Mental & Emotional Health

Your mental health, including your psychological & emotional health, impacts our daily life. Learn more about the most common mental disorders.

Mental & Emotional Health

Anxiety Medications as You Age

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Anxiety medications can affect you differently as you age. The National Institutes for Health Senior Health Portal alerts you in to possible problems: The research on treating anxiety disorders in older adults is limited. However, most disorders can be treated with medication or psychotherapy. For some people, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be the best treatment approach. Antidepressants

Mental & Emotional Health

Childhood Bullying Still Hurts at 50+

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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.

Mental & Emotional Health

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

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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:

Mental & Emotional Health

Presurgical Psych Screening Largely Ignored

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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.

Mental & Emotional Health

Nasal Spray Treats Depression

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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.

Mental & Emotional Health

Reducing Anxiety? There’s an App for That.

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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.

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.

Mental & Emotional Health

Diagnosing Parkinson's-Related Dementia

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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.

Mental & Emotional Health

Can Skype Make You Happier?

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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.  

Mental & Emotional Health

Diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder

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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.

Mental & Emotional Health

Fighting Mild Forgetfulness

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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?

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.

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