Depression

Ketamine: A Miracle Drug for Depression?

A team of researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently discovered why the drug ketamine may act as a rapid antidepressant.

Ketamine is best known as an illicit, psychedelic club drug. Often referred to as “Special K” or a “horse tranquilizer” by the media, it has been around since the 1960s and is a staple anesthetic in emergency rooms and burn centers. In the last 10 years, studies have shown that it can reverse -- sometimes within hours or even minutes -- the kind of 
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Happiness

The Complex Relationship Between Personality and Happiness


Extraverts are happier, and so are the emotionally stable, personality researchers tell us. It also pays to be more open to new experiences, more agreeable, and more conscientious. What does that mean for the rest of us—the introverts, the neurotics, the disorganized?

You may recognize these personality dimensions as part of the Big Five, the traits that researchers are often referring to when they talk about personality. According to a 2008 review, the Big Five explain anywhere from 39 to 63 percent of the variation in well-being between people.

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Alzheimer

New Clinical Trials Try Unorthodox Ways to Target Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5 million individuals in the US and causes a devastating loss of cognitive function due to the buildup of beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain. Previous efforts to combat this disease have focused on developing drugs that target beta-amyloid, but such treatments have been unsuccessful in patients so far. Several exciting new approaches for treating Alzheimer’s are currently being tested in clinical trials in the US and Europe. These trials will assess the efficacy of an anti-viral drug that is normally used to treat herpes, and a new vaccine that generates antibodies against tau protein.

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Celebrities

Is Suicide Contagion Real?

With the popularity of the Netflix hit teenage high school show, "13 Reasons Why," there's been debate among mental health care professionals and researchers as to whether an actual "suicide contagion" exists. Would such a contagion effect apply to something such as a fictional TV series?

Is suicide contagion a real thing? If so, is it really something we need to be concerned about as much in this day and age of instant entertainment and information available on the Internet, where people's graphic depictions of self-harm and suicide stories are always just a single click away for any teen to view as much as they'd like?

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Alzheimer

Psychology Around the Net: May 6, 2017


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or, "Mental Health Month"), but of course you knew that, didn't you?

Whether or not you did, Mental Health America (which started Mental Health Month way back in 1949) has provided a ton of information for individuals and organizations to help them promote mental health awareness this month. There's even a handy dandy toolkit you can download.

Go check it out and get busy this month! But before you do, check out this week's Psychology Around the Net which covers political correctness personalities, how Alzheimer's patients' caregivers can take better care of themselves, how maternal smoking does (or doesn't?) affect a child's mental health, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

3 Simple Steps for Breaking Free from Worry Loops

Have you ever wondered how to break free of a worry loop? You know the experience. You’re in the shower, at the computer, or out to dinner with the family and there is a worrisome thought running through your mind over and over -- a looming deadline, an awkward social interaction, the finances, etc. It doesn’t matter if the worry is irrational -- or recognized as unhelpful -- you still can’t shake it. No matter what you try, your mind keeps returning to the troubling thought.

Sound familiar?
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Creativity

Using Your Imagination to Increase Your Patience


After a week of Spring Break with my kids, trying to take care of their needs while also working from home, I’m reaching the outer limits of my patience.

What if there was a way to train myself to become more patient?

Past research into this subject by scientists has usually focused on increasing willpower, but a new study suggests that instead, using imagination is a good way to become more patient.

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