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, little understood and still stigmatized – San Antonio Express-News

Will G. was 14 years old when his depression was diagnosed. He lost interest in daily activities, became isolated and soon afterward lost his friends. He describes his life before treatment as “living under a dark cloud,” and like many others who suffer from mental illness, he began managing his illness by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and eventually became estranged from his family.Will is one of an estimated 20 million Americans who suffer from depression.Depression has been in the news lately, specifically with revelations a candidate for lieutenant governor received treatment for the illness about 30 years ago, causing a bit of a stir. What became painfully obvious was just how little is known about the ailment.

via Depression, little understood and still stigmatized – San Antonio Express-News.

Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression | Psych Central News

New research discovers that the suppression of positive feelings can play an important role in the development of postpartum depression.

Investigators believe this finding has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers.

In a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, investigators from University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium posit that depression is characterized by both negative feelings and a lack of positive feelings. They suspected that this may have to do with the way depression-prone individuals deal with positive or happy feelings.

via Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression | Psych Central News.

Altruism May Help Shield Teens From Depression: Study

(HealthDay News) — Teens who like to help others may be less likely to develop depression, a new study suggests.

The study included 15- and 16-year-olds who were given three types of tasks: give money to others, keep the money for themselves or take financial risks with the hope of earning a reward.

The researchers monitored activity levels in a brain area called the ventral striatum, which controls feelings of pleasure linked to rewards. The teens were checked for symptoms of depression at the start of the study and a year later.

via Altruism May Help Shield Teens From Depression: Study.

Kids’ Checkups Should Include Cholesterol, Depression Tests, Doctors Say

HealthDay News — Doctors should test middle school-age children for high cholesterol and start screening for depression at age 11, according to updated guidelines from a leading group of U.S. pediatricians.Doctors should also test older teens for HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, the revised preventive-care recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say.The new screening schedule provides “the recommended content for a well-child visit,” said Dr. Joseph Hagan, co-editor of the guidelines. “Some changes are small, some will get people’s attention.”

via Kids’ Checkups Should Include Cholesterol, Depression Tests, Doctors Say.

New evidence that chronic stress predisposes brain to mental illness

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have shown that chronic stress generates long-term changes in the brain that may explain why people suffering chronic stress are prone to mental problems such as anxiety and mood disorders later in life.Myelin is stained blue in this cross section of a rat hippocampus. Myelin, which speeds electrical signals flowing through axons, is produced by oligodendrocytes, which increase in number as a result of chronic stress. New oligodendrocytes are shown in yellow. Image by Aaron Friedman and Daniela Kaufer.Their findings could lead to new therapies to reduce the risk of developing mental illness after stressful events.Doctors know that people with stress-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD, have abnormalities in the brain, including differences in the amount of gray matter versus white matter. Gray matter consists mostly of cells – neurons, which store and process information, and support cells called glia – while white matter is comprised of axons, which create a network of fibers that interconnect neurons. White matter gets its name from the white, fatty myelin sheath that surrounds the axons and speeds the flow of electrical signals from cell to cell.

via New evidence that chronic stress predisposes brain to mental illness.