Recent Mental Health Headlines of Note

Mental health headlines—three articles from December 2017:

I. How to tell if you’re a ‘conversational narcissist’. Julie Compton, NBC News.

“Conversational narcissism” ( a term coined by sociologist Charles Derber) involves the love of talking about ourselves, according to journalist/author Celeste Headlee.

When a conversational narcissist wants so badly to have the attention back on him/her, he/she may engage in what’s called a “shift response.” The opposite communicative approach, on the other hand, is to offer a “support response,” which “focuses on the thoughts and feelings of the other person.”

I would tell you more, but maybe I should yield the floor.

II. Here’s What Your Recurring Nightmares Actually Mean. Amanda MacMillan, Time.

MacMillan’s opening paragraph:

Everyone has a bad dream once in a while. But having the same one over and over may signal that something specific is missing in your daily life, new research suggests. Men and women in the study who felt frustrated and incompetent during the day were more likely to have recurrent bad dreams at night than those who felt satisfied and in control.

Improve your waking life, improve your dream life.

III. America, Can We Talk  About Your Drinking? More people are consuming alcohol
in risky ways. That’s not a good trend. Gabrielle Glaser, New York Times.

An excerpt from Glaser’s intro to the subject:

For all the deserved attention the opioid crisis gets, alcohol overuse remains a persistent public health problem and is responsible for more deaths, as many as 88,000 per year. While light drinking has been shown to be helpful for overall health, since the beginning of this century there has been about a 50 percent uptick in emergency room visits related to heavy drinking. After declining for three decades, deaths from cirrhosis, often linked to alcohol consumption, have been on the rise since 2006.

Furthermore, binge drinking is increasing “among women, older Americans and minorities.” A common definition of such usage is “five per day for men and four per day for women.”

Why is this happening? “Many alcohol researchers and substance-use clinicians believe the steady increase in problem drinking arises from a deeply felt sense of despair: ‘Since the attacks on 9/11, we’ve been in a state of perpetual war, and a lot of us are traumatized by that,’ said Andrew Tatarsky, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating people with substance-use disorders.”

And then there’s always Trump-induced anxiety, I might add.

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