April 19th, 2012
07:35 AM ET
The short-lived high teenagers get from using amphetamines or the club drug MDMA - better known as Ecstasy - could lead to longer-lasting depression later on, a new study suggests.
Researchers in Canada interviewed 3,880 teenagers from low-income neighborhoods in Québec. Compared to their peers who used neither drug, teens who reported taking MDMA or amphetamines at least once in the tenth grade had 70% and 60% higher odds, respectively, of experiencing depression symptoms in the eleventh grade.
Using both drugs nearly doubled the odds of depression.
April 17th, 2012
02:44 PM ET
How does a parent know if their child or teen is experiencing normal adolescent sadness or moodiness or - a more serious form of depression? The answer may one day lie in a simple blood test, if the results of a new early study are confirmed in larger populations.
The results are published in Translational Psychiatry.
Early-onset major depressive disorder is a mental illness that affects people under 25. While about 2 to 4% of cases are diagnosed before adolescence, the numbers skyrocket to 10-25% with adolescence, explains lead researcher Eva Redei, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
April 17th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
There's a fascinating new parenting study out that caught our eye at The Chart. It involves the sleep habits of babies and toddlers.
Research suggests if mom is depressed, she's more likely to wake her baby up in the middle of the night, even if the baby is fine. Experts say if that happens occasionally, it's not a problem.
But if it happens often, it can lead to developmental issues.
In the study, published in the journal Child Development, researchers at Pennsylvania State University observed 45 families over the course of a week. The children ranged in age from 1 month to 2 years. Moms were asked questions about a variety of issues from how they were doing emotionally to the baby's sleep patterns.
April 10th, 2012
08:29 AM ET
Since his death at age 93 Saturday, much has been written about hard-edged ex-"60 Minutes" reporter Mike Wallace's epic verbal battles with world leaders, swindlers and alleged crime bosses.
But in 2005, Wallace made news of his own when he acknowledged his longtime war with depression – a fight that nearly caused him to take his own life.
"I came perilously close to committing suicide," Wallace wrote in his memoir "Between You and Me."
March 22nd, 2012
08:54 AM ET
We live in a culture in which use of SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors), talk therapy, and mental health days have become nearly as common as gym memberships and multi-purpose vitamins.
In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 20 million people in the U.S. experience depression. Unfortunately, mood swings aren’t the only symptom of depression - it can also have a negative effect on your romantic relationships, especially when it comes to sex.
“Sex is often one of those activities in which a person loses interest. Add to that fatigue, lethargy, and a tendency to want to be alone and there are plenty of reasons for depressed persons and their partners to experience a decline in their sex life."
March 13th, 2012
08:01 AM ET
Late-life dementia has a lot in common with heart disease – and many of the same causes, according to an article published Tuesday in Nature Reviews Neurology.
Like heart disease, the cognitive impairment that accompanies aging is usually the result of a combination of lifestyle and other factors, the article says. Diabetes, obesity, untreated hypertension, sedentary lifestyle and stress are all linked to both heart disease and dementia.
Other factors linked to dementia: untreated obstructive sleep apnea, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, vitamin B12 deficiency, post traumatic stress disorder, head trauma, brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen, and the ApoE, or Alzheimer’s, gene.
February 6th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
When Marvi Lacar¹s father died in 2008, she experienced feelings she wasn¹t aware existed. Her conflicting emotions – those of resentment, guilt, love, yearning to forgive and yearning to not forgive - spiraled her into acute clinical depression.
Today, the CNN Photo Blog features her photographs of depression.
January 23rd, 2012
03:30 PM ET
Rave-goers and visitors to Amsterdam before December 2008 may be intimately familiar with magic mushrooms, but there's little scientific knowledge on what happens to the brain while tripping.
Now it appears that more research is warranted. A growing number of studies suggested that perhaps the mushrooms' key ingredient could work magic for certain mental disorders.
January 2nd, 2012
04:04 PM ET
A new study is advancing the possibility that mentally ill patients who do not respond to conventional therapies may benefit from battery-powered electrodes surgically implanted in their brains.
The procedure, called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), uses a pacemaker-like device to deliver small, steady electrical charges to specific brain circuits that control our moods.
December 16th, 2011
07:15 AM ET
Andrew Weil is the director of the of the integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Professor of Medicine and Public Health, author of "8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Healthy Aging," and the forthcoming "Spontaneous Happiness."
Depression has many forms. Worst among them is the kind characterized by deep, soul-crushing despair, so eloquently described in novelist William Styron's 1992 book, “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.”
"The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it. . . . the grey drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. ..it is natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion."
I’m thankful that, unlike Styron, I have never had a major depressive episode. At times in my life, however, I have experienced a depressed mood for most of the day, more days than not, over weeks and even months.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.