18:57 PM

FOX28: Hot Health Topics - Mental Health

Mental Health Takes Center Stage

There is no doubt; mental health is such a big topic for individuals and families around the world, and here in central Ohio. With that in mind, OhioHealth psychiatrist Dr. Megan Schabbing sat down with Fox28’s Maria Durant to talk about some of the hot health topics when it comes to mental health. The segment focused in on three separate studies.

Study 1: Swedish researchers looked at resting heart rates over 82 beats per minute in older teens and young men in the early 20’s, and tracked how that could impact mental health decades later

“We already know a link between the autonomic nervous system and development of mental illness. That system regulates the fight or flight response,” Dr. Schabbing said. “This study is important because it looks at some young men in their teens and early 20’s entering the military and follows them for decades. It found men with high resting heart rates in those years, these men were more likely to go, later in life to dealing with psychotic and anxiety disorders.”

Study 2: Penn State researchers did an on-line survey on how viewers of selfies affected people’s mental health

“The survey looked at college students and effect of viewing selfies and other forms of social media,” Dr. Schabbing said. “To me, this is not surprising. We know that personality traits such as self-esteem and emotional stability can figure into someone’s internet usage. We have described that as internet addiction. That is usage that impacts someone’s ability to function at school, work, or relationships. There can be negative consequences of using the internet, particularly if this person might have fragile self-esteem to begin with. I think it serves as a real wake-up call for all of us to step back and be thoughtful of screen time.”

Study 3: Chinese researchers looked at structural differences in brains of children who had been exposed to trauma, and possible PTSD links

“This is a really important area of research,” Dr. Schabbing said. “Confirms what we have found: when a child is exposed to severed trauma, many times that child will go on to see PTSD. We know some changes occur and disrupt function of the brain. That can translate to brain development later in life. The more we understand of these changes, the better we can do with treatment and early intervention with therapy, to help prevent minimizing disruption late in life.”