Several new studies highlight links between mental health disorders and COVID-19. People with mental health disorders and intellectual disabilities are more at risk for contracting COVID and people who have had COVID are at greater risk for developing mental disorders. Understanding these risks can potentially help health professionals and individuals to improve prevention, assessment, and treatment.
A Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) can be useful tool to help people with serious mental illness plan ahead and have more control over their treatment during a time of crisis. A PAD (sometimes called a mental health advanced directive) is a legal document that includes a list of instructions and preferences that the individual wishes to be followed in case of a mental health crisis.
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.
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.”
Many of us identify ourselves as either a morning person or a night owl, and these preferences are at least partly the result of our genes. New research finds associations between the timing of your sleep/wake preferences and your mental health.The study from researchers at the University of Exeter and Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that being genetically programmed to rise early may lead to greater well-being and a lower risk of depression and schizophrenia.