MH@H Depression

Is There a Root Cause for Depression?

I was recently reading an article that argued that to fully treat depression, one must do the inner work to get to the root cause. That didn’t sit particularly well with me, so I thought I’d write about whether there’s even such a thing as a root cause for depression. The problem with reductionism I’m …

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Depression Without the Depressed Part?

Chances are the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about depression is depressed mood, right? But while depressed mood is often a major part of depressive illnesses, sometimes it plays a minor role and other times it’s not present at all. Major depressive episode symptoms Major depressive episodes can occur …

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Estrogen & Depression: An Unhappy Dance

I’ve taken birth control pills for much of my adult life. Sometimes the contraceptive benefit was useful, but much of the time, it was more about keeping estrogen fluctuations associated with PMS at bay. I’ve recently decided to stop taking the pill because there is some indication that oral contraceptives may promote inflammation. The connection …

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What is... psychomotor retardation in depression

What Is… Psychomotor Retardation

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is psychomotor retardation (PMR). Psychomotor retardation, one of the less common but more outwardly observable symptoms of depression, involves a slowing of movement and thoughts. It’s been described as far back as Ancient Greek times. PMR is one …

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Fluctuating motivation in depression: anhedonia can get in the way

Fluctuating Motivation in Depression

Fluctuating motivation in mental illness means that sometimes, things are happening, while other times, the wheels just fall right off. Motivation follows activation? A basic element of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression is behavioural activation. The idea is that motivation follows activation, meaning if you force yourself to do stuff, you’ll start to feel …

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Why I hat the 1-10 mood rating scale for depression

Why I Hate the 1 – 10 Mood Rating Scale for Depression

I became a nurse in 2004, which was before I became mentally ill. Even then, I wasn’t a fan of using a 1-10 mood rating scale with my patients. It struck me as a bit of a cop-out, and a poor substitute for actually exploring with the person how they were feeling. Adventures in hospital …

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Woman with head tilted back mouth open

Master of My Domain? A Look at Depression and Masturbation

While this may seem like a bit of an odd topic, it’s something I’ve vaguely wondered about for a while. If orgasms get the feel-good chemicals flowing, might that have any sort of benefit for depression? And especially for single folks like myself – could masturbation have any positive effect when it comes to depression? …

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Depression has made me a ghoster – cartoon of a ghost

I Admit It – Depression Has Made Me a Ghoster

Yes, that’s right, I’m guilty—I’m a ghoster. Ghosting is socially frowned upon, although it happens quite a bit. A LiveScience article cites research in which about 25% of participants had been ghosted, and 20% had ghosted someone else. It’s often talked about with regards to romantic relationships, but it may be even more common in …

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Options for Managing Treatment-Resistant Depression

Wouldn’t it be nice if the treatment of depression was simple? Unfortunately, there’s nothing simple about depression treatment in the real world. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) refers to depression that hasn’t responded to trials of adequate duration and dosage of at least two antidepressants. When determining whether the illness is treatment-resistant, it’s important to consider whether …

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Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Ketamine is a relatively new options for managing treatment-resistant depression that has a different mechanism of action from other antidepressant medications. Ketamine itself isn’t new, though; it’s a dissociative anaesthetic that’s also known by its club drug name Special K. Over the last 10-15 years, multiple research trials have shown that it has an antidepressant …

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