Scientists report finding gene mutations connected to eating disorders

Scientists have discovered two gene mutations that they believe are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia often run in families, but these eating disorders are complex, and it has proved difficult  to identify the paths. But, using two families with very high incidences of eating disorders, scientists say they found rare mutations, one in each family, that were associated with the people who had the disorders. The study suggests Read More

30 colleges receive mental health ‘seal of approval’

The Jed Foundation, a national non-profit organization that advocates suicide prevention among college students, has named the first 30 colleges to receive a ‘seal of approval’ for their respective mental health resources on campus. Students beginning their college search are bombarded with a variety of metrics ranking schools on their SAT scores, acceptance rates and even the attractiveness of their students. But the Jed Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates suicide prevention among college students, Read More

5 Signs Your Teen Needs Mental Health Treatment

Teens go through emotional ups and downs all the time. Hormones are changing, life can seem overwhelming, and without much life experience, a young adult can feel misguided. When parents are busy working, or a natural separation from family occurs, teens may turn to friends instead of parents. Peer support can be helpful for certain issues. But when the symptoms of a mental illness are present, more than a good friend is needed. The problem Read More

Personality may be key to genetics of bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder vary significantly from their unaffected relatives, and from healthy controls, on several measures of personality, a study shows. Furthermore, genetic analysis revealed suggestive linkage peaks for those traits that were heritable, potentially proving useful for the identification of genes underlying susceptibility to bipolar disorder. “The results of our analyses suggest that personality dimensions may have utility in dissecting the genetic architecture of BD [bipolar disorder],” the researchers write in the Journal Read More

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM). Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and veterans disability appeals representation, is offering free poster downloads to promote the observance, which highlights the need for improved access to mental health services among minorities. The stigma associated with mental illness is often a barrier to treatment. According to the National Alliance on Read More

How Your Mental Health May Be Impacting Your Career

One American in two develops a mental illness at some point in their lives. At any moment in time, about 20 per cent of the population in developed countries has a mental illness. We know surprisingly little about why so many people suffer depression, anxiety or addiction to drugs and alcohol. We do know, however, about the severe consequences on their social and economic lives. In the U.S., people with a mental illness are two Read More

THE NEW CRITERIA FOR MENTAL DISORDERS

In 1959, Dr. Julian Lasky decided to conduct an experiment: How well could psychiatrists and hospital staff at a V.A. general-medicine and surgical hospital use individual patient interviews to predict post-hospital adjustments among their psychiatric patients? Once a month over a period of six months, Lasky gathered predictions on factors such as rehospitalization, work, family, and health adjustment. He then correlated those predictions, along with a number of other possible predictive factors, with actual readjustment Read More

How autism is different in girls vs. boys

Why do boys get diagnosed with autism four times as often as girls? New research, including some of the latest data from the International Society for Autism Research annual conference last week, addresses this question, one of the biggest mysteries in this field. A growing consensus is arguing that sex differences exist in genetic susceptibility, brain development and social learning in autism—and they are meaningful to our understanding of the disorder and how it will Read More

Eating Disorder Orthorexia On The Rise

This is the time of year when many people are excited to get in shape and eat healthier. The problem is many people are going too far. A dangerous phenomenon called “Orthorexia” is becoming more prevalent. Personal trainer Bron Volney at Boston Sports Club is just as concerned with his clients’ diet as he is with their workout. “I monitor a lot of my clients’ weight, and if they are dropping really fast, and it Read More

Mother’s quest to find treatment for son highlights mental health system’s limitations

When Chris Marciano was 4 years old, he would have a blistering tantrum whenever music came on the radio. By the second grade, his teacher described him as “not with us.” At age 11, he was kicked out of school. “The pediatrician said he was just obnoxious, which wasn’t very helpful,” said his mother, Mary Gabel, about the first assessment of her then-preschooler. “I knew something wasn’t right.” Some 20 years after that assessment, Marciano Read More