Depression and Health

Mental anguish is hard on your health. People suffering from depression have three times the risk of experiencing a cardiac event. In fact, depression affects the entire body. It attacks the immune system, resulting in long term effects. Higher rates of diabetes and osteoporosis are found in people suffering from depression, for example.

Recent Posts on Depression

As Mental Health Awareness Month Winds Down...

Each of us can think about our own mental wellness—for the month of May and beyond.

Sleep Apnea May Raise Risk for Depression in Men

Not only can sleep apnea raise your risk for heart problems, excessive daytime fatigue, and liver issues, but a new study finds that it also doubles the risk for depression in men between the ages of 35 and 83.

How Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that yoga can have the opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain.

Happy Tea Drinkers?

By David Myers on May 26, 2015 in Talk Psych
Are those who drink several cups of tea a day at less risk of depression than those who have little or none? If so, does this indicate that tea drinking helps protect against depression? Eleven studies suggest some answers.

Be the Hope

In April 1989, a stranger came to visit me in the most unlikely of places, a psychiatric ward and gave me the gift of hope that changed my life forever, and continues to transform the lives of thousands of people around the world. Although her visit was short, she taught me that a random act of kindness can give hope and change a life forever.

Wrong Self-Appraisals Result from the Use of Wrong Criteria

Mental conflicts, including intrusive thoughts or emotions (e.g., rumination on trauma or other negative events, self-blame, shame, hopelessness, guilt, anger, or sadness) result from both unawareness that the self-schemas or appraisals are regulated by one’s pattern schemas, and the use of wrong or distorted pattern schemas for self-evaluations.

Exploring Facebook Depression

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on May 25, 2015 in Media Spotlight
There's no question that Facebook is popular given its 1.23 billion active users in countries around the world. In many ways, Facebook seems to be a perfect social tool for staying in contact with friends and family members without ever needing to leave the house. So why do so many Facebook users report feeling depressed and lonely? The answer may be surprising.

The Sad Case of The Duggars

How The Duggars Situation Contributed To Sex Abuse

Four Tips for Loving Someone with Depression

What do you say and how do you help someone who has depression? What do you do when you fear your loved one’s depression may be turning suicidal? There are many ways you can help.

The Drama of the Drone Warrior

By Yosef Brody Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in Limitless?
The new drone warfare movie starring Ethan Hawke may be fiction but ironically it gives a better sense of the workings and effects of our actual drone program than has been offered so far by government officials.

The Melancholy of Anatomy: Excessive Weight and Depression

Does a depressive disorder lead to weight gain or does weight gain lead to a depressive disorder? Studies in the past few years seem to indicate a “bidirectional relationship” between excessive weight and depression, with major public health implications.

Is the DSM Turning into a Train Wreck?

Psychiatry is rapidly losing faith in the DSM. The National Institute for Mental Health has already rejected it as a symptom guide for research. The Europeans are openly skeptical. Yet the trainee psychiatrists are still obliged to memorize it and pretend that the DSM illnesses (“bipolar disorder,” “major depression,” and “social anxiety disorder”) are real.

Life Unfiltered: Do We Mask Depression Online?

Are there ways we can authentically share ourselves online? How can we show how life is a balance of good moments—the pretty pictures with the fun filters—along with harder, more complex times?

Not Sure if You Should Take Medication?

Many women wonder why we don’t just prescribe hormone replacements if part of the problem may be their hormones.

Lubitz Likely Practiced Mass Murder by Airplane

By Kathryn Seifert on May 18, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
New details are still emerging about the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps in March of this year. Many are focused on the fact that co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had been diagnosed with a mental illness as being his major risk factor for suicide and mass murder. Mental illness alone is NOT a risk factor for violence or mass murder.

Be Very Afraid: Uncertainty, Fear, and Achievement

Adventure is defined by uncertain outcome. The most significant moments of our lives, the most important decisions and the most meaningful choices are characterized, in part, by uncertainty and by fear. Without uncertainty we have a safe, contained, and predictable experience; we don’t have adventure.

Can We Really Die of a Broken Heart?

Medical research shows that poets and songwriters are right--we can indeed die of a broken heart.

How to Deal with Your Moody Teenager

How to Get Through to a Moody Teenager Who Doesn't Want and Resents Your Advice or Solutions

The Hidden Costs of Overparenting

Why are today's college students are so anxious and insecure?

Suicidal Friends & Relatives: a Cartoon Story

By Anneli Rufus on May 15, 2015 in Stuck
A cartoon story about suicidal friends and relatives.

Self-Talk: Create-Your-Own Anxious, Depressed or Happy Moods

Your self-talk can keep you feeling good. It also can make you prone to slide into depression or anxiety. This quiz can help you become aware of ways in which your self-talk habits may be helping or hurting your emotional state.

Depression, Posture and the Role of Exercise

Can we alleviate depression through exercise and changes in posture and deportment?

Campus Suicide

Conflict between expectations and forlorn self

How To Let Hope and Time Guide You Through Depression

When depression becomes your familiar state, it can be scary to wade into the uncharted territory of feeling better.

Fake Your Way to Happiness

The idea that our identities are not set in stone but novels in the making is exhilarating. It grants us freedom, especially if we are depressed, to create a more vital character.

After the Storm

By Frances Kuffel on May 12, 2015 in What Fat Women Want
Depression teaches helplessness and to really kick it in the ass, I have to get moving, despite my co-occurring social anxiety: moving with intent, with priority, with the knowledge that some of the social interactions called for will tire me, moving for the sake of my dog or someone else.

Thank You Notes

Now that my final grades are turned in and I have found some time to sit at my computer, “if you wouldn’t mind” I wanted to first get caught up on a few overdue Thank You notes. Yes, this short blog is inspired by the always entertaining and witty Thank You Notes ritual Jimmy Fallon does on the Tonight Show every week.

Can Psychological Screening Prevent Pilot Suicide?

For every intentional crash there are hundreds of unintentional crashes. The money spent on a wild goose chase trying to keep a suicidal pilot from intentionally crashing would be better spent on training non-suicidal pilots to prevent unintentional (pilot error) crashes.

April (and May, and Probably June) Is the Cruelest Month

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on May 11, 2015 in Grand Rounds
Depression and even suicidal behavior increase in spring. But why?

How to Lose Sadness and Find Happiness

We have sad experiences happen to us and they are just too hard and we don’t want them to ever happen again. So, we put up our walls and do things that prevent us from feeling pain. What we don’t realize is that by trying to prevent pain, we also block happiness.