Treating Depression: 10 Studies You Need To Know

Ten captivating studies that reveal new ways to understand, treat and prevent depression.

Ten captivating studies that reveal new ways to understand, treat and prevent depression.

Below are 10 pieces of research that promise to enhance our understanding and management of depression.

Among other things, the studies examine the potential of exercise routines, explore strategies for managing negative thoughts and uncover links to sleep, body temperature and memory.

These are all from the members-only section of PsyBlog — if you are not already, find out how to become a PsyBlog member here.

 

1.

Discover The Ultimate Depression-Busting Exercises — Backed By 200+ Studies (M)

Over 200 studies confirm it: exercise is a powerful tool against major depressive disorder. But which are best, and for whom?

2.

How Depressed People Can Overcome Negative Thinking (M)

Participants taught this technique were less likely to remember negative memories.

3.

How To Deal With The Fear Of Depression Returning (M)

The situations that can trigger fears of depression returning and how to tackle them.

4.

3 Ways Depressed People Can Access Happy Memories (M)

Autobiographical memory, crucial for self-concept and emotion regulation, is often impaired in depression.

5.

The Surprising Link Between Depression And Body Temperature (M)

The largest study yet to examine the link between body temperature and depression.

6.

The Shocking Way Depression and Schizophrenia Hijack Learning Abilities (M)

The subtle learning bias seen in people with depression and schizophrenia that stops them grasping patterns in everyday life.

7.

Two-Thirds Of Severely Depressed Respond To Novel Brain Stimulation Technique (M)

A variation on an FDA approved method of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for depression doubles its effectiveness.

8.

Why A Sleepless Night Lifts Depression (M)

Sleep deprivation treatment can rapidly reduce the symptoms of depression — but why?

9.

Depression ‘Wonder-Drug’ Ketamine Only Works By Placebo Effect (M)

Ketamine’s ability to reduce depression may be all expectation in patients’ minds.

10.

These 7 Lifestyle Factors Reduce Depression Risk By Two-Thirds (M)

People with generally healthy lifestyles had a 57 percent lower depression risk compared to those with generally unfavourable lifestyles.

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How To Deal With The Fear Of Depression Returning (M)

The situations that can trigger fears of depression returning and how to tackle them.

The situations that can trigger fears of depression returning and how to tackle them.

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3 Ways Depressed People Can Access Happy Memories (M)

Autobiographical memory, crucial for self-concept and emotion regulation, is often impaired in depression.

Autobiographical memory, crucial for self-concept and emotion regulation, is often impaired in depression.

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This Psychological Epidemic Is Killing Millions Worldwide

One-third of people over 45 have this chronic psychological problem — as do many who are younger.

One-third of people over 45 have this chronic psychological problem — as do many who are younger.

Chronic loneliness affects 42.6 million people over 45-years-old in the United States, research finds.

That is one-third of people in the age-group.

Being socially isolated and lonely could be worse for public health than obesity.

Over 100 studies have found that being lonely is linked to a 50% increase in risk of death.

The danger to health of being lonely is similar or greater than that of being overweight.

Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, was discussing the studies at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association:

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need–crucial to both well-being and survival.

Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.

Yet an increasing portion of the U.S. population now experiences isolation regularly.”

More than one-quarter of the US population now lives alone.

Over half the US population is unmarried and marriage rates continue to decline.

Professor Holt-Lunstad said:

“These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness.”

The conclusions come from two meta-analyses: these involve adding up the results of lots of different studies.

The studies involved people from all around the world, including North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Professor Holt-Lunstad explained the results:

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.

With an increasing aging population, the effect on public health is only anticipated to increase.

Indeed, many nations around the world now suggest we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic.’

The challenge we face now is what can be done about it.”

While people are encouraged to prepare financially for their retirement, little mentions is made of preparing socially.

It’s all very well having a nice steady income, but it’s little comfort if you’ve got no one to talk to.

How on earth did we become such a lonely society?

The study was presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C..

Discover The Ultimate Depression-Busting Exercises — Backed By 200+ Studies (M)

Over 200 studies confirm it: exercise is a powerful tool against major depressive disorder. But which are best, and for whom?

Over 200 studies confirm it: exercise is a powerful tool against major depressive disorder. But which are best, and for whom?

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

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• Access courses
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• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

The Vitamin Deficiency That’s Putting Your Mental Health At Risk

The deficiency is linked to depression and poorer brain function, lower verbal fluency and even dementia.

The deficiency is linked to depression and poorer brain function, lower verbal fluency and even dementia.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depressive symptoms and more negative thoughts, research finds.

Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to cognitive impairments in young people.

Foods that have high levels of vitamin D include oily fish and eggs but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

That is why levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in more Northern climes.

The research was carried out on 225 patients being treated for psychotic disorders and 159 well people.

Among people with psychosis, higher levels of negative symptoms and depression were found in those with low vitamin D levels.

Problems with processing speed and verbal fluency were also found among young people with low levels of vitamin D.

The findings fit in with previous research that low vitamin D levels are linked to depression.

The vitamin is also thought to play a role in regulating serotonin, a neurotransmitter important for mood.

Vitamin D deficiency has even been linked to dementia.

The study’s authors conclude:

“In a clinical setting, this could support vitamin D as adjuvant therapy in treating co-morbid depressions in psychotic disorders

The associations between low vitamin D levels and increased negative and depressive symptoms, and decreased processing speed and verbal fluency are good arguments for planning large scale randomised controlled studies in target populations, in order to reach conclusions about vitamin D’s potential beneficial effect in psychotic disorders.”

The study was published in the journal Schizophrenia Research (Nerhus et al., 2016).

The Surprising Link Between Depression And Body Temperature (M)

The largest study yet to examine the link between body temperature and depression.

The largest study yet to examine the link between body temperature and depression.

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