Depression – it's one word to describe so many different things. The many faces of depression means that no one person's experience can ever capture what depression is. It's a simple word for a complex illness, so let's chat a bit about what that complexity can look like. Major depressive episode symptoms The list of… Continue reading The Many Faces of Depression
Some people write off antidepressants as being useless because the serotonin hypothesis was wrong, while others insist they need antidepressants because they don't have enough serotonin. There's a lot of confusion about what the serotonin hypothesis was and what it meant, so this post will try to clear up some of that. A bit of… Continue reading Clearing Up the Serotonin Hypothesis and Depression Confusion
Psychomotor retardation (PMR) is a set of symptoms involving the slowing of movement and thoughts. One aspect of motor activity that's affected is speech, which is what this post will focus on. This interests me because PMR is the most treatment-resistant aspect of my depression, and speech impairment has had a significant impact on my… Continue reading Speech Impairment and Psychomotor Retardation in Depression
Have you ever wondered why antidepressant side effects seem to be worse at the beginning, or why it takes so long for them to actually start doing what you expect of them? There is actually some rhyme and reason for it, so let's talk about it. Let's talk serotonin People with depression don't have enough… Continue reading Antidepressant Side Effects & Delayed Therapeutic Effect
According to a Washington Post article, Americans spend $35 billion per year on vitamins and supplements. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to demonstrate effectiveness and safety to get approved, supplements only need to demonstrate safety. That's a lot of money to spend on things that may or may not be helpful. Just because they're "natural" doesn't… Continue reading Do You Take Supplements for Your Health or Illness?
The Anxiety and Depression Workbook by Michael A. Tompkins incorporate cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to help you improve emotional flexibility. This is defined as "the ability to respond to life’s challenges with an appropriate level of emotion, and then to recover as these situations change." Sounds pretty good to me. Somewhat like Overcoming Avoidance,… Continue reading Book Review: The Anxiety and Depression Workbook
Ask anyone of a certain age what comes to mind first when they hear the term electroconvulsive therapy (aka ECT, aka electroshock therapy, aka shock therapy), and chances are they will mention the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Jack Nicholson. The reality is very different.
There are a number of non-medication, non-therapy options for treatment-resistant depression. Somatic treatments involve stimulating the brain through the application of energy. ECT and TMS are the most well-known, but there are some more obscure options as well. And then there's cranial electrotherapy, which isn't in the same ballpark at all. So let's dive in!… Continue reading Somatic Treatments for Depression
The Overcoming Avoidance Workbook by psychologist Daniel F. Gros aims to help you stop avoiding and start living. It takes a transdiagnostic approach, meaning it focuses on specific behaviours rather than the diagnoses in which they occur. The cover says that it's for anxiety, depression, or PTSD, but the focus is on anxiety and depression.… Continue reading Book Review: Overcoming Avoidance
Mental illness can certainly feel like it ages you, but is the combination of aging and mental illness something that's visible from the outside? For a good chunk of my adult life, I looked youngish for my age. Not as in babyface, but youngish. When I finished university and started working, most people were a… Continue reading Aging and Mental Illness: Does It Show?