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.

 

Read on: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html

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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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Mental Health and Me: What it’s like to travel with a mental illness by Airport Parking

Mental Health. A subject that for many is difficult to talk about, understand or even relate to. For years, mental health problems have been seen as taboo, but luckily this is slowly becoming a thing of the past. This is thanks to initiatives such as Heads Together, a campaign backed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, alongside Prince Harry, to end the stigma around discussing mental health and illness. You’ll know from our past blogs that we have covered topics on travelling with a hidden disability, so we thought it was about time we looked into travelling with a mental illness too, because let’s face it, it’s got to be just as challenging, right?

Read on: Mental Health and Me: What it’s like to travel with a mental illness

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Depression: Doctors Are Turning to Ketamine for Treatment | Time.com

There hasn’t been a major depression-drug breakthrough in nearly three decades, but a number of factors are conspiring to change that. Scientists are gaining a more nuanced picture of what depression is–not a monolithic disease, but probably dozens of distinct maladies–and they’re getting closer to learning what works for which kind of ailment.

Source: Depression: Doctors Are Turning to Ketamine for Treatment | Time.com

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Depression Hits Teen Girls Especially Hard, And High Social Media Use Doesn’t Help : Shots – Health News : NPR

It’s tough to be a teenager. Hormones kick in, peer pressures escalate and academic expectations loom large. Kids become more aware of their environment in the teen years — down the block and online. The whole mix of changes can increase stress, anxiety and the risk of depression among all teens, research has long shown.But a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests many more teenage girls in the U.S. may be experiencing major depressive episodes at this age than boys. And the numbers of teens affected took a particularly big jump after 2011, the scientists note, suggesting that the increasing dependence on social media by this age group may be exacerbating the problem.

Read on: Depression Hits Teen Girls Especially Hard, And High Social Media Use Doesn’t Help : Shots – Health News : NPR

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Simplify the Holidays to Preserve Your Sanity

My parents do a beautiful job with decorating for Christmas – they always have. Every year they get a real live tree. They have a couple of hundred of beautiful ornaments, as well as garlands and other assorted decorations. The tree is always put up at least two weeks before Christmas. Granted, they’re retired, but it was always like this even when they both were working.

In contrast, my husband and I broke down a couple of years ago and got a fake tree (I love the smell of evergreens, but it’s not enough to counter the expense of a live tree and the cleanup). I feel virtuous if we get the tree up a week before Christmas, and it’s been done on Christmas Eve on more than one occasion. It took me a long time to let go of my parents’ standards and to stop feeling guilty if I didn’t live up to them.

And I love Christmas. I have some great memories of Christmas, especially sensory memories. The smell of evergreen and mulled cider, the sound of Christmas music and the dazzling display on the tree. They were such an essential part of my childhood that I’m ensuring that my son has some of the same experiences. One year we had his best friend over to decorate Christmas cookies,  another year we built a gingerbread house, and when he was younger, I read him a different book about Christmas every year (A Christmas Carol, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, etc.).

But, oh my gosh. It can be stressful. Let’s face it, those childhood memories generally don’t involve spending every weekend in crowded shopping malls finding the perfect present, opening the credit card bill in January, cooking and cleaning for fifteen people and basically running around like a chicken with your head cut off. We’re always struggling to live up to an ideal that is literally impossible to match, unless we’re Martha Stewart. And really, at least half of the people who read her magazine are trying to emulate an ideal, but usually just don’t have the time, right?

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Depression and the Holidays Survival Guide

Let’s be honest – even if you’re not suffering from clinical depression or the holiday blues, the holidays can be stressful and often disappointing. We run ourselves ragged buying gifts, cooking, decorating and entertaining. Tempers flare as we’re thrown together with relatives whom we see infrequently, and don’t necessarily enjoy spending time with. Expectations are high that this season will be magical and perfect as we try to recapture the anticipation we felt as children waiting for Santa, or wait for a rush of emotion as we ponder the religious significance of Christmas and Chanukah. When those feelings don’t automatically well up, we’re disappointed. And, of course, we’re ready to take the nearest heavy object to the tv or computer when we see the same holiday commercial for the 487th time.

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