What is depression? – Helen M. Farrell

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it’s a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering.

Source: What is depression? – Helen M. Farrell

Keep the Holiday Support Going

Image: The Baths at Caracalla by Sir Lawrence Alma_Tadema

The Baths at Caracalla by Sir Lawrence Alma_Tadema

You may be breathing a sigh of relief now that the holidays are over. There’s no question that there are many aspects of the holiday season that are tough on someone with depression. Things that tax your energy like shopping and cooking, parties and gatherings that require you to attempt a smile and engage in chit-chat, and of course, spending time with friends and family when you’d rather curl up in bed by yourself. All in all, an experience to be endured, and the worst part is that you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself!

And since you’ve heard that the holidays see the highest rate of suicide all year, you may also be confident that you’ve passed the danger zone. Well, not exactly. The thing is, we’re heading into the danger zone for suicides, not away from it. Contrary to popular belief, the holidays are not the time of the year when we see the most suicides. The beginning of the year, after all the festivities and for many people, in the dead of a dark, endless winter, can be the time when they lose hope. Continue reading

Depression in Preschool Changes the Brain, Study Shows

A new study adds to growing evidence that depression can affect even very young children.

Only in the past two decades has depression in children been taken seriously. Now, it’s becoming clear that kids as young as three can have major depression. That’s due largely to the work of Dr. Joan Luby, the director of the Early Emotional Development Program at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who is credited with spurring the small but growing body of evidence that preschoolers can experience depression and be successfully treated.

Read on: Depression in Preschool Changes the Brain, Study Shows

Depression and the Holidays Survival Guide

Image: Angel by Abbott Handerson Thayer

Angel by Abbott Handerson Thayer

Let’s be honest – even if you’re not suffering from clinical depression, the holidays can be stressful and often disappointing. We run ourselves ragged buying gifts, cooking, decorating and entertaining. Tempers flare as we’re thrown together with relatives whom we see infrequently, and don’t necessarily enjoy spending time with. Expectations are high that this season will be magical and perfect as we try to recapture the anticipation we felt as children waiting for Santa, or wait for a rush of emotion as we ponder the religious significance of Christmas and Chanukah. When those feelings don’t automatically well up, we’re disappointed. And, of course, we’re ready to take the nearest heavy object to the tv or computer when we see the same holiday commercial for the 487th time. Continue reading

Researchers discover marker for postpartum depression risk – UPI.com

Researchers have identified a biomarker in pregnant women’s blood which may indicate their risk for postpartum depression after giving birth.Low levels of the hormone oxytocin are associated with postpartum depression, however the genetic regulation of the oxytocin receptor was found to predict women who may be predisposed for the condition.Researchers said they were not surprised about the biomarker because oxytocin also is known to be important to healthy births, maternal bonding, and mood and emotional regulation.

Source: Researchers discover marker for postpartum depression risk – UPI.com