As every day passes, we continue to remain with unanswered questions as to how we should live our lives. Health officials tell us to practice social distancing and to remain at home, yet this is resulting in massive job losses, economic fluttering and mental health problems. It’s not easy to stay at home after you’ve been used to living a productive life.
A mantra is a word or phrase repeated again and again, normally during meditation. But don’t worry, we won’t be doing any yoga, drum beating, chanting or dancing in the streets today. However, please feel free – if this floats your boat. Mantras can be a sound (like “OM” – we’re not going to use this) […]
There are many addictive drugs, and treatments for specific drugs can differ. Treatment also varies depending on the characteristics of the patient. Problems associated with an individual’s drug addiction can vary significantly. People who are addicted to drugs come from all walks of life. Many suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems that […]
Mental health issues can certainly be prevented with the proper care since childhood. But it is important to keep in mind that many people are genetically predisposed to developing a mental illness. It’s based on the two-hit hypothesis: the first hit are the faulty genes and the second hit is an environmental stressor that makes your mind go overboard, resulting in the development of an illness.
Blocks usually occur either before choice or before action. A counsellor ought not to try and push the client into making a choice or action but is better off trying to point out to the client that they are facing a block that is impeding them. A common problem is the adage “better the devil […]
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 […]
Often when people go to see a counsellor, it is because they perceive that there is something wrong with them, something that makes them feel not quite right. Sometimes clients do not recognise for themselves that there is something wrong, and it is friends or family that draw their attention to it or advise them […]
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.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse reports that exposure to extreme stressors, such as natural disasters and internal displacement, is a significant risk factor for mental health and social problems. […]
Guest Post by NewLifeOutlook about Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that has gained notoriety over recent years. Many people recognize the name and may even know someone living with the illness. Typically, increased awareness of a mental disorder adds more clarity and understanding about the condition and reduces the stigma surrounding […]
As more people come out and admit to suffering from a mental health condition, this process will continue to help shed more light on how significant mental health is. Every single thing that we do revolves around psychology and the mind; without it, we’d be walking corpses.[…]
Many books, articles and blogs have discussed schizophrenia and often there are differences in terminology. As an ex-mental health nurse/ward manager and someone who has experienced a lengthy psychotic episode, this is my take on schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can be separated into positive and negative symptoms. These are not positive and negative in the way you might […]
Is Anxiety the same thing as Stress?
Sometimes people use the terms stress and anxiety to explain the same feeling. However, to a mental health expert, the difference is essential, because the management of each condition are different. Negative stress or distress is the […]
It is known that mental or intellectual fitness tends to encompass our psychological, emotional and social nicely-being. This indicates it affects how we experience, assume and behave every day. Our mental health also contributes to our choice making procedure, how we deal with stress and the way we relate to others in our lives. Emotional…
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