June 11, 2013


Take a stand against stress

Although we can’t always control the sources of stress in our lives, it is possible to take steps to manage the often harmful effects that stress can trigger, including depressive episodes. John Greden, M.D., executive director of the Depression Center, discusses some helpful stress-managing strategies in the spring issue of esperanza Magazine – "hope" to cope with anxiety and depression.  Read more...

Coping with cancer: Don’t dismiss your distress

Potential triggers for depression and anxiety lurk throughout the cancer journey, from the stress surrounding diagnosis, to the physical and mental demands of treatment, to the persistent uncertainties that accompany the possibility of recurrence. Attending to both physical and emotional well-being is essential for successful cancer treatment, and having an open conversation with your healthcare team about the potential challenges can help prepare you for what may lie ahead. Read more...


Internal “clocks” disrupted in people with depression

Every cell in our bodies follows a 24-hour clock, and our brains act as timekeepers, keeping our cellular clock in sync with the outside world so that it can govern our appetites, sleep, moods, and much more. However, new research reveals that in the brains of people with depression, those internal clocks may be “broken” – that is, out of sync with the usual cycles attuned to night and day, light and dark. The study, led by Depression Center member Jun Li, Ph.D., provides the first direct evidence that circadian rhythms are altered in the brains of people with depression, even at the level of gene activity, a finding that could have significant implications for improving existing depression treatments or discovering new ones, and could even help identify biomarkers for depression. The study received widespread international media attention, including stories in the Washington Post, the Xinhua news service in China, the Independent (London), Scientific American, and many other outlets. Read more...

Depression risk linked to quality of relationships

Research led by Alan Teo, M.D., M.S., a Depression Center member and clinical lecturer in psychiatry, found that the quality of a person’s relationships with a spouse, family, and friends predicted the likelihood of major depression in the future. The research found that people with unsupportive, critical spouses or partners are more likely to experience depression than people who have no mate at all, and that those with the most negative relationships were more than twice as likely to experience depression as the people with the most positive relationships. The study was featured in the Huffington Post, PsychCentral, and on National Public Radio. Read more...

Bringing psychiatry and primary care closer together

A unique partnership between U-M psychiatrists and family practice physicians at a community clinic was featured in a recent article in Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association. In this collaborative care model, U-M Psychiatry faculty (including child psychiatrist and Depression Center member Sheila Marcus, M.D.), assisted by psychiatry residents, a fellow, and medical students, provide consultations and recommendations for ongoing mental health management of patients at the at the Ypsilanti Health Center’s family practice clinic. Read more...

Mindfulness therapy may help vets with combat-related PTSD

Meditation, stretching, and developing acceptance of thoughts and emotions – these and other mindfulness-based therapy techniques may help veterans with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder find relief from their symptoms. A collaborative study from the U-M Health System and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System demonstrated that veterans with PTSD who completed an eight-week mindfulness-based group treatment plan showed a significant reduction in symptoms compared to patients who underwent treatment as normal. The research, which was led by Depression Center member Tony King, Ph.D., and also involved members Todd Favorite, Ph.D., M.A., Elizabeth Robinson, Ph.D., M.S.W., and Israel Liberzon. M.D., was featured in the Huffington Post. Read more...

Reserve component military family research conference

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler delivered the summit’s keynote address

Nearly 300 researchers, military leadership, policy makers, national military family advocates, and clinicians from 30 states recently convened in Ann Arbor to discuss the need to work collaboratively to address the resiliency needs of Reserve and National Guard service members and their families. Presentations, video, and event photographs from the National Research Summit on Reserve Component Military Families are available on the Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) website, which hosted the conference. Press coverage included this article from Sgt. Rachel S. Krogstad, Army Reserve.

Assessing the use of medical marijuana

Across the country, patients use marijuana in hopes that it will ease the symptoms of conditions such as cancer, seizures, glaucoma, and pain. Yet while a bevy of states (including Michigan) has legalized medical marijuana in recent years, independently conducted research supporting its effectiveness, particularly over the long term, is scarce. Now, with a new $2.2 million, four-year federal research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a team of U-M Medical School researchers led by Depression Center members Mark Ilgen, Ph.D., and Frederic Blow, Ph.D., aims to more rigorously document medical marijuana’s potential impact in Michigan. The two-year study will follow 800 patients who are seeking to obtain state certification for the use of medical marijuana for pain — assessing their symptoms, everyday functioning, use of health care services, and other factors. The study was recently featured in an article in the Detroit Free Press.  Read more...

FDA warning against high-dose antidepressant prescription may be unwarranted

In 2011, the FDA attached a warning to the antidepressant citalopram, also known as Celexa, warning that high doses may cause potentially serious – even fatal – abnormal heart rhythms. A new U-M/Ann Arbor-VA study, however, calls the FDA's warning into question, finding no increased risk for abnormal heart rhythms or death in patients who took daily doses of more than 40 milligrams before or after the warning took effect. Since the warning was issued, physicians have begun to limit citalopram prescriptions, even though higher doses can offer relief to some high-risk depression patients.  Read more...



Program offers support and guidance to military families

Military families show remarkable resilience in the face of the challenges associated with deployment and reunification, yet parenting a young child before, during, and following deployments can still be a struggle. The STRoNG Military Families Program aims to provide support and parenting guidance specifically focused on the needs of military families with young children during and after deployment. Groups are offered across Michigan, with new groups now forming in Macomb and Oakland counties. Call or email to locate the program in your area at 734-998-5834 or strongfamilies@umich.edu. Learn more...

June is LGBT Pride Month!

Members of the LGBT community who also experience ongoing mental health problems may face unique challenges. For LGBT college students, finding a path to coming out or finding a place in the LGBT community, all while managing emotional health along with the demands of a social life, school, and work can feel overwhelming. Celebrate LGBT Pride Month and mental health with information and resources from our own Campus Mind Works program specifically geared toward LGBT-identified and questioning students!

Opening a national conversation on mental health

At last week’s National Conference on Mental Health, the White House announced the launch of a new resource, MentalHealth.gov, a website intended to provide one-stop access to U.S. government information, education, and guidance on mental health and mental health problems.



Research on mindfulness yoga during pregnancy for psychiatrically at-risk women from a team led by Maria Muzik, M.D., M.S., received the 2013 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation McDevitt Award for Excellence in Clinical Research for Physicians.

Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of Health Management & Policy in the School of Public Health, and his project, "An Innovative Online Video-based Intervention for Promoting Access to Mental Health Care and Reducing Suicide Risk Factors in the College Student Population," were selected to receive 2013 Pilot Study funding from the U-M Injury Center.


Depression Center members in the news

Pain and suicide risk

A study in JAMA Psychiatry by Associate Professor of Psychiatry Mark Ilgen, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Veterans Affairs Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center found significant associations between noncancer pain diagnoses – in particular, back pain, migraine, and psychogenic pain (which results from psychological factors) – and suicide.

Brain Scans Reveal First Objective Measure of Pain

For the first time, scientists have identified how much pain people feel by looking at images of their brains. Research in the New England Journal of Medicine co-authored by Ethan Kross, Ph.D., a psychologist and faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research, may illuminate new ways to measure anxiety, depression, anger, and more.

Suicide and access to firearms

Sean Joe, M.S.W., Ph.D, associate professor of psychiatry and social work, spoke with Minnesota Public Radio about limiting access to guns as an effective means to prevent suicides.

African-Americans and stroke response

Lesli Skolarus, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, spoke with The Detroit News about a study that examined the barriers that may affect whether African Americans seek immediate help following stroke symptoms.

Evolution’s place in medical training

A Boston Globe story about teaching evolution to physicians quoted Randolph Nesse, M.D., professor of psychology and psychiatry and director of the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program at the Institute for Social Research: "A doctor who has a deep foundation in evolution will think differently about disease."

Improvements in child behavior following tonsil removal

Bruno Giordani, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, neurology, and psychology, was part of a study which found that children with obstructive sleep apnea who had a common surgery to remove their tonsils and adenoids showed notable improvements in behavior, quality of life and other symptoms compared to those treated with “watchful waiting” and supportive care.



June 12: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

June 26: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

July 3: Family Education Workshop

July 13: Military Family Support Forum

July 10: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

July 24: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

Aug. 7: Family Education Workshop

Aug 14: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

Aug. 28: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

We welcome suggestions about the content and format of this publication – please email lhutchen@umich.edu with your feedback.




Depression Center Home

The Director Discusses

Give to the UMDC








e-update Archive | U-M Depression Center | U-M Psychiatry | U-M Health System | U-M Home