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Posts Tagged depression

Mental Disorders in Mid-Life, Older Adulthood, More Prevalent Than Previously Reported

Posted by on Friday, 10 January, 2014

Common methods of assessing mental or physical disorders may consistently underestimate the prevalence of mental disorders among middle-aged and older adults, a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found.

The analysis, led by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Yoichiro Takayanagi, and published in the January 8 online edition of JAMA Psychiatry, reveals substantial discrepancies among mid-life and late-life adults in reporting past mental health disorders, including depression, compared with physical disorders such as arthritis and hypertension.

“The takeaway is that lifetime estimates based on [participant] recall in cross-sectional surveys underestimate the occurrences of mental disorders over the lifetime,” said Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH, MA, associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health and senior author of the study.

The findings are believed to be the first to examine retrospective evaluations versus cumulative assessments among older adults. Recent studies of adolescent and young adults have also found discrepancies in prevalence estimates of common mental disorders between retrospective reports versus multiple assessments over time.

Full story of mid-life mental disorders at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


Meditation for Anxiety, Depression?

Posted by on Wednesday, 8 January, 2014

Some 30 minutes of meditation daily may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, a new Johns Hopkins analysis of previously published research suggests.

“A lot of people use meditation, but it’s not a practice considered part of mainstream medical therapy for anything,” says Madhav Goyal, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of a study published online Jan. 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine. “But in our study, meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as what other studies have found from antidepressants.” These patients did not typically have full-blown anxiety or depression.

The researchers evaluated the degree to which those symptoms changed in people who had a variety of medical conditions, such as insomnia or fibromyalgia, although only a minority had been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Goyal and his colleagues found that so-called “mindfulness meditation” — a form of Buddhist self-awareness designed to focus precise, nonjudgmental attention to the moment at hand — also showed promise in alleviating some pain symptoms as well as stress. The findings held even as the researchers controlled for the possibility of the placebo effect, in which subjects in a study feel better even if they receive no active treatment because they perceive they are getting help for what ails them.

Full story of meditation for anxiety and depression at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


Blue Monday: Brutal Cold, Short Days, Post-Holiday Letdown Raise Risk of Depression

Posted by on Monday, 6 January, 2014

The first Monday after the holidays can be a depressing time for people coping with a post-holiday letdown and a type of depression triggered by short days called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

And this year, First Monday will be especially blue, due to the added stress of the brutal cold in the forecast, said Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist Dr. Angelos Halaris, who specializes in treating depression.

“All these factors will have a cumulative effect,” Halaris said. “We could see an uptick in depression this coming week and for the rest of the month.”

For many people, the holidays are a time of too much eating and drinking, combined with family stresses and relationship issues. They begin the new year mentally and physically exhausted.

For people affected by seasonal affective disorder, energy and mood take a nosedive during the short days of winter. “SAD is characterized by depression, exhaustion and lack of interest in people and regular activities,” Halaris said. “It interferes with a person’s outlook on life and ability to function properly.”

Full story of depression and SAD at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


Making Sad Sense of Child Abuse

Posted by on Friday, 27 December, 2013

When a man in Israel was accused of sexually abusing his young daughter, it was hard for many people to believe — a neighbor reported seeing the girl sitting and drinking hot chocolate with her father every morning, laughing, smiling, and looking relaxed. Such cases are not exceptional, however. Children react to sexual and physical abuse in unpredictable ways, making it hard to discern the clues.

Now Dr. Carmit Katz of Tel Aviv University’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work has found that when parents are physically abusive, children tend to accommodate it. But when the abuse is sexual, they tend to fight or flee it unless it is severe. The findings, published in Child Abuse & Neglect, help explain children’s behavior in response to abuse and could aid in intervention and treatment.

“All the cases of alleged physical abuse in the study involved parents, while we had very few cases of alleged parental sexual abuse,” said Dr. Katz. “More than the type of abuse, it may be that children feel they have no choice but to endure abuse by their parents, who they depend on for love and support.”

Disturbing data

About 3.5 million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States every year. Similarly alarming situations exist in many other countries. Abused children often suffer from emotional and behavioral problems, which can later develop into sexual dysfunction, anxiety, promiscuity, vulnerability to repeated victimization, depression, and substance abuse.

Full story of sense of child abuse at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education


Surprising causes of winter depression

Posted by on Thursday, 26 December, 2013

When the weather turns cold and daylight hours dwindle, it’s easy to blame seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for a blue mood.

But chances are, there’s a whole lot more to your SAD story. Before you flip on a light box, make sure these other seasonal mood-busters aren’t dragging you down.

You’re not moving enough

Cold temps make it all too easy to curl up on the couch and let your gym habit slide, but it’s common knowledge that regular exercise holds the power to lift your spirits.

“Moving around is helpful to everyone’s mood,” says Harvard psychologist Dr. John Sharp, author of “The Emotional Calendar.”

You don’t even have to commit to a full-on routine. In a study published in Perception and Motor Skills, researchers found that even a single exercise session at any intensity can increase positive mood feelings and decrease the negative ones. If you live in a wintery clime, take advantage of the snowshoeing and ice skating to shake up your exercise routine.

Full story of causes for winter depression at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education