Archives for Psychology

General

Let’s Talk about Brain Health and Brain Illness Instead of Mental Health and Mental Illness

Getting mental illnesses taken as seriously as physical ones has been a long-lasting struggle. Medical insurance hasn't always covered mental health treatments the way it routinely covers treatments for physical problems. And too often, uninformed laypersons assume that seriously depressed people, for example, should be able to just snap out of it. In part because of the assumption that mental health is under our conscious control in a way that physical health is not, people suffering from mental health problems are more likely to be stigmatized. And that stigma, in turn, can stand in the way of seeking the help that is needed.
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Love & Affection

What Does Happiness Mean to You?

More and more over the past decades, social scientists have been studying happiness. You've probably seen headlines declaring the happiest countries, or the science-based paths to a happier life. Some of the studies are based on huge numbers of participants. It is possible to do surveys of that many people when you ask simple questions that are easy to code. Often, happiness is measured by people's answer to just one question. They indicate how happy they feel (or how satisfied they are with their life) on a rating scale by choosing one of the numbers. For example, the scale might range from 1 to 9, with 1 indicating the least happiness and 9, the most. But what if happiness means different things to different people?
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General

Grief Over the Loss of a Pet Is Finally Getting Acknowledged in the Workplace

Pets have a special place in the lives of so many people. They can be our loving, nonjudgmental, loyal friends, always there for us, always happy to see us. They can even be coolly aloof, and that can have its own charm. Many people feel quite attached to their pets. Even apart from any special bonds, pets can be important in the way they are part of the patterns of our everyday lives.
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How we live now

Committing to Single Life: Is There a Time When You Just Know?

All sorts of life transitions are marked by rituals that memorialize a particular day, or a particular event, as significant. Graduations. Birthday parties. Retirement celebrations. The wedding ritual, marking the day of the official transition into married life. More and more often, there are also divorce events, putting a stamp – sometimes a celebratory one – on the end of a marriage. But what about people who are single and decide to continue on that course? People who perhaps are single at heart – who believe that they lead their best, most authentic, and most meaningful lives by living single. Others, too, whose commitment to single life may not be an unqualified embrace, but who have weighed the options in their life and decided, single it is. Is there a time when they just know that they want to live single?
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General

College Love Stories, Reimagined

I went to Vassar College because a friend of my father's, knowing that I had good grades, told him I should apply there. At the time, I had never heard of it. Neither had my dad. I grew up in the tiny town of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, outside of Scranton. Once I realized that Vassar was an elite school, I was a bit embarrassed to have tried for admission. About a month after I applied, my high school guidance counselor asked if I had heard anything back yet. I said I hadn't, and didn't really expect any good news. To which she replied, "Oh, honey, you shouldn't feel that way. In 1933, a girl from this school applied to Smith, and she got in."
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