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A Brief Guide to Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) for Nightmare Disorders for Clinicians and Patients

In 2010, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published the first summary guidelines on how to effectively treat nightmare disorder (Aurora et al., 2010). Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, the two top interventions were psychological and pharmacological. They are Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) and venlafaxine or Prazosin. The data show the two interventions as comparable in efficacy and, therefore, a trial of the psychological intervention -- before medications -- is usually recommended. The context and nature of the nightmares, of course, are central to how best to use this approach and, thus, an equally important recommendation, is that you the client or patient seek the assistance of a clinical provider trained and qualified to deliver this treatment.
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4 Steps to Increase Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

How would you define happy? And how would you define sad or anxious? We all know what emotions are, until we are asked to define them in ways our kids can understand. Emotions are complex things. Yet helping our kids become emotionally intelligent requires us to help them learn to understand different emotions so that they can be better able to deal with those emotions in a socially acceptable manner.
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Psychology Around the Net: March 17, 2018

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers! How's the time change treating everyone? Personally, it's kicking my butt (which is unusual, as time changes normally don't affect me much), but I am absolutely thrilled with the extra daylight -- and all the mental health perks that have come along with that!

This week's Psychology Around the Net takes a look at writing and self-esteem, how a lack of federal funding could be contributing to a lack of psychiatrists, the mental health care benefits California is seeing thanks to a tax on millionaires, and more.

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The Side Effects of Lithium: My Love Affair with Water

I never go anywhere without a drink in my hand. My nosey neighbor had the nerve to ask me if I was an alcoholic.

I’m not an alcoholic. I just love ice water, huge, plastic glasses of ice water.

The lithium did that to me. Lithium carbonate, which used to be a medication of choice for bipolar individuals, is a salt. It makes you ridiculously thirsty. For over 15 years, I ingested a lot of it daily. The result was a constant, unquenchable thirst.
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Anxiety and Panic

How Being Sleep Deprived Alters a Brain Connection That Causes Fear and Anxiety

Your co-worker sluggishly walks into the office and tells you they were up all night working on their client pitch. Do you marvel at their dedication and commitment, or do you shrug it off and think, "Yeah, I’ve had plenty of those nights"?

Odds are, your response would be the latter. After all, sleep is for the weak.

It is not uncommon for us to push our bodies to an unhealthy point in hopes of reaching our goals, whether it’s being a good parent and taking care of your newborn, or pulling an all-nighter to cram for the bar exam.
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Anxiety and Panic

Three Ways to Manage Your Next Anxiety Attack

What is an anxiety attack, anyway?

Anxiety attacks are unpleasant, unsettling, and an event most of us will likely experience to some degree at one point or another. While we all have different tolerances for anxiety, stress, and what triggers these feelings, our human “Fight or Flight” programming is universal. An anxiety attack (also sometimes called a panic attack) is essentially the body’s neurological system preparing to respond to a stressor, real or perceived.

When a person walking down the sidewalk suddenly startles at a bent stick on the ground that at first glance looks like a large snake, it is because the Fight or Flight system doesn’t know the difference between a stick and a snake, and it doesn’t care to wait around to find out ... it prepares the person to respond to a possible worst case scenario threat.
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6 Ways Binge-Watching May Be Ruining Your Health

Have you ever thought that maybe that innocent Netflix habit could be wreaking havoc on your health? Turns out it might be a dangerous vice you not only want to cut back on, but maybe eliminate it entirely for a while. Read on to discover ways you might be sabotaging your health without even knowing it, as well as possible solutions if you just can’t put the remote down or get off the couch.
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Anxiety and Panic

Is the Anxious Mind Spreading FUD in Your Life?

In the cryptocurrency world, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is something investors don’t want to experience. When FUD spreads, the value of the coin will drop, and those who invested will be unsure of what to do and wonder when the pain will stop.

FUD is also something that people with anxiety don’t like to endure. They avoid and seek reassurance in order to be sure that FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) is not part of their lives. Yet, they forget that FUD is part of the human condition. When we perceive danger, our survival built-in mechanism warns us, and fear sets in so we can escape or fight the danger. This is a good thing. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have made it, and we would not be here. Fear helps us stay alive!
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Anxiety and Panic

Podcast: How to Control Social Anxiety Before It Controls You

Social anxiety is more common than most of us realize. Around 80% of us have experienced it at some point in our lives. In this episode, Dr. Ellen Hendriksen shares her insights into social anxiety, including how it is experienced by different sorts of people, and how we can reduce its impact on us. She explains about safety behaviors and how they can work against us in overcoming anxiety, as well as addresses specific anxious behaviors, such as avoiding eye contact. As she explains, a little social anxiety isn’t anything to worry about. It’s when social anxiety causes us to avoid certain situations or interactions that we should be concerned.
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