Behavioral Health

Younger kindergarteners more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study found that kindergarteners born in August are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and treated for it, than children born in September—but only if the school has a September 1 cutoff for enrollment. This raises the concern that teachers and doctors are misjudging normal behavior for a child’s age as ADHD.

Grieving? Don’t overlook potential side effects

The emotional weight of grief affects the body in the form of stress, which can make existing conditions worse or cause new ones, and can also lead to depression. Maintaining health may seem difficult while grieving, but doing so can help rebuild mental strength.

Gut feelings: How food affects your mood

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Besides causing inflammation and disease, more heavily processed foods can contribute to depression and anxiety through the connection between the gut and the brain. A healthier diet that favors whole foods over processed foods may offer protection against depression.

The introvert’s guide to social engagement

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Research shows that regular social interaction can lower risk for heart disease, depression, and early death, but not everyone is comfortable in social settings. If this describes you, there are still ways you can socialize without going beyond your comfort zone.

Helping a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder

If a child has obsessive-compulsive disorder, the condition affects everyone else in the family. Understanding OCD and learning helpful strategies to support the child can ease distress all around.

Intensive CBT: How fast can I get better?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people learn how to overcome negative thought patterns and behaviors. Now an emerging variant on CBT aims to concentrate treatment into a more compressed time frame.

Trauma-informed care: What it is, and why it’s important

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Because medical exams are invasive, and because many people have experienced some form of trauma and may be uncomfortable with aspects of the exam, healthcare providers should approach care with consideration for what patients may have experienced.

Writing as an antidote to loneliness

Because social connections are vital to human development and health, and writing is a way to form or strengthen a sense of connection to others, the creative expression of writing has been found to improve health and boost healthy emotions.

Orthorexia: The extreme quest for a healthy diet

The goal of eating the healthiest possible diet is wise and admirable, but this pursuit can sometimes become an unhealthy fixation on healthy eating called orthorexia, which can lead to anxiety and social isolation.

Teens and drugs: 5 tips for talking with your kids

If you are a parent concerned about teens and drugs, these tips can help you engage in a productive and positive conversation with your child about substance misuse and help you know when to intervene.