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Posted in Mental Health

7 Very Personal Words of Pastoral Consolation for Parents Grieving the Loss of a Child to Suicide – From a Minister Who Lives With Depression

In the weeks before he took his own life this September (National Suicide Prevention Month), 22-year-old “Dylan,” a Christian college student at a school in the Southeast, wrote of his love for the mountains. The mountains, he said in a blog post, were where he heard God speak to him “the clearest and the loudest.” But in just over a month’s time, this young man with a promising future would become yet another tragic casualty to the second-leading cause of death in his age group (10 to 24 years), and the 10th-leading cause of death among all Americans.

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Posted in Mental Health

9 Signs That You Have a Gambling Problem

Addiction is stealthy, nasty and unpredictable. In reality there is no reliable defense against addiction besides abstinence — don’t start drinking, drugging or gambling in the first place and nothing bad can happen. But human beings will always engage in a certain amount of risky behavior, putting themselves in the crosshairs without fully considering the consequences. 

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young woman smoking marijuana

Posted in Drug Addiction

Does Age at First Marijuana Use Affect Risks for Substance-Related Problems?

People who use marijuana/cannabis as teenagers expose themselves to a number of significant harms, including increased chances of developing an addiction to cannabis. In a study published in October 2014 in the Journal of Substance Use, a multinational research team explored the impact that a person’s age at first marijuana use has on the chances that he or she will go on to develop diagnosable problems with other forms of substance use. These researchers also explored the impact that age at first marijuana use has on the development of depression and other mental health issues in early adulthood.

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Posted in Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Holiday Blessings or Bust? How to Tell if Drugs or Alcohol Are to Blame

Is your feeling about the holidays “Hooray for the holidays!” or “Ugh, the holidays are here again?” While everyone around makes a mad dash to splurge on last-minute shopping or preparations for a fantastic family holiday dinner, are you preparing to put up with various bad behaviors on the part of loved ones? Maybe it isn’t just that Uncle Charlie is a cantankerous old coot or that sweet teenage daughter Sheila, who seems way too laid back, may be harboring a secret. Here are some signs that drugs or alcohol may be responsible:

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Posted in Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Stress at Home, Not Combat, at Root of Alcoholism Among National Guard Vets

The onset of alcohol use disorder (alcohol abuse/alcoholism) is one of the most likely diagnosable mental health consequences of military service. Just like full-time military personnel, risks for the disorder affect National Guard personnel called up for active duty. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from four American universities explored the factors that make alcohol use disorder more likely to occur in national guardsmen. These researchers concluded that the key influence is stress related to a return to civilian life after a period of active service comes to an end.

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Posted in Eating Disorders

Know the Signs of an Eating Disorder

Disordered eating is an issue of mental health, addiction and physical health. Close to 24 million Americans struggle with an eating disorder and more people die from one than any other mental illness. Young women are especially susceptible to developing an eating disorder, but it can impact anyone of any age. By becoming familiar with the signs and symptoms of eating disorders you can help prevent them in yourself and those close to you.

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eating disorders

Posted in Eating Disorders

Media’s Influence on Body Image and Eating Disorders

There is no denying that the media plays a role in giving adolescents a certain perception about body image. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, nearly 70 percent of young females in grades 5 through 12 are influenced by the media on their opinion of a desirable body image.

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Posted in Mental Health

Children, Spouses of Military Members at Increased Risk for Mental Disorders

Life in the military often comes at a very high price.  Mental health problems sometimes manifest as part of that price.  Mental health and suicide rates among military members have received quite a bit of attention in recent years – and rightly so. Our nation’s vets sacrifice their physical and emotional well-being to protect their families and fellow citizens. However, when it comes to mental health, there’s another group that deserves attention as well: military families.

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Posted in Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders on the Rise Among Elderly Women

If you think that there are more commercials today devoted to anti-age spots, ant-wrinkle creams, physical fitness and low-fat food, you may be right.  While looking and feeling young may be a great thing, experts are telling us that our cultural fixation on agelessness is coming at a price.  More and more evidence is coming to light that folks in their fifth, sixth, seventh and even eighth decade of life are struggling with an eating disorder.

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Posted in Addiction Research

Spicy Food Lovers More Likely to Suffer from Alcoholism

Do you love hot and spicy foods? Given the choice at a restaurant, do you ask for more heat, not less, in your order? If so, it could be that you are also more prone to alcohol abuse. A study conducted through South Korea’s Busan National University found that key ingredients in spicy foods work the same way as alcohol in terms of activating the brain’s opioid/reward system.

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