Comics have high levels of psychotic personality traits, according to a new study which should come as a surprise to exactly no one who spends time around comedians. In other breaking news, comics also have trouble paying their bills on time. Keep reading »
A few years ago, I complained to a girl friend about how my then-boyfriend was getting on my nerves. I told her how we would be hanging out in his apartment on the weekend and I would ask for some “alone time” to read or go online. He would say okay, but couldn’t go for more than a few minutes before he would start chattering away to me as I sat on his couch with a book. I would ask him to please let me have some time alone; he would get angry that I, as he put it, “didn’t want him to talk” in his own home. I felt so frustrated that he wasn’t respecting, or perhaps fundamentally understanding, what “alone time” meant and why it was important to me.
“You are an introvert,” my friend told me. “You relax and recharge your batteries being by yourself and withdrawing inside your own head. It sounds like he’s an extrovert. That means relaxing and recharging means being with other people.”
Oh, I thought. No one had ever explained my personality to me quite like that before. I used to believe I had strange, inexplicable over-stimulation issues; I also used to think I was a “loner.” Deep down, though, I knew that word wasn’t correctly descriptive, because I have many friends and a close family. Fortunately my friend’s metaphor about recharging batteries made perfect sense. It’s not that I hate people or don’t have any friends; I just need to have quiet in my head to, well, recharge. Keep reading »
In today’s depressing news, a couple is suing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over the state’s recent ban on gay conversion therapy. Christie signed the bill into law this August, which prevents therapists from attempting to “convert” gay teenagers into being straight. Because it’s complete and utter quack psychology bullshit.
But! These horrible parents, who have remained unnamed, claims their 15-year-old son doesn’t want to be gay and “needs” the conversion therapy. Their son has contemplated suicide and has, in their words, “unwanted gender identity disorder and unwanted same-sex attractions.” I don’t think it’s particularly presumptuous to assume that his parents’ — and perhaps, community’s — disapproval is a major factor in his unhappiness. I guess they’re not concerned with that, though. They feel that their rights to free speech and freedom of religion are being violated. (The American Association for Christian Counselors has filed a separate lawsuit over the bill.) Keep reading »
Hooray for the shy and insecure! As it turns out, eye contact isn’t always as powerful as we thought. A new paper in the journal Psychological Science says that eye contact can actually make you less persuasive to others. Keep reading »
Therapy has done me good. Off and on ever since I was 14, I’ve seen a couple therapists for a couple of years at a time each. They’ve helped me through family craziness, adjusting to college, adjusting to life after college, a boss possessed by Satan, and bouts of depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t about “solving” problems; it’s about learning ways to cope with them. It’s a credit to my most recent therapist that the few problems in my life feel manageable. In extraordinary circumstances I’ll feel anxious or depressed, but I’m proud to say that I’ve been living my life better than ever. So much so, in fact, that I’m not sure that I’m getting much out of therapy anymore. It feels less like an essential part of mental healthcare and more like a relationship I’ve been maintaining (and let’s be honest, paying for) out of guilt and habit.
So I decided to cut the cord. And my therapist … well, she didn’t take it so well. It felt like a breakup. Here are the five stages you can expect your therapist to go through when you’ve quit their services: Keep reading »
A new study suggests that girls suffering from anorexia display similar personality traits to those with autism, such as lack of empathy, high focus on detail, and rigid behavior. In some instances, girls with anorexia scored five times higher in autistic qualities than non-anorexic girls on the Autism Spectrum Quotient. Keep reading »
“What do YOU think?” That’s the number one phrase I hear in therapy over and over — usually because I’m asking my therapist for her opinion about some shit that is going down. But as those of us in therapy know, a therapist is not there to give advice or to tell you how to live your life. He or she will listen and offer observations about the way you talk about your life. But dishing out advice and tips is a big no-no. After a year-plus of asking my therapist, “What do you think?” and getting the response “What do YOU think?”, I’ve come to realize that what she really means is Stop asking me this because I’m not going to tell you.
Of course, that’s not the only thing my therapist says that actually means something else. Here are just a few things* that your therapist is saying to you and what it really means:
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“I have a shopping fetish!”
“I have a total fetish for caramel-covered popcorn — it’s my favorite snack!”
“She watches the Kardashians’ shows because she has a weird Kim fetish. She’s wants to dress like her so badly.”
You’ve probably heard a comment like this at least once a week your entire life. These sorts of comments drive me bonkers, because those people are not really referring to fetishes.
Instead, they’re misusing the word “fetish” to describe anything they really like, instead of something that sexually turns them on. I imagine it might be the same way gay folks would feel when a straight-person says to their same-sex friend “I’m gay for you,” when really they just mean their friend is a good buddy.
This is a subject we could all stand to know more about. Obviously I am not a psychologist or a medical expert of any kind; I’m just a woman with a spanking fetish who is researching official information on the subject on Google and including my own experiences and tips. I highly recommend visiting a sex-positive therapist, specifically a sex therapist, for a professional consult and to sort this stuff out if you or a loved one have a fetish or paraphilia.
But for a basic 101 on fetishes and paraphilia, here are some commonly asked questions and answers:
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