The toll of avoidant personality disorder and social isolation

James Holmes from San Diego, California graduated at the top of his class from the University of California, Riverside in 2010, but was slipping behind in graduate school at the University of Colorado Denver’s Neuroscience Ph.D. graduate program. He was reported to have worked in a socially isolated environment that was considered “isolating drudgery”, where students spend hours by themselves in tiny rooms doing science experiments on rats. He had failed an important exam before buying one of the guns he allegedly used to shoot up the “Dark Knight” theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012. Neighbors reported that the young man was constantly isolated. According to an article in Business Insider, the isolated environment where he was working on his Ph.D. program is being considered as a possible cause of how and why he decided to go on a killing spree. Continue reading

The details and treatment of ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral condition experienced by many different types of people that causes hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. Due to the symptoms caused by ADHD, everyday routines and responsibilities are often more difficult than normal.

Some theorists hold that there lies a significant difference between childhood ADHD and adulthood ADHD. Most medical professionals would agree that ADHD always begins in childhood and progresses into adulthood. (Jacobs; Wendel 2014) In general, the symptoms that are prominent during childhood can gradually intensify into adulthood. However, there are exceptions to this research, as it’s important to consider the variations of maturity that can strengthen as a child grows, with or without ADHD. Continue reading

How long-term depression may be connected to stroke

Recent scientific research holds that long-term depression can increase the risk of stroke, as certain antidepressants can raise blood pressure and cause hypertension, which is a stroke precursor.

According to epidemiologist Maria Glymour, who led a study at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the former general consensus in regards to depression leading to stroke was that once the depression was treated, the risk of stroke was too. Further research has shown that even after two years of recovery from chronic depression, a person’s risk for stroke is 66 percent higher than it was for somebody who had never experienced depression. Continue reading

Understanding and identifying psychosis

Psychotic symptoms, otherwise known as psychosis, can affect a variety of different types of people and does not always constitute a mental health disorder. Psychotic symptoms can be found among many different types of mental health disorders including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. A psychotic disorder NOS (not otherwise specified), is usually diagnosed when a person has experienced a psychotic episode, but doesn’t meet the criteria for any other psychotic based disorder (Randle 2015). Determining the exact cause of psychosis and who is at risk of developing it, has still yet to be determined (Diamond 2010). Continue reading

Technology and its effect on mental health

New visual media such as iPads, smartphones, laptops, X-box and computers have become social norms of the millennium. These technological instruments play a huge role in communication, social engagement, organization, planning work and personal goals; they are also gaining a reputation as a source of addiction, as well as a reflection of mental health and emotion. Continue reading

How deficient levels of neurotransmitters cause stress responses

Deficiencies in neurotransmitters can cause a significant reaction in a person’s ability to process and react to external stimuli appropriately. Everybody has to deal with daily stressors in life, but not everybody reacts to stress the same way. How a person responds to stressors has much to do with the levels and transmission of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters increase heart rate, metabolism, blood vessel constriction and bronchial dilation, all of which are characteristics of the fight or flight biological and psychological response. Continue reading

What is Mindfulness based cognitive therapy and how does it work?

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was designed to help people who battle depression break negative thinking patterns. MBCT combines the use of mindfulness techniques with cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT). While CBT helps the individual build skill sets that provide an outlet for them to be aware of their thoughts and emotions, mindfulness helps the individual learn to be attentive and aware during the present moment. Through combining these two techniques, MBCT can help ease stress and depression by teaching people to pay attention to the present moment and to focus on developing new thought processes. (NIMH 2015) Continue reading

OCD and the role of neurotransmitters

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by the presence of unreasonable thoughts and/or fears that manifest as obsessions, compulsions or both. People who have OCD usually don’t recognize the irrationality of their obsessions. There is an apparent challenge in diagnosing OCD due to the symptoms being very similar to other mental health disorders. Diagnosis is also a challenge because of the disorder’s comorbidity with other mental health issues; for example, obsessive and compulsive thoughts and actions could also be a symptom of an anxiety disorder, depression, schizophrenia or another mental illness. Continue reading

The mental and emotional toll of narcissistic personality disorder

According to studies done at the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the lifetime rate of narcissistic personality disorder was 6.2 percent, with rates greater for men than for women. NPD was significantly more prevalent among black men and women, Hispanic women, younger adults and separated divorced or widowed adults. NPD is also associated with substance use, mood and anxiety disorders. Continue reading