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Depression Blog

Related terms: Major Depression, Unipolar Depression

Worker Layoffs Tied to Rise in Teen Suicides, Study Finds

Posted 7 days ago by

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 – When large numbers of workers lose their jobs, suicide attempts increase among certain groups of teens, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed the results of a survey of more than 403,000 American teens conducted from 1997 to 2009, along with nationwide data about layoffs. While the study couldn't prove cause and effect, it found that when 1 percent of a state's workers lost their jobs, suicide attempts and other suicide-related behaviors jumped 2 percent to 3 percent among girls during the following year. The same finding held for black teens of either gender. Specifically, thoughts of suicide and suicide plans rose among teen girls, while thoughts of suicide, suicide plans and suicide attempts increased among black teens, according to researchers from Duke University in Durham, N.C. "Job loss can be an unanticipated shock to a community," study author Anna ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression

Study Hints at Link Between Poor Sleep, Suicide Risk

Posted 8 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – Sleeping difficulties may increase the risk of suicide in older adults even when other symptoms of depression aren't present, a new study suggests. The study focused on adults 65 and older, and poor sleep included difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up early in the morning, experiencing daytime sleepiness and not feeling fully rested after a night's sleep. "These findings suggest that sleep disturbances stand alone as a valid risk factor – independent of depressed mood – and worthy of focus as a potential [suicide] risk factor, screening and intervention tool," said lead researcher Rebecca Bernert, an instructor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. "Compared to many other known suicide risk factors, sleep disturbances are arguably less stigmatizing and may be undone, and are highly treatable." Among the 20 study participants who ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Fitness May Help Ward Off Depression in Girls

Posted 13 days ago by

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 – The more fit middle-school girls are, the less likely they may be to develop symptoms of depression, according to a recent study. Although the effect of fitness on depression was small, improvements in fitness may be part of an overall strategy for reducing the risk of depression in middle-schoolers, according to Camilo Ruggero, lead researcher and an assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Texas. Other strategies might include school-based or family therapy, which can both treat and help prevent depression in at-risk kids. "Fitness is not a cure-all, but it's a small piece of a larger problem," said Ruggero. He noted that depression is also linked to a higher body mass index (BMI), a measurement used to assess if a person has a healthy weight for their height. In addition, middle school is a time when fitness levels drop off, weight ... Read more

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Coaching May Help Diabetics Battle Depression, Disease Better

Posted 15 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 – Mental health coaching may help diabetes patients with depression and with lowering their blood sugar levels, a new study suggests. Many people with diabetes suffer depression, which can interfere with their ability to manage their diabetes through monitoring blood sugar levels, being active, eating healthy and taking their medications, the researchers noted. This study included diabetes patients in a rural, low-income area of central North Carolina. Nearly 16 percent of people in this area have diabetes, compared with 10 percent of people nationally. Thirty percent of these diabetes patients have depression and 65 percent are poor, the study authors wrote. Researchers referred 182 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and depression to a diabetes educator and also to a mental health coach, who helped them find ways to deal with the stresses and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Diabetes, Type 2, Diabetes, Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus

Preschoolers Can Suffer From Depression, Too

Posted 17 days ago by

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 – Depression can strike at any age, even among preschoolers, researchers report. And if it does strike, the odds are that the disorder will recur throughout childhood, a new study shows. The study found that preschoolers who are depressed are two and a half times more likely to continue to experience symptoms in elementary and middle school, a research team from Washington University in St. Louis said. However, spotting depression in kids early on could make treatment more effective, they added. "It's the same old bad news about depression; it is a chronic and recurrent disorder," child psychiatrist Dr. Joan Luby, who directs the university's Early Emotional Development Program, said in a university news release. "But the good news is that if we can identify depression early, perhaps we have a window of opportunity to treat it more effectively," Luby said. That ... Read more

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Scientists Shed Light on Link Between Depression, Dementia

Posted 30 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 – Older people with depression are more likely to develop dementia, but researchers have been unable to explain the exact nature of the relationship between the two. Specifically, they haven't been able to figure out the direction in which the relationship works – does depression help bring on dementia, or does dementia cause people to become depressed? A new study published online July 30 in the journal Neurology sheds more light on the mystery. Depression is a risk factor for dementia, researchers report, and people with more symptoms of depression tend to suffer a more rapid decline in thinking and memory skills. While the study found an association between the two, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Depression accounted for about 4.4 percent of the difference in mental decline that could not be attributed to dementia-related damage found in ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Dementia

Could a Blood Test Predict Suicide Risk?

Posted 30 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 – Clues to whether a person is at risk for suicide could lie in a simple blood test, a new study suggests. Chemical changes to a gene involved in the brain's response to stress hormones may help spur suicidal thoughts and behaviors, the study's authors explained. Spotting those changes in a blood sample might help alert doctors to a patient's risk for suicide, they said. "Suicide is a major preventable public health problem, but we have been stymied in our prevention efforts because we have no consistent way to predict those who are at increased risk of killing themselves," study lead researcher Zachary Kaminsky, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "With a test like ours, we may be able to stem suicide rates by identifying those people and intervening ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Diagnosis and Investigation

Extra Exercise Could Help Depressed Smokers Quit: Study

Posted 29 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 – Quitting smoking is harder for people with depression, according to a new review. Depression can make it more difficult to ride out the anxiety, cravings or lack of sleep that come with trying to quit cold turkey, scientists found. But extra exercise – even just a walk – could help people quit faster, they said. "The review should be seen as a call to arms," the study's co-author, Gregory Moullec, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of exercise science at Concordia University in Montreal, said in a university news release. The study's first author, Paquito Bernard, of the University of Montpellier in France, added that he hopes the findings will alert researchers and clinicians to the "promising role of exercise in the treatment of both depression and smoking cessation." Nearly 20 percent of adults in North America are regular smokers, although this ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Smoking, Smoking Cessation

Depression May Make It Harder to Beat Prostate Cancer

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

FRIDAY, July 11, 2014 – Prostate cancer patients are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive disease, receive less effective treatment and die sooner if they also have depression, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from more than 41,200 American men who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 2004 and 2007. They followed them through 2009. Nearly 1,900 of the patients had been diagnosed with depression in the two years before their prostate cancer was discovered. "Men with intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer and a recent diagnosis of depression are less likely to undergo definitive treatment and experience worse overall survival," study lead author Dr. Jim Hu, a professor of urology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release. "The effect of depressive disorders on prostate cancer treatment and survivorship ... Read more

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Stress, Depression May Boost Stroke Risk, Study Finds

Posted 10 Jul 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 – Stress, hostility and depression may increase the risk for stroke, a new study suggests. The study found that depression seemed to raise the risk of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) by 86 percent. It also found that stress apparently raised stroke or TIA risk by 59 percent. And hostility doubled the risk, the researchers said. A TIA is a mini-stroke caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. However, it's important to note that the study only found an association between the risk of stroke and negative emotions. It wasn't designed to prove that negative emotions can cause strokes. Still, "chronic stress and negative emotions are important psychological factors that affect one's health, and findings from this study link these factors to brain health in particular," said the study's lead author, Susan Everson-Rose, an associate ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Ischemic Stroke

As Antidepressant Warnings Toughened, Teen Suicide Attempts Rose: Study

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Teen suicide attempts rose nearly 22 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about dangers of antidepressants, a new study finds. In 2003, the FDA mandated a "black box" warning – the most serious type of warning in prescription drug labeling – on popular antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), signaling a possible risk of suicidal thoughts among children and teens. Examples of these drugs include Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. Following the warnings, antidepressant prescriptions for young people fell by more than a fifth. At the same time, suicide attempts rose, possibly because depression was being undertreated, according to background information in the study. "We found a substantial reduction in use of antidepressants in youth, and also in adults – who were not targeted by the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Brisdelle, Pexeva, Vortioxetine

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Won't Harm Baby's Heart, Study Suggests

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Antidepressants taken during the first three months of pregnancy don't appear to increase the risk of heart defects in babies, new research suggests. However, this latest study contradicts previous research that found that taking antidepressants in pregnancy can be risky. The question is an important one because depression is common in pregnancy. It's diagnosed in 10 percent to 20 percent of pregnant women, and up to 13 percent of women take antidepressants while pregnant, according to the researchers. "The most critical period in the development of an embryo or in the growth of a particular organ is during the time of most rapid cell division," said Krista Huybrechts, lead study author and epidemiologist at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston. So, it is in the first three months of pregnancy that the risk for developing major malformations is ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Brisdelle, Pexeva, Vortioxetine

Depression Doubles Odds of Heart Attack for Younger Women: Study

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Young and middle-aged women with depression are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart disease as their mentally healthy peers, new research suggests. The study also found that women younger than 55 are more likely than men or older women to become depressed. Exactly what accounts for this relationship between mood disorder and heart disease in younger women isn't clear, said study lead author Dr. Amit Shah, an assistant professor of epidemiology with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta. "These kinds of relationships are very complicated, and we're still investigating to better understand the reason," he said. Still, the results fit into the "bigger picture," Shah added. "We have known for some time that heart disease is actually the number one killer in women, and that heart disease does start at ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

Stroke Prevention for Women: Start Early

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 – Stroke typically affects women in their later years, but doctors are now beginning to focus on helping them cut their risk earlier in life. This increased attention to risk factors in early adult years was recommended by new guidelines that were released earlier this year by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Those guidelines are now being phased into practice by primary care doctors, experts say. For women, that translates to more screening for risk factors during office visits and more interventions to ensure a healthy lifestyle to reduce stroke risk, said Dr. Louise McCullough, director of the Stroke Center at the University of Connecticut in Farmington. McCullough is the co-author of a summary of the guidelines that was published June 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Stroke is a serious interruption or reduction of ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Plan B, Sprintec, Mirena, Implanon, Provera, NuvaRing, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Ischemic Stroke, Depo-Provera, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Loestrin 24 Fe, Lutera, TriNessa, Ortho Evra, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Atrial Fibrillation, Mononessa, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo

Diabetes Distress Is Distinct From Depression, Researchers Say

Posted 16 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 – Although diabetes distress is often mistaken for depression, the good news is that simple interventions appear to help significantly reduce this distress, according to new research. The need to correctly identify depression is also highlighted in a second new study. This concluded that people with type 1 diabetes who are also depressed have a higher risk of dying early compared to those who aren't depressed. Both studies were scheduled for presentation this week at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in San Francisco. Because the research hasn't been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, it should be considered preliminary. "We're trying to make a distinction between diabetes distress and depression. Having some level of distress is part of the spectrum of diabetes," said the author of the first study, Lawrence Fisher, a professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Diabetes, Type 2

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