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Mental Health News Archive

» Mental Health Library » Mental Health News Archive
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Major depressive episodes far more common than previously believed, new Yale study finds
The number of adults in the United States who suffer from major depressive episodes at some point in their life is far higher than previously believed, a new study by the Yale School of Public Health finds. National survey data currently shows that approximately 17% of women and 10% of men report having a history of major depressive episodes (MDEs) in their lifetimes. But these data are subject to "recall error," or the tendency of people to forget or misreport their health histories when ...
Yale School of Public Health - 7/30/2020


Laughter acts as a stress buffer -- and even smiling helps
People who laugh frequently in their everyday lives may be better equipped to deal with stressful events - although this does not seem to apply to the intensity of laughter. These are the findings reported by a research team from the University of Basel in the journal PLOS ONE. It is estimated that people typically laugh 18 times a day - generally during interactions with other people and depending on the degree of pleasure they experience. Researchers have also reported differences related ...
University of Basel - 7/30/2020


Study highlights mental health risks facing healthcare workers during pandemic
A new study finds that healthcare workers in the United States are struggling with a suite of mental-health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study reports that healthcare workers are at greater risk than the general public of experiencing health problems such as depression. One striking finding is that, on average, healthcare professionals reported enough symptoms of depression to be diagnosed with clinical depression.
North Carolina State University - 7/30/2020


Pediatric experts offer tips for children's mental health in transition back to school
Whether returning to a school building, online learning or a hybrid school environment, it is normal for children and adolescents to have some stress or anxiety about going back to school. This year, fears of getting sick, school safety protocols for COVID-19 or heightened tensions around racism may make the transition even more difficult. "There are a range of mental health concerns that children can face in school from minor stressors such as nerves about an upcoming tests or ...
Nationwide Children's Hospital - 7/29/2020


Increased attention to sad faces predicts depression risk in teenagers
Teenagers who tend to pay more attention to sad faces are more likely to develop depression, but specifically within the context of stress, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Researchers at Binghamton University, led by graduate student Cope Feurer and Professor of Psychology Brandon Gibb, aimed to examine whether attentional biases to emotional stimuli, assessed via eye tracking, serve as a marker of risk for depression for teenagers.
Binghamton University - 7/28/2020


Therapy helps children with food allergies manage severe anxiety: Cognitive behavioral therapy works for children with phobia of anaphylaxis
Imagine a young girl with a peanut allergy, so stricken by fear of anaphylaxis that she no longer takes part in everyday activities many children take for granted. She's stopped playing with her siblings, worried that residue from their peanut butter crackers may trigger an allergic reaction. She obsessively washes her hands to make sure there is no trace of peanut on them. She worries that every stomachache could mean she accidently ate something she was allergic to.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - 7/28/2020


About nine family members to suffer grief from every COVID-19 fatality
Deaths from COVID-19 will have a ripple effect causing impacts on the mental health and health of surviving family members. But the extent of that impact has been hard to assess until now. Every death from COVID-19 will impact approximately nine surviving family members, according to a study. In a study of kinship networks in the United States, the researchers said that approximately nine surviving close family members will be affected by each death from the virus in the country.
Penn State - 7/13/2020


People with coronavirus symptoms more likely to have psychiatric disorders and loneliness
People who have or had COVID-19 symptoms are more likely to develop general psychiatric disorders and are lonelier, with women and young people more at risk, says a just-published study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School. Having a job and living with a partner are significant protective factors against general psychiatric disorders and loneliness, says the study in the journal Psychiatry Research, based on 15,530 UK respondents, which is described as the first ...
University of Cambridge - 7/13/2020


New study outlines best practices for delivering care via telehealth
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a rapid expansion of telehealth use in the U.S. While articles have been published on telehealth and best practices for patient-centered communication during the crisis, none have focused on applying principles of trauma-informed care until now. COVID-19 is traumatizing for many and has a disproportionate impact on those who have prior trauma exposure and mental health conditions. Catastrophic events, such as natural disasters and ...
Boston University School of Medicine - 7/9/2020


Outdoor light linked with teens' sleep and mental health: Large-scale study of US teens shows associations between outdoor, artificial light at night and health outcomes
Research shows that adolescents who live in areas that have high levels of artificial light at night tend to get less sleep and are more likely to have a mood disorder relative to teens who live in areas with low levels of night-time light. The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is published in JAMA Psychiatry.
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health - 7/8/2020


Insufficient sleep harms children's mental health: Poor sleep at night 'spills over' into children's emotional lives according to study
In a new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Candice Alfano, University of Houston professor of psychology and director of the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston, reports the results from an innovative, experimental study showing inadequate nighttime sleep alters several aspects of children’s emotional health. Although plenty of correlational research links inadequate sleep with poor emotional health, experimental studies in children are rare.
University of Houston - 7/7/2020


Walking along blue spaces such as beaches or lakes benefits mental health: New study identifies benefits to mood and well-being associated with short, frequent walks near bodies of water
Short, frequent walks in blue spaces--areas that prominently feature water, such as beaches, lakes, rivers or fountains--may have a positive effect on people's well-being and mood, according to a new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the "la Caixa" Foundation. The study, conducted within the BlueHealth project and published in Environmental Research, used data on 59 adults. Over the course of one week, participants spent 20 ...
Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) - 7/6/2020


Infant sleep problems can signal mental disorders in adolescents -- Study
Specific sleep problems among babies and very young children can be linked to mental disorders in adolescents, a new study has found. A team at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology studied questionnaire data from the Children of the 90s, a UK-based longitudinal study which recruited pregnant mothers of 14,000 babies when it was set up almost three decades ago. They found that young children who routinely woke up frequently during the night and experienced irregular ...
University of Birmingham - 7/1/2020


How to have a better day during the pandemic: Survey shows self-care matters and voice and video calls lifted spirits more than text messages
It's entirely reasonable during a pandemic to feel more stressed, anxious, lonely and depressed than usual. Yet, despite the circumstances, some people are doing OK. Some people continue to feel love for others, gratitude for what they have and joy in the small things. How do they do that? Data collected in April by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers who asked 600 adults across the United States about their experiences and behavior in the past day reveals ways positive ...
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - 6/26/2020


Teens' technology use and mental health: New report released
With or without physical separation due to COVID-19, youth are using social media to connect and support each other, according to a report released today. Three leading researchers have just published Youth Connections for Wellbeing, an integrative review paper that illuminates how teens support each other through digital media during times of stress and isolation.
Connected Learning Lab - 6/23/2020


Depression and anxiety rise among new moms amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: Maternal mental health linked to increased risks for both moms and babies, but physical exercise may help
Pregnant and postpartum women are already at a high risk of depression and anxiety - one in seven women struggle with symptoms in the perinatal period. But the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating those struggles according to a recent study published in Frontiers in Global Women's Health, which found that the likelihood of maternal depression and anxiety has substantially increased during the health crisis.
Frontiers - 6/19/2020


Less sleep reduces positive feelings: Reaction time, other measures of performance also affected
Sleeping less than normal impacts how we feel the next morning. "Not in the sense that we have more negative feelings, like being down or depressed. But participants in our study experienced a flattening of emotions when they slept less than normal. They felt less joy, enthusiasm, attention and fulfilment," says Associate Professor Ingvild Saksvik-Lehouillier at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Psychology. Most sleep research is done in ...
Norwegian University of Science and Technology - 6/18/2020


Poor sleep significantly linked with teenage depression: Depression group slept 30 minutes less per night than other groups in study
Teenagers who experience very poor sleep may be more likely to experience poor mental health in later life, according to a new study. In a paper published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers analysed self-reported sleep quality and quantity from teenagers and found that there was a significant relationship between poor sleep and mental health issues.
University of Reading - 6/17/2020


Mindfulness combined with hypnotherapy aids highly stressed people, study finds: 'Novel intervention' may be as effective -- or more so -- as existing treatments, Baylor University researcher says
A new treatment for stress which combines mindfulness with hypnotherapy has shown positive results in a Baylor University pilot study. The intervention is called "mindful hypnotherapy." "Mindfulness is a type of meditation that involves focusing attention on present moment awareness. It can help people cope with stress, but can require months of practice and training," said researcher Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University.
Baylor University - 6/15/2020


Past stressful experiences do not create resilience to future trauma, new study finds
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger -- that claim is so universally accepted that it's a common truism in contexts from everyday conversations to Top 40 pop charts. But new research led by a team of Brown University researchers finds that this is false. In fact, the research suggests the opposite is true: Past stressors sensitize people to future traumas, thereby increasing their chances of developing a mental health disorder.
Brown University - 6/11/2020


Repetitive negative thinking linked to dementia risk
Persistently engaging in negative thinking patterns may raise the risk of Alzheimer's disease, finds a new UCL-led study. In the study of people aged over 55, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia, researchers found 'repetitive negative thinking' (RNT) is linked to subsequent cognitive decline as well as the deposition of harmful brain proteins linked to Alzheimer's. The researchers say RNT should now be further investigated as a potential risk factor for dementia, and psychological tools, ...
University College London - 6/7/2020


Survey finds large increase in psychological distress reported among US adults during the COVID-19 pandemic
A new survey conducted during the pandemic by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University found a more-than-threefold increase in the percentage of U.S. adults who reported symptoms of psychological distress--from 3.9 percent in 2018 to 13.6 percent in April 2020. The percentage of adults ages 18­-29 in the U.S. who reported psychological distress increased from 3.7 percent in 2018 to 24 percent in 2020.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health - 6/3/2020


Cognitive behavior therapy tops other psychotherapies in reducing inflammation: An analysis of more than 50 studies shows CBT is an effective non-drug treatment for boosting the immune system
A review of 56 randomized clinical trials finds that psychological and behavioral therapies may be effective non-drug treatments for reducing disease-causing inflammation in the body. The results of the analysis, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, was superior to other psychotherapies at boosting the immune system.
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences - 6/3/2020


Impact of children’s loneliness today could manifest in depression for years to come
Children and adolescents are likely to experience high rates of depression and anxiety long after current lockdown and social isolation ends and clinical services need to be prepared for a future spike in demand, according to the authors of a new rapid review into the long-term mental health effects of lockdown. The research, which draws on over 60 pre-existing, peer-reviewed studies into topics spanning isolation, loneliness and mental health for young people aged 4 - 21, is published ...
University of Bath Press release - 5/31/2020


High stress related to coronavirus is the new normal for many parents, says new APA survey: Online learning, basic needs, missing milestones contribute to parental stress
Nearly half of parents of children under age 18 say their stress levels related to the coronavirus pandemic are high, with managing their kids' online learning a significant source of stress for many, according to a new survey by the American Psychological Association. As the global pandemic continues and parents juggle child care, work and schooling demands, the mental health toll on parents is growing, warns APA. At the same time, the proportion of Americans saying that the economy or ...
American Psychological Association - 5/21/2020


Replacing time spent sitting with sleep or light activity may improve your mood
Moving more and sitting less was a challenge for many of us, even before states started issuing stay-at-home orders. Despite disruptions to our daily work and exercise routines, there are some subtle changes we can make at home to help improve our mental health. New research, published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that substituting prolonged sedentary time with sleep was associated with lower stress, better mood and lower body mass index (BMI), and ...
Iowa State University - 5/20/2020


Most young people with increased suicide risk only display 'mild to moderate' mental distress -- study
The vast majority of young people who self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts appear to have only mild or moderate mental distress, instead of more obvious symptoms associated with a diagnosable disorder, according to a new study. As such, measures to reduce suicide risk in young people should focus on the whole population, not just those who are most distressed, depressed or anxious, said Cambridge University researchers during Mental Health Awareness week.
University of Cambridge - 5/20/2020


Is video game addiction real? Long-term BYU study looks at the effect of video game play and the trajectories of addiction
For most adolescents, playing video games is an enjoyable and often social form of entertainment. While playing video games is a fun pastime, there is a growing concern that spending too much time playing video games is related to negative developmental outcomes and can become an addiction. A recent six-year study, the longest study ever done on video game addiction, found that about 90% of gamers do not play in a way that is harmful or causes negative long-term consequences.
Brigham Young University - 5/13/2020


Effects of internet CBT for health anxiety on par with face-to-face treatment
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have compared two ways of delivering cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, to treat people with health anxiety, a condition that may increase in the wake of COVID-19. Out of about 200 study participants, half received CBT over the Internet and half were treated with conventional face-to-face CBT. The results, published in JAMA Psychiatry, show that Internet-delivered treatment had comparable effects, and could serve as an alternative to physical ...
Karolinska Institutet - 5/13/2020


Evidence suggests a small but important number of people will develop coronavirus-related psychosis
Researchers at Orygen and La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia have completed a rapid review of contemporary epidemic and pandemic research to assess the potential impact of COVID-19 on people with psychosis. The review, published online ahead of print in Schizophrenia Research, found an increase in the prevalence of psychosis as a result of COVID-19 would likely be associated with viral exposure, pre-existing vulnerability and psychosocial stress. The review also suggested ...
Orygen - 5/13/2020


Children with autism face higher risk of eating disorders
Previous research has found that autism and eating disorders can occur together, as 20-30% of adults with eating disorders have autism, and 3-10% of children and young people with eating disorders. However, it has not been clear whether autistic traits result from eating disorders or precede them. This new longitudinal study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, finds that autistic traits in childhood come before behaviours characteristic of eating disorders, and so ...
University College London - 5/12/2020


COVID-19 places added prenatal stress on mother and child that could have lasting impact
An international consortium of researchers have identified particular sources of prenatal stress, as experienced by mothers, that have a direct effect on a child's subsequent mental health. The findings emerged from the DREAM-BIG (Developmental Research in Environmental Adversity, Mental health, BIological susceptibility and Gender) project, and are published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
McGill University - 5/11/2020


Why some people are more prone to anxiety: Increased levels of serotonin transporters in the amygdala may be to blame
Anxiety-prone people can blame serotonin cleanup proteins gone awry in their amygdala, according to research in marmosets recently published in JNeurosci. Targeting the amygdala with anti-anxiety medication could provide quicker relief. The same event or set of life circumstances could send one person into the depths of anxiety or despair while leaving another unaffected. This distinction, called trait anxiety, arises from the proteins involved in serotonin signaling, a neurotransmitter ...
Society for Neuroscience - 5/11/2020


Opportunities from COVID-19 pandemic for transforming psychiatric care with telehealth
What The Viewpoint Says: Ways in which mental health care might change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are described.
JAMA Psychiatry - 5/11/2020


Found: Neural circuit that drives physical responses to emotional stress. This circuit could be a key target for treating stress-related disorders such as panic disorder and PTSD.
Researchers at Nagoya University have discovered a neural circuit that drives physical responses to emotional stress. The circuit begins in deep brain areas, called the dorsal peduncular cortex and the dorsal tenia tecta (DP/DTT), that send stress signals to the hypothalamus, a small region in the brain that controls the body's vital functions. The findings were recently published in the journal Science.
Nagoya University - 5/2/2020


Aromatherapy may reduce nurses' stress, WVU researcher suggests
Even under normal circumstances, nursing can be a stressful profession. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbates it. New research led by Marian Reven, a Ph.D. student in the West Virginia University School of Nursing, suggests that aromatherapy may reduce nurses’ on-the-job feelings of stress, anxiety, exhaustion and being overwhelmed. Her pilot study results appear in the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy.
West Virginia University - 5/1/2020


Persistent and Worsening Insomnia May Predict Persistent Depression in Older Adults
Older adults with depression may be at much higher risk of remaining depressed if they are experiencing persistent or worsening sleep problems, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers, who published their findings online April 30 in the journal Sleep, analyzed data from almost 600 people over 60 years old who visited primary care centers in the Northeast U.S. All patients met clinical criteria for major or minor depression ...
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health - 4/30/2020


Guide released for supporting the mental health of frontline COVID-19 staff
COVID-19 healthcare workers will be psychologically impacted by their work during the pandemic and will require psychological support from multiple levels in their organisations, according to an academic review by researchers from Queen Mary University of London, London's Air Ambulance and Barts Health NHS Trust, and a London-based A&E doctor. Published in the European Heart Journal, the review paper looks at the psychological wellbeing of medical staff, and includes ...
Queen Mary University of London - 4/30/2020


Large differences in personality traits between patients with social anxiety disorder
Individuals with social anxiety disorder have markedly different personality traits than others. Emotional instability and introversion are hallmarks, according to a new study from Uppsala University published in PLOS ONE. "Social anxiety disorder seems to be a problem that is strongly intertwined with personality, but at the same time it shows great variation," says Professor Tomas Furmark from the Department of Psychology at Uppsala University, who led the study.
Uppsala University - 4/29/2020


PTSD partners feel invisible, study finds: Helping veterans, emergency workers to recover
Recognition of the needs of wives and intimate partners in supporting the recovery of veterans and front-line emergency workers affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been highlighted in a new study led by Flinders University. Their contribution to trauma recovery, and their own need for support, are not well understood by military and emergency service organisations, healthcare providers and government, the researchers found when they interviewed 22 partners of Australian ...
Flinders University - 4/23/2020



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