4 surprising new facts about mental health

Did you know stress could be genetic? Results from the newest mental health research might surprise you

4 surprising new facts about mental health

Source: Best Health Magazine, May 2011

The Canadian Mental Health Association has designated the first week in May as Mental Health Week. Here’s our roundup of some of the latest research on mental health.

Getting involved with your community makes you more mentally resilient

According to a recent article in Social Psychological and Personality Science, belonging to social groups, from chess clubs to sports teams, increases psychological strength to endure and overcome physical challenges. The researchers suggest it gives us a sense of belonging and purpose. Family and friends help, too, of course.

Feeling stressed could be genetic

A study in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that subjects with low levels of the stress-related gene had more negative feelings during stressful situations. This may help assess risk for depression and anxiety.

Having a healthy body weight makes women less depressed

A General Hospital Psychiatry study, which followed 203 obese women aged 40 to 65 for over a year, found that subjects became less depressed as they lost weight. Furthermore, lessened depression leads to being more active, say the researchers.

Anxiety may affect cardiovascular health

A three-year follow-up study, published in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, reports that people with panic disorder have a higher stroke risk. Symptoms include sweating, palpitations and shortness of breath. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing these.