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Nancy Schimelpfening

Love Is the Drug?

By February 21, 2012

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According to researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, a hormone called oxytocin, which is released whenever people hug or touch each other, could be useful in helping depression.

In a press release, Dr. Kai MacDonald, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, noted that this hormone may change the firing of the amygdala, a part of the brain which plays an important role in processing emotional stimuli.

In previous studies of healthy people it has been shown that oxytocin reduces activity in areas of the brain associated with fear and increases eye contact, trust and generosity.  Earlier studies also suggest that it may help people with anxiety disorders or schizophrenia.

Dr. MacDonald is now recruiting participants for a new study which will examine whether oxytocin might also help depression.

"A hug or a touch that causes a release of this hormone might somehow change brain signals," said MacDonald.  "We want to see if we can harness this response to help patients who suffer from depression."

If you would like more information about this upcoming clinical trial, you may contact (866) 550-UCSD.

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Comments
February 29, 2012 at 11:49 am
(1) Susanna says:

From my experience a major episode of depression/anxiety, the support of those we love and caregivers like therapists and psych wards staff, giving edearing comments, validating the battle you are in with this sadness, hugs and even admiration for trying helps tremendously. Knowing someone wants to be there and wants to help, gives physical and verbal sincere apprec gives you strength to resist this depression bully that lives with you. Get on the battle field with a depressed person and shoe them they are worth. Words and protocol are meaningless and dismissive their personal pain.

February 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm
(2) KOREAVET/ IRWIN DRESNER says:

THE ARTICLE ON LOVE IS THE DRUG IS VERY TRUE. I HAVE HAD DEPRESSION MY ENTIRE LIFE AND NO ANTIDEPRESSANT HAD EVER WORKED AND I BEEN IN TREATMENT FOR MANY YEARS. AT THE VA AND PRIVATE DOCTORS. THE ONLY THING THAT EVER WORKED WAS THE LOVE WITH MY WIFE. SEX WAS THE ONLY ANTIDEPRESSANT THAT WORKED. HUGING ALSO HELPED. MY WIFE PASSED AWAY AND MY DEPRESSION IS KILLING ME. NONE AND I MEAN NONE ANTIDEPRESSANT HAS HELPED AT ALL AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT I CAN HANG ON MUCH LONGER FEELING LIKE THIS. ALL I DO IS WRITE POEMS, WORK ON A NEW BOOK BUT I HAVE NO LOVE IN MY LIFE AT ALL AND I HATE WAKING UP EACH AND EVERYDAY. TRULY SEE NO FUTURE AT ALL. COMBAT WAS EASIER. THANKS FOR READING.
IRWIN

February 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm
(3) Scared2dream says:

Erwin,

I’m praying for you!!

February 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm
(4) Kristen says:

Irwin, please hang in there! Have you considered therapeutic massage? Or going to a place with hugging, like church?

March 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm
(5) Helen says:

Hi Irwin,
Sorry you lost the love of your life, and have gone back to your depressive moods again. I suggest you pray about it and help bring sunshine into the lives of others…

March 5, 2012 at 10:05 am
(6) PLAY PILATES says:

Hi, whereabouts is this clinical trial taking part. I would be very interested in becoming a participant.

Many Thanks,

March 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm
(7) connie says:

Hello Irwin, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear wife.My prayer for you will be to encourage you to make new friends and find a loving church.I am divorced 2 times and my church friends help me.I miss the hugs and talking to a mate or friend.My heart hurts for you. You are a child of God and he loves you so much.
Seek the Lords will for you.My prayers and thoughts are with you.Hope you will feel stronger each day.

March 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm
(8) Jay says:

Having someone who cares is of great importance. Raising our hand to ask for help can be the greatest step we take. Irwin, others, do seek to find those who will commend you, be glad to see you, and show as much. Who ever suggested therapeutic massage is a genius, I always feel better when in the care of my health providers.
Peace happens; we create it,
Jay

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