Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: September 26, 2015


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

We hope you're enjoying the budding seasonal changes, and that you'll find something interesting in this week's Psychology Around the Net before heading out to enjoy your Saturday!

This week we've got the latest on mental health parity speculation, ways to boost your confidence, how computers are becoming ridiculously accurate at predicting schizophrenia, and more!

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: September 12, 2015


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

We hope everyone made it through the week in one piece after the three-day Labor Day weekend! It's back to the grind now, and we've got the latest on boosting creativity, the country's current shortage of psychiatrists, new mothers and smoking relapse, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Enjoy!

8 Psychology Hacks to Increase Your Creativity and Productivity: Learn to challenge yourself, practice mindfulness, and more if you want a creative and productive boost.

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Depression

The Problem with Google’s Health Knowledge Graphs

Earlier this year, Google changed how it presented health search results. It added a new box to its search results it calls a "Knowledge Graph."

Apparently this new product came about because a Google product manager had a hard time finding information about a concussion, using -- you guessed it -- Google. Believing that health information is different than all other information people search for, Google decided to start becoming a health information publisher instead of a search engine.

And when you get into the publishing business, well, you better know what you're doing. Can a search engine company also offer vetted health information you can trust?

The answer is unclear.

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General

6 Surprising, Bizarre Facts You Didn’t Know About Freud

Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis, so it's not surprising much has been written about him over the past century since he first introduced his trailblazing theories about childhood development. At first his theories were very controversial, but then gradually accepted by many -- so much so that many of his ideas have become entrenched into pop psychology.

Freud was an interesting man who grew up in a step-family household that was largely poor. What's even more interesting is what you don't know about this most famous of all psychoanalysts. Here are 6 of the more surprising and bizarre facts about Sigmund Freud.

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Depression

Blame the Illness, Not the Patient

One of the most hurtful comments made to me during the worst of my depression was this: "You must not want to get better."

I know that person didn't intend to be spiteful or mean. She's just plain ignorant regarding mental health issues. (But I still haven't let it go, obviously.)

Comments like that are why I'm so passionate about educating folks on mental illness and eliminating the isolating stigma of our condition. Because it's hard enough fighting all the negative intrusive thoughts within our head. We don't need additional insults and negative opinions -- confirmation of our weakness -- from folks who have never wanted to die and consider all suicidal thoughts self-absorbed and pathetic.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 28, 2015


This week's edition of Psychology Around the Net covers everything from psychology and environmentalism, a new smartphone app for teens dealing with depression, and various misconceptions about psychology.

The Surprising Psychology Behind Why Some People Become Environmentalists: Psychologists have started using tools such as surveys and questionnaires to delve into this polarized topic.

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General

The History of Psychology Roundup: From LSD to Lobotomies


It's been a while -- like a few years! -- since I've shared the latest links on the history of psychology. But I think it’s important to take a look back. In order to know where we're going, it’s important to know where we’ve been. Plus, the journey is rarely boring.

This month’s pieces cover everything from playing tourist at asylums to using LSD to treat alcoholism to reading letters from lobotomy patients.
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General

Introducing Practical Psychoanalysis


The world of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory is one steeped in the very history of psychiatry, with some of the most recognizable names practicing it.

But modern psychoanalysis is different than psychoanalysis from a century ago. The process and techniques have been updated, so it’s not at all what is typically portrayed in old Hollywood movies.

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General

Why Doesn’t Kaiser Care About Californians’ Mental Health?

I'm not sure why, but the healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente appears not to care about the people whose lives it covers in California. That's the only thing that could logically explain why it has continually failed to fund and staff its mental health services in the state to the level necessary to provide timely and adequate care to its residents.

Kaiser failed so badly to provide this bare minimum care that the state ended up fining it $4 million for systematically putting revenues before the care of its customers who have mental health needs.

In any other system, when a company so poorly fails to live up to its responsibilities, that company would be fired. But in the wonderful U.S. mental health system, Kaiser is given chance after chance to do the right thing. So do they?

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Brain and Behavior

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for Depression

Mainstream media love to highlight anytime a researcher suggests we're on the cusp of developing a blood test, saliva test, or brain scan to "properly" diagnose depression. This is seemingly driven by a never-ending belief that the only way to legitimize mental illness is if we create a medical lab test for it. Nevermind the fact that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of medical diseases that have no single lab test to diagnose them.

Somehow, an MRI will magically make depression acceptable to society. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The latest twist on these tests is a biomarker or blood test that will let us know which treatments may work best for depression. Naturally, such tests raise as many questions as they may answer -- and make the process of getting an accurate diagnosis for depression vastly more expensive and complicated.

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Antipsychotic

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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Antipsychotic

Dealing with the Side Effects

Having lived with schizophrenia for almost nine years I’m no stranger to the myriad things that can happen when you’re on a course of antipsychotic medication.

Many times these side effects can be disruptive to everyday life. Sometimes they come on slow and have a lasting impact, such as gaining a significant amount of weight. Sometimes they can be dull, such as drowsiness or a dissociative feeling.

The important thing to remember in all these cases is that side effects are negligible compared to the benefit of the drug.
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