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

Brain and Behavior

Your Brain is Not a Computer

It may seem redundant to say this, but your brain is not a computer. It never has been and it never will be. Your consciousness won't be downloaded into a computer in your or my lifetime.

Computers are technology-based tools that only do what they are told (programmed) to do. Your brain, on the other hand, began life with a set of reflexes it was never taught. Your brain re-experiences things in order to for you to remember, but it doesn't store those memories in anything that looks or acts like a computer's storage device.

In short, your brain is not a computer. It's time to put this misconception to bed.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How Twitter Tamed My Anxiety

I’m sure a lot of you reading this are having a difficult time believing that Twitter could help decrease anxiety. I wouldn’t have believed it before I tweeted myself. In fact, the only reason I ventured into Twitter territory was because a social media expert at a writer’s conference highly recommended it, saying it was “a virtual cocktail party for writers.” With shaky hands -- literally -- I created my Twitter account that very day.

Five years have gone by since that first login. During this time, I’ve connected with Twitter folk from all over the world, people who are passionate about many of the same topics I am, including the arts, civil rights, and, of course, mental health issues. When I read about other people’s journeys through anxiety and depression, I became less isolated. And, may I add, less ashamed as well.
Continue Reading

Caregivers

Pediatric OCD and Its Effects on Family

A study published in the March 17, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry concludes that pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder negatively affects not only the children who suffer from it, but also their parents.

At the risk of sounding snarky, anyone who has a child with OCD could've told you that.

Still, well-conducted studies, as opposed to anecdotal evidence, are important. If nothing else, they give clinicians and researchers concrete information to reference, study and build upon in their quest to understand OCD and how to best help those whose lives are affected by it.
Continue Reading

Aging

Psychology Around the Net: July 22, 2017


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Confession time: I've been struggling a lot lately with work-life balance. Hasn't everyone at some point? Probably. Trying to manage work responsibilities, exercise, some semblance of a social life, personal hobbies and passions--oh, and let's not forget a proper sleep schedule--whew. Failing--and failing for longer than you care to admit--can bring on the panic, anxiety, and depression in a major way.

Continue Reading

Memory and Perception

Brain Inflammation and OCD


A very interesting study was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry stating that brain inflammation in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder is significantly elevated (by more than 30 percent) compared to those without the disorder.

Dr. Jeffrey Meyer, senior author of the study and Head of the Neuroimaging Program in Mood & Anxiety at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, says:1
Continue Reading

Psychology

Can Computer-Based Intervention Benefit Our Stress Levels?

Too much stress is a problem we all face, however stress isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, feeling stressed can lead to more motivation and greater focus. If we overdo it, however, it can have a bad impact on our mental health. This can range from having a short temper, to headaches, to having trouble sleeping, to even becoming unwell.

According to the APA, 75 percent of adults will go through some stress on any given month. In spite of how many people is affected by stress only a few of them will get any help. This may be due to lack of time, worrying about what others may think, thinking we should be able to get over it on our own or simply not being able to afford help. A way to make accessing help more convenient, more private and cheaper is through digital technology, but can web-based treatments really help?
Continue Reading

Depression

The Depressive Realism Hypothesis: Yay or Nay?


Fascinating.

Are you suffering from depression? You may not be so proud of your melancholy state of being, but there is a bright side to the situation.

If you are constantly looking at the glass as half empty, and wondering what the point of life is, you may be thinking more realistically than those nauseously joyous folks you see skipping around Happy Hour.

It turns out, that depressed people see the world more realistically and may be judging their own performance and the state of reality in a more realistic way.

Continue Reading

Alcoholism

Psychology Around the Net: July 8, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I hope you're all having a great weekend (or whatever day you're reading this!), but you definitely want to take a few minutes to check out this week's Psychology Around the Net which tells us more about canine compulsion disorder (and how learning about it helps us also learn about human obsessive-compulsive disorder), the emotional intelligence behind internet trolls, how to deal with friends who always bail, and more.

Continue Reading