Addiction

Pause Before Posting: The Benefits of Not Over Sharing on Social Media

For most of us, social media is their main means of communicating with friends and family. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that eight-in-ten Americans have a FaceBook profile and of these users, 32 percent have an Instagram account and 24 percent have a Twitter account. And these numbers show no sign of slowing down--these findings indicate a 5 percent growth from the previous year. We’re now more likely to hear news about our friends’ and families’ lives online than we are in-person.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Is Social Media Damaging Your Romantic Relationship?

In today’s world it is almost hard to stay connected if you don’t have social media accounts. Gone are the days when people wrote letters or waited for phone calls (especially on a land line). Face-to-face conversations can even be a rarity. More often than not, communication occurs through apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, DM, and old school texting. Adolescents tend to spend even more time than adults on social medial platforms.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Outrage Over Katelyn Nicole Davis Video Suicide Misses the Point

At the close of 2016, 12-year-old Katelyn Nicole Davis decided that she had had enough of her life in a small, rural town in Georgia. So she did what most teens do nowadays -- she took to social media to share her feelings of angst, depression, and hopelessness. She was, by all accounts, a person doing the best she could in coping with depression and an alleged abuser within her own home.

What she did, however, is becoming an increasingly common and disturbing consequence of our society virtually ignoring people who are troubled by suicide and suicidal thoughts. She decided to livestream her death on Facebook Live.

This is upsetting to people: "How could they allow such videos to be online?!" "Why don't Facebook and YouTube do something about this?!" But the outrage misses the point completely.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Trying to Lose Weight? Maybe You Should Ditch That New Wearable

Wearable technology -- those gadgets people wear around their wrist to track their heart rate or number of steps walked or run -- is all the rage. This sort of personal data tracking is especially popular among younger people and those who exercise regularly. Whether it's a Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, a Garmin Vivofit, or some other fitness tracker, people love the ability to easily track their progress over time.

But if you're wearing one of these devices while trying to lose weight, you may find it surprising that wearable technology likely won't help you -- and could even hurt (a little) in your weight-loss journey.

Continue Reading

Habits

7 Tips on Calming the Noise of Life

“Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.” - Eckhart Tolle
Things tend to get jumbled up in everyday life. What you feel you need to do and what you should be doing for yourself often wind up being far apart. With so many distractions, so much of the mind-stuff going on, no wonder it seems like you’re spinning your wheels. How can you get back on track and stop getting diverted by every demand that you’re confronted with?
Continue Reading

Addiction

Five Tips for Breaking Your Tech Habit

It’s tough to disconnect in an always-on world. Many people have shared with me how their devices are an extension of their bodies to them. Arriving at the store or their office, realizing they’ve forgotten their phone, results in anxiety. Most of us probably know that overuse of the internet is not a good thing for us, but like all habits, they are hard to break.  Since connectivity a bit part of today’s culture and can negatively influence our mental health, it’s a trend to we need to pay attention to. Here are five of my favorite tips that address negative tech habit.
Continue Reading

General

E-therapy Provider Talkspace Under Fire, CEO Oren Frank Responds

Talkspace, one of the latest attempts to try and provide online therapy (a modality available to people since 1996), is under fire yet again. This time it comes from Cat Ferguson writing over at The Verge, questioning Talkspace's patient anonymity protections and the use of freelance therapists to staff their service.

The article, published last week, is based upon first-hand accounts of presentations, emails, and interviews with numerous Talkspace therapists. And despite Talkspace's insistence that therapists are freelancers, the firm apparently forbade therapists from talking to the reporter -- an odd directive if the company isn't your boss.

Let's see what The Verge discovered -- and get exclusive responses from Talkspace's CEO.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Suddenly, VC Guy Notices Mental Health Care

The quality and resources available to mental health care and treatment in the United States has been on the downswing since the 1980s. It started with the closing of government-run state psychiatric hospitals (putting our most at-need patients at risk, and often, on the streets), without the government offering a comprehensive network of community-based care to take their place.

Then managed care -- companies driven by profit and greed -- came along and mid-level managers with no mental health background started dictating exactly what kind of mental health treatment was appropriate to which patients.

Now we live in a time where venture capital (VC) firms believe that technology can magically solve many of the ills connected with receiving high-quality, timely mental health care. But of course, like the managed care companies that came before them, many too are simply driven by potential profits and their return on investment, all the while offering the "solution" of lower-quality, shoddier care.

Continue Reading