Melatonin: what therapists and consumers need to know

Melatonin: what therapists and consumers need to know

Insomnia is one of the most common health problems that mental health professionals hear about from their patients. In MHConcierge’s experience, many patients are taking, or considering, melatonin. Their PCP may have recommended it, or they may have just decided to try it on their own. “Read This If You Take Melatonin to Sleep at Night” was posted by HuffingtonPost.com recently, and this consumer-friendly article is a concise summary of the benefits of melatonin (limited) and potential concerns (several potential nuisance problems, and possibly significant drug interaction concerns).

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Social Isolation and Mortality – As Much Risk as Obesity?

Social Isolation and Mortality – As Much Risk as Obesity?

“Loneliness May Represent a Greater Public Health Hazard Than Obesity” reports on a presentation at the American psychological Association Annual Convention. The presentation reviewed the results of two very thorough meta-analyses, one with a total of 300,000 participants and the other with more than 3.4 million participants in several countries. The focus was on the role of social isolation, loneliness, or living alone contributed to mortality.

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Meditation and Evolution, Buddha and Darwin – Can They Compliment Each Other?

Meditation and Evolution, Buddha and Darwin – Can They Compliment Each Other?

If you are interested in meditation, especially Buddhist mediation, you may enjoy “The Medication Cure: A basic practice of Buddhism turns out to be one of the best ways to deal with the anxieties and appetites bequeathed to us by our evolutionary history” published by the Wall Street Journal on 7-28-17 (MHConcierge generally ignores the WLS’s politics, but finds their science, health and technology reporting to be excellent).  This article briefly reviews the basic concepts of Buddhist meditation, and goes on to integrate them with evolutionary theory, which helps explain why people are prone to worry and skepticism about the world; vigilance had evolutionary advantages when people were living in a dangerous world.

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What You Need to Know about “Sleep Pressure” and Other Sleep Behaviors, from a Sleep Scientist

What You Need to Know about “Sleep Pressure” and Other Sleep Behaviors, from a Sleep Scientist

“7 Things a Sleep Scientist Wants You to Know About Getting Better Sleep was posted by Happify.com.  First, a word about this site – the title always has struck MHConcierge as a bit corny, but the site provides quality, evidenced-based information and resources to help people be feel better, function better – and to be happier.  This article is a brief summary of the current science of good sleep.  It includes info about the concept of “sleep pressure” – physiological changes that build up between episodes of sleep that create a craving for sleep.

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Excellent Website with Meditation Resources for Novices

Excellent Website with Meditation Resources for Novices

QuietKit.com provides “guided meditations for beginners,” ranging from 2 minutes to 10 minutes long.  mhconcierge.com has listened to many guided meditations, both online and using smartphone apps, and has found most of them to be, frankly, not that great – the voice may sound unprofessional and self-conscious, the timing may not be smooth, there may be a hiss in the background, and so on.  The QuiteKit meditations are much better – the voice sounds professional and relaxed, the pacing is good, and the quality of the recording is excellent, with no distractions.

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Addiction and Mental Illness: The Connection, and Coping Resources

Addiction and Mental Illness: The Connection, and Coping Resources

This article was written by a guest contributor to the mhconcierge.com psychology healthcare newsletter, Jennifer McGregor.  Jennifer is a medial student and contributor to publichealthlibrary.org, a new website that provides resources for medical students and the public interested in progressive healthcare resources. 

People who struggle with mental illness are much more likely to experience an addiction than those without mental illness. Similarly, people with an addiction are more likely to develop either the symptoms of a mental illness or a fully established mental illness. Coping when you are handling both a mental illness and addiction is never easy and can make your situation worse. If this describes your situation, there are some things to know about the connection between these conditions and how you can start recovering.

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