US Tests Mental Health App That Tracks Everything Patients Do on Their Phones

The way we interact with our devices is to an increasing extent an extension of our innermost selves. It’s no wonder startups view the data gleaned from these behaviours as a window into our mental health—and the foundation for their business model. Read More >>

In Troubling Experiment, University To Monitor Students’ Social Media To Prevent Suicide

Northumbria University has announced that it will surveil student social media posts, among other data, to try and determine whether they are suicidal. The project is part of a pilot programme and will reportedly be deployed across all British institutions if it works as intended. Read More >>

Amazon Is Getting Closer to Building a Wearable That Knows When You’re Depressed

It looks like Amazon is working on a new Alexa-powered gadget that can listen to you and decide how you feel, and make recommendations based on your human emotions. Citing internal documents and an unnamed source, Bloomberg reports that the company has designed a device that you wear like a wristwatch and beta testing is apparently underway. “Eventually the technology could be able to advise the wearer how to interact more effectively with others,” reads the report. Read More >>

Meditation Really Freaks Some People Out, Study Finds

One of the stereotypical relaxing things to do – meditation – may actually cause distress for some people, according to the findings of a survey released this week. It found that more than a quarter of regular meditators have had bad experiences related to their meditation. Read More >>

Telecom Giant Orange on Trial in France After 19 Employees Died by Suicide

Orange, a French telecom giant, is being sued for moral harassment, among other charges, after 19 employees died by suicide and another 12 attempted to kill themselves over a three-year span. Over 100 people have claimed work culture at the company contributed to employees’ mental health issues. Read More >>

The Gentle Side of Twitch

“Hi! I see you, but I’m focused on the reading right now. I can chat during the next break!” This message popped up on the stream from Ryan Blake Hall, better known as Storyteller Mars on Twitch. Read More >>

News About Tragedies Makes Us Miserable—and Hungry for More, Study Finds

A new study out Wednesday might just reaffirm your worst fears about staying glued to Twitter or TV news during a mass tragedy like the latest school shooting. It suggests that getting exposed to media coverage of these events can create a vicious emotional cycle that not only sends you into despair, but also makes you more likely to tune into the next widely broadcast atrocity. Read More >>

New Postpartum Drug Offers a Wholly Different Approach to Treating Depression

New mothers suffering from postpartum depression finally have a treatment approved specifically for them. It’s the second drug this month approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to address depression in a dramatically different way. But the treatment won’t come without serious restrictions on its use, nor will it necessarily be cheap. Read More >>

game of thrones
The Death and Return of Jon Snow Sent Kit Harington to Therapy

The shocking death of Jon Snow at the climax of Game of Thrones’ fifth season – and the ceaseless speculation regarding its permanence – put a lot of people through the emotional wringer. But most wrung of all was none other than Kit Harington himself, and sadly not for the reasons you might expect. Read More >>

Study Finds Alarming Number of Preteens Who Visit A&E Have Thoughts of Suicide

A sobering new study out Monday suggests that many preteens who visit emergency services could be in dire need of help to address their suicidal ideation. It found that a substantial number of children between the ages of 10 to 12 who went to the hospital screened positive for suicide risk. Read More >>

Report: Amazon Warehouses Called Emergency Services for Mental Health Crises At Least 189 Times in Five Years

E-commerce giant Amazon has long been reported to be an unpleasant place to hold down a job. Article after article has relayed claims of an ultra-competitive workplace culture, employees being treated like soulless robots, sweatshop-esque performance requirements, and long hours of monotonous work. That includes mandatory seasonal overtime that some workers have said sometimes results in injuries. Read More >>

Delete Never: The Digital Hoarders Who Collect Tumblrs, Medieval Manuscripts, and Terabytes of Text Files

When it comes to their stuff, people often have a hard time letting go. When the objects of their obsession are rooms full of old clothes or newspapers, it can be unhealthy — even dangerous. But what about a stash that fits on 10 5-inch hard drives? Read More >>

Does Your Skin Affect Your Mental Health, and Vice Versa? Psychodermatology Aims to Find the Connection

With every bottle of the oral acne medication isotretinoin, commonly known by the brand name Accutane, comes a large warning about the risks of psychiatric effects. “Accutane may cause depression, psychosis and, rarely, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide, and aggressive and/or violent behaviours,” states the label. There have been a number of high-profile suicides allegedly related to isotretinoin use, including the death by suicide of Seamus Todd, son of the late Irish actor Richard Todd, in 1997. Read More >>

A Lifelong Biodome Experiment Could Reveal How the Immune System Shapes Personality

It’s the sort of realisation that ought to make you existentially terrified: All of your thoughts and actions are influenced by countless interconnected factors, most of which you are never conscious of. Read More >>

Childhood Antibiotics Could Raise Risk of Mental Illness, Study Finds

For all the good that antibiotics do, relying on them too much can have pretty drastic drawbacks. In particular, their overuse can help create bacterial superbugs resistant to future antibiotics. But a new study published this week in JAMA Psychiatry suggests there’s another, more subtle consequence of antibiotic use, at least in young people: a higher risk of developing serious mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. Read More >>