Smart teens practice healthy risk-taking

When parents and authority figures imagine the risks taken by teenagers, they will typically picture the destructive and dangerous conduct youth are capable of. Although teens are plagued by a stigma of making ill-informed and impulsive decisions, there is a variety of healthy risks that many adolescents choose to pursue on a daily basis...Find out more...

Risky business: Calculate risks to reap rewards

Studies have shown that more teenagers are prone to risk taking because their brain is not fully developed until they reach their mid-20s. Although teenagers and adolescents are risk takers, taking risks isn't necessarily bad. There are good risks and bad risks. People do not become successful without taking good risks and people do not go to jail without taking bad risks...Find out more...

Beyond the mask: Signs that reveal mental illness in teens

For a teenager, life can be overwhelming. Hormones are changing. Childhood is giving way to adulthood. It's no wonder, then, that teenagers sometimes suffer from mood swings and sleep a little more - or a little less - than usual. Unfortunately, mental illnesses also pop up during those teen years.Some examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...Find out more...

Costume company slammed over offensive blood-spattered Halloween outfit inspired by mentally-ill psych ward patients
Risky Behavior in teens can be explained in part by how their brains change
A gory, blood-spattered, Halloween costume has been pulled from stores in North Carolina after health practitioners said it was offensive to those suffering from mental illness.The costume, which consists of hospital scrubs splattered with blood, features the words: 'Dorothea Dix Psych Ward' - a reference to a shuttered Raleigh hospital that once treated mentally-ill patients.'I have family members that have been to Dorthea Dix, so for me that is like a punch in the gut...Find out more...
Teenagers can do the craziest things. They drive at high speeds. They stand around outside loud parties and smoke weed in front of cops. They guzzle liquor. They insult their parents - or lie to them - and feel no remorse, because, of course, their parents are idiots. It is easy to blame peer pressure or willfulness, but scientific studies suggest that at least some of this out-there behavior has a physiological tie-in: Brain mapping technologies...Find out more...

Book Spotlight
The 'anxious' side of fear

Society's list of fears continues to grow. From the fear of terrorist attacks and natural disasters to that of darkness or the fluctuating stock market, anxiety and fearfulness have become a characteristic of daily life. Altogether, anxiety disorders prevail as the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18 percent of the population that roughly translates into 40 million adults aged 18 or older.

"Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety" authored by neuroscientist Joseph DeLoux, is not a typical self-help book that talks about overcoming fear. It is an extremely detailed and elaborate analysis of the brain function, supported by extensive research and theory.

LeDoux, director of the Emotional Brain Institute at NYU, explains that anxiety is fear in the absence of obvious danger. The modern day individual encounters lesser significant dangers, but due to the brain's ability to anticipate threats including those that may never happen makes up for it... Find out more...
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