Saturday, October 19, 2013

Depression Associated With Ovarian Cysts - What is the Connection?

For those unfortunate women who experience recurring episodes of ovarian cysts, the question often arises whether depression can be a side effect that is actually related to their affliction. The truth is that experts tend to disagree on the subject, but the general consensus seems to be that depression associated with ovarian cysts occurs mainly in those women who have been diagnosed with certain types of cysts, primarily Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Studies seem to point to the fact that depression associated with ovarian cysts in these women is caused primarily by a hormonal imbalance, and much of the depression stems from the resulting symptoms, which oftentimes includes weight gain, infertility, elevated testosterone levels, increased body hair, and other very disturbing symptoms that unfortunately frequently accompany a diagnosis of PCOS.

Additionally, women who have been diagnosed with PCOS frequently have increased levels of homocysteine, which is a chemical substance which forms in the body that may injure the blood vessel linings when levels are too high, and many researchers believe that depression associated with ovarian cysts may be a possibility due to the elevated levels of homocysteine.

Another factor to consider is mixed anxiety-depressive disorder, a condition that sometimes occurs in women with PCOS. These women generally have higher homocysteine levels during certain phases of the menstrual cycle. A relatively new category established by the medical community, mixed anxiety-depressive disorder defines patients suffering from both symptoms of anxiety as well as depression, both being of equal intensity.

Unfortunately all of the conditions referred to above may occur in women diagnosed with PCOS, which seems to reinforce that depression associated with ovarian cysts is a reality. There are, of course, other factors you should consider, but if you've been diagnosed with PCOS and you're also experiencing depression, it's definitely something that you should discuss with your physician.

The good news is there are some surprisingly simple things you can do in your daily life-style to address the hormonal imbalances which often accompany cysts, which is most often the culprit of depression associated with ovarian cysts. Your diet, exercise, stress, nutritional supplements, et cetera, all play a major role, and the real challenge comes with choosing from the various ovarian cysts treatments programs and finding one that is suitable to you as an individual.

The absolute key to selecting the right treatment program is to choose a plan that is time-tested, that has been used successfully by others, one that you can incorporate into your daily life, and then you should follow this plan religiously. Do this and there's a very good chance that you won't be constantly dealing with recurring episodes of cysts.

What's Riskier: CDs or Stocks?

It was only a few years ago I'd have clients bemoaning their CD rates which were "only" 5% and how they remember bank rates north of 10%. And now, looking at Yahoo Finance, I see that the national average for a one year CD rate is 0.64%. But before you get too excited, let's figure out what it would be after taxes. Assuming you're in the 25% tax bracket you're going to need to fork over 0.16% of that to Uncle Sam and you walk away with 0.48%. But, there's more... in 2011 the national inflation rate was 3%. I often call inflation the "invisible risk" because we all get tied up in the number of our money (as in let's say you have an account worth $100,000) when it is purchasing power that is the practical definition of money. So, while you may have earned 0.48% after taxes on your $100,000 CD, although your balance shows $100,480 (I'm ignoring compounding for now, it wouldn't make a dramatic difference), effectively this money is only worth $97,480 in purchasing power when you bought it one year ago. By buying the CD, you've locked in a 2.52% loss. And for those wondering, US Treasury bonds are paying less than half this yield (it's normal for US Treasuries to pay less than CDs).

To me, this is sad. Particularly because by experience I know that many retirees had saved up money, possibly in stocks and had planned that when they would retire they would switch it all to CDs and live off the 5% interest. The idea being, change it from "risky" investments to "risk-less" investments. I'm putting it in quotes for a reason and you'll see why.

All investments have a risk, but often the biggest risk is not principle fluctuation (or price volatility as with stocks). We all hear of the adage "buy and hold", statistics show that most investors don't do this. A majority panic out of the market - in other words, the market goes down and they sell out of their stocks or mutual funds and put it in cash until it settles out. But what happens? The stock market dives down, pushes off the bottom of the swimming pool and comes back for air. Right now the stock market is only 10% or so from its peak valuation in October 2007 (and by the way this is ignoring nearly five years of dividends which are currently above 2% on the S&P 500).

You may see where I'm getting at... 2% dividends over five years adds up to 10%... from a price standpoint, if the market is down about 10% off its peak, someone who had the absolute worst luck in the world and bought in on the peak day of the market and simply rode it out would now be back to where they started. Actually they'd be above where they started if those dividends reinvested in stock prices much lower than where they started. Of course most people would not be particularly pleased about breaking even over a five-year period, but considering the financial crisis that we went through and the most hostile economic environment since the Great Depression and especially considering that very few people went in right at the peak of the market, well things are not as bad as some may guess.

The moral of the story is that, while past performance does not guarantee future results, by a simple observation of history it can be observed that all past market declines have been eventually erased (and the current one is only 10% away from being erased).

To me, the unspoken goal of all people saving money or investing money is that they want to grow in their power to purchase goods. Over time, principle fluctuation is not a risk if you stay invested. If you have a short investing time frame (such as less than five years) and you plan to withdraw it, then price fluctuation could be a problem. However, the "risk" of price fluctuation and market volatility diminishes with time. If you want to decrease your risk of losing money in the stock market, simply stay in there longer. Is this not what we learned in the past five years? If you could go back in time and advise a friend who is worried about how much their portfolio is down, what would you tell them? You'd tell them to hang in there.

Going back to CDs, the flip side of this is dire. Historically speaking, after taxes and inflation CD owners rarely break even (as a measurement of their purchasing power). This was even true in the days of 10% CDs; it was in the context of double-digit inflation. If you have a 10% CD and Uncle Sam took 25% (we'll ignore for a second that taxes were higher then) you end up with 7.5%... take out 10% inflation and your ability to purchase goods went down by 2.5%. That 10% CD isn't as exciting all things considered. As far as risk is concerned, this situation is just the reverse of stocks. In the short term, losing 2.5% in purchasing power will be virtually unnoticeable in the first few years.

However, let's say that someone from the early 80s stuck with their CDs and annually locked in that annual -2.5% loss. Over time this would add up to more than a 50% permanent loss of purchasing power (meaning it's not a temporary fluctuation like the stock market). Historically speaking, inflation rarely, ahem very rarely reverses its course. All the while they probably felt completely safe and secure in CDs as they watch their "number" go up (as in the principle). But again, focusing on the principle number is the wrong thing to focus on. Over a long period of time, inflation is VERY risky as it's the one headwind that ceaselessly blows against you. The only way to beat it is to be in investments that typically outpace inflation and minimize ones that don't do this. It's that simple.

In this piece for simplicity's sake I've contrasted stocks and CDs, but naturally there are many other things out there and methods of diversification. The other half of this is having a solid financial plan that helps you ride out price fluctuation. Studies have shown simply having a written financial plan helps you do this. Earlier I talked about going back in time and giving investing advice to one of your worried friends or even to yourself, I see a financial plan as something that helps your future self, talk to your present self.

I believe our future selves would tell us to not worry about the stock market fluctuation that it is not a problem over time, but what is a problem is that the cost of living has risen every year. A good financial plan reiterates your long-term objectives, or if the plan says that your objectives are short-term then it may tell you that inflation may be less of a risk for your plans. However, in my experience, inflation is always the biggest and surest risk affecting a person's financial goals in the long term.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

Working With Depression: Accident and Sickness Insurance

Accident and sickness insurance is a real concern for many people who suffer with depression in the workplace. It can be very difficult to insure against metal health problems as the illness is far more difficult to define and to treat than a more straightforward physical complaint.

So can you get accident and sickness insurance if you suffer from depression or other mental health problems? And will you be able to get the cover you need from your insurance to help you deal with the realities of working with depression? In this article we will discuss some key information you need to know to get a handle on accident and sickness insurance and mental illness.

The problem is that, no matter what your personal circumstances, if you suffer, or have suffered from a mental illness, insurance companies will see you as 'high risk' and may be unwilling to sell you accident and sickness insurance on this basis. This means that some insurance companies unfairly discriminate against those with mental health issues. Meanwhile, the insurance companies who believe that everyone should have access to insurance are forced to take on all 'high risk' clients which means that they are forced to charge higher premiums.

One shocking figure is that in 1996, 25% of people who had made use of mental health services were refused insurance. Thankfully, this is starting to change and the figure has been improving steadily in recent years as understanding and the call for equality develops. The Equality Act 2010 has done much to improve the situation. The act made it illegal to discriminate against people with 'protected characteristics' including mental health disabilities.

Part III of the Equality Act states that there must be fair and equal distribution of goods and services to all, which means that insurance providers legally must provide cover to a person suffering from a mental health issue, like depression, at a fair and reasonable rate.

If you suffer from a mental health issue, including depression, and want to buy cover, like accident and sickness insurance, it is important to be open and honest with your prospective insurance provider. Such insurance policies can be invalidated if your insurance provider discovers that you have failed to disclose information which they may consider relevant.

Another good tip is to always shop around. Different accident and sickness insurance providers have different policies, statistics and formulas with which they work out accident and sickness insurance premiums so it can really pay to get quotes from a number of different providers.

How Do They Test For ADHD?

The truth is there is not one test that will definitively state that your child is ADHD. There is a series of tests that are done that test where s/he is at academically. Neuropsychological testing might be done to make sure there is nothing more serious going that would produce behaviors similar to ADHD.

The doctor who performs evaluations and observations of your child, will most likely have you and the teacher fill out behavioral scales. You would rate each single behavior listed according to the degree of severity or frequency that they occur. At this point all the data on the scales is collected and evaluated. Finally a diagnosis is made.

Let's say that your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and that now an education plan and a treatment plan need to be set up. It is common to prescribe stimulant drugs for ADHD. They are effective but there are a few issues with these drugs that you should be aware of.

These drugs can become very addictive. Currently the effecting they have on a growing brain is unknown but there are some short and long term side effects. With short term use your child could become depressed, have a loss of appetite, and have trouble sleeping.

When stimulants are used for an extended amount of time substance abuse and depression as adults is more likely to occur.

After they test for ADHD and treatment plans are discussed you do not have to put your child on prescribed medication. Many parents opt to use natural means of relieving their child's symptoms. An holistic approach encompasses treating the whole child and the effects ADHD has on them and their environment.

Natural supplements for ADHD are formulations of certain herbs, vitamins, and minerals. Since these supplements are not regulated, look for those that are FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. They should also be made by a profession homeopath. An advantage to natural supplements is that they also could benefit your child's overall health.

The test(s) for ADHD are over and education and treatment plans are in place. Behavioral therapy might also be advised. It helps your child to understand his problems and how to work with them and eventually manage them on his own. Be warned however, that not everyone will respond to either the medications or natural supplements in the same manner. Several different methods of treatment might need to be tried. Don't give up trying you, your child, and family will be so much better off.

Seasonal Experience Of Life - Over The Rainbow - I Was Abandoned At The Age Of Four

I was abandoned child at the age of four and I lived to tell my story about my life. Some people say 'getting older is hard and it takes courage. I've found all ages can be hard or difficult. Life takes courage to live. Each stage has its challengages and blessings.

With each passing day, they give us a chance to look back and see a puzzle. The picture on the puzzle is me. Who am I? Where am I going? What have I become? Am I pleased with where I am? If not, how do I fix it?

Each day, I add a new piece to the puzzle of life. A chuckle emerges inside to witness the work in progress. I can see every path, I've taken makes up me today. The experiences I've had and have chosen to endure give me the courage to be truly happy. I discovered that true happiness comes from within. Nothing in this world can give it to me but myself. It starts with a choice that we all make.

The day my mother left us. I entered a world of fear and became frozen in that moment, viewing my whole world through it. Fear never left my until I faced the day my mother died. It took knowledge, understanding and expections of myself to melt away that frozen moment. Getting rid of my anger, hatred for my life, which translates into depression and anxiety, I found personal freedom that feels incredible.

After years of being a businesswoman, I decided to take that I learned from being adandoned at the age of four and living through it to become a very happy individual and write a novels. My new career started out to be a story for my children and theirs.

Life seems to test us all. I wanted them to know that they'll be okay when the storms of life come knocking on their doors. It's possible to get through your fears. We all have them. It's a rule that each person gets a certain amount of fear so they can learn their way out. We get into trouble when we fight or run from it.

I decided to apply what I learned about how to be happy to a ficional, fantasy story for young adults. It became a story about a family in another galaxy separated by tragedy of war. They are the only ones who can solve the mysteries that are in the galaxy. They're surrounded in espionage, mystery and a battle between good and evil that keeps you going wanting to know what is going to happen next. As they search for answers to their past. The characters have to deal and handle their emotions and disappointment of the moment, like us. The family and war are interwined and they are the only ones to unravel the secrets and stop it. They need to cover come their fears and persaonal problems to do it.

The way they solve their personal problems are what I wanted my children to know. The secret to happiness is inside of all of us. Just like Dorothy, from the wizard of OZ. She always had the ability to take herself home. We all have ruby slippers. We just need to learn how important the real things are in life. Sad to say, we usually don't until they're taken away from us. Touch moments won't destroy you, they bring you out.

Understanding the laws that govern out lives, we can easily build ourselves into a emotioanlly strong, healthy person. It's a choice we are all face with and it those choices that make or break us. Most people quit and medicate themselves. When the painkiller wears off, they're still faced with the problem but now they're bigger.

I pause when I hear people mention, "I hate my childhood." When you ask them why? They complain about their disappointments. Things didn't quite go the way they wanted. Inside, I chuckle and say to myself, "If you only knew what a horrible childhood or life was really like. You would hug the stuffing's out of yours and you should. It's one of the greatest secrets.

Before I learned the secret of happiness, it was always impossible for me to look back on my life. When I did, I had to face the verbal abuse that I encountered daily. The lonely moments of isolation and knowing I was dependent on myself for survival. Growing up, I wasn't allowed to be with my friends. I had to work and missed a lot of the things kids take for grant.

Today, I deeply love my youth. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. So when I visit my past and I find my little self frozen in fear and loneness. I take her in my arms and hold her. Then whisper, "I love you. You're going to be okay in the future. It's okay you don't have parents. It's okay you never see your brother and sister very often, if ever. You'll be okay, no never forget it.

So where did this all begin? My story begins on a cold, wintry night. I was told it happened on January 17th. It took place in a very tiny hospital in a very small town high in the rocky mountains. The town was called Coalville. I was the fourth child in the family of five children.

We lived on a dairy farm about five miles from Park City, Utah. A few chickens, milking cows and a horse that no one was allowed to ride. It belonged to my grandfather who had it there for those who worked for him. As you've guessed, we lived with my father's parents on his dairy farm.

My father didn't work with his father but owned and ran a feed and grain business close to the farm. Mother stayed home and took care of us, which pleased me. I loved to be around her. There was always a feeling of security and warmth from mother. I felt it from her mother too. I always like if those two women were in my life. I would be okay. They were my security blanket.

Things were pretty good, I thought. I loved living where we did. There was a lot of open fields and places to explore. My favorite pass time was to climb a hill near the barnyard and watch the valley below. My other love was to walk along a stream that ran through our property. I would follow a leaf down the stream until the stream left our property.

It started out to be a paper boat but I learned quickly they didn't last long in water. So I went to leaves. I enjoyed being by myself, exploring the hills and streams around the house. Enjoying the solitude, I didn't invite my sister and brother. Little did I know how much I would be by myself in the future. I should've taken a hold of the opportunity and invited them.

Life was good and I looked forward to going to school and learn. I've always had a passion for learning and it shows in the future. For some reason, my started to change at the age of three. My parents started to fight constantly. At times, I wanted to put my heads over my ears and scream. It was miserable to listen to them constantly going at it.

It was only a couple of years ago, I was told why they fought. My father's only employee had embezzied seventy or hundred thousand dollars from him. This was the fifties so you can see it was a lot of money for them. Until he found out and sen the man to jail, they fought over the lack of money. I assumed my father blamed my mother. Eventually, he figured it out and sent the man to jail. It left my father angry and he took it out on mother and us.

But I never saw things get better. My father ended up in the hospital and had his stomach removed. Weeks later when he returned, mother got pregnant. She became very tired and my oldest sister became engaged. After her wedding, my oldest brother made the decision to move to Canada for two years. There were huge gaps between the two oldest and the three of us. As you can see, they were ready to leave the nest. It would leave us a lone with mom and dad.

Mother didn't get better. She was six months pregnant when they brought her to the hospital in Salt Lake City for tests. It was in the middle of November, I think. She never came back. (Please let me know about your experinces, write me.)

We plan on putting articles regarding parenting ideas from other people. The author is a mother of six children and the number of grangchildren keep changing. If you're interested in subscribing to the website you can go to If you're interested in linking to our website, email us at Give us your URL, name, and a short discription of your website. It we accept it, we will link back to you.

Coping With Depression

Here are a few tips on how to cope with depression in a relationship.

Depression is a universal phenomenon and quite possibly there is no one on the face of earth who has not gone through the course of depression at least once in his or her lifetime. When someone is in a love relationship, the chances of suffering from depression become higher.

It is very important to know different strategies for coping with depression, otherwise the depressed person may end up making fatal decisions in their life. This article focuses on discussing different strategies in the format of tips with the purpose of educating the readers to cope with episodes of depression in their life.

Build Your Knowledge about Depression

The first and most important thing for coping with depression is to understandall the necessary details about depression, its causes and effects, symptoms and treatments. For that purpose, you may consult with doctors specializing in mental health or you may depend on mental health journals. Apart from that, there are huge resources available on the net which can offer you plenty of information for depression and different strategies for coping with depression.

Learn How To Discern the Difference between Myth and Reality

The next important step for coping with depression is of course to increase your knowledge about the significant differences among myths and reality concerning depression and its different aspects. Many people believe that depression is not a treatable disease; hence there is no question of any specific possible treatments. Some people simply lable it as an experience of ordinary sadness; however, the fact is totally different. In fact, depression is a complex process and if not encountered at early stages, it may get out of hand and even cost lives..

Value Yourself and Your Unique Presence

Sometimes when we are in a relationship, we simply forget to value our own existence and unique identity by putting our family members first, which results in suffering from inevitable depression from identity confusion and identity distortion. You should respect yourself and know how to value your own decision and actions in a rational fashion. Set some time aside for yourself, give yourself a reward as an appreciation of your efforts, While coping with depression, you should first look at yourself from a dignified perspective.

Watch Out the Warning Signs

The behavior of a depressed individual is not the actual behavior. The common behaviors are withdrawn, shy, sullen and angry. Before coping with stress, try to identify the warning signs of depression in you and your partner. Most commonly, a depressed person experiences sudden outbursts of anger. In fact, they actually show their anger to themselves and their own mental state, although seemingly appear towards environment.

Seek Help and Treatment

Depression is a real disease and it is absolutely treatable. Similar to other illnesses, depression may get worse day by day if proper treatment has not been administered on time. There are various self-help groups around the world, who offer their unconditional support to the depressed individuals and help them coping with depression. If you are experiencing episodes of depression, it is better that you should visit these self-help groups. Additionally, you may also consult with doctors and mental health practitioners for possible treatments.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Achieve a Happy Life by Reflecting on Happiness Quotes

If you want nothing more than to generate a feeling of well-being in your life, check out a variety of happiness quotes to get started!

These quotations can help you define your personal meaning of happiness, and often times the light-hearted, heart-felt, evocative words of others can help generate a sense of joyfulness internally.

You can use quotations on being happy to shape your reality, to change how you perceive your world and life situations, and to generate some cheer in your life every single day.

Abraham Lincoln believed that happiness is definitely defined by every individual seeking it. Finding it involves understanding what it is, how it affects your life, and how to ultimately achieve a happy state.

You can use the powerful, thought provoking and original words and expressions offered up by others to make you think about the true meaning of what it is to be truly content.

Is contentment found in money? Is your bliss found in being loved by another? Can you create your own seventh heaven without seeking it from the external world around you?

Happy quotes, when contemplated, reflected, and deliberated on can help you form a firm understanding of what real well-being is; once identified you can pursue happiness in your life.

You may find that on some days you just need one or more inspiring sayings to lift your spirits. You can turn to the words of Anne Frank who wrote: "Think of all the beauty that is still left in and around you and be happy."

Or you can use the wise words of Democritus who believed that happiness is not found in gaining material possessions but is something that is found deep within the soul in order to help you develop a deep, spiritual understanding of what being happy means.

You can also use quotations to enhance your journal writing and to cause you to reflect deeply about your life and your overall state of contentment.

Whenever you feel your mood starting to shift into a slight depression or you feel too stressed out to handle daily situations, you can read and reflect on quotes about being happy so that you can immediately shift your state of mind to things more positive.

Having a positive perspective and world outlook will help you shape your future in more positive ways; great quotes are the perfect expressions to touch your heart and soul, to cause you to think, and to help you move forward in your life even when things seem a bit tough.

Use happiness quotations every day by reading them, writing about them, and spread the joy you find by sharing your quotes with others!

Teenage Depression - Understanding Teenage Depression

While depression is a serious clinical condition, it is often missed in the teenage population. The main reason is that the signs and symptoms known to depression often occur in mild forms at the onset of pubescence. The teen years have long had the bad reputation for being the period in a person's life characterised by fluctuations in mood, irritability, rebellious behaviour, and the increased need for sleep often misinterpreted as lack of motivation. The important distinction to make is that the depressed feelings and behaviour displayed in the teen is experienced in such overwhelming levels that it impacts on every aspect of the teenager's functioning. Where rebellion and anger in normal teenage behaviour would usually present itself in one aspect of his or her functioning, depression is pervasive across the life areas.

Essentially the key to distinguishing depression from typical teen behaviour is to observe the frequency, duration and intensity of the signs of depression as well as the degree the signs or symptoms deviates from his or her normal pattern of interests and behaviour. Typically, major depression is diagnosed if a teenager displays depressed moods or irritability and a loss of interest in activities he or she usually engages in, for a period of at least 2 weeks, in conjunction with other symptoms such as weight loss and inability to concentrate. The onset of these symptoms usually increases in intensity with time, and the teen experiences feelings of loneliness, sadness or anger recurrently rather than episodically. Depression is also characterised by feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness, causing the teen to withdraw from social interactions in a period of development where social interaction is usually an important element in the teen's life. Another important factor in teen depression is when the teen lacks motivation or drive to pursue activities that are usually valued and meaningful in this age group. Other signs include frequent tearfulness or crying, withdrawal from friends and family, changes in eating and sleeping habits, restlessness and agitation, and thoughts of death and suicide.

So what causes teenage depression? Teenagers face many social pressures, as this is a crucial stage when teens are discovering their true identities and therefore measure their worth by their acceptance from their peers. The pressures of fitting in, discovering their sexuality, and identifying their direction in life can prove cumbersome to many teens. But when this challenging time in a teenager's life is compounded by perceived failure, rejection, or negative life events, a teen that is not very resilient can easily fall victim to the onset of teenage depression. Another area of difficulty in the teen years is the lacks of effective communication teenagers endure due to feelings of inadequacy and mistrust, particularly of the adults in their lives who should be a source of support during difficult times. Teenagers tend to alienate themselves from adults because they often have the perception that adults such as parents and teachers do not understand them. Thus, when teenagers face emotionally difficult times, and do not seek support, this can aggravate their feelings of loneliness and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can begin to set in.

Once you suspect the onset of depression in a teenager, the first thing you should do is to talk to the teenager about it. Be sure to approach the teen with a non-judgmental attitude and share your concerns in a caring way. Describe the specific signs of depression you have noticed that are concerning you and encourage the teenager to open up about his or her feelings. It is important to listen without lecturing, to validate his or her feelings, and to offer unconditional support. The next step is to seek the opinion of a health professional such as a general practitioner or a psychologist who can make a definitive diagnosis and assist in the management of the depression. It is important to remember that even if you have a vague suspicion of depression, it is vital that you address your suspicions rather that risking a depressed teen not receiving the support he or she needs.

The Importance in Knowing the Signs of Depression

When the signs of depression are identified, families of individuals afflicted with this mental health disease can seek treatment as soon as possible.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "in any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 20.9 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness".

Dealing with this mental illness can cause a person to hit rock bottom and perform drastic acts that can greatly hurt their lives. If the signs of depression are found early on in the illness, a person can recover and become a better individual because of their ordeal.

Knowing the signs of this mental illness can help a person seek treatment early. One of the first indication of this illness is a persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood. This constant state of mood can lead to feelings of hopelessness or pessimism and this is another one of the warning for this illness.

Other indications of this mental illness may include loss of interest in things that make that person happy, decreased levels of energy, constant fatigue, and even certain persistent physical signs such as a headache that will not go away or digestive disorders that become chronic.

Of course, several other signs are common, and not every person will experience the same signs. Some may only feel a few signs and others may experience all.

Just as different signs of depression exist, different types of depressive disorders also exist. With manic depression, also known as bipolar depression, the signs can be different than when dealing with "normal" clinical depression.

With mania, a person has tremendous highs and lows that bring on severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include unusual irritability, poor judgment, racing thoughts, and inappropriate social and sexual behavior. These symptoms require seeing a doctor as soon as possible.

No matter if a person is dealing with clinical or manic mental illness, the signs of depression are very evident if a person is paying attention. Dealing with this mental illness not only includes the person with the illness, but also the family and friends that surround that individual.

Depression can annihilate a family as well as the person that is sick. However, treatment is available if someone will only take the first step in admitting something is wrong.

Mental illnesses are real illnesses and the person that has one is just as sick as if they had a physical ailment such as cancer. Knowing the signs of this mental illness can help a person to get better with the aide of trained professionals.

Symptoms Of A Low Thyroid Function And Iodine/Selenium Deficiency

A low thyroid function has specific causes, yet the symptoms of this condition are numerous and can be mistaken for symptoms of other disorders, including psychological syndromes. Also, as an individual you might experience and describe your signs of a low thyroid in a unique way that can confuse the issue.

To add to this, a blood test may show that your thyroid hormones are low, but still considered in a normal range, not requiring drug therapy. If this is the case, while frustrating for you, you are lucky, because remedying a couple of simple nutritional deficiencies may return you to a true 'normal'. Review the following symptoms typically associated with a hypothyroid condition:

  • difficulty losing weight

  • tired all the time

  • moodiness

  • hair loss

  • loose skin

  • depression

  • aching muscles

  • feeling cold

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • lack of libido

  • sore joints

  • memory loss

  • difficulty concentrating

It is easy to see why this 'low normal' thyroid function can be difficult to figure out. If you are over forty, you may be told that your natural aging process has started. If your dominant symptom is depression, for example, you may be prescribed psychiatric drugs. These will for certain not help your thyroid hormones get up to par. And so on and so on with each symptom - a dominant symptom can be assigned to the wrong diagnosis.

Nutritional factors can be explored here. It is common knowledge that an iodine deficiency can be responsible for a sluggish thyroid gland. Yet, iodine is only part of the nutrition required to manufacture thyroid hormones. If you are deficient in other minerals like selenium, copper, and zinc, and the amino acid L-Tyrosine, just taking some iodine won't help to completely remedy the situation.

L-Tyrosine is an interesting amino acid. It is involved in the production of mood elevating neurotransmitters and adrenaline. If you are under constant stress, your L-Tyrosine will get used up producing adrenaline, and as a result will not be available in the quantity your body needs to produce your thyroid hormones.

One body system can function then, but another will be compromised. The good news is, that by introducing some simple supplements into your diet, you can target one area, such as your thyroid, and other aspects of your health will benefit as well.

Think of the chain reaction you can create by getting your thyroid up to normal. Imagine having more energy, healthier skin and hair, a healthy libido, and the sense of well being resulting from those few factors. You might feel more like working out and that can result in strong muscles, more fat burning, and slower aging.

Thyroid function affects your heart health, your cholesterol levels and your homocysteine levels. Also, extremely important, this in turn improves the lining of your blood vessels and prevents blood clots.

The content of selenium in our foods depends on the soil the foods grow in. This is very inconsistent from one agricultural area to another. Even if we know the selenium endowed areas of the world, our foods are not all tagged with their origins. It is the same with iodine. It is low in most diets, though traces are found in seafoods. Sadly our seafoods are so polluted now that we cannot eat them every day.

Depression - Checklists of Symptoms of Clinical Depression

The more common and easily identifiable symptoms of depression are:

deep feeling of sadness,
emptiness, and

The other way to determin if you have depression is by how long these feelings last. If they hang on for longer that
a couple of weeks, then chances are you don't have "the blues" you have been afflicted with depression and what you
really need to do is go and discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

When we think about depression we have the habit of associating depression with the emotional symptoms of how we feel,
however, along with the emotional symptoms we do have physical symptoms as well, which can be equally debilitaiting.
Here are checklists of symptoms of clinical depression, both on the emotional and physical side:

1. Emotional

- feelings of sadness throughout the day and consistently every day

- lack of interest or no interest at all in your favorite activities

- feelings of hopelessness and/or feeling empty inside

- feeling stressed, nervousness, or entirely overwhelmed

- having a hard time concentrating and/or making decisions

- feeling worthless

- feelings of excessive guilt

- feeling restless and irritable

- thoughts of suicide or death

2. Physical

- no energy and feeling fatigue

- either not enough sleep or sleeping all the time

- changes in appetite and/or weight

- suffering from aches and pains

- suffering from headaches

- experiencing back pain

- problems with your digestive systems

- dizziness

This checklists of symptoms of clinical depression is meant for you to take notice and if you have these symptoms and go speak with
your family doctor. Once your doctor is aware of these symptoms he or she can help you understand
what depression is and from there talk
to you about the best treatments of
clinical depression for you.

Postnatal Depression - A Major Form of Clinical Depression Which Affects 5-25% of Women

There are a large number of women who suffer from the Postnatal depression. It is also known as Postpartrum Depression. This is one of the major types of clinical depression as well. By and large from 5% to 25% women are affected with the postnatal depression.

There are various symptoms which will help you in recognizing postnatal depression. These Symptoms of post natal depression can occur anytime within the first year postpartum. Some of the symptoms of the postnatal depression are mentioned below.

o Inability to be Comforted: The patient will always feel restless. There will be no comfort level for the patient. The patient will never be happy.

o Exhaustion: The patient will suffer from tiredness and exhaustion. She will feel like sleeping always.

o Emptiness: The patient will feel that something is missing in her life. She will not be able to enjoy the positive environment around her.

o Inability to Enjoy Things One Previously Enjoyed: She will dislike the things that she had liked earlier.

o Social Withdrawal: The patient will withdraw herself within her room and will not interact with anyone else.

o Low Energy: Energy levels will be low for the patients. She will always look as she has not eaten anything or she will look extremely tired.

o Easily Frustrated: The patient will be frustrated easily and will also fight over small and minute things. Feeling Inadequate in Taking Care of Baby

o Sadness: A sense of sadness will prevail over the patient always. She will looked extremely depressed at the first sight itself.

o Hopelessness: The patient will feel that she has lost everything in her life.

o Low Self-Esteem: She will also loose her self respect.

o Guilt: Guilt will take over the happiness that has had gained when she had conceived the baby.

o Sleep Disturbances: The patient will not be able to sleep properly in the night.

o Eating Disturbances: The food habits of the patients will be changed. She will not like eating things which she used to love earlier.

A lot of research activities as well as experiments going on which has resulted in the development of medications as well as remedies for the people. Some of the major postnatal depression treatment includes the following:

o Medical evaluation in order rule out physiological problems: The patient should be taken to a doctor who will help in diagnosing the disease and offer proper medication.

o Cognitive behavioral therapy: Psychotherapy is advised by the doctor which is one of the best medicines in this case.

o Possible medicines: All the possible medicines should be given to the patient so that she will be able to recover fast.

o Support groups: family and friends are the best support groups. The husband should take special care of his wife.

o Home visits/Home visitors: Family members as well as relatives should also visit the patient so that she can cope up the depression.

o Healthy diet: Tasty and delicious food should be offered to her so that she is tempted to eat. Her favorite dishes should be on the platter.

o Consistent healthy sleep patterns: Sleep is an important part of the treatment of the postnatal depression. The family members should take care that the patient gets ample sleep and follows a regular sleep pattern.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

10 Serious Life Changing Effects of Untreated Teen Depression

Teen depression can have detrimental effects on your child's life. The first step to helping is to identify the difference between sadness and true depression. Interestingly, there are differences between teen depression and adult depression, which makes it a bit more difficult to tell when a teen is depressed.

Irritable or angry: this quite often is the most common result of depression and might play out as being grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated or experiencing frequent outbursts of anger.

Vague aches and pains: headaches, stomach aches and other such complaints that do not seem to have a physical or medical cause can indicate that your teen is depressed.

Sensitive to criticism: While some sensitivity to criticism can be normal, a teen who appears overly upset is likely suffering from depression. Depressed teens often have low self esteem and self worth, making them more sensitive to rejection and failure.

Withdrawal from friends: Teens are likely to maintain some friendships while staying actively involved with others when they are depressed. Adults, on the other hand, tend to withdraw completely from family, friends and acquaintances. One sign to watch is when your teen drops old friendships and starts up with an entirely new crowd, especially if the crowd has different views than your teen.

It is crucial that teen depression be treated early to prevent serious and perhaps permanent problems. Left untreated, depression can lead to these 10 outcomes.

1. Low self esteem, triggered by feelings of worthlessness, failure, and inferiority.

2. Eating disorders including bulimia, anorexia and binge eating.

3. Problems at school resulting from low energy and difficulty concentrating. Watch for low grades, poor attendance, and lack of patience to complete schoolwork.

4. Running away is one cry for help by teens who are depressed.

5. Substance abuse (alcohol and drugs)

6. Self injury including various kinds of self-mutilation such as burning, cutting, hair pulling are sure signs of depression.

7. Other addictions including computer games and Internet surfing as an escape mechanism.

8. Violence becomes predominant in some depressed teens, which is based in self-hatred and hatred of others that can lead to homicide.

9 Dangerous or reckless behavior covers such things as binge drinking, unsafe sex, reckless driving and other careless behaviors.

10. Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are exceptional cries for help. Depressed teens who think of suicide will make death-related comments and talk of killing themselves. It is imperative to get immediate help for any teen or talks of suicide or death wishes.

How Sea Salt Helps Depression

Did you know that you can cure depression naturally by making sea salt a part of your daily diet. Studies have shown that sea salt can help to relieve the symptoms of depression naturally by adding salt to your drinking water. For every quart of water, add about 1/4 tsp. of unrefined sea salt to reduce your symptoms.

Depression can be the result of various different factors such as the loss of a loved one, physical pain, prolonged stress or a poor diet. Depression may be temporary, but for some it is ongoing, and therefore the patients often resort to medical help.

Patients are often prescribed lithium to help alleviate the depressed mind. However, lithium has many side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, unable to coordinate, eye pain, blurred vision, weight gain and weakness.

How Does Sea Salt Help

Sea salt has been shown to be an effective substitute for lithium, as it is able to relieve the symptoms of depression, but without any side effects.

It naturally helps to maintain the levels of serotonin and melatonin levels in the body. Serotonin essentially helps you to remain calm, thus it is effective in reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Melatonin is essential in helping you to fall into a deep sleep at night, which is also essential in helping your emotions to remain strong.

What is Sea Salt

Sea salt is obtained naturally by evaporating sea water. The water evaporates and the salt and all the minerals remain behind and are raked into layers. The more minerals that are contained in the salt, the more color the salt will have. The colors can range from pink, gray and a sandy color, depending on where it was harvested.

The natural salt does not contain any additional or artificial ingredients. It usually is not free running, and in some cases it may even be moist.

Depending on the brand of salt, it can contain all the essential trace minerals which your body needs for optimum health. The salt will not raise your blood pressure, but rather it can help to stabilize it. There are also many other health benefits of natural salt; it is good for the heart, the muscles, kidneys, and can help to protect you against cancer and diabetes.

Why Sea Salt?

You could use regular table salt, but then you will need to balance that with magnesium and potassium, as all the minerals have been stripped out of regular table salt. But natural sea salt contains both of these minerals which helps to bring it into balance.

Manic Depression Symptoms

Manic Depression manifests itself mainly through behavioral and mood symptoms that can be classified into two opposite sets. One set involves symptoms of a very elated, or "high," state, while the opposite set involves a very depressed or "low" state. These two symptom sets demonstrate themselves in a continuous range, classified by experts into mild to moderate to severe, in both opposing symptom sets.

The National Institute of Mental Health lists many of the symptoms of Manic Depression. Many of them are mood symptoms, while others involve physical abnormalities and psychological instabilities. The following are some of the more commonly identified symptoms associated with the manic ("high") phase.

Mood changes during a manic phase

An individual suffering from a manic phase almost always feels excessively good, and maintains an unusually euphoric mood. These individuals often find themselves talking and thinking very quickly, sometimes jumping from one thought to the next. This behavior is noticeably different from the individual's normal disposition, and lasts for an abnormally long time.

Sufferers may also feel very irritable, and may result in provocative, aggressive, or intrusive behavior. They may deny that anything is wrong with them, and may even accuse others of conspiring against them. They basically believe that they are invincible and powerful, even to the point of absurdity.

Physical changes during a manic phase

Individuals suffering from a manic phase generally feel restless and excitable, and may display levels of energy unusual to the person. They often engage in activity, no matter what it might be, and may quickly tire and look for other things to do.

These individuals may also need little sleep to maintain their energy levels during the day. A heightened interest and drive towards sexual relations may also be evident.

Psychological changes during a manic phase

Sufferers are easily distracted, preventing them from working or learning effectively. They also exhibit reduced judgment skills, which may result in spending sprees and substance abuse. Some individuals have been noted to resort to cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medication abuse while in a manic phase.

Conversely, the depressive ("low") phase displays symptoms that are polar opposites from the ones enumerated above, although they can fall into the same rough categories:

Mood changes during a depressive phase

In contrast to a manic phase, a depressive phase causes an individual to suddenly feel hopeless and pessimistic. The sufferer may also feel unexplained pangs of guilt and worthlessness. It is a sad, scared, or otherwise empty mood that lasts for a time.

Physical changes during a depressive phase

A person going through a major depressive phase almost always feels tired or being "slowed down." The individual loses sleep (or the opposite, gets too much), as well as any interest he/she used to have for activities normally enjoyed, even sex.

The individual also suffers changes in appetite, often resulting in unintended gain or loss of weight. Pain and other persistent physical symptoms may also accompany the general discomfort of a depressive phase, even though there is no sign of any underlying illness or injury to cause it.

Psychological changes during a depressive phase

Individuals suffering from a depressive phases suffer from difficulty in concentrating, memory, and decision-making. They are also restless and irritable, and may lead to conflicts with co-workers and peers. This is also a symptom of the manic phase, effectively making sufferers very unfit to work during an episode.

The most serious psychological symptom involves thoughts of death or suicide. Sufferers of Manic Depression have committed suicide before, making the mental disorder a very serious social problem as well.

More manic depression symptoms [] are examined at this link.

Allergy and Mental Diseases

The following may come as a surprise to most people, including most medical doctors.

Most mental disease is caused by unsuspected brain allergies!

This fact was illuminated for me by Dr Marshall Mandell in the early 80's. He appeared on the Phil Donahue show, and had videos of persons with mental problems caused or worsened by allergen testing. He was the first to name such as "brain allergies".

In 1982, Dr Von Hilsheimer introduced the first End-Point-Titration allergy testing into Florida, and I worked with him at an allergy clinic in Orlando. We amazed several MD allergists in that clinic with depression and many other cases being solved.

During that time, I studied allergy/sensitivity extensively. I found a list of mental diseases caused by allergens that surprised me. None of my previous experience and learning in psychology had prepared me for such. I found the following in a "standard" text on allergies as "Mental Symptoms". It surprised me, and probably will you.

Schizophrenia, depression, hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD), Emotional instability or hypersensitivity, Insomnia, Chronic fatigue, crying jags, stuttering, excessive daydreaming, anxiety, panic attacks, withdrawn, listless, seizures, aggressive behavior, anger, irritability, silly, tense, restless, excited, agitated, behavior problems in children, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, poor comprehension, confusion, impaired attention, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behavior, feelings of unreality, disorientation, false beliefs or delusions, hallucinations, suicidal, feel like hurting self.

While giving a 4 day orthomolecular seminar in Soviet Georgia in 2000, I was introduced to the latest EEG biofeedback therapy of raising the amplitude of the brain waves just above Alpha, in the range of 12-15 Hz. (later named the SMR brain wave) In the discussion, I remembered that list of mental diseases caused by allergens. I then proposed the following theory: "Raising the SMR brain wave somehow changed the affect of allergens on the brain. To date, no other theory fits the data.

When I returned to the US, I started the first leasing of EEG BF equipment for home use. As you can imagine this did not endear me to the clinicians who were charging up to $250 per half hour for the service. The actual operation is so simple that anyone with a high school education can easily learn how to do it, although the learned clinicians will (as usual) protest the necessity of a professional approach. (This in spite of no record of harm being done to anyone, and no license being required to practice this simple therapy.)

In 2001, Dr Jiri Tyrl of the Czech Biofeedback Society listed papers about EEG biofeedback that showed the following mental diseases as being either cured or greatly improved by this feedback:

Epilepsy; ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Academic-Cognitive Enhancement; Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Sleep Disorders, Depression, Hemispheric Asymmetry, Anger, Addictive Disorders, Brain Injury, Stroke, Coma, Spasticity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune Dysfunctions, Headache and other Pain, Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Parkinson's Dystonia, Tourette's Syndrome, Autism; Cognitive Decline with Aging, Asthma Hypertension Dissociative Disorders, Creativity, Optimal Functioning, Criminal Recidivism.

This list was further proof (to me at least) that allergens were involved in much more mental disease that was suspected, and that this particular EEG biofeedback (now known as raising the SMR brain wave), DID somehow relieve this allergen susceptibility. (Both my wife and I have either "cured" or alleviated lifelong allergies.)

In 2004, one of those comic light bulbs went on above my head, and I realized that it should be possible to do the same thing - namely raise the SMR brain wave - by use of subliminal messaging.

I put out a call for volunteers, and got over 20, who sent me weekly emails for 4 weeks. Most were various types of ADD/ADHD, with a few depressives and insomniacs mixed in. The results definitely showed that both my allergen theory and my subliminal theory were correct.

In 6 more volunteer tests since that time, we have shown that this therapy (named Neuroliminal Training) is at least as effective as EEG Biofeedback (aka Neurofeedback) for ADD/ADHD, depression, insomnia, autism, and epilepsy.

We're going even further with a current test that includes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, PTSD, Depression of all types, etc. This test will end in January 2009.

How to Cope With Manic Depression

Coping with manic depression, otherwise known as bi-polar disorder, can be a real challenge for the individual suffering with the disease. It is difficult for the person suffering with it, and on those around them. Knowing that your condition has serious effects upon those you love can even serve to aggravate the conditions. Knowing what to expect from your illness and planning out methods of coping with the symptoms goes a long way in alleviating the stress and anxiety of this serious illness.

Step One: Know that it is a disease. Manic depression is not a personal deficiency. It is not something you choose to have. You are not feeling sorry for yourself. You are not over-acting. You have a real illness. Do not let what others may think influence how you feel about yourself, and treat yourself. Most of what those who have not dealt with mental disorders know about the facts are full of misinformation. While you may not be able to educate everyone, focus on dealing with those closest to you as they learn about what bi-polar illness is, and how to effectively help you deal with the illness.

Step Two: Learn to keep stress to a minimum. Stress is a huge factor in triggering manic depressive attacks. You may feel like your body has betrayed you after being diagnosed with manic depression. Do not allow the feelings of betrayal to overwhelm you. It is okay to feel upset about the fact that your world has been turned upside down. That's natural for anyone. Recognize the need for anger and grief and let them have their place, but don't focus on them. Instead, focus on all of the positive things that you can do to make your life fuller and happier. Knowing what the problem is can be half the battle.

Step Three: Keep accurate track of your medications. Your prescribed medicines will help you control the hold that manic depression has on your life. In order to be able to live your life to the fullest you need to have those emotional highs and lows under complete control. Your medicines are your lifeline. Make a chart with what medicines to take when on it, and follow it religiously.

Step Four: Keep a plan of action. Just like your medicine chart, a plan of action for daily needs is a great way to be sure you do not lose track of the things you need to do. Make extensive to do lists and follow them. Set each item on the list as a small goal. If there are larger items that need to be accomplished break them up into smaller individual goals to get there. That will keep you from feeling too overwhelmed by large tasks. Completing each item will give you a sense of accomplishment, and finalizing your day will make you feel wonderful and independent.

Step Five: Keep a diary. Talking about your problems to friends and family is a great way to alleviate the feelings of lonliness and stress of a mental disorder. Another important way to deal with your illness is to keep a diary. Write in it every day. The good and the bad. That way when you are feeling really upset, or emotional, you can look back and see what made you feel that way before and how you coped with it, or what made you happy on good days and how you can get out of the bad areas this time.

Keeping a diary can also help to show you if you are making improvements and the bad days are less than the good ones. It can also alert you to trouble if the bad days are beginning to catch up to the good ones in number. Most of all, keeping a diary just helps in allowing you to talk it out with yourself.

You can live a wonderful, happy, and productive live while dealing with bi-polar disorder. Your friends and your family will be with you on your journey and you can be independent and enjoy the world again with just a little planning.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Understanding The Various Types Of Depression

Depression is one of the most well known and commonly seen psychiatric disorders. Although stress contributes to being afflicted by depression, the affects of stress is not depression. Neither is depression feeling blue or sad for few days. Depression is characterized by intense and relentless feelings of worthlessness or guilt, sadness, difficulties with attention and memory, inability to find pleasure or enjoy anything, aberrations in sleep and eating habits, fluctuation in energy levels and at its extreme recurrent suicidal tendencies. All of these or most of these signs persisting over more than two weeks would be sufficient for a diagnosis of depressive disorder. However depression is not a single entity, it is a group of disorders lumped together under the label of mood disorders. The primary and common symptom that characterizes these disorders is mood vacillations. There are three major types of depression: Major Depressive disorder, Dysthemia and Bipolar disorder.

Types of Depression:

Major depressive disorder also called clinical depression is characterized by all of the symptoms described above. The symptoms are present for at least two weeks with an intensity that debilitates the individuals normal day to day functioning. Individuals who suffer from this type of depression might have just one single episode or might have recurrent relapses through out their lives. Major depression is more common among females than males. The symptom patterns in males are set apart from typical female symptom pattern. Men are more likely to be violent and aggressive unlike the more passive, lethargic and subdued affect observed in females. Major depression can be treated with antidepressants and psychological therapy.

Dysthemia also called mild or chronic depression is characterized by a milder and longer lasting symptom pattern of the major depression. The symptoms could last for as long as two years and sometimes are interspersed with episodes of clinical depression. When Dysthemia occurs together with major depression a diagnosis of double depression is applied. Afflicted individuals or their near and dear ones might not recognize that the person is depressed as the symptoms are mild and last long enough to give the impression that it is a personality pattern rather than an illness. However Dysthemia can be formally diagnosed and treated with anti depression medication and therapy.

Bipolar Disorder as its name implies has a symptom pattern of dramatic mood oscillations from a depressed extreme to a manic extreme characterized by elation or euphoria. The moods swings can take place over a varied time frame moving from one mood to the other gradually over time or rapidly within a matter of minutes. The depression in bipolar disorder is characterized by the regular depression symptoms, however the manic cycle brings with it sleeplessness, restless hyper activity, euphoria, and some thought disorder symptoms like hallucinations, delusions and extreme rage leading to impaired day to day functioning and social life.

Other less common and milder forms of depression include atypical depression, post partum depression, seasonal affective disorder and substance induced depression. If you suspect you have depression and have the characteristic symptoms such as difficulty in sleeping or staying awake, increased or decreased appetite, inability to concentrate, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, extreme mood swings, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies seek medical help immediately.

The Basics Of Manic Depressive Illness

Current thinking with regard to manic depressive illness is pretty much like the picture you see to the left. Your life might turn out to be a roller coaster ride but the good news is that modern therapies seem to be making much progress towards smoothing out the peaks and valleys while bringing a modicum of normality to your life.

Generally speaking, it is not the type of condition that can be cured to the point of no return. The best case scenario will allow you to keep your symptoms at bay while you go about leading as perfectly as normal of a lifestyle as possible. For some people, this never happens and in fact, dealing with manic depressive illness can become unbearable. Learning to live with the condition is no small undertaking, but like everything else in life, where there is a will, there is a way!

As a human being, it is actually rather normal to swing from a state of happiness to a state of sadness and vice versa. What makes this condition unique is that when it comes to the manic depressive illness, the extreme emotions can be very strong. For instance, if you suffer from this condition, it will not be unusual for you at all to swing from one extreme emotional state to the opposite end in what would seem like no time at all. What you will have to do is learn how to control them, which for most people will require the help of medication.

The manic depressive illness symptoms will usually arrive in people's late adolescent years. Diagnosing it can be very hard, since it arrives with many other factors specific to that age group. It is very important that you get a proper diagnosis as early as possible, so that you can get proper treatment. Once you start to treat the condition, you will start to feel better. Your mood swings will not be as severe as before you began treatment. Ideally, you will be able to control your wide mood swings to the point that most people close to you will not even be able to notice anything.

A cornerstone of good treatment for patients who suffer from manic depressive illness is to be surrounded with people who are supportive. Always having someone to talk to, especially in moments when you feel really sad, is very critical to your wellbeing. That support person can prevent you from doing the kinds of things that you should not do. They will help you to see the error of your ways, such as preventing an extravagant purchase or doing some bodily harm to yourself. If you see yourself in this position, be sure to get some help today for a better tomorrow!

Depression - The Effect Of Twisted Thinking

If you are feeling depressed, it could be the effect of "twisted thinking". There are many different twisted ways of thinking, but here I want to talk about two, overgeneralisation and the mental filter.If you can catch yourself making these errors, you can use strategies to overcome and dramatically improve your depression.

The first error, overgeneralisation is when you make the assumption that if something happens once, it will always happen for ever after.

You go for a job and don't get it. Overgeneralisation makes you conclude "I'll never get any job. It's completely hopeless". Overgeneralisation multiplies the pain of setbacks or rejections many many times. You could look at a setback as just an isolated event, but instead you interpret it as a message from the universe that all your endeavours are doomed.

Overgeneralistion can happen in spite of all the evidence. David Burns, in his book Feeling Good, tells about the depressed salesman who noticed bird dung on his car window and thought "That's just my luck. The birds are always crapping on my window!". When asked he could not think of another time in the last twenty years when this had happened. By becoming aware of when you are overgeneralising, and challenging it (for instance by asking whether it is true that something "always" or "never" happens) you can begin to overcome it.

The other form of twisted thinking that I want to discuss here is the mental filter. This happens when you focus all your attention on a small number of negative elements, giving them importance out of all proportion. For instance, if a student takes a test with 100 questions and gets ten of them wrong, the mental filter would make him obsess about those ten errors, ignoring the fact that he in fact scored 90%, an excellent mark. As another example, I might see thirty patients in a week and have one session that did not go well, which the patient did not think was helpful. The mental filter would make me concentrate on this, ignoring the fact that most of the other sessions that week, and most of the sessions with that patient in other weeks, did in fact go well. This sort of behaviour arises from depression. When we are depressed we can only respond to negative information,and that negative information makes us more depressed. We can learn how to recognise when the mental filter is operating and how to defeat it, saving ourselves much needless suffering.

7 Secrets of Success in a Recession

I call them secrets only because of what I see all around me. Everywhere I go people are talking about how bad things are and how terrible the economy is and on and on; so clearly they must be secrets. To me these "secrets" are simply principles that can be applied in any economy, recession or no recession, to achieve success. The only difference is in the mechanical how-to's during trying times such as these. You may have to change the WAY you do things, but not what you do. Admittedly, times are tough. But who are we to cower away in the face of adversity?

1. Stop Worrying! I mean it, stop thinking about how bad things are, stop obsessing over how much value your property has lost, or what the stock market is doing, or whatever it is you're worrying about right now. Worry is destroying you in more ways than you know. It does a fantastic job at eliminating any creativity that you may have. It robs you of precious sleep. It causes a loss of appetite and hence poor nutrition to fuel your body. And it puts you into a destructive frame of mind. None of these things will help you. I will drive this point home with a part of the inaugural speech given by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933:

"This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory."

This is eerily relevant today. In fact, it almost sounds as if it were written for the conditions we are facing today. But it was not. It was written during the Great Depression. And we all know; that story has a happy ending. So Stop Worrying!

2. Turn Off the News. Every time I happen to be in a room where the T.V. is tuned in to a news station, I am assaulted by terrible stories about death, murder, robbery, arson, plummeting stock markets and housing prices, banks shutting down, and on and on. Listen. I rarely watch the news and I know what is going on around me. I'm not missing anything terribly important because there is always someone who is constantly watching the news to let me know if I am. News is big business. The purpose of a business is to attract and keep a customer. Stories of puppy dogs and ice cream don't sell, but drama does. Scandal sells. Sex sells. And since this is what keeps the attention of the masses, this is what they report. It's doing nothing but reminding you that you should be worried. Turn it off and leave it off.

3. Study the Past. It has been said that to know where we are going, we must first know where we have been. There are stories of success in times of far greater adversity than we face now. The revolutionary war is an excellent example. Look at Hewlett Packard, Proctor & Gamble, and Chevrolet during the late 1920's and early 1930's when the Great Depression was at its worst. These are stories of success, increased market share, and creating an empire at times when others drifted off into oblivion as a result of fear paralysis. The unfortunate thing about the failures of these time periods was that it really was the mindset that the majority had which caused them to fail. Those who decided to act in spite of the fear made millions, created a new nation, and outsold their competitors. Study the past for stories of success during adversity. This will give you the inspiration to believe it is possible for you to create your success in today's trying times. Study the past.

4. Ask the Question: How Can I? If you just did this one thing over and over, you would be amazed at what you could create. Successful people look at problems and ask themselves how they can solve them, unsuccessful people look at problems and say, I can't do this, or I can't afford that or, we'll never be able to go there and so on. By asking how can I, you open up your mind to the creativity we all have within us to do incredible things. Like Henry Ford said "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." Focus on how you can give more, be more, create more, and serve more. In the words of John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, rather what can you do for your country." Ask How Can I?

5. Focus On Your Circle of Influence. There are things we can control and things we cannot. Your job is to focus your energy only on the things you can control, your circle of influence. To worry about and focus on all the negativity and bad news of the recession is distracting you from focusing on what you can actually do something about. The serenity prayer comes to mind: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Focus!

6. Stop Waiting. Don't wait for the timing to be right, for the economy to get better, for the value of your home to go back up, for the kids to get through school, for the weather to warm back up, and on and on. Someone close to me just told me how he wants to open his own business. He tells me that if he had done it 3 years ago when he had the opportunity, he would be close to financial independence. He decided at the time to wait until the timing was "just right." Now with the economy the way it is, there's just no way he can do it. He said he would have to wait until the economy improved and when that happens, he will make his move. I was speechless... This quote perfectly sums it up:

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that those obstacles were my life....

"This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And remember that time waits for no one."
Father Alfred D'souza (Australian, died 2004)

Whatever it is you want to do, Do it now!

7. Make a Commitment. Commit to yourself that you are going to do what you know you should to turn your life around. Success is a process defined simply as the deliberate pursuit of a worthwhile goal. Success is not the destination at the end of a long journey, it is the journey. There is no failure except for the acceptance of it. Commit to taking control of your life instead of being controlled by it. And when I say commit to it, I mean to give yourself no other option. Burn the bridges that lead back to mediocrity and refuse to look back. When you stumble or you don't get what you set out to get, realize that the result is simply feedback and not something that defines or labels you as a failure. We live in a world of cause and effect. If the effect you elicit isn't the effect you wanted, congratulations! You found a way not to do it. Try again. Failure to achieve what you want to achieve is simply your internal GPS telling you that you made a wrong turn. If this happened on a road trip and your Garmin told you that you made a wrong turn, would you turn off your engine, put your head in your hands and give up? Of course not, you would regroup and start again. Life is no different. Focus on the end result. Commit to getting there. Don't quit no matter what happens. And take action now!

Depression Treatments Australia

People in Australia, like any other place in the world battle with Depression. Depression treatments (in) Australia are the same as most other countries. There are some differences and they will be introduced. The treatments fall into about four categories. We will take a look at each category and the treatments in those categories.

Physical Treatments

Anti-depressant drugs are one treatment. In cases of depression that are of biological origin, the effectiveness of these drugs is variable.

Tranquilizers are not helpful in cases of minor depression and they are addictive. It has been noted that they may actually worsen depressive symptoms. They may be helpful in more serious cases of depression.

Electroconvulsive therapy is also known as shock treatments. Basically, a general anesthetic and a muscle relaxer are administered. Electrodes are placed on the head. Regular pulses are delivered. If it is done properly a seizure ensues. The patient only experiences mild movement in the hands and feet because of the muscle relaxer they were given. This stimulates the brain. The patient will awaken minutes after the procedure and remember none of the events surrounding it. They may be mentally confused. With prolonged treatment more seizures could develop as well as movement disorders.

Psychological Treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches you how wrong (negative) thinking is affecting you, your moods and your emotions. Negative thinking becomes a habit. It teaches you how to change over to positive thinking.

Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy and uses a number of approaches to treatment.
It is a series of approaches that helps you to look at your life including your childhood if necessary to recognized unresolved issues and possibly bring you to some resolution. Your relationships, your interactions with people and your core belief about yourself are all evaluated.

Self-help Therapy

One of Australia's self-help treatments struck me as very interesting because I am not sure this would be considered treating your depression elsewhere. It is Bibliotherapy.
Bibliotherapy is the reading of books and magazines on how to beat Depression and practicing the techniques on your own.

Herbal Treatments

Herbal treatments today are most commonly found in the form of supplements or in teas.
Centuries have proven that herbal treatment is effective and safe. It lacks the serious side effects most often associated with prescribed anti-depressants.

Herbs such as Chamomile can be brewed into teas. Chamomile is a light naturally sweet tea that works as a gentle sleep aid. Chamomile might also lift your mood and boost your metabolism.

The highest quality herbs will have had the following done:

The metabolic paths of each ingredient are tested at the molecular level.

The interactions of the ingredients are closely observed.

They will have been made to pharmaceutical standards.

This process assures you that the supplement is safe, potent, and effective.

It also tells you that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting.


Depression treatments (in) Australia are not unlike those elsewhere in the world. Credence is given to self-help techniques as a treatment of Depression. Psychotherapy, medication (anti-depressants) and herbal supplements are also treatment options. You and your physician together can come up with a treatment to meet your personal needs.

Number 1 Way How to Overcome Depression After a Breakup

It's such a difficult thing to go through a breakup especially when it's sudden. Your entire routine changes because you suddenly find yourself doing things differently. Although you are feeling depressed now, I want you to know that you can overcome depression after a breakup.

The depression that is caused by a break up can consume your thoughts and may even alter how you view life. The effects of depression are not exactly the same for everyone because each breakup is not the same. However, the unpleasantness of depression is a common factor.

Some symptoms of depression due to a breakup are:

1. Loneliness because you are losing the person you once shared much of your life with and you are no longer a couple. The things that you may have done together now brings painful memories.

2. Another symptom of depression due to a break up is grief because you are witnessing the death of your relationship and you find yourself having to adjust to a new routine.

3. Another symptom of depression is a change in your appetite, you may either eat less or you will over eat to try to full the void that you feel.

There are so many other symptoms and effects of depression, however you can overcome them. Take this moment as you read this article to reflect on all of the good things life has brought to you. This is the beginning of overcoming depression.Realize that you are a valuable person and choose to look at things in life positively. Inspirational books and music can do wonders for ushering you out of a depressive mood. When you grab hold of the inspiring things that life has to offer, they become your support system.

If you need to speak to someone make sure to be involved in positive conversations because during a time of depression you need to surround yourself with positive thoughts and deeds. Any negative conversations will cause you to have negative thoughts. Try to do something positively creative.

It may be that the breakup could be reversed. It may be that you really do want to get your ex back. Keep in mind that even if you do want to reconcile with your ex you must still remain inspired because inspiration will also help you through the reconciliation.

The #1 way how to overcome depression after a breakup is to take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Characteristics Of Bipolar Depression - An Essential Way To Deal With It

In psychiatry, bipolar syndrome is a kind of medical finding which refers to depressed mood along with a mixed state or hypomania. When compared with people who are normal, people suffering from bipolar depression have mood swings which might range from a few minutes to even a few months. Such people are prone to attempt suicide at any given chance and are equally associated with distress and disruption. Bipolar syndrome is many times linked to extreme functioning and many creative people attribute their creativity to this ailment.

Bipolar disorder is further classified into Type I and Type II. In case of Type I disorder, the affected person is most likely to experience full-blown mania. In case of the Type II ailment, the highs of the affected individual do not exceed the hypomania stage unless it was set off by such medications. During such manic periods, psychosis may arise. Rapid cycling can also take place. The extent to which a person may get affected because of such disorder varies from individual to individual and from time to time. Thus, the bipolar spectrum concept is put to use generally and it includes cyclothymia too.

The bipolar ailment is characterized by periods of abnormally disconcerted moods which often lead to the individual feeling depressed. The moderation and the period of such depression also vary from one affected individual to the other. Such fluctuation of mood can cause either improvement in the functioning or an impairment which hugely depends on the severity of the lows and highs of the mood swing. The affected normal routine is also affected due to the alteration in social rhythm, energy level, cognitive functioning, pattern of sleep, and activity level of the person.

The depression which is gone through by people affected with the bipolar depression is quiet similar to that experienced by people suffering from clinical depression. The various symptoms includes sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt, isolation, lack of self confidence, sleep and appetite disturbances, escapism, fatigue, disinterest in things which the person used to enjoy, apathy, shyness, self loathing, irritability, chronic pain, social anxiety, and suicidal tendency.

The most brutal problem an individual faces in today's world is the period of bipolar depression. Many times the period of such a depression becomes very obvious to people around and is very upsetting.

Certain types of serious depression are supplemented by the symptoms of psychosis. It may consist of delusions (beliefs which are false and cannot be proved or explained with any sort of evidence), hallucinations (hearing, sensing or seeing things which do not really exist), and escapism (finding and making excuses to break out off from apparent stress and unpleasant situations).

People who are so affected may also have the belief that a very powerful body is controlling and hunting them. Many of them may even have the feeling that people who are very close to them are bullying and plotting against them. Many times the anxiety level increases without any reason. They start feeling left out and isolated from near and dear ones. Many people tend to believe in unusual religious sentiments and start thinking that they have supernatural powers and have been born to accomplish a specific task. Delusions are even worse. They generally arise out of the guilt of doing something which must have affected the life of some other person. Many other such contradicting theories have also been associated with the factors triggering bipolar depression. However, none of them has been widely accepted as being perfect.

The basic nature of bipolar depression is flux. It is a state of mind whereby the affected individual is totally immersed in what they are doing. There is complete involvement, absolute focus and success during the activity period. The indicators of bipolar depression are energy, sleep, mood, thought, and activity. The diagnostic subtypes are many times just a sample preview of the continual changes which take place during the ailment period.

In the opinion of the United States National Institute of Mental Health (US NIMH), there is no particular or specific reason for such an ailment. Nevertheless, a number of factors cause such an ailment when combined together. It has also been found that such a disorder runs through the family. Hence researchers are looking for the particular gene. However, most of these researches has ended up proving that more than one gene is responsible for the ailment.

Before Taking That Depression Test

Many people all over the world are becoming more and more guarded when thinking about the whole concept of depression, and this is really what you need to be able to know about when trying to figure out some of the psychological problems that you might be affected with. Now, before taking that depression test, there are some things that you might want to know about the whole concept of depression and what you need to do to be able to control and curb it from becoming a problem in your life in the first place. This editorial will talk a little on the concept of depression and how it can help you.

For one thing, you need to know that depression is a mood that happens on all people and tat it is completely natural. You need to understand that when in the search for information, the popular belief is that normal levels of depression that actually come out on the onset of trauma or loss, is actually the body's way of coping with the problem in the first place, and this prevents people from jumping of root tops or blowing themselves away with hand gun. If you notice the mechanics of depression, you would really be able to understand this.

As a person who is depressed, they are normally incapacitated in some ways, they lose some strength, and sometimes they over eat or do not eat much as a way to cope with the whole problem. They actually hibernate in the conscious sense and this is the main way that the body actually protects itself from the effects of depression. So when trying to understand why there is depression in the first place, you really need to know that nothing happens in the body without a good reason, and most of the time, even the most negative of elements have a good reason for being there in the first place.

Also, there is another theory that says that depression is actually the body's method of actually asking for external help, as it is unable to cope with the whole issue of depression on its own. As emotional healing goes, no one really knows the body's capacity to heal wounds and scars within the emotional cortex, and this is why some people and psychologists actually say that the whole concept of depression is derived from the body's need for some sort of emotional support from external parties.

These are some of the things that you need to know about when you are thinking about taking that depression test. Of course, finding someone to do the test for you is actually quite easy, and all you need to do is to approach the local hospital or even a psychology practice that would then be able to help you out in getting yourself checked out. Depression si something that has to be nipped at the bud before it gets out of control and this is one thing that you need to be aware of in the long run.

Motivational Life Quotes and Success in Life

You have probably noticed the great trend of putting motivational life quotes on the walls of home. It's a great way to keep yourself motivated and energetic throughout the day. It's best motivational tool to put life quotations on the strategic places of your house. Using affirmations along with quotes can do wonders into your life.

Motivational Life Quotes and Goals

Decide your long term and short term goals like in next one year I have to buy a new house and in the next two years I have to make ten thousand dollars and so on. Deciding goals is the key to success. Make workable action plan to achieve your goals. Just believe in yourself. Think big and you will get big. Kick out all the negative thoughts from your mind. Think positive and you will get positive results. And whenever you feel down in the way of achieving goals and need motivation to keep yourself striving, Life Quotes are always there to give you instant boost in your energy and motivation.

Survive Through Tough Time

We can't ignore the fact that today's life is full of stress. There's no denying that we all are facing difficult moments. Peoples are being laid off and unemployment level is growing at a very fast rate. From terrorism to natural calamities to global warming, people are literally stressed out of the amount of devastation simply waiting to happen.

And it doesn't seem like things will get back to normal in near future. It seems as if things will get worst. So what can we do to succeed in this tough time? How can we make ourselves strong and determined to fight tough time? We need to change our thoughts. We need to think big. We need to think positive to survive. Motivational Life Quotes re-write negative thoughts in your mind with positive ones and thus helps you become successful person in today's tough time.

Success and your thoughts

Success depends on your thoughts and beliefs. What you think you become. Those who are successful person have one thing in common and that is they believe in themselves. They believe that they are worth to get success. If you also do believe in yourself, you can also achieve the same success. Antole France once said, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." So believe in yourself and don't let your dreams stay just dreams. Achieve them and get success you deserve. And form a habit of reading Motivational Life Quotes on daily basis to keep yourself full of energy and motivated on the way of success.

Childhood Depression

Childhood depression is a very real but sometimes elusive illness that affects the young today. We take a look at what it actually means and how unity and support in the family can help fight its hold over a child.

At the recently concluded Asia Pacific Suicide Prevention Convention 2006, we learnt a few startling facts about children and suicide. For example, in a worldwide survey, 7.3% to 38% of the children surveyed demonstrated suicide ideation, which is the idea of wanting to kill themselves. In Singapore, close to 4.7% of children entertain this morbid thought. While the figure may be alarming, there is no need to panic as it is actually not uncommon to think about suicide.

Ask anyone in the street if he had thought about suicide before and the answer will most probably be a `yes'. Thinking about something as serious as killing oneself and actually doing it are two different matters. Out of all childhood suicides, approximately 23.5% are associated with mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia and others. Seeing the numbers and understanding that depression is one of the key causes that drive our young to suicide. It is time we understand a little more about this elusive illness called "Childhood Depression".

The Definition of Childhood Depression

In a 2004 article published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , childhood depression is defined as "an illness when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with a child or adolescent's ability to function."

Feelings of depression are represented in the forms of mood, physical, mental and behavioural changes in a child. Dr Ken Ung, Senior Consultant Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist at Adam Road Hospital describes the signs of childhood depression as persistent "irritability or loss of interest, loss of appetite and weight, poor sleep , lethargy, headache, stomach pain, loss of concentration, preoccupation with self-harm or suicide, refusal to go to school, increased temper tantrums and antisocial behaviours such as smoking, drinking and running away from home. Any combination of these changes that lasts for more than two weeks could spell a child falling into depression and warrants a closer look.

Many of the symtoms listed are actually applicable to both adults and children but there are telling differences. Age, in a non-categorical way, does make a difference in the presentation of depressive behaviour. "We don't tend to categorize (childhood depression) in terms of age groups," says Dr Ung, " but we can generally say that adolescent depression tends to look more like adult type depression , whereas, childhood depression can be more `a typical' perhaps manifesting in bodily pains and behaviour changes. The closer the age of a child to adulthood - the more we can expect to see an adult-type depression.

Types of childhood depression

There is no clear categorization of childhood depression. According to Dr Ung, "Typing depression is notoriously difficult and fashions come and go. We now tend to type it according to severity i.e. mild, moderate and severe. Sometimes, we use the term `reactive' depression to denote the type that is due to a reaction to some stress (such as the sudden passing of a loved one). Although very rare in children, `psychotic' depression refers to the presence of psychotic symptoms, which are symptoms that show that the person has lost touch with reality, i.e. hearing voices, believing irrational, bizarre or incredible thoughts."

Another childhood psychiatry expert, Dr Sharon Chan of Sharon Chan Child Guidance Clinic, who has been practicing child psychiatry since 1988 concurs, "I am not sure that there is such a categorization (of childhood depression).. because the entity is still controversial, it follows adult depression patterns (sic) - chronic, single episode or recurrent, adjustment disorder, bipolar etc."

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is a type of mood disorder marked by extreme changes in mood, energy levels and behaviour. Symptoms can begin in early childhood but more typically emerge in adolescence or adulthood. Children with bipolar disorder usually alternate rapidly between extremely high moods (mania) and low moods (depression). These rapid mood shifts can produce irritability with periods of wellness between episodes, or the young person may feel both extremes at the same time. Parents who have children with the disorder often describe them as unpredictable, alternating between aggressive or silly and withdrawn.

Stages of childhood depression

According to a Harvard Medical School Publication, " The picture changes with age. Up to age three, the signs (of childhood depression) may include feeding problems, tantrums, and lack of playfulness and emotional expressiveness. AT ages 3-5, depressed children may be accident-prone and subject to phobias. Even before age 5, they may show signs of self-reproach by apologizing unnecessarily for minor mistakes and transgressions like spilling food or forgetting to put clothes away. Children of early school age (6-8) sometimes show depression with vague physical complaints and aggressive behavior. They may cling to their parents and avoid new people and challenges. At ages 9-12, some common symptoms are morbid thoughts and lying awake worrying about schoolwork. By then, children have enough intellectual capacity and social understanding to think about reasons for their depression , and they may blame themselves for disappointing their parents."

When asked for his opinion on this analysis, Dr Ung says, " I think that this is a good guide by and large. Nevertheless, this is merely a guide and should not ne taken as set in stone. For example, a 12 year old boy may show signs of depression by aggressive behaviour and phusical complaints."

For Dr Chan, "Depression before the age of six is very rare. In fact, I do not think that there is general agreement that it exists. In a young child, the common emotional condition is anxiety, not so much depression. From six years onwards, I would agree with the given description."

Children under stress, who experience loss , or who have attention , learning , conduct or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in families.

Lena's experience

Lena (not her real name) is a 17 year-old student who recently suffered a relapse and fell into depression once more. Lena has been troubled by depression since the age of 12. Once again, she has no appetite for food, is feeling listless and confused, lost a lot of weight and is isolating herself from others.

Lena's mother, 49 year old clerical staff Sonia (not her real name), recounts her daughter's experience with depression, " It all started after Lena's father passed away. At first , nothing seemed wrong. SHe was very sad but she did not shed a tear at his funeral. It was a year after that she started to miss him badly. This was compounded by being bullied in school and stressed by schoolwork. Always a quiet child, Lena became even more withdrawn. She had trouble sleeping, would cry for no reason, refused to eat and talked about hurting herself."

Seeing her daughter's condition, Sonia brought Lena to a Polyclinic which referred them to a psychiatrist at a hospital. Lena was given antidepressants and started having regular therapy sessions with psychiatrists and counsellors. She tried to follow their advice of not thinking negatively, to focus on developing her interests and to make a timetable for each day. Everyday was a struggle but she managed to recover with time.

"She said she liked the counselling sessions where she could talk to someone about her feelings and problems." say Sonia of Lena's reaction to treatment. "Slowly, she got better to the point that she was more cheerful and could laugh and giggle like a normal young girl. She even enrolled in yoga classes that helped her gained fitness and to relax."

For Sonia, being supportive of Lena through the down times and being sensitive to her needs are her priorities. "I told her that her health is more important than studies. When I'm at work, I try to call her and talk to her whenever I can. She will tell me things like, " Mummy, I'm useless and I don't know what to do," and I will try to encourage her to look on the bright side, not to think too much..etc.. I have to try to give her lots of love, my full support and attention."


What most doctors agree on is that medication should not be used unnecessarily on children and that when used, it should be accompanied with the right counselling and therapy. " It's interesting that recent studies have not been able to prove that antidepressants work in children. This could be because children are not mini adults and what works for adults may not work for kids," says Dr Ung.

There is also little research of how antidepressants work on children and prescription drugs may increase the risk of self-harm for some vulnerable ones. However, Dr Ung adds, "To keep a perspective on things, the increase of antidepressants prescriptions is small, probably around 2% in affected children given inactive medications (placebos) to about 4% of those on active medication."

Counselling, it seems , plays the key role in helping children recover from depression. "A good counsellor will try to get information from parents, child and school and will try his or her best to co-ordinate the counselling to incorporate all these parties. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is one of the commonest forms of counselling techniques used nowadays - it seeks to change the negative thoughts of the child to more realistic and positive ones and also t help the child make action/behavioural changes that will help lift the mood," adds the psychiatrist.

Cyber Help
With the computer-savvy generation of today, some children or teens may choose to express their thoughts and feelings in cyber space. is a community website launced in March to provide information and counselling services for depression. A `diary' services allows members to post daily updates on their mental and emotional experiences while a `letterbox' service provides them with an opportunity to ask questions to a panel of experts. Most importantly, a service like this seeks to educate the public on the existence of depression and encourage those who are depressed to seek help. Following examples, depressed children may be inspired by a strong sense of community to step out of a possible state of isolation. Adults too, can visit to gather more information and advice before deciding how best to seek help.

Understanding is Key.

"Sometimes, depressed children are mistakenly labelled as lazy, stubborn or difficult," says Dr Chan. This is largely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding on the adults' part. Children, unlike adults are dependent on their families and guardians to identify their troubles and seek help.

Dr Ung adds," One common misconception is that the child is mad. This is totally not so. Another is that the child is `weak'. Some famous people who are strong of character and have suffered depression include Abraham Lincoln. Another misconception is that it is incurable or that the child is `bad'. Depression is a very treatable condition and the change of behaviour from depression should not be mistaken for `badness'.