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"depression"

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Study Finds Low Zinc Levels Associated With Depression

A meta-analysis of studies measuring blood concentrations of zinc in some 1,600 depressed subjects and 800 control subjects has found that zinc concentrations were significantly lower in the patients with depression. And in the studies that measured depressive symptoms, greater depression severity was associated with a greater relative zinc deficiency. The senior researcher was Krista Lanctot, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, and results are published in Biological Psychiatry.

Read the full article at Psychiatric News

(http://alert.psychiatricnews.org/2013/12/study-finds-low-zinc-levels-associated.html)

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'The Most Dramatic Advance in Treating Depression in Decades'


Focusing on getting quality sleep, specifically through cognitive behavioral therapy, is the talk of the moment in depression treatment.



"Psychiatrists have long thought that depression causes insomnia," wrote the New York Timeseditorial board this weekend, "but new research suggests that insomnia can actually precede and contribute to causing depression."

Small studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) can be of serious benefit to people with depression. "If the results [of this research] hold up in other studies already underway at major medical centers," they write, "this could be the most dramatic advance in treating depression in decades."

That really is a substantial assertion...

Read the full article at The Atlantic 

(http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/the-most-dramatic-advance-in-treating-depression-in-decades/281839/)

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Common Screening Tool May Help Identify Patients at Risk of Suicide


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013


While there is no screening tool proven to identify people at risk of suicide, a new study examining medical records of more than 84,000 patients who completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) at every depression-care visit over several years suggests that the commonly used depression-assessment instrument may be a useful screening tool for detecting suicide risk.

Read the full article at Psychiatric News

(http://alert.psychiatricnews.org/2013/12/common-screening-tool-may-help-identify.html)

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Depressed? Maybe It's Not You

Eva Hermogenes, November 8, 2013


More than 6% of the U.S. population is affected with majordepression, and an additional 18% of the adult U.S. population has some kind of anxiety disorder.
As a culture, we tend to address these health issues through pharma drugs and therapy, as if the problem lies within the patient. However, perhaps we should consider that it is the environment’s sickness which causes depression within an individual. Maybe that’s why it’s such a hard illness to resolve.
What if depression is a reaction, and not the problem?
Perhaps we are trying to fix the wrong patient. All that can be done for a depressed person is to alleviate their symptoms and change their environment. It is the environment that must be healed.
Read the full article at Rebelle Society 
(http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/11/08/depressed-maybe-its-not-you/)

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Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals


by James T. Webb

It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously. Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski (1996).

Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or “ultimate concerns”)–death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create. Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone. Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?


Read the full article at Sengifted.org 

(http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/existential-depression-in-gifted-individual)

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Depression is Not a Choice—But How You Handle it is


NOVEMBER 30, 2013 BY 
If you suffer from depression, then this may well be the most important post you ever read. You might think I’m just blowing smoke, but hear me out. Give me a chance to show you how a tweak in the way you view your depression can steer you off a path that leads to a lifetime of relapses and onto a path that can lead to recovery.
Have you accepted that depression will always be a part of you?
In the last six years, I’ve met hundreds of people who suffer from depression, whether that be in group therapy, online forums, psych wards, through social media, and ever since I launched the Depression Is Not Destiny Campaign, often in the course of day to day life. Over this time, I carefully observed people’s mentality towards their depression, and one of the most common views I found people to have was that it was just a part of them. That while their life would not be without periods of happiness, that it would also be choked with periods of misery, and that no matter what they did, they’d never be far out of depression’s reach. Put another way, they’d accepted that they’d have to battle their illness for the rest of their life.
Now I can understand this mentality. When you’ve had several episodes of depression over a period of months or even years, it’s easy to think that it’s settled in for the long haul. That it’s just the way you are. That you’ll never be able to beat your demons, so the best you can do is learn to live with them. But even though I can understand it, whenever I meet someone who thinks this way, it breaks my heart.
Why?
Because as soon as you accept that depression will be a permanent feature of your life, then it always will be. 
Read the full article at Good Men Project 
(http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/kt-depression-is-not-a-choice-but-how-you-handle-it-is/#!oQYwd)

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Why we must talk about male depression

By: Terri White
29th November 2013



Writer Pete Cashmore on why depression can’t be known by any other name


My name is Pete, and I am a depressive. I’m not, generally, depressing – in fact, I think I’m rather hilarious. This is a mistake people often make when picturing a depression sufferer, they envisage a miserable, introverted person moping heavily, when the opposite is often true, as anyone who has seen me doing my drunken impression of an owl can attest. Trust me, it’s hilarious. Depression, of course, is not an attitude, a state of mind, it’s an illness, which manifests itself physically to often debilitating effect, rather than just instilling in you the desire to listen to London Grammar with the curtains drawn...
Read the full article at People.co.uk 

(http://people.co.uk/male-depression/)

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6 More Ways to Manage Clinical Depression

By  


6 More Ways to Manage Clinical Depression
In a prior blog post, I listed seven ways to manage severe, clinicaldepression when you can’t get out of bed.

The suggestions are different than the popular tips most depression experts give for boosting your mood, which are usually written for those with mild or moderate depression — or the really lucky people who just want to feel better.

I thought it would be helpful to expand my list and give you six more ways to manage severe depression.

1. Remember your heroes.
When making it to the breakfast table is a humble feat, it helps to remember I’m in good company with depressives past and present: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Kay Redfield Jamison, Mike Wallace, William Styron, Art Buchwald, Robin Williams, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. They struggled with death thoughts, too, but they survived … and succeeded at so many things. They are missionaries of truth and perseverance.

Abraham Lincoln wanted people to know that his melancholy was a “misfortune, not a fault,” and that his humor, his jokes, were the “vents of [his] moods and gloom.” British Prime Minster Winston Churchill referred to his deep melancholy as his “black dog.” It was his teacher of perseverance. Kay Redfield Jamison reminded folks that “tumultuousness, if coupled with discipline and a cool mind, is not such a bad sort of thing.” Without Lincoln, Churchill, Jamison, and the others, I’d think I really was going crazy and stand crippled, terrified in my darkness...


http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/09/14/6-more-ways-to-manage-clinical-depression/

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Mental Illnesses Taking The Form Of Real Monsters

Artist Toby Allen visualizes what illnesses like anxiety, depression and paranoia would look like if they were monsters. He creates a chilling picture of the illnesses that no one can see, but that many confront in their daily life.

Anxiety

Anxiety

“Anxiety is small enough to sit on its victim’s shoulder and whisper things in to their unconscious, eliciting fearful thoughts and irrational worries. The anxiety monster is often seen as weak in comparison to others, but it is one of the most common and is very hard to get rid of. They often carry small objects linked to their victim’s anxieties such as clocks which represent a common but irrational fear of things that might never happen. No one has ever seen the face of the anxiety monster for it always wears a skull as a mask.”
Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety

“The Social Anxiety monster spends most of its life underground or in secluded sheltered areas. Because of this their skin appears pale and anemic, apart from hard plates that serve as an unnecessary means of defense. They are from the same biological family as the anxiety and paranoia monsters but due to their extreme way of life they have evolved to look quite different.”
“The monster spends most of its time in hibernation but will project their auras into human hosts in the hope of living out the ordinary lives they can never have. In the process, the monster passes on its own anxieties to its victims so both monster and the human host similar irrational social fears and worries.”
Read the full article at Buzzfeed 
http://www.buzzfeed.com/hzwonder/mental-illnesses-take-the-form-of-real-life-monste-fc1u

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Why do creative people suffer from depression?

September 15, 2013 by Robbie Blair 

Like many creative types, I struggle with clinical depression. The trick here is that “clinical depression” often means “depression that we’ve tried to medicate.” Many writers, artists, and “non-creative” people struggle with undiagnosed depression, or at least depression that’s manageable enough that they haven’t yet taken a psychiatric route. In talking extensively on this topic with two of my close friends (both of whom are also writers and both of whom suffer from depression), it became apparent to me that this association is painfully common and that there may well be some practical explanations.

Writing and DepressionWhat Is Creativity, Anyway?

The word should really mean any act of creation, but we tend to mean something else when we talk about creativity. For most common uses of the term, creativity typically means an ability to come up with non-obvious ideas and  see new connections. Imagination and creativity are intertwined in our conception; they are both ways of thinking between ideas rather than about them. In fact, a functional definition is that creativity is the ability to think expansively.
Our minds can approach concepts with various levels of “zoom.” We can zoom in the finer details or zoom out to see the big picture. Creative types tend to have a wider picture of the world, which allows us to twine together seemingly disparate concepts and come up with less obvious ideas. We often see the world for its possibilities rather than its realities. I think this is the starting point for understanding why creativity and depression are linked...
http://robbieblair.com/why-do-creative-people-suffer-depression/

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Mental Health Awareness Week: Top 10 Myths about Asian Americans and Mental Health

In 1990, Congress declared the first week of October to be Mental Health Awareness Week; today marks the final day of Mental Health Awareness Week 2013. In honour of this week, here are the top 10 myths about Asian Americans and mental health that remain pervasive in our community.

1. Mental health isn’t an Asian American issue.
In several studies that specifically examine the incidence of suicide among Asian Americans have found a far greater incidence among Asian Americans than many other ethnic groups. Most notably,Asian American women at multiple ages have higher suicide rates than the national average. In particular, both elderly Asian American women (>65) and men (>85) have the highest  suicide rates compared to non-Asians. Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for Asian Americans, (compared to 11th for the national population). These data strongly suggest a specific and under-addressed disparity in mental health awareness and treatment in the Asian American community.

2. Depression and mental illness is rare in the Asian American community.
Few studies have specifically examined the incidence of depression in the Asian American community, and those that have show some conflicting results, but in analysis of the National Latino and Asian American Survey, depression-related symptoms is reported in approximately 10% of Asian Americans. 15.9% of young Asian American women report suicidal thoughts (which is comparable to the national average).

View full list via Reappropriate 

http://reappropriate.co/?p=3389

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Is Mental Illness Taking A Toll On Your Sex Life? There's Hope


It's very common for depression, anxiety, PTSD and more to affect a couple's sex life.
According to YourTango Expert Dr. Stephanie Buehler, "many people are completely unaware that they have a mental illness, let alone that the mental illness is affecting their sexuality." Here, two experts discuss the ways in which mental illness affects a central aspect of couples' lives—their sexual enjoyment of each other. It is a highly unexplored topic with little research, and we think it's incredibly important to shed light on it so that couples can begin to work toward happiness in this area. After all, according to oursurvey of mental health professionals15-30 percent of married couples struggle with mental illness (that's as many as 3 in 10!) 

When it comes to having an effect on sexual enjoyment, mild depression and anxiety are very common. Depression can cause someone to feel shut down and withdrawn. Depressed people will often say that they no longer enjoy something they used to, sex being one of those things. 
Read the full article at Your Tango 
(http://www.yourtango.com/2013191165/toll-mental-illness-can-take-your-married-sex-life)

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15 Subtle Signs That Depression Is Returning



signs that depression is returningI’m a therapist and many of my clients struggle with some level of depression, ranging from deep depression to intermittent bouts of mild depression. The thing about a mood problem is that it can sneak up on a person.
For instance, there’s happy-go-lucky Sally, going about her daily business, taking the kids to the dentist, turning in her reports at work, consulting with her husband about dinner plans, and all the while the depression she has experienced in the past is plotting its insidious return. Sally remembers what it was like in college when she took to her bed and refused to get up, and she remembers depression striking again twice in her early 30s as she was embarking on a new career and again after the birth of her first child. All four times, she called a therapist, made deliberate life changes, and rebounded. Each time the depression returned, she was surprised and exasperated, thinking, “I thought I had beaten this thing!”
Read more at Rewire Me 
(http://www.rewireme.com/explorations/15-subtle-signs-that-depression-is-returning/#sthash.ldR2Glci.dpuf)

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Pills can’t treat all ills—Antidepressants no more effective than placebo


The Bolton News – August 28, 2013
by Brian Daniels,
National Spokesperson, CCHR United Kingdom
RECENTLY, there was media coverage on the number of antidepressants being consumed along with questions about whether they actually worked.
Although they were once reserved for the mentally disturbed, today it is difficult to find someone who has not taken one. Prescribed for everything from learning and behavioural problems, bedwetting, juvenile delinquency, aggression, criminality, drug addiction and smoking, to handling the fears and problems of the elderly,antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed on Earth.
Here are the recent statistics obtained from the NHS (National Health Service) Business Services Authority regarding their use. In England alone, over 27 million prescription items for antidepressants were dispensed in 2012, costing the National Health Service more than £73 million.
Read the full story at CCHR International 

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‘Rave Drug’ Ketamine Proven to Lift Depression


For people suffering from treatment-resistant depression, ketamine known in the drug world at “Special K” can provide immediate relief for their symptoms. The discovery of its anti-depressant properties has been called “arguably the most important discovery in half a century” of depressive research. The drug “rapidly spurs the growth of new synapses, the connections between brain cells, and is associated with reversal of the atrophy caused by chronic stress.”
Now in the largest controlled study of ketamine to date, Dr. John Crystal professor of psychiatry at Yale has confirmed those assumptions. The study administered a single small intravenous (IV) dose of Ketamine to patients with severe depression. Within one day 64% of patients reported fewer symptoms and the results outweighed those given midazolam, an asethic drug used as the control. Only 28% of patients using midazolam reported any sort of improvement.
Read the full article at WRR

(http://whiteraverrafting.com/rave-drug-ketamine-proven-to-lift-depression/2013/08/28/#ixzz2eRoxbEnP)

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This Is Your Brain on Rejection


By:  / Posted: 08/15/2013 1:04 pm
Rejections are the most common psychological injury we encounter in daily life. They range in 'potency' from mild such as when friends fail to share our Facebook posts, to trulydevastating, such as being blindsided by divorce or being shunned by our families. The one thing all rejections have in common is -- they hurt! Indeed, the expression 'hurt feelings' is one we tend to associate almost exclusively with rejection, as do cultures around the world.
So, what exactly happens in our brains that makes rejections so painful?
To answer that question, scientists placed people in fMRI scans (functional MRIs show what happens in the brain when someone performs a specific task), and had them play a computerized ball-tossing game with two other people. The game was rigged such that subjects always got excluded (i.e. rejected) by the two other players after a couple of rounds of tosses.
Read more at Huffington Post 

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Blood Test May Predict Risk of Suicide

By Joseph Brownstein  |   August 20, 2013 12:32pm


A depressed-looking man sits with his hands on his head.



It can be difficult to tell when a person is contemplating suicide -- people may be reluctant to speak about it. But now, researchers say they may have a new tool that reveals suicidal thoughts with a blood test.

The researchers found the levels of certain molecules in the blood differed when people with bipolar disorder were having suicidal thoughts, and they were able to confirm their findings in the bodies of men who had recently committed suicide.

"We found some blood biomarkers, some changes in molecules in the blood, that are associated with having a high suicidal risk, and then we validated those changes in blood from suicide completers," said Dr. Alexander Niculescu III, an associate professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience at the Indiana University School of Medicine.


Read more at Live Science 

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Nightmares, numbness, panic - what coming off antidepressants feels like

By Juliet Rowan / 10:15 AM Tuesday Aug 20, 2013


Last night, I was visited by bloodied, haggard corpses of people with holes where their eyes should've been. Just as I was getting to grips with their horrific appearance, they started stabbing at me with huge, skewer-type needles. I had no defense against their relentless attack until someone managed, with an almost pathetic gesture, to fend them off with a plastic lid. Just long enough for me to wake up.
This is my world at the moment. Nightmares when I sleep, headaches while I'm awake and, if I succumb to it, a rising sense of panic that threatens to swallow me whole. I'm getting chest pain, nausea, a numb face, and today I spent the morning trapped in a horrible haze, trying desperately to ground myself and focus on looking after my two small children.
After almost two years on Citalopram, one of the world's most prescribed antidepressants, I have decided to stop.
I was not prepared for a difficult withdrawal (and neither it seems were the many others who have Googled "side effects of coming off Citalopram"). There was no warning from my doctor; I was just told to take it slowly, reducing my dose a week or so at a time.
Read the full article at New Zealand Herald 

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Drawing cartoons empowers teen with mental disorders


Zack Hix, 18, is the creator of the Good Boy Roy cartoon characters. Zack was diagnosed with a range of mental disorders, and his family believes his drawings provide an important outlet. Zack Hix, 18, is the creator of the Good Boy Roy cartoon characters. Zack was diagnosed with a range of mental disorders, and his family believes his drawings provide an important outlet.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zack Hix is the creator of the cartoon characters in Good Boy Roy
  • He is diagnosed with a laundry list of mental health disorders
  • Art has always been his avenue for self-expression
  • His family wants to turn his artwork into a career so he can support himself

By Matthew Casey, Special to CNN
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Mon August 19, 2013

Editor's note: This story is part of CNN's American Journey series, showing how people are turning passions into jobs. Share your story with CNN iReport, and you could be featured in a CNN story.
(CNN) -- On the surface, Zack Hix is like many 18-year-olds.
The Simpsonville, South Carolina, teen's favorite foods are cheeseburgers and pizza. He listens to rock and punk music. He loves to race mountain bikes, play video games, watch Georgia Bulldogs football with his dad and -- perhaps most importantly -- draw.
But Zack also suffers from a laundry list of mental health issues, including both intermittent explosive- and obsessive-compulsive disorders, which make him different from other kids his age and threaten to inhibit his ability to function as an independent adult.
Zack is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, in addition to the IED and OCD. He also has Tourette syndrome and tics that are the result of a Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infection in the fifth grade.
Read the full article at CNN

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'Too trapped in war to be at peace'

By Steve Vogel

The Washington Post



Published: August 24, 2013


After veteran Daniel Somers’s suicide, his family has a new mission: Improve VA services



Shortly before his death on June 10, Army veteran Daniel Somers wrote a note for his family, asking his wife, Angel, to share it as she saw fit.
“I am left with basically nothing,” he typed on his laptop at their Phoenix townhouse. “Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war.”
His service in Iraq, including multiple combat missions as a turret gunner, left him with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. But the government, he wrote, had “turned around and abandoned me.”
Somers felt frustrated in his efforts to get mental health and medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. An antiquated scheduling system at the Phoenix medical center left him waiting, often in vain, for a postcard with the date of his next mental health appointment.
Read the full article at Stars And Stripes 

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