Is Depression Genetic?

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By now most of us know the symptoms of major depression well: Loss of pleasure in favorite activities, irritability, significant weight gain or loss, changes in sleeping habits, loss of energy, feeling worthless, an inability to think clearly, indecisiveness, hopelessness, and at its most severe, recurring thoughts of suicide.

The impact of depression is debilitating. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people globally suffer from depression — approximately 5 percent of the world’s population — and it’s the leading cause of disability. What’s worse, even in high-income countries nearly 50 percent of those with the illness don’t seek treatment.

And while depression reaches the lives of so many worldwide and is arguably one of the most studied mental illnesses, we still know little about its origins. Is depression genetic? Is it environmental? Short answer: It’s complicated.

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Spring Sounds: A Mental Health Playlist

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Listening to music can boost our mental health and reduce anxiety, according to a meta analysis of hundreds of studies. We also use songs to reflect on changes in our lives, the world, and even the seasons.

Winter is over, we’ve emerged from hibernation, and spring is here. Though many of us feel invigorated in spring, it can still be a challenging season for our mental health — people start being more active, which is terrific but can also leave some people feeling too manic. To give you something to play and even out your mood as you settle into the season, we compiled this “Spring Sounds” playlist. Enjoy!

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Complex PTSD: How a New Diagnosis Differs From Standard PTSD

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Your palms sweat. Your heart races. You don’t remember where you are — are you here, now, or back in another, scarier time?

This is a flashback. And for many people living with PTSD, it’s a common experience. Faced with a reminder of a traumatic event, someone with PTSD can be jerked back into the mental, emotional and even physical experience of trauma.

But what happens when that trauma is ongoing, or a prolonged series of events? This is where a Complex PTSD diagnosis bridges an important behavioral health gap.

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How To Ask For Help with Mental Health Care

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When I first saw a therapist at age 19, I hated the idea. Less than a year out of a sexually abusive relationship with a predatory high school teacher, I was determined not to let that affect me. I wasn’t “crazy” and I wasn’t weak. I didn’t need help, and I wouldn’t ask for help. Most of all, I didn’t want my parents to know I struggled — that would require vulnerability — and I wasn’t about to let anybody in. I could manage on my own.

Meanwhile, I wrote long anonymous emails back and forth with an organization called Samaritans all the way over in the U.K., because I wanted to die, I self-injured regularly, and I simply couldn’t imagine I had a future at all. As far as I was concerned, my life was already over. I desperately wanted to feel better, but if I asked for help, I thought I would be giving up.

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How Mindfulness Therapy Can Improve Your Mental Health

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), roughly 18% of adults in the U.S. suffer from an anxiety disorder. As mental illness reaches epidemic proportions, innovative solutions and effective treatment options are required.

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool in dealing with various mental health challenges and symptoms. Beyond breathing exercises, mindfulness means being fully aware of the facets of the body and mind. This helps in assessing intrusive thoughts and emotional reactions.
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What is Schizoid Personality Disorder? Defining, Understanding, and Treating SPD

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Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) is a condition largely marked by a lack of desire to form interpersonal relationships. Personality disorders like SPD differ from other mental health conditions in that they are thought to be deeply ingrained in the structures of a person’s psyche. It is this nature that makes them difficult, but not impossible, to treat.

The American Psychiatric Association notes that those with personality disorders have, “a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time.” And it is precisely that disconnect from cultural expectations, and longevity, that make those living with personality disorders suffer disconnection from their peers, friends and family.

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Loss of a Pet: How to Cope With the Death of Your Animal Friend

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If you share your life with animals, it’s easy to think of them as part of the family — like the cat who occupies my desk whenever I’m working, patiently waiting for me to take a break and play. Dogs were domesticated nearly 14,000 years ago as working animals but undoubtedly developed a role as pets at the same time, while cats appear to have domesticated themselves multiple times, possibly as early as the Neolithic era. Sixty-eight percent of households keep animals, including not just cats and dogs but rats, hamsters, rabbits, fish, horses, and more.

But with the benefits of pets comes an inevitable dark side: What happens when the beloved animals who have become important parts of our lives pass away, leaving us with urns on our desks instead of warm bodies?

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Do You Work for a Psychopath? 6 Warning Signs

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Do You Work for a Psychopath? 6 Warning Signs” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an advice site that helps women get hard-to-ask career questions answered.

Every boss has his or her moments when grumpiness or a negative attitude takes hold, causing them to lash out. Our superiors are human, after all, and they are entitled to bad days just like anyone else.

But have you ever worked for someone who seemed to constantly run hot and cold: charming and funny one second, then vicious and manipulative the next? If a power-wielding bully dominates your workplace, you could very likely be working for a psychopath.

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