Quitting Smoking Improves Mental Health

A widely held belief among smokers is that the habit relieves psychological symptoms. However, a new meta-analysis of 26 prospective international studies challenges this assumption. After a median follow-up of 6-12 months, smoking cessation significantly decreased anxiety, depression, and stress while increasing psychological quality of life, compared with continued smoking. Cessation of smoking resulted in…

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Why A Peaceful Life May Be a Longer Life

Anxiety is the most common mental illness and is now linked to a common cause of death. American Heart Association research reviewed 22 years of data from 6000 people aged 25-74. They found the most anxious people were 33% more likely to have a stroke later in life. Anxiety induced inactivity, smoking, higher stress hormone…

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Overweight Children With School Issues May Have Sleep Disordered Breathing

Overweight children aged 10-16 years old with sleep disordered breathing (SDB) often have difficulties with attention span, and suffer increased depression and anxiety. This study found that 30% of students with moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) received a grade “C” or below, while only 15% of students without obstructive sleep apnea received a C or lower. Conversely, 15%…

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Self-medicating for Anxiety Is A Fast Track To Alcohol/Drug Abuse

Alcohol and drug abuse is often associated with anxiety disorders, but which came first?  A study of 34,653 adults followed for 3 years may help answer this question. Participants having anxiety disorder at the beginning of the study and self-medicated with alcohol and/or drugs, were 2.5 times as likely to develop alcohol abuse, and had…

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Alcohol Prolongs Psychological Anxiety of Stress

People often use alcohol as a way of coping with life's stress. New research indicates this may actually just bring more unpleasantness. Although alcohol reduces the cortisol secretion of the stress response, it also prolongs the negative psychological anxiety of stress and takes away the pleasurable effects of alcohol. So stress and alcohol feed the worst…

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Sleeping Pills and Nerve Pills Increase the Risk of Dying

There are many mental, physical, and spiritual reasons why people get prescriptions for pills to help them sleep or to cope with anxiety. It isn't surprising that those who feel they need sleeping pills have higher death rates than healthy people.But the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published a recent study finding that pills for sleep and anxiety…

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Exercise Important for Reducing Anxiety in Illness

Physical activity is well known to improve depression symptoms. However, there has been concern that its effects might worsen anxiety. A review of 40 studies of sedentary adults with a variety of chronic illnesses concludes exercise training significantly reduces anxiety symptoms as well. The largest anxiety improvements were seen in those who exercised at least…

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What is the Balance in Your Stress Bank Account?

Many years ago I attended a lecture on how to manage stress. The speaker (I don't remember his name!) said we each have a finite supply of energy to deal with our stresses and can be compared with a bank account. When we respond to various stresses in life we make a withdrawal of this…

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Anxiety May Predict Later Dementia

How can one predict the development of dementia in later life? A new prospective study may shed some light on this question. Using a standardized anxiety inventory and later cognitive status in almost 1200 men followed for 17 years, researchers found that those with high anxiety levels at baseline were significantly more likely to develop…

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