With 2020 behind us, being happy is probably a popular resolution this New Year! Will losing some weight make you happy? Finding a better job? Moving to another state (or another planet, where there are no pandemics?) Science tells us it’s simpler than that and we can all do it.
Mental health is in the news right now. The isolation, fear and anxiety of COVID-19 shutdowns have spawned a society very much on edge, and not as mentally healthy as it could be. But there are three key things that can help us turn the corner on this problem.
Social media is a major part of life for many, especially young adults. But as social media use by those young adults increases, should we be concerned about an increase in depression, too? Anecdotally, the answer is already “yes.” A new national study, just published, has also provided an answer.
We have long suspected a link between diet and depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. A study out of Australia reinforces that belief. It also shines a light on the damage highly-processed fast food can do to human mental health.
The relationship between teen cannabis use and cognitive impairment has been studied frequently. One question has been whether the cognitive impairment is causal or consequential to the cannabis use. A study out of Canada sought to answer that question and find out what effects teen cannabis use has on cognition.
Athletes, especially top-level athletes, know that competitive play carries a risk of injury. The risks can be mitigated with proper physical training. But what about the lasting damage from physical or sexual abuse? Can those scars increase the risk of injury, too?
It has been pretty widely accepted that cognitive ability declines as we age. If you ask most people, including most doctors, if alcohol consumption is good for cognitive function, they’d likely say no. But are they right? Does alcohol consumption speed age-related cognitive decline?
Most Americans avoid solitude. We crave contact and approval from others. But there are things we can only gain from being alone. There’s something revelatory about being alone for an extended period. We learn things about ourselves that we simply can’t when surrounded by others.
In 2019, over 67,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Nearly 15 million abused alcohol regularly. Substance abuse isn’t going away. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse. But can we predict who will have a substance abuse disorder? Can we use such information to tailor prevention strategies that work?
Doctors and researchers have studied depression for many years. Dozens of risk factors and behaviors that influence the condition have been discovered. Many of those factors and behaviors are modifiable. Now, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have narrowed that field down to a key few modifiable factors.