Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression | Psych Central News

New research discovers that the suppression of positive feelings can play an important role in the development of postpartum depression.

Investigators believe this finding has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers.

In a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, investigators from University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium posit that depression is characterized by both negative feelings and a lack of positive feelings. They suspected that this may have to do with the way depression-prone individuals deal with positive or happy feelings.

via Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression | Psych Central News.

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Altruism May Help Shield Teens From Depression: Study

(HealthDay News) — Teens who like to help others may be less likely to develop depression, a new study suggests.

The study included 15- and 16-year-olds who were given three types of tasks: give money to others, keep the money for themselves or take financial risks with the hope of earning a reward.

The researchers monitored activity levels in a brain area called the ventral striatum, which controls feelings of pleasure linked to rewards. The teens were checked for symptoms of depression at the start of the study and a year later.

via Altruism May Help Shield Teens From Depression: Study.

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Kids’ Checkups Should Include Cholesterol, Depression Tests, Doctors Say

HealthDay News — Doctors should test middle school-age children for high cholesterol and start screening for depression at age 11, according to updated guidelines from a leading group of U.S. pediatricians.Doctors should also test older teens for HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, the revised preventive-care recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say.The new screening schedule provides “the recommended content for a well-child visit,” said Dr. Joseph Hagan, co-editor of the guidelines. “Some changes are small, some will get people’s attention.”

via Kids’ Checkups Should Include Cholesterol, Depression Tests, Doctors Say.

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New evidence that chronic stress predisposes brain to mental illness

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have shown that chronic stress generates long-term changes in the brain that may explain why people suffering chronic stress are prone to mental problems such as anxiety and mood disorders later in life.Myelin is stained blue in this cross section of a rat hippocampus. Myelin, which speeds electrical signals flowing through axons, is produced by oligodendrocytes, which increase in number as a result of chronic stress. New oligodendrocytes are shown in yellow. Image by Aaron Friedman and Daniela Kaufer.Their findings could lead to new therapies to reduce the risk of developing mental illness after stressful events.Doctors know that people with stress-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD, have abnormalities in the brain, including differences in the amount of gray matter versus white matter. Gray matter consists mostly of cells – neurons, which store and process information, and support cells called glia – while white matter is comprised of axons, which create a network of fibers that interconnect neurons. White matter gets its name from the white, fatty myelin sheath that surrounds the axons and speeds the flow of electrical signals from cell to cell.

via New evidence that chronic stress predisposes brain to mental illness.

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5 Signs You Might Have Winter Depression – ABC News

Sick of the snow yet? Bad news: There’s more on the way. Much more.

While the flurries are fun for some, an estimated 14 percent of Americans battle the winter blues. And almost half of those people (more women than men) have full-on seasonal affective disorder or SAD – a form of depression more common in the colder months.

via 5 Signs You Might Have Winter Depression – ABC News.

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