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Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Do you think your brain works the same way as your friends’ brains? Why are college students flocking to a class aimed at making them feel happier? What does self-defeating humor do to your psychological well-being?

We’re about to find out in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Similar Neural Responses Predict Friendship: In simpler terms, your brain probably works in ways similar to your friends’ brains. Could it be that birds of a feather really do flock together? One study says so.

The Mental Health and Loneliness Paradox: Whether it’s anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or something else, mental illness can cause isolation on a number of levels. For example, when we’re experiencing mental illness symptoms, being alone might make us feel better (or at least think we feel better). Or, we might feel isolated because we don’t think others understand what we’re experiencing. Yet, giving into this loneliness can just make our mental health worse.

Self-Defeating Humor Promotes Psychological Well-Being, Study Reveals: Do you make fun of yourself? If so, you might be interested to find that researchers from the Mind, Brain and Behaviour Research Centre (CIMCYC) have established that people who frequently use “self-defeating humor” (such as through self-mockery) show higher levels of psychological well-being. How does it make you feel?

Nurse Calls Cops After Woman Seeks Help for Postpartum Depression. Right Call? Jessica Porten made a doctor’s appointment to talk about options for dealing with symptoms of postpartum depression. Before she was finished talking with the nurse, the nurse called the police, who escorted her to a hospital emergency department. Although Porten stated she knew they were following protocol, she said she went home feeling like a criminal. “Everybody was protecting their own liability instead of thinking of me.”

Why Happiness Is Eluding College Students: Yale’s most popular course is Psychology and the Good Life…but can we teach people to be happy? Can people even learn to be happy?

Major Mental Illnesses Unexpectedly Share Brain Gene Activity, Raising Hope for Better Diagnostics and Therapies: A large-scale analysis of postmortem brains has an international team of researchers reporting that five psychiatric disorders have often-overlapping gene activity patterns — findings that have already spurred a clinical trial for treating overactive brain cells in autism and could lead to diagnostic tests and new therapies.