Links for Keyword: Depression

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Rhitu Chatterjee The number of people dying by suicide in the United States has risen by about 30 percent in the past two decades. And while the majority of suicide-related deaths today are among boys and men, a study published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics finds that the number of girls and women taking their own lives is rising. "Typically there's between three and three times as many suicides among males as among females," says Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a medical epidemiologist at the NCHS and the main author of the new study. In 2016, about 21 boys or men out of 100,000 took their own lives. On the other hand, just six girls or women out of 100,000 died by suicide that year. But when Hedegaard and her colleagues compared the rise in the rates of death by suicide from 2000 to 2016, the increase was significantly larger for females — increasing by 21 percent for boys and men, as compared to 50 percent for girls and women. There's "sort of a narrowing of the [gender] gap in rates," Hedegaard notes. The biggest change was seen among women in late middle age. "For females between the ages of 45 and 64, the suicide rate increased by 60 percent," she says. "That's a pretty large increase in a relatively short period of time." That the increase for women was more than double the increase for men "did indeed surprise me," says Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist at Emory University and the past president of the American Psychological Association, who was not involved in the study. She says she finds the overall trends for both men and women "disturbing." © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 25086 - Posted: 06.14.2018

Allison Aubrey If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression. More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed. The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anti-convulsant drugs. "The more of these medications you're taking, the more likely you are to report depression," says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 26,192 adults who participated in a federal survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All of the participants listed the medications they were taking at the time of the survey. In addition, they each completed a depression screening, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which asks about sleep, mood and appetite. © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25084 - Posted: 06.13.2018

By Judith S. Beck After a week of devastating news about suicide, there has been much discussion of the need for people who may be thinking of ending their lives to reach out for help. But some people who are suffering may be skeptical that therapy could make a difference. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy, or C.B.T., in treating suicidal individuals and decreasing subsequent attempts. A 2016 review of 15 randomized controlled trials found that C.B.T. “is a useful strategy in the prevention of suicidal cognitions and suicidal behaviors.” Throughout my career I have used this method to treat patients with many different types of problems and diagnoses, including suicidal behavior — which may occur along with problems like depression, addictions, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Medications can be very effective in treating certain diagnoses, but those medications may take some time to take effect. Therefore the suicidality must be addressed before the medications will be helpful. Sometimes individuals will need to be hospitalized in order to keep them safe until C.B.T. or medications can help. But inpatient treatment is not necessary for everyone who has suicidal thoughts. C.B.T. starts with the proposition that people’s behavior, including suicide attempts, make sense once we understand what they’re thinking. A highly suicidal individual might think, for example, that his or her emotional pain will never go away and will only get worse. If the individual believes there is nothing that can alleviate his or her suffering, suicide may seem as if it is the only solution. But in C.B.T. treatment, individuals learn a number of skills. While individual patients’ needs can vary greatly, following is a basic approach. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25083 - Posted: 06.13.2018

by Anthea Rowan When Mike Shooter was in medical school, he suffered the first of what he calls “thunderous depressions.” More followed. Shooter’s efforts to come to grips with these experiences has made him acutely aware of what young people with mental-health problems endure and forged his career as a preeminent child psychiatrist in England. He was the first such specialist to be elected president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a position he held from 2002 to 2005. Recently he published “Growing Pains,” which is based on 40 years of working with young people. The book explains why it’s imperative to differentiate between depression and the ordinary but often intense difficulties some children face. He recently spoke with The Washington Post on these issues. This transcript was edited for clarity and length. Q: Do you think young people are more vulnerable to mental illness now? A: Research suggests that the United Kingdom is the least happy place for a child to be brought up in the Western world; America cannot be far behind. Some of this could be attributed to the grinding effect of poverty. But not all: The frenetic competition, in school, in the scramble for jobs, in peer-group relationships, means many children fall off the bottom of the ladder of competition and feel as if they’ve failed. Or are so unsure of their own worth that they sit up all night searching for “likes” on social media in lieu of proper friendships. But it’s not all bad news. There is currently much research into resilience: what enables some children to cope while others do not. I know from experience that there is one thing that can make all the difference: a relationship with an adult close enough to them, that supports them, listens to their distress and treats them as worthwhile. That person could be a relative, a family friend, a teacher or, dare I say it, a child psychiatrist. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 25074 - Posted: 06.11.2018

By Benedict Carey The deaths of the designer Kate Spade and the chef Anthony Bourdain, both of whom committed suicide this week, were not simply pop culture tragedies. They were the latest markers of an intractable public health crisis that has been unfolding in slow motion for a generation. Treatment for chronic depression and anxiety — often the precursors to suicide — has never been more available and more widespread. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week reported a steady, stubborn rise in the national suicide rate, up 25 percent since 1999. The rates have been climbing each year across most age and ethnic groups. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 45,000 Americans killed themselves in 2016, twice the number who died by homicide. After decades of research, effective prevention strategies are lacking. It remains difficult, perhaps impossible, to predict who will commit suicide, and the phenomenon is extremely difficult for researchers to study. One of the few proven interventions is unpalatable to wide swaths of the American public: reduced access to guns. The C.D.C. report found that the states where rates rose most sharply were those, like Montana and Oklahoma, where gun ownership is more common. It is predominantly men who use guns to commit suicide, and men are much less likely to seek help than women. The escalating suicide rate is a profound indictment of the country’s mental health system. Most people who kill themselves have identifiable psychiatric symptoms, even if they never get an official diagnosis. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25071 - Posted: 06.09.2018

by Amy Ellis Nutt Suicide rates rose in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In more than half of all deaths in 27 states, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives. In North Dakota, the rate jumped more than 57 percent. In the most recent period studied (2014 to 2016), the rate was highest in Montana, at 29.2 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national average of 13.4 per 100,000. Only Nevada recorded a decline — of 1 percent — for the overall period, although its rate remained higher than the national average. Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one. Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death. The most common method used across all groups was firearms. “The data are disturbing,” said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director. “The widespread nature of the increase, in every state but one, really suggests that this is a national problem hitting most communities.” It is hitting many places especially hard. In half of the states, suicide among people age 10 and older increased more than 30 percent. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25068 - Posted: 06.08.2018

By Heather Murphy Reports of Kate Spade’s suicide and struggle with depression have transformed her from symbol of polished prep to a blunt reminder that suffering affects all types. Her death has inspired hundreds to tweet some version of the same message: Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. But deep in the comment threads, some also debated a more uncomfortable question: What do you do when a friend is depressed for such a long time that you’ve started to feel that that nothing you can do will make a difference, and your empathy reserves are tapped out? There are no easy answers. But here are some tips from experts: Don’t underestimate the power of showing up You may not feel that your presence is wanted. But just being by the side of someone who is depressed, and reminding her that she is special to you, is important to ensuring that she does not feel alone, said Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. If she acknowledges she’s depressed, that’s a good sign, said Dr. Rosenthal. He recalled the story of a patient who stopped feeling suicidal after telling people he was close to how he was feeling. “When you shine the light on the shame, it gets better,” Dr. Rosenthal said. Your brother has an enviable job and two lovely children. He’s still ridiculously handsome even though he hasn’t gone to the gym for six months. It’s tempting to want to remind him of all these good things. Not only is that unlikely to boost his mood, it could backfire by reinforcing his sense that you just don’t get it, said Megan Devine, a psychotherapist and the author of “It’s O.K. That You’re Not O.K.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25067 - Posted: 06.08.2018

Jon Hamilton For six years now, life has been really good for James. He's got a great job as the creative director of an advertising firm in New York City. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids. And it's all been possible, he says, because for the past six years he's been taking a drug called ketamine. Before ketamine, James was unable to work or focus his thoughts. His mind was filled with violent images. And his mood could go from ebullient to dark in a matter of minutes. Ketamine "helped me get my life back," says James, who asked that we not use his last name to protect his career. Ketamine was developed as a human and animal anesthetic in the 1960s. And almost from the time it reached the market it's also been used as a mind-bending party drug. But ketamine's story took a surprising turn in 2006, when researchers at the National Institutes of Health showed that an intravenous dose could relieve severe depression in a matter of hours. Since then, doctors have prescribed ketamine "off label" to thousands of depressed patients who don't respond to other drugs. And pharmaceutical companies are testing several new ketamine-related drugs to treat depression. Johnson & Johnson expects to seek approval for its nasal spray esketamine later this year. Meanwhile, doctors have begun trying ketamine on patients with a wide range of psychiatric disorders other than depression. And there is now growing evidence it can help people with anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and perhaps even obsessive-compulsive disorder. © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 25054 - Posted: 06.04.2018

Alison Abbott Depression affects one in four people at some time in their lives. It is often difficult to treat, in part because its causes are still debated. Psychiatrist Edward Bullmore is an ardent proponent of a radical theory now gaining traction: that inflammation in the brain may underlie some instances. His succinct, broad-brush study, The Inflamed Mind, looks at the mounting evidence. The book outlines a persuasive case for the link between brain inflammation and depression. Bullmore pleads with the medical profession to open its collective mind, and the pharmaceutical industry to open its research budget, to the idea. He provides a current perspective on how the science of psychiatry is slowly emerging from a decades-long torpor. He sees the start of a shift in the Cartesian view that disorders of the body ‘belong’ to physicians, whereas those of the more ‘immaterial’ mind ‘belong’ to psychiatrists. Accepting that some cases of depression result from infections and other inflammation-causing disorders of the body could lead to much-needed new treatments, he argues. In 1989, during his clinical training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, Bullmore encountered a patient whom he calls Mrs P, who had severe rheumatoid arthritis. She left an indelible impression. He examined her physically and probed her general state of mind. He reported to his senior physician, with a certain pride in his diagnostic skill, that Mrs P was both arthritic and depressed. Replied the experienced rheumatologist dismissively, given her painful, incurable physical condition, “You would be, wouldn’t you?” © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited,

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 25036 - Posted: 05.30.2018

by Ariana Eunjung Cha Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. But what about men: Does their mental state affect a couple's ability to conceive? The latest research on this subject was published Thursday in the journal Fertility and Sterility and suggests that a link between mental health and fertility may exist for women and men. The study involved data from 1,650 women and 1,608 men who were recruited through the National Institutes of Health's Reproductive Medicine Network at six sites in the United States. Most of the participants were couples, and they were undergoing some kind of fertility treatment, such as ovarian stimulation medication or artificial insemination, but not in vitro fertilization. Based on a questionnaire, about 6 percent of the women and 2 percent of the men were rated as having major depression. While the number of men with major depression in the analysis was small — just 34 — an analysis found differences between them and the other men in the study. Those with major depression were 60 percent less likely to have a live birth than men who did not have major depression. More specifically, of the 34, only three of the couples, or less than 9 percent, achieved a live birth. That compares with nearly 25 percent having a live birth for couples in which the male partner did not have major depression. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 24987 - Posted: 05.17.2018

Jesara Sinclair · Amanda Spidel, now pregnant with her third child, experienced postpartum depression with her first two. (Jesara Sinclair/CBC) Amanda Spidel had trouble getting pregnant with her first child. After her son was finally born, the stress of conceiving turned into anxiety around his health. Before long, her anxiety turned into postpartum depression, a condition that affects about 14 per cent of mothers. She struggled with her emotions and how she thought she should feel about motherhood. "I only wanted to be nothing but grateful, but he was very colicky, he cried all the time, and there were moments where it was really hard," she said. "All I could think was I should just be happy. Why am I not happy? But it was because he was crying all the time." Spidel's family doctor asked her how she was feeling at every visit, and that's how she reached out for help. "One day I went in and he asked that question and I just broke down and said, 'You know what — I'm not okay.'" Now 32 and expecting her third child, Spidel is speaking out about her experience with postpartum depression for the first time in hopes that it will help other mothers struggling not feel so alone. "It was really hard to admit that there was something wrong with me and it needed to be fixed," she said. "It's an illness, it really is and I was sick." ©2018 CBC/Radio-Canada.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 24970 - Posted: 05.13.2018

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Small amounts of exercise could have an outsize effect on happiness. According to a new review of research about good moods and physical activity, people who work out even once a week or for as little as 10 minutes a day tend to be more cheerful than those who never exercise. And any type of exercise may be helpful. The idea that moving can affect our moods is not new. Many of us would probably say that we feel less cranky or more relaxed after a jog or visit to the gym. Science would generally agree with us. A number of past studies have noted that physically active people have much lower risks of developing depression and anxiety than people who rarely move. But that research centered on the relationships between exercise and psychological problems like depression and anxiety. Fewer past studies explored links between physical activity and upbeat emotions, especially in people who already were psychologically healthy, and those studies often looked at a single age group or type of exercise. On their own, they do not tell us much about the amounts or types of exercise that might best lift our moods, or whether most of us might expect to find greater happiness with regular exercise or only certain groups of people. So for the new review, which was published last month in The Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers at the University of Michigan decided to aggregate and analyze multiple past studies of working out and happiness. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 11: Motor Control and Plasticity
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 24930 - Posted: 05.02.2018

Edward Bullmore Depression runs in families, we know. But it is only very recently, and after considerable controversy and frustration, that we are beginning to know how and why. The major scientific discoveries reported last week by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium in Nature Genetics are a hard-won breakthrough in our understanding of this very common and potentially disabling disorder. If your parents have been depressed, the chances that you have been or will be depressed are significantly increased. The background risk of depression in the general population is about one in four – each of us has a 25% chance of becoming depressed at some point in our lives. And if your parents have been depressed, your risk jumps by a factor of three. However, controversy has long swirled around the question of nature or nurture. Is the depressed son of a depressed mother the victim of her inadequate parenting and the emotionally chilly, unloving environment she provided during the early years of his life? Or is he depressed because he inherited her depressive genes that biologically determined his emotional fate, regardless of her parenting skills? Is it nature or nurture, genetics or environment, which explain why depression runs in families? In the 20th century, psychiatrists ingeniously teased out some answers to these questions. For example, it was found that pairs of identical twins, with 100% identical DNA, were more likely to have similar experiences of depression than were pairs of non-identical twins, with 50% identical DNA. This indicated clearly that depression is genetically heritable. But well into the 21st century, the precise identity of the “genes for depression” remained obscure. Since 2000, there has been a sustained international research effort to discover these genes, but the field has been bedevilled by false dawns and inconsistent results. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 24923 - Posted: 04.30.2018

Ian Sample Science editor Scientists have raised hopes for more effective treatments for depression, a condition that affects over 300 million people globally, after mapping out the genetic foundations of the mental disorder in unprecedented detail. In the world’s largest investigation into the impact of DNA on the mental disorder, more than 200 researchers identified 44 gene variants that raise the risk of depression. Of those, 30 have never been connected to the condition before. By tripling the number of gene regions linked to depression, scientists now hope to understand more about why the disorder strikes some but not others, even when they have similar life experiences. The work could also help in the search for drugs to treat the condition which affects as many as one in four people over a lifetime. Sign up for Lab Notes - the Guardian's weekly science update Read more “If you have a lower genetic burden of depression, perhaps you are more resistant to the stresses we all experience in life,” said Cathryn Lewis, professor of statistical genetics and a senior author on the study at King’s College London. Previous work with twins suggests that genetics explains about 40% of depression, with the rest being driven by other biological factors and life experiences. If people are ranked according to the number of genetic risk factors for depression they carry, those in the top 10% are two-and-a-half times more likely to experience depression than those in the bottom 10%, Lewis said. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 24913 - Posted: 04.27.2018

Amina Zafar · CBC News Exercise helps protect against depression regardless of age or location in the world, a large new analysis suggests. Researchers pooled data from 49 studies to create a sample of more than 266,000 people on four continents to examine the role of physical activity in preventing depression. "The key message is that really when it comes to exercise and our mental health that something is better than nothing," said study author Simon Rosenbaum, senior research fellow in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Australia. "And if you're doing something, try to add a little bit more." The findings were published in Tuesday's issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. Rosenbaum said the meta-analysis builds on a growing body of evidence on how exercise can also be an important part of treatment for people living with mental illness. Those who followed weekly guidelines to get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or brisk walking, were less likely to develop depression over nearly eight years of followup compared with those who didn't meet the guideline. Rosenbaum, an exercise physiologist, said the challenge is to support people to take the first step to get active by offering enough social support, access and the right environment. Rosenbaum, who enjoys kayaking and rock climbing, suggested that people should do physical activity that they enjoy and are able to fit into their routine. That way, they're more likely to keep it up in the long term. ©2018 CBC/Radio-Canada.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 11: Motor Control and Plasticity
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 24898 - Posted: 04.25.2018

by Amy Ellis Nutt In a study published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers report that an esketamine trial resulted in a “rapid improvement in depressive symptoms” in people with severe, treatment-resistant depression. Forty-nine patients completed the four-week trial. Doses were administered twice weekly, and the esketamine quickly showed an effect. Just four hours after the initial dose, people receiving the drug experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms. Carla Canuso, who was one of the lead researchers in the study and works with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, called the results “robustly significant.” But a rare editorial signed by the majority of the board of the American Journal of Psychiatry that appeared in the same issue as the study expressed deep concerns about the danger of a drug with a history of abuse. “We felt it was a problem that really needed particular attention [because] it at least has the potential for causing similar problems to the opioids,” said Robert Freedman, editor of the journal. “That was our single overriding concern.” Ketamine was approved as a rapid-onset anesthetic decades ago and was an important battlefield tool for medics during the Vietnam War. During the 1970s and '80s, it became better known as Special-K for its psychedelic properties and later, more notoriously, made headlines as a date-rape drug. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 24887 - Posted: 04.21.2018

By BENEDICT CAREY In a widely read article on antidepressant withdrawal published on April 8, The New York Times invited readers to describe their experiences coming off the drugs. More than 8,800 people responded — teenagers, college students, new mothers, empty-nesters retirees. Dozens did write in to say the drugs had been lifesaving, literally so. “You fail to acknowledge that mood disorders can be lifelong, debilitating diseases requiring lifelong medical treatment,” wrote Rachel S., of New York. A different kind of reader query would likely have attracted thousands of responses of gratitude for drugs that offered relief to tens of millions of people with chronic mood problems. Some doctors chimed in, too, more than one calling our focus on withdrawal irresponsible and unduly alarming to those who might benefit from antidepressants. The volume and diversity of the other responses painted a different picture, showing how modern antidepressants, beginning with Prozac in 1987, have percolated through our culture and have shaped public understanding of mental health. These stories traced sharp demographic fault lines: Readers of different generations came to antidepressants, and tried to quit them, for different reasons. Readers in my age group and older (I’m 58) often came of age in an era in which depression was considered somehow a lapse in character. These readers typically reported having started on Prozac or one of its early competitors — Paxil, Zoloft — very often after a major setback like divorce, or the loss of a job, spouse or child. “My G.P. put me on Zoloft 28 years ago to deal with my husband’s cancer diagnosis,” wrote Carole Wilson, 74, of Alburnett, Iowa. Her husband has since died. “I have cut down from 200 milligrams to 100, but when I go lower I get horrible side effects, like nausea, jumpiness, crying a lot which I never do. I’m nearly 75; at this point I will continue because I cannot go through the withdrawal.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 24875 - Posted: 04.18.2018

/ By Joshua Brockman In May of last year, Dr. Chad Brummett spent part of a weekend in an Ann Arbor high school parking lot ensuring that the no-questions-asked drug take-back program he co-directs — called the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan OPEN) — went off without a hitch. The program is designed to give consumers in the area a convenient place to drop off unused or excess medications — ostensibly so they don’t end up being dumped or flushed into the environment, or land in the streets as part of the nation’s unchecked opioid epidemic. “We believe these programs may be an effective part of an all-of-the-above strategy.” Among the people stopping by that day, Brummett recalled: his own local pharmacist. “I thought that was really an eye-opening moment when I had my pharmacist attend the event to dispose of his pills,” said Brummett, who is also an associate professor of anesthesiology and the director of the Division of Pain Research at the University of Michigan. “I mean the irony is pretty deep, right?” According to a new analysis from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), some 4 million Americans reported misusing prescriptions in the prior month, and deaths related to opioid abuse are skyrocketing. Most people, the GAO suggests, get these drugs from friends or relatives, so providing a safe and convenient way for consumers to return unused medications, the thinking goes, could help. Currently, there are three approaches to disposing of unused prescription drugs that are sanctioned by the Drug Enforcement Administration. These include special disposal bins installed at pharmacies or other registered entities, mail-back programs, and take-back events like Brummett’s. Copyright 2018 Undark

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 24872 - Posted: 04.17.2018

Ketamine has "shown promise" in the rapid treatment of major depression and suicidal thoughts, a US study says. Ketamine has a reputation as a party drug but is licensed as an anaesthetic. The study found use of the drug via a nasal spray led to "significant" improvements in depressive symptoms in the first 24 hours. The Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was a "significant" study that brought the drug "a step closer to being prescribed on the NHS". The report by researchers from Janssen Research and Development, a Johnson and Johnson company, and Yale School of Medicine, is the first study into ketamine as a treatment for depression that has been done by a drug company. It is being published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The trial looked at 68 people at imminent risk of suicide. All patients were treated with a stay in hospital and anti-depressants. In addition, half were given ketamine in the form of esketamine (part of the ketamine molecule) in a nasal spray and half were given a placebo. The study found those using esketamine had a much greater improvement in depression symptoms at all points over the first four weeks of treatment. However, at 25 days the effects had levelled out. The study's authors suggest it could offer an effective rapid treatment for people severely depressed and at imminent risk of suicide and could help in the initial stages of treatment, as most anti-depressants take four to six weeks to become fully effective. The nasal spray is now undergoing phase three trials before it can be licensed for treatment. © 2018 BBC.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 24870 - Posted: 04.16.2018

By Gary Stix Self-help books often extoll the value of resilience. Last year one such primer—Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy—proclaimed: “By strengthening your inner power, your ability to handle stressful situations and your skill in persevering after setbacks threaten to fell you, you’ll develop real resilience—you’ll develop grit.” This implies weathering adverse life events is a character trait to be cultivated. Exercising, eating right and giving yourself mental pep talks certainly may help. But neuroscientists are learning the story is not quite so simple, and that some people are likely better equipped from birth to deal with adversity. During the last 15 years discoveries about why some brains excel at resisting stress have initiated a search for new drugs to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder by enhancing psychological resilience. One of these compounds has now entered early-stage clinical trials. If the drug is safe and works, it will undoubtedly encounter strong demand; depression—the world’s leading cause of mental disability—never enters full remission in more than half the patients treated with psychotherapies and existing antidepressants. But depression does not affect everyone, and the molecular biology of resilience for psychiatric disorders can be clearly seen by inspecting the brains of lab animals. About a third of mice exposed to severe stress (in the form of aggressive attacks by other rodents) seem to breeze through these assaults without developing the social withdrawal, listlessness or other depression and traumalike symptoms displayed by most of their rodent lab-mates. © 2018 Scientific America

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24851 - Posted: 04.11.2018