gender can affect mental health diagnoses
Many of us have heard that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, but the overwhelming majority of those children are boys. A new study suggests this may be because providers fail to recognize the signs of autism in girls. The reason? Gender-based empathy conditioning.
People with autism often appear to lack empathy or recognize social cues. According to the study, however, girls on the spectrum show outward signs of empathy. Researchers believe this is because gender conditioning to master social skills is much stronger in girls. So girls with autism may appear to understand social cues even when they don't.
Worldwide, Depression is the Leading Cause of Disability
The leading cause of disability isn't cancer or chronic pain, though public health campaigns might make you think otherwise. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. What's more, it's held that place for many years.
Even more troubling, despite burgeoning awareness, the rate of depression is not getting better. Particularly in developing nations, people often do not receive treatment for symptoms of depression. And between 2005-2015, the rate of depression actually increased by 18%.
mental and physical health are inseparable
Media portrayals often talk about mental and physical health, or discuss how one supports the other. This isn't anything new. Philosophers, scientists, and laypeople of all varieties have been separating the mind from the body for generations.
Research increasingly points to the link between the two. For example, some studies suggest that chronic inflammation may cause depression. Others have found that mental illness can affect physical health, or lead to symptoms of chronic pain. The role of exercise in fighting mental illness is well documented. People taking some chemotherapy drugs may be more vulnerable to depression, even when researchers control for the already depressing effects of having cancer. And a new study just linked consuming low-fat, rather than whole-fat, dairy to a lowered risk of depression.
The invisible line between the mind and body is imaginary. Our thoughts reside in the brain, and the brain lives in the body. It's affected by what we eat, how we spend our time, and our overall health.