Mindfulness works as good as antidepressants to prevent relapses of depression: Study

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Mindulness

By NewsGram Staff Writer

A new study has unveiled that practicing mindfulness works just as good as gulping down antidepressants to prevent relapses of depression.

Having its root in Buddhism, mindfulness includes paying attention on ‘the purpose.’ It is an emotionally non-reactive state, which helps people to refrain from tagging a situation good or bad.

A latest study published in ‘The Lancet’ revealed that practicing mindfulness is as effective as taking antidepressants to treat depression. The study also suggested that patients taking part in the mindfulness-based group therapy sessions were less likely to slide back into depression.

The sessions aimed at teaching mediation tricks along with ‘mindfulness principles’ with the goal of bolstering the patients to react differently to patterns of negative thinking that could give a way to depression to creep in slowly.

The study, conducted by researchers at Oxford University, followed 424 people from the South West of England for two years. Half of the people received mindfulness therapy whereas the other half continued taking antidepressants.

Surprisingly, the rate of depression relapse in the people who continuously practiced mindfulness was 44% compared to 47% among those who carried on with their medication.

“Recurrent depression is characterized by people who have very negative thoughts about themselves, other people and the world, and those negative thoughts can quickly go into a downward spiral of depressive relapse,” said Willem Kuyken, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study.

“Whilst this study doesn’t show that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy works any better than maintenance antidepressant medication in reducing the rate of relapse in depression, we believe these results suggest a new choice for the millions of people with recurrent depression on repeat prescriptions,” he added.

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Women Anxious Before IVF May Face Serious Mental Disorders if the Treatment Fails: Report

Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Delhi sheds light on how depression and anxiety can affect IVF

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IVF or any fertility treatment can cause anxiety in a childless couple. Pixabay

Getting bouts of anxiety while going through In-vitro fertilization (IVF) or any other fertility treatment is common for any childless couple. Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Delhi sheds light on how depression and anxiety can affect IVF.

But it’s pivotal that the stress should be managed initially, if it is ignored it can take an emotional toll on women’s mental health. Firstly, opting to for IVF is a life-altering decision by a couple. Though it brings with it a renewed sense of hope and purpose, the experience can be an intense for everyone involved.

According to a latest report published in the ‘Fertility and Sterility Journal’, women who are stressed and anxious before IVF can face serious mental disorders if the treatment fails. The journal further added women should not feel pressured to be a “good IVF patient” who’s free of stress. And, they should not blame themselves if they feel stressed out and their IVF attempt fails. The doctors should facilitate psychological intervention, if need be to help women feel better, and not focus entirely on just increasing their chances of pregnancy.

embryo IVF
Women should not feel pressured to be a “good IVF patient” who’s free of stress. Pixabay

Relation between depression and infertility

It is still unclear whether depression itself can cause infertility but there are some studies available which found a correlation between depression and increased rates of infertility. Some suggests that an overlap in some of the hormonal issues are involved in both conditions. Moreover, depression disrupts your daily routine and lifestyle that adversely impact the fertility. For example, depression often causes an over reaction or lack of appetite,resulting in being overweight or underweight. All these increase the chances of infertility. Besides, sometimes depressed people get addicted to smoke or liquor to get rid of their negative thoughts, resulting in infertility issues.

Can pregnancy Cure Depression?

It has been witnessed that people, who have experiences infertility failures in the past, are more prone to depression during pregnancy and also have an increased chance of getting postpartum depression. A woman or a couple needs to understand that not being able to conceive or failing to become a parent through means like surrogacy or adoption,isn’t the end o the world. It is possible to find hope and happiness again if we just shift our focus on something else for some time. If depression has taken hold, it’s unlikely to resolve on its own. Depression due to a miscarriage or failed IVF treatment is tough to overcome. Researchers have found that it can stay up to three years irrespective of if you’re pregnant or not. Therefore, counseling is pivotal throughout the grieving process so that one can overcome this dark phase and start afresh with new hopes and outlook.

pregnant IVF
Researchers have found that depression can stay up to three years irrespective of if you’re pregnant or not. Pixabay

Also Read: Above 51% Women Believe Indian Schools Don’t Have Menstrual Awareness Programme: Survey

Feeling better is the Key

Some couples feel antidepressants which are used for treatment have a negative effect on health as they cause hindrance when trying to conceive again. While once cannot completely rule this thought process out.

In fact, some studies have found that treating depression with counseling and anti-depressants together increased pregnancy success. That said, for milder depression, anti-depressant medications are just one of many treatment options. Depression can also be treated with psychological counselling, support groups, and mind-body therapies. (IANS)

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Stress Cleaning is A Real Thing

Stress cleaning is a real thing, it can be destructive or productive subjectively

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Stress Cleaning
Stress Cleaning can be good or bad, know more about it. Pixabay

Picking up cleaning equipment and getting down to clear clutter around oneself could be one possible way to cope with stress. Many health opinions suggest stress cleaning is an actual issue many people worldwide face. But, what really is stress cleaning?

“The act of cleaning, if done within limits, can bring an added benefit of exercise, which can be great for relieving stress, so called ‘stress-cleaning’. Response to stress can be subjective, for example, some people can comfort eat or exercise or some may resort to cleaning as a way of stress-busting”, states Dr Santosh Bangar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Global Hospital, Mumbai told IANSlife.

A cluttered house can lead to negative emotions like irritability, tension, worry, whereas a clean space is more likely to be linked to positive emotions like feeling happy, calm and a sense of wellbeing. People can experience a feeling of achievement or pride, enhanced self-esteem after a cleaning-up session.

What causes it?

Our brain responds to stress with a fight or flight reaction by the amygdala, which is associated with facilitating emotions like fear or anxiety. Another brain area called the prefrontal cortex regulating emotions gets deactivated and works less. So, while the stress is getting triggered, the system supposed to keep it in check is slowing down!

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Stress Cleaning can be a real issue in lockdown. Pixabay

Why it could be good and bad?

The response to stress is subjective, as some people can respond well to stress or even thrive (healthy stress), while other people’s emotions can be excessive leading to a full blown panic attack, characterised by shaking of body, dryness of mouth, sweating, palpitations, rapid breathing, feeling of impending doom. If excessive stress goes undetected or untreated, it may have number of physical and mental health complications.

Depression, anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, substance misuse, sleep disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and suicide in extreme cases are known complications of untreated and persistent stress. Stress cleaning can worsen or induce OCD, Dr Bangar says.

The physical health complications include, impaired blood sugar or diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, heart attack, impaired fat levels and uncommonly various forms of cancers.

Also Read: Young Indians Are At An Evergrowing Risk Of Hypertension

Stress management:

Various forms of relaxation techniques are useful in dealing with stress, one such being ‘stress-cleaning’ or ‘stress-baking’ during periods of social isolation or lockdown. Others can be meditation, for example, mindfulness, yoga or deep breathing exercise. Listening to soothing music, taking regular exercise are other ways of managing stress at home. Reduce caffeine, smoking and alcohol intake, getting a refreshing sleep and eating a balanced diet can go long way to reduce stress. Of course, if these measures are not enough, then one must seek specialist professional help at the earliest. (IANS)

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Negative Environment at Home Can Lead to Depression Among Children

How home environment can put kids at depression risk later

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Generally, the children in adopted homes showed lower risk, but whatever the setting, episodes of major depression in the parents meant the children were more susceptible to depression themselves, the researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (US) and Lund University (Sweden) said. Pixabay

Researchers have found that children’s rearing environment has a major impact on their risk for major depression later in life. This is a health and lifestyle article.

For the findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the research team analysed the health records of full and half-siblings with at least one biological parent with depression who were raised by either their biological parents or in carefully screened adoptive homes.

Generally, the children in adopted homes showed lower risk, but whatever the setting, episodes of major depression in the parents meant the children were more susceptible to depression themselves, the researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (US) and Lund University (Sweden) said.

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They identified 666 high-risk full sibling pairs and 2,596 high-risk pairs of half-siblings each with at least one child reared at home and one adopted. High risk was defined as having at least one biological parent with major depression.

In Sweden, the adoptive parents are carefully screened and undergo a rigorous selection process to ensure their ability to “provide a supportive and generally advantaged home for their adoptive child.”

children depression
Researchers have found that the rearing environment has a major impact on risk for major depression later in life of children. Pixabay

In the full sibling group, the risk for major depression among adopted siblings was 23 per cent lower than the sibling raised in the home with their birth family.

In the group of half-siblings, the risk of depression was 19 per cent lower for the adopted siblings.

For both the full and half-sibling groups, the protective effect of adoption disappeared when an adoptive parent or step-sibling had major depression.

Also Read- Children Who Experience Trauma and Abuse Likely to Have Heart Disease: Study

According to the study, results demonstrate the strong impact of the rearing environment on risk for major depression and support the importance of intervention efforts to improve the rearing environment in high-risk families.

The study authors concluded that their results “further strengthen the evidence that high-quality rearing environments can meaningfully reduce rates of major depression in individuals at high familial risk.” (IANS)