Brain and Behavior

This Is Your Brain On Gossip


We talk a lot. We are the only species on the planet that exchange information predominantly through talking. Other species, such as dolphins or primates, have their own languages, but they do not rely on verbal communication to the same degree, almost to the exclusion of other communication channels, as we do.

Verbal communication is a cornerstone of society. So what are we talking about so much? According to scientific research, we talk mostly about other people. In fact, a whopping two-thirds of our conversations consist of gossips. Of course, we discuss other things such as work, politics, sports, and weather, but overwhelmingly we talk about other people’s affairs, often not in a very positive light.

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Depression

On Trying Too Hard with Depression


There's such a thing as trying too hard.

Anyone who has ever suffered through a case of insomnia knows this well. The harder you try to sleep, the less rest you get. Sleep only comes if you can relax and let go.

It’s true for many other things, too. Like garage-door controls.

The other day, I was trying to get into my neighbor’s house to walk his dog and pressed the code into the box outside the garage more than 20 times, but the garage wouldn’t lift.
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Bipolar

Podcast: Should Religious Figures Give Advice on Mental Illness?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Katie Dale, a young woman with bipolar disorder who was convinced by a pastor to discontinue her medication and instead put her faith in God to heal her.

Unsurprisingly, going off her meds plunged Katie into a serious bipolar episode. She resumed her medications and has been living well ever since.

Katie shares with listeners a touching, yet very pointed letter that she wrote to this pastor explaining how she understood his motives. But, she cautions, this doesn’t change the fact that his advice was harmful.
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Habits

3 Triggers that Cause Us to Reach for Our Phone & Miss Out on Life Experiences

How often are you picking up your smartphone and checking your notifications every day? If you are like most users you say around forty times, maybe less. Which means you are probably underestimating your phone usage by as much as 50%. The real number, according to a survey done by Nottingham Trent University's School of Social Sciences, is closer to 85 times per day, and that is a conservative estimate.

Just think of how much time is being spent staring at that screen. How often are we distracting ourselves from more important things? How much additional time is spent getting back on task? What are we missing out on in our day to day lives, or in our important relationships, by ignoring real life? Probably a lot, and it isn’t just our time that is being impacted.
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Mental Health and Wellness

The Demisexual Phenomenon

It seems like every week we're hearing new terms for people that are on a fluid sexual scale. The latest to make headlines is the term "Demisexual."

Demisexuals define themselves as people who become sexually attracted to someone the longer and deeper they know them. Demisexuals need to be close to a potential partner, they need the element of friendship in order to access their sexual desire.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 20, 2017

There are traits in this country that we equate with weakness and shame, but are actually signs of courage and strength.

Asking for help, showing your vulnerability and saying, "No" for example are all indications of self-worth, self-care and emotional health.

People who try to do it all, appear invulnerable and people please are usually the ones that need the most help and support.

The next time you call a friend, seek a therapist or say, "No" to an event, replace your sense of weakness and shame with strength, courage and self-love.

Still sorting through this past Father's Day? Our top posts will help you get through it.
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Addiction

Reinventing College Parties with Daybreaker Campus


This is an environment in which students can have fun and relax without risking the anxiety, depression, and relationship problems that often result from alcohol-related incidents.

The "morning movement" Daybreaker has hosted sober sunrise parties for years, and now they're bringing them to young people -- stressed out students, specifically -- in a bid to reduce alcohol-related incidents and provide relief.

The Daybreaker Campus experience, which includes an hour-long yoga and fitness session followed by a two-hour, alcohol-free dance party with DJs, live music performances and a speaker series with a roster of NASA astronauts, CEOs and entrepreneurs, takes places in the mornings, hence the name—but can it make a lasting impact when nights, weekends, and keg parties come along?

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Habits

How to Turn Wishes into Plans

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
It is natural to want things and to engage in the dreamy exercise of wishing for them. Yet, wishes seldom would wind up turning into results.

To achieve wishes or dreams requires a somewhat firm goal and actionable plans that make success possible. There are two key elements here: the somewhat firm goal and actionable plans. Understanding each is crucial to turning wishes into plans.
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