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Entries from October 2007

Depression and Hormones in Women

Treating depression in women is not always easy when so many factors can contribute to an unhappy mood. Some are family related, like a difficult marriage and parenting challenges. Other influences can be money, work stress, environment, discrimination, long commutes to and from work, transportation challenges and more. In addition to these issues, a woman may also have an underlying hormonal imbalance that can lead to fatigue, symptoms of depression, and trouble with weight gain. If you're experiencing these symptoms, be sure to get a complete medical physical and have your doctor check your blood work for thyroid functioning and other hormonal factors. In addition, you might want to reconsider that next bite you're putting into your mouth. It turns out that soy can be harmful for women with high estrogen, often found in women with uterine fibroids and endometriosis. For more information about a diet that aims at decreasing the exacerbating side-effects of endometriosis by eliminating soy among other foods, click here.

The #1 Reason Relationships Succeed

The hidden secret to building a good relationship with anyone (children, co-workers and loved ones) is listening. Hence the expression: "You're made with two ears and one mouth for a reason." However, in our fast-paced, technology-supported lives, real listening has become a lost art. It also explains why so many people feel hurt and defensive. People don’t feel heard and understood which can cause even simple communication to disrupt into a full-blown battle...or prolonged silence. We are all guilty of poor listening skills from time to time--interrupting, assuming what someone really means, or zoning out altogether when someone else is speaking--but we can do something about it and improve our relations with people. The key is to make a genuine connection with someone and really focus on what the other person is saying. Notice their facial expressions and listen for their feelings. You’re less apt to interrupt or think about your own response when you’re completely focused on what they’re saying and how they’re feeling. Doing this is called focused listening. I like to think of it as listening with both of your ears and your heart...which might explain why "ear" is in heart.

Psychotherapy + Medication Shows Best Results

Another research study shows that people experience best results when they undertake a combination of medication with psychotherapy--in this case, it is adolescents that have had a major depressive disorder. The study, published in the October 2007 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that when adolescents received antidepressants in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) over the course of 36 weeks, they recovered faster than those who were receiving CBT alone.

The study was funded by funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Click here to see full press release.