World of Psychology


Potential Mental Health Benefits of Living to Age 100

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
To me, age is more a state of mind than anything else. It’s perception that comes into play, what we think about when we consider who’s old, or what it means to be old, or even what age makes someone old. Frankly, centenarians are lauded and celebrated for good reason: They’ve lived through many experiences and deserve to be honored. Thus, since through my research and personal experience I’ve found many potential mental health benefits of living to age 100, I wanted to share them.
Grief and Loss

The First Step in Healing After Traumatic Loss

Healing after a traumatic loss that has devastated your life may feel impossible. Left alone and isolated, the human brain in this situation may remain in a loop of remembered and reactivated guilt, anxiety and depression. However, the first step in healing may not be as complicated as you think: it all begins with self-care.

Arthur Kleinman, medical doctor, renowned professor of both psychiatry and anthropology associated with Harvard University and Medical Center, believes caring for ourselves and others “is at the very core of what human experience is about.”

World Mental Health Day 2019: Letter to a Suicidal Person

By the time you read this blog, two or three people will have taken their lives. In fact, every 40 seconds someone completes suicide; Close to 800,000 die by suicide every year. According to the World Health Organization, there are more deaths from suicide than from war and homicide together. Suicide is the second leading cause of death between people ages 15 to 29.

These statistics don’t surprise me since I’ve lost two family members and several friends to suicide, and about one third of the people I know have lost a loved one to suicide. I am familiar with the desperation and rationale that leads someone to this decision, as I have experienced weeks, months, even years teetering on the edge of life, not sure whether or not to stick around.

Helping Someone With Suicidal Thoughts: Reach Out to a Friend Today

Today is World Mental Health Day (#worldmentalhealthday) -- a day to promote awareness of mental health issues. Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Whether we spend any time acknowledging or doing anything about it is up to each one of us.

This year's theme is a focus on suicide prevention. And despite it sounding somber and serious, suicidal thoughts are far more common than most people realize. In fact, research suggests most people have had at least a passing thought of suicide at least once in their life.

Brain and Behavior

Podcast: Hiding Depression- Using Perfectionism to Hide Our Struggles

Are you always in control and always perfectly put together? Are you professionally successful, a great friend, and always showing a happy face to the world?  But what about on the inside? Is there something in the background or in the past that you don’t talk about?  Do you feel disconnected, like no one knows the "real" you? Deep down do you just know something is wrong? Well, you might have “perfectly hidden depression.”
Memory and Perception

Shared False Memories: How Spooky Is the Mandela Effect?

I seem to remember people as being kinder than they appear. Those memories from the past could be figments of my imagination. Or perhaps missing from the past are the people I once recalled.

I am curious about the Mandela Effect, the shared false memory phenomenon named such because people often believe Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s, although he died in a free man in 2013. The folklore surrounding the Mandela Effect suggests that it's more out there than simple memory lapses in large groups of people. True believers claim that it’s a manifestation of alternate time streams and multiple worlds. A global shift has occurred: reality is changing, history isn’t what it used to be, and the evidence from yesterday has been altered or erased. 
Anxiety and Panic

A “S.A.F.E.” Meditation Practice for Difficult Emotions

When life throws us challenges, it can be beneficial to have ways to comfort ourselves amidst intense feelings of fear, worry, sadness, or other strong emotions. We all have moments like this, whether it might be waiting for a loved one’s phone call when we are worried about their well-being, awaiting medical test results, feeling fear about some upcoming situation, experiencing loss or grief, feeling anxious about a test we have to take, or waiting for someone we care about to come out of surgery. Large or small, these moments can feel interminable and can be difficult to get through.
Anxiety and Panic

What to Do When You Don’t Know Where Your Child’s Anxiety Comes From

The only reason your physician asks about your symptoms is because he cannot accurately treat your pain and discomfort, if he doesn’t know where that pain and discomfort is coming from. And even then, being aware of all the symptoms does not mean that he will always get the treatment right the first time, or the second, or ever! Even when patients know how to accurately describe their symptoms, cases of misdiagnosis and worsening symptoms after treatment abound. We now know that knowing the symptoms is not always synonymous with knowing the cause.

How I Survived My 3-Week Digital Detox

The idea to give up my phone came to me one day when I saw Facebook posts about the 10th anniversary of the death of 21-year-old Casey Feldman, who was killed by a distracted driver. I wanted to do something special to commemorate this, and then realized her anniversary was 22 days before my dad’s. He was also killed by a driver using a phone.

I announced it on Instagram, knowing I wouldn’t open the app for three weeks to see anyone’s reaction to it: