Tag Archives: depression

Stressed out? Your dog may feel it too

Stressed out? Your dog may feel it too, study suggests – by Jeremy Rehm, washingtonpost.com – June 6, 2019

After reading this, I feel very sorry for my poor little dog. We spend almost all our time together (I take him everywhere with me in the car), so we’re extremely close and affected by each other.

I know that how we really feel cannot be hidden from our dogs, no matter how well our “acting OK” fools other humans, but I didn’t realize the depth and intensity of this invisible effect. Now I have another reason to get upset: my constant stress and worry about getting sufficient pain relief, not to mention the pain itself, is hurting my dog too.

When dog owners go through a stressful period, they’re not alone in feeling the pressure — their dogs feel it too, a new study suggests.   Continue reading

Psychopathological manifestations of joint hypermobility

Psychopathological manifestations of joint hypermobility and joint hypermobility syndrome/ Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type:… – PubMed – NCBI: The link between connective tissue and psychological distress revised. – Mar 2015 – partial repost from Latest EDS Research: March 2015

Having suffered from crippling anxiety in episodes lasting for days to weeks, I started researching, hoping to find some clues for new treatments. Instead, I found numerous studies showing that my anxiety is probably another “symptom” of my EDS and thus “incurable”.

This is just another painful feeling (in addition to physical pain) that I’m doomed to suffer for the rest of my life.

Psychological distress is a known feature of generalized joint hypermobility (gJHM), as well as of its most common syndromic presentation, namely Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type (a.k.a. joint hypermobility syndrome – JHS/EDS-HT), and significantly contributes to the quality of life of affected individuals.

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Hormonal Contraception and Depression

Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression – JAMA Network – Charlotte Wessel Skovlund, MSc1; Lina Steinrud Mørch, PhD1; Lars Vedel Kessing, MD, DMSc2; et al. – November 2016

Question:  Is use of hormonal contraception associated with treatment of depression?

Spoiler alert: the answer is a resounding “yes”.  all the patients who didn’t get antidepressants (which require a pain or depression diagnosis).

Progesterone is in all birth-control pills, yet women seeking contraception are given these pills almost routinely, and never with the warning that they could cause depression.

This could explain why women tend to be more depressed than men.

Findings:  In a nationwide prospective cohort study of more than 1 million women living in Denmark, an increased risk for first use of an antidepressant and first diagnosis of depression was found among users of different types of hormonal contraception, with the highest rates among adolescents.   Continue reading

Your brain on PMS is like your brain on alcohol

Your brain on PMS is like your brain on alcohol and depressants – By Cassie Werber December 21, 2016

Recent research into hormonal contraceptives found a clear link between them and depression.

That’s hardly surprising, the researcher says, when you consider that all hormonal contraceptives contain progesterone, and some are progesterone-only.

How and why progesterone alters moods is understudied, but there’s a growing body of research, based on the results of blood tests and brain scans, conducted by Poromaa and others. One discovery from this research is that progesterone can trigger the small, almond-shaped part of the brain called the amygdala.   Continue reading

Genetic Switch Involved in Depression

Genetic Switch Involved in Depression | National Institutes of Health (NIH) –  by Helen Fields – Sept 2012

The activity of a single gene sets in motion some of the brain changes seen in depression, according to a new study. The finding suggests a promising target for potential therapies.

People with major depressive disorder, or major depression, have feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration that interfere with daily life for weeks or longer.

The symptoms of depression also include memory loss and trouble thinking.

Well, that certainly explains a lot!  Continue reading

Neurostimulation for Therapy-Resistant Depression (TRD)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) and Other Augmentation Strategies for Therapy-Resistant Depression (TRD): Review of the Evidence and Clinical Advice for Use  – Free full text /PMC5902793/ – Apr 2018

This mini-review provides a comprehensive overview of augmentation pharmacotherapy and neurostimulation-based treatment strategies, with a special focus on VNS in TRD, and provides practical clinical advice for how to select TRD patients for add-on neurostimulation treatment strategies.

In addition to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is one of the approved neurostimulation tools for treatment of major depression.

If it weren’t so hard to get insurance to pay for these treatments, I’d have tried them long ago. However, the treatments of rTMS have to be frequent (almost daily for a while) and don’t always last longer than weeks (or even days) and I’m not going to drive an hour to appointments every few days.  Continue reading

Neurobiology and Neurophysiology of Breath

Neurobiology and Neurophysiology of Breath Practices in Psychiatric Care | Psychiatric Times – by Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD and Richard P. Brown, MD – Nov 30, 2016

Because the physical act of breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, it has a powerful effect on our whole nervous system.

Autonomic nervous system dysfunction is associated with most disorders seen in pediatric and adult psychiatric practice, including anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, hostility and aggression, attention deficit disorders, and autism spectrum disorder.

Increasing the underactivity of the parasympathetic branch and correcting the erratic or overactivity of the sympathetic branch can improve stress resilience and ameliorate psychological and physical symptoms.    Continue reading

When Is Depression Terminal? Deliberative Suicide

When Is Depression a Terminal Illness? Deliberative Suicide in Chronic Mental Illnessby Constance E. George, MD, MA – Jun 2016

In this discussion about the validity of suicide in patients with untreatable depression, it struck me that it could just as well apply to patients with chronic pain, untreatable without opioids, when opioids are no longer allowed.

This article concludes:

“So, an important lesson … has to do with understanding that mental illness can be a terminal illness and that the concept of hope has therapeutic limitations.” Continue reading

Opiods as Antidepressants

Opiates as antidepressants. – PubMed – NCBI – Curr Pharm Des. 2009

Antidepressants are frequently touted as useful for chronic pain and it’s not clear if that is because they relieve pain-induced depression and thus make the pain less bothersome or if they specifically relieve the pain.

Here are two research studies showing that opioids may directly relieve depression, not just pain, further complicating the two-way relationships between pain and depression and also between pain-relievers and “depression-relievers”.

The pathophysiology of mood disorders involves several genetic and social predisposing factors, as well as a dysregulated response to a chronic stressor, i.e. chronic pain. Continue reading

Opioids enhance some antidepressants

Cooperative opioid and serotonergic mechanisms generate superior antidepressant-like effects in a mice model of depression | International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology | Oxford Academic – free full text – September 2009

Perhaps this is another way that opioids help us deal with chronic pain. I know I’m more depressed when I’m having serious pain because it reminds me of all I’ve had to give up because of it. My future looks pretty grim when viewed through a thick haze of pain.

On days my pain isn’t so bad or I’ve managed to get it under control with opioid medication, I feel more hopeful about the future as I busy myself with all kinds of little tasks I cannot do when my pain is bad.

The opioid system has been implicated in the aetiology of depression, and some preclinical and clinical data suggest that opioids possess a genuine antidepressant-like effect.

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