Right now, right this minute, millions of Americans are depressed. From having-the-blues depression all the way to clinical-depression. Considering the current presidential campaign, there's a lot to be depressed about. This is, of course, what psychiatrists and pharmacies are for. Also what medical research is for. Take for an encouraging example Yale neurobiologist Ron Duman who tells NRP.org he and his colleagues may be on to an entirely new cure-track for depression.
Duman suggests previous theories about chemical imbalances may be wrong. "Depression may be the result of stress-induced damage to the brain cells that control mood....the most popular class of depression drugs, SSRIs, don't work for everyone....the chemical Ketamine appears to have the capacity to reverse such damage, which may open a new path for investigation."
A great many people would be anxios to see new research like this push ahead as fast as possible. At least as fast as our depression-triggering conditions continue to multiply. Two come to mind:
* Racial animosity in the nation has not lessened with the election of our first black president. According to a recent Stanford University survey: "51% of Americans now express explicit prejudice toward blacks, associating them with such terms as lazy and violent...."
* Boys are maturing physically faster than in past generation. North Carolina University tells the Wall Street Journal that male puberty especially among blacks begins at 9 to 10 versus the previous range of 11 to 12. With emotional maturity not keeping up, it's a recipe for accelerated social problems
So did I start with new hopes for tens of millions of depressed people? I did. But as usual in history there's a rece between those in need and those working to meet those needs. Excelsior...!
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