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
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The Hardcore Self Help Podcast with Duff the Psych






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Mar 1, 2018

This episode is actually ripped from a long video that I recorded. I have been thinking a lot about exposure for anxiety lately for multiple reasons. For one, I'm in the middle of creating my online course for anxiety and recently wrote the content for the module on exposure. I have also been frustrated by people that I see in my clinical practice who have gone through years of therapy for their anxiety, but never engaged in exposure treatment for their anxiety.

Research indicates that exposure is a vital component of successful anxiety treatment. It's about facing your anxiety head on and teaching your body to stop reacting so strongly to it. 

In this episode, I talk about exposure in general and then break down two methods for gaining exposure and increasing your tolerance for anxiety.

If you'd like to submit a question for a future episode, send it over to

Feb 22, 2018

Today's episode is sponsored by Sudio headphones. To see some seriously stylish headphones with great functionality check out and use the code SELFHELP for 15% off of your purchase. 

This episode is a normal Q & A. My voice progressively died as I recorded the episode, so you get croaky Robert again. Great variety of questions this time including:

  • How can I find a positive male role model for my boys since their father died?
  • Should I talk about my trauma in therapy even though I haven't spoken about it for 30 years?
  • Has my history of hydrocephalus affected my speed of thinking? How can I improve?

As always you can send me your questions to


Feb 15, 2018

Hello, friends! I'm back from my paternity leave. Thank you for the support, the great feedback, and the patience during my absence. Excited to be back at it. Some exciting stuff coming up in the coming months including some really awesome guests. Look forward to that.

This episode is a question and answer episode with questions from my private Hardcore Self Help facebook group. If you aren't a member yet, go to and request access!

Here are the questions:

  • How can I prepare for a big life change?
  • How can I get over my relationship insecurity?
  • Is procrastination related to anxiety?

If you have questions that you would like me to answer, please send them to

Feb 8, 2018

Heyoooo! This is one more mini-episode where I am answering a single question rather than 3. If all goes according to plan, this will be the last episode of my paternity leave and I'll be back to normal next week. Thanks for your patience!

Keep sending me your amazing questions to


Feb 1, 2018

Hello, everyone! 

Today is a mini-episode. I'm still on my paternity leave, so I'm coming at you with a single question and answer, rather than my typical 3 per episode. I hope you enjoy this quick bite of information and I also hope that you're taking great care of yourself.

If you want to send me a question, please do so at

Jan 25, 2018

Hey, friends!

I'm currently off on paternity leave, so my friend and fellow psychologist, Amber Baker, Ph.D., is stepping in to answer your questions today. The episode is very similar to my normal question and answer episodes, just with a different host. I think she knocked it out of the park. Be sure to stop by the following links to show her some love and say thanks for doing such a great job.

Please keep sending me your questions to I'll be doing mini episodes for the next two weeks and then I should be back at it with normal episodes. 

Jan 18, 2018

Hello, friends! It's only been like 3 episodes since I've done a Q&A, but it feels like it has been forever. Super happy to be back here answering your mental health questions. The next 3 episodes will be a bit different due to my paternity leave, which I explain at the top of the episode. Here are the questions for this week:

  • How can someone with anxiety/depression prevent burnout?
  • Is it possible to overcome anxiety without medication, especially with vertigo?
  • I've been burned before, but I want to date again. What are the signs that I'm dating a healthy/good guy?

As always, you can send me your questions to 


Jan 11, 2018

My wife, Joelle is back on the podcast today. We talk about lots of stuff including anxiety and pregnancy, our plans for the new baby, communication within our relationship, and we also answer some listener questions. Enjoy! 

Next week will probably be a normal episode, but after that there will be some mini-episodes and guest spots, as I go on paternity leave.

Definitely keep sending me your awesome questions to

Jan 4, 2018

Here we are. It's 2018. Crazy. In this episode, I reflect on the past year and talk about my hopes and goals for 2018. I talk a bit about my personal life, my professional life, and this podcast. Please stop by Twitter or Facebook and let me know what your hopes for the year are! 

If you want to send me a question for a future episode, you can reach me at

Dec 21, 2017

I know I already did a holiday themed episode, but I figured you guys could use a little more love as you continue through the holiday season. Rather than answering your questions today, I'm going to lead you through a guided relaxation designed to help you de-stress and relieve some of the stress that often accompanies the holidays. Give yourself the gift of relaxation. Put in some headphones. Chill with me. I got you. 

No episode next week. Back at it the week after. Keep sending me your questions to


Background music credit:

Dec 14, 2017

Today is a question and answer episode. I'm doing two questions instead of three today, just because I've gotta get up early for a talk I'm giving tomorrow. I think these are two really great questions though.

In one of the questions, I reference a video with Kristen Bell, which you can check out at:

In the other, I reference the cycle of abuse image, which you can see here:

Here are the questions:

  • How can I help my children, who are starting to show signs of depression and anxiety, when I can't even help myself?
  • How can I recognize and move past abuse when I'm unsure about whether I have been abused?

As always you can send your questions in to

Dec 7, 2017

Hey, friends. I'm not sure if you saw the news, but southern California is on fire. I'm safe, but a lot of friends and acquaintances are not. I'm in this eerie spot where we are very close to the fires, but at very low risk, so "normal" life continues on. Decided to do an episode with some of my tips for getting through disasters like this including:

  • Understanding stress vs anxiety
  • Prepping to avoid freezing
  • Mental rehearsal
  • Importance of rest
  • Focusing on what you DO have control over
  • Mindfulness in disaster situations
  • Finding comfort in the small moments
  • Keeping routine where you can
  • Talking about event without re-traumatizing
  • Processing your feelings
  • Getting help
  • Managing social media consumption

Not sure what format next week's episode will be, but please feel free to keep sending your questions over to and be sure to check out the info for my upcoming course at

Nov 30, 2017

Hello, my friends! This episode is just a straight forward question and answer episode with some really awesome questions. This week I am also working on a book proposal for a traditional publisher, which means that you would be able to buy this potential book in stores. That's a bucket list item of mine and I'm excited to keep you updated in the coming weeks/months. 

Here are the questions for this episode:

  • How can I get help when I'm too anxious to call a therapist?
  • How can I get over my fear of vomiting?
  • How can I get through high school when I have been depressed for years?

As always you can send me your questions to

Nov 21, 2017

The holidays are crazy for everybody and they can be particularly stressful if you deal with any mental health issues. In this episode of the podcast, I share a few tips that can help you stay afloat during the Holiday season. 

If you have other tips that work well for you, please share them with my on twitter at and I will RT them for my audience! 

Nov 9, 2017

This is a deep dive episode where I spend the entire time talking about one topic of interest rather than taking questions from the audience. In this episode, I cover something that I've been meaning to talk about for a while, which is the word "trigger" and the term 'trigger warning".

I cover what the term "actually" means, where it came from, and my mixed feelings about the way that trigger warnings or content warnings are used these days. A the end, I also give some practical tips for when social media becomes too triggering.

Next episode will be either an interview with Brent Williams, who wrote the Out of the Woods graphic novel that I review here or just a regular Q&A. Please keep sending me your awesome questions to

Nov 2, 2017

Thanks for having some fun with me for the Halloween episode last week. This one will be a regular Q&A episode. I wanted to give a quick shout out to my buddy Speeks Geak for hooking me up with the new intro and outro beat. Check him out over at:

In this episode, I cover some great questions on a variety of topics. Here is what I cover:

  • What is bipolar depression? How is it different than "regular" depression?
  • How should I tell my therapist that I don't want to work with them anymore? How do I get my files from them?
  • What can I do about my grandparent with dementia not remembering their spouse?

As always you can send me your questions to and follow me on twitter at

Oct 26, 2017

This week we are doing something a little different. I wanted to get into the Halloween spirit, so today on the podcast, I tell you the story of 4 spooky psychology experiments that reveal the darker side of the human condition. 

Oct 19, 2017

Today we have another question and answer episode featuring some super interesting questions. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to get the free resources mentioned in the episode. Here are the questions...

  • What happens when you have feelings for your therapist?
  • How can journaling help anxiety?
  • How can I help a friend with major depression?

As always you can send me your questions to

Oct 12, 2017

Hello, friends! This is a deep dive episode all about your phone. I share some apps and general principles that you can use with your phone to improve your mental health and overall life progress. Unfortunately there is one abrupt cut toward the end of the episode because my recording program crashed and I had to re-record some. Oh well! 

Here are some of the apps that I mentioned:




7 Cups:


The next episode will likely be a Q & A episode, so please continue sending me your questions to


Oct 5, 2017

Hello, friends! Apologies for the unexpected lapse in episodes last week. Had some family stuff come up on my normal recording night and I was slammed with clinical work for the rest of the week. I'm back with a great Q&A episode this week though! Here are the questions covered:

  • How can I regulate my depression and self-criticism while gaming competitively?
  • Do I need to get additional testing to switch my ADHD medications?
  • Is it bad that I'm obsessed with suicide-related content?

As always you can send me your questions to

Sep 21, 2017

Hello, everyone! Thanks so much for joining me again. This is another question and answer episode featuring the following questions:

  • How can I set boundaries and communicate better with my introverted partner?
  • I've been doing well until recent changes. Now all of my symptoms are back. What can I do?
  • Is it normal to have a spike in anxiety when I have my period?

As always you can send me your questions to and don't forget to sign up for the mailing list (launch group list closing next week) at


Sep 14, 2017

Hello, friends! Thanks for joining me again for another Q&A episode. I was recently interviewed about anxiety on the Sexy Fit Podcast, which you can check out here:

I also wanted to mention that I will be switching my release day from Wednesday to Thursday each week, just to fit better with my life and keep myself sane. Here are the questions for this week:

  • Are fidget spinners helpful in coping with skin picking disorder?
  • I think about my psych hospitalization everyday. Is that normal?
  • What is avoidant personality disorder?

As always you can send me your questions to

Sep 7, 2017

Hello, friends! This episode is coming at you a little late today, which I explain at the beginning. It's important to be honest with yourself and exercise control over your situation to avoid burnout. Here are the awesome questions in this episode:

  • Why am I starting to struggle with my mental health at age 46?
  • Can you have fleeting suicidal tendencies?
  • Do flotation tanks help with anxiety and ADHD?

As always you can send me your questions for the podcast to 

You can also sign up to be part of the launch team of my upcoming course, Kick Anxiety's Ass, at

Aug 30, 2017

Another Q&A episode today! Some really great questions and I get pretty detailed about a few diagnoses. Before that, be sure to check out the private facebook group for the HCSH community at:

Look out for more info on my upcoming Kick Anxiety's Ass course and be a part of the beta group here:

Here are the questions covered in this episode:

  • Why do I have violent thoughts and why do I need everything to be even in number?
  • How can I work on my relationships with other people, given my estrangement from my mother?
  • Do my symptoms fit with bipolar disorder?

As always you can send me your questions to


Aug 23, 2017

Today we are doing a deep dive episode all about ways that you can maximize your progress in therapy. Whether you are a seasoned therapy veteran or barely thinking about getting started, this will be good information for you to keep in the back of your mind. 

Before I share the 10 tips for getting the most out of therapy, I wanted to let you know that I started a new closed facebook group for the Hardcore Self Help Community. You can find that at:

Here are the tips:

1. You don't need to impress your therapist

2. Don't lie to your therapist

3. Don't be afraid to get emotional and let it out

4. Challenge your therapist and correct them

5. If it's not working, say something

6. Find someone you are comfortable with

7. Get therapy sooner

8. Take notes and journal

9. Do the homework and practice the skills

10. Talk about the relationship between you and your therapist during session

Next week should be another Q&A episode, so keep sending me your awesome questions to

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