Depression Rarely Strikes on its Own

Image: Winter by Alphonse Mucha

Winter by Alphonse Mucha

I have clinical depression. I also have mild Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD). I always feel a little silly rattling off the laundry list of my mental illness disorders. It makes me feel like I should add “hypochondriac” to the list as well.

My depression was far more severe and disrupted my life (prior to treatment) more than ADD and OCD. But both these disorders also had an impact on my life. In particular, the ADD was a problem when I was a child. I had a lot of trouble focusing in class and could be easily distracted. The word “daydreaming” came up in many of my report cards. Because I wasn’t hyperactive, however, my behavior was never connected to ADD. This is the case with many girls, as ADD seems to manifest itself without the hyperactive component more often than not in them. Continue reading

Antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro Tied to Irregular Heartbeat: Study

HealthDay News — People taking certain antidepressants, including Celexa and Lexapro, may have a slightly increased risk of developing an abnormal heart beat.Researchers say the drugs, which are in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs, may extend the length of electrical activity in the heart, called a QT interval. A long QT interval is an indicator of abnormal heart rhythms."For people who are taking higher doses of citalopram Celexa or escitalopram Lexapro, they should discuss these doses with their doctors," said lead researcher Dr. Roy Perlis, director of the Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics in the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston."They should absolutely not just stop their medicine," he added.

via Antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro Tied to Irregular Heartbeat: Study.

10 Tips For Overturning Denied Health Insurance Claims

Knowing how to handle your health insurer is one way to be a smart patient. Knowing how to handle denials is obviously a big part of that, since it’s the one time most of us have a problem with our health insurance.

You probably will see denials more often for courses of talk therapy than anything else. Therapy is the most expensive form of treatment. But your insurer may also deny your doctor’s request for brand name as opposed to generic medication.

Don’t be discouraged if you receive a denial for a type of treatment, and don’t assume the decision is set in stone. Sometimes all your insurer needs to approve the request is a little more information. Sometimes you and your doctor need to explain why your situation is an exception to their policy. Continue reading

What’s wrong with calling depression “madness”?

“Our perhaps understandable modern need to dull the sawtooth edges of so many of the afflictions we are heir to has led us to banish the harsh old-fashioned words: madhouse, asylum, insanity, melancholia, lunatic, madness. But never let it be doubted that depression in its extreme form is madness.” – William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Boreas by John William Waterhouse

Boreas by John William Waterhouse

What is wrong with using the word “madness” in relation to depression? I ask because over the years I have received several indignant emails from people insisting that I stop using the word in the title of this website. According to them, I’m adding to the stigma surrounding mental illness and am being politically incorrect to the extreme. Continue reading

Childhood Bullying and Depression

5959I was bullied through much of my childhood, beginning when I was seven years old, which was when we moved from New Jersey to a wealthy town in Connecticut in which sports were worshipped. I was, to put it mildly, not very good at sports. Not only was I somewhat uncoordinated, but my Attention Deficit Disorder (or complete lack of interest) caused me to space out when the phys-ed teacher was explaining the rules of whatever game we were about to play. When we were subsequently playing, of course, I wouldn’t have any idea what was going on and would screw things up for my team. Or I’d be daydreaming in left field and miss a ball coming right at me. Continue reading