While the short, dark days of winter trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in many people, the sunny days of summer bring on SAD for a small percentage of the population — 1% according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Sometimes called reverse seasonal affective disorder, summer SAD can be just as debilitating as its winter counterpart. In fact, research shows that despite popular belief that winter months and holidays bring about a spike in depression, suicide rates actually peak during spring and summer months.
The leading cause of disability, major depressive disorder impacts about 16.1 million adults and 25 million people of all ages in the U.S. and more than 300 million people worldwide. Depression is a serious but treatable illness characterized by intense feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, anger or apathy. Although many people respond to a combination of medication and outpatient psychotherapeutic approaches, as many as one-third of individuals with major depression do not respond adequately to treatment. At least 50% of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression; this figure increases to 75% when a depressed person is suffering from co-occurring alcohol abuse. In those who attempt suicide, immediate hospitalization is paramount.
Recent research from a team of American scientists points toward increased risks for a depression-related downturn in activity and social interaction levels in women with advanced breast cancer.
In a study published in January 2015 in the American Psychological Association journal Health Psychology, researchers from two American universities looked at the rate of depression in women with advanced cases of breast cancer, as well as the impact that depression symptoms may have on the odds that a woman with advanced breast cancer will remain recreationally active or maintain social ties with others.
Thanks to new research out of Washington University in St. Louis, a neurological factor that ties excessive childhood guilt to depression later in life has been discovered, which may help explain why excessive, persistent feelings of guilt, shame and failure are linked to a multitude of other mental health conditions.
Guilt in adulthood is a frequent companion of psychological disorders, a tell-tale symptom that may fade with time if treatment for mental illness is successful. But lurking in the background in many of these conditions is another type of guilt, a remnant from the distant past that can return to wreak vengeance on its victims.
Recent findings from a team of Japanese researchers link increased major depression risks in elderly women to reduced blood levels of an important human protein known as BDNF.
Significant numbers of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have diagnosable problems with substance abuse and/or substance addiction. Some of these individuals are addicted to the powerful opioid street drug heroin. In a study published in January 2015 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of researchers from Australia’s University of New South Wales used a decade-long project to determine if the presence of PTSD alters the course of heroin addiction over extended periods of time. These researchers concluded that the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder creates several unique risks for long-term heroin addicts.
It seems like there are a million apps for mobile devices that address every need under the sun. Health is not exempt from app development, and you can find those that will track how many steps you take in a day, how many calories you eat and even measure your blood pressure. Apps for physical health are not difficult to design, but what about mental health? There are some apps that attempt to gauge and track mental well-being with surveys, medication reminders or advice, but these are flawed and incomplete. Mental health is more challenging to measure than physical health, but strides are being made toward being able to use devices to monitor mental health.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder related to depression that affects people in the winter months. With those cold months just around the corner, you may be starting to feel the impact of colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours.
Recent findings from a team of American researchers indicate that prolonged supplementation with high doses of folic acid and other B vitamins has no measurable impact on the odds that a middle-aged woman or older woman will develop depression.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just confirmed what many already knew: women between the ages of 40 and 59 have higher rates of depression than any other subset of the population.
Many women experience a major change when they bring their first baby home. Tasked with caring for a child in the midst of recovery from delivery and a flood of hormonal changes, many women feel overwhelmed. In some cases serious symptoms can meet criteria for a diagnosis of postpartum depression (PPD). A new study suggests that if a woman experiences PPD, her chances of developing long-term depression increases 30 to 50 percent.
Fish has a reputation as “brain food,” and research has found that eating fish once a week can help to improve your learning skills and your memory. Now, new research suggests that fish can help your brain with more than cognitive function.
Depression is a mental illness and a mood disorder. It goes beyond the usual feelings of sadness, which are mild and short-lived for most of us. Someone with depression feels hopeless and lifeless. They go through periods of depression that last for days, weeks or even months. The symptoms of the illness are often so bad that they interfere with routine activities and even being able to eat or sleep properly. These are the common experiences of depression, but beyond these, men and women often have different symptoms and responses to this mood disorder.
Among younger women of various ethnicities, Asian American women have the second-highest suicide rate, trailing only Native Americans. Incidences of alcoholism, drug abuse and HIV infection have also been rising rapidly in this demographic group, which includes teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. The numbers are not much better among Asian American women in the 25-to-34 age range, where suicide is now the third-leading cause of death.