mental health for real people


I’m Dr. Duff

I’m Robert, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Southern California, and author of the bestselling Hardcore Self Help book series. I also host a weekly podcast where I address reader questions and interview others in the mental health field.

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Recently on the Duff the Psych

The Hardcore Self Help Podcast Episode 1

In this episode I introduce you to the new podcast and take two Twitter questions and one Reddit question. You can find me on twitter at

First question: Is seven medications for anxiety and depression just crazy?

Second question: What’s the point of getting extensive testing for dementia?

Third question: How to help a family member who has slid back into depression?


As always, check out my books at

March 16, 2016 1

How To Explain Depression | A Letter

How To Explain Depression | A Letter

In my first book, I wrote a letter from the point of view of someone dealing with anxiety. The idea was that you could take that letter verbatim or use it as inspiration to help those people in your life that just don’t “get it” to better understand what it is that you are dealing with. In F**k Depression, I have decided to continue that idea, and came up with a letter on how to explain depression. Please feel free to use it in whatever way might be useful with you. I also included it as a downloadable PDF so you can print and give it to someone in your life.

I also have a letter for those dealing with anxiety. Find it here.


January 10, 2016 31

How To Explain Anxiety | A Letter

How To Explain Anxiety | A Letter

In my book Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety, I have a chapter about how to explain anxiety to people who just don’t “get it” when it comes to the anxiety that you are experiencing.  An important piece of this chapter is that I wrote out a letter that you can either use for inspiration or print out and give directly to an individual in your life that you would like to better understand. I am also including a printable PDF of that letter here. I sincerely hope that it helps how to explain anxiety better to the people in your life.

I also have a letter for those dealing with depression, which you can find here.


July 5, 2015 14

10 Obscure Emotions

10 Obscure Emotions

Sometimes a psychotherapy session is really just a collaborative quest to find the right word to demonstrate to your client that you have heard them and know exactly what they mean. If only there was an exact word to describe feeling the feeling of being alone in a crowd or the sense of peace that comes from being inside the house during a rainstorm. Well there is this awesome website called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows where John Koenig creates words to describe emotions like these. Here are 10 emotions that you have felt but can never describe. Which of these have you felt? 


March 22, 2015 3

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