Mega-storms such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria disrupt uncounted lives and leave psychological scars that can last for decades and recur every hurricane season. Experts who have tracked survivors of Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago explain what survivors of new storms can expect in their lives.
Dr. Howard Osofsky, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Dr. Thomas Hauth, Medical Director, Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority
Some people who seek repeated plastic surgery are afflicted with a mental illness, body dysmorphic disorder, which distorts their view of their own appearance. Experts discuss symptoms and how the disorder may be treated, though few with the disorder agree to psychological treatment.
Dr. Elliot Hirsch, Los Angeles plastic surgeon
Dr. Angela Fang, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School and psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
Loneliness affects far more than our mental health. Studies are now showing that loneliness and social isolation also have profound effects on our physical health, and increase the risk of death substantially.
The Health Effects of Loneliness: Loneliness affects far more than our mental health. Studies are now showing that loneliness and social isolation also have profound effects on our physical health, and increase the risk of death substantially.
Rescuing Runaways: More than two million youth may run away from home each year. More than 100,000 of them are forced into the sex trade each year to survive. One young woman who overcame such a life describes how she beat the odds and what runaways need to have a chance to succeed.
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.
A woman who suffered severe abuse as a child describes the mental health benefits of owning a dog, and an expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act discusses requirements for emotional support animals.