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For People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be Invaluable

Posted 14 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – Cats, dogs, birds and other pets can help people manage their mental disorders, a new study says. Researchers from the United Kingdom asked more than 50 adults with long-term mental conditions about the role pets play in their social networks. Sixty percent placed pets in the central and most important circle – above family, friends and hobbies. Another 20 percent placed pets in the second circle. Many said the constant presence and close proximity of their pets provide an immediate source of calm. For some, a pet helps distract them from symptoms and upsetting experiences such as hearing voices or suicidal thoughts. "You just want to sink into a pit... the cats force me to sort of still be involved with the world," one patient said. Another patient said: "I'm not thinking of the voices, I'm just thinking of the birds singing." The findings were published Dec. 8 ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Autism, Psychosis, Eating Disorder

Health Tip: Thinking About Psychological Therapy?

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Psychological therapy involves more than discussing your problems with a professional. It can also help you cope with life's challenges, especially issues that bother you. Here are common reasons to seek therapy, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians: Depression. Marital problems. Sexual issues. Stress and anxiety. Addiction. Grief and loss. Anger. Your career. Family issues. Chronic illness. Domestic violence. Eating disorders. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Psychosis, Eating Disorder, Psychiatric Disorders, Neurosis, Severe Mood Dysregulation

More Than Half of Americans Have Chronic Health Problem: Study

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, 2016 – More than half of Americans have at least one chronic disease, mental illness or problem with drugs or alcohol, according to a new study. "The health of individuals in the U.S.A. is increasingly being defined by complexity and multimorbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more chronic medical conditions," said the study authors, Elizabeth Lee Reisinger Walker and Dr. Benjamin Druss. They emphasized that people with multiple health issues need more access to care and better coordination among their health care providers. The Emory University researchers examined public health records to find out what percentage of U.S. adults have chronic medical conditions, mental illness or substance abuse problems, and how many were also living in poverty. Chronic medical conditions looked at in the study included asthma, cirrhosis, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, high ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Smoking, Heart Disease, Schizophrenia, Smoking Cessation, Angina, Alcohol Dependence, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, Hangover, Drug Psychosis, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Ischemic Heart Disease, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Psychiatric Drugs May Reduce Ex-Prisoners' Violent Crime Rate

Posted 2 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – Released prisoners may be less likely to commit violent crimes if they're prescribed certain kinds of psychiatric medications, a new study suggests. These medications can affect someone's mental state. They include antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, drugs to treat addiction and antiepileptic drugs, the researchers said. The study authors looked at information on more than 22,000 prisoners in Sweden. They were released between July 2005 and December 2010. The researchers had a median of nearly five years of follow-up information. During that time, 18 percent of the prisoners committed violent crimes, the researchers said. Three classes of drugs were linked to much lower rates of violent crimes. Antipsychotics were tied to a 42 percent reduction in violent crimes. For psychostimulants, the reduction was 38 percent. Drugs to treat addiction were ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Seroquel, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Major Depressive Disorder, Abilify, Sertraline, Lithium, Bupropion, Viibryd, Fluoxetine, Amitriptyline, Schizophrenia

Can Teens' Heart Rate, Blood Pressure Show Ties to Mental Ills?

Posted 26 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2016 – A young man's future risk of mental disorders could be tied to higher-than-average heart rate or blood pressure in his late teens, a new European study suggests. Young men with a resting heart rate and blood pressure that's elevated – but still within normal range – seem more likely to develop a wide range of mental illnesses later in their lives, researchers found. These include an increased risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, the results show. "We are coming to appreciate that psychiatric illnesses are brain diseases, and our central nervous system, which is mediated from our brain, controls autonomic functions," like heart rate and blood pressure, said Dr. Victor Fornari. He is director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. "We should recognize it would ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, High Blood Pressure, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Hypertension, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Hypertensive Emergency, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Hypertensive Retinopathy

U.S. Psychiatric Patients Face Long Waits in ERs

Posted 18 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – People with mental illness often wait long hours – or even days – in an emergency room before receiving the care they need, according to a new poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). One in five ER doctors polled said they've had psychiatric patients who needed hospitalization who had to wait two to five days before being assigned an in-patient bed, the poll found. Two accompanying studies back up the poll results, revealing that patients with a wide array of mental health problems are more likely to wind up stuck in an emergency department for more than 24 hours. "Once the decision to admit is made, it can be nearly impossible to find an in-patient bed for these patients," ACEP President Dr. Rebecca Parker said during a news briefing. Findings from the survey were scheduled to be presented Monday at ACEP's annual meeting in Las ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Agitated State, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Drug Psychosis, ICU Agitation, Aggressive Behavior

Study Links Pot Use to Relapse in Psychosis Patients

Posted 28 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28, 2016 – A British study says it provides new evidence that marijuana use may boost the risk that people who struggle with psychosis will relapse. But critics said the effect seems to be small, and they questioned the validity of the research. A study co-author stands by the work, however. "We show that pot use causes an increase in the risk of relapse in psychosis and demonstrate that alternative explanations are unlikely to be true," said Dr. Sagnik Bhattacharyya, a reader in translational neuroscience and psychiatry at King's College London. "It would be appropriate to at least aim for reduction in pot use in patients with psychosis if complete abstinence is not realistic," Bhattacharyya added. People suffering from psychosis lose touch with reality and may hallucinate, develop delusions and struggle to think and speak normally. Sometimes psychosis is a symptom of ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Cannabis

Homeless, Mentally Ill Youth Benefit From Housing Program

Posted 28 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28, 2016 – A subsidized independent-living intervention appears to help homeless young people with mental illness get and keep a roof over their heads, a new Canadian study indicates. Called Housing First, the program has previously been tested with homeless adults with mental illness, and has been found to improve housing stability and quality of life, the researchers said. "Housing First is based on the concept of housing as a human right," said study lead author Dr. Nicole Kozloff. "[It's] the idea that having a safe and stable place to live is critical to helping people improve their mental health and achieve their goals," she said. Kozloff is a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Since it first was first introduced in the 1990s, studies have repeatedly found ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Agitation, Autism, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Drug Psychosis

Internet Addiction May Be Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues: Study

Posted 19 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Sept. 18, 2016 – Internet addiction may signal other mental health issues among college students, according to a new study. Canadian researchers say their findings could affect how psychiatrists approach people who spend a significant amount of time online. For the study, the researchers evaluated the internet use of 254 freshmen at McMaster University in Ontario. The researchers used a tool called the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), developed in 1998, as well as their own scale based on more recent criteria. "Internet use has changed radically over the last 18 years, through more people working online, media streaming, social media, etc. We were concerned that the IAT questionnaire may not have been picking up on problematic modern internet use, or showing up false positives for people who were simply using the internet rather than being over-reliant on it," said chief ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Dependent Personality Disorder, Executive Function Disorder

Psychiatric Patients Face Longer Waits in ER

Posted 13 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 – Patients seeking help for mental health problems wait hours longer in the emergency department than other patients do, a new study finds. People with mental health problems are also six times more likely to be transferred to another facility instead of receiving treatment at the hospital, the researchers added. "Previous research shows that patients in the ER often experience lengthy wait times, but our new study shows that psychiatric patients wait disproportionately longer than other patients – sometimes for several hours – only to ultimately be discharged or transferred elsewhere," said study author Dr. Jane Zhu. Zhu is with the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. The study included data from more than 200,000 ER visits in the United States. The visits occurred between 2002 and 2011. The average length of ER stay for psychiatric ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Parents' Psychiatric Issues May Adversely Affect Some Children

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Some children of parents with a history of psychiatric illness may be at higher risk for attempting suicide and/or engaging in violent behavior, a new Danish study suggests. Danes born to parents who had themselves attempted suicide, or who had struggled with antisocial personality disorder or marijuana abuse, were found to face the biggest risk for attempted suicide or violence – up to four times as high, the study contended. But, study lead author Pearl Mok stressed that, despite any potential elevated risk, people born to parents with a psychiatric illness or a violent history aren't necessarily fated to experience similar difficulties. In fact, most such children won't experience any related problems. "Of the over 1.7 million people included in our study population, 2.6 percent first attempted suicide and 3.2 percent were convicted of a first violent ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Dysthymia

Can Trauma Trigger Violent Crime in Mentally Ill?

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – People with serious mental illness who are victims of violence or exposed to stressful events are more likely to engage in a violent crime in the week following the trauma, a new study contends. Stressful experiences also affect people without psychiatric disorders, but not to the same extent, the researchers said. Some stressful events – such as being violently victimized, injured in an accident, losing one's parents or self-harming – act as "triggers," said study co-author Dr. Seena Fazel. He is a professor of forensic psychiatry at the University of Oxford in England. Experiencing one of these events increases the risk of committing a violent criminal act within a week of the trigger, especially in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Fazel said. People diagnosed with these conditions have higher rates of criminal convictions than the general ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Agitated State, Drug Psychosis, Executive Function Disorder

Mentally Ill Still Gain Illegal Possession of Guns, Study Shows

Posted 8 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 – Almost two-thirds of violent gun crime arrests among the mentally ill were people who were already legally prohibited from having a firearm, a new study from Florida reveals. And close to one-third of the suicides carried out by the mentally ill were among people who weren't legally allowed to possess a firearm, the study found. "That's a failure of the enforcement mechanism," said study lead author Jeffrey Swanson. That troubling finding reflects a problem with the criteria for identifying individuals at risk, added Swanson, a professor with Duke University School of Medicine's department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Mental illness causes only a small fraction of gun violence in the United States, around 3 to 5 percent, said Colleen Barry, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The Duke study "does bring new ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Agitated State, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Nuplazid Approved for Parkinson's Hallucinations

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – Nuplazid (pimavanserin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson's disease. As many as half of people with Parkinson's may have psychosis that lead to hallucinations and delusions, the agency said in a news release announcing the approval. This can lead to behaviors including difficulty associating with loved ones or the inability to take care of oneself. Some 50,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with Parkinson's, the FDA noted, and the total number of affected Americans is about 1 million. The neurological disorder typically affects people 60 and older, and is triggered when cells that are supposed to produce a brain chemical called dopamine become impaired or die. Dopamine helps transmit neurologic signals that lead to smooth, "purposeful" movement, the FDA said, during ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Psychosis, Nuplazid, Pimavanserin, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

'You've Got Cancer' Can Take Devastating Mental Toll

Posted 28 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 – A cancer diagnosis is dreaded by all, and a new study details the psychological damage it often leaves in its wake for patients. The Swedish study found much higher rates of anxiety, depression and even drug and alcohol abuse for those who've been told "you have cancer," compared to healthier people. Cancer doctors weren't surprised, and noted that some patients are more prone to this type of distress than others. "For people that are barely keeping their lives in order, a cancer diagnosis can tip them over the edge," said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. In the study, a team led by Dr. Donghao Lu, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, compared outcomes for more than 304,000 cancer patients against more than 3 million cancer-free people in Sweden. The investigators found that risks of anxiety, ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Major Depressive Disorder, Breast Cancer, Paranoid Disorder, Prostate Cancer, Agitation, Psychosis, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Dysthymia, Agitated State, Skin Cancer, Depressive Psychosis

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