2020 has been a year full of unpredictable events and unprecedented stressors – and we’ve still got a couple months to go.One thing we can predict for these final months, however, is the likelihood that we’re going to see an increase in Election Stress Disorder. While this phenomenon may not be included in the DSM, it is recognized by mental health professionals as a common and documented experience, characterized by lack of focus/distraction, depressive symptoms, increased anxiety, and exhaustion. In fact, in 2016, about 52% of folks described the election cycle as being a significant source of stress. As [...]
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I have experienced sadness and depression, and I know there is a big difference between the two. Even though I live with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, sometimes I feel sad, and I recently began taking medication for depression. When I experience sadness, I drink more coffee, cruise the social network for something to inspire me, and I wish I had someone to ask, “What would you like to do on this lovely, Saturday?” The last time I experience some depression, I was experiencing some suicide ideation for which, luckily, I did not have to be hospitalized. My psychiatrist, [...]
A study investigated the effects of going to bed 2 hours later than normal but getting up at the usual time. It found that people not only became more impulsive and prone to mistakes the following day but also experienced a flattening of normally pleasurable feelings. Missing out on a good night’s sleep is a well-known cause of cognitive and emotional problems and making people more accident-prone the next day. Over longer periods, sleep deprivation is associated with worse mental and physical health. The National Sleep Foundation in the United States recommend that teenagers get 8–10 hours of sleep a night and [...]
Resuming some version of normal life is incredibly appealing, especially for psychotherapy. Like I wrote about for the American Psychological Association (APA), what takes place on screens, while workable, is fundamentally different and more difficult than when people are together. But mid-pandemic in-person psychotherapy may not be such a good solution for the limitations of screens and speakers, and it’s not at all a return to normal life. In fact, and it’s not obvious, the balance of risks and rewards argues against returning to the office however much one may want to. For almost everyone, video or audio [...]
Tools and techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The Corona pandemic is putting us all in front of new challenges. There are economic challenges, because entire businesses can no longer operate, putting millions of people out of work. And there are health challenges – not only due to Corona itself, but because the pandemic strains the resources of our healthcare system, leading to the illness and death of people who otherwise would have received proper treatment. And as if this wasn’t enough, we also face mental health challenges. Because of Corona, going outside is no longer [...]