7 (and more) facts about Schizophrenia — Mental health from the other side

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 […]

via 7 (and more) facts about Schizophrenia — Mental health from the other side

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Things You Need To Know About Mental Health Nursing — Thrive Global

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…

via Things You Need To Know About Mental Health Nursing — Thrive Global

Air Pollution Linked to Mental Health Issues in Children: Studies

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

woman having migraine headache

5 Effects That Migraines Can Have On Your Mental Health

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.

   1. Depression

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.

   2. Anxiety

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

Ten Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Poor Mental Health — Top 10 of Anything and Everything – The Fun Top Ten Blog

There could be any number of reasons why you might seek out one of these complementary and alternative treatments for mental health recovery, but the main reason people will seek them out is to stay off medication. While I really do think most people need to see these treatments as supportive of their medication and…

via Ten Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Poor Mental Health — Top 10 of Anything and Everything – The Fun Top Ten Blog

Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness in Middle School — Free Spirit Publishing Blog

As educators, we believe that the educational environment should be inclusive and welcoming to all students. We can celebrate vibrant cultures, recognize boundless gender roles, and identify shifting home lives. But the more we evolve, the more we see that there are also hidden characteristics and more discrete inclusions to consider. Students…

via Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness in Middle School — Free Spirit Publishing Blog

How Cats Can Help Children With Autism Become More Social — Katzenworld

Numerous challenges exist for both autistic children and their parents, but new research has indicated that the interaction between autistic individual and cat has positive benefits for the child. This article investigates more about this relationship. Promising New Research A lot of people characterize […]

via How Cats Can Help Children With Autism Become More Social — Katzenworld

Yoga for Mental Wellness — A Beginner’s Guide — Virtual Siyahi

Woman doing yoga

Yoga for Mental Wellness, because Mental health matters the most. A healthy state of mind will always radiant a healthy you outside.

Yoga is a part of rich Indian heritage. Yog, pranayama or asanas all are synonyms to the different forms of a single holistic approach towards wellness—YOGA [. . .]

via Yoga for Mental Wellness – A beginners guide — Virtual Siyahi

Desperate woman

September: National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month Feature

Nobel Laureate Albert Camus said, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.” He was right. Suicide not only represents the suffering of the one who commits it, but also augurs the ripple effects it is going to have on the near and dear ones of that person.

Suicide is a serious public health issue and one of the leading causes of death in the world. According to WHO, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally.”

Millions of people die every year as a result of suicide, and therefore, it is pertinent for nations to raise awareness of this mental health crisis.

Suicides can be prevented if warning signs are identified early and appropriate measures are taken in time. Creating awareness at population, sub-population and individual levels can go a long way in preventing it.

In order to raise awareness, many countries observe September as National Suicide Prevention Month. During the entire month, individuals and organizations join hands to promote community awareness of suicide prevention. September 10, is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day to remember those affected by suicide and to reaffirm worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Someone who is the victim of (or threatened by) violence, injury, or harm can develop a mental health problem called postraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can happen in the first few weeks after an event, or even years later.

People with PTSD often re-experience their trauma in the form of “flashbacks,” memories, nightmares, or scary thoughts, especially when they’re exposed to events or objects that remind them of the trauma.

Psychologists, therapists, or psychiatrists can help people with PTSD deal with hurtful thoughts and bad feelings and get back to a normal life.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD is often associated with soldiers and others on the front lines of war. But anyone — even kids — can develop it after a traumatic event.

Traumas that might bring on PTSD include the unexpected or violent death of a family member or close friend, and serious harm or threat of death or injury to oneself or a loved one.

Situations that can cause such trauma include:

  • violent attacks, like rape
  • fire
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • acts of violence (such as school or neighborhood shootings)
  • natural or man-made disasters
  • car crashes
  • military combat (sometimes called “shell shock”)
  • witnessing another person go through these kinds of traumatic events
  • being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness

In some cases, PTSD can happen after repeated exposure to these events. Survivor guilt (feelings of guilt for having survived an event in which friends or family members died) also might contribute to PTSD.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of PTSD?

People with PTSD have symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression that include many of the following:

Intrusive thoughts or memories of the event

  • unwanted memories of the event that keep coming back
  • upsetting dreams or nightmares
  • acting or feeling as though the event is happening again (flashbacks)
  • heartache and fear when reminded of the event
  • feeling jumpy, startled, or nervous when something triggers memories of the event
  • children may re-enact what happened in their play or drawings

Avoidance of any reminders of the event

  • avoiding thinking about or talking about the trauma
  • avoiding activities, places, or people that are reminders of the event
  • being unable to remember important parts of what happened

Negative thinking or mood since the event happened

  • lasting worries and beliefs about people and the world being unsafe
  • blaming oneself for the traumatic event
  • lack of interest in participating in regular activities
  • feelings of anger, shame, fear, or guilt about what happened
  • feeling detached or estranged from people
  • not able to have positive emotions (happiness, satisfaction, loving feelings)

Lasting feelings of anxiety or physical reactions

  • trouble falling or staying asleep
  • feeling cranky, grouchy, or angry
  • problems paying attention or focusing
  • always being on the lookout for danger or warning signs
  • easily startled

Signs of PTSD are similar in both adults and teens. But PTSD in children can look a little different. Younger kids can show more fearful and regressive behaviors. They may reenact the trauma through play.

Symptoms usually begin within the first month after the trauma, but they may not show up until months or even years have passed. These symptoms often continue for years after the trauma. In some cases, they may ease and return later in life if another event triggers memories of the trauma. (In fact, anniversaries of the event can often cause a flood of emotions and bad memories.)

PTSD also can come on as a sudden, short-term response (called acute stress disorder) to an event and can last many days or up to one month.

People with PTSD may not get professional help because they think it’s understandable to feel frightened after going through a traumatic event. Sometimes, people may not recognize the link between their symptoms and the trauma.

Teachers, doctors, school counselors, friends, and other family members who know a child or teen well can play an important role in recognizing PTSD symptoms.

Who Gets PTSD?

Not everyone who goes through a traumatic event gets PTSD. The chances of developing it and how severe it is vary based on things like personality, history of mental health issues, social support, family history, childhood experiences, current stress levels, and the nature of the traumatic event.

Children and teens who go through the most severe trauma tend to have the highest levels of PTSD symptoms. The more frequent the trauma, the higher the rate of PTSD.

Studies show that people with PTSD often have atypical levels of key hormones involved in the stress response. For instance, research has shown that they have lower-than-normal cortisol levels and higher-than-normal epinephrine and norepinephrine levels — all of which play a big role in the body’s “fight-or-flight” reaction to sudden stress. (It’s known as “fight or flight” because that’s exactly what the body is preparing itself to do — to either fight off the danger or run from it.)

How Is PTSD Treated?

Many people recover from a traumatic event after a period of adjustment. But if a child or teen has experienced a traumatic event and has symptoms of PTSD for more than a month, an expert’s help is recommended.

Therapy can help address symptoms of avoidance, intrusive and negative thoughts, and a depressed or negative mood. Mental health professionals who can help include:

  • psychologists
  • psychiatrists
  • licensed clinical social workers
  • licensed professional counselors
  • licensed trauma professionals
  • bereavement specialists

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is very effective for people who develop PTSD. This type of therapy teaches ways to replace negative, unhelpful thoughts and feelings with more positive thinking. Behavioral strategies can be used at an individual’s own pace to help desensitize him or her to the traumatic parts of what happened so he or she doesn’t feel so afraid of them.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) combines cognitive therapy with directed eye movements. This has been shown to be effective in treating people of all ages with PTSD.

In some cases, medicine can help treat serious symptoms of depression and anxiety. Medicine often is used only until someone feels better, then therapy can help get the person back on track.

Finally, group therapy or support groups are helpful because they let an individual know that he or she is not alone. Groups also provide a safe place to share feelings.

Looking Ahead

PTSD can be very challenging and may require a lot of patience and support. Time does heal, and getting good support from the family can help an individual move forward.

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