Psychologists Agree: There’s No Need to Panic Over a Panic Attack

In other words, don’t panic.

Panic attacks typically occur when a person is under stress. The stress can be physical, like being run down, or emotional, like a significant life change.

Panic attacks are a relatively common experience with as many as one in sevenpeople experiencing them at least once. A little more than half of those people will have repeated panic attacks.

Our understanding of panic attacks has changed over time, but we’ve now come to a good understanding of what panic attacks are and how we can help those who experience them.

It’s important to understand that panic attacks are a physiological expression of anxiety, and not intrinsically dangerous. The symptoms are the body’s natural way of coping with perceived threats.  more

‘Maniac’ Nails What It’s Like Living with Mental Illness

The Netflix series stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as New Yorkers seeking a psychological cure-all.

The best part of Netflix’s new series, Maniac, isn’t Emma Stone and Jonah Hill in 1980s Long Island cosplay, or the show’s superb retro-futuristic imagining of New York. It’s not even those adorable pooper scooper robots that act like Roombas for dog shit—though honestly, the city should look into them. Aside from falling onto subway tracks or being crushed by a construction crane, stepping in poop is one of the biggest hazards of NYC habitation.

No, the best part of the 10-episode limited series created and written by Patrick Somerville (The Leftovers) and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective) comes midway through the season, when Annie (Stone), Owen (Hill), and the other subjects of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial talk through their drug-fueled hallucinations, or “reflections” as they’re called in the show, with the scientist in charge of their study, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux).  more

Boys need better access to mental health care. Why aren’t they getting it?

“If you can’t turn to someone in your life and say how you are really feeling, then you’re only going to end up hurting yourself somehow down the road.”

Mental health has become a crisis among America’s youth, and experts say the unique challenges and needs of young men are not receiving enough attention.

Throughout high school, Alexander Sanchez was severely depressed. He thought about suicide, and he didn’t know how to explain what was wrong or ask for help. Instead, Sanchez said that whenever he wasn’t in school, he would lie in bed all day, “not eating, not being happy, being almost not there.”

It wasn’t until Sanchez, who grew up in College Station, Texas, got to college that a friend convinced him to see a psychologist, who diagnosed him with depression. In hindsight, Sanchez said he did not reach out for help sooner because he believed that men should be self-reliant— an idea he believes he picked up from Tom Cruise and other macho characters on TV and in movies.  more

15 Bizarre Psychological Cases From History That Left Scientists Speechless

There are some cases that doctors just can’t get to the bottom of, including strange psychological conditions that have stumped psychiatrists and psychologists for many years. From puzzling mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, to the most bizarre deaths, doctors have faced cases so confounding that all they can do is throw their hands up.

The truth is, much is still unknown about medicine and the human body. There are so many complications when it comes to the brain alone. This list explores the strangest cases that patients have brought to psychiatrists and psychologists. It’s not just regular people, either – even celebrities suffer from bipolar disorder and various mental conditions. Read on to discover cases that are serious head scratchers.  more

Strange Stories People Have Told Me

To believe or not to believe: that is the question.

I remember, when I was a kid, listening to a radio program in which a man who had started a movement to dress up farm animals was being interviewed. The position he took was that cows standing around with their udders visible were sexually provocative and unseemly. It sounded to me like a serious conversation. I knew that dressing up cows was a stupid idea, but it seemed no more stupid than other things I heard about regularly. I was taken aback, therefore, and embarrassed, to discover that it was a hoax. I had allowed myself to be taken in.  more

Depression’s Upside

The Victorians had many names for depression, and Charles Darwin used them all. There were his “fits” brought on by “excitements,” “flurries” leading to an “uncomfortable palpitation of the heart” and “air fatigues” that triggered his “head symptoms.” In one particularly pitiful letter, written to a specialist in “psychological medicine,” he confessed to “extreme spasmodic daily and nightly flatulence” and “hysterical crying” whenever Emma, his devoted wife, left him alone.

While there has been endless speculation about Darwin’s mysterious ailment — his symptoms have been attributed to everything from lactose intolerance to Chagas disease — Darwin himself was most troubled by his recurring mental problems. His depression left him “not able to do anything one day out of three,” choking on his “bitter mortification.” He despaired of the weakness of mind that ran in his family. “The ‘race is for the strong,’ ” Darwin wrote. “I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in Science.”  more