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Brain and Behavior

The Surprising Sexuality of (Male) Gamers

The modern stereotype of people who frequently play video games needs finally to be put to rest. Gamers, as they're known, are actually not losers residing in their parents' basement, but rather people from all different backgrounds who enjoy the entertainment value that spending time playing video games affords.

Along with that stereotype is the belief that gamers' sexuality must also be less than ideal. Losers in basements can't have a healthy, positive sex life, right?

Let's find out...

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Brain and Behavior

Gaming Disorder Now Real? Why You Shouldn’t Get Your Health News from Forbes

There's a problem when you're a big digital publisher and pretty much allow anyone to write under your masthead. If you don't carefully review and vet contributions from outside authors, people are going to write ridiculous things and make outrageous claims. Which, if allowed, will come back to haunt your reputation as a source of real, factual news.

Take, for instance, Forbes.com's recent article about "Gaming Disorder," which makes the shocking claim that the World Health Organization has just endorsed this new mental health diagnosis.

The only problem with this claim? It's a lie, in my opinion.

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General

Podcast: What’s Online Counseling Really Like?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss online counseling. Joining them is Haesue Jo of BetterHelp.com, which offers online counseling and is also the sponsor of The Psych Central Show.

In addition to answering specific questions about Better Help, the conversation discusses how online counseling differs from in-person therapy, what types of issues are (and are not) good fits for this type of counseling, and what someone can expect from this kind of service. Also discussed is why some people are still skeptical of online therapy (or other types of virtual medical services) and why they shouldn’t be. 

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Depression

Is Your Internet Use Killing Your Productivity and Making You Depressed?

We’ve expanded our minds. It’s no longer contained inside our heads -- it now includes our devices, social media, and essentially anything digital. While the connectedness available to us today has opened a number of doors, it’s not always a good thing. We no longer have time to think and create our own ideas. In fact, too much digital connectedness can be a bad thing -- for our mental health as well as our creative ventures.

Constant surfing and intake of bite-sized information crowds out time for contemplation. Because of neuroplasticity (which is the ability for our brains to change), the more we use the web, the more we train our brains to be distracted. As a consequence, we then rely even more on the net because we have trouble remembering. We don’t need to recollect anything. Most people are constantly attached to a smartphone, which has become a portable brain.
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Family

5 Ways to Curb Social Media During the Holidays

The holidays are fast upon us and, in the blink of an eye, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve will have already come and gone. Along with the holiday season comes much time spent with family from near and far, attending parties, preparing elaborate holiday dinners, and buying expensive gifts to show loved ones how much we care about them.

For some, the holidays are a time to reconnect with family and friends they might not get the chance to see at other times of the year, bringing about feelings of joy and happiness. But for others the holidays can stir up unwanted feelings of angst, depression, and anxiety, and the holidays can be triggers for eliciting feelings of low self-esteem and shame by drawing comparisons to others.            
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Creativity

Psychology Around the Net: November 25, 2017


Here in America, it's been only a couple of days since Thanksgiving; however, a lot of you might know someone who's had their Christmas decorations up for a while...you might even be that person! If so, there's a psychology behind that.

Keep reading for more, as well as more on how avatars can help people with schizophrenia, common personality traits among people who believe in conspiracy theories, why alone time can help creativity, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

How Social Media Feeds Social Anxiety

Fingers flying, incessant texting, phones held to ear as secondary appendages gives the illusion we are well connected. We are chattering and snapping and “selfieing” (I think I just made that word up -- you can do that these days) all the live long day. Meanwhile scientists quietly dispense reports underlining an incredible finding: We are socially anxious people. Extremely socially anxious. So what gives?
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