Mindfulness Group Therapy Can Be as Good as Individual CBT for Many Psychiatric Symptoms

A new Swedish study shows that mindfulness group therapy is just as effective as individual CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) for the treatment of patients with a wide range of psychiatric symptoms, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, aggression, and paranoid ideation. The study was conducted by researchers at the Center for Primary Healthcare Research (CPF) in…

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Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, & the Microbiome

You’ve probably heard about the rising importance of the microbiome — otherwise known as your gut bacteria. Researchers have started to find interesting links between the naturally occurring bacteria that live in our guts, and things we’ve traditionally attributed to the brain. Things like our mood, feelings, and even thoughts. We now know, for instance,…

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Cognitive Function’s Importance to Recovery in Depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has the highest lifetime prevalence of any psychiatric disorder. Rates of chronic MDD are conservatively estimated to be at approximately 20%, with high rates of relapse and recurrence also reported. It has been hypothesized that deficits in cognitive processes are predictive of future major depressive episodes. Available evidence suggests that over…

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Emotional Flexibility May Affect PTSD, Depression Severity

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is unique among stress-related psychiatric illness in that exposure to a traumatic event is a required component of the diagnosis. Symptoms of PTSD include negative alterations in cognition and mood, hyperarousal, avoidance behavior, and re-experiencing of trauma. Furthermore, a significant minority of individuals who are exposed to trauma may also develop…

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Untreated Psychotic Illness: Stemming the Tide

In a recent study involving 404 patients with first-episode psychosis recruited at 34 community clinics in 21 different US states, we found that the median duration of untreated psychosis was 1.5 years. Data regarding patients with other conditions suggest even longer intervals between onset of signs and symptoms and appropriate diagnosis: bipolar disorder, 6 years;…

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Cigarette Smoking Predicts Development of Depression

It has previously been reported that many adult smokers diagnosed with psychiatric conditions actually started to use nicotine products years before the onset of mental illness such as psychosis. New research findings published in Journal of Affective Disorders indicate that daily nicotine use, mainly cigarette smoking, predicts the future use of antidepressant medication. The Centers…

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Which Antidepressants May Cause Birth Defects?

While associations have been found between antidepressant use during gestation and an increased risk of major congenital malformations, variations in study results still remain, and may be confounded by the mother’s depression, class effect, or a lack of statistical power. Anick Bérard, PhD, from the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada and colleagues investigated this…

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Emerging Treatments for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects an estimated 1% of the US population, and approximately 50% of cases are considered severe. Individuals with OCD have been reported to have significant functional disability and worse quality of life compared with those without the condition. First-line treatments — cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that includes exposure and response prevention, and…

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A New Angle On Anxiety

Clinical anxiety affects up to 30 percent of Americans who are in great need of better treatments with fewer side effects. A study from Boston Children’s Hospital, published September 6 by the journal Molecular Psychiatry, finds that certain neurons in the hypothalamus play a central, previously unknown role in triggering anxiety. Targeting them, rather than…

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Cognitive Impairment, Depression in the Workplace

In a society that depends on intellectual productivity for competitiveness in our economy, impairment in work function can be detrimental. In order to maximize “human capital,” there is mounting interest in understanding how to optimize brain health at both the individual and population level. It is well established that mental illness significantly affects individuals’ ability…

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