Young Transgender Women at Higher Risk of Depression and Addiction: Study

Young transgender women are more likely than the general U.S. population to be affected by mental health issues such as addiction and depression, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital note mental health issues and addiction affect between 4 to 26 percent of people in the United States. Among the 300 transgender women in the study, about 42 percent had one or more mental health or addiction diagnoses. One-fifth had two or more diagnoses. The study participants ranged in age from 16 to 29.

About one-third of participants had been depressed at some time in their lives, and 15 percent were currently depressed. About 20 percent reported suicidal thoughts in the past 30 days. About 8 percent of participants had anxiety in the past six months, and about 10 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder. About 11 percent reported alcohol dependence in the past year, while 15 percent reported some other type of addiction.

Full story of young transgender women and depression at drugfree.org

Survey Suggests Medical Students May be at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

A new survey finds medical students have double the rate of alcohol abuse or dependence, compared with surgeons, U.S. physicians or the general public, HealthDay reports. The researchers cite burnout and school debts as possible factors.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic contacted 12,500 medical students. Of the one-third who responded, approximately 1,400 said they experienced clinical alcohol abuse or dependence. That translates to about one-third of respondents, compared with 16 percent of peers who are not medical school students.

The findings appear in the journal Academic Medicine.

“Our findings clearly show there is reason for concern,” study senior author Dr. Liselotte Dyrbye said in a news release. “We recommend institutions pursue a multifaceted solution to address related issues with burnout, the cost of medical education and alcohol abuse.”

Full story of medical students and alcohol abuse at drugfree.org

All Adults Should be Screened for Depression, Panel Advises

All adults should be screened for depression, according to a panel appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services. If initial screening tests indicate an increased risk of depression, health care providers are advised to conduct assessments to look for substance abuse or other medical conditions.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised that women be screened for depression during pregnancy and after childbirth, according to The Washington Post.

The task force wrote in JAMA that major depressive disorder is associated with suicide, and impacts the ability to manage other health problems. “Depression has a major effect on quality of life for the patient and affects family members, especially children,” the group wrote.

Full story of adults and screening for depression at drugfree.org

Depression in dementia more common in community care, study finds

A University of Manchester study of over 400 people in eight EU countries with severe dementia has found that those residing in long-term care homes are less likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than those living in the community.

Researchers studied 414 people with severe dementia along with their carers in England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The study gathered information on quality of life, activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding and dressing and presence of depressive symptoms using standardised measures.

In the groups studied, 37% of the 217 people living in the community showed signs of depression compared to 23% of the 197 in care homes. It is one of the few studies comparing similar groups of people living at home and in nursing homes.

Full story of depression in dementia at Science Daily

Psychologist links burnout, depression

Research by City College of New York psychology Professor Irvin Schonfeld in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership suggests a strong connection between burnout and depression.

In a study of more than 5,500 school teachers to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in workers with burnout, 90% of the subjects identified as burned out met diagnostic criteria for depression.

The study also examined the overlap of burnout with the atypical subtype of depression. Features of atypical depression were observed in 63% of the burned-out participants with major depression.

Full story of link between burnout and depression at Science Daily