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Exercise & Fitness

The Power of Sleep: 5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Patterns for Lasting Mental Health


A full night's rest is rare these days and when it comes to your mental and emotional health it is critical. Research shows that we can be more irritable and easily frustrated with lack of sleep. We may have a short-temper and perceive our experiences with increased fear and worry. We may also suffer cognitive deficits and memory problems. We suffer and our relationships suffer too.

To help you get more restorative sleep, review these great tips that will help you transition your way into an energizing morning. You may not even need that second cup of coffee!
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Addiction

How Technology Can Help Your Sobriety


Whether you need some words of encouragement or to be talked out of picking up a drink, instant communication is extremely valuable.

It’s no secret that people have been going through the process of getting sober for decades. But over the years, that process has changed. The stigma around alcoholism and addiction has shifted and the advancements of technology have allowed for a more open dialogue. For those of us who have gotten sober in recent years, technology has likely been part of the ride. Inventions such as the internet and smartphones have provided us with a number of resources that haven’t always been around.

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Depression

Why I Wouldn’t Take Google’s Depression Test

At the end of August, Google decided to make available directly on its site (through a "knowledge panel") the ability to take a depression screening quiz. We know a thing or two about online depression screening quizzes, because back in 1996 I put one of the first interactive depression screening quizzes online, long before Google even existed.

Here's the thing... Depression screening tests -- like the PHQ-9 that Google is now offering on its website -- are super helpful tools to give a person a little more insight into the possibility of having a serious mental illness. The problem with Google offering it is that this mega-marketing company is collecting your health data. Do you really want Google to have this kind of sensitive information about your mood?

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Minding the Media

A Twitter Diagnosis

Hypothetical tweet from @DumpTrump: “Did you see the latest Trump meltdown? How did we elect such a megalomania? No question, the guy is mentally ill.”

In a snarkily filled tweet (or, let’s say, a snarkily written 500-word column), we impugn the President’s mental stability. And we -- composing that latest Facebook missive or Twitter soundbite -- are not alone. From CNN to Washington Post, armchair commentators have diagnosed Trump with a buffet of mental health issues. “He is narcissistic,” the commentators scream. “No, he isn’t narcissistic; the problem is his inability to control his impulsive tendencies,” another talking head bloviates. “No, it isn’t his impulsiveness; the real problem is his bullying, disparaging treatment of, well, anyone,” the latest scribe sneers.  
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Alzheimer

Psychology Around the Net: August 26, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Can you believe it's the last weekend of August? I know summer doesn't technically end as soon as August is over, but...where did the summer go?!

Well, before you head out to enjoy the weekend, take some time to catch up on the science of spirituality, why having a best friend as a teenager helps develop a sense of self later in life, how winning the lottery will contribute little to your level of happiness, and more.

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Creativity

When Procrastination is Persistent, Pervasive and Pointless

Sure we all procrastinate sometimes. Why not? Let’s see, shall I spend the evening doing mind-numbing clean-up chores or enjoy a good time with my friends? Shall I do tedious paperwork or plop down on the couch and watch my favorite show? It’s never been easy to control our urges, especially when what we “should” be doing goes against our grain.

In the digital world, however, procrastination is even harder to conquer. Accessible, appealing, addictive distractions are everywhere. Beepers beckon. Entertainment entices. Digital devices ding. Social networks seduce. Gaming, blogging, chat rooms, You-Tube, video streaming -- and more -- easily lead us astray. Digital temptations are just so much more seductive. Exciting, fast-paced entertainment actually changes the way our brains operate. If a task doesn’t immediately hold our interest, our minds gravitate to other matters.
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Anxiety and Panic

Internet Therapy for Children with OCD

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is condition that affects about 2.2 million Americans and 750,000 people in the UK. It has two key features: thoughts that repeat themselves over and over again (called obsessive thoughts) and feeling that the person must do certain actions repeatedly (compulsions). The person thinks the thoughts are silly, but they cannot stop them. Sometimes only carrying out the actions stops the thoughts for a while. The typical example is thinking that your hands are dirty, even though you know they are not, and having to wash them repeatedly. The person can spend a huge chunk of the day carrying out these compulsions. This often makes it very difficult to function at all. This can be even more tragic when it affects a child.
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Holiday Coping

IMAlive: A Global Crisis Chat Service

IMAlive.org is an online crisis counseling service that uses an instant message (IM) chat interface instead of phone or SMS texting.

I maintain Online Suicide Help, a global directory of services which are usually restricted to one country or even one small town. This has meant that most countries in the world could not access any services. Recently I learned that IMAlive changed its service area from US and Canada to be the first crisis chat service available worldwide, and I emailed to find out more about this change. John Plonski, IMAlive's Director of Training and Developer of its Helping Empathically As Responders Training (HEART) program, kindly wrote back to share more.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: August 19, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Guess what? I'm going "off the grid" this weekend. Well, maybe not in the strictest of senses (I'll still have my computer and phone) but in the sense that...well, let's just say I've been neglecting my own personal interests -- things I enjoy and feel help my personal growth -- and it's hurting my mental health. I feel unfulfilled. I have to figure out a way to stop that.

Starting today.

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