Which long-term effects can hypocortisolism have on behavior?

Which long-term effects can hypocortisolism have on behavior?

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Chronic stress can have a serious impact on our physical as well as psychological health due to sustained high levels of the chemicals released in the 'fight or flight' response.

In abused children has been noticed a dysregulation of the "Hypothalamic - Pituitary - Adrenal" axis and particularly anomalous levels of Cortisol (Hart, et al., 1995).

Cicchetti and Rogosch hypothesize that the reduced activity of the HPA axis may have an adaptive role cause it protects against the consequences of a chronic hypercortisolism (Cicchetti, et al., 2010).

They also suggest this alteration to have effects on social skills?

Are there any research about it?


Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F. A., Howe, M. L., & Toth, S. L. (2010). The Effects of Maltreatment and Neuroendocrine Regulation on Memory Performance. Child Development, 81(5), 1504-1519.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01488.x PMCID: PMC2941227

Hart, J., Gunnar, M., & Cicchetti, D. (1995). Salivary cortisol in maltreated children: Evidence of relations between neuroendocrine activity and social competence. Development and Psychopathology, 7(1), 11-26.
DOI: 10.1017/S0954579400006313

Mentalization-based treatment for borderline and antisocial personality disorder

Anthony Bateman , Peter Fonagy , in Contemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy , 2019


It is a central tenet of the mentalization-based approach that a sense of self and the capacity to mentalize both develop in the context of attachment relationships ( Fonagy & Luyten, 2018 ). In patients with BPD and ASPD there is a common history of early (in particular emotional) neglect, a disrupted early social environment, and abusive or even brutalized family relationships. These may contribute to undermining the ability of some individuals to develop full mentalizing capacities. Subsequent adversity or trauma may disrupt mentalizing further, in part as an adaptive maneuver on the part of the individual to limit exposure to a dehumanizing psychosocial environment and in part because the high level of arousal generated by attachment hyperactivation and disorganized attachment strategies serve to disrupt less well-practiced and less robustly established higher cognitive capacities. In addition, genetic influences may be expressed through the mediation of mentalizing.

In summary, the mentalizing model points to a final common developmental pathway that a range of biological, family, and broader social contextual influences may take to generate the range of difficulties that are normally considered under the term personality disorder ( Fonagy et al., 2015 ).

Study Links Antidepressants and Decreased Coping Behaviors Across Generations

Biologists found that exposure to antidepressants suppresses important survival behaviors in zebrafish, an effect that persisted across three generations and was found to be more severe for males.

A new study, conducted by a team of biologists led by Dr. Marilyn Vera-Chang and Dr. Vance Trudeau at the University of Ottawa, found that exposure to antidepressant drugs led to stress hormone suppression, or cortisol deficiency, in zebrafish. This adverse effect was passed on to offspring and was long-lasting, spanning over three consecutive generations.

These findings are significant because they suggest that humans, particularly pregnant mothers who are given fluoxetine (Prozac) as a first-line treatment for “postpartum depression” and anxiety, may experience similar effects that extend to their children. Vera-Chang and Trudeau explain:

“This may be a cause for concern given the high prescription rates of [fluoxetine] FLX to pregnant women and the potential long-term negative impacts on humans exposed to these therapeutic drugs.”

In a recent interview with medical express, the researchers added, “What most people don’t realize is that the mechanisms in fish and humans are actually quite similar, if not identical. This means that there are potentially serious implications for humans.”

Fluoxetine is the active ingredient in commonly-prescribed antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac. Prescribing these drugs is the first line of treatment for expecting mothers who are exhibiting depressive symptoms. Previous research has demonstrated that fluoxetine readily crosses the placental barrier and therefore, the fetus is susceptible to disruptive effects during a very crucial developmental period. The focus of this research, however, was on examining any potential long-term consequences related to fluoxetine exposure and prenatal development.

“Even though evidence exists for SSRI-induced disruption of the HPA axis following prenatal exposure, critically missing is any knowledge about the long-term consequences manifested in adulthood and in future generations,” Vera-Chang and Trudeau write.

In this study, a team of researchers examined the impact of 6-day fluoxetine exposure in zebrafish. Their results found that exposure to fluoxetine suppressed the stress hormone, cortisol.

Cortisol plays a critical role in organisms’ adaptability and survival. Having enough cortisol enables one to respond behaviorally to stressors. The dampening of this response in humans is associated with experiences such as “burnout, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, immune disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], among others,” the authors note.

Further, they found that the effect of fluoxetine exposure lasted three generations and was more severe for male zebrafish. This disruption persisted across generations without any signs of diminishment.

Male zebrafish, especially, were seen to demonstrate reduced locomotor and exploratory behaviors. In other words, they moved less. Such impaired behavioral responses were linked to blunted cortisol levels. Disruption of cortisol levels appeared to change an organism’s ability to respond to its environment in behavioral and psychological ways through the alteration of neural, endocrine, and molecular responses.

The authors end their paper with the following remark:

“In conclusion, a 6-d FLX [fluoxetine] exposure during ZF [zebrafish] brain development to a concentration within the lower range of that detected in the cord blood of FLX-treated pregnant women (HFL) leads to a male-specific impairment of cortisol synthesis for at least three consecutive generations.”

As Vera-Chang and Trudeau remarked in their medical express interview:

“This is an important demonstration that, in an animal model, even a brief ancestral exposure to a common antidepressant modifies the stress response and critical coping behaviors for several generations.”

And, that clinical interventions may have a significant bearing on people’s wellbeing in the future.

“The future discussion should take into account that such medication have longer-term effects than we ever imagined, as our work clearly shows that what we do today can influence future generations.”

Vera-Chang, M. N., St-Jacques, A. D., Gagné, R., Martyniuk, C. J., Yauk, C. L., Moon, T. W., & Trudeau, V. L. (2018). Transgenerational hypocortisolism and behavioral disruption are induced by the antidepressant fluoxetine in male zebrafish Danio rerio. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(52), E12435-E12442. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1811695115

The Development of Morality and How Discipline Influences Behavior

Section 3, Article 5 - Moral development occurs through many of the cognitive and behavioral tasks that children master in early childhood. Caregivers and adults are often concerned with the development of appropriate or good behavior in children, thus leading to the ongoing nature versus nurture debate. One theory emphasizing the impact of nature holds that moral development is genetically influenced and matures through attachment and cognitive development. In theories highlighting nurture, culture is viewed as the influential piece of children’s morality. Children’s moral development may be fostered through a variety of avenues, including discipline. Parents often attempt to reinforce the natural development of empathy Definition empathy: The ability to understand others’ emotions and concerns, particularly when they are unlike one’s own. , as they guide their children towards prosocial behavior Definition prosocial behavior: Actions that are kind and help others but do not seem to benefit oneself. . Likewise, parents may work to minimize antipathy Definition antipathy: Negative feelings towards another person, ranging from dislike to hatred. , as it leads to antisocial behaviors Definition antisocial behaviors: Actions that intentionally cause harm to someone else. . There are many types of aggression, such as the following: instrumental Definition instrumental: Behavior intended to hurt another person because the aggressor wants to obtain or retain specific possessions or privileges. , reactive Definition reactive: Impulsively reacting to someone else’s deliberate or inadvertent behavior with verbal or physical retaliation. , relational Definition relational: Non-physical behavior that is intended to hurt an individual’s social connections, like insults or social rejection. , and bullying Definition bullying: A physical or verbal attack that is recurrent and unprovoked, particularly on victims who would likely not defend themselves. . These forms of aggression usually wane as the brain matures and empathy increases between the ages of 2 to 6. Caregivers and adults need to provide guidance for children throughout this process, and discipline is one such means of guidance.

One type of discipline is corporal punishment, and this involves causing harm to the body such as in spanking or slapping. Because of how easily it can become distinctly abusive, corporal punishment should never be done in anger. Studies on corporal punishment have found numerous negative effects upon long-term development, and they have also found that this technique is less effective than others in modifying unwanted behavior. However, it is also important to sift human wisdom through the filter of Scripture. Consider what is said in Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 29:15,17, and Hebrews 12:5-6 as you decide where you stand on this form of discipline.

An alternative to corporal punishment is psychological control, which involves parents threatening to withdraw love and support from their children ( Barber 2002 Source: Barber, B. K. (2002). Intrusive parenting: How psychological control affects children and adolescents. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ). The disciplinary technique depends on children feeling guilt and gratitude towards their parents, and it has understandably been associated with negative long-term effects as well ( Barber, 2002 Source: Barber, B. K. (2002). Intrusive parenting: How psychological control affects children and adolescents. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Aunola & Nurmi, 2004 Source: Aunola, K. & Nurmi, J. E. (2004). Maternal affection moderates the impact of psychological control on a child's mathematical performance. Developmental Psychology, 40, 965-978. Soenens & Vansteenkiste, 2010 Source: Soenens, B. & Vansteenkiste, M. (2010). A theoretical upgrade of the concept of parental psychological control: Proposing new insights on the basis of self-determination theory. Developmental Review, 30, 74-99. ). Many parents in the United States use time-outs to punish misbehavior, and this consists of separating a child from others for a set amount of time. Another alternative is induction, wherein parents help children to understand their emotions and together discuss better alternatives to the behavior that the children chose. Though developmentalists differ on which method of discipline is preferable, they have consistently found that the parents’ attitudes toward the chosen method of discipline is most influential in predicting its long-term effects ( McLoyd, Kaplan, Hardaway, & Wood 2007 Source: McLoyd, V. C., Kaplan, R., Hardaway, C. R., & Wood, D. (2007). Does endorsement of physical discipline matter? Assessing moderating influences on the maternal and child psychological correlates of physical discipline in African American families. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 165-175. ). When parents are in full accordance with the ideology of their disciplinary method, it is more successful is heightened and negative long-term effects are decreased ( Fung & Lau, 2009 Source: Fung, J. J. & Lau, A. S. (2009). Punitive discipline and child behavior problems in Chinese-American immigrant families: The moderating effects of indigenous child-rearing ideologies. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 33, 520-530. ).

As with all areas of development, parents should consider what God’s Word and research suggests, and they should be fully convinced of the methods that they use to guide and discipline their children. Paul, the apostle, advocated for believers to have Biblically strong convictions that cause them to stand for truth (Romans 14:5b). As you continue your studies in human development, consider whether it: agrees with Scripture, honors God, and if it is the best view of the developmental idea at hand. Be sure that you are fully convinced of what you believe.

How bullies operate

Bullying occurs in settings where individuals do not have a say concerning the group they want to be in. This is the situation for children in school classrooms or at home with siblings, and has been compared to being �ged’ with others. In an effort to establish a social network or hierarchy, bullies will try to exert their power with all children. Those who have an emotional reaction (eg, cry, run away, are upset) and have nobody or few to stand up for them, are the repeated targets of bullies. Bullies may get others to join in (laugh, tease, hit, spread rumours) as bystanders or even as henchmen (bully/victims). It has been shown that conditions that foster higher density and greater hierarchies in classrooms (inegalitarian conditions), 21 at home 22 or even in nations, 23 increase bullying 24 and the stability of bullying victimisation over time. 25

Mediators and moderators of long-term effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior: practice, thinking, and action

Importance: Although several longitudinal studies have demonstrated an effect of violent video game play on later aggressive behavior, little is known about the psychological mediators and moderators of the effect.

Objective: To determine whether cognitive and/or emotional variables mediate the effect of violent video game play on aggression and whether the effect is moderated by age, sex, prior aggressiveness, or parental monitoring.

Design, setting, and participants: Three-year longitudinal panel study. A total of 3034 children and adolescents from 6 primary and 6 secondary schools in Singapore (73% male) were surveyed annually. Children were eligible for inclusion if they attended one of the 12 selected schools, 3 of which were boys' schools. At the beginning of the study, participants were in third, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades, with a mean (SD) age of 11.2 (2.1) years (range, 8-17 years). Study participation was 99% in year 1.

Main outcomes and measures: The final outcome measure was aggressive behavior, with aggressive cognitions (normative beliefs about aggression, hostile attribution bias, aggressive fantasizing) and empathy as potential mediators.

Results: Longitudinal latent growth curve modeling demonstrated that the effects of violent video game play are mediated primarily by aggressive cognitions. This effect is not moderated by sex, prior aggressiveness, or parental monitoring and is only slightly moderated by age, as younger children had a larger increase in initial aggressive cognition related to initial violent game play at the beginning of the study than older children. Model fit was excellent for all models.

Conclusions and relevance: Given that more than 90% of youths play video games, understanding the psychological mechanisms by which they can influence behaviors is important for parents and pediatricians and for designing interventions to enhance or mitigate the effects.

Long-Term Use of Antidepressants

Adrienne Dellwo is an experienced journalist who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has written extensively on the topic.

Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.

Do you worry about the effects of long-term use of antidepressants? These drugs are among the most commonly prescribed in the United States, and they're often prescribed for long-term use.   But is it safe to use antidepressants for years on end?

While this class of medications is named after a single condition, the drugs are used to treat a wide variety of illnesses other than major depressive disorder, including:  

  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Bulimia
  • Childhood bedwetting
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder
  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
  • Neuropathy (pain from damaged nerves, including diabetic neuropathy)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Many of these conditions are chronic or can return if you go off the medication. That means a lot of people take them for years, and that leads to concerns about the long-term side effects.

In spite of how popular these drugs are, we're just learning what those long-term effects may be. Extended studies are rarely done before a drug gains approval for use, so medications can be around for a long time before we start to get a clear picture of what can happen after years of continuous use.

Fortunately, the body of literature on the long-term use of antidepressants is growing, and we're gaining a better understanding of their impact on us.

10 Interesting Psychological Effects that Explain People’s Behavior

The human mind has been the subject of study and a source of fascination for centuries. The conscious and subconscious phenomenon that occur in the mind determine a person’s behavior. Studies of these effects have contributed to the advancement of treatment of psychological problems. They have also furthered various other fields such as marketing. Here are some such psychological effects that you might find interesting to read.

1. The “Tetris effect” occurs when people spend so much time and attention on an activity that their thoughts, dreams, and mental images become full of it.

Image Source: Emacs, ChrisVillarin

The effect was named after the video game Tetris in which the gamer has to manipulate falling tetrominoes to create horizontal lines without gaps. People who played it for long periods of time often find themselves thinking of fitting together buildings, boxes, and any other geometrical objects, hallucinating or dreaming about falling tetrominoes, or seeing them in the corner of their eyes.

The Tetris effect is also known to occur in people who participate in speedcubing, a competition that involves solving a variety of puzzles, especially the Rubik’s cube, and experience involuntary visualization of various moves to solve the cube. Mathematicians such as Srinivasa Ramanujan and Friedrich Engels have reported dreaming of numbers or equations, the latter remarking “last week in a dream I gave a chap my shirt-buttons to differentiate, and he ran off with them.” A variation of the Tetris effect is the condition of “sea legs,” an illusion that the floor is rising and falling that people who’ve been on a boat feel after getting back onto land. (source)

2. The “Pygmalion effect” is a psychological phenomenon in which a person’s performance depends on what others expect of them. The higher the expectations, the more they try to perform better.

Image Source: The Burlington Magazine

Robert Rosenthal, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, and Lenore Jacobson, an ex-principal of an elementary school in South San Francisco, conducted a study to test the hypothesis that a person’s reality can be influenced positively or negatively by other people’s expectations of that person. They gave students an IQ test the results of which were not disclosed to the teachers. Instead, the teachers were given names of 20% of the students who were randomly chosen, and told that they could be “intellectual bloomers.”

The students were given another IQ test at the end of the study. Though all six grades showed a mean increase in test results in both control and experimental groups, the first and second grade showed a significant increase among the students whose names were given to the teachers. This led to the conclusion that teachers’ expectations have an impact on the students’ performance, especially at a younger age. According to Rosenthal, elementary school teachers might subconsciously behave in ways that influence the students. The effect was named after Pygmalion, a sculptor in Greek mythology, who fell in love with a statue he made.

There is a corollary to Pygmalion effect called the “Golem effect,” which is the decrease in performance due to low expectations. Several educational psychologists criticized the study pointing that average IQ scores are an unreliable measure of the class’s intellect, while others argued that the teachers could have behaved as they did because they knew what the study was for. (source)

3. The “sleeper effect” is the delayed change in attitude seen when someone becomes persuaded by a message or advertisement over time even though they were against it at first because of a suspicious cue.

Image Source: ReadyElements

People watch an engaging or persuasive advertisement on television and become persuaded by it, but gradually their attitudes shift back to those they originally held before watching it, almost as if they have never watched it at all. On the other hand, when people watch a persuasive message that is followed by something that makes it untrustworthy, like a disclaimer or reference to an untrustworthy source., the viewers who at first discount the message tend to become more persuaded with exposure to it over time.

This effect was first observed among WWII soldiers, a group of whom were shown the Frank Capra’s propaganda film Why We Fight in an attempt to change opinions and morals by psychologist Carl Iver Hovland and his colleagues. The soldiers’ opinions were measured five days and nine weeks after watching the movie. They found that the difference in opinions between the group who watched the movie and those who didn’t was greater after nine weeks than after five days. (source)

4. The “false consensus effect” occurs when people overestimate how many others share their opinions, beliefs, and habits. It is a cognitive bias that leads people to think they are “normal” according to a consensus that doesn’t exist.

Image Source: Alexas

Also known as “false consensus bias,” the effect is a result of a desire to conform and be liked by others. It is often seen in groups as the members are more likely to think their collective opinion is also expressed by the larger population. They reach a consensus, and since it is rarely disputed owing to the limited contact with those who hold different views, the group believes everyone thinks as they do. (source)

5. The “hostile media effect” is the tendency for people with strong opinions to perceive neutral media coverage as biased against them and in favor of their opponents.

Image Source: AFIS

This effect was first proposed by Robert Vallone, Lee Ross, and Mark Lepper who also conducted experiments to study it. In 1982, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli students at Stanford University were shown news clips related to the Sabra and Shatila massacre. When measured objectively, the pro-Israeli students found them to have more anti-Israeli references and the pro-Palestinian students found more anti-Palestinian references. Both also said that if a neutral person watched the clips they’d find their side to be more negative.

Several further studies conducted on issues such as the problems in Bosnia, US presidential elections, the South Korean National Security Act, and others have also shown a hostile media effect. Explanations for the effect include selective recall, selective perception, and reasoning motivated by their side’s plight. (source)

6. The “Macbeth effect”, or “Lady Macbeth effect,” occurs when someone feels the desire to clean oneself or has thoughts of cleaning oneself after experiencing or remembering a feeling of shame.

Image Source: National Cancer Institute

The effect was named after Lady Macbeth from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth who goads her husband into killing the king and develops a compulsive desire to wash her hands on which she imagines there are bloodstains. The effect is an example of priming, a psychological technique in which one stimulus subconsciously influences another stimulus.

During one experiment, a group of participants was asked to recall something good they have done and another group something bad. Then they were asked to fill missing letters in the words “W_ _H,” “SH_ _ER,” and “S_ _P,” The ones who recalled a bad deed were 60% more likely to fill the words as “wash,” “shower,” and “soap” instead of words like “wish,” “shaker,” and “stop.”

In another experiment in which the participants were asked to perform self-cleaning, those who lied orally preferred to use an oral cleaning product while those who wrote down the lie preferred a hand-cleaning product showing that the effect is also localized to the body part performing the bad deed. (source)

7. The “Diderot effect” occurs when someone buys something new and feels compelled to upgrade or replace their existing possessions that are related to or nearby the new one.

Image Source: Nick Page

This effect was first described by18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot in his essay “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown In the essay, he tells how an elegant dressing gown he received as a gift forced him to find himself not living up to its style and end up in debt as he replaced his old pieces of furniture with new costly ones. The effect was named after Diderot in 1988 by anthropologist and scholar of consumption patterns Grant McCracken. It is a point often discussed in topics such as green consumerism and sustainable consumption. (source)

8. The “spotlight effect” is a cognitive bias in which people believe that their embarrassing behaviors are noticed more than they actually are.

Image Source: Hailey Kean

The spotlight effect first appeared in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science in 1999 and was coined by Thomas Gilovich and Kenneth Savitsky though the phenomenon was studied several times before. The reasoning behind the effect is that people tend to forget that though they are the center of their own world they are not the center of everyone’s world hence making an inaccurate judgement on how noticeable they or their flaws are.

There are other effects that are an extension of the spotlight effect. One of them is the “Hawthorne effect,” or “observer effect,” in which a person tends to modify his behavior when someone is observing them. This often leads to incorrect results during studies if the researchers do not realize the effect their observation has on the subjects. Another is the “audience effect,” or “social facilitation,” in which the person tends to perform better on a simple task and worse on a complex task when being observed compared to when alone. (source)

9. The “pratfall effect” is the tendency for someone who is generally perceived to be competent or incompetent to become more attractive or less attractive respectively after making a mistake.

Image Source: Gadini

The pratfall effect, also known as the “blemishing effect,” was originally described by American psychologist Elliot Aronson in 1966. Aronson had students listening to a tape in which an actor pretending to participate in the radio quiz show College Bowl would answer 92% of the questions correctly and another answers only 30% correctly. The first one would reveal that they had come from an exceptional high school with exception academic scores, while the second would admit to be from an ordinary school with mediocre scores.

Towards the end, they actors would commit a blunder in the experimental tape and no blunder in the control tape. When asked to rate the attractiveness of the quiz participants, Aronson found that the blunderer portrayed to be intelligent was rated more attractive and the mediocre blunderer was perceived to be less attractive.

There are, however, believed to be several contributing factors such as the tendency for the observer to compare themselves with the individual. If the observer has similar competency to the individual, the former is less likely to find the latter attractive after a blunder as that would threaten the concept of self and self-esteem of the observer. (source)

10. “Semantic satiation” is a phenomenon in which a word or a phrase loses its meaning temporarily when you listen to, say, read, or write it repeatedly.

Image Source: UNB

The term “semantic satiation” dates back to 1962 and was coined by Leon Jakobovits James in his doctoral dissertation at McGill University, Canada. Also known as “semantic saturation” or “verbal satiation,” the effect is believed to occur because the repetition triggers repeated neural pattern associated with the meaning of the word causing a decrease in the intensity of the neural activity. According to James, the concept can be used to treat phobias through systematic desensitization. One developed application is the treatment of speech anxiety experienced by stutterers by semantic satiation thus decreasing the intensity of negative emotions while speaking. (source)


Issues with research Edit

Pornography has many different forms which are difficult to cover in blanket form. Pornographic internet videos, for example, have been found to have different effects on viewers than material such as pornographic magazines. Within the field of pornography research, there are also other challenges that arise due to strong opinions and feelings on the topic. Confirmation bias has been prevalent on both sides due to societal taboos surrounding pornography. Studies have looked into both negative effects of pornography as well as potential benefits or positive effects of pornography. A large percentage of studies suffer from methodological issues. In one meta-study by researchers at Middlesex University in England, over 40,000 papers and articles were submitted to the team for review: 276 or 0.69% were suitable for consideration due to the low quality of research within the field. [11]

Pornography addiction is a purported behavioral addiction characterized by compulsive, repeated use of pornographic material until it causes serious negative consequences to one's physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being. [12] [13] [14] There is no diagnosis of pornography addiction in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). [12] The DSM-5 considered the diagnosis of hypersexuality-related behavioral disorders (to which porn addiction was a subset), but rejected it because "there is insufficient peer-reviewed evidence to establish the diagnostic criteria and course descriptions needed to identify these behaviors as mental disorders." [12] Instead, some psychologists suggest that any maladaptive sexual symptoms represent a manifestation of an underlying disorder, such as depression or anxiety which is simply manifesting itself sexually, or, alternatively, there is no underlying disorder and the behavior simply is not maladaptive. These psychologists do not recognize the concept of addiction, only chemical dependence, and some believe the concept and diagnosis to be stigmatizing and unhelpful. [15] [16]

Two 2016 neurology reviews found evidence of addiction related brain changes in internet pornography users. Psychological effects of these brain changes are described as desensitization to reward, a dysfunctional anxiety response, and impulsiveness. [6] [7] Another 2016 review suggests that internet behaviors, including the use of pornography, be considered potentially addictive, and that problematic use of online pornography be considered an "internet-use disorder". [8]

Introductory psychology textbook authors Coon, Mitterer and Martini, passingly mentioning NoFap (former pornography users who have since chosen to abstain from the material) speak of pornography as a "supernormal stimulus" but use the model of compulsion rather than addiction. [17]

A number of studies have found neurological markers of addiction in Internet porn users, [18] [19] [20] which is consistent with a large body of research finding similar markers in other kinds of problematic internet users. [19] Yet other studies have found that critical biomarkers of addiction are missing, [21] and most addiction biomarkers have never been demonstrated for pornography. [22]

Other effects on human behavior Edit

Research at Alliant International University found that participants who consumed internet pornography more frequently had increased rates of delay discounting. The researchers state, "The constant novelty and primacy of sexual stimuli as particularly strong natural rewards make internet pornography a unique activator of the brain's reward system, thereby having implications for decision-making processes." [23]

A study by Professor Kathryn C.Seigfried-Spellar and Professor Marcus Rogers found results which suggested deviant pornography use followed a Guttman-like progression in that individuals with a younger "age of onset" for adult pornography use were more likely to engage in deviant pornography (bestiality or child) compared to those with a later "age of onset". [24]

Controlled studies Edit

A controlled study describes the relationship between given behaviors or environmental conditions and health effects in a laboratory setting in which conditions other than those under study are effectively held constant across groups of participants receiving various levels of the experimental condition(s). Since it is considered that the only functional difference between groups is the level of experimental condition(s) received, researchers can strongly infer cause-and-effect relationships from statistically significant associations between experimental condition(s) and health consequences. Thus, if executed properly, controlled studies have high levels of internal validity. However, such studies often suffer from questionable external validity due to the considerable differences between real-world environments and the experimental context, and the consequent belief that results cannot be generalized beyond that context. [25]

The link between pornography and sexual aggression has been the subject of multiple meta-analyses. [26] Meta-analyses conducted in the 1990s suggested to researchers that there might not be an association of any kind between pornography and rape supportive attitudes in non-experimental studies. [27] However, a meta-analysis by Hald, Malamuth and Yuen (2000) suggests that there is a link between consumption of violent pornography and rape-supportive attitudes in certain populations of men, particularly when moderating variables are taken into consideration. [26]

A meta-analysis conducted in 2015 found that pornography "consumption was associated with sexual aggression in the United States and internationally, among males and females, and in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Associations were stronger for verbal than physical sexual aggression, although both were significant. The general pattern of results suggested that violent content may be an exacerbating factor." [28]

In an earlier review of this literature Ferguson and Hartley (2009) argued that "it is time to discard the hypothesis that pornography contributes to increased sexual assault behavior". [29] They stated that the authors of some studies tended to highlight positive findings while deemphasizing null findings, demonstrating confirmation bias in the published literature. Ferguson and Hartley concluded that controlled studies, on balance, were not able to support links between pornography and sexual violence.

Ferguson and Hartley updated their review with a 2020 meta-analysis. This meta-analysis concluded that mainstream pornography could not be linked to sexual violence and was associated with reductions in societal violence at the societal level. Small correlations were found between violent porn viewing and sexual aggression, but evidence was unable to differentiate whether this was a causal or selection effect (i.e. sexual offenders seeking out violent porn). [30]

Epidemiological studies Edit

An epidemiological study describes the association between given behaviors or environmental conditions, and physical or psychological health by means of observation of real-world phenomena through statistical data. Epidemiological studies generally have high levels of external validity, insofar as they accurately describe events as they occur outside of a laboratory setting, but low levels of internal validity, since they do not strongly establish cause-and-effect relationships between the behaviors or conditions under study, and the health consequences observed. [25]

Danish criminologist Berl Kutchinsky's Studies on Pornography and sex crimes in Denmark (1970), a scientific report ordered by the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, found that the legalizing of pornography in Denmark had not resulted in an increase of sex crimes. [31] Since then, many other experiments have been conducted, either supporting or opposing the findings of Berl Kutchinsky, who would continue his study into the social effects of pornography until his death in 1995. His life's work was summed up in the publication Law, Pornography, and Crime: The Danish Experience (1999). In 1998 Milton Diamond from the University of Hawaii noted that in Japan, the number of reported cases of child sex abuse dropped markedly after the ban on sexually explicit materials was lifted in 1969 however, in Denmark and Sweden, there was an increase in reported rapes after the liberalization of their pornography laws during the same time period. [32]

Some researchers argue that there is a correlation between pornography and a decrease of sex crimes, [33] [10] including Diamond (author of a review from 2009). [34] The effects of Pornography: An International Perspective was an epidemiological study which found that the massive growth of the pornography industry in the United States between 1975 and 1995 was accompanied by a substantial decrease in the number of sexual assaults per capita - and reported similar results for Japan - but not for Denmark and Sweden. [35] Findings of this nature have been critiqued by Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, on the grounds that the results are better explained by factors other than the increased prevalence of pornography: "a more plausible explanation is that if there is a decline in "forcible rape," it is the result of a tremendous effort to curb rape through community and school-based programs, media coverage, aggressive law enforcement, DNA evidence, longer prison sentences, and more." [36]

In 1986, a review of epidemiological studies by Neil M. Malamuth found that the quantity of pornographic material viewed by men was positively correlated with degree to which they endorsed sexual assault. [37] Malamuth's work describes Check (1984), who found among a diverse sample of Canadian men that more exposure to pornography led to higher acceptance of rape myths, violence against women, and general sexual callousness. In another study, Briere, Corne, Runtz and Neil M. Malamuth, (1984) reported similar correlations in a sample involving college males. On the other hand, the failure to find a statistically significant correlation in another previous study led Malamuth to examine other interesting correlations, which took into account the information about sexuality the samples obtained in their childhood, and pornography emerged as the second most important source of information. [37] Malamuth's work has been criticized by other authors, however, such as Ferguson and Hartley (2009) who argue Malamuth has exaggerated positive findings and has not always properly discussed null findings. [29] In a Quartz publication, Malamuth argued that porn is like alcohol: "whether it's bad for you depends on who you are" (stating that it increases violence in a few people, not in most people it makes most people more relaxed). [38]

Because pornographic film making involves unsimulated sex, usually without condoms (barebacking), pornographic actors have been found to be particularly vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. [39] [40] [41]

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation tried several times to have California's Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health's Appeals Board force companies in the pornography industry to treat actors and actresses as employees subject to occupational safety and health regulation. In a 2014 case brought against Treasure Island Media, an administrative judge found that the company did have to comply with regulations. [42]

In the United Kingdom, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers feels schoolchildren need to be educated about pornography and warned what is reasonable and what is not acceptable. [43] The UK children's commissioner initiated a meta-study conducted by researchers at Middlesex University which concluded that pornography is linked to unrealistic attitudes about sex, beliefs that women are sex objects, more frequent thoughts about sex, and found that children and young people who view pornography tend to hold less progressive gender role attitudes. [11] Miranda Horvath stated about this: "But it is not possible to establish causation from correlational studies, and to say whether pornography is changing or reinforcing attitudes." [11]

The role pornography watching plays in the development of children and youth is basically unknown, due to a lack of empirical studies. [44] This basically confirms the thesis from Not in Front of the Children: harmful to minors is an often heard claim which completely lacks evidence. [45] [46] There are considerable ethical problems with performing such research. [47] Since those problems are a huge obstacle, it is likely that such research will not be allowed, so we will never know. [48] [49] Rory Reid (UCLA) declared "Universities don't want their name on the front page of a newspaper for an unethical study exposing minors to porn." [48] [49]

Some ways to cope:

The potential mental health effects of COVID-19 will last much longer than the pandemic itself.

“That’s why each national government needs to put in place economic, social and mental health safety nets to protect the most vulnerable,” O’Connor said.

On a personal level, you can take action to address some of your concerns before they balloon into something worse. In moments when you’re worrying about what the coming months might look like, Aldao suggests keeping your focus on two things: the immediate future ― your plans for the week or weekend, for example ― and the very distant post-social distancing future.

“I’ve been telling my clients to focus on very long-term goals,” she said. “For instance, what they want to do with their career in three years or what type of long-term relationship are they interested in having.”

By taking the focus away from this immediate, uncertain future, you can steadily lower your general uncertainty about things.

“Also, I’d say building habits and routines is a great way of adding predictability to our lives and thus feel less uncertainty, which in turn makes us feel less anxious,” Aldao added.

While social distancing, lean into your support system. Sure, sometimes joining another Zoom call feels like just another item on your to-do list (and obviously, it can’t compete with in-person gatherings), but you’ll likely feel a lot better about the state of things after talking to your loved ones.

“It’s going to be incredibly important for people to find and lean into support to help them adjust to what will undoubtedly be a new way of living,” Schwehm said.

In other words, the pandemic is certain to change the way we function ― but it doesn’t have to change the lasting bonds you have with the people you love if you harness all the technology that’s available.

If your stress worsens, consider talking to a professional. Since traditional in-person therapy isn’t possible right now, many are turning to teletherapy ― videoconferencing with a mental health expert ― to get help.

If you’re experiencing serious emotional distress related to COVID-19 and are considering self-harm, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. (Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.)

If you’re worried about your kids, know that during moments of upheaval like this, what children need most from their parents is to feel safe, loved and protected, said Denise Daniels, a child development expert and creator of The Moodsters, a brand focused on fostering emotional intelligence in kids.

“Offer comfort and reassurance of their safety,” Daniels told HuffPost in March. “Increase physical contact during times of uncertainty. Talk about all the people that are working hard to keep them safe.” (Head here for more advice on how parents can ease the blow of social distancing.)

Experts are still learning about the novel coronavirus. The information in this story is what was known or available as of press time, but it’s possible guidance around COVID-19 could change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations.

Long Term Effects of Stress and Anxiety

Some people say stress, some say anxiety. These are differing terms that mean something different depending on the circumstance and effects. They have some similarities such as what can happen to the body. The both have long term effects that can have larger affects on us. Here stress and anxiety will be defined. All of the similarities and differences will be discussed. The long-term affects will be examined. Finally, some solutions to both stress and anxiety will be provided.

Anxiety on the other hand is a “feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come” (Holland, 2018). Anxiety has to do with fear and how it causes a reaction in us. This can be physical sensations, or thoughts that can be uncontrolled. I have had discussions related to anxiety and the thought reactions and have related it to going down the rabbit hole, with no idea what is going to happen nor how the reaction will be once we have arrived. Then we get to anxiety related disorders which are marked fear that are uncontrolled and interrupt our daily living. This can be fear of leaving the house because there is a fear that some horrible event will happen, or it can be persistent worry about events that could happen, but there is little evidence that they will.

Stress and anxiety are related, but there are differences and separation to both of them. Everyone experiences both stress and anxiety in their life time. Stress can lead to anxiety, it can cause it. There are similar reactions to how stress is experienced in our body and how anxiety is experienced. For both people may physically tense up, be easily fatigued, have stomach issues, or even trouble sleeping. the way we differentiate between normal stress/worry and anxiety is by examing if the symptoms experienced by a person proportional to the worry (Rooij & Stenson, 1999). For example, running from a grizzly bear and screaming, a normal response most would deem, compared to be stuck on a table unable to move and crying uncontrollably because a spider is across the room, an extremely strong response to a smaller threat.

There are some long-term effects on the body and mind are caused by stress and anxiety. Harvard Health (2008) found that Anxiety was related to chronic illness such as GI issues and heart disease. The Mayo Clinic (2017) included other worsening symptoms such as headaches and migraines as well as sleep issues. Often having long-term anxiety can lead to depressive states. The main point is that continued experiences of anxiety and stress can cause issues that can affect us deeply. These effects can be life long if not treated properly.

There are some solutions to reduce stress/anxiety. Some of these treatments are medication related such as

Watch the video: Children are also facing long-term effects of COVID-19 (August 2022).