Psychiatrist Peter Marzuk, M.D., of Cornell University Medical College, did an interesting study concerning the suicide rate among pregnant women. He found that of the 315 New York City women who took their own lives between 1990 and 1993, only six were pregnant. He said that was about 70% less than you'd expect, given the city's pregnancy and suicide demographics.
Dr. Marzuk said that while there are no doubt psychological factors that help explain the low suicide rate among pregnant women, he also believes that the brain chemical serotonin plays a major role. He reasons that low serotonin levels have been linked to higher risk of depression and impulsive behavior. However, during pregnancy, the baby develops its own serotonin supply, and perhaps the mother feeds off that. He then suggested in The American Journal of Psychiatry that whether it's by coincidence or design, the neurochemical boost helps a baby insure its own survival.
Other studies reveal that listening to inspirational messages from speakers, teachers or preachers can enhance the flow of serotonin and help alleviate some of the stress and reduce the impact of PMS in women. The more we learn about our minds and how to stimulate and use them the more benefits we derive.
The message is clear: If you feed your mind something good and positive, you will have something to smile about.
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