School-Based Counselors Help Kids Cope With Fallout From Drug Addiction

When Maddy Nadeau was a toddler, her mother wasn’t able to care for her. “I remember Mom was always locking herself in her room and she didn’t take care of me. My mom just wasn’t around at the time,” she says.

Every day, her older sister Devon came home from elementary school and made sure Maddy had something to eat.

“Devon would come home from school and fix them cold hot dogs or a bowl of cereal — very simple items that both of them could eat,” says Sarah Nadeau, who fostered the girls and later adopted them.

The girls’ parents struggled with drug addiction, and for several years, the sisters moved in with different relatives and eventually, foster homes. Nadeau says when they arrived at her home, both girls were anxious and depressed and had a hard time focusing in school — especially Maddy, who had been exposed to drugs in utero.

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This brain circuit is key to both depression and addiction

New research conducted in mice identifies a neural pathway crucial to both depression and addiction. Can we treat these problems by simply manipulating this pathway?

The pleasure and reward system is one of the most important systems governed by the brain.

It spurs us to enjoy the activities that have contributed to our survival as a species, such as eating, drinking, and having sex, so that we feel motivated to pursue them.

The activity of the reward system, however, is also a key factor in various types of addictive behavior.

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Bipolar disorder: A good diet may boost treatment

Diet quality can affect many aspects of one’s physical health and psychological well-being. New research investigates whether or not these factors can also affect the effectiveness of treatments for mood disorders — particularly bipolar.

The moods of people who have bipolar disorder fluctuate between two extremes.

These are the “highs,” during which the person feels euphoric and may engage in dangerous behaviors, and the “lows,” characterized by depression and lethargy.

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Sexual Assault And Harassment May Have Lasting Health Repercussions For Women

The trauma of sexual assault or harassment is not only hard to forget; it may also leave lasting effects on a woman’s health. This finding of a study published Wednesday adds support to a growing body of evidence suggesting the link.

In the study of roughly 300 middle-aged women, an experience of sexual assault was associated with anxiety, depression and poor sleep. A history of workplace sexual harassment was also associated with poor sleep and with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

“These are experiences that [a woman] could have had long ago … and it can have this long arm of influence throughout a woman’s life,” says Rebecca Thurston, lead author of the study, and a research psychologist and director of the Women’s Behavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

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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