Seasonal affective disorder: Your eye color might be why you have the ‘winter blues’

You're not alone if colder weather and longer nights make you feel down. This well-known phenomenon, called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), might explain why people feel low, irritable, and lethargic in the winter months. For some, the condition can be serious and debilitating. Although SAD is a recognised form of clinical depression, experts are still divided on what causes the condition, with some even arguing it doesn't exist. But my own research has found that your eye colour might actually be one factor determining whether or not you develop SAD. A survey I conducted in 2014 found that around 8% of UK people self-reported changes with the seasons that can be classified as SAD. Another 21% reported symptoms of sub-syndromal SAD, which is a less severe form, often called the "winter blues". ...

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A lovely but pernicious story: How the self-esteem myth has damaged society

Will Storr is an award-winning journalist and novelist. His work has appeared in outlets such as the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the New Yorker, and Esquire. His latest book is Selfie: How We Became so Self-Obsessed and What it's Doing to Us. As a psychologist who studies the self and related topics, I was excited to read the book and was not disappointed. I highly recommend it. Below is an interview I conducted with Mr. Storr about Selfie. Clay Routledge: What made you interested in researching and writing a book focused on the self? Will Storr: My previous book, The Unpersaudables, was an investigation into how intelligent people come to believe crazy things. It focused on the ways we become intellectually stuck. I concluded that we don't really choose the things we believe-at least not those things that are core...

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Are your super-cushioned running shoes doing more harm than good?

Highly-cushioned running shoes are meant to protect against injuries, but they may actually do the opposite by changing the way we run, research suggests. Humans have been running for hundreds of thousands of years, and of course for most of that time we ran barefoot. Modern running shoes were actually only invented in the 1970s. Since that time, back, hip, knee and ankle overuse injuries, including tendonitis, and muscle disorders have only increased. So health experts came up with what they thought was a novel approach--namely that "we need more support from our footwear." Nothing could be further from the truth. Every year, it's estimated that at least one-third of runners get stress fractures, shin splints or muscle or joint injuries caused by repeated pounding of the pavement. Many shoe manufacturers have added extra padding to try to soften the...

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SOTT FOCUS: The Truth Perspective: The Myth of Symptoms: Why Most People Are Actually Mentally Ill

For many people the term mental health is synonymous with the absence of symptoms. With this outlook our mental health rests in positive emotion, our ability to cope, maintain emotional balance, and adjust to the world and society. Viewing mental health in such a way leaves little room for good or evil, high or low, or better or worse ways of adjusting, or of experiencing certain symptoms. So what would a psychology of value look like, and how mentally healthy are we when viewed through that psychology? These questions were the subject of Kazimierz Dabrowski's formidable intellect over the course of his entire career. So join us today, on the Truth Perspective, as we use Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration to explore and add real depth to the concept of mental health, also utilizing insights gained from our discussions on...

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Couples show more humor and tenderness toward each other as marriage progresses

A new UC Berkeley study shows those prickly disagreements that can mark the early and middle years of marriage mellow with age as conflicts give way to humor and acceptance. When it comes to several health indicators and risks, marriages have been proven to offer considerable benefits according to a large population-based studies. Married individuals usually have lower levels of the stress hormones than those who never married or were previously married. Exactly how marriage works its magic remains mysterious. Perhaps a strong personal relationship improves mental health and helps the individual to ward off physical illness. Married couples who have well over a decade together typically become more tolerant and compassionate towards the needs of each other. Although this may not be directly evident to casual observers, researchers have found the behavior consistent at levels revealed after investigation. Researchers...

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