Brain and Behavior

4 Steps to Stop Seeking Approval from Others

Humans share an innate drive to connect with others. We’re evolutionarily wired to crave inclusion. Eons ago, this was linked with our survival; in prehistoric times, rejection triggered fear. If someone became isolated or was ousted from the group, his or her life would be at risk.

Because the consequences of being rejected were so extreme, our brains and behavior adapted to avoid disapproval from others. In fact, research has shown that social rejection activates many of the same brain regions involved in physical pain, which helps explains why disapproval stings.
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Do Unresolvable Conflicts Doom a Marriage?

Many people think that if a marriage is basically healthy all issues get resolved. Yet according to psychologist and author John Gottman’s research, 69 percent of problems in marriage do not get solved. (1)

His good news is that in good marriages many problems can be managed. Gottman states that couples can live with unresolvable conflicts about perpetual issues in their relationship if the issues are not dealbreakers.

Simply put, it is not the presence of conflict that stresses the relationship; it is the manner in which the couple responds. Positive, respectful communication about differences helps keep a marriage thriving.

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Talking with Children about Infidelity

The recent Ashley Madison hack exposed 32 million users for their involvement with the now-famous adultery-inspired dating site. It seems like a relevant time to discuss an issue that’s frequently shoved under the rug or ignored altogether. That issue involves children and marital infidelity. While spouses are obviously greatly affected by romantic affairs, psychologists argue that children may take the brunt of the blow.

If you’ve had an extramarital affair -- or your spouse has cheated on you -- there are obviously personal issues to sort through. In most cases, though, couples try to keep things under wraps and avoid telling friends and family members. However, what do you do with your own children?
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: September 5, 2015

Happy September, Psych Central readers!

Our first Psychology Around the Net of the month covers habits to boost creativity, ways to deal with narcissists, how to protect yourself from negativity, and more.


6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People: How early do you rise? Are you getting enough exercise? What about your schedule -- how strict is it? You might want to brush up on these tips and more to channel your own exceptional creativity.

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Can a Good Marriage Have Problems?

If your partner says, “We have a problem,” does your chest tighten? Do you forget to breathe? What goes through your mind? “A problem! Aggh! Does that mean he (or she) will leave me? Is our relationship doomed?” Do you imagine that something is terribly wrong with the two of you as a couple and maybe impossible to fix? If this sounds like you, you are probably being duped by a harmful marriage myth: A good marriage has no problems.

Conflict exists in any marriage. Our challenge is to deal with differences constructively.

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Tips to Restore Sexual Intimacy

What if you want sex more often than your mate? Or vice versa? Too often the “deprived” partner will blame the other. Don’t make this mistake. By calling your beloved selfish, cold, or frigid, you will only make things worse.

Pretending that no problem exists also will hurt your relationship. It is much more helpful to recognize your feelings and express yourself constructively.
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Psychology Around the Net: July 11, 2015

Catch up on the latest information about teens and antipsychotic medications, the possible therapeutic benefits of marijuana, how well certain "happiness" apps work, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Most Antipsychotic Drugs Prescribed to Teens Without Mental Health Diagnosis, Study Says: According to this study, prescribing antipsychotic medications to teens without a mental health diagnosis is on the rise.

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New Study: Your Stress Could Make Your Husband Sick

This takes "happy wife, happy life" to a whole new, scary level.

Some believe marriage is naturally difficult. Unfortunately, those who succumb to such negativity may be headed down a dangerous path. Not only does a tumultuous marriage lead to many tear-stained pillows but according to a new study it could also lead to a stressed wife, resulting in greater potential for heart disease for her dear husband.

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Top 10 Eating Disorder Blogs of 2015

Eating disorders remain one of the most misunderstood, stigmatized and discriminated against mental disorders. People with depression seem to willingly share their struggles, while eating disorders seem to remain stubbornly in the dark shadows. The simplistic, false beliefs that a person should just "not eat as much" or "eat more" (depending upon the specific disorder) continue to be repeated relentlessly -- sometimes by even well-meaning people.

The online eating disorder landscape is complex and diverse, filled with voices of all genders, ages and cultural backgrounds. This compilation of the best eating disorder blogs for 2015 reflects the great diversity among eating disorder bloggers. Below is a series of real-life accounts, practical advice and sound wisdom.

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7 Warning Signs a Man Is Emotionally Unavailable

If he's doing even ONE of these things, ditch him.

Do you have a tragic habit of attracting the wrong kind of men into your life over and over again? Men who are afraid of commitment or just flat out don’t want a relationship?

It's frustrating to spend time trying to make things work out with what may actually be a lost cause.

How do you know beforehand that a man is emotionally unavailable? The answer's been in front of you the whole time.

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The Benefits of Premarital Counseling & How to Find a Therapist

Many people think premarital counseling is only for certain couples. That includes engaged couples who have relationship issues or who are required by their congregation to attend, said Meredith Hansen, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in premarital, newlywed and couples counseling.

However, any couple can benefit from premarital counseling. It can help couples who are about to get married, have been married for five years or fewer, are living together or will have a domestic partnership, said Victoria Brodersen, LMFTA, a psychotherapist who specializes in premarital counseling.

She suggested thinking of your relationship "as a piece of machinery" -- "[E]ven those that run well require regular maintenance."
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