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:

78194512.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Childhood Bullying Still Hurts at 50+

Posted by

Were you bullied as a child? You may still be feeling the negative social, physical and mental health effects. A studydone at King's College London and published in April 2014 in the American Journal of Psychiatry is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood. The findings come from the British National Child Development Study that includes data on all children born in England, Scotland, and Wales during one week in 1958.  The 7,771participants were then followed up until the age of 50.

454946453.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Posted by Jane Farrell

Editor’s Note: Bipolar disorder is often talked about, but sometimes misunderstood. The story of days-long manic episodes followed by prolonged depressed periods is a familiar one. But that isn’t the only form this disorder takes. And if someone you love has a variation on classic bipolar disorder, it’s important to recognize the condition and seek diagnosis and treatment. The experts at the National Institute of Mental Health offer the distinctions between the different types of bipolar disorder:

surgeons.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Presurgical Psych Screening Largely Ignored

Posted by

Only 10 percent of orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons follow professional guidelines recommending routine psychological screenings of patients prior to major surgery for severe back and leg pain, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the April 2014 edition of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques.

454063007.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Nasal Spray Treats Depression

Posted by

A nasal spray that delivers a peptide to treat depression holds promise as a potential alternative therapeutic approach, according to research done at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. The study, led by CAMH's Dr. Fang Liu, is published online in Neuropsychopharmacology.

86542769.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Reducing Anxiety? There’s an App for That.

Posted by

Playing a science-based mobile gaming app for 25 minutes can reduce anxiety in stressed individuals, according to research done at Hunter College in NYC and the City University of New York and published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The study suggests that "gamifying" a scientifically-supported intervention could offer measurable mental health and behavioral benefits for people with relatively high levels of anxiety.

84513189.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Suppressing Unwanted Memories

Posted by

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.

parkinsons.jpg
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.

mature-woman-computer.jpg
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.  

anxious-senior-woman.jpg
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.

187826218.jpg
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?

461104941.jpg
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.

dv1916074.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Thyroid Activity & Depression in Seniors

Posted by

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.

depressed older woman.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Mental Health Care Scarce for Rural Women

Posted by

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.

worried about taking a pill.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

This Is Your Brain on Anxiety

Posted by

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.

brain.jpg
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.

older-couple-laughing.jpg
Mental & Emotional Health

Laugh it Up! The Best De-Stressing Technique

Posted by

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