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About living with (or recovering from) Mental Disorders and Co-Dependency
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Reading Fiction Can Make You More Empathetic

Reading Fiction Can Make You More Empathetic | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

Fiction as an empathy workout. What makes bookworms such bleeding hearts? A new study led by P. Matthijs Bal of VU University in the Netherlands finds that readers who emotionally immerse themselves with written fiction for weeklong periods can help boost their empathetic skills.

 

The researchers discovered this by having university students read either fiction by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and José Saramago or items from a newspaper. Gauging the participants' empathetic abilities and self-reported emotions before and after such reading sessions, they found that the fiction readers got more of an emotional workout than the nonfiction readers. And they became noticeably more empathetic after a week of such experiments.

 

DAVID WAGNER

 

 


Via Edwin Rutsch
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Scott Swain's curator insight, February 25, 2013 9:32 PM

Being a book nerd since 4 months old when mom put books in her vagina, I love hearing stuff like this!

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More Evidence of Neural Connection between Infant Stress and Later Psychological Disorders

More Evidence of Neural Connection between Infant Stress and Later Psychological Disorders | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it

This two-decade study reveals neural connection between early stress and anxiety and depression in girls. 

 

Keep in mind that this is not the first study to show a connection between developmental stress or trauma and later psychological issues in adolescence and adulthood. Although the study refers to "permanent changes" in the brain because they were present in adolescence, we also know that these changes can be reversed to some degree through focused therapy--particularly through cognitive behavioral approaches including a technique called "mindfulness."  Richard Davidson, one of the authors of this study, is also known for his research on mindfulness techniques.

 

One interesting aspect of this study is that it perhaps helps parse out the differences in how these developmental brain changes due to stress are manifested in girls versus boys.

 

The author of the report says, "Although there’s no obvious explanation, anxiety and mood disorders are more prevalent in women, whereas antisocial behavior and substance abuse are more common in men."  She then quotes one of the researchers who adds: “It fits with the idea that they both feel what’s going on, but have different strategies for expressing their unhappiness and maladjustment."

Also see: Studies Report Early Childhood Trauma Takes Visible Toll On Brain;"

http://www.scoop.it/t/mom-psych/p/3010760797/society-for-neuroscience-studies-report-early-childhood-trauma-takes-visible-toll-on-brain-changes-found-in-regions-controlling-heart-and-behavior ;


Via Gina Stepp
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Child Abuse May Change The Brain, Study Says

Child Abuse May Change The Brain, Study Says | ISO Mental Health & Wellness | Scoop.it
Victims of child abuse may experience changes in their brains similar to those seen in soldiers, according to a new, small study.
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Mistaking OCD for ADHD has serious consequences

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder appear very similar, but have very different neuropsychological roots.
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Kandis Y's curator insight, February 26, 2014 5:30 PM

I thought this article was really interesting because OCD has been said to be misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed commonly.  The fact that the DSM 5 reports only a little over 1% of the population with this disorder made me question how often this disorder is going unrecognized.  It is important for clinicians to make the proper diagnoses, because the harm to the client can be horrific!  The example given in this study reported that children with OCD given medication for ADHD (ritalin) experienced worse OCD symptoms than before taking these meds.  Counselors need to rule out OCD when making a diagnosis of ADHD in children, since the symptoms can be mistaken if careful consideration is not taken.  

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Researchers Identify Protein Necessary for Behavioral Flexibility

Researchers have identified a protein necessary to maintain behavioral flexibility, which allows us to modify our behaviors to adjust to circumstances that are similar, but not identical, to previous experiences. Their findings, which appear in the journal Cell Reports, may offer new insights into addressing autism and schizophrenia—afflictions marked by impaired behavioral flexibility.

 

Our stored memories from previous experiences allow us to repeat certain tasks. For instance, after driving to a particular location, we recall the route the next time we make that trip. However, sometimes circumstances change—one road on the route is temporarily closed—and we need to make adjustments to reach our destination. Our behavioral flexibility allows us to make such changes and, then, successfully complete our task. It is driven, in part, by protein synthesis, which produces experience-dependent changes in neural function and behavior.

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Wisteme | What is behavioral genetics?

What is behavioral genetics?...

 

Human behavioral genetics, a relatively new field, seeks to understand both the genetic and environmental contributions to individual variations in human behavior. This is not an easy task, for the following reasons...

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