Mental Health News for
Depression News, Polls and Quotes
As part of the
this section of the website is intended to provide month-by-month news
about depression, anxiety and other related health concerns.
previous months are available, and all polls from previous months remain
active if you should wish to vote.
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Quotes and Philosophical Thoughts for September 2008:
"Depression is nourished by a lifetime of ungrieved and unforgiven
hurts." - Unknown
"There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how
to bear unhappiness with courage." - Seneca
"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all
of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose
garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside
our windows today." - Dale Carnegie
“Whenever someone sorrows, I do not say, "forget it," or "it will pass,"
or "it could be worse" — all of which deny the integrity of the painful
experience. But I say, to the contrary, "It is worse than you may allow
yourself to think. Delve into the depth. Stay with the feeling. Think of
it as a precious source of knowledge and guidance. Then and only then will
you be ready to face it and be transformed in the process.” - Peter
“In moments of discouragement, defeat, or even despair, there are always
certain things to cling to. Little things usually: remembered laughter,
the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind—in fact, any reminder of
something deeply felt or dearly loved. No man is so poor as not to have
many of these small candles. When they are lighted, darkness goes away—and
a touch of wonder remains.” - Tombstone Inscription in Britain
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In an effort to better understand how chronic stress affects the
human body, researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center
and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory
University, have created an animal model that shows how chronic stress
affects behavior, physiology and reproduction.
Of the orphaned youth who are heading households in rural Rwanda can
be classified as depressed, according to a report released on September
1, 2008 in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives
journals. Rwanda has one of the largest groups of orphans in the world,
a result of the 1994 genocide and the epidemic of HIV infection.
In combination with medication, family-focused therapy appears to
help curb depression symptoms in teens with bipolar disorder, according
to a report released on September 1, 2008 in the Archives of General
Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Bipolar disorders are
characterized by occasional periods of elevated mood, known as mania.
One of the few studies to look at the effects of religious
participation on the mental health of minorities suggests that for some
of them, religion may actually be contributing to adolescent depression.
Previous research has shown that teens who are active in religious
services are depressed less often because it provides these adolescents
with social support and a sense of belonging.
A troubling study in the September 3rd Journal of the American
Medical Association raises new concerns about kids committing suicide in
this country. After a one year spike in the number of suicides, doctors
were hoping to see more normal numbers in the latest study, but they
didn't. The number of kids committing suicide in the U.S. remains higher
than expected, and that has doctors and parents looking for answers.
Examining brain scans taken at various times of the year, scientists
have discovered that serotonin transporter activities, which help
regulate the neurotransmitter seratonin, vary according to the season.
According to the article, released on September 1, 2008 in Archives of
General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, this regular
variance could potentially lead to explanations of seasonal affective
disorder and it's mood swings.
Exercise can help expectant moms in mind as well as body. A new study
suggests that women who stay active and are more positive about their
changing shapes might protect themselves from depression both during and
after pregnancy. "Our study supports the psychological benefits of
exercise to improve body image and lessen depressive symptoms," said
lead study author Danielle Symons Downs, Ph.D.
More UK psychiatrists witness the dramatic consequences of relapse
among the seriously mentally ill than their European colleagues, says a
new international survey of psychiatrists released today (3nd September,
2008). This is despite major treatment advances. According to the
findings of the survey (commissioned jointly by the WFMH and Eli Lilly
and Company Ltd.
If there's one thing that everyone knows about newborn babies, it's
that they don't sleep through the night, and neither do their parents.
But in fact, those first six months of life are crucial to developing
the regular sleeping and waking patterns, known as circadian rhythms,
that a child will need for a healthy future. Some children may start
life with the sleep odds stacked against them, though, say University of
Michigan sleep experts who study the issue.
Lingering depression is a serious and common problem in bipolar
disorder, and does not resolve well with existing treatments.
1. Intermittent HIV Treatment Increases Risk for HIV-Related
Infections and Death Even After Resuming Continuous Treatment A recent
trial showed that continuous treatment of HIV infection is better than
stopping treatment when the patient's immune status is good and
restarting it when immune status deteriorates (interrupted treatment).
At the end of this trial, patients assigned to intermittent treatment
were begun on continuous treatment and observed for 18 months.
GPs prescribe lower volumes of antidepressants in areas with more
Black or South Asian people, suggesting possible disparities in the
provision of care. The study, published in the September issue of the
British Journal of Psychiatry, also reveals that higher volumes of
antidepressants are prescribed by general practices in economically
deprived areas, and by practices serving areas with a high prevalence of
Depression and heart disease are the two leading disorders with the
strongest contributions to the global burden of disease. Depression and
heart disease are also intertwined. In recent years, much attention has
been given to depression following heart attack and its effects on
prognosis. Several large scale studies have been undertaken (ENRICHD,
SADHART, MIND-IT, CREATE) in which depression was targeted.
A new study by University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Jason
Schnittker shows that, while more Americans believe that mental illness
has genetic causes, the nation is no more tolerant of the mentally ill
than it was 10 years ago.
Women with depression may be much more likely than men to get relief
from a commonly used, inexpensive antidepressant drug, a new national
study finds. But many members of both sexes may find that it helps ease
their depression symptoms. The persistence of a gender difference in
response to the drug - even after the researchers accounted for many
complicating factors - suggests that there's a real biological
difference in the way the medication affects women compared with men.
Antidepressants are the cornerstone of treatment of depressive
disorders in health care. Their efficacy in treating depression is
undisputable, although it leaves room for improvement. However, recent
reports also suggest that antidepressants might, in some rare cases,
actually worsen suicidal tendencies instead of alleviating them. As a
consequence, research has intensified to clarify this issue, and
regulatory authorities in many countries have reconsidered their
Brain scientists have moved a step closer to understanding why some
people may be more prone to depression than others. Dr Roland Zahn, a
clinical neuroscientist in The University of Manchester's School of
Psychological Sciences, and his colleagues have identified how the brain
links knowledge about social behaviour with moral sentiments, such as
pride and guilt.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered in mice
that the brain must create new nerve cells for either exercise or
antidepressants to reduce depression-like behavior. In addition, the
researchers found that antidepressants and exercise use the same
biochemical pathway to exert their effects. These results might help
explain some unknown mechanisms of antidepressants and provide a new
direction for developing drugs to treat depression, said Dr.
The teenage years are a time of emotional highs and lows. So how do
you distinguish normal teenage mood swings and rebellion from actual
depression? The September 2008 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter
highlights some ways to tell. Although depression can occur at any age,
it affects teens more than younger children. Depressive symptoms may
start appearing around age 13, and often peaks between 16 and 24.
The news about antidepressant medications over the past several years
has been mixed. The bad news from large multicenter studies such as
STAR*D is that current antidepressant medications are effective, but not
as effective as one might hope. Thus, there is a significant need for
new treatment mechanisms for depression. On that front, there has been
mixed news as well.
A new study published in the August 15th issue of Biological
Psychiatry finds that hippocampal neurogenesis (neuron birth in the
hippocampus part of the brain) might be used by the monoaminergic
antidepressants (related to the secretion of monoamine neurotransmitters
such as dopamine
A recent study found that suicidal thoughts among US college students
is more common than might be expected, after more than half of 26,000
students surveyed at 70 colleges and universities reported having at
least one episode of suicidal thinking at some point in their lives. 15
per cent of students also reported having seriously considered
attempting suicide and more than 5 per cent said they had tried to
commit suicide at least once.
Actavis Group, the international generic pharmaceuticals company,
announced that it has received approval from the US Food & Drug
Administration to market Bupropion Hydrochloride extended-release
tablets (XL) 300mg. Distribution of the product will commence
immediately. Bupropion Hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL),
available in 300mg strength, are the generic equivalent of Wellbutrin
XL® for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
People taking prescription antidepressants appear to drive worse than
people who aren't taking such drugs, and depressed people on
antidepressants have even more trouble concentrating and reacting behind
the wheel. These were the conclusions of a study released Sunday at the
Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. University
of North Dakota psychologists Holly Dannewitz.
A growing body of research suggests that there is a potent way to
fight symptoms of depression that doesn't involve getting a
prescription. This potent weapon? Hope. "We're finding that hope is
consistently associated with fewer symptoms of depression. And the good
news is that hope is something that can be taught, and can be developed
in many of the people who need it," said Jennifer Cheavens, assistant
professor of psychology at Ohio State University.
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