major depression

  1. Overtime linked to depression

    The only thing worse than a late night at the office catching up on paperwork is late night...after late night...after late night...at the office, stuck in a job where you're always catching up, but you never quite get there.

    If that's your story, you might want to consider a career change before it's too late: The latest research finds that people who work the longest hours have a higher risk of major depression.

    (And attention bosses who expect all those late nights: No, your employees don't do it because they love the work -- they do it because they fear losing their jobs.)

    In the new study, some 2,000 British office workers were tracked for nearly six years -- and those who clocked more than 11 hours a day were nearly two and a half times more likely to come down with major depression than those who stuck to the "normal" seven-hour or eight-hour shift.

    You might think some of these people were depressed to begin with -- which is perhaps why they were so willing to throw themselves on the mercy of their jobs.

    But, in this case, the researchers wrote in PLoS One that none of the workers showed any sign of mental problems at the start of the study. The link even held after all the usual risk factor adjustments.

    In other words, it's the work -- and, more specifically, far too many hours at work -- causing that increase in depression risk.

    And that's not the only danger that comes with too much overtime. Those long hours could actually kill you.

    One recent study found that people who work between three and four hours of overtime a day have a 60 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who stick to regular office hours.

    That same study also confirmed what's already obvious to anyone regularly putting in 10 or 12 hours at a time: All that extra work can cause stress, aggression, hostility, and sleep disorders.

    And of course, overtime can sap your social life and alienate you from your family.

    It's never easy finding a balance between work and home -- but find that balance. It could literally save your life.

  2. Eeyore Nation: How mainstream treatments keep America depressed

    Not everyone is depressed--but it sure seems that way sometimes.

    A new survey finds that nearly 10 percent of the nation is suffering from clinical depression, a stunningly high number that only proves again how drugs have failed.

    More on that in a moment.

    CDC researchers armed with a widely used mental health questionnaire, PHQ-8, questioned 235,067 adults from 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands between 2006 and 2008--and found that a whopping 9 percent had all the classic symptoms of depression.

    In addition, the survey found that 3.4 percent of Americans suffered from major depression, and 6.6 percent of us experienced a major depressive disorder during the preceding year.

    The most depressing state was Mississippi, where nearly 15 percent of the residents suffered from the condition. On the flipside, it's always sunny in North Dakota--because just 4.8 percent of the folks there suffered from depression, according to the study.

    Side note: North Dakota is also the coldest state in the continental U.S., and the least visited state in the union. So apparently they're cold... lonely... and very, very happy in spite of it (or perhaps even because of it).

    The survey didn't ask about drug use, but we already know that more people are taking antidepressants than ever before.

    In fact, those numbers are remarkably consistent with this survey: Recent studies have found that ten percent of all Americans take antidepressants--enough for every single depressed person and then some, statistically speaking.

    And that leads to the billion-dollar question: If those meds were so effective, why are so many people still depressed?

    The short, easy answer: Because those drugs aren't so effective after all.

    It's the biggest lie in modern medicine--take a pill and feel better--yet the mainstream is pushing to not only expand the use of antidepressants, but to encourage the people who've failed on these drugs to keep taking them... forever.

    "If someone has had three or more episodes of depression, they really should probably stay on their medication continuously the way you would stay on insulin if you are diabetic," Dr. Joel Yager told WebMD.

    Yager wasn't just voicing an opinion. He's the chairman of the American Psychiatric Association's steering committee on depression treatment guidelines, and that permanent prescription plan is part of the first update to those guidelines in a decade.

    The new guidelines also recommend alternative treatments-- but don't get too excited: They've concluded that the best "alternative" for depression is shock therapy.

    But there is some encouraging news in the updated guidelines, because they also quietly acknowledge some of the better alternatives I've been telling you about-- including ordinary physical exercise and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

    I guess the real shock would have been if they had mentioned those safe and effective alternatives first!

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