Currently viewing the tag: "depression"

…researchers assessed each individual’s homelessness, inpatient mental-health treatment, psychological symptoms of mental illness, substance use and as victims or perpetrators of violence. The researchers evaluated all of these items as both indicators and outcomes — i.e., as both causes and effects.

“We found that all of these indicators mattered, but often in different ways,” says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper. “For example, drug use was a leading indicator of committing violence, while alcohol use was a leading indicator of being a victim of violence.”

However, the researchers also found that one particular category of psychological symptoms was also closely associated with violence: affective symptoms.

“By affect, we mean symptoms including anxiety, depressive symptoms and poor impulse control,” Desmarais says. “The more pronounced affective symptoms were, the more likely someone was to both commit violence and be a victim of violence…

…on average, the researchers found that one event in which a person was a victim of violence triggered seven other effects, such as psychological symptoms, homelessness and becoming perpetrators of violence. Those seven effects, on average, triggered an additional 39 additional effects.

“It’s a complex series of interactions that spirals over time, exacerbating substance use, mental-health problems and violent behavior,” Van Dorn says. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a protagonist with poor impulse control and high anxiety.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the state of your mental health and how it affects your behavior.

Art Prompt: Mental Illness and Violence

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell  your audience about the complicated relationship between mental illness and violence.

Photo Credit: Alvaro Tapia on Flickr

National Suicide Prevention

I remember the day my mother killed herself. I was a senior in college, studying for my final exams. When my father knocked on my apartment door and told me of my mother’s death, the pain seared. That day changed my life forever. For months, I walked around in a fog. For nearly 40 years, I’ve wished she could have envisioned an alternative to death. –Rachel Pruchno, PhD

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a child who survives a parent’s suicide.

Journaling Prompt: Write about any experience you’ve had with suicide. If you’ve had no experience with suicide, write about your feelings about a celebrity who committed suicide.

Art Prompt: Suicide in the family

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to recognize the signs that someone is considering suicide and give them strategies for responding effectively.

Photo Credit: Jared Keener on Flickr


“It seems that foreclosures affect suicide rates in two ways,” said co-author Jason Houle, assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College. “The loss of a home clearly impacts individuals and families, and can arouse feelings of loss, shame, or regret. At the same time, rising foreclosure rates affect entire communities because they’re associated with a number of community level resources and stresses, including an increase in crime, abandoned homes, and a sense of insecurity.”
The effects of foreclosures on suicides were strongest among adults 46 to 64 years old, who also experienced the highest increase in suicide rates during the recessionary period.
“Foreclosures are a unique suicide risk among the middle-aged,” Houle said. “Middle-aged adults are more likely to own homes and have a higher risk of home foreclosure. They’re also nearing retirement age, so losing assets at that stage in life is likely to have a profound effect on mental health and well-being.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a couple who goes through a foreclosure. Include internal monologue.

Journaling Prompt: What is the worst economic news you have ever received? How did it affect you? What did you have to do?

Art Prompt: Foreclosures and suicide

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the mental health risks associated with difficult economic times and provide strategies for coping.

Photo Credit: BasicGov on Flickr

Depression does not overwhelm you in a day. It’s very gradual. At first you might just feel blue, or not zippedy-doo-dah. You don’t pay much attention to it. You think to yourself, Well, everybody has down days. You can’t be up all the time. Basically, you just try to ignore it, expecting it to go away. But it gets worse and worse, and you realize at some point, This has gone past not feeling up. After about six months, I was fairly miserable. There was no apparent cause for this. It just felt as if I’d stepped into a black hole. –Beck Weathers, Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story from the point of view of someone with depression.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with depression or a loved one’s depression.

Art Prompt: Depression

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about depression and how to recognize it in someone they care about.

Photo Credit: Eddi van W. on Flickr

wiki ad mental health stigma lets talk

… the mentally ill are exposed to considerable violations of their human rights all over the world. According to the largest healthcare institution, this stigma jeopardizes their treatment and pushes them towards isolation.
“The mentally ill are confronted with discrimination on a daily basis in education, employment and housing,” he adds. In some countries they are even abused in various ways and prevented from voting, getting married or having children.
The WHO proposes several means of avoiding this discrimination: increasing awareness; improving human rights in mental healthcare services; empowering users of mental healthcare services and their families; replacing psychiatric institutions with community healthcare; increasing investment and adopting policies, laws and services that promote human rights. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of someone with mental illness.

Journaling Prompt: Write about an experience you have had with mental illness.

Art Prompt: Mental illness

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the stigma of mental illness.

Photo Credit: TraumaAndDissociation on Flickr


…depression now ranks as the fourth most serious disease in the world. By 2030, it will be the world’s second most serious burden of disease, after HIV/AIDS. -Jon Queijo, Breakthrough!: How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character fighting depression.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with depression, either your own or a family member or friend’s.

Art Prompt: Depression

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the burden of depression on our society.

Photo Credit: Toni Birrer on Flickr

saskatchewan sky

People should die on overcast, gray days, when the beginnings of depression are already beginning to sink their little black hooks into your soul. – Andersen Prunty, The Beard

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a death scene or a poem about dying.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel on an overcast day?

Art Prompt: Overcast day

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about how the weather affects your mood.

Photo Credit: striatic on Flickr

The innocence of a look ...

A majority of Americans rate their current financial situation as poor or fair, and nearly half of Americans say they have encountered financial problems in the past year, according to the Pew Research Center. A University of Missouri researcher studied how parents’ financial problems and resulting mental distress affect their relationships with their children. He found that parents who experience financial problems and depression are less likely to feel connected to their children, and their children are less likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering or helping others.

“The study serves as a reminder that children’s behaviors are affected by issues beyond their immediate surroundings,” said Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity in the MU Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “Families’ economic situations are affected by broader factors in our society, and those financial problems can lead to depression that hurts parent-child relationships.”
Previous research has indicated that parent-child connectedness is an important indicator of prosocial behavior in children. Prosocial behaviors lead to moral development, better outcomes in relationships and enhanced performance at work and school.

Unlike previous research that has focused on high-risk and low-income families, Carlo and his colleagues studied middle- to upper-middle-class families. Parents and children answered questions about economic stress, depression and connectedness between parents and children. A year later, the children reported how often they engaged in prosocial behaviors toward strangers, family members and friends.
“Even middle-class families are having financial difficulties, and it’s affecting their ability to be effective parents,” Carlo said. “When parents are depressed, it affects their relationships with their kids.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about a family under financial pressure from the child’s POV.

Journaling Prompt: Write about what you remember about your family’s finances during your childhood OR write about how your family is dealing with the economic pressures today.

Art Prompt: Too Many Bills!

Photo Credit: Claudio Gennari on Flickr


blue [bloo] noun, adjective, blu·er, blu·est, verb, blued, blu·ing or blue·ing.
1. the pure color of a clear sky; the primary color between green and violet in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with awavelength between 450 and 500 nm.
2. bluing.
3. something having a blue color: Place the blue next to the red.
4. a person who wears blue or is a member of a group characterized by some blue symbol: Tomorrow the blues will play the browns.
5. ( often initial capital letter ) a member of the Union army in the American Civil War or the army itself.
6. bluestocking.
7. blue ribbon ( def. 1 ) .
8. any of several blue-winged butterflies of the family Lycaenidae.
9. Printing . blueline.
10. the blue,
a. the sky.
b. the sea.
c. the remote distance: They’ve vanished into the blue somewhere.
11. of the color of blue: a blue tie.
12. ( initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to the Union army in the American Civil War.
13. (of the skin) discolored by cold, contusion, fear, or vascular collapse.
14. depressed in spirits; dejected; melancholy: She felt blue about not being chosen for the team.
15. holding or offering little hope; dismal; bleak: a blue outlook.
16. characterized by or stemming from rigid morals or religion: statutes that were blue and unrealistic.
17. marked by blasphemy: The air was blue with oaths.
18. (of an animal’s pelage) grayish-blue.
19. indecent; somewhat obscene; risqué: a blue joke or film.
Write a scene, story, or poem using the word “blue.”

Writing Prompt: Write a scene, story, or poem using the word “blue.”

Journaling Prompt: Write about something in your life related to today’s word.

Art Prompt: Blue

Photo Credit: A6U571N on Flickr

Underground ennui

en·nui [ahn-wee, ahn-wee; Fr. ahn-nwee] noun
a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom

Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene, poem, or haiku using the word of the week

Journaling Prompt: When do you feel ennui? How do you change how you feel?

Art Prompt: Ennui

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the ennui of our times and what you believe causes it.

Photo Credit: Stewart Black on Flickr