Environment Lighting and Mental Health

In a review of the effects of full-spectrum fluorescent lighting (FSFL) on human physiology and health, McColl & Veitch (2001) reviewed studies conducted on the protective or therapeutic effects that this type of artificial light may have. The study reviewed research conducted between 1941 and 1999. Their research approach gives an overview of the present state of knowledge on the influences of FSFL on a wide variety of behaviors, mental health outcomes, and physical health effects. The authors surveyed three areas of inquiry: (1) whether the role that natural daylight plays in physiological processes (also known as the evolutionary hypothesis) may be duplicated
with artificial lighting, particularly FSFL; (2) whether FSFL has been shown to improve health and well-being as compared to other types of artificial lighting; and 3) whether the ultraviolet light (UV) component of FSFL is critical to its behavioral effects. Read more...

Food Intolerances and Mental Health

In a review of the role of nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Schnoll, Burshteyn, & Cea-Aravena (2003) investigated the hypothesis that the symptoms of ADHD may be ameliorated by a child’s food intake. The study reviewed studies conducted between 1980 and 2002. Their research approach gives an overview of the present state of knowledge on the influences of diet on behavior and functioning and is consistent with other studies on the subject of ADHD (Arnold & DiSilvestro, 2005; Colquhoun, 1994; Dykman & Dykman, 1998; Steele, 2000; Thompson, 2003). The author surveyed four areas of inquiry: (1) the role that the elimination of food additives may play in the treatment of ADHD; (2) the effects of the elimination of refined sugars from the child’s diet on the symptoms of ADHD; 3) the evidence of improvement in allergies and sensitivities related to ADHD via the elimination of foods that are presumed to produce them; and 4) the state of research on essential fatty acids (EFA) levels and their effects on the symptoms of ADHD. Read more...

Love, Gratitude and Forgiveness

Nutrition and Mental Health

Physiopsychological Correlates in Menopause

The word “menopause” derives from the Greek menos (month) and pausis (a cessation, a pause), and it is used to indicate the end of the female reproductive function and in some cases the unfortunate beginning of a variety of physical and psychological problems (Walsh, 1912). In fact, with the last menstruation (which indicates the beginning of menopause), a woman undergoes physical and psychological changes that can threaten her health and mental stability increasing the risk of physical and psychological disorders (Buehler, 2006). Among the phenomena that accompany menopause, important changes happen in a woman’s body. Breasts may swell, sometimes excessively, or become flaccid and their new shape may ignite hope or create disappointment. In the most severe cases, breast withering can cause severe frustration and create a sense of inadequacy and fear, by providing dramatic evidence of aging (DeSoto, 2003). With menopause the entire body is transformed, often
becoming a stranger. For many women the mirror becomes an enemy to avoid, a merciless enemy that shows new aspects of the body that no woman wishes to see (Mishra & Kuh, 2006; Shaw, Ebbeck, & Snow, 2000). Read more...

Pleasure, Gratification, Strengths & Optimism

The pursuit of happiness is indispensable to achieve a pleasant, engaged and meaningful life. The sustained feeling of wellbeing within oneself is fundamental to our ability to be with the others and to contribute to the society to which we belong in a meaningful way (Kahneman, 1999). According to positive psychology, as outlined by Martin Seligman (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), every human being is endowed in varying measure with a number of virtues and strengths. The six time-honored and universally endorsed virtues are wisdom/knowledge, courage, love/humanity, justice, temperance, and spirituality/transcendence (Seligman, 2002). They are assumed to be cross-cultural. They represent the more abstract component of Seligman’s classification of the human traits that are relevant to positive emotions and to happiness. On the more concrete side, 24 strengths have been identified that transcend specific social, cultural and temporal contexts. Every healthy individual possesses all these strengths and virtues, but what distinguishes each individual is the predominance of some of these as compared to the others (Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005).  Read more...

Positive Emotion, Optimism and Illness