Chances are the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about depression is depressed mood, right? But while depressed mood is often a major part of depressive illnesses, sometimes it plays a minor role and other times it’s not present at all. The symptoms of depression are (must have one of […]
A new study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, has revealed that smokers may be at greater risk of developing depression and schizophrenia. The study conducted by a team of scientists from the UK’s University of Bristol has re-emphasized that smoking can adversely affect mental health.
Instead of focusing on whether the smokers had a genetic predisposition to depression or schizophrenia, the scientists used genetic data to observe cause-and-effect relationships with smoking. Robyn Wootton, the study’s lead author, said in a statement, “Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities. Our work shows that we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health.”
Data from 462,690 people of European ancestry was examined for this study using an approach known as Mendelian randomization. The latter involves identifying genetic variations associated with a trait, such as depression or schizophrenia, and then testing for those variations against an exposure, such as smoking, in a group of subjects. This enables scientists to examine whether this relationship is causal or not.
The scientists concluded that whereas smoking increased the risk of depression and schizophrenia, individuals with depression and schizophrenia are also more liable to smoke. The authors, however, noted that the association was weaker in those with schizophrenia. The team further found that smoking also increases the risk of bipolar disorder, in another Mendelian randomization study published in September 2019. The scientists recommended that psychiatric hospitals be made smoke-free to prevent harmful effects on mental health.
On the other hand, a retired consultant psychiatrist and honorary professor at University College London and Queen Mary University of London, David Curtis, although not involved in the study, interprets its results differently to the authors.
Curtis says he doesn’t think it’s plausible that smoking acts directly on the brain to increase schizophrenia risk, and the results likely show the effect of mothers’ smoking when they were pregnant—a risk factor for schizophrenia. “So what we are likely seeing is that the mothers of people with schizophrenia were at a higher genetic risk of smoking, smoked during pregnancy and thereby increased the risk of schizophrenia developing in their children,” Curtis said in a statement. “And of course they would then also pass on an increased genetic risk of smoking to those children, which is what this study is picking up,” he added.
According to a Lancet Psychiatry Commission report published in July 2019, people with mental illness die up to 20 years earlier than the general population. Another study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in January 2018 found that the use of either marijuana or cigarettes is related to a greater risk of psychotic-like experiences in teenagers. Psychosis is a mental condition characterized by a disconnection from reality causing hallucinations or delusions.
You might be thinking it is easy to spot signs of depression in people, but that is not the case at all. In fact, there are lots of different types of depression…
In trying to cope with the debilitating symptoms of depression, people often turn to vitamins, supplements, herbs, or home remedies first. And it’s no wonder — such efforts to alleviate symptoms are often far less expensive and easier to obtain. For some, it may be a part of their rationalization that their depression “isn’t all […]
For many years, Psychology, following in the footsteps of Medicine, was preoccupied with the alleviation of suffering. A worthy objective, but the treatments were focused on how to reduce depression or anxiety, not how to increase happiness. Does not feeling bad equate to the same thing as feeling good? If someone is no longer feeling […]
1. Grief comes and goes, but depression is unremitting.
—Kay Redfield Jamison
2. Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.
3. Depression is frustrating. It’s knowing there’s so much to be grateful for and happy about and to enjoy, but you just can’t get there.
4. Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.
5. Depression is rage spread thin.
6. If depression is creeping up and must be faced, learn something about the nature of the beast: You may escape without a mauling.
—R. W. Shepherd
7. Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy. But with patience and persistence, I believe that nearly all individuals suffering from depression can improve and experience a sense of joy and self-esteem once again.
—David D. Burns
People with depression experience symptoms that affect their mood, cognitive function and physical health. Depression is a serious disorder marked by disturbances in mood, cognition, physiology and social functioning. People can experience deep sadness and feelings of hopelessness, sorrow, emptiness and despair. These core features of depression have expanded to include an inability to […]
Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati, have underscored the link between air pollution and mental health in children in a series of three new studies.
One of the studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrated that short-term exposure to environmental air pollution was related to worsening of symptoms of psychiatric disorders in children one to two days later, as marked by increased use of the emergency department for psychiatric issues in Cincinnati Children’s.
The study also revealed that children living in underprivileged localities may be more prone to the effects of air pollution in comparison with other children, especially for disorders related to anxiety and sui**dality.
The above study was led by Cole Brokamp, PhD, and Patrick Ryan, PhD, researchers in the division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Cincinnati Children’s. According to the Dr Brokamp, “This study is the first to show an association between daily outdoor air pollution levels and increased symptoms of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and sui**dality, in children. More research is needed to confirm these findings, but it could lead to new prevention strategies for children experiencing symptoms related to a psychiatric disorder. The fact that children living in high poverty neighborhoods experienced greater health effects of air pollution could mean that pollutant and neighborhood stressors can have synergistic effects on psychiatric symptom severity and frequency.”
Two previous studies by researchers from Cincinnati Children’s have also linked air pollution to children’s mental health. Published in the journal Environmental Research, the study led by Kelly Brunst, PhD, a researcher in the department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati, and Kim Cecil, PhD, a researcher at Cincinnati Children’s, found a relation between recent high traffic related air pollution (TRAP) exposure and higher generalized anxiety. This study is believed to be the first to use neuroimaging to relate TRAP exposure, metabolic disturbances in the brain, and generalized anxiety symptoms among otherwise healthy children. Higher myoinositol concentrations in the brain—a marker of the brain’s neuroinflammatory response to TRAP was observed.
Another study, also published in Environmental Research, and led by Kimberly Yolton, PhD, director of research in the division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s, and Dr. Ryan revealed that exposure to TRAP during early life and across childhood was significantly linked with self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms in 12-year-olds. Similar findings have been reported in adults too, but research demonstrating clear connections between TRAP exposure and mental health in children has been limited.
“Collectively, these studies contribute to the growing body of evidence that exposure to air pollution during early life and childhood may contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems in adolescence,” states Dr Ryan. “More research is needed to replicate these findings and uncover underlying mechanisms for these associations.”
Reference: Cole Brokamp, Jeffrey R. Strawn, Andrew F. Beck, Patrick Ryan. Pediatric Psychiatric Emergency Department Utilization and Fine Particulate Matter: A Case-Crossover Study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2019; 127 (9): 097006 DOI: 10.1289/ehp4815
What kind of parent are you? Do you wear your emotions on your sleeve— every little tantrum an epic battle, and every small joy an enormous victory? Are you more laidback, letting things roll off your back like water off a duck? [. . .]
Migraines are so much more than a painful headache. Those that experience migraines on a regular basis often report that they have a detrimental impact on their mental health. There are several health concerns that arise as a result of migraines, and many others that go hand-in-hand with them. People without adequate information about the issues migraines can cause may dismiss symptoms, meaning that the chance for diagnosis is missed until later on.
If you suffer from migraines and want to find out more, read on for 5 effects that they can have on your mental health:
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a throbbing pain on one side of the head that is persistent. The pain is typically described as being moderate to severe. It can also induce symptoms such as feeling nauseous, being sick, and increased sensitivity to light or sound. They affect 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 15 men. It’s also been suggested that migraines could be hereditary, as you’re more likely to get migraines if you have a close relative with the condition. There are different types of migraine:
Migraine with aura – when there are specific warning signs before the migraine such as seeing flashes of light.
Migraine without aura – when migraines happen without warning.
Migraine aura without headache (silent migraine) – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but the actual headache pain doesn’t develop.
If your migraines occur once in a while, then you have double the risk of depression than someone who doesn’t get them at all. Similarly, if you experience chronic migraines which occur several times a month, your risk doubles again. There is such a strong link between depression and migraines because often, people with migraines can become depressed because of the terrible pain.
On the other hand, depression can also come first, soon to be followed by painful migraines. People with migraines are three times more likely to have depression and patients with depression are also three times more likely to have a migraine. It causes patients to feel sad, hopeless, fatigued, and disinterested in things they used to enjoy.
Of those suffering from migraines, around 50%-60% will suffer from anxiety. In fact, people with chronic migraines are more likely to have anxiety than they are depression. Similar to depression, the anxiety or the migraines can come first. During a migraine attack, anxiety is often based on worry directly related to the attack, such as wondering how long it will last and when the medication will start to work.
Even when the patient isn’t experiencing a migraine, they might become anxious about when their next one will be. Interestingly, patients that have anxiety in life are more likely to develop migraines, and vice versa. If the patient suffers from depression and anxiety, they may need to take separate medication to treat each condition individually.
3. Increased Fatigue
Many people who experience chronic migraines also feel fatigued. This level of fatigue can last a long time and cannot always be cured with a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can then have a knock-on effect on your mental health, as you start to feel sluggish and less engaged. This can cause depression or add to the symptoms of pre-existing depression. What’s more, blurred vision and poor co-ordination can also be a side-effect of fatigue. If a patient experiences fatigue, they are more likely to take time off work until they feel well enough to return. Wellness retreats or specialist aesthetic clinic Manchester offers can leave them feeling more rejuvenated and less tired.
4. Changes in Your Mood
Migraines often develop in distinct stages for many people, the first of which is a change in your mood. In the same way that anxiety can cause patients to worry about an attack, patients can experience a change in their mood before it happens.
Changes in energy levels, behaviour and appetite can occur several hours or even days before having a migraine attack. Then, the actual headache stage occurs, where patients will experience the pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head. After, is the resolution stage. Again, at this time, patients are more likely to experience changes in their mood which can last a few days.
5. Poor Memory
An acute confusional migraine (ACM) is a rare type of migraine that primarily affects teenagers and children. Many are still left undiagnosed but affects around 10% of children and teenagers. When experiencing an acute confusional migraine attack, one of the main symptoms is memory loss. Other symptoms include disorientation, blurred vision and speech impairment. Though this memory loss is only temporary, there is evidence to suggest chronic migraines can impact memory permanently. However, this is still very much a topic undergoing research.
Source link: https://www.psyarticles.com/health/migraine.htm
It’s like it’s a scar that must be hidden. Like some dirty secret. An ugly sweater you keep in the back of the closet and only bring it out when that aunt comes to visit. You hide it. You deny it, even to yourself. [. . .]
Different environmental factors experienced by a child can undoubtedly impact their life in the long run. Whether they were born into poverty, lack access to education, or are surrounded by violence, these experiences have the ability to dramatically disrupt their lives if they’re without the right support system. [. . .]
via Affectionate Moms with Depression May Epigenetically Buffer Their Child from Stress
Happiness is something we all strive to attain yet very few of us know the actual meaning of happiness. Most people think that material success—owning a big house or luxury cars, and fat bank account, great career achievements, having a family, and high social status and reputation are the things that make a person truly happy. But the truth is, true happiness has got nothing to do with these worldly things. Happiness is actually a state of mind and so, how a person perceives and reacts to life says a lot about whether he or she is on the right path to happiness or not. Here are five key traits that you should try to develop to keep yourself happy and which are typical of genuinely happy people already:
1. Live in present: Happy people focus on the present. They don’t dwell on things that have happened in past or they don’t worry about the future. They are aware that life is happening now and so they live in the moment. Research has shown that worrying too much about future is the source of anxiety and various other mental health issues, just as thinking too much about the past can be a cause of depression. Thinking too much about how things were or how they should be, rob us of our present. Happy people live in the present and make the most of it.
2. Grateful: Happy people are grateful for everything they have. Gratitude is the key to happiness. One must truly value everything that they possess in order to be happy. Being too occupied with one’s desires sometimes mislead us from the path to true happiness. Also, desiring more and more leaves us depressed and discontent; and in the process, we often forget to be thankful for the things we already have. Happy people achieve satisfaction by being grateful for everything they have and they consider themselves fortunate enough for whatever little they possess. Happy people express their gratitude on daily basis and that’s what becomes their source of happiness.
3. Optimistic: Happy people always look at the bright side. They possess a positive attitude towards life. No matter how difficult circumstances may be, they never lose their positive outlook and that’s what helps them survive difficult and challenging circumstances. They always see the glass as half full and look for the ways to fill the glass to the brim. It is the optimism that helps them stay happy and patient in difficult circumstances. Although it is not always easy to stay optimistic when things become too challenging, with practice one can certainly acquire this trait.
4. Kind: Kindness is another trait of happy people. Happy individuals are not only kind to others but to themselves as well. They build rather than destroying others. They also forgive and forget and don’t hold grudges. They find happiness in helping others. They believe in sharing and know that money spent on one’s own self does not always lead to happiness. Research too has shown that happiness or joy received from buying stuff for one’s own self is short lived or momentary. But if the money is spent on others, one gets longer-lasting and stable happiness.
5. Secure: Happy people are secure in themselves. They are confident and never compare themselves with others. They know their strengths as well as weaknesses and are comfortable with both. As they feel secure and confident in themselves, they never seek approval of others or try to please others yet they never brag. Their self-esteem is not derived from superficial things and is rather more internal. They always try to maximize their strengths and are always open to work on their weaknesses.
A recent study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands has provided new insight into whether there is any connection between oral contraceptive use and mood.
The study published in JAMA Psychiatry included a survey of young women about depressive symptoms, such as crying, sleeping excessively, and eating issues, which can be far subtler than diagnosed clinical depression. The investigators surveyed a cohort of more than 1,000 women from age 16 through 25 years, every three years, and collected a unique set of data about these sub-clinical symptoms.
The study demonstrated that there was no association between oral contraceptive use and severity of depressive symptom in the whole population that had been investigated. However, it was found that 16-year-old girls reported higher depressive symptom severity in comparison to 16-year-old girls not consuming birth-control pills.
The corresponding author of the study, Anouk de Wit, MD, PhD said, “One of the most common concerns women have when starting the pill, and teens and their parents have when an adolescent is considering taking the pill, is about immediate depressive risks.” De Wit now a trainee in the Department of Psychiatry at UMCG, further added, “Most women first take an oral contraceptive pill as a teen. Teens have lots of challenging emotional issues to deal with so it’s especially important to monitor how they are doing.”
According to co-author Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc, vice chair for Psychiatry Research for the Brigham’s Department of Psychiatry and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, theirs is the “first study of this scale to dive deep into the more subtle mood symptoms that occur much more commonly than a depression episode but impact quality of life and are worrying to girls, women and their families.”
For this study, the researchers analyzed data from Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a longitudinal study of teens and young adults from the Netherlands. Each female participant filled out a survey with questions about depressive symptoms, such as crying, suicidal ideation, self-harm, eating, sleeping, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, energy, sadness, and lack of pleasure. A depressive symptom severity score was generated based on the responses of those participants.
It was found that the association between oral contraceptive use and depressive symptoms may be bidirectional: birth-control pill intake may contribute to severity of symptoms, more severe symptoms may prompt teens to begin taking oral contraceptives, or both. Observational studies, such as this one, cannot however confirm the direction of causality.
Meditation is about focusing on the present. Meditation can help you feel better and reduce stress. Researchers are also studying mindfulness and related techniques such as relaxation to see if they can help treat various physical and mental health conditions. . . . read more