Archive for the “Depression” Category

Posted on 23 Sep 2014


St John’s Wort

Like any other supplement or herbal medication it is important to tell your doctor if you are taking it, particularly if you are on any other prescribed or over-the-counter medication Online Canadian Pharmacy. Taking St John’s wort at the same time as other antidepressant medication is dangerous and can cause a very serious and potentially fatal condition called serotonin syndrome. If you are thinking about taking St John’s wort, have a good chat with your family doctor or pharmacist, who will be able to advise you appropriately.

A Test for Depression

The table on the next page shows a questionnaire used by doctors to help diagnose depression. Known as the PHQ-9, it was developed by Drs Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams, Kurt Kroenke and colleagues, with an educational grant from Pfizer Inc.

Issues to Consider With Your Doctor

Take the time to discuss your ideas, concerns and worries with your doctor. For some men this may be the only sounding board they have to discuss such emotional feelings:

  • Could my symptoms indicate depression?
  • Is medication the best option for treating my depression?
  • What non-drug treatments might help my depression?
  • What self-help strategies might help reduce my depression?
  • If I decide to take medication, should I pursue talking therapy or counselling as well?

What About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

SAD syndrome, also known as ‘winter blues’, is very common; it is thought to affect at least one in ten Irish men. Maybe the other nine out of ten are in denial! It is not clear exactly what causes it but a lack of sunlight appears to trigger changes in the balance of certain chemicals in the brain, which can trigger a depression-like illness. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include:

  • Fatigue
  • Excess sleep
  • Food cravings and weight gain
  • Feeling a little ‘blue’
  • Sometimes some of the other symptoms of depression (as described above)

My own personal observation is that these symptoms become especially noticeable in the post-Christmas months of January and February.

What Are the Treatment Options for SAD?

Treatment options include the standard treatment options for other types of depression, including St John’s wort or other antidepressant medications. A good exercise programme can be protective and a bit of winter sun can work wonders. Light therapy can also be an effective option for some men.

Light therapy of SAD

Light therapy can be an effective way to help winter blues by stimulating the brain chemicals that help mood. This treatment consists of sitting in front of a very bright light of about 2500 watts (about ten times the strength of an ordinary light bulb) for about half an hour every day. The light must face you, but you do not have to look directly into it. So, you can continue to work, read and so on while facing the light source.

Posted on 08 Aug 2012

How to Stop Postpartum Depression Naturally

Postpartum depression affects 20 percent of new moms. This is more than just the baby blues, which will continue for around two weeks after the birth; this is a serious condition that can have a dangerous affect on the new mom and the infant. There are many reasons why a new mom will suffer from this type of depression and family and friends may need to understand that to help stop postpartum depression.

First of all, the new mom will need some help around the house; she may not ask for it but she will definitely be grateful for it afterwards. The problem with having a new baby is that there is very little time to sleep; this can make the postpartum depression worse because the body will not be getting the rest that it needs to rejuvenate. Just a 30 minute nap could do the world of good.

Of course, most new moms will worry about the state of the house or will have to worry about what to cook for dinner. This is when friends can come in and help with the house work. Just doing the washing up or folding the laundry will help many new moms take the break that they need. Ordering take-out can also mean less work for the new mother to do.

The diet and a lack of exercise will also lead to postpartum depression getting worse. This is something that the new mom can concentrate on while looking after her baby. Sticking to a diet full of protein and fiber will mean that the calories are burned slowly, which will offer more energy throughout the day. Also, exercise has been known to release endorphins, which helps with feeling happy and is a natural painkiller.

Sometimes the new mom will need to talk. As already stated, there are many reasons why a new mom will be suffering from postpartum depression. One of those reasons is due to the fears that she is not enough for the baby and another is the resentment of not getting enough rest; this usually leads to being overtired and stressed, which is not good for the mom’s health. The benefit is that friends and family can offer an ear to listen.

Many women will not want to talk to their friends about this and to stop postpartum depression, they will need to talk to someone; a professional. This helps because they do not feel like they are being judged for their condition and the professional can offer advice and techniques. One of the newest techniques now offered to help stop postpartum depression is called Emotional Freedom Technique, which has had excellent reviews from many patients.

Posted on 23 Jun 2011

The Effect of Watching TV on Your Brain

Scientists know that there is a definite link between watching TV and depression, but how TV is actually affecting our minds?

When you switch on TV your brain enters a highly suggestible hypnotic state. Left side of the brain responsible for logical thinking stops working and instead you absorb all the information with your right side of the brain responsible for emotions.

In such state your brain activity consists mainly of alpha waves, which is what we get relaxing or meditating.

However, if you stimulate alpha wave activity by watching TV which among frequent viewers happens within 30 seconds, and among infrequent – within 3 minutes, your brain believes that everything it sees is actually happening.

Now what are you most likely to watch everyday on TV?

Bear in mind that average viewer spends 5 to 6 hours per day in front of TV. You’ll get plenty of news covering natural disasters, wars and killing because happy news are not as interesting as unhappy ones, and Media knows it very well.

You also get reality and talk shows which expose the worst parts of human nature, and you get films full of violence and gore.

What happens after prolonged exposure to TV?

– Logical part of the brain, the one which is more likely to seek solutions to your problems atrophies. You are more passive, less willful and easily distracted and easily bored. This definitely doesn’t help you to fight your depression.

– Front head cortex responsible for analytical thinking can’t work very well because images on TV change extremely fast. In fact, compare a movie from the 1950’s and one made now, and you’ll see how frequency of the scenes changed. This is done intentionally because every time it happens our brain has to pay a lot of attention to adapt to a new environment.

– IQ levels and general intelligence drop significantly, because intelligent people use two parts of their brain equally, which doesn’t happen when you watch TV.

– Watching TV also has a huge effect on children as they are most susceptible to what they see. This is one of the reasons we have a lot of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder), learning disabilities and depression disorder.

– And don’t even let me start on how Media develops our inferiority complex. After watching supermodels with size zero bodies, huge salaries and big houses, you get people suffering from bulimia and anorexia, lacking self-confidence, getting bullied because they don’t look how the Media led us to believe they suppose to look. We get higher rates of suicide and general desensitization to violence.

Plainly speaking watching TV doesn’t make us happier and doesn’t help our depression.

Reading which stimulates both parts of your brain enormously, going for walks, spending time with your family and friends, exercises are more likely to provide depression relief.

I’m looking forward to your opinions. Share what you think with us here.

Posted on 27 May 2011

The Horrible Truth About Antidepressants

The Nasty Little Secrets behind the SSRIs

What they Never Tell You about Antidepressants.

Almost every day now, or so it seems to me, I am hearing from young people who are taking antidepressant drugs and who are suffering from a sexual dysfunction as a direct consequence. In men their dysfunction may be erectile dysfunction, loss of libido or sex drive, loss of sensation during ejaculation or loss of ability to climax at all. In women their situation may be similar – loss of interest in matters sexual, an inability to feel orgasm when it eventually arrives, or, worst of all, an inability to reach orgasm at all. These, I think you will have to agree, are pretty devastating side effects for a single drug to have.

When you get your antidepressant dispensed to you by your friendly Community Pharmacist there will be, tucked inside the box, a Patient Information Leaflet. This is an EU or FDA generated document that is supposed to mean something. It is supposed to impart at least some useful information. Let’s look at it for Prozac then, the most popular antidepressant of them all. Under side effects in the category:
Cheap viagra Australia
• Urogenital System and Reproductive Disorders: we have: difficulty in passing urine, passing urine too frequently, poor sexual performance, prolonged erections and the production of breast milk.

Then, under this misinformation there is even more untruths:

Most of these side-effects are likely to disappear with continued treatment.

This leaflet was last approved by the FDA and the MHRA (UK) in October 2010. No mention of female inability to orgasm, no mention of male ejaculatory failure, no mention of sexual anhedonia or sexual anaesthesia in both men and women and no mention of loss of libido or sex drive in both men and women. All the consumer of modern antidepressants is being told is that there maybe some poor sexual performance. This is meaningless, unfair and disingenuous. But unfortunately, it gets much worse.

Clearly the manufactures of these antidepressants want the consumers to continue consuming in spite of obvious side-effects. To do this they mislead them even further by asserting:

Most of these side-effects are likely to disappear with continued treatment.

With respect to the negative sexual effects of the SSRI antidepressants these most certainly do not disappear with continued use. In fact it has been my experience that they get progressively worse with continued use. And not alone that, and this is the really shocking bit, the negative side-effects on human sexuality that modern antidepressants can have, do not disappear even long after the medication has been stopped. Doctors who treat sexual dysfunction on a regular bases as I do, are beginning to now recognise a new post SSRI phenomenon called Persistent Sexual Anaesthesia. In my view it is nothing short of criminal that this possibility is not even hinted at on the Patient’s Instruction Leaflet that comes with the drugs.

If your sex-life has been adversely affected in any way by antidepressants then I would welcome hearing from you. The more people that know about this the better.

Posted on 20 May 2011

Depression: News From the Field

What does a mouse, tai chi and brain stimulation have in common? Current depression studies.

Here is the news of depression therapy.

First of all, Barrow Neuromodulation Center in Phoenix, Arizona has started a pioneering study of depressed people’s brain activity in order to treat their depression with deep brain stimulation (DBS), which means that they implant an electrode into your brain after pinpointing the area responsible for your mental problems, then the device they call a brain pacemaker sends electrical signals to your brain to alleviate the symptoms of your depression.

What they are doing in the clinical trial is creating two groups of participants: depressed and non-depressed. Both groups are going to be shown some very sad photos and videos while going through MRI. When brain responds to the stimulation, MRI scan will pinpoint what happens and in which areas of the brain.

So far only people with severe depression under the observation of the psychiatrist can participate in the trials, but nonetheless this is some exciting information which will help us to understand and control mental illnesses more in the future.

Secondly, the scientists in Los Angeles, California discovered that implementing tai chi among other depression help methods for the older patients improve their depression levels more than for those who use more traditional depression treatment. They also achieve better memory, awareness and have more energy.

What can I say? Only that I’m not surprised!

Tai chi combines exercise with a sort of meditative and breathing technique, which not only beats your depression by producing endorphins in your body, but also relaxes you and changes your brain waves activity.

At last, there is some progress in gene therapy studies. I’m very dubious about this one though!

There is a gene p11 (protein) that in 2006 was found to stimulate serotonin (brain chemical) production in the brain. Serotonin as you know is one of the brain chemicals, lack of which is responsible for our depression. So the scientists are trying to see if they can add p11 to certain areas of our brain to battle depression. Of course they are not experimenting on human brain but instead on mice.

They created genetically modified mice lacking gene p11 and injected them with certain virus making them behaviorally depressed, then they injected them with p11, and voila the mice appeared lacking depression. This is it in the nutshell.

They also studied 17 brains of deceased humans, some depressed and some not, and found that depressed ones had less p11. Pretty gruesome, but this is genetic studies for you, guys.

This is a very invasive procedure, and the implications for human brain are unknown. But I think we still should keep an eye out for what else they find out about p11 and see what kind of development is next in this fascinating and very dangerous field of research.

This is all for today, and if you know more about it, please share!

Posted on 19 May 2011

5 Tips to Avoid Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression, classified as a moderate to severe depression that occurs in a woman after she has given birth, occurs in 10% to 20% of postnatal women. An overwhelming, 80% of women will experience some level of postpartum mood instability, the mildest of which is called the “baby blues”. Some symptoms of the baby blues include mood swings, feelings of dependency and crying. In very rare cases, untreated Postpartum Depression can lead to Postpartum Psychosis, a very serious illness that involves hallucinations and delusions. Postpartum Psychosis and severe levels of Postpartum Depression requires immediate medical treatment. Paying close attention to your body can significantly reduce the chances of developing Postpartum Depression.

Here are some tips to help avoid Postpartum Depression:

1. Meditation: This practice is known to have physiological, psychological and physical benefits. It has been proven to lead to deeper physical relaxation, lower blood pressure, decrease muscle tension and increase emotional stability, among other things. If you know how to meditate, this is a great time to do it. If not, check out the Silva Method of Mind Control, developed by Jose Silva. He has a quick and easy method of learning how to meditate and refocus your thoughts. Using this method, one can easily achieve a meditative state within minutes on the very first try. He offers free courses on his website to get you started.

2. Acupuncture & Acupressure: These are very effective method and have been proven to help alleviate various forms of depression, including Postpartum Depression. Traditional Chinese Medicine links the mind to the body and vice versa. This form of medicine treats the body as a whole. If there is something wrong with the mind, acupuncture and acupressure taps into physical points on the body in order to treat the problem. These methods are also beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, pain management, weight control, migraines and much more. Schedule an appointment with an Acupuncturist. Not only will this treatment prove beneficial but it will also grant you a little bit of time to yourself.

3. Placenta Therapy: This is a relatively new concept to western society but placenta is used regularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine to combat anxiety, stimulate & increase lactation, replace iron lost during childbirth, fight fatigue and to avoid Postpartum Depression. People who have consumed placenta boast of having immediate increased energy, improved cognition, a “clear head” and feelings of elation. Postpartum consumption of the placenta also aids in hormone replacement and balancing. And, being a natural source of iron, the body is able to process it quicker and more efficiently than it can process unnatural iron supplements. Locate a Placenta Encapsulation specialist in your area, who can prepare your placenta into easy-to-take, dehydrated capsules. This allows for you to reap the extraordinary benefits of placenta therapy, while significantly lessening the “eww” factor.

4. Motherwort: This is a perennial plant in the mint family. It has a long history of use in midwifery and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as a uterine tonic. Often used to alleviate conditions associated with childbirth, hence the name “Motherwort”, this herb is useful for promoting lactation, easing the discomfort of cramps, the treatment of rapid heart rate, relieving anxiety and, recently discovered, for the prevention of blood clot formation. Due to its extraordinary abilities to restore “normalcy” following childbirth, it has been called the “Herbal Placenta”. It is also known to improve mental outlook and to be a mood elevator. As a home remedy it is often consumed as an herbal tea, a tincture or an herbal extract.

5. Prenatal Vitamins: After growing a baby and giving birth, a woman’s body needs to have depleted nutrients and vitamins restored. And, if she is breastfeeding, her daily nutritional requirements are the same or greater than they were while pregnant. In fact, the recommended daily allowances for vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2 and B3 are all higher for breastfeeding women than for pregnant women. Prenatal vitamins are sources of essential vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid, DHA and calcium. It is important to get sufficient amounts of these nutrients because the nursing baby obtains them through their mother’s milk. Prenatal vitamins are sources of iron as well. Blood loss during delivery can lead to anemia which results in fatigue. The continued use of prenatal vitamins, along with proper nutrition, can help to restore lost iron.

Posted on 17 Apr 2011

Smoking Aggravates Your Anxiety and Depression

Did you know that smoking aggravates your anxiety and depression?

It can even cause them.

So, next time you hear someone saying “smoking helps to calm my nerves”, tell them it’s an old wife’s tale.

In reality, there is a connection between smoking and depression and anxiety, but not the one you may think of.

Cigarettes contain nicotine – an addictive stimulant which causes excitement, intensifies your worries, and make your problems seem bigger. The addiction itself is causing a vicious circle that smokers are trapped in. They are afraid to quit, because they think stopping will cause them anxiety, stress or depression.

Nicotine addiction also causes hypertension which produces feeling of anxiety. As time draws nearer for the next cigarette, the body responds with symptoms of stress and anxiety, indicating that time is approaching for another. Smoking a cigarette reduces blood pressure for a while, giving a false sensation of calm and satisfaction. However, it is only the nicotine addiction that is satisfied. Meanwhile between cigarettes the natural blood pressure will continue to rise.

Here is your anxiety problem.

There is another theory about smoking producing anxiety saying that it damages smokers’ breathing which makes people more anxious.

Smoking can also cause depression, because excitement from nicotine rises rapidly in your bloodstream when you smoke, but just as quickly falls and with it your mood swings.

World Health Organization reports 30 percent of westerners smoke daily. People with mental health problems are twice as likely to smoke as the rest of the population.

Anxiety and depression are the most common complaints and are often both present in people who smoke.

Higher percentage of young adults or women smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day are more likely to develop generalized anxiety disorder or suffer from panic attacks.

Teenagers who smoke heavily (more than one packet a week) are almost 4 times more likely to suffer from depression.

So, with your treatment for stress, anxiety or depression consider quitting smoking. Remember that anxiety and restlessness are caused by nicotine addiction, and this will disappear as the chemicals leave your body.

Just a week later after stopping smoking oxygen level in your body will be normalized and energy levels will increase making you feel better about yourself, and improving breathing, which will have a relaxing effect.

Instead of smoking why don’t you try other methods to relax? Such as nice warm baths, breathing exercises, yoga, walking outdoors, herbal teas, meditation, massage or alternative therapies.

Posted on 25 Mar 2011

Overcoming Depression

Depression effects us all
Whether you are going through depression yourself or you know someone who is. Depression can be rough. I know I went through it many of us do. Yet many Americans deny this depression and allow for self hate to begin. Depression can lead to loss of friends, ruin relationships, make us neglect family members, lose interest in things we once loved and may even cause us to become physically ill. The first step to overcoming depression is admitting that you have depression and that you are not alone. One in every 15 Americans experiences depression at some point in their lives. A shocking number that equals around 17.5 million Americans. So please do not be afraid to admit that you have it. It is the first step in anything to admit you have a problem.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”Confucius

After admitting that you have depression and seeking to overcome it you will join the ranks of Jim Carrey, Princess Diana, Harrison Ford, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, George Washington, Albert Einstein, and countless others who have all faced and overcame depression.

So let’s get started on the journey against depression.

Common symptoms of depression

-Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
-Loss of interest or pleasure in once loved activities
-Lowered sex drive
Insomnia or excessive sleeping
-High weight gain or weight loss
-Change in eating habits(Increase or decrease)
-Slowed movements and thoughts
-Decreased concentration
-Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy – even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
-Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
-Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
-Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
-Crying spells for no apparent reason
-Unexplained physical problems

Depression quotes

In moments of discouragement, defeat, or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind-in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved.
Hgh Mexico
No man is so poor as not to have many of these small candles. When they are lighted, darkness goes away-and a touch of wonder remains.”

— “These Small Candles”… tombstone inscription in Britain
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
— Helen Keller
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
–George Eliott

Posted on 12 Feb 2011

Things To Do When You’re Depressed

There are some basic things to do when your depressed that can really help deal with common depression that many people face each day. Assuming that you’re not dealing with clinical depression or another type of depression that demands medical or mental health attention, making some simple choices to add certain things to your life, when you become blue or down feeling, can really help to lift depression and minimize its grip on your psyche. Gathering strength of will to make some lifestyle changes may be the single more difficult thing to do. However, if you decide to take action regarding things to do when your depressed, you will be surprised at how you actually feel almost immediately.

Many people experience some form of depression at some point or other in their lives, whether due to a minor personal setback or serious personal loss. While some people should seek mental health attention if they experience deep depression for over two weeks, many can deal with common depression by making some good personal choices. The only extra help you may really need is some support from friends or family, who encourage you or provide accountability for your new choices.

Here are some basic things to do when your depressed:

Exercise and Eat Well

Usually when someone is down or depressed, eating right and exercising are the last things they actually like doing. However, these two things may be the most important first things to do in beginning to lift the suffocating depression in your life. Make a choice to engage in moderate exercise at least 4 days a week for 20 minutes a day, more if possible. Also, plan a menu every week that includes healthy foods free from sugar, processed foods and caffeine. Fresh produce and lean meats like turkey and salmon are great for helping a person feel better.

Choose a New Activity

It’s typical for people who feel depressed to withdraw from others, however, this is the time that you should choose to interact with others. Choosing a new hobby that involves other people is a great way to naturally socialize. Join a class, get involved in a sport or join a travel club. You’ll be surprised at how this will lift your spirits.

Choose to Think of Others

Depressed people tend to stare at their own problems constantly and can lose touch with the bigger picture in life. Stepping outside of your personal issues and helping someone else can be an invigorating experience, not mention how it can affect another person. Make a point to offer a random act of kindness to someone you work with, a family member, a stranger or a friend. It can be as simple as a pat on the back, a card sent or taking a meal to your next door neighbor. Do something intentional for at least one person, once a day for a solid month. You will find that your despondency will begin to lift, while making these choices about things to do when your depressed.

Posted on 31 Jan 2011

Extreme Depression

Extreme depression is also known as major depression, clinical depression, unipolar depression, and major depressive disorder. Individuals who suffer from this type of depression have a persistent feeling of sadness. There is no more pleasure in activities that were at one time pleasurable. Individuals who suffer from extreme depression can also have many different mental and physical problems. Loss of appetite, sleeping patterns change, trouble concentrating, memory issues, aches and pains, a sense of worthlessness, and usually they feel their situation is helpless and cannot be fixed. Trying to snap out of it proves to be impossible and can feel like they are falling into a dark deep hole with nothing to hold on to.

Extreme depression can affect anyone at any age but is most prominent in individuals who are between the ages of 25 and 44. It can last anywhere from six months to nine months on average and if left untreated it sometimes will disappear by itself.

Recent studies have shown that there is strong biological rather than psychological issues that play a bigger part in extreme depression. Interestingly enough it has been shown that stress only plays a part in the first two episodes of extreme depression. After that all subsequent episodes seem to take a life of their own and does not need stress to get it going. It is obvious that genetics and temperament are what play a major role at this point. Any treatment plan should include one that deals with genetics, temperament, and stress.

For a diagnosis of depression at least five of the symptoms listed below need to be present during a two week period. At least one symptom must be either a depressed mood or a loss of interest in pleasurable activities.

  • Be in a depressed mood on most days which can be noticeable by the individual or by others. In children or young adults there can be irritable moods.
  • A loss of interest in pleasurable activities. This can be with all or most activities almost everyday which can be noticed by the individual or others.
  • Marked changes in weight where there is a loss of weight when there has been no diet plan is being followed or there can be weight gains.
  • There may be a decrease or increase in appetite on most days.
  • A change in sleeping patterns. Having trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively almost everyday.
  • There can be psychomotor agitation or retardation on most days
  • Loss of energy or fatigue on most days
  • A feeling of worthlessness or excessive guilt when there is nothing to feel guilty about on most days
  • Unable to focus or concentrate on most days.
  • Fixed thoughts on dying and thought of suicide without an actual plan, having a specific plan of suicide or an actual suicide attempt.

If the symptoms are not attributable to any existing physical illness then there is a good chance extreme depression may be what is wrong. Seeking treatment with a professional such as a physician mental health professional will help get through this type of depression successfully.