Antidepressants for Dogs: Canines Inadvertently Subjected to Myth

Regular readers of my articles will know that I have strong views on the use of antidepressants. These drugs are marvelous lifesavers for extremely depressed people but were never intended to be used long-term. That is, until the pharmaceutical companies started the myth that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The idea that depression is caused by an imbalance in the brain’s chemistry is unproven. It is merely a theory. And yet it continues to be spoken about as it if were a given. You can read about my previous articles on this subject at The … Continue reading

Depression Is Still a Stigma

Despite government educational campaigns costing millions and many famous faces coming out of the closet to reveal that the “black dog” has figured prominently on their lives, the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness in general lives on. In a recent Australian survey published in the journal Biomed Central, it was found that 20%, or one in five people, said they would not work with someone suffering from depression. This is despite the fact that depression alone affects a significant proportion of the population. The survey was conducted by Professor Kathy Griffith and Professor Helen Christiansen of the Australian National … Continue reading

Depression and Sex

In a surprising report, an Australian study has shown that women who are depressed have more sex than women who describe themselves as “happy.” This phenomenon occurs in both single-status women and those who are in committed long-term relationships. The survey was conducted among women in Melbourne, Australia, and was presented at a recent mental health conference. The researchers concluded that women suffering from mild to moderate depression have over 30% more sexual activity than their happier counterparts. They also reported that their sex lives consisted of a more varied range of sexual activities, and, if single, were more likely … Continue reading

Meet a Blogger – Beth McHugh!

Today we are joined by awesome blogger Beth McHugh. Beth, thanks for being here with us today! How long have you blogged for Since the beginning…..December 2005. What topics do you blog about? I blog on Mental Health. I could use some mental health right about now. What is your favorite thing about blogging for I like to bring what is largely a taboo subject out of the closet where it can be discussed in a friendly and comfortable environment. Mental illness affects most people, either directly or indirectly, yet it still remains something that many people do … Continue reading

Hormonal Swings and Depression

While the symptoms of PMS are very familiar to many women, those who have a history of anxiety and depression or who currently suffer from anxiety and depression may notice that the changing hormonal levels during the month bring about increased emotional problems. The week before menstruation is well-known by women and feared by men as being the most emotionally difficult week of the month. That makes for twelve to thirteen “difficult” weeks per year for women of childbearing age. However, the ebb and flow of hormones that bring about these changes can have quite a dramatic effect of the … Continue reading

Depression in the elderly

All age groups are prone to depression and the elderly are no different. However, it is only recently that significant studies have been conducted to determine the occurrence and form that depression takes in the elderly. Studies of residents in nursing homes estimate that up to 20% of residents may be suffering from major depression. Depression can sometimes slowly develop over a long period of time, and thus go unrecognized until the condition becomes quite severe. This is especially the case in the elderly, who may easily put down their change of mood to the aging process. Depression in the … Continue reading

Low birth-weight babies at risk of adult depression

A UK study has highlighted the risks of giving birth to full-term, low birth weight babies in a comprehensive study of over 5000 British adults. Researchers found a direct link between low birth weight and the incidence of depression in these babies as they reached adulthood. The results of this fascinating study emphasize the importance of maternal prenatal health and the subsequent emotional wellbeing of their babies. Researchers at the University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine studied over 5000 adults aged from 45 to 51 who had previously participated in a child development study … Continue reading

Depression in children and adolescents

In Depression in babies and young infants we looked at how symptoms of depression can develop in babies as young as three months. In today’s article, we will look at the occurrence and signs of depression in children of elementary school age as well as the teenage years. Estimates on the occurrence of depressive states in children and adolescents fluctuate from study to study, so it is hard to get a handle on a percentage value of the number of clinically depressed individuals in this age group. However, research has illuminated one fact: depression is less frequent in children than … Continue reading

Depression: The myth of “Chemical Imbalance”

Just about everyone knows that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Right? Well, that’s what popular mythology has led the man in the street to believe but there has never been any scientific proof for this “truism.” Finally researchers are speaking out about this “lie” that is spun to people in doctors’ consulting rooms around the world. Johnathan Leo of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Florida and Jeffrey Lacasse at Florida State University concur that advertising that claims that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is misleading and should be banned. Such advertisements … Continue reading

What is Depression?

”If you’re going through hell, keep going!” WINSTON CHURCHILL Winston certainly knew a thing or too about emotional hell. He was a long-term sufferer of what he called the “black dog” of depression, yet he was also a high achiever and has left an indelible stamp on world history. We remember him for his achievements, not for his mental illness. Depression is such a common disorder that primary care practitioners estimate that up to 80% of ailments for which treatment is sought have an emotional component, of which depression forms a significant proportion. The term “depression” is used so commonly … Continue reading