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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss The Struggle to Treat Senior Depression at the General Discussion; Just like other forms of depression, seniors can experience either a gradual decline or sudden onset that can leave them ...

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Old 03-29-2012, 09:10 AM
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Default The Struggle to Treat Senior Depression

Just like other forms of depression, seniors can experience either a gradual decline or sudden onset that can leave them feeling mentally and emotionally incapacitated. While the majority of care facilities are wonderful and very attentive toward their residents, the loss of independence and freedom can trigger moderate to severe depression in your loved one, whether or not they previously battled such a condition. When it comes to identifying such a struggle, senior depression can make for a tricky diagnosis. The sooner you know what to look for, the easier it will be to protect your loved one from the effects of a devastating illness.

First, realize that senior depression is different than that found in younger people. One reason for this is due to the fact that the older population was not raised in an era that accepted mental illness as well as we do today. For this reason, depression can often decline to a point of desperation, or even a suicide attempt, before a loved one expresses what they are feeling. Ask plenty of questions when you visit your elder relative or friend, looking for signs of unusual sadness, despair or even anger.

Senior depression has a few telltale signs, including but not limited to a lack of appetite, an inability to focus on a task or an increased desire to sleep during the day. Unfortunately, these are also signs of other age-related ailments, which means senior depression often goes untreated. Observe your loved one closely and communicate with a medical professional to discern whether there is an underlying physical illness that should be dealt with, or if your loved one is in fact depressed.

Again, seniors are often reluctant to seek help from depression, and many others simply do not understand why they are feeling the way they do. Instances of suicide in nursing homes stem from this trapped feeling of not being able to properly express and process emotions due to a preconceived notion or an outdated social stigma.

Protect your loved one from depression by getting them involved in activities they enjoy as much as possible. Many senior facilities host regular social events, which the senior in your life should be encouraged to attend. Regular visits from friends and family on the “outside”, as well as much fanfare on special occasions like birthdays, can also help combat the dangerous and debilitating issue of senior depression.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: The Struggle to Treat Senior Depression

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Old 04-01-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: The Struggle to Treat Senior Depression

Roughly 25% of seniors suffer from depression, and 20% of all suicides are senior citizens. The highest success rate of suicides are elderly, white men. The reasons are self explanatory. They are suffering from a diminished quality of life, and many of them are lonely; Or they are made to feel like they are burdens to their family's. Others are left in nursing homes alone with no one to talk to. I've worked in nursing homes before and you wouldn't believe how many of seniors are basically abandoned by their families. Their kids almost never come to see them except for the holidays when it is expected of them. Still others have health problems that affect their brain chemistry making them more susceptible to depression.

Some suggestions for seniors who are depressed:

Develop a strong social network. If not family, find a group of seniors to spend time with. Perhaps find an assisted living retirement home if possible.

Keep your mind active. Do cross word puzzles, for example.

Get out and enjoy nature. If you aren't mobile, find someone to help you.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:20 AM
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Depression is the most common cause of ill health...

On World Health Day, WHO Focuses on Depression as Health Issue
April 07, 2017 — The World Health Organization Friday marked World Health Day with the warning that depression is the most common cause of ill health, affecting some 300 million people worldwide. The U.N. agency is urging people to seek treatment for depression, which can lead to disability and even death.
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WHO says conflict, wars and natural disasters are major risk factors for depression. WHO estimates one in five people affected by these events suffers from depression or anxiety. Given the magnitude of the problem, it says mental health and psychosocial assistance should be a part of all humanitarian assistance.

Apart from these situations, WHO reports depression is the leading cause of disability. The director of WHO’s department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Shekhar Saxena, says depression is behind a global epidemic of death by suicide.“All over the world, 800,000 people die because of suicide every year and this converts into a death every 40 seconds," said Saxena. "So, while we are dealing with the number of deaths, which are of course very unfortunate in conflicts and wars, we also need to remember that there are silent epidemics going on in the world, which are also killing a very large number of people without obvious headlines and banners.”


People make outdoor sport exercise to mark World Health Day in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 7, 2017. The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on April 7, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Saxena tells VOA there is no significant difference in the prevalence of depression between developed and developing countries. He notes the majority of people with depression lives in low- and middle-income countries. “Depression is more common amongst the women - 5.1 percent versus 3.6 percent amongst men," said Saxena. "Other risk factors include poverty, discrimination, and all adverse life situations - either chronic or acute, especially amongst young people.”

Saxena says treatment usually involves psychotherapy, antidepressant medication or a combination of both. He says it is not necessary to have a specialist treat depression. He says the so-called talking cure administered by general doctors, nurses, or health care workers can be just as effective.

On World Health Day, WHO Focuses on Depression as Health Issue
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Sierra Leone Grapples with Mental Health Impact of Ebola
April 07, 2017 — With the recent Ebola crisis, officials in Sierra Leone have seen a rise in mental health concerns. Mustapha Kallon's problems are typical. He survived Ebola but lost many family members during the epidemic. "Whenever I think of my parents, I feel depressed," he said.
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Kallon said he turned to alcohol to cope with his grief. He was still receiving care in the Ebola treatment unit when his parents died from the virus. He didn't get to say goodbye and doesn't even know where they are buried. Sometimes Kallon goes with fellow Ebola survivors when they visit the graves of their loved ones.

'I always cry'

"I feel like dying ... I always cry when I am there," he said. "I always feel pity, because I can't find their graves." The corpses of people infected with Ebola can be very contagious. During the epidemic, burying the dead quickly and safely was so important to stopping transmission that proper records were not kept and some graves were left unmarked. From 2014 to 2016, the regional Ebola epidemic killed just over 11,000 people. Nearly all of them were in West Africa, with about 4,000 in Sierra Leone.


Dr. Stephen Sevalie, one of Sierra Leone's only psychiatrists, says mental health problems "are quite high among Ebola survivors." He's pictured at a military hospital Freetown

Those who survived the virus have faced stigma. Kallon was shunned by his community. It was only through support from the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors that he started to heal. "When I am among my colleague survivors, we explain to ourselves what we go through, and that helps us to forget about the past and face the future," he said. Many of the Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone are going through similar struggles, said Dr. Stephen Sevalie, one of the country's only psychiatrists. "Our data has not been analyzed yet, but I can tell you that mental health symptoms are quite high among Ebola survivors," he said.

Scientists are studying a host of symptoms now known collectively as post-Ebola syndrome. Symptoms include loss of eyesight, joint pain and fatigue, as well as mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Mental health, however, is a much wider problem in Sierra Leone. An estimated 240,000 people in the country suffer from depression.

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Old 05-25-2017, 10:26 PM
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Probiotics may help with depression...

Probiotics Show Promise as Mood Elevator
May 25, 2017 - A new study suggests that probiotics, so-called "good" bacteria that aid in digestion, may also ease symptoms of depression. The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that what happens in the gut affects the brain.
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Some 300 to 500 bacterial species inhabit the human gut, many aiding in digestion and the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Experts say some of these bacteria produce proteins that communicate with the brain.

Your gut, your mood

The gut flora not only play a role in helping to orchestrate the neural responses that regulate digestion, scientists say, but evidence is emerging that gut bacteria can also affect a person's mood. Premysl Bercik, a gastroenterologist at Ontario Canada's McMaster University, researches what he calls the microbiota-gut-brain axis, or the communication between the gut and the brain through the millions of bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract. Bercik said between 40 and 90 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome, a distressing intestinal disorder, also battle symptoms of anxiety and depression.


A new study suggests probiotics show promise in decreasing anxiety and depression.

Research led by Bercik suggests the gut bacteria themselves may have an effect on mood. In Bercik's pilot study of 44 patients with irritable bowel syndrome and mild to moderate anxiety or depression, half of the patients received a daily probiotic — a beneficial gut bacterium called Bifidobacterium longum — and the other half were given a placebo. The participants were followed for 10 weeks. "What we found was that the patients that were treated with this probiotic bacterium improved their gut symptoms but, also surprisingly, decreased their depression scores," Bercik said. "That means their mood improved. And this was associated also with changes in the brain imaging."

Depression, anxiety improve

At the beginning of the study, the patients' levels of depression and anxiety were scored. The patients also underwent high-tech brain imaging to see which structures were activated in response to happy and sad images. At six weeks, 64 percent of patients taking the probiotic had a decrease in their depression scores compared to 32 percent of the placebo patients.

A second round of imaging showed changes in multiple brain areas involved with mood control in the patients who felt better. While the participants' gut symptoms improved, Bercik said it was not to a statistically significant degree, suggesting the probiotic may have improved their anxiety and depression independent of symptom relief. Results of the study were published in the journal Gastroenterology.

More study needed

Bercik says larger studies are needed to confirm the findings. "However, I think that it shows a great promise," he said. "I mean new treatments, not only for patients with functional bowel disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, but it may also offer some new treatments for patients with primary psychiatric disorders like depression or anxiety."

B. longum was developed by Nestle, a Swiss food and drink company, which funded the study. It is not yet commercially available. However, Bercik says it's possible other probiotics found in the gut have the potential to improve mood. And he doesn’t stop there. Bercik says he envisions a form of personalized medicine using genome sequencing techniques to create microbiome profiles of individuals, which can be tweaked with oral probiotics for maximum health.

Probiotics Show Promise as Mood Elevator
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:16 PM
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Magic mushrooms can treat depression...

Magic mushrooms can treat depression: Study
Saturday 14th October, 2017: A new study has found that the drug psilocybin, found in mushrooms, can help treat depression by helping them 'reset' their brains. The findings come from a study in which researchers used psilocybin - the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms - to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.
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In the study, the researchers describe patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment, and believe the psychedelic compound may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression. Comparison of images of patients' brains before and one day after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms. The authors note that while the initial results of the experimental therapy are exciting, they are limited by the small sample size as well as the absence of a control group - such as a placebo group - to directly contrast with the patients.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, said: "We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments. "Several of our patients described feeling 'reset' after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been 'defragged' like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt 'rebooted'. Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary 'kick start' they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a 'reset' analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy." Over the last decade or so, a number of clinical trials have been conducted into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics in patients with conditions such as depression and addictions, yielding promising results.


In the recent Imperial trial, the first with psilocybin in depression, 20 patients with treatment-resistant form of the disorder were given two doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg), with the second dose a week after the first. Nineteen of these underwent initial brain imaging and then a second scan one day after the high dose treatment. Carhart-Harris and team used two main brain imaging methods to measure changes in blood flow and the crosstalk between brain regions, with patients reporting their depressive symptoms through completing clinical questionnaires. Immediately following treatment with psilocybin, patients reported a decrease in depressive symptoms - corresponding with anecdotal reports of an 'after-glow' effect characterised by improvements in mood and stress relief.

Functional MRI imaging revealed reduced blood flow in areas of the brain, including the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region of the brain known to be involved in processing emotional responses, stress and fear. They also found increased stability in another brain network, previously linked to psilocybin's immediate effects as well as to depression itself. These findings provide a new window into what happens in the brains of people after they have 'come down' from a psychedelic, where an initial disintegration of brain networks during the drug 'trip', is followed by a re-integration afterwards.

Dr Carhart-Harris explained: "Through collecting these imaging data we have been able to provide a window into the after effects of psilocybin treatment in the brains of patients with chronic depression. Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed 'reset' the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state." The authors warn that while the initial findings are encouraging, the research is at an early stage and that patients with depression should not attempt to self-medicate, as the team provided a special therapeutic context for the drug experience and things may go awry if the extensive psychological component of the treatment is neglected. The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Magic mushrooms can treat depression Study
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:54 AM
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Magic mushrooms can 'reset' depressed brain
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 - Psilocybin - the hallucinogenic ingredient in mushrooms - may help in depression, a study suggests.
Quote:
A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can "reset" the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest. The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin. Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks. However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate. There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a "lubricant for the mind" that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms. But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known. The team at Imperial performed fMRI brain scans before treatment with psilocybin and then the day after (when the patients were "sober" again).

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed psilocybin affected two key areas of the brain.

* The amygdala - which is heavily involved in how we process emotions such as fear and anxiety - became less active. The greater the reduction, the greater the improvement in reported symptoms.
* The default-mode network - a collaboration of different brain regions - became more stable after taking psilocybin.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, said the depressed brain was being "clammed up" and the psychedelic experience "reset" it. He told the BBC News website: "Patients were very ready to use this analogy. Without any priming they would say, 'I've been reset, reborn, rebooted', and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up." However, this remains a small study and had no "control" group of healthy people with whom to compare the brain scans. Further, larger studies are still needed before psilocybin could be accepted as a treatment for depression.

However, there is no doubt new approaches to treatment are desperately needed. Prof Mitul Mehta, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said: "What is impressive about these preliminary findings is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin. "This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies."

Magic mushrooms can 'reset' depressed brain - BBC News
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Depression: A revolution in treatment?
24 August 2016 - It's not very often we get to talk about a revolution in understanding and treating depression and yet now doctors are talking about "one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the last 20 years". It is based around the idea that some people are being betrayed by their fiercest protector. That their immune system is altering their brain.
Quote:
The illness exacts a heavy toll on 350 million people around the world, among them Hayley Mason, from Cambridgeshire: "My depression gets so bad that I can't leave the bed, I can't leave the bedroom, I can't go downstairs and be with my partner and his kids. The 30-year-old added: "I can't have the TV on, I can't have noise and light, I have suicidal thoughts, I have self-harmed, I can't leave the house, I can't drive. "And just generally I am completely confined to my own home and everything else just feels too much." Anti-depressant drugs and psychological treatments, like cognitive behavioural therapy, help the majority of people. But many don't respond to existing therapies and so some scientists are now exploring a new frontier - whether the immune system could be causing depression. "I think we have to be quite radical," says Prof Ed Bullmore, the head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.


Depression is more than just in the mind and it may be more than just in the brain says Prof Pariante

He's at the forefront of this new approach: "Recent history is telling us if we want to make therapeutic breakthroughs in an area which remains incredibly important in terms of disability and suffering then we've got to think differently." The focus is on an errant immune system causing inflammation in the body and altering mood. And Prof Bullmore argues that's something we can all relate to, if we just think back to the last time we had a cold or flu. He said: "Depression and inflammation often go hand in hand, if you have flu, the immune system reacts to that, you become inflamed and very often people find that their mood changes too. "Their behaviour changes, they may become less sociable, more sleepy, more withdrawn. "They may begin to have some of the negative ways of thinking that are characteristic of depression and all of that follows an infection."

It is a subtle and yet significant shift in thinking. The argument is we don't just feel sorry for ourselves when we are sick, but that the chemicals involved in inflammation are directly affecting our mood. Inflammation is part of the immune system's response to danger. It is a hugely complicated process to prepare our body to fight off hostile forces. If inflammation is too low then an infection can get out of hand. If it is too high, it causes damage. And for some reason, about one-third of depressed patients have consistently high levels of inflammation. Hayley is one of them: "I do have raised inflammation markers, I think normal is under 0.7 and mine is 40, it's coming up regularly in blood tests." There is now a patchwork quilt of evidence suggesting inflammation is more than something you simply find in some depressed patients, but is actually the cause of their disease. That the immune system can alter the workings of the brain.


Arthritis

Joint pain

To explore this revolutionary new idea in depression, we visited an arthritis clinic at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. It is perhaps an unexpected location, but it was in clinics like this that doctors noticed something unusual. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the joints. And when patients were given precise anti-inflammatory drugs that calmed down specific parts of the immune response, their mood improved. Prof Iain McInnes, a consultant rheumatologist, said: "When we give these therapies we see a fairly rapid increase in a sense of well-being, mood state improving quite remarkably often disproportionately given the amount of inflammation we can see in their joints and their skin." It suggests the patients were not simply feeling happier as they were in less pain, but that something more profound was going on.

Prof McInnes added: "We scanned the brains of people with rheumatoid arthritis, we then gave them a very specific immune targeted therapy and then we imaged them again afterwards. "What we are starting to see when we give anti-inflammatory medicines is quite remarkable changes in the neuro-chemical circuitry in the brain. "The brain pathways involved in mediating depression were favourably changed in people who were given immune interventions." One possible explanation is that inflammatory chemicals enter the brain. There they interrupt the production of serotonin - a key neurotransmitter that's linked to mood.

Could I be depressed?
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: The Struggle to Treat Senior Depression

I was in a sad state several years ago.. Got of the opioids meds and then started to go to the VA Gym daily...

What a simple cure.. To become alive and enjoying life again...
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