Mental Health

Genealogy testing: Prepare for the emotional reaction

The availability of relatively affordable personal DNA genealogy testing has led to an increase in people exploring their family histories. If you are considering this type of testing, you should spend some time preparing yourself for what you may learn, and what you may want to do with that knowledge.

Anxiety: What it is, what to do

Francesca Coltrera

Senior Content Writer, Harvard Health Publishing

Some anxiety in your life is normal and may be beneficial, but a response to anxiety that is out of proportion to the cause or source can be an indicator of an anxiety disorder. There are a variety of treatments for anxiety, and often the most effective approach is a combination of different methods.

Chronic pain and childhood trauma

Laura Kiesel

Contributor

As it becomes more apparent that there is a connection between childhood trauma and physical and emotional health problems in adults, treatment approaches that acknowledge this link are likely to be more effective on both sides.

Good news: Fewer teens are being bullied

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Data from the US Department of Education show a decline in teens being bullied over the past decade, in part because schools have worked hard to define the behavior and make it clear it will not be tolerated.

Choosing the right mental health provider

Different types of mental health providers offer different types of treatments, and any treatment needs to be tailored to an individual’s needs. Understanding the differences between types of providers is the first step to finding the treatment that is best for you.

I’m so lonesome I could cry

The health risks of loneliness and isolation have been known for some time, but more recently research has shown the specific effects in the brain. Finding ways to make connections with other people is the best “medicine” to alleviate the mental and physical effects of loneliness.

The story of your life and the power of memoir

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Growing older can bring feelings of a loss of self, but making the effort to create a record of your life can be a therapeutic pursuit, and can also be welcomed and appreciated by other family members.

Eating well to help manage anxiety: Your questions answered

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Paying closer attention to diet is important for people with anxiety. Making dietary changes in favor of a balanced diet that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods and minimizes added sugars helps smooth out the highs and lows that can contribute to anxiety.

In children and teens, depression doesn’t always look like sadness

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Aside from the more common behavioral indicators that a person may be depressed, there are several other changes in behavior that can be signs of depression in children and teens. If you notice any of these, consult a doctor or a mental health professional for advice.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Hope for stubborn depression

For some people suffering from depression, medications and therapy don’t bring adequate relief. A newer treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applies powerful magnetic fields to areas of the brain known to be involved in depression. It is well-tolerated and shows promise in helping patients with hard-to-treat depression.