‘The Most Dramatic Advance in Treating Depression in Decades’ – The Atlantic

"Psychiatrists have long thought that depression causes insomnia," wrote the New York Times editorial 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.

via \\\\\\\'The Most Dramatic Advance in Treating Depression in Decades\\\\\\\' – James Hamblin – The Atlantic.


Recessions May Contribute to Mental Decline Years Later: Study

(HealthDay News) — Recessions can have long-lasting effects, and they may not be just financial.

A new study has found that people affected by an economic downturn in middle age may be at risk for mental decline later in life.

Researchers examined data from 12,000 people aged 50 and older in 11 European countries.

Men aged 50 to 74 who lived through four or more recessions by the time they were in their mid- to late-40s had lower scores on mental abilities such as memory, speech and math than those who did not experience a recession, the investigators found.

via Recessions May Contribute to Mental Decline Years Later: Study.


Teens’ Mental Disorders Often Untreated in U.S., Study Finds

(HealthDay News) — Less than half of American teens with mental health disorders receive treatment, and those who do get help rarely see a mental health specialist, a new study indicates.The findings underscore the need for better mental health services for teens, said study author E. Jane Costello, associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy in Durham, N.C."It’s still the case in this country that people don’t take psychiatric conditions as seriously as they should," Costello said in a Duke news release. This remains so, despite a wave of mass shootings in which mental illness may have played a role, she and her colleagues noted.

via Teens' Mental Disorders Often Untreated in U.S., Study Finds.


Why Do Some People Prefer “Natural” Treatment for Depression?

Image: Detail from The Sleeping Beauty by Henry Maynell Rheam

Detail from The Sleeping Beauty by Henry Maynell Rheam

Since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, several people have suggested bee stings as an alternative treatment to the interferon beta shot I do once a week. The first time a helpful soul suggested it, I was stupefied for a minute. I mean, honestly. How is being stung by bees preferable in any way to medication? Granted, my interferon medicine does have side effects, but what would make anyone think bee stings are free from side effects? I’ve had allergic reactions to stinging insects in the past, for one thing, and there’s a reason that many people carry epi-pens to counteract bee stings. I’m wondering if somehow the potential throat-closing-up-lack-of-breathing is seen as inconsequential compared to medication side effects by the people who suggest the bee sting regimen.For some inexplicable (at least, to me) reason, some people think that if a treatment is natural, it is always superior to one developed in a lab. For me, this is a head-scratcher. Natural is not even safe in every situation, let alone superior. Digitalis, which is derived from foxglove, is used to treat heart conditions, but do you know any cardiac patients who grow the plant and just clip some off when they’re in distress? No, of course not, or at least I hope not. They use pills that are prescribed for the condition, as the level of digitalis in them is safe. Continue reading


Sleep Therapy Seen as an Aid for Depression – NYTimes.com

Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year.

The new report affirms the results of a smaller pilot study, giving scientists confidence that the effects of the insomnia treatment are real. If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987.

via Sleep Therapy Seen as an Aid for Depression – NYTimes.com.