Saturday, January 4, 2014

Eating Disorders: A Tip for When You or Your Anorexic Daughter Can't Sleep

It is common for girls to have difficulty sleeping, going to sleep or staying asleep. This may be related to the anxiety and depression that go along with eating disorders. The eating disorder thoughts may be rampant in their minds after a day of trying to eat more or trying not to purge.

Evenings are increasingly difficult for girls to eat because they often believe they have already eaten enough or too much that day. They are more likely to restrict at dinner time or not have the evening snack they need. They may also be more tempted to purge after the evening meal. Many will also spend this time before bed or late at night exercising to get rid of calories they ingested.

Imagine trying to go to sleep with all these things on your mind. It makes sense because they finally have to be quiet with themselves to go to sleep and cannot as easily distract from ED thoughts. A lot of anxiety comes to the surface at bedtime.

I have problems myself going to sleep and I don't have the kind of anxiety these girls have. Bedtime is vulnerable for a lot of people and it is often because our defenses our down. We aren't busy with other things and our minds are not otherwise occupied. We may use this time to evaluate the day and any mistakes we made we haven't yet dealt with.

One thing that helps me a lot and that I use often is called just being very present with yourself in the moment. When you are lying in bed and your thoughts are racing, start by focusing on what you can hear. For example; "I hear my husband breathing next to me. I hear the clock ticking in the dining room. I hear the cats chasing each other."

Next focus on what you feel physically. By that I mean, "I feel my left hand lying against the sheet. I feel the pillow that is between my knees. My left foot is lying heavily against the sheet."

You can also focus on how your body feels in the moment. "There is a dull ache in my lower back. I can feel some head ache pain above my right eye. My knee feels better tonight. My stomach is not upset and that feels good."

You can increase your awareness just by noticing the room temperature. My hands and feet are cold at night so that is a common awareness for me. You may notice, "The room is cold, the room is hot. I feel the warmth of the electric blanket starting to increase."

This may sound silly to you I don't know; but it works! If you keep focusing in on your own body, your surroundings and your 5 senses you will eventually go to sleep. When your mind wanders to something you are worried about, bring it back to your 5 senses.

You are training your mind on what to do when you are in bed. It is time to sleep, not worry. It is time to sleep not worry about what you ate today. It is time to sleep not solve tomorrow's problems. You have to train your mind to obey you. Keep redirecting it back to your body and what is around you.

If you consistently bring your mind back to your 5 senses you will go to sleep. Sometimes I have to do this for 5 minutes; other times I might have to focus for 30 minutes. Eventually though it will work if you keep doing it. Do this every night and it will get easier to go sleep when you get in bed.

Teach your daughter this skill and it will help her. It will help you too. After all; you have no worries right?

The Great Cereal War

We are being hit over the head on a daily basis with how bad the economy is and there is no doubt it is in bad shape. Companies are scaling back, laying off employees and looking to lower budget expenditures in every aspect of their business. There is one area that businesses need to be very careful about when it comes to cutbacks and a total cutoff - Marketing.

There are several potent quotes out there that provide the insight into marketing's importance - Thomas Jefferson was known for saying "The man who stops advertising to save money, is like the man who stops the clock to save time." And one of my personal favorites comes from famed economist Peter Drucker "Business exists for two reasons...Marketing & Innovation". While these are poignant and definitely provide the necessary incentive to continue marketing in the leanest of times, there is a story that provides insight and proof of the importance to keep the fires burning.

Before the Great Depression Kellogg's and Post were neck and neck in the battle for consumer's minds and stomachs with the respective cereal brands. As the Great Depression set in Post pulled back on marketing, along with the rest of the "needed" areas, to reduce its budget. Kellogg's maintained its marketing presence and even bolstered it by working their message into new areas of the public minds. The result: as the Great Depression started to settle and consumer dollars began to free up Post again entered the marketplace but it was already too late. Kellogg's had built a commanding lead in the market with its brands and has not relinquished it for over 50 years. 50 yea...quite a nice return on a simple investment - their brand.

We are hearing from numerous companies how their competitors and other companies that service the same industry are pulling out of annual tradeshows that they regularly attend. Tradeshow organizers are reporting lower attendee turnouts as well. Doom and Gloom? No way, what a perfect time to be an exhibitor! First, with fewer exhibitors, attendee's will have more time to spend at each booth and listen to your demonstrations. Second, the attendee's will be the "cream of the crop", only companies with both the budget to send them and a capital need for information and assistance will be attending. How often does a prime chance like this come around?

· New to the Industry - make much larger strides than you could in a "normal" economy.
· Mid-Tier Supplier - the best time to get recognition and prevent any slippage.
· Battling for Position - a major push for market share is in hand with minimal expense if done properly
· Industry Leader - which would you rather be - Kellogg's or Post?

As someone in sales and marketing you only need to consider the above story and scenarios to make a choice on your upcoming marketing and its importance to your bra... Kellogg's or Post

The Depression Quiz - Could You Be Depressed?

I was researching the term "depression" today on the internet. My best friend has been depressed for the past couple of weeks and I wanted to find out some natural remedies for her. I ran across a quiz to evaluate your risk for depression on the site. The study displayed was funded by Lilly USA.

I decided to take the following ten question quiz subtitled Could You be Depressed? thinking it could be helpful to know my potential for depression and give me more information that I could share with my friend. The quiz statements are shown below in italics and my comments and answers in the standard font.

1. I feel sad of down most of the time. My daily life is fulfilling and productive, so I said NO.
2. I've lost interest in the activities I used to enjoy. I enjoy all my hobbies and interest and continue to expand my range of activities, so I said NO to this question too.
3. I feel tired almost every day. Being on my antiaging remedies and therapies, I feel very energetic and have lots of energy. I said NO to this.
4. I have problems sleeping. I'm either sleeping too much or staying awake at night. I said NO to this question. I fall asleep readily and sleep at least seven to eight hours straight. If I wake up during the night, I can fall asleep again right away. So, I said NO to this.
5. My appetite has changed. I'm not eating enough, or I'm eating too much. My appetite has stayed at a healthy level. I eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables. I'm taking in nutrients, no calories, so I said NO.
6. I have trouble concentrating. I take 240 mg of Ginkgo Biloba Extract, 1,000 mg of Phosphatidylserine (PS) and 30 mg of Vinpocetine daily. I am alert, attentive and focused. I said NO to question six.
7. My friends say I'm acting different. I'm either anxious and restless or lethargic. My friends have always said that I'm calm and steady and that hasn't changed, so I said NO to this.
8. I feel worthless or hopeless. I was starting to feel like this study was trying to prey on my deep-seated insecurities. I gave this question careful and extended thought, but couldn't come up with one reason I should feel worthless or have no hope. Even with the economy tanking and possible global warming, I feel optimistic about the present and the future. So, I said NO to question eight.
9. I'm having frequent headaches, stomach problems, muscle pain, or back problems. I eat well, stretch and workout 4 days a week. I walk about 30 minutes every night and swim in the ocean as much as I can, so I'm relaxed and cope well with stress. I don't have headaches, stomach or muscle pain. Through chiropractic treatments and doing Tai Chi, my back problems are a thing of the past. I said NO.
10. I find myself thinking a lot about dying. No. I find myself thinking a lot about living and finding ways to increase the quality of my life and the lives of others through my writings and my new book.

I felt really good about myself after taking this quiz. They had asked some probing questions and were concerned about whether I had experienced conditions that could come up as I age. I was quite pleased that I could answer no to these ten questions. Now, for the moment of truth. I clicked on the submit button to see my results:

"Rate Your Risk for Depression -- Your Results

"Lower Risk"

You may be at risk for major depression.

You replied that you are feeling four or fewer of the common symptoms of depression. In general, people experiencing depression have five or more common symptoms of the condition. But every individual is unique. If you are concerned about depression, talk with your doctor.

Depression shows up in many different ways. People often lose interest in favorite activities and feel sad or hopeless. They may also have sleep problems, gain or lose weight, feel irritable or angry, or be in physical pain for unexplained reasons. Feeling guilty, anxious or having difficulty concentrating are also common signs of depression. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat depression, and more than 80% of people treated for depression improve within a year."

What! I had answered NO to all ten questions, yet they were still counseling me that I could be at risk for major depression! Coincidently, just to the right of the results was an ad for Cymbalta(TM), you know, just in case I felt the need to be medicated, despite the fact that I exhibit not one symptom of depression.

As the day went on, I started to consider the possibility that I could be even happier, feel more worthy, and have even more hope. My friends would comment that I have changed. They would tell me I'm better than I was before. I decided to look at what Cymbalta(TM) could do for me. At, I found that I could expect "unusual changes in behavior, thoughts of suicide, agitation, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, restlessness, or extreme hyperactivity." The site recommended that while taking Cymbalta(TM), I should tell my healthcare provider:

"if you have itching, right upper belly pain, dark urine, yellow skin/eyes, or unexplained flu-like symptoms, which may be signs of liver problems. Severe liver problems, sometimes fatal, have been reported

if you have high fever, confusion, and stiff muscles to address a possible life-threatening condition...

if you experience dizziness or fainting upon standing, especially when first starting Cymbalta(TM) or when increasing the dose. Your healthcare provider may periodically check your blood pressure while you are taking Cymbalta(TM)."

Other possible side effects are "mild to moderate nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, constipation, decreased appetite and increase sweating. They mention that there are more side effects that will be given to you by your healthcare provider or the pharmacist when you actually fill your prescription. Wow, I can't wait for this.

I carefully weighed all the information given to me and decided that I would not gamble my current level of happiness, feelings of self-worth and hopefulness for the possibilities that Cymbalta(TM) held out to me. I started wondering why people suffering from pain and depression are not seeking root causes and nutritional remedies and the simple emotional lift of exercise.

Cymbalta(TM) is also being marketed as a medication for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, for fibromyalgia, back pain, pain after surgery and, get this, depression from bereavement. Eli Lilly would like you pay for a Cymbalta(TM) prescription and take it for 8 weeks or more, rather than allow you to go through the natural grieving process after losing a loved one. Considering all the side effects and the dangers of withdrawal - rage, psychotic disorders, and suicidal thoughts - it seems that Eli Lilly has set aside compassion for human suffering in the interests of company profits.

I went to coreynahman dot com to view the antidepressant drugs data base and found that the Cymbalta(TM) capsule from Eli Lilly was expensive. A 60 mg capsule (maintenance dose) will cost you about $3.35 per pill. (That is over $100.00 per month.) Patient forums on the internet frequently report that, over time, they need to take higher doses to get the same effect, so that cost per month can also grow.

There are many references to natural remedies in my book that pertain to depression. On page 24, you can learn how DHEA supplementation helps with depression. Take 25 mg of DHEA in the morning and one at night for the cost of $ .16. On page 62, read about Ultra H3. Two tabs per day will cost you $1.10. Go to page 350 and learn how vitamin D3 stops depression in its tracts. Take two drops per day for a cost of $ .14.

Gotu Kola is a natural substance that helps depression. Take one capsule per day for a cost of $ .10. Then, on page 484, learn about Toco-8. One serving will cost you $ .50 per day.

If you add up the costs all of these natural remedies, the total cost per day comes to $2.16, saving you over $35 per month versus Cymbalta(TM) and here is the good thing. There are no side effects with these natural remedies and they will add much more value to your health and the effectiveness of your immune system.

The thing to realize is when you are depressed, you do not have a Cymbalta(TM) deficiency. You might have other nutrient or a vitamin D deficiency but those can be corrected naturally without all of the horrible side effects you get by taking Cymbalta(TM).

All depression is not caused by poor nutrition, but it certainly contributes in many cases, and research has shown that inadequate nutrition-a lack of minerals and vitamins-will always make a depression worse.

Depression Quiz For Teens - Spot Teen Depression Before It's Too Late

This depression quiz for teens may finally be able to help you decide if your teenage son/daughter is suffering from depression. All you have to do is follow the simple instructions and answer all of the depression quiz for teens questions to find out if your child is displaying classic depressed symptoms.

Answer the follow depression quiz for teens questions...

Part 1) Health and physical symptoms. Depression doesn't only affect your emotional state, but it can also affect your health. Simply answer yes or no to the following questions...

Has your teenager suddenly lost or gained weight?

Are they eating less/more than usual?

Are they noticeably sleeping more/less than usual?

Does your teenager show signs of lethargy and have no or little energy?

Have you any reason to believe that he/she is self harming?

Now move onto part 2 of the depression quiz for teens...

Part 2) Social interaction. One of the tell tale signs of depression is a reduction in social interaction. Simply answer yes or no to the following depression quiz for teens questions...

Does he/she show a definite lack of interest in hobbies, interests or activities?

Is your teenager more irritable, angry and hostile than usual?

Does he/she show a decreased lack of motivation and enthusiasm?

Has your teenager stopped spending time with friends?

Now move onto part 3 of the depression quiz for teens...

Part 3 - Emotional state. Your teenagers emotional state will be most affect by depression, look closely for changes in their personality. Simply answer yes or no to the following Now move onto part 2 of the depression quiz for teens questions...

Is he/she spending a large amount of time alone in their room (more than usual)?

Is your teenager displaying signs of sadness and hopelessness?

Have you noticed that he/she is finding it harder to concentrate?

Have you noticed that he/she has been crying for no reason?

Depression quiz for teens results: Most teenagers will display some or all of these symptoms at some point during their teenage years, but if you answer more than half of these questions as a YES you should take some action.

Recommendations: Talk to your son/daughter, be sure to keep an eye on them, read some more on the subject to make sure you are well informed, think about arranging counselling sessions, talk to your doctor and above all don't push them to hard.

I hope that this depression quiz for teens has helped you determine if your son/daughter may be suffering from depression. If you would like some more information on depression help then please click on the links below.

Natural Remedies for Mild Depression

Many people suffer from mild or moderate depression in silence. These people often hide their symptoms from friends and family, hoping that it will just go away on its own. It rarely does however and they would benefit from any one, or a combination, of natural remedies for depression.

One of the most popular natural depression remedies is St. John's Wort. This herbal supplement has been shown in many clinical studies to have positive effects similar to prescription antidepressant medication, with fewer side effects. Many of the popular prescriptions have sexual, appetite, or sleep problems as side effects. While St. John's Wort does not, its main side effect is an increased sensitivity to light, which usually affects fair-skinned people the worst. Other side effects common to both St. John's Wort and prescription medications are dry mouth, headache, fatigue and dizziness.

Other herbal remedies that are gaining popularity as cures for mild depression are ginkgo biloba, kava kava and black cohosh. Each of these is used for a specific type of depression. Ginkgo biloba is primarily used by people suffering from mild depression and memory loss or other dulled mental functions because it helps improve overall mental health. Kava kava is used mainly for anxiousness associated with depression because it calms a person and helps them fall asleep and have more restful sleep. Black cohosh is relatively new as an antidepressant, but it shows promise because it calms the nerves, encouraging sleep and it increases daytime energy.

Another natural remedy for mild depression is targeted amino acid therapy, or TAAT. This works because certain depressions include imbalances in brain chemicals, which are made from amino acids. This imbalance is found by a simple non-invasive (meaning there is no cutting involved) test. Once the test is performed and the type of imbalance determined, treatment can begin. This involves taking supplements of the amino acid needed to make the brain chemical, which is deficient. There are four types of amino acids used to make brain chemicals. They are 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), L-Carnitine, L-Tryptophan and SAM-e. L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP are used to make serotonin. L-Carnitine has been shown to relieve depression, although there is no clear reason why as this amino acid is primarily used to turn stored fat into energy. SAM-e is involved in methylation, the process by which the body makes brain chemicals, so this amino acid is also involved in the production of serotonin.

Many people suffering from mild depression also have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. In these cases, the deficiency may be causing the depression. A very simple way to see if that is the case is to change the diet. Folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin are the most common deficiencies. Folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and magnesium are used to make brain chemicals. Omega-3 fatty acids compose part of the cell membrane and are used in sending signals to other cells. Niacin is used for general function of the nerve cell.

One more natural cure is lifestyle modification. This would include changing the diet, if there is a vitamin or mineral deficiency, but is not limited to just that. One way to change lifestyle is to use more natural lighting. Some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression linked to a vitamin D deficiency, which can be obtained from sunlight. People in areas with extended winters or dark periods are especially vulnerable to this depression. Many doctors suggest getting at least 15 minutes of sunlight every day, whether that is gotten outside or by sitting near a sunny window indoors. Physical exercise and sufficient sleep can also be remedies for depression because exercise gets the blood flowing, which helps theoverall mood and sufficient sleep is needed to deal with the everyday stresses of life. While sufficient sleep may help with stress, it's not the only way to deal with stress and reduce depression. All stress reduction techniques, but especially meditation, yoga, biofeedback and massage, have been shown to help reduce depression and raise brain chemicals.

Depression and Cricket

''Meet it and you do not see its face. Follow it and you do not see its back.''

- Lao Tzu

This is serious as we are beginning to hear more about depression within cricket circles. Is it an excuse to cop out, or something more? Actually its more than feeling low and when it affects someone it can be a serious illness. Getting through the day can be difficult and through life may seem impossible. This is why people with depression find it difficult to function each day as it affects their physical and mental health and robs them of the ability to think rationally. A cycle of depression can occur after a setback drags on and then other things happen which multiple the situation and the problem seem far worse.

Cricket is not immune and we have seen a number of cricketers affected by it in different ways over the years. A small, but significant number have taken their own lives by not being able to cope. Does the nature of cricket lead to frustration and disappointment? According to David Frith in his book 'Silence of the Heart, Cricket Suicides' professional cricketers statistically are more likely to take their own life than any other group of men in the west.

As you may have read earlier in this book, negative thinking affects feelings and therefore emotions. In sport psychology 'speak' depression is linked to burn out, mental exhaustion and unexplained underperformance syndrome - however they are all the same illness.

Knowledge is the first step in helping team mates who are suffering. ''Pull yourself together'' just will not work, neither is it advisable to sit back and say nothing if you know someone who is stumbling through. Look out for your team mates and assist where you can.

Everyone goes through hard times at some point in their careers, so it is important to have good friends and colleagues to help through the personal struggles of fitness, injury, form, family or work. At times like these it can be hard to know what to do, how to help your friend, or find it hard to ask for help if it affect you.

Diagnosis must be left to medical experts, however to understand something about depression it is important to understand how people can suffer from it. There are several features that can cause a cricketer to be depressed. Research has shown that depression can run in families for generations. Trauma and stress from financial problems, relationship breakdowns, family bereavement can all bring on depression.

Injury and illness can contribute to depression, partly because of the physical weakness and stress it brings on, while depression can make medical conditions worse as it weakens the immune system. Some medications can cause depression.

Depression may be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, but these are due to the emotions being felt, or more likely, emotions not being felt and expressed, but being suppressed and bottled in. As the subconscious harbours negative and unhappy thoughts, the chemicals which makes us feel good, decrease.

Those good-feel chemicals are serotonin, dopamine and intrinsic endorphins. Serotonin manages contentment and plays a role in our quantity of appetite, aggression, anger, mood and sleep. Dopamine is associated with the feelings we get from reward after achieving a goal. People who lack dopamine are unmotivated and depressed. Endorphins are produced during strenuous exercise, excitement and sex and help us decide whether an experience is pleasurable or painful.

People become a slave to their minds and their emotions. Strong and traumatic events create turmoil in their lives. Anger turned inwards, unexpressed trapped emotions, repressed negative feelings, psychosomatic illness all cause feelings leading to phobia, panic attacks, extreme stress and depression.

There are numerous forms of depression. Slightly different symptoms may require different treatments. Briefly a major depression, also known as clinical depression, is classed as a depressed mood that lasts for at least two weeks. Psychotic depression is a depressed mood when the sufferers hallucinate, they see and hear things that are not there. There is also paranoia where they feel everyone is against them. Dysthymia is a less severe depressed mood which can last for years. There is mixed depression and anxiety which shows a combination of symptoms and bipolar disorder, formally known as manic depressive disorder which involves periods of feeling down reversed by feeling high.

How do you know if a person is depressed or just going through a bad time? There are some indications when sadness could progress to depression. Someone could be depressed if for more than two weeks they have been down, miserable or sad a majority of the time, or they have lost interest or enjoyment in most of their usual activities and experienced the warning signs in at least three of the following four categories:

1. Behaviour. They have stopped going out, they are not getting things done, turning to alcohol and sedatives, unable to concentrate and withdrawing from family and friends,

2. Feelings. Disappointment, frustration, guilt, indecisive, irritable, lack confidence, miserable, overwhelmed, unhappy.

3. Physical. Churning stomach, headaches, loss of appetite, muscular pains, run down, sleep problems, tiredness, weight loss or gain.

4. Irrational thoughts. ''I'm a failure,'' it's my fault,'' I'm worthless,'' my life's bad.''

It's not always easy to help a team mate because you may not know what to do or say for the best. Maybe they say they don't want any help. They have to accept they have a problem before it can be resolved. Denial can make it difficult for someone to take the first step in seeking help. Its important to stick with your team mates when times are rough for them, even if its just to listen. They need support from friends and family as well as doctors and psychologists.

To help someone show them interest. Encourage them to explain what they are thinking and feeling. Listen without interrupting. Don't show shock on your face. Don't make light of what they are saying. Don't look for quick fix solutions. Sympathise. Ask them what do they want to do about the problem.

Don't place more pressure on your mate by telling them to ''snap out of it.'' Don't avoid them. Don't pressure them to party more. Alcohol and substance abuse often appear alongside depression. Discourage your team mate or friend from using them. Eating disorders and anxiety also appear with depression.

Antidepressants from the doctor don't always help as it can become difficult to come off certain types due to withdrawal symptoms including anxiety. Correct counselling along with meditation enables the sufferer to adjust and change for the better. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been recommended to combat mild to moderate depression as it breaks habitual negative thinking. Just talking to a counsellor can be a blessing. The counsellor may ask the sufferer to keep a diary and write down whenever they feel angry, anxious, guilty or upset in any way and describe what the feelings would achieve. This can challenge negative thoughts by considering positive alternatives.

Previous sufferers of clinical depression who have come off prescription drug addiction demonstrate a glimmer of hope with the mantra 'meditation not medication' relegating the grim period of their lives into the past. For some, medication can be the answer while others will respond better to CBT.

Help your mate get information, perhaps from a library, health centre or website. Help them make an appointment and go along with them if that is their wish. Have them remember past achievements and successes. Use guided visualisation with an outcome toward positive results, you learned visualisation earlier, didn't you! Encourage the person to get further involved in the club's social activities, fund raising or coaching juniors if appropriate.

Supporting someone who needs it can sometimes be difficult and emotionally draining, especially over an extended period. You don't have to go through it on your own. Find your own team mates, colleagues or counsellors to talk to. Make sure you continue to enjoy your cricket and other activities, take time out to have some fun and keep things in perspective.

The above article is taken from the authors book, A Mind 4 Cricket.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Manic Depression Cure

Throughout the medical community great minds are coming together trying to piece together a manic depression cure. Manic depression strikes thousands of people across the world and is perhaps the most dangerous form of depression. Marked by extreme highs and lows manic depression can first show itself in a number of ways often which include violent outbursts or even physical confrontations. No one is one hundred percent certain what causes depression much less manic depression. Some people first develop this illness early on in life while others may be much older before experiencing symptoms. It takes a close eye to differentiate between standard depression and manic depression sometimes referred to as bipolar depression.

People suffering from manic depression often times lack self control which can lead to unwanted consequences. Everyday tasks such as sticking to a budget can be overwhelming. Everyone has mood swings at some point in life. This is no surprise; however a normal person has what I will refer to as safety nets in their mood swings. If you think of your moods like a roller coaster ride your happy moods being the high points in the track and your depressed moods being the low points a normal person would be comparable to the kiddie coaster. A person suffering from manic depression however would be comparable to the mac daddy of roller coasters with the highest points being 1000s of feet up and the low points digging deep into the earth. Their emotions are like a runaway train gathering more and more steam in whichever direction they are traveling so when a normal person will only get so sad a manic depressed person will go beyond that point toward the suicide line. The same goes for their happy moods, they can experience greater highs than you or I might be accustomed to and this can be as dangerous as the lows. Often times when riding one of these highs the person may feel a sense of invincibility thus encouraging dangerous or illegal behavior. One common trait amongst the people I've known suffering from manic depression is large shopping sprees. In my mother's case she would go to town with the home shopping network while a past boyfriend of hers would buy cars he couldn't afford. Imagine impulse buying on steroids.

People suffering from manic depression have a tough road to travel each day but imagine their lives with a manic depression cure. What would it be worth to change these people's lives in such a positive way? Manic depression not only tears the person suffering it apart but it can have a detrimental effect on everyone who comes in contact with that person ranging from close family members to co-workers. It is important that we continue to support research into depression so that one day those suffering can live normal lives again.

Depression: Signs and Symptoms

We all feel down at one time or another and being sad on occasion is something that comes with everyday life, but if you find yourself feeling sad all the time, you might be suffering from depression. It is very important that you understand the signs and symptoms of depression if you are going to deal with the problem in an effective manner.

Depression is a problem that affects millions of Americans each year, and in many cases, the symptoms are ignored or pushed aside, which can lead to other problems, such as alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm, and even suicide. Understanding the danger signs can help you realize when to seek help from medical professionals before it's too late.

There are many things that trigger depression-a chemical imbalance, the loss of a loved one, unemployment, a divorce, financial problems, and recently, depression has also been linked to heredity factors as well. Even if you have bounced back from life's setbacks before, if you are especially hard hit by an event, it can trigger an episode of depression, even if you have never had depression problems in the past. In order to recognize whether or not you need help, understanding and recognizing the symptoms are the most important factors in treating the problem.

Some of the major signs of depression are sleeping too much, losing interest in things that you once loved to do, feeling angry, anxious, or aggressive toward others, especially without due cause, a marked decrease in proper hygiene, and drastic changes in appetite. While these symptoms may vary from person to person, they are a common thread when it comes to diagnosing depression, and if these symptoms are ignored, it will only lead to more troublesome and dangerous behavior.

If depression goes untreated, in many cases, it can lead to self-harm and suicide. Suicidal thoughts and actions are the end result of untreated depression, as the problem is a mental slippery slope with degrees of severity.

If you have several of the symptoms mentioned above, the best thing to do is to see a doctor right away before the condition worsens, particularly if there is a history of depression in your family or if you have experienced a traumatic event. Don't ignore the signs and symptoms of depression-get help because the sooner you understand depression and the impact it can have on your life, the sooner you can conquer it and live a happier life.

Why Practising Yoga Can Help Beat Depression and Enhance Your Mood

The local children are out of control, your career is a headache and to top it all off, you have little time for your self. If anybody shared with you that you could achieve a condition of actual physical and emotional happiness, you would call them crazy. Believe it or not, you can overcome the doldrums with many kinds of yoga!

Yoga is a terrific spirit booster that involves no drug treatments or medicines. Like all varieties of physical exercise, yoga produces bodily hormones that assist with overcoming, feelings of stress and tension that often lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness.

Being energetic and active helps to keep your thoughts away from detrimental feelings, and enables you to gain an increased and more clear point of view on the issues you are facing.

Men and women who are depressed, or feeling "down", frequently don't have the enthusiasm to work out. That's why yoga can be such an excellent choice. It usually takes less energy to complete a specific yoga routine compared to other types of exercise..

When you're experiencing negativity, it's hard to consider things positively. People today who are despondent typically don't have the attentiveness to remove the negativity from their thought processes. Yoga is classed as a "moving meditation", so it is much simpler to not think the negative feelings.

Our vital inner dynamics can be obstructed by negative thoughts. Doubt, apathy, despair, hopelessness can hamper our energy flow. Yoga is intended to deliver you nearer to your inner truth, of course helping with some of the indicators or symptoms of depression. Yoga can help to restore mental stability. This is achieved by the concentration on balance and yoga posture.

There is a distinct relationship between mind, body and soul that suggests individuals can overcome the blues and feelings of depression with yoga. No other kind of physical exercise can accomplish these similar positive aspects. Certain yoga postures (asana) can have an impact on your feelings and aid with relieve of depression. Yoga poses can help enhance reduced vitality levels and alleviate lethargy.

These yoga moves are also beneficial in opening up lung total capacity, which makes it feasible for more oxygen to get to all organs of your body, and even your mood and feelings can be improved. Ask a yoga guide or teacher to support you, so you can learn the postures that will bring you harmony and aid with enhancing your mood.

It's also feasible to beat depression with yoga due to the fact of the relaxing effects yoga has on the central nervous system. Correct inhaling and exhaling techniques are essential components to practising yoga, as these can assist and suppress your anxiety and quiet your feelings, making it possible for you to focus on beneficial rather than detrimental energies.

As you discover more about yoga, you'll understand the relationship concerning your mind and your emotions, and you'll find that they can support each other.

If you believe you may be battling with serious depression, seek expert assistance. Yoga is a drug-free option that can be safely and securely employed in combination with any treatment or treatments your medical professional offers. Some yoga exercises are especially developed to reduce depression and are taught by teachers who have been thoroughly qualified to have an understanding of the most therapeutic yoga positions.

Executing the most simple yoga routines can help raise your spirits and feelings. Even though yoga is not physically strenuous like other types of physical exercise, yoga will make you feel considerably better at the end of a session. Try it and you'll find that you can also beat the blues and depression with yoga!

Anger Management Techniques And Tips

What is Anger

Anger is a term for the emotional aspect of aggression, as a basic aspect of the stress response in animals whereby a perceived aggravating stimulus "provokes" a counter response which is likewise aggravating and threatening of violence. Very mild types of anger are typically described as "distaste," "displeasure", or "irritation," while "rage" refers to an extreme degree of anger associated with a loss of calmness or discipline (in the case of human conduct).

In modern society, anger is viewed as an immature or uncivilized response to frustration, threat, violation, or loss. Conversely, keeping calm, coolheaded, or turning the other cheek is considered more socially acceptable. This conditioning can cause inappropriate expressions of anger, such as uncontrolled, violent outbursts or misdirected anger, or, at the other extreme, repressing feelings of anger (or lacking them altogether) when those feelings would be an appropriate response to the situation. Also, anger that is constantly "bottled up" can lead to persistent violent thoughts or nightmares, or even physical symptoms like headaches, ulcers, or hypertension.

Anger Side Effects

Anger can aggravate several mental health problems. Anger can fuel depression. People who are depressed generally don't take care of themselves. They indulge in self-destructive activities, such as too much drinking, smoking, overeating, taking risks, and not watching their finances. Depressed people have less energy, reduced appetite, and need more sleep. Their work performance will drop and relationships will deteriorate.

Many people believe that depression is in fact anger turned inward. The reason for this assumption is because many depressives react to stress by turning their anger inward as a response to physical or emotional abuse, or neglect from parents or parent figures. After a while, the coping mechanisms become habits that they use inappropriately and indiscriminately whenever they perceive loss or frustration.

Depressives tend to grow up believing that if they are hurt or abused, there are merely two options available, which are self-blame and denial of blame. One secondary effect of the depressives denial of anger is that their interpersonal relationships are often unhappy and they do not get the 'breaks' that other people seem to get. They may not get promotions, social invitations or love because the reality is that most people do not want to be around depressed people for any length of time, both at home and at work. Another side-effect of anger is that it can fuel obsessions, phobias and addictions.

Obsessions and phobias arise from situations when, for some reason or another, we feel we are either losing control of ourselves or the world around us. Anger can also fuel manic tendencies. Many people who are not able to express their anger let it out in furious activity. Sometimes this activity reaches a breaking point and results in clinical depression or even bipolar disorder.

Anger can also fan the flames of paranoia and prejudice, even in normal, everyday situations. People tend to express their anger either passively or aggressively with the basic 'flight' response, which is repression and denial of anger. Aggressive behavior is associated with the 'fight' response and the use of the verbal and physical power of anger to abuse and hurt others.

Symptoms of anger

Anger can be of one of two main types: passive anger and aggressive anger. These types of anger have some characteristic symptoms:

Passive anger

Passive anger can be expressed in the following ways:

1. Secretive behavior, such as stockpiling resentments that are expressed behind people's backs or through sly digs, giving the silent treatment or under the breath mutterings, avoiding eye contact, putting people down, gossip, anonymous complaints, poison pen letters, stealing, and conning.

2. Manipulation, such as provoking people to aggression and then patronizing forgiveness, provoking aggression but staying on the sidelines, emotional blackmail, in genuine tearfulness, feigning illness, sabotaging relationships, using sexual provocation, using a third party to convey negative feelings, withholding money or resources.

3. Self-blame, such as apologizing too often, being overly critical, inviting criticism.
Self-sacrifice, such as being overly helpful, pointedly making do with second best, quietly making long suffering signs but refusing help, or lapping up gratefulness and making friendly digs where it is not forthcoming.

4. Ineffectual, such as setting yourself and others up for failure, choosing unreliable people to depend on, being accident prone, underachieving, sexual impotence, expressing frustration at insignificant things but ignoring serious ones.

5. Dispassionate, such as giving the cold shoulder or phony smiles, looking cool, sitting on the fence while others sort things out, dampening feelings with substance abuse (to include overeating), oversleeping, not responding to other's anger, frigidity, indulging in sexual practices that depress spontaneity and make objects of participants, giving inordinate amounts of time to machines, objects or intellectual pursuits, talking of frustrations but showing no feeling.

6. Obsessional behavior, such as needing to be clean and tidy, making a habit of constantly checking, over-dieting or overeating, demanding that all jobs are done perfectly.

7. Evasiveness, such as turning your back in a crisis, avoiding conflict, not arguing back, becoming phobic.

Aggressive anger

The symptoms of aggressive anger are:

1. Threatening, such as frightening people by saying how you could harm them, their property or their prospects, finger pointing, fist shaking, wearing clothes associated with violent behavior, driving on someone's tail, setting on a car horn, slamming doors.

2. Hurtful, such as physical violence, verbal abuse, unfair jokes, breaking a confidence, playing loud music, using foul language, ignoring people's feelings, willfully discriminating, blaming, or punishing people for deeds they are known not to have committed, labeling others.

3. Destructive, such as harming objects, knowingly destroying a relationship between two people, driving recklessly, drinking too much.

4. Bullying, such as threatening people, persecuting, pushing or shoving, using power to oppress, shouting, using a powerful car to force someone off the road, playing on people's weaknesses.

5. Unjustly blaming, such as accusing other people for your own mistakes, blaming people for your own feelings, making general accusations.

6. Manic, such as speaking too fast, walking too fast, working too much and expecting others to fit in, driving too fast, reckless spending.

7. Grandiose, such as showing off, expressing mistrust, not delegating, being a poor loser, wanting center stage all the time, not listening, talking over people's heads, expecting kiss and make-up sessions to solve problems.

8. Selfish, such as ignoring other's needs, not responding to requests for help, queue jumping, 'cutting in' when driving.

9. Revengeful, such as being over-punitive, refusing to forgive and forget, bringing up hurtful memories from the past.

10. Unpredictable, such as blowing hot and cold, explosive rages over minor frustrations, attacking indiscriminately, dispensing punishment out of the blue, inflicting harm on other just for the sake of it, using drink and drugs that are known to destabilize mood, using illogical arguments.

Tips on Anger Management

1. Relaxation

Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings. There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques, and once you learn the techniques, you can call upon them in any situation. If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered, it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques.

Some simple steps you can try:

1. Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won't relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your "gut."

2. Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as "relax," "take it easy." Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.

3. Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.

4. Non-strenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.

Practice these techniques daily. Learn to use them automatically when you're in a tense situation.

2. Cognitive Restructuring

Simply put, this means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you're angry, your thinking can get exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, "oh, it's awful, it's terrible, every thing's ruined," tell yourself, "it's frustrating, and it's understandable that I'm upset about it, but it's not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow."

Be careful of words like "never" or "always" when talking about yourself or someone else. "This !&*%@ machine never works," or "you're always forgetting things" are not just inaccurate, they also serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there's no way to solve the problem. They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution.

Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything that it won't make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse).

Logic defeats anger, because anger, even when it's justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself. Remind yourself that the world is "not out to get you," you're just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. Do this each time you feel anger getting the best of you, and it'll help you get a more balanced perspective. Angry people tend to demand things: fairness, appreciation, agreement, willingness to do things their way. Everyone wants these things, and we are all hurt and disappointed when we don't get them, but angry people demand them, and when their demands aren't met, their disappointment becomes anger. As part of their cognitive restructuring, angry people need to become aware of their demanding nature and translate their expectations into desires. In other words, saying, "I would like" something is healthier than saying, "I demand" or "I must have" something. When you're unable to get what you want, you will experience the normal reactions-frustration, disappointment, hurt-but not anger. Some angry people use this anger as a way to avoid feeling hurt, but that doesn't mean the hurt goes away.

3. Problem Solving

Sometimes, our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Not all anger is misplaced, and often it's a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. There is also a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it adds to our frustration to find out that this isn't always the case. The best attitude to bring to such a situation, then, is not to focus on finding the solution, but rather on how you handle and face the problem.

Make a plan, and check your progress along the way. Resolve to give it your best, but also not to punish yourself if an answer doesn't come right away. If you can approach it with your best intentions and efforts and make a serious attempt to face it head-on, you will be less likely to lose patience and fall into all-or-nothing thinking, even if the problem does not get solved right away.

4. Better Communication

Angry people tend to jump to-and act on-conclusions, and some of those conclusions can be very inaccurate. The first thing to do if you're in a heated discussion is slow down and think through your responses. Don't say the first thing that comes into your head, but slow down and think carefully about what you want to say. At the same time, listen carefully to what the other person is saying and take your time before answering.

Listen, too, to what is underlying the anger. For instance, you like a certain amount of freedom and personal space, and your "significant other" wants more connection and closeness. If he or she starts complaining about your activities, don't retaliate by painting your partner as a jailer.

It's natural to get defensive when you're criticized, but don't fight back. Instead, listen to what's underlying the words: the message that this person might feel neglected and unloved. It may take a lot of patient questioning on your part, and it may require some breathing space, but don't let your anger-or a partner's-let a discussion spin out of control. Keeping your cool can keep the situation from becoming a disastrous one.

5. Using Humor

"Silly humor" can help defuse rage in a number of ways. For one thing, it can help you get a more balanced perspective. When you get angry and call someone a name or refer to them in some imaginative phrase, stop and picture what that word would literally look like. If you're at work and you think of a coworker as a "dirtbag" or a "single-cell life form," for example, picture a large bag full of dirt (or an amoeba) sitting at your colleague's desk, talking on the phone, going to meetings. Do this whenever a name comes into your head about another person. If you can, draw a picture of what the actual thing might look like. This will take a lot of the edge off your fury; and humor can always be relied on to help in a tense situation.

The underlying message of highly angry people, Dr. Deffenbacher says, is "things oughta go my way!" Angry people tend to feel that they are morally right, that any blocking or changing of their plans is an unbearable indignity and that they should NOT have to suffer this way. Maybe other people do, but not them!

When you feel that urge, he suggests, picture yourself as a god or goddess, a supreme ruler, who owns the streets and stores and office space, striding alone and having your way in all situations while others defer to you. The more detail you can get into your imaginary scenes, the more chances you have to realize that maybe you are being unreasonable; you'll also realize how unimportant the things you're angry about really are. There are two cautions in using humor. First, don't try to just "laugh off" your problems; rather, use humor to help yourself face them more constructively. Second, don't give in to harsh, sarcastic humor; that's just another form of unhealthy anger expression.

What these techniques have in common is a refusal to take yourself too seriously. Anger is a serious emotion, but it's often accompanied by ideas that, if examined, can make you laugh.

6. Changing Your Environment

Sometimes it's our immediate surroundings that give us cause for irritation and fury. Problems and responsibilities can weigh on you and make you feel angry at the "trap" you seem to have fallen into and all the people and things that form that trap.

Give yourself a break. Make sure you have some "personal time" scheduled for times of the day that you know are particularly stressful. One example is the working mother who has a standing rule that when she comes home from work, for the first 15 minutes "nobody talks to Mom unless the house is on fire." After this brief quiet time, she feels better prepared to handle demands from her kids without blowing up at them.

7. Some Other Tips for Easing Up on Yourself

Timing: If you and your spouse tend to fight when you discuss things at night-perhaps you're tired, or distracted, or maybe it's just habit-try changing the times when you talk about important matters so these talks don't turn into arguments.

Avoidance: If your child's chaotic room makes you furious every time you walk by it, shut the door. Don't make yourself look at what infuriates you. Don't say, "well, my child should clean up the room so I won't have to be angry!" That's not the point. The point is to keep yourself calm.

Finding alternatives: If your daily commute through traffic leaves you in a state of rage and frustration, give yourself a project-learn or map out a different route, one that's less congested or more scenic. Or find another alternative, such as a bus or commuter train.

Pets Can Help the Elderly Avoid the Need for Psychotherapy

Depression is a serious problem for the elderly. The inability to do the normal day to day activities because of their health, the death of a spouse or loved one, and isolation from friends and family can all take their toll on an elderly person's well being. Although training for therapists includes specific care for their elderly patients, it may be a better course of action to help the elderly avoid the need for psychotherapy. One way to do this is for them to have a pet or be exposed to pet therapy.

Having a pet can be a very positive force in an elderly person's life. If they live alone the benefits of having a pet are even more profound. Pets give their lives structure and companionship. Pets alleviate loneliness, reduce depression and anxiety, and help an elderly person cope with the loss of a loved one. Researchers at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario have proven that people who have pets are more active and have a more positive outlook on life. These finding have been backed up by a paper published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A study by the Mayo Clinic uncovered some interesting facts about elderly pet ownership:

1) Pet ownership reduces doctor's visits by 21%.
2) Alzheimer's patients stay in the present more if they own a pet.
3) Seniors who do not have pets see a significant decrease over time in their physical and mental well being.
4) Nursing home patients that engage in pet therapy have an increase in social and verbal interaction.

These statistics support the benefits of pets and pet therapy. Even seniors who are physically disabled show less signs of depression than those who did not have pets or were not exposed to pet therapy.

Many therapists and counselors are recognizing the positive effect that pet therapy can have on their patients. Nursing homes are using pet therapy and some even have live-in pets for residents to interact with. Volunteers also bring their pets in for elderly patients to spend time with several times a week.

The goal of psychotherapy is to help people live better lives and have a greater sense of well being. If therapy is needed, the benefits can be increased by pets and pet therapy. Many programs that provide training for therapists now include pet therapy. It is a valuable and useful course of treatment than can help the elderly avoid the need for psychotherapy.

3 Effective Ways to Deal With Depression

Depression is not something that can be seen under a microscope, but it is very real. Most people aren't aware of the symptoms and have learned to function in society with it. There are different levels of depression and it's very important that you know which affects you. Depression can affect you socially, mentally, physically and psychologically. If not identified with and handled, it can ultimately be an overwhelming weight on life.

Everyone deals with depression differently but there are 3 effective ways to help you get through it.

1. One of the first ways to deal with this is to identify the symptoms of depression. Depression is not always easily identifiable because a lot of people learn to hide their feelings. Isolation is a symptom of depression. Naturally, there may be times when you want to be alone and is OK. But when you get to a point where you cut people off from communications, this is an indication that you could be suffering from depression. Changes in diet and appetite are also symptoms of depression. Other indications are are changes in attitude, low self-esteem and a feeling of unworthiness.

Everyone has bad days and a lot of people simply believe that when they don't feel good or when they feel down about something, the issue is minor and will eventually work itself out. This is true in some cases, but not all. It's possible to function in society in a depressed state but this is unhealthy. The problem is, others can identify that something is not right with you and they would rather you not be around. Not because they don't like you as a person, but because your depression brings a sadness to the environment and can be felt by others. One day at a time, slowly engage yourself around positive influences to help boost your self-esteem. This will take time and effort on your part, but this can be achieved.

2. Next, admitting that you are depressed will put you on your way to a cure. No one wants to admit depression because it is often seen as weak. Most of us feel like we have the mental capability to successfully deal with our own problems. The twist to this idea is, admittance is a sign of courage and strength. You will realize that once you admit to someone that you have a problem, they will most likely be there to encourage you and help guide you. They will respect the fact that you came forward asked for help. Outsiders often can tell when someone is depressed. It is the depressed person that is the last to know.

3. After identifying symptoms and admitting you have a problem, asking for help is the execution for a cure. You will find that you are not the only person in this state of mind and that there are people that do care. If you make the first step, there will be someone, somewhere that will take the next. People enjoy helping others, but their support is not effective if you don't ask.

If you suffer from depression and have alienated yourself from society, get the help that you need and begin to slowly engaging yourself with others. It may not be easy to join back in with everyone all at once. This will take time. The best thing to do is to take things one day at a time, identify yourself with individuals that have compassion and that can understand what you may be going through. They may not be able to solve your problem but having a support system close to you will help you to believe that you will get through. Communication and support is key.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Keno Does Some Hard Time, Is It Clinical Depression?

Way back in 1989, I was in the process of battling some truly powerful "Dark Forces." These malevolent powers were closing in on me from all directions, apparently working in unison to accomplish the task of rendering me powerless. Why these ghouls thought that I posed any threat to their underworld activities is beyond me. Suffice it to say that I was ketchin' it from all of my people. My wife could not be pleased, my daughter was wearing "all black" and never communicating with me, the young nymph at work was trying her dead-level-best to roll me over and was very angry when I did not respond to her advances. My employer was dissatisfied with my work performance, even though I worked all of the time and did my darndest to succeed. Never had there been such heaviness upon these shoulders; I began to weaken; actually, I began plotting actions to keep me from weakening. If they all wished to see me fall, then that's what they would witness.

I became quiet and reclusive, and was prone to times of uncontrollable trembling and weeping....needed so badly to get away where nobody or no thing could get to me. I had recently heard of a co-worker being admitted to Greenleaf Hospital for the purpose of treating her "clinical depression." I thought, that's it! I immediately walked across the parking lot to my physician's office and spoke with him at great length about my problems. He said that if I truly wanted to go to Greenleaf that he would sign the order and make it happen. He said that everyone could use that kind of retreat at least once in their lives.

So, home I went, and told my spouse that I would be leaving for "a while." She helped me pack, loaded the car, and drove me the fifty miles to "the nut house" where I walked hesitantly through the front door.

A very nice and caring healthcare professional greeted me as I passed through the gate of freedom that was to hold me securely for the next fifty-six days. She asked me to empty my pockets and explained that all of my possessions would be kept safely under lock and key until I was "well." She had me step over against the wall for a photograph; if this was not prison, I needn't have gotten any closer. I glimpsed the photo, and thought, "My God, I look awful;" my eyes appeared as lifeless as two burnt holes in a flannel blanket. Nothing was left of my soul. I truly am in the right place, I admitted to myself.

I was shown to my room. it was clean and quite comfortable in its furnishings. I was directed to change into comfortable clothing, and was then taken on a tour of the facility. I had no idea what awaited me, but I expected the worst. After all, it was an "insane asylum."

Groups of patients looked up as I walked by. Some smiled, but most looked as forlorn as my photograph had. Most of them seemed to be in "twilight." That's the drugs, I thought to myself. Will I be reduced to that level? I hope not.

It was explained to me by my nurse, that as a newcomer I would be placed under "suicide watch" for a couple of days. "Is that truly necessary," I asked. She said it was simply following protocol. "Must obey the rules if we wish to get well." Every day, in every way, we must get better and better.

I ate my first meal at a small table, all by myself with a stern-looking Psych nurse watching my every bite. I asked when I got to be with the people, and I was told after dinner, that I might go to the activity room and play cards or dominoes. There was to be no TV or phone calls. If I wished to smoke, then I must go to the nurse's desk and request permission to light my cigarette.

I finished eating and went to the "Rec" Room. I introduced myself to several folks. The woman who was obviously the Matriarch said very matter-of-factly, "Why are you here, you are not sick." An air of suspicion soon permeated the table of folks. One guy even decided that I was sent there by the CIA to undermine their secret networks of operation. That being, where to get drugs, cigarette lighters, sharp implements, whatever one needed could be had by knowing the right people. Gee, that's still true today.

I tried my best to reassure the group that I was there for the same reasons as were they. For the most part, the doubt seemed to dissolve as we talked and played a game of "Bull-shit." Time for our dope, somebody said, and we had to line up and take our drugs. They were placed in a pile in our hand and we were given a paper cup of water as the nurse watched us take our meds. Nobody told us what we were taking; we just had to swallow them without question.

My first night was so fitful. I could not rest, even though my soul cried out for sleep and peace. Finally, I was brought some Visteril, and I slept until 3:00 pm the next day. I fell so much better that I went out seeking the people. Everyone was in "class" I was told, and that I would be joining the classes tomorrow. Before long the patients began returning from their activities, and it was time to eat again.

Folks were friendlier than yesterday, and several asked me if I was feeling better. I was, and I said so as I thanked them for asking. The big suspicious guy approached me cautiously, still convinced that I was a "G" man. I said, "Sir, to graduate from CIA school, a student must demonstrate 15 ways to kill a man silently with their bare hands." He seemed satisfied with that explanation and never bothered me again. Then it was medicine time again....apparently I had slept through the mornin' meds. I swallowed mine without hesitation.

I played some cards and listened to the heart-rending stories from the devastated patients in our group. I hurt so badly for them, and realized that as problems go, mine surely were not the most severe.

Next morning, after breakfast and meds, we went to "Trust School." It was explained to us that most of our worst issues were as a result of our not knowing and trusting our fellow human beings, and that we were all in this thing together. Known as a "Ropes Course," these exercises were designed to teach us trust and reliance from our fellow human beings. We had to walk a tight-rope. Nobody would do it until I did. I believe that I was a little unsteady from the drugs, but I got it done. The group smiled and followed suit.

Next, we had to climb a tower, cross our arms over our chest, close our eyes, and fall through space to the waiting arms of the "trust group" below. Nobody would go until I did. I must admit, it was a thrill, and I did trust my people to catch me, which they did. More activities followed, and after I would go first, then the wonderful group would take their respective turns. It felt so unusual to have so many people look to me for leadership. It actually felt warm and fuzzy. Keno, a leader of men, I liked it.

The longer I stayed at good ol' Greenleaf, the more respect, understanding, and appreciation I had for the patients who resided there. By and large, through no fault of their own, these ordinary people had been forced to endure extraordinary circumstances, and were fortunate enough to be sent to a place where like-minded folks could hear them, help them, trust them, and love them.

My stay there was among the most enlightening and fulfilling experiences that life has shown me to this point. One Person has been more important to me, and she knows who she is. Hey, did you ever have that recurring dream where you were unwittingly sent to the "nut-house," only to find out that the patients were totally sane, and those who ran the Asylum were truly the "crazy ones?" Guess what, TRUE STORY!

As an interjection to please my most noteworthy critics, I am inserting an account of the first and only time that I observed any insane behavior in the "loonie bin," (on the part of the patient's, that is!)

On or about my third or fourth evening, as we were having our "supper," as we say in Texas, a young and obviously agitated Oriental woman, ran screaming and ranting into the cafeteria. She ran straight up to a little old Granny who was eating by herself. The enraged young woman grabbed all of the plates, bowls, cups, and glasses and hurled their contacts at Granny, who sat there in obvious shock. Next, the angry lady grabbed a fork from the floor, that's when I realized that nobody was going to stop these activities.

Once again, it seemed that everyone (Staff included) was waiting for Keno Kendali, to take care of business. We were approaching "critical" so I walked over and insinuated myself between the snarling Japanese girl, and the sweet little ol' lady. The attacker was quite frail-looking, so disarming her was quite simple. I asked her name and she quietly said Imogene; "Come walk with me, Imogene, and you will feel much better." Then the "white-suits" appeared and popped her with a gargantuan hypo, and she did feel much better in no time. Later she was to become my "partner" in many of the "Trust Exercises" that we were to accomplish; and she turned out to be such a sweet and pleasant young lady who was merely over-loaded with life's problems. Go, Imogene!, the best of life to you.

Upon my dismissal from the hospital, my Psychiatrist informed me that just as he'd suspected, I did not have true "clinical depression," but rather was working too much and trying to satisfy too many people who did not have my best interests at heart. Very wise man, that doctor, but then that's why he gets paid the big bucks. I sometimes remember my wonderful co-inmates and sincerely hope that they are doing as well as I, me, that CIA plant, sent to undermine their network of human activities.

Travis Perkins, Author

As Told to Travis Perkins

Signs And Symptoms Of Depression

One of the classic signs of depression is a dramatic change in eating patterns. Some people lose all desire to eat; others develop voracious appetites, especially for carbohydrates. People with depression typically have little energy. Other common signs of depression include an unshakable feeling of sadness, inability to experience pleasure, early awakening or multiple awakenings throughout the night, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, other sleep disorders, inability to concentrate, and indecisiveness. Feeling of worthlessness or guilt may be accompanied by recurrent thoughts of death. Anyone who has some or all of these symptoms nearly every day for more than 2 weeks may be suffering from major depression.

Unfortunately, people over the age of 65 are four times more likely to suffer from depression than younger people. However, elderly sufferers do not always exhibit the classic signs. Instead, they may show signs of dementia, complain of aches and pains, and appear agitated, anxious, or irritable. Researchers estimate that almost one-third of widows and widowers meet the criteria for depression in the first 4 weeks after the death of a spouse. Half of these people are still clinically depressed after a year. If you notice symptoms of depression in someone, try to persuade the person to see a doctor.

People with Parkinson's disease, stroke, arthritis, thyroid disorders, and cancer often suffer from depression. But the person may feel depressed because he has a serious illness or because the underlying disease has triggered a chemical change in the brain. Depression also can be a side effect of many medications taken for other existing conditions. These include beta-blockers for hypertension, digoxin and other drugs for heart disease, indomethacin and other painkillers, corticosteroids (including prednisone), antiparkinsonism drugs, antihistamines, and oral contraceptives and other hormonal agents.

What to Expect With Bipolar Disorder

You have just been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. It can be devastating to you and your loved ones. It can be treated with medicine and a great knowledge of the disorder. You can say that it is a mood disorder. It is also known as manic depressive disorder. This disorder runs in the families.

Symptoms may include feelings of hopelessness, wanting to sleep all the time, irritability, inability to concentrate, suicide. You might even lose your job because of these.

There are three types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I; you are more manic than depressed. Bipolar II; you are more depressed than manic. And bipolar III; you can be both manic and depressed. Once your psychiatrist determines which one you have, you can start your treatment plan.

Some of the treatment plans could be counseling, group therapy, medication therapy and hospitalization. Bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in your brain. To keep yourself stable you need to continue taking your medications for the rest of your life. Most bipolar patients stop taking their medications once they start to feel better. Don't do that. You must take your meds for the rest of your life.

You will start to feel better once the medication takes hold, but don't stop taking them. This will lead to relapses hospitalization or suicide. Teens that have bipolar disorder seem to want to commit suicide (if not treated) than grown adults.

Medications vary for bipolar disorder. It can be Lithium, the oldest and well known medication. It is known as a mood stabilizer. Another one is Topamax. It is an anticonvulsant drug. It is new and will help control the ups and downs of bipolar. There are many out there. Talk to your psychiatrist; work out the plan that best suits you.

This is going to be a life style change for you and your loved ones. First and foremost stop drinking and taking illegal drugs if you do. This will only cause negative consequences and can make this disorder worse. Surround yourself with upbeat, positive people. They will help you and will not lead you into bad things.

Exercise, exercise. The more the better. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals (endorphins) and that makes you feel good. Watch your diet, eat good, healthy foods. Get plenty of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. He might recommend something to help you sleep.

You may want to try alternative medicine, though you must talk to your doctor first. The medical field is not sure if these work or not. We all have heard of St. John's Wort. This helps with depression, but can also cause more severe mania in some people. Yoga may help you in depression and mood swings. Maybe get a massage, it loosens up those muscles and can make you feel a lot better. It will release a lot of your stress. The list goes on and on. Again, check with your doctor before doing anything out of the norm.

On a final note, be truthful with your doctor. Tell him everything, leaving nothing out. The only way he can help you is to know what's wrong with you. Tell them what medications you are on, do you smoke or drink.

How Nutritional Supplements Can Help Reduce Stress

I always wondered how an herbal supplement could reduce stress. It sounded absurd, impossible, and bordering on a false claim. I always believed that stress was directly linked to what happens to us. Period. If good things happen, no stress; if bad things happen, we get stressed. Simple, neat, and easy to grasp.

Then I learned how life's events influence our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. A model was shown to me that had four letters: A, B, C & D. Each letter represented a distinct stage of progression; from what happens, to our behavior that stems from those events. Here's the model...

A - is an event. Something happens that affects us;
B - is how we perceive and process that event;
C - is the emotions produced from how we perceive and process the event;
D - is our behavior which is based on those emotions.

That's all good, but how do nutritional supplements help reduce stress? Let me give you a little background before I answer this.

It is a scientific fact that poor nutrition leads to diminished brain function and proper nutrition leads to improved brain function. Diminished brain function can also be a contributing factor of depression and other undesirable traits like negativity and pessimism. Sure, some depression, negativity, and pessimism stems from learned traits or personality issues, but studies have shown that clinical depression (which often manifest in negativity and pessimism), can be linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain. This imbalance is nearly always a lack, or deficiency of something. Logic dictates that it would help to balance the imbalance; to supply (ie, supplement) something to eliminate the lack and/or deficiency and to give yourself the very best nutritional advantage for optimum brain function.

Sadly, a lot of people turn to prescription drugs to solve these problems. While results vary widely with prescription drugs, one constant is ever present... unwanted side effects. Have you ever listened to the list of possible side effects for prescription drugs on the T.V. commercials, or read them in their literature? It's simply mind boggling! But desperate people will try anything in the hopes that something will help. There's an old saying, "A drowning person will grasp razor blades." But there's a better way to address diminished brain function than taking chemicals that will likely cause unwanted, and even debilitating side effects.

With the right nutritional supplements, you will have improved brain function. With improved brain function comes the ability to rightly perceive life's events without catastrophizing them or bringing shades of paranoia, negativity, and pessimism to bear on every situation. Let me share one of my favorite quotes... Shakespeare said, "For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." (Hamlet - Act 2, Scene 2) I'm not going to say that there are never bad things that happen in life. My point is that merely by thinking (perceiving & processing), we can make a good event bad or make a bad event worse. Those with diminished brain function tend to manufacture stress by their worldview and outlook on life, while those with improved brain function tend to view things in the best possible light and make the best of a bad situation.

Can the right nutritional supplements make your life stress free? No, nothing can. But they can help reduce stress in your life by helping improve brain function and all that goes with it. We can't help what happens in life... life happens! Hence, (A). But with a better (B), we get a better (C). And with a better (C) we get a better (D). And that, my friends, is how nutritional supplements help reduce stress in our lives!

The best nutritional supplements that I have found to improve brain function is Sta-Natural. Results are the bottom line for me. Sta-Young is the product that helps improve brain function. It has superior antioxidant potency and bioavailability. It is 500 times more powerful than vitamin E and provides the best bioavailability to all vital organs. Sta-Young also crosses the blood-brain barrier, distinguishing itself from other antioxidants. Do yourself a favor, start taking nutritional supplements, improving your brain function, and having a better life right away!

Straight Depression or Bipolar Depression?

In the past, doctors were accused of being under-sensitive to the signs of bipolar disorder. More recently, the numbers of people diagnosed with bipolar have steadily climbed, leading to the accusation that doctors are now over-sensitized. There's a problem here and it isn't just about diagnostic trends and bandwagons. Screening and diagnostic practices for bipolar disorder remain patchy and this is due, in part at least, to blurry boundaries that can exist between conditions.

Take a look at any forum relating to depression and/or bipolar disorder and a theme begins to emerge. First, there is the person who having been diagnosed with unipolar depression wonders if they actually have bipolar depression. Secondly, the reverse scenario, in which having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder the person wonders if they really should be considered as suffering with unipolar depression? How do these issues come about?

If we consider each in turn the cloud of confusion begins to dispel. Why might a person who can only ever recall being depressed be receiving medication normally usually prescribed for bipolar disorder? The answer should be fairly simple. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder can only be made if the person has experienced at least one episode of hypomania or mania. And this is where it gets messy. Diagnosing mania is far easier than its milder cousin hypomania (hypo meaning less than or under) and it is just possible that the extra energy and 'high' felt by someone emerging from a period of depression is actually what the rest of us might regard as normal. Then again, treatment with lithium, the standard medication for mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, can sometimes be prescribed as a catalyst for people who are unresponsive to standard antidepressants.

According to the definition of hypomania, which goes along the lines of, 'a distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least four days, that is clearly different from the usual non depressed mood,' a distinguishing feature is that the mood doesn't change in the light of good or bad circumstances. Coach and horses come to mind with this concept. It seems to me that four days is a very narrow window in which to pass such a judgment. Add the issue of good or bad circumstances and I think we've got a bigger problem. Most people live rather predictable lives that rarely involve especially good or bad circumstances. Even if such circumstances were to occur, the idea they would conveniently overlap a four-day period of expansive or irritable mood seems absurd. Establishing 'normal' when it comes to mood is a highly subjective issue at the best of times. Establishing what is 'elevated' compared to someone who is almost always depressed must be spectacularly difficult.

Let's now consider the issue of the person diagnosed with unipolar depression who wonders if they may actually have bipolar disorder? The same rules, or problems perhaps, apply. How do we know whether the periods of relief from depression simply elevate the mood to a rare and unusual place? Happiness is normal after all so don't people starved of this most elemental quality have the right to immerse themselves in it when it comes their way.

Diagnosing bipolar disorder is a complex process that involves time and symptom elimination. Until recently, most people diagnosed with bipolar disorder waited an average of ten years before their symptoms were recognized for what they were. It's a process where patients and clinicians have to work together but being cautious not to pathologize behavior simply because it is rare or unusual.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winning Foods to Ward Off Depression

We all have our ups and downs in life, but for the nearly 15 million people who suffer with depression each year, the downs in life become the norm with few ups, if any. Although both men and women experience depression, it is known to be more common for women and even more common for women who battle weight issues and poor body-image.

Valentine's Day can be a terrible time for women who are depressed. This is because in couples, it is often met with the sadness and disappointment of unmet expectations of their partners. For single women longing for a relationship, it is a time that can deepen their sense of loneliness leading to even deeper depression.

Research now shows that depression can be helped by making better choices in what we eat and drink, controlling our weight and feeling good about our body-image. With wine and chocolate being the food and drink symbolic of love and romance, it may surprise you to know that they can also heighten depression. In this article, we'll look at some winning foods to help you mind your health, control your weight and ward off depression on Valentine's Day and all year long.

Winning Foods to Ward Off Depression:

Carbohydrates:Your brain needs carbohydrates to function optimally. The problem is when you eat too many refined carbohydrates and sugar you are causing spikes and lows in your blood glucose levels that can induce or worsen symptoms of depression. To ward off these symptoms, you'll want to eat less refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, white bagels and less sugar such as found in chocolate, cake, pastries, cookies, pies, muffins and other fatty baked goods. Replace these with healthier carbohydrates such as found in fruits and vegetable.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Studies suggests that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and sardines can help fight depression.

B vitamins: Research has shown that when your body is too low on B vitamin folic acid and too high in a protein called homocysteine, you are at increased risk of depression. Folic acid and other B vitamins have all been shown to lower homocysteine levels. Increase your B vitamins by eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.

Eating depression-friendly foods is not necessarily going to cure your depression. Healthy eating is only one piece of a complex puzzle. It must be combined with other measures such as counseling, therapy and medication where necessary. If you think you may be suffering from depression, then be sure to consult a medical professional. In the mean time, start taking charge of your health by eating more of these winning foods to ward off the symptoms of depression.

Life Quotes to Elevate Your Spirit and Help Conquer Depression

Do you struggle with depression or do you often find that you are feeling down?

You can turn to life quotes to immediately elevate your spirits!

Quotations are insightful words that can improve your outlook on life and wise quotations can change your perspective so that you begin to feel better.

There are thousands of useful, insightful, moving quotations about life that can assist you in making it through stressful periods in your life, and that can deepen your understanding about life in general.

Life quotes, when read, repeated, written down, and reflected on can truly change your attitude.

You might use a quote to repeat to yourself throughout the day like "Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live," so that you can remember to remain light-hearted during tough times.

You can write the quotation in your journal and express your feelings just below the quote so that you can release some of the negativity you are feeling.

Use life quotes wherever you can see them so that they can instantly change your state of mind, affect your subconscious, and alter your mood.

Keep Fave Quotes on Cards, Journal

Put your favorite quotations about life on postcards, on post-it notes, on index cards, or carry around a small journal with all of the best quotations on life in it. Refer to your posted or documented quotations and expressions on life whenever you need to throughout the day.

Perhaps you know of someone that is feeling down, depressed, or sad. You can help to elevate their spirits too by sharing some of the life quotes that you like.

You can simply reiterate the quote to the person so that they will think about the wise words you offer or you can write them a letter with the quotations at the beginning and end of the letter.

You can also send small cards or notes to a person with special quotations on them to help elevate their mood. You can even add life quotes to your email communications by adding them to your signature.

You will find that you may actually lift someone's spirits and make them smile without any further effort or work on your part!

One thing is for certain: quotations and insightful expressions on life are words that are meant to be used, to be reflected on, and quotes are definitely something wonderful to share with others.

The Emotional Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Most MS patients recognize the symptoms of MS within a few months of their diagnosis. The emotional effects are not visible externally, so may be overlooked by the families or carers of MS patients and even by the patients themselves. Despite the fact that it has the same physical cause, the effect of MS on the way somebody thinks is different to other symptoms. If the messages passing from the brain to the rest of the body via the central nervous system are distorted by MS it is hardly surprising the actual way the brain works is affected as well.

Therefore the tricks multiple sclerosis plays on the internal messaging systems of the central nervous system can take MS patients by surprise.

These mental effects can include:

Euphoria, which means an "exaggerated and unrealistic state of happiness", is a fairly common emotional symptom. It may not sound too bad, but it can be a problem if it means uncontrollable giggling when nothing funny has happened. Like being drunk, euphoria is quite fun at the time, but is frustrating for outsiders who can see perfectly well there is no joke and is potentially disastrous when talking to employers or people in authority.

Depression is at least as bad for people with MS as for people who are otherwise healthy, although it is impossible to tell how far the bad news about having MS is a cause in itself. Is it cause or is it an effect? Perhaps MS depression is both a cause and effect. In any case, depression amongst MS sufferers is well above the average for the population as a whole.

Irrational mood swings are a feature of MS that combines both euphoria and depression. The families of people with MS are often baffled by the sudden and unpredictable lurches from highs to lows.

Some researchers claim that more abstract concepts such as spacial awareness can become difficult for multiple sclerosis patients.

Clearer examples of thought problems are memory lapses, which can look like lazy thinking, carelessness, or just plain rudeness. MS patients are sometimes embarrassed to find they have forgotten the names of people they know very well.

Certainly MS patients can find it difficult to articulate ideas, especially in a group setting. Speech is at the complex crossover between the mental and the physical working of the brain, so it is inevitable that the MS patient has to learn to manage the way he or she talks, especially when feeling the effects of one of the emotional symptoms of euphoria, depression, or is undergoing irrational mood swings.

Depression Daily Ritual

Why am I using the word ritual on the title of this page?

I am not using it on the religious context of the word. Rituals implies a personal choice and tend to be followed more than habits.

Habits one can break easily, but rituals not so much. Rituals do have a more profound moral and mental connotation and there are not so easily broken.

I decided to follow a "Depression Help Morning Success Ritual" as soon as I get up.

With a mental illness such as depression getting up can, usually is, the most excruciating time of the day.

So, if you follow a particular ritual, nothing heavy, can help you get your day started on the right foot.

This is what I do as my daily Depression Help Ritual:

1.- Get up at 6 am (you know it is recommended to get up and go to bed at the same time, weekends included, to get your brain hormones released on a regular flow).

2.- Drink a half a liter of water. It's been proven that the body gets dehydrated during the night. So, makes sense to drink water (no, not coffee or tea, plain water).

3.- Go the bathroom (no explanations here).

4.- Floss and brush your teeth (the intention of this is to start your day clean and refresh and what better way than to start with your mouth. We'll take a shower a bit latter)

5.- Meditation for 5 or 10 minutes (if your preference is for a longer period of time, by all means go for it).

6.- Light exercise such as yoga or pilates for 10 to 15 minutes (the intention here is to pump up your heart rate a bit). The single most important method of emotional renewal is to increase your heart rate. This is very true

7.- Take a shower.

8.- Get on with your day.

I have been following this Depression Help Ritual for approximately 2 years, and you have no idea how much has helped me, especially on those dreary days of winter.

As you see, this is simple routine that requires very little time and effort and there are some things in it that you must do any way, such as going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth and taking a shower. So, might as well make them part of your Depression Help Daily Ritual.

Of course this is not set in stone, you can make adjustments that fit your life style. Some people like to go to the gym first time in the morning, well go for it.

The intention here is to set up a simple, easy to follow morning ritual that you commit to follow every day with the intention of getting your day started on a solid and stable ground.

With this simple Depression Help Ritual you take care of your body, your mind and your spirit.

Things That Drag You Into Depression

A depressed state of mind is never something that you would like to be apart of your life. There are many situations that compel man to get into depression. The helplessness created by certain situations drags him to a sad state of mind that makes him unhappy. In most of the cases, there are very common reasons that may compel a person to get depressed. Most of these include divorce cases, financial degradation of bad health. In cases where people are not happy with the present state of personal relationships, they tend to stay aloof. They avoid friends and relatives. They seek isolation. However, what happens actually is just the reverse. They suffer from sadness and get into depression.

There are cases when people get to know that they are suffering from bad health. In some cases, doctors even declare anticipated death. In such cases, people may suffer from chemical imbalances within the brain and this may cause depression. There are many other causes like physiological reasons. Under this banner come reasons that make a may unhappy. These are the ones when he does not like the pattern of his life. In these cases, the life of a person is not as per his desires. In this case, the person may resort to silence. He may not socialise. People who get into depression often take resort to drugs and alcohol. This is a general tendency. As a result of this, the condition even worsens. In all these cases, the person suffers from degraded health. As he feels unhealthy from inside, the brain becomes even more inactive and this may cause further depression.

One of the other common reasons behind a person getting into depression is the financial degradation. A person may suffer from lack of money. This may create an extra burden on his head. This is a very common reason behind many people getting into depression. If the condition is worst, they may even attempt to suicide. Such cases may cause them to lose their lives permanently. The gloomy environment aggravates this kind of a problem. It is generally advisable that for people who suffer from this kind of feeling, very lively and colourful environments should be maintained. This will help them to recover from a sad state of mind.

Another strong reason behind a sad state of mind of people is their unsatisfied mind. Some people are very unsatisfied with the work profile and the work culture. The monotonous state of life everyday makes them unhappy. They look for variety. In lack of all these things, they tend to get sad. People who do not enjoy their wok generally find it very difficult to avoid depression.

Music Therapy: Quick and Easy Help for Depression

If you are looking for help for depression, music therapy can provide the stimulation your brain needs to elevate your mood and ease your symptoms.

Depression is a condition which is effected by a fluctuating neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for mood changes.

For some people, these chemical imbalances can be treated with medication. For others, however, drug therapy is almost as uncomfortable as the depression, itself.

Music therapy is a useful alternative to medication as it has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental conditions. Music therapy promotes successful outcomes as a result of stimulating healthy changes in the brain.

Not only are symptoms of depression improved, but this new field of healthcare continues to show promise in helping to manage pain, and treat conditions like autism, ADD and certain types of cancer.

Why is music therapy so effective? Well, if you've ever listened to music you know how it has the power to stir your emotions.

Think about the music heard during a movie. If you've ever watched a horror film, you know how deep, pulsating, foreboding background music can cause your blood pressure to rise, your heart to race as you anticipate something scary about to happen.

Sad or romantic movies can effect you even more strongly by the slow, dulcet tones of the music played during emotional scenes. You can feel sexually aroused, romantically attracted, or sad and tearful. There is a reason this happens.

Specific types of music are composed in specific ways. The notes which make up this music stimulate changes in your brain waves.

The way certain tempos resonate lead to brain waves resonating at the same frequency. These brain waves directly effect heart beat and breathing functions. When a piece of music has a quick, exciting tempo, your heart and breathing rates speed up to match quickening beat.

Conversely, listening to slow musical tempos tends to lower your heart rate and slow your breathing. As a result, your body and mind become more relaxed and serene. Stress levels are lowered, and their negative effects on the body are reduced.

There is a quote which states, ""Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul."

Just as depression puts you in a particular state of mind, so can listening to music. Think of some of your favorite songs. What images and feelings do they bring up? By using familiar songs which bring about a relaxed, happier state of mind, you can immediately counter your suffering from depression. Music therapy can give you results much faster than many medications.

So how do you use music therapy as help for depression? You can consult a trained music therapist to help you develop your own therapeutic regimen. Or you can just listen to the music you already know has a positive effect on the way you feel. The great thing about music therapy is it is free, and as easy as turning on your stereo, iPod,or radio.