Mental Health

Straddling two worlds

Because immigrants often feel like they are straddling two worlds — their origin country and their new one — identity development is complex and critical for this population. Immigrant clients often tell Sara Stanizai, a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Prospect Therapy in Long Beach, California, that they have one foot in each culture and don’t fully fit into either one. When people feel like they don’t fully belong to any one community and…

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It May Be Time for You to Do a Body Image Checkup

As a component of people’s identity, body image forms a central focus. Body image is defined as your internal representation of your physical self, and includes such features as self-perception of your height, age, weight, attractiveness, and functionality or your body’s ability to perform actions of importance to you. Along with these cognitive components are the emotions attached to these internal representations. Do you feel too heavy, old, unattractive, and weak or are you happy with most aspects of…

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Ricky Gervais teaches Hollywood what speaking truth to power really means

If you had “host Ricky Gervais becomes a conservative darling” in your office Golden Globes pool, congratulations, because you must have won a bundle. The rest of us will continue our slow, astonished blink as we contemplate the fact that this year’s most talked-about speech slammed not oil companies or gender inequality, but Hollywood hypocrisy: “You say you’re woke,” said Gervais, “but the companies you work for — I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started…

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Poor mental health ‘both cause and effect’ of school exclusion

Children with mental health needs require urgent support from primary school onwards to avoid exclusion, which can be both cause and effect of poor mental health, new research concludes. The research, led by the University of Exeter, and published in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, concluded that a swift response is needed, finding that young people with mental health difficulties were more likely to be excluded and also suffer ill-effects from exclusion. The research, which was…

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It May Not Be Your Fault that You Can’t Lose Weight. Here’s Why.

If you’re like most people, you took the optimism and opportunities that come with a new year and thought about improving your eating and exercise habits with the aim of weight loss and improved health. Perhaps, you even made a firm commitment to “get in shape” or “lose X amount of weight” in 2020. But now, as January slips away, you may find yourself grappling with the familiar realization that this new year’s resolution feels less than resolute. It’s…

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Alcohol Consumption Worsens Global Burden of Disease

Study results published in Lancet Public Health underscores the significant worldwide burden of disease attributable to alcohol. Alcohol-attributable death rates were highest in Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and countries with low human development indices (HDIs). Across countries, alcohol use disproportionately affected young people and men.   Kevin Shield, PhD, led study efforts to investigate global trends in the alcohol-related burden of disease. The investigators conducted a comparative risk assessment for 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2016 using alcohol exposure…

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Largest Ever Genome-Wide Association Study Finds Genetic Risk Factors for Anxiety

The largest study ever conducted on genetic risk factors for anxiety, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 200,000 participants recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found significant associations between self-reported anxiety and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Daniel Levey, PhD, from the department of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues pulled data from one of the largest biobanks in the world, the Million Veteran Program. To assess anxiety and related…

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Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger long-term post-traumatic stress

One in six women experience long-term post-traumatic stress following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. This is the finding of the largest ever study into the psychological impact of early-stage pregnancy loss, from scientists at Imperial College London and KU Leuven in Belgium. The research, published in the journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, studied over 650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss, of whom the majority had suffered an early miscarriage (defined as pregnancy…

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What to know about alcohol and depression

Alcohol can make a person feel depressed and may even trigger or worsen depression. Depression is also a risk factor for using alcohol, since people who feel depressed may use alcohol to ease their symptoms. Several studies, including a 2013 study that used a nationally representative sample, have found that people who drink to manage a psychiatric condition are more likely to abuse alcohol. In this article, learn more about the links between alcohol and depression, as well…

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Some surprisingly good news about anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychiatric illness, yet researchers know very little about factors associated with recovery. A new University of Toronto study investigated three levels of recovery in a large, representative sample of more than 2,000 Canadians with a history of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The study reports that 72% of Canadians with a history of GAD have been free of the mental health condition for at least one year. Overall,…

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