Study Reveals How Concussions Can Trigger Depression |

Two new research projects – one published this month and another that is still preliminary – suggest why some professional football players, particularly those that get concussions, may be more vulnerable to developing depression.

For both studies, researchers focused on a group of 34 retired NFL players, aged 41 to 79 and living in north Texas.

via Study Reveals How Concussions Can Trigger Depression |

Activist Aaron Swartz’s suicide sparks talk about depression

The suicide last week of Aaron Swartz, a prominent Internet developer and activist, is sparking a discussion in Startupland about an issue that’s rarely publicized: the prevalence of depression in the tech community.

Swartz struggled for years with the mental health disorder, and wrote about it occasionally in his blog. “I feel ashamed to have an illness,” he wrote in a 2007 post. “It sounds absurd, but there still is an enormous stigma around being sick.”

Silicon Valley doesn’t generally nurture the sick. Especially for entrepreneurs and those helping to build their startups, the tech industry is a high-risk, high-reward environment, with 20-hour days and millions of dollars at stake.

Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger Web humor empire, wrote publicly about his struggles after his first startup failed.

“I was thoroughly broke, depressed, and feeling the burden of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars of other people’s money,” he wrote in his blog. “I spent a week in my room with the lights off and cut off from the world, thinking of the best way to exit this failure. Death was a good option — and it got better by the day.”

via Activist Aaron Swartz’s suicide sparks talk about depression – Jan. 14, 2013.

Depressed Stroke Survivors May Face Higher Early Death Risk

HealthDay News — People who develop depression after surviving a stroke may die sooner than those without the mental health disorder, a new study suggests.Researchers found that of more than 10,000 Americans followed for two decades, those who developed depression after suffering a stroke were about three times more likely to die of any cause during the study period, versus people without either condition.Stroke survivors without depression also faced a heightened death risk, but it was less pronounced: They were 80 percent more likely to die during the study period than people with no history of stroke or depression, the investigators found.

via Depressed Stroke Survivors May Face Higher Early Death Risk.

Survey Refutes ‘Loner’ Stereotype of Video Gamers

(HealthDay News) — A new survey challenges the notion that avid video gamers are antisocial loners. On the contrary, the findings suggest that gaming is actually a way to stay connected with friends and strengthen, rather than weaken, social ties.

The Pennsylvania researchers set out to gauge the habits and attitudes of regular gamers as well as the social interaction that group play engenders.

“In general, we were interested in how engagement with video games is related with perceptions of social support, based on the common belief that playing video games is socially isolating,” explained study lead author Benjamin Hickerson, an assistant professor in the department of recreation, parks and tourism management at Penn State in University Park, Pa.

via Survey Refutes ‘Loner’ Stereotype of Video Gamers.

Understanding Someone with Depression – Three Common Behaviors

As I’ve said before, I’ve been on both sides of the depression fence. I’ve suffered from clinical depression for almost forty years, although thankfully it’s been treated successfully for the last twenty. And although I haven’t had any family members with depression, I have had friends who were depressed and have been in relationships with men who have depression.

I’ve written about what it feels like to be depressed. What does it look like from the other side? You probably know if you’re dealing with someone who’s depressed. It may be your spouse, parent, child, sibling, employee, roommate or romantic partner. Unless you have personal experience with depression, you’re probably baffled, frustrated, and possibly hurt and angry. Even if you have suffered from depression, you still might be baffled. Your experience with depression, while probably fundamentally similar to this person’s, is going to vary to some extent. Continue reading