Enrol In ‘Activate’ Now: The 10-Week Online Course For Low Mood

Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or simply not yourself lately? It’s time to reclaim your happiness with PsyBlog’s 10-week online course, included in the Premium Membership.

Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or simply not yourself lately? It’s time to reclaim your happiness with PsyBlog’s 10-week online course, included in the Premium Membership.


Activate: PsyBlog’s first online course

Activate is PsyBlog’s first online course, which is included in the new Premium Membership.

The course distils years of research and clinical experience into a practical, user-friendly 10-week program designed to help those feeling stuck or overwhelmed find joy again.

With a Premium Membership you will be able to access all 10 weeks of this course, with the first week currently now online.

The remaining parts of the course will be released week by week — keep an eye on the daily email updates for reminders.

A Premium Membership also gives you access to all members-only articles, premium content and other courses, as they become available.

What you will gain from the course

Over the span of 10 weeks, “Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do” will guide you through:

  • Understanding Behavioural Activation: Learn the science and principles behind this powerful technique.
  • Practical strategies: Discover actionable steps to identify and engage in activities that boost your mood.
  • Building positive habits: Develop sustainable habits that promote long-term happiness and well-being.
  • Overcoming obstacles: Gain tools to tackle barriers and setbacks, ensuring you stay on track.
  • Real-life application: Apply what you learn to your daily life.

What is Behavioural Activation?

Behavioural activation is a powerful approach that emerged from cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), one of the most effective methods for treating depression and improving mental well-being.

While CBT focuses on changing both thoughts and behaviours, behavioural activation zeroes in on actions, making it easier to implement and understand.

By focusing on what you do, rather than what you think, this method helps you gradually build a life filled with activities that bring you joy and satisfaction.

Why Behavioural Activation?

Research has shown that behavioural activation is just as effective as traditional CBT.

The beauty of this approach lies in its simplicity and practicality—changing behaviours is often more straightforward than changing thoughts.

As you engage in positive activities, your thoughts and feelings naturally begin to shift towards a more positive outlook.

Why choose this course?

  • Expert guidance: Learn from a seasoned professional with extensive knowledge of mental health.
  • Flexible learning: Enjoy the convenience of an online course that fits into your busy schedule.
  • Proven techniques: Benefit from evidence-based strategies that have helped thousands of people find joy and improve their mental health.

Start your journey to joy today!

Don’t let another day go by feeling less than your best. Take the first step towards a brighter, more joyful future.

Enroll now and unlock the tools you need to transform your life, one joyful activity at a time.

The Reason Depression Is So Toxic For Relationships

Mental health problems can lead to a vicious circle that badly damages relationships.

Mental health problems can lead to a vicious circle that badly damages relationships.

Women who are depressed lose their ability to read emotions and this damages their relationship, research finds.

Women’s depression also causes their husbands to become less empathic.

The loss of ’empathic accuracy’ on both sides erodes the relationship, leading to more depression — and so the vicious circle continues.

The conclusions come from a study of 50 couples who had been together for an average of five years.

Couples recorded how their relationship was going over a period of three weeks.

The results showed that when a woman was depressed, she was worse at reading her partner’s emotions.

Depression had no effect on men’s empathic accuracy.

However, when women became less empathic, their partner also became less empathic — so mutual understanding was lost in both directions.

The study’s authors write:

“…women’s depressive symptoms are associated with poorer interpersonal perception—both their own and their partners’.

This impairment is specific to negative feelings…empathic accuracy is an interpersonal mechanism that underlies the association between depressive symptoms and interpersonal stress.”

This shows the extremely damaging effect of women’s depression on a relationship.

Women become less empathic when depressed, and this damages the relationship.

Dr Reuma Gadassi, the study’s first author, explained that the effect spreads from women to men:

“It’s called the partner effect.

Women’s depression affects their own accuracy.

But it also affected their partner’s accuracy”

Dr Gadassi said this had important implications for treatment:

“…you can’t understand depression without taking account of gender.

Bringing only the depressed woman into therapy is not enough.

You really have to have both partners in the room.”

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science (Gadassi et al., 2011).

This Vitamin Is Linked To 75% Lower Depression Risk

Up to 50 percent of young women may be deficient in this vitamin.

Up to 50 percent of young women may be deficient in this vitamin.

Healthy levels of Vitamin D are linked to a 75 percent lower risk of depression, research finds.

The Irish study followed almost 4,000 older adults for four years.

The results showed that those with a vitamin D deficiency had a 75 percent higher risk of depression.

Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight or can be taken as a supplement.

The link between vitamin D and depression is not confined to older adults.

One recent study found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to depressive symptoms and more negative thoughts in young women.

Dr Eamon Laird, study co-author, said:

“This study shows that vitamin D is associated with a health condition other than bone health.

What is surprising is the large effect on depression even after accounting for other control variables.

This is highly relevant for Ireland as our previous research has shown that one in eight older adults are deficient in the summer and one in four during the winter.

Moreover, only around 8% of older Irish adults report taking a vitamin D supplement.”

Older people typically have low levels of vitamin D in their bodies.

One-in-eight older Irish adults are deficient in vitamin D.

Another study has suggested that 50 percent of young women have insufficient vitamin D levels.

Foods that have high levels of vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

Dr Laird continued:

“Given that vitamin D is safe in the recommended intakes and is relatively cheap, this study adds to the growing evidence on the benefits of vitamin D for health.

It also helps to continue to impress the need on our public health bodies to develop Irish vitamin D recommendations for the general public.

Up to this point, these are severely lacking.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (Briggs et al., 2018).

Treating Depression: 10 Studies You Need To Know

Ten captivating studies that reveal new ways to understand, treat and prevent depression.

Ten captivating studies that reveal new ways to understand, treat and prevent depression.

Below are 10 pieces of research that promise to enhance our understanding and management of depression.

Among other things, the studies examine the potential of exercise routines, explore strategies for managing negative thoughts and uncover links to sleep, body temperature and memory.

These are all from the members-only section of PsyBlog — if you are not already, find out how to become a PsyBlog member here.

 

1.

Discover The Ultimate Depression-Busting Exercises — Backed By 200+ Studies (M)

Over 200 studies confirm it: exercise is a powerful tool against major depressive disorder. But which are best, and for whom?

2.

How Depressed People Can Overcome Negative Thinking (M)

Participants taught this technique were less likely to remember negative memories.

3.

How To Deal With The Fear Of Depression Returning (M)

The situations that can trigger fears of depression returning and how to tackle them.

4.

3 Ways Depressed People Can Access Happy Memories (M)

Autobiographical memory, crucial for self-concept and emotion regulation, is often impaired in depression.

5.

The Surprising Link Between Depression And Body Temperature (M)

The largest study yet to examine the link between body temperature and depression.

6.

The Shocking Way Depression and Schizophrenia Hijack Learning Abilities (M)

The subtle learning bias seen in people with depression and schizophrenia that stops them grasping patterns in everyday life.

7.

Two-Thirds Of Severely Depressed Respond To Novel Brain Stimulation Technique (M)

A variation on an FDA approved method of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for depression doubles its effectiveness.

8.

Why A Sleepless Night Lifts Depression (M)

Sleep deprivation treatment can rapidly reduce the symptoms of depression — but why?

9.

Depression ‘Wonder-Drug’ Ketamine Only Works By Placebo Effect (M)

Ketamine’s ability to reduce depression may be all expectation in patients’ minds.

10.

These 7 Lifestyle Factors Reduce Depression Risk By Two-Thirds (M)

People with generally healthy lifestyles had a 57 percent lower depression risk compared to those with generally unfavourable lifestyles.

.

How To Deal With The Fear Of Depression Returning (M)

The situations that can trigger fears of depression returning and how to tackle them.

The situations that can trigger fears of depression returning and how to tackle them.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

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• Access courses
• Adverts removed
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• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

3 Ways Depressed People Can Access Happy Memories (M)

Autobiographical memory, crucial for self-concept and emotion regulation, is often impaired in depression.

Autobiographical memory, crucial for self-concept and emotion regulation, is often impaired in depression.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

This Psychological Epidemic Is Killing Millions Worldwide

One-third of people over 45 have this chronic psychological problem — as do many who are younger.

One-third of people over 45 have this chronic psychological problem — as do many who are younger.

Chronic loneliness affects 42.6 million people over 45-years-old in the United States, research finds.

That is one-third of people in the age-group.

Being socially isolated and lonely could be worse for public health than obesity.

Over 100 studies have found that being lonely is linked to a 50% increase in risk of death.

The danger to health of being lonely is similar or greater than that of being overweight.

Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, was discussing the studies at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association:

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need–crucial to both well-being and survival.

Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.

Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly.”

More than one-quarter of the US population now lives alone.

Over half the US population is unmarried and marriage rates continue to decline.

Professor Holt-Lunstad said:

“These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness.”

The conclusions come from two meta-analyses: these involve adding up the results of lots of different studies.

The studies involved people from all around the world, including North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Professor Holt-Lunstad explained the results:

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.

With an increasing aging population, the effect on public health is only anticipated to increase.

Indeed, many nations around the world now suggest we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic.’

The challenge we face now is what can be done about it.”

While people are encouraged to prepare financially for their retirement, little mentions is made of preparing socially.

It’s all very well having a nice steady income, but it’s little comfort if you’ve got no one to talk to.

How on earth did we become such a lonely society?

The study was presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C..

Discover The Ultimate Depression-Busting Exercises — Backed By 200+ Studies (M)

Over 200 studies confirm it: exercise is a powerful tool against major depressive disorder. But which are best, and for whom?

Over 200 studies confirm it: exercise is a powerful tool against major depressive disorder. But which are best, and for whom?

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

The Vitamin Deficiency That’s Putting Your Mental Health At Risk

The deficiency is linked to depression and poorer brain function, lower verbal fluency and even dementia.

The deficiency is linked to depression and poorer brain function, lower verbal fluency and even dementia.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depressive symptoms and more negative thoughts, research finds.

Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to cognitive impairments in young people.

Foods that have high levels of vitamin D include oily fish and eggs but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

That is why levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in more Northern climes.

The research was carried out on 225 patients being treated for psychotic disorders and 159 well people.

Among people with psychosis, higher levels of negative symptoms and depression were found in those with low vitamin D levels.

Problems with processing speed and verbal fluency were also found among young people with low levels of vitamin D.

The findings fit in with previous research that low vitamin D levels are linked to depression.

The vitamin is also thought to play a role in regulating serotonin, a neurotransmitter important for mood.

Vitamin D deficiency has even been linked to dementia.

The study’s authors conclude:

“In a clinical setting, this could support vitamin D as adjuvant therapy in treating co-morbid depressions in psychotic disorders

The associations between low vitamin D levels and increased negative and depressive symptoms, and decreased processing speed and verbal fluency are good arguments for planning large scale randomised controlled studies in target populations, in order to reach conclusions about vitamin D’s potential beneficial effect in psychotic disorders.”

The study was published in the journal Schizophrenia Research (Nerhus et al., 2016).

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