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For People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be Invaluable

Posted 3 hours 47 minutes 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: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Paranoid Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Autism, Psychosis, Eating Disorder

Demi Lovato Wants to Change the Face of Mental Illness

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 – Since her 2008 breakthrough role in the Disney Channel musical "Camp Rock," singer and actress Demi Lovato has released five best-selling albums and a slew of hit singles. Numerous music awards have followed, as has a stint as a judge on the TV megahit "The X Factor." But for the 44 million American adults struggling with mental illness, it's the 24-year-old's decision to share her own mental health battles that may rank as her most meaningful achievement to date. "I've been very, very open about my story," said Lovato. "I was diagnosed when I was 18 with bipolar disorder," a condition shared by roughly 13 million Americans. "And ever since, I've been doing whatever I could to raise awareness about mental illness, and mental health, in America." Since 2015, Lovato has served as the public face of the "Be Vocal" initiative. It's a campaign that brings together ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Major Depressive Disorder, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Viibryd, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, Effexor XR

Neighborhoods May Be Key to Teens' Mental Well-Being

Posted 18 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – Teenagers living in cohesive neighborhoods – where trusted neighbors get involved in monitoring each other's children – experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, a new study suggests. The researchers also found consistent results across different cities regardless of family composition and neighborhood income, indicating strong neighborhoods help teen mental health across various populations. Along with common risk factors, neighborhood environments should probably be given more attention when looking for potential factors linked to teen mental health problems, said study author Louis Donnelly. He's a postdoctoral research associate at the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. "Notably, whether a child grew up in a higher- or lower-income household, the associations were similar. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Agitation, Eating Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Aggressive Behavior

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: Depression, Anxiety, 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

Got a Moody Teen? Lack of Sleep May Not Be the Culprit

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – It's not a lack of sleep that makes many teens cranky, ill-mannered and muddled during the day, a new study contends. Rather, it's a combination of being night owls and then suffering daytime drowsiness, researchers report. The solution is starting school later, according to study lead author Dr. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. "School start times which coincide with sleep needs, amount and timing, and reduce daytime sleepiness, are critical for adolescent health, safety and performance," she said. The findings suggest that the sleep time misalignment and daytime sleepiness associated with early school start times "may contribute to risk-taking behaviors, poor control of emotions and impaired thinking skills," Owens said. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting high school at 8:30 a.m. or later, she noted. ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Severe Mood Dysregulation

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, Agitated State, Psychiatric Disorders, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Drug Psychosis, ICU Agitation, Aggressive Behavior

Kids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: Study

Posted 16 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 – For some teens with bipolar disorder, the risk that they will abuse alcohol and drugs may increase as they get older, a new study suggests. The research included 105 young people with bipolar disorder and 98 without the illness (the "control" group). Their average age was 14 when they first enrolled in the study. Bipolar disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels, and also affects the ability to carry out everyday tasks. Initially, 34 percent of the young teens with bipolar disorder also had "substance use disorder," which means they had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. Only 4 percent of the kids in the control group abused alcohol or drugs, the study showed. In addition, the researchers found, almost one-quarter of kids with bipolar disorder smoked cigarettes, compared to just 4 percent of the comparison group. Five years after the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Opiate Dependence, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Mania, Drug Dependence, Smoking Cessation, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Executive Function Disorder, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Study of Teen Brains Offers Clues to Timing of Mental Illness

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – Changes that occur in teens' brains as they mature may help explain why the first signs of mental illness tend to appear during this time, researchers report. British researchers used MRI scans to compare the brain structures of nearly 300 participants who were aged 14 to 24. The scientists discovered that the brain's outer region (cortex) becomes thinner as teens get older. At the same time, they saw that levels of myelin increased within the cortex. That increase was seen in critical regions of the brain that act as connection points between other regions. Myelin is the sheath that covers nerve fibers and enables them to communicate efficiently. "During our teenage years, our brains continue to develop. When we're still children, these changes may be more dramatic, but in adolescence we see that the changes refine the detail," explained study first author ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging, Dependent Personality Disorder

'Managing' Elderly Patients Without Powerful Antipsychotics

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – About 25 percent of dementia patients in U.S. nursing homes are still quieted with risky antipsychotic medications. Now, a small study suggests that managing these difficult patients, instead of medicating them, could obtain better results. "Drugs have a place, but should not be first-line treatments. They don't work well, and there are side effects," said study author Dr. Henry Brodaty, a professor of aging and mental health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal (risperidone), Abilify (aripiprazole) and Seroquel (quetiapine) are approved to treat serious psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But in seniors, they're often used to calm aggressive or violent behavior linked to dementia. "They're basically a sedative," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Mania, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperdal, Risperidone, Schizoaffective Disorder, Dementia, Geodon, Saphris, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Clozapine, Rexulti

Bipolar Diagnosis May Take Up to 6 Years

Posted 25 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – People with bipolar disorder may face a long wait from when their symptoms start to the time they get a proper diagnosis. In fact, a new study reports the average delay is six years. That lost time can result in greater frequency and severity of episodes of the psychiatric condition, the researchers said. "While some patients, particularly those who present with psychosis, probably do receive timely treatment, the diagnosis of the early phase of bipolar disorder can be difficult," study leader Matthew Large, a professor psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, Australia, said in a school news release. "This is because mental health clinicians are sometimes unable to distinguish the depressed phase of bipolar disorder from other types of depression," he added. The new research reviewed the results of 27 past studies. Those studies included more than 9,400 ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Mania, Dysthymia, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Lithium outperforms newer mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar disorder, a new study has found. Patients taking lithium had lower rates of self-harm and unintentional injury compared to those taking other bipolar drugs, such as valproate (Depacon, Depakote), olanzapine (Zyprexa) or quetiapine (Seroquel), said lead researcher Joseph Hayes. He is a fellow of psychiatry at University College London. "This is important because people with bipolar disorder are 15 times more likely to die by suicide and six times more likely to die by accidental injury than the general population," Hayes explained. People taking one of the alternative mood stabilizers were 40 percent more likely to harm themselves compared to patients on lithium, Hayes and his colleagues found. And people on valproate or quetiapine were 32 percent to 34 percent more likely to fall victim to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Zyprexa, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Dysthymia, Symbyax, Valproic Acid, Zyprexa Zydis, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Depakene, Cyclothymic Disorder, Eskalith, Lithobid, Eskalith-CR

How to Tell If Your Teen Has a Mental Health Problem

Posted 29 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 29, 2016 – Mood swings and other challenging behaviors are normal in teens, which can make it difficult for parents to spot serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, an expert says. One in five teens will develop a serious mental health disorder, with most beginning by age 15. In many cases, however, they don't receive treatment until years later, according to Dr. Aaron Krasner, an adolescent psychiatrist and Transitional Living Service chief at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn. "Only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive necessary mental health services. As a society, we have to do a lot better than that," he said in a hospital news release. A number of signs can alert parents to problems, Krasner said. These include significant changes in behavior at home or school, an unexpected decline in school ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Agitation, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders, Performance Anxiety, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Avoidant Personality Disorder

MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

Posted 9 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to have other chronic health problems than those without the nervous system disorder, a new study indicates. Researchers looked at how common several chronic conditions – high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, chronic lung disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia – were in nearly 23,400 people newly diagnosed with MS and more than 116,600 people without MS. The MS patients had higher rates of all the conditions, with high cholesterol being the exception. Their rates of mental illness, particularly depression, were also high. Nineteen percent of MS patients and 9 percent of those without MS had depression, the study found. For many of the chronic conditions, there were significant gender differences. High ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Seizures, Hypertension, Asthma, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Schizophrenia, Mania, Schizoaffective Disorder, Angina, Diabetic Neuropathy, Seizure Prevention, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Insulin Resistance, Diabetic Nerve Damage

Brain Wiring Changes Might Help Guard Against Bipolar Disorder

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 – Naturally occurring brain wiring changes might help prevent bipolar disorder in people who have a high genetic risk for the mental illness, a new study suggests. The discovery about these brain wiring changes could help efforts to develop better treatments for the disorder, according to Mount Sinai Hospital researchers in New York City. People with bipolar disorder experience severe swings in mood, energy and activity levels, and the ability to perform daily tasks. Genetics are a major risk factor, and people with a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder are much more likely to develop it than those with no family history of the mental illness. Researchers used functional MRI to monitor the brains of bipolar disorder patients, their siblings who did not have the illness (resilient siblings) and unrelated healthy volunteers. The bipolar disorder patients and ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Head Imaging

Almost 1 in 10 Americans Has Lifelong Drug Problem

Posted 18 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – Nearly one in 10 Americans has some type of lifelong drug use disorder, a new federal government survey finds. But only a quarter of them get the treatment they need, researchers said. The findings stem from a large U.S. National Institutes of Health survey. It's the first survey based on updated mental health guidelines that set a higher bar for diagnosing drug addiction than previous guidelines. "But the seriousness and persistence of the situation doesn't appear to have changed all that drastically since our last look at this," said study lead author Bridget Grant. "What we see," Grant added, "is that a little over 23 million Americans are directly affected with a lifelong problem. And many more are affected when you consider that the issue involves not just the user but also the user's family and social network. And on top of that we also see that ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Opiate Dependence, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Paranoid Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Drug Dependence, Agitation, Psychosis, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders

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Bipolar Disorder

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citalopram, risperidone, methylphenidate