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Alanis Morissette and depression
While on tour to promote her platinum album, Jagged Little Pill [in 1995, at about age 21], Morissette began to feel helpless. "Schedule-wise, my health and peace of mind weren't a priority," she told reporters.
"There had been this dissonance in the midst of all the external success. Because on the one hand, I was expected to be overjoyed by it, and at the same time I was disillusioned by it."
To combat her depression, Morissette traveled to India and Cuba, read, competed in triathlons and reconnected with friendships that she had let lapse.
Feeling better within a year, she went on to produce a second hit album.
> from article Celebrity Meltdown - famous, important people who have suffered depression [Psychology Today mag.]
Having been so freaked out about my bouts of depression and everything that I've experienced,
I've actively sought out different ways to turn to my innate joy. There's been many different workshops and books and journaling and artistic expression that I've done that I would love to put into one book and share with people.
Alanis Morissette .. [rollingstone.com Mar 24, 2005] - Morissette,
now 31, is releasing in June 2005 her remake album
> photo from alanis.com
> Her feeling "disillusioned" sounds like the kind of "crisis of meaning" discussed in the book The Van Gogh Blues - by Eric Maisel - see my review on Amazon.com. Douglas Eby - author of this site
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Keeley Schwindt was a high school freshman who became moody and angry, and one day swallowed a massive dose of aspirin to see what would happen.
Kevin Rider was a cerebral 12-year-old who gradually lost interest in his schoolwork and pleasure in his precious Boy Scout activities.
Like millions of boys and girls beginning adolescence, they were diagnosed with depression, and their parents decided to put them on medication.
Soon Schwindt, of Garden City, Kan., was thriving, playing on the basketball team, later heading off to college. Last year, at age 19, she won a teen beauty pageant, and her parents believe antidepressants helped saved the girl's life.
Rider, of Orem, Utah, wasn't so fortunate. He had good and bad stretches on the medication. One day, at age 14, he was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, an apparent suicide that his mother, Dawn Rider, blames on the drugs.
"He was not at all a suicidal person, not at all," she said. "The drugs ended his life."
In public hearings today a panel of experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration is set to address the underlying question:
Could the same drugs that doctors say have helped make life more enjoyable and fulfilling for millions also increase the risk of suicide in some children?
from Youth, meds and suicide -
by Benedict Carey, LA Times Feb 2 2004~ ~ ~ ~
Friendships Play Key Role In Suicidal Thoughts Of Girls, But Not Boys
[excerpt from article]
Relationships with friends play a significant role in whether teenage girls think about suicide, but have little impact on suicidal thoughts among boys, according to a new nationwide study.
The research found that girls were nearly twice as likely to think about suicide if they had only a few friends and felt isolated from their peers. Girls were also more likely to consider suicide if their friends were not friends with each other.
These relationship factors had no significant effect on whether boys considered suicide.
“Close friendships appear to be much more important for adolescent girls than they are for boys, and problems with these relationships have major impacts on girls’ mental health,” said James Moody, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University.
“Boys tend to hang out in groups, and close relationships do not seem to be as important to them.”
Another key finding was that there was no way to tell which teenagers who are thinking about suicide will actually attempt it.
Moody conducted the study with Peter Bearman of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University. Their findings appear in the January 2004 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.~ ~ ~ ~
"Plath, like many people with dramatic lives, suffered from severe depression. Teenagers may appreciate Plath because they are experiencing intense moods and emotions for the first time.
"They are also at the average age for the onset of depression," [says] Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
In fact, Plath's paradoxical knack to setting her morbid preoccupations into stanzas that burst with life may be what makes her so appealing to a certain stripe of teenager.
A new theory of teen suicide claims that the desire to kill oneself and the desire to live more intensely can be one and the same.
Researchers at the University of Illinois argue that suicidal impulses may be motivated by a young person's desire for power -- for control over their own lives and over other people.
According to this theory, youth suicide is not always a cry for help, though it is often portrayed as such.
Fantasies of suicide "can be quite addictive and can involve an idea of personal fierceness, like Plath's fierceness," says Paul Joffe, a clinical psychologist who chairs the University of Illinois Suicide Prevention Team.
from article Dying for Melodrama by Alisa Quart,
related University of Illinois news article:
...related artist page:....Sylvia Plath
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Acne pills linked to depression
Q: My 18-year-old grandson has been tormented with severe acne. Everything he has tried has failed. Now, he is taking a drug that has made him angry and depressed. I worry that his distress might get worse.
A: If your grandson is taking Accutane capsules, he needs to tell his physician that he is feeling depressed.
This medicine — though helpful for severe acne — has been linked to depression, suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior, which may make it dangerous for some adolescents.
from Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon: The People's Pharmacy, LA Times, Oct 27, 2003
and Acne page
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The depression these students feel can be persistent, changing the way they think and affecting their relationships with others.
with proper care, depression can be cured.
The National Institute of Mental Health reported in 1998 that about 19 million adults suffer from depressive disorders on any given year, with nearly twice as many women as men being affected.
Losing a significant other or a breakup in a relationship causes a feeling of sadness or mourning, but sadness is not depression, Pruett said.
Events can lead to depression if accompanied with long term feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and a loss of self esteem.
Depression poses complicated problem for many -
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