The ‘Big 5’ Key Activities That Block Depression And Anxiety (P)

Most people are depressed within two weeks if they stop these five key types of activities.

Most people are depressed within two weeks if they stop these five key types of activities.

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The Kind of Stress That Makes You Appear Older

One particular type of stress takes the greatest toll on your appearance.

One particular type of stress takes the greatest toll on your appearance.

Financial stress takes the greatest toll on your appearance, a study concludes.

People who have experienced the most financial stress across a decade looked the oldest, researchers found.

Professor Margie Lachman, who led the research, said:

“It may be that people who are under a lot of financial stress do not pay much attention to their appearance.

Stress can also accelerate the aging process.”

The study tracked 200 people from the mid-1990s for a decade.

Each had their photo taken before and after.

Their photos were judged for apparent age by 19 reviewers.

The results showed that people with the greatest financial stress over the decade looked the oldest.

Financial stress had the greatest impact on apparent ageing, in comparison to other sources.

This is consistent with the finding that people say that financial stresses are the most problematic in their lives.

Financial and work stress also makes people feel older themselves.

The study also revealed that:

  • Most people believed that they looked younger than they were.
  • People who felt healthier also felt younger.
  • Women were more likely to think they looked younger than they actually did.
  • Younger people felt much the same age as they appeared to others.
  • Older people generally felt younger than they looked.

The study was published in the journal of Research on Aging (Agrigoroaei et al., 2016).

People Are Happier After Revealing Secret Problems

Revealing a stigmatised identity is linked to reduced psychological stress.

Revealing a stigmatised identity is linked to reduced psychological stress.

Telling other people about a hidden mental health problem has broadly positive consequences, research finds.

The same is true of a hidden disability or other stigmatised identity.

People who revealed experiencing depression, being gay or a physical health problem that was not obvious, reported increased satisfaction with life.

Those expressing non-visible stigmas felt less anxiety at work, more certainty and greater job satisfaction in the long-run.

Outside work, people revealing a stigmatised identity felt less psychological stress.

Hidden identities

However, the same was not true for people who had stigmatised identities that were clearly visible.

It seems there is something particularly damaging about hidden identities.

Dr Eden King, the study’s co-author, said:

“Identities that are immediately observable operate differently than those that are concealable.

The same kinds of difficult decisions about whether or not to disclose the identity — not to mention the questions of to whom, how, when and where to disclose those identities — are probably less central to their psychological experiences.”

The conclusions come from a review of 65 separate studies that examined what happened after people revealed their mental illness, sexual orientation, pregnancy or physical disability to others.

The results showed that most people were supportive of hidden stigmas.

The same positive boost was not seen for identities that were clearly visible, Dr King said:

“People react negatively to those who express or call attention to stigmas that are clearly visible to others, such as race or gender, as this may be seen as a form of advocacy or heightened pride in one’s identity.”

The study was published in the Journal of Business and Psychology (Sabat et al., 2019).

Very Popular Food Linked To Anxiety And Depression

Average intakes of this food exceed the level linked to common mental health problems.

Average intakes of this food exceed the level linked to common mental health problems.

A high sugar intake is linked to anxiety and depression, research finds.

The study found the link only in men who consumed over 67 grams of sugar per day.

After five years, their risk of developing common mental health disorders like depression and anxiety was increased by 23 percent.

Worryingly the average amount of sugar consumed by men in the UK is 68.4 grams.

Average intake levels in the US are even higher: around 77 grams per day.

Ms Anika Knüppel, the study’s first author, said:

“High sugar diets have a number of influences on our health but our study shows that there might also be a link between sugar and mood disorders, particularly among men.

There are numerous factors that influence chances for mood disorders, but having a diet high in sugary foods and drinks might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The study found no link between sugar intake and new mood disorders in women and it is unclear why.

More research is needed to test the sugar-depression effect in large population samples.

The results come from analysing data from over 5,000 men and 2,000 women.

Ms Knüppel said:

“There is increasing evidence for the physical damage sugar has on our health.

Our work suggests an additional mental health effect.

This further supports the evidence for policy action such as the new sugar levy in the UK, but this is not addressed in many other European countries.”

Ms Knüppel continued:

“Sweet food has been found to induce positive feelings in the short-term.

People experiencing low mood may eat sugary foods in the hope of alleviating negative feelings.

Our study suggests a high intake of sugary foods is more likely to have the opposite effect on mental health in the long-term.”

Professor Eric Brunner, who co-authored the paper, said:

“Our findings provide yet further evidence that sugary foods and drinks are best avoided.

The new sugar tax on soft drinks, which will take effect in April 2018, is a step in the right direction.

The physical and mental health of British people deserves some protection from the commercial forces which exploit the human ‘sweet tooth’”.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports (Knüppel et al., 2017).

The Vitamin Deficiency Linked to Moodiness, Lack Of Motivation And Tiredness

The vitamin may have a direct effect on the brain and has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The vitamin may have a direct effect on the brain and has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Depression can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency, research suggests.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a 75 percent higher risk of depression.

Symptoms of depression include moodiness, lack of motivation and tiredness.

Depression is also linked to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, dizziness and muscle pain.

The results come from a study of almost 4,000 older adults in Ireland.

They were followed up over 4 years for any depression symptoms and vitamin D levels.

The results showed that people with vitamin D deficiency were 75 percent more likely to have depression symptoms.

Vitamin D may have a direct effect on the brain and has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Dr Robert Briggs, the study’s first author, said:

“This is the largest representative and most comprehensive study of depression risk and vitamin D status in older adults ever conducted in Ireland.

Our findings will provide useful information to help inform public health policy – particularly regarding the proposition of the usefulness of vitamin D treatment/supplementation for depression.”

The link between vitamin D and depression is not confined to older adults.

Another study found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to depressive symptoms and more negative thoughts in young women.

Dr Eamon Laird, study co-author, said:

“This study shows that vitamin D is associated with a health condition other than bone health.

What is surprising is the large effect on depression even after accounting for other control variables.

This is highly relevant for Ireland as our previous research has shown that one in eight older adults are deficient in the summer and one in four during the winter.

Moreover, only around 8% of older Irish adults report taking a vitamin D supplement.”

The study was published in the The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (Briggs et al., 2018).

How Nature Reshapes Your Perception Of Time And Memory (M)

Learn how reminiscing about the past differs in urban and natural settings, and why it matters for your mental health.

Learn how reminiscing about the past differs in urban and natural settings, and why it matters for your mental health.

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Transform Your Mood In 4 Days With This Surprising Fruit Hack (M)

In just four days, this fuzzy fruit demonstrated notable improvements in vitality and mood.

In just four days, this fuzzy fruit demonstrated notable improvements in vitality and mood.

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More Siblings, More Misery? Study Reveals Truth About Family Size (M)

Attention and resources matter: research shows how siblings can impact your mental health.

Attention and resources matter: research shows how siblings can impact your mental health.

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The Healing Power Of Urban Green And Blue Spaces (M)

As little as ten percent more green spaces in urban areas could be the key to reducing psychological distress.

As little as ten percent more green spaces in urban areas could be the key to reducing psychological distress.

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