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Rock Climbing Possible New Treatment for Depression
A new study shows that bouldering, a form of rock climbing, can be an effective adjunct to depression treatment. University of Arizona researcher Eva-Maria Stelzer and Dr. Katharina Luttenberger of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg led a team that involved more than 100 individuals in a bouldering intervention in Germany, where some hospitals have begun to use climbing as a therapeutic treatment. The participants were randomly split into two groups. One immediately began the intervention, while the other group had to wait to start bouldering, which involves climbing rocks or walls to a moderate height without ropes or a harness. Each participant bouldered for three hours a week over the course of eight weeks. The research team measured the depression of group members at different points in the study using the Beck's Depression Inventory and the depression subscale of the Symptom Check List Revised, known as SCL-90-R. The researchers found that the immediate intervention group's Beck's Depression scores improved by 6.27 points. During the same time period, the group that was initially wait-listed improved by only 1.4 points. The difference in score reflects an improvement of one severity grade from moderate to mild depression levels, the researchers explained. Also during the study, both groups were taught about how to cultivate positive social interactions and about meditation and mindfulness throughout the study. All told, the study intervention and follow-up lasted 24 weeks. “Bouldering, in many ways, is a positive physical activity,” said Stelzer, who began researching the benefits of bouldering while completing her master's in psychology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and is now completing her doctorate at the UA. “There are different routes for your physical activity level, and there's a social aspect, along with the feeling of an immediate accomplishment when bouldering.” The researchers have expanded the study to compare the bouldering intervention with cognitive behavior therapy involving individuals in Erlangen, Munich and Berlin. The researchers drew on their own experiences as avid rock climbers and boulderers to investigate the benefits the sport could provide to those dealing with anxiety, depression, social isolation, and self-esteem issues. “Patients enjoyed the bouldering sessions and told us that they benefited greatly,” said Luttenberger, a psychometrics expert at the University of Erlangen, located just north of Nuremberg in Germany. “Since rumination is one of the biggest problems for depressed individuals, we had the idea that bouldering could be a good intervention for that.” Most of the patients involved in the study were new to bouldering. Stelzer [...]
Sun, May 28, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
High-Level Changes at Work Tied to Workers' Stress, Intent to Quit
Half of American workers report being affected by upper management organizational changes within the past year or say they expect to be soon, according to the 2017 Work and Well-Being Survey released by the American Psychological Association (APA). The survey findings show that employees affected by these work-related changes are more likely to report chronic work stress, experience physical health symptoms at work, and say they plan to quit within the next year. They are also less likely to trust their employer compared with those who haven't been affected by organizational change. “Change is inevitable in organizations, and when it happens, leadership often underestimates the impact those changes have on employees,” said David W. Ballard, Psy.D., M.B.A., head of APA's Center for Organizational Excellence. “If they damage their relationship with employees, ratchet up stress levels, and create a climate of negativity and cynicism in the process, managers can wind up undermining the very change efforts they're trying to promote.” The survey involved more than 1,500 U.S. adults who were employed full time, part time, or self-employed. Underlying employee reactions to organizational change may be their perceptions of the motivation behind those changes and the likelihood of success, according to the survey. For example, nearly a third of workers said they were cynical when it comes to changes, reporting that they believed management had a hidden agenda (29 percent), that their motives and intentions were different from what they said (31 percent), and that they tried to cover up the real reasons for the changes (28 percent). Surveyed employees also appear skeptical regarding the outcomes of organizational changes. Only four in 10 employees (43 percent) had confidence that changes would have the desired effects and almost three in 10 doubted that changes would work as intended and achieve their goals (28 percent each). In addition, employees who had experienced recent or current changes were more likely to report work-life conflict (39 percent vs. 12 percent for job interfering with non-work responsibilities and 32 percent vs. seven percent for home and family responsibilities interfering with work). They were also more likely to feel cynical and negative toward others during the workday (35 percent vs. 11 percent) and to eat or smoke more during the workday than outside of work (29 percent vs. eight percent). Working Americans who reported recent or current change were almost three times more likely to say they don't trust their employer (34 percent vs. 12 percent) and more [...]
Sun, May 28, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Body's Opioid System Implicated in Trauma Sensivitity
What happens in the brain when we see other people experiencing a trauma or being subjected to pain? According to a new study, the same regions that are involved when we feel pain are also activated when we observe other people who appear to be going through some painful experience. But we are sensitive to different degrees to learning fear from other people, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. They say one explanation for that may be found in the endogenous opioid system. Seeing others express pain or anxiety can give us important information about things around us that are dangerous and should be avoided, the researchers noted. Sometimes, however, we can develop fear of situations that, rationally speaking, are not dangerous. While the opioid system is supposed to alleviate pain and fear, it does not work as effectively in all of us. This might be one of the reasons some people develop anxiety syndrome merely by seeing others experience a trauma, the researchers said. “Some people are over-sensitive to this form of social learning,” said main author Dr. Jan Haaker, associated researcher at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Clinical Neuroscience. “Our study shows that the endogenous opioid system affects how sensitive we are and may explain why some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) merely by observing others who are experiencing traumatic events. After terror attacks, sensitive people might be afraid even if they themselves were not present.” In a double-blind study, the researchers altered the brain's internal chemistry in 22 healthy subjects by using a pharmaceutical substance to block the opioid system. Another 21 subjects were given an inactive placebo. The subjects then watched a video where other people were subjected to electric shocks. The brain normally updates its knowledge of danger based on whether we are surprised, but when the opioid system was blocked, the people continued to react as if they were surprised even though they knew the electric shock would come, the researchers discovered. The response was amplified even when they continued to watch other people being subjected to shocks. The response increased in regions of the brain such as the amygdala, the periaqueductal gray and the thalamus, which seems to indicate that the same functions as in self-perceived pain were involved, the researchers said. Communication also increased between these and other regions of the brain that are linked to the ability to understand other individuals' experiences and thoughts. “When the people participating in the experiment [...]
Sat, May 27, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Losing Sleep Over Climate Change
Climate change may keep you awake, but not just because you are worried about the future of our planet. Nights that are warmer than normal can harm human sleep, with the poor and elderly most affected, according to a new study. Scientists at the University of California San Diego say that if climate change is not addressed, temperatures in 2050 could cost people in the United States millions of additional nights of insufficient sleep each year. By 2099, the figure could rise by several hundred million more nights of lost sleep annually, they warn. The study was led by Nick Obradovich, who conducted much of the research as a doctoral student in political science at the University of California San Diego. He was inspired to investigate the question by the heat wave that hit San Diego in October 2015. He was having trouble sleeping, while the small air conditioner in his home provided little relief from the record-breaking temperatures. At school, he noticed that fellow students were also looking grumpy and bedraggled, and it got him thinking: Had anyone looked at what climate change might do to sleep? “Sleep has been well-established by other researchers as a critical component of human health. Too little sleep can make a person more susceptible to disease and chronic illness, and it can harm psychological well-being and cognitive functioning,” Obradovich said. “What our study shows is not only that ambient temperature can play a role in disrupting sleep, but also that climate change might make the situation worse by driving up rates of sleep loss.” The study started with data from 765,000 U.S. residents between 2002 and 2011 who responded to a public health survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study then links data on self-reported nights of insufficient sleep to daily temperature data from the National Centers for Environmental Information. Finally, it combines the effects of unusually warm temperatures on sleep with climate model projections. The main finding is that anomalous increases in nighttime temperature by 1 degree Celsius translate to three nights of insufficient sleep per 100 individuals per month. To put that in perspective: If we had a single month of nightly temperatures averaging 1 degree Celsius higher than normal, that is equivalent to 9 million more nights of insufficient sleep in a month across the population of the United States today, or 110 million extra nights of insufficient sleep annually, the [...]
Sat, May 27, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Fathers of daughters discuss emotions more openly and are more attentive and responsive to their child's needs than fathers of sons, finds new research. [...]
Sat, May 27, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
It is not often that patients who have been declared dead return to life, but it does happen. We explore what is known as the Lazarus phenomenon. [...]
Fri, May 26, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
A trial of 10 boys with autism shows dramatic but transient results with one treatment of a century-old drug, and supports cell danger idea of the disease. [...]
Fri, May 26, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
What is a stress rash and what are the effects of stress on the skin? Learn about available treatments, alternative causes, and prevention. [...]
Fri, May 26, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
Study suggests that adolescents admitted for drug, alcohol, or violence related injury should be seen by a mental health professional, in a similar way to adolescents who self-harm. [...]
Fri, May 26, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Promoting young people's levels of well-being and making them aware of the harms of smoking and drinking could keep them away from alcohol and cigarettes, according to a study published in the open... [...]
Fri, May 26, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
A study this month from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) shows mindfulness training that addresses fear and pain during... [...]
Fri, May 26, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Depression
In this article, learn about why it is common to experience depression after surgery, as well as the steps you can take to manage the symptoms. [...]
Thu, May 25, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Depression
A new study concludes that individuals with metabolic syndrome that sleep for under 6 hours per night could have an increased cardiovascular risk. [...]
Thu, May 25, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
A review finds that vitamin D is involved in sleep and pain regulation and proposes that vitamin D supplements and good sleep hygiene may help manage pain. [...]
Wed, May 24, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
A new study looks at the effects of disturbed deep sleep on the neuroplasticity in the brain's motor cortex and the ability to learn new movements. [...]
Tue, May 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
A new study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is among the first to suggest that intestinal fungi may contribute to the development of alcoholic liver disease... [...]
Tue, May 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
A new report examines breast cancer risk factors and finds that the equivalent of a daily small glass of wine or beer increases the risk significantly. [...]
Tue, May 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea may face a greater risk of atrial fibrillation, or irregular, rapid heartbeat, new research suggests. [...]
Tue, May 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
A new review finds the existing research to be biased and suggests that moderate drinking does not stave off heart disease after all. [...]
Mon, May 22, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Explaining Narcissism as Personality Trait and Disorder
Narcissists can be very be very charming and positive, but they're just looking for people to feed into their narcissistic supply and help build their ego, said Patricia Watson, M.D., interim head of the Department of Humanities in Medicine at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “Narcissists have the ability to cultivate relationships,” Watson said. “People have narcissism as a trait, some more than others, but a smaller group of people have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD.” Like the story of Narcissus, narcissism is characterized by a general grandiose belief about oneself. Those with more of a tendency toward narcissism will have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy and often a tendency to be manipulative. “Narcissism exists on a spectrum,” Watson said. “You have people who have low to moderate amounts of narcissism, where it's still apparent, but not really a disorder; then you have the high end where it's a full personality disorder.” Narcissism can be seen as the evil twin of high self-esteem. Both are born of a person's accomplishments and how they truly see themselves. “Everyone has self-esteem and self-worth,” Watson said. “It's when those become exaggerated and there is an unhealthy drive to keep their beliefs intact that it becomes a problem.” The causes for NPD are not completely clear; while home life and upbringing can certainly play a role, there may be some genetic factors that can determine where someone stands on the narcissism spectrum, she said. If developing narcissism is a learned trait, then normal social activity at school or daycare can help break the mindset that may be normal early on. “We are all born with a type of learned narcissism,” Watson said. “From birth, the world revolves around us. We cry, and food appears or we are held, but then we grow out of that mindset and start learning that it won't always be the case.” Studies have often shown that narcissists are more likely to step into positions of power. In the short-term, they can be perceived as confident and very skillful, which makes them a favorable candidate for a new promotion at work or a leader in the classroom. However, they may use some dirty tactics to achieve this goal. Their line between confidence and arrogance is a lot thinner than others, and they may belittle someone if they perceive their own views are threatened. In contrast, a leader with very low [...]
Mon, May 22, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News

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