Health Tips
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Women are taking over the world and how! Be it the corporate sector, education or the sports there is just no stopping the women achievers, but to this bright side of affairs there is also a dark side which involves the excess pressure caused by changing societal roles and the stress of multiple responsibilities. According to a latest study, this stress and anxiety is rapidly contributing to the rising cases of depression amongst women who are succumbing to death sooner than before.

The study published in CMAJ revealed that the risk of death associated with depression appeared strongest in the years following a depressive episode.

"During the recent years in which women's risk of death increased significantly, roles have changed dramatically both at home and in the workplace, and many women shoulder multiple responsibilities and expectations," said Ian Colman from the University of Ottawa.

the team discovered that the lifespan for young adults with depression at age 25 was markedly shorter over the 60-year period -- the lifespan shortened ranging from 10 to 12 fewer years of life, then four to seven years and later seven to 18 fewer years of life.

"At first the association was limited to men, but in later years it was seen for women as well," said Stephen Gilman from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, US.

For the study, the team analyzed the 60 years of mental health data on 3410 adults from a region in Atlantic Canada and linked the data to deaths in the Canadian Mortality Database.
Though depression has also been linked with poorer diet, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption – Most of these factors can result in chronic health conditions –but further study and research needs to be done to find out if any of these factors have a direct link to the rising trend of early deaths.
The researchers said that family physicians should monitor the patients for mood disturbances, especially recurrent episodes of depression for immediate treatment and care.
You are what you eat and your diet can play a crucial role in maintaining mental health. Try to include these foods in your daily diet to curb symptoms of depression.

1. Complex carbohydrates
Include foods that are rich in complex carbs in your diet like whole grains and brown rice. A lot of studies have shown that low carb diets have been linked to nervousness, anxiety, decreased concentration and insomnia.

2. Vitamin D
A deficiency of this nutrient if often linked with mood swings and depression. Add natural sources of Vitamin D like mushrooms, eggs and soy milk to your diet.

3. Antioxidants
Antioxidants can help in reducing the oxidative stress on your mental health. Berries and foods like cherries, grapes and dark leafy greens are your best bet.

4. Good quality proteins
Protein rich foods are known to boost alertness. Some of them contain an amino acid called tryptophan which helps your body make the mood boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Peas, beans, soya, lentils and paneer are good options and so are chicken and fish.

5. Protein rich foods
Protein rich foods are known to boost alertness. Some of them contain an amino acid called tryptophan which helps your body make the mood boosting brain chemical, serotonin. For vegetarians peas, beans, soya, lentils and paneer are good sources of protein and non-vegetarians should opt for lean meat and eggs.

One of the emerging psychiatric disorder that has significant medical and psychiatric consequences is compulsive sexual behaviour or hypersexuality, is an obsession with sexual thoughts in which people cannot manage their sexual behaviour. It may involve a commonly enjoyable sexual experience as self-stimulation which becomes an obsession. The person suffering from the condition may also get involved in sexual behaviours that are outside the bounds of commonly accepted conduct like paying for sex or having extramarital affairs.

Untreated compulsive sexual behaviour damages one’s self-esteem, health, job, relationships and career. However, with treatment and self-help,
one can manage compulsive sexual behaviour and learn to manage one’s urge. Males are more likely to be unfaithful than females because they have stronger sexual impulses and weaker self-control. Compulsive sexual behaviour symptoms vary in type and severity. During intense sexual impulses, one feels as if they're beyond control. This is the first and the most common symptom as the patient uses compulsive sexual behaviour as an escape route for problems like loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. One has trouble establishing and maintaining emotional closeness, even if one is married or in a committed relationship.

The treatment for compulsive sexual behaviour involves psychotherapy and medications. A primary goal of treatment is to help one manage urges and reduce excessive behaviours while maintaining healthy sexual activities. If one has compulsive sexual behaviour, one may need treatment for mental health condition. People with compulsive sexual behaviour often have alcohol or drug abuse problems or a mood disorder such as depression.

Counselling sessions can help one learn how to manage one’s compulsive sexual behaviour. Intensive treatment programs for compulsive sexual behaviours focus on identification of core triggers and beliefs about sexual addiction. It assists in development of healthier choices and coping skills to minimize urges and deal with the preoccupation of sexual addiction. Psychodynamic psychotherapy can prove to be very useful as it focuses on increasing one’s awareness of unconscious thoughts and behaviours, and developing new insights into their motivations. Resolving conflicts using this therapy is also recommended. The other kind of treatment program is cognitive behavioural therapy. This therapy helps one to identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviours and replace them with healthy, positive ones. Family therapy and couples therapy may restore trust, minimize shame and guilt thus establishing a healthy sexual relationship between partners.

Medications include anti-depressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, mood stabilizers and anti-androgens have also been used to treat compulsive sexual behaviour. Anti-androgens are prescribed as it reduces the biological effects of sex hormones in men thus reducing sexual urges. Luteinizing hormone is also prescribed as it reduces obsessive sexual thoughts by reducing the production of testosterone. Anti-seizure medications, naltrexone, and medications which decrease male hormones have been found to decrease the compulsive urges and impulses associated with sexual addictions for some sufferers.

Nearly 80 genes that could be linked to depression have been identified, a finding that adds to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder, say scientists.

Depression, a common mental disorder, is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015.


"This study identifies genes that potentially increase our risk of depression, adding to the evidence that it is partly a genetic disorder," said lead author David Howard, research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Some of the pinpointed genes are known to be involved in the function of synapses, tiny connectors that allow brain cells to communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals, the researchers said.

The study could help explain why some people may be at a higher risk of developing the condition as well as help researchers develop drugs to tackle mental health conditions.

"The findings also provide new clues to the causes of depression and we hope it will narrow down the search for therapies that could help people living with the condition," Howard added.

For the study, published in Nature Communications, the team scanned the genetic code of 300,000 people to identify areas of DNA that could be linked to depression.

The WHO has identified strong links between depression and substance use disorders and diabetes and heart disease.

Depression is also an important risk factor for suicide, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

People who are not sure about which personal goals to pursue may be at increased risk of experiencing psychological distress, suggests a new research. The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, investigated two forms of motivational conflict. These were inter-goal conflict – when pursuing one goal makes it difficult to pursue another – and ambivalence – conflicting feelings about particular goals.

The results showed that each of these forms of goal conflict was independently associated with anxious and depressive symptoms.

“We know that striving for goals that are important to us gives life meaning and purpose and promotes well-being,” said study co-author Joanne Dickson, Professor at Edith Cowan University in Australia.

“However, when these goals generate conflict which can contribute to psychological distress,” Dickson added.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 200 young adults who were aged 18-35, with an average age of 20.

“People with poorer mental health are more likely to report that their personal goals hinder one another,” said Nick Moberly of the University of Exeter in Britain.

“Such conflict between goals may be more manageable if it is conscious,” Moberly added.

Researchers have identified 44 genomic variants that have a significant association with depression, an advance that may lead to improved antidepressant medications. The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, is the largest genome-wide association to date of genetic risk factors for major depression. Of these 44 loci, 30 are newly discovered while 14 had been identified in previous studies. In addition, the study identified 153 significant genes, and found that major depression shared six loci that are also associated with schizophrenia.

“This study is a game-changer,” said Patrick F Sullivan, a professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in the US. The results can be used for improved therapies targets of known antidepressant medications were enriched in the genetic findings, researchers said. The genetic basis of depression overlaps importantly with other psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, they said. Intriguingly, the genetic basis of depressive disorder also overlaps with that for obesity and multiple measures of sleep quality, including daytime sleepiness, insomnia and tiredness.

“We show that we all carry genetic variants for depression, but those with a higher burden are more susceptible,” said Naomi Wray, Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia.“We know that many life experiences also contribute to risk of depression, but identifying the genetic factors opens new doors for research into the biological drivers,” said Wray.

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