Brain and Behavior

Stigma and Publicity

#DoubtfireFace Challenge for Suicide Prevention? Never heard of it.

The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” is undoubtedly one of the most successful and engaging fundraising efforts in recent history. The challenge, which involved posting a video of yourself getting doused by a bucket of ice water, quickly gained popularity and became a social phenomenon. Teens, adults, celebrities, and politicians (including former President George W. Bush) all took part in the challenge, with their videos gaining tens of millions of views.
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Introducing Hollywood Therapy

The lives behind the people who create, write, produce, direct and act on TV shows and movies can be complicated and stressful. Reputations hang in the balance with every new project, and the pressure to succeed and project a “perfect” life is intense and never-ending.

What are the kinds of unique challenges such creative people in Hollywood face? How do they differ from “normal” people’s lives? Is there anything their stories can teach us??

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What Joan Rivers Taught Us about Grief

I was never a huge fan of Joan Rivers’ comedy routines -- a little too coarse for my taste -- but I always had a warm spot in my heart for the woman born Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She had the same glass-etching, Brooklyn accent as most of my mother’s family, with whom I shared summers in the Catskills. And, like Joan Rivers, my New York family’s idea of empathy was usually a heavenward eye-roll, followed by the expression, “Oh, please!”

Most fans of this indomitable woman know that she lost her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, to suicide in 1987 and that it took many years for her to work through her grief. The grief that follows bereavement -- the death of a loved one -- is among the deepest and most painful of human experiences.
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Psychology Around the Net: September 6, 2014

From nude celebrity photos to learning how to up your happiness on the job, we have all the latest psychology-related news around the 'net today.

Psychology Behind Hacking and Sharing Nude Celebrity Photos: Why the reasons might seem obvious, the appeal actually has a psychological basis.

Reframing Your Way to Happiness at Work: Could a few subtle shifts in your mindset change your happiness and productivity levels at work?

Poor Sleep Linked to Suicide: Stanford researchers have found that poor sleep might be an independent suicide risk factor in adults over 65 years old.

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Once an Addict, Always an Addict?

This is a saying I’ve always grappled with. One part of me is against any type of labeling, let alone a heavy label to be carried for the rest of your life. We are all so interchangeably dynamic, that to categorize someone into a box forever doesn’t sit well. 

Another part of me completely agrees with this statement and perceives it to be utterly valid. Instead of denying who you are, true acceptance perhaps is the only way to not only recover, but to continue to maintain your recovery. However much I am against “branding” someone for life, it is human nature to create categorizes in order to piece things together and make sense of circumstances.
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Psychology Around the Net: August 30, 2014

Do you care for a person with Alzheimer's Disease and wonder how you can better help them -- and yourself -- make it day by day? What about a fear of asking for advice? Ever heard of sleep drunkenness? We have it all and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Risky Situations At Work Lead Women To Feel More Anxiety Than Men, Says Study: A new study recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that women are more likely than men to fold under the pressure of risky situations at work and, thus, perform worse than they would during normal situations.

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A Reflection on Robin Williams’ Death

I spoke with a friend several days after the shocking news that Robin Williams had committed suicide. How could this beloved actor and storied comedian, my friend wondered, not understand or care that fans around the world adored him? And why, he further inquired, wasn’t that alone reason enough to live?

Nonetheless, this person, barely able to contain his sorrow, said he thought Mr. Williams “incredibly courageous” to have carried out such a deed.

Pausing to reflect and carefully measure my words as to not offend, I told him I vehemently disagreed with his statement: Suicide was not an act of courage, I said, but rather an act of consummate desperation. 
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Psychology Around the Net: August 23, 2014

Overthinking, oversharing, and -- well, a few celebrities to boot. That's what you'll find in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

When to Think Less About Your Choices: Thinking too much about something could mean you're focusing on only a few variables instead of blending a more holistic, emotional view into the situation.

The Psychology of Oversharing Facebook Couples: We all have one or three of these couples within our Facebook feeds. Now find out the psychology behind them.

Pharrell's 'Happy' is a Rare Bright Spot in Track Sales This Year: Admit it: You can't help but feel a little boost in mood when you hear this song! Well, according to Billboard it's also bucking the downward trend record sales have seen lately.

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Why the Death of Robin Williams Is So Hard to Accept

Sadly, it's nothing new -- a celebrity either directly or indirectly ends their own life. It was Philip Seymour Hoffman, most recently; Heath Ledger, previously; and the list continues.
Now, Robin Williams is gone. Removed from the world directly by his own hand.

As much as I was moved by deaths of other celebrities who hold a place within me, there is something noticeably more difficult to accept with Robin Williams' suicide.
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Hopeful Lessons from Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain

I'm old enough to remember Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994, and what a major cultural and news event it was.

Although there have been other celebrity deaths in the years since, it's only now with Robin Williams that a suicide has had as much attention and social magnitude.

The differences over time are striking. Social media has changed the nature of news as well as the conversation about news, and blogs make it easy for anyone to publish online what once might have been op-eds and letters to the editor in paper newspapers and magazines. Retweets and faves on
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Depression When You Have It All

People think, if only I had success in life, I'd be the happiest person on earth. Yet, as Robin Williams' suicide so clearly demonstrates, you can have fame, fortune, a loving family and still be depressed. Though I have no knowledge of Robin Williams' inner psyche, I do know that those with wealth and status are not immune to depression. Indeed, they may even be more prone to it.

Why should this be so?

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Is Suicide a Free Choice or a False Choice?

Is suicide a free choice, like choosing to do the laundry today, or to watch TV?

Or is the act of suicide more of a false choice -- the illusion of choice, with none of the freedom we typically associate with the word?

Some people may feel this is semantics -- not worth the time to discuss. But given some of the ridiculous things that have been written about suicide in the past week, I feel like it's an important point to examine and understand.

Suicide is not a choice in any meaningful sense of the word. Here's why.

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