Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of November 21, 2011MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES
Week of November 21, 2011
Mental Health in the Headlines is a weekly newsletter produced by Mental Health America, providing the latest developments at Mental Health America and summaries of news, views and research in the mental health field. Coverage of news items in this publication does not represent Mental Health America’s support for or opposition to the stories summarized or the views they express.
[NOTE: Mental Health in the Headlines will not publish next week. Our next issue will be December 5.]
Perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma among black Americans…more
IN THE NEWS
8 Percent of Teens Engage in Self-Harm: Study
One in 12 teens deliberately harms themselves, but 90 percent give up the behavior by the time they're young adults, according to a new study. Researchers followed a group of young people in Victoria, Australia, from 1992 to 2008. Approximately 8 percent reported self-harm. A higher percentage (10 percent) was reported by girls than boys (6 percent). The study, reported in The Lancet, found those percentages declined by the time participants reached their late teens. By age 29, less than 1 percent of the participants reported self-harm. (Los Angeles Times, 11/17/11)
Perceived Racism May Cause Mental Health Symptoms
Perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma among black Americans and could lead to some overall health disparities between blacks and other populations, according to a new study. Researchers examined 66 studies involving 18,140 black adults in the United States. Individuals who said they experienced more and very stressful racism were more likely to report mental distress, researchers report in the American Psychological Association Journal of Counseling Psychology. (The St. Louis American, 11/19/11)
20 Percent of Americans Take Psychiatric Medications
One in five Americans takes psychiatric medication for conditions such as depression and anxiety, researchers report. They found that the use of drugs is more common among women. The analysis by Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefits management company, said the number of prescriptions for psychiatric and behavioral medications rose 22 percent between 2001 and 2010. More than 25 percent of women take drugs compared to 15 percent of men. Men had the greatest increase in usage—a 43 percent increase over 10 years. (Los Angeles Times, 11/17/11)
Alcoholism Linked to Gene Mutation
Alcoholism and other substance use conditions appear to be linked to a gene mutation, according to a new study. Researchers examined variants of a gene (called cannabinoid receptor 1) in blood samples of 298 males with alcoholism and 155 people without addiction. They found a combination of variants in the normal gene sequence that appears to be inherited together. The two variants appear more frequently in people with alcoholism, the researchers report in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (Los Angeles Times, 11/15/11)
Lower Drinking Age May Increase Risk for Suicide
Lower drinking ages may result in an elevate risk for suicide among women born after 1960, researchers say. Their study collected data on more than 200,000 suicides and 130,000 homicides from individuals born between 1949 and 1972 (the years during which the drinking age changed). The researchers found a significantly higher risk for suicide and homicide among women exposed to permissive drinking age laws. (USA Today, 11/21/11)
NPR reports on the impact of the shortage of ADHD drugs.
Kaiser Health News looks at areas of health care spending that could be targeted for savings.
VOICES AND VIEWPOINTS
Actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close writes in Politico on the need for mental health services.
The New York Times’ “Room for Debate” discusses “How Can We Prevent Military Suicides?”
Women with High Blood Pressure Prior to Pregnancy at Higher Risk for Depression: Women who have a history of high blood pressure before getting pregnant have a higher risk of depression than women who develop pregnancy-related hypertension, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 2,398 women receiving prenatal care at an obstetrics clinic in Seattle, Washington, evaluating them for depressive symptoms and evidence of pre-existing hypertension or pregnancy-induced hypertension. The study, which is reported in General Health Psychiatry, found that women with hypertension before pregnancy, with or without developing preeclampsia, were 55 to 65 percent more likely to meet the criteria for significant depressive symptoms or to be taking antidepressants. The researchers noted that they did not control for obesity, which is linked to both hypertension and depression. (Health Behavior News Service, 11/10/11)
NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
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