A New Therapy for Depression?

I just read an article from The Telegraph (England) about a new technique/medical therapy for depression. It’s called DBS, or Deep Brain Stimulation, and is being considered and tested on patients with depression that aren’t responding to traditional psychotherapies or medical interventions.

It involves brain surgery, which means it does have some potential serious side effects and problems, but it has worked in many of the trial patients so may be worth it. Electrodes are placed in a target area of the brain known as Area 25, which is part of the cingulate region. The electrodes are attached to a battery which is implanted into the skin on the shoulder.

This procedure may give hope to those who haven’t found relief from other methods. It’s early days, but as we continue to learn more about the brain, more techniques may be developed to help more people. And that should give us all hope.

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Shy child? Listen.

Recently the New York Times posted an opinion piece, in their Health section, about shy children.

I was once a very shy child. I would rarely talk in class. Some of it was because I was lightly bullied and afraid to open my mouth due to fear of reprisals, but a lot of it was due to the anxiety of getting something wrong. I wanted to be in control of what I said and how people saw me, so talking less was part of taking that control. It took me until university to really start working on the shyness and I did begin to speak up in classes during my sophomore year. It was liberating. And I learned that, sometimes, saying the wrong thing was a good thing…I would learn and thus become better at my process of thinking.

If your child is shy and seems to be struggling at school, the gist of the article is that you should talk to him or her. We don’t want to ‘pathologize’ shyness, but we also want to make sure kids aren’t in needless distress. The article gives some great suggestions to parents on how to work with their shy kid. For me, it was all about feeling more comfortable with a few things – that is was okay to not be perfect, that learning was more important than being right, to have the skills on speaking in public, learning relaxation techniques and doing a few ‘acting as if’ sessions.