Anxiety Disorders in Poor Moms Likely to Result from Poverty, Not Mental Illness, Study Suggests

Anxiety In Moms Likely Result To PovertyPoor mothers are more likely to be classified as having the mental illness known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) because they live in poverty — not because they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder, according to Rutgers researchers.

Judith C. Baer, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, and her team, in the study, "Is it Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Poverty? An Examination of Poor Mothers and Their Children," published online in Child and Adolescent Social Work, argue that although high levels of stress over long periods can lead to psychological problems, there is no evidence that generalized anxiety disorder in poor mothers is because of an "internal malfunction."

The findings confirm earlier studies that the poorest mothers have the greater odds of being classified as having generalized anxiety disorder. But Baer and her team wrote, ." ..there is no evidence for a malfunction of some internal mechanism. Rather, "there is a physical need in the real world that is unmet and produces anxiety."

Full story of anxiety in moms at Science Daily

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Treating Childhood Anxiety With Computers, Not Drugs

Treating Childhood Anxiety With ComputersAccording to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one in eight children suffers from an anxiety disorder. And because many anxious children turn into severely anxious adults, early intervention can have a major impact on a patient’s life trajectory. The understandable reluctance to use psychiatric medications when it comes to children means child psychologists are always searching for viable therapeutic alternatives.

Now Prof. Yair Bar-Haim of Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences and his fellow researchers are pursuing a new method to address childhood anxiety. Based on a computer program, the treatment uses a technique called Attention Bias Modification (ABM) to reduce anxiety by drawing children away from their tendency to dwell on potential threats, ultimately changing their thought patterns. In its initial clinical trial, the program was as effective as medication and cognitive therapy for children — with several distinct advantages.

The results of the trial were reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Computers instead of capsules

Full story of treating childhood anxiety at Science Daily

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Mystery Gene Reveals New Mechanism for Anxiety Disorders

Gene Mechanism For Anxiety DisorderA novel mechanism for anxiety behaviors, including a previously unrecognized inhibitory brain signal, may inspire new strategies for treating psychiatric disorders, University of Chicago researchers report.

By testing the controversial role of a gene called Glo1 in anxiety, scientists uncovered a new inhibitory factor in the brain: the metabolic by-product methylglyoxal. The system offers a tantalizing new target for drugs designed to treat conditions such as anxiety disorder, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that animals with multiple copies of the Glo1 gene were more likely to exhibit anxiety-like behavior in laboratory tests. Further experiments showed that Glo1 increased anxiety-like behavior by lowering levels of methylglyoxal (MG). Conversely, inhibiting Glo1 or raising MG levels reduced anxiety behaviors.

Full story of anxiety disorder gene at Science Daily

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Anxiety disorders have soared since credit crunch

By Laura Donnelly

Anxiety Disorder a CrutchHospital statistics show the number of outpatient appointments for those with such a diagnosis has soared since the onset of the credit crunch.

Experts said some of the rise could be explained by an expansion in counseling services, and an increase in mental health problems triggered by financial uncertainties and job stresses.

But others said doctors had become too quick to “medicalise” feelings of distress – and to label people as suffering from psychiatric disorders when their anxiety was a normal response to pressures they were facing.

The statistics, from the NHS Information Centre, show that the number of outpatient appointments for patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders and panic attacks rose from 3,754 to 17,470 between 2006/2007 and 2010/11.

Over the same period, cases admitted to hospital rose by one third, with 8,756 in-patients with such a diagnosis.

Full story at The Telegraph

Don’t let the holiday season whirl leave you more frazzled than festive

By Barbara Lazor

Christmas StressIt’s that time of the year again for friends and family gatherings, overcrowding in the kitchen, growing wish lists and adventurous parking at the grocery store and mall. The holidays are meant to be a joyful time when families come together to reflect on all the great things that everyone should be thankful for. However, at times, the holidays can bring out unwanted stress resulting in anxiety, frustration and mood change.

Here are a few simple tips to reduce your stress level and warning signs that tell you things may be getting out of hand.

Keep things in perspective. Problems often resolve on their own, given time.

Stay flexible. Lighten up and learn to compromise on occasion. Go easy on yourself and others. Allow yourself to be less than perfect.

Full story at Houston News