Saturday, August 17, 2013

Realizing a Breakup-Induced Depression

Right after your breakup is the perfect time for you to brush up on your depression detection skills. Feeling sad is normal, but this emotion may linger longer than you expect, can transform to depression, and can take a toll on your mental health and physical well-being if you're not vigilant. How you can detect and cope with depression are covered in this guide. Read on for a better-informed, healthier you:


After a breakup, you are likely to feel extremely sad, frustrated and hopeless. Feeling these emotions is normal, but when you experience each feeling to the point that it interferes with your daily routine, you are already well in the clutches of depression. In most cases, you will experience a loss of appetite, insomnia and a zero social life. With depression, you start viewing your life and the activities you must do with much difficulty. All you really obsess about is the relationship you have just lost.


Depression is no silent visitor. In fact, if you're vigilant, you can easily spot and sniff the condition based on the following signs:

1. You feel a general sense of hopelessness. Nothing is going the way you planned. Bad luck seems to follow you.

2. Unstable sleep patterns describe your rest hours. When you're not sleeping like a log, you sleep like a very alert sentry. You hate to toss and turn, but its what you do all night.

3. Concentration is often a sign that you are experiencing depression. You may have difficulty working, driving, making important decisions, or even remembering basic things ? this can wreck havoc on your professional and personal life.

4. Many people who get depressed may feel very nervous. In some instances, a loss of energy may be experienced.

5. Your nutrition suffers due to changes in appetite. When depression sinks in, you find yourself wanting to eat either more food or less food. Eating a balanced diet ceases to become a main concern for you.

What can you do?

Breakups can be extremely devastating. Equipped with the information given in the guide, you can now tell whether you are safe from the path of depression or heading straight to the hole. This isn't all you can do though. If you suspect you are prone to depression, seek a support system right away.

A few outsiders can help you cope with depression so you don't have to undergo the entire ordeal alone. Seek the company and comfort of family members and friends, or approach professionals to enroll you in a recovery program enriched with great advice and coping strategies.

Online Depression Screening Test

Our life is full of good and bad times, happy and sad memories, disappointments and satisfactions. Being rational, we all go through different feelings at some point in our lives. You may be disappointed today because your partner forgot your anniversary, tomorrow you may get satisfied because your partner take you to a Caribbean holiday to make up with you. It is quite normal actually to experience different emotions as long as you have reasons. But once you constantly feel "down" for more than a few weeks and that particular state has been keeping you away from your usual activity, that's another story.

If you have been, for some reason, constantly feeling down and troubled, you may be experiencing more than just the blues. What you're suffering from can be a serious medical illness, called clinical depression that requires immediate care and attention to prevent it from getting worse. Though this condition is treatable, if not cured immediately can lead to something serious, so serious that it can cost the life of the depressed person.

Depression can be the result of significant loss, illogical expectations, negative thinking, disappointments, and many others. The possible symptoms can be a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness and helplessness, chronic tiredness, too much or too little or broken sleep, loss of interest on once loved activities, loss of appetite or overeating resulting to weight loss or gain. If you think you have these symptoms, you can either go see a doctor, or try online depression screening.

The online depression screening result does not and will not try to substitute the expert opinions of doctors who know more about depression. Rather, the intention of the online depression screening test is just to establish a preliminary test for depressive symptoms. The reason why it is better if you try depression screening first before going to a doctor is to make check if you have symptoms that can lead to depressive condition. Remember that some of the symptoms of depression are also normally felt with people without the condition. The difference is that with depression, the degree and frequency of feeling down are great.

Depression can lead to suicide on some people who can't seem to overcome the condition. Therefore, it's good to be aware of the symptoms and determine if your feeling is normal or not anymore. One way to find out, besides going to a doctor, is take the online depression screening test. You will be asked to answer several questions, after that you submit your answers and in just seconds later you can get the result. The result is actually your score with corresponding diagnosis. Most of the websites that offer online depression test, such as or, have pretty much the same format.

If you think you are feeling a little down, you try the depression screening test over the internet. You can take the test as often as you like free of charge. That's right, it is for free. Just answer as honestly as possible the questions and the result will be close to real. But then again, see your doctor for a more accurate diagnose whether or not you have depressive condition.

Bipolar Disorder Depression - Everything You Need to Know

Bipolar disorder,which is at times referred as manic depression, is a condition that causes serious varying moods, thinking, behavior and energy. Unlike the normal mood swings, those caused by bipolar are so severe that they end up interfering with an individual's normal functioning. During one of the manic episodes a sufferer will spend abnormal high amounts of money, quit school or job impulsively or even have irregular and abnormal sleeping habits. A depressive episode will make the sufferer to have long sleeping tendencies, have feelings of self pity, hopelessness and self-loathing.

What causes bipolar is not quite clear but the condition is in many occasions hereditary and mostly, the first symptoms will start showing in early adulthood or in the teenage years. Because the symptoms exhibited by bipolar disorder are similar with those exhibited by other mental and depressive conditions, a good number of people with the condition are either overlooked completely or diagnosed wrongly making them suffer unnecessary. Even then, if proper medications and treatment is administered, a sufferer can comfortably lead a normal productive life.

A bipolar disorder depression is an episode that makes a sufferer have feelings of self pity, guilty, worthlessness, hopelessness and at times nurse suicidal thoughts. Some time back, this depression was categorized as any other regular depression; research has started showing that there are a lot of differences between normal depression and depression caused by bipolar disorder especially with the kind of medications offered for the two. A normal depression can be treated with use of anti-depressants but studies show that if a bipolar case is treated with anti-depressants, then the condition might worsen further leading to triggering of advanced mania episodes and at times interfering with other drugs used for mood stabilizing.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder depression:

  • irritability

  • mental and physical sluggishness

  • low levels of energy and feeling unusual tired

  • reduced interest in pleasure

  • alteration in weight and appetite

  • memory and concentration problems

  • nursing suicidal thoughts

  • feeling empty, sad and hopeless

Although normal depression will have similar symptoms like those exhibited by bipolar disorder, some symptoms are more pronounced in bipolar. For instance, a bipolar sufferer will exhibit irritability, restlessness, mood swings that cannot be predicted and guilt more than normal depression. Again, sufferers of bipolar depression sleep more often, speak little and slowly and move a lot less. To top it all, a sufferer may develop psychotic which is a condition that makes one to completely lose touch with reality and experience disability in social and work functioning.

Can an Untreated Depression Lead to Madness?

Depression is a very common illness or mental disorder. So many people all over the world suffer from depression every year. Depression affects you in many ways, sadness, sleeping difficulties, weight loss, loss of energy and social withdrawal are some of the common symptoms of depression. Depression can be mild to severe depending upon the symptoms. Proper treatment is required to get rid of depression, as untreated depression may cause adverse affects. Here are some of the effects:

1. Problems in your routine work at home or at your work place, due to which you may loose your job.
2. It can spoil your relationship with your loved ones, the divorce rate due to depression are becoming high.
3. Causes physical problems, such as severe pain in the stomach and headache.
4. Sleep deprivation or sleeping disorder Insomnia, as a result of which sufferer experiences loss of energy all most entire day, irritation, difficulty in concentration, early waking ups, disrupted sleep, difficulty getting off to sleep etc.
5. Alcohol and drugs abuse is also very common, the effects of alcohol and drugs are, Regular fights at home, memory loss, and the most dangerous one is severity of depression.
6. Suicidal attempts are the reason of untreated depression, suicides have been reported so many times because of severity of depression, and it has all the chances to become severe with the passage of time.
7. Causes coping up with health diseases, such as heart diseases, stroke etc. because of depression patients do not follow the proper healing procedure as a result of which it becomes deadly dangerous to cope up with health illness. Death of heart patients in few months after heart attack has been noticed.

Untreated depression may lead to madness. Manic depression or clinical or chronic depression is the most dangerous types of depression. If the proper treatment is not sought or left untreated it may lead to madness. It is very important to seek help from the specialists when you notice you or someone in your family or friends is suffering from manic depression. Manic depression commonly exhibit symptoms; severe Insomnia, increased energy, unacceptable social behavior, inability to take wise decisions, Fast speech with high volume, racing thoughts, Increased sexual desire, offensive etc.

If you find any of the above symptoms you need to be alert and seek help, if you ignore these symptoms, these symptoms will become more severe and will put you in the state of madness. Manic depression is very much treatable if proper treatment technique is followed. Numbers of treatment methods are available to for depression such as Psychotherapy, medication, Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) etc. Psychotherapy methods are the best methods to nullify manic depression. Anther very good treatment method is ECT it is most trustable treatment method to get respite from depression. Consult with your family doctor or specialist for the proper treatment plan.

Getting A Handle on Herpes - Uplifting, Empowering, and Informative

Getting a Handle on Herpes, by P.A. Arnold is a new eBook publication that is nothing short of informative, unique, and at times painfully humorous. Anyone who has contracted Herpes Simplex I or II will find the information in this book enlightening and extremely helpful.

Arnold discusses viruses early in the book, and then gets into the meat of her information. According to the author, the herpes virus is one that the author believes can be combated and controlled in several ways, those being the right diet (meaning food choices) supplements to build the immune system and combat the virus, and by developing psychological toughness.

Arnold shines in her knowledge of nutrition, and readers who aren't terribly savvy about the impact of food other than eating and enjoying every bite, will find this section extremely informative and helpful. What gives an incredible amount of credence to what Arnold says is that she quotes from highly reliable resources and references others. The author doesn't state that food affects herpes as a fact, but by the time one reads about alkaline versus acidic foods, the debate over lysine versus arginine in foods, and the effects of wheat consumption on a person's health, a reader will have a lot to think about. As Arnold asks, if a person who has herpes found out that not by not eating bagels, drinking beer, or splurging on chocolate they could stop their outbreaks, wouldn't they be happy to give those things up? Arnold quotes Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine who advised: Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine by thy food. She obviously wholeheartedly agrees with Hippocrates' sage advice. The reader will also, by the time they finish with this section.

Arnold also discusses supplements as a way of controlling herpes outbreaks, especially vitamin C, and she also includes a brief discussion of essential nutrients, those nutrients that are not made by the body but must come from one's diet. That Arnold favors vitamin C as an antidote for herpes is obvious when she references work by Linus Pauling, and Thomas Levy, now considered by many in this country to be the guru of vitamin C. She herself admits to taking eight grams of vitamin C a day, four in the morning and four before bed. She says she has been herpes free since she began this regimen. Coincidence? The panacea effect? Arnold admits anything is possible and concedes that she could have another outbreak at some time, but she firmly believes that vitamin C has made a dramatic impact on suppressing the virus.

One of the most interesting topics Arnold discusses is that the idea that herpes outbreaks are as much psychologically induced as physically induced. Readers will wish her discussion of the psychological aspects of herpes was longer because it is so fascinating. She says, "... what I ultimately discovered was that my worst enemy was not the virus, it was myself."

Getting a Handle on Herpes is loaded with information, facts, and stories. Readers will find this short book to be not only helpful, but very uplifting. It seems certain that people with herpes who read this book will walk away feeling much better about themselves, more in control, and absolutely empowered to take command of the virus.

It is unfortunate the book will not appear in print at this time. This is a book one will want to underline, highlight, and follow up some of the references and resources. Very highly recommended.

Depression and Anti Depressants - Do The Drugs Really Work?

If you're suffering from depression you may think about taking some medication to help you cope. Before you decide if this is the right option for you there are a few things you need to know first about Depression and antidepressants. Read on to find out more...

  • Depression and Anti Depressants fact 1 The facts: Before you think about taking any form of antidepressant, there are a few thing you need to know. Antidepressants are not a cure, and recent tests now suggest that drugs may not even work. Many of the drugs available have side effects that can have a major affect on your life. A common side effects is increased appetite and weight gain. Antidepressants may also effect your libido, resulting in a loss of sex drive. This commonly affects relationships and can add to the strain already caused by depression.

  • Depression and Anti Depressants fact 2 - Popular drugs and how they work: Type 1: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) more commonly known as Prozac or Seroxat. These are the most widely distributed drugs and work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain by not allowing it to be reused, which diminishes depressed feelings. Type 2: Tricyclics more commonly know as Tryptizol. These are the second most common type of antidepressants and work in a very similar way. They are not recommended for those with heart or liver problems. Type 3: Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MOAIs) more commonly know as Nardil and Marplan. These were some of the first antidepressants develop and have been available since the 1950's. They are now less widely used because of the side effects they cause such as high blood pressure.

  • Depression and Anti Depressants fact 3 Questions to ask your doctor: If your doctor prescribes antidepressants, be sure you ask the following questions - Are there any side effects associated with this drug? Will I become addicted to this drug? How long will I have to take them? Will they work straight away?

  • Depression and Anti Depressants fact 4 coming off medication: It can be difficult to stop taking antidepressants, the first thing you need to do is consult your doctor. You may think it's the right time, but your doctor may not. If you and your doctor decide it is the right time then be sure to do it slowly and gradually reduce your dosage. Never ever go cold turkey - you could wind up back at square one.

  • Depression and Anti Depressants fact 5 the natural approach: Two of the best natural ways to improve your mood are exercise and sunshine. Take some gentle exercise in the sun each day. Go for a walk, ride your bike or do some gardening, it will all help.

For more information on depression and anti depressants click on the links below.

Alcohol's Effects in the Brain

Alcohol can make you laugh or it can make you cry, it can make you lively or make you sleepy, it can boost your confidence or make you act the fool. How can alcohol have all these different effects on people? If we want to know how alcohol affects our moods and behaviors we must first understand a bit about how the brain works.

The human brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells (also known as neurons). Everything that we think, feel or do is the result of electrical signals passing back and forth between neurons. These electrical signals require the help of chemicals called neurotransmitters in order to pass from neuron to neuron. Scientists have identified around 60 different neurotransmitters so far and tell us that there are probably many more yet to be identified.

Different neurotransmitters have different effects in the brain. For example, serotonin is connected with mood. People suffering from clinical depression tend to have a shortage of serotonin in their brains, and medications like Prozac can help to alleviate depression by increasing the availability of serotonin in the brain. Endorphins are a class of neurotransmitters which act as the brain's natural painkillers.

Electrical signals in the brain are transmitted in the following manner: The neuron which is sending the electrical signal releases a neurotransmitter, and the neuron which is receiving the electrical signal accepts the neurotransmitter at a site which is called a receptor. When the neurotransmitter from the first neuron chemically binds to the receptor of the second neuron the electrical signal is transmitted. Neurotransmitters and receptors work like locks and keys: there is at least one different receptor for each different neurotransmitter. For example, an endorphin receptor can only be triggered by and endorphin, a serotonin receptor can only be triggered by serotonin, and so on. Different neurons have different receptors. Some neurons will only be triggered by serotonin, some only by an endorphin, and so on for all the different neurotransmitters.

Okay--now what does all of this have to do with alcohol?

Every mood altering substance from heroin to coffee has an effect on the neurotransmitter system of the brain. Some psychoactive drugs affect only one specific neurotransmitter system, whereas others affect many. Morphine, for example, mimics the neurotransmitter beta-endorphin--a natural painkiller found in the brain. Morphine is shaped like beta-endorphin and binds to the beta-endorphin receptors thus acting as a painkiller and also giving rise to feelings of pleasure. Caffeine is shaped like Adenosine and acts on the adenosine receptors. Alcohol on the other hand affects many different neurotransmitters, not just one, Why is this?

Morphine and caffeine are both large molecules. Neurotransmitters are also large molecules. Morphine and caffeine have the effects which they do because of their similarity in shape to neurotransmitters which occur naturally in the brain. Alcohol on the other hand is a quite small molecule. Alcohol does not mimic a neurotransmitter. So then how does alcohol affect neurotransmitters?

Alcohol is a fat soluble molecule. Fats (called lipids) are a major component of all cell membranes, including the cell membranes of neurons. Alcohol enters the cell membranes of neurons and changes their properties. Receptors are located on cell membranes and this means that receptor properties are altered by the presence of alcohol. Cell membranes also control the release of neurotransmitters and this means that the release of neurotransmitters is also affected by the presence of alcohol.

The effects of alcohol on receptors and neurotransmitters have been well documented for several neurotransmitters and their corresponding receptors. These effects are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Alcohol's Effect on Neurotransmitters and Receptors

  • Glutamate

    • Alcohol inhibits glutamate receptor function

    • This causes muscular relaxation, discoordination, slurred speech, staggering, memory disruption, and blackouts

    • Ether and chloroform have similar effects on the glutamate system

  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)

    • Alcohol enhances GABA receptor function

    • This causes feelings of calm, anxiety-reduction and sleep

    • Valium has a similar effect on the GABA system

  • Dopamine

    • Alcohol raises dopamine levels

    • This leads to excitement and stimulation

    • Cocaine and amphetamine have similar effects on the dopamine system

  • Endorphins

    • Alcohol raises endorphin levels

    • This kills pain and leads to an endorphin "high"

    • Morphine and heroin have similar effects on the endorphin system

Drugs like morphine or cocaine have been referred to as "chemical scalpels" because of their very precise effects on just one neurotransmitter system. Alcohol on the other hand is much more like a chemical hand grenade in that it affects just about all parts of the brain and all neurotransmitter systems. Alcohol affects all these systems at the same time. When people drink alcohol they become lively and excited because alcohol raises dopamine levels just as cocaine does, although alcohol does not raise dopamine levels anywhere near as much as cocaine does. When people drink alcohol they feel calm and lose their anxieties because alcohol makes the GABA receptors function more efficiently just like valium does. The reason that people tend to fall asleep after drinking alcohol or taking valium is also due to this effect on the GABA receptor. And alcohol has a painkilling effect like morphine and produces a high similar to morphine because it causes a release of endorphins into the brain thus raising the endorphin levels. (Note that the effect of morphine is different from alcohol in its mechanism--morphine imitates endorphins and binds to endorphin receptors whereas alcohol increases the amounts of the endorphins in the brain.) Finally we come to glutamate. Alcohol greatly inhibits the functioning of the glutamate receptor. Glutamate is responsible for the formation of new memories as well as for muscular coordination. It is alcohol's effect on the glutamate receptor which leads to slurred speech, and staggering in people who have consumed alcohol, as well as the inability to remember what one did that night when the morning after comes. Perhaps the only positive effect of this effect on the glutamate receptor is a feeling of muscular relaxation. Many negative effects of alcohol such as automobile fatalities due to drunk driving are the result of the loss of coordination caused by alcohol's effect on the glutamate receptor. Even small amounts of alcohol have a major impact on coordination--so never, never drink and drive.

You have probably observed that alcohol seems to have different effects on different people. Some people quickly become sleepy after drinking just a little alcohol whereas others become animated and want to just go, go, go. Research on mice suggests that this difference is genetic. Scientists have been able to breed strains of mice which quickly go to sleep after ingesting alcohol. They have also been able to breed strains of mice which become very active after ingesting alcohol. This strongly suggests that genetics determines which neurotransmitter system is most strongly affected by alcohol in which individual. Individuals who become sleepy soon after drinking probably have their GABA system more strongly affected by alcohol. And individuals who become lively and excited after drink probably have their dopamine system most strongly affected.

The effects of alcohol on the brain do not end when alcohol is completely metabolized and out of the system--what happens next is something called neurotransmitter rebound. This rebound effect is most easily illustrated if we look at what happens to many people when they use a drink or two as a sleep aid. These people often tend to wake up in the middle of the night and find themselves unable to fall back asleep. What is happening is this--alcohol has enhanced the functioning of the GABA system and has made these people feel relaxed and sleepy. The entire time that alcohol is present the GABA system is struggling to overcome the effects of alcohol and return to normal functioning. When all the alcohol is finally out of the body, the GABA system overshoots the mark and leaves people feeling restless and wide awake. This is why alcohol is not a good sleep aid. Large quantities of alcohol can keep a person asleep longer, but drinking large quantities of alcohol has its own negative effects. Neurotransmitter rebound seems also to be implicated in symptoms of hangovers such as hyper-sensitivity to light and in alcohol withdrawal syndrome giving rise to feelings of anxiety and panic and other symptoms as well.

Some medications used to treat alcohol abuse such as campral and naltrexone work by affecting the neurotransmitter systems. Naltrexone (also called revia) is an opioid receptor antagonist. Naltrexone works by binding to the endorphin receptors (which are sometimes also called opioid receptors) and blocking them off so that opiates cannot bind to these receptors. Unlike opiates or endorphins naltrexone has no painkilling effects and no pleasurable effects. Naltrexone simply blocks off the endorphin receptors so that neither opiates nor endorphins can have their painkilling or pleasurable effects. Naltrexone is highly effective with people who use opiates such as morphine or heroin since these drugs have no effect at all when the receptors are blocked by naltrexone. Naltrexone has some effect in helping people to abstain from alcohol or to moderate their use, however it is not as effective with alcohol as with opiates because alcohol affects many different neurotransmitters. The downside of naltrexone is that the body's natural painkillers, the endorphins, are unable to do their job when it is present. People taking naltrexone are advised to wear medic-alert bracelets so that doctors will know that painkillers are ineffective on these people.

Campral (also known as acamprosate) is a glutamate receptor modulator. Campral helps eliminate cravings for alcohol in long term heavy drinkers. It is hypothesized that long term heavy drinking upsets the glutamate neurotransmitter system and that campral helps to restore this to normal.

No discussion of alcohol and the brain would be complete without a mention of possible brain damage caused by alcohol abuse. It is likely that we have all heard that drinking kills brain cells. However, does scientific evidence bear out this common folk saying? A 1993 study by Jensen and Pakkenberg published in Lancet titled "Do alcoholics drink their neurons away?" compared the brains of alcoholics to the brains of non-alcoholics. This study found that the white matter of the brains of alcoholics was significantly depleted. The gray matter, however, was the same in both alcoholics and non-alcoholics. This is interesting since it is the gray matter that does the thinking. The gray matter has been compared to a network of computers, and the white matter to the cables linking them together. The brain does not produce new gray matter to replace that which is lost. The brain can, however, produce new white matter to replace white matter which has been lost. The researchers concluded that loss of white matter do to heavy drinking may possibly not constitute irreparable damage.

There is, however, a form of irreparable brain damage which can be caused by long term heavy drinking. This is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, also known as "wet brain". Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndromeis not caused by a loss of brain cells--it is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine). Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome can have several causes including extreme malnutrition, prolonged periods of vomiting due to morning sickness or an eating disorder, kidney dialysis, stomach stapling, or alcohol abuse. The vast majority of cases of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome which occur in the United States are caused by severe, long-term, heavy drinking. Alcohol can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome because it blocks the absorption of thiamine. Symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome include amnesia, inability to form new memories, confusion, hallucinations, and confabulation. Some of the more severe symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome can be treated with thiamine, however in most cases many of the symptoms persist for a lifetime.

Have scientists discovered everything that there is to know about alcohol's effects on the brain? It seems that this is clearly not the case. Scientists believe that alcohol likely affects many more neurotransmitters than the four discussed in this article. There is constant and ongoing research to discover how alcohol might affect other neurotransmitters. The future is likely to bring us much new knowledge about alcohol and the brain.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tips to Overcome Depression

An event can create doubt, feelings of loneliness, and a lack of self worth. Many of the thoughts we have are self defeating. To no fault of our own, we have been conditioned to assume the worst, imagine something bad will happen, and create fearful thoughts that appear real. It took me a long while to get over my depression and self doubt.

So what caused my depression? Well, one day at football practice, I was playing corner back defending against my little brother. The pass was thrown in my direction. While in the process of running towards the ball, I stepped in a pot hole with my right leg and continued to jump up to knock the ball down. Subsequently, I came down on my right leg and heard a snap, crackle, and pop, and my football career was over. I had several surgeries on my knee, and it was never the same again.

I was 17 when I threw out my knee. It took a lot out of me. I was going into my freshman year in college. My entire life, I considered football as a way to a better lifestyle. I remember telling my coach that "I wanted to die." My self esteem was crushed. I did not believe in myself anymore. The least little bit of pressure or challenge was too much for me. My support system was gone. Everyone, across the board, stopped encouraging me. I had no purpose, no drive, no mission, no goals.

However, you can overcome depression. I finally decided to rebuild my confidence ten years later. I started having self talks. I made the mirror my very best friend. While standing in front of the mirror, I stated affirmation after affirmation. "I am a winner or something better." "I am abundant or something better." "I am smart or something better." "I am kind or something better." I remembered in Jack Canfield's best selling book, The Success Principles, he stated that you should end affirmations with the phrase "or something or someone better." In the total scheme of things, the universe may have something or someone better in store for you, and this is a way of keeping all the good coming into your life.

Whatever characteristics I wanted to have, I said it to myself in the mirror. I would visualize what success looks like to me. I would visualize what being healthy, confident, handsome, brave, abundantly wealthy, prosperous, and a best selling author looked like to me. I would imagine what my perfect weight and my perfect body looked like to me.

Instead of spending my time mulling over all the bad, I made a choice to spend my time giving thanks for what I have and all the good I have in my life, so I would receive more of it. I gave thanks in advance for things that I didn't have yet. Giving thanks in advance super charges the receiving of what you want because you are emitting the thoughts and actions of having it already. I began to give thanks for items, trips, constant checks, intimacy, wealth, love, prosperity, relationships, friends, partnerships, and corporations not yet in my possession, but on faith would come to me. I began to act as if what I wanted was already in my possession.

My smile reflected all the wonderful things of and about my life. My thoughts took on a different tone, a symbol of joy and appreciation. I began reading books about the law of attraction, about asking for what you want and getting it, and about the power of gratitude. I studied books about discovering one's purpose, and how to make a living doing what you are passionate about.

My entire life changed. I learned that I like to teach, empower, and inspire others to follow their dreams and goals. I began to see the world through different eyes. I began to see all the possibilities as opposed to all the negatives. My focus was on receiving all the good in my life. That's it.

I continue to spend time thinking about what I want. I made writing and reciting positive affirmations apart of my daily life. I decided to bombard my subconscious mind with positive thought provoking books and affirmations. I set aside time to create the best me. Ultimately, we all want to be happy. So take the time to think about being happy in every aspect. Find a mentor, read a book, ask a question of someone who can help you attain your goals. Follow the steps to success provided by someone that's already doing what you want to do.

How to Relieve Depression Naturally

Depression is a mental illness that does not only occur in people belonging to a certain age group. Children, teenagers, adults - both men and women - have the same probability of getting depressed; some though have a higher probability due to physical, emotional or financial reasons.

Depression can affect our mood, thought-process, diet, sleep, energy level and our decision making capabilities. Depression may be a condition that is beyond one's control, but effective treatment of depression is very important to eradicate this illness from one's life.

Among various anti-depressant medicines and over-the-counter drugs, natural remedies are gaining popularity day by day. Although anti-depressant drugs, specially the synthetic ones, may have serious side effects, yet natural and organic treatments should always be preferred as they are the ones with no or minimal side effects.

Depression may result from the deficiency of some essential vitamins and minerals. Therefore, including vitamins and minerals specially folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin B12, calcium and magnesium help lowering depression to a great extent. Include amino acids to your diet to cure depression as they help a lot in lifting our mood.

Including herbal products specially herbal tea and fresh fruit and vegetable may help in rejuvenating one's mood. Studies now suggest that chocolates not only help us in overcoming depression, it also gives a happy feeling to the body.

Physical activities including exercise, psychotherapy, acupuncture, morning walks, yoga, dance and meditation can help overcome depression.

Aromatherapy also works well in treating mild depression and keeping it at bay. Massages, both facial as well as body, help us relax.

Depression can also result from an imbalance of hormones, specially progesterone in women. Supplements that have flax seed oil, virtex berry, red clover, etc help in overcoming depression caused by hormonal imbalance.

Major Depressive Disorder - More Than Just the Blues

Major depressive disorder is a serious mental illness that's characterized by persistent blue moods, low self-esteem, and a lack of pleasure in things you've always enjoyed. If you suffer from this illness, you may have trouble doing everyday things and feel that life isn't worth living.

We all get the blues sometimes, but major depressive disorder is the blues on a whole other level. This is when it's so bad you need to see a doctor. The common symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  • A persistently low mood that lasts for days or weeks

  • Lack of interest in all of the things you enjoy doing

  • Insomnia, oversleeping or other sleep disorders

  • Lack of appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Thoughts of death and suicide

  • In severe cases hallucinations, delusions and other symptoms of psychosis

What Causes Depression?

There is no one cause that's been identified. It's generally agreed that there are genetic, biological and environmental factors at play. Studies show that people with family members who suffer from depressive disorder are more likely to suffer from the condition as well. It's also been shown that abnormal brain chemistry is a factor. Traumatic life events can also cause depression, although it's not clear whether these events simply trigger a tendency that's already there.

Treating Major Depressive Disorder

If you suffer from blues that just won't go away, the first step is to talk to your doctor. They'll determine whether or not your condition is serious. Usually, major depressive disorder is diagnosed if you've suffered from depression constantly for two weeks or longer. They'll also look for ways your depression has impacted other areas of your life negatively.

The most effective treatment is therapy. Through therapy, you learn to value yourself and enjoy the good things in life. You get back into the swing of things. You'll also learn effective coping strategies to help you deal with your low moments and stresses.

There are several different approaches used for treating depression. One is cognitive therapy, which focuses on your thought processes. The cognitive approach looks at your patterns of thinking and helps you examine them. You look at your negative self-beliefs closely and learn to recognize that they're not valid. Through changing these patterns, you learn to love yourself.

Interpersonal therapy is also often used for depression. Social isolation goes hand in hand with depression, and interpersonal therapy helps you re-learn how to relate to others. You also draw support from them and recognize that you're not alone.

There are also medical treatments that can stop the symptoms of depression. These are antidepressants and they're usually only used in severe cases where your depression is simply debilitating.

If you suffer from a low mood that won't go away, you're not alone. You may suffer from major depressive disorder. The good news is that it's fully treatable and many people just like you have gone on to live happy and productive lives.

Cognitive What? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Cure Your Anxiety Condition!

There is a permanent cure for the wide range of anxiety conditions, including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. According to the National Institute For Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders plague 40 million American adults ages 18 and older. As we mull over significance of that staggering number, let's have a look at the recommended method of treatment, one that's provided recovery for hundreds of thousands of sufferers.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually a merging of two distinct therapies, both of which trace their roots back to the 1950s and 1960s-- and their acceptance by the medical establishment to the 1970s and 1980s.

Cognitive therapy was developed during the 1960s by American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Beck originally applied his approach to matters of depression, then expanded his practice to include anxiety disorders. How it is that people interpret their daily lives and assign meaning is a process called cognition. Beck, disillusioned with traditional psychotherapeutic delving in to the subconscious, concluded that cognition, what his patients perceived, was the key to effective therapy that would lead to reliable recovery.

When developing his therapy, Beck first observed that depressed people adopt a negative perception of the world during formative years-- based on the loss of a loved one, peer rejection, criticism by authority figures, depressed attitudes present in significant others, plus a host of random negative events. Most often, this negative perception is fed and nurtured by a biased, emotional view of the world-- for example, all-or-nothing thinking, over-generalization, and selective perceptions that exclude vital, meaningful information. Cognitive therapy postulates that distortions in a person's perspectives grow into disorders. It is the job of a cognitive therapist to point out these distortions and encourage change in a sufferer's attitude.

Behavior therapy made its debut back in 1953, in the United States, in a research project headed by B.F. Skinner. In South Africa, Joseph Wolpe and his research group is credited with pioneering work. In the United Kingdom, Hans Eysenck contributed to the development of this type of therapy.

Behavior therapy relies primarily on functional analysis. Behavioral therapists has successfully been used as a treatment for intimacy problems, chronic pain, stress, anorexia, chronic distress, substance abuse, clinical depression and anxiety.

Behavior therapy is data-driven and contextual, concentrating on the environment and its context. Primarily, behavior therapy is concerned with the effect or consequence of a behavior, Behavior is viewed as statistically predictable, A person is treated as a whole, without the distractions of a mind versus body approach, but relationships, bidirectional interactions, are well taken into account.

Originally, anxiety conditions were viewed as byproducts of chemical imbalances and/or genetic predispositions. As these notions were abandoned, learned behaviors were credited as the source of most anxiety conditions. Hope for a permanent cure emerged, and, in the 1990s, cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy merged into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The common ground for these two therapies is emphasis on the "here and and now" by focusing on alleviating symptoms and replacing harmful, self-destructive behavior with beneficial beliefs and attitudes.

In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as preferred treatment for mental health difficulties such as OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder, bulimia, clinical depression, and even for the neurological condition chronic fatigue syndrome. In the United States, in spite of our obsession with pharmaceutical solutions, CBT has received acceptance within the medical establishment. Skilled, results-driven help is available for sufferers who seek it.

There you have it. The cat is out of the bag. Prescription medications? Not needed. A permanent cure for anxiety conditions? Within your grasp!

If you suffer from anxiety in any of its horrific manifestations, truly the best and most qualified person that you know is waiting for you to seek professional assistance by way of a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist. That person, always on your side, always to the rescue when you need it most, is you!

Should Post-Divorce Co-Parenting Training Be Mandatory?

When parents get divorced or separated, there is a tremendous amount of strain put on their new relationship and many times this becomes extremely difficult to handle. In turn, the focus on the children's mental and emotional health is greatly diminished. That's why it is extremely important for the parents to transform their relationship, which I call restructuring. It is imperative that parents learn how to co-parent in their new relationship, but imagine how difficult this is for a couple deciding to end their relationship together.

One parent has moved out of the family home and the children are trying to adjust to the non-custodial/custodial parent arrangement. In addition, many times children experience hostility and violence when their parents communicate creating tension in their environment and causing anxiety a child cannot verbalize. Without proper communication from the parents or outside help, many different types of behavior issues in children manifest, such as anger, insecurity, depression and anxiety. Although there is little evidence that divorce causes clinical depression in children, there is concern that divorce leaves children feeling lonelier, less protected and more stressed-filled. Often these symptoms and behaviors effect the children in school, in social situations and in the home. When the divorce or separation occurs during the child's early development, the child exhibits behaviors that indicate an attempt to control their environment, since it has been disrupted. Young children display behaviors of opposition or use inappropriate words, despite being told not to. When schools and psychologists are not made aware of the new situation or given vital information, the child ends up with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD and is sentenced to a label and medication, damaging self-esteem and causing medical side effects.

Children need to feel they have some consistency in their lives. Parents who have recently undergone or are going through a separation have to step-up and admit that they are responsible for their child's ill-behavior. The lack of understanding of their children's behavior issues is an acute result of both parents' emotional reaction to their deteriorating marriage. The children's behavior in this situation is the smoke alarm and often times the parents do not see or hear the smoke alarm because they are caught up in their own dilemma and trying to stabilize themselves after the loss of their relationship. It may be too much for them to find the professional support the family needs to preserve its basic foundation amidst the rubble. When a marriage dissolves and there are children involved no one ever gets away unscathed. This does not mean all children suffer irreparable damage, because some children develop resiliency. However, you never know until years later how this situation affects the children and this is why parents need to pay close attention to any cues, while adjusting to a new living situation. Many parents do not want to accept the pain their child is going through and are in denial. There can be tremendous feelings of guilt, bitterness, non-communication, extended family pressure, and financial strain. It is not enough to keep children, jobs and life normal while undergoing dramatic changes in the household.

As a child of divorced parents at the age of ten, I often felt worried and anxious when they were in the same room. When my father would pick us up for visitation I felt very uncomfortable because they were visibly hostile to each other and as a child it was very depressing. In addition, my own parents would talk ill of each other in front of me and this was very confusing and was a enormous burden on me. Parents don't realize how their emotions effect their children. Children also don't know how adult relationships work and are trying to manage from a child's experience and perspective. It became so stressful that as a child I would pray that one of my parents would mysteriously disappear so I didn't have to feel so bad. It's confusing for a child to witness such indifference and hostility among the parents who conceived them. As I got older, I delayed any possible committed relationship because the thought of both my parents at my wedding caused heart palpations. My sister eloped denying herself the possibility of a special celebration. This was unfortunate for those of us who wanted to be there for her, but I understood. If only there had been post-divorce counseling to address the issues that caused so much unnecessary stress in my life. As a society with almost a 75% divorce rate, it seems to me post-divorce co-parenting skills should be a goal in the stipulation. If my parents and many divorced parents with children had been strongly encouraged or even court-mandated to parenting classes, I believe the children of divorce would have an easier time in their own relationships as adults and had a more secure stress free childhood.

Dana Greco is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and family psychotherapist in NYC. She is affiliated with The Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, specializing in family systems She is a member of the Mental Health Professionals Panel for the Appellate Division of The Supreme and Family Courts in New York City. She is the author of "Please Don't Buy Me Ice cream... A child's rules for priceless parenting." Dana also works closely with a mediator, Don Desroches, during the process of separation as a family counselor.

Don has several years experience in small, medium and large size organizations negotiating and mediating. He knows communication is essential when identifying each parties' needs in order for the facilitation and mediation process to resolve to a win/win situation. For many years, Don has helped people come to the realization that mediation instead of litigation is a much more reasonable route. He has saved clients thousands of dollars in legal fees, by reducing the emotional strain and increasing their ability to communicate amicably for future interactions.

Why Financial Crisis is a Good Thing Or How to Thrive in the Gloom and Doom

October 7th, 2008 Dow Jones took a dive by a whopping 508 points. Over the past three months global markets were hit by an $8.1 trillion loss in value. Banks fail one after another, panic in the Wall Street... That's what already came to be known as the biggest economy meltdown since the Great Depression.

The helter-skelter of the stock-exchange swiftly resonates everywhere. With media fuelling the buzz you need to have a steel nerve or live deep in the forest not to be concerned with the crisis thing. The home-grown economic prophets loudly predict 'the end of the world as we know it'.
The last thing you'd want to do in times like that is start a business, right? - Not quite.
Great Depression Creates Great Opportunities

History knows a lot of cases when economic meltdowns created opportunities for new ventures and bold startups as well as remarkably profitable marketing investments. The Great Depression turned out the golden ticket for hundreds of businesses. Disney, Procter & Gamble, Camel and Chevrolet, to name a few, were among the companies that bloomed and thrived while others were desperately fighting for survival. They saw an opportunity and seized the moment. They were advertising when others cut down marketing budgets. They offered new products when others thought no one could afford to buy. They stayed calm in the across-the-board market mess and they ended up outstandingly victorious.

What does it have to do with you? Everything. The ongoing crisis is your chance to start a new venture, grow your business and make money even when the economy seems to go wild. And the best place to do this is online. Against the background of economic downturn the prospects of the Internet market look especially promising.

Why Online Business is Recession-Proof

Although the cyberspace is tightly tied to the real-world economy, the negative market trends seem to turn out the positive way online. Both retail customers and investors seeking ways to safeguard their capitals end-up putting their money online. Here's the proof that Internet market is here to stay no matter what goes on offline.

* Shoppers go online

In every recession it is the low-to-middle class who take the biggest blow. When big companies go bankrupt it is the regular workers who suffer most. Off course CEOs and investors lose monstrous sums but at least they don't have to worry about how to feed the family.

In times like that people do their best to tighten the belts and cut the expenses. We go hunting for bargains and the first place to look at is the Internet. The reasons are obvious: you can compare prices without leaving the house; you don't have to waste time and money on the gas running around the shops and you can really buy cheaper over the Internet.

Offer the best price and people will buy. Make a discount on something they could do without but would rather own, and people will buy. What's even more important, even after the economy goes stable, your customers will stick with you. Read on to learn how to pick the right product and get a discount for it.

* Companies Invest in Online Advertising

However slow the economy is a business needs to invest into advertising if it wants to stay afloat. Under the tight budget ROI (Return on Investment) becomes the focal point. The Internet offers lots of measuring instruments other media lack. Computer technology allows tracking the money you earn from each banner or text ad up to the last cent. Therefore businesses cut down or completely abandon the press, and TV, but they'll never give up on SEO, contextual or banner ads.

Outsell Inc., The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), IDC and other research agencies all report Internet advertising growing at a galloping tempo (18.2% for the first quarter this year) while print, TV and outdoor ads lose their share of the market.

IAB reported that advertisers invested $5.8 billion in Q1 2008. Part of that money could be yours.

With marketing budgets zipped up businesses seek every opportunity to advertise online. If you have a website or blog with some traffic companies will line up to pay you for advertising. If you don't have any, it's very much the time to start one. Read on to learn how to create a successful advertising platform and promote it in the search engines.

Selling ads space is just one of the many ways to make money online. There are many more such as paid subscriptions, affiliate marketing, review posting, sponsored directory listings, etc. They all create great opportunities to start an online business. And of course, you don't need to put all eggs in one basket. You can combine various online marketing techniques into a powerful money making blend that would be 100% recession proof, no matter what goes on across Wall Street.
Here's a Step-By-Step Guide To Starting an Online Business

What does starting a business start with? Naturally before you start selling something you need to decide what that something will be. So your first step is

1. Choosing a Product to Sell

A product to sell is not necessarily a 'product' as such. It could be a paid subscription or a service and you don't even have to 'sell' it directly. You just need to offer something of interest: information or functionality that will drive visitors to your website and will make them want to stay and come back. Get traffic and you'll have tons of ways to transform it into cash.

There are a number of things people are most interested in now. Here's a list of

What's Hot in Cold Economy:

* Information

People's desire to know what's going on doesn't cease in bad times. Moreover, the worse it gets the bigger their interest. The 'hottest' right now is financial information.

According to comScore Media Metrix the number if visitors to finance-related websites jumped 30% this year. European websites skyrocketed to record peaks of up to 141% in traffic growth.

Start a blog or website about anything in the finances from the market trends to personal investments and loans, promote it in the search engines and you'll see tons of traffic you can convert into money. Read on to learn how.

* Stress-Relief

During the Great Depression people went to the movies to relieve the stress and forget about their problems. Nothing has changed over time except for the movies. The general trend is when bad things happen people still pay for entertainment even though it's getting harder to afford.

* Discounts

With economy staggering and stock exchange falling down the bills still remain the same. And bills are to be paid. Naturally we want to save on everything. If you know how to show us the way to a good bargain we'll stick with you. And bargains are plentiful on the Internet. You just need to take the time to find them and gather in one place.

* Surviving the Crisis Guides

When it comes to our wallets we get emotional. When it comes to our wallets getting thinner we get extremely emotional and even start to panic. Surviving the financial crisis is a hot topic right now. Therefore if you read this article to the end you'll get a double benefit:

* You'll secure a sustainable income for yourself and your family.

* You'll be able to help others do the same.

Moreover you'll have an undeniable proof of your paycheck to show people the way, and they will follow. This will bring you not only money but also self-satisfaction of doing a good thing.

The list is just a small fraction of the niches you can take up with your business. Explore the web for a while and you'll get tons of other ideas to choose from.

Once you've picked your product(s) you can get down to launching a website.

2. Going Online

Depending on the focus of your online business you need to decide whether you will use a website, a blog or both. Blogs are easier to start and maintain. If you decide to focus your marketing efforts around information this is your best choice to go. You can set up a free blog at WordPress.Com or

Websites offer more functionality but may take up more time and skills to manage. You can hire professionals to have a website set up for you. In the slow economy the quotes should get very affordable. You can also explore the free options for there are plenty out there. There are even ones that will get your website up and running in about 5 clicks.

Google 'free websites' and you'll get one before you can say 'How do I make a website?'.

3. Getting Traffic

A website without traffic is a dead one though. Visitors are the blood of your website that gets its heart beating. So your first and foremost concern now is to attract traffic to your website. The only most effective way to do it is promote your website in search engines.

According to Pew Internet 84% of internet surfers use search engines. About 68 million Americans will use the search engines tomorrow. If your website appears at the top of search results a large portion of this traffic will come to you bringing you money.

Now the question is how do you get your website to the top of search engines? The answer is by optimizing it for natural search. The process is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. Even if you hear the term for the first time, it won't take you long to figure out what it's all about.

There are a lot of do-it-yourself SEO guides out there. However they all seem to miss the most important point. It's actually doing SEO not just reading about it what drives your website up in search engine rankings and earns you money. Good news is that there's one SEO Book that tells you the exact things to do in a way that let's you get right down to doing them. The e-book is called SEO in Practice. It is the ultimate guide that will help you get your website to the top of search engine rankings in a matter of weeks.

One of the great things about SEO is that it gets you traffic (read customers) free of charge. No fees, no bills. You do everything yourself and you reap the benefits of what you've sown. However, when doing SEO you'll most likely stumble upon the same problem all SEOs do: There's just not enough hours in the day to do everything by hand. The way out I found for myself is automating some of the SEO tasks with special SEO software.

There are a lot of tools out there. I personally use SEO Software by Link-Assistant.Com (I've put a link to their website under the article). It has all the functionality I need and I like it. But you can use any software (just make sure it's good quality) or no software at all. You can go and search around for free SEO tools. They are usually of limited functionality as compared to the paid versions, but can still be helpful.

4. Earning Money

After you've read and followed the tips outlined in the SEO Book you'll see a sustainable stream of traffic coming to your website. This is great but we're looking to make money not just traffic, right? There are many ways to monetize your website traffic, some of the most popular and effective are:

* Advertising

People pay you to put up a banner or text links on your website. The more traffic you have the more you can charge. Search around to see what the general pricing is and test several pricing options to see which suits your prospects best.

* Affiliate Marketing

I had been earning a good living from affiliate programs for several years before I completely jumped into the SEO services. The system is dead simple. You help businesses sell their products and earn a percentage of every sale. To achieve the best you need to pick a product you believe in (preferably the one you own and use). This way you'll be speaking confidently and with authority and people will buy from you.

* Paid Subscriptions

If you deliver quality info or analysis that is unique and is of value to your visitors you can offer paid subscriptions. The subscription can grant more info, earlier delivery or whatever bonuses you can think of.

As your online business gains momentum you'll find yourself living a new life. The one that is stress-free, recession proof and incredibly enjoyable. And what's more important you'll be living your whole life for yourself. No one can fire you; no one can cut down your pay. You're an independent entrepreneur and it's up to you when you come to work and when you leave. Your paycheck solely depends on you.

Please note, this is not a get-rich-quick kinda trash. You'll have to work first and most likely work hard. Not too hard perhaps, but hard enough. This is how it is and I strongly believe this is exactly as it should be. First you work for your business, then your business works for you. Invest into your future now and you'll be able to reap the benefits later. Do nothing and nothing will happen.

What are the Risks?

The word venture itself contains a pinch of risk attached to it. Starting a business certainly has its risks. But the world is like this:

"Sometimes you do something, and you get screwed. Sometimes it's the things you don't do and you get screwed." - Fight Club

You start a business and you may fail, and then start another one and still another one until you succeed. But if you don't try you never succeed. You may sit and wait for the economy meltdown to hit you in the pocket or for the company you're working for to go under. These are also the risks we take by just living in this world. And compared to them the risks of starting an online business are nothing. In fact all you invest is your time and effort.

You can start securing your future right now. Work for you business an hour a day at first, than more until you can finally go your own way.
So Why Financial Crisis is a Good Thing

Slow economy is sort of a market janitor. It gets rid of the mismanaged thrash and gives way to new players with fresh ideas and innovative approaches. The big and weak go under and the apt take over their place. This is your chance to change your life once and for good. Go pick your product -> set up a website -> promote it in search engines -> and earn the living you've always wanted to.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Natural Treatment Solutions For Hypoglycemia and Hypothyroidism

Many people with hypothyroidism have blood sugar imbalances. This frequently is related to poor dietary habits, as someone who eats a lot of refined foods and sugars, or someone who frequently skips meals, is more likely to have blood sugar issues. Hypoglycemia is a condition that involves low glucose levels. The "official" diagnosis comes when the levels are less than 70 mg/dl. But often times the person is symptomatic before the blood sugar levels become depressed.

Some of the common symptoms of hypoglycemia include double vision, headaches, fatigue, shaking, an excessive appetite, rapid heartbeat, and other symptoms. With hypothyroidism some of the common symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, memory and concentration problems, constipation, low libido, etc. This doesn't mean that people with these conditions will have all of these symptoms, but if someone has a combination of some of these symptoms then one needs to be suspicious of having one or both of these conditions.

Testing Is Important... But Not Completely Accurate

It really is a good idea to get a blood panel on an annual basis that does a fasting glucose, and also looks at the TSH and thyroid hormone levels. But it's important to understand that someone can have negative blood tests but still have blood sugar issues and/or a problem with their thyroid gland. One also has to consider the "functional" reference ranges. So for example, the true reference range of glucose is 70 to 99 mg/dl. However, the "functional" reference range is 85 to 99 mg/dl. It's important to look at the functional reference range because if someone's blood sugar levels are below 85 mg/dl, but above 70 mg/dl, then they don't officially have hypoglycemia, but they probably have some blood sugar issues.

Similarly, if the TSH is within normal range but on the high side, and/or the T3 and T4 levels are within normal range but are on the low side, then this is an important finding. And of course the thyroid antibodies should be looked at as well, as these are frequently positive when the thyroid hormone levels are within normal range. Most doctors would simply wait until the blood tests are out of range and then give synthetic or natural thyroid hormone to their patients. But the goal really should be to detect and correct these problems before someone is officially diagnosed with "hypoglycemia" or "hypothyroidism". So one should test regularly, but just remember that you shouldn't rely on the typical lab reference ranges.

Why Is Hypoglycemia More Common In Hypothyroidism?

There are a few different reasons why hypoglycemia is more common in hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. One of the reason has to do with the adrenal glands. When someone eats a lot of refined foods and sugars and/or skips meals, this will affect the adrenal glands. Over a period of months and years these poor dietary habits can lead to weakened adrenal glands. Weak adrenal glands can slow down the thyroid gland, thus resulting in a hypothyroid condition.

In addition, thyroid hormone plays an important role in liver health, and the liver is the site for excess glucose storage. So in a hypothyroid condition, the liver might not be able to store or release glucose like it normally should. This in turn can lead to hypoglycemia.

Certain nutritional deficiencies can also play a role in hypoglycemia. For example, chromium plays a very important role in the utilization of insulin. And so if someone has a chromium deficiency, then this can affect the hormone insulin, which in turn can lead to a hypoglycemic state. If this is the case then one will need to correct this deficiency through the use of chromium-rich foods and often times supplementation is necessary as well.

Eating Well Is Essential To Restoring One's Health

When trying to use natural treatment methods to cure hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism, diet is one of the most important factors. In fact, often times eating well will correct hypoglycemia, although not always. With a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition, eating well is also essential, although there usually are other factors involved as well. So usually one needs to do more than eat well to restore one's thyroid health. This is especially true when dealing with a condition such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, as eating well is very important, but other factors are necessary in order to suppress the autoimmune response.

Other compromised areas of the body may need to be addressed. So if someone has compromised adrenal glands, then this will need to be addressed in order to successfully help someone with hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism. If someone has digestive problems, such as leaky gut, then this will need to be addressed too.

In summary, many people have both hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia. When trying to correct these conditions through a natural treatment regime, diet is usually the most important factor. However, it is common for other areas to be compromised as well, and these areas will need to be addressed for someone with these conditions to receive optimal results.

The Health Care Crises and Its Dramatic Affects on the Women in America

The State of health care affordability in the USA is dismal at best.  Nearly 50 million American have no insurance or are underinsured at the present time. Though this bleak situation affects men and woman alike, the brunt of the problem is that more woman find themselves uninsured or underinsured.  Though on the whole, both genders share common illnesses, they do not share common access to health insurance nor it its affordability.

The health insurance plans for men and women between the ages of 19 and 64 are similar in coverage requirements however; the pattern of which gender is insured differs. Over 110 million Americans are insured through the company that they work for, while 10 million individuals, women slightly more than men, buy personal insurance for themselves and family. The remaining approximately 8 million individuals are insured through Medicare or the military and other places.  More women are actually insured by Medicare than men.  The rest of the population not falling under any of these categories is not insured at all.

Women generally have lower incomes than men, 17 percent of women in the 19 - 64 age group live below the poverty level.  Women earn roughly a third less than their male counterparts.  In 2004, the average American woman, earned $22, 000 while the average man earned $32,000.

Some individuals are insured part of the year but not all year.  This occurs with part-time workers, however the stats indicate that approximately 13% of men are part-time workers, while 22% of women are part-time workers.  Furthermore, more women are likely to be without jobs the whole year as opposed to their male counterparts. This stat provided by Eriu (Economic Research Initiative of Insured, indicates that 14 percent of American women are not insured year-long.

Since women are more likely to be unemployed or working only part time, they have less access to employer-based insurance, which is more affordable than private based health insurance. Most women will depend upon their spouses for insurance coverage rather than their employer because they may not have one.  At a quick glance it does look like a valuable option but this type of insurance called dependent coverage has its shortfalls as well. This coverage is not very dependable; the women must remain married, and depend on her husband to stay in the job and also to want to cover her in the first place. Even more disturbing is the fact that employers have been cutting back on dependent coverage because the cost is beyond their financial budgets as well.

Age also plays an important role in dependent coverage; older workers between the ages of 50 - 64 are targeted in this equation. Older woman married to older men stand to loss their dependent coverage when their spouse becomes eligible for Medicare. If the woman is too young for Medicare and has no access to the more affordable coverage through her workplace, providing she is working, she would have no choice but to turn to the very expensive personal insurance.  The big problem here is that typically, women do not have the earning potential to afford these costly health insurance plans.

Many women and men consider individual insurance but only a few women actually purchase it. The women that are purchasing private insurance are the rare few that are in the 200 percent above poverty level group, and do not reflect the economic stats of the average woman in America today.

These women are relatively healthy, only about 10 percent report having an illness.  Women who are older and have pre-existing medical conditions have less of a chance of securing adequate health insurance even if they fall in the select few who can afford it.

Furthermore, women use health care services more often than men.  Pregnancy and pre-natal care is a big concern for American women.  Women also use more medication than men to on the average, they have more chronic conditions and they treated more often for anxiety and depression.

Due to these medical needs and drain on the health care system, even though women have lower incomes they also have more out of pocket payments to make.

Unfortunately women tend to avoid seeking medical attention because of the cost factor. On the other hand, because of the cost of health care, women tend to have more medical bills and health generated debt than men because of it.

The barriers to health care for women in at a crises point, lack of access and affordability will lead to long term medical issues and inevitably affect the nation's mortality rate somewhere down the road.

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is an often undiagnosed, but extremely serious illness that affects many women after giving birth. Part of the reason so many women do not seek help for postpartum depression is that it is completely normal for a woman to experience mood swings after having a baby. This is often called "baby blues" and usually goes away after about ten days. There is a slight amount of depression associated with baby blues. Postpartum depression is when this depression gets worse or lasts longer than ten days.

There is much confusion about what postpartum depression is. Some people believe that it is a mental problem, but postpartum depression is a disease that is treated by medications. It has a medical cause as well. While the cause of depression is not fully understood, we do know that has to do with the chemical balance in the brain.

The symptoms of postpartum depression include a lack of interest in every day life. A change in eating habits, which usually is the inability to eat, but sometimes can be overeating, will also accompany postpartum depression. A woman suffering from postpartum depression will have much less energy than normal. She will have trouble sleeping, or will sleep more than usual. She will cry easily and for no apparent reason. She will have overwhelming feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness and anxiety. Often, she will feel restless and also irritable.

Some of the more serious symptoms of postpartum depression are a desire to either harm herself or the baby. Women who suffer from serious bouts of postpartum depression are capable of committing suicide or hurting and even killing their children. Because this is so serious, it is important for people to watch a woman carefully after giving birth for any signs of postpartum depression. If the incident of depression occurs within six months of giving birth, it is classified as postpartum depression.

There are several indicators that a woman is more inclined to having postpartum depression. Women with a previous history of postpartum depression or other types of depression are more likely to get it. Also, women who have severe problems with premenstrual syndrome might be prone to postpartum depression. If the woman has a difficult marriage situation and feels that she has no one else to talk to, she is likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Finally, if the events surrounding the pregnancy and delivery of her child were extremely stressful, such as having a premature baby, she is more likely to suffer from postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is treated like most other forms of depression. The patient will be put on a medication to control the seratonin in her brain and she will also be referred to counseling. Talking through problems often helps. It is important that the significant people in her life are willing to stand by her and support her until she feels better. It is also important for her to realize that once she starts to feel better, she can have down time from time to time.

One of the best things a woman can do to help herself recover from postpartum depression is to make sure and take some time for herself. She needs to spend time doing something she enjoys every day and taking a break from her baby, until she starts to feel more centered. It is also helpful to write down the emotions she is feeling. This will help her as she starts to get better. She needs to realize that it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed by all of the changes in her life. She needs not to put undue expectations on herself. No one is super mom and just being there for a baby is often all that is needed. She needs to take life one day at a time, get the help she needs and soon she will begin to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Adult Depression and Childhood Abuse

Over the years I've discovered that a significant proportion of adult clients who present with depression have a history of childhood abuse. The abuse may have been sexual, physical and/or emotional. At first I attributed this to the fact that I specialize in abuse and many clients who come to me saying they are depressed are using that as a presenting issue because they aren't ready to discuss the abuse. But what I now understand is that not only do most adult survivors of childhood abuse suffer from some form of clinical depression, but that most adults with prolonged depression have suffered some form of childhood abuse. An article in Psychology Today published in 2003 stated that, "In almost every case of significant adult depression, some form of abuse was experienced in childhood, either physical, sexual, emotional or, often, a combination."

Depression runs in families. So does abuse. "Studies show that one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually abused before the age of 18, and one in twenty children are physically abused each year." But sexual and emotional abuse, in particular, is woefully under reported. Most abused children grow up in an atmosphere of denial - denial by the adults around them and, for the most part, denial within themselves as a means of survival. Ultimately it is the secrecy around the abuse that helps to foster the depression. Additionally, neurobiology has expanded our understanding of how emotions affect brain chemistry. Traumatic events - such as any form of childhood abuse (sexual, emotional, physical) or neglect, changes the chemistry of the brain. These events can reshape wiring patterns and reset responses to them so that even a small degree of stress can produce an overabundance of stress hormones that in turn create anxiety and depression.

Depression has been recognized as both a chemical imbalance in the brain and a turning of more aggressive feelings - i.e. anger - inward. Self-criticism is anger turned inwards. In a recent study by Florida State University researchers, people who were verbally abused as children grew up to be self-critical adults prone to depression. Verbal abuse includes insults, swearing, threats of physical abuse and spiteful comments or behavior. "Over time, children believe the negative things they hear, and they begin to use those negative statements as explanations for anything that goes wrong." And while neither sexual nor physical abuse necessarily supply the critical words, the non-verbal communication of these actions say that the child is worthless. In fact, the non- verbal communication of these acts is even more powerful than the spoken words, but that in no way diminishes the fact that verbal abuse creates lasting damage as well.

As clinicians, it is our job to help the depressed client recognize the abuse; recognize the effect it has had on them and help them find an avenue back to self-love through understanding.

Roni Weisberg-Ross L.M.F.T.

Simple, Natural Relief For Coping With Depression Symptoms

Can a simple healthy habit help you deal with depression? The answer is yes!

Taking a hot bath can help you cope with many of the symptoms that accompany depression. Immersion in warm water can help reduce anxiety, relax physically, and lead to an improved sense of well-being. Bathing can decrease tense feelings, help you calm down emotionally, and help ease mental fatigue. A hot bath can also help with sleep, relieving the insomnia that is often common during depression.

Hot baths are great on their own, but dosed with a healthy scoop of Epsom salts, they are so much better. First discovered in the town of Epsom, England and patented in the 17th century for its healing and curative powers, Epsom salt baths are a proven and inexpensive way of relaxing muscles and settling nerves.

Epsom salts are rich in magnesium. Excess adrenaline, stress, and anxiety, all common during depression, are believed to drain the body of magnesium. Studies show that the high concentrations of magnesium sulfate in Epsom salts are easily absorbed through the skin during a long bath. Epsom salt baths can raise blood levels of magnesium, resulting in a greater feeling of well-being and relaxation. The theory is that the magnesium assists the release and maintenance of serotonin levels, resulting in a sedating effect. In addition, combine the relaxing effects of a hot bath with the extra benefits of a magnesium soother, and there's hardly a better remedy for the tired, achy muscles that often accompany depression.

Depression is emotionally and mentally draining. When you are needing immediate relief, don't wait until it's the "appropriate" time. Even if it's ten in the morning and you've already showered, when you feel an inner sense that taking a bath might help, follow through with action. Sitting quietly in warm water, simply inhaling and exhaling is often enough to bring provide some immediate relief. If you can muster a little extra effort, dim the lights, burn a candle, and add a few drops of lavender oil into the water, and you'll get a luxury aromatherapy soak that can help ease the pain of the moment.

If you don't have enough energy to get the bath ready, call on someone close to you for help. . You may be feel silly calling someone to run a bath, but that's okay. It won't be as bad as you think. People close to you really do want to lend a hand, and getting the bath clean and running is a tangible action that they can do for you.

Depression is real and it requires real self-soothing strategies. Of course taking a bath isn't the magic cure that makes depression go away. But don't dismiss the power of simple everyday remedies. Bathing helps ease your mind and body of painful depression symptoms. Bathing is a coping action that really can make a difference in helping you get through the day. Follow your intuition and take baths frequently.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Determine If Your Child Is Bipolar - Signs and Symptoms

A child that suffers from this disorder will have symptoms that are considerably different than those of an adult. The mood swings alone come on extremely fast and can cause to the child be angry and very irritable.

Determining whether a child has bipolar disorder can be more of a challenge because there are several other conditions that overlap with this mental illness.

· (ADHD) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

· (ODD) Oppositional defiant disorder

· (OCD) Obsessive compulsive disorder

· (CD) Conduct disorder

· Learning disabilities

· Depressive disorders

· Anxiety

Some of these symptoms include: bed wetting, social anxiety, environment triggers, night terrors, compulsive behavior, lethargy, bossiness, excessive day-dreaming, hyperactivity, motor & vocal tics, distractibility, low self-esteem, depressed moods, separation anxiety, risk-taking behaviors, frequent mood swings, hypersexuality, paranoia, restlessness/fidgetiness, lying, suicidal thoughts, learning disabilities, giddiness/goofiness/silliness, and moments of rage/explosive temper tantrums.

If you think your child suffers from bipolar disorder, you should keep three things in mind. (Family, Feeling, and Functionality)

Family- Does mental illness run in the family? Does anyone else suffer from bipolar disorder in the family? Studies show that over 10% of people that have a relative that suffers from bipolar disorder will also develop a bipolar disorder.

Feeling- Is your child moody? Do they spend a lot of time worrying about things most children don't think about? Does your child feel like they have no self-worth?

Functioning- How does your child handle school? Do they have friends their own age that they play with normally? Does their behavior interfere with daily functions?

(If your child has difficulty with daily functions and normal activities that most children enjoy, then an evaluation by a Psychiatrist may be needed.)

A doctor will compare symptoms and perform tests before diagnosing a child with a mental illness. First, they will want to rule out any other reasons that may be causing emotional illness. While they evaluate your child, the doctor will look for a cluster of problematic emotions or behaviors your child may be having.

There are three different methods regarding the best ways to approach diagnosing juvenile bipolar disorder.

1. Standard DSM-IV Criteria

2. Cardinal Symptoms

3. Emphasizing Irritability

As far as we know, there is no cure for bipolar disorders. Something to remember is that children usually respond differently to medication than adults. A doctor will be able to develop a treatment plan that is suitable for your child and will start by determining a child's mental and physical health.

After a plan is formed, it's advised to keep a daily log. This will help you and the doctors determine whether a specific medication is helpful or not.

If your child suffers from bipolar disorder, your love and guidance can make a big difference in their recovery and their future.

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - Carrie Fisher.

Spices For Depression - They Really Can Spice Up Your Mood

Some spices such as saffron, sage, cardamom and chillies are known to have specific anti-depressant effects; while others work indirectly by improving the general health of the individual.

General effects of spices

Spices have the highest antioxidant activity of all food types including fruit and vegetables (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006). Antioxidants are very important in countering free radical damage which can in turn aggravate or cause many degenerative diseases.

All chronic degenerative diseases are associated with free radical damage and an increased incidence of depression. Therefore preventing or treating them by eating antioxidant-rich foods like spices, will also help to reduce the incidence of depression.

For centuries, saffron has been used to treat depression in traditional Persian medical systems.

Recently several clinical trials have shown that this yellow spice is indeed as effective as many of our current anti-depressant drugs in treating mild to moderate depression.

The first of these was a double-blind placebo controlled trial where patients with depression were given 30mg of saffron extract daily for six weeks. By the end of this period depression in the treatment group had improved by a far greater extent than the placebo group.

In two other clinical trials depressed patients taking saffron were compared to those taking two commonly prescribed anti-depressant drugs, imipramine and fluexitine (Prozac). In both these trials saffron was found to be at least as effective as the two modern drugs. An important bonus was that no side effects were observed in the patients taking saffron.

Chillies also have mood elevating effects. They work by stimulating a specific type of pain receptor (called TRPV1) on sensory nerve endings. When these nerves are stimulated they signal the brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins, in turn, stimulate the release of the brain chemical, dopamine which in turn acts as a mood elevator and relieves depression.

Many modern antidepressant drugs also work by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain.

A double blind placebo controlled trial has shown that sage reduces anxiety and elevates mood. It has been known for several years that compounds in this spice work by inhibiting cholinesterase, an enzyme that is intimately involved in the transmission of signals across nerve synapses.
Sage has the added benefit of improving memory.

Cardamom has been used by traditional Ayurvedic practitioners to treat depression in India for thousands of years. Although there are no clinical trials to back up the use of this spice to treat depression there are biochemical reasons that give an indication as to why it is effective.

As with other organs the brain is subject to toxins, free radical damage and other environmental and genetic insults. Aging and damage caused by environmental agents can aggravate a propensity to develop depression. However this susceptibility can be reduced by using one or more of those spices known to have anti-depressive properties. In addition the diet should include a variety of other spices most of which contain neuro-protective phytonutrients; some of which may also have yet-to-be-discovered mood-elevating properties.

24 Hour Nutritional Help For Depression Symptoms

Want to defeat depression without drugs or expensive psychotherapy? In many cases, you can resolve or reduce depression symptoms with one simple nutritional remedy.

Of course, because there are many kinds of depression symptoms, you may need to see a doctor. Dysfunctional depression, where you don't have the energy to go to work or get out of bed, needs professional help, and you can get quick relief.

However, most types of depression are not dysfunctional. This means that you feel bad emotionally and perhaps physically, but you can still go to work and function socially. This type of depression is more common.

Happily, common depression symptoms can be reduced and often cured with some simple nutritional and lifestyle remedies. You can experience relief often within just a few days.

One thing to do when combating depression is to make a few simple nutritional changes. The first nutritional change may seem to be the hardest, but it can be the most powerful. And that is to cut refined white sugar completely from your diet.

White sugar causes sugar blues. You get a rush of good feeling from eating something like a doughnut, then within 60 minutes your system releases lots of insulin to get the sugar out of the blood stream. All this insulin then causes low blood sugar for another few hours. The insulin is so effective it gets rid of too much glucose from the blood stream.

Low blood sugar causes depression symptoms like fatigue, irritability, and dark mood swings. That's right, low blood sugar causes most common forms of depression. Low blood sugar in the bloodstream causes the brain to run inefficiently. The symptoms are the result.

Refined white sugar actually causes low blood sugar! Our natural bodily response to produce insulin creates low blood sugar. So eating sugar causes our blood sugar levels to spike up and down all day long, which creates mood swings and other symptoms.

So a simple fix for many common depression symptoms is to simply cut out refined white sugar. Try it for just three days and see how you feel. You can still have sweets, but sweeten things with stevia, which doesn't cause insulin to be released. There's more natural help for depression symptoms, but this should be one good place to start.

5 Ways To Get Over Heartbreak: Ways To Mend A Broken Heart

Have you been searching all over for specific and easy advice on five ways to get over heartbreak and other ways to mend a broken heart? How long does a broken heart last? Hopefully not for long if you follow these tips. So without wasting your time anymore, here's a list of 5 ways to get over heartbreak:

1) Treat yourself to something unexpected: if you've just gone through a breakup you may feel like your life is closing in on you, and that there's nothing else you can think of except your past relationship. In order to break out of this vicious and dark circle, you need to tell yourself that you are the best and most important person in the world and do something nice for yourself to prove it. Perfect examples would be taking dancing classes, going out to a really nice restaurant, or even taking a vacation. The point is to go for luxury and splurge on yourself.

2) Find someone new to flirt with. Although it's probably too soon since you broke up from your previous major relationship, a bit of harmless flirting definitely doesn't hurt, to help build up your confidence again for dealing with the opposite sex, as well as how to take your mind off your ex.

3) Focus on your appearance: it's common for people to let themselves go after a breakup, however this leads to a vicious circle where your appearance becomes a source of resentment and a loss of self-esteem, therefore further discouraging you from reentering the dating market. Of course it's hard. Going through breakup depression makes it even harder than usual to set out on an exercise routine. However, the more you do to improve your appearance to begin attracting the opposite sex again, the better you will feel about yourself and the less you will think about your ex.

4) Imagine that your life is much more wonderful than it currently is: try to imagine that even though things look down right now, perhaps there was a reason, some long-term plan for the way things turned out with your ex. Think of all the possibilities that are now open ahead of you because you are not with that person anymore. Who might you meet now that you've broken up with your ex? What places might you travel to now that you're free to explore? Again the focus is on getting your constant repetitive thinking away from negative breakup emotions.

5) Finally, if all else fails, and your sure it's right for you, simply consider making up with your ex! Go back to them and just be completely honest. Tell them how much you love them right to their face. Tell them how do i live without you? At least you'll know this way. Immediately, whether they verbalize it or not, you'll know if this one last chance worked. If there's any chance to rekindle your love, your partner will respond immediately.

Hopefully these tips can help you with how do you move on after a breakup. This is a small example of the wealth of advice out there relating to all matters of the heart. Whether you're looking for ways to get an ex back, or the opposite, how to break up with someone, the Magic Of Making Up covers all aspects of love. Perhaps you're wondering how do you get your wife to love you again or even, if you're a little younger perhaps, how do you know if a girl likes you. The point is that love is incredibly complicated, and it can't hurt to have a trusted guide along the way.

Manic - Bipolar Depression Facts and Reality

Manic depression - Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function.

Some mornings can start with overriding feelings of joy, elation and power. By the time the afternoon has arrived this can shift to feelings of desperation, despair and depression.

More than 2 million American adults, or about 1 percent of the population have bipolar disorder, the percentage figures are the same for the United Kingdom.

These figures are only an estimate, the true figures will probably never be accurately known, this is probably due the stigma attached to mental health issues and the signs and symptoms not being correctly spotted by friends, family, professionals and even the individual themselves. It is fair to say that manic depression is under diagnosed.

Signs and symptoms of mania (or a manic episode)

o Increased energy, activity, and restlessness

o Excessively "high," overly good, euphoric mood

o Extreme irritability

o Racing thoughts and talking quickly, jumping from one idea to another

o Distractibility, lack off concentration

o Little sleep needed

o Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers

o Poor judgment

o Spending sprees

o A lasting period of behaviour that is different from usual

o Increased sexual drive

o Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications

o Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behaviour

o Denial that anything is wrong

A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, four additional symptoms must be present.

The above signs and symptoms of mania can be very difficult to spot in an individual who has manic depression as all of the EXACT symptoms and time frames may not be prevalent in every person as each individual is unique.

A good example of this would be a rapid cycle manic depressive who in the mornings is high and elated, followed by despair and depression in the afternoons. This rapid cycle could happen for 2 or 3 days then level off for a relative period of calm for a few days before it starts again.

Due to the stigma attached to mental health problems individuals may try and mask their symptoms to avoid any embarrassment they may feel. Thus making it even more difficult to spot and diagnose.

Some of these symptoms of mania may be the only symptoms that you see in a person who has manic depression, as they are easily passed of as having a "larger than life personality"

Signs and symptoms of depression (or a depressive episode)

o feeling sad, anxious, or empty mood

o Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

o Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

o Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex

o Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being "slowed down"

o Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

o Restlessness or irritability

o Sleeping too much, or can't sleep

o Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain

o Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury

o Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

A depressive episode is diagnosed if five or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

A manic depressive will definitely have 5 of these symptoms. This is truly the worst time for a manic depressive, this is where the most support and help is needed.

Again the diagnosis is not 100% correct, as some people will have rapid cycles, i.e. High and elated in the morning then desperation and depression in the afternoon, these symptoms may only last a few days; sometimes they last a few weeks and in some very bad cases months.

In some people however, symptoms of mania and depression may occur together in what some people are calling a" mixed bipolar state."

Symptoms of a mixed state often include agitation, trouble sleeping, and significant change in appetite, psychosis, and suicidal thinking. A person may have a very sad, hopeless mood while at the same time feeling extremely energized.

So again this shows that manic depression or bipolar disorder is not as straight forward as highs and lows.

Diagnosis of manic depression - Bipolar Disorder

Like other mental illnesses, bipolar disorder cannot yet be identified physiologically--for example, through a blood test or a brain scan. Therefore, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made on the basis of symptoms, course of illness, and, when available, family history.

Treatment of Bipolar Depression

It is absolutely vital that the correct medication is administered once the diagnosis has taken place, as recent research has indicated that people with bipolar disorder are at risk of switching into mania or hypomania, or developing rapid cycling, during treatment with incorrect antidepressant medication.

Therefore, correct "mood-stabilizing" medications are generally required, alone or in combination with the correct antidepressants, to protect people with bipolar disorder from this switch.

Lithium and valproate are the most commonly used mood-stabilizing drugs today.

Side effects

As any person who is open about their Bipolar will tell you, all of these medications have side effects these can include:

o Weight gain

o Dependence on the medication

o Nausea

o Tremors

o Reduced sex drive or performance

o Anxiety

o Hair loss

o Movement problems

o Dry mouth

o Disturbed sleep

Alternative treatments

Herbal or natural supplements, such as St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), have not been well studied, and little is known about their effects on bipolar disorder. Before trying herbal or natural supplements, it is important to discuss them with your doctor.

There is evidence that St. John's wort can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications. In addition, like prescription antidepressants, St. John's wort may cause a switch into mania in some individuals with bipolar disorder, especially if no mood stabilizer is being taken.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are being studied to determine their usefulness, alone and when added to conventional medications, for long-term treatment of bipolar disorder.

One such study was carried out by Dr Andrew Stoll over a four month period. The study was performed to examine whether omega 3 fatty acids also have mood stabilizing effects with people who have bipolar disorder.
He found that the omega 3 fatty acid patient group had a significantly longer period of remission than the placebo group.

In addition, for nearly every other outcome measure, the omega3 fatty acid group performed better than the placebo group.

With almost no adverse side effects apart from a slight gastric upset. This was thought to be due to the large doses of fish oil administered.

The study was published in the archives of general psychiatry in May 1999. Since then far stronger Pharmaceutical grades of omega 3 fish oil have been developed and brought on to the world market so such large doses need not be taken.


Manic depression - bipolar disorder is a condition that is often under diagnosed and in some cases very difficult to spot and treat correctly. A lot of people with this condition will try and mask either their true feelings and or symptoms due to the unfortunate stigma that is attached to mental health. Receiving the correct diagnosis, treatment and medication is vital if they are to stand any chance of trying to live a normal life. It is also crucial for friends and family to also try and understand this condition as it can help them come to terms with certain types of behaviour that are being displayed. As far as alternative remedies go, to date our best bet is very strong omega 3 fish oil as there are no side effects and it is the only remedy that's had any kind of scientific study performed using people with our condition . It is also safe to run along side any form of medication apart from blood thinning medication.

Copyright 2005 David McEvoy