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January 2011



Recent Posts


Recession and Marriage, What is The Impact?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Jan 14th 2010

Do recessions and marriage go together? Can marriages survive huge financial losses, unemployment and the loss of medical benefits?

I was recently asked if I thought the economic recession is having a negative impact on marriage? In other words, is there an increase in such things as domestic violence and the rate of divorce?

This is a more difficult question to answer than it may appear to be at first glance. The reason for the complexity is that there are many variables to take into consideration when discussing marriage. For example, is the marriage impacted by alcohol and drug abuse. Did the couple carefully save money in preparation for that “rainy day” when something bad could happen ? Are husband and wife each working and earning a living so that job loss by one could be more easily absorbed by the couple? Is it a strong marriage able to withstand not only economic recession but all the trials and tribulations of life?

Domestic Violence:

It should come as no surprise that newspapers across the nation are reporting an increase in cases of domestic violence alongside unemployment rates. The reasons for the increase are not difficult to find. With unemployment reaching ten percent and more, people are at home most of the day, in the company of their spouse and children and with much greater opportunity to drink and use drugs. Unemployment causes stress, leads to depression and  drugs and alcohol provide the fuel for an already explosive situation. This is fertile ground for domestic violence.

Marital Strength:

For those people with strong marriages in which there are agreed upon values and ways to meet life crises, weathering the storm of financial and job loss will be possible. In most probability, these are the people who had the foresight to save enough money to see themselves through a crisis for a year or more. Even if they were not able to save, the commonly shared view of life will help them form a strategy to get them get through.

One of the important features of a strong marriage relationship is the ability of two people to sit together, discuss their problems without engaging in blame and mutual incriminations and make plans for how they want to meet the crisis. In other words, husband and wife find strength in unity and do not feel alone or isolated.

However, those people with marriages marred by endless quarrelling and conflict, the economic down turn will not help their situation. Does this mean they will end in divorce? Not necessarily.

Read More …  http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=35065&cn=51

Managing Conflicts With Email: Why It’s So Tempting.

Dealing with conflict: Can’t I just send an email ;)?

Heartbroken? Take a Tylenol. (Seriously)

by Jeff Wise

The kind of pain that you feel when you get rejected socially feels different from the hurt you feel when you break your leg or scald your hand, but neurologically speaking, they’re closely related. As researcher Naomi Eisenberger has shown, circuitry underlying both sorts of pain are found in the anterior cingulate cortex.

But if that’s the case, can a drug that dulls pain in the body have a similar effect on one’s emotions? A surprising new study suggests that the answer is yes. Psychologist C. Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology led a team that asked 25 subjects to take either acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) or a placebo for three weeks, and then to lie in a brain scanner and play a video game that was rigged to make them feel uncomfortably ostracized. (Such games typically involve passing an electronic ball back and forth among three players, two of whom are actually a computer program and ignore the test subject after the beginning of the game.)

DeWall’s team found that the subjects who had taken the Tylenol showed less activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. According to the paper, the “findings suggest that at least temporary mitigation of social pain-related distress may be achieved by means of an over-the-counter painkiller that is normally used for physical aches and pains.”

The study was small, so the finding has to be regarded as preliminary, but if it’s true then DeWall has found something remarkable. It’s been well established that social and physical pain are linked, but before now no one had guessed the same analgesic could work for both.

Now that the possibility is out there, the idea seems eminently plausible. On the flip side of the equation, it’s long been known that hugs and kisses from a loved one help reduce the sensation of physical pain. (It’s amazing how quickly my one-year-old son stops crying after I kiss the spot where he’s bumped his head). In fact, Eisenberger published another study last year which found that even looking at the photograph of a loved one can reduce the sensation of pain. So why shouldn’t the analgesia work the other way, as well?

Now, for anyone planning to dose up on Tylenol in anticipation of social rejection, DeWall and his colleagues caution that “our findings do not constitute a call for widespread use of acetaminophen to cope with all types of personal problems. Future research is needed to verify the potential benefits of acetaminophen on reducing emotional and antisocial responses to social rejection.” They also point out that long-term use of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage.

And that really would be a pain.

Source:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/extreme-fear/201001/heartbroken-take-tylenol-seriously

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