The many faces of depression - watercolour images of eyes
MH@H Depression

The Many Faces of Depression

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

Cutting through the serotonin hypothesis confusion - graphic of a serotonergic neuron
MH@H Depression

Clearing Up the Serotonin Hypothesis and Depression Confusion

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

Depression gets physical: Speech impairment in psychomotor retardation
MH@H Depression

Speech Impairment and Psychomotor Retardation in Depression

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

Antidepressants, side effects, and delayed benefits
MH@H Depression

Antidepressant Side Effects & Delayed Therapeutic Effect

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

Supplements for health and illness, a $35 billion a year industry – but do they help?
Mental Illness Treatment

Do You Take Supplements for Your Health or Illness?

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?

MH@H book review: The Anxiety and Depression Workbook
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: The Anxiety and Depression Workbook

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

This one flew over the cuckoo's nest: electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in real life
MH@H Depression

This One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: ECT in Real Life

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.

Brain stimulation/somatic treatments for depression: ECT, TMS, DBS, tDCS, and VNS
MH@H Depression

Somatic Treatments for Depression

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

MH@H book review: Overcoming Avoidance Workbook
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: Overcoming Avoidance

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

Aging and mental illness - split image of a younger and older woman's face
MH@H Mental Health

Aging and Mental Illness: Does It Show?

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?