Most people are not attending conferences, reading journals, or consulting with psychologists regularly for news and information about mental health. Where do we mostly often see and hear of mental health? TV and movies, of course!
At first blush this may seem like a bad thing: who wants to get health advice from their favorite sitcom? Mindy Kaling may be funny, but a mental health expert she is not. On closer look, however, we find that TV shows, movies, and other forms of media can be fantastic ways to learn about psychological health, treatment and resources.
Watching our favorite TV and movie characters cope with, and learn more about, mental illness can make the process a bit easier in our own lives. When done well, a story line about bullying, teen suicide, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or grief can enlighten large numbers of people and provide them with hope, resources and courage to tackle their own struggles.
And that’s important for everyone because psychology and …[Read More]
Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they practice some type of religion, while approximately 20 percent, mostly younger people, say they do not, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center study. And prayer is a method of stress management for nearly 30 percent of Americans who responded to APA’s annual Stress in America survey. Whether a person is religious, spiritual or neither, the major influence religion has on American culture will be emphasized over the coming days with religious observances of Passover and Easter.
Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, is a leading expert in the psychology of religion and spirituality. He is a clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University and distinguished scholar at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center.
APA recently asked Dr. Pargament five questions about the psychology of religion and spirituality. We’re highlighting the first question and his response.
APA: You are known for research about …[Read More]
Emotional pain, fear, and sadness are common in people dealing with a chronic illness. In fact, one of the reactions to being diagnosed with a chronic illness is an intense wish to “return to normal” – to once again enjoy that sense of well-being you felt when your body was healthy.
If your disease has no cure, however, returning to “your old self” may be an unrealistic goal. Instead, you must develop new ways of “feeling normal” and learn to manage the stress of coping with a chronic illness.
In my practice I see patients who are facing many types of chronic illness, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, arthritis, heart failure, asthma, multiple sclerosis and lupus, among others. These illnesses require people to adapt to life changes and treatments that can be extremely stressful.
Research has shown that the stress associated with dealing with a chronic illness can affect your immune system and adversely affect your overall health. The good news …[Read More]
Just when life seems to be going smoothly, something happens to throw us for a loop – an accident, chronic illness, financial setback or a relationship breakup, to name a few.
These are the types of events that we cannot fully prepare for. But fortunately most of us have what it takes to deal with them.
It’s called resilience–the ability to bounce back from adversity. And while the rebound is typically neither quick nor smooth, coping with the unexpected is the norm, not the exception. We are built for the task, with a mind that is resourceful and creative, and emotional flexibility to cushion the impact.
Resilience helps us adapt to challenging circumstances. The adjustment process takes time, and there are difficult spots. But chances are you’ll end up stronger and even more resilient at the other end.
Here are some tips for drawing on your resilience:
When unexpected events occur, it’s normal to feel angry, sad or shocked at first. Allow yourself to experience …[Read More]