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Are Today's Teens Putting the Brakes on Adulthood?

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – Parents may still marvel at how fast their kids grow up, but a new study finds that U.S. teenagers are maturing more slowly than past generations. In some ways, the trend appears positive: High school kids today are less likely to be drinking or having sex, versus their counterparts in the 1980s and 1990s. But they are also less likely to go on dates, have a part-time job or drive – traditional milestones along the path to adulthood. So is that slower development "good" or "bad"? It may depend on how you look at it, the researchers said. According to "life history theory," neither fast nor slow development is inherently good or bad, said study author Jean Twenge. Still, there are "trade-offs" to each path, explained Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University. "The upside of slower development is that teens aren't growing up before they ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Anxiety, Contraception, Plan B, Anxiety and Stress, Emergency Contraception, Mirena, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, Provera, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Implanon, Social Anxiety Disorder, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Loestrin 24 Fe, Plan B One-Step

Caring for a Sick Pet Can Really Drain You

Posted 2 days 16 hours ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – As much joy as a pet can bring to the life of its master, when that beloved dog or cat falls ill, the emotional toll exacted can be steep. In fact, caring for an ailing animal often ends up placing a significant "caregiver burden" on its owner, new research finds. "Think of the phrase, 'Giving until it hurts,'" said study author Mary Beth Spitznagel. Essentially, it's the heavy emotional burden one can experience when the act of caring stretches a person's physical, emotional or even financial capacities to the breaking point. "We found that individuals with a chronically or terminally ill pet showed greater caregiver burden compared to those with a healthy pet," said Spitznagel, an associate professor in the department of psychological sciences at Kent State University in Ohio. To explore the idea, her team focused on 238 adult pet owners. Nearly all were ... Read more

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

Parents Say Schools Don't Help Kids With Mental Health, Chronic Disease

Posted 4 days ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 – Many parents don't believe schools are prepared to help students with mental health problems and serious physical health issues, a new survey finds. While 77 percent of parents were certain that schools would be able to provide first aid for minor issues such as cuts, they were less confident that schools could respond to more challenging health situations. For example, only 38 percent believed schools could assist a student suspected of having a mental health problem. The national poll on children's health was released Monday by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan. "Parents feel schools can handle basic first aid, but are less sure about urgent health situations such as an asthma attack, epileptic seizure, or serious allergic reaction," Sarah Clark, poll co-director, said in a university news release. "And they have the most ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders, Anorexia, Aggressive Behavior

Hurricanes' Toll on Mental Health Will Linger

Posted 8 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – Even after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disappears, survivors could still suffer from mental stress caused by the massive storms, experts say. "Everybody who has been in a disaster is changed permanently in some way. You never forget it," said Dr. Carol North, a crisis psychiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. North has studied thousands of survivors of major disasters, such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Oklahoma City bombings. "Even though people are permanently changed by going through a disaster, they need not be damaged by their experience," she said in a medical center news release. Many people experience anxiety, lack of sleep, nightmares or irritability after a traumatic event, but most recover within weeks to months. However, some people may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and take ... Read more

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

Does Mother's Mental Health Affect Pregnancy?

Posted 9 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 – Three common mental health disorders – depression, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder – pose no serious threat to pregnant women or the health of their babies, a new study finds. "I think a major take-home message is that women are not harming their babies if they have one of these psychiatric conditions," said study lead author Kimberly Yonkers of Yale University. She and her team followed more than 2,600 pregnant women at 137 clinical practices in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The researchers did find slight risks associated with certain psychiatric medications used to treat those conditions. For instance, babies of women who took benzodiazepines had slightly lower birth weights and needed additional ventilator support in 61 of 1,000 cases. Benzodiazepines, which include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam), are ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Delivery, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders, Premature Labor, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Depressive Psychosis, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Hurricanes May Have Longer-Lasting Impact on Kids

Posted 10 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Children may have a more difficult time coping with the devastating hurricanes that have recently hit the United States, an expert says. "Compared to adults, children suffer more from exposure to disasters, including psychological, behavioral, and physical problems, as well as difficulties learning in school," Jessica Dym Bartlett, a senior research scientist at Child Trends, said in that organization's news release. Even youngsters who hear about a disaster or see images on television may develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, she said. "Understand that trauma reactions vary widely. Children may regress, demand extra attention, and think about their own needs before those of others – natural responses that should not be met with anger or punishment," Dym Bartlett said. Create a safe environment where children's basic ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Psychiatric Disorders

ER Visits for These 3 Health Woes Don't Have to Happen

Posted 10 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Each year, thousands of Americans end up in hospital emergency rooms for problems that could have been avoided, new research shows. The top causes of preventable ER visits in the United States include alcohol abuse, dental problems and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, the new study says. ER visits could be reduced if patients had better access to dental and mental health care, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco. The study comes as some insurers are looking to cut back on coverage for ER visits they deem "inappropriate" or avoidable. Researchers reviewed 424 million ER visits by 18- to 64-year-old patients between 2005 and 2011. Nearly 14 million visits (3.3 percent) were avoidable, meaning patients were sent home without receiving any care. The main reasons for avoidable visits were toothaches, back ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Oral and Dental Conditions, Toothache, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Gingivitis, Dysthymia, Periodontitis, Stomatitis, Prevention of Dental Caries, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

No Easy Road Back for Ebola Survivors

Posted 15 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 7, 2017 – The vast majority of people who survive an infection with the Ebola virus struggle with ongoing disabilities, including significant limitations in thinking, vision and the ability to move, new research shows. Scientists from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool checked to see how a group of 27 Ebola survivors was doing 12 months after discharge from the Ebola Survivors Clinic in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Their health was compared with 54 close contacts who weren't infected with the virus. The investigators found that 80 percent of those who survived the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak faced health challenges for at least one year after being discharged from the hospital. The findings highlight the need for long-term rehabilitation for these patients, the researchers said. "We have demonstrated that a year following acute ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Can a Digital Doctor Help You Sleep?

Posted 15 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 7, 2017 – If you've been having trouble getting some sleep, a new online therapy program may help ease your insomnia, a new study says. The online program also reduced patients' rates of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, the study found. "Getting our shut-eye can help improve psychological health. Sleeping well can help shift our blues, reduce our fears, and make us happier," said lead author Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford in England. The online program is called "Sleepio." It's an interactive digital cognitive behavioral therapy program that participants could access online. The study included more than 3,700 insomnia patients in the United Kingdom. About half were assigned to Sleepio. The others received no treatment and acted as a control group. The 10-week treatment program ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Paranoid Disorder

Heath Tip: It's Back-to-School Time

Posted 17 days ago by

-- The start of the school year is typically filled with excitement, anxiety and anticipation. Help ensure that your child is prepared to stay safe and empowered as he or she heads back to classes. The American Red Cross suggests your child should: Know your phone number, address, and how to reach you during the school day. Never talk to strangers or accept rides from unfamiliar people. Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver has signaled the child to get on. Never get on a different bus. Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus. Always cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and staying in the crosswalk. Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars. Read more

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

Helping Kids Adapt to a New School

Posted 17 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – Kids like familiar routines. So, when a grade change means a change in school – from elementary to middle school, for instance – or when a family move means a new school district at any time of the year, children are likely to experience some degree of anxiety. Mom and Dad can take steps to help ease the transition for their children, say the experts at the nonprofit Each type of transition has its own set of concerns, but may include adjustments such as getting used to a new building or following a longer class schedule with more challenging homework. Starting middle school might bring new social pressures from older students, while high school often means being more self-directed and using more organizational skills. Talk about these changes with your children as soon as possible. Ask what they might be anxious about and work to resolve ... Read more

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

Dog Walking a Treat for Pet and Owner Alike

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 1, 2017 – Why do people walk their dogs? A new British study suggests it's not for the exercise. Instead, dog owners appear to like to take their pups for walks because it makes them happy. "It's clear from our findings that dog walking is used to meet the emotional needs of the owner as well as the needs of the dog," said study author Carri Westgarth, a research fellow at the University of Liverpool. "This may explain why pilot dog walking interventions with messages focused on health or social benefits have not been particularly successful," she added. The researchers interviewed 26 dog owners about dog walking and examined written comments about the experience. The study authors found that while dog owners often like to say the walks are to help the dog, the people also gain a benefit in terms of happiness – but only as long as they think the dog is having a good ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Obesity, Weight Loss

Health Tip: Identify Bullying

Posted 31 Aug 2017 by

-- As the school year starts, it is important for parents to recognize the signs of bullying. offers these suggestions for parents with school-age children: Recognize the warning signs that your child is involved in bullying.Whether your child is being bullied or is bullying, it's important to discuss the issue with your child. Learnwhat bullying is and what it is not. Some behaviors that look like bullying may be just as serious, but may require different a response. Identify the type of bullying that's occurring. Cyberbullying requires a different strategy than face-to-face bullying. If you suspect bullying has occurred, find out exactly what happened so you can communicate with the child's school. Research and understand state and federal anti-bullying laws. If you need assistance,contact Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress

Promoting Social Wellness in Your Community

Posted 29 Aug 2017 by

-- Social wellness involves building supportive relationships between you and your neighbors, which are especially useful during difficult times. The American Red Cross says creating these bonds can bolster your quality of life and that of the entire community. The agency suggests: Establish a program to install free smoke alarms in higher-risk neighborhoods. Learn life-saving skills, such as CPR. Help save a life by donating blood. Ensure that family members and neighbors are prepared for an emergency. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Blood Transfusion

Health Tip: Long-Distance Caregiving

Posted 28 Aug 2017 by

-- More Americans are faced with caring for older relatives, and frequently this involves long-distance care. It can be difficult to manage the care of a loved one from afar. But with proper planning, time-management and dedication, a long-distance caregiver can be as effective as one who lives nearby. The National Institute on Aging offers these suggestions to make long-distance caregiving more manageable: Be informed. Know what you need to know about the health of your loved one. Read about the loved one's condition and learn as much as you can. Plan your visits and allow for enough time to accomplish everything. Spend time actually visiting with your family member. Don't make the trip only about the illness. Get in touch with all relevant doctors whenever you visit to make sure you are well-informed about the health of your loved one. Help the person stay in contact with you by ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress

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