Depression is on the rise. A study conducted by the World Health Organization found an increase of 20 percent in depression cases within just a decade.Stoicism is based on the idea that the goal of life is to live in agreement with nature. Nature itself is defined as whole of the cosmos, including our fellow human beings.Epictetus, whose school of Stoicism flourished in the second century A.D., tells us how to pursue this idea. He says, “some things are under our control and some things aren’t under our control.” And, if something is not under our control, it is not worth expending energy on. Nonetheless, there were days, even for these thinkers, when they found it hard to carry on with their duties. Marcus Aurelius, who, as emperor of the Roman Empire from A.D. 161-180, was the most powerful man in the world, makes clear in one of the passages of his “Meditations,” that he is struggling to get out of bed. So, he tells himself, “I am rising to do the work of a human being. Why, then, am I so irritable if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into this world for? Or was I created for this, to lie in bed and warm myself under the bedclothes?” He also acknowledges how this exhortation may or may not be effective some days. So, even if he drags himself into the world, Marcus highlights what he may face: “Say to yourself at the start of the day, I shall meet with meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable people.”
Unfortunately, for around half of depressed patients, the first antidepressants prescribed do not work. On top of that, around one-third of patients do not respond to any types of drugs (although psychological therapies may be useful).This means that many depressed people have to wait around three months to see if the drugs will work. Then, if they don’t, it is another wait while a different form of medication is tried. The blood test focuses on two different types of biomarkers that measure blood inflammation. Patients whose blood bio-markers were above a certain level had a 100% chance of not responding to the most common type of antidepressant medication. Those below that level mostly responded positively.
Depression has been called a “we-disease” because when the dark clouds arrive, it’s not just the depressed person who is affected, but all those close to them. The US study broke new ground by asking both partners in each couple to provide their perspective on how depression had affected their relationship. Liesel Sharabi and her colleagues said their results show how “the experiences of both partners should be considered when treating depression.” In all, 135 couples, most being heterosexual and white, provided open-ended answers online. The average age of the participants was 40 years, and just over 70 per cent of the couples were married or in a similar life-long commitment. The researchers identified several key themes, the most commonly mentioned was the emotional toll of depression on the relationship. Other themes included: problems with romance and sexual intimacy, over dependence on the relationship, and feelings of uncertainty about the relationship. “Raising a child in our household poses its own challenges since many times I feel like a single parent. And many times I have to parent my spouse such as making certain he wakes up, stays motivated … eats, exercises and baths” said a 34-year-old woman. Another participant with a wife who has psychotic depression, described the contagion effects of depression: “If my partner is sad or depressed, it makes me feel sad and helpless”. And the wife of a man with major depression described her loneliness: “I feel like my husband’s depression affects our sex life. He always seems to be not in the mood, like he is sad.”
Depression is common among nurses and is linked to a higher likelihood they’ll make medical errors, new research suggests. The study found that more than half of nurses who took part in a national survey reported sub-optimal physical and mental health. Nurses in poorer health had a 26 to 71 percent higher likelihood of reporting medical errors than did their healthier peers. Depression stood out as a major concern among the 1,790 U.S. nurses who responded to the survey, and as the key predictor of medical errors.The data came from a survey conducted by the American Academy of Nursing’s million hearts sub-committee of the health behavior expert panel. The survey included 53 questions and was offered through nursing organizations and 20 U.S. hospitals. Only responses from nurses who were in clinical practice were included in the study. The majority of participants were white women and the average age of participants was 44, which closely resembles the demographics of the nursing workforce nationwide. More than half (54 percent) of the nurses reported poor physical and mental health. About a third said they had some degree of depression, anxiety or stress. Less than half said they had a good professional quality of life.
psychotherapy and medication are treatments of choice for suicidal patients.in the 1980s, it was then the largest ever comparison of psychotherapy and medication for treatment of depression. The original study did not specifically target suicidality until later in life