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Too Often, Bullying Has Lethal Consequences for LGBT Teens

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) youth who die by suicide are five times more likely to have been bullied than their straight counterparts.

The finding stems from a review of nearly 10,000 U.S. death records for 2003 to 2017. All of the youth were between 10 and 19 years of age when they took their own lives.

While LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bulli...

How to Cope With Your Grief During Coronavirus Pandemic

Grief is touching the lives of countless Americans as the COVID-19 death toll mounts.

The death of a family member or close friend can be among the most difficult things you'll have to deal with, so the American Psychological Association outlines ways of coping with that loss -- whether or not it is coronavirus-related.

Talking about the death with friends or others can help...

Pandemic Has Overburdened Parents Stressed Out: Poll

If there's such a thing as a "new normal" during the coronavirus pandemic, it's a constant state of stress.

And it's particularly intense for many parents who are keeping house, working from home, and trying to keep their kids' online learning on track at the same time, according to a new online survey.

Nearly half (46%) of respondents who have kids younger than 18 said ...

Mental Health is Big Issue For Police Officers  Around The World: Study

Mental health problems and substance abuse are common among cops, and more needs to be done to address those issues, researchers say.

Previous studies have suggested that first responders have a higher risk of mental health issues than the general public, but it wasn't clear how police officers were affected.

To learn more, researchers reviewed 67 studies that included more ...

Lockdown Got You Feeling Low? Yoga May Help

Many people under stay-at-home orders have turned to online yoga as a way to manage the stress. And a new research review suggests they're onto something.

The review, of 19 clinical trials, focused on the benefits of yoga for people with clinical mental health conditions ranging from anxiety disorders to alcohol dependence to schizophrenia. Overall, it found yoga classes helped ease t...

Lost Pregnancies, Diabetes May Be Linked

The more pregnancies losses a woman has, the greater her risk of developing diabetes, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data on nearly 25,000 Danish women who were born between 1957 and 1997 and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1977 to 2017.

The women were compared with a control group of nearly 248,000 women with the same ages and educational levels who didn'...

COVID and Hypochondria: Online Therapy May Help Ease Fears

This is not a good time to have hypochondria. For folks who routinely obsess about their health, the coronavirus crisis could greatly magnify their distress. But there's some good news for them in this era of sheltering-in-place.

While in-person talk therapy is the gold standard for helping hypochondria patients overcome a crippling fear of health threats, a new study suggests online ...

Positive Attitude Tied to Lower Blood Pressure After Stroke

Believing that you won't have a second stroke may help you control your blood pressure, a new study suggests.

A positive attitude about your health can go a long way in maintaining cardiovascular health, especially for women, researchers say.

"Targeted strategies to improve health beliefs after stroke may be an important component to include in risk-factor management among...

Watch Out for Your Teen's Mental Health

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on Americans of all ages, but parents need to watch their teens for signs of depression, anxiety, anger and other emotional and mental health problems, a leading pediatricians' group says.

"It's normal for teens to feel sad during this time, crying sometimes because they miss their friends or because sports and musical productions were canceled,...

Insomnia May Forecast Depression, Thinking Problems in Older People

Insomnia may significantly increase the risk that older adults will be unable to shake off depression, researchers say.

For the study, the investigators analyzed data on nearly 600 people over age 60 who visited primary care centers in New York City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All had some level of depression.

Compared to patients whose sleep improved, those with worsening...

Nervous About Returning to Work? Take Precautions Against Coronavirus

As coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted, many Americans will face physical and mental health challenges -- including fear and anxiety -- as they return to work.

"Uncertainty and unpredictability can really create an unhealthy amount of fear and stress, especially when it's sustained over such a long period of time," said Dr. K. Luan Phan, head of psychiatry and behavioral heal...

COVID-19 Pandemic May Lead to 75,000 'Deaths of Despair'

COVID-19 has directly claimed tens of thousands of U.S. lives, but conditions stemming from the novel coronavirus -- rampant unemployment, isolation and an uncertain future -- could lead to 75,000 deaths from drug or alcohol abuse and suicide, new research suggests.

Deaths from these causes are known as "deaths of despair." And the COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating conditions that...

Depression, Anxiety, PTSD May Plague Many COVID-19 Survivors

The ordeal faced by critically ill COVID-19 patients likely won't end even if they pull through and survive their life-threatening infection, experts fear.

Some of these survivors will be emotionally scarred by their time spent in an intensive care unit (ICU), and they are at increased risk of psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD...

Religion Helps Protect Against 'Deaths of Despair': Study

As the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say religion may provide protection from so-called deaths of despair, new research suggests.

The study, conducted in 2018-2019, found that those who attend worship services once a week are less likely to die by suicide, drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning.

"These results are perhaps especially striking amidst the...

Cuddling Brings Two Minds Together, MRI Study Reveals

Love to cuddle up? It might bring a 'mind meld,' too, new research shows.

People in close physical contact appear to have synchronized brain patterns, a revolutionary new MRI technique has revealed.

A functional MRI scan of two people cuddling under a blanket showed that their brains appeared to be falling into similar patterns of action and response, as they took turns gent...

Heavy Pot Use Linked to Mental Problems, Even After Quitting

Marijuana dependence goes hand in hand with poor mental health, and problems may persist long after stopping the drug, according to Canadian researchers.

Nearly half of people who have been or are now dependent on pot have some form of mental illness or dependence on another substance, according to a report this month in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine. That compare...

Interest in Unproven COVID Drugs Soared After Trump Gave Thumbs Up

When the President of the United States offers medical advice, many Americans will heed the call. Never mind that the recommendations may be unfounded and potentially dangerous.

That's the cautionary finding of an analysis published April 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined Google search patterns following President Donald Trump's public embrace of the...

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Couples Feel the Strain of Lockdown

With most Americans weeks into sheltering-in-place, couples are in a situation probably none ever planned for: Being in each other's faces all day, every day -- with no clear end in sight.

Experts say the new closeness is likely playing out in many ways: Some couples will find they enjoy the extra time with each other; others will be counting the days until they can be with a human ot...

Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Abound, and They Could Cause Real Harm

Whenever societies are placed under stress, conspiracy theories blaming this or that nefarious agent for secretly fomenting the threat inevitably arise.

It's no different during the current coronavirus crisis.

Some of the evidence-free hoaxes circulating now include theories that the virus is a military bioweapon created in a Chinese lab; that it was made and even patented ...

Many Adults Delay Getting Help for Eating Disorders

Young adults may be waiting too long to seek help for eating disorders, a new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed 300 young adults, ages 18-25, in Australia. They found the majority had eating, weight or body shape concerns.

"Concerningly, only a minority of people with eating disorder symptoms had sought professional help and few believed they needed help despite the probl...

All That Social Media Hasn't Hurt Kids' Social Skills, Study Finds

Today's youngsters are as socially skilled as previous generations, despite concerns about their heavy use of technology, like smartphones and social media, new research shows.

The researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of more than 19,000 U.S. children who started kindergarten in 1998 -- six years before Facebook appeared -- with more than 13,000 who began school in 2010...

Experimental Drug Shows Promise for Schizophrenia

An experimental drug may ease a range of symptoms that strike people with schizophrenia, without the side effects of existing medications, an early clinical trial suggests.

Researchers found that, over one month, the drug helped manage the different ways in which schizophrenia manifests -- from delusions and hallucinations, to flattened emotions and social withdrawal.

Among ...

As Coronavirus Pandemic Hits U.S., Experts Worry About Rise in Suicides

With millions of Americans restricted to their homes and many losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, a spike in suicides may follow, experts fear.

At a time when suicide in America has been increasing, many of the effects of social distancing are known suicide risk factors, Mark Reger, chief of psychology services at VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, said in a ...

Dodge Depression During Coronavirus Pandemic

There's no doubt about it: Staying at home, worrying about jobs and finances, is a recipe for depression during the coronavirus pandemic.

But one expert offers some tips on how to maintain good mental health during this difficult time.

"The current situation has many of us feeling helpless, fearful and adrift," said Dr. Donna Anthony, chief medical officer at Gracie Square H...

Money Not a Good Measure of Your Self-Worth

When the Beatles sang that "money can't buy me love," they were right, researchers say.

"When people base their self-worth on financial success, they experience feelings of pressure and a lack of autonomy, which are associated with negative social outcomes," said researcher Lora Park, an associate professor of psychology at University at Buffalo, in New York.

These feelings...

AHA News: Cut Off From Counseling During the Coronavirus Pandemic? There Are Options

Keeping away from one another is crucial for stopping the coronavirus. But that distancing also risks keeping people away from vital support.

"It's a real danger," said Mike Marshall, executive director of Oregon Recovers, a coalition of addiction recovery groups. People in recovery, he said, rely on group meetings to provide community and accountability. Showing up regularly to say,...

Therapy by Phone Helps Parkinson's Patients Manage Depression

A type of talk therapy by phone may help treat depression in people with Parkinson's disease, researchers say.

Depression is common in Parkinson's disease patients. It's associated with faster physical and mental decline, but is often overlooked and undertreated.

While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise in easing depression in people with Parkinson's, many ...

Transgender Teens Have High Rates of Depression, Suicidal Thoughts

Depression, suicidal thoughts and self-injury are common among U.S. transgender teens, new research shows.

The study also found that hormone therapy leads to significant improvements in gender dysphoria -- the feeling of being uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the medical records of 158 transgender teens treate...

COVID-19 Is Making Psychiatric Treatment Tougher

In the best of times, it can be hard to get mental health treatment. But these definitely aren't the best of times, and even for people who have established relationships with mental health professionals, the coronavirus pandemic is making it harder to find the right care.

The good news is that insurance companies are often reimbursing for telehealth behavioral health services now (e...

Kids of Mentally Ill Parents Have Higher Injury Odds

Children of parents with mental illness are at increased risk for injuries, researchers report.

Risk is highest before 1 year of age, but remains elevated to age 17, according to the new study.

"Our results show there is a need for increased support to parents with mental illness, especially during the first year of life," said Alicia Nevriana. She is one of the study autho...

Magnetic Brain 'Zap' Shows Promise Against Severe Depression

Intensifying a standard form of brain stimulation may bring relief to people with hard-to-treat depression, a preliminary study suggests.

The study involved just 21 patients, but the treatment sent 90% into remission within a few days. That's a success rate that has never been seen in early testing of other therapies for severe depression, the researchers said.

The thera...

College Students Feeling the Strain of Social Distancing

The lives of college students have been turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic, so an expert offers some advice to help them cope with the situation.

Along with having to switch from in-person classes to online sessions, students have lost many other parts of their daily routine, so it's important to maintain a "foundation of coping skills" such as good sleep habits, healt...

Why Teens Find It Tough to Social Distance

Parenting a teenager can be an emotional minefield in the best of times, but the social distancing of the coronavirus pandemic could really strain young people's mental health.

Teens and young adults who are confined to home during the coronavirus pandemic face numerous disappointments, including not being able to hang out with friends, missing out on new life experiences and trying t...

Mental Health Problems After First Baby Reduce Likelihood of More Children: Study

Women who develop mental health problems after delivering their first child are much less likely to have more, a Danish study finds.

But this is not the case among women whose first child died.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 414,000 women in Denmark who had a first live birth between 1997 and 2015. About 1% developed problems such as depression, an...

ER Workers' Stress May Affect Patient Care: Study

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to already high stress levels in emergency rooms, a social psychologist says.

"ER providers are on the front line of this pandemic, and stress, anxiety and anger are increasing," said Linda Isbell, a professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

"As we all face anxiety about the fallout of this pandemic, anger about a healt...

How Pets Can Be True Lifesavers for Seniors

Having a furry, fluffy or feathered friend can have a profound effect on seniors' mental health, possibly even helping prevent some suicides, new research suggests.

In a group of 35 older people who were pet owners, more than one-third said they were "actively suicidal" or "significantly traumatized," but their pets gave them a reason to live.

One of these men had dogs and...

An Expert's Guide to Fighting Coronavirus Stress

The new coronavirus is not just a physical health threat. The stress, anxiety, fear and isolation that go along with it also take a toll on your mental well-being.

"One of the basic tenets of how to manage your mental health in a crisis like this is to ensure that you're taking care of your own basic needs -- taking breaks, having rest and sleep, getting adequate nutrition, exercisin...

Coronavirus Crisis Could Help Trigger Relapse Among Those Fighting Addiction

The social distancing and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic may put people struggling with addiction at risk for relapse, an expert says.

Feeling stressed, isolated and scared may drive them back to substance abuse, said Dr. Lawrence Brown Jr., CEO of the nonprofit START Treatment & Recovery Centers, New York's largest independent drug treatment agency.

"Whatever str...

Staying at Home During the Pandemic? Use Technology to Stay Connected

Technology can help you maintain social connections if you're staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, an expert says.

"When using technology to stay connected, prioritize keeping deeper, meaningful connections with people," said Stephen Benning, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Benning suggests using Skype or other video mes...

Too Little Sleep Takes Toll on Kids' Mental Health: Study

Kids who don't get enough sleep may be at risk for ADHD, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems, researchers report.

"If we make sure our children get enough sleep, it can help protect them from mental health problems," said researcher Bror Ranum, a doctoral candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

The study followed nearl...

Could Viagra, Cialis Work Largely by Placebo Effect?

Until the discovery of Viagra, men with erectile dysfunction were largely left with the impression that their sexual problems were all in their head.

That might still be somewhat true, even in this age of little blue pills, a new paper argues.

A good number of men receiving a placebo in clinical trials for erectile dysfunction drugs experienced an improvement in their functi...

Climate Change's Hotter Days Will Take Toll on Mental Health

As the days heat up, people tend to report more emotional distress, a new study finds, adding to concerns that global warming could take a growing mental health toll.

The study of more than 3 million Americans found that the longer people had to sweat out 80-degree days, the bigger the mental health drain. They were more likely to report problems with depression, stress and emotional ...

American Teens Struggling With Mental Health Issues

Rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts are all on the rise among U.S. teens, a new study finds.

"We aren't sure why this is occurring, but it is clear from this evidence and other epidemiological studies that anxiety, depression and other internalizing problems are becoming more prevalent among adolescents relative to other types of mental health problems," study author Dr...

How to Weather Social Isolation During Coronavirus Pandemic

Social distancing has become the new normal, with one-third of Americans now under stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, but experts say that level of isolation can be hard on your health.

"We don't know for sure what the long-term health outcomes of widespread forced social isolation will be, but given what we know about the effects of social isolation and stress on ph...

Can You Buy Happiness? Yes, Study Suggests, If You Spend on Experiences

Consumers are happier when they spend money on experiences, instead of more stuff, a pair of new studies finds.

"It would be unfair to compare a shirt to a trip, but when we account for price, we still see this result where experiences are associated with more happiness," said lead author Amit Kumar, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Austin.

...

When Relatives Get Deported, Hispanic Teens' Mental Health Tanks

U.S. immigration policies may put Hispanic teens' mental and physical health at risk, researchers say.

Of 547 U.S.-born Hispanic kids surveyed in Atlanta, one-quarter had a parent, aunt, uncle or other family member who was detained or deported in 2017 or 2018. Participants were questioned twice, six months apart.

Compared to other middle school- and high school-aged youth, ...

AHA News: Coronavirus News on Social Media Stressing You Out? Here's How to Handle the Anxiety

Pandemic. Politics. An upending of life at a level that few Americans have ever experienced. And all of it amplified by social media.

The ever-shifting news has some people constantly checking their phones for updates - and others saying they're ready to walk away from their feeds entirely.

"It's really the perfect recipe for anxiety and panic," said licensed clinical psychologi...

AHA News: 'Be Happy' Isn't So Simple, Especially Amid Coronavirus Worries - But It's Seriously Good for Health

As nonstop news about the global pandemic of coronavirus spreads worry, there's a chance to grab a respite. By United Nations proclamation, Friday is International Day of Happiness, with events around the world aimed at spreading good cheer.

It may be a tough sell given the constant uncertainty in the United States and globally about coronavirus. Yet, studies show a mind-body connection...

How Do Your Work Relationships Affect Burnout?

Being recognized for your efforts at work could reduce your risk of burnout, new research suggests.

Emotional exhaustion, decreased productivity and depersonalization (loss of identity) are characteristics of burnout, a widespread problem that takes a significant toll on workers and employers, the researchers said.

For the study, they asked 328 employees to complete a questi...

Obesity Might Be 'Contagious' Among Teens

Teens who live around lots of obese or overweight kids come to see their body types as ideal, a new study suggests.

As a result, these teens tend to be obese or overweight themselves, researchers say.

"Higher obesity rates may normalize unhealthy weight in teens and make obesity prevention harder," said lead researcher Ashlesha Datar. She's a senior economist at the Center...

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