Know the facts about depression? Take this quiz!


You’d have heard all about depression by now. Specifically, a major depressive illness. About the treatments for depression. The facts about depression. The link between depression and comedy. About the 2014 study (here’s the science) about comedians and their personality traits which lend themselves to comedy but also have similarities to traits in people with psychosis (fact sheet about psychosis here). That significant life events can play an important role. That depression is not merely sadness. That work and cycling can be coping strategies.

So you should have no difficulties answering these questions. True or False?

  1. Depression is a mood state which goes well beyond temporarily feeling sad.
  2. There are two types of depression.
  3. Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness are symptoms of depression.
  4. Chronic stress can lead to depression.
  5. Mood-regulating hormones are likely to be functioning well for someone who has with depression.
  6. Family history of depression increases one’s risk of depression.
  7. Depression is most common among those aged 18 to 40 years.
  8. St John’s Wort is not a recommended treatment for major depression.
  9. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is effective for treating anxiety but not depression.
  10. Every 4 in 100 Singapore residents have had depression in their lifetime.
  11. Medication is the best treatment option if one has mild/moderate depression.
  12. The risk for depression for women is equally high as it is for men.
  13. Mindfulness is a technique which is useful in the treatment of depression.
  14. It’s easy to find out about depression in other languages (e.g., Chinese).
  15. Depression was featured on the local TV programme Body and Soul in 2011.
  16. Someone with depression is likely to maintain an interest in sports or hobbies.

Find the answers from these resources: 1) NAMI, 2) ADAA, 3) NIHM, 4) Black Dog Institute (BDI), 5) Harvard Medical, 6), 7) Singapore Mental Health Survey, 8) Medline Plus, 9) RCPsych, 10) Health Xchange, 11) HPB or, 12) 13) BDI Fact Sheet, 14) NIH, 15) XInMSN, 16) Health Xchange.

FInd out the answers at the end of the week!

Good intentions

New Year resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we think about the things we want to accomplish this year. A week ago, the opinion piece that that was published in the New York Times, “Fighting to kick the habit”, highlights the struggle of one person (one rather famous person). Having the facts about addictions is one thing. Overcoming the barriers to recovery is another.

It may not be addictive behaviours that we’re trying to set straight this year. We may just simply be trying to keep our list of new year resolutions simple and accomplish a few simpler things. This year, we will:

1. Manage our time efficiently. It’s on our perennial wish list. We want to spend time with family and friends. And that means being efficient at work (and household chores, groceries, errands, school runs, and the list goes on). Prioritizing the things on our to-do list is one way to go. Exercising the delicate power of delegation is another. Communicating effectively with your boss and team as well as your family at home, and using technology to our advantage (Life Hacks, time-saving tips, the Real Simple stuff) are also important strategies which are not to be underestimated. Go, get on with it!

2. Live healthily. A two-week plan (see Dr Oz’s) for achieving a healthy body mass index (BMI) seems short-term. But it’s not. It’s a small step we can take on the road to better cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and better readings of blood glucose. The two-week plan won’t get us there instantly. But two weeks is plenty for retraining your body to achieve greater satiety during meals (that is attaining a feeling of fullness so that we don’t crave nutrient-free caloric-full foods ten minutes after lunch or breakfast; tips here and here). And it’s certainly plenty of time for scheduling in more activity into your routine (and exercise will certainly help with achieving number #1). Falling off the wagon today doesn’t mean we need to fall off it the rest of the week. As the saying goes, try. And try again.

3. Do something about it. We want to be more assertive at work. Shop less. Save more. Sort out the cupboard for which its contents will unravel and cover the floor when we open the door (it might help the next time we’re tempted to get another one of those things we already have five of; tips here and here). Get help with psychological issues. Spend less time with non-hostile acquaintances who don’t seem to appreciate us (practical advice here). Have fewer arguments at home (helpful tips here). In any case, it’s a good time to do something about it.

And anyway, there’s a second new year for our resolutions (akan datang)!