How to cope with a depressive episode

A depressive episode in the context of a major depressive disorder is a period characterized by low mood and other depression symptoms that lasts for 2 weeks or more. When experiencing a depressive episode, a person can try to make changes to their thoughts and behaviors to help improve their mood.

Symptoms of a depressive episode can persist for several weeks or months at a time. Less commonly, depressive episodes last for over a year.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 16.1 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2015.

Full story at Medical News Today

What is gaming disorder?

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified gaming disorder in their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD-11 is a list of diseases and medical conditions that health professionals use to make diagnoses and treatment plans.

According to the ICD-11, people with gaming disorder have trouble controlling the amount of time that they spend playing digital or video games. They also prioritize gaming over other activities and experience negative effects from their gaming behaviors.

The WHO decided to classify the condition after reviewing the research and consulting with experts. The WHO claim that this classification will result in an increased focus on gaming disorder and its prevention and treatment.

Full story at Medical News Today

Major study finds ‘no evidence’ that cannabis relieves chronic pain

A large study stretching over a 4-year period challenges popular beliefs, as it finds “no evidence” that cannabis use improves the symptoms of chronic pain.

More and more people are taking prescription opioids for pain management, making the phenomenon “an emerging public health concern globally.”

Of all the countries in the world, North America has the “proportionally highest” use of prescription opioids.

Full story at Medical News Today

OCD: Why living in a sunless region can increase symptoms

Sunless skies can bring down a person’s mood and decrease motivation, but do they also have an impact on the severity of obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms? A recent study suggests that indeed they do, and it explains why that might be.

Individuals diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors — hence the name of this condition. These symptoms can be distressing and highly disruptive, affecting a person’s overall quality of life.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, OCD affects about 2.2 million adults in the United States, and the average age at onset is 19.

Full story at Medical News Today

Study casts doubt on effectiveness of e-cigs for smoking cessation

A study found no evidence that smokers who used e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the United States were more likely to quit smoking cigarettes than smokers who do not use these products. The study, looking at 2015-2016 data, found that 90 percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) were still smoking one year later. The research was conducted by researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products.

While eighty-eight percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) reported that quitting smoking was an “important reason” for using ENDS and forty-six percent reported they tried to “completely quit” smoking during the one-year study, only nine percent reported having quit at follow-up. More than half continued to smoke traditional cigarettes and use ENDS (dual use), and more than 37 percent were still smoking, but discontinued ENDS. The authors did find that users of ENDS were more likely to try to quit smoking than those who did not use ENDS. However, this did not translate to greater success with quitting smoking compared to smokers who did not use ENDS.

Full story at drugabuse.gov