For many, the end of summer vacations, coupled with the return to the hustle and bustle of school and work routines, and the shorter, darker days, is also an end to the respite of mental health challenges like stress and anxiety. Recent findings from the Q3 2022 Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition reinforce the notion that while summertime fun is good for your mental health, the end of summer can signal a coming period of concern.
From mid-August to September 2022, stress rose 16%, risk of anxiety disorder rose 44%, depressive disorder jumped 106% and PTSD climbed 61%. When coupled with the ongoing economic concerns and geopolitical issues, as well as the coming seasonal stressors of the holidays, this should serve as a reminder to business leaders and their HR departments to be particularly aware of the mental health struggles their employees may be facing in the coming months.
Increase in Stress from mid-August to September 2022
Greater risk of General Anxiety Disorder in September vs. mid-August 2022
Increase in risk of Depressive Disorder in September 2022 vs. mid-August 2022
Spike in risk of PTSD in September vs. mid-August 2022
Your brain’s 85 billion highly interconnected neurons self-organize into four core systems — emotion, feeling, cognition and self-control. Each of these systems is measured by 12 key capacities, and they fluctuate continuously along a performance continuum from well-being to risk of a mental health condition such as depression, addiction, and ADHD.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordan and Professor Anthony Hannan, PhD, discuss how to rewire your brain to better manage emotions, stress and anxiety. Listen to learn more.
Total Brain measures the 12 brain capacities that define your mental health and screens for your risk of common mental conditions. Contact us to learn how Total Brain can help improve the mental health and wellness of your employees.
Our emotions greatly influence all other brain capacities, which can also be impaired by mental conditions like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Watch to learn more.
Emotional awareness helps us build relationships and trust. It impacts how well we read emotional cues in others and informs our behavior in uncertain situations.
Nonconscious negativity bias is our natural intuition formed by life experiences. It strongly influences our feelings, motives and decisions. And, it determines how effectively we communicate and collaborate with others. Watch to learn more.
Total Brain’s Founder, Dr. Evian Gordon, is joined by Dr. David Whitehouse for this podcast about the science behind emotions, feelings, and how they impact us all.
Listen as Total Brain’s Dr. Evian Gordon talks with Christopher Darwin and Dr. David Whitehouse about ways to successfully manage negativity during the pandemic.
Feelings are your conscious awareness of, and body’s response to, your unconscious emotions. For example, when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, your body will respond with changes in heart rate, breathing, muscle tension, and sweating. Feelings are triggered by emotions, and emotions are triggered by cues of threat or reward. Watch to learn more.
Stress is a response to an external “stressor” such as a work deadline, an argument with a loved one, the loss of a job, or a major life change. COVID-19’s impact on health and the economy is a substantial stressor right now. When external stressors are not resolved, stress becomes chronic and leads to anxiety and depression. Watch to learn more.
Anxiety is the internal reaction to stress. It is often accompanied by persistent worrying and fearing something bad will happen. Unlike stress, anxiety persists even after the stressor has been resolved. In severe cases, anxiety can lead to General Anxiety Disorder. Watch to learn more.
Feeling sadness, frustration, anger, loneliness, or grief often make up what is considered “depressive mood.” These feelings, however, lift after a few days or weeks. When these feelings persist over time, you can become clinically depressed. Watch to learn more.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “The Role of Stress in Mental Health” with Dr David Whitehouse MD. PhD. Dr. Whitehouse shares how stress damages mental health and how you can reframe your reaction to stress.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “What Can People with Anxiety Teach Us?” with Dr. Heidi Hanna PhD. They discuss how feeling anxious is a normal part of a healthy life and how to practice stillness.
Your cognitive capacity determines how well you learn, remember, pay attention, and solve problems. It impacts how quickly you can complete tasks and how many mistakes you make while doing so. Chronic stress and anxiety can result in cognitive decline over time. Watch to learn more.
Stress and anxiety can hinder the way we form and retrieve memories. It can make you more forgetful. For example, you may find yourself forgetting where you left your phone, or have a hard time recalling names. Watch to learn more.
Increased levels of stress not only cause us to become more irritable, but also tend to impact our ability to focus. For example, it’s common for stress to cause people to make more mistakes. Watch to learn more.
Stress can negatively affect your ability to plan and complete tasks on time. When you’re stressed, concentration declines and the amount of time it takes you to complete tasks increases. Watch to learn more.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “The Brain — From Knowing to Doing,” with Chris Darwin, a great, great grandson of Charles Darwin. They discuss 5 concepts that impact how you process information and your ability to be a peak performer.
Chris Darwin joins Dr. Evian Gordon for another podcast, this time to discuss “Can Small Step Habits Change Your Life?” Chris shares three essentials for real behavior change.
Our ability to control our behavior enables us to achieve goals, resist temptation, avoid acting on impulse, and maintain our mental and physical health. When under high levels of stress, people tend to become more negative and less resilient. As a result, they may lose the ability to self-regulate their behavior, which leads to a myriad of problems, including obesity, addiction, poor financial decisions, sexual infidelity, and more. Watch to Learn More
Resilience allows us to bounce back when something bad happens. It’s the ability to adapt in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, or other significant sources of stress. Resilience can drop quickly after an emotionally distressing event or a particularly stressful period in life. Watch to learn more.
Conscious negativity bias – the tendency to see the “cup half empty” rather than the “cup half full” – can rise in times of uncertainty and discouragement. It’s a disproportionate focus on problems rather than opportunity. And, it’s highly contagious. That’s why one very negative person can disrupt an entire group or team.
Social connectivity reflects the extent to which people proactively seek and gain enjoyment from social interaction. Social connection plays a powerful role in supporting our mental and physical health. Watch to learn more.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “Social Connectivity in the COVID-19 Era,” with Dr. Shelley Carson PhD, a Harvard-trained psychologist. They discuss why social connectivity and social support is important for stress mastery, especially during these uncertain times.
COVID-19 is causing more Americans to screen at risk for certain mental disorders compared to before the pandemic.
When chemicals from drugs or alcohol hit the brain’s reward receptors in bursts, it triggers a response similar to a highly pleasurable event. As the person repeats and increases substance use, the receptors degrade to the point that they cannot respond to un-intoxicated pleasure in the same way as they once did. The brain gets re-mapped to seek pleasure through intoxication rather than healthier activities, and as this new mapping takes hold, addiction is born. Watch to learn more.
Depression is more than a bout with the blues. When feelings of sadness and hopelessness persist and worsen, you may be clinically depressed. Some people are predisposed to depression based on genetics and the brain’s chemical makeup. Chronic stressful life situations can also increase the risk of developing depression if you aren’t coping well. Watch to learn more.
Persistent and excessive worry are common indicators of General Anxiety Disorder. People with this condition have an inappropriate triggering of the fight-flight stress system that can make it difficult to control worrying or stop the worry cycle. As a result, they overthink, lose sleep, and agonize more than seems warranted for the situation. Stress is a common trigger for anxiety and if it becomes chronic it can lead to General Anxiety Disorder. Watch to learn more.
People who have Social Anxiety Disorder have intense fear of being judged negatively or rejected in social situations. They often worry about being perceived as stupid, awkward, or boring. It can significantly impact your ability to socialize and communicate with other people. Watch to learn more.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a traumatic event. Most people who experience a distressing event may temporarily have trouble coping. However, they get through it with time and self-care. When symptoms persist for months and years, interfering with daily life, you may have PTSD. Watch to learn more.
Stress and anxiety may cause sleeping problems. Having a clinical condition compounds the problem. Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while sleeping. Watch to learn more.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “How Genetic Brain Information Can Empower You,” with Anu Acharya BSc MSc MS. The podcast touches on how our genes impact our disease disposition, and it explores why understanding our genetics and knowing ourselves better can lead to improved mental health and performance.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “What Can People with Depression Teach Us?” with Dr. David Whitehouse MD, PhD. Depression is excessively prevalent and growing in our society. They discuss how to maximize the functioning of our brain and minimize the threat of depression.
Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “The Hurricane of Addiction,” with Dr. David Whitehouse MD, PhD. They discuss how easy it is to fall under the power of addiction — especially during these uncertain times — while addressing how to restore and reconnect your brain pathways to survive.