Depression Articles

Psychology Around the Net: March 21, 2015

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

stigma stop bigst

Learn more about the stigma of mental illness, how to use your memory to make better connections, the rampant misuse of ADHD medications among college students, and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net!

Combating the Stigma of Mental Illness: When as many as “as many as 25 percent of adults and 40.3 percent of adolescents reported suffering an episode of mental illness within a 12-month period,” why are we still stuck in a world filled with stigma?

The Unnecessary Financial Burden Caused by Mental Illness

Friday, March 20th, 2015

depression after divorce smallIt has been just a year since I returned to see my psychiatrist for treatment. I was depressed and needed help. As an out-of-network provider, each month I submit her bill and complete the claim form for my insurance company and then I receive a percentage back. The reimbursement averages about 60 percent per month. The rest is my responsibility, or should I say, my family’s responsibility.

Over the past year, my husband and I have depleted our savings as a result of paying for all of my treatment, and my treatment is still ongoing. This includes therapy three times per week and co-pays for my psychiatrist who manages my medications, as well as co-pays for ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Add to that the new therapy group I will begin next week and the cost equals thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The Path to True Compassion

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

self-loveSometimes bad boundaries can disguise themselves as compassion.

I didn’t realize this until eight or nine years into therapy. I always thought I opened my arms for anyone and everyone who needed help because of my years training to be a nun, as my responsibility to “let peace begin with me,” the final refrain to “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” a favorite hymn we sang at St. Charles Borromeo Grade School.

Only in the safe place of therapy did I discover that much of my rescuing others had more to do with a fear of setting boundaries than with my generosity. Yes, I have a good heart and am extremely sensitive to the hurting people in this world. But I am also scared to death to say, “Stop. I’m sorry. I can’t help you.”

Secret Mia

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

what is critical thinking?I have been a binge eater for as long as I can remember, but I can remember specifically when it evolved into bulimia. I was 17 years old and almost 200 pounds. I hated to throw up so I did research to find a way around it and this is how I discovered laxatives. I still abuse laxatives and enemas almost 10 years later. It is a lot more controlled because I’m not in denial about the illness.

For the longest time, I referred to it as “my eating thing.” I didn’t see it as a big deal because it had insinuated itself into my life as second nature. I would eat anywhere from 800 to 1,500 calories in one sitting and then take laxatives to purge.

Perfectionism: Time to Get Tough with that Out-of-Touch Inner Voice

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

woman thinkingI remember leaving high school and feeling like the party had stopped. I was an adult now, and I was looking around anxiously for someone to tell me what to do.

At 18, I couldn’t let go and just be a freshman college student looking for my way in the world. I thought I was supposed to already know everything about where I was headed and who I would become. I rarely took a night off from studying and rarely ever drank — yes, I was that college student.

Psychology Around the Net: March 14, 2015

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

woman awake watching clock insomia

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Despite losing an extra hour this week, we hope you’ll make some time for today’s Psychology Around the Net, which takes a look at how daylight-saving time can affect your relationships, what teen depression really looks like, how your psychologist feels about dating apps, and more.

Daylight-Saving Time Is Bad for Your Relationships: We already know that poor sleep leads to a wealth of mental and physical health problems, but losing that extra hour during daylight-saving time (or any time) could lead to relationship problems, too.

Bipolar Girl in a Unipolar World

Friday, March 13th, 2015

blue womanThere are two types of bipolar disorder listed in the DSM-V. Bipolar I has one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes (both manic and depressive). Bipolar II has at least one hypomanic episode and major depressive episodes.

I have bipolar II. I have a specific cycle and triggers that can create a very precarious situation. It is almost impossible for me to tell whether the mania or the depression comes first because it’s so cyclical. It flows into one mood and then into another. I also have a rapid cycle so I can have mania and depressive cycles multiple times in one day.

The danger is in the depressive episodes for me. I get so consumed with a darkness that suffocates me. The relief came from either self-mutilation or prescription drug abuse. I needed to mentally check out because I couldn’t cope with the emptiness.

Would it Help to Restrict the Means to Suicide?

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Helping by Restricting the Means to SuicideMost people think that a suicidal person is one determined individual who will try to complete their suicide by any means possible, for as long as it takes.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you survive a suicide attempt, the chances you’ll die by suicide in the future are drastically reduced. About 90 percent of people who live after a suicide attempt eventually die, not by suicide, but by some other means.

So if suicide is really an act born out of desperation, hopelessness and ready means, couldn’t it be possible to try and address it not only by attacking the mood, but also be addressing the availability of the means?

Letting Go of the Things You Cannot Change

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

woman in deep thoughtI met with a new doctor yesterday. I’ve been interviewing them like babysitters lately.

“Do you believe there is such a thing as a mood disorder?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he replied. “At least in language there is.”

“When and why did you decide to break from conventional medicine and practice a more holistic approach?”

“Eight or nine years ago. I was tired of looking at the lists of medications people were taking. I couldn’t, in good conscience, prescribe meds to treat the side effects of other meds.”

4 Stress-Busting Steps for a More Restful Night

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

good-sleep-improve-cognition

Do you tend to ruminate on the negative events of your past or the fears of tomorrow? Many of us do. When we allow this pattern to continue, however, daily stresses and traumas have a way of building themselves up in our psyches, and even in our bodies, causing chronic mental and physical tension. This can make getting to sleep at night a very real challenge.

More than three in 10 adults in the U.S. suffer from brief symptoms of insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. One in 10 has a chronic insomnia disorder in which the sufferer has trouble sleeping at least three times a week for at least three months. Symptoms of anxiety and depression are often the driving forces of these sleepless nights which can eventually turn into a continual cycle of depression, no sleep, more depression, and so forth.

But why is it so hard to relax at night?

Experts Share their Biggest Lessons about Depression

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Experts Share their Biggest Lessons About DepressionDepression often is misunderstood in our society. One reason may be because it’s a variable illness. It can look different in different individuals.

There are gradients of depression. For instance, the depression may be mild — abating after making lifestyle changes — or more moderate — requiring therapy and medication. And there’s no single underlying cause. People may become depressed for a range of reasons and factors.

To clear up some of the confusion, we asked clinicians and researchers who specialize in depression to share the biggest lessons they’ve learned about the illness. Below you’ll find 10 insights on everything from what triggers depression to how it’s treated.

Pharmacogenetic Testing May Change Psychiatric Treatments for ADHD, Depression

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Pharmacogenetic Testing May Change Psychiatric Treatments for ADHD, Depression

Prescribing medications has long been a trial-and-error approach for nearly any medication you could take. That’s been especially true in psychiatry, where there are dozens of medications that could be prescribed for common mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What if doctors had a better idea ahead of time which medications may work better for you than others, based upon your unique biology and biochemical makeup? They could then make prescribing decisions with a lot more knowledge, finding you a medication that would have a higher chance of working the first time.

This process is called pharmacogenetic testing — and it’s time is fast approaching.

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