Saturday, October 12, 2013

Deep Depression Symptoms and How to Pull Out From Such Symptoms?

Depression has different stages and it can be really deep and severe which can be life threatening. In deep depression a person often tends to have suicidal attitudes and becomes totally socially ostracized. He feels low and socially outcast even if others don't think of him so. The depression symptoms make one loss interest or pleasure among worldly things and there is always a kind of fear in their minds. Sometimes to overcome the symptoms they get engaged themselves in drugs, and other medications which in the long run hamper the health.

What are the deep depress symptoms?

Depressed Mood: A person with deep depression always looks sad or empty and may cry or feel very low. Children suffering from deep depression remain secluded and cry in anguish.

Decreased Interest or Pleasure: There is a kind of diminished interest in daily activities, and other regular work.

Weight Changes: Deep depressed persons often show weight changes either they gain or loss weight. In children the weight changes is more noticeable.

Sleep Disturbances: Persons suffering from deep depression often bear symptoms of sleeplessness or insomnia.

Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation: The person remains always restless or agitated and remains physically slowed downed in daily work.

Fatigue: Fatigue is also a symptom in deep depressions

Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt: Depressed persons always have the feeling of guilt and worthlessness in this world and they feel to have no control over things.

Thoughts of Death: This is the most depressed feeling and is threatening too. The depressed person may start having thoughts of death, suicide, and may attempt few too with specific plans.
The adverse affects of deep depression on overall health of persons are really dangerous. So you need to control your depression and try to get rid of it before it takes dangerous turn.
Medications and psychotherapy are few steps that most folk follow to tackle the deep depressions. These are no doubt effective methods to control the depression but they cannot eradicate it from your life completely!
The only way to remove depressions forever from your life is to bring positive energies inside you, become more faithful towards God, and have unquestionable faith in Him and prayers. You have to find the solace on His arms only. The real solution to a depression free life is only in spirituality. Your spirituality with take you close to God! If you have thoughts that your life is full of sins and you are not acceptable to his arms now, you are very wrong! God is the epitome of mercy and none can be as merciful as HIM!

Early Sexual Abuse: And Related Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological syndrome first recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980 (American Psychiatric Association).

The literature on traumatic anxiety covers a wide range of varying circumstances and experiences. The effects of these experiences, whether from natural disasters or events of human creation, war, terrorism or single acts of violence against one person are often determined by the individual's capacity to cope with stress. This in turn is a function of each person's early developmental experiences with trust, constancy and mastery. Traumatic abuse, sexual or otherwise, in the first years of human life not only effects the child in the moment, but has a more lasting effect on the ongoing development of the defense system itself.

Individual psychology believes that traumatic anxiety is most often seen as resulting when the ego is "overwhelmed or disorganized" with the defenses employed in the service of maintaining a sense of self-constancy and continuity. More specifically, the defense function acts to ward off a sense of discontinuity or void in one's identity. Therefore, the trauma is considered an attack, real or potential, escalating the anxiety to terror as a consequence the protective rage is rendered unconscious and turned inward to depression and guilt, or outward to action discharge. This process is called into action to protect against these powerful threats to the integration of the self. It reminds one of the often-quoted words of Freud "that what makes us neurotic in adulthood is what we learned in childhood to stay alive." The key is the breakdown in the growing psychic apparatus and its ability to provide stimulus barrier. Therefore, effecting a breach in the ego's boundaries or protective shield.

These stimuli are experienced as overwhelming and producing a sense of helplessness, often leading to a sense of hopelessness. Clearly, the trauma can be psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual (most commonly, incest), often involving aspects of all four. In the case of incest what stands out - adding to the terror caused by the actual and potential attack, with its accompanying sense of helplessness - is the humiliation, shame, and feelings of degradation. Commonly, these feelings lead to an identification with the aggressor internalizing the sadistic and masochistic components (all rendered unconscious), resulting in intense guilt and self-blame. Perhaps the most crucial component of the trauma for survivors of sexual abuse is not only that it results from acts causing severe pain, suffering, humiliation and intimidation, but that it is inflicted by those deemed protectors. Another factor in this process is the strong demand from the instigators that the victim become part of a conspiracy of silence. This leads to further operations by the victim's defense system in order "to stay alive," primary among them being the defense of denial.

My interest in traumatic stress and anxiety began over two decades ago. At the time I was involved in a project working with Vietnam veterans addicted to various kinds of drugs. This project was designed to study the effect of psychotherapy as an adjunct to chemotherapy (methadone) on the addicted veterans. While working with this group, I noticed that many of the patients diagnosed with divergent kings of addictive disorders also exhibited symptoms of depression, anxiety, sadness, profound withdrawal, and brooding. Also, I observed that these veterans suffered severe mood swings, deep character change and survivior-guilt nightmares. At the core was always the overwhelming sense of helplessness and hopelessness. In the past these symptoms were most often associated with survivors of overwhelming trauma such as the Holocaust during World War II in Europe and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. It was clear that for the patients exhibiting symptoms such as those mentioned above, the abuse of drugs was part of an effort to self-medicate and ease the emotional pain. The drug abuse, then, was seen as a serious, yet secondary problem, whose goal was both to mask and alter those feelings of being powerless to change one's intolerable emotional state. This same approach can be used to understand those individuals who survived early-life incest and sexual abuse.

However, there is a much more limited discussion as to how the wider understanding applies to adult survivors of early childhood incest experiences. Working with those suffering PTSD as a result of war experiences, we learned first to note the cluster of characteristic symptoms, and to see the connection between an overwhelming distressing and disorienting event, often beyond the normal range of human coping capacities, and the resultant later symptomatology. The stimuli producing these events were experienced with such an intense terror and helplessness notwithstanding all attempts to deny, internalize or act out, the traumatic event is relived as a series of intrusive recollections or as repetitious dreams and nightmares in which the trauma recurs. Though the symptomatology varies from person to person, it remains a number of common characteristics. Quite often there are dissociative disorders: fugue states, period of derealization, amnesias and trance state, lasting for a few moments, for several hours, and even for several days. Because of the extensive use of denial in most cases of sexual abuse, complete loss of memory of the abusive events are quite common. Of course, what is also quite common is that the individual becomes symptomatic (usually bouts of depression or intense free-floating anxiety), or given to explosive action discharge.

Another expression of the dissociative symptoms mentioned is found in the expression by incest survivors the feelings of depersonalization, feeling detached and estranged from others. Some survivors exhibit a need for a hypervigilance of their surroundings and talk of an exaggerated sensitivity to touch. Also commonly experienced is a kind of anhedonia, a loss of the experience of pleasure, an incapacity for happiness or to feel strong emotions, especially those associated with trust, intimacy, tenderness and sexuality. Still another affective disturbance commonly found in incest survivors and other sufferers of post-traumatic conditions is called alexithymia, it is characterized by poorly differentiated affects which inadequately serve the signal function. Sufferers often think in very pragmatic ways, almost robot-like, appearing super-adjusted to reality and quite stoical in appearance. In psychotherapy these individuals tend to recount trivial, chronologically ordered events of daily life in monotonous detail. They stifle imagination, intuition, empathy, fantasy, especially in relation to others. This phenomenon is seen from a psychoanalytic perspective as a group of developmental defenses against totally terrifying experiences of early life.

from a historical perspective, the disguised or hidden victims of incest and sexual abuse have long remained unrecognized or disbelieved. For many, in the mental health profession, the central nature of trauma in the development of psychopathology is indisputable. And, of the traumas in early childhood, the most damaging to the individual psyche is the trauma of incest. Its growing recognition in recent years has been a welcome turnaround from the earlier view that the individual's memory of incest and sexual abuse was invariably the expression of an infantile wishful fantasy.

Psychological Testing - Advantages and Disadvantages

Psychological tests are used for assessment and evaluation of the test taker by a competent examiner. That is why it is also called psychological assessment. But of course, the tests can only be accurate and reliable if you answer it carefully, honestly and seriously.

A competent psychologist is generally the interpreter of these psychological tests. But it should be noted that psychological tests are advantageous only in certain situations. Free psychological tests circulated through the internet are usually bests for entertainment purposes.

So what are some useful types of psychological tests? Tests that measure your knowledge about a certain specific topic, or capacity for certain skills are called achievement and aptitude tests. Intelligence tests would say about your general ability to know the world around you. It also assesses how you use the intelligence to adapt to the world, and in what manner you apply this general ability. Therefore, we can say that the focus of intelligence tests is potential. Neuropsychological tests measure loss in functions of cognitive ability. Occupational tests are used to match your interests with the interests involving a certain career or occupation. Personality tests try to determine the style of your personality usually for clinical or forensic purposes. Specific clinical tests refer to tests that measure certain specific levels within a person in terms of his or her state of mind, like depression or anxiety.

One great advantage for using or taking psychological tests is that it is quite difficult to lie. For example, the Rorschach test does not offer any clue for the test taker about what would be a healthy response or an unhealthy response to the questions asked by the test. In this way, biases for making a favorable or an unfavorable impression can be avoided. Another advantage is the scientific consistency present through the test that cannot be found in clinical interviews. For instance, when it comes to legal situations, these tests can be more helpful than interviews. And last but not the least; information can be more easily taken from tests instead of interviews. Both psychologists and clients can compromise the reliability of clinical interviews.

However, sometimes tests do not really measure what they are supposed to measure. Therefore always remember the following guidelines:
• Always identify the purpose of testing.
• Identify the names and rationales of the tests.
• Always get the results of the tests.

Remember these guidelines, and always refer to a psychologist you trust.

A Word for Carers of People With Depression

A word for you; for carers and others:

This article is intended for carers, friends, family members or other significant people of those who are experiencing problems with Depression.

As a carer, a family member or somebody who is close to or who loves a person with depression, it can be frustrating to say the least as to know what to do about the situation. You may feel mentally exhausted and/or perhaps physically, spiritually drained or perhaps in any other way and just not know what you can do or where to turn. You might be exhausted of ideas or maybe wonder why the person with depression just doesn't get better or show signs of getting better. What does depression feel like? What does it feel like for those suffering it and what does it feel like for carers and others? Well, this is a very personal feeling and unique to every individual. However, as a carer or other significant person, you may ask "but, what about MY feelings"? Or perhaps you may feel that you've tried everything and yet the person you are caring for is still in the rut of depression. Maybe you feel frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or maybe even angry about the situation. As a carer or somebody significant to the person with depression, you will likely play a huge or significant role in their recovery (remember that there are good treatments for depression), but yet it may certainly not feel like it or it could be a long, long time before you start seeing any 'fruit' or results of your work and efforts. As a carer or significant person, your feelings are also important and deserve to be validated, although in saying this it is worth talking a little about walking in the shoes of somebody with depression as if you can develop sincere empathy it can go a long way towards understanding the situation and in reducing a bit of distress for you as a carer or somebody else significant to the person experiencing depression.

This article is not proposed to be anything spectacular or enlightening and indeed it is not intended to offer any 'quick-fix solutions' or to minimise or exaggerate the reality of depression, and this article may be common knowledge to many people, but the intention is to mention a few things which can help in dealing with living with depression such as developing and practicing true empathy and accepting people unconditionally. There may be more to these aspects than originally meets the eye. The idea with this article is to try to encourage carers or significant others of those with depression to adopt a true empathic attitude towards the person who is battling with depression and to accept them for who and where they are at this point in their lives.

True empathy is not easy to achieve. Empathy has different components to sympathy and empathy can be a real 'skill' to master or achieve. Empathy involves seeing the subjective world from a person's point of view who has depression. A person with depression is not their 'normal' selves and therefore many things in their life can seem bleak or totally useless, pointless or hopeless (among many other ideas, thoughts and feelings). What can YOU do? One thing you can do is to develop true empathy. But, how? There are several elements to this and seeing things the way the other person does can be a real challenge. As carers or significant others, you may rightfully or justifiably know how to help or think you can help if they would just listen to you. For example, you may have told a person with depression a thousand times to talk to a counsellor, to join a support group, to exercise, to go for a walk or whatever and you justifiably think that the person would benefit, and yes, they probably would. However, the point here is to try to see and feel things as the person with depression does. Personally speaking, I remember from my own experience with a Major Depressive Disorder and looking back on it now I wonder how I could have ever sat on the veranda all day staring at nothing and smoking cigarettes, but at the time it seemed all I was capable of doing. We know that exercise has its benefits along with many other things that a person with depression 'can' do, yet in the midst of depression even reading a simple birthday card can literally take an enormous effort. Depression is a sickness, it is NOT an imaginary syndrome or where somebody is indulgent just in self-pity alone. Self-pity may be a part of particular problems in life, but depression has its own set of symptoms such as loss of hope and this is different to self-pity.

One may argue that we have choices and yes we do, and choices can influence how we feel, yet depression is a medical disorder and not just something in the mind. Brain imagery proves such things. A point here is that as somebody who wants to help somebody else with depression, you may very well have some ideas, but forcing these ideas may be counter-productive. Empathy can be a huge asset in supporting somebody with depression and empathy goes hand-in-hand with understanding as best we can. To understand can foster empathy. Understanding, acceptance, empathy and sympathy are all different. Understanding one's problems may not entail demonstrating true empathy. We can understand signs and symptoms of depression and try to give advice or suggestions to the person with depression, yet still not see the subjective, unique and individual world of the person with depression. If a person feels as though somebody can truly empathize with them, it can be a huge asset in facing, overcoming or beating symptoms of depression. Validation can be very powerful. To feel heard and acknowledged can lift a huge weight off the shoulders of somebody with depression. The last thing a person with depression needs to hear are comments such as "why don't you just do something, go for a walk, try a new hobby, something.....!" In the best intention and by the goodness of your heart you may be trying to help, but perhaps other things may be more useful to say such as:

* "Tell me how you are feeling, I'll listen".
* "I love you no matter what".
* "I won't leave you".
* "I don't expect you to suddenly get better".
* "I am by your side, here with you. You are not alone".
* "Things seem pretty tough for you just now and I can try to imagine what it must be like"
* "You are not weird or lazy or anything. I understand that this is medical problem that anybody can get"
* "I believe in you".

Validation, listening and empathy can be a great friend in the lonely and frustrating times of depression. Try to empathise with the person you love or care for. It is NOT to say to get bound-up in pity, but to validate the person even though you may be able to see that what they are doing (perhaps nothing) is not working for them or getting them anywhere.

Depression actually has a good prognosis (likelihood of recovery) in that most people recover. Yes, some perhaps (or do) relapse, but depression may not necessarily hinder a person or incapacitate them for life. Depression can pass.. Bear the pain and ride the pain together with the person you love or care for. A listening ear can be so reassuring even if we don't have answers. Sometimes a person just wants to be heard, listened to, validated. You may not feel as though you are helping at all, and only realise years down the track how much support you were to that person. True empathy is riding the waves together, going up mountains and down into valleys in life together and 'feeling' things as the other person does. We can obviously only do what is humanly possible, but empathy through a non-critical ear can be a cornerstone of one's sense of self and a part of one's recovery of depression.

Empathy also involves discarding your own philosophies and beliefs and adopting those of the other person in order to see their situation through THEIR eyes. It DOESN'T mean that you have to change yourself, but when the other person feels heard, they often feel validated and they can feel empathy from YOU. Well, we might be able to show or demonstrate empathy yet still feel like we are going around in circles or stuck in some sort of rut or maybe it may all seem a bit like feeling pity for the person. What can we do though if nothing is happening? Focus on the positives. Positives can come from almost any situation (or arguably from any situation) and hence the proverb 'every cloud has a silver lining'. Positives may not reveal themselves for a while though so focus on the here-and-now, the present and any little positives at all. Statements including "you should", "you ought to", "why do you...?" and so-forth will not sound very positive to a person with depression. It is not easy though to always identify positives in a situation where somebody has depression. However, the simplest of tasks such as answering the telephone or even still being alive can be seen as positives (although a person in the midst of depression may not agree with such things or see things in such ways). As a carer or significant other (person) what can be some positives? Well, the person with depression may not have committed a crime, or perhaps be drunk today, or have taken their medication or is not going to kill themselves today (plans/thoughts) among many other hypothetical situations. It is normal to focus or think or concentrate on negatives such as a parent who is on the lookout for a child's bad behaviour and forgetting or not acknowledging when the child is good. We can get bound up in the symptoms or problems of depression and sometimes not acknowledge the simplest of positives. Life is not falling down, it is staying down. All of us have falls or maybe only stumbles. We can recover from a fall of depression. It takes time and people to listen, acknowledge, show empathy and focus on positives which can aid a lot in the management of depression.

How Can You Help Your Boyfriend Who Is Suffering From Depression?

A strong support system is very important in depression treatment. I've come across people who would have "lost their mind", gone over the edge, and committed suicide, had it not been for their loved ones being there for them through and through. Loved ones sticking through one's ordeal is really necessary, after all. So if your boyfriend is suffering from depression, don't leave him, even if he tries to push you away.

How To Help Your Boyfriend Cope With Depression

Helping your boyfriend cope with depression is not going to be easy. It's definitely not a "walk in the park". Many times, in our haste and excitement to help our loved ones, we end up saying or doing the wrong things, pushing them further down the brink of depression. It's very important to get on the right footing early on.

Here is a collection of tips on how you can help your boyfriend bounce back to his normal, pre-depressed state:

  • Don't judge him or blame him. It is nobody's fault that he is feeling depressed, so don't take it all on him. And don't make the mistake of being a "Miss Know-It-All".

  • Give him your listening ear. For once, let him do the talking, and simply be there to listen. Your depressed does not need to hear your opinions; he only needs to express himself. Give him that chance to rant about things that bother him.

  • Show him you care. Give him a hug - he needs you to be affectionate.

  • Take him to see a ballgame. Men always love sports, don't they? He is not likely to refuse your offer to take him to see basketball or football, or any other game for that matter. Being in a crowd is bound to make him feel better.

  • Encourage him to do things he used to do as a child. Go bicycle-riding for instance, or ride the ferris wheel. As a child, did your boyfriend enjoy playing in the park? Take him there where he can be free to do whatever he wants.

  • Treat your boyfriend. Make your boyfriend feel like royalty. Treat him to a spa or a therapeutic massage.

When To Seek Professional Help

With these tips, your boyfriend is not supposed to brood for a very long time. Needless to say, you need to watch closely for signs and symptoms that may indicate a worsening condition and the need to get professional help:

  • Little desire to eat. Severe depression can cause people to lose their appetite. Don't let this happen to your boyfriend, else he will be dealing with more problems than he can already handle, such as malnutrition and weight loss, for instance.

  • Food binging. Some people tend to binge to cope with their depression. Food binging is not at all a lesser evil compared to not eating at all. Food binging is unhealthy eating and it can in fact lead to obesity, weight problems, diabetes, and even heart problems.

  • Insomnia. Your boyfriend not sleeping for days is not at all a good sign. This can lead to anemia and lethargy.

  • Paranoia. When one's depression becomes so severe, one may feel paranoid or delusional.

When any of these signs and symptoms are present, don't waste time. Get your boyfriend to see a therapist at once. The therapist is the best person to properly evaluate your boyfriend's case and determine the treatment program that is right for him. Most likely, your boyfriend will be recommended to undergo psychotherapy sessions, to which you, being the significant other, will go to as well. The therapist may also suggest putting your boyfriend on medications to control his feelings of sadness.

5 Tips to Beat Depression Naturally Without Prescription Drugs

Beating Depression naturally is something that has very seldom been tried by people suffering from this problem. People tend to consult professional help after they detect symptoms of depression in them. Depression is a particular state of mind that is unstable with symptoms deviating from normal mental conditions. In simpler words depression might be referred to as anger without enthusiasm.

Depression can happen because of many reasons and it is of different degree.Some have mild form of depression while some may have deeper forms of the problem. To fight depression alone would be a lot tougher for people who suffer from serious depression than the ones suffering from mild depression. It is better for them to take professional help but for the other category they might try a few things on their own. This might them in beating depression naturally. The following five are tips to fight depression.

1) Exercise, that is physical culture and yoga can do a world of difference to you as far as depression is concerned. Exercise gives your system a different dimension and your thought process too. You start thinking differently. It also adds to your confidence because you become a lot more toned and you start looking great and feeling nice with it Boosting of your confidence is of great help.

2) You might make a few changes with your diet which has often been proved handy when it is to beat depression at home. Consuming less carbohydrate substances would be a good idea. Carbohydrate tends to lower blood pressure that can cause depression. Green vegetables must be made a regular diet because research have proved that green vegetables like spinach and such others are foods to fight depression and are really effective when it comes to it.

3) You must try to self analyze the problems that might be causing the depression and try to cure that. Though it is always easier said than done but this can be a very effective way to fight depression on your own. There cannot be a better help than yourself during such time.

4) If you are an alcoholic or addicted to any narcotic substance like drugs or such stuffs then you must make it a point to stop doing them. You must even try to reduce smoking.These stuffs might apparently seem to be stress busters that helps you in beating depression but in fact they work the other way round. These chemicals and tobaccos are causative agents of depression.

5) Last but not the least you should always try to look at the brighter side of things.Depression makes a person think that every thing is dark and hopeless for him. You must try to make yourself believe that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and sooner or later things would turn bright.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Do You Have These Misconceptions About Depression?

Many people fail to get help for depression because they are under the misconception that a person has to experience sadness to be depressed. The truth is someone who is actually depressed may have symptoms which have nothing to do with being sad or hopeless.

You see, depression is a very complex condition which shows up in different ways to different people.

Someone who is always angry and acting out aggressively can easily be depressed. Another person whose emotions are balanced but has serious trouble sleeping and eating can also need help for depression.

Then there are the physical symptoms which indicate a major depressive disorder. Aches, pains and intense fatigue can also be an indication that a person is depressed. Stomach aches, digestive problems, headaches and muscle pains can all be symptoms of depression.

But, interestingly, when it comes to fatigue, it isn't always a clearcut symptom. Experts can usually pinpoint the presence of this disorder by asking the patient when their lack of energy occurs.

Non-depressed patients who suffer from fatigue have no trouble launching into some sort of physical activity. However, they usually "poop out" during physical exertion, keeping them from completing whatever they were doing.

But, if the patient is so fatigued that they're unable to even start any kind of activity, or if they don't get tired until after successfully completing physical activity, the likelihood is that they are, indeed, depressed.

When people visit their doctor to address these issues, often the doctor will delve deeper to see if the patient might also have the more- commonly identified symptoms of depression. This usually begins with questions about the patient's current experience with concentration, recall, motivation and interest in usual activities.

If the patient reports problems in these areas the doctor is apt to move on to questions about emotional issues. NOW, this is where the doctor is likely to uncover the presence of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, bouts of crying and, possibly, sexual dysfunction.

Just like pulling a loose thread on a sweater, the doctor will use the presenting symptoms (i.e., irritability, aches, pains, fatigue) as a starting point to ultimately diagnose a case of depression.

It's easy to justify being tired if you put in lots of hours at work, or are dealing with a household full of kids and hectic activity. But persistent fatigue can signal something more serious. Or, if you're always looking for a fight or blow up at the slightest provocation, you could definitely be depressed. This is why it is so important that these physical symptoms are not overlooked or dismissed, especially if they have been present for two weeks or more without let-up.

Once diagnosed, getting help for depression is a simple matter of determining the best course of treatment for the individual. Often a combination of medication and counselling can be all that is needed to regain the enjoyment and productivity of a well-lived life.

For more in-depth information about the best help for depression, please visit my web site.

Are You a Victim of Manic Depression

For many years now, most people have been left wondering what manic depression refers to. Well, to answer this question, manic depression is one type of depression that makes people have alternating mood swings. At one time the patient may appear to have extremely "high" (what is referred to manic) moods and before you know it, the patient is experiencing extremely "low" (also referred to depressed) moods. This unusual change of moods greatly interferes with your ability to function properly when undertaking various tasks. Manic depression can affect both men and women and most of the time begins during the late stages of teenage hood and if left untreated it may continue into adulthood. Unlike the other types of depressions, manic depression is usually genetically inherited from the patient's family.

Symptoms of this condition are usually placed into three groups namely, the Manic episode, depressive episode and lastly the Mixed episode. The manic episode is often characterized by elevated mood occurrences accompanied by other symptoms that occur for the better part of the day something that sometimes continues to take place for a whole week. These other symptoms include a decreased need for sleep, an increased need for physical activities, poor judgment, having an inflated self-esteem constant agitation and an increased spending spree.

The depressive episode of manic depression is on the other hand characterized by low levels of mood swings and is usually accompanied by five or more other symptoms. These symptoms tend to last the whole day for a period of about two weeks or sometimes even longer. Some of them include high level of sadness experienced by the patient, a sense of hopelessness, sleeping problems, regular fatigue experiences, anxiety and suicidal thoughts or behavior. On rare occasions, an occurrence of mixed episodes take place and the patient is left experiencing symptoms of both manic episodes and depressive episodes. For example, the patient may be feeling very sad and have a hopeless mood while at the same time feel energized.

Manic depression can further be classified into two main subtypes. The first sub-type known as bipolar I disorder, ensures that the patient suffers from at least one episode of manic condition after an occurrence or non-occurrence of an episode of depression. On the other hand, the second sub-type of this depression is known as bipolar II disorder. This sub-type, makes you be subjected to at least one episode of depression and at least one episode of hypomanic (a briefer manic condition) condition. However, there exists another rare manic depression condition referred to as Cyclothymia. This condition appears to be a mild form of manic depression and also includes mood swings although the manic and depression episodes do not get to be felt as severely as would have been expected.

Appropriate treatment including the use of mood stabilizers, Anti-seizure medication and Anti-depressants is usually highly recommended for persons suffering from manic depression. The reason for this is that, this treatment is often vital for reducing the severity and frequency of manic and depressive episodes. By doing this you are left to enjoy your life without worrying about having any of the episodes.

Why Laughter is the Best Medicine

Do you laugh enough each and every day? Research shows that a newborn baby laughs around 300 to 400 times a day. However an adult hardly has time to have a hearty laugh these days. As we grow we tend to get busy with our problems and issues, stress and worry tends to take over. As a result we have forgotten how to laugh from the bottom of our belly like we did when we were children.

Stress is a serious factor that controls many aspects of our lives. It can affect our physical and psychological health. Stress can contribute to all kinds of health problems such as insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, etc. It can also affect our performance at home and at work.

Laughter is a wonderful stress buster. Some of the benefits of laughter are:

1. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones such as epinephrine, adrenaline and cortisol.
2. It increases the level of health-enhancing hormones such as endorphins.
3. It strengthens our immune system by increasing the release of anti-bodies in our system.
3. It leads to a physical and emotional release - many people cry at the end of a good laugh. There is a sense of freedom from bottled-up emotions. They experience a cleansed feeling after a hearty laugh.
4. It is a good internal workout - a good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, the abdominal muscles and the heart. You feel more relaxed afterwards.
5. It distracts your feelings away from anger, guilt, shame, etc. so that your focus is shifted from negative feelings to positive ones.

Laughter plays a vital role in a persons well-being. Laughter has the capacity to heal and make us feel healthier so that we feel refreshed and we regain our strength to carry on with our life. Some of the medical benefits of laughter are: Improved blood circulation, increase in the sense of well-being due to release of endorphins, which are also known as 'feel-good hormones', increased immunity, pain relief, etc.

Now that you understand the positive effects of laughter why don't you raise your laughter level with the following tactics?

1. Instead of watching serious movies on romance and war, you could watch truly hilarious movies on TV or go to funny movies and enjoy a belly-full of laughter with your family. Why not have a laughter challenge with your family or friends.
2. There are enough worries in life. Instead of focusing on them, try to laugh at them. Complain less and laugh more.
3. Studies show that faked laughter also has positive benefits on health. Fake laughter may lead to real smiles and laughter. You could call it laughter medicine.
4. Make it a point to read joke books, laughter quotes or watch funny movies before going to bed because it relaxes you and helps you to have a pleasant sleep.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Signs of Pregnancy - Detect Pregnancy Without Pregnancy Test

Many women, who want to conceive, wonder that what will be the earliest sign of pregnancy that they would notice soon after conceiving. Few women think it confusing as experiences and opinions related to earliest pregnancy symptoms are different. There is another group of women who thinks that missed period is declaration of their pregnancy. Doctors, however, contradict their assumption. Menstrual periods can be missed because of exhaustion, stress or change in medication. Doctors believe that expecting moms must rely on other signs of pregnancy instead of waiting for only missed periods. Further the periods are expected after couple of days of conceiving. The body however starts to give signals just after few days of fertilization. The following reading will enable you to detect pregnancy even before missing the periods

Signs of Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes a long chain of reactions as the result of steep hormonal changes in the body. These reactions include both physical and mental changes. Read through the following passages to see what possible symptoms of pregnancy you can experience in the first few days of pregnancy.

Depression and Mood Swings: If you find yourself crying for no reason or getting into war with your partner; then it is better to blame the hormonal changes instead of spouse. Expecting moms normally feel depressed because of increased level of estrogen.

Morning Sickness or Nausea: One of the sure sign of pregnancy is nausea and rushing to the rest room for vomiting. This vomiting is different from the general queasy feeling so it is a sure sign of pregnancy.

Vaginal Spotting or Light Bleeding: When the fertilized egg travels towards the uterus the next step is its implantation to the wall of the uterus. This implantation results in slight spotting or vaginal bleeding. This is the first sign of pregnancy. The color of this bleeding is different from regular bleeding and is light pink in color. It is harmless. However if there is heavy bleeding it must be discussed with the doctor. As it can be a warning sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy

Flatulence or Gas: Pregnancy results in slowing down the digestive system. This results in different symptoms of indigestion like constipation, nausea and gas.

Fatigue or Tiredness: The level of tiredness or exhaustion reaches extremes in first months of pregnancy. In first few months of pregnancy, the hormones play havoc in the body. Tiredness is the result of these hormonal changes. Further women start to eat comparatively less, which leave them extremely weak and tired.

What Depression Is And What It Is Not

Inevitably you will experience disappointments and loss in your life. That's part of the fine print on the contract you signed when you joined the human race. But like a wave, emotions come and go. You will at some point in your life experience down days and hurt. What causes the imbalance in your life is when the emotions you feel stop moving like a wave and becomes a point stuck in time, keeping you in a constant state of low energy, negative feelings and despair. Here are some ways to find out if the emotional valley you're in is actually depression.

Sadness, Heartache & Despair

You will encounter setbacks and possibly failure in your life. Sadness, heartache, and despair are normal emotions to feel when reacting to bad news. These are realistic and valid ways to feel when life hands you a tragedy. However what keeps these emotions from being depression is that they are transient, and with time (a few hours, a few days, or even a week or two) you will return to your normal emotional set point.

These "negative" feelings are part of the body's natural emotional wave and should be expected when the circumstances are appropriate. These feelings are not fun but they don't interfere with the flow of your life or your self-esteem and are a healthy way of experiencing difficult times. Like an inconvenient rain that only lasts a short while then blows away, these emotions don't keep you from living your life.

The Grieving Process

Grief is also a very normal emotion but can be devastating. Losing a loved one or experiencing a significant loss hurts. There is no way around it. There is no "usual" time period for the grieving process. Grief can last months and in extreme cases years, particularly if the loss has been traumatic and unexpected. Mending a broken heart takes time.

Normally, the loss you are grieving does not affect your self-esteem and this is why grief is also not depression. But say that the grief experienced is a divorce or job loss, or something else that might have been tied to your self-worth, then depression could rise. Finding that your partner doesn't want you anymore or that the job you loved is now gone can affect your self-esteem.

Studies have shown that 25% of people experiencing considerable grief will develop depression.1 Depression, and the feelings of hopelessness and anxiety, may actually interfere with the ability to grieve. When dealing with this double curse the depression will need to be resolved first in order to get to a point where the grieving process can flow and eventually resolve.


You can distinguish depression from sadness and grief by the intensity, endurance, and persistence of the hurt and sadness. Despair and unhappiness has become your set point. There is often long-term, unresolved anger and emotional trauma, as well as, the feelings of hopelessness and loss of self-esteem that come along for the ride. Plus, there is the ever-present tendency of the depressed to blame themselves for feeling that way.

Depression interferes with daily life in a major way. Concentration, eating, sex, and sleeping might be affected. It also might bring with it intense rage, extremely negative thoughts, persistent worrying, restlessness, feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue and low energy, chronic pain, headaches, or stomach aches. There is also a general boredom in all aspects of life and withdrawal from friends and family. The major problem is that this feels "normal" so there is a tendency to do nothing about it.

Symptoms of Depression

From the National Institute of Mental Health

  • Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings

  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

  • Irritability, restlessness

  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

  • Fatigue and decreased energy

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

  • Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

  • Overeating, or appetite loss

  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment


The elephant on the table of depression is suicide. 30% of clinically depressed people will attempt suicide. 15% will succeed.2 If you have suicidal thoughts or you know someone who seems suicidal you need to take them very seriously.

Suicidal Warning Signs

From the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself

  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means

  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge

  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking

  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out

  • Increasing alcohol or drug use

  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society

  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time

  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes

  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

If You Are In Crisis:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call toll-free



**Open 24 Hours A Day, Everyday

This service available to anyone.

You may call for yourself or for someone you care about.

All calls are confidential.


Hope Community Crisis Centers



Depression and Diabetes - A Bad Duo

Why does depression cause diabetes?

The diabetes disease can be brought on by depression. Cortisol, a stress hormone can increase if you get depressed. This hormone can reduce insulin sensitivity. Once insulin sensitivity is compromised the diabetes disease can begin to flourish in your body. This condition of depression is more prevalent in older people. Depression is often undiagnosed. Loss of a loved one may be characterized as grief, a temporary issue instead of depression.

In the four states of Pennsylvania, California, North Carolina and Maryland 4,681 men and women were tracked with an average age of 73. This test was done in 1989. The Archives of Internal Medicine disclosed the following: In these three scenarios (single bouts of depression, chronic depression and depression that worsened over time) an increased risk of diabetes existed in all three cases when depression prevailed.

What to look for

Some signs for possible depression problems can show up physically or emotionally. Check for some of these symptoms so you can put yourself on a healthier track for yourself. The sooner you recognize any of these issues the quicker you can right your ship.

You just don't care. Enjoying things is not on your priority list.

Your sleep schedule has run amok. You have a hard time falling asleep or you often arise during the night. You wake up early and cannot get back to sleep.

Your have a change in your appetite eating more or less than you used to. Quick weight gains or losses occur.

You feel tired most of the time.

Your self esteem has gone down hill. You feel like you cannot do anything right and you worry about being a burden to people.

Mornings usually are the saddest time of the day for you.

You find it very difficult to concentrate as "other thoughts" keep getting in your way.
Nervousness, you always feel so anxious you can't sit still.

You have suicidal thoughts or you think about different ways to harm yourself.

Should you have any of these symptoms you can be hurting yourself mentally but you may compound the issue by bringing on type 2 diabetes as well. Let's break the combination of diabetes and depression by seeing a doctor or joining a support group so you can voice your issues and improve your condition.

Recognizing these issues is the first step to gaining a healthier lifestyle. If you have any concerns about diabetes or potential diabetes issues then claim your free ecourse. It will help you deal with diabetes in a safe and natural way.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stop Boredom Eating

"Hello! I need some advice please! I try to eat healthy and work out on a regular basis, but I constantly eat when I am bored, even though I am not hungry. I get bored and keep wandering into the kitchen and grabbing all kinds of snacks. How do I stop this habit?"

While there are many diverse reasons for overeating, boredom eating is surprisingly common. Research has reported that almost half of all adults sometimes turn to food to stifle feelings of boredom or to manage a negative mood. Most people realize that food is only a temporary distraction from boredom and not a cure. So, if you boredom eat every now and then, don't be too hard on yourself. However, if boredom eating has become a coping habit to suppress awareness of your emotion, you may miss the important message lying beneath your boredom. In addition you may be inadvertently gaining weight, and developing a sense of helplessness about your ability to stop your eating behaviors.

What is Boredom?

Boredom is a complex emotion and an important signal that your life is not being lived to its fullest, most enjoyable expression. Boredom tells you that you have become weary of a life that has become dull, monotonous, repetitive, and routine. You are tired of living in a certain situation or with a certain way of thinking and acting. However, you also believe that you are stuck and unable to change things for yourself. Because you believe you cannot live or act differently, you begin to feel disinterested in your life, lethargic, and unfocused.

The Benefit of Boredom

There is good news! The reason you are feeling bored is because you are temporarily stuck between here and there. While it doesn't feel good to feel trapped and unable to move, the operative word is "temporarily" stuck. Inside you are ready to shed certain limiting beliefs about yourself and step into a fuller and larger life. You want to change and be more alive, but you also have certain beliefs that say you can't make that change happen. Therefore, boredom is the result of having your motor running while also having your foot on the brake. If you continue to remain in this situation, your inner conflict can escalate to much misery, including feelings of loneliness, emptiness, sadness, despair, or even depression. Over time, your desire to live life differently continues to increase, while your belief that you can't change grows in equal proportion. No wonder people turn to food!

Eating and Boredom

Eating can serve to distract you from your conflict and the ensuing boredom. Eating can perhaps ease the tension for a short period of time. However, no matter how much you eat or how often, the conflict inside you remains. A helpful perspective is to realize that your boredom indicates an important desire for personal growth into new ways of thinking, acting, and living. Boredom invites you to take a breath and delve a bit deeper to explore personal passions and desires. Eating to suppress your boredom only serves to put your life on hold.

Food is a Temporary Band-Aid

Certainly, food can bring moments of feeling good. For some it is a joyful sugar rush, or the comfortable numbness of an overly full belly. For others the calm comes when food triggers the release of the soothing brain chemical serotonin. Using food to alleviate an uncomfortable physical feeling is not a bad thing. Everyone wants to feel better, and no one is a bad person for turning to food to ease the discomfort of boredom. There is no reason to punish yourself for doing something pleasurable. What you might notice is that boredom eating does not make the actual boredom go away. At best, it creates a few moments of distraction, or some temporary relief. At worst, boredom eating leads to a soon unconscious, yet powerful repetitive habit of eating to feel better, and many unwanted pounds. What you need is not temporary distraction or numbness, but more authentically joyful alive moments! It is up to you to find or create joyful experiences that are even more rewarding, and more gratifying than eating.

The Pursuit of Joy

Food pushes down the emotions of boredom, and temporarily leaves you feeling better. However, what you need is not sedation but instead new challenges. Although change is risky, deep inside you want to be more alive than you are right now. Perhaps boredom is your way of showing yourself that you have outgrown your level of aliveness. Boredom is a signal you give yourself to allow greater joy, and greater aliveness. It may take some effort, but you can have a huge effect on how much joy you allow yourself to experience. The joy and aliveness you seek do not come from outside sources such as food or temporary entertainment, but from internally deciding to focus your energy on actions that support your own dreams.

Ending Boredom is a Process

Most likely, you won't overcome your boredom, or your boredom eating, in a single day. Instead, feeling more excited about being alive is a process that involves curiosity, introspection, and outward action. It may take some time to explore and discover what you find interesting. It might help to ask yourself, "What actions or desires do I want to focus my energy on?" Check inside and notice where personal interests lie. Perhaps creative activities such as writing, art, dance, a new career or business, helping people, getting involved in a sport, going back to school, learning, nature, socializing, or book clubs might sound interesting? Maybe there is a personal goal that has important meaning to you? Decide to write down a list of alternatives to boredom eating, a list of things you like to do. Carry this list with you, or tape it to your refrigerator. Decide to explore different directions, act on the decision, and take note of each success.

The next time you are bored and about to engage in boredom eating, stop for a moment. Realize that beneath your uncomfortable emotions you want more for yourself. You want to feel more alive and more joyful! Eating isn't going to help you achieve what you want. Your mission in life is to discover what brings you more passion, playfulness, and joy. Use the examples above and take one step into a more exciting life today!

Deal With Postpartum Depression (PPD) Smartly

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) also called postnatal depression is a form of clinical depression that affects some women after they have delivered a child. The exact cause of this condition is not known however some research says that since the hormone levels change during and after pregnancy this imbalance of hormonal level in woman's body causes chemical changes in the brain that play a part in developing depression.

Post partum depression can be treated by talk therapy and medicine (antidepressant).

Why do women get affected by it?

Giving birth to baby is a tough job. The rapid gush of hormones in that period creates a state of imbalance in the body for a while. And this imbalance can last from a few days to months, which maybe a cause for postpartum depression.

However giving birth is also one of the most beautiful feeling a woman can ever experience. From the moment a woman has given birth she feels sheer joy and happiness, fulfillment, achievement, thankfulness. But with all these positive qualities come along anxiety, fear, uncertainty, responsibility and sometimes depression.

Simple steps to treat your depression yourself:-

  • Be pro active not reactive

Once you get pregnant you want to gather all the information regarding your baby's development, what to eat what not to, what's good for the baby's health, what's the sex of the baby etc. Side by side do make it a point to study the topic of postpartum depression.

  • Do not live in denial

Even if you are having a very smooth pregnancy and everything's fine, do not guarantee yourself that you cannot get depression.

Even the happiest of pregnant women do get some form of depression either they get mood swings also called Baby Blues or PPD or in very rare cases Postpartum psychosis.

  • We fear the unknown

You delivered a baby a week ago. You are exhausted. You are not getting enough sleep you don't even know who this new person is? You hate your body. You hate the people around you. You don't have much interest in this baby. You just want to run away some place. In short there is nothing you feel good about. You have PPD!

You try to pretend that you don't know what's wrong however your subconscious tells you that there is something wrong with you and this is not normal. Once you know it that you have PPD, you have treated this illness 50%.

  • Remember all your baby needs is you

You want to sleep for a stretch of 6 hours; you want to watch a movie alone or with your partner. Maybe all you want is some peace and quiet. Yes you can do all this but stock it up for some time later because rite now the most important thing in your life is your baby.

Remember this is tiny person you anxiously waited for 9 months. You worked so hard to make everything perfect for your baby.

Finally your baby is here. Your baby wants to be close to you, she wants your touch. She wants your body warmth; she wants your breast she simply wants to be near you. You are your baby's main life support.

You have to tell all this to yourself. Forget the world. Right now it's just you and the baby.

  • Have faith in yourself

Do not jeopardize yourself in the process of child care. Go easy. Sleep when the baby sleeps even if it's for 15 minutes. Talk to your partner or any friend. Make plans for your baby.

Try to indulge yourself totally in motherhood. Yes this absolutely works.

Keep reassuring yourself that everything will be fine. Think positive. Do not let those irrational feelings take over you.

Taking antidepressant drugs is not a very good idea especially for a breastfeeding mother because the drug can get into in the milk.

Remember Postpartum depression is not a disease or illness it's just some bad vibes that hover over you when you have been blessed with the most beautiful gift. A baby!

Know About Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine, often called as 'Crack', is a smokable form of Cocaine and processed by mixing Cocaine powder with baking soda or ammonia and water and then heating the mixture till crystals or rocks are formed. Crack cocaine is abused as a person experiences a sudden high or euphoria in a short span. It is strongly addictive substance and causes harmful effects like paranoia, depression, lethargy, mood swings etc. Crack is affordable at low prices as it is inexpensive to manufacture.

Psychological Effects

Crack cocaine abuse has harmful psychological effects on the health of person abusing it. Its intake releases large amount of dopamine that causes a feeling of euphoria or high that lasts for 5-10 minutes. Crack abuse alters the brain chemistry of the person and causes loss of appetite, insomnia, alertness, intense craving for drug, grandiosity, paranoia etc. As the effect of crack in body begins to deplete, the person may slip into depression or feel lethargic. When injected into body, crack cocaine gets absorbed at the same rate when it is smoked. As the body develops tolerance after each intake of drug, a person feels desire to take high doses next time to attain same level of high or euphoria. Intake of high doses every time leads to irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. Prolonged exposure to crack results in hallucinations, depressions, formication, and delirium.

Physiological Effects

Physiological effects of crack cocaine abuse include dilated pupils, constricted blood vessels, increased blood pressure and heart rate etc. Intake of large amount of crack can cause tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches etc. As a person gets a sudden high, it may lead to violent behavior, aggression etc. Long term physiological effects of crack cocaine abuse include liver and lung damage, respiratory problems, tooth decay, weight loss, excessive sweating, sexual dysfunction, slowed digestion etc. Addiction to crack also causes heart attack and severe respiratory problems like congestion of lungs, wheezing, and formation of black phlegm. Smoking crack can also result in severe chest pain and bleeding.


Crack cocaine is abused for its addictive properties. It is a potent and addictive form of cocaine. A person abusing 'crack' becomes addicted as higher doses are taken every time to achieve the same high or euphoria. Also, high doses of crack are taken each time to avoid the depression that occurs after the effect of drug recedes. Those addicted can not even feel normal without being intoxicated. They need to take cocaine regularly just to feel normal. Also, those addicted to crack may find it hard to get rid of it due to strong withdrawal symptoms that are witnessed. The withdrawal symptoms are marked by intense craving for drug, hunger, irritability, paranoia, anxiety, angry outbursts, shaking etc.

Consuming crack cocaine after mixing with alcohol can cause a deadly mixture that imbalance the body chemistry increasing the risk of sudden death. Addiction to crack is also associated with high crime rates as the person can perform illegal activities, crimes, thefts to fund his addiction. Various effective treatment programs at rehabilitation centers can help crack addicts to overcome their addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Struggling With Endometriosis and Depression

For women with endometriosis the last thing they think they will ever have to deal with is depression. But it is a very real possibility, not only because of the disease and the painful symptoms it causes but also because of some of the treatments used to control it.

In the psychiatric world depression is defined as:

1. Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

Coping with endometriosis can cause both physiological and psychological depressive symptoms. Learning to recognize them quickly is an important first step to getting the proper medical help.

In a general sense women going through depression have a sense of hopelessness. There can be a variety of things that will trigger depressive episodes that cause a loss of interest in daily activities and a sense of worthlessness; death of a family member or close friend, break up of a marriage, or even an illness. In the case of endometriosis it is a little easier to pinpoint likely causes of depression in women who suffer from it.

The first thing to look at is the emotional toll endometriosis can have on women. In many cases it can be an up-and-down roller coaster of emotions depending on:

• Many women experience the worst symptoms just before and during their period. This can cause extreme fatigue from dealing with the pain.
• Treatments that don't work at relieving the pain and discomfort caused by endometrial lesions in the abdomen.
• Hormone controlling drugs that cause hormonal imbalances causing mood swings and irritability.
• The inability to participate in activities with family and friends. In some cases a lack of support for what they are going through from family, friends, and coworkers will also contribute to feelings of depression.
• Uncomfortable or painful sex adversely affecting relationships
• The inability to get pregnant.
• The cost of getting their endometriosis treated, particularly if they do not have insurance.

Probably the two biggest factors that contribute to depression in women with endometriosis are finding a treatment that works for them and the treatment method itself. Endometriosis is a disease that responds to the amount of estrogen a woman produces each month. This is all ties to her monthly menstrual cycle. The goal of most treatment regimens is to suppress or limit the amount of estrogen a woman produces. To do this hormone suppressing drugs are used.

The most common hormone controlling drugs used are birth control pills, for mild cases, Gestrinone, Danazol, Depo Lupron, Synarel, and GnRH agonists. The problem with using these types of drugs is that they force an early menopause on the woman taking them. This happens because these drugs cause the body to slow down the production of many of a woman's hormones. This causes a hormone deficiency which can cause depression.

The other factor in this is finding a treatment that actually works for each individual woman. The reaction to these various hormone controlling treatments can vary from woman to woman. Each woman also reacts differently to the endometriosis itself. It can take quite a bit of time and energy just finding the proper treatment regimen. During this time it can begin to feel like there is no treatment out there that will help them.

Endometriosis can be a frustrating disease to deal with for any woman. It is estimated that about 5.5 million women suffer from this disease in the United States and Canada alone. For any woman getting treatment for their endometriosis it is important to work with your doctor and health care providers as your treatment regimen progresses. Only you can tell them what is working and what isn't so any medications can be adjusted as needed or other treatment options can be considered.

Natural Products For Depression - What They Can Do For You and How to Find a Good One

Natural products for depression are gaining more popularity around the world as people turn away from drugs with all their complications and side effects and seek out healthy alternatives. In this article, you'll learn what a good supplement can do for you and how to find one that will work the first time, plus some tips for enhancing its effects.

If you have been using antidepressants without success or if you're concerned about using drugs with all their side effects, you are right to be concerned. Due to all the problems associated with taking prescription drugs (which do not heal depression anyway, but just suppress the symptoms), there is a movement around the world to treat depression naturally.
And after all, this is nothing new: medicinal plants have been used to lift people from the depressed state for centuries.

The fact that drugs are the new kids on the block when compared with the use of medicinal herbs should give you great confidence in natural products for depression. Not only have these formulations stood the test of time and been passed from generation to generation, they have also proven effective in scientific studies. Better still, they are not addictive in any way.

Of course, there are a lot of natural remedies out there and truth be told, some formulations are more effective than others. Since you want to find the right remedy the first time around, here's what to look for in a good one. First of all, look for ingredients such as St. John's Wort and Passion flower in a formulation that delivers the proper dose of these herbs each time for maximum effectiveness.

You have probably heard of St. John's Wort which has been recommended for depression for centuries. However, you may not have heard of Passion Flower which actually makes St. John's Wort more effective. Rather than taking these herbs separately, take them together in a proven natural products for depression formulation that allows them to work synergistically. You will start to feel your mood lift in about three weeks, so be patient and allow the remedy the time to do its work.

When you start to feel better, you will be motivated to improve other areas of life that will support the action of the supplement. For instance, eating healthy, whole foods, drinking lots of water and doing moderate exercise are excellent choices.

Start small, so you won't feel overwhelmed. With regard to diet, add fresh whole foods into your eating plan a little bit at a time. Drink a full glass of water upon arising to get an extra glass in every day. With exercise, you can start by dancing around the house to your favorite tunes or by walking your dog outside. Small steps can create big rewards in terms of lifting your spirits.

So there you have it: all you need to know to get started taking natural products for depression, so you can feel better and get your life back.

Depression - How Modern Natural Integrative Medicine Combines the Best of All Worlds!

If one suffers from extreme low moods, or has been diagnosed with clinical depression, it is essential to seek medical help from a doctor / psychiatrist. Depression and its associated symptoms are completely treatable and there are a lot of options available today, which include Allopathy as well as alternative medicine disciplines like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and advanced Biotechnology. In fact, a new effective approach has been to integrate various systems of medicine, for best results.

What is Depression?

Depression is characterized by excessive pessimistic thoughts and a constant sense of helplessness, which comes in the way of normal life activities.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of depression:

- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Low mood through most of the day or frequent feeling of sadness and emptiness
- Frequent depressed feeling in the mornings
- Persistent anxiety
- Excessive fatigue
- A lack of interest in activities that used to be of interest
- Restlessness
- Irritability
- Excessive anger
- Significant change in body weight over a period of a few months
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Diminished memory
- Frequent headaches
- Digestive problems
- Suicidal thoughts

These symptoms vary from person to person, in occurrence and severity. Most people with depression do not experience all of these symptoms, so one must seek help if a number of these symptoms are present, and certainly if any single serious symptom like thoughts of suicide is present.

What are the Available Treatment Options for Depression?

- Allopathic Medicine

Allopathic medicine tends to focus on the symptomatic manifestations of depression. Depending on the type of depression that has been diagnosed and the exact symptoms experienced, various antidepressants or mood stabilizers may be prescribed.

Sometimes, electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is recommended with the purpose of restoring chemical balance.

- Psychotherapy`

Psychotherapy is highly recommended for anyone suffering from moderate to extreme depression and is also beneficial for cases of mild depression. Psychotherapy may involve various techniques, but essentially involves guidance from a trained professional on thinking and behavioral patterns, coping techniques, etc.

- Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine

Ayurveda uses medicinal herbs to bring about positive changes in the environment of the body, thus relieving symptoms and making the terrain of the body less conducive to negative thoughts and emotions.

- Homeopathy

Homeopathy has a host of different remedies for treating mild to moderate depression, depending on the symptoms. Homeopathic treatment generally focuses on restoring balance within the body's constitution, thus easing symptoms.

- Modern Sarcode Technology

Modern Homeopathic Sarcode technology has met with tremendous success in treating depression. Sarcodes are essentially bioenergetic imprints of healthy organs, tissues and secretions. Sarcodes are used to remind various systems of the body how to function optimally.

- New Integrative Approach Including Ancient Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy and Modern Sarcode Technology

Today, great naturopathic minds have been integrating natural medicinal systems like ancient Ayurvedic medicine with advanced Homeopathic Sarcode technology to offer a complete and safe solution to depression. The results have been outstanding both with respect to quickly treating symptoms as well as correcting disorders that form the root of depression. And, one of the biggest advantages here is that these remedies are natural and non-habit forming, so, they can be taken for longer durations if this is indicated for very chronic or severe cases.

For further information or for any queries related to new approach for lasting relief from depression, contact us

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Depression & Depression Treatment - Does Counselling Help?


Depression is a serious illness that affects approximately 1 in 4 Australians and a similar proportion of the population in other western countries. The way depression affects people can vary from mild cases to very severe cases. The most frightful cases will leave sufferers feeling so despondent that they end up thinking that their lives are worthless and that they are a burden to others. This type of severe depression will often lead people to think that they would rather be dead, or to begin to plan and even attempt suicide.

Fortunately in our society, depression is becoming more readily recognized and more and more is being done to help people. If you are feeling depressed you do not have to suffer alone. Counselling with a professional psychologist or counsellor can help you overcome your depression.


The symptoms of depression include:

- general feelings of sadness and a lack of capacity for experiencing joy
- difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
- changes in appetite
- lack of motivation
- feelings of worthlessness


There are two main diagnosable types of depression. These are known as:

A) Chronic Low Mood or Dysthymia and
B) Major Depressive Disorder.


Dysthymia is a mild form of depression, but extremely long lasting. People with Dysthymia tend to feel a bit down most if not all of time. If you suffer from dysthymic depression then you will generally be able to function quite well in your life, but you won't get much pleasure from it. People with dysthymic depression often can't really enjoy the things in life which should be joyful, like the birth of a new baby, or success at work.


Major Depressive Disorder describes people who are not usually depressed, but who have a sudden change in mood which leaves them in a significantly depressed state. If you are depressed then you should visit a Doctor or licenced mental health professional.


If you are depressed then you should visit a Doctor or licenced mental health professional. Counselling with a qualified Psychologist, Counsellor or Psychotherapist can help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life, both personally, at work, and in your relationships.

This article may be reproduced and used by Ezine and it's affiliates as per Ezine Terms and Conditions for submission and by all other persons as long as all information including active links from the resource box are included in the publication. Copyright Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney.

Chinese Herbal Formulas to Treat Brain Symptoms and Disease

Quantum Brain Healing uses Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with other therapies to heal the brain. TCM utilizes both acupuncture and herbal medicine to treat disease. Modern medicine of the future looks to enhance brain function and intellect as well as treat existing diseases. Family history of certain brain diseases like senile dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's will be treated with herbal medicine prior to the disease's onset to prevent or diminish the severity of the disease. Quantum Brain Healing hopes to have diagnostic testing that can do cellular testing of herbs in a laboratory to pinpoint which herbs and herbal formulas will best treat the patient's disease.

Quantum Brain Healing often uses TCM herbal formulas for treating brain related symptoms and diseases. Below are several of the Chinese herbal formulas that may be used to treat and prevent brain diseases. The formulas are not intended to be purchased by a patient. These formulas are meant to expose people to the unique symptoms and diseases which can be treated or improved with TCM and direct patients into seeking an appointment with a TCM or alternative medicine doctor to receive the correct formula for their individual diagnosis. The Chinese formula descriptions are based on classic Chinese disease patterns. As patients take formulas, their symptoms will morph and formulas will be altered to these changes. It is possible that person's chronic illness will require the same herbal formula for an extended time period, but one should not assume this to be the case.

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang He Sheng Mai San Jia Jian (Blue Poppy) is an antiaging formula which can treat stress, dizziness, fatigue, stimulate the immune system, and increase brain circulation to enhance the memory. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is that it boosts the qi, enriches yin, and arouses the brain, but, because it upbears the clear and disinhibits the qi mechanism, it supplements without stagnating. In particular, this formula supports the organs that provide energy to the body which are the lungs, spleen, and kidneys. It boosts immunity, improves both physical and mental performance, and improves adaptation to stress. It is indicated for the treatment of qi and yin dual vacuity resulting in fatigue, lowered immunity, and aging. Immortal Qi can also be used as a sports performance-enhancing supplement as well as for the prevention and treatment of altitude sickness

Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang (Plum Flower or Blue Poppy) treats complaints such as stress, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, irritability, anger, nicotine withdrawal, drug withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, frustration and schizophrenia. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is liver-spleen disharmony with depressive heat, phlegm dampness, and disquieted heart spirit.

Jie Yu Ding Mian Fang or Resolve Depression & Stabilize Sleep (Blue Poppy) treats insomnia with irritability or emotional depression. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is insomnia lasting for longer than three months and where patients may not sleep at all or sleep for one to two hours per night. Patient has a combination of liver depression qi stagnation with possible depressive heat and blood stasis with malnourishment and disquietude of the heart spirit.

Modified Eleven Flavors Warm the Gallbladder (Blue Poppy) treats symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, depression, PMS, and perimenopausal syndrome. The Chinese diagnosis includes heart-gallbladder qi timidity with depressive heat in the heart, liver, and possibly stomach and intestines. Heart-gallbladder qi timidity is the shorthand name for a more complex pattern. The entire disease pattern is based on the liver and spleen being out of balance with one another. This is liver depression and spleen qi vacuity with depressive heat and phlegm harassing the heart spirit. It also includes heart qi and blood vacuity due to enduring spleen vacuity.

Suan Zao Ren (Plum Flower) treats stress symptoms including migraine headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and mental agitation. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula includes nourishing the blood, clearing excess heat and calming the spirit

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan (Plum Flower) or Emperors Teapills treat mild to moderate cases of anxiety, irritable, concentration problems, senile dementia, memory problems, restlessness, and occasional insomnia. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is that it nourishes Yin & blood, tonifies Heart & calms spirit.

Xiao Yao Wan (Blue Poppy) treats symptoms of neurosis, insomnia, irritation, panic, vertigo, anxiety, stress, dizziness, and depression. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula includes liver depression and spleen vacuity with blood vacuity and possible dampness.

Yi Nao Jiao Nang treats brain complaints of neurasthenia, insomnia, poor memory, profuse dreaming, brain arteriosclerosis and dizziness. The Chinese Diagnosis for this formula includes qi and blood deficiency with deficiency of kidney essence and liver and kidney yin.

How Depression Negatively Affects a Marriage

The dynamic that depression plays into your marriage is a silent killer. The depressed partner will typically withdrawal out of the relationship because they are depressed. The other person feels frustrated and powerless to make a difference. The non depressed spouse typical expresses their frustration with criticism, which makes the depression worse. Depression feeds the negative cycle in the relationship i.e. if your depressed the more critical you become or you stonewall more. Depression is serious because it can put your marriage on the fast track towards divorce, even when things were great a few months earlier. Many depressed people want to change their surroundings i.e. need a vacation, change job or spouse, etc. This is a time when many depressed partners have affairs.

Spouses who are depressed express it two ways:

  1. Being critical and irritable.

  2. Withdrawn and shutdown, or being passive-aggressive.

Partners of depressed spouses often feel like their spouse is lazy or trying to get back at them, or they are passive or being difficult. Lazy is the term most spouses use to describe their spouse who is depressed. Because depression makes it difficult to do most of our day to day tasks. Depressed spouses are often crippled by depression, because they lack motivation, even if they know what they should do.

If your spouse is depressed you need to know:

  • Being critical and judgmental makes it harder for your spouse to recover.

  • 50-70% of all mothers suffer from postpartum depression.

  • Depression disrupts sleep and sexually desire.

  • Conflict is often caused by depression.

  • People who are depressed have a hard time expressing their needs. They also have a hard time accepting anything from the other partner.

Getting Help for Depression: Remember Depression is Common and Treatable.

  1. Warm bath - Warm water will help with depression.

  2. Physical activity - you need to get moving, go to the gym. Walking with your spouse or a friend.

  3. Journaling - writing down on paper what it is that is bothering you and then making a plan to address it will help with depression.

  4. You need to find ways of connecting with your spouse around physical activity without there being any controlling or demanding behaviors. Let the depressed spouse decide if they want to walk with you.

  5. Getting a pet - people who are depressed connect better with animals than people.

  6. Accepting appreciation and giving appreciation back to your spouse. This can be hard so you need to practice small things often. Express appreciation after appreciation, at least one time a day for the first week, 2nd week twice a day, 3rd week 3x a day.

  7. Check in sessions - Ask how each other's day went and discuss the events. Don't judge, it won't help.

  8. Depressed spouse doesn't feel like they are entitled to having any dreams. Depressed people often don't like to voice their dreams because they feel like they don't deserve any. Encourage your spouse to have dreams and follow them.

  9. Need to have fun together. Do things that you both once enjoyed or find new things to do together.

  10. Need to get around friends and family who are supportive and connect with them. Getting around anyone will help too! You can't be isolated it just adds to the depression.

  11. Set priorities and simplify tasks to reduce stress, and make time for activities you enjoy.

  12. Get about eight hours of sleep a night. If you go 30 days without 8 hours every night that could trigger major depression.

  13. Eat more healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

  14. Take Vitamin D, when you notice you're feeling down because of the weather or lack of sunlight.

  15. Get Professional Help. It is very common and treatable, don't just rely on medications.

Male depression signs and symptoms

Depression signs and symptoms can differ in men and women. Men also tend to use different coping skills - both healthy and unhealthy - than women. It isn't clear why men and women may experience depression differently. It likely involves a number of factors, including brain chemicals, hormones and life experiences.

Like women, men with depression may feel blue or may not get pleasure from activities they once enjoyed.

But a few other things commonly show up in men that may not be recognized as depression signs and symptoms:

  1. Escapist behavior, such as spending a lot of time at work or on sports

  2. Alcohol or substance abuse

  3. Controlling, violent or abusive behavior

  4. Inappropriate anger

  5. Risky behavior, such as reckless driving

  6. Infidelity or unhealthy sexual relationships

Female Depression Signs and Symptoms

Although depression might seem overwhelming, there's effective treatment. Even severe depression often can be successfully treated. Seek help if you have any signs and symptoms of depression, such as:

  1. Ongoing feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness

  2. Feeling unattractive, when other people affirm you are attractive

  3. Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed

  4. Significant changes in your sleep pattern, such as falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much

  5. Fatigue, or unexplained pain or other physical symptoms without an apparent cause

  6. Changes in appetite leading to significant weight loss or weight gain

  7. Feeling as though life isn't worth living, or having thoughts of suicide

Depression and Major Depression

Many people will be surprised when they find out that I have suffered major depression for most of my life. Although there are many types of depression, they are usually distinguished between depression and major depression.

By the time I had reached my early twenties I had suffered at least three episodes of depression. Over the next thirty years I had multiple breakdowns and was diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).I had been treated for it with medications and most of the time it seemed successful at least until the next occurrence.

Each episode seemed to get longer and more difficult to deal with. In 2003 it lasted for a three month period and I found that it strange that it had started in the summer, questioning the SAD theory that I had been given.

In the summer of 2006 the depression returned again this time the episode was not going to go away and again was during the summer months. I started seeking answers to what was going on. How could I have SAD when I seemed to start these occurrences during the sunny days. The medical professionals decided to go back into my file and re-examine there diagnosis. They realized that I actually had been suffering major depression bi-polar disease and we began a treatment program.

I only wish that I had questioned three years earlier the diagnosis that I was given it may have saved me the past two and a half years that I have had to undergo an emotional rollercoaster. We tried multiple medications and each one took months to find out if they were going to work or have to start again with the process.

When I was struggling to find answers I found some of the following information regarding depression. I hope this will make others understand how difficult this disease truly is either to live with or have someone in your family suffering with it.

"Major depressive disorder, also known as major depression, unipolar depression, clinical depression, or simply depression, is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive low mood and loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities. The diagnosis is made if a person has suffered one or more major depressive episodes. Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior. There is no laboratory test for major depression, although physicians often test for physical conditions that may cause similar symptoms before arriving at a diagnosis. The course varies widely, from a one-off occurrence to a lifelong disorder with recurrent episodes." As per the Wikipidia.

But how does that possibly affect us and what kind of symptoms should we be looking at?

According to many psychiatric professionals any change or increase in any of the following should be reported to your physician.


Depression can make you feel hopeless and helpless. But by taking the first step -deciding to get treatment-can make all the difference
Medical care is the ONLY Answer! Seek a professional for there assistance.

It is believed that there are many reasons that people suffer debilitating depression. Feelings of depression are caused by a chemical change that affects how the brain functions.

The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons. These neurons send and receive messages from the rest of your body, using brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
These brain chemicals-in varying amounts-are responsible for our emotional state. Depression happens when these chemical messages aren't delivered correctly between brain cells which lead to disrupting communication.

The good news is that there are many forms of treatment that can help you cope with depression, including medications that can strengthen weak signals by raising the levels of certain neurotransmitters, or by improving the neurons' ability to process signals. This ensures that the brain's vital messages are received.

Who Gets Depression?

Although depression can make you feel alone many people will suffer some form of depression in their lifetime. While depression can affect anyone, its effect may vary depending on your age and gender.

Women are almost twice as likely to become depressed as men. The higher risk may be due partly to hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. The most common time of onset is between the ages of 30 and 40, with a later peak between 50 and 60. The condition appears to be more common in women.

Men. Although their risk for depression is lower, men are more likely to go undiagnosed and less likely to speak up and get help. They may show the typical symptoms of depression, but are more likely to be angry and hostile or to mask their condition with alcohol or drug abuse. Suicide is an especially serious risk for men with depression, who are four times more likely than women to kill themselves.

Elderly. Older people may lose loved ones and have to adjust to living alone. They may become physically ill and unable to be as active as they once were. These changes can all contribute to depression. Loved ones may attribute the signs of depression to the normal results of aging, and many older people are reluctant to talk about their symptoms. As a result, older people may not receive treatment for their depression.

Children. Age does not discriminate when it comes to depression. The family structure has changed causing additional stresses to family. Children are affected by the social pressures that they now feel. Bullying, abuse by others, pressures to succeed all add to the reasons that many children are affected. Symptoms should be looked for by the parent. Suicide is rising amongst this age group due to depression.


I found some great information regarding the Definition of Manic-depression also known as Major Depression.

Manic-depression: Alternating moods of abnormal highs (mania) and lows (depression) is called bipolar disease because of the swings between these opposing poles in mood. Bi-Polar is a type of depressive disease that is not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders.

Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, unwise business or financial decisions may be made when an individual is in a manic phase. Bipolar disorder is often a chronic recurring condition.

A mild to moderate level of mania is called hypomania. Hypomania may feel good to the person who experiences it and may even be associated with good functioning and enhanced productivity. Thus even when family and friends learn to recognize the mood swings as possible bipolar disorder, the person may deny that anything is wrong. Without proper treatment, however, hypomania can become severe mania in some people or can switch into depression
Most people with bipolar disorder -- even those with the most severe forms -- can achieve substantial stabilization of their mood swings and related symptoms with proper treatment. Because bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness, long-term preventive treatment is strongly recommended and almost always indicated. A strategy that combines medication and psychosocial treatment is optimal for managing the disorder over time. Medications known as "mood stabilizers" usually are prescribed to help control bipolar disorder.

There are several different types of mood stabilizers are available such as Lithium, valproate, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, gabapentin and topiramate.
As an addition to medication, psychosocial treatments -- including certain forms of psychotherapy (or "talk" therapy) -- are helpful in providing support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Studies have shown that psychosocial interventions can lead to increased mood stability, fewer hospitalizations, and improved functioning in several areas. Psychosocial interventions commonly used for bipolar disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy, psycho education, family therapy, and a newer technique, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.

Treatment DOES Work! Seek help from a professional and start getting your life back or help your family member get the help that they deserve. They really do want to feel better.... Trust me. Depression hurts everyone!

Recognizing Depression in Yourself and Those You Love

Theresa, 16, stared at the floor during the entire intake session.

"We don't know what is wrong with our daughter," Theresa's mom began. "She used to be a straight-A student, and now, she doesn't even seem to want to do her school work at all. All she wants to do is sleep. Or eat potato chips! Look at her--she's gained 10 pounds eating those chips. We just don't know what to do with her any more!"

Tears streamed down Theresa's face. If I could read her inner thoughts, I'm sure it went like this: "I'm a loser. I'm disgusting. I'm a disappointment. Maybe it would be better for my parents and everyone else if I just wasn't around any more."

Theresa is clearly depressed. Her parents think she has become "lazy," or "undisciplined" or even "rebellious." That's because they don't understand the symptoms of depression and/or they believe their daughter "should" be able to "pull herself together." The problem is that it's just not that simple. If Theresa could merely go back to being a straight-A student, she would. If she could just stop crying, she would do that too.

In fairness to Theresa's parents, it is difficult to watch a loved-one struggle with depression. It's not that depression is contagious, but when one person in the family is depressed, it affects the other members of the family. As evidence of that fact, Theresa's parents are frustrated and anxious that they can't help their daughter "snap out of it." They are becoming impatient with her and also have started snapping at each other. They also report that Theresa's sister seems more needy and complains, "All you ever do is cater to Theresa! What about me?"

Depresson, therefore, can become a family illness.

So, what is depression and how is it recognized? Depression feels like an overwhelmingly dark and deep pit of despair. It's symptoms include:

  • feelings of sadness or emptiness most of the day, nearly every day

  • markedly diminished interest in activities once found pleasurable

  • significant weight loss or weight gain

  • marked increase or decrease in need for sleep

  • feeling agitated or irritated

  • decreased energy or feeling slowed or weighed down

  • feelings of worthlessness, powerlessness, helplessness

  • a false sense of guilt

  • unexplained aches and pains

  • inability to concentrate or focus or make decisions

  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Theresa had many of these symptoms. She felt sad and cried many times a day. She had gained weight and was sleeping any time she got the chance. She was not spending time with friends. She felt guilty about her grades, but try as she might, she could not concentrate enough on her school work to complete an assignment. In addition, Theresa reported daily headaches and stomach aches. And, to her parents surprise and horror, Theresa also had been contemplating whether her life had value or should even continue.

Theresa was immediately referred to her family physician to begin taking antidepressant medication. She and her family were educated about the nature and course of depression and the role medication can play in recovery. Her parents were relieved to learn that depression often runs in families and is a brain chemistry condition, not the result of faulty parenting or a "weak character." Theresa was doing her best just to get up in the morning and go to school, but she was worn out from struggling with depression and needed both pharmacological and therapeutic help to get well.

After a few weeks on her medication and a handful of therapy sessions to offer support and teach some coping strategies, Theresa can now look me in the eye and talk about the stresses of her life. She is catching back up on her school work and is going for walks, instead of taking naps, every day after school. She is engaging with friends again and reports improved relationships with her parents and her sister. She still has work to do in therapy to understand and accept herself and to realize that depression is not her fault, but Theresa has stopped crying on a daily basis and is making plans for a summer job. Theresa is clearly feeling much better.

There is help for depression. But the illness must first be recognized and understood before the cure can be found. People do not just "snap out of" their depression. Depression is a real illness, with difficult symptoms, and is not the patient's fault. The good news is that help is available and people do get better with time and treatment.