Anxiety and Panic

Understanding Claustrophobia’s Impact on Your Life

Those who suffer from claustrophobia always remember the first time they felt the hopeless sensation of being trapped or enclosed. It’s a feeling unlike any other -- and one that can humble anyone in any situation. And whether you’ve experienced claustrophobia once or you deal with it every time you get on a crowded elevator, it’s important to come to terms with what it is, what causes it, and how it can be overcome.

What is Claustrophobia?

Simply put, claustrophobia is an
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Brain and Behavior

Is Stress Good for You?

Disparaged as dangerous, healthy stress levels actually can push you to peak performance. Too much of it, though, strains your heart, robs you of mental clarity and even increases your risk of chronic disease. A study by the American Institute of Stress reported that 77 percent of U.S. citizens regularly experienced the physical symptoms of stress. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed feel that they are living with extreme stress levels.

Researchers and psychologists now say that it is possible to learn how to identify and manage individual reactions to stress. We can develop healthier outlooks as well as improve performance on cognitive tests, at work, and in athletics.

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Brainwashing in Abusive Relationships

Being in an abusive relationship often feels like torture. Sometimes that's because your partner's behavior feels like the torture techniques used by mortal enemies instead.

Brainwashing is defined in the Psychology Dictionary as that which “manipulates and modifies a person’s emotions, attitudes, and beliefs.” It reduces a person’s ability to mentally defend themselves and makes it easier for another person to control them.

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The Sneaky Way You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness (And How to Fix It)

You feel on top of the world, invincible, and light -- for about five minutes, until things start to go south.

You swear your boss has been looking at you funny for a few days in a row, your computer crashes just as you’re about to send in a report, you lock yourself out of your apartment, and you have one too many glasses of wine at the company happy hour.

So much for a few days ago, when you totally had your life together. Now you’re left wondering, “Where did that woman go and how do I get her back?”
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Borderline Personality

Identifying Borderline Personality Disorder in a Friend or Loved One

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most misunderstood, wrongly-diagnosed mental illnesses. It affects an estimated 14 million Americans, or 5.9 percent of all adults. That means more people suffer from BPD than Alzheimer’s. One out of five psychiatric hospital patients has BPD, as do 10 percent of people in outpatient mental health treatment centers.

Despite all of this, BPD is rarely discussed in public forums. This is in part due to the fact that very few people know what it is or how to identify it.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Take the Edge off Stress

Imagine coming home from a stressful day at work and you badly need to unwind, de-stress, and get back into your zone. What options do you have to help you get there?

Perhaps you make a beeline to your computer or TV. Let your brain relax and veg out as you watch a favorite show, surf Facebook, and check out your favorite sites. Maybe you have a glass of wine. Perhaps you get yourself to a nearby yoga class or gym. Maybe you even get a massage or take a nice long walk in the crisp evening air.

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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.


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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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

8 Ways to Feel Better in a Hurry When You’re Depressed

There will always be dark days, weeks or months where our problems seem insurmountable or every day feels like a journey through an obstacle course. Sometimes resolutions or positive progress can happen quickly. Other times we can only keep plodding forward in faith and with patience. We may not be able to eradicate the difficulties immediately, but we can ease them, make the expedition more bearable and keep going in the right direction.

Below are eight simple ways to make yourself feel better in a hurry. You can practice them anywhere and anytime.

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9 Simple Ways to Exercise Your Brain

Research shows it's possible for both our bodies and our minds to age well. Try incorporating a few of the tips below to keep your brain sharp and strong well into your golden years.

Write a thank-you letter.
Research shows that writing with a pen on paper can create and sharpen existing neural pathways in the brain, while carving new neuronal connections. The hippocampus, which is responsible for memory formation, and stories of memories also is exercised. Research proves every day that cultivating and expressing gratitudecan make you healthier and happier.
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Screentime Is NOT Making Kids Moody, Crazy & Lazy

I'm sure Dr. Victoria Dunckley means well with her recent screed entitled "Screentime is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy." She cites research studies to back up her points, and buried in the middle of the article is the common-sense disclaimer that "restricting electronics may not solve everything."

But what Dr. Dunckley misses is how electronics today are to teens what the telephone and TV was to a prior generation (and the radio was to a generation before). The studies she references don't purport to show a casual effect, simply a correlation between two things. Generalizing from such correlations is a mistake too many well-meaning physicians (and even researchers) make.

Screentime is not "making" kids moody, crazy and lazy. Here's why.

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What Does the Lack of Reproducibility in Psychology Research Mean?

Last week, the results of the world's largest effort to reproduce results found in psychology research came in. Brian Nosek's Reproducibility Project took a look at 100 psychology experiments' results published in 2008 from just three major psychology journals. It attempted to reproduce the study to see what kind of results they would get.

In an ideal world, one might think that something on order of 75 or even 80 percent of the studies should have reproduced similar results, right? Because the new studies where simply re-conducted on a different population by researchers who carefully followed the original researchers' methods. In most cases, the researchers also had direct contact and cooperation from the original researchers.

But in a finding spun a dozen different ways since published in last week's Science journal, the Project didn't come anywhere close to 75 percent. Only 36 percent of the replications produced significant results -- compared to 97 percent of the original 100 studies.

What does this mean for psychology?

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