News: Adolescent Depression, Insomnia, Benefits of Anxiety, and more…

Here’s a roundup of news in the areas of mental health and marriage that struck me this month. 1. Adolescent Mental Health When Father Leaves Researchers following kids who were about 12 when their fathers left the family found that these children, five years later found that at first the children suffered from depression and anxiety. By nine months later, the depression lifted but not the stress. Interestingly, the teens also worried about their mothers even though they were still living with them. There were various theories floated as to why these particular feelings were taking hold of the children at these points in time. 2. How Loss of Sleep Disturbs Our Ability to Regulate Our Emotions.   If you have noticed yourself over-reacting when you haven’t had enough sleep, it’s not just “your emotions”; there’s a biochemical reason for that and researchers have pinned it down. The study had people take tests first after a good night’s sleep and second, after deprivation. The fascinating finding was that sleep deprivation caused people to perceive emotionally neutral images in a negative way. In another test, subjects were distracted by both neutral and negative images when they lost a night’s sleep but people with a good night’s sleep were only distracted by negative images. The lead researcher stated that poor sleep: “can lead to biased cognitive processing and poor judgment as well as anxiety.” 3. How to Improve Mental Health in 2016 The author gathered information from a number of studies and found the following surprising suggestions: a. The Mediterranean Diet improves a sense of well-being and improves cognitive...

How to Get A Good Night Sleep

This was not new for him. It was 3 AM and Herb was wide awake. Forget the fact that he’d just gone to bed at midnight and that he was bone tired. His brain went into action: But what did Gloria mean? What if she really wants out of the relationship? But no, that can’t be because of what Brian said she said…… And on and on. His anxiety was in full control. A worrying mind flits from one branch of a decision tree down another. Every branch is visited and new ones sprout as the worrier looks. Each branch must be examined and re-examined. Yes, that’s part of it: revisit each worry again and yet again because there could be a new slant on an old situation that went unnoticed before. The new slants produce more doubts, more worries, more questions, more obsessive negative thoughts, and the entire tree must be explored again with the new slant in mind. The hours tick by and sleep is a gift of the past, the one thing that eludes the watchful eye of the worrier. Insomnia. This is not just a nocturnal thing; it goes on all day, getting in the way of relationships, work, driving, studying, and living. Our brains were not meant to function this way; it’s just not efficient. And it inhibits doing the very thing that seems to be hogging the controls: thinking. Paradoxically, when we stop worrying, we can easily get the answers we want. Here’s why: We are consciously aware of only a small fraction of what we experience. The rest gets filed somewhere in...
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