This morning I found an article over at International Science Times suggesting that anxiety makes us age faster.
Apparently a recent research study has been conducted linking shorter portions of a certain piece of a chromosome called a telomere to higher levels of stress. In the case of this study, the stress was based off of people with phobic types of fears (being terrified of being in large crowds, enclosed spaces, etc).
People with more phobic fear had shorter telomeres, and generally shorter telomeres are linked to an increased risk of early death.
Of course, there are also several other possibilities that could be reached about the data, so the end result is that greater anxiety and stress may increase aging. What we don’t know, though, is which came first… the short telomere or the stress, so it is possible shorter telomeres put people at greater risk of developing anxiety and not the other way around.
In conclusion, there isn’t exactly a conclusion, but premature aging from stress and anxiety is definitely linked to shorter telomeres, in one way or another.
Anyway, the first thing this study made me think of was my mother, which absolutely conflicts these results for me. I believe stress probably contributes to premature aging, but despite whatever anxiety she’s had to deal with, my mom has always looked young and premature aging has definitely not appeared to be a problem for her. Maybe she is an exception to the rule, but I hope I managed to snag that gene.
For the full article, check out “Anxiety Makes You Age Faster” over at International Science Times.
Last year in a state of severe depression I found myself willing to try almost anything to help it abate more quickly. One of the things I tried was acupuncture.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success with it treating my depressive symptoms (though I seemed to have a little luck with the relaxing environment helping my anxiety) but an article yesterday centered around a study involving electroacupuncture relieving some of the symptoms of depression caught my eye.
Researchers at the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, and the Department of Psychiatry in Kowloon Hospital did a clinical trial using dense cranial electroacupuncture stimulation (DCEAS) on patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
To dumb that down a little bit, consider DCEAS to be something like acupuncture on the head (primarily) that involves the added bonus of electric pulses (yes, electricity) to those needles. This is a new treatment technique developed only recently, and I am sure it is a lot less terrifying than it sounds. From my own experience, regular acupuncture is considerably less painful and scary than it looks (and I’ve had it done on my head/face), so I wouldn’t let that deter one from potentially seeking this treatment in the future, if this is something that becomes more widespread and seems like it might be desirable to you.
The article leaves out a lot of details, but the takeaway seems to be that notable improvement was said to be seen in patients receiving electroacupuncture in as few as three days, with continued improvement throughout the trial.
Want to read more? Read the full article here…