Saturday, September 14, 2013

Signs of Depression and What to Do - Valuable Information

Recognizing the signs of depression and what to do to manage it is important since depression is a widespread illness. Every person has mood swing. Some other times, they experience the moments when they are irritated with the world.

It is essential to know when you free from feeling a little low and slipped into a condition of depression. Every person should know the signs of depression and what to do.

The Signs

In many cases the symptoms are slow and the person just recognizes that there is something wrong unless they are purposely seeking the symptoms.

Warning signs that you are depressed include, a noticeable lack of energy, loss of interest in hobbies that you've always enjoyed, difficulty concentrating, changes in your weight and appearance, self antipathy, changes in sleep patterns, and feeling desperate. For people who are suffering from depression, physical discomfort is common. Friends and family are often able notify signs of depression and what to do about it. Another thing to remember is that anxiety can sometimes point to depression.

What You Should to Do

Once you have recognized the signs of depression you must decide how to treat your depression.

Some people like to try homeopathy healing to administer their depression. Numerous people who are having problem with depression turn to anti-depressant medication. Other people who are concerned about the signs and what to do to manage and treat it immediately go to therapy.

Recognizing the signs of depression and what to do to cure it is beneficial to help you enjoy life as it before. You can aid people around you to cope with depression by sharing information with them. Put in your mind that helping others is also a way to struggle depression.

Overweight and Depression - A Vicious Cycle

In the United States, statistics show that overweight and obesity are the primary causes of depression. Overweight leads to various health diseases like heart ailments, colorectal problems, diabetes and hypertension to name a few. Once you are ill that's where depression comes in. Decreasing one's quality of life causes misery. Being socially unacceptable will let you feel more degradation. Slowly you could feel that you are being isolated. Out of focus and without enthusiasm in life alienates overweight people to the point that they lost interest in their jobs. All of these become problems that could take its toll on how you handle life emotionally and eventually leading you to become more depress and later on to obesity.

Depression meanwhile can be attributable to various problems that surround a person. While depressed, the body secretes a stress hormone called cortisol that responsible in enhancing appetite for many depressed people. It allows fat to be deposited in the abdomen and waist making it a potential risk and hazard to a healthy body. Overweight will be an issue that will lead to various illnesses and further depression. Irregular diet may seem to contribute to depression. A depressed person lacks essential nutrients that lead to crave more food. Overeating and lack of exercise are the results of depression. Overweight follows, a fear that teens avoid for it can cause lot of stress, anxiety and worry, which will lead to deeper depression.

People who are overweight and suffering from clinical depression lead to diverse symptoms of severe emotional and mental disorder. Professional help is advised so that a good healthy diet must be planned before hand to address the issue and finally break the cycle. An improved diet tends a person to be less depressed and in return can shed excess weight. A positive outlook in life remains to be an ideal driving force joined by a discipline undaunted by failure and surrender. If a person wants to overcome overweight and depression, one must not leave a specific program designed by doctors and dieticians expert in the field so that improvement and progress will not be delayed and hampered. A struggle is not a struggle without a fight and an effort to reduce weight and depression is a great fight. So stop being an overweight person and lose those useless pounds by keeping positive so that depression will not come to you thus ending a vicious cycle of unhealthy living.

The Financial Crisis and Your Auto Insurer

Will They Be Able To Pay Your Claim?

In what many experts have called the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, millions of people have begun questioning whether their auto insurance companies are stable. They're wondering if their insurers will have the financial resources available to pay claims. The economy continues to roil; headlines are splashed with news of high-profile bailouts. Drivers' concerns are understandable. However, most of that concern is unwarranted.

There is a support structure in place that all but guarantees claims will be paid. Below, we'll provide you with a quick overview of the auto insurance regulatory structure. We'll also explain how your insurer's financial stability affects you and when to make the decision to switch carriers.

Separating Fact From Fear

A lot of drivers are worried that the current financial crisis places their car insurance policies at risk. They're afraid that carriers won't be able to pay a claim in the event of a traffic accident. Some of this fear comes from the memory of property insurance companies being decimated in the wake of Florida hurricanes years ago. But, that situation was completely different. The equivalent for the auto insurance industry would require that every driver be involved in a catastrophic collision on the same day. In effect, an impossible scenario.

Auto Insurance Regulatory Structure

The underpinnings of the auto insurance industry are founded upon a strict regulatory structure. State regulators work closely with the industry in general as well as with each individual carrier. They do so to ensure that resources are always available to pay policyholders' claims, even in the case of an economic and financial crisis.

Every auto insurance company is required by the state to set aside a given level of loss reserves. The purpose of these reserves is to pay claims. Insurers are also required to annually report their financial viability to the state insurance department. That way, state regulators can review the potential risk assumed by policyholders in light of each carrier's financial status.

In the event that your carrier becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy, the loss reserves remain available to pay immediate claims.

The Next Level Of Consumer Protection

Because an insolvent auto insurance company represents a potentially severe economic impact to a state, regulators have created another level of protection for consumers: state insurance guaranty funds. Car insurers are required to contribute funds to the pool. If a carrier becomes insolvent and its loss reserves are insufficient for paying its policyholders' claims, the guaranty funds are used.

Should You Switch Auto Insurers?

Even though there is a regulatory structure in place to protect policyholders, it's still worthwhile to review your auto insurer's financial stability. If your carrier shows signs of impending insolvency, consider switching to a new insurance company. It's also important to review your policy once or twice each year. Consider the rates you're paying, the coverage you're enjoying, the service you've received, and your current needs.

If your auto insurer is habitually late in paying claims or worse, refuses to pay many of them, it may be time to switch. You can often find lower rates with better coverage at insurers who are willing to compete for your business. If you decide to change car insurance companies, remember to keep your current policy in effect until you have signed a new policy. Then, cancel your old policy in writing.

The current financial crisis is unlikely to expose you to the risk of not having your claims paid. But, there may still be reasons to consider making a change.

Do You Really Need A Menopause Test?

Menopause brings along a staggering sense of confusion as the body tries to come to terms with the onslaught of hormonal changes. Not very different from puberty, while some women sail past the stage others have to face serious and of exasperating symptoms associated with menopause. Although the normal menopausal age range is from 48 to 55 years, some women may experience symptoms 2 to 3 years before the onset of menopause. This often leads to serious ambiguity as other underlying health conditions may also cause similar symptoms. So, here is a look at how you can ascertain if you are on the threshold of menopause.

What is menopause?

Contrary to what most women believe, menopause is not just the cessation of the monthly menstrual cycle, rather this is just one part of the process. As the body ages, the secretion of important reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progestin progressively reduces. Because the estrogen level drops remarkably after the body has been fed of the hormone for several years, some very negative side effects are experienced by most women. However, it is essential to understand that the intensity of menopausal symptoms will not only depend on the level of estrogen in the body but also on genetic factors.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Some of the common symptoms of menopause include:

  • Night sweats: A condition marked by sleep disturbances caused due to an increase in body temperature followed by profuse perspiration. Most women wake up in the middle of the night with their clothes and hair drenched and with a distinct chill.

  • Hair loss: Menopause related hair loss is a very common symptom, the dwindling estrogen levels in the body adversely impact the hair follicles leading to an alarming increase in the rate of hair loss. Women find it difficult to contend with a brush full of hair locks every time they comb their hair.

  • Depression: Since estrogen triggers a change in the brain, menopausal women often experience bouts of depression. Also, since some of the other symptoms of menopause cause significant sleep disturbances, this too leads to irritability and depression.

  • Mood bouts: Estrogen impacts the emotional center of the brain hence women will often experience mood bouts when in the pre-menopausal and the menopausal stages.

  • Weight fluctuations: Weight fluctuations are also a result of the diminishing levels of estrogen in the body. It is normal for most women to gain some amount of weight during menopause.

However, it is imperative to understand that a lot of these symptoms can also be associated with other underlying health conditions such as thyroid anomalies. While most women assume that these are the common signs that point towards the beginning of menopause, few realize that any health condition can be dealt with successfully only if its presence is established beyond a doubt. So, instead of shooting in the dark just on the basis of these symptoms, it is best to take a more concrete step to understand what is happening in your body.

Are there any tests to concretely determine if a woman is menopausal?

Until a few years ago, a visit to the physician and subsequent pathological tests were the only ways to determine if a woman was indeed in the menopausal stage. Fortunately, with the rapid progress in medical science, today most women can avail the benefits of a home menopause kit. Not very different from a pregnancy kit, the menopause home test also involves a basic urine sample check to analyze the presence/absence of a specific reproductive hormone in the urine.

The symptoms of menopause can be controlled through natural and holistic interventions as well as HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy. However, it is vital to ascertain that you are indeed going through the menopausal stage. So, if you are in your late forties or early fifties and are experiencing some or all the symptoms mentioned above, it would be best to take a home menopause test.?

A Biology Topic You've Never Considered - Life Spans and Laughter - Why Do Comedians Die Young?

They say that laughter is good for the soul, and people with a good sense of humor last longer, that is to say they live longer, able to laugh their way through hardships. Well, is it true? There seems to be a difference between sarcasm, and humor, and it is a big difference.

Someone who is jaded in life, perhaps due to previous hardships, and somewhat cynical in many regards, probably let's a lot of negative things effect their personality, and this will probably affect their immune system, although no one knows for sure. Worse, there is no empirical evidence of what I am about to suggest.

Okay so, have you noticed that some of the top comedians never seem to live into old age, and only a few of them have - folks like George Burns and Bob Hope. But most of the modern-day comedians die well before their time. Why is that?

This is not a biology topic that you can find anywhere, and you can go to Google scholar and there are no research reports on this. And even though conventional wisdom, and urban myth seems to indicate that people who have a good since the humor live longer, which may be true - it cannot be proved, and there are far too many examples of just the opposite.

Still, we know from the best comedians, that they don't often live into old age. Is it due to their negativity - they have to find negative things to make light of for their routines? Is it due to the type of comedy? Is it due to the stress of entertaining on stage? Is it due to the fact that they are constantly making fun of other people, and maybe other people are sending them back negative vibes?

Is it because they feel like everyone likes them only because they are funny, and not for who they are - imposter phenomena? Is it because they are somewhat manic depressed underneath all that, and they've created their humor as a shield or as an appearance of being happy?

Do they spend their lives making other people laugh, because their lives are dismal, or they feel inadequate or depressed? We know depression isn't good for longevity in life, in any case, this needs to be explored further. And I hope you will please consider this biology topic.

How to Overcome Depression? First Figure Out the Cause!

Pain and depression are the two sides of the same coin. You can only sympathize with the condition but can never feel it. It is quite difficult to judge whether it was a painful situation that led to the whole state of depression or was it the state of depression that is causing all the pain. One would be surprised to check out the statistics, that there are about 75% of the populations who suffer from depression. Depression is a state of mind that can happen due to certain incident in life or it may be a syndrome since birth. Sometimes it gets a little difficult to find out the different symptoms of pain or depression and treatment of one could lead to identifying the symptoms of the other. But the most important question that still needs to be answered is how to overcome depression.

If you want to know how to get over depression it is very important that you find out what are the causes that led to depression in the first place. There are several reasons why people suffer from depression. Some of which is abuse, like physical or sexual assault might lead to depression. Certain medications might develop depression as a side effect. Depression may also happen from regular conflicts between your partner or family members. A sudden loss or death in family may also lead to depression. Again, certain major events in life can also lead to depression like divorce or getting married. The event doesn't always have to be anything very different, it might also be very general like the ones mentioned. Sometimes some serious illness also results in depression. Suppose you are infected by a particular illness which made you lose a year or got a limb of your body amputated. Such things sow the seed of depression. Apart from these regular causes there is one very serious cause of depression, which is genetic. If there is a family history of depression in every generation, then it is a possibility that your children might have it as well.

When you realize these causes it will become easier for you to deal, treat and figure out how to overcome depression. There are both medications and therapies to overcome depression. There are many rehabilitation centers as well who specialize in depression treatment. Though there are medications for treating depression, but majority of times the patients get addicted to these drugs and are unable to live without them. Whenever they think of leaving the medicines the withdrawal syndromes get so severe that they have to fall back on the medications. Some of the withdrawal syndromes are sweating, unconsciousness, headache and mood swings etc. The patient is unable to behave properly; he has absolutely no control over his temper. Shows a lot of lethargy and generally has lack of confidence. But there are certain very effective therapies that help to overcome depression. The rehabilitation center does a very good job in this department and in the most cases the patient has come out clean.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Understanding Bipolar Disorder - The Chaotic Mind

If you ever ride a harsh unsympathetic roller coaster ride, that feeling is probably close to one who is living with the disarray of bipolar disorder. For not only the person himself, friends and family also suffer because their relationship is often strained with uncertainty.

A person with bipolar disorder wakes up to begin a day with a high level of uncertainty. He may have suicidal thoughts running through his mind during one of his depressive episode or a day filled with overexcitements when he is in a manic episode. One may even have a day fill with mix episodes of depression and manic. This is the fact of a person living with this disorder.

Both the manic and depressive episodes usually happen separate that of positive or negative things and events in the person's life. To explain in details, a person with bipolar disorder does not have a depressive episode because something bad or terrible has happened to him or her. And even if there is anything that would affect when an episode would happen, it is most probably the overall life stress that is affecting the person. Periods of stress whether at work or at home can disturb the balance that the person is trying to maintain.

When wrapped in an episode, a person with bipolar disorder will usually have lesser control of their behavior and of their lives than they would normally have. This is not to say that someone with bipolar disorder is a vulnerable sufferer with little chances of carrying out something. It is only that even accomplishing simple routine tasks that would normally be easy would suddenly become exceptionally hard during the duration of a manic depressive episode.

What happen during a manic episode is a blur of activity and over excitement. The mania might bring about feelings of self-importance, self-confidence, superiority and poor judgment. People in a manic episode could find themselves doing things that they would not normally do in their life. They may have a sudden drive to start a business, which can definitely be a good thing. However, if done during a manic episode, they may quit their job and jump into starting a business without any proper planning or whatsoever. They may engage in risky sexual behavior that would not be usual for him or her or even spend or gamble money they cannot afford to be without.

What happen during an episode of depression are the feelings of hopelessness and vulnerability. They would have no wish to enjoy life, achieve anything, or to socialize with people. They may go a day or two without eating because eating seems insignificant and irrelevant to them. Battling suicidal thoughts is an ongoing, exhausting effort. These suicidal thoughts pester your mind regularly even if you are not planning any suicide attempt or even when they decided that they would not commit suicide. Fighting these "thoughts" is tiresome and frustrating. They might also experience physical pain, such as sore shoulders, aching neck, or back. The physical pain some people experience is described to be similar to that of body aches that come with the flu.

As anyone can imagine, living in either one of these states of mind can be disturbing and chaotic. Try to visualize spending your life crossing between these two extremes. When one is in between episodes for most of the time, it would be a challenge to try to regain his life, sprit and self consciousness.

Fibromyalgia: Turned Out to Be All-In-Your-Head After All (Part II )

In part one of Fibromyalgia we discussed the evolution of the understanding of the disease from what was originally thought to be an emotional or psychiatric disorder to various forms of a muscle disease to a peripheral nerve disorder and then full circle to a brain dysfunction. Although diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia have been available for 2 decades, there remains no definitive diagnostic test and no consensus regarding its etiology.

In Part Two we will consider some of the evidence suggesting fibromyalgia is an affliction of brain dysfunction. Ultimately the goal of part two is to identify and characterize the abnormal functioning of the various brain regions that have been reported in recent neuroscience literature and suggest possible natural approaches to the correction of these dysfunctions. This represents a major leap forward in the treatment of fibromyalgia because it is an attempt to first identify the specific dysfunction and then to restore brain function to normal. Current treatment of fibromyalgia focuses on symptom management not restoration of function.

The hallmark of fibromyalgia is chronic widespread pain perception in the absence of an identifiable cause. Depression and or anxiety, sleep disturbances and emotional problems are often also found in fibromyalgia patients. Therefore there appears to be a number of additional abnormalities above and beyond abnormal pain perception seen in fibromyalgia patients. This suggests widespread involvement in a number of brain regions.

Among the secondary or associated findings commonly seen in chronic pain patients, in general, and fibromyalgia patients, in particular, are signs of cogitative dysfunction, memory problems, and a higher brain process termed executive function (the ability to comprehend, sequence and perform complex tasks).

Fibromyalgia patients frequently have signs of cognitive impairment that sometimes can be demonstrated through clinical testing. A simple bedside test known as the clock test was frequently found to be abnormal in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In this test the patient is asked to first, draw a picture of a clock and then they are asked to draw the hands on the clock to illustrate a specific time. This task assesses a number of higher cortical brain region functions. Various degrees of inability to precisely draw the face of a clock and then set the hands of the clock to a specific time are used to evaluate different lobes of the brain, in particular the frontal lobes. This simple test when given to patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia suggests impaired brain function of the frontal and other brain regions not normally associated with pain processing. So patients with fibromyalgia appear to have alterations in brain function that goes well beyond pain processing. Much more sophisticated research on brain function in fibromyalgia supports this theory. Let us review some recent studies on brain function and fibromyalgia.

There are a number of brain imaging techniques that allow researchers to literally see how the brain reacts metabolically to various types of stimulation. For the most part they are based on MRI testing, but go beyond standard MRI in that they show increased or decreased brain metabolism (and thus implied hyper or hypo function). Because they are a test of brain function they are called functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI for short. For the sake of simplicity, we well say that increased activity seen in these tests (known as brain region activation) is seen when a brain region "lights-up" during the scan. The opposite known as brain deactivation can also be documented in using this technology. These tests become useful in unraveling complex disease processes like fibromyalgia because they can show which brain regions "light-up" which deactivate and how these brain responses compare in patient suffering from fibromyalgia and healthy patients used as controls. Since fibromyalgia is a chronic pain state, it only makes sense that a number of investigators scanned patents with fibromyalgia and used a painful stimulus to observe how the fibromyalgia brain responded to pain. They did the exact same tests on a group of patients without fibromyalgia so they could compare brain responses between patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and those who did not have fibromyalgia. The results are interesting.

fMRI revealed that fibromyalgia patients had lower activation in the right pre-motor cortex, supplementary motor area, mid-cingulate cortex, putamen and, after controlling for anxiety, in the right insular cortex and right inferior frontal gyrus.

Wow, what does all that mean? Without getting into a lesson in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, this study found defects in some of the pain processing areas of the brain in fibromyalgia patients, but also found in addition abnormalities in areas associated with muscle movement and also possibly emotional processing. These findings represent abnormal metabolism in the brain of fibromyalgia patients that they did not find in patients who were free from fibromyalgia. The authors of this particular study concluded that in fibromyalgia those parts of the brain which are designed to suppress pain were malfunctioning.

Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at perfusion (basically the blood supply) of different regions of the brain in fibromyalgia patients versus control patients without fibromyalgia.

They found regional brain blood flow of a part of the brain believed to be highly associated with pain processing, the thalamus, was abnormal in fibromyalgia patients compared with the blood flow in this brain structure in non-fibromyalgia patients.

Other researcher from Spain report differences in brain activation patterns between fibromyalgia patients and healthy control patients. Patient with fibromyalgia showed exaggerated repose to pressure. This is similar to the pressure testing used to clinically diagnose patients with fibromyalgia.

fMRI maps following (pressure) stimulation showed a complete pain network response (sensory-motor cortices, operculo-insula, cingulate cortex, and basal ganglia) to measured light pressure in fibromyalgia patients. In contrast the healthy control subject's response to this low intensity pressure involved mainly somatosensory (touch, not pain brain response) cortices. When matched for perceived pain, control subjects showed also comprehensive activation of pain-related regions, but fibromyalgia patients showed significantly larger activation in the anterior insula-basal ganglia complex and the cingulate cortex. (Amplification in pain processing pathways).

Researcher in Italy used a different type of tests known as a Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy or MRS study to compare fibromyalgia patients with non-fibromyalgia controls. This test the MRS, can measure non-invasively some of the chemical components in different parts of the brain. Using this different technology, they like their colleagues in Michigan found abnormalities in different brain regions when comparing the results scan done on fibromyalgia patients and non-fibromyalgia control patients.

What they found was chemical various in the frontal cortex concluding that the presence of elevated Glu/Cr levels (rations of brain chemicals) in specific regions of the frontal brain region strengthens the opinion that a complex neurophysiologic imbalance of different brain areas involved in pain processing underlies FM.

Other researchers corroborate these findings of altered brain chemistry in specific brain regions of patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

Studies using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy suggest that glutamate (Glu), a key excitatory neurotransmitter, may be present in higher concentrations within the brains of fibromyalgia patients. This neurotransmitter imbalance is present in multiple brain regions that have been implicated in processing pain information.

Since glutamate is known to excite the nervous system these finding suggest that increased levels of this excitatory chemical in the brain regions associated with pain processing might be responsible for the over reaction to painful stimuli which is the hallmark of fibromyalgia.

A team of researchers at the University of Florida compared the actual volume of brain substances in different patients of the brain in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and health controls. Their findings add to the growing evidence that specific brain regions are abnormal in patients suffering with fibromyalgia.

We found that fibromyalgia patients had significantly less gray matter volumes than healthy control patients in 3 of specific brain regions, including the anterior and mid-cingulate, as well as mid-insular cortices. Using a more stringent analysis than other studies, we provide evidence for decreased gray matter volumes (actual brain nerve cells) in a number of pain-related brain areas in patients suffering with fibromyalgia.

Although the mechanisms for these gray matter changes are presently unclear, they may contribute to some of the core features of this chronic disorder including affective disturbances and chronic widespread pain.

Researchers in London found similar gray matter loss in the brain of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients.

This study aimed to test the hypothesis that structural grey matter brain changes might occur in the chronic intractable pain disorder fibromyalgia. The results of the study revealed significantly lower grey matter density in the patients with fibromyalgia and marked fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome) in the left supplementary motor area. This brain region plays an important role in cognitive or executive control and in the translation of painful cognition; these functions are impaired in fibromyalgia associated with marked fatigue

German researcher likewise report loss of brain neurons (Gray Matter volume losses) in patient with fibromyalgia:

Studies in fibromyalgia syndrome with functional neuroimaging support the hypothesis of central pain augmentation (amplification). Fibromyalgia patients presented a decrease in gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the anterior cingulate cortex

Researcher in Denmark took a slightly different approach to investigation of central nervous system function. They looked at a particularly brain function known as "descending pain inhibition" which is a function of the brain responsible for turning off pain perceptions arising from the body. In normal subject without fibromyalgia, sustained muscle contraction activates this descending pain inhibitory circuit. This is why in most patients exercise like physical therapy can be used to treat pain. However in patients with fibromyalgia instead of inhibiting pain, this descending brain pathway actually magnified pain. The researchers concluded that

Descending pain modulation (control) shifts from descending inhibition (pain reduction) towards descending facilitation (pain magnification) following muscle contraction in fibromyalgia.

Other researchers support the theory that descending pain suppressing circuits are abnormal in the fibromyalgia patient.

We focus our discussion on two areas where strong evidence exists for abnormalities in sensory
signaling: the reduction of descending control, including suppression of descending inhibitory pathways and/or enhancement of descending facilitatory pathways, and changes in key neurotransmitters associated with central sensitization.

A team from Sweden further characterized the defective pain modulating circuits in fibromyalgia patients:

Fibromyalgia patients exhibited higher sensitivity to pain provocation than controls as they required less pressure to evoke equal pain magnitudes. Despite lower pressures applied in fibromyalgia patients the fMRI-analysis revealed no difference in activity in brain regions relating to attention and affect or regions with sensory projections from the stimulated body area. However, in the primary link in the descending pain regulating system (the rostral anterior cingulate cortex) the patients failed to respond to pain provocation. The author's conclude that
the observed attenuated response to pain in this brain region is the first demonstration of a specific brain region where the impairment of pain inhibition in FMS patients is expressed.

This may be one explanation why many fibromyalgia patients have trouble tolerating exercise. Normally muscle activity switches on brain based descending pain pathways that reduce pain. In fibromyalgia these appears to be at least ineffective and at worst may actually increase pain perception. Researchers in Germany report similar findings. They created experimental control painful stimuli in both fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls. When they elicited muscle pain they found:

Repetitive (painfully) induced excitation of muscle tissue led to a more prolonged perception of pain and more wide-spread activation in pain-related brain areas in fibromyalgia patients. This altered brain activity was seen especially in the left (Ipsilateral ~ same side) insula brain region, The contrast between the groups (fibromyalgia patients versus healthy control patients) revealed significantly stronger activation for fibromyalgia patients in the left anterior insula. Additonally the researcher found that peak pain ratings were comparable between controls and fibromyalgia patients, but pain duration (sustained pain) was prolonged in fibromyalgia

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found abnormalities in the interaction between various brain structures in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Using a technique to assess how various brain regions communicate with one another (called functional network connectivity) these investigators found abnormalities that seemed to be specific for patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. They report:

These findings indicate that resting brain activity within multiple networks is associated with spontaneous clinical pain in patients with fibromyalgia. These findings may also have broader implications for how subjective experiences such as pain arise from a complex interplay among multiple brain networks.

A team of researchers from France report similar findings of altered brain network connectivity that were related to abnormalities in several specific chemical neurotransmitters in specific parts of the brain, in their fibromyalgia patients:

We assessed cortical excitability and intracortical modulation (brain network connectivity) systematically, by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex, in patients with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is associated with deficits in intracortical modulation involving both GABAergic and glutamatergic mechanisms, possibly related to certain aspects of the pathophysiology of this chronic pain syndrome. Our data adds to the growing body of evidence for objective and quantifiable changes in brain function in fibromyalgia.

So what does all this mean and how can we use it to help those patients afflicted with fibromyalgia syndrome? The most important take home message is that there are specific brain regions that are not working properly in patient suffering with fibromyalgia. We now have a pretty good idea of which brain structure are abnormal. Furthermore we now have a good understanding of many of the chemical abnormalities in these brain regions.

So the next logical step is to discuss targeted therapies that might specifically influence regions of abnormal brain function in patients suffering with fibromyalgia. Restoring pain processing in the brain to more normal function. There are a number of methods and techniques that we can apply.

Next we can consider how to modulate and balance the abnormal chemistry in specific brain regions we discussed in the above article.

Based on some of the same types of studies we discuss in this article, it does appear we have the tools to both re-integrate brain function and balance brain chemistry in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. How do we do it? You'll have to read part three of our series on fibromyalgia. Stay tuned.

Depression Statistics

A major depressive episode can be devastating to every person and family that it touches. In addition to emotional suffering, there are measurable consequences to society. To fully understand the magnitude of the problem of depression, let's take a look at some of the relevant depression statistics.

About 19 million American adults are afflicted by depressive disorders in any given year. This includes major depression, dsythymia and bipolar disorder. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of the adult population suffers from depression in most industrialized societies. It is the leading cause of disability among those aged 15 to 44 in the United States, and the leading cause of disability for those over age 5 worldwide.

Major depressive disorder can occur at any age, but the median age of onset is 32. New reports indicate that four percent of preschoolers have been diagnosed with clinical depression, and the number of children with depression is growing at an alarming 23 percent every year. One area of concern: current antidepressants have shown little effectiveness in patients under age 18.

Women are diagnosed with depression at about twice the rate as men. However, this may be due to the fact that men are less likely to seek treatment for depressive disorders. Only eight percent of depressed African-American males seek treatment. Overall, it is believed that about 80 percent of depression cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Depression is a recurring illness: after each depressive episode, your risk of future episode increases.

Depression accounts for a huge cost to the economy as well. It is responsible for a major portion of absenteeism from work. Costs to employers in absenteeism and lost productivity due to depressive disorders is estimated to be more than $51 billion per year. This figure does not include costs for treatment and prescription medications.

The effects of depression can spread through families and across generations. Research has indicated that children of depressed mothers score lower on mathematical achievement tests. Developmental delays in children aged two to four years old have also been linked to depressed mothers.

Unfortunately, society continues to attach a stigma to depression. Surveys show that 54 percent of people consider depression to be a personal weakness. In one study, 41 percent of women stated they were too embarrassed to seek help for their depression.

There is a natural reluctance to interfere in the private emotions of others. But to reach those who are suffering from depressive disorders, it may be necessary to step beyond our comfort zone and encourage those we know and love to seek treatment. Regardless of whether depression is affecting us personally, it is certainly causing pain in our community.

Living With Bipolar II Disorder - How To Lead A Normal Lifestyle

The brain is the most vital part of the human body, as without it we wouldn't be able to function properly. It is the control centre for the whole of the body, controlling everything so that all the organs are functioning correctly, so you can use your motor skills and for all decision making. Any damage to the brain, depending on which part, will affect an area in the body.

For good health everyone should know the importance of keeping fit mentally as well as physically. If you are unwell mentally it can affect you physically, and vice versa.

There is much more known about the facts which affect all kinds of brain disorders, which can in turn affect your daily life and how you live. Some illnesses can affect your motor skills, whilst some brain disorders can have an effect on your skill to make decisions. Some brain disorders occur as a result of an accident, some by disease in later life and others are acquired at birth.

Bipolar II is known as one of the brain disorders which can affect your moods, and you can also get periods of depression for no particular reason. With Bipolar II, a person is also known to have one hypomanic episode at least. In Bipolar Disorder a person has depressive and manic episodes. With Bipolar II and individual will expressive at least one or more episode of depressive and also had at least one hypomanic episode.

Those who suffer from Bipolar II will suffer a hypomanic episode where the mood is constantly either feeling quite elated, tetchy or the mind is wide open. This episode can last for up to or over 4 days. The behaviour can be seen to be very different from how a person normally is when they are not feeling depressed. Symptoms for Bipolar II Disorder hypomanic episodes are found to be quite similar to those experienced by someone with Bipolar Disorder, but they are not as severe.

In Bipolar II, once a person reaches a big episode of depression, they will start to feel useless. They will have a negative outlook on life with feelings of helplessness. There are some cases which severe enough to make a person think about death or even suicide, and some go further to attempt suicide.

When a person has this illness they get hypomanic episodes, where they can still get on with everyday things like work, studying, their social activities with no psychosis. When a person has depressive and hypomanic episodes of four or more in number in one year, they are considered to be have a bipolar disorder that is rapid cycling. This period of cycling is likely to develop at some during their illness. A person who recognises that are having these kind of symptoms should seek help for treatment, as the longer they leave it, the more likely they will suffer frequent episodes of the illness.

Bipolar II is another version of Bipolar Disorder, where the episodes of depression are more apparent than the mania episodes. This illness is not classified as Manic Depression, but as one where a person has greater mood and energy swings than normal. There are forms which are so severe, that a person is prone to think of committing suicide.

Bipolar II is an illness that should be taken seriously and should never be left untreated. Anyone who experiences any signs and symptoms or if you notice it any other person, should see a doctor as soon as possible before the illness takes hold. The treatments that are available today do help to minimise the effects that a person suffers from, to stabilise their mood so that they feel normal again. Help and support from family and friend do much to help a person to feel better and recover fully.

As in Bipolar Disorder, this illness is long term which needs constant care and management long term. A person needs to learn patience to help themselves get control of their life again, so that the negative effects are minimised.

With Bipolar II you should learn all about the illness as a sufferer so that you can lead a normal lifestyle and not be a victim to it. You are helping yourself by getting treated early.

Herpes - Don't Let the Herpes Virus Control Your Life, Control Your Herpes Instead!

Herpes Simplex Virus is the name given to the viral infection which typically produces 'cold sores' or blisters around the mouth and/or genitals.

The herpes virus most commonly comes in two variations - Herpes Simple Virus#1 (common cold sores) and Herpes Simplex Virus #2 (commonly genital herpes.) The herpes virus can also cause chicken pox, shingles, Cytomegalovirus,encephalitis. We will concern ourselves with Herpes #1 and #2 in this article. Also, be aware a herpes viral infection is life-long, and incurable, at the time of this writing.

The symptoms are similar regardless of type.Typically a cluster of small, painful, itchy blisters on the mouth, or in the genital area.When the blisters burst they form a soft, open sore which is usually acutely painful, and contagious!. You may also experience feverishness, and general feeling of un-wellness (flu like symptoms) and swollen glands.

Genital herpes is usually sexually transmitted and can be transmitted to others even if no active symptoms are even present (called viral shedding.) Both variations of the herpes virus can be spread through skin on skin contact, especially if are present.

Women contract it more often than men, and often experience feelings of anger and embarrassment, sometimes depression. Because you haven't built up any antibodies your first attack will normally be the worst and an untreated outbreak will last anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks.You must avoid any sexual activity whilst you have sores or you may transmit the virus to your sexual partner.

Predisposing or triggering factors contributing to outbreaks may include localised irritation/trauma, sunlight, stress, hormonal disturbances including menstruation and pregnancy. Emotional trauma or other infections can contribute to a lowering of resistance and an increased likelihood of an outbreak.

Treatment with herbs can be highly beneficial as it is possible to address all the contributing factors with a synergistic combination of Herbal ingredients.

One herb that warrants special mention is St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum). It has a particular affinity for the nervous system and the pain associated with inflamed nerve endings.The herb can be taken internally and can also be applied externally. As mentioned previously you may suffer from feelings of depression and St Johns Wort has been clinically proven to assist with depression. I believe there may be a direct link between the herpes virus and depression. Other herbs to consider are Echinacea, Cleavers, Pokeroot, Red Clover, Myrrh, Calendula and Golden Seal or Berberis.

You might consider removing any processed/ denatured foods from your diet as these tax your digestive system, which indirectly places a strain on your immune system as well. Drink 6 glasses of spring water daily if you can and cut out any alcohol, coffee or caffeinated/carbonated drinks.

If you are overworking or stressed try and slowdown and become aware of your breathing. Most of us breathe shallowly when we are stressed. Practise taking your breath down into your belly and holding for a count of 4 before breathing out as slowly as you can. Do this for a few minutes 2 to 3 times daily and you will feel your whole body relax.

You could also try using essential oils (Aromatherapy) to aid healing and relaxation. Bergamot, Lavender, Tea tree, Geranium, Chamomile,Thyme and Lemon are all useful.

You can add them to your bathwater or you can dilute them in a carrier oil such as Almond oil / Olive oil and dab them directly onto the affected area. Remember the skin around your genital area is quite sensitive so I would suggest a dilution of 1 drop essential oil to 2mls of carrier oil.Try and combine at least 3 of the above.If you are new to Aromatherapy then go and smell the oils and choose the 3 you most like.

Cell Salts are also useful and I would recommend Natrum Mur. Just use as directed on the bottle.

The amino acid Lysine is has also been shown to assist with herpes outbreaks. As soon as you notice any symptoms start taking the Lysine as directed on the bottle.Some people find it beneficial to take a daily tablet on an ongoing basis to help prevent is also very useful to boost immunity and you can usually buy a product which combines lysine and zinc and perhaps Vit C, just do a search while at

If you think you've contracted the Herpes Virus the first thing you should do is visit your personal health care practitioner, to be diagnosed.

Does Children's Health Insurance Coverage by Medicaid Actually Cover Anything?

Do children deserve special attention when it comes to their health care needs? No, we aren't talking about charitable healthcare at all. How about children who have Medicaid coverage? Does the fact that they have free health insurance change anything about the kind of treatment they are given? Sad as it is, that's exactly what happens all over the country?as if by prearrangement. Anyone who tries to make an appointment for a child has to answer a question on the phone about the kind of coverage the child has. When the receptionist (or whoever) learns that there is no private children's health insurance involved?that it's only Medicaid, they right away schedule the child for an appointment one month away. If they don疆?簞 refuse an appointment altogether. There have been reports of how parents who call for an appointment for a child with a broken bone or a dog bite, are still given an appointment a week away.

So why should hospitals care about what kind of children's health insurance a patient comes in with? They still get paid the same whether it's private or Medicaid, don't they?

You'd think that, but as anyone knows about what it is like dealing with the government, hospitals that accept Medicaid patients find it takes them a whole lot longer to get paid (and Medicaid pays 50% less). They get a lot of grief dealing with red tape too. In general, no one is eager to deal with Medicaid. And things are only set to get worse. States all over the country are bankrupt and are planning on cutting down on their Medicaid budgets. And then, the new healthcare reform from President Obama promises to add several million people more to the Medicaid plan, further straining the program's finances.

All of this isn't mere anecdotal evidence, of course. An in-depth study on children's access to medical care published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June has all kinds of horror stories to report. The study sent researchers posing as parents of sick children to hundreds of clinics in Illinois, asking for treatment for broken bones, deep depression, diabetes, epileptic seizures, dog bites and the like. Two out of three times, these people found that they were denied appointments. People who have regular paid insurance will usually be denied treatment more than 10% of the time. In the study, anyone who sought treatment for a child with Medicaid insurance had to wait three weeks longer than any child with private medical insurance.

Most people would react with horror to how unfeeling human nature can be?denying medical care to a child with an animal bite or a seizure for three weeks. But think about it this way for a second?what would you do if you were doctor? If you spent your time treating a patient who had private children's health insurance, you would get $160 for your trouble. If you treated a child who had Medicaid, you would only get $100. You are worried about your student loans and your personal expenses. What would you do?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Uplifting the Mood With Music Quotes

If you are looking for a simple way to improve your state of mind, check out one or more music quotes to find out precisely how a musical work can alter your mood.

Musicians and composers from the past and present have all had profound, philosophical, prudent, and even light-hearted things to say about the ability of a few well-crafted notes to affect one's mind.

You can begin to comprehend the emotive, awe-inspiring, intense power of music just by reading quotations about it on a regular basis.

John A. Logan suggests that "Music's the medicine of the mind." With this idea in mind, the latter quotation suggests that music is a holistic method of altering your mood and for changing how you feel at the present moment.

Music quotes often express how a melody or song can change your thoughts, your state of awareness, your thinking processes, and your mood.

Quotes offered by famous people like Percy Bysshe Shelley and Oliver Wendell Holmes as well as other famous people can help you understand the persuasive nature of music and how it can influence the way you feel.

To Lighten the Darkness in the Heart

Robert Schumann once stated that music is used to lighten the darkness in a person's heart. Listening to different types can change a person's mood from a state of depression to one that is light and carefree.

Music quotes express how this most powerfully moving of the performing arts can deliver a temporary reprieve from depression and the emotional suffering associated with the condition.

Quotations can help you identify how music affects one's emotions and how it can be used to help heal your mind and psyche.

If you already have a rich love for music, than reading quotes about it can bring a smile to your face with immediacy.

Reading over the sayings offered by other music enthusiasts will help you reflect on your own love of this most essential art form, and it may even bring back powerful, light-hearted memories that can, in turn, elevate your mood and lift your spirits.

You can use music quotes to bring back memories of your first dance, the first song you ever heard, the first musical piece that brought tears of joy to your eyes, or the first time you saw your child give a musical performance.

Quotations on music not only express the power of this most universal of all languages, but they can incite rich, wonderful memories about every encounter you have ever had with musical compositions and the tremendous emotional response that such encounters elicit.

Enthusiasm - The Secret To Your Success

Enthusiasm is an offspring of desire. Never be willing to accept a 9 - 5 mentality which leaves no room for confidence; effort; willingness; progress; and the desire to grow. Your enthusiasm can affect you, your co-workers, and others, and is always accepted and welcomed.

Where enthusiasm is not there, you and your organisation will spiral downwards at a great speed into "accidie." This is one of the Seven Cardinal Sins, a beloved subject of the medieval moralists. Sometimes an absence of enthusiasm overlies accidie it may indicate clinical depression, or a depressive personality. If so, it deeds treating.

Here we deal with the consequences of lacking enthusiasm for our business, or work, or the latest appeal. At a superficial level it reflects a lack, perhaps, of any love for the task in hand. If so, beware, the enterprise may be in grave danger.

When we were faced with a huge possible bill for replacing the Georgian plaster ceiling in a medieval church, several members said, quite simply, "What do we need a Church for any way? Let's move to the village hall!"

That may be "accidie"in the sense that it reflected a lack of love and respect for what God had provided for us through the generosity of church members in former generations who built and reconstructed and restored the church building over nearly a millennium. It had the effect of making us all ask "Well, what is the building for, anyway?" Answering that question gave us the impetus and vision and momentum to carry forward an on-going "rolling"programme of repairs - planning the appeals and the fund-raising according to necessity.

When you get the vision right, as in this last case the purpose of the building, then enthusiasm returns. Enthusiasm is in essence neutral. It is easy to enthuse and desire the wrong things - witness the energy of so criminals, and the extraordinary ardour with which so many sin. Desire creates enthusiasm. You should make sure that anything you devote yourself too is comely and rational and has a good intent in society as well as your own life. After all, another word for desire is Lust. The growth of the "Pop-idol"over the period of the twentieth century is proof, if we wanted proof, that ill-directed desire becomes Lust and the offspring of Lust may well be idolatry, the worshipping of people, ideas, and things that are false.

Depression - Dealing With Depression in Your Children

Depression is not a disease that affects only the adults. It affects the children also. When a child yells, screams, use foul language, there is a high probability that the child is suffering from depression. Not every parent believes that depression can affect their children. The only way for you to know is to watch out for new developments in your child. This is because depression manifest itself differently in children than it does in adults.

Some of the early signs of a depressed child are anger and irritability. When your child is unnecessarily angry with family members or is very reluctant to help around the house, they are pointers that he or she is depressed and it is highly advisable that you let him or her see a medical doctor at once.

When a child is depressed, it is often difficult for him or her to express desire for help like the adults. This is why parents should take their children to a doctor for a depression test. The test will reveal if the child is depressed and what can be done to address the problem.

Depression can be caused by a lot of factors. One of them is life situation. It is often the result of unpleasant situations of life that you are not able to cope with. Instead of using medication, try counseling where the cause of the problem will be detected and solution will be offered.

Even though there are many ways to deal with depression, it is very important to discuss with a doctor before using any method. Whether you want to use exercise, antidepressants or herbal therapies, there is need for you to see a doctor who will help determine the best method for you.

It is a grave mistake to think that a method that does wonders for your friends will work for you. On the contrary, it may lead to further deterioration of your condition.

You must not wait till you or a loved one suffers from depression before reading about the subject. It is very important to start reading the subject and know what to do if it occurs. Depression is not often easily detected.

Unknown to many people grappling with depression, regular exercise can keep the problem at bay forever. All you need is a simple form of exercise such as walking, jogging and swimming to mention a few.

Metal Toxicity Causes Depression

Your exposure to Heavy Metal Toxicity is coming at you from a number of different directions, and it should not be a total surprise that rates of Depression, Insomnia and Neurodegenerative disorders such as Autism, Bipolar disorder are on the rise.

No margin of safety.

There is no margin of safety with heavy metal toxicity, even the smallest amounts of these toxic metals can gradually build up in your soft tissues and bones, as in the crystal clear case with babies and children being deceptively given multiple toxic vaccinations that contain mercury. That onslaught of heavy metal accumulative exposure, that may have started in your childhood, has by now resulted in many pieces of mercury and other such metals lurking in your tissues and bones, as if they are ticking time booby-traps ready to cause mayhem to your health.

With some people, the health troubles emerge almost immediately after initial exposure, while for many others it is as if there is a time-lag. You will find aluminum in vaccines, popular antiperspirants and a number of cosmetics,nail-polish, and in the pots and pans that are in your kitchen at this minute.

Baby bottles, plastics and infant formulas.

The New York Times of April 19th, 2008 reports that the Canadian departments of Health and Environment have (at long last) imposed a ban on plastic bottles for infants, because they are made from polycarbonate, whose main ingredient--BPA (Bisphenol-a), a widely used chemical that also mimics a human hormone, is indeed toxic.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, ah yes! at times these good folks regain their senses and usually not for long, has risen to the occasion in defense of your health, intends to introduce a bill that would ban many uses of BPA related plastics, including non-food items, that toddlers may put in their mouths. That ban is also to include anything used to contain food or beverages, such as the use of BPA coatings inside Infant Formula cans.

Reader, were you a child before now?

The Canadian Health Minister Tony Clemont informed the gathered reporters, that well over 150 clinical research reports, prove that use of Bisphenol-a in baby bottles causes behavioral and neural symptoms later in life. Bingo! That is hitting the nail straight on the head. Right there is one of the causative factors of depression, bipolar disorder, autism, AD/HD, and the list continues.

Then there is lead in peeling paint and old water pipes. As if that's not enough, even CNN of april 19th/08 chimed in, the good folks at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in New Jersey, have issued stern warnings about the health hazards of lead found in artificial turf installed at schools, parks and stadiums across the country.

Now reader, just to begin with, there over 3,500 such fields in this country, and would you believe it, about 800 more are installed each year. It is indeed scary enough that two such fields in that State, the Frank Sinatra Park at Hoboken and at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, have been put off limits after detection of unacceptably high levels of lead (as lead chromate) in the synthetic turf.

According to that State's epidemologist Dr. Eddy Breswitz, that toxic lead can easily be inhaled or even swallowed as airborne tiny fibers or dust by you or your child or anyone playing on such fields. Lead causes brain damage and other illnesses particularly in children, and those same effects can manifest later in adulthood after hibernating, so to speak, for years.

Then there is industrial pollution, your use of pesticides, herbicides on your lawns or garden, and dare not forget the artificial wicked additives in the processed foods and in the artificial beverages. Monosodium glutumate is clinically well known as damaging to your nervous system.

The connection is clinically simple to make, but while the EPA has very very very lukewarmly, and with a velvet hammer at that, outlined exposure limits to ensure public safety against heavy metals, the medical mainstream has yet to fully acknowledge the threat that heavy metal toxicity poses on an everyday basis, at least to the human body. Consequently, the many subtle signs of ill-health that accumulate over time are easily mistakenly attributed to a different cause.

You can ably surmise what happens when the root cause of ill-health is not correctly identified and addressed. In the meantime, the only universally accepted method of heavy metal detox or removal, is a complicated and expensive process known as, intravenous chelation, available only at specialty clinics. It It takes a lot of time and often depletes your body's inventory of essential trace minerals.

Introducing the clinically safe natural chelator.

This natural chelator known as MCP is a complex polysaccharide in a class of polyuronides. Reader, no worries, this writer will simplify that for you shortly; and you are very familiar with it's components except they have to be in a very specific form. It's molecular structure is the key to it's abilities to bind to and eliminate heavy metals effectively and safely and in a very short time.

In solution, it forms what is referred to as an egg-box, in which long negatively charged fiber chains stick together in groups that create pockets. Positively charged metal cations are attracted to these chains, and are thus loosened from your soft tissues. They then become trapped in the pockets of the egg-box from where they are very easily excreted from your body. The effectiveness of that excretion is amazing, exactly as Mother Nature intended, because the major obstacle in the intravenous chelation modality, arises in the digestive tract.

Even when an agent has managed to loosen and bind toxins from your tissues, more often than not, this process is easily nullified in your intestines, where the heavy metals are easily reabsorbed. The only way to prevent this is to somehow block re-absorption, such that all the toxins are eliminated together with your body's waste.

Therefore, this natural chelator has a mistress, Alignates.

Alginates is another amazing group of polyuronides obtained from a specific type of seaweed and are historically used to treat acute radiation poisoning. Oh yes, you guessed correctly, that like MCP, the structure of the alginates enables them to trap heavy metals in pockets. So, by pairing the two in combination, the reabsorption of the toxins in the intestines is prevented.

Equally important is that neither one of this natural duo can bind to your essential trace minerals, therefore you wont be risking deficiency during the process of detox at your home. Do bear in mind that the loosening of the heavy metals from your tissues and bones occurs in a gradual manner, clinically proven safe and efficient and no side-effects whatsoever.

Detoxes your body clean with just two capsules a day of MCP.

Clinical reports in the Biomedical Environmental Science of Sept. 1991, yes of course, that is almost two decades ago, establish a very clear connection between prolonged exposure to the toxins and the development of disease in you.

The reports clearly show that the diseases from heavy metal toxic exposure can be very effectively reversed, safely, gently, inexpensively and without any bad side effects whatsoever. Take the example of a 63 year old female who had a history of toxic metal exposure, and consequently suffered from chronic anxiety and depression.

Within two months of being administered MCP, her lead levels decreased by 100% and her mercury levels decreased by 83%. She hadn't felt better in years until MCP came along. The remainder of mercury is because her teeth carry dental fillings that are toxic.

Then there is a fifty seven year old male with suspected mercury exposure, and a decade long history of headaches, constipation, IBS and a family history of Alzheimer's disease. Within twelve months of using MCP his mercury levels decreased by 73%, and almost all his health complaints disappeared.

Depression Disorder, Eating

The longer an eating disorder goes untreated, the greater the chance there is of developing a depressive disorder, and yet at the same time, depression and other mental health problems are also known to increase the risk of developing an eating disorder. The fact is there is a relationship between depression and eating disorders and other mental health problems can coexist with both.

Both depression and eating disorders are becoming increasingly common. According to the Mental Health Foundation 10% of the population in the UK will experience some form of depression every year, and 2% of women as well as some men will suffer from an eating disorder. Anorexia is more likely to affect young women whereas bulimia is more likely to affect older women and is more common than anorexia. Compulsive eating affects both women and men equally and approximately 10% of all people with eating disorders are men.

What is a depressive disorder?

A depressive disorder can be defined as a set of symptoms ranging from mild to severe that coexist with overwhelming feelings of sadness and an inability to take pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed to the extent that they interfere with normal daily routines. There are several different types of depressive disorders including clinical depression, bipolar disorder or manic depression, post natal depression, seasonal affective disorder or SAD and post traumatic stress disorder. No one knows why some people become depressed and not others, but low self esteem is known to increase the risk of developing a depressive disorder and is also an underlying factor in eating disorders.

Symptoms of depression

o Feeling tired and lethargic for most of the time

o Persistent low moods and sadness, a feeling of despondency

o Sleep disturbances, either inability to sleep or sleeping too much

o A pessimistic outlook on life

o Feeling anxious and nervous

o Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, low self esteem

o Frightening and irrational thoughts

o Loss of pleasure in activities and lack of interest in sex

o Avoidance of social contact and social situations

o Changes in appetite involving either loss of appetite or an increased appetite and associated weight loss or weight gain

o Emotional outbursts for no apparent reason

o Irritability

Eating disorders

There are three main types of eating disorders and these include:

o Anorexia Nervosa - characterised by a fear of putting on weight to such an extent that the person doesn't eat or eats very little, sometimes to the extent that they can starve themselves to death. By controlling what, when, and if they eat, they feel safe, secure and in control. Feelings behind anorexia include a low self esteem, a distorted self image and fear of rejection. It is a potentially life threatening condition.

o Bulimia Nervosa - someone with bulimia eats copious amounts of food and then feel guilty and out of control so try to purge themselves by vomiting, starving themselves or taking laxatives. It is harder to detect than anorexia because the weight remains relatively stable and the sufferer keeps their behaviour hidden, it is also more common than anorexia.

o Compulsive eating - involves eating for comfort or for emotional security and is characterised by nibbling all day without being able to stop. People who eat compulsively are usually overweight. It can be a way of denying or avoiding problems and is often associated with low self esteem, feelings of worthlessness, loneliness and emptiness.

Possible triggers of depression and eating disorders

There is not a single cause that will trigger either depression or an eating disorder as combinations of factors are involved. For example:

o Stressful events and experiences such as problems at home, bullying, abuse, loss of someone close, rejection, failing at school or work, coping with puberty, worries about sexuality, etc. can all result in a extreme stress which can act as a trigger.

o Either physical or mental health problems can trigger an eating disorder or depression. For example, someone struggling with a physical illness or disability can become depressed. Depression or anxiety related disorders can trigger an eating disorder, and someone with an eating disorder can develop depression - both are linked.

o Low self esteem and feelings of insecurity or feeling out of control of ones life can increase the risk of developing depression or an eating disorder or both.

Some other psychological disorders that can accompany eating disorders include:

o Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

o Manic depression

o Panic disorders

o Anxiety disorders

o Post traumatic stress disorder

o Attention Deficit Disorder

At the root of eating disorders are negative feelings including low self esteem, guilt, shame, sadness, anger, stress, feeling deserving of pain and punishment, all of which can be symptoms of depression too.


The biggest step to combating both depression and any eating disorder is to admit there is a problem in the first place as many people will deny there is anything wrong and without appropriate treatment, these mental health problems can continue indefinitely, and can even be life threatening. It is absolutely essential to seek help from a qualified medical professional in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment, support and guidance to ensure a full recovery.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Exercise For Less Stress

To improve your mood it doesn't seem to matter what kind of exercise you do, nor do you have to become physically fit. In a trial, 40 depressed women were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of running, a weight-lifting programme or a waiting list. Results for both exercise groups were similar and both were less depressed than the control group at the end of the trial.

Other studies reached the same conclusion. In a study of hospitalised depressed patients, mood and fitness improved after a walking or jogging programme, but it didn't matter how much they did of one or the other.

In a study of 55 college students who had had a high number of stressful life events in the previous year, some were assigned to aerobic exercise training, some to relaxation training, and others to no treatment; after the 11-week programme, those who had exercised scored lower on a standard depression test than the other two groups.

In another trial, 43 female students who showed substantial mood symptoms (though not actual depression), took part in either 10 weeks of regular aerobic exercise (1 hour, twice a week), relaxation training, or no exercise. Reductions in depression scores were significantly and consistently greater in the aerobics group. The proof is there. Now if you are ready to make a difference in your life and you are fed up of feeling low, then it's up to you to decide what you will do to increase the amount of exercise you do. Starting to exercise can be simple. Open your front door and walk for just 5 minutes then turn round and go back again. Easy! Next day walk for 10 minutes away from your home and then 10 minutes to return. Do this for several days keeping to 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back but try to walk a bit further each day so you increase the pace of your walking.

Increase the time you walk by about 5 minutes every few days so you are walking a bit further and faster as the days progress.

Always take the stairs If you live in a block of flats you have the perfect opportunity to increase your exercise stamina each time you go out or come home again. Walking up and down stairs is a great ways to exercise and improve not only your heart health, your general health but also your emotional well-being too. Discover how to find the 'new you' here.

Trainspotting Analysis

Trainspotting adapted from Irvine Welsh's novel and made by the Shallow Grave team of writer John Hedge, producer Andrew Macdonald, and director Danny Boyle, giving us characters and moments that are unforgettable. Ewan McGregor plays Renton, an on-and-off heroin addict who can't decide whether to clean up or regress in the company of his loser friends in working-class Edinburgh, and later in London. The film was produced in 1996.

Trainspotting in reality refers to a session of dark linear mark or track that is left in the veins after shooting heroin. The first thing is that heroin users mainline along their arms and inject up and down on the main vein. "Station to station," they call it. For addicts, everything narrows down to that one goal of getting drugs. "Trainspotters" are like that, obsessively taking down the numbers of trains.

The five main actors in this film are all males and with a life threatening drug habit. Trainspotting can be classified under four different types of film genre including: drama, comedy, crime and drug culture. "Trainspotting" is classified as drama since it is a serious story due to the drug habit and several scenes that showed the real lives of junkies, and graphic images of injecting heroin. On the other hand it can be classified as comedy especially when Spud goes to an interview high on speed and other funny moments that are there to lighten up the seriousness of the film. This can be classified as black humour. Surely Trainspotting can also be out under the crime and drug culture genre due to the story in itself and the characters This film gives us a very vivid and real picture of a heroin addict's every day routine.'Choose Life...' the film's most famous quote means a lot. Those portrayed in Trainspotting are the ones that need to understand choosing life; they are the ones that this phrase was penned for and who are these people living a life less ordinary? They are addicts in Scotland, living lives that are synchronized around getting what they need. For three of them, heroin is their mode of addiction, for another passivity, and for the last aggression. They are a mad quintet, pissing away lives that could maybe amount to something.

In the beginning as we are introduced to our humble narrator Renton (McGregor). We can see that he is on a road to nowhere, stealing CDs from a shop in hopes of making a little cash to pay for the next hit. His home away from home is a drug dealer's apartment ( Mother Superior) where he is issued a regular platter of needle, spoon, lighter, and heroin beside his best mates Sick Boy (Miller) and Spud (Bremner). They are as troublesome as he is, though Spud is helpless in his addiction while Sick Boy is just there to compare metaphorical sizes.

Movies about drug addiction are certainly nothing new, but this film makes everything look different, almost like it is the first film to deal with the subject. Trainspotting is brave and frequently hilarious; it's dark, smart and stubborn. It's more than one of the best 'drug movies' ever made; it's arguably the finest film to come out of the UK

Ewan McGregor plays the main character; Mark Renton. He introduces the film Trainspotting with an extremely energetic scene, the former scene accompanied by Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life', along with Renton's sarcastic narration, which rejects our weak, mechanical existence in favour of the joys of heroin. Iggy pop is Renton's hero. He even has a poster of him in his room. When he goes clubbing, we notice that his heroin habit has been going on for a long time as he doesn't recognize any of the new songs at the club. Diane makes him notice this, and Renton starts to realize that heroin has taken so much out of his life.

"People associate it with misery, desperation and death, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it, otherwise we wouldn't do it" He is undoubtedly appalled by society and the materialistic satisfactions it offers. He later compares heroin: 'imagine the best orgasm you ever had and multiply it by a thousand and you're not even there' However, after a few minutes into the film he decides to quit heroin. The viewers may conclude that it is time to move on in life, yet he could not live life without heroin as we see through out the film his various unsuccessful trials at quitting his habit

Renton has a serious drug habit, and due to his unemployment must sustain is by shoplifting and petty theft. When he was on methadone, he had his 'last hit' and this resulted in an overdose. This simply shows an effort to avoid being compliant. In fact, it is this determined attitude which possibly explains heroin's over Renton. He states, "We'd inject Vitamin C if they made it illegal"

Even though he manages to kicked his heroin addiction and starts a new life in London, his old circle of friends are not easy to get rid of and Renton ends up getting involved in a drug deal, and sells 4 kilos of heroin with his 'so-called' friends. Towards the end of the film, he betrays the others by escaping with the money. This shows the viewers that he decided to 'choose life', be 'just like us' which is a doubtful aim; the qualities of which the film questions the whole time

Renton is dreamy, sharp, troubled, and calm, seemingly all at the same time, and you never know where you are with him, as he never knows where he is with himself. It's an understated portrayal of an essentially rootless character - yet a magnetic one.

Johnny Lee Miller plays the part of Sick Boy who is portrayed as a handsome guy who has the habit of talking nonsense and bombarding his mates with trivia about Sean Connery. He is a womanizing James Bond wannabe, who is highly intelligent. Sick Boy is the one who seems least affected by his heroin habit. In fact, when Renton tries to quit heroin, Sick boy does the same just to spite him In the film Trainspotting Sick boy is the one who trivializes heroin and seems to have no problems with his addiction contrary to the rest of the crew.

"The film only touches on the question of how far his persona is genuine or just social camouflage" . Sick Boy's behaviour in the final parts of the film show how the death of his baby has affected him and made him more crime prone. He starts to deal in drugs, pimping and becomes an all round con. Renton states that when Sick Boy's child passed away, something inside Sickboy must have died and never came back .

Later in the film, Renton escapes to London to start a new life, while Sick Boy and the rest of his friends remain in the Scottish capital. When he visits Renton unexpectedly, he immediately sells Renton's television without consent and he also offers to sell Renton's passport. Sickboy is so fixated with his new criminal career that he never even bothers to think about Renton's feelings. "He becomes obsessed with developing useful contacts for that elusive 'big deal', and sticks a finger in any pie on offer" He becomes a manipulative pimp and drug-pusher at every opportunity and wouldn't hesitate about taking advantage and manipulating anyone for the purpose of self-advancement. All through out this ordeal Sick boy remains as vain as always.

Tommy, played by Kevin McKidd, contrasts vividly with the other main characters. He is portrayed as athletic, finding pleasure walking in the countryside, weight lifting and watching football rather than making use of drugs. As the film progresses, there is a drastic change in Tommy, turning him into the worst of the bunch with a "rapid and fatal" descent .

Tommy's relationship with his girlfriend Lizzie does not seem to be progressing well. The strain of finding their homemade porn film missing because Renton "borrowed" is the final straw for Lizzie and breaks off the relationship. When his efforts to patch up his relationship fail, Tommy falls in a depression and resorts to drugs. Sadly enough (black comedy), it is Lizzie, the very person whom Tommy loves that causes his death. With the increased use of heroin, Tommy contacts HIV. His initially clean and tidy apartment becomes filthy. His final tentative to regain Lizzie sees him getting her a kitten, which she refuses. Tommy is found dead due to an infection from the kitten's faeces . This has a social connotation as HIV and AIDS due to heroin abuse was on the increase and booming in 1996.

Clarke considers this character's story helps to create an ethical perspective in this film, giving the audience something to think about. Anyone can fall victim to drug abuse, even youths considered as 'good'. Clark states that Tommy is portrayed as free from drugs on film whereas makes use of amphetamines in Irvine Welsh's novel. This could be credited to the fact that certain individuals would prefer watching the film rather than reading the book thus the message has to be harsher to get across. The same can be said of Tommy's behind-the-scene drug use. As the film proceeds, Tommy's health aggravates thus shocking the audience. In the end, without Lizzie, Tommy "chose not to choose life" but heroin and death .

Begbie considers himself better than any of the rest. This is seen clearly when he lectures his friends after Renton narrowly escapes imprisonment , and trys to appear mature in front of Renton's parents and when he claims that never would he "poison" himself with chemicals. Alcohol can also be considered as a harmful chemical to the body, but Begbie doesn't see it as such. Begbie takes a commanding attitude when with his friends, for example in the final pub fight scene when he orders Renton to bring him a cigarette or during the hallucination scenes as well as during his stay with Renton in England.

Spud, the "amiable, childlike loser" as described by Clarke, is played by Ewen Bremner . Clarke considers Spud's life as brimming with wrong choices, including his choice of drugs which is considered unsuitable to his weak character . During his six-week relationship with Gail, they never had sex. On the night she wanted to have sex with him, Spud was too drunk to do anything. On awaking in Gail's bed the following morning, he finds the sheets soiled. Spud's bowel contents end up smeared on Gail and her parents whilst eating breakfast .

Clarke compares other scenes from the film. Spud gets incarcerated for shoplifting while Renton emerges practically scot-free. Similarly, Diane sees Spud lying intoxicated under the pavement during the letter scene whilst the others appear lucid . Also, despite various threats, Spud is the only member of the group to be injured by Begbie. Nonetheless, it is inevitable for everyone to love Spud. The audience sympathise with him. Renton wishes he ended in prison instead of his friend. In the end, he leaves money only for Spud because he pities him.

Kelly Macdonald starring as Diane is young but wise beyond her actual years. This is shown especially when she deals with men. At first, Renton sees her at a nightclub rejecting the advances of a man by drinking both drinks and leaving, and secondly when Renton approaches her outside the club and responds to his weak chat with a coldly cruel speech that leaves him completely dejected. However, when she leaves the taxi door open for Renton to go in, it becomes clear that the negative response may have been purely a tool to create sexual power over him.

Later in the film, after a night of passion with Renton in her bedroom, Renton and the audience are amused and disturbed to see Diane changing from her silver dress into her school uniform. The audience understands the position Renton has found himself in. He ought to escape from this situation or else face the consequences since she is underage. However, Diane has once again the power over Renton in this situation because if she tells the police, Renton will face prison. She knows the law and blackmails him to meet her again . Diane also seems to be more knowledgeable about modern culture. In fact she emphasizes that shooting heroin, listening to Iggy Pop and the fact that Renton and the main protagonists are still in Edinburgh are outdated, "Times are changing, music is changing, even drugs are changing" .

Establishing sexual power over men is also seen in other women in the film. In a nutshell, Trainspotting's male characters are ready to drop their usual secure façade and jeopardize embarrassment to fulfill their sexuality. The women in Trainspotting seem to be more than happy to coerce. For instance Spud's girlfriend refused to sleep with Spud during their six-week relationship but she later admitted to Lizzy that she wants to sleep with Spud yet she loves watching him suffer. Lizzy is also seen as ridiculing and sexually controlling her men. She would not deny herself from having sex with Tommy since it is her only pleasure she gets from him. However, later in the film, when Thomas could not find the highly intimate private video, Lizzy was ashamed. She was so furious with him that she left him .

Alison, played by Susan Vidler, is a typical drug-craving mother. She is self-centred, completely neglecting her daughter. When the baby is found dead in her cot, Renton narrates that they did not know who father her baby. This furthers the belief that she is quite immature and lacking in morals, having sexual contact with all male members of the group. On discovering her daughter's death, one of her initial reactions is to take heroin.

Mother superior is the group's heroin provider. Although he is seen administering the drug to the friends, he himself is never viewed making use of it. Mother superior cannot be considered completely as friend to them because he ultimately wants money for the drugs he provides. However, when Renton overdoses, Mother superior calls for a taxi and provides money for it. This can be interpreted as a friendly gesture but also as helping Renton to avoid getting in trouble. Mother superior knows the different characters of the group. This can indicate that they have all be using drugs for quite a while, thus frequenting Mother superior's place often. During the film, the characters are seen shoplifting to sustain their drug habit. The need to steal might have been initiated by Mother superior demanding hard cash.

The bond Renton has with his friends is just the common goal of shooting the next hit. When he is not on drugs he has to face reality, which is, maintaining relationships, meeting girls and everyday responsibilities. The film portrays what seems to be united group. However, there is a fear of Begbie because of his violence and alcoholic tendencies as well as him being the older of the lot. Sickboy, Renton, Spud and later on in the film Tommy all have a heroin addiction, thus their preferred method to solve problems is taking a hit. Begbie solves his by drinking and fighting. The group share stolen money and tend to shoplift in groups. When they go to the clubs, they party together. Still, in the end Renton calls the rest of the group "so-called friends".

The relationship between Renton and Spud can be thought of the best within the characters. As mentioned before, Renton cannot help liking Spud. Renton is seen giving his friend hints before Spud's job interview. Even though it is considered wrong, Renton offers Spud some speed to put him at easy. When both of them are caught shoplifting, Renton wishes he went to prison instead of Spud. In the same scene, he admits feeling lonely, although being surrounded with family and friends. At the end of the film, Renton felt sorry for Spud because he never harmed anyone or said a bad word about his friends. Thus, he left money only to Spud. This relationship is further supported by the fact that Renton asks Spud if they would take the money and go. Renton could have more easily grabbed the bag and left before Spud would have reacted in any way.

Renton has a good relationship with Tommy as well, thinking of him as one of his best friends. Tommy also considers Renton a friend by confiding with him the problems he had with Lizzie. Renton felt sorry for Tommy when he found his HIV positive friend living in a horrible, filthy apartment. He tried to make amends by giving money to Tommy to pay the rent. This relationship is somewhat ironic because Tommy's downfall is caused by Renton when he stole Tommy and Lizzy's video. From the beginning, Renton and Sickboy's relationship does not seem strong. Renton is slightly jealous of Sickboy. This impression is born by the fact that Sickboy can easily overcome heroin just because Renton is trying to quit. Sickboy does not seem to have any problems dating girls in the disco scene whereas Renton did not like the females around him, except for Diane. Towards the end of the film, Renton states that Sickboy would betray him off as well if he thought about it first. Sickboy himself admits the fact.

Spud and Tommy are seen alone talking about sex a highly private issue since they both have a girlfriend. Their girlfriends also seem to be in confidence with each other. They are comfortable sharing problems: Spud - no sex in a six-week relationship; Tommy - forgetting Lizzy's birthday. He had a ticket for Iggy Pop for the same night. When Tommy dies, Spud sings him a song. This little act shows how much Spud cared for Tommy. Begbie's relationship with Renton is slightly contradictory. Begbie trusts Renton enough to confide with him when he went out with a transsexual without knowing at first. However, Begbie threatens Renton on several occasions, his aggressive nature taking over all emotions. Renton pleases Begbie mainly because he fears him. Renton tries not to oppose Begbie because he is "a psycho" At the end of the film Renton states that he did not care that he betrayed Begbie.

The relationship portrayed between Mother superior and Renton cannot be termed as a friendship because ultimately Mother Superior's business consists of selling drugs to Renton and the rest of the group. Still their relationship runs deeper than the normal dealer-user relationship. Mother superior could have easily dumped Renton somewhere instead of calling a taxi to take him to hospital. However, some may doubt the gesture as generated due to friendship. The audience could believe that paying for the taxi is a little price to pay when compared to all the trouble Mother superior could get if found with a dead body.

Trainspotting could be described as conveying an anti-drugs message, which is portrayed through "character studies rather than a patronizing preach" This film presents its audience with more than one view of drug Throughout the film, the youth characters are frequently seen cooking heroin and injecting the latter into their bodies (, however it also portrays the pain, agony, melancholy and unhappiness that are derived from this drug addiction . One could say that this film is a warning about the fears and perils of drug addiction, mainly heroin addiction .

Trainspotting's anti-drug message mainly lies within the film's ability to illustrate and tackle the reason as to why young people are attracted to drugs. Furthermore the film's power and success into presenting the audience with the negative results, damage and consequences that derive from this type of addiction convey this anti-drugs message more clearly. The film portrays these negative results and damages constantly throughout the film. The film and its characters enter a world of neglect, dieing babies, AIDS, anxiety, depression, boredom and hopelessness. Moreover the other anti-drugs message that derives from this film "goes beyond causes and consequences in explaining that serious drug abuse is itself beyond cause and consequences: Renton asks, "Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?" .

Trainspotting deals with the mid 80's heroin subculture of Edinburgh, "when Pakistani smack had glutted the UK market, becoming, for thousands of ordinary people mired in unemployment, a cheaper means to oblivion than alcohol". It analysis the likelihood of youth subcultures to surpass "their social class contect and form(ing) a class of their own" In this film even "nonravers" are portrayed as drug users, both in a literal sense ("state-sanctioned chemicals like alcohol or tranquilizers") and in a metaphorical sense ("TV, videos, computer games, the adrenaline rush of football violence") .

Hebdige (1979:100) maintains that "style is an intentional communication." Barthes (N.D.) as cited in Hebdige (1979:100), differentiates between "subcultural" and "normal styles." The subcultural style collects those insistent mixtures of clothing, music, jargon and so on, and nearly exhibits a corresponding connection to "the more conventional formulae (normal suits, ties, twin sets, etc.)". The clothes that individuals wear are selected within the constraint of preference, taste, cost etc. Such choices embrace a wide range of messages, which are communicated through the delicately assorted distinctions of a number of "interlocking sets" such as status, self-image and class. Subcultural styles distinguish themselves from normal styles as "they are fabricated and they display their own codes," and this is constantly portrayed throughout the film (Hebdige, 1979:100-101). Through the clothes worn by the characters in the films, they are portraying the message that they do not belong to the "normal culture" but they belong to a class or subculture of their own; "I speak through my clothes" (Eco, 1973 as cited in Hebdige, 1979:100).

Trainspotting can be described as dark humor, but junkies' world over priced the film heartily. It's a film that is mainly about people that do not want to belong. Trainspotting is not the first film about heroin, but the first one that is a 'slap in our faces are both the grim realities of life at the tip of a needle and a freewheeling, pop-music-fueled glorification of the addicts' smack-happy existence' .

The Trainspotting soundtrack was wildly successful in the international charts after the release of the film itself, in the 1990's. The music score is mainly composed of popular music. Sometimes the film takes the semblance of a music video, with conversation kept at a bare minimum. The scene and the soundtrack are complete and enough for the viewer to understand. This is used several times and for different purposes .

In the first ten minutes of the film, we are transfixed; watching as the anti hero Renton and Spud race through the streets and a voice over begins:"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television; choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. . . ."

This litany goes on and then we get a view of Renton lying in heroin stupor and the voice over ends with:

"But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?"

Accompanying this powerful scene is Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life'. 'Lust for Life', in which the lyrics, are markedly subordinated to Renton's voice-over after the thumping opening few bars, so much so that the only lyrical fragments that can be heard are the opening line 'Here comes Johnny Yen again...' and the choral refrain ('I gotta lust for life'). Incidentally, Iggy Pop is renowned for his past heroin abuse and is mentioned quite a lot in the film. The two eventually come to signify each other - Mark Renton is the central character of the film, and Iggy Pop is the most prominent artist on the soundtrack album. Iggy Pop's music also lends a sense of rebellion to the film. We can notice Iggy Pop's poster in one of the scenes too

Renton's knowledge of new music is limited and this is seen when they go clubbing. Renton is ill at ease; he hasn't been out for a long time and is not in touch with the current music scene. This is where we have the inclusion of the songs Born Slippy and 'For what you dream of'. All this shows how Renton has been so wrapped up into his heroin habit that he is totally put of touch. The only song Renton recognizes is a song originally by Blondie called "Atomic' (an 80's song). The shift in emphasis is evident in Trainspotting itself as, although the musical character of the score gradually shifts from the proto-punk of Iggy Pop through to the more recent waves of dance music

Some of the music was recorded purposely for the film. For example Pulp's "Mile End", which accompanies Mark Renton's moving into a London flat. The lyrics of the song describe the state of the flat he moves into:

"It smelt as if someone had died
The living room was full of flies.
The kitchen sink was blocked
The bathroom sink not there at all..."

Another song created by the group Leftfield for the film is ironically called 'The final Hit'. Throughout the film Renton takes many of his so called final hits. It is mainly an instrumental track, with harmonic chords which contrast with a dark, almost overpowering rhythm track. The contrast between harmony and rhythm may represent Mark Renton's mixed feelings at this point in the film - he desperately wants to give up heroin, but the feeling it gives him is too pleasurable.

As a whole the music used in the film is full of irony. For example when Renton is hallucinating that he is disappearing down the 'dirtiest toilet in Scotland', we hear a mellow piece of ambient music by Brian Eno, aptly called Deep Blue Day. The film takes a surreal twist here and we enter a world of soft sounds and images as Renton swims in a blue ocean. This all contrasts harshly with the reality of Renton digging into a filthy toilet to find his heroin suppositories, while he vomits uncontrollably

All of the songs in the soundtrack of Trainspotting have become significant to people who saw it and associate the songs to the film; to heroin. At this time, the term heroin chic was having great impact in the world. Heroin chic was a trend in the 90's that characterized the "thin, sickly look of junkies. Blank expression, waxy complexion, dark circles under the eyes, sunken cheeks, excessive thinness, greasy hair" were seen on runway models showing the 'heroin chic' look and promoted in popular magazine and fashion circles as 'chic'. This fragile, thin, and drug-addicted look was well-liked in the fashion world. In fact, in 1997 it was the basis of the advertising campaign of Calvin Klein. The heroin chic fashion provided debate and anti-drug groups protested. "Fashion designers, models such as Kate Moss and James King, and movies such as Trainspotting were blamed for glamorizing the heroin chic look and lifestyle"

Former US President Bill Clinton condemned the heroin chic look and the 'heroin chic' fashion photography for sending a message that using the drug is 'glamorous' and 'sexy'. He said, "You do not need to glamorize addiction to sell clothes." As he saw it, the glorification of heroin "is not creative. It is destructive. It is not beautiful. It is ugly. And this is not about art. It is about life and death. And glorifying death is not good for any society" Not surprisingly much of the mainstream press and the dailies were horrified by the apparent glorification of heroin use in the film Trainspotting. Junkies were presented as righteous heroes choosing freedom over the tyranny of consumer society. Suddenly all values were inverted as viewers and readers were invited to identify and empathise with low-lifes who would think nothing of spending all day watching telly and shooting heroin. Trainspotting helped a new morbid fascination with the drug heroin by portraying powerful role models in the movie. For years heroin has been very popular in the lives of young celebrities for example River Phoenix (who died of an overdose in 1992).

Trainspotting was a great hit and could be seen of more than advertisement than a film. Even years after the film was released, the film about heroin addiction is was of the best marketed films that portrays cultural images of the heroin subcultures. Trainspotting has received a cult following. The film addresses both the problems of heroin addiction from a user point of view to an anti-drug point of view. Trainspotting manages to shock us, terrify and disgust us one moment and make us laugh the next. Trainspotting does not really have a plot but simply follow the daily lives of this group of junkies

Drugs are the main focus of this film. In the 1990's a new wave of music and drugs started to emerge. Heroin was seen as old-fashioned (Iggy Pop). With the film Trainspotting heroin was given the spotlight. Characters like Sick Boy and Renton became idols for rebellious teenagers who wanted to experiment in drugs, felt disillusioned, unattached from society. Trainspotting became the bible to this new generation of heroin junkies. They had a soundtrack and idols to emulate. On the other hand one could have viewed the film as it is; an ironic and cynical peep hole into the lives of a group of heroin addicts. The tragedy of the film is apparent to the viewer, but than it is up to the individual to interpret it.