ADHD and ADD

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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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Are New Treatments for Depression Right Under Our Nose?


“The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.” - Edith Wharton
Yogic breathing, a phone app, and laughing gas may be some of the best new remedies for depression.

Some interesting pilot studies in 2014 are providing hope for the future of depression. Curiously, these new possibilities all involve the mouth and nose. Breathing a certain way, speaking a certain way, and inhaling nitrous oxide all may have potential in reducing symptoms and breaking the cycle of depression.

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Antidepressant

Sidestepping Depression Stigma

According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. These figures aren’t too dissimilar to those for cancer; it is estimated that more than one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Despite these statistics regarding the prevalence of mental health issues, they haven’t been addressed with nearly the same attention or support as physical illnesses. This could have to do with the stigma surrounding mental health.

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Antidepressant

Reasons for Living: World Mental Health Day

Reasons for living never come cheap
Even your best ones can put me to sleep
What I am saying, or trying to say
Is that there must be a better way
...
~ Duncan Sheik

I have bipolar II disorder, which means the depressive side is far more prominent than the manic one.

Recently, when I mentioned my suicidal ideation to my psychiatrist, he challenged me to come up with five reasons to live, write them down and put them where I could see them.

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Antidepressant

Depressed? You Should Be in Therapy & Taking an Antidepressant

If you're like most people with depression, you probably should be engaging in two simultaneous treatments -- some type of psychotherapy combined with an antidepressant medication. That is, if you have moderate to severe depression and you've had it for less than 2 years.

So says yet another study confirming what we've now known for decades... The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that you can expect full recovery from such a depressive episode when you employ the full double-barrel of depression treatment.

Yet most people don't -- they opt for one or the other, but not both at the same time. In making this choice, most people are short-changing themselves... And their chances at recovery from depression in a shorter period of time.

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Antidepressant

5 Medications or Supplements that Made Me More Depressed

The more medications and supplements I try in an effort to minimize my symptoms of depression and anxiety, the more I realize that every edible item you place in your mouth has a risk associated with it. Even the natural ones that are supposedly made from cats’ claws, wild yams, or some organic plant. Moreover, you need to read about its potential side effects and inform yourself before you place the thing on your tongue, because chances are your doctor won’t be well-versed in all the strange reactions it could cause.
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Antidepressant

How to Deal with the Side Effects of Your Meds


When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, the first medication I took was called Abilify. It was a new drug, one that was supposed to protect against metabolic issues like gaining weight.

It would’ve been fine but it had a nasty side effect no one told me about -- the constant, restless feeling of needing to move. I couldn’t sit still and I was so uncomfortable that I’d take miles-long walks every day just to ease the feeling. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin.

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Defeating Depression with a Pill

There was literally a time when patients suffering from depression used to talk about their problems. But times have changed and now talk therapy is becoming a rarer form of treatment in favor of psychotropic drugs.

A pair of studies, which ran from 1998 to 2007, tracked the use of antidepressants versus psychotherapy to treat depression among inpatients. Both were a followup of sorts to similar research done a decade earlier which saw a doubling in the amount of outpatients treated with antidepressants for this population. From 1987 to 1997, the percentage of patients prescribed antidepressant medication rose from 37.3 percent to 74.5 percent.

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Antidepressant

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Mental Illness Diagnosis

When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago it was like walking in a fog. I was lost in my delusions, I was confused about what was happening to me and I was trying to grapple with what exactly reality was.

My family was suffering too.

They had no background with mental illness and no frame of reference about what to expect with it.

I had asked for help a few times but they just thought my skewed thinking was a result of smoking marijuana and that once I stopped everything I would be fine. It didn’t click for them until after my first major episode, when they took me to the hospital and I was finally diagnosed.

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Antidepressant

5 Mistakes People Make When Managing Their Depression

When you’re treating any illness, making mistakes is inevitable. After all, making mistakes is how you learn, grow and get better.

Depression is a difficult illness, which colors how you see and feel about yourself. So, if you find yourself making the “mistakes” below, try not to judge yourself. Rather, view these mistakes as stepping stones, as signposts that lead you in a more helpful direction.

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