Saturday, October 26, 2013

Haunted Psychiatric Institutions

There are many reasons why people may go see a psychiatrist: stress, anxiety, depression, seeing ghosts. Sadly for people that suffer from that last reason may not want to go to certain psychiatric institutions since they are haunted, it probably will escalate their current condition. Here are the top 4 haunted psychiatric facilities in the United States.

1) Athens Mental Health Center, Athens County Ohio. The mental health center is an old building on Ohio University's campus. This facility was home to the criminally insane and it is believed that the patients were tortured and beating by the hospital staff. In 1979 a female patient, Margaret Schilling disappeared, and the facility closed a year later. After the closing of the facility, her body was found in the attic of the hospital by a maintenance man. After removing the body and cleaning the area several times, there was a dark outline of her body with full details of her hair style and clothing. People can still see Schilling's outline, and have reported hearing her and other patients of the facility walking the halls.

2) Northern State Mental Hospital in Seattle Washington. The hospital was opened in 1912 and patients were able to participate to in the daily upkeep of the farms that were located on the property. There were several incidents of patients who died, or even killed each other while on the grounds, and there are at least 1,000 bodies that were buried on the premises. Many have seen a ghost that throws objects, experienced cold spots, and also a man who seems to be searching for a little girl.

3) The Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky. The Sanatorium opened its doors in 1910 for tuberculosis patients, and could accommodate 40-50 patients, but the epidemic cause the facility to be inhabited by 140 people. For many, the only cure for their ailments was death itself. It has been believed over 6,000 people had died in the sanatorium, and then the facility was closed in 1962. There are rumors that in room 502 a female nurse hung herself because she had contracted tuberculosis and was also pregnant out of wedlock. There have been reports of people seeing orbs, electrical disturbances, full body apparitions, and disembodied voices. The hospital is considered to be the most haunted location with the most paranormal activity.

4) Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts. The construction of the building was completed in 1878 and was more than just a place for the mentally ill; it also had a program for training nurses. The facility was only supposed to house about 600 patients, but of course would become over crowded with more than 2,300 patients, which were supposed to be taken care of by about 9 people. Treatment for the mentally ill at the hospital included shock-therapy, lobotomies, and hydrotherapy. Due to decaying and unstable structure, most of the hospital was eventually torn down and replaced with luxury condos in 2007. Footsteps and apparitions have been sighted or heard on the property.

Overcoming Depression, Without Drugs

Depression is an illness that can affect anyone at any time. The symptoms are not always recognized as depression, because you might be feeling a bit low on energy, a bit emotional, getting up in the morning is an effort, self-esteem seems to have flown out of the window. Nobody seems to understand what is going on with you and you feel confused, you ask - could the cause be stress, especially if you are under a lot of pressure at work or home after all we live in a very hectic world.

It is not always easy to talk to family or even friends, as they do not understand what you are going through, which creates sense of helplessness or desperation and it feels like it will never end.

What may cause depression, panic attacks and anxiety?

1. Divorce

2. Death

3. Marital problems

4. Financial problems

5. Retrenchments

6. Not coping with change

7. Being abused or raped

8. Hormonal Imbalance

9. Peer and parent pressure in teenagers

Symptoms of depression

1. Constant feeling of sadness and irritability

2. Overreacting to situations

3. Loss of interest in hobbies or social activities normally enjoyed

4. Loss of weight or gaining weight

5. Irregular sleep patterns

6. Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning

Physical Symptoms Depression also affects the body in different ways such as:

1. Headaches

2. Lower back pain

3. Neck pain

4. Intestinal problems such as IBS and constipation

5. Can lead to heart problems

6. Over acid or toxic body

Medication can be used in the beginning but for a short period. I found that it starts to affect your mind and may cause you to become forgetful, not taking care of yourself causes you to loose your self-esteem. Quite often anxiety may accompany depression. This is a whole topic on its own. Anxiety can hit you at any time, anywhere. Fear is probably one of the major causes of anxiety. This can bring on a panic attack

How to overcome depression

You should understand that in most instances there are emotional issues such as frustration and disappointment not coping or having lost control due to losing direction and not understanding the true meaning of life.


You have to make a firm decision and to take the responsibility for your recovery, to have a real desire to live a happy, joyful and fulfilling life to be able to overcome depression. To do this you have to work at it, as you are the only one who can make it happen. You have to have a reason to get up in the morning and make notes on your to do list and cross them off as you complete them, otherwise procrastination sets in and you are back to square one. There are many different ways to overcome depression, each person is different, and you have to consider those when being helped. A Psychologist who specializes in depression is a good start. I can give you the tools that I used, which have benefited many over the past 14 years. I have been living a great life for the last 14 years using no medication at all. You can do the same. Why wait till you have a nervous breakdown or you have burnout?

I had been suffering from depression for 17 years taking all the medication, which I was told I could never come off, I found that because the medication was not working as effectively anymore I started to double up and became a zombie I could not remember stuff and had to write things down. I then had a major nervous breakdown. My doctor recommended a wonderful Psychologist who suggested that I go for Reflexology to learn to relax, at the time I had no idea of what it would do for my life.

Over the years I had learned how to pretend that all was ok, I kept my feelings very much to myself and also became a doormat for everyone to walk all over me, my self esteem disappeared I became very negative and blamed everybody for my situation. I had two teenage daughters and my husband.

Looking back over the years, I must have taken them through tough times, but they were all I had for support, they found it very difficult to understand where I was coming from. I am sure that there were many times they wanted to get rid of me, well, somehow they did not and I am here to tell the tale.

Because of what the Reflexology did for me, I went to college to study Reflexology. Because of my background, it opened many doors for me, and I became an expert in depression, anxiety and panic attacks as well as the overall well being of my clients. I really meant it when I said I understood where they were at the time of the first consultation.

Symptoms Of Manic Depression

Awareness of the symptoms of manic depression is important, although manic depression or bipolar depression, as it is often referred to, is not very common. It affects approximately 5.7 million Americans.

Symptoms of manic depression are as follows:

Swings in mood: Depending on the severity of the case, these can sometimes be quite rapid. Switching from depression to manic elation puts a person into an emotional roller coaster that can be confusing and even frightening.

When depressed: all the symptoms of clinical depression are present. Lack of interest in things that we used to enjoy, a profound feeling of sadness and disturbances of sleep patterns are just a few symptoms of depression. Sometimes the symptoms of mani depression becomes so intense that thoughts of suicide are very prevalent.

On the other hand when manic episodes occur, other symptoms manifest themselves. Extremely rapid speech can be apparent, irritability, and sometimes, false feelings of grandeur about themselves. There is an increase in energy and a decrease in the ability to sleep. The mood is euphoric and ideas are racing at an uncontrollable pace.

Bipolar or manic depression is treatable. Mood stabilizers are given and even anticonvulsive medications have proven to be helpful. Once moods are stabilized it is easier for the person to take back their life and get things under control again. Although it is not curable as yet at least treatment can decrease symptoms and allow patients to lead a normal life.

This form of depression can start in late adolescence to early adulthood. Sometimes it is not recognized at first and a person can suffer for a longer period without being treated. It is a lifetime illness that needs treatment for a person's whole life.

Symptoms can be accompanied by hallucinations, seeing and hearing things that are not there. These hallucinations are related to the manic or depressive mood the person is experiencing at this time. For instance in a manic mood a person can think they are a king or intensely rich person, with lots of influence. Whereas when they are depressed a person can feel worthless, penniless and even suicidal. It is not uncommon for people experiencing manic depression moods to go on uncontrolled shopping sprees.

Bipolar And Asperger's Disorders - Understanding The Differences Between The Two

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder and Asperger's Disorder are very similar in the way the two illness are treated because their symptoms are similar too. But what exactly are these two diseases and how are they similar?

Pediatric bipolar disorder, or better known as manic depression, is an illness that can present as a mood swings or mood cycling. Patients who suffer from pediatric type one tend to have episodes of mania with alternating with episodes of depression. Patients with pediatric type two experience the thralls of depression with alternating episodes of mania.

Asperger's disorder is associated with autism and is said to be a placid form of the illness. It's actually a type of pervasive development disorder that causes development issues especially where the areas of communication and social development are concerned.

What are the signs of depression and mania in Bipolar Disorder?
Depression signs include: anger, extreme sadness, sleeping too much and feelings of worthlessness. Mania signs are: rage, extreme happiness, increased energy, hyperactivity, distractibility, sleeping too little and obsessive behaviors.

The disorder is caused by four different factors. They are: neurological, biological, emotional and environmental. Yet not all of these factors can be found in every single case. Since little is recognized about the disorder, advances are still being made in this part.

What are the signs of Asperger's Disorder?

Symptoms of this disease include: social skill problems, repetitive behaviors or odd habits, communication difficulties and limited range of interests.

The causes of Asperger's disorder is not well known but studies have shown that it does run in families...meaning it is hereditary. So this must mean that the disease is it is either neurologically interrelated or genetic, right? At current time, there are no answers to this question.

What are the similarities between Asperger's Disorder and Bipolar Disorder?

Because of its similarities, Asperger's Disorder and Pediatric Bipolar Disorder are very similar and can cause a misdiagnosis. The symptoms that are similar are: odd habits, compulsive behavior and spells of rage. Both disorders tend to lack the social development skills as well as the educational, behavioral and anger issues.

Bipolar can be in combination with Asperger's Disorder and this is, most often, the case. However, it is not clear if the neurological effects that causes Asperger's disorder are related to the chemical imbalances that are thought to be the cause of pediatric bipolar disorder. As doctors'research continues in the area of neurological, technological and psychiatric issues, some answers should be forthcoming about the disease.

Asperger's Disorder and Bipolar Disorder - Treatments behind both illnesses.

The treatments for both diseases are similar; yet there are no medications for Asperger's Disorder but there are medications to treatment the symptoms of it. Since the symptoms of Asperger's are quite similar to bipolar disorder, medications used for bipolar can be used for Asperger's Disorder.

With both bipolar and Asperger disorders, counseling treatments are used but with the medication. Most of the Asperger's patients don't get medication but counseling is required so patients can learn to cope with their diagnosis.

If you know of a child who may be exhibiting any behaviors mentioned above, they should be seen by a physician as soon as possible to be diagnosed. Once a diagnosis has been made, a plan for treatment can be developed. Any undiagnosed disorders for both can lead to real trouble for friends, family and the suffering child.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms - Phobia and Obsessions

Psychosis is never too far away from you when you are suffering from bipolar disorder. You will do well to be on the lookout for such symptoms that come about when you are in the severe depressive phase of your manic-depressive illness. Soon enough, your own delusions can take you over completely, and if nothing is done, it can lead to very dangerous grounds - the end of which might be much more disastrous.

You may experience symptoms of all kinds of false beliefs or hallucinations when you are suffering from bipolar type of disorder. Certain false sensory perceptions will seem so real to you and the real people around you tend to fade into the woodwork. Such things happen often in the disease, whether you are manic or depressive.

Phobia and obsessions are about two of the most common symptoms of the depressive state of bipolar disorder. In the manic phase of the condition, you may instead feel powerfully, yet incongruously, happy. You may not notice this though, but the person next to you should notice it enough to try and get you so see a doctor in a hurry.

Knowing these symptoms can help you or your loved ones get quick help for you, especially before it gets very critical. Like everything else in life, early action in handling it has been known to help lots of victims. It can help you too, no matter how useless you think your case might be. I know people who have had it worse in terms of bipolar disorder, but they were able to effectively control it at the end of the day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Depression Cures - How to Stop Depression In Its Tracks

Have you been feeling a bit down lately? Maybe you no longer find your interests very interesting. Does the world feel a little too large of late? What's up with your sleeping patterns? Are you watching that 50s B-movie marathon because trying to fall asleep is fruitless? Maybe you've started majoring in the hibernation cause you're sleeping right through, like, everything. Are you calling in sick to work cause it's just too tough to leave the house at times?

These are some of the signs of depression and look, you have to get a handle on this thing. It's not an overnight process, so stop kicking yourself while your down cause you're not shaking it off right away.

Now, you're not really going to want to hear most of this advice about how to get over depression, since being depressed tends to close down the "open to helpful advice" portion of the brain, but here it is.

No, don't go jumping on the prescription medication train, first off. That can have a bunch of side effects that are similar to some of the effects that you're already experiencing. It's not that prescriptions are the devil, but those are better served after other steps have been taken and just aren't making all the changes you need to make for proper depression treatment.

Nutrition is a good place to begin when it comes to shedding that layer of depression. What you eat does effect how your brain behaves. It does. Eating a bunch of junk will make you feel like crap.

So you have a start on what to do about depression. Eat better foods. If you can get into finding out how your body reacts to certain foods, then you can make sure that you're not eating something that you may have an allergy to. Food allergies can effect you in the strangest ways, including mentally.

I know you don't want to hear this, but exercise can be really helpful in kicking the depression to the curb. Yes, it's hard to motivate yourself to do it. You may want to get that friend, who's still speaking to you, to make you get your butt off of the couch. When those endorphins kick in, you'll begin to feel more up. You can begin with baby steps. A stroll down the block or around the park can do wonders.

You may want to look into alternative medicine that has been shown to help improve moods. How to get over depression is a journey of many steps. You may have a slight chemical imbalance. There are supplements that have worked for many people who wanted to cure depression. Most people find that these herbal supplements tend to have little to no side effects, other than the desired one of seeing events in a more positive light and feeling fine about life again.

How's Your Sex Drive?

Yes, the pharmaceutical companies talk about giving similar results. The drug side effects tend to out weigh those benefits for some people. I mean, if you've chosen a path of celibacy, then the lack of sex drive is probably the one symptom of depression that you don't mind. Increased sex drive is a side effect that many prescription medications that are supposed to help with depression can have. Great for most but some people could view this as negative, like I previously mentioned.

Some people do experience a sex drive that goes into overdrive and if there are reasons that this is good for you, then maybe the prescriptions are part of your answer. Just remember that some of these medications can cause negative thoughts in people. Before you were just dragging around. Now you're ready to fly with no wings. That's not a success. Still even with the chemical help to nymphomania types, the mental balance that can be claimed through the use of pharmaceuticals or herbals can be just as helpful as it is for the nunnery types.

A good support system of friends, family and maybe even a counselor is wise. You need people around who will understand (or try to) and not be overly critical. Feeling understood can go a long way toward helping you feel like connecting with people again. You've probably been doing your best hermit in a cave impersonation, but you do need to come out into the light a bit at a time. Maybe start with inviting people into the cave. Hanging out by yourself is fine at times, but you aren't even enjoying your own company right now, are you?

Also, try to focus on helping others instead of dwelling inward. If you see a need that you can meet, you should do so. Being a selflessness person can be a great way to shift your focus and start to see life in a new light. You should also surround yourself with positive media. Media that makes you laugh. Laughter does a body good. Seriously, it does.

Good music can soothe that morose dude up in the front of your mind. He needs to stay in the corner and he only needs to be there when something's really going down. Get your dance on. It can help. It also doubles as an exercise, but tends to be way more fun.

What to do about depression?

That isn't a small question, but hopefully you now have some non-drug treatments that you can take to get out of that funk and back into a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Don't expect the sky to open up and send a sprinkle of happy on you to transform your mood. You are going to have to be an active participant in your mental health. You don't have to continue to spiral downward.

If it does inspire you to write some music, make some art or in another way enrich lives, that's a positive side effect. It's likely that you may not finish the piece until you feel better, though.

Look out for yourself. Remember to love you. It's going to be okay.

Bipolar Manic Depression - Understanding and Educating Yourself About This Condition

One of the many serious psychiatric disorders out there is called bipolar manic depression. An individual who has been properly diagnosed with it suffers from depression and hypo mania. The length of the cycle from one extreme to the other varies for each individual as does the severity of each episode. There is no cure for this condition but with the right combination of therapy and medication it can be controlled.

Cycling is the process of moving from one end of the spectrum to the other in reference to the person's mood. While the person is in the mania stage they can be quite impulsive and engage in risky behaviors including driving too fast, spending money they don't have, and being violent towards others.

As they move into the depression end of the spectrum the moods change dramatically. They often seek isolation from their friends and family. They also find it very hard to complete routine daily tasks. It is very hard for a person with bipolar manic depression to maintain employment or relationships if they aren't getting the right treatment for it.

It is difficult to understand just how much this condition affects a person. They are unable to lead a normal life personally or professionally. They have three times the rate for divorce as the rest of society.

Research has shown there is a pattern of heredity factors involving bipolar manic depression. This type of mental illness often runs in families, affecting many individuals so some people may be afraid to get married for to have children because of their family history with it.

Heredity isn't the only factor that can lead to this condition though. Suffering from a very traumatic experience including an accident or the loss of someone close to you can trigger manic episodes. It is believed the psychological aspects of bipolar manic depression are what causes the cycling to occur.

Many people either don't realize they have a serious problem or they refuse to seek medical attention for it. Either way a person diagnosed with this type of mental illness that doesn't get treatment is at a very high risk of committing suicide. Statistics show that 12% of those who are diagnosed will succeed in killing themselves. It is believed the numbers are much higher though because of the number of people who don't seek treatment.

It is important to pay close attention to the symptoms of someone you know who may be suffering from bipolar manic depression. Encourage them to get the medical treatment that is available. You also need to help them cope with the changes taking place around them so they won't trigger further manic episodes.

Symptoms of Severe Depression - Scary If Not Detected!

We are facing constant problems everyday such as stress, grief, tragedy, lost job and several other factors that can make us miserable. Several symptoms of severe depression are due to factors that you may or may not know of. So, you ask yourself: Is it getting harder to get over my problems? Is this affecting my job performance or studies Do I prefer to stay at home more than interact with my colleagues, neighbors or family members more often?

Most of us can handle daily stressful events and move on. However, there are still some who suffer from depression for whom daily challenges become an ordeal.

Picture yourself living that happy and normal life again. Remember, you're not the only one having this problem. There is a solution to this and the first step is to talk about it. Depression is never embarrassing to open up to a close friend or your a mental health professional. The following steps would reveal to you how you can fight off depression fast and effectively.

There are two types of depression: endogenous and neurotic. Endogenous depression is experienced from within. This type of depression may be hereditary in nature; if not, from unknown origin. Neurotic depression is triggered due to precipitating factors such as death in the family, job loss or other significant events leading to depression. It's important to see if you're experiencing symptoms of severe depression before it gets worse.

Depression is not only a feeling of being sad. However, symptoms of severe depression such as inability to focus on tasks and activities of daily living are some you need to look out for.

This may make it harder for you get through the challenges of every day life. This can be a burden for you and everyone around you. Prolonging depression can lead individuals to try or commit suicide, thus the need to seek professional help before it gets this way.

So, how do you know you're having symptoms of severe depression?

Depression is not only limited to adults. Elderly and children are prone to having depression as well. Depression would last for at least two weeks with five or more of the following indications:

  • Feeling 'down' all the time

  • Frequent crying

  • Loss of appetite

  • Considerable weight gain or weight loss

  • Excessive or lack of sleep

  • Agitation

  • Irritability

  • Exhaustion

  • Low self-esteem

  • Suicidal tendencies

Most individuals suffering from severe depression will have distorted thought patterns such as slow thinking process, crowded, or racing thoughts. Also content related delusions are prevalent such as becoming poor, or feeling guilty. This may lead to disturbed thoughts posing a high risk for suicide.

Individuals with significant changes in appetite, stamina and sleep patterns will usually crave for carbohydrate-rich foods (usually chocolates). This may be a sign that they might be irritated or agitated on top of being depressed.

People with severe depression have a hard time getting back to their normal activities. People in this state would usually require help in activities such as bathing, eating, dressing and other activities of daily living.

Symptoms of severe depression may linger for days to years. People in this state would have a difficulty leading a normal life if not treated immediately. Prevention is the best way to avoid further psychological deterioration. Depression is not a battle you can fight alone. If you're suffering from any of these symptoms, start seeking professional help immediately.

Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder - Eliminating Mood Swings

Bipolar disorder or manic depression is characterized by an alternation of mood and reactions in individuals who are gradually losing their conscience. They have feelings of grandiosity. They are possessed by an exaggerated energy that leads them to intense activity. After a certain period of time, they are immersed in profound depression. This condition was given the clinical name bipolar because the state of euphoria and depression are at the polar ends of the human range of emotions.

In severe cases, individuals affected by bipolar disorder experience delusions or hallucinations. Their mental disorder acquires the characteristics of a psychosis because they become out of touch with reality.

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings, from mania (an exaggerated enthusiasm or euphoria) to depression (deep sadness and despair).

Bipolar II disorder is characterized by episodes of hypomania, which generate reactions not as enthusiastic as in cases of bipolar I disorder. Bipolar II disorder generates medium depression, in alternation with hypomanic episodes.

Cyclothymic disorder describes mood swings that are less intense than in cases of bipolar I or II disorder.

In order to eliminate the mood swings that cause abnormal behavior, bipolar individuals must follow dream therapy. The unconscious mind that produces our dreams is a perfect natural doctor. It analyzes the content of the dreamers' psyche and their lives in the dream images. Thus, by translating the meaning of their dreams according to the scientific method, manic depressed or bipolar individuals can understand how to fight against their mental disorder.

The unconscious psychotherapy is based on showing to all dreamers all the mistakes they make for being influenced by their anti-conscience. The anti-conscience is our primitive and wild personality, which is extremely violent, immoral, and cruel. When it invades the human side of our conscience it generates mental illnesses or disorders and abnormal behavior.

All mental disorders begin with the influence of the anti-conscience into our human conscience. However, its poisonous action has different effects on each person. Everything depends on their psychological make-up and on the situations they experience in their lives.

Introverted psychological types are closer to insanity because they are more connected to their internal ego than to what is happening in the real world. This is why they tend to become bipolar. Extroverted psychological types are not more balanced than introverted ones, but they manage to overcome their existential problems through material compensations.

Extroverted psychological types usually suffer from mental illnesses that are not recognized by the superficial mindset of our materialistic civilization, like neurosis. Introverted psychological types usually fall into their anti-conscience's traps because they are more interested in their personal opinion than in the general opinion.

The anti-conscience penetrates the human conscience of all human beings by imposing its absurd thoughts and feelings. However, it pretends to belong to the human conscience. Thus, we cannot recognize its intervention, unless we study the lessons given by the unconscious mind in our dreams.

Even though extroverted psychological types become victims of the anti-conscience's absurdity many times, they don't trust their personal judgment as much as introverted psychological types. Introverted psychological types tend to follow the crazy thoughts and feelings imposed by the anti-conscience for believing that they are 'their own thoughts and feelings', without suspecting that this content is primitive. The unconscious psychotherapy helps them separate the primitive and poisonous content that belongs to the anti-conscience from the content of their human side.

All dream images contain important messages that eliminate the negative influence of the dreamers' anti-conscience. Through dream therapy, they learn how to stop following the absurdity imposed by their anti-conscience; thus, eliminating the mood swings it generates. This is how they manage to tame their wild nature and acquire more consciousness. They are then able to build a sensible, sensitive, and self-confident personality.

The Recognition of Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder

When you talk about anxiety disorders, you probably focus on these symptoms: sweating, trembling, irrational fears. However, you may be surprised to know that most anxiety disorders share a link with depression and substance abuse. For example, over 50% of patients diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer from depression as well.

What is the link between anxiety and depression? It may be hard to see. Depression is often represented as causing a feeling of lack of energy. The truth is that most depressed people have a high state of anxiety. These can lead to panic attacks.

Where depression is present along with an anxiety disorder, both issues are intensified. First of all, depression is much more difficult to treat. In addition, when depression is accompanied by an anxiety disorder, the suicide rate among depression sufferers increases dramatically.

Depression and anxiety can make it easy to dwell on how awful you feel. It can actually increase the length of time it takes to manage and overcome the depression and anxiety. They can also create a feeling of isolation.

Because these illnesses often go hand in hand and are becoming more recognized. In fact there is a new term for it: mixed anxiety-depression. Symptoms include disrupted sleep or insomnia, low energy, tension, palpitations, and restlessness.
Anxiety-depression treatment can include medications. While medications are not enough to cure anxiety disorders, they can help the sufferer deal with the symptoms. Antidepressants alter the chemistry of the brain. Most begin to work on some indicators of anxiety disorder immediately; however, it can take up to six weeks for the full effects to be felt.

SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are also antidepressants. They help brain cells communicate with each other by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of learning, sleep, and moods. They have been shown to be very effective in anxiety-depression treatment. Beta-blockers, usually used to treat heart conditions, can also be prescribed for anxiety treatment. They can help prevent the physical conditions which accompany most anxiety-depression disorders.

Medications are used to help control the signs of anxiety-depression disorders while the patient receives psychotherapy. Therapy is also a very important part of treatment. It is especially important for the anxiety portion of the disorder.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, helps anxiety-depression disorder sufferers change the way they think and how they react to anxiety-inducing situations. The CBT therapist accompanies the patient through role-playing to actual encounters. CBT therapists also teach relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.

CBT only works when the anxiety-depression disorder sufferer is ready to undertake the challenge of facing his or her fears. It must be specific to their individual disorder. This treatment usually lasts about three months and it may incorporate group therapy.

Finally, exercise is a great treatment for both anxiety and depression. Exercise boosts serotonin in the brain and releases endorphins. It provides a distraction from destructive thoughts and can increase your positive interactions with others. It should not, however, replace psychotherapy, which is essential in the treatment of anxiety-depression disorder.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) When, How, and Why to Supplement

Pyridoxine (B6)

Sources and Physiologic Functions Sources: Poultry, fish, liver, and eggs are good sources of this vitamin; meat and milk contain lesser amounts. Pyridoxine in animal sources is 96% bioavailable. Vitamin B6 can be made by intestinal bacteria in healthy persons. Plant foods such as legumes, peanuts, potatoes, yeast, bananas, corn, cabbage, yams, prunes, watermelon, and avocados also contain this vitamin.

Populations at risk: As this vitamin is widely distributed, deficiency is rare except in chronic alcoholics and among women taking oral contraceptives. Elderly persons and infants of preeclamptic mothers or mothers deficient in B6 are at risk. Patients on Cycloserine, hydantoin, hydralazine, isoniazid, and penicillamine should be given B6 supplementation. High protein diet increases the needs of this vitamin.

Severe deficiencies of vitamin B6 are rare, but mild deficiencies are extremely common. Dietary data from Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) in 11,658 adults aged 19-74 y showed that 71% of males and 90% of females consumed less than the 1980 recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is the most common deficient water soluble vitamin in elderly. Single drug and drug combinations taken by elderly individuals may impose nutritional risk. Unwanted outcomes of drug-food and drug-nutrient interactions can be minimized by instructing elderly men and women and their caregivers to avoid timing errors in drug-taking behavior and toxic reactions due to food incompatibility. In addition, drug-induced nutritional deficiencies can be avoided by advising drug-taking elderly on the appropriate levels of nutrient intake. In a study which compared the nutrient intakes of American children aged 2 to 10 years, vitamin B6 was found to be below the RDA in more than 50% of the population.

Birth control pill usage and occupational exposure to carbon disulfide induce vitamin B6 deficiency and/or enhance vitamin B6 requirement. Both compounds cause adverse psychological/neurological disorders such as extreme irritability, manic depressive tendencies, headaches, and other variables, but related disorders presumably by disrupting normal vitamin B6 metabolism and vitamin B6 administration has been found to alleviate their adverse psychological symptoms. Further studies are needed to experimentally evaluate this interrelation. Conjoined exposure to OCs and CS2 may result in an enhanced disruption of tryptophan metabolism which may in turn cause exaggerated psychological sequelae associated with CS2 exposure.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency: In infants, convulsive seizures and hyperactivity are the usual presenting symptoms. Diarrhea is also common. Anemia and peripheral neuritis are seen in tuberculosis patients on isoniazid who develop pyridoxine deficiency. 20-30% of homocystinuric patients with dislocation of the lens of the eye, osteoporosis (brittle spine), mental retardation, and a tendency for spontaneous blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and death, respond to vitamin B6 therapy.

Biochemistry: Vitamin B6 isa collective term for pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine, all of which serve as precursors of the biologically active coenzyme, pyridoxal phosphate. Pyridoxal phosphate functions as a coenzyme that catalyze reactions in protein metabolism, conversion of tryptophan to niacin, fat metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, folic acid synthesis, glandular and endocrine functions, and for the nerve and brain energy. Vitamin B6 has a clear benefit in lessening the severity of homocystinuria, a rare disease that usually results from a defect in an enzyme used for degrading homocysteine.

Safety: Deficient and excess intakes of pyridoxine can produce neurologic disturbances. Most cases of sensory neuropathy have resulted from intakes of over 600 mg/day, but some evidence suggests that it may result from doses as low as 300-500 mg/d and that the total exposure over time is the determinant of toxicity. There is one report that a daily intake of 117 mg/day (on average) for 2.9 years may be related to some toxicity. In the same study however, the control group that did not get any neuropathy had an average intake of 116 mg/day for an average of 1.6 years, and some women in both groups had been taking as little as 50 mg/day, questioning the accuracy of the telephone survey method used to determine neuropathy.

Vitamin B6 is toxic at doses that are 1000 times the RDA. Daily doses of 2 to 5 g of pyridoxine can produce difficulty in walking and tingling sensations in the legs and soles of the feet. Continued consumption of the toxic dose results in further unsteadiness of walking, difficulty in handling small objects, and numbness and clumsiness of the hands. Where vitamin B6 supplementation is stopped, recovery begins after 2 months. Complete recovery may occur after 2 to 3 years of discontinuing consumption of the vitamin B6 supplements. One study showed development of pure central-peripheral distal axonopathy with pyridoxine abuse. Pyridoxine dose was 0.2 to 5 g/d, and duration of consumption before symptoms was inversely proportional to the daily intake. In all patients with adequate follow-up, improvement followed discontinuation of pyridoxine.

Is pyridoxine safe for long-term use in large segments of the population, including children? It would appear from retrospective analysis of several studies that pyridoxine is safe at doses of 100mg/day or less in adults. In children, there is not enough data to make any sort of suggestion. Because the major neurologic complication is a peripheral neuropathy, and the causes of this condition are myriad, pyridoxine may cause neuropathy only in patients with a pre-existing susceptibility to this condition. Family histories, drugs, alcohol, nutritional status, and toxic exposure at home or in the work place may all be predisposing factors which, in combination with pyridoxine, produce the peripheral neuropathy that is not seen in other patients taking the same dosages. The duration of exposure that causes neuropathy is still a major question. Extremely high doses cause neurologic injury within a few days, and chronic low doses seem relatively safe.

Deterioration of acne vulgaris or eruption of an acneiform exanthema was demonstrated during treatment with vitamin B6 and/or vitamin B12 in 14 patients. Females were, by far, the more frequently affected. The appearance of skin symptoms, even outside the age groups typically affected by acne vulgaris, is characteristic. The clinical appearance of acneiform exanthema occurring during treatment with vitamin B6 or B12 consists of loosely disseminated small papules or papulopustules on the face (especially on the forehead and chin), on the upper parts of the back and chest, and spreading to the upper arm. The pathogensis of the change is not yet certain. The acneiform rash generally fades within a short time after vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 treatment has been stopped.

Recommendations: RDA in mg.

  • Infants birth to 6 mos - 0.3mg


  • Infants 6 mos to 1 yr - 0.6mg


  • Children 1 yr to 3 yr - 1.0mg


  • Children 4 yr to 6 yr - 1.1mg


  • Children 7 yr to 10 yr - 1.4mg


  • Adolescent males 11yr to 14 yr - 1.7mg


  • Adolescent females 11 yr to 14 yr - 1.4 mg


  • Adolescent males 15 yr to 18 yr - 2.0mg


  • Adolescent females 15 yr to 18 yr - 1.5mg


  • Adult males 19 yr to 50 yr - 2.0mg


  • Adult females 19 yr to 50 yr - 1.6mg


  • Adult males 51 yr plus - 2.0mg


  • Adult females 51 yr plus - 1.6mg


  • Pregnant Women - 2.2mg


  • Lactating Mothers (1st 6 months) - 2.1mg


  • Lactating Mothers (2nd 6 months) - 2.1mg


Pyridoxine B6

Food Source Serving Size/Amount # of mg/serving

Chicken (dark meat) 3.5 oz 0.37 mg

Chicken (light meat) 3.5 oz 0.63 mg

Atlantic Salmon (wild, raw) 3.0 oz 0.70 mg

Tuna (canned in water) 3.0 oz 0.30 mg

Liver (beef braised) 3.5 oz 0.91 mg

Live (veal braised 3.5 oz 0.91 mg

Navy beans (boiled) 1 cup 0.30 mg

Peanuts (dry roasted) 1 oz 0.07 mg

Potato (boiled) 1 medium 0.40 mg

Banana 1 medium 0.66 mg

Prunes (dried) 10 0.22 mg

Watermelon 1 cup 0.23 mg

Avocado 1 medium 0.48 mg

The Literature: Heart disease Prevention:


Hyperhomocysteinemia, a risk factor for atherosclerosis, is associated with deficiencies of vitamin B6, folate, and cobalamin. Patients who were given vitamin B6 for carpal tunnel syndrome and other degenerative diseases were found to have 27% of the risk of developing acute cardiac chest pain or myocardial infarction, compared with patients who had not taken vitamin B6. Dr. Ellis found that among his elderly patients expiring at home, the average age at death from myocardial infarction was 8 years later in those who had taken vitamin B6, compared with those who had not taken vitamin B6. The preventive effect of vitamin B6 on progression of coronary heart disease may be related to increased formation of pyridoxal phosphate, the coenzyme that is required for catabolism of the atherogenic amino acid, homocysteine.

The total homocysteine (tHcy) level in the serum is related to pregnancy complications, neural tube defects, mental disorder, and cognitive impairment in the elderly. In addition, over 80 clinical and epidemiological studies provide ample evidence that an elevated tHcy level is a common cardiovascular risk factor. Oral treatment with pyridoxine up to 300mg/d does not lower the fasting tHcy level in healthy subjects or vascular patients. However, pyridoxine (10 - 250 mg/d) lowers an abnormal postmethionine load tHcy level in most patients and, when combined with folic acid, nearly all obtain a normal postmethionine tHcy level.

Platelet aggregation:

In a randomized trial, Pyridoxine inhibited ADP- or epinephrine-induced aggregation by 48% and 41% (p < 0.001), respectively. It also prolonged both bleeding and coagulation time. Pyridoxine significantly reduced total plasma lipid and cholesterol levels, whereas it enhanced HDL-cholesterol level. Thus, it is suggested that oral vitamin B6 inhibits platelet aggregation in normal subjects.

Essential Hypertension:

In a study, treatment of hypertensive patients with pyridoxine significantly reduced systolic (p < 0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.005), plasma NE (p < 0.005), and E (p < 0.05) within 4 weeks. The dose of pyridoxine used in these patients was 5 mg/kg body weight/d. Thus, pyridoxine may be beneficial in the treatment of hypertension.

Neurotransmitter Production

Pyridoxine has been known as an essential cofactor in the production of neurotransmitters. For this reason, it has been considered a therapeutic adjunct in a variety of conditions with known or suspected neurotransmitter abnormalities. Among these conditions are seizures, Parkinson's disease, depression, chronic pain, headache, behavior abnormalities of adults and children, and peripheral neuropathy. Other clinical uses for pyridoxine include treatment of premenstrual syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. The potential neurotoxicity of pyridoxine makes it essential that vitamin intake be included as part of medical history.

Diabetic neuropathy:

Vitamin B6 has been recommended in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B6 deficiency was thought to be the causative factor for neuropathy in diabetes. However, several studies show that vitamin B6 supplements may not be beneficial in these patients. In one of these studies, 18 patients with symptomatic diabetic neuropathy were treated with placebo or pyridoxine. After 4 months of follow-up, there was no difference between the two groups with regard to fasting plasma glucose, motor nerve conduction velocity, or ophthalmologic examination at the beginning or at the conclusion of the study. These results suggest that vitamin B6 deficiency is not a factor in the etiology of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Gestational diabetes:

In a study of 14 pregnant women with gestational diabetes, a relative pyridoxine deficiency was thought to exist. After treatment with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 100 mg/day for 14 days, the oral glucose tolerance improved considerably. It was hypothesized that increased xanthurenic-acid synthesis during pregnancy may cause gestational diabetes. Treatment with vitamin B6 makes the production of xanthurenic-acid normal by restoring tryptophan metabolism and improves the oral glucose tolerance in patients with gestational diabetes.

Kidney Stones:

Weak evidence suggests that pyridoxine may be useful in the therapy of kidney stones. Twelve recurrent stone formers with hyperoxaluria were administered pyridoxine-HCl (10 mg/day) daily for a period of 180 days. Urinary oxalate decreased significantly (p less than 0.05) by the 90th day of pyridoxine therapy, and thus, pyridoxine in low doses (10 mg/day) is of therapeutic value for hyperoxaluric stone formers.


A review of four therapeutic crossed-sequential double-blind trials with 60 autistic children examined the effects of vitamin B6 alone, magnesium alone, and in combination on behavioral improvement. Modest behavioral improvement was observed among children taking both magnesium and B6, but not when either one of those taken alone.

Cognitive Development

Vitamin B6 is an essential cofactor in the developing central nervous system and may influence brain development and cognitive function. Recent work in animal models suggests that vitamin B6 deficiency during gestation and lactation alters the function of receptors thought to play an important role in learning and memory. A deficiency of vitamin B6 during brain development has been shown to result in neurochemical and morphological changes that are expressed behaviorally as tremors, irritability, abnormalities in motor function, and spontaneous seizures, although the specific mechanism is still not understood. Numerous studies have suggested that pregnant and lactating women may have dietary intakes of vitamin B6 that are well below the recommended dietary allowance, which may affect the vitamin B6 status of their offspring. Reports indicate that unsupplemented lactating mothers have a milk vitamin B6 level that, in some cases, is lower than 100 μg/L, a concentration that places infants at risk of development of seizures. Although this level of vitamin B6 in milk does not always result in clinical signs of frank vitamin B6 deficiency, it may influence the normal development of the child. Evidence for such an effect was noted in an Egyptian study where abnormalities in behavior were observed in infants whose mothers had vitamin B6 levels in milk below 85 mg/L.

Thus, many conditions in clinical neurology may be responsive to pyridoxine as a therapeutic agent. The observations that serotonin deficiency is a common thread in patients with headache, chronic pain, and depression, and that pyridoxine can raise serotonin levels open a wide range of therapeutic options. Comparison with amitriptyline in the treatment of headache appears to show about equal efficacy, although side effects would be expected to be more of a problem with the amitriptyline. Some medical authorities have taken this so far as to suggest that many of the behavioral disorder problems are caused by "toxic" exposures to chemicals that are pyridoxine antagonists and that supplementation at early stages may reduce the incidence of hyperactivity and aggressive behavior.

Interaction with Medications

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplementation during isoniazid (INH) therapy is necessary in some patients to prevent the development of peripheral neuropathy. In vivo pyridoxine is converted into coenzymes which play an essential role in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and several other substances, including brain amines. INH apparently competitively inhibits the action of pyridoxine in these metabolic functions. The routine use of pyridoxine supplementation to prevent peripheral neuropathy in high risk populations is recommended.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Vitamin B6 is effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and related disorders in patients with vitamin B6 deficiency. A study found that higher plasma pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) concentrations, particularly in unsupplemented males, appeared to be associated with less frequent pain/discomfort, tingling and nocturnal awakening. In contrast, higher vitamin C concentrations or a relative deficit of plasma PLP in comparison to the plasma vitamin C (higher ASC/PLP ratio) were, in some analyses, associated with greater sensory latencies or with more prevalent and frequent symptoms. This raises the possibility that vitamin C supplementation in the presence of vitamin B6 deficit might be injurious to the median nerve and thus promote the development of the hand/wrist symptoms of CTS. Thus, there are significant relationships between plasma vitamin levels and both components of CTS (specific symptoms and median nerve slowing). The interaction between plasma PLP and ASC appears to be particularly important with respect to symptoms. Hence, vitamin B6 is commonly recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Premenstrual Syndrome

A review of 12 controlled trials on vitamin B6 in the treatment of the premenstrual syndrome showed a weak evidence of positive effects of vitamin B6. A major drawback of the trials is the limited number of patients included. In a more recent well designed study, 120 women were randomized to receive active drug or placebo. Pyridoxine at 300 mg/d showed no greater benefit compared to placebo in symptom reduction.

Vitamin B6 and Exercise

Vitamin B6 may play an important role in exercise response. Vitamin B6 is essential to the production of energy during exercise. If vitamin B6 status is poor, exercise performance may be impaired. Vitamin B6 supplementation may increase the levels of plasma growth hormone during exercise and immediately following exercise. The physiologic significance of these changes has not been explored but are thought to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. Female athletes and those who participate in sports which emphasize low body weights (e.g., dancers, wrestlers, gymnasts and runners) may be prone to low dietary vitamin B6 intakes.


Weak evidence suggests that vitamin B6 may be useful in asthma. A double-blind study with 76 asthmatic children followed for five months indicated significant improvement in asthma following pyridoxine therapy (200 mg daily) and reduction in dosage of bronchodilators and cortisone. The data suggest that these children with severe bronchial asthma had a metabolic block in tryptophan metabolism, which was benefitted by long-term treatment with large doses of pyridoxine. In another double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 31 patients requiring steroids (oral or inhaled) for the treatment of their asthma received pyridoxine 300 mg per day or placebo. After a 9 week follow-up, treatment with oral pyridoxine failed to improve the outcome variables in patients requiring steroids for the treatment of their asthma.


Weak evidence suggests that vitamin B6 may be beneficial in the treatment of depression. The augmentation effect of 10 mg each of vitamins B1, B2, and B6 in 14 geriatric inpatients with depression who were treated with tricyclic antidepressant treatment was assessed in a well-designed study. The vitamin treated group showed trends toward greater improvement in scores on ratings of depression and cognitive function, as well as in serum nortriptyline levels compared with placebo-treated subjects. Thus, B complex vitamin augmentation in the treatment of geriatric depression should be considered.

Summary: Pyridoxine is essential for protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, folic acid synthesis, glandular and endocrine function. It is also essential for the formation of serotonin, and dopamine, and aids in the formation of several neurotransmitters and is therefore, an essential nutrient in the regulation of mental processes and the mood.

A number of claims have been made about the beneficial effects of vitamin B6 on numerous conditions: atherosclerosis, attention deficit disorder, autism, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, diabetes, fibrocystic breast disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, chemotherapy, HIV patients, nephrolithiasis, osteoporosis, photosensitivity, retinopathy, and canker sores.

Evidence strongly suggests that vitamin B6 has a preventive effect in the progression of coronary artery disease. Although it did not show any effect in lowering the fasting plasma homocysteine level, vitamin B6 supplementation is shown to lower postmethionine load tHcy, which might be the reason for its cardioprotective effect.

In well done studies it has shown efficacy on par with amitriptyline in the treatment of chronic headaches. Many clinical conditions like chronic pain and depression, which are caused by serotonin deficiency, might benefit from vitamin B6 therapy. As it functions as an essential cofactor in the production of several neurotransmitters, it may be considered a therapeutic adjunct in the treatment of several conditions like seizures, Parkinson's disease, behavioral abnormalities of adults and children, and peripheral neuropathy. Vitamin B6 is also found to be effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome in patients with vitamin B6 deficiency. Exercise performance is improved with vitamin B6 supplementation.

Populations who are prone to be deficient in this vitamin such as chronic alcoholics, women on oral contraceptives, patients on Isoniazid, and athletes should receive supplementation. Pregnant and lactating women should consume adequate amounts of vitamin B6 in their diets for the normal development of central nervous system and cognitive function and for the prevention of abnormal behavioral development.

Our recommendations for adults is 40 mg/d, as there is weak evidence of some toxicity at 50 mg/d. Vitamin B6 is usually safe and can be consumed in amounts of 10-300 mg/d. Although side effects are rare, doses over 300 mg/d may result in adverse neurological outcomes. Pregnant and lactating women should not consume more than 100 mg/d. Vitamin B6 supplementation should be stopped immediately when sensory neuropathy with numbness in the hands and feet and/or difficulty in walking develops while on therapy.

Depression - Supplemental Coverage

One of the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues in the world is depression, which affects almost everyone at some point in their lifetime. When it becomes more prolonged in duration or something that affects your ability to go about your daily life, then it becomes time to seek treatment. Some degree of treatment is covered in most health insurance plans, particularly with managed care plans. Yet there may be a higher out-of-pocket copay that you are responsible for in HMO's, for example, or any other more tightly managed plans.

Before signing up for any health insurance plan, then, it's a good idea to think about your family's history of depression. If one or more close family members have suffered from this disorder, then you may be at a greater risk to experience these symptoms yourself. There are certain life events that could make you more prone to periods of depression, but it could strike seemingly out of nowhere depending on the type of depression that you have. Typical treatment plans for this include but are not limited to medication, therapy, and physical therapy sessions. Sometimes you will have to visit several different professionals before finding one that is best suited to your needs.

At times, when a more extensive treatment plan is needed for depression, your regular insurance policy will not cover it. In those cases, a good idea for many is to look into supplemental coverage. That could include a policy that puts a greater emphasis on mental health care. These are specifically formulated to cover the cost of visits to a psychologist or psychotherapist, who can help you resolve any issues that are leading to the symptoms of this disorder in order to find relief that is more long-lasting than what you could receive from medications alone.

To get started with finding a policy that will help cover the costs of treatment for depression, you will want to first examine what your current insurance covers. If you find that there are gaps in the coverage, then your options are to either look for supplemental coverage to help fill these gaps, or switch over to a different type of plan. Comparing these options side by side with the help of a qualified professional is highly recommended, and can take the edge off of any symptoms. The peace of mind that is afforded by proper treatment is well worth the time and effort it takes to do a little bit of insurance research. If you need assistance in locating particular coverages at a pre-determined price, we can help you obtain a Free health insurance quote.

Employment Law - Vicarious Liability - Harassment - Depression

The case of Hammond v INTC Network Services Ltd [2007], concerned issues relating to vicarious liability where a claimant complained that the defendant's conduct causing him to suffer clinical depression. The claimant in this case was employed by the defendant until he was eventually made redundant.

The claimant was suffering from clinical depression which he maintained had been caused principally by the conduct of the defendant, its employees or agents. He alleged that this was either negligent or amounted to harassment contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 ("the Act").

The claimant made a number of allegations in relation to the employer's conduct that he argued amounted to harassment. The conduct in question included the fact that he had been moved to another part of a project for a week.

In response to the defendant's reliance on contemporaneous documents, the claimant asserted that the documents had either been forged or altered.

The court, in applying settled principles, held that conduct had to have an element of real seriousness in order to amount to harassment under the Act. The conduct had to be deemed to be oppressive and unacceptable. If interpretation of the law meant that employers were faced with allegations of harassment every time that they made an operational decision, the commercial world would grind to a halt.

Furthermore, the court felt that it was important in a negligence claim concerned with workplace stress that in order for an employer to be liable it had to be demonstrated that the employer knew (or ought to have known) that the employee would not be able to withstand the pressure of the job.

The court further felt that the documents were genuine contemporaneous documents, and were the best evidence of the defendant's conduct at the time in question. They established that the events leading up to the employee's redundancy either did not happen at all, or were the result of reasonable management decisions. The court therefore stated that this case was the complete opposite of harassment. Accordingly in such circumstances neither claim could be allowed to succeed. In addition, and in relation to the claim for negligence, the claimant had not shown that his disorder had been foreseeable by the defendant. As a result, the court dismissed the claims.

© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

Amazing How Fish Oil Can Help Those Who Suffer From Anxiety and Other Psychiatric Problems

We know that fish oil supplements can help individuals with various problems, including heart disease, diabetes, psychotic, Parkinson's disease and many others, now; however, research studies now reveal that fish oil my help with chronic anxiety too. Medical students in random controlled tests who received omega-3 supplements for 90 days demonstrated a 20% decrease in anxiety scores. This is quite amazing since we all know how stressed medical students are during their struggle to graduate medical school. The 20% is a considerable and surprising outcome of these random trials.

Omega-3 is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and if we consider that the medical students in the study listed above are younger people, the outcome for older individuals suffering from anxiety, if they too take omega-3 supplements, could have even greater benefits not only for anxiety, but for other conditions as well.

Inflammation is one of the major problems we face within our bodies today. It is the root of so many conditions we deal with on a regular basis. Chronic inflammation is seen in such health problems as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, diabetes, and a myriad of other problems as well. Depression is thought to have roots in chronic inflammation and studies show that eating more fish or ingesting omega-3 or fish oil supplements can have a positive effect on people suffering from depression and help prevent many inflammatory problems.

In other research studies the outcome is that the fatty acids contained in fish oil may help mood disorders and assist with symptoms of clinical depression. Apparently the increase in production of "proinflammatory cytokines" goes along with both anxiety and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish and in natural fish oil supplements can combat those cytokines and fight inflammation at the same time and, thus, help with anxiety and depression.

More research is underway to determine exactly what benefits are achieved by ingesting omega-3 either by diet or by dietary supplement, but to date generalized anxiety has been shown to respond to omega-3 therapy positively.

That is not to say that everyone should immediately run out and buy fish oil supplements. However, if you suffer from the symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, it might be a good idea to consult with your primary health care provider. You can determine whether using natural fish oil supplements can be a positive addition to your daily regime, can alleviate your symptoms. and assist in your health care goals.

Manic Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs

There are many things that you can look for when trying to identify manic depression symptoms. Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a disease that affects every aspect of life. The mood swings that are associated with this disorder can create problems that are hard to deal with each and every day.

People with bipolar disorder suffer through cycles of depression and mania. One of the first noticed symptoms of those with bipolar disorder is clinical depression. Depression can cause a person to sleep more than usual, not feel like doing anything, stop talking to friends, stop caring about their appearance and often miss several days of work.

This clinical depression can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. It is often followed by a slow recovery of mood, which later swings into a full manic episode.

Mania is characterized by elevated moods, or elation, restlessness, shopping sprees and unusual sexual behavior. Often those who are experiencing mania act a certain way and later wonder why in the world they would have done or said those things. They often feel as though they are invincible and nothing can hurt them, causing them to act in a reckless manner.

There are many treatments for manic depression, including therapy, drug treatments and a combination of both. Most people with bipolar disorder have to experiment with several treatments before they find one that works well for them. Joining a support group, either locally or online, is also a great way to get help for you and your loved ones.

Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

Although many illnesses are relatively easy to diagnose and treat, disorders that affect the brain are often complicated and difficult to identify. Illnesses like bipolar disorder often have symptoms that vary greatly or are very similar to other problems that plague the brain.

If a medical professional fails to correctly diagnose an illness or disorder, the patient may suffer serious consequences like further injury or even death. It is the responsibility of doctors and physicians to correctly identify and treat bipolar disorder before the patient suffers even more. If you have suffered injury due to misdiagnosis by your doctor, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

Bipolar disorder is especially hard to diagnose because many of the symptoms that are commonly associated with the illness are also commonly seen in other brain disorders and problems. Individuals who suffer from manic-depressive illness often report symptoms including:

o    Intense mood changes including "manic" episodes and "depressive" episodes

o    Severe depression

o    Agitation

o    Impulsiveness

o    High risk behavior

o    Restlessness

o    Irritability

o    Sleeplessness

o    Suicidal thoughts

One of the major obstacles for many medical professionals is the similarities between the disorder and other diseases of the brain.  Doctors commonly associate symptoms of the disorder with the following illnesses:

o    Depression

o    Schizophrenia

o    Substance abuse

o    Psychotic disorders

o    Thyroid disorder or hyperthyroidism

o    Antisocial personality disorder

Patients often have difficulty explaining their symptoms to physicians, often causing more confusion in the diagnosis. If you are suffering from an illness and have not received a diagnosis, make sure to explain your symptoms as carefully and thoroughly as possible to help your doctor avoid making a mistake with the diagnosis. It is important to remember that only you can truly explain what you are feeling to your doctor, and by correctly identifying what you are experiencing, you may be able to increase your chances of successful treatment.

Doctors and other medical personnel have taken an oath to help their patients to the best of their abilities. It is important for physicians to avoid mistakes at all costs, especially when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of disorders. If a brain disorder goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed by a doctor, the patient may end up suffering severe injury as a result.

If you would like to know more about bipolar disorder and misdiagnosis, visit the website of the Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Herbal Remedies for Depression

With the growing need to approach depression in a more natural safer way, a lot of herbal remedies for depression are now obtainable in the market as well as the internet. However, only a few of these herbal remedies for depression have actually been proven to effectively alleviate depression. The majority of medicinal herbs being marketed for depression have not been investigated at all, and even those who claim to be "scientifically proven" are most of the time supported by only one or two inadequately designed studies. However, numerous herbs have been proven to effectively relieve depression by various well-designed clinical tests. The most excellent herbal remedies for depression are those that hold these proven herbs in first-rate forms and in proper dosages.

One of the herbal remedies for depression supported by the strongest proof is St. John's Wort or Hypericum Perforatum extract. More than twenty clinical studies have showed that St. John's Wort extract pharmaceutical grade effectively eases depression. In fact, comparisons in study of the first-class St. John's Wort to prescription antidepressant medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil, show that St. John's Wort works just as well or better than the prescription drugs, but causes lesser side effects. Hence, the most effective herbal remedies for depression are those that have a full measured quantity of pharmaceutical-grade St. John's Wort extract.

Nevertheless, not all herbal remedies for depression that contains St. John's Wort extract are equal. A lot of products have a low-quality form of St. John's Wort or don't offer this herb in the full proven dosage. First-rate St. John's Wort extracts include at least three percent hyperforin, and the top pharmaceutical-grade products are standardized to a minimum of five percent hyperforin, which is the active antidepressant compound in St. John's Wort.

5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is also one of the effective herbal remedies for depression, which is a natural amino acid extracted from the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. Doses of 150-300 mg per day, when taken alone are effective. Herbal remedies for depression that combines St. John's Wort and 5-HTP, a daily dosage of 5-HTP in 25-100 mg is sufficient. One such herbal remedy that combines the proven dose of pharmaceutical-grade St. John's Wort extract with 5-HTP, mood related nutrients, and B vitamins, is Amoryn. Amoryn is a herbal supplement that is an effective depression relief, and can be obtained without prescription.

In summary, the best herbal remedies for depression are those that contain proven ingredients in the appropriate dosages and strengths, and produced with strict quality-control procedures. However, it is suggested that anyone considering a herbal or natural approach for depression, should check with a doctor, therapist, or certified nutritional counselor before using any natural remedies for depression.

Before You Join a Grief Support Group, Consider These Points

Grief is exhausting. That's bad enough, but painful emotions are confusing and may keep you from functioning. Churches, hospitals, national and local organizations all have grief support groups. Though they may look the same from the outside, these groups can be very different on the inside.

In 2007 four of my family members died, my elder daughter, father-in-law, brother (and only sibling) and my twin grandchildren's father. So I understand grief and especially the grief of multiple losses. Getting help is a proactive step. How can a support group help you?

The Hello Grief website cites some pluses in its article, "Benefits of Grief Support Groups," including a non-judgmental environment, understanding, learning new coping steps, new traditions, and companionship. I think one of the best is "permission to grieve and permission to live a happy productive life."

If you're going to join a support group, you need to time it right. Personally, I wouldn't join anything until you can tell your story without sobbing. As much as people want to help you, it's hard for them to do so when you're sobbing. Your wrenching sobs are justified to be sure, but they may change group dynamics. At this time in our journey, it may be best to talk with a grief counselor or someone with similar experience.

Learn about the organization and its services before you make a commitment. Here are some questions to answer:

  • Who is the facilitator?

  • What are his or her qualifications?

  • When and where does the group meet?

  • How often does it meet?

  • On average, how many people come?

  • What are the rules?

  • Is this a specialized gathering (suicide,sudden loss, traumatic loss, disease-specific)

  • Does the group have a good reputation?

Ask around before you commit to anything. I asked a friend of mine about hospice-run aftercare sessions that he attended. His wife had been ill for a long time and died in hospice. He wasn't very enthusiastic about aftercare. "I went, but I didn't get anything out of it," he admitted.

Rules are really important. The facilitator should give everyone a chance to speak. One person shouldn't be allowed to dominate others. Confidentiality is para mount and what is said in the room stays in the room. Today, support comes in many forms: telephone networks, daily emails, self-help organizations, bulletin boards, and Internet communities.

Deborah Gray, who runs an online depression forum, cautions people about joining these communities in her Health Central website article, "What You Need to Know Before Joining an Online Support Group." Privacy can be a big issue, according to Gray, because the information is out there for anyone to access, especially employers and potential employers. Lack of verbal and visual clues may also be barriers.

"Don't jump to any conclusions about someone's intended meaning if you are offended," Gray advises.

Bob Deits, in his book Life After Loss: A Practical guide to Renewing Your Life After Experiencing Major Loss, says we need to believe our grief has a purpose and an end. Joining a support group may help you find both.

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson

How To Keep Your Major Depression Symptoms From Increasing

Dealing with depressive disorders will make men and women feel like their planet is finishing. Visiting a psychiatrist or getting prescription medicines might not be alternatives you intend to check out.

Dealing with depression symptoms can be created less difficult by using a assistance class. Having a conversation with others which can be frustrated is helpful. Many people can show you new things in regards to the condition, and assist you to learn to handle your depressive disorders.

Tend not to count on a crutch to eradicate your depressive disorders. Many people select alcoholic drinks to ease depression. Although this may possibly help you feel excellent, it is just subsiding your major depression briefly.

Sometimes receiving sympathy from family and friends can frequently help gas your awful conduct if you make you believe that regardless of what you do those family will invariably forgive you. It's healthier that you can focus on getting optimistic and to stay away from property on the unfavorable issues in your lifetime.

Should your mood is nearing adverse, make sure you consume 3 dishes each day. Depression may cause appetite loss, but heading with out foods can contribute to on-going major depression and less enthusiasm as well as. If you are eating improperly and not getting ample energy daily, it makes it actual difficult for your body to operate appropriately. If you eat regularly, your body receives the electricity it will require to help you feel good physically and mentally.

To defeat major depression, you have to be realistic. Consider the goals and anticipations that you have in your lifetime, and in case they aren't sensible, you need to fine-tune them to ensure they doing this. Wanting things which are not likely to happen, or seeking to obtain the extremely hard, is only going to make you dissatisfied. This may make you come to be further more stressed out.

Diet regime may well be a factor in your signs of depressive disorders. Processed foods could have a depressive impact on considered designs, making you think that you're in a loop with no way out of your signs you're experiencing. Try out avoiding fattening food items to enjoy much more healthfully.

Take into account scheduling a consultation to find out a psychological counselor. Interventions that combine prescription drugs and therapy typically produce achievement in the treatment of major depression. Incorporating these 2 kinds of treatment options is much better than making use of any one 1. Prescription drugs operates by controlling the sudden frame of mind downswings, when therapy really helps to workout your issues that lead to major depression.

Do things step by step. Depression can make it sense extremely hard or overpowering to acquire every thing done all at one time. If you focus on taking little methods and making small changes in your life, it is far from as overwhelming on you, and it will be simpler to perform your desired goals.

An antidepressant is great at rejuvenating the total amount of chemical compounds within the human brain to their optimum levels. Even so, if you would like normalcy reconditioned in your own life, you should also physical exercise and take part in therapy.

Assistance to launch hormones within your head with exercise. Brain hormones can be a stimulant that increases your mood. By merely getting up and relocating, you will probably find your depressive disorders helps in reducing up immensely. A very high vitality exercise routine gives you the best results. The exercise will help alleviate your symptoms and improve your state of health.

Having a record to show your sensation in are often very cathartic. You might feel much better when you express your feelings in a record. Documenting your emotions also permits you to acknowledge achievable styles.

Workout has advantages beyond just your health. One of the main great things about exercising might be to assist cope with depression symptoms. Getting some exercise is a wonderful way to help keep you focused entirely on some thing apart from your major depression. Exercising releases hormones to the method, improving disposition and lowering unwanted pressure. Creating and sticking with a regular exercise regimen will help you to fight depression symptoms on a regular basis.

While you are unemployed, it is possible to sometimes sense depressed. Regardless if you are the sole earner with your family members or simply just the one that adds, reduced earnings can demonstrate nerve-racking and all of-encompassing. The economic problems enhance the anxiety of trying to find a new job and supplying to your loved ones.

While you have experienced within the above ideas, there is lots of information you may attain well before looking for solution for your depression symptoms and it's this knowledge, in addition to assistance from your doctor, that can help enhance your symptoms. Fit everything in you need to to identify a therapy that works for you.

Depression Management - Depression Symptoms

Whilst managing depression, it helps to understand it. In this article lets talk about symptoms. I have heard people with depression say that they can 'feel it coming on.' I would have to concur. You can almost feel it approaching like animals can sense an oncoming rare eclipse before they suddenly disappear.

What are the symptoms?

Depression symptoms are varied but most people experience one or more of the following. The symptoms (for some), often represent an almost complete change of character and create possibly the maddest thoughts you have ever had.

Because they are so way out, self destructive, self obsessed and often illogical depression symptoms come laden with guilt for added measure.

Self loathing and worthlessness.

Depression encourages that creeping feeling of worthlessness. Suddenly you feel that all your contributions so far have been worth nothing. YOU are nothing. Every one else is so much better and could someone explain the point of you being here at all?
This is backed up faithfully by thoughts of:


In the lowest points of depression I have gone through many variations of suicide attempt in my head, (aside from actual attempts) and uselessly scored them on their viability. Have you?

Which would hurt the most?

Which would be quicker?

Which would be more economically sound for the person who found me, (re carpets and all!)

Would you really feel the 'thud' if you fell off a building...

I mean totally crack-pot stuff right? But this is the absolute stark reality of depression. As a sufferer I would prefer it to be understood for all it's mental bullying glory without sugar coating it, because I believe that exposing it's dark power and understanding it rather than masking it with medication, as seemingly always the first step, is the most resilient way to try and control it.


You either sleep an awful lot, (more guilt for feeling lazy), or hardly sleep at all. You might find, like me, that it becomes a bit of a vicious circle where you can't summon up the energy to eat therefore you lose more energy and end up sleeping too much, thereby getting weaker and weaker and more despondent.

But it is this vital life-energy that you get from activity that is required to create the oxygen to whizz around your body that you actually need to fight the depression....the most natural way.

Weight changes.

Then there are weight fluctuations as a result of depression causing your lack of appetite or causing you to gorge on food.

Lack of enthusiasm.

This one is hard. It is the symptom that makes 'the shiny, happy people,' (the non sufferers of depression), eventually lose patience with you 'for not trying'. From experience they fail to understand that it is merely another manifestation of depression, just as tooth ache is a symptom of poor gums or rotting teeth, neither of which you can just choose to stop immediately, without treatment.

Unfortunately, the things that depression makes you do creates other issues that make you feel even worse. I do feel there is hope, (but bear in mind that I am writing this article in an up cycle!) Sometimes...just sometimes, current cures are obscured by a medical or financial agenda that is not naturally kind to us or our systems, which is why I try to seek out and trial transparent remedies that have no agenda other than to help our highly intelligent bodies work WITH us to make us feel better.

Depression and Bad Relationships - How Are They Interconnected?

Frictions in married life are very common. Sometimes it causes depression. This is a sign that there is something wrong in your relationship and your relationship is going bad. The worst part of this depression is that both the partners are totally aware of the situation but cannot find the way out.

Married life brings ups and downs in relationship along with the joy and happiness associated with it. Sometimes the friction between the partners go to such extend that one of them or both go into depression. However, depression takes toll on women's health, both physical and mental more than men.

There are some signs which can very well tell the reason behind depression is bad relationship. Till the time one is leading happy and content married life, all is well. However, when the married life becomes full of stress and both the partners feel its pressure, depression starts showing its signs. Health related problems in women like infertility, pregnancy or menopause add up to the depression in women's lives if they do not get psychological support from their partners.

Here are 5 signs your depression may be related to bad relationship:

• Lack of or lost desire for sexual activities: Intimacy is one of the important parts of the married life. However if you feel you have lost your yearning to come together is may be because you are going through depression episode due to bad relationship.

• Insomnia: Increased stress and tension leads to lack of sleep. Negative thoughts lead people into sleeplessness and depression.

• Decrease in tolerance level: If you cannot tolerate slightest noise or get perturbed due to any kind of sound, it is a sign that your depression may be related to bad relationship. Sometimes if you cannot tolerate the laughter of your kids and get annoyed quickly, then it may be an indication that you are reacting this way due to bad relationship.

• If you and your partner are having episodes of difference of opinions which often results in one of the partners leaving that room or house for some time and another spending hours in isolation. The one, who spends hours alone, is in the high proximity of falling pray to depression due to bad relationship.

• If you are feeling lonely, helpless and disheartened all the time and are having suicidal thoughts just because your partner is not paying enough attention to your needs, it is an indication that you are depressed because of bad relationship.

These are a few signs that indicate that your depression is related to sore or bad relationship with your spouse. Try to speak to your partner without blaming him/her. Try to give as much time to your spouse as possible. If you have a good friend whom you can trust, tell him/her about your state of mind. However, if you are having suicidal thoughts, then getting professional help as early as possible will help you avoid further unhappy moments.

Don't let depression ruin your married life.

How to Get Yourself Out of Depression

If you regularly feel flat, un-enthusiastic or "down in the dumps", you may be suffering with depression. A lot of people can feel depressed from time to time, but if these feelings & mood continue for longer than 2 weeks and are accompanied by other symptoms that interfere with daily life, the diagnosis may be given as clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to the persons every day life. Many people identify the feeling of being depressed as "feeling sad for no reason", or "having no motivation to do anything." Those suffering from depression may feel tired, irritable, sad, unmotivated, lazy and apathetic. Clinical depression is generally acknowledged to be more serious than normal depressed feelings.

It is estimated that at least 150,000 individuals in New Zealand suffer from depression each year and that over a lifetime as many as 20% of New Zealanders will be affected by depression.. There is evidence that the incidence of depression is increasing and that younger generations (those born after 1945) are at a higher risk. The incidence of depression is about twice as high in women as in men, although the reasons for this are not clear.

Many natural health practitioners find that some people are too readily given the diagnosis of depression and then prescribed anti depressants, often without looking at what else could be going on in their body to contribute to these symptoms. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine states "A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter brain function and lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders." The most common nutritional deficiencies which can contribute to depression include a lack of most of the B Vitamins, Iron, Vitamin C, Protein and the amino acids tryptophan & SAMe, the mineral Magnesium and the essential fatty acid omega 3. Interestingly, too higher levels of omega 6 (as found in common seed oils) can also contribute to symptoms of depression.

Many people consume a low fat diet, depriving them of the essential fatty acid Omega 3. Our body cannot make these fatty acids, so they must be supplied in the diet from foods rich in this or by taking a supplement. Omega 3 is commonly found in certain seeds such as flax, black currant and borage oils, as well as egg yolks, tuna, salmon and cod. Population studies in different countries have shown that decreased consumption of omega 3 correlates with increased rates of depression.

A significant ingredient in fish oil is eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. A study in the October 2002 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry found that depression was reduced significantly when volunteers took fish oil supplements containing 1000mg of EPA a day for 12 weeks. You can determine how much EPA is in each fish oil capsule by reading the label on the bottle. Some have much higher amounts of EPA in them than standard fish oil supplements.

An interesting study was done by the Department of Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, to ascertain whether individuals with mood disorders are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in many diet and sugar free products these days. Although the protocol required the recruitment of 40 patients with clinical depression and a similar number of individuals without a psychiatric history, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression. In a crossover design, subjects received aspartame 30 mg/kg/day or placebo for 7 days. There was a significant difference between aspartame and placebo in number and severity of symptoms for patients with a history of depression, whereas for individuals without such a history there was not. The researchers conclude that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener and its use in this population should be discouraged. Aspartame is marketed as NutraSweet & Equal and is found in most "Sugar free" products.

It is not common for men to have low iron, unless they have a problem with internal ulcers, bleeding hemorrhoids or with those who have coeliacs disease. Apart from these bleeding problems, another contributor to low iron is consuming tannin and caffeine rich foods and beverages at meals. If tea, coffee, some herb teas, red wine, cocoa or chocolate rich foods and beverages are consumed for up to 1 hour after having a meal or taking nutritional supplements, the absorption of the nutrients will be affected.

The B complex vitamins are water soluble, which means you need a daily supply of these as they are not easily stored in the body. All multivitamins contain B vitamins, or if an extra boost is needed, a B Complex could be considered. The Nutrition Almanac states that if a person is tired, irritable, nervous, depressed or even suicidal, suspect a vitamin B deficiency. Those who consume a lot of alcohol, eat a refined high carbohydrate diet or who are regularly stressed have a need for higher amounts of B vitamins than others.

Serotonin deficiencies are common these days and are a major contributor to depression. Serotonin is a word often associated with the use of substances like E, P & BZP, as taking these depletes this vital brain chemical. Prolonged stress, as well as a high protein, very low carbohydrate diet will also contribute to low brain levels. In the winter months many people suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called the winter blues, which is linked to light deprivation. Studies show that the seasonal variations in natural light alter levels of the hormone melatonin, which subsequently causes reduced levels of serotonin. Working in enclosed spaces without natural light can cause the same kind of problem, with all of these creating a wide range of serotonin deficiency symptoms.

The most common symptoms relating to low serotonin are depression, carbohydrate craving & binging, sleeping problems & insomnia, compulsive obsessive disorders, anxiety & appetite changes to name a few.

When Serotonin levels drop you can start to experience problems with concentration & routine responsibilities can start to become quite over whelming. As depression sinks in, it can seem hard to get enthusiastic about anything. Emotional sadness, low self confidence & social withdrawal are common. Taking the nutritional supplement 5 HTP provides the building blocks to produce serotonin. This cannot, however, be taken in conjunction with anti depressant medication.

Your GP will not recommend 5-HTP to you. This is because drug companies have no interest in supplying this compound to the public, as 5-HTP cannot be patented. This is a real shame, as researchers have clinically investigated 5-HTP in comparison to antidepressant drugs & the results of the studies were astounding. Using the standard depression scale, both the drug & 5-HTP groups displayed identical reduction in depression. Depressed patients who received 100 mg of 5-HTP three times daily, showed at least a 50% improvement in their symptoms, without any reported side effects. Subsequent studies were performed using 5-HTP for anxiety, panic disorder, sleep difficulties & obesity. An obvious decline was also noticed in anxiety symptoms & patients with panic disorder noticed a feeling of relief after receiving 5-HTP. Always seek professional advice before self prescribing.

Getting out in the sunlight for 20 minutes a day is an easy way to help boost serotonin levels. This may also help reduce stress levels, another important factor involved in helping with serotonin. If you are going to take stimulants & party pills, ensure you pre load with the correct amino acids & nutrients before & afterwards.

The herb St Johns Wort is used specifically for helping with mild to moderate depression. It has a genuine mild anti-depressant medicinal action and is considered a nerve tonic. Its action is gentle, yet very effective. Its combination of sedative activity and nervous system restorative properties make it an ideal herb for use in anxiety, irritability, neuralgia, nerve damage or injury, nervous tension, depression and general nervous system debility. The best researched St Johns Wort supplement is called Remotiv ®, made by Zeller AG, a company in Switzerland with over 135 years of herbal medicine experience. This is the only St Johns Wort I know of that can be taken in conjunction with the contraceptive pill.

Researcher Dr Sandra Siedlecki, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation completed studies which showed that listening to music had a statistically significant effect in reducing pain, depression and disability and increasing feelings of power. I personally think there is nothing more exhilarating than singing at the top of your voice to your favourite song.

There are many things which can help if you are suffering with depression. Consider addressing any nutritional deficiencies, as suggested above. Other considerations include talking to a professional who can help you to clarify your thoughts, learn better coping skills and see if there are outside influences which could be contributing to these feelings.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Pendulum Effect in American Politics: 1974-2010

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Back to the Future when Christopher Lloyd, as Doc Brown, challenges Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in 1955 to prove his preposterous time-travel story by naming the president in 1985. When Marty replies, "Ronald Reagan," Doc Brown hoots and says, incredulous, "Ronald Reagan, the actor? Hah!"

Before the 1980 presidential election, there were many Americans of the same opinion as the good doctor. Jimmy Carter's presidency may have been weakened by the Iran hostage crisis, a stubborn recession and the second energy crisis of the decade, but the conventional wisdom after the primaries was that GOP candidate Ronald Reagan didn't have a prayer. What he did have, however, was devout support from the defiantly religious, rapidly rising and well-financed "New Right." When this movement helped steer Reagan into the White House, their influence went on to shape American politics and policy for a dozen years. The pendulum had swung dramatically to the right. Progressives and moderates were stunned. Back to the Future, indeed.

But those who were shocked either had short memories or were too young to remember another dramatic swing--to the left--in the wake of the Watergate scandal. The resignation of President Nixon on August 8, 1974, preceded by two years of a "national nightmare" and the birth of unabashed investigative journalism, gave rise to a deep and enduring distrust of government by the press and the public. This collective rejection of presidential arrogance, coupled with outrage at Ford's pardon of Nixon, propelled a bevy of freshly minted Democrats (including Jimmy Carter) into Washington.

Let's return to the much-touted Reagan Revolution. Characterized by trickle-down economics whose terminus mysteriously eluded its promised beneficiaries, it started to dim under the presidency of George H. W. Bush. While his prosecution of the Gulf War met with generally high marks, Bush's tin ear toward the recession of the early 90s became his downfall. The clever and charismatic Bill Clinton wrested the presidency away from the Republicans for the first time in twelve years. While Clinton ushered in the era of the "New Democrat" that rejected some of the more liberal policies of the party's past, the pendulum had undeniably swung back to the left.

Two short years later, Newsweek ran an article with a beleaguered Clinton on its cover accompanied by the title, "The Incredible Shrinking President." Hobbled out of the gate by embracing the worthy but narrow issue of gays in the military, the resulting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy proved unpopular with all sides. Most critically, it was a dangerous distraction from the average voter's primary issue: in the immortal words of James Carville, "it's the economy, stupid." Enter (stage right) firebrand Newt Gingrich, The Contract with America and the GOP takeover of both houses in the mid-term election of 1994. The future looked bleak for the New Democrats.

Reports of their demise, of course, were greatly exaggerated. Two years later, Clinton's serendipity was personified by GOP presidential candidate Senator Bob Dole. Dole's laconic style and tepid campaign skills enabled an impeached president who had barely survived a seismic sex scandal to win the election decisively. He was greatly assisted by the hubris of the insurgent Republicans, who wrongly believed in their absolute power and greatly underestimated the rage of the American public when they shut down the federal government. That infamous standoff provided the perfect foil for Clinton, and may have been an object lesson in the benefits of enemies behaving badly.

The 2000 Supreme Court decision Bush vs. Gore, handed down by an increasingly conservative bench, effectively shifted the country back to the right. There it stayed through 9/11, two wars, an unprecedented economic trajectory and a dizzying plummet to earth. Bush's approval ratings descended almost as quickly, and the contagion spread to GOP candidate John McCain. Suddenly the boom years of the mid-2000s turned into the worst economy since the Great Depression. This was fertile ground for Barack Obama, a relatively new face on the national scene, who first unseated the heretofore presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Obama then proceeded to rouse the spirits of the nation--and the ire of his opponents--by evangelizing the redemptive power of hope. Progressives rejoiced as Americans embraced his promise of change.

Mario Cuomo once observed, arguably from personal experience, that politicians campaign in poetry but govern in prose. The Obama administration took on the herculean task of the failing economy, rising unemployment, and the desperately dysfunctional health care system all within the first eighteen months. Ambitious? Foolhardy? Recipe for a rout in the mid-terms? Perhaps all. The rise of the Tea Party was fueled by raging opposition to the bank bailouts, TARP, and "Obamacare." It is no small irony that the first two were on Bush's watch, a fact quickly forgotten due to an acute case of national amnesia. Blamed for an anemic stimulus effect and unemployment entrenched at nearly 10%, Democrats "took a shellacking" in the 2010 mid-terms. Only twenty-four months after Obama's historic victory, The Economist's post-election issue proclaimed over a picture of an approaching posse: "The Republicans ride in."

The ebb and flow of American politics is not unlike the old adage about weather in New England: if you don't like it, wait five minutes. Reagan's and Clinton's approval ratings were both lower that Obama's two years before their re-election. Clinton, Truman and Eisenhower all suffered similar losses in their mid-terms and were re-elected. If history is prologue, and the pendulum is primed, there may be hope yet for Obama in 2012.