Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Wisdom Within Depression: A Spiritual View

If it can be said that there is wisdom to be gained through hardship or suffering that we would not freely choose, then it can also be said that there is deep learning and truth to be gained through the experience of depression in all its many forms . As with all experiences that are painful and that create limitation, the deeper self or soul can bring out of this, something valuable for the heart and for the spirit. Though this may not immediately be apparent to the self in the midst of pain, grief, or sorrow, what has limitation on the one side, offers the possibility for learning and for greater life on the other.

This paradox is hard for the human self to grasp, because the human response to suffering is to want it to end, and the human heart cannot help but believe that what feels bad - what deprives it of joy, love, meaning, hope, and energy - cannot be the source of something good. However, the perceptions of the soul and the choices that the soul makes during a time of pain or limitation are invisible, and everything depends upon the choices that are made.

For example, it is possible, as a result of feeling disconnected from joy or meaning in life, to begin to seek that joy with a fuller heart, to value life more, to hope for the possibility of experiencing one clear and pure sunlit day without the cloud of sorrow on the mind or in the heart. It is possible in the presence of aloneness or isolation to feel the heart longing more for love and connection. And it is possible to feel, in the presence of the wish to die, an even greater wish to live. These are the choices of the soul. In fact, they are more 'orientations' than choices and they turn the inner self in the direction of pursuing the fulfillment that is needed and toward new possibilities for growth. In this sense, though depression may be a 'dark night of the soul' which we would not choose and in which it may appear that every light has gone out, the soul, within its own domain, continues to support the seeking of that light and continues to radiate light toward the self that suffers and struggles. For this reason, it would be well to look at all forms of depression as a spiritual crisis in its underpinnings, for although no positive movement may be visible on the mental or emotional levels, on the level of spirit and soul a question is being asked and a question is being answered all of the time, namely, 'what is this life about, what is its value, and what am I doing in it'?

Whether flooded with feelings, or numb and experiencing merely a sense of deadness, on the level of the soul a groping movement is taking place during this dark and painful night - a search for a way toward the light that is, for the moment, invisible. In the blackness, there is a sharpening of vision as one seeks the promise of the light, and pursues the elusive hope of an end to darkness. Even on the conscious level, where everything may feel quite bleak, there is often a reaching out toward that which may have seemed impossibly far away before, namely, to the awareness, however tentative, of our Divine and holy self, the center of our spiritual being.

For those for whom the higher self or soul remains a hypothesis rather than a reality, this type of understanding may seem invented. However, this, too, is a choice that the inner self must make - whether to adhere to a perspective which emphasizes indifference, loss, randomness, deprivation, and lack in life, or to believe that at all times there is a purpose behind the manifestation of what life brings to us, and that this purpose, when found, can become the springboard to a new and more vital sense of ourselves and of life.

Effects of Using Amphetamines and Marijuana Drugs on a Teen's Health

Drug abuse among teenagers poses a serious threat to the health of the teenager that is in developmental stage. Teenage drug abuse can have negative implications on social, academic, and family relationships of the teenager. Amphetamines and Marijuana are the commonly abused drugs by Teenagers. Amphetamine abuse can have severe health effects like decreased appetite, dilated pupils, increased heart rate and blood pressure etc. However, abuse of Marijuana, a popular drug among teenagers, can cause anxiety, depression, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, hallucinations etc.

Effects Of Amphetamines:
Amphetamines are addictive and can cause mood problems like aggression, anxiety, and intense craving for drug.

Memory Loss In Adulthood
Prolonged exposure and high intake of amphetamines during teenage years can lead to memory loss in adulthood. As during the teenage years, the growth of brain occurs and several hormonal changes takes place in body, the exposure to amphetamines can affects the cognitive functions of body and lead to memory impairment.

Cases Of Hallucination
A teenager taking large amount of Amphetamines can suffer from a condition known as Amphetamine psychosis that causes auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations. The teenager can also suffer from intense paranoia, irrational thoughts and beliefs, mental confusion, and delusions.

Mood Problems
Regular intake of amphetamines can cause mood problems like depression, anxiety, dysphoria, aggression etc. Repeated use of amphetamines cause mood swings in teenagers and they exhibit insomnia, restlessness, and irritability. The intensity of the mood swings depend on the amount of amphetamine consumed by teenagers and physiological response to the drug.

Effects Of Marijuana:
Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug among teenagers that has various short-term and long-term negative consequences on health.

Elevates Heart Rate And Decreases Blood Pressure
Smoking Marijuana increases the heart rate and decreases blood pressure. The heart rate can increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute and can increase further if drug use is continued. Elevated heart rate and decreased blood pressure also increases the chances of heart attack among the teenagers abusing marijuana. Marijuana when smoked enters blood stream and binds with hemoglobin decreasing the oxygen in body. This increases the risk of heart attack.

Cases Of Hallucination
High dosages of marijuana when consumed with food rather than smoked can result in teenager experiencing hallucinations. Teenagers abusing marijuana can experience hallucinations like seeing things and patterns or haloes around lights.

Mood Problems
Smoking marijuana can cause mood problems and affect coordination. Smoking marijuana is characterized by mood swings in which the teenager may feel happy, drowsy, depressed, or anxious. Smoking marijuana can change the personality of teenager, increase suicidal thoughts, affect school performance, and increase risk of schizophrenia.

Abuse of amphetamines and marijuana has long lasting effects on teenager's health and affect his/her future life. Keeping a watch on teenager's activities and effectively detecting the warning signs of teen drug abuse can help in timely intervention and provide treatment.

Yoga Helps in Controlling Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

People who've had psychological and mental illnesses have claimed that yoga has helped them a lot. As more and more is learned about mental illnesses we are discovering that there are several kinds and aspects of mental illnesses. Then there is one named bipolar disorder. Bipolar is considered a major illness especially since it has no clear cut cure. People are prescribed medications in order to keep the illness under control. Yoga experts claim that yoga can help with bipolar since the exercise can balance and calm the mind back down.

Bipolar disorder is considered to be a manic depressive illness. The illness jumbles up the brain and the sufferer can experience mood swings, lack of energy, and a marked reduction in the overall ability to function properly. Normally every one of us experiences these types of emotions but not as drastically as someone diagnosed with bipolar. After a point, when and if these emotions get out of hand then the sufferer's job, school work, and relationships become damaged. If the person sinks even deeper into depression then there is even the risk of suicide.

When a person's mood is thrown way high and then crashes all the way down into a deep depression this can leave them emotionally and mentally drained of any energy. In order to assist such a person live a normal life there is talk therapy along with prescribed medication. Working along similar lines of keeping the mind calm and at peace, yoga has been known to help relax the mind so a person can think more clearly and help keep the disorder tamed down.

Bipolar Disorder explained

Bipolar disorder can present drastic changes in temperament and sudden mood swings. The mood swings into high gear for mania and then experience a low down for depression. There are two forms of mania: hypomania and full blown. Full blown mania is when a person is diagnosed with Bipolar-1. When diagnosed with Bipolar-2 they are said to have hypomania. A bipolar person can experience the bipolar cycle experienced many times a day or it can only happen couple times a year. People have been known to lose interest in sleeping and concentration becomes much harder. There could be times that irritability, agitation, and lose of desire for reaching any goals are experienced. If experiencing symptoms of depression a person will have problems with sleeping, feeling very fatigue, deep sadness, high anxiety, and no concentration level what so ever.

Of course, antidepressants are prescribed but they don't always help with the mania. With the massive highs and lows, it becomes harder for the medication to tackle the problems. Bipolar disorder is very serious and people could have high levels of anxiety, anger issues, terrible irritation, and even suicidal impulses.

Though Yoga Energy Is Unblocked

Anxiety in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has been successfully reduced with yoga. A psychotherapist named Stephen Cope wrote a book titled Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. He says when yoga is used, there are certain postures that help a person's mood. Energy is moved away from the spots where there are anger and grief feelings being stored. Liz Owen is a yoga instructor that works with a number of people who are feeling depressed. Liz focuses on releasing the knots that are formed in the throat, heart and navel. When the knots are released then energy can flow easily through the body.

Medication and Yoga work together

Many centers that treat mental health patients that are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are using yoga for therapy. When taking the proper medication mania is dealt with but, there is still the problem of depression along with anxiety. The centers are using yoga for helping to reduce stress, anger, depression, and anxiety within people.

Yoga helps in dealing with bipolar induced insomnia

When a person has bipolar, then they do not get a lot of sleep because of the mania and depression that is being felt. When there is not enough sleep being had, then the levels of depression can increase exponentially. If caffeine is used for helping the person stay awake then there is the risk of experiencing mania. By using yoga a person is able to sleep deeper while becoming sustained. By improving how much one sleeps it helps reduce fatigue and a person is now able to relax.

Prejudice Against Depression

Since the dawn of time mental illness was surrounded by myths and prejudice. People suffering from different disorders were separated from the rest of the society, believed to be speaking with Gods or cursed by them, or seeing the future, or were being locked away like some shameful secret.

The fact is, depression is an old affection and our present attitude to it is coloured by time, which doesn't help to battle this problem.

There are few myths about depression that in many ways prevent people with this problem from getting depression help.

One of them is a preconception that only weak willed people get depressed because they don't want to pull themselves together and get on with it.

Well, I've got news for you folks! A lot of great people in history suffered from depression and it didn't prevent them from making their achievements. Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of The United States? Checked! Michelangelo - great Italian Renaissance artist? Checked! Mozart? Charles Darwin, Lady Diana, Harrison Ford, John Lennon - list is miles long.

They obviously changed history - would you call them weak-minded? NO! So, myth Number One has to go.

Secondly, people subconsciously treat mental illness like an infectious disease and avoid any contact with you, when just the opposite needed - depressed people need human contact, need as much normality as possible. By nature we are not solitary creatures - we need communicating with each other to survive, so please reach out and keep in contact with your friends and family suffering from depression. They might be having difficulties being sociable, but believe me - even little contact for few minutes a day is good for them. And who knows, you might persuade them to seek medical help?

The other thing which really irritates me - people automatically think that depression is incurable, so they just give up on you, which doesn't help your self-esteem, when in fact you can tackle the problem and live normal life with the help of therapy and antidepressant drugs.

There are many causes for depression, and we still don't know them all - it may be in our genetic make-up, how we were treated in the past, accumulative trauma and stress, chemical imbalance in the brain, BUT the main thing to understand - it's an illness like any other, so don't treat it like a whim "it will pass on its own", respect it like any illness and search for a cure, and you will succeed.

Make Inspirational Quotes Part of Your Personal Development

Whether it is working to gain a stronger command of the world around you, build self-confidence, or simply a better understanding of ones self, there are many factors that go into ones' personal development and inspirational quotes can be a major part of that. Starting from a young age, we all find something that inspires us in order to guide our dreams and aspirations. Whether its trying to be like a parent, idolizing a superhero, or looking up to a sibling, we all seek inspiration to guide the path that we will take. In the many forms that inspiration is presented to us, the shortest, most concise phrases are what sticks with us the most. It is for this reason that taking a little bit of time each day to focus on a small gem of inspiration can be the difference between growing strong as a confident individual, and being stunted by the weight of society. There are a few things to look at when understanding the importance that a few inspirational words can have you your life.

You cannot grow mentally if you don't feed your mind

If you fail to feed a growing child the proper nutritional values they need, they wont grow physically. The same is true when it comes to mental development. If you do not feed your mind with the proper fuel, it will not grow. Inspiration is that fuel. An inspired mind can achieve great things, but left to starve will achieve nothing.

Inspiration cannot be forced

If you force a piece of meat to cook fast most likely its going to turn out hard on the outside and raw on the inside, or hard and tough all the way through. The same goes for inspiration. Inspiration comes at the exact right time and cannot be forced. The more that you force yourself to be inspired, the higher chance there is that you will end up feeding your mind a raw, unfinished idea that isn't inspirational at all. Be patient and the best inspiration will come to you when it is most nutritious for your mind to feed on.

In order to grow you must outgrow

Just as a teenager grows drastically and outgrows clothes, shoes, and hairstyles, same is true within personal mental development. When you seek out inspiration you must first be willing to put away the old mental state that has led you to a need for change. One of the most essential parts of personal growth is outgrowing of ideas that will lead you no where in your pursuit of success, happiness, and inner peace.

Carrying with you inspirational words, quotes, or personal experiences will help serve as a guiding light through your journey of personal discovery and development. Take each day and inspire yourself through the inspirational words from those that have effectively navigated their way through the winding road to personal achievement.

Turn Your Relationship Luck Around - 9 Warning Signs of Depression

Some of the entrepreneurs and solopreneurs that I have facilitated over the last 14 years are not aware of the warning signs of depression. As a result their dream of a happy relationship can quickly evaporate into sadness because an incident in their lives triggers them to see their future as negative and a big black hole.

However, there are many tips and ideas that not only make you aware of your situation but make you dream of a happy relationship a reality. Here's the good news: I am here to reveal to you nine warning sign of depression.

#1: Depression is something that nearly everyone faces at some point in a busy lifetime. Normal sadness can turn into depression and it is often normal to feel sad.

#2: You may feel sad when a friend or loved one dies, you are forced to move to another site, start a new job or attend a new school.

How is sadness related to depression?

#3: You may become sad when someone you care about disappoints you or if you do something that is a disappointment to someone you love.

#4: There are many causes of sadness. Sadness is not depression although it can easily slide into depression. Depression is defined as a "down" or sad feeling that lasts longer than two weeks.

#5: Sadness passes with time; usually it goes away without treatment. If you slide into depression from sadness, it takes a lot more work to pull out of a depressive state.

So what is the cause of depression?

#6: What causes depression in you may be different from your neighbor or best friend. Depression is hard to diagnose because many times a person does not show any physical signs of depression.

#7: A person who has learned at a young age not to display emotions can hide depression well into their adult years

Are the symptoms of depression the same for each individual?

#8: Depression symptoms are also different for every individual. One person may have trouble sleeping; the next person may feel the urge to sleep all the time. Another person may feel the need to take a bath or shower several times a day to relieve depression symptoms.

#9: Eating habits can change and be different for each person. Some people have their own "comfort" foods to help ease the symptoms of depression.

It can be chocolate, pastries, or that greasy burger from your favorite fast-food restaurant! Maybe your depression causes you to lose all interest in food.

No matter how long you have been in a relationship, chances are you are not aware of the warning signs of depression. The good news: So pick the sign you need from the ones I outlined above to solve your problem and insure your healthy and happy life style.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chronic Depression - Living Under the Cloud of Impending Doom

Another long-term form of depression, Chronic Depression or Dysthymia is much less severe and yet considered a chronic form.

Dysthymia does not stop a person from performing routine functions but prevents him from performing them as well as he could have.

It's believed that some of the causes of dysthymia could be childhood trauma, adjustment problems during the formative teen years or stress in the adult life.

People with dysthymia could stay depressed for quite a long time starting with days continuing for up to two years.

Dysthymia is again a fairly common psychological ailment and generally affects about 3-5 percent of the people.

Though the symptoms of dysthymia greatly resemble those of manic depression, there are not as severe and as such tend to be overlooked or misdiagnosed as a case of psychosomatic illness.

This is the kind of depression I have dealt with for my entire life. The chronic feelings of sadness and "feeling down" turned out to be dysthymia.

For many years I got misdiagnosed because I started having headaches and stomach discomfort which brought my doctors to believe that I had a psychosomatic illness, which is the fancy term used when no physical damage is found in the body. It leads to believe that the cause is purely mental.

Harvard Health Publications states that, "the Greek word dysthymia means 'bad state of mind' or 'ill humor'.

As one of the two chief forms of clinical depression, it usually has fewer or less serious symptoms than major depression but lasts longer."

At least three-quarters of patients with dysthymia also have a chronic physical illness or another psychiatric disorder such as one of the anxiety disorders, drug addiction, or alcoholism.

The Primary Care Journal says that dysthymia "affects approximately 3% of the population and is associated with significant functional impairment". Harvard health Publications says: "The rate of depression in the families of people with dysthymia is as high as 50% for the early-onset form of the disorder."

Unfortunately although this type of depression is fairly common most people with dysthymia can't tell for sure when they first became depressed, making the diagnosis quite challenging at times.

Consult your doctor about this type of chronic depression called dysthymia.

Should You Take Antidepressants For Chronic Back Pain?

If you've gone to the doctor for back pain, you likely left with a prescription for some type of medication. People with recurring or chronic back pain are often prescribed antidepressants.

antidepressants are thought to be effective in treating pain because they increase the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain that decrease negative feelings like pain - both physically and mentally. Also, many people with chronic pain also experience depression, either due to the shared areas of the brain that process both physical and emotional pain or to the situational reduction of quality of life experienced by many with chronic pain. While using medication to target both conditions may seem sound, arguments against the use of antidepressants to treat chronic pain have been mounting for over a decade.

antidepressants don't cure the cause of back pain; when they work, they may simply mask the sensation of pain. These drugs are generally prescribed to people with nonspecific, or undiagnosed, back pain in lieu of treatments that address the unknown cause of pain.

Do They Work?

antidepressants were designed to affect brain chemistry as they do because it is hypothesized that abnormal brain chemistry, including a deficiency of key neurotransmitters, is one of the causes of clinical depression. While these drugs have shown to improve the lives of people with severe, clinical depression, they have not shown consistent results for people with chronic back pain. A number of studies have been done in recent decades to assess the use of these drugs for the treatment of various conditions. While some studies show that they can relieve back pain, others show that they are no better than placebos. The unpredictability of the effects are enough to make prescription of antidepressants for back pain questionable, yet they continue to be prescribed en masse.

Researchers for the Cochrane Library reviewed 10 trials that compared anti-depressant effects and placebo effects on people with back pain. They found that there was no difference in pain reduction between the medication and the placebo group in many studies and, at best, conflicting evidence in others. Review the study at


Even if an anti-depressant could relieve your back pain, there are risks of both short- and long-term use that must be considered. At first, they may cause hyper-alertness or the opposite, a sedated state. Other symptoms such as constipation, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia and headache are common. These may decrease as your brain gets used to the new situation.

Long-term use of these drugs comes with additional side effects. Weight gain and loss of libido are common, particularly in women. Abrupt cessation of SSRI drugs has been linked to nausea and dizziness. Some medical professionals warn against abrupt cessation of any anti-depressant for fear of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms, while others maintain that there is no concern.

Aside from physical symptoms, long-term use of these medications can have a negative impact on you psychologically. One concern is tolerance; as the brain gets used to the drug's effects, the body may begin to perform processes to oppose it. This means that the drug ceases to be effective as the brain gets better at creating a ripe environment for depression. Recurrent depressive episodes and worsening of symptoms are possible. This poses a concern particularly for people with chronic pain and depressive symptoms. For those being treated for pain exclusively, drugs are generally administered at lower doses and may or may not produce psychological side effects. However, dosages increase as physical tolerance builds up. See for more on tolerance and adverse effects.

The most frightening part of this discussion of risks associated with long-term anti-depressant use is that it is incomplete. antidepressants saturated the market before long-term studies were done to confirm their safety. It was only after years of use by children and teens that, in 2004, the FDA announced that anti-depressant use can increase the risk of suicidal tendencies in young people. While these drugs can improve the lives of people with severe, chronic depression, their use by people with mild depression, chronic back pain or both is unsubstantiated; the risks may outweigh the benefits.


One main way to avoid anti-depressant use for chronic back pain is to find the cause of your pain and seek treatments that address it. A few commonly undiagnosed causes of pain are muscle imbalance, myofascial pain syndrome and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Researching all possible causes of your pain and finding an open-minded doctor who will hear you out are the first steps to obtaining an accurate diagnosis.

For people with depression, there are ways to alter brain chemistry naturally. Diet, exercise and talk therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy have proven to do so. Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can even be learned online for free.

Chronic back pain and depression don't destine you to a life of pills. Knowing the evidence, risks and alternatives associated with anti-depressant use for back pain can help you make informed decisions about your treatment.

Antidepressant Foods, and Their Help With Depression

Eating foods you like can improve your mood, at least for a short period of time.

So why not try out some foods that are useful in dealing with depression? According to a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there are some foods that are closely associated with offsetting depression symptoms. Here are some of the best foods to improve your mood:

1. Carbohydrates

Both whole grains and fruits have serotonin, which induces a state of wellness and relaxation.

2. Bananas

They contain a substance called tryptophan which has the ability to stimulate the release of serotonin, which improves your mood.

3. Raw sunflower seeds

They are very rich in folic acid and magnesium, both with significant effects in changing bad moods that you may face. Due to the high content of vitamins and minerals, sunflower seeds helps relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression.

4. Raw Nuts

They contain two essential ingredients (omega-3 fatty acids and uridine) which together provide the most powerful antidepressant medicine, according to a study by Harvard University and published in Biological Psychology.

5. Dark chocolate

The requirement is that the chocolate you eat has more than 70% cocoa -- many of the less expensive chocolates don't have this high of a percentage. However almost all the ingredients of a chocolate bar will provide a little help in improving your mood: sugar, fats, caffeine, phenylethylamine, theobromine and tryptophan.

Overweight and obesity are fast becoming an epidemic and a major health problem worldwide - these conditions may also contribute to bad moods and depression. The increase in obesity is associated with many problems related to food, of which the most serious are: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and some forms of cancer, draws attention the World Health Organization.

Our body needs some essential elements in order to function within normal parameters: protein, carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, water sports and relaxation, lists.

To operate at maximum capacity, and thereby helping avoid depression, your body needs:

1. Proteins. They are necessary for forming and maintaining muscle mass.

2. Carbs. Main source of energy.

3. Unsaturated fats. Make your heart healthy.

4. Vitamins and minerals necessary for growth and harmonious development.

5. Omega 3 fatty acids are important for heart health, brain, eyes, skin, joints, hair and the immune system.

6. The fibers are recommended for easy digestion.

Also, the body needs water for hydration and exercise and relaxation.

To help combat depression, while also staying away from the negative things that an overweight condition can bring, the right balance of healthy foods and the antidepressant foods discussed above is needed.

What Is The Likelihood Of Your Depression Returning?

We all get depressed from time to time, don't we? It's pretty normal to get nostalgic or extremely sad when we make major life changes or encounter personal problems, illness and death in the family. The factors causing depression will always be there, no matter what we do. We cannot be happy 100% of the time as it is. Even the strongest-willed individual on earth can break down and cry. Nobody can keep us from getting into a depressive state when circumstances so warrant. We will just have to cope with depression effectively every time we feel "the blues" in order to reduce the impact on our relationships and general well-being.

Some Means Of Coping With Depression

There are different ways we can fight the blues or even use depression to improve our lives and the lives of other people. I would like to share a few that are working well for me:

  • Keep a journal. Writing allows me to channel my feelings into something that is not destructive. It makes me feel good to write my thoughts down without having to worry about grammar or sentence structure. Try the same technique. You can write a poem about your feelings, and who knows, you may even want to publish it later.

  • Do something nice, whether it's to yourself or to others. Treat yourself to something nice and fancy. Consider getting a new haircut - looking different helps to boost your confidence. Buy ice cream for a little child, or a complete meal for the beggar down the street. Doing these things help to make you feel loads better.

  • Relax. See a movie or read a good book. Try Sophie Kinsella's books - they never fail to make me laugh.

  • Take up a new hobby. Try cooking, juggling or playing crossword puzzles or anything at all that will occupy your mind.

Clinical Depression

But I'd like to point out that there is a more serious type of depression, and that's clinical depression. Clinical depression is a major depressive disorder that requires professional treatment usually through psychotherapy or medications or both. This type of depression may be triggered by genetics, physical and emotional abuse, medications, and essentially the same factors that cause simple depression. This type of depression has the tendency to recur if not treated properly.

To Reduce Chances of Depression Recurring

  • Get professional treatment. Clinical depression is very serious; self-medication will only serve to make it worse. Consult a specialist in order to be treated appropriately with psychotherapy or medications or a combination of both. And do what you are told to do. If you are given medications, don't reduce or increase the dosage without your doctor's advice.

  • Take vitamin supplements. The lack of Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12, as well as Vitamins C and D, has been linked to increased incidence of depression. Making sure you have enough supply of these essential vitamins may help prevent the recurrence of mood disorders.

  • Exercise. Exercising regularly releases chemicals in the brain that are responsible in improving mood and reducing anxiety. Brisk walking for 30 minutes early in the morning is always a good idea.

  • Make wise food choices. I know, it happens so often that when we are depressed we tend to rely on comfort foods, but these only make us better for a little while. Eating right will help you deal with depression a lot better. Try nuts - they have Omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to brain health and development. Foods rich in B-vitamins, especially folic acid, make great choices, too.

Well, of course, you don't have to wait for the last minute to do any of these things. Except for the first advice, the rest of the tips can nonetheless help improve your general well being in many ways, even if you have not had or are not at risk for developing a major depressive disorder.

Bipolar Affective Disorder - Four Treatment Options For Manic Depression

Bipolar affective disorder is more commonly known as manic depression, or simply bipolar disorder. Characterized by bouts of deep depression intermixed with excited periods of mania, and all forms of moods in between, bipolar affective disorder is the most persistent and serious mental illness. So what areas of treatment are available to those with this illness?

1.) Pharmaceutical Drugs

Psychiatrists love to write prescriptions for pills, and for good reason, as many times these drugs work. From older drugs like Lithium to newer medications like Seroquel and Effexor, there are well over fifty possible meds for bipolar affective disorder. Oftentimes, a combination of drugs will be used in order to control the side effects of a primary medication.

2.) Natural Medications

The omega-3 in fish oils has been shown to improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and even to eliminate them completely in milder forms of bipolar II. Light therapy using full spectrum lighting can ward off the winter blues.

3.) Therapy

Everyone has felt like punching another person, perhaps on a daily basis, but we also learn to control our baser impulses. If everyone did whatever they felt like, society would collapse in short order. Behavioral therapy can teach those with bipolar disorder to control their impulses.

4.) Diet

Most people have food allergies, and they don't even know it. These allergies can become especially acute in those with bipolar disorder. Did you know that the glutamate, also called BHT, in taco seasoning packages can make someone manic? A person with bipolar disorder should watch what they eat, carefully cutting items out of their diet and noting their effect on moods.

Cutting out sugar, caffeine, and processed foods can work wonders for anyone's mood. As well, it goes without saying that hard drugs and alcohol are off limits.

Debt And Depression - You Are Not Alone, Find Understanding And Support

Debt has become one of the major problems of many families worldwide. Failure to repay debt on time negatively contributes to the credit rating of a person aside from the fact it ruins family ties and relationships.

There have been lots of warnings about getting debt as it may cause greater economic and financial difficulties later on. But as the promise of instant luxurious life lingers on, many people are still encouraged and lured to take out loans which they regret later on. From a small amount of loan, it can grow into a 5 to 6-digit debt which you may find difficult to repay later on.

People who are surrounded by mountains of debt are usually plagued with lots of notices and letters from lending companies regularly. This makes their life even miserable. In the long run, it may cause the onset of depression which when left unaddressed can lead to suicide. In fact, more and more people are committing suicide due to their inability and difficulty in repaying their debts on time.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms of Depression Caused by Debt?

Aside from their debts, people who tend to borrow a lot still have a lot in common. They share a number of symptoms such as the following:

Feeling of guilt, hopelessness and helplessness when thinking about debt
Being intolerant and irritable with other people especially when talking about debt
Lack of motivation or interest in doing some particular things
Trouble in formulating decisions especially when it comes to repaying debts
Constant pessimism
Poor self esteem and low self-confidence
Suicidal tendencies
Change in appetite
Lack of interest to engage in sexual activities
Unexplained pains and aches
Loss of interest to engage in hobbies
Difficulties in dealing with people at home and in the workplace
Reluctance to participate in social activities and endeavours

What To Do To Fight Off Depression Caused by Debt?

According to research, around 9 out of every 10 people who are facing serious debt issues actually suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to experts, depression is pretty normal to people who are confronted with high amount of debt. While some people are lucky enough to pull themselves out of this burdensome condition, there are others who are having a hard time dealing with it, which pushed them to commit suicide.

Running to Family Members and Friends

If you are in a troublesome financial difficulty right now, you are not alone! Many people had been on your shoes before they have managed to overcome their condition, moved on and succeed. Thanks to their friends and families!

Confiding your financial issues with your friends and families can help you feel better. You will need all the love and support they can give in overcoming your situation. In some instances, they can even help you formulate ways on how you can generate money to repay your debt. In situation like this, shame and embarrassment should be less considered. It cannot help you in finding solutions to your problems.

Call a Crisis Hotline

There are definitely lots of hotlines to call if you found yourself amidst depression due to the failure and inability of repaying your debts. If you are unsure about confiding your problems with a psychologist, therapist or a counsellor, calling these hotlines is definitely beneficial. They are expert at dealing with your problems and it is such a relief to divulge your problems with them. They can also help you in finding effective ways on how you can resolve your problem successfully. You don't have to reveal your real identity if you don't want to but you can get a lot of support and helpful advices from them.

Join Support Groups

There are lots of online and social support groups which can help you in finding solutions to your problem. Many members of these support groups have also been on your shoes before so there's really nothing to be embarrassed about. You all share the same experiences and from them, you will definitely learn your lessons.

More often than not, people who are suffering from depression due to massive amounts of debt feel that they are alone in their struggle. Lack of support from their environment usually triggers them to resolve their problems all by themselves, by committing suicide.

Be There!

If you love a friend, be there for him or her. More often than not, people who regularly receive with utility bills, notices and letters from lending companies have poor judgment. They cannot think logically which may trigger them to contemplate suicide. Listen to his problems, talk to him and support him. This is one of the best ways to keep his spirit up and prevent him from considering suicide as a solution to his problem.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

10 Small Challenges to Totally Transform Your Life!

Welcome to a new decade. How can you make this year your best so far? Here are 10 small challenges to make within your day to day life. Guaranteed to make a big difference.

1. Start the day with some inspiration.
Whether you sign up to a free online daily guidance site so that your first email at work can put you in the right frame of mind, or you flick open a book of inspiration at random while you have your morning tea, that 1 minute can change the other 1439 minutes of your day.

2. Make goals, not resolutions.
Set your mind to what you want to achieve this year, concentrating on the positive not the negative. Thinking 'I want to be a thinner, happier, more active person' will inspire you to take a lot more action than 'I want to stop being fat, miserable and lazy'.

3. Make exercise fun.
Decide with a group of friends what suits you best and then whether it's Salsa or Break dance Mondays, five-a-side football Fridays or weekly boxing/yoga sessions, make an event of it. This way it becomes something social to look forward to each week and you can support one another to keep going.

4. Learn to master our mind and do not let it master us.
In the not-so-secret 'The Secret', it is suggested that the universe responds to our thoughts but does not know our intentions, so if we are thinking 'I must get out of debt' it hears 'debt', whilst the positive 'I want to make money', it hears 'money'. Small changes in the way we think can have huge effects on the way we feel and behave.

5. Enjoy the moment.
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh writes that it is better to enjoy doing the washing up and take a little longer than to rush it and waste the moment wanting to be doing something else. If we are always thinking about the future or what we want to be doing next, we can lose sight of the happiness that can be felt right at this present moment.

6. Travel.
Go somewhere you've never been before and explore. Whether it's Cornwall, Paris, or Thailand be adventurous and book to stay away from the main English tourist resort, get a great guide book and learn how to say 'please,' 'thank you,' 'help,' and 'could I have a glass of wine please?' in the local language.

7. See the happiness of yourself and the happiness of others as the same thing.
One person's happiness can never be at the expense of someone else's. If someone gets a promotion that you wanted, really trust that that was right for their life and that something else fabulous is right for yours. Envy is just fear that our own lives will not be wonderful. Likewise, happiness derived from the exploitation of others or your environment will be short lived. Trust that happiness can be created, not just traded from one person to another.

8. Learn something new.
Take a deep breathe and an honest look in the mirror. What is that secret thing you've been yearning to learn for years? How to write a script, speak Italian, sing, play the violin, rockclimb or dance the tango? This is the year to really go for it. Have a look on the internet and at local gyms or colleges for classes. If you're feeling shy see if you can join the class as a spectator for the first week.

9. Take some Me-time.
Make it a priority to do something you find relaxing once a week; go for a massage (or even better, book a mobile massage therapist to come to your home or office,) read a book, go for a walk in the countryside or have a long relaxing candle-lit bath.

10. Give three compliments a day.
To friends, family, your partner, colleagues or complete strangers; strive to search for people's positive qualities and to let them know. Try this everyday and see how things subtly change within a week, month or year. If you get home and realise you've missed one you can give it to yourself, but make sure it's a sincere praising of something fabulous about your self!

De-Stigmatising Postnatal Depression

"There are a number of causes of postnatal depression, but being a 'bad mother' is not one of them."
~Kylie Woolcock

Depression is a far more common phenomenon than most of the non-depressed world is readily aware of. And of the particular nuances of this black dog, postnatal depression seems just as common as overall depression is.

One in six Australian mothers experience depression postnatally.

Like all depressed people, postnatally depressed women cry out from within themselves for support and guidance to get through the troubled days of dark uncertainty.


There are the reasons of isolation, of a lack of anticipation, preparedness and awareness (who could adequately prepare for every eventuality for such a significant life change as the coming of a baby?), of self-doubting, as well as the core deficits of self-concept. Deficits of attachment are also linked.

But it is more useful to look at some of the myths surrounding the prevalence of postnatal depression, and to dispel them.


MYTH: Women who suffer from postnatal depression are bad mothers.

Women who suffer from postnatal depression are not bad mothers. The trouble with depression is the doubting involved compounds, and thoughts of failing our babies and our families start in unfounded ways. But the more we doubt, and the more we entertain ourselves as failures, the more we block out signs of our positive self-concept, only to invite evidence of negativity - of seeing the failures in bright lights.

We should listen to the positive sources of encouragement in our lives and believe them.

MYTH: Being depressed will harm the baby.

Being depressed does not necessarily harm the baby. Especially when we admit our weakness, and we draw upon strength from trusted others, with help also from psychotherapy, we offset most of the possible negative effects on the baby. Getting our support is vital, as is journeying with our doctors regarding medications where they are required.

MYTH: Being depressed lasts a long time.

Depressed mothers do not necessarily remain depressed over the long term. The quicker we get treatment in any form of depression, or in any mental illness for that matter, the quicker our response of recovery. While some people will be prone to longer term symptoms, most react well to available treatments.


Postnatal or postpartum depression is as common as overall depression is. Many more women are affected than we often realise. There is no shame in any depression. The quicker we ask for help and get the treatment we need, the quicker we recover, generally.

穢 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Further Reading: Kylie Woolcock, "Postnatal Depression" in Counselling in Practice, vol. 30:9 - September 2011.

Depression Treatment: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Or Transcranial Magnetic Therapy (TMS)?

Electroconvulsive Therapy. Two words that make up one complete and disturbingly descriptive sentence.

In a nutshell, ECT works by inducing a physical seizure. But, when compared to the emotional/Life Seizure induced by deep depression, ECT may be preferable.

ECT has had some remarkable successes but, like any other therapy, electroconvulsive therapy is not for everyone. And, ECT side effects are also a consideration because they can be disturbing.

Keeping in mind that ECT and TMS treatments use some form of electricity to stimulate the brain, there are very important differences between the two:

- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock therapy, uses an electric shock to induce a seizure. TMS uses a magnetic field to induce a much smaller electric current in a specific part of the brain without causing seizure or loss of consciousness.

- In many cases, ECT has been very effective in treating severe depression. TMS is not so powerful but, concurrent treatments to TMS such as neuro-feedback and/or hypnosis may actually boost the healing power of TMS. For now, TMS is used to treat milder depression, and it can only be prescribed for patients who have failed to benefit from one, but not two or more, antidepressant treatments. This treatment restriction may change in the future however, a depression sufferer may still benefit from appropriately applied complimentary healing methods such as hypnotherapy or biofeedback.

- TMS is much safer than ECT. Unlike ECT, TMS does not require sedation and is administered on an outpatient basis. TMS patients can drive to and from treatments on their own.

- Electroshock therapy always causes temporary confusion. And it often causes temporary--but sometimes very disturbing--memory problems. Plus, it can have significant effects on the cardiovascular system which can be an issue for some patients. TMS causes none of these problems. Another way of seeing this is that TMS is virtually free of side effects.

A question that many of my patients have needed to answer before seeking help is, are they truly depressed or just going through a normal life sadness event?

For instance, someone once contacted me and, after telling me that they had just lost a loved one, they then asked: "Do I need anti-depressant therapy?"

They asked about antidepressant medication/psychological treatment because their feelings of sadness and loss were overwhelming and seemed to be out of control. And, they did indeed score "yes" on many depression symptoms (listed below.)

However, after speaking with them some more, I determined they did not fit a "depressed" diagnosis but, their levels of pain were such that they did need some support.

Wondering which might be best for them, I asked them how they felt about hypnosis and receiving a positive answer, I then invited them in for a hypnosis session to help them constructively deal with a very difficult issue.

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) was also a good match for my patient and so I used some very effective NLP methods to help them to be able to better make it through some very difficult days.

Losing a loved one hurts beyond words and it is understandable to want to fade away or die to avoid the pain however, most people truly do not want to die; they just don't have the tools to keep moving on until the pain eventually fades.

With the above in mind, and, after over 20 years in the psychiatry field, it is my firm belief that if proven, complimentary methods such as neuro-feedback, NLP and hypnosis were employed at the onset of truly painful life events, then costly, disabling depression could be avoided.

In other words, those who have suffered terrible losses could be saved a lot of terrible emotional and financial cost such as alcoholism, unemployment and more.

How can someone avoid the emotional/financial bankrupting costs of depression? They can learn how to recognize if they are depressed. This goes for you tough guys (and gals) out there who think you don't need treatment (also known as healing from painful events.)

If you are in pain and you want to feel better and you are curious, check out the possible signs and symptoms of depression listed below.

Note that in general, the below potential depression symptoms have lasted at least two weeks and have filled a significant part of your days.

- Persistent sad mood with feelings of "I can't take it anymore - I just want to die."

- No patience. Not even for little things.

- Little or no interest in things that used to excite you, such as sex.

- Sleep problems. You know if you have them. Waking up often; trouble going back to sleep; racing heart when you wake up; huge heaviness in your stomach when you wake, etc.

- Eating disturbances; either suddenly becoming too much or too little.

- Inability to concentrate and/or sit quietly.

- Your thinking is "different" although you're not sure exactly how. Your body doesn't seem your own.

- Can't make up your mind; even about little things such as what to eat.

- No energy even after sleeping all night - even small tasks are really difficult and require a lot of effort.

- A deep feeling that you are worthless and/or guilty of being deeply inadequate.

- Memory problems that are not normal.

- Intrusive, uninvited thoughts of wanting to die... and agreeing with them.

- Making serious plans on how you are going to "resign from life."

Something that is important to remember is that even if one of the above signs and symptoms of depression is overwhelming, disabling or otherwise having a significant negative impact on your life, then get some help.

Depression can be overcome. There is a rainbow to your personal storm. I'm glad that you took time to read this article. Thank you.

Coping With Huntington's Disease

Huntington's disease, also known as Huntington's chorea, is a degenerative neurological disease in which cells in the brain slowly deteriorate until they cease to function. Huntington's is classified as an autosomal dominant disease which means that a child can inherit the disease if only one parent carries the abnormal gene. It is estimated that one in ten thousand people are afflicted with this disease, of which sixteen percent of those cases are juvenile onset. Although there is currently no cure for this terminal disease, there are many treatments to relieve symptoms and much research being done to hopefully one day find an end to the suffering of its captives.

There are many physical and mental symptoms that characterize this deadly disease. Early mental symptoms include: anger, depression, sudden mood swings, and difficulty making decisions and learning new information. Patients may often develop bi-polar like symptoms with manic and depressive phases. Physical symptoms include: balancing problems, involuntary facial movements, jaw clenching, and sudden changes in handwriting. Later symptoms can include: severe coordination problems, rapid eye movements, slurred speech, swallowing problems, and dementia. Symptoms of Huntington's disease typically will not appear until around or after the age of forty.

There are many tests in which doctors can use to diagnose Huntington's disease. First, there is a physical exam where the physician will test motor skills and functions. Also the doctor will take down and medical history of the patient and the family. They may perform a CT or MRI scan to check areas of the brain for neurological problems. Doctors may also request the patient have a blood test to screen for the Huntington's gene. Based on these tests a physician may refer the patient to other specialists that can further help the patient through the difficult process of treating this disease.

Although Huntington's is incurable, research and technology are bringing doctors and scientists closer to better treatments and possibly a cure for this disease. Physicians often recommend that patients stay on regular schedule medications to treat many of the symptoms that may hinder the normal functions of everyday life. The first drug approved by the FDA to directly treat many of Huntington's symptoms was Tetrabenazine. Doctors may also prescribe tranquilizers such as Klonopin and antipsychotics such as Halopendol to control movement, hallucinations, and violent outbursts. Scientists are also researching into treatments involving stem cells and combination's of other drugs used to treat other terminal diseases.

Although medication is very effective in treating symptoms of this disease, there are many things a patient can be doing at home to keep healthier longer. Because this disease causes motor degeneration, patients should be exercising everyday to help keep their muscles and motor function strong. Patients should also maintain a healthy diet which should also involve extra vitamin supplements. People with Huntington's often burn over 4,000 calories a day so they need extra nutrients to maintain a healthy weight. Those affected also may experience dehydration and should make sure they consume extra fluids to avoid this. Physical and speech therapy are also recommended to help combat the strong effects of this disease.

The Alarming Statistics on Childhood Depression

The statistics on childhood depression are very disturbing. Childhood depression is going up in numbers quite dramatically. In fact, Harvard Medical Center studies say that it is rising by a rate of about 20 percent per year. That means that every twenty years, childhood depression rates are nearly doubling.

In the United States alone, more than one third of children are or have been affected by depression and that includes children under the ages of six years. The most rapidly growing medication market for preschool children is antidepressant medication. The British Medical Journal however found that antidepressants may not work for children of that age, or in fact for anyone under the age of 18 years of age, and may even lead to suicide in young people.

Depression is growing by leaps and bounds. These statistics on childhood depression are not only fitting for the United States but also for other countries such as Great Britain and Australia, where suicide is now the most common cause of death in teenagers. According to the FDA, the use of antidepressant medication may lead to suicide or suicidal thoughts in those under the age of 18.

Some of the factors that we can point to which cause teenage or childhood depression are child abuse, which is currently running to epidemic proportions in countries all around the globe. While many blame the economy for making parents more stressed and more likely to behave abusively, the reality is that we're only just now coming to terms with real facts and figures on child abuse and childhood depression. Far more than physical abuse, subtle emotional abuse and constant criticism tends to lead to deep depression in children too. This type of abuse seems to lend itself well to creating a subtle depression and anger in children that is not easily tamed.

Our statistics, sadly, are not as well known as one might think. Until only recently, we had no real data on childhood or teen depression. Studies had not even begun on younger children until the early portion of 1990 because it was assumed that children simply didn't suffer from depression. They had minimal symptoms of the condition and certainly not the symptoms seen in older children or adult victims of the condition.

Many more children these days are experiencing events that may lead to depression, such as injuries, divorce in the family, serious illness and other conditions that may lead them to become depressed. Their symptoms are not as often obvious as those of older children and may be overlooked in many cases. Even very young children, as youthful as 3 or 4 may experience depression.

The FDA also warns that some medications, such as those given for ADHD, another much over-prescribed illness in recent years, is often to blame for depression which takes place many years after the medication has been administered.

In conclusion, the statistics on childhood depression is alarming but we can help to improve this by identifying the warning signs and reaching out to get the person professional help as soon as possible.

Bill Maher Quotes On Health And Fitness

Bill Maher is a polarizing figure: You either love him and hang on his every word, or you absolutely despise him and would love nothing more than to erase him from the face of the Earth.

On his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, he frequently does a bit known as "New Rules" where he challenges the status quo and sounds off on things he thinks need to change -- with little regard for political correctness or public opinion.

In one of his recent "New Rules" segments, he set his sights on America's health and fitness. And while he certainly isn't the poster child for a perfectly healthy lifestyle, he made some incredible points that are near impossible to disagree with:

New Rule: If you believe you need to take all the pills the pharmaceutical industry says you do, then you're already on drugs....

We won't stop being sick until we stop making ourselves sick. Because there is a point where even the most universal government health program can't help you. They can't outlaw unhealthy food or alcohol or cigarettes. Just pot, sadly.

Because, you see, the government isn't your nanny. They're your dealer. And they subsidize illness in America. They have to. There's too much money in it. ... Fifty years ago, children didn't even get Type 2 Diabetes. Now, it's an emerging epidemic. As are a long list of ailments which used to be rare, and have now been "mainstreamed."

Things like asthma and autism and acid reflux, and arthritis, allergies, adult acne, attention deficit disorder. And that's just the "A's." ...

In Hillary Clinton's health plan, the words "nutrition" and "exercise" appear once. The word "drugs" 14 times. Just as the pharmaceutical companies want it. You know, their ad weasels love to say, "When diet and exercise fail..." Well, diet and exercise don't fail. A fact brought home last week by a new Duke University study that showed exercise - yes, exercise - is just as effective a cure for depression as Paxil and Zoloft.

So ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you!

You know, if Republicans can sell the idea of preemptive war, Democrats have to at least get us interested in the idea of preventive medicine. Someone has to stand up and say that the answer isn't another pill. The answer is spinach. Okay, not spinach. Turns out that crap'll kill you. But you know what I mean!

What do you think of these Bill Maher quotes? Can you disagree with any of his statements?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Severe Depression Symptoms

There are probably as many forms and severity of depression as there are sufferers. It's a hideous illness which ensnares people, often without any prior warning.

Sometimes it builds up slowly until the sufferer is in a black hole from which there appears to be no escape. Help must be obtained either by the sufferer or someone in the family or amongst friends. This can at times be difficult because the person concerned will reject everything and everyone that can help.

Severe depression symptoms will include agitated or even aggressive rejection of help. Not only does the sufferer not know which way to turn but neither does the helper. However, without help the illness will only get worse.

Symptoms of severe depression are:

  • Feelings of distress - leading to weeping and extreme despair

  • Agitation - leading to thrashing about

  • Restlessness - leading to wandering around inside the home or indeed aimlessly walking the surrounding areas

  • Cannot settle to a task - this can show in the way tasks are started but not finished

  • Aggression towards others - this can be shouting and refusing to comply up to actual physical attack which has to be restrained

  • Aggression towards self - maybe head banging or other self harm

  • Lacking concentration - cannot follow thoughts through coherently

  • Feeling of uselessness and lack of self worth - can be guilt ridden because they have no desire to do anything for themselves or others

  • Take no interest in looking after themselves - they may become disheveled and indeed dirty

  • Insomnia - but may retire to bed early and rise late because of tiredness and lethargy

  • Loss of appetite - no amount of tempting food will arouse the desire to eat

  • May hear voices or had visitations - may be convinced that dark forces are communicating with them

  • Cannot bear to be in their own home - may want to get away but not know where they want to be. Just want to be alone. Would like to curl up in a corner and be left alone

  • Suicidal - not just thought but also action and it could involve others such as the family because in some way they think this would be the best option for them all. It is believed that about 10% of sufferers actually commit suicide.

All this leads to a generally pessimistic outlook with the feeling that nothing will ever improve. They feel that they can do nothing to change any of this and so reinforce the listlessness and apathy.

An individual will suffer from some or many of these symptoms but it is very difficult to spot the problems in the early stages and so may lead on to severe depression before steps can be taken to obtain help. It is important to obtain advice from a properly qualified medical practitioner who will be able to diagnose the type of illness and prescribe the best treatment.

Caffeine May Make Depression Worse

There has been an extensive debate on whether caffeine has an overall positive or negative effect on people. The same is applicable to the effects that this chemical compound has on one of the most common psychological conditions, depression. Several studies have suggested that caffeine may reduce serotonin production and make the condition worse while others claim the opposite.

The results of various studies on the effect of caffeine on serotonin and, in turn, on depression have been inconclusive. There have also been studies that show no direct correlation between the intake of this chemical compound and the production of this neurotransmitter in the brain. However, it has been found that caffeine may affect serotonin production and depression in general indirectly in a number of ways.

This chemical compound, naturally found in coffee and other plants, has been shown to have a mild to moderate effect on the overall functioning of the brain. It makes you more alert and allows you to have better concentration for longer. As you consume coffee, or other beverages containing this chemical compound, your body adjusts to the effect they have on the brain and accepts it as natural.

If you suddenly stop taking this chemical compound, the effect on the brain can be adverse. The levels of the different chemical compounds in the brain, including serotonin, may drop and make your depression considerably worse. Withdrawal symptoms include greater irritability, fatigue and headaches which may be new to you and make your general physical and psychological condition far worse. In this respect, the general consumption of caffeine can provide for the aggravation of depression, especially if you consume large amounts of coffee and/or caffeinated drinks.

Caffeine maybe linked to night's sleep, which in turn, is linked to depression. Many people consuming caffeine have sleeping problems, such as inability to fall asleep quickly and waking up frequently during the night as well as poor sleep, in general. It has also been found that in many depression patients anxiety and depression symptoms pick up during the night and cause sleep problems. This comes to suggest that the consumption of coffee and similar beverages may aggravate some of the most serious depression symptoms. It can lead into more serious sleep problems, fatigue and drowsiness during the day.

Even though some studies suggest this chemical compound may reduce the risk of cancer and nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, it is considered to have an adverse general effect on the health, especially when consumed in large amounts. Caffeine consumption can increase the blood pressure and, in turn, lead to permanent heart, blood vessel, liver and kidney damage. Heart problems as well as other health problems can make depression worse, causing greater anxiety and increasing the feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness.

In conclusion, there is no solid scientific evidence that caffeine lowers serotonin levels in the brain while it is actually being consumed. However, this chemical consumption may affect the serotonin and other chemical compound balances in the brain indirectly especially if you stop your caffeine intake for any reason.

Don't Let Fear Steal Your Dream

Don't let fear rob you from the opportunity of success. If you are like most people, you have a goal or a dream that is meaningful and that you want to achieve. That goal may be related to personal growth issues such as weight loss, gaining self-esteem, finding inner peace, increasing your energy levels, or overcoming depression. Or, your goal may include going back to school, entering a new career, or bringing your creative talents into a greater public light. Having a goal is the easy part. Moving through your own inner obstacles and fears can literally stop you in your tracks.

If you have tried to reach your goal and stopped because you encountered fear, don't give up. That is the nature of goals. They take you into new territory and bring you face-to-face with your own personal fears. The issue is not about moving forward once fear is no longer present, the issue is how will you act when you encounter your fear? Will you allow fear to stand in your way? Will you run the other way? Or will you say hello to your fear and move forward despite its presence?

I once read, "The purpose of life is not to get rid of the butterflies in your stomach, but to make them fly in formation." While fear can be a part of any journey, there are many ways to overcome fear! The five steps below are intended to offer a few powerful new strategies as you continue to bring your own goals to life.

1. Understand that fear is just an emotion.

Fear is a powerful emotion. However, just like happiness or sadness, it is only an emotion and not something outside of you. The trick is to face your fear, keep breathing, and keep its energy moving rather than getting consumed in its sticky tentacles. Moving beyond fear requires courage and a decision to feel what you feel, fully and completely. This involves a decision to breathe, be with your body, and gain insight into what is really going on for you. No matter how scary it seems, decide to sit with your emotion of fear. Avoiding it doesn't make it go away. Looking the other way doesn't make it disappear. Ignoring it does not make it any less painful. Breathe. Facing your fear can help you understand what you are afraid of, and then take the necessary steps to gain new tools and strategies to move forward on your dream once again.

2. Change your attitude about failure.

Long ago, a quote arrived in my email that read, "You try things, some work, some don't, and you do more of what works." These simple words suggest that the formula for success is that if you want to grow and succeed, you also have to be willing to fail. Sure, no one actually wants to experience failure. However, if you want to succeed at something new, you will most likely experience setbacks, stumbling blocks, and failures along the way. To be successful, you need to design an alternative paradigm for failure. In other words, redefine failure in a manner allowing yourself to see failure as "information." Failure is really just feedback telling you to evaluate your experience, utilize the information gained to adjust your plan, and then try a new approach. When an occasional failure is experienced -- get up, dust yourself off, access the new information, revise your course, and begin again.

3. Believe in your ability to succeed.

Your ability to achieve a goal is dependent on many factors, but none of them is more important than simply believing you can! Norman Vincent Peale stated, "People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success." Your potential to achieve what you want is virtually unlimited. What often propels you forward or holds you back is whether you nurture the belief that you can't or whether you nurture the belief that you can.

4. Decide you don't have to do anything.

Here is an experiment. For the next 48 hours, eliminate the words "I have to" from your vocabulary and substitute the words "I choose to." Instead of saying, "I have to move forward on my goal" say, "I choose to take this specific action step today." Or, you could just as effectively say, "I choose not to take any action step today." Either choice allows you to understand that you are the person in control of your choices. You set the priorities. You are responsible. You have control. Feel how empowering this simple change of words can be.

5. Ask yourself empowering questions.

Certain types of questions can lead you to gain new insights and new motivation. Ask yourself the following questions, allow yourself to answer them from your heart, and see where your truths take you:

  • Are your dreams really important enough to change your lifestyle?

  • Do you want to be responsible for your own life decisions?

  • Do you have the courage to go after what you want with tenacity and see it through to the end?

  • Can you accept that fear is part of the journey and move forward anyway?

  • Can you recognize that fear is only your leader if you allow it to be?

Being able to overcome your fears so you can bring into reality the life of your dreams is one of the best experiences in the world! Take control of your life by practicing these five simple steps and learn how to tame your fear and create a happier, more successful life.

Relationship Warning Signs - Take This Relationship Test To Guide You

Is your relationship flashing warning signs? Are you in a relationship that you have some doubts about? Would you like some insight about how to solve your problems but don't want to share too much with your family or your best friends about what you are feeling?

Often, it is scary to talk about warning signs with those closest to you. Once they hear what you are going through, they may hold a grudge against your love. You and your partner may work it out and get over it...but your friends and family won't.

To help you be aware of warning signs, and to evaluate your relationship, take this assessment test. Rate yourself on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the best score. Score each section:

·8-10 Good. You are doing well in this area.

·5-7 OK. You may need to work on this area, but it can probably be solved.

·0-4 Needs work. Don't proceed without professional counseling.

Relationship Assessment Test

Warning Sign #1. SHARED VISION:

The first warning sign is if you want to lead different lives. Ask yourself: Do my partner and I have a clear picture of what we want in life? Do we have common goals for our future together? Example: do you dream about living in an apartment in Paris, and does he rhapsodize about someday living on a farm in West Virginia? If so, this is not a shared vision.


A huge warning sign is having different values. Do you know each others values? Do you both love children, tell the truth, believe in fidelity, are both frugal, etc. Example: If you value Sunday church and your religion and he is an atheist, you have a vast difference of opinion about what is important.


A warning sign is when one person has no direction or purpose to their life. Do you know each others mission? Are you both aware that you have special talents and gifts and are you prepared to wholeheartedly support each other in using them? Example: Are you planning to be a doctor, but your partner really wants to be a couch potato? If so, you are not on the same page.


A big warning sign is if one of you is needy. Have both of you been happy and successful as singles? Do you know how to be alone and how to make yourself happy? Are you looking for someone to make you happy? Are you seeking a partner out of desperation or need? Example: you both have friends, support systems, finances, and careers.


Carrying baggage from the past is a big warning sign. Have you both cleaned up your baggage from the past? Are either of you controlled by an Ex? Do you have strategies in place about how you will deal with people from your past (parents, friends, co-workers) but you will not let your past rule your present? Example: the Ex does not call either of you for friendly chats or for help.


A warning sign is when you are not talking about your issues. Do you know how to have the "hard" talks without hurting each other? Do you know how to create a safe place to express what you need and want? Example: you do not accuse, you inform.


Negative words are warning signs. Do you spend most of your time validating each other? Do you recognize the skills and talents each of you have and remind your partner of them? Example: Do you say far more positive than negative things to each other on a daily basis?


Another warning sign is when you are complaining about your partner to others. Do you speak harshly or negatively about each other to other people? If you have issues, do you discuss them? Example: If you can't solve them, do you get help?


Commitment issues are warning signs. Are you both in this relationship for the long haul? Do you both know it is not okay to have other romantic interests on the side? Example: If one of you feels a need to see other people, do you understand that you have to work your way out of this relationship, just as you worked your way into it?


If you don't feel grateful for your relationship, this is a warning sign. Do you think your partner is the most fabulous person in the world and are you grateful everyday that you are together? Example: Do you let your partner know that?

A score of 80 to 100 means that your relationship has an excellent chance of surviving. A score of 50 to 75 means your partnership is okay, but will need some work. Below 50 means you need to rethink your commitment.

If many of these areas are not working in your relationship, these are your warning signs. Take a look at the areas that you should talk about. If you have a low score, ask your love to go to counseling with you if you truly want this to last. Because, if you're in love...that's the least two people in love can give each other.

Do you want to know more secrets about how to attract men? Do you know how to dress, what to say, what to do, and the body language to use when you go out? Do you know the 5 steps to take to meet any guy anywhere? Read on to discover all the secrets to having all the dates you want in How To Attract Men: Secrets Every Woman Should Know.

The Winter Blues - Top 10 Tips For Getting Through The Darkest Months

1. Acknowledge that you feel blue.
So often we try to deny what we feel and who wouldn't want to when we feel low? Admitting you feel down can lead to feelings of vulnerability and self-doubt. However, when we acknowledge our feelings, it creates an opening for us to let the feeling pass instead of working so hard to push it away.

2. Move your body.
We're not talking about a 60-minute high impact spinning class! Take a short walk around the block, dance in your bedroom or living room, or just practice some gentle stretching. Gentle movement has a positive effect on mood and energy level.

3. Take in something beautiful everyday.
It may be the color of the sunset, a picture on your computer, a beautiful poem or quote, a favorite soft blanket. Appealing to our senses counteracts feelings of numbness or apathy we often have during the dark winter months. It's important however, to not be distracted when doing this activity! Take time to notice what feels beautiful about your choice and relish it.

4. Light Therapy.
Seasonal Affective Disorder affects as many as one-third of the population and impacts women twice as often as men. While there is an initial expense in the purchase of the light, daily use has shown to provide a significant improvement in mood.

5. Laugh!
Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine and increases the level of endorphins in the body. So watch an old favorite comedy that gets you every time, no matter how many times you've seen it!

6. Volunteer.
Research shows that even a small commitment to a cause leads to feelings of worthiness and improved self-esteem. In addition, the social connection is a great antidote to the isolation many of us experience in the winter months. So go ahead, offer to read to children at a local school or sign up for a park clean-up day. If you're feeling more ambitious, help organize a neighborhood food drive now that the holidays are over; there are plenty of families in need!

7. Practice meditation.
The beauty of this age-old practice is that it can be practiced anytime or anywhere. Today there are many opportunities to learn how to meditate including local classes or c.d.'s that can be downloaded straight to your MP3 player.

8. Have a date with yourself on Valentine's Day.
Get a massage, a manicure or buy yourself some flowers. Cultivating love for yourself is a sure fire way to create openness to your spouse, partner or a love interest you haven't even met! No matter where your love life is, remember that a solid relationship starts from the relationship you share with yourself.

9. Eat more foods with Omega-3 fatty acids.
There is a host of evidence that increasing intake of these essential oils found in fish such as salmon and tuna can result in improved mood, concentration and energy. Omega 3 fatty acids also benefit cardiac health and decrease inflammation. If you're not a fish lover, try walnuts, beans, olive oil or winter squash.

10. Seek professional help if necessary.
Clinical depression is more than a case of the blues. If you suspect you are suffering from a clinical depression seek help from a trained professional. To learn more about clinical depression, visit NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Heartbreak Depression - How Does Depression Affect Men After a Break Up?

Relationship break ups can be emotionally debilitating. It is thought that men are more likely to suffer from depression after a break up. However, actual figures vary since men are much less likely to seek help for emotional problems.

Heartbreak depression is a recent term that has been made more popular at the end of 2009 by Alexa Ray Joel's "cry for help" overdose of homeopathic pills. Anybody who has experienced a bad emotional break up can relate to the term. Heartbreak depression is not a recognised clinical illness though.

So is it possible to suffer from depression after a break up?

Depression can be brought on by significant stress situations in your life. A break up or divorce is definitely a stressful time. Everyone has some feelings of sadness or down days, especially after a relationship break up.

Feeling down and depressed is part of the natural cycle of grieving. It becomes a problem when the feelings of sadness and depression start to interfere with your day-to-day life.

Depression is a medically recognised illness if you have feelings of extreme depression or despair that last over two weeks which interfere with your daily activities such as working, eating or sleeping.

Why does depression affect men after a break up more than women?

Depression affects men more because often there are additional stress triggers after a break up. Frequently men have restricted or no access to their children. They may have to move home and often the financial burden becomes excessive. Depression is often more likely and more severe in men who are going through a divorce.

How do men cope with depression after a break up?

In general, men do not cope with emotional problems very well. They often think of asking for help as a weakness that makes them less "manly". Instead of talking about how they feel and working through their emotions, often men will turn to alcohol or drugs to make them feel better. This inevitably makes the situation worse.

Men are far less likely to seek help for depression. When they do ask for help and advice, they tend to concentrate on physical symptoms rather than emotional issues. Often depression is not diagnosed early on because of this.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Emotional symptoms:

  • Feeling down, depressed, or unhappy and unable to shake off the feelings for prolonged periods,

  • Inability to concentrate,

  • Feelings of despair and guilt, even about issues that have nothing to do with you,

  • Unable to enjoy anything, particularly activities that you previously loved,

  • Mood swings and irritability,

  • Feelings of hopelessness and possibly thoughts of death.

Physical symptoms:

  • Sleep problems. You cannot sleep or often wake through the night,

  • Extreme exhaustion - Feeling tired and needing to sleep even if you have had a full nights sleep the night before,

  • Loss of interest in sex

  • Appetite changes. Unable to eat or over eating,

  • Weight fluctuations even when your appetite is normal.

Some symptoms of depression are more common in men than women.

  • Loss of control,

  • Sudden bouts of anger,

  • Aggressiveness,

  • Excessive risk taking.

When should you seek help?

Heartbreak depression may not be a recognised clinical term but it is possible to suffer from depression after a relationship break up. If you recognise any of the above listed symptoms, and have been suffering for more than two weeks, then seek help from your health care provider.

If you have thoughts of death or suicide, even if you are not planning to act on them, then do not wait. Seek help now.

It is not weak to ask for help. Be open and honest about how you feel, don't just discuss the physical symptoms. There are many therapies available and working with your healthcare provider you will find one to suit you. Do not give up - keep asking questions.

Depression after a relationship break up does not have to be emotionally crippling for long. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will get back in control of your emotions and your life.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Humor - Depression Can Be Fun!

Since you don't believe that fun exists when you're depressed, what you need to do is have negative depression. So you try your hardest to get more depressed, and then you fail, and get happier instead. Negative failure is a good thing; the two negatives cancel out!

Looking in the mirror can be a death knell for depression. That woeful, sad face you see looks so ridiculous that bursting out laughing is totally unavoidable. If you want to stay depressed, stay away from mirrors!

Anyway, there are lots of fun activities for the depressed person to enjoy. Especially in this financially depressed economic situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

Get all your bills that you can't pay, and make paper aeroplanes from them. Then the one that flies furthest is the one that gets paid first.

Read the telephone directory. Some of the weird surnames in there are bound to cheer you up!

Catch a cockroach and put it in a glass jar. Study it. Then be grateful you don't look like him. If you do look like him, then go look in the mirror and have a good laugh.

Write all your worries on a big piece of paper. Then have fun burning it in the fireplace. Maybe they'll go away! If you can't bring yourself to set it alight, then you are too attached to your worries!

Have a staring competition with the wall. The wall normally blinks first...

Tell your cat about your tough, unfair life. They normally fall asleep, so hold a cat treat up where they can see it to improve their attention span.

If it's foggy, freezing cold and drizzling... uh, well, that's a tough one. Maybe just stay depressed until one of those three clears up, then you can say "It could be worse!"

If you live in Zimbabwe, you can play monopoly with real money, and the kids can keep it at the end of the game. Or you could wallpaper your rooms with million dollar notes, which is cheaper than buying wallpaper!

If you've lost your job, imagine that you've got a free holiday from that horrible boss of yours. And remember that you are not alone - there's 52 million others like you, and counting.

If you're really sad, sprinkle some paint powder, all different colours, onto a large sheet of paper, and then cry over it. The tears will drop randomly and start creating an impressionist masterpiece, which you can later sell for a fortune. Trying to wipe up the tears gives an even better, messier effect. This is called the "depressionist genre" of painting.

Sit in a busy place and see how many sad faces you can spot. Some of them should be quite impressive. Shame, so many people have huge problems. Anyway, it'll probably help you to feel better! If you get to 100, treat yourself to a cup of coffee.

Launch a website called Misery makers, where you help people to get over their happiness, and help them to cope with bubbly, positive attitudes.

Watch the TV news. See how many people you can count that have worse problems than you.

Start your own blog. Start with an entry like this: "There's nothing in this blog because I didn't feel like writing anything. And if you post a comment here, I'm not going to read it." There's power in the internet!

So there you have it. Don't let depression be boring and tedious. Make it interesting. Have a load of fun! You may even look forward to being depressed!

Who Suffers From Depression?

Depression can affect anyone, no matter what their age, lifestyle, family history or gender. The causes are wide ranging and can be triggered by a number of factors or events in a person's life. Sometimes it does not have a cause or trigger. While it can affect anyone, the effect on some people or demographics may vary. Research in to the demographics of depression sufferers has shown that:


  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men;

  • Women may be at higher risk of suffering depression partly due to hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy

  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety or phobias than men and when the anxiety is present alongside depression, treatment can be a great deal more complicated

Interesting Fact

Depression is a real mental illness, not a sign of weakness. Some of the world's most famous and powerful leaders have suffered from it, including Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi.


  • Although women are more likely to suffer from depression, men are more likely to commit suicide - this may be because men are more reluctant to seek help (NHS, 2009);

  • Men are more likely to use alcohol or substance abuse to cover their condition and many will go undiagnosed.


  • Depression can affect people of any age, including children;

  • Studies have shown that 2% of teenagers in the UK are affected by depression (NHS, 2009);

  • Approximately 1 in 10 children under the age of fifteen has a mental health disorder such as depression. The difference between girls and boys is smaller than the difference between adult men and women

  • The rate of mental health conditions tends to increase in adolescence.


  • Older people may lose loved ones and have to adjust to living alone. They may become physically ill and unable to be as active as they once were. These changes can all contribute.

  • Many older people are not diagnosed with depression and do not seek help for their condition;

  • Approximately 1 in 5 elderly living within the community suffer from depression, while 2 in 5 living in care homes will struggle with this disorder


  • People with a family history of depression are more likely to experience it themselves (NHS, 2009)

  • It is estimated that 420,000 Britons are challenged with work related stress that is making them ill with conditions such as depression and anxiety.

How to Detect HIV Infection

Anybody who has had sex is already at risk for becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases. From the term itself, the disease is transmitted by any sexual activities, whether vaginal, oral or anal sex. Other times, it may also be transmitted through direct skin to skin contact or by exchange of body fluids from one who is already infected. This may happen when sharing medical equipments such as injections. A person may be at high risk from infection if he or she is sexually active, has multiple sex partners, frequently changes sex partners and does not use condom protection during sexual activities.

One of the most dangerous and fatal sexually transmitted diseases is HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. This is said to have the most number of fatalities among all STDs. This means that this disease is highly life threatening. The difficult part of being infected with HIV is that it does not show symptoms during its early stages. The only possible time one may determine or notice infection is when it is already severe. A person carrying the disease may not even know that they are already infected with it until symptoms or complications have already showed up.

Some of the common symptoms of HIV are rapid weight loss, dry cough, recurring fever or profuse night sweats, profound and unexplained fatigue, swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck, diarrhea that lasts for more than a week, white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat, pneumonia, red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids, memory loss, depression, and other neurological disorders.

If one has these symptoms or doubts about his or her health condition, he or she should immediately consult a doctor for an HIV test. This is the surest way to detect infection of HIV. Once HIV is detected early, medications may be given to control the increase its extent may be given. These medications are antiviral drugs. They are known to preempt the effects of the disease to the patient. This means that if a patient takes these medications, he or she may not be immediately affected by the complications that the disease may give.

Some local STD testing is done in local health centers and may need urine or blood samples from patients. Results may come out after a few weeks. Other clinics offer quick or rapid STD testing which provides results within twenty minutes or so. For people who do not want be revealing their personal information while taking the test may go the private HIV or STD testing clinics for more confidentiality. As well known, HIV can lead to AIDS. Both of these diseases are fatal and they are never an easy thing to deal with. This is why it is important for one to be tested immediately to make sure that the situation of getting AIDS becomes farther.

There is lots of STD testing clinics that offer help whichever way you want to be tested. They offer accurate STD testing, counseling, treatment and sometimes others even offer a more affordable STD testing to provide more help to other people.

Anonymous Depression Tests Online Can Help You Determine How Serious Your Depression Really Is

If you think you are suffering from depression, there are several depression tests online that will help you identify the symptoms and determine the level or seriousness of your condition. Millions of people suffer from some form of depression; yet statistics reveal that approximately 70% will not receive the needed treatment. Many people do not seek help because they are embarrassed to talk about their feelings or are unaware of the signs associated with this illness. Unfortunately, symptoms rarely disappear on their own, and proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary for recovery.

Online depression tests provide a simple, quick, and private way to receive anonymous feedback about the feelings and symptoms you are experiencing. Typically, these quizzes are short and will give you immediate scores so you can determine what kind of help you need and decide on the best course of action for your situation.

There are several types of online tests available, ranging from quick quizzes to more in-depth questionnaires; however, it is important that you choose one that will give you accurate results. Check out the credentials and reputation of the organization to ensure that it is a reliable source. To guarantee valid results, all tests must meet "Standards for Education and Psychological Testing".

Depression self-tests include such quizzes as the Zung Depression Scale, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Geriatric Depression Scale. These tests can be accessed easily on line. Simply print a copy, answer the questions honestly, then follow the scoring instructions.

Free depression tests online, such as the Anxiety and Depression Screening Test, the Goldberg Depression Scale, and the Wakefield Depression Questionnaire, allow you to fill in the questionnaire on your computer. Your answers are scored immediately so you will know your results right away.

The purpose of online depression tests is to educate you about depression, provide you with a screening guideline, and help you assess the level of severity so you can decide if you need to seek further evaluation. None of these tests are intended to replace professional and qualified help, but are designed as a tool to help you identify your symptoms and choose an appropriate form of treatment.

Knowledge is power, and the more aware you are of the warning signs, the better equipped you will be to begin overcoming your depression.

Adverse Effects of Opioids on Health and Its Classification

Opioids are narcotic analgesic drugs commonly prescribed for treating severe to chronic pain. Opioids work by binding to the opioids receptors and blocking the pain signals from reaching up to the brain. Although opioids have strong analgesic and pain relieving properties, they have a strong potential to cause addiction. Mainly abused for the sense of euphoria they cause, opioids are broadly classified into four types; Natural, Semi-synthetic, Fully synthetic, and Endogenous.

Adverse Effects Include:
Prolonged exposure to opioids can cause tolerance, drug escalation, and physical dependence.

Exposure to opioids can cause individual to experience nausea with or without vomiting. Young women are found to be at more risk of developing nausea when on opioids. Opioids particularly affect the brain and GI track that causes nausea.

Opioids use is marked by events of drowsiness or sedation. Few opioid medications like morphine and diacetylmorphine (heroine) can cause strong drowsiness or sedation.

Opioids use can also result in causing itching as it releases histamines in the body. The person may experience itching as opioids binds with receptors in brain and spinal cord.

Opioids use can result in severe constipation. The opioid induced constipation may remain for a longer time. Stool softeners and laxative use is recommended when using opioids to avoid constipation.

Respiratory Depression
Opioids cause respiratory depression in the individual as it affects the specialized respiratory neurons in the brain. A large opioid overdose can lead to asphyxia and even death due to respiratory depression.

Opioids affect the part of brain that controls vomiting and causes the individual to vomit.

Opioids are classified as Natural, Semi-synthetic, Fully synthetic, and Endogenous.

Natural opioids are opiate alkaloids derived from the resin of the poppy plant. Incisions are made on the immature green seed pods of opium plants and the latex that is obtained contains opiate alkaloids. The latex is then dried and is used to prepare many drugs like thebaine, morphine, codeine, noscapine, and papaverine. Natural opioids are put to various medicinal uses as narcotic analgesic, hypnotic, and sedatives. Although the latex is used to prepare many drugs, the poppy oil and seeds are not narcotic and has various uses.

Semi-synthetic opioids are not naturally occurring and prepared from natural opiates. They have similar chemical structure to natural opiates. Some of the semi-synthetic drugs are hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, and diacetylmorphine (heroine). It is due to their analgesic properties that semi-synthetic opioids are used for variety of purposes. Semi-synthetic opioids are also one of the widely abused drugs.

Fully Synthetic
Fully synthetic opioids are not related to opiates and artificially manufactured. Drugs like dextropropoxyphene, fentanyl, methadone, pethidine, tramodol etc fall under the category of fully synthetic drugs. The fully synthetic drugs are prescribed for their analgesic properties to treat chronic pain. Some drugs like Fentanyl are used as an anesthetic before surgery and are 100 times stronger than morphine. Methadone is used to treat opioid addiction. Methadone can block effects of other drugs like heroine, morphine and help the person cope with withdrawal symptom.

Opioids do not have upper limit for dosage that can be taken to attain relief from pain. More is the amount of opioids taken the more is the pain relief. However, for medicinal purpose care needs to be taken to increase the dosage gradually to ensure tolerance develops to the adverse effects.