Brain and Behavior

Trying to Lose Weight? Maybe You Should Ditch That New Wearable

Wearable technology -- those things people wear around their wrist to track their heart rate or number of steps walked or run -- is all the rage. This sort of personal data tracking is especially popular among younger people and those who exercise regularly. Whether it's a Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, a Garmin Vivofit, or some other fitness tracker, people love the ability to easily track their fitness progress over time.

But if you're wearing one of these devices while trying to lose weight, you may find it surprising that wearable technology likely won't help you -- and could even hurt (a little) in your weight loss journey.

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General

How the Repeal of Obamacare Will Impact People with Mental Illness

When the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") was passed into law seven years ago, it signaled a fundamental change in America's healthcare system. After all, in every other first-world, industrialized nation, healthcare is a basic right of citizens. Only in the U.S. has healthcare been seen as primarily a business -- one where profits can be put before people's health.

Now as the Republicans seek to unmake Obamacare with a "repeal and replace" effort, questions have are arising about how exactly this will impact individuals -- both those who depend on Obamacare as a lifeline to affordable healthcare and those who don't. There's a lot of fear and misinformation out there right now, so I'd like to set the record straight.

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General

PODCAST: What Does the 21st Century Cures Act Mean For the Mentally Ill?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent welcome mental health researcher and Psych Central Founder, Dr. John Grohol, to discuss the newly passed 21st Century Cures Act. In addition to other bills, the Act integrated parts of what was previously known as The Murphy Bill or Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. There has been a lot of talk in the mental health community about how, exactly, the news laws will help people living with mental illness.

Listen as Dr. Grohol explains what impact this law will have on treating mental illness in America. He also explains, in layman’s terms, the details of the new law and offers his expert analysis of how the new laws will affect HIPAA regulations, assisted outpatient treatment, research, and SAMHSA.

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General

Who Looks After the President’s Mental Health?

Nearly 100 years ago, the U.S. appointed the first physician to look after the physical health of the president. As the president's personal doctor, he or she looks after the president's health and well-being, and provides the American public with an annual report on the president's general health.

With all that we've learned about the important and inseparable connection between physical and mental health, might it be time for the president to also have a personal psychologist or psychiatrist? After all, who looks after the president's mental health?

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Holiday Coping

Happy New Year 2017!

With another year behind us, we have a lot to look forward to in 2017 for mental health. The biggest win for some people with mental illness was the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a law that includes a partial fix and reworking of some of the ways the U.S. federal government supports mental health.

But with another passing year, we've also lost a lot of wonderful people who helped to support the cause of mental health, most recently Carrie Fisher. I suppose it's the nature of time marching on that, of course, it cannot be stopped. And we've had some political changes in this country that seemingly are opening up greater divides between citizens. Last year was a year that will be remembered in history books, but the real question you have to ask yourself is: will it be remembered in your personal history book?

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Happiness

Psychology Around the Net: December 31, 2016


Happy New Year, sweet readers!

For a variety of understandable reasons, I know many of you are glad to see 2016 end.

The other night, I was talking (ranting) to my beau about how horrible this year has been and how I can't wait for it to end because it just can't get any worse when -- BOOM! -- common sense knocked me right upside the noggin mid-sentence.

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Addiction

Carrie Fisher, Bipolar Disorder, Addiction & The People She Inspired

When Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday morning at age 60, she left behind a legacy of being one of the first and most vocal Hollywood celebrities and actors to speak openly about mental illness. Specifically, Fisher battled bipolar disorder and addiction throughout most of her life, but never was shy speaking about these demons, all the while never letting herself be solely defined by them.

So while most of the world will remember her as Princess Leia -- the fierce, independent heroine in the original Star Wars movies -- many people will remember her for her ability to give dignity to those living with the most debilitating silent disease -- mental illness. As a champion for people with bipolar disorder and addiction, we remember her today along with millions of others.

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