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How to find a good app for mental health

Search for “stress”, “depression”, “anxiety”, or “mental health” in the app store on your mobile device and you are confronted with a bewildering array of options. Some apps claim to track your mood over time, while others claim to “cure” your mental ill health with hypnosis. Apps hold amazing potential as mental health and wellbeing tools. You can carry them everywhere, engage with them in real time as you’re experiencing distress, and interact with them in a completely diff

Is social media to blame for the worsening mental health of teenage girls?

New research by the Department of Education has found that the mental well-being of teenage girls in the UK is worsening. The survey, which took the views of 30,000 14-year-old pupils in 2005 and 2014, found that 37% of girls suffer from psychological distress, up from 34% in 2005. (This compares with 15% for boys in 2014, down from 17% a decade earlier.) The report’s authors noted that one of the things that has changed between 2005 and 2014 is the “advent of the social medi

Women are far more anxious than men – here’s the science

Anxiety disorders – defined by excessive fear, restlessness, and muscle tension – are debilitating, disabling, and can increase the risk for depression and suicide. They are some of the most common mental health conditions around the world, affecting around four out of every 100 people and costing the health care system and job employers over US$42 billion each year. People with anxiety are more likely to miss days from work and are less productive. Young people with anxiety

Supplements including fish oil and vitamin D can boost effects of antidepressant medications

Taking some nutrient supplements together with antidepressants can enhance the medication’s effects, our research has found. Published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, our review of the evidence found that omega-3 fish oil, methylfolate, vitamin D and amino acid compound S-adenosine methionine (known as SAMe) supplements increased the effects of antidepressant medication for those with clinical depression. We reviewed 40 clinical trials that explored the effec

From tiger to free-range parents – what research says about pros and cons of popular parenting style

What’s the best way to raise your child? It’s a question that has provoked the publication of numerous books, and seen authors race to coin the next quirky name for a new style of parenting. And it turns out there are many styles. To date, some of the best known include: Tiger parents, who are seen as pushing their children to succeed according to their parents' terms. Helicopter parents, who take over every aspect of the child’s life. Snowplough parents, who remove obstacles