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The Pressure to Parent Perfectly

The coming of a new baby can be a joyous occasion. The gifts to the mom-to-be and baby roll in. Blankets, binkies, bottles and baby booties – all are an effort to help the new mom care for her baby. There are also the unwanted gifts given by well-intentioned people such as unsolicited advice, patting the “baby bump” and comments on how big the expectant mom has gotten. Mothers are also given a unique gift that is quietly and sometimes quiet unknowingly bestowed upon them from the moment they announce a pregnancy. This gift isn’t wrapped; there’s no bow on top. Fathers may also receive...

How Investigators Can Work With Victim’s of Sexual Trauma

There is a vast array of events that can fall under the definition of trauma. Some are, for the most part, unavoidable such as natural disasters. Trauma experienced after a natural disaster can affect anyone within the scope of the disaster regardless of age or gender. Then there are traumas that happen because of abuse. Like with natural disasters, trauma because of abuse can affect anyone of any age or gender. But these are largely preventable, though not usually by the victim. And then there is sexual trauma. “Sexual violence and aggression are some of the most stressful of all human life experiences” (Shors et...

Are Complementary and Alternative Medicines Effective in Treating Mental Health Disorders?

When someone experiences pain or discomfort, whether physical or mental, the instinct is to do something to remedy it. Throughout the history of human existence, people have tried different approaches to relieve physical and mental pain, some more successful than others. The successful ones have developed over the centuries to what at times is known today as home remedies or traditional medicine. Clinical medicine has proven to be effective most of the time, but sometimes it’s not enough, or the side effects of a medication outweigh the benefits. What other options are there for situations like this? Scientific knowledge is slowly acknowledging the benefits of complementary...

Migraines and Mental Health: Is There a Connection?

Headaches are a pain. They interfere with functioning in daily life and engaging with others. Migraines are worse. Every sound is amplified to a roar; dim light is as piercing as staring at the sun after standing in the dark; the pain is so intense that it can bring nausea and dizziness. Anyone who has experienced a migraine would gladly do anything to stop the pain. Migraines are caused by changes in the nervous system (Migraine, 2017). The pain they cause can last for a few hours to a few days. Many times there are warning signs a few days before the onset of a...

Are Screens Harming Mental Health?

Electronic devices have become a staple of modern life. But that has not always been the case. Children used to play outside more frequently with other children; they formed personal connections through face-to-face interactions rather than virtual interactions via the Internet. Since the advent of computers and with that, videogames, life has changed. Is it possible to imagine life without technology? Especially after considering the number of devices to choose from: laptops, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, gaming systems and smart watches. Technology has even seeped into education. Schools use smart boards in place of projectors and some have started administering online homework which students complete using...

The Effects of Sleep on Mental Health

Sleep affects mental health, contributing in positive and negative ways depending on the amount and quality a person gets. Studies show that when people sleep the recommended seven to eight hours consistently there is an increase in the ability to manage stress as well as engage in other healthy behaviors such as eating well (Chen, Wang, & Jeng, 2006). One of the central functions of sleep is to allow the brain to return to homeostasis and regain the ability to regulate emotions, allowing the person to wake up ready to face a day full of emotions (Weinberg, Noble, & Hammond, 2016). Another function of sleep...

Artificial Intelligence Helps Those Considering Mental Health Treatment

In those that struggle with mental health, the largest hurdle is often getting help. From the high costs of treatment to the social stigma that surrounds it, the benefits seem to be, from a distance, outweighed by the obstacles. The integration of technology into mental health treatment aims to reduce those obstacles and clear the path to a healthier standard of living. Mindstrong, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup, is developing an app that will track a user’s physical interactions with their smartphone, for example, their typing habits, and use that data to draw informed conclusions about the user’s mental state. President and co-founder of Mindstrong,...

Your Smart Phone is Making You Anxious

Technology is advancing at the fastest pace in recorded history. In just a few decades, computers have gone from being massive machines only capable of performing basic calculations, to devices small enough to fit into our pocket that can perform almost any function we desire. With all of these technological advancements happening, it's easy to wonder what effect these small electronic devices have on our psyche? Though the research regarding long-term effects of mobile phones on our brains is scant, there is growing research regarding short-term consequences. As the new generation grows up immersed in the digital world, more children and adults display problems with...

Cancer and Mental Health: What We Aren’t Talking About

Cancer. The word itself elicits fear in all who hear it. What is often forgotten about cancer is its effect on mental health. So much time, money and energy is put into treating the physical battle that the other aspects of the patient's health--also affected by cancer--are neglected. A new program at the University of Denver is aiming to help cancer patients with their mental and emotional struggles through the course of their treatment. The Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence (COPE) is a first-of-it’s-kind program to offer specialized cancer counseling to students. Dr. Nicole Taylor, the director of the program, says, “A lot of cancer centers...