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Showing posts from October, 2016

Should I Talk to Somebody?

Recently, I’ve been feeling sad, although I’m not sure that’s enough to see somebody. I’ve never had very high self esteem, and during high school I think I went through periods of depression. I even self-harmed during those times. The only person I’ve ever opened up to and relied on was my boyfriend, but he recently broke up with me before he went off to University. That has been getting to me because sometimes I feel like I’m mourning even though obviously he’s still alive. Currently, I’m stuck at home going to community college because I didn’t have good enough grades in high school, and I only have two close friends that I talk to daily (but not about this kind of stuff). I’ve been feeling lonely lately but I don’t know if it’s something to be worried about or not.I get stressed easily, and it’s always convenient that I feel horrible the night before an essay is due, which leads me to believe that I’m just making up how I feel as an excuse for failing. From a young age I’ve been t…

CBT Can Help Older People with Insomnia

Sleep difficulties are common — 30 percent to 50 percent of adults report having trouble sleeping.For older adults, insomnia can often be chronic and is linked to other serious health conditions. Elders who have difficulty sleeping are also at higher risk for depression, falls, stroke and trouble with memory and thinking. They also may experience a poorer quality of life.For these individuals, sedatives or hypnotic-type sleeping pills are a common choice as a sleep aid, however, the medications bring a risk of falls, fractures and even death.Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a type of talk therapy that is considered highly effective for treating older adults with insomnia. During CBT-I sessions, therapists work with patients to help them change their thinking, behavior, and emotional responses related to sleep issues, which can improve their insomnia.Although treatment guidelines recommend CBT-I as a primary therapy for older adults with insomnia, many people do not…

Celebrity Experiences Reduce Stigma Attached to Out-of-Wedlock Childbirths

New sociological research attributes the commonality of unwed celebrity childbirths as helping to change social norms that frowned upon unmarried partners having children.Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk, a University at Buffalo sociologist, explains that over the past four decades celebrity news has contributed to the changing makeup of the traditional American family.“Celebrities typically did not apologize for getting pregnant outside of marriage,” says Grol-Prokopczyk. “But the family model also changed over time. The early model dictated that you should marry by the time the baby is born. By the mid-2000s that had changed, and it became widely acceptable in the celebrity world to have a child without marrying first.”With People magazine as her proxy for popular culture news coverage, Grol-Prokopczyk analyzed nearly 400 cover stories dating from People’s 1974 premier issue to the present to learn when the interest in celebrity pregnancies started and how the magazine’s presentation of family…

Therapy Dogs Provide Reward for ASD Behavioral Improvements

Innovative new research discovers a novel reward of having the opportunity to interact with therapy dogs, can improve behavior among children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).ASD may result in deficits in social communication and interaction, repetitive or restricted behavior, sensory issues and cognitive delays, say researchers. These traits prevent children on the spectrum from performing or completing tasks in the same timeliness or fashion as other children.Often, in order to get children with ASD to complete tasks, a reward-based system is implemented, where the child is given a toy or some other form of reward. But the offer of a reward doesn’t always guarantee completion of the task.In a new study, Texas Tech University researchers investigate if providing access to therapy dogs as the reward — allowing students who complete certain academic tasks to spend time with the pooch – will help motivate them to complete those tasks.“It is a reward-based program,” said Alexandra …

I Believe I May Have Dissociative Identity Disorder

I believe I may have dissociative identity disorder. I lose time, I have alters, I lose time. I went through 17 years of abuse. My psychiatrist won’t diagnose me because he’s never seen me switch. I’m currently not in therapy because my last therapist told me I was too much for her to handle. I’m also totally blind. I don’t know what to do. I live in a mental health care facility, and only like two of the staff here believe me. I just feel all alone with all this.A. I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties. One of the main problems you seem to be facing is that your psychiatrist doesn’t believe that you have DID because he has never seen your alters. Have you considered videotaping them? An audio recording might work too. Most cell phones have the capacity to both audio record and video record. Having video or audio proof might convince your psychiatrist that what you’re saying is true.You also mentioned that you are “totally blind.” Have you been blind your entire life? That might s…

Childhood PTSD May Alter Structure of Brain Networks

A new neuroimaging study shows a link between childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a disruption in the structure of brain networks. The findings, published in the the journal Radiology,  could one dayhelp lead to the development of new treatments for PTSD.Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of PTSD. Research has shown that childhood trauma is tied to a variety of neurochemical and hormonal effects that can lead to lasting changes in brain structure and function.Brain studies with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to identify vulnerable patients, allowing interventions to begin sooner, potentially preventing any negative brain changes.For the study, researchers from China used MRI to compare the brain structures of 24 children with PTSD to a control group of 23 trauma-exposed children without PTSD. The children had experienced the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a massive disaster in south central China that killed almost 70,000 people and injured mor…

Six Questions to Assess If You May Be ‘Addicted’ to Social Media

Many researchers suspect that overuse of social media can damage one’s relationships.“Our devotion to technology and social media has changed how we interact with others, and that’s not necessarily a good thing,” said James Roberts, Ph.D., the Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.“Yes, there are advantages to technology. But our obsession with smartphones and the lives we live via our social media channels can come at a cost to our real-life relationships.”Roberts is known internationally for his research on smartphone addiction and how technology (smartphones, specifically) affects relationships and stress levels. He is the author of the book “Too Much of a Good Thing: Are you Addicted to your Smartphone?”Roberts explained that substance and behavioral addictions have six core components: salience, euphoria, tolerance, conflict, withdrawal symptoms and relapse.He provides six questions and statements people can use to gauge each of…

I Can’t Hold on to Love

From a teen in Canada: So i’ve been dating this guy for about two and half months now and we’re so in sync with each other it’s scary. But he vanishes on me a lot. Now, i’m used to being the person who runs away from situations but now that somebody else has done it first, I feel hopeless and scorned. I stalk him on facebook and see that he’s online, but he won’t reply to my texts. I hate feeling this way. It happens all time: whenever i met someone I fall hard and then I feel anxious and pull back, but I really like this guy.In the back of my mind i know that it can’t work out, he does drugs a lot, and he’s about 5 years older than me, but I want to see past that.What should I do? Any advice?A: You don’t need my advice. You need to listen to the “back of your mind.” Don’t waste your love or your time on this guy. He’s just not that into you.I do suggest that you see a therapist to work on your own pattern of flight from love and your attraction to someone who flees from you. Anxiety …

Elderly at Greater Risk for Dementia After Natural Disaster

While it is well-known that a severe natural disaster can increase the risk for certain mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study finds that this type of trauma can also increase the risk of dementia in the elderly.Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that elderly people who had been uprooted from their destroyed homes and had lost touch with their neighbors after the 2011 tsunami in Japan were much more likely to experience increased symptoms of dementia than those who were able to stay in their homes.The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal (PNAS), is the first to look at dementia as a potential health risk in the aftermath of a disaster.“In the aftermath of disasters, most people focus on mental health issues like PTSD,” said Dr. Hiroyuki Hikichi, research fellow at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study.“But our study suggests that cognitive decline is also an impo…

Kids with Autism May Be Over-Diagnosed with ADHD

A popular screening tool for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be less accurate when a child has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.This may result in children with ASD mistakenly being diagnosed with ADHD if their symptoms aren’t carefully traced to differentiate between social deficits or attention issues.The researchers, including one of the psychologists who developed the ADHD screening tool — the ADHD Rating Scale Fourth Edition (ADHD-RS-IV) — say that the scale needs to be refined to better identify the correct disorder and that it should also be supplemented with careful clinical interviews.“One of our best current screening measures for ADHD may be over-diagnosing ADHD in children with autism,” said study leader Benjamin E. Yerys, Ph.D., a researcher in the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).“This is important because medications that …

Psychopaths May Be More Likely to Assault Romantic Partners

People with higher psychopathic tendencies are more likely to assault their romantic partners, according to a new study.They are also more likely to drink alcohol, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus.The study involved looking at data and police reports involving 700 psychiatric patients in Pittsburgh, Penn., as well as 870 students at University of British Columbia’s campus in Kelowna, B.C.“In this research, we noted that having higher levels of psychopathic personality traits is an important predictor of how likely someone is to engage in intimate partner violence,” said Dr. Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology and the study’s principal investigator.“While we also found that people with psychopathic tendencies tended to drink more alcohol, the data tells us it is their personality traits more than substance use that is associated with violence.“With further investigation, this research may be able to assist policy makers and se…

I Am Wondering if I May Have Been Sexually Abused as a Child

So for a long time now I have suspected that I may have been sexually abused when I was a child. I always put the concerns to rest, but I am realizing now that I cannot ignore it anymore. As I am getting older I see that my behavior and feelings about intimacy and sex do not make sense to me. I feel very confused. I always feel threatened by men and constantly feel the need to have a guard up. I was always afraid of men when I was little, but at the same time there was this curiosity and I was known to be very flirtatious. It is hard to talk about but I have 2 polar feelings about sex and I always feel like an object rather than a person. The reason I suspect I may have been sexually abused as a child is because my memory keeps bringing me back to this journal that I had. I believe it was my first journal. I remember vividly what it looked like. I remember being extremely sad at the time when I would write in my journal. Throughout my life until I left to college I used journals as a …

Multi-Ethnic Neighborhoods Increasing Across the U.S.

Global neighborhoods — those that are highly diverse with many new immigrants — are growing at an increased rate across the United States, according to a new study.“It is striking that while the all-white neighborhood is disappearing, its main replacement is the most diverse kind, which includes substantial shares of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians,” said the study’s coauthor, Dr. John Logan, professor of sociology at Brown University.“Given the persistence of residential segregation and the deep divide that still separates whites from other groups, it is reassuring to see this one sign of progress.”For the study, Logan and coauthor Dr. Wenquan Zhang of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater evaluated 342 metropolitan regions with populations of at least 50,000 to determine whether integrated neighborhoods existed outside of the nation’s most diverse metropolitan centers. The data was gathered between 1980 and 2010.They looked at four types of metropolitan areas that might be ex…

Fiance Aggravated Easily, I Don’t Feel Loved/Needed

From the U.S.: My fiance and I live together and have a 3 yo child. He does not work, I work full time. He has a drug addiction. He is easily aggravated and always makes me feel like he doesn’t want to be with me. I never receive compliments and he hardly ever goes out of his way for me. I give him most of my paycheck & he gets what he wants if we have the money for it. I feel like he doesn’t care to hear how i feel. When i call him and he answers he acts like he is too busy or just doesn’t want to talk…A: Why, oh why, are you hanging on to this guy? He’s an addict who doesn’t want treatment. You are being taken advantage of financially. He isn’t treating you in a loving, respectful way. Your child is growing up thinking that this abnormal relationship is “normal” so is more likely to repeat it when she grows up.Cut your losses and get out. You have a profession so you can survive financially. You are not legally tied to him. He isn’t giving you anything.You deserve better. Your c…

Pregnancy May Double Risk of Stroke in Younger Women

The risk of pregnancy-associated stroke is much greater in young women, but not older women, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian.So although the risk of stroke generally increases with age, the researchers found that pregnancy significantly increases this risk in young women. In older pregnant women, however, the risk of stroke is approximately the same, whether they are expecting or not.Pregnancy-associated stroke occurs in approximately 34 in 100,000 women. Prior research had suggested that this risk is higher in older women than in younger women, particularly since more women are waiting until later to become pregnant.“The incidence of pregnancy-associated strokes is rising, and that could be explained by the fact that more women are delaying childbearing until they are older, when the overall risk of stroke is higher,” said Joshua Z. Willey, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at CUMC, assistant attending…

Sweet Spot for Pain Relief from Placebos Found in Brain

A new study has pinpointed the unique region in the brain responsible for the placebo effect in pain relief — when a fake treatment actually results in a substantial reduction of pain.According to researchers from Northwestern Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), pinpointing the sweet spot of the pain-killing placebo effect could result in the design of more personalized medicine for the 100 million Americans with chronic pain.The imaging technology developed for the study has the potential to usher in an era of individualized pain therapy by enabling targeted pain medication based on how an individual’s brain responds to a drug, the researchers explained.The finding also could lead to more precise and accurate clinical trials for pain medications by eliminating individuals with high placebo response before trials, the researchers noted.“Given the enormous societal toll of chronic pain, being able to predict placebo responders in a chronic pain population could …

Same-Sex Attraction & My Marriage

Hello, I would like to know that is it normal to have sexual attraction to women while I am female and I am in relationship with men?
in other words, having strong feeling to a girl and imagination to having sex with her consider abnormal attraction? Do I need to ignore this attraction and still be in relationship with my man? Am I successful in marriage with him?A. It’s not abnormal in the American culture to have sexual attraction to both sexes, but it might be different in your culture. A recent survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 5.5% of women regarded themselves as bisexual.Even if people are attracted to members of the same sex, it doesn’t mean that they will engage in same-sex contact. If your attraction is overwhelming, then it may interfere with your marriage. The main question would be: is it impacting your marriage? If the answer is no, then it’s not likely going to be a problem. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesi…

Study Shines Light on Debt & Happiness

While money can lead to happiness, a new study notes that a person’s level of debt should also be considered in the money-happiness equation.“There has been a lot of research looking at whether and how income makes people happy in life, but few studies have examined whether debt can detract from happiness. We found that carrying student loan debt is almost as important as income in predicting financial worry and life satisfaction,” said Dr. Louis Tay, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University, who studies the effects of income and money on happiness.The study is based on data from the Gallup-Purdue Index, which provides a measure of how college graduates are doing on five key dimensions of well-being: purpose, social, physical, financial and community.An online alumni sample of 2,781 individuals from the United States was used in Tay’s study. On average, these individuals graduated from college in 2008 and had been paying student loans for at least seven ye…

Karine Kuchipudi on Going Vegan

Karine was once an extreme carnivore and she happily ate sweetbreads, blood pudding, lots of meats including game, and all kinds of raw meats. Food was her life. She had a catering business and organized dinner parties that would have made a vegan faint. Life was spent in the kitchen, and life was good. Then she embarked on her vegan journey just over year ago to combat significant skin issues. She started by first eating fruits and vegetables in large quantities but she struggled from low energy levels. Then she tried a paleo diet which did not work out for her, so she started educating herself about plant-based protein.Education was the key to her success, and two pillars of veganism became important to her: mercy for animals, and protection of the environment. Grains, seeds, and nuts are now the biggest part of her diet while she is striving to achieve a complete plant-based diet.  She loves whole and natural ingredients, and wants to show others how a vegan diet can be fun, easy, …

Boyfriend’s Disproportional Rage

My 18-year marriage ended nearly five years ago. With counseling, I learned that my ex likely has some level of NPD. It is important to me to not repeat this situation, so I evaluate new relationships carefully and proceed slowly.For eight months, I have dated a 47-year-old man whom I will call Charlie here. We each have two children. For the most part, things have been great. We have much in common and we get along well with recreation and getting things done alike.Unfortunately, clashes have become frequent and seemingly without a reasonable cause. When Charlie gets upset, he combusts. He gets loud, harsh and relentless. My attempts to stay calm tend to fire him up further.Later, he apologizes for saying mean things, but sometimes he doesn’t remember what he said. When calm, he can discuss with me what happened, and we strategize for making positive changes. At times, we are able to implement those changes, but not consistently enough to gain trust and confidence. When Charlie is an…

Psychopaths Often Have Relationship Issues

Popular television series like Dexter and Criminal Minds have created a contemporary culture that suggests psychopaths get everything they want.Given this elevated profile of psychopathy, a new study investigates if psychopaths are truly happy.“On the one hand, psychopaths should be happy,” says Mark Holder, an associate professor at University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Okanagan campus.“They feel little remorse about hurting others, and they have some personality traits linked to high levels of happiness such as self-gratification and narcissism.“On the other hand, psychopaths may be quite unhappy because they have poor and superficial social relationships characterized by using people, manipulation, and lying.”Holder and UBC graduate student Ashley Love assessed the well-being (happiness and life satisfaction), ill-being (depression), and psychopathy of 450 undergraduate students on UBC’s Okanagan campus.Study participants were asked to rate the quality of their overall romantic re…

Improve Exercise Participation with Competition

As health premium costs escalate employers and individuals are looking for ways to reduce overall cost burdens. In many cases the answer is simple – get people to exercise more.However, while the concept is intuitive, the practice is challenging for although everyone knows they probably need to exercise more, they often fail to do so.Many corporate wellness programs use a variety of techniques to encourage exercise — pamphlets, websites, pedometers, coaching, team activities, step challenges, even monetary incentives. Unfortunately, despite the variety of methods, the task remains daunting.A new study, published in the journal Preventative Medicine, looks at whether social support, competition, or teamwork provides an answer to the ongoing dilemma.Researchers from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania found that efforts should hone in on one area: Competition.They discovered competition was a far stronger motivation for exercise than friendly support…

Liver Disorders Increase Risk of Depression and Anxiety in Young Adults

Emerging research finds that many teens and young adults with chronic liver conditions suffer from depression and anxiety. The mental health disorders can have considerable impacts on their emotional and physical health, say investigators.The findings, which appear in Liver Transplantation, indicate that greater attention should be directed to the mental health of these young patients.Adolescence is a challenging time for young people in general, but even more so for those with medical conditions. Young people with chronic illness have higher rates of mental health problems than the general population, which can affect how well they take care of themselves.In the new study, a team led by Marianne Samyn, MD, FRCPCH and Anna Hames, of King’s College Hospital investigated the prevalence of anxiety and depression in young people with chronic liver diseases.The researchers also sought to identify the factors that might cause distress in these young patients and how anxiety and depression m…

Sudden Social Anxiety?

From the U.S.: I’ve noticed that I’m starting to dread going to work because I know I will have to deal with customers that come through self-checkout. I considered myself to be a people person and fairly outgoing for a while now, but recently I’m starting to avoid people and wanting to spend more time alone. Also, I’m starting to second guess myself when I interact with people; often I will find myself wondering if I said too much, too little, offended someone, or bored someone. I’m starting to become agitated when I go into work and often I’m hoping one of my managers will send to break or lunch early, just to get away from all the people coming through self-checkout.Sometimes when the store starts to get busy, I start to become tense and uncomfortable. When I get off work, I will have times where I don’t anyone touching me or being near me, or I will be so exhausted I want to do nothing more than sleep or be lazy. I’m wondering if by working with people, and having to interact with…

Facebook Posts Used to Manage Mental Health Disorders

Cambridge researchers believe Facebook status updates, ‘likes’ and even photos, could help professionals better understand mental health disorders.Investigators believe that with the right ethical safeguards, social networks may even be used in the future to provide support and interventions — particularly among young people.Over a billion people worldwide use Facebook daily – one in seven of the global population – and social media use is increasing at three times the rate of other internet use.Evidence suggests that 92 percent of adolescents use the site daily and disclose considerably more about themselves online than offline.In a new paper, published in Lancet Psychiatry, University of Cambridge researchers discuss how social networking sites might be harnessed to provide data to help further our understanding of the onset and early years of mental illness.“Facebook is hugely popular and could provide us with a wealth of data to improve our knowledge of mental health disorders suc…