Health Tips

The Best Foods to Ease Anxiety

Even though anxiety may require medication or psychotherapy, or both, lifestyle changes can still help to improve overall mood and well-being. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help to improve these. There are certain foods that have been shown to reduce stress, which could help reduce anxiety as well. The following are what have […]

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Feb 28, 2014
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Childhood Anxiety Disorder: Long-term Follow-up

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine discovered how important long-term follow-up is when it comes to childhood anxiety. Published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and five other institutions found that only half of children and teens that receive treatment for anxiety actually achieve long-term […]

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Feb 05, 2014
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Parent Delivered CBT Shown to Reduce Anxiety in Kids

Five to ten percent of children have some form of anxiety disorder, which can increase problems later in life, such as mood disorders and substance use. A new study, published in British Journal of Psychiatry, found that parent delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), with the guidance of a therapist, is effective in treating child anxiety disorders. […]

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Jan 29, 2014
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Acupuncture Eases Endometriosis Pain

New research shows that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may be effective for the relief of endometriosis pain. This research found that acupuncture significantly reduced pain associated with endometriosis by 90 percent and Chinese herbal medicine reduced the pain by 60 percent. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine were also shown to be effective for moderate […]

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Jan 20, 2014
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Two Pesticides Linked to Higher Risk of Endometriosis

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Endometriosis is a common gynecological disorder that occurs in up to 10 percent of reproductive-age women. Affecting 5 million women in the United States, endometriosis is when the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the womb, which can lead to pain and/or infertility.

So what do pesticides have to do with endometriosis? In a new study comparing 248 women newly diagnosed with endometriosis to 538 women without the condition, it was found that higher exposure to two pesticides—beta-hexachlorocycloheaxane and mirex—had a 30 percent to 70 percent higher risk of endometriosis.

The study sought to look at the role of environmental chemicals with estrogenic properties. “We found it interesting that despite organochlorine pesticides being restricted in use or banned in the U.S. for the past several decades, these chemicals were detectable in the blood samples of women in our study and were associated with increased endometriosis risk,” said study lead author, Kristen Upson.

Although the study found an associated between exposure to two specific pesticides and a higher risk of developing endometriosis, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Victoria Holt, principal investigator of the study, notes, “This research is important, as endometriosis is a serious condition that can adversely affect the quality of a woman’s life, yet we still do not have a clear understanding of why endometriosis develops in some women but not in others. Our study provides another piece of the puzzle.”

Resource: http://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/1105/two-pesticides-tied-to-higher-risk-of-gynecological-disorder.aspx

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Jan 05, 2014
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How To Keep Job-Assoicated Grumpiness To A Minimum

After being asked, “How was your day?” you might be tempted in the moment, to unload all of your workday woes onto the inquirer. This kind of reaction is a product of stress, the toll of a long day of ups and downs and your mindless response to these fluctuations. However, as Ellen Langer, a Harvard professor of Psychology says, “Stress isn’t an event. Stress is the view you take of events.”

There are several things you can do to reframe the inevitable twists and turns of a day:

Start the day with a realistic (and positive) frame of mind.

Your day is bound to fluctuate from good and bad. The way you feel at the end of the day is going to largely depend on how you frame your day from the moment you wake up. You need to start framing your day as something where some things will fall your way and some not. This means having realistic level-headed expectations.

Breathe

More than likely, there’s been a moment at your desk today when you’ve forgotten to breathe. An alarming email came through your inbox, and in a moment of panic, you neglected to exhale. Practicing some conscious, deep breathing can lower your stress levels, blood pressure, and keep anxiety at bay. In turn, you’ll come home less anxious.

Ritualize your transition from work to off-duty.

This might not work for everyone, but some people benefit from more consciously recognizing they’re not working. For some, it might be changing from dress shoes to sneakers. For others, it might be loosening hair ties and throwing on a baseball cap. These action-based rituals make coming home and letting go of work stress more manageable.

Make a conscious decision about what you do bring home.

As much as we’d like our work and work day to have a synchronistic end, this isn’t often the case. In these instances, it’s best to make a decision about how to manage your overflow. Ask yourself if it is smarter to take the work home or spend some time at the office finishing up. If you’ll be more productive with an extra hour under your belt at the office, maybe that’s the best decision for you.

Be responsive, not reactive.

Once you see other peoples’ behavior from their perspective, don’t attach negative labels to the person. Being mindful means not judging the actions of others as one intentionally aimed to affect you. This enlightened perspective will better equip you to handle those ups and downs of the day.

Don’t just keep a tally of your disappointments.

While more positive than negative events may occur throughout the day, the negative ones are the ones we grasp to. Make a point to document your wins. This might mean writing down the good and the bad, which could stand as perspective-actualizing reminders. For everything that you tell your loved one about what bugged you, you should include one thing you’re happy about.

 

Resource: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/how-not-to-be-the-grumpie_n_3769516.html

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Oct 15, 2013
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10 Misconceptions about Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects over 24 million people worldwide. Schizophrenia has also proved to be a complex illness, and there are a lot of myths that are out there. These 24 million people can live a healthy life if they properly treat their illness. To further educate yourself about the illness, here are ten common misconceptions that you may be surprised about.

  • People with Schizophrenia are out of control and very dangerous
  • Every person living with the illness is extremely paranoid
  • Schizophrenia is synonymous to Multiple Personality Disorder
  • People with Schizophrenia cannot be productive or successful in their lives
  • Schizophrenia is only genetic
  • People suffering from the illness can never live a normal life
  • Every person with Schizophrenia should be hospitalized
  • Schizophrenia develops very quickly
  • Medications for people with the illness make them stoic and unemotional
  • Schizophrenia is a major character flaw

It is imperative to educate yourself on these common fallacies because you should not assume these things about people with the illness, as it could hurt their feelings.

For more information on Schizophrenia awareness, please visit: http://schizophrenia.org.in/

 

Resources: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/01/18/13-myths-of-schizophrenia/

http://www.schizophrenia.com/szfacts.htm#

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Oct 09, 2013
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Schizophrenia and Hoarding

Most people used to think of hoarding as a harmless eccentricity; however, this compulsion has been linked to mental illnesses like OCD and schizophrenia. Recently, compulsive hoarding has begun to receive attention in schizophrenia research.

Schizophrenics often collect things at random, filling their homes with items that might mean something or fulfill some hidden or unknown longing. It could also be random garbage collected with no thought to its use or purpose. The hoarding schizophrenic collects these items, has trouble parting with them, and allows the home to be overrun with clutter.

Schizophrenia Symptoms and Hoarding

Although there is little research on the links between schizophrenia and hoarding, there are several symptoms of schizophrenia that could cause hoarding:

  • Delusion. Some people with schizophrenia because of particular delusions. Some schizophrenics can have paranoid delusions about people stealing their belongings.
  • Disorganized thought. People with extremely disorganized thinking may not be able to take proper care of their possessions. They may not have the mental capacity to be able to organize their belongings and throw things away, so their belongings accumulate.
  • Impulsive or compulsive behavior. Schizophrenia has been linked to both impulsive behaviors and compulsive behaviors. A hoarding schizophrenic might buy items on impulse, and then be compelled to keep the items even if they have no value or purpose.

How Families Can Help

Hoarding can put family members of a schizophrenic in a hard position, knowing that their loved one is acting in a destructive manner, but not sure what they should do about it. They can see that hoarding is a terrible problem, but their loved one cannot.

Do not become confrontational over the clutter and filth. That will just cause your loved one to become defensive. Also, don’t just hire someone to come in and clean up while they are out of the home. If you just come in and clean the house, you don’t do anything to treat the underlying hoarding disorder.

One family member should be designated to approach the patient and talk about what motivates the hoarding. Be empathetic and listen to the other person’s perspective.

Talking and listening can help you figure out ways to show your loved one how hoarding keeps her from enjoying life. For example, she might want her grandchildren to come visit, but you can show that children will be unable to get into the house or find a place to sit or safely play due to the hoarded clutter.

Helping link the hoarding to some emotional goal can help motivate treatment. The key is: Nothing is going to happen until the person is ready to change.

 

Resource: http://www.everydayhealth.com/schizophrenia/schizophrenia-and-hoarding.aspx

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Sep 24, 2013
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College Depression: What Parents Need to Know

Helping your child make the transition from high school to college can be difficult. Know how to identify whether your child is having a hard time dealing with this new stage in life, and figure out what you can do to help.

 

What is college depression and why are college students vulnerable to it?

Depression is an illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. College depression is depression that begins during college.

 

Students face many challenges in college. Pressures and anxieties can cause them to feel overwhelmed, and being in a new environment can make them homesick. They’re also adapting to a new schedule and workload and figuring out how to belong. Dealing with these changes during the transition from adolescence to adulthood can trigger or unmask depression in young adults.

 

What are the impacts of college depression?

Depression during college has been linked to:

  • Impaired academic performance
  • Smoking
  • Risky behaviors related to alcohol abuse, such as having unsafe sex

What are the signs that a student is dealing with college depression?

Untreated depressions interferes with normal day-to-day life. Signs and symptoms of this include:

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
  • Crying spells for no reason
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Resource: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/college-depression/MY01384

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Sep 23, 2013
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Depression and the Elderly Population


Depression in healthy older people is less common than it is in healthy younger people, but depression and aging can be a dangerous mix for seniors dealing with chronic illness and loss of independence. Depression is the most important risk factor for suicide in the elderly, and older white men commit suicide more often than any other group.
Although 80 percent of depression in the elderly can be treated, there are special concerns that the combination of aging and depression present.
• Chronic illness. Diseases of aging like dementia may have symptoms that mimic, mask, or make depression worse.
• Denial. Many elderly people, and even some caregivers, may assume that depression is a normal part of aging. Some elderly may think of depression as a weakness and are too ashamed to get help.
• Different response to treatment. Elderly people may be more sensitive to some types of antidepressant medications and may be more likely to experience side effects. On the other hand, they may respond better to simple group therapies that include exercise.
Depression may begin with an evaluation of the person’s medications. Often adjusting or stopping medications may be helpful and discovering other ways to treat mild depression would be valuable
• Psychosocial treatment. Therapy that addresses social interaction is very important for many elderly people. Often a type of intervention that relieves loneliness goes a long way—group fitness can be very effective.
• Talk therapy. This therapy may be resorted to before medications. Studies show that this type works as well as medication for mild depression.
• Social support. In addition to treatment, establishing a support system is particularly important for seniors. This may include group meals, arranging for visiting nurses, and encouraging activities like volunteer work that reestablish purpose and social engagement in elderly.
When social support and talk therapy are not enough, other types of treatment like antidepressants and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be used in addition to psychotherapy and support.
• Antidepressants. Antidepressant medication like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work slowly for elderly.
• ECT. Sometimes called shock therapy, this treatment has been shown to be very helpful for severe depression in the elderly when other treatments are not enough.
• Duration of treatment. For a first episode of depression in the elderly, treatment should continue for six months to one year after symptoms have been relieved.
It is important for elderly persons and their caregivers to understand that symptoms of depression are not a normal part of aging.
Resource: http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/understanding/treating-depression-in-elderly.aspx

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Sep 16, 2013
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