A recent study found inconsistent evidence linking the neurotransmitter serotonin to depression. In an article for The Conversation, the authors of the study concluded that it is impossible to say that taking SSRI antidepressants is worthwhile. But is it safe to conclude that serotonin is not involved in depression or that modern antidepressants aren’t helpful in treating the condition? [Read more…] about Debunking the “chemical imbalance” theory yet not throwing out the antidepressant baby with the bathwater
Why do we get a buzz from being in large groups at festivals, jubilees and other public events? According to the social brain hypothesis, it’s because the human brain specifically evolved to support social interactions. Studies have shown that belonging to a group can lead to improved wellbeing and increased satisfaction with life.
Unfortunately though, many people are lonely or socially isolated. [Read more…] about Large neuroimaging study finds social isolation to be an early indicator of increased dementia risk
It might be surprising to think about browsing for therapists and ordering up mental health care the way you can peruse a menu on Grubhub or summon a car on Lyft.
But over the last decade, digital access to therapy has become increasingly common, in some cases replacing the traditional model of in-person weekly sessions between a therapist and client.
Apps for mental health and wellness range from mood trackers, meditation tools and journals to therapy apps that match users to a licensed professional. My team’s research focuses on therapy apps that work by matching clients to a licensed professional. [Read more…] about Dos and Don’ts of Therapy on the Go: Navigating the use of apps for mental health care
Many parents feel guilty when their children play video games for hours on end. Some even worry it could make their children less clever. And, indeed, that’s a topic scientists have clashed over for years.
In our new study, we investigated how video games affect the minds of children, interviewing and testing more than 5,000 children aged ten to 12. And the results, published in Scientific Reports, will be surprising to some. [Read more…] about Study finds that playing videogames may be more cognitively beneficial for children than other forms of screentime (social media, watching videos/ TV)
Instead of lying awake worrying, we’re often told to “sleep on it” when making decisions both big and small. And there’s actually a scientific basis for this advice. Sleep can influence our response to emotional situations, and helps us to manage our mental health.
To understand why sleep and emotions are so connected, it’s important to first understand what happens in the brain when we encounter something emotive. [Read more…] about How ’sleeping on it’ can help the prefrontal cortex regulate emotional responses, making us feel better in the morning
The number of people struggling with poor mental health and mental disorders has been rising around the world over the past few decades. Those who are struggling are increasingly facing difficulties accessing the kind of support they need – leaving many waiting months for help, if they even qualify for treatment.
While it’s clear that more needs to be done to improve access to treatment, it doesn’t mean people inevitably have to struggle with their mental health as a result. In fact, there are many things people can do on their own to maintain good mental health – and even prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place. According to our recent research, one of the steps you can take to improve your mental wellbeing may be as simple as believing that you can.
In our recent study, we asked 3,015 Danish adults to fill out a survey that asked questions about mental health – such as whether they believe they can do something to keep mentally healthy, whether they had done something in the past two weeks to support their mental health, and also whether they were currently struggling with a mental health problem. We then assessed their level of mental wellbeing using the Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, which is widely used by healthcare professionals and researchers to measure mental wellbeing. [Read more…] about Study on the “ABCs of Mental Health” finds that simply believing you can improve mental wellbeing helps actually improve it