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Social Anxiety To Social Success: The Social Anxiety Ebook
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I know that I’ve been extremely quiet on the blog this month and that’s mainly down to working hard on my brand new ebook (yippeee) and trying to get it completed but also because I’ve been super tired with my pregnancy. Being pregnant with twins is hard guys, I’m literally made of 90% heartburn as I type this right now and I’m doing it from the comfort of my bed because I feel all sorts of crap. I’m halfway there now and it will all be worth it when they get here ?

But back to the ebook; I really wanted to create an ebook that wasn’t just an explanation of social anxiety or an account of living with social anxiety but an ebook with actionable content to help people overcome social anxiety, so that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Social Anxiety To Social Success combines real life advice, worksheets (that are actually FUN to fill out) and some relatable anecdotes from yours truly.

It’s full of real talk and encouragement and I’ve made the steps as simple as I can because I hate things that are overcomplicated and I’m sure you feel the same.

Here’s a little peek:

Social Anxiety To Social Success: The Social Anxiety Ebook

Yes, there’s even a bonus mini guide on how to have conversations because I know they can be the hardest of all when you’re dealing with social anxiety.

Here’s what Fiona from Fiona Likes To Blog had to say about Social Anxiety To Social Success:

“I’ve just read through Kelly’s book Social Anxiety to Social Success and I was blown away. Kelly talks openly and honestly about her own struggles with anxiety and manages to give well thought out, structured advice which comes from her own experience. Getting advice from someone who knows exactly how I feel is so comforting because often therapists and doctors don’t understand how hard it can be live with social anxiety.

I’ve been writing about anxiety for years, and even I learned new things about myself form her book. I noticed things I’ve been doing without even realising, but now I’ve got the knowledge to correct those behaviours thanks to Kelly.

I thought I was the only one who hated answering the phone and talking to strangers, but Kelly offers worksheets and a plan to help gradually work towards doing these things at my own pace.

Hands down my favourite bonus is the list of conversations starters, including examples of how to deal with awkward silences and how to leave a conversation. If you have social anxiety you NEED to read this book!”

Click here if you’d like to grab yourself a copy. There’s a 50% discount until the end of August, so be quick if you’d like to snag it for half price.

The post Social Anxiety To Social Success: The Social Anxiety Ebook appeared first on Anxious Lass.

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Antidepressant Medications are not Placebos
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Antidepressant Medications are not Placebos

A new Swedish study rebukes the assertion that the benefit of antidepressant drugs, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are a result of the placebo effect.

The theory had gained considerable attention in international media, including Newsweek and the CBS broadcast 60 minutes.

According to the challenged hypothesis, the fact that many people medicating with antidepressants regard themselves as improved was because they expected to be improved by the medication — even if the medicine lacks actual effect.

However, if SSRIs had indeed acted merely by means of a placebo effect, these drugs should not outperform actual placebo in double blind clinical trials. These trials or experiments, measure depression relief when patients have been treated with an SSRI or with a placebo pill. The study design means that neither the physician nor the patient knows which treatment the patient has been given until the study is over.

To explain why antidepressants in such trials nevertheless often cause greater symptom relief than placebo, it has been suggested that SSRI-induced side effects influence a patient’s perception. That is, the side-effects inform a person that they have not been given placebo, thereby enhancing his or her belief of having been given an effective treatment.

The beneficial effect of SSRIs that has been shown in many studies should thus, according to this theory, not be due to the fact that these drugs exert a specific biochemical antidepressant action in the brain, but that the side effects of the drugs enhance a psychological placebo effect.

This theory has been widely disseminated despite the fact that there has never been any robust scientific support for it.

In order to examine the “placebo breaking the blind” theory, a research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden, analyzed data from the clinical trials that were once undertaken to establish the antidepressant efficacy of two of the most commonly used SSRIs, paroxetine, and citalopram.

The analysis, which comprised a total of 3,344 patients, showed that the two studied drugs are clearly superior to placebo with respect to antidepressant efficacy also in patients who have not experienced any side effects.

The researchers conclude that this study, as well as other recent reports from the same group, provides strong support for the assumption that SSRIs exert a specific antidepressant effect.

The finding shows that the benefit of antidepressants is real, and not a function of a placebo interpretation.

Investigators warn that the frequent questioning of these drugs in media is unjustified and may make depressed patients refrain from effective treatment.

Source: University of Gothenburg

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OCD – My Story
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OCD - My Story

“D’you ever get that irritable feeling, you know the one I’m talking about; that itch you just can’t scratch, or that piece of information dangling…

The post OCD – My Story appeared first on wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe.

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Eye Contact Influences Child Anxiety
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Eye Contact Influences Child Anxiety

Adults use eye contact to obtain social cues to help determine the emotions of others. We then use this knowledge to make decisions on how we react to the other person. However, eye contact is often not established when an adult is anxious.

While the adult responses to eye contact are well established, little is known about eye gazing patterns in children. Accordingly, a new study investigated how children use eye contact and the consequences which result from the behavior.

University of California, Riverside researchers discovered that anxious children tend to avoid making eye contact, and this has consequences for how they experience fear.

The shorter and less frequently they look at the eyes of others, the more likely they are to be afraid of them, even when there may be no reason to be, explains lead author Kalina Michalska, an assistant professor of psychology.

Her study, “Anxiety Symptoms and Children’s Eye Gaze During Fear Learning,” appears in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

“Looking at someone’s eyes helps us understand whether a person is feeling sad, angry, fearful, or surprised. As adults, we then make decisions about how to respond and what to do next. But, we know much less about eye patterns in children — so, understanding those patterns can help us learn more about the development of social learning,” Michalska said.

Researchers addressed three main questions:

  1. Do children spend more time looking at the eyes of a face that’s paired with something threatening, but not expressing an emotion at that moment?
  2. Would children who were more anxious avoid looking at the eye region, similar to what has previously been observed in adults?
  3. Would avoiding eye contact affect how afraid children were of the face they saw?

To examine these questions, Michalska and the team of researchers showed 82 children, nine to 13 years old, images of two women’s faces on a computer screen.

The computer was equipped with an eye tracking device that allowed them to measure where on the screen children were looking, and for how long. The participants were originally shown each of the two women a total of four times.

Next, one of the images was paired with a loud scream and a fearful expression, and the other one was not. At the end, children saw both faces again without any sound or scream.

“The question we were interested in was whether children would spend more time looking at the eyes of a face that was paired with a scream than the face that was not paired with a scream, during that second phase,” Michalska said.

“We examined participants’ eye contact when the face was not expressing any emotions, to determine if children make more eye contact with someone who is associated with something bad or threatening, even when they are not expressing fear at that moment.

We also looked at whether children’s anxiety scores were related to how long children made eye contact.”

The researchers believe three major conclusions can be drawn from the study:

  1. All children spent more time looking at the eyes of a face that was paired with the loud scream than the face that was not paired with the scream, suggesting they pay attention to potential threats even in the absence of outward cues.
  2. Children who were more anxious avoided eye contact during all three phases of the experiment, for both kinds of faces. This had consequences for how afraid they were of the faces.
  3. The more children avoided eye contact, the more afraid they were of the faces.

The findings suggest that children spend more time looking at the eyes of a face when previously paired with something frightening. Investigators believe this means a child will pay more attention to potentially threatening information as a way to learn more about the situation and plan what to do next.

However, anxious children tend to avoid making eye contact, which leads to greater fear experience.

Even though avoiding eye contact may reduce anxiety in the short term, researchers believe that over time, children may be missing out on important social information. This in turn may lead a child to be fearful of a person, even though the person is no longer threatening or scary.

Source: University of California Riverside

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More Older Adults Embrace Social Media but Many Still Fearful of Privacy
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More Older Adults Embrace Social Media but Many Still Fearful of Privacy

Older adults use social media so that they can keep track of family and friends. Some continue to resist the communication channel, however, because they worried that unsolicited viewers will see their content.

In a new study, Penn State researchers discovered older adults use sites such as Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, monitor other’s updates, and as a means to share photos.

Nevertheless, some seniors listed privacy, as well as the triviality of some posts, as reasons they stay away from the site.

“The biggest concern is privacy and it’s not about revealing too much, it’s that they assume that too many random people out there can get their hands on their information,” said S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, Penn State.

“Control is really what privacy is all about. It’s about the degree to which you feel that you have control over how your information is shared or circulated.”

The researchers believe Facebook developers should focus on privacy settings to tap into the senior market. The study is available online and will appear in a forthcoming issue of Telematics and Informatics.

“Clear privacy control tools are needed to promote older adults’ Facebook use,” said Eun Hwa Jung, assistant professor of communications and new media, National University of Singapore.

“In particular, we think that privacy settings and alerts need to be highly visible, especially when they [older adults] are sharing information.”

While older adults are leery about who is viewing their posts, they enjoy using the site to look at pictures and read posts from friends and family, according to the researchers.

“I am more of a Facebook voyeur, I just look to see what my friends are putting out there,” one participant told the researchers.

“I haven’t put anything on there in years. I don’t need to say, ‘I’m having a great lunch!’ and things like that, I don’t understand that kind of communication.”

According to Sundar, another issue that keeps seniors from using social media is their concern over the triviality of the conversation found on a site such as Facebook.

“They believe that people reporting on the mundane and unremarkable things that they did — brushing their teeth, or what they had for lunch — is not worth talking about,” said Sundar.

“That’s an issue, especially for this generation.”

Nevertheless, researchers believe older users could be a significant resource to help drive the growth of Facebook and other social media sites.

“The 55-plus folks were slow initially in adopting social media, but now they are one of the largest growing sectors for social media adoption,” explains Sundar.

The researchers suggest that Facebook is helping to serve as a communications bridge between the generations and that young people are prompting their older family members to join the site.

“In particular, unlike younger people, most older adults were encouraged by younger family members to join Facebook so that they could communicate,” said Jung.

“This implies that older adults’ interaction via social networking sites can contribute to effective intergenerational communication.”

In the study, researchers recruited 46 participants who were between 65 and 95 years old to take part in in-depth interviews. The group included 17 male participants and 29 female participants, all of whom had a college degree. The participants also said they used a computer in their daily lives.

A total of 20 Facebook users and 26 non-users participated in the study.

If participants had a Facebook account, researchers asked them about their experience and their motivations for joining. Participants who did not use Facebook were asked why they did not join.

A limitation of the study was the fact that all participants lived in a retirement home. As such, future research efforts should review the perception and use of Facebook by seniors who live alone.

Source: Penn State

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Concentrate!
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Concentrate!

My attention span, or rather lack of it, is a long running joke amongst my friends. It’s true, I am easily distracted, and it’s difficult…

The post Concentrate! appeared first on wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe.

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Depression Can Taint Past as Well as Present
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Depression Can Taint Past as Well as Present

A first of its kind research approach suggests depression can lead to hindsight bias, a distorted view of the past.

It is well known that depression influences a person to cast a sad perception of the present and the future. However, the new research is the first to show that depression can also blemish people’s memories of the past.

That is, rather than glorifying the good old days, people with depression project their generally bleak outlook on to past events.

The research by psychologists at Germany’s Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf and at the UK’s University of Portsmouth appears in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

Dr. Hartmut Blank, in the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Psychology, is one of the authors.

He said, “Depression is not only associated with a negative view of the world, the self and the future, but we now know with a negative view of the past.”

Hindsight bias includes three core elements:

  • exaggerated perceptions of foreseeability — we think we knew all along how events would turn out;
  • inevitability — something ‘had’ to happen, and;
  • memory bias — misremembering what we once thought when we know the outcome of something.

Hindsight bias has been studied in various settings, including sports events, political elections, medical diagnoses, or bankers’ investment strategies. Until now, it hasn’t been used to study depression.

Blank said, “Everyone is susceptible to hindsight bias, but it takes on a very specific form in depression. While non-depressed people tend to show hindsight bias for positive events but not negative events, people with depression show the reverse pattern.

“Making things worse, depressed people also see negative event outcomes as both foreseeable and inevitable — a toxic combination, reinforcing feelings of helplessness and lack of control that already characterize the experience of people with depression.

“Everyone experiences disappointment and regret from time to time and doing so helps us adapt and grow and to make better decisions. But people with depression struggle to control negative feelings and hindsight bias appears to set up a cycle of misery.

“We have shown hindsight bias in people who are depressed is a further burden on their shoulders, ‘helping’ to sustain the condition in terms of learning the wrong lessons from the past.”

The researchers tested over 100 university students, about half of whom suffered from mild to severe depression.

They were asked to imagine themselves in a variety of everyday scenarios with positive or negative outcomes (from different domains of everyday life, e.g. work, performance, family, leisure, social, romantic).

For each scenario, the researchers then collected measures of hindsight bias (foreseeability, inevitability, and distorted memory for initial expectations).

The results showed that with increasing severity of depression, a specific hindsight bias pattern emerged — exaggerated foreseeability and inevitability of negative (but not positive) event outcomes, as well as a tendency to misremember initial expectations in line with negative outcomes.

Characteristically, this “depressive hindsight bias” was strongly related to clinical measures of depressive thinking, suggesting that it is part of a general negative worldview in depression.

According to Blank, “This is only a first study to explore the crucial role of hindsight bias in depression; more work needs to be done in different experimental and real-life settings, and also using clinical samples, to further examine and establish the link between hindsight bias and depression.”

Source: University of Portsmouth/EurekAlert

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Depression Can Taint Past as Well as Present
howlongdopanicattackslast.com

Depression Can Taint Past as Well as Present

A first of its kind research approach suggests depression can lead to hindsight bias, a distorted view of the past.

It is well known that depression influences a person to cast a sad perception of the present and the future. However, the new research is the first to show that depression can also blemish people’s memories of the past.

That is, rather than glorifying the good old days, people with depression project their generally bleak outlook on to past events.

The research by psychologists at Germany’s Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf and at the UK’s University of Portsmouth appears in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

Dr. Hartmut Blank, in the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Psychology, is one of the authors.

He said, “Depression is not only associated with a negative view of the world, the self and the future, but we now know with a negative view of the past.”

Hindsight bias includes three core elements:

  • exaggerated perceptions of foreseeability — we think we knew all along how events would turn out;
  • inevitability — something ‘had’ to happen, and;
  • memory bias — misremembering what we once thought when we know the outcome of something.

Hindsight bias has been studied in various settings, including sports events, political elections, medical diagnoses, or bankers’ investment strategies. Until now, it hasn’t been used to study depression.

Blank said, “Everyone is susceptible to hindsight bias, but it takes on a very specific form in depression. While non-depressed people tend to show hindsight bias for positive events but not negative events, people with depression show the reverse pattern.

“Making things worse, depressed people also see negative event outcomes as both foreseeable and inevitable — a toxic combination, reinforcing feelings of helplessness and lack of control that already characterize the experience of people with depression.

“Everyone experiences disappointment and regret from time to time and doing so helps us adapt and grow and to make better decisions. But people with depression struggle to control negative feelings and hindsight bias appears to set up a cycle of misery.

“We have shown hindsight bias in people who are depressed is a further burden on their shoulders, ‘helping’ to sustain the condition in terms of learning the wrong lessons from the past.”

The researchers tested over 100 university students, about half of whom suffered from mild to severe depression.

They were asked to imagine themselves in a variety of everyday scenarios with positive or negative outcomes (from different domains of everyday life, e.g. work, performance, family, leisure, social, romantic).

For each scenario, the researchers then collected measures of hindsight bias (foreseeability, inevitability, and distorted memory for initial expectations).

The results showed that with increasing severity of depression, a specific hindsight bias pattern emerged — exaggerated foreseeability and inevitability of negative (but not positive) event outcomes, as well as a tendency to misremember initial expectations in line with negative outcomes.

Characteristically, this “depressive hindsight bias” was strongly related to clinical measures of depressive thinking, suggesting that it is part of a general negative worldview in depression.

According to Blank, “This is only a first study to explore the crucial role of hindsight bias in depression; more work needs to be done in different experimental and real-life settings, and also using clinical samples, to further examine and establish the link between hindsight bias and depression.”

Source: University of Portsmouth/EurekAlert

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Are Unpleasant Emotions Part of Happiness?
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Are Unpleasant Emotions Part of Happiness?

A new study suggests it is okay if we are not always happy. In fact, investigators discovered life satisfaction is a product of experiencing both negative and positive emotions.

In an international study, researchers discovered people may be happier when they feel the emotions they desire, even if those emotions are unpleasant, such as anger or hatred.

“Happiness is more than simply feeling pleasure and avoiding pain. Happiness is about having experiences that are meaningful and valuable, including emotions that you think are the right ones to have,” said lead researcher Maya Tamir, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“All emotions can be positive in some contexts and negative in others, regardless of whether they are pleasant or unpleasant.”

The cross-cultural study included 2,324 university students in eight countries: the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Poland, and Singapore.

The research is the first study to find this relationship between happiness and experiencing desired emotions, even when those emotions are unpleasant, Tamir said.

The study appears online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Participants generally wanted to experience more pleasant emotions and fewer unpleasant emotions than they felt in their lives, but that wasn’t always the case.

Interestingly, 11 percent of the participants wanted to feel fewer transcendent emotions, such as love and empathy, than they experienced in daily life, and 10 percent wanted to feel more unpleasant emotions, such as anger or hatred. There was only a small overlap between those groups.

For example, someone who feels no anger when reading about child abuse might think she should be angrier about the plight of abused children, so she wants to feel more anger than she actually does in that moment, Tamir said. A woman who wants to leave an abusive partner but isn’t willing to do so may be happier if she loved him less, Tamir said.

Participants were surveyed about the emotions they desired and the emotions they actually felt in their lives. They also rated their life satisfaction and depressive symptoms.

Across cultures in the study, participants who experienced more of the emotions that they desired reported greater life satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms, regardless of whether those desired emotions were pleasant or unpleasant.

Further research is needed, however, to test whether feeling desired emotions truly influences happiness or is merely associated with it, Tamir said.

The study assessed only one category of unpleasant emotions known as negative self-enhancing emotions, which includes hatred, hostility, anger, and contempt. Future research could test other unpleasant emotions, such as fear, guilt, sadness, or shame, Tamir said.

Pleasant emotions that were examined in the study included empathy, love, trust, passion, contentment, and excitement. Prior research has shown that the emotions that people desire are linked to their values and cultural norms, but those links weren’t directly examined in this research.

The study may shed some light on the unrealistic expectations that many people have about their own feelings, Tamir said.

“People want to feel very good all the time in Western cultures, especially in the United States,” Tamir said.

“Even if they feel good most of the time, they may still think that they should feel even better, which might make them less happy overall.”

Source: American Psychological Assocation/EurekAlert

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