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:

Mental & Emotional Health

Health-Care Coverage: A Tragic Exception

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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.

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.

Aging Well
Senior Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Stress Hormone Linked to Frailty

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Low levels of cortisol in the morning and high levels in the evening are associated with declining grip strength and walking speed, which are indications of frailty in older adults. That is the finding of research done at Helmholtz Zentrum München in Neuherberg in Germany and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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.

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.

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

Nature’s Balm for the Stressed Brain

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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.

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

Mental & Emotional Health

Emotional Recovery After Public Trauma

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  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.

Mental & Emotional Health

A Lesson from Mary Kennedy's Death

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  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.

Mental & Emotional Health

"The Hunger Games": What's All The Fuss?

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  I ignored “The Hunger Games” as long as I could. Even after my 13-year-old granddaughter told me she was reading the books. But when I realized she would be seeing the PG-13 movie with Jennifer Lawrence, I wanted to find out about this Katniss Everdean character.

Mental & Emotional Health

What We've Learned On ThirdAge Forums

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  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:

Mental & Emotional Health

When You Love An Addict

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  How many times have I heard variations of this in the last two  weeks? “I can’t understand why Whitney Houston would overdose/abuse drugs/get so drunk, when she had been through treatment and achieved sobriety, a child who needed her, a great career, people who loved her, and such a strong faith.” In fact, I was sitting next to a Miami news anchor at dinner the other night who said the same thing.

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