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Google Search Trends Suggest Mental Woes Vary by Seasons
Date:4/9/2013

nd similar winter peaks and summer troughs for queries involving every specific mental illness or problem we studied, however, the results consistently showed seasonal effects across all conditions -- even after adjusting for media trends," Dr. James Niels Rosenquist, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in a journal news release.

Much more research is needed to determine how this type of information might be used in prevention and treatment programs, he and his colleagues noted.

Another one of the study authors, Benjamin Althouse, a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said this type of Internet search analysis "can help researchers across the field of mental health generate additional new [theories] while exploring other trends inexpensively in real-time."

Althouse added in the news release, "For instance, moving forward, we can explore daily patterns in mental health information-seeking . . . maybe even finding a 'Monday effect.' The potential is limitless."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Mental Health has more about mental illnesses and health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, news release, April 9, 2013


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