Mental & Emotional Health

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and affects how we think, feel, act, and handle stress. Episodes of stress, anxiety, and depression are inevitable parts of life, but if they become chronic and interfere with daily living, specific measures should be taken, that can include seeing a therapist, physician, making lifestyle changes, or possibly taking medicine. Mental illnesses are serious disorders that can affect mood, behavior, and thinking—and are quite common. 1 in 4 adults Americans will experience mental illness in a given year. The good news? Effective treatments are available. Learn more about the most common types of mental disorders:

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Mental & Emotional Health

Suppressing Unwanted Memories

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the  Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in the UK have shown that suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influences on subsequent behavior. The team has also shed light on how this process happens in the brain.

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Mental & Emotional Health

Diagnosing Parkinson's-Related Dementia

Posted by Jane Farrell

Researchers have determined that it may now be possible to identify Parkinson's patients who will go on to develop dementia. A study conducted by researchers from the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal used magnetic resonance imaging in reaching its conclusion. The findings were published in the journal Brain. Parkinson’s is usually associated with problems such as trembling, but patients also have a six times greater risk of developing dementia than do those who don’t have Parkinson’s.

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Mental & Emotional Health

Can Skype Make You Happier?

Posted by Hilary Young

By Hilary Young   Loneliness and depression are not uncommon within the senior community. While the Centers for Disease Control reports that “depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging,” the CDC also acknowledges that older adults do face a higher risk than other age groups of experiencing depression and anxiety. According to the CDC, about 80 percent of older adults are living with at least one chronic health problem, which could play a major role in the development of depression.  

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Mental & Emotional Health

Diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted by Jane Farrell

Borderline personality disorder, a serious mental illness, affects six to ten million Americans, according to statistics from New York-Presbyterian Hospital. That’s more than twice the number of people affected by bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. And up to 90 percent of those diagnosed are women; while that may be because women seek treatment more often than men, it’s still a substantial number. Despite its prevalence, borderline personality disorder less widely known than other conditions such as depression.

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Mental & Emotional Health

Fighting Mild Forgetfulness

Posted by Jane Farrell

Editor’s note: Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is one of the most frightening health problems, especially as we age. It cannot be prevented or cured, and it is marked by a humiliating mental decline. Because it affects primarily older people, many of us are frightened by signs of forgetfulness or memory loss. Here, the experts from the National Institute on Aging explain the issue of mild forgetfulness and how you can handle it: What is mild forgetfulness?

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Mental & Emotional Health

Health-Care Coverage: A Tragic Exception

Posted by Jane Farrell

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News Dealing with the aftermath of a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. But some health plans make a harrowing experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide—even though experts say that in many cases such exclusions aren't permitted under federal law. Yet patients or their loved ones often don't realize that.

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Mental & Emotional Health

Thyroid Activity & Depression in Seniors

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Older people with thyroid gland activity that is in the normal range but more active than average may be at increased risk for depression, according to research done at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Mental & Emotional Health

Mental Health Care Scarce for Rural Women

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Women living in rural communities are less likely than urban-dwelling women to receive sufficient mental health care, in large part due to limited access to services and societal stigma, according to a study dome at Penn State College of Medicine and published in the journal Mental Health in Family Medicine.

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Mental & Emotional Health

This Is Your Brain on Anxiety

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 18 percent of American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. These people suffer from excessive worry or tension that often leads to physical symptoms. A release from the California Institute of Technology reports that previous studies of anxiety in the brain have focused on the amygdala, an area known to play a role in fear. However,  Caltech researchers had a hunch that understanding a different brain area, the lateral septum, could provide more clues into how the brain processes anxiety. Their instincts paid off.

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Brain Health
Mental & Emotional Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Nature’s Balm for the Stressed Brain

Posted by Sondra Forsyth

New findings on nociception, a system in the brain that naturally moderates the effects of stress, shows promise for the development of therapies for anxiety and addiction. Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Camerino in Italy published their results in the January 8th in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Mental & Emotional Health

Laugh it Up! The Best De-Stressing Technique

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Whether you're guiltily guffawing at an episode of "South Park" or quietly giggling at the latest New Yorker cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that's no joke. Here, from the experts at the Mayo Clinic, is proof that laughter really can be the best medicine. Stress relief from laughter A good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do. Short-term benefits

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Mental & Emotional Health

Emotional Recovery After Public Trauma

Posted by Judy Kirkwood

  By Judy Kirkwood Horrific events like the shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin affect not only those directly or peripherally involved, but also many people who only hear about them on the news. “Such events leave most of us feeling vulnerable, helpless, sad and anxious,” says Linda Ligenza, a consultant to the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. These killings, unlike those in war, happened in ordinary and familiar settings. This could have been me, we think.

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Mental & Emotional Health

A Lesson from Mary Kennedy's Death

Posted by Judy Kirkwood

  By Judy Kirkwood   Mary Richardson Kennedy’s death could not have been unanticipated. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 90 percent of people who die from suicide have the risk factors of depression and other mental disorders, including substance abuse disorders. Any knowledgeable health provider versed in dual diagnosis could have told the Kennedy and Richardson families that it was not a good idea for Mary to be living alone and to have total responsibility for her finances and health.

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Mental & Emotional Health

What We've Learned On ThirdAge Forums

Posted by Judy Kirkwood

  Join the discussions of thirdage.com articles and other topics on our Forum. Click on the orange FORUMS link on the subjects banner at the top of our home page or click the “Join the Conversation!” link at the bottom of most articles. Take a look at the funny, wise and wonderful conversations you’ve been missing: