Psychological abuse and childhood neglect are strongly associated with depression in adulthood, according to a meta-analysis of childhood trauma and depression published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders. “The findings clearly highlight the potential impact of the more ‘silent’ types of childhood maltreatment (other than physical and sexual abuse) on the development of depression,” the researchers conclude.
“Doctors say one of the best anti-depressants isn't even a drug, it's exercise,” CNN reports. “Experts say many cases of depression can be treated effectively with, for example, a pair of running shoes.”
Joan Cook, professor of Psychology at Yale, writes than in her work with military veterans she realized that her psychotherapy techniques mattered much less than her training had indicated. Instead, what mattered was “the bond forged over years of therapy,” known as “the therapeutic alliance.”
NPR reports on study, published in BMJ, that found computer-assisted therapy to be no more effective than care provided by a primary care doctor. "We do still need the human touch or the human interaction, particularly when people are depressed."
“My vegetable beds have even buoyed me through more acute stressors, such as my medical internship, my daughter’s departure for college, and a loved one’s cancer treatment,” writes Dr. Daphne Miller. Now neuroscientists are attempting to study the antidepressant effects of soil microbes in hopes of unlocking the secrets of a powerful mood enhancer.
In this month’s Schizophrenia Bulletin, a person diagnosed with autism, OCD, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and major depressive disorder provides a first-hand close reading and description of their own psychiatric experiences.
Researchers recently completed a first of its kind, large-scale international survey of attitudes about mental health and they were surprised by the results. According to their analysis published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, people in developed countries, like the United States, are more likely to assume that ‘mental illnesses’ are similar to physical illnesses and biological or genetic in origin, but they are also much less likely to think that individuals can overcome these challenges and make a full recovery.
From 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%, according to a report published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
In 2014, then National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) director, Thomas Insel, speculated that ketamine “might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.” A recent review of the research suggests that while ketamine may produce a rapid short-term improvement in depression, the effect is short-lived and the potential for addiction and dependence warrants considerable caution.
A new study on the depression symptoms of over three-thousand patients challenges the criteria used for diagnosing major depression with the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). Current diagnostic systems are based on an assumption that the symptoms of depression point to a common underlying “illness," but research suggests that this framework may be outdated and oversimplified.
New research suggests that more frequent in-person contact lessens the risk of depression in older adults. The study, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, found that in Americans over fifty the more face-to-face contact they had with children, family and friends, the less likely they were to develop depressive symptoms.
ProPublica explains why a university mental health center contacted the estranged parents of a student over eighteen without her consent, and why another student’s personal counseling records were used against her in a sexual-assault investigation.
In a bellwether case, plaintiffs allege that Pfizer did not adequately warn patients that Zoloft (sertraline) would cause birth defects. The case is scheduled in Federal Court in March, and the verdict will have significant implications for future suits.
Results of a new study reveal that sixty-nine percent, or more than two-thirds, of patients prescribed antidepressant drugs have never, in their medical history, met the criteria for major depression. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry this month, also found that several demographic factors, like race and gender, were associated with the prescription of antidepressants.
A massive number of meta-analyses of antidepressant clinical trials have financial conflicts of interest and are unduly influenced by pharmaceutical companies, according to a review to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. Researchers also found that meta-analyses with industry ties almost never report any negative findings in their abstracts.
The Scientific American reports on a new analysis of antidepressant trials revealing that the vast majority of meta-analyses have industry links and suppress negative results. The results show that meta-analyses with industry support were much more favorable to the drugs than independent studies. For example, “meta-analyses by industry employees were 22 times less likely to have negative statements about a drug than those run by unaffiliated researchers.”
People diagnosed with severe depression show the same changes in brain scans when they respond to a placebo as they do when they take an actual antidepressant, according to a new study. Researchers also found that those whose symptoms were decreased by a placebo were more likely to report relief from antidepressant drugs.
Despite concerns about the drug’s necessity, effectiveness, and side-effects, Flibanserin (Addyi) has come to market as the first drug designed to increase sexual desire in women. Many are concerned that the drug will be prescribed “off-label,” in populations that the drug was not approved to treat. This could have serious consequences as taking flibanserin with alcohol, oral contraception, or other medications can significantly increase the risk of side-effects.
The BMJ states that it takes on average eight weeks from submission of an article to publication. The review process for Restoring Study 329 took a year, with a three-month review process involving six reviewers to begin with, and then a further four reviews in a four-month process, leading to a provisional acceptance in March that was withdrawn.
There is accumulating evidence that taking SSRI antidepressants increases the risk of bleeding and other complications during surgery, according to a review published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.
The BBC reports that the number of people in Scotland taking antidepressants has increased by 5% in the past year with most of the patients being women and those in the poorest parts of the country. “We are now looking at the flabbergasting statistic of more than one in seven people in Scotland being prescribed antidepressants this year,” Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said. “We urgently have to look at better alternatives than simply parking people on medication in the hope things don't get any worse, with no aspiration for complete recovery."
One of psychiatry’s most obvious vulnerabilities is the fact that various so-called antidepressant drugs induce homicidal and suicidal feelings and actions in some people, especially late adolescents and young adults. This fact is not in dispute, but psychiatry routinely downplays the risk, and insists that the benefits of these drugs outweigh any risks of actual violence that might exist.
Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The study, which aimed to examine the determinants of TRD, found that the "regular use of benzodiazepines was a particularly strong correlate of TRD."
NPR reports on how ketamine is being used off-label to treat depression. While highlighting some of the reported benefits, the report also details some limitations. “One is that its ability to keep depression at bay can fade pretty quickly,” another limitation is the price, which can run “about $500 for each injection and $1,000 for an intravenous infusion.” There is also concern that ketamine clinics are opening up all over the country “as pure business models."
While publication bias has been known to overestimate the efficacy of antidepressant treatments, a new study suggests that research on the use of psychotherapy in depression suffers from a similar bias.
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