The 21st century has seen the rise of social media and a shift in the way people view positivity. Positivity, like many other things, has become a commodity. A quick google search reveals ten positive Instagram blogs you can follow, which claim to boost your positivity.

But how beneficial is this flood of positive content really? Is positive reframing as helpful as people say it is? Is it possible that the good vibes-only approach is causing more harm than good?

Positivity is a good thing, but toxic positivity is not. If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between the two, you’ve come to the right place. This article will act as your helpful guide.

When Does Positivity Turn Toxic?

It’s hard to tell when looking at the world through an optimistic lens does more harm than good. Often, you don’t realize that your optimism is misguided until it’s far too late.

Generally, positivity goes toxic when pushed as the one state of mind that should triumph above all others. Human beings have a whole spectrum of emotions, thoughts, and experiences, and to only validate the positive ones is to severely limit the way you look at the world. When you restrict the way you look at the world, you’re more likely to suffer from delusions.

Toxic positivity becomes worse when it’s linked to a toxic positivity culture. It is prevalent on the internet.

It’s incredibly easy for someone to stumble upon the social media page of a person who uses a good vibes-only approach. The person doesn’t see the whole side of the poster’s life, instead, only seeing the constant positivity. This overwhelming positivity causes our protagonist to doubt themself — if this person can feel positive all the time, why can’t I?

But it gets worse than that. The person, wanting to emulate this style of positivity, only posts about the good things that happen in their life and enforces the “good vibes only” mindset. Soon enough, another person stumbles upon their social media page.

Positivity is extremely important in living everyday life, but it becomes toxic when people develop a cult-like devotion to it. If you adopt a mentality that “good things happen to good people”, you’re not readying yourself for the random pains that life can throw.

Bad things happen in life, and they happen to good people too. At its very worst, toxic positivity tells people that bad things happen to them because they don’t have the right mindset. If a positive mentality is making you doubt your own experiences, it’s toxic.

Why Forcing Positivity Is Bad

Forcing positivity causes guilt. When something bad happens to someone, and their loved ones respond with quotes like “happiness is a choice,” “turn this into a positive,” “there’s a silver lining in every cloud,” and “look on the bright side,” they’re automatically putting a level of blame on the person affected. This is why it’s imperative to know how to get help for your loved ones.

Forcing positivity might also just be downright ineffective. If someone is going through mental health struggles, financial struggles, or the death of a loved one, often there isn’t any way to spin it positively. It could cause someone to look to positivity for answers that only medical professionals can provide.

When you force positivity, you vastly restrict your tools for looking at the world. Though not every emotion is pleasurable, they all have their place. If you’re trying to force yourself only to be excited about a big test you have coming off, you’re getting rid of the drive that nervousness can cause.

Fear is an extreme emotion that can help you get out of tough situations. It can make you realize when something important needs to change. When someone forces positivity on you, they’re often forcing you to accept the status quo and not improve your life.

Forcing positivity can also lead to suppressed emotions. Often, you can’t cause your negative emotions to disappear, and they’ll come back even stronger when you least expect it. It’s better to deal with every emotion that you experience, rather than powering through it.

Positivity is a Drug

Motivational videos, positivity Instagrams posts, and self-help books are designed to make you feel happier. However, they’re also designed to sell you something.

You might feel your mood lift after reading an inspiring quote, but pay attention to the way you feel after. You may very well feel a comedown — like a positivity hangover. After the hit of inspiration, you might not be inspired to change your life. But you may be inspired to seek more inspiration and buy whatever product is being sold.

Positivity can isolate you when it’s not used correctly. If you’re so positive that you refuse to believe that bad things can happen to you, you’re effectively living in a different world. Like someone on drugs experiencing hallucinations, you respond to impulses and events that just aren’t real.

Stay Away From Toxic Positivity

Positivity is a good thing — it helps you constructively live your life. However, it can be overused. Someone so focused on the positivity that they start to ignore reality is engaged in toxic positivity, not rational positivity.

The internet is a good thing, but it undoubtedly leads to the growth of toxic positivity. Always make sure you’re checking your beliefs and the emotions you’re feeling, and examine where they came from.

For more information about mental health, contact us today.

Did you know that spending time alone can help you improve your quality of life?

Alone time is something that people either enjoy or fear. Unfortunately, many people struggle with being alone because they’re unsure of what to do.

While being alone can seem daunting, alone time benefits people in many ways if they know how to take advantage of it.

Here at Solara Mental Health, we regularly help people turn their lives around by changing how they think about being alone. We’ll outline why spending time alone is essential so you can also live a better life.

Read on to learn about how to spend time alone and the benefits of doing so.

The Benefits of Alone Time

When spending time alone, many people find it difficult to see what the benefits are. However, you can reap the benefits of alone time if you know how to approach things.

One of the main things we want people to understand is that being alone isn’t the same as loneliness. Alone time is simply time spent away from others, whereas loneliness is the feeling of being without someone.

Voluntarily spending time away from others can allow you to do the following:


When you’re constantly interacting with others, it can be challenging to think about yourself. However, self-reflection is crucial if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, as it also comes with many benefits.

Alone time will make it much easier to self-reflect because you won’t be focusing on others. Approach self-reflection with a positive mindset and use the time to improve yourself as a person.

Become More Productive

Alone time benefits those that are looking to get things done. If you’re never alone, you’ll have a hard time doing anything productive (unless it requires others).

Spending time alone will give you the chance to complete that project you’ve been putting off. The sooner you get things done, the quicker you can go back to being social.

Focus on Health

Similar to self-reflection, spending time alone lets people focus on improving their health. Whether it’s physically or mentally, alone time will ensure you can eliminate toxicity in your life and allow yourself to “reset.”

During alone time, think about the foods and beverages you have when surrounded by others. Not only will an unhealthy diet negatively affect your physical health, but it can also affect your mental health. Things like depression caused by a poor diet can increase the likelihood of feeling lonely, even when around others.

Find Comfort

If you’re someone that struggles with loneliness, spending time alone can help you learn how to find comfort when away from others.

Those who are afraid of being alone often feel that way because they’re unsure how to use their time. If you can learn how to get the most out of being alone, you can have more control over your life. The comfort that comes with accepting alone time will increase your overall happiness.

How to Get the Most Out of Being Alone

Learning how to spend time alone isn’t difficult; you’ll just need to use that appropriately. If you find that being alone isn’t comforting, you can fill up that time with things to do. Whether it’s work or school obligations, exercise, or hobbies, doing activities will help.

Getting the most out of being alone can be done by planning your alone time and eliminating distractions. Here’s how to do that:

Plan Everything

It’s easy to feel lonely when you have nothing to do, and no one’s around. This can be prevented by thoroughly planning how your days will go.

From the moment you wake up until you go to bed, your entire day should be planned, including the time you’ll dedicate to doing nothing. While it may seem excessive, it’ll help you stay active, so you don’t end up feeling lonely.

Creating structure in your life will make the time spent alone more enjoyable, especially if you don’t go out much. If you’re someone that actively hangs out with others, you’ll eventually start cherishing the time you get to yourself.

Get Rid of Distractions

Aside from planning your day, you must eliminate distractions if you’d like to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Distractions can prevent you from getting things done, which will make you feel worse if you’re alone.

Whenever you’re working on something, you should never start browsing social media or random things on the internet. Instead, leave your phone in another room and consider getting something that’ll block certain websites so you can work productively.

Another type of distraction is thinking about negative things. For example, you may be watching TV, and a negative thought may cross your mind. Instantly you want to go down the rabbit hole; next thing you know, your upset with yourself because your thoughts took you to a dark place.

Reframe your thoughts and put your thoughts into perspective. Stop the train of thought you are going down and tell yourself out loud that what you’re doing is not right. This will strengthen your mind in order to take control of your thoughts.

It’s best to be engaged with something as often as possible. You’ll notice that relaxing after a long day of work is enjoyable, even if you’re by yourself. This is because you’ve gotten the most out of being alone.

Start Spending Time Alone More Often

With all of this information, you’re ready to reap the benefits of alone time. All you must do is start spending more time alone to get a better understanding of what exactly makes you feel lonely.

We encourage you to prioritize obligations to make your days more satisfying. If you still feel lonely after getting everything done, you can pick up some hobbies to keep your mind off things.

If you’re having a hard time in life, contact us to learn about how we can help you.

Abuse can be hard to understand and recognize, especially when you’re not familiar with the cycle of abuse and how it works. However, knowing this information could potentially save you or someone else’s life! 

If you’re struggling with abuse and mental health problems, then keep reading to learn more about this serious topic. 

Cycle of Abuse

This four-part cycle helps distinguish certain behaviors and patterns that abusive partners tend to have. By knowing these patterns of abuse, you can better protect yourself in future and current relationships. 

The four-part cycle starts with tension building, then an incident where abuse or violence takes place. After that, reconciliation is made, followed by a calm state. This tragic cycle repeats itself over and over again until the victim becomes worn down.

1. Tension Building

Tension building can be brought on by anything. Some of the triggers for an abusive partner are fatigue, overworking, being hungry, and other family issues.

The abusive partner will then begin to show signs of anger, fear, and feeling unempowered in the relationship. The tension that builds up as a result of these feelings can weigh heavily on you.

You might try to find a peaceful resolution. However, there may not be a solution until the abusive partner feels in control again.

Because of this, you might start feeling anxious and even scared. It is considered emotional abuse. Often, abusive partners use this tactic to inflict pain on others. 

2. Incidents of Abuse or Violence

Once the abuser has reached the breaking point, they will externalize these feelings. Abusers will use physical and verbal tactics to gain back control.

For example, they won’t allow you to wear certain clothes, or they’ll make you cut off communication with family and friends. Sometimes these tactics turn into sexual and physical aggressions. 

It is the most dangerous stage of the cycle. In fact, a recent report stated that six women die every hour as a result of domestic violence.

3. Reconciliation 

This stage in an abusive relationship can be very confusing. Often, the victim thinks that the abuse has stopped because the abuser has calmed down.

The abuser will start to show the victim their preferred love language like gift-giving or physical touch. Unfortunately, this “honeymoon” stage only lasts for a little bit.  

Often, those in a normal relationship don’t understand why the victim “doesn’t just leave.” For starters, the victim might not be physically or financially able to leave the relationship. 

The abuser might also hurt them for trying.

Most importantly, mental abuse causes a shift in a person’s brain chemistry. During the “honeymoon” stage, the victim’s brain releases oxytocin and dopamine.

Often, the victim is longing for this gratification, but the abusive partner will withhold affection to gain control. This causes the victim to stay and chase this feeling of “happiness.”

4. Calm State

During the calm state, the abuser will try and justify their abuse by apologizing. However, the apology is never sincere. It is really just a tactic to make the victim think the abuse won’t happen again.

The abuser will also blame their actions on others or sometimes the victim.

Here are some examples:

  • “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you made me mad.”
  • “Sorry for snapping you earlier; it’s just my job has been stressing me out.”
  • “The only reason I hit you was because you were provoking me.”
  • “I didn’t even hit you that hard; you should get over it.”

After their apology, the abuser will convince the victim that it won’t happen again. They might try to manipulate you by making the situation seem smaller.

You might start doubting yourself and think that you were dramatic. And slowly, you start believing that your partner will change. 

How Does Abuse Affect Mental Health?

This cycle of abuse can leave someone with permanent damage. Many times battered women and men show symptoms of PTSD.

This mental disorder can bring on intense feelings of anxiety and paranoia, even if the victim has left the relationship. Over time, being in an abusive relationship can diminish someone’s self-worth and confidence.

It happens because the abuser is constantly attacking them and making them feel less than them. The abuser will use this tactic to wear down an individual not to seek happiness outside of the relationship.

Battered women and men are also likely to develop depression and suicidal ideations. Overall, being in an abusive relationship can deteriorate someone’s mental health. That’s why it’s essential to get help immediately!

Gaslighting and Manipulation 

Gaslighting and manipulation go hand in hand with the four stages of abuse. For starters, gaslighting is a form of lying by creating a false reality. 

For example, if a person finds their spouse cheating on them and the abuser outright denies the accusations, this is considered gaslighting. 

This tactic makes the victim’s reality and perception unclear. Often, the victim will feel “crazy,” but just because they don’t know what’s real and fake anymore. 

Manipulation is similar to gaslighting. For example, an abuser will try and control a situation by providing false information or showing empathy. Nevertheless, the abuser is doing this to establish control over a person.

Red Flags to Look Out For

All of the abuse mentioned doesn’t necessarily begin at the start of a relationship. Sometimes abusers will withhold these strong emotions and actions until they feel secure. 

However, there are minor signs that you should look out for during the start of a relationship. For example, love bombing is when a partner shows a lot of attention and affection during the first few weeks of being together.

It may seem normal at first, but this will progress at an unusual pace. The abuser might tell you they love you and that they want you to meet their family.

The problem with love bombing is that when the abuser has “locked” you down, they begin to withhold love. Love bombing eventually turns into a cycle of abuse.

Living Your Truth 

Abusive relationships can leave you feeling hopeless. But knowing the cycle of abuse can give you back some power! If you or a loved one is struggling with an abusive relationship, get help immediately!

If you have any more questions, contact us today to receive more information on our different services!

Have you or someone you love recently been diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder? If so, you should know all you can about this personality disorder so that you can manage it or help someone that is struggling.

The word “histrionic” means theatrical or dramatic. This disorder tends to co-occur with other personality disorders and is characterized by dramatic, erratic, or overly emotional behaviors.

Keep reading to learn more about this disorder, its symptoms, and the treatment options available.

Histrionic Personality Disorder: The Basics

Typically, someone with histrionic personality disorder depends on others for feelings of self-esteem. They often tend to have a strong desire to get the approval of others and want to be noticed. When they do not receive this approval or attention, they will often behave inappropriately or dramatically in order to get the attention they desire.

Histrionic Personality Disorder is classified as a cluster B personality disorder. Cluster B personality disorders cause difficulties in regulating emotion and behavior. Of these 4 include antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic.

People with histrionic personality disorder tend to have a distorted self-image.

Someone with this disorder may rely on others for self-esteem, meaning that self-worth does not come from their own true feelings. This disorder tends to be more common in women and usually is evident in early adulthood.

Potential Causes

While the exact causes of this disorder are not known, many mental health professionals believe that both inherited and learned behaviors have a role in its development.

For example, the tendency for this disorder to run in families could mean that it could be genetically inherited. However, it’s also possible that a child of a parent with histrionic personality disorder could have learned the behavior. There are other factors involved that could lead to this disorder, as a child may grow up with some confusion regarding what kind of behavior earns parents, and eventually others, approval.

These factors could be that the child received a lack of punishment or criticism, that unpredictable attention was given to the child by the parent, or that positive reinforcement was only given to the child upon certain approved behaviors.

Common Symptoms

Typically, someone with a histrionic personality disorder will have good social skills — perhaps impeccable social skills. However, they may use these skills to manipulate others.

They may also use these skills to make themselves the center of attention. The individual may become uncomfortable if they are not at the center of attention.

Their emotions may shift rapidly, and they may act very dramatically as if they are performing for an audience. They may exhibit exaggerated emotions and expressions but appear to lack sincerity. To get attention, they may dress provocatively or exhibit inappropriate flirtatious or seductive behaviors.

They may constantly be seeking reassurance and approval and may be overly concerned about their physical appearance. Additionally, the individual may seem gullible, allowing them to easily be influenced by others. It may be difficult for the individual to accept criticism or disapproval.

They may be sensitive yet have a low tolerance for frustration. They often get bored by routine and may often start projects without ever finishing them. They often make rash decisions and do not think before acting.

They may exhibit behaviors that seem self-centered, and may rarely show concern for others. This can make it difficult for them to maintain healthy relationships, as others may feel that they are shallow, insincere, or fake. Also, those suffering from this disorder may threaten or even attempt self-harm or suicide to get attention from others.

Diagnosis and Treatments

If the above signs and symptoms are present, a doctor will begin and physical examination of the patient while also reviewing their complete medical history. There are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose personality disorders, but the doctor may choose to run different diagnostic tests in order to rule out any physical illness that could be causing the symptoms. If the doctor finds no reason for the symptoms, then they will refer the patient to a psychologist or a psychiatrist that is professionally trained to diagnose and treat mental illness.

These healthcare professionals will use specially designed assessment and interview tools to evaluate someone for a personality disorder. Typically, those with this disorder do not believe that they need therapy, which can make following a treatment plan difficult. This is especially true if they dislike routine or tend to exaggerate their feelings.

However, those with these disorders often also have feelings of depression, which may be triggered by the loss of a relationship or friendship, or any other issues that their thoughts or behavior may cause, which may make them seek help out of distress. A type of counseling called psychotherapy is usually the treatment of choice for this disorder. The overall goal of this treatment is to help the patient uncover the fears or motivations behind their thoughts and actions.

This can help the patient learn ways to relate and communicate with others in a more positive way. Medication may be prescribed to the patient to treat some of their distressing symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.

Your Guide to Histrionic Personality Disorder

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, keep the information in this guide in mind. If you have this disorder or know someone who does, treatment is the answer.

Are you looking for a mental health treatment center in San Diego? If so, contact us today to get the help you need.

Did you know that 5% of people in the United States have a narcissistic personality disorder? All of these people are overly focused on their self-esteem issues. In turn, narcissists form strategies that are meant to enhance their poor self-esteem.

Among those individuals are two main types of narcissism: black knight narcissism and white knight narcissism. The distinction between the two lies in whether or not the narcissist is pro-social or anti-social.

To learn more about the differences between black knight narcissists and white knight narcissists, keep reading.

Pro-Social Narcissists vs. Anti-Social Narcissists

In order to evaluate whether or not a narcissist is pro-social or anti-social, you have to ask yourself three things:

  1. What are the narcissist’s intentions?
  2. How do they supply their self-esteem?
  3. What kind of impression does the narcissist want others to have of him/her?

Pro-social narcissists want to help others. They want others to see them as good.

Of course, they want credit and praise for their good deeds. But, they add a lot of value to their friendships and society as a whole.

On the other hand, anti-social narcissists take advantage of others. They exploit others’ weaknesses for their own personal gain. Overall, they want others to fear them.

At the worst, anti-social narcissists humiliate and berate others. Often, these kinds of narcissists are the toxic, malignant individuals who represent the ‘typical’ narcissist.

The History of White Knights and Black Knights

You may have heard of the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. These knights repeatedly swore to do good deeds for the weak and innocent. In fact, they often called themselves heroes.

In these stories, there were also knights that self-identified as powerful and destructive. They thrived on dominating over the weak and innocent.

Those knights who only worked towards their own personal gain wore all-black armor. Because of their armor, these are the Black Knights.

In contrast, the knights who are offering help are the White Knights.

This story translated into the two main types of narcissists: Black Knights and White Knights. Just like the knights in the story, these different kinds of narcissists are either for or against helping common folks.

The Black Knight Narcissist

Just like with King Arthur’s Knights, the black knight narcissist is focused on defeating everyone else for their own gain. In fact, they thrive on putting others down. It makes them feel better about themselves.

These are the anti-social narcissists. And, some people refer to black knight narcissism as selfish narcissism. (This is even though both forms of narcissism are selfish at the center.)

They don’t enjoy helping people, and they may not even believe that these people deserve help. In their minds, everyone else is lesser than they are. And, the narcissist will make sure that they know it.

Black knight narcissists are not inherently evil, although they make come off like this. They don’t offer help to individuals in society. But, there is an explanation behind their behavior.

Black knight narcissists have such low self-esteem that they feel like they need to knock everyone else down. By taking everyone else down, they are picking themselves up.

Usually, this behavior draws back to the inner child. Then, they grow into adults with narcissistic behavior.

The White Knight Narcissist

The white knight narcissist is the individual who is contributing to society. They are helping people and bettering society for their own gain. While it is for selfish reasons, their help is great for those around them.

These individuals are pro-social. And, some people refer to white knight narcissism as altruistic narcissism.

At the very heart of it, white knight narcissists are looking to make an impact on the world in return for recognition. They want others to praise them for their good deeds. In the long run, they want to be remembered for everything they did during their lifetime.

You may find these individuals volunteering at food banks, working at hospitals, or contributing to charity. They aren’t the typical picture of a narcissistic individual.

While white knight narcissists may not seem harmful, they can be harmful to themselves.

They’re contributing to society and benefiting everyone around them, but they are hurting themselves. The individual equates others’ reactions to their worth.

If someone doesn’t say thank you, the white knight narcissist notices. These interactions negatively impact them more than they should.

Similarities Between All Narcissists

Both black knight narcissists and white knight narcissists have much in common. This is even though there is a difference in how they approach their lack of self-esteem.

Here are some of the qualities that you may find in both white knight and black knight narcissists:

  • Narcissists revolve around their own unstable self-esteem and base their decisions on how each will affect their self-esteem
  • Narcissists can’t engage in whole object relations, a thought process in which people can see themselves and others together with both likable and unpleasant traits
  • Narcissists can’t engage in object constancy, which is the ability to maintain positive feelings for someone when you feel negative emotions at the moment
  • Narcissists have an obsessiveness with their status
  • Narcissists have a binary sense of self in which they’re perfect or worthless
  • Narcissists have intellectual empathy rather than emotional empathy
  • Narcissists believe that someone needs to take the blame when something goes wrong

Both white knight narcissists and black knight narcissists have these personality traits in common. Even though they go about their wants differently, they have the same issue: low self-esteem.

Treating Narcissism

If you or someone you know is dealing with narcissistic personality disorder, there is help. If you live in or near San Diego, you can trust Solara Mental Health with the treatment plan.

Our team is dedicated to helping narcissists overcome their challenges. Whether you need help with black white narcissism or white knight narcissism, we know how to help.

Get into contact with us today. The sooner that you reach out to us, the sooner we can get to work on improving your mental health.