mental illness

Study examines depression in the last year of life

Depression impacts quality of life at all life stages, but little is known about the factors related to depression in the last year of life. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 59.3% of individuals had depression in the last month before death. In the interview-based study that included 3,274 individuals who died by the end of the study, depression symptoms increased gradually from 12 to 4 months before death…

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Meth Trip Or Mental Illness? Police Who Need To Know Often Can’t Tell

The dispatch call from the Concord, N.H., police department was brief. A woman returning to her truck spotted a man underneath. She confronted him. The man fled. Now the woman wanted a police officer to make sure her truck was OK. “Here we go,” muttered Officer Brian Cregg as he stepped on the gas. In less than three minutes, he was driving across the back of a Walmart parking lot, looking for a man on…

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Dealing With The Lingering Effects Of A Mass Shooting

Veronica Kelley was working at an office building across the street from the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., in December 2015 when a county employee and his wife entered with semiautomatic rifles and opened fire, killing 14 and wounding 22. Most of the victims were co-workers of the gunman. The couple went on to wound two police officers later that day before being fatally shot by police. Since then, Kelley, the 52-year-old director of…

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Trump Wants To Take Guns Away From People In Crisis. Will That Work?

In his response Monday to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump called for an expansion of state laws that temporarily prevent someone in crisis from buying or possessing a gun. A flurry of states have recently passed such laws — known as extreme risk protection orders — which allow a court to intervene when someone shows warning signs of impending violence. Although the laws are widely supported by gun control groups…

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Neuromelanin-Sensitive MRI Identified as a Potential Biomarker for Psychosis

Researchers have shown that a type of magnetic resonance imaging — called neuromelanin-sensitive MRI (NM-MRI) — is a potential biomarker for psychosis. NM-MRI signal was found to be a marker of dopamine function in people with schizophrenia and an indicator of the severity of psychotic symptoms in people with this mental illness. The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, appears in the Proceedings of the…

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Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

When public health officials get wind of an outbreak of Hepatitis A or influenza, they spring into action with public awareness campaigns, monitoring and outreach. But should they be acting with equal urgency when it comes to childhood trauma? A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests the answer should be yes. It shows how the effects of childhood trauma persist and are linked to mental illness and addiction in adulthood. And,…

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NIMH Explores the “Next Big Thing” in Mental Health Services Research

What’s the “next big thing” that could help people with mental illnesses get the treatment and services they need? This important question was the theme of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)’s 24th biennial Mental Health Services Research (MHSR 2018) conference held August 1-2, in Rockville, MD. “This conference brings together mental health researchers and other experts, trainees, consumers, advocates, and mental health care providers to learn about current research findings and discuss new…

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Your mental health app’s diagnosis could be way off

Apps that help us deal with our well-being can often be helpful and comforting, but how much should we rely on a mobile application to tell us how to cope with our mental health struggles? According to new research conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia, there may be some major problems in the way mental health apps are framing mental illness and diagnosing users. The research, which was recently published by the American Academy of Family…

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Bipolar in the workplace: ‘I was asked whether I was taking crazy people’s meds’

Michelle Lewis* has experienced a great deal of discrimination against her in the workplace for having a mental illness. In 2016, she suffered suicidal thoughts and knew she needed help. She was diagnosed with bipolar and admitted to a clinic. “When I was discharged from the clinic, I returned to work as normal. Before my official diagnosis, there were no complaints about my quality of work,” Lewis says. But when she returned to the office she realised…

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The tipping point: Service sector employees are more susceptible to mental health issues

Approximately 102 million Americans work in the service industry, according to the Pew Research Center, filling critical positions in restaurants, salons and transportation. In many cases, these jobs offer base pay at rates up to 71 percent lower than federal minimum wage, with the expectation that tips, which are highly unpredictable, will make up the difference. However, service workers who rely on tips are at greater risk for depression, sleep problems and stress compared with…

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