Instagram Photos Reveal Depression

Smartphones are collecting information about us all of the time. As we post pictures and text online what are we revealing about how we feel, our moods over time? This is a Brave New World for those who created online services that are designed to substitute for, or enhance, our everyday, in person lives. A study published in March of …

Mental Health Improves with Aging

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that mental health follows a very different path than physical and cognitive health in aging. Mental health in adulthood appears to progressively improve in a linear fashion from age 20 through age 100 (see figure 1 below). The findings were based on telephone interviews and in-home surveys that assessed the cognitive, …

Pregnancy and Mental Health

Pregnancy and mental health problems – how to reconcile the two – are often topics of discussion on this website and in my clinical practice. In the past we have often referred people to  Vivien K. Burt, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychiatry and the Director of the Women’s Life Center at UCLA and the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for …

Mental Health Problems and Physical Health

An incredibly well researched article in the journal JAMA Psychiatry summarized a body of research on the impact of mental health conditions on overall mortality in the world population and concluded that roughly 10% of all mortality was related to mental health problems. As I’ve recently been wrestling with problems helping people get access to treatment I thought it might …

Runner’s High

A great way to gain both physical and mental strength is to make running a part of your workout. A lifestyle that includes running promotes well being and reaps both cognitive and mental benefits. When running, the body releases endogenous opioids, like endorphins, that relieve stress. The feeling some people call a runner’s high is due to the activation of …

Effects of Vitamin D on Mental Illness

Current Psychiatry posted an article suggesting that vitamin D levels are related to different mental illnesses. Although more than 50% of psychiatric patients are reported to have vitamin D deficiencies, there is still not enough evidence to say that vitamin D supplementation will help with symptoms. One way vitamin D enters our systems is through exposure to sunlight. UV radiation …