Life-Review Interventions as Psychotherapeutic Techniques in Psychotraumatology.

Life-review interventions as psychotherapeutic techniques in psychotraumatology.

Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2013; 4:
Maercker A, Bachem R

Life-review interventions (LRI) are psychotherapeutic techniques originally derived from gerontology, which can be distinguished from other biographical and reminiscing techniques. They have been systematically implemented and investigated not only in elderly clients with depression, cognitive decline, in oncology units and in hospices but also in adolescents with various mental problems. LRI are mainly based on the elaboration of the autobiographical memory as well as on personal identity consolidation. This bears the potential for the systematic introduction, use, and evaluation of LRI within the field of psychotraumatology.This article gives a general overview and outlines a structured LRI by means of a case example of a World War II-traumatised patient. Other applications and implementations of LRI in psychotraumatology and other related areas are presented.So far, only uncontrolled or controlled LRI case studies have been investigated with traumatized samples.The importance of further randomized controlled studies is emphasized. HubMed – depression


Public Beliefs and Attitudes towards Depression in Italy: A National Survey.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e63806
Munizza C, Argentero P, Coppo A, Tibaldi G, Di Giannantonio M, Picci RL, Rucci P

Previous studies have shown that attitudes towards depression may be influenced by country-specific social and cultural factors. A survey was carried out to collect beliefs on and attitudes toward depression in Italy, which has an established community-based mental health system.A telephone survey was carried out in a probabilistic sample aged ?15 years. A 20-item questionnaire was administered to explore knowledge of depression, stigma, causal beliefs, treatment preference, and help-seeking attitudes.Of the 1001 participants, 98% were aware of depression, and 62% had experienced it, either directly or indirectly. A widespread belief (75%) was that people suffering from depression should avoid talking about their problem. A minority of the sample viewed depression as a condition that should be managed without recourse to external help or a “socially dangerous” illness. Among perceived causes of depression, most respondents mentioned life stressors or physical strains. Psychologists were often indicated as an adequate source of professional help. Half of the sample believed that depression should be pharmacologically treated, but drugs were often seen as addictive. Referring to a primary care physician (PCP) was considered embarrassing; furthermore, many people thought that PCPs are too busy to treat patients suffering from depression.Our findings indicate that depression is seen as a reaction to significant life events that should be overcome with the support of significant others or the help of health professionals (mainly psychologists). However, there are still barriers to the disclosure of depressive symptoms to PCPs, and concerns about the addictive effect of antidepressants. In the presence of a gap between people’s beliefs and what health professionals consider appropriate for the treatment of depression, a “shared decision making” approach to treatment selection should be adopted taking into account the patients’ preference for psychological interventions to ensure active compliance with effective treatments. HubMed – depression


Mood disorders and complementary and alternative medicine: a literature review.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013; 9: 639-658
Qureshi NA, Al-Bedah AM

Mood disorders are a major public health problem and are associated with considerable burden of disease, suicides, physical comorbidities, high economic costs, and poor quality of life. Approximately 30%-40% of patients with major depression have only a partial response to available pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been used either alone or in combination with conventional therapies in patients with mood disorders. This review of the literature examines evidence-based data on the use of CAM in mood disorders. A search of the PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, and Quertile databases using keywords was conducted, and relevant articles published in the English language in the peer-reviewed journals over the past two decades were retrieved. Evidence-based data suggest that light therapy, St John’s wort, Rhodiola rosea, omega-3 fatty acids, yoga, acupuncture, mindfulness therapies, exercise, sleep deprivation, and S-adenosylmethionine are effective in the treatment of mood disorders. Clinical trials of vitamin B complex, vitamin D, and methylfolate found that, while these were useful in physical illness, results were equivocal in patients with mood disorders. Studies support the adjunctive role of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid in unipolar and bipolar depression, although manic symptoms are not affected and higher doses are required in patients with resistant bipolar depression and rapid cycling. Omega-3 fatty acids are useful in pregnant women with major depression, and have no adverse effects on the fetus. Choline, inositol, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, and N-acetylcysteine are effective adjuncts in bipolar patients. Dehydroepiandrosterone is effective both in bipolar depression and depression in the setting of comorbid physical disease, although doses should be titrated to avoid adverse effects. Ayurvedic and homeopathic therapies have the potential to improve symptoms of depression, although larger controlled trials are needed. Mind-body-spirit and integrative medicine approaches can be used effectively in mild to moderate depression and in treatment-resistant depression. Currently, although CAM therapies are not the primary treatment of mood disorders, level 1 evidence could emerge in the future showing that such treatments are effective. HubMed – depression


Migraine, depression, and brain volume: The AGES-Reykjavik Study.

Neurology. 2013 May 22;
Gudmundsson LS, Scher AI, Sigurdsson S, Geerlings MI, Vidal JS, Eiriksdottir G, Garcia MI, Harris TB, Kjartansson O, Aspelund T, van Buchem MA, Gudnason V, Launer LJ

OBJECTIVE: To examine the joint association of migraine headache and major depressive disorder on brain volume in older persons without dementia. METHODS: Participants (n = 4,296, 58% women) from the population-based Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study were assessed for migraine headache in 1967-1991 (age 51 years [range 33-65]) according to modified International Classification of Headache Disorders-II criteria. In 2002-2006 (age 76 years [range 66-96]), lifetime history of major depressive disorder (depression) was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria, and full-brain MRI was acquired, which was computer postprocessed into total brain volume (TBV) (gray matter [GM], white matter [WM], white matter hyperintensities) and CSF volume for each study subject. We compared brain tissue volumes by headache categories with or without depression using linear regression, adjusting for intracranial volume and other factors. RESULTS: Compared with the reference group (no headache, no depression) TBV and WM and GM volumes were smaller in those with both migraine and depression (TBV -19.2 mL, 95% confidence interval [CI] -35.3, -3.1, p = 0.02; WM -12.8 mL, CI -21.3, -4.3, p = 0.003; GM -13.0 mL, CI -26.0, 0.1, p = 0.05) but not for those with migraine alone (TBV 0.4 mL, WM 0.2 mL, GM 0.6 mL) or depression alone (TBV -3.9 mL, WM -0.9 mL, GM -2.9 mL). CONCLUSIONS: Reporting both migraine and major depressive disorder was associated with smaller brain tissue volumes than having one or neither of these conditions. Migraineurs with depression may represent a distinct clinical phenotype with different long-term sequelae. Nonetheless, the number of subjects in the current study is relatively small and these findings need to be confirmed in future studies. HubMed – depression