Friday November 24, 2017

Maternal Depression May Affect Child’s Brain Development at Critical Stages in Life

Women with higher depressive symptoms tended to have children with thinner frontal and temporal areas

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Representational image. Pixabay

Toronto, November 16, 2016: Depressive symptoms in women during and after pregnancy are linked to reduced thickness of the cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for complex thought and behaviour — in preschool-age kids, says a new study.

“Our findings underscore the importance of monitoring and supporting mental health in mothers not just in the post-partum period, but also during pregnancy,” said lead researcher Catherine Lebel of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

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The findings, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, suggest that a mother’s mood may affect her child’s brain development at critical stages in life.

Eighteen percent of women experience depression some time during pregnancy, and both peri-natal and post-partum depression have been associated with negative outcomes in children.

But the associations between maternal depression and abnormal brain structure in kids at this age was not known.

For the study, the researchers screened 52 women for depressive symptoms during each trimester of pregnancy and a few months after the child was born.

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The women ranged in the presence of symptoms, some with no or few symptoms, and some meeting the screening criteria for depression.

When the children reached about 2.5 to 5 years of age, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure their brain structure.

Women with higher depressive symptoms tended to have children with thinner frontal and temporal areas, cortical regions implicated in tasks involving inhibition and attention control.

The researchers also found an association between depressive symptoms and abnormal white matter in the frontal area, the fiber tracts connecting the region to other areas in the brain.

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These associations were only found when symptoms occurred during the second trimester and post-partum, suggesting these periods are particularly critical times for child brain development.

Abnormalities in brain structure during critical periods in development have often been associated with negative outcomes, such as learning disabilities and behavioural disorders, the researchers said. (IANS)

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‘At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things’, says Bollywood Actress Ileana D’Cruz

Actress Ileana D'Cruz was once suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Watch out what she has to say.

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Actress Ileana D'Cruz
Actress Ileana D'Cruz . wikimedia commons
  • Actress Ileana D’Cruz, who suffered depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, says at one point in her life she felt suicidal.
  • But once she accepted herself, she started feeling better.

Actress Ileana D’Cruz suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder

At the 21st World Congress of Mental Health here on Sunday, Ileana had a tete-a-tete with Organising Chairman Sunil Mittal on her struggle with depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Ileana was also awarded the Woman of Substance Award for her efforts towards raising awareness about mental health, read a statement.

She said: “I was always a very self-conscious person and was picked on for my body type. I used to feel low and sad all the time but didn’t know I was suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder till I got help. All I wanted to do was to be accepted by everyone.

“At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things. However, all of it changed when I accepted myself and what I was going through. I think that is the first step towards fighting depression.”

The “Barfi!” and “Rustom” actress said depression is “real” and people shouldn’t shy away from seeking help.

“It is a chemical imbalance in your brain and needs to be treated. Don’t sit back and think it will get okay but go get help. Like you have a sprain and go get yourself checked if you have depression, seek help,” she said, urging people to be like Winnie the Pooh. “He wore a crop top, ate his favorite food all day and loved himself, you can too.”

Ileana D’Cruz, whose mother was her biggest pillar of strength throughout, also said imperfections are a part of life.

“I am not saying that I had this miraculous recovery, every day is a process, every day is a step towards healing yourself and getting better. You are a human being and are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to be flawed. There is a lot of beauty in your imperfections, in your uniqueness.

“You may look at us actors and think that ‘Oh my God, they are so pretty, so perfect’. But that’s not how it is. It takes two hours to get ready and look like this. Love yourself for who you are and trust me if you are happy from within, you are the most beautiful person and your smile is your best asset.”

Ileana D’Cruz said she decided to open up about her struggle because “as someone people look up to, even if I can help a handful of people cope, it is worth talking about it”.

The World Congress was organized by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), a global alliance of mental health professionals, national health associations, NGOs, policy experts and other institutions.( IANS)

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5 Things You Can do to Treat Your Depression Instantly

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Depression
Heal your depression instantly by making the most out of your life. Pixabay.
  • Depression is a very tense and grave situation that a person can ever suffer.
  • Only someone who’s been through the depression phase must be knowing how difficult it is.
  • Most of us don’t realize that depression is affecting our daily lives until it has created the worse by taking away our hopes and dreams into avail.

It may take days, weeks or even months to treat depression, but it will eventually pass. You may not be able to see it, but there’s surely a way out to heal. We’ve all been there and it’s really okay to not be okay. So, for the next time when you feel low about yourself and your life over depression, try out these.

Keep Yourself Busy 

Depression
Practice your hidden hobbies to heal your depression. Pixabay.

Being busy is the best thing to not only treat your depression but to clear out all your procrastination. When you’re feeling low and depressed, you start becoming hopeless and pathetic about yourself. You may not realize, but your thought process will not flow in a proper direction and make you ponder over your own sadness. Try to do various kinds of activities be it your hobby or work, don’t leave your mind go into astray.

Realise your own self

Depression
Pen down your thoughts during the depression. Pixabay.

If you really want to daydream, think about the times when you were proud of yourself even for a minor thing. Make a list of all your strengths and achievements to heal depression. If possible, start practicing to pen down your thoughts in a diary or an online journal. Write down whatever crosses your mind and what you could have done as an alternate option to a situation. Provide importance to realize your own self and gain the inner confidence because only you know that you are the best to run or ruin your life.

Share your feelings

Depression
Find a Confidante who won’t judge your depression issues. Pixabay.

Keeping your thoughts to yourself will not solve your problem of depression, instead, it will worsen the more. You must find a confidante who won’t judge you and understand your thoughts. It can be your best friend or a family member whom you really trust. Open up and talk about anything and everything. They would definitely do anything to make you happy once again.

Talk to a stranger if you are an introvert

Depression
Your depression will heal once you start confiding your thoughts to someone.Pixabay.

Carrying a baggage on yourself of being an introvert makes you hurtle through every situation. But, it’s not a certain problem that you should deal with, it’s just your fear of being judged and rejected. Sometimes, you need someone out of your known circle to talk with. It’s much easier to talk to a stranger who doesn’t feel sympathetic about your depression. Try making new friends and disclose your life to them. You’ll be amazed to understand how easy it is to open up to someone you know nothing about and vice-versa.

Get some entertainment and Fun in life

Depression
Go out for an evening karaoke night to relax your depressed mind. Pixabay.

Entertainment is the key to happiness unless it’s socially addictive, treating your depression effectively. Make the most out of your life by going on a thrilling adventure or watch something hilarious when you’re alone which makes you feel happy about. You’ll end up realizing that no matter how sad your life is, but some funny things are never going to cease. Just sit back and watch online series like GOT or FRIENDS or maybe try out a Karaoke night who knows you’ll find that confidante there itself.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Foods that Fight Depression: Brighten Your Mood with a Rainbow of Food

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vegetables and fruits.
A well stocked stand of vegetables and fruits. VOA

A chocolate bar may make you feel better when you’re down, but a cup of yogurt or a handful of cashews might be a better choice for the foods that fight depression.

“I think about our body in some ways like a car engine,” says therapist Leslie Korn. “We need to give it the right fuel. And each of us has a need for a particular combination of proteins, and carbohydrates and fats.”

Korn has been treating people for trauma and depression for more than 40 years. She noticed that when her patients changed their diet and began eating foods like dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, eggs, and cherries, they had much more success in lifting their depression and decreasing their pain.

She turned her observations into a book: The Good Mood Kitchen. It contains recipes and nutrition tips that can help put you in a good mood.

Fat for the brain

Fats, she explains, are not the nemesis many diets have made them out to be. We need fats in our diet because our brain is made up of fat. “It’s made up of chemicals that talk to each other and that are lubricated by the fat in order to communicate across the synapses and contribute to our ability to focus, to apply attention and to lift our mood. Indeed, there is some very good research going on in the military looking at the role of Omega 3 fatty acids for not only treatment of depression and anxiety, but also for suicide prevention.”

Taking care of the digestive system, which breaks down the fat, is essential for the brain to benefit, and Korn has a suggestion for that, too.

“For example, if your liver and if your gallbladder is not working, you can’t break down fats that are absorbed into the bloodstream and then support brain function. What we know is that the greens, in particular, bitter greens, help us digest fats and send those fats to the brain where we need it.”(VOA)