Friday, June 7, 2013

Coping With Depression - Antidepressants, Serotonin, Exercise, Sleep and Drinking Tea

Are antidepressant drugs better than counseling or psychotherapy at helping people with clinical depression? Usually it is better to combine medicines and psychotherapy for the best results. Keep in mind that finding the right therapy is often a process of trial and error. Be patient, do not give up and keep searching.

Where do we get our information concerning depression treatments from? The usual places are our doctors, therapists, the mass media or the internet. Sometimes it is a combination of all these sources that defines our current view of treatment options. Keep in mind that the mass media is either biased or it is manipulated by interest groups and companies that wants to keep the image of their products and public relations as high as possible. Getting to the heart of the matter or sniffing out the truth is quite difficult in such an environment. Information concerning depression treatments and medications that are less than flattering to doctors or pharmaceutical companies do not get the mainstream exposure it deserves.

Antidepressants help to control or influence the way the brain uses serotonin, the chemical that is very important in regulating your moods. It is given off by brain cells in response to other signals traveling through the brain. This substance is very important for brain signals since it helps the messages to travel from cell to cell. Cells also absorb any unused serotonin. Antidepressants basically interfere with this absorption process which keeps more serotonin between cells. When there is enough serotonin available, you should feel calm and not anxious or depressed.

Medication is not the only option open to you. Other natural treatments for depressive disorder may include B-complex supplements and omega-3 fatty acids. A hyperactive or under active thyroid may also cause depressive moods.

Antidepressant medication can cause dryness in your mouth. This may lead to mouth problems such as tooth cavities and yeast infections. It is important to keep your mouth wet. Try chewing gum or rinsing your mouth regularly.

Exercise is also a good way to stop depression from taking root in your life. People who do no exercise are more likely to develop a mood disorder than people who exercise regularly. Also, keep doing exercises since abruptly quitting an exercise routine for a few weeks may lead you to experience fatigue, irritability and a worsening mood.

It is also important to get enough sleep, but not too much. Persons who suffer from depression may either experience insomnia or hypersomnia. So how many hours of sleep should we get each night? I recently read about a study which concluded that 6 to 7 hours per night is the best. Insomnia is very uncomfortable, but it is better than taking sleeping pills where your health is concerned.

Some research are suggesting that drinking a lot of ordinary black or green tea may be a good thing. Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine which can positively influence the chemical mixture in the brain to reduce stressful feelings. It may also increase the levels of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid and a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that alters the mood in a relaxing way. If you ever needed a reason to drink five cups of tea per day, this is it. Remember that it is usually better to drink it without any milk. It is much more traditional as well, especially when drinking green tea.

This article has touched upon more than one subject concerning depressive disorder, but it may give you a few ideas you can pursue further. It is good to learn about developments and other treatments in the area of coping with depression disorders.

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