The Depression Information News Clips



Welcome to The Depression Information News Clips. Here you will find additional depression information.

This page was previously The Depression Information News Blog.

In April 2006 I started using a new software to create the News Blog. I had to change the name of this page to keep the new software from overwriting it.

Thus, this page really is blog posts from March 2005 through April 2006.

April 2, 2006

A question asked by everyone who has suffered from depression is how to deal with depression.

Some people with depression respond very well to cognitive behavioral treatment. Others require medication. Still others can help their depression with exercise.

Of all the approaches to treating depression, which will be most effective for me?

This is a question for which there is currently no easy or definite answer. Recent research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and published in the April 2006 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that we may be able to answer the question in the future, however.

The research has shown two areas of the brain to be involved in some depression--the amygdala and the subgenual cingulate cortex.

The amygdala's function is to identify emotional situations. The subgenual cingulate cortex regulates emotions. It turns the amygdala on and off.

By using functional magnetic resonance imaging the researchers observed how these two parts of the brain responded when 14 depressed and 22 nondepressed individuals were shown a list of emotional words and asked if those words applied to them.

Nine of the depressed individuals were found to have decreased activity in the subgenual cingulate cortex. Five of the depressed individuals did not have this decreased activity.

When the subgenual cingulate cortex is less active the amygdala does not turn off as it should. Thus, once a person reacts to an emotional situation he or she continues to experience upsetting feelings and thoughts. These feelings and thoughts, then, feed the person's depression.

All 22 of the depressed individuals received 16 cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.

Now this is what is really interesting. Of the 9 depressed individuals with an under active subgenual cingulate cortex, 7 recovered from their depression symptoms. By contrast, only 1 of the depressed individuals with a normally active subgenual cingulate cortex responded to the cognitive behavioral therapy.

It seems that cognitive behavioral therapy was able to help those who had an underactive subgenual cingulate cortex learn how to stop the ongoing negative thinking that was feeding their depression.

Much more research is needed in this area but this study shows that in the future we may be able to predict who will and who will not be helped by a specific treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

For information about cognitive behavioral therapy click here.

Source:

http://www.rxpgnews.com/research/psychiatry/depression/article_3870.shtml



March 3, 2006

If you have had a stroke, depression may follow.

At least 625,000 people have ischemic strokes in the United States each year. An ischemic stroke is caused by a decrease in the blood supply to the brain. This decrease in blood supply may be caused by the constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels.

Following the stroke, 185,000 stroke victims develop depression.

It is unclear why so many stroke victims develop depression. One theory is that some of the biological abnormalities that contribute to depression increase the risk of stroke as well.

One such abnormality involves levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that transports nerve signals from one nerve cell to another.

Low serotonin levels in the nervous system are related to depression. Low levels of serotonin in the blood platelets may increase the risk of stroke.

It could be that a genetic abnormality is responsible for reduced serotonin in both the nervous system and in blood platelets.

Many people develop symptoms such as sleep problems, fatigue, appetite disturbance, feeling slowed down, and feeling agitated after a stroke. The symptoms are reported by a depressed stroke victim five times more often than by a nondepressed stroke victim.

Patients with post stroke depression also are less able to carry out normal activities of daily living when compared to those who are not depressed.

Despite the increased problems experienced by depressed stroke victims, studies have repeatedly found that post stroke depression is under treated. This is unfortunate because research has also demonstrated that treatment with antidepressant medication can help reduce depressive symptoms in those who have suffered stroke.

Psychological treatments such as supportive psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral treatment have not been found to be effective with post stroke depression. Much more research needs to be done in this area.

Nevertheless, all stroke victims should be screened for depression. If a patient is found to be experiencing post stroke depression, treatment should be provided.

For information about treatment for depression click here.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/521057?src=search



February 26, 2006

More evidence is discovered for a genetic link to depression.

A group of Australian researchers have found that a specific gene, called the serotonin transporter gene, is related to the development of depression. Results of their study will be published this week in British Journal of Psychiatry.

Serotonin is one of several brain chemicals that carry nerve signals from one nerve cell to another. It is involved in regulating one's mood and has been called the "feel good" brain chemical.

About 43 percent of people have a short serotonin transporter gene; others have a long serotonin transporter gene. Those with the short gene are more likely to development depression than those with the long version.

It is very important to remember that having a short serotonin transporter gene does not guarantee that you will develop depression. But it does seem to predispose you to depression. Nevertheless, there is still a great deal that you can do to help yourself if you experience depression.

For information about how brain chemicals are involved in mood disorders and how these disorders can be treated with medications click here.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,18273308-421,00.html



February 25, 2006

The Internet can help you overcome depression.

Recently, a group of researchers found that Internet-based interventions can help reduce depression symptoms.

One study lasted 16 weeks and involved 255 people who were experiencing depression. One hundred were placed in a control group that received "treatment as usual." The other 155 were in the Internet-based treatment groups.

Those in the Internet groups used a self-help Website to learn how to better manage their depression. The Internet-based treatment was found to reduce depressions symptoms better than the "treatment as usual."

In a second study, two different Internet-based treatments were compared.

This study involved 525 individuals with depression. One hundred and sixty-six of these used a psychoeducational Website to learn information about depression. One hundred and eighty-two learned cognitive-behavioral coping skills. The remaining 178 were in a control group that received an "attention placebo." Both treatments were found to be effective in reducing depression better than the control group.

It is interesting that in this second study, those individuals with more severe depression received greater benefits.

These studies again show that there is a great deal that a depressed person can do to help himself or herself.

Sources: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/519712_3



February 24, 2006

Researchers at Yale University bring hope to teenagers with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar is a mood disorder that causes severe mood swings. It is often called manic-depressive illness. To read more about this disorder click here.

People with the disorder often begin having symptoms during their teenage years. The disorder, then, progressively gets worse into the adult years.

Recent research at Yale has shown that there are brain changes that occur as the disorder progresses. These changes happen in the ventral prefrontal cortext.

The ventral prefrontal cortext is located above the eyes. It is involved in regulating emotions.

The Yale scientists also learned that mood-stabilizing medication taken during the teenage years can diminish these changes. It is speculated that this research may, someday, lead to treatments that can stop the disorder from progressing.

For information about medication for mood disorders click here.

Sources: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060131092059.htm



August 24, 2005

The real tragedy...

Many of our high school students are not being adequately prepared for college.

A report issued by the college testing company, ACT, Inc., indicated that many college-bound high school graduates do not have the academic skills needed to be successful in college. The ACT is a test taken by students as a part of the entrance requirements for most colleges and universities.

Results of tests taken during the past year found about half of high school graduates deficient in reading comprehension. Many other students were deficient in the social science, algebra, biology, and English composition.

This is sad, but this is not the real tragedy. The real tragedy is that many of our high school graduates are not being adequately prepared for life.

A survey recently conducted by the American Psychiatric Association found that 10% of college students have considered suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students -- 1,100 in the United States.

A 2003 study done at Kansas State University found that the number of mental health problems reported by college students doubled between 1988 and 2001.

In addition to academic skills, students need to learn coping skills. They need to know how to handle the ups, downs and stresses of life. Not teaching students these vital life skills is our real failure -- and the real tragedy.

For information about how you can learn skills needed to cope with life click here.

Sources: http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20050817072209990039; http://www.courant.com/features/lifestyle/hc-psychcampus.artaug24,0,3813032.story?coll=hc-headlines-life



August 23, 2005

Depressed people often wait -- painfully -- before seeking treatment. Why? Keep reading to find out.

A recent survey commissioned by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill found that most people experiencing the painful symptoms of depression wait at least a year before trying to get help.

Why would anyone suffer depression for a whole year before seeking help? I think the answer to this question involves how a depressed person thinks.

When depressed, a person thinks of him or herself as being helpless and hopeless. Therefore, anything the person considers doing to help him or herself seems futile.

The mind set is, "Why bother seeking help. It's not going to do any good." With this attitude the person does not seek help.

That is such a shame because depression can be helped.

For information about how your thinking contributes to your depression and what you can do to help yourself click here.

Source: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/4885882/detail.html



August 19, 2005

If you are wise, you will not ignore depression -- even if it is mild.

Joshua Fogel, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioral science at Brooklyn College, in New York City, examined statistics collected in a medical study between 1981 and 1996.

The study involved 1600 people living in Boston. In 1986, 101 of these people were experiencing minor depression. Depression is considered minor when there are not enough symptoms to justify a diagnosis of major depression -- nevertheless, some depression symptoms are being experienced.

The people who were experiencing minor depression in 1986 were found to be six times more likely to develop major depression during the following fifteen years.

If you are experiencing depression, even if it is minor, you need to get help. Left untreated, your depression will probably get worse.

For information about how you can help depression click here.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/feeds/hscout/2005/08/19/hscout527523.html



August 18, 2005

Cognitive therapy does it again -- and this time lives are saved.

A recent study compared the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and treatment as usual in preventing suicide. Treatment as usual included outpatient therapy and medication.

The research was carried out at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the August 3rd edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The results were impressive. Cognitive therapy resulted in reduced suicide attempts. In fact, those who participated in the cognitive therapy were 50% less likely to attempt suicide again.

For information about how you can help depression and prevent suicide click here.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=28556



July 9, 2005

How much exercise does it take to help depression?

I recently received an e-mail from someone asking the question -- How long does it take for exercise to begin to help depression? She explained that she has been walking daily but has not noticed a difference in her depression.

I have already answered the question -- How long does it take for exercise to help? -- in an article posted on my Website. You can read the article by clicking here.

Another related issue may be -- How intensely does a person need to exercise for his or her depression to improve?

A study that addressed this issue was published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine in January 2005. The study found that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 3 to 5 times a week reduced depressive symptoms by 50%.

Dr. Robert J. Heyada, in his book, The Antidepressant Survival Guide, states that for exercise to help depression it has to be intense enough that you begin to breath heavily and break a sweat.

Another important fact to keep in mind is that exercise is not a cure all. There is no doubt that exercise helps depression. This has been demonstrated time after time in research studies.

But other factors also play a role. Factors such as diet, attitude, and brain chemistry may need to be addressed to help depression. To learn more read the blog post below for April 5,2005.



June 1, 2005

Church helps depression.

Research presented at this year's American Psychiatric Association convention indicated that going to church can help protect you from depression, bipolar disorder, panic, and drug and alcohol abuse -- the more frequent your attendance the stronger the positive impact.

Several reasons for this were suggested. It may be that those attending church receive more support from family and friends. Support has long been known to help depression and stress. To learn more about the benefit of support on depression click here.

Another benefit of church attendance is the development of meaning in life. Having a meaning or purpose helps you feel like the struggles of life are worth it. Those struggles become less depressing.

For more information about how you can help depression click here.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20050527-20172300-bc-us-depressionpain.xml



May 28, 2005

Depression hurts physically. So why wait to seek help?

Did you know that depression can cause you to experience headaches, backaches, stomachaches, and vague body pain?

According to information presented at the American Psychiatric Association convention this week, such physical pain is a common manifestation of depression.

Yet patients experiencing these symptoms waited an average of 11 months to seek treatment.

Why? Because they did not know the cause of their discomfort was a treatable problem -- depression.

There is no question that help -- and self-help -- is available.

Have you been waiting to seek help for your depression?

If so, click in the comment form below and share your reason for not doing something about your situation -- whatever the reason is.

I would love to hear your comments.

For information about how you can help your depression click here.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20050527-20172300-bc-us-depressionpain.xml



May 28, 2005

Costly stress, depression, and anxiety!

It was reported this week that in Britain the second leading reason for work absenteeism is stress, depression, and anxiety following disorders such as repetitive strain injuries and backaches.

Such absenteeism cost businesses an enormous amount of money. This expense is then passed along to customers in the form of higher prices.

In addition to the economic cost of stress, depression, and anxiety, there is also a high personal cost. If you are struggling with these problems you know how much you have to pay in pain and suffering.

You know what it is like to feel sad all of the time. You know what it is like to not have the motivation or energy to carry out normal daily activities. You know what it is like to feel empty and lonely even when with friends and family.

What you may not know is that you do not have to stay trapped in stress, depression, and anxiety. There is hope and there is help.

For information about some help resources click here.

Source: http://www.management-issues.com/display_page.asp?section=research&id=2181



May 13, 2005

Helpful Stress?

It is no secret that stress is related to depression. I recently did a Google search on stress. Most of the articles listed addressed stress and depression -- it is as if the two just go together.

To learn more about stress and depression click here.

Researchers at Ohio State University have recently found a positive benefit coming from stress. They found that some stress could enhance the immune response in mice. They believe this will also be true for humans, but additional research is required to confirm this possibility.

Nevertheless, it is a well established fact that some stress (called eustress or good stress) can be helpful. Too little stress is harmful and too much stress is also harmful.

The goal of stress management is to maintain stress at a level where it is beneficial but not detrimental.

Managing stress is often easier said than done -- but it is a skill worth developing.

I have recently written an e-book, which addresses stress management from a biblical perspective. The e-book is entitled Strength For Stressed-Out Saints.

To find out how you can make stress work for you -- rather than against you -- click here.

Source: abcnews.go.com/Technology/DyeHard/story?id=642862&page=1



April 22, 2005

Demoralized? or Depressed? or Both?

Demoralization is being considered as a new psychiatric disorder. Demoralization is defined as a sense of incompetence. A person develops this feeling of being incompetent when he or she is unsure of what to do about a situation or circumstance.

Another aspect of demoralization is the inability to put the situation or circumstance into a time perspective. Past, present, and future tend to be confused. It is as if the individual is thinking "Things are bad, they have always been this bad, and they will always be bad."

This sounds a lot like "learned helplessness." To read more about learned helplessness, click here.

A recent research team investigated the relationship between demoralization and major depression. They found that...

  • some people experience demoralization but not major depression.

  • some people experience major depression but not demoralization.

  • some people experience both major depression and demoralization.

Thus, it seems that demoralization and major depression are two different problems -- although at times they do overlap.

One difference between the two disorders is motivation.

When a person is demoralized he or she is motivated to do something -- but does not know what to do. When depressed the person experiences a decrease in motivation. Even if he or she knows what to do the motivation to do it is not there.

It seems that demoralization can produce learned helplessness. Then, in turn, learned helplessness can result in major depression.

The good news is that you can overcome all three problems -- learned helplessness, demoralization, and depression. Transformation skills can help.

To learn more about how you can help yourself with transformation skills click here.

Sources: Compr Psychiatry. 1993 Sep-Oct;34(5):308-11; www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=23296



April 8, 2005

Again, cognitive therapy is found to be effective in treating depression.

There are some important differences in the results of the most recent research published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry compared to previous research.

One difference is that the patients treated were moderately to severely depressed. Earlier research has explored the effectiveness of treating mildly to moderately depressed patients. Cognitive therapy was found to be effective in treating this more severely depressed group.

The research also found that those patients treated with only cognitive therapy improved as much as the patients treated with only medication. That is, the effectiveness of cognitive therapy was found to be equal to the effectiveness of medication -- without medication side effects.

What happened after treatment was discontinued?

More medication treated patients relapsed; fewer cognitive therapy patients.

More surprising results came from comparing cognitive therapy patients after therapy was stopped with patients that continued to take medication.

Which group had fewer relapses?

Neither -- the number of cognitive therapy patients that relapsed after treatment was stopped was about the same as the number of patients that relapsed while continuing to take medication. Thus, cognitive therapy produced more lasting results than medication.

To learn more about how your thinking relates to depression click here.

Source: DeRubeis, R. (2005).Archives of General Psychiatry, April (62): 409-422.



April 7, 2005

My doctor tells me that I have a chemical imbalance and need medication. But I don't want to have to take medication. And I don't like the side-effects.

Cheer-up. You may not have to take medication to get over depression. More and more studies are showing that you can help depression without medication.

One recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that cognitive therapy can help even moderate to severe depression.

The study compared the results of treating moderately to severely depressed patients with medication, with a placebo, or with cognitive therapy. Those patients receiving cognitive therapy improved as much as those receiving medication -- without medication side-effects.

In cognitive therapy patients are taught to identify patterns of thinking which increase depression. They also learn to challenge and change their thinking. As the thinking patterns change so does the depression.

The down side is cognitive therapy requires more effort. It is harder to change your attitudes that to swallow a pill -- but then there are no side-effects.

To learn more about how your thinking relates to depression click here.

Source: http://www.expressnewsline.com/phpnews1/news.php?action=fullnews&id=3923



April 6, 2005

"I just want to be alone."

You may find yourself wanting to be alone when depressed. Social withdrawal is a symptom of depression.

There are probably several reasons you want to be alone when depressed...

  • You may be feeling like you don't have the energy to deal with people.

  • Interacting with people can be stressful and, when depressed, you want to avoid as much stress as possibe.

  • Feelings of poor self-esteem and guilt, which often accompany depression, can make you think others don't like you and don't want to be around you.

  • Depression may make it hard for you to focus your thoughts or concentration; thus, conversation with others may be difficult.

  • When depressed, you think of yourself as helpless and expect the worst; therefore, you believe others will reject you. Withdrawl may be a way of protecting yourself from the pain of rejection.
Nevertheless, withdrawing from social support may be one of the worse things you can do when depressed. Researchers Chanokruthai Choenarom, Reg Arthur Williams, and Bonnie M. Hagerty found that feeling a sense of belonging can help decrease your symptoms of depression.

Feeling like you fit in is more important than having social support. That is, you may have support from others but if you don't think you fit in, the support is not that helpful.

To help your depression don't isolate, push people away, or reject support. Rather, make use of all the support you have available.

To learn more about how you can help your depression click here.

Source: Chanokruthai, C., Williams, R. A., & Hagerty, B. M. (2005). The role of sense of belonging and social support on stress and depression in individuals with depression. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, February, 19 (1).



April 5, 2005

Overcoming depression is like putting together a puzzle.

Recently I saw someone trying to put together a puzzle. The person opened the puzzle box -- which contained about 1000 pieces -- grabbed a handful of pieces, and started trying to construct the puzzle.

This person's efforts were doomed to failure right from the start. Why?

Because he did not have all of the pieces. In fact, he did not even have half of the pieces. If you want to successfully put a puzzle together, you have to have all of the pieces.

You can learn something about overcoming depression from this.

Many people approach depression in much the same manner that the person approached the puzzle. They read about one or two techniques or activities that help depression and try these but don't get better. The techniques or activities that they try may include exercise, nutrition, medication or therapy. But they don't get better. Why?

Or they may get better for a short time and then get worse. Why?

Because they don't have all of the pieces. If you want to overcome depresssion you need all of the pieces -- or at lease many of the pieces.

If you have been trying to overcome depression and you have not gotten better, it means that you don't have all of the pieces.

Your approach to overcoming depression needs to be comprehensive. So don't give-up. Keep exploring, learning and working at it. The more pieces you find the greater your improvement will be.

To learn more about how you can help your depression click here.

March 30, 2005

Recently I was talking to a friend discussing depression.

He commented, "I don't know what the big deal is. Everybody gets depressed from time to time."

Do You agree?

I don't. Click here to find out why.



March 25, 2005

The old saying is, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

It turns out that all work and no play also makes Jack a depressed, stressed out, sick boy.

To learn more, click here.

Source: Lewis, D. E. Too many tasks, too little play can cause depression. March 26, 2005. http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=86277



March 22, 2005

Depressed patients frequently tell me, "I take the antidepressant drug and it helps, but I still feel depressed." or "The meds help for awhile but then they stop working. The doctor changes me to another medication. It works for awhile and then it stops working."

What is the answer? A new study may give us part of the answer.

Click here to learn more.



March 21, 2005

This simple, easily accomplished, inexpensive, 15 minutes per day activity can help reduce your depression.

Click here to learn more.



March 20, 2005

New innovative treatments provide hope for those with chronic resistant depression -- but are we overlooking something important?

Click here to learn more.



March 19, 2005

This Website and others like it can help you reduce the stigma and personal shame associated with depression.

Click here to learn more.



March 18, 2005

Is your job killing you?

To find out click here.



March 17, 2005

Bad health does not have to cause you to be in a bad mood.

Research has repeatedly found that people who are sick do not experience more depression than those who are healthy.

One recent study published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology compared the happiness levels of 49 patients with end-stage kidney failure and 49 healthy volunteers. The two groups were found to have about the same level of happiness.

Your attitude is more important than your health in determining how happy you are.

To learn more about how your attitude can impact your mood click here.

Source: Nagourney, Eric. Health and happiness aren't always linked. February 15, 2005. February 15, 2005 www.nytimes.com/2005/02/15/health/psychology/15emot.html?ex=1111122000&en=0089708c0e408480&ei=5070



March 15, 2005

Leading experts on depression say that this Website can save lives.

Well, they did not exactly say that, but what they did say could lead you to that conclusion. For an explanation click here.

Source: Winterholter, Ann. At least one in 17 has had thoughts of suicide. March 14, 2005, The Daily Sentinel. www.gjsentinel.com/hp/content/news/stories/2005/03/14/3_14_Suicide_at_risk; SMITH, GRAEME. Teaching primary kids about depression 'could cut suicides.' March 14,2005.Teaching primary kids about depression ‘could cut suicides’ www.theherald.co.uk/news/35140.html



March 14, 2005

There is something fishy about by depression treatment.

Did you know that eating fish can help you be less depressed? For more information click here.



March 13, 2005

"I'm depressed because of my genes."

You may believe this. And you may be right -- but you are only partly right.

In fact, the belief that depression is genetic may, in part, be keeping you depressed. Let me explain.

It is well known that believing "I am helpless" contributes greatly to depression. If you think that your depression is genetic and, thus, you can't do anything about it, you will feel more helpless and more depressed.

The problem is with the "you can't do anything about it" part of your belief. Even if your depression is genetic, you can still do something about it.

I recently watched the movie "Ray" about the life of Ray Charles. In the movie, Ray's mother told him never to let his blindness cause him to become a cripple. Ray listened to her advice and worked hard at developing the skills needed to live independently. He refused to become a cripple because of his blindness.

However, he did not develop the coping skills needed to deal with pain and tragedy in his life.

Because of his poorly developed coping skills, he became crippled by addictions -- to drugs and to sex.

Later in life, he was successful in developing coping skills. Through the newly acquired coping skills he lived more fully, joyfully, and successfully.

You do not have to allow depression to make you a cripple. You can develop the coping skills needed to live fully, joyfully, and successfully despite your depression -- whether or not it is genetic.

I often ask my clients, "Can you be stubborn?" They almost always say, "Yes. I do know how to be stubborn."

I then tell them to stubbornly refuse to allow depression to wreck their lives.

I encourage you to take this attitude, "I stubbornly refuse to allow depression to wreck my life. I will do everything I can to live fully, joyfully, and successfully despite my depression."

To learn more about what you can do to cope with and overcome depression click here.



March 12, 2005

Do something about your depression for the kids sake.

Here is another reason to actively address and deal with your depression. Research conducted at London's Kings College has found that children of depressed mothers are much more likely to have behavior problems.

As I talk with people who are depressed, they often say things like, "What's the use?" and "Where do I find the motivation?"

Maybe this can be another source of motivation -- "Getting better will not only help me; it may also help my kids."

To learn more about what you can do to cope with and overcome depression click here.

Source: JAMA, news release, Feb. 7, 2005



March 11, 2005

Spring will soon be arriving -- and that is good news for many who experience depression.

During the winter months the days are shorter and there is less sunlight. This can trigger a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. According to researcher, Randall Flory, of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, 6 to 8 percent of Americans experience severe SAD.

SAD can make your life miserable if untreated. Flory's research has found that treatment is easy, inexpensive and effective. Eighty percent of patients exposed to a bright UV light for 30 minutes a day improved.

As the days get longer, warmer, and brighter, get out and enjoy the sunshine. One way to do this is to go for an outdoor walk. Exercise, as well as sunlight, has been found to help depression. If you walk outdoors on a sunny day you are getting a double dose of depression treatment.

For those dark days you can purchase a lightbox for about $60. By sitting in front of the lightbox you will receive the light needed to improve your mood.

To learn more about SAD click here.

Sources: Randall Flory, Ph.D., professor, psychology, Hollins University, Roanoke, Va.; Anie Kalayjian, Ed.D., R.N., professor, psychology, Fordham University, New York City, and spokeswoman, American Psychological Association



March 10, 2005

Depression is bad for your health. If you are a heart patient -- depression is very bad for your health.

A study at Duke University Medical Center, lead by Wei Jiang, M.D. and supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, found a strong relationship between depression and death in patients suffering from chronic heart failure. Even very mild depression symptoms were found to increase the risk of death for these heart patients.

There are several reasons that depressed patients are at a greater risk of dying, according to Dr. Jiang.

One reason is that depressed patients often have blood platelet abnormalities. They also tend to have elevated immune-inflammatory responses. The depressed person's heart appears to be impaired in its ability to react appropriately to the stresses of everyday life.

Depressed patients are more noncompliant with their treatments. They frequently miss doctor's appointments. This is because depression resulted in poor motivation and energy.

Patients who are depressed are more likely to live unhealthy life-styles -- smoking and eating an unhealthy diet.

If you are a heart patient experiencing depression -- even very mild depression -- it is very important that you talk with your doctor and get help. The good news is depression is very treatable. You can get better and live a longer, healther, happier life.

To learn more about depression and medical problems click here.

Sources: Wei Jiang, M.D., assistant professor, internal medicine and psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; March 7, 2005, American College of Cardiology scientific sessions, Orlando, Fla.; March 5, 2005, American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting, Vancouver; March 5, 2005, Duke University press release



March 9, 2005

Another study shows that you can reduce your depression by exercising.

The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes three to five times a week helps mild to moderate depression. The treadmill workout needs to be of moderate intensity.

In the study 42% of the subjects had their depressions go into remission. This is about the same as with psychotherapy (36%) and antidepressant medication (42%).

If you struggle with depression, first check with you doctor, then put on your walking shoes and get on the treadmill.

To read more about depression and exercise click here.

Source: Mapaye, Joy. "A walk on the treadmill could keep depression away," March 8, 2005. www.ktuu.com/CMS/templates/2yourhealth.asp?articleid=12369&zoneid=6