Focus boosting drugs not worth the risks, studies warn

Many younger adults use focus boosting drugs without a prescription to help them study and stay on track with work. However, new research suggests that such drugs bring healthy adults very few — and only short-lived — benefits while placing their cognitive health at risk in the long run.

“Adderall and other stimulants […] are the perfect chemical accomplice in a society that prizes productivity above all else,” notes a short article that featured last year in The Lancet.

Adderall is an amphetamine based drug that doctors prescribe to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy — a condition that causes people to fall asleep suddenly, even in the middle of the day.

Full story at Medical News Today

What to know about skin picking

People may pick their skin occasionally. For example, they might itch a scab or pop a pimple. However, occasional skin picking can develop into a chronic behavior called skin picking disorder, or excoriation disorder.

The exact cause of skin picking disorder remains unknown. That said, it may develop alongside other health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism.

Skin picking disorder can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and overall health.

Full story at Medical News Today

Problematic smartphone use linked to poorer grades, alcohol misuse, more sexual partners

A survey of more than 3,400 university students in the USA has found that one in five respondents reported problematic smartphone use. Female students were more likely be affected and problematic smartphone use was associated with lower grade averages, mental health problems and higher numbers of sexual partners.

Smartphones offer the potential of instant, round-the-clock access for making phone calls, playing games, gambling, chatting with friends, using messenger systems, accessing web services (e.g. websites, social networks and pornography), and searching for information. The number of users is rapidly increasing, with some estimates suggesting that there are now more than 2.7 billion users worldwide.

While most people using smartphones find them a helpful and positive part of life, a minority of users develop excessive smartphone use, meaning that smartphone use has significant negative effects on how people function in life. Previous research has linked excessive smartphone use to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and problems with self-esteem.

Full story at Science Daily

Nearly 1 in 7 US kids and teens has a mental health condition, and half go untreated, study says

Half of children with a mental health condition in the United States go without treatment, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The researchers analyzed data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, a nationwide survey administered to parents of children and teens. Of the 46.6 million children ages 6 through 18 whose parents completed the survey, 7.7 million had at least one mental health condition — such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — and only half received treatment or counseling from a mental health provider in the 12 months prior to the survey.
The number of children with a mental health condition varied widely from state to state. In Hawaii, for example, 7.6% of children had one of the conditions, compared with 27.2% in Maine. The number of children with a diagnosed mental health condition who weren’t treated by a provider also ranged widely, from 29.5% in the District of Columbia to 72.2% in North Carolina.

How are bipolar disorder and ADHD different?

Bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two distinct health conditions. They share some similar symptoms but have several key differences.

ADHD is more common than bipolar disorder. As the two conditions can coexist, misdiagnosis can occur.

In this article, we compare bipolar disorder and ADHD. Read on to learn about the symptoms of each and how they can overlap. We also explain treatments and when to see a doctor.

Full story at Medical News Today