Social Media Use is Related to Both Ill-Being and Well-Being

Social media use and mental health seems to have a love/hate relationship.  Brailovskaia and Margraf (2016) conducted a large study comparing users and non-users of Facebook on various mental health variables. While they found that users were significantly more likely to score higher on scales of narcissism, they also scored higher on extroversion and self-esteem.…

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Census Bureau Data Shows 2020 Brought a Spike in Anxiety and Depression

From posttraumatic stress to sleep disturbances, recent studies have begun to confirm that the coronavirus pandemic has brought a range of mental health consequences. Now, an analysis of data from the US Census Bureau provides what appears to be some of the most robust evidence yet that 2020 saw a rapid decline in the United…

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Depression Might Be Part of the Reason Psychopaths Go to Bed Later

When the sun sets, all kinds of creatures come out of the woodwork. Owls, bats and … psychopaths? Some previous research suggests that the darker side of human nature really does have an affinity for the darker hours. For example, a 2013 study found that people who prefer to go to sleep and get up…

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What Social Connections and Financial Security Mean for Retirement

Given the choice, most of us would probably rather retire with a broad social network and a deep bank account. Of course, the choice isn’t entirely up to us, since there are a lot of complicated factors that influence how strong the social connections we develop are and how much money we’re able to save…

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Untangling the Links Between Sedentary Behavior and Depression

Among the detrimental effects that are increasingly being blamed on sedentary behavior are mental health conditions such as depression. In one study I wrote about a couple years ago, researchers found that just one week of sedentary behavior could significantly lower people’s life satisfaction. Figuring out why sedentary behavior and depression go together is more…

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Chocolate vs. Depression

Good news for chocolate lovers: there’s more evidence out that chocolate can be part of a (mentally) healthy diet. Previous research has suggested that chocolate might be associated with lower risk of depression. So a recent study decided to examine that possibility more closely in a large pool of adults chosen to be representative of…

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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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What Do Loneliness and Living Alone Mean for Health Later in Life?

We all know what “loneliness” means, but defining it in a precise way gets a little tricky. For starters, being lonely isn’t exactly the same as being alone. And loneliness isn’t quite the same as social isolation either. When you get down to it, loneliness is about how you feel. Psychologists talk about two kinds…

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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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