Saturday, April 15, 2006

Stress and Depression - What Causes Depression and How is It Affected by Increased Stress Levels? - By Christina Vickery

Depression and its effect on our stress levels can have a huge impact on our lives.

When I think back over the times of extreme stress and anxiety over the last few years, I find I never really would have classed myself as depressed. However, at times, the thought of just not being part of this life became quite attractive. I often wanted to just peacefully slip away. I'm sure that this was a symptom, within myself of a mild form of depression.

As life sorted itself out, slowly those times of thinking like that started to diminish. It is only when I look back at how I felt that I realise how thinking like this was part of my life then.

What is depression?

Depression, like stress and anxieties, results from living our lives in a way in which we are not designed to live. We function best when we can slowly evolve and thrive in our environment.

The last 100 years has meant we have been thrust headfirst into a chaotic and very fast lifestyle. We haven't been given the luxury of adapting into our lifestyles slowly and calmly - going at our own pace. It is estimated that worldwide over 300 million people may be suffering from depression. That means an awful lot of unhappy people, on an awful lot of medication, costing a huge amount of money and resources.

How can we get help? - we need to learn more about the causes, symptoms and prevention and cure of depression.

Here are some signs you may recognise: Do you?
  • Wake up feeling exhausted?
  • Feel miserable most of the time?
  • Constantly worry - about anything and everything
  • Lack motivation - even of things you used to love doing?

What is your lifestyle like?

  • Do you work long hours?
  • Have you got large debts?
  • Do you abuse your body with drugs? nicotine? alcohol?caffeine?
  • Are you a couch potato?
  • Do you ever really relax and have a time of peace in your life?
  • Are you going through a divorce or messy relationship breakdown?
  • Do you feel part of a community - do you know/get on well with your neighbours?
  • Do you eat a mainly processed food diet?
  • Are you physically suffering from any of these problems?
  • Lack of sleep?
  • Food intolerances?
  • Too many toxins in your body? (through an unhealthy diet)
  • Too much sugar?
  • An imbalance or lack of vitamins, minerals, fatty acid levels from your diet?
  • Lack of exercise?
  • Lack of sunshine and adequate outdoor light exposure?
  • Co-existing illnesses - or perhaps you deal with one condition and immediately another sets in?

How do you feel emotionally? Do you feel?

  • Do you feel appreciated?
  • Are you in charge of your life?
  • Safe and secure?
  • Loved and connected to your partner?
  • Respected?
  • Do you feel you belong - either in your relationship, at work or with friends, or in your community?
  • Are you stimulated and challenged in your life?
  • Does your life have purpose?

IT IS VITAL TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO GET A PROPER ASSESSMENT.

Here are some options available to you to help you and I have put some in the form of FAQ's.

Will I be put on antidepressants? The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence ( the organisation which recommends prescribing guidelines to doctors) has recently said that the risks of taking anti depressents for someone with mild depression outweigh the advantages. You may not therefore be prescribed them.

If you want to know some of the risks of these medications they are:

  • Nausea
  • Lack of libido
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal pain
  • They sometimes don't work in approx 30-50% of patients

There is a holistic approach which can be divided into Physical and Emotional/Lifestyle changes.

Here are some guidelines

PHYSICAL

  • De toxify
  • Change to a healthy, mood enhancing diet
  • Eat 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks
  • Eat a protein source with every meal: eggs, nuts, seeds, fish, lentils, beans.
  • Eat 4 portions of leafy green vegetables every day
  • Take a multivitamin-mineral supplement
  • Raise neurotransmitter chemical levels - ie. serotonin, the happy chemical and dopamin the motivation chemical. Take these as supplements as 5-HTP (50mg to 100mg twice daily) and l-tyrosine 500mg three times daily. Also include Omega-3 essential fatty acids into your diet in the form of mackerel, salmon, sardines and herrings or take in supplement form
  • Exercise! get 30 minutes of exercise 3 - 5 times per week. Make sure you enjoy it, and when you're doing it make sure your mind is on your exercise and not your problems. By concentrating "externally" you are lessening the impact of your internal gremlins - but only whilst you are doing the exercise!


EMOTIONAL/LIFESTYLE

The key to success over depression is to ensure that the life you lead nourishes a balanced and healthy way of life for you. One in which you can grow emotionally and psychologically and one in which you use your abilities to gain fulfillment and improved mental health.

If you are balanced and happy in your life then you have the tools to deal with stressful and anxious situations as they arise. The effect will not be long term because you have the resources to combat the depressing situation.

This is a very important time for you to deal with your emotional/lifestyle challenges and it is essential that you get yourself the most valuable help.

This is an extract from my website which covers many aspects of stress and how it affects our lives.

It is based on my own experiences, which I share with you. I would like the site to expand and include helpful experiences you may like to share with myself and others.

Please visit if you feel it may be of interest to you http://www.stress-anxieties-solutions.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christina_Vickery

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