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When it comes to what makes us happy, is reading or listening to music any better than spending hours playing video games?

Not really, says a team of researchers from the United Kingdom and Austria.

"Many people believe traditional media, like reading books or listening to music, are good for us," said study leader Niklas Johannes, from the University of Oxford.

"Surprisingly...

The pandemic has made Zoom meetings a daily reality for millions. For many, having to watch their own face in a meeting is the worst part.

But that's not true for everyone, new research shows.

"Most people believe that seeing yourself during virtual meetings contributes to making the overall experience worse, but that's not what showed up in my data," said study author Kristine Kuh...

If the pandemic is causing you to lose sleep at night, you’re not alone.

About 56% of Americans say they have what experts have dubbed “COVID-somnia,” an increase in sleep disturbances.

Of people reporting these disturbances, 57% say they're having trouble falling or staying asleep. About 46% are sleepin...

While climate change calls to mind extreme weather and melting polar ice caps, government officials' inaction to stop it is also affecting the mental health of young people, new research reveals.

"This study paints a horrific picture of widespread climate anxiety in our children and young peo...

Like Mr. Grinch, heartburn can crush your holiday, but there are easy ways to prevent it.

"Heartburn is caused by acidic stomach content moving into the esophagus, or gullet, which is much less resistant to acid," said Dr. James East, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London. "This results in irritation and damage to the lining of the esophagus, literally a burn, that caus...

"I been on a low; I been taking my time; I feel like I'm out of my mind; I feel like my life ain't mine; who can relate?"

New research suggests many Americans did relate to the opening lyrics of "1-800-273-8255," a 2017 hit song from U.S. hip hop artist Logic. The data finds a significant rise in calls to the national suicide hotline soon after the chart-topping single's release....

Stress about the COVID-19 pandemic may be eclipsing holiday joy for many older Americans, a new poll reveals.

About half (47%) of 50- to 80-year-olds polled reported a mixed experience of joy and stress.

One in five said they feel a lot of stress, while 38% said ...

Older adults have a higher risk of delirium after hip and knee surgery if they're taking anxiety, depression or insomnia drugs, researchers say.

"Our findings show that different classes of medicine are riskier than others when it comes to causing delirium after surgery, and the older the patients are, the greater the risk," said lead study author Gizat Kassie. He is a postdoctoral resear...

First, the COVID-19 pandemic brought panic, with successive waves of infection and death, including the emergence this year of the Delta variant.

Then vaccines offered the promise of a recovery, with a speed -- and on a scale -- never before seen.

But now, the Omicron variant is sending Americans on another emotional roller-coaster ride that mental health experts say is the last th...

The pandemic has intensified mental health struggles that were already widespread among American teens, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warned Tuesday.

The pandemic and other major issues faced by their generation are causing "devastating" mental health effects in young people, he warned in a new

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • December 8, 2021
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  • Starting college can be a time of fun, new experiences and growth. Yet it can also be a rough transition for many students who struggle with mental health issues.

    A new study from researchers in the United Kingdom and Canada found about one-third of first-year students have or develop moderate to severe anxiety or depression.

    When these young adults had increasing use of illicit dru...

    Tony Head was depressed and fearing death from stage 4 prostate cancer when, as part of a supervised scientific trial, he took a large dose of the psychedelic agent in "magic mushrooms," psilocybin.

    Head donned a mask and headphones to shut out the world around him, and had an experience that changed the course of his life.

    "At some point in that time I felt like a higher power or ...

    The pandemic is taking a toll on health care workers' sleep, which can put both their mental health and patient care at risk, researchers warn.

    Their study of more than 800 New York City health care workers found that compared to those with no sleep problems, those with poor sleep were two times more likely to report symptoms of depression, 70% more likely to report anxiety, and 50% more...

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not just a childhood disorder, and new research shows that adults with ADHD are four times more likely to have anxiety disorder.

    "These findings underline how vulnerable adults with ADHD are to generalized anxiety disorders," said study author Esme Fuller-Thomson. She is a professor at the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty ...

    Most prescriptions for the medication gabapentin are for unapproved uses -- and many patients end up taking it along with drugs that create potentially dangerous interactions.

    That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at "off-label" use of gabapentin. In the United States, the drug is officially approved for treating certain seizures and some forms of nerve pain.

    It's known, ...

    Parents and children who were separated under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy have shown lasting psychological trauma -- even after being reunited, a new study finds.

    Between 2017 and 2018, more than 5,000 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border under the policy, which aimed to deter asylum seekers.

    The practice was denounc...

    If your pooch often seems anxious, it could be due to common household noises such as from a vacuum or microwave oven, researchers say.

    It's well known that a sudden loud racket such as fireworks or thunderstorms can spark anxiety in dogs, but this new study shows that even day-to-day sounds may upset them, and that owners may not realize it.

    "We feed them, house them, love them and...

    Marijuana use in pregnancy may increase your child's risk for stress and anxiety, a new study suggests.

    Although some moms-to-be use pot hoping to relieve morning sickness and anxiety, they should know it may cause genetic changes in the uterus that result in children becoming anxious, aggressive and hyperactive, researchers say.

    "People are saying that cannabis is benign, and take ...

    People suffering from dangerous abnormal heart rhythms can take matters into their own hands and figure out what is triggering their episodes, researchers report.

    Folks with atrial fibrillation (a-fib) were able to reduce their episodes of the irregular heartbeat by 40% by identifying and then avoiding the substances or activities that caused their heart to go herky-jerky, according to fi...

    Call it the great pandemic sit-down.

    As COVID-19 turned daily commutes into shuffles between rooms at home, and Netflix replaced time spent at the gym or playing sports, Americans have been sitting a lot more. Now a new study suggests it may be putting their mental health at risk.

    "We knew COVID was going to affect our behavior and what we could do in lots of weird, funky ways that ...

    Illustrating the power of the mind to heal itself, new research suggests that the placebo effect could help drive antidepressants' effects against anxiety disorders.

    The placebo effect refers to an increase in the success of a treatment when a patient expects a benefit.

    In the new study, patients with s...

    Shining a light on the powerful link between the mind and body, a new study suggests that cardiac arrest survivors who learn to focus their thoughts on the here and now during recovery are less likely to become depressed or anxious.

    The finding centers on a mental health practice known as "mindfulness," which amounts to a sort of stop-and-smell-the-roses approach to life.

    "Mind...

    Young adults who face discrimination about their bodies, race, age or sex are at increased risk for mental health issues, researchers report.

    They analyzed data gathered from more than 1,800 U.S. participants who provided details about their mental health, behavior and experiences of discrimination between ages 18 and 28, CNN reported.

    Those who encountered discrimination a...

    It's a case of being your own worst enemy: New research shows that women are more reluctant to ask for deadline extensions at work than their male colleagues are, in part because they worry about being seen as incompetent.

    In a series of studies, researchers found that overall, women were less likely than men to ask for extra time to complete a work or school task. And that reluctance see...

    It's a finding that stands to reason: A new study shows the pandemic has triggered anxiety and depression in many doctors.

    Researchers used surveys to assess the mental health of more than 5,000 doctors in Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom at two points during the pandemic — June 2020 and November/December 2020.

    Doctors in Italy had the highest rates of anxiety (1 in 4) and of d...

    If you have a pet, you know that the excited wag of your dog's tail or the satisfied purr of your cat curling up on your lap can be a mood booster.

    But what if that pet is a robot? And what if its owner has dementia?

    In a small study, researchers at Florida Atlantic University found that engaging with a robotic pet might help people with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, re...

    People who've lost their ability to smell and taste due to COVID-19 have significant struggles, but they can find ways to cope with their situation, a new study shows.

    One of the most common side effects of COVID-19 is the loss of the sense of smell, which severely affects the sense of taste. This can lead to anxiety, depression and reduced quality of life.

    In this study, five women...

    One-third of Americans are struggling to make basic decisions due to ongoing stress about the pandemic, and younger adults and parents are having the most difficulty of all, a new survey reveals.

    "The pandemic has imposed a regimen of constant risk assessment upon many. Each day brings an onslaught of choices with an ever-changing context, as routines are upended and once-trivial daily ta...

    A significantly increased risk of self-harm and suicide among people with autism shows the need for programs to reduce that risk, researchers say.

    For their study, the investigators analyzed 31 studies on the link between autism and self-harm/suicide that were posted to five databases between 1999 and 2021. Overall, children and adults with autism had a threefold increased risk of self-ha...

    While anxiety and depression in pregnant women have already been linked to low birth weight and preterm birth, they may also contribute to higher rates of cesarean deliveries.

    Researchers called the study among the largest to document a link between mood and anxiety disorders and first-time C-sections among low-risk pregnant women.

    "Our findings reinforce the importance of better id...

    With all of the fear, grief and isolation the pandemic has brought, it would stand to reason that there would be a big jump in the number of Americans seeking treatment for anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

    But that doesn't seem to be the case, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the percentage of adults who had re...

    It is a fear that millions of parents have been harboring since the pandemic began: Will their children fall behind in school due to disruptions caused by lockdowns, closings and social distancing?

    A new U.S. poll finds that fear is widespread, with just over half of more than 3,000 parents and caregivers of children under 18 worried that their youngest school-aged child was not keeping u...

    The number of Americans seeking treatment for anxiety and depression has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating what a leading medical association terms a "mental health tsunami."

    That's the key takeaway from a nationwide survey of psychologists by the American Psychological Association (APA).

    "[The findings] highlight what we have been saying since the early days of the pand...

    Fear, grief, uncertainty and isolation during the pandemic have triggered a national state of emergency in the mental health of America's youth, leading child health care groups warned Tuesday.

    Youngsters already faced significant mental health challenges, and the pandemic has made them worse, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolesc...

    Children who spent more time in nature during pandemic lockdowns suffered fewer behavioral and emotional problems, British researchers say.

    The investigators also found that children in wealthier families tended to increase their connection to nature during the pandemic more than those from poorer families.

    The new study included 376 families in the United Kingdom who had children a...

    Parents frazzled by their little ones' finicky food choices often sigh in exasperation, thinking: "They'll grow out of it by college."

    Maybe not, suggests a new study from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Some young people continue their picky eating into early adulthood, often restricting their diets to 10 foods or even fewer.

    Such a limited diet can mean they're not getting...

    If you often have a stomachache after eating, you're not alone, a new survey finds. One in 10 people experience frequent meal-related pain.

    This includes 13% of women and 9% of men, and is most common in 18- to 28-year-olds (15%), according to an online survey of more than 54,000 people in 26 countries.

    "The take home message from this study is that people who experience meal-relate...

    From the fear of getting sick to lockdown isolation, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically increased stress levels, and for many women, the uptick led to changes in their monthly periods.

    More than half of respondents to an online survey reported changes in their menstrual cycles during the pandemic, including...

    Trying to fit soccer or Little League into your son's busy schedule? Canadian researchers offer some compelling reasons to do so.

    Little boys who play sports are less apt to be anxious or depressed later in childhood and more likely to be active in their early teens, according to the University of Montreal study.

    "We wanted to clarify the long-term and reciprocal relationship in sch...

    Sleeplessness. Night sweats. Anxiety. Irritability. Aches and pains.

    Would smoking a little pot help women deal with these common symptoms of menopause?

    A good number of middle-aged women apparently think so, because they've been turning to marijuana to help handle the change of life, a new study reports.

    "Midlife women within the menopause transition period of their life are ...

    Seeing a parent abuse a sibling can be as traumatizing as watching a parent hurt another parent, a new study finds.

    And it can lead to depression, anxiety and anger, researchers say.

    "When we hear about exposure to family violence, we usually think about someone being the victim of direct physical abuse or witnessing spousal assault," said researcher Corinna Tucker. She is a profess...

    Anxiety prevention may be just a snowy trail away.

    New research suggests cross-country skiers -- and perhaps others who also exercise vigorously -- are less prone to develop anxiety disorders than less active folks.

    Researchers in Sweden spent roughly two decades tracking anxiety risk among more than 395,000 Swedes. Nearly half the participants were skiers with a history of competin...

    Knowing the warning signs of suicide can save a life, experts say.

    Suicide is the 10th leading overall cause of death in the United States, and number two among people between the ages of 10 and 34.

    Most suicides result from depression. It can cause someone to feel worthless, hopeless and a burden on others, making suicide falsely appear to be a solution, according to the

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  • September 12, 2021
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  • When you got your first COVID-19 jab, did you breathe a sigh of relief? If so, you're not alone.

    U.S. adults who got the vaccine between December 2020 and March 2021 experienced a 4% reduction in their risk of being mildly depressed and a 15% drop in their risk of severe depression, researchers reported Sept. 8 in the journal PLOS ONE.

    "People who got vaccinated experienced a reduct...

    Parents of a child with autism might wonder if a pet cat would be a good fit for the family. Now, research suggests both children with autism and cats benefit when a feline joins the household.

    Gretchen Carlisle, a research scientist at the Missouri University Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, in Columbia, Mo., and her colleagues studied the pet dynamic from both sides.

    ...

    Many people feel their to-do list is overloaded, but there is also such a thing as too much free time, a new study suggests.

    In a series of studies, researchers found that having either too little or too much free time seemed to drain people's sense of well-being.

    It's no surprise that constantly feeling pressed for time -- and the stress that creates -- can take a toll on well-bein...

    Eczema doesn't just irritate kids' skin. The often disfiguring condition may also be tied to depression, anxiety and sleep difficulties, new research warns.

    A study of more than 11,000 British children and teens found that those with severe eczema were twice as likely to become clinically depressed as eczema-free kids.

    "Eczema is an itchy red skin disease," said study author D...

    If other people's fidgeting drives you nuts, you may be one of many people with a condition called misokinesia, which means "hatred of movements," Canadian researchers report.

    They conducted experiments with more than 4,100 people and found that about one-third have the condition.

    Typically, folks with misokinesia "experience reactions such as anger, anxiety or frustration" watching...

    A number of symptoms are common among people who are newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a patient survey shows.

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable disease in which the nerves' protective layers are damaged, resulting in progressive disability.

    Overdose deaths linked to illicit "designer" benzodiazepines have surged in the United States, as underground labs crank out new synthetic variations on prescription tranquilizers like Valium, Xanax and Ativan.

    Overdose deaths involving illicit benzos increased more than sixfold (520%) between 2019 and 2020, rising from 51 to 316, according to data from 32 states and the District of Colum...

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