health
New Postpartum Drug Offers a Wholly Different Approach to Treating Depression

New mothers suffering from postpartum depression finally have a treatment approved specifically for them. It’s the second drug this month approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to address depression in a dramatically different way. But the treatment won’t come without serious restrictions on its use, nor will it necessarily be cheap. Read More >>

health
Scientists Propose New Way to Treat Depression With Brain Implants

In recent years, doctors have explored an unorthodox method to address cases of depression that haven’t responded to other treatments: sending precise electrical shocks directly to areas of a patient’s brain, otherwise known as deep brain stimulation (DBS). While the technique has shown some promise, its positive effects tend to be inconsistent. Read More >>

science
Scientists May Have Unlocked the Secret of How Ketamine Treats Depression So Quickly

In recent years, the party drug and anaesthetic ketamine has been embraced as a rapidly-acting, if still off-label, medication for some cases of depression and suicidal ideation that don’t respond to other treatments. But there’s still much we don’t understand about how it actually works so quickly to treat the crippling disorder. A new study released Wednesday out of Stanford University suggests that at least some of ketamine’s mojo relies on the same brain receptors that opioid painkillers activate. Read More >>

depression
Pregnant Millennials May Get Depression More Than Their Mothers in the 1990s

Being a millennial is no picnic. But a new study published this Friday in JAMA Open suggests it’s especially hard for expectant mums. It found that pregnant women today are more likely to feel depressed than their mothers were during their pregnancies a generation ago. Read More >>

science
Smartphones and Video Games May Make Teens Sadder Because of How They Affect Sleep

As smartphones and other highly portable devices have become omnipresent, some researchers and many parents have begun to worry about the mental health risks of excessive screen time on kids and teens. New research presented this week doesn’t debunk a link between technology and depression, but it could sharpen the reasons why it exists. Rather than social isolation or any direct effects on the brain, the study’s findings suggest, it’s the lack of sleep caused by web-surfing or gaming that’s most to blame. Read More >>

mental health
Doctors Have an Alarmingly High Suicide Rate, and No One is Sure How to Help Them

Medical doctors are more likely to die from suicide than members of any other profession in the US, suggests new research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. And worse than that, few interventions seem to have helped make these suicides less common. Read More >>

genetics
Largest Study of Its Kind Identifies 44 Genetic Risk Factors for Depression

Depression is a tricky beast. Symptoms vary widely from person to person, as does the response to treatment. But there’s no question that genetic makeup plays an important role, and understanding the genetic architecture of depression could help us better understand how to treat it. Read More >>

science
Ketamine Nasal Spray Relieves Suicidal Thoughts, but Doctors Worry About Abuse Risk

Ketamine, a drug that’s been retooled as a “breakthrough” in depression treatment, is one step closer to becoming mainstream medicine, thanks to the results of a Phase II clinical trial published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry. But some experts are wary of creating a new drug-abuse crisis by introducing a potentially addictive drug to millions of new users. Read More >>

drugs
Just One Puff of Low-THC Weed Can Help Ease Sadness, Study Finds

It might take just one puff of cannabis to quickly if temporarily dull depression, depending on the strain, suggests a new study published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders. But smoking weed for too long might also make you sadder over time, the researchers found. Read More >>

reddit
Reddit Is Helping Some People Deal With Their Mental Health Struggles

Reddit’s gotten plenty of deserved criticism over the years for hosting some of the most toxic communities on the internet. But a new study published this month in the Journal of Medical Internet Research suggests that at least some subreddits are helping people dealing with depression and other mental health issues come out of their shells. Read More >>

science
New LSD Research May Help Explain the Brain Chemistry of Depression and Schizophrenia

Anyone who’s taken the psychedelic drug LSD (formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide), or had the joy of listening to their favourite relative talk about it over Christmas dinner, knows it can be a utterly bonkers experience. A small new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience seems to offer some insight into what’s happening in the brain while we’re on a LSD trip. And it might even provide a hint as to how certain mental disorders develop. Read More >>

science
The Genetics of Depression Are Different for Men and Women

There may not be a single depression gene, but there’s no question that our genetic makeup is an important factor in whether or not we get depressed. And our sex, it turns out, can be a factor in how those genes are expressed. In men and women diagnosed with major depressive disorder, the same genes show the opposite changes. In other words, the molecular underpinnings of depression in men and women may be different. Read More >>

science
Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now

Today’s kids are better behaved than ever. They’re having less sex (and more safely when they do), committing less crime, and doing fewer drugs. But research has also started to show they might be unhappier than previous generations of youths. A new study published today in Emotion adds more support to a leading theory on why that’s the case: The rise of social media and smartphones in kids’ hands. Read More >>

science
Impoverished Black Teens Talk About Depression Differently

Depression is an equal opportunity malady. It affects people from all walks of life, be they rich or poor, young or old, or black or white. But it’s apparent there are some groups who more vulnerable to depression than others, such as those living in poverty or who regularly face discrimination. A recent study, published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, suggests that different groups of people also talk about depression differently. In particular, poorer black kids discuss their feelings of depression differently than other demographic groups. Read More >>

science
Artificial Intelligence Detects Suicidal Tendencies in People Using Brain Scans

Recent scientific progress has allowed us to begin decoding the significance of many different patterns of activity in the brain. Researchers have begun to understand patterns associated with disorders such as depression, in hopes of correcting it. Other research has zeroed in on how language and speech is signalled in the brain. In one often-cited experiment, researchers were even able to convert the MRI readouts of the test subjects’ brains into approximate renditions of the movie clips shown to participants. Read More >>