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How To Beat The Winter Blues

Allison Van Dusen has a nice writeup of Seasonal Affective Disorder over at :

For sufferers, January and February tend to be the months when this form of depression, clinically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), hits hardest. Those battling a severe case can have trouble getting any work done. They completely withdraw from social and professional connections and may even watch their libidos crash.

Watch out for 's annoyingly intrusive advertising though. One ad came on the screen for British Airways and there was...
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Straight Teeth & Happiness

It was hard to miss a story titled "Straighter teeth won't guarantee happiness" if only because the premise sounded pretty strange. Sure enough, scientists in England have spent 20-years studying a variety of aspects of the lives of people who have gotten braces. Unfortunately, having braces and straight teeth does not mean that life will be any happier than if you remained with your natural smile.
When they were questioned as adults, none of them regretted having had their teeth improved and most were...
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Cancer: Lab Results Nobody Wants to Hear

My oldest brother has been living with ulcerative colitis for years now. It's one of those chronic medical conditions that can usually be well managed with a healthy lifestyle, eating right, and medications. But during a routine exam, inoperable polyps were discovered. Surgery was conducted last week to remove all or part of his colon, depending upon what the surgeons found when they went in. They discovered that it looked like they could just remove a part of his colon, conduct a biopsy...
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Do social workers suffer from post traumatic stress disorder too?

A recent article posted on Science titled "Social Workers may indirectly experience post-traumatic stress", discusses the impact that post traumatic stress disorder affected clients can have on their social worker. Research conducted at the University of Georgia; found that "repeatedly hearing the stories of trauma victims doubles the risk of social workers themselves experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder".

In the study, assistant professor Brian Bride, found that 15% of social workers whom participated in the study met the diagnostic criteria for...
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Maternal Stress & Child Development

It seems logical that if a mother is under significant stress during pregnancy that the child may be at increased risk for some problems. Research is beginning to accumulate that confirms this belief, and a report at the BBC discusses new research in the area. Specifically, a recent study found that women experiencing relationship stress during pregnancy had children with lower IQ and higher anxiety.
The work suggests maternal stress is a true risk factor in its own right, although Professor Glover acknowledged that...
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Antidepressants and the Elderly

A report on a study about antidepressants putting the elderly at risk for bone fractures hit the wires earlier this week. Researchers essentially found that older people being treated for depression with SSRIs were at double the risk to break bones compared to elderly individuals not on the medication.
"What we found was that there was a twofold risk of clinical fractures in these elderly patients, and this is over and above the fact that they already had other risk factors for fractures,"...
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Comeback Lines

People who take medication to treat a mental illness often face opinions and advice from friends (and strangers) whose ignorant ideas about medication come from stigma-reinforcing sources that lack an understanding of the science, evidence-based treatment, and/or real experience of mental illness.

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