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PTSD Can Affect Female Vietnam War Vets, Too: Study

Posted 3 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 – Women who served in Vietnam may be at far greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than female military service members who were stationed in the United States during that war, a new study finds. "Because current PTSD is still present in many of these women decades after their military service, clinicians who treat them should continue to screen for PTSD symptoms and be sensitive to their noncombat wartime experiences," wrote study leader Kathryn Magruder, of the Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, S.C., and colleagues. PTSD, an anxiety disorder, can occur after witnessing or experiencing traumatic events. Magruder's team concluded that job performance pressures and wartime exposure to sexual harassment and discrimination were more prevalent overseas than on U.S. soil, thus accounting for the possible discrepancy in PTSD ... Read more

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

Face-to-Face Contact May Beat Email, Phone for Staving Off Depression

Posted 4 days ago by

TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2015 – While your days may be filled with electronic communications, a new study suggests that face-to-face contact may have more power to keep depression at bay, at least if you are older. The research doesn't prove that personal conversations are more valuable than email and phone calls. Still, study author Dr. Alan Teo, a staff psychiatrist at VA Portland Health Care System, is convinced there's a connection. "Meeting friends and family face-to-face is strong preventive medicine for depression," said Teo, who's also an assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. "Think of it like taking your vitamins, and make sure you get a regular dose of it," he said. It may seem obvious that interacting with other people – in a positive way – is good for your health. Indeed, "from prior studies we know that having social support and staying ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Trazodone, Pristiq, Sertraline, Viibryd, Amitriptyline, Social Anxiety Disorder, Bupropion, Major Depressive Disorder

State Anti-Bullying Laws May Lead to Fewer Bullied Kids

Posted 5 days ago by

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 – States that get tough on bullies by enacting anti-bullying laws appear to reduce bullying and cyberbullying among high school students, a new study suggests. Among 25 states that adopted at least one component of the U.S. Department of Education guidelines on bullying in their anti-bullying laws, 24 percent saw lower odds of bullying, the researchers found. In addition, these states saw 20 percent lower odds of cyberbullying, the study revealed. "This research is important because it gives us a sense that anti-bullying legislation works," said lead researcher Mark Hatzenbuehler, co-director of the Center for the Study of Social Inequalities and Health at Columbia University in New York City. While this study found a link between lower rates of bullying and cyberbullying in states with anti-bullying laws, the study's design doesn't allow it to prove a ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder

Health Tip: Keep a Stress Journal

Posted 12 days ago by

-- Keeping a journal of stressful situations and your responses may help you better cope with the next stressful problem that comes along. The 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

Parents Differ on Definition of Cyberbullying, Survey Shows

Posted 16 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 – Many American parents are concerned about cyberbullying, but they have different opinions on how to define it and how it should be punished, a new survey finds. A national sample of parents of teens aged 13 to 17 was asked opinions about a number of hypothetical cyberbullying situations. Sixty-three percent said a social media campaign to elect a student for homecoming court as a prank counted as cyberbullying, and nearly two-thirds said posting online rumors that a student had sex at school also qualified as cyberbullying. However, less than half of parents said sharing a photo altered to make another student look fatter, or posting online rumors that a student was caught cheating on a test was cyberbullying, according to the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. Mothers were more likely than fathers to ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder, Agitation, Agitated State

Social Factors Affect Leukemia Survival

Posted 14 Sep 2015 by

MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2015 – For people diagnosed with a type of cancer called acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), social and economic factors can affect the odds of survival, a new study shows. "As physicians, we often emphasize more of the biology of the cancer, especially with the recent focus on personalized medicine. But we need to pay the same attention to resources available to our patients, as this greatly impacts their chances to survive leukemia," study senior author Dr. Luciano Jose Costa, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), said in a journal news release. In conducting the study, researchers used a database of more than 5,500 people under the age of 65. They found that in addition to the patients' age and the progression of their disease, socioeconomic factors not directly related to their medical care played a role in the outcome of their ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder, Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia

Peer Pressure May Have a Silver Lining

Posted 14 Sep 2015 by

SATURDAY, Sept. 12, 2015 – Peer pressure might not be the bad influence that parents fear it is. So says a new study that found teens with close friends were more likely to be healthy later as young adults. "These results indicate that remaining close to – as opposed to separating oneself – from the peer pack in adolescence has long-term implications for adult physical health," wrote study co-author Joseph Allen, a researcher at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. "In this study, it was a robust predictor of increased long-term physical health quality," he wrote. However, the study did not prove that having close friends in adolescence caused a person to be healthier as an adult. The researchers followed 171 people who were in the seventh and eighth grades at the start. The quality of their friendships and their efforts to fit in with peers were evaluated between ages 13 ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder

Constant Social Media Presence May Jeopardize Teens' Mental Health

Posted 11 Sep 2015 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 11, 2015 – Teens who feel a round-the-clock compulsion to participate on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter may pay a price in lost sleep. They may also face a higher risk for depression and anxiety, new research suggests. British researchers surveyed nearly 470 teens to explore how 24/7 social media participation might affect their emotional health. "Adolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this," said study co-author Heather Cleland Woods, a psychology administration teacher at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. "It is important that we understand how social media use relates to these." The findings are scheduled for presentation Friday in Manchester, England, at a British Psychological Society meeting. However, until the data and conclusions are published in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder

Money Doesn't Buy 'Tweeners' Self-Esteem

Posted 11 Sep 2015 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 11, 2015 – Children who struggle with low self-esteem sometimes believe that they can buy their way out of feeling bad by acquiring "cool" things and striving to look good, experts say. But new research finds the opposite may be true, with materialistic behavior actually aggravating already-existing depressive tendencies. "Consumer culture may be perceived as a coping mechanism by vulnerable children, but it is one that is detrimental to their well-being," study author Matthew Easterbrook, a psychology professor at the University of Sussex in England, said in a university news release. Easterbrook and his colleagues are scheduled to present their findings Friday at a meeting of the British Psychological Society in Manchester, England. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The findings are based on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, 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

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, Social Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Autism, Agitation

Settling the Back-to-School Jitters

Posted 28 Aug 2015 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Starting or returning to school can trigger anxiety in some children, but parents can help ease worried young minds, a mental health expert says. "Anxiety is one of the most common mental health challenges for children. Uncertainty fuels the fears, especially during times of transition, like starting a new school year," Dr. Theodote Pontikes, a pediatric psychiatrist at Loyola University Health System in Chicago, said in a university news release. One way to limit anxiety is to establish a routine before the first day of school that's similar to the one that will be used during the school year. This includes consistent sleep and wake times, no daytime naps, and scheduled meals and snacks. It's important to encourage a pattern of physical activity, which helps children release excess energy and sleep better at night, she said. It's also a good idea to have ... Read more

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

How Parents Add to Math Anxiety

Posted 28 Aug 2015 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Parents can spur math anxiety and poor math performance in children, a new study suggests. "We often don't think about how important parents' own attitudes are in determining their children's academic achievement. But our work suggests that if a parent is walking around saying 'Oh, I don't like math' or 'This stuff makes me nervous,' kids pick up on this messaging and it affects their success," study co-leader Sian Beilock said in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science. Beilock is a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. For the study, researchers assessed math achievement and math anxiety among 438 first- and second-grade students. They also asked the children's parents about their levels of math anxiety and how often they helped their kids with math homework. The results showed that children of math-anxious parents learned ... Read more

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

Family Struggles May Affect Boys' Brain Development

Posted 17 Aug 2015 by

MONDAY, Aug. 17, 2015 – Family problems early in life might raise boys' risk of depression and anxiety, which is also tied to altered brain structure in their late teens and early 20s, a new study suggests. But the findings have a bright side, one researcher said. "Early life experiences have an effect on the brain," said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, president of The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in New York City. But "what is most interesting and exciting about this study is that just as trauma can have a negative effect on the brain, positive experiences – including therapy and other interventions – can have a positive effect on the young brain and ultimately affect the level of functioning of the individual," he said. Borenstein was not involved in the new research. The British study was led by Edward Barker, of King's College London, and included nearly 500 males, ages 18 to ... Read more

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

How Parents Can Ease Transition to First Grade

Posted 17 Aug 2015 by

MONDAY, Aug. 17, 2015 – Parents can smooth a child's transition from kindergarten to the new demands of first grade, an expert says. "The sudden introduction of new skills and responsibilities of first grade can be an exciting yet stressful experience for both the child and their parents," said Beth Pendergraft, an early childhood coordinator in the department of teacher education at Georgia Regents University. "However, if parents can remain positive and patient with their child along with keeping open communication with the teacher, it will help everyone get a good grip on this new journey," she said in a university news release. You can talk to your child's teacher to find out what skills will be taught during the school year and incorporate those skills into daily family routines, she suggested. Also, try to give your child an idea of what to expect in class, including activities, ... Read more

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

How to Mend a Broken Heart? Your Gender May Matter

Posted 14 Aug 2015 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 14, 2015 – The pain of a romantic breakup may hit women harder at first, but they recover far more quickly from the loss than men do, new research suggests. "At some point, clearly, women get over a breakup," said study author Craig Morris, a research associate at Binghamton University in New York. "They will discuss in great detail the pain, the suffering, the misery, but they are talking about it in the past." Women often "return to the dating scene in many ways better than they were before," he said, having learned from and processed their mistakes. Conversely, men may not feel the same sharp jab of pain initially, yet they may never recover fully emotionally, Morris found. "When you talk to a man about a breakup," Morris said, "you can see he is still there. The anger. The disappointment. There was never any end to this for him. Most men never use the phrase, 'I got ... Read more

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

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