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  1. Psychology Around the Net: March 17, 2018

    Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers! How’s the time change treating everyone? Personally, it’s kicking my butt (which is unusual, as time changes normally don’t affect me much), but I am absolutely thrilled with the extra daylight — and all the mental health perks that have come along with that! This week’s Psychology Around the Net takes a look at writing and self-esteem, how a lack of federal funding could be contributing to a lack of psychiatrists, the mental health care benefits California is seeing thanks to a tax on millionaires, and more. Self-Esteem Sways Benefits of Expressive Writing: New research suggests that even though expressive autobiographical writing (which is similar to journaling but not necessarily a long-term thing) has documented positive health benefits for our psychological well-being, whether it’s actually beneficial or harmful might depend on the level of self-esteem the person has when he or she begins writing. Why Khloé Kardashian Should Stop Using the Term ‘Khlo-C-D’: Khloé Kardashian has announced a new series of posts on her app called Khlo-C-D Week, focusing on cleanliness and organization, but not everyone thinks her clever little wordplay on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is, well, clever. Many people are disgusted and offended that she’s using a mental illness to “brand herself.” Tax On Millionaires Boosts California Mental Health Services, Study Finds: Proposition 63 (now the “Mental Health Services Act”) imposes a 1% tax on Californians who make more than $1 million annually, and this money pays for expanded mental health care in California. According to a study released this week, this tax has drastically boosted mental health programs and has helped reduce homelessness, hospitalization, and incarceration in Los Angeles County. Severe Shortage of Psychiatrists Exacerbated by Lack of Federal Funding: Speaking of money…is a lack of federal funding to blame for the growing shortage of psychiatrists in the United States? Joy Behar Publicly Apologizes for Calling Pence’s Christianity a ‘Mental Illness’: After she called Vice President Pence and privately apologized for suggesting aspects of Pence’s beliefs are “called mental illness,” The View‘s Joy Behar took to the stage of the ABC show and apologized the viewers, stating: “I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said.” Everyone’s Favourite Psychology Theory Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be: As David Yeager, associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas Austin, explains: “A growth mindset is the belief that intellectual abilities can be developed, while a fixed mindset is the belief that intellectual abilities are fixed and cannot be developed.” However, new research suggests this way of thinking might not be all that reliable — especially when it comes to education. View the full article
  2. I never go anywhere without a drink in my hand. My nosey neighbor had the nerve to ask me if I was an alcoholic. I’m not an alcoholic. I just love ice water, huge, plastic glasses of ice water. The lithium did that to me. Lithium carbonate, which used to be a medication of choice for bipolar individuals, is a salt. It makes you ridiculously thirsty. For over 15 years, I ingested a lot of it daily. The result was a constant, unquenchable thirst. I don’t physically need water anymore, but I’m kind of addicted to it psychologically. Funny, I don’t want juice or coffee or pop. I want water. This drinking activity will be with me for the rest of my life, I’m sure. I’m constantly on the lookout for extra-large, plastic glasses. I prefer plastic to glass. It’s safer. I find a lot of my drinking glasses at thrift stores. Huge containers meant for iced tea, they’re perfect for my water fix. And guess what? I’m constantly going to the bathroom. If I added up how much time I spent relieving myself, I’d rack many days a year. We can’t predict what kind of side effects will materialize from taking these psychotropic drugs for our mental health issues. My craving for water was a benign side effect of lithium. What lithium side effects were worse? Horrible acne. For years, I endured life with enormous pimples on my face. I had acne that no acne medication could cure. I tried everything from garden variety Clearasil to oral antibiotics to expensive prescription creams. Nothing cleared up that acne except going off of the lithium. Weight gain. I put on 50 pounds on this salt medication. I lost my girlish figure and became matronly before my time. Having been off lithium for ten years, I’m now still trying to take the weight off. Loss of emotion. My experience with lithium was that the drug cut off my feelings. I had only a small range of emotional life. I felt happy, but not too happy. I felt sad, but not too sad. I was kind of “blah” all the time. Loss of sex drive. Sex was something I didn’t care for anymore. I engaged in it for the sake of my husband and my marriage. In short, lithium messed me up “royally,” but it did keep me from perilous manic highs and excruciating depressed lows. I guess I’m grateful that something could work like this. I remember going off the lithium and onto divalproex sodium, another mood stabilizer. My world suddenly became more colorful again. I had a range of emotion I hadn’t had in fifteen years. I began to enjoy sex. My skin cleared up. But I still drink lots of water a day. Thank goodness water is good for a person. According to healthline.com, “The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember.” I must drink at least three liters of water a day. I especially love to drink water when I’m writing. In fact, it’s one of my writing rituals. Before I sit down for a writing session, I fill one of my huge iced tea glasses with ice and add H2O. Then, I sit down and sip the stuff and the ideas flow. In fact, it’s become hard to be creative without drinking water. So my love affair with water has actually helped my freelance writing career. My love affair with water is part of who I am. By the way, the neighbor who asked me the onerous question about my drinking habit moved away. Thanks goodness. Some people… View the full article
  3. Psychology Around the Net: March 10, 2018

    Happy Saturday, sweet readers! This week’s Psychology Around the Net dives into a new study on holding hands to reduce pain, the role of neuroscience in the courtroom, one psychiatrist’s advice on getting over yourself, and more. Study Shows Holding Hands Can Sync Brainwaves and Ease Pain: According to a recent study, holding hands with a loved one can help your breathing and heart rate synchronize with theirs and reduce pain, but it doesn’t stop there. The more empathy your partner shows, the more your brainwaves will sync up, and the more your brainwaves sync up, the more your pain reduces. “My Brain Made Me Do It” Is Becoming a More Common Criminal Defense: Not only are criminal defense strategies relying more and more on psychological evaluations, behavioral tests, and other types of neurological evidence — or lack of — to potentially determine punishment, and ethicists and scientists are gathering to consider where neuroscience belongs in the courtroom. How to Get Over Yourself, With Author and Psychiatrist Mark Epstein: During this episode of The Upgrade by Lifehacker, author and psychiatrist Mark Epstein discusses the ego. More specifically, how psychotherapy and Buddhism come to the same conclusion regarding egos: we suffer when we let our egos have free reign, but we’re free when we learn to let them go. Hawaii’s Secret To Happiness in 5 Words: Finding “secrets to happiness” might sound cliche, but these five small words just might pack five big ideas for figuring out what defines happiness for you. These 4 Short L-Words Can Help Reveal If You Might Be Depressed: While it’s always best to see a mental health professional if you’re experiencing depression, sometimes people don’t know if they’re depressed or just experiencing a normal bout of unhappiness over an unpleasant event. These four words can help you determine whether you’re having a bad day or three, or if you could actually have depression. Close Relationships in Midlife Tied to Lower Mortality for Child Abuse Survivors: Often, survivors of child abuse are more likely than people who weren’t abused to suffer from both short-term and long-term mental health problems as well as physical health problems such as cancer and heart disease. According to a new study, developing supportive relationships by middle age can help child abuse survivors become less likely to die prematurely. View the full article
  4. {Etsy print by SnapshotSeven} When Deborah Serani’s chronic depression symptoms worsen, color helps to lift the darkness. She finds all kinds of colors by taking a walk and focusing on birds, flowers and trees along the way. Painting and drawing also are pivotal. “The deeper the colors I see and touch, the better I feel.” Therapy and sometimes medication are essential in treating depression. Serani credits psychotherapy with saving her life after a suicide attempt at 19. But other tools and techniques are important, too. “As with any chronic illness, it’s vital to lead as full a life as possible,” she said. For Serani, color and art add to life’s fullness and richness. “While the work we do in therapy is very important in your healing journey, the work you’re doing outside of therapy is what truly makes the difference, and often enhances our work in session,” said Laura Kacere, LPC, a therapist and yoga instructor in Chicago providing individual therapy for women and LGBTQ emerging adults. Building a broad range of healing and coping strategies and activities doesn’t only manage depression; it also helps you live a fuller, more joy-filled life, Kacere said. Below are some of these healing and coping strategies. Feed your senses. “Depression is an illness of depletion,” said Serani, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist, professor at Adelphi University and author of three books on depression. “You feel empty and hollow.” Which is why she suggested feeding your five senses, and shared these recommendations: Sight: Open the shades, or get out into the sun. Use color and uplifting images. “Color gets processed through our visual field and ignites certain feel-good neurochemistry.” Instead of looking at things, try to truly see. That is, linger longer, and really give time to what you’re viewing. Smell: Breathe in fresh air. Try mood-boosting aromatherapy, such as lavender, lemon and peppermint. Make it a point to take in scents that soothe you. Taste: Eat foods that are comforting to you, and try to savor the different flavors. “Studies show that even small moments of flavor sensations can lift mood.” Touch: “Depression often prompts feelings of isolation, so invite touch in as many ways as possible to help heal your mind, body and soul.” For instance, hold someone’s hand, or savor a long embrace. Focus on the softness of a warm blanket or the cool breeze on your face. Take a hot shower. Hear: Listen to natural sounds, such as rainfall, waves crashing onto the shore or leaves rustling. Focus on the sound of a loved one’s voice or children’s laughter. Listen to your favorite music, or savor silence, if that soothes you. Practice presence by connecting to your body. Kacere has found that small ways to connect to the present moment can be significantly helpful in managing depression. One place to start is with the body, because “our bodies are rooted in the present moment no matter where our minds are.” She suggested beginning by noticing the length of your breath (without trying to change it), and where you feel it in your body. Then move on to different breathing exercises, such as alternate-nostril breathing. Set limits. Depression makes you feel utterly exhausted and lethargic, so it’s important to be intentional about what you let into your life. It’s important to conserve your energy, said Catherine Sly, MBACP, a registered counsellor in working with individuals and couples who are struggling with depression, anxiety and relationship problems, and who want to make changes and feel better. “Practice saying no, so you don’t end up burnt out and resentful.” Say no to anything that drains you, including being with certain people. Read—when you can focus. Depression can impair your ability to concentrate. But you might be able to read in bits and pieces. Sly’s latest favorite self-help authors are Brené Brown and Susan David. She also recommended reading fiction. “Being able to lose yourself for a little while in another world can be remarkably healing.” Write. Writing is a powerful way to process your thoughts and feelings and ease your depression. You can start by writing about what’s currently on your mind. Or try writing exercises: Pen a poem about a healing, calming image, or respond to these prompts, which are tips from Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer’s beautiful book Writing Through the Darkness: “The first sound (taste, sight, smell, feeling) of the day”; “self-care tips you recommend for depression”; “black velvet”; “benefits of depression”; “kaleidoscopes”; “a lesson you have learned”; “magic.” (This piece features more exercises from her book.) Practice yoga. “Research shows that yoga, in conjunction with therapy, can be highly effective for managing depression, often more so than medication,” Kacere said. She suggested sampling different styles to find a class that resonates with you and trusting your gut. “[Q]uite often your comfort and connection with the teacher can be one of the biggest determining factors.” If you’re not ready for an in-person class, try yoga videos. Kacere suggested Yoga with Adriene. Cultivate your self-compassion. Depression makes you feel as though you’re a horrible person. You’re lazy, weak, whiny, and stupid. So stupid. All of this is untrue, but depression convinces us otherwise, and we assume our thoughts are rock-solid facts. Kacere suggested practicing meditations that “work to build self-compassion by bringing in others who you love and offer love to you, as suggested by Kristen Neff and other compassion-focused therapists.” For instance, try this loving-kindness meditation. It’s critical to make sure you’re getting professional treatment for your depression. But managing this condition is a multifaceted endeavor. Because we are multifaceted. Explore a range of strategies. “[E]veryone is different,” Serani said. “Find what works for you.” View the full article
  5. Therapy and sometimes medication are the foundation of depression treatment. Working with a mental health professional is paramount to recovering from depression. But other strategies also are key. “Most therapists will see you once a week, and medication can take some time to work,” said Catherine Sly, MBACP, a registered counsellor in working with individuals and couples who are struggling with depression, anxiety and relationship problems. In her work with clients with depression, she’s found that there are many changes that can be made to one’s daily routine to start feeling better. Plus, practicing your own strategies outside of therapy helps you “feel like you’re taking care of your own well-being.” It’s empowering. Below you’ll find a range of strategies to try that depression experts have found to be helpful for their clients. Increase your activities. “An essential element of treating depression is called Behavioral Activation, which involves increasing a person’s activity level so that they can increase their feelings of mastery and experience of pleasure, which serves to enhance their mood,” said Selena Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating depression in Rockville, Md. This is vital because depression tends to siphon your energy and motivation and lead you to isolate yourself. Which kick-starts a vicious cycle: “the more you withdraw and avoid activities, the more depressed you feel, and the less likely it is that you will then engage in the very activities that could help improve mood.” People mistakenly think they’ll become more active once they feel less depressed. But as Snow pointed out, depression doesn’t shift by itself. “The more that you stay in bed, the more that you stay in bed.” Changing your behavioral patterns sparks the shift. Increasing your activity helps you re-engage with the world and empower yourself. “Feeling empowered helps to combat the thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness that can be common with depression.” Snow suggested scheduling activities at specific times and brainstorming solutions for potential barriers that may get in the way (e.g., ensuring you’ll go to the park by going with someone). She also stressed the importance of setting realistic goals and taking small, doable steps. For instance, if you’re not participating in any physical activity, start by walking for 15 minutes once a week with your partner at 9 a.m. on Saturday. After you meet this goal, you can gradually increase the frequency and duration, Snow said. Volunteer. Snow recommended identifying an organization that is aligned with your personal values and welcomes volunteering in small increments. Volunteering connects you with other people and helps you meaningfully contribute, which then enhances your mood, she said. Try other activities. Psychotherapist Peggy Burns, LPC, suggested baking, cooking, cleaning or engaging in an art project—“anything really to get your mind moving in a different direction.” You also might play an instrument, create a collage, stretch or dance. You might start a daily photo series, snapping a photo of something that makes you smile. In addition to shifting your focus, such activities can help you release the tension from your body. If these activities feel overwhelming, start smaller: Put three ingredients in the crockpot. Organize one drawer. Doodle. Stabilize your sleep. “Sleep is vital for recovery, and depression can leave you feeling exhausted and like you’ve never got enough rest,” said Sly. Frustratingly, depression also can hamper sleep. Some mornings you’re too tired to get out of bed—after 12 hours of slumber. Other days it’s 3 a.m. and you’re staring at the ceiling. But there are things you can try. Sly suggested making it a habit to get some fresh air and sunlight every day; go to bed and get up at the same time; and engage in activities that can “help you to relax enough to get to sleep,” such as taking warm baths and listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks. Curb screen time. Doing so, especially in the evenings, can help you sleep better, and likely help your mood, Sly said. She noted that social media has been linked to “feelings of isolation, low self-esteem and depression.” To limit use, you might keep your phone outside your bedroom, and remove email and social media apps. Reach out. “Socializing while depressed can feel really painful as you’re desperate to gain relief from your feelings of isolation but struggling to connect,” Sly said. What can help is thinking about what you were doing and who you were with when you did feel better, she said. “Can you reach out to them and make some plans?” Remember your strength. Burns, who specializes in depression, grief/loss and anxiety, asks her clients to recall a time when they got through something difficult. Because if you’ve done it before, you can do it, again. She suggested creating a saying you can turn to, which reminds you of your inner strength, such as: “I believe in myself and I can beat this; I deserve to be well; I am taking small steps to a healthy lifestyle; I can do this; I am my own superhero.” Repeat your saying when you’re walking or when you can’t get out of bed, she said. Ask for what you need. “Carrying on with life while fighting depression can feel like an uphill battle,” Sly said. Give yourself permission to ask for what you need. For instance, you might ask for a break, for help or for a hug, she said. Practice acceptance with negative thoughts. “When we accept a negative thought, we let it come in to our brain, accept that it is there and then let it go right back out,” Burns said. She shared these examples: You have the thought, “I am a failure.” You tell yourself, “I am having a thought that I am a failure.” Or you might consider: “How has this thought helped me? Is this really true?” And you might say, “I am not my thoughts.” Try the strategies that resonate with you. Keep in mind that what works for you will depend on where you’re at in your treatment. It will depend on the severity of your depression and the specific symptoms you’re struggling with. If something isn’t working, please don’t interpret it as a failure on your part. After all, different things will be helpful for different people. Remember, too, you are doing the best you can. *** Stay tuned for another piece with seven more strategies. View the full article
  6. When I talk to others about depression, most often they’ll mention the signs and symptoms so many of are familiar with: sadness, loneliness, isolation, a low mood, lack of energy, suicidal thoughts and feelings, and disrupted sleep and eating patterns. These are the common signs of depression that most people recognize. What fewer people recognize are signs of depression when it manifests in an unusual (or hidden) way. Some people with depression become more irritable and angry with virtually every one and everything in their life. They have unaccountable mood swings, and find that nothing their co-workers, friends, family, children, or partner does is right. What does anger and irritability have to do with depression? Some professionals like to say, “Depression is anger turned inward.” But what happens when that anger is turned outward, even though the person wouldn’t ordinarily be angry at others? It’s likely that the interaction between depression and anger is far more complex than we realized. It’s probably more helpful to think of depression not as an illness of mood alone, but rather as an impairment in the regulation of our emotions, as Besharat et al. (2013) note. They summarize the complex relationship between anger and depression at the start of their study: Evidence has demonstrated a close relationship between anger and depression both in normal and patient populations. Depressed people exhibit more anger suppression than normal people. Evolutionary theories of depression suggest that aroused but arrested defenses of fight (arrested anger) and flight (feelings of entrapment) may be among the important components of depression. However, it has been recognized that depressed people also experience more anger. Again, in the case of treatment, having some residual symptoms such as anger is related to poor therapeutic outcomes and more relapses in depressed people. Depressed people also [feel] more hostility than the normal population. In short, many people with depression may be more likely to also experience issues with anger and irritability in ways that most people wouldn’t understand as a component of the person’s depression. How depression symptoms are experienced and experienced may also be due to additional factors, such as culture, environment, and upbringing (see, for example, Plowden et al., 2016). Depression & Destructive Emotions In order to better explain this complexity between depression and destructive emotions, researchers decided to explore the underlying relationship between anger and depression (Besharat et al., 2013). Researchers recruited 88 people with major depressive disorder to participate (68 women, 20 men) and administered a battery of tests designed to evaluate their depression, angry feelings, how well they could regulate their emotions, and how much they experienced ruminations about anger.1 Do you have depression? Take our depression quiz now for an immediate result. We know from other research that people who suffer from depression tend to be negatively biased in their information processing — how they see the world around them. People with depression are more sensitive to cues around them for sadness and dysphoria. When given the chance to interpret neutral, positive, or negative information, they tend to do so as negatively as possible. After running their statistical analyses, the researchers discovered a few interesting findings. “Anger and depression are related through the mediating role of emotion regulation and anger rumination,” write the researchers. In plain English, this means that a person is more likely to express the angry or irritable signs in depression if they are someone who tends to ruminate on past angry situations, or if they have difficulty in tempering their emotions. Someone who is already quick to anger due to their temperament, culture, or upbringing, for instance, would also be more predisposed to express their depression through anger. How Can Such Depression Be Treated? Because this type of depression seems to be centered on two key components — emotion regulation and rumination — it also suggests some low-hanging fruit to target in treatment. Rumination itself seems to predict the likelihood of depression returning in a person, so that’s a very good area for a professional to help a person with in psychotherapy anyway. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy seems to be particularly helpful in reducing rumination and ruminative thoughts (Segal et al., 2002; Teasdale et al., 2000). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is best learned in psychotherapy one-on-one with a therapist who’s been trained in this type of intervention. However, there are also many helpful sites and books on the topic of mindfulness that could help a person get started. Emotion regulation may also be helpful in reducing feelings of anger and irritability in depression. There are a number of core strategies in emotional regulation (Leahy et al., 2011): Reframing or reappraising a situation — thinking about the emotion or situation causing it in a completely different way Suppression — inhibiting the external expression of the emotion, but still experiencing it internally Acceptance — accepting the emotion as you’re feeling it, but making a conscious and mindful decision to not act on that feeling The key to understanding depression is to recognize that it is a complex disorder that may show itself differently in different people. Some depression may be hidden. It’s important to recognize that anger and irritability — especially if it’s a significant change from a person’s usual behavior — may be a sign of depression that needs attention and help. References Besharat, Mohammad Ali; Nia, Mahin Etemadi; Farahani, Hojatollah. (2013). Anger and major depressive disorder: The mediating role of emotion regulation and anger rumination. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 6, 35-41. Leahy, R.L., Tirch, D., & Napolitano, L.A. (2011). Emotion Regulation in Psychotherapy: A Practitioner’s Guide 1st Edition. The Guilford Press, New York. Plowden, Keith O.; Adams, Linda Thompson; Wiley, Dana. (2016). Black and blue: Depression and African American men. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 30, 630-635. Segal, Z.V., Williams, M., Teasdale, J.D., 2002. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: A New Approach to Preventing Relapse. Guildford Publications, New York. Teasdale, J.D., Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G., Ridgeway, V.A., Soulsby, J.M., Lau, M.A., 2000. Prevention of relapse/recurrence in major depression by mindfulnessbased cognitive therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 615–623. Footnotes: Respectively, the measures used are the Beck Depression Inventory, the Multidimensional Anger Inventory, the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ), and the Anger Rumination Scale (ARS). View the full article
  7. Psychology Around the Net: February 24, 2018

    Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers! This week’s Psychology Around the Net dives into how to combat isolation when you work from home, an upcoming all-star mental health charity concert, why a “good enough” relationship is what you need, and more. How to Fight Isolation When You Work from Home: Working from home definitely has its perks, but it has its downfalls, too. Isolation — which can lead to depression — is all too common among folks who work from home. Here are a few ways to combat isolation (many of which can even boost your mental and physical health!). Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker: The No. 1 Communication Mistake That Even Smart People Make: The “curse of knowledge” can make you forget what it’s like to not know something and cause you to use jargon, skip explanations and steps, and not describe things in concrete terms. Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of writing manual The Sense of Style, offers strategies for overcoming your own “curse of knowledge” to communicate more clearly when writing or speaking. Depression May Impede HIV Care: A new study suggests people with depression might have a more difficult time sticking to their HIV treatment plans, including being more likely to miss scheduled healthcare appointments Dave Navarro Recruits Courtney Love, Billy Idol for Mental Health Charity Show: Guitarists Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison are recruiting an all-star lineup including Courtney Love, Billy Idol, Corey Taylor, and more to play a mental health charity concert in April. Says Morrison: “After losing too many friends to suicide and depression, and having suffered personally with a wide range of mental health issues, we want to raise awareness and funds for the treatment of mental health.” Rep. Nardolillo Calls for Increase in Counseling for Students: Funding to be Derived from the Sale of Violent Video Games: Representative Robert Nardolillo III has announced he will introduce legislation that implements a tax on video games rated “M” or higher in order to fund and increase in mental health and counseling resources in schools, citing there is evidence kids who are exposed to these kinds of video games “tend to act more aggressively than those who are not.” Why This Marriage Therapist Says a ‘Good Enough’ Relationship Is One That Lasts a Lifetime: The idea that a relationship you can describe as “good enough” is one you should strive for is probably not an idea you’re keen on; however, relationship therapist John Gottman of The Gottman Institute offers a simple yet insightful definition of “good enough” that might change your mind. View the full article
  8. OCD, Learning, and Memory Problems

    I’ve written posts and articles about my son Dan’s struggle with OCD in college, and our family’s experience is also fully chronicled in my book Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery. The most frustrating aspects of this portion of Dan’s journey were not only the widespread lack of understanding of what obsessive-compulsive disorder actually entails, but also dealing with an academic support staff who basically had no idea how to help him. To be fair, it really wasn’t their fault. They were typically willing to help; they just didn’t know how. Aside from offering extra time on tests (which is often not even a good idea for those with OCD) they were at a loss. And so were we. Once my husband and I realized that Dan was struggling with time management, the balance of details within the big picture, and over-thinking, we asked that these issues be addressed mainly through the open-mindedness and flexibility of his professors. But now there is something more concrete those with OCD can offer the academic support staff at schools and colleges. A January 2018 study published in the journal Psychological Medicine involved questioning 36 adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder and 36 adolescent controls without OCD. Participants were asked to complete two memory tasks designed to measure learning and cognitive flexibility. Adolescents with OCD struggled with cognitive inflexibility and showed significant impairments in both learning and memory. The study is summarized nicely here if you’d like to learn more about it. I believe the implications of this study are huge. For one, unaddressed learning and memory issues in an academic environment are sure to stress already anxious children or adolescents. Their confidence and self-esteem are also likely to be affected. Not surprisingly, all of these issues can exacerbate OCD and quickly lead to a downhill spiral in both academic performance and overall well-being. Thankfully, the results of this study have already been shared with appropriate professionals who have subsequently helped students with OCD achieve a level playing field and realize their potential. What a relief this must be for students and their families who have struggled for so long, yet haven’t quite been able to put into words what they are actually struggling with. Another important implication of this study, in my opinion, is that it educates and enlightens those who still have little to no understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I know there are still academic support staff out there who believe those with OCD just need to be able to leave the classroom if they “have to” wash their hands – that is the extent of their comprehension of the disorder. But problems with memory, learning, cognitive inflexibility? Who knew? This study provides concrete evidence that those with OCD can present to others to help advocate for themselves. I also find this study exciting because it shows we are making progress. Slowly but surely, hard-working researchers are chiseling away at the mysteries of obsessive-compulsive disorder, helping those with OCD along the way and giving them hope. View the full article
  9. Psychology Around the Net: February 17, 2018

    Hello, Psych Central readers. For this week’s Psychology Around the Net, we’re diving into vibes and what causes us to feel them, how we can use our emotions to cause positive environmental change, ways to help children better understand and practice mindfulness, and more. I’ve chosen to not address the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in this week’s Psychology Around the Net, as many of our Psych Central writers have already and are continuing to do so. I encourage you to browse our latest blog posts for our team’s insights. How Real Are Vibes: The Good and the Bad? Have you ever picked up a “vibe”? You can’t exactly put your finger on it, but you just feel a situation or a person is or isn’t “right.” You have a good vibe about your new neighbor. You have a bad vibe about how your boss is restructuring the office. Well, some explanations that might help with better understanding “vibes” lie in our brains’ abilities to process a variety of sensory inputs, even if we don’t consciously know we’re doing it. Taking Too Many Selfies Confirmed to be a ‘Real Psychological Disorder’: More accurately, two India-based researchers, Janarthanan Balakrishnan and Mark D. Griffiths, conducted a study with results that could support the idea that there’s a “gradual scale” mental health professionals could use to determine whether a person exhibits signs of this obsessive behavior. How to Hack Our Psychology to Take More Eco-Friendly Actions: Renee Lertzman, Ph.D. is an expert on the psychological impact of environmental threats, and after years of researching and teaching she has quite a bit of information for us on how we can use the complicated emotions those environmental threats give us to make positive changes. People with Depression Use Language Differently – Here’s How to Spot It: It probably comes as no surprise to many of us that people with depression tend to verbally express themselves differently. For a long time, scientists have been trying to figure out the relationship between language and depression, and the results of a new study that focuses heavily on the two components of language — content (what we express) and style (how we express it) — might help us better predict whether a person is suffering from depression. Teach Kids about Mindfulness with These Everyday Objects: Many adults struggle with mindfulness, so how can we expect children to understand it — much less practice it? Well, a few simple objects — such as snow globes, apples, and even ice cubes — can help children with mindfulness activities. Why Do So Few Docs Have Buprenorphine Waivers? Only about 5% of America’s doctors have waivers to prescribe buprenorphine — Suboxone — which is a medication to help treat opioid addiction, and some doctors claim bureaucratic hoops and doctor office culture could play roles in why that percentage is so small. View the full article
  10. How to Use Writing to Ease Your Depression

    After receiving another round of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which she’d been receiving every other day, Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D., lay in a hospital room and felt hopeless. In the past ECT had “worked wonders” in treating her deep depressions, the devastating lows part of her bipolar disorder. But lately it’d seemed futile. As she writes in her beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring book Writing Through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen, “Desperate, I reached for an empty notebook. My brain was too flat and blurred to put together sentences, so I scribbled a list of words about my situation and slammed the book shut. Immediately, I felt some lifting of the black cloud of depression, so bleak that it scrambled my thoughts and choked my breath.” Over time, Schaefer accepts the ups and downs of her illness. And in addition to receiving ECT and taking medication, she joins a women’s writing group and takes writing workshops and classes. “…I realized that this was potent medicine for me too, helping my emotions to stabilize and my thoughts to clear. As my confidence grew I became certain that I’d keep writing in this personal way. Writing was as healing to me as all my medical treatments—this did matter. Writing helped bring me back. Writing saved my life,” Schaefer writes in Writing Through the Darkness. Since 1998 Schaefer has taught her own class on creative writing for people with mood disorders at Stanford University. Some of her students have severe depression. Some have severe bipolar disorder. Some are attorneys and doctors. Some are college students and teachers. They range in age from 22 to 75. Some are on disability. Others work part-time. Some volunteer. And some are searching for jobs after a long period of illness. All find writing to be an important part of their treatment and their lives. Writing about your depression is vital because it helps you express, explore and pinpoint your thoughts and feelings. It helps you to release them on paper. And once they are on paper, they’re a bit easier to sift through and understand. Writing is a way we listen to ourselves. As one of Schaefer’s students said: “[Writing] validates my experience. I get emotional release from writing down what’s in my head, discovering my own voice and story.” Writing also can be a great source of play. We get to experiment with different techniques. We get to reconnect to our imaginations and play pretend. We get to invent. We get to construct new characters and new worlds. Schaefer has three writing rules: Write continuously without stopping for 10 or 20 minutes, because “you tend to access the more creative, more emotionally insightful parts of your brain rather than your picky ‘editor brain,’ which likes to criticize what you’re doing.” Write for yourself, meaning you don’t have to show it to anyone (and feel self-conscious), and you don’t have to worry about crafting perfect prose or careful points. Give yourself permission to write whatever arises, in whatever form. And, lastly, don’t write about topics that feel threatening (or unhealthy to explore right now). Simply switch to a different subject that you are ready to explore. Below you’ll find a variety of valuable writing exercises from Schaefer’s must-read book. Pen a poem about a soothing image. Imagine the most healing and soothing image you can— “one that might counter your depression,” Schaefer writes. Maybe it’s a place or a person. Maybe it’s a special memory or the feel of the breeze on your face. Write a poem about this image, using your senses. Write a fable of depression. Picture your depression as a living character. As Schaefer writes, it might be a Samurai warrior or an evil comic-book character. Then “tell a story about it as if you were telling a simple fable to a small child.” For instance, one writer described his depression as a dragon who sleeps atop a massive pile of gold and gems inside a cave. When the writer tries to take one too many treasures the dragon awakens and imprisons him. Write from a new-to-you place. According to Schaefer, “take a walk or a drive or a bus ride, near or far, and sit somewhere you’ve never sat before; write on what you see there.” Explore a skill. Make a list of a minimum of 25 things you’re good at. (If you’re having trouble, ask others what they think your strengths are.) Maybe you take great photos. Maybe you make a delicious cheesecake. Maybe you never forget a face. Maybe you’re a good singer or dancer. Maybe you read really fast. Maybe you speak another language. Pick one thing, and write about it for 20 minutes: “Who taught it to you? What’s the secret to it? Do you love doing it? How could someone else learn it?” Use poetry as prompts. Pick a poem to use as a writing prompt. Then respond to the ideas in the poem, or to a word, phrase or sentence that resonates with you. Or write a letter to the poet. You can make your response into your own poem or into prose. These are some of Schaefer’s favorite poems to use as prompts: “Prayer” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes; “Gift” by Judith Hemschemeyer; “A Happy Birthday” by Ted Kooser; “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver; and “The Guest House” by Rumi. Create your own art. Draw your response to the following prompts, and then write about your artwork and how it felt to create it: “How I feel today”; “what I wish for”; “my depression”; “my favorite place.” Try these additional prompts. In the back of the book, Schaefer shares more interesting ideas to inspire your writing, including: “The first sound (taste, sight, smell, feeling) of the day”; “self-care tips you recommend for depression”; “black velvet”; “benefits of depression”; “kaleidoscopes”; “a lesson you have learned”; “magic.” Schaefer also suggests writing about coping strategies; what intrigues you; what you love; and what you’ve always wanted to do along with one action you can take to make one of these desires happen. For Schaefer writing brings joy. It might not for you. But maybe, as she notes, it just might lead you to something that does. View the full article
  11. There is no question that having a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder affects the whole family. I’ve written before about how pediatric OCD results in disrupted routines, stressful social interactions for children, and poor job performance for parents. Elevated stress and anxiety levels, as well as feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness become the norm in a household dictated by OCD. I’ve also written about how important it is to get the right help as soon as possible. Even if parents or other caregivers think things are “not that bad,” the situation is likely worse than they imagine. Because children (and adults) with OCD can be adept at hiding their symptoms, they are often the only ones who know the real extent of their disorder — parents don’t often recognize the extent of their children’s suffering. And on the off chance that the OCD really isn’t “that bad,” it’s still always better to seek treatment sooner rather than later. In an interesting review published in Psychiatry Research, predictions related to the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in children and adolescents (all under the age of 18) with OCD were made: In predictor analyses, worse response to CBT was associated with older age, higher OCD symptom severity, higher level of OCD-related impairment, worse depressive symptoms, the presence of any comorbid mental disorder, and higher family accommodation of OCD symptoms. Medication at baseline was not a predictor of CBT effectiveness. No surprises there. This analysis confirms the importance of getting help for OCD as soon as possible, before OCD has become firmly entrenched. It gets a little more complicated when discussing children and adolescents with OCD who have comorbid tic disorders, and it’s not always clear what the best path is to follow. In my own family’s experience, my son Dan experienced facial contortions, twitching, and tics when his OCD was severe. This is not uncommon as tics and Tourette syndrome appear in approximately 50% of children with OCD, and 15% of these children receive a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome. In Dan’s case, it’s possible some of the medications he was taking contributed to his tics. Thankfully, once he was taken off the meds and was working hard on his exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, all his tics, twitches and facial contortions disappeared. It’s interesting to note that his comorbid diagnoses of depression and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) also fell by the wayside. Another finding from the above review, which was also reported in this 2010 study, is that children and adolescents with a family history of OCD had poorer outcomes with CBT than those with no family history of OCD. It’s not clear what the reason for this is, but might possibly be related to others at home who are dealing with OCD being unable to support their child fully. In these cases, CBT along with medication appears to be the most beneficial treatment approach. The bottom line is CBT in the form of exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy works for children and adolescents. The sooner help is sought, the better the results will likely be. Once OCD is under control, an added bonus might be the disappearance of comorbid conditions such as depression, GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and even tic disorders. There are no good reasons to delay treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder for our children. If your child or adolescent is struggling with OCD, do the right thing. Get help for them now. View the full article
  12. Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?

    I’m often asked, “Am I depressed or just lazy?” It’s a legitimate question, in that many people who suffer from clinical depression will initially feel like they’re just being lazy, not wanting to get off the couch or out of bed. On the surface, the two — laziness and depression — appear to share some passing similarities. But dig just a little deeper and you can quickly determine whether you’re depressed, or are just being lazy. Depression is a serious, debilitating mental illness that impacts millions of Americans each year. It not only causes distress for the person suffering from it, but also for their loved ones and friends. For employers, it results in millions of hours of lost productivity and billions of dollars. The Key Differences Between Depression & Laziness The key point about clinical depression is that a person doesn’t want to feel that way. It is completely out of their control. They didn’t do (or failed to do) something that brought about the depression. While episodes of feeling depressed may be brought about by increased stress, generally most people with this condition can’t trace it back to anything in their life. That’s what so aggravating about depression. It hits a person from out of the blue, for no reason at all. (If there was a reason, at least maybe it would make some sense.) Laziness, on the other hand, is a clear and simple choice. Whether we admit it or not, when we’re being lazy, we’re simply choosing not to do things in our life. “Oh, cleaning the apartment? I’ll get around to that tomorrow…” Meanwhile, a person with depression doesn’t even notice their apartment is messy or in disarray. It doesn’t even enter into the equation. The last thing they are thinking or worrying about is the cleanliness of their apartment. Or themselves. So I Guess I’m Lazy? Being lazy isn’t a crime. But it shouldn’t be confused with serious mental illness either. Just because you’re feeling particularly unmotivated one day to get out of bed, go to class or work, and do what’s expected of you doesn’t mean you’re depressed. It’s likely just a passing case of the “blah’s.” Depression doesn’t just last for a day or two. For clinical depression to be diagnosed, it requires you to feel that same, unmotivated way for at least 2 weeks or more (according to the American Psychiatric Association). Most people who suffer from this condition go weeks — and sometimes even months — feeling horrible, unmotivated, lonely, and in despair before ever seeking out treatment. That’s a key difference. Usually if you’re just feeling lazy, it’s a passing mood that within a day or two, you no longer feel. You get up, you go to class or work, you clean the apartment. You do what’s needed, and you have the ability to do so. A person with depression doesn’t have that ability. They’ve lost all concept of meaning in their life, of time, of responsibilities. It just doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. How Can I Tell if I’m Depressed or Lazy? You can quickly and easily tell the difference between depression and laziness by taking either our long depression quiz (takes about 5 minutes for most people to complete) or our quick depression test that takes just a minute or two to complete. If either of these scientific quizzes suggests you may be suffering from depression, that’s likely a sign that it is not just laziness. Instead, it may be a sign of actual depression — something you should find a mental health professional to check out more thoroughly. Being lazy once in awhile is normal — we all do it. But when that laziness appears to span weeks — or even months — of your life, it may be a sign of depression. Please have it checked out just to be sure. References American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Alexandria, VA. View the full article
  13. Reclaiming Your Life After Breaking Up

    As the saying goes, breaking up is hard to do. There are few things more painful than the heartache of separating from someone who has found their way into our heart — the shock of a sudden ending and being alone again. How can we heal and move on after such a gut-wrenching trauma? A complex slew of feelings may overwhelm us after a break-up. How can we tap into inner resources that might help us heal? A psychologically savvy view of working with adversity can be drawn from the Buddha’s story of the two arrows. The first arrow strikes us with a deep sense of loss and the sudden shock of living without our partner. The comfort, familiarity, and connection is no longer available. If the separation was gradual, our grief may be less acute. But similar to losing a loved after a long illness, there can still be the shocking finality of no longer sharing your life together. The realization that the relationship isn’t what we thought it was — and will no longer continue as expected or hoped for — can undermine our sense of reality. Something we thought was true and secure turns out to be untrue and unstable. If the separation was sudden, perhaps triggered by a betrayal or unilateral decision by one person, we may feel excruciatingly raw and vulnerable. The brutal shock of such an announcement can be traumatic. Being unable to wrap our mind around what happened and having no voice in the matter can leave us feeling disrespected, powerless, and unspeakably sad. Grieving is our organisms natural ability to heal from pain. We need to engage skillfully with our feelings so that we neither avoid them nor get overwhelmed by them. Finding the right distance from feelings is one aspect of the approach called Focusing, which can help us find a way to be gentle and friendly with our emotional life. What’s Wrong with Me? The first arrow is life’s unpredictability piercing through our comfort zone — the shock, the loss, the disorientation is very painful indeed. But it is the second arrow that generates the bulk of our suffering. This is the arrow that comes from the inside — the one we direct toward ourselves, oftentimes without our full awareness. We have little control over the unavoidable, haphazard arrows that life shoots at us, whether in our love life (separation), work life (losing our job), or family life (a loved one dies). Fortunately, we have more control over whether we aim a second arrow toward ourselves. This is the arrow of self-blame, self-hatred, and shame that often makes our grieving more complicated, prolonged, and devastating. The pain of an unavoidable loss — “necessary losses“, as author Judith Viorst calls it — is intensified by the suffering created by self-criticism and shame. Then not only do we feel loss and grief, but we conclude that something is wrong with us. We may have repetitive thoughts that we’re somehow to blame for the separation. Or we may believe that we shouldn’t be feeling so sad or distressed. Our critical, self-judging self-talk might be: How did I mess up, screw up, blow it? Why aren’t I over this by now! Why can’t I let go? I’ll never recover from this. What’s wrong with me? How did I create this? I’m flawed and a failure. This is not to suggest that we had no responsibility in the matter. But there’s a gigantic difference between blaming ourselves and taking responsibility for what might have been our part. In fact, being paralyzed by self-blame can freeze our ability to soften into our grief and inquire calmly into how things got off track. Perhaps we didn’t listen well when our partner voiced grievances. There may have been misattunements or miscommunication that we can learn from. Did we cling to our assumptions and not ask enough questions? Did wishful thinking lead to the supposition that our partner felt the same way about the relationship that we did? If we’re paralyzed by shame — convinced that we’re flawed and defective — we’re not inclined to learn from our experience. Instead, we may sink into a shame pit and succumb to depression and hopelessness. Or we may shoot the arrow at the other person — getting stuck in revenge fantasies or recriminations that perpetuate our suffering rather than help us heal. Being self-critical may prevent us from recognizing positive things about ourselves. Can we validate how we opened our heart and took the risk to love? Learning Relationships In her classic book The Couples Journey, Dr. Susan Campbell offers the view that some relationships are learning relationships rather than mated ones. They prepare us for a better relationship to come. For better or worse, life is a series of challenging learning experiences. If we can be mindful about how we’re aiming the second arrow toward ourselves, we have more control over whether we shoot that arrow or hold ourselves with respect and dignity as we grieve our loss. Separation, loss, and betrayal are painful enough. If we add self-blame and shame to the mix, our suffering is multiplied. Shame is a sticky glue that keeps us stuck — and keeps us spinning our wheels in unhelpful, repetitive ruminations. Our challenge is to honor our worth and value as a person regardless of whatever happens to us. Bringing mindfulness to difficult situations, we can differentiate our unavoidable pain from the self-generated suffering of berating ourselves for what happens to us. Holding ourselves with dignity, we can grieve, we can learn, and we can move on with our self-respect intact, even if temporarily bruised. If you like my article, please consider viewing my Facebook page and books below. View the full article
  14. Psychology Around the Net: February 10, 2018

    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. View the full article
  15. First the good news about all the bad news you might be reading and seeing these days: Bad news cannot cause depression. Depression is a complex biological illness, and in my professional practice as a psychiatrist, I have seen nothing to suggest that depression rates are rising in a response to the barrage of negative stories we’re hearing and seeing in the media these days. And none of the copious research on depression has concluded that it can be caused by exposure to negative media. The roots of depression go deeper than environmental factors. After all, some people can suffer trauma and go on to live a normal life, while other people might become depressed over seemingly slight setbacks. Our responses to life’s vicissitudes are determined by the interaction of biology and environment — nature and nurture — and are as individual as each of us. However, if you’re predisposed to depression or are already in the throes of it, you may find that a lot of time spent absorbing the news — through television, newspapers, or online — can make you feel worse. It’s a bit of a conundrum. Staying informed is important, but it also puts you at risk of being dragged deeper into depression. The three treatment modalities for depression — talk therapy, medication and, since being approved by the FDA in 2008, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which stimulates nerve cells to alleviate depression — are effective for most people. Even as you are being properly treated for depression, you might also want to consider some strategies for managing your mood while still staying informed about what’s happening in politics, the environment, world affairs, the economy — all those things that are stressing a lot of people these days. Some suggestions: Don’t use TV for escape. A factor analysis of the Depression Coping Questionnaire, which was developed in the 1980s to measure gender differences in coping strategies, has found that male or female, people with depression often use television as a coping mechanism. This is counterproductive for obvious reasons if you’re watching the news: News programs are rarely uplifting (there’s an old expression among news people: “If it bleeds, it leads”). On top of that, if you’re parked in front of the television, you’re also not doing things we know can help alleviate depression, such as exercising or connecting with friends and loved ones. Read positive news, too. The news media tends to focus on the worst: natural disasters, political squabbles, murder, mayhem. This makes people tune in, but it can also make the world seem like a terrible place. We can counteract the despair this might trigger by taking concrete steps to remind ourselves that things aren’t all bad all the time. Consider the findings of a study out of the University at Albany-State University of New York, which collected data from Chicago residents and found that people who live in distressed neighborhoods better coped with their circumstances when they sought out and paid attention to positive local news. Balancing your consumption of negative news with positive can help brighten your view of the world. Stay aware of your biases: We know that if you’re already depressed, you are likely to pay more attention to negative news than positive, which will make you feel hopeless. Stay conscious of your depressed cognitive biases, to remind yourself that things aren’t as bad as they might seem. Don’t let your mind slip into automatic dark thinking; remind yourself that thoughts aren’t always reality. Read or watch, then relax. If watching the news leaves you all keyed up, learn a progressive relaxation technique to use afterwards. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggests that focused relaxation — more than distraction — can help dissipate that anxious, unsettle feeling you might have after news consumption. Monitor your moods and behaviors. Don’t let depression or anxiety sneak up on you. Notice if you are slipping into behaviors that suggest a worsening of your condition and take action — see a mental health professional, discuss your treatment with your doctor if you are already in care, do whatever you have learned helps lift your mood. Remember those cognitive distortions, which are one of the hallmarks of depression. If you slide too far down into the pit you may “forget” there’s a way out. Get involved. Responding to bad news with concrete action — getting involved with an organization aligned with your beliefs, for example — might be helpful. The feeling that you have no control over circumstances — an external locus of control — is correlated with depression. By getting involved with a cause that inspires you, you may find that the sense of having more control helps you feel better. Do something else! Put down the newspaper, close the computer, turn off the television. Go outside and take a walk in nature. Read a book. Call a friend. Just because the news cycle is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, doesn’t mean that you are required to soak in every word. Self-care is more necessary than ever these days, especially if you suffer from depression. References: Kleinke, C. L. (1988), The depression coping questionnaire. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44: 516–526. DOI: 10.1002/1097-4679 (198807)44:4<516::AID-JCLP2270440407>3.0.CO;2-B Yamamoto, M. (2018). Perceived neighborhood conditions and depression. Health Communication, 33 (2), 156-163. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1250192 Szabo, A., Hopkinson, K.L. (2007), Negative psychological effects of watching the news in the television: relaxation or another intervention may be needed to buffer them! International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 14(2), 57-62. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17926432 View the full article