Concern that Generic Antipsychotics May Lead to Rise in Off-label Prescribing to Children

Healthline reports that as five second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) lose patent protection, Medicaid expenditures for antipsychotics are projected to be cut in half over the next five years.  But some worry that the decrease in spending may lead policymakers to lift existing restrictions on antipsychotics at a time when most SGAs are prescribed to children for off-label reasons.

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How Might Sitting Relate To Anxiety Levels?

Amount of time spent sitting seems to have a moderate link to people's anxiety levels, according to a systematic review of studies in BMC Public Health. More →

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“Breaking the Silence: How I Conquered Selective Mutism”

Scientific American MIND Managing Editor Claudia Wallis interviews Danica Cotov about her many and varied efforts to deal with selective mutism throughout her childhood and teen years. More →

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Environmental, Not Genetic Links Found for Anxiety Disorders in Twin Study

In what the editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry called a "landmark" study, an international team of researchers re-examined data from the large Twin and Offspring Study of Sweden, and discovered environmental factors more readily explained anxiety "inheritance" than did genetics. More →

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Negative Studies about Antidepressants (Still) Less Likely to Be Published

Salon looks at old data on depression studies and new data on anxiety disorders, and finds pharmaceutical companies and psychiatric researchers still "aren't telling you the whole truth." More →

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Relaxation Techniques for Depression and Anxiety in the Elderly

Time discusses a review of the literature published in the journal of Aging and Mental Health, examining the effects of a number of relaxation techniques on depression and anxiety in elderly people. More →

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Single Bout of Exercise Has Detectable Effect on Reducing Anxiety

Researchers in Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois reported in Depression and Anxiety that their meta-analysis of the scientific literature showed that "a single bout" of exercise could reduce anxiety symptoms. More →

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Youth With Social Anxieties Can Benefit from Social Service

Many youth who get into legal troubles have histories of having social anxieties, and seem to derive benefit from becoming engaged in simple, service-oriented social activities, according to a study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. More →

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A Lot of “Spin” in Studies of Using Antidepressants for Treating Anxiety

There are a lot of publication and reporting biases in studies of the efficacy of second-generation antidepressants for the treatment of anxiety, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. More →

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Have We Found The “Overhype Gene”?

In Scientific American, John Horgan criticizes psychiatrist Richard Friedman's effusive portrayal in the New York Times of a study that allegedly identified the "feel-good" gene in humans. More →

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How Come the Word “Antipsychiatry” is so Challenging?

So here we go again; another meeting with another young person who describes how he is in an acute crisis – you may call it – and is diagnosed and prescribed neuroleptics. He is told by the doctor that he suffers from a life-long illness and he will from now on be dependent on his “medication.” As long as people are met this way I see no alternative than showing that there are alternatives. If that means being “antipsychiatry,” then I am more than happy to define myself and our work in that way.
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“Is being a worrier a sign of intelligence?”

The British Psychological Society's Research Digest examines a recent study that found that certain higher ratings of intelligence in people seemed to be correlated with higher ratings of anxiety and rumination as well. More →

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Probiotics and Prebiotics May Ease Anxiety and Depression

The ingestion of prebiotics that feed good bacteria in the human gut shows promise as a way to help alleviate anxiety and depression, according to a University of Oxford study in Psychopharmacology. The study adds to previous research showing that probiotics, which add good bacteria to the gut, can also have beneficial psychological effects, the researchers said. More →

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“Unexpected Advantages of Anxiety”

PsyBlog discusses various studies that show "unexpected advantages" to having somewhat higher levels of anxiety. Many people feel that those who are more easily embarrassed are actually more trustworthy, and anxiety seems to be associated with better memories and fewer fatal accidents. More →

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Canadian Study: Most Mental Disorder Symptoms Declining in Youth

Data from a series of large, national longitudinal surveys show that symptoms of most mental illnesses in Canadian youth have in fact been stable or declining since 1994, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. So why does the opposite seem to be occurring, asked the authors. More →

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Are Psychiatric Experiments on Primates Ethical — Or Even Truly Useful?

Pediatric psychiatrist Sujartha Ramakrishna describes a planned University of Wisconsin psychiatric experiment "to discover new therapies by dissecting and analyzing the brains of baby monkeys who have been intentionally traumatized." Is such an experiment ethical, Ramakrishna asks in The Cap Times -- and can it possibly lead to anything truly helpful? More →

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Video Games By Prescription Continue Developing

"Is this the future of medicine?" asks Stephen Armstrong in the British Medical Journal. "Little Artie has been left at the doorstep of his grandma’s house—a spooky mansion filled with shadows. His grandma has been taken, and only he can save her. As he moves through corridors and darkened rooms, terrifying shapes loom above him. His only friend is Teru the Magical Hat, who shines more brightly the calmer Artie becomes. If Artie panics, however, Teru dims and the darkness grows." More →

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Mindfulness “Potent” in Preventing Relapses in Chronic Depression

Two psychologists writing for Scientific American Mind review some of the evidence base for the impacts of mindfulness meditation on problematic psychological states. They conclude that the ancient techniques "hold promise as remedies for depression and possibly anxiety" and are actually "potent" in preventing relapses in the chronically depressed. More →

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Unpublished Trials Reveal Antidepressant Provides Little Benefit For Depression or Anxiety

Upon reviewing all of GlaxoSmithKline's data from both published and unpublished trials of the antidepressant paroxetine, researchers found the drug provided almost no benefits over placebo for either depression or anxiety, according to a study in PLOS One. More →

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Nontreatment Better than CBT for Childhood Anxiety?

Children who received no treatment for their diagnosed anxiety disorder faired better over the long term than did those who chose to take Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), according to a study in Brain and Behavior. In addition, regardless of being treated or not, about half of the people in both groups were generally fairing better at the time of the long-term follow-up. More →

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Gut Bacteria Can Influence Health and Moods

Bacteria in the human gut influence food cravings, diseases and moods, according to a review of current scientific evidence published in BioEssays. In a press release, researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico stated that "microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on." The researchers focused mainly on evidence that gut bacteria can influence food choices and physical diseases, but also cited studies showing impacts on moods such as irritability and anxiety. More →

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Depth-Motion Study Shows Exercise Changes How Anxious People See

Physical exercise and a yogic technique of progressive muscle tensing and relaxing have the power to alter people's visual perceptions on a classic anxiety test, according to a study in PLOS One. Previous research has shown that people who are feeling socially anxious perceive point-light displays of ambiguous human figures as facing threateningly towards them more often than facing away. The study by Adam Heenan, a Queen's University PhD candidate in psychology, found that people regarded these figures as less threatening after brief engagement in exercise or muscle relaxation. More →

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Bullying Affects Mental and Physical Health Long-Term

Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital analyzed data from 4297 children surveyed over 3 time points (fifth, seventh and tenth grades) to find that bullying is associated with worse mental and physical health.  The article, published this week in Pediatrics, showed that bullying, especially when chronic, resulted in greater depression, anger and anxiety, and lower self-worth.

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Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

This TED Talk sheds new light on stress. "... While stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others."

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Traumagenic Neurodevelopmental Model of Psychosis — Revisited

The traumagenic neurodevelopment model of psychosis, introduced in 2001, highlighted similarities between brain abnormalities found both in people who have been abused and those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia - at the time a radical shift in thinking.  This article in Neuropsychiatry by John Read, Roar Fosse, Andrew Moskowitz, and Bruce Perry reviews the research findings since then, and finds that both direct and indirect support for the model has grown.

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