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Mental Health News Archive

» Mental Health Library » Mental Health News Archive
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Scientists identify mechanism that helps us inhibit unwanted thoughts
Scientists have identified a key chemical within the 'memory' region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts, helping explain why people who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts when these circuits go awry. We are sometimes confronted with reminders of unwanted thoughts -- thoughts about unpleasant memories, images or worries. When this ...
University of Cambridge - 11/3/2017


Science confirms you should stop and smell the roses
Is it any wonder that most happiness idioms are associated with nature? Happy as a pig in muck, happy as a clam, happy camper. A UBC researcher says there’s truth to the idea that spending time outdoors is a direct line to happiness. In fact, Holli-Anne Passmore says if people simply take time to notice the nature around them, it will increase their general happiness and well-being. Passmore, a PhD psychology student at UBC’s Okanagan campus, recently published research ...
University of British Columbia Okanagan campus - 11/3/2017


Childhood spankings can lead to adult mental health problems
Getting spanked as a child can lead to a host of mental health problems in adulthood, say University of Michigan researchers. A new study by Andrew Grogan-Kaylor and Shawna Lee, both U-M associate professors of social work, and colleagues indicates the violence caused by spanking can lead adults to feel depressed, attempt suicide, drink at moderate-to-heavy levels or use illegal drugs.
University of Michigan - 11/2/2017


How air pollution clouds mental health: University of Washington study finds that people who live in areas with high levels of air pollution also report higher levels of psychological distress
There is little debate over the link between air pollution and the human respiratory system: Research shows that dirty air can impair breathing and aggravate various lung diseases. Other potential effects are being investigated, too, as scientists examine connections between toxic air and obesity, diabetes and dementia. Now add to that list psychological distress, which University of Washington researchers have found is also associated with air pollution. The higher the level of particulates ...
University of Washington - 11/2/2017


More time on social media is not linked to poor mental health: How people use social media is more important than the time they spend doing so
There has so far been no evidence supporting the view that the amount of time spent on social media affects mental health in young people, says Chloe Berryman of the University of Central Florida in the US. She is the lead author of a study in Springer’s journal Psychiatric Quarterly that found very few links between different aspects of social media use among young adults and possible mental health problems such as loneliness, decreased empathy and social anxiety.
Springer - 11/2/2017


Research documents link between nightmares and self-harm
New research from Florida State University finds a link between nightmares and self-injurious behavior, such as cutting or burning oneself. The findings are similar to previous research showing other sleep problems, such as nightmares, insomnia and trouble falling asleep, are linked to suicide and attempted suicide. “We’re seeing sleep disturbances linked to so many psychological disorders, including depression and suicide,” said FSU psychology doctoral student Chelsea Ennis, the ...
Florida State University - 11/1/2017


Spending time in rural and coastal locations is more psychologically beneficial to individuals than time spent in urban green spaces, a new study reports
During this innovative study, researchers from the University of Surrey, University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory worked with Natural England to examine the experiences of over 4,500 people when spending time in nature and investigated for the first time how different environmental settings and their quality impacted on psychological wellbeing. Asking participants to describe their visit and to evaluate their overall encounter, researchers discovered ...
University of Surrey - 11/1/2017


Brain Training Shows Promise for Patients with Bipolar Disorder
Researchers at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, have discovered for the first time that computerized brain training can result in improved cognitive skills in individuals with bipolar disorder. In a paper published in the October 17, 2017, edition of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the researchers suggest that brain exercises could be an effective non-pharmaceutical treatment for helping those with bipolar disorder function more effectively in everyday life.
McLean Hospital - 10/16/2017


Magic mushrooms may 'reset' the brains of depressed patients
Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a 'reset' of their brain activity. The findings come from a study in which researchers from Imperial College London used psilocybin - the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms - to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.
Imperial College London - 10/13/2017


Bright light therapy at midday helped patients with bipolar disorder: Six weeks of light therapy decreased depression, increased daily functioning in patients
Daily exposure to bright white light at midday significantly decreased symptoms of depression and increased functioning in people with bipolar disorder, a recent Northwestern Medicine study found. Previous studies found morning bright light therapy reduced symptoms of depression in patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.). But patients with bipolar disorder can experience side effects such as mania or mixed symptoms from this type of depression treatment.
Northwestern University - 10/10/2017


School year 'relative age' causing bias in ADHD diagnosis, says research
Younger primary school children are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than their older peers within the same school year, new research has shown. The study, led by a child psychiatrist at The University of Nottingham with researchers at the University of Turku in Finland, suggests that adults involved in raising concerns over a child's behaviour - such as parents and teachers - may be misattributing signs of relative immaturity as symptoms of ...
University of Nottingham - 10/9/2017


Why does divorce run in families? The answer may be genetics
Children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced when compared to those who grew up in two-parent families -- and genetic factors are the primary explanation, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden. "Genetics, the Rearing Environment, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Swedish National Adoption Study," which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, ...
Virginia Commonwealth University - 10/4/2017


Earlier School Start Times May Increase Risk of Adolescent Depression and Anxiety, URMC Study Says
Teenagers with school starting times before 8:30 a.m. may be at particular risk of experiencing depression and anxiety due to compromised sleep quality, according to a recent URMC study. Led by URMC clinical assistant professor in Psychiatry Jack Peltz, Ph.D., the study, recently published in Sleep Health, not only reinforces the theorized link between sleep and adolescent mental health, but is among the first to demonstrate that school start times may have a critical impact on ...
University of Rochester Medical Center - 10/4/2017


One hour of exercise a week can prevent depression
A landmark study led by the Black Dog Institute has revealed that regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future depression - and just one hour can help. Published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the results show even small amounts of exercise can protect against depression, with mental health benefits seen regardless of age or gender. In the largest and most extensive study of its kind, the analysis involved 33,908 Norwegian adults who had their levels of exercise ...
University of New South Wales - 10/3/2017


In people with OCD, actions are at odds with beliefs
The repeated behaviors that characterize obsessive-compulsive disorder are a manifestation of an underlying brain dysfunction that is not yet well understood. Now, in a study appearing on September 28 in the journal Neuron, scientists in the UK report the use of a mathematical model that they say will help them get at the root of what causes OCD. They find that people with OCD develop an internal, accurate sense of how things work but do not use it to guide behavior.
Cell Press - 9/28/2017


Anxious moms may give clues about how anxiety develops
Moms may be notorious worriers, but babies of anxious mothers may also spend more time focusing on threats in their environment, according to a team of researchers. In a study, researchers used eye-tracking technology to measure how long babies spent looking at happy, neutral and angry faces. They found that the babies with anxious moms had a harder time looking away from an angry face — which they could view as a threat — than babies whose moms were not anxious.
Penn State - 9/27/2017


Postpartum depression risk, duration and recurrence
Postpartum affective disorder (AD), including postpartum depression (PPD), affects more than one in two hundred women with no history of prior psychiatric episodes, and raises the risk of later affective disorder for those women, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Marie-Louise Rasmussen from Statens Serum Institut, Denmark, and colleagues. PPD is estimated to affect more than 5 percent of all women following childbirth, making it the most common postnatal ...
PLOS - 9/26/2017


Psychological impacts of natural disasters on youth: Research examines how a new criterion for studying post-traumatic stress disorder better suited for children exposed to a natural disaster
Children's mental state plays an important factor in their developmental growth. After recent storms devastated parts of the U.S. - Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida and the Caribbean and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico -- all contributing to massive evacuations of children and families, which children need more attention or support services in the aftermath of these storms and the related stressors that come with surviving and witnessing the destructive power of a Category ...
University of Miami - 9/25/2017


Parents: How You Manage Conflict Has an Impact on Your Kids
Few parents want their children to hear them arguing, but since conflict is a normal part of any relationship, it can be hard to shield little ones from every spat. That's OK, as long as parents handle disagreements in a constructive way, says University of Arizona researcher Olena Kopystynska. Kopystynska, a graduate student in the UA's Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, studies conflict and conflict resolution.
University of Arizona - 9/20/2017


Why bad sleep doesn't always lead to depression: Brain's reward center activity may protect against negative mental health effects
Poor sleep is both a risk factor, and a common symptom, of depression. But not everyone who tosses and turns at night becomes depressed. Individuals whose brains are more attuned to rewards may be protected from the negative mental health effects of poor sleep, says a new study by Duke University neuroscientists. The researchers found that college students with poor quality sleep were less likely to have symptoms of depression if they also had higher activity in a ...
Duke University - 9/18/2017


Couples weather bickering with a little help from their friends
Every couple has conflict, and new research finds that having good friends and family members to turn to alleviates the stress of everyday conflict between partners. In fact, according to the study led by The University of Texas at Austin's Lisa Neff, social networks may help provide protection against health problems brought about by ordinary tension between spouses.
University of Texas at Austin - 9/15/2017


Cuts to mental health services putting young people at risk, say experts
Funding cuts and austerity measures are damaging young people’s access to mental health services, with potentially long-term consequences for their mental wellbeing, say researchers at the University of Cambridge. In an article published today in the Journal of Public Mental Health, the team discuss the policy implications of their study published earlier in the year, which found that young people who have contact with mental health services in the community and in clinics are ...
University of Cambridge - 9/15/2017


Green schoolyards offer physical and mental health benefits for children
A growing body of evidence supports the claim that access to safe, natural areas improves health across a wide variety of areas, including heart health, mental health, weight management, ADHD, and stress among children. A concept gaining momentum in this realm is green schoolyards. But what is a green schoolyard? A research abstract, "Green Schoolyards Support Healthy Bodies, Minds and Communities," that explores the concept of a green schoolyard will be presented ...
American Academy of Pediatrics - 9/15/2017


Antidepressants associated with significantly elevated risk of death, researchers find
Antidepressant medications, most commonly prescribed to reduce depression and anxiety, increase the risk of death, according to new findings by a McMaster-led team of researchers. It’s widely known that brain serotonin affects mood, and that most commonly used antidepressant treatment for depression blocks the absorption of serotonin by neurons. It is less widely known, though, that all the major organs of the body—the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver—use serotonin from the bloodstream.
McMaster University - 9/14/2017


You’re not alone in feeling alone: Believing you have fewer friends than your peers can contribute to unhappiness
Feel like everyone else has more friends than you do? You’re not alone— but merely believing this is true could affect your happiness. A new study from the University of British Columbia, Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School has found that new university students consistently think their peers have more friends and spend more time socializing than they do. Even when that’s untrue, simply believing so affected students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging.
University of British Columbia - 9/14/2017


New facial recognition findings could help develop new treatments for conduct disorder
Teenage girls and boys with severe antisocial behaviour have difficulty recognising facial expressions and look less at important parts of the face, such as the eyes, when viewing faces, according to a new study published today (Friday 8 September 2017). Researchers at the University of Bath (UK) and the University of Southampton used eye-tracking methods to investigate the causes of emotion recognition difficulties in teenagers with conduct disorder (CD). They hope their findings ...
University of Bath - 9/7/2017


Study points to path for better diagnosis of eating disorders, the deadliest of mental illnesses
A paper appearing recently in the peer-reviewed journal Comprehensive Psychiatry details a “radical” new method for diagnosing eating disorders that predicts 68 percent of people’s problems in psychological and social functioning due to eating-disorder features. By contrast, the method of identifying eating disorders outlined by the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5) traditionally used by clinicians predicts slightly less than 10 percent of impairment in ...
University of Kansas - 9/6/2017


Children resulting from unintended pregnancies may experience depressive symptoms in early adulthood
Children from unintended pregnancies tend to experience more depressive symptoms in early adulthood compared to children from intended pregnancies, however there’s little evidence of a causal relationship, according the results of a newly published study by a University at Buffalo sociologist. Jessica Su, an assistant professor in UB’s Department of Sociology, says the association between fertility intentions and depressive symptoms is more likely due to the mother’s socioeconomic ...
University at Buffalo - 8/29/2017


Exclusion from school can trigger long-term psychiatric illness
Excluding children from school may lead to long- term psychiatric problems and psychological distress, a study of thousands of children has shown. Research by the University of Exeter, published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that a new onset mental disorder may be a consequence of exclusion from school. The study, also found that - separately - poor mental health can lead to exclusion from school.
University of Exeter - 8/29/2017


Research sheds new light on the link between gut bacteria and anxiety
Research published in the open access journal Microbiome sheds new light on how gut bacteria may influence anxiety-like behaviors. Investigating the link between gut bacteria and biological molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) in the brain; researchers at the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, found that a significant number of miRNAs were changed in the brains of microbe-free mice. These mice are reared in a ...
BioMed Central - 8/24/2017


1 in 5 women with postpartum mood disorders keep quiet
A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that 21 percent of recent mothers experiencing postpartum mood disorders (PPMDs), such as anxiety and depression, do not disclose their symptoms to healthcare providers. “Our study finds that many women who would benefit from treatment are not receiving it, because they don’t tell anyone that they’re dealing with any challenges,” says Betty-Shannon Prevatt, a practicing clinical psychologist and Ph.D. student at NC State who ...
North Carolina State University - 8/24/2017


Psychotic disorders and obesity: New report shows big waistlines are to blame - First study to compare long-term weight gain across psychotic disorders
Obesity is a major public health problem in the United States, as an estimated 35 percent of Americans are obese and have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. For the 2.2 million Americans with schizophrenia and the 5.7 million Americans with bipolar disorder, the increased prevalence of obesity and its related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is particularly disconcerting.
Florida Atlantic University - 8/23/2017


Yoga and meditation improve mind-body health and stress resilience: New research finds that practicing yoga and meditation has positive effects on mind-body health and stress resilience
Many people report positive health effects from practicing yoga and meditation, and experience both mental and physical benefits from these practices. However, we still have much to learn about how exactly these practices affect mind-body health. A new research article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience investigates the effects of yoga and meditation on brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the activity on the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) effects and inflammatory ...
Frontiers - 8/22/2017


New study rebuts the claim that antidepressants do not work
A theory that has gained considerable attention in international media, including Newsweek and the CBS broadcast 60 minutes, suggest that antidepressant drugs, such as the SSRIs, do not exert any actual antidepressant effect. A research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy has now analyzed data from clinical trials and can rebut this theory. According to the challenged hypothesis, the fact that many people medicating with antidepressants regard themselves as improved may be ...
University of Gothenburg - 8/18/2017


Feeling bad about feeling bad can make you feel worse
Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research. “We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health,” said study senior author Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.
University of California - Berkeley - 8/10/2017


Therapy for Kids With Autism Pays Off for Moms, Dads: Study found when parents become therapy partners, they become less depressed, learn to keep emotions in check
Behavioral therapy for children with autism also benefits their parents, a new study finds. About 70 percent of children with autism have emotional or behavioral problems and may turn to cognitive behavioral therapy to help with these issues. Usually, while kids are with the therapist, parents are in a separate room learning what the children are doing, but not participating, according to researcher Jonathon Weiss. "What's unique about what we studied is what happens when parents are ...
HealthDay - 8/10/2017


Playing action video games can actually harm your brain
Neuroscientists should think twice before getting patients to play video games as a way to boost their brain power, a new study conducted at Université de Montréal suggests. Why? Because in many cases, gaming can do more harm than good. In the study, published today in Molecular Psychiatry, lead author Greg West, an associate professor of psychology at UdeM, reveals that habitual players of action games have less grey matter in their hippocampus, a major part of the brain.
University of Montreal - 8/7/2017


Stress heightens fear of threats from the past
Recognizing threats is an essential function of the human mind -- think "fight or flight" -- one that is aided by past negative experiences. But when older memories are coupled with stress, individuals are likely to perceive danger in harmless circumstances, according to a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
University of Texas at Austin - 8/7/2017


So Lonely I Could Die: Social isolation, loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity, researchers say
Loneliness and social isolation may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity, and their impact has been growing and will continue to grow, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival. Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often ...
American Psychological Association - 8/5/2017


New research offers hope for faster acting antidepressants
For people suffering from depression, a day without treatment can seem like a lifetime. A new study explains why the most commonly prescribed antidepressants can take as long as six weeks to have an effect. The findings could one day lead to more effective and faster acting drugs.
McGill University - 8/3/2017



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