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The Hardcore Self Help Podcast with Duff the Psych

This is a podcast dedicated to answering your questions about mental health, anxiety, depression, relationships, sex, and life WITHOUT psychobabble BS. I am Dr. Robert Duff, a psychologist from Southern California, but I'm also a regular dude who legitimately wants to help out. I wrote the best selling books Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression and Hardcore Self Help: F**K Anxiety. Those are available at http://hardcoreselfhelp.com
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The Hardcore Self Help Podcast with Duff the Psych
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Now displaying: January, 2024
Jan 26, 2024

Hello friends!

In today's episode, we delve into two compelling listener questions that I'm sure many of you will find relatable and insightful.

Navigating Therapy with a Talkative Therapist: One listener shares their experience with a therapist who often overshadows the session with personal stories, leaving them feeling unheard. This is particularly challenging as the listener is dealing with a controlling spouse with dementia. We explore the importance of feeling heard in therapy, the role of therapist's self-disclosure, and the value of assertiveness in therapeutic relationships. We also discuss the concept of transference and how it can impact therapy sessions.

Considering Alternatives to Adderall: Another listener seeks advice about a close relative looking to taper off Adderall, which they've been dependent on for managing ADHD. We discuss the complexities of ADHD diagnosis and treatment, delve into the pharmacology of Adderall, and explore its side effects and potential for psychological dependence. Additionally, we examine Provigil (Modafinil) as an alternative, highlighting the differences in abuse potential and side effects. We also touch upon other medication options like Strattera, Intunive, Clonidine, and Wellbutrin, and emphasize the role of therapy and coaching in managing ADHD.

As always, your questions and stories bring a depth of understanding to our discussions. If there's something on your mind, don't hesitate to reach out at duffthepsych@gmail.com. For full show notes, please visit http://duffthepsych.com/episode375.

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Jan 19, 2024

Hello friends! In today’s episode, we delve into two compelling listener questions that touch on deeply personal experiences and emotional challenges:

Exploring Identity Through Name Change: Our first question comes from a listener who has recently undergone the significant process of legally changing their name, a journey often intertwined with gender identity and personal transformation. We discuss the complexities of introducing this change in a professional setting, especially in environments where such changes might not be widely accepted. We explore strategies for communicating the change, dealing with potential challenges, and staying true to one's identity.

Confronting Emotional Numbness: The second question addresses a concerning experience of emotional numbness, where even significant life events fail to elicit expected emotional reactions. We delve into the concept of anhedonia, its connection to depression, and the possible causes of this emotional disconnection. Practical advice is offered on how to reconnect with emotions, including mindfulness techniques, behavioral activation, and the importance of considering physical health factors and professional help.

As always, your questions and experiences enrich our discussions and bring valuable insights to our community. If there's a question or topic on your mind, don't hesitate to reach out at duffthepsych@gmail.com. For full show notes and more resources, head to http://duffthepsych.com/episode382.

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Jan 12, 2024

Hello friends!

In today's episode, we delve into two compelling listener questions that many of you might find relatable:

Confronting Career Anxiety in Private Practice: A newly licensed listener, transitioning from a non-profit agency to private practice, shares their struggles with the unpredictability of work and income, leading to increased anxiety. They contemplate returning to a full-time job, questioning the future of their career in mental health. We discuss the common challenges faced in different work settings, strategies for managing career uncertainty, and ways to find a fulfilling path in the mental health profession.

Navigating Highway Anxiety with a Unique Twist: Another listener, who enjoys driving but experiences anxiety on long highway trips, seeks advice for their unusual situation. Despite a well-managed health condition and ruling out vision problems, this anxiety poses a significant obstacle, especially for family commitments requiring long travel. We explore potential triggers, the importance of understanding anxiety's impact, and practical tips for gradually overcoming this specific driving anxiety.

As always, your questions are the heartbeat of our show. Feel free to send your thoughts or inquiries to duffthepsych@gmail.com. For full show notes and more insights, visit http://duffthepsych.com/episode381.

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Jan 5, 2024

Hello friends!

In today's enlightening episode, we delve deep into the intricacies of neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine, and their impact on our behavior and mental health. We also touch on trichotillomania and the role of medications like Wellbutrin in treating such conditions.

Demystifying Dopamine and Serotonin: We kick off by addressing a common oversimplification in the world of mental health. Dopamine and serotonin are often reduced to mere 'happiness' and 'reward' chemicals in popular culture. We explore how these neurotransmitters are far more complex and play a variety of roles in our body, from movement and mood regulation to learning and memory.

Understanding Neurotransmitters: What exactly are neurotransmitters like dopamine? We explain their crucial role in brain communication and their diverse functions. We also discuss other key neurotransmitters such as serotonin, acetylcholine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA, and glutamate.

Dopamine's Role Beyond Pleasure: Moving beyond the 'feel-good molecule' tag, we delve into dopamine's involvement in anticipation of rewards, motivation to pursue goals, and its critical role in learning and habit formation.

Impact of Modern Habits: How do activities like scrolling on social media, playing video games, or watching TV series influence our dopamine levels? We discuss how these activities engage our brain's reward system and the concept of negative reinforcement in avoiding stress or emotional discomfort.

Trichotillomania and Dopamine: Addressing a listener's specific concern, we explore trichotillomania, a complex mental health condition involving recurrent hair pulling. We examine the potential roles of dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, genetic factors, and environmental influences in this disorder.

Wellbutrin - A Closer Look: What about medications like Wellbutrin? We clarify how Wellbutrin, or bupropion, an NDRI, differs from other antidepressants and its effectiveness in treating depression, aiding smoking cessation, and its potential implications in treating trichotillomania.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations: We wrap up by emphasizing the importance of seeking professional advice for personalized treatment plans, especially for conditions like trichotillomania, and encourage listeners to keep sending their thoughtful questions and topics.

As always, you can send me your questions to duffthepsych@gmail.com and find the full show notes for this episode at http://duffthepsych.com/episode380

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