The Best Way To Protect Against Depression (S)

The future risk of developing depression was around 20% lower in people who did this.

The future risk of developing depression was around 20% lower in people who did this.

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This 3-Minute Treatment For Major Depression Is Effective, Research Finds

Almost half the people in the study found their symptoms reduced and 32% had complete remission.

Almost half the people in the study found their symptoms reduced and 32% had complete remission.

Major depression can be effectively treated in just three minutes at a time with brain stimulation, new research shows.

Treatment-resistant depression does not respond to antidepressants.

Up to around 40% of people may have this type of depression.

However, studies have shown a type of brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can be helpful.

Previously, these sessions took 37.5 minutes each, but new research suggests just three minutes of a different type of brain stimulation can be just as effective.

Intermittent theta burst stimulation, or iTBS, mimics the natural electrical rhythms in the brain.

Dr Daniel Blumberger, the study’s lead author, said:

“The main impact of this study is that the number of people who are able to be treated using theta burst stimulation compared to the standard form of rTMS can be increased by three to four fold.”

For the study, people with treatment-resistant depression were either given the longer or the shorter treatment for five days a week over six weeks.

The results showed that almost half the people in the study found that iTBS reduced their symptoms and 32% had complete remission.

The figures for rTMS were similar, but the iTBS is quicker.

One of the patients, Shelley Hofer, 43, who has had treatment-resistant depression for most of her life, said:

“rTMS has changed my life in so many ways.

I really wish it had been around a long time ago because I believe it would have been my go-to treatment.

In my personal opinion, I feel rTMS could improve the lives of so many people who are still struggling to find the answers to their own mental illness.”

The study was published in the journal The Lancet (Blumberger et al., 2018).

The Diet That Reduces Depression Risk

People eating this diet felt more positive and were more likely to be flourishing.

People eating this diet felt more positive and were more likely to be flourishing.

Eating raw fruits and vegetables is linked to better mental health, new research finds.

People eating raw fruit and veg were at lower risk of depression and more likely to be flourishing and feeling positive about life.

Raw bananas and apples were particularly beneficial, along with ‘salad fixings’.

Just over 6 servings of raw fruit and vegetables provided the maximum benefit to mental health.

Cooked, canned or processed fruits and vegetables were not linked to the same boost.

Dr Tamlin Conner, who led the research, said:

“Our research has highlighted that the consumption of fruit and vegetables in their ‘unmodified’ state is more strongly associated with better mental health compared to cooked/canned/processed fruit and vegetables.”

The ten best foods for mental health were:

  1. carrots,
  2. bananas,
  3. apples,
  4. dark leafy greens such as spinach,
  5. grapefruit,
  6. lettuce,
  7. citrus fruits,
  8. fresh berries,
  9. cucumber,
  10. and kiwifruit.

The study surveyed over 400 people in the US and New Zealand about their dietary habits and mental health.

Young people aged 18 to 25 were chosen for the study as this age range is typically at highest risk for mental health problems.

Dr Connor explained the results:

“Controlling for the covariates, raw fruit and vegetable consumption predicted lower levels of mental illness symptomology, such as depression, and improved levels of psychological wellbeing including positive mood, life satisfaction and flourishing.

These mental health benefits were significantly reduced for cooked, canned, and processed fruits and vegetables.

This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health.”

The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology (Brookie et al., 2018).

Depressed People Cannot Appreciate This Special Thing

The study compared depressed and non-depressed people.

The study compared depressed and non-depressed people.

People who are depressed have difficulty appreciating or recalling positive experiences, research finds.

Compared with non-depressed people, those who feel depressed find it harder to remember positives.

For example, a depressed person starting an exercise programme might notice their new aches and pains, but not the weight they are losing.

Depressed people need to make a special effort to see the positives, whereas non-depressed people tend to notice them automatically.

Dr Laren Conklin, the study’s first author, said:

“Since depression is characterized by negative thinking, it is easy to assume that depressed people learn the negative lessons of life better than non-depressed people – but that’s not true.”

In fact, when tested, non-depressed people were just as good as the depressed at learning negative information.

The study involved depressed and non-depressed people playing a computer game that encouraged them to learn positive and negative information.

It linked clinical depression to how people form attitudes to new information.

The non-depressed could learn both positive and negative information, but not so the depressed, explained Dr Daniel Strunk, study co-author:

“The depressed people showed a bias against learning positive information although they had no trouble learning the negative.”

The more depressed people were, the harder they found it to recall the positive information.

Dr Conklin said:

“Depressed people may have a tendency to remember the negative experiences in a situation, but not remember the good things that happened.

Therapists need to be aware of that.

Dr Strunk said:

“Therapists might focus more on helping their depressed clients recognize and remember the positive aspects of their new experiences.”

The study was published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (Conklin et al., 2008).

An Odd Depression Symptom Confirmed by Study

The cause could be a lack of new brain cells in the hippocampus.

The cause could be a lack of new brain cells in the hippocampus.

Depressed people find it harder to tell similar memories apart, research finds.

It may be difficult for depressed people to remember who they have told what, or where something happened.

The more depressed people are, the more they seem to forget the details that help to make memories distinct.

The cause could be a lack of new brain cells in the hippocampus, an area vital to memory.

It is not a generalised memory problem, though, the researchers think.

→ Try PsyBlog’s depression ebook: Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do 

Professor Brock Kirwan, study co-author, said:

“That’s really the novel aspect of this study — that we are looking at a very specific aspect of memory.”

For the study, people were asked to look at a series of objects on the computer screen.

Some they had seen before on the test, some were similar and some were new.

The results showed that the more depressed people were, the more trouble they had differentiating the similar objects.

In other words, they mixed up similar memories — although they had no problem with distinguishing new objects from those they had already seen.

This suggests it is not a general problem with memory.

Professor Kirwan said:

“They don’t have amnesia, they are just missing the details.

The reason for the memory problems could be down to a lack of new brain cells in an area of the brain critical to memory: the hippcampus.

Professor Kirwan said:

“There are two areas in your brain where you grow new brain cells.

One is the hippocampus, which is involved in memory.

It turns out that this growth is decreased in cases of depression.”

The study was published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research (Shelton & Kirwan, 2013).

Another Diet That Reduces Depression Risk By 11%

Diet reduced chance of developing depression by 11%.

Diet reduced chance of developing depression by 11%.

The ‘DASH’ diet may reduce the chances of developing depression, new research finds.

‘DASH’ stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), a diet designed to fight high blood pressure.

The DASH diet is reasonably straightforward and involves eating lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

It also includes:

  • fat-free or low-fat dairy products,
  • fish,
  • poultry,
  • beans,
  • nuts,
  • and vegetable oils.

It recommends limiting intake of sugar, fatty meats, full-fat dairy, palm oil and foods high in saturated fats.

In contrast, the Western diet — what people tend to eat in the Western world — was linked to a higher rate of depression by the research.

Typically the Western diet is high in red meats and saturated fats and low in fruits and vegetables.

Dr Laurel Cherian, study author, said:

“Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke.

Making a lifestyle change such as changing your diet is often preferred over taking medications, so we wanted to see if diet could be an effective way to reduce the risk of depression.”

The study included 964 people who were followed for around 6 years.

The results showed that following the diet more closely was linked to an 11% reduction in depression risk.

Dr Cherian said:

“Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains healthy.”

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, April 21 to 27, 2018.