Depression affects nearly 350 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of disability.(1)
Mental health conditions affect millions of people worldwide. Conditions can range in severity from mild to severe, however, doctors and researchers continue to seek new treatment options for all patients. Given that there are a wide range of mental health conditions from depression to schizophrenia, treatment options that might work for one disorder might not work for another. Despite differences in treatments, new developments give mental health patients hope that their ailments will soon be curable.
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Current Mental Health Research
Mental health research has evolved considerably in recent years. In June, Canadian researchers discovered a link between mitochondrial diseases and depression. The belief is that mitochondria are a primary energy source for cells and using specific antidepressants to target these cells can combat depression symptoms.(2) Tackling depression would be a significant win for the medical community as the disorder affects more than 15 million American adults annually, and over 300 million around the world.
Additionally, Johns Hopkins Medicine recently completed a study which correlates dietary habits to manic episodes, although it was not designed to determine cause and effect. Researchers concluded that those who had ever consumed nitrate-curated meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and ham were three times more likely to experience a manic episode than those who had not. To confirm their findings, researchers tested rats under the same conditions to support their hypothesis that diets do have an impact on mental health.
Mental Health Treatment Options
The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) recently conducted a study which suggests that shorter therapies are just as effective as first-line options to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The condition is typically treated with psychotherapies such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT) to help patients overcome traumatic events that have been a hindrance to their ability to lead normal lives. A newer alternative, written exposure therapy (WET), is one that could be just as effective as CPT in less time. As its name suggests, this therapy empowers patients to write about traumatic events in their lives in vivid detail to let their feelings out. NIMH researchers have found that WET saves both patients and therapists resources as they were able to achieve the same results as CPT patients in fewer sessions.
Become a Member of a Mental Health Support Group
In many cases, those with mental health conditions want to be left alone or have difficulty controlling themselves. However, joining a mental health support group like the one we offer for schizophrenia facilitates open discussion between patients and loved ones who are all coping with the effects of mental health disorders. Our team recently spoke to schizophrenia caregivers in this video to understand how mental health patients deal with their condition. Participation in a mental health support group can be mutually beneficial for all involved in overcoming devastating disorders(3).
Register with healtheo360 for exclusive access to mental health support groups to engage with other patients and caregivers who are facing similar issues.
(1) - https://www.healtheo360.com/condition/depression/guide/about/
(2) - Allen, et al. “Mitochondria and Mood: Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Key Player in the Manifestation of Depression.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 22 May 2018
(3) - https://www.healtheo360.com/stories/part-10-opening-up-to-cope/