Can a heart treatment lower depression and anxiety?

Many people who have atrial fibrillation experience symptoms of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Do particular treatments for this condition help resolve such symptoms? A new study suggests they might.

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a common condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2.7–6.1 millionpeople in the United States have A-fib.

Studies show that about a third of people with this heart condition also have symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Full story at Medical News Today

Back pain linked to mental health problems and risky behaviors in teenagers

A new study in the Journal of Public Health indicates that adolescents who experience back pain more frequently are also more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and report problems like anxiety and depression.

During adolescence, the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (pain arising from the bones, joints or muscles) in general, and back pain in particular rises steeply. Although often dismissed as trivial and fleeting, adolescent back pain is responsible for substantial health care use, school absence, and interference with day-to-day activities in some children.

The aim of this study was to determine whether adolescents who experience back pain more often were also more likely to report other health risk indicators, such as alcohol use, smoking, school absenteeism, and depression or anxiety.

Full story at Science Daily

Anxiety in the West: Is it on the rise?

According to some observers, anxiety is now snowballing in the United States. So, in this Spotlight, we ask whether anxiety truly is becoming more prevalent in the West and, if so, what may be causing it.

For many, anxiety is an ever-present uninvited guest; in our circle of friends, among family members, and in communities at large.

It seems to be rampaging through society like a noncontagious cognitive plague, forming a low-level hum that hides in the corners of our collective minds.

In August 2018, Barnes & Noble — who are the largest book retailer in the United States — announced a huge surge in the sales of books about anxiety; a 25 percent jump on June 2017. “[W]e may be living in an anxious nation,” one press release dryly notes.

Full story at Medical News Today

Can service dogs help with anxiety?

People with anxiety-related issues can gain tremendous benefit from having a specially trained service dog.

Service dogs are companion animals that help people who have physical or mental health conditions.

A service dog for anxiety can provide a sense of calm, anticipate anxiety attacks, and even fetch medication for their owner.

In this article, we look at the benefits of service dogs for people with anxiety. We discuss how to get an anxiety service dog, which breeds make the most successful anxiety service dogs, and how much they cost.

Full story at Medical News Today

Psychedelic drugs ‘may improve depression, anxiety, and PTSD’

Psychedelic drugs tend to have a bad reputation; they can have harmful effects and lead to addiction. Many countries regulate them heavily. Now, however, researchers ask whether such substances may be used to manage conditions such as anxiety.

The annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA) — held this year in San Francisco, CA — is home to much thought-provoking debate about which directions psychotherapy should next consider.

This year, researchers from various global institutions discussed the potential of psychedelic drugs in the management of anxiety, depression, and psychological trauma symptoms.

Full story at Medical News Today