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All Depression and Anxiety Special Reports

Treating Mood Disorders With Hallucinogenic Drugs

Many mood disorders can be successfully treated with some combination of medication, psychotherapy, and time. But researchers are always on the lookout for new options, and several are generating interest right now. More...

Facing Your Fears With Exposure Therapy

Few of us would probably enjoy snuggling with a snake or standing on the roof of a skyscraper. But for many people, just seeing a picture of a snake or setting foot on a stepladder is paralyzing. While most of us eventually get past our fears or at least learn to live with them, people with phobias are held prisoner by an irrational sense of panic. More...

Why Older Women Have Eating Disorders

Body dissatisfaction is not only a signature problem of youth. An increasing number of middle-aged and older women are developing eating disorders. In this Special Report, Johns Hopkins explores eating disorders -- an all-too-common condition. More...

What Happens When Stress Doesn't Go Away

Can constant stress literally cause a mood disorder? Possibly. Of course, not everyone with depression or anxiety has experienced a very stressful event -- such as the death of a loved one, moving to a new town, or losing a job. And not everyone who is under stress develops depression or anxiety. But stressful events may induce changes in brain chemistry that predispose you to depression and anxiety. … More...

The Pain-Mood Connection

Pain is one of the most common symptoms people with depression complain about, and people who are depressed experience more impairment from their pain than those who are not depressed. Often, the depression-pain scenario plays out in a vicious cycle, and to find relief from one, you must treat the other. … More...

Report on Substance Abuse and Aging

Alcohol and drug use is on the rise among older adults. Researchers are beginning to acknowledge the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among people over age 60, saying that it affects as many as 17% of older adults. Recent government statistics reveal that 12% of adults over age 50 report binge alcohol drinking over the past month and 3% say that they drink heavily on a frequent basis. … More...

Anxiety and Your Physical Health

The link between depression and physical illness has been well explored, and now researchers are turning their attention to the role of anxiety disorders in prompting medical problems. Johns Hopkins sheds light on this intriguing connection. More...

Eating Disorders: Not Just for the Young

Body dissatisfaction is not only a signature problem of youth, as an increasing number of middle-age and older women are developing eating disorders. In this Special Report, Johns Hopkins explores this all-too-common disorder. Our cultural obsession with thinness as well as looking and feeling young may be contributing factors to a surge in eating disorders, leading women to fixate on dieting and exercise as a way to combat the signs of aging. … More...

Coping With Panic Attacks

Johns Hopkins shares four strategies for managing panic attacks so they frighten you less, are less intense, and occur less frequently. It comes on suddenly, without warning. Your heart races and pounds in your chest, you sweat, you feel short of breath, dizzy, sick to your stomach, faint even. You fear you're having a heart attack or maybe losing your mind. You have a distinct feeling of unreality and, perhaps, a desire to run away and… More...

The Anatomy of Mood -- Biology and the Brain

Scientists are beginning to understand the connection between brain atrophy, neurogenesis, and depression. How does this affect our understanding of the role of antidepressant medication? Johns Hopkins doctors explain … What happens within the brain when a person is depressed? Our concept of that is rapidly shifting, thanks to work in brain imaging and molecular medicine. … More...

Antidepressant Warnings

Is the cure worse than the disease? Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Dr. Karen L. Swartz discusses the risks and benefits of SSRIs. Call it the pill paradox: Some 20 years ago, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) burst onto the scene, lauded for their ability to treat depression. Today, however, some studies have linked SSRIs to an increased incidence of suicidal thoughts and behavior, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the midst of an extensive… More...

Managing Anxiety Without Drugs

Do you worry excessively? Johns Hopkins provides nine strategies to help you take control of your anxiety. We live in anxious times, full of bad news. We worry about our families, our country, our basic health and safety. But while a little bit of worry can be a good thing -- it can steer us away from taking unreasonable risks, for instance -- free-floating anxiety can be paralyzing, unproductive, and self-defeating. If you think… More...

Depression and Anxiety Glossary

This Depression and Anxiety Glossary is excerpted from The Johns Hopkins White Papers: Depression and Anxiety. More...

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Phobias

The hallmarks of a phobia are persistent, irrational fears and avoidance of the specific things (for example, animals, heights, or closed spaces) or activities that induce these fears. The diagnosis of a phobic disorder is made only when the phobia significantly impairs the individual’s social or occupational functioning. More...

Could You Benefit From Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Over the past 20 years, cognitive-behavioral therapy has become increasingly popular for the treatment of depression. Like standard cognitive therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that mood problems stem from irrational thoughts and that identifying and changing these distorted thought patterns can improve emotional symptoms. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, this theory is combined with the principles of behavioral therapy, which is aimed primarily at modifying specific problematic or unwanted behaviors. More...

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