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Depression

Severe depression: Vagus nerve stimulator improves lives

For people with treatment-resistant depression, adding vagus nerve stimulation to medication can drastically improve their quality of life, concludes a new study. People with severe depression may benefit from the neurostimulation technique ‘vagus nerve stimulation.’ The National Institute of Mental Health suggest that over 16 million people in the United States have had at least one episode of major depression in the past year. Of these, more than 10 million adults report that the condition severely impaired their quality of life. There are a variety of treatments available for depression, including therapy, medication, and making changes to one’s lifestyle. However, for some, these therapies are not enough to relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life. Some with t...

Research suggests link between epilepsy and bipolar disorder

Research at Royal Holloway University of London, has suggested a link between patients with epilepsy and patients with bipolar disorder, through investigating a medicine used to treat both disorders. Valproic acid has been used successfully for many years to treat people with a diagnosis of either epilepsy or bipolar disorder, but there has never been a clear understanding of how it works for these two different conditions. Unfortunately, the drug also has severe side effects, increasing the chance of causing birth defects, if taken by pregnant women. Professor Robin Williams, Head of the Centre for Biomedical Sciences in Royal Holloway’s School of Biological Sciences, and his students have carried out extensive research to discover how the drug works. Their work has been published i...

Addressing Psychiatric Comorbidities in Pediatric Epilepsy

Children with a chronic physical illness have a substantially elevated prevalence of psychiatric illness. The odds of having a mental health disorder were 62% higher among children with vs without a chronic physical condition, even after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and access to health care, according to results from a study published in 2016.1 The risk for psychopathology is even greater among children who have chronic central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In children with epilepsy, various studies have reported a prevalence of mental health problems ranging from 16% to 77%, and a 3-fold to 9-fold risk compared with controls.2 In a recent study of children and adolescents age 10 to 19 years who had epilepsy, the most commonly observed comorbid psychiatric disorders were att...

Why does depression make you feel tired?

Depression can cause debilitating fatigue and make the simplest activities, such as getting out of bed, too difficult to manage.   According to a 2018 report, fatigue affects over 90 percent of people with major depressive disorder.   In this article, learn about the link between depression and fatigue, as well as how to cope.  

Cognitive-behavioural therapy does not meaningfully reduce depression in most people with epilepsy: a systematic review of clinically reliable improvement

Depression and anxiety are common comorbid conditions in people with epilepsy. Their presence is associated with an increase in suicide risk, increase healthcare costs, increase in mortality and reduced quality of life.

HOW TO BE A “FRIEND” TO SOMEONE WITH A CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITION

Living with a serious health condition like epilepsy can have a mental and emotional impact. For that person, and a caregiver, staying positive may be very difficult but is an important part in the overall health plan.   As a friend or caregiver here are a few tips:   Help them stay positive and motivated by showing your support Many people living with a chronic disease feelings of helplessness, anxiety or depression. These feelings may make it harder for them to find the motivation to be proactive about managing their condition. You can give them a boost when they’re feeling down, help them develop an action plan, maybe you can help them do something they enjoy so they don’t feel so alone.   Don’t allow them to be a shut-in When someone feels down often they want to be alon...

Epileptic seizures and depression may share a common genetic cause, study suggests

Rutgers and Columbia scientists assessed family histories of epilepsy and depression to find a possible genetic relationship   From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Columbia University have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, which may lead to better screening and treatment to improve patients’ quality of life.

A Chronic Childhood Illness Like Epilepsy Could Increase Risk of Adult Depression, Study Reports

Chronic childhood illnesses such as epilepsy could increase the risk that a person will develop clinical depression as an adult, according to new research. The study, “Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health – a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Huge surprise party planned for 9 year old with epilepsy after bullies make her life hell

A little Whanganui girl whose classmates refused to come to her birthday is about to be flooded with friends, presents and birthday well-wishes from all over the world. Gabi Barnett, 9, has suffered some setbacks in the last two years. Merciless bullying by another girl has made Gabi shy and withdrawn. Her mum Toni says the bully picked on someone every year, and one year she chose Gabi. “It was pretty nasty stuff. She would say things like ‘You should just die’. “Gabi got really depressed and chopped one side of her hair off, so she had to get a haircut and we could only cut it short – then there was more bullying, she was getting called a boy. It snowballed.” The girl’s family eventually moved and Gabi was delighted – but then out of the bl...

Study finds prevalence of depression and anxiety in individuals with epilepsy

An analysis of published studies found that in individuals with epilepsy, there is a 20.2% prevalence of anxiety disorders and a 22.9% prevalence of depression. Investigators also found no differences in the prevalence of either depression or anxiety based on the severity of illness.