Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6/26-Dr Carol talks about Dr Lindenberg's Stress Related Article

City life bad for brain, study says: What's the fix?

Ever wonder why city slickers seem more stressed out than folks who live in the country? A new study suggests the answer may lie deep within our brains.

Previous research showed that people who live in cities have higher rates of anxiety and depression, but this is the first to pinpoint the changes in the brain that underlie the phenomenon.

For the study, published in the journal Nature, scientists from the University of Heidelberg and McGill University used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of more than 100 students from various communities, large and small, in Germany. Each student was asked to complete a stressful task - solving tricky math problems as fast as possible while being subjected to criticism.

The results were striking. The brains of the urbanites showed higher levels of activity in the amygdala and the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC), two regions that previous research linked to mental illness. The bigger the city they lived in, the greater the activity in the amygdala - and the longer the subject had lived in a large city during childhood, the greater the activity in the pACC.

"I was surprised by the magnitude and specificity of the findings," said study author Dr. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg. The next step, he said, would be to determine what it is about city life that makes it so stressful. Is it the crowding, the noise, the pollution - or something else? He said he hopes the answers might help urban planners design cities more conducive to mental health.

In the meantime, what's the take-away message for city dwellers? Ditch the metropolis and move to the mountains? Fuhgeddaboudit.

"It's not really feasible," Meyer-Lindenberg said jokingly to CBS News. "If everyone lived in the country, the country would be pretty crowded." More than half the world's population already lives in cities, a figure that's expected to grow to nearly 70 percent by 2050.

And while urban living may spark mental illness, it also brings better health care, nutrition and sanitation.

To control stress, Meyer-Lindenberg said, city dwellers might try meditation, which can impact neural circuitry. If that doesn't help, he recommends a weekend getaway, adding, "It doesn't hurt to occasionally get out into the country."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

6/19-Stress Sleep and Health

Dr. Larry Epstein - The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep

According to Dr. Lawrence Epstein, recent President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep, sleeping is as important to health and well being as diet and exercise. However, as we are constantly bombarded with commercials for sleep medications, it is clear that America is having a difficult time getting a good night’s sleep.

One of the nation’s premiere sleep experts, Dr. Epstein arms readers with his proven, six-step plan to improve sleep. He presents tips for dealing with common issues such as insomnia, disrupted sleep, daytime exhaustion, restlessness, sleepwalking, and the many other chronic sleep conditions suffered by more than 70 million Americans.

Dr. Epstein thoroughly explains what happens during sleep as well as how to determine the amount of sleep we need. He then presents his plan which is based on the following:

  • Recognizing the importance of a good night’s sleep
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle
  • Maintaining good sleep habits
  • Creating the optimal sleep environment
  • Watching out for sleep saboteurs
  • Seeking help for persistent sleep problems

In addition, The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep offers readers advice on how to silence snoring, help their children go to sleep and stay asleep, handle jet lag, cope with shift work, and stay awake at the wheel. Those who have trouble sleeping will find that they don’t necessarily need to take a pill to fall and stay asleep.

According to a recent review in Library Journal, “Epstein has collaborated with freelance health writer Mardon to produce an accessible and highly readable volume on sleep…At a time when sleep deprivation seems so prevalent in our society, this book is a welcome addition to the literature. It belongs in all consumer health collections, especially in public libraries.”

The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep is a premium resource for people who suffer from sleep disorders and their families, the doctors and other health care professionals who treat them, and anyone who wants to get a good night’s rest.

Lawrence Epstein, M.D., is the regional medical director for the Harvard-affiliated Sleep HealthCenters and an instructor at Harvard Medical School and was recently president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He lives in Boston. Steven Mardon is a professional writer who specializes in health topics.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

6/12-Derek Lin and Tao

Derek Lin - Tiger Mother S.O.B.
I was abused and tortured as a child up until adulthood. That was when I finally was able to break free of my oppressive mother. No human being should go through what I did. Now I am devoid of
social skills, I have an anxiety disorder, and I have asperger's syndrome which I found out only compounds problems that my mother exacerbated It is all thanks to my mother who brutalized me with her parenting. That is what this book is about. I want to show the world what I think from a Chinese perspective. It is not to defame Asian mothers or those who raise their children in a disciplined manner. Rather it is to clarify the trauma and negative effects of one upbringin
g. This side has never been seen before in this manner. It is not often expressed by Asians being that culturally speaking, conformity is the norm where those who are repressed are forced to pent up their suffering and receive hostility from others who perceive them to be scum. Therefore I hope you can appreciate this book and that if you or someone you know is being treated this way that this will help you or them, to escape, defy, and resist such inhumane treatment. My dark sense of humor in this book was and is necessary to prevent myself from going completely insane but I hope that you can glean some pointers on how one can diffuse difficult situations with humor.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5th Guest: Wendy Cullen

Sunday June 5th StressRelief Radio with Carol J. Scott, MD will talk about Job Stress. Join in the conversation live @ 1pm East or 10am West www.crntalk.com/stressreliefradio . Listen anytime @ facebook/stressreliefradio or www.stressreliefradio.com

Our guest for the June 5th show is Wendy Cullen. We will talk about the causes of worker stress. The science of work stress and health and solutions. The Department of Labor released the job situation numbers for Americans Friday June 3rd. The number of unemployed persons (13.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.1 percent) were essentially unchanged in May. The labor force, at 153.7 million, was
little changed over the month.

But wait. What if you are fortunate to have a job–you are not unemployed — but your job has you stressed out!

More than three-fourths of U.S. workers are stressed out about their jobs, according to a study by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College. The 2011 Work Stress Survey by Harris Interactive finds 77 percent of Americans say they are stressed out about something related to their job. “We’ve seen numerous surveys that confirm workplace stress has increased during the last several years, and this time we wanted to rank from top to bottom some of the root causes,” said Wendy Cullen, vice president of employer development for Everest College. “Most employers are becoming well aware of the need to address rising employee stress, and those who don’t address it are likely to suffer lower morale and productivity.”

Here’s a rundown of the chief causes of worker stress:

  • 14 percent, low pay
  • 11 percent, commuting
  • 9 percent, an unreasonable workload
  • 9 percent, fear of being laid off
  • 8 percent, annoying co-workers
  • 5 percent, an annoying boss
  • 5 percent, poor work-life balance
  • 4 percent, lack of opportunity for advancement

Additional findings:

  • Young adults ages 18-34 ranked low pay and annoying co-workers as the top two stress factors.
  • College graduates ranked losing their job as the biggest cause of stress, followed by unreasonable workload and low pay.
  • 21 percent of respondents said they had no job stress.
  • 24 percent of married people were stressed about their jobs, compared to 14 percent of singles.

Join in the conversation.

Your Stress Relief Coach!

For complete results of the study see press release below