Mental Wellness Month: Depression, anxiety, dementia, and managing mental illness

Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome: How are they linked?January is Mental Wellness Month, and in honor of this, Bel Marra has put together a mental health update that includes tips for managing mental illness, as well as information on depression, anxiety, dementia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome: How are they linked?

Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, although different, may actually be linked. In both conditions, the patient will feel extremely fatigued, regardless of sleep quality the night before. It is possible that a patient may have depression and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) simultaneously, or mistake one condition for the other. It’s important to recognize the key difference between depression and CFS in order to receive a proper diagnosis.


Depression is marked by feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness experienced for extended periods of time. Depressed individuals often have difficulty sleeping or may not sleep at all.

In CFS, the patient feels extremely fatigued even when well rested, and there is no explainable cause of this fatigue. CFS is often misdiagnosed and taken for depression, according to research findings. Continue reading…

Severe depression and anxiety can be lowered with yoga breathing exercises: StudySevere depression and anxiety can be lowered with yoga breathing exercises: Study

Millions of Americans suffer from severe depression or anxiety, and while some people have turned to antidepressants to help quell the symptoms, we have learned that yoga breathing exercises can be effective for some people.

Antidepressants were discovered by accident back in the 1950s when scientists were searching for a schizophrenia treatment. They found that a drug that adjusted neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that control mood and pain, sent patients into a state of euphoria. While this made the schizophrenics’ condition worse, the experts concluded it would be effective for people who are fighting depression. The problem is, antidepressants come with side effects, and in some cases, people have to go through multiple medications before they find one that actually works for them. There are some situations where no antidepressants work for an individual. Now, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that a breathing-based meditation called Sudarshan Kriya yoga can help alleviate severe depression in people who don’t fully respond to antidepressant treatments. Continue reading…

Social media good for mental health but may lead to depressionSocial media good for mental health but may lead to depression

Social media may be good for mental health, but might also lead to depression, according to research findings. The researchers reviewed 70 studies that examined the relationship between social networking and depression, anxiety, and well-being. The review demonstrated that social media is an effective way of staying connected with others. It also may be a source of social support, particularly for people with anxiety who find it challenging to engage in face-to-face interactions.

Unfortunately, these benefits are not useful to everyone who uses social media. People who compare themselves to others based on their social profiles, post negative messages, or are addicted to social media, are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Continue reading…

Pets can help manage mental illnessPets can help manage mental illness

Pets have been found to help aid in mental illness management based on research findings. Researchers from the U.K. surveyed over 50 adults with long-term mental illness to uncover the role which pets play.

The responses unveiled that 60 percent of respondents placed pets in the central and most important circle—above family, friends and hobbies. Twenty percent of respondents put pets as second.


For some, having a pet nearby offers an immediate sense of calm, and for others, pets help alleviate symptoms associated with mental disorders. Continue reading…

Dementia risk higher among people residing near a major road: StudyDementia risk higher among people residing near a major road: Study

A new study suggests that living near a major road increases your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The Canadian study found that people residing near a congested roadway had a slightly higher risk of dementia, compared to those living further. Specifically, mental decline was seen highest among those living 160 feet from a major street. The closer a person lived to a major street, the higher their risk of dementia was.

Study author Hong Chen explained, “[However] our study suggests that busy roads could be a source of environmental stressors that could give rise to the onset of dementia.” Continue reading…


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