Winter Weary? 6 Ways to Cheer Up

Sick of winter yet? The harsh winter has left schools and governments closed, thousands without power and even the usually sunny South at an icy standstill. It’s also caused a cabin fever outbreak of record proportions. Not only are we bored and craving sun; being stuck inside alone can be bad for our health. A University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. >> Sign up …

New Study Looks at Caregiving and Twins

Does caregiving cause stress? Most research shows that it does – in spades.  But a small study on a limited sample suggests how family caregivers handle distress is influenced more by their genes and family history than by the difficulty of the caregiving role. Those are the findings of Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Washington, and his colleagues after studying more than a thousand female twins, some of whom were caregivers. According to Vitaliano, how your parents …

Meditation Rivals Medication for Depression

Want a free, easy tip for reducing anxiety, depression and pain without medications? Try meditation. New research finds that meditation may be equally as effective as antidepressants in helping to reduce anxiety, depression and pain, according to a review of studies published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers reviewed 47 randomized clinical trials with 3,515 participants and found that mindfulness meditation improved symptoms of depression by 10 to 20 percent and symptoms of anxiety by 5 to 10 percent. “This is …

Is Curing Insomnia Key to Curing Depression?

A New York Times editorial called it possibly “the most dramatic advance in treating depression in decades.” Psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Breus, writing in the Huffington Post, said it could “dramatically change and broaden treatment for millions of people who suffer the debilitating effects of depression.” The excitement is over a new report that found that treating insomnia along with depression could double a person’s chance of overcoming the mood disorder. Even more surprising, patients’ insomnia was treated not …

Dating for Introverts: What Can I Do?

Q: I’d like to slowly establish a romantic relationship. I have been in treatment for anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder for 21 years. I have joined interest groups and tried online dating sites, but haven’t found too many people who are reasonably intelligent (I’m in the top 5 percent), don’t want to travel, enjoy deep conversation, and can accept a partner who will never lose the “baggage,” which can be expected with chronic mental illness. I am introverted and like …

Grandmas Raising Grandkids Struggle With Depression

This is probably not going to surprise anyone, yet it’s still important to emphasize: A grandmother raising her grandkids full-time needs help with the depression and family strain that often results, according to a long-running study of grandmothers’ roles. The researchers found that “roughly half” of grandmothers raising their grandchildren full-time suffered symptoms of depression, researcher Carol Musil, Ph.D., a professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told AARP. The study also found, however, that stressed grandmas …