When facing pain, sorrow, or uncertainty, how do you respond?
Do you lash out, railing against the injustices of the world? Or withdraw to nurse your grief and distress in private?
Much of the existing exploration into human stress responses tends to focus on these two main reactions: fight and flight. More recently, you may have also heard of two additional responses: freeze and fawn.
Yet even these four distinct responses can’t sum up everyone’s response to trauma and stress. In 2000, a team of University of California, Los Angeles psychologists led by Shelley Taylor proposed another, more social response, which they termed “tend and befriend.”
Rather than directly challenging a threat or fleeing from it, the tend-and-befriend response involves tending to your loved ones by pulling them close, physically or figuratively.
You might then turn to others around you, offering support and taking steps to make sure that everyone feels calm and safe.
Taylor’s research team found plenty of support for the idea that both long-standing social ties and newly formed bonds can:
- increase your sense of security
- boost resilience
- help you find the strength to heal and move forward
This idea of tending and befriending, which arose in part from their personal observations of how some people responded to stress, eventually became an evidence-backed theory.
Fighting and fleeing (or freezing, for that matter) have some pretty clear benefits, especially in the context of evolution. If you vanquish a threat or successfully escape from it, you survive to face another day.
Of course, breaking free alone could separate you from the rest of your group. This doesn’t just cost you the advantage of safety in numbers and cut you off from physical and emotional support. It also puts vulnerable members — young children, older adults, and sick people — at greater risk of danger.
Humans have a strong instinct for self-preservation. But for many mammal parents, particularly the human variety, a desire to ensure the safety of their children can outweigh the urge to save themselves first.
The tend-and-befriend response appears to have its roots in this instinctual need to protect children and affiliate with others for greater safety.
That said, you can easily apply it to everyday life, whether you have children or not.
Just think of a time you tried to handle a problem on your own, and then compare it to a time when you turned to your loved ones for help or a time when you reached out to offer assistance to someone navigating a crisis.
Tending and befriending behavior might show up more recognizably after a major crisis or trauma.
For example, say that a couple is hospitalized after a serious car crash. A close friend might care for their kids while the couple recovers.
Another example would be the supportive community of survivors that arises after an earthquake destroys an entire neighborhood.
But the tend-and-befriend response isn’t limited to large-scale events. It can show up in everyday challenges as well as extraordinary circumstances.
For example, you’re tending and befriending when you:
- offer to pick up groceries and prescriptions for older or immunocompromised neighbors
- invite your new neighbor to stay for the duration of a severe winter storm
- pull your family into the kitchen to make dinner together after a miserable day at work
- send your kids and their cousins to play in the backyard with snacks so your sister can share her recent relationship difficulties
- gather a group of co-workers together for mutual support after your boss announces your office is closing, with only a few opportunities for transfer to another branch
In some cases, this response might happen as more of a follow-up to your initial stress response.
For example, say that you’re walking home from a friend’s party when your ex comes up behind you, grabs your arm, and tries to pull you toward their car. You shove them away and run, using both your fight and flight responses.
Once you make it to your friend’s house, you explain what happened, let them comfort you, and stay the night where you feel safe. Their support helps soothe your fear and distress, and by morning, you feel much calmer.
Experts have offered a few potential explanations for the tend-and-befriend response.
Gender roles in early human hunter-gatherer societies play an important part.
Certainly, some women did hunt, but they often took on other responsibilities closer to camp, especially when pregnant, nursing, or caring for small children.
People with babies and small children couldn’t easily escape or fight — but they could band together to protect each other and create a stronger group. Together, they could defend themselves more effectively, and survival became more likely.
Hormones also factor in.
During stressful or frightening situations, your body produces a number of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, that help prepare you to handle the threat. It also releases oxytocin, a hormone linked to bonding, attachment, and trust.
Higher levels of oxytocin might prompt you to seek companionship and form social connections. Yet estrogen — a hormone present at higher levels in women — can boost oxytocin’s effects.
As a result, women may be more likely to tend to loved ones and befriend others in times of crisis.
Nurturing children and loved ones can also activate the reward system in your brain, reinforcing the same behavior in the future.
Keep in mind, though, that the tend-and-befriend theory doesn’t suggest that women never show aggression when threatened or stressed — only that female aggression seems less linked to fight or flight.
It’s also important to recognize that this response is just that — a stress response, not a marker of parenting skills. Anyone can engage in these behaviors, regardless of gender.
To put it another way, the theory doesn’t imply that women are automatically better at nurturing and caring for children.
Ever felt stronger and more optimistic during a crisis, simply because you had a loved one by your side?
Experts consider social connection a basic human need, and plenty of
Humans generally don’t do well entirely on their own. Tend and befriend represents a choice to come together, approach challenges as a stronger whole, and offer a helping hand to anyone who needs it.
The bonds you form with others can:
- offer protection and support
- improve your physical health and emotional well-being
- boost empathy
- promote feelings of belonging
- lead to personal growth
- remind you of what you value most in life
Learn more about the benefits of friendship, plus how to get them.
Admittedly, this response may not always be ideal. You won’t always want to tend and befriend — at least not right away. In certain situations, you might choose to address a conflict or threat directly before turning to loved ones for solace and support.
What’s more, everyone needs some time alone, and it’s perfectly fine to briefly withdraw and recharge during a rough time.
Just know that support from others can make a big difference, whenever you choose to seek it out.
Tending and befriending doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but you can still learn to embrace this response when you think it might have benefit.
One important step? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s OK if you can’t handle everything on your own.
If you feel self-conscious when you need support, you can always try offering something in exchange. Here’s an example:
“Any chance you could come over and help me entertain the kids tonight? I’m having a hard time getting out of bed. I’ll take yours for a night next week, once I’m feeling better.”
Asking others what they need can go a long way, too. They might find it just as difficult to ask for help, so offering your assistance — or simply letting them know you’re available — can help you forge a connection that benefits you both.
During moments of difficulty and distress, you might find yourself turning to loved ones or cultivating new connections with people facing the same challenging circumstances.
At the heart of the tend-and-befriend response lies a sense of safety and hope. Things might feel pretty awful in the moment, sure.
Yet drawing on the strength of supportive loved ones, and offering your own physical and emotional support where possible, can help you better navigate turmoil and pain.
Crystal Raypole writes for Healthline and Psych Central. Her fields of interest include Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health, along with books, books, and more books. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. She lives in Washington with her son and a lovably recalcitrant cat.
Read the full article here
5 Best Sunscreens for People with Psoriasis
For many people, warm weather means outdoor activities like swimming and backyard barbecues.
But sunlight can be a friend — or foe — for those living with psoriasis. Making sure you choose the right sunblock for your sensitive skin can mean the difference between an amazing day outside, and one that’s worthy of nightmares.
Proper sun protection during outdoor activities is important for everyone. But people with psoriasis need to be particularly careful.
If you have psoriasis, you may have heard that exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays has actually been shown to help with the autoimmune skin condition.
“UVB rays are actually good for people with psoriasis,” says Jacqueline Schaffer, MD, founder of Schique Skincare. UVB rays help slow the skin growth and shedding that happens with psoriasis.
But too much sun exposure — of both UVA and UVB rays — can be a problem. “If people with psoriasis are overexposed, it can actually worsen the skin,” Schaffer says. “They’re extra sensitive versus someone who doesn’t have psoriasis.”
Psoriasis also mostly affects people with lighter skin tones who are already more prone to sunburn.
Plus, certain medications used to treat psoriasis can cause increased photosensitivity. This makes a person sunburn more easily.
For all these reasons, wearing sunblock when you have psoriasis is crucial. It’s important to choose wisely since skin may already be irritated and sensitive.
Make sure there are no parabens, no formaldehyde, and no other really strong preservatives.
— Jacqueline Schaffer, MD
Follow these expert tips next time you’re shopping for sunblock.
1. Make sure you’re buying sunblock, not sunscreen
“Sunscreen is known to be absorbed into your skin, whereas sunblock actually sits on top of your skin and reflects the UV rays,” Schaffer says.
Many products are a mixture of both, so a product labeled “sunscreen” can still have enough protection if it also contains sunblock. Common sunblock ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
2. Avoid preservatives and chemicals
“Make sure there are no parabens, no formaldehyde, and no other really strong preservatives that can be damaging to the skin,” Schaffer says. These ingredients can irritate psoriasis patches.
3. If you’re shopping for a child, don’t buy sunblock with added color
Some companies now offer colored or “disappearing color” sunblocks. Parents should avoid buying these for children with psoriasis, Schaffer says, as they can irritate skin.
4. Don’t buy sunblocks with added scents
Added fragrances can aggravate the skin in people with psoriasis.
5. Buy SPF 30 or above
People with psoriasis need just as much sun protection as everybody else. This is especially true if they’re on medications that can increase their sensitivity to the sun.
SPF 15 doesn’t provide enough protection throughout the day. “A lot of studies from the American Academy of Dermatology have shown that SPF 30 is more effective for longer use as a sunblock,” Schaffer notes.
6. Look for the label ‘broad spectrum’
This meansthe product will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Even though UVB rays can be beneficial in treating psoriasis, people with the condition should still have sunblock on to protect against too much exposure to both types of rays.
The sunblocks on our list were carefully chosen and vetted. Following the advice from our expert, Schaffer, we looked for:
- sunblocks that don’t include potential irritants like parabens, formaldehyde, potent preservatives, added color, or fragrances
- sunblocks that include the mineral ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
- sunblocks that are broad spectrum and provide SPF 30 or higher protection
We also carefully considered customer reviews, the prices of products, and selected products only from trusted brands.
Sunscreen can become costly, as it’s something you regularly use that sometimes comes in small bottles. We considered options from different brands at a range of prices, to bring the best possible selection.
Sunscreens in this article are broken down on a price per ounce basis according to the following key:
- $ = under $6 per ounce
- $$ = $7-12 per ounce
- $$$ = more than $12 per ounce
If you have psoriasis, try one of the following products that made it through the above checklist and past the experts.
Best sunblock for psoriasis for the face and body
Badger Sunscreen Cream
- Price: $
- Size: 2.9-ounce (oz.) bottle
Schaffer recommends this SPF 40 mineral-based cream because it’s unscented and doesn’t have dyes or chemicals. It uses four ingredients, and 98 percent of them are organic. You can use this sunscreen on both your face and body.
The certified non-GMO formula includes uncoated zinc oxide at 22.5 percent, and it adds organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, and sunflower vitamin E for a moisturizing boost. The brand also says it’s hypoallergenic and gluten-free.
The product is designed to resist water for 80 minutes, but you’ll want to be mindful and reapply every 2 hours.
Coral reef safety is a big concern for many sunblock users. The company says this product is reef-safe. Even the manufacturing is eco-friendly — the company says it’s made with 100 percent solar power.
Amazon reviewers are impressed with the quality, especially given its reasonable price. A number mentioned that the formula is thick, so it may take some elbow grease to squeeze the product out of the tube. You may also need some extra time to rub it into your skin completely.
Best tinted sunblock for psoriasis
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid
- Price: $$$
- Size: 1.7-oz. bottle
This water-resistant product, which is free of dyes, fragrances, oil, and chemicals, is one of Schaffer’s go-to recommendations. It’s a 100 percent mineral sunscreen that’s safe for sensitive skin, and it’s noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.
This sunscreen is tinted with a matte finish, which some may prefer. For those who’d rather skip the tinted glow, there’s an untinted version available on the company’s website.
The sunscreen is lightweight, nonwhitening, and nongreasy, according to the company. The majority of Amazon reviewers seem to agree it checks those boxes.
One complaint from Amazon reviewers about the tinted version is that there’s only one shade available. The tinted version doesn’t include zinc oxide, using instead titanium dioxide, which may be a drawback for some.
Best sunblock for psoriasis with vitamin C
Derma E Sun Defense Clear Zinc Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30
- Price: $$
- Size: 2-oz. bottle
This broad spectrum, oil-free sunblock is chemical-free and contains vitamin C and green tea, which can help skin recover after sun exposure. It also contains soothing aloe vera. To protect you from UVA and UVB rays, this sunblock uses non-nano mineral zinc oxide.
The brand says this pick checks a number of other boxes, as it’s:
Keep in mind that some reviewers mention pilling or peeling and a white cast — a common, but still bothersome, factor in mineral sunscreens.
Best sheer sunblock for psoriasis
Drunk Elephant Umbra SheerPhysical Daily Defense SPF 30
- Price: $$
- Size: 3-oz. bottle
This SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreen contains 20 percent zinc oxide, as well as algae and sunflower sprout extracts for additional antioxidant protection. Aloe vera is tossed in to soothe and moisturize.
It doesn’t use sunblocking chemicals (it’s mineral-based), essential oils, silicones, and fragrances. Plus it’s cruelty-free.
The brand suggests applying this sunscreen to the face, neck, chest, and backs of hands. So, it’s not considered an all-over sunscreen, but it works for more than just your face. The company also says it’s safe for daily use and sensitive skin types.
Reviews in Google are split. Some users call it their favorite, noting how effective it is for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Others were underwhelmed — one said they wished it felt more moisturizing, while another pointed out a white cast (but again, it’s tough to find mineral sunscreens that completely leave out a white cast).
Best value sunblock for psoriasis
All Good SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
- Price: $
- Size: 3-oz. bottle
This certified organic sunscreen is made with sensitive skin in mind, leaving out harsh chemicals.
The non-GMO formula uses 16 percent non-nano particle zinc oxide to block UVA and UVB rays (as well as blue light from screens). The exclusion of chemical sunscreen ingredients also makes this sunscreen coral reef-friendly.
The sunblock is also:
This pick gets high marks among Google reviewers, who mention it’s kind to their sensitive skin and doesn’t leave them feeling sticky or greasy.
It’s intended for use on the face and body, which makes it a pretty convenient go-to for all uses. Plus, there’s a 16-oz. family-size version with a pump top available.
The only complaints we found on this one say that it has a thick consistency, and may leave a white cast behind if it’s not fully rubbed in.
What type of sunscreen is best for psoriasis?
People with psoriasis should look for mineral (physical) sunscreens that include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The sunscreens they use should have an SPF of 30 or higher.
Should people with psoriasis wear sunscreen every day?
Most people — those with psoriasis and those without — should wear SPF daily. If you believe your symptoms improve with some sun exposure, limit your time in the sun without sunblock to just about 5- or 10-minute periods. Keep in mind that too much exposure could potentially worsen your symptoms.
What ingredients should I avoid when selecting a sunscreen?
It’s a good idea to avoid potentially irritating ingredients like intense preservatives, parabens, formaldehyde, and added color or fragrances.
Some companies will advertise that their sunblock doesn’t contain these ingredients. But it’s always good to double-check the label on products that say they’re good for sensitive skin, and don’t call out certain ingredients their formula excludes.
Can sunshine help with psoriasis?
Some sun exposure can benefit people with psoriasis. But when people with psoriasis are overexposed to the sun, they may see worsened symptoms.
People with psoriasis should wear sunblock in the sun, even when using the sun as treatment for their condition. Look for broad spectrum, fragrance- and preservative-free sunblocks that are at least SPF 30.
If you have psoriasis and are planning on being in the sun, experts recommend starting with 10 minutes of exposure at noon, then increasing exposure by 30 seconds to 1 minute each day.
Read the full article here
8 Healthy Ways to Use White Rice, According to a Dietitian
Rice is a staple food in many cultures.
Compared to brown rice, white rice offers fewer nutrients, including minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. This disparity has led many in the West to
However, white rice remains more widely consumed than brown rice, potentially due to cultural practices, its faster cooking time, and
Plus, it is more cost-effective and can be purchased in bulk.
For example, a bag containing 320 ounces of white rice (more than 200 standard servings) costs less than $9 USD at Walmart. A similarly-sized bag of brown rice is not available at the retailer. Instead, a 32-ounce bag (about 20 servings) costs $1.37 USD.
To buy the same amount of brown rice as offered in the bulk bag of white rice, you’d need to purchase 10 32-ounce bags for more than $13, plus tax.
Therefore, it’s important that we acknowledge the roles and benefits of white rice as a cultural staple in several dietary patterns and as an affordable alternative to other grains.
We need to develop a deeper understanding of ways to use this staple food as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
This article explains the benefits of white rice and ways to enjoy it through balanced nutrition.
The scientific research on white rice’s association with various health outcomes has been inconsistent.
This occurred because cooking the white rice then refrigerating it for 24 hours before reheating activated its resistant starch — a type of non-digestible carbohydrate that
Here is how 1 cup (158 grams) of cooked parboiled
White rice offers fewer calories, fewer grams of carbs, fat, and dietary fiber, and less of the mineral phosphorus, but comparable protein and selenium compared with brown rice.
However, it is richer in the B vitamin
This data shows that white rice offers some nutritional benefits. Consider pairing it with foods rich in dietary fiber and minerals to boost the nutritional profile of your meal.
Learn more about the differences between white and brown rice here.
White rice is not inherently inferior to brown rice, despite myths. It offers nutritional benefits, including some minerals. It’s low in fiber, fat, and calories, and can be paired with fiber-rich foods to boost a meal’s nutritional profile.
Here are 8 healthy ways to enjoy white rice.
1. With peas and beans
Peas and beans are rich in dietary
Furthermore, when peas and beans are paired with rice — including white rice — a
This is an especially important food combination for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan dietary pattern, since most complete proteins are animal-based foods.
Enjoy white rice with stewed lentil peas, dhal (split peas), or a black bean chili.
Learn more about complete protein sources for people who eat plant-based here.
2. Vegetable rice
Like peas and beans, non-starchy vegetables are rich in dietary fiber. When included in a vegetable rice dish, they can help make up for the lower fiber content of white rice.
Vegetables also contain nutrients like calcium, vitamin C, iron, and folate that
Examples include carrot rice, spinach rice, and pumpkin rice.
3. Balanced with veggies and meat
A great way to build a meal using white rice is following the balanced MyPlate method recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Under this guideline, about half your plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables and fruit, a quarter of your plate with protein like meat, fish or poultry, and a quarter with grains like white rice.
This method encourages flexibility and a diversity of nutrients to be enjoyed while also helping you eat mindful servings of white rice.
Serve a quarter-plate of white rice with a half-plate of cooked spinach and a quarter-plate of grilled fish for a quick, balanced dinner meal.
4. In a one-pot dish
It is impractical to enjoy all meals in the MyPlate method recommended above, as is the case with one-pot meals.
However, these can still be a nutritious and healthy way to eat white rice.
Pair one-pot dishes like pelau — a Caribbean dish made with caramelized chicken, rice, pigeon peas, herbs, spices, and vegetables — with an additional side of non-starchy vegetables like carrot coleslaw or tossed salad.
Other rice-based one-pot dishes, such as casseroles or South Indian recipes like sambar rice, can also be accompanied with a side of non-starchy vegetables for a boost of filling dietary fiber.
5. Vegetarian rice bowls
Rice bowls are quite popular in Asian, Persian, and Spanish cultures.
The rice may be topped with beans, vegetables like lettuce, onions, and olives, avocados for healthy fats, and sauces or gravies for flavor.
Because rice bowls use so many ingredients, that often means you’ll use smaller portions of each food, including rice, to create room for a variety of other food groups.
The inclusion of fats like
6. Lean meat burrito bowl
In some cultures, rice bowls are also called burrito bowls.
Popular burrito toppings include lettuce, red onions, celery, or a combination of other non-starchy vegetables, corn, black beans, and cooked chicken, beef, pork, or plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh.
If you’re making a burrito bowl that uses meat, choose lean cuts to reduce saturated fat intake.
Try topping your rice bowl with a Mongolian beef or smoked pork recipe for a burst of flavor.
7. With fish
Consuming fish at least twice per week
In addition, fish is an
Try curry fish, blackened creole fish with white rice, or a tuna fish and rice casserole. Don’t forget to include a fresh or cooked non-starchy vegetable side dish for fiber and health-promoting added nutrients.
8. Stuffed in bell peppers
A clever way to enjoy white rice and vegetables in a nutritious and filling yet simple dish is by making stuffed bell peppers.
Bell peppers contain capsaicin, which is a phytochemical compound with potential
This active compound in bell peppers has also
Pair white rice with peas and beans, lean cuts of meat, fish, and vegetables to make balanced and nutritious dishes. White rice can also be enjoyed in one-pot meals like pelau and sambar rice or in rice bowls and stuffed bell peppers.
Read the full article here
Depression May Not Be Linked to Low Serotonin, New Analysis Finds
- A new analysis finds that depression may not be caused by lower levels of serotinin in the brain.
- Researchers say the chemical and neurological underpinnings of depression are complex.
- Additionally, researchers say this does not mean that anti-depressants don’t work, only that they may not understand why they work.
There is no evidence that depression is caused by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin in the brain, according to a recent analysis of 17 previous studies.
This suggests that depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance of this brain-signaling molecule, say the authors of the review. It also raises questions about how antidepressants that supposedly target serotonin work, they add.
However, other researchers say the chemical and neurological underpinnings of depression are complex, so to completely rule out serotonin is an oversimplification of the research.
They also caution against making decisions about how to treat depression based on this review, saying antidepressants have been shown to be moderately effective for certain people.
The most common antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are thought to make serotonin more available in the brain by
However, in their recent analysis, Joanna Moncrieff, MD, a professor of psychiatry at University College London, and her colleagues found that there is no “consistent evidence” that serotonin is involved in depression.
Their findings, which were published July 20 in
- Research on serotonin and its breakdown products in the blood and brain fluids found that the level of these chemicals was similar in people with and without depression.
- Research on serotonin receptors and the serotonin transporter, a protein targeted by many antidepressants, offered “weak and inconsistent” evidence that people with depression had higher levels of serotonin activity.
- Studies in which healthy people’s serotonin levels were artificially lowered through a special diet found that this did not increase their risk of developing depression.
- Genetic studies found no difference in serotonin-related genes between people with depression and healthy participants.
“After a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin,” Moncrieff said in a news release.
Anthony King, PhD, a neuroscientist and licensed psychologist and psychotherapist at The Ohio State University’s College of Medicine, who was not involved in the new review, agrees that the role of serotonin in depression has been overblown.
“The idea that depression is a chemical imbalance characterized by a deficit or a lower level of serotonin in the synapses is just not correct,” he said. “It never was, and it’s not now.”
However, “I’m not saying serotonin is not involved and I’m not saying SSRIs don’t help,” he added.
Serotonin is likely involved in some way, he said, but the relationship between depression and other brain chemicals is complex. Likewise, he said SSRIs can help some people — just not everyone.
King also noted that stress can play a role in the development of depression
Dr. Srijan Sen, a professor of depression and neurosciences and director of the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg and Family Depression Center at the University of Michigan, said he doesn’t think the new review entirely eliminates serotonin from the picture.
“Whether serotonin plays a role in depression in some way is an open question,” he said. “The brain is so complicated and complex, it would be surprising if serotonin wasn’t involved at all.”
He pointed to a recent
In that study, researchers found that people who carry a certain serotonin-related gene variant are at higher risk of developing depression in response to a stressful life event. However, this was only true for chronic stress and for depression assessed within a year of the stressor.
This meta-analysis was published this month, so it was not included in the review by Moncrieff and her colleagues.
There is, however, one thing that Sen agrees with Moncrieff and her colleagues on: “[Chemical imbalance] is not an accurate representation of our understanding of what happens in the brain,” he said.
“It’s probably more likely that there are certain circuits and loops of connections in the brain that are changed that are important,” he said. “But we don’t know exactly what is happening.”
King said there are other ways to think about depression that can help people break free of the downward spiral that often accompanies this condition.
“[Stressful life events] can lead to emotional upset and a big change,” he said. “That can be accompanied by a sort of pessimism and a certain habit of behavior and thinking.”
Basically, “people get into a rut — they get into a rut mentally and behaviorally,” he said. “And a sense of inertia sets in.”
While this may sound like a hard cycle to get out of, King said several types of treatment can help people get moving again, including cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral activation, and mindfulness.
The new review also challenged whether it’s helpful to talk about SSRIs as fixing a chemical imbalance.
“Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence,” said Moncrieff.
Sen, though, cautioned against making decisions about depression treatments based on this review.
“We generally don’t make clinical decisions about treatments based on the molecular and biological understanding of what the treatments do,” said Sen. “It’s much more based on the results of clinical trials.”
Scientists use rigorous clinical trials to see if a treatment works, as well as under what conditions and for which people. These trials can produce useful results even without a good understanding of how a treatment works, said Sen.
That said, “understanding the biology in the long term, I hope, will help us develop better medications and advancements in personalized treatments,” he added.
For people who don’t benefit from SSRIs, he said there are other potential treatments for depression, such as improved sleep routines, regular exercise, and stronger social connections. Recently using psychedelic drugs like
“With all these things, there is observational and clinical trial evidence showing that they really help with depression,” he said.
Read the full article here
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