Untreated depression and antidepressants may both affect unborn child – The Washington Post

THE QUESTION How might an unborn child’s development be affected if the mother takes antidepressants during pregnancy?

THIS STUDY involved 7,696 pregnant women, most of them 27 to 30 years old. Of the 669 women in the group who had symptoms of depression, 570 women took no antidepressants, and 99 took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants. During pregnancy, those in the SSRI group had fewer depressive symptoms than the other 570 women. All participants in the study had periodic sonograms to measure fetal growth, including body weight and head size, which is considered an indicator of brain development. Among the women with untreated depression, fetal growth overall was slower compared with the fetuses of all other study participants. Among women who took SSRIs, fetal weight gain was not different but head sizes were the smallest, on average; their babies also were twice as likely to be born prematurely. No link was found between symptoms of depression and below-normal birth weight.

via Untreated depression and antidepressants may both affect unborn child – The Washington Post.

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Severe PMS May Last Longer Than Thought

(HealthDay News) — For years, women with the severe form of premenstrual syndrome known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) were told that their symptoms should subside the day menstruation begins.

Now, new research suggests that these symptoms, which can include serious mood swings, start about four days before menstruation and can linger through the first three days of menses — as many women with the disorder can attest.

This expanded PMDD definition will help researchers update the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), due out in May 2013. The DSM classifies mental disorders by precise definitions and diagnostic criteria, and it influences treatment decisions and insurance reimbursement.

via Severe PMS May Last Longer Than Thought.

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Depression Could Worsen Mental Decline in Heart Patients

(HealthDay News) — Older people with heart disease who have undergone a cardiac catheterization may be at much greater risk for mental decline if they also show persistent signs of depression, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, followed 350 patients aged 60 or older who had a nonemergency catheterization and found those who had persistent symptoms of depression experienced significantly greater mental decline 30 months after their procedure.

via Depression Could Worsen Mental Decline in Heart Patients.

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Dad’s Depression May Rub Off on Child’s Behavior

(HealthDay News) — Children with a depressed father are more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems, new research finds.

Most prior research has focused on depressed mothers and the negative impact their depression can have on kids, according to the researchers from the NYU School of Medicine.

The current study involved data on more than 7,200 U.S. households. About 25 percent of kids whose mother and father showed signs of depression had emotional or behavioral issues. About 15 percent of kids whose father had depressive symptoms and 20 percent of kids whose mothers had depressive symptoms had emotional or behavioral issues.

via Dad's Depression May Rub Off on Child's Behavior.

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Could a Statin Lower Your Risk for Depression?

(HealthDay News) — Patients who have heart disease and take cholesterol-lowering medicines known as statins are less likely to develop depression than those not on such drugs, a new study suggests.

For the study, Dr. Mary Whooley of the San Francisco VA Medical Center and colleagues evaluated 965 heart disease patients for depression. The researchers found those taking statins were less likely to be depressed.

Next, they followed the 776 who were not depressed for another six years. Of those, 520 were taking statins; the others were not.

via Could a Statin Lower Your Risk for Depression?.

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Migraines May Raise a Woman’s Odds of Depression

(HealthDay News) — As if the debilitating headaches weren’t bad enough, women who get migraines or have had them in the past are at increased risk for depression, a new study suggests.

Migraines are intense, throbbing headaches often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. They are three times more common in women than in men.

The study, by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, suggests that women with any history of migraines were about 40 percent more likely to develop depression than women without a similar history.

via Migraines May Raise a Woman's Odds of Depression.

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What is Depression (and What is it Not?)

Image: Detail from the Women of Amphissa by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Detail from The Women of Amphissa by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

“People who don’t know [what depression is], who say it’s self-indulgence, sound callous, but it’s not callousness born of indifference; I think it’s callousness born of ignorance. That kind of ignorance we’ve got to get rid of, and little by little I suppose, we will. You say to them, ‘It’s a pity you don’t know. I’m sure that if you knew, I’m sure that if you knew, not only wouldn’t you say that, you’d try to help in one way or another.”- Mike Wallace, On the Edge of Darkness

Note:I wrote this a few years ago, and it has made its way around the Net uncredited. If you want to reprint it, please make sure you credit Wing of Madness.

What Depression Is:

  • Depression is an illness, in the same way that diabetes or heart disease are illnesses.
  • Depression is an illness that affects the entire body, not just the mind.
  • Depression is an illness that one in five people will suffer during their lifetime.
  • Depression is the leading cause of alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictions.
  • Depression is an illness that can be successfully treated in more than eighty percent of the people who have it.
  • Depression is an equal-opportunity illness – it affects all ages, all races, all economic groups and both genders. Women, however, suffer from depression almost twice as much as men do.
  • At least half of the people suffering from depression do not get proper treatment.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide.
  • Depression is second only to heart disease in causing lost work days in America.
  • Unipolar major depression is the leading cause of disability.
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Let’s All Trash Antidepressants (Not!)

I recently read an excerpt of the book A Brief History of Anxiety by Patricia Pearson, in which she more or less trashes every aspect of psychiatric drugs. She notes that people posting to websites comment on feeling emotionally flat or numb when they’re taking them, and says that they “yearn for their sorrow back.”

I am so sick and tired of hearing this over and over. For one thing, in the same way that companies generally only hear from dissatisfied customers and not the satisfied ones, you’re going to hear more from people who are unhappy with their antidepressant response than from people who are happy with it. Happy people are not still looking for a solution. They’ve moved on. People who are dissatisfied with their medication are either venting out of frustration or hoping someone has an answer.

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I Wanted To Live: New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases : Shots – Health Blog : NPR

A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.Thats because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who havent responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.Those traditional drugs, which act on the brains serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and dont work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression."We can take care of a migraine in hours," says Carlos Zarate, a brain researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health who is studying ketamine. "So why do we have to wait weeks or months with depression?"

via I Wanted To Live: New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.

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Celiac Disease in Women Linked to Depression Risk

HealthDay News — New research shows that women with celiac disease face a higher risk for also suffering from depression and so-called "disordered eating," regardless of whether they stick to a gluten-free diet."We found that most [study] participants frequently adhered to a gluten-free diet, and this greater compliance with diet was related to increased vitality, lower stress, decreased depressive symptoms and greater overall emotional health," study co-author Josh Smyth, a professor of bio-behavioral health and medicine at Penn State University, said in a university news release."However, even those people who were managing their illness very well reported higher rates of stress, depression and a range of issues clustered around body image, weight and shape when compared to the general population," he added.The study results appear online and in an upcoming issue of Chronic Illness.

via Celiac Disease in Women Linked to Depression Risk.

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