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Inside Out: How depression can infect a whole family

May 12th, 2008 Smyrne

Jane was nearly 40 years old when she came to see me for poor self-esteem. Despite her achievements, she never felt good about herself and was unable to sustain a relationship with a man.

She attributed much of her difficulty to her father, whom she described as angry and judgmental. “It seemed everything I did was never quite good enough for him,” she said.

Naturally, she internalized these criticisms and spent much of her life feeling flawed.

After a few months, she agreed to invite her father in for a session. When he came in with Jane’s mother, he did seem angry and short-tempered. He said for most of his life he had had “a short fuse” and didn’t take much joy in anything.

After further exploration, I suggested that he was depressed and had been most of his life. I explained that his irritability, along with his pessimism and negative worldview, were classic symptoms of depression.

Unfortunately, he disagreed with me and refused to get a second opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12th, 2008 by Smyrne | Posted in Anxiety And Depression | No Comments » | 11,809 views | Print this article

Improving Anxiety Treatment Through The Help Of Brain Imaging: A Potential Future Treatment Strategy

May 12th, 2008 Smyrne

ScienceDaily (May 10, 2008) — Wouldn’t it be nice if our doctors could predict accurately whether we would respond to a particular medication? This question is important because research studies provide information about how groups of patients tend to respond to treatments, but inevitably, differences among groups of patients with the same diagnosis mean that findings about groups of patients may not apply to individuals from those groups.

“Personalized medicine” is the effort to match particular treatments to particular patients on the basis of genetic information or other biological markers. In a new article published in Biological Psychiatry on May 1st, researchers report their findings on the potential use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to match treatments for patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Whalen and colleagues recruited subjects diagnosed with GAD who underwent brain scans both before and after treatment with venlafaxine, an antidepressant that has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety. During the fMRI scans, the participants’ responses to viewing pictures of fearful facial expressions were measured. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12th, 2008 by Smyrne | Posted in Anxiety And Depression | No Comments » | 8,763 views | Print this article