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Depression Rarely Strikes on its Own
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
Never, Ever Make a Major Life Change if You are Depressed
So let's say that you're dissatisfied with something about your life, and you're thinking of making a big change. Your job isn't satisfying, your marriage or relationship
Depression in Women and Girls - Causes, Risk Factors
Women suffer from unipolar (as opposed to bipolar or manic) depression in greater numbers than men do; twice as much by most estimates. Three times as many teenage
Depression and Your Nutritional Health
Last fall I started to feel that my antidepressant medication (Wellbutrin) wasn't working. I had noticed that I hadn't really been getting anything done around the house for a while,
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Top 10 Depression Myths Debunked

Still Life with a Plate of Onions by Vincent Van Gogh

It’s all in your head. Only women get depressed. If you have depression, you’re stuck with it for life.

Do any of these statements sound familiar? For all the misconceptions about clinical depression, it seems that there’s a depression myth for every truth – and this makes it difficult to get a real sense of the illness and its capacity to be treated.

Perhaps part of the problem stems from our vocabulary for moods and mental illness: We use “depression” to describe so many ranges of experience that the meaning of clinical depression can get lost in the mix. Furthermore, because simple bad moods are a universal experience, many people think if they’ve had the blues, they know all about depression.

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Is Your Job Making Your Depression Worse?

Siesta, 1890 by Van Gogh

Unless we’re independently wealthy, most of us spend a large part of our waking hours at work. Our “second homes” can contribute positively or negatively to our well-being. If you’re suffering from depression, it’s worth asking yourself if your job could be a factor, or even the sole cause.

Perhaps your job isn’t a good fit with your personality. I found over the years that, probably because of my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, I get bored doing jobs that keep me any less than extremely busy. One temporary job I held required me to do nothing but sit at my desk and read for four out of five days, as my boss was traveling all but one day of the week. While some people would probably find that type of job relaxing, I was so unhappy that I dragged myself reluctantly to work each day.

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Resistance to Antidepressant Treatment

It may come as a surprise to anyone who’s read my writing to hear that I was reluctant to start antidepressant treatment for my depression. While I would not call myself “pro” medication, my life has been changed by antidepressants, and I know quite a few other people who feel the same way.

However, my initial reaction to my psychiatrist’s suggestion that I start antidepressants was a firm “no.” Or, that is, as firm as I was about anything at that time. I was in the middle of the third, and worst, major depressive episode of my life. Most of the time I was either numb or crying. I had made an appointment for a mental health evaluation after reading William Styron’s “Darkness Visible” and realizing that in all likelihood I was suffering from clinical depression.

My psychiatrist’s confirmation that I did have clinical depression was a huge relief to me. I think he was somewhat surprised; I’m sure some of his patients were resistant to the diagnosis. I was just relieved that what I was going through had a name and that my symptoms were part of a medical condition. I wasn’t, however, ready to treat it with medication.

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Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds

There’s been a lot of discussion about what kinds of mental activities are actually capable of changing the brain. Some promises of bolstered IQ and enhanced brain function via specially-designed “brain games” have fizzled out. Meanwhile, meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behavior and moment-to-moment experience.

Now, a new study from the Max Planck Institute  finds that three different types of meditation training are linked to changes in corresponding brain regions. The results, published in Science Advances, have a lot of relevance to schools, businesses and, of course, the general public.

Read on: Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds

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Capturing the Sound of Depression in the Human Voice – KQED Science

In any given year, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness, yet fewer than half of those suffering receive treatment.

Signs of depression in the human voice might help to diagnose mental health problems Speaking lower, flatter and softer Sounding labored, with more pauses, starts and stops Sounding strained or breathy.

In an attempt to fill that gap, companies are developing digital technology to help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat psychiatric disorders. The behavioral health startup Ellipsis Health, based in San Francisco, uses machine learning to analyze audio recordings of conversations between doctors and patients during exams. The software works as a screening tool to flag patients whose speech matches the voice patterns of depressed individuals, alerting clinicians to follow up with a full diagnostic interview.

Meanwhile, Boston’s Cogito has developed an app to use metadata from patients’ phones to alert health care providers about sudden changes in behavior that might be linked to mental health.

Read on: Capturing the Sound of Depression in the Human Voice | KQED Future of You | KQED Science

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The New York Times – Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common mental-health disorder in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of both adolescents and adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But unlike depression, with which it routinely occurs, anxiety is often seen as a less serious problem. “Anxiety is easy to dismiss or overlook, partially because everyone has it to some degree,” explained Philip Kendall, director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University in Philadelphia.

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Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame

Postpartum depression has become more visible as celebrity moms including Brooke Shields, Drew Barrymore and Chrissy Teigen have publicly shared their struggles with feeling sad and hopeless after birth. But when a father – Adam Busby, from reality TV show “OutDaughtered” – recently opened up about his own postpartum depression, he received instant backlash, including comments telling him to “man up.”

Despite the skepticism, postpartum depression in fathers is very real, with estimates that around 10 percent of men report symptoms of depression following the birth of a child, about double the typical rate of depression in males. Postpartum depression in women has been linked with hormonal shifts, but the role of hormones in men’s postpartum depression has been unknown.

Read on: Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame

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The concept of schizophrenia is coming to an end – here’s why

The concept of schizophrenia is dying. Harried for decades by psychology, it now appears to have been fatally wounded by psychiatry, the very profession that once sustained it. Its passing will not be mourned.Today, having a diagnosis of schizophrenia is associated with a life-expectancy reduction of nearly two decades. By some criteria, only one in seven people recover. Despite heralded advances in treatments, staggeringly, the proportion of people who recover hasn’t increased over time. Something is profoundly wrong.Part of the problem turns out to be the concept of schizophrenia itself.

Read on: The concept of schizophrenia is coming to an end – here’s why

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Trevor Noah: Jim Carrey helped me deal with depression

Trevor Noah says comedian Jim Carrey helped him come to terms with his depression.The Daily Show host revealed that he never even knew he suffered from the mental illness until he heard his comedic hero discussing his own struggles and it helped him to understand his conflicted feelings.Speaking at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, he said: “You can’t win at comedy. Every comedian knows, you’re going to have your good days, you’re going to have your bad days but you don’t win. Winning is getting to the end without committing suicide, and Jim Carrey was one of the first comedians that described the beast that many of us face in this room and that’s depression.

Read on: Trevor Noah: Jim Carrey helped me deal with depression

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