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Mental Health and Minorities: The Numbers Don’t Lie

As we recognize this year’s National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re reminded that mental health care in the US continues to be an important health crisis that affects a large portion of the population.  According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, less than one-half of people with … Read more

Possible Link Between Schizophrenia and Loss of Brain Tissue

Recurrent episodes of schizophrenia relapse and the frequent use of antipsychotic treatments typically used to treat symptoms have been linked to a progressive loss of brain tissue, according to a new study from the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Consortium at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.  In the results of the study, … Read more

How Mindfulness Practice May “Retrain” Your Brain

The concept of mindfulness is widely known in many meditation and yoga practices and describes the process of reaching the state of observing oneself without judgment in order to calm the mind.  Mindfulness is known in many spiritual practices as the highest form of meditation, but many individuals don’t know its full potential for being … Read more

Updated Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Released

The 5th edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was recently released after undergoing a 14 year revision process that included extensive research, numerous revisions and debates among members of the mental heath community and the public.  Published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the DSM is an important mental health resource … Read more

Teens with Addiction and Social Anxiety Issues Report Trying Drugs and Alcohol Earlier Than Their Peers

A study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio has found that many teens that have been diagnosed with substance abuse disorder and who also have social anxiety disorder began using alcohol and marijuana at an earlier age than their peers.  As reported by PsychCentral.com, Principle investigator Alexandra Wang said, “The … Read more

Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens on the Rise

A national study has found that teens are misusing and abusing prescriptions drugs at a growing rate – 33% higher since 2008.  The study, released by the Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation found that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription medication at least once in their lifetime.  Specifically, the study … Read more

Michigan Child Abuse Prevention Day Highlights “The Power Of One”

April 16th is Michigan Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Day, with kickoff held at the steps of the State Capital in downtown Lansing and additional learning and awareness opportunities planned throughout the community.  According to the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, this annual event was developed to “acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together … Read more

US Proposes Increased Funding in Mental Health Care and Medicare Cuts in 2014 Budget

President Obama recently presented his 2014 budget proposal for healthcare in the US, which asks for $3.9 billion in preparation for implementing the administration’s planned healthcare overhaul, which is scheduled to begin later this year.  One area of cuts in the proposed budget are to Medicare, and are part of a plan to reduce the … Read more

Negative Reactions to Daily Stress May Impact Long-Term Psychological Health

A new study led by researchers at UC Irvine has found evidence suggesting that being emotionally balanced in your everyday life may be helpful when it comes to taking steps to minimizing or preventing mental health problems down the road.  The study, led by psychologist Susan Charles, used data from two national surveys to answer … Read more

National Child Abuse and Prevention Month Coming up in April

Next month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, designed to raise awareness among communities and organizations around the critical issues of child abuse and neglect, and to education the public on child abuse prevention.  As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the state of Michigan also recognizes April 16th as Michigan Child Abuse Prevention … Read more

New Theory Explores Whether or Not Parental Depression and Violence in the Home Contributes to ADHD in Kids

There are often many theories and research studies that attempt to explain the reasons for a particular “epidemic” diagnosis or condition.  Certainly when so many are affected, the medical community seeks answers for the etiology, as well as how to prevent or correct a condition from starting in the first place.  One of the latest … Read more

Are Video Games a Possible Treatment for Schizophrenia?

Posit Science, co-founded by Michael Merzenich, emeritus professor of Neuroscience at the University of California at San Francisco, is developing brain-training software designed to help treat individuals who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia retrain their brain to process information in a different way.  In his Washington Post article, “Trying to Help Schizophrenic with Computer Brain … Read more

Many Kids Falling Through the Cracks According to US Mental Health Experts

Mental health experts from the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recently reported that only a quarter of kids and teens who have psychological disorders or mental health issues receive treatment before or during high school, when the symptoms of many conditions begin to appear.  The commission, meeting with the Senate in response to … Read more

Cornell University and the Washington Post Release “10 Tips for Long and Healthy Relationship” for Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Washington Post recently reported on a project completed by Cornell University Gerontologist and author of 30 Lessons for Living, Karl Pillemer, which looked at what it takes to maintain long and happy relationships.   The resulting 10 tips, as reported by the Post, were based on interviews of nearly 1,000 … Read more

Childhood ADHD on the Rise in the US

Mental health experts at the journal JAMA Pediatrics, in a study conducted on patient medical data collected between 2001 and 2010, reported that the number of new cases of childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder increased 24% over 9 years.  The results of the Southern California-based study, which looked at the electronic health records of almost … Read more

Will Botox Prove to Be a Possible Treatment for Symptoms of Depression?

While it’s too early to declare Botox a miracle cure for depression, early research suggests that using the drug cosmetically may help to reduce symptoms of depression in some patients, possibly in part to the simple fact that the cosmetic drug, which is injected directly into the face, keeps patients from frowning.  According the Traci … Read more

Time.com Reveals Tips for Sticking to New Years Resolutions

According to Time.com, mental health experts at the University of Scranton have reported some key strategies that can really work when it comes to sticking to New Year’s resolutions this year.  In an interview with mental health professional John Norcross, Professor of Psychology, the magazine outlined the important keys to success when it comes to … Read more

Hurricane Sandy Effects Continue to Ripple Through New York’s Mental Health Care System

According to a recent report in the New York Times, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the state’s already struggling mental health care system continue to be felt by the affected communities.  Since the storm caused several key mental health facilities, including Bellevue Hospital, to temporarily shut down, the city has had to manage an … Read more

Big Challenges This Holiday Season for Alcoholics in Recovery

Alcoholics who have been sober for a long period of time and those who are in the first stages of sobriety face big challenges during the holiday season, according to Sarah Allen Benton, Psychology Today contributor.  As reported by Benton, both good and bad stressors during the holidays can provide dangerous triggers and specific challenges … Read more

American Psychiatric Association Finalizes Upcoming Version of DSM

The American Psychiatric Association has voted to finalize the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the first new version since last published in 2000.  One of the biggest changes to the new DSM is the inclusion of Asperger’s syndrome and autism disorder in a new category titled Autism Spectrum Disorder.  … Read more

A Few Simple Steps to Taking Care of Yourself This Holiday Season

The holidays are full of both good and bad forms of stress, which, over time, can lead to a variety of mental and physical symptoms.  Headaches, anxiety and even depression can develop during the holiday for a variety of reasons, including an overloaded scheduled, travel, and for some, anxiety about spending time with family.  Taking … Read more

Younger Students More Likely to Be Prescribed ADHD Medication

A recent study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York suggests that a child’s birth date may affect the rate at which they are prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  The study, led by Dr. Helga Zeoga, found that kids who were slightly younger than the rest of their peers … Read more

Planning Early for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, we’ll soon find ourselves thrown into the busy holiday season, perhaps sooner than expected for some.  For those who are prone to increased anxiety and stress during the holidays, there are some tips that mental health experts at Psych Central recommend, in order to make planned time with family and friends … Read more

University of Cincinnati Research Finds Teen Boys More Likely Than Girls to Abuse OTC Drugs

According to the University of Cincinnati, there is some new data on teen drug use that may have parents thinking twice about what they keep in the medicine cabinet at home.  The study suggests that as public crackdowns on underage alcohol and tobacco sales have increased throughout the US, teens are turning to OTC drugs … Read more

Effective ADHD Treatment Requires Help of Parents, Teachers

According to recent research from the Mayo Clinic, developing an effective treatment plan for ADHD when the disorder is diagnosed can be easier when mental health providers have extensive input from teachers and parents of kids who are being diagnosed with ADHD for the first time.  In order to help develop the most effective treatment … Read more

20th Annual World Mental Health Day Focuses on Depression as Global Issue

Depression took a front seat at this year’s 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).  The topic for this year’s World Mental Health Day was “Depression: A Global Crisis.”  According to WHO, depression currently affects more 350 million individuals of all ages, in all regions of the world, … Read more

Parental Alienation and Mental Health

Does parental alienation qualify as a mental health condition?  The American Psychiatric Association says no, deciding against listing the term in its updated edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, according to recent reports.  Despite intense pressure from lobbying groups, psychologists and individual supporters, the updated manual, referred to as “DSM-5”, will … Read more

Can Parents be Held Responsible for a Child’s Suicide?

An Associated Press story recently detailed the case of an Indiana woman who has been accused of causing her 16 year old son’s suicide.  The teen, who died after overdosing on prescription medication, reportedly lived in constant fear of his mother and her battle with drug addiction.  According to relatives, previous threats he had made … Read more

Depression and Suicide in Older Men: What Tony Scott’s Death Can Teach Us

The recent suicide of Hollywood Director Tony Scott offers a sad reminder that although there is a large amount of research and funding dedicated to preventing suicide in young people,  depression and suicide can occur with older individuals as well.  The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) reported that in 2009, the elderly accounted for over … Read more

Weight Loss Surgery and the Brain: Taking a Look at Addiction

Researchers at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study atHarvardUniversityrecently gathered to investigate the effects of common weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, on the entire body.  The focus of the research included looking at a link between an increase in addictive behaviors for many individuals post-surgery.  The team specifically looked at … Read more

Social Media and Privacy Concerns for Mental Health Professionals

The use of social media in healthcare has sparked a debate that has been quickly growing, as privacy concerns for the patient and the psychologist, physician and other medical staff have come front and center.  The question of what role social media should play in the medical field has certainly become a big issue, but … Read more

Schizophrenia and Young Men: The Mental Component behind the Colorado Shootings

There are still many questions regarding the tragedy that occurred at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater last month where 12 people were killed and even more were injured in the shootings carried out by 24 year old former medical student, James Holmes.  One of the biggest questions is why was Holmes seeing a campus psychologist … Read more

NFL Launches New Mental Health Program for Players

In response to the recent suicides of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau and former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson and pending lawsuits from retired players, the NFL has stepped up to address the problems associated with depression and repetitive brain injuries.   The League has launched a comprehensive wellness program for current and retired players, the … Read more

Diagnosing & Treating Uncontrollable Anger in Teens

According to a recent study of 10,148 US adolescents published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, almost two-thirds have a history of anger attacks, and researchers suspect that close to six million adolescents in theUSalso meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED).  IED consists of persistent, uncontrollable attacks of anger that … Read more

Combination Treatment for Anxiety Disorders Shows Promise

The Anxiety Disorder Clinic at the University of Houston recently reported that treatment for anxiety disorders which combines Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with a “transdiagnostic” approach (one that lets psychologists apply one set of principles across many anxiety disorders in order to devise an effective treatment plan), was more effective than those that combine CBT with … Read more

What the Affordable Care Act Means for Mental Health Care Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted by Congress in 2010.  Although it will take many years for several of the law’s provisions to be completely implemented into law, there are some important changes in the way mental health care will be handled in this country, … Read more

Birmingham Maple Clinic Announces Opening of Fragile X Assessment and Treatment Clinic at the University Of Michigan

The University of Michigan Fragile X Assessment and Treatment Clinic celebrated its opening on June 23rd, the Birmingham Maple Clinic recently announced. The University of Michigan Clinic is part of the National Fragile X Clinical & Research Consortium. Currently there are approximately 25 FXCRC clinics throughout the United States. Families of Fragile X patients and Fragile X Friendly Professionals … Read more

Overuse of Technology Linked to Changes in Teens Mental Health

Swedish researchers have found that young people who are heavy users of cell phones and computers are at a much higher risk of sleeping problems, stress disorders and other mental health issues.  The study was conducted by the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg and included a sample size of 4,100 individuals between 20-24 … Read more

Birmingham Mental Health Clinic Reports on Affect of High Fat Foods on the Brain

Mental health treatment experts at the Birmingham Maple Clinic recently reported that research published by the University of Montreal Hospital may add support to the theory that the vicious cycle of overeating due to being depressed, sad or anxious is based on how food affects an individual’s brain and hormones within the body. Lori Edelson, clinic spokesperson and … Read more

University of Montreal Looks at the Affect of High Fat Foods on the Brain

Research recently published by the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre may add support to the theory that the viscous cycle of overeating due to being depressed, sad or anxious is based on how food affects an individual’s brain and hormones within the body. The study, led by Stephanie Fulton, PhD, found that food acts … Read more

Toronto Researcher Reports a Walk in the Park Can Help Those with Clinical Depression

A study led by Marc Berman, post-doctoral fellow at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, has found compelling evidence that nature walks may have a positive impact on the cognition and mood of those who are clinically depressed. The study is one of the first of its kind to look at the effect of nature … Read more

Northwestern Study Develops Blood Test to Diagnose Depressed Teens

The Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago has developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in teens, giving researchers hope for improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of the potentially devastating mental illness.  According to a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead investigator of the … Read more

SAMHSA Reports Mental Illness Often Tied to Secondary Health Conditions

According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), adults who reported any type of mental illness in the last year were more likely to also suffer from asthma, heart disease and stroke.  The results of a recent study, which looked at the number of adults who had been diagnosed with both … Read more

Closures of Public Mental Health Facilities in Chicago Brings Protests & Arrests

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is under fire for the recent closure of the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic and the city’s growing list of publicly funded mental health closures slated for later this year.  According to NBC Chicago, police arrested 23 Woodland Mental Health Clinic patients, workers and supporters who had barricaded themselves inside the clinic … Read more

Americans Less Willing to Pay for Mental Health Care vs. Medical Care

Stony Brook University School of Medicine discovered that Americans are less willing to pay to avoid mental illness versus paying to prevent medical conditions that don’t have a mental component.  The study, which tracked a national sample of 710 adults in the US, found that even though participants recognized mental illness as being more of … Read more

Losing Weight Not the Key to Happiness for Overweight Teens

Psych Central, reporting on a study from Purdue University on teenage girls and weight loss, noted surprising findings  – among both Caucasian and African American teenage girls who had recently lost a significant portion of their body mass, many still continued to see themselves as being overweight.  As reported by the site, the study, which … Read more