Tag Archives: Mental Health

Studies find diet has significant effect on mental health

Medscape reported that “diet quality can have a significant effect on mental health outcomes and may potentially have a role in preventing and treating such common illnesses as depression and anxiety,” according to research published in the journal PLoS One. Continue reading

Absolutely Amazing: The Vast Majority of “Locked-In Patients” Satisfied With Life

Many people believe that people with “locked-in syndrome,” a form of nearly complete paralysis, would want to die, commit suicide, or be euthanized. It turns out those beliefs are false. According to a recent study, more than half of patients with locked-in syndrome indicated – through eye blinks in some cases – that they were getting satisfaction in life. This story sure brings new meaning to the “Choose Life” license plates. Continue reading

Smoking pot hastens onset of mental illness

This headline is not a new one, but another study reminds us that smoking marijuana has been linked with an increased risk of mental illness. Now researchers are saying that when pot smokers do become mentally ill, the disease starts significantly earlier in life than it would if they didn’t smoke pot. Continue reading

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 4 – The Emotional Wheel of Health

Here’s the fourth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 4 of 8:

THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God?

THE EMOTIONAL WHEEL

KEY BIBLE VERSE: A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. (Proverbs 17:22, The Message) Dig Deeper: Proverbs 14:30, 15:13

My friend Ben is a model of emotional health. For years, I’ve watched him handle whatever life throws at him. He doesn’t pretend things are better than they are, nor does he treat the inevitable letdowns of human existence as catastrophes.

Ben is comfortable with his own emotions, neither running from nor chasing down the lows and highs along his journey. Now in his 40s, Ben is one of the most authentic people I’ve ever known. His willingness to lean into and experience the rich scope of emotion inspires me to do the same, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Being mentally healthy requires healthy brain function. Charles, a former patient of mine, lives with a severe, inherited form of chemical depression. This dysfunction, if untreated, throws his physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual wheels out of balance.

At his worst, Charles loses his appetite, motivation, and concentration. But by taking a prescribed medication, eating right, exercising, and proactively balancing his other wheels, Charles has been able to dramatically decrease the impact that his depression would otherwise have on his mental and emotional health.

MY RESPONSE: What lessons about caring for my emotional health could I take from Ben? From Charles?

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THOUGHT TO APPLY: Cheerfulness, sir, is the principle ingredient in the composition of health.—Arthur Murphy (Irish actor, writer)

I have a free assessment tool that can help you evaluate your four wheels of health. You can take it now, or at the end of this devotional series. You can download it for free here.

You can learn more about this principle in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. Autographed copies are available here.

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Here’s the entire series:

Adapted from Game Plan for Life (Tyndale, 2009) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 2 – The Four Wheels of Health

Here’s the second of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 2 of 8:

THE FOUR WHEELS OF HEALTH

THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God?

WHO SAID IT … WALT LARIMORE

Walt Larimore is one of America’s best-known family physicians and has been listed in the Guide to America’s Top Family Doctors and the Best Doctors in America. He’s been a practicing family physician for around three decades—delivering more than 1,500 babies. Walt has been a medical journalist since 1995 and has served as an on-air medical consultant for many radio stations.

WHAT HE SAID … THE FOUR WHEELS OF HEALTH

The Bible’s holistic view of health is most easily seen in Luke 2:52, where the writer describes the preteen Jesus: “So Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all the people.” Jesus grew in stature (physical health), wisdom (emotional/mental health), and in favor with God (spiritual health) and others (relational health).

The Bible focuses on pursing physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, and healthy relationships with our family and others. I call these elements the four wheels of health, the importance of which has been confirmed by thousands of scientific studies.

If any one of our four wheels is wobbly or flat, our health will suffer. Life won’t run as smoothly, or as far, as it was intended.

Make no mistake—God is concerned about our physical bodies. We need to take care of our physical health—but God also designed three other wheels of health.

Key Study Passage: Psalm 32

I have a free assessment tool that can help you evaluate your four wheels of health. You can take it now, or at the end of this devotional series. You can download it for free here.

You can learn more about this principle in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. Autographed copies are available here.

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Here’s the entire series:

Adapted from Game Plan for Life (Tyndale, 2009) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 1 – Introduction

Here’s the first of an eight-part devotional for men. It’s based upon a chapter on physical health that I wrote for Coach Joe Gibbs’ best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional series was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. That chapter, and this series, are based upon my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy.

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I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 1 of 8. I’ll be posting a new part each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the end of November:

Taking good care of our bodies should be important to the serious Christ-follower. After all, the believer’s body is God’s temple (1 Cor. 6:19) and God shouldn’t have to live in a shabby, unkempt shack. But as we’ll see in this week’s readings by Dr. Walt Larimore, good health isn’t simply about how well we take care of our physical bodies—as important as that is.

“The Bible focuses on pursing physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, and healthy relationships with our family and others,” says Dr. Larimore. “I call these elements the four wheels of health, the importance of which has been confirmed by thousands of scientific studies.”

This series focuses on these four wheels of health—and how to keep our lives rolling along more smoothly.

Here’s the entire series:

Also … check out these featured Men of Integrity Bible studies:

  • Letting Christ Transform Us: The apostle John moved from being known as a fiery “Son of Thunder” to “the disciple Jesus loved.” Why the big change and what does it mean for your own identity as a transformed man of God? This study of select passages from John and 1 John offers answers.
  • Caring Commitment: Here are insights from Scripture on what it means to be a truly loving Christian husband.

Adapted from Game Plan for Life (Tyndale, 2009) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Study Shows Risks for Kids Who Watch TV or Use Computers More Than 2 Hours a Day

New research is documenting some of the risks I’ve told you about in previous blogs for kids who utilize screen time (TV, computers, video games) more than 2 hours a day. Specifically, children who watch television or use computers for more than two hours a day are more likely to experience psychological problems than kids who don’t, even if they are physically active, according to this new study. Here are the details from WebMD:

The study, which involved 1,013 children ages 10-11, found that those who spent more than two hours in front of a screen, whether watching TV, using a computer, or a combination, also were more likely to say they had trouble relating to friends and peer groups and to report feelings of unhappiness.

The children were told to wear accelerometers, devices attached to their waists that recorded their activities every 10 seconds during waking hours for seven straight days.

Working on a computerized questionnaire, the children then were asked about how much time daily they usually spent watching TV or using a computer for reasons other than doing homework. They also were asked questions such as whether they often felt unhappy, down-hearted, tearful, or lonely.

Scores were based on a “Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire,” a well-known inventory designed to provide insights into the psychological well-being of young people.

The answers “combined to produce an overall score that indicates whether the child/young person is likely to have a significant problem,” study researcher Angie S. Page, PhD, of the University of Bristol in England, tells WebMD in an email. “It has five sections that cover details of emotional difficulties — conduct problems, hyperactivity or inattention,” and trouble relating to friends and peers.

The questionnaire “is only a screening tool that will provide predictions about how likely it is that a child or young person has significant mental health problems.”

Role of Physical Activity

Page tells WebMD that the study found “no evidence that sedentary time — time spent not moving or [engaging in] minimal movement — is related to negative psychological well-being. It seems more like what you are doing in that sedentary time that is important, [for example] if you choose to spend large numbers of hours screen viewing for entertainment then this is associated with negative mental well-being.”

Page tells WebMD that while low levels of screen viewing may “not be problematic, we cannot rely on physical activity to ‘compensate’ for long hours of screen viewing.”

She says “watching TV or playing computer games for more than two hours a day is related to greater psychological difficulties, irrespective of how active children are.”

Parents, she says, should encourage physical activity for their children and take steps to reduce their time in front of a screen.

What’s seems clear from the study, she tells WebMD, is that children who spend longer than two hours in front of a computer or TV screen may suffer detrimental consequences, physically and mentally.

Children who engaged in more moderate physical activity fared better in certain measures of psychological health, she says.

Study: Mental Health Deteriorates With Increased Television

In many previous blogs I’ve reminded you of the dangers of television exposure to your children and teens. Now, here’s a warning for us adults: a new study has found that watching more than 4 hours of TV a day has an adverse effect on mental well-being. Here are the details from LifeSiteNews.com:

The study was conducted by Mark Hamer, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, and research associates Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD, and Gita D. Mishra, PhD. It analyzed the association of leisure-time sedentary behavior in adults, measured by television and screen-based entertainment (TVSE) time, and mental health.

The researchers looked at mental health survey data of 3920 men and women between the ages of 35 and 65 years, from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the mental health component of the 12-Item Short-Form Survey Instrument (MCS-12) were administered to obtain information on current mental health. Self-reported TVSE time, physical activity, and general health were also measured.

Approximately a quarter of the participants in the study engaged in at least four hours a day of watching screen-based entertainment.

After adjustment for age, gender, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, fruit and vegetable intake, the researchers found that participants with the highest TVSE level had the highest instances of mental health problems compared with participants in the group with the lowest TVSE level of less than 2 hours per day.

The report concludes that, while sedentary behavior is known to be an independent risk factor for physical health, mental well-being also deteriorates with more time spent in front of the TV.

“Sedentary behavior in leisure time is independently associated with poorer mental health scores in a representative population sample,” Dr. Hamer wrote.

An abstract, with links to the full text of the study, titled “Television- and Screen-Based Activity and Mental Well-Being in Adults” is available here.

Fish oil may stave off psychiatric illness

The AP reports that “fish oil pills may be able to save some young people with signs of mental illness from descending into schizophrenia,” according to a study published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. For the study, investigators “identified 81 people, ages 13 to 25, with warning signs of psychosis,” then randomized 41 of them “to take four fish oil pills a day for three months” at a “daily dose of 1,200 milligrams.”

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reported that “for a year after” the study “was completed,12 weeks of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oil reduced progression to full-blown psychosis in a large group of adolescents and young adults,” while simultaneously improving “many of the symptoms that identified these young patients as likely schizophrenics and bipolar disorder sufferers.” In fact, “roughly 5% of those on fish oil went on to develop full-blown psychosis during the study period, versus 28% of those who got psychotherapy alone.”

WebMD reported, “No other intervention, including psychiatric” medications, “has achieved as much for so long after treatment stopped.” Unlike antipsychotic medications, “fish oil pills have no serious side effects.”

Reuters noted that fish oils may be used someday to stave off or even prevent psychotic or bipolar illness as well as substance abuse disorder and depression.

You can read my other blogs about fish oil here:

New Study Shows 85% of Women Say Abortions Cause Mental Health Issues

LifeNews.com is reporting on a new study from researchers at a university in New Zealand which found that 85 percent of women who had abortions report negative mental health issues as a result. The report is the latest from professor David Fergusson and his team showing abortions cause problems for women.

According to the LifeNews report, the University of Otago team examined the medical history of over 500 women and concluded having an abortion generally “leads to significant distress” in women who have them.

It noted women reporting adverse reactions to their abortions were up to 80 percent more likely to have mental health problems and risk of mental illness was “proportional to the degree of distress” associated with the abortion.

The study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined data from women who had been interviewed six times between the ages of 15 and 30 and who were asked if they were pregnant and, if so, the outcome of the pregnancy.

More than 85 percent of women reported negative reactions to their abortions including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment.

The study revealed that women who have abortions face more negative mental health problems resulting from that pregnancy outcome as compared with women who keep their baby and carry to term. Women having abortions had rates of mental health problems “approximately 1.4 to 1.8 times higher than women not exposed to abortion.”

Ultimately, Fergusson and his team said there is little justification for saying that legal abortions should be promoted on the basis of a improving a woman’s mental health.

“Collectively, this evidence raises important questions about the practice of justifying termination of pregnancy on the grounds that this procedure will reduce risks of mental health problems in women having unwanted pregnancy,” the team wrote.

The team said the study showed no reason to “support strong pro-choice positions that claim unwanted pregnancy terminated by abortion is without mental health risks.”

The new study is a follow-up to previous studies Fergusson and his team conducted showing women who have abortions are more likely to become severely depressed.

The original 2006 study found some 42 percent of the women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years. That’s almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled.

According to the study, women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs.

A second study Fergusson’s team released found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.

The authors concluded that anywhere from 1.5 to 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.

British Victims of Abortion, which helps women who suffer medical and mental health problems after an abortion, has welcomed the results of the new report.

Margaret Cuthill of BVA commented: “What we at British Victims of Abortion hear in the counseling room confirms the truth of Professor Fergusson’s results.”

You can read my other blogs on the topic here:

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new report from researchers at a university in New Zealand indicates 85 percent of women who had abortions report negative mental health issues as a result. The report is the latest from professor David Fergusson and his team showing abortions cause problems for women.
The University of Otago team examined the medical history of over 500 women and concluded having an abortion generally “leads to significant distress in some” women who have them.
It noted women reporting adverse reactions to their abortions were up to 80 percent more likely to have mental health problems and risk of mental illness was “proportional to the degree of distress” associated with the abortion.
The study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined data from women who had been interviewed six times between the ages of 15 and 30 and who were asked if they were pregnant and, if so, the outcome of the pregnancy.
More than 85 percent of women reported negative reactions to their abortions including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment.
The study revealed that women who have abortions face more negative mental health problems resulting from that pregnancy outcome as compared with women who keep their baby and carry to term. Women having abortions had rates of mental health problems “approximately 1.4 to 1.8 times higher than women not exposed to abortion.”
Ultimately, Fergusson and his team said there is little justification for saying that legal abortions should be promoted on the basis of a improving a woman’s mental health.
“Collectively, this evidence raises important questions about the practice of justifying termination of pregnancy on the grounds that this procedure will reduce risks of mental health problems in women having unwanted pregnancy,” the team wrote.
The team said the study showed no reason to “support strong pro-choice positions that claim unwanted pregnancy terminated by abortion is without mental health risks.”
The new study is a follow-up to previous studies http://www.lifenews.com/nat1941.html  Fergusson and his team conducted showing women who have abortions are more likely to become severely depressed.
The original 2006 study found some 42 percent of the women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years. That’s almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled.
According to the study, women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs.
A second study http://www.lifenews.com/int1008.html  Fergusson’s team released found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.
The authors concluded that anywhere from 1.5 to 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.
British Victims of Abortion, which helps women who suffer medical and mental health problems after an abortion, has welcomed the results of the new report.
Margaret Cuthill of BVA commented: “What we at British Victims of Abortion hear in the counseling room confirms the truth of Professor Fergusson’s results.”

HEADLINE: “Abortion not seen linked with depression.” Don’t believe it for a second.

Reuters is reporting today that “No high-quality study done to date can document that having an abortion causes psychological distress, or a “post-abortion syndrome,” and “efforts to show it does occur appear to be politically motivated.” They base this upon a new report by U.S. researchers. Should you believe this? Not for a New York second.

More Information: Continue reading

Researchers Dismissing Abortion-Depression Link Funded by Planned Parenthood

The results of a new study from a Johns Hopkins University research team claiming that there is no link between abortions and mental health problems for women should come as no surprise. The authors of the study, which the mainstream media touted Thursday, are bankrolled by Planned Parenthood.

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Johns Hopkins Review of Abortion, Depression Link Ignores Three New Studies

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have looked at more than a dozen studies on abortion and mental health issues and they claim there is no link. However the review failed to include three new studies all showing abortion leads to significant mental health problems for women.

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Researcher to APA: You Can’t Keep Ignoring Studies Showing Abortion Hurts Women

The leading researcher responsible for a new study showing abortion has serious mental health complications for women says the American Psychological Association needs to reverse its own misleading conclusion that abortion doesn’t cause women mental health problems.

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Mental health parity bill becomes law

The New York Times reports, “More than one-third of all Americans will soon receive better insurance coverage for mental-health treatments because of a new law that, for the first time, requires equal coverage of mental and physical illnesses.” 

More information: Continue reading