Major Depressive Disorder

Insights into psychology series: What is... melancholic depression

What is… Melancholic Depression

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is melancholic depression, also known as depression with melancholic features. The word melancholia comes from the Greek for black bile, part of the ancient four humours medical belief system. In the 5th century BCE, Hippocrates first identified melancholia as …

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The new NICE depression guidelines in development for the UK

The New NICE Depression Guidelines in Development in the UK

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a non-departmental public body of England’s Department of Health, provides evidence-based guidance on the treatment of medical conditions. Every so often, they update their guidelines, and new depression guidelines are expected to be released in May 2022. This post will take a look at the draft …

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Seasonal affective disorder (depression/bipolar with seasonal features)

What Is… Seasonal Affective Disorder

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a subtype of depression or bipolar with symptoms that occur based on a seasonal pattern. It was first described in 1984 as the result of an American study of mostly …

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The many faces of depression - watercolour images of eyes

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 possible symptoms …

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Cutting through the serotonin hypothesis confusion - graphic of a serotonergic neuron

Clearing Up the Serotonin Hypothesis/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 …

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

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

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! …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Double Depression

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is double depression. This post uses a lot of abbreviations, which are summarized down at the bottom of this post. The term double depression is sometimes used to describe the state when two types of depression (major depressive …

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Treatment-resistant depression and what my meds do still help with - image of pill bottle and depressed person

Treatment-Resistant Depression: What My Meds Do Help With

Pretty much the same cocktail of meds I’m on now used to work well, and got me into full remission (i.e. no symptoms at all between episodes). I’m not sure what got me thinking about this recently, but while my depression has become increasingly treatment-resistant overall, my medications are still doing a pretty good job …

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MH@H book review: The ACT Workbook for Depression & Shame

Book Review: The ACT Workbook for Depression & Shame

The ACT Workbook for Depression & Shame is written by psychologists Matthew W. McKay, Michael Jason Greenberg, and Patrick J. Fanning. It’s based on acceptance and commitment therapy and focused on addressing the defectiveness schema in depression. The book begins and ends with a series of several self-assessment questionnaires to let you see how much …

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