Saturday, November 16, 2013

Making Good Use of Depression

Depression can be a profoundly damaging and disrupting condition, preventing us from living fully and realizing our talents. We may need to get help for treating depression, but a number of people say the experience has had value for them.

Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison, referring to her bipolar disorder (which she controls with medication), has said, "I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and have been more loved... laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters."

Though only a fraction of people experience bipolar or other severe forms of depression that require medical intervention, many of us experience some kind of mood disorder: almost 10 percent of adults, according to The National Institute of Mental Health.

But many people use the term depression very loosely, as in "I am so depressed that Danny is gone from American Idol." That may be distressing, but it is not depression.

Some writers think many psychiatrists have been too willing to prescribe antidepressants for people who are just coping with the aftermath of a recent emotional blow, such as a divorce or job loss.

While it is natural to want to escape emotional or spiritual distress, including depression, there are many people who may be considered melancholics or depressives who make contributions to the arts, and may reasonably flee from taking medications to suppress their feelings.

Psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer (author of Listening to Prozac) wrote, "Much of what we value - our understanding of beauty, profundity, even romance - has been crafted by melancholics. Today, in a time when people demand serenity as if it were the human condition, one cheer for melancholy hardly seems excessive." [From "Why I'm in Favor of Sadness" Self magazine, July, 2001]

But Dr. Kramer also wrote the book "Against Depression" and thinks it is "a disease of extraordinary magnitude," and "the major scourge of humankind" which should be treated as effectively as possible.

Many writers and other artists do have higher levels of depression than other groups of people. Can it be at all helpful?

Artist Caroline Bertorelli is quoted in the book The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression: "I get depressed quite regularly and often. It used to distress and frustrate me that I have such a tendency. But as I grow older, I see my depression as a valuable time for introspection and deep thinking about life."

In our interview, I asked the author of the book, psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel, if he finds that others are able to experience depression as something with positive meaning and value.

Dr. Maisel replied, "Many artists try. I believe that it serves us best to learn how to reduce or eliminate both depression and anxiety from our lives, as I do not hold them as useful in any way. I think that pain is overrated."

But he also pointed out, creative people can become depleted after working on a creative project, and the blues may strike if they aren't making sufficient meaning in their work or their lives.

That may be one of the real values to us of depression: using it as a signal that we need to be more engaged with our values and in finding and making meaning, or looking more deeply at what is not working right in our life.

Depression in Your Teen - Treatment Tips For Parents Part 3

Your child has begun to show the signs of mild Depression in middle school. Depression does tend to run in families. In vulnerable children, it often makes its first appearance in the preteen or early teen years.

It can be hard to tell the difference between mild Depression and mild ADD. This is because many of the symptoms are similar, and the age of onset is often early adolescence for both. To complicate matters, if your child has untreated ADD that becomes a problem in middle school, this can lead to depression. Luckily, many of the treatments for Depression also work for ADD.

Signs of Mild Depression:

• Sadness and crying
• Loss of interest in usual activities; withdrawal from friends, family and hobbies
• Declining grades; usually caused by loss of focus, feelings of helplessness and being overwhelmed by schoolwork
• Hopelessness; Saying things like, "I hate my life." or "Nothing ever works out for me."
• Anger and irritability; In some children, depression appears mostly as irritable and negative mood. Tantrums and rages are not uncommon signs of depression.
• Sleep disturbances; These are a cardinal sign of depression. Insomnia is common, especially early waking. Some kids will oversleep if depressed.
• Loss of appetite; The child will lose interest in food and go all day without eating. If asked, they say they do not feel hungry.
• Dark thoughts; Your child may or may not confess these to you. Often teens are not open with their parents about their inner thoughts. You can check their poetry and their diaries for clues.
This is where a therapist can be helpful. Teens will often confess their darkest thoughts to a sympathetic but neutral adult outside the family.

If your teen's dark thoughts began to verge toward suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm, (such as cutting), then your child is probably suffering from a more serious form of Depression called Clinical Depression. Clinical Depression in a teen is very serious. It can be life threatening. Any threat of suicide or suicide attempt by a teen should be treated immediately by a psychiatrist or in the hospital. I will be writing another article about Clinical Depression in teens. Just let me mention now that it is very treatable.

Mild Depression, known as Dysthymia, tends to be a chronic, low-grade depression. It is not as dangerous as Clinical Depression. But is can still cause great unhappiness in the child, and all sorts of difficulty and stress for the parents. It also can damage the teen's process of maturation and lower his self-esteem. Self-esteem is fragile in adolescence anyway. Anything that damages it can make the process of growing up that much more difficult.

Helpful Parenting Tips:

Talk to your teen about how you notice that he seems sad. Encourage him to share his thoughts and feelings. If your child's grades have deteriorated, ask him how he feels about school. "It's boring." "I hate it." "I can't concentrate." All are answers that may mean your child is dealing with depression. You can also ask your child's teachers whether they have noticed any change in his mood.
• If you notice 2 or 3 of the above listed signs of Mild Depression, take your teen to a psychotherapist or psychologist for an evaluation. Your teen may need to talk it through with a sympathetic and neutral adult. You, as a parent, may also need support to deal effectively with your teen's Depression. Mild Depression can be treated effectively with a combination of individual therapy for the teen and family therapy for the parents. If the Depression proves resistant to therapy, medication can be very helpful. It can help the child feel better quickly, and provide a stable platform of good feelings so that he can work on the Depression in therapy.
• I always recommend that teens who need medication be evaluated by a psychiatrist. This is not difficult to arrange. There are a number of excellent child psychiatrists in Contra Costa County. The usual treatment protocol is counseling once a week with a therapist and a medication check about once a month with a psychiatrist. Therapist and psychiatrist who work with teens will collaborate to provide the best possible treatment. Medication can provide a real helpful boost to the treatment of Depression, so that it can proceed more quickly. Teens with Mild Depression often do not require medication for a long time. Once the Depression is in remission for a period of time, you may be able to discontinue medication.

Am I Depressed? Recognizing and Treating Depression Naturally Without Side Effects

Each and every modern human has had occasion, at least once in their life, to ask themselves: Am I depressed? Although feeling down, or feeling blue is a part of every life, most people are not really clinically depressed. However, when the feelings of sadness and emptiness turn to a permanent state of despair, depression is likely to be the reason.

Every life has its ups and downs, and everyone has mood swings to a greater or lesser extent. Feeling sad, or mourning loss, is also a normal part of living. Although we do say I feel depressed for feelings of general disappointment and sadness, they are nowhere close to clinical depression. People suffering from clinical depression describe it as living with depression as "living in a black hole". And the feelings are more of lifelessness, emptiness, and apathy rather than outright sadness.

The next time you think "am I depressed", examine if the feelings you are talking about are making it difficult to perform your normal functions in society. Are you losing interest in friends, hobbies and all the activities you enjoy normally? One of the best ways to identify and deal with depression is to learn to recognize the signs, and symptoms, and then learning of ways to deal with the problem.

There are some common symptoms that can be indistinguishable from the normal lows of your life. The factor, of course, is how many of the symptoms you have, how strong they are, and how long they have been a part of your daily life.

So every time you begin to think I feel depressed, consider whether these symptoms are causing a breakdown of your functionality, whether they are disabling your social and emotional life. If they are, you need to seek help. However, the symptoms of depression can vary a great deal and may not be obvious. It might manifest simply as a general feeling of malaise and listlessness, without any apparent reason. If the symptoms begin to interfere with your work, social life or family life, for long periods of time, it is a good idea to get help.

To know the answer to am I depressed conclusively, identify the signs and symptoms, check whether they are chronic, and see how many are present. If it seems as though you are suffering from clinical depression, try natural remedies, homeopathy, or medication. The common symptoms of depression are

* Changes in sleep patterns. This could be either insomnia or lack of sleep, sudden waking in the early morning, or hypersomnia or oversleeping
* Problems concentrating. You could have trouble focusing on daily tasks, making relatively simple decisions, or remembering things. Tasks you found easy previously might now seem difficult
* Losing interest in daily activities such as hobbies, pastimes, and social activities
* Feelings of helplessness, a bleak outlook toward life, a hopelessness that makes you think that nothing will ever improve your situation
* A total inability to control or get rid of your negative thoughts
* Psychomotor agitation feelings of being "keyed up" or retardation, feeling sluggish and slowed down
* Sudden unexpected appetite or weight changes like a significant gain or loss of weight in a month amounting to more than 5% of body weight
* Intense feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or self loathing, as a result of over criticism of faults you see in yourself, and mistakes you think you make
* Unusual irritability and short-temper
* Feelings of constantly being fatigued and drained, with small, daily tasks seem to be exhausting
* Chronic but vague aches, pains, headaches, or digestive problems
* Constipation,
* Reduced or absent sex drive
* Slowed movement or speech
* Changes in the menstrual cycle in women
* Sudden drop in performance levels at work
* Not wanting to take part in social activities
* Wishing to avoid contact with friends
* Difficulties cropping up at home and in family life
* Crying for no apparent reason
* Suicidal thoughts that life is not worth living

If you get have a "yes" answer to three or more of the symptoms listed above, try a natural supplement before turning to drugs. All drugs have side effects and some can even make your symptoms much worse, while a natural supplement will give your brain the nutrition it needs to restore the production of feed-good neurotransmitters and put an end to chronic negative thinking and constant am I depressed concerns.

Left untreated, depression can last for years, and impair your functioning and sense of meaning in life, and even lead to suicide. So whether you choose homeopathy, drugs, antidepressants or natural remedies, do get help.

Inexplicable Child Tantrums - Could They Be Bipolar Disorder?

It's really difficult to grasp out the truth regarding why a jovial child suddenly goes into a crazy paroxysm spell along with mood swings as well at times? The reaction would be that he requires better trouncing and that it is a case of sparing the rod. Whacking children by their parent is not their temptation but if this stage tends them to behave like this and it's quite comprehensible. Does a child have ADD (attention deficit disorder)? It might be the next question that would slightly arise in the mind.

Well, bipolar disorder might be one more reason that you are looking to. Manic depression is common name of this ailment. Don't get scared when your child face this problem because methods like medication and therapy can manage it effectively.

Let us discuss about the symptoms that epitomize bipolar disorder. One common symptom you may notice is the mood swings sometimes quickly changes and sometimes lasting for days. Separation Anxiety is another noticeable trait where children always seem to be in great fear of losing someone loved and closest to them. Agitated, terribly active and frantic behavior can also be noticed in children with this ailment. It is a strange overactive tendency but not an active exuberance of a normal healthy child. Concentrating on anything focused for a while is almost difficult task for children after this ailment. Their behavior is slightly mischievous and you can notice that these children pick up any rhyme to fight or try to step out of moving vehicle. Their parent could receive complaints regarding hounding other children.

Affected children could be beleaguered with night terrors' also called pavor nocturnus' when he goes to sleep in disturbed time. Sleep disorder can be seen in these children. They will either sleep for long time or too little than normal sleeping hours. Waking up in terrible fear along with bedwetting is also noticed. Waking up early in the morning would be difficult for affected children. Hence, that result daily problem regarding being ready for school in time.

You can see those children being beleaguered with hallucinations during the day. Therefore, proper supervision should be done for them. They also tend to have slightly strange sexual behavior.

Well, in respect to food, they have extreme cravings for sugary and syrupy foods with a lot of carbohydrates. You'll also find that this extreme craving for sugary and syrupy foods often repeated and they can never get enough.

Feeling own as superior above everyone is another trait among these children. They hate being questioning by anyone regarding their authority, if something happens as that then fighting is sure to be held. The technique of their speech is a bit snatched and rather overwrought.

It is not absolutely necessary that every child who is mischievous or tantrum-prone or extremely very active is afflicted from bipolar disorder. Overall, if you noticed majority of these symptoms in your children then as a perfect parent your foremost responsibility is to check him/her with the experienced and reputed physician.

Major Depression & Disability - The Problem, The Solution

I am a 53-year old man who has been declared officially disabled for almost a decade now. I never really cared much for labels, but if our society deems it important for governmental reasons to put one on me, then, indeed, that's me.

I had worked for about two decades in a myriad of jobs such as sales, marketing, public relations, media production and the like. It was difficult for me to keep a job as I had depression, at least that is what I was "labeled" to have. I had been treated with antidepressants and talk therapy for many years but was not getting better. Finally, I was told I could not work, that "I was too depressed".

Now I had a lot of time on my hands so I began studying depression. It did not take me long to discover a disease called "TRD" or labeled by the psychiatric community, "treatment resistant depression". I was one of the few lucky ones who received the only treatment for it, a vagus nerve implant. You see, TRD is actually not a mental illness, in and of itself, but a faulty vagus nerve, of which I had, will mimic the signs of depression, lethargy, etc. After I received the treatment, my life took dramatic changes.

Though I am still labeled "disabled" by many, I have found that the Internet has leveled the playing field. I say that a bit facetiously and with a bit of sarcasm, because, during my "depressed state", I was keenly aware of the discrimination targeted my way, though those who were being discriminating were not aware of my awareness. I guess they thought people with depression or any disability don't have awareness or intelligence. We do.

So I thought it was the end of the world when my work days in corporate America came to an end.

How would I ever survive on disability? I did. One learns to adjust. But there are some painful growth moments in that adjustment. But it was all worth it.

With extra time on my hands, I learned to "nearly master" the Internet. I started a cartoon project with no money, Londons Times Cartoons which in less than a decade became the most visited offbeat cartoon site on the Internet (and still is). It's rankings keep growing and by the end of this month we will have had 9 million visitors within the past two years. That may not sound like much but for a cartoon site it is. Most cartoons on the Internet last from 3-6 months and the others are gone within a year.

I opened two cartoon gift mega-stores and six niche funny gift shops. Sales remain brisk. I have affiliates through my manufacturer 3drose, many of them on Amazon and they sell plenty as well.

I create all sorts of products with my cartoons on them; greeting cards, t-shirts, jogging suits, mouse pads, coffee mugs, beer steins, wall and desk clock, baseball caps, and, you name it, we make it.

All this is due to research on the Internet and making phone calls. Oddly enough, a disabled person, and that person is me, can write a lucid, professional email, talk on the phone professionally, create a social network and blog professionally, and write articles, hopefully professionally. The old boy network, who was once so involved in keeping a stigma attached to depression and/or disability is out of the picture now. I have no excuses anymore not to succeed. I deal with people who want me to succeed, and it helps them succeed.

When I create a new cartoon product, I generally create at least ten new jobs from artistry, to manufacturing, to drop-shipping, to heat press digital reproduction, to courier, etc. And I do it all
from my home.

Oh, and this disabled person (that is, me) finished three years of business college online, at an accredited university at age 52. I am 53 now and plan to return next year to finish and go for an MBA.

Again, on the Internet. Why waste time with people who are more concerned with "labeling" me so as to put parameters on my limitations, than those who know me just as a person and helping me succeed.

I am not saying a depressed or disabled person should hide behind his or her computer all day, I spend plenty of time interacting with people, handing out business cards, going on talk shows, and doing as much as I can in the public.

Labeling is a bad thing. Have you ever noticed that a person with a mental illness or physical disability is the only person labeled by his illness or disease? If a person has cancer, we don't say "He's cancerous", or if a person has diabetes, I've yet to hear, "There goes Mr. High Blood Sugar!". But if a person has depression, 100% of the time "He/she's depressed" or "has depression" or "mental illness". That usually puts an end to the conversation as the stigma remains and many don't want to know much more. That is ashamed.

It might do them good to go to some of the famous people with depression websites such as
[] , or . I am always surprised to see my name on each of the pages. There are hundreds of them; simply Google "famous people with depression". My name sits right there usually next to Abraham Lincoln or Elton John.

So you see, depression is considered a disability. But when you read the names on these websites and see who is or was depressed, it truly makes you wonder, first, why there is such a negative connotation attached to the label, and secondly, why the label even exists.

Walking Through the Dark Valley? You're Not Alone!

Walking in a Valley? You're Not Alone! Nestled in the Psalms...along with the prophecies, praises, and worshipful doxologies, we find a few moments of honest and transparent disclosure of the soul by the Psalmist.

Whether it was from his own sin, or the pursuit of others against him, the Psalmist David provided an honest narrative of crying out to the Lord from his affliction. Our times of despair have many names...depression, dark night of the soul, blues, and melancholia.

Former prime minister of England Winston Churchill personalized it by calling it his "black dog". For many, it may be as simple as walking through a few weeks of 'darkness', and then getting back to normal. But others walk in valleys with incredible pain and despair, making daily life itself a challenge.

While the features of this season vary, people often can experience a sense of prolonged depression, anxiety, fear, panic, feelings of isolation, unusual guilt, sense of worthlessness, rejection, or failure. Causes can include physiological illness, emotional trauma, continued stress, insufficient sunlight or exercise, and spiritual oppression from the enemy of our soul.

As we read through Psalm 42, there is a sense of undulation between despair and hope. The Psalmist recognized his despair without shame, yet he also recognized the hope that comes from the Lord. Walking in a tunnel of darkness is a journey that requires us to hope in the Lord in the moment, sometimes a moment at a time. In our present day culture, we have grown accustomed to the quick fix...the instant relief and satisfaction that is ours with minimal effort.

Our prolonged exposure to instant gratification has allowed us to grow soft when times of perseverance are necessary. And walking through a valley of despair often takes an enormous sense of perseverance of walking with the Lord moment-by-moment.

One of the mockeries of depression is the erroneous sense that we are alone...that God has abandoned us, and no one can understand our pain. While nothing could be farther from the truth, a despairing person may have a hard time grasping that they're not alone. But no matter how dark the clouds, the sun is shining brightly above the veil. It's the absolute truth. The Psalmist recognizes this in verse 11 of Psalm 42: "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God."

But the Psalmist is not the only one in the Bible who experienced despair. Job may be the most lamentable sufferer of despair that we see. He says in Job 7:11, "Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Job doesn't even try to hide his pain. He even cries out a couple verses later that he can't even find relief while he sleeps.

Sometimes God allows us to walk through such times. While we may not readily ascertain why He takes us through the valley, I've talked with very few people who haven't emerged from that tunnel stronger in their faith because of it. Job walked in victory again, and lived to praise God. There are others, but time would fail me to elaborate on men like Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Paul, and even Jesus as He cried out to the Father in anguish from the garden, and from the cross.

In more modern times, Winston Churchill was well acquainted with despair and depression, as was Abraham Lincoln, and even Charles Spurgeon. A well-known hymn writer in the 18th century named William Cowper spent much of his life in a sanitarium for the insane as he struggled with unimaginable mental illness. Yet he would recover to times of lucidity and write poetry as this:

There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Emmanuel's veins;

And sinners plunged beneath that flood

Lose all their guilty stains. (Public Domain - William Cowper)

Such words are drawn from the well of deep suffering, birthed from undulations of life's demons of condemnation and the brightest light of forgiveness. The hymn writer John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace, was an ongoing friend to Cowper during his lifetime. Newton himself had experienced his own dark night of the soul. It seems the Lord uses our times of despair to bring encouragement to others.

Ministering to the Depressed

It is important to realize that being depressed is not a character flaw. People normally cannot be expected to snap themselves out of it, or to fully think quite as lucidly or cheerfully as we might want. The Bible speaks of accepting the one who is weak.

Isaiah 35:3-4 says, "Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, "take courage, fear not. Behold your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save YOU"

In Hebrews 12:12, we read a similar encouragement, "Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak, and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not to be put out of joint, but rather be healed"

I see in these verses a heart of compassion, encouraging us toward healing and restoring others who are hurting. Truthfully, we will all find ourselves in a place of need someday. While it may be easy to think that we are the strong ones, it may be that we are weaker than we might think. It could be that the one we help strengthen today, will help strengthen us tomorrow.

Surviving Depression

We can look at depression in two ways...

  1. As a condition that we attempt to remedy

  2. As a mechanism that God is using to train and teach us reliance upon Him

Depression can be a sign...a symptom that something within our body, life, or mind needs attention. Seeing a medical doctor first thing is recommended, to eliminate any organic or other problems going on that may need medical treatment. Your doctor may prescribe some kind of antidepressant medication for you to take. Discuss with him/her the pros and cons of this decision. In some instances, they can be very helpful. Antidepressants are not 'puppy uppers' as some claim, but actually enable the body to produce necessary neurotransmitters that help control and stabilize moods.

But sometimes our season of despair or darkness is more of a spiritual matter that God uses to draw us closer to Him.

What to Do...

1. Draw Near to God James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." Spend time in prayer, and seeking the things of the Lord. Review the things in your life that may be dragging you down...not every book, movie, or TV show is helping us. In fact, they may be hindering us. We have grown accustomed to inviting a lot of different influences into our lives and homes, and many of these things may be spiritually harmful to us. Carve out for yourself a quiet time with the fact, you may want to schedule several of these throughout the day during your darkest times. Cry out to the Lord and ask Him to show you what He wants to teach you during this time. We often cry out to be delivered from our darkness, but fail to ask the Lord to use this time to learn.

2. Draw Near to His Word Psalm 119:105 "Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" Read and meditate on Scripture daily...even hourly if necessary. There is healing in the Word of is a lamp that God gives to light your path.

Cling to the spiritual truths written in God's Word: Jesus said, "I will never leave you or forsake you" He hasn't broken that promise yet to His children, and He's not going to start with you.

Cling to the Word of God: The Psalmist talked of his tears being his food day and night. Well...add some bread to the meal. Instead of just tears, make the Scriptures become your food day and night. 1 Timothy 1:7 - "He has not given us a spirit of fear..." Psalm 34:18 - "The Lord is near to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit" Proverbs 3:25 - "Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes." Panic won't help you...Satan uses it in your life to bring confusion, fear, and distrust.

3. Draw Near to Other Believers We need each other. There is comfort in two walking together. But there is also healing in walking with each other, because others have walked this road too

4. Understand the Deception in Depression We all know that our feelings betray us...we think one thing, but the truth is something else entirely. We are never more betrayed by our thoughts and feelings than when we are depressed and discouraged. Things appear worse than they are...problems are intensified

5. God Uses Our Depression for His Glory Listen to this quote by Pastor Mark Abbot in an article in Preaching magazine

"Much of American Christianity is preoccupied with therapy, with offering cures for whatever ails us, including depression. But could it be that, instead of searching for cures for everything that ails us we ought to be listening for God's voice in all the experiences of life, even in depression? Could it be that depression isn't all bad? Maybe there are some things we learn, some growth possible ONLY through these low, dark times."

In spite of our shortcomings, our handicaps, our weaknesses, and other things we deem insufficient in our lives, God is able to take our emptiness, fill it with Himself, and use it for His glory. There is HOPE. God has not been caught by surprise by your depression. He may have even planned it for your good.

He Giveth More Grace

  • He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength as our labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

  • When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father's full giving is only begun.

  • Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

  • His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

(Public Domain - Annie Johnson Flint)


Friday, November 15, 2013

Using Massage for Depression Relief

For people who are depressed, massage for depression is not a cure but may help lessen some of the symptoms and support recovery.

About Depression

Depression is a brain disorder, and research has shown that the brains of depressed people look and act differently from the brains of people who aren't depressed. The causes of depression are not well understood, but most likely involve a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.

Depression comes in many types. For example, major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally in daily life, while dysthymia is a milder, usually long-term, depression where a person can still function but probably isn't living a normal and full life. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which usually affects people during the winter months, is also a type of depression.

Often the most obvious symptom of depression is an overwhelming feeling of sadness, but depression has many other possible symptoms that vary depending on the type of depression and the individual. Common symptoms include:

  • Appetite changes

  • On-going physical problems, such as aches and pains, headaches, or digestive problems that don't improve with treatment

  • Fatigue

  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness, or irritability

  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in life, including lack of sexual desire

  • Trouble concentrating and making decisions.

The two most common depression treatments are medication and psychotherapy. Another treatment, primarily used for SAD, is light therapy, which involves exposure to a strong artificial light that mimics sunlight.

Massage for Depression

Touch is important to human beings - babies die without touch. Lack of touch may even contribute to depression. And, if a person is depressed, massage may help.

First, dealing with depression presents a lot of stress, and relaxation is one of the best benefits of massage. Depression can also lead to muscle tension and pain that massage can help relieve.

Beyond helping a person relax, massage may reduce the body's production of stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, and may also increase the body's production of pain-killing endorphins and mood-altering serotonin. Studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami have shown:

  • Lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol immediately after massage.

  • Increased serotonin, dopamine, and endorphin levels, helping elevate a person's mood, after massage.

  • Increased production of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress and promotes relaxation, after massage.

These effects may occur because the skin and muscles contain many millions of nerve receptors that are linked to the nervous system. Touch and massage can stimulate the nerve receptors, causing the release of chemicals in the brain.

The benefits of massage for depression are further supported in a review, published in the March 2010 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The authors reviewed 17 studies of massage for depression and concluded the studies supported the ability of massage therapy to significantly lessen symptoms of depression.

Plus, a great benefit of massage therapy is that it rarely has side effects, when received from a trained, qualified massage therapist. People who want to try massage for depression should always let their massage therapist know about their condition and other treatments and tell other healthcare providers that they are receiving massage.

Depression Test - Do I Have Depression?

It's not the easiest thing in the world to diagnose, after all, we all feel down from time to time. Especially after we suffer a loss of some kind. So what makes the difference between having 'the blues' and having depression? In this article we'll explore the line between these two mood states.

Although it can be difficult to differentiate, the one main difference between these two mood states is that depression lasts longer and can lead to a significant loss of interest in life activities that the person used to find interesting or enjoyable. Symptoms can also include (but are not limited to);

Excessive fatigue, sadness and crying for no reason, pain in the body, trouble sleeping, excessive negative thought patterns, a feeling of pessimism, avoidance of physical activity or exercise, overeating or under-eating and weight gain/loss, excessive anger, moodiness, frustration and sometimes thoughts of self harm or planning to self harm.

This article includes a short, simple depression test below;

Place a number 1-4 next to the questions 1 - 18. Here is the key;

1 = Not at all 2 = Some of the time 3 = Most of the time 4 = All of the time?

1. I do things more slowly than usual.

2. My future seems completely hopeless.

3. It is difficult for me to concentrate on reading or other activities.

4. All of the pleasure and joy has disappeared from my life.

5. I have great difficulty in making decisions.

6. I have lost interest in activities/things that used to be important to me.

7. I feel sad.

8. I feel agitated and can't sit still.

9. I feel fatigued.

10. I have to use much effort to even do simple things.

11. I feel that I am a bad person and I deserve to be punished. I feel guilty.

12. I feel as though I am a failure

13. My vitality is gone.

14. I have trouble sleeping.

15. I think about how to kill myself.

16. I feel as though I am trapped.

17. Even when good things happen to me I feel depressed.

18. I have lost or gained weight for no obvious reason.

Now add up the numbers. The higher the score the more likely it is that you may be suffering from depression.

Another depression test is that old faithful; you intuition or 'gut feeling'. In other words if you really suspect that you might have depression and you have felt this way of some time then it is more possible.

Many doctors will tell you that depression is an illness that must be treated with medication, although there are a number of other viewpoints on this. Personally when I went through depression I was reluctant to take medication and sought out alternative, natural methods. These worked well for me and has worked for countless others also. Whether or not you try medication or more natural methods is of course completely your call.

Once you have completed a depression test and found that you might be suffering you may wish to speak to a therapist, psychologist or counselor for some further assistance and treatment options.

One fresh approach that has been getting great results is called the 'mindfulness and acceptance approach. ' Having been through depression myself, I am a strong believer in this and have based my website and educational products on these techniques.

Whatever path you choose, it's good to bear in mind that things are never hopeless. Thousands upon thousands have recovered from even deep depression and therein lies the proof that it is very possible to overcome.

For further information on overcoming depression visit:

How to Survive Depression - Anxiety

If you feel yourself sinking into a depression after your life has been turned upside down, you're not alone. Approximately 20 million American adults suffer with some form of depression every year. The good news is that depression and its symptoms are treatable.

Educate yourself about the signs so you can help yourself or be ready to help a friend. The most common symptoms are feeling sad, hopeless or helpless, a disruption of sleep, constant fatigue and an inability to concentrate, losing interest in everyday activities and having suicidal thoughts.

Here are some things to know and do if you're feeling anxious, sad or completely overwhelmed and unable to move forward. If your friend or loved one is struggling with depression, these things can empower you in helping them take the next step.

1. Try not to label yourself. Words like depressed, terrified, overwhelmed carry a huge load on them. They then create a slippery slope of behaviors and emotions. Just tell yourself you are human and you are feeling a lot of hard stuff right now, but it's not permanent and it's not who you are. Yes, you can feel all of this-sad, hurt, angry or fearful...let the emotions come and go, just don't let yourself think they've found a comfortable home.

2. Find the right therapist or medical professional to talk to. If you think you can benefit from therapy or a doctor's opinion, get a referral, make an appointment and be honest about how you're feeling. Find out if your insurance will cover the expense and ask if fees can be charged on a sliding scale to fit your budget. If you can't afford what's offered research other options, like speaking with a social worker affiliated with a local hospital, finding out what help might be offered at your job or even a through a religious organization in your community. Find someone who might have already been through the situation you are in. When it comes to dealing with depression, getting help sooner is always better than later.

3. Assemble your support team. Doctors and therapists aside, the most valuable support you can get right now is from your friends, family and the people you interact with daily. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You'd be surprised how many people are ready to do whatever it takes to stand by your side; they just need to know what to do. Also, don't be shy about calling your friends or partner out about a change in their behavior-it's the right thing to do when you care about someone. Though they may shut down, keep the lines of communication open. They need to know you're there to listen when they're ready to talk.

4. Take care of the basics. In stressful times people often overlook their most basic needs. Remember SEED: sleep, eat right, exercise and drink plenty of water to help keep your body strong as you face depression head on. Research has shown patients with depression tend to have low levels of folic acid, a vitamin found most abundantly in leafy green vegetables. Plus, boosting your intake of vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids may also improve your mood. Foods rich in omega-3, like salmon, flaxseed and omega-3-fortified eggs may increase the neurotransmitter activity in your brain, thus brightening your day.

5. Express yourself. When you're experiencing such a broad range of emotions it's important not to keep them bottled up. Getting each feeling off your chest in a constructive way will help you and those around you better understand what you're going through. Consider keeping track of your thoughts and reactions to daily events in a journal. This might be something you want to share with a partner, friend or therapist at some point, but for now it's just for you. You can also make note of the things you are grateful for each day. Over time, a journal can help you see how far you've come and that you can move through feelings of depression into healthier thoughts and emotions.

6. Give yourself a boost. Find ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. If you haven't exercised in a while, just try a 10 or 15 minute "workout." This can be as simple as a walk around your block or playing with your pet or child. Gradually work your way up to 30 minutes a day for three or more days a week. According to a Duke University study, depressed patients who exercised regularly experienced mood-lifting effects similar to patients who were taking Zoloft, a popular antidepressant.

7. Practice positive thinking. Deepak Chopra says we have something like 50-60,000 thoughts a day and that 90% of them are negative. Practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Tell yourself "you can" and then really believe it. If you stay focused on what you believe you can become, you'll slowly notice your feelings and emotions changing for the better. Embrace hope and realize it's possible for you get through this.

8. Turn down the volume on stress. Experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest that chronic stress can put people at a substantially increased risk of depression, anxiety and many other emotional difficulties. Reducing stress in your life by avoiding stressful situations or using relaxation techniques can help you deal with depression. Experiment with different relaxation techniques like guided imagery, listening to music, meditating or taking a long walk in nature. Yoga, massage and deep breathing can also be helpful.

9. Do good. Volunteerism has been shown to improve health. By diverting your brainpower from your own thoughts to those in need, you're avoiding that constant self-examination that often occurs with depression. Plus, the sense of gratitude and goodwill you feel when you help someone is priceless. You might even find yourself laughing more, so go with it! A daily dose of laughter can boost your immune system, ease your depression and increase the production of the hormone serotonin, your body's natural antidepressant. But that's not all: it provides tension release, cognitive stimulation and distraction from anxiety and worry.

10. Live your life in the present. Depression can make you dwell in the past or obsess about your future. Do your best to remain grounded and focus only on what's happening today. No matter what, reassure yourself that you're doing the best you can. If you suddenly feel blue after a week of feeling better, have patience and realize that it's just a temporary setback that you will get past.

For more information about Dealing with Depression, read our article, visit with our experts or sign up for 30 days of email tips.

*The information here is not intended to replace that of medical professionals.

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Depression Sucks the Life Out of You

Is depression one of the worst plagues of our time? I think so. We are used to hearing about the Black, or Bubonic plague. Back in their time plague songs were used to warn people of the stages to expect. The old English plague song Ring a Ring of Roses is one of those songs. "Ring a ring of roses"...this describes the ring of red blotches that was your first sign that you were infected. "A pocket full of posies". This refers to the posies of herbs that were thought to help or cure the plague. "A tishoo, a tishoo," referring to the bout of sneezing that would come and the last line, "we all fall down", which needs no explanation. I rented a plague cottage in England once and the old apothecary cupboard was still on the wall as a reminder of how the plague victims hoped for the miracle cure from herbs and plants. Sometimes a plague that started with a flea infestation in damp cloth would kill so many residents of a town or village that the "life" of that place was never the same.

Today, we don't have official songs to warn us of the symptoms of the plague of depression, although if you consider the titles of many songs from the last one hundred years, you can see that many allude to depression. You can probably have fun thinking of some. Depression isn't funny though.

Millions of people struggle to find enough energy to do simple tasks such as showering, brushing their teeth or preparing food to eat because they are depressed. One of the main symptoms of depression is severe lack of energy. Many people are labeled lazy or lacking in motivation when they are really depressed. Clinical depression also robs a person of the enjoyment of things they used to love to do. Life feels grey and flat and a sufferer can either sleep too little or sleep too much...often fifteen hours a day. Some depressed people lose weight, some gain weight. Children can suffer with depression, often showing no desire to go to school or play with friends. Many times an element of shame is present. Perhaps the child feels shame about coming from a financially challenged or dysfunctional family. Perhaps the child is being bullied at school. Often the child has not had enough life experience to properly articulate why they are depressed and professional help will need to be sought.

There are several types of depression and medications to help. What works for one person may not for another. Many family physicians treat depression with the lowest dose of an anti depressant, which leaves the patient frustrated and even more depressed as the medication doesn't seem to be working. If the patient sees a psychiatrist, the medication will most likely be titrated to a much higher dose. Add cognitive therapy to the medication and WOW! You will see improvement.

Some people feel depressed because of a situation such as losing a loved one or a job. Time usually heals this kind of depression. Depression is not the same as "the blues". We all feel the blues from time to time but if it lasts longer than a week and we begin to spiral down into the symptoms mentioned, then, we need to seek help. Often a person is so weak and tired that they will need an understanding friend to get them to the doctor or therapist's office for help. Don't be ashamed if you need that. Depression is a physical as well as a mental illness and it is a real illness. You are not lazy or useless because you feel so depleted. You are ill.

Unfortunately, some people do not respond to medication or cognitive therapy and other kinds of treatment have to be considered. Sufferers of depression will tell how they have tried so many medications before finding the right one for them. If they had been on higher doses sooner, perhaps they would have found the right medication sooner too. It is never wise to change the dosage of a medication without first checking with your doctor, though. Most anti depressants will take three weeks to "kick in" and so don't be discouraged if you don't feel better right away. Some suicides may have been avoided if just a little more time on the right medication had occurred.

If you have a chemical imbalance in your brain that is causing your depression, it needs to be addressed. Beware of all the well intentioned but simplistic advice from others who do not suffer with depression. "Look on the bright side" is a good maxim. However, if you are severely depressed, you may know there is a bright side but you can not feel it in your soul. You can not just "pull your self together" any more than a diabetic can just pull himself together without the use of insulin. You know you have things in your life that are good, such as family and friends, but it just doesn't register in the way that it normally would, if you were not depressed.

Don't spend a minute longer in the dark grip of depression. This world is a beautiful place and you deserve to enjoy it. Get help now, even if you have to crawl to the phone to take the first step. There is hope. You can recover, even if you have been depressed for a long time.

Best Vitamin for Energy

We need all vitamins and minerals for good health, well being and energy. However, particular nutrient deficiencies are associated with reduced energy and chronic tiredness. These include iron, B12, folic acid and magnesium. We will explore each of these nutrients; how they contribute to tiredness; how to test their levels in the body; and symptoms of a deficiency.


Iron is an essential mineral needed for the manufacture of hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen and is needed for energy production. When iron levels are low, red blood cells can't carry enough oxygen to the body's tissues, causing fatigue. When hemoglobin levels are low, anemia occurs.

There are two types of iron: heme iron (from animal sources) and non-heme iron (from plant sources). The body absorbs heme iron much more easily than non-heme iron, which is why vegetarians are at greater risk of iron-deficiency anemia.

Symptoms of deficiency: fatigue (especially on exertion); pale lower eyelids, palms, nails, tongue; brittle nails; headaches; constipation; inflamed tongue.

Testing for deficiency: iron levels are tested easily with blood samples. Serum iron - tests iron levels in the blood. Ferritin levels - test how well iron is stored in the body, the best indicator of the body's iron levels.

Caution: Excess iron absorption (called hemochromatosis) also causes chronic tiredness so it's important to check your iron levels before using an iron supplement.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for manufacture of red blood cells (along with folic acid). B12 helps the body's use of iron and is also required for proper digestion, the absorption of foods, the synthesis of protein and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. No wonder it's important for good energy levels! It is often observed that taking B12 (especially via injections) reduces fatigue, even when a deficiency isn't found.

B12 deficiencies are common due to declining B12 levels in food, increased use of antibiotics and digestive problems. This is because B12 is produced in the digestive tract as well as being absorbed from food. Those most at risk of a B12 deficiency are vegetarians and people with digestive disturbances.

Symptoms of deficiency: fatigue, weakness, dizziness, sore tongue, memory problems, confusion, irritability, depression, moodiness, paleness.

Testing for deficiency: B12 levels can be measured with a blood test

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin (also called B9 or folate) needed for the manufacture of red blood cells. Deficiency can lead to a condition called megaloblastic anemia. Fatigue is associated with both a simple folic acid deficiency as well as megaloblastic anemia. Because folic acid is easily destroyed during cooking, it is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies.

Symptoms of deficiency: similar to those of B12, including fatigue, digestive disturbances, insomnia, memory problems, weakness, shortness of breath, recurrent miscarriages, mental confusion, paranoid delusions, sore tongue, anemia.

Testing for deficiency: folic acid levels can be measured with a blood test.

Caution: if folic acid is given to someone who is B12 deficient and B12 isn't given at the same time, the symptoms of a B12 deficiency (especially neurological symptoms) can be masked. Only take folic acid if a B12 deficiency has been ruled out.


Magnesium is needed for the production of ATP, which is the main energy-producing molecule in the body. Therefore, when magnesium is deficient our cells are less able to produce energy and we can experience chronic tiredness. It has been found that nearly all people with chronic fatigue syndrome are magnesium deficient and for about 80 per cent of people given magnesium their energy improves. In fact, magnesium is the most common nutrient deficiency in all people. Most of us would benefit from supplementation even if magnesium levels are unable to be checked.

Symptoms of deficiency: fatigue, irritability, muscle spasms or cramps, rapid or irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, insomnia.

Testing for deficiency: magnesium is not generally tested by blood test. Hair analysis is the most readily available test. Hair mineral levels are a measure of the minerals bound into the hair shaft over a period of time and correlate most closely with tissue levels. The hair analysis test can be performed through specialist laboratories.

Caution: if magnesium supplements worsen your symptoms (especially cramping, twitching and muscle spasms), calcium is probably the deficiency, not magnesium.

Please note: The information in this article is not intended to take the place of a personal relationship with a qualified health practitioner nor is it intended as medical advice.

How to Overcome Depression and Start Living the Life You Want to Live Now

For four decades I rolled around threw pity parties one after another and just lived in a low level depression - Through choices made life just became worse as time marched on and when thinking this has got to be the lowest level of life - it just became deeper and thoughts of suicide crept in and overtook my mind, body and soul. I didn't even know that you could live a life cloaked in absolute depression and that's what it was complete and utter clinical depression.

What do you do to over come depression? You quickly and drastically change your life - You literally rip of that mental handicapped Band-Aid and change yourself immediately and with no looking back. First things first - start some daily activity the completely engulfs your mind and body. Something that will not give you time to think about anything else but what is in front of you at that moment.. Things like learning to ride a motocross bike, rock or mountain climbing, kick boxing, or karate. I chose motocross because it requires the most physical abilities that you can muster and you have to be laser focused at all times to stay up right cross the finish line. Not to mention the flat out thrill you get from making thirty to fifty foot jumps and catch some air to boot.

Change your eating habits to one that will fuel your new activities properly. Eating lots of carbs and sugars and caffeine will only keep you in a cycle of being a loser. Drink tons of water and take plenty of vitamin supplements. Eat more seafood, raw veggies like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, onions, etc.

 Get out of yourself and help others - Join organizations like Habitat for Humanity, get involved with your neighborhood charities and church. Helping others helps you by seeing that you really do not have it that bad at all.

 To recap: Plenty of Activities, Healthy Diet, Help Others and you have to make these three things a habit - "Thirty days makes a Habit" they say. In the past we have made a habit of doing and thinking negative things and this had become our life - You can chose what your habits are in life. Getting rid of depression starts by ridding your lifestyle of unneeded mental and physical handicaps we have imposed on ourselves.

Another must do is get professional help - Shop around for a therapist - not all are a good match - and believe it or not some therapist live in depression and do not even know themselves. So find a positive up beat person that you can see weekly or even daily if need be at first. Get everything out on the table with them - no secrets - cleanse your mental inventory and let them help you rebuild and reclaim a good healthy happy life without depression.

The above sounds good and in a perfect world we could just do it and there would be no problems - but our body and mind reject change a lot of times and this is where the fight for a good life comes in and must be paid close attention to. When it's time to exercise, eat, work, or interact with family and we "don't feel like it" - that's the little guy or gal inside of you that holds you back and wants to keep you in your funk or depression. You literally have overcome all obstacles and get out of your comfort zone to accomplish this mental health miracle.

Changing your career may be a part of you healing yourself. For years I worked in a office and gained weight until I was almost 500 pounds of depressing blubber who only thought about the next break to get more food. Changing to a job that required lots of physical activity and being outside for eight to twelve hours a day was a huge key in getting rid of depression for myself. I slept better at night from being physically exhausted from a hard days work.

Sadly my spouse had to go as well - she was in the same boat I was in but did not want to overcome her depression. For several years I tried helping her to become a mentally healthy person - but her misery was her best friend and she did want to let go - Even though leading by example and showing her how my life had turned around, she only wanted the comfort of her helplessness and shroud of misery that was kept alive inside of her. Her eating habits also had her teetering at the four hundred pound mark and her heart problems and diabetes were caused by this unhealthy lifestyle.

Folks it not easy for everyone on this rock we live on - But it can be better by the simple choices we make. A woman that works for the same company as myself is one of the most positive and happy people that I have had the opportunity to meet in my life. Quite honestly we all thought she was on all kinds of medications to make herself this way. But getting to know her by talking on our lunch break, it turns out that she long ago decided to be happy no matter what life threw her way and it became a habit. Her mother suffered from severe depression and she decide that she was not going to live the life her mom had chosen.

Yes there are things that happened to us in childhood that deeply scar and crush our want to live or even survive. Some of us hang on these memories like a badge of honor as so to explain away why we are the way we are and live. "Stinking Thinking" is a habit of depression that helps us perpetuate the downward spiraling lifestyle.

Changing one's life is a fight or flee type of feeling you get - In the past I would flee when change came upon my doorstep. Now, it gets a mental black eye and is not allowed to loiter in my mind. Constant change for the better can be made a great habit in it's self to help you overcome depression and it will if you so chose to let that be your truth today.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Down and Out in the Workplace - The Do's and Don'ts of Dealing With Employee Depression

When you see typically energetic employees begin working at a sluggish pace, do you assume that they have suddenly become lazy sloths? Don't rule out the idea that your workers may be suffering from depression or another emotionally crippling illness. Fortunately, mental sicknesses are just as treatable as physical ones - it just takes time and a little bit of understanding from people like you. Here are the top 10 ways to assist an employee who is suffering from depression:

1. Help employees to continue working, no matter what. Never underestimate the healing powers of productivity and stability. Depressed employees may feel too emotionally drained to show up for work, so it's up to you to encourage your workers not to disconnect from the life routines that will keep them grounded during their period of illness. The worst thing depressed people can do to hinder their own recovery is to withdraw from the activities that once brought them happiness, satisfaction and a purpose for living. Make sure your employees know that they are welcome and needed at work, despite their sometimes sad demeanors!

2. Don't ignore the signs of depression, but react with care and sensitivity. If an employee appears to be melancholy or irritable, you may be tempted to think, "It's none of my business" and simply give the unpleasant person a wide berth. If such behavior persists, don't just ignore it! The mental well-being of your employees IS your business, for both your company's sake and the recovery of the depressed individual. Symptoms of depression, such as lack of concentration, tardiness, sleep deprivation, listlessness or irritation aren't fun for anybody! When approaching an employee who is obviously suffering emotionally, be sure not to attack or criticize. Don't berate the depressed person for "slacking off" - if you are not satisfied with the job performance of your workers, use sensitivity to coax them into talking about what's bothering them. Make sure they know that you honestly care about how they feel, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help them on the road to recovery. Depressed or not, your employees are valuable to both you and the organisation!

3. Listen when your employees wish to open up about their depression. No, you probably have not studied psychology, but it doesn't take a doctorate degree to lend a sympathetic ear to a suffering co-worker. Let your workers know that you understand what they are going through. Make yourself available whenever they feel the need to talk... but, in cases of severe depression, you shouldn't hesitate to suggest that your employees also seek out professional medical help (if they haven't already). Be a good listener, but never give the impression that you are qualified to replace a therapist or other trained medical professional. You don't carry a prescription pad, right? Be there when an employee needs help getting through the work day, but know your own limits.

4. Be accommodating towards employees seeking mental health care. Every employer wants their workers to be happy and productive, but what if you must make sacrifices to allow an employee to get help? Do it - you will find that some flexibility now will be well worth your trouble in the long run! Suffering workers may benefit immensely from ongoing treatment for their depression. If it is necessary to adjust your employees' work schedule to allow them time for therapeutic sessions or general recovery, you should be understanding and accommodating. It is in your best interest to keep the people in your organization performing at peak health and productivity levels, and if you work with your employees to help them succeed, they will repay you tenfold in loyalty and dedication.

5. Keep your expectations reasonable. Understand that employees suffering from depression are in some ways just as "crippled" as a man who's broken his legs. Don't expect these workers to operate at the same capacity that they exhibited when they were well. The side effects of depression can easily interfere with job performance, and duties or hours may need to be modified to make the workplace manageable for certain individuals. Remember that it is in everyone's best interest to keep your employees succeeding at their jobs, so don't be shy about discussing productivity issues with your depressed workers. Be sensitive to their needs, and discuss with them any changes that can be made to help them keep their heads above water at work. If it is possible to discuss job modifications with an employee's mental health provider, that might be a good first step.

6. Help your employees succeed through the power of organization. Depressed employees may suddenly find themselves unable to keep track of things and manage their time the same way they could before the illness hit. You can help your workers feel less overwhelmed by providing them the tools they need to best organize their workloads. You can sit down with your employees individually to assist them in creating a schedule, prioritizing tasks, etc., or even provide software that can help them stay on track from day to day when their concentration and enthusiasm begin to wane. Also, it is wise to develop respectful methods of checks and balances to ensure the accountability of your depressed employees.

7. Keep the workplace happy and stress-free. Depressed or not, no employee feels comfortable in an environment full of hostility. People with depression are especially vulnerable in emotional situations, and may be quick to get "stressed out". Be vigilant and watch for signs that your depressed employees may be engaged in conflict with others. Be ready to mediate and protect your emotionally distressed worker - no matter whose "fault" the altercation may be. While employers frequently find themselves playing the role of Peacekeeper, it is even more vital to maintain an amicable workplace when employee depression is part of the picture. Stress only aggravates the symptoms of mental illness, and should be avoided at all costs - even if it means re-assigning or otherwise separating workers who cannot get along.

8. Encourage depressed employees to be open with co-workers. Even in today's society, when so much is known about depression, there is still a certain "stigma" attached to even the most basic forms of mental illness. To protect your suffering employees from the ridicule of others, the first step may be to make sure that all of your workers are well-informed about the "normality" of depression. After all, 1 in 5 Australians struggle with depression every year, according to the latest statistics. Employees who don't feel on top of their game emotionally may try to keep their condition a secret, but this is generally not the best course of action. Respect your employees' wishes, of course, but explain to them that co-workers who understand their illness can be an excellent source of support and helpmates on the road to recovery. Assure your workers that if they are willing to talk with others about their depression and promote awareness, the honesty may also reduce conflicts that could otherwise arise from resentment or misunderstandings.

9. Promote a policy of acceptance to protect your employees. As mentioned above, society does not always view sufferers of mental illness in the best light. Once they are aware of fellow employees' struggles with depression, co-workers may be tempted to talk about these individuals behind their backs, or in a malicious manner. Do not allow this kind of "water cooler gossip"! Along with providing accurate information, the best way to promote acceptance is by setting an example of understanding and sympathy towards your depressed workers. If this isn't enough to prevent cruel words or deeds, you may need to resort to disciplinary action. Make sure your depressed employees know that you will do everything in your power to keep the workplace a "safe" environment - free of gossip and criticism.

10. Support your employees outside the workplace, too. Happiness is, of course, the opposite of depression, and while you hope that your employees are at least content in their jobs, it's probably safe to assume that any true joy is found in pleasurable pursuits outside of the workplace. People with depression are at risk of losing enthusiasm for the activities they once found fun and exciting, so it is important for others to intercede and encourage them to retain their lust for life. As an employer, you can help by being accommodating - to an appropriate level - if your depressed employees request time off for family events or other activities that will lead to recovery. If you can arrange it, it would be fun and morale boosting for ALL of your workers if the company is able to sponsor regular social gatherings outside of the job place. At the very least, show an interest in your employees' personal hobbies, and do your best to help them cope with their depression by making it easy for them to balance their outside life with the obligations of their job.

The Connection Of Anxiety And Depression

Often we are quick to label the feelings that we have on a daily basis; someone who is feeling sad may say they are feeling depressed; someone who is worried about a particular incident may describe it by saying they are having an anxiety attack. These words have become the vernacular of a generation; so much so, in some cases, that we have a difficult time recognizing and defining what symptoms could really be related to clinical conditions. There are many people who experience anxiety in a severe and persistent basis; and others who would be diagnosed as experiencing depression. But what most people don't realize is that anxiety and depression are connected more often than not.

Depression differs from periods of sadness because of its intensity and frequency. Depression is often a persistent state of melancholy that colors activities of daily life. It can be triggered by many events or environmental factors - or by nothing at all. In some cases heredity or changes in the physical body can be the greatest cause of depression. In either case, the feelings associated with depression are often the same.

Sufferers report feelings of intense sadness, apathy, irritability, and negativity. There are also physical symptoms that those who are depressed report experiencing including stomach problems, insomnia or constant fatigue, lack of appetite, headache, nausea, and general pain throughout the body. In some cases the feelings are so powerful that they render the sufferer incapable of going about normal activities.

Anxiety is defined by persistent and severe feelings of panic and fear - either in a general sense or in response to a particular event or situation. Anxiety is considered to be an umbrella term under which different kinds of anxiety fall including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety, like depression, can manifest itself through physical symptoms such as difficulties in breathing, increased heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, shaking, and more.

Anxiety and depression can easily be co-occurring - meaning that they occur together with their own separate and independent symptoms; or comorbid - meaning they occur together and their symptoms overlap. Researchers have even studied the existence of anxiety and depression together and found that over half of the people who experience major depression also experience severe and persistent anxiety.

The connection is so prevalent between anxiety and depression that clinicians have developed terms that can help them diagnosis their patients who are presenting with a myriad of symptoms. For instance, agitated depression refers to a depressive state that actually presents as anxiety including feelings of general panic and fear. Akathitic depression is a depressive state that also presents as anxiety but does not include feelings of panic.

In addition, it has been found that ongoing feelings of anxiety can actually trigger depression. And doctors have noticed that where there's smoke there is often fire. Persistent feelings of panic and apprehension can cause sufferers to experience mild to severe depression. Researchers are still studying the links between anxiety and depression and their commingling effect on each other.

What is clear, however, is that anxiety and depression can be managed and treated through a variety of therapies and medication that have found great success in the marketplace. Often when the overall feeling of anxiety is removed, the depression will lift as well. If you are experiencing any feelings of anxiety and depression it is important to immediately see your doctor so an appropriate treatment plan can be put into motion.

Chinese Medicine Treatments - Depression

Western medicine has its own treatments for Depression. This is no less true of Eastern medicine, specifically TCM- Traditional Chinese Medicine. Their belief is that Depression and Anxiety are really heart problems. The cause is constriction of emotion in the chest. Brain chemistry issues are symptoms. There are causes or triggers just as there are in Western medicine.


Causes or triggers include loss - fear of loss and/or memory of loss. Repressed expression and other life events also cause restriction of the flow of Qi and blood in the center/upper body. This is called Liver Q1 Stagnation. Heat in the heart is over stimulation that is marked by anxiety, insomnia, and other serious conditions. Panic attacks, heart arrhythmia, and some forms of anxiety are also triggered by Liver Q1 Stagnation. Treating Liver Q1 Stagnation is done by releasing the Q1 in the chest drugs can help but push-ups work as well as Prozac.

Chinese herbs

Chinese herbs are used to ease Depression Symptoms including Anxiety. Alone Chinese herbs have a mild affect on depressive symptoms. Together with other herbs specific to treating Depression are very powerful.

Some examples of Chinese herbs include Chai Hau- Bupleurum a surface relieving herb. It is used to treat colds. The effects are greater if a bit of mint is added to it. He Huan Pi- He Huan Hua is Mimosa bark/flower (albezzia) is a heart nourishing herb. When it is combined with Dun Shen (Salvia Miltorrhiza) a very powerful result occurs. Other Chinese herbs such as Poria-fu shen, red Dates (Hung Zao), and Wheat Berries are also herbs used in Chinese Medicine Treatments- Depression.


Borrowed from the West, the Chinese use anti-depressant medications in treating Depression. They use many of the same drugs that Western medicine uses. The results are likely similar as well.

Western Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements include the herbs Chamomile, Milk Thistle and Valerian to name just a few. These herbs and others known to ease Depression are blended with vitamins, minerals, and other nutritive substances. They must be made to pharmaceutical standards.

They must also test the ingredients' metabolism at the molecular level and test the interactions of the ingredients. This is to guarantee their potency, effectiveness, purity, and safety.


Chinese medicine treatments for Depression include specific herbs and anti-depressants. Depression is believed to be a heart problem because emotions can cause chest constriction. Anti-depressants are used in treating Depression.

Very Early Signs of Pregnancy Can Be Misleading!

Spotting the very early signs of pregnancy can become an obsession if you are trying for a baby. But this is where you have to control you excitement. These signs can easily be confused with other normal ailments.

Care must be taken when identifying the very early signs of pregnancy so you do not get ahead of yourself. By looking at what other meanings these symptoms could be perhaps we can reduce any false diagnosis and heartache in the process.

So what are the very early signs of pregnancy and what else could the signs mean? Well here is a list of many of the symptoms and their alternative diagnosis.

Missing your Period

This can start immediate alarm bells ringing, and is usually a clear sign of pregnancy. But have you missed your period or is it just late or different?

-Explanations for this could be due to fatigue, tension or stress, hormonal changes or due to excessive weight loss or weight gain. Other explanation can be due to stopping the birth control pill.

Implantation bleeding

This can occur between 6 to 12 days after conception and is due to the embryo implanting itself in the uterine wall. Spotting can occur as well as cramping.

-However this could again be due to a change in use of the birth control pill, it could be menstruation or changes in menstruation, intercourse or an infection.

Sensitive or swollen breast

This symptom can occur one to two weeks after conception with sensitivity in the breast area, feelings of swollen or sore breast are not uncommon.

-Other reasons for this may be due to imminent menstruation, a hormonal changes or birth control pills.

Morning Sickness

Contrary to popular belief, morning sickness can occur all through the day, not just in the morning! This is a symptom that is instantly recognizable and can occur between 2 and 8 weeks after conception. It is a symptom that is not common to all women, some women are lucky enough not feel any nausea.

-As the symptom of morning sickness is nausea, you can imagine how many illnesses can cause this. 24hr bugs, flu, upset stomach, food poisoning etc can all mirror morning sickness symptoms.

Fatigue or tiredness

This can be a very early sign of pregnancy and start in the week after conception! This symptom can be hard for pregnant women to disguise with their busy day to day lives.

-Again this can easily be explained as other ailments such as the common cold or flu symptoms. Similarly depression or stress can promote these symptoms to name but a few.


The very early signs of pregnancy can be due to hormonal changes in the body leading to headaches.

-But again, there are simple explanations for this such as dehydration, caffeine, eye strain or even imminent menstruation.

Food cravings

These are a common symptom of the very early signs of pregnancy, but also a common symptom of being hungry! However many women experience food cravings, a method for the body to increase its intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Food cravings can occur all the way through the pregnancy.

-Other reason for food cravings can be hunger, inadequate diet, poor nutrition, depression or again imminent menstruation.

Frequent urination

Although not specifically one of the very early signs of pregnancy, frequent urination is due to the changes occurring inside your body. This may start around 6 to 8 weeks after conception.
-However this may also be due to diabetes or a urinary tract infection or even excessive liquid intake.


Very early signs of pregnancy can include backache and can continue throughout the whole pregnancy.

-Other reasons for backache can be related to existing back problems, stress or again even imminent menstruation.

With so many symptoms that can be explained in many other ways it can be hard to spot the very early signs of pregnancy. Take care when self-diagnosing, in this case it is always better to be sure before announcing to the world your pregnancy.

Take care and good luck with your diagnosis.

Shock Therapy At The Columbus State Hospital

In the years prior to the late 1970's, many children suffered the indiscriminate pain of incarceration. Status offenders, the ungovernable, mentally ill, and felonious delinquent youngsters were forced to coexist in state and private run institutions. It was not uncommon for a child to be accused of a crime, denied due process of law, and then sent off to be warehoused with adults in jails and other institutions.

In 1960, at age nine, I was one of the those many children also denied due process of law and housed in the same wards with adults patients in the old Kirkbride designed Columbus State Hospital, formerly known as the Lunatic Asylum of Ohio. It was tragic that I along with many other children had to endure such a social travesty. I won't dwell on that now but will say that I saw and heard many interesting things during my stay in bedlam. One thing that greatly interested me was the use of electrical shock treatment also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Although I never experienced electroshock therapy first hand, I met several patients who had. Thousands of patients of all ages, from the 1930's to the late 1960's, received electroshock treatments for many maladies including depression, mania, schizophrenia, and more.

While at the hospital, I became acquainted with a patient we will call Jake. Jake enjoyed telling stories about all the other crazies he had met at the hospital. He told of Ward Sixteen where the shock treatments were administered. I once visited it with an orderly who thought I might enjoy getting out for a walk. When we entered Ward Sixteen I was shocked to see the zombie- like faces staring from their cell windows as I walked down the corridor with the orderly.

When back in my ward, I asked Jake to tell me about what they did to him when he was on Ward Sixteen. He told of getting insulin coma therapy and shock therapy for his depression. He told me how they placed two metal plates on each side of his head and tightened it down. They had home bite down on something and then started the shock treatment. He said he saw lights flashing and heard sounds in his ears. His muscles clamped so tight he feared he would break.

Many years have passed since this nine-year-old boy experienced the horrors of the Columbus State Hospital. The old asylum was torn down in 1991. I don't know what happened to Jake. Maybe he was cured or maybe he suffered memory loss and killed himself as did the writer, Earnest Hemingway and some others after receiving electric shock therapy.

I don't think the final verdict is in on electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. I believe it was misused in the past and caused much damage and ruined lives. But, it is still in use today although administered in much safer ways. It has shown to be useful along with medications and is considered to be efficient in helping manic-depressive patients. Time will tell.

What is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)?

Metabolism, memory, weight and fitness are just a few of the areas affected as age progresses. The elderly also face other, sometimes difficult changes as well such as the death of a spouse, social isolation (nursing home placement) and/or severe medical problems. These potentially traumatic events can often cause depression or grief, which is normal, and may last several weeks or even months. However, without a strong support system, the depression can take a very heavy toll in that person's life, up to and including the loss of joy of life or living.

A major difference between the elderly and their younger offspring is that the elderly are less likely to seek help for these feelings of despair and depression. And because there are several medications that may also cause depression, some family members just assume that depression is a normal part of getting older. More than 6 million Americans over the age of 65 are affected, but only about 10% receive treatment. It is extremely important that depression be evaluated and treated as soon as possible to ensure the continued well-being of individual. If you notice or are concerned about any symptoms, contact a physician immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Some signs to look for in older adults are:
- Sadness
- Fatigue
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Withdrawal from friends/family
- Problems sleeping too much or not enough
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Suicidal thoughts or actions

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)

Created in 1982 by Yesavage et al., of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University Medical Center, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a self-reporting screening questionnaire regarding feelings and/or thoughts for a specified amount of time, such as the previous week or two. Probably one the of the most widely used assessments, the GDS makes use of simple 'yes' or 'no' assessment questions that make the process of assessment quick and easy. Along with a full geriatric work-up by a physician, this screening tool comes in a long and short form of this test. The long form consists of 30 questions, and the newer, shorter form, created in 1986, consists of 15 questions pulled from the original long form. Some sample questions are as follows:

Are you basically satisfied with your life? Yes/NO
Do you feel that your life is empty? YES/No
Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? YES/No
Do you feel happy most of the time? Yes/NO

Each answer carries one point, so scores from 0-10 are normal, scores from 11-20 show mild depression, and scores of 21 and higher show severe depression.

Special Note: No permission is required for use of this tool. It has been made a part of public domain. It is available for download in many different languages and can be found by searching the web.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

7 Ways to Overcome SAD

Today, I catch a glimpse of the sun and I turn my face to it. If you live in the Midwest, feeling the warmth of it is significant. But if you are noticing a bit of tiredness as the seasons change or if you find yourself eating or sleeping more now that the temperatures have dropped and darkness falls earlier, you may be experiencing SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

While not all of us develop the "winter blues" many of us do and often it can be debilitating. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression which can bring on lethargy and fatigue, as well as oversleeping, social withdrawal, loss of energy, and difficulty concentrating. Here is a definition from the Wikipedia:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer, repeatedly, year after year. The US National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up."

There are several ways to overcome this seasonal phenomenon:

  • Eat right. Omega 3 oils found in fish improve symptoms of SAD.

  • Light therapy, although an experimental treatment. It mimics outdoor light and causes a biochemical change in the brain which can lift your mood. 

  • When symptoms become severe, a medical professional may prescribe anti-depressant medication or other psychiatric medicine. 

  • Psychotherapy is a method of talk therapy, it helps in conveying feelings.

  • Find others for support. A network of support is that shoulder to lean on. 

  • Read a motivational book or engage in music.

  • Sleep well and keep a regular schedule.

Remember SAD is temporary. Mayo Clinic believes that light therapy offers a chance to regain the happier mood that one may lose to seasonal affective disorder. "Light therapy, also called bright light therapy or phototherapy, has been used to treat seasonal affective disorder since the early 1980s. Many mental health professionals now consider light therapy to be standard treatment for seasonal affective disorder. However, light therapy hasn't been officially approved as a treatment by the Food and Drug Administration because of a lack of definitive evidence about its effectiveness in clinical trials. Results of some clinical trials have shown light therapy to be effective - and in some cases even more effective than antidepressants - while other research has shown that it's not effective. In addition, most studies have lasted less than six weeks. You can purchase a light therapy box over-the-counter, which means you don't need a prescription. However, check with your doctor before trying light therapy to make sure it's appropriate for your situation."

We are not alone. Statistically, as many as half a million people in the United States may have winter-onset depression. Another 10% to 20% may experience mild SAD. SAD is more common in women than in men and although some children and teenagers get SAD, it usually doesn't start in people younger than 20 years of age.  The good news is SAD is treatable.The following coping skills will ease the symptoms: 

  • Stick to a treatment plan. Make you home as bright as possible.

  • Get outdoors on sunny days and soak up the sun.

  • Exercise regularly, aerobic and resistance exercise improves the condition significantly. 

  • Rest and relaxation, practice yoga or visualization.

  • Practice stress management, socialize regularly and take a trip if your schedule allows.

SAD need not be your grey day mainstay. Anything that gets the blood flowing will improve your condition. So when the day turns grey, play! It is just what the doctor ordered, just what you need, just in time.  

Depression: Checklist of Symptoms for Adults and Children

Are you feeling low? Have you lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy? You
may be suffering from depression. And you're not alone. Between 9 and 14 million
Americans suffer from some form of depressive illness. One in four women and one
in 10 men can expect to develop depression in their lifetimes. Children, too, are
affected by depression. Approximately one in 33 children and one in eight
adolescents exhibit signs of depression, yet, less than one third of these children
ever receive treatment.

So what are the signs of depression? Symptoms differ for adults and children.
Following are some simple checklists that can help you determine if you or your
child might be at risk for depression. When reviewing the checklists, consider the
following: How long have the symptoms been present? How severe are the
symptoms? Are the symptoms getting worse over time? Do you feel unable to cope
with yourself or with you child's symptoms? In general, if symptoms last more than
two weeks without letting up, you or your child may be experiencing clinical
depression rather than just the blues. In children, excessive or chronic moodiness,
withdrawal from normal activities or aggressive behaviors should be considered
warning signs. Of course, teens are often moody and irritable, but if these
symptoms are chronic and unrelenting, there may be more to it than the normal
teenage angst. A good guideline is: symptoms should be checked out by a
professional if they cause disruption in normal daily activities. When in doubt,
always consult a mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker (LISW,
clinical counselor (LPCC), psychologist or psychiatrist.

Recent studies have shown that there is no one medication that is consistently
superior to another in treating depression, and medication alone has about the
same success rate (approximately 50%) as psychotherapy alone. However, both
together have about an 80% success rate. For people with chronic depression, who
choose not to continue medication over a long period (more than one year),
cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to reduce relapse rates from about
80% (with no treatment) to 25%.

Depression Symptom Checklist: Adults

o. Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood

o Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, including sex

o Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling "slowed down"

o Sleep problems (insomnia, oversleeping, early-morning waking)

o Eating problems (loss of appetite or weight, weight gain)

o Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

o Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

o Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

o Thoughts of death or suicide; a suicide attempt *

o Irritability

o Excessive crying

o Recurring aches and pains that don't respond to treatment

Depression Symptom Checklist: Child/Adolescent

o Persistent sadness

o Withdrawal from family, friends and activities that were once enjoyed

o Increased irritability or agitation

o Changes in eating and sleeping habits (e.g., significant weight loss, insomnia,
excessive sleep)

o Frequent physical complaints, such as headaches and stomachaches

o Lack of enthusiasm or motivation

o Decreased energy level and chronic fatigue

o Play that involves excessive aggression toward self or others, or that involves
persistently sad themes

o Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness

o Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt

o Recurring thoughts of death or suicide *

(Source: National Mental Health Association)

* Immediately seek help with a mental health professional, crisis center, or doctor if
suicidal symptoms are present.

The Enemies of Love - Part Two - Cynicism

Are you cynical? Cynicism can destroy a relationship if not unchecked.

I have a friend who is very cynical and says "if you're not a cynic in today's world, you're not paying attention." Curiously, this guy is so negative that most of his oldest friends don't want to be in the same room with him anymore.

Cynicism is defined as an attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.

You weren't born cynical. When you were a kid, the world was filled with wonder. So what happened to you?

People become cynical after being used or abused by others. People become cynical when life kicks them around. They end up not trusting anyone for fear of another disappointment or heartache.

If you take that kind of attitude into a relationship, you won't get far. Most emotionally healthy people are not drawn to cynical people. It's pretty easy to spot someone who is hopelessly negative all the time. All you have to do is listen to them talk. Everyone is out to screw them...everyone is dishonest...everyone is evil.

I can understand that a cynic is trying to protect his heart from painful experiences. But a person with a closed-off heart and mind will have a tough time giving of himself to another person. Intimacy is nearly impossible since you don't trust anyone not to hurt you. That can get lonely after a while....which will likely make you even more cynical.

Cynicism can spiral downward into depression.

So how can you break the cycle?

One of the best old sayings I've ever heard, and a saying I use every day is "If you want to know what people really value, don't listen to what they SAY...only watch what they DO."

Evaluate yourself and everyone else by that saying. It will help you be less cynical.

Stop living in fear of getting hurt. No one should allow himself to be ruled by fear. Pain is a part of living. I don't mean that you should enjoy pain...that's sick. But you can't spend your life running away.

Self talk is vital to maintaining ANY attitude. Most of the unhappiness in our life comes because we listen to ourself more than we talk to ourselves. If you know you're cynical and want to change, you'll have to tell yourself positive words. I recommend you speak to yourself out loud. You brain needs to hear your own words in your own voice. Repeat positive words over and over. In time, you'll actually begin to feel differently.

Emotionally healthy women are not drawn to cynical men. They are drawn to men who can trust and love. Work hard at putting aside cynicism. I don't mean that you should deny that the events that made you cynical exist. But how you process it affects your life every day.

A cynic cannot be a Great Lover. Be a Great Lover.

Depression - Common Signs and Symptoms

We all have bad days and the ups and downs of daily living can really wear us out. Sometimes, we notice that we are having more down times than up, and the feelings of sadness or hopelessness can begin to dominate our outlook.

Here are common sighs and symptoms of depression:
  • Having no energy

  • Feeling cranky and irritable

  • Feeling sad

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Feeling empty inside

  • Crying a lot

  • You feel like crying, but you cannot

  • No joy in your life

  • You can't concentrate

  • Sleeping too much

  • Change in your eating habits

  • Thoughts of death or suicide - Note: if you are in immediate crisis, or seriously considering suicide, you should go to the nearest emergency room or phone 911 for help.
  • If you have several of these symptoms and feel down for more than two weeks, you might be experiencing depression.

    Depression can range from normal, mild "ups and downs" to severe depression that lasts a long time. Women are more than twice as likely to experience depression as men. When we feel lethargic and sad, our partners and children notice. This change in mood can affect our job performance as well.

    Some people have good results using natural or homeopathic remedies for treating depressive symptoms. If you think you might have depression, consult with your doctor to see if a natural supplement or depression medication might be suitable for treating your symptoms.

    Most physicians recommend therapy along with a supplement or medication. A therapist can help you understand the roots of your depression. Additionally, you can learn some basic strategies for easing your depressive symptoms.

    © 2006 Cynthia McKenna LPC, NCC - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.