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

14 Dec

Brain Teasers and Mental Decline

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

16 Apr

Gender Identity and Mental Health

Transgender children and adolescents more frequently diagnosed with mental health conditions, study finds.

Health News Results - 567

Movie Violence Doesn't Make Kids Violent, Study Finds

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Parents often worry that violent movies can trigger violence in their kids, but a new study suggests PG-13-rated movies won't turn your kids into criminals.

Researchers found that as PG-13 movies became more violent between 1985 and 2015, overall rates of murder and violence actually fell.

"It doesn't appear that PG-13-rated movies ...

Cancer Diagnosis May Quadruple Suicide Risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicide is more than four times higher among Americans with cancer than those without the disease, a new study finds.

"Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, most cancer patients do not die from cancer, the patients usually die of another cause," said researcher Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiati...

Simple Treatments to Banish Winter Blues

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The gray days of winter bring many people down, but a few simple steps can pep you up, an expert says.

A condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can cause feelings of sadness or depression, lack of energy, problems sleeping, moodiness, changes in appetite and loss of interest in usual activities.

"It is most common amo...

Type 2 Diabetes Before 40 Tied to Mental Illness Hospitalizations

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who develop type 2 diabetes before they turn 40 are twice as likely to be hospitalized for mental illness as those who develop the blood sugar disease after 40, a new study shows.

About 37 percent of all hospitalization days in the under 40 group were due to mental illness, the researchers noted. Mood and psychotic disorders were the ...

Bribe Yourself to Diet

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For many people struggling with weight, an underlying reason for the excess pounds is the habit of using food to soothe bad feelings and reward good behavior. To lose weight, turn that habit on its ear.

Incentives can help motivate you in many areas, including your diet, but your incentive can't be food. Small, non-food treats or dollars for ...

Social Support Key to Good Mental Health After Stroke: Study

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two-thirds of stroke survivors who live at home have good mental health, and social support plays an important role, researchers say.

The new study included 300 stroke survivors, aged 50 and older, in Canada. Survivors living in long-term care facilities, who tend to have the most serious disabilities, were not included.

Stroke surv...

Parents Often Unaware of Kids' Suicidal Thoughts

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When children are having suicidal thoughts, their parents may often be in the dark, a new study shows.

The study included more than 5,000 kids, aged 11 to 17, and one parent for each child. Researchers found that among the children, 8 percent said they had contemplated suicide at some time. But only half of their parents were aware of it.

...

Happiness High in States With Lots of Parks, Libraries

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of parks, libraries and natural resources in the state where you reside might have a great deal to do with how happy you are.

New research suggests that Americans who live where more money is spent on these "public goods" are happier than their counterparts in other states.

"Public goods are things you can't exclude people...

Millennials' Odds for Depression Rise With Social Media Use

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millennials struggling with depression aren't being helped by their use of Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, a new study reports.

College students who meet the criteria for major depressive disorder tend to use social media more often and are more heavily addicted to social media, researchers found.

They're also more likely to use s...

See Who's More Likely to Share Fake News

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 9 percent of Americans shared fake news in 2016, but seniors were far more likely to do so than young adults, a new study finds.

"Despite widespread interest in the fake news phenomenon, we know very little about who actually shares fake news," said study author Joshua Tucker, a professor of politics at New York University.

...

Are Workers Who Sing Together Happier Employees?

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a novel idea, but joining a choir at work might lower your stress levels while on the job, a new British study suggests.

It included 58 people who were part of workplace choirs in different organizations. They completed questionnaires that assessed their work-related demands, control and support.

Being part of a workplace choi...

Teens Who Hurt Themselves More Likely to Hurt Others

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who harm themselves are three times more likely to commit violent crimes than those who don't, a new study reveals.

"We know that some individuals who self-harm also inflict harm on others," said study author Leah Richmond-Rakerd, from Duke University.

"What has not been clear is whether there are early-life characteristics or ...

'Meaningful' Activities May Mean Healthier Old Age

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who find meaning in their daily activities may remain in better health as they age, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when middle-aged and older adults felt their days held meaningful activities, they tended to report better health and well-being four years later.

Not only were they less likely to develop physi...

Use of Common Epilepsy Drug in Pregnancy Tied to ADHD in Kids

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a woman with epilepsy uses the anti-seizure drug valproate during a pregnancy, the odds that her baby will go on to develop ADHD rise, a new study suggests.

The Danish report can't prove that valproate causes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in these cases, only that there's an association.

But in the new study, f...

A Smooth Move Makes for a Happier Child

THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Moving from one community to another can be difficult for everyone in the family, especially if leaving friends and relatives behind. But the problems can be magnified for kids who have to switch middle or high schools.

Studies show that, for high school students, moving just once in a 12-month period can cut in half the likelihood of their g...

Can Herbal Drug Kratom Kill?

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The herbal drug kratom, which U.S. drug regulators have said is essentially an opioid, has been linked to some narcotic overdose deaths, but whether it's dangerous by itself isn't clear.

In a new study, University of Colorado researchers reviewed 15 kratom-related deaths and found that in all but one, other opioids were present.

"...

Mindfulness Can Help Tame Everyday Stress

TUESDAY, Jan. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Being in tune with the present moment -- called mindfulness -- can relieve stress and make you an actor rather than a reactor, a wellness expert says.

Focusing on what's happening right now allows people to notice things they might otherwise miss, said Dr. Timothy Riley. He is an assistant professor in the family and community medicine depart...

Building Passion When You're Not in Love With Your Job

TUESDAY, Jan. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's some career advice for the new year.

Experts often suggest that people follow their passion when looking for work that they'll feel enriched by. But sometimes you don't have a choice and have to take a job that you're not quite wild about, to put it mildly.

But rather than feel resentful and unhappy every day, over time you ca...

Dial Down the Stress

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Stress and uncertainty plague many Americans, but there are a number of steps you can take to cope, a psychiatrist suggests.

"In this day and age of 'digital' perfection, the stress of daily living can take a toll on our health, causing anxiety and depression, leading to relationship difficulties, problems at work, and the feeling that you hav...

PTSD Drug May Do More Harm Than Good

THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A drug used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may actually be harmful, a new study suggests.

The high blood pressure drug prazosin is sometimes used to treat PTSD-related nightmares and insomnia that can increase suicide risk. But this small study suggests the drug may make nightmares and insomnia worse and not reduce suicidal t...

Being Bullied May Alter the Teen Brain

THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who are often bullied may be left with shrinkage in key parts of their brain, increasing their risk for mental illness, European researchers report.

They said such shrinkage eventually appears to create a growing sense of anxiety, even after taking into account the possible onset of other mental health concerns, such as stress and/or d...

Loneliness Doesn't Take a Holiday

TUESDAY, Dec. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Though this is the time of year when family and friends gather and connect, loneliness remains a serious public health issue in the United States, an expert on aging says.

More and more Americans are lonely, and there's growing evidence that it can pose significant health risks.

Nearly one-third of older Americans are lonely, and ch...

How to Handle Holiday Stressors

TUESDAY, Dec. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- While others are decking the halls, many people find the holidays trigger anxiety and depression.

Stress can arise from financial strain, dealing with difficult relatives or trying to create the perfect holiday, said Michelle Martel, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

Also, the holidays can bring up ...

It Really Is Better to Give Than Receive

MONDAY, Dec. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The joy of giving really does last longer than the joy of receiving, researchers report.

Experiments with hundreds of participants found their happiness did not decrease, or decreased much slower, if they repeatedly gave small amounts of money to others instead of repeatedly receiving money.

The findings suggest that "repeated giving...

Take Time for 'Me Time'

MONDAY, Dec. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Husband or wife, mom or dad, the demands on your time can be overwhelming. But even if there's no end to your to-do list, securing some time for yourself is a must.

While scheduling a mani-pedi or catching a ball game with friends is great, simply closing your office or bedroom door for 30 minutes can give you the time you need to recharge.

Stress Keeps 1 in 3 Americans Up at Night

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans are losing sleep as economic and political stress keeps them tossing and turning at night, a new study finds.

In 2013, about 30 percent of Americans said they slept six hours or less at night, but that number rose to 33 percent by 2017, researchers found.

Lead study author Jennifer Ailshire, an assistant prof...

Narcissists Not Fond of Democracy: Study

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You probably know a narcissist -- someone who believes he or she is the best at everything and has little regard for others. Now, new research suggests narcissists also tend to have little regard for democracy.

For the study, researchers examined support for democracy in the United States and Poland. The investigators found that narcissists...

Many Say Ketamine Eased Their Depression, But Is It Safe?

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Jen Godfrey couldn't shake the "deep cloud" that lingered even after she found an antidepressant she could tolerate.

Then a string of stressors hit -- five years of fertility treatment and an 80-pound weight gain during pregnancy that left her with persistent pain; a close relative's suicide; another who went missing; and her own divorce. I...

3 in 4 Americans Struggle With Loneliness

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Folks feeling lonely as the holidays approach have a lot of company, a new study suggests.

Loneliness appears to be widespread among Americans, affecting three out of every four people, researchers have found.

Further, loneliness appears to spike at specific times during adulthood. Your late 20s, mid-50s and late 80s are times when ...

Practice Patience for a Happier, Healthier You

MONDAY, Dec. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You've no doubt heard the expression "patience is a virtue." Now researchers are learning that this virtue can be good for your health and well-being.

Any given day can be filled with a series of frustrations that cause you to lose your patience, like waiting for your assistant to finish a report you need or for you...

Beware of Stressful Events in the Evening

FRIDAY, Dec. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Stress in the evening may take more of a toll on your body than stress at other times of day, a new study suggests.

The reason? Later in the day, the human body releases lower levels of the hormone that helps ease stress, according to researchers from Japan.

"Our study suggests a possible vulnerability to stress in the evening," sai...

Intimacy: The Elusive Fountain of Youth?

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People seeking more satisfaction in their later years might find sex is the spice of life, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers analyzed survey data from nearly 6,900 older adults, average age 65, in England. The investigators found that those who said they'd had any type of sexual activity in the previous 12 months had higher l...

'Easy Way Out'? Stigma May Keep Many From Weight Loss Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For many obese people, weight loss surgery can be a new lease on life, but too few who qualify for the procedure opt for it.

One big reason: The widespread notion that surgery is an "easy way out," signifying a weakness of willpower to slim down using diet and exercise.

Almost 40 percent of nearly a thousand surveyed in a new stud...

Eczema Can Drive People to Thoughts of Suicide: Study

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 28 million Americans are affected by the skin condition eczema, and for some it may become so chronic and severe they consider suicide, new research shows.

A new review of data from 15 studies, involving over 300,000 people, found that those with eczema had a 44 percent higher risk of suicidal thoughts compared with people without th...

More Are Seeking Mental Health Care, But Not Always Those Who Need It Most

FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- On the surface, the news looks good for America's mental health -- a new report shows the rate of people with serious psychological distress is declining, and more folks are seeking mental health care on an outpatient basis.

But the haves are edging out the have-nots when it comes to mental health care, a closer peek at the numbers reveals.

...

Are You a Victim of 'Clean Plate' Syndrome?

TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If your belly is full from a delicious holiday feast but there's one more sweet left on the dessert tray, will you hold back or yield to temptation?

New research suggests that you'll give in, driven by a widely shared attitude towards food that prompts you to "clean the plate," even if you're not really still hungry.

It's a form of "...

Mental Health Help Becoming Less of a Stigma in Military

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Active-duty members of the U.S. military are much more open to the idea of mental health counseling than veterans, a new survey finds.

"There has been a fundamental shift in the military regarding attitudes on mental health, and we have seen real progress in reducing the stigmas associated with professional counseling," said survey author Saman...

Brexit Had Brits Turning to Antidepressants: Study

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An increase in prescriptions for antidepressants followed the 2016 "Brexit" vote in England, a new study reports.

This increase may have stemmed from increased uncertainty in some people following the unexpected vote in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, according to the researchers.

For the study, the researcher...

Depression Is a Risk for Teens, Adults With Epilepsy

SATURDAY, Dec. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens and adults with epilepsy are at increased risk for depression and should undergo regular screening, two new studies say.

In one study, researchers evaluated nearly 400 teens, ages 15 to 18, with epilepsy. They found that 8 percent had moderate or severe depression and another 5 percent had attempted suicide or thought about it.

<...

Untangling the Ties Between Troubled Teens and Pot Use

FRIDAY, Nov. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens with behavioral problems are more likely than others to use marijuana -- but the drug itself doesn't increase conduct problems, a new study indicates.

The findings suggest that a "cascading chain of events" predict marijuana use problems as teens become young adults, according to the University of Pennsylvania researchers.

"Can...

An Abusive Partner May Worsen Menopause Symptoms

FRIDAY, Nov. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Emotional abuse may add to the woes of menopause, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that women who are emotionally tormented by a spouse or partner may suffer from more night sweats, painful sex and hot flashes when their periods stop.

"The data show that experience of domestic violence and emotional abuse, sexual assault and...

Healthy Ways to Deal With Conflict

TUESDAY, Nov. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Almost every relationship will be affected by conflict at some point.

Whether it's with a spouse or a child, a co-worker or friend, there are healthy ways to address and resolve these problems, according to experts at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center.

Differences of opinion are usually at the roo...

Newly Mapped Genes May Hold Keys to ADHD

MONDAY, Nov. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of American kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a genetic vulnerability to the disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 55,000 individuals and identified 12 gene regions linked with ADHD. These regions probably affect the central nervous system, the study authors said. The...

How Long Will Your Teen Live? Personality Might Tell

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Does your teenager's personality actually predict how long he or she will live?

Yes, claims new research that finds high school students who tend to be calm, empathetic and intellectually curious are more likely to still be alive 50 years later than their peers who are less so.

The finding does not prove that certain traits in ado...

The Jobs That Carry the Highest Suicide Risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of suicide among U.S. workers has jumped 34 percent since 2000, and certain occupations seem to be riskier than others, government health researchers report.

Those most at risk: men with construction and extraction jobs, and women in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

Like Coffee? You May Be Genetically Wired That Way

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee's bitter taste shouldn't be a selling point. But a genetic variant explains why so many people love the brew, a new study suggests.

Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect people from harmful substances. That means they should want to spit out coffee, the researchers said.

But their study of more than 400,0...

Murder of Family, Friends Takes Highest Toll on Black Teens

TUESDAY, Nov. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who lose a family member or friend to murder have an increased risk of suicide, and black teens are most likely to face this kind of heartbreak, a new study finds.

University of Pittsburgh researchers analyzed the results of a 2014 survey of just over 1,600 teens, aged 14 to 19, in Allegheny County and found that 13 percent said a frien...

Major Injuries Take a Toll on Mental Health

MONDAY, Nov. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People who've suffered major traumatic injuries are at much greater risk for mental health problems and suicide, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 19,000 people in the Canadian province of Ontario who suffered serious injuries. Most of the injuries (89 percent) were accidental rather than intentional (for example, car...

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans Struggles to Control Sexual Urges

FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The #MeToo movement has given many Americans a glimpse into an unfamiliar world that may have left many wondering, "What were they thinking?"

It turns out they might not have been thinking much at all. New research suggests that almost 9 percent of people in the United States have distress caused by difficulty controlling their sexual feeli...

Smoking Persists for Americans With Mental Health Ills

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- While more Americans are quitting smoking, researchers find that people with mental health problems are much less likely to kick the habit.

Smokers with mental health issues are only half as likely to quit as those with good mental health, the research team found.

"Overall, tobacco cessation programs have been very successful, but o...

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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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