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Although suicidal thoughts are not uncommon among individuals with chronic and disabling pain, research has lagged on how to improve resiliency and promote recovery. Now, a nationally representative study from the University of Toronto discovers that social support plays a major role in promoting recovery. Investigators found that almost two-thirds of formerly suicidal Canadians (63 percent) with chronic pain were free from suicidal thoughts in the past year. “Social support played a key role in remission,” said lead author Dr. Esme Fuller-Thomson, director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging. “The biggest factor in recovery from suicidal thoughts was having a confidant, defined as having at least one close relationship that provide the person in chronic pain a sense of emotional security and well-being. “Even when a wide range of other characteristics such as age, gender and mental health history were taken into account, those with a confidant had 87 percent higher odds of being in remission from suicidal thoughts compared to those with no close relationships,” she said. Fuller-Thomson said there is a need for targeted efforts to decrease social isolation and loneliness among those experiencing chronic pain. Study participants reported that pain prevented some or most of their activities, so they were particularly vulnerable to social isolation. “More awareness by the general public that mobility limitations associated with chronic pain can make it difficult for individuals to socialize outside the household, could encourage friends and family to visit and phone more and thereby decrease loneliness,” she said. “In our study, individuals living in poverty and those struggling to meet basic living expenses were more likely to still have suicidal thoughts. Living in poverty may also limit access to needed resources to alleviate pain symptoms, and increase hopelessness that symptoms could improve, thereby presenting poverty as a barrier to suicide remission.” This study was conducted in Canada where free and universal health care is available, and thus health care costs should not have been burdensome. Researchers hypothesized that the negative association between poverty and remission from suicidal thoughts might be even stronger in countries without universal health care, such as the USA, according to co-author Lyndsey D. Kotchapaw, M.S.W. Data were drawn from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health. “This study's findings that individuals with chronic pain with a history of depression and anxiety disorders were less likely to remit from suicidal ideation, is consistent with literature on mood disorders and suicidality in the [...]
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Repeated exposure to media coverage of collective traumas, such as mass shootings or natural disasters, can fuel a cycle of distress, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that individuals can become more emotionally responsive to news reports of subsequent incidents, resulting in heightened anxiety and worry about future occurrences. “It's natural for people to experience feelings of concern and uncertainty when a terrorist attack or a devastating hurricane occurs,” said senior author Dr. Roxane Cohen Silver, a UCI professor of psychological science. “Media coverage of these events, fueled by the 24-hour news cycle and proliferation of mobile technologies, is often repetitious and can contain graphic images, video, and sensationalized stories, extending the impact to populations beyond those directly involved.” Earlier research has shown that turning to media coverage of a collective trauma is a rational response for individuals seeking information as a way to mitigate their apprehension and cope with their stress, researchers note. However, this strategy may backfire. According to the new study, repeated exposure to explicit content may exacerbate fear about future occurrences, which promotes future media consumption and greater anxiety when they do occur. There is an even greater risk of falling into this pattern for those who have experienced violence in their lives or have been diagnosed with mental health ailments, according to the researchers. “The cycle of media exposure and distress appears to have downstream implications for public health as well,” said Dr. Rebecca R. Thompson, a UCI postdoctoral scholar in psychological science and lead author of the report. “Repeated exposure to news coverage of collective traumas has been linked to poor mental health consequences, such as flashbacks in the immediate aftermath and post-traumatic stress responses and physical health problems over time, even among individuals who did not directly experience the event.” The national study of more than 4,000 U.S. residents was conducted by the researchers over a three-year period following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Participants were surveyed four times, which allowed the researchers to capture responses to both tragedies and examine how responses to the first incident affected reactions to news coverage of the second. “Our findings suggest that media organizations should seek to balance the sensationalistic aspects of their coverage, such as providing more informational accounts as opposed to lengthy descriptions of carnage, as they work to inform the public [...]
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Emerging research from the U.K. suggests early intervention programs for youth with mood and anxiety disorders provide a variety of benefits. Investigators discovered that treatment at the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) lead to improvements in patients' symptoms and functioning, access to psychiatric care in the most appropriate settings and fewer visits to the emergency department (ED). FEMAP is a novel outpatient mental health program that provides treatment to emerging adults, ages 16 to 25, with emotional concerns that fall into the categories of mood and anxiety symptoms. Treatment at FEMAP takes a patient-centered approach in a youth-friendly setting where patients receive care from a multidisciplinary team. Researchers discovered a wide appreciation for the services offered by FEMAP. Individual outcomes improved significantly and costs were reduced. Kirstie Leedham, a former patient and research participant comments: “FEMAP helped me to understand that there wasn't something wrong with me and that I wasn't alone in the way that I felt. I learned to cope and deal with things in more constructive ways that made things so much easier. Before entering the program, I had trouble finishing school, no job prospects and couldn't hold down a relationship. Now, three years out of the program, I have a great job, am married and own a house, which are things I never thought would be possible.” In a recent study published in the journal Psychiatric Services, researchers found that treatment at FEMAP leads to improved patient outcomes. The study included 370 youth eligible for FEMAP services. Before beginning treatment at FEMAP, they were, on average, experiencing moderate depression, moderate anxiety and low satisfaction with their quality of health. They also reported poor functioning an average of 4.3 days per week. Of 370 youth eligible for treatment at FEMAP, 322 attended a clinical assessment. Seventy-one disengaged from treatment either before or immediately following the clinical assessment. The research team found that those who disengaged early had less severe symptoms than those who stayed engaged. Follow-up questionnaires were completed by 174 youth approximately six months into treatment. The research team discovered significant improvements in patient outcomes, including reduction in mood and anxiety symptoms, improved functioning and a higher quality of health satisfaction. “These results demonstrate the effectiveness of early intervention programs offering personalized treatment that adjusts to patient's needs and wishes. The data suggests our model is successful in helping patients manage their mood and anxiety [...]
Sat, Apr 20, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Victims of middle or high school bullying are significantly more likely to experience mental health problems and/or unemployment in later life, according to a new study led by researchers at Lancaster University Management School in England. The researchers analyzed confidential data on more than 7,000 students ages 14 to 16 from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England. The students were interviewed at regular intervals until they were 21 and then again at age 25. The findings show that around half of the students had experienced some type of bullying. Overall, being bullied in school increased the extent of mental health problems at age 25 by 40 percent. It also increased the probability of being unemployed at age 25 by about 35 percent; and for those in work, it reduced their income by around 2 percent. “Bullying is widespread in schools, and many studies document a negative relationship between bullying and educational outcomes,” said co-author Dr. Emma Gorman from the Lancaster University Department of Economics. “Bullying is also an important policy issue because of concern that in addition to educational outcomes, being bullied may lead to negative impacts on young people's lives in the long-term, such as low self-esteem, mental health conditions and poorer job prospects.” “Our research shows that being bullied has negative impact on important long-term outcomes, especially unemployment, income and ill-health. Being bullied causes detrimental effects on children's lives not just in the short-term, but for many years after. These are more pronounced among pupils who experience persistent bullying, or violent types of bullying.” “Our findings suggest that a more targeted approach to reduce the most extreme forms of bullying may be warranted.” The data, which was reported by both the child and parents, recorded how frequently the children were bullied, and what type of bullying they experienced. Examples of bullying within the study include being called names; being excluded from social groups; being threatened with violence; and experiencing violence. In addition to the harmful consequences later in life, the research shows bullying affects the academic achievement of the victims while they are in school, and beyond into further and higher education. The research was presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference at the University of Warwick. Source: Lancaster University [...]
Sat, Apr 20, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Neuropathy refers to conditions that damage or otherwise affect the nerves. A common symptom is pain. Some research suggests that aromatherapy with certain essential oils may help relieve neuropathic pain. Learn more here. [...]
Wed, Apr 17, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
Alcohol can interact with some antibiotics. This interaction can reduce their effectiveness or cause mild to severe side effects. In this article, we look at whether people should limit alcohol or avoid it completely when taking various antibiotics. [...]
Wed, Apr 17, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
A study in macaques reveals that targeting a brain region with noninvasive, low-intensity ultrasound can alter a specific decision-making process. [...]
Wed, Apr 17, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
From how many hours of sleep we need each night to whether or not loud snoring is normal, new research examines widespread beliefs about sleep. [...]
Wed, Apr 17, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
Coffee is probably the most popular source of caffeine. The caffeine content of a cup of coffee can vary considerably depending on the brewing method, the type of bean, and the quantity of coffee grounds that a person uses. Learn how much caffeine different types and brands of coffee contain here. [...]
Wed, Apr 17, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
When rats see other rats in pain, their brains activate the same group of nerve cells that become active when they themselves are in pain, research shows. [...]
Mon, Apr 15, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Losing a loved one increases the risk of mortality. A recent review investigates whether changes to the immune system might help explain this effect. [...]
Mon, Apr 15, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
A recent study concludes that acetaminophen might reduce our ability to empathize with someone who is having a positive experience. [...]
Sun, Apr 14, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
New research suggests that a drug that scientists initially developed to treat major depressive disorder may be an effective therapy for opioid addiction. [...]
Sun, Apr 14, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Black patients with severe depression are more likely than their white counterparts to be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, according to a new study published in the journal Psychiatric Services. The findings suggest that clinicians put more emphasis on psychotic rather than depressive symptoms in African-Americans, which skews diagnoses toward schizophrenia even when these patients show similar depressive and manic symptoms as white patients. For the study, researchers at Rutgers University looked at the medical records of 1,657 individuals (599 blacks and 1,058 non-Latino whites) from a community behavioral health clinic. “By definition, schizophrenia is a diagnosis of exclusion: Clinicians must rule out other potential causes of symptoms, including mood disorders, before the diagnosis of schizophrenia is given,” said Dr. Michael Gara, a professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a faculty member at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. “However, there has been a tendency for clinicians to overemphasize the relevance of psychotic symptoms and overlook symptoms of major depression in African-Americans compared with other racial or ethnic groups. No studies show that African-Americans with schizophrenia are more likely to also have major depression.” The research found that clinicians failed to effectively weigh mood symptoms when diagnosing schizophrenia among African-Americans, suggesting that racial bias, whether conscious or subconscious, is one factor in the diagnosis of schizophrenia in this population. Other factors include genetics, poverty and discrimination, as well as symptoms caused by infections and malnutrition early in life. “Individuals from a racial minority group also might feel hopelessness or mistrust when being assessed by someone from a racial majority group, which could affect how they act and how the clinician interprets symptoms,” Gara said. The study suggests that clinicians put more emphasis on psychotic symptoms in black patients, which leans diagnoses toward schizophrenia even when these individuals exhibit similar depressive and manic symptoms as white patients. “Inaccurate diagnosis can have serious consequences,” Gara said. “Mood disorder treatments differ from those for schizophrenia, and the prognosis for these conditions is typically more positive than for schizophrenia.” “These patients who may have major depression with psychotic features or bipolar disorder and who are misdiagnosed with schizophrenia do not receive the optimal treatment, putting them at risk for the worsening of the underlying disease process or for suicide. Also, the side effects of medication taken for schizophrenia, such as diabetes and weight gain, can be serious.” The research team recommended requiring screening for major depression when evaluating black patients for schizophrenia. The study [...]
Sat, Apr 13, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News
Waking up with lower back pain can often signal a problem with a person's sleeping position or mattress. However, morning back pain can sometimes be a symptom of a medical condition, such as fibromyalgia or degenerative disc disease. Learn more here. [...]
Sat, Apr 13, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
Asthma is a disease of the lungs that can lead to medical and lifestyle complications, including sleep problems, pneumonia, and respiratory failure. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening. Find out what can cause these complications and how to avoid them. [...]
Fri, Apr 12, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
The most memorable and joyous moments of my life are laced with a dark cloak of anxiety. Read about my journey to recovery from both anxiety and addiction. [...]
Fri, Apr 12, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Potential causes of nausea in the morning, aside from pregnancy, include low blood sugar, hunger, migraine, and dehydration. Learn more about the potential causes of nausea in the morning here. [...]
Fri, Apr 12, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
Marijuana has several potential physical and psychological effects on the body, such as lung irritation and increased appetite. Learn more about the effects of marijuana on the body here. [...]
Fri, Apr 12, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
People who have a weak immune system tend to get frequent, severe infections. Techniques and lifestyle changes that may help a person stay healthy include managing stress, getting enough sleep, and practicing proper hygiene. Learn more about how to stay healthy with a weak immune system here. [...]
Wed, Apr 10, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress

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