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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How to Work with Your Dreams

A lot of us are drawn to working with our dreams. Knowing where to start and how to go about it can be confusing. Here are some basic tools to help you with the process.

1. Tell yourself the whole dream. Tell yourself the dream from start to finish so that you have a sense of it as a complete narrative. Dreams sometime seem to open somewhere in the middle -- things are already in process. Capture this information as fully as possible.
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Brain and Behavior

The Power of Music

I’ve known the lows of depression, I’ve known the terror of delusions and paranoia and I’ve known the itchiness of anxiety. In every instance, I know I need to calm down. Most times this means going home pulling the covers up and putting on soft music. I do it so much that it’s become something completely natural. Feeling bad? Put on music. It’s almost automatic and because of that I’ve started to take this simple technique for granted.

Music is something magical. It’s salve for all of life’s emotional wounds and I would be remiss in talking about coping techniques if I didn’t talk about music.
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How to Use Affirmations to Combat Negative Self Talk

Have you ever pasted up a big sign on your bathroom mirror that says something like, “You are beautiful!” to try to improve your mood and self esteem? And found that it works not at all?

We all have a mean voice inside our heads that criticizes us, often much more harshly than we would ever criticize another person. For many of us, this negative self talk manifests as specific repeating phrases, especially when we are feeling stressed or upset: “You’re such a failure.” “You’re so ugly.” “You can’t do anything right.” You’d never say this to another person, but there it is, knocking around inside your head.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Deal with Invasive Thoughts

I’m no stranger to nasty thoughts. I recognize when they’re present so innately that it’s safe to say it almost hurts. In my almost nine years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to battle my fair share of these thoughts and I’ve gotten so good at it that I can almost see them coming from a mile away.

If it wasn’t the notion that people were making fun of me it was the idea that I’m more important than anyone else, i.e. grandiosity.

I’ve been subject to many nights where I just stared at the ceiling in the dark letting these little monsters run and play their tricks through all corners of my mind.
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Suffering From Jealousy? Try These 10 Tips to Overcome It

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was the popular cheerleader in high school who seemed to have it all: perfect hair, teeth, and her hunky boyfriend made you wonder if you’d ever outgrow your awkward stage. Or maybe it was the rising star at work who beat you out for the plum promotion you wanted without seeming to break a sweat. Perhaps it’s your Facebook "friend" who is chased by a never-ending stream of “Amazing!” selfie-narrated experiences.

Whatever your source of envy, the green monster is no fun companion. Jealousy can not only debilitate your relationships with others, it can also wreak serious havoc on your health. According to Donna Fremon-Powell , certified Guided Imagery Therapist in La Habra, California, emotions like anger, jealousy, hate and resentment produce a chemical that’s very similar to arsenic. “Simply put, your negative emotions are poisonous.”

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: November 15, 2014

Job interviews, speech anxiety, and seasonal depression -- oh, my!

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers each of these topics and more.


The Psychology of the Job Interview: Take these psychology tips, tricks, and techniques into consideration the next time you interview for a new position.

A Quick Cure for Speech Anxiety?: HINT: Not one of these tips involves imagining people in their underwear.

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5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”
- Robert Gary Lee

A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.

I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I did so quite poorly and ended up being an emotional basket case most of the time anyway.

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