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Study classifies depression risk factor as contagious

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first_imgThings that are contagious: laughter, yawning, sneezing, the common cold. And now somewhere on that list you’ll find cognitive vulnerability. A recent study by Notre Dame psychology professor Gerald Haeffel, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, found that a risk factor for depression known as ‘cognitive vulnerability’ can be passed from one individual to another. Haeffel said cognitive vulnerability is essentially a style of thinking about events and personal reflection, not to be confused with the mood of depression itself. Cognitive vulnerability can be a powerful predictor of future depressive episodes, he said. “To give an example, say two people both fail a test here. The college student who is at risk for depression will think, ‘This means I’m stupid, or worthless, I’m never going to get into grad school now,’ and when they’re sad, they just focus on this,” Haeffel said. “They’re stuck on ‘I feel so sad, why do I feel so miserable, what’s wrong with me?’ That’s the person who’s at risk for depression.” Haeffel said.   “Whereas another student who gets the same failing grade might think ‘I didn’t work hard enough, I’ll work harder on the next one. I’ll catch up, I’ll be fine, I’ll still get into grad school,’” he said.  “And when they feel sad, they go and play basketball or go play a sport or do whatever. That person’s not at risk for depression.” Haeffel said conventional wisdom in the psychology field has held that cognitive vulnerability in individuals remains relatively stable throughout life, past adolescence. “We thought that there were going to be times when it might change. These would be times during major life transitions, times when you go into a new social environment where you’re surrounded by new people who have all new ways of thinking,” Haeffel said. “We thought that [in these times] it might rub off and actually be contagious.” To investigate this hypothesis, Haeffel said he and Jennifer Hames, a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, conducted a study on 103 pairs of randomly assigned freshman roommates at the University. Haeffel surveyed the students on the two aspects of cognitive vulnerability – event interpretation and self-reflection – when the freshmen first arrived, three months later, and at the end of the academic year, six months later. Haeffel found that those who had a roommate with a negative way of thinking about the world caught some of that style and became more negative in their own thinking. At the final survey, those who had their cognitive vulnerability adversely influenced were at a significantly greater risk for depression. “This is the first study to show that these can change more easily than you thought,” Haeffel said. “In three months, we saw changes in vulnerability that then actually meant something for future depressive symptoms.” Haeffel emphasized that these findings on the relative malleability of cognitive vulnerability have implications in treatment of depression. He said those suffering from the disorder could benefit greatly from a treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on how individuals think about events and themselves. “If people are struggling with depression, we always hear on the news that the best treatments are medication,” Haeffel said. “But this therapy is as effective as medication and it’s time-limited so you don’t have to take it your whole life. It also has a relapse-prevention effect, unlike medication. “You learn the skills and it keeps you safe from depression in the future, which tends to be highly recurrent.” Contact Henry Gens at [email protected]last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s alumna named assistant director of campus ministry

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first_imgCampus Ministry at Saint Mary’s welcomed a new addition to the department at the beginning of this year when Liz Palmer was named assistant director.Palmer is a Saint Mary’s alumna from the class of 2013. She was a biology and psychology double major and landed her dream job in Campus Ministry, she said.“I get to give back to the place that invited me to know my faith more deeply,” Palmer said.Some of the components of Palmer’s work with Campus Ministry are organizing retreats, leading pilgrimages both locally and internationally and organizing work with Catholic Relief Services (CRS).“[CRS is] making global issues more local, and being advocates on campus for topics like immigration, climate change [and] global hunger,” she said.Palmer is also focused on the social media side of Campus Ministry to advertise for different events through their various platforms.“We do want to invite people into conversation into worship spaces and just empower women on campus,” she said.She is using the presence of social media to promote her “I Found” campaign. Palmer reached out to a number of students and asked them to answer the question, “I have found [blank]” with the hashtag #throughfaithoncampus, she said.“It has been a way to share with others … if they have found faith on campus through extracurriculars, relationships with mentors or through the aesthetic beauty of the College,” Palmer said.One of Palmer’s goals as she kicks off the year is to cultivate relationships with students.“I want my office to be a welcoming environment for students to come in,” she said.She wants to also be able to expand outside of her office and interact with students all around campus. Palmer said students can get involved with Campus Ministry through the club Friends with Sisters. Students will be paired up with Sisters of the Holy Cross to connect with each other and their own faith.As the year progresses, Palmer said she is very excited for her fall break pilgrimage to Brazil to visit Sisters of the Holy Cross. She is also organizing a pilgrimage to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood on Sept. 20 to focus on Our Lady of Guadalupe.“[Participating students will] go beyond the walls of Saint Mary’s to a Pilsen neighborhood and see different murals, talk about the history and talk about living faith,” Palmer said.Palmer said there will be an opportunity for the tri-campus community to connect through Catholic Relief Services Ambassador Training on Sunday. This will offer networking between campuses and an opportunity to be an ambassador since it is a national program.“We’re going to be learning about advocacy training and how to tangibly bring ideas to campus,” she said.Palmer said she has many ideas she looks forward to sharing with the campus community. She wants to keep her door open, she said, to anyone interested in Campus Ministry to participate in the work she fell in love with while attending Saint Mary’s as a student.Tags: Campus Ministry, liz palmer, Sisters of the Holy Crosslast_img read more

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Rocky Point Woman Killed in Car Crash

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 65-year-old woman was killed in a car crash in her hometown of Rocky Point on Thursday.Suffolk County police said Carol Sardegna was a passenger in a Chevrolet Malibu that was turning from Route 25A onto Hallock Landing Road when the car was hit by a westbound Toyota Highlander at 4:15 p.m.Sardegna was taken to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where she was pronounced dead.The two drivers and a 12-year-old girl who was a passenger in the SUV were taken to local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.Seventh Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call them at 631-852-8752..last_img read more

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Dodgers officially sign Brett Anderson, designate Erisbel Arruebarrena for assignment

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first_img“It isn’t going to be an issue going forward,” he said. Anderson had two stints on the 60-day disabled list in 2014; the other came when he was hit on the index finger during batting practice, a freak injury that is easier to dismiss. When healthy, Anderson had a 2.91 ERA in 43 1/3 innings for the Colorado Rockies last season.Anderson’s potential to exceed his 2014 production in a pitcher’s park made the signing more palatable for the Dodgers. “With all the additional information we have,” Zaidi said, “we feel confident.”The Dodgers’ 2015 rotation is basically set: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Anderson will be the quintet when healthy. Joe Wieland (acquired in the Matt Kemp trade with San Diego) and Mike Bolsinger (acquired from Arizona) are the only in-house candidates Zaidi mentioned to step in if injuries strike. That means the Dodgers are out on marquee free agents Max Scherzer and James Shields. “You never say never, but we have no plans to pursue those guys,” Zaidi said, referring generally to pitchers expected to command a nine-figure salary.To make room for Anderson on the 40-man roster, Erisbel Arruebarrena was designated for assignment. The shortstop saw limited action in the majors last year and was projected to begin 2015 at Triple-A following the trades for shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Howie Kendrick. Zaidi said Arruebarrena might remain in the organization. It depends on whether the “three to five” teams who previously discussed Arruebarrena in a trade are willing to come back to the table.Either way, the Dodgers are still on the hook for the remainder of the five-year, $25 million contract Arruebarrena signed last year. It would be foolish for Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi to expect 200 innings from his fifth starter next season. Left-hander Brett Anderson, whose one-year contract was finalized Tuesday, has never pitched more than 176 innings in a season. Zaidi knows that. He can run the projections and realize the Dodgers are gambling a bit. “Projection models are only useful if you have no other information,” Zaidi said on a conference call Wednesday. “We have other information.”Anderson’s physical took time to review, but not because of his health. It was a logistical hold-up, Zaidi said, the kind that comes with doing business around holidays. The ruptured disk in Anderson’s back has healed since September. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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21-year runner Harrison runs short one leg

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first_imgSCENIC ROUTE—Every year, William Harrison joins thousands of others in the Pittsburgh Marathon. William Harrison can tell you horrific stories of his time as a 911 dispatcher. He can also take you on a journey through his rich family history, most notably holding the distinction of the most degrees from the University of Pittsburgh of any African-American family. But perhaps what he’s most proud of, is being a part of the elite 13, a group of runners who have been through every Pittsburgh Marathon, including the first two Great Races.This year’s race marked Harrison’s 21st marathon. What makes him different from probably most of the others is that he doesn’t train between marathons. In fact, he can’t train. While in high school, Harrison, 59, discovered he had non-cancerous bone growths in his left leg. Four operations and four decades later, his left leg is still the source of constant pain.“If I trained the way people are supposed to train, I probably wouldn’t be able to run the race. I don’t have the strength in my left leg that I do in my right leg,” Harrison said. “That kind of strain on my knee, I just wouldn’t be able to do it. The only thing I can consider training is the last race I ran.”As a former athlete at Westinghouse High School, the loss of strength in his left leg hit Harrison particularly hard. He has spent the rest of his life trying to show people how he has been able to overcome his disability through the power of God.“I ran the Great Race with the hope of telling my surgeon he couldn’t tell me what I can’t do. After I ran the first two Great Races, I called him up. I said is that good enough for you? He said no, I shouldn’t be doing that,” Harrison said. “I ran the first six before he stopped telling me what I couldn’t do.”The Pittsburgh Marathon takes runners on a tour of the city, confronting a variety of neighborhoods, not only the nicest ones. For native Pittsburghers, the sight of familiar landmarks is what inspires them to continue.“Running through Homewood is special. Homewood is in such bad shape,” Harrison said. “In this family you’re born Westinghouse Bulldogs. I use that because Westinghouse is right by mile 18 and most runners will tell you mile 18 is where you hit the wall. There’s no quit in me. There’s no quit in a Bulldog.”Mentally, Harrison’s weak leg has been a counterbalance for his physical shortcomings. Coupled with his devout religious beliefs, he sees his ability to overcome the odds and finish every race as a miracle.“A large part of finishing longer distance races is mental. First and foremost I think about God, I think about all the factors in my life that allowed me to run, I think about being the descendants of slaves,” Harrison said. “Clearly Jesus gave me the power to run with one and a half legs.”Harrison’s story has inspired others including his sons to begin running. Throughout each race he also serves as constant inspiration to his fellow runners.“All I can tell you now with the future of the Pittsburgh Marathon is, if I’m alive, I’ll do it. They start blending together after awhile. After number seven my body was pretty much imprinted with I’m going to do this every year. It can’t be pain because my left leg hurts all the time. Because it hurts all the time it can’t be an excuse,” Harrison said. “I talk to people during the race. I tell them, I’m going to finish this race so you’ve got to finish. There’s no reason I should be finishing this race.”last_img read more

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