Depression and Society

Americans are obsessed with happiness, yet increasingly depressed: Some 15 million Americans battle the disorder, and increasing numbers of them are young people. Attempts to explain the paradox focus on growing pressures on earcly achievement at the expense of free play in childhood, a cultural shift away from direct social contact to electronic connection, a focus on material wealth at the expense of rich experiences and social contact. All are implicated.

Recent posts on Depression

Genes, Ions, and Other New Frontiers in Psychiatry

A gene related to ion channels common to many families with mental illness leads us to new discoveries and treatments based on actual brain pathology.

Do You Need Drugs for Your "Chemical Imbalance"?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Research reveals some surprising news about the role of serotonin in depression—and suggests millions of Americans taking drugs for depression would do just as well on placebo.

The Loneliness Epidemic and What We Can Do About It

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Feeling It
Our need to feel special is may be feeding a loneliness crisis. Here's what we can do!
"Stoop Storytelling"/Leah Miller/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why We Share Our Private Stories

By Barb Cohen on June 22, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
How do we find our place in the world? By standing up and telling the stories in which we play the starring role.

Death Is Inevitable but Not Inevitably Dreadful

In some circumstances, dying may be less awful than people think.

In Pursuit of Happiness: Why Pain Helps Us Feel Pleasure

By Brock Bastian Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in The Other Side
Is happiness just about the good times? Do painful experiences only make us unhappy? Here is new research on why our painful experiences are in fact necessary for happiness.

The Badass Personalities of People Who Like Being Alone

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 21, 2017 in Living Single
What are the personality characteristics of people who like spending time alone? What about people who are unafraid to be single? Four studies offer an affirming profile.

Anxiety as Depression Waiting to Happen

Why does anxiety often lead to depression, and even create further anxiety? This article provides an answer, and discusses a key factor in overcoming the comorbidity.

I Am a Teen and Have Feelings Toward a Teacher

How to deal with feelings toward a teacher.

Social Loneliness May Make the Depressed Even More So

Clinically it has to be labelled mental illness, this depression. Is it an illness, however, this need to converse authentically?

Baby Care: Baselines for Mental Health

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 18, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
For most babies, early experiences are undermining their short- and long-term mental (and physical) health.

The Factor That Administers Cognitive Control over Emotions

Some recent research on poor cognitive control and depression has overlooked four issues. This post suggests that it is cognitive understanding of reality that regulates emotions.

Three Habits Calm People Never Practice

Are you sick and tired of feeling stressed? Research explains the link between unhealthy mental habits and anxiety. Learn what to do instead.

How Maternal Personality Problems Affect Children

How does parental personality dysfunction affect the future mental health of offspring? New research highlights how psychological issues carry over through generations.

Parent Mental Illness Casts Long Shadow on Children

Research reveals that parent mental illness can greatly impact children.

Five Things Not to Say to Someone with Manic Depression

By David Leite on June 14, 2017 in Notes on a Banana
Do your words hurt or help someone with manic depression?

Our Kids Are Not All Right

By the age of 26, diagnostic rates of addiction were two to three times those in national norms.

The Tyranny of Perfectionism

Severe and fierce perfectionism is no laughing matter.

Could the Seasons Affect Your Mood?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year thought to be caused by the lack of sunlight that may upset your biological clock.

Can Pet Crickets Improve the Well-being of the Elderly?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 12, 2017 in Animals and Us
A high quality randomized control study finds that caring for pet crickets has a surprisingly positive impact on the well-being of elderly people.

Can E-Cigarettes Reduce Smoking Among the Mentally Ill?

Vaping is the new replacement for cigarette smoking. Is it a better choice?

The Vitamin Cocktail of Courage

Choosing to take even tiny courageous actions can be a powerful antidote to toxic shame and a vitamin cocktail for our Zesty Selves. Drink up.

Icebergs and Childhood Mental Illness

It's time to destigmatize childhood mental illness.

What Dogs Can Teach Us about the Main Cause of Depression

Psychologists have long pondered what is the cause, and the evolutionary purpose, of depressed feelings. Dogs have the answer.
Erlanger Turner, Ph.D.

Run for Your Life to Improve Your Mental Health

In his new book, William Pullen provides a self-help resource on coping with mental health issues by combining exercise and mindfulness.

For Millennials, One Key to Happiness

For sound mental health, Millennials should reconsider this pervasive hobby.

Five Things You Should Know About Death

What to expect to feel when someone dies

Six Signs of Incomplete Grief

While the grief process is painful, it is also healing. When it gets stalled, there are emotional consequences.
Public Use Pixabay

Are You the Parent of a Depressed Child or Teenager?

By Monica N. Starkman M.D. on June 07, 2017 in On Call
Are you the parent of a depressed child or teenager? A psychiatrist and a teenager's mother team up to offer recommendations.