Welcome to Wing of Madness Depression Guide

Image: Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Welcome to one of the oldest depression sites on the Web. Since 1995, Wing of Madness has been providing information and support to people dealing with their own depression or that of someone they know.

This web page is about clinical depression, also referred to as major depression or major depressive disorder. Here we address not the “down” mood which we all get from time to time and which leads us to say, “I’m depressed,” but the often debilitating illness which affects one in five people, children as well as adults. Continue reading

Depression and Your Nutritional Health

View from a Window, Genoa by John Singer Sargent

Last fall I started to feel that my antidepressant medication (Wellbutrin) wasn’t working. I had noticed that I hadn’t really been getting anything done around the house for a while, but things started to get worse. I started actually having depressed thoughts, and having more issues with anxiety. I called my psychiatrist and made an appointment to talk about adjusting my medication or trying another antidepressant.

I was scheduled to meet with my psychiatrist on Christmas Eve. A couple of days before that, I was doing some errands on my lunch hour when I noticed that I was having trouble breathing and heart palpitations. I thought this was somewhat odd, as I didn’t feel at all stressed out. By the end of lunchtime, I was on the phone to my husband, asking him to bring me an asthma inhaler. A few minutes later, I was literally gasping for breath, and an ambulance was called. Continue reading

Is Your Job Making Your Depression Worse?

Siesta, 1890 by Van Gogh

Unless we’re independently wealthy, most of us spend a large part of our waking hours at work. Our “second homes” can contribute positively or negatively to our well-being. If you’re suffering from depression, it’s worth asking yourself if your job could be a factor, or even the sole cause.

Perhaps your job isn’t a good fit with your personality. I found over the years that, probably because of my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, I get bored doing jobs that keep me any less than extremely busy. One temporary job I held required me to do nothing but sit at my desk and read for four out of five days, as my boss was traveling all but one day of the week. While some people would probably find that type of job relaxing, I was so unhappy that I dragged myself reluctantly to work each day. Continue reading

Resistance to Antidepressant Treatment

It may come as a surprise to anyone who’s read my writing to hear that I was reluctant to start antidepressant treatment for my depression. While I would not call myself “pro” medication, my life has been changed by antidepressants, and I know quite a few other people who feel the same way.

However, my initial reaction to my psychiatrist’s suggestion that I start antidepressants was a firm “no.” Or, that is, as firm as I was about anything at that time. I was in the middle of the third, and worst, major depressive episode of my life. Most of the time I was either numb or crying. I had made an appointment for a mental health evaluation after reading William Styron’s “Darkness Visible” and realizing that in all likelihood I was suffering from clinical depression.

My psychiatrist’s confirmation that I did have clinical depression was a huge relief to me. I think he was somewhat surprised; I’m sure some of his patients were resistant to the diagnosis. I was just relieved that what I was going through had a name and that my symptoms were part of a medical condition. I wasn’t, however, ready to treat it with medication. Continue reading

Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds

There’s been a lot of discussion about what kinds of mental activities are actually capable of changing the brain. Some promises of bolstered IQ and enhanced brain function via specially-designed “brain games” have fizzled out. Meanwhile, meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behavior and moment-to-moment experience.

Now, a new study from the Max Planck Institute  finds that three different types of meditation training are linked to changes in corresponding brain regions. The results, published in Science Advances, have a lot of relevance to schools, businesses and, of course, the general public.

Read on: Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds

Capturing the Sound of Depression in the Human Voice – KQED Science

In any given year, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness, yet fewer than half of those suffering receive treatment.

Signs of depression in the human voice might help to diagnose mental health problems Speaking lower, flatter and softer Sounding labored, with more pauses, starts and stops Sounding strained or breathy.

In an attempt to fill that gap, companies are developing digital technology to help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat psychiatric disorders. The behavioral health startup Ellipsis Health, based in San Francisco, uses machine learning to analyze audio recordings of conversations between doctors and patients during exams. The software works as a screening tool to flag patients whose speech matches the voice patterns of depressed individuals, alerting clinicians to follow up with a full diagnostic interview.

Meanwhile, Boston’s Cogito has developed an app to use metadata from patients’ phones to alert health care providers about sudden changes in behavior that might be linked to mental health.

Read on: Capturing the Sound of Depression in the Human Voice | KQED Future of You | KQED Science

The New York Times – Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common mental-health disorder in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of both adolescents and adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But unlike depression, with which it routinely occurs, anxiety is often seen as a less serious problem. “Anxiety is easy to dismiss or overlook, partially because everyone has it to some degree,” explained Philip Kendall, director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame

Postpartum depression has become more visible as celebrity moms including Brooke Shields, Drew Barrymore and Chrissy Teigen have publicly shared their struggles with feeling sad and hopeless after birth. But when a father – Adam Busby, from reality TV show “OutDaughtered” – recently opened up about his own postpartum depression, he received instant backlash, including comments telling him to “man up.”

Despite the skepticism, postpartum depression in fathers is very real, with estimates that around 10 percent of men report symptoms of depression following the birth of a child, about double the typical rate of depression in males. Postpartum depression in women has been linked with hormonal shifts, but the role of hormones in men’s postpartum depression has been unknown.

Read on: Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame

The concept of schizophrenia is coming to an end – here’s why

The concept of schizophrenia is dying. Harried for decades by psychology, it now appears to have been fatally wounded by psychiatry, the very profession that once sustained it. Its passing will not be mourned.Today, having a diagnosis of schizophrenia is associated with a life-expectancy reduction of nearly two decades. By some criteria, only one in seven people recover. Despite heralded advances in treatments, staggeringly, the proportion of people who recover hasn’t increased over time. Something is profoundly wrong.Part of the problem turns out to be the concept of schizophrenia itself.

Read on: The concept of schizophrenia is coming to an end – here’s why

Trevor Noah: Jim Carrey helped me deal with depression

Trevor Noah says comedian Jim Carrey helped him come to terms with his depression.The Daily Show host revealed that he never even knew he suffered from the mental illness until he heard his comedic hero discussing his own struggles and it helped him to understand his conflicted feelings.Speaking at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, he said: “You can’t win at comedy. Every comedian knows, you’re going to have your good days, you’re going to have your bad days but you don’t win. Winning is getting to the end without committing suicide, and Jim Carrey was one of the first comedians that described the beast that many of us face in this room and that’s depression.

Read on: Trevor Noah: Jim Carrey helped me deal with depression

Mental Health and Me: What it’s like to travel with a mental illness by Airport Parking

Mental Health. A subject that for many is difficult to talk about, understand or even relate to. For years, mental health problems have been seen as taboo, but luckily this is slowly becoming a thing of the past. This is thanks to initiatives such as Heads Together, a campaign backed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, alongside Prince Harry, to end the stigma around discussing mental health and illness. You’ll know from our past blogs that we have covered topics on travelling with a hidden disability, so we thought it was about time we looked into travelling with a mental illness too, because let’s face it, it’s got to be just as challenging, right?

Read on: Mental Health and Me: What it’s like to travel with a mental illness

Depression: Doctors Are Turning to Ketamine for Treatment | Time.com

There hasn’t been a major depression-drug breakthrough in nearly three decades, but a number of factors are conspiring to change that. Scientists are gaining a more nuanced picture of what depression is–not a monolithic disease, but probably dozens of distinct maladies–and they’re getting closer to learning what works for which kind of ailment.

Source: Depression: Doctors Are Turning to Ketamine for Treatment | Time.com