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Stress Awareness Month: Dark chocolates containing cacao can reduce stress, says study

April 30, 2018 Anxiety

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Stress Awareness Month: Dark chocolates containing cacao can reduce stress Eating certain types of dark chocolates can have several health benefits, including a reduction in stress levels and inflammation, and improvement in mood, memory and immunity, according to two recent studies presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the Experimental Biology in San Diego, California on April 24, 2018. The studies stand out as they focus on the impact of cacao, and not sugar, on the mental health of an individual. According to the researchers, small and regulated doses of cacao can greatly benefit one’s cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health. A major source of flavonoids, cacao is also present in…

Understanding vicious cycle of alcohol consumption and anxiety disorders

February 19, 2018 Anxiety

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Understanding vicious cycle of alcohol consumption and anxiety disorders Alcohol or drugs are at times used for self-medication to cope with anxiety disorders. Although individuals can experience alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and anxiety disorders independently, the co-occurrence of both disorders can become a vicious cycle – as the symptoms of one disorder can aggravate the symptoms of the other. Problematic use of substances, particularly alcohol, is commonly observed among individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD). Despite the existence of a vast body of research, the causality between alcohol use and anxiety remains unclear. A past study reviewed major research findings and perspectives examining this causality. The review suggested…

Father who strangled daughter with severe anxiety disorder gets 10-year sentence

Father who strangled daughter with severe anxiety disorder gets 10-year sentence Despite their best efforts, parents of children with chronic anxiety can themselves get trapped in a vicious cycle and sometimes resort to extreme measures. In one such tragic instance, a father strangled his teen daughter to death on July 21, 2017 because he had been at his “wits’ end for months and months” due to her severe anxiety disorder. On Feb. 5, 2018, the man was sentenced to a “hybrid” 10-year term which included detention at a psychiatric unit for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) before being moved to jail. Olivia Kray, the 19-year-old victim from Herne Bay, Kent…

Pennsylvania lawmaker Justin Simmons reveals long battle with OCD

Pennsylvania lawmaker Justin Simmons reveals long battle with OCD Pennsylvania state Representative Justin Simmons, who dropped out of congressional race in November 2017, recently talked about his struggles with mental illness. Overcoming all hurdles, including stigma associated with mental conditions, Simmons posted a video on his campaign’s Facebook page, talking in detail about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) he has been suffering from since childhood. Simmons confessed that it was not the easiest thing for him to talk about as it was an illness not understood by most people. Simmons, 31, took the bold step, saying that his coming forward would bring awareness about the mental condition and help someone…

Test anxiety can seriously impact students’ performance

Test anxiety can seriously impact students’ performance It is natural for students to experience some level of anxiety before tests. However, for some of them, it can become an acute and debilitating condition characterized by symptoms like rapid heartbeat, nausea, inability to concentrate, feelings of dread and racing thoughts. Some students may even experience a panic attack. Such a condition, known as test anxiety, can seriously impact, and even negate, the hard work put in by students in the weeks/months leading up to tests. According to the American Test Anxieties Association (ATAA), nearly 16-20 percent students experience high test anxiety and another 18 percent suffer from moderately-high…

Singer Julia Michaels reveals her anxiety issues

Singer Julia Michaels reveals her anxiety issues An occasional bout of anxiousness is a normal part of life. Thus, anxiety is a mental condition that almost everyone experiences at some point in life, but at different levels. However, when one starts feeling an extreme and tenacious sense of worry and distress about the smallest of things of life, it is time to sit up and take some measures. In such a case, there is a high probability of one suffering from an anxiety disorder. Many a times, a traumatic situation or event can play an important role in developing anxiety disorder in an individual. For many, it…

Fighting mental health stigma with videos and conferences

It is common to see stigmas, such as typecasting, prejudice and discrimination, being associated with mental health disorders, in spite of the fact that one in every four person, around the world, suffers from them. While spreading awareness about mental illnesses, educating others and staying positive, are some of the ways that can help fight these stigmas, there is a lot more that needs to be done. One such innovative and positive step was taken by the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital, Colorado when they initiated the Youth Action Board (YAB) in 2013. The board, aimed at advising…

Size of brain region behind temples may influence anxiety levels, says study

June 16, 2017 Anxiety

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The size of a specific area of the brain may be responsible for emotional regulation in healthy people, says a recent research by the University of Illinois. The researchers found that those with a comparatively small inferior frontal cortex (IFC) are at a greater likelihood of suffering from anxiety. The IFC is the brain region behind the temples that helps regulate thoughts and emotions. The authors of the study, titled “Trait Anxiety Mediates the Link between Inferior Frontal Cortex Volume and Negative Affective Bias in Healthy Adults,” stressed that such people have a tendency to view neutral or even positive…

Comorbidity of depression and panic disorders can disrupt treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared depression to be the leading cause of disability all over the world. One of the most effective treatments available for depression is antidepressants. But little is known about the harmful effects of these medicines in case of patients simultaneously afflicted with panic disorder. The comorbidity can affect the efficacy of the treatment and do more harm than good. A group of researchers in their study, titled “Side Effects to Antidepressant Treatment in Patients With Depression and Comorbid Panic Disorder” have analyzed the response to antidepressant medicines in nearly 800 patients. They also studied…
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