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  • drdianehamilton 8:44 am on October 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Depression, , Massage, , Nursing home, , , Psychotherapy, Registered nurse, Social work, Suicide,   

    The Most and Least Depressing Jobs 

    There are some jobs that have been listed as simply depressing. It is often cited that psychiatrists and dentists have a higher rate of depression and suicide due to their jobs.  How can a job that sounds good to some people actually be depressing to others? A lot may be based on how well a person’s personality is suited to that job. 

    CNN reported 10 Careers with High Rates of Depression.  In this report they included:

    1. Nursing Home – Child Care
    2. Food Service Staff
    3. Social Workers
    4. Health Care Workers (includes Doctors, Nurses and Therapists)
    5. Artists, Entertainers, Writers
    6. Teachers
    7. Administrative Support Staff
    8. Maintenance and Ground Workers
    9. Financial Advisors and Accountants
    10. Sales People

    This list is consistent with one reported by Psychology Today.  But where are the least depressing jobs?  Yahoo! Education came up with a list of Lovable Careers where they included:

    1. Paralegal
    2. Graphic Designer
    3. Police Officer (may be somewhat surprising to some people)
    4. Chef
    5. Massage Therapist
    6. Kindergarten Teacher (opposes what is listed above.

    WorldWideLearn had their own idea of Top 5 Feel-Good Careers

    1. Registered Nurse (opposes what is listed above)
    2. Computer Support Specialist
    3. Day Care Provider (opposes what is listed above)
    4. Spa Manager
    5. Human Resource Assistant

    Why are there inconsistencies about what people find depressing?  Perhaps it is due to the fact that careers should be based upon a person’s preferences.  If a person is mismatched with the wrong profession, they may find that job to be depressing.  For those trying to find a career that they do not find depressing, check out: How to Discover the Job that Best Fits Your Personality Preferences

  • drdianehamilton 6:23 pm on September 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aggression, , Depression, , , , Prefrontal cortex, Serotonin, University of Cambridge   

    New Research Uses Imaging to Show Serotonin’s Link to Anger 

    Article first published as New Research Uses Imaging to Show Serotonin’s Link to Anger on Technorati.

    The University of Cambridge recently published study in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry that provides insight into why some people are more aggressive. Scientists have known that when people haven’t eaten or are overly stressed, they have a harder time controlling their anger. Scientists now have the ability to use technology to scan the brain and visualize the connection between serotonin and the ability to handle emotions. 

    According to The University of Cambridge News, “Although reduced serotonin levels have previously been implicated in aggression, this is the first study which has shown how this chemical helps regulate behavior in the brain as well as why some individuals may be more prone to aggression.”

    Healthy volunteers had their serotonin levels altered through diet manipulation. Their brains were then scanned with a function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as researchers measured their reactions to images of faces showing anger, happiness or neutral expressions. The findings suggested that when the serotonin was low, the prefrontal cortex had a more difficult time controlling emotional responses.

    According to author Dr. Molly Crockett, “We’ve known for decades that serotonin plays a key role in aggression, but it’s only very recently that we’ve had the technology to look into the brain and examine just how serotonin helps us regulate our emotional impulses. By combining a long tradition in behavioral research with new technology, we were finally able to uncover a mechanism for how serotonin might influence aggression.”

    Serotonin has been the subject of many psychological studies.  In 2003 a popular study indicated that there was a gene responsible for people to be more receptive to becoming depressed.  However, in 2009, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association that analyzed data from 14 studies found that this serotonin gene was not linked to depression

    How serotonin affects depression and aggression will continue to be studied. Currently, the most widely prescribed antidepressants are serotonin enhancers.  The researchers from the Cambridge study hope that this new discovery can help pave the way to new treatments of psychiatric disorders. 

    WebMD offers a 9-question quiz to help sufferers recognize the symptoms of depression caused by low serotonin.

  • drdianehamilton 10:36 pm on September 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Annals of Family Medicine, Antidepressant, Depression, , , IMS Health, Journal of Internal Medicine, , Primary care, Primary care physician   

    Acceptance of Treatment of Depression 

    Article first published as Acceptance of Treatment of Depression on Technorati.

    As more people find themselves suffering from depression, more individuals are not reporting their symptoms to their doctors. The reason for this is based on their fear of the treatment their doctor may recommend. 

    The Annals of Family Medicine recently published an article titled Suffering in Silence: Reasons for Not Disclosing Depression in Primary Care.  In this study, they found that out of 1054 adults studied, 43% of them were reluctant to disclose symptoms of depression to their physicians. “Concern that the physician would prescribe antidepressants was the leading reason for nondisclosure of depression, far surpassing concerns about referral for psychotherapy. These findings suggest that patients lack confidence in their ability to negotiate an acceptable plan of care that reflects their treatment preferences.”


    In the Annals study, the authors found that over 87% of respondents felt that their primary care physician was the appropriate source for depression care.  In the article Which Doctor is Best for Treating Depression, it was noted, “Studies show that 74% of people seeking help for depression will first go to their primary care physician. Of these cases, as many as 50% are misdiagnosed. Even of the cases that are correctly diagnosed, 80% are given too little medication for too short a time.”

    In Medscape Today, it was noted that psychiatrists sometimes prefer for family practitioners to treat mild-to-moderate depression as long as they do the proper analysis, “Screening is best accomplished with the brief 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Patients are asked how often they experience certain problems, such as lack of interest in activities, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, and thoughts about death. Easy to use and score, this tool allows you to determine the severity of the illness.”

    For those who have had side effects to prior medications, the thought of trying something that may make them feel worse may be a real concern.  In The Journal of Internal Medicine article,  Older Patients’ Aversion to Antidepressants, the authors found, “Four themes characterized resistance to antidepressants: (1) fear of dependence; (2) resistance to viewing depressive symptoms as a medical illness; (3) concern that antidepressants will prevent natural sadness; (4) prior negative experiences with medications for depression.”

    It may be easier for physicians to prescribe an antidepressant than to spend time researching other possible causes of their patients’ symptoms.  Primary care physicians are prescribing more antidepressants than ever.  “Nearly three-quarters of all prescriptions for anti-depressants are written without a specific diagnosis.  This has medical experts worried that anti-depressants are being prescribed too often to patients who may not need them. According to IMS Health, an estimated total of 254 million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants last year alone, up from 231 million in 2006.  Each year, Americans spend $10 billion on anti-depressants. Additionally, seven percent of all visits to a primary care doctor end up with a prescription being written for anti-depressants.”

    While some may say that depression is on the rise, others argue that people are looking for a panacea or are requesting medications due to direct to consumer advertisements by the drug manufacturers. 

    Related Articles

  • drdianehamilton 11:09 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adolescence, American Academy of Pediatrics, , Common Sense Media, , Depression, , , , ,   

    Facebook Depression: Report of How Social Networking Can Affect Our Youth 


    A report released today (March 28, 2011) by the American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with a syndrome they call Facebook Depression.  This report is titled:  Clinical Report—the Impact of Social Media on  Children, Adolescents, and Families.  Although Facebook allows people to remain in contact with friends and develop relationships, there can also be a downside.  MyHealthNewsDaily reported, “heavy use of Facebook, as well as other risks of the online world such as cyber bullying and sexting, can have serious consequences, so it’s critical for parents to stay involved in their children’s lives.”

    This is not the first time social media has and its impact on young adults has been studied.  Livescience explained, “A big chunk of kids’ social development now takes place in the online world, according to the report. A study released in February 2010 found that 70 percent of wired American teens and young adults use social networking sites. A 2009 poll conducted by Common Sense Media found that more than half of teens use a social networking site more than once a day.”

    The good is that there are some “benefits of children and adolescents using social media including:

    • Opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including political and philanthropic events
    • Enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors
    • Growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites
    • Expansion of one’s online connections through shared interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global issues)
    • Fostering of one’s individual identity and unique social skills–Enhanced Learning Opportunities”

    For the complete report click here.

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