Tag Archives: Depression

Opioids and Depression – A Troubling Relationship

 

Major Depressive Disorder pic
Mental Health
Image: webmd.com

Dr. Carol Lynn Childers, a psychiatrist with a degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, has built up extensive experience in treating opioid addiction, postpartum depression, and other serious mental health conditions. Currently a consulting psychiatrist with Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and with Healthcare Alternative Systems, in Chicago, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers has focused much of her work on meeting the needs of underserved and multicultural populations.

Estimates of the number of people in the United States dealing with prescription painkiller addictions top 2 million. A broad consensus among professionals notes that depression frequently accompanies and compounds such addictions.

Depression and abuse of opioids exhibit what psychiatrists call a bidirectional connection, in that each multiplies the risk of developing the other. Some recent studies even seem to indicate that simply using prescription opioids for conditions such as headaches and backaches in itself may place patients at greater risk of developing symptoms of depression.

As reported in the Annals of Family Medicine in 2015, researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine found that out of a group of more than 100,000 patients who received prescriptions for opioid medications, approximately 10,000 developed notable depression after a period of one month. The researchers were particularly concerned because no significant number of these patients had been diagnosed with depression before receiving the prescriptions.

The Saint Louis team determined that the likelihood of a new occurrence of depression grows the longer an individual continues to use opioids for pain relief.

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Depression May Differ Based on Sex

 

Dr. Marianne Seney, pic
Dr. Marianne Seney
Image: psychiatry.pitt.edu

An experienced psychiatrist, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers serves as a consultant physician at both Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and Healthcare Alternative Systems in Chicago. Dr. Carol Lynn Childers serves patients with serious illnesses that may include severe depression.

According to a study recently published in the journal Behavioral Psychiatry, the genetic changes associated with depression may differ significantly between male and female patients. The study was performed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where a team of researchers evaluated 50 postmortem brain tissue samples from individuals who had depression, 24 men and 26 women.

Under the guidance of study author Dr. Marianne Seney, the research team identified genes that expressed differently in women and men who had the same diagnosis. Only 21 genes were altered in the same way in both men and women, while 52 genes showed changes in both sexes but in opposing directions.

For example, men with depression showed a reduction in the expression of genes related to synapse function, while women with depression had an increase in the expression of those same genes. The research team has noted that these findings suggest a contrasting pathology in men and women who have depression. In time and with a more detailed understanding of the processes, this information may lead to different treatments for depression in men and women.