Depression Psychology / Psychiatry

What is learned helplessness?

Learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They come to believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try — even when opportunities for change become available. Psychologists first described learned helplessness in 1967 after a series of experiments […]

Alzheimer's / Dementia Psychology / Psychiatry

How do we recall the past? New mechanism revealed

Following their study in rats, scientists have broken new ground in memory research. The finding concerns how the brain retrieves long-term memory and should open new avenues for investigating and treating Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia. New research in rats has unveiled a brain mechanism that could explain how we retrieve old memories. […]

Dermatology Psychology / Psychiatry

What is dermatophagia?

Dermatophagia is a psychological condition in which a person compulsively bites, chews, gnaws, or eats their skin. It often affects the skin around people’s fingers. Dermatophagia is an emerging concept in mental health research. For this reason, there have been few studies into precisely what it is and how it differs from other conditions. According […]

Psychology / Psychiatry

Can ‘forest bathing’ reduce stress levels?

In recent years, particularly in Japan, spending time in forests has become the wellness trend du jour. A recent meta-analysis investigates whether so-called forest bathing really can significantly reduce levels of stress. The authors of a recent meta-analysis ask whether forest bathing can reduce stress levels. Forest bathing — a translation of the Japanese term […]

Neurology / Neuroscience Psychology / Psychiatry

How religious experiences may benefit mental health

A survey of thousands of people suggests that mystical experiences positively affect a person’s mental health, regardless of whether they are naturally occurring or a result of psychedelic drugs. New research suggests that having deep religious experiences may significantly improve people’s mental health. Religion may have a wide range of health benefits, research suggests. For […]

Neurology / Neuroscience Psychology / Psychiatry

What to know about Piaget’s stages of cognitive development

Piaget’s stages are a theory of how a child’s cognition — meaning their knowledge and understanding about the world — develops between birth and adulthood. Jean Piaget was an early psychologist who specialized in child development from the 1920s onward. Piaget developed his theories by watching children and making notes about their progress. The core […]

Psychology / Psychiatry

Does a common pain reliever reduce empathy?

Following on from a series of similar studies, researchers are once again investigating whether acetaminophen can influence our psychology. This time, the focus is on positive empathy. Could acetaminophen reduce our ability to demonstrate empathy? Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drugs globally. It offers quick relief from mild pain and is readily […]

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Psychology / Psychiatry

IBS: Telephone- and web-based CBT relieve symptoms

The usual treatment for irritable bowel syndrome consists of drugs and advice on lifestyle and diet. Now, a new study suggests that giving interactive web-based or telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy on top of usual care can reduce symptoms more effectively than standard care alone for those whose IBS is not responding to drugs. New research […]