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Daily 'Light Therapy' May Help Some With Bipolar Disorder

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – People afflicted with bipolar disorder may find some relief from depression with daily doses of light therapy, new research suggests. With light therapy, people spend time sitting in close proximity to a light-emitting box – in this case, bright white light – with exposures increasing from 15 minutes per day to a full hour over a period of weeks. The study found that within a month the therapy helped treat depression in people with bipolar disorder. "Effective treatments for bipolar depression are very limited," noted lead researcher Dr. Dorothy Sit. "This gives us a new treatment option for bipolar patients that we know gets us a robust response within four to six weeks," said Sit, who is associate professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University in Chicago. According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, bipolar disorder "is a brain and behavior ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Mania, Zyprexa, Olanzapine, Dysthymia, Symbyax, Valproic Acid, Zyprexa Zydis, Cyclothymic Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Depakene, Stavzor, Fluoxetine/Olanzapine, Zyprexa Intramuscular, Depacon, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Zyprexa Relprevv

Americans More Open About Mental Health Issues, But Stigma Lingers

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 – Americans may be more willing to talk about mental health issues these days, but misperceptions and stigmas persist, a new survey finds. The survey, of more than 3,000 U.S. adults, found that 70 percent said they feel people are more open to discussing mental health compared with a decade ago. Most respondents also said they'd want to help a family member or friend struggling with depression or other mental health conditions. On the other hand, age-old misperceptions were still common. Many people, for example, thought that mental health disorders were at least partially driven by "personal failings." "That's certainly disappointing," said Dr. Don Mordecai, director of mental health and addiction medicine services at Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, Calif., which commissioned the poll. "These are true brain conditions," Mordecai said, "and we have to get away from ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders, Severe Mood Dysregulation

Poor Sleep May Worsen Suicidal Thoughts

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – Sleep problems may provide early clues about worsening suicidal thoughts in at-risk young adults as well as a potential way to intervene, a new study suggests. "Suicide is the tragic outcome of psychiatric illness interacting with multiple biological, psychological and social risk factors," said lead author Rebecca Bernert. She is a suicidologist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences from Stanford University Medical School. "Sleep disturbances stand apart from other risk factors because they are visible as a warning sign, yet non-stigmatizing and highly treatable. This is why we believe they may represent an important treatment target in suicide prevention," she said in a university news release. How could sleep potentially prevent a suicide? "Sleep is a barometer of our well-being, and directly impacts how we feel the next day. We ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Fatigue, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dysthymia, Psychiatric Disorders, Drowsiness, Hypersomnia, Cyclothymic Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation

Study Cites Top Reasons Young Autism Patients Are Hospitalized

Posted 16 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 – Having a mood disorder significantly boosts the odds that young people with autism will be hospitalized for psychiatric care, according to a new study. People with autism are often hospitalized when their behavior problems overwhelm their caregivers, the study authors said. "The demand is far greater than the number of clinicians, the number of programs and the number of beds we have," said study leader Giulia Righi. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior research at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School. Righi's team reviewed records of 473 people with autism, aged 4 to 20. The risk of hospitalization was seven times higher for those with a mood disorder. In addition, sleep problems more than doubled the chances of a hospital stay. And those with high scores on a scale of autism symptom severity had a slightly increased risk, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Social Anxiety Disorder, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Heart Risks to Fetus From Bipolar Drug May Be Lower Than Thought

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Lithium, a drug commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, is linked to an increased risk of heart malformations in babies born to women taking the drug during pregnancy. But new research says the risk is smaller than once believed. In a study of more than 1 million pregnant women, researchers found that those who took lithium during the first trimester of pregnancy had a twofold increase in the risk of heart malformations compared to women who didn't take the drug. That works out to about 1 additional case of heart problems per 100 births, the researchers said. "This association was dose dependent," said lead researcher Dr. Elisabetta Patorno, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The higher the dose of the drug, the greater the chance of heart malformations, the researchers said. "The size of the association was substantially smaller ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Cyclothymic Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Lithobid, Eskalith, Eskalith-CR, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Lithotabs, Lithonate

Brain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder-Suicide Risk

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – Among teens and young adults with bipolar disorder, researchers have linked brain differences to an increased suicide risk. About half of people with bipolar disorder – marked by extreme mood swings – attempt suicide and as many as one in five dies by suicide, the study authors said. For the new study, teens and young adults with bipolar disorder underwent brain scans. Compared with those who had not attempted suicide, those who had attempted suicide had slightly less volume and activity in areas of the brain that regulate emotion and impulses, and in the white matter that connects those areas. "The findings suggest that the frontal cortex is not working as well as it should to regulate the circuitry," said study senior author Dr. Hilary Blumberg. "That can lead to more extreme emotional pain, difficulties in generating alternate solutions to suicide and ... Read more

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

Should a Mental Disability Keep Patients Off Organ Transplant Lists?

Posted 25 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 – Pressure is mounting for the U.S. organ donation network to tackle one of the thorniest ethical questions it's ever faced – whether a person with intellectual disabilities should be denied access to a transplant. A bipartisan group of 30 legislators from the U.S. Congress petitioned the Department of Health and Human Services in October to "issue guidance on organ transplant discrimination with regards to persons with disabilities," according to a new opinion piece in the Jan. 26 New England Journal of Medicine. The legislators' request follows several highly publicized cases in which people with intellectual disabilities have either fought to receive a transplant or have been outright denied a place on a waiting list, said co-author Dr. Scott Halpern. He's an associate professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania's ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Autism, Psychosis, Renal Transplant, Psychiatric Disorders, Organ Transplant - Rejection Prophylaxis, Organ Transplant, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Neurosis, Organ Transplant - Rejection Reversal, Rejection Prophylaxis

High Health Care Deductibles Take Toll on Family Finances

Posted 10 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017 – High-deductible health plans have multiplied in recent years. But they may pose a significant financial burden on Americans with chronic conditions, two new studies suggest. One study finds a greater likelihood that out-of-pocket spending for health care will consume 10 percent or more of family income for someone with a long-term condition such as arthritis, high blood pressure or a mood disorder and a high-deductible insurance plan. The other shows that seriously ill and low-income people in high-deductible plans delay care for diabetes complications. A high deductible means you pay more before insurance kicks in. People who study health policy say high deductibles may have the unintended consequence of deterring ill and financially vulnerable Americans from getting needed medical tests and treatments. "We need to give [health] plans flexibility to be able to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Major Depressive Disorder, Osteoarthritis, Hypertension, Insulin, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Diabetes, Type 1, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Genes May Play Role in More Severe Form of PMS

Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – A new study links the activity of certain genes to a premenstrual mood disorder that affects 2 to 5 percent of women of reproductive age. The disorder, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), causes more severe symptoms than premenstrual syndrome, better known as PMS. PMDD symptoms include disabling irritability, sadness and anxiety before a menstrual period. The link "adds to evidence that PMDD is a disorder of cellular response to estrogen and progesterone," said study researcher Dr. Peter Schmidt. He's with the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "For the first time, we now have cellular evidence of abnormal signaling in cells derived from women with PMDD, and a plausible biological cause for their abnormal behavioral sensitivity to estrogen and progesterone," he said in an NIH news release. Scientists ... Read more

Related support groups: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Premenstrual Syndrome, Severe Mood Dysregulation

For People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be Invaluable

Posted 9 Dec 2016 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, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Eating Disorder, Autism, Psychosis

Demi Lovato Wants to Change the Face of Mental Illness

Posted 1 Dec 2016 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, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, 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, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Eating Disorder, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Neurosis

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

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