What is Depression?

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Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Intensive research into the illness has resulted in the development of medications, psychotherapies, and other methods to treat people with this disabling disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

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Signs of depression include:

. feeling sad, anxious, or empty mood
. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
. Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being "slowed down"
. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
. Restlessness or irritability
. Sleeping too much, or can't sleep
. Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
. Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury
. Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

A depressive episode is diagnosed if five or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

A manic depressive will definitely have 5 of these symptoms. This is truly the worst time for a manic depressive, this is where the most support and help is needed.

Types of Depression
(The following information is sourced from the National Institute of Health reference site at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/introduction.shtml)

Women’s experience with Depression,

Depression is more common among women than among men. Biological, life cycle, hormonal and psychosocial factors unique to women may be linked to women's higher depression rate. Researchers have shown that hormones directly affect brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood. For example, women are particularly vulnerable to depression after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes, along with the new responsibility of caring for a newborn, can be overwhelming. Many new mothers experience a brief episode of the "baby blues," but some will develop postpartum depression, a much more serious condition that requires active treatment and emotional support for the new mother. Some studies suggest that women who experience postpartum depression often have had prior depressive episodes.

Some women may also be susceptible to a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), sometimes called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition resulting from the hormonal changes that typically occur around ovulation and before menstruation begins. During the transition into menopause, some women experience an increased risk for depression. Scientists are exploring how the cyclical rise and fall of estrogen and other hormones may affect the brain chemistry that is associated with depressive illness.

Finally, many women face the additional stresses of work and home responsibilities, caring for children and aging parents, abuse, poverty, and relationship strains. It remains unclear why some women faced with enormous challenges develop depression, while others with similar challenges do not.

Men’s experience of Depression.

Men often experience depression differently than women and may have different ways of coping with the symptoms. Men are more likely to acknowledge having fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in once–pleasurable activities, and sleep disturbances, whereas women are more likely to admit to feelings of sadness, worthlessness and/or excessive guilt.

Men are more likely than women to turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed, or become frustrated, discouraged, irritable, angry and sometimes abusive. Some men throw themselves into their work to avoid talking about their depression with family or friends, or engage in reckless, risky behavior. And even though more women attempt suicide, many more men die by suicide in the United States

Children’s experience of Depression.

Scientists and doctors have begun to take seriously the risk of depression in children. Research has shown that childhood depression often persists, recurs and continues into adulthood, especially if it goes untreated. The presence of childhood depression also tends to be a predictor of more severe illnesses in adulthood.

A child with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative and irritable, and feel misunderstood. Because these signs may be viewed as normal mood swings typical of children as they move through developmental stages, it may be difficult to accurately diagnose a young person with depression.

Before puberty, boys and girls are equally likely to develop depressive disorders. By age 15, however, girls are twice as likely as boys to have experienced a major depressive episode.

Depression in adolescence comes at a time of great personal change–when boys and girls are forming an identity distinct from their parents, grappling with gender issues and emerging sexuality, and making decisions for the first time in their lives. Depression in adolescence frequently co–occurs with other disorders such as anxiety, disruptive behavior, eating disorders or substance abuse. It can also lead to increased risk for suicide.

An NIMH–funded clinical trial of 439 adolescents with major depression found that a combination of medication and psychotherapy was the most effective treatment option. Other NIMH–funded researchers are developing and testing ways to prevent suicide in children and adolescents, including early diagnosis and treatment, and a better understanding of suicidal thinking.

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Older people’s experience pf Depression.

Depression is not a normal part of aging, and studies show that most seniors feel satisfied with their lives, despite increased physical ailments. However, when older adults do have depression, it may be overlooked because seniors may show different, less obvious symptoms, and may be less inclined to experience or acknowledge feelings of sadness or grief.

In addition, older adults may have more medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke or cancer, which may cause depressive symptoms, or they may be taking medications with side effects that contribute to depression. Some older adults may experience what some doctors call vascular depression, also called arteriosclerotic depression or subcortical ischemic depression. Vascular depression may result when blood vessels become less flexible and harden over time, becoming constricted. Such hardening of vessels prevents normal blood flow to the body's organs, including the brain. Those with vascular depression may have, or be at risk for, a co–existing cardiovascular illness or stroke.

Although many people assume that the highest rates of suicide are among the young, older white males age 85 and older actually have the highest suicide rate. Many have a depressive illness that their doctors may not detect, despite the fact that these suicide victims often visit their doctors within one month of their deaths.

The majority of older adults with depression improve when they receive treatment with an antidepressant, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Research has shown that medication alone and combination treatment are both effective in reducing the rate of depressive recurrences in older adults. Psychotherapy alone also can be effective in prolonging periods free of depression, especially for older adults with minor depression, and it is particularly useful for those who are unable or unwilling to take antidepressant medication.

Other types of depressive disorders.

Here we are talking about depression. There are a range of medical disorders that are reviewed in more depth elsewhere on this site.

For example: Manic depression - Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function.

What Causes Depression?

There is no single known cause of depression. Rather, it likely results from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.

Research indicates that depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Brain-imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have shown that the brains of people who have depression look different than those of people without depression. The parts of the brain responsible for regulating mood, thinking, sleep, appetite and behavior appear to function abnormally. In addition, important neurotransmitters–chemicals that brain cells use to communicate–appear to be out of balance. But these images do not reveal why the depression has occurred.

Some types of depression tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression as well.9 Genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of multiple genes acting together with environmental or other factors.

In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Subsequent depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.

Risk Factors:

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Depression can affect anyone at anytime. While certain risk factors are associated with increased risk for depression, people suffering from depression may suffer from different types of depression and even display different signs and symptoms depending on the gender, age, and ethnic and cultural groups. Understanding these differences is essential to seeking treatment and ending the pain.

While depression can strike anyone at any time, research has identified several factors associated with an increased risk for depression:

Family History — Having an immediate family member with depression increases the risk of developing depression. Other mental illnesses, such as alcoholism in family members, can also increase the risk for depression.

Early Childhood Experience – Early childhood trauma, such as loss of a parent before adolescence, child neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and parental divorce are all linked to increased risk for adult depression.

Stress — Negative life events, such as divorce, loss of a loved one or loss of employment are associated with increased depression. Research shows that chronic stresses (such as illness, lack of social support and numerous “daily hassles”) are also linked to depression.

Alcohol — Depression and alcoholism is often seen in the same patients at the same time. Alcohol is a depressant drug and its presence in a depressed person has serious implications on treatment outcome.

Residence — Depression seems to be higher in urban residents than in rural residents. In fact, one study found that depression was twice as common among city dwellers than among those who lived in rural settings.

Marital Status – Depression is highest among divorced, separated, or co-habitating persons. It is lowest among single and married persons. People living alone have higher rates of depression than those living with others do.

Work Status — Research shows that people unemployed for six months or more in the last five years had a rate of depression three times that of the general population.

Physical Illness — Certain physical illnesses are associated with depression such as thyroid disorder, hormonal imbalances, chronic viral infections, cancer and heart diseases.

Medications — Many medications can cause depression-like symptoms, including sedatives such as Valium (diazepam) and pain medications such as Percocet and Demerol (meperidine).

Gender — It is estimated that one out of every four women and one out of every 10 men experience some type of depression during their lifetime. While women suffer from depression more often and attempt suicide more frequently, men are more successful in their suicide attempts. Women also suffer from unique forms of depression related to their unique biology and life experiences.

Age – Most people experience their first episode of depression between the ages of 20 and 40. In fact, the average age of onset for depression is the mid-20s. Alarmingly, recent research shows that the average age of onset is decreasing with each generation. Children, adolescents and elderly persons often display unique symptoms of depression and have specific stressful events that predispose them to depression.

Ethnic and cultural groups — The World Health Organization named depression the fourth most devastating illness in the world today and predicts that it will become the second ranked illness by 2020. No ethnic or cultural group is immune. While depression occurs at about the same rate in different groups, ethnic and cultural differences often impact the ways in which their members express their feelings and their willingness to seek treatment.

Tobacco – Increased tobacco use has been noted in depressed persons and individuals with underlying or current depressive symptoms are likely to experience mood disturbances when they attempt to quit.

Treatment/Therapy:

Depression, even the most severe cases, is a highly treatable disorder. As with many illnesses, the earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented.

The first step to getting appropriate treatment is to visit a doctor. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by conducting a physical examination, interview and lab tests. If the doctor can eliminate a medical condition as a cause, he or she should conduct a psychological evaluation or refer the patient to a mental health professional.

The doctor or mental health professional will conduct a complete diagnostic evaluation. He or she should discuss any family history of depression, and get a complete history of symptoms, e.g., when they started, how long they have lasted, their severity, and whether they have occurred before and if so, how they were treated. He or she should also ask if the patient is using alcohol or drugs, and whether the patient is thinking about death or suicide.

Once diagnosed, a person with depression can be treated with a number of methods. The most common treatments are medication and psychotherapy.

Medication

Antidepressants work to normalize naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, notably serotonin and norepinephrine. Other antidepressants work on the neurotransmitter dopamine. Scientists studying depression have found that these particular chemicals are involved in regulating mood, but they are unsure of the exact ways in which they work.

The newest and most popular types of antidepressant medications are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft) and several others. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are similar to SSRIs and include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta). SSRIs and SNRIs are more popular than the older classes of antidepressants, such as tricyclics–named for their chemical structure–and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) because they tend to have fewer side effects. However, medications affect everyone differently–no one–size–fits–all approach to medication exists. Therefore, for some people, tricyclics or MAOIs may be the best choice.

People taking MAOIs must adhere to significant food and medicinal restrictions to avoid potentially serious interactions. They must avoid certain foods that contain high levels of the chemical tyramine, which is found in many cheeses, wines and pickles, and some medications including decongestants. MAOIs interact with tyramine in such a way that may cause a sharp increase in blood pressure, which could lead to a stroke. A doctor should give a patient taking an MAOI a complete list of prohibited foods, medicines and substances.

For all classes of antidepressants, patients must take regular doses for at least three to four weeks before they are likely to experience a full therapeutic effect. They should continue taking the medication for the time specified by their doctor, even if they are feeling better, in order to prevent a relapse of the depression. Medication should be stopped only under a doctor's supervision. Some medications need to be gradually stopped to give the body time to adjust. Although antidepressants are not habit–forming or addictive, abruptly ending an antidepressant can cause withdrawal symptoms or lead to a relapse. Some individuals, such as those with chronic or recurrent depression, may need to stay on the medication indefinitely.

In addition, if one medication does not work, patients should be open to trying another. National Institutes of Mental Health funded research has shown that patients who did not get well after taking a first medication increased their chances of becoming symptom–free after they switched to a different medication or added another medication to their existing one.

Sometimes stimulants, anti–anxiety medications, or other medications are used in conjunction with an antidepressant, especially if the patient has a co–existing mental or physical disorder. However, neither anti–anxiety medications nor stimulants are effective against depression when taken alone, and both should be taken only under a doctor's close supervision.

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What are the side effects of antidepressants?

Antidepressants may cause mild and often temporary side effects in some people, but they are usually not long–term. However, any unusual reactions or side effects that interfere with normal functioning should be reported to a doctor immediately.

The most common side effects associated with SSRIs and SNRIs include:

• Headache–usually temporary and will subside.
• Nausea–temporary and usually short–lived.
• Insomnia and nervousness (trouble falling asleep or waking often during the night)–may occur during the first few weeks but often subside over time or if the dose is reduced.
• Agitation (feeling jittery).
• Sexual problems–both men and women can experience sexual problems including reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, or inability to have an orgasm.

Tricyclic antidepressants also can cause side effects including:

• Dry mouth-it is helpful to drink plenty of water, chew gum, and clean teeth daily.
• Constipation-it is helpful to eat more bran cereals, prunes, fruits, and vegetables.
• Bladder problems–emptying the bladder may be difficult, and the urine stream may not be as strong as usual. Older men with enlarged prostate conditions may be more affected. The doctor should be notified if it is painful to urinate.
• Sexual problems–sexual functioning may change, and side effects are similar to those from SSRIs.
• Blurred vision–often passes soon and usually will not require a new corrective lenses prescription.
• Drowsiness during the day–usually passes soon, but driving or operating heavy machinery should be avoided while drowsiness occurs. The more sedating antidepressants are generally taken at bedtime to help sleep and minimize daytime drowsiness.

FDA Warning on antidepressants

Despite the relative safety and popularity of SSRIs and other antidepressants, some studies have suggested that they may have unintentional effects on some people, especially adolescents and young adults. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a thorough review of published and unpublished controlled clinical trials of antidepressants that involved nearly 4,400 children and adolescents. The review revealed that 4% of those taking antidepressants thought about or attempted suicide (although no suicides occurred), compared to 2% of those receiving placebos.

This information prompted the FDA, in 2005, to adopt a "black box" warning label on all antidepressant medications to alert the public about the potential increased risk of suicidal thinking or attempts in children and adolescents taking antidepressants. In 2007, the FDA proposed that makers of all antidepressant medications extend the warning to include young adults up through age 24. A "black box" warning is the most serious type of warning on prescription drug labeling.

The warning emphasizes that children, adolescents and young adults taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially during the initial weeks of treatment. Possible side effects to look for are worsening depression, suicidal thinking or behavior, or any unusual changes in behavior such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations.

Results of a comprehensive review of pediatric trials conducted between 1988 and 2006 suggested that the benefits of antidepressant medications likely outweigh their risks to children and adolescents with major depression and anxiety disorders. The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health.

What about St. John's wort?

The extract from St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), a bushy, wild-growing plant with yellow flowers, has been used for centuries in many folk and herbal remedies. Today in Europe, it is used extensively to treat mild to moderate depression. In the United States, it is one of the top–selling botanical products.

To address increasing American interests in St. John's wort, the National Institutes of Health conducted a clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of the herb in treating adults who have major depression. Involving 340 patients diagnosed with major depression, the eight–week trial randomly assigned one-third of them to a uniform dose of St. John's wort, one–third to a commonly prescribed SSRI, and one–third to a placebo. The trial found that St. John's wort was no more effective than the placebo in treating major depression. Another study is looking at the effectiveness of St. John's wort for treating mild or minor depression.

Other research has shown that St. John's wort can interact unfavorably with other medications, including those used to control HIV infection. On February 10, 2000, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory letter stating that the herb appears to interfere with certain medications used to treat heart disease, depression, seizures, certain cancers, and organ transplant rejection. The herb also may interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Because of these potential interactions, patients should always consult with their doctors before taking any herbal supplement.

Psychotherapy

Several types of psychotherapy–or "talk therapy"–can help people with depression.

Some regimens are short–term (10 to 20 weeks) and other regimens are longer–term, depending on the needs of the individual. Two main types of psychotherapies–cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT)-have been shown to be effective in treating depression. By teaching new ways of thinking and behaving, CBT helps people change negative styles of thinking and behaving that may contribute to their depression. IPT helps people understand and work through troubled personal relationships that may cause their depression or make it worse.

For mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy may be the best treatment option. However, for major depression or for certain people, psychotherapy may not be enough. Studies have indicated that for adolescents, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be the most effective approach to treating major depression and reducing the likelihood for recurrence. Similarly, a study examining depression treatment among older adults found that patients who responded to initial treatment of medication and IPT were less likely to have recurring depression if they continued their combination treatment for at least two years.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

For cases in which medication and/or psychotherapy does not help alleviate a person's treatment–resistant depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be useful. ECT, formerly known as "shock therapy," once had a bad reputation. But in recent years, it has greatly improved and can provide relief for people with severe depression who have not been able to feel better with other treatments.

Before ECT is administered, a patient takes a muscle relaxant and is put under brief anesthesia. He or she does not consciously feel the electrical impulse administered in ECT. A patient typically will undergo ECT several times a week, and often will need to take an antidepressant or mood stabilizing medication to supplement the ECT treatments and prevent relapse. Although some patients will need only a few courses of ECT, others may need maintenance ECT, usually once a week at first, then gradually decreasing to monthly treatments for up to one year.

ECT may cause some short-term side effects, including confusion, disorientation and memory loss. But these side effects typically clear soon after treatment. Research has indicated that after one year of ECT treatments, patients showed no adverse cognitive effects.


Self Care strategies for Living with Depression

Here are nine natural and herbal remedies that are used for depression.

1) St. John's Wort The herb St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has long been used in folk medicine for sadness, worry, nervousness, and poor sleep.

Today, the results of over 20 clinical trials suggest that St. John's wort works better than a placebo and is as effective as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression, with fewer side effects.

Studies suggest that St. John's wort is not effective for major depression.

It's available at health food stores, drug stores, and online in the form of capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, or tea.

St. John's wort may take 4 to 6 weeks to notice the full effects. Side effects may include dizziness, dry mouth, indigestion, and fatigue. St. John's wort increases photosensitivity, so extra caution should be taken to protect skin and eyes from sunlight.

Although St. John's wort appears to be reasonably safe when taken alone, it can interfere with the effectiveness of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as antidepressants, drugs to treat HIV infections and AIDs, drugs to prevent organ rejection for transplant patients, and oral contraceptives.

St. John's wort is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with bipolar disorder, liver or kidney disease.

2) Omega-3 fatty acids

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Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of good fat needed for normal brain function. Our bodies can't make omega-3s on their own, so we must obtain them through our diet.

Studies have linked depression with low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids. In countries with higher fish consumption, such as Japan and Taiwan, the depression rate is 10 times lower than in North American. Postpartum depression is also less common.

Studies suggest that omega-3's together with antidepressants may be more effective than antidepressants alone.

Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies are the richest food source of omega-3 fatty acids. But instead of eating more fish which contain mercury, PCBs, and other chemicals, fish oil capsules are considered a cleaner source of omega-3 fatty acids. Many companies filter their fish oil so that these chemicals are removed.

Fish oil capsules are sold in health food stores, drug stores, and online. Most brands should be stored in the fridge to prevent the oil from going rancid. When comparing brands, the key active components for depression are EPA and DHA.

Fish oil capsules may interact with blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin and aspirin. Side effects may include indigestion and bleeding. Fish oil should not be taken 2 weeks before or after surgery. Fish oil can also cause a fishy aftertaste. To prevent this, try taking the fish oil just before meals.

For more information on Omega 3 Fatty Acids review this University of Maryland Medical Center Study of Omega 3 fatty acid Clinical Trials

3) SAM-e

SAM-e, pronounced "sammy", is short for S-adenosyl-L-methionine. It's a chemical that's found naturally in the human body and is believed to increase levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Several studies have found SAM-e is more effective than placebo.

In North America, SAM-e is available as an over-the-counter supplement in health food stores, drug stores, and online. It should be enteric-coated for maximum absorption. Although it's one of the more expensive supplements, it remains popular as a remedy for depression and osteoarthritis.

Side effects can include nausea and constipation.

4) Folic Acid

Folic acid, also called folate, is a B vitamin that is often deficient in people who are depressed.

Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruit, beans, and fortified grains. It's one of the most common vitamin deficiencies because of poor diet but also because chronic conditions and various medications such as aspirin and birth control pills can also lead to deficiency.

Besides food, folic acid is also available as a supplement or as part of a B-complex vitamin.

Researchers at Harvard University have found that depressed people with low folate levels don't respond as well to antidepressents, and taking folic acid in supplement form can improve the effectiveness of antidepressants.

5) 5-HTP

5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxytryptophan. It's produced naturally in the body and is used to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Although taking 5-HTP in supplement form may theoretically boost the body's serotonin levels, many experts feel there is not enough evidence to determine the safety of 5-HTP. It should not be combined with antidepressants.

6) Diet

• Reduce your intake of sweets
Sweets temporarily make you feel good as blood sugar levels soar, but may worsen mood later on when they plummet.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol both dampen mood. Alcohol temporarily relaxes us and caffeine boosts energy, but the effects of both are short-lived. Both can worsen mood swings, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

• Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is needed to produce the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, a borderline deficiency may occur in people taking oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and drugs for tuberculosis.

• Magnesium
Most people do not get enough magnesium in their diets. Good sources of magnesium are legumes, nuts, whole grains and green vegetables. Like vitamin B6, magnesium is needed for serotonin production. Stress depletes magnesium.

7) Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to improve mood.

Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, releases mood-elevating chemicals in the brain and can decrease stress hormones.

One of the best options to bust the blues is taking a brisk walk outside each morning for at least 30 minutes five days a week.

But what's important is that you choose something you enjoy and will stick with, whether it's going to the gym, signing up for dance classes, playing tennis, or gardening.

8) Light Therapy

Getting enough sunlight has been shown to be effective for seasonal mood changes that happen in the darker winter months.

Exposure to light in the morning helps the body's sleep/wake cycle work properly. Production of serotonin, a brain chemical that key in influencing our mood, is turned on in the morning upon exposure to light. During the winter when there is less sunlight, serotonin levels can drop, making us feel tired and prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

One of the most simple ways to increase your exposure to light is to walk outdoors in the morning. Just be sure to use sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet light.

Another option is to use special lights that simulate natural daylight. Studies have found they are effective.

These lights can be found online. There are different types available, from light boxes to visors, that are typically used for 20-30 minutes a day. Look for lights with a minimum of 3,000 lux. many experts suggest 10,000 lux.

Although they are rather expensive ranging from $150 to $500, they may be covered by insurance.

9) Other Natural Remedies

• Flower remedies
• Yoga
• Acupuncture


This site offers a range of mediation tools - Meditation techniques and a set of Guided meditation videos

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

One of the specific nutrition products that may affect depression is Omega 3 fatty acids and you can use that from taking a good quality Omega 3 fish oil product. (Make sure the source is deep sea, cold water fish and it is cold extracted)

Many of the pressure of life sneak under our guard and affect us in ways we do not recognize that the time. If we are going to build our ability to withstand stress over the longer term we need to get our bodies as healthy as we can.

You might find that this article helps to understand how easy it is to become run down and lacking energy. Rebuilding that core wellness is a very strong foundation for fighting against depressive episodes. nutrition

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your Depression problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out. We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

More Resources available about Depression :

Eating Away Pain: How Depression and Eating Disorders Go Hand in Hand
There is no single known cause for eating disorders. In fact, for most people who suffer from them, a number of factors lead into the development of eating disorders.

These problems with food, weight, and body image can be extremely dangerous to a person’s health, both mentally and physically. Because those who suffer from eating disorders have poor body image, it is easy to see how eating disorders and depression work together.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

What is The Interrelationship of Depression and Insomnia?
Depression is the most common cause of chronic insomnia, especially in the elderly. A study shows that depressed elderly patients, if they suffer from insomnia, have a tendency to be depressed for over a year.

Another study shows that even without a history of depression, if an elderly patient suffers from insomnia, they have a high risk of being depressed. This is usually observed in women.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)



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Teen depression is a very serious issue within our society, but has only received serious attention within the last twenty years. Researchers have found …

Explaining What Is Depression 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the fourth most burdensome disease each year. Burdensome diseases are defined as those …

The Negative Effects Depression Had on My Relationship 
I guess I should start this right at the end. My boyfriend and I broke up because my depression was just too hard for him to handle. I had depressive episodes …

Do Your Medications Put You At Risk For Depression 
There are many contributing causes to feelings of depression. These can range from the loss of a loved one or pet, to genetics. Unfortunately there is …

Depression And How You Can Work Through It 
Depression is something that millions of people struggle with. There are a few different kinds of depression, but if you're dealing with the kind where …

What Is Major Depression 
Major depression, also referred to as clinical depression, is the severest form of depression. Sufferers experience a constant state of hopelessness …

Understanding Depression 
Winston Churchill described his depression as a black dog that followed him around constantly. The sad truth is that not much has changed in the way depression …

Treating Depression Does Not Need to Be Intimidating 
Treating depression does not need to be an intimidating experience, at a time when the individual already feels overwhelmed. The information disseminated …

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Dealing With Depression 
If you have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, you may be feeling a lot of anxiety. However, this diagnosis is the perfect opportunity to improve …

What Can Be Done for Depression? 
All of us get depressed from time to time and it is not uncommon for us to have a case of the blues. That doesn't mean, however, that you are suffering …

Understanding Depression and What Causes It 
Before we talk about what depression is, let's dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about depression. First off, if you are depressed it …

Hopelessness And How To Get Rid Of It 
In this day and age, hopelessness is rampant. There are many valid reasons why people are losing hope in the world today. Even when the reasons are valid, …

Depression is a State of Mind That Can Be Controlled 
A number of factors can lead to the mental condition that is called depression. Many people confuse depression with sadness. Sadness can come from incidents …

An Effective Way to Take Control of Depression 
Many individuals that suffer with depression every day, find that it is quite debilitating. They often are left with the sensation of feeling completely …

Mens Health Guide to Depression 
A health article from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies Though they …

Depression and Anxiety Guide 
Hardly anyone feels deliriously happy all the time. Fluctuations in mood are natural and normal. However, if periods of low mood are prolonged and persistent …

Understanding The Symptoms Of Depression 
Although many of us may feel depressed from time to time, depression becomes an illness when this feeling lasts for over two weeks, and starts to interfere …

Depression and Pessimism Go Hand in Hand 
There are side effects for your mindset - side effects that limit your life or set you free to enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed. To be optimistic …

How To Use Seasonal Affective Disorder Lights Safely And Effectively 
Although seasonal affective disorder lights are generally considered safe and effective to use, there are a few important points you need to bear in mind …

Types of SAD Light Therapy Products And How To Choose The Right One For You 
Light therapy products make use of exposure to light to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Although they are commonly used to treat skin, psychological …

Early Detection of Depression Symptoms for Proper Diagnosis and Treatment 
Most of us make the mistake of thinking that when we feel down and blue for a day or two, we assume that we are already experiencing depression symptoms. …

Knowing the Type of Depression through a Depression Test  
One way to determine if you are suffering from depression is by taking a depression test. Though it is suggested that you see a doctor for this kind of …

Finding Help with Depression 
Finding help with depression through counseling and support groups can go a long way for people who suffer from this condition. Depression can attack men …

SAD Syndrome: An Introduction To The Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Available 
SAD Syndrome (or Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that affects people mostly in the winter. These episodes of depression may recur …

Fighting Depression the Natural Way 
People who have never suffered from depression don’t really understand what it is like and they might even think that it isn’t real and that we should …

Can Vitamins Help with Depression? 
There are thousands of people worldwide that suffer from depression and symptoms of this disorder might include being constantly sad, feeling down, tiredness, …

Your Health Online | Depression and Back Pain  
Back pain includes depression, which emerges from fractures. Fractures include pathologic, complete/incomplete, avulsion, comminuted, depressed, compression, …

Antidepressants and Natural Weight Loss 
A health article from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies The sad news …

Self Help Tips to Lift Depression with Meditation Techniques  
With dark cold days coming, you might be wondering how to cope with the negative thoughts that often accompany the change of weather and can lead to depression. …

How to Stay Young and Be Happy 
There’s a lot to be said about being happy. They say that this is better than any drug when it comes to staying young and healthy. In fact, people have …

Self Help Tips Using Health for Happiness 
Just like the Energizer Bunny, you can keep going and going even when you’re way past your prime. Just get yourself familiarized with some tips to a better …

Are Bananas The New Apple? 
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. It grows mostly in the tropical region wherein India is the leading producer of bananas …

DEPRESSION – AVOIDING IT 
DEPRESSION – AVOIDING IT Depression is a serious illness that can affect the work power, family and social life of a person. This is why we don’t have …

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Boys Don’t Cry: What You Can Do With Male Menopause and Depression  
Men are considered tough. At a young age they were taught how to wear masks. Emotions, especially feelings, which denotes weakness does not have any room …

Essential Overview on Bipolar Depression Characteristics  
Bipolar disorder in psychiatry is a medical diagnosis which refers to mania (mixed states or hypomania) alternated with euthymic or depressed mood (clinical …

WHAT IS POST NATAL DEPRESSION? 
Post natal depression is a term used to describe mood disorders occurring to women in the first year after birth of a child, there may be a fine line between …

Fix your Depression with this Attitude Food 
I just have to say that my mood swings have totally normalised after using the herbalife products. I use the Ultimate pack and include tang kuai, Xtra-Cal, …

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