Source: pixabay It’s a virtual truism that you really don’t know another person until you see them under stress. As a personologist who has studied personality and personality disorders and as a psychotraumatologist who has studied disasters for over 30 years, I would agree with that conclusion (Millon & Everly, 1985; Everly & Lating, 2013). Disasters and other adverse life events can be highly stressful. They tend to bring out the best in people and the worst. It is certainly not too great of a leap to understand that adverse life events can have a profound effect upon relationships. The problem is the lack of agreement upon just how adversity, and especially disasters, affect relationships. Let me offer a potential reconciliation. AUTHORITIES DO NOT AGREE If you were to read the scholarly reviews and expert opinions on the effects of disasters upon relationships you would discover a wide variety of conclusions. All experts seem to agree that disasters and other … [Read more...] about Relationships Under Stress
*This week is Brain Awareness Week: every day this week, prominent researchers from the International Association for the Study of Dreams are reviewing their work on dreaming and the brain. You can access and download their articles for free on the IASD website (link).*click here.* Our brains cycle through 4 stages during sleep, each characterized by unique patterns of brain waves—the electrical pulses generated by neurons communicating. Slower brainwaves are indicative of deep sleep or meditation or when we feel tired or sluggish, higher frequencies are prominent in alert and awake states. Researchers use Electroencephalography (EEG) to record this brain activity through electrodes placed on the scalp. Stage 1 is a very light sleep that is mixed with wake-like alpha waves (8-12 cycles per second) Stage 2 is a slightly deeper sleep with slower theta waves (5-7 cycles per second) Stage 3 is the deepest sleep and is marked by slow delta waves (0-4 cycles per … [Read more...] about Does Your Brain Wake Up When You’re Dreaming?
Source: chaoss/Shutterstock As a sleep specialist, not a day goes by that I don't talk to someone about their dreams. My patients, my kids, the guy who sells me my morning coffee — everyone wants to know, “What do my dreams mean?” We’re all fascinated by dreams, and understandably so. Dreaming is a strange and mysterious process — one that we still don’t fully understand. Let’s take a closer look at the stuff of which dreams are made: 1. Why Do We Dream? The why of dreaming is one of the great mysteries of sleep. There are many theories about why dreaming happens. Some think that dreaming has no specific underlying purpose, that our dreams might be a byproduct of other things going on in the brain during sleep. But many researchers studying sleep and dreams believe there is a primary purpose to our dreams. Some theories suggest that dreams are: A way to process memory and learning, moving memories from short-term to … [Read more...] about 7 Major Questions (and Answers) About Dreaming
By Katherine Schreiber When we talk about climate change, we tend to think about its effects on our environment — melting polar ice caps, extreme swings in weather, more frequent droughts, flooding, and higher incidences of natural disasters. But what about the effect on our moods, thoughts, and feelings? A new report written by the American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and ecoAmerica argues that our mental wellbeing is just as vulnerable to global warming as is our earth. Take, for example, the after effects of natural disasters, which the authors of the report argue have the most immediate impact on mental health “in the form of the trauma and shock.” Such trauma and shock arise in response to losing personal property or livelihood, losing a loved one, or experiencing personal injury. “Terror, anger, shock and other intense negative emotions that can dominate people's initial response may eventually subside, only … [Read more...] about How Climate Change Affects Mental Health
Source: Serani Looking after yourself, or self-care, is vital to physical, emotional and mental well-being. Self-care is best defined as the ability to take proper care of your daily living needs, like eating, sleeping, grooming. But it’s also about identifying your own unique needs and taking steps to meet them—like making the time to do things that nurture you, as well as activities that keep you healthy. In short, self-care is care provided for you, by you. But when you live with depression, self-care can sometimes feel unattainable. You're tired, listless, with feelings of despair and corrosive thoughts that push and shove in an endless tug-of-war within you. Often, depression leaves you feeling like your physical and emotional reactivity has been siphoned off, draining you of the ability to look after yourself. Research says there's a neurobiological reason for this—and it has to do with the brain structure known as the … [Read more...] about Why Self-Care is Hard for Depressed Individuals