Saturday, June 14, 2014

Clinical Depression Symptoms Often Lead to Suicide Attempts

There are more than 1.1 million suicide attempts in United States every year. In fact 1 out of 14 Americans will know someone who'll commit suicide this year. Worldwide the problem is even worse, since there are close to 20 million people attempting suicide every single year worldwide. To put this in terms easier to comprehend, that's more or less the entire population of Australia trying to kill themselves every year.

Clinical depression signs and symptoms include problems concentrating or remembering details, fatigue and feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and irritability. Because of these, patients with clinical depression are a very high risk group for suicide(especially when it's a case of clinical depression in women). So much, that depression is the leading cause of suicide in United States. And since clinical depression, 1 out of every 10 people suffering from clinical depression will end up killing themselves.

As you can see suicide is a major threat and if you are depressed you are at very high risk for committing suicide. Even if you feel you'll never commit suicide, it won't matter. When you fall into the suicidal stage of depression, nothing you think now will matter...chances are you won't even remember thinking negatively about suicide, and will instead welcome death.

The clinical depression test is fairly simple...if you feel depressed for long period of time(more than a day) or have any of the symptoms, chances are you have clinical depression.

Clinical depression treatments usually involve anti-depression drugs...however you can't relax your suicide watch even if someone is taking these drugs. Why? Because the first couple of months the person's system hasn't stabilized yet and the drugs aren't effective yet, and afterwards you always run the risk that the person will simply stop taking their medication(thinking they are cured), which will in turn lead to a suicide attempt since there is nothing stopping them from attempting suicide.

Because of this, if you know someone who is depressed(especially if its adolescent clinical depression), you need to make sure to learn all the potential suicide warning signs, so that you can find out when the person is feeling suicidal, so that you can interfere and help save them from taking their own life. If you yourself have some of those symptoms or are just plain depressed, you need to make sure to make a suicide warning signs guide available to people around you, so that they can learn to recognize potential suicidal feelings in you and help save your life. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, don't let yourself make that mistake.

Natural Cures For Depression, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Usually depression is related with the psychiatric disorder. In this problem a person is unable to concentrate, loss of appetite, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, insomnia and feeling of extreme sadness. In some people these problems occur frequently or slowly and in some people this problem is consistently. For some people it becomes necessary to seek professional help. It is the illness which affects our eats and sleeps and affects our body, mood and thoughts.

Types of Depression and their Symptoms

It is related with the mood disorder that comes in different forms. Commonly there are three types of depression which are in majority.

Major depression

It is a combination of symptoms. It includes sad or irritable mood which last for 2-3 weeks. It is a symptom which interferes in eating, sleeping, ability to work and in the enjoyment of one's pleasurable activities.


In comparison to major depression, it is less severe but long lasting. It includes some chronic symptoms and thus unable the affected person from feeling good. Sometimes it takes the form of major depression.

Bipolar disorder (manic depression)

A group of mood disorders usually called manic depressive illness or manic depression. It involves a cycles of mood that include depression as well as one episode of mania.

Symptoms of Depression and Mania

1. Feeling of hopelessness, pessimism
2. Feeling of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
3. Social isolation
4. Insomnia
5. Weight loss or weight gain
6. Persistently depressing, anxious, irritable or empty mood
7. Restlessness, irritability
8. Difficulty remembering, concentrating, making decisions
9. Crying spells

Natural Treatment for Depression

Exercise or Yoga: Exercise or yoga boost up our mood and it continues to get better for up to 20 minutes. It is observed that jogging for at least 30 minutes in 3 days a week is as effective as psychotherapy in treating depression. Massage therapy and relaxation and deep breathing are also very effective in treating depression.

Clarocet NRI: It is a combination effect of different types of herbs which is very helpful in relieving stress, anxiety and depression.

Meditation or Prayer: To create the capacity of problem solving and to improve our creativity, meditation is very effective technique. Meditation is nothing but an exercise, aiming to prevent thoughts in a natural way. It is performed by deeply relaxing the body physically and then trying to keep the mind completely blank with no thoughts. Only different types of negative thoughts lead to depression. So meditation helps in preventing the negative thoughts to enter our mind.

Recurring Thoughts of Depression Checklist - Are You Clinically Depressed?

Reports say that more than one in five Americans struggle with some form of depression in their lifetime.

Depression is a major issue that affects most Americans either directly or indirectly. If you feel depressed, please realize that you are not alone. Due to the high stress and pressure of living today, most people experience some level of depression during their lifetime.

To help determine if you are suffering a clinical level of depression, please review the following depression symptom checklist to see if you have experienced any of the most common issues associated early depression.

*** Depression Symptom Checklist ***

• Extended loss of energy and interest in daily activities.
• Continually diminishing ability to enjoy life.
• Decreased - or increased - sleeping or appetite.
• Difficulty in concentrating; indecisiveness;
slowed or fuzzy thinking.
• Exaggerated feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety.
• Feelings of worthlessness; recurring thoughts about death and suicide.

If you are experiencing one or more of the issues on the "Depression Symptom Checklist" and are also experiencing some of the following recurring thoughts, you will need to consult your doctor for a simple and very common evaluation.

*** Recurring Thoughts of Depression ***

- I don't know why I did it!
- I can't stop worrying even when I try.
- My life is always up and down.
- I have no energy.
- I just can't seem to get started.
- Why do I speak without thinking first?
- I need to check it out just one more time.
- It seems I have to work so hard to be happy when others don't.
- I can't believe what I've done.
- What's the point? It's not going to work out anyway.
- You mean I'm not supposed to think all the time?
- I'm not meant to be happy.
- People think I'm weird.
- It's so hard to make decisions.
- If I die, the pain will finally go away.
- But what if I make a mistake?
- I'll never forgive myself, and neither will anyone else.
- I hate myself.
- I think I have a chemical imbalance.
- Something must be wrong with me.
- I get in bad moods for no good reason.
- My mind never, ever stops!
- Things are feeling unreal and I'm afraid to tell anybody.
- I just can't seem to get things finished.
- I deserve to suffer because I've hurt so many people.
- I can't stand feeling like I'm going to die or go crazy.
- It's so hard to listen and pay attention.
- Why can't I have a happy, successful relationship?
- Why do I get myself into so much trouble?
- I feel so empty inside.

If you are experiencing any of the previous thoughts or any of the issues on the checklist on a regular basis, do not worry or panic. You are among friends. You are not crazy or hopeless, and you are not destined to be unhappy forever. You're among millions of new people each year who simply fall out of balance. Although feeling "good" again may seem like a hundred years away, that is not the case at all. You will just need to take some responsibility for your own happiness and make an a point to see your doctor to begin your journey back to feeling like yourself again:

Then, when you get in front of your doctor you simply have to say, "I think I'm depressed." Once you do that, your doctor will tell you all about how depression works and how you can overcome it as quickly as possible. You will simply be amazed at how very hopeful your future becomes just by talking to professional.

No matter if you are for or against medical treatments or psychiatrists, if you feel lost and depressed communication with a medical or counseling consultant is the best way back to feeling like yourself again.

** Epilogue: Don't feel embarrassed to say, "I think I'm depressed." Realizing you are not feeling like yourself and seeing someone about it is a very mature step. Once you do it, you will be on your way back to feeling better every day and in every way.

Do Not Suffer in Silence, Depression is Treatable

Many people experience depression at some point in life. On the whole, women are about 50% more likely to have symptoms than men. This is most likely due in part to the significant hormonal changes women experience. Men do get this illness, but they often do not seek out treatment. Instead, they show their state of mind through anger and hostility. Men are 25% more likely to commit suicide than are women. The elderly are another population that often become despondent and who are, as a group, less likely to get help for it.

This is a real illness, not just a state of mind or something that someone can think themselves out of. There are several causes, including genetics, trauma history, physical illness (such as not making enough thyroid hormone), certain medications, chronic pain and grief.

Depression is a mood disorder in which signals are not passed between neurons normally. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that are in charge of passing the signals between neurons. Neurotransmitter signals may be too weak or there may not be enough of a particular neurotransmitter, similar to a phone line with a bad connection.

Symptoms include lack of energy, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, restlessness, weight loss or weight gain of more than 5% in one month, intrusive thoughts of suicide and death, guilt and feeling worthless and hopeless, general irritability, inability to concentrate, loss of enjoyment of favorite activities, self-imposed isolation, physical pain, headaches or even digestive upset that does not respond to any treatment. Any of these symptoms lasting more than two weeks is cause to see a doctor.

Some common forms of the illness include childhood and postpartum depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Children can be depressed and may not be able to tell you in words what they are feeling. Children most often express what they are feeling through their behavior. Be attentive to any changes in the behavior or your children. Postpartum depression occurs in the first year after giving birth. This manifestation of the illness can be very debilitating and guilt producing. The woman may feel that because she just had this wonderful child she should not be feeling the way she does. This is just not true. She needs to get help. Bipolar is characterized by extreme periods of extremely sad, hopeless moods and mania. It tends to run in families. Seasonal affective disorder most often occurs in people living in northern latitudes with short winter days and long nights.

Depression is treatable. Cognitive behavior therapy or psychotherapy in combination with medications is a more successful treatment than therapy or medication alone. Eating well and exercising, taking time to relax and regenerate and listening to your body can help ease symptoms and possibly even prevent the illness. Stress management and reduction techniques, such as visualization, meditation and yoga practice are other ways to help manage symptoms. Light therapy is often the treatment method of choice for seasonal affective disorder.

If you think you or someone you know is suffering from this illness and it has been going on for more than two weeks, seek the attention of a doctor. Depression is a real illness that can sometimes be fatal. Remember that it is not your fault. It is a chemical malfunction in the brain that you have no more control over than a diabetic has control over their own insulin production. Remember that depression is a very treatable illness and that there is no reason to suffer in silence.

Dealing With Change in Life: 7 Reasons Why You Cannot Change

We all accept that we should change to catch the day. The world is changing faster than the day before. Dealing with change in life is vital for success. If you want a better life for yourself, you should learn how to deal with change.

I need to change my life, I want to change my life but I do not know how to deal with change.

These are the words more and more people use everyday. Most of us are aware of the need for a change. You think that you can change and you know how to deal with change. Unfortunately, when you need to take action, you feel like frozen. You hesitate and miss the chance to change.

You know the driving forces of change but somehow they are not strong enough to force you take action.

* Your expectations change
* Your desires change
* Your emotions change
* Your knowledge change
* Your goals change

These driving forces step on the gas but there are other forces which put the brakes on you.

If you can learn the forces which are holding you back from change, you can end these reasons and will not miss a chance ever again. Dealing with change in life is only possible if you can decrease the resisting forces.

7 Reasons why you cannot change your life

Admitting that you need to change your life is a powerful start for change. Now you need to discover the reasons why it is difficult for you to act.

  1. You get used to your life
    People can get used to everything in life and they are satisfied with it. This is a protection mechanism of the mind. Mind protects itself from depression and anxiety by this way. You can get used to any trouble, problem or any condition. The problem is, getting used to anything means being blind. You cannot perceive the problems as they are or you cannot even notice them.

  2. Justify Your Life
    Getting used to your life offers you a strong ability to justify your life. You can justify any problem and you cannot say "I need to change my life" anymore. All the problems fade away with your justification.

  3. Leaving the Comfort Zone
    You get used to your life, you justified every problem and now you are living in your comfort zone. You know what you can and cannot expect. Life is casual. There is nothing new, neither problems nor opportunities. You do not need to change your life because you feel comfortable with it.

  4. Fear of change
    Fear is the strongest emotion in any situation. You do not know how to deal with change and this is freaking you out. Dealing with change in life brings uncertainty and this means you cannot get ready for something you do not know. Worries about the change use all the power of your mind and you do not have much energy for dealing with change.

  5. Social Environment
    You want to spend time with the people who are like you. You share the same problems and you understand one another. You want to be a part of this social environment. There is nothing wrong with it unless they are holding you back from changing your life. You feel too comfortable with them that you do not want to waste your time and energy dealing with change.

  6. You do not have goals
    If you do not have goals, you should not worry about anything. You do not need to change anything unless you have goals. You will swing with the wind and accept everything what life brings. That is hopeless. You must think like that: "I want to change my life for better"

  7. You are not ready to change
    How can you be? There is no time to get ready for a change. Life is changing so fast that all you can do is to adapt to change. Your mind always find a way for dealing with change.

How to deal with change

Now you know the driving and resisting forces of change. That means you can control these forces. Dealing with change is; increasing the driving forces and decreasing the resisting forces. You have the control of resisting forces. You resist to change yourself although you think you want to change your life. So, you should start the change from inside. You can decrease the resisting forces if you can reach your subconscious with subliminal recordings, brainwave entrainment or affirmations. All of these techniques are great tools to help you overcome your limitations.

Early Sign of Depression Symptoms

Depression can really affect your health. It is the problem not only related to your mind but badly affects your physical conditions. People who remain depressed for long time becomes very selfish and immature because they start to lose hope and they always think in negative angles. We all being human beings feel sad occasionally but people who are depressed feel sad on daily basis. The sadness and hopelessness are associated with the depression symptoms but there are some physical symptoms of depression exist as well in people who are suffering from problem of depression.

To give help to all people who are depressed is not an easy thing to do. When you will try to give them comfort form one side, they will think about the other points and when you will try to overcome other, they will take you in some other direction because they are addicted to remain sad and unhappy and when they feel anything good, they immediately start to think that this happiness can bring something else bad for them. So you need to tell them that they are depressed and it is a disease whose only cure is thinking positively.

The depression symptoms which can bring changes physically are less sleep and change in eating habits. When you do not feel sleepy at nights and on the next day, you want to sleep at work or at your school, you are most probably going towards the depression. Same is the case when your eating habits change. Sometimes, you do not feel hungry at all and sometimes, you feel so much hungry when you are depressed. If you are worried for some reason and if you are seeing depression symptoms in you, you should immediately consult someone to help you sort out your problem. Otherwise, you can suffer from depression. Another physical symptom of depression is lack of energy in body for doing anything. When you suffer from depression, you become lazy because your mind is not supporting you and your nervous system remains inactive for long period. In reaction, you feel less energetic and less willing to do anything. This usually happens when you cry and feel sad for long time. During period of crying, you lose your hopes and energy and the next day, you feel tired and lazy.

Chronic and constant headaches are another symptom of depression. Feeling pain in body for more than week and constant headaches can be taken as a positive step through the depression. Some patients feel constant pains in their body without any reason and when they go for medical check up they see nothing is wrong with them. It happens due to the depression. Sometimes, for this reason doctor's advice you to take some depression control medicines and foods which help to maintain your normal depression.

If you think you are suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms, then you should take some guidance and help to overcome your depression problem completely.

Friday, June 13, 2014

IELTS - 10 Tips For Passing the IELTS Exam

To improve your score in the IELTS exams, you should focus on the following ten areas:

1. Improve your overall English ability

The IELTS exam has been designed to test your ability to communicate in English, so ultimately you cannot score well without a high level of English. Learning any language is a slow process that requires hard work and perseverance. The best way to improve your English is to immerse yourself in English...take every opportunity you can to read, write, speak, and listen to English. In addition, try to develop regular habits for doing things in English, such as, reading the daily news in English or starting a blog in English. Research shows that it is important to interact in English frequently as opposed to big chunks of infrequent study.

You can improve your listening skills by listening to the BBC news or watching movies. In doing so, try to understand as much as you can about what the speaker is saying, and do NOT rely on subtitles - they only improve your reading! Reading can be improved by regularly reading English newspapers and novels. Try to guess the meaning of words you don't know and only use a dictionary to check your guesses or for words you can't guess the meaning.

Writing can be improved by writing more about starting a blog or joining a chat group or forum. Speaking can be a tricky one if you are in a non-English speaking country. One thing you can do is to record yourself speaking and listen to it for mistakes. Another thing you can do is to try to meet people over Skype - even if they are non-native speakers you can still benefit from this kind of interaction.

2. Understanding the Exam

The exam always follows the same format, so you should learn about the different question types, and how to answer them. First of all you should be clear about whether you will be taking the General Exam or the Academic Exam because the requirements are quite different for each.

Reading: You should know about the different text types that are used in the reading exam, and also the different question types. This will help you develop reading skills and strategies to answer each type of question, and also let you develop time management skills for each question type. Note: many students have trouble completing the reading section and as a result their grade is often lower than their actual level of English.

Writing: All candidates will write a 250 word essay, so everyone should practice writing a complete 250 word essay within 40 minutes. Many students practice essay writing, but they fail to practice with the time requirement - as a result they are unable to complete their essay during the actual exam. You need to make sure you are preparing for the correct type of exam because general candidates will write a letter whereas academic candidates will write a report based on a graph/diagram. Clearly the requirements are different, so the preparation for each type should be different.

3. Understand how the exam is graded.

Although your exam grade is a single number for each of the four section of the exam, this is not how all sections are assessed. In the speaking and writing sections there are four criteria for assigning a grade. Understanding how each of the criteria is evaluated is essential to maximising your score. This is because we should try to give the examiner what they are looking for so that they will assign a high grade! As an example, in the speaking test - you need to use some idioms or some infrequently used language in order to score a 7 for the vocabulary component of your score. As for grammar, you need to use some complex or compound sentences or your score is limited to a 5, in terms of grammar.

How the writing test is graded

Your writing test is graded and marked from 1-9 in accordance with four key criteria, as follows:

Task Fulfillment: this concerns whether you addressed all parts of the question, and also whether you fully developed all parts of your answer.

Coherence & Cohesion: Coherence refers to your writing being easy to understand and cohesion refers to the way it fits together - such as the quality of your sentence structure, paragraphing, and use of connective devices.

Vocabulary: To score highly you must use higher level words, pay attention to collocation, and also control your word endings (correctly use singular/plural and use the correct verb ending for the correct tense).

Grammar: To score highly you need to use a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, complex) and also avoid grammatical errors, such as with articles and prepositions and sentence order especially when they make your writing difficult to understand.

Special Note: In some instances errors can count in two categories; for example, many grammatical errors also result in a lower score for coherence. On the positive, it is useful to learn lots of connective devices because they can count for Coherence & Cohesion as well as vocabulary. Part of your self-study should be aimed at efficiently using your time to maximize your grade.

How the reading test is graded

Your speaking test is graded and marked from 1-9 in accordance with four key criteria, as follows:

Fluency and coherence: Fluency is about your ability to speak at a normal speed without excessive hesitation and restarting. Coherence refers to your speaking being easy to understand.

Vocabulary: To score highly you must use higher level words, pay attention to collocation, and also control your word endings (correctly use singular/plural and use the correct verb ending for the correct tense). In addition you should try to show an ability to paraphrase and use colloquial language.

Grammar: To score highly you need to use a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, complex) and also avoid grammatical errors, such as with articles and prepositions and sentence order especially when they make your speaking difficult to understand.

Accent: Your grade is influenced by the level to which your accent makes it difficult to understand what you are saying, and also the degree to which you use language features of a native speaker such as intonation, stress, and rhythm.

Special Note: In some instances errors can count in two categories; for example, many grammatical errors also result in a lower score for coherence. On the positive, it is useful to learn lots of connective devices because they can count for Coherence & Cohesion as well as vocabulary. Part of your self-study should be aimed at efficiently using your time to maximize your grade.

4. Do lots of practice exams and receive feedback

Doing lots of practice exams is the best way to familiarize yourself with the specific style, requirements, and necessary success factors of the IELTS exam. It is also a way to make mistakes without suffering any penalty. For example, better you find out that you have trouble with the time constraints of the exam before you actually sit the exam. Practice tests also give you insights about the types of questions you will be asked and the answers they require. For instance, many of the answers in the reading exam are synonyms (word with similar meanings) of words in the text. This is useful knowledge because there is usually no point in trying to find words in the answers in the text - instead you need to work on your skill in finding synonyms for these words. This avoids you wasting time looking for words that are not there!

Doing practice exams is not enough. Make sure you maximise the effectiveness of your learning by learning from your mistakes. Try to see patterns in your errors - what kinds of errors are you frequently making? The next step is to learn to overcome these errors. If they are grammatical errors you should do some grammar quizzes focused on that area, an excellent site is at

Of course if you are doing practice writing exams you will need a professional to give you feedback on your mistakes and how to avoid them. This is not just about proofreading for errors, you may have problems with the way you are structuring your essays. You are welcome to post in the writing section of my forum, which is available on the website connected to this article.

5. Developing skills

In addition to improving your general level of English and doing practice exams, you also need to work on many skills that will help you to perform better on the test. Reading skills such as skimming (which parts you should strategically read) and scanning (best choices for searching for information) are essential to deal with the time pressure of the reading exam.

Writing skills such as how to structure an essay and how to highlight your key points are necessary to score 7 and above. If you are doing the academic test you will need to learn how to write a report based on a graph/diagram - this requires a lot of specific vocabulary as well as a high level of ability in using the correct tense to describe trends. For the speaking exam you need to learn how to structure answers to questions and to quickly paraphrase words you don't know (part of the criteria for level 7 and above) and you will need to develop skills in note making and speech making for the part 2 long answer.

To score well in the listening exam, you should develop excellent pre-listening skills, so that you can predict answers and establish listening objectives. It is also useful to have skills in guessing the meaning of words - as you are likely to encounter many of these!

6. Work on your time management

In the IELTS test, time management is a vital element and so part of your preparation should focus on how you will manage your time in the exam. Candidates who do not perform as well as they had hoped often complain that they were unable to finish all parts of the test.

In order to improve upon your time management, you should improve your general English ability, do lots of practice exams under time restrictions, and work on skills that assist your ability to deal with the time pressures of the exam (such as skimming and scanning in the reading exam).

7. Get a tutor or join a class

If you really want to make progress, especially in a short period of time, you really need to join a class or hire a tutor. This is because a tutor or teacher can guide you on how to prepare for the exam, what skills to develop, and also give you valuable feedback on your practice exams and performance in class. Of course it is better to have a face to face class. However, if for some reason you are not able to meet with someone face to face, I have a low priced online service where we can chat online. My essay correction and feedback service may be of use to you also - even if you already have a teacher; do they have the time and experience to give you the level of correction and feedback that you require?

8. Find a study partner

One of the most overlooked resources of most English learners is a study partner. It seems many people think that they can only practice their English with a native speaker; however, it's not true. There are a lot of mutual benefits of having a conversation with another student or with reading each other's essays. Even though you may be at the same IELTS level you will have different strengths and weaknesses. Also, any kind of practice is still worthwhile because it still gets you using and thinking in the language. Finally, you can help motivate each other!

9. Set realistic goals

Part of knowing the exam and understanding the grading criteria is about knowing where you personally are and what you must do to get to the next level. It takes about 10 weeks of full-time study for most students to rise to the next IELTS level. Therefore if you are a level 5 student, it is not likely that you will be able to get a 7 within 10 weeks. It is best to be working on raising one level. To illustrate this if you are a level 5 student you should be focusing on things like correctly using complex sentences, learning to paraphrase unknown words, and the overall structure of an essay.

10. Establish a timetable and reward system

Based on the goals you have set for yourself you should set up a timetable for reaching those goals. A timetable will help you to push yourself to study and to get through sufficient work to achieve those goals. As mentioned above it takes about 10 weeks of full-time study to raise one level - so if you really do want to jump two levels within 10 weeks, you will need to work twice as hard as a full time student - and study about 10-12 hours per day! If you are gifted it may take less, but don't kid yourself.

Set aside the maximum number of hours you can spare each day to practise English for all four parts of the test. Practice regularly and give yourself a reward between tasks (I like ice-cream!). Take at least one day out of your week to rest and forget the test completely or you will become stale and depression may start to kick-in! Take every opportunity to immerse yourself in English whenever you can. Watch TV and films, listen to the radio, visit English websites and have as many conversations with native English speakers as you can.

Depression Pills - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

The depression pills known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed medication for depression. SSRIs work by blocking the reuptake of a chemical transmitter called serotonin into the nerve cell endings. This action maintains a higher level of serotonin in the brain, which in theory reduces symptoms of depression.

The first drug in this category to find its way to the market was Prozac in 1988 followed by Paxil and a few others. From day one they have been the most popular and some would argue most overprescribed prescription antidepressant medication. Perhaps on reason for their popularity is that their side effects are less severe than older antidepressants (MAO inhibitors) and the consequences of overdose are also much less severe. 

An SSRI is often a doctor's first choice in treating cases of depression. These drugs are also used in cases involving dysthymia and seasonal affective disorder. They usually take from one to four weeks to become effective. While their side effects are not as severe as older antidepressants the list is still very long. Side effects include increased anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, insomnia, apathy, lack of sexual interest, dizziness, sweating, tremors, dry mouth, weight loss, weight gain and headache.

Additional complications:

*Drug interactions: Taking SSRIs with another type of antidepressant called MAO inhibitors can trigger dangerous even life threatening interactions.

*Suicide in children: The popular SSRI Paxil has been linked to an increase in self harm in children which could possibly lead to suicidal attempts.

*Withdrawal: Abrupt discontinuation of any antidepressant including SSRIs can produce flu like symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, sweating and headache. Sudden withdrawal has also been linked to sleep problems and vivid dreams.

*If you are bipolar just say no: If you have bipolar disorder SSRIs can activate manic states which can involve dangerous behaviors. 

Naming names 

There are currently six selective serotonin uptake inhibitors on the market. They are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.
In summary, if you have severe depression you should consult with your doctor to find the best treatment option for your unique situation. On the other hand many people with mild to moderate depression have found help in the form of herbal remedies for depression containing ingredients such as St. John's wort and Passionflower. These all natural alternatives are very safe and have been shown to be effective as a stand alone treatment or in combination with behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy. Herbs should not be mixed prescription antidepressant medications and you should consult your doctor before changing your treatment plan.

Are You a Little Low on Serotonin or Dopamine? Take A Test!

Ladies, do you feel depressed or overwhelmed by your moods? Men, do you frequently have low energy or can't focus? Did you know that this could be from a lack of serotonin in women and dopamine in men? These are brain chemicals and when they're at normal levels they create a sense of well being and contentment.

Many experts, including among others, John Gray, PhD., world-famous author suggests that we can create health, happiness and lasting romance by following a simple nutrition and exercise routine, as well as putting into practice some relationship and communication skills he recommends. The nutrition program helps the body create more serotonin and dopamine just by giving it the nutrients it needs each day, many of which we're not getting in our foods any more.

Dr. Gray says:

"... works immediately for more than 90 percent of the people who try it. The program is so easy to apply that almost everyone who tries it benefits immediately. Many, under the supervision of their doctors, have gradually gone off such psychoactive medications as Prozac. Thousands of overweight people have lost and kept off their extra weight in just a few weeks. Every day I hear the stories of increased health, energy, successful weight management, and better sleep at night.

Do you know if your serotonin or dopamine level is low? Take a test to see if you're deficient in these vital brain chemicals.

Take this test:

Find Out if you're deficient in the vital brain chemicals that help make you healthy and happy.


1) Do you have lots of energy and passion at work but not at home? Work is stimulating and challenging, but when you get home, you don't have energy?

2) Have you found that your interest and passion declined as your relationship with your partner/spouse continued over the years? You find you avoid eye contact, you're distracted, and conversations with her are dull?

3) Are you inattentive and impatient? Have you lost interest in what your partner talks about and can't focus your attention on what she's saying?

4) Are you impulsive? You can't take time to think through a problem or reflect on your feelings?

5) Are you forgetful? Does your motivation drop and you forget, but you can always remember football games, important business calls, or problems at work?

6) Are you solution oriented with your spouse? You always want to solve her problems right away or talk her out of her emotional upset?

7) Are you unavailable emotionally? Do you need to go somewhere by yourself in your home for long periods and you can't devote time to listen to your partner?

8) Do you have tunnel vision? You can focus only on big problems and you ignore the little ones? And even if you know the little ones, you have no energy to put your attention to solving them?

9) Are you bored and have addictions? Are you bored with most normal life experiences and have developed addictions to escape this boredom? Addictive substances or behaviors such as excessive sports, video games, alcohol, drugs, smoking, sugar, coffee, overworking, oversleeping, over-exercising, excessive TV watching?

10) Do you need space and distance after sex? Do you fall asleep right away after sex?


1) Do you have what Dr. Gray calls temporary amnesia? You're hungry and your partner waits a while to get food. Your blood sugar level drops and during this period you forget any good thing your partner/spouse has ever done?

2) Do you have sudden mood changes?

3) Are you needy at lot of the time? You're less autonomous that normal?

4) Do you give too much...often being driven by feelings of excessive caring, obligation and responsibility for others? Do you fail to give yourself what you need?

5) Are you resentful and hurt when you give too much?

6) Do you have unrealistic expectations, thinking that your partner knows the way you feel and think? (According to Dr. Gray, most men don't have a clue what women think and feel.)

7) Do you feel a need to help your partner even though he may not be asking for help? You're wanting to change him to improve him and you offer unsolicited advice?

8) Do you feel overwhelmed? There is too much to do and too little time to do it? You want to always please others?

9) Are you depressed? (These are signs of depression: chronic distress and despair; strong feelings of guilt and regret; feelings of isolation, abandonment and hopelessness; indifference toward life and relationships; inhibited sex drive; numbness or flatness of feeling; inability to sleep at night; lack of passion or interest; resistance to having fun; unwillingness to make relationships work; chronic fatigue; little or excessive hunger.)

10) Are you obese and do you eat emotionally to avoid or minimize your feelings of depression?

If you answered YES to 5 or more of these, you may have a brain chemical imbalance. And according to Dr. Gray, most of us have DO have an imbalance in brain chemistry.

How do we correct the deficiencies and imbalances that may be creating our feelings of depression and overwhelm, ladies, or feeling lack of energy or not being able to focus, men? The MAGIC KEY for all of us is in our's what we eat that greatly affects our health, happiness and love life.

Gray says,"A perfect" diet contains no sugar, no dairy, no bread, no processed foods, no hydrogenated fats. While attending with a Nobel Prize winning MD practicing in Mexico, every day, I witnessed patients who stopped addictions without any withdrawal symptoms by means of intravenous amino acid supplementation. Patients could come in high on heroin or cocaine and leave in nine days free from addictive cravings...

"Tears of joy would come to their eyes as they shared how happy they were. For the first time in theirs lives, such patients were producing healthy amounts of brain chemicals. All their unhealthy cravings seemingly vanished."

Gray's quest to find a natural way of getting the amino acids our bodies need so that we wouldn't have to travel to Mexico or get them intravenously. He found a nutrient-dense breakfast meal replacement shake that was rich in the amino acids he was looking for. All he had to do was eat his amino acids.

It is easy to lose weight, because the amino acid supplementation takes away all cravings for extra food. Correct brain chemistry gives us relaxation and endless energy. With this support for our brain, we stop overeating to get more energy or to find comfort. Think about learning more about brain chemistry in your pursuit of optimal health.

Regain Your Life After Depression - The Emotional SOS Approach

What is Depression?

Depression is a condition that can affect anyone, of any age. It can affect a person regardless of their circumstances or life experiences. In fact, one in five people will suffer depression at some point in their lives. It can be brought on by a number of mental and physical factors. Often it is hereditary, or brought on by hormones in the body. Sometimes if a person is not receiving adequate nutrition they may become depressed.

Stress is another known factor as well as drugs alcohol. Studies have also shown that many sufferers of depression have long term sleeping difficulties. Psychological causes of depression due to personal circumstances are very common. For example if someone loses a child or someone related or close to them it can often trigger depression. Other social impacts such as status or reputation can also have an impact on a person's self esteem or create additional stress which can lead to symptoms of depression.

Why do people suffer depression?

Unfortunately, unlike most medical conditions, it is extremely difficult to determine why a person suffers depression and when it started. Many sufferers tend to isolate themselves from social environments or hide their feelings from family and friends. Doctors believe some people are more susceptible than others and their depression can be triggered a lot easier. The symptoms of depression tend to vary between people depending on their personalities and method of coping. A person suffering depression is seen to be experiencing sadness helplessness and hopelessness. These people normally come across as pessimistic and have low self esteem. It can deplete motivation even to the point where the sufferer may not be able to get out of bed.

Some turn to drugs and alcohol?

People can deal with depression in several ways often depending on their personality. Some people suffer low self esteem in conjunction with depression which makes it harder to deal with. These people put themselves down and fail to see and positives which can cause their depression to become even worse. Some people will become angry and antisocial, isolating themselves from their support which can often have a negative effect. Many people, more commonly teenagers and young adults are known to turn to drugs and alcohol. This often exacerbates the situation. These substances are unhealthy and can have mental effects that can exponentially increase the effects of their condition.

Unfortunately, depression not only makes the sufferer feel down and unhappy, it can also affect other areas of their life. Younger people tend drop their performance in school, others at work, and it can also have an impact on their relationships.

What are the treatments available?

There are treatments and method to suppress the symptoms of depression. These include short term cures such as anti depressant medication, or seeing a psychologist. Anti depressants cure the condition by changing the chemical balance in the brain to change the moods and feeling of the person. Unfortunately this treatment cannot be used long term and is only effective in fifty percent of cases.

Diet and exercise can have an effect. Many sufferer's have reported significant changes in their condition just by eating healthier and exercising more often. Cognitive behavior therapy is used to give a person tools to cope with times when they feel depressed or to avoid getting into these situations. The benefits of this approach are that the results can last a lifetime. However it often suggested by doctors that sufferers take part in these treatments simultaneously for maximum results.

How Damian cured his depression.

Damian suffered from Depression for over 15 years and is now cured. He spent these years researching the condition and developed numerous steps to find his way out. His preference was to regain his life without taking anti-depressants. So he created a plan for his day to day activities and began to put that plan into action. Over time the clouds of depression began to lift and this helped him to see the world more clearly. This clarity led to refinements to his plan and eventually to his cure.

Damian provides visitors to his website with a free booklet to explain some of the steps he took. You can find this by clicking the links below this article.


Damian found a way to cure his depression without taking anti-depressants. He does not advocate his methods as a solution for everyone but he does believe that his approach helps people to better understand why they have the condition. This is important because Damian believes that when people understand what is happening to them and why, they are then better equipped to deal with the condition and to find a way out.

Emotional SOS helped Damian to get his life back. It may work for others too.

Help Someone With Depression - Proven Techniques to Eliminate Depression!

How do you  help someone with depression?   There comes a particular time in our lives when we feel sad and down, these may be signs and symptoms of depression. The reason may range from death of loved one, an experience of betrayal, or loss of a job.  The kind of down time we go through is situational and after sometime we recover and bounce back to life. 

The signs and symptoms of this disorder may include extreme grief, loss of appetite, loss of interest in previously desired activities, feelings of helplessness, manic disorders and suicidal thoughts which one will need to treat.  If the onset is severe,  this scenario may last for weeks, months, and even years. 

Also, signs and symptoms of this condition may include a severe case of bipolar disease. It is important to test to see if a person has bipolar disease, when trying to help someone with depression. It is situational, in that they may appear extremely happy at one time then fall back into chronic despair the next moment.  Evidently, there may be an urgent need to help treat someone suffering from this illness especially if they are dealing with the chronic or even manic symptoms.

Whether it is mild or severe, the experience affects not only the person himself but the significant others in his life.  As a parent, brother, sister, or friend there is so much that you can do to help someone with depression.  First of all, knowledge is power.  Learn about the illness, find out every major thing there is to know about it.  Find out ways to test their reactive level in order to help with their treatment.

Pay particular attention to the signs and symptoms that the person you want to help exhibits.  If you put yourself in the shoes of a depressed person you will understand how he really feels and what exactly he is going through.  In this way, you can help him through the process of treatment all the way. 

The only way to start dealing with or to help someone with depression is to help them accept the fact that indeed the problem exists, even if it is a mild case.  However, going right up and making face to face confrontations will not really help someone with depression.  In fact, it may only encourage denial and hence the signs and symptoms may worsen.  Consequently, a patient and caring procedure is called for.  Let the person talk openly and listen attentively to what he has to say.  Listen some more and never make jokes to cheer him out of it in an attempt to make him feel better.

If there is anything that one can do to help ease the condition, it is to demonstrate all the emotional and physical support that you can.  Tell the person how much you understand what he is going through and assure him that you will be there if he needs you.  It also helps a lot when you get the person to do some physical activities (exercise, playing sports, etc.) with you to prevent him from thinking too much about his concerns.  You may also ask the assistance of other loved ones and friends so that the person will get engulfed in love and understanding. 

Finally, remember that there is only so much that you can do to help someone with depression.  If you notice that the particular signs and symptoms have not been reduced but they are still very reactive, it is time to refer the case to clinical professionals who are experts in dealing with the disease. 

So are there fast and simply ways to help someone dealing with this illness?  While there are no fast and simple ways , there are consistent things you can do daily to help heal and prevent further onset of the illness.

The Side Effects Of Depression Medications - Are You Aware Of Them?

Ultram is an anti-depressant which is highly recommended for pain-relief in certain chronic conditions. Another name for Ultram is Tramadol that has opioid and mono-aminergic properties. Opioid is quite effective in treating chronic pain and components of this medication slow down serotonin and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) stimulation, that plays a role in depressive disorders.


1. Relaxes your mind and frees you from all sorts of pain

2. Enhances your mood making you more energetic and lively

This is the reason for using Ultram as medicine to treat depression.

Side Effects

1. Ultram Addiction - Ultram can prove to be addictive for those who do not consult their doctor before going for it. Sometimes, self-medication makes you tolerant to the dose and you get a constant feeling to increase it and you get addicted. Such withdrawal symptoms like sleeplessness, nervousness and mood disorders start to occur if you stop taking the drug.

2. The other effects of Ultram are mild and short-lived like you might get the feeling of dizziness, drowsiness, stomach or intestinal distress (usually constipation). This is the reason why the patients taking Ultram are not allowed to drive.


Every medicine or drug has certain side-effects and benefits, and Ultram is not an exception. Here are some of the benefits of Ultram:

1. Ultram is quite effective in reducing pain from cancer, spinal problems (kyphosis, scoliosis), arthritis and even surgery!

2. In some cases, physicians prescribe this drug to help people with severe, chronic headaches and endometriosis.


1. No self medication please - Always consult your doctor before you stop or reduce any medication, mild drowsiness at one dose can become a deadly blackout in another. Never pass on this drug to a friend, even if he/she is in great trouble or pain - what works for you could be fatal for him. Your doctor is the only resource to help you to get rid of this Ultram addiction.

2. Before you decide to start on Ultram, be honest with your physician about your previous drugs' records. Sometimes, people having any other addiction in their present or in the past may be more prone to Ultram addiction. So do not forget that at this moment, your doctor is your God who will help you to get rid of all your problems!

So, you can make this drug a powerful tool to help you reach the active, pain-free life you deserve! Just be aware of all the side-effects and benefits of any medicine that you are currently taking and get rid of your problem without any hassles! Ward off all the myths and pre-conceived notions about its use and following these guidelines, just move ahead with it and get a NEW YOU!!!

I wish you the best of health throughout your life!

Depression Hurts Body and Mind

When depression hurts it affects the body and mind. Depression appears as symptoms that can be very debilitating. A change of appetite is a symptom that occurs often in some cases it will inhibit appetite and such as in Atypical depression it can have the opposite effect and increase appetite. This is just one example where depression hurts.

The bodies need for sleep can also be disturbed and almost all depressed individuals experience a loss of sleep. As a matter of fact 80 percent of individuals suffering from depression experience insomnia while 15 percent sleep excessively. Fatigue is another complaint many depressed individuals experience. It can be so severe that physical movement can be difficult and actually come to a halt. This being another example of where depression hurts.

It has been shown that depression hurts by affecting the bodies system. Depression can affect the heart a place an individual at risk for heart disease. It also can raise the risk for those who may already have heart disease. It is not known why but researchers have discovered that depression alters blood platelets, who's functions are responsible for clotting. This example shows how depression hurts and can be dangerous.

Depression can even changes in bone mass leading to osteoporosis. But nothing is more insistent than the physical pain depression can cause. For nearly half of the individuals suffering from depression, body pain is one way depression hurts and can exhibit itself.

The pain is usually unexplained by injury and shows up as headaches, abdominal pain, or musculoskeletal pains in the lower back, joints and neck. They can appear alone or in any combination.

The depression can go untreated for the doctor or health professional nor the sufferer are aware of the true source of the problem. The pain is not in the head and is very real but it drives the sufferer to seek help from a primary physician or orthopedist in belief there is something wrong with their body.

Treating the physical symptoms caused by depression is as important as recognizing it. Depression hurts and to ensure a full recovery it is important to eliminate the pain. Persistent pain can keep people from functioning properly in their professional and personal live increasing the risk for suicide.

Nerve pathways which are presided over by the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine are where emotional symptoms arise, the painful symptoms of depression also arise on these specific nerve pathways. These pathways travel up into the brains frontal cortex where they help with thinking and mood. They also travel up to the brain's hypothalamus where they assist in eating, sleeping and sex drive.

But these pathways travel down into the spinal cord as well and this is where the problem lies and why depression hurts. Normally functions such as the stomach digesting and muskuloskelotal functions are fed through the central nervous system. However, these sensations are normally suppressed from consciousness that allows us to pay attention to the world outside our bodies.

That suppression is normally regulated by serotonin and norepineprhine dependent nerve fibers that travel from the brain to the spinal cord. In depression they become dysfunctional and normal sensory inputs escape into the brain where it is interpreted as painful when really there is nothing wrong. Depression can hurt even when there really is nothing wrong.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Suicide and Depression - What to Look For and Treatment Options

Suicide is a word that most people speak in hushed tones, if they speak of it at all. There is an expression that if a person talks about suicide than they will not attempt it. People should not ignore anyone who mentions suicidal thoughts. Instead, the person who may be suicidal should be steered toward the help he or she desperately needs. A mental health professional is very capable of handling the situation.

Factors as to why a person has become suicidal can include clinical depression, drug or alcohol abuse, and a family history of depression/suicide. A person could also have someone that he or she cared about die by suicide (family/friend or celebrity) and that could trigger the thoughts. Suicide deaths are split up between the age groups.

Women are more likely to seek help for depression and suicidal thoughts whereas men are the ones who are more likely to commit suicide. There are uncertainties as to why this is. Men may be less likely to seek help from a professional before it is too late. Men are also the ones most likely to choose firearms to perform the task. Firearms are deadly no matter what. No one with a history of severe depression should have access to guns period.

Depression and suicide are thought to connect. Depression may not always lead to suicidal thoughts but the chance is always there. This is why it is imperative to get someone to a mental health professional when depression is noted. Many anti-depressants are on the market that will help a person to feel better. Unfortunately there can be many side effects. Through trial and error the doctor can find the one that works though.

Many of those who are depressed do not realize that they are. For this reason, it may be up to friends or family to take note and push an individual towards help. Notation should be made that depression is a treatable illness. This fact should be reiterated to patients so they understand this. Any medications need to be taken continuously as instructed by the doctor or a relapse can occur. Reading and researching has been found to be a great help to patients who suffer from suicidal thoughts as well as depression. Many good books can be found online or in the library.

If any of the following symptoms of depression are noticed, seek help as soon as humanly possible.

o A constant sadness
o No pleasure in anything
o Crying, feeling hopeless or constant negativity
o A decrease in energy levels
o Lack of concentration or ability to make decisions
o Sleep patterns that are disturbed (too much or too little sleep)
o Change in appetite and/or weight

Only a token few are listed. Every individual is different. This article was written as a guideline in what to look for and how to prevent depression and suicide.

Strange Insomnia Depression - Understanding the Link Between Insomnia and Mood Swings

Have you experienced that ever-changing mood at the office throughout the day, and finding it hard to find sleep at night? Well you should not be surprised about the connection between sleep, depression and the change in mood since these things are often inter-linked with one another. In fact some doctors are saying that problems sleeping and a form of depression are linked with each other and these things all contribute to mood disorder. According to some researches, around 80 percent of depressed people also have trouble finding a good sleep at night.

With this in mind, you can really say that a depressed person will likely develop insomnia and someone who has insomnia has a higher chance of getting depressed thus his mood may change any time, any day.

Insomnia as sign of depression

This is true they say since the insomnia is referred as a major symptom of insomnia. And in the process, the insomnia and sleeping issues that can be experienced by the person will then lead to mood swings. And we all know what mood swings can do to the lifestyle of the person and his productivity.

There are a number of studies that have been made that correlated depression and insomnia. For example there is the study of Dr. Michael Perlis about the link between insomnia and depression. In his research, he found out that insomnia is an early sign of depression in a person. The researcher added that the trouble of the person finding sleep often proceeds moments of depression by around five weeks.

By some researches, it has been found out that the trouble sleep of one person will also bring in the depression and this depression that the person will experience will serve as the switch in the whole nervous system of the person and these events can lead to many depressive episodes. The effects on people with depression are not only at the surface, since the effect goes down deep. For example, the depressed person will not only wake up at night and have interrupted sleep but the whole make up of the sleep of the depressed person will be affected as well. You need to remember that a good night sleep for someone who is healthy is well-structured. For the depressed person with sleeping issues, the sleep patterns and the make-up of the sleep is shattered.

Normal sleep for non-depressed person as opposed to abnormal sleep

For the healthy person, his sleep will be marked with four or five cycles of sleep. The person's sleep will often cycle though periods of deepening, relaxing sleep and these are marked by the slow waves in the brain. Then the person will go directly go to dream sleep and this will be marked by great brain activity and the rapid eye movements.

But for the depressed people, there is a big shift in sleep activities. The depressed person directly goes into REM sleep. And according to some researchers, this is not a good thing.

In the simplest terms, depression and insomnia can be a bad mix that needs to be attended well.

Plants That Are Toxic To Cats

In most cases, people who love their animals also love their houseplants. Houseplants breathe life into a home just like owning a cat does. It seems both pets and houseplants go hand-in-hand, but in reality they can be a deadly combination if the owner is not aware of which plants are toxic to their furry friends.

Any cat owner who also dabbles in gardening or owns houseplants should familiarize themselves with the list below. It's a surprising list to say the least. Many very common and useful plants are on this list. Even the aloe vera plant, known for its medicinal value as a topical treatment for cuts and burns, is poisonous to cats. Even more surprising is that tomato and pea plants are toxic to cats as well. It's a scary feeling to read this list and count the number of common plants lying around the house just waiting to poison the beloved feline of the home.

House Plants Toxic to Cats:

1. Aloe Vera - Symptoms: Vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, anorexia, depression, and a change in the color of urine.

2. Asparagus Fern - Symptoms: Allergic dermatitis, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

3. Baby's Breath - Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea.

4. Begonia - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

5. Bird of Paradise Flower - Symptoms: Mild nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.

6. Caladium (also known as Elephant Ears or Taro) - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

7. Cardboard Palm - Symptoms: Liver failure, excessive thirst, bruising, melena, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, vomiting, pathy, liver damage, liver failure and death.

8. Carnation - Symptoms: Mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis.

9. Ceriman - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, vomiting, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

10. Charming Dieffenbachia - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, vomiting, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.

11. Chinese Jade - Symptoms: Nausea and retching.

12. Chrysanthemum - Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, in-coordination, and dermatitis.

13. Coleus - Symptoms: Vomiting blood, bloody diarrhea, depression, and anorexia.

14. Corn Plant - Symptoms: Vomiting blood, depression, anorexia, hyper-salivation, and dilated pupils.

15. Cyclamen - Symptoms: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, seizure, and death.

16. Daffodil (also known as narcissus) - Symptoms: Vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmia.

17. Dahlia - Symptoms: Mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis.

18. Dieffenbachia - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

19. Everlasting Pea (also known as Sweet Pea) - Symptoms: Weakness, lethargy, pacing, head pressing, tremors, seizures, and possibly death.

20. Fig (also known as Indian Rubber Plant) - Symptoms: Dermatitis, oral irritation, excessive salivation, and vomiting.

21. Flamingo Flower - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

22. Florida Beauty - Symptoms: Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, increased heart-rate, abdominal pain, vomiting, depression, in-coordination, weakness, and drooling.

23. Hyacinth, both Garden Hyacinth and Water Hyacinth are toxic to dogs and cats. Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, and allergic reactions.

24. Gladiola - Symptoms: Vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea.

25. Hellebore - Symptoms: Drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colic, and depression.

26. Hosta - Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression.

27. Ivy is yet another botanical genre that should be avoided by pet owners. Many different species of ivy are toxic to both dogs and cats. The variations to especially watch for are the Branching Ivy, English ivy, Devil's Ivy (also known as Golden Pothos), and Sweetheart Ivy - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

28. Jade Plant (also known as Chinese or Japanese Rubber Plant) - Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, ataxia, and slow heart rate.

29. Kiss-me-quick - Symptoms: Tremors, seizures (for several days), diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivation, lethargy, in-coordination, and coughing.

30. Lacy Tree Philodendron - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

31. Lily Family - Nearly all lilies are toxic to both dogs and cats. The variations to especially watch for are Amaryllis, Arum Lily, Asian Lily, Stargazer Lily, Barbados Lily, Clivia Lily, Desert Azalea, Easter Lily, Giant Dracaena (also known as the Palm Lily), Lily-Of-The-Valley, Orange Day Lily, Tiger Lily, Trumpet Lily, and Wood Lily. With so many different species of lilies that are toxic to cats and dogs alike, it's best for pet owners to simply avoid lilies altogether. Symptoms: Diarrhea, depression, vomiting, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, tremors, excessive drooling, irritation to oral cavity, difficulty swallowing, cardiac arrhythmia, convulsions, kidney failure, and death.

32. Mistletoe - Symptoms: Gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular collapse, difficulty breathing, slow heart rate, odd behavior that would point to signs of hallucinations, vomiting, and diarrhea.

33. Nephthytis - Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

34. Orange - Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and sometimes photo-sensitivity.

35. Pencil Cactus - Symptoms: Irritation of the oral cavity and vomiting.

36. Poinsettia - Symptoms: Irritation of the oral cavity and vomiting.

37. Primrose - Symptoms: Mild vomiting.

38. Spring Parsley - Symptoms: Photo-sensitivity, ulcerative dermatitis, exudative dermatitis, and ocular toxicity.

39. Tomato Plant - Symptoms: Excessive drooling, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, depression, confusion, bradycardia (slow heart rate), dilated pupils, weakness, and change in behavior.

40. Tulip - Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and excessive drooling.

41. Yucca - Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea.

It should be noted that many of these plants are popular flowers used in arrangements. Even though a cat owner has taken great care to ensure their home and yard is free from these toxic plants, any flower arrangements brought into the home should also be kept out of reach of your cat.

It should never be assumed that a cat will instinctively leave a toxic plant alone. Thousands of cats are taken to the veterinarian each year on an emergency basis due to ingestion of a toxic houseplant. By becoming familiar with this list, a cat owner can rest assured their home is a safe environment for their beloved feline.

Extreme Depression

At its worst, depression can be extreme depression. Most people won't look for assistance for this condition until it's so extreme that it requires years to manage. Some kind of depression impacts more than 15 million Americans each and every year. The unhappy reality is that only 1/3rd of those struggling with this illness will ever look for health-related help. Evidently the age-old stereotypes elated to any psychological sickness leads these people to conceal their affliction and attempt to wish it away. The fact is that severe depression won't be wished absent. The situation will get worse and people afflicted won't be able to manage.

Numerous Americans are ashamed to confess they're afflicted. Extreme depression is no reflection on you as a human being. You are nonetheless a complete individual. Like coronary heart illness or cancer, depression is a sickness. Health-related help is needed. When depression reaches the extreme degree it merely indicates that all the regular signs and symptoms with the illness are magnified. The intensity kicks up numerous notches. Life turns out to be much more than challenging. The feelings of worthlessness start to totally eat you and pull you deeper into yourself. This sickness can't be prevented. However it can be addressed. It is important to detect it early.

The capability to determine the signs and symptoms related with depression is vital. There are numerous warning signals. One of the most apparent is the fact that the sufferer will start to draw in on their own. They discover it difficult to cope with these about them. They can't overcome their feelings of guilt, hopelessness and uselessness. They usually appear indignant and short-tempered. Within the worst instances those struggling from this illness might really feel that they hear voices or think they've been visited by Satan. Extreme depression sufferers frequently try suicide to end their ordeal. These impacted by this sickness require the help of these about them and therapy which will give them self-confidence.

Extreme depression is really a horrible illness. Those who endure it can't live regular lives. A total lack of control is really a horrible prospect. Hope is slim, but in therapy there is hope. The weapons of choice in the battle against depression are anti-depressants and therapy. Help teams may also assist. The route to a much better life begins with seeking help. It is very possible for sufferers to regain more control of their lives.

Neurotic Depression And The Patient

Here, perhaps, is the great advantage possessed by the general practitioner over his hospital colleagues. He knows the patient and his family and is much better equipped to appreciate such subtleties. The onset is more likely to be abrupt, with an evident relationship to some situation that is stressful for that particular patient.

The early history of the patient provides evidence of the vulnerability of his personality. In childhood, shyness, timidity and phobias may have been prominent and the stresses of daily everyday life may have proved impossible to absorb due to undue anxiety or depression. The illness is generally much more variable and responsive to environmental factors than endogenous depression. The patient can brighten up if daily life seem hopeful, but is readily tilted into gloom if circumstances become adverse. Good days and bad days are a feature of the history of depression.

The quality of the depression experienced by the neurotic patient is often more akin to normal sadness or grief than to the emotional experience of the endogenously depressed patient. It tends to be aggravated by the variation of the day and to be at its worst in the evenings. Though generally mild to moderate in degree, the depression may, in occasional patients, be severe. The mood of the patient tends to reflect self-pity rather than self-blame or guilt. Initial insomnia is the common form of sleep disturbance. Anxiety is often prominent and is associated with poor concentration and fatigue. Suicidal ideas and both attempted and successful suicide are common and certainly, the belief that the depression is 'only' neurotic should not engender any false optimism.

Throughout the world the rate of depression related suicides, or problems directly related as a result of depression is on the increase as our daily lives become more and more fast paced. A relationship between a large number of social factors and suicide has been made evident as the result of epidemiological studies. Social class, the nature of employment, geography, race and the degree of social disorganisation exert subtle influences on the individual decision to kill oneself; but through the determinants of suicide are always multiple and complex, in the majority of patients mental illness is of the utmost importance. Although depression is not the only psychiatric disorder associated with suicide, it is unquestionably the most important.

Important epidemiological differences between those who commit and those who attempt suicide have been demonstrated. Nevertheless, the similarities are more important than the differences. Both those attempting and those succeeding in suicide the same psychiatric disorders play their interacting parts. A patient showing signs of severe depression may have already entertained the idea of suicide. There need be no fear that one will put ideas into the patient's head - the ideas are there already. Naturally, there is no need to be blunt about it. The question should be put gently and sympathetically. Some such query as, "Do you sometimes feel life is not worth living?" is a useful beginning and it is seldom necessary to be more pointed.

The recognition of the protean presentations of depression is the most important way we can help to prevent suicide; and it is well to recognize that certain groups of individuals such as the elderly, those living on their own and those recently bereaved are especially at risk.

Schizophrenia Naturally

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Approximately one percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime - more than two million Americans suffer from the illness in any given year. Although schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency, the disorder often appears earlier in men, usually in the late teens or early twenties; women are generally affected in the twenties to early thirties. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. These symptoms may leave them fearful and withdrawn. Their speech and behaviour can be disorganised and strange to the extent that they may be incomprehensible or frightening to others.

How is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

There is currently no physical or lab test that can conclusively diagnose schizophrenia - a psychiatrist usually makes the diagnosis based on clinical symptoms. Physical testing can rule out many other conditions (seizure disorders, metabolic disorders, thyroid dysfunction, brain tumour, the effects of street drug use, and so on) that sometimes have similar symptoms.

What causes Schizophrenia?

Although the exact cause of schizophrenia remains unknown, experts agree that schizophrenia develops as a result of interplay between biological predisposition (for example, inheriting certain genes) and environmental factors. These lines of research are beginning to converge: brain development disruption is likely the result of genetic and/or environmental stressors early in development (during pregnancy or early childhood), leading to subtle alterations in the brain. Environmental factors later in development can either damage the brain further and further increase the risk of schizophrenia, or lessen the expression of genetic or neurodevelopment defects, thus decreasing the risk of schizophrenia.

Treatment for schizophrenia

The American Psychiatric Association publication 'Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Schizophrenia' states: "Antipsychotic medications are indicated for nearly all acute psychotic episodes in patients with schizophrenia."

There is also a significant overlap in terms of the medications for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (Manic Depression).
There are two main classifications of medications (from a layman's perspective); the traditional antipsychotic medications (Haldol, etc.), and the newer, 'atypical' antipsychotic medications that have come out in the past decade (Clozapine, Geodon, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify, etc.). It is recommended that sufferers or their carers speak to online support groups to get in touch with others, and to hear about their personal successes and problems with the different medications. It is also a good idea to read as much as possible regarding the medications available, and talk with a psychiatrist, to identify the medications that may be appropriate. It should be kept in mind that whilst both the older and newer medications can greatly help a person with schizophrenia, they all have significant side effects that vary according to the individual. No medication available, unfortunately, constitutes an actual cure for schizophrenia.

A natural treatment for schizophrenia?

While the conclusions drawn range from the positive to the negative, research does suggest that people with schizophrenia may benefit by a reduction in symptoms when they take fish oil capsules that are high in the EPA (a type of Omega-3 fatty acid) form of oil. It is important to be careful about the type of fish oil you are using, as not all fish oils are effective. Researchers at the University of Sheffield tell us: "What people really need to be looking at is the amount of EPA in the fish oil they are buying. Our data from previous studies suggests that DHA is of little use in the treatment of schizophrenia, but EPA is the substance that yields the best results. Dosage wise it is suggested that about 2,000 mg/day to 4,000 mg/day (2 to 4 grams/day) should help."

A research review article from 2005 in the journal Drugs states: "The evidence to date supports the adjunctive use [i.e. in addition to antipsychotic medications] of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of treatment unresponsive depression and schizophrenia. As these conditions are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus, omega-3 fatty acids should also benefit the physical state of these patients." (Drugs, 2005; 65(8):1051-9).

Fish fats, and the oils extracted from them, contain two biologically-active omega 3 fatty acids, DHA, EPA. There are good theoretical reasons why both might be important in the brain. However, with regard to schizophrenia, evidence is accumulating that it is the EPA which is really helpful, whereas DHA may not be beneficial in this context.

The strongest evidence comes from a study at Sheffield University by Dr Malcolm Peet and his colleagues. They did a study in patients with chronic, partially treatment-resistant schizophrenia. These patients continued on their existing medications. They were then randomised on a double-blind basis to receive either a placebo, or high EPA fish oil from sardines or anchovies, or high DHA fish oil from tuna. In other words, all the treatments were coded so that neither the patients nor the doctors knew which patient was receiving which treatment until the trial had been completed and the code broken. When the code was broken, the results were very clear. The placebo patients, as is usual in such experiments, showed a small improvement. The DHA patients also showed a small improvement, but in fact a lesser one than was evident in the placebo group, raising the possibility that DHA may not be helpful. In contrast, the patients on EPA showed a significant improvement which was comparable to that seen with the newer antipsychotic drugs, yet without the side effects.

Other studies have also shown that the same EPA rich oil as was used in the Sheffield study is very helpful in improving symptoms even in those who have a shorter history of schizophrenia. It therefore seems that the best fish oils to use are those which are high in EPA.

These findings have been fully embraced by the Schizophrenia Association of Great Britain, which recommends EPA fish oil along with other nutritional supplements on a daily basis to help treat this condition.


The current evidence points towards this natural essential fatty acid being beneficial for schizophrenia especially when run alongside current antipsychotic medication.

Any good doctor or nutritionist will tell you that the best way to get any nutrient is to eat a very balanced diet. In the case of Omega 3 oil this would be in the form of fish. Sadly due to the pollution levels found in our oceans today eating large portions of fish every day is not advisable.

Therefore anyone with schizophrenia who wants to supplement their diet with omega 3 oil must purchase fish oil capsules that are high in EPA. Make sure at point of purchase that the capsules are free of toxins and contaminates and that they also have a high EPA to DHA ratio, as these types of capsules were found to be more effective by some leading doctors in the UK.

Copyright 2005 David McEvoy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Beck Depression Scale - What You Need to Know

The Beck depression scale is a common diagnostic tool for mental health professionals. They use the scale or inventory to help diagnose individuals and it can be used in a wide variety of settings. For individuals who question whether they are depressed or not, the Beck Depression Inventory can help them learn more.

The scale can be used with anyone as long as they have at least fifth or sixth grade reading level skills. Generally, those who are 13 or older will be able to take the inventory. The scale has been updated several time since its inception in the 1960s.

The BDI, as the scale is also known, features a 21 item self report scale. The questions measure different manifestations of depression, including aspects like social isolation, sadness, pessimism, guilt, and self accusation among other symptoms. The test takes about ten minutes to complete for most people and can give an indication about the presence and severity of a person's illness.

The scores on the inventory can tell a mental health professional about an individual's state of mind and whether the individual is suffering from depression. It's important to remember that the test isn't fool proof and that an individual could manipulate the scores if they didn't answer the questions honestly.

The overall reliability of the scale is a factor to keep in mind: taking the inventory at a different time can produce different results if the symptoms have increased in severity or gotten better since the first test. Experts also caution that the environment that the individual takes the test in can also influence results. Social expectations may influence certain answers if others are present.

The Beck Inventory does not produce a diagnosis, but it can be a tool in understanding whether the illness is present and how severe it is. Individuals should talk to their mental health professionals about the results and what those results might mean for diagnosis and treatment options.

If you are interested in learning more about the Beck Depression Scale, talk to a mental health professional about the inventory and what you can expect when you answer the questions. You should also talk to the professional about any symptoms that you may be having and what treatments may be available to help you.

Abnormal Psychology Can Be A Fascinating Course Of Study

The field of psychology is a fascinating field for anyone who loves to study behavior in children and adults. It is especially rewarding for those who want to work in a branch of psychology that helps people deal with problems that interfere with their daily lives. One fascinating subject students in a psychology degree program will study is abnormal psychology.

There are different levels of abnormal behavior as defined by renowned psychologists, based on their study of people exhibiting any type of behavior they believe is outside of the norm. The three main levels of abnormal behavior are: bizarre or extreme behavior, behavior that causes disturbances to others, and behavior that interferes with basic daily functions.

Obsessive-compulsive behavior is one example of extreme behavior. Many people are able to lead normal lives outside of the home and may succeed in hiding their extremeness from others. Bizarre behavior may include delusions or hallucinations, as in schizophrenia or manic depression. Uncontrolled violence is an extreme type of abnormal behavior. Two examples of abnormal behavior that affect other people are drunken driving and child molestation. These behaviors are also against the law, and those who commit these acts must seek therapy from a psychologist, in addition to serving out a punishment laid out by the courts.

Abnormal behavior categorized as personal distress includes depression, extreme stress, and feelings of panic. These behaviors make life extremely difficult as they often lead to physical ailments. Many people who suffer from any of these behavioral disorders recognize that their behavior is not normal and therefore seek help by discussing these issues with their primary doctor.

Behavior that interferes or prevents people from functioning normally on a daily basis includes phobias and different types of neurosis. Some people develop phobias to specific items and are capable of leading a normal life as long as they can stay clear of these items. These behaviors may prevent people from leaving their home and holding down a job.

Abnormal behavior encompasses other dimensions as well. Addiction and alcoholism fall under the character of abnormal behavior because they are psychological dependencies. Some forms of personality disorders fall into the category of erratic behavior when those disorders disrupt one's own life, or interfere with the lives of one's family or friends. Many people suffering from personality disorders often develop addictions in an effort to feel normal with the use of alcohol or drugs.

Ways in which psychologists gauge and then diagnose abnormal behavior varies. Some use a statistic model based on studying different people in different situations. Others believe that using statistics provides a model that is too vague or too broad to define this type of behavior. A combination of statistics and others tools is probably the most effective way to study different people in varying situations.

Don't Shoot the Messenger! Postpartum Depression and Antidepressants

A while back everyone was angry at Tom Cruise because they didn't like what he had to say about the issue of Brooke Shields, postpartum depression and antidepressants. But just because you didn't like what he said didn't mean he was wrong.

First of all, postpartum depression is a hormone imbalance not an antidepressant deficiency. This means it should be treated with hormones, not antidepressants. Many women are being misled into thinking they have a psychiatric problem when it is actually a hormone imbalance that can be treated with natural, bio-identical hormones.

One young, new mother complained of feeling depressed soon after the birth of her first child. A simple hormone test indicated she was low in the hormone, progesterone. After only two days of treatment with bio-identical progesterone, she reported feeling 100% better. Women should not be subjected to prescription antidepressants that come with the risk of serious side effects such as suicidal tendencies and heart problems when their problem is hormonal. Brooke Shields even reported that she wanted to drive her car, with her baby inside, into a wall when she tried to come off the antidepressant she was taking.

Second, Tom Cruise implied that she should exercise and take nutrients. He wasn't wrong there either. A study conducted by the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California found a direct correlation between increased exercise and a decrease risk in being depressed or becoming depressed. Another study by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University reported that after depressed patients who exercised had a significant lower relapse than those who were treated with medication.

According to Organic Psychiatry, depletion of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C or zinc can be the actual cause of depressed symptoms and that "The most marked manifestations of magnesium deficiency were depression..."

I am a physician who has seen too many women diagnosed with postpartum depression and just plain old depression without receiving an adequate medical work-up.

Another woman came to see me because she was very ill with many different symptoms, from arthritis to double vision. She had been to many specialists. None could figure out why she had all of these symptoms. She had been taking an antidepressant for seven years, through a pregnancy and through nursing her baby. Every one of her symptoms was a side effect of the antidepressant she was taking but not a single specialist figured that out even though she told each one she was taking the antidepressant.

Once she slowly stopped the antidepressant (no one should stop these drugs abruptly), all of her symptoms went away. And the depression she supposedly had, wasn't depression at all. It turned out to by hypothyroidism, yet not a single doctor had even performed a simple blood test to find the cause of her depressed symptoms.

The antidepressants currently used most frequently in the United States are the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox and many others. I have found in my patients that taking these SSRI antidepressants actually deplete the serotonin in the body, not increase it. The patients I have seen on these drugs felt better initially but felt worse in the long term and had difficulty stopping the drugs without significant side effects.

In addition to hormone deficiencies, there are many true causes of feeling depressed. Some of theses are hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies, allergies and prescription drug side effects. The Psychiatry Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) states, "By definition, a Major Depressive Episode is not due to...the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism)." Even though these statements are in the psychiatrist's manual, unless the doctor does a thorough evaluation of the patient, the doctor will never know that the patient has a medical condition, not a psychiatric one. One psychiatrist announced on national television that "Psychiatrists don't do physicals." If a psychiatrist does not perform a physical exam on a patient or does not perform laboratory tests, there is no way they can find the true cause of the symptoms. Giving someone a psychiatric diagnosis and a prescription for a psychiatric drug without a thorough medical evaluation should be considered malpractice.

Use Alternative Medicine to Treat Depression Without Side Effects

There are many people who take anti-depressants for years and feel dependent on these drugs. But today, you can find alternative medicine for depression that have no side effects and are completely holistic. The drugs companies keep very quiet about it so as there sales are not affected.

Before looking at alternative medicine for depression, one's body condition is taken into account. The intake of medicine varies from individual to individual. Drugs may have side effects such as rashes, tremors, dizziness, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, urinary tract infections, disturbed dreams and excessive sweating. It is unlikely that one patient could suffer from all of these side effects while taking alternative herbal medicines.

As per the estimates, about 54% of patients seek alternative depression medications. Apart from yoga, acupuncture, diet and nutrition and exercise, the herbal remedies such as those that use hypericum extract have been just as effective as the standard anti-depressants and have minimal or no side effects. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by a well known research institute.

In looking for herbal remedy as the ideal alternative medicine for depression, you should make sure that the company is a reputable one and is certified with the authorities. It should have own manufacturing facilities and it also offers guarantees. Just because it says 'natural' on the bottle is no guarantee of the purity of the product and its ingredients. Check out their website for details and make sure that they have reputation in the market.

Taking alternative medicine for depression helps you come out of its grip without any compromise on health. Depression patients do not get addicted to these medicines and they can enjoy life as a normal person does. Today you can find a lot of information about alternative medications through online health portals. Just browse through these websites and achieve holistic health.

What Does it Mean to Be Bi Polar?

People with bipolar disorder usually experience strange intense emotional states that occur in different periods called "mood episodes." An overexcited or overly joyful state is called a manic episode, while an extremely sad, helpless or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. There are times when a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This state is called a mixed episode.

People with bipolar disorder may be volatile and irritable during a mood episode. But manic depression is not just mood swings. More complex features of manic depression include the following:

o    Mixed episodes - Mixed episodes happen when a person experiences aspects of both depression and mania at the same time. Sometimes mania is prominent but sometimes it's the depression.

o    Rapid cycling - Rapid cycling happens when four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypo mania, or mixed symptoms occur within a year. It affects more women than men.

Bipolar has very frightening characteristics of psychosis, a loss of contact with reality. These may include:

o    Paranoia - highly exaggerated mistrust believing that a person or group is actively working to harm them.

o    Hallucinations - A profound distortion in a person's perception of reality such as hearing or seeing things that are not there.

o    Delusions - The persistent beliefs in things that are not true.

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of manic depression is the suicidal tendency. Study shows that the suicide rate among people with manic depression has been estimated to be five to fifteen percent. An astounding number of  people make unsuccessful or repeated attempts on their own lives.

There are some myths and fact about bipolar disorder

They say that people with bipolar disorder can't lead a normal life. Being Bipolar myself I beg to differ.

The truth is many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers and satisfying relationships including happy family lives.

They say that the disorder only affects mood.

The truth is bipolar disorder also affects your physical and energy level. It also affects judgment, concentration, memory, sleep patterns, appetite, sex drive, and self-esteem. Furthermore, bipolar disorder has been associated to substance abuse, anxiety, and health problems such as diabetes, migraines, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

They say that there is nothing you can do to control bipolar disorder aside from taking medication.

The truth is, while medication is the basis of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy and self-help strategies also play significant roles. You can also help control your symptoms by exercising regularly, eating right, getting enough sleep, monitoring your moods, relax to keep stress to a minimum, and if you are surrounded with supportive people, it really help a lot.

People with manic depression are often highly intelligent and extraordinarily gifted and talented. They have made the highest contribution to our society while they themselves are struggling every day to function to survive, and to stay alive.