Holiday Blues? 7 Ways to Cheer Up

The winter solstice — and the shortest day of the year — will soon be upon us (Dec. 21), and not everyone is feeling the holiday spirit. Illness, loneliness, financial troubles, family problems and depression can make many dread the “most wonderful” time of the year and endanger both mental and physical health. A recent University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. Here are some things you can do …

Helping Older Adults With Depression

The recent death of actor and comedian Robin Williams prompted much-needed public discussion about depression, which affects millions of older Americans — including many who face a number of common risk factors such as financial stress, decline in physical and cognitive health, and social isolation. Research has linked depression to poorer functioning, health status and quality of life among older adults. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify and treat depression in this population, a challenge that comes with a substantial …

When Your Kid’s Romance Ends and You Hurt, Too

“They say that breaking up is hard to do. Now I know, I know that it’s true.”  That Neil Sedaka song was recorded twice — in 1962 and in 1975 — a testament to the truth of the lyrics. Breakups are painful, even when it’s not you but your adult child. At a recent wedding, a guest looked wistfully at the joyous couple and mentioned that his twentysomething son had ended a long-term relationship with a woman whom the father …

How to Handle Your Kid’s Depression or Anxiety

We’ve all received that phone call, email or text from our young adult child who’s lamenting some crisis or another. Often our response is, “This too shall pass.” But what happens when one bad day slips into another and another? Americans are reporting more symptoms of depression, such as trouble sleeping and concentrating, than people typically did in the 1980s, according to a new study. The results were especially striking among young people. Compared to three decades ago, college students are …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Marmosets can learn useful behaviors, like unlocking a box of food, from watching videos of other marmosets. (Learn more at NY Times) 2. Colognes newly created to honor Che Guevara and Hugo Chávez are a “serious error,” according to the Cuban government. (Learn more at BBC) 3. Swedish scientists compete to hide the most Bob Dylan lyrics in their scholarly papers. (Learn more at Rolling Stone) >> 12 Foods That Sabotage Sleep 4. At 20 percent, …

Dementia Caregivers Especially Stressed, Report Finds

Family caregivers who are caring for loved ones with cognitive and behavioral health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression, face particularly demanding challenges, according to a new report from AARP and the United Hospital Fund. As a result of all the demands on them, a majority of these caregivers say they feel stressed much of the time as they try to juggle their caregiving responsibilities with other work or family obligations. As primary caregiver for my dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, I can …