Brain and Behavior

Black and White Thinking: Finding the Space Between

You've heard it before: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!"

This is a frequently used saying, but what does it really mean? Picture it. Baby, covered in strained carrots, yogurt and dried cereal. I've been there. You put the little chubby giggle monster in the water, and it just gets gross. Things are floating around, and the water changes into this murky swamp of ick.

Does that water make the baby less precious and snugly? Not at all. They are separate things. Gross water. Baby. Gross water does not make gross baby. We can put that together so easily with the baby metaphor, but not so easily with other situations.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Possibility: More Powerful than Depression

When you are depressed, your mind sees no possibilities. You feel stuck, with no change in sight.

Depression is brilliant. It is an amazing example of “we are what we think.”

When we are depressed, our thoughts consist of things like “nothing will help,” “it’s useless,” and “I can’t do it.” These thoughts get even stronger when well-meaning people give suggestions on how to stop being depressed. Of course, these ever-so-helpful suggestions come right after we have gone on and on about how hard our life is. Right?
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Does Posting Selfies Make You a Narcissist?

I've previously written how posting selfies is not a disorder (no, sorry, selfitis doesn't exist). Others have even suggested that posting selfies is simple a sign of healthy self-expression.

But last year, a few studies were published that linked taking selfies and posting them to a social network like Facebook to certain narcissistic traits. And this led some to believe that if you post a lot of selfies, you must be a narcissist.

However, the answer to the question of why people post selfies -- what motivates us to post selfies? -- is more complicated and nuanced -- as it usually is.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Never Feel Like a Loser Again with the Right Locus of Control

How you did on a test, how well you stick to your diet and how accurately you execute a new recipe is seen differently depending on your locus of control.

Who is to blame if you failed the test? Who should be rewarded when you lose weight on your diet? The way you view the control you have over your life will determine whether you have an internal or external locus of control.

Continue Reading

Addiction

Two Sides of My Anxious, Depressive Soul

Yesterday


Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t make it to the end of my block while I walked the dog before this overwhelming, out-of-the-blue panic hit me. I immediately turned around and could see my house but I felt like I could not get there fast enough. I began to run, trying to match my movement with my heart rate. When I got home there was both a sense of relief and of disappointment. My home is my comfort zone, and that is sometimes disappointing.

As the day went on, I had bouts of crying. Five or six times I broke down as I watched my husband sit there not knowing what else to say other than “You’re going to be okay, you’re just going through a bad time right now.” He held me in the bed as I cried again. He has known me for six years and he has not seen me go through this before. But I have, many times. I warned him about these times. I don’t think he believed me. I don’t think he ever thought the vibrant, happy, and full of zest for life woman he married could be the same person sitting in front of him telling him “I promise I won’t kill myself, but I just feel like I am dying.”

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Teenagers Can Benefit from Meditation

Teens are under more pressure today than in previous generations. This massive increase in stress and anxiety is believed to have caused an increase in teenage attention disorders. Often they believe they're doing things wrong. That makes it difficult to focus on the present.

Meditation can help. Most teens find it difficult to sit, breathe, and focus on the present. Their world runs at a mile a minute, and they need to keep up. This, more than anything, is why they should give meditation a try.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Spirituality vs. Mental Disorders: God Doesn’t Hate Medication

I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me, and I have personally struggled with anxiety. For several years, I thought that my anxiety was a normal part of life. I didn’t realize that I should not have been having full-blown anxiety at the age of nine, but I was.

My family didn’t believe in mental illnesses, besides those that were obvious to the untrained eye. We did, however, attend a church regularly. I was highly interested in Christianity and studied it on my own. I was able to combat the unnatural anxiety through my relationship with God, and was able to overcome the anxiety throughout middle and high school. College, however, was different.
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: July 16, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I must say, I hope you've all had a better week than I. During a quick getaway last weekend, I managed to catch a nasty summer cold (isn't getting sick during the summer the worst?) and, suffice it to say, I've spent a lot of time couch surfing with a box of tissues and all manner of cold medicine that doesn't. work. at. all.

Cue sneezing fit.

Still, I managed to scour the interwebs for some of the latest in mental health news just for you! Read on to find out the psychological benefits of writing, why time seems to go faster as we age, and -- oh yeah -- why the new all-the-rage app Pokemon Go is actually good for your mental health!

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Mom Knows Best: Overcoming Life’s Hardships

Life bruises. For others, it cripples. And, for a select few, it empowers.

As we marvel at others’ resilience during uncommon adversity, what lessons are applicable to our lives?

On a gloomy October day, the doctor’s diagnosis numbed us. “Pancreatic cancer,” he spat out. My aunt and I recoiled. The word -- cancer -- buzzed in our ears. Shoulders slumping, our mist-filled eyes met. We were dazed; cancer happens to others. Not our familial matriarch.
Continue Reading

Addiction

Instant Gratification: When Right Now Means 5 Minutes

“If you act right now -- right this very instant, you can own this shimmering, heart-shaped pendant for the budget-busting price of $250. But you have to act this very moment,” a caffeinated TV blowhard shrieks into your television screen.

You cackle, questioning the (in)sanity of anyone spending $250 on a cheesy pendant. As the cackle disappears, you lean back and contemplate your own spending habits. You, self-described Mr. Thrift, just dropped $250 on a pair of must-have sneakers. The problem: Your exercise regimen consists of walking past the gym.

Continue Reading