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Mental Health News for December 2007

Depression News, Polls and Quotes

As part of the main Information Centre, this section of the website is intended to provide month-by-month news about depression, anxiety and other related health concerns. Archives from previous months are available, and all polls from previous months remain active if you should wish to vote.

If you would like to help us to produce next month's news, polls and quotes, please click on the links by each applicable section and fill out the accompanying form.

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Quotes and Philosophical Thoughts for December 2007:

> "Love is full of anxious fears."  - Ovid

> "The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable." - Seneca

> "Depression is melancholy minus its charms -- the animation, the fits." - Sontag, Susan

> "I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top." - Keats, John

> "In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant. My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known -- no wonder, then, that I return the love." - Kierkegaard, Soren

> "The misfortunes hardest to bear are these which never came." - Lowell, James Russell

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Moms-to-be often anxious, depressed: study

It is not uncommon for expectant mothers to feel anxious and depressed, new research shows, and these feelings can have serious consequences for mom and baby. "Mental health problems in the postpartum period have received much attention in the past decade," Dr. Antoinette M. Lee of the University of Hong Kong told Reuters Health, whereas mental health problems in the period before birth, known as the antenatal period, have received considerably less attention. "Our study," Lee said, "shows that anxiety and depression during pregnancy should also not be overlooked, given that both are highly prevalent and strongly associated with postpartum depression."...  Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Eyeglasses upgrade helps elderly battle depression

Correcting nursing home residents' poor vision not only boosts quality of life, it may lower risks for depression, U.S. researchers report. A team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studied 78 nursing home residents, 55 and older, who received eyeglasses one week after having an eye exam and 64 residents who received eyeglasses two months after an eye check-up. The residents' vision-related quality-of-life and depressive symptoms were assessed at the start of the study and again two months later. At the start of the study, both groups had similar medical/demographic characteristics and similar visual acuity and refractive error. After two months, those who received eyeglasses at the start of the study showed improvement in distance and near visual acuity, while those who didn't receive eyeglasses showed no change in visual acuity... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article 

Slower brain maturity seen in ADHD kids

Crucial parts of brains of children with attention deficit disorder develop more slowly than other youngsters' brains, a phenomenon that earlier brain-imaging research missed, a new study says. Developing more slowly in ADHD youngsters — the lag can be as much as three years — are brain regions that suppress inappropriate actions and thoughts, focus attention, remember things from moment to moment, work for reward and control movement. That was the finding of researchers, led by Dr. Philip Shaw of the National Institute of Mental Health, who reported the most detailed study yet on this problem in Monday's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Finding a normal pattern of cortex maturation, albeit delayed, in children with ADHD should be reassuring to families and could help to explain why many youth eventually seem to grow out of the disorder," Shaw said in a statement... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Five excuses that might prevent you from getting help for depression

So you know you have depression, or you're pretty sure you do, but you're putting off doing anything about it. Procrastinating is a fairly common state of affairs for people with depression. I once put off renewing the registration for my car (before I was diagnosed with depression) and of course it expired, as they do. I ended up getting a huge ticket, about one week's pay, because I was unlucky enough to be in front of a state cop in stop-and-go traffic. It seems really stupid now that I didn't get it done, but I do remember the complete lack of motivation that came with my depression. "... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Mental illness in parents tied to higher SIDS risk

The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is elevated in infants with parents who have been hospitalized for psychiatric illness or substance-abuse disorders, according to a new study. Dr. Roger T. Webb, at the University of Manchester in England, and associates obtained information on single infant births, infant mortality, and adult psychiatric hospitalizations from national registries in Denmark. The researchers identified all cases of SIDS that occurred between 1973 and 1998. In SIDS, which occurs without warning, apparently healthy infants seem to just stop breathing. The cause is unknown and most cases occur between the ages of 2 and 4 months... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Sleep apnea treatment improves depression

The use of a breathing treatment called continuous positive airway pressure may improve depressive symptoms in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common problem in which patients stop breathing for short periods during sleep. It occurs when soft tissues in the back of the throat relax and temporarily block the airway. The condition is frequently seen in individuals who are obese and those who snort. With continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the patient wears a special mask that continuously blows air into the throat, preventing the tissues from collapsing. "The significance of our findings," Dr. Daniel J. Schwartz said, "is that symptoms which might otherwise be ascribed to depression -- feelings of sadness, discouragement about the future, feelings of excessive personal failures, perceived decreases in self-confidence, a sense of being overly self-critical, the inability to derive pleasure from things, and even suicidal (thoughts) -- may at times be attributable to obstructive sleep apnea, an easily treatable medical illness."... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

What are the risk factors for childhood depression?

I had untreated clinical depression starting from a young age. When I was finally diagnosed at age 27, I started trying to figure out why this had happened to me. Why would a child suffer from depression? What are the factors that can combine to create depression in a young child? In many cases, one of the usual suspects is a family history of mental illness. But there was no such history on either side of my family. So I started looking for other explanations. What I found was very interesting to me, as a few of the risk factors had been present in my life before my depression... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Depressed older adults enter nursing homes sooner

Older adults suffering from depression may perceive their health to be worsening more quickly, speeding the need for nursing home care, a study suggests. Researchers found that among nearly 3,000 elderly European adults receiving home health services, those with depression were more likely to enter a nursing home over the next year. Even when other factors were considered -- including physical health and mental impairment -- depression was linked to a 43 percent higher risk of nursing home admission. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Depression may speed older adults' need for nursing home care, in part, by directly affecting their physical health, suggested lead study author, Dr. Graziano Onder, of the Gemelli Hospital in Rome... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Why can't we talk about it?

I've decided that mental illness is the new sex. Hmmm, I probably have to back up and explain myself. There really is some logic behind that pronouncement, trust me. A study was released last week that showed that primary care physicians are not talking to depressed patients about whether they have suicidal thoughts or not. Apparently, primary care doctors only broached the subject 36% of the time. Kind of crazy when you think about it. If someone's depressed, isn't it obvious that suicidal thinking, and possibly acting on it, is a danger?... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article

Diet drug Rimonabant tied to depression, anxiety

People who take the weight-loss drug rimonabant may face heightened risks for severe depression and anxiety, Danish researchers report. The finding follows a recommendation by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel in June that the agency not approve the diet drug because of continuing concerns about increased risks for suicidal thoughts among some users. Previously, the FDA rejected the drug as an aid to help people quit smoking. "Up to this point in time, there has been controversy over the rates and severity of psychiatric adverse effects with rimonabant," noted Dr. Philip Mitchell, head of the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and co-author of an editorial that accompanies the study... Read More   |   Discuss   |   Suggest An Article


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