Surviving Holiday Parties When You Have Social Anxiety

HealthDay News — Socializing is a major part of the holiday season, but many people find it difficult.If you suffer anxiety or feel tongue-tied at festive gatherings, here are some helpful tips from Martin Antony, a psychology professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.First, some advice about making conversation. Smile and make eye contact. Be approachable and open to conversation. Join an ongoing conversation, ideally with a group discussing a topic that interests you. Ask questions and be an active listener.

via Surviving Holiday Parties When You Have Social Anxiety.

Continue Reading

Migraines may raise depression risk: study | Reuters

People who get painful migraine headaches may be at a higher risk for developing clinical depression, suggests a new study from Canada.The research, published in the journal Headache, also hints that the relationship may go both ways, and people with clinical depression could have a higher risk of developing migraines, but that finding could have been due to chance, the researchers say.

via Migraines may raise depression risk: study | Reuters.

Continue Reading

More Evidence DBS Effective for Severe Depression

One of the first multicenter pilot studies to examine deep-brain stimulation DBS for severe depression confirms earlier evidence that this treatment is effective.In the open-label study, investigators targeted the subcallosal cingulate gyrus area of the brain in 21 patients with long-term treatment-resistant depression TRD. One year after receiving DBS implantation, a majority of the study participants showed a 40% reduction in symptoms of depression.

via More Evidence DBS Effective for Severe Depression.

Continue Reading

For Some, Psychiatric Troubles May Begin With the Thyroid –

In patients with depression, anxiety and other psychiatric problems, doctors often find abnormal blood levels of thyroid hormone. Treating the problem, they have found, can lead to improvements in mood, memory and cognition.

Now researchers are exploring a somewhat controversial link between minor, or subclinical, thyroid problems and some patients’ psychiatric difficulties. After reviewing the literature on subclinical hypothyroidism and mood, Dr. Russell Joffe, a psychiatrist at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, and colleagues recently concluded that treating the condition, which affects about 2 percent of Americans, could alleviate some patients’ psychiatric symptoms and might even prevent future cognitive decline.

via For Some, Psychiatric Troubles May Begin With the Thyroid –

Continue Reading

Bipolar Kids May Focus on Different Facial Features

Children with bipolar disorder and a similar condition called severe mood dysregulation spend less time looking at the eyes when trying to identify facial features, compared to children without the psychiatric disorders, researchers say.

This new study finding may help explain why children with bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation have difficulty determining other people’s emotional expressions, said the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health investigators.

via Bipolar Kids May Focus on Different Facial Features.

Continue Reading

Bullying Moves From Online to Text-Messaging: Study

HealthDay News — Kids exposure to online attacks and deviant behavior appears to have leveled off, but as more kids socialize by cellphone, sexual and other bothersome text messages are on the rise, a new study finds.Young people use technology to converse and connect with one another and, as with face-to-face methods, “there are positives and negatives,” said lead study author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of Internet Solutions for Kids, a nonprofit research organization in San Clemente, Calif.The good news is “our data dont support that things are getting worse online in frequency or intensity” in terms of harassment, bullying and unwanted sexual experiences, she said.

via Bullying Moves From Online to Text-Messaging: Study.

Continue Reading

Mom-to-Be’s Mental State May Affect Child’s Development

(HealthDay News) — A fetus is sensitive to, and can be affected by, the expectant mother’s mental state, a new study suggests.

University of California, Irvine, researchers recruited pregnant women and tested them for depression before and after they gave birth. The women’s babies were tested after birth to assess how well they were developing.

Consistency in the mother’s mental state appeared to be important to a baby’s well-being. Development was best in babies with mothers who were either depression-free or had depression before and after giving birth.

via Mom-to-Be’s Mental State May Affect Child’s Development.

Continue Reading

One in 12 Teens Engages in Self-Harm: Report

(HealthDay News) — One in 12 teens deliberately harm themselves, but 90 percent give up the behavior by the time they’re young adults, a new study shows.

Self-harm, which includes cutting and burning, is one of the strongest predictors of suicide and is especially common among females aged 15 to 24, according to a news release from The Lancet, where the finding appears Nov. 16 online.

via One in 12 Teens Engages in Self-Harm: Report.

Continue Reading

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol – the Fezziwigs


I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D. December, 1843.



Continue Reading

Findings offer new clues into the addicted brain

What drives addicts to repeatedly choose drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, overeating, gambling or kleptomania, despite the risks involved? Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have pinpointed the exact locations in the brain where calculations are made that can result in addictive and compulsive behavior.

UC Berkeley researchers have found how neural activity in the brain’s orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex regulates our choices. These astonishing new findings could pave the way for more targeted treatments for everything from drug and alcohol abuse to obsessive-compulsive disorders.

‘The better we understand our decision-making brain circuitry, the better we can target treatment, whether it’s pharmaceutical, behavioral or deep brain stimulation,” said Jonathan Wallis, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley and the principal investigator of the study published in the Oct. 30 online issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

via Findings offer new clues into the addicted brain.

Continue Reading