Aging

Epigenetics and Well-Being

In 2008, the National Institutes of Health announced that $190 million had been earmarked for epigenetics research over the following five years. In announcing the funding, government officials noted that epigenetics has the potential to explain mechanisms of aging, human development, the origins of cancer, heart disease, and mental illness, as well as several other conditions.

Even when you’ve inherited genes from your biological parents, they might or might not be active in your own makeup. When a gene activates, that’s called “genetic expression.” It turns out that genetic expression can be affected by your experiences and even by your thoughts and feelings.

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Addiction

Older Americans Are More Prone to Substance Abuse

In 1998, government officials warned of a dire trend that we’ve only recently began to take note of. It wasn't an asteroid hurtling toward earth or the ever-growing impact of humans on the climate. It was elder substance abuse.

In the late 1990s, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) already was predicting the drastic increase in alcohol and drug abuse among adults 60 years old and up.

Close to twenty years later, we don’t know much more than we did in 1998.
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Aging

Dying Well: How to Have the Hardest Conversation

All of us live in a bubble, an illusion of safety and security that our lives will continue along a single, set trajectory of our own choosing. Sadly, life is rarely cooperative. We hit bumps in our relationship. Our bodies become the victims of a disease. We get into a car accident. We lose a friend.

One of the hardest conversations to have with someone is when something happens that compromises a person's health. It could be cancer, it could be an auto accident or some other injury. Or it could be the result of simply aging and getting to a point where your body starts to give out. How does the person want the last days of their life to be?

How do you have the hardest conversation about dying -- and dying well -- with a loved one?

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Aging

Have You Lost the Pep in Your Step?

There are times in your life when you will feel like you’ve had enough! You work too hard; you worry too much; you no longer have pep in your step. You yearn for the kid you used to be who knew how to have fun, who loved to run around, who laughed easily.

It’s been awhile since you began to view life as a never-ending burden, requiring you to put one foot in front of the other to get going. Inside you, there’s a meanness and a madness. It feels awful. Those feelings are invisible to most people because you can still paste a smile on your face.
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Aging

Using Social Media to Glimpse Our Past Selves

It’s the summer of 2005. My friend and I are lounging at a public pool during one of those sweltering July afternoons. Before we immerse ourselves in the water, feeling the coolness of chlorine on our skin, we decide to dedicate a decent amount of time to snapping photos of each other for MySpace.

We were 15. This was the first major social networking site within our reach, and we were hooked.
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Aging

Growing Up: Playfully Serious vs. Seriously Playful

My father liked to teach his sons basic skills, like how to use a saw, tighten a nut, and catch a baseball. In one of my earliest memories of him we are on a beach and he is teaching me how to skip stones across the water. First, choose the right stone: not too heavy and not too light, flat enough and having an edge so you can spin it off your finger. You also have to bend over and throw it at just the right angle.

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Aging

Remembering ‘Parenthood’

The TV show "Parenthood" recently ended after six seasons and viewers bid goodbye to the Braverman family. From the very first episode to the last, the NBC show's story lines were undeniably emotional, poignant and moving.

The Bravermans authentically capture human experience, bringing the narratives and characters to life.

Here are some of the pertinent themes (my personal favorites) that this wonderful series covered during its run.

Raising a child with Asperger's.

In season one, Adam and Kristina...
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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: February 14, 2015


Happy Valentine's Day, Psych Central readers!

For those of you who observe Valentine's Day, we have some interesting information about why single people actually might benefit more than those in relationships.

Oh, and there're are a few more fascinating reads -- from taking a peek at some useful mental health apps to learning how successful people deal with depression.

We hope it provides a great start to your weekend!

It's Better to Be Single On Valentine's Day: Here's one that's sure to drum up some controversy: Philosopher Neil McArthur and author Marina Adshade make several arguments about why it's actually better to be single on this day of celebrating love, going beyond just the economic implications and diving into the "are you or are you not committed to me" realm.

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Aging

10 Common Reactions to Urinary Incontinence that Impede Care-Seeking

Our lives are a dynamic flurry of family and professional activities -- our work, our families and friends, and duties on the home front. Some of us have additional challenges due to ill health, financial stress, elder care or marital breakdown. When small urine leaks begin to appear every now and then, they might feel like a nuisance amid the noise of everyday life. Research tells us that women wait about five to 10 years to seek assistance for urinary incontinence.

Our beliefs about the problem are important because they influence how and when we take action. The following are 10 common reactions that deter or delay sufferers, especially women, from seeking professional advice or assistance for the problem:

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Aging

Do Comfort and Adventure Have to Be Mutually Exclusive?


"Which do you prefer, adventure or comfort?" I was asked recently, matter-of-factly, as if the two were mutually separate entities, and I, given the option to choose only one.

I closed my eyes and I wondered. Now, at the age of 53, I see clearly that my answer is remarkably different than the answer I would have certainly given in my 20s.

"I am seeking comfort," I shot out too quickly, "…and adventure," I added, clearly coming across as someone who has trouble making decisions.

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Aging

Study: Reversing Alzheimer’s Memory Decline With Holistic Therapy


A new UCLA study has found that when individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) switched to a healthy diet and exercise program, their memory and cognitive function began to return in a dramatic way. In fact, six out of the 10 patients who had been struggling in their jobs, or had even quit due to cognitive dysfunction, were able to return to work.

The results are both fascinating and hopeful for the millions of people suffering with AD and for those who have yet to develop symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Currently, there is no cure for AD, and medications only temporarily lessen symptoms.

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