People who suffer from OCD describe feeling a compulsive urge to take part in ritualized activities: for example, checking locks and gas taps many times before being able to leave the house, washing hands or clothes excessively or engaging in excessive cleaning. These behaviours are often accompanied with repetitive actions like having to check the gas taps in a certain way and for a certain number of times. If something happens to break this routine, the sufferer has to start the ritual all over again. Sufferers from this disorder are plagued by health fears, being convinced, regardless of how many medical tests are made or reassurances given, that they are really ill. For example, someone believes that the normal aches and pains experienced by most people at some time are due to cancer and so enters into a cycle of medical test after medical test, going from one doctor to another, never being convinced that all is well. Whether relating to OCD or hypochondriasis there is usually a set pattern of reactions: The perceived threat triggers a worrying thought or image and this leads to a feeling of anxiety. The person then needs to engage in an activity that he or she finds comforting (e.g., washing hands, checking etc.) to reduce the feelings of anxiety. The more you focus on hardening your mind, body, and spirit, the easier everything will become and the less of a negative effect challenges, hardship, and problems will have on you. Take psychostimulants, for example. Countless well-designed studies on the effects of drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine on youth with hyperactive and attentional problems have shown their robust effects. Kids quiet down, can focus, and become less disruptive in classrooms within an hour of taking a psychostimulant. The use of Ritalin and Adderall is pervasive in colleges and universities; ask any student, who will tell you the truth. These drugs, in the short term, increase focus and attention and awaken sleepy brains. Youth, parents, teachers, and doctors may debate the pros and cons of their use, but are, nevertheless, left to confront the reality of a given child's or young adult's need for something that can enhance the capacity to learn and behave. Opioids, as another example, have both legal and illegal applications as pain medications and street drugs. Among the most popular are OxyContin, Percodan, Vicodin, morphine, heroin, and now fentanyl as well. Opium has been the old standard, used in Asia for a long time but less common in the United States. We have a CDC-recognized epidemic of addiction to prescription opioids, with its consequent deadly overdoses, which has recently been joined by the recurrence of heroin use and mixed street concoctions that are even more lethal. The casualties are no longer solely the inner-city poor and people of color, but extend to white people, the middle class, and Middle America. We need to comprehend and appreciate how these substances serve the user: that the warm opioid rush rivals any other state of euphoria and dissolves psychic and physical pain.

That stimulants boost energy, focus, and mood among youth and adults. That marijuana acts as an anxiolytic, "lysing" nervousness. That alcohol is the universal solvent to unglue social inhibitions. In my career as a psychiatrist I have cared for and overseen the treatment of tens of thousands of patients suffering from the ravages of addiction. All used drugs for perfectly intelligible reasons--because the substance served their particular needs. I cannot think of a time in the over forty years I have been practicing psychiatry when I did not encounter, usually daily, drug use, abuse, and dependence in the patients I cared for, either directly as their doctor, as a clinical-service or hospital director, or today as a public-health official. In dating, certain things will make the difference in success rates far more so than others. Learn how to listen--be an active listener, and an engaged participant. This means that when someone is talking to you (that you're excited to get to know!) pay attention. Focus on what they're saying. What is he/she excited about? What is he/she passionate about? What is her work life like? What is his family like? Nod and smile to let that person know you're actively listening and interested in what they have to say! Empathy in action--become involved in what someone else has gone through. Someone that is likeable to the opposite sex is someone who extends himself, and thinks outside of himself. You can demonstrate to others that you feel deeply by nonverbal cues: smiling when they tell you something good, or having a serious expression when they tell you something traumatic that's happen to them communicates a level of trust and connection. Make strong eye contact when they speak or when you speak to them, nod to show sympathy and mimic their body language to suggest understanding. Confidence and surety of yourself--model your self-assurance by sitting up straight, smiling, and showing off your best self.

People are instantly drawn to happy, positive people. When you act like you've got nothing to hide (you're an open book!) and you genuinely love your life, others will want to become part of that. When you focus on staying true to yourself, remind yourself of how you awesome you are, and focus on the new, brave steps you're taking out of your comfort zone, you'll find that life might take you places you used to only dream of going. Enjoy the process. Live it up, date by date! Moving beyond dating, the second most stressful form of interaction is with the people you work with. These are men and women you have to see every single day, regardless of how you get along. Your family is the same, but with them at least there is an underlying love and if you really don't get along, you can decide not to interact. At work, it's not a choice - your bills depend on your sociability. So, as you can imagine, getting out of your corner to shed your shell and show off the fact that you are an interesting, energizing person can be hard. Whatever you do to get your seven hours of sleep a night, medication is not a great long-term solution. The same sleep researcher found that long-term use of sleeping pills significantly increased one's risk of dying. So if you're having trouble sleeping, find ways to work through it beyond the pill bottle. A good night's sleep has been found to create a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. But if you toss and turn a few nights of the week, it turns out that catching up on the weekend can reverse the negative effects of the lost winks. A team of Korean researchers conducted in-person interviews with 2,156 adults about their sleep patterns, weight, mood, and other medical details. More than 900 of the subjects slept in on the weekend--what was technically called "catch-up sleep" or CUS--by an average of 0.7 to 2.9 hours more than on a typical weekday. Controlling for other factors, these late sleepers were found to have a lower body mass index than those who did not get the extra sleep. Sleep in on the weekend, especially if you've had a few sleepless nights during the week. Group physical activities can help improve exercise performance--and friendships.

Those were the findings of a pair of studies from University of Oxford researchers who examined the performance of two groups of athletes. In the first study, they found that moderate-intensity exercise led to higher levels of cooperation in a game just afterward. In the second study, rugby players participated in solo, synchronized, and nonsynchronized warm-up sessions. Those who participated in the synchronized warm-up performed significantly better. So not only does group physical activity improve performance--it creates social bonding and leads to the formation of new relationships, both of which have been linked to happiness. Recruit a buddy for your next workout. Despite plenty of anecdotal evidence (and your weird aunt's many claims), there is little scientific support for the assertion that chocolate increases happiness. However, adding an extra ingredient into your chocolate consumption can turn it into a mood booster: mindfulness. Researchers at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania found that eating chocolate in a deliberate, slow way in which its color, taste, and tactile sensations were examined led to an increase in positive mood. They divided 258 participants into four groups and instructed each group to do one of the following: While eating their assigned foods, participants followed audio-recorded directions (different for each group), and both before and after consuming their assigned foods, answered questionnaires about their mood. Those eating chocolate mindfully showed greater increases in positive mood than any of the other categories. Plus, a correlation was found between self-reported liking of the food and impact on mood ratings--in other words, those who liked chocolate experienced a greater boost of positive mood after mindful consumption. Having your act together means taking care of yourself and not relying on anyone else to handle what you're supposed to be handling on your own. If you're a fully-functioning adult - your motor functions are normal, you aren't physically handicapped, and you don't have any psychological disorders preventing you from properly functioning in society, then you're responsible for supporting yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. It's not your grandparent's, parent's, or society's job to baby you and provide you transportation, put clothes on your back, food in your mouth, and a roof over your head. You don't deserve free money because you'd rather be lazy and avoid working. IT'S YOUR JOB to make sure your needs are completely taken care of and when you're interacting with others, you're giving and not taking. At 17 years old, I had already graduated high school and when my mother kicked me out for continually bringing girls over to her house when she asked me not to, I didn't look for someone else to take care of me. I lived and slept in my car, a car I paid for, showered at the gym, got a better job, saved my money, saved for an apartment deposit, and I paid my own bills. I didn't run around crying to others about my situation.

I sucked it up, dealt with it, and got myself out of a situation that I put myself in. I put all nonsense to the side, put a roof over my own head, put food in my own mouth, and took care of myself so I wasn't a burden to anyone. You're an adult. Kill the nonsense and laziness. Put the video games down, make money and don't waste it, stop looking to others to babysit your emotions, and start becoming more responsible. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others. Don't feel guilty about eating sweets--just be sure you are really thinking about them as you satisfy your sweet tooth. Post traumatic stress is often experienced following what is often termed a traumatic incident. A traumatic incident is one where the person was involved in or witnessed an event that involved serious threat of death to a loved one or self. PTSD often happens when a person feels intense fear, helplessness, or a sense of horror. For many people the feelings following a traumatic event pass within the first 4-6 weeks, often without any help. However, for some, the feelings do not pass and may even get worse, and their sense of fear leads them to avoid people, places and things that remind them of the event. In addition, people may also experience "flashbacks" of some aspect of the traumatic event. It is not unusual for people with PTSD to suffer from other anxiety conditions. People experiencing phobias have an extreme fear of something specific. For example, common phobias include fear of dogs, cats, spiders, water, heights, small places, open spaces, blood, thunder, etc. The fear experienced can be extreme and may severely limit an individual's ability to function. A person may develop agoraphobia, finding that over a period of time they become fearful of open spaces and welcome the safety feelings that certain places offer. Phobias are often accompanied by panic attacks, as listed below. Some people experience a different type of phobia: that of social phobia.