Saturday, May 31, 2014

Using Moulds in Precious Metal Clay

Precious metal clay (or PMC) is one of the most versatile and malleable forms of producing detailed and intricate jewellery without having to spend hours chasing and engraving. PMC, sometimes also referred to as silver clay, works on the same principle as many art clay substances. Tiny particles of precious metal (either silver or gold) are suspended within a binding agent, forming a clay-like substance that has the same moulding properties as art clay. However, rather than being simply dried PMC is fired, burning off the binding agent and leaving the precious metal behind.

Because of these properties, PMC works exceptionally well with moulds of all kinds. For beginners, even a bar of soap can be used as an effective mould, impressing a design into the surface of the clay that can then produce precious metal jewellery incorporating intricate designs with very little effort.

How to use PMC with moulds
Silver clay lends itself to both home-made and commercially produced moulds. Using a mould also allows for repeated elements and the production of multiple pieces all incorporating the same design. Hollow moulds also allow you to produce lightweight work and to make your precious metal clay go further.

A simple way to start is to use a bar of soap to form the basis of a mould. Simply carve a pattern into the surface of the soap and then press the precious metal clay into the depression, ensuring that it is forced into every corner and recess of the carving. Then just peel away the PMC and you have a pattern embossed into the surface of the clay. This can then be worked to tidy up any uneven lines or areas that may have not come out as crisply as you would like. Once you are happy with the design, the piece can then be fired to burn off the binding agent and the metal polished and finished to produce a beautiful piece of gold or silver jewellery.

Using moulds sold in hobby shops or from specialist retailers online is also an excellent way to produce fine quality precious metal jewellery on a budget. Any mould designed to produce candles, plaster or even candy will work, and even butter or biscuit moulds sold in cookery shops can be utilised to produce unusual jewellery of exceptional quality.

Making your own silicone moulds

However, it is possible to make your own moulds using two-part silicone compounds. These have the advantage in that they do not need to be lubricated. But if you do find that the precious metal clay sticks to the sides of the mould, a light coating of non-stick cooking spray will ensure that the clay can be removed easily from the mould without damaging the imprint on the surface.

When using PMC, you will have to take into account shrinkage. Early forms of silver clay suffered from quite dramatic amounts of shrinkage when fired, but modern versions have a far lower shrinkage rate. However, if you are using moulds that have a lot of fine lines, be aware that some of the detail may be lost in the final piece.

Why Read Inspirational Quotes?

Maybe you've heard this one:

"What does it profit a man to have gained the whole world, and to have lost his soul?" - Jesus Christ

Inspirational quotes and sayings from the present day or centuries past, can inspire and instruct us. This is true regardless of the religious or spiritual tradition they come from. Nor do religious or spiritully-oriented individuals have a monopoly on useful words. Quotes that strike at the truth of the matter can come from scoundrels, saints, and ordinary people.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excelence, then, is not an act, but a habit" - Aristotle

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old. Seek what they sought." - Basho

Why Read Inspirational Quotes?

Philosophies and arguments often use logic in an attempt to "capture" truth in a net of words to build systems of knowledge, or to satify egos. Logic is important, but when mis-used it leads to confusion. Inspirational sayings cut through the fog and point at the truth, so you can see it for yourself.

Imagine a choice: do what you love and possibly fail, or wait a few more years. Now, outside of mathematics, virtually all reasoning is tainted with rationalization, so you can support whatever you decide with "logical arguments," right? No wonder we're often confused and demotivated! How can we trust our own reasoning, if it just finds a logical construct for whichever fear or other feeling is strongest!

Then you read an inspirational quote:

"You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take." - Wayne Gretzky

Can you see how this hockey metaphor might touch you precisely because it isn't a logical argument? It just points at a truth you can see for yourself: You can't get what you want without "taking that shot." Seeing the truth is far more motivating than arguing it. That's the value of reading inspirational quotes.

Bipolar Disorder Triggered by Stress and Failure and How to Handle it

The genes you inherit from your parents are perhaps the most likely reason why you have bipolar disorder at all. However, things have to happen to you to cause you to slip into mania or into depression. In my experience, I have found that these triggers are usually well hidden in the surroundings and you can stumble upon them at any time. You must watch out.

All kinds of personal stresses that you come across day to day in your home or anywhere else can cause you to have episodes of bipolar disorder. The good thing about it is that you might be able to see these triggers about a mile away, and you should at that time choose to walk away from it before it takes you over.

One of the most infamous triggers of a manic-depressive episode in a bipolar-disorder sufferer is failure. It is a fact that there aren't a lot of people on this earth who can handle failure too well, and patients of this disorder are not on the good side of that list. If you suffer from this condition, you should have someone or something that helps you check how much your emotions are tied into what you do so that if you fail it won't break you.

Dealing with bipolar disorder can best be done with the assistance of a doctor or a medical practitioner. Irrespective of the triggers - either by stress or failure a doctor can assist you to handle the situation with ease using various medications and therapies for the condition.

Inspiring Success Stories: The Woman Behind Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a seven book children's series that has sold over 450 million copies, making it the most successful book series in all of history. In addition to being translated into over 67 languages, the books spawned eight movies, which also became the highest-grossing film series of all time. The intricate stories, which chronicle the trials and tribulations of a young wizard and his friends, have also inspired a successful brand, estimated to be worth $15 billion.

Behind all of the fame and fortune that Harry Potter has garnered, is one inspiring success story: that of J.K. Rowling. Joanne Rowling was riding on a train from Manchester to London, England in 1990 when the idea for Harry Potter struck her. After getting off the train, she started to write right away. But later that year, her mother passed away after fighting a lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis. The death took its toll on her and evidence of her pain can be seen in the first book, where Harry copes with the deaths of his own parents.

Rowling's struggles were not over. She moved to Portugal after accepting a job to teach English as a second language. While there, she met and married a Portuguese television journalist, who she married and had a child with. The marriage was short-lived; Rowling gave birth to daughter Jessica in July of 1993 and the couple parted ways in November. It was then that she decided to move back to Edinburgh to be near her sister. She recalls that as a low point in her life - she was then diagnosed with clinical depression. But still, she persisted.

Ultimately, she ended up taking a postgraduate teaching course in order to give her the credentials to teach in Scotland. That was in 1995, when she had just finished the first book of the Harry Potter series. It took her a year to find a publishing company that would publish the book, still she was told to get a job - children's books didn't make any money. But, in only a matter of years, Rowling would be richer than the Queen of England herself.

The popularity of the books began to snowball. Rowling received awards for her work and gained notoriety in the United States and in her native United Kingdom. By the time the fourth book was released, it sold an impressive 373,000 copies on its first day of sales in the U.K. and a subsequent three million copies in the U.S. Rowling finished the seventh and last book of the series in early 2007. It was released some months later and sold 11 million copies on its first day in both the U.S. and the U.K.

When asked what she attributes her success to, Rowling admits that it was her lowest moments that allowed her to persist. The feeling of having "nothing to lose" was what liberated her and propelled her onward to give us one of the most inspiring success stories of all time.

Depression: A Comparison Between Men and Women

Men and women share similarities when it comes to the causes and symptom of depression, but there are still nuanced differences between the two. Appreciating these similarities and differences is not only important for the treatment outcome of each sex, but also in understanding and appreciating depression in the opposite sex and between spouses.

Depression is the most common psychological based disorder that affects people today. Depression can negatively affect a persons emotional, mental, social, and physical health and well-being. Depression sufferers are dominated by sad, negative and despairing moods, decreased self-esteem and confidence, lack of enjoyment in every day things, loss of interest, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Although everyone goes through moments where these symptoms are present in their life, for a depressed person, these feelings persist and they are unable to eliminate these bad feelings without therapeutical or pharmacological intervention.

Statistics show that among the general population, depression affects 10 to 20 percent of women and 5 to 12 percent of men. Among the adult population, depression affects 5 to 9 percent of women, and 2 to 3 percent of men. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 2.5 percent of children and 8.3 percent adolescents also suffer from depression. Unfortunately, a large portion of the population affected by depression remains undiagnosed and untreated.

Knowing the causes of depression can help prevent this illness and steer depression sufferers towards treatment. Depression causes that are the most common for both sexes include:

  • Genetic vulnerability

  • Chemical changes in the brain: Includes deficient amounts neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine) and an imbalance of the hormone cortisol.

  • Environmental Situations

  • Substance Abuse

  • Lack of exercise

  • Nutritional deficiencies (folic acid, magnesium, vitamins B & C, calcium, & potassium)

  • Excessive consumption of sucrose (sugar), caffeine, magnesium or vanadium.

  • Amino acids imbalance (phenylalanine, tyrosine, Gamma-aminobutyric acid- GABA)

  • Medical Disorders (diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer).

  • Medication side-effects.

Women are twice as likely to develop depression than men. According to mental health experts, 12 million women in the US experience the symptoms of depression each year, and occurs more frequently in women 25 to 44, the age period when women are bombarded with many of life's familiar problem and pitfalls. The causes of depression in women can be organized into two main categories: internal, and environmental. With internal causes of depression, women may have inherited a genetic vulnerability to depression or other mood disorders, have hormonal imbalances that cause emotional disturbance which include: pregnancy (including postpartum depression), menstruation, puberty, and menopause. Environmental factors of depression in women most often include: financial problems, marital status, marital discord, work overload, pressures of parenthood, sexual, physical and mental abuse by a partner, death of a parent or spouse, and health problems.

The aspects of depression in men share some similarities and differences when compared to women. While only an estimated 6 million men in the United States experience depression each year, this number may be under reported as depression is seen as a weakness and character flaw by men who are taught to be strong and capable. Unfortunately, the consequences of keeping their depression hidden often manifests itself in anger, irritable behavior, a short temper, and intolerance. The causes of depression for men share some similarities with women, as well as difference. The most common causes and risk factors include: inherited genetic vulnerability to depression and mood disorders, financial and career pressures, parenting and "breadwinner" pressures, alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, death in the family, decreased sexual ability, chronic health problems, and fatigue from responsibilities (men are less capable of accepting life's responsibilities than women).

The risk of suicide for men is much greater than women with 80 percent of all successful suicides performed by men. The reason for this higher rate is thought to center on the fact that men are less likely to talk about their depression, acknowledge it, and seek help. However, if more men and women are able to recognize and confront the general causes of depression, prevention and treatment is more likely to be successful.

Treatment for depression in both men and women is possible with cognitive behavioral therapy (type of therapy that focuses on thoughts, not external events or actions), interpersonal psychotherapy, family therapy, marriage counseling, and pharmacotherapy (medication). Despite the popularity of antidepressants, mental health experts advise that medication primarily treats the "symptoms," while therapy can address the "root causes." Mental health counselors today are highly trained and skilled in addressing the different and shared needs of depression in both men and women.

Student Depression

It's often said that your time spent at university will be the best of your life. Cheap booze, free love, getting up at two and staying out till four. Life doesn't get any better than that right?

Unfortunately, while some of the above may be true for some students some of the time, the truth is that being a student is often far from the stereotypical easy life, and can at times be one of the most stressful periods in a person's life. A survey carried out by The Mental Health Foundation in 2001 revealed that 50% of students in the UK showed signs of clinical anxiety, while more than 10% have suffered from clinical depression.

Unsurprisingly, the image of the perpetually partying student without a care in the world is clearly a little wide of the mark, but what are the causes for our distress and what can be done to make the journey through higher education a little smoother?

It goes without saying that there is no single cause, and certainly no easy answers.

Many will surely agree that money is a primary concern for worry, with the student loan in many cases doing little more than covering the rent and bills. Another survey, by The Higher Education Academy, found that 60% of students were worried about their finances, while 58% were having to work part-time to support themselves.

For many students, going to university is their first taste of freedom from their parents, and this change can often be stressful as the need to make life-changing decisions and take care of oneself independently asserts itself. Homesickness, changing relationships with old friends and trying to fit in with new people can all add to this stress, even beyond the initial few months of university life.

Add to this the ever-present pressures of academic work and heavy nights of drinking, and it's easy to see why the constant effort of juggling all these different aspects can take its toll, triggering depression.

Of course, everyone the world over at some point suffers from life-induced stress and there are often times when everything can pile up and leave us washed out and fed up with it all. But sometimes these feelings can become persistent and run far deeper than simply feeling low, and the serious dangers of depression should not be overlooked, even, and especially as the festive season draws near.

While some people may be more predisposed to develop depression for genetic reasons or traumatic life experiences, it is a mental illness that is very common and can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, personality or social background.

There are a number of types of depression, the most common being mild/moderate depression. Mild depression is usually triggered by a stressful life event or change of circumstances, such as exam stress, a relationship break-up or financial difficulties, though the causes are not always this obvious. Symptoms may include persistent feelings of sadness, loss of motivation, low self-esteem and fatigue. Though it is possible to continue with everyday life as normal, it is often difficult or impossible to derive any pleasure from it.

Sometimes, if these feelings persist, this can lead to major, or clinical depression. As the name suggests, this type is much more severe, and can have a far greater detrimental effect on studying, relationships and the ability to continue with everyday life. Clinical depression can persist for long periods, and is difficult to recover from without professional help and/or medication.

Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depression, is less common than other forms of depression, but can also be the most devastating. Often triggered by stressful or traumatic events, sufferers experience extreme mood swings- highs (Mania) and lows (depression), often too such a degree that undertaking everyday activities can become difficult, or even impossible. Symptoms in the manic phase may include incoherent and disjointed thinking, severely impaired judgement, constant euphoria and delusional beliefs; followed by a period of depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a recently discovered form of depression, estimated to affect over half a million people each year during the winter months. SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight, which triggers a chemical imbalance within the brain. For some it can be extremely debilitating without treatment, while for others it is much more mild, resulting in the winter blues.

Dealing With Depression

With all depression, whatever the underlying reasons, it's important to take steps towards dealing with it, and, where necessary, seek help. The first step is often acknowledging that you are suffering from an illness, one that is common and in no way a sign of weakness.

For mild forms of depression, simple changes in lifestyle and routine can work wonders in lifting you out of it.

In recent years, the medical community has recognised the benefits of exercise in increasing psychological well-being, as well as physical health. Whether this means going down the gym, jogging/ cycling around town or any other physical activity, those extra endorphins can go a long way in adding more of a spring to your step, both long-term and short-term.

A balanced diet with plenty of meat, veg' and fruit also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy state of mind. No need to become a health fanatic, but avoid the junk food as far as possible as not only does it lack vital nutrients, certain additives have been shown to contribute to a depressed state of mind. On a plus point, scientists and chocaholics have discovered that eating chocolate can actually ease depression, at least in moderation.

As depression is in part the result of a bio-chemical imbalance, the effect of drink and other substances upon your mind should not be underestimated either. It goes without saying that after a few heavy nights you begin to feel a little worse for wear, and so sometimes it's often good to take a breather or practice a little moderation. In some cases, if you feel that you may be developing a substance addiction that is destructive to your well-being, it may be useful to seek help in getting it under control.

If money is a source of concern, it may be beneficial to draw up a budget so you know exactly how much money you have to spend and where it's going. In certain cases the university finance office may be able to offer financial help in the form of a loan or grant.

Lifestyle changes such as these and a more organised approach to daily living can help a great deal in some cases, but for others it is not so easy to escape depression. For those suffering from severe or manic depression, it is often advisable to consult a counsellor who can offer a professional and impartial ear, or a doctor who can prescribe anti-depressants.

Talking to friends and family members openly about it, though this can be hard, can also help to put things into perspective, and you will often find people far more understanding and supportive than you expect.

Depression can be a major obstacle, and afflicts many people over the course of a lifetime, but there are many ways of dealing with it and numerous avenues of support available.

Bipolar Disorder - Self Hypnosis to Help Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder help is available in various treatments. The first step is to recognize the symptoms of manic depression to determine if you need to seek help. Borderline personality disorder and depression are often confused with this mental illness.

The problem with getting bipolar disorder help is that you may not know that you have the condition. You may think that you fall into bouts of depression when you actually have this mental illness. The difficulty is identifying the manic episodes.

Manic Episodes

Mania is a condition that many people with this condition do not recognize because it is not bothersome, at least on the surface. Manic states are often euphoric, consisting of "highs" that make you feel energetic and motivated. Many people feel very productive and happy during this stage.

Manic episodes can be damaging if you consider some of the behaviors associated with them. You may spend money in great excess. Shopping binges occur because you feel free and at ease. They also occur because you are thinking about the consequences of your actions.

You may also feel agitated during this part of the cycle. You become irritable and angry with relative ease. The manic stage of the mental illness does not last long and it is followed by deep feelings of depression and despair. This cycle of the condition is very problematic.

Depressive Episodes

You may seek bipolar disorder help because of your depressive states. The problem is that you may only recognize the depression without addressing the mania. This can lead you to believe that you should receive treatment for a depressive mood condition.

Depressed states are mentally and physically unbearable. It may be difficult for you to get out of bed. You don't look forward to any events and things that you used to love no longer bring any joy. Prolonged sadness wears on you and you feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.

Bipolar Disorder Help

You can get the support you need through self-hypnosis in conjunction with your psychiatrist's intervention plan. Hypnosis is very effective as a complementary approach to dealing with manic depression and the episodes that go along with them. This approach works through the subconscious mind.

Self-hypnosis goes directly to the subconscious and instills new perceptions and thinking processes. Your mind is open to suggestion and you are able to work through your stages and recognize the cycle for what it really is.

You are better able to control your thoughts and actions in a calm, collected manner when using this approach. Your responses are automatic in the subconscious and this force can help shape your conscious thoughts and behaviors. Bipolar disorder help is at its best when it is augmented with self-hypnosis.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What You Need To Know - Antidepressants And Herbs In The Treatment Of Depression

What Is Depression? People use the word depression loosely to mean a number of different moods. I prefer to use the term "clinical depression" to distinguish the type of depression that may improve with medication. Clinical depression is more than the "blues" or sadness. It is not something a person can "just get over" or talk themselves out of. Clinical depression is at least partially based on brain biochemical imbalance (we are still in early stages of understanding this) and often runs in families. Stress and psychological factors also play an important role, although we do not fully understand the causes and factors that result in clinical depression.

Common symptoms of depression include sad or irritable mood, loss of interest / energy, poor or excessive sleep and appetite, difficulty with concentration and memory, and physical complaints. Medication is often necessary in serious depression and MAY be helpful with less severe types.

Types Of Depression: There are four types of depression listed in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 4 TR). The intent of this manual is to help those in the mental health field make accurate diagnoses. One of its goals is to make the diagnosis more consistent between providers. Unfortunately it is often used haphazardly.

1. Adjustment Disorder With Depressed Mood: A reaction to a stressor. (Loss of a loved one, job, physical illness, move etc.) This type of disturbed mood is usually mild and self-limiting. When symptoms last longer than 6 months another type of depression should be considered. Counseling, therapy and support may be sufficient treatment. Medication is not usually necessary.

2. Dysthymia : A chronic low-level depression. It can be very debilitating and may be a part of the personality. It also can be difficult to treat with medication; therapy is recommended.

3. Major depression: A severe form of depression with multiple symptoms as described above. Medication is necessary and usually very effective. Therapy may be helpful after acute symptoms have abated. Suicide potential must be monitored. This can be severe enough to cause psychotic (loss of reality) symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations.

4. Bi-Polar 1 Disorder: A cycle of depression and elevation of mood (hypomania or mania). This can be very severe, with psychotic symptoms. Antidepressants may be avoided due to risk of switching the mood to mania. This condition needs expert psychiatric treatment usually with mood stabilizing medication. (By the way there is a significant amount of confusion and disagreement about this diagnosis especially between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2 disorders. Bipolar 2 disorder is less severe and medication is often not necessary.)

Differential Diagnosis (problems that may be confused with depression)

  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid)

  • Grief

  • Substance abuse

  • Chronic pain

  • Anxiety

  • Side effects of medication

Target Symptoms Of Depression: Identifying and describing specific target symptoms is crucial if treatment is to be monitored and its' effectiveness evaluated. It is easy to forget how severe symptoms were when depression is resolved. The more specific the target symptoms are, the better to keep track of changes. Some examples of target symptoms are listed below.

  • Sleep Disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, awakening often during the night, early morning awakening, oversleeping)

  • Concentration / Memory Problems

  • Low Energy Level

  • Irritability

  • Physical symptoms

  • Change in appetite (decreased or increased)

  • Lack Of Motivation / Interest

  • Mood Changes (sadness, anger hopelessness)

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) the most commonly used antidepressants.

SSRIs have been on the market for over 20 yrs. They increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a substance that allows chemical activity in the brain (neurotransmitter). Serotonin is known to play a role in depression and anxiety. SSRIs are used for treatment of depression, anxiety, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and occasionally other illnesses. (Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, pain).SSRIs have much fewer side effects than the older antidepressants (tricyclics such as Elavil); they are not as lethal in overdose, and work well for most people. They are much more expensive then tricyclics. All SSRI's are effective although side effects may differ somewhat. Because individuals are different, some may react more positively to one particular medication then to another. Choosing between the SSRI'S is usually dependent on the side effect profile (see below), and the prescriber's and patient's preference and experience. They are usually the first choice in depression and often the first choice in anxiety disorders. With anxious patients it is helpful to start low and increase the dose slowly in order to minimize the side effect of activation. Anxious patients can be very sensitive to this side effect. Higher doses of medications are often needed in Obsessive Compulsive disorder and Panic disorder.

1. Prozac TM

This may be more activating initially. It has a long half-life and therefore stays in the system longer. Once a day dosing is usual; recently Prozac introduced a once a week dose.

2. Paxil TM

May be more calming initially, weight gain can be a problem. Once a day dosing is the norm.

3. Zoloft TM

May have fewer interactions with other medications. Weight gain may be a problem. May cause more stomach upset and diarrhea. Once a day dosing is the norm.

4. Luvox TM

Sometimes used for OCD, multiple dosing. Not used frequently in US. Needs higher doses that may cause drowsiness.

5. Celexa TM

Said to be "more" selective for a particular type of serotonin and therefore thought to have less side effects and interactions. May have less weight gain. Once a day dosing is the norm.

6. Lexapro TM

Similar to Celexa some feel it was manufactured because the patent on Celexa was running out. Said to work quicker then the other SSRIs.

Side Effects - SSRI's

Most SSRI's have similar side effects. Some patients do better on one than on another. This cannot be determined before a trial of the medication is given.

1. Nausea

This is a common problem. Taking the medication with food helps and this side effect. It usually passes in time.

2. Headache

This is usually mild and goes away with time (about one week) if it continues it may be necessary to change medication.

3. Activation or Sedation

Patient can feel either activated (hyper, jittery) or sedated. Patients with anxiety / panic are more likely to feel activated. To avoid this start with a low dose and increase as tolerated. Sedation will often disappear with time but occasionally a change in medication is necessary.

4. Sexual dysfunction

This can be a significant problem with some antidepressants. Use may result in decreased sexual interest or ability. Most common treatments for sexual dysfunction include: drug holidays (holding the drug for one or two days once the patient is stable, (cannot be done with Prozac due to staying in the body longer), changing medication, or using an additional medication. (Some such drugs include: Periactin, Amantadine, Yohimbine, Ginkgo others. All have only limited success.) Talk to your prescriber if this is an issue for you.

5. Weight Gain

This can be a problem that is often not taken seriously enough. Weight gain may start after you have been on the medication for a while. It may be necessary to change to a different antidepressant.

6. Agitation / Aggression

There has been some anecdotal reports about patients becoming more aggressive on SSRIs. The research does not support this. However, that concern should be taken seriously, and attempts made to avoid a drug the patient is concerned about. The same is true about the reports of increased suicide.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

This is an older class of antidepressants that are no longer the first choice. They can have severe side effects including sedation, weight gain, effects on the heart, and drug interactions. These drugs are used in anxiety, depression and some pain syndromes. They are much less expensive than SSRI's. These drugs are lethal in overdose!

Other Antidepressants

These drugs are thought to affect a number of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, nor-epinephrine being the major ones.)

1. Wellbutrin TM

This should not be used in patients with a history of seizures. Said to cause less sexual dysfunction and weight gain. Now has a sustained release formula but still is usually given twice a day. This is the same drug as Zyban, which is used for smoking cessation. Obviously, they should not be used together.

2. Trazodone TM

This is not a very effective antidepressant; it is however very helpful for sleep and may be used in low doses for anxiety. It should be used in caution with men due to possible priaprism (This is an involuntary erection that in the worst case may not go away).

3. Effexor XR TM

Thought to have fewer interactions. Less weight gain and sexual dysfunction.

4. Serzone TM

Needs multiple dosing, may be more sedating (at least at first), and said to have less sexual dysfunction. Should not be used with Trazodone ä, Xanax ä or alcohol.

5. Remeron TM

Is said to have less sexual dysfunction and fewer interactions. Weight gain can be a problem. Used at lower doses (15 mg) this is a good sleep aid, but is not powerful enough to be an antidepressant. At higher doses no longer specifically helpful with sleep.

6. MAOI'S (monoamine oxidase inhibitor)

Another older class of antidepressants with many dietary restrictions and interactions. Not currently used very often. (I.e.: Nardil TM, Parnate TM)

Herbs & Supplements For Depression

How herbs and supplements work is not fully understood, but they have been used for thousands of years. They can be potent and should be used with care. They should not be mixed with other medications for anxiety or depression. You should let your health care provider know if you are considering taking supplements.

Research on supplements has been conducted in other countries for many years. In the US research has been slow due to the fact that pharmaceutical companies (who sponsor most research) don't see them as a moneymaker. This is changing however, and there is some research underway. Pharmaceutical companies are now starting to manufacturing prescriptions forms of some supplements. Some of the outcomes of herbal research have been contradictory, and more studies are needed. There are a number of supplements advertised for use in depression and anxiety, the following are the most well studied and most commonly used.

1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

Some of the research on fish oil is truly remarkable. It indicates that it may be just as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. The research was done using 4000mg a day of fish oil.

2. SAM-e

S-Adenosylmethionine is a compound found in all living tissue, and is concentrated in the liver and brain. There have been a number of studies that have shown its effectiveness in depression. It is also used in hepatitis and arthritis. There have been no side effects or interactions with other medications found. SAM-e uses B12 and folate in its lowering of homocysteine levels. It is therefore suggested that adequate levels of folate and B12 be assured when taking SAM-e. The dose of SAM-e is between 800 and 1600 mg a day to treat depression. It is expensive, and many pills may need to be taken to obtain a sufficient dose. Research in the US is needed. Studies in other countries have been very favorable. (Benjamin, 2000)

3. St. John's Wort

Used for mild to moderate depression. The mechanism of action is unclear, some think it works like an SSRI or MAOI. The dose most commonly suggested is 300 mg, (standardized to .3% hypercin) three times a day. Side effects are usually mild but may include photosensitivity, emotional vulnerability, itching, and fatigue and weight increase. Alcohol, tyrosine, narcotics, amphetamines, and over the counter cold and flu remedies should probable be avoided to be on the safe side. It interacts with drugs for HIV, and some other medications that are metabolized by the liver (as many other drugs do also). The research on St. John's Wort has been generally favorable (Muskin, 2000) with one recent study questioning its effectiveness.

4. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo is used for resistant depression in elderly, early Alzheimer's disease, impotence, cerebral vascular insufficiency and peripheral circulatory disorders. Ginkgo should be standardized to 6% terpene lactones, 24% ginkgo flavones glycosides. The suggested dose for prevention is 120-160 mg a day in divided doses. Up to 240 mg a day may be used in Alzheimer's or resistant depression. Side effects have not been reported. May be helpful for sexual dysfunction with SSRIs. This will thin your blood and increase blood flow, should be stopped a few days before surgery. There are over 400 published studies with Ginkgo in studies of circulation. (Brown, 1998)

Issues With Herbs & Supplements

  • Herbs have been used worldwide for many years. Although they are thought to be "natural", remember, allergic reactions, side effects and interactions with other drugs/herbs/supplements are possible.

  • There is a lack of standards in manufacturing and often it is difficult to know exactly what you are getting or how it has been processed. Name brands you are familiar with should be used.

  • Some Herbs can be dangerous (as can some medications). Read and understand labels, the active ingredient should be "standardized" although this is no guarantee.

  • Herbs may have interactions with other drugs, side effects and possibly dangerous effects on pregnancy. They should be considered seriously, and researched carefully before use. Under dosing is also a common problem, (both with medication and herbs) as is not giving herbs in a sufficient dose or enough time to work.

  • Cost is a factor as herbs can be expensive and are not covered by insurance.

  • Combination herbs should be used with care and only if one is sure of the dosage of all ingredients.

Drug / Herb Interactions

Drug interactions can be a problem with any medication and some herbs. Herbs should not be mixed with drugs for the same condition. Information is being discovered at a rapid rate about interactions. There is much we have to learn and caution is advised in the use of herbs. Discussion with health care providers who are knowledgeable or at least open to these ideas can helpful. If your health care provider is not willing to consider and be open to learning about herbs perhaps you should consider a change of provider.

  • Some people may be slow metabolizes and need lesser doses.

  • Over the counter drugs should be used with care when taking herbs.

  • Grapefruit Juice has been found to interact with many drugs, and probably herbs.

  • Caffeine may interact with some drugs and herbs.

  • Alcohol should not be mixed with most medications and some herbs.

Helpful Hints For Prescribers And Patients When Using Medications / Herbs

  • A full trial is crucial of medications, and supplements is important and often not done. This means a full dose should be prescribed for a sufficient length of time. There is some information that indicates frequent starting and stopping antidepressant medications may lead to ineffectiveness.

  • Monitor target symptoms in order to determine effectiveness.

  • Change one medication at a time in order to clearly identify the effect of each one.

  • Consider cost and the patient's insurance

  • There is less suicide risk by overdose when using SSRI's then tricyclics.

  • In anxious patients start low; increase slowly (but not too slowly, in order to avoid discouragement due to length of time needed for improvement)

  • Understand and consider side effects when choosing a medication. This will help to know what to expect, reduce anxiety, and decrease early discontinuation.

  • The first treatment for depression should be 8-12 months in length, and there is a 50% relapse rate after that. A second treatment regimen should last 18 months and has a 70% relapse rate. After this medication may be needed for life.

  • Try to avoid unrealistic expectations about medications.

  • If you medical provider is not willing to talk with you about these issues, perhaps you should seek a new one!

  • Always tell your health care provider when you are taking supplements of any kind!


Benjamin, S. (2000). Cam Spotlight SAM-e For Depression and More? Patient Care for the Nurse Practitioner March, 22-26.

Blumenthal, M. Goldberg, A. Brinckmann (Eds). (2000) Herbal Medicine, Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications.

Brown, D. (1998?) Phytotherapy, Herbal Medicine meets Clinical Science. Bothell, Washington: Bastyr University, Continuing Professional Education Program

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordrs DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision) (2000) American Psychiatric Association

Physicians Desk Reference (2006) Thompson Healthcare.

Keegan, L (2001) Healing with Complementary & Alternative Therapies. New York: Delmar.

Muskin, P. (2000) Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Psychiatry, Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Cure Against Depression and Low Self Confidence

Depression strikes most of us and it can make us paralysed.
It is essential that we do not let it get too much
influence on our lives.

Cure against depression

Practice this cure on a day off.

* Have a healthy and balanced breakfast in your dressing

* Take a warm shower or sauna.

* Rub your skin with body lotion and your feet with foot

* Put on some comfortable clothes.

* Go for a long walk.

* When you come back home, make yourself a cup of hot tea
on St. John's Wort, rosemary or lavender.

* Make yourself comfortable in your favourite armchair.

* Read a good book or magazine.

* Listen to your favourite music. (It should be cheerful)

* Make sure you are warm. Slippers and a blanket may come

* Be sure to have fresh air in the room. Take some
deep breaths to fill your lungs.

Great self confidence can be learned

You can learn how to be confident about who you are and what
you can do. You can learn how to tolerate uncertainty and be
confident with not knowing what is going to happen.

Some tips:

* Write down your positive achievements, all that you can
remember; educations, jobs, loves and relationships (even if
they ended, you still achieved them), friendships, children,
driving licence... Look at what you already have and realize
you have done rather well.

* Write down good things that others have said about you.
Read through old documents from former employers or teachers
that state all your strong sides. Maybe you forgot you had them?

* Make plans. Ask yourself what can be done. What can you
change to make things better? Write down precise goals and
write a step-by-step plan on how you intend to achieve your

*Decision. Make a decision that tomorrow you will start
dealing with the first step of your plan.

When you read what you have written you will realize that
you have grown and developed over the years. That also means
that you can grow and develop further.

How To Identify The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder (Mania & Depression)

Bipolar Disorder involves problems with the emotions that can deeply affect your mental and physical health. It is a disease that can be present in anyone who develops the signs and symptoms of it.

The symptoms are sub-categorized into two components: mania and depression.

Here are the following symptoms of mania:

1. A sudden growth in self-worth and the act of being lavish.

2. Little needs to have a good sleep. Someone with this symptom would feel that he or she had rested enough even with only three hours of sleep.

3. Becomes a bigger chatterbox than usual.

4. Develops a feeling that his or her mind keeps pacing up

5. Tends to get unfocused. He or she will pay more attention to things that are less essential rather than things that he or she ought to pay more attention to.

6. A sudden growth in involvement in activities that have an aim to achieve be it in school or work.

7. Tends to get too pro-active in too many activities, probably to preoccupy his or her mind from the sorrows and pains that he or she does not wish to think about.

Here are the following symptoms of depression:

1. Being moody and less cheerful throughout almost the whole day.

2. Does not find any keen interest to take part in any activity. He or she just

wants to lay down and do nothing except to ponder on anything that is causing this depression.

3. A drastic increase or decrease in weight and appetite.

4. Will either have little sleep or too much of sleep.

5. Tends to get easily irritated.

6. Tends to get easily exhausted and less energetic.

7. Develops a feeling of low self-esteem. He or she would feel useless and feel guilty over everything that surrounds him or her, even though it is totally not his or her fault.

8. Tendency to be fickle-minded. He or she would lack of focus in whatever that needs to be done, and would not be able to make decisions well.

9. Always have the urge to commit suicide.

Bipolar Disorder is a serious illness that can affect the way you live your life, as well as your dearest ones who would constantly have to worry about your condition. It should definitely not be taken for granted. Fortunately, it is treatable. So if you notice that you develop the following symptoms, you can still do something to prevent yourself from Bipolar Disorder.

It is advisable to relate your problems and emotional roller coasters to a professional and get yourself treated as soon as possible.If you have a loved one whom you think is facing this problem, you can do your part by getting him or her to seek professional help.

Some say that emotional illnesses are much harder to handle compared to physical illnesses. But no matter what, emotional illnesses can still be cured if you make an effort to cure them. Bipolar Disorder is no exception. Problems cannot be avoided, but you can make sure that these problems do not bring you down.

So get help today and start a new and better life.

For PMS Emotional Symptoms a Natural Anti-Depressant Is Available

PMS emotional symptoms may include any or all of the following: aggression or irritability, depression or tearfulness, anxiety or nervousness, or just mood swings in general, happy one moment, sad the next. The PMS treatments most commonly prescribed by physicians when these symptoms interfere with relationships or one's general sense of well being are anti-depressants.

The brand names are probably familiar; Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Prozac, just to name a few. These are all anti-depressants that belong to a group known as Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors or SSRI for short and are commonly prescribed PMS treatments. Although the cause of PMS is unclear, the function of serotonin in the body is relatively well known. It is a neurotransmitter, meaning that it helps to transmit signals among nerve endings in the brain and body. It helps to regulate moods, sleep cycles, appetite and metabolism.

An SSRI prevents serotonin from breaking down so quickly, allowing it to be more effective in the nervous system. Studies have shown that serotonin levels are lower than normal in women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. And, since serotonin is known to regulate moods and an SSRI can usually control clinical depression and PMDD, doctors often prescribe the drugs for women who suffer form moderate PMS symptoms, as well.

Some PMS treatments focus on relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises. One study found that women who suffer from chronic hyperventilation had symptoms similar to those of PMS. Another study concluded that of all the conditions for which relaxation techniques were commonly recommended, it was most effective in relieving PMS.

Behavioral modifications such as relaxation techniques can relieve chronic stress. Chronic stress increases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, circulating in the blood stream. Some researchers believe that cortisol can be toxic to the hypothalamus, actually causing it to shrink. It is known that depressed people have a smaller hypothalamus than people who have never been depressed. The hypothalamus has numerous serotonin receptors, but a smaller hypothalamus means fewer serotonin receptors.

Chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression, inhibits proper immune system function, can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease and increases PMS emotional symptoms. Everything is connected.

An SSRI may be one of the most effective PMS treatments, but the side effects are numerous and objectionable to many women. The most commonly experienced side effects are drowsiness, headache, sexual dysfunction, increased sweating and dilation of the pupils, which can interfere with normal vision. Depending on your age, an SSRI can increase night sweats, a symptom related to menopause. For many women, this writer included, relieving PMS emotional symptoms is not worth adding a whole new list of other problems.

Luckily, nature has provided us with a natural anti-depressant. The "Earth Mother's pharmacy" can relieve most of our ailments, if we only know where to look. Increasing dietary intake of substances that the body uses to create serotonin or serotonin precursors can increase serotonin levels in the blood stream and the brain, thus improving mood and relieving PMS emotional symptoms.

The safest and most effective serotonin precursor is 5-HTP. Found in some dietary supplements, studies have shown that 5-HTP can relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and migraine headaches. It can reduce the effects of chronic stress, help the body relax and relieve PMS emotional symptoms. Natural PMS treatments abound, some are nothing more than vitamin supplements. To learn more about them and how to choose the best ones, please visit the Menopause and PMS guide.

How Do You Know If You Have Manic-Depression

Nancy was doing very well until about two years ago when Phil, her boyfriend of 9 years, broke-up with her. It was a difficult moment for her especially after she learned that Phil eventually married her cousin. Since then, Nancy had deteriorated. One evening, she was involved in a motor vehicular accident because she was driving fast and recklessly in a quiet suburban neighborhood.

During interrogation, the cops noted that Nancy was talking rapidly and nobody could interrupt her. Also, she was making jokes and laughing so loud. She further indicated to them that she was on her way to meet the President and his top officials about her invention that could cure the oil crunch. She eventually ended up in the emergency room where she was diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder after intensive evaluation.

Bipolar disorder or manic-depression is manifested by highs and lows. When a patient like Nancy is on the manic side, there is a persistent feeling of euphoria or irritability associated with lack of need for sleep, excessive energy, agitation, fast and loud speech, increase in goal-directed activities such as spending sprees and establishing businesses with no appropriate plan, and hypersexuality.

Patients with this disorder develop poor judgment and impulsivity. They become irritable and can lash out easily even if not provoked. Some patients have delusions of grandeur. When this happens, patients think that they have special powers, talents, and influence.

When not manic, patients either feel normal or depressed. Depression in bipolar disorder has the same manifestation as major depression that consists of feelings of sadness associated with neurovegetative signs and symptoms such as inability to sleep, eat, and concentrate. Energy level is also impaired. In addition, patients experience a feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness. Suicidal ideation may ensue.

For individuals who develop mania, does it always mean that they suffer from bipolar disorder?

Not necessarily. Mania can be caused by various medical and neurologic conditions. For instance, multiple sclerosis and stroke can present with manic symptoms. Moreover, medications and street drugs may precipitate mania. Steroids, cocaine, and amphetamine are some examples. Even some antidepressants can induce mania.

So when a person shows mania, the physician usually does intensive evaluation to rule out medical, neurologic, and medication-induced conditions before diagnosing bipolar disorder. This process is important because the treatment varies depending upon the cause. Once other conditions are ruled out, then bipolar disorder can be safely diagnosed and treated.

Spot The Signs Of Depression Before It's Too Late

Today I want to discuss how to pick up on signs of depression in yourself or your loved ones.

Let's face it: civilization didn't make the life easier for us. Yes, we have showers and central heating, antibiotics and meals on wheels, but we've never been unhappier.

Clinical depression is more and more common among us, and sometimes it takes just a little bit of extra care and attention to pull someone from the brink.

So what are the obvious symptoms of depression which you should spot easily?

First of all, the symptoms will repeat nearly every day for 2 of more weeks and will show different behaviour from what you're used to.

Secondly, the changes in behaviour most likely will include:

- Feeling exhausted as soon as you wake up and contemplating if there is any point in getting up;

- Loss of appetite and consequently weight loss (sometimes the opposite - constant comfort eating and weight gain);

- Loss of interest in your life, hobbies, friends, activities and withdrawal from socializing in general;

- Feeling of sadness, irritability, mood swings, tearfulness, thoughts of death, excessive guilt and feeling worthless;

- Not being able to sleep through the night or sleeping all the time;

- Going through the day with no energy and physically feeling slowed down;

- Not being able to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions;

These are some of the very typical signs of being depressed.

There are plenty of online depression tests. Most of them consist of 10 simple questions, and if you answer yes to five or more of them you better make sure and see your doctor who can examine you further and find out if you are clinically depressed and what kind of treatment you would need.

There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you are depressed. In fact I've read recently about a new view on depression. One take on it is that it's due to the chemical imbalance of the brain and genetic factors. There is not enough serotonin in your brain and it causes depression.

But the other side says that all this is just results not causes of depression. The fact is depression is caused by our body grieving about something. Grieving is a natural response, depression is just displacing this response in time.

So, ideally clinical depression is best treated by therapy for its causes and medications for the symptoms.

What do you think about this point of view?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Menopause Anxiety Symptoms - How To Naturally Overcome Anxiety Caused By Menopause

Some anxiety symptoms caused by menopause could be manifested in various ways.

Sometimes you may feel that your body and mind don't belong to you anymore - that they've been taken over by some entity that you wish could be exorcised from you forever more.

Hormonal imbalances are causing this difficulty... and they can be controlled by restoring balance to your system.

Menopause anxiety symptoms can lead to depression if not dealt with. It's extremely important that you gain some insight into these anxiety symptoms, how they manifest themselves and what causes them.

Once you understand what's happening to can make decisions about how to manage and treat them.

Anxiety is characterized as a psychological problem that keeps you worried, tense and nervous. Sometimes, it can affect your life to such a degree that you're no longer able to function. Anxiety can be persistent even when there's nothing going on in your life to provoke it. It could produce times of panic that feel like terror or a horrible dread of something that might happen.

Menopause anxiety symptoms could also manifest themselves into a social phobia that prevents you from socializing with others, not going to work or enjoying life as you have in the past. It's a state of mind that's difficult to shake off and could lead to depression or other disorders such as fatigue, shortness of breath and digestive problems.

Attempt to discover what the root cause of your anxiety problems is. For example, if hot flashes are causing anxiety because they're embarrassing and could happen at any time or place, tackle the problem with natural supplements that can help control that symptom.

Insomnia might be controlled by taking a natural supplement called Valerian.

Menopause anxiety symptoms have been greatly reduced by practicing relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises such as those taught in yoga classes can be extremely helpful.

Reducing stress by aerobic exercising can also be obliging when it comes to reducing your anxiety symptoms.

You're not alone in your concern for menopause anxiety symptoms that might be reducing your enjoyment of life. Online help sites and books are available to answer your questions and for you to research what might help in your specific case. There are even online chats where you can talk to other women who might be experiencing the same symptoms you are and together you can find something that helps.

If you're going through menopause, low estrogen levels are probably the reasons for your anxiety...Try going the natural way to reduce your anxiety symptoms by taking the path of natural supplements, exercise and a balanced diet. It will help your symptoms and your overall health.

Water - Beyond Its Libido Powers!

"When the body is well hydrated, all of the physiological and hormonal prerequisites to a satisfying sex life and more-than-adequate libido will be in place. In addition, one or two glasses of water before the "event" will help in achieving a firmer and sustained erection in men and the joys of participation in women." - Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

I have been a Holistic Health Practitioner for over 15 years. I am a healthy 43 year old woman. Most people are stunned by my age and ask me what my secret is. I tell them plenty of water and plenty of sleep. Of course it's just words to them. But to me it's my life, my body and my entire well being. I kid you not when I say that water has been my preventative medicine and a big part of my daily and sacred rituals. Simply put, I just can't live without water.

Throughout the years of my practice, I have seen, treated and coached 2 - 3 hundred clients. What I find common in every last one of them is their lack of sufficient water consumption and their belief that they are drinking plenty of water. Add their illusions and misunderstandings around the power and properties of water and you get a dried up prune trying to dance. Constipation, migraine headaches, low libido, tumors, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, back and neck pain, asthma, allergies, cancer, obesity, depression - just to name a few - are all signs of dehydration in the body. Those imbalances and cries from the body have only been given names and titles that have now taken on a life of their own.

The mental thinking is drugs for pain; surrender to someone else to take care of the imbalance rather than an active participation and understanding of the way the body functions. (And when you get to understand that powerful temple you live in then you have mastered one of life's greatest lessons and mysteries.) Everyone knows that water is good for the body. They seem not to know how essential it is to ones well-being. They do not know what happens to the body if it does not receive its daily need of water.

The truth is dehydration is the underlying cause of diseases. The rest is the scientific and medical community stroking their egos with massive words and the titling of some imbalance in the body that they, in fact, do not quite understand themselves.

In his book, The Body's Many Cries for Water, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj says, "Medical professionals of today do not understand the vital roles of water in the human body. Medications are palliatives. They are not designed to cure the degenerative disease of the human body. Medicine doe not cure diseases. They only mask them."

"We misinterpret thirst signals as pain, and treat them with drugs which silence instead of cure the problem. Because dehydration eventually causes loss of some functions, the various signals given by water distribution system regulators during severe and lasting dehydration have been translated as indicators of unknown disease conditions of the body. I discovered that histamine is a vital chemical messenger in the brain. Histamine has a most important function not written about in medical textbooks. It is in charge of water intake and drought management in the body. It is less active when the body is fully hydrated, and becomes increasingly active when the body becomes dehydrated. To hush the body's call for water by masking the symptoms with drugs is like turning out the dashboard light that signal us that our car is about to overheat."

"Every function inside the body is regulated by and depends on water. Water must be available to carry vital elements, oxygen, hormones, and chemical messages to all parts of the body. Without sufficient water to wet all parts equally, some more remote parts of the body will not receive the vital elements that water supplies. Without sufficient water to constantly wet all parts, your body's drought-management system kicks into action. The histamine-directed chemical messenger systems are activated to arrange a new, low quota of water for the drought-stricken area. When histamine and its subordinate "drought managers" come across pain-sensing nerves, they cause pain. This is why dehydration produces pain as its first alarm signal. If the dehydration persists and is not corrected naturally with water, it becomes symptom-producing and, in time, develops into a disease condition."

I am also a mother and I apply my natural health practices and beliefs in my role as a mother. I can not afford expensive medical bills and frankly do not fully trust a system and industrial complex that is based on capitalism and profits while gambling my health away. So I use the natural resources of the earth to restore balance and to remedy any issues that my family and I may have or encounter.

My son's gum recently began swelling. I knew that his body was fighting an infection as a result. I paused and asked for guidance from the divine healer within. My son had not brushed properly and a piece of food had been stuck in his teeth that had caused the swelling and canker sores in his mouth. I knew that if I took him to the dentist they would put him on an antibiotic that would get rid of the harmful bacteria as well as the ones that his body needs. And I would walk out with a big bill. Empowering the Dentist while dis-empowering me and my pocket book.

So I did my research and chose the healing herbs and methods that I knew would work. My son even played an active role when he walked straight up to a homeopathic remedy, picked it up and said, "Here Mommy". When I looked it up it was exactly what he needed to cure the canker sore in his mouth. I applauded and thanked him for listening to his inner healer. So I made him drink plenty of water. At least a huge cup full every other hour. (room temperature) I wanted him to go to the bathroom and clean out the toxic from the months before and from traveling to Brazil with his father, being away from me for a while. I also gave him Echinachea (tincture) to take care of the infection. And I had him rinse his mouth with hydrogen peroxide - making sure he doesn't swallow it. This alone is so powerful in drawing out the toxic from any punctures or wounds in the body. The very next day the swelling began to diminish. And of course I got him back on track with brushing twice a day and flossing. This is only one of our natural remedy stories throughout our 10 years together. Ask any one who knows me and they will tell you that when i was told my son needed steroids I grabbed him and ran out of the hospital daring anyone to touch us. Believe me when I say that i am a Doctor's worst nightmare because I challenge them and ask them questions that not only leave their heads spinning but also provokes them as well.

Please.... when I say that water is so so powerful I am not whispering it. I am screaming loud at the top of my lungs hoping all humans would hear me. And that it can prevent even the most horrific diseases that man still does not understand like..cancer, diabetes, etc. As well, the healing industry has taken on a fast pace life of its own with everyone telling you their way or the highway. Don't be fooled. It is so simple! We only make it complicated. And all the therapies are worthless without the proper consumption of the purest and most readily available element and remedy- WATER!!. YES!! And I am not here to convince you at all. I am just here to share because if I don't then it would only be selfish of me and I would not be in alignment with my true purpose.

I am a living testimony to curing myself of "fibroid tumors"," infertility" and "Bells Palsy". I only wish you greater wisdom and healthy choices in living and loving. And today I am giving you information to make that decision.

Of course, readiness plays a vital role and one must be ready and willing to make a change and put "love" in action''.

All quotes above were taken directly from, The Body's Many Cries for Water by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

What to Do About Depressed Children

The scope of depression is not limited to adults or grown ups. It also affects young children. Depression can be caused by several factors that usually affect one's emotion. In severe cases medical treatment are given, other resort to counseling to alleviate the feeling of emptiness.

Depression can be a manifestation of stress, anxiety, emotional deprivation and low self esteem. Children who suffer from this emotional outbreak can develop some personality disorder if left unattended. Depression may not be a contagious disease but it affects everyone. Depressed children are children who have gone through emotional turmoil.

The significant symptoms of depressed children are the feeling of loneliness, sadness, decreased of interest in activities he one's love to do, shows boredom, low level of energy and self esteem. This unusual behavioral display should not be ignored. If you suspect a student or a child who isolate himself from his classmates or his siblings, be alarmed and find out if he manifests some signs of depression. Depression can sometimes result to self inflicted pain and to some extent suicidal tendencies.

Identifying the problem would prevent future damage. Depression should be diagnosed in its early stage. If you suspect your child to be emotionally depressed you have to seek for professional advice or help. Taking anti depressant with out the doctors order can bring more harm than alleviating the child's depression. Some depressant can be addictive and many become dependent on these drugs to get away from reality. In this case the anti depressant drug becomes a risk factor for the child or patient.

Depressed children should under go some counseling if their condition doesn't require them to take some anti depressant drug. Counseling will greatly help your child in overcoming his depression. A constant communication and support could address his needs in coping his depression. Parents can also offer some help by talking to their child and encouraging him to air out his sentiments and other pent up emotion. Suicidal tendencies in adult are common and for children this can also be true. Never ignore your child's depression. Do something about it before it goes too late.

Signs of Postnatal Depression

They key to finding out when a woman has postnatal depression is, of course, to understand and to recognize the signs of postnatal depression, also known as postpartum depression and when they can occur.

What is postnatal depression, though?

Postnatal depression is a type of clinical depression that can afflict women, after they give birth to their children.

Postpartum depression should be considered as a serious medical illness. It occurs because of the changing hormone levels in a woman after giving birth. The lifestyle changes inevitable after childbirth also contribute significantly.

In most cases, this type of depression can happen within the first few months after a woman has given birth. Women who have undergone either a stillbirth or a miscarriage can also suffer postpartum depression.

Women who are affected with this type of depression can experience a difficult time in their efforts at bonding and caring for their new infant.

In some cases postnatal depression can even worsen to the point that it becomes something known in clinical circles as postnatal psychosis. This is a rare and more extreme type of depression, which could result in the afflicted women potentially hurting herself or her infant.

The symptoms of postpartum depression can actually overlap with something referred to as the Baby Blues, which is a recognised type of depression experienced by women in first days and sometimes weeks after giving birth. The Baby Blues can become postnatal depression when a person suffers the symptoms for an extended amount of time.

Here are the Baby Blues symptoms:

• Mood swings

• Either mild or moderate types of anxiety

• It is usual for sadness to be present

• Unusual irritability

• Lack of ability in either focusing or concentrating on things

• Sleep predicaments like excessive sleep or difficulty in falling asleep

• Crying

• Lack of interest in the baby

Some of the usual postnatal depression symptoms are:

• A loss of appetite

• difficulty in falling asleep

• Irritability

• Loss of sexual and general interest

• Extreme mood swings

• Withdrawal from people they are normally close to

• Inability to bond with new infant

• Thoughts of self-harm or even harming the new infant

There are a whole host of symptoms that a woman experiencing postnatal depression may display. Therefore, there is again the need to be really familiar with these symptoms. Woman and men in Ireland should be aware that postnatal depression is real, and they should be on the lookout for the very real possibility of its onset after childbirth occurs.

Suicide Prevention Ireland provides resources for men and women who are at risk of suicide. Find a range of articles including women and depression, male depression, as well as common stresses, illnesses, and issues, and know that help is at hand.

Mild Depression Symptoms - Early Warning Signs That You Have to Know

Clara M. started to feel sad more often. She realized that it wasn't so easy any more to get herself out of the 'blues'. Perhaps she began to feel early mild depression symptoms.

While most of us go through times in life that make us feel low, depression is a completely different story. Depression may come in different degrees ranging from mild to severe. It's crucial to spot these mild symptoms of depression before it becomes full blown.

Have you reached a point in your life where you feel you can't move on? Are you in despair about your current situation? It seems that the more you think about these questions, the harder it is to get the right answers.

Now, imagine life where you are happy again and live your life as you did before. What if there is a cure for depression in less than six weeks, a method that can help you break the cycle of depression, would you be interested?

Reading word for word, you'll soon discover the secret method that has helped over 30,000 depressed people to overcome depression, and get on with their normal life.

Actually, Clara M. suffered from mild depression, and was still able to do normal activities and function effectively. Unlike having severe depression, Clara's mild depression symptoms were subtle such as lack of energy, less interest in things she normally liked to do, slight changes in mood and behavior and some changes in eating habits.

These early warning signs might feel as if Clara just had a 'bad day'. The changes might even go unnoticed by colleagues or family members, thinking that maybe she was just stressed from work or school. She might even think that she had just a hard time at work so she felt a bit 'off'.

The thing common in most depressed people is denial. If Clara would be confronted with the fact that she has got mild depression, she might not like to look truth in the eyes. Clara may become one of these depressed people who cover up their condition and resort to an unhealthy life style in order to cope with her mild depression symptoms. Overeating, working overtime, alcohol consumption and drug abuse are just some that come into mind.

Mild depression is also associated with being detached from thoughts and feeling. People don't want to be made aware of their current altered state. Clara might get upset about this feeling of incapability to restore things to the 'way they used to be'. Even if she wants to change it, she feels too tired to make those changes and falls even deeper into depression.

Progression of mild depression may lead to a more severe state. These symptoms may go on for days to months and slowly escalate to more drastic changes. Changes may occur that include neglect of personal hygiene, inability to focus on work or studies, giving up important relationships, distorted thought patterns, and delusions.

Depression symptoms may vary from person to person. Also Clara M. has to accept the fact that she is depressed, and that she has to look for the root cause for her depression.

Don't prolong your agony and live miserably! Get your life back in order now before it is too late.

Depression Hurts, Overcome Depression

Fighting depression is not always easy but here are some simple tips for coping with depression. If you have chronic depression you should seek professional help. Everybody gets depressed once in a while, you do not have to stay depressed.

Anxiety and depression are inward facing, the trick to treating depression is to focus your attention outwards.

Every morning when you wake up say, out loud, "Hello world" and smile, even if you have to fake it at first.

I start my day by looking out the window and saying "what a great day, Thank you." If it is raining and grey I might say "Watering the plants today? Thats good, I like plants".

Find an open space, park or countryside and go for a walk. I know it is hard to make yourself do anything when you are depressed but force yourself, it will get easier. Find a tree and say hello to it. Then really examine the tree, feel its bark and leaves, test the spring of its branches, give it a hug. Tell the tree it is good looking.

Look at other plants and animals and admire them, notice the way they grow and move. Let them know that they are beautiful.

Some of that may sound silly but a little silliness goes a long way towards overcoming depression.

Do not worry about what other people will think of you. They are usually stuck in their own problems and are often jealous, they wish that they could break loose.

Become curious about all of life, find things that you never noticed before. Learn something new every day. Creation is a wonderful thing, watch the birds soar, notice how plants grow even in the most unlikely places.

Do not take life seriously, some things can be important but they should not be serious. Learn to laugh at the ridiculous things that we do, learn to laugh at yourself.

People have told me that I am weird, I say "Why thank you, I would hate to be normal", they usually laugh and I laugh with them. Do not go out of your way to be weird, you will get more respect and make more friends by being your true self.

If you have a problem that seems too heavy, go out and try to convince the world how serious it is. Try to tell the stars that your problem is the end of the world, tell a tree how bad things are. Life goes on, in a week or a few months the problem is usually gone and you will wonder why you worried about it.

Live, laugh and send your love into the world, it will come back.

Learn to love yourself, you are unique. You are the best person in the world at being you. Everyone has something to offer the world, do not waste it by staying locked in, reach out. There are a lot of people out there who would love to get to know you, give them the chance.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do You Have Work Burnout: Prevention and Symptoms

Work Burnout is Dangerous to your Health!

If you are a business owner or an employee, the holidays can be overly busy times. You feel the responsibility to your customers and clients. Added personal responsibilities for extra time needed to get gifts, attend social events can make you feel like you are burning the candle at both ends. Where is the time going to come from? This added pressure can bring you to the point of burnout.

Work burnout is a common occurrence among the best and most responsible workers in all fields. It happens most frequently if you love your job and what you do. You have high standards for yourself; perhaps you are a bit of a perfectionist or an idealist. You want to provide the best service; go over and beyond what is expected to give service to others.

Burnout can sneak up on you. You may not even realize that it is work that is causing your symptoms, and think that you are feeling stress from other areas in your life. In fact, whether the cause is work or other stress, your symptoms can overlap. Burnout can even seem like depression, and often doctors will misdiagnose and mistreat work burnout. That is why it's important for you to be aware of the symptoms. If you are dealing with another stressor in your life, and you don't feel better, you can start feeling frightened and powerless about getting better.

With work burnout, as you get busier and busier trying to get more accomplished, it become almost like the syndrome of a frog in slowly increasing warm water getting boiled to death. You don't even notice until it's too late.

Symptoms of Burnout:

FATIGUE You are working like a maniac, but never seem to get caught up. Productivity declines as you increase they time you are spending to get your projects done.

SELF FORGETTING You are not taking time to do the things you once enjoyed; seeing your friends, shopping for and cooking healthy foods, reading or watching movies, etc.

UNEXPLAINABLE MISERY You are miserable but don't understand why. You may be feeling tired, but unable to get relief from sleep, if you are able to sleep! Headaches and other physical symptoms, your immune system is being compromised. If you see your doctor, (s)he may misdiagnose and treat you for depression. You are NOT depressed: you are overwhelmed from work.

EMOTIONAL REACTION Your frustration level drops, you become cynical and aggressive. Your values of service are being challenged, and you wonder why you ever thought this work was a good idea.

DISENGAGED You don't want to be with friends or people who you had enjoyed. You want to be by yourself. You push away people who want to help you. You feel an inner emptiness and loss of purpose.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL COLLAPSE Your body, being the receptacle of your negative emotions stops you from continuing on this path by ramping up the milder symptoms to full blown illness. You have passed the point where an easy fix is possible. You MUST stop and rebuild your life.

The fact is that burnout is a very common occurrence in today's economy. People are afraid if they don't do extra, their business or job will be in jeopardy. Frightened about the negative possibilities of the economy, you may be putting extra effort and time into every project and over emphasize the importance of small, otherwise meaningless details.

What can you do to prevent burnout?

It is important to realize that burnout is something that you are creating in your own life. If you work with others who are not suffering from these symptoms, it may help you to understand that there is a reason that you are experiencing burnout and they are not! You may be overworking or taking on too much responsibility. Do you have trouble saying "no"? Are you taking over and not allowing others to do their jobs because you think they may not do it as well as you? Are you a perfectionist, and don't want to share control? Are you enabling others NOT to do the work because they know that YOU will do the job if they don't? If any of these scenarios sound like you, it's time to be honest with yourself. Even if the president of the US stops working, or dies, there is someone who will take over! No one is indispensable.

You must realize that it is not up to you to take care of every one in every moment. If you own your own business, you may need to hire help, because you are trying to do too much yourself! If you are a valued employee, you can speak with your manager or boss, and explain that you are experiencing symptoms of overwork. Good employers and managers will pay attention and help prevent and alleviate burnout and workplace stress with wellness programs, better schedules and job descriptions that don't put their best employees at risk.

Caregiver burnout, work burnout and stress hurt not only an employee, but co-workers and your business clients. It also can make a dent in an employer's bottom line when losing their best workers. Employers will have to pay to rehire and retrain, not knowing if they will get another employee as overly dedicated as the one they lost! Hopefully, your boss will realize that you are an important reason the business is functioning and will help you. Good bosses will provide help for their employees to prevent this from happening. And if your boss doesn't care about helping you these issues, it may be time to start looking for another job.

The best way to prevent work burnout is to be proactive and preventative by doing self-care on a continuous daily basis.

"In an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first, and then help others".

Cabin Attendant in everyone of the flights you've taken

Other Self care: Be proactive

Eat good food- start with breakfast, healthy snacks (protein - stay away from sugar and white carbs)

Sleep 8 hours - see my sleep hygiene suggestions

Learn to say NO - set up boundaries (see my communication program)

Take a non-coffee/ no cigarette break - Use this time as "Take a Breath break"

Drink a glass of water

Stretch out of your seat (effect of sitting too long: sitosis)

Take a walk, or exercise (park further from your regular spot)

Treat yourself like you are a potential lover you want to impress - say nice things to yourself; make romantic and delicious dinners for yourself; light candles, set the table; listen to yourself - your heart

Keep inspirational quotes around

Turn off bad news - Put on music you enjoy

Smile, relax your face. Smiling has actually been found to be part of a feedback loop that gets your body relaxed, which in turn calms your mind!

The bottom line is: It's up to you to take care of yourself. You can't take care of anyone else if you don't take care of your own needs first. So, to run an effective business, remember to take care of the person who needs it the most: You!

Depression Symptoms

There are a many different types of depression and although many of the symptoms that apply to each will be similar, there are some additional signs to look out for within each type of depressive disorder. The following is a list of some of the main types of depressive disorders and the kind of symptoms that can be associated with them.

Clinical Depression
Depression can range from mild to severe but in order to be classed as major depression, there has to have been at least 5 symptoms of depression for a period of at least two weeks that have been severe enough to interfere with daily routines and that are not related to use of substances, a medical condition, or bereavement.

o Low moods and sadness for most of the time

o Disinterest and lack of pleasure in most activities including sex

o Weight gain or loss with associated increased or diminished appetite

o Sleep disturbances - both insomnia and hypersomnia

o Feeling exhausted when waking up

o Irritability, agitation and restlessness

o Feeling guilty, worthless and/or helpless

o Inability to concentrate and focus

o Indecisiveness

o Fatigue and loss of energy

o Physical aches and pains or digestive problems

o Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
Bipolar disorder is a highly complex depressive disorder that at a basic level can be said to be characterised by severe mood swings fluctuating between extreme "highs" or episodes of mania, to severe "lows" or depressive episodes, however, in reality it isn't quite as simple as that as there is no clear pattern and sometimes symptoms of both mania and depression can be present at the same time (mixed state bipolar).

A manic episode can be diagnosed if at least 3 of the symptoms occur along with an elevated mood for most of the time for at least a week. If the overall mood is one of irritability then another 4 symptoms must be present.

o Increased energy, activity, and restlessness

o Excessively "high," euphoric mood

o Extreme irritability

o Racing thoughts, talking quickly, jumping from one idea to another

o Distractibility, lack off concentration

o Little sleep needed

o Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers

o Poor judgment

o Spending sprees

o A lasting period of behaviour that is different from usual

o Increased sexual drive

o Alcohol and drug abuse

o Provocative or aggressive behaviour

o Denial that anything is wrong

A depressive episode can be diagnosed if five or more of these symptoms are present for most of the time for a period of at least 2 weeks.

o feeling sad, anxious, or empty mood

o Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

o Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

o Loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex

o Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being "slowed down"

o Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

o Restlessness or irritability

o Sleeping too much, or can't sleep

o Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain

o Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury

o Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

Teen Depression
All teenagers go through periods of sadness and moodiness from time to time so it isn't easy to spot when this has developed into depression. In addition to some of the classic signs of depression there are some other signs to watch out for including:

o Headaches and aches and pains not associated with a medical condition

o Frequent absences from school and poor performance

o Persistent boredom, brooding or sulking

o No interest in socialising with peers

o Restless and agitated behaviour

o Often angry, upset or hostile

o Fear of death or dying

o Poor hygiene and neglecting appearance

o Showing extreme sensitivity to rejection

o Self harming

Child Depression
Increasingly, it is being recognised that children suffer from depression too. Some additional signs to look out for include:

o Refusing to go to school or getting into trouble at school

o Clinginess

o Worrying about death or dying

o Pretending to be sick

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is a type of depression occurring during the winter months. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some of the more common symptoms include:

o Mood and behaviour changes coinciding with the winter months

o Feeling tired and lethargic most of the time

o Eating and/or sleeping more than usual

o Frequent sick days from work

o Difficulty in concentrating and making decisions

o Irritability

o Lack of interest in socialising

o Stress, anxiety and/or panic attacks

o Loss of interest in sex

o Generally feeling low

Post Natal Depression
Post Natal Depression can occur after a woman has given birth. The symptoms are similar to those of common depression but can also include:

o Feeling guilty, inadequate, and unable to cope

o Fear of not loving the baby enough

o Resentment, hostility or indifference towards the baby or partner

o Feelings of hopelessness and despondency

o Crying or wanting to cry all the time

o Feeling extremely anxious and panicky

o Obsessive fear and worrying


If you think you or someone close to you is suffering from depression the important thing is to see your GP in the first instance, because with a proper diagnosis and the right help, depression is treatable.

Tests to Diagnose ADHD - How Reliable and Definitive Can They Be?

There has been a lot of criticism about the way ADHD is diagnosed. While various questionnaires and interviews of parents and teachers are used, there is still no reliable diagnostic test to diagnose ADD and ADHD. Many parents refuse to accept that a test for ADHD exists which will pinpoint a brain defect. That is the rather simplistic definition which the drug industry likes and will immediately offer a ADHD medication solution once the test for ADHD has been 'confirmed'.

Now the classical procedure to test for ADHD is set out in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The actual exam or doctor's visit will consist of a physical examination of the child and there will be clinical interviews with the parents and the child. This is mainly to exclude other conditions such as depression hallucinations and so on. The child's teacher will be asked to fill out an assessment form. The TOVA (Test of Variables of Attention) is also filled out. None of these tools as a test for ADHD are very accurate in a clinical sense because they are subjective.

Following the DSM guidelines, the doctor or paediatrician will then try to establish from the results of the test for ADHD whether there is any impairment or hindrance in the child's development. That is key. If there is no impairment then there is no disorder. A child may have lots of symptoms of ADHD but if his physical and social development is on a par with his peers, then he does NOT have ADHD.

In assessing all the information from the tests and questionnaires, the doctor will be assessing how long the symptoms have been present and from what age. Are they periodic or chronic by now ? What is the functional disorder present due to, or caused by these symptoms ? Is the child falling behind at school and are the relationships with his peers causing tensions and other problems?

The answers to these questions following the DSM will usually help the doctor to make a diagnosis.

To medicate or not to medicate ? This is the burning question parents have to face once the test for ADHD is over and a diagnosis for ADHD has been confirmed. As the standard conventional ADHD medications are addictive - about 20% of teenagers with ADHD are or will become substance abusers- parents have to make a choice. Certainly natural ADHD treatments are not addictive at all and there are no worrying side effects. Time to take a long hard look at these AHD alternative therapies which will be effective and do not cause withdrawal symptoms. The site below will answer any questions you may have.

How To Identify Your Own Depression

Depression. What is it? Why would a normally healthy, optomistic person get depressed? If things go wrong, don't you just talk yourself out of feeling sorry for yourself? So what if your 23 year marriage ends, and your soon-to-be ex-husband moves in with your best friend; you are left to cope with 2 devastated teenagers; you loose your father and father-in-law to cancer; you have extreme job challenges; and, your new condo, purchased without REALLY knowing what to look for (just don't buy a home with a laundry room upstairs over the living room!) and you develop a roof leak, and a laundry leak into the living room. AND, you are the primary care giver for a very needy Mother.

You can handle all of this, right? And, when, the next year, you loose your Mother and Grandmother to cancer too, it doesn't send you over the edge, does it? Particularly when you also have Multiple Sclerosis, which has been misdiagnosed for over 35 years, and the worst thing for MS is stress and anxiety. You can handle everything, right?

Well, I found that I couldn't. Consider the following list of symptoms that one should review if you think that you might be suffering from depression. OR, if you, like me, are convinced that you CAN HANDLE IT, if the rain would just stop; or, if the roof would just stop leaking (I've already tried to get it fixed 2 times, and it hasn't yet worked; I now have a gallon bucket sitting in the front hallway to catch the water leaking from the hole in the roof); or, if the kids would just stop being "normal" teenagers, when you no longer have a husband to help you in the day-to-day coping with teenagers.

Here is a checklist of symptoms of depressive illness:

1) Loss of energy and interest.

2) Diminished ability to enjoy oneself.

3) Decreased -- or increased -- sleeping or appetite.

4) Difficulty in concentrating; indecisiveness; slowed or fuzzy thinking.

5) Exaggerated feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety.

6) Feelings of worthlessness.

7) Recurring thoughts about death and suicide.

I remember clearly my "last straw". I read the list, above, and was sure that these 7 symptoms did NOT describe me. Then, with all of my water problems at home, I went to work in my 4th (top) floor office that just happened to have a flat roof. While on the phone arguing with the roofer who claimed that my roof shouldn't be leaking, and my telling him that it still was leaking, and if he didn't believe me, he could just come over and see my bucket full of water in my entry way, when I heard the familiar "pitter-patt" noise that freaked me out at home. I looked up at my office ceiling just in time to see water beginning to gush out of the ceiling tiles, around the hanging lights, and pour into my office. That did it. I went home. That night, I awoke thinking that I heard the "pitter-patt" in the upstairs laundry room, dripping water into my living room. I got up, turned off the water to the washing machine; stuffed all of my towels around the washer, and stood with my back against the wall in my first ever anxiety attack, thinking that if this was what my life had become, why would I even want to continue living it?

This event scared me into going to my Doctor. He had a great little "depression" test for me. Knowing my fragile state, he asked me the statements, and, based both on my answers and on the detailed symptom impairment document that I had started preparing for him, prescribed an antidepression medication for me.

I learned two critical things that day - three, really. The first one is that it is critical to have a Doctor that you trust, that knows you, and that LISTENS to what you are saying. Secondly, since he knew about my MS, he told me that Depression was a frequent secondary symptom of MS. (At that time, I hadn't done my MS symptom research yet; the Disabilitykey Workbook, found at is the ultimate result of all of my symptom and system - Long Term Disability and Social Security Disability Insurance - research for myself.) Third, I learned that no matter how strong your personality is, and no matter how positive a person you are, Depression is NOT something you can get over by just "thinking positive thoughts"; by "keeping a stiff upper lip". If you truly think that you are suffering from Depression, there is nothing wrong from talking to your Doctor, and seeking his advice.

All that I have discussed so far happened over a dozen years ago. I am still taking antidepression medication, and it does help. I have searched high and low for the original test that my Doctor used on me, and finally found one at one of my favorite resources, called the "Institute for Algorithmic Medicine" (that's academic talk for medical condition tests). The test is "The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale". As you read the following questions, ask yourself where the statement ranks on the following scale:

1) A little of the time for me.

2) Some of the time for me.

3) A good part of the time for me.

4) Most of the time for me.

I fell down-hearted and blue.

Morning is when I feel the best.

I have crying spells or feel like it.

I have trouble sleeping at night.

I eat as much as I used to.

I still enjoy sex.

I notice that I am losing weight.

I have trouble with constipation.

My heart beats faster than usual.

I get tired for no reason.

My mind is as clear as it used to be.

I find it easy to do the things I used to.

I am restless and can't keep still.

I feel hopeful about the future.

I am more irritable than usual.

I find it easy to make decisions.

I feel that I am useful and needed.

My life is pretty full.

I feel that others would be better off if I were dead.

I still enjoy the things I used to do.

This little test, with your self rating for each statement, and with your symptom impairment documentation, so that your Doctor knows more about you and what is going on in your life, s/he can best decide what to do to help you better achieve a higher quality of life. Perhaps antidepression medication isn't what you need, something else would be better for you. But, if you don't learn, document, seek help, and discuss with your Doctor, s/he can't help you help yourself.

Many of you are probably asking yourselves how I can just put myself out there; just put into these bloggs what is going on in my life. I'm doing this, sharing these experiences so that you can know that I have been there; I've done that; I've got the t-shirts! For more about me, check out the "about us" section in the website: