Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 Signs Death Is Near from

By Paula Spencer Scott, senior editor

No one can predict the moment of death. But physicians and nurses involved in end-of-life care know that certain symptoms are usually associated with the body's shutting down. These signs of approaching death are specific to the natural dying process (apart from the effects of particular illnesses the person may have).

Not all dying symptoms show up in every person, but most people experience some combination of the following in the final days or hours:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

9 Signs You're Headed for a Holiday Meltdown from

By Sarah Klein

Let’s face it. Some holiday-related stress is to be expected. Turkeys will be burned. Flights will be canceled. How you react to it determines how the holiday will be remembered. And the pressure hits some people harder than others.

So how can you become one of those people who chuckles at adversity—silly snowstorm!—instead of crying into your eggnog? Here are nine signs you could be headed for a holiday meltdown, and how to stop the implosion before it happens.

Survivors' Stories Featured in Lifeline Gallery from SAVE

Survivors of suicide loss might want to visit the Lifeline Gallery, where they can listen to everyday people's stories about coping after suicide -- as well as tell their own story of being bereaved by suicide.

Stories in the "Loss" section are for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide.
Stories in the "Turning Points" section are for people who have survived a suicide attempt or have struggled with thoughts of suicide.
Stories in the "Helpers" section are for caregivers, advocates, or supporters working on behalf of suicide prevention.

When it was launched in 2008, the Lifeline Gallery was described in a Los Angeles Times health blog as a place where...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dealing with Holiday shopping stress and depression from MSNBC

NEW YORK — Chennel King, a nurse from Norwalk, Conn., went Christmas shopping the other day with a new holiday companion: a budget.

Despite a tough economic situation — her husband was laid off almost a year ago — King didn't want to disappoint her five children. So she still went to a mall in suburban New Jersey, but with a limit of $200 per child.

Plenty of Americans are having to hold back this year as the lure of flashy ads, tempting bargains and family expectations clashes with the realities of the economy. Experts in consumer behavior say that situation can strain the brain.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12 signs of depression in men. from

By Lisa Zamosky

More than 5 million men in the U.S. experience depression each year.

Clinical depression—in women or men—can cause sadness and a loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. But depression can sometimes manifest in different ways in different people.

"While the symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, often the chief complaint can be different among men and women," says Ian A. Cook, MD, the Miller Family professor of psychiatry at the University of California–Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beat the Wintertime Blues from Nurse Together

If you are like me, you’re not a big fan of winter. However, for some people it is a far more serious concern and a real medical condition. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also referred to as the “wintertime blues” is a type of depression that mainly affects people during the late fall and winter seasons. It is most common in young adult women. According to E-Medicine Health, this condition affects as many as 6% of American Adults with another 10 to 20% experiencing mild symptoms. The exact causes are unknown but it is believed to be related to chemical changes in the brain caused by changes in or lack of sunlight. Experts also suggest that there may be a tendency for SAD to run in families.

Whether you or your patients are affected by SAD or not, spring is still a long way away. The end of January, all of February and even some of March can be a challenging time to stay upbeat, motivated and focused. I did my own unofficial survey, checking with friends, family and colleagues to get their ideas on beating the “winter time blues!” Here are a couple of suggestions – let me know your thoughts and favorites!

Women and depression: Factors that contribute to depression via Yahoo News

Depression is a major health problem in today's troubled world. Thousands of women each day struggle to get up, go to work, and take care of themselves and their children. Antidepressant drugs are prescribed by the thousands each day. What is contributing to the climbing rate of depression in this country?

There have been a number of research studies focused on trying to understand the factors responsible for the increased cases of serious depression. One group of researchers studied 92, 539 postmenopausal women from different income, cultural, and religious backgrounds. They published their findings in the Women's Health Initiative. Another research study conducted by Michel Lucas, Harvard School of Public Health, Nurse's Health Study, followed 49.821 women by questionnaires from 1993 until 2000. These women were depression-free when the research project began. These and other research studies point to several factors that increase the risk for women to develop depression.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Recognizing Signs of Depression in Our Patients from Nursing Together

In nursing school, we all likely studied mental health/psychiatric nursing, at least to some extent. We also likely did our clinical experiences in patient units specifically devoted to the care of those with mental health issues. We know, however, that we encounter the same kinds of issues no matter what type of patient population we serve. We take care of patients with these diagnoses on Medical-Surgical units, in long term care, in the Emergency Room, etc. In these settings, we may tend to focus more on the physical symptoms, but what about emotional symptoms, specifically depression?

Physical illness causes stress. Patients often feel a loss of control over their bodies, functions, and treatment. They may be experiencing a loss of income or worry about other financial issues. They may feel guilty for burdening their families with not only the financial cost of their illness, but the emotional issues that the family experiences. They grieve for their loss of independence in some cases and are fearful about the future. These factors are true not only in elderly patients, but in other age groups as well.

For the full article please press on the link.

11 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Depression Triggers from

By Tammy Worth

It's a myth that suicide is more common around the holidays (springtime is actually the peak). But holiday cheer isn't a given either.

High expectations, money woes, and other holiday hazards can spell trouble for anyone, but especially those prone to depression.

With a bit of foresight and planning, however, holidays can leave you feeling up, not down. Follow these tips for a successful holiday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why Antidepressants Don’t Work for Treating Depression

HERE’S SOME DEPRESSING RECENT medical news: Antidepressants don’t work. What’s even more depressing is that the pharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deliberately deceived us into believing that they DO work. As a physician, this is frightening to me. Depression is among the most common problems seen in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country.

The study I’m talking about was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It found that drug companies selectively publish studies on antidepressants. They have published nearly all the studies that show benefit — but almost none of the studies that show these drugs are ineffective. (1)

That warps our view of antidepressants, leading us to think that they do work. And it has fueled the tremendous growth in the use of psychiatric medications, which are now the second leading class of drugs sold, after cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The problem is even worse than it sounds, because the positive studies hardly showed benefit in the first place. For example, 40 percent of people taking a placebo (sugar pill) got better, while only 60 percent taking the actual drug had improvement in their symptoms. Looking at it another way, 80 percent of people get better with just a placebo.

Mind Control: How Your Body Can Automatically Improve Depression from Dr. Mark Hyman


By making different food and lifestyle choices, can you rid yourself of depression, boost your mood or even improve more serious conditions such as ADHD, autism and more?

In my experience, the answer is YES and I’ll show you precisely how in just a second.

But first, let me tell you about one of my patients, Sarah.

She’s a very vibrant, smart young woman of 18 who had just finished high school with honors and was admitted to a top university.

Even more exciting, her passion for theater and acting had recently landed her the lead role in a real movie.

The future ahead of her was bright and full of possibilities.

So why had Sarah’s distraught mother brought her to see me?

Well, over the previous few weeks, she had sunk into a debilitating depression.

It had gotten so bad that she wouldn’t go out, didn’t respond to friends’ calls, and couldn’t even get out of bed to watch television — which is pretty bad for a teenager!

Depression - Trends In Health Care Spending And Quality Of Care

An investigation in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals reveals that over one decade, costs for Medicaid-enrolled patients suffering from depression has significantly increased, although only slight improvements have been noted in quality of care.

The investigators explain:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Complicated Grief

The grief cycle always stings but it does include recovery via acceptance and adapation. Nonetheless, sometimes reactions to grief go well beyond the natural cycle and the skills of a grief counselor and require higher help. Abnormal or complicated grief can occur and in these cases requires this higher help. Abnormal characteristics include chronic depression, delayed grief, distorted grief, excessive grief, masked grief, or concomitant grief.

When analzying these reactions a few things need to be noted. First within a subjective element. The person who expeirences the grief reacts differently than another person may to the same thing. This is a result to the level of attachment to the thing or person valued. The greater the attachment, the greater reaction. The greater the reaction, the greater possibility for complicated reactions. Some reactions can be chronic depressive, some delayed and others masked.

From an objective standpoint, the grief event can be concomitant/multiple events or traumatic. The more severe the event the greater the reaction. This is the case of traumatic grief which is a result of a devistating event. These can include natural disasters, war, sudden loss, or mass death. Survivial guilt, death imprints and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome can all result from these.

In most cases, complicated grief reactions require medication and professional counseling. A grief counselor can work in concordance with an LPC. It is the primary duty of the grief counselor to pin point symptoms of complicated grief and direct their client to the appropritate help.

Friday, December 2, 2011

8 Splendid Truths of Happiness from Huffinton Post

Every Wednesday is "Tip Day," or "List Day."

In my study of happiness, I've labored to identify its fundamental principles. Because I get a tremendous kick out of the numbered lists that pop up throughout Buddhism (the Triple Refuge, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths, the eight auspicious symbols), I decided to dub these fundamental principles as my Eight Splendid Truths.

Each one of these truths sounds fairly obvious and straightforward, but each was the product of tremendous thought. Take the second splendid truth -- it's hard to exaggerate the clarity I gained when I finally managed to put it into words. Here they are:

For the full article please press the link.