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Virtual Reality Therapy Could Provide Alternative Treatment

An estimated 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a diagnosable mental disorder. Virtual Reality therapy has not been widely accessible to date but could lead the path in the way doctors treat patients without prescriptions. This kind of therapy gradually encourages patients to face their troubling thoughts and fears directly through a virtual system.

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Proposed Bill Could Allow Rural Residents to Receive Telepsychiatry Care

For most rural residents, receiving access to mental health care can be difficult. In Alaska, a bill has been introduced which could ease the inconvenience and allow more accessible telemedicine services to those in need. If the bill passes, there will be a lot of infrastructure work to get it going, but with telepsychiatry becoming more common across the U.S., it could help improve access to psychiatrists. 

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Beating the Genetic Odds of Bipolar Disorder

Patients at high genetic risk of bipolar disorder may be able to avoid onset of the condition due to natural adaptive neuroplasticity that allows the brain to compensate for underlying network dysfunction associated with the condition. The research explains that even though mental illness can run in families, it is possible to beat the odds.

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Gun Violence Is Not Just a Mental Health Issue

While mental illness is often mentioned as a factor of America's gun violence problem, some experts say the two rarely intersect. The rate of people with a serious mental illness committing a violent crime is only about 2.9 percent, with most being suicide. Some psychiatrists also point to anger as the underlying basis of violence instead of mental illness. They also suggest the U.S. should focus more on improving access to psychiatric care instead of increasing gun restrictions.

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Canadian Study Suggests Autism Linked to Antidepressants During Pregnancy

One percent of the 150,000 babies in a Canadian study of pregnant women taking antidepressants developed autistic symptoms by age seven, which is extremely low. However, women who continued to take antidepressants during the second and third trimesters were 87 percent more likely to deliver children who would ultimately be diagnosed with autism. Physicians and mothers will have to discuss options to maintain mental health during pregnancy. 

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