Exposure to traumatic or life-threatening circumstances, such as a rape, car accident, or military combat, can lead to symptoms of posttraumatic stress. According to a new study, though, you don’t have to have firsthand experience of these events to suffer trauma. Researchers gave 189 participants with no prior trauma history a questionnaire that posed questions about social media use and symptoms of trauma. Twenty-two percent of participants showed symptoms of trauma based solely on their exposure to school shootings, terrorist attacks, and other sources of trauma on social media.
Some people with bipolar and depression report “fuzzy thinking,” and a new fMRI study addresses this symptom. Participants engaged in executive functioning tests that required quick thinking and rapid responses. The depression and bipolar group performed similarly to one another, but not as well to groups without either condition. Brain scans revealed that those with bipolar and depression had less brain activity in the posterior parietal cortex.
Mental health issues don’t have to derail success. Indeed, for some entrepreneurs, they may fuel it. According to a poll of entrepreneurs, 72% are directly affected by mental health issues, either via their own or a family member’s mental health issues. In the general population, the figure is just 48%. Though researchers don’t yet understand what’s behind this correlation, it could be that different ways of thinking, creative problem-solving, and other personality traits sometimes associated with atypical mental health play a role in entrepreneurial success.
The Great Recession may have contributed to an increase in mental health problems, according to a Loyola University study. Researchers found a depression prevalence of 2.3% from 2005–2006, the years immediately prior to the recession. The figure increased to 3.5% in 2009–2010, and to 3.8% in 2010–2011.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose wife recently detailed her family’s struggles with mental health issues, announced $54 million in new funding for mental health services this year. The figure will increase to $78 million next year. De Blasio wants to install mental health clinics in 80 schools, ensure every police precinct has a victim’s advocate, and offer mental health care to families in homeless shelters. New York may serve as a model for other cities to address mental health needs.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, sex crime reports have almost doubled in a five-year period. In 2009, colleges reported 3,357 crimes, compared to 6,073 cases in 2013. Sex crimes such as rape are notoriously underreported, so it’s difficult to discern whether the numbers suggest an increase in sex crimes, or an improvement in reporting rates.
The so-called Mediterranean diet, which heavily relies upon nuts, fruits, and vegetables, may be a good way to stave off age-related memory decline. Researchers, who followed nearly 30,000 participants across 40 countries for an average of five years, found that those who followed such a diet saw 24% fewer symptoms of memory loss and thinking problems.
Cancer patients often report pressure to conform to the stereotype of the “good patient” diligently fighting a “battle.” Emily McDowell, who survived stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, created her condolence cards in response to this narrative. The cards are tongue-in-cheek, but offer meaningful support without forcing cancer patients into stereotypes.
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