MRI scans detecting chemical imbalance may predict schizophrenia, finds study

MRI scans detecting chemical imbalance may predict schizophrenia, finds study

A chronic and severe mental health condition, schizophrenia is characterized by a patient’s detachment from the real world with typical symptoms including hallucinations (apparent perception of something not present), delusions (unreal thoughts), unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking, and movement disorders. Despite its low prevalence in the adult population of the United States, schizophrenia exerts tremendous health, social and economic burden on patients, families, caregivers and society. Read more

Older people perform better on ‘Happiness Subscale’ than youngsters, finds study

Older people perform better on ‘Happiness Subscale’ than youngsters, finds study

For a long time, old age has been associated with despair and unhappiness. However, there are many people for whom aging is not all bad. Instead, it becomes a key to happiness and bliss for them. Older adults tend to be more positive and optimistic, as observed by a 2016 study titled “Paradoxical Trend for Improvement in Mental Health With Aging: A Community-Based Study of 1,546 Adults Aged 21-100 Years.”

In the study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the researchers showed that although older adults witnessed a rapid deterioration in their physical and cognitive health, there was linear improvement in their mental health. The elderly people were rated higher on the Happiness Subscale, as well as on the reverse-coded Anxiety Scale and the Depression Scale. They also fared better on various other parameters, such as the level of well-being, happiness, satisfaction with life, and susceptibility to mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Read more

What it means to be a mental health ally and advocate

What it means to be a mental health ally and advocate

Anyone can be afflicted with a mental disease at any stage in life. It doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender, caste or age. It has become a common occurrence experienced by millions worldwide. An estimated one in five people in the United States suffers from some form of mental illness every year as per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Besides suffering from the actual symptoms of their conditions, people have to face something else which is perhaps worse – stigma, ridicule and discrimination. Read more

Importance of living a happy and stress-free life

Importance of living a happy and stress-free life

Mental health problems are a taboo in every society. The discrimination associated with mental disorders, owing to the stigma surrounding them, often prevents one from opening up freely about their condition. However, the secret of leading a happy and successful life lies in fighting the prevailing stigma and emancipating oneself from the consequences of serious mental health conditions. Read more

Coming to America: Mental perils of Afghan refugees

Coming to America: Mental perils of Afghan refugees

Life in the United States has proved to be a constant struggle for Afghan refugees after being awarded Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). The SIV is awarded to people for services rendered to the coalition forces in the war. But when these refugees discover that their credentials do not count in the U.S. and they must start over, these well-qualified people often feel lost.

With many of these people being doctors, engineers and translators in their homelands, starting a new life in an unfamiliar territory in bug-infested apartments with minimum-wage jobs and lack of understanding of U.S. culture is taking a toll on their mental health. They are now dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other health problems. Read more