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Suppressing negative thoughts may improve mental health, contrary to popular belief, study finds

Don't think about a pink elephant for the next minute.

Could you do it? Most likely not — that pink elephant was probably on your mind. Psychologists have long used this example to illustrate that suppressing a thought only makes it more intrusive. By the same logic, suppressing fears or anxieties is commonly assumed to negatively impact one's mental health.

"Part of the goal of psychotherapy is to figure out what you’ve repressed and bring it back and deal with it and then you’ll be better," said Michael Anderson, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge.

But Anderson's new research challenges that idea, suggesting instead that suppressing negative thoughts may in fact improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Keep reading here. 

Treating anxiety in children who are stressed about going back to school

As kids return back into the classroom, some may feel nervous or anxious about that return.

"If you notice that they're really fidgety or tearful or they can't make eye contact when you're talking about school, that might be a good indicator that they're feeling some uneasiness," says Jody Baumstein, licensed therapist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life.

When you take away summer, add a new classroom, new teacher, and new classmates, all these factors can cause an increase in anxiety about going back to school.

Keep reading here. 


Amid mental health crisis, new recommendation says adults should be screened for anxiety

A group whose recommendations become the standard medical policy nationwide has issued a recommendation saying all adults under the age of 65 should be screened for anxiety during their lifetime.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation, issued Tuesday, is the final version of the draft recommendation it issued last year. While the newly issued recommendation is not mandatory for doctors, the task force carries enormous weight in the medical community and its recommendations often change the way doctors practice medicine.

Keep reading here. 

What's the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety?

How many times have you said “I’m stressed,” and meant “I’m anxious?" Or mentioned having anxiety, without ever getting an official diagnosis? If you’re like most of us, the answer is probably “a lot.”

Stress and anxiety are two buzzwords that, in casual conversations, we often use interchangeably. But according to mental health experts, the words have different meanings – and one shouldn’t be used in place of the other.

But what’s the difference, exactly? And how much does this difference matter?

Keep reading here.