Articles on Depression

What is Depression?
Winston Churchill said, "If you’re going through hell, keep going!" Winston knew a thing or too about emotional hell. He was a long-term sufferer of what he called the “black dog” of depression, yet he was also a high achiever and has left an indelible stamp on world history. We remember him for his achievements, not for his mental illness… (Read more)

Depression Symptoms and Treatment (1)
The most commonly diagnosed and most severe depression is called a major depressive episode. In order to be diagnosed with major depression, an individual must satisfy five or more of the following symptoms during the same 2-week period, and which must also deviate from previous functioning levels… (Read more)

Depression Symptoms and Treatment (2)
“Tom’s depressed because Katie’s gone away and won’t be able to come to his party tonight”.
“I’m so depressed because I spent the whole day shopping for a present for Kyle and I couldn’t find anything!”
Like many psychiatric terms, the word “depression” is often used in everyday language to express a normal, everyday, human experience. Clinical depression is, however, not a normal, everyday human experience, yet it is surprisingly common in the community… (Read more)

What is the best treatment for depression?
The answer to this question is the same as the answer to “How long is a piece of string?” The short answer is that there is no simple answer. Every person who suffers from depression is different, and the depression they experience is due to different causes. Therefore there is no single, generic answer to this question… (Read more)

Feeling bad about taking antidepressants?
There is no question that antidepressants are over-prescribed by many doctors. The same goes for tranquilizers. The rate of antidepressant and tranquillizer intake in First World countries has reached alarming proportions: clearly better education, more money, and improved lifestyles have done little to make us happier as a species… (Read more)

When Antidepressants aren't the best option (1)
In Feeling bad about taking Antidepressants? we looked at dispelling the guilt that many people feel about using these drugs. In many cases, antidepressants are the treatment of choice. But they are not a magic panacea. Far from it. This blog, we will look at scenarios where the misuse of antidepressants can do more harm than good… (Read more)

When Antidepressants aren't the best option (2)
Antidepressants can be, quite literally, lifesavers. Yet as we saw in When Antidepressants aren’t the best option (1), these drugs aren’t always the best treatment for depression. Let’s look at some scenarios where antidepressants are being prescribed inappropriately… (Read more)

When Antidepressants aren't the best option (3)
Antidepressants can make an enormous difference to the quality of life of sufferers of both depression and anxiety. But as we discussed in When Antidepressants aren’t the best option (1) and (2), there are cases when antidepressants should not be prescribed, or should be used in conjunction with other therapies. Let’s look at another case study... (Read more)

Depression, Antidepressants, and Sex
Loss of confidence and a lack of interest in activities that you usually enjoy are both symptoms of depression, as is a change in appetite and sleep patterns. Another less commonly talked about side effect of depression is a lowering of the sex drive… (Read more)

Chocolate may make your depression worse!
If ever there was bad news, surely this is it! Chocolate, that famous mainstay of the sad and depressed, has recently come under suspicion for making depression worse… (Read more)

Antidepressants a Cure for Cancer?
Nobody likes the thought of having to take antidepressants, but apart from helping to alleviate severe depression, recent studies have given users of antidepressants something to smile about at last. Preliminary laboratory studies at the University of Birmingham Medical School have noted that more than 50% of lymphomas (cancers of the white blood cells) have responded favorably to the use of antidepressant medication… (Read more)

Depression: The myth of Chemical Imbalance
Just about everyone knows that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Right? Well, that’s what popular mythology has led the man in the street to believe, but there has never been any scientific proof for this “truism.”… (Read more)

Depression in babies and young infants
Could you ever imagine a tiny baby being depressed? Although hard to believe, researchers have noted classic signs of depression in young babies, even those under the age of six months… (Read more)

Low birth-weight babies at risk of adult depression
A UK study has highlighted the risks of giving birth to full-term, low birth weight babies in a comprehensive study of over 5000 British adults. Researchers found a direct link between low birth weight and the incidence of depression in these babies as they reached adulthood… (Read more)

Depression in children and adolescents
In Depression in babies and young infants we looked at how symptoms of depression can develop in babies as young as three months. In today’s article, we will look at the occurrence and signs of depression in children of elementary school age as well as the teenage years… (Read more)

Depression in the elderly
Depression is not an uncommon illness across the most of the lifespan and the elderly are no exception. Sometimes elderly people visit their doctor with a series of ailments only to be told they are not physically ill, but are suffering from depression.… (Read more)

Antidepressants are anti-loneliness pills
These are the words of inspirational doctor Patch Adams, the controversial medico who was the basis of the movie of the same name starring Robin Williams. The real Patch Adams has little time for fame, but continues to spread his message of love, laughter, and hope as he completes his daily ward roads around the world… (Read more)

More concerns with Prozac and other SSRIs
A psychiatrist who headed at team of researchers at Columbia University in New York City has found that young mice given Prozac grow into adult mice who display emotional problems, chiefly depression... (Read more)

What would make a child depressed?
Children can suffer from depression just as adults can. But while mental health groups around the country struggle to increase awareness of the widespread nature of depression in adults, the equivalent illness in children is often very much swept under the carpet... (Read more)

Hormonal Swings and Depression
While the symptoms of PMS are very familiar to many women, those who have a history of anxiety and depression or who currently suffer from anxiety and depression may notice that the changing hormonal levels during the month bring about increased emotional problems... (Read more)

Contraception and Mental Illness
Contraception has given women choices about the timing and number of children they may have. But, like any drug, contraceptives have side-effects and we as consumers should be made aware of all of them. Including those that involve our mental health. Today's blog tells the story of Emily... (Read more)

Depression and Sex
In a surprising report, an Australian study has shown that women who are depressed have more sex than women who describe themselves as "happy." This phenomenon occurs in both single-status women and those who are in committed long-term relationships... (Read more)

Depression Is Still a Stigma
Despite government educational campaigns costing millions and many famous faces coming out of the closet to reveal that the “black dog” has figured prominently on their lives, the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness in general lives on... (Read More)

Antidepressants for Dogs: Canines Inadvertently Subjected to Myth
Regular readers of my articles will know that I have strong views on the use of antidepressants. These drugs are marvelous lifesavers for extremely depressed people but were never intended to be used long-term. That is, until the pharmaceutical companies started the myth that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain... (Read More)

The Importance of Exercise during Depression
Depression affects such a large proportion of the population that any helpful adjunct to traditional Western medicine is a useful tool for the sufferer. Exercise is one such method to help alleviate the effects of depression on both the body and the mind... (Read More)



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