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AHA News: Stroke Survivors Might Need Better Screening for Depression

Depression among stroke survivors peaks during the early months of recovery and persists for a full year, a new study finds. Experts say better screening methods are needed for this population to more effectively prevent and treat depression.

"We found that depression is both prevalent and persistent during the first year following a stroke," said lead researcher Liming Dong, a resea...

Got 'Couch Potato' Teens? It's Not Helping Their Mental Health

Getting your surly teens off the couch might trigger a long-term turnaround in their moods, new research suggests.

"Our findings show that young people who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18," said study author Aaron Kandola, a psychiatry Ph.D. student at University College London (UCL).

"We found ...

8 Ways to Make Every Day a Valentine For Your Kids

As Valentine's Day approaches, parents are reminded to shower their children with love and attention throughout the year.

"Building strong bonds and a positive relationship with your child has a nurturing effect on their physical, emotional, and social development," said Dr. Jennifer Shu, medical editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) parenting website, HealthyChildren.or...

General Anesthesia Boosts Postpartum Depression Risk After C-Section: Study

Women who receive general anesthesia during a cesarean section delivery are at higher risk of severe postpartum depression that requires hospitalization, as well as self-inflicted harm and suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

Researchers from Columbia University analyzed more than 428,000 discharge records of women who delivered by C-section in New York state hospitals between 2006 a...

AI May Help Guide Patients to Most Effective Antidepressant

Choosing the right antidepressant for someone who is depressed can be hit or miss. But a new study shows that artificial intelligence (AI) technology may be able to help.

Researchers input information from electrical signals in the brain into a computer program that learns as it goes. Based on brain activity, the AI technology helped predict whether or not an antidepressant will help...

More Evidence Links Social Media Use to Poorer Mental Health in Teens

Smartphones, and being on Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and the like may be taking a big toll on teens' mental health, a new survey of collected data on the subject shows.

Canadian researchers pored over dozens of studies and said the negative effects of social media on teens' well-being is on the rise.

"Physicians, teachers and families need to work together with youth to decr...

Fewer LGBT Teens Plagued by Suicidal Thoughts, But Rates Still High

Suicidal behavior is declining among U.S. teenagers who identify as LGBT, but the problem remains pervasive.

That's the conclusion of two new studies that tracked trends among U.S. teenagers over the past couple of decades. Over the years, more kids have been identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) -- and their likelihood of reporting suicidal thoughts and behavior...

Many Can Suffer Facial Paralysis -- and Its Emotional Toll

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans develop some form of facial paralysis from a variety of causes.

The loss of facial control and expression that follows can bring sometimes devastating stigma, depression and anxiety, a new study shows.

This seems especially true for people whose facial paralysis came later in life instead of from birth, researchers noted.

...

Online Bullies Make Teen Depression, PTSD Even Worse: Survey

Cyberbullying can worsen symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people, new research shows.

That's the conclusion of a recent survey of 50 teens who were inpatients at a suburban psychiatric hospital near New York City. Researchers reported that those who had been bullied had higher severity of PTSD and anger than those who were not bullied.

"Even...

Ageism Affects People Around the Globe

Discrimination based on age -- ageism -- is widespread throughout the world, and it takes a toll, new research reveals.

The study of more than 7 million people aged 50 and older in 45 countries found that age affected whether or not they got medical treatment and, whether the treatment, its length and frequency were appropriate.

The investigators reviewed 422 published st...

Many Moms-to-Be Are Stressed, and it Might Affect Baby's Brain

Many mothers-to-be feel overwhelmed by stress, and it might have implications for their babies' brain development in the womb, a new study suggests.

The researchers found that even in a group of highly educated, healthy pregnant women, stress and anxiety were common. More than one-quarter reported higher-than-average levels of "perceived stress," while a similar number had anxiety sym...

Psychedelic Drug Eases Cancer Patients' Distress Long Term

A single dose of the psychedelic ingredient in "magic mushrooms" may bring long-lasting relief to cancer patients who suffer anxiety and depression, a new, small study suggests.

Researchers found that of 15 patients who'd received a one-time treatment with psilocybin, most were still showing "clinically significant" improvements in anxiety and depression four years later.

Th...

Losing Sense of Smell Can Worsen Life in Many Ways: Study

Could you imagine not being able to smell bacon frying, or freshly cut grass, or the presence of smoke?

People who lose their sense of smell face difficulties that can affect their daily lives and put their health and safety at risk, a new British study suggests.

It included 71 patients, ages 31 to 80, who lost their sense of smell. They reported a number of problems -- from...

Is Suppressing Puberty the Right Course When a Child Questions Their Gender?

Suppressing puberty in a child who's questioning their gender identity might seem extreme, but the therapy is relatively safe and could significantly lower their risk of suicide, a new study reports.

Adolescents who wanted and received puberty suppression were 60% less likely to have considered suicide within the past year and 30% less likely to consider suicide throughout lif...

Psychedelics May Boost Mood Even After Their High Wears Off

Psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin -- also known as "magic mushrooms" -- can elevate mood and make one feel close to others, and those feelings may last after the high is gone, new research shows.

The findings, from more than 1,200 art and music festival-goers, echo lab work that showed psychedelics enhance feelings of social connectedness and well-being, Yale University resea...

Parents Can Help Their Sleep-Deprived Teens

Mom and dad may be key in curbing the epidemic of drowsy teens, a new study suggests.

American teens aren't getting enough sleep, which can lead to anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Sleepy teens also are more likely to get into car crashes and have a greater risk of being injured while playing sports.

The lack of sleep may be due to too much homework, too many ext...

Hong Kong Unrest Leaves Millions to Struggle With PTSD, Depression

As mass protests have swept across Hong Kong in recent months, a mounting mental health toll will be tough to tackle, new research suggests.

Surveys conducted over 10 years show there was a sixfold increase in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among Hong Kong residents from shortly after Occupy Central in March 2015 (about 5%) to Sept./Nov. 2019 (ne...

Veterans' Study Shows Genetic Origins of Anxiety

New research involving the DNA of 200,000 U.S. veterans suggests that there really is such a thing as a "worry gene."

Researchers have identified six genetic variants linked to anxiety -- a discovery that may help explain why anxiety and depression often go hand in hand.

"This is the richest set of results for the genetic basis of anxiety to date," said study co-lead author...

Health Care Is Top Concern for U.S. Veterans

After discharge, military veterans are most concerned about their physical and mental health, a new study finds.

Although most vets are satisfied with their work and social relationships, they are less happy with their health care. Most are coping with chronic physical or mental health conditions, researchers found.

"What remains to be seen is whether those veterans with h...

Could Brain Scans Spot Children's Mood, Attention Problems Early?

Children's mental health issues are hard to predict until they're causing problems, but researchers may have found a way to use brain scans to spot which kids are at risk for depression, anxiety and attention problems.

"We're facing a tremendous epidemic with teen anxiety and depression, and we wanted to find an early marker that predicted the development of anxiety, depression and a...

Heavy Drinking Plus Xanax, Valium: A Dangerous Mix

People who regularly drink to excess are also likely to use benzodiazepines, a new study finds.

These drugs -- like Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Restoril (temazepam) -- are used to treat depression and anxiety.

But when heavy drinkers use them, benzodiazepines (sometimes referred to as "benzos") may increase the risk...

TV Could Sway Viewers to Prefer Thinner Women: Study

People who watch lots of TV prefer thinner women, which suggests that TV can influence opinions about preferred body shapes, researchers say.

Their study included 299 men and women in a remote area of Nicaragua, in Central America. Participants were either regular TV viewers or had little or no access to it.

While regular viewers preferred thinner females, those with little...

People With Depression Are Turning to Pot for Relief: Study

People suffering from depression are often desperate for anything to break them out of their debilitating mood disorder.

But in their misery, many might be turning to a risky solution that's likely to make their condition even worse -- marijuana.

People with depression are twice as likely to be using pot as those who aren't depressed, researchers reported in the current issu...

Differences Found in Brains of Kids Born to Depressed Parents

The brains of kids who have a high risk of depression because they have parents with depression are structurally different from other kids' brains, a new study finds.

Depression often first appears during adolescence. Having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors. Teens whose parents have depression are two to three times more likely to develop depression th...

Chyler Leigh of 'Supergirl' Battles Bipolar Disorder

Chyler Leigh has taken on some challenging roles in her career, including helping keep the world safe from alien threats on the TV show "Supergirl" and learning to be a surgeon as Lexie Grey on "Grey's Anatomy." But her most demanding task has been learning to manage bipolar disorder.

"I wasn't diagnosed until my late 20s, but I knew at a pretty early age that something wasn't quite ...

One-Third of Lung Cancer Patients Battle Depression: Study

Depression is common among lung cancer patients and can damage their quality of life and treatment outcomes, a new study indicates.

The findings suggest that doctors should screen lung cancer patients for depression and refer them for mental health care if necessary, said lead author Barbara Andersen, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University in Columbus.

"Depressio...

Another Downside to Vaping: Higher Odds for Depression

Vaping, already linked to lung damage, may also have harmful psychological effects, a new study suggests.

The researchers found a strong association between vaping and depression in a study of nearly 900,000 U.S. adults.

The apparent culprit: nicotine.

"There is a potential risk between e-cigarette use and depression," said lead researcher Dr. Olufunmilayo Obises...

Birth Control Pill May Alter Part of Women's Brains

A small, preliminary study suggests that a brain area called the hypothalamus appears to be about 6% smaller in women who use birth control pills.

But exactly what that means isn't yet clear. In this study, women on the pill had statistically significant increases in anger. Researchers also found a possible link with depression symptoms.

The good news: They didn't see ...

Can You Beat the Blues With 'Downward Dog'?

New evidence bolsters the belief that yoga can offer real and lasting relief to people with depression.

Dr. Chris Streeter, a psychiatrist at Boston University's School of Medicine, said the new study she led builds on earlier work showing a correlation between yoga and levels of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), a chemical in the brain. Yoga seems to raise GABA levels, much as anti-dep...

Most Parents Struggle to Spot Depression in Teens

Most American parents say they might have trouble distinguishing between a teen's typical mood swings and possible signs of depression, a new survey finds.

The nationwide poll of 819 parents with at least one child in middle school, junior high or high school found that while one-third were confident they could detect depression in their children, two-thirds said certain things would ...

Exercise Can Help Prevent Depression, Even for Those at High Risk

Getting more exercise could help ward off depression, even if you have a genetic risk for it, new research shows.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 8,000 people and found that those with a genetic predisposition were more likely to be diagnosed with depression over the next two years.

But that was less likely for people who were more active at the study's ...

Are You Lonely? Your Tweets Offer Important Clues, Experts Say

Analyzing people's tweets could reveal if they're lonely, researchers say.

Loneliness -- which has been linked with depression, heart disease, dementia and other health problems -- affects about 1 in 5 adults in the United States.

Researchers analyzed public accounts of Twitter users in Pennsylvania and identified more than 6,200 who used words like "lonely" or "alone" more ...

ADHD Rates Doubled Among U.S. Adults Over 10 Years

If the latest statistics are any indication, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is no longer an issue for children only.

Over a 10-year period, ADHD rates more than doubled among American adults, new research shows.

However, the rate among children remains much higher than in adults.

"While we can't pinpoint the source of the increase in ADHD rates in ...

Stressed Out? Maybe Not If You're a Narcissist

Do you have an overinflated sense of your own importance? Do you feel that you're better than everyone else, and have next to no shame about it?

If so, you'd probably be pegged as a "grandiose narcissist" and considered the most obnoxious person in the room.

But three British studies now suggest that some amount of narcissism may not be such a bad thing. Why? Because it conf...

It May Be Even Tougher for Women to Quit Smoking Than Men

Smoking is a notoriously tough habit to quit, but a new study suggests it is far harder for women to stop than it is for men.

Why? The researchers point to a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression in women, which might interfere with even the best intentions to kick the habit. And one expert noted that prior evidence has shown that women's brains react differently to nicotine.

Can Medical Pot Ease Mental Ills? Study Says Probably Not

People struggling with anxiety, depression or other psychiatric problems shouldn't pin their hopes on medical marijuana, a new review suggests.

Dozens of studies involving more than 3,000 people did not provide compelling evidence that medical cannabis can help treat disorders of the mind, the review authors concluded.

"Cannabinoids are often advocated as a treatment for var...

What Works Best to Treat Depression?

"Talk therapy" for depression may cost more than medication initially, but in the long run, both may have a similar payoff, a new study finds.

The study estimated the cost-effectiveness of the two treatments. It found that over one year, antidepressants offered more value for the money. But when the researchers looked at the five-year picture, talk therapy seemed to provide more bene...

Depression Rates Not Budging for Lesbian and Gay Teens

While fewer straight teens suffer depression than did two decades ago, the same cannot be said for lesbian, gay and bisexual teens.

For those teens, depression risk remains much higher than among their straight peers, new research shows, and it is not following a similar downward trend.

Each year between 1999 and 2017, Massachusetts-based teens reported on struggles w...

Deaths Due to Suicide, Homicide on the Rise Among U.S. Youth

The anger and fear seething throughout the United States could be having a fatal impact on some of the nation's youngest citizens.

More teens and young adults are coming to a violent end in recent years, either at their own hand or another's, new federal data show.

Both suicide and homicide death rates are rising among 10- to 24-year-olds, according to the U.S. Centers for D...

PTSD Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke in Younger Adults

Young and middle-aged adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an increased risk of stroke, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers analyzed medical data from more than 1 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They ranged in age from 18 to 60 years and two-thirds were white.

Of those, 29% had been diagnosed with PTSD. None had previo...

Stress in Pregnancy May Affect Baby's Sex, Preterm Delivery Risk: Study

Physical and mental stress during pregnancy may influence the baby's sex, and physical stress may increase the risk of preterm birth, a new study suggests.

Researchers assessed 187 healthy pregnant women between 18 and 45 years of age. About 17% were mentally stressed, with high levels of depression, anxiety and perceived stress. Sixteen percent were physically stressed, with high...

Depression, Anxiety Can Dampen Efforts to Recover From a Heart Attack

Recovering from a heart attack can be tough, but new research suggests that depression, anxiety and stress can make it even tougher.

"Anxiety may lead to fear of another cardiac event and stop people from being active," said study author Angela Rao, from the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. "Depression and anxiety can also impair the ability to retain new information need...

Could Eating Healthier Be a Natural Antidepressant?

Kids have long heard the refrain: Eat your vegetables to grow up big and strong. But a healthy diet may make you happier, too, according to Australian researchers.

That was the effect eating healthier had in a small study of young adults with poor diets and moderate-to-high symptoms of depression. Those who embraced healthier food choices reported less anxiety and much better moods w...

Gender Reassignment Surgery Does Bring Mental Health Benefits

Transgender men and women who undergo gender reassignment surgery are much less likely to need mental health services later, new research suggests.

The researchers, Richard Branstrom and John Pachankis of the Yale School of Public Health, said the finding "lends support to the decision to provide gender-affirming surgeries to transgender individuals who seek them."

The conc...

For Insomniacs, Sleep Aids Can Ease a Troubled Mind

People with severe insomnia may find that a sedative helps them sleep and banishes thoughts of suicide, a new study suggests.

"If you have a patient who complains that their sleep has taken a turn for the worse, then there is reason to open the door to a question about suicide," said corresponding author Dr. W. Vaughn McCall. He's chairman of the department of psychiatry and health b...

Seaside Living Soothes the Mind of Rich and Poor Alike

Could living near the coast be an inexpensive balm for mental troubles?

"Our research suggests, for the first time, that people in poorer households living close to the coast experience fewer symptoms of mental health disorders," said researcher Dr. Jo Garrett, from the University of Exeter, in England.

"When it comes to mental health, this 'protective' zone could play a use...

How to Wait Out a Blue Mood

Feel bad about feeling bad? Don't.

Studies done at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that acknowledging a blue mood -- and not berating yourself for it -- can help you work through it more easily.

It turns out that accepting negative emotions is better for your long-term mental health than constantly passing judgment on yourself, which can cause your feeling...

For Kids With Asthma, Depression Makes ER Visit More Likely

New research suggests that anxiety and depression can make it hard for some kids to manage their asthma.

Young patients with all three conditions ended up in the emergency room nearly twice as often as kids who only struggle with asthma, the study found.

"Asthma self-management is complex, requiring recognition of symptoms, adherence to medication and avoidance of triggers,...

Depressed Moms, More Anxious, Troubled Kids?

If a mother is depressed, her young children might be at risk for hyperactivity, aggressiveness and anxiety, a new study suggests.

Interestingly, a father's depression only affected kids if mom was also depressed, the researchers found.

"Depression among parents both during and after pregnancy not only affects the person suffering from depression but also has a long-term imp...

Why You Should Ask to Be Screened for Postpartum Depression

It's not uncommon for new moms to feel an emotional letdown shortly after baby is born. Though symptoms of these so-called "baby blues" can be wide-ranging, they last no more than two weeks and go away on their own.

Some Signs of the Baby Blues:

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling sad or overwhelmed
  • Being unable to concentrate
  • Appetite and sleep tr...

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