Depression

U.S. Army’s tactic to fall asleep in two minutes

What happened when I tried the U.S. Army’s tactic to fall asleep in two minutes
Posted on FastCompany.com, article by Michael Grothaus

Insomnia can be a coexisting condition for many, if not all, of the conditions I treat. ADHD, depression, and anxiety can all lead to sleepless nights. While there is a lot of research behind consistently using good "sleep hygiene," the approach in this article is reportedly effective as well. As long as you give yourself 6 weeks of time to practice every night.

Think a few sleepless nights isn't a big deal?
This article cites studies saying that "the average worker loses the equivalent of 11 days of productivity every year due to sleep issues" and "poor sleep cost US businesses a staggering $411 billion in lost productivity every year."

Regular exercise can reduce risk for depression

Regular exercise can reduce risk for depression
By HealthDay News, April 26, 2018

Here's one more reason to go biking, hiking, or whatever form of exercise you engage in. This article is about "the first global meta-analysis to establish that engaging in physical activities beneficial for protecting the general population from developing depression." It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter where you live. Just get out there.

Not Talking About Mental Health Is Literally Killing Men

"Not Talking About Mental Health Is Literally Killing Men"

by Sean Evans, MensHealth.com, 5/2/18.An interesting article about mental health stigma among men. The articles states, “Male suicide is rising at such an alarming rate that it’s been classified as a “silent epidemic.” It’s the seventh leading cause of death for males. That’s a staggering statistic...This macho attitude of stuffing your feelings down, or ignoring them, is antiquated and downright dangerous.” Read the full article here.

Depression Now World’s Most Widespread Illness

"Depression Is Now the World’s Most Widespread Illness"By Laura Entis as published online in Fortune.com, Mar 30, 2017This article came out earlier this spring and gave some hard numbers on just how pervasive and destructive depression can be. Here are some of the key statistics.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 322 million people were living with depression in 2015. That makes it the number one cause of ill health and disability worldwide.
  • The majority of people suffering from depression are not receiving adequate care.
  • Even in high income countries it is estimated that half of people suffering from depression did not receive treatment.
  • The cost related to depression add up to $1 trillion annually by WHO estimates.

 

Poor Sleep May Make You Prone to Colds

Poor Sleep May Make You Prone to ColdsBBC Health onlineContinuing on the last post's theme of sleep and things-that-were-obvious-but-now-verified-by-science, I'm posting this article about the effect of inadequate sleep on the immune system. Inadequate sleep can be caused by many things, including poor impulse control, poor time management, depression, anxiety, and physical conditions such as sleep apnea.The lead researcher, Dr Aric Prather, is quoted saying "Short sleep was more important than any other factor in predicting subjects' likelihood of catching cold. It didn't matter how old people were, their stress levels, their race, education or income. It didn't matter if they were a smoker. With all those things taken into account, statistically sleep still carried the day."Inadequate sleep also makes us more vulnerable to emotions such as anger, anxiety, and sadness and impairs our concentration. Click here to read more.

How do I deal with seasonal affective disorder?

"How do I … deal with seasonal affective disorder?"By Phil MaynardFrom TheGuardian.comGiven the upcoming end of daylight savings time this Sunday in the United States, I thought this article would be useful and timely. The article mentions a few tips for coping and also links to another article (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2005/nov/17/health.lifeandhealth3) that provides a more complete list of treatment options, including CBT.As with any disorder, the earlier you intervene, the better off you will be. The symptoms can affect your motivation so as they become more severe it becomes progressively more difficult to apply many of the treatment recommendations.Adults with ADHD also tend to have difficulty maintaining a regular sleep schedule, so when the clock "falls back" Sunday, it's extra important to use good sleep hygiene to stay on track.

And the Secret to Happiness Is…

CNN: “And the Secret to Happiness Is…”by Sanjay Gupta, MD2 min, 0 secDr. Gupta makes a number of interesting points in this video.

  • Happiness can help you live a longer and happier life.*
  • Much of our happiness is related to our social connections. So having no social connections is correlated with less happiness and a shorter lifespan.
  • Telomeres are the caps on our DNA chromosomes that measure our cellular age. The older we get, the shorter the telomeres. Someone without any close social ties will have shorter telomeres than someone of the same age with at least one close friend.
  • People who tend to have a lot of negative thoughts are three times as likely to develop health problems as they age. But research indicates that even just pretending to be an optimist can help reverse this trend. In addition, changing the habitual way we think is one of the core skills that you develop in cognitive behavior therapy.

* Those of you familiar with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will understand that happiness is not as straightforward of a concept as it may seem and being fixated on being happy actually make you miserable. But that's a whole other discussion. But a very interesting topic. If you'd like to read more you can check out Russ Harris's book "The Happiness Trap."

CNN: How Your Smart Phone Affects Your Sleep

CNN: “How Your Smart Phone Affects Your Sleep”By Sanjay Gupta, MD1 min, 31 secDr. Gupta explains in this video how using our smart phones before bed can hurt our chances of a good night’s sleep. He says that looking at emails or other content on our phones can "take our brains from 0 to 60" (in terms of arousal) very quickly. In addition, the light from the phone (and other electronics) can disrupt our circadian rhythms. The light can inhibit the production of melatonin, a chemical in the body that's involved in helping us fall asleep. The vast majority of the ADHD clients I work with have problems with regulating sleep and oversleeping or insomnia also is frequently a symptom of depression or anxiety.

BBC: "Ketamine 'exciting' depression therapy"

BBC reports that Ketamine (considered a "dissociative anesthetic") has been shown to have some very rapid and dramatic effects on depression in early research studies. As the article describes, there are also potential side effects that are quite serious and "it's not about to replace prozac" anytime soon. They believe that in the future Ketamine itself will not be used, but understanding how it affects the brain will yield new medications with fewer side effects.