Flooding and mental health

Heavy rain and storm surges have made 2014 pretty miserable for many of us (so far), and have been devastating for many of those affected by the widespread flooding in southern parts of the UK. What are the psychological impacts of flooding like this? The Health Protection Agency (HPA)   published a document in 2012 […]

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Daily hassles

A team of Californian researchers, led by Susan Charles, recently published a study linking daily hassles to depression ( Charles et al., 2013 ). A group of just over 700 participants were studied for eight consecutive days. On each day they reported daily hassles and also how negative they were feeling. Ten years later the same participants were re-assessed. […]

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Stress and attachment

You will have heard of the nature-nurture debate. In the last decade researchers have come to a deeper understanding of how the two interact. The field is called epigenetics and there is an interesting example of this in the link between stress and attachment. Research has shown that rats who have been raised by mothers […]

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Stress and the Olympics

Here’s an interesting application of understanding stress. People who have spinal injuries usually lose control of their autonomic nervous system as well as their limbs, which means that their bodies do not respond to stress signals from the brain in the same way that normal people do – ‘normally’ an athlete, at the start of […]

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Relationships are good for you!

Women in our culture generally have richer social networks than men, and this observation has been used as part of the explanation for women coping better with stress and living longer. Now a meta-analysis has shown that a low number of friends, family, colleagues etc. in a person’s social network has similar negative effects on […]

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Diathesis-Stress and cancer

Diathesis-stress is an example of nature AND nurture, as it can be interpreted as a gene or genes switched on by environmental factors. Recently it’s been suggested that being lonely and stressed could affect the expression of cancer-linked genes, triggering their action. The research has been done in the USA on rats, comparing those kept […]

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