buy hypertropin

Calendar

January 2011
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Pages

Archives

Blogroll






Look me in the eyes ... by ladyLara

Genetic Link for Stress-Induced Depression?


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on April 7, 2010

Experts acknowledge that some mental health conditions can be triggered by environmental stimuli and often occur in response to stressful life events.


New research, using an animal model, hopes to discover why some people are at risk.


Well-known examples of stress-induced mental illness include depression and schizophrenia. Researchers are aware that some people have a genetic predisposition for stress-induced disorders.


They have learned that a high number of depressed people have a genetic change that alters a protein cells use to talk to each other in the brain. Also, brain imaging of people with depression also shows that they have greater activity in some areas of their brain.


Unfortunately, the techniques that are currently available have not been able to determine why stress induces pathological changes for some people and how their genetics contribute to disease.


A new mouse model may provide some clues about what makes some people more likely to develop depression after experiencing stress. A collaborative group of European researchers created a mouse that carries a genetic change associated with depression in people.


“This model has good validity for understanding depression in the human, in particularly in cases of stress-induced depression, which is a fairly widespread phenomenon,” says Dr. Alessandro Bartolomucci, the first author of the research published in the journal, Disease Models and Mechanisms (DMM).


The scientists made genetic changes in the transporter that moves a signaling protein, serotonin, out of the communication space between neurons in the brain. The changes they made are reminiscent of the genetic changes found in people who have a high risk of developing depression.


“There is a clear relationship between a short form of the serotonin transporter and a very high vulnerability to develop clinical depression when people are exposed to increasing levels of stressful life events,” says Dr. Bartolomucci.


“This is one of the first studies performed in mice that only have about 50 percent of the normal activity of the transporter relative to normal mice, which is exactly the situation that is present in humans with high vulnerability to depression.”


Mice with the genetic change were more likely to develop characteristics of depression and social anxiety, which researchers measure by their degree of activity and their response to meeting new mice.


The work from this study now allows researchers to link the genetic changes that are present in humans with decreased serotonin turnover in the brain. It suggests that the genetic mutation impedes the removal of signaling protein from communication areas in the brain, which may result in an exaggerated response to stress.


Dr. Bartolomucci points out that many of the chemical changes they measured occurred in the areas of the brain that regulate memory formation, emotional responses to stimuli and social interactions, which might be expected.


“What we were surprised by was the magnitude of vulnerability that we observed in mice with the genetic mutation and the selectivity of its effects”.


Source: The Company of Biologists


http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/04/07/genetic-link-for-stress-induced-depression/12658.html


Related News Articles


Air force Pilot by ChristopherjSmith

FAA Still Stigmatizes Depression, Mental Illness


By John M Grohol PsyD


The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday cleared pilots who have depression to regain their flying privileges, with one tiny caveat — they have to be taking one of only four “approved” antidepressants. I can only express my extreme disappointment at this decision because while it has the potential to help pilots take to the air again if they were suffering from depression, it fails to recognize other effective treatments for depression.


Apparently, the FAA doesn’t recognize the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the treatment of depression. This despite something on the order of four decades’ (or more) worth of research demonstrating its effectiveness for everything from mild to severe depression. In fact, if anything, there’s more research that calls into question the effectiveness of these four antidepressants than there is showing they help.


The Los Angeles Times has the upshot:


FAA policy bans pilots from flying if they have depression because the condition can be distracting in the cockpit and pose a safety risk, according to the agency. Under the new policy, pilots with depression can seek treatment with one of the four medications and keep flying.


You know what else can be distracting in the cockpit? Laptops. Guess what the FAA doesn’t ban in the cockpit. Yes, laptops. So how can this be about “distraction” rather than simple ignorance about mental illness? Does a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD) also get you banned from the cockpit (given that one of its hallmarks is distraction)? No, it doesn’t, unless you happen to be taking a medication to treat it.


In fact, if you’re taking any psychiatric medication outside of these four antidepressants, you’re going to lose your pilot’s license unless you go off of them for at least 90 days. The FAA doesn’t care about your illness or your mental health. All they care about are possible side effects of the medications — but not the effects or symptoms of the illness itself! (The exceptions are substance/alcohol abuse, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — all of which are grounds for a license denial.)


None of this makes any sense. Either disqualify pilots from obtaining their license with any kind of mental health issue outright, or qualify them if they are seeking and in treatment for them. Don’t hand out piecemeal, arbitrary decisions like this one about specific types of treatment you accept that are apparently based upon, not research, but something else. What that something else is (given 3 of the 4 antidepressants are generics, I don’t think it was pharmaceutical lobbying) is anyone’s guess.


From the FAA press release:


On a case-by-case basis beginning April 5, pilots who take one of four antidepressant medications – Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa), or Escitalopram (Lexapro) – will be allowed to fly if they have been satisfactorily treated on the medication for at least 12 months. The FAA will not take civil enforcement action against pilots who take advantage of a six-month opportunity to share any previously non-disclosed diagnosis of depression or the use of these antidepressants.


I don’t feel any less safe flying knowing that pilots who are seeking and getting treatment for their depression and in the cockpit. I’d feel far less safe flying knowing the FAA was pretending that mental health conditions don’t exist or don’t affect their pilots, or that pilots weren’t taking action to help themselves. The FAA still lives in a state of denial about the prevalence of these disorders, and is hiding its head in the sand by approving just these four drugs.


Read the full article: Depressed pilots may fly with medication, FAA says


FAA Disease Protocols (note the lack of any mental illness protocols outside of substance abuse)


http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/04/03/faa-still-stigmatizes-depression-mental-illness/


A feather by ladyLara

If You’re Depressed, Fearful, It Might Help To Worry, Too


A new study of brain activity in depressed and anxious people indicates that some of the ill effects of depression are modified – for better or for worse – by anxiety.


The study, in the journal Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, looked at depression and two types of anxiety: anxious arousal, the fearful vigilance that sometimes turns into panic; and anxious apprehension, better known as worry.


The researchers used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) at the Beckman Institute’s Biomedical Imaging Center to look at brain activity in subjects who were depressed and not anxious, anxious but not depressed, or who exhibited varying degrees of depression and one or both types of anxiety.


“Although we think of depression and anxiety as separate things, they often co-occur,” said University of Illinois psychology professor Gregory A. Miller, who led the research with Illinois psychology professor Wendy Heller. “In a national study of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, three-quarters of those diagnosed with major depression had at least one other diagnosis. In many cases, those with depression also had anxiety, and vice versa.”


Previous studies have generally focused on people who were depressed or anxious, Miller said. Or they looked at both depression and anxiety, but lumped all types of anxiety together.


Miller and Heller have long argued that the anxiety of chronic worriers is distinct from the panic or fearful vigilance that characterizes anxious arousal.


In an earlier fMRI study, they found that the two types of anxiety produce very different patterns of activity in the brain. Anxious arousal lights up a region of the right inferior temporal lobe (just behind the ear). Worry, on the other hand, activates a region in the left frontal lobe that is linked to speech production.


(Other research has found that depression, by itself, activates a region in the right frontal lobe.)


In the new study, brain scans were done while participants performed a task that involved naming the colors of words that had negative, positive, or neutral meanings. This allowed the researchers to observe which brain regions were activated in response to emotional words.


The researchers found that the fMRI signature of the brain of a worried and depressed person doing the emotional word task was very different from that of a vigilant or panicky depressed person.


“The combination of depression and anxiety, and which type of anxiety, give you different brain results,” Miller said.


Perhaps most surprisingly, anxious arousal (vigilance, fear, panic) enhanced activity in that part of the right frontal lobe that is also active in depression, but only when a person’s level of anxious apprehension, or worry, was low. Neural activity in a region of the left frontal lobe, an area known to be involved in speech production, was higher in the depressed and worried-but-not-fearful subjects.


Despite their depression, the worriers also did better on the emotional word task than those depressives who were fearful or vigilant. The worriers were better able to ignore the meaning of negative words and focus on the task, which was to identify the color – not the emotional content – of the words.


These results suggest that fearful vigilance sometimes heightens the brain activity associated with depression, whereas worry may actually counter it, thus reducing some of the negative effects of depression and fear, Miller said.


“It could be that having a particular type of anxiety will help processing in one part of the brain while at the same time hurting processing in another part of the brain,” he said. “Sometimes worry is a good thing to do. Maybe it will get you to plan better. Maybe it will help you to focus better. There could be an up-side to these things.”


Researchers from the University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Colorado collaborated on the study. The National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health; the Beckman Institute and Intercampus Research Initiative in Biotechnology supported the research.


Miller is affiliated with the U. of I. department of psychology, the Beckman Institute, the Neuroscience Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the department of psychiatry in the College of Medicine.


Article,: “Co-occurring Anxiety Influences Patterns of Brain Activity in Depression”


Source:
Diana Yates
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/184310.php


happy valentines day - pink gerbera with a heart of chocolate! by Vanessa Pike-Russell

It’s a dreadful place.


Relapse.


Maybe you had hoped you’d never go there. Or maybe you stay awake fearing you will. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to stay there for long. You’ll be on your way shortly.


I prefer to use the term “set back” when I get sucked back into the Black Hole — bam! — stuck inside a brain that covets relief, any form of relief, and will do just about anything to get it. Because it’s certainly not the end of recovery. From depression or any addiction. A relapse merely gives you a new starting place.


Since I’ve been struggling with this recently in my own life, I’ve laid out seven strategies to get unstuck … to recover from a relapse.


1. Listen to the right people.


If you’re like me, you’re convinced that you are lazy, ugly, stupid, weak, pathetic, and self-absorbed when you are depressed or have given into an addiction. Unconsciously, you seek people, places, and things that will confirm those opinions. So, for example, when my self-esteem has plummeted to below-seawater status, I can’t stop thinking about the relative who asked me, after I had just returned from the psych ward and was doing everything I possibly could to recover from depression: “Do you WANT to feel better?” Indicating that I was somehow willing myself to stay sick in order to get attention or maybe because fantasizing about death is so much fun. I can’t get her and that question out of my mind when I’m pedaling backward. SO I draw a picture of her, with her question inside a bubble. Then I draw me with a bubble that says “HELL YES, DIMWIT!” Then I get out my self-esteem file and read a few of the affirmations of why I’m not lazy, ugly, stupid, weak, pathetic, and self-absorbed.


2. Make time to cry.


I’ve listed the healing faculties of tears in my piece “7 Good Reasons to Cry Your Eyes Out.” Your body essentially purges toxins when you weep. It’s as if all your emotions are bubbling to the surface, and when you cry, you release them, which is why it is so cathartic. Lately, I’ve been allowing myself 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to have a good cry, to say whatever I want without cognitive adjustments, to let it all out, and not to judge it.


3. Ditch the self-help.


As I wrote in my piece “Use Caution with Positive Thinking,” cognitive-behavioral adjustments can be extremely helpful for persons struggling with mild to moderate depression, or struggling with an addition that isn’t destroying them. With severe depression or a crippling addiction, though, positive thinking can sometimes make matters worse. I was so relieved the other day when my psychiatrist told me to put the self-help books away. Because I do think they were contributing to my self-battery.


Right now, when I start to think “I can’t take it anymore,” I try not to fret. I don’t worry about how I can adjust those thoughts. I simply consider the thoughts as symptoms of my bipolar disorder, and say to myself, “It’s okay. You won’t feel that way when you’re better. The thoughts are like a drop in insulin to a diabetic … a symptom of your illness, and a sign you need to be especially gentle with yourself.”


4. Distract yourself.


Instead of sitting down with some self-help books, you would be better off doing whatever you can to distract yourself. I remember this from my former therapist who told me, during the months of my severe breakdown, to do mindless things … like word puzzles and reading trashy novels. Recently, I’ve been going to Navy football games, which does take my mind off of my thoughts for a few hours on Saturdays. Not that I understand football … but there is a lot to watch besides the cheerleaders. Like my children trying to score all kinds of junk food.


5. Look for signs of hope.


The little, unexpected signs of hope kept me alive during my mega-breakdown, and they are the gas for my sorry-performing engine during a fragile time like this. Yesterday, a saw a rose bloom on our rose bush out front. In October! Since roses symbolize healing for me, I took it as a sign of hope … that I won’t plummet too far … there are things in this life that I’m meant to do.


6. Say yes anyway.


In her book Solace: Finding Your Way Through Grief and Learning to Live Again, author Roberta Temes suggests a policy whereby you always say yes to an invitation out. That keeps you from isolating, which is so easy to do when you’re grieving or stuck in a depression or off the wagon in a big way. I’ve been following this piece of advice. When a friend asks me to have coffee (and I really hope she doesn’t!), I have to say yes. It’s non-negotiable. Until I feel better and get back my brain.


7. Break your day into moments.


Most depressives and addicts would agree that “a day at a time” simply doesn’t cut it. That’s WAY too long. Especially first thing in the morning. I have to get to bedtime? Are you kidding me? So when rear-ended in the depression tunnel or fighting one of my many addictions, I break the day into about 850 moments. Each minute has a few moments. Right now it’s 11:00. I only have to worry about what I’m doing now, until, say 11:02.


For all 12 strategies on how to recover from a relapse, click here!


Source:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/04/03/7-strategies-to-help-you-recover-from-a-relapse/


The New Baby - Original Mixed Media Collage Art Painting By Sascalia - Mother and Baby by sascalia

Postpartum Depression in Adoptive Parents


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on April 1, 2010


New research suggests postpartum blues can occur even when a baby or child is adopted. The altered mood often follows unrealistic expectations that peak during the adoption process.


“People often hear about postpartum blues when having a baby, but the emotional well-being of adoptive parents once the child is placed in the home is not really talked about,” said Karen J. Foli, an assistant professor of nursing and an adoptive mother.


“In this study, the majority of the adoptive parents who self-reported having experienced depression after the child was placed in their home often described unmet or unrealistic expectations of him- or herself, the child, family and friends, or society.


“For example, some parents shared that they did not anticipate that bonding with their child would be a struggle or that family members or friends would not offer the same support that birthparents enjoy.”


The signs and symptoms of depression include depressed mood, decreased interest or pleasure in activities, significant weight changes, difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping, feeling agitated, fatigue, excessive guilt and shame, and indecisiveness.


“Postadoption depression not only affects the parents, but it also has an influence on the well-being of the child,” she said.


Foli, who is co-author of the book The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption, interviewed 21 adoptive parents about their adoption and depression experiences, as well as 11 adoption experts and professionals.


The adopted children’s range of age at placement was newborn to 12 years, and when the study was conducted the children’s ages ranged from 12 months to 24 years. Foli’s findings are published in this month’s Western Journal of Nursing Research.


“Many adoptive parents spend their time during the adoption process demonstrating they are not only going to be fit parents, but super parents, and then they struggle with trying to be the world’s best parent when the child is placed in the home,” Foli said.


“Adoptive parents also may experience feelings about their legitimacy as a parent, or even surprise if they don’t readily bond with the infant or child.”


Other factors that contribute to postadoption depression may include the expectations surrounding the child’s attachment to the parent, a lack of peers, the lack of boundaries with birthparents in open adoptive agreements, and society’s attitude toward adoptive families as a whole.


Adoptive parents also are tired by the time the child comes into the home, Foli said. They have endured a rigorous adoption process and much of their lives have been out of their control.


“Obtaining that next form or checking that next box while waiting for the child can shift the focus away from parenting and emphasize the process of adoption,” Foli said.


It’s estimated there are 2 million adoptive parents in the United States. Adoptions can take place through public agencies, international organizations, private organizations, kinship agreements or tribal adoptions.


“Even though adoption continues to grow in the United States and become more mainstream, there is conventional wisdom that implies adoption was ‘Plan B’ for the parents,” Foli said.


“New adoptive parents often realize they weren’t as prepared as they thought they were and the child’s needs may overwhelm them. Some family members may not be receptive to news about an adoption or they may even treat the adopted children differently.


“Some parents in the study reported that acquaintances or strangers felt entitled to ask probing questions about the adoption, such as, ‘How much did the child cost?”


The adoption professionals who participated in the study said parents were often reluctant to admit their struggles out of fear and shame.


Parents also echoed feelings of extreme guilt and confusion over how they were struggling, particularly after their intense longing and eagerness to bring a child home.


“We need to empower parents to share their feelings with adoption-smart professionals, online or face-to-face support groups, trusted significant others, and friends,” Foli said.


“Parents should realize they are not being disloyal to their children or families to feel the way they do. Health-care providers, especially nurses, can be instrumental in detecting issues related to depression or the mental well-being of the parents.


“Being more open about such concerns can lead to a healthier, happier family. By helping themselves, they are helping their children.”


Source: Purdue University


http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/04/01/postpartum-depression-in-adoptive-parents/12519.html




Leave a Reply

*