For some, the pandemic eased mental health distress

Children with pre-existing mental health issues thrived during the early phase of the pandemic.

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  • While COVID-19 physically affects adults more than children, mental health distress has increased across all age groups.
  • Children between 5 and 17 sought help for mental health issues at much higher rates in 2020.
  • However, a new study found children with pre-existing mental health issues experienced reduced symptoms when lockdowns began.
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New study finds religion alleviates depression. Is it enough?

Intrinsic religiosity has a protective effect against depression symptoms.

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  • According to new research, intrinsic religiosity has a protective effect against depression symptoms.
  • Religion was only a pipeline, however—a sense of meaning mattered most.
  • With increasing rates of depression globally, religion could be a "natural antidepressant" for some.
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New study suggests placebo might be as powerful as psychedelics

New study suggests the placebo effect can be as powerful as microdosing LSD.

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  • New research from Imperial College London investigated the psychological effects of microdosing LSD in 191 volunteers.
  • While microdosers experienced beneficial mental health effects, the placebo group performed statistically similar to those who took LSD.
  • Researchers believe the expectation of a trip could produce some of the same sensations as actually ingesting psychedelics.
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Can cats teach us the meaning of life?

And if they could, would they care, asks philosopher John Gray in his new book.

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  • In "Feline Philosophy," philosopher John Gray argues that self-awareness isn't the epitome of evolution—and it leads to suffering.
  • Gray investigates Pascal, Spinoza, and Lao Tzu to understand why humans are so uncomfortable with themselves.
  • Whether or not humans aspire to become like cats, Gray says nature teaches us the lessons felines inherently know.
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Inception is here: Researchers “talk” to lucid dreamers for the first time

New studies show that some people can hear and respond to questions while dreaming.

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  • Four research teams in four countries independently communicated with sleeping volunteers.
  • A total of 36 participants correctly responded to questions 18.6% of the time.
  • Researchers believe this could open up new avenues for treating anxiety, depression, and trauma.
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