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PRESSURED MILLENNIALS

Striving for perfection is a good trait in that it compels individuals to do their best. However, perfectionism can have its downside if it creates intense pressure that adversely affects an individual’s psychological well-being. These two sides of the perfectionist coin are most readily apparent to millennials, who are more predisposed to perfectionism than previous […]

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EXPECTING THE WORST

While an old adage advises that we “expect the best and plan for the worst,” some people foresee an unfavorable outcome to an event and decide that, if it occurs, the result will be disastrous. For instance, a surgery patient may decide that if she does not quickly recover from the procedure, it will leave […]

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IS STRESS CONTAGIOUS?

Anecdotal evidence indicates that being around a stressed person often makes us feel stressed, while reports from relatives and friends of traumatized soldiers show that they have experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) despite never having been on the battlefield. Additionally, studies involving PTSD sufferers reveal loss of volume in their hippocampus (the part […]

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THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

Holding a grudge often leads to stress, anger, and revenge fantasies that only serve to increase blood pressure, heart disorders, anxiety, depression, and compensatory habits (such as over-eating) that are undertaken in attempts to escape the pain. By forgiving those who have hurt us, we can help ourselves to better physical and mental outcomes. However, […]

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SHAKEN TO THE CORE

New research suggests that trauma may be linked with a higher risk of developing heart disease, especially among post-menopausal women. According to the study, women who experienced three traumatic events in their lifetimes had poorer heart function than those who had fewer traumatic experiences. More specifically, researchers found that the “endothelial function” (the layer of […]

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DECLUTTERING MAY CLEAR THE MIND

While we all tend to hold on to old items of clothing, papers, and other things, some people take their collections of possessions to the extreme. Not only is “hoarding” a psychiatric disorder, but it is also linked with problems in relationships and/or the ability to function at work. Excessive acquisition of items and the […]

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SUPPORTING CANCER SURVIVORS

Lending support to cancer patients increases their chances of survival. That is the important message for cancer patients, their families, and friends that has emerged from a study involving 4,691 cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy. Among those cancer patients who survived cancer for at least 5 years after completing the treatment, engaging in regular social […]

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A WEIGHTY MATTER

Stress is unhealthy for mind and body. When we experience stress or trauma, our bodies release a hormone called “cortisol.” Normally, levels of this “stress hormone” are highest in the morning and decrease as the day goes on. However, those who experience chronic stress and/or have a history of trauma have smaller declines in their […]

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PREVENTING DEPRESSION RELAPSE

As effective as antidepressant medications and talk therapy may be, an estimated 50 to 80 percent of people suffering from depression experience repeated bouts of depression without ongoing treatment. However, new research suggests that a hybrid form of psychotherapy, known as “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” (MBCT), can be used to effectively lower the risk of depression […]

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SITUATIONAL DEPRESSION

It is important to differentiate “situational depression” from “clinical depression.” While situational depression occurs as a result of a traumatic event or a change in one’s life, clinical depression (or “major depression”) is more severe. Situational depression, which can be triggered by divorce, job loss, the death of a close friend, and other life-changing events, […]

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