Children and Teens

Why People Drop Out of College: A Freudian Approach

It’s no surprise to anyone that many people who start college do not end up completing it. The U.S. Department of Education claims that “as of 2012, only 59 percent of students on average received a bachelor's degree within a six-year period. The numbers are much higher for private non-profit and public schools, but private for-profit schools are bringing up the rear with a staggering 32 percent finishing rate”(National Center for Educational Statistics).
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Anxiety and Panic

Anxiety, Depression and College Students

A recent survey has determined that anxiety is the most common mental health problem in college students. Depression and stress rank second and third. Anxiety and depression are really just different sides of the same coin. They are both the result of chronic stress that overwhelms your capacity to cope with them. Both can affect your functioning, especially your studies and your relationships.

Some blame "helicopter parents" for college students' mental health problems. These parents hovered over their children, not allowing them to feel their emotions and not allowing them to solve their own problems. These parents handled their children’s problems for them. But the children did not learn emotional regulation and coping skills. When they go off to college, they are emotional novices. They are unable to deal with the stress of independent living and studying for their chosen careers.

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Brain and Behavior

3 Lessons about Psychological Well-Being from a Social Media Tsunami: Professor Holding a Baby

In the past few weeks I have been swept up in a social media tsunami. A photograph of me holding a baby while lecturing, taken without my knowledge in one of my lectures, went viral.

For those knowledgeable about these things, apparently being number one on BuzzFeed Trending and Facebook Trending is “huge.” The frenzy included mainstream media with articles and interviews appearing in the Washington Post, The Guardian and The Independent, as well as on CNN, Canadian television, BBC Radio 5, South African radio and the list goes on and on. On one site alone the photo received more than one million likes.

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Brain and Behavior

How to Learn New Stuff

When I was growing up, family dinners were often interrupted by a mad search through the encyclopedia. During our discussion some question would invariably arise and my dad or one of us would get up from the table and come back with a World Book volume containing the answer.

The practice fueled my curiosity and more than a few Trivia Crack victories.

I’m still in the habit today. Something will come up during our dinnertime conversation and I or my daughter or husband will seek out the answer. But, this time, it doesn’t come from a book. It comes from Google. And that may not be the best way to learn.
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Alcoholism

Psychology Around the Net: June 13, 2015


Learn about the summer version of seasonal affective disorder, how creative people might carry genes for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the importance of proper nutrition regarding mental health, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Does Summer Make You Depressed? Although we often associate seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with the winter months, it actually affects some people during the summer months, with symptoms such as decreased appetites and insomnia.

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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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Antidepressant

Psychology Around the Net: April 18, 2015


Can you spot a genuine smile from a fake one? How much do you know about creating a mental health plan for your child before college? What about true happiness -- do you actually experience it?

Learn about these topics and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Psychology of Smiling: Can You Tell a Fake Smile From a Genuine One? Psychologist Richard Wiseman and his new photographic test for checking empathy will help you find out.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 7, 2015


Get the latest on the psychological importance of dressing for success, how distractions might affect creativity, anxiety and poor decision-making, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

An Early Bedtime Could Prevent Mental Illness, Study Finds: Canadian and French researchers propose that earlier bedtmies (and healthier meals) could relate to mental health in the "way that our body's natural cycles affect certain chemicals in the brain."

How to Get Your Relationship Back On Track After a Terrible Fight: No relationship is "perfect," and some might even say fighting (or at least arguing or disagreeing) is a healthy part of any relationship; however, what happens when the fight takes a toll on an otherwise happy, healthy relationship? Check these tips for getting the romance back on track.

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Alcoholism

Failure to Launch

John was never the greatest of students but he did manage to graduate from college in six years. Yay! His parents breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he had accomplished what he set out to do.

Now, three years later, Mom and Dad are feeling increasingly distressed. John is living back home and going nowhere. His motivation to get a job comes and goes. The bulk of his day is spent on social media, video games and getting high.

He shows little interest in becoming an independent, self-sufficient adult. If his parents would get him an apartment, he’d move in a minute. But the idea of working toward that goal is beyond him.

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College

Adult Children of Divorce: Getting Through the Holidays


Something like 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, but there’s a special group of us whose parents didn’t call it quits until we were adults. And with the holidays approaching, it’s a little different in our homes.

When people like me were in school, everyone else’s parents were getting divorced. We couldn’t wrap our heads around what that was like for them. Blake said his parents are fighting over him. Julie says she doesn’t have a whole room to herself at her mom’s house so she argues not to stay over there. Some kids were even shuffled around between maternal and paternal grandparents on weekends. Sometimes there was fighting. Sometimes there was palpable grief.

But in the end everyone got through it.

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Brain and Behavior

Letting Go: External Changes

“When some girls go through a breakup, they’re inspired to cut or dye their hair,” my professor said in a lecture for his "Psychology of Personality" course.

When experiencing any significant change, whether it’s a breakup or embarking on a new life chapter, we may crave external transformation. It will not resolve the issues at hand; however, it can reflect inner growth and progress. There’s a certain catharsis to physical alterations.

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