Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: December 26, 2015


Ah, you survived -- and possibly thrived in -- the holidays, sweet readers, and we've got just what you need to unwind and catch up on what's going on in the world of mental health.

Grab a cup of joe (or hot chocolate...unless you're experiencing this weird heat wave here in the U.S.), and read up on how music therapy can help depression, a therapist's answers to pressing anxiety questions, what we can push for regarding state mental health legislation next year, and more.

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Brain and Behavior

Workplace Environment Affects Mental Health

The workplace environment you spend 40 or 50 hours in per week has a very real and substantial impact on your mental health, according to multiple studies and expert opinions from psychologists all around the world.

According to a 2011 research study on how workplace design contributes to mental health and well-being, the average person spends 33 percent of their waking time in their workplace on a weekly basis. As such, the physical workplace environment has a major impact on everything from happiness and mood to productivity and focus. The study concludes that “good working conditions enable employees to work effectively” and that “investments in the physical workplace that create those conditions pay back quickly.”

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Brain and Behavior

4 Fitness Tips to Turn Your Negative Emotions into Success

Jennifer was alone with a 6-month-old infant and only enough money to cover one month of living expenses. She had no income or safety net. “It was me against the world with only a computer as my weapon,” she said. Overwhelmed with anxiety and worry, she asked, “What am I going to do?”

The first thing she had to do was to change the way she thought, and she knew from years of experience that the only way to do that was with rhythmic exercise. She needed to jog, cycle, walk or do the stepper or elliptical. That was how she was going to spin anxiety and worry into success.

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Addiction

Social Media, Anxiety, and the Highly Sensitive Me

I have had a love/hate relationship with social media since the craze began.

I see those obnoxious graphics proudly boasting the fact that you are a rhymes-with-witch all over social media. Seriously, why is this okay and generally accepted behavior? I hope you’re simply confused about the definition of the word. Perhaps you engage in healthy assertiveness, not general nastiness. Sorry, but I wouldn’t be willing to "handle" you or anyone. Why would I? Why would anyone?

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General

Making Time for Self-Care When You Have a Super Demanding Job

When you have a demanding job, you’re likely strapped for time. It doesn't leave many opportunities for caring for truly caring for yourself. You also might hold certain assumptions about self-care, which stop you from practicing it.

Marriage and family therapist Elizabeth Sullivan defines self-care as the “ability to know oneself well enough to understand what experiences or activities nourish and restore your soul.” Self-care is unique to each person, she said. “What works for one person may stress someone else out.”
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Top 5 Hidden Causes of Depression

Last year, I was seeing four different doctors: a psychiatrist for my mood disorder; an endocrinologist for my pituitary tumor and thyroid issues; a cardiologist for my aortic valve regurgitation; and a primary care physician for some digestive problems and fungus growth.

I suspected that all of my health problems were connected, but each doctor refused to look beyond her specialty to achieve a systemic, balanced perspective of how the conditions were related. I searched for an integrative doctor who could piece together all of my broken parts and help me determine underlying causes for all of the ailments.
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Books

5 Books Guaranteed to Unlock Your Creative Genius



Why does it seem like some people can effortlessly “follow their passions”, while others can’t? What’s the secret of successful entrepreneurs and creatives who live out their dreams of dedicating their careers to inspiring, meaningful work? Why do the rest of us feel stuck in an unfulfilling funk?

Not everyone can follow their passion and make money from it. Not everyone can work on a personal project or business that lights you up and makes everyday feel like retirement. Or can you?

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Caregivers

Coming to Terms with a Chronic Illness

It can be difficult to deal with a diagnosis of a chronic illness. News of a long-term or lifelong condition can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. It can also affect your relationships, home, career and finances.

Each person diagnosed with a chronic illness likely will react differently. There will be challenging times ahead, but adopting certain strategies and knowing that you are not alone can help you cope in the best way possible.

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Brain and Behavior

Silence is Golden

The old song by Simon and Garfunkel was so right: silence really is golden, but maybe in more ways than we realize. In our urban, busy world we don’t get enough outer silence. There’s always the sound of traffic, TVs, other people in their apartments and the general buzz of the city as we go about our daily business. These days we have to hunt out the quiet spaces, but they are there as I discovered just the other day.

I’m selling my apartment, so we have the bi-weekly ritual of having to go out with the dog for 45 minutes during house viewing and find somewhere to be. As my dog is a bit old and grumpy (he’s 85 in human years), we try to seek out places that avoid other dogs and small children, which is hard in a café-obsessed beachside suburb of Sydney. As we took a walk up the road we discovered a small nature reserve that had been recently restored. Pristine bush tucked away in the city, green, tranquil and no sound, that’s bliss.

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Addiction

Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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