Telling a ‘white lie’ may affect one’s ability to recognize emotions

If you lie to someone, you may find it more difficult to tell what that other person is thinking or feeling. This is the main takeaway of a new study that examines the ‘unintended consequences of dishonest behavior.’

Whether it is suffering or joy, empathy helps us feel what another person feels, and — a lot of the time — our ability to empathize is the reason why we choose to do good deeds and help one another.

But does this mean that empathy and ethical behavior are one and the same? What is the relationship between dishonest acts and empathetic feelings?

Full story at Medical News Today

Want To Feel Happier Today? Try Talking To A Stranger

The doors open wide, you enter, and they close behind you. As the elevator begins its ascent, you realize it’s just you and one other person taking this ride. The silence soon grows uncomfortable.

Pop quiz. What’s your go-to move?

  • A) stare at your shoes
  • B) pull out your cell phone
  • C) make brief eye contact
  • D) initiate chit chat

If your answer was B, you’re like far too many of us, eyes glued to our phones, attention focused on the digital world.

Many of us tend to do just about anything to avoid conversation or even eye contact with strangers. And smartphones make it easier than ever to do that: A recent study found the phones can keep us from even exchanging brief smiles with people we meet in public places. But a body of research has shown that we might just be short-changing our own happiness by ignoring opportunities to connect with the people around us.

Full story at NPR

What is the link between sleep apnea and depression?

New research has explored the link between sleep apnea and depression and suggests that the former may be one reason that depression treatments fail.

Around 20–30% of people with depression and other mood disorders do not get the help they need from existing therapies.

Depression is the “leading cause of disability worldwide.”

For this reason, coming up with effective therapies is paramount.

Full story at Medical News Today

More ED visits because of alcohol, 175% increase in 25- to 29-year-olds seeking care

New research shows dramatically rising visits to emergency departments (ED) related to alcohol, especially for women, with a 175% increase in alcohol-related visits from young people aged 25 to 29. The article, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), shows increases in ED visits related to alcohol that are occurring much faster than overall ED usage.

“These increases are consistent with data showing increasing average weekly alcohol consumption in Ontario and higher rates of binge drinking across Canada during the study period, particularly in women,” says lead author Dr. Daniel Myran, a family physician and public health resident at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario.

The study included 765 346 ED visits by 480 611 people (32% from women) in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, because of alcohol between 2003 and 2016. Some findings:

  • Women who visited the ED due to alcohol were more likely to be under the legal drinking age of 19 years (17%) than men (9%).

Full story at Science Daily

More evidence that pets benefit mental health

New research examines how interacting with pets affects cortisol levels among college students.

Pet owners have long known — or rather, felt — that spending time with their beloved animal companion lowers stress and improves mood.

An extensive review that Medical News Today reported on included several testimonials from people living with mental health conditions who vouched for the emotional comfort and psychological benefits that their pets brought them.

Full story at Medical News Today