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Psychiatric Disorders Blog

ICU Patients May Face Mental Health Issues After Discharge

Posted 18 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 – Critically ill people who survive a stay in the intensive care unit face a heightened risk of mental health problems in the months after hospital discharge, a large new study suggests. The study of more than 24,000 Danish ICU patients found that after discharge, people had an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety disorders or other psychiatric conditions. The rates weren't high: About 0.5 percent of patients had a new diagnosis in the three months post-discharge. But that was 22 times the rate seen in the general population over the same time period, the findings showed. Experts say the findings, reported in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, highlight an emerging issue: As doctors get better at saving the lives of critically ill patients, more people will be at risk of longer-term problems beyond physical health. ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders

Mental Illness to Blame for 10 Percent of Kids' Hospitalizations: Study

Posted 18 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 – Nearly 10 percent of children hospitalized in America are there because of a mental health problem, a new study finds. Most of these kids suffer from depression, bipolar disorder or psychosis. Unfortunately, there are too few trained psychiatrists, psychologists or hospital beds to treat these children effectively, experts say. "This is a common and costly problem," said lead researcher Dr. Naomi Bardach, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. More than 14 million children and teens in the United States have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, she noted. The costs for the most common diagnosis, depression, total about $1.3 billion a year, she added: "That's similar to the hospital costs just for asthma." The problem has been growing. Between 1997 and 2010, hospitalizations of children for mental problems ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders

Could Childhood Nightmares Foreshadow Mental Ills as Teen?

Posted 28 Feb 2014 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2014 – Many young kids will have an occasional bad dream, but frequent nightmares or episodes of night terrors over a long period of time could be an early warning sign of mental illness, according to a new study. British researchers found children who experience persistent nightmares may be at greater risk for psychotic experiences, such as hallucinations, interrupted thoughts or delusions, by the time they are teenagers. "We certainly don't want to worry parents with this news; three in every four children experience nightmares at this young age," Dieter Wolke, from the University of Warwick in England, said in a university news release. "However, nightmares over a prolonged period or bouts of night terrors that persist into adolescence can be an early indicator of something more significant in later life." Nightmares occur during the REM, or rapid eye movement, ... Read more

Related support groups: Nightmares, Psychiatric Disorders

Mentally Ill More Often Victims Of Violence Than Perpetrators: Study

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2014 – People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators of violent acts, a new study shows. Within a six-month period of time, nearly one-third of adults with a mental health disorder are victimized, the study revealed. The researchers also found a strong association between enduring a violent act and committing one. They suggested that reducing violence against mentally ill people could help protect others in the community as well. "We hear about the link between violence and mental illness in the news, and we wanted to look not only at the notion that the mentally ill are a danger to others, but the possibility that they are also in danger," study author Dr. Sarah Desmarais, an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, said in a school news release. The researchers examined surveys ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders

Are Kids Born to Older Dads at Risk for Mental Health Woes?

Posted 26 Feb 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26, 2014 – Children born to older fathers are at higher risk for various psychiatric and learning problems than once thought, a large new study suggests. Among more than 2 million children born in Sweden, researchers found that those born to fathers aged 45 and older were more prone to problems such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attempted suicide and drug abuse. Other problems include poor grades in school and low IQ scores. "We were shocked by the findings," lead researcher Brian D'Onofrio, an associate professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University, said in a university news release. "The specific associations with paternal age were much, much larger than in previous studies." D'Onofrio, however, doesn't want people to think that all or even most children of older ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders

Stigma of Mental Illness Remains Barrier to Treatment

Posted 26 Feb 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26, 2014 – The stigma often associated with mental illness prevents many people from getting the care they need, new research shows. Although one in four people has some form of mental health disorder, the study found that in Europe and the United States, up to 75 percent of those affected do not receive the treatment they need. If left untreated certain mental health problems – such as psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder – could get worse, researchers warned. "We now have clear evidence that stigma has a toxic effect by preventing people seeking help for mental health problems," Dr. Graham Thornicroft, senior study author at the Institute of Psychiatry of King's College London, said in a college news release. "The profound reluctance to be 'a mental health patient' means people will put off seeing a doctor for months, years, or even at all, ... Read more

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Children Who Lose Close Relative at Risk of Mental Problems: Study

Posted 22 Jan 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 – Children who experience the death of a family member are at slightly increased risk for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia later in life, a large new study reveals. The risk is highest among children who had a sibling or parent commit suicide, according to the findings published Jan. 21 in the online edition of the BMJ. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 947,000 children born in Sweden between 1973 and 1985. Of those children, 33 percent experienced the death of a family member before they reached age 13. More than 11,000 children were exposed to death from suicide, more than 15,000 to death from accidents and more than 280,000 to death from natural causes. Among those who experienced the death of a family member as a child, 0.4 percent developed a non-affective psychosis (not related to emotions or mood) such as schizophrenia. In addition, 0.17 ... Read more

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Mental-Health Disorders Growing Faster Among Kids Than Adults: Study

Posted 27 Nov 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 – Young people are increasingly more likely than adults to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder, according to a large new study. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 450,000 patient visits to U.S. doctors' offices between 1995 and 2010 for the study, which was published online Nov. 27 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Between the periods from 1995 to 1998 and 2007 to 2010, visits that led to diagnoses of mental-health problems increased faster for patients younger than 21 than for adults. Visits to psychiatrists also rose faster for youths than for adults, according to a journal news release. Increases in the number of prescriptions of medications to manage mental health disorders were similar for youths and adults. "Over the last several years, there has been an expansion in mental health care to children and adolescents in office-based medical practice," ... Read more

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Quit-Smoking Programs Work for Psychiatric Patients

Posted 15 Aug 2013 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 – Psychiatric patients who took part in a smoking-cessation program while they were in the hospital for treatment of mental illness were more likely to quit smoking and less likely to be hospitalized again for mental illness, a new study shows. The findings challenge a common belief among mental-health experts that smoking is a useful tool in treating some psychiatric patients. For example, cigarettes may be used as part of a reward system or doctors may sometimes smoke with patients as a way of creating a connection, said Judith Prochaska, an associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Prochaska and her colleagues studied 224 patients at a smoke-free psychiatric hospital in California. All the patients smoked at least five cigarettes a day prior to being admitted to the hospital. The patients had a range of mental-health conditions, including ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking Cessation, Psychiatric Disorders

Epilepsy Plus Mental Ills Linked to Premature Death, Study Says

Posted 22 Jul 2013 by

MONDAY, July 22 – People with epilepsy are 11 times more likely to die prematurely than people in the general population. And the increased risk of early death is significantly higher among those with mental illnesses, especially depression and alcohol and drug-use disorders, a new study suggests. "Our results have significant public health implications as around 70 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and emphasize that carefully assessing and treating psychiatric disorders as part as part of standard checks in persons with epilepsy could help reduce the risk of premature death in these patients," said study leader Seena Fazel, from the University of Oxford, in England. The study included nearly 70,000 epilepsy patients born in Sweden between 1954 and 2009 and followed for up to 41 years. They were compared to more than 660,000 people in the general population and more than 81,000 ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Psychiatric Disorders

Bullied Kids More Likely to Self-Harm as Teens

Posted 31 May 2013 by

FRIDAY, May 31 – Children who are bullied in elementary school are almost five times more likely to engage in self-harm by the time they are teenagers, according to a new study. Based on their findings, the British researchers behind the study concluded that no form of bullying – from name-calling to physical abuse – should be viewed as a harmless rite of passage. Doctors should routinely ask children if they have been the victim of a bully, the researchers said. "The importance of this early intervention should not be understated," study co-author Dieter Wolke, a professor at the University of Warwick, said in a school news release. "If we were able to eliminate bullying, while other exposures remained constant, there would be a potential to prevent 20 percent of all self-harm cases." The researchers examined information on nearly 5,000 children who participated in a study based at ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Psychiatric Disorders

Military Families May Need Help With Mental Health

Posted 27 May 2013 by

MONDAY, May 27 – A leading pediatricians' group is highlighting the plight of children in military families in a new report. Tours of duty can last up to 18 months, and studies have shown that one in four children of active-duty service members has symptoms of depression. One in three children experiences excessive worry, and half of children have trouble sleeping, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report. These problems can be even worse when there are other psychological issues in the family, according to the report, which was published online May 27 and in the June print issue of the journal Pediatrics. During deployments, preschoolers could become anxious and withdraw. Children between 5 and 17 years old also are at greater risk for emotional and behavioral problems, the report said. And the situation can get worse when kids' parents are on extended deployments. ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders

Student Suicide May Spur Similar Thoughts in Teens

Posted 21 May 2013 by

TUESDAY, May 21 – When a classmate commits suicide, teens are more likely to consider or attempt suicide themselves, according to a new study. This "suicide contagion" occurs regardless of whether the teens knew the deceased student personally, the researchers found. Teens aged 12 and 13 are particularly vulnerable, according to the study by Dr. Ian Colman, Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Epidemiology, and Sonja Swanson, of the Harvard School of Public Health. The study appeared May 21 in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Since the effects of exposure to suicide can linger for two years or more, the researchers said, the study findings have implications for suicide-prevention strategies. "We found that exposure to suicide predicts suicidality. This was true for all age groups, although exposure to suicide increased the risk most dramatically in the youngest age ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Psychiatric Disorders

Latest Edition of Psychiatry's 'Bible' Launched Amid Controversy

Posted 20 May 2013 by

MONDAY, May 20 – As the American Psychiatric Association unveiled last week the latest edition of what is considered the "bible" of modern psychiatry, the uproar over its many changes continues. "This is unprecedented, the amount of commentary and debate and criticism," said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). "It's been an interesting phenomenon, but the evidence is what it is. You have to evaluate it and then make your own determination of how compelling it is, and what would be best clinical practice." The APA believes that changes made in this fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will allow for more precise diagnoses of mental illnesses in patients, because this edition better characterizes and categorizes disorders. But it has drawn fire from critics who are concerned that the revised ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Trichotillomania, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Hoarding Disorder

1 in 5 U.S. Kids Has a Mental Health Disorder: CDC

Posted 16 May 2013 by

THURSDAY, May 16 – As many as one in five American children under the age of 17 has a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to a new federal report. Released Thursday, the report represents the government's first comprehensive look at mental disorders in children. It focuses on diagnoses in six areas: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral or conduct disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, substance abuse, and Tourette syndrome. The most common mental disorder among children aged 3 through 17 is ADHD. Nearly 7 percent – about one in 15 children – in that age group have a current diagnosis, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For other disorders, 3.5 percent of children currently have behavioral or conduct problems, 3 percent suffer from anxiety, about 2 percent have ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders

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