Thursday, December 28, 2006

How Too Help Your Teen Overcome Depression - Mark Gardner

Depression is not an illness that is the sole reserve of the mature adult. These days, there are many potential pressures on young teenagers as they strive to come to terms with life and peoples expectations. Many adolescents will struggle to cope with the various challenges life throws at them and will get depressed at times.

Perhaps you have first hand experience of this. Maybe you’re a parent of a young adolescent who is struggling with depression at this time. There can be many possible causes for this depression. The fact that they are growing up and battling raging hormones can be difficult enough for any adolescent and leave them feeling confused and facing possible mood swings.

Other possible causes for your teenager’s depression are bullying, poor school or college grades, being rejected by a girl or boy they like. This kind of depression is known as being situational. Whilst it is unpleasant and an unhappy time for your son or daughter, it will normally pass as soon as the unpleasant situation passes from their lives.

Of course, there can be more serious reasons for your teenager’s depression. It could be that your child as been experimenting with drugs or alcohol or perhaps even underage sex. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you find out exactly what the problem is.

If your teenager has been acting depressed and you’re concerned about them, then it’s time to take them aside and talk to them. It’s not always easy to get teenagers to open up, but you know your son and daughter better than anyone and it’s up to you to find a way to break the ice with them.

But talk with them and offer a friendly and understanding ear to them. If they have done something wrong, don’t get angry, it will only make things worse. But find out what is causing their depression and find out whether it is situational or a more serious problem. If your teenager won’t talk to you about their problems and their depression is getting worse, then it’s time to get some help without delay.

Mark Gardner is a popular webmaster and publisher of To learn more about teenage depression check out his website today!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday Depression - Michele Graham

During the holiday season, it seems that even with all of the lights and gifts and fanilies reuniting, depression rears it's ugly head at this time

Some people are depressed because they have less financial resources than others. Others are depressed because of relationships that have been distanced by misunderstandings. Lack of time to get all challenges faced in a timely manner is another cause of depression.

Clinical depression is a disease and can be treated with medications from your physicians. Holiday depression, on the other hand should be addressed in a different manner.

If you are depressed because you don't have money for gifts, be creative. You can make hand - written gift certificates for house cleaning, trips to the store, cooking a meal for a couple of months, or even baby sitting. These cost you no more than your time and will be appreciated as well.

If you bake, there is not anyone who would not love a confection from your kitchen.

If you are depressed because you are alone, or maybe your family is far away, then busy yourself helping others with volunteer work at the Salvation Army or another organization that is set up to help others. Or make yourself available to the children's ward at your local hospital to read to the children there. Or you could go to any of the nursinghomes in your area and just visit the one's who have no one to visit them.

Doing for others takes the focus of our own problems or issues away. Look around. Instead of allowing yourself to be depressed, think of what you can do to help another have a happy holiday. It is the best medicine ever!

Michele Graham-CEO and owner of Professional Healthcare Management has 41 years in the healthcare industry. She writes about business issues in all businesses and the healthcare field as well.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Depression - Simple Tips to Beat the Blues - Sacha Tarkovsky

If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone.

Depression affects many people at some time in their life, with some of us going through periods of depression that can lift after a very short time, while for others, it can be ingoing for many years.

Whichever category you fall into, here are some simple tips to help you manage your depression.

Depression – What is it?

Depression is best identified as feeling in a low mood. It may not stop you leading a normal life, but things may seem less worthwhile.

Most of us will admit to feeling depressed from time to time and this is perfectly normal.

Depression becomes a problem when it interferes with your day to day activities.

What Causes Depression?

Depression may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain or can be triggered by significant life events including:-

• Bereavement

• A traumatic experience, such as rape or physical attack

• Childhood events

• Illness

• Frequent use of recreational drugs

How Do I Know if I am Depressed?

Symptoms of depression may include:-

• Preoccupation with negative thoughts

• Difficulty in concentrating

• Feeling in a low mood most of the time

• Feelings of numbness, emptiness or despair

• Low self-esteem

• Lack of sex drive

• Lack of confidence

• Pessimistic view of the future

This is no a definitive list and you may experience all or some of these symptoms.

You may also notice changes in your sleeping pattern, your eating habits, or there may be a rise in your alcohol or tobacco consumption.

Depression – Helping Yourself

Knowledge is power. The more you learn about depression, the better equipped you will be to deal with it.

Go to the library, do some research on the internet or join a self-help group where you can gather information about depression and the treatments available.

Being aware of the choices available to you will help you to make an informed choice about treatment if you need to seek help from your healthcare provider.

Whereas many of us may experience bouts of mild depression or low mood, clinical depression is a serious medical condition and if you have been experiencing symptoms described above for some time you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Depression – Don’t Suffer in Silence

While clinical depression is a serious illness, it can be treated and you do not need to feel ashamed, embarrassed or suffer in silence.

Some people allow depression to go untreated for years but clinical depression will not disappear by itself.
Professional help may include a course of antidepressants together with some counseling.

Depression – Help Yourself

Helplessness is a feeling often experienced by people with depression.

Together with professional help try and help yourself.

• Stay focused – depression can feed on itself and you can find yourself trapped in a vicious circle of negative thoughts that it seems impossible to get out of. Focus on positive thought and the positive things in your life. If you can’t think of any, think of a positive goal you would like to achieve.

• Avoid your own company – depression feeds on loneliness. Try and break the hold that depression has on you. Join a club or self-help group where you can talk to people who have successfully overcome depression.

• Do something worthwhile. Keeping yourself busy will give you less time to dwell on pessimistic thoughts. Take up a hobby or why not join a gym. Regular exercise will have a mental and physical impact on your wellbeing.

• Let go of the past. Many of us make the mistake of hanging on to past hurts and this too can cause depression. If there are things in your life that have caused you upset, past grudges, guilt or anger, perhaps it is time to let go.

Depression is not an easy thing to overcome but it can be done, all you have to do is make he decision to make a change.


On all aspects of health and more on depression visit our website for a huge resource of articles, features and downloads and at

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Organize to Beat the Winter Blues - Andrew Leatherland

If you’re a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) sufferer or you just feel down each winter it’s all too easy to think that nothing can be done about it. Even if you’re close to a sufferer you’re affected. You hope that by hunkering down for the winter you’ll ride it out because it’s an inevitable problem that you can’t avoid. It’s true to some extent that you can’t avoid it because you’re fighting your own biology to do so. However, the degree to which you suffer it is not inevitable. You can have your best winter yet.

The success guru Jack Canfield wrote “If you keep doing what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”. This rings true for SAD & Winter Blues sufferers. By doing what you always do in winter it’s highly likely you will experience the same rough ride that you have for previous winters. By changing your approach to winter, you and those around could be a lot brighter and a lot more energetic than previously.

The first thing you have to do is decide to change your approach. Like smoking, drinking or gambling breaking a cycle needs people to make a conscious decision to change. Where your mind goes the rest of you will follow.

The second thing you need to do is change your approach to everyday life. So much of what we do in life is habit. We tend to just do what we’ve always done. We drive the same way to work, eat the same food and so on. With this condition, not changing your habits to fight it will put you at its mercy. One simple exercise you can do to see the power habit has over your life is to sit down for twenty minutes with a piece of paper. Over the twenty minutes write down everything you do day by day. Look back and you’ll probably see patterns emerging – put children to be, eat dinner, sit down, watch TV etc. Now don’t throw this list away because you’re going to need it.

You don’t need wholesale change. Changing on a massive scale is difficult to achieve and is likely to result in failure. That’s like New Year Resolutions to lose weight through crash dieting, or deciding to get fit by running a marathon. They are such massive changes to the system that you cannot keep them up. What you need is to identify a series.

So how do you make that change? Well you plan and you organise. If done right your life won’t look radically different day to day. You can build some small but powerful changes into your everyday routine. But you must plan and you must follow through on the plan. Also improve your chances of success by working the plan into your everyday routine.

Plan where to put your light therapy and plan your medication in consultant with your Doctor if you’re a SAD sufferer. Plan to use your lunchtime at work to talk a short walk in the daylight. Plan your meals so they include nutrients that help maintain greater energy levels when you need it. Also plan your food so it includes the kind of ingredients that help lift your mood.

What should be important in the planning process is that there are a series of actions each day that are slightly different from normal but that have an emphasis on fighting the symptoms of these conditions. More importantly they should be things that you can slot into your everyday routine without upheaval to you or your family.

Plan to beat it and action that plan. You can be so much better for it. With the small steps highlighted here and by starting right now next March you should be able to look back and reflect on a much improved winter

Andrew Leatherland runs the resource website for SAD and Winter Blues sufferers and their families. The site has just opened a forum where everyone can come to discuss the condition and their experiences as well as seek support.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

The FDA May Expand Warning Labels for Antidepressants - Charles Donovan

The FDA may expand warning labels for antidepressants because of fear increases in suicidal thoughts. The proposed changes were made public yesterday( December 12th) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The changes would expand a warning now on the labels that applies only to children and adolescents treated with the drugs. The proposed changes would expand the labeling to include children, adolescents and adults 24 years and younger.

A special panel is meeting this week to consider these changes. The special panel would make a recommendation to the FDA and then the FDA would issue its final and binding decision early next year.
The panel consists of experts in psychiatry, pharmacology and neuropharmacology.

Also included in the FDA proposes changes is a recommendation that patients of all ages be carefully monitored, especially when beginning antidepressant treatment.

Patients who are depressed and are put on antidepressants should be monitored regardless of FDA recommendations. If you believe that a loved one is at risk of suicidal behavior or thoughts, that patient should be monitored 24 hours a day.

Mental health experts are worried that additional warnings about the risk of suicides linked to antidepressants could curtail their use and ultimately do more harm than good. The FDA may indeed be unnecessarily scaring patients with these warnings that are called "black-box" labels. Patients who are suffering from mental illness tend to be fragile and are sensitive to alarming warnings.

The American Psychiatric Association( APA) does not endorse this type of warning. The APA's concern is that by not simply promoting good standards of care and by putting on a black-box label, the FDA may unwittingly limit further access to care.

Vagus nerve stimulation therapy, which is the only FDA approved long term treatment option for depression, is not associated with increases suicidality in patients who have had the treatment.

Charles Donovan was a patient in the FDA investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. He was implanted with the vagus nerve stimulator in April of 2001. He chronicles his journey from the grips of depression thanks to vagus nerve stimulation therapy in his book:

Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression

His all inclusive book prepares depression sufferers to make an informed decision about this ninety-minute out-patient procedure. It is a "must read" before you discuss this treatment with your psychiatrist. A prescription for the procedure is required from an M.D. and it is covered by most insurance plans.

He is the founder of the Web Site and Bulletin.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Depression And The Sensitive At Heart - By Friedrich Asen

There are beautiful people out there, sensitive and tender at heart. One thing they often have in common: they suffer from low self esteem, depression and the like. Many times they work in the social field, but they may come from any occupation. Often they feel not to fit into society at all. Whatever they try, they cannot find a suiting place.

On the other hand, there are the powerful manipulators out there, often unscrupulous and insensitive. Exploiting mother earth and their fellow men, they blossom. They have found a way to fight depression. They act, control, manipulate and accumulate power. I am sure they are depressed too, but they have found a way to suppress it. A life of manipulation, based on power and might, lacks one of the most important ingredients of life, wich is love. Where love is lacking, there is senselessness. And where there is senselessness, there is depression.

There are people pointing out how wrong the Bible is today, because it proclaims 'the meek shall inherit the world'. "Can you think of a dumber line?", they ask. The only people inheriting the world are the super rich and the ones with big armies and nukes. Nothing meek about that. They say that it has always been the men with the iron fist who lead. From the beginning of time till the end. If your meek, you'll merely end up being the man behind the man.

I don't agree with this statement at all. It is based on a total misunderstanding of the word meek, as it was used by Jesus and so many other powerful personalities. It confuses meek with weak. That's a major blunder. This is not only the fallacy of the powerful (and the ones controlled by them), but of the sensitive and tender hearted as well, who desire a different world of love and respect. They feel threatened by the manipuators and exploiters. They fall into depression and anxiety. They often fall into the trap of becoming passive victims. "The world could be so beautiful", they sigh, "if there weren't this greedy bad people, who seem to never get enough."

I shall proclaim a different concept here: Meekness is absolute power. It is much more powerful than anything else.

Let's first deal with the wrong concept of meekness to weed it out. To be meek in the wrong sense will certainly lead to depression and frustration. It is accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of impotence and powerlessness. Meek persons of this kind always feel dependent on the whim and arbitrariness of the persons in charge.

The most sensitive and intelligent people fall into this trap. They feel that they could never become as cruel, unscrupulous and stone hearted as the oviously successful people. The Darwinian theory of evolution brainwashes you: "If you want to survive, you have to be the fittest. The rest is doomed to drown. Fittest means to be hard, harsh, cruel, calculating and strong."

I have been taught like this in my childhood. My conclusion was that I will probably never become powerful, as I could not even stand an ant to be killed. There is no fitter person, not only to survive, but to live, than the meek one. Indeed the meek shall inherit the world, but this sort of meekness is totally different. It will rid you of depression. It will provide a new outlook to your life. It will give you a sense of power and control. It will guarantee you total independence.

Actually misunderstood meekness and the display of superior manipulative power are of the same kind. They look different from the surface only. Both are a guaranteed source of depression and frustration. Both are based on a lack of internal independence and strength. While the strong guy is actively fighting for recognition and acceptance, mainly from himself, the week ones have abandoned their claim for respect.

But, their weekness is often much closer to real power than the external display of control of the seemingly powerful. The later are often totally weak inside, driven only by their greed for recognition, for which they are eager to transgress all laws of life. The soft and tender person naturally has a lot of respect for these unbreakable laws. When they are carefully guided to discover their inner invulnerability, they will immediately start to blossom. When they are taught to completely step out of the stupid game of artificial competition by accepting the real identity of eternal bliss and knowledge, they will in any way be superior to even the most powerful manipulators. Life itself will be at their disposal, offering them any kind of opulence, strength and independence. External strenght will be reduced to a mere shadow of the power of pure conscious essence.

Those powerful persons, whose power is built upon arrogance and manipulation, will find it almost impossible to abandon their pathological addiction to material superiority.

Therefore rejoice, you, who are sensitive and tender at heart. Come out from depression and anxiety. Reclaim your heritage of power. The only reason, why a false display of artificial power can keep the whole world mesmerized is that more kind and sensitive persons will have to come forward to display the irresistible power of love, kindness and concern for the needs of others. The famous British mathematician, philosopher and author Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) has said the following: "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." These doubts can be overcome with the right guidance and education. Reality never supports power based on arrogance, cynicism and and unscrupulousness. It may be tolerated for some time, but very soon it is the cause of it's own destruction.

On the other hand reality always supports love, freedom, sensivity, compassion, meekness and respect. These qualities are the characteristics of original life. If you cooperate with lifes inherent nature, who will blossom forever. Get out of the habit of complaining, wailing and accusing. Get out of frustration and anxiety. You may be much closer to your power than you think.

Copyright © 2006 by Friedrich Asen. All rights reserved.

About the Author: For more information on the different types and symptoms of depression and on depression treatment, including natural remedies and powerful alternative healing methods, go to


Sunday, December 10, 2006

How To Live Better With Manic Depression Using A Support System - Moses Wright

Having diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be one of the most stressful and difficult experiences of a person's life. To learn to manage bipolar disorder better, whether yourself, with families or friends, it is important to build and maintain a strong support system.

A support system is a group of people who come together to offer unconditional emotional support to the person with bipolar disorder, these people must have the desire to understand the struggle and difficulties of living with bipolar disorder. They can consist of families, friends, support groups, therapists, mental health caseworkers, and even doctors.

Having family and closed friends who offer emotional support is an extremely valuable asset to those suffering from bipolar disorder. In times of crisis, when people affected by the disorder feel overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts or feel that their life is spiraling out of control, they need to know who they can rely on for help and comfort. This is where the support group is so important.

A manic depression support group is an excellent source of peer support. Support groups can help many people cope with the emotional aspects by providing a safe place to share experiences and learn from others who are facing similar situations. Within a support group for bipolar disorder, there are likely to be people who have experienced the ups and downs of bipolar disorder and who is the best person to share their experience but them.

A person with a manic depressive illness may feel isolated and secluded in the disorder. They may also feel alone in their struggle to manage the symptoms. Attending a support group can show the person that they are not alone in their journey to recovery from bipolar disorder.

Support groups for bipolar disorder are often not specifically for bipolar disorder, and usually designed for those who have any mood disorders, including bipolar disorder and clinical depression. If you need more information about such support group, your therapist or psychiatrist should be able to give some advice on some of the local support groups that are available.

When joining a support group, someone with bipolar disorder should try to attend whether they are in crisis or doing well. If someone new attends the group and only sees others who are in crisis, it may give the new person a sense of despair and hopelessness. The idea is to support each other through the journey of recovery. During a normal period between episodes, someone can be a light of hope to members who are having difficulty coping with the disorder.

In the current age of technology, one can find many Internet support groups and chat rooms designed as manic depression support groups. These can be a good resource for those who suffer from the disorder. Nevertheless, being active in Internet support groups is not enough and should not replace the attending of local support groups. This is because someone with bipolar disorder can have an inclination to isolate himself. Attending a local support group provides positive social interactions with people who understand the difficulty that the manic depressive person is facing and help prevent him from isolating from society.

Moses Wright is the webmaster of He provides more helpful information on Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Disorder Symptoms and Bipolar Disorder Treatment that you can learn in the comfort of your home on his website. You are welcome to reprint this article if you keep the content and live link intact.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Major Depression-5 Alternative Treatments Proven Effective In Alleviating Symptoms Of Depression - Shirley Peel

Major depression is a serious medical illness that affects approximately 21 million people in the world today. It is a medical disorder with a biological and chemical basis that impacts the body and mood as well as the mind. Depression can involve the person suffering from the disease as well as family, loved ones and even the community. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize that they have a major depression or that it is a treatable. They just don't realize that happiness and joy can be everyday feelings.

Depression has been described as a dangerous and debilitating disease, which can cause considerable suffering and even tragic loss of lives if left untreated. It affects just about every thing in a person's life -- the way one eats, sleeps, thinks works, plays and reacts to life in general.

Antidepressant medications, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy are the standard treatments for caring for moderate to severe depression. However, more and more people are seeking alternative treatment methods which are less harsh and have fewer side effects. FDA reports have warned for some time now that prescription drugs can cause severe side effects, be addictive, and may not be very effective in treating the problems associated with depression.

Alternative Treatments For Major Depression

1. Herbal Therapy - St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is the most popular herb used for depression. It is used much more extensively in Europe than it is in this country. St. John's Wort has been the subject of many clinical trials, and has proven to be very helpful to millions of people in treating mild to moderate cases of depression. The British Medical Journal published a review stating that St. John's Wort works as well as many prescription medications for anti-depressants, but does not have the side effects.

Other herbs that have undergone many clinical and case studies include Kava Kava, Valerian Root, 5-HTP and SAM-e. The research has shown these herbs have demonstrated significant anti-depressive results in patients taking one, or some of these ingredients for periods ranging from one to twelve weeks.

Other less known herbs for treating depression include ephedra, gingko biloba, echinacea, and ginseng.

2. Acupressure helps to relieve many symptoms related to mild depression. It is a technique which uses the hands to apply steady, firm pressure on specific points of the body. These spots correspond to and affect other parts of the body. According to Chinese medicine, using anti-depression acupressure points can help release energy that is blocked which contributes to depression. When these energies have been freed, they can be examined and understood.

3. Acupuncture balances the flow of chi and blood throughout a person's body which helps resolve the underlying energetic imbalance contributing to depression. Stimulating acupuncture points has been shown to release endorphins and enkephalins, thereby having a calming, mood-elevating effect. You should consult a professional acupuncturist for this treatment.

4. Cognitive Behavior Therapy are programs which identify automatic thoughts, determine roots of core beliefs, and utilize coping techniques which have been decided upon when anxiety and stress conditions occur in a person's daily life. This type of therapy has helped millions to find long lasting relief from various forms of depression. Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been around for quite a while and can be found in the forms of books, CD's and online help sites. CBT has been clinically proven to be an effective treatment for certain levels of depression and is often used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

5. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essences extracted from plants and when used in bathing or massaging can help in mild depression to improve a person's health and well-being. In more severe cases, it works as complementary therapy. Some essential oils used for depression include basil, bergamot, cedar wood, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, jasmine, myrrh, neroli, rose, sandalwood, spruce, orange, and ylang ylang. Remember that essential oils are very potent and should be mixed with creams or oils, but not full strength directly on the skin. Even in the bath, start with only two or three drops.

Just recently, the University of Florida released a preliminary study which appeared in the July journal Biological Psychiatry, which suggests that magnetic stimulation may lead to safe, revolutionary treatment for patients with clinical depression who do not respond to standard medications. This could be a real important breakthrough for people who have major depression.

Shirley Peel is a successful webmaster and publisher of many articles about all aspects of depression and its treatment. Her years as a health care professional have increased her interest in the many facets of health care. She offers more information about depression care, symptoms and treatment at: and Be sure to sign up for one of our free ecourses on health.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Is Depression Real? - Paul Richards

If you’re currently someone who is treating depression, you should be asking the question ‘is depression real or is it just a label?’ I often ask myself this question or at least I have in the past. After years of soul searching, going through stages of my life where I have delved into the darkest portions of my being through to running a million miles an hour from the sometimes painful truth, I’ve discovered that labeling myself as 'depressed' doesn't really help. In fact I've come to the conclusion that buying into the label of 'depression' often gives us an excuse to avoid looking at the truth, which is there within all of us.

So what is depression? Its different for everyone, but for me I could probably sum it up as a combination of loneliness, intense sadness, suppressed anger, self hatred, and a severe lack of acceptance for my self and the present situation. From what I have observed in myself and those close to me, it is a result of a deep seated desire to change who I am, and find a recipe for avoiding pain, forever. However, an important thing to realize when treating depression is that there is no recipe for happiness, there is no recipe to avoid pain.

The best avenue to treating depression is to accept ourselves as we are. How do we do this? That involves a fundamental shift in the way we think. Why not start by instead of seeking happiness (as a distraction from what is really going on) and avoiding pain, why not seek out our pain and give our happiness away (instead of suffocating it). Even better learn to just be with ‘ourselves’ no matter what the discomfort. If you are truly seeking a natural alternative to treating depression, meditation is essential.

The best way to overcome depression is not to try to overcome depression. If we use the usual mindset, ‘trying to change ourselves’ it means that we end up subconsciously reaffirming to ourselves that there is something wrong with us. In treating depression it is essential that we overcome this cycle, but it’s not easy. Meditation gives us the opportunity to do this, or at least practice this each day.

Meditation isn't about visualizing, it isn't about imagining a better life, and it’s not even about thinking positive thoughts. It’s about becoming present with your own version of reality. It’s about learning about who you are, and in the process, accept yourself. Basically meditation is a way of life, its something that affects us subtly and gradually over time. Meditation is a long-term solution to treating depression; therefore you may have to accept that it is not something that will magically change overnight.

I remember when I first began meditation as a form of treating depression. It was at a time when I was really struggling with depression and life. I had sought out just about every alternative to treating depression that I could think of, and I didn't want to go on medication. A lot of different things came up when I was trying to meditate. Things like, I thought I wasn't doing it good enough, there was something wrong with me, I’ll never get there, its a waste of time. To be honest it is pretty amazing that I stuck with it. All of these thoughts are natural. I remember having a good friend whom would remind me every time I would feel to just observe myself. That is the essence of meditation

For more information on treating depression and meditation techniques, click on the link to my website, The Depression Trap.

As well as being a student of life, I am also studying psychology. My passions are health, fitness and spiritual philosophy. I love playing my guitar and having a latte with friends. My philosophical views on life are parallel to many of those associated with Buddhism, however I consider myself a spiritual being rather than a religious one.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Depression Support Groups - Getting Support And Healing From Depression And Anxiety. - Linda E. Joy

How's life? This sounds like abstract question, but in some cases it should be asked. Believe it or not, many individuals struggle with everyday life. You might ask yourself why. Well, there are a number of possible reasons. Their pain could concern a death in the family, a difficult separation, or possibly even the stresses of daily life. in spite of the criminal, the difficulty should be treated as soon as possible. This is why depression support groups are so accessible these days. It's time to take life by the horns again, and get a grip on your somber emotions. Life is too short to be wasted being miserable.

Have you ever been to any depression support groups? These aren't anything to be ashamed of. As we can see with new generations, our children are facing more and more problems that may result in them being depressed or feeling alone. The key to banishing this problem is through depression support groups.With the power of discussion and understanding, depression can be dealt with. Back when I was in high school, one of my closest friends suffered from severe depression after her mother died. Who could blame the girl This kind of tragedy can certainly affect one's childhood. She began to sleep a lot, and refrained from going to school as much as possible. Later she got into drugs and drinking. Finally her parents checked into depression support groups and got her help. Over time she was able to cope with her tragedy and move on. While we clearly can't forget something so devastating, we can go on living a wonderful life. It's all about dealing with it properly.

You may want to look into depression support groups if someone you know is withdrawn from society and family. Some signs to watch for concern, sleeping all the time, not eating, not wanting to leave the house, and drinking or drug use. These are all common signs of depression. If you have a child that fits that description then it's time to consider depression support groups for help. Get online and find depression support groups in your immediate area. The key is getting help in a timely fashion. There is no time to waste. With the power of the World-Wide-Web at your very fingertips, you can get help for epression today, and get back the life you can't live without.

Linda E. Joy provides readers with up-to-date commentaries, articles, and reviews for home, family as well as related information.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Easy Steps To Avoid Depression - By: Sintilia Miecevole

There seem to be so many people who are depressed that we really should take a look at the causes of depression in the first place. The factors that contribute to depression are well-known, and well-researched, but what causes it is not quite understood. New studies have uncovered some of the factors that contribute to the probability of people developing depression.


Stress takes the first place prize. It’s true that any stressful environment or situation can lead to depression. It can be anything such as social stress, getting a job, relationship difficulties, worrying about money, staying up late, lifestyle out of control, pressures of school and getting good grades. Other events that could cause depression are: death, change of job, moving from one place to another; even the fear of the unknown can cause depression. The list is endless. While these events cannot be avoided, we must come up with an effective stress coping mechanism to be able to thrive even in stressful situations because they are never going to go away. Stressful situations just keep changing.

Drinking and Drugs

People who take drugs and alcohol are more prone to depression. When these substances are used at a young age, they can effect a a person’s brain in negative ways. These substances help make the person feel good temporarily, but in most cases, people become addicted.

Drugs release dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. For example: delicious food boosts dopamine release by about 50 percent. Sex, on the other hand, doubles this number. However, drugs can increase dopamine release anywhere from four to ten times. This unnatural high almost certainly leads to depression after the high goes away. This substance is the surest way to fry brain circuitry.

Drugs make a person depressed more than it makes him happy. This effect will spiral downward until the person doing drugs will want more and more of the substance to break the cycle of depression that follows each high and so the addiction is born.

Not Enough sleep

Studies show that up to 40 percent of adults do not get the proper amount of sleep per day and among students, up to 71 percent complain of sleep disorders and lack of sleep.

Sleep is essential to a person’s health. During sleep, the body repairs itself and reorganizes thought. Lack of sleep contributes to a lack of coherence in brain waves. This scenario often leads to depression. Sleeping during the day and staying up late also interferes with the body’s natural rhythms. This can lead to a sense of depression.

Here are few ways on how to prevent depression.

Sleep is a vital part of preventing depression. Balance your life with enough rest and exercise everyday. Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep per day.

Keep some regularity in your life. Orgaize your activities so they can come at expected and regular times. If your weekly, daily or monthly routine is set then your body has time to get used to the activities. This will lead to a reduced chance for depression to set in.

Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Keep stress in check and try to avoid stressors if you can. If this can’t be done, then try to deal with the stressors in a manner that minimizes the damage it causes.

Sunlight and exercise can help the brain to function a higher level. Make time to enjoy the sunlight and try to stay active in the daylight when possible.

Keep away from alcohol and drugs. They may seem attractive, but all they really do is cause havoc in a person’s life.

Make at least one warm meal daily a priority. Good eating habits and good health are important when keeping away from depression.

Have fun every day. Nothing takes the load off of depression like some good old fun time. Social activities such as chatting, joining a support group sports, and other hobbies can do wonders towards healing a stressed out and busy mind.

Depression can be avoided and treated and it can be fun doing so. Follow the above mentioned tips for a brighter and happier disposition each day. You will look and feel better for it!

Sintilia Miecevole, Administrator of provides comprehensive information or resources from depression, cause of depression, help and information to treatment and more. Be sure to visit for further information.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

How to Cope When Your Spouse is Depressed - Nancy Wasson

Living with a depressed spouse can be extremely stressful for the partner and other family members. Communication is impacted, the couple’s social life suffers, and feelings of satisfaction with the marriage decrease.

Here are fifteen ways to cope and keep your sanity and bearings when your spouse is depressed:

1. Know what you’re dealing with. Don’t just guess and speculate that your spouse may be depressed. Encourage him or her to have a comprehensive assessment to determine if depression is actually present, what the severity is, and the recommended treatment plan.

If medication is prescribed, know that your spouse will increase his (or her) chances for successful treatment if he also participates in weekly counseling sessions.

2. Educate yourself about depression. Schedule a time to meet with your spouse’s doctor or therapist to learn more about depression and how you can best be supportive of your mate. Read books, magazine articles, and information available on the Internet about depression.

3. Expand and strengthen your individual network of support from family and friends. You’re going to need on-going support and encouragement, so resist the urge to try to carry the burden of your mate’s depression silently on your shoulders by yourself.

Let your family and friends know how they can help you and let them know what challenges you are facing. The worst thing you can do is to isolate yourself from others.

4. Research support groups that are available in your community and on-line. Some communities will offer in-person support groups for depressed individuals as well as for their spouses and friends. If no such groups exist where you live, check out the on-line support groups that are available for you and your depressed partner.
One group, The Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance (DBSA), sponsors numerous in-person meetings and also provides an on-line support group for people with depression or bipolar disorder, as well as separate groups for friends and family members. You can check out their offerings at:

You can also find information and resources at Emotions Anonymous:

Your spouse can find on-line support through Depressed Anonymous:

5. Educate your children about depression so that they can better understand your spouse’s behavior. Ask a librarian at your community library or your children’s school for help in selecting appropriate books on depression and chronic parent illness.

If you’re not sure what to tell them, consult with your children’s physician and enlist his or her help or arrange for your children to talk to a counselor who can help them process their feelings.

6. Take the team approach toward managing your mate’s depression and say, “We’re in this together—we’re a team!”

You want your spouse to feel the energy and power of team support. Think in terms of “We’ll figure out what to do” instead of “You need to figure out what to do.”

7. Learn to de-personalize your spouse’s behavior. Remind yourself that your mate is ill—and that’s different from being stubborn for the sake of being stubborn or deliberately trying to make your life difficult.

Try to remember that your mate’s perception, attitude, actions, patience, and stamina are being impacted in major ways by the depression. When people are depressed, they often blame everyone else for their problems and see only the negatives in daily life. This is about the depression—not about you.

8. Work on developing more patience. Depression is trying for everyone closely associated with the depressed individual and can cause even normally sedate partners to become frustrated, agitated, and angry.

It takes time for the treatment to be effective and for significant changes to be maintained. You can protest all you want, but you’ll just make yourself more miserable until you accept that Life is presenting you with an opportunity to develop patience. The sooner you master this lesson, the less you’ll suffer.

9. Encourage your spouse to get some exercise each day. You might take a walk together or go to the gym together. You could exercise to a video at home or put on some music and dance. Anything that gets your mate moving and encourages him (or her) to stay physically active will be helpful.

10. Don’t try to talk your spouse out of his (or her) feelings. Trying to argue with him or convince him that he’s wrong for feeling that way won’t work. You’ll just make him more resistant.

When people are depressed, they often say irrational things, such as “I can’t ever do anything right” or “No one cares about me.” Acknowledge your mate’s feelings and say something like, “I’m sorry you’re feeling so bad. What might we do to help you feel better right now?”

11. Take good care of yourself in every way—physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. You can’t afford to lose yourself and become consumed by your mate’s depression.

It’s very challenging to be around negative, pessimistic, depressive energy without starting to feel the same way. The only antidote is to stay balanced and centered by practicing good self-care behavior and doing things to nurture yourself.

Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, stay in close contact with your friends, participate in activities that bring you pleasure, and keep your spiritual connection strong. Take time for yourself so that you can read, listen to music, meditate, and pray.

12. Laugh every day. Watch funny movies, share funny jokes, and look for the humor in the various situations in your life. Laughter can help you to feel better and keep the negative effects of depression at bay.

Enlist the help of your friends to provide you with funny stories and jokes that come their way through email or office talk. Try to find things to share things about your day that will make your spouse laugh. But even if he (or she) doesn’t laugh, you’ll feel better!

13. Read inspirational books or listen to inspirational audios or music that energizes and inspires you. Surround yourself with resources—books, CD’s, pictures—that make you feel better and “feed yourself” with inspiration and positive thinking and positive feelings every day.

14. Resist the urge to try to “fix” your spouse’s depression. You’ll only frustrate yourself and your mate. There’s no one thing you can do to take the depression away by yourself and to make everything better.

The fact that your spouse is depressed doesn’t mean that you have failed in any way as a partner. You’re not responsible for the depression and you can’t fix it. You can, however, be supportive and encouraging and follow the recommendations your mate’s doctor and/or therapist may make.

15. Get professional help for yourself if your feelings become overwhelming. It’s normal to feel resentful and angry that your personal life and family life are being so radically impacted by your mate’s depression.

You may feel that the person you once knew is now gone and that you don’t know who this depressed person is anymore. You may feel discouraged and despondent if time goes by and things aren’t significantly better.

Caregiving and being the main one to keep everything going can be exhausting and overwhelming. Don’t wait until you feel that you can’t continue any longer. Make an appointment for individual counseling before you “hit the wall.”

In most cases, depression can be effectively treated—80% of depressed patients improve with treatment. But the process of recovery can be lengthy, so it’s important to take steps to ensure that you’ll stay emotionally healthy while your spouse is recovering.

Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-creator of Overcome Control Conflict with Your Spouse or Partner, available at She is also co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" which is available at, as well as a free weekly Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine. Dr. Wasson offers telephone and email coaching to individuals and couples who want to overcome relationship problems and create a rewarding, loving partnership.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Childhood depression: Learn how to help a depressed child.

Childhood depression, not unlike adult depression, is a disorder that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Let’s learn the causes and symptoms of depression in children and what you can do if your child suffers from depression.

Like adults, children can suffer from depression, in this case: childhood depression. It’s not uncommon and since children actually are the purest of humans, it might be safe to say if a child is depressed-and they actually tell you that-it’s a rather serious issue.

One of the most common misconceptions about childhood depression is:”what do children have to be depressed about?”. Perhaps this reveals a few misunderstandings about childhood depression and what it is. Childhood depression is more intrusive into the child’s very existence, may be long-lasting and if not attended to life threatening.

Perhaps another misconception may have to do with us thinking, being a child is a care-free, trouble free stage of human life. Not necessarily, with peer acceptance, school and family expectations, it is enough to make a kid worry and could be a huge factor to be considered in regards to dealing with a case of childhood depression.

Other Causes of Childhood Depression:

1. Family History of Mental illness or suicide.

2. Abuse (physical, emotional or sexual)

3. Chronic illnesses.

4. Loss of a parent at an early age to death, divorce or abandonment.

5. Improper diet and lack of sufficient exercise.

6. Excessive exposure to negative factors such as parents arguing, bad neighborhoods etc

7. Insufficient parental attention.

Though this is not a conclusive list of the causes of depression in children, perhaps these factors are the most common ones.

Symptoms of Childhood Depression:

1. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

2. Abrupt change in Appetite

3. Change in sleep patterns (either increase or decrease).

4. Difficulty concentrating.

5. Making depreciating statements like “I’m not good enough, I’m stupid…”

6. Persistent Sadness.

7. Recurring thoughts of Suicide

8. Excessive clinging or withdrawal

If you notice any of these in your child’s behaviour it may be time to seek help. But, keep in mind, the first step may be a good heart to heart talk with your child.

Reconnect with them. Make plans for a getaway saying things like “How about you and I going to the movies, park etc…?”. Now seize this time to carefully see what could be the problem.

Also, borrowing from Yoga principles , now will be a good time to assess your entire family’s diet. Diet plays, perhaps the most important role in one’s health, especially children in their growing stages so all efforts should be made to ‘pleasantly’ enforce a proper diet.

You may not have to work too hard, most kids LOVE bananas and other sweet fruits and fresh juices. Vegetables…maybe not so much, but you get my gist. Try to replace processed foods with healthier ones.

Remember children are wonderful imitators, so if you yourself happen to be depressed, I recommend drug-free alternatives such as Yoga, and the previously mentioned proper eating. Make efforts yourself to be cheerful as much as possible as kids do mimic what their parents constantly do.

Devote thirty minutes or more a day for open air recreation for yourself and your family. Visits to the zoo, active play, and swimming tend to relieve tension created in the home, school, and work and this may go a long way in assisting in curing childhood depression in the family.

Finally, if you are of a spiritual inclination, try prayer power and introduce your child to it.

Remember this quote “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.” I believe a child connected to God is one sure way of preventing childhood depression. (Of course with the factors previously mentioned.)

Parenting or being a role model to a child is a duty that may be tasking at times, even more say when dealing with a depressed child. However with the suggestions given, if tackled properly, childhood depression need not be a thing your kid has to go through.

Foras Aje is an independent researcher and author of Fitness: Inside and out, a book on improving physical and mental health naturally. For additional information on depression treatment visit

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Depression – A Natural Cure That Is Proven To Work - Sacha Tarkovsky

Depression is a condition that makes life a misery for millions and many look for natural cures and here we are going to look at one that has medical substantiation that it works.

Even better it’s cheap and is actually part of the natural food chain and the compound we are referring to may well surprise you it is:

Nicotine – and you don’t have to smoke to get it. Smoking is bad for you but you can get nicotine without cigarettes and that’s what this article is all about.

Nicotine is healthy in organic form

Nicotine is safe in organic form and part of the food chain. For example, trace elements are contained in many everyday foods such as:

Potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, chili peppers, and some teas.

Available products

A larger dose is needed and many drug companies are looking to produce a pure nicotine drug to help depression and the first one is already on the market.

More of these later, for now let’s look at why nicotine relieves depression.

Why Does Nicotine Help With Depression?

Nicotine is known to switch on receptors on the surface of cells in certain parts of the brain, causing the neurons here to release the Neuro-transmitter dopamine.

This chemical that is associated with feelings of pleasure and well being.

Nicotine is known to help improve mood, concentration and memory.

Getting nicotine without smoke

Drug companies are spending huge sums to get drugs on the market and the first has already appeared a nicotine drink – Containing nicotine in water.

Water is a safe delivery method and the water contains organic nicotine and fresh water with no added chemicals.

We all need water so taking nicotine in this form means the users get hydrated at the same time.

Nicotine’s image improves

More products will follow as the health benefits of nicotine gain public acceptance.

Nicotine has suffered an image problem because it is in cigarettes. Nicotine does not cause disease or death though that is some of the other 4,000 chemicals consumed.

Saying nicotine is bad is like saying you should not eat grapes as people die of alcoholism when drinking wine!

Nicotine is safe and non toxic in organic form and offers suffers of depression, relief from this life ruining disease and represents a natural cure that is medically proven to help.


A new organic drink containg just nicotine and fresh water is available now. Visit our website and try it at a special limited offer price. Go to:

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Suicide Rates Have Declined The Past Ten Years Thanks to New Depression Treatments - Charles Donovan

Suicide, which is the eleventh leading cause of death, is a very serious subject. . Suicide rates have declined over the past ten years thanks to new depression treatments.

Suicide was among the 10 leading causes of death until 1998, when it was number 8 overall. Since that time, it has been surpassed by deaths due to Alzheimer disease and septicemia( blood poisoning). Preliminary data for 2003 placed suicide at number 11 overall, with a provisional age-adjusted rate of 10.5 per 100000, a 3.7% decline from the 2002 age-adjusted rate. However, it remains one of the 10 leading causes of death among individuals aged 10 to 64 years, and it ranks between second and fourth among those aged 10 to 45 years.

Every completed suicide is a successful attempt. There are 500,000 failed suicide attempts each year serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room. Researchers say that suicide is depression left untreated.

There are many cross currents is analyzing trends in suicide rates. There are indications that the trends are not uniform across age, gender, race/ethnicity, or rural/urban settings. For example, most of the increase in suicide rates among adolescents occurred between 1950 and 1980. Little of that increase is attributable to changing suicide rates among females, which have been more stable.[ Researchers found that the increase in adolescent male suicide completion during this period coincided with a significant increase in alcohol use.

The highest rates of suicide in the United States occur among older white men. Rates among White females and Black males and females peak during midlife. The US population has an increasing proportion of persons aged 85 years and older. If their rates were lower, that could account for declining rates among the 65-year-and-older age group, but the data for those aged 85 years and older show that their rates are higher compared with the 65-year-and-older age group as a whole. However, the decline in rates among the 85-year-and-older age group could be driving the decline in rates among the 65-year-and-older age group.

The implications of decreasing rather than increasing suicide rates are significant. If the conventional wisdom that suicide rates are increasing held, attention should be redirected from current strategies that are considered to be failing.

A broader discussion about trends in suicide rates and to encourage a more extensive investigation of the larger social, contextual, policy, and treatment trends that may be contributing to the decline in one of the major causes of preventable death. If scientists can understand what has contributed to the recent declines, they will be better able to develop and disseminate effective interventions for preventing suicide.

Charles Donovan was a patient in the FDA investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. He was implanted with the vagus nerve stimulator in April of 2001. He chronicles his journey from the grips of depression thanks to vagus nerve stimulation therapy in his book:

Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression

His all inclusive book prepares depression sufferers to make an informed decision about this ninety-minute out-patient procedure. It is a "must read" before you discuss this treatment with your psychiatrist. A prescription for the procedure is required from an M.D. and it is covered by most insurance plans. For more information on Vagus Nerve Stimulation, you can find his book, Out of the Black Hole, listed to the right.

He is the founder of the Web Site and Bulletin.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Depression Suicide: What to do to avoid the fatality - Foras Aje

Depression Suicide is a very serious issue that may best be prevented in the earlier stages of depression. Here are tips on how to see if your loved is suicidal and what you can do to prevent it and steer the afflicted back to a positive outlook on life.

Depression, characterized by erratic mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities is a very serious emotional disorder affecting about 9.5 per cent of the nation.Needless to say, it is could be a lot more fatal if a depressed person is heading towards suicide.

That considered here are some indications to watch out for to know if your loved one is considering suicide as a result of depression.

Depression Suicide: Warning Signs to be Aware of

1. Mentions of Suicide or Death

2. Wanting to tie up loose ends or give away personal belongings

3. Engaging in reckless behavior such as heavy alcohol and drug use

4. Withdrawing from family and friends

5. Erratic mood swings

6. Inappropriately saying goodbye.

7. Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: (for example: “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I’m so depressed, I just can’t go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”

Now the signs may vary according to the patient, however it should not be too difficult to recognize such warnings and take the following steps to help a loved one.

Depression Suicide: Helping a Loved one who is suicidal

If you believe someone is contemplating suicide do seek help immediately, to this effect there are a several suicide prevention web sites and hotlines available to help those in need, but in case these are not within your reach, you can try the following:

1. Cultivate Physical Closeness: Simple hugs, kisses on the cheeks, loving pats and compliments go a long way in healing a broken heart or depressed mind. Remember, sometimes the little things DO count.

2. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him or her alone.

3. Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help. Thus if someone contemplating suicide turns to you, it is likely that he believes that you are more caring and more informed about coping with depression, and more willing to help.

Other steps to take include reassuring them that help is available and that with appropriate depression treatment they can feel better.Try to search the house for dangerous items such as guns and knives that could be potentially harmful.

In addition to the factors above, if you are of a spiritual inclination, this will be a good time to pray according to the framework of your faith because prayer when used effectively, can work wonders to aid in curtailing depression suicide.

Moreover, in the hopes that your loved one begins to show signs of improvement from the warnings indicating depression suicide, it will be great to start to include such drug-free approaches for depression treatment such as exercise: namely Yoga, a proper diet for physical health which in turn heals the mind and positive thinking and affirmations.

Naturally we all would get concerned or frightened if a loved one seems on the brink of suicide resulting from depression, however as with all life’s problems, if we can catch it early and nip it in the bud, depression suicide can be prevented. If things may have gotten more advanced, then it may be time to seek professional help or as an alternative double up on our efforts to steer the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.

In conclusion keep in mind that you and the loved one do possess the mental capability to overcome your problems. Inasmuch as you may need assistance to curtail depression suicide either professionally or otherwise, with the tips above, suicide resulting from depression may be altogether halted or at least slowed down drastically enough to gear the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.

In Friendship,
Foras Aje

Foras Aje is an independent researcher and author of Fitness: Inside and out, a book on improving physical and mental health naturally. For additional information on depression treatment visit

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Endogenous Depression - Michael Russell

There are two broad ways in which the patient may present, depending on the relative influence of psychomotor retardation and agitation. When retardation is extreme the patient is in a stupor, mute and in need of constant nursing care; when less severe the patient performs slowly and the increased sense of effort is obvious. The agitated patient is restless, unable to sit or settle and indulges in continuous purposeless activity. The retarded patient speaks slowly with obvious effort and has difficulty in self-expression; the agitated patient, on the other hand, may be voluble perhaps to the point on incoherence.

The content of the patient's conversation displays his restriction of interests and his preoccupation with his illness. Depressive ideas of guilt, self-reproach and unworthiness are common and over-concern with personal idiosyncrasies, spiritual matters, or with physical or psychological problems may form the basis of delusionary beliefs. These sometimes take on a markedly paranoid colouring. Sleep is almost always disturbed, the patient typically waking early; initial insomnia and broken sleep are also common. An occasional patient will experience hyper-somnia.

Even though the word depression may not be used by the patient and he may complain of apathy and loss of feeling, observation alone in these severe cases confirms his despondency, sadness or despair. In many patients, the depression shows a clear daily variation, being at its worst in the morning and improving later in the day, so that the evenings may be more or less tolerable. The depression may show some reaction to the surroundings, but commonly it is relatively unaffected by environmental events. In the agitated patient, anxiety symptoms may dominate the clinical picture; unremitting feelings of tension with their usual physical concomitants such as palpitations, headaches and loss of appetite are common, but the anxiety may be expressed in episodic form, including panic attacks and phobias. Weariness and fatigue are almost invariable. Amenorrhoea is frequent and sexual desire is commonly diminished. Fears of disease are common, particularly when somatic anxiety manifestations are prominent and hypchondriacal preoccupations with aches and pains and bowel or menstrual function may lead to the conviction on the part of the patient that he or she is suffering from cancer, heart disease, or hypertension. Other patients express fears of insanity or intellectual deterioration. Secondly, hysterical features may occur in association with hypochondriasis, leading to an invalid reaction.

In depressive illness there are, of course, no cognitive or intellectual changes, though these may be suspected because a patient emphasizes difficulty in concentration and consequent failure of recent memory. In many of these patients there will be a history of similar or previous episodes coming on without reason and terminating either spontaneously or in response to anti-depressant treatment. In perhaps 5 percent, there will be a history of depression or one or more attacks of mania.

Many mild cases of endogenous depression never seek medical help - many indeed never appreciate that they are ill. For the period of the illness, the sufferer continues to go about his daily existence, with a decreased sense of enjoyment, an increased sense of effort and perhaps some reduction in efficiency.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Depression

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sorry Readers.

Sorry guys but I was away for the holidays and was no where near a computer. I will be posting more articles for you soon. Thanks for your patience. Have a good one.

Anna A.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Seasonal Affective Disorder: One Easy, Cheap, Natural Way to Manage It - Denice Moffat

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study that enrolled 20 U.S. Marines suggests that tyrosine can improve mental alertness during periods of sleep deprivation. In this study, the participants were deprived of sleep for a night and then tested frequently for their alertness throughout the day as they worked. Compared to placebo, 10 to 15 grams of tyrosine given twice daily seemed to provide a "pick-up" for about two hours.*

L-tyrosine deficiencies affect memory, ability to handle stress, can cause depression and Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) by disrupting the serotonin-dopamine neurotransmitters of the brain.

It always amazes me when we see a shift in nutrition on a continental scale. What causes this? Why is there such a deficiency? Is it a new additive binding up the amino acid? Or is some type of effective advertising causing a decrease in the consumptions of particular foods that are rich in these nutrients?

Each practitioner picks these things up in different ways, but we do pick it up. Even though we may come to different conclusions, society gets alerted to the deficiency and finds ways to correct it. I’ve noticed this L-tyrosine deficiency in my own practice for several years. It manifests as depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder and there is an easy, cheap, natural and effective way to manage these challenges. It doesn’t work for everyone—only most people. And it does a great job of doing it.

The food which acts most effective to replace tyrosine deficiencies is sesame seeds (except for Blood Type B people who should not eat sesame products according to ) Sesame seeds can be taken in the form of raw seeds and tahini, or as halvah. The normal dose is about 2 tablespoons of the raw sesame seeds, or one tablespoon of tahini or halvah. It does have to be taken every day to be affective and it takes a couple of weeks to repair the tyrosine deficiency in your body.

The other thing you can do to help depression and SAD is to increase the amounts of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet. The usual dose is between 1 ½ cups to 2 cups EACH of raw fruits, raw vegetables and cooked vegetables every day. The addition of these foods makes everything you are taking (supplements, vitamins and even “real drugs”) work better.

People ask my why they can’t just take the pill form called L-Tyrosine, but it seems like this form is just too strong and is less effective in repairing the deficiency.

As will all programs, if you are on medications, please consult with your medical doctor first as going off antidepressants “cold-turkey” can be very dangerous.

* Reference: Neri DF, Wiegmann D, Stanny RR, et al. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Avit Space Environ Med. 1995; 66:313–319.

Dr. Denice Moffat is a practicing naturopath, medical intuitive, and veterinarian working on the family unit (which includes humans and animals) through her phone consultation practice established in 1995. She has a content-rich website at and free internationally distributed monthly newsletter. To read more about sesame seeds, see the Oct. 2006 Natural Health Techniques Monthly Newsletter or Dr. Moffat's site.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

The Warning Signs of Suicide - Michael Russell

Have you experienced being told by someone that she wants to end her life? You may not know exactly how to react to it or you may find it absurd. Oftentimes, hearing this kind of statement from someone we know or love will lead us to ask the question, why?

For some people, talking about or attempting suicide is actually an overt cry for help. They do not really want to die but it is their way of desperately seeking for help. Yet for some others, suicide is the only way to put an end to their pain and misery.

A person may think about suicide but this doesn't actually mean that a concrete action is bound to be executed. Sometimes this only measures the level of distress a person is experiencing in her life and how she views life's worth.

There are those who are at greater risk of committing suicide than others. Location can be a factor. Those living in cities are more prone to commit suicide that those residing in rural areas. Age also is a factor. There is a higher tendency of older individuals committing suicide compared to younger people. Women have shown more suicide attempts than men, although there is a higher percentage of men actually committing suicide than women. There is a higher suicide rate also for certain occupations among which are psychiatrists, lawyers, musicians and police officers.

Here are the risks factors that indicate a person's heightened vulnerability to suicide:

1. A previous history of suicide attempts can predispose a person to commit suicide again.

2. A family history of suicide makes a person more susceptible to commit suicide herself.

3. When a person makes plans to commit suicide.

4. A person who is experiencing life's loss may be may be undergoing bouts of depression. This could be due to a loss of a loved one, a job loss or a person may be undergoing the painful process of divorce or even not being able to find a suitable life partner. These are instances that can cause depression. When the experiences of depression worsen, this may precipitate into suicide.

5. Physical health problems including debilitating diseases like cancer and AIDS. Also a recent major surgery that renders an individual in severe pain or chronic and terminal illnesses that offer no positive diagnosis and leave an individual helpless and hopeless.

6. Recent loss of a loved one, maybe a spouse and more so if it is a child.

7. When a person doesn't have a social support system; no friends or close relatives to talk to when problems arise and depression sets in.

Talking honestly and openly about suicide with the person who has a suicidal tendency may actually help the person prevent suicide. Never take suicide threats lightly. If you know a person who threatens to commit suicide, urge her to seek professional help. If you don't know what to do and say if person comes up to you and tell you she wants to end her life, try these suggestions:

1. Help the person talk about how she feels and acknowledge her pain.

2. If there is a specific behavior that the individual is practicing that needs to be addressed, inform her. It could be an increasing frequency of her drinking sessions to drown her misery or her withdrawal from social functions and being alone most of the time.

3. Urge her to seek professional help. It could be depression that is pushing her to suicidal tendencies. Her depression can be treated with counseling or drug therapy.

4. Show the person that you care and her well-being is important to you. Let her feel that you are there all the way to support her. Offer a message of hope and support and let her feel that you mean it.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Depression

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Friday, November 17, 2006

How To Beat Depression - Alan Hands

How To Beat Depression by Alan Hands

Clinical Depression is the number 1 mental disorder in the world and the 2nd most disabling condition in the world behind heart disease.

A staggering 16% of the population will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.

Why should you be interested in this?

1. Because EVERYONE at some stage in their lives will be affected by depression, either their own or someone else’s.

(Source – Australian Government research)

2. Because only around 20% of those who develop depression will receive adequate treatment.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression it is essential to understand what depression is; what the causes are; what the symptoms are and what treatments are available, both conventional and complementary.

What is Depression?

Depression can be defined as a mental illness which causes feelings of sadness and loss of hope, changes in sleeping and eating habits, loss of interest in your usual activities, and pains which have no physical explanation.

What does this really mean?

Perhaps it is easier to have a look at how a doctor would diagnose a person as suffering from depression.

A person can be diagnosed as suffering from clinical depression if 5 or more of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2 week period and represent a change from previous functioning. At least one of the symptoms is either (a) depressed mood or (b) loss of interest or pleasure.

(a) Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either a subjective report or an observation made by others. In children and adolescents this can be an irritable mood.

(b) Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.

(c) Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.

(d) Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness or sleep) nearly every day.

(e) Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feeling of restlessness or being slowed down).

(f) Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.

(g) Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day.

(h) Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.

(i) Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal thoughts or attempts.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Not all people suffering from depression will have the same symptoms.

In addition to the symptoms listed in the above definition of depression, people suffering from depression may report some of the following symptoms:

 Exhaustion on waking

 Disrupted sleep, sometimes through upsetting dreams

 Early morning waking and difficulty getting back to sleep

 Doing less of what they used to enjoy

 Difficulty concentrating during the day

 Improved energy as the day goes on

 Anxious, worrying and intrusive upsetting thoughts

 Becoming emotional or upset for no particular reason

 Shortness of temper, or irritability

 Feeling miserable and sad

 A feeling that even the smallest of tasks is impossible

 Don’t want to see people or are scared to be left alone

 Loss of hope

 No confidence

 Physical aches and pains with no physical cause

What are the Causes of Depression?

There is no single cause of depression.

In general, ‘causes’ can be categorised into 3 main points of view:

1. Depression is a medical disease caused by a neurochemical or hormonal imbalance.

2. Depression is caused by certain styles of thinking.

3. Depression is a result of unfortunate experiences.

There is a school of thought that believes that the chemical imbalance referred to above is actually a SYMPTOM of depression and not a cause and therefore anti-depressants which treat this imbalance can never cure a person of depression as at best they can only alleviate a symptom and will do nothing to find or cure the cause.

Conventional Treatments For Depression

 Medication

 Counselling

 Complementary Medicine

Medication has some benefit to around a third of sufferers and as suggested above can only ever treat the symptoms not the cause.

Counselling can be of help to some but success is largely dependant upon the skill of the counsellor.

More and more people are now turning to Complementary Medicine and Self-Help in their battle with depression and finding amazing results with this approach.

To benefit from Complementary Medicine and Self-Help it is important to fully understand what depression is and how it is affecting the individual concerned.

This may be as simple as treating an underlying anxiety problem with self hypnosis CDs or by using aromatherapy to help promote relaxation.

Another great method of self-help to consider is modelling.

We can all learn from the experiences of others in many aspects of life and beating depression is no different. Simply find someone who has successfully beaten the condition, find out how they achieved their results and copy and adapt their methods to suit your own circumstances.

The benefit of this technique is that what took one person months or perhaps several years of trial and error to find the right results, can be modelled immediately and the results can be achieved so much quicker.

In order to free yourself from the shackles of depression I urge you to fully research the modern thinking relating to the condition, reach out to others who have gone through a similar experience and don’t be afraid to try a different approach – you may be surprised at the results.

Alan Hands is a former sufferer of depression, stress, anxiety and panic attacks who now dedicates his time to helping others overcome these problems.
He has authored several self-help ebooks on the following subjects –
Beat Depression
Conquering Anxiety
Combating Stress

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Depression Faq: Finding Help For Someone With Depression - Dane Loveless

* How do I know if a friend of loved one is experiencing depression?

Each person experiences depression differently. Depression generally comes in episodes and the same person will usually experience it similarly with each episode. Symptoms almost always include these three symptoms:

- Loss of interest in regular tasks.

- Feelings of sadness.

- Mood swings.

Other symptoms may include a combination of any of the following:

- Feelings of despair and doubt.

- Feelings of unimportance

- Guilt

- Impatience and unpredictability.

- An increase or decrease in weight from desire or lack of desire for eating.

- Thoughts of suicide.

- Irregularity in sleeping which may include sleeping too much or being too wrestless to sleep for long periods of time.

- Loss of energy and lack of will.

- Difficulty or inability to concentrate, focus or to make a decision.

* How do I know when a depressed person needs professional help?

A depressed person needs professional help if the person:

- is thinking of suicide

- is experiencing severe mood changes

- is thinking depression is connected to other problems needing professional help

- does not feel in control of his/her life

- feels overwhelmed, troubled, anxious, dejected, or out of control

- is not able to resist harmful behavior such as addiction

- is experiencing chest pain

* How can family and friends help a depressed person?

There are actually two important ways in which you can help a depressed person, but these must be done with kindness and consideration in order to avoid making things worse.

1) Help the depressed person find a suitable treatment for depression. This may include encouraging the person to continue with treatment until the signs of depression start to subside. You can also help the person by finding another treatment if there is no progress is being made.

2) Offer emotional support. This includes being considerate, calm, and loving. Involve the depressed person in a conversation and listen to him/her attentively. Do not downplay any of your impressions about suicidal tendencies. If possible, consult with the depressed person’s physician yourself. Be tenderly persistent if your request is rejected. Persuade him/her to join in some activities that will give pleasure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of being lazy or faking illness, and do not just wait for them to "snap out of it." In time, with healing, most depressed people do get well again. Remember, and keep comforting the depressed person with the knowledge that, with time and appropriate treatment, he or she will feel better.

* Where do you go for help with depression?

If you are concerned and think a friend or loved one may be experiencing depression, you can get help for them. Depression is not uncommon. In fact, anyone can experience depression. Try to get your friend or family member to talk about what they are experiencing. If you feel that the problem is beyond your ability to help, try to get them to consult a counselor or a physician. You may also choose to go to the nearest mental health center and talk to a specialist on depression. Depending on your relationship, you may want to go with them. You may find that the person doesn't feel anything is wrong with them and doesn't feel the need to see a doctor.

Dane Loveless is editor of Depression Lab, the online guide to Depression. He also writes Depression FAQ's for

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Basics of a Healthful, Antidepression Diet

By Michael B. Schachter, MD, with Deborah Mitchell Authors of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About™ Depression

For some people, the phrase healthful diet is enough to send their mood tumbling. "Guess I'll have to give up everything I enjoy, like chocolate and hamburgers and french fries," sighed one patient. "That's enough to make me even more depressed!" But healthful need not be equated with unappetizing or boring. Different, perhaps, and for some people a change to a more healthful diet requires big adjustments -- in the foods they buy, where they eat out, and how they prepare their choices. The rewards, however, are many, including improved mood, more energy, enhanced immune system, better concentration, and invigorated sex drive, to name but a few.

I've found that laying down a few basic but critical guidelines for a healthful diet, and then tweaking them for individual patients, works much better than expecting people to follow a complicated program that involves counting grams of carbohydrates or protein, weighing foods, referring to charts, or combining certain items in complicated ratios. That being said, here are my lists of "Positive Foods" and "Foods to Avoid."

Positive Foods

  • Sweets. In moderation, natural sugars such as rice syrup, date sugar, pure Vermont syrup, unsulfured blackstrap molasses, and unfiltered honey are all acceptable. An herbalsweetener -- that has nearly no calories -- is stevia, which can be found in health food stores and increasingly in mainstream grocery stores.
  • Fats. Some fats are healthy and instrumental in maintaining mental health, especially omega-3 fatty acids. When you choose oil for cooking, your best choice is probably cold-pressed olive oil. Butter and other saturated fats (like coconut oil, but not margarine that contains transfatty acids) may be used in moderate amounts. I suggest you avoid fried foods (especially deep-fried).
  • Whole fruits and vegetables. Whenever possible, choose fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and eat at least five to seven servings daily. To derive the most benefit from these rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates, eat them in as pure a state as possible, preferably raw or lightly steamed. (Sorry, deep-fried potatoes and onion rings don't count as servings of whole vegetables.) Fruit and vegetable juices are good as well, and if you have a juicer, please learn how to make your own fresh juices, remembering to drink the pulp as well!
  • Whole grains and cereals. Whole grains and cereals (organic if possible) are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. These foods include whole grains, brown rice, and unprocessed cereals. Complex carbohydrates break down gradually and provide a more steady supply of glucose -- brain fuel -- thus helping maintain an even or calmer mood. Simple carbohydrates, however, such as those found in sugary foods or those made with white flour, metabolize rapidly, contributing to and causing mood swings and energy highs and lows. Also, be aware that some grains and even other whole-food starches may be problematic for some people.
  • Beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Choose organic foods in this important category as well. Foods in this group are excellent sources of protein, especially for people who want to reduce or eliminate animal protein. Beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds are also high in fiber and many nutrients. Also in this category are tofu and other forms of fermented soybeans (miso, tempeh) and flaxseed.
  • Eggs and dairy. Eggs and dairy foods -- milk, cheese, butter, cream, and yogurt -- are good sources of protein, calcium, and other important nutrients. They are also rich sources of saturated fat, which may be fine for many people. The major concern I have about eggs and dairy relates to whether hormones were used in raising the animals; whether or not they were given foods containing pesticides, antibiotics, toxic minerals, or other chemicals; and whether the animals were confined to inhumane cages. Soft-boiled eggs are best because heat is applied without exposure to oxygen, thus reducing free radical damage. I recommend organic eggs and dairy products and prefer nonhomogenized milk. Although pasteurization of milk products is the norm today in order to eliminate harmful bacteria, certified raw milk is preferred in areas where it is available, provided the cows are clean and hygienic principles are used in caring for them. If you are lactose-intolerant because of a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, or you choose not to consume dairy items, nondairy foods may be used. These include products made from soy, rice, or nuts, such as soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk; cheese made from these "milks"; and nondairy desserts. These "dairy" foods are also good sources of protein.
  • Organic meats and poultry. Despite a push for people to eat more fish, meat and poultry continue to be major sources of animal protein for many people. For patients who eat meat, I recommend organically raised products, which are virtually free of hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, and other unnatural additives, all of which can have a detrimental effect on mood and general health. Such meat and poultry choices are slowly becoming more accessible and typically are available in natural and whole-food stores. Meats and poultry are sources of methionine, which is critical for methylation; this amino acid is difficult to get from plant-based sources.
  • Fish and shellfish. Fish and shellfish can be excellent sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, if you make judicious choices. I'm calling for "judicious choices" because of the persistent and very real problem of mercury, pesticides, PCBs, and other contamination of the fish supply. Fish that I tend to recommend that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, but relatively low in mercury, are wild Alaskan salmon and sardines. I am wary about farm-raised fish because some studies indicate that they are high in PCBs and other contaminants. The smaller the fish (say, sardines), the less likely they are to accumulate mercury. But if you eat fish fairly frequently, I recommend that you have your blood mercury levels checked, because there is no way to guarantee the fish you eat regularly is not contaminated. Everyone whom I have checked for mercury who eats sushi more than once a week is quite high in it. Swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and most tuna tend to be quite high in mercury.

I would like you to consider two factors when choosing foods from this list. One, do you have any reactions to these foods that may be contributing to or causing your depression? Two, do you have any specific food preferences based on religious, ethical, and/or moral beliefs? If you are a vegetarian, for example, you will not select meat, poultry, or fish, so you will need to choose other protein-rich foods such as soy products, legumes, beans, seeds, and, depending on the type of vegetarian diet you follow, eggs and/or dairy.

Foods to Avoid

Most of the foods included in this list should come as no surprise to you. In most cases, foods on the "Avoid" list have been highly refined and processed. Fortunately, for every food you should avoid, there is a healthy alternative on the "Positive Foods" list. You may find that the "Avoid" list reads like your current grocery list; or you may discover that only one or two categories apply to you. Next time you're in the grocery store, here are the items you want to skip:

  • Sugar. Avoid all foods that contain added sugar, such as soda, candy, cakes, ketchup, some breakfast cereals, and so on. Become a label reader. If sugar (or one of its companions, such as corn syrup) is one of the first few ingredients, put the item back on the shelf! Sugar can give you a burst of energy, but in the long run it can leave you depressed and tired.
  • White-flour products. Just say no to white bread, white pasta, and other products that use white flour, including many crackers, rolls and bagels, refrigerator biscuits, pizza dough, and baked goods. Also avoid white rice. These overly processed food products have been stripped of their nutritional value, and then they are "enriched" with some nutrients, along with synthetic additives.
  • Alcohol. This includes beer, wine, and liquor. People often forget that alcohol is a depressant, even though it provides an initial kick. Drinking alcohol can also disturb your sleep, which is a problem with many people who are depressed.
  • Caffeine. Avoid coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate. (Okay, you can have a limited amount of organic dark chocolate on occasion.) If you must have coffee, choose an organic coffee, since most coffees are high in pesticides. Decaffeinated coffee is fine for most people, provided that it is organic and does not use toxic chemicals in processing.
  • Hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenated fats are oils to which hydrogen atoms have been added in the factory in order to harden them and improve shelf life. These hydrogenated oils or fats contain high concentrations of trans-fatty acids, which have recently been clearly shown to disrupt fatty acid metabolism in the body and cause serious disease. Hydrogenated fats are found primarily in margarines, snack foods (potato chips, corn chips), crackers and cookies, baked products, and fast foods. When you read ingredient labels, look for the words hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, margarine, or shortening, which indicate the presence of trans-fatty acids, or look at the nutritional panel for the percentage of trans-fat in the product. Beginning January 2006, food manufacturers were required to list trans-fat content on labels.
  • Chemical food additives. To avoid artificial preservatives, flavorings, colors, and sweeteners, you need to read labels. Not all labels list all the chemicals in the food item, but the general rule is: If the product has been processed, it probably contains chemicals. For example, artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, nitrites, monosodium glutamate, and nitrates are often seen in cereals, breads, frozen dinners, boxed meals, and crackers. All foods containing artificial colors (such as red dye 40) or artificial flavorings should be avoided. Artificial additives can cause various adverse reactions, including mood swings, depression, fatigue, headache, rash, aggression, irritability, and attention difficulties, among others. I believe all artificial sweeteners, including saccharine, aspartame, and sucralose, should be avoided. In particular, avoid diet sodas containing aspartame.
  • Fluoride. Do not drink fluoridated water or tap water (unless filtered) or use fluoridated toothpaste. Despite the popularity of fluoride dental treatments for both adults and children, I strongly recommend you not get them. Also, avoid fluoridated vitamins for children. There are a number of excellent books and websites that clearly document the lack of efficacy and dangers of fluoride ingestion and fluoride use. If you live in an area where the tap water is fluoridated and you want to drink the tap water but not the fluoride, you need to use a water filter with a reverse osmosis component; carbon filters will not remove fluoride.
  • Chloride. Do not drink chlorinated water (unless the chlorine has been filtered out), as chlorine is toxic. A simple carbon filter will remove chlorine from tap water.

From the book WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT DEPRESSION: The Breakthrough Integrative Approach for Effective Treatment by Michael B. Schachter, MD, with Deborah Mitchell. (Published by Warner Wellness; November 2006;$14.99US/$18.99CAN; 0-446-69494-0) Copyright (c) 2006 by Michael B. Schachter, MD, and Lynn Sonberg. Reprinted by permission of Warner Books, Inc, New York, NY. All rights reserved.


Michael B. Schachter, MD, is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College, and received his medical degree from Columbia's Physicians & Surgeons in 1965. He is board certified in psychiatry and has achieved advanced proficiency in chelation therapy from the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). Dr. Schachter has been involved with alternative and complementary medicine since 1974. He is a recognized leader in orthomolecular psychiatry, nutritional medicine, chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease, and alternative cancer therapies. Coauthor of Food, Mind and Mood (1989, 1987) and author of The Natural Way to a Healthy Prostate (Keats, 1995), Dr. Schachter was a major contributor to Alternative Medicine's Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine, 1997). He was president of the American College for Advancement in Medicine from 1989-91 and is the past president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (FAIM). A frequent lecturer to both professionals and the public, Dr. Schachter is often a guest on radio and television, speaking about health and related topics.

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