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The symptoms of a heart attack and a panic attack can feel very similar, especially if a person has not experienced either condition before. While panic attacks can be frightening, they are not life-threatening. On the other hand, heart attacks require immediate medical attention. Learn how to tell the difference here. [...]
Thu, Aug 16, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
A new study finds that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact much like those with social anxiety. Worse still, that alienating vibe makes the sleep-deprived more socially unattractive to others, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. And well-rested people feel lonely after just a brief encounter with a sleep-deprived person, potentially triggering a viral contagion of social isolation. The study appears in the journal Nature Communications. “We humans are a social species. Yet sleep deprivation can turn us into social lepers,” said study senior author Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience. Notably, researchers found that brain scans of sleep-deprived people as they viewed video clips of strangers walking toward them showed powerful social repulsion activity in neural networks that are typically activated when humans feel their personal space is being invaded. Sleep loss also blunted activity in brain regions that normally encourage social engagement. Walker explains that sleep loss triggers a vicious cycle. “The less sleep you get, the less you want to socially interact. In turn, other people perceive you as more socially repulsive, further increasing the grave social-isolation impact of sleep loss.” Walker believes this sequence may be a significant contributing factor to the public health crisis that is loneliness. National surveys suggest that nearly half of Americans report feeling lonely or left out. Furthermore, loneliness has been found to increase one's risk of mortality by more than 45 percent — double the mortality risk associated with obesity. “It's perhaps no coincidence that the past few decades have seen a marked increase in loneliness and an equally dramatic decrease in sleep duration,” said study lead author Eti Ben Simon, Ph.D. “Without sufficient sleep we become a social turn-off, and loneliness soon kicks in.” From an evolutionary standpoint, the study challenges the assumption that humans are programmed to nurture socially vulnerable members of their tribe for the survival of the species. Walker has a theory for why that protective instinct may be lacking in the case of sleep deprivation. “There's no biological or social safety net for sleep deprivation as there is for, say, starvation. That's why our physical and mental health implode so quickly even after the loss of just one or two hours of sleep,” Walker said. The investigators created a novel study methodology. To gauge the social effects of poor sleep, Walker and Ben Simon conducted a series of intricate experiments using such [...]
Thu, Aug 16, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Service dogs not only provide emotional support for people with anxiety disorders, but they can also be trained to perform essential tasks. They can detect and reduce anxiety attacks, fetch medication, and get help for people in distress. We discuss how to get a service dog for anxiety, how they can help, and breeds. [...]
Wed, Aug 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Adam Gazzaley, a scientist who's spent his career researching the link between human nature and technology, has some advice on what we can do about our generation's cognition crisis. [...]
Wed, Aug 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Cannabis and cannabis-based drugs are increasingly used for clinical purposes, but researchers warn they may also harm the brain. A new study explains how. [...]
Wed, Aug 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Cannabis users report that the drug relieves symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. A new study explains the mechanism behind this anecdotal evidence. [...]
Tue, Aug 14, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
New research finds the herpesvirus HHV-6 in the brain cells of people who lived with severe depression, bipolar disorder, or both. [...]
Mon, Aug 13, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
What is confirmation bias, and how does it make us susceptible to fake news? New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigates. [...]
Mon, Aug 13, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Monitoring work email during non-work hours is detrimental to the health and well-being of not only employees, but their family members as well, according to new research. “The competing demands of work and non-work lives present a dilemma for employees, which triggers feelings of anxiety and endangers work and personal lives,” said William Becker, Ph.D., a Virginia Tech associate professor of management in the Pamplin College of Business, who co-authored the new study. Other studies have shown that the stress of increased job demands leads to strain and conflict in family relationships when the employee is unable to fulfill non-work roles at home because they brought work home. However, the new study demonstrates that employees do not need to spend actual time on work in their off-hours to experience the harmful effects, according to the researcher. The mere expectations of availability increases the strain for employees and their significant others, even when employees do not engage in actual work during non-work time, he explained. “The insidious impact of ‘always on' organizational culture is often unaccounted for or disguised as a benefit — increased convenience, for example, or higher autonomy and control over work-life boundaries,” Becker said. “Our research exposes the reality: ‘Flexible work boundaries' often turn into ‘work without boundaries,' compromising an employee's and their family's health and well-being.” As negative health outcomes are costly, what can employers do to mitigate the adverse effects identified by the study? Becker said policies that reduce expectations to monitor electronic communication outside of work would be ideal. When that is not an option, the solution may be to establish boundaries on when electronic communication is acceptable during off-hours by setting up off-hour email windows or schedules when employees are available to respond. Additionally, organizational expectations should be communicated clearly, he said. “If the nature of a job requires email availability, such expectations should be stated formally as a part of job responsibilities,” he said. Knowing these expectations upfront may reduce anxiety in employees and increase understanding from their family members, he said. Employees also should try practicing mindfulness, which has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety, according to Becker. Mindfulness may help employees “be present” in family interactions, which could help reduce conflict and improve relationship satisfaction, he explained. Additionally, mindfulness is within the employee's control when email expectations are not, he said. “Employees today must navigate more complex boundaries between work and family than ever before,” said Becker. “Employer expectations during non-work hours appear to [...]
Sun, Aug 12, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Veterans with advanced lung cancer face a significantly higher risk of suicide compared to the already high rate among veterans. But this suicide risk is greatly reduced when they receive at least one palliative care visit, according to a new study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Palliative care is specialized medical care for patients with severe illness. It aims to relieve physical pain and discomfort and to address psychological issues like anxiety that diminish quality of life for those with life-threatening illnesses. The new study is based on the data of thousands of veterans with advanced lung cancer enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Cancer Registry. Of the 20,900 veterans with advanced lung cancer enrolled in the registry, 30 patients committed suicide, a rate more than five times greater than the average among all veterans of a similar age and gender who use VA health care. However, the data showed that those with lung cancer who had at least one palliative care visit after their diagnosis were 81 percent less likely to die by suicide. Lead author Donald Sullivan, M.D., M.A, M.C.R., said the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis — particularly a lung cancer diagnosis — is underappreciated and largely overlooked in the medical community. “Suicide is a significant national public health problem, especially among lung cancer patients and among veterans,” said Sullivan, an assistant professor of medicine (pulmonary and critical care medicine) in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine. “As a result, manifestations of this impact like social isolation, depression, anxiety, can go undiagnosed and untreated.” Sullivan believes this study is the first to investigate the link between palliative care and suicide risk in cancer patients. He said that while several medical societies recommend palliative care for all patients with advanced stage lung cancer, there is often a gap between recommendations and practice. “There are many barriers to palliative care, and unfortunately, some are related to clinician referrals,” he said. “Not all doctors are aware of the benefits of palliative care.” Sullivan believes that palliative care should be offered to all patients shortly after receiving a diagnosis of advanced stage lung cancer. The best scenario would be an integrated approach in which patients with serious illness receive palliative care at the same time they receive other treatment therapies like chemotherapy, he said. He emphasized that clinicians need to be vigilant for additional conditions or disorders, such [...]
Sun, Aug 12, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
New research finds that stimulating a brain area called the caudate nucleus induces a tendency to focus too much on the downsides of a situation. [...]
Sun, Aug 12, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Depression
New research on epilepsy narrows down the culprits to two key brain proteins. The study authors explain why this is a breakthrough in the field. [...]
Sat, Aug 11, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
New findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that psychedelic drugs may be effective at treating a variety of psychological disorders, including depression, social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and could one day be prescribed to patients. The research was presented recently at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting and included studies on the use of LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), MDMA (ecstacy) and ayahuasca (used by indigenous Amazonian people for spiritual ceremonies). After the discovery of LSD in the 1940s, American researchers began studying hallucinogens for their potential healing benefits, but this research mostly came to a halt after psychedelics were outlawed in the late 1960s. A shift may be coming soon, however, as MDMA is beginning its third and final phase of clinical trials in an effort to win Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, said Adam Snider, MA, of Alliant International University Los Angeles, and co-chair of the symposium. “Combined with psychotherapy, some psychedelic drugs like MDMA, psilocybin and ayahuasca may improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Cristina L. Magalhaes, PhD, of Alliant International University Los Angeles, and co-chair of a symposium on psychedelics and psychotherapy. “More research and discussion are needed to understand the possible benefits of these drugs, and psychologists can help navigate the clinical, ethical and cultural issues related to their use.” Findings from another study suggest that symptoms of social anxiety in adults with autism may be treatable with a combination of psychotherapy and MDMA. Twelve autistic adults with moderate to severe social anxiety who were given two treatments of pure MDMA, plus ongoing therapy, showed significant and long-lasting reductions in their symptoms. “Social anxiety is prevalent in autistic adults and few treatment options have been shown to be effective,” said Alicia Danforth, PhD, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the HarborUCLA Medical Center, who conducted the study. “The positive effects of using MDMA and therapy lasted months, or even years, for most of the research volunteers.” Other research presented at the meeting shows how LSD, psilocybin and ayahuasca may benefit people with anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Adele Lafrance, PhD, of Laurentian University, discussed a study of 159 participants who reported on their past use of hallucinogens, level of spirituality and relationship with their emotions. Hallucinogen use was associated with greater levels of spirituality, which led to improved emotional stability and fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression and disordered [...]
Fri, Aug 10, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Cephalexin, also spelled cefalexin, is an antibiotic. It belongs to a class of antibiotics known as first-generation cephalosporins, which doctors use to treat a range of bacterial infections. While some antibiotics are not safe to take when consuming alcohol, cephalexin does not usually cause adverse reactions. [...]
Thu, Aug 09, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Sleeping more or less than 7–8 hours is tied to higher risk of death and cardiovascular problems, with more being worse than less, says global study. [...]
Tue, Aug 07, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
As gut bacteria digest fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids. A new study finds that these molecules protect the gut against the ravages of stress. [...]
Thu, Aug 02, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
A three-week intensive outpatient therapy program (IOP) has been found to significantly reduce post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms among military veterans. The intervention adds to the growing evidence that suggests providing several hours of therapy over several consecutive days is an effective method to address the unmet mental health needs of military veterans. Over a 14-month period, Rush University Medical Center researchers closely monitored 191 veterans who had been referred to the program's intensive outpatient program (IOP) because their PTSD was not responding to traditional therapeutic approaches. A traditional approach typically includes daily treatment over the course of 6 to 12 weeks. At the beginning of treatment with an intensive 3-week approach, 96 percent of patients reported moderate to severe PTSD. The reports of moderate to severe PTSD fell to only 42 percent by the end of the three-week treatment period. “The numbers that we're seeing show that we can make a profound impact in veterans' lives in just three weeks” said Alyson Kay Zalta, Ph.D., lead author of the study, conducted while she was research director of the Road Home Program. The Road Home Program at Rush helps military veterans and their families make healthier transitions to civilian life by offering specialized mental health care, peer-to-peer outreach, counseling and community resource navigation. The new findings appear in the journal BMC Psychiatry. The authors believe the intensive therapy was more successful than therapy that stretches out for many weeks because a longer-term approach presents multiple many barriers to completion. For example, a 6-12 week program means that individuals are away from family and work for a significant period of time. Zalta noted that “by concentrating therapy over consecutive days in three weeks, we see that over 90 percent of veterans stick with the program. By comparison, an estimated 40 percent of veterans drop out of traditional programs before they receive an adequate treatment dose. ” The veterans in the study at Rush were put into groups of eight to 12 individuals and received more than 100 hours of specialized mental health services that combined evidence-based therapy such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with wellness interventions including mindfulness, yoga, art therapy and acupuncture. The participants typically received 15 individual session and 13 group sessions of CPT, considered one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. CPT helps people better understand how trauma has changed the way they think, teaches them how to evaluate their thoughts, and equips them [...]
Thu, Aug 02, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News
A large study with a follow-up period of 23 years concludes that both long periods of abstinence and long periods of heavy drinking raise dementia risk. [...]
Thu, Aug 02, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
A new study confirms that anxiety can be hereditary. It also delves deeper into the connections between brain regions involved in anxious behavior. [...]
Wed, Aug 01, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
A new study investigates the links between high temperatures and increases in suicide rates. The authors make some bleak predictions for the future. [...]
Sat, Jul 28, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Depression

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Nigel Magowan
UKCP Registered and Accredited Psychotherapist
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EMDR Therapist
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Accredited Therapist Member of Anxiety UK

Inner Changes Psychotherapy and Counselling
22 Newport Road
Chorlton
Manchester M21 9NN

Website: www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk
Email: nigel@manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk

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