Depression: 35 extra minutes of exercise daily slashes risk

It is common knowledge that exercise is good for physical health, but a new study shows that it can also help curtail episodes of depression, even in those who have an increased genetic risk.

According to the researchers, who are from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the study is the first of its kind.

The paper, which appears in the journal Depression and Anxiety, shows that physical activity can positively affect the risk of depression — even when there is a higher genetic risk.

Lead author Karmel Choi, Ph.D., and her colleagues consulted genomic and electronic health record data from almost 8,000 participants in the Partners Biobank.

Full story at Medical News Today

Your mental health app’s diagnosis could be way off

Apps that help us deal with our well-being can often be helpful and comforting, but how much should we rely on a mobile application to tell us how to cope with our mental health struggles?

According to new research conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia, there may be some major problems in the way mental health apps are framing mental illness and diagnosing users.

The research, which was recently published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, consisted of a qualitative content analysis of 61 mental health apps across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Full story at Medical News Today

Exercising Too Much Could Worsen Mental Health, Study Suggests

It’s a widely-held belief that exercise improves mental health, and a new study of 1.2 million Americans has added significant weight to the theory.

However, the researchers also found that exercising too much actually has a detrimental effect on one’s mental wellness.

The study, conducted by Yale University and the University of Oxford and published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal, concluded that people who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared to people who do not exercise at all.

Full story at the Independent.co.uk

Mass hysteria: An epidemic of the mind?

An outbreak of fatal dancing fits among members of the same community, men suddenly gripped by the sickening fear of losing their genital organs, and teenagers having mysterious symptoms after watching an episode of their favorite TV series — these are all instances of what we often refer to as “mass hysteria.”

“They danced together, ceaselessly, for hours or days, and in wild delirium, the dancers collapsed and fell to the ground exhausted, groaning and sighing as if in the agonies of death. When recuperated, they […] resumed their convulsive movements.”

This is a description of the epidemic of “dancing plague” or “dancing mania” as given by Benjamin Lee Gordon in Medieval and Renaissance Medicine.

Full story at Medical News Today

Kate Spade’s suicide is a reminder that anyone can experience mental illness

Yes, even someone as successful as Kate Spade can experience mental illness.

The death of the 55-year-old fashion designer Tuesday morning in her New York apartment was officially ruled a suicide by the city’s medical examiner’s office on Thursday. Some on social media this week have questioned how Spade, who seemingly had everything, could take her own life.

Spade’s husband, Andy, told The New York Times she suffered from severe depression. Mental illnesses are medical conditions. Just like diabetes and heart disease, they can affect anyone — regardless of their income or occupation.

“That (argument) doesn’t make any sense to me. That’s like saying someone’s really successful, I don’t know how she got cancer,” said Dr. Soroya Bacchus, a psychiatrist. “Mental disorders are an equal opportunity and have nothing do with success, education or where you grow up.”

Full story at CNBC