“I need help, and I have nowhere to turn.” I find this a frighteningly common refrain among my patients who are also caregivers for people with dementia, autism, or children with a panoply of mental health conditions who need consistency and structure. As an individual psychiatrist, there seems to be no option, and I simply listen.
While these unprecedented times are stressful for everyone, people with mental health conditions may face particular challenges. Many organizations offer ways to connect and find support online or by phone for general mental health and for specific conditions.
Can a person’s personality type in high school increase their risk of dementia late in life? A new study finds a connection between certain personality types and an increased risk of dementia later in life. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry in October 2019, looked at data on more than 80,000 participants in the Project Talent, a national sample of high school students in 1960, and Medicare data on dementia more than 50 years later, between 2011 and 2013.
Many people have had the experience of a familiar smell bringing up a memory or a feeling. That is just one of several ways our sense of smell is associated with mental health and emotions. Memories associated with a specific odor may be particularly strong. In writing about the relation of these odor-evoked memories to our mental health, psychologist Rachel Herz, Ph.D., concludes that “from numerous perspectives it is evident that the autobiographical memories and emotional associations that are triggered by odors are essential to our psychological and physiological health.”
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem affecting around 50 million people around the world, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report. It is a major cause of disability and dependency among adults, often causing significant caregiving and financial stress on families. People with dementia may develop agitation or psychosis which can be very challenging for caregivers. Agitation is a state of excessive physical movement or aggression associated with emotional distress.