Sunday August 19, 2018

City Upbringing Without Pets May Increases Risk of Mental Illness

Pet-free city upbringing raises mental illness risk: Study

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People raised in cities without pets at risk from mental illness
People raised in cities without pets at risk from mental illness. Pixabay
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Children raised without pets in an urban setting are more vulnerable to mental illness than those raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, says a new study.

Kids raised in rural settings may grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The study adds to mounting evidence supporting the “hygiene hypothesis,” which posits that overly sterile environments can lead to health problems.

The research also suggests that raising kids around pets might be good for mental health.

“It has already been very well documented that exposure to pets and rural environments during development is beneficial in terms of reducing risk of asthma and allergies later in life,” said study co-author, Christopher Lowry, Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“This study moves the conversation forward by showing for the first time in humans that these same exposures are likely to be important for mental health,” Lowry added.

For the study, led by Professor Stefan Reber of the University of Ulm in Germany, the scientists recruited a small group of healthy German men between ages 20 and 40. Half had grown up on a farm with farm animals. Half had grown up in a large city without pets.

On test day, all were asked to give a speech in front of a group of stone-faced observers and then asked to solve a difficult math problem while being timed.

Blood and saliva were taken five minutes before and five, 15, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after the test.

“People who grew up in an urban environment had a much-exaggerated induction of the inflammatory immune response to the stressor, and it persisted throughout the two-hour period,” Lowry said.

Also Read: Check out Instagram Profiles of Paw-some Indian Celebrity Pets!

Previous studies have shown that those with an exaggerated inflammatory response are more likely to develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) later in life.

Research has also shown that our immunoregulatory response to stress develops in early life and is shaped largely by our microbial environment.

More than 50 per cent of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, meaning humans are exposed to far fewer micro-organisms than they evolved with, the authors noted.

“If you are not exposed to these types of organisms, then your immune system doesn’t develop a balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory forces, and you can develop a chronic, low-grade inflammation and exaggerated immune reactivity that makes you vulnerable to allergy, autoimmune disease and, we propose, psychiatric disorders,” Lowry said.  IANS

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Not Afraid To Fail, Asserts Deepika Padukone

Deepika said while people suffering from depression were not expected to identify the symptoms and reach out to a psychiatrist, those around them have to understand it

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Deepika Padukone opens up about her mental health and related concerns in an interview. Twitter
Deepika Padukone opens up about her mental health arview. Twitter
  • Deepika Padukone is undoubtedly one of the biggest superstars of Bollywood
  • She recently revealed that she is not afraid to fail
  • She also opened up more about depression and other mental conditions

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone said she was not afraid to fail and not afraid to talk about the way she feels.

She believes that success and failure are all part of life and everybody fails at one point in their life. “I am at a stage in my life where I have been through everything.”

Deepika Padukone speaks about not being afraid of failures. Wikimedia Commons
Deepika Padukone speaks about not being afraid of failures. Wikimedia Commons

She was speaking on ‘Making mental wellness a boardroom priority’ at the World Congress on Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum here on Wednesday.

In a packed hall at ‘global influencer session’ on the last day of the three-day event, Deepika, the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, shared her experiences with depression and gave tips to technologists on how to overcome it.

Also Read: Padmavati and The Modern Time’s Playboys

In a chat with Nasscom Vice-Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Wipro Rishad Premji, she said that depression is going to be the next big epidemic.

She said it was important that the persons suffering from depression speak about it with his or her near and dear ones and approach a counsellor and psychiatrist.

Deepika Padukone advised all IT companies to have counsellors and psychiatrists to help the employees who may be suffering from depression.

Deepika requested all IT companies to hire psychiatrists. IANS
Deepika requested all IT companies to hire psychiatrists. IANS

She said the employers should also ensure that such employees are not treated differently, noting there is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness and such people don’t speak due to fear of losing their job.

She believes technology can help create awareness on depression but personal touch and feel is important to help the person. “Personal feel and touch, physical proximity, one-on-one is important which technology in some way is taking away from us.”

On whether social media is adding to the problem, Deepika said while it has been a boon in a lot of ways, she believes that everything should be in moderation. She observed that people on social media sometimes present a glorified version of life.

Recalling her fight with depression, the actress said she was not afraid of being judged when she opened up about the problem. “It’s okay to have moments of weakness, okay to break down and okay to cry. It’s okay if you don’t look great all the time,” she said.

Deepika Padukone is taking up many initiatives involving mental health.
Deepika Padukone is taking up many initiatives involving mental health.

Replying to a query from the audience, Deepika said when she was suffering from depression, she used to feel like not getting up from bed and going for work.

“There was no motivation and drive. I was not able to think straight. You feel a burden. You feel clouded and don’t feel like yourself.”

Also read: 7 Bollywood Celebrity Lehenga to Flaunt in the Upcoming Wedding Season

About the many episodes of breaking down, she said one day when her parents were returning to Bengaluru after visiting her, she broke down in front of her mother, who understood the problem and reached out to a counsellor.

“If my mother had not understood the problem, I would not have got the intervention.”

Deepika said while people suffering from depression were not expected to identify the symptoms and reach out to a psychiatrist, those around them have to understand it.

The actress said frequent sessions with counsellors, medication, lifestyle changes, spacing the work, adequate sleep and the right kind of food helped her overcome the problem.

Deepika Padukone also opened up about her struggles with mental illness. Instagram
Deepika Padukone also opened up about her struggles with mental illness. Instagram

She stressed the need for people to come out and speak about mental illness. “You are not alone. One in three or five persons feels depression. It’s going to be next big epidemic to hit our country,” she said.

On the activities of her Foundation, she said it was working to create awareness in Karnataka’s Davangere district. “If I am able to save even one life, I will feel my job is done.” IANS