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Brain and Behavior

4 Kinds of Brain-Stimulating Techniques

Here is a concise summary of four brain-stimulating techniques being used today to treat severe chronic depression. The summary appeared in the Fall 2006 Issue of the Johns Hopkins's Bulletin.

1. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the oldest and the best known and, in fact, is still recognized as the most effective treatment for severe depression. It involves the application of brief electrical pulses to the scalp to induce seizures throughout the brain. The seizures appear to...
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Brain and Behavior

Stepmonster: 8 Reasons Why Stepmothers Are Prone to Depression

In her insightful book, Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do, author Wednesday Martin, explains why stepmothering is the "perfect storm" for depression. Here are eight risk factors she lists:

Risk Factor 1: Isolation and Alienation

Stepmothers often feel cut off from their husbands over stepfamily issues and different from the moms in their circles of friends who don't have to deal with the tension and conflict involved...
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Depression

One Soldier’s Suicide Story

While we return to our daily lives after the holidays and get into the Christmas spirit, some families will not be celebrating this year. One family is James Weigl's, a soldier who returned home after deployment, suffered from depression, and ultimately took his own life. Forty-three percent of soldiers who commit suicide do so after returning home from deployment, demonstrating that follow-up care with soldiers after deployment is just as...
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General

A Note to the Severely Depressed: Don’t Try So Hard

I don't know about you, but when I'm severely depressed 90 percent of my negative thinking is based on the fact that I am a failure because all my cognitive-behavioral strategies and positive thinking and mindfulness attempts aren't working. I discussed this with Dr. Smith yesterday and she reminded me, once more, that severe depression can't be treated in a mind-over-matter way. Her compassionate logic made me review the pages...
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Brain and Behavior

Can Therapy Really Change Your Brain?

I feel fortunate to be a psychotherapist in this day and age. Aside from the change we and our clients can report anecdotally, there is increasing evidence to support the potential for true change within the brain via the therapeutic relationship. I’m no expert in neuroscience and relationships – but am excited about the notion that people’s brains can be rewired within their intimate relationships...
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Brain and Behavior

What’s It Going to Take to Make You Happy?

Happiness. Ahh, what an enticing word that is.

Psychologists call it "subjective well-being" (and even abbreviate it as SWB in their research), but it boils down to the same thing -- what makes us more happy? And how can we do more of that special stuff that will lead to greater happiness in our lives?

This Emotional Life, a new PBS documentary hopes to help answer that question...
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Brain and Behavior

4 Quick Mindfulness Techniques

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This is Thanksgiving week ... the week some of us are very thankful that we don't live in the same city as our relatives. So I'm calling in the experts.

My friend, Elisha Goldstein, who writes the "Mindfulness and Psychotherapy" blog on Psych Central, offers readers like myself, who are having difficulty with a formal meditation practice, several quick tips for mindful living that can be implemented throughout the day. He writes in his post,...
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