18-07 Segment 2: Manufacturing Happiness

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We all want to be happy yet the American culture appears to be experiencing a joy-deficit. While it is well known that some individuals suffer from a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects their ability to be happy, many people are not aware of the fact that they can change the happiness that they feel by creating it on their own.

Seeking joy is an important aspect of human life. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness and Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy But Does explains that Americans have the opportunity to experience joy everyday, but many are overlooking the small ways to feel it. She believes that people spend too much time waiting for big moments, rather than taking advantage of the little moments to experience joy.

So, what can a person do to feel more joy? Dr. Alex Korb, neuroscientist at University of California, Los Angeles and author, The Upward Spiral: Using Neural Science to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change At a Time states that it is possible for people to increase their serotonin levels on their own and provides a few ways, such as sitting in the sunlight, remembering positive memories, and partaking in simple exercises. Just by partaking in some of these activities, people have the possibility to experience a little more joy in their daily lives.

Guests:

  • Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at University of California-Riverside and author of The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want and Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, But Does
  • Dr. Alex Korb, researcher at University of California, Los Angeles and author of The Upward Spiral: Using Neural Science to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change At a Time

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18-04 Segment 1: Anxiety and Depression–Not a Chemical Imbalance?

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For the last several decades, doctors have believed many mental illnesses were the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. However, a journalist’s investigation shows that lost human connection, dissatisfaction, and loneliness are behind many cases of depression and anxiety. He explains.

Guests:

  • Johann Hari, author, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions

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Coming up on Radio Health Journal Show 18-04

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Anxiety and Depression – Not a Brain Chemical Imbalance?

For the last several decades, doctors have believed many mental illnesses were the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. However, a journalist’s investigation shows that lost human connection, dissatisfaction, and loneliness are behind many cases of depression and anxiety. He explains.

TBI’s and Personality Change

Traumatic brain injuries, even mild ones, may product cognitive and personality changes months later, when that “bump on the head” has been forgotten. An expert explains these injuries and how to prevent some of the consequences.

Medical Notes 17-17

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Medical Notes this week…

We’ve reported on how dogs can sniff out a variety of diseases in people with scientists trying to create a mechanical nose to do the same thing. Now a study presented to the American Chemical Society shows they’re making progress. Researchers have identified a signature odor in 90% of cases of prostate cancer and have developed a chemical test to detect it. Doctors are looking for an alternative to the PSA test to detect prostate cancer because of the high proportion of false positives.

People who are depressed have a surprisingly high risk for heart disease. A new study in the journal Atherosclerosis shows that depression is just as much of a cardiovascular risk as obesity and high cholesterol. The 10-year study finds that depression is to blame for about 15% of all heart disease deaths, a rate exceeded only by smoking and high blood pressure. About 350 million people around the world suffer from depression.

It might be easier to get into an argument when you’re tired because you’re misreading the emotions of other people. A study in the journal Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms shows that sleepy people have trouble interpreting some emotions in the faces of others compared to those who are well rested. Tired people can read fear and anger in others’ faces but more subtle emotions are misinterpreted far more often.

And finally, slightly more than half of parents give sports the green light for their kids but about one in every six completely rule them out. The reason? Concussions. The rest of parents, about a third of them, allow participation on a sport by sport basis, according to a Harris survey for the American Osteopathic Association. About two thirds of parents say basketball and baseball are ok for kids. But less than 20% approve of their children playing football.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

Medical Notes 17-12

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Medical Notes this week…

People who’ve gone to the hospital for treatment of a mental health disorder have an increased risk of stroke for months afterward. A study presented to the International Stroke Conference in Houston shows that people going to the hospital for psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and PTSD have triple the risk of a stroke in the next month and double the risk for the next year or more. Scientists speculate that mental illness may provoke the body’s “fight or flight” mechanism which can raise blood pressure and stroke risk.

Early risers may be healthier than people who sleep in. A study in the journal Obesity shows that early birds tend to eat more balanced diets than night owls. They also eat earlier in the day, which helps with weight loss and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

And finally, many Americans are working from home at least part of the time and a new poll shows we like it that way. However, a little bit of office camaraderie is a good thing. The Gallup survey finds that 43 percent of employees work remotely at least part of the time and that the most engaged workers are those who spend three to four days a week working from home. People who work in the office all the time or at home all the time are the least engaged employees.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

16-48 Segment 1: Inflammation and Depression

woman in deep depression lying alone

 

Doctors have long known that people feel depressed when they’re ill with a cold or the flu. But it may be more than simply feeling bad. Inflammation, which is part of many illnesses and infections, has been found in brain cells and is being implicated as a cause of depression., one of the world’s most debilitating disorders. This creates the possibility of treatment with anti-inflammatory medications. Experts on the frontlines of this research discuss.

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16-24 Segment 1: Doctor Suicide

16-24A Doctor Suicide

 

Doctors are attempting suicide in high numbers, and are much more likely than the general population to complete it. Experts discuss the coverup of doctor suicides, the reasons behind depression in doctors, and why doctors who are depressed are less likely than normal to get help.

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