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Mental Health News for September 2008

Depression News, Polls and Quotes

As part of the main Information Centre, this section of the website is intended to provide month-by-month news about depression, anxiety and other related health concerns. Archives from previous months are available, and all polls from previous months remain active if you should wish to vote.

If you would like to help us to produce next month's news, polls and quotes, please click on the links by each applicable section and fill out the accompanying form.

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Quotes and Philosophical Thoughts for September 2008:

> "Depression is nourished by a lifetime of ungrieved and unforgiven hurts." - Unknown

> "There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage."  - Seneca

> "One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today." - Dale Carnegie

> “Whenever someone sorrows, I do not say, "forget it," or "it will pass," or "it could be worse" — all of which deny the integrity of the painful experience. But I say, to the contrary, "It is worse than you may allow yourself to think. Delve into the depth. Stay with the feeling. Think of it as a precious source of knowledge and guidance. Then and only then will you be ready to face it and be transformed in the process.” -  Peter Koestenbaum

> “In moments of discouragement, defeat, or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind—in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved. No man is so poor as not to have many of these small candles. When they are lighted, darkness goes away—and a touch of wonder remains.” - Tombstone Inscription in Britain

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Yerkes Researchers Create Animal Model Of Chronic Stress 6 Sep 2008, 11:00 am

In an effort to better understand how chronic stress affects the human body, researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, have created an animal model that shows how chronic stress affects behavior, physiology and reproduction.

Youth In Rwanda That Head Households Commonly Depressed 6 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

Of the orphaned youth who are heading households in rural Rwanda can be classified as depressed, according to a report released on September 1, 2008 in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Rwanda has one of the largest groups of orphans in the world, a result of the 1994 genocide and the epidemic of HIV infection.

Family Therapy With Medication Improves Depression In Bipolar Teens 5 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

In combination with medication, family-focused therapy appears to help curb depression symptoms in teens with bipolar disorder, according to a report released on September 1, 2008 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.  Bipolar disorders are characterized by occasional periods of elevated mood, known as mania.

Adolescents From Certain Races Participating In Religion May Become More Depressed 5 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

One of the few studies to look at the effects of religious participation on the mental health of minorities suggests that for some of them, religion may actually be contributing to adolescent depression. Previous research has shown that teens who are active in religious services are depressed less often because it provides these adolescents with social support and a sense of belonging.

Study: Teen Suicide Spike Was No Fluke 4 Sep 2008, 3:00 am

A troubling study in the September 3rd Journal of the American Medical Association raises new concerns about kids committing suicide in this country. After a one year spike in the number of suicides, doctors were hoping to see more normal numbers in the latest study, but they didn't. The number of kids committing suicide in the U.S. remains higher than expected, and that has doctors and parents looking for answers.

Seasonal Mood Swings Examined Using PET Scans 4 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

Examining brain scans taken at various times of the year, scientists have discovered that serotonin transporter activities, which help regulate the neurotransmitter seratonin, vary according to the season. According to the article, released on September 1, 2008 in Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, this regular variance could potentially lead to explanations of seasonal affective disorder and it's mood swings.

Exercise Helps With Body Image, Depression In Pregnancy 4 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

Exercise can help expectant moms in mind as well as body. A new study suggests that women who stay active and are more positive about their changing shapes might protect themselves from depression both during and after pregnancy. "Our study supports the psychological benefits of exercise to improve body image and lessen depressive symptoms," said lead study author Danielle Symons Downs, Ph.D.

More UK Psychiatrists See Devastating Consequences Of Relapse Among Severe Mentally Ill Than European Counterparts 3 Sep 2008, 3:00 am

More UK psychiatrists witness the dramatic consequences of relapse among the seriously mentally ill than their European colleagues, says a new international survey of psychiatrists released today (3nd September, 2008). This is despite major treatment advances. According to the findings of the survey (commissioned jointly by the WFMH and Eli Lilly and Company Ltd.

Connection Between A Mother's Mood And Her Baby's Sleep 3 Sep 2008, 1:00 am

If there's one thing that everyone knows about newborn babies, it's that they don't sleep through the night, and neither do their parents. But in fact, those first six months of life are crucial to developing the regular sleeping and waking patterns, known as circadian rhythms, that a child will need for a healthy future. Some children may start life with the sleep odds stacked against them, though, say University of Michigan sleep experts who study the issue.

New Study Finds That Add-On Therapy Improves Depressive Symptoms In Bipolar Disorder 3 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

Lingering depression is a serious and common problem in bipolar disorder, and does not resolve well with existing treatments.

Clinical News From Annals Of Internal Medicine, Sept. 2, 2008 2 Sep 2008, 3:00 am

1. Intermittent HIV Treatment Increases Risk for HIV-Related Infections and Death Even After Resuming Continuous Treatment A recent trial showed that continuous treatment of HIV infection is better than stopping treatment when the patient's immune status is good and restarting it when immune status deteriorates (interrupted treatment). At the end of this trial, patients assigned to intermittent treatment were begun on continuous treatment and observed for 18 months.

Variations In Antidepressant Prescribing Suggest Disparities In Provision Of Care 2 Sep 2008, 1:00 am

GPs prescribe lower volumes of antidepressants in areas with more Black or South Asian people, suggesting possible disparities in the provision of care. The study, published in the September issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, also reveals that higher volumes of antidepressants are prescribed by general practices in economically deprived areas, and by practices serving areas with a high prevalence of chronic illness.

Does Treatment Of Depression Improve Prognosis After Heart Attack? 1 Sep 2008, 4:00 am

Depression and heart disease are the two leading disorders with the strongest contributions to the global burden of disease. Depression and heart disease are also intertwined. In recent years, much attention has been given to depression following heart attack and its effects on prognosis. Several large scale studies have been undertaken (ENRICHD, SADHART, MIND-IT, CREATE) in which depression was targeted.

Americans Show Little Tolerance For Mental Illness Despite Growing Belief In Genetic Cause 1 Sep 2008, 1:00 am

A new study by University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Jason Schnittker shows that, while more Americans believe that mental illness has genetic causes, the nation is no more tolerant of the mentally ill than it was 10 years ago.

Gender Bias Seen In Response To Common Antidepressant 1 Sep 2008, 1:00 am

Women with depression may be much more likely than men to get relief from a commonly used, inexpensive antidepressant drug, a new national study finds. But many members of both sexes may find that it helps ease their depression symptoms. The persistence of a gender difference in response to the drug - even after the researchers accounted for many complicating factors - suggests that there's a real biological difference in the way the medication affects women compared with men.

Suicide Prevention And Antidepressants 1 Sep 2008, 12:00 am

Antidepressants are the cornerstone of treatment of depressive disorders in health care. Their efficacy in treating depression is undisputable, although it leaves room for improvement. However, recent reports also suggest that antidepressants might, in some rare cases, actually worsen suicidal tendencies instead of alleviating them. As a consequence, research has intensified to clarify this issue, and regulatory authorities in many countries have reconsidered their cost-benefit ratio.

Brain Study Could Lead To New Understanding Of Depression 30 Aug 2008, 1:00 am

Brain scientists have moved a step closer to understanding why some people may be more prone to depression than others. Dr Roland Zahn, a clinical neuroscientist in The University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences, and his colleagues have identified how the brain links knowledge about social behaviour with moral sentiments, such as pride and guilt.

UT Southwestern Researchers Find Antidepressants Need New Nerve Cells To Be Effective 29 Aug 2008, 4:00 am

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered in mice that the brain must create new nerve cells for either exercise or antidepressants to reduce depression-like behavior. In addition, the researchers found that antidepressants and exercise use the same biochemical pathway to exert their effects. These results might help explain some unknown mechanisms of antidepressants and provide a new direction for developing drugs to treat depression, said Dr.

Distinguishing A Bad Mood From Depression In Teenagers, From The Harvard Mental Health Letter 29 Aug 2008, 12:00 am

The teenage years are a time of emotional highs and lows. So how do you distinguish normal teenage mood swings and rebellion from actual depression? The September 2008 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter highlights some ways to tell. Although depression can occur at any age, it affects teens more than younger children. Depressive symptoms may start appearing around age 13, and often peaks between 16 and 24.

Potential New Targets For Antidepressant Medications 28 Aug 2008, 1:00 am

The news about antidepressant medications over the past several years has been mixed. The bad news from large multicenter studies such as STAR*D is that current antidepressant medications are effective, but not as effective as one might hope. Thus, there is a significant need for new treatment mechanisms for depression. On that front, there has been mixed news as well.

Antidepressant Medications May Have Alternate Use 28 Aug 2008, 12:00 am

A new study published in the August 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry finds that hippocampal neurogenesis (neuron birth in the hippocampus part of the brain) might be used by the monoaminergic antidepressants (related to the secretion of monoamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine

Suicidal Thoughts Not Uncommon Among US Students 19 Aug 2008, 8:00 am

A recent study found that suicidal thoughts among US college students is more common than might be expected, after more than half of 26,000 students surveyed at 70 colleges and universities reported having at least one episode of suicidal thinking at some point in their lives. 15 per cent of students also reported having seriously considered attempting suicide and more than 5 per cent said they had tried to commit suicide at least once.

Actavis Receives Approval Of Generic Wellbutrin XL(R) 300mg In The United States 19 Aug 2008, 3:00 am

Actavis Group, the international generic pharmaceuticals company, announced that it has received approval from the US Food & Drug Administration to market Bupropion Hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) 300mg. Distribution of the product will commence immediately. Bupropion Hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL), available in 300mg strength, are the generic equivalent of Wellbutrin XL® for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

Driving Ability May Be Impaired By Antidepressants, New Research Finds 18 Aug 2008, 3:00 am

People taking prescription antidepressants appear to drive worse than people who aren't taking such drugs, and depressed people on antidepressants have even more trouble concentrating and reacting behind the wheel. These were the conclusions of a study released Sunday at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. University of North Dakota psychologists Holly Dannewitz.

Studies Show 'Hope Therapy' Fights Depression 18 Aug 2008, 12:00 am

A growing body of research suggests that there is a potent way to fight symptoms of depression that doesn't involve getting a prescription. This potent weapon? Hope. "We're finding that hope is consistently associated with fewer symptoms of depression. And the good news is that hope is something that can be taught, and can be developed in many of the people who need it," said Jennifer Cheavens, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University.


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