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Blog Archive

The Horrible Effects of Long-Term Depression Jun 15th, 2024

Do you find yourself relaxing into long-term depression, doing nothing about it until it leaves on its own? Research shows that this can be very detrimental later on. A new study suggests that young people who experience prolonged depression may have poor thinking and memory skills in middle age. This...

Parental Burnout Can Lead to Mental Health Issues in Children Jun 10th, 2024

When you hop on social media, you won't scroll too long before seeing some happy family. Moms playing with their kids, everyone looking so happy. And you wonder how they can keep it all together, unlike you. If you're a parent, you know how demanding your role can be. Despite...

New Coating Can Prevent Weight Gain from Antipsychotic Drugs Jun 8th, 2024

Weight gain is sometimes a side effect of anti-depressants and antipsychotics. As such, many patients stop taking their medications. But thanks to a new coating, all that is about to change. Researchers from the University of South Australia have been working on coating antipsychotics to prevent weight gain while boosting...

Social media use and depression: a case of causation? Jun 3rd, 2024

For decades now, there has been a lingering debate on the relationship between social media use and depression. Young adults with higher social media use tend to be more depressed. But a new study has found something disproving the idea that social media use causes depression. It is not that...

Green spaces slash mental illness rate by 60%, new data reveals May 28th, 2024

We've known for a while that taking a walk in nature can improve your mood. In short, having green plants at home can boost productivity, mental health, and overall feelings of wellness. However, most of the studies have used limited data. A new study has gone further to prove the...

Social media can affect how you view mental illness May 26th, 2024

A new study has found that social media can affect how people view mental illness. When young people read positive posts conveying a “growth mindset" towards mental illness, they tend to become more willing to seek treatment. But posts with a "fixed mindset" make them believe that mental illness is...

Consuming a particular omega-6 fatty acid may prevent bipolar disorder May 23rd, 2024

Did you know that what you eat could help prevent bipolar disorder? A new study has found that arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, may reduce the risk of bipolar disorder. This polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid is present in eggs, poultry, and seafood. So, consuming enough of these foods and...

Findings reveal people with autism are predisposed to PTSD May 21st, 2024

People with autism usually share some similarities to those with PTSD. For example, they both have impaired emotional regulation and difficulties with fear conditioning. Now, researchers have found a deeper but worrying relationship. Mild stress in autistic individuals is enough to trigger PTSD. Although the study was done on mice,...

New depression care guidelines emphasize the need for personalized treatments May 18th, 2024

The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) has published a new standard to help psychiatric and mental health professionals manage major depression. These guidelines emphasize the need for depression treatments to be more patient-centered. In essence, the new guidelines encourage providers to involve patients in their own care,...

Childhood maltreatment may cause up to 40% of mental illnesses May 13th, 2024

Results from a new study suggest that childhood maltreatment may cause up to 40% of mental health conditions. Here, childhood maltreatment refers to neglect and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse before age 18. The mental health conditions include depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, and suicide attempts. We've known...

Teens who view their homes as chaotic at risk of mental health problems May 9th, 2024

Have you ever wondered why two people exposed to the same environment often come away with different interpretations and responses to what happened? Only one person in a car crash may later experience PTSD. Even among twins who grew up in the same home, one may go on to develop...

Positive and Negative Spirituality and Effects on Mental Health May 6th, 2024

Studies show that spirituality and religion can have a significant impact on mental health. But what about when one's spirituality is negative, i.e. believing that pain and suffering are punishments from a higher power? According to a study by University of Missouri researchers, people who blame divinity for their misfortune...

Do spirituality and religion benefit mental health? Apr 29th, 2024

It's common for people to wonder whether spirituality or religion impacts mental health in any way. The answer is yes. A growing number of studies show that spirituality is beneficial to our mental health. A 2020 review combining 48 longitudinal studies found that people who engage in religious activities and...

Early life stress may raise risks of postpartum depression Apr 23rd, 2024

Early life stress may raise risks of postpartum depression Previous studies have shown that postpartum depression (PPD) is more prevalent among teens in urban cities. And a new research may throw insights into why that is. Some researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine recently revealed their findings suggesting that social stress...

Myths about anxiety disorder you need to discard Apr 20th, 2024

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the US. It is usually confusing and because it doesn't sound as life-distorting as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, most people treat it with less regard. Why not, everyone gets anxious at some point, right? Well, anxiety disorder goes beyond that....

How Does Physical Activity Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease? Apr 19th, 2024

It's common knowledge that engaging in physical activity is beneficial for heart health. But researchers are still looking closer to see the extent of the effect and why. In a new study by Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers found that physical activity reduces the risks of heart disease partly by lowering...

Schizophrenia: What Causes the Cognitive Decline? Apr 14th, 2024

Schizophrenia: What Causes the Cognitive Decline?   Schizophrenia typically causes hallucinations. But beyond that, cognitive decline, which often occurs in aging individuals, is also a common symptom. Now, researchers have discovered that the biological pathway that causes cognitive decline in both schizophrenia patients and aging adults may be the same....

Stress Can Make Young People Look and Feel Older Apr 9th, 2024

Stress Can Make Young People Look and Feel Older Did you know that stress can cause grey hair? Yes, and I wrote an article on it long ago. Stress doesn't only make adults look older, but it can also make them FEEL older than they actually are. And new research...

ADHD Patients on Stimulants More Likely to Suffer Heart Damage Apr 7th, 2024

ADHD Patients on Stimulants More Likely to Suffer Heart Damage   Although stimulants have always been considered an effective medication for ADHD, there are several side effects such as addiction to the drug, psychosis, and seizures. A new study by the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session has found...

Younger Women with Mental Health Issues Prone to Heart Disease Apr 4th, 2024

Younger Women with Mental Issues Prone to Heart Disease Past studies reveal that women are naturally less likely to suffer from heart disease than men. However, for young women living with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, their heart disease risk increases and becomes similar to men’s. And this is...

How Parents Can Help Prevent ADHD Development in Their Kids Feb 19th, 2024

How Parents Can Help Prevent ADHD Development in Their Kids Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) begins to manifest during childhood, but there are signs like exuberance and over-excitability that may indicate which kid is predisposed to the condition. Parents who observe these signs early enough can help prevent the development of...

How you view stressful situations may influence your health and wellbeing Feb 12th, 2024

How you view stressful situations may influence your health and wellbeing Researchers have found a link between how people view stressful situations and their mental health outcomes. People who view stressful situations as a challenge rather than a threat are more likely to report better mental health and physical well-being....

How chronic stress influences the brain and causes depression Feb 8th, 2024

How chronic stress influences the brain and causes depression Chronic stress affects the immune system, potentially leading to a host of health issues, including heart disease, insomnia, and even depression. In fact, many stress-related mental illnesses are linked to changes in the immune system. But it remains unknown how the...

Over-the-Phone Care Effective for Combating Depression Feb 5th, 2024

Over-the-Phone Care Effective for Combating Depression Researchers conducted a study during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021, and the results have now been published. The study was a clinical trial for older people in isolation, which involved providing them care over the phone during that period. According to the study led...

PTSD linked with a smaller cerebellum: But which comes first? Jan 29th, 2024

PTSD linked with a smaller cerebellum: But which comes first? The cerebellum is a small part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement and balance; it also influences memory and emotions, two things largely associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now, researchers have found something pretty interesting. People with...

Managing stress may be key to solving serious health challenges Jan 25th, 2024

Managing stress may be key to solving serious health challenges A new study has found that stress significantly contributes to metabolic syndrome, meaning that simply managing stress can be key to a host of health issues. Metabolic syndrome is a wide range of conditions that work together to raise one's...

By just how much does bipolar disorder increase one’s risk of death? Jan 22nd, 2024

By just how much does bipolar disorder increase one’s risk of death?   Many psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder and depression have been associated with an increased mortality rate. However, researchers usually study these conditions, specifically bipolar disorder, alongside other factors that may cause death. For example, it's possible for...

Just having enough sunlight can help ward off depression Jan 18th, 2024

Just having enough sunlight can help ward off depression   Previous studies have suggested that some people tend to have winter depression during the dark months. And a more recent analysis backs that up. In an extensive research on climate change, something interesting was discovered. During the winter months in...

Over 200 Genes Linked with Major Depression Jan 12th, 2024

Over 200 Genes Linked with Major Depression A new study into the genetics of major depression has identified over 200 genes linked to the disorder. This study is the largest of its kind, including participants from all over the world; other past studies have usually focused on people of European...

Mental health for older adults: How being around nature can help Jan 8th, 2024

Mental health for older adults: How being around nature can help Many studies have looked into the benefits of nature to mental health. People who spend time in nature or have indoor greenery tend to experience more positive emotions, joy, and higher productivity with lower levels of stress, depression, and...

Combining mindfulness and exercising key to a healthier, happier you Jan 4th, 2024

Combining mindfulness and exercising can be the key to a healthier, happier you If you're seeking a routine to improve your mental health and overall well-being in 2024, combining mindfulness and exercise might just be all you need. Combining both routines can help you reap the benefits much more than...

Trending mental health topics and research findings 2023 Jan 2nd, 2024

Trending mental health topics and research findings in 2023   Looking back at 2023, there are many mental health discussions and discoveries that you should ideally get up to speed with. Whether you are a mental health professional, a patient, or simply looking to make some New Year resolutions regarding...

Reasons why people quit therapy Dec 28th, 2023

Reasons why people quit therapy About half of people who begin therapy quit before ever meeting their mental health goals. But why? Is it because they got busy or distracted? A new study shows that's not always the case. The therapist can often be the reason why a client quits...

Weight linked to high rate of depression among teens Dec 23rd, 2023

A new study has found that high body mass index (BMI) — or, in simple terms, being overweight — in childhood may lead to depression in teenage, especially among girls. No, it's not that excess fat causes depression. It might be the dissatisfaction that comes from being overweight that contributes...

Mindfulness may help cardiac arrest survivors with PTSD Dec 15th, 2023

A groundbreaking study just found a promising way to help survivors of sudden cardiac arrest deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using mindfulness-based interventions. It's a big deal because, currently, a staggering 33% (one in three) of survivors experience PTSD symptoms after leaving the hospital. Granted, exposure therapy is a...

Antidepressants may reduce negative memories in depressed patients Dec 12th, 2023

Antidepressants have been around since the 1950s and we prescribe them for patients battling depression. They're FDA-approved. But you see, even at that, there's still much we don't know about how antidepressants work. We just know that they do, and they're often your best bet for relieving depression symptoms. Still,...

How Your Beliefs and Perceptions Influence Your Depression Treatment Dec 9th, 2023

How Your Beliefs and Perceptions Influence Your Depression Treatment In the past, there have been different schools of thought regarding what causes depression. Is it purely chemical imbalance, genetics, perception about life, or environmental factors? But as many studies have proven, it is usually a mix of all these. For...

How psychological distress during pregnancy may affect the child Dec 5th, 2023

I have talked extensively on how the mental health condition of a pregnant mum can affect the child yet unborn. I mentioned how anxiety may lead to preterm birth, anorexia (eating disorder) in pregnant moms may lead to complications like miscarriage and low birth weight, and how babies of mothers...

Early-life stress may cause even worse outcomes than brain injury Nov 30th, 2023

Did you know that the human brain stops developing in the mid-to-late 20s? Knowing that, what do you think would happen if a child experiences something that is able to affect their brain— something like severe stress or a brain injury? You guessed right. Such a change can alter the...

PTSD: Why are some people more at risk than others? Nov 26th, 2023

PTSD: Why are some people more at risk than others?   So many people witness one or more traumatic experiences in their lifetime, but not all of them go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, only about 25-35% of people who experience trauma would develop PTSD. So,...

Why are multiple diagnoses common with mental disorders? Nov 24th, 2023

Why are multiple diagnoses common with mental disorders? It's common for people who have one mental illness to be diagnosed with two more. For example, people with depression usually also have anxiety disorder and/or schizophrenia. Such patients tend to feel unlucky. "Why me?" they might ask. But quite interestingly and...

Genetic testing improves depression treatment outcomes and saves costs Nov 17th, 2023

Not very long ago, I talked about the role of pharmacogenetic testing in psychiatry and how it can improve treatment outcomes. Pharmacogenetic testing is a procedure that examines how a patient's genetic makeup will influence their response to a drug. Because your genes determine how your body reacts to certain...

Youngest pupils with ADHD likely to retain diagnosis as older peers Nov 13th, 2023

Youngest pupils with ADHD are as likely to retain the diagnosis as their older peers When specialists diagnose younger pupils with ADHD, scientists usually question the validity of the diagnosis, arguing that these pupils only manifest the symptoms because they are less mature than their classmates. But a new study...

Postpartum depression more heritable than we thought Nov 6th, 2023

Postpartum depression is a subtype of major depressive disorder that affects about 14% of women after giving birth. The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to those of regular depression, but there's also excessive crying. Most people attribute postpartum depression to environmental and psychological factors, such as the difficult thought...

Anxiety and depression may be early signs of multiple sclerosis Nov 1st, 2023

Anxiety and depression may be early signs of multiple sclerosis Multiple sclerosis is a disorder caused by nerve damage, resulting in the disruption of communication between the brain and the body. When communication in the nervous system gets glitchy, many things can go wrong because the brain is responsible for...

One's traumatic childhood may influence their descendant's behavior Oct 27th, 2023

One's traumatic childhood may influence their descendant's behavior To think that one's negative childhood experiences, such as trauma, could influence the behavior of their own kids is beyond irrational. Yet, evidence suggests otherwise. A new study shows that for people who experienced traumatic experiences like abuse, neglect, and domestic violence...

Consistent sleep deprivation linked with future risk of depression Oct 24th, 2023

The link between lack of sleep and depression has always been a case of chicken or egg, in that it's hard to tell which comes first. Does depression make you lose sleep, or does lack of sleep increase your risk of depression? While many experts regard lack of sleep as...

Mental Health Challenges High among Minority College Students Oct 20th, 2023

College is a mix of excitement, challenges, and, of course, a bit of stress. But what if you're told that for some students, it can be even more stressful, especially if they're not the same race as most of their peers? According to a recent study from the University of...

Reducing Crash Risk for Teens with ADHD: A Promising Training Program Oct 18th, 2023

Reducing Crash Risk for Teens with ADHD: A Promising Training Program   ADHD has been linked to an increased risk of accidents on the road. Recent studies have shown that teens and older adults with ADHD are two times more likely to be involved in car crashes than their age...

Why is depression after traumatic brain injury so difficult to treat? Oct 15th, 2023

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is brain injury resulting from physical injury such as from a car crash or sport, is usually followed by depression. The depression that develops after traumatic brain injury typically doesn't respond to traditional treatments used for major depressive disorder. This has led many clinicians to...

Lithium for Bipolar Disorder: All You Need to Know Oct 11th, 2023

Bipolar disorder affects about 1 in 40 American adults, and about 1% of teenagers live with it. Despite how common it is, there is still no cure, although several treatments, including medication, can help to manage the condition. While many think bipolar disorder has two sides, recent advancement in research...

Does Depression Increase Your Risk of Other Illnesses? Oct 10th, 2023

"Will my depression make me prone to other diseases?" is a common question I often hear. The answer, unfortunately, is in the affirmative. Depression is associated with an increased risk of physical health issues like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, cancer, and weight gain. It doesn't stop there, though. A new...

Drivers with ADHD 2X more likely to be involved in car crashes Oct 7th, 2023

Drivers with ADHD 2X more likely to be involved in car crashes A new study shows that older adults with ADHD are two times more likely to be involved in car crashes than their age mates without ADHD. ADHD is usually more associated with children and young adults. And actually,...

How Childhood Trauma and Contrast Avoidance Influence Anxiety Oct 4th, 2023

The contrast avoidance model suggests that people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) tend to worry as a way to avoid feeling even worse. They unintentionally keep themselves in a negative emotional state of worrying to prevent the discomfort of transitioning from a positive or neutral mood to a negative one....

Social media intensity, social connection, and wellbeing: The link Sep 30th, 2023

Social media intensity, social connection, and wellbeing: The link   From several studies now, we have been able to establish that social connection is essential to our mental well-being. Research also shows that heavy social media use can be harmful, leading to a weaker sense of connection and, subsequently, lower...

Healthy lifestyle can prevent depression: Recent research proves why Sep 28th, 2023

Healthy lifestyle can prevent depression New research shows that healthy lifestyle habits like frequent social connection, regular physical activity, sufficient sleep, moderate alcohol consumption, healthy diet, zero smoking, and minimal sedentary behavior reduce the risk of depression. The cause of depression remains a dilemma, but we know that lifestyle factors...

Is ADHD real? Insights into the roots of all mental health issues Sep 28th, 2023

Like all other mental health conditions, ADHD is real. However, there's something underlying in all mental health disorders that has eluded researchers for eons. Think about it, when it comes to psychiatric disorders, the patient's behaviors or symptoms are the only factors we are absolutely certain of. We are still...

Social media addiction linked with anxiety and depression in young adults Sep 21st, 2023

Social media addiction linked with anxiety and depression in young adults The negative impact of social media use on the lives of young people has been a major concern in recent years. Studies have linked heavy social media use with higher rates of anxiety and depression in young adults. It...

Emotion-Focused Therapy Vs. CBT: Which is More Effective? Sep 17th, 2023

Emotion-focused therapy vs. CBT: which is more effective? One study has shown that emotion-focused therapy may be just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy in treating anxiety. Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a newer therapeutic approach compared to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but it's getting increasingly popular by the day. Considering...

Negative social comparison linked with suicidal ideation and social media use Sep 14th, 2023

Social media use, negative social comparison, and suicidal ideation It goes without saying that social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook tend to incite negative social comparisons. Negative social comparison is when an individual believes they're not doing as well as others. With the visual flamboyance we see on the...

The Power of Positivity in Battling Depression Sep 7th, 2023

The Power of Positivity in Battling Depression A new study has found that people who recovered from major depression tend to focus more on negativity than positivity, which puts them at risk of relapse. According to Alainna Wen, PhD, lead author of the research, formerly depressed patients spend more time...

Safe Prescription Best Practices to Reduce Addiction Risk Sep 3rd, 2023

Safe Prescription for Psychiatrists: A Guide to Reducing Addiction Risk   Drug addiction from psychiatric medication has been a problem for quite some time. This is so because mental healthcare providers often prescribe addictive meds when something less risky could have done the job. For example, while stimulants may cause...

Bipolar disorder: Antidepressants may prevent relapse in patients Aug 24th, 2023

Continuing long-term treatment with modern antidepressants may help reduce the risk of relapsing into depression in patients with bipolar disorder. Treating depression in bipolar depression is usually challenging. And during depressive episodes is when suicidal behavior is more likely. When treatment for mania is effective and the patient is stabilized,...

Anxious people use a different part of their brain to control emotion Aug 21st, 2023

Imagine spotting that person you've been secretly crushing on for ages. Your heart races, palms get a little sweaty, and the prospect of approaching them sends your nerves into overdrive. If you are an anxious person, chances are you'd act like you never saw them, to avoid the embarrassing situation...

Lithium dosage: how much lithium do you need to treat mental illness? Aug 12th, 2023

Lithium dosage is a worrisome topic for most patients. Ideally, use lithium in as low a dosage as does the job. For most people, using subtherapeutic doses of lithium, i.e., below 0.6 mmol/L, can be substantially effective in treating psychiatric issues while reducing the risks of adverse effects. Just how...

Risk of Developing Schizophrenia: New Insights Revealed Aug 3rd, 2023

Researchers from Georgia State University's TReNDS Center have made a significant discovery about schizophrenia. They found that age-related changes in the brain's patterns could be linked to the risk of developing schizophrenia. This finding is essential because it may help doctors identify the individuals at risk earlier, ultimately leading to...

Stress eating: Why you crave food during stress & how to stop Jul 27th, 2023

Why do I overeat and gain weight when stressed? Emotional eating Stress eating or emotional eating is a thing. The hormones chronic stress releases push people to crave high-calorie, sugary foods, aka "comfort foods," leading to weight gain. Also, the combination of stress and calorie-dense foods can cause two times...

When Should You Stop Using Lithium? 5 Reasons to Quit Lithium Jul 27th, 2023

Top reasons to quit lithium include the inability to cope with the side effects like diarrhea and tremor, lithium toxicity, or when the drug interferes with other medication. You may also quit lithium when you get well. Lithium has become a household name in treating bipolar disorder for more than...

Early Signs That May Help Predict ADHD Risk Jul 13th, 2023

Identifying children at risk of developing ADHD at an early stage can significantly contribute to providing appropriate interventions and support from the onset. Thankfully, we now know some risk factors that can increase a child's risk of ADHD. Recent research suggests that certain factors known at birth, such as maternal...

Possible Cure for OCD Found at Last? Jul 6th, 2023

Possible Cure for OCD Found at Last?   Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects millions worldwide, causing significant distress and impairing daily life. Patients simply aren't in control of their compulsions, to the point some may even contemplate suicide. While treatment may help bring symptoms under control so they don't ruin your...

New Type of Depression Found Jun 29th, 2023

New Type of Depression Identified, May Boost Treatment Outcomes   A recent study conducted by scientists at Stanford Medicine has shed light on a new type of depression known as the cognitive biotype. This specific subtype, accounting for 27% of depressed patients, is characterized by difficulties in planning ahead, displaying...

Reducing social media use to 30 minutes daily can reduce depression Jun 24th, 2023

Depressed and anxious? Try cutting back on your social media use   Do you often feel anxious and depressed? If you’ve been spending almost all day on social media, cutting it down to 30 minutes daily can significantly reduce your anxiety and depression. This is according to a new study...

Spindles: the sleep phase that can reduce anxiety symptoms Jun 18th, 2023

Hardly a day goes by without us emphasizing the importance of sleep for mental health, but did you know that a particular sleep phase can help alleviate anxiety in people with PTSD? When you fall asleep, there is a phase where neural oscillatory activity is at its highest. This phase...

Reversing Brain Signals: New Key for Treating Depression? Jun 18th, 2023

Did you know that powerful magnetic pulses applied to the scalp can bring fast relief to severely depressed patients for whom standard treatments have failed? This treatment is known as Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Although TMS works, no one knew how it changes the brain to alleviate depression — until...

Does the pill increase a woman's risk of depression? Jun 15th, 2023

Does the pill increase a woman's risk of depression?   It's surprising to know that even the most remote of things could cause depression. It's been common knowledge for ages that contraceptives can affect a woman's mood, but new research shows that these pills can increase depression risks by 73%....

Is schizophrenia an autoimmune disease? What new study suggests Jun 11th, 2023

Autoimmunity and Schizophrenia: New Evidence Found   Several past studies have identified a link between autoimmunity and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia also shows many similarities with auto immune diseases that it could be considered an autoimmune disease itself. Well, a new study has shed even more light on the topic. Researchers have...

Brain mechanism behind anxiety and OCD found at last Jun 10th, 2023

Brain mechanism behind anxiety and OCD found at last   Researchers have always thought that only neurons, the major type of brain cells, control behavior. But we now know that's not entirely correct, according to new research. A minor type of brain cells known as microglia also influences behavior --...

Battling loneliness? Here's how to fight it in today's world May 10th, 2023

Did you know that loneliness can be as mortally dangerous as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day? Loneliness is a pervasive problem affecting people of all ages and backgrounds globally. Perhaps you're feeling lonely right now. It's easy to mistake loneliness for depression, but they're different. Loneliness is social...

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lithium Toxicity? May 3rd, 2023

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lithium Toxicity?   Lithium is widely used for treating various mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, and ADHD, all of which I've talked about extensively. However, like any medication, lithium can cause side effects, and in some cases, it may lead to...

Can stress during pregnancy lead to postpartum depression? Apr 27th, 2023

Recently, I talked about postpartum depression and baby blues. I highlighted the impact of postpartum depression on new moms and why it's best to seek help quickly. But today, let's discuss an even more fundamental question: can stress during pregnancy lead to postpartum depression? This question is fundamental as it...

ADHD stimulant abuse common among teens: how to protect your child Apr 20th, 2023

Abuse of opioids and other hard drugs is pretty common, but it's interesting to know that prescription stimulants for ADHD are being abused just as much. What's even more interesting is the fact that this misuse doesn't only happen among adults but teens as well. And not even teens with...

How effective is exercise in managing depression and anxiety? Apr 14th, 2023

We've always heard about the importance of exercise to our mental health. But just how effective is it compared to medication and other techniques? Can you use physical activity as a first-choice treatment for depression? A new study has found that physical exercise is, in fact, incredibly effective for reducing...

How changing your posture and movement can improve depression Apr 8th, 2023

Common treatments for depression and anxiety typically focus on your thoughts, but new research shows that changing your posture and movements may also improve depression symptoms. A depressed person usually moves around differently from a healthy person. Slumped shoulders, slower gait, and the like. It all suggests that a link...

Is Moderate Alcohol Good for You? Debunking the Myth Mar 30th, 2023

Is moderate alcohol consumption beneficial to your mental health? One recent study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce one's risk of depression, and that complete abstinence may increase depression risk, but we need to review the study analytically. Does it indeed prove a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and...

Anxiety can alter the immune system of pregnant women Mar 23rd, 2023

Anxiety isn't desirable at any point in life, but we've seen how detrimental it is for pregnant women and their unborn children. For example, anxiety during pregnancy can increase the risk of preterm births and lower birth weight. New research shows that anxiety during pregnancy can alter the patient's immune...

Depression and gut bacteria: how gut health affects your mood Mar 22nd, 2023

You may have heard how excellent gut health benefits both physical and mental health. It might have been hard for you to imagine when you first heard it. Why not? It's difficult to envision how the intestine, far down in the torso, can be linked to the brain. They're literally...

Lithium for depression: all you need to know Mar 17th, 2023

Lithium for depression: all you need to know Lithium has been used for over 60 years to treat bipolar disorder. In recent years, there has been growing interest in its potential use as a treatment for depression. Lithium augmentation is usually deployed for treating Major Depressive Disorder that's resistant to...

Children's mental health is declining: here's why Mar 13th, 2023

Children's mental health is declining: here's why   Anxiety and depression among children and teens in the US are at an all-time high. In fact, child and adolescent mental health was declared a national emergency in 2021. It wasn't always like this. So what could be the cause of the...

New Blood Test for Detecting Anxiety Discovered Mar 11th, 2023

New Blood Test for Detecting Anxiety Discovered   Anxiety is a common mental health issue that can be very disruptive to daily life. The current approach to treating anxiety is to talk to patients about how they feel and prescribe medication, but this approach can have negative side effects, and...

Antidepressants for chronic pain: do they really work? Mar 3rd, 2023

Antidepressants for chronic pain: do they really work?   You might not have heard of it, but antidepressants are now being prescribed for managing chronic pain, such as back pain and knee osteoarthritis. That’s because some pieces of evidence show that these drugs may be effective for pain management, even...

The Risk of Psychotic-Like Experiences in Young Children Feb 28th, 2023

The Risk of Psychotic-Like Experiences in Young Children   Psychotic-like experiences (such as hearing voices or seeing things that aren't there) are often associated with schizophrenia. While genetics plays a role in the development of schizophrenia, research has shown that environmental and socio-economic factors also contribute significantly to the risk...

What Are the Long Term Side Effects of Lithium Use? Feb 24th, 2023

Long Term Side Effects of Lithium I have written extensively on lithium and its effectiveness in managing mood disorders, particularly Bipolar Disorder. It's also an excellent med for people with suicidal ideation, protects neurons in the brain, slows down aging, and may prevent Dementia. However, like almost every other medication,...

How to prevent weight gain from antidepressants Feb 22nd, 2023

Weight gain from antidepressants and antipsychotics is a universal problem. In fact, many patients will not start or stop taking their medication for fear of gaining weight, especially women. Although not everyone will eventually gain weight from antidepressants, it's a major issue because if you're reluctant to take your meds...

Why use lithium over stimulants for ADHD Feb 14th, 2023

Lithium vs. stimulants: why lithium is a better medication for ADHD   Why use lithium over stimulants for ADHD I talked extensively about lithium for ADHD in my previous post. But of course, lithium isn't the only available medication out there; stimulants are the most widely used medication for ADHD...

Lithium for ADHD: Here’s all you need to know Feb 10th, 2023

Lithium for ADHD: Here’s all you need to know   Have you ever heard of using low-dose lithium as a supplement for mental health disorders, including ADHD? Well, you're not alone. Many people are unaware of this concept. But, did you know that high-dose pharmaceutical lithium was approved by the...

Lithium for Mental Illness: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects and More Feb 7th, 2023

Who would have thought that a monovalent cation such as lithium would become such a powerful weapon against a wide range of mental illnesses? Well, that seems to be the case. And if you're living with bipolar disorder or any other mood disorder, adding lithium into your prescription plan wouldn't...

Having trouble sleeping? Intense exercise can help you sleep better Feb 2nd, 2023

Having trouble sleeping? Intense exercise can help you sleep better   Like most people, you probably know how important sleep is for our physical and mental well-being. After all, getting a good night's sleep can help improve the outcomes of various health issues, from heart disease and dementia to stress...

Acts Of Kindness: An Easy Way Out Of Depression Jan 30th, 2023

Acts Of Kindness: An Easy Way To Reduce Depression   Did you know that showing kindness to others can help you out of depression? It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Researchers have found that depressed people who showed kindness experienced improvements that other known depression and anxiety management techniques...

Chronic stress can cause inability to feel pleasure: here's how Jan 26th, 2023

Why don't I feel pleasure when under chronic stress? Let's talk about anhedonia Have you noticed how disinclined toward pleasurable activities you become when under severe stress? Even when you indulge, you don't feel as much pleasure as you would on a normal day. The inability to feel pleasure is...

Why Do I Feel Emotionally Numb After Taking Antidepressants? Jan 23rd, 2023

Do antidepressants make you emotionally numb?   Do you feel emotionally numb after taking antidepressants? It's because some antidepressants also numb reward sensations (pleasure) while inhibiting the painful depressive feelings. It's a common side effect of SSRI antidepressants. But really, there's nothing to worry about. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)...

Clonidine: the blood pressure drug that can prevent PTSD Jan 20th, 2023

Clonidine: the blood pressure drug that can prevent PTSD   In line with the recent trend of repurposing drugs for other illnesses, clonidine seems to be the latest surprise on the list. Researchers have found that clonidine, a drug used for high blood pressure and ADHD, can be very effective...

Social Support Can Be Key To Preventing Depression Jan 16th, 2023

Social Support Can Be Key To Preventing Depression   When things get tough, it's always a good idea to reach out to someone for support. But did you know that social support can be especially crucial for those who are genetically predisposed to depression? Studies have shown that doctors in...

The Role of Pharmacogenetic Testing in Psychiatry Jan 15th, 2023

The Role of Pharmacogenetic Testing in Psychiatry   Pharmacogenetic testing is a way to check how your genes will affect your body's response to a specific medication. Your DNA can affect whether you have a positive or negative reaction to a drug, or whether it works for you at all....

The Role Of Metformin In Treating Psychiatric Illnesses Jan 9th, 2023

The Role Of Metformin In Treating Psychiatric Illnesses   Who would have thought that a diabetes drug could also be a long-sought solution to many psychiatric and neurodegenerative problems? And yet, that seems to be the case. Researchers are now studying the use of metformin, a diabetes medicine, in psychiatry....

The importance of self-care in improving mental well-being Jan 5th, 2023

The importance of self-care in improving mental well-being   You've been hearing about self-care at every turn, and more people are latching onto it these days for their mental health's sake. Maybe you've finally decided to take the leap. What could be more awesome! Well, how does self-care benefit you...

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health Dec 27th, 2022

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health   2023 is finally here, and what better way to mark it than by making some New Year's resolutions? Looking for some New Year's resolutions for 2023? Maybe this is the year to give more priority to your mental health. Because, think about...

Why Christmas isn't easy for everyone and its impact on mental health Dec 19th, 2022

Why Christmas isn't easy for everyone and its impact on mental health   Christmas is a time we all expect to be at our merriest. With so many friends to see, families to reunite with, and parties to attend, the opportunities for fun are virtually everywhere. But it's not so...

Trending mental health topics and research findings 2022 Dec 16th, 2022

Trending mental health topics and research findings 2022   The year 2022 is coming to an end, and what a great year it has been. And as we look back, there have been many discussions and discoveries in the world of mental health that we should ideally get up to...

Telehealth Keeps Mental Health Patients on the Road to Recovery Dec 13th, 2022

Telehealth Keeps Mental Health Patients on the Road to Recovery   The Covid-19 lockdown was a period to forget, but it also had its upsides. Some people had a chance to reflect on life and spend more time with their loved ones. And in the world of psychiatry, it has...

Do ADHD symptoms get worse with stress? Dec 8th, 2022

Do ADHD symptoms get worse with stress?   Does stress increase ADHD symptoms? You might have found yourself asking, does ADHD worsen with stress? Perhaps you've noticed your child exhibiting ADHD symptoms more intensely after school, exams, or a generally hectic day. Well, the relationship between stress and ADHD is...

How virtual reality helps with addiction recovery Dec 6th, 2022

How virtual reality helps with addiction recovery   How fantastic would it be to imagine that virtual reality could help with addiction recovery? Yet, that seems to be the case. Virtual reality is clinically effective in helping people recover from substance abuse disorder. In the VR, they see their healthy...

Autism increases depression risks during pregnancy Nov 25th, 2022

Autism increases depression risks during pregnancy   How does autism affect women during pregnancy? We already know that autistic people are more at risk of depression. About 50% of people living with autism will experience depression at some point in their life. Now, it seems it doesn't end there. New...

PTSD and alcohol use disorder: breaking the link Nov 21st, 2022

PTSD and alcohol use disorder: breaking the link   People who have suffered abuse and trauma have the highest risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD), with up to 75% of PTSD patients reporting alcohol addiction. In fact, anyone with PTSD is more than two times as likely to develop drinking...

Clutter can cause stress and anxiety: clean up now Nov 18th, 2022

Clutter can cause stress and anxiety: clean up now   Ever felt like your head is about to explode whenever your house is in a mess? The kid's toys are lying everywhere, the furniture is in disarray, and a pile of dishes awaits you in the sink. At that point,...

Babies with low birth weight at risk of mental health problems Nov 14th, 2022

Babies with low birth weight at risk of mental health problems   The causes and risk factors of mental disorders keep extending with new research. A recent study has found that babies with low birth weights are more at risk of developing mental disorders like depression and anxiety in their...

Anxiety about pregnancy can cause preterm births Nov 10th, 2022

Anxiety about pregnancy can cause preterm births   Did you know that being anxious about your pregnancy can lead to preterm delivery? It's like that moment when something bad happens just because you thought about it. New research shows that women who experience anxiety during pregnancy are at risk of...

PTSD patients can benefit from Blue light therapy Nov 7th, 2022

PTSD patients can benefit from Blue light therapy   Poor quality sleep is one of the major symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, up to 90 percent of PTSD patients suffer from sleep disturbance. Nightmares and memories of the traumatic incidents are just some factors that disrupt their...

Childhood trauma can triple one's risk of mental illness Nov 4th, 2022

Childhood trauma can triple one's risk of mental illness   Childhood trauma and mental illness: what's the link? People suffer from mental disorders for many reasons, and some are even unknown. Certain factors can also predispose one to mental illness, and one of these factors is childhood trauma. New research...

What to do when you can't sleep Nov 1st, 2022

What to do when you can't sleep   Having trouble falling asleep? That can be very annoying, especially when you're bored. Luckily, there are things you could do to help you fall asleep faster, such as breathing techniques and creating a relaxing environment. You may have difficulty falling asleep for...

Lost Boys: How Societal Pressures Can Ruin Lives Oct 28th, 2022

Lost Boys: How Societal Pressures Can Ruin Lives   On May 14, 2022, 18-year-old college dropout Payton Gendron opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood, killing 10 black people and injuring three others. All of that he did for one purpose: to defend the white race....

Working longer hours can lead to depression Oct 25th, 2022

Working longer hours can lead to depression   A new study on new graduate doctors suggests that people who work more hours at a stressful job have a higher risk of depression.   Do you work long hours, say 70-90 hours a week? And is the job a stressful one?...

The cause of postpartum depression found at last Oct 20th, 2022

The cause of postpartum depression found at last   Many new moms suffer postpartum depression, which can be very dangerous for them and the newborn. Postpartum depression usually involves severe mood swings, anxiety, and self-doubt in caring for the child, which may lead to suicidal thoughts. In fact, about 20%...

Low alcohol use can lead to addiction Oct 18th, 2022

Low alcohol use can lead to addiction   Most people believe alcohol addiction results from extensive and heavy usage. But new research has debunked that theory. According to a recent study on rodents, even the smallest amounts of alcohol activate the part of the brain associated with the development of...

Schizophrenia patients 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia Oct 14th, 2022

Schizophrenia patients are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia   A new study has found that psychotic disorders like schizophrenia can increase your likelihood of developing dementia by 2.5 times. A psychotic disorder is a severe mental illness in which one loses touch with reality. The patient's thinking and...

Stress management: Eating together in groups can help you de-stress Oct 10th, 2022

Stress management: Eating together in groups can help you de-stress   Did you know you can reduce stress by eating together with family and friends? Well, now you do. A new study finds that most parents say their families are less stressed when they eat together. Who would have thought...

Bipolar Disorder Can Now Be Quickly Diagnosed Using Blood Test Oct 7th, 2022

Bipolar Disorder Can Now Be Quickly Diagnosed Using Blood Test   Bipolar disorder affects over 60 million people globally. Unfortunately, diagnosing the condition is often challenging as it's usually mistaken for depression. Thankfully, that's about to change. A team of researchers has developed a blood test to diagnose bipolar disorder...

Junk food might be causing your anxiety and depression Oct 3rd, 2022

Junk food might be causing your anxiety and depression   Are you feeling anxious, depressed, or simply having a "mentally unhealthy" day? Ultra-processed foods might be the culprit. New research shows that people who consume much ultra-processed foods are likely to experience poor mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression....

Sound can suppress pain: new research shows how Aug 25th, 2022

Sound can suppress pain: new research shows how   A new study has identified how sound blunts pain. Using state-of-the-art brain imaging, an international team of researchers has discovered the neural mechanism through which sound numbs pain. Interestingly, lower volumes were more effective than loud music. We have known for...

Chemical imbalance theory debunked, but antidepressants still work Aug 23rd, 2022

Chemical imbalance theory debunked, but antidepressants still work   The chemical imbalance theory of depression has been debunked. However, it doesn't mean antidepressants don't work. In fact, they very much do. Some scientists have always been skeptical about the effectiveness of antidepressants. But it's not surprising why they are. Their...

Non addictive pain medicine: non-opioid treatment for pain Aug 19th, 2022

Non addictive pain medicine: non-opioid treatment for pain   Opioid drugs such as morphine and oxycodone are very effective for treating pain, but they can lead to overdose and addiction after long-term use. But millions of people out there are struggling with one chronic pain or the other, and they...

How to talk to a loved one about their mental health Aug 15th, 2022

How to talk to a loved one about their mental health   Talking to a loved one about their mental health and offering support is one of the first steps towards their healing. To have an effective conversation, find the time and place where you can discuss in-depth without interruptions...

How to tell someone about your mental health issues Aug 12th, 2022

How to talk to someone about your mental illness   Should I tell my friends about my mental illness? Mental health challenges can be debilitating and disrupt your life. One of the best things you can do for yourself when going through mental health issues is to talk to someone...

Schizophrenia treatment: symptoms linked with an overactive brain Aug 12th, 2022

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia linked with an overactive brain   The search for well-targeted treatment for schizophrenia continues. Researchers have conducted several studies, and some have uncovered insights that could help with treatment procedures. Interestingly, a new study has shed more light yet on the topic. New research shows that...

Serious mental illnesses increase heart disease risks at younger ages Aug 4th, 2022

Serious mental illnesses increase heart disease risks at younger ages   New research has discovered that young people with serious mental illnesses are prone to heart diseases. The mental illnesses include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder. These disorders increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases up to two times that...

Dealing with Sleep Problems: What to Do When You Can't Sleep Aug 2nd, 2022

What to Do When You Can't Sleep at Night   Having trouble sleeping at night? What can you do to fall asleep faster?Research shows that over 40 million people in North America suffer from sleep disorders, and a further 20 million experience occasional sleep problems. With the right approach, including...

Why do I get angry easily? Understanding Intermittent Explosive Disorder Jul 28th, 2022

Do you find yourself getting angry and lashing out at the slightest offence? So many things can cause anger. But if you've ever asked yourself, "Why do I get angry easily for no reason," it may be a disorder -- intermittent explosive disorder. Intermittent explosive disorder -- one reason you...

Sleeping together can help you sleep better Jul 25th, 2022

Why do I sleep better with my partner? "Why do I sleep better better with someone else on the bed?" If you've ever found yourself asking this question, you're not alone. Many people have observed that they fall asleep so easily with their boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner, and the the...

Why You Get Angry When Hungry: “The Hangry Man” Jul 21st, 2022

How Hunger Influences Your Emotions: “The Hangry Man”   You probably have heard the saying, “a hungry man is an angry man.” Well, nothing could be truer. You must have noticed how irritable and lackluster you get when hungry. That’s the “hangry” effect, and it’s purely scientific. Study findings show...

How To Deal With Guilt When You Hurt Someone Jul 20th, 2022

How To Deal With Guilt When You Hurt Someone   The feeling of guilt can be horrible. It’s a place none of us wishes to find ourselves. But unfortunately, things happen, and it’s not uncommon to discover we’ve hurt someone so terribly that we become trapped with guilt. But how...

8 Anxiety Triggers You Must Be Aware Of Jul 15th, 2022

8 Anxiety Triggers You Must Be Aware Of   Anxiety is a mental health condition characterized by feelings of worry, uncertainty, and fear. It may also cause panic attacks in some people as well as physical symptoms like chest pain, hyperventilation, fatigue, and sweating. Anxiety can come and go due...

Fruits and Vegetables for Mental Health: When Frequency Matters Jul 14th, 2022

Fruits and Vegetables for Mental Health: When Frequency Matters   "An apple a day keeps the doctor at bay." We know the saying, and it applies to our mental health, too. Fruits and vegetables are highly beneficial for mental health, and people who frequently consume raw ones are less likely...

Distinctive Personality Traits of People with Social Anxiety Disorder Jul 7th, 2022

Distinctive Personality Traits of People with Social Anxiety Disorder   Are mental health disorders developed spontaneously, or are specific individuals at risk? Can you tell if a person is likely to develop a mental illness from their personality traits? This is a problem that has challenged researchers for decades. We...

Religion and Mental Health: How Religion Helps with Depression Jul 4th, 2022

Religion and Mental Health   Many studies suggest that religion can help with depression as it is a way to have meaning and purpose in life. When we put things into perspective, the link between religion and mental health is not in any way farfetched.   How Religion Helps with...

A Simple Eye Test Could Help with ADHD and Autism Diagnosis Jun 30th, 2022

A Simple Eye Test Could Help with ADHD and Autism Diagnosis   Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are children’s two most common neurodevelopment disorders. Because they share many similarities, diagnosing these conditions can be challenging for experts. They have to go through a lengthy and...

Going on Vacation May Improve Mental Health Jun 27th, 2022

Does Going on Vacation Boost Mental Health?   Many of us must have heard about music therapy and art therapy and how they can help the mind. Perhaps, travel therapy deserves a place among these as it promises real health benefits. One significant benefit of vacation is that it can...

How to Live with OCD - 6 Tips to Cope Jun 23rd, 2022

How to Live with OCD - 6 Tips to Cope   Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by obsessive thoughts and repetitive behavior that interferes with one's daily life. A person with OCD will feel an intense compulsion to act a certain way or think obsessively about something....

How Depression Affect Relationships Jun 20th, 2022

How Does Depression Affect Relationships?   Persistent sadness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness characterize depression. About 1 in 5 American adults will experience these debilitating feelings at some point in their life. And sadly, these effects of depression can destroy relationships. When battling...

Treating Anxiety and Depression in Children Jun 16th, 2022

Treating Anxiety and Depression in Children   Anxiety and depression are the two most common mental health disorders. Although they're different, they often occur together and have similar treatments. But, sadly, they're not only found among adults but children as well. Anxiety disorders and depression can be lifelong, but getting...

Depression and Gut Health: How Good Bacteria Promotes Mental Health Jun 14th, 2022

Tackling Depression? Good Bacteria May Just Be the Boost You Need The bacteria living in your guts play a role in your mood and mental health, particularly depression. One new study shows that a certain type of gut bacteria known as probiotics can help alleviate symptoms of depression.  Wait… gut...

Diet Influences ADHD Symptoms in Children Jun 9th, 2022

Diet Influences ADHD Symptoms in Children   We've read about how certain food and nutrients can help with some health conditions. Well, it seems attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn't left out of it. A new study has found that children who consume more fruits and vegetables have less severe...

Is There A Link Between Mass Shootings and Mental Illness? Jun 6th, 2022

Are people with mental illness more likely to commit mass shootings? Are mass shooters mentally ill? Are they simply angry with the world? Is mass shooting associated with schizophrenia and psychosis? What leads people to mass shootings? Well... On May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire, killed 19 students...

Anorexia During Pregnancy: A Huge Concern for Moms and Their Babies Jun 2nd, 2022

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight, often leading to starvation or over-exercising. Since pregnant mothers need more nutrition, anorexia during pregnancy can lead to several complications for themselves and the baby and may even be life-threatening. People with anorexia tend to feel...

Catatonic schizophrenia: symptoms, causes, treatment & more May 30th, 2022

What is catatonic schizophrenia? Catatonic schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia with catatonia as the primary symptom. However, this term "catatonic schizophrenia" is obsolete as experts now consider schizophrenia distinct from catatonia. In fact, catatonia is often associated with many types of mental disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder. While...

How Does Socioeconomic Status Affect Depression? May 25th, 2022

Low socio-economic status, in terms of material standard of living, is consistently associated with higher rates of depression. Recent research also shows that people from low-socioeconomic backgrounds have worse depression treatment outcomes. Contrary to what many think, the adverse effect of low socioeconomic status on depression isn't just about access...

Social Media Breaks Beneficial to Mental Health May 23rd, 2022

Social media use is a big deal. Many of us can't stay without scrolling through at least one social media app a day, and so many rely on it for doing business and marketing. However, it's now common knowledge that social media use can negatively impact mental health, especially among...

Anxiety Disorder 3 Times More Likely Among Older Adults with COPD May 19th, 2022

Anxiety Disorder 3 Times More Likely Among Older Adults with COPD   Older adults are particularly at risk of many diseases. Living through the years, it's understandable that body parts begin to wear out and pick up problems on the way, especially when adequate care is not taken. However, it...

Negative Body Image linked to Poor Mental Health in Teens: How to cope May 16th, 2022

Negative Body Image Linked to Depression, Anxiety, Suicidality in Adolescents Young adults are particularly concerned about their appearance. But this isn't a mere observation to put aside. Research shows that depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are more prevalent in adolescents with a negative body image. This is even more than...

The Link Between Mental Health and Dementia May 12th, 2022

The Link Between Mental Health and Dementia Research shows that mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis increase the risks of dementia later in life. While there is no evidence that mental illnesses cause dementia, the link between mental health and dementia is worrisome, given the population of...

Fight off depression by consuming edible mushrooms May 9th, 2022

Mushrooms may lower risk of depression A study conducted by Penn State College of Medicine has revealed that people who consume mushrooms have lower rates of depression. But its not just about prevention alone. Several studies have shown that edible mushrooms such as the reishi mushroom, could decrease anxiety and...

Naomi Judd's Death by Suicide: The Fierce Grip of Mental Illness May 4th, 2022

Naomi Judd's Death by Suicide: The Fierce Grip of Mental Illness   On Saturday, April 30, country music legend Naomi Judd took her own life after battling mental illness for years. She died at the age of 76. Like many other people, you may wonder, what could be her reason...

Cannabis and mental health: How marijuana affects mental health May 2nd, 2022

What is the impact of marijuana on mental health? Cannabis can impair thinking, memory, and the ability to feel pleasure, and increase risks of developing schizophrenia and other psychotic experiences. The mental effects of marijuana are more severe in people who start using the drug at a young age. And...

How We View the Future May Influence How We Recover from Alcohol Use Apr 28th, 2022

How We View the Future May Influence How We Recover from Alcohol Use   A slow, long-term view towards life may be key to helping people recover from alcohol use disorder (AUD), a new study finds. Alcohol use disorder is a worrying problem that ravages the United States, creating an...

Treating Substance Use Also Reduces Depression in Youths with Both Problems Apr 25th, 2022

Treating Substance Use Also Reduces Depression in Youths with Both Problems   Many people use substances like alcohol and cannabis to curb depression. In fact, people seeking relief from anxiety, depression, and pain have the highest risk of developing cannabis use disorder (CUD). This means that substance use and depression...

Medical marijuana: why you should think twice before using that card Apr 23rd, 2022

There have been claims going around for years that cannabis may effectively treat anxiety, depression, and many other health conditions. Whether that's factual or not, there appears to be negative impacts, too. Medical marijuana can trigger cannabis use disorder. That's because people who use marijuana, whether medically or otherwise, have...

Light Alcohol Intake is Risky After All Apr 19th, 2022

Light Alcohol Intake is Risky After All   Experts have always told us that light to moderate alcohol consumption may promote better heart health. In fact, observational analysis showed that light/moderate drinkers had the lowest risk of heart disease. A more recent study also suggested that alcohol abstinence increases a...

How Does Stress during Pregnancy Affect the Baby? Apr 15th, 2022

We all go through stress at some point. But when it becomes excessive and goes on for too long, it becomes a cause for concern, for example, in pregnant women. When a woman undergoes chronic stress (not acute) for long periods during pregnancy, the surge in cortisol can affect the...

Mental Health Treatments: One Parasite Could be the Breakthrough Apr 11th, 2022

Mental Health Treatments: One Parasite Could be the Breakthrough   T. gondii, a common parasite that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals, is known to cause behavioral changes in the infected host. Research into how this parasitic infection alters behavior suggests that the pathway may help develop treatments for schizophrenia...

ADHD and Dementia: ADHD Kids put Parents at Risk Apr 4th, 2022

Parents of Children with ADHD at Risk of Developing Dementia Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) usually progresses from childhood into adulthood. But researchers have discovered something incredibly interesting about this disorder. People with ADHD have a higher risk of developing dementia. Furthermore, parents of children with ADHD are 34% more...

Chronic Illness and Mental Health: A Link We Mustn't Ignore Mar 31st, 2022

Chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and heart problems can increase one's chances of developing a mental illness like depression. Of course, it's not uncommon for someone recently diagnosed with some deadly cancer to fall into deep sadness or depression. Chronic diseases are usually long-lasting and hardly ever go away completely....

Simple Ways to Care for Your Mental Health Besides Therapy Mar 28th, 2022

Therapy and medication are some of the best ways to keep your mental health issues in check. When you're dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or some other disorder, it helps to consult a licensed mental health care provider, talk about your issues, and stay on prescriptions. But that's not all...

Postpartum depression vs. baby blues: Knowing when to seek help Mar 24th, 2022

Childbearing can be challenging, and different women respond differently to it. While some mothers get excited after childbirth, some fall into depression as they navigate this significant life transition. Depression that occurs after childbirth is known as postpartum depression. However, some women also get depressed during pregnancy. The good news...

10 Things You Need to Know about Mental Illness Mar 21st, 2022

Some illnesses are transient, but mental health disorders are often longer-lasting and complex. They can affect one's daily life and relationships, so there's every need to be informed about certain realities while living with a mental illness. How much you understand about your mental health disorder can impact how it...

Clues to Treating Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Discovered Mar 17th, 2022

Clues to Treating Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Discovered   Although schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are two very debilitating and common mental health issues, their cause has gone undetected for years. They are also very challenging to diagnose and treat. But one thing's for sure; they are both highly heritable, and...

How do people get addicted to alcohol? Mar 14th, 2022

How do people get addicted to alcohol? What causes alcohol addiction? It's popular belief that people become addicted to alcohol use the longer they indulge. That is, they grow so resistant to the pleasurable effects of alcohol over time that they now need to take larger amounts for them to...

People with ADHD More Prone to Hoarding, Study Finds Mar 10th, 2022

The link between ADHD and Hoarding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Hoarding Disorder share many similarities that at first glance, it may be hard to tell them apart, or if you have both disorders. People with ADHD find it hard to keep their homes organized, and there's usually clutter....

The Connection Between Heart Disease and Psychiatric Disorders Mar 7th, 2022

Mental health disorders can disrupt one's social behavior and mood and can hamper their ability to function. Coupled with heart disease, the situation becomes even more dreadful. But studies show that there is a relationship between heart diseases and mental health disorders. There's evidence that mental health disorders like anxiety...

How Brain Cell Development Influences Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Mar 3rd, 2022

How Brain Cell Development Influences Risk of Psychiatric Disorders   A group of researchers has discovered that schizophrenia and a range of mental illnesses are associated with a breakdown in brain cell development. The study was conducted by Cardiff University scientists, jointly led by Dr. Andrew Pocklington. We've always known...

Depression may cause cancer: how to help yourself or your loved one Feb 28th, 2022

Can Depression Cause Cancer? People with cancer, and even their loved ones, often fall into depression. It may appear like feelings of sadness, and that's understandable given the fears and anxiety about whether the person would survive, the thoughts of amazing dreams and bright futures that are now at stake. ...

Parkinson's is Often Linked with Depression, But There’s Good News Feb 24th, 2022

Parkinson's is Often Linked with Depression, But There’s Good News   Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by tremors and difficulty walking and talking. It is progressive, and the symptoms may worsen over time to the point that the individual may freeze on the spot and fall, unable to walk....

Stress Can Lead to Excessive Drinking—But See Who It Affects Most Feb 21st, 2022

Research shows that stress can make women consume alcohol excessively, but it's different for men. Men who experience the same stress level typically drink in excess when they have already started consuming alcohol. The difference is this: stress alone doesn't drive men to excessive drinking, but it can do so...

Will My Anxiety Ever Go Away? Feb 17th, 2022

You experience anxiety when something troubles your mind, causing you to worry. It could be a social event that's coming up, an impending task you don't know how to handle, or a situation that causes fear. But here's the million dollar question. Will your anxiety ever go away? Or will...

Intimacy and Mental Health: The Connection Feb 10th, 2022

Intimacy and Mental Health: The Connection   Just as much as we express affection outwards, we need to feel loved as well. In fact, intimacy is one of our greatest needs as humans.  The Importance of Intimacy Intimacy refers to a feeling of closeness with another person. This individual can...

Mental Health Issues and Heart Disease: A Deadly Combination Feb 3rd, 2022

How are Mental Health and Heart Disease Related?   Heart diseases like stroke and high blood pressure put patients at risk of premature death. At the same time, psychiatric illnesses also negatively impact life span and quality. When someone suffers from both mental health issues and heart disease at the...

Is it Possible to Fully Recover from Anxiety Disorder? Jan 31st, 2022

Anxiety Recovery: Can You Feel Completely Normal Again?   Anxiety, considered the most common mental illness in the United States, affects an estimated 40 million adults 18 and older. Of all mental illnesses, anxiety is the most common. From 2008 to 2018, the rate of anxiety increased from 5.12% to...

Rates of Depression and Suicide Among Teenagers Are on the Rise Jan 27th, 2022

Rates of Depression and Suicide Among Teenagers Are on the Rise   Of all the mental health challenges people battle, depression is one of those that sap all the juice out of life. Teenagers are struggling with depression, poor body image, and feelings of low self-esteem all over the world;...

How Effective Are Digital Solutions in Treating Depression? Jan 24th, 2022

How Effective Are Digital Solutions in Treating Depression?   For decades, we've relied solely on face-to-face interactions to treat mental illnesses. Patients need to walk into a therapist's office or discuss via live chat. But that has changed over the years. Digital solutions like software programs and mobile apps are...

How does a parent's mental health affect a child? Jan 20th, 2022

Effect of a parent's mental illness on the child? A parent's mental illness can expose the child to so many health risks. Firstly, children of parents with mental disorder are at an increased risk of developing mental disorders themselves. Also, the kids may suffer neglect or abuse due to the...

Why do people relapse? Here's what we know Jan 17th, 2022

Why do people relapse? Here's what we know   Why can some people use recreational drugs controllably whereas others get compulsively drawn to it? Why do some individuals get strongly addicted after using drugs like marijuana, exhibiting the drug-seeking habits typical of substance abuse disorder? And what causes relapse in...

Type 2 Diabetes and Mental Health: The Link Jan 13th, 2022

The Link Between Mental Health and Diabetes   Type 2 Diabetes More Prevalent in People with Mental Health Disorder New research shows that type 2 diabetes is more prevalent among people with mental health disorders. Type 2 diabetes is a very common disease, but that doesn't make it any less...

How does sleep affect your mental health? The impact of sleep deprivation Jan 10th, 2022

How does sleep affect your mental health? The impact of sleep deprivation   Having trouble sleeping? Working long hours and feeling sleep deprived? You may want to know how sleep and insomnia affect your mental health. When you have trouble sleeping, you'll likely feel more stressed, anxious, and depressed. Insomnia...

"The Cause of Mental Health Disorders" Finally Answered Dec 26th, 2021

"The Cause of Mental Health Disorders" Finally Answered     We used to think that mental health disorders just happened randomly and that anyone could develop them, regardless of their background or personality. However, new studies show that this belief was wrong. Recent findings suggest that mental health disorders like...

The Benefits of Sleep in Teens’ Mental Health Dec 22nd, 2021

The Benefits of Sleep in Teens’ Mental Health Sleep is important for everyone's physical and mental, and teenagerss are not left out. But these young people are getting less sleep these days, even when you might think they have less to worry about that may keep them awake. Why do...

The Mental Health Challenge You're Exposed to as a City-Dweller Dec 20th, 2021

Curbing the Mental Health Challenge in Cities   City dwellers generally face many issues that negatively impact their mental health. Notably, countries where more people reside in cities have higher rates of addiction, anxiety, and depression than rural countries. This is somewhat in line with the theory than people are...

Meditation Can Help You Make Fewer Mistakes: Here's How Dec 16th, 2021

How Meditation Can Help You Make Fewer Mistakes   Meditation has gained so much mainstream acceptance in recent years for its benefits. It can help you manage stress, increase tolerance and self-awareness, and even reduce negative emotions. But there's more. New research shows that meditation may help you make fewer...

What happens when you overdose on pills? Dec 13th, 2021

What happens when you overdose on pills?   Drugs are prescribed for various medical conditions. Many people also resort to prescription pills like opioids to "feel good." This is true for patients battling some mental health problems. Whether it's opioids or some other regular pill, an overdose can be very...

Treating Depression May Help Heart Failure Patients Dec 9th, 2021

Treating Depression May Benefit Heart Failure Patients   Heart failure is a common heart disease that affects many older adults in the United States. Surprisingly, about half of these patients also develop depression over time. This is due to many factors, such as returning to the hospital and the fear...

Mental Health Benefits of Meditation Dec 6th, 2021

Mental Health Benefits of Meditation   Meditation isn't just for religious folks. It's a technique that uses mindfulness to help you concentrate and redirect your thoughts. It's about immersing yourself in the present rather than getting caught up in what's already happened or what's coming up in the future. When...

How omega-3 fatty acids helps bipolar disorder patients Dec 4th, 2021

How omega-3 fatty acids can help improve bipolar disorder symptoms Did you know that consuming more of omega-3 fatty acids can help if you have bipolar disorder? Yes, eating more foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish and walnuts, can improve bipolar disorder symptoms, helping you control your...

6 simple techniques for coping with bipolar disorder Dec 2nd, 2021

6 simple techniques for coping with bipolar disorder   An estimated 4.4% of Americans experience bipolar disorder at some point in their life. That is, in the midst of 100 people, there's a good chance about 4 of them must have experienced, are experiencing, or will experience bipolar disorder. It's...

Feeling Sad or depressed? Unlock eternal Happiness through Gratitude Nov 29th, 2021

Feeling Sad or depressed? Unlock eternal Happiness through Gratitude   We all want a happy life. We want to have a well-paying job, a happy family, a beautiful house, and a good social status. But while pursuing all of these, we often forget to show gratitude for what we already...

Social media may help teens cope with stress Nov 24th, 2021

Social media may benefit teen mental health Last Updated October 23, 2020 These days, a teen's typical day involves a considerable amount of technology use. Young people use social media to reach out to friends, make new ones, get updated on social events, entertainment, and while away time. However, it's...

Sitting Too Much Can Increase Anxiety and Depression Risk Nov 21st, 2021

Sitting Too Much Can Increase Anxiety and Depression Risk   Do you sit for long periods due to your line of work? We know that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor physical health and can increase one's risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. But research shows...

Sibling bullying can lead to poor mental health in teenage Nov 17th, 2021

Sibling bullying can lead to poor mental health in teenage   While we may think that bullying starts and ends in childhood, it's not always so. The physical pains may go away, but not the psychological effect. New research has found that sibling bullying leads to poor mental health later...

The connection between childhood trauma and drug addiction Nov 15th, 2021

The connection between childhood trauma and drug addiction   Most people who battle opioid addiction have experienced childhood trauma. From all that we know, intuition tells us that addiction is just these people's way of dealing with pain, to help them suppress the effect of the traumatic childhood memories. But...

Trauma may lead to anxiety and other mental disorders Nov 9th, 2021

Trauma may lead to anxiety and other mental disorders Does truama cause mental illness? If there's something called post-traumatic stress disorder, then it's safe to say that someone exposed to trauma may develop a mental health condition later. Research shows that one's future mental health can be predicted by the...

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on College Students Nov 8th, 2021

Poor Quality Sleep is Affecting Students' Mental Health   Being a student is never a piece of cake, especially for college students. Several things call for your attention as a student, one of which is getting good grades. Home works, tests, and exams put pressure on students to devote a...

Histamine Release Can Be Causing Depression Aug 27th, 2021

In a study done at the Imperial college London and the University of South Carolina, it has been found that inflammation and release of the molecule histamine could be responsible for mood in the brain. This has become a molecule of interest where depression is a concern. There is a...

Why Leisure Activities Are Important To Your Mental Health Aug 27th, 2021

Why Recreational Activities Are Good For The Mind Thinking that the time and resources a person spends on leisure are wasteful is misguided. Leisure and recreational activities can bring feelings of happiness and reduce stress. By taking a step back from the worries of daily life to do something more...

Effects Of Social Isolation On Mental Health Aug 27th, 2021

Effects Of Social Isolation On Mental Health Social isolation can cause severe negative mental health impacts, including increasing depression and anxiety rates. When people become isolated from their friends, coworkers, family, and social activities, they can feel lonely and depressed. And the Covid-19 pandemic made us see how profound the...

Social Media and Teen Mental Health Aug 27th, 2021

Many youths suffering from mental illness are exposed to triggers when they hop on social media. From the cyberbullying to the show-offs and peer pressure, it can be hard for depressed and anxious teens to cope. Furthermore, even healthy youths can become vulnerable to mental health problems due to continous...

Ketamine for Depression: Does It Help? Aug 27th, 2021

Is Ketamine an Anti-depressant? Ketamine has been a popular pain-killer for years. In fact, it is one of the safest anesthetics available today. Interestingly, this powerful anesthetic can help fight treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine has been found to help people with severe depression. These are new findings raising the hopes of...

Does Obesity Cause Depression? What Studies Suggest Aug 24th, 2021

A study has shown that one in four adults is estimated to be obese in the UK, this number keeps growing daily. Another study suggests that people with obesity have a 55% risk of developing depression, and a similar percentage of depressed people may become obese over time. All over...

Exercise And Its Benefit On Mental Health Aug 23rd, 2021

Physical exercise is advocated in many areas as a way of improving health. It is also good for mental health and well done regularly, the long-term effects are many. Exercise has been associated with mood improvement, self-esteem improvement, mood enhancement, and many more positive effects. People with mental health can...

The Use Of Laughing Gas for Treatment-Resistant Depression Aug 23rd, 2021

Nitrous Oxide for Treatment-Resistant Depression For a long time, doctors have been looking for treatment for different kinds of depression. Many people are having a difficult time adjusting to the changing economy. Seeing how mental health problems have spiked post-pandemic, it is important to deal with depression head-on. Research shows...

Escaping Mental Health Issues Post Pandemic Jul 16th, 2021

When the Coronavirus hit, there was panic and anxiety all over the world. The fear of death, the end of the world, was just an air of fear crippling in every part of the world. Things did not get better when there was a countrywide lockdown in most countries. Staying...

Does Stress Truly Cause Grey Hair? Evidence Shows It Does Jul 16th, 2021

Stress can turn hair gray One of the ways to take care of your mental health is by reducing or managing stress. Not only does stress affect our mental health, but it could cause overall physical adverse effects. For example, we know that stress can cause wrinkles and make one...

Stop Apologizing for your Mental Health Oct 23rd, 2020

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash I read an opinion piece in 2017 that was right on target. Its main point: We need to stop apologizing for our mental health. Now in 2020, it rings more true than ever.  The author recognizes how far we’ve come in reducing the stigma...

Is It Normal to Feel Suicidal? There's Hope If You're Feeling Sad Today Oct 13th, 2020

Photo by Mario Azzi on Unsplash   Are You Feeling Suicidal? There's Hope! Realizing you’re suicidal is unquestionably a low point in life, but it should not be an end point. The oft-heard adage is true: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. With time and help, everyone can...

Why you should ignore your smartphone when caring for your baby Sep 30th, 2020

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash It’s true that there have always been countless distractions around us, but smart phones have taken that to a new level. With notifications dinging regularly, we’ve gotten used to taking a minute to respond to a message no matter what we’re in the middle...

Spirituality and Eating Disorders Sep 16th, 2020

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash In 2015 I read a study that examines the relationship between spirituality and body image. Its conclusion? Strong religious beliefs coupled with a positive relationship with a higher power are connected to  lower levels of disordered eating and body image concern.  The authors identified a couple particularly...

New Info about ADHD in Kids and Adults Sep 15th, 2020

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash I always think it's fascinating to read up on current research on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Check out this article from the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH):  "When in a relaxed state, the brains of children and adolescents with...

Is Depression More Common in Older Aldults? Sep 11th, 2020

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash Depression is pretty common among older adults. It also tends to worsen with age. Around 7 million people above 65 experience depression each year in the US. Some reasons depression is prevalent in older adults include feelings of loneliness and empty nest, poor health...

Investigating New Treatments for OCD Aug 31st, 2020

Image from Neurohacker.com. Between 1 and 3 percent of the world’s population suffer from debilitating obsessions and compulsions. Their thoughts and behaviors interfere with their relationships, jobs, and quality of life. The good news is that effective drugs and therapies exist for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The bad news is that these established treatments only work...

Study Redirects Schizophrenia Treatment Aug 28th, 2020

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash For decades, mental health professionals have heavily emphasized medication in the fight against schizophrenia symptoms. A 2015 study and a follow-up study in 2017 says we should turn that approach around: Focusing more on therapy than on medication yields better results.  That’s good news for the hundreds of...

Why Does Alcohol Keep Me Awake All Night? Aug 20th, 2020

Photo by Miikka Luotio on Unsplash When it comes to sleep, it looks like alcohol has an effect opposite the one many think it has. It turns out that not only is a nightcap a bad way to  send you off to bed, your drinking habits overall could be affecting the way you sleep....

Understanding Bipolar Disorder Aug 18th, 2020

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash I specialize in treating bipolar disorder. It is a troubling reality for millions of individuals and families around the world. About 1 percent of people across all nations and cultures have the disorder, which can disrupt relationships, cognitive function,  and more. It’s the leading cause of disability...

A New Look at Serotonin Aug 12th, 2020

Photo by Chien Nguyen Minh on Unsplash Serotonin levels are one of the first things you learn about when looking into the biology behind depression and other mental disorders. If there’s not enough of it in your brain, you learn, you’re more likely to be depressed. We’ve always known it’s...

Risky Decisions and Suicide Vulnerability Aug 10th, 2020

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash There was a 2015 study on suicide that took a different approach: Researchers looked at common characteristics among the relatives of people who had committed suicide. Study participants, including a set of mentally healthy individuals who were parents, brothers, or sisters to suicide completers, were...

High Achieving Students Prone to Unhealthy Stress Aug 7th, 2020

As we're entering a (hopefully temporary) era of mass online schooling in the U.S., it's good to be aware of your student's stress level, and teach them how to cope.  Researchers have been researching student stress for a long time. I read this study in 2015 where researchers stepped into the world...

Pregnancy and Eating Disorders Aug 4th, 2020

Photo by Esther Wechsler on Unsplash Proper nutrition during pregnancy is important for all women: The nutrients they consume are the only nutrients their babies receive. Lately I’ve been thinking specifically about expectant mothers with eating disorders. The worst of it comes down to this: Women with anorexia and women...

What To Eat For Depression Jul 31st, 2020

Photo by Ola Mishchenko on Unsplash There’s an emerging field in the treatment of mental health: Nutritional psychology. Mental health professionals are increasingly viewing mental illness from a holistic perspective, and nutrition is one of the factors that come into play. In 2015 a group of researchers pulled together all...

PCOS and Mental Health Jul 28th, 2020

I want to talk about a disorder that is not a mental health diagnosis, but it does affect mental health. About one in 10 women have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), so you probably know someone who has it. It’s a hormonal disorder that impacts on women’s bodies in various ways: People with PCOS...

Kid Loneliness during COVID-19 Jul 24th, 2020

Thanks to Duangphorn Wiriya for sharing this photo on Unsplash. Loneliness affects us physically, especially during this time of social distancing. It affects our kids, too. There's been a study already from the Journal of American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on the effects of loneliness and isolation on children in turbulent situations throuough...

Social Media Addiction: Facts, Symptoms, & All You Need To Know Jul 21st, 2020

We hear about opioid addiction and alcohol addiction all the time, but hardly ever Social Media Addiction. Suprisingly, many people are getting addicted to social media use in this generation, and the effects are so subtle and latent that the issue often escapes public notice. So we don't address it.  ...

Socially Distance and Fight Depression with Pokemon Go Jul 16th, 2020

In this time of social distancing, Pokemon Go may be just the thing to beat the blues. When I first read some research on this wildly popular game in 2016, the last thing I expected to read was how it was lessening players’ depression and anxiety symptoms. But that’s what users...

Apps that Improve Memory for People with Schizophrenia Jul 14th, 2020

People diagnosed with schizophrenia often have trouble functioning in society. Hallucinations and delusions make it difficult to understand reality, thought disorders can disrupt  logical reasoning, and memory impairment can make completing everyday tasks impossible. Psychotic symptoms can be treated effectively with medication, but drugs successfully treating cognitive impairments have been elusive....

Children and Antipsychotics Jul 7th, 2020

Photo by Adam NieĊ›cioruk on Unsplash. A 2015 study by the National Institutes of Mental Health dove into the previously murky waters of children’s antipsychotic use, and the findings are interesting: Boys are being prescribed antipsychotics much more often than girls are. In the children up to 12 years old,...

Learning Cross-Cultural Empathy Jul 3rd, 2020

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash I, like millions of people across the world, have been taking in information on the protests going on in America, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.  It actually got me thinking about a 2015 study about cultural empathy training.  I’ve worked with clients with...

The Spectrum of Mental and Emotional Health Jun 30th, 2020

Image from Sports Medicine. The science of mental health is evolving. In the past, we’d say someone has schizophrenia or doesn’t; they have autism or they don’t. In recent years, though, we’re talking more and more about spectra. The spectrum of light. You may be aware that instead of diagnosing different types...

Tracking Depression With Your Smartphone Jun 22nd, 2020

Image from Khalifa University. You may or may not notice it, but when you’re depressed, your behavior changes — enough so that your phone can tell the difference. I read an article that recommended apps to track your mood. One of the highest-rated ones was called Dailyo, which is a...

Self-Harming Teens: End the Cycle of Shame Jun 16th, 2020

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash Back in 2014, I read about a system failure for teens seeking help for self-inflicted injuries: When they go to emergency rooms, they’re often met with what they perceive as degrading treatment from the staff. This perceived lack of kindness perpetuates what researchers...

Responding to Social Rejection Jun 8th, 2020

Image from Wrytin.com We are living through an incredibly divisive time on social media this year. Whether it was information regarding COVID, and now the protests in cities and towns all over the world, tempers are high on social media.  I wanted to write today about one simple tool to...

Sleep to Remember May 29th, 2020

Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash We’ve all experienced negative effects from lack of sleep — exhaustion, blurry vision, depression, irritability. But lack of sleep also interferes with your ability to store memories. Scientists have long been aware of this connection: Psychologists suggest sleep isolates the brain from the distractions that interrupt memory storage, and...

Creativity and Mental Illness: A Genetic Link May 26th, 2020

Vincent Van Gogh has long been a favorite example of a person suffering from mental illness reaching great heights creatively. Some even wonder whether the iconic yellow swirls in his Starry Night painting are indicative of altered vision due to medications he may have taken. Van Gogh suffered from manic depression and committed suicide...

Detecting Alzheimer's Decades in Advance May 21st, 2020

There has been some fascinating research lately on early detection to Alzheimer's disease, and possible genetic components of it in certain people.  Researchers published findings in 2019 on a gene--the APOE4--which seems to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases. Here's a quote from BeingPatient.com and their review of the study: ...

Depression, Fish, and Resiliency May 18th, 2020

Image from Chowhound. Depression is the leading cause of disability all over the world. Suicide rates are escalating. Families are in despair. What can we do about it? Is there anything besides medication and counseling? How can we prevent it? This answer is unconventional: we could all stand to eat...

Fighting Depression with Sunlight and Exercise Apr 23rd, 2020

Here in Boise we’re starting to shake off any lingering symptoms of winter. That’s good news for people suffering from depression and other mental health conditions. Exercise and sunshine are both simple but effective tools in treating depression, so why not take advantage of both at the same time? A...

What To Do On a Bad Day Apr 17th, 2020

My husband sent me an article from the Harvard Business Review a few years ago, and I wanted to share it again because it's full of great tips for how to turn a bad day around!  Here are some of my favorites: Be grateful! It’s impossible to feel depressed and...

Let Your Teens Sleep In: It's Good for Mental Health Mar 31st, 2020

For parents who are suddenly homeschooling teenagers during COVID-19, here's a tip: let them sleep in. Studies show that extra sleep for teenagers actually helps shield them against depression and anxiety. It's true! This study from 2017 showed that teenagers with school starting at 8:30am or later had better mental health...

Mental Exertion Leads to Physical Fatigue Mar 26th, 2020

If you’ve ever felt physically exhausted after a long day of thinking too hard, you’re right: Mental exertion is physically exhausting. And in this climate of COVID-19 uncertainty, nearly everyone in the U.S. is most likely experiencing this level of mental fatigue. A 2015 study shows that when we add mental stress...

Alcohol Intake Affects Your Sleep Mar 18th, 2020

Image from Medical News Today. Having a couple of drinks before bed may not seem like much, but a 2018 study found that even one drink can compromise the quality of your sleep.  A group of researchers in Finland found that even small amounts of alcohol can alter the quality and...

Mindfulness: It's Good for Your Heart Mar 13th, 2020

Image from Forbes. Over the years, I’ve seen mindfulness meditation make a big difference for clients dealing with depression and anxiety. I've learned that mindfulness is good for the heart not just metaphorically, but physically as well.  A 2016 study shows that people who are more mindful — in other words, they are...

Family Involvement in Treating Depression for Veterans Mar 9th, 2020

I read an interesting study in 2013 about U.S. veterans who were being treated for Depression. It confirms what I have believed all along, that is to get the families involved in the treatment of those suffering with Depression. In this study after questioning patients, it was found that 64% of...

Treating Mood Swings During Periomenopause Mar 5th, 2020

Image from Flo.health. When you first start having perimenopausal symptoms, you may not put two and two together; after all, you’re too young to be going through menopause. The changes in your body can confuse you and drive you to distraction. It is not uncommon to be confused and for...

Preparing for the Coronavirus Mar 2nd, 2020

Image from WebMD.   I don't know about you, but I've been reading up on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and I wanted to share a few things I learned.   I read this helpful article from NPR about what are the most important things you can do to prepare for the...

Basic Things to Know About ADHD Feb 26th, 2020

Image from Genetic Literacy Project. What is ADHD? ADHD is a term that’s thrown around so frequently these days, we all assume we know what it means. Used to apply to everyone from a kid who misbehaves in school to an adult who has trouble focusing on a single TV...

CBT and Autism Spectrum Disorders Feb 24th, 2020

Image from Psych Central.  Did you know that therapy can help with autism spectrum disorders?  It's true!  I read a research article in 2011 about children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who suffered from anxiety. Researchers broke the participants into two groups: one group tried out CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and...

Talk Therapy or Drug Therapy? Feb 20th, 2020

Image from MarketingLand.com  In 2011 I read an article in the NY Times called, "Since Talking Doesn’t Pay, Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy."  I found this outlook to be pretty bleak, because helping treat people was what got me into this field in the first place. Treatment means treating the...

How to Combat Mental Health Disorders in Unemployed Young Adults Feb 17th, 2020

Image from Labor Finder. In 2011, I read a statistic that really bothered me, that it was possible that 40% of adults under the age of 25 in Europe were unemployed. All over the United States as well as many other countries are showing increasing rates of mental health problems...

Listening: A Loving Gift to your Partner Feb 13th, 2020

All this week, we've been surrounded with displays of romance. Flowers, chocolates, and jewelry are nice, but a more meaningful gift you can give anyone you love is the gift of listening. In 2018 I read about a study where the researchers measured cortisol (stress hormone) levels in subjects’ spit before and...

What does EMDR do for Trauma Memory? Feb 10th, 2020

Let's talk about EMDR. Eye Movement Desentization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD while she was out walking off an upsetting incident as a psychology student in 1987. Here's what she had to say about that moment:  "I noticed that disturbing thoughts I had been having had...

Depressed? Try a Cold Shower Feb 8th, 2020

It’s just a theory so far, but worth a try if you’re up for it: A cold shower might be just the trick to shock your brain out of a depressed mood. I stumbled upon a decade-old article this week detailing a hypothesis along these lines. It points out that modern humans...

Does Personality Affect your Happiness? Feb 5th, 2020

Image from MedicalXpress.com.  I've seen fascinating research discussing what types of personality traits tend to lead to happier people.  In general, research suggests that extroverted people are happier than introverted people. This makes sense as it has been found that extroverted people are more likely to surround themselves with people, which we...

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? Jan 31st, 2020

From treating neuroses to reducing chronic pain, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to help with many conditions. I wrote a piece earlier this month on how CBT works to manage symptoms of ADHD. Today I wanted to give an overview of how CBT actually works, and why I...

Is Caffeine Good or Bad for Mental Health? Jan 27th, 2020

Image from TeaSoul.net There have been numerous articles extolling both the benefits and harmfulness of caffeine. Less often has there been research on the effects on mental health. What’s my opinion? I advise caution in its usage. There has been insufficient studies showing any benefit of caffeine on mental health....

Identifying Bipolar Disorder and ADHD in Children Jan 20th, 2020

There is a perception that ADHD is an over diagnosed condition in children. There have been studies over the years that have challenged that perception, even suggesting that ADHD is under diagnosed. One chilling study I read in 2010 reported that of the 62% of prisoners who responded to the...

Vitamin D Helps Manage Depression Jan 12th, 2020

Did you know that increasing your Vitamin D can take the edge off your depression? There is a growing body of evidence that links many mental health conditions to dietary deficiencies.  Check out this 2010 study called "Where all the sunshine?" Researchers combed over many studies that analyzed the connection...

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD Jan 9th, 2020

I read this study in 2010 about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an approach to treat ADHD in adults. When researchers worked with patients on medication for ADHD, CBT worked better than relaxation and educational support in lessening ADHD symptoms.  That's not all! Research supporting CBT as a supplementary treatment for ADHD cropped...

Inflammation and The Brain Jan 6th, 2020

There has been years of research documenting how harmful inflammation can be for the body. In recent years of psychological study, researchers are finding that inflammation also wreaks havoc on the brain.  This research has led to some fascinating discoveries! This 2010 article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry where researchers...

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH Jan 2nd, 2020

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 Eat more vegetables Make a...

DEPRESSION: SHOULD I GO HERBAL OR THE MEDICATION ROUTE? Dec 23rd, 2019

I have some patients with depression who have asked if taking St. John’s Wort is adequate in the treatment of Depression. My answer? It depends. This meta-analysis of 27 clinical trials, totaling more than 3,800 patients, compared St. John's Wort and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a common class of...

INSOMNIA: WHO SHOULD I SEE FOR HELP? Dec 19th, 2019

When I see patients in my office I would say that 75% have as a major complaint of insomnia or having difficulty going to sleep and/or staying asleep. Many times the problem has been going on for years. But who should you see for persistent sleep issues? Your general practitioner?...

Anxiety Disorders in Children: A Family Affair Dec 16th, 2019

According to the Surgeon General, about 7% of children have diagnosed anxiety. Anxiety can look different for different people. Maybe it's social phobia, or Avoidant Personality Disorder, or Panic Disorder. The point is, they all tend to have similar symptoms: sweaty palms, pounding heart, increased respiratory out put, sick or...

Lots of TV is bad for your brain Dec 11th, 2019

It’s pretty obvious that sitting around watching TV for hours a day is bad for your physical health, but new research shows it’s bad for your mental health, too. In this 2016 study researchers tracked thousands of adults for 25 years. They surveyed the participants about their TV viewing habits and their level...

Omega 3s May Prevent Psychosis Dec 9th, 2019

I read a 2010 study on Omega-3 fatty acids--found in some foods--that it can help prevent onset of psychotic disorders in high-risk populations.  The study suggests that a common supplement that we use for heart disease and stroke prevention may also prevent the progression of psychotic illness in those who...

Secondhand smoke and mental illness Dec 4th, 2019

There's no secret secondhand smoke can cause long-term damage. But did you know it can also have harmful effects on your brain?  This 2010 study connects secondhand smoke exposure and possible links to schizophrenia, depression, delirium and other psychological conditions. It turns out that tobacco also brings on negative moods in...

10 Ways Gratitude Improves Your Life Nov 26th, 2019

Thanksgiving is here. Isn’t it such a great holiday? It’s all about being with people you love and appreciating what you have. This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but even science is behind the idea that gratitude is good for you! To celebrate Thanksgiving, here’s a roundup...

Accountability and Mental Health Nov 20th, 2019

Several years ago I had a patient tell me they had a former counselor who didn't hold them accountable. They contacted me for their therapy because they knew I would hold them accountable for the goals we set together in treatment.  This got me thinking about the role of accountability...

Depressed? It May Be the Time Change Nov 13th, 2019

  A Danish study in 2016 found that depression diagnoses go up significantly (8 percent) in the month following the change from Daylight Savings Time back to standard time. Since we've just changed over to standard time this month, let’s be on the lookout for signs of depression. Better yet, let’s be...

Self-Compassion and Your Mental Health Nov 7th, 2019

It’s probably no surprise to you to hear that perfectionism — ever-unattainable — is bad for your mental health. People who expect perfection are often overly critical of mistakes, which can lead to depression. I read a 2018 study that showed that choosing to view yourself in a compassionate light dampens...

"Forest Bathing" for your Health Oct 29th, 2019

There’s a video going around social media about the Japanese practice of “forest bathing,” and it’s a concept I believe in and love. The Japanese phrase for “forest bathing” — or taking in the forest atmosphere — is “shinrin-yoku,” and the government has been promoting it since the 1980s. Japanese...

Medicating for Depression: the Basics Oct 27th, 2019

Today I want to take a few minutes to go back to the basics: Let’s talk about prescribing medication for depression. It’s a process that my colleagues and I engage in every day, but for new patients it’s unfamiliar and deserves an introduction. When someone comes to me with depression (and we’re talking...

Memory Loss: When is it Alzheimer's? Oct 24th, 2019

Image from Lancaster University. I get a lot of questions about concerns patients and family members have about troublesome symptoms of memory loss when I am treating them for Depression and Anxiety. They wonder whether they have Alzheimer’s Disease and not Major Depression.  This table is from the National Institute on...

Tourettes and OCD Oct 8th, 2019

Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette was the first to describe the syndrome that bears his name. The described patient was an 86-year-old French noblewoman who uttered blasphemies involuntarily. Tourette’s causes so much pain, especially in social interaction. If you’re not familiar with Tourette’s, it’s a disorder characterized by repetitive...

DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF EARLY LIFE EXPERIENCES CAN HELP COMBAT CHRONIC OBESITY AND FREQUENT BINGEING Sep 26th, 2019

According to a new study in the journal Heliyon, published by Elsevier, 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. As a result, weight loss interventions like surgery and cognitive-behavior therapy might not be...

YOUTH AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS Jun 19th, 2019

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 adults in their early 20s died by suicide. Young men...

HOW TO FALL ASLEEP QUICKLY Jun 5th, 2019

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 method taught to military pilots in combat zones...

HOW POOR SLEEP AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH May 28th, 2019

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 article by Harvard Medical School, 50 to 80 percent of patients in psychiatric care have chronic sleep...

SOME ADHD MEDS INCREASE RISK OF PSYCHOSIS May 21st, 2019

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 after starting a stimulant. This...

SUMMER BREAK WITH YOUR HIGH-NEEDS CHILD May 12th, 2019

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...

THE NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS May 12th, 2019

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 the first to see children who are sick, stressed, traumatized, may act out, or may hurt...

HOW DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY CAN AFFECT YOUR MEMORY Apr 2nd, 2019

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 researchers have followed, interviewed and documented these...

WHY DOCTORS AND NURSES NEED TO TAKE MENTAL HEALTH DAYS Apr 1st, 2019

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 families who are faced with accident, illness, disability and...

THE SKILL OF KINDNESS IN DISAGREEMENT Mar 8th, 2019

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, whether that’s with a group of a few or dozens of people. Scramble...

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP PUTTING PLASTIC IN THE MICROWAVE Feb 21st, 2019

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 your food. In a 2018 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),...

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN TRAUMA AND OCD Feb 12th, 2019

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 wrote about a study where a Dutch man recovering from a childhood rape was successfully treated for both PTSD and OCD at the same time.  This study from 2014 draws...

PTSD AND SUICIDE Jan 31st, 2019

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, people who’ve been mugged, car crash survivors,...

DO I HAVE MAJOR DEPRESSION? Jan 24th, 2019

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 with depression may swing from high levels of activity to...

WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER? Jan 10th, 2019

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 military veterans) or violent/life threatening encounters (for police force) a serious car...

SUNLIGHT HELPS FIGHT DEPRESSION Jan 8th, 2019

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 workers compared the mental health of those who had windows in their office, and...