Motherhood at work: exploring maternal mental health

Up to 1 in 5 women in the postpartum period will experience a mental health disorder like postpartum depression or generalized anxiety disorder. How an organization handles a mother’s return to work can have a significant impact on her mental health, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

More Stress, Fewer Coping Resources for Latina Mothers Post-Trump

The sociopolitical climate in the United States has taken its toll on the mental health of Latina mothers, according to new research from the University of California San Diego. Findings show increased depression, anxiety and perceived stress in a border city and reduced coping resources in both a border and interior US city.

Hurricane Harvey’s hardest hit survivors five times as likely to experience anxiety from COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame with collaborators at Rice University and the Environmental Defense Fund, deployed new surveys to assess the economic and health impacts of the pandemic nationally, but with a special focus on those hit by back-to-back climate disasters.

‘Church is a safe space,’ suggests WVU study on faith community nurses and mental health

A new study from Veronica Gallo, a researcher with West Virginia University’s School of Nursing, highlights how faith community nurses can be key to addressing the mental health needs of people who attend churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship. Her findings appear in the Journal of Christian Nursing.

Feeling Anxious or Blue? Ultra-processed Foods May be to Blame

A study measuring mild depression, number of mental unhealthy days and number of anxious days in 10,359 adults 18 and older found those who consumed the most ultra-processed foods as compared with those who consumed the least amount had statistically significant increases in the adverse mental health symptoms of mild depression, “mentally unhealthy days” and “anxious days.” They also had significantly lower rates of reporting zero “mentally unhealthy days” and zero “anxious days.” Findings are generalizable to the entire U.S. as well as other Western countries with similar ultra-processed food intakes.

Pregnant Women with Epilepsy Have More Depression, Anxiety Symptoms

Pregnant women with epilepsy have more symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum than pregnant women who do not have epilepsy or women with epilepsy who are not pregnant, according to a study published in the August 17, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders served to decrease adolescent drinking

During the COVID-19 pandemic, policy interventions designed to reduce the virus’ spread included shelter-in-place (SIP) orders and phased “reopenings” of public spaces. Knowing that adult alcohol and substance use generally rose during the pandemic due to factors such as stress, boredom, worsening mental health, and increased alcohol availability, a new study sought to understand the impact of SIPs and reopenings on adolescent alcohol use in California. Analysis shows SIP decreased frequency of alcohol use. Also, compliance with SIP orders was associated with decreased frequency and quantity of use.

Trauma history and alcohol’s effects on the brain combine to make women more vulnerable to alcohol use disorders

Prior research has demonstrated greater addiction vulnerability in women; for example, women advance from casual substance use to addiction at a faster rate, experience more severe withdrawal symptoms, exhibit higher rates of relapse, and have less treatment success than men. A new study shows that biobehavioral interactions in alcohol use disorders (AUDs) among women are cyclical in nature: women’s greater risk of personal histories of trauma coupled with a greater vulnerability to alcohol-related brain deficits can lead to more severe AUD effects.

Endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure in womb impact fear, anxiety behavior in rats

Prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in everyday products may interfere with the developing offspring’s brain, according to a rat study being presented Monday at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

A ‘factory reset’ for the brain cures anxiety, drinking behavior

Gene editing may be a potential treatment for anxiety and alcohol use disorder in adults who were exposed to binge drinking in their adolescence, according to the results of an animal study published in the journal Science Advances. The researchers used a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-dCas9 in their experiments to manipulate the histone acetylation and methylation processes at the Arc gene in models of adult rats.

Pregnancy stretch marks cause stress and emotional burden, study finds

Stretch marks cause pregnant women and individuals substantial embarrassment that can negatively impact pregnancy and quality of life, a new study found. The lesions, and concerns for developing and permanency, may be contributing factors for depression or anxiety in the perinatal period, which affect up to one in seven women during pregnancy and postpartum. Researchers say this should bring new focus on stretch marks and identifying mental health disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Sitting more linked to increased feelings of depression, anxiety

During the initial COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, a lot of people suddenly became more sedentary as they adhered to stay-at-home orders or opted to self-isolate. Recently published research found people who continued to spend a higher amount of time sitting in the weeks following were likely to have higher symptoms of depression. A closer investigation into this association could play a role in helping people improve their mental health.

Mount Sinai Launches the Brain and Body Research Center, Among the First in the U.S.to Focus Solely on How the Brain and Body Interact

Have you ever experienced a stressful time in your life and then caught a cold, or wondered why you feel sad and depressed when you’re sick? It turns out that it’s not all in your head.

Recent research spanning the fields of neuroscience and immunology suggests that when the brain senses a threat in the environment—whether it be physical, psychological, or social—it sends signals via a complex network of peripheral nerves that mobilize the immune system, readying it to protect us from injury.

A Game Changer: Virtual Reality Reduces Pain and Anxiety in Children

For nearly two decades, Jeffrey I. Gold, PhD, an investigator at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, has been investigating the use of virtual reality (VR) as a technique to help children undergoing painful medical procedures. His research shows that the technology can have powerful effects. VR works so well that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles now offers it routinely for blood draws.

From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.

Healing from Post-Pandemic Trauma: Moving Forward After Lockdown

Dreams about unmasked crowds. Getting back to the routines of work, school or the everyday things we used to do. Shaking hands and hugging. Meeting without a computer screen separating the people in the conversation. Mourning the loss of lives.  Anxiety about re-entering society as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic is real.

Reopening Anxiety? Here’s How to Overcome it According to University of Kentucky Experts

For nearly a year, we relied on masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, many are removing the facial coverings, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to shed the anxiety that accompanies a global pandemic. If you’re having difficulty coping with this added stress, psychology experts at the University of Kentucky say you’re not alone.

COVID-19 pandemic drinking: increases among women, Black adults, and people with children

Risky drinking has been a public health concern in the U.S. for decades, but the significant increase in retail alcohol sales following COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders in particular raised red flags for alcohol researchers. New research has assessed changes in alcohol drinking patterns from before to after the enactment of stay-at-home orders. These results and others will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th – 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Low doses of “laughing gas” could be fast acting, highly effective treatment for severe depression

A new study at the University of Chicago Medicine and Washington University found that a single inhalation session with 25% nitrous oxide gas was nearly as effective as 50% nitrous oxide at rapidly relieving symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, with fewer adverse side effects.

Dip your toe – or dive right in: WVU psychologists spill advice on reentering the world post-COVID

A high percentage of the population may experience “re-entry anxiety” as more people get vaccinated, guidelines are loosened and the masks come off, according to WVU psychologists.

ACSM Announces 2020 Paper of the Year Selections

The ACSM Publications Committee established an annual Paper of the Year Award in 2020 to recognize one scientific article from each of ACSM’s five journals. Award-winning articles are selected based on impact, research significance, conceptual design and/or technical innovation.

The Pandemic Worsened Young Women’s Depression and Anxiety More than Young Men’s

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an uneven impact on mental health, affecting young women more adversely in some regards than young men, a new study suggests. Income loss likewise was associated with increases in depression. At the same time, however, the young people actually showed a reduction in binge drinking and alcohol problems. The combination of findings highlights the complexity of the pandemic’s behavioral health effects. The pandemic has raised widespread concern that its related stressors — such as social isolation, job loss, financial strain, and increased caregiving responsibilities — may have broadly aggravated substance use and mental health conditions. People age 18–25 were thought to be especially vulnerable, because of their transitional life stage and relative propensity to risky behaviors such as heavy drinking. While some studies have indicated that the pandemic was associated with intensifying mental illness symptoms and substance use in this age group, most did not

ASU health economist studies effects of mental illness disclosure in the workplace

A person with a serious mental illness must confront the difficult decision of whether to reveal their disorder in their workplace. Disclosing their diagnosis might create stigma, but it could also mean additional support. Adding to the delicate balancing act…

Large Number of Americans Reported Financial Anxiety and Stress Even Before the Pandemic

A substantial number of adults in the United States between the ages of 21 and 62 felt anxiety and stress about their personal finances well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published today by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University.

Young People and Those Without a High School Degree More Likely to Suffer Untreated Mental Health Disorders

People between ages 18 and 29 and those without a high school degree are more likely to experience anxiety or depression during the pandemic and also are least likely to seek mental health treatment, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that surveyed nearly 800,000 households from August 2020 to February 2021.

Women had “alarmingly high rates” of mental health problems during start of the pandemic

A study at the University of Chicago Medicine found U.S. women experienced increased incidence of health-related socioeconomic risks (HRSRs), such as food insecurity and interpersonal violence, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. This was associated with “alarmingly high rates” of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

Predicting who may do best with psychedelic-assisted therapy

A new research review identifies personality traits that have been associated with positive and negative experiences on psychedelics being tested for therapeutic purposes in previous studies, information that could help predict how future clinical trial participants will respond to the drugs.