Dive into this week’s Psychology Around the Net for the latest on better understanding the nuances of today’s casual relationships, how Americans feel politics are affecting their stress levels, relationships, and sleep, tips to reduce your exaggerated emotions, and more!
Stressed Out: Americans Making Themselves Sick Over Politics: Surely this comes as a surprise to no one. New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reports that nearly 40% of survey participants says politics is stressing them out; 4% said they’ve had suicidal thoughts related to politics. One in five participants report losing sleep over politics, and 20% said political disagreements have damaged their friendships. Says political scientist and the study’s lead author Kevin Smith: “If we understand what’s causing it, that can lead us to ameliorative strategies. I think it’s critically important that we push this out to other political scientists. We’ve already handed it over to a couple of psychologists to include on some of the surveys they’re doing, so we will start to get a little clearer picture and a little bit more traction on some of the questions we have.
Change Yourself Without Judging Yourself: Learn how to use kind attention and determination, rather than judgment and shame, to catch and correct those nasty mental habits you’re working to change.
Casual Relationships: Are There More Than One Kind? Not only are there multiple kinds of casual relationships, but also there are multiple reasons for engaging in them. A recent Canadian study ran four focus groups with 23 participants between the ages of 18 and 24; afterward, they were able to identify four types of casual relationships (omitting “casual dating”), five characteristics that influence each type of casual relationship, and several reasons why casual relationships can have both positive and negative aspects.
The NBA Has a New Mental Health Plan. What About the WNBA? Back in August, the NBA made policy changes to provide more mental health resources for its athletes after they pushed for better coverage. The WNBA finals begin on Sunday (September 29, 2019) and once they’re over the league is expected to enter some crucial off-season discussions of its own, including — you guessed it — discussions about its own mental health care coverage. Among the female athletes’ chief concerns are having access to the same resources as the male athletes, creating a congruency in mental health care from team to team, and tailoring the program so that it fits their chaotic schedules. The Jed Foundation’s chief medical officer Dr. Victor Schwartz works with both the NBA and WNBA and says the programs must be catered to the athletes for them to be successful: “An excellent mental health program for a sports league should look like an excellent program for any community, in that it’s tailored to the specific needs, challenges and resources of the particular population.”
Man’s Brain Tumor Was Misdiagnosed as Mental Illness for Six Years: 68-year-old New Zealander Frank Sullivan was diagnosed with depression and anxiety back in 2008, and spent six years trying — unsuccessfully — to treat his symptoms with numerous medications and psychiatric hospital stays. Finally in 2014, Sullivan found a doctor who performed a physical neurological and cognitive exam and found a benign tumor deep in the cranium cavity between the brow and nose called an olfactory groove meningioma. Four weeks later, he underwent surgery, the tumor was successfully removed, and a spotlight’s been shone on all the easily preventable mistakes made along the way.
Tips to Reduce Exaggerated Emotions: As Aaron Karmin points out, some stress is healthy; it can help us conquer challenges and give us a sense of purpose in life. However, too much tension and pressure for long periods of time can take a serious toll on our lives, including our relationships and health. We all know there are ways to combat and reduce stress, but too often we’re sucked into thinking if we just follow this one tip or this particular set of steps, we can manage all stressors. Well, that’s not feasible. That’s why Karmin provides more than three dozen techniques for us to mix and match and find the perfect combos for various stressful times in our lives.