Effects of Therapy, Antidepressants May Be Equal, and Other News

People talking to therapist about medicationThe mental health community has been divided over the benefits of therapy and antidepressants. Some people in therapy are concerned about the side effects and the long process of trial and error it can take to find the right antidepressant. Others express skepticism that therapy alone is sufficient to change depression-causing brain chemistry. According to a new study, the two approaches may be equally effective.

The review, published in BMJ, looked at 11 studies of treatment outcomes in more than 1,500 people with depression. Results showed talk therapy and antidepressants were equally effective. The study’s authors point out that only a fifth of people with depression receive appropriate treatment. They define such treatment as a minimum of either two months of antidepressants along with at least four trips to a physician or eight 30-minute therapy sessions.

Shooting Situations Are Traumatic to Children—Even When They Are Just Drills

As mass shootings continue to stoke fear, many schools attempt to regain control by conducting emergency drills. These drills—like the nuclear attack drills of a few generations ago—can be frightening and may even cause the children who participate to experience trauma.

Pentagon Chief to Military: Open All Combat Jobs to Women

Most combat positions are currently open to women, but 10%—a total of 220,000 jobs—remain closed. The Marine Corps recently asked the Department of Defense to continue to restrict those jobs to men only. Last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter instructed the military to open all remaining combat jobs to women. He also signed an acknowledgment that women have been killed and wounded in active combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In spite of a formal ban on women in combat, women have served in active combat situations for years. For those women and their families, Carter’s acknowledgment is a recognition of their service.

Syrian Refugees With PTSD Offered Help Through Canadian Pilot Program

Beginning next week, the Canadian government will welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees. Many may experience pain associated with leaving home. Others have been exposed to violence at the hands of extremists. Posttraumatic stress (PTSD) among refugee children is at a rate of about 20%. Morton Beiser, a psychiatrist at Toronto-based St. Michael’s Hospital, has devised a program called Lending a Hand to Our Future. The program targets PTSD and will be available in eight Toronto clinics. Though the program is available to anyone with PTSD, Beiser hopes it will prove helpful to Syrian refugees.

More Than a Quarter of New Doctors May Be Depressed

Research shows depression rates are high among new doctors. Researchers reviewed 54 studies that looked at a total of 17,500 medical residents over the past 50 years. Twenty-nine percent had symptoms of depression, and depression rates among medical residents continue to rise. In the general population, recent research suggests the annual depression rate is about 6.7%. Researchers say the high rate of depression among new doctors may be due to the grueling nature of a medical residency.

Laziness and Lack of Sleep Can Shorten Your Life, Especially When Combined, Study Says

A sedentary lifestyle and poor sleep are already separately implicated in a number of health problems. According to a new study, both become more likely to lead to premature death when combined. Researchers found that smoking and heavy drinking were also more likely to cause premature death when paired.

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  • burke

    burke

    December 11th, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    And if administered and done in the right way, the combination of the two treatments could be even more powerful and beneficial to the patient than simply doing one or the other.

  • Molly

    Molly

    December 13th, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    I am so glad to see that there are still people with compassion and a heart who are willing to help these refugees

  • Lisa O

    Lisa O

    December 14th, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    There needs to be some sort of screening measures in place for these new doctors. I am sure that it can be very stressful being a resident and going through the crazy work hours and pressures that these new doctors face. But I would also want to know that someone who is treating me is in stable mental health and that if they are not that they are receiving treatment like you or I would. I would never say that I wouldn’t want someone being treated for depression to be treating me. That is unrealistic and kind of prejudiced. But I would hope that they would have the good sense to know when they need help or would be willing to accept that from another person if there is someone in their life who sees that they could use some help.

  • Abigail

    Abigail

    December 16th, 2015 at 11:37 AM

    I was so happy to hear the news that the military will now allow women into combat. I think that this is wonderful news for any female currently in service or any veterans. This shows that eyes are finally opening to the real truth that we are just as strong as the men we serve alongside and can be much more of a contribution to that service than was once ever imagined.

  • Lucas

    Lucas

    December 16th, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    A tornado drill was traumatic enough for me as a child. I can imagine that a drill about a mass shooting could be horrifying for most children.

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