‘Depression Quest’ cripples players with despondent gameplay – The Daily Californian

“Depression Quest” isn’t a typical game. It’s not even typical for an atypical game. Unlike convention-violating indie titles like “Journey” or “The Unfinished Swan,” “Depression Quest” isn’t artistic, captivating or even enjoyable. Rather, it’s a gray, text-based and emotionally draining experience about living with depression.“Depression Quest” casts the player as an ordinary 20-something with a job, a girlfriend and crippling major depressive disorder. Throughout the game, the player must make simple day-to-day choices — whether to go out with his girlfriend or how he should conduct a conversation with his mother, for example — with the catch being that the best answer or answers are crossed out and unavailable, just as they would be to someone with depression.

via ‘Depression Quest’ cripples players with despondent gameplay – The Daily Californian.

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Shared Genes May Link ADHD, Autism and Depression

(HealthDay News) — Autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may all share common genetic risk factors, a new study says.

In this largest study of its kind, researchers spotted gene variations governing brain function that may raise the risk for these often devastating mental woes. In the future, these gene variants might become key targets for prevention or treatment, the scientists said.

"This study, for the first time, shows that there are specific genetic variants that influence a range of childhood and adult-onset psychiatric disorders that we think of as clinically different," said lead researcher Dr. Jordan Smoller, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

via Shared Genes May Link ADHD, Autism and Depression.

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Making Your Home More Welcoming for the Winter

I’ve written about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is triggered by different seasons. A small amount of people are affected by the late spring and summer, but many more are laid low by winter. What if, however, you don’t have SAD per se, but are someone with depression whose depression is exacerbated by the fall and winter darkness? Granted, when you have depression you’re frequently unaware of the weather. The most brilliantly sunny day with soft breezes can leave you cold.

But the increase in hours of night that comes with fall and winter is another matter. The lack of light, the absence of color from foliage (if you live in a region where all the vegetation dies or hibernates in the winter) makes your life more emotionally colorless somehow. Since there’s nothing you can do about changing the world outside, you might want to concentrate your energy on making your home more welcoming.

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ADHD – Hyper in a Meeting

I’m in a meeting at work (actually, a presentation) and I’m noting, as usual, how still most people (okay, pretty much everyone in the room) are compared to me. The word “still” rarely applies to me, but it’s most noticeable in situations like this. I shift position, jiggle my knee, twirl a lock of hair, pick at my nails.

I look around the room. Most of the attendees are sitting with their hands folded, either in their lap or on the table. Okay, I’ll try that. I fold my hands on my writing pad.

Just sitting here. Calmly.
Calm.
Calm.
Less calm.
Less and less calm.
Feeling hyper.

Okay, how long did I last? Maybe a minute, tops. Crud. I just can’t do it. How do other people manage? They look so still and peaceful. I’m envious.

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What to Do During the Last Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressant to Kick In

Image: Villa Falconieri by John Singer Sargent
Villa Falconieri by John Singer Sargent

If it can be said that there is anything good about depression, this is when you’ll see it. Assuming that you are feeling much better than you did a month ago (and if you’re not, please read A Note about Antidepressant Treatment), you may feel almost as if you’ve been reborn. After having been deprived of the ability to enjoy everything your life has to offer, you’ll notice that colors are brighter, sounds are sweeter, smells and tastes have more depth. Having had a lack of interest in things you normally enjoyed before being depressed, you may find, as I did, that you are all of a sudden interested in everything, even things you never thought about before.

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Researchers Take a Closer Look at the Most Common and Powerful Triggers of Depression: Scientific American

Like a sudden forest fire with no traceable origin, depression often flares up for no apparent reason. Sometimes, though, one can identify a catalyst—the lightning bolt that delivered the spark. On its own no single misfortune can fully explain why and how someone develops depression, and depression sometimes arises and lingers largely irrespective of events or circumstances outside the mind. But some painful experiences—such as the death of a loved one, divorce and abrupt unemployment—can trigger individual episodes of depression, especially the very first incidence.

via Researchers Take a Closer Look at the Most Common and Powerful Triggers of Depression: Scientific American.

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Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study

(HealthDay News) — Treating major depression safely and affordably is a challenge. Now, Brazilian researchers have found that two techniques often used individually produce better results when used together.

The researchers paired the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) and a type of noninvasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to treat people with moderate to severe symptoms of major depression.

Transcranial direct current stimulation appears to be just as effective a treatment as Zoloft, but the two together are even more effective, said lead researcher Dr. Andre Russowsky Brunoni, from the Clinical Research Center at University Hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.

via Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study.

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Maternal Depression, Violence at Home May Raise Child’s ADHD Risk

HealthDay News — Preschoolers whose parents report depression and intimate partner violence may be more likely to develop attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD by the age of 6, new research suggests.And young children with depressed moms may be more likely to receive prescription drugs to treat behavioral and mental health issues down the road.”Our study indicates that preschoolers who are diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to have been exposed to both intimate partner violence and parental depression within the first three years of life than their peers not exposed to either risk factor,” said study author Dr. Nerissa Bauer, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis.

via Maternal Depression, Violence at Home May Raise Child’s ADHD Risk.

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Treated Teens Still Likely to Try Suicide

Though most suicidal teens have received some form of mental health treatment, many of them still plan or attempt to kill themselves, researchers found.

More than 12% of teens experience suicidal ideation and 80% of those have received some form of treatment, but around 4% of teens have made a plan to kill themselves and 4% have attempted to commit suicide, according to Matthew Nock, PhD, of Harvard University, and colleagues. In most cases (>55%), treatment starts prior to onset of suicidal behaviors but fails to prevent these behaviors from occurring, they noted.

via Treated Teens Still Likely to Try Suicide.

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What to Do During the First Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressants to Kick In

Image: My Room at Beau Rivage by Henri Matisse
My Room at Beau Rivage by Henri Matisse

The key words here are indulge yourself. Listen, you’re having enough trouble getting out of bed every day and going to work or school. You don’t need to push yourself. Think of yourself as an invalid recuperating from a very debilitating illness. You have to pamper yourself, body and spirit. This page is therefore all about “cocooning”, that is, wrapping yourself up in layers of comfort to protect yourself.

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