“If you’re worried about your kids’ mental health, particularly because of the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing mandates, less screen time and more extracurricular activities will help, says a new study.
Adolescents — especially girls — who spend more time in extracurricular activities and less than two hours of screen time after school have better mental health, according to a study from the University of British Columbia and published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
Researchers have discovered a brain abnormality in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that may help predict which patients are most likely to respond to treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), according to a study published online in Brain Imaging and Behavior.
“The hemodynamic response function (HRF) represents the transfer function linking neural activity with the functional MRI (fMRI) signal, modeling neurovascular coupling,” wrote Jamie Feusner, MD, professor-in-residence of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at University of California – Los Angeles Health Sciences, and coauthors. “Since HRF is influenced by non-neural factors, to date it has largely been considered as a confound or has been ignored in many analyses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online communication increased considerably, causing an increase in burnout. Apps, such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and Cisco Webex were key in keeping the educational, economic, and health sectors alive and ongoing during the pandemic.
“Prolonged time facing screens, tablets, and smart devices increases stress and anxiety,” said lead author of the study Nour Mheidly. “Mental health stressors resulting from extensive online communication can add to other stressors related to quarantine time and lockdown to eventually lead to exhaustion and burnout.
With winter on the horizon, it’s getting darker earlier each day, and temperatures are slipping. Seasonal affective disorder could hit particularly hard this year, especially after months of social distancing and limited contact with family or large groups. “Our emotional winter is coming,” said Jaime Blandino, a clinical psychologist and cofounder of Thrive Center for Psychological Health in Decatur, Georgia.
Seasonal affective disorder, also known by its apt acronym, SAD, is a form of depression that some people get for a few months each year, most commonly during the late fall and winter months, as the days shorten. It can linger until the following spring or summer. Although less common, SAD can also appear in the summer months and go away as the season changes.
The negative effects of helicopter-parenting on children are well documented. Research shows it can lead to psychological distress, narcissism, poor adjustment, alcohol and drug use and a host of other behavioral problems in young adults ages 18 to 25. But why do some parents teach their children to fish and others feed their children fish? Helicopter moms and dads hover over their children—taking care of tasks children could do themselves such as cooking, cleaning, or paying bills—removing obstacles, solving problems or overseeing every aspect of a child’s life. But why are some parents driven to overly focus on their kids? Could the perfection and anxiety that makes some employees top-notch workers backfire when they employ those same tactics to parenting? And could your own career success that you want for your children do more harm than good?
Has this ever happened to you? Your child has a large homework assignment or project due tomorrow. He has yet to start. Worse, he can’t even give you many specifics on what the assignment is supposed to be. You spend about half an hour searching through his backpack, which is full of loose papers (some of which seem to be past homework assignments that were never turned in…), broken pencils, toys, and perhaps a moldy orange or banana, but you cannot find the sheet from the teacher that lays out those needed details for the assignment. Curiously, his glasses that he wears only in school do not seem to be in the backpack. At that point, you end up having to reach out to the parents of another student in the class. You’re both exhausted. But he still hasn’t even started working on the assignment… If you’ve had this experience, or perhaps your child has often failed to bring home textbooks, forgotten to turn in assignments that he had completed, or left multiple jackets, lunchboxes, hats, and, yes, even pairs of prescription glasses at school, you may welcome online or blended learning. Indeed, there are certain advantages. All homework assignments are online, so no missing rubrics or situations where your child has failed to copy down the homework assignment from the board. For 100% virtual learning, there is no need to take things to and from school, which means no lost jackets or moldy fruit. But for students with ADHD or other “executive functioning challenges,” is this really the utopia we’ve been waiting for?