- Celebrity Depression News: While Cruise's zealous attack of drug therapy is inexcusable and inhumane, particularly his attack on Brooke Shields' book on Post-partum depression, he has unwittingly been helpful in educating the public about the devastation of this illness.
- Gender and Depression: Researchers at the University of Vienna are starting to study the different symptomology of depression between men and women. Men are more likely to be angry and irritable, while women slow down and sleep excessively. (This is one of those studies where I think: duh!)
- Cross-Cultural Depression: Hu Hai-kuo, head of the Psychiatry department at the National Taiwan University Hospital, recommends a yearly mental-health check. On mainland China, a survey reveals that 600,000 Beijingers suffer from depression (what the article refers to as "secret troubles"). "Most of the people suffering depression are from groups who experience unhappy marriage life and domestic violence, have a lowlevel of education and low income and are jobless, according to the survey."
- A Drug for Melancholy: Stanford researchers are testing a new drug, Cymbalta, for low-level depression (the blahs, dysthymia). According to San Jose Mercury reporter, Lisa M Krieger,
This is misinformation, since David Healy shows in Let Them Eat Prozac, that fluoxetine was not effective in treating major depression in clinical trials; it was more effective in treating dysthymia. In fact, Peter Kramer's Listening to Prozac foregrounds the ethical question: is it ethically permissible to give Prozac to patients not suffering from depression, but who want to feel better than well? Dr. Elias Aboujaoude of Stanford University School of Medicine asserts:
This sounds to me like another way for the pharmaceutical industry to profit off of routine human misery, rather than actually identify a real and treatable mental disorder. The very question of what constitutes a mental disorder is hardly settled by studying human response to drugs, as Kramer and co. argue.
- Get 'em while they're young and impressionable: Another "duh" news release. The pharmaceutical industry aggressively tries to buy the love and loyalty of medical students, by giving them weekly gifts.
More about this here and here.