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Internet Use Can Reduce Depression Risk in Elderly

Can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

on April 18, 2014

Internet Use Can Reduce Depression Risk in ElderlyLoneliness can fuel depression in older adults, and experts estimate that as many as 10 million older Americans suffer from depression.

Now, a new study suggests information technology, specifically use of the Internet, among the elderly can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.

Researchers followed the lives of thousands of retired older Americans reviewing data collected by the Health and Retirement Survey — a survey collecting information from more than 22,000 older Americans every two years.

“The 30 percent reduction is a very strong effect,” said Shelia Cotten, Ph.D., a Michigan State University professor of telecommunication, information studies and media who led the project.

“And it all has to do with older persons being able to communicate, to stay in contact with their social networks, and just not feel lonely.” (more…)

Screen carers for depression, say doctors’ leaders

The Royal College of GPs said carers often neglected their own healthcare needs

GP writing a prescription for a patient

Carers should be routinely screened for signs of depression by their GP to ensure their health needs are not neglected, doctors’ leaders say.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) estimates one in every 20 patients registered with a GP practice is providing unpaid care.

About 40% of carers are thought to be at risk of depression or stress because of their caring role.

Charity Carers UK said GPs had a vital role to play in supporting carers.

It is estimated that seven million people in the UK currently provide unpaid care to a sick or disabled child or an adult who could not otherwise live independently.

Many of them are already known to GPs, but the RCGP says more should be done to improve the support and services offered to carers. (more…)

Depression ‘over-diagnosed’ with drugs

Dished out to patients who are simply sad or unable to sleep, warns expert

  • Chris Dowrick claims half of patients labelled depressed were misdiagnosed
  • Liverpool University professor calls on diagnosis guidelines to be tightened
  • Patients ‘becoming reliant on drugs they don’t need’
  • Mental health charities reject research – and say more people are being diagnosed due to pressure from debt and unemployment

By Lucy Crossley


Millions of patients are being wrongly diagnosed with depression when they are simply sad, according to a new report

Millions of patients are being wrongly diagnosed with depression when they are simply sad, according to a new report

Million of patients are being wrongly diagnosed with depression when they are simply sad, according to a new report.

Anti-depressants are being dished out to people grieving loved ones, suffering sexual problems or even unable to sleep, claims a newly-published scientific paper published by academics at Liverpool Unversity.

The number of people diagnosed with mental illnesses like depression has doubled since 2002. It is believed more than five million people are now labelled depressed or suffering anxiety in the UK.

Liverpool University’s Professor of Primary Medical Care, Chris Dowrick, claims in a new report that up to half of these patients have been misdiagnosed.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the academic, who also works as a GP, said: ‘Over-diagnosis is now more common than under diagnosis.’ (more…)

Depressed Man Hanged Himself After His Sickness Benefits Were Cut, Inquest Hears

Neighbour became concerned


photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

59 year-old Victor Cuff from Gravesend in Kent, hung himself because his sickness benefits had been cut, an Inquest has heard.

Mr Cuff’s friend and neighbour, Colleen Gobel (69), told police how she had become concerned for Mr Cuff after not seeing him on 22nd May. Upon further investigation she found her neighbour dead in his bedroom.

Police were called to Mr Cuff’s ground-floor flat at 6:11pm.

Detective Sergeant James Greenidge, told the inquest that upon arrival at the flat he found Mr Cuff’s lying in his bed, and that “it appeared he hanged himself”. Detective Greenidge continued by saying: “there was evidence he was drunk”.

Colleen Gobel told police that Mr Cuff had a history of depression and was “feeling down” as a result of experiencing money troubles after his sickness benefits were reduced. (more…)




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