New information, medications and technological advances are making continual improvements in health care and the field of mental health is no exception. To keep you informed of the latest developments, our writers provide blogs to keep you up to date.

Refer to this webpage periodically to check for new blogs covering all aspects of mental health and mental illness.

Unique horse-assisted therapy may help veterans cope with PTSD, says study

Unique horse-assisted therapy may help veterans cope with PTSD, says study

As per the National Center for PTSD, 11 to 20 percent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In case of the Gulf War, PTSD strikes 12 percent of veterans in a given year. An estimated 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans suffer from PTSD at some point in their lifetime.

Data published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in August 2016 shows that in 2014, an average of 20 veterans committed suicide every day. An alarming 65 percent of suicides was among middle-aged and older veterans. Although veterans comprised 8.5 percent of the American population aged 18 and above, they accounted for 18 percent of all suicide deaths among U.S. adults in 2014. Read more

Famous personalitieswith mental illness – 1: Schizophrenia

Famous personalitieswith mental illness – 1: Schizophrenia

The Machiavellian nature of some mental illnesses makes it more difficult for them to be detected and treated. Mental health problems debilitate normal way of living by affecting the way people think, feel and act. One such mental disorder that affects people to the extent that they lose touch with reality is schizophrenia. This grave and chronic mental disorder can be very disabling. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the illness characterized by disturbances in thinking, emotions and behavior, affects more than 21 million people worldwide.

Read more

Common reasons why people don’t seek mental health treatment

Common reasons why people don’t seek mental health treatment

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), only about half of the population suffering from major depression is able to receive treatment. Such a shocking revelation highlight the severity of the condition and major gaps in the overall mental health treatment. Read more

Children of older mothers at high risk of developing autism

Children of older mothers at high risk of developing autism

Autism is a congenital disorder characterized by symptoms, such as repetitive behaviors, difficulties in social interaction, challenges in verbal and nonverbal communication, etc. According to a 2014 data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 68 children in the United States suffered from autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Read more

Young PTSD victims misinterpret facial expressions

Young PTSD victims misinterpret facial expressions

Uncontained anxiety and flashbacks are common after one has gone through a harrowing experience. Clinicians often diagnose people suffering from the aftereffects of trauma with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychological problem that exhibits itself as “fight-or-flight” response when faced with such a situation.

A group of researchers from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University (NYU) has found that adolescents showing signs of PTSD are at a greater likelihood of misunderstanding sad and angry facial expressions as fearful. The scientists in their study revealed how teenagers with signs of conduct disorder are more likely to misconstrue sad facial gestures as angry. Read more

Instagram pictures can reveal a lot about mental health, study finds

Instagram pictures can reveal a lot about mental health, study finds

Can an analysis of colors provide vital clues about a person’s mental health? The answer may be in the affirmative as per findings of a new study listed in arXiv.org, Cornell University’s open access website for findings before they are published formally, on Aug.13, 2016.

In the study, the researchers created a computer algorithm to analyze Instagram posts of 166 individual users. The algorithm was designed to extract statistical information from 43,950 photos by analyzing their color and brightness, use of Instagram filters, number of faces in each photo and metadata including number of comments or likes. Read more

Are image editing apps fueling body dysmorphic disorder?

Are image editing apps fueling body dysmorphic disorder?

At times, the way people present themselves on various social media platforms can be an inspiration drawn from their favorite characters in fairytales, which always have a happy ending. In these tales, the characters need just a sip of the magic potion or a wave of the magic wand to achieve the desired looks. In digital context, that magic potion would be image editing apps that help make videos and photos look fairytale-like.

These apps help people put the best foot (face) forward and appear presentable in the digital world. It is like a daily make up for the social media personality. But what happens when one does not want to step out without this make up? How unhealthy are these apps and are they fueling body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) in a person suffering from body image and self-esteem issues? Read more

Nutritious food essential for uplifting mood

Nutritious food essential for uplifting mood

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

While most people know that food is directly related to their physical health, many now also believe that food is an integral part of mental health too. Due to the round-the-clock functioning of the brain, it becomes essential to nourish it by constantly supplying the fuel in the form of nutritious food, which directly affects the overall structure and working of the brain. In fact, nutrition can be a very important factor in the onset of mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Read more

7 ways to cope with schizophrenia

7 ways to cope with schizophrenia

“I survived schizophrenia and now I’m free to live life the way I want to” said Maria (name changed), 24, of Florida, after fighting with schizophrenia for years.  Maria had been suffering from delusions and hallucinations for some time and had become quite hopeless about her condition. However, fortunately, she came across a doctor and therapist who helped her manage her symptoms well. Read more

Unheard mental disorders

Unheard mental disorders

Mental illnesses continue to be controversial in the society not only because of the taboos attached to them but also due to the lack of knowledge. Any individual behaving in a manner that is not as per the societal norms is often wrongly categorized as mentally ill. Read more