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Related terms: Phobia, social, Social Phobia, Social Anxiety

Health Tip: A Pet May Improve Your Health

Posted 8 days ago by

-- Getting a pet can improve not only your emotional outlook but your physical health as well, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The CDC says furry companions have been shown to trigger these health improvements: Decreased blood pressure. Decreased cholesterol. Decreased triglycerides. Reduced feelings of loneliness. Greater exposure to social activities and interaction. Increased likelihood of regular exercise. Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

A Dangerous New Twist on Cyberbullying

Posted 16 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2017 – As if the idea of teen cyberbullying isn't harrowing enough, a new study warns of a strange twist in which kids anonymously post hurtful messages – to themselves. The worry is that this digital self-harm – like traditional self-harm – may be a harbinger for suicide down the road, the study authors said. In the first survey of its kind, the nationally representative group of nearly 5,600 U.S. high school students was asked about "self-cyberbullying." The kids were all between the ages of 12 and 17. And about 6 percent said they had engaged in the practice. The risk for doing so was highest among those who had previously been victims of cyberbullying or bullying themselves. "We define 'digital self-harm' as the anonymous online posting, sending, or otherwise sharing of hurtful content about oneself," said study lead author Sameer Hinduja. He co-directs ... Read more

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

Your Friends May Be Key to a Healthy Aging Brain

Posted 17 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2017 – Getting along well with others may do more than just make life less stressful for seniors. A new study suggests that warm, supportive relationships might give a big memory boost to the aging brain. Researchers found that so-called SuperAgers – people 80 or older with the memory powers of those 50 to 65 – were more likely than those with average memory to report positive relationships in their lives. "One explanation is that maintaining friendships keeps your brain active and engaged," said study co-author Emily Rogalski. She's an associate professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "You could think of this like healthy exercise for your brain," Rogalski added. The study doesn't prove that positive relationships improve memory, however. It's possible that their connection could be more complicated. For the new study, ... Read more

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

Managing Anxiety

Posted 2 Nov 2017 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 – A little bit of stress can motivate you, but too much might cause an anxiety disorder that can prevent you from living your life to the fullest. If you feel anxious on a daily basis, try making changes to your lifestyle to manage anxiety on your own. Exercise regularly to release the body's endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals. Set a goal of 30 minutes at least five days of the week. Be sure to get enough sleep, typically between 7 and 8 hours every night. During waking hours, take short breaks from whatever stresses you out – meditation and listening to music are great ways to clear your head. Eat healthy and don't skip meals. Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can worsen anxiety and trigger panic attacks. If adjustments to your routine don't lessen your anxiety, talk to your doctor, especially if anxiety or depression run in your family. You could have an ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Ambien, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, BuSpar, Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Zolpidem, Buspirone, Melatonin, Diphenhydramine, Lunesta, Vistaril, Doxepin, Atarax, Xyrem, Ambien CR

Health Tip: Defining Cyberbulling

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by

--Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over a digital device, such as a cell phone, computer or tablet. The website says any posting of negative, harmful or "fake" information about someone else may constitute cyberbullying. It can happen through text message, app or online. Digital devices offer the ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day. Most information trasmitted electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation can effect college admissions, employment and other areas of life. Cyberbullying may be difficult to recognize because teachers and parents may not see cyberbullying taking place. Read more

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

Trauma Takes a Toll on Half of U.S. Kids

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – Nearly half of American children have faced at least one traumatic experience, such as the death of a parent, witnessing a violent crime or living with someone who is suicidal or abuses drugs or alcohol, new research reveals. These events can trigger high levels of stress, which can have serious and lasting effects on children's development, heath and overall well-being, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They noted, however, that effective parenting, supportive neighbors, involved schools and teaching kids how to be resilient can all help reduce these harmful effects. "Every child deserves a healthy start," said Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research. "A loving home, a good school, a safe neighborhood – these things are the foundation for a long and happy ... Read more

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

Your Sociability May Hinge on 'Love Hormone'

Posted 29 Sep 2017 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 29, 2017 – If you like to hang out with friends, it might be due to the "love hormone" oxytocin, a new mouse study suggests. Oxytocin promotes socialization by triggering pleasurable feelings when people get together, said Stanford University researchers. "Our study reveals new insights about the brain circuitry behind social reward, the positive experience you often get when you run into an old friend or meet somebody you like," said study senior author Dr. Robert Malenka. He's associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford's School of Medicine. "The reward circuitry is crucial to our survival because it rewards us for doing things that have, during our evolutionary history, tended to enhance our survival, our reproduction and the survival of our resulting offspring," he explained in a university news release. For example, when you're hungry, food ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Are Today's Teens Putting the Brakes on Adulthood?

Posted 19 Sep 2017 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, Depo-Provera, Nexplanon, Mirena, NuvaRing, Provera, Sprintec, Implanon, Social Anxiety Disorder, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Plan B One-Step, Loestrin 24 Fe

Caring for a Sick Pet Can Really Drain You

Posted 19 Sep 2017 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

Hurricanes May Have Longer-Lasting Impact on Kids

Posted 12 Sep 2017 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

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

Posted 5 Sep 2017 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 5 Sep 2017 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

Parents Worried About Cyberbullies as School Starts Up

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – With school bells ringing once again, 1 in 3 U.S. parents admits to worrying about bullying and cyberbullying. A new poll involving more than 1,500 parents of children and teens found one-third very concerned about online bullying and how it could affect their child's mental health. Experts have warned about the link between cyberbullying and anxiety, depression and suicide, the University of Michigan researchers pointed out. "Adults across the country recognized bullying, including cyberbullying, as the leading health problem for U.S. children," said Dr. Gary Freed. He's a professor of pediatrics at the university and co-director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. Trailing closely behind cyberbullies on parents' list of concerns are sedentary behavior, poor diet, drug abuse and car accidents, the researchers found. The poll ... Read more

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

Close Friendships in High School Make for Happier Adults

Posted 22 Aug 2017 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – If you're not one of the popular kids with dozens of "besties," you can take solace in new research that suggests having close friendships is better for your adult mental health than having many friends in high school. "Our research found that the quality of friendships during adolescence may directly predict aspects of long-term mental and emotional health," said study leader Rachel Narr, a graduate student at the University of Virginia. "High school students with higher-quality best friendships tended to improve in several aspects of mental health over time, while teens who were popular among their peers during high school may be more prone to social anxiety later in life," she said in a news release from the Society for Research in Child Development. The study included 169 teens and young adults who were followed for 10 years – from 15 to 25 years of age. ... Read more

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

Local Crime Can Put Kids on the Run

Posted 15 Aug 2017 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2017 – If parents are afraid of local crime, kids spend less time hanging out in their neighborhoods, according to a new study that used smartphone tracking. Where residents perceived a higher threat of crime, children spent over an hour less per day outside in their own neighborhood, the researchers found. That's compared to kids living in neighborhoods that adult residents thought were safer. Neighborhoods thought to be less safe also tended to be poorer, the study authors said. "It is clear that kids who live in high-poverty areas are spending less time in their neighborhoods, and that is linked to a collective fear of crime," said the study's lead author, Christopher Browning. He is a professor of sociology at Ohio State University. "This has never been tested before with GPS data that tracks movements on a minute-by-minute basis," Browning said in a university ... Read more

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

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