Social Anxiety May Disrupt Conversational Synchrony

Although people with high levels of social anxiety don’t necessarily leave as bad an impression as they think, there is some evidence that those without social anxiety receive more favorable assessments overall when meeting new people. As the authors of a recent study point out, this is the irony of social anxiety: being afraid of…

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What Search Trends Tell Us About Anxiety

There are different ways people might choose to cope with anxiety. Talking to a mental health professional. Taking up meditation. Or maybe, Googling it! A new study from researchers in Australia and Hong Kong suggests that a lot of people who are feeling anxious take to Google to learn more about anxiety, and that fluctuating…

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Anxiety and a First Depressive Episode

Sometimes mental health conditions are buy-one-get-one-free. Anxiety and depression are an example of two conditions that often come in a package deal. Recently, researchers in China designed a study to learn a little more about what it means when anxiety and depression team up. They focused on people experiencing a first episode of depression who…

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Teens With Anxiety Disorders Tell Their Life Stories Differently

Our mental health is often tied up in how we see the relationship between the past, present and future. For that reason, how we tell our life stories can say something about our psychological state. A couple years ago, for example, I wrote about how people who draw more connections between different phases of their…

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Absolutist Language Can Predict Anxiety, Depression and Suicidal Ideation

The internet has given psychologists new opportunities to study subtle differences in the way people use language, and whether those differences can predict which people are most at risk for mental health conditions. Last year, for example, researchers found that the language in people’s Facebook posts could predict their depression risk. In that study, language…

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Quitting Smoking Can Set Off a Chain Reaction of Positive Mental Health Changes

There are obvious physical health benefits that come with giving up tobacco, but it turns out there are some mental health benefits too. Researchers have consistently found a link between quitting smoking and positive mental health outcomes. For example, a meta-analysis of 26 studies published in 2014 found that smoking cessation was associated with lower…

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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety: It Works for Both Teens and Adults, but Not Necessarily in the Same Way

A common treatment for anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT for short. CBT aims to help people develop effective coping strategies for addressing stressful situations and managing their emotions. It provides a set of techniques that people can use to confront negative thoughts and negative behaviors, hence the name. Because CBT involves engaging with…

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Emotional Skills Can Undo the Link Between Stress and Cardiovascular Health

Ongoing stress is looking like an increasingly guilty suspect in sabotaging people’s health. The American Psychological Association now cites chronic stress as a risk factor for heath disease, high blood pressure and stroke. But does chronic stress have the same effects on everyone? Probably not. A recent study by researchers at Yale and University of…

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The Roles of Shame and Guilt in Anxiety

Psychology researchers have become increasingly interested in the idea that people who are more prone to feelings of shame and guilt are at higher risk for mental health conditions like anxiety disorders. The emotion of shame in particular is now being viewed as a possible culprit that needs to be explored in treating these conditions.…

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Being Especially Scrupulous Could Raise Risk for Hoarding

Ever bought something and then never gotten around to using it? Most of us don’t like that feeling. We naturally don’t want to see things go to waste. For some of us, though, the feeling is stronger than others. So a team of researchers came up with a questionnaire for measuring material scrupulosity, which they…

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