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Mental Disorders Increasing for Younger Smokers

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2016 – Although fewer Americans are smoking, the rates of psychiatric disorders among those who do – particularly more recent smokers – are on the rise, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 25,000 people born in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and found that the national smoking rate has been falling since the 1960s. But the percentage of nicotine-dependent smokers has been rising. The study also found that the risk of substance-use disorders increased among all smokers with each decade, whether or not they were nicotine-dependent. But nicotine-dependent smokers who began smoking in the 1980s were more likely than older smokers to have psychiatric conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder or antisocial personality disorder, according to the study. It was published Jan. 26 in the journal Molecular ... Read more

Related support groups: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Smoking, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Nicorette DS, Dependent Personality Disorder

Transcendental Meditation May Help Relieve PTSD

Posted 12 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2016 – Transcendental meditation may help ease post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in some soldiers and seems to reduce their need for medication, a new study finds. "Regular practice of transcendental meditation provides a habit of calming down and healing the brain," study lead author Vernon Barnes, a physiologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia, said in a college news release. The study included 74 active-duty U.S. military personnel with PTSD or other type of anxiety disorder. Half of them did regular transcendental meditation in addition to regular psychotherapy, and half did not. After one month, nearly 84 percent of those in the meditation group had stopped, reduced or stabilized their use of drugs to treat their mental health conditions, while nearly 11 percent increased their use of the drugs. In the ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder

Health Tip: Meditation May Help Your Heart

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Meditation can help mind and body relax, and the American Heart Association says it can help your ticker. The AHA says meditation may: Help ease stress. Improve your sleep. Help you focus on healthier activities. Supplement, but not replace, other heart-healthy behaviors, such as healthy diet and exercise. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Performance Anxiety

Study Maps Areas of Brain Linked to PTSD

Posted 18 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2015 – Heightened fear responses occur in certain areas of the brain in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study reports. The research included 67 U.S. military veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. All had been involved in traumatic events, and 32 of the veterans had been diagnosed with PTSD. The veterans underwent a series of tests, and had MRI brain scans during those tests. The tests revealed that veterans with PTSD had heightened activity in certain brain regions when shown images only vaguely similar to the event that triggered their PTSD. For example, the researchers saw heightened activity in an area called the visual cortex. This is significant because along with visual processing, that area of the brain also assesses threats, study leader Dr. Rajendra Morey, associate professor in the department of psychiatry ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Agitation, Psychiatric Disorders, Agitated State, Performance Anxiety, Diagnosis and Investigation

Stress May Boost Risk for Alzheimer's-Linked Thinking Problems

Posted 12 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – Increased stress could be a risk factor for the kind of thinking difficulties that can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. However, the research did not prove that stress caused cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's. "We know that, in general, stress makes it harder to think clearly," said Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in the study. "But here's data showing that stress may put us at risk for developing diseases like Alzheimer's." The findings were published online Dec. 11 in the journal Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders. The study authors gave questionnaires to just over 500 adults, aged 70 and older, asking about how much stress they experience. None of the adults had signs of dementia at the study's start. The researchers followed these adults for more than three years. Each ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, Performance Anxiety

Bullying Can Leave Lasting Mental Scars

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Bullying can lead to lasting psychological effects for both victims and tormentors, researchers report. More than 20 percent of children who have suffered bullying are prone to depression serious enough to require medical help by their late 20s, researchers from Finland said. "Frequent victimization at age 8 is associated with adult psychiatric disorders needing treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Andre Sourander, a professor in the department of child psychiatry at the University of Turku. Besides depression, researchers found that bullying or being bullied were associated with psychosis, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse. "We need to understand the importance of early peer and school experiences for children," Sourander said. "We should integrate a mental health perspective to anti-bullying campaigns, because early intervention can prevent long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Opiate Dependence, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Opiate Withdrawal, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Agitation, Alcohol Withdrawal, Psychosis

Health Tip: Talking to Kids About World Events

Posted 4 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Children will find out about the world's tragic events, so the information might as well come from you. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these guidelines for talking to children about a world tragedy: Explain the event in basic detail, but don't include graphic images or descriptions. Provide enough information without being overly frightening. Make sure your child understands that it's okay to be concerned and upset, and offer support and comfort. Reassure children that officials are doing their jobs and taking care of people. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder

Dogs May Ease a Child's Fears

Posted 29 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 29, 2015 – The companionship of a dog may lower a child's anxiety levels, a new study suggests. The researchers looked at almost 650 children aged 18 months and older who were screened for anxiety. Of those children, 58 percent had a dog at home. Only 12 percent of children with dogs tested positive for anxiety, compared with 21 percent of those without dogs, the researchers at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., found. The study was published recently in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Having a dog may reduce a child's anxiety – particularly social and separation anxieties – in a number of ways, such as by triggering conversations and helping break the ice with new people, the researchers suggested. However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between dogs and lower anxiety levels in children. "Interacting with a friendly dog also reduces ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Performance Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder

Almost 1 in 10 Americans Has Lifelong Drug Problem

Posted 18 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – Nearly one in 10 Americans has some type of lifelong drug use disorder, a new federal government survey finds. But only a quarter of them get the treatment they need, researchers said. The findings stem from a large U.S. National Institutes of Health survey. It's the first survey based on updated mental health guidelines that set a higher bar for diagnosing drug addiction than previous guidelines. "But the seriousness and persistence of the situation doesn't appear to have changed all that drastically since our last look at this," said study lead author Bridget Grant. "What we see," Grant added, "is that a little over 23 million Americans are directly affected with a lifelong problem. And many more are affected when you consider that the issue involves not just the user but also the user's family and social network. And on top of that we also see that ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Opiate Dependence, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Drug Dependence, Agitation, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Dysthymia

Computer-Based Psychotherapy Not as Effective as Standard Care

Posted 12 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 – Computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy probably won't replace standard person-to-person therapy any time soon, new research suggests. The British study found that people did not follow through on computer-assisted therapy. Fewer than one in five completed six computer sessions, the researchers reported. Cognitive behavioral therapy – a form of talk therapy – is an effective treatment for depression. However, in-person therapy is not always available, so computer-assisted therapy was developed as a substitute. But until now, the effectiveness of computer-assisted therapy hadn't been studied. The study included almost 700 British patients with depression who were randomly assigned to receive either standard care from their doctor or standard care with one of two computer-assisted therapy packages – one a commercial product and the other a free online ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder

Too Few Psychiatric Patients Screened for Diabetes: Study

Posted 11 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – Despite guidelines, diabetes screening rates are low among adults with severe mental illness who take antipsychotic medications, researchers find. In a new California study, fewer than one-third of mental health patients were screened for type 2 diabetes, despite an elevated risk for the disorder, the researchers reported in the Nov. 9 online edition of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Treatment with antipsychotic drugs contributes to this risk, the researchers explained. This class of drugs includes clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal), among others. Anyone taking them should undergo diabetes screening every year, the American Diabetes Association says. These drugs often cause weight gain, a contributing factor to type 2 diabetes, the study authors noted in a journal news release. "To improve care for persons with serious ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Diabetes, Type 2, Anxiety and Stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Binge Eating Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders

Scientists Explore Role of 'Love Hormone' in Boosting Social Ties

Posted 26 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 26, 2015 – The so-called "love hormone" oxytocin may enhance social interactions by triggering production of a marijuana-like molecule in the brain, a new study in mice suggests. This molecule, anandamide, activates certain receptors in brain cells, resulting in increased motivation and happiness, the researchers explained. THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – also activates these receptors. Based on their results, University of California, Irvine, researchers theorize that manipulating the supply of anandamide – sometimes called the "bliss hormone" – might benefit people who have social challenges, including those with autism. "Our findings open the exciting possibility that drugs that block the degradation of anandamide, which are currently being tested for various anxiety disorders, could give a boost to the brain's own oxytocin and help people with autism ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Performance Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder

When Anxiety Silences a Child

Posted 23 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2015 – It's a little-known anxiety disorder that renders one in every 150 children speechless in certain situations. Called "selective mutism," the inability to speak is not a choice for these youngsters, experts say. "It's best described as a phobia of talking," said Alison Wintgens, an advisor to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in England, and author of a resource manual on the condition. It's usually consistent and predictable, with evident panic, stiffness and staring when a child is expected to speak away from their comfort zone, Wintgens explained. In contrast, "shyness is milder and more general, more like being slow to warm up," she added. Any child who has selective mutism may be able to speak easily at home, but in other situations will become silent and even appear "frozen" when expected to talk. According to the Selective Mutism ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Performance Anxiety

Health Tip: Keep a Stress Journal

Posted 28 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Keeping a journal of stressful situations and your responses may help you better cope with the next stressful problem that comes along. The Helpguide.org website recommends logging this information: Possible triggers for your stress. That way you felt, both physically and emotionally, while you were stressed. Your response to each stressful situation. Steps you took to improve each situation. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Performance Anxiety

Many Say Mental Health Care Is Vital, But Often Tough to Get

Posted 1 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 1, 2015 – Although most Americans think mental health care is important, they often believe it's expensive and hard to get, a new survey shows. In questioning more than 2,000 adults, nearly 90 percent said they place equal value on mental and physical health. But one-third said mental health care is inaccessible. And 40 percent said cost is a barrier to treatment for many people, the survey found. Forty-seven percent of respondents thought they have had a mental health condition, but only 38 percent of them had received treatment. Of those who were treated, most thought it was helpful, including 82 percent who got psychotherapy and 78 percent who received medications. The survey also found that 86 percent of participants knew that mental health disorders such as depression are risk factors for suicide. Only 47 percent knew that anxiety disorders also increase suicide ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Autism, Binge Eating Disorder

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