American mental health was already dicey before COVID-19 walloped our hearts and minds, and medical and mental health experts warn that we should be prepared for more to come long after life settles into whatever the post-pandemic “normal” will be. Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 Americans (47 million) already had a diagnosable mental illness, more than 11 million of them serious, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In 2020, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported a huge jump in the percentage of U.S. adults—from 32 percent, when COVID-19 came to full public awareness in March, to 52 percent in August—who said that worry and stress over the coronavirus had negatively impacted their mental health. From 1 in 10 Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder before the pandemic, the number climbed to 1 in 3. Self-care is more important than ever during, and after, COVID-19. It helps keep the parts … [Read more...] about How to Stay Mentally Resilient During and After the Pandemic
Some years ago, in central Mexico, I had the good fortune to train in central Mexico as assistant to a curandera, or folk healer, named Ana Maria del Villar. She had learned her art from her departed husband Pedro, who worked in the Chichimec-Aztec tradition. I lived in Ana’s house, and every day she invited me into her capilla, or private chapel, where she treated people who came to her for relief from physical and emotional suffering. Ana sat on a wooden chair, her powerful energy radiating through the small room. I sat off to the side, and during the healing sessions she would nod in my direction or indicate by pointing with her lips at what I should be watching closely. With most clients, Ana performed a limpia, or energetic cleansing. She held special herbs and circled the person, intoning and praying. The goal was to clear away negative energy that impacted health and wellbeing. Sometimes she undertook a diagnosis by running a raw egg over people’s bodies and then … [Read more...] about Envy — Can It Be Lethal?
For nearly two decades, there has been a huge gap between the science of reading and instructional practices in America’s classrooms. Reading scientists such as Mark Seidenberg, a researcher in cognitive psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, correctly attributes the problem to the failure of educators to pay attention to reading science (Seidenberg, 2017). With two decades of groundbreaking research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience and an explosion of new understandings about the architecture of the reading brain and how children learn to read, how is it that two-thirds of American fourth and eighth graders still read below grade level proficiency? The answer harkens back to scientifically debunked practices indelibly planted more than three decades ago by the whole language movement. I was part of that movement, so I take the liberty to write about it! These same misunderstandings in reading education can also be traced back to the National Reading Panel … [Read more...] about Bridging the Gap Between Science and Poor Reading in America
Anyone can have trouble controlling their anger from time to time. You may be frustrated because you’ve just made a huge mistake in a big project and have to start again from scratch. Perhaps you’re stuck in a long commute and will be an hour late getting home. You might be angry at a relative who just won’t back off from demanding your time and attention . All of these are situations that can lead anyone to yell out in rage, if only at the fates. How about people you know who chronically seem ready to explode with little or no provocation? What kinds of situations arouse them to higher and higher levels of fury, or are they always on the verge of exploding over nothing? And when they release their anger, what happens next? They’ve yelled at their partner over practically nothing, and now the partner walks out the door, annoyed and disgusted at being treated in such a rude and offensive manner. This rejection only inspires even more of their outrage. Why might anger be such … [Read more...] about A New Way to Think About the Angriest People in Your Life
There is a huge gap between primary care patients' mental health treatment needs and the delivery of effective mental health treatment. In a new article in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology, we describe the development of a new online anxiety treatment for primary care. The online intervention was generally effective in reducing primary care patients’ anxiety in comparison to a symptom monitoring control. In the US alone, there are approximately 40 million people living with some form of clinically significant anxiety disorder (Kessler et al., 2005). Anxiety is particularly salient now as we all live with unprecedented levels of uncertainty and stress during the ongoing global pandemic. Most people with anxiety first seek treatment from their primary care doctor. However, research in primary care settings suggests that 43% to 70% of people with anxiety and depression do not receive adequate care (Bet et al., 2013; Weisberg et al., 2014). Adolescents and … [Read more...] about Primary Care: The Front Line for Mental Health Treatment