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Dreams

Brain and Mental Health Benefits of Dreaming


I’ve always been fascinated by dreaming and the science of dreams. My dreams are so vivid and realistic it really feels like I enter another world when I sleep. The other night I had a dream that I was sitting on a boat in the middle of a lake, watching the sunrise. In that moment, I felt calm, relaxed and completely at peace. Such a therapeutic and healing experience, I woke up happy, and I took that feeling with me the rest of the day.

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General

Free Tool to Assess Mental Health Apps

Digital health tools like smartphone apps have been exploding in popularity, and there are now thousands available in the App Store and on Google Play.

Trouble is, most of them have been developed without research, and lack scientific evidence to prove they are effective.

It can be daunting to browse through available mobile apps to choose one that fits your needs and isn't made by an disreputable developer who maybe didn't use evidence, collaborate with clinicians, or co-design the app with people with lived experience. It's equally hard for a therapist or other clinician to recommend apps to clients, not knowing which are trustworthy and popular with users.
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Addiction

Could Low Progesterone Contribute to Addiction?


When I had six years sober, my husband and I decided to get pregnant. I quit the birth control pill and entered the darkest depression of my life.

I wasn’t surprised when the test results came back. After three chemical pregnancies and one miscarriage, it was clear that I was having trouble getting pregnant. But what I didn’t expect was that my fertility troubles might be related to my past struggles with addiction. And what was that common ground? A lack of progesterone.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: July 1, 2017


I'm super pumped, friends. This weekend, I'll be traveling to a city I've never visited to see a band I've never seen live (and never thought I would).

I love going to concerts. I go to multiple shows each year and I thrive on the anticipation before the show, the energy during the show, and the sense of "I just experienced something truly amazing" after the show, and guess what? All these concerts are benefiting the crap out of my mental health. Specifically, they reduce stress and boost my spirits, provide a sense of connection with the community (especially when it's a local concert), helps me reflect on life.

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Aging

Aging Wisely

We all have something in common. We’re getting older.

While this fact might delight children who can’t wait to be “grown-ups,” it is often a source of angst for those of us who have already “grown up.” There are approximately 76 million baby boomers in the United States, and their ages range from the early fifties to the early seventies.

It’s not surprising that this demographic is often bombarded by the media with anti-aging everything: skin creams for every part of our bodies, miracle “cures” for our wrinkles, youthful colors for our hair. They all promise to make us look younger -- to fix us. Botox and facelifts have become the norm for many people (men and women), and again, there is cosmetic surgery available for almost every part of our bodies.
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Creativity

Psychology Around the Net: June 24, 2017


I conquered a fear last weekend, y'all. I went whitewater rafting for the first time. It wasn't a phobia, but the days -- and especially hours -- leading up to it...well, I was terrified. What if I fall out of the raft? Crack my skull? Get sucked into one of those underwater cave things under some rocks?

Fortunately, none of those things happened, and I'm chalking it up to two factors: One, I gave in and trusted my friends (and especially our guide), and two, I gave in and trusted myself. We couldn't control the whitewater, but we could control ourselves, and we did.

Fear and trust make for interesting bedfellows, don't they?

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Health-related

Maine Voices: Dog Breeder, Therapist and Liam Created a Chihuahua Miracle

Liam has changed my life, and now my relationships are stronger and healthier than ever before.
SEBAGO — In my mid-20s, I was terrified to reintegrate myself into society after losing my job and ending up on disability. Even though I was taking my medication for my schizoaffective disorder, it doesn’t control all my symptoms. I don’t have delusions anymore, but I am left with visual and auditory hallucinations. I became very lonely, and I was at a loss as to how I would continue to live the rest of my life. I needed a companion; I desperately wanted a Chihuahua.
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Anxiety and Panic

Is Your Worry Normal or a Sign of an Anxiety Disorder?

You worry about passing your exam and surviving your presentation. You worry about making a mistake at work. You worry about not having enough money to pay this month’s bills. You worry about the email you just sent, which misspelled your new coworker’s name. Ughhh.

Some days, it feels like you worry for breakfast, lunch and dinner (with a few snacks in between). Lately, you’ve been wondering if your worry is actually normal. You’ve been wondering, am I worrying too much?  
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Health-related

Thinking of Ditching Yoga? You May Want to Reconsider


Yoga has so many mental and physical health benefits, it is hard to actually count and keep track of all of them.

Since any form of exercise is beneficial for one’s mental and physical health, the majority of individuals today rely exclusively on cardiovascular/aerobic activities, while throwing to the wayside yoga/meditation or other forms of diaphragmatic breathing designed to have a powerful effect on your body and mind.

In case you need a gentle reminder and a little motivation, let us review the myriad health benefits of yoga that are designed to keep you feeling well both physically and mentally as you age well into your golden years.
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General

Do You Know How to Be Present Amid Someone’s Suffering?


I was speaking with a friend tonight about the discomfort some people have in being present for and/or knowing what to say when someone is diagnosed with a life-challenging illness. What happens is that folks sometimes disappear, or are inclined not to step up and be of support. It's not because they don't care, but more likely because they were never taught how to deal with loss and change. They might imagine themselves in that situation and it is too immense to consider, so they practice cognitive dissonance. They may also rationalize the someone else will volunteer their time and energy, so they don’t need to.
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