The place you choose to live may have a bigger impact on your happiness than you might think. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research asked Americans to respond to surveys reporting on their quality of life. The study found the top 10 most unhappy cities to be Scranton, Pennsylvania; St. Joseph, Missouri; Erie, Pennsylvania; South Bend, Indiana; Jersey City, New Jersey; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Non-Metropolitan West Virginia; Springfield, Massachusetts; New York, New York; and Evansville-Henderson, Indiana. According to the study, the happiest cities are Charlottesville, Virginia; Rochester, Minnesota; Lafayette, Louisiana; Naples, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Flagstaff, Arizona; Shreveport, Louisiana; Houma, Louisiana; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Provo, Utah.
The researchers point out that people continue to move to those cities associated with unhappiness, and they cite compromises such as higher wages or lower housing costs as reasons people may be willing to sacrifice some happiness. They also note that dissatisfaction does not seem to be a primary motive for leaving a location either.
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill designed to reduce mental health stigma by removing outdated language from California laws. References to insanity, defectiveness, and similar terms will be removed and replaced with more contemporary terms, such as intellectual disability, developmental disability, and mental health disorder. The move is an attempt to reduce mental health stigma.
Antipsychotic drugs commonly used to treat schizophrenia can yield a marked reduction in brain volume, according to new research. The study compared 31 people with schizophrenia to 71 people without the condition. The people with schizophrenia had all taken antipsychotic medications. Brain scans revealed that people with schizophrenia saw a .7% reduction in brain volume each year, compared to .5% among people without schizophrenia.
In 2013, Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds was brutally stabbed by his son, Gus, who then killed himself. The elder Deeds survived, and earlier this week, he and 12 other senators began a new panel, The Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century, designed to research and implement policies that improve life for people with mental health conditions, their families, and the surrounding community.
A report issued at the Mental Health Issues of Diabetes conference highlights the need for better mental health care for people with diabetes. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of mental health conditions. For example, they face a depression risk two times that of the average person. Disordered eating is also common with between 30% and 40% of young diabetic women experiencing disordered eating patterns. Many people with diabetes don’t get proper mental health care, though, and doctors rarely ask about mental health conditions among diabetic patients.
More states are requiring that gun background checks include mental health records. There were 3.4 million mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System this year—an increase from previous years. Forty-three states have rules governing reporting people with mental illnesses, but the rules vary significantly from state to state.
A new study has found that the suicide risk among smokers is two to four times that of the general population. The study also notes that smokers are more likely to experience psychiatric problems. Previous research has found that smoking is common among those facing mental health conditions, with 44% of people with a mental health condition regularly smoking.
An experiment at the Latitude Festival designed to highlight behavior associated with lies emphasizes that people are generally bad at detecting liars. In a BBC broadcast, cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott emphasizes that most people maintain eye contact, rather than averting their gaze, when lying. Forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes says that the Latitude Festival experiment shows that most people are effectively deceived by liars most of the time.
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