Human antidepressants building up in brains of fish in Niagara River.

Researchers studying fish from the Niagara River have found that human antidepressants and remnants of these drugs are building up in the fishes’ brains. The concentration of human drugs was discovered by scientists from University at Buffalo, Buffalo State and two Thai universities, Ramkhamhaeng University and Khon Kaen University. Active ingredients and metabolized remnants of Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac and Sarafem — drugs that have seen a sharp spike in prescriptions in North America — were found in 10 fish species. Diana Aga, professor of chemistry at University at Buffalo, says these drugs are found in human urine and are not stripped out…

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Ph.D. students face significant mental health challenges.

Approximately one-third of Ph.D. students are at risk of having or developing a common psychiatric disorder like depression, a recent study reports. Although these results come from a small sample—3659 students at universities in Flanders, Belgium, 90% of whom were studying the sciences and social sciences—they are nonetheless an important addition to the growing literature about the prevalence of mental health issues in academia. One key message for scientific trainees that are struggling with these types of challenges, write co-authors Katia Levecque and Frederik Anseel of Ghent University in an email to ScienceCareers, is that “you are not alone.” Beyond…

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You Can Save a Life.

I realize this post won’t be for everyone on my friends list, but I hope it might encourage some of you to consider donating. I grew up TERRIFIED of needles, I was that girl that would cry every time I had to get a shot. I’ll be honest, needles still erk me, but I know that getting over my fears means someone else gives someone else a chance to live and that to me is a small price to pay. The Canadian Blood Services is in dire need of donations for the upcoming long weekend (ie. The goal is 150,000 donations),…

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Where To Get Help.

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre. If you’re worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you should talk to them, says the Canadian Association of Suicide  Prevention. Here are some warning signs: Suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse. Purposelessness. Anxiety. Feeling trapped. Hopelessness and helplessness. Withdrawal. Anger. Recklessness. Mood changes.

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Your Brain on Poverty.

A couple of weeks ago I listened to an excellent podcast series on poverty in America. One message that stuck with me is just how many factors the poor have working against them—factors that, if you’re not poor, are all too easy to deny, disregard, or simply fail to notice. In the March issue of Scientific American, neuroscientist Kimberly Noble highlights one such invisible, yet very real, element of poverty: its effect on brain development in children. When considering such a complex topic, any sort of data-driven approach can feel mired in confounding factors and variables. After all, it’s not…

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Hospital Children with ADHD have some smaller brain regions, study shows

People with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have distinct differences in their brain structure, a new study finds, suggesting the disorder should be considered a neurological condition and not simply a behavioural problem. The research — published Wednesday in Lancet Psychiatry — was described by its authors as the largest-ever review of ADHD patient brain scans. The scientists evaluated MRI scans and other data from more than 3,200 people, comparing 1,713 patients who had been diagnosed with ADHD to a control group. The patients ranged in age from four to 63. The researchers found those with ADHD had smaller brain volume in five subcortical…

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The Aftermath of Bell Let’s Talk.

I think this is an insightful perspective into the impact Bell Let’s Talk day has on the mental health movement. I have to admit it is one of my favourite days on social media, it’s incredibly inspiring to see so many people open up for the first time and share their experiences or words of positive encouragement for those going through mental illness. However, it’s also incredibly sad and frustrating at the same time to see so many people suffering in silence and unable to find the resources they need to lead a meaningful life. Mental health treatment is expensive.…

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Biological Changes Could Be Underlying Factor For Higher Rates of Psychosis in Immigrants.

 A new study could explain how migrating to another country increases a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia, by altering brain chemistry. Immigrants had higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine than non-immigrants in the study, conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London. Abnormal dopamine levels are linked to symptoms of schizophrenia. Dopamine is also connected to the body’s stress response. The study was published in the January issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin. “Schizophrenia is still a rare diagnosis,” says Dr. Romina Mizrahi, a senior author and Clinician…

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You Are Not Weak.

Byline: Just because I look okay doesn’t mean that I am I suffer (that is the absolute best term to describe it) from anxiety and depression. I don’t choose it. I don’t want attention for it. I don’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Do you want to know the worst part about it? Most people would never even know I had a problem. With many diseases and disorders, you can see the visible marks it has left on a person. You can visibly see the suffering they’ve experienced. A mental disorder can go completely unnoticed. A day in the…

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Fellow INFPs?

MEDIATOR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES Mediator Strengths Idealistic – Mediators’ friends and loved ones will come to admire and depend on them for their optimism. Their unshaken belief that all people are inherently good, perhaps simply misunderstood, lends itself to an incredibly resilient attitude in the face of hardship. Seek and Value Harmony – People with the Mediator personality type have no interest in having power over others, and don’t much care for domineering attitudes at all. They prefer a more democratic approach, and work hard to ensure that every voice and perspective is heard. Open-Minded and Flexible – A live-and-let-live attitude comes naturally…

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