Dealing with stress

The topic of stress was touched on briefly in the chapter concerned with emotion regulation. The point was made that stress is difficult to define and, indeed, has been through many definitions over the years. This is, perhaps, because it is something that is both within and without the person. Certainly, some circumstances (such as losing one's job, a marriage break-up, moving house, having a child with a chronic illness, retiring, etc.) are stressful to many people. But all of these events...

Borderline personality

The second of the more extreme personality disorders and one that has received considerable attention recently is the borderline personality. It is not very aptly named because it suggests that someone has a personality that is only acceptable in a borderline way. However, the borderline is between neurotic traits (extreme anxiety, emotional instability) and psychotic tendencies (as in schizophrenia). The keynote of this disorder is instability instability is all aspects of personality. Moods...

Communicating in groups

Imagine that you have agreed to take part in a psychological experiment. You were recruited by a rather formidable-looking middle-aged man of obvious maturity. He was wearing a white coat and you felt that he was clearly someone who was knowledgeable and expert, a person of some authority. You are invited into a psychological laboratory and find yourself surrounded by some surprising and interesting examples of electric and electronic equipment. He asks you to sit in front of some of this...

Disorders of mood

Somewhat like anxiety, mood disorders are concerned with debilitating disturbances in emotional state. The person might be extremely depressed or jump-ingly manic. These are extreme reactions they don't just involve being 'fed up' or 'a bit scatterbrained'. The various disorders of anxiety are quite common, but so is depression, occurring at some time in the lives of between 10 and 20 per cent of people in Western society. Depression includes some or all of the following symptoms, which are a...

Addiction

Discussion of the more extreme forms of eating, drinking and sexual behaviour prompts thoughts about addiction. In some ways, addiction might be said to represent one of the most powerful forms that can be taken by motivation in that it is characterised by a craving, an extreme desire. The term addiction is used in two ways. More formally, it tends to be restricted to dependence on drugs, including psychoactive drugs such as heroin or cocaine, and also drugs such as alcohol and nicotine. These...