Acupuncture as good as counseling for depression: study | Reuters

(Reuters Health) – People with depression may benefit as much from acupuncture as they do from counseling, suggests a new study.

Researchers found one in three patients was no longer depressed after three months of acupuncture or counseling, compared to one in five who received neither treatment.

via Acupuncture as good as counseling for depression: study | Reuters.

Reflections on Depression

How it feels

The Bridesmaid by Sir John Everett Millais

Note: Quotes in italics are mine.

I tell people it’s like being dead. It feels like being a ghost, maybe. You float through your days feeling insubstantial, cut off from warmth, light and all feeling. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a coffin buried alive. You’re screaming inside your head, but no one can hear you.

“It was not really alarming at first, since the change was subtle, but I did notice that my surroundings took on a different tone at certain times: the shadows of nightfall seemed more somber, my mornings were less buoyant, walks in the woods became less zestful, and there was a moment during my working hours in the late afternoon when a kind of panic and anxiety overtook me…” – William Styron, Darkness Visible Continue reading

Depression May Increase The Risk Of Dementia Later On : NPR

Depression can have physical consequences. Research now suggests that when people get depressed in middle age and beyond, they’re more likely to develop dementia in old age.

But the link between remains something of a mystery. Researchers are working to understand why that occurs and what might be done to prevent dementia.

Brain researcher with the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine has spent years trying to answer this question. She asks, "What is it about a mood disorder that is relatively treatable, that people can recover from; what is it in the brain that may increase one’s risk for dementia many years later?"

Dementia can be caused by different diseases, including and , which follows a stroke or series of mini strokes. In a , Butters found that the risk for both of those types of dementia nearly doubled among people who had suffered depression after the age of 50.

via Depression May Increase The Risk Of Dementia Later On : Shots – Health News : NPR.

What does depression feel like?

Image: Dolce Far Niente by John William Godward

Dolce Far Niente by John William Godward

“It was not really alarming at first, since the change was subtle, but I did notice that my surroundings took on a different tone at certain times: the shadows of nightfall seemed more somber, my mornings were less buoyant, walks in the woods became less zestful, and there was a moment during my working hours in the late afternoon when a kind of panic and anxiety overtook me…” – William Styron, Darkness Visible

Sometimes the Depression Self-Screening Tests are just too clinical, and the symptoms don’t really “click” with you. Some of the criteria are general, and if you’re suffering from depression, specifics are easier to understand.

I know that I might not have diagnosed myself with depression just on the basis of those symptoms. I had no change in appetite, and no sleep problems (getting out of bed was what was difficult). Below are some un-clinical symptoms.

  • Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
  • You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
  • You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
  • You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
  • Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
  • Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.

Continue reading

Depression in Children: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Introduction

Image: Deborah 1963A few years ago, my mother unearthed some pictures of me as a baby which I had never seen before. One showed me at about eight months old, crawling on the grass of Golden Gate Park. I was looking directly at the camera, my tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth, and I was laughing. My face was lit from within, and looked happy, confident and even a little mischievous.

I was absolutely transfixed by that photograph for days. I would continually take it out of my wallet and stare at it, torn between laughter and tears. For a while I couldn’t figure out what it was about the picture that drew me. Finally it hit me; this was the only picture of myself as a child that I had seen which showed me laughing. All the photos I had ever seen depicted a child staring solemnly or smiling diffidently, but never laughing. I looked at the Golden Gate Park picture and wished that I had remained that happy, and that depression had not taken away my childhood. Continue reading