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Schacter DL. The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets
and Remembers (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001).
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin
which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on
the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these
meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an
individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With
gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the
process, people usually recognize that the source of that
goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result,
gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than
themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and
consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps
people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences,
improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in
the United States, affecting about one in six adults at some
point. About 7.5 million of those affected each year are parents.
When a parent is depressed, the likelihood increases that his or
her children will develop this mood disorder as well.
In the population as a whole, for example, surveys indicate that
about 20% of young people develop depression by age 18. In
families where one parent is depressed, however, about 40% of
youths develop depression by age 20, and 60% do so by age
As with other psychiatric disorders (and health problems in
general), part of the reason that offspring of depressed parents
develop depression is genetic. But psychological factors also
come into play. Parents who are struggling with depression may
not be able to cope as well as others with the stress of raising
children. Or the sheer physical exhaustion that is typical of
depression may prevent them from being able to nurture and
support their energetic young ones.
Recognizing these challenges, researchers and clinicians have
been searching for ways to reduce the burden of depression on
parents and children alike.
Forming and storing a memory is a multistep process that involves
several parts of the brain. A memory is not a single entity, like
a book on a shelf. Instead, memory is the aggregation of multiple
streams of sensory information, filtered through the perception
of the person observing or participating in the event. Each of
the different components of memory is stored and processed in a
different region of the brain.
Because memory storage and retrieval is so complex, even healthy
people can experience memory loss or memory distortion from time
to time. Dr. Daniel Schacter, a professor of psychology at
Harvard University, has identified seven common "sins" of memory.
Some of these memory flaws become more pronounced with age, but —
unless they are extreme and persistent — they are not considered
indicators of Alzheimer's disease or other memory-impairing
Researchers studying the relationship between nicotine and
depression found that a certain smoking-cessation drug caused
mice to eat less and lose weight.
Interpersonal therapy is another option for people with social
A long-term study of people with borderline personality disorder
found that most people who obtained treatment were able to
Sleep apnea and other similar breathing problems may increase the
risk of cognitive decline in older age.
A friend jokes she is a "chocoholic." Can you really become
addicted to chocolate or other foods?