Tag Archives: Mental health

today’s birthday: John Kennedy Toole (1937)

Today’s Birthday

John Kennedy Toole (1937)

Toole was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his novel A Confederacy of Dunces. His mental health began to deteriorate after his manuscript, into which he had poured so much of himself, was rejected by a publisher, and he committed suicide in 1969. Years after his death, Toole’s mother brought the manuscript to novelist Walker Percy, who ushered the book into print. In 1981, Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize. What is Toole’s only other novel? More… Discuss

Study finds link between pesticides and autism – Yahoo News

A California study finds that pregnant women who live near farms where pesticides are applied have a two-thirds higher risk of having children with autism (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen)

A California study finds that pregnant women who live near farms where pesticides are applied have a two-thirds higher risk of having children with autism (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen)

Study finds link between pesticides and autism – Yahoo News.

article: Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling is the process by which patients at risk of developing or transmitting an inherited disorder are advised of the nature and consequences of the disorder, the probability of developing it or passing it on, and the available treatment options. Typically, people seek counseling because they have a family history of genetic disorders or because their job or lifestyle exposes them to health risks like radiation or chemicals. What are some of the conditions commonly screened for? More… Discuss

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Childhood Hurts Persist for Decades

Yet another study, this one the first to look at the effects of childhood bullying in late adulthood, is adding to the growing body of evidence on the persistent and pervasive social, physical, and psychological effects of bullying. At age 50, people who were frequent victims of childhood bullying remained at increased risk of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. They also tended to report a lower quality of life. The findings suggest that we never really outgrow the trauma of bullying but instead carry it with us throughout our lives. More… Discuss

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Club Drug Lifts Depression

The horse tranquilizer ketamine, which has become popular on the club scene, shows significant promise in the treatment of depression. In recent small trials, low doses of the drug were able to lift depression symptoms in a number of patients, and effects persisted in some for days and in others for months. While ketamine will not be replacing Prozac and similar traditional antidepressants anytime soon—it poses a risk of serious side-effects and must be intravenously administered—it opens up a new area of research in the pharmacological treatment of depression. More… Discuss

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“Love Hormone” Could Help Anorexics Love Themselves

Anorexia nervosa is a devastating, potentially deadlyeating disorder characterized by an unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, and conspicuous distortion of body image. Only about half of all anorexics make a good, long-term physical and social recovery, but researchers are hoping to improve this statistic with the help of the so-called love hormoneoxytocin. Anorexic patients dosed with oxytocin in two recent studies showed a reduced fixation on images of fattening foods, fat bodies, and negative emotions, suggesting the hormone may be able to help them overcome the obsessions that feed this disorder.More… Discuss


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Energy Drinks and Teens

If your teen frequently consumes energy drinks, this could be a red flag that he or she engages in other risky behaviors. A Canadian study found that high school students who reported a higher frequency of energy drink use were more likely to also feel depressed, engage in risk-taking behaviors, drink alcohol, and use drugs. Energy drinks’ marketing campaigns may be somewhat to blame for the association, as they are designed make the products seem extreme and exciting. This likely increases their appeal to young people, especially those already prone to sensation seekingMore… Discuss


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First Biomarker for Depression Identified

Researchers have identified the first biomarker for clinical depression, and it could be helpful in identifying teenage boys at risk of developing the mental illness. Teen boys with depressive mood symptoms, such as feelings of misery, loneliness, or of not being loved, who also had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol were 14 times more likely to develop depression than those with low cortisol levels and no depressive symptoms. During the course of one three-year study, about half of the boys identified as high-risk using this screening tool went on to be diagnosed with clinical depression. More… Discuss


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Bullying’s Effects Add Up

Studies have consistently shown that bullying is tied to worse physical and mental health, but few have looked at the cumulative effects of bullying over time. As might be expected, a longitudinal study of bullying found that teens who had been subject to bullying throughout their schooling had a lowerquality of life than those who had either been bullied in the past or who were being bullied at the time of the study. The findings further highlight the importance of preventing bullying or, at the very least, putting a stop to it soon after it starts. More… Discuss


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How the Obamacare wars hurt the mentally ill | MSNBC (in war there are no victors!)

Scott Patrick, 48, stops for a mid-day coffee in downtown Atlanta. How the Obamacare wars hurt the mentally ill | MSNBC.

The partisan war over Obamacare is now threatening the mental health services that Patrick and countless others are seeking. The president’s health care law cuts federal subsidies to safety-net hospitals that were expected to have more paying patients under the law’s Medicaid expansion and insurance exchanges. But Republican-controlled states like Georgia have refused to go along with the expansion. That’s turned safety-net providers like Grady into unintended casualties—and mental health services for Georgia’s most troubled residents are first on the chopping block. 

It was never meant to happen this way. States like Georgia, which has the nation’s sixth-highest uninsured rate, were supposed to be the biggest beneficiaries of the new Medicaid dollars.  But in 2012, the Supreme Court unexpectedly ruled that the federal government couldn’t force states to accept the expansion. 

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Law’s Expanded Medicaid Coverage Brings a Surge in Sign-Ups – NYTimes.com

America ranks near the bottom of developed countries in health and longevity, and many public health experts believe that improving that ranking will be impossible without paying more attention to poor Americans. It is still an open question whether access to health insurance will improve the health of the disadvantaged in the long run, experts say, but the men and women getting the coverage here say the mere fact of having it has drastically improved their mental health.”

via Law’s Expanded Medicaid Coverage Brings a Surge in Sign-Ups – NYTimes.com.

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Meditate the Pain Away

Proponents of meditation say that it can have a measurable benefit on the psyche, and the data seem to support this. A meta-analysis of 47 studies finds moderate evidence that mindfulness meditation can help treat anxiety, depression, and pain and low evidence of stress reduction and improvement to overall mental health. In fact, when it comes to depression, mindfulness meditation appears to be as effective as antidepressantsMore… Discuss


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Idea of Gaining Weight “Terrifies” Some Young UK Teens

The results of a survey on body image and weightfixation in 13-year-old schoolchildren in the UK have doctors concerned. They show that about half of girls and a third of boys are “a little worried” by the thought of getting fat, while nearly 12 percent of the former and 5 percent of the latter are “terrified” by it. Though eating disorders are not typically diagnosed in kids so young, about a quarter of the girls and 15 percent of the boys surveyed were already exhibiting eating disorder behaviors such as fasting. More… Discuss



Fear Is Nothing to Lose Sleep Over

Researchers say we can combat our fears in our sleep. When an image was linked to an unpleasant stimulus—a mild electric shock—as well as a certain smell and study participants were exposed to that smell while they slept, they exhibited less fear when shown the related image later. Many phobias can be treated by exposure therapy, a form of behavior therapy in which an individual is gradually encouraged to approach a feared object and to successively spend longer periods of time in proximity to it. These findings suggest that this sort of approach could also be applied during sleep. More…


Today’s Birthday: ELIZABETH KENNY (1880)

Elizabeth Kenny (1880)

After breaking her wrist as a young girl, Kenny developed an interest in medicine and eventually became a nurse. While treating polio victims in her native Australia, she devised a treatment using hot compresses and passive exercise that differed drastically from the usual approach of immobilization. Kenny later brought her controversial treatment to the US, where it was initially met with skepticism but was ultimately accepted. What actor attributes his recovery from polio to these treatments? More… Discuss



Depression Largely Untreated in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Cancer’s emotional toll does not always end when the disease is eradicated. Survivors of head and neck cancer in particular are at elevated risk for depression. This is not surprising, considering that treatments for these cancers often have physical side effects that lead to trouble swallowing and speaking and increase social isolation. Still, few actually seek treatment for their depression, and their risk of suicide is four times that of the general population. More… Discuss




Definition: (adjective) Characterized by or liable to sudden unpredictable changes in attitude or behavior.
Synonyms: whimsicalimpulsive
Usage: My wife’s capricious mood swings are beginning to worry me, and I fear she may need professional help. Discuss.



Depression May Be Underdiagnosed in Men

Women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression, but this is not necessarily indicative of actual depression rates. Some studies have suggested that men and women exhibit different symptoms when depressed, with men more likely to show signs of anger, self-destruction, self-distractions, and irritability than sadness. When researchers take into account these alternative depression symptoms, in addition to the traditionally recognized ones, they find that approximately the same percentage of men and women—31% and 33% respectively—meet the criteria for the diagnosis. More… Discuss



Swallowable Sensor to Track Pill Use

People make mistakes, even when it comes to the most critical aspects of their lives. About half of all people fail to take medicines correctly, endangering their lives and costing health care systems millions of dollars. There are countless companies developing advanced technologies to help patients stick to their prescribed drug regimens, including one that is working on an ingestiblesensor that is embedded in a pill and activated when it comes in contact with stomach acid. The sensor then sends a signal to a patch, which passes it on to an application, identifying what medication was taken, when it was taken, and even what effect it is having. More… Discuss


Surgeon Allegedly Stole Drugs from Patients’ Stomach

surgeon who operated on a drug mule to remove packets of heroin from his stomach may well have saved the man’s life, but instead of being hailed a hero, he is facing up to 15 years in prison. His crime? Stealing some of the drugs he was charged with extracting. The doctor came under suspicion after one of the heroin packets turned up missing. It turns out he had been investigated for illegal drug possession in the past, and when he was detained this time, he was found not only to have five grams of heroin on his person but also to be in a state of narcotic intoxication. More… Discuss


Recession’s Toll on the Mentally Ill

Data from across the European Union reveal that in the recent recession, the unemployment rate for people withmental health problems rose twice as much as for those without. Between 2006 and 2010, the unemployment rate climbed from 7.1% to 9.8% among those who were mentally sound. Meanwhile, unemployment among those with mental health problems went from 12.7% to 18.2%. For those with mental health problems, losing a job or being unemployed can be something of a double whammy, as in addition to creating economic hardship, it can also intensify underlying mental health issues. More…


TV Is Going to the Dogs, Literally

In August, DirecTV, a US-based satellite broadcasting service, will be launching the first television channel with round-the-clock programming for man’s best friend. DOGTV will air programs designed specifically for dogs, with their particular vision and hearing needs in mind. For just $4.99 a month, doting pooch owners will have access to this 24/7 stream of programming meant to relax, stimulate, and relieve the loneliness of their canines. More…Discuss



Breakfast Important for Heart Health

Many of us are guilty of skipping breakfast, but that does not mean it is good for us. In fact, the opposite may very well be true. Skipping breakfast could place added strain on the body, putting those who do it at greater risk of cardiovascular problems. A recent study of older men found that those who routinely skipped breakfast were 27 percent more likely to suffer from heart problems than those who were in the habit of eating in the morning. Perhaps we should all pay a little more heed to the adage about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. More… Discuss

350lb American Grouper | River Monsters

Jeremy catches a gigantic grouper with fearsome spikes on its back.
More Extreme Fishing- http://animal.discovery.com/tv/river-… | Watch River Monsters Sundays @ 10pm e/p! |

STAY IN THE WORKFORCE TO STAVE OFF DEMENTIA (so…with no retirement there would be no dementia?)

Stay in the Workforce to Stave off Dementia

Many people nowadays are delaying retirement for economic reasons, but new research suggests this could actually be doing wonders for their cognitive health. Medical records from nearly half a million people in France indicate that remaining in the workforce can reduce the risk of developing dementia by 3.2 percent per year. The findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that lifestyle factors such as physical activity, social engagement, and mental stimulation—all of which employment tends to provide—have a protective effect on the brain. More…


Choristers Have a Change of Heart

When choir singers perform together, their heart rates tend to synchronize. The more structured the piece, the greater the synchrony. Researchers attribute this to the controlled breathing techniques that singers use, which effectively coordinate their breathing. This is also likely why choral singing has the overall effect of slowing the heart rate. Thus, like yoga breathing and guided breathing, which have been shown to lower blood pressure, choir singing could improve cardiovascular healthMore… Discuss


Kids of Depressed Mothers Could Benefit in Daycare

Researchers have known for some time that children ofdepressed mothers are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders themselves, but they are just now learning that being in childcare, particularly in a group setting, could have something of a protective effect. Researchers say that young children of depressed mothers who attended daycare had a 79 percent lower risk of developing emotional problems than those who were cared for at home by their mothers. Their findings suggest that childcare can be a helpful intervention method in cases of maternal depression. More…Discuss


Quota: H.G. Wells

It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) Discuss


Mixed Messages When It Comes to Light Drinking during Pregnancy

There is no doubt that heavy drinking during pregnancy causes significant harm to one’s fetus, but experts are divided when it comes to light drinking. The data from a recent study of 10,534 UK children indicate that light drinking—defined as no more than two units of alcohol a week—during pregnancy does not harm a child’s behavioral or mental development, at least not before age seven. Experts are quick to caution expectant mothers that these results are not definitive and that more research is needed. The safest course of action, they say, is to abstain from alcohol throughout pregnancy. More… Discuss

STUDY LINKS COLIC WITH LATER MIGRAINES (so….there you have it: there is a study done for everything!)

Study Links Colic with Later Migraines

Some people may be genetically predisposed tomigraines, and colic may be an indicator of this. Research shows that many children with migraines were colicky babies and that mothers who suffer from migraines themselves are more likely to have babies with colic. Further investigation is needed before it can be conclusively said that these two conditions are linked, but if this is proved to be the case, it could mean that their underlying causes and triggers are related and that strategies for preventing or treating migraines could be helpful in treating colic. More…Discuss

My take on this: “I think that there is more realistic evidence that migraines are a result of politico-economico-social stress, than colics as an infant!

I think that waking up to a nightmarish future, can definitely gives many migraines and I don’t need any study to know that to be true!”


Weight Bias Goes Both Ways

Despite their extensive medical trainingdoctorsare not immune to the stereotypes and stigma related to obesity. Previous research has shown that medical professionals routinely stereotype overweight patients, and a new survey shows that patients judge doctors by their physiques as well. Respondents in a recent survey said that they are less likely totrust or follow the advice of a physician who is overweight or obese. Considering that about half of the doctors in the US fall into these categories, this sort of weight bias could have significant and widespread consequences. More… Discuss



Murdering Medics—ICU Team Suspected of the Unthinkable

One of the fundamental principles of medicine is “first do no harm,” but a Brazilian intensive care unit doctor and her team stand accused of doing precisely the opposite. The doctor faces charges of aggravated first degree murder for allegedly ending the lives of seven of her patients in order to free up bed space in the unit and is being investigated for her role in as many as 300 deaths. Seven other members of her medical team—three doctors, three nurses, and a physiotherapist—are also alleged to have taken part in the killings. More… Discuss



Parents Too Hasty in Introducing Solid Foods

Nearly half of new parents in the US begin feeding their babiessolid food too early, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leading physician groups currently recommend that parents refrain from giving infants younger than six months solid foods. Yet a survey conducted between 2005 and 2007—when the recommended cutoff for introducing solids was just four months—found that forty percent of new parents were starting their babies on solid foods before then. Some were even giving their children solid food when they were just weeks old. More…Discuss



Protein Deficiency Linked to Cognitive Impairment in Down’s Syndrome

Researchers believe they have identified one of the causes of developmental and cognitive impairment in people with Down’s syndrome: a lack of the protein SNX27 in their brains. When a deficiency of this brain protein was produced in mice, the animals exhibited learning andmemory impairments. By reintroducing this protein, researchers were able to restore normal brain function in the lab mice. It is possible that increasing SNX27 production or function in the brains of people with Down’s syndrome could lead to similar improvements. More… Discuss


More Men Developing Eating Disorders

More Men Developing Eating Disorders

British National Health Service data show a 66 percent increase in hospital admissions for men with eating disorders over the past decade. The figures challenge the commonly held belief that eating disorders only affect women. It is estimated that up to 20 percent of Britain’s more than one million eating disorder sufferers are male. Unfortunately, many men are still reluctant to seek treatment, and this, coupled with the fact that doctors often do not recognize the signs of eating disorders in men, means that many go untreated. More… Discuss

Article of the Day (June 30): Neurogenesis


The human nervous system is composed of some 200 billion cells called neurons, about half of which are found in the brain. Neurogenesis, the process through which neurons are formed, is most active during prenatal development. Though early neuroanatomists believed that the adult nervous system is fixed and incapable of regeneration, neurogenesis actually continues throughout life. Studies have shown that lack of sleep reduces neurogenesis and exercise increases it. How is it affected by stress? How physical exercise help the aging body and the brain?More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday:

Philippe Pinel (1745)

After moving to Paris in 1778, Pinel, a French physician, was appointed director of the Bicêtre and Salpêtrière hospitals. His experiences there prompted him to advocate for the humane treatment of mentally ill persons—then called the insane—and for the empirical study of mental disease. He further contributed to the development of psychiatry by establishing the practice of thoroughly documenting psychiatric case histories for research. What initially inspired Pinel’s interest in mental illness? More… Discuss