Research Articles

Improving Your Child’s ADHD with Exercise

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

physical-fitnessGetting in a good run before work keeps us focused and productive at the office. But did you know exercise could also help children with ADHD perform better in the classroom?

“There is evidence that physical activity improves academic performance,” said Betsy Hoza, a professor of psychological science at the University of Vermont. Her recent study found moderate to vigorous aerobic activity before school helped children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder become more attentive.

“The immediate effects are that you’re much more alert — there’s that endorphin rush,” said Hoza. That rush has proven to boost mood, help ward off anxiety and depression in adults, and now to improve cognitive function in children with ADHD.

Should You Ask Dr. Google Your Health Questions? Yes, Absolutely

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Should You Ask Dr. Google Your Health Questions? Yes, AbsolutelyFor the past two decades, hundreds of millions of people around the world have done something extraordinary and unprecedented in human history. They’ve turned to the unlimited information resource we call the Internet to ask personal questions about their health and mental health.

And what have they learned?

More than anyone could have imagined. People today are better-informed health consumers than at any point in human history. They know more about their health — and about how their bodies and minds work — than even the best doctor or researcher did just fifty years ago.

We all have become experts on ourselves. And nothing could be better.

Psychology Around the Net: January 24, 2014

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Fear

Ever wonder what makes you — and keeps you — a loyal customer? How about ways to strength train your brain? Oh, and speaking of your brain — where does all that fear and anxiety come from, anyway?

We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Fear Pinpoinited: Scientists Discover Exactly Where Anxiety Resides in the Brain: Tests on mice have helped New York’s Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory researchers pinpoint the area, or “circuit,” in the brain where “fearful memories and behavior” are controlled. Could this lead to new anxiety treatments?

Can Hugs Protect Against Illness During Stressful Times? Research Says Yes!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

hugging09a

It’s cold and flu season again — make sure you get plenty of sleep, take some extra vitamin C and … hug each other a little more. Yes, that’s right. A new study reveals that frequent hugging lowers your chances of becoming ill during times of stress.

Prior research has found that high levels of stress can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness and infection. On the other hand, science has also shown that individuals with a strong social support system tend to enjoy a protective “buffer” against greater levels of stress.

Psychology Around the Net: January 17, 2015

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The Paralysis of Analysis: On Overthinking

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net will help you fill your weekend with ponderings about potentially healthy ways to change your perspective, what it really takes to fall in love (or, at least, feel closer to someone), how your state ranks when it comes to mental health services, and more.

Enjoy!

5 Ways to Adjust Your Perspective in 2015: Feeling moody? Want more creative inspiration? What about help focusing on the “important things”? These five tips might surprise you.

Is Brain-Training a Hoax?

Friday, January 16th, 2015

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.

New Research into Anxiety Disorders

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

New Research into Anxiety DisordersNearly one in five Americans have been diagnosed with some form of anxiety disorder. These range from panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder to social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants can curb symptoms that interfere with day-to-day life. And these drugs are big business. In 2013, Americans filled 48 million prescriptions for the benzodiazepine drug alprazolam (Xanax). Patients also picked up 27 million prescriptions for sertraline (Zoloft), an antidepressant drug that also helps some people with anxiety.

Relieve Pain, Stress, and Sleeplessness with Japanese Massage Techniques

Monday, January 12th, 2015

male sleeping patterns

Getting a good night’s sleep can seem like an impossible dream for those in chronic pain. And to make matters worse, the situation tends to worsen over time, resulting in a never-ending pain/insomnia cycle. The pain causes sleep deprivation, which in turn weakens the body’s natural pain control mechanisms — leading to more pain and more insomnia.

Since medication is not recommended for long-term use, researchers from the University of Alberta have been exploring low-cost, alternative therapies to help people with chronic pain get better sleep.

Their findings show that self-administered hand shiatsu — a Japanese form of massage, similar to acupressure — can help people in pain fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for a longer period of time.

Working Out of a Creative Slump, Literally

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Working Out of a Creative Slump, LiterallyMore often than not the advice I’m given when I hit a creative slump is to do more creative things. Make a collage. Write in my journal. Draw or doodle. Read a book or watch a movie. Find a new way to reorganize or rearrange my workspace.

But when I’m not feeling creative, creative fixes don’t sound appealing. The more things fail to sound appealing, the less I do and the bigger the slump. It seems like it will never end, and I start to wonder if maybe I’ve already had all my best ideas.

Hitting a creative block leaves us lost and bored. It can make us doubt our abilities, our choices and our livelihood. You just don’t feel like yourself.

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for Depression

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for DepressionMainstream 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.

Psychology Around the Net: January 10, 2015

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Healing My Inner Child

Happy Saturday, readers!

As cliche as it might sound, we can’t help but think of new beginnings when we think of a new year, and what better way to welcome new beginnings than by keeping up with all the new mental health news, research, and even opinions as we launch into 2015?

After all, we want to stay as healthy and informed as possible!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net features research related to pets and their owners’ personalities, gut bacteria and how it relates to anxiety, how childhood guilt can affect adult mental health issues, and more.

Introverts: You Were Born That Way

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Introverts: You Were Born That WayI hate people. I must hate people. I recently took a night class at a local university, and I didn’t learn any of my classmates’ names. I never spoke to any of them. I just knew them by description.

Asian woman with glasses. Asian woman without glasses. Australian woman. British woman. Dude with beard. Dude without beard. Am I a jerk? Maybe. But maybe something else is going on.

I’ve been called many things in my life. Reserved. Shy. I especially like anti-social; my older sister came up with that one (thanks, Jessica).

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