Secondhand smoke exposure may have a link to schizophrenia, depression, delirium and other psychological conditions.
Secondhand smoke exposure may have a link to schizophrenia, depression, delirium and other psychological conditions.
Thanksgiving is coming up. It turns out that even science is behind the idea that gratitude is good for you!
Patients have a direct role and responsibility in their mental health. A person could have years of counseling and medication services, yet if there is no accountability on the patient’s part then what good would they do?
A Danish study recently found that depression diagnoses go up significantly (8 percent) in the month following the change from Daylight Savings Time back to standard time.
Perfectionism — ever-unattainable! — is bad for your mental health. People who expect perfection are often overly critical of mistakes, which can lead to depression.
The Japanese practice of “forest bathing” — or taking in the forest atmosphere — is a concept I believe in and love.
When someone comes to me with depression, the first decision we make together is whether we’ll treat with therapy, medication, or both. In my experience, a combination of the two is the most effective approach.
Alzheimer's symptoms can look like emotion-related memory loss. How can you tell the difference?
Tourette’s causes so much pain, especially in social interaction. It can cause shame and social isolation for patients and their families, but things can get better with therapies and medication.
According to a new study, dysfunctional eating patterns and habits in overweight and obese adults can be triggered by early life experiences that are deeply rooted within patients' personality features.
Suicides among teens ages 15-19 are the highest they’ve been since 2000, says a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Here’s a snippet from an NBC analysis of the study: The new study found that in 2017, 6,241 teenagers and adult
This is second in a two-part series about sleep. Click here to read part one. Last week I wrote about how poor sleep can negatively affect your mental health. If you’re thinking, “It’s not my fault, I just can’t fall asleep at night!” then try this metho
I can’t stress this enough: part of managing your mental health includes getting enough sleep. I’ve written about this here before: in my career I’ve seen how poor sleep can lead to suicidal thoughts, memory issues, even weight gain. According to an artic
New evidence is emerging that some medications for ADHD put teens and young adults at risk for developing psychosis. According to this study of more than 200,000 people ages 13 to 25, one out of 660 people had an episode of psychosis in a few months afte
As thrilled as kids are with summer break, it can be difficult on parents to muster the same enthusiasm. You’re all out of your routine and it can take time to get used to a new schedule, and get used to each other. If you have a child with developmental
A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) makes a case for more mental health professionals–including nurses and social workers–in schools. From the report: School counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists are frequently
In 1958, researchers in the UK began collecting data from thousands of children born in a single week that year, creating the National Child Development Study (NCDS), which has been ongoing for nearly 60 years. This is so fascinating to me! Mental health
Nurses and doctors–those critical caretakers of society!–often carry heavy mental and emotional burdens in the course of their work. Think about it: nurses often witness the worst hours and days of a person’s life. Doctors take care of patients and their
This opinion piece about civility in politics got me thinking about kindness. How can we learn to be more understanding with those we disagree with? Columnist Dave Brooks gives practical tips on curating difficult conversations you have face-to-face, whet
There is increasing evidence that some of the preservatives, packaging and food coloring in America’s food may be harmful to kids’ physical and mental health. Also, putting plastic in the microwave and dishwasher may cause plastic to leach chemicals into y
This is the third post in a series about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Is there a connection between post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? I believe there is, and
This is Part 2 of a three-part series on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You can read Part 1 here. On this blog we’ve established how to recognize the signs of PTSD. This can befall mothers after a dangerous birth, a newly diagnosed cancer patient,
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have major depression, especially when you’re living with it. For some people, depression is a pervasive feeling of sadness or hopelessness. For some, depression means feelings of anger or extreme irritability. People
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after living through extreme stress, a terrifying or distressing event, or a prolonged traumatic experience. What kinds of experiences could lead to PTSD? combat (for mil
I’ve written about this before: exposure to sunlight can help fight depression. Coupled with mild to moderate exercise, being out in the daylight can help fight carbohydrate cravings, weight gain, social avoidance, even fatigue! A 2014 study of office wor
In Gainesville, Florida, officer Shelly Postle teamed up with Makenzie Boyer, a mental health professional to handle calls regarding people with mental health issues. Postle and Boyer handled 434 calls in eight months, making a co-responder team that halt
The post-Christmas season can be a real emotional low point. Maybe there’s a backlog at work. Maybe your kids’ schedule is thrown off by late nights and holiday excess. Maybe you had a blowup at a family member during Christmas. Whatever may be dragging y
This title from Time Magazine really does say it all: “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier.” Researchers from the Unviersity of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 participants that they’d be receiving about $100 in a few weeks. Twenty-five people promi
The Christmas season can be overwhelming. Managing traditions, a heavy end-of-year workload, financial stress, even time spent with extended family can contribute to poor mental health. Here are ways you can manage your stress during “The Most Wonderful Ti
Patients with advanced Parkinson’s are singing their way to better mental health, says Elizabeth Stegemöller, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University. (Click here to see a video of Stegemöller leading her singing group in 2017.) Stegem
The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is an incredibly empowering book on trauma recovery, written by a woman who has sometimes been nicknamed “the Anne Frank who didn’t die.” The pain of Dr. Eger’s story is hard to fathom. Nearly her entire family, all Hungar
Grandmothers, take note: in Africa, mental health professionals pioneered a method where they used grandmothers and friendship benches to screen people for basic psychiatric services. In 2004, a man named Dixon Chibanda was one of only two psychiatrists i
I’ve written about the ways gratitude can improve your life. Gratitude can improve your romantic relationships, help you sleep better, decreases depression, even decreases suicidal thoughts. A 2017 study conducted at the University of Seoul, South Korea,
If you are in your 40s and suspect your memory is already slipping, stress could be the culprit. A new study found that forty-somethings who had high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their bodies also had reduced brain volumes and lower cognitive
What causes nightmares, anyway? Nightmares tend to crop up when we’re stressed, anxious, depressed, on certain medications, or when our sleep is being consistently interrupted (hello, parents of a newborn!). Occasional nightmares are normal, but consistent
I’ve written about this before: when you use cannabis to manage your mental health, the long-term risks far outweigh the short-term benefits. There is research linking cannabis use to schizophrenia in teens, as well as hallucinations, paranoia and other ps
We’ve written about this before: treating depression can be a family affair. Recent studies are focusing on why a father’s mental health is just as important on their children. This 2017 study out of the United Kingdom drew a strong correlation between de
“We are not responsible for what breaks us, but we can be responsible for what puts us back together again. Naming the hurt is how we begin to repair our broken parts.” ― Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our
Last week Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate judiciary committee about allegations of sexual abuse. This sparked discussions about sexual abuse in news and social media across the United States. (Several victims even call
There’s a debate swirling in American politics right now about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who alleged that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party when they were both teenagers. The arguments have been
When athletes battle mental health struggles alone, the consequences can be disastrous. Tyler Hilinski, a Washingston State quarterback took his own life in January 2018, only four months after an incredible triple-overtime victory over Boise State. Hili
If you’re dreading the back-to-school transition, you’re not alone. We are well aware how difficult it is to shift a kid from from late night barbecues and lazy mornings into waking up at 6:30 a.m. Juggling earlier bedtimes, packing lunches and managing a
The sullen teenage boy is everywhere, so common it’s almost a cultural cliché. But what if it’s actually anxiety? This article from the Deseret News presents another side to the story, where several young men share their stories of grappling with feelings
To treat eating disorders or even obesity, scientists have been turning to neuroimaging–scans of the brain–to teach patients how to understand the path between mind and stomach. In a 2015 study, scientists used neuroimaging to identify what they called “b
Studies on emotion in hemispheres of the brain may have been skewed exclusively toward right-handed people, according to a new study from Cornell University. In hundreds of studies conducted since the 1970s, research has shown that the left side of the br
The City of Philadelphia has been planting grass and trees in vacant lots, and the results are extraordinary. A research team measured depression symptoms 18 months before the “greening” and 18 months after and found a 41.5 percent drop for the people liv
I’m always interested in learning how supplements can improve health, and lately I’ve been researching magnesium. It turns out one study shows the supplement can be as effective as SSRIs in treating mild to moderate depression. The FDA hasn’t yet rated ma
There’s a bacterium found on the shores of a Ugandan lake that could help reduce our stress. Scientists recently injected it into stressed-out mice with promising results. The bacterium, called Mycobacterium vaccae, reduces inflammation in the brain, whic
You’ve heard it before: Exercise is crucial for mental health. That concept is in the news again now because a recent study found exercise can help prevent heart disease in depressed people. The results aren’t surprising, but they come along with some gre
Did you know memories can be rewritten? There’s a method of treating post-traumatic stress disorder that attempts to erase or dampen the stressful feelings associated with a traumatic memory. Mental health professionals use a few techniques to do this. W
One of the most prominent theories about the cause of depression is that it’s the result of serotonin or norepinephrine shortages in the brain. But the thing is, taking drugs that add more of one or both of these chemicals back into the brain doesn’t fix
We’ve known for a long time that people with Type I diabetes are at increased risk for depression. Scientists are now closer to figuring out why. Diabetes (types I and II) and depression have all been linked to inflammation. A new study shows a more spec
We’ve known for years that people with depression are at higher risk for dementia, but a new study shows it’s more than that. Depression causes all kinds of signs of brain aging. A new study looked at depression’s effect on memory loss, executive function
A new study shows more than 40 percent of people diagnosed with depression also suffer from autoimmune thyroiditis, or AIT. The same is true for 30 percent of people diagnosed with anxiety.
A new study offers great news for women entering middle age: There’s a good chance you’ll feel less stressed as you get older. Researchers tracked women — aged 42 to 53 at the beginning of the study — for 15 years. They found that most women’s perceived l
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week this week, and man, do these teachers deserve our appreciation. A recent study found 93 percent of elementary school teachers are highly stressed. That so many endure this stress and continue their work teaching children is
The simple answer is maybe. There are a number of studies that link marijuana and schizophrenia, but researchers don’t go so far as to say one leads to the other. The most recent study was published at the end of last year. It followed 6,788 people who ex
If you’re a depressed mom, you might not be giving your children everything they need to develop to their full potential. That doesn’t mean you can’t; it just means you’ve got to be aware of the potential pitfalls. A new study followed Chilean mothers and
I read an article this week about college students’ declining mental health and how their schools are responding, and it reinforced my belief that parents and others can do a much better job preparing their kids for the mental and emotional challenges of a
When you’re stressed, you can respond in helpful ways or unhelpful ways. Learning early to respond in those helpful ways (“adaptive coping”) can lead to much better mental health down the road. A new study found that obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferer
Dementia is a terrible thing to watch, and an even more terrible condition to experience. It is defined as a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. There are things you can do now to prevent later dementia, and a new study s
The younger a girl is when she gets her period, the more likely she is to show symptoms of depression and antisocial behavior. That association lingers into adulthood, a new study finds, with grown women who started their periods early staying more depress
With Valentines Day this week, displays of romance have been all around us. Flowers, chocolates, and jewelry are nice, but a more meaningful gift you can give anyone you love is the gift of listening. This week I read about a study where the researchers m
Rates of cannabis usage have more than doubled in the past decade. Medical marijuana is now legal in half of the United States and is increasing in accessibility to current and future users. Cannabis is now the most widely used illicit substance in the US,
We often hear that personal growth comes from the challenges we face, but this week I read about some researchers who have documented that concept. In the most recent study, scientists interviewed hundreds of survivors of the tornado that rocked Joplin, M
If you’re traveling for work, keep an eye on your mental health! A recent study found those who travel two weeks or more per month are more likely than those who travel less than that to suffer from anxiety and depression. Additionally, they’re more likel
If you’re one of those people who can’t fall asleep because tomorrow’s tasks are trampling through your head, consider taking up a simple habit: Spend 5 minutes writing a to-do list before bed every night. Researchers recently assigned a group of people t
It’s resolution season, and I’ve got one for you: Make a goal to improve your mental health this year. I talk about it ways to do that in this blog often. Here’s a recap of some changes you can make: Exercise more (maybe try rock climbing?) Cut out sugar
When it comes to mental health, there’s a difference between being antisocial and being unsociable, a recent study shows. Where antisocial behavior (avoiding social contact because of dislike or anxiety) can be bad for mental health, being unsociable (pre
If you’re anorexic or obese, there’s a good chance you’re depressed, too. More than 50 percent of anorexic women and 43 percent of obese people suffer from depression. Surprisingly, a new study shows the biochemistry contributing to depression and anxiet
My headline overstates it — not all people who were spanked as children grow up to suffer from depression — but a new study shows there is a link. Children who are spanked are more likely than children who are not spanked to feel depressed, attempt suicide
Want a simple way to cut down teenage anxiety and depression across a community? Start school at 8:30am or later. Earlier this month, researchers released the results of a study that showed adolescent students with school starting at 8:30am or later have
We’ve known for years that social media — with Facebook being one of the most prominent platforms — can negatively effect mental health. You probably saw about a week ago that Facebook came out with a blog post about that topic. In the post, the company a
October 10th was World Mental Health Day, and the world took note. Publications across the web published articles and opinion pieces about mental illness, and public figures as well as everyday people spoke up about their own experiences on social media.
I never cease to be amazed at how we can physically change our brains with the thoughts and behaviors we choose. This week I read about a study focused on determining how different mental exercises affect our brains and our responses to social stressors.
Depression and excessive alcohol drinking can each be debilitating issues. When someone struggles with both — which is common, each leading to the other — treatment is critical. A new study shows depression and harmful drinking can be successfully treated
The evidence has been building up for years: Inflammation and depression are linked, and treating inflammation can lead to improvement in depression symptoms. It looks like scientists have gotten to the point where the connection is no longer a maybe. He
Good news for schizophrenic people who hear voices: Scientists have found the region of the brain involved in the delusion. It’s a specific spot in the temporal lobe, where language originates. Even better, targeting that area with magnetic pulses decreas
A new study shows it’s not the popular teens who are setting themselves up for good mental health later in life; it’s the ones who form close friendships, however few they are. A group of researchers followed 169 teenagers over 10 years. They questioned t
I read an opinion piece this week that was right on target. Its main point: We need to stop apologizing for our mental health. The author recognizes how far we’ve come in reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness — those living with different conditi
Recently I was talking to a family member about his struggles with anxiety, and I gave him this advice: Do one thing every day that makes you uncomfortable. Even the thought of doing that is distasteful, but the concept is the basis of something called E
By the time they hit 15, teenage girls are twice as likely as teenage boys to suffer from depression. This could be because girls tend to think more negatively, dwelling on social and body image stressors. They’re also more likely to have experienced sexu
Sleep is so important for your mental health, but 45 percent of Americans say lack of quality sleep regularly affects their daily activities. A possible culprit these days, according to a recent study, is the blue light coming from the screens we all love
In a recent email to her colleagues, a Michigan software developer dealing with depression and anxiety wrote: “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.” from businessinsider
It’s not official yet, but a new study suggests taking probiotics could relieve symptoms of depression. Remember several months ago, when I wrote about the relationship between your gut and your mental health? I recommended changing what you eat to develo
A new study brings good news for young people who have suffered a traumatic experience: Children and adolescents with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be successfully treated with just a few hours of therapy. Researchers timed the therapy with a stop wat
In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to highlight a study that shows the wonderful impact a good dad can have on his family. This relates specifically to families with depressed mothers. A study published last month detailed the depressed mom’s typical par
I’ve written before about how social media can be bad for your mental health, but let’s get site specific: Instagram is the worst of the bunch. A new study surveyed 1,479 teens and young adults in the U.K., asking them about how social media affects them
There are drugs far more fashionable than Lithium these days: Pharmaceutical companies pay their representatives big money to promote their latest offerings, both with mental health care providers and in advertising. The thing is, I’m not convinced any ne
It’s well established that exercise is a great way to relieve depressive symptoms, but there might be some forms of exercise that are better than others. Take bouldering, for example. A recent study showed participating in the sport — which involves clim
Did you know that simply being around dirt can ease your depressive symptoms? If you’ve found gardening to be a good a stress reliever, this could explain it: Scientists have determined that a bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, activates serotonin-p
You’ve probably noticed — not everyone who goes through a traumatic event experiences Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Scientists have noticed, too, and they wondered why that is. After analyzing the DNA of 20,000 people, they found that genes are p
About a month ago, Netflix added “13 Reasons Why” to its streaming content, and teens are obsessed. The 13-episode series follows a teenage boy trying to wrap his mind around the suicide of his friend, a teenage girl, as he listens to the 13 tapes she le
I’ve written before about how prescribing medication for depression can be an imprecise science. Often it takes multiple tries before we find the right drug or combination of drugs to send your depression into remission. A study from Dr. Madhukar Trivedi
Does depression change the brain, or are brain abnormalities the cause of depression? There’s a new study out that sheds some light on that question. A group of scientists took their research all the way back to the beginning of life: They scanned the br
When you think of depression, symptoms like sadness, fatigue, and feelings of worthlessness probably come to mind. Another symptom — one with a lower profile than its companions — is impaired cognitive functioning. Some depressed people experience difficu
I often see patients whose brain power is not what it used to be. It’s a common tale with mental illness–it can slow down and blur your thoughts. It’s also a common tale with aging, so brain health should be a topic on everyone’s minds. There are supplem
I read about an interesting finding this week: Teens with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often look at a sad or angry face and see fear. This sheds new light on a disorder tied to heightened threat perception, which can trigger fight-or-flight resp
Ever heard of cognitive reappraisal? It’s where you take a negative thought or experience and recast it in a positive light. (Failed a test? At first maybe you dwell on your shortcomings, but then you “reappraise” and think of it as a chance to see where y
You have a lot of options when it comes to who to see about your mental health. I want to talk today about the category I fall into: Advanced Practiced Registered Nurses (APRNs), specifically PMHCNSs (Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialists) a