New insights into ​hikikomori​ — people who withdraw from society for months or years on end

What causes people to retreat into their homes indefinitely?

Hikikomori is a dark term that describes people who stay holed up in their homes, or even just their bedrooms, isolated from everyone except their family, for many months or years.

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Mind & Brain

The culprit of increased depression among teens? Smartphones, new research suggests.

A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.

A teenager eyes her smartphone as people enjoy a warm day on the day of silence, one day prior to the presidential elections, when candidates and political parties are not allowed to voice their political meaning on April 14, 2018 in Kotor, Montenegro. Citizens from Montenegro, the youngest NATO member, will vote for a new president on Sunday 15 2018. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
  • In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
  • The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
  • Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
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Surprising Science

Through 'bridge symptoms' social anxiety can develop into depression, and vice versa

Researchers have changed their tune on how the disorders develop.

Photo credit: Ryan Whitlow on Unsplash
  • The study examined the relationships between symptoms of major depressive disorder and social anxiety disorder.
  • Traditionally, shared symptoms haven't been viewed as interacting elements that can cause someone suffering from one disorder to develop the other.
  • The researchers argue that symptoms of one disorder can act as "bridges" that lead to the other. The findings suggest that treatments for depression and social anxiety can be improved by focusing on specific bridge symptoms instead of general underlying factors.
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Mind & Brain

People Love To Identify As "Introverts" — But What Does That Term Actually Mean?

The popular concept of introversion often differs from how psychologists define the term, but a new model seeks to clarify exactly what being an introvert means.

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Culture & Religion

Is Introversion an Excuse for Rudeness? Here's How to Self-Correct and Flourish

Is introversion sometimes invoked unwittingly to mask outright rude behavior? The answer is: it's complicated. Here's what introverts and non-introverts can do to navigate the complexity.

Dead-pan, introverted actress Aubrey Plaza flipping that bird. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Does respecting and embracing introversion entail a slippery slope for justifying blatant disrespect? Reflecting as an introvert herself, writer and editor KJ Dell’Antonia asks in a recent article for The New York Times whether some of her actions are actually bad manners masquerading as an unyielding personality-trait. She reflects:

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Technology & Innovation