Postpartum depression – More than just baby blues

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that frequently affects new mothers. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of eight mothers experiences postpartum depression. Women suffering from this undergo feelings of extreme sadness, exhaustion and anxiety to the extent that it can hamper their ability to take care of the baby and the family. Continue reading

Childhood poverty leads to mental issues in adulthood, says study

Findings from a new study titled “Childhood poverty and adult psychological well-being” has established that disadvantaged children grow up to face several mental health issues. The comprehensive research project, results of which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences (PNAS) in December 2016, observed 341 participants over a 15-year period (at ages 9, 13, 17 and 24). It highlighted, for the first time, the gradual and detrimental impact of impoverished upbringing. In addition to physical deficiencies, adult psychological issues are also linked to childhood poverty.   Continue reading

Season affective disorder can trigger substance abuse

The change in seasons can be very uplifting and enjoyable for people who adapt themselves quickly. But some may experience depressive episodes as they find it hard to cope with environmental changes. The incessant rains, excessive cold and darkness, or unbearable heat can restrict activities that one enjoys doing throughout the year. The negative emotions associated with shift in seasons is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It begins and ends at about the same time each year. People often experience serious mood changes during winter due to less natural light. It disappears during the spring and summer season. For this reason, it is commonly known as winter depression.   Continue reading

21st Century Cures Act to tackle mental health and substance abuse disorders

The 21st Century Cures Act (21CCA) was formed to create awareness about the growing number of people being affected by mental health disorders and substance abuse.

The 21CCA focuses on the reimbursement of mental health treatment. This is an important proposal as these programs are yet to be treated at par with treatment programs of other physical illnesses. Additionally, it also warrants for increased consumer friendliness regarding parity expectations for those undergoing mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Continue reading

What ails LGBT community in US

If reports are to be believed, as many as four major suicide hotlines reported a significant increase in the number of calls, text messages and chats from “distressed” Americans, many of whom were from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as trends started indicating the victory of Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the U.S. presidential election. People calling the helplines expressed helplessness, despair and uncertainty, and feared for the safety of their parents and families. Continue reading

Virtual Reality – the latest in treating psychological disorders

While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other stress-related illnesses have been treated using exposure therapy since ages, relying on the therapy to recreate the traumatic experiences is challenging, at best. And more often than not, patients are either unwilling or just unable to do so. Virtual reality (VR), the latest in treating psychological disorders, helps in breaking down these barriers while treating various mental health disorders. Continue reading

Mental health care facilities in trial: New prison plan proposed

Owing to the inadequacy of mental health care facilities in the state prisons in Alabama, inmates suffering from mental illnesses in those prisons have sued the Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC). The charges state that mental health care facilities in the state prison are so inadequate that it violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

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Schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in parents likely to raise risk of mental illnesses in children

The potential causes of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are not completely known. This has led scientists to conduct researches to find out if hereditary transmission of the disorders may result in mental health problems among children. Now, a new study has found that children born to parents afflicted with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are at a greater likelihood of feeling aggrieved with emotional disorders by the time they reach seven years of age. Continue reading

5 warning signs of mental illness in children

Identifying mental illness in children is a very daunting, but a necessary task. Many a times, any change in a child’s behavior is considered normal or a passing phase, which, in most cases, is expected to go away on its own. But, it must be kept in mind that behavioral changes could be the initial sign of any mental disorder that the child might be suffering from. In many cases, hyperactivity or lethargy in children can indicate a hidden mental issue that needs immediate treatment. Continue reading