pasta, the list goes on. And...

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What a Nonverbal Learning Disorder is and Why it Shouldn’t be Ignored

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic. While I enjoy speaking to others in social settings, understanding what they’re saying is sometimes difficult. I tend to overanalyze every little thing someone says to me and sometimes take things way too literally. It’s become overwhelming as I’ve gotten older. I’ll soon be undergoing some cognitive testing, but I’m incredibly nervous. My family and therapist are extremely supportive and are guiding me through this whole thing. My mind is racing about what the diagnosis will be. It’s becoming mainstream to hear celebrities opening up about their mental health struggles. Comedian...

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