Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!


Depression Increases the Risk of Major Diseases and Illnesses

It's fairly known that depression can occur after a heart attack and can increase the likelihood of a second heart attack. But did you know that the flip side is also true? That depression itself can increase a person's risk for cardiovascular disease. A recent Johns Hopkins Health Alert reports:

Prospective studies show that people who had no CHD [coronary heart disease] but were depressed when the studies began were...
Continue Reading


Happy Thoughts Could Make You Sad

You know how I've been telling you all to head to the mirror and say to the gorgeous creature staring back at you: "I'm good enough, I'm strong enough, Gosh darn it, people like me!" Yah, well, forget about that now.

Because there is new research that says happy thoughts might make you sad. According The Economist:

Joanne Wood of the University of Waterloo in Canada and her colleagues designed a series of experiments [in which] they questioned a...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Wikipedia vs Rorschach

As we noted here nearly a year ago, the Rorschach Inkblot Test images have been made available on Wikipedia. This is not a big deal, since it's what's called a projective test, meaning that the images themselves are not important -- it's what you see in the images that can be interesting to a psychologist.

Yesterday, The New York Times noted the controversy, which has a new twist. A psychologist has posted...
Continue Reading

Green and Environment

Palo Alto VA Gets New “Green” Mental Health Center

Midweek Mental Greening

It’s not scheduled to be complete until 2011, but exciting construction started earlier this month on what sounds like will be an impressive – and green – new mental health center for the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

The new mental health center is the first of several reconstruction projects that will take place over the next five years within the Palo Alto VA, and according to Palo Alto Online, the new mental health center will:

Use natural lighting, landscaping, and other therapeutic design elements to promote a healing environment.
Use a single-story structure to offer patients easy access to outdoor spaces.
Provide landscaped views from patients’ bedroom windows.

"This groundbreaking is groundbreaking in terms of what is going to be built here," U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo said. "When they enter the doors, everything there will be about healing them."

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

The Tragedy of the Commons

The tragedy of the commons is a term coined by scientist Garrett Hardin in 1968 describing what can happen in groups when individuals act in their own best self interests and ignore what's best for the whole group. A group of herdsmen shared a communal pasture, so the story goes, but some realized that if they increased their own herd, it would greatly benefit them. However, increasing your herd...
Continue Reading

Divorce Hurts Not Only Emotionally, But Also Physically

You know those commercials on TV that say, "Depression hurts." Well, divorce may hurt even more, according to new research. Yes, we already know that divorce ups the risk your child will be prescribed Ritalin and we've heard how divorce can affect children for years to come. Divorce can also have a negative effect on teens and leads to men being twice as likely to suffer from depression.

But in the latest study, researchers showed how divorce can take a...
Continue Reading


When Suicidal Ideations Take Over

I have been thinking about this question ever since I read it on a discussion thread in Group Beyond Blue. Meg writes:

So, my husband has shown interest in getting a handgun permit. It's the South, and lots of people have them. I don't have an issue with the concept of it. He wants to take the class and is really responsible about it. He doesn't hunt and isn't a "war games" kind of guy or a gun...
Continue Reading


Surviving a Head-On Collision

I survived a head-on collision.

Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I wanted to get your attention. Although I indeed was involved in a minor, fender-bender type of head-on collision, I was stopped at the time and the car that hit me was going about 3 or 4 mph. The other driver, distracted by trying to do something on her cell phone, made a right-hand turn very wide, right into my lane as...
Continue Reading


The Seven Questions Project: An Interview with Ryan Howes

Today I have the honor of interviewing Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist and college professor who blogs. Howes earned his masters degree in theology and PhD in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied spirituality, men's issues and psychodynamic therapy. He teaches graduate students at Pepperdine University and Fuller and is co-author of "What Wives Wish their Husbands Knew About Sex: A Guide for Christian Men" (Baker Books, 2007), which has been called...
Continue Reading

Friday Flashback for July 24, 2009

While visiting family over the weekend, I thought you might enjoy these classic entries from our past.

10 Years Ago on Psych Central

When Tragedy Provides

My essay about the Columbine tragedy, which also just celebrated its 10 year anniversary a few months ago. Tragedy reminds us that we're human and gives us a chance to reconnect with one another. But nothing can make sense of tragedies such as Columbine.

5 Years Ago on Psych Central

Drug Maker Acknowledges Misleading Claims

In case you thought that some pharmaceutical...
Continue Reading


Depression Happens to Successful People

One of the myths surrounding mental illness is that it escapes successful people ... that the poor, weak, and ambition-free folks are the ones waiting for their prescriptions at Rite-Aid.

I know better. Because I've seen so many of my successful friends fall into the Black Hole unable to surface to light on their own. I've read the biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Art Buchwald, Jane Pauley and William Styron, and I know there was...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Who Uses Internet Dating?

Ever wonder who uses Internet dating services like and The answer may surprise you. I think, "Well, gee, everybody uses them!" But that's not the case. There's a particular psychological profile that researchers have discovered of users of Internet dating services.

The researchers (Kim et al., 2009) surveyed 3,345 people in the , of which 1,588 ( %) were men and 1,757 ( %) were women. Ages ranged from 19...
Continue Reading