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Results for search "Psychology / Mental Health: Misc.".

27 Feb

Work Hours And Mental Health

Women who work extra-long hours face increased risk of depression.

14 Dec

Brain Teasers and Mental Decline

Do crossword puzzles and chess really help keep your memory sharp as you age?

Health News Results - 582

'Lost Wallet' Test Reveals How Honest People Are

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you tend to doubt the honesty of strangers, the results of a new study may come as a surprise: All around the globe, people are more likely to return a lost wallet if it's loaded with cash.

In experiments done in 40 countries, researchers found that people were more likely to return a lost wallet to its owner if it contained a large amoun...

How Much Work Brings Happiness? Not Much, Study Shows

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having a job can be a boon to mental well-being, but for many of us, it only takes one day of work per week, a new study suggests.

The study, of more than 70,000 adults in the United Kingdom, found that when unemployed people found a job, their mental health typically improved. But, on average, it only took eight hours of work per week -- w...

Many Lesbian, Gay Teens Still Face Rejection by Parents

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many parents of lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) children take years to adjust after learning about their sexual orientation, a new study finds.

The study included more than 1,200 parents of LGB youth aged 10 to 25. The parents visited a website with LGB resources and were asked to complete a questionnaire.

Of those parents, 26%...

U.S. Youth Suicide Rate Reaches 20-Year High

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide rates among teens and young adults have reached their highest point in nearly two decades, a new study reports.

Suicides among teens have especially spiked, with an annual percentage change of 10% between 2014 and 2017 for 15- to 19-year-olds, researchers said.

"It really is an unprecedented surge," said lead author Oren Mir...

Why Do Young Women Get Addicted to Indoor Tanning?

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of depression and genetic risk may fuel an addiction to indoor tanning.

That's the conclusion of a new study out of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.

For the study, researchers surveyed nearly 300 women who used indoor tanning beds, sunlamps or sun booths, and analyzed DNA samples. Th...

Did 'Puppy Dog Eyes' Evolve to Please Humans?

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pooches look up at people with quizzical, pleading eyes that are tough to resist. Now, research suggests evolution played a role in that irresistible gaze.

Dogs were domesticated more than 33,000 years ago and have changed over time to communicate with people, the study authors noted.

Dogs' eyebrows are particularly expressive. Dogs...

When Healthy Eating Turns Into a Dangerous Obsession

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When eating healthy becomes an around-the-clock obsession, it could be a sign of trouble.

An extreme preoccupation with clean eating is an eating order called orthorexia nervosa. Though less well-known than anorexia nervosa or bulimia -- and not as well-documented -- a new study review says orthorexia can also have serious emotional and physica...

2 Hours/Week in Nature: Your Prescription for Better Health?

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Spending just a couple of hours a week enjoying nature may do your body and mind some good, a new study suggests.

The study, of nearly 20,000 adults in England, found that people who spent at least two hours outdoors in the past week gave higher ratings to their physical health and mental well-being.

There could, of course, be many...

Drug ODs, Suicides Soaring Among Millennials: Report

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- So-called "deaths of despair" are skyrocketing among millennials, with thousands of 18- to 34-year-olds losing their lives to drugs, alcohol and suicide each year, a new report says.

During the past decade, drug-related deaths among that age group increased by 108%, alcohol-induced deaths by 69%, and suicides by 35%, according to t...

Workouts: A Prescription to Ease Severe Chronic Anxiety?

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Everyone experiences anxious moments now and then. But for those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the worry is frequent and overwhelming, often interfering with everyday activities.

Now, a small study suggests that these burdensome feelings can be quelled with a little heart-pumping activity.

The study found that just a h...

'Dad Shaming' Is Real, Survey Shows

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's not just Moms: Just ahead of Father's Day, a new survey finds that about half of American dads say they've been criticized about their parenting styles.

The way they enforced discipline topped the list of things naysayers called them to task on, with two-thirds of critiques focused on that subject.

Forty-four percent of the ...

1 in 5 People Living in Conflict Areas Has a Mental Health Problem

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About 22% of people who live in conflict areas suffer from mental health problems, a new study review finds.

Common problems include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, according to the World Health Organization. About 9% have a moderate to severe mental health condition.

<...

Soldiers' Odds for Suicide Quadruple When Loaded Gun at Home

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Owning their own firearm, carrying it in public and keeping it loaded in the home: These three factors are each tied to a fourfold rise in the likelihood that a U.S. soldier will take his or her own life, a new report finds.

Suicides among soldiers remain rare, but numbers have been on the rise in recent years, noted study lead author Dr. Davi...

Feeling Stressed? Then Your Dog Probably Feels Stressed, Too

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- This dog-eat-dog world got you feeling anxious? If so, your canine companion probably feels the same way, new research shows.

A Swedish research team measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in hair samples taken from dogs and their owners.

"We found that the levels of long-term cortisol in the dog and its owner were synchroniz...

Instagram 'Self-Harm' Posts Give Rise to Copycat Behavior

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Being an Instagram influencer isn't always a good thing. New research found that vulnerable young people who see online posts of self-harm -- like cutting -- may copy those destructive behaviors.

Almost one-third of teens and young adults who reported seeing self-harm posts on Instagram said they had performed the same or similar self-harming...

Lesbian, Gay Youth at Higher Risk for Self-Harm

MONDAY, June 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An alarming number of teens practice self-harm, but lesbian, gay and bisexual teens may be more than twice as likely as their straight peers to cut, hit or bruise themselves, new research warns.

While between 10% and 20% of heterosexual teens engaged in these dangerous behaviors, 38% to 53% of lesbian, gay and bisexual teens did...

Many Feel 'Frozen' When Heart Attack Strikes

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a heart attack occurs, delaying treatment by even a few minutes could be deadly.

But many people wait hours after symptoms set in to get care -- either because they feel mentally "frozen" and unable to act, or because they're slow to recognize the seriousness of the situation, a new survey reveals.

The finding stems from a look...

Teasing Kids About Weight Linked to More Weight Gain

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New research illustrates a heartbreaking, vicious cycle: Teasing kids about their weight not only bruises their self-esteem, it also appears to trigger more weight gain.

In fact, middle schoolers who reported high levels of weight-related teasing had a 33% higher jump in their body mass index per year compared to peers who weren't teased ...

For People With Heart Failure, Loneliness Can Mean Worse Care

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 1 in 10 heart failure patients follow lifestyle treatment recommendations, and a new study suggests that loneliness is a major reason why.

Polish researchers assessed 475 heart failure patients' compliance with a regimen of restricting salt and fluid intake, being physically active, and weighing themselves each day.

Only 7...

Doctor Burnout Costly for Patients, Health Care System

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exhausted, stressed-out doctors are responsible for poorer care, patient dissatisfaction and malpractice lawsuits that carry a huge cost for U.S. health care, researchers report.

In fact, it's calculated that physician burnout adds nearly $5 billion a year to health care spending in the United States.

"Physician burnout is known to b...

Who's Most Likely to Miss School Due to Eczema?

FRIDAY, May 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic and black children are more likely to miss school than white children due to the chronic skin condition eczema, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed more than a decade of data on more than 8,000 2- to 17-year-olds enrolled in a national eczema registry. Overall, 3.3% missed six or more days of school over a six-month period.

...

Worry Less for Better Health

FRIDAY, May 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Do you worry a lot? Besides the anxiety it's causing you emotionally, it can threaten your health.

Whether you worry over actual problems or the fear of future ones, it interferes with sleep and quality of life. And, according to research done at Case Western Reserve University, it can be so intrusive that it harms your important relationships,...

Open Communication Helps Teens Manage Type 1 Diabetes

THURSDAY, May 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a simple concept, but new research reinforces the idea: Teens with type 1 diabetes benefit when they feel their concerns have been heard.

Teens with type 1 diabetes may experience anger, frustration and anxiety if they haven't met their treatment goals. Their parents and health care providers may also feel frustrated and may blame the t...

Love the Smell of a Cup o' Joe? Here's What That Reveals About You

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Java junkies can sniff out even tiny amounts of coffee, and the more they drink, the better they can smell it, British researchers say.

It's a discovery with powerful implications for treating people addicted to substances with a distinct smell.

"The higher the caffeine use, the quicker a person recognized the odor of coffee," said s...

Suicides Increase Among U.S. Kids, But More in Girls Than Boys

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide rates are on the rise among American children, but the increase is greatest among girls, a new study finds.

"Overall, we found a disproportionate increase in female youth suicide rates compared to males, resulting in a narrowing of the gap between male and female suicide rates," said study author Donna Ruch. She is a postdoctoral resear...

When E-Cig Makers Offer Promotional Items, More Teens Likely to Vape

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Coupons, samples, branded hats and T-shirts: When teens use or wear promotional items from companies that make alternative tobacco products like electronic cigarettes, they are more likely to try those products, new research shows.

The study included 757 California teens, aged 13 to 19, who were followed for a year. At the beginning of the year...

Many Elite Athletes Ashamed to Seek Help for Mental Illness

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Athletes are supposed to be strong and self-assured, so many don't seek help for mental health issues, a new study finds.

It's not just the stigma of mental illness that prompts many to tough it out alone, but also busy schedules, gender stereotyping and lack of understanding about mental health issues.

That's the consensus of resea...

Millennials Believe 'Narcissist' Label, But Don't Like It

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young Americans tend to accept the popular notion that their generation is self-centered and entitled, but they also resent those labels, new research suggests.

In a series of surveys, researchers found that most people -- regardless of age -- believed the narcissistic stereotype often assigned to millennials and Generation Z.

Youn...

Anxiety Meds Like Valium, Xanax Could Raise Miscarriage Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy is often a time of heightened worry. But researchers warn that taking anti-anxiety drugs like Valium and Xanax may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Called benzodiazepines, these powerful drugs have long been prescribed to treat a variety of mood disorders. However, a new Canadian study finds that when taken in early pregnancy, t...

Thriving in a Multi-Generational Home

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're part of a multi-generational home, you're in good company. The number of Americans living with two or more adult generations of one family rose during the last recession and has grown to an all-time high during the recovery.

More than 64 million Americans live in a multi-generational home, according to a census analysis by the Pew ...

More Than 600,000 Opioid Abusers Raising Kids in U.S.

TUESDAY, May 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- They might be too young to abuse opioids themselves, but America's kids are suffering nonetheless because of their drug-dependent parents.

New research shows more than 600,000 American parents with kids under 18 are addicted to opioids.

That amounts to almost 1% of parents of minors, most of whom aren't getting treated, the study...

Anger a Threat to Health in Old Age

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The loss of loved ones can hit the elderly particularly hard, but a new study suggests it's anger, and not sadness, that may damage the aging body more.

Anger can increase inflammation, which is linked with conditions such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis, the researchers said.

"As most people age, they simply cannot do the act...

New Treatment Guideline Focuses on Tourette Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tourette syndrome can be a nerve-wracking condition, but there are effective treatments for sufferers, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

Tourette is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and causes involuntary vocalizations and repetitive movements known as tics.

Accurate diagnosis, ongoing medical...

Shame Around Mental Illness May Be Fading, Survey Shows

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stigma regarding mental health could be disappearing in the United States, a new survey finds.

In the online poll of more than 1,000 adults, 87% said a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, and 86% said they believe that people with such disorders can get better.

And a sizable group doesn't view the most common mental d...

Want to Save Money While Shopping? Leave Your Phone Home

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Everyone knows about cellphones and the threat of distracted driving. But how about distracted shopping?

Using your cellphone while shopping might make you susceptible to buying stuff you didn't intend to buy, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that people who used cellphones while shopping were more likely to forget what they we...

Many Kids With Chronic Illness Are Still Happy: Study

MONDAY, May 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many children deal with chronic health issues -- but it doesn't mean they can't enjoy life as much as other kids, a new study finds.

Researchers found that among more than 1,200 5- to 9-year-olds, those with some of the most common childhood ills were no less happy with their lives than other kids.

They said the findings highlight an i...

As Finals Draw Near, College Kids' Diets Worsen

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Up all night, stressing out, feeling pressured. Cramming for college finals can bring all that, plus have students reaching for fatty, sugary foods, a new study suggests.

"Stress has long been implicated in poor diet. People tend to report overeating and comfort eating foods high in fat, sugar and calories in times of stress," said study leader ...

Mental Prep for Better Performance

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Get your head in the game!" Coaches say it to players all the time to get them to focus. The same advice can help you be more enthusiastic about your workouts. Here are five ideas:

1. Set both short-term and long-term goals based on your current abilities. Celebrate each one as you reach it and then re-set it. According to the American C...

Overdose Attempts Skyrocket Among Teens, Young Adults: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide attempts by drug overdoses and other "self-poisonings" more than doubled among U.S. youth in the last decade, a new study reveals.

And attempts by girls and young women more than tripled during that time period, according to the analysis of National Poison Data System information.

Most of the self-poisonings "are drug overd...

For Kids, Obesity and Mental Health Woes Often Go Hand-in-Hand

SATURDAY, April 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Starting at age 7, kids can get stuck in a vicious cycle of obesity and emotional problems that is hard to escape, British researchers say.

Investigators are not sure what triggers the struggle, but new study findings suggest that, over time, youngsters who are obese are likely to develop anxiety and moodiness, w...

School Bullying's Impact Can Last a Lifetime: Study

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Being bullied as a youngster may lead to lifelong struggles in adulthood.

New research warns that victims of teenage bullying face a 40% greater risk for mental health problems by the time they hit their mid-20s.

Young adults with a history of adolescent bullying may also see their odds for unemployment spike by 35%, invest...

'Exposure Therapy' May Work Best for PTSD Plus Drinking Problems

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) combined with a drinking problem, the type of psychotherapy prescribed can make a difference in recovery rates, a new study finds.

So-called prolonged exposure therapy is more effective than coping skills therapy in helping these patients, according to researchers at the VA San Diego Hea...

Many 'Gen Xers'  Desolate as They Navigate Adulthood: Study

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despair runs rampant through Generation X as these Americans struggle through middle age, a new study reports.

So-called indicators of despair -- depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse -- are rising among those in their late 30s and early 40s, and it's occurring across-the-board, researchers say.

"These are getting worse as peo...

How to Make Your Workplace a Healthier One

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even if you love your job, your workspace might not love you back. Because people may spend 40 or more hours on the job, often at a desk, all that exposure to less-than-inspiring surroundings can negatively influence health.

While some people suffer emotional and physical problems from a stressful job, for others, it's the physical environme...

Embracing 'Oneness' Boosts Satisfaction With Life: Study

TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The feeling of "oneness" may make you more satisfied with your life, new research finds.

Oneness is the belief that everything in the world is connected and interdependent.

Two surveys of nearly 75,000 people in Germany found a strong link between life satisfaction and higher scores on concepts associated with oneness -- such as so...

Are Workplace Wellness Programs Worth It?

TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Popular workplace "wellness" programs may not offer a big payoff for workers' health or bosses' bottom lines -- at least in the short term, new research suggests.

In a study of one large U.S. company, researchers found that a wellness program led some workers to change their habits: Participants were more likely to say they were exercising a...

Many Older Adults Keep Guns Unlocked, Loaded at Home

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many older adults, including those who are mentally impaired, don't lock up their guns and ammo, University of Washington researchers report.

Almost 39% of the more than 4,400 seniors they surveyed in Washington state said they had a firearm in their home. Nearly a quarter said they keep at least one gun loaded and unlocked. Fewer than a...

Celebrity 'Fat-Shaming' Affects All Women, Study Finds

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You've probably seen headlines screaming that a favorite star is packing on the pounds. Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lawrence -- no matter how thin, no celebrity seems immune from "fat-shaming."

Now, research shows the trend could have a ripple effect, making the non-famous feel bad about their bodies, too.

"Fat-shaming is ...

Is Your Inner Critic Ruining Your Love Life?

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many people are plagued by self-criticism, that inner voice that questions every decision and every move. It can keep you from reaching goals and erode self-confidence. And when it happens during intimacy, it can ruin your sex life and your relationship.

No topic is taboo for the inner critic's scrutiny -- your attractiveness or your attracti...

Get Back to Nature to Put Stress at Bay

SATURDAY, April 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A small daily dose of nature may be the perfect prescription for stress.

An eight-week study found that people who spent at least 20 minutes a day in places that made them feel connected to nature had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

This so-called "nature pill" could be a low-cost antidote to the negativ...

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Wellness Library Results - 101

Soon into your pregnancy, don't be surprised if you feel foggy-brained and forgetful. You may find yourself misplacing your purse, forgetting to return phone calls, or going off to fetch something only to discover you've forgotten what you are looking for. At work, you may catch yourself daydreaming through meetings or staring out the window rather than completing that report. Whatever form your a...

Expectant parents can be forgiven if they panic when they hear the word "bonding." Library shelves and Web sites are devoted to the importance of bonding with a newborn and the trauma that may result when it doesn't take place. Many parents now fear that if they don't bond immediately, their children may be scarred for life. No wonder the issue has wrought so much stress. Studies in the last two d...

Have you ever noticed how aches and pains seem to fade when your adrenaline is really pumping? Or have you ever felt pain deep in your gut after a tragedy? If so, you've already discovered that pain -- like so many other things in life -- is deeply sensitive to stress. When you're under stress -- brief or lingering, mild or severe -- your body releases chemicals that change the way your brain sen...

Among those people who are online, there is a rich narrative of Internet romance, from marriages forged between local college students to marriages betrayed through virtual relationships. Even in heartland territory like Oklahoma City, the stories are everywhere. Rick, a 26-year-old aspiring musician, is engaged to a woman he met through the Internet. Andrew, a 22-year-old waiter, found something...

It was during the busy Christmas season when I turned my car into the parking lot of the funeral home. This patient was my third to die in the past few weeks, and tonight was my second wake in three days. It was not easy to make the stop that evening. The holiday season is a difficult time for me to practice medicine; patients are more lonely and depressed, families are under greater stress, and ...

It's not easy being a toddler. One moment your child feels as if he's king of the world; the next he's crying in rage and hurling a toy across the room. Like many parents, you may find it hard to cope with your toddler's outbursts of anger and frustration. But these times actually provide the best opportunities to teach a young child how to manage strong feelings and calm himself down. By helpin...

What is emotional IQ? Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own feelings. Along with it comes the capacity to empathize, meaning to be aware and respectful of the feelings of people around you. If your child has a high emotional IQ, she'll be better able to cope with her feelings, calm herself down, and understand and relate well to other people, according to psyc...

You only glanced at the headlines on a local tragedy, yet you find yourself weeping. A sappy movie that should have made you cringe with embarrassment makes you nostalgic. With no provocation, you bark at your partner. Pregnancy is an emotionally volatile time, so it's no surprise that you're on a roller coaster. Hang on and don't worry. You're not crazy, and it isn't permanent. Mood swings are a ...

In the eyes of a 2-year-old, a new baby in the house can look like the worst type of party crasher -- the kind who demands everyone's attention while hogging all the goodies. Why would mom and dad ever invite such a person? And when will they tell her to leave? A few kids are eager to become brothers and sisters, but many go into the role kicking and screaming -- literally. Newly minted siblings ...

For a full year following my parents' deaths -- five weeks apart, in a nursing home 1,200 miles away -- I fell prey to clinical depression. Although I did everything I could to give them the best possible care, I never budgeted time for myself. I didn't realize that by ignoring my physical and mental health during two years of intensive caregiving, I was setting myself up for a breakdown that woul...

During my freshman year of college, I faithfully kept a journal. I'd never done so successfully, though I'd often tried. My writing resolve always peters out after a few weeks. This time, however, was different: This was my exercise log. It began the spring of my high school graduation. I updated it daily, sometimes more. It was a simple, spiral-bound notebook, college ruled and covered with doodl...

After countless phone calls pleading for an appointment, the patient appeared in Dr. Luis Fajardo's office. She took a seat and began frantically pulling little bits of material out of her nose. "These are the parasites that are bothering me," she cried. "They're crawling inside my nose." Luis Fajardo, a physician and professor emeritus of pathology at Stanford University, looked at the material ...

We all have times when we feel euphoric or despondent. A death in the family can cause profound sadness. Winning a sports competition can lead to elation. But some people have dramatic shifts in mood that can take them by surprise. Through no fault of their own, their brains can shift from deep depression to unsettling highs. This condition used to be called manic depression, but now it's known a...

Shirley Beeman's mother used to get drunk and beat her daughter with a wooden spoon, even throwing her through the wall on several occasions. When she was just a toddler, a teenage cousin began molesting her, and years later an uncle took over where the cousin left off. Today, Beeman* has confronted her childhood abuse and discusses it quite openly. Talking about the past and dealing with it, she ...

What is brief therapy? Brief therapy, also called solution-oriented therapy, is based on the idea that most people don't have to spend years on an analyst's couch to solve their emotional problems. The method was developed in the late 1960s by a group of psychotherapists who challenged conventional beliefs about how much self-knowledge you need in order to change. They suggested that treatment sh...

At a recent family reunion in Atlanta, Janis Sellers* learned something unusual. Sitting around the table at Christmas with several relatives, the topic somehow shifted to depression. "It turned out that all four of my female cousins on my mom's side were taking antidepressants, and so were their mothers," recalls Sellers, who had been treated for depression herself. "I always knew that depression...

What is music therapy? Hospitals around the country now make use of Mozart and Beethoven as well as morphine and bandages. Although the "Moonlight Sonata" certainly sounds better than the normal din of a hospital ward, the music isn't there for entertainment. It's being played because many nurses and doctors believe that a good dose of it can ease pain, reduce anxiety, and even protect the heart. ...

Can depression and anxiety help cause hypertension? You don't need to measure your blood pressure to know that a heated argument or a walk down a dark alley can send that pressure soaring. Your pounding heart and flushed face say it all. Stress can temporarily boost blood pressure: For instance, some people have short-term hikes in blood pressure when they visit a doctor's office. Fortunately, th...

How does depression affect cancer patients? For cancer patients, depression means much more than just a dark mood. The illness, which strikes about up to 25 percent of all cancer patients (compared with about 7 percent of the general public), can sap a person's immune system, weakening the body's ability to cope with disease. Patients fighting both depression and cancer feel distressed, tend to ha...

In 1994, Kurt Cobain took his life at the age of 27. Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and other rock stars who died young before him, Cobain has achieved a youthful immortality in which his memory endures as symbol more than man. As the reluctant poster child for Seattle's early-'90s grunge rock explosion, Cobain never adjusted to his enormous fame as leader of the band Nirvana. His ...

There may come a time in your life in which the days go by in a monotonous blur. None of the activities that you used to enjoy so much give you any pleasure; nothing excites you; no one makes your pulse race. You feel listless and empty, although plagued by a vague anxiety and dread. Family members may accuse you of being irritable and snapping at them for no reason, and it's true that at present ...

Even psychologists get the blues. As James Pennebaker's marriage started to flounder, the noted therapist sunk into a massive depression. After a month of misery, he turned to a trusted source of comfort: his typewriter. Each afternoon, he pounded out his thoughts about his failing marriage and other crucial issues, from sex to death. He didn't realize it at the time, but the words on those pages ...

"Last week I was really into black, but now I'm having a blue phase -- I must be schizophrenic." If you or someone close to you has schizophrenia, you know that this casual misuse of the term is both hurtful and wildly off the mark. Schizophrenia doesn't cause fashion indecision or multiple personalities. Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis that causes people to lose touch with reality and withdr...

SAM-e (pronounced "sammy") is short for S-adenosylmethionine and has become a big seller in the supplement industry. The compound supposedly eases the symptoms of both depression and osteoarthritis, a combination punch that no prescription drug can match. Even if you've never swallowed a SAM-e supplement, the compound is hard at work in your body. SAM-e, which forms naturally when the amino acid m...

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? For millions of Americans with winter depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, sunlight streaming through the window after months of gray skies is more than a sign of spring. It means that the depression that has lingered during the dark winter months will also lift. People with the disorder may soon feel energetic again, perhaps inspired and involved. In t...

We all learn something about ourselves in difficult times. For some, the lesson is reassuring: Even in the worst-case scenario -- whether it's losing a job in hard economic times, mourning the death of a loved one, or coping with a debilitating illness -- certain people manage to maintain their emotional balance. Instead of slipping into despair, they remain optimistic and focused enough to look ...

It was just another Monday morning, the beginning of a normal school week, when 15-year-old Charles Andrew Williams whipped out a .22-caliber revolver in the bathroom of his high school in Santee, California, and unleashed a barrage of fire at the students around him. By the time police responded, two of the troubled teen's classmates were killed and 13 wounded in the ensuing melee. Tragically, th...

Does someone close to you constantly insult you or humiliate you? Do you feel like you're always walking on eggshells in an effort to keep that person from blowing up at you? Are you starting to believe the accusations that person levels at you? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may be a victim of verbal abuse. This form of abuse, though it may not leave the easily discernib...

In the words of psychiatrist David Burns, MD, people who are depressed are often masters of illusion. Their pessimistic outlook -- and some unconscious tricks of the mind -- can turn triumphs into setbacks, and setbacks into personal failings. Those of us prone to depression may be successful and accomplished, but we're often plagued by negative thoughts about ourselves and our future. This thinki...

For many of us, learning how to understand and handle our feelings is a lifelong task. For depressed people, however, recognizing and experiencing emotions is essential to recovery. According to psychotherapist Richard O'Connor, PhD, this is the very starting point for overcoming and preventing depression. Some people are afraid of emotions because they fear they will be overwhelmed, even consumed...

As many parents who have adopted overseas know, sometimes your heart's desire turns up in a place you never expected. Amy Davis* of the California Bay Area said she never expected to adopt from Guatemala. But her adoption agency encouraged her to look into international adoption, and once she made her choice, she never looked back. "I fell madly in love," she said of the baby girl to whom she was...

What is meditation? Do you ever feel like your brain is too stuffed with thoughts? Between the errands that you need to do tomorrow, the lingering issues from yesterday, and the work in front of you today, it can be hard to find room for a positive emotion or a moment of peace. Meditation is a mental exercise that tries to tune out the mental clutter, giving the brain and body a chance to relax. A...

Should I spank my child? The short answer is no. When your child misbehaves or acts in ways that are defiant, inappropriate, or even dangerous, you want to show him that this behavior is unacceptable and needs to change. Spanking may seem like a direct and effective way to do that, but it also delivers other messages you don't want to be sent:

Imagine a movie promo -- scary music in the background. In a low voice full of dread, the announcer intones, "It had been a long time. Longer than I liked to admit. But I knew the time had come. I couldn't put it off any longer. I had to face the dentist!" Dun-dun-DUH! Ok, so maybe it wasn't as dramatic as that, but when I realized it had been far too long since I'd seen a dentist, and an unpleasa...

What is hypnosis? Hypnosis must be the only medical procedure ever to be featured in nightclub acts. (Can you imagine audiences applauding the Amazing Anesthesiologist or the Radiology Wizard?) Depictions of hypnosis on stage and screen, in fact, have contributed to a great deal of misunderstanding about the technique. But a closer look reveals that it can be a valuable and effective medical ther...

We all know what stress feels like. The jittery stomach and sweaty palms when you walk into an important job interview. The soaring blood pressure when you're stuck in an endless traffic jam. The adrenaline coursing through your body when you get into a heated argument. Stress is a normal reaction to threats, changes in routine, or long-term challenges. Some stress can be positive: it can give us...

What are 12-step programs Since 1935 -- the year that Alcoholics Anonymous was founded -- millions of people have turned to 12-step programs to help them overcome often life-threatening addictions or self-destructive behaviors. The 12-step approach combines group support with specific activities or steps that are intended to move a person closer to recovery. The concept has expanded greatly since...

If you're married, you already know that your spouse is an enormous influence on your life. What you may not realize is that he or she also can also have a profound effect on your health. A study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior noted that the simple act of being married can add years to a person's life. Marriage can even lower the risk of all sorts of diseases, including cancer, ...

For couples struggling with infertility, "just relax" may be the most aggravating two-word phrase in the English language. "Those are fighting words," says infertility expert Sandra Berga, MD, chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University in Atlanta. Couples don't need or appreciate any suggestion that infertility is "all in their head," she says. They also don't need t...

Stress can be annoying, aggravating, and maddening. But more than anything else, it can be depressing. Talk to a person who has fallen into the first major depression of her life, and the conversation will often turn toward a recent upheaval, perhaps a death in the family, a lost job, or a divorce. Sometimes depression can strike without a particular trigger. But stress that accompanies a severe ...

At any age, stress is a part of life. Young and old alike have to face difficult situations and overcome obstacles. While young adults struggle to establish a career, achieve financial security, or juggle work and family demands, older people may face failing health or dwindling finances -- or simply the challenges of retaining their independence. Unfortunately, the body's natural defenses against...

If you've ever seen a young child in the grip of a night terror, you'll never forget it. He'll wail in panic, scream, and thrash about like a small animal. His eyes are wide open but he doesn't recognize or even see you. A child with a night terror is caught in a zone between sleep and wakefulness, and it's impossible to wake him up or give him much comfort; he is inconsolable. Night terrors usual...

In Truckee, California, 25-year-old Timothy Brooks flew into a rage after another car cut him off on the highway. He followed the offending car to a bagel shop where the driver, 47-year-old Robert Ash, had stopped to eat. After yelling at the older man, Brooks attacked him, stabbing him to death with a knife. Brooks was convicted of second-degree murder. In Little Falls, New Jersey, May Lee and h...

What is alcohol abuse? Many people enjoy drinking alcohol in social settings or to relax. But sometimes people may find they're drinking too much. And when heavy drinking leads to health, work, or relationship problems, it's a form of alcohol abuse. Experts say that alcohol abuse is marked by one or more of the following problems: continuing to drink despite alcohol-related problems; indulging in ...

In this high-tech, high-pressure age, multitasking has become a national pastime. No matter where we are or what we're doing, we can always add one more ball to the juggling act. Many people regularly check emails on their Blackberry while talking on the cell phone, pausing only to yell at other drivers. "Because of all of the new electronic gadgets like cell phones, Palm Pilots, and other person...

Friends and family can be life savers -- and not just when you need an emergency babysitter or an extra hand during a big move. Although exercising, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial, many recent studies have found that good company can prolong life just as surely. A study of nearly 3,000 Dutch people between 55 and 85 years of age published in the American Journal of Epid...

Despite the talk about the "stages of grief," there's no real guide to mourning. Each person reacts to loss in his or her own way. Still, there is one universal component of grief: Almost every loss, no matter how expected, will be accompanied by stress and disorientation. In the words of a report from the National Mental Health Association, "The loss of a loved one is life's most stressful event....

In my mother's hospital room there was a single window, and if you stood before the window, you could see the Aerial Bridge. In Minnesota this is a famous bridge, often photographed on postcards, and around the bridge stretched Lake Superior, flat and pearled and vast as the sea. My mother told me over the telephone that she had a view of the lake. I was standing in my kitchen in California and wi...

Barring some unexpected scientific breakthroughs, pregnancy will always be a woman's job. A man can feel a baby kick and love it before it's born, but he can never truly know what it feels like to have a life growing inside him. Likewise, men often have trouble understanding the pain felt by women who are struggling with infertility, says Diane Clapp, RN, a fertility counselor and director of med...

Lost love. It's difficult to think of great literature without this enduring theme. Would, for example, Emily Bronte's Heathcliff and his passion for Cathy have captured our imaginations if they had lived happily ever after in Wuthering Heights? And would Romeo and Juliet have been as memorable if they had quietly married with the blessing of their families? Unfortunately, what makes for great...

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