In the news

Help wanted: Managing work stress

In 21st century America, the adage that “all work and no play” makes a person dull should probably be amended to say that it makes a person stressed out. Every job involves a certain amount of stress, and it’s normal for work demands and pressures to ebb and flow. When the tension rises above a normal level for a sustained period of time or becomes an ongoing reality, however, work-related stress can dramatically affect the individual’s personal life…

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Can light therapy help improve mood in people with concussion?

People with mild traumatic brain injury who are exposed to early morning blue light therapy may experience a decrease in depression and other concussion symptoms, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 25 to May 1, 2020. “Patients with mild traumatic brain injury, like concussion, often develop persistent problems associated with sleep, concentration and depression,” said study author…

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Study: Therapy Helps Even Those Who Did Not Benefit Before

Have you gone to therapy or taken medication for your anxiety or depression?  And maybe it hasn’t worked as well you’d hoped and you are still struggling? You are not alone: Approximately 30 to 40 percent of people do not recover after a first-line mental health treatment. They are called non-responders. When a course of psychotherapy or counseling doesn’t lead to recovery, good therapists work with the patient to figure out what might be standing in the way of significant improvement. If therapy still is not…

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Moral distress of physicians who care for older adults

In a new study, researchers from Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health provide insight into physician moral distress, a condition correlated with burnout and depression. The researchers report that about four of 10 doctors caring for older adult patients who require a surrogate decision-maker experienced moral distress. As defined in the study, moral distress is an emotional experience in which an individual feels constrained from acting on deeply held beliefs,…

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Finding the Brain Circuits Behind Mood and Anxiety Disorders

The largest brain imaging study of its kind may have found the reason why people with anxiety and mood disorders so often feel unable to escape negative thoughts and emotions. Researchers analyzed a trove of brain scans–more than 9,000 from 226 previous functional imaging studies–that compared the brain activity of healthy adults to those diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders. Analysis across the studies found abnormally low activity in brain regions responsible for stopping thoughts and shifting to new…

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4 Factors That May Lower PTSD Risk and Bolster Resilience

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) statistics vary depending on the source, but while the majority of people experience at least one traumatic event over the course of a lifetime, only a fraction develop PTSD, between 6-8 percent. PTSD has many risks and protective factors. The risks include younger age, female gender, being hurt or seeing someone get hurt, having higher-stress living conditions on top of the trauma, and a prior history of mental illness or substance use disorder. Protective factors include getting support from others, positive self-appraisal in dealing…

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Bumble Bees Can Recognize Objects Across Senses

The task: find an object that you are visually familiar with, such as your keys, by rummaging around with your hand in your bag. For humans, it’s a piece of cake. You can easily recognize, through touch alone, something you’ve previously seen. This ability to experience an object in one sensory modality and later recognize it in another is called cross-modal object recognition. It’s actually a highly complex cognitive capacity that was thought to be…

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Stress in small children separated from their parents may alter genes

Experts in the emotional needs of small children say increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in babies and small children who are separated from their parents, especially their mothers, could have a long-term genetic impact on future generations. In a commentary published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the authors say that several studies show that small children cared for outside the home, especially in poor quality care and for 30 or…

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12 Signs that You’re Dealing with a Master Manipulator

Are there people in your life who you feel have their own agenda when they deal with you? Perhaps you’ve struck up a relationship with a fellow volunteer or co-worker while completing a group project. However, after a couple of weeks, you begin to sense that this other person doesn’t seem to have the best wishes of the group at heart. Having missed several deadlines, this individual tells what you believe are untruths, such as “I…

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The Verdict Is In: Courtrooms Seldom Overrule Bad Science

In television crime dramas, savvy lawyers are able to overcome improbable odds to win their cases by presenting seemingly iron-clad scientific evidence. In real-world courtrooms, however, the quality of scientific testimony can vary wildly, making it difficult for judges and juries to distinguish between solid research and so-called junk science. This is true for all scientific disciplines, including psychological science, which plays an important role in assessing such critical pieces of testimony as eyewitness accounts,…

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