Feed Your Head: Foods That Target Depression and Anxiety

Based on mounting research, doctors are prescribing nutrient-rich foods as a recipe for better mental health. With the help of high-profile chefs, they’re doing it deliciously, too.
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Dozens of genetic risk factors found for depression

A major new study which has identified 44 genetic risk factors for depression has the “potential to revitalise treatment”, scientists have said.
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Ketamine has ‘fast-acting benefits’ for depression

A study treating depressed patients with the drug via a nasal spray saw “significant improvements”.
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The Rock shares secret battle with depression

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has shared for the first time the story behind his battle with depression.
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Is social media causing childhood depression?

Do children spend too much time online and does social media use make them anxious and unhappy?
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Singing ‘speeds up’ recovery from post-natal depression

Mothers in group singing sessions with babies have faster improvement in symptoms, a study suggests.
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Struggles With Depression Lead to Polynesian-Inspired Kiakahi

Hawaii’s culture and natural beauty led Jeff Ammerman to Kiakahi, an intense Polynesian-inspired workout.
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8 Things You Shouldn’t Say If Someone You Love Has Depression

And what you can say instead.
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Does Meditation Really Help With Depression And Anxiety?

The Question: I experience depression and anxiety. Will meditation really help me? 

The Answer: Depression and anxiety can make everyday life very challenging. And research suggests that healthy lifestyle habits like meditation may help with some of its symptoms. 

Case in point: A small study published earlier this year in the journal Psychiatry Research. Researchers randomized 70 adult participants with generalized anxiety disorder into two groups. One group received mindfulness-based stress reduction as a technique to cope. The other group, acting as the control, did not receive any sort of meditation training.

The scientists found that participants who learned the mindfulness techniques showed much lower levels of a specific biomarker for stress in the body. This could suggest meditation can not only help how someone feels over time, but also may leave an impression on a cellular level. 

This potentially corroborates a large body of meditation research that suggests the practice is a wunderkind for mental health issues. But it’s important to note that previous research outcomes also had its flaws. Some early studies lacked a control group. Other research potentially fell victim to “expectancy bias,” which is when participants expected meditation to work and thus reported feeling better after the experiment. 

The recent Psychiatry Research study took all of this into account, which is why it seems promising. To solve for bias, the researchers said the study was simply about stress reduction without mentioning a meditation component. Mindfulness was introduced later on, and only to some of the participants. This is so researchers could separate out meditation as an active component, according to Elizabeth Hoge, the study’s lead author and associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. 

So, recent research shows it works. But how do you do it?

It all comes down to your thoughts, according to Hoge. Start by sitting in a quiet room and try to focus on your breath. Thoughts will inevitably pop up but the key is to not push them away or give up.

For example, if you are meditating and start to ruminate on a major work mistake or an unfounded fear, notice what’s happening but don’t get frustrated. The thoughts won’t disappear but you will learn to create distance from them, Hoge said.

“Mindfulness meditation is based on the idea of paying attention one’s own inner experience, whether that’s thoughts or sensations or emotions,” she told HuffPost. “Anything that passes through the mind is the internal stimuli that you’re paying attention to.”

Ideally, with enough practice, you’ll learn to create space between negative thoughts and your reactions. 

“See them as distinct objects from yourself,” Hoge said. “As in, ‘My thoughts are not myself.’ That allows a layer of separation so that the person has a little bit more freedom in how to respond to the thoughts or how to cope with them.” 

There is a slight catch

The practice does have some really great mental health perks. But if you truly suffer from anxiety and depression, meditation is likely something you should consider as part of a larger form of treatment like therapy, according to Chloe Carmichael, a clinical psychologist based in New York City.

Carmichael, who specializes in treating anxiety and depression, was a yoga instructor before she became a mental health professional. She uses a blend of mindfulness meditation and psychology tools to treat her clients.

“When you just sit there and follow your breath, that is a mindfulness meditation. It’s one of the early steps of learning how to follow our thoughts,” Carmichael said. “Once you have mindful awareness of what your thoughts are, you’re able to observe them without reacting to them.”

Depression has a tendency to make people think they’re worthless and then they tend to ruminate on that negative idea. People who have anxiety are prone to excessive worrying. Meditation can be a tool to help observe those thoughts, but medical support can provide the methods that help replace those thoughts altogether, according to Carmichael. 

“That’s one of the cornerstones of cognitive behavioral therapy: To analyze someone’s automatic thoughts,” she said. “So they work together really well ― psychology and mindfulness meditation.” 

Ultimately, implementing mindfulness into anxiety or depression treatment can have a very positive impact, according to Sharon Salzburg, a meditation teacher and author of Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28 Day Program

“You try different things to relieve suffering,” she said. “You can celebrate whatever method, or combo of methods, [that] help.” 

Just a little something to meditate on.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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‘The Last Ship’ Halts Production Amid Eric Dane’s Battle With Depression

“The Last Ship” has halted production so lead actor Eric Dane can treat his depression, People reports.

“Eric asked for a break to deal with personal issues,” Dane’s rep said in a statement to outlets. “He suffers from depression and has asked for a few weeks of downtime and the producers kindly granted that request.”

Variety, citing an “insider,” noted that shooting for this summer’s fourth season has already wrapped ― but the hiatus is delaying production of the fifth season. The two seasons were being filmed back-to-back.

“He looks forward to returning,” the rep added, per Variety.

In the popular TNT series, Dane stars as the captain of a naval destroyer on a mission to save the world after a a global pandemic.

The 44-year-old actor, who previously starred on “Grey’s Anatomy,” has publicly dealt with personal issues before. He entered rehab for a painkiller addiction in 2011. Earlier, he weathered a scandal over a nude tape, in which he and wife Rebecca Gayheart appeared with another woman.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Hairstylist’s Touching Photos Capture The Raw Reality Of Depression

One hairstylist proved to be a cut above when she helped a client experiencing a mental health condition.

In February, a woman walked into The Salon, a haircut location inside of Ulta Beauty in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and began pulling every “All Soft” product by Redken off the shelf. Kate Langman, an employee the salon, noticed what the customer was doing and approached her to see if she needed any help.

The two began to talk, and Langman soon learned that the woman had depression. She hadn’t left her bed in six months due to her mental health condition, she told Langman, and had neglected to wash or brush her hair.

Instead, the woman had pulled her hair back into a bun, which over time became a giant, matted knot. 

Langman offered to do the woman’s hair, making her an appointment for the very next day.

“I have a very close family member that went through similar [mental health struggles],” Langman told The Huffington Post. “If I would have let her walk away with all of those products that she spent a hundreds of dollars on, she would have gotten nowhere — which she would have possibly viewed as another failure for her.”

But the woman didn’t show up for the appointment. Two weeks later, she called and booked another appointment. And once again, she was a no-show.

“It actually, kind of, broke my heart,” Langman wrote on Facebook.

Then, on March 9, the woman came into the salon and asked Langman if she could do her hair.

“When she walked in that [day], I had a feeling of relief,” Langman told HuffPost. “That she still had the drive to feel like herself again.”

Langman worked with the woman for over eight hours, brushing, cutting and coloring her hair. The results were phenomenal.

After the experience, Langman posted the story to Facebook, where it went viral, receiving over 16,000 shares and 35,000 likes. 

“By the end of this service, I could see the sparkle in her eyes,” Langman wrote in her post.

The anonymous client’s symptoms aren’t uncommon for the more than 300 million people worldwide who experience depression. The disorder can deplete a person’s energy and motivation, making simple routines like fixing your hair feel like an excruciating task.

Langman says she’s happy that she could be there for the woman, who confirmed the story to The Huffington Post. 

“I wanted her to know that there is someone that is here to help her,” Langman said. “No matter the circumstances. She needed someone she could count on and I wanted to be that person for her.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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John Legend Praises Chrissy Teigen For Sharing ‘Powerful’ Essay On Postpartum Depression

These days #CoupleGoals gets thrown around when Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend barely lift a finger (see: John helping drunk Chrissy remove her jewelry after the Grammys), but this time the two are more than deserving of the hashtag. 

Earlier this month, the supermodel opened up about her struggle with postpartum depression after welcoming daughter Luna in an essay for Glamour magazine. Now, Legend is speaking out about supporting his wife day by day through the difficult time.

For me as a husband, it was my job to do the best I could to support her and understand what she was going through and do whatever I could do to help her. I feel like that’s the least I could do,” Legend told People.

The Grammy winner also gave advice on understanding postpartum depression to other husbands or boyfriends who might find themselves in his position.

“[As a man] you don’t know internally what it feels like. You should read about it and understand what it is and really just be there to help,” he continued. “You need to be present and you need to be compassionate. And we’re all learning and trying to figure it out as we go. At least do that and try to figure it out together.”

In her essay, Teigen describes how her husband stood by her side through some of her lowest moments. When she couldn’t even leave the couch for days, Legend would made things a little better by “bringing me my medicine and watching horrible reality TV with me.” 

“John has been incredible over the last nine months,” she wrote. “He wants me to be happy, silly, and energetic again, but he’s not making me feel bad when I’m not in that place.”

Despite the sometimes maddening attention that comes with being open about parenting and their relationship, Legend couldn’t be prouder of Teigen for sharing her story, one that many women around the world can relate to. 

“I’m glad she wrote about it,” he told People. “I think it was powerful for her to let a lot of women know they’re not alone, and no matter how much money you have or fame, anybody can feel that. And it’s hard for anybody no matter how successful you are and how many resources you have.”

Now, once more with feeling: #CoupleGoals. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Chrissy Teigen Opens Up for the First Time About Postpartum Depression: “It Can Happen to Anybody”

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Chrissy Teigen covers the April issue of Glamour, and inside she makes a candid admission in her essay: she suffers from…

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Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About Postpartum Depression in Letter for ‘Glamour’ Magazine

In her cover story for ‘Glamour’ magazine, Chrissy Teigen gets candid about her struggle with postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter, Luna.
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Chinese Photographer Ren Hang, Who Suffered From Depression, Dead at 29

HONG KONG –  One of China’s most talented young photographers, Ren Hang, has passed away.
WWD has reached out directly to Ren Hang’s studio. The news was confirmed by several who worked with him.
According to Taschen, who published the Beijing artist’s work, the 29-year-old took his own life on Thursday.
The book publisher also posted on Instagram: “Taschen is devastated by the death of Chinese photographer Ren Hang (1987-2017), a self-taught master of surrealistic, startling, and beautiful pictures, censored in his homeland, feted across the globe, and at the pioneering forefront of a gender inclusive world.”
Eli Klein of the Klein Sun Gallery also paid tribute saying: “Today we mourn the loss of Ren Hang, a talented and rising young photographer who passed away well before his time. @kleinsungallery was honored to host his solo exhibition last year and sends our heartfelt condolences to all of his loved ones.”
The controversial young artist, who had been arrested multiple times in his homeland and had his often sexually provocative work censored, appeared to struggle with depression. In a foreboding Weibo post on Jan. 27, he wrote: “Every year my wish is always the same: Die earlier.” He quickly followed it up with another post saying: “Hopefully this year

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Nonfiction: Diving Into Hell: A Powerful Memoir of Depression

In “This Close to Happy,” Daphne Merkin explains her struggles with depression with insight, grace and excruciating clarity.
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Brie Bella Tells Nikki Not to Talk to Daniel Bryan About Wrestling Amidst Depression Battle: ”You’re Being Overprotective!”

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How Naomi Judd’s ‘Debilitating’ Depression Affected Her Relationships With Ashley And Wynonna

Naomi Judd revealed she suffered from a “completely debilitating and life-threatening” depression during an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts Tuesday. 

In her new book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hopethe country singer opens up about dealing with anxiety and panic attacks in addition to her depression and time in a psych ward. Judd told Roberts that hiding her struggles affected her perception with fans.

“They think, because they see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am. I’m sort of a fantasy ‘cause I want to provide that for them,” the 70-year-old said. “But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks and not get outta my pajamas, not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad.” 

The country singer, who is the mother of actress Ashley, said the two are more alike than ever.

“I mean, we have the same mannerisms,” Judd said. “We both read a whole lot. We both love new places. She does acro-yoga. I do Pilates. I mean, there’s such similarities.” 

She also got candid with Roberts about her relationship with her other daughter, Wynonna, and admitted the two are “a little estranged from each other.” 

“If she sees this, and I hope she does, because the smartest thing is for all of us to feel known, no matter what’s going on. Be truthful,” Judd said. “I think she’ll say, ‘Good for you, Mom, for finally being willing to talk about the bad stuff.’”

Though she once kept her “extreme” issues with mental health in the dark, Judd said she has a special reason for coming forward with her revelations now. 

“Because it was so deep and so completely debilitating and life-threatening and because I have processed and worked so hard for these last four years,” the singer said. “If I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Screaming From The Golden Cage: Heal Anxiety, Depression And Addiction By Embracing The Truth

Dr. Bruce Alexander, professor emeritus of psychology, performed an experiment in the 1970s. His team built two cages for laboratory rats. In one cage a rat was alone and isolated. It couldn’t see or touch other rats and had nothing to do. In the other cage called Rat Park, they had good food and lots of cheese, running wheels for exercise, colored balls, platforms for climbing, tin cans for hiding and many other rats to play and have sex with.

Rat Park soon filled with babies. In both cases, rats had access to two drinking bottles: a bottle of water and a bottle of water with morphine. Morphine is pure heroin. Unlike street heroin that contains brick dust, bleach powder, cement and other contaminants, morphine is much stronger. At the end of each day, researchers measured the two bottles to see if rats preferred the pure water or the heroin water.

The rats in solitary confinement almost always chose the heroin water. They always became addicted and killed themselves. In Rat Park, they almost never drank heroin water. None become addicted or overdosed. Rats are social, sexual and working beings just like humans.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
Is what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
– Mark Twain

People who become addicted don’t have to be put in cages. It’s enough for them only to feel caged-in a job, in a relationship, in a family or in a country. They will drink or take drugs to cope with the situation. Prof. Alexander concluded that addiction is an escape from an environment where human connection is impossible. Alcohol or drug dependence is the consequence of not bearing being present in your own life.

While prof. Alexander was studying the effects of the social environment on rats, the Vietnam war was unfolding on the other side of the world. According to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, 20 percent of the American soldiers fighting in Vietnam were addicted to heroin. The public in the United States was terrified that hundreds of thousands of veterans will become junkies but this never happened.

When they returned home, 95 percent of the addicted soldiers stopped using heroin within one year. Another study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry revealed that addicts who didn’t receive any treatment were as likely to stop using drugs as those who went rehab. They changed the environment, they changed their behaviors.

Johann Hari, in his book Chasing the Scream, wrote that rats in solitary confinement and soldiers in Vietnam didn’t become victims of the drug but of their environment. Addiction was their way of coping with “being dislocated from everything that gave them meaning,” wrote Hari. When you feel caged, and your world becomes intolerable, you leave physically if you can or mentally if you cannot. When soldiers returned home to a meaningful life, they gave up the drugs.

People who live in a social environment where they can connect with others and bond with their work will not become addicted even if they have alcohol and drugs around them because they want to be present in their lives. But if you feel trapped or caged in a situation, a job or a relationship, if you cannot bond because of you in life in a social context that punishes you for expressing who you are and for living your truth, you will find refuge in whatever takes your pain away. Prof. Peter Cohen, director of the Center for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam, suggested that we need to replace the word addiction with the word bonding. We have a fundamental human need to bond with our work and with others, but we can only bond if we live our truth and open our hearts.

Do You Feel Caged?

You don’t need to live in a cage, or to go to war to feel caged, and not be able to find meaning in life. Your own mind, your unconscious beliefs, a toxic friendship, a job environment or family relationship can choke your will to express who you are with the same tragic effects. The heart’s calling – your will – is only love and cannot be anything else. Your will flows through your heart and pulls you towards what you most value in life.

When you embrace it, you find meaning. When you block it, you find pain. Love is the force that pulls us to follow our dreams and step into the unknown, to reveal and express who we are, to explore, to discover, to create and to bond. Whenever your behaviors conflict your will, whenever you think and act against love, tension grows within yourself. Strain turns into pain. Anger, anxiety, and depression follow.

The Importance of Living Your Truth

I have a friend who is project manager for a financial corporation, but her dream is to open a restaurant. Her will is to start this new business. Every time she thinks about her calling her heart fills with joy. She feels love. But immediately her mind drags her in the opposite direction: ‘What if it doesn’t work?’ ‘I am in my thirties, and I have a child. ‘What will my parents say about me quitting my job after they supported me through college?’

She then acts as she thinks she should and stays in her job without actually willing to do so. Everyone envies her. She earns a great paycheck, has a loving husband and a beautiful child, and she’s sinking into depression. She feels even worse when she looks around her because apparently, she has no reason to feel depressed. The truth is she has the only reason to feel depressed: her heart is screaming from a golden cage, and she doesn’t listen.

Finding Peace of Mind and Joy with Truth

The greater is the gap between what love calls you to do and what you actually do, the deeper the depression you can fall into. The way to find joy is to leave the cage, not to make it prettier. Why do you think the waiting rooms of psychologists and psychiatrists are filled with successful people who realized after twenty or thirty years of work that money, a career and a house in the suburbs do not bring peace of mind and joy of heart?

They keep hoping that by changing the external conditions of their lives – earn more money, be in a better physical shape, have another partner or travel more – will change how they feel. It never works because the emptiness is not around them. The emptiness is within them. And the only way to come back to life is to acknowledge that little voice rising from your heart and begging you to return to love, to return to truth.

Dr. Dragos

PS: If you like this conversation, join my online course FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: The science-proven method to living your truth and making your dreams a reality.

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The Great Depression

The Great Depression


One of the classic studies of the Great Depression, featuring a new introduction by the author with insights into the economic crises of 1929 and today. In the twenty-five years since its publication, critics and scholars have praised historian Robert McElvaine’s sweeping and authoritative history of the Great Depression as one of the best and most readable studies of the era. Combining clear-eyed insight into the machinations of politicians and economists who struggled to revive the battered economy, personal stories from the average people who were hardest hit by an economic crisis beyond their control, and an evocative depiction of the popular culture of the decade, McElvaine paints an epic picture of an America brought to its knees-but also brought together by people’s widely shared plight. In a new introduction, McElvaine draws striking parallels between the roots of the Great Depression and the economic meltdown that followed in the wake of the credit crisis of 2008. He also examines the resurgence of anti-regulation free market ideology, beginning in the Reagan era, and argues that some economists and politicians revised history and ignored the lessons of the Depression era. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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JoJo’s ‘raw depression’

JoJo felt collegiate studies were the only thing keeping her from suffering a complete mental breakdown during a legal dispute with former record label Blackground Music.
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America's Financial Apocalypse: How To Profit From The Next Great Depression

America's Financial Apocalypse: How To Profit From The Next Great Depression


For nearly three decades, America has been gradually losing ground to the developed world in many critical areas. The result is that the American standard of living has been in decline for over two decades, with the middle class having been affected the most. Meanwhile, the rich have gotten wealthier and now America is a nation controlled by corporate America. Hidden by two-income households and open access to credit, declining living standards have gone unnoticed by most Americans. Spending beyond one''s means has become the American way of life and is encouraged by the government. In contrast, saving is almost unheard of in America. As a result, this once power nation has changed from the world''s largest creditor to the world''s largest debtor. Decades of over consumption by Americans can only last so long before a day of reckoning occurs. The deflation of the Internet Bubble resulted in the paper loss of over trillion dollars, yet most people seem to have already forgotten the most scandalous charades in U.S. history by Wall Street and corporate America. And now, as the retirement assets of tens of millions of Americans are in question, an even larger number are caught up in the largest real estate bubble in our history. As we enter the two next decades, 76 million baby boomers will retire, most of them in poverty. Thus, the generation that was responsible for creating the greatest bull market in U.S. history may, through no choice of its own, also be the same group that causes an economic meltdown due to decades of government mismanagement, inadequate planning, and overconsumption. During this same time frame, many expect the global oil production is gradually decline due to whatis known as the peak oil theory. Obviously, this has enormous consequences of its own. Today, America is in the final preparatory stages that will lead to a massive economic meltdown resulting in the Next Great Depression, as over 46 million Americans already have no healthcare insurance, Social Security will be inadequate for the 76 million baby boomers who will retire over the next several years, energy prices will remain high for some time, and for the first time ever, Americans can no longer live with the comfort knowing that they are safe on their own soil. These issues will only get worse and when the appropriate triggers are set off, a domino effect will commence, sending the stock and bond markets into a downward spiral. This book claims to represent the most detailed and exhaustive analysis of America''s current and future economic plight, as well as that of its capital markets. Rather than making bold claims supported by scant data, this book makes use of several hundred figures, tables, and charts, as well as over 700 references to support the premise that a depression is inevitable for America. Finally, the final three chapters address economic and market risks and provide investment guidance and strategy for investors to position themselves to profit before and during America''s next great depression.
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America’s Financial Apocalypse: How to Profit from the Next Great Depression (Condensed Edition)

America’s Financial Apocalypse: How to Profit from the Next Great Depression (Condensed Edition)


For nearly three decades, America has been gradually losing ground to the developed world in many critical areas. The result is that the American standard of living has been in decline for over two decades, with the middle class having been affected the most. Meanwhile, the rich have gotten wealthier and now America is a nation controlled by corporate America. Hidden by two-income households and open access to credit, declining living standards have gone unnoticed by most Americans. Spending beyond one’s means has become the American way of life and is encouraged by the government. In contrast, saving is almost unheard of in America. As a result, this once power nation has changed from the world’s largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor. Decades of over consumption by Americans can only last so long before a day of reckoning occurs. The deflation of the Internet Bubble resulted in the paper loss of over trillion dollars, yet most people seem to have already forgotten the most scandalous charades in U.S. history by Wall Street and corporate America. And now, as the retirement assets of tens of millions of Americans are in question, an even larger number are caught up in the largest real estate bubble in our history. As we enter the two next decades, 76 million baby boomers will retire, most of them in poverty. Thus, the generation that was responsible for creating the greatest bull market in U.S. history may, through no choice of its own, also be the same group that causes an economic meltdown due to decades of government mismanagement, inadequate planning, and overconsumption. During this same time frame, many expect the global oil production is gradually decline due to whatis known as the peak oil theory. Obviously, this has enormous consequences of its own. Today, America is in the final preparatory stages that will lead to a massive economic meltdown resulting in the Next Great Depression, as over 46 million Americans already have no healthcare insurance, Social Security will be inadequate for the 76 million baby boomers who will retire over the next several years, energy prices will remain high for some time, and for the first time ever, Americans can no longer live with the comfort knowing that they are safe on their own soil. These issues will only get worse and when the appropriate triggers are set off, a domino effect will commence, sending the stock and bond markets into a downward spiral. This book claims to represent the most detailed and exhaustive analysis of America’s current and future economic plight, as well as that of its capital markets. Rather than making bold claims supported by scant data, this book makes use of several hundred figures, tables, and charts, as well as over 700 references to support the premise that a depression is inevitable for America. Finally, the final three chapters address economic and market risks and provide investment guidance and strategy for investors to position themselves to profit befo
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What ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Gets Right About Depression

This post contains spoilers.

When I saw Brook Soso start to fall apart on Season 3 of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, I knew exactly what was happening to her. Her constant feelings of isolation and loneliness; the inescapable fear that no one likes her or cares about her; that desperate look in her eyes crying out for help and attention. I know, because I’ve suffered from depression on and off since I was a child. And I know because, like Soso’s character, I’ve also been locked in an institution and forced to deal with mental illness without the support that I needed.

Before this season, Soso wasn’t a major character on the show. She was portrayed as a fairly one-dimensional, loud-mouthed hippie who no one — including viewers — particularly liked. But Orange is the New Black loves to turn our first impressions on their heads and offer surprising depth to formerly irritating characters.

We soon see that Soso is having trouble fitting in because of her constant need to talk. She’s rejected by people she thought were her friends and gets ignored or teased by the others she reaches out to. Loneliness and depression often go hand-in-hand. For Soto, the unfulfilled need and desire for human connection became so great that it brought on a bout of clinical depression that engulfed everything. The hopelessness of being in prison certainly didn’t help, either.

Seeing Soso curled up in her bed, staring at the wall, reminded me of all the days and nights that I did the same thing. I tried so hard to make friends during the time I spent in a psychiatric hospital when I was 15. I was there because I was suffering from severe clinical depression and suicidal thoughts.

But like Soso, I couldn’t quite connect with the people around me. I got teased constantly and was told by several patients that no one liked me. Even the nurses got tired of my constant crying and sadness. The more I was rejected, the worse I felt, and the less everyone liked and cared about me.

The pain of that kind of rejection, especially by the people you think will understand you, is overwhelming. Depression can take a hold of you, and without the right support, lead to thoughts of suicide. Being trapped in a locked ward, not knowing when you’ll have a life again and when you’ll have opportunities for connection beyond the people locked in there with you, can make it so much worse.

In response to Soso’s admission that she’s feeling depressed, Sam Healy, her prison counselor, tells her: “People aren’t gonna want to be friends with you if you’re moping around because sad people are depressing, right?”

Unfortunately, he does have a point, but that’s not exactly the most helpful thing to tell someone who’s struggling with clinical depression. He then says that the secret to depression is that it’s “all in your head” and sends her off to get a prescription for anti-depressants.

Although Healy seems to genuinely want to help her, his character also genuinely misunderstands how to communicate with someone suffering from depression. Plus, in real life, he’d mostly likely just be doing what he was taught to do. Institutions often don’t have the time or resources to spend on psychological issues that they mistakenly believe can be numbed out or glossed over with medication. And this isn’t a problem unique to prisons. My psychiatric ward psychiatrist treated me the same exact way.

When I was in the psych ward, I wish I’d had someone who understood me like Berdie Rogers, the new counselor in the prison. She advocates for Soso and tells Healy it’s not a good idea to jump right to medication without talking out the problem. When he defends his decision to tell Soso that depression is all in her head, Berdie says: “When someone’s feeling vulnerable, they need their pain acknowledged, not to be made to feel worse by having it.”

Berdie reminds me of the best therapists I’ve had, the ones who didn’t belittle me or my emotions, but made me feel seen and understood. Instead of being dismissive, she’s sympathetic. She gets what depression is and how it feels.

Unfortunately, Healy has it out for Berdie and gets her suspended later in the season. Soso has no one to help her when the depression takes a turn for the worse. She asks Healy for another anti-depressant referral, which in itself is not a bad or weak thing. Anti-depressants can help a lot of people who suffer from clinical depression. I myself took them during my hospital stay and for many years after. But they can’t solve underlying problems, which for Soso is her desperate need for friendship.

Luckily, Soso has someone else looking out for her. Fellow prisoner Poussey Washington is also lonely and unsure of where she belongs. She stands up for Soso after she’s bullied and helps her recover from her failed suicide attempt. In the last episode, Poussey welcomes Soso into her group, and they hold hands.

There’s a glimmer of hope for Soso that maybe she’s found a place to belong and someone who cares about her. I eventually made a couple of friends during my stay in the psych ward. They didn’t turn out to be deep or lasting relationships, but having any kind of social connection is so important, especially to someone with depression. Those moments of connection were what made my depression bearable. They still do.

Orange is the New Black is the first show I’ve ever seen handle depression in a comprehensive, realistic and eye-opening way. The plot slowly develops over the course of the season, allowing viewers to gain a better understanding of the issue instead of cramming it into one episode and reducing it to dramatic effect. It captured the experience of having depression in an institution so beautifully, and for that, I am personally grateful.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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The Psychology of Manic Depression – A Selection of Classic Articles on the Symptoms and Treatment of Manic Disorders

The Psychology of Manic Depression – A Selection of Classic Articles on the Symptoms and Treatment of Manic Disorders


This book contains classic material dating back to the 1900s and before. The content has been carefully selected for its interest and relevance to a modern audience. Carefully selecting the best articles from our collection we have compiled a series of historical and informative publications on the subject of psychology. The titles in this range include “The Psychology of Neuroses” “Paranoia and Psychoanalysis” “The Psychological Treatment of Children” and many more. Each publication has been professionally curated and includes all details on the original source material. This particular instalment, “The Psychology of Manic Depression” contains information on the symptoms and treatment of manic disorders. It is intended to illustrate aspects of manic depression and serves as a guide for anyone wishing to obtain a general knowledge of the subject and understand the field in its historical context. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

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Depression Linked to Death of Many Heart Failure Patients

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Sleep Apnea May Boost Depression Risk in Men, Study Finds

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Mice May Yield Clues to Winter Depression

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Why Depression Is Underreported In Men

2012-07-16-eh_logo.jpg

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Depression is often seen as a problem mainly affecting women. Ironically, that’s one of the reasons why the condition is underreported among men, according to Amit Anand, M.D., a professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine and vice-chair of research at its Center for Behavioral Health.

Although women are 70 percent more likely than men to have depression, more than 6 million men in the United States struggle with the condition each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. However, several obstacles prevent many of them from seeking treatment, Anand says. These barriers to care not only affect how men with depression are diagnosed, he says, but also how they are treated.

Why Depression Is Underreported

Several factors contribute to depression often being unreported and undiagnosed in men. For starters, men who are depressed may not recognize their symptoms. “Women are far more likely to acknowledge that they have depression and seek help,” Anand says.

Also, symptoms of depression vary from person to person, and symptoms may not always be obvious, according to NIMH. Complicating matters is that, rather than showing such signs of depression as sadness and crying, men who are depressed often suppress their feelings, reports the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Men and women also have different risk factors for depression that could affect whether they seek treatment, according to a study published in 2014 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The factors most directly linked to depression among women are divorce, lack of parental or social support, and marriage troubles. For men, however, depression is more closely linked to drug abuse as well as financial, legal, and work-related stress, the researchers say. Their research suggests that men are less likely to seek medical attention if they attribute depression to career disappointment or failures. Rather than seek help, Anand says, men with depression are more likely to try to tough it out.

As Dean F. MacKinnon, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, says, “Men may be more likely to suffer in silence or try to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.”

Men may see their symptoms as a sign of weakness, he explains, likening the situation to the idea that men don’t like asking for directions. “Men don’t ask for direction because it makes them seem weak, but also they are afraid they won’t get the right information,” MacKinnon says.

Men might also be worried about the social stigma associated with a diagnosis of depression, according to research published in Qualitative Health Research in 2014.

In addition, depression affects men differently than women, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2013. Though women usually have traditional symptoms, such as feelings of sadness and worthlessness, the study found that men with depression were more likely to experience anger and irritability and to engage in risky behaviors. This suggests that if men are using traditional criteria to assess their symptoms, their depression could go unreported.

Why Treatment Is Critical

What sets men and women with depression apart can also make the condition more difficult to treat, Anand notes. Men with untreated depression can experience issues like anger, aggression, and substance abuse. Using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, he says, can complicate treatment for depression.

Untreated depression among men can also have tragic consequences, he adds. “Women may talk about suicide more, but men may be more likely to complete suicide,” Anand notes. “They may also use much more violent means of trying to commit suicide, like guns or hanging.” In fact, according to NAMI, men are four times more likely to die of suicide than women.

Most adults with depression improve with treatment, usually a combination of talk therapy and medication, Anand says. He notes, however, that it can be difficult to convince some men to try talk therapy.

Medication used to treat depression may also work differently in men and women. For instance, today the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, according to NIMH, are SSRIs — selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Tricyclics, which are older antidepressants, are not used as often today because they come with more serious side effects, like drowsiness, dizziness, and weight gain. However, some research suggests that women respond better to SSRIs — like fluoxetine and sertraline — and that tricyclics, like imipramine, may be more effective for men, Anand says.

SSRIs may also cause more sexual side effects, which tend to bother men much more often than women, Anand adds. This could result in fewer men following through on treatment, he says.

If your doctor does recommend an SSRI, adjusting the dosage or switching from one SSRI to another can help alleviate unwanted side effects, according to NIMH.

More from Everyday Health:
7 Winter Foods For Depression
A Bad Marriage Can Endanger Your Heart
With Depression, The Wolf You Feed Is The Wolf That Wins

Why Depression Is Underreported In Men originally appeared on Everyday Health.
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User's Guide To Natural Remedies For Depression

User's Guide To Natural Remedies For Depression


User''s Guide Natural Remedies For Depression is a Basic Health Books publication.
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