Antidepressants can treat hot flushes: research

By Rebecca Smith

Antidepressants Treat Hot FlashesNew research has uncovered that women with hot flushes have differences in the way their blood vessels react to hormones.

Around a quarter of women going through the menopause will suffer so severely with hot flushes that they seek medical help.

After Hormone Replacement Therapy was linked with a small increased risk of breast cancer many women have refused to use it even though this is considered the best treatment for hot flushes.

Prof Mary Ann Lumsden, of Glasgow University, found that antidepressants which affect how the body uses serotonin, the so-called feel-good hormone, also influences how the blood vessels contract and expand in women who suffer with hot flushes.

She said: “The thing about flushing is that no one really knows why it happens.

“I see women all the time who have had flushes for a long time and their life is compromised. It is embarrassing, difficult and uncomfortable for them. It causes huge misery.”

Full story at The Telegraph

Watch out for those suffering depression this holiday season

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Holiday Depression’Tis the season to be jolly, but for those suffering from depression, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time.

Especially for those whose economic situation is poor due to the bad economy.

That’s why experts from Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Maywood, part of the Loyola University Health System, are bracing for an increase in patients needing treatment for self-destructive behavior — up to and including suicide attempts.

“For those who have no support system, no friends, family, loved ones or even co-workers, the holidays can prove very deadly,” Dr. Mark DeSilva, medical director of the emergency department at the hospital, said in a written statement. “Everywhere, there are signs of gatherings, gift exchanges, happiness and love. If you are not experiencing what the rest of the world is enjoying, it is very bitter.”

Full story at Chicago Sun Times

Time to improve your health by stubbing out smoking

Scunthorpe Telegraph

Stump SmokingThree out of four people in North Lincolnshire do not smoke – and now health bosses are urging the others to come in out of the cold this Christmas.

Smokers can still to be spotted at this time of year shivering in doorways or draughty shelters while their family, friends or workmates enjoy the warmth, light and festive fun inside pubs, clubs or restaurants.

This year, 900 people in North Lincolnshire have already quit with the help of specialist stop smoking services.

And this does not include the many others who will have given up with other forms of support or gone it alone.

The army of non-smokers and ex-smokers is growing all the time in North Lincolnshire and there is lots of help for people who want to join them.

Full story at Scunthorpe

Is just not drinking or drugging enough? | MENTAL HEALTH

By Vikki Adams

Stop Drinking & DruggingWhen substance abuse touches many families, the family just “wants it to stop,” but is that really enough?

Depending on how much and how often an individual has been using drugs and alcohol (including the perceived legal ones such as over-the-counter or prescription drugs, Herbal Incense, K-2 and bath salts), discontinuing use may not be as easy as it seems.

Post Acute Withdrawal may occur if the individual had slipped into dependency, which may result in a myriad of symptoms including problems with sleep, irritability, loss of memory, loss of concentration. It can possibly create physical repercussions such as seizures or feeling that you have had the worst flu in your life. These symptoms can sometimes last for weeks or even months.

If the individual was using as a way to cope with emotions or stressful situations, they will now be facing the same situations with no substance to “dull the pain.” Oftentimes the situation they were dealing with has worsened due to their drug or alcohol use and lack of attention.

Full story at Evansville Courier & Press

The cost of poor mental health at work

The Guardian

Mental Health CostsThe issue of mental health is still being brushed under the carpet in too many workplaces, with many employees afraid to speak out before their mental health problems escalate and result in long-term absence or even unemployment.

Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development finds one in four of the UK workforce have experienced a mental health problem during employment. However, too few employers are taking positive steps to manage this increasingly business-critical issue.

Just 25% of the 2,000 employees surveyed say their organization encourages staff to talk openly about mental health issues. Only four in ten say they would feel confident saying if they had a problem.

This should be of concern to employers – besides their duty of care to staff – because stress is now the biggest cause of long-term absence from work.

But it is not just absence which hits business. The survey shows that most people with poor mental health continue to work, yet may struggle with concentration, making good decisions and providing effective customer service.

Full story at The Guardian