Psychology Around the Net: March 21, 2015

Learn more about the stigma of mental illness, how to use your memory to make better connections, the rampant misuse of ADHD medications among college students, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net!

Combating the Stigma of Mental Illness: When as many as "as many as 25 percent of adults and 40.3 percent of adolescents reported suffering an episode of mental illness within a 12-month period," why are we still stuck in a world filled with stigma?

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Anxiety and Panic

How Anxiety and Guilt Affect Your To-Do List

Do you keep a running to-do list that never seems to end? Do self-directed commands such as "send emails" or "write resume" or "buy salad ingredients" always end up on tomorrow’s list because of a lack of time today? You may even find yourself saying, "There just aren't enough hours in the day!"

A new study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, brings encouraging news for those of us who feel we can never get it all done: It may not be more hours that we need, say the researchers, just an emotional readjustment of sorts. In other words, if you were to break down each item on your to-do list into minutes or hours, you would probably find that, yes, timewise, you could squeeze everything in this week.

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How to Start Over — Starting With You

Often when a couple with a long history together comes to me in an attempt to save their relationship, I find myself recommending that they ritualistically end the old relationship -- even if they want to stay together.

It is a bit akin to having the right ingredients for a meal, but the wrong recipe. It is okay to say goodbye to that recipe, but that doesn't mean that you need to throw out the ingredients.

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Schizophrenia: Delusions, Voices, But Not the Memory Loss

When you hear the word "schizophrenia" a lot of symptoms probably come to mind. Some of them, unfortunately, are sensationalized or completely inaccurate, like "split personality." You might have said hallucinations, hearing voices, being paranoid, and thinking you’re God. Sure, that could be schizophrenia. But what about memory loss?

My brother Pat was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2006. For a year he thought people were surveilling him, coming into our home to install cameras, listening to his conversations whenever he was outdoors. He didn’t have a reason for it. He didn’t thinking he was a god, a king, or the Second Coming. He believed he was a target for the government -- this was around the time the media began to cover the privacy violations stemming from the Patriot Act.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Redefine Boundaries to Your Own Personal Freedom

“The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

- Tara Brach
I was in the heart of my Ph.D. program when I received the diagnoses: OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder.

It explained a lot, of course. All those years of anxiety, self-doubt, and intrusive thoughts were not normal after all. Eating to the point of gaining forty pounds in a few months was foreign to most people.

I wanted an explanation. Why me?

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3-Step Plan for Your ‘Why Me?’ Moments

With a single sentence, life can knock you down. Here's how to get back up and keep swinging...

Have you ever noticed how a single sentence can feel as if a bomb exploded and life as you know it is irrevocably transformed?

A single sentence like:

"It's cancer."
"You're fired."
"I'm pregnant."
"I'm leaving you and filing for divorce."

Suddenly that single sentence, uttered by someone you love or care about, changes your life -- derailing your sense of purpose and direction -- in an instant.
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: February 21, 2015

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

This week's edition of Psychology Around the Net brings you information about the subtle signs of depression, how to change your attitude even when you can't change your circumstances, the connection between being locked up and mental illness and poverty, and more.

(Oh, and we even get an appearance from the Duchess herself!)

Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Getting Everything Done Every Day: Tired of feeling defeated because you didn't accomplish every last thing on your to-do list? Ask yourself these five questions and you might just feel a little more relaxed at the end of the day.

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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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Psychology Around the Net: January 31, 2015

This week's Psychology Around the Net will have you rethinking how you look at depression medications, constantly seeking the approval of others, and -- oh, yeah -- whether to have a glass of wine or beer with your dinner (seriously)!

Beer Compound Could Help Fend Off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases: We've all heard about the potential health benefits of wine, but new reports show the compound from hops -- a flower of the hop plant used as a basic ingredient in brewing beer -- could help "protect brain cells from damage -- and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases."

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Brain and Behavior

Is Brain-Training a Hoax?

In a society that glorifies brain-related companies such as Lumosity, it's important to note that while their goal is moral, their process is inherently flawed.

As an Integrative Neuroscience major at Binghamton University, I can understand why parents and children alike fall for the tempting ways to enhance your brain’s functioning. After all, it's no secret that as we begin to age, our memory and other senses begin to fade gradually and sometimes rather abruptly. Nevertheless, the market for these brain-training websites is alive and thriving.

Lumosity prides themselves in being able to "enhance neuroplasticity" through games and other tasks. While their mission statement is not incorrect, it’s not the only route to mental clarity.
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Coming to Terms with Your Delusions

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought some pretty outrageous things in the course of my illness. I’d also be lying if I said I don’t think about outrageous things still. Even with a good amount of stability, delusions can still persist.

Sometimes it’s about what people think of you, maybe just an offhand notion. Other times it can be so bad that you think you’re a king or a prophet or Jesus Christ himself. I’ve seen every part of the spectrum.

Nine years on, I still deal with whether people are making fun of me. This is a delusion which, no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t stop.
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Adults and ADHD: Reminders for When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Clinical psychologist Roberto Olivardia’s clients who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) regularly tell him they feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks. "They feel as if they are in the midst of an avalanche of chores they cannot properly prioritize, organize or execute."

Tasks such as paying the bills, preparing dinner, or getting the car fixed can feel monumental, he said. On top of that, adults with ADHD can feel frustrated seeing others without ADHD accomplish these tasks with little effort, he added. "This leads many with ADHD to feel like they are 'failing at life.'"

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