Health

Could COVID-19 infection be responsible for your depressed mood or anxiety?

We are still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain, but we know that the pandemic has resulted in worsening mental health for many people. A new study confirmed that COVID-19 infection increased the risk of developing psychiatric disorders.

Are antidepressants also pain relievers?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Antidepressant medications are frequently prescribed for chronic pain, particularly neck or low back pain and certain types of arthritis — though other treatments are usually tried first. An analysis of past research considered how effective antidepressants are for these types of pain, but the results are not encouraging.

Anti-Asian racism: Breaking through stereotypes and silence

On top of the unprecedented strains that COVID-19 has has placed on all of us, Asian Americans have confronted skyrocketing rates of discrimination, verbal assaults, and physical violence. The cumulative burden of these incidents contributes to mental and emotional trauma, even among those not directly attacked.

Can some postmenopausal women with breast cancer skip chemotherapy?

Advances in breast cancer research have led to more personalized treatments, based on subtyping and more sophisticated testing. A risk assessment test can predict that some women do not need chemotherapy but will benefit from hormone therapy, and who might benefit more from both treatments.

Stress may be getting to your skin, but it’s not a one-way street

In addition to everything else associated with stress, it can have negative effects on the skin, and can also aggravate certain skin conditions. But skin and hair also produce stress-inducing signals that can travel back to the brain, adding to psychological stress and perpetuating a stress cycle.

The art of a heartfelt apology

If you have upset someone, the best way to rectify the situation is by making a sincere, heartfelt apology. But just saying the words isn’t quite enough: for an apology to be effective, it has to be genuine. You have to mean it, and you have to make that clear.

How is treatment for myasthenia gravis evolving?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare neuromuscular disease that impairs the transmission of nerve signals to muscles, causing temporary weakness of affected muscles. While treatment is complex, recently updated guidelines have added to the understanding of MG and are improving approaches to treatment.

Sleep, stress, or hormones? Brain fog during perimenopause

During perimenopause, some women notice that they are having trouble focusing or are more forgetful. Are sleep disturbances, stress, or hormones behind this brain fog –– and what can you do to feel less foggy?

Black peer support: A role in mental health recovery

Peer support groups in mental health allow people with similar lived experiences to listen, share, and encourage one another. A Black peer support group created around race and culture as well as mental health may offer a safe space that allows people to address aspects of shared identity and experiences around racism with others who understand their daily reality.

What’s new in the updated asthma guidelines?

Recent updates to asthma management guidelines produced by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program reflect advances in understanding of the mechanisms that cause asthma and current best practices to manage asthma symptoms.