Brain and Behavior

Stress Hurts Relationships

I love it when I come across a 15 page journal article that basically boils down to, "Relationships can be hurt by stress." Really? Who knew!

But of course, I oversimplify (and get ahead of myself).

Neff and Karney (2009) wanted to understand how couples relate to one another in marriage over time, and whether there were specific personality factors or relationship styles that might predict more stability in a relationship, even during...
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The Miracle Worker: Edward M. Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy pushed for equality among the underprivileged and desired reform for America’s mental health system. He was a gift from God -- it was as if God had reached down from heaven through Sen. Kennedy to influence the very pinnacle of change. Following the funeral held August 29, 2009 that immersed America in sorrow -- yet also in gratitude -- the torch shall remain lit and glow brighter as...
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Recovery From Addiction and Depression: An Interview with Vivian Eisenecher

Today I have the honor of interviewing Vivian Eisenecher, author of "Recovering Me, Discovering Joy," and a sought after speaker, mentor and writer since 1996. Her other published works include articles for "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and Woman's World. Her inspirational story has been enthusiastically received by churches, companies and corporations, national organizations and national associations. She is passionate about reducing the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse. She loves helping people meet their potential and discover joy in...
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Brain and Behavior

Could Depression Be Nature’s Way of Saying, “Think!”?

Could depression serve a purpose we hadn't thought of? Something simple, like thinking?

That's the theory presented by Paul W. Andrews and J. Anderson Thomson, Jr. in a recent article in Scientific American.

The scientists point to a couple of points of evidence to support their theory. One, they say, ruminations help people figure out their complex problems, breaking them down into smaller, more digestible components. Such...
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Self-Esteem & The Great Weight Debate: Acceptance v. Diet

Here's the thing. There are people out there who hate their body for what it is. A lot of overweight people judge themselves in a way they would never judge anyone else. When we get like this, every ounce of our self-esteem is wrapped up in what the scale says. Our lives are measured by pounds lost and gained from day to day, week to week, month to month. At its worst, this way of thinking can...
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Brain and Behavior

Can You Multitask? Probably Not Well

Everyone multitasks to some degree or another. Whether you watch TV while cooking dinner, or talk on your phone while browsing through a website, we all do it sometimes and feel fairly comfortable with it. I'd hazard to guess that most of us even think we deal with it pretty well.

For things that don't really matter much, we're probably right. But multitasking has shown to affect our ability to learn new information. And the more...
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What Is Normal Eating?

Today, the definition of normal eating is blurry. It’s gotten lost amid buzz words like “diet,” “restriction,” “willpower” and “flat abs.” It’s sandwiched between the sizable stacks of “shoulds”: I should diet. I should abstain from dessert. I should count calories. I should avoid “bad” foods. I should have an invisible stomach, smaller hips and thin thighs.

While reading Purge: Rehab Diaries (stay tuned for the review) by Nicole Johns,...
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Anxiety and Panic

Cope with Financial Panic and Recession Anxiety

One of my depression busters is to "become the expert."

This means, as I'm peeing my pants about where Eric and I are going to get our next paycheck, I am doling out advice on how to cope with such anxiety. In telling someone else what you are supposed to be doing, I actually learn the lesson myself. And then I think if I can actually fool people into thinking that I have it all together, maybe I could have it altogether. A few days...
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10 Things to Say to a Sick Friend

Years ago, when I was pretty sick with a bad flare-up of scleroderma and unable to leave the house, a friend of mine would call once in a while to say, "I'm going to the supermarket. Can I pick anything up for you?" That simple offer filled me with love. Most times I'd say, "No thanks, Julie, I'm all set," but I'd hang up with a lighter heart and a...
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