Learning to play an instrument may be more effective for treating childhood psychological problems than pills, a study has found.
Children who play musical instruments are more focused, emotionally controlled and less anxious.
Brain scans found playing music altered the motor areas of the brain, because the activity requires control and coordination of movement.
But even more important were changes in the behaviour-regulating areas of the brain. (Telegraph.co.uk)
7 mental health resolutions for 2015
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, our self-improvement efforts often focus on getting a better body. And we ignore that other, equally important part of our wellbeing: our mental health. This year, prioritize your mind as well as your body, and make a resolution for better mental health. (Time)
Couples therapy: The envy of lost youth
Couples with teenage children are at risk of breaking up because they suffer from “lost youth envy,” experts say.
Many people become unhappy when they see their children dating and partying because they can no longer do so themselves, according to a study. And this causes some parents to become dissatisfied with their own relationships.
Susanna Abse, chief executive of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, which conducted the research, said the risks are even greater over Christmas. (Independent Online)
Demi Lovato campaigns for mental health awareness
Demi Lovato is not just a talented singer. Recently, she campaigned for a cause inspired by her own dark experiences.
According to E! News, Lovato, in partnership with The Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour, aims to spread awareness about bipolar depression.
The former “X Factor” judge announced she had bipolar disorder. She claimed she had “some dark times” during the depressive phase of her condition. However, she shared there is still hope for those who are experiencing the illness. (Movie News Guide)
Meeting Africa’s mental health needs
According to a 2003 WHO report, close to 90 per cent of those in developing countries who need treatment for mental health problems receive no assistance. Across Africa, there is only one psychiatrist for every million people. As a result, doctors throughout the continent are realising that if they want to widen access to mental health, they can't wait until there are more psychiatrists. (SciDev.Net)
How Argentina's 'Loony Radio' is changing attitudes about mental health
Silvina and Eduardo know too well the difference between “inside” and “outside.”
As former inpatients of Argentina's largest psychiatric hospital, they have experienced the stigma attached to those who are confined inside it, and the difficulty of building a new life outside.
But once a week, they go back inside the hospital for a few hours to present a radio show, and the difference becomes blurrier. (CityLab)
Ten essential psych studies of 2014: Making narcissists empathise, memory boosting spice and more…
A fun roundup from PsyBlog. My favourite was research by the charity Action for Happiness into the habits that make you happier. Writes PsyBlog author and founder Jeremy Dean: “A survey asked people which happy habits they actually practised and how they felt. This found one of the largest associations between happiness and self-acceptance, despite the fact that people performed this habit the least."
Here are 10 habits for happiness, arranged to spell out GREAT DREAM. The scores are the average ratings of the 5,000 survey participants on a scale of 1-10, as to how often they performed each habit:
• Giving: do things for others — 7.41
• Relating: connect with people — 7.36
• Exercising: take care of your body — 5.88
• Appreciating: notice the world around — 6.57
• Trying out: keep learning new things — 6.26
• Direction: have goals to look forward to — 6.08
• Resilience: find ways to bounce back — 6.33
• Emotion: take a positive approach — 6.74
• Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are — 5.56
• Meaning: be part of something bigger — 6.38