Q &A -- The impact of stress

Q. Why do some people gain weight when they feel stressed?A. People who eat in response to stress are likely to find themselves packing on pounds for the same reason other people gain weight – because they are eating more calories than they are burning. However research also suggests that chronic stress raises the level of chemicals that increase appetite, especially for food rich in carbohydrates. Q. Are you more likely to get sick when you are stressed?A. Several studies have concluded that you may be more likely to get a cold when you are under stress. Although other research has shown that both short- and long-term stress affects particular immune system cells, it's not yet clear whether this increases the risk of disease. Q. Why does my stomach hurt when I'm feeling stressed?A. A combination of psychological and physical factors can trigger gastrointestinal pain and other symptoms. Gastric acid secretion can increase, which may lead to heartburn and inflammation of the esophagus. Stress can also cause abnormal contractions in the small intestine and colon, which may result in abdominal discomfort. More »

References for “Behavioral cognitive therapy for addictions”

Crits-Christoph P, et al. "The National Institute on Drug Abuse Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study. Rationale and Methods," Archives of General Psychiatry (Aug. 1997): Vol. 54, No. 8, pp. 721–6. Crits-Christoph P, et al. "Mediators of Outcome of Psychosocial Treatments for Cocaine Dependence," Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Oct. 2003): Vol. 71, No. 5, pp. 918–25. Weiss RD, et al. "The Effect of 12-Step Self-Help Group Attendance and Participation on Drug Use Outcomes Among Cocaine-Dependent Patients," Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Feb. 14, 2005): Vol. 77, No. 2, pp. 177–84. (Locked) More »

References for “Dealing with sexual side effects”

Makhlouf A, et al. "Depression and Erectile Dysfunction," Urologic Clinics of North America (Nov. 2007): Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 565–74. Nurnberg HG, et al. "Treatment of Antidepressant-Associated Sexual Dysfunction with Sildenafil: A Randomized Controlled Trial," Journal of the American Medical Association (Jan. 1, 2003): Vol. 289, No. 1, pp. 56–64. Segraves RT. "Sexual Dysfunction Associated with Antidepressant Therapy," Urologic Clinics of North America (Nov. 2007): Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 575–79. (Locked) More »

References for “Positive psychology in practice”

Duckworth AL, et al. "Positive Psychology in Clinical Practice," Annual Review of Clinical Psychology (2005): pp. 629–51. Fava GA. "Well-Being Therapy: Conceptual and Technical Issues," Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (1999): Vol. 68, No. 4, pp. 171–79. Fava GA, et al. "Well-being Therapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder," Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (2005): Vol. 74, No. 1, pp. 26–30. (Locked) More »

References for “Psychiatric genetic tests raise concerns”

Finn CT, et al. "Psychiatric Genetics: A Survey of Psychiatrists' Knowledge, Opinions, and Practice Patterns," Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (July 2005): Vol. 66, No. 7, pp. 821–30. Lohmueller KE, et al. "Meta-Analysis of Genetic Association Studies Supports a Contribution of Common Variants to Susceptibility to Common Disease," Nature Genetics (Feb. 2003): Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 177–82. Samani NJ, et al. "Genomewide Association Analysis of Coronary Artery Disease," New England Journal of Medicine (Aug. 2, 2007): Vol. 357, No. 5, pp. 443–53. (Locked) More »

Positive psychology in practice

Positive psychology techniques attempt to shift away from traditional psychotherapy's focus on negative emotions, and encourage patients to emphasize their personal strengths and positive emotions. More »

Psychiatric genetic tests raise concerns

A genetic testing kit for bipolar disorder is now available to consumers, but because of the many variables involved in genetics, even if a particular gene is identified, it does not necessarily mean that person will go on to develop the disorder. (Locked) More »

Behavioral cognitive therapy for addictions

A study comparing several forms of treatment for cocaine addiction found that while all treatments resulted in decreased drug use, those that focused on changing behavior were more successful. (Locked) More »

Dealing with sexual side effects

  Antidepressant medications can decrease libido or impair sexual function. Sometimes this can be overcome by switching medications, changing dosage, or waiting to see if the effect diminishes over time.   More »

In Brief: Music therapy may help depression

A review of studies indicated that music therapy may be an effective treatment for depression. Because the studies considered were small, this technique may prove to be most effective in combination with other therapies. (Locked) More »