Researchers working with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have found that post-traumatic stress disorder, the current most common mental disorder among veterans returning from service in the Middle East, is associated with an increased risk for thoughts of suicide. Results of the study indicated that veterans who screened positive for PTSD were four times more likely to report suicide-related thoughts relative to veterans without the disorder. The research, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, establishes PTSD as a risk factor for thoughts of suicide in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. This holds true, even after accounting for other psychiatric disorder diagnoses, such as substance abuse and depression.
Anger is a natural emotion that every human and many non-human animals experience. Mild forms of human anger may include displeasure, irritation or dislike. When we react to frustration, criticism or a threat, we may become angry - and usually this is a healthy response. Anger may be a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened. When anger becomes a full-blown rage our judgment and thinking can become impaired and we are more likely to do and say unreasonable and irrational things. Anger is not just a mental state of mind. It triggers an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Anger has survival benefits, and forms part of our fight or flight brain response to a perceived threat or harm.
Mental health advocates are calling attention to what they see as a need for more psychiatric beds in North Carolina. Indy Week reports that "WakeMed Health & Hospitals is the 800-pound gorilla of health care in Wake County." In addition, it's easily the county's biggest health organization and, its leadership argues, the hardest-working. But when WakeMed went to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services this month for approval to add to its surgical and outpatient diagnostic facilities, the meeting was picketed by members of the Wake County chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill." The group complained that WakeMed "isn't providing enough services for the mentally ill, particularly with respect to establishing a designated psychiatric unit.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is experiencing a surge of treatment requests and disability claims as soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan, overwhelming VA clinics. The Christian Science Monitor reports "the VA is experiencing an unprecedented demand for its services. Among the roughly 2 million people who have deployed, there are some 300, 000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and thousands more of traumatic brain injury, according to a RAND report last year. And in the past decade, the number of disability claims that the VA processes has skyrocketed. Even with a heavy infusion of funding - a 50 percent increase since 2006 - the VA has been hard-pressed to meet veterans' needs.
Sticking with what you know often comes at the price of learning about more favorable alternatives. Managing this trade-off is easy for many, but not for those with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or obsessive-compulsive disorder who are trapped in simple routines. Using brain scans in monkeys, Duke University Medical Center researchers are now able to predict when monkeys will switch from exploiting a known resource to exploring their options. "Humans aren't the only animals who wonder if the grass is greener elsewhere, but it's hard to abandon what we know in hopes of finding something better, " said John Pearson, Ph.D., research associate in the Duke Department of Neurobiology and lead author of a study published in this week's Current Biology.
The following summarizes selected women's health-related blog entries. ~ " New Study Debunks 'Abortion Trauma Syndrome, '" Feminists for Choice: Abortion-rights opponents consistently invoke arguments regarding the perceived mental health impacts of abortion, including so-called "abortion trauma syndrome" and "post-abortion syndrome, " arguing that they are "concerned about the health and welfare of women, " the blog entry says. However, a new study in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry that examined 216 peer-reviewed studies related to abortion and mental health found that "the most well-controlled studies continue to demonstrate that there is no convincing evidence that induced abortion of an unwanted pregnancy is a per se significant risk factor for psychiatric illness, " the study says.