Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ten Little Tips to Feel Happier Right Now

Don't wait to make a big change in the quality of your life.  Eight of these ten little ways to happiness can be done in less than five minutes.

1. Smile.  Raise the corners of your mouth.  Soon your smile will become genuine.  The smile that begins as an effort and a pretense quickly grows to become genuine, and given time, a habit of happiness.  In the words of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

2. Breathe deeply and slowly.  Focus your entire attention on each in-breath and out-breath.  Imagine drawing new clean energy in through the top of your head on each in-breath, and expelling old stale energy out the soles of your feet on each out-breath.

3. Take a quiet walk by yourself.  Focus on each step and on your breathing.  As stray thoughts enter your mind, thank each one, and quickly release the thought and return to a focus on your breathing and your steps.

4. Count your blessings.  Make a gratitude list.  You have thousands of reasons to be thankful.  Be thankful for those who serve you.  Make a list of those you depend upon.  Everyone has many people who help along the way.  Don't forget those who grow and deliver your food, keep your electricity and telephone running, provide emergency medical care, and protect the safety of your community and your nation.

5. Forgive someone for something right now.  Release the resentment and anger.  This practice is for you to become happier.  Telling the other person that you forgive them is completely optional, and is merely a bonus.

6. Stretch your body.  Do yoga, do qigong, or just stand and stretch.  As a simple stretch, stand and hold your arms out to your sides forming a cross. Gently bend each hand back at the wrist until the fingers point straight upward. Twist each hand and arm in a wringing motion as if you were operating a screwdriver.

7. Turn on happy music and dance.  Don't stop 'til you're tired.  Dance with someone or dance all by yourself.  Choose music that makes you want to move and keep moving such as Latin Fitness Dance music.

8. Spend some time with a furry friend. If you don't have your own, borrow a cat or dog to love today.

9. Be of service.  Find someone who has worse troubles than you and do something nice for them today.

10. Have a conversation with God (or whatever you call your Higher Power).  Approach the conversation with an attitude of gratitude rather than neediness.

What Makes Sun Salutations So Great?

Don't be taken aback if the first quote here appears to be gibberish, but:

"aadityanamaskaaram yE kurvanti din E din E janmaantarasahasrEna daaridra'm n OpajaayatE"

Now here is its meaning:

"The Man who performs Sun Salutations daily does not get poor in a thousand births!"

So what exactly are the Sun Salutations?

Well, this exercise is a combination of Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Sun Bathing (if done in an open space) and Respiratory Cleansing.

Taking That Into Consideration, here are some of its benefits:

- It alleviates disorders of the skin and visceral organs

- It helps with restoring flexibility and corrects old or acquired habits of improper breathing.

-It exercises the legs and arms, thus increasing the circulation.

- It is one of the best ways to burn calories and reduce weight WITHOUT any cumbersome or expensive equipment and is often recommended for obesity and depression.

- It is quite helpful with loosening up, stretching and warming up almost joints and internal organs of the body. This lends itself to a more effective yoga session with a lesser risk of injuries owing to inadequately warmed up muscles.

- It has a stimulating, restorative and balancing effect on all the systems of the body including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive systems.

- In actuality, if you are familiar with "burpies" (the calisthenics exercise), they do derive their origin from the Sun Salutations and these exercises are said to help with explosiveness, agility, endurance and coordination. These all being components of fitness that will be enhanced by a regular Sun Salutation session.

It is noteworthy of mention that if you do 10-20 minutes a day alone of these powerful exercises along with basic natural movements such as dancing, walking, running, jumping etc, they will be more than sufficient to aid in weight loss and spiritual enhancement.

Here's to health.

Foras Aje

How to Save Big With Health Insurance

This recession has taken a toll on nearly every American and no place has it hit us harder than with health insurance and healthcare costs. It has been stated that the number one cause for bankruptcies in the US is healthcare crises and lack of proper health insurance and coverage. All it takes is for you to go and take one visit to the doctor and what used to be $100 bill or so is now easily $400 or even $500 or more.

All it takes is for the doctor to prescribe some lab tests and your bill will quickly escalate to several hundred dollars. This doesn't even include any prescribed medication that you have to pick up at your local pharmacy. Now usually you can get the pharmaceutical costs of your prescriptions down by asking for generics and to do this right you must tell your doctor before they give you a prescription that you want a generic. If you don't do this you will go to the pharmacist with a non-generic prescription and they will most likely tell you that it is not available in generic form. This happens on purpose because the doctor and pharmacist all get paid a commission or similar based on how many non-generic prescriptions they write.

Now let's get back to the purchase article which show you how to save money with health insurance. I just want to show you how healthcare costs can quickly get out of hand if you don't have healthcare coverage or inadequate health insurance. Now the best way to get where save money on health insurance nowadays is by searching online and getting a quote online. There's only a few websites online that I recommend you use select a quote and Ehealthinsurance. Through these sites you can submit one application to numerous companies and you can get a quick quote for several different policies and you can even compare different plans, coverages, etc...

Be sure and read all the fine or small print as subtle differences could make huge changes in your monthly payments and coverages. Also be sure and look into the difference in add-ons like dental coverage, zero deductible prescriptions ( some companies have this and some don't), higher total insurance coverage amounts (Aetna allows you to select a higher total like 7 million instead of 2 million), etc...

Be wary of sites that tell you they will give you instant quote and then after you've entered in your information they tell you that an insurance trouble contact you. Many sites like this will try and send a scammy insurance representative to your house whom will try and sell you on high deductible low coverage insurance which basically doesn't cover anything but with the promise of a free ambulatory helicopter flight from anywhere in the world if needed - just be sure and read the fine print because this probably isn't even covered under most circumstances anyway. So there are some scams to beware of.

The easiest way to root out the scams is to not answer your home phone and to tell them that they need to send you the actual quotes through your e-mail. If they cannot do this they are scam. So go online and use select a quote and ehealthinsurance to get your free quick quotes and compare the various plans and costs and save yourself some big money on your health insurance.

Candidiasis Hypersensitivity (Systemic Candida) - Is It Really a Fraud

A number of authors promote the diagnosis and treatment of a syndrome they call Candidiasis Hypersensitivity (sometimes also called "systemic Candida", or "systemic yeast infections."

This diagnosis earned a spot on the "Top 10 Health Fraud" list.

Yet thousands of people are absolutely convinced that a long list of generalized symptoms, for which their medical doctor has no remedy, are caused by Candida yeast.

Dr. William G. Crook, who wrote The Yeast Connection and started an organization called The Candida and Dysbiosis Information Foundation, is probably the most famous promoter of this illness, which has never been accepted by mainstream doctors.

Dr. Crook listed many possible symptoms that he claimed were associated with this illness, including lethargy, fatigue, food cravings, depression, infertility, and more. Some authors list as many as 30 vague and generalized symptoms for this syndrome.

Very serious systemic yeast infections are quite common in AIDS patients and others with a compromised immune system, and can be fatal. However there is no proof that Candida yeast will cause the list of generalized symptoms claimed for this syndrome in the general population.

Although authors have claimed to be experts in treating this syndrome for the 29 years, the only common illnesses that scientists have proven to be caused by Candida yeast in individuals without a compromised immune system are skin, vaginal and male yeast infections, and oral thrush. However, some promoters of this syndrome claim that up to 30% of all people suffer from excess Candida yeast.

Dr. Crook himself quotes The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), who looked into this issue and found that:

The Concept is speculative and unproven.

a. The basic elements of the syndrome would apply to almost all sick patients at some time. The complaints are essentially universal; the broad treatment program would produce remission in most illnesses regardless of cause.

b. There is no published proof the Candida albicans is responsible for the syndrome.

c. There is no published proof that the treatment of Candida albicans infection with specific antifungal agents benefits the syndrome.

It is also interesting to note that, in spite of the numerous, (and complicated) "Candida diets" that have been promoted as a possible cure for this syndrome, Dr. Crook based the diet and cookbook he himself recommended on the nutritional research done by Nathan Pritikin, a man Dr. Crook greatly admired.

The Pritikin diet was not developed in response to yeast infections - it was designed to reduce the incidence of heart disease, and research has proven over many years that it is highly effective in reaching that goal.

As the AAAAI suggested in their findings, many, if not all, of the generalized symptoms associated with the so-called candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome could go away simply from eating a healthy, nutritious diet, such as the one Mr. Pritikin developed. There is no way to prove that the symptoms are actually caused by yeast, or if they are simply the body's natural response to poor eating habits, obesity, and a lack of exercise.

Although the "Candida diets" may actually make you healthier, the herbal antifungal remedies that are also suggested for people suffering from the fatigue, lethargy, and other symptoms listed by these authors should cause some concern.

True yeast infections of the vagina, penis, skin and mouth are often the result of the use of antibiotics, which kill the body's beneficial bacteria. These bacteria are needed by the digestive system, and they're your first line of defense against yeast infections.

The herbal remedies that are often recommended by "Candida experts" are known to damage the beneficial bacteria, and this could actually lead to more severe vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush in the future.

It is also known that Candida yeast evolves very quickly to become drug-resistant. The use of any antifungal medications, including herbal remedies, should always take this into account.

This is the reason why your doctor will always prefer to prescribe a topical antifungal medication, instead of one taken by mouth, unless a systemic drug is really needed.

When Candida becomes drug resistant, the next infection is much more difficult to treat, and you could find yourself the victim of chronic vaginal or male yeast infections that can make your life miserable.

For these reasons, it is always a good idea to have a very frank talk with your doctor before beginning any herbal course of treatment for generalized symptoms that popular authors blame on Candida. If you take these herbal remedies without your doctor's advice, you may discover to your dismay that you have created an even bigger problem for yourself, including very unwelcome and hard-to-cure chronic yeast infections.

Arthritis Cure - Dealing With Depression and Osteoarthritis

Depression is a most common side effect of osteoarthritis. This occurs when you start out healthy, being able to do things for yourself, but overtime you are less able to take care of yourself as the pains get worse. Research has shown that up to twenty percent of people with osteoarthritis are depressed at any given time, a percentage consistent with that found in other people with chronic diseases.

If osteoarthritis has left you depressed, there are a number of things you can do in addition to the arthritis treatment you get from your doctor.

1 Psychotherapy
This is often referred to as the 'talking cure', and it is used to treat mild episodes of depression.

2 Drug Therapy
This is the use of drugs to improve the symptoms of depression. The class of drugs used for this purpose is called antidepressants. It is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any antidepressant because medicines used in treating depression sometimes have different side effects.

Psychotherapy and drug therapy are mostly combined to treat arthritis patients with depression, and this combined approach has advantages.
It reestablishes normal body patterns more quickly
It helps to ensure compliance in taking medication
It recognizes the dual influence of biology and environment.

3 Learn to cope with your condition
Research has shown that those who cope best with any disease are less likely to develop depression, that is, those who deal with their osteoarthritis are less likely to sink into depression. Be proactive at solving your problem, and try to be as flexible with your daily activities as possible. Be ready to modify your lifestyle in a positive way, thereby winning the battle over depression.

4 Get Social Support
It is advisable for you to join a support group where you can find sympathetic ears and get some advice on coping with your condition.

5 Learn to Relax
Always find a way to cool off and reduce your stress. The best defense against stress is a positive attitude.

Stress itself may not cause depression but can make it worse. It signals certain glands to release high-voltage chemicals that can 'shock' the body and weaken the immune system, making your osteoarthritis symptoms seem worse while increasing your risk of getting some other disease.

Do anything you can to relax and shake off the stress- listening to music, meditating, or taking up a hobby. Getting enough sleep is also essential to reducing stress.

6 Touch Therapy
Research has shown that touch can reduce psychological stress associated with arthritis. And only a very soft touch is required as bear hugs may be too much for many osteoarthritis sufferers. A gentle, loving touch can be very beneficial in fighting arthritis.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fish Oil and Depression - Can Fish Oil Cure Depression?

There have been numerous studies conducted to prove the relationship between fish oil and depression, and so far the results have been quite encouraging. Depression is nothing new; it is in fact a normal occurrence in one's life, an expected reaction when unfortunate circumstances happen. There are indeed periods in your life when you would get depressed. Even the most mundane things can get you depressed, and that's still pretty okay as long as the reasons are deemed justifiable, but when your depressed state persists for a long time and when it already affects your state of mind and general well being, like when you are having one sleepless night to another, panic attacks, losing weight, and so on, you could already be suffering from manic depression. In such a case, medical attention may be required.

Lithium is the drug of choice for manic depression. Unfortunately, while it has been found effective, it does not come without annoying reactions such as tremors and weight gain. So scientists and health experts are looking into other alternative means so as to reduce one's dependence on drugs, and it looks like fish oil can be a possible treatment for this kind of problem. The oil from fish contains essential fatty acids, you see, which are believed to boost brain health, and stabilize the actions of the nerve cells, working in almost the same way as the anticonvulsant lithium.

These essential fatty acids in fish come in the form of Omega-3. Omega 3, as you know, is related to heart health as well, which makes its inclusion in the diet not just important but required. The thing is, it's not recommended that you eat fish every day, because of the presence of toxins in many varieties of fish. Besides, not every person glory in the thought of eating fish. So bank on other rich sources of Omega-3 such as flaxseed oil, olive oil, as well as green and leafy vegetables and yellow vegetables; make sure you get a good amount of these in your diet. Also, taking dietary supplements may be worth considering.

Word about the possible relationship between fish oil and depression gets around pretty quickly, encouraging manufactures to formulate products containing fish oil in the form of supplements. This supplement have already been processed so you can be assured that these are no longer contaminated with toxins. It has to be emphasized, however, that you should not take the supplements on your own, more so if you are already into some other anti-depression therapy. You cannot simply stop taking your current medications and replace them with fish oil supplements.

The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about fish oil and the role of Omega-3. Manic depression is a condition that should not be taken lightly, and self-medication is never advisable in such a circumstance. Your doctor knows how much dosage of fish supplement you need to take.

Stocking up on the essential knowledge about fish oil and depression can help you on your way to recovery.

Jiddu Krishnamurti and Self Responsibility

You are not at the whim of others.

As the problems of life mount and the disappointment in who you are and have become becomes more glaring, the natural tendency is to find blame.

Where have we gone wrong?

How did it come to this?

What happened to us?

And as the obstacles in life grow ever more numerous, and only more difficult to overcome, we begin to believe that they control us; that if not for these things, or those people, we would be different. We would be better, and happier, and more successful.

And as we place blame elsewhere, so do we place our hopes. We begin thinking that we must wait for certain things to pass and certain conditions to exist. We put our expectation of salvation at some distant time when we'll be "ready" or more "prepared". We tell ourselves that things will be better when the boss sees our skills and abilities, when our partners learns to appreciate us, when God sees fit to bless us.

The 20th century philosopher J. Krishnamurti once said the following:

"You cannot depend upon anybody. There is no guide, no teacher, no authority. There is only you, your relationship with others and with the world. There is nothing else. When you realize this, it either brings great despair, from which comes cynicism and bitterness, or, in facing the fact that you and nobody else is responsible for the world and for yourself, for what you think, what you feel, how you act, all self-pity goes."

When one sees - finally and conclusively - that they alone are responsible for their lives, the realization is often one of fear. To be on your own - to be alone - is indeed scary.

When one places the blame for their life elsewhere there comes with it a strange comfort that they are safe - from their decisions and from their responsibility. They are able to live believing that their existence and happiness is not their burden, but simply something random and uncontrollable.

But to discover the opposite - while scary - is also liberating. You are free finally of the attachment to the choices and whims of others, and at last the master of your life. And in this life there is no room for self-pity, for the idea that your problems are the result of someone else.

You and you alone are responsible.

You and you alone are culpable.

You and you alone are able.

From you comes everything, and from you will come everything.

Can Being Happier Help Your Fight Against Breast Cancer?

A cancer diagnosis is not something that you can usually put a positive spin on, and if you or a loved one has been given such terrible news is perfectly understandable to be feeling at an all-time low. However, the fight against breast cancer is not only a physical one; it's also an emotional one. Being happier can help your body fight cancer more effectively and suffer less from the expected side-effects of most cancer treatments.

Happy Means a Better Immune System

Have you ever noticed how happy people seem to fall sick less than those who always seem dark and depressed? The chemicals our body produces when we're stressed out or depressed have a negative effect on our immune systems, which in the case of cancer patients under treatment is compounded by the fact that neither radio nor chemotherapy are kind to the body natural defences. Avoiding stress and depression as much as possible can help your body fight cancer more effectively and reduce the chances of a secondary infection causing even more damage.

Feeling Better and Stronger

Many people who have beaten cancer point to being always optimistic as one of the things that kept them fighting until they were given the all-clear and it's not surprising. When you are happy you have more energy and feel better, and can take better decisions about your own health. Your body is also stronger and has better chances of beating the sickness along with traditional treatment, and it's somehow easier to overlook the side effects if you generally feel happier and know that you'll beat breast cancer. Keeping your spirits high is key to helping your body be in top shape when you are fighting cancer. And if you need to take difficult decisions such a surgery it can also help you adapt better to any changes on your body consequence of treatment.

Psychosomatic Side Effects

It's not only that being happy helps your body fight cancer more effectively: Being depressed can harm your chances as your body will reflect your mood in a myriad of small, but annoying, side effects. For example, you may discover that stress gives you a headache, which prevents you from sleeping properly. If you don't sleep well, you are depriving your body from the time it needs to recover and do all sorts of maintenance tasks, lowering your general health and making it even more difficult to deal with your medication and the physical symptoms of cancer. And this just makes sleeping even more difficult. Staying optimistic and keeping in mind that cancer can be beaten is vital to avoid this.

How to Help a Depressed Teenage Boy Quickly and Naturally

If you think that you have a depressed teenage boy, you need to get him help. In this article, you'll learn three steps that you can take and why it is essential to take action right away.

Make no mistake: teen depression can be as debilitating as that experienced by adults. The last thing that parents or other authorities should do is assume that it may be nothing but a passing stage. Teens are a high at risk group and teenage boys are much more likely than teen girls to be successful at their first suicide attempt. Although depression does not always result in suicide, it certainly is a contributing factor.

A depressed teen boy is not someone who is sad. Most people don't realize that there is a difference between sadness and depression. When you are sad, you can get over it with the help of family, friends and sometimes a professional. But teens who are depressed have gone beyond sadness to feeling nothing. They are apathetic and indifferent. Life has lost its meaning, so there may be little motivation to get out of bed. Obviously, when teens don't care, this can lead to acts of self-destruction or even behaviors that seem accidental, but are really not.

There are many medications available for treating a depressed teenage boy, but what parents need to understand is that drugs are not always the right answer. Prescribing drugs can be a hit-or-miss situation because some people tolerate certain drugs better than others. Since some antidepressants have been known to increase thoughts of suicide in teenagers, it pays to do your research and learn about all the potential side effects.

Although there is not enough space here to talk about all the different drugs, here are a few things that parents need to know. Number one, all drugs have side effects. The question is whether the patient can tolerate the side effects or not. Number two, drugs will not cure a depressed teen boy, but only suppress his symptoms. If he stops taking the antidepressant, the symptoms will return. Third, some of these drugs are so new, the long term effects on a developing teenage brain have not yet been studied.

For the reasons above, many parents prefer to use natural alternatives. Natural remedies can be just as effective at treating depression as prescription drugs, but without all the side effects. Look for a good supplement from a reputable company that contains proven ingredients like St. John's Wort and Passion Flower. These herbal ingredients increase the production of feel good neurotransmitters in the brain and may be the perfect solution for a depressed teenage boy. Since these herbs have been used since the days of Socrates, they have stood the test of time. They have also been shown to be effective in clinical trials.

Once your son starts feeling better and is more motivated to make small changes in his life, take a close look at his diet. Make sure that he is eating lots of lean meat, fresh produce in season (especially leafy greens), whole grains, beans and nuts. Encourage him to drink plenty of water. The protein and phytonutrients from healthy food will support the action of the supplement, further boosting its effectiveness.

Next, it's important for a formerly depressed teen boy to get involved in life again. Encourage him to play team or individual sports or get him involved in some kind of activity, whether this means skateboarding, hiking or art. It's essential for him to start doing things and building relationships with others, so he cares about himself and his life and begins to have goals for his future.

By following these simple steps, you can help your depressed teenage boy regain his lust for life and put the blues behind him. The key is to take action. Untreated depression can have disastrous results.

The Primacy of Mania - A New Understanding of Bipolar Disorder?

There is so much noise about bipolar disorder, but often very little insight. However, every so often new viewpoints emerge that can illuminate or even revolutionize our understanding. This has recently been achieved by the Greek psychiatrist Athanasios Koukopoulos in a theory described as "The Primacy of Mania".

Suppose that?bipolar disorder is not primarily characterized by the mood swings from depression to mania?

Ask?"are we really correct in?our understanding that?most people with bipolar disorder spend the majority of their time in a depressed state?"

What if mixed states are not only common and frequent, but are not the paradox or the treatment challenge that we have feared?

There is a alternative theory?of bipolar disorder, first proposed in 2006?by Greek psychiatrist Athanasios Koukopoulos,?that argues for "The Primacy of Mania".

As?Dr Koukopoulos sees it:

"Circular mood disorders have been the focus of increasing attention and research, but the issue of a possible intrinsic link between the phases of the manic-depressive cycle has never been investigated. The general assumption is that mania and depression are manifestations of two different phases of the same process without questioning whether one of the phases gives rise to the other."

The primacy of mania argument is that there IS a direct?link between mania and depression. Further, it is MANIA that is the PRIMARY neurophysiological event, and the depression is merely?the consequence.

This turns much of the established wisdom on its head. For a start, if depression only ever arises as a consequence of mania, then our existing definition of mania is narrow and cliched - a much broader and accurate understanding of the manic state needs to be formulated. To some extent this has already started to happen. Irritability and other states of agitation, anxiety, stress, and excitation are increasingly seen as variations of?mania, or at least as hypomania.

Why then does mania invariably morph into?depression? Dr?Koukopoulos puts it this way:

"excitatory processes are harmful to the nervous system while depression is the psychic expression of this impairment and a period of reparation".

In other words, our mania actually causes our depression. This?explains why?mood stabilizers, rather than antidepressants, have the strongest?preventative effect. It may SEEM as if most people afflicted with manic-depressive illness are suffering mainly from their depression,?but the evidence shows that it is the drugs?with anti-manic properties that are most helpful in the long term.?In fact, there is a growing belief?that antidepressants can?do more harm than good as they eventually trigger?a switch into mania.

Rethinking bipolar disorder in terms of the?primacy of mania shows the inevitability of this.?How can we improve the metal health of the manic by giving them?medication that may be stimulating in any way? This theory has some significant implications. In particular, it suggests?that our definition of mania is too narrow, and our definition?of depression is too broad.?

In my own life, it is?these subtle variations of mania?that plague me - and those around me.?Of most pain to my self and my loved ones are my?bouts of anxiety and irritability. Understanding these as manifestations of mania has transformed my life. Considerable improvement has taken place since my focus shifted to the pursuit of calmness.

How is this done? For me, I applied the insights from the primacy of mania theory by:

1. Making medication a daily practice.
2. Sticking with a daily exercise program.
3.?Changing my diet?to exclude stimulants. For me this meant less caffeine and sugar.
4. Avoiding stress (working from home more, jettisioning toxic pastimes and people).
5. Focusing on the pursuit of calm as opposed to the pursuit of happiness.

Pulling out of an episode of depression can be one of the hardest things in the world.

It seems it is possible to reduce depression by reducing the mania that precedes it. Further, that the way to do this?is not through chasing after happiness and pleasure - dangerous if it involves excessive stimlation - but by pursuing calm.

Symptoms of Depression Are Different From Signs of Depression

This short article is all about beating depression. I have to admit that I am a person who suffered from lengthy bouts of depression, nevertheless after deciding to alter or shift my entire perception on life; I can now say that I possess a much happier, healthier, effective and stress-free lifestyle. I'll clarify how I went about achieving this new way of living.

As I grew older and especially when I was in my early twenties, I always used to compare my lifestyle and the way I was, with other individuals I knew, for instance my buddies, family members and even strangers. It seemed to me that my life was so significantly more of a struggle than what theirs was and that most of these people had so much more going for them and so much more to look forward to than I did.

I was not happy at the situation of my life at that time, and I would frequently found myself feeling sorry or depressed. I had numerous issues and personal problems in my life which had a significant influence on my self-confidence and self-esteem, which would also lead me into a state of deep depression. I had problems such as being overweight, having a growing bald patch on my head, plus I'm quite short in height compared to the average man.

I was in a very deep state of depression and found it very difficult to pull myself out of it. The stress for example of socializing when you have a low self-esteem and also the fact of being unemployed at the moment would take a great deal out of me. My hair began to turn gray when I was only twenty-one years of age.

I was not ok, and was becoming more depressed and at the age of twenty-two, I decided to attempt to alter my whole life. I knew I had to learn a whole new method along with a completely different thought procedure of how was my mind working; I just needed to relax a little, think in a more positive way and learn how to live without stressing all the time.

This was not going to be something easy to learn, nevertheless for me it was essential and critical to do. I started to read different spiritual and self-help. They were teaching me that worrying about things tends to make it even harder and drain your energy, it doesn't make it better or easier, and it doesn't help at all. Also I understood that in life all you can do is to try your very best at all times, therefore whatever the outcome you can feel proud that you gave it your very best shot. It's also important to keep in mind that we only live this life once and it could easily come to an end tomorrow in the blink of an eye, therefore we should treat each day as if it is the last and should learn to love and appreciate ourselves as we are.

The most important change I made was that I started to think and evaluate my lifestyle focusing myself to copy the blueprint of individuals that had achieved what I wanted to in my dreams. I was studying about them reading books and watching seminars. This was a better practice than comparing my life to my friends for instance. Another thing that helps me, was to realize all the things that I have in my life; from studying about third world nations and their situation, I realized what a fool I had been and that I was really one of the lucky ones. If and when I start feeling down or depressed, I simply remember or quickly tune in to the news and it soon shakes me out of that temporary depressive state.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ambien Depression

Ambien is the brand name of a prescription drug containing the active ingredient Zolpidem. It is a type of sedative or sleeping pill and is often prescribed as a treatment for insomnia. Due to risks associated with long term use, in particular the risk of dependency, it is only used on a short term basis for no more than a few days or so. One of the advantages of this drug is that the effects are felt almost immediately so it must be taken on an empty stomach just before going to bed.

The kind of sleep problems that Ambien can be used for include difficulty in getting to sleep, waking up very early in the morning or waking up frequently during the night. Insomnia or sleeplessness can be a symptom of depression and anyone who has difficulty in sleeping over an extended period of time, should see their doctor.

Depression can affect anyone and although no one knows what actually causes depression, there are combinations of biological, genetic, and psychological factors that are implicated, for example, chemical imbalances in the brain, a history of depression in the family, and having a pessimistic outlook on life. Some groups of people also appear to be more at risk, such as the long term sick and unemployed, the socially isolated, those in prison, anyone battling with drug or alcohol addiction and those with an existing mental health problem. So how do you know if you are suffering from depression?

Symptoms of depression

Depression is indicated if the individual has feelings of sadness or low moods along with other symptoms of depression that have lasted for more than two weeks and which are severe enough to interrupt daily routines and activities.

o Feeling tired and lethargic for most of the time

o Persistent low moods and sadness, a feeling of despondency

o Sleep disturbances, either inability to sleep or sleeping too much

o A pessimistic outlook on life

o Feeling anxious and nervous

o Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

o Frightening and irrational thoughts

o Loss of pleasure in activities and lack of interest in sex

o Avoidance of social contact and social situations

o Loss of appetite or an increased appetite and associated weight loss or weight gain

o Emotional outbursts for no apparent reason

o Irritability, agitation, restlessness

If depression is accompanied by insomnia, a doctor may prescribe a sleeping pill such as Ambien for a few days in addition to prescribing antidepressants.

Ambien (Zolpidem)

If you are prescribed Ambien, it is important to let your doctor know if you drink alcohol regularly, or are taking any other drugs, (illegal, prescribed or over the counter), as there is always the risk of drug interactions, which can result in unwanted side effects. Some drugs and substances that can interact with Ambien include:

o Caffeine

o Some antidepressants

o Fungal medications

o St John's Wort

o Bupropion

o Flumazenil

o Alcohol

o Cough medicines

o Valerian

o Other sedatives

o Some pain killers

You should also tell your doctor if you have ever suffered from liver disease, breathing difficulties, sleep apnoea, if you are pregnant, trying to conceive or are currently breastfeeding. As with any medication there can be side effects and with Zolpidem the more common ones include diarrhoea, stomach aches, headaches, strange dreams and drowsiness during the day, however, if you experience any of the following side effects you should tell you doctor immediately:

o Depressed mood

o Hallucinations

o Confusion

o Dizzy spells or fainting

o Slurred speech

o Visual disturbances

o Agitation or excitability

Other important points

Sometimes when taking Ambien, the individual can experience a type of memory loss where they basically cannot remember anything for the first few hours after taking the medication but because Ambien should always be taken at night and just before going to bed, it shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

After stopping Ambien, it is possible to have trouble sleeping but this should disappear after a couple of days.

Any sedative or sleeping pill, including Ambien, can affect mental alertness and some people will be affected more than others, so it is important not to attempt to drive or operate machinery until the individual effect on any particular person is known.


If you are suffering from insomnia, either as a result of an underlying depression or not, there are some things that you can do that might help you get a better night's sleep. For example, taking regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and cutting out caffeine and other stimulants. Learning relaxation and breathing techniques will help you to relax before going to bed and will also release some of the stresses and strains of the day. If you are anxious or depressed, then it might be that some form of psychotherapy is available, which can help you change the way you think about things so that your behavior changes too and by alleviating the symptoms of anxiety or depression, sleeping patterns can improve too.

It Is Important To Recognize Clinical Depression Symptoms

Early signs of clinical depression symptoms can manifest themselves in the very nature of the affliction. Those affected are apt to find their friends and family members avoiding them and they may even be the victims of job discrimination. Of course this only aggravates the victims condition and may cause them to draw further within themselves and blame outside activities as the cause and not realize that they have a medical problem.

One of the most insidious aspects of this condition is that it is highly treatable when detected and treated early. However sometimes the symptoms are not readily recognizable and even when they are detected the sufferer will refuse to seek professional help. For this reason it is important to be familiar with the symptoms to be able to notice them and do everything possible to get the sufferer to realize that the only proper course of action is professional treatment. This is often more easily said than accomplished.

A major problem is that the conditions are not so easily detected. Techniques such as blood tests or x-rays will not normally prove effective. Rather a persons activities and actions need to be monitored over significant periods of time. One can imagine how difficult it is to get a person suffering from the condition to agree to long term evaluation. In our culture we always seek a quick cure with the help of a pill or potion to put the matter right.

Some caution is necessary because everyone will suffer mild depression at various times in life due to situations such a death or job termination or difficulty with a project and other reasons. It is when the symptoms continue over extended periods or become overly intense that an action is necessary.

Typical symptoms of clinical depression include:

*. Mood swings.
*. Extended blue moods.
*. Inability to function normally at home or work.
*. Discomfort or inability to socialize with individuals or at social gatherings.
*. Continued bad decisions especially in everyday tasks.

With proper medical attention it may be decided that a biochemical imbalance is the cause of the conditions. These are situations where medication can surely be of assistance. In other cases where medication is not prescribed counseling to help the sufferer learn to deal with the affliction is beneficial.

One other difficulty in diagnosing the disorder is that sometimes these symptoms will be caused because of a bipolar disorder. This of course is one of the many reasons that early detection and the involvement of professional medical help is so important. Left on treated clinical depression symptoms will most surely result in severe illness.

Effects of Low Testosterone

Many men around the world suffer with this silent problem and the have no clue what is happening to them. In the United States there are over 15 million plus men that have low testosterone who are left untreated. Many men start to feel moody, depressed and a sour outlook on life. This can start happening in men as early as the mid thirties and continue until way late in life if not detected.

With low levels of testosterone in the male body this can cause havoc on a relationship or a family. With good open communication with your partner or family members can ease the stress and personal insecurities that one may feel. When symptoms of low self esteem, depression, and mood swings start occurring this will not only affect the household but could also affect how the person performs at work. These symptoms can really make a man feel insecure about his role as father and husband and because low testosterone causes male erectile dysfunction this really affects the male psyche and can cause men to lose the desire to have an active sex life.

Some of the reasons for males to have low testosterone can be a result of issues with being overweight, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, poor circulation, age and etc. This testosterone deficiency is called Hypogonadism. With obesity rising in the U.S. men are showing more signs of low testosterone. Obesity causes higher levels of estrogen in the body which lowers the testosterone production in the male body. Testosterone is an awesome fat burning hormone. But when the testosterone levels drop in the body fat burning slows down and this can cause clogging of the arteries and cause fatal heart disease.

If you are feeling fatigue, lack of energy, depression, low libido or no sex drive, call your physician and request that a testosterone check be done. This is a simple blood test that can really make a change in your life.

There are several ways to get your testosterone back up, some are natural ways, there is also testosterone therapy which is prescribed by your physician and there are also natural testosterone supplements. Many times you can increase your testosterone by regular exercise, or by adequate sleep, and by reducing stress in your life. There are also many herbal supplements on the market in enhance the testosterone levels in your bodies system. Be careful and consult an expert when taking supplements.

First, is to consult with your physician and have your testosterone levels checked and go from there. If your levels are low consult with your physician about the options that are out on the market and do some research for yourself before making any decisions.

Taking Responsibility Helps Overcome Depression

Depression in as inside job. A lot of people who suffer from depression blame outside factors for their state. They blame circumstances, they blame people, they blame incidents, etc. When you do this, you are powerless. You give unmistakably outside influences power over you. You can turn this around - here is how..

You must start taking back ownership.Simply, how to deal with depression is to take responsibility. Take responsibility for your thoughts, and for your behavior. You are the one that controls everything 100%, not the other factors. Taking responsibility requires mental toughness. Can you control your thoughts?

Treatment of depression is simple. Control what goes on in your mind. By empowering yourself with the right information - you will get energized and uplifted.

Overcoming depression can be done!. What you must do is take responsibility for your condition. This is the first step towards a full recovery. Become aware of the thoughts you think. Ultimately it is the thought you think that have you depressed and it is you and you alone who is responsible for the thoughts you think, nobody else.

Depression symptoms are negative states, always in bad humor, don't want to talk to anybody, etc. These can be all be overcome but if first starts with a decision.

You Can Overcome Depression Now..! It all starts with a decision. Overcoming Depression is possible but you must first decide you want to do this. Depression and anxiety can be stopped..!

So plug-in here as often as you can. I will do my best to change the way you think. And remember change the way you think - change your life so plug-in..!

All you need to do is acquire some mental toughness. When you start putting the right information into your mind, you moods will eventually start to change. We need to get you seeing a different image of yourself. We need to get you thinking of yourself as attractive. We need to get you thinking that you are a likeable person that people want to be around. Self-Image is so important. How do you currently see yourself?. Again it is you who controls your thoughts. Once you embark upon the road of personal development, your life will start to change. Its time to start thinking new thoughts because ultimately thoughts become things.

You are special - you have meaning and value..- Always remember this..

Can The St John's Wort Herb Help ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sufferers?

Before I begin...

I am a Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferer myself but I am not medically trained! I am merely passing on to you, things I have read and learnt which may interest you. I am not a 'health expert', so please - if you come across anything in this article that you find interesting, do a little research on it yourself and contact your doctor or health professional about it before taking any advice from this article.

Depression, anxiety and sleep disorders can all be symptoms of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Whereas some ME/CFS sufferers may never experience depression and anxiety as symptoms of their ME/CFS, others unfortunately do.

For example, according to Dr Shepherd in his book 'Living With ME', true clinical depression probably affects between 25-33% of ME/CFS sufferers at some stage.

Many ME/CFS sufferers are prescribed antidepressants to help them sleep and to ease their fatigue (even if they are not depressed). But although prescribed antidepressants do help **some** ME/CFS sufferers, others find that they experience bad side-effects.

St Johns Wort (also known as Hypericum perforatum) is an interesting natural alternative to prescription antidepressants.

Many medics seem to say that it has far fewer side effects, yet it apparently works just as effectively as common SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil/Seroxat and Zoloft. In fact, according to Dr Charles Shepherd in his book 'Living With M.E.' (mentioned above), St John's Wort seems to have a lower incidence of side effects (around 20%) - much lower than that seen with conventional antidepressant drugs (around 60%).

----- SIDE NOTE ------
For more information about the 'darker side' of SSRI antidepressants visit:

----- SIDE NOTE ------

With a 2,400 year history of safe and effective use, the use of St Johns Wort has risen dramatically recently, especially in Britain. And in Germany, they apparently use St Johns Wort a lot to treat depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, all of which, as mentioned earlier, can be symptoms of ME/CFS.

St John's Wort has both anti-viral and anti-depressive properties and has been used by Europeans for centuries as a remedy for:

- sleep
- depression
- anxiety
- menstrual cramps
- menopausal stress
- irritability
- neuralgia
- tension

------ SIDE NOTE ------
To find out how St Johns Wort works visit:

------ SIDE NOTE ------

Having said that, one of the most common side effects of St John's Wort is fatigue, which is obviously relevant when you suffer from ME/CFS! So if you do try St John's Wort, keep an eye on your energy levels. If they plummet even further, it may be a sign to rethink whether you should be taking it or not.

What's more, St John's Wort **has** been found to interfere with some prescription medicines. Studies published in the Lancet and the British Medical Journal have shown that St John's Wort speeds up the breakdown of medicines in the body, leading to lower levels of the drugs in the blood. So if you're taking other medication or supplements of any kind, that's another factor for you and your doctor to consider before taking St Johns Wort.

------ SIDE NOTE ------
There are other side effects and dangers of St Johns Wort. You can find out more about some of these on this page:

------ SIDE NOTE ------

As with taking any new substance for the first time, the best thing you can do is to approach St Johns Wort with caution.

In essence, you should **not** take St John's Wort until you have checked with your doctor that it is safe to do so. It's also often advised to start slowly with a low dosage.

Although sometimes it gets remarkable results, sometimes St John's Wort does nothing. It really is down to the individual. But research suggests that you do need to take St John's Wort for a number of weeks in order for it to work.

Bottom line?

Always, ALWAYS check with your doctor first before taking St Johns Wort. And if you do decide to take it, keep an eye on your energy levels. If your fatigue worsens noticeably, then just be aware that it might be the St Johns Wort that's causing it.

And if you do decide to try St Johns Wort, remember that research shows that you need to take St Johns Wort for a few weeks in order for it to start working.


Copyright, Claire Williams, 2003-2005. All Rights Reserved.


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Different Bipolar Disorder Symptoms of the Manic and Depressive Phases

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness which refers to a person's mood swings from mania to depression. It is characterized by chronic episodes of depression, mania and/or mixed states. At first, bipolar disorder may be mistaken as another problem other than mental illness. It may also appear as alcohol or substance abuse, or poor performance in school or at work. Bipolar disorder is often not identified as a psychological problem because of its episodic behavior. For this reason, people who are suffering from this abnormality may suffer for years without relief. People with bipolar disorder have different patterns of mood cycles that are specific to each of them. The patterns become predictable once they are recognized. The different mood states associated with bipolar disorder are depression, hypomania and mania.

There are various types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I disorder is described as a condition wherein a patient experiences periods of mania alternating with periods of depression wherein patients experience simultaneous occurrence of manic and depressive symptoms called mixed states. Bipolar II disorder refers to repeated episodes of depression and a milder bipolar disorder symptom called hypomania. In this bipolar disorder symptom, a patient's ability to function to the fullest is not impaired, unlike in the case of full-blown manic episodes. Episodes of the hypomania type of bipolar disorder symptom are not complicated by psychosis-related symptoms. Hypomania may make the affected person experience pleasant feelings. Even when relatives become aware of the bipolar disorder symptoms that the patient is displaying, he will often deny that anything is wrong.

People who are suffering from the bipolar disorder symptoms repeatedly experience dramatic mood swings either within a day of over several months. These bipolar disorder symptoms, which usually appear in young adulthood, can cause the patients to suffer from the disorder throughout their lives.

Bipolar disorder symptoms for the manic phase may include severe mood changes, exaggerated self-esteem, increased energy levels, decreased need for sleep, increased talking, distractibility, hypersexuality, increased activity and excessive involvement in risky behaviors. Other bipolar disorder symptoms of this phase include high physical and mental energy and the incapability of the person affected to perceive that the moods and behaviors are abnormal. A person suffering from bipolar disorder symptoms of the manic phase seldom seek help because they feel good about what they are doing and don't recognized that anything is wrong.

The depressive phase include the following bipolar disorder symptoms: persistent sadness or irritability, loss of interest in certain activities, substantial changes in eating habits, sleeping problems, physical agitation, loss of vitality, and social withdrawal. Other bipolar disorder symptoms of the depressive phase include drug or alcohol use and suicidal attempts. People who are in the depressive phase are more likely to seek help than during the manic phase. It is because they are aware that the normalcy in their lives are disrupted by the bipolar disorder symptoms they are experiencing. There are those who don't bother looking for help during the depression stage due to energy-deficiency and hopelessness.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Types of Depression, Where Do They All End?

Depression is complex. It can linger and grow for months or even years before being detected . Studies have shown that millions of Americans will suffer some form of depressive disorder this year. Unfortunately fewer than 1/3 of these people will look for help. Often the sufferers don't even know they're sick. Every day stress is common in the modern world. It's more difficult to navigate the obstacles in life. Many families are surviving week to week. Trouble in the economy has made it more difficult than ever to keep a good job. Stress leads to depressive feelings. There are many different types of depression. Some of the labels mean the same thing. There is mental, medical, clinical and manic depressive disorder. There is also the fact that it gets severe enough to allude to the final stages of the disease. Depressive disorder can result from a variety of causes. One of these is simple biology, brain chemistry issues. DNA also carries it. Those with family histories of the disorder are at risk.

Psychology Information Online provides information on the following depressive disorders:

* Major Depression - This is the most serious type, in terms of number of symptoms and severity of symptoms, but there are significant individual differences in the symptoms and severity. You do not need to feel suicidal to have a major case, and you do not need to have a history of hospitalizations either, although both of these factors are present in some people with major depressive symptoms.
* Dysthymic Disorder - This refers to a low to moderate level that persists for at least two years, and often longer. While the symptoms are not as severe as the major version, they are more enduring and resistant to treatment. Some people with dysthymia develop a major case at some time during the course of their disorder.

* Unspecified - This category is used to help researchers who are studying other specific types, and do not want their data confounded with marginal diagnoses. It includes people with a serious case, but not quite severe enough to have a diagnosis of a major form. It also includes people with chronic, moderate, which has not been present long enough for a diagnosis of a Dysthymic disorder. (You get the idea!)

* Adjustment Disorder,- This category describes that which occurs in response to a major life stressor or crisis.

* Bipolar - This type includes both high and low mood swings, as well as a variety of other significant symptoms not present in other forms of the disease.

Other Types of Depressive Categories:

* Post Partum - Major depressive episode that occurs after having a baby. Depressive symptoms usually begin within four weeks of giving birth and can vary in intensity and duration.

* Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - A type of depressive disorder which is characterized by episodes of a major case which reoccur at a specific time of the year (e.g. fall, winter). In the past two years, depressive periods occur at least two times without any episodes that occur at a different time.

* Anxiety - Not an official type (as defined by the DSM). However, anxiety often also occurs with depression. In this case, a depressed individual may also experience anxiety symptoms (e.g. panic attacks) or an anxiety disorder (e.g. PTSD, panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder).

* Chronic - Major depressive episode that lasts for at least two years.

* Double - Someone who has Dysthymia (chronic mild) and also experiences a major depressive episode (more severe depressive symptoms lasting at least two weeks).

* Endogenous - Endogenous means from within the body. This type is defined as feeling depressed for no apparent reason.

* Situational or Reactive (also known as Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood) - Depressive symptoms developing in response to a specific stressful situation or event (e.g. job loss, relationship ending). These symptoms occur within 3 months of the stressor and lasts no longer than 6 months after the stressor (or its consequences) has ended. Depression symptoms cause significant distress or impairs usual functioning (e.g. relationships, work, school) and do not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder.

* Agitated - Kind of major depressive disorder which is characterized by agitation such as physical and emotional restlessness, irritability and insomnia, which is the opposite of many depressed individuals who have low energy and feel slowed down physically and mentally.

* Psychotic - Major depressive episode with psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations (e.g. hearing voices), delusions (false beliefs).

* Atypical (Sub-type of Major or Dysthymia) - Characterized by a temporary improvement in mood in reaction to positive events and two (or more) of the following: o significant weight gain or increase in appetite
o over sleeping
o heavy feeling in arms or legs
o long standing pattern of sensitivity to rejection

* Melancholic (Sub-type of Major Depressive Disorder) - Main features of this kind of depression include either a loss of pleasure in virtually all activities or mood does not temporarily improve in response to a positive event. Also, three (or more) of the following are present:
o Depressed mood that has a distinct quality (e.g. different from feeling depressed when grieving)
o Depressive feeling is consistently worse in the morning
o Waking up earlier than usual (at last 2 hours)
o Noticeable excessive movement or slowing down
o Significant decrease in appetite or weight loss
o Feeling excessive or inappropriate guilt

*Catatonic - (Sub-type of Major Depressive Disorder) - This type is characterized by at least two of the following:
o Loss of voluntary movement and inability to react to one's environment
o Excessive movement (purposeless and not in response to one's environment)
o Extreme resistance to instructions/suggestions or unable/unwilling to speak
o Odd or inappropriate voluntary movements or postures (e.g. repetitive movements, bizarre mannerisms or facial expressions)
o Involuntarily repeating someone's words or movements in a meaningless way Treatment will differ depending on the type of depression based on its severity and various symptoms.

For example, the focus of therapy may vary or different antidepressants may be prescribed targeting certain symptoms. Common factors can lead to different types. Substance abuse can lead to depressive disorder. Both alcoholics and drug abusers can contract it. Mental disorder historically has a stigma associated with it. Prior to mental illness being recognized as a disease it was considered by many to be a personal defect. As a result treatment wasn't applied in a way that could help the patient. Negative effects persist through all the stages of depression. Therefore treatment requires early detection.

Major depressive disorder is probably one of the most common forms. You probably know a handful of people who suffer from it. The sufferer seems to walk around with the weight of the world on his or her shoulders. He or she seems disinterested in becoming involved in regular activities and seems convinced that he or she will always be in this hopeless state. There is a lack of interest in sexual activity and in appetite and a weight loss.

Atypical: is a variation that is slightly different from it's major variety. The sufferer is sometimes able to experience happiness and moments of elation. Symptoms of the atypical type include fatigue, oversleeping, overeating and weight gain. People who suffer from it believe that outside events control their mood (i.e. success, attention and praise). Episodes can last for months or a sufferer may live with it forever.

Psychotic: sufferers begin to hear and see imaginary things - - sounds, voices and visuals that do not exist. These are referred to as hallucinations, which are generally more common with someone suffering from schizophrenia. The hallucinations are not "positive" like they are with a manic depressive. The sufferer imagines frightening and negative sounds and images. Dysthymia: Many people just walk around seeming depressed - - simply sad, blue or melancholic. They have been this way all of their lives. This is dysthymia - - a condition that people are not even aware of but just live with daily. They go through life feeling unimportant, dissatisfied, frightened and simply don't enjoy their lives. Medication is beneficial for this type.

Manic: can be defined as an emotional disorder characterized by changing mood shifts can sometimes be quite rapid. People who suffer from manic depressive disorder have an extremely high rate of suicide.
Seasonal:, which medical professionals call seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is something that occurs only at a certain time of the year, usually winter. It is sometimes called "winter blues." Although it is predictable, it can be very severe.

Cyclothymic Disorder:A milder yet more enduring type of bipolar disorder. A person's mood alternates between a less severe mania (known as hypomania) and a less severe case.
Mood Disorder, due to a General Medical Condition caused or precipitated by a known or unknown physical medical condition such as hypothyroidism.)

Substance Induced Mood Disorder may be caused or precipitated by the use or abuse of substances such as drugs, alcohol, medications, or toxins.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):This condition affects people during specific times or seasons of the year. During the winter months individuals feel depressed and lethargic, but during other months their moods may be normal.

Postpartum:A rare form occurring in women within approximately one week to six months after giving birth to a child.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:This is an uncommon type of depressive disorder affecting a small percentage of menstruating women. It is a cyclical condition in which women may feel depressed and irritable for one or two weeks before their menstrual period each month.

What exactly is a depressive disorder?

Depressive disorders have been with mankind since the beginning of recorded history. In the Bible, King David, as well as Job, suffered from this affliction. Hippocrates referred to it as melancholia, which literally means black bile. Black bile, along with blood, phlegm, and yellow bile were the four humors (fluids) that described the basic medical physiology theory of that time. It is also referred to as clinical depression, has been portrayed in literature and the arts for hundreds of years, but what do we mean today when we refer to a depressive disorder? In the 19th century, it was seen as an inherited weakness of temperament. In the first half of the 20th century, Freud linked the development of depressive feelings to guilt and conflict. John Cheever, the author and a modern sufferer of depressive disorder, wrote of conflict and experiences with his parents as influencing his development of the disease.

The symptoms that help a doctor identify the disorder include:
* constant feelings of sadness, irritability, or tension
* decreased interest or pleasure in usual activities or hobbies
* loss of energy, feeling tired despite lack of activity
* a change in appetite, with significant weight loss or weight gain
* a change in sleeping patterns, such as difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
* restlessness or feeling slowed down
* decreased ability to make decisions or concentrate
* feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
* thoughts of suicide or death

If you are experiencing any or several of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about whether you are suffering. From chronic illnesses such as heart disease to pain perception, sex, and sleep.

Sexual Problems - Learn how medicines can affect sexual desire and sexual performance.
Sleep Problems - Find out how this disease disturbs sleep and get some effective tips to help your sleep problems. Warning Signs

Learn more about suicide, including who is at risk, warning signs, and when to call for medical assistance.

Once the disease has progressed to a severe enough level that the illness must be treated. The calls for assistance weren't answered and now the chance to solve the problem is fading. Medications and therapy combine for a working treatment. Also available are support groups that can help. You can also find many natural herbal medications that have been proven effective in clinical studies. The good news is that very effective treatments are available to help those who are depressed. However, only about one-third of those who are depressed actually receive treatment. This is unfortunate since upwards of 80-90% of those who do seek treatment can feel better within just a few weeks. Some believe that depression is the result of a personal weakness or character flaw. This is simply not true. Like diabetes, heart disease, or any other medical condition.

Help is out there no matter the type is affecting someone. Seek medical help if you or anyone you know shows signs. We have more great articles for you to browse, why not check them out!

Menopause Symptoms - How to Deal With Menopause Depression

Menopause depression is a very genuine condition that has been studied over a few years. However people thought that this symptom was little more than a mental complaint for a long period. Recently some studies have revealed that it could be directly linked to hormones. While it is an unpleasant thing that has to be endured, you can find relief and let's look at the basics of this menopause symptom.

Generally menopause depression is combined with several other menopause symptoms and causes a difficult time in a woman's life. As many different menopause symptoms come with it, it is just magnified due to them. Moreover being unable to bear children is also a difficult revelation as their serotonin levels are also jumping and they feel they don't belong in their own body.

Menopause depression does things to a woman that they've never go through before. They feel that they are useless and their lives will never be the same again. This menopause symptom sometimes also coincides with their children growing up and they notice that they can't bear children anymore. Therefore they feel depressed and they feel like the menopause symptoms are just too much to deal with. As it can get quite rough at this stage in a woman's life, several menopause treatments are available on the market.

As it may not be desirable, there are menopause treatments like antidepressants which woman can take will do a wonder on their mental state. Moreover there are also natural menopause remedies like mention in our website which will help replenish the estrogen that is now gone. Besides taking a healthy diet which can contribute ability to relieve the menopause symptoms, an exercise routine should also be added to your daily plan as soon as possible. Exercise will help with the weight gain which will inevitably come as a result of menopause.

It is advisable that you shouldn't take this lightly and try to be supportive by getting helps from anyone. Menopause depression is a difficult part in woman's life which they'll have to get through at the some point. Since many women have done this and come through eventually, you also can relieve this menopause symptom by using the right menopause treatments.

Negative Effects of Illicit Drugs on a Healthy Mind

Illicit drugs, when abused either for short-term or long-term, can cause irrevocable effects on your health, particularly on your mental health. In a few cases, they may also lead to fatalities. Hence, these are banned from being cultivated, marketed and abused in the society.

In this article, we will look at few reasons why people fall prey to drugs and what are the short-term and long-term negative effects of these drugs on the mind.

Why do people fall prey to drugs?

There are more than one reason why people fall prey to drugs. While few are related to environmental and psychological conditions of individuals, the others are related to the inherent addictive characteristics of the drug itself.

• Experimenting/recreation - Experimenting is the most common reason why people get started with drugs. Drugs are often used for recreation to get a sense of well-being/high.

• Enhance functionality - Certain professionals involved in physical activities, like sports are likely to take drugs because they are said to increase physical strength. Steroids and amphetamines are examples of this group.

• Stress - Battered by stressful situations including drug abuse, work pressure, academic failure, or issues in relationship, people take drugs. Also, people suffering from depression are more likely to take drugs to apparently escape from the situations.

• Peer pressure - Peer pressure is another important factor. A person of any age/gender can confront peer pressure in various situations.

• Accessibility - Further, easy accessibility is also a critical factor. This is because, once an individual decides to use drugs be for experimenting, recreation, or any other factor, unless the drug is available easily he may not be inclined to take drugs.

• Genealogy - Few studies have suggested that genetic causes may also be responsible to create a feeling of compulsive inclination to drugs in humans.

Some drugs like heroine cause addiction even with a single intake. Further, prescription drugs also lead to addiction as they are taken continuously for quite some time.

How drugs impact your brain?

The effects of almost all illicit drugs are psychotropic - they affect you by influencing your mental condition. The drugs alter your mood by affecting the physiology of your brain. They disturb the normal response of the brain. As brain is the vital organ that directs all the other organs in the body, the normal functions of different organs in the body also get affected.

Further, the effects of illicit drugs also depend on the type of drugs abused - stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens.

• Examples of stimulants include methamphetamine, ephedrine, and MDMA. These drugs increase temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. They give a feeling of being more aware and alert.

• Depressants, as the name suggests, depress reactions in your brain. Opiates, cannabis and barbiturates belong to this group.

• Hallucinogens cause the feeling of surrealism in the abusers. LSD is an example of this group.

The effects of drugs also vary depending on how frequently one uses them. Frequent use makes the person get addicted to drugs, thereby, aggravating its ill-effects. Thus, there are distinct short-term and long-term negative effects of drug. Let us discuss each.

Short-term negative effects:

The vital organ affected by drug abuse is the brain. Though the long-term effects are more complex and deteriorating, short-term effects too are dangerous, as they are the ones which transform into long-term effects on continuous abuse.

The abuser suffers from severe mood fluctuations. He feels energetic, depressed, tired, sad, irritable, delusive, impulsive, etc., all which are the symptoms of mood disorder. In some cases, the abuser may also suffer from hallucination, in which he loses the sense of reality. The occurrence of this symptom could indicate the increasing severity of negative effects.

Long-term negative effects:

Repeated use of psychotropic drugs, leads to drug dependency in humans. At this stage, the abuser is at high risk, as the intake or withdrawal of drugs - both cause worsening of physical and mental conditions. Here are few long-term negative effects caused by different groups of drugs.

• Hallucinogens like LSD causes acute flashback. They can also cause exaggerated fear.

• Drugs like cannabis cause acute schizophrenia in the long run. It leads to loss of memory, loss of problem solving ability, judgment, and inability to cope up with emotions.

• Cocaine causes severe mental illness (depression) in the long-term. Some drugs like ketamine cause severe loss of memory and ability to concentrate.

• Drugs like steroids cause acute dependence on the drug.

• Valium causes severe addiction along with insomnia and anxiety.

• Inhalants too lead to severe toxic effect on the brain resulting in damage, loss of ability to judge, difficulty in controlling emotions.

Owing to these negative consequences, it is essential for every individual to stay away from illicit drugs.

Effective Adolescent Depression Treatments

Adolescent Depression has some notable warning signs. It is very important if you suspect your adolescent child is depressed that you get help immediately. Adolescence is a time of changes and they are "expected" to be moody, irritable, and isolative. This is why many times Depression among adolescents is often misdiagnosed or simply attributed to typical teen-age behavior.

Warning signs of Depression in adolescents

Poor or sliding grades in school, failure in school or a job, and feeling that they are not able to meet goals are warning signs. Withdrawal from friends, family, and activities may also occur. They may become increasingly isolated. They may exhibit sadness, hopelessness, and lack of motivation/enthusiasm. Their self-esteem may be low to non-existent.

They may not be able to concentrate, make decisions or forget things a lot. Sleep and appetite changes may occur. They may, in fact, become irritable, agitated, and restless. They may turn to substance abuse (self-medicating) or become suicidal or obsessed with death. If your adolescent shows any of these signs try to talk to them if only to let them know that you are there for them and get help immediately.

Causes of Adolescent Depression

The causes of adolescent Depression are very similar to causes of Depression in adults.
Death of a friend or loved one, even a pet could cause depressed feelings. Break-ups, not getting a phone call from a special person, Loss of a job or not getting the desired job may also create Depression. Failure in school or other settings may also be contributors. Having suicidal thoughts can be both a symptom and a cause of depressive feelings in adolescents. Girls are two times more likely to become depressed than boys.


It is important to first rule out any type of physical illness such as Hypothyroidism or Anemia. Once anything physical is ruled out, Depression should be considered. Treatments for adolescent Depression include the following:

Psychotherapy- talk therapy that attempts to help you/your teen recognized and change negative thinking. You/they will be taught better ways to solve problems and taught better social and interpersonal skills.

Medication - most typically anti-depressants are used with adolescents but with extreme caution. The reason for this is because not enough is known about the long term effects of antidepressants on adolescents. The side effects of anti-depressants may cause children under the age of 21 to have suicidal thoughts or even attempt it and may require hospitalization.

Alternative therapies such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, and specially designed exercise programs may benefit Depression in adolescents. You should check with your child's doctor before implementing any alternative therapies.

Herbal supplementation is all natural and has far fewer if any side effects than anti-depressants. If your child is taking any prescriptions for other health conditions, check with his/her doctor to be sure it's safe. The herbs are safe they just may reduce the effectiveness of some prescriptive medications and that could put your child at risk.


Adolescents are a unique group of people. They are experiencing a whirlwind of changes in their bodies, their thinking, and their emotions. They are notoriously moody, irritable, and sad. If you even suspect your child is depressed get help. Treatments include anti-depressants, psychotherapy, and the possibility of alternative therapies. Always check with your child's physician before changing their health regimen.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Depression in the Elderly

While depression manifests typical symptoms among most who suffer from it, it can be a lot different among the elderly. Older people don't normally paint a typical picture of depression - anti-sociability, lack of attention to self, loss of appetite, etc. In fact, many depressed elderly claim not have any feelings of sadness at all. Instead, they note a lack of motivation and energy which they usually attribute as a normal process of aging. They do get the physical symptoms such as joint paint and headaches, which in fact are predominant signs of depression - but most often, these too are passed off as a normal part of the aging process.

It is vital for elderly people, as well as those who live with them, to recognize the red flags that signal the start of depression. Early detection and treatment can enable old people to enjoy the remaining years of their lives and make it pleasurable for both themselves and their loved ones.

Sadness, fatigue, a sudden loss of weight and appetite are typical symptoms of depression - both in the elderly and in younger people. But older people will argue that these are all normal processes in their lives. They will give you reasons that their stomach size is shrinking with age, their taste buds have become more sensitive, or they require less food because they have lesser activities or will need to keep their weight down.

They will also tell you that they refuse to engage in activities they used to indulge in or are reluctant to be with friends because of normal fatigue that comes with old age. But sudden social withdrawal and isolation deserves a second look, since there may be deeper underlying causes of fears for such. Another evident sign of depression among the elderly are disturbances in sleep patterns. This can range from a difficulty falling or staying asleep, oversleeping, or sleepiness during the day despite an apparently whole night's rest.

It is also typical for depressed older people to experience a loss of self-worth, worries of becoming a burden to those around them and some self-loathing. Some of the elderly may turn to alcohol or other substance and drugs to mask the symptoms, so it is important to watch if there is an over-indulgence in substances and anti-depression or anti-anxiety drugs. Another telltale sign of depression in old individuals is having some fixation on death, explicit statements of wanting to die or having suicidal tendencies and thoughts.

Watch out for any of these signs among your elderly loved ones. They may not acknowledge it, but knowing depression is there when you see some of the signs can encourage you to seek professional help and treatment for them.

Happy Quotes to Help You Forget Your Worries

It is quite difficult to stay happy and optimistic as we face everyday problems. Good thing there are happy quotes to help us survive the growing disease around us called pessimism. Not only these famous happy quotes will boost your energy and motivation, you will also become more optimistic about your relationships, work, family and life in general.

Happy quotes remind us to take time to enjoy the world that we're in before it's too late. Sometimes we get caught up in the rat race and forget to stop and smell the roses.

Studies show that becoming an optimist will make you a less prone depression or anxiety, be more successful, and a lot healthier both physically and mentally.

These happy quotes from the likes of Gandhi, Dalai Lama, and other famous people will refresh your determination and drive to stay positive and succeed in your goals. Here are 10 famous happy quotes that will surely open up your mind and heart:

"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by - product." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." (Fyodor Dostoevsky)

"Don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can't love and respect yourself - no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are - completely; the good and the bad - and make changes as YOU see fit - not because you think someone else wants you to be different." (Stacey Charter)

"If you want to be happy, be." (Leo Tolstoy)

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." (Mark Twain)

"Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." (Dalai Lama)

"Happiness is a Swedish sunset; it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it." (Mark Twain)

"The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment." (Doug Larson)

If you surround yourself with inspiring happy quotes like the ones written above then having a better attitude will soon come naturally. These act as your shield against the negative news out there. With better attitude you will feel like you're ready to face the world bravely.

Reading these happy quotes is just the first step on becoming optimistic. The most important thing is you apply these insights to your personal life and affect the people around you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Alcohol Depression - The Symptom You May Not Have Thought Of

Alcohol depression is a common symptom associated with drinking too much alcohol. There are two types of depression associated with alcohol. The first is when you have the feelings of depression that lead you to begin drinking to excess. This type of depression looks to drinking as a coping measure, something to fill the holes that depression creates. The second type of depression is that which is caused by alcohol itself. The lines between these two can become easily blurred. Is your depression leading you to drink or is your drinking creating your depression?

Often an alcoholic will look back to discover that the depression was there prior to the drinking binges. They will recall times spent in loneliness and misery; perhaps a troubled childhood or a number of broken relationships. This depression creates feelings of emptiness. People strive to fill this emptiness with 'stuff'. Often this 'stuff' can involve alcohol. It is beneficial to speak with those who are closest to you to discover if you exhibited any signs of depression prior to turning to alcohol. By focusing on this depression you may be able to turn the tables on your alcohol addiction. By dealing with your alcohol depression you will certainly be able to make strong strides towards health.

There is evidence that points to alcohol being a factor in causing depression. Studies have demonstrated a link between alcohol and depression but it is not necessarily a causal one. Most of us are aware that alcohol has a negative impact on our bodies. This is especially true of its impact on the human brain. Alcohol acts upon the nerves within the brain interfering with the receptors on the nerve cells. This can lead to inhibiting the neurotransmitter GABA. This causes the symptom of sluggishness. Furthermore, this in turn inhibits the release of the neurotransmitter glutamine, which can cause the sluggishness to increase even more. In other words, alcohol's effect on the brain is to act as a depressant!

Alcohol depression is a serious symptom that should be considered under any alcohol treatment program. If you suspect that you may be impacted by alcohol depression I would urge you to seek help as soon as possible.

Depression After Break Up: How To Overcome It

Are you currently having problems with depression after a break up? It's likely that you are depressed if you are experiencing symptoms like extreme need to contact your ex, sadness and overeating or not eating at all. Following are some tips you can apply to your situation in order to get over depression following your break up and move on.

First of all, you should know that what you're going through is not unusual. Relationships are very important to us and once we lose them, we can get hurt badly.

You were actually happy and satisfied with your life prior to being with your ex. You might feel depressed now (and no one can blame you for that), but it would definitely lighten up over time. That being said, here are some ways that you can handle your feelings right now.

You Control your Feelings through your Thoughts

If you think about the break up often, you will only find yourself feeling worse. More to the point, thinking about negative thoughts will always make you feel bad. You see, your life is based from your actions and decisions which are based on how and what you think about. Once you learn how to control your emotions, you will find that you can change your perspective of the world into something more positive. This will help you turn your life around.

You can also overcome a depression after breakup while going through these exercises.

All you need is a simple, ordinary mirror.

You need to use the mirror every day, look into it and reaffirm some things about yourself.

Your affirmation should include positive statements such as:

"I am a good person."

"I am worthy of both love and happiness."

"I love being me."

Say these affirmations as often as possible - when you wake up, before you go to bed and anything in between. This would allow you to recondition your inner thoughts. You're really just wallowing in sadness, lack of self esteem and other negative emotions right now. You need to change your mindset so that you can overcome feelings of depression after a breakup.

Chances are you are constantly worrying about your situation and the loss of your ex. Your social life might also have suffered after the break up. Make sure to remedy this and start getting out again. Build stronger ties with your family and friends as well as acquire new hobbies.

Squeeze in about two social activities every week. This will shift your focus and help you heal. Hanging out with other people and learning to laugh with them allows you to focus your mindset away from your love problems.

If you want to get your ex back then try to pursue them when you no longer feel motivated by feelings of depression or desperation.

Other than the breakup, have you had any experience that dented your confidence? Chances are you got over that situation too. The same goes for this situation and it will only turn you stronger in the long run. Better people are those that deal with adversities.

Postpartum Depression Can Lead to Suicide and Infanticide

Postpartum depression disorder (also known as postnatal depression) is severe depression that occurs in women after they give child birth. There've been numerous studies on the subject, and the postpartum depression statistics tell us that it occurs in 5-25% of women (although most studies are much more likely to result in the 10-15% figure). This disease can also affect the father. It usually affects men if they just can't afford to support the child...or in a few rare circumstances, when they find out that the child is not theirs. However women are the most at risk, and almost all postpartum depression books and postpartum depression articles focus on the mother.

It is important to note that this disease does not have to occur right after childbirth. Delayed postpartum depression, can occur even a year after birth after the full effects of child birth impact the mother. The most telling postpartum depression symptom usually involves crying(especially if its for no apparent reason). So if you notice that, you need to be aware that the person may very well commit suicide/infanticide in the near future.

Postnatal depression can lead to suicide because the woman suffers from hopelessness and depression. This is especially prevalent if the family has a low income level. If you know someone who you suspect has postpartum depression(fathers too), it's important to learn suicide warning signs, so that you can prevent a suicide attempt by someone you love.

A small portion of those with postpartum depression(men too) will also develop postpartum psychosis. This is the more severe form of the disease. This group is a much higher risk. 5% of all patients with postpartum psychosis commit suicide and 4% will end up killing their infants. Postpartum psychosis can even develop into a full blown bipolar disorder, which will place the patient at high risk of suicide for the rest of their life.

If you know someone who just gave birth, it's important to brush up on suicide warning signs, so that you'll know when the person is at risk for suicide/killing the infant, so you can help save their life. If you yourself just gave birth...make sure to give a suicide warning signs guide to someone who you see daily, so that they can interfere and stop you from killing yourself or your infant.

Understanding Depression As A Mental Illness

Depression is characterized as a neurological disorder that directly affects mental, emotional and physical health. It can range from mild to severe and affect both children and adults. Although signs such as withdrawal and despair may be apparent in some people, there are many other ways that people express their feelings of sadness. Excessive or irrational anger is often an overlooked sign of sadness that many people may mistake for an inability to control emotions. If left untreated, sadness and despair can lead to extreme physical health problems and thoughts of suicide.

Untreated mental conditions can lead to problems with sleep patterns and lead to eating disorders. Individuals may suffer from insomnia or excessive sleep and may experience a lack of energy as a result. Difficulty with concentration and the inability to make clear, rational decisions are a major side effect of irregular sleep patterns. Sadness is often associated with extreme weight loss; however, excessive weight gain can be an indication of unhappiness or feelings of despair. Some people turn to food as a source of comfort while others obtain no pleasure in eating. People that use food for comfort and gain a significant amount of weight may develop more feelings of sadness as a result of the weight gain.

Feelings of anxiety and hopelessness can cause serious problems in every aspect of life including personal relationships and work life. These feelings can lead to violent behavior or exclusion. Children of parents with mental disorders may become neglected and develop feelings of rejection or abandonment. Depressive illnesses are often the result of biological factors such as family history. This is important to consider as many children of parents with mental disorders have a higher chance of developing a neurological disorder than children that come from a family with no history.

Children with psychological disorders may display their emotions of sadness differently. Severe behavioral problems are the most prominent indication of unhappiness. They may often get into trouble at school, become involved with alcohol or drugs and withdraw from family and friends. They often display irritability rather than sadness. Treating a mental illness in an adolescent is essential to their growth and well-being. Teenagers are more often at risk of committing suicide than adults are due to the underdeveloped brain and the inability to rationalize sensibly under stressful situations.

Mental disorders are not always hereditary. Stress-related factors such as a death of a loved one, loss of job, financial conditions, divorce and an illness or disability can cause despair and sadness. Recognizing the symptoms early on can help those who are suffering from a mental disorder get the treatment they need to feel better. Depressive episodes may occur without any obvious stress-related triggers. Most people experience brief feelings of sadness; however, recurring episodes are not normal and considered the best indication of a mental illness.

The symptoms of a mental illness may vary among men and women. Men may experience irritability, sleeplessness or have a loss of interest in activities they once found pleasurable. Depressive feelings in women tend to be more noticeable while men find activities such as work to avoid their feelings or having to talk about it. Men may indulge in reckless behavior such as drugs or alcohol and may become verbally or physically abusive to others.

Depression is a very serious condition but is also very treatable through a variety of treatment options. Medication, psychotherapy and support groups are effective in treating mental illnesses. An antidepressant used in conjunction with counseling or support groups is the most common method of treatment and can reduce the risk of any recurring depressive episodes. A mental health professional can help a patient learn coping techniques to deal with the illness effectively. Therapy may also be helpful with recognizing the things that may be contributing to the depressing feelings and discovering new behaviors to avoid these triggers.

Copyright (c) 2012 Embracing Depression

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse-Overdose Assistance

Please keep in mind your purpose for trying to find out if someone is doing alcohol and/or drugs- To Identify and Help rather than Catch and Punish.

General: General and specific guides to detection of alcohol and drug use, and definition of addiction.

Contents:I. General Guide to Detection

II. Definition of Addiction

III. Pupil Dilation

IV. Signs and Symptoms

V. Paraphernalia a) S/S Chart Version

VI. Drug Facts

VII. Articles and Other Resources

VIII. Drug Pictures/Resources

IX. Topics

X. Additional Articles (Alcoholism, Drugs, Teenage Addiction, Interventions)

XI. Overdose and Emergency Intervention Techniques

I. Specific: General Guide to Detection

Abrupt changes in work or school attendance, quality of work, work output, grades, discipline.

Unusual flare-ups or outbreaks of temper. Withdrawal from responsibility. General changes in overall attitude. Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming.

Wearing of sunglasses at inappropriate times. Continual wearing of long-sleeved garments particularly in hot weather or reluctance to wear short sleeved attire when appropriate. Association with known substance abusers. Unusual borrowing of money from friends, co-workers or parents. Stealing small items from employer, home or school. Secretive behavior regarding actions and possessions; poorly concealed attempts to avoid attention and suspicion such as frequent trips to storage rooms, restroom, basement, etc.

II. Specific: DSM-IV Definition of Addiction

A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

(1) Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

a. A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.

b. Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.

(2) Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:

a. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance

b. The same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms. (

3) The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended (loss of control).

(4) There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use (loss of control). (

5) A great deal of time is spent on activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects (preoccupation).

(6) Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use (continuation despite adverse consequences).

(7) The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (adverse consequences).

III. Specific: Pupil Dilation

Before you do anything, consider this. There are two trains of thought prior to detection and intervention. One thought is to catch and punish, and the other is to identify and help- remember why you are doing this, and the intervention will turn out much better.

Note: A 6mm, 7mm, or 8mm pupil size could indicate that a person is under the influence of cocaine, crack, and meth, hallucinogens, crystal, ecstasy, or other stimulant. A 1mm or 2mm pupil size could indicate a person under the influence of heroin, opiates, or other depressant. A pupil close to pinpoint could indicate use. A pupil completely dilated could indicate use. Blown out wide pupils are indicative of crack, methamphetamine, cocaine, and stimulant use. Pinpoint pupils are indicative of heroin, opiate, depressant use.

Other causes of pupil dilation

IV. Specific: Signs and Symptoms

Alcohol: Odor on the breath. Intoxication. Difficulty focusing: glazed appearance of the eyes. Uncharacteristically passive behavior; or combative and argumentative behavior. Gradual (or sudden in adolescents) deterioration in personal appearance and hygiene. Gradual development of dysfunction, especially in job performance or schoolwork. Absenteeism (particularly on Monday). Unexplained bruises and accidents. Irritability. Flushed skin. Loss of memory (blackouts). Availability and consumption of alcohol becomes the focus of social or professional activities. Changes in peer-group associations and friendships. Impaired interpersonal relationships (troubled marriage, unexplainable termination of deep relationships, alienation from close family members).

Marijuana/Pot: Rapid, loud talking and bursts of laughter linearly stages of intoxication. Sleepy or stupor in the later stages. Forgetfulness in conversation. Inflammation in whites of eyes; pupils unlikely to be dilated. Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath. Tendency to drive slowly - below speed limit. Distorted sense of time passage - tendency to overestimate time intervals. Use or possession of paraphernalia including roach clip, packs of rolling papers, pipes or bongs. Marijuana users are difficult to recognize unless they are under the influence of the drug at the time of observation. Casual users may show none of the general symptoms. Marijuana does have a distinct odor and may be the same color or a bit greener than tobacco.

Cocaine/Crack/Methamphetamines/Stimulants: Extremely dilated pupils. Dry mouth and nose, bad breath, frequent lip licking. Excessive activity, difficulty sitting still, lack of interest in food or sleep. Irritable, argumentative, nervous. Talkative, but conversation often lacks continuity; changes subjects rapidly. Runny nose, cold or chronic sinus/nasal problems, nose bleeds. Use or possession of paraphernalia including small spoons, razor blades, mirror, little bottles of white powder and plastic, glass or metal straws.

Depressants: Symptoms of alcohol intoxication with no alcohol odor on breath (remember that depressants are frequently used with alcohol). Lack of facial expression or animation. Flat affect. Flaccid appearance. Slurred speech. Note: There are few readily apparent symptoms. Abuse may be indicated by activities such as frequent visits to different physicians for prescriptions to treat" nervousness", "anxiety"," stress", etc.

Narcotics/Prescription Drugs/Opium/Heroin/Codeine/Oxycontin: Lethargy, drowsiness. Constricted pupils fail to respond to light. Redness and raw nostrils from inhaling heroin in power form. Scars (tracks) on inner arms or other parts of body, from needle injections. Use or possession of paraphernalia, including syringes, bent spoons, bottle caps, eyedroppers, rubber tubing, cotton and needles. Slurred speech. While there may be no readily apparent symptoms of analgesic abuse, it may be indicated by frequent visits to different physicians or dentists for prescriptions to treat pain of non-specific origin. In cases where patient has chronic pain and abuse of medication is suspected, it may be indicated by amounts and frequency taken.

Inhalants: Substance odor on breath and clothes. Runny nose. Watering eyes. Drowsiness or unconsciousness. Poor muscle control. Prefers group activity to being alone. Presence of bags or rags containing dry plastic cement or other solvent at home, in locker at school or at work. Discarded whipped cream, spray paint or similar chargers (users of nitrous oxide). Small bottles labeled" incense" (users of butyl nitrite).

Solvents, Aerosols, Glue, Petrol: Nitrous Oxide - laughing gas, whippits, nitrous. Amyl Nitrate - snappers, poppers, pearlers, rushamie, .Butyl Nitrate - locker room, bolt, bullet, rush, climax, red gold. Slurred speech, impaired coordination, nausea, vomiting, slowed breathing. Brain damage, pains in the chest, muscles, joints, heart trouble, severe depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, bronchial spasm, sores on nose or mouth, nosebleeds, diarrhea, bizarre or reckless behavior, sudden death, suffocation.

LSD/Hallucinogens: Extremely dilated pupils, (see note below). Warm skin, excessive perspiration and body odor. Distorted sense of sight, hearing, touches; distorted image of self and time perception. Mood and behavior changes, the extent depending on emotional state of the user and environmental conditions Unpredictable flashback episodes even long after withdrawal (although these are rare). Hallucinogenic drugs, which occur both naturally and in synthetic form, distort or disturb sensory input, sometimes to a great degree. Hallucinogens occur naturally in primarily two forms, (peyote) cactus and psilocybin mushrooms.

Several chemical varieties have been synthesized, most notably, MDA , STP, and PCP. Hallucinogen usage reached a peaking the United States in the late 1960's, but declined shortly thereafter due to a broader awareness of the detrimental effects of usage. However, a disturbing trend indicating resurgence in hallucinogen usage by high school and college age persons nationwide has been acknowledged by law enforcement. With the exception of PCP, all hallucinogens seem to share common effects of use. Any portion of sensory perceptions may be altered to varying degrees. Synesthesia, or the "seeing" of sounds, and the "hearing" of colors, is a common side effect of hallucinogen use. Depersonalization, acute anxiety, and acute depression resulting in suicide have also been noted as a result of hallucinogen use. Note: there are some forms of hallucinogens that are considered downers and constrict pupil diameters.

PCP: Unpredictable behavior; mood may swing from passiveness to violence for no apparent reason. Symptoms of intoxication. Disorientation; agitation and violence if exposed to excessive sensory stimulation. Fear, terror. Rigid muscles. Strange gait. Deadened sensory perception (may experience severe injuries while appearing not to notice). Pupils may appear dilated. Mask like facial appearance. Floating pupils, appear to follow a moving object. Comatose (unresponsive) if large amount consumed. Eyes may be open or closed.

Ecstasy: Confusion, depression, headaches, dizziness (from hangover/after effects), muscle tension, panic attacks, paranoia, possession of pacifiers (used to stop jaw clenching), lollipops, candy necklaces, mentholated vapor rub, severe anxiety, sore jaw (from clenching teeth after effects), vomiting or nausea (from hangover/after effects)

Signs that your teen could be high on Ecstasy: Blurred vision, rapid eye movement, pupil dilation, chills or sweating, high body temperature, sweating profusely, dehydrated, confusion, faintness, paranoia or severe anxiety, trance-like state, transfixed on sites and sounds, unconscious clenching of the jaw, grinding teeth, very affectionate.


Stimulants (Cocaine, Ecstasy, Meth., Crystal)

Depressants (Heroin, Marijuana, Downers)

Hallucinogens (LSD)

Narcotics (Rx. Medications)

Inhalants (Paint, Gasoline, White Out)



Note: Paraphernalia- Keep in mind, that you may not find drugs, if you are searching for them, but you can usually find the paraphernalia associated with use.

VI. Specific: Drug Facts

Includes identifiers, definitions, language of users and dealers. Drug Terms Slang and Street Terms

VII. Specific: Articles and Other Resources

This the additional information for brain chemistry and the drug user)

VIII. Specific: Drug Pictures/Resources from the DEA



NARCOTICS Narcotics of Natural Origin

Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Thebaine

Semi-Synthetic Narcotics

Heroin Hydromorphone Oxycodone Hydrododone

Synthetic Narcotics


Narcotics Treatment Drugs

Methadone Dextroproxyphene Fentanyl Pentazocine Butorphanol

DEPRESSANTS Barbiturates

Controlled Substances Uses and Effects (Chart) Benzodiazepines Gamma

Hydroxybutric AcidParaldehyde, Chloral HydrateGlutethimide 7


Newly Marketed Drugs

STIMULANTS Cocaine Amphetamines

Methcathinone, Methylphenidate


CANNABIS Marijuana Hashish Hashish Oil

HALLUCINOGENS LSD Psilocybin & Psiocyn and Other Tryptamines Peyote & Mescaline MDMA (Ecstasy) & Other Phenethylamines Phencyclidine (PCP) & Related Drugs Ketamine



IX. Specific: NICD Topics

Do you have questions relating to addiction /addictions / substance abuse? Contact us...Health Info and Videos Medical issues updated weekly. Family Resources for the family, intervention information, support, and counseling. Medical information, doctor and specialists directory, terminology and dictionary of terms. Treatment.

The Villa at Scottsdale- Providing a full continuum of care for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Survival Kit

General: A series, for the individual, family, friends, employers, educators, professionals, etc. on prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, support, and other issues relating to alcoholism and drug addiction.

1. Prevention- Includes tips on how to talk to your kids about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

2. Detection of Signs and Symptoms- A guide to detection of alcohol and various drug usage.

3. Definition of Addiction- A DSM-IV definition of exactly what constitutes alcoholism and drug addiction.

4. Intervention- Interventions can and do work. We will show you how to do it effectively.

5. Treatment & Housing- A treatment center and halfway house locator.

6. Support- Some guides to how to support someone while they are in treatment.

7. After Care- What to do prior to and after release from treatment.

8. Recovery / Relapse Prevention- Addiction can surface again, in the form of relapse.

9. Other Issues- Issues to think about regarding those affected by substance abuse, as well as those around them.

10. References- A list of those who contributed to this series of articles.

Articles Medical Today Dr. William Gallagher takes us through his use of DNFT with his patients. Psychotherapy Today Psychologist Jim Maclaine keeps us up to date with his articles of insight, therapy, and healing. Counseling Today Therapist Thom Rutledge gives a creative approach to dealing with life on life's terms via his unique counseling sessions. Big Book Bytes Author Shelly Marshall shares via the Big Book on issues of concern to those in recovery. All pages are set-up to copy, for use by counselors, professionals, sponsors, and others.

Recovery Today Interviews of people in recovery, about alcoholism, drug abuse, addictions, recovery, sobriety, spirituality, wisdom, experience, strength, and hope. Tune in monthly for new articles!

A.A. History Author Dick B. will take you back to a time when the recovery rates were as high as 93%.

Journaling Today A series of informative articles by Author Doreene Clementon how, why, and what to write about.

Spirituality Today Author Carol Tuttle takes us to new heights on our spiritual journey.

Articles of God and Faith Features 100's of topics relating to God, faith, spirituality, and more.

Life Today Everyday life experiences from people all over the world. Life, Addictions, Recovery, Hope, Inspiration, Wisdom, Advice, and so much more. Tune in on a regular basis to see what others have and are going through. Find hope from the experiences of others.

Steps Today Recovery Peer and Advisory Board Member Dean G. gives creative approach to dealing with life on life's terms via his unique recovery sessions.

Step Work / Relapse Prevention This service is designed to assist with step work, with quotes and pages from the Big Book, with forms ready to copy and utilize. There is a section devoted to relapse prevention as well.

X. Specific: Additional Articles

Health and Medical News, videos, text from the world of medicine, health, and medical.

Ecstasy information.

How Do I Talk With My Kids About Alcohol?

How Do I talk to my kids about drugs?

How Do I talk with my teenager about drugs and alcohol?

What does a crack pipe look like?

Family assistance for substance abuse.

Addiction treatment for my teenager.

Overdose or OD Information

XI. Specific: Overdose & Emergency Intervention Techniques

Drug Overdose- Drug overdoses can be accidental or on purpose. The amount of a drug needed to cause an overdose varies with the type of drug and the person taking it. Overdoses from prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, "street" drugs, and/or alcohol can be life threatening. Know, too, that mixing certain medications or "street" drugs with alcohol can also kill.

Physical symptoms of a drug overdose vary with the type of drug(s) taken. They include: Abnormal breathing Slurred speech Lack of coordination Slow or rapid pulse Low or elevated body temperature Enlarged or small eye pupils Reddish face Heavy sweating Drowsiness Violent outbursts Delusions and/or hallucinations Unconsciousness which may lead to coma (Note: A diabetic who takes insulin may show some of the above symptoms if he or she is having an insulin reaction.)

Parents need to watch for signs of illegal drug and alcohol use in their children. Morning hangovers, the odor of alcohol, and red streaks in the whites of the eyes are obvious signs of alcohol use. Items such as pipes, rolling papers, eye droppers and butane lighters may be the first telling clues that someone is abusing drugs. Another clue is behavior changes such as: Lack of appetite Insomnia Hostility Mental confusion Depression Mood swings Secretive behavior Social isolation Deep sleep Hallucinations.

Prevention- Accidental prescription and over-the-counter medication overdoses may be prevented by asking your doctor or pharmacist: What is the medication and why is it being prescribed? How and when should the medication be taken and for how long? (Follow the instructions exactly as given.) Can the medication be taken with other medicines or alcohol or not? Are there any foods to avoid while taking this medication? What are the possible side effects? What are the symptoms of an overdose and what should be done if it occurs? Should any activities be avoided such as sitting in the sun, operating heavy machinery, driving? Should the medicine still be taken if there is a pre-existing medical condition?

To avoid medication overdoses: Never take a medicine prescribed for someone else. Never give or take medication in the dark. Before each dose, always read the label on the bottle to be certain it is the correct medication. Always tell the doctor of any previous side effects or adverse reactions to medication as well as new and unusual symptoms that occur after taking the medicine. Always store medications in bottles with childproof lids and place those bottles on high shelves, out of a child's reach, or in locked cabinets. Take the prescribed dose, not more. Keep medications in their original containers to discourage illicit drug use among children: Set a good example for your children by not using drugs yourself. Teach your child to say "NO" to drugs and alcohol. Explain the dangers of drug use, including the risk of AIDS. Get to know your children's friends and their parents. Know where your children are and whom they are with. Listen to your children and help them to express their feelings and fears. Encourage your children to engage in healthy activities such as sports, scouting, community-based youth programs and volunteer work. Learn to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol abuse.

Questions to Ask:

Is the person not breathing and has no pulse? FIRST AID Perform Cyprinids the person not breathing, but has a pulse? FIRST AID Perform Rescue Breathing AND is the person unconscious? FIRST AID lay the victim down on his or her left side and check airway, breathing and pulse often before emergency care. Do CPR or Rescue Breathing as needed. ANDdoes the person have any of these signs? Hallucinations Confusion Convulsions Breathing slow and shallow and/or slurring their words

Do you suspect the person has taken an overdose of drugs? FIRST AID Call Poison Control Center. Follow the Poison Control Center's instructions. Approach the victim calmly and carefully. Walk the person around to keep him or her awake and to help the syrup of ipecac work faster, if you were told to give this to the victim. Also, see "Poisoning". AND is the person's personality suddenly hostile, violent and aggressive? FIRST AID Use caution. Protect yourself. Do not turn your back to the victim or move suddenly in front of him or her. If you can, see that the victim does not harm you, himself or herself. Remember, the victim is under the influence of a drug. Call the police to assist you if you cannot handle the situation. Leave and find a safe place to stay until the police arrive. AND Have you or someone else accidentally taken more than the prescribed dose of a prescription or over-the-counter medication? DO NOT perform any technique unless it is a matter of life and death! If you are unsure of what you are doing, please follow the instructions given by a 911 operator.

Note: If doctor is not available, call Poison Control Center. Follow instructions given.