Psychology Around the Net: July 20, 2019

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This week’s Psychology Around the Net has the latest on a new virtual reality therapy trial for people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, how people with mental health disorders are helping amend their descriptions in diagnostic guidelines, the issues that stop you from setting boundaries and how you can overcome those issues, and more.

People With Mental Health Disorders Amend the Descriptions: What would happen if input from people who actually deal with mental health disorders on a daily basis was taken into consideration when it comes to the diagnostic guidelines describing said disorders? A new study set out to explore just that. Researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom collaborated with the World Health Organization Department of Mental Health talked with 157 people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, depressive episode, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, or schizophrenia about how their conditions in the upcoming 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11). After reviewing an initial draft of the ICD-11 chapter on mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders, survey participants recommended changes that more accurately reflect the emotional and psychological experiences they have (for example, people with depression added “pain” and “anxiety”) as well as getting rid of confusing and possibly stigmatizing terms like “neuro-vegetative,” “bizarre,” and “maladaptive.”

What Stops You From Setting Solid Boundaries: What does our relationship with boundaries have to do with the process of setting boundaries? Dive into your issues with setting boundaries by writing about how boundaries affect your relationships, why setting boundaries feels hard, your fears and worries about setting boundaries, and more.

First Major Trial of VR Therapy for Serious Mental Health Conditions Launches: The title says it all, and Oxford VR, a healthtech startup, and gameChange, a £4 million project funded by U.K. National Institute of Health Research, have teamed up to test and help roll out the technology across the National Health Service (NHS). Oxford VR is aimed at people diagnosed with psychosis, a condition that accounts for more than 200,000 NHS patients and 30% of NHS and social care spending. The virtual reality technology allows patients to experience stressful situations in a safe space, with a virtual coach guiding them through the scenarios and helping them practice techniques to overcome the challenges. The patients can then transfer what they learn into the real world.

Turn Your Procrastination Time Into Productive Time: There are basically three big reasons people procrastinate: 1) we have a task we’re not sure how to begin and/or feel anxious about beginning, 2) there’s not enough time to get into the task before the next meeting or appointment, and 3) we’ve just finished a big task and need a break. So, creating a list of “low-brainpower” tasks can help us be productive and still recharge during that “procrastination” time.

Cannabis Treatment Counters Addiction: First Study of Its Kind: A recent study from the University of Sydney and NSW Health exhibits how cannabis-based medication can combat cannabis dependency. Says the study’s lead author Conjoint Professor Nick Lintzeris: “The principles are very similar to nicotine replacement; you are providing patients with a medicine which is safer than the drug they’re already using, and linking this with medical and counselling support to help people address their illicit cannabis use.”

The Loneliness and Shame of Feeling Invisible: How to Find Your Voice: When you feel invisible, you feel as if you don’t matter, or like you’re an object seen only for what you can do and not for who you are. Check out some of the cultural ways people feel invisible (such as your gender, or economic or marital status), a few of the sources of childhood invisibility, and the kind of invisibility you can experience due to being treated like an object. Then, learn how you can find your voice.