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Health News Results - 208

MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many older adults, including those who are mentally impaired, don't lock up their guns and ammo, University of Washington researchers report.

Almost 39% of the more than 4,400 seniors they surveyed in Washington state said they had a firearm in their home. Nearly a quarter said they keep at least one gun loaded and unlocked. Fewer than a...

MONDAY, April 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide attempts and talk about suicide are rising alarmingly among America's kids, with emergency departments seeing a near doubling of cases over less than a decade, a new study reveals.

Among children aged 5 to 18, suicidal thoughts and attempts led to more than 1.1 million ER visits in 2015 -- up from about 580,000 in 2007, according to an...

THURSDAY, April 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it coincides with HIV, depression appears associated with an increased risk of death, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Veteran's Aging Cohort Study to compare the risk of death among those with and without depression, and the association between depression and death among those with and without HIV, the virus th...

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For those who suffer debilitating depression, stimulating the brain can bring desperately needed relief, new research shows.

The study findings suggest that this type of therapy should be considered as an alternative or additional treatment for the toughest cases of the mood disorder.

Depression is typically treated with drugs and...

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having a fussy baby doesn't just rob a new mother of sleep -- it can also increase her risk of depression, a new study finds.

That fussiness, combined with premature birth, may significantly affect a new mother's mood.

"We found that maternal depression risk varied by gestational age and infant fussiness," said senior study author...

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Abuse during childhood can cause structural changes in the brain that increase a person's risk of severe and recurrent depression, a new study reveals.

The findings "add further weight to the notion that patients with clinical depression who were mistreated as children are clinically distinct" from people who didn't suffer such trauma in ea...

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Postpartum depression is a common and often devastating condition for new mothers, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first drug to help combat it.

The drug, Zulesso (brexanolone), is delivered via intravenous infusion.

"Postpartum depression is a serious condition that, when severe, can be life-thr...

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hormonal treatment can help control prostate cancer but may increase a man's risk of depression, a new study by Danish researchers suggests.

Male hormones, such as testosterone, are known to fuel the growth of prostate tumors. So doctors use drugs to reduce hormone production. But that can bring on tough side effects, such as incontinence o...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young Americans may be more vulnerable to depression, distress and suicidal thoughts or attempts than their parents' generation, and social media might be fueling that troubling trend.

So claims a review of a decade's worth of data on roughly 200,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17, and 400,000 young adults over 18.

Investigat...

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Taking vitamin pills and other supplements won't prevent depression, but promoting better eating habits might help, new research suggests.

The study included more than 1,000 overweight or obese people in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain who were at risk for depression, but were not currently depressed.

Excess w...

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When the clocks spring forward an hour this Sunday, it will throw everyone off.

But the time change will affect children with mental health issues the most, experts warn.

"Sleep is a more complicated issue for patients with a mental health disorder," said Dr. Robert Kowatch. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and sleep medicin...

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the nasal spray medication esketamine -- a relative of the club drug and anesthetic ketamine -- for use against severe depression.

Sold as Spravato, the fast-acting drug becomes the first new type of medicine approved in years against an illness that plagues millions of Americans.

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could give its approval this week to esketamine -- a relative of the "club drug" and anesthetic ketamine -- against severe depression.

If that approval comes, it could be the first new class of medicines approved for years against an illness that plagues millions of Americans.

Approval couldn't ...

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For years, doctors have debated the safety of the acne drug most commonly known as Accutane, but new research suggests the medication does not boost depression risk among its users.

"The existing literature to date is quite mixed with regards to the issue of whether there is or is not an association between isotretinoin [Accutane] use and incr...

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Feeling trapped behind a desk, a counter or on the factory floor does no favors for the mind.

Now, research helps confirm that women with jobs that demand long hours may be more prone to depression.

Researchers found that compared with women who worked a standard 40-hour week, those who were on the clock 55 hours or more typically r...

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Can't sleep at night? Perhaps genetics is to blame.

In a new study, dozens of gene regions linked to insomnia have been pinpointed, and researchers also report a link between insomnia and heart disease.

American and British investigators analyzed data from more than 450,000 people in the United Kingdom -- 29 percent of whom reported...

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For decades, U.S. doctors have battled the long hours and demanding schedules that often lead to "burnout." But a new study brings welcome news, showing a slight decline in the numbers of physicians dealing with the issue.

In the third of a series of studies, researchers surveyed more than 5,400 doctors nationwide and found that 44 percent rep...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As excited as you are that your teen's going to college, it's normal to have mixed emotions, such as anxiety, sadness and possibly depression. It's even normal to feel envious that his or her life is just beginning while yours is on the wane.

For most parents, this rush of emotions will pass, but both generations might have to work to ease...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pot may be particularly dangerous for the teenaged brain, a new review suggests.

Not only were those who smoked marijuana more likely to suffer depression and suicidal thoughts, they were also more than three times as likely to attempt suicide between the ages of 18 and 32.

What isn't clear from the review is why. Does marijuana (...

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're worried that your child may suffer from a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you have plenty of company.

About one in every six American kids has at least one mental health disorder, new research shows. But the study delivered even more troubling news -- only half ...

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Time spent on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook probably isn't driving teenagers to depression, a new study contends.

In fact, Canadian researchers found the relationship worked in the opposite direction -- teenage girls who were already depressed tended to spend more time on social media, to try to feel better.

These findings run count...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Certain bacteria dwelling in the human gut might feed depression, according to a new study that adds evidence to the theory.

Researchers found that among over 2,100 adults, those with depression showed differences in specific groups of gut bacteria. And people with higher concentrations of certain other gut bugs generally reported better mental...

MONDAY, Jan. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution may not only make it hard to breathe, but it may also make you unhappy, a new study suggests.

In China, air pollution reportedly causes an average of 1 million premature deaths each year and costs its economy $38 billion.

But it also affects people's happiness, according to researchers led by Siqi Zheng. She is an assoc...

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The gray days of winter bring many people down, but a few simple steps can pep you up, an expert says.

A condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can cause feelings of sadness or depression, lack of energy, problems sleeping, moodiness, changes in appetite and loss of interest in usual activities.

"It is most common amo...

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who develop type 2 diabetes before they turn 40 are twice as likely to be hospitalized for mental illness as those who develop the blood sugar disease after 40, a new study shows.

About 37 percent of all hospitalization days in the under 40 group were due to mental illness, the researchers noted. Mood and psychotic disorders were the ...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When children are having suicidal thoughts, their parents may often be in the dark, a new study shows.

The study included more than 5,000 kids, aged 11 to 17, and one parent for each child. Researchers found that among the children, 8 percent said they had contemplated suicide at some time. But only half of their parents were aware of it.

...

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Millennials struggling with depression aren't being helped by their use of Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, a new study reports.

College students who meet the criteria for major depressive disorder tend to use social media more often and are more heavily addicted to social media, researchers found.

They're also more likely to use s...

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing loss among seniors is not always recognized and treated, but if it were it might help head off late-life depression, a new report suggests.

Older people who suffer from hearing loss have a high risk for depression, and the greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk, researchers have found.

"Most people over age 70 have at ...

TUESDAY, Jan. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Being in tune with the present moment -- called mindfulness -- can relieve stress and make you an actor rather than a reactor, a wellness expert says.

Focusing on what's happening right now allows people to notice things they might otherwise miss, said Dr. Timothy Riley. He is an assistant professor in the family and community medicine depart...

THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A drug used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may actually be harmful, a new study suggests.

The high blood pressure drug prazosin is sometimes used to treat PTSD-related nightmares and insomnia that can increase suicide risk. But this small study suggests the drug may make nightmares and insomnia worse and not reduce suicidal t...

THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who are often bullied may be left with shrinkage in key parts of their brain, increasing their risk for mental illness, European researchers report.

They said such shrinkage eventually appears to create a growing sense of anxiety, even after taking into account the possible onset of other mental health concerns, such as stress and/or d...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Movies, the theater and other cultural events can help you fight the blues as you age.

And the more you go, the less depressed you'll be, new research suggests.

The British study showed that older folks can cut their depression risk by 32 percent simply by going to cultural activities every few months. And if they go at least onc...

TUESDAY, Dec. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Though this is the time of year when family and friends gather and connect, loneliness remains a serious public health issue in the United States, an expert on aging says.

More and more Americans are lonely, and there's growing evidence that it can pose significant health risks.

Nearly one-third of older Americans are lonely, and ch...

TUESDAY, Dec. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- While others are decking the halls, many people find the holidays trigger anxiety and depression.

Stress can arise from financial strain, dealing with difficult relatives or trying to create the perfect holiday, said Michelle Martel, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

Also, the holidays can bring up ...

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram -- the list of popular social media outlets is long and always expanding. But could staying connected through them lead to depression?

That's the question posed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Nearly 1,800 Americans, aged 19 to 32, answered questionnaires about thei...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Jen Godfrey couldn't shake the "deep cloud" that lingered even after she found an antidepressant she could tolerate.

Then a string of stressors hit -- five years of fertility treatment and an 80-pound weight gain during pregnancy that left her with persistent pain; a close relative's suicide; another who went missing; and her own divorce. I...

MONDAY, Dec. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors should screen women for depression during and after pregnancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says in an updated policy statement.

Undiagnosed and untreated depression among pregnant women and new mothers can put a baby's health at risk, and is one of the most common and costly pregnancy-related complications in the United St...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The toll of U.S. military service can be steep for female veterans, with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury each significantly raising the odds of later dementia, new research suggests.

The study, of more than 100,000 older women veterans, spotlights the risk factors stemming from military service that can lead to t...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 28 million Americans are affected by the skin condition eczema, and for some it may become so chronic and severe they consider suicide, new research shows.

A new review of data from 15 studies, involving over 300,000 people, found that those with eczema had a 44 percent higher risk of suicidal thoughts compared with people without th...

FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- On the surface, the news looks good for America's mental health -- a new report shows the rate of people with serious psychological distress is declining, and more folks are seeking mental health care on an outpatient basis.

But the haves are edging out the have-nots when it comes to mental health care, a closer peek at the numbers reveals.

...

TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There's an adjustment period for almost every new college student -- many young people have struggles balancing independence and a heavy workload. But there are some signs that suggest your young person needs more serious help than a care package from home.

Some problems are temporary, like anxiety and stress, which affect huge numbers of coll...

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An increase in prescriptions for antidepressants followed the 2016 "Brexit" vote in England, a new study reports.

This increase may have stemmed from increased uncertainty in some people following the unexpected vote in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, according to the researchers.

For the study, the researcher...

SATURDAY, Dec. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teens and adults with epilepsy are at increased risk for depression and should undergo regular screening, two new studies say.

In one study, researchers evaluated nearly 400 teens, ages 15 to 18, with epilepsy. They found that 8 percent had moderate or severe depression and another 5 percent had attempted suicide or thought about it.

<...

FRIDAY, Nov. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Electrical stimulation of a certain part of the brain may offer a new option for "treatment-resistant" depression, a small new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that 25 patients with moderate-to-severe depression gained significant improvement in their mood after electrical stimulation of a brain...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For the billions of young people who seek community and connection on social media, new research warns their search may be in vain.

Instead, spending too much time on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram may actually increase the risk of depression and loneliness.

So concludes a small analysis that tracked the impact such sites had on...

MONDAY, Nov. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If your 6-month-old still wakes up at 2 a.m., a new study suggests you don't lose any additional sleep worrying about it.

Even if she's still not getting six to eight hours of uninterrupted shut-eye at night by her first birthday, it doesn't mean your baby isn't developing normally.

And, rest assured, it probably won't hurt your chil...

FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Belonging to a community choir may be the best weapon against loneliness for seniors, a new study suggests.

Researchers created community choirs for nearly 400 English- and Spanish-speaking participants at 12 senior centers in San Francisco.

The choirs were led by professional choir directors and accompanists. The songs were culturall...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As stigmas surrounding mental health issues have eased, more U.S. college students are seeking help for emotional problems, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from the Healthy Minds Study, an annual online survey involving more than 150,000 students from 196 campuses.

In 2017, 36 percent of students were diagnosed with me...

MONDAY, Nov. 5, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- Otherwise healthy women diagnosed with postpartum depression may be at higher risk of a heart attack, stroke or heart failure, a new study suggests.

Acting on mounting evidence linking clinical depression to cardiovascular disease, researchers sought to explore whether other forms of depression might also increase the risk for condi...

MONDAY, Nov. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood memories of good connections with your parents can benefit your physical and mental health, according to new research.

The study found that older adults with fond recollections of early relationships with their parents were more likely to have better health, fewer chronic illnesses and a lower risk of depression.

Researchers...

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Wellness Library Results - 49

Pregnancy is a time of many changes not only for your body, but also for your mind. Your mood can swing from sunny to dark, and you'll probably start worrying more than usual. And no matter how much you're looking forward to your baby's arrival, you just might find yourself feeling depressed. By some estimates, depression strikes one in five women during pregnancy. If you're feeling down during ...

When a mother-to-be looks forward to life with a newborn, she might envision a scene out of a Hallmark card, the new parents bathed in a rosy glow, smiling lovingly down at their baby. And there will be those times, of course: The birth of a child is a time that most parents look back on as a high point in life. But for many women, the period after giving birth can be an unexpected low time. An a...

A heart attack, like any other brush with death, can unleash intense waves of emotion. Many survivors feel scared and nervous, even though they're grateful to be alive. And unfortunately, many also slip into depression. Though feeling bleak may seem like a perfectly natural reaction to heart trouble, depression shouldn't be taken lightly. Left untreated, the condition can sap a heart patient's str...

Is there a connection between diabetes and depression? Does diabetes cause depression? Or, does depression cause diabetes? Experts aren't sure, but they are certain about one thing: there is a link. In fact, up to 30 percent of people with diabetes also suffer from depression. This may come as little surprise to you if you're diabetic, since constantly watching your diet and checking your blood s...

If you have diabetes, you've already been through your share of ups and downs. Some days, you may feel like you're in complete control of your disease and your life. Other days, you may feel like the disease is calling the shots. At these times, simply checking your blood sugar or counting your carbohydrates can seem like a monumental task. Don't be surprised when you have an off day. It happens ...

We all have times when we feel euphoric or despondent. A death in the family can cause profound sadness. Winning a sports competition can lead to elation. But some people have dramatic shifts in mood that can take them by surprise. Through no fault of their own, their brains can shift from deep depression to unsettling highs. This condition used to be called manic depression, but now it's known a...

Shirley Beeman's mother used to get drunk and beat her daughter with a wooden spoon, even throwing her through the wall on several occasions. When she was just a toddler, a teenage cousin began molesting her, and years later an uncle took over where the cousin left off. Today, Beeman* has confronted her childhood abuse and discusses it quite openly. Talking about the past and dealing with it, she ...

What is brief therapy? Brief therapy, also called solution-oriented therapy, is based on the idea that most people don't have to spend years on an analyst's couch to solve their emotional problems. The method was developed in the late 1960s by a group of psychotherapists who challenged conventional beliefs about how much self-knowledge you need in order to change. They suggested that treatment sh...

It was spring of 1999, and Joshua Watson, a sixth-grader at Alvarado Intermediate School in Alvarado, Texas, had an unsettling decision to make -- whether to accept a five-day in-school suspension or be struck three times with a paddle. His offense: earning his 10th demerit point for forgetting to bring pencils to class. Joshua was getting good grades and didn't want to fall behind. So, with the c...

At a recent family reunion in Atlanta, Janis Sellers* learned something unusual. Sitting around the table at Christmas with several relatives, the topic somehow shifted to depression. "It turned out that all four of my female cousins on my mom's side were taking antidepressants, and so were their mothers," recalls Sellers, who had been treated for depression herself. "I always knew that depression...

How can I tell if I'm depressed? It's normal to feel a little down every once in a while. But depression is a condition that can go on for weeks or months with no end in sight. Depression makes it hard to go about your normal activities and get through the day. It makes you think there's no more joy in life. Depressive disorders affect the way you eat, sleep, and think. Depressed people can't sna...

When a person has asthma, a bout of depression or anxiety can trigger attacks and make the disease much harder to manage, according to recent research. Studies have found that asthmatic children suffering from psychological distress need higher doses of medication and spend more time in the hospital than other children with asthma. "When I see patients who are having severe attacks, I always ask t...

Can depression and anxiety help cause hypertension? You don't need to measure your blood pressure to know that a heated argument or a walk down a dark alley can send that pressure soaring. Your pounding heart and flushed face say it all. Stress can temporarily boost blood pressure: For instance, some people have short-term hikes in blood pressure when they visit a doctor's office. Fortunately, th...

How does depression affect cancer patients? For cancer patients, depression means much more than just a dark mood. The illness, which strikes about up to 25 percent of all cancer patients (compared with about 7 percent of the general public), can sap a person's immune system, weakening the body's ability to cope with disease. Patients fighting both depression and cancer feel distressed, tend to ha...

In 1994, Kurt Cobain took his life at the age of 27. Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and other rock stars who died young before him, Cobain has achieved a youthful immortality in which his memory endures as symbol more than man. As the reluctant poster child for Seattle's early-'90s grunge rock explosion, Cobain never adjusted to his enormous fame as leader of the band Nirvana. His ...

Can omega-3 fatty acids stabilize mood and combat depression? We all have fat on the brain. Amazingly enough, more than half of the brain's dry weight comes from fat. Some of these fats are the key building blocks of cell membranes and play essential roles in the brain's function. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help form cell membranes, keep those membranes flexible, and regulate the flow of ...

What's the link between depression and heart disease? Depression and loneliness put a terrible strain on the heart, and not just in the emotional sense: Psychological distress can turn a survivor of heart disease into a victim. Consider the words of physician Dean Ornish in his book Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy. "Among heart patients, depression is as g...

From secretaries to CEOs, workers face an epidemic of depression. At any given time, almost 7 percent of adults suffer from this disease, a fact that explains a lot of empty desks and unpunched time cards. Every year, depression causes 200 million lost days of work, and it is the leading cause of disability in the United States for 15- to 44-year-olds. In a way, everyone pays the bill. In fact, wo...

Everyone feels sad and blue once in a while, but depression is a gloom that lasts for weeks or months. It saps the life out of you and often leaves you feeling as if the world is empty and bleak. You're probably depressed if for two weeks or longer you're overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, anxiety, or worthlessness; lose interest in normal activities such as eating, making love, and seeing friend...

There may come a time in your life in which the days go by in a monotonous blur. None of the activities that you used to enjoy so much give you any pleasure; nothing excites you; no one makes your pulse race. You feel listless and empty, although plagued by a vague anxiety and dread. Family members may accuse you of being irritable and snapping at them for no reason, and it's true that at present ...

Even psychologists get the blues. As James Pennebaker's marriage started to flounder, the noted therapist sunk into a massive depression. After a month of misery, he turned to a trusted source of comfort: his typewriter. Each afternoon, he pounded out his thoughts about his failing marriage and other crucial issues, from sex to death. He didn't realize it at the time, but the words on those pages ...

"Last week I was really into black, but now I'm having a blue phase -- I must be schizophrenic." If you or someone close to you has schizophrenia, you know that this casual misuse of the term is both hurtful and wildly off the mark. Schizophrenia doesn't cause fashion indecision or multiple personalities. Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis that causes people to lose touch with reality and withdr...

SAM-e (pronounced "sammy") is short for S-adenosylmethionine and has become a big seller in the supplement industry. The compound supposedly eases the symptoms of both depression and osteoarthritis, a combination punch that no prescription drug can match. Even if you've never swallowed a SAM-e supplement, the compound is hard at work in your body. SAM-e, which forms naturally when the amino acid m...

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? For millions of Americans with winter depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, sunlight streaming through the window after months of gray skies is more than a sign of spring. It means that the depression that has lingered during the dark winter months will also lift. People with the disorder may soon feel energetic again, perhaps inspired and involved. In t...

We all learn something about ourselves in difficult times. For some, the lesson is reassuring: Even in the worst-case scenario -- whether it's losing a job in hard economic times, mourning the death of a loved one, or coping with a debilitating illness -- certain people manage to maintain their emotional balance. Instead of slipping into despair, they remain optimistic and focused enough to look ...

Albert Patterson arrived in Vietnam on his 21st birthday, an eager young man fairly bursting with ideals. For his tour of duty in the late 1960's, the U.S. war veteran was showered with medals of honor. "I was doing my duty for my country as an American," recalls Patterson. Yet, when the soldier returned to his hometown in Northern California after a year in the Vietnam war, he came back a changed...

For all of his advantages, there was a moment when actor Kirk Douglas was so despondent after suffering a stroke that he opened a drawer, grabbed the pistol he had used in the film Gunfight at the OK Corral, and put the gun in his mouth. But he accidentally knocked the barrel against his teeth. The pain made him laugh at himself long enough to reconsider pulling the trigger. In the years followin...

It was just another Monday morning, the beginning of a normal school week, when 15-year-old Charles Andrew Williams whipped out a .22-caliber revolver in the bathroom of his high school in Santee, California, and unleashed a barrage of fire at the students around him. By the time police responded, two of the troubled teen's classmates were killed and 13 wounded in the ensuing melee. Tragically, th...

Does someone close to you constantly insult you or humiliate you? Do you feel like you're always walking on eggshells in an effort to keep that person from blowing up at you? Are you starting to believe the accusations that person levels at you? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may be a victim of verbal abuse. This form of abuse, though it may not leave the easily discernib...

In the words of psychiatrist David Burns, MD, people who are depressed are often masters of illusion. Their pessimistic outlook -- and some unconscious tricks of the mind -- can turn triumphs into setbacks, and setbacks into personal failings. Those of us prone to depression may be successful and accomplished, but we're often plagued by negative thoughts about ourselves and our future. This thinki...

For many of us, learning how to understand and handle our feelings is a lifelong task. For depressed people, however, recognizing and experiencing emotions is essential to recovery. According to psychotherapist Richard O'Connor, PhD, this is the very starting point for overcoming and preventing depression. Some people are afraid of emotions because they fear they will be overwhelmed, even consumed...

Every year at his family's Christmas party, Peter Sheras' relatives would drive him to distraction. There was the overbearing aunt who habitually "smooched me or pounded on my arm." At the end of the party, he was exhausted and stressed from trying to evade her. Finally, after years of this cat-and-mouse game, Sheras, a psychologist, found a way to cope with the stress of dealing with obnoxious re...

Alexandra Kennedy always knew the day would come when her son, Taylor, would leave for college and an independent life. She was sure she would be prepared. After all, as a marriage and family therapist in Santa Cruz, California, Kennedy specializes in grief counseling. Having counseled countless other parents through this passage, she expected her training would shield her from many of the conflic...

Stress can be annoying, aggravating, and maddening. But more than anything else, it can be depressing. Talk to a person who has fallen into the first major depression of her life, and the conversation will often turn toward a recent upheaval, perhaps a death in the family, a lost job, or a divorce. Sometimes depression can strike without a particular trigger. But stress that accompanies a severe ...

Many people equate "domestic violence" with an angry husband hitting his wife. In reality, that's only one possible scene. Although women are much more likely to be victims of domestic violence, it's not so uncommon for wives to hit husbands, boyfriends to hit or verbally abuse girlfriends, girlfriends to hit or abuse boyfriends. There's more than one way for a relationship to turn violent or abus...

Despite the talk about the "stages of grief," there's no real guide to mourning. Each person reacts to loss in his or her own way. Still, there is one universal component of grief: Almost every loss, no matter how expected, will be accompanied by stress and disorientation. In the words of a report from the National Mental Health Association, "The loss of a loved one is life's most stressful event....

When Pamela Kragen* was going through menopause, she remembers a woman who became so enraged that she ripped the phone out of the wall. The woman happened to be Kragen herself. At times, menopause transformed Kragen into another persona entirely -- one that reminded her of a woman whose multiple personalities could not be controlled. "Normally, I may fly off the handle once or twice a year. But ...

Lost love. It's difficult to think of great literature without this enduring theme. Would, for example, Emily Bronte's Heathcliff and his passion for Cathy have captured our imaginations if they had lived happily ever after in Wuthering Heights? And would Romeo and Juliet have been as memorable if they had quietly married with the blessing of their families? Unfortunately, what makes for great...

If you've felt sad and listless for any length of time, you're not alone. About 7 percent of adult Americans suffer from depression in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Depression can be brought on by biochemistry as well as the loss of a loved one, unemployment, or even a bout of ill health. Although research has shown time and again how our feelings can affect...

You get the news Wednesday morning. A colleague has just experienced a death in her family. What should you do or say? What is the correct etiquette in the workplace, and what can you do to ease the pain and transition for your fellow worker? You might send a card or say something to express sympathy. Try to avoid platitudes. It will be better received if you sincerely express your concern or, bet...

Depression is one of the most common psychiatric problems among older people, but it's not a natural or inescapable part of aging. Seniors don't become "grumpy" or "crotchety" (to name two stereotypical descriptions) simply because they've grown older. They may be clinically depressed -- which may be misinterpreted by others, and by the depressed individuals themselves. Friends, family, and even d...

Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to. -- Psychologist Harriet Goldhor Lerner, in The Dance of Anger Anger is a perfectly normal, healthy emotion -- and a warning that we should pay attention to. It can indicate that we're being harmed, that our needs aren't being met, and that we're compromising too much of our own values in a relationship. It may mean that our rights are being trampled o...

Doctors once believed that the body and mind were completely separate, a belief that has gone the way of the 8-track tape player. There's no longer any question that chronic negative moods and emotions can encourage disease or that positive thoughts can speed healing. See how much you know about the mind-body connection. 1. A 13-year study of 1,500 people found what remarkable connection between...

A diagnosis of depression shouldn't feel like a life sentence. Doctors and mental health professionals have more tools than ever to help: Antidepressant drugs can lift your mood, and counseling or psychological therapy can help you understand what's responsible for your dark thoughts -- and how to get rid of them. Equally important, such treatment can help renew your love of life and encourage a m...

For a disease that strikes nearly 19 million Americans every year, depression remains remarkably hidden from view. Although its sufferers have included Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jessica Lange, and Mike Wallace, to name a few, people still tend to hide depression from their doctors, from their spouses, even from themselves. As a result, millions never get the treatment they nee...

What is 5-HTP? Short for 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, 5-HTP is a natural stepping-stone between a nutrient in our food and a crucial compound in our brains. Specifically, it's a substance that links the amino acid tryptophan to the chemical messenger serotonin. Tryptophan, which our bodies can't make but we do get from many foods, quickly turns to 5-HTP in the brain. 5-HTP, in turn, rapidly becomes ser...

Can children suffer from depression? Decades ago when baby boomers were still children, parents might have dismissed very real signs of depression as sulkiness or chronic moodiness. Today, doctors know that depression can affect even young children, and sometimes it can follow them throughout their lives. Roughly 7 percent of all children are depressed, studies show, including 2 percent of child...

Can exercise really fight depression? A gym membership and a new pair of walking shoes aren't magic bullets against depression, but there's no doubt that your mood is closely tied to your exercise habits. Many studies have found that people who exercise regularly tend to be less anxious and depressed than people who rarely work out. Exercise programs have been shown to help improve the moods of he...

To this day, Debra Johnston doesn't know how her son became a target. "Jeffrey was popular," she says. "He was admired." An honor student at Trafalgar Middle School, in Cape Coral, Florida, Jeffrey worked as an office aide and even led a group of students in designing their own computer game. So maybe it was jealousy that prompted the barrage of malicious e-mail messages and Web site postings abou...

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