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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, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Abilify, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mania

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, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Paranoid Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Autism, Psychosis, Renal Transplant, Psychiatric Disorders, Organ Transplant - Rejection Prophylaxis, Neurosis, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Organ Transplant, 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, Osteoarthritis, Hypertension, Major Depressive Disorder, Insulin, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Diabetes, Type 1, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Hypertensive Heart Disease

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, 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, Eating Disorder, 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, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, 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, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Eating Disorder, Psychosis, 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, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Executive Function Disorder

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, Dependent Personality Disorder, Head Imaging

'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, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Dementia, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, 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, Cyclothymic Disorder, Depakene, Eskalith, Lithobid, Eskalith-CR

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Bipolar Disorder

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citalopram, risperidone, methylphenidate