Online ISSN: 2754-9380

Keywords : depression

Women with schizophrenia have worse clinical presentation compared to their men counterpart in Kosovo: a cross-sectional study

Manuela Russo; Nikolina Jovanovic; Fitim Uka; Jon Konjufca; Dashamir Berxulli; Aliriza Arenliu

DOI: 10.52095/gp.2022.4548.1043

Objectives: Gender differences have been reported in schizophrenia and suggested that later onset, predominant affective symptoms and better functioning are reported in women, while higher prevalence with more severe negative symptoms, and higher comorbidity for substance abuse in men. However, since the majority of data come from high-income countries, it is almost unknown whether gender differences exist in people with schizophrenia from socially and economically diverse contexts. The objective of this study is to explore gender differences in socio-demographic and clinical characteristics in a sample of people with schizophrenia in Kosovo, a low- and middle-income country (LMIC).
Methods: The study included 101 patients with schizophrenia recruited from community services. Data on demographics, socio-economic characteristics, use of psychological therapy, and medication was collected through direct interviews. Clinical symptoms were assessed by using a combination of self-rated and researcher-rated measures. Gender differences were examined using χ2, independent sample t- tests, and univariate analysis of variance.
Results: The sample was composed of 31.7% (n=32) women. Most demographic characteristics did not differ by gender, apart from marital status (higher proportion of women were separated; p=0.010). Women presented with more depressive (p=0.010) and paranoid symptoms (p=0.011), and attended psychological therapy less frequently (50% women vs 80% men; p=0.014). For both genders, attending psychological therapy was associated with lower negative symptoms (p=0.002).
Conclusions: Women with schizophrenia had worse clinical presentation compared with men, and reported lower psychological therapy attendance. More research is needed to better describe schizophrenia in LMICs, and to understand whether access to mental health services, particularly psychological therapy, is attributable to clinical or contextual factors. Offering psychological therapy to people with schizophrenia of either gender included here could alleviate the burden of negative symptoms.

Depression and associated factors among international students in a private university of Bangladesh

Adamu Jamilah; Md Imdadul Haque; Russell Kabir

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2021, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 55-61
DOI: 10.52095/gp.2020.1406

Background: Depression is the second major cause of disability and is a principal source of disease burden worldwide which is quite common among international students.
Aim: This study explored the depression and its associated factors among international students of a private university in Bangladesh.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 149 international students at a private university in Dhaka, Bangladesh using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D 10) Scale.
Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms among international students was 47.7%. Students’ age, marital status, satisfaction with living conditions and problems concerning studies, food, homesickness, finances, accommodation, and health were significantly associated with depression.
Conclusion: This study concluded that there is an unmet need for psychological support for international students studying in Bangladesh. Appropriate support services should be directed to them to help and to overcome the challenges they face.

Severity of depression, anxiety and stress among the people of Kashmir, India during COVID-19: An observation from telepsychiatric services

Sheikh Shoib; Sheikh Mohd Saleem; Sheikh Mohammed Shaiful Islam; S.M yasir Arafat; Shijo John Joseph

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2021, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 62-67
DOI: 10.52095/gp.2021.8115

Objective:  The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health and well-being of millions of people across the globe. This study aimed to assess the severity of depression, anxiety and stress level among persons who sought teleconsultation during the lockdown period in Kashmir, India.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out from 21 March to 31 May 2020 in Kashmir, India. A call line was set up for people with mental health concerns and participants who signed up for the service were included in the study. The mental health services were provided by a team via teleconsultation. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) questionnaire was used to assess the severity of distress.
Results: A total of 293 people were interviewed during the teleconsultation service. The mean age was 37.10 (± 10.54) years, the majority had moderate depression, 125 (42.7%), followed by extreme severe depression, 95 (32.4%). The mean depression score on the DASS-21 scale was 13.52 ± 4.13. A total of 276 (94.2%) patients had severe anxiety following lockdown with a mean anxiety score of 14.04 ± 9.23. Also, 96 (32.8%) of people had mild stress with a mean stress score of 12.82 ± 7.32.
Conclusion: The severity of depression, anxiety and stress was high in our study population highlighting the need to provide critical mental health services. Teleconsultations could be an alternative approach to provide such services in areas with public health emergencies and where medical infrastructure is limited.

The effects of Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on depression, anxiety and mood – A Systematic Review

Fanaras Konstantinos; Reinhard Heun

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2020, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 72-82

Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen herb from the Crassulaceae family, which has been vastly used in the Russian and Chinese medicine. The herb is used against depression, anxiety, mental and physical fatigue and to promote overall health. In this systematic review, we examined the effects of R. rosea on depression, anxiety and mood, as these are the most relevant to mental health.

Literature searches were made in PubMed using the term ‘Rhodiola rosea’. Inclusion criteria were: Randomized controlled trials using interventions of R. rosea on any type of participants, while focusing on the effects of the intervention on depression, anxiety or mood. Mixed interventions of R. rosea with other herbs were excluded. Studies not published in English or Greek were excluded.

A total of 39 randomized controlled trials were identified and their abstract was screened. After screening, a total of 17 papers were excluded because they were focusing on irrelevant outcomes. The full text of the remaining 22 papers was read and an additional 17 papers were excluded. These papers were excluded because they were eventually not focusing on our main outcome or they were using R. rosea interventions with other herbs. In the end, a total of 5 papers (n = 327 participants) were found eligible for our systematic review. In these studies, R. rosea seems to improve the symptoms of mild to moderate depression, symptoms of mild anxiety and to enhance mood. The last date of our search was October 13, 2019.

Rhodiola rosea supplementation may alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate depression and mild anxiety, while it may also enhance mood. The findings of our review are not definite due to the lack of available experimental data. Randomized controlled trials with a low risk of bias are needed to further study the herb.


Longitudinal study of PTSD and depression in a war-exposed sample – comorbidity increases distress and suicide risk

Bojana Pejuskovic; Dusica Lecic-Tosevski; Oliver Toskovic

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2020, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 64-71

Major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are the most common mental disorders following traumatic experiences. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which PTSD and depression co-occurred in Serbian general population at baseline and 1 year after the follow-up, as well as how this co-occurrence was associated with sociodemographic factors, personal distress, suicidality and quality of life.

Subjects and methods
The sample consisted of 159 subjects, who fulfilled the IES criteria for PTSD, and were taken from a larger sample of 640 participants, which was chosen by a random walk technique in five regions of the country affected by major trauma. The assessment was carried out by the following instruments: Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview 5 (MINI 5), Life Stressor Checklist-Revised (BSC-R), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life Scale (MANSA). The follow-up study was carried out 1 year after the baseline.

In the initial phase, PTSD was found in 100 out of 159 participants (62.9%), while 81 (51%) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for MDD. Comorbidity of PTSD and depression was identified in 65 (40.9%) subjects of the sample. After 1 year, PTSD was found in 56 (35.2%) and MDD in 73 (45.9%) participants. Comorbidity of PTSD and depression in the follow-up phase was identified in 41 (25.8%) subjects of the sample. The subjects with comorbidity had significantly higher level of post-traumatic stress symptoms, general psychological distress as well as suicide risk and lower level of quality of life than participants with either condition alone.

PTSD–depression comorbidity is a common post-traumatic condition. Complex psychopathology, severity of symptoms and their consequences, both at individual and community levels, require attention to be paid to early diagnostics and treatment of affected persons.


Depression literacy among first-year university students: a cross-sectional study in Bangladesh

S.M. Yasir Arafat; M A Al Mamun; Md. Saleh Uddin

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2020, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 31-36

Early detection of depression has been assumed to lead to its earlier and better care. Increased depression literacy among the general population might play a vital role in the early and successful detection and treatment. We aimed to investigate depression literacy among the first year university students, to be able to compare their depression literacy with those of other previously investigated groups, we hypothesized that depression literacy might be different from other groups such as patients and other subjects from the general population. Knowledge about depression might also be different in female and male students.

This cross-sectional study was conducted among the first-year students of Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh between January and May 2018. A convenience sample of 306 students was randomly identified from a list of students obtained from the authority. Relevant sociodemographic variables were collected. Students were interviewed using the Bangla Depression Literacy scale (D-Lit Bangla). This was a semi structured interview asking for the knowledge on 20 different characteristics of depression. Collected data were analysed to estimate the mean score and 95% confidence intervals of D-Lit Bangla scores.

The mean score of the correctly identified characteristics of depression was 6.55 (95% CI = 6.31 to 6.89). Only five characteristics of depression were correctly identified by more than 50% participants, that is, sleep change (76.7%), feeling of guilt (75.2%), low self-esteem (81.8%), psychomotor changes (64.6%) and identification of famous people suffering from depression (66.7%). Only a very small portion of the participants correctly knew about psychotic symptoms and different options for the treatment of depression. There were no significant differences between male and female students in the amount and pattern of knowledge of depression.

The study revealed poor literacy status among the first-year university students of Bangladesh. Both male and female gender have similar amount of depression literacy.


The Impact of Childhood Trauma and Depressive Symptoms on Body Mass Index

Lara N. Schulze; Sandra Van der Auwera; Deborah Janowitz; Johannes Hertel; Katharina Wittfeld; René Walk; Nele Friedrich; Henry Völzke; Hans J. Grabe

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2020, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 97-106

Obesity is associated with several somatic diseases and increased psychological burden. This study focused on two potential psychological predictors of the body mass index (BMI), childhood trauma and depressive symptoms.

We used three independent populations: two general population samples (Study of Health in Pomerania, SHIP-2, N = 1,657; SHIP-TREND-0, N = 3,278) and one patient sample (GANI_MED, N = 1,742). Childhood trauma was measured with the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) and depression with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) in SHIP-2 and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) in SHIP-TREND-0 and GANI_MED. We investigated the impact of childhood trauma and depression on BMI. Furthermore, we used mediation analysis to assess whether depression was a significant mediator on the path from childhood trauma to adult BMI in each of the three samples.

In all the three populations, depressive symptoms exhibited a significant association towards higher BMI (p < 0.05). Childhood trauma was positively associated with BMI with significant associations in SHIP-TREND-0 (p < 0.001) and GANI_MED (p = 0.005). The relationship between CTQ and BMI was significantly partially mediated (p < 0.05) by depressive symptoms in SHIP-TREND-0 (38.0%) and GANI_MED (16.4%), in SHIP-2 results pointed in the same direction. All the trauma sub-dimensions, except sexual abuse, exhibited at least one significant association towards increased BMI in one of the samples.

Childhood trauma and depressive symptoms may be considered as causes of obesity. These results suggest that psychological treatments against obesity should address childhood maltreatment as well as depressive symptoms in their diagnostic assessment and could facilitate psychotherapeutic treatment when necessary.


Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of depression later in life. A cross sectional study in East Attica, Greece

Konstantinos Argyropoulos; Evangelia Machini

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2019, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 201-210

The purpose of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of depression later in life in an urban area and to investigate the associations between possible risk and protective factors including adherence to a Mediterranean diet.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among the active members of the open day-care centres for older people, in East-Attica, Greece. An anonymous questionnaire was developed to collect basic demographic and medical data, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) was applied to screen the elderly for depressive symptoms, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) was used to quantify sleep disturbances and adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated using the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS). Statistics was processed with SPSS 24.0.

154 older adults took part in the study. According to GDS-15, 24.7% (21.4% moderate and 3.2% severe type) screened positive for depressive symptoms. 29.9% of the participants reported inadequate sleep, based on AIS. Depression and insomnia in older participants were more frequent in women than in men, in lower educated, in participants with lower monthly income and in older people with comorbidity (p < 0.05).
MDS revealed that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was moderate for 64.3% of the participants, and it was high for 34.4%. Depression diagnosed by a physician, was strongly associated with MDS (p = 0.035) and AIS (p = 0.001). Logistic regression analysis results revealed a diet higher in vegetables and lower in poultry and alcohol was associated with decreased likelihood of developing symptoms of depression later in life.

Our results support that depression in older adults is common and strongly associated with several risk factors. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet may protect against the development of depressive symptoms in older age. Moreover, not only diet but also sleep-deficiency might contribute to the depression later in life.


Association of severity of depressive symptoms with sleep quality, social support and stress among Pakistani medical and dental students: A cross-sectional study

Ahmed Waqas; Aqsa Iftikhar; Zahra Malik; Kapil Kiran Aedma; Hafsa Meraj; Sadiq Naveed

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2019, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 211-220

This study has been designed to elucidate the prevalence of stress, depression and poor sleep among medical students in a Pakistani medical school. There is a paucity of data on social support among medical students in Pakistan; an important predictor of depressive symptoms. Therefore, this study was also aimed to demonstrate the direct and indirect impact of social support in alleviating depressive symptoms in the study sample.

This observational cross-sectional study was conducted in Lahore, Pakistan, where a total of 400 students at a medical school were approached between 1st January to 31st March 2018 to participate in the study. The study sample comprised of medical and dental students enrolled at a privately financed Pakistani medical and dental school. The participants responded to a self-administered survey comprising of five parts: a) demographics, b) Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), c) Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), d) Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and e) Perceived Stress Scale-4 (PSS-4). All data were analysed using SPSS v. 20. Linear regression analysis was used to reveal the predictors of depression.

In total, 353 medical students participated, yielding a response rate of 88.25%. Overall, poor sleep quality was experienced by 205 (58.1%) students. Mild to severe depression was reported by 83% of the respondents: mild depression by 104 (29.5%), moderate depression by 104 (29.5%), moderately severe depression by 54 (15.3%) and severe depression by 31 (8.8%) respondents. Subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, daytime dysfunction and stress levels were significantly associated with depression symptoms. Social support was not significantly associated with depressive symptoms in the regression model (Beta = -0.08, P < 0.09); however, it acted as a significant mediator, reducing the strength of the relationship between depressive symptoms and sleep quality and stress.

According to our study, a large proportion of healthcare (medical and dental) students were found to be suffering from mild to moderate depression and experienced poor sleep quality. It is concluded that social support is an important variable in predicting depressive symptomatology by ameliorating the effects of poor sleep quality and high stress levels.


Football does not improve mental health: a systematic review on football and mental health disorders

Reinhard Heun; Alan Pringle

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2018, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 25-38

Both football (also called association football or soccer) and mental health disorders have a global impact on the lives of billions of people. Football has been used to approach and support subjects with or at risk of mental health disorders. However, it is not clear if football itself has any beneficial effect on the mental health of players, fans or spectators. Consequently, the aim of the current systematic review was to examine if playing or watching football impacts on the frequency of mental health problems in people who are involved in playing or watching the game.

We performed a systematic review on the relationship between football and mental health disorders. A total of 662 abstracts were screened initially. We identified 17 relevant papers assessing the prevalence of mental health disorders in current and previous football players, referees or spectators.

The prevalence and 12 months incidence of mental health problems in active and retired professional players and referees were similar to or higher than those found in the general population, possibly as response to osteoarthritis, severe injuries, career dissatisfaction, low social support and poor employment status after retirement. Studies in adolescent amateurs and spectators indicate that playing and watching football games may negatively affect subjective mental health, even though qualitative studies indicate mental health benefits of playing or watching football.

Players, referees and spectators are unlikely to present with fewer mental health problems than other members of society as a result of their involvement with football. It appears that some of the infrastructure that supports resilience in mental health such as a sense of inclusion, shared purpose and positive peer identification might be developed by playing in or supporting a team. Strategies that may use the assumed positive aspects of football need to be validated before implementation of large projects.

A systematic review on the effect of Ramadan on mental health: minor effects and no harm in general, but increased risk of relapse in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Reinhard Heun

GLOBAL PSYCHIATRY ARCHIVES, 2018, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 7-16

Globally, Moslems are the second largest religious group. During the month of Ramadan from dawn to sundown, healthy Moslems are required to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual activity and harmful behaviour towards others and themselves. Thus Ramadan may change individual physical states and social interactions. Both might affect mental health within society. Consequently, this systematic review looks at the various effects of Ramadan on mental health.

A literature search on Ramadan and mental health initially identified 294 papers. We finally selected all 22 relevant papers covering Ramadan and mental health from which study data were extracted.

Relevant papers focussed on the general population and healthy volunteers, on subjects practising sports, on subjects with severe physical disorders, on subjects at risk of eating disorders and on subjects with mental health disorders. The effects of Ramadan on mental well-being were mixed. Positive and negative effects were usually minor, except in subjects with schizophrenia and metabolic syndrome, and in subjects with bipolar disorder who suffered a substantial increase of relapses.

Ramadan fasting is safe in most conditions and disorders, but caution is required in subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The research on mental health and Ramadan would profit from larger studies with more representative samples to help understand the intra-individual and social factors that affect the mental health and well-being in patients and in society. The scientific potential of such studies may have been overlooked in the psychiatric community.