From Celebrity Confessions to Date-Rape Drugs For Depression, 8 Best Mental Health Moments of  2018
Mental Health (Photo Credits: Flickr)

Did you know that people with mental health problems tend to die 10-20 years before the general population? According to WHO, there are 300 million people suffering from various psychiatric and mood disorders around the world. But things have been turning around. In the last few years, the world has been slowly waking up to the problems posed by mental health issues. Dialogues around problems such as depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and bipolar disorders have also been increasing. In 2018, we lost many great people to depression. But the year also saw some amazing moments that bode well for mental health.

1 Celebrities Talking About Depression

Many celebs opened up about their mental health problems on social media in 2018. Most recently, SNL actor Pete Davidson confessed to feeling suicidal about being bullied and targeted. He has also spoken at length about his struggles with borderline personality. Singer Selena Gomez has also been vocal about her depression and health issues through her social media in 2018. When celebs talk about mental health problems, they give hope to millions. It helps remove some of the stigma related to mental health.

2 “Master key” For Schizophrenia and Autism Discovered

Researchers at Emory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences identified “master keys” or risk genes that are instrumental to brain functions. When the scientists “created” mice without these risk genes or master keys MIR-37, they found that the rodents had learning disability, repetitive behaviour, memory problems and impaired sociability. The research came out in November, 2018 and was to have been published in Nature Neuroscience.

3 Global Warming and Depression

The UN Special Report on Global Warming revealed that the world has heated up by one-degree Celsius, which could be bad news for health in general. But new research from MIT and Harvard revealed that with every degree increase in global temperature, there’s a two percent increase in mental health issues.

4 Exercise Bad For Mental Health?

While some amount of physical exercise is considered good for mental health, a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry this year found that doing more than 90 minutes of exercise per day could be hurting their mental health. The same study said that those who exercised between three and five times a week had better mental health than those who exercised lesser than that.

5 A Way to Prevent Suicide

A study published in October 2018 in the American Journal of Psychiatry found a way to predict suicide attempts and prevent them by using electronic health records. The researchers were able to formulate a prediction model to prevent suicides from happening. They studied 313 demographic and clinical characteristics such as prior suicide attempts, mental health, substance abuse, etc. to create the system.

6 Date Rape Drug For Depression

Surprisingly, a date-rape drug ketamine, also known as the party-drug, has been explored as a treatment option for depression. In May of 2018, Johnson & Johnson has been trying to project ketamine for its antidepressant quality and as a potential weapon against depression. A nasal spray-version of ketamine known as esketamine would be used for the purpose.

7 Ecstasy for Anxiety and Autism

After Ketamine, another infamous drug Ecstasy or MDMA or “molly” has been shown to reduce social anxiety in autistic people. The research was published in the journal Psychopharmacology, which said that people who had crippling social anxiety became more confident in situations that made them nervous before.

8 Social Media is Contributing To Mental Illnesses

Social media addiction in today’s day and age could be worsening depression according to experts. Research published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology showed that excessive use of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram could worsen mental health. Instagram has been considered the worst offender in fuelling inadequacy and depression.