Meditation Equal to First-Line Medication for Anxiety

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is as effective at reducing anxiety as the antidepressant escitalopram, a first-line pharmaceutical treatment, new research shows. “I would encourage clinicians to list meditation training as one possible treatment option for patients who are diagnosed with anxiety disorders. “Doctors should feel comfortable recommending in-person, group-based meditation classes,” study investigator Elizabeth A. … Read more

USPSTF Calls for Universal Anxiety Screening in Kids 8 to 18

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today posted final recommendations on screening for anxiety, depression, and suicide risk in children and adolescents. For the first time, the task force recommends screening for anxiety in children aged 8-18 years who do not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder and are not showing signs or symptoms of … Read more

Skin-Picking, Hair-Pulling Disorders: Treatment Options Limited

INDIANAPOLIS – despite the common prevalence of skin-picking disorder and trichotillomania (hair pulling), no Food and Drug Administration–approved treatments exist for either condition. And while both body-focused repetitive disorders affect a greater proportion of females than males, “we have no current information that is useful about what hormonal influences may or may not play in … Read more

Anxiety Spreads From Mother to Daughter, Father to Son

Transmission of anxiety appears to be sex-specific ― spreading from mothers to daughters and from fathers to sons, new research shows. The new findings suggest that children learn anxious behavior from their parents, study investigator Barbara Pavlova, PhD, clinical psychologist with Nova Scotia Health Authority, told Medscape Medical News. “This means that transmission of anxiety … Read more

When Suffering Defies Diagnosis

I still remember the woman who came to my office that day, years ago. She was struggling and uncomfortable, and she wanted “something” for stress. She described her life, and to me, it sounded stressful. She lived in a blended family and she described the chaos that one might expect to find in a household … Read more

Team Sports Boost Mental Health in Youth

Coaches are fond of the saying that there’s no “I” in “team.” Parents may be heartened to learn that there’s less depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems in team sports, too. Youth who play team sports appear to enjoy better mental health than those who don’t, according to a new study that aligns with … Read more

Can Sensitivity to Common Smells Sniff Out Depression, Anxiety?

Sensitivity to specific common odors correlates with symptoms of depression or anxiety, new research shows. A study of more than 400 participants showed that symptoms of anxiety were associated with heightened awareness of floral scents or kitchen smells, while depression was to increased awareness of linked social odors including “good” and “bad” smells of other … Read more

Off-Reserve First Nations Teens Face Mental Health Challenges

First Nations adolescents living off reserve in Ontario, Canada, have significantly higher levels of mental health challenges, compared with their non–First Nations peers. These mental health challenges are exacerbated by maternal distress, according to a report published online February 24 in Child Psychiatry and Human Development. “Prior to this study, we didn’t have a comprehensive … Read more