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Poor REM Sleep May Be Linked to Higher Risk for Anxiety, Depression

Posted 5 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 – REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the phase when dreams are made, and a lack of good REM sleep has long been associated with chronic insomnia. But new research is building on that association, suggesting that the bad and "restless" REM sleep experienced by insomnia patients may, in turn, undermine their ability to overcome emotional distress, raising their risk for chronic depression or anxiety. "Previous studies have pointed to REM sleep as the most likely candidate involved in the regulation of emotions," said study lead author Rick Wassing. He is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sleep and Cognition at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam. Wassing noted, for example, that while REM is underway, key arousal hormones such as serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine are inactive. This, he added, may indicate that it is during good REM sleep ... Read more

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

Do More 'Selfies' Mean More Relationship Woes?

Posted 8 days ago by

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 – Posting too many "selfies" on social media might lead to serious problems with your romantic partner, according to a new study. Researchers conducted an online survey of 420 users of the social media site Instagram. The users were aged 18 to 62. The investigators found that those who believed they were good-looking were more likely to post selfies, which are photographic self-portraits. But the more selfies someone posted, the more likely the behavior was tied to jealousy and arguments in their romantic relationship, along with emotional or physical infidelity, breakups and divorces, the findings showed. "Although we cannot directly assume cause-and-effect due to the [study's design], the results here show that body-image satisfaction can be detrimental to Instagram users' romantic relationships, especially when users' body-image satisfaction is promoted in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Anxiety and Stress, Emergency Contraception, Social Anxiety Disorder, Postcoital Contraception

Anxiety Meds Like Valium, Xanax Won't Raise Seniors' Dementia Risk: Study

Posted 10 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 – Taking one of a class of anti-anxiety pills that includes Ativan, Valium or Xanax does not increase older adults' risk of dementia, a new study finds. However, experts note that these drugs – collectively called benzodiazepines – can have other side effects and should still be used with caution. As the study authors explained, some prior research has suggested that use of the medicines may be associated with increased risk of dementia. However, other findings have contradicted that finding. To look further into the issue, a team led by Shelly Gray, a professor of pharmacy at the University of Washington in Seattle, studied more than 3,400 people aged 65 and older. All did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. The benzodiazepine use of each patient was assessed, and each was then followed for an average of seven years. During that time, 23 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Social Anxiety Disorder, Diazepam, Dementia, Temazepam, Alzheimer's Disease, Restoril, Librium, Xanax XR, Oxazepam, Halcion

Stress-Prone Teen Males May Be at Risk of High Blood Pressure Later

Posted 12 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 – Young men who get stressed out easily appear to have a greater risk of high blood pressure later in life, a new study suggests. The researchers found that, among 18-year-old men, those who had the lowest stress-resilience scores were 40 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure later than those with the greatest ability to cope with stress. The investigators also found that being overweight was linked with an even greater risk of developing high blood pressure (or "hypertension") in those who had a low threshold for stress. However, it's important to note that the study can only show an association between stress response and later high blood pressure; it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship. The research was based on data from more than 1.5 million men conscripted into the Swedish army between 1969 and 1997 at age 18. Their health was followed ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Social Anxiety Disorder, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Boys Victims of Dating Violence, Too

Posted 15 days ago by

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2016 – Contrary to what many people may think, teenage boys commonly suffer dating violence – including physical and emotional abuse, a new U.S. government study finds. The study focused on teens considered to be at high risk for dating violence – those who had suffered or witnessed violence at home or in their neighborhoods. It turned out that boys were about as likely as girls to say they'd been victims of some form of dating violence. The pattern was also corroborated by girls' reports: They commonly admitted to being perpetrators. "To the average person, this is probably surprising," said Monica Swahn, a professor of epidemiology at Georgia State University who has studied dating violence. "Parents and pediatricians may underestimate how common dating violence is, and how often boys are victims," said Swahn, who was not involved in the study. A number of national ... Read more

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

Kindergartners With Traumatic Life Experiences Struggle More in School

Posted 14 Jan 2016 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2016 – Childhood traumas of various sorts can cause kindergartners to struggle in class as well as life, new research contends. A study of more than 1,000 urban children showed those with difficult experiences up until age 5 had math and reading difficulties and difficulty focusing in kindergarten, and were also more likely to have social problems and to be aggressive toward others. The experiences included neglect or physical, sexual or psychological abuse. They also included living in a household with domestic abuse or with a household member who was in jail or prison, had a mental illness or had an addiction or substance abuse problem. "The first five years of a child's life are an incredible time of opportunity and vulnerability," said study lead author Dr. Manuel Jimenez, director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics education at Rutgers Robert Wood ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Agitation, Psychiatric Disorders, Agitated State, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Executive Function Disorder

Stressed Teens May Face Higher Diabetes Risk as Adults: Study

Posted 14 Jan 2016 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2016 – Teens who have trouble coping with stress may be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes as adults, new research suggests. For the study, researchers examined data from more than 1.5 million 18-year-old men who were conscripted into the Swedish military between 1969 and 1997. The participants all underwent standard testing for stress resilience, and none of them had diabetes at the age of 18. But during the follow-up period, from 1987 to 2012, more than 34,000 of the men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to Dr. Casey Crump, from the department of medicine at Stanford University in California, and colleagues. Compared to men with the highest resistance to stress when they were 18, those with the lowest stress resistance were 51 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later, the investigators found. However, the study only ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Diabetes, Type 2, Social Anxiety Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation

Transcendental Meditation May Help Relieve PTSD

Posted 12 Jan 2016 by

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, Anxiety and Stress, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder

Men Have Greater Self-Esteem Than Women, Especially in Developed Nations

Posted 4 Jan 2016 by

MONDAY, Jan. 4, 2016 – Self-esteem increases as people grow older, and men tend to have higher levels of it than women do, a new international study finds. The gender gap in self-esteem was found worldwide. But the research revealed this self-esteem gender gap is widest in Western nations. The researchers examined data collected from more than 985,000 people. The information came from 48 countries between 1999 and 2009. Study participants were between the ages of 16 and 45. Overall, self-esteem tended to increase with age, the researchers found. Men at every age tended to have higher levels of self-esteem than women, they said. But there were notable differences between nations. Wealthier, developed nations with higher gender equality had larger gender gaps in self-esteem than poorer, developing nations with greater gender inequality, said the study's lead author Wiebke Bleidorn, from ... Read more

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

Meals on Wheels Can Deliver Emotional Nourishment, Too

Posted 25 Dec 2015 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 25, 2015 – Social isolation is common among many U.S. seniors, particularly during the holidays. But, home-delivered meals can significantly reduce their feelings of loneliness, new research finds. The study involved more than 600 people in eight U.S. cities who were on waiting lists for Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers food to homebound seniors. They were randomly selected to have daily fresh meal delivery to their home, weekly frozen meal delivery or to remain on the waiting list. At the start of the study, seniors in all three groups had similar levels of loneliness. After 15 weeks, loneliness levels remained the same among those on the waiting list, but had fallen among those who received fresh or frozen meal deliveries at home. Also, seniors with daily meal delivery were three times more likely than weekly recipients to indicate that home-delivered meal ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Meditation May Help Your Heart

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by

-- 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, Anxiety and Stress, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Performance Anxiety

Study Maps Areas of Brain Linked to PTSD

Posted 18 Dec 2015 by

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, Anxiety and Stress, Panic Disorder, 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

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, Anxiety and Stress, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, Performance Anxiety

Could Dim View on Aging Raise Your Alzheimer's Risk?

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Young and middle-aged adults who harbor negative thoughts about aging may face a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease decades later, new research suggests. The investigation compared early attitudes on aging expressed by dementia-free adults to Alzheimer's-related brain changes nearly 30 years later. "What we found is that negative perceptions on aging are definitely significantly related to [Alzheimer's] disease indicators," said study lead author Becca Levy, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn. But why? Levy said the study wasn't designed to answer that question. And the study only found a link between stereotypes about aging and later Alzheimer's risk. But Levy speculated that it could be that a pessimistic stance on aging drives up stress. And stress, in turn, drives up Alzheimer's risk, she said. "Regardless, the ... Read more

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

Living Together, Marriage Give Equal Boost to Women's Mental Health: Study

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Living together or getting married provides young adults – especially women – with a boost to emotional health, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from 8,700 Americans who were born between 1980 and 1984, and interviewed every other year from 2000 to 2010. The study authors found that single young women had a similar increase in emotional health whether they moved in with someone or got married for the first time. For men, marriage seemed to be the key to improving their emotional health. When it came to finding love the second time around, both men and women had similar improvements in emotional health when they moved in with someone or got married, the findings showed. The study was published online Dec. 3 in the Journal of Family Psychology. As recently as the early 1990s, getting married gave people a bigger emotional lift than living with ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Agitation, Psychiatric Disorders

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