Spring feelings need to be nurtured in winter

Medical University of Vienna

Spring FeelingAnyone who wants to experience those spring feelings in their minds needs to work on them in winter. This is the advice of Siegfried Kasper, Head of the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the MedUni Vienna, ahead of the forthcoming international "Brain Awareness Week" from the 12th to the 18th of March. Staying active and positive during the winter months too is the key to developing those spring feelings.

It’s actually quite difficult for people to develop positive feelings in spring. This is because people tend to spend winter mostly in dark, warm environments – and according to Kasper, this is the worst combination possible. Says Kasper: “If you hang around in dark places and you like being warm, it’ll make it much harder for you to get going when spring comes.” So the expert recommends keeping active in winter too: “Get out into the fresh air – especially when the sun’s shining.”

Full story of spring feelings at Medical Xpress

Study Linking Abortion to Mental Health Problems Is Flawed

By Alexandra Sifferlin

Abortion Mental Health ProblemsA psychiatry journal has distanced itself from a controversial and widely cited study it published in 2009 linking abortions with mental health problems in women.

The original study by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University and her colleagues, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, suggested that abortion was associated with long-term mental health problems like panic attacks, depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. Seven states have since used the study to support laws that require women seeking abortions to be counseled on the mental health risks. As it turns out, the study was highly flawed.

One of the fundamental errors that plagues Coleman’s study is that the researchers did not distinguish whether mental health problems occurred before or after abortion. Indeed, in many cases, mental illness preceded abortions, weakening the argument that abortion can increase women’s mental health risks. In a commentary, the journal said the 2009 paper “does not support assertions that abortions led to psychopathology.”

Full story of abortion mental health at Time Healthland

Enter “The Anger Room”

By Danny Gallagher

The Anger RoomStress is my “fourthmeal”. It bleeds over into the rest of my time, like a diabetic enjoying that late night Chalupa that he knows will someday earn him a spot on the receiving end of an organ donor list.

What’s a guy to do? Every video game is a teeth-grating deathmatch for virtual glory and defeat is only an admission of not wanting it enough. Reading a book might be relaxing to some, but my serotonin-lacking brain sees it as a bloody “Mortal Kombat” style showdown between my attention span and the words on the page that mock me every second I’m not looking at them.

Even exercise, according to some medical experts, is a great way to relieve stress and tension. I just skip it because squeezing into spandex in a Jazzercise class would just produce more stress than even I would need.

Nothing has ever been able to cure the stress beast inside me. It, along with the repressed frat boy, quiet inner child and overeating self-esteem monkey that also live inside me, cannot be fed. I really should charge those bastards some rent.

Full story of the anger room at Man Cave Daily

Man’s best friend helps soldiers with PTSD

Fox News

Dogs Helps Soldiers PTSDAccording to the Veteran’s Administration, 800,000 returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—and less than half will get the help they need.  But lately, these soldiers are getting a little help from man’s best friend.

Kate Revels was one of thousands of soldiers who suffered in silence from PTSD.

“There’s a certain amount of shame or guilt that you carry around with you.. in addition to feeling embarrassed,” Revels said.

Revels’ condition became so difficult to manage that she had to retire from the military and eventually start therapy.  However, it wasn’t until she was matched with a terrier mix named Raiki that she said she finally started to heal.

Full story of soldiers ptsd at Fox News

Work-focused psychotherapy can help employees return to work sooner

Medical Xpress

Psychotherapy Helps Employees Return To WorkEmployees who received this therapy and returned to work sooner did not suffer adverse effects and showed significant improvement in mental health over the course of one year, according to the article, published online in APA’s Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

“People with depression or anxiety may take a lot of sick leave to address their problems,” said the study’s lead author, Suzanne Lagerveld, of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). “However, focusing on how to return to work is not a standard part of therapy. This study shows that integrating return-to-work strategies into therapy leads to less time out of work with little to no compromise in people’s psychological well-being over the course of one year.”

The study, conducted in the Netherlands, followed 168 employees, of whom 60 percent were women, on sick leave due to psychological problems such as anxiety, adjustment disorder and minor depression. Seventy-nine employees from a variety of jobs received standard, evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, while the rest received cognitive-behavioral therapy that included a focus on work and the process of returning to work.

Full story of psychotherapy benefits at Medical Xpress