Most people consider maternal mental health to be synonymous with postpartum depression. However, there are many other similar disorders, collectively described as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). One such disorder is postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder. While PTSD as a whole used to be characterized as an anxiety disorder in the fourth edition of the…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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;…

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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