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Related terms: Phobia, social, Social Phobia, Social Anxiety

Too Much 'Feel Good' Brain Chemical May Trigger Social Phobia

Posted 14 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 – Levels of the brain chemical serotonin are too high in people with social phobia, rather than too low as previously believed, a new study says. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden conducted brain scans on volunteers and found that those with social phobia – also called social anxiety disorder – produced too much serotonin in the amygdala, which is part of the brain's fear center. The more serotonin their brains produced, the more anxious they were in social situations, the investigators found. "Serotonin can increase anxiety, and not decrease it as was previously often assumed," researcher Andreas Frick, a doctoral student in the psychology department at Uppsala, said in a university news release. The study was published June 17 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Serotonin, which is produced by nerve cells, helps to relay messages from one area of the ... Read more

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

Many U.S. Men With Depression, Anxiety Don't Get Treated, CDC Finds

Posted 11 Jun 2015 by

THURSDAY, June 11, 2015 – Close to one in 10 American men suffers from depression or anxiety, but fewer than half get treatment, a new survey reveals. The nationwide poll of more than 21,000 men also found that among younger males, blacks and Hispanics are less likely than whites to report mental health symptoms. And when they do acknowledge psychiatric troubles, they are less likely to seek professional help than whites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. "We suspect that there are several social and cultural pressures that lead black and Hispanic men to be less likely than white men to seek mental health treatments," said report lead author Stephen Blumberg, an associate director for science with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). "These pressures, which include ideas about masculinity and the stigma of mental illness, may be ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Performance Anxiety, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis

Women, Poor, Uninsured Face Higher Risk of Psychological Distress: CDC

Posted 28 May 2015 by

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 – Women, people with chronic medical conditions, the poor and those without health insurance are more likely to struggle with "serious psychological distress," U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Serious psychological distress is a term that identifies people who are likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder that limits their lives, according to the researchers. Overall, they found that about 3 percent of Americans surveyed have serious psychological distress. "People with serious psychological distress have a lot of challenges," said report co-author Laura Pratt, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. "People with mental health problems have a lot of needs that aren't being met." In the report, the researchers used data from the National Health Interview Survey. The information ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Psychosis, Agitation, Psychiatric Disorders, Dysthymia

Animals May Ease Social Anxiety in Children With Autism

Posted 22 May 2015 by

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 – Being around animals may help reduce social anxiety in children with autism, new research suggests. The findings could lead to new treatment approaches that use pets such as dogs, cats and guinea pigs to help children with autism improve their social skills and interactions with other people, the researchers said. The study included 38 children with autism and 76 children without the disorder. All of the children wore special wrist devices designed to detect anxiety and other responses to social situations. The children first read a book by themselves. Then, they read a book to two other children and then had 10 minutes of group play. After that, the children were given 10 minutes of supervised play with guinea pigs. Researchers chose guinea pigs because of their small size and gentle nature. Compared to other children, those with autism had higher levels of ... Read more

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

Over 4 Million Working Americans Suffer From Anxiety Disorders

Posted 21 May 2015 by

THURSDAY, May 21, 2015 – A new study finds that 4.3 million Americans with full-time jobs had an anxiety disorder in the past year. That number represents 3.7 percent of full-time workers aged 18 and older, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). As the agency explained, people with anxiety disorders experience overwhelming worry and fear. However, these conditions can be managed through counseling and/or medication. "People with anxiety disorders can have a hard time gaining employment and sometimes dealing with certain situations," SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release. "But fortunately, with treatment and support they can make enormous contributions to the workplace and the community." Researchers analyzed data from 67,500 respondents aged 12 and older who took part in SAMHSA's annual National Survey on Drug ... Read more

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

More U.S. Kids Getting Mental Health Treatment

Posted 20 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 – The number of U.S. children and teens being treated for mental health issues has risen by about 50 percent in the past 20 years – with most of those kids having relatively mild symptoms, a new study finds. The research, published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, comes at a time of growing concern over young people's mental health treatment. In particular, some worry that kids with milder issues are being overtreated with antidepressants, stimulants (such as those used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and antipsychotic drugs, said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City. According to Olfson, his findings suggest that kids with less serious symptoms account for a large share of young people getting mental health care – whether that means medication or ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety and Stress, Adderall, Wellbutrin, Phentermine, Vyvanse, Viibryd, Social Anxiety Disorder, Bupropion, Concerta, Ritalin, Major Depressive Disorder, Adderall XR, Amphetamine, Wellbutrin XL, Adipex-P, Strattera, Focalin, Nuvigil

The Plight of America's 'Elder Orphans'

Posted 19 May 2015 by

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 – Dr. Maria Torroella Carney grew increasingly distressed as she watched how emergency response teams had to help older, frail people who were living alone evacuate their homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Then, the sad story of a suicidal 76-year-old man in the Queens borough of New York City convinced Carney, an expert in elderly health care, to take a closer look at the plight of this vulnerable population. She tells the man's story in her new report on the growing number of "elder orphans" in the United States, a phenomenon that's largely the byproduct of the aging Baby Boomer generation. The Queens man lived by himself and tried to slit his wrists with a razor. "He was an independent individual, never married, and over the month or two months prior had become more isolated and was unable to access care in the community," Carney said. Fortunately, a ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Depressive Psychosis

Common Sports, Hobbies Often Popular Among People With Autism

Posted 13 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 – The stereotype of a person with autism often includes a "hobby" focusing on a highly specialized, obsessive activity. But a new study finds that – just as in typically developed people – people with autism often love sports, books or just watching TV. "Adults with an autism spectrum disorder [ASD] expressed an interest in many of the same hobbies and activities that non-ASD adults enjoy," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He reviewed the findings from the study, which was to be presented Wednesday at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Salt Lake City. Findings from medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The new study was led by Sebastian Pacey-Smith, a graduate student at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder, Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Girls With Autism Fare Worse Than Boys, Study Finds

Posted 13 May 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 – While girls are far less likely than boys to be diagnosed with autism, girls with the developmental disorder show more impairments compared to their healthy female peers than comparable sets of boys do, new research suggests. Scientists from the University of California Davis MIND Institute contend that girls with autism may suffer from greater social deficits than boys with the condition, which is characterized by problems with emotional and communication skills. "Many of the studies looking for behavioral differences in autism have only compared boys and girls with autism and not to their typically developing counterparts," said study author Christine Wu Nordahl, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. "So when we tried this approach, we were surprised because the findings were quite striking. In almost every measure, the girls with ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder, Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Study Links Sleep Troubles to Children's Mental Health

Posted 11 May 2015 by

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 – There is a link between sleep and young children's mental health, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at sleep patterns and the mental health of 1,000 children starting when they were toddlers. They found that those with sleep disorders at age 4 were at increased risk for mental health problems – such as anxiety and depression – at age 6. They also discovered that children with mental health problems at age 4 were at increased risk for sleep disorders at age 6. Due to the study's design, however, it wasn't possible for the researchers to prove that sleep problems caused mental health issues or vice versa; the researchers could only show an association between these factors. Insomnia was the most common type of sleep disorder. Insomnia was diagnosed in nearly 17 percent of the children at age 4 and in 43 percent of them at age 6. Insomnia increased the risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Nightmares, Night Terrors, Dysthymia

Bullying May Take Bigger Toll Than Child Abuse, Neglect

Posted 28 Apr 2015 by

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – Being bullied as a child may take a larger toll on a young adult's mental health than being abused or neglected at home, a new study suggests. Kids who are the victims of bullies are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and to try to hurt themselves as young adults than children who were mistreated by adults, British researchers found. "Until now, governments have focused their efforts and resources on family maltreatment rather than bullying," study author Dieter Wolke, from the University of Warwick, said in a journal news release. "Since one in three children worldwide report being bullied, and it is clear that bullied children have similar or worse mental health problems later in life to those who are maltreated, more needs to be done to address this imbalance. Moreover, it is vital that schools, health services, and other agencies work together ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder

Child's Popularity May Rely on Understanding Others

Posted 15 Apr 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 – Children who are tuned in to what others want, think and feel are more popular in school than those who aren't as good at understanding others, a new review indicates. "Our study suggests that understanding others' mental perspectives may facilitate the kind of interactions that help children become or remain popular," said review leader Virginia Slaughter, head of the psychology department of the University of Queensland in Australia. For the report, published April 15 in the journal Child Development, researchers analyzed 20 studies that included nearly 2,100 children aged 2 to 10 in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The strength of the link between being able to figure out what others think and feel and popularity was similar for preschoolers and older children. This suggests that this ability is important for making friends at an early age and ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder

Behavioral Therapy Deemed Best for Social Phobia

Posted 26 Sep 2014 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 26, 2014 – Antidepressants are commonly used to treat social phobia, but a new report argues that "talk therapy" is the better first option. In a review of 101 clinical trials, researchers found that "cognitive behavioral therapy" often helped people with social phobia – a type of anxiety disorder where people have a deep fear of being judged by others or embarrassed in public. The more common approach to tackling social anxiety – antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – also helped, the review found. But cognitive behavioral therapy showed even bigger "effect sizes" across studies that tested it, the researchers report in the Sept. 26 online issue of The Lancet Psychiatry. SSRIs include widely prescribed medications such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. While the drugs can ease symptoms of social anxiety, they can also have side effects, ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder

Health Tip: Warning Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder

Posted 25 Apr 2014 by

-- Social anxiety disorder can make seemingly simple social engagements seem like a nightmare. The U.S. National Institute on Mental Health says common symptoms of social anxiety disorder include: Finding it difficult and nerve-wracking to have a conversation with other people. Feeling extremely embarrassed and self-conscious in front of others. Having constant fear of being judged by others. Avoiding social activities or worrying for weeks before an event. Having difficulty making friends and maintaining friendships. Having physical symptoms such as trembling, blushing, sweating or feeling nauseous when around others. Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder

Parents' Social Anxiety May Raise Kids' Risk for Anxiety Disorder

Posted 7 Nov 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 – Parental social anxiety should be considered a risk factor for childhood anxiety, according to researchers. In a new study, researchers from Johns Hopkins Children's Center found that kids with parents who have social anxiety disorder – the most common form of anxiety – are at greater risk for developing an anxiety disorder than kids whose parents have other forms of anxiety. The study revealed that the parental behaviors that contributed to children's anxiety included a lack of warmth and affection as well as high levels of criticism and doubt. "There is a broad range of anxiety disorders, so what we did was home in on social anxiety, and we found that anxiety-promoting parental behaviors may be unique to the parent's diagnosis and not necessarily common to all those with anxiety," the study's senior investigator, Golda Ginsburg, professor of child and adolescent ... Read more

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

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