Fears of Compassion and Happiness in Relation to Alexithymia, Mindfulness, and Self-Criticism.

Fears of compassion and happiness in relation to alexithymia, mindfulness, and self-criticism.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Psychol Psychother. 2012 Dec; 85(4): 374-90
Gilbert P, McEwan K, Gibbons L, Chotai S, Duarte J, Matos M

Background.?There is increasing research to suggest that fears of, and resistances to, affiliative and positive emotions are linked to self-criticism and a range of psychopathologies. It is unclear how these fears and resistances are linked to each other and how these in turn are linked to psychological processes, such as abilities to be mindful and recognize and describe emotions. Objectives.?This research explores the relationship between fears of compassion and happiness in general, with capacities for emotional processing (alexithymia), capacities for mindfulness, and empathic abilities. To advance this research, a new scale was developed to measure general fears of positive feelings – the Fear of Happiness Scale. Results.?The results showed that fears of compassion for self, from others and in particular fear of happiness, were highly linked to different aspects of alexithymia, mindfulness, empathy, self-criticism and depression, anxiety and stress. Especially noteworthy was the very high correlation between fear of happiness and depression (r= .70). Conclusion.?While the development of positive emotions, especially those linked to affiliation and connectedness are increasingly seen as important therapeutic targets, little research has focused on the blocks and fears to positive emotions. This study used newly developed fears of positive affect scales (e.g., compassion and happiness) to explore these aspects and found they were significantly linked to psychopathology variables self-criticism and difficulties such as alexithymia.
HubMed – depression


Maternal use of SSRIs, SNRIs and NaSSAs: practical recommendations during pregnancy and lactation.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2012 Nov; 97(6): F472-6
Sie SD, Wennink JM, van Driel JJ, Te Winkel AG, Boer K, Casteelen G, van Weissenbruch MM

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are increasingly used during pregnancy and lactation, with 1.8-2.8% exposed pregnancies. Given the risks of untreated maternal depression for both mother and child, adequate treatment is essential. If pharmacological treatment with SSRIs is indicated, the fetal and neonatal effects of SSRIs have to be considered, as SSRIs cross the placenta and are excreted into breast milk. The overall risk of major congenital malformations during SSRI exposure in the first trimester does not appear to be greatly increased. Depending on the variability in pharmacokinetic properties between the different SSRIs and the individual drug metabolism of mother and child, SSRI exposure during late pregnancy can lead to serotonin reuptake inhibitor-related symptoms in up to 30% of exposed infants postnatally. Symptoms are generally mild and self-limited, but need observation during at least 48 h as some infants develop severe symptoms needing intervention. Limited data are available about the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes after SSRI exposure during pregnancy and lactation, but currently, cognitive development seems normal, while behavioural abnormalities may be increased. In this article, the available clinical data are reviewed. Additionally, the authors provide a multidisciplinary guideline for the monitoring and management of neonates exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy and lactation.
HubMed – depression



Filed under: Depression Treatment

Depress Anxiety. 2012 Oct 18;
Fitzgerald PB, Hoy KE, Herring SE, Clinton AM, Downey G, Daskalakis ZJ

BACKGROUND: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a very commonly used treatment for patients with severe and treatment-resistant depression. Although effective, this treatment is complicated by a number of side effects including cognitive impairment motivating attempts to develop treatment alternatives. Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) is a brain stimulation technique using a high-powered transcranial magnetic stimulation device to produce therapeutic seizures. Preliminary research suggests that MST has antidepressant activity in the absence of cognitive side effects. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the therapeutic efficacy and cognitive profile of MST provided at high frequency (100 Hz) and potentially longer stimulation trains and longer treatment courses than have been previously investigated. METHODS: Thirteen patients participated in an open-label clinical trial of up to 18 treatment sessions with 100-Hz MST. Assessments of depression severity and cognitive functioning were performed before and after treatment. RESULTS: Of the 13 patients who completed the study, five met clinical response criteria at study end. There was an overall group reduction in depression severity and no evidence of any impairment of orientation, memory, or other elements of cognition after MST treatment. The major limitation of the study was its lack of sham control. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, MST shows antidepressant efficacy without apparent cognitive side effects. However, substantial research is required to understand the optimal conditions for stimulation and to compare MST to established treatments including ECT.
HubMed – depression


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