Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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Has Your Doctor Told You These 6 Brutal Depression Truths?

You'd be surprised at everything you DON'T know.

Depression isn't just about being unhappy about something or feeling blue. It's a legitimate and very serious medical condition with many emotional, physical, behavioral and cognitive symptoms. It isn't inevitable for anyone living in the modern world, and it also doesn't mean that you're a bad or weak person if you suffer from depression.

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Psychology Around the Net: June 27, 2015

Learn about how mental illness affects teens later in life, how one Orange Is The New Black storyline can teach you about depression, antidepressants and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Mentally Ill Teens Struggle With School and Work as Adults: Recent research analysis shows teens who struggle with chronic health issues -- particularly mental health issues -- are more than twice as likely to drop out...
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Psychology Around the Net: May 2, 2015

Learn about mindfulness and depression, how to gauge your emotional intelligence, ways to become happier, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Mindfulness May Be as Good as Meds for Staving Off Depression: One study suggests mindfulness may be as good as depression medication, perhaps offering an alternative for folks who don't want to take medication long-term.

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5 More Tips for Dealing with the Overwhelming Fatigue of Depression

One of the hardest symptoms of depression to manage is the overwhelming fatigue. Everything seems to require so much effort, which you just can't access. It feels like you're moving through mud. It might take longer to complete projects at work or chores at home. Getting off the couch or out of bed may feel impossible.

The key is to have your depression properly treated. And with treatment, you'll start to feel better and gain more energy. But there are things you can do on your own, in addition to working with a therapist and/or taking medication.
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Psychology Around the Net: April 18, 2015

Can you spot a genuine smile from a fake one? How much do you know about creating a mental health plan for your child before college? What about true happiness -- do you actually experience it?

Learn about these topics and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Psychology of Smiling: Can You Tell a Fake Smile From a Genuine One? Psychologist Richard Wiseman and his new photographic test for checking empathy will help you find out.

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Why Success Sometimes Starts with Failure

Every year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation holds a Fail Fest, where they celebrate a valuable lesson they learned while investing money into a loser organization that has absolutely bombed. According to this brilliant team, failure is chock-full of wisdom -- one of the most effective way to absorb key insights -- so it’s best to sit down with that uncomfortable feeling for awhile and explore what went wrong.

I have always loved stories of failure -- much more than tales of success. Nothing has ever come easily to me.

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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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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Getting Over the Fear of Taking Medication for Depression

Nine years ago I decided to wean off all my meds and take natural supplements instead.

One evening I was fixing a magnesium concoction, chatting with a friend. We were talking about my depression, and this new holistic route I was taking.

"You have everything you need inside you to get better," she said.

Yeah, I suppose I do, I thought. I mean, why would God create you with some missing pieces?
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

What Does Treatment-Resistant Really Mean?

In his book Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics author Ziad K. Abdelnour writes, "One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder."

I face that decision every day.

Twenty times a day.

Several times an hour.

That one line contains the kernel of so much of my struggle, which is why I pray the Serenity Prayer every five minutes or so:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.
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