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Mental Health News Stories

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on mental health topics that don't often make mainstream news. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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What Everyone Should Know About the Brain’s Ability to Heal
2022-10-25, New York Times
Posted: 2023-04-17 13:36:52
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/25/opinion/brain-stroke-recovery-fetterman.html

Our brains are made up of billions of cells that work together to create our every ability. Wipe out those cells, through a stroke or other brain trauma, and you may no longer be able to read, but you might still be able to speak, sing or write. It’s all about where the brain is damaged — which systems of cells are traumatized and which are not. The three-pound mass of neurological tissue that we call the brain has the power not only to create every ability we have but also to manifest our perception of reality. Our brains have a two-pronged defense mechanism that kicks in when brain trauma occurs. Not only are we able to grow some new neurons — a process called neurogenesis — especially in the sites where physical trauma has occurred, our brain cells are capable of neuroplasticity, which means they can rearrange which other neurons they are in communication with. That’s why, whenever I meet someone who has experienced a brain trauma of any sort, I don’t focus on what abilities that person has lost, but rather I marvel at what insights that person might have gained because of the experience. Few things have greater impact on how people choose to live their lives than neurological trauma or near-death experiences. And when we find ourselves to be neurologically impaired, we become vulnerable and need others to support us rather than criticize or judge us. I became a much more compassionate and empathetic person following my stroke and recovery. Perhaps I am not the only one.

Note: The above was written by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist and the author of "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Mindfulness better than CBT for treating depression, study finds
2023-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-04-17 13:35:21
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/27/mindfulness-better-than-cbt-f...

Practising mindfulness is much better than taking part in talking therapies at helping people recover from depression, a British study has found. People who used a mindfulness self-help book for eight weeks and had six sessions with a counsellor experienced a 17.5% greater improvement in recovery from depressive symptoms than those who underwent cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) while being supported by a mental health practitioner. Their results have been published in JAMA Psychiatry. The NHS says mindfulness involves people paying attention to “what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment” and “the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment” as well as being aware of their thoughts and feelings as they happen. People using mindfulness in the LIGHTMind 2 trial spent eight weeks following the advice in The Mindful Way Workbook, which helps them build up their mindfulness skills by guiding them on what they should do every day in order to be aware of their thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in a non-judgmental way. Doing that helps people address some of the behaviours that can maintain feelings of depression. They also had six one-to-one half-hour “support sessions” on the telephone with a therapist discussing their progress, experience of practising mindfulness and asking questions. Mindfulness-based treatment is also a cheaper way of tackling depression because people using it needed on average £526 less of subsequent treatment.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Your Brain Could Be Controlling How Sick You Get—And How You Recover
2023-02-27, Scientific American
Posted: 2023-03-27 14:07:08
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-brain-could-be-controlling-ho...

Mental states can have a profound impact on how ill we get — and how well we recover. Understanding this could help to boost the placebo effect, destroy cancers, enhance responses to vaccination and even re-evaluate illnesses that, for centuries, have been dismissed as being psychologically driven. Neuroscientist Catherine Dulac and her team at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have pinpointed neurons in an area called the hypothalamus that control symptoms including fever, warmth-seeking and loss of appetite in response to infection. “Most people probably assume that when you feel sick, it’s because the bacteria or viruses are messing up your body,” she says. But her team demonstrated that activating these neurons could generate symptoms of sickness even in the absence of a pathogen. An open question, Dulac adds, is whether these hypothalamic neurons can be activated by triggers other than pathogens, such as chronic inflammation. The insula ... is involved in processing emotion and bodily sensations. A 2021 study ... found that neurons in the insula store memories of past bouts of gut inflammation — and that stimulating those brain cells reactivated the immune response. Such a reaction might prime the body to fight potential threats. But these reactions could also backfire. This could be the case for certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, that can be exacerbated by negative psychological states.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Now for sale: Data on your mental health
2023-02-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2023-02-19 23:32:16
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/02/13/mental-health-data-brokers/

A study published Monday ... outlines how expansive the market for people’s health data has become. After contacting data brokers to ask what kinds of mental health information she could buy, researcher Joanne Kim reported that she ultimately found 11 companies willing to sell bundles of data that included information on what antidepressants people were taking, whether they struggled with insomnia or attention issues, and details on other medical ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease or bladder-control difficulties. Some of the data was offered in an aggregate form that would have allowed a buyer to know, for instance, a rough estimate of how many people in an individual Zip code might be depressed. But other brokers offered personally identifiable data featuring names, addresses and incomes, with one data-broker sales representative pointing to lists named “Anxiety Sufferers” and “Consumers With Clinical Depression in the United States.” Some even offered a sample spreadsheet. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, restricts how hospitals, doctors’ offices and other “covered health entities” share Americans’ health data. But the law doesn’t protect the same information when it’s sent anywhere else, allowing app makers and other companies to legally share or sell the data. Some of the data brokers offered ... opt-out forms. But ... many people probably didn’t realize the brokers had collected their information in the first place. Privacy advocates have for years warned about the unregulated data trade, saying the information could be exploited by advertisers or misused for predatory means. The health-data issue has in some ways gotten worse, in large part because of the increasing sophistication with which companies can collect and share people’s personal information — including not just in defined lists, but through regularly updated search tools and machine-learning analyses.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The country where 30 farmers die each day
2022-03-17, CNN News
Posted: 2023-01-29 20:54:28
https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/17/opinions/india-farmer-suicide-agriculture-refo...

The situation for India’s more than 260 million agricultural workers is dire. Nearly 30 people in the farming sector die by suicide daily, according to the most recent figures available, typically due to overwhelming debt. Indeed in 2020, more than 10,000 people in the agricultural sector ended their own lives, according to government data. India’s economic backbone – its farmers and their families – is in collapse. They face crushing pressures: insurmountable debt, environmental degradation, and extreme rates of cancer linked to exposure to pesticides. This strain is compounded by climate change and extreme weather – from ground water depletion to water shortages and crop damage due to rising temperatures – effects which have been tied to increasing suicides in India. Many are subsistence farmers who are drowning in the volatility caused by the Green Revolution which began in the 1960s as a way of industrializing the agriculture sector with high yielding seeds, mechanized tools and pesticides. In some cases, farmers cannot work their land due to illness linked to the revolution’s pesticides and fertilizers. They are dealing with deep-rooted battles against multinational corporations. And all the while having to take out loans each year to make the agricultural cycle possible. And then, when farmers are unable to get loans from legitimate banks, illegal moneylenders ... step in, charging exorbitant interest rates and creating an inescapable debt-trap for farmers, in some instances pushing them to suicide.

Note: Watch a compelling talk by food sovereignty advocate Vandana Shiva, who explains how the "Green Revolution" doesn't bring any gain in food security, and has done more harm than good in India. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


“You Are Watching the Power of Music Changing Brain Chemistry”
2022-05-27, Reasons to be Cheerful
Posted: 2023-01-16 12:42:28
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/dementia-music-healing-brain-neurology/

Music, it turns out, is medicine for the mind. [A 2021 study] set out to see what happens in the brain when a person with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease listens to their favorite playlist for an hour every day. The 14 participants had brain scans and took neuropsychological tests that involved memory exercises. At the end of the trial the participants showed a small but statistically significant improvement in memory — something that is extremely unusual. New connections had formed between different regions of the brain ... that actually changed brain plasticity and also improved function in relaying information. Thaut says the research shows that while music is in no way a cure for Alzheimers, it can provide a "cognitive boost." That’s why a person with memory impairment may not recall their daughter’s name but may remember all the lyrics to her favorite lullaby. “It’s pulling from emotions, it’s pulling from feelings, it’s pulling from interpersonal associations, it’s pulling from a date or time or period of one’s life — historical things,” [Concetta] Tomaino says. Music serves as a clue, coaxing the brain to fill in the blanks. “It is painful to watch your beloved slip away inch by inch,” [Carol Rosenstein] says. “And if it weren’t for the music, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. As a caregiver and first responder, I can tell you, I would have never survived the journey.”

Note: Watch a deeply moving video of Henry, a 94-year old man with dementia, experience music for the first time in years.


Cognitive decline linked to ultraprocessed food, study finds
2022-08-01, CNN
Posted: 2022-09-06 14:02:39
https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/01/health/ultraprocessed-food-dementia-study-well...

Eating ultraprocessed foods for more than 20% of your daily calorie intake every day could set you on the road to cognitive decline, a new study revealed. "Fifty-eight percent of the calories consumed by United States citizens ... come from ultraprocessed foods," [Dr. Claudia] Suemoto said. Studies have found they can raise our risk of obesity, heart and circulation problems, diabetes and cancer. In fact, men and women who ate the most ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster rate of executive function decline compared with people who ate the least amount of overly processed food, the study found. "The new results are quite compelling and emphasize the critical role for proper nutrition in preserving and promoting brain health and reducing risk for brain diseases as we get older," said Rudy Tanzi, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the genetics and aging research unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Tanzi said the key problem with ultraprocessed foods is that they are usually very high in sugar, salt and fat, all of which promote systemic inflammation, perhaps the most major threat to healthy aging in the body and brain. "They also replace eating food that is high in plant fiber that is important for maintaining the health and balance of the trillions of bacteria in your gut microbiome," he added, "which is particularly important for brain health and reducing risk of age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease."

Note: For more information on health and well-being, including major cover-ups that affect your health, visit our Health Information Center and explore key news articles from the major media related to health.


Court Rules that EPA's Delay
2021-04-19, The Intercept
Posted: 2022-07-11 12:59:21
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/29/chlorpyrifos-epa-brain-damage-children/

After 14 years of legal battles, a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take actions that will likely force the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos off the market. The federal agency has for years been considering mounting evidence that links the pesticide to brain damage in children — including loss of IQ, learning difficulties, ADHD, and autism — but, as the court acknowledged, has repeatedly delayed taking action. “Rather than ban the pesticide or reduce the tolerances to levels that the EPA could find were reasonably certain to cause no harm, the EPA sought to evade through delay tactics its plain statutory duty,” Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote in his decision. “During that time, the EPA’s egregious delay exposed a generation of American children to unsafe levels of chlorpyrifos,” he wrote, and ordered the EPA to issue a final regulation within 60 days. More than 5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos were applied to crops in 2017, according to the most recent data. The EPA was poised to ban chlorpyrifos in 2016, but the Trump EPA changed course. The reversal, made under EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, has been tied to a $1 million contribution to President Donald Trump’s inaugural fund from Dow Chemical Company, now known as Corteva, which was the primary producer of chlorpyrifos. Patti Goldman, an attorney at Earthjustice who has been overseeing the chlorpyrifos litigation since 2014, said the disparity between the science and the EPA’s refusal to act reached new heights during the Trump years.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


The Joy Workout
2022-05-24, New York Times
Posted: 2022-07-04 12:52:24
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/24/well/move/joy-workout-exercises-happiness....

It’s no secret that exercise, even in small doses, can improve your mood. Researchers even have a name for it: the feel-better effect. And while any physical activity — a walk, a swim, a bit of yoga — can give you an emotional boost, we wanted to create a short workout video specifically designed to make people happy. What would a “joy workout” look like? I’m a psychologist fascinated by the science of emotion. I’ve also taught group exercise classes for more than 20 years. To design a happiness workout, I turned to the research I leverage in those classes, to maximize the joy people get from moving their bodies. Imagine fans erupting when their team clinches a playoff spot. Researchers have identified several movements like this that are recognizable in many cultures as inspired by joy: reaching your arms up; swaying from side to side, like concertgoers losing themselves in the music; other rhythmic movements, such as bouncing to a beat; or taking up more space, like dancers spinning, arms outstretched. These physical actions don’t just express a feeling of joy — research shows they can also elicit it. The resulting eight and a half–minute Joy Workout lets you test these effects yourself. It leads you through six joy moves: reach, sway, bounce, shake, jump for joy and one I named “celebrate” that looks like tossing confetti in the air. I based these moves on research and on the movements that produce the most joy in my classes, among people of all ages and abilities.

Note: Watch a video of the the Joy Workout at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Peter Breggin on the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Complex
2016-04-18, Psychology Today
Posted: 2021-01-25 22:00:18
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethinking-mental-health/201604/peter...

Throughout my career as a psychiatrist, I have found, on a clinical and scientific basis, psychiatric drugs do much more harm than good. My professional website (www.breggin.com) began as an attempt to present my scientific research. At the time that I started my reform efforts in the early 1970s, I was nearly alone among psychiatrists or any other professionals in standing up to the pharmaceutical industry, the electroshock industry, the American Psychiatric Association, the AMA, and other members of what I defined as the “psychopharmaceutical complex.” When taken for months or years, all psychiatric drugs can seriously damage the brain, prevent recovery, and ruin the individual’s quality of life. The psychiatric model of human suffering has caused untold damage to hundreds of millions of victims of involuntary treatment, psychiatric hospitals, drugs and electroshock. It has also set back civilization by undermining Western traditions of individuality, personal responsibility, and love. It has convinced modern society that emotional suffering is based in so-called biochemical imbalances when in reality it is rooted in a complex combination of human nature, individual experience and choice-making, and societal influences. This flawed biological model ignores all the important realities in human life from the dreadful effects of childhood trauma and adult disappointment and loss to the importance of living by worthwhile principles and ideals.

Note: Learn about Dr. Breggin’s key role in stopping lobotomies and much more in this informative interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


GlaxoSmithKline fined $3bn after bribing doctors to increase drugs sales
2012-07-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-03-14 19:14:18
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jul/03/glaxosmithkline-fined-bribing...

The pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $3bn (1.9bn) after admitting bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable antidepressants to children. The company encouraged sales reps in the US to mis-sell three drugs to doctors and lavished hospitality and kickbacks on those who agreed to write extra prescriptions. The company admitted corporate misconduct over the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and asthma drug Advair. GSK also paid for articles on its drugs to appear in medical journals and "independent" doctors were hired by the company to promote the treatments. Paxil which was only approved for adults was promoted as suitable for children and teenagers by the company despite trials that showed it was ineffective. Children and teenagers are only treated with antidepressants in exceptional circumstances due to an increased risk of suicide. The second drug to be mis-sold was Wellbutrin another antidepressant aimed only at adults. The prosecution said the company paid $275,000 to Dr Drew Pinsky, who hosted a popular radio show, to promote the drug on his programme, in particular for unapproved uses. US attorney Carmin Ortiz said: "The sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations [and] paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts." Despite the large fine, $3bn is far less than the profits made from the drugs.

Note: In February 2016, GlaxoSmithKline was fined another $53 million by the UK for preventing generic competition. The list of huge fines to top drug companies includes five fines of over $1 billion and dozens over $100 million. How can we trust these companies on the safety and reliability of their products?


Study 329: Antidepressant trial's upended results show need for sharing all data
2015-09-17, International Business Times
Posted: 2015-10-04 18:18:19
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/study-329-antidepressant-trials-upended-results-show...

In 2001, a "landmark" study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry purported to show the safety and effectiveness of using a common antidepressant to treat adolescents. The original published findings were biased and misleading. Known as Study 329, the randomised controlled trial ... was funded by SmithKline Beecham now GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) the manufacturer of paroxetine. The research has been repeatedly criticised, and there have been numerous calls for it to be retracted. To re-analyse the evidence of effectiveness and safety of paroxetine, we used documents posted online by GSK. We also had access to other publicly available documents and individual participant data. We found that paroxetine [Paxil] was no more effective than a placebo, which is the opposite of the claim in the original paper. We also found significant increases in harms with both paroxetine and imipramine, [another antidepressant]. Compared with the placebo group, the paroxetine group had more than twice as many severe adverse events, and four times as many psychiatric adverse events, including suicidal behaviours and self-harm. And the imipramine group had significantly more heart problems. Our re-analysis ... identified ten strategies used by researchers in this clinical trial to minimise apparent harms. More importantly, our findings show influential peer-reviewed research published in leading medical journals can be seriously misleading.

Note: We all know that clinical trial are skewed when they are sponsored by drug companies, but here is undeniable proof of this published in the UK's most respected medical journal. See this key study on the website of the British Medical Journal. Then don't miss that amazing documentary "Bought" available for free viewing.


Drug Trials and Data-Based Medicine: An Interview with David Healy
2012-07-04, Psychology Today
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:23:05
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201207/drug-trials-and-data-...

Dr. David Healy is an internationally renowned psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist, and author. He was responsible for submitting the key document that led to New York State's successful fraud action against GlaxoSmithKline. [Q.] Youve written at your blog that evidence-based medicine and RCTs [random controlled trials] are ... simply not the answer to determining cause and effect, [because] theyre quite likely to hide rather than reveal a problem like antidepressant induced suicidality. How in fact do RCTs hide such information? [Dr. Healy:] There are ... specific problems like miscoding, where suicidality becomes nausea or emotional lability or even treatment non-responsiveness. There is also the problem of mislocation – patients on placebo end up being given problems they never had – and of nonexistent patients, who dont of course have adverse events. Beyond that, there are more sophisticated tricks that companies can and do play – such as claiming that increased rates of a problem on a drug are not really evidence of an increase in rates if the data are not statistically significant. In this way, companies have hidden many more heart attacks on Vioxx and Avandia or suicidal acts on SSRIs than have been hidden by miscoding or mislocation. When it comes to adverse events, trials almost never get the right answer. The deeper problem ... is the combination of product patents, prescription-only status, and the use of clinical trials as a means of determining efficacy – in particular, when the data from those trials are not made available. This creates a perfect product ... which industry can manipulate to mean whatever they want them to mean.

Note: Dr. Healy is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and 20 books. For an excellent article going further into Dr. Healy's amazing work, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health corruption and manipulations, click here.


Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.