Monday, July 31, 2006

Elderly Care - Aged and Elderly Depression - By: Ron Rougeaux

Very often depression in the aged is not reported and treated due to the social stigma attached with this condition or due to plain ignorance on part of the family of the elderly person. This not only doesn't help them, but can worsen their condition and make them susceptible to other ailments... including sometimes suicide. Also, elderly depression can occur due to the death of a spouse...which increases lonliness. Also, side-effects from certain medicines or due to certain long-term illnesses like diabetes and arthritis can have a profound effect on depression. The depression must be treated as soon as possible. Without fast treatment, it can lead to suicidal tendencies on part of the patient or death from premature heart attack, stroke and other serious diseases.

One group known to be at risk from depression in the elderly include widowed women. Others at high risk are those not being able to cope with stress in their lives. Low self-confidence due to diseases like cancer and loss of limb causing disfigurement can easily lead to depression. Many elderly may have a family history of depression and get depressed due to apprehension of dying. Some elderly may have an addiction to alcohol or drugs contributing to their depression.

So, what can be done to help depression in the aged? Counseling and a therapy of antidepressants can help. (note: always see a licensed therapist and physican). The therapist will prescribe antidepressants if they feel they are required. During initial prescriptions of these drugs the patient has to be watched carefully as the side-effects and results of a reaction can be serious. These medicines show their effect over a period of time since they are given in small doses. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to have a medical alarm for the depressed person just in case they feel the need to contact emergency personnel.

Psychotherapy is very effective in dealing with depression in the elderly as the patient can share their feelings and insecurities with the therapist. This helps them to identify the main problem and initiates a curative process to overcome depression. Of course, a loving family can help tremendously. Depression is a sensitive issue which, can be treated with love and patience along with therapy and medication.

Ron Rougeaux has written articles which can be seen at his website at: concerning elderly people and the aged on subjects of elderly care, abuse, retirement, medical needs, and much more...

Ron Rougeaux has written articles which can be seen at his website at: concerning elderly
people and the aged on subjects of elderly care, abuse, retirement, medical needs, and much more...

Article Source: Article Hub

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Free Report From Harvard Medical School: UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION - By Charles Donovan

Harvard Medical School just published a special report titled Understanding Depression. Early recognition of the signs of depression is more common than in the past. New treatments, such as drugs targeted at specific changes in brain chemistry, can cut short otherwise crippling episodes. A variety of drugs and therapies can also be combined to boost the likelihood of a full remission. This report provides information on these and other helpful therapies. Reading it and sharing it with loved ones might help improve your life—or the life of someone close to you. And, because depression remains a leading cause of suicide, the information might even be lifesaving.

I think that this report is very informative, provides easy-to-understand explanations about this baffling disease and discusses various treatments. I know first hand that knowledge is so crucial to coping with this mental illness. This valuable report was prepared by the editors of Harvard Health Publications

I am offering this fifty-page report FREE to purchasers of Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression.

    Chapter include:

    • Understanding depression
    • What is major depression?
    • What is bipolar disorder?
    • What causes depression?
    • Early losses, life events, and temperament
    • Medications and mood changes
    • What you should know about medications
    • New approaches

    • Overcoming barriers to treatment
    • Finding the best treatment
    • Managing side effects
    • Getting help
    • Depression, sex, age
    • Resources

I hope that you will take advantage of this offer. It could change your life or the life of someone you love.

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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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bipolar Disorder Treatment - By Kent Pinkerton

Most people with bipolar disorder can be helped - but a psychiatrist or psychologist should first diagnose the disorder. Failure to diagnose and treat this disorder can prove fatal. Sometimes undiagnosed bipolar disorder patient end up in a psychiatric hospital or residential treatment centers and may attempt suicide.

Children and teens with bipolar disorder do not usually show the same patterns of behavior as adults who have a similar condition. A mental health professional has to observe a teen's behavior carefully before making a diagnosis. For treatment of this disorder a complete history of the person's past and present experiences is very essential. Family members and friends should provide helpful insights into the person's behavior, and the doctor may also want a teen to have a medical exam to rule out other conditions.

Medication and psychotherapy are known to be effective treatments for bipolar disorder. Occasionally, doctors may also use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Psychotherapy is often used simultaneously with medications. Detecting the patterns leading up to episodes of bipolar disorder and trying to identify triggers for these episodes is very important. Patterns may include use of medications or anything that happens physically or emotionally.

Psychotherapy helps provide strategies for managing stress and coping with suspicions. Basic education about the nature of the disorder also helps to understand ones behavior. Doctors may use electroconvulsive therapy for treatment mainly for people who may have episodes of depression associated with suicidal tendencies or in people whose medication has proved to be ineffective.

In this treatment electrodes are taped to the patient’s head and he is anesthetized. After a muscle relaxant is injected, a small amount of electrical current is passed through the brain for less than a second. This current produces a brain seizure, but because of the muscle relaxants the body remains calm. This therapy profoundly affects the brain’s metabolism and blood flow to various areas of the brain is rejuvenated. This therapy is often highly effective in the treatment of bipolar disorders.

Doctors sometimes use antidepressant medications to treat the depression associated with bipolar disorders. Additionally, taking medications as prescribed, reporting any changes in functions and participating in therapy are the keys to living a successful life. In addition to treatment, making a few lifestyle changes like reducing stress, eating well and getting enough sleep and exercise can help a person cope with this condition.

Bipolar Disorder provides detailed information on Bipolar Disorder, Symptom of Bipolar Disorder, Teen Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Disorder Treatment and more. Bipolar Disorder is affiliated with Bipolar Depression.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dealing With Your Depression And Anxiety In The Business World - By: Stan Popovich

It is not easy to deal with depression and anxiety in the business world. Getting help from a professional should be the first thing you do if you deal with depression. Many companies nowadays have different programs for their employees. Talk to your Human Resources Representative on a confidential basis and ask if your employer has any such programs.

If your place of work doesnt have any programs then ask your doctor or local mental health clinic. Help is available if you look hard enough.

With the help of a professional, evaluate the source of your depression. Knowing what is causing your depression can go a long way. Once you know why you are feeling depressed, then it is easier to find the ways to overcome it.

A good way to manage your depression is to learn how to deal with your negative thinking. If you get thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts with positive statements. Try to minimize the fear behind the thought by thinking of something positive or constructive.

When we worry or get depressed, we tend to worry on exaggerated assumptions. Sometimes our exaggerated ideas can make us worry even more. Remember to get all of the facts of your current circumstances. Getting the facts can make us aware of what is reality and what is not. Before you worry about something, get the necessary information on your situation. Dont assume anything.

Take things one at a time. Do not look too far ahead. Next week or next month will take care of itself.

Your not alone in dealing with depression and anxiety. If you have such a problem, you can take steps to solve your current problem. They key is to get help from a counselor and to be persistent in finding the ways that will get rid of your anxiety and depression. Remember that there is hope. Eventually you or the person who is struggling will eventually get better.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear an easy to read book that presents a overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to:

Article Source: Article Hub

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Truth About Depression - By: Graeme Notega

Youve probably seen the commercials on television talking about the you you used to be before depression set in. Such commercials are generally aired by drug companies promoting an anti-depressant. But what these commercials fail to tell you is depression is common, and not everyone who feels down or blue is suffering from depression. You need to know the facts about depression before you and your doctor determine you are indeed suffering from this illness.

Thats right. Depression is a real mental illness that often requires anti-depressants or therapy to relieve symptoms. You cant fix depression by yourself, and without treatment, youll likely face an uphill battle you probably arent going to win. More than 18 million people a yearor nine and a half percent of adults in Americaare diagnosed with some sort of depressive illness such as depression.

The first thing you need to know are some of the symptoms that are common with depression. Symptoms include: feeling persistently sad or anxious, being overcome by hopelessness or pessimism, loss of interest in things you normally enjoy, having a lack of energy, feeling excessively tired, having difficulty making decisions or concentrating, insomnia, sleeping too much, excessive weight gain, excessive weight loss, irritability, restlessness and thoughts of suicide. If youve experienced any, most or all of these symptoms for a period of two weeks or more, youre likely to be suffering from clinical depression.

What causes depression? In some instances, depression is genetic and is passed from generation to generation while others who suffer from depression will find there is no history of depression in their families. If you tend to have low-self esteem or you generally are pessimistic, you may be prone to depression. Many changessuch as death in the family, illness, financial difficulties and other stressorscan also be the root cause of depression.

Whatever the reason, its important to see a doctor to discuss treatment options. Once your doctor diagnoses depression and eliminates any other possible causes, you and he will determine the best treatment option for you. Antidepressants are often the most chosen form of therapy, and its important to knowno matter what antidepressant you go on, you must be sure you never just stop taking them. Simply stopping medication can have severe consequences.If you take an anti-depressant, you may experience any of a series of side effects including dry mouth, constipation, bladder problems, dizziness, sexual problems, headache, nausea, nervousness and insomnia. If the side effects are too severe, seek your doctors advice.

The good news is, if youre suffering from depression, youre not alone. You can get help. There are people who understand and who can help you and your family learn to make things better. The key is to seek help, and before you know it youll be on the path to happier times.

Graeme Notega is a contributor to Healing Point, A One-Stop site for all depression info. For more information,go to:

Article Source: Article Hub

Monday, July 24, 2006

How to Help Your Man in Andropause - By: Monalisa Hyden

Name it mid-life crisis or retirement blues, the gradual change in your man’s taste and temperament driving you crazy these days, is Andropause. Blame it on the diminishing hormone level in his body that has made him unmanageable after 30 years of marital bliss. As a woman goes through menopause, so a man has to face Andropause in a certain point of time in his life. His patience would diminish as his receding hairline; he will constantly fight with you for your unconditional love while his libido will go downhill. The most common symptom of Andropause is depression which is subtly but strongly connected to impotence and sexual problems. They will experience difficulty in attaining a sustaining erection, mood swing, lethargy, depression, irritation etc.

The symptoms of depression cannot be generalized in men as we can do so for women. The reason behind, men do not want to admit that they are depressed as they are supposed to stronger than women are. They will hate to accept the fact that they have problems with their sexuality and depression has anything to do with this. The male depression symptoms are not generalized, so that is the reason why a depressed man’s depression goes unrecognized. But truly speaking, the consequence of depression in men is far more destructive than that of women. You will be shocked when I will tell you that 80% of suicide cases are of men in the U.S. With no intention of terrifying you, just for your knowledge and precaution, here is another fact; the male suicide rate at midlife is three times higher; for men over 65, seven times higher. (Source: Jed Diamond's book Male Menopause)

The symptoms of male depression cannot be generalized, so let me tell you the different ways of how a woman and a man react when victimized by devil depression. A depressed woman will suffer from guilt and blame themselves for everything while a man under depression will blame others. Women feel sad, apathetic, and worthless while men are supposed to be ego inflated, angry and irritable. Women, when depressed, feel anxious and scared, but men are suspicious and guarded. Men will create conflict while women will escape from any type of conflict. The depressed woman will withdraw when hurt, but a depressed man will attack you on the spot. A depressed woman has low self esteem and hate to trouble others while a depressed man will demand respect from others and always be agitated and hostile. A depressed woman will sleep too much in order to escape the real world while a depressed man will sleep too little. The women who are depressed find it easy to talk about her frustration while a depressed man is terrified to let others know about his weaknesses. A depressed woman feels safe when the family cares for her, she comes closer to her family members, but a man would master his family to feel safe. Men would try to overcome his Andropause using alcohol, sex, TV, sports, and a woman would eat more, and look for friends and those who love her, to fight her menopause blues. Now that you know the probable symptoms that may occur to your middle aged male, let me tell you how you should help him.

 The first step is to identify the depressed man. Remember, men do not see depression in themselves as denial is their most active psychological defense.

 Men are most egoist, they hate to ask for help. Your man will seek psychological help only when pressurized by a significant person in life. So, as a wife, you need to create pressure on him.

 You have to advise your man, who is going through Andropause depression, to exercise and follow a healthy diet.

 He should undergo individual and group psychotherapy.

 Meditation and spirituality will open a new understanding of life to him; in fact you can accompany him in this activity. That will help both of you strengthening the bond within you two.

 He should take proper medications; there is a number of good antidepressant for him, e.g. Xanax

 Help your man recreate the social circle he ignored due to his busy life. Ask him to contact old friends and make new ones.

 Make him understand with your love that he is as wonderful as he was earlier. This will help him to love himself and accept for he is.

The way to a better life after Andropause is known to you now. Life can be as wonderful as it was earlier; accepting the Nature’s rule will give you the feeling of contentment and peace that you had never known before. Take life positively, and fight the devil depression, together you will live happily ever after… Andropause. ________________________________________________________________
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Sunday, July 23, 2006

What to Do When Someone You Love Suffers From Depression - By Brad Bahr

When you love someone who suffers from depression or bipolar disorder you may find yourself frustrated, angry or losing your ability to tolerate their behavior towards yourself, your children or other friends and family. Sadly, while great strides have been made to treat these disorders, the family and friends coping with sufferers often feel hopeless or discouraged by their attempts to help.

If you are living with, or close to someone who is diagnosed or appears to be suffering from depression or bipolar you will find the following tips beneficial for helping both the individual and yourself from the terrible effects of depression.


If the person you love has not been diagnosed with depression it is important for you to analyze their behavior and act on it. If the person displays symptoms of depression they may not realize it on their own. Depression often causes a person to feel like a failure and they may blame their lack of interest, energy or ability to show affection as a personal weakness rather than a medical problem.

Individuals who have bipolar disorder frequently assume bouts of manic symptoms can simply mean they have high energy rather than a problem that needs attention. Using a questionnaire online or from a pamphlet can help you or your loved one identify symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder.


If you feel that your loved one is displaying symptoms of depression, including an inability to show interest in activities that they usually enjoyed, sleeping more or less than usual, unexplained crying, withdrawing from interactions and talk of suicide, it is crucial that they seek medical intervention right away.

If the individual refuses to seek treatment you may need to enlist the help of others to speak to them, including anyone they might respond to - friends, teachers, counselors. You can even ask your own physician for help if nobody else can convince them. If they talk about suicide call 911 or a suicide emergency help line immediately.


Probably the most important action you can take, aside from getting the person medical treatment is to remain nonjudgmental and consistently supportive.

The symptoms of depression can vary in intensity but their affect on a relationship is always negative. A depressed person feels unworthy and weak. This self-depreciation furthers the depression. Losing the ability to work, communicate or enjoy life will erode relationships, lead to financial problems and affect intimacy.

It is important to remember this is not the true nature or feelings of the person suffering from depression. A depressed person may start arguments or tell you they don't love you. Do not believe them or take their comments to heart. Indulging their grievances will only further the depression.

If the person is being treated for their depression remind them that treatment will eventually work and remain positive. Remind them that this is a medical problem and that they are not to blame. Don't push them to do more than they are capable of and never suggest that they just "pull themselves together" since that will lead to more feelings of worthlessness. Regularly inviting the person to go for a walk, enjoy a movie or other outing, or simply listen to them talk can help when the person feels able to do these activities.


If you have been through several bouts of depression with the one you love, remember the episode will eventually end. If you are having trouble keeping perspective you might seek out a support group for friends and family of those suffering from depression to help you feel connected to others dealing with similar situations.

Find a confidant who will listen without judgment. Especially when dealing with a depressed spouse you may feel unloved or hopeless. Having a friend or therapist who you can share your feelings with will help you remember that it is not the person or yourself causing this turmoil, it is a medical problem that must be viewed as temporary and treatable.

Brad Bahr is the editor of many health related websites and publications. He has been testing and reviewing nutritional supplements for over 20 years. After trying hundreds of products, he recommends one supplement above all others for renewing health and energy:

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Is Your Child Bipolar? - By Terry Coyier

Many parents face life with a difficult to raise child. If temper tantrums, crying fits, severe opposition and sometimes even extreme giddiness are part of your daily or even weekly routine, then you'll want to read this.

Early onset bipolar disorder is quite unlike adult bipolar disorder. It manifests differently in children and often disguises itself as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is difficult to diagnosis, but armed with the right information, a good psychiatrist can identify it and treat it.

Symptoms (may include):

  • irritable mood
  • agitation
  • impulsivity (lack of control)
  • destructive rages
  • defiance of authority (especially when no is used)
  • separation anxiety
  • extreme sadness
  • crying spells
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • lack of interest in activities
  • rapidly changing moods (from sadness to elation)
  • hyperactivity
  • pressured or racing speech
  • bed wetting
  • night terrors
  • inappropriate sexual behavior
  • excessive craving of sweets

What Parents Need to Do:

  • Keep a daily log of your child's moods (mood charts can be found online)
  • Keep a record of unusual behaviors (anything that fits into one of the categories above)
  • Keep a sleep diary (a record of how many hours your child sleeps each night)
  • Write down anything your child says that may seem out of the ordinary (especially things about death or not wanting to live)
  • Write down a family history of anyone who has had a mood disorders or experienced alcoholism

Whether or not you have a history of mood disorders in your family, if your child is experiencing most or all of the symptoms above, it's imperative that you have them evaluated by a qualified doctor. Often the family physician isn't familiar with the intricacies of mental disorders and should refer you to a child psychiatrist who specializes in mood disorders. Early prevention is the best treatment and can make life for you and your child so much easier.

If your doctor wants to treat your child for ADHD, make sure they rule out bipolar disorder FIRST! Being treated with stimulants can exacerbate bipolar disorder, making it even more difficult to treat down the road.

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

The first line of defense with bipolar disorder is the mood stabilizer. Since bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain, the mood stabilizer attempts to fix the imbalance. Several different mood stabilizers are available and your doctor will prescribe the one they feel is right for your child, based upon the symptoms you describe. This is why it is important to keep accurate records of your child's behaviors. Be aware, mood stabilizers can take up to six weeks to be affective. By that time you should have had a follow-up visit or even two and can discuss the need to change medications if necessary. Bipolar medication is trial and error so be patient.

Therapy is also important to the bipolar child. Finding a child psychologist is sometimes difficult, but can make a big difference to your child. Therapy teaches them how to cope with their disorder and can teach them skills they can use when an episode erupts. They can also be very helpful to the parents, teaching them how to cope with their bipolar child.

Early intervention cannot be stressed enough. The sooner your child is evaluated, the sooner they can be diagnosed and become stable. If you doubt your child's diagnosis, don't be afraid to seek a second opinion. The best case scenario is that you have misread your child's behavior and the doctor will tell you that the behavior your child exhibits is normal. The worst case scenario is that your child does have bipolar disorder. Remember though, bipolar is treatable and is not the end of the world, especially if caught early.

Terry J. Coyier is a 37-year-old college student studying for an Associates of Applied Sciences degree. She is also a freelance writer who writes about bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Terry was diagnosed with bipolar ten years ago. She lives with her son in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Terry is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers and her personal portfolio can be viewed here.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

5 Ways To Effectively Treat Minor Depression - By: David Sanders

1. Consider adopting a pet. Studies have shown that individuals who own pets, including cats or dogs, live a happier and healthier life. The reason is because pets provide companionship and unconditional love, which is one of the reasons that they may help to eliminate minor cases of depression and/or stress.

2. A regular fitness regimen may help to treat depression, including walking or a leisurely jog. Experts believe that walking for 30 minutes each day may help to ease stress and anxiety, which often lead to depression, and may also improve cardiovascular health.

3. Find a hobby that you enjoy. If you have too much time on your hands, consider volunteering at a local hospital or becoming involved in some type of community activity that offers you personal satisfaction and enjoyment. After all, busy hands are happy hands.

4. The loss of sleep is one of the leading causes of stress and anxiety, which are directly related to depression. In order to improve the quality of your sleep, make sure that your mattress is comfortable, along with your pillow. It may also help to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature so that you can sleep soundly through the night without being disrupted by hot or cold temperatures. And finally, the use of portable air filters will help to remove allergens in the air and will leave your room with a feeling of cleanliness. This may help to ease allergies, which often disrupt sleep and can lead to anxiety throughout the day.

5. Consider the cause of your depression and try to remove it from your life. Whether it be a job or a relationship, you may be able to effectively eliminate the depression by getting away from the cause. If your work is stressful because of the amount of hours spent on the job, consider cutting back on overtime in exchange for more enjoyment at home and with family. If your schoolwork is too demanding, consider evaluating your courses and which are most important for your education. If a relationship is what has you in a rut, consider a counseling session for couples or talk with your partner about whatever it is that’s troubling you. If the problem is too great to work through, consider some time apart to reevaluate your relationship and see if the depression eases after a trial separation.

This article is to be used for informational purposes only. The information contained herein should be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional medical advice relating to the treatment of depression. Anyone who notices the symptoms of depression, or believe that they may have a problem, should consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and/or treatment recommendation.

About the Author:

The author is a regular contributor to Depression Data where more information about depression is available.

Read more articles by: David Sanders

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Is Your Child Suffering From Teen Depression - Dennis Driscoll

Is Your Child Suffering From Teen Depression

Teen Depression is a rapidly growing concern in our society today.

Aside from obesity, teen depression is one of the major concerns affecting our youth today. Reaching near epidemic proportions, teen depression is immensely contributing to countless numbers of teen deaths via suicide thousands per year and countless more attempts. Teen depression can be a difficult problem to diagnose for parents, as many teens often will not open-up with their parents and when it comes to depression many will not talk to their friends because of the status quo of depression. Teen depression symptoms are very much the same as adults. Some of the symptoms include:

Lack of motivation or general interest in normal daily activities

Feelings of hopelessness

Any suicidal thoughts

Signs of withdrawal from everyday friends

If you suspect your teen may be depressed, talk to him or her and take them to your doctor. Anti-Depressant drugs are widely prescribed today but may not be the only option available. Scientific studies over the past few years have reached some startling conclusions about teen depression. Recently, several studies have concluded that suicide rates have actually gone up for teens taking antidepressant drugs; the validity of such studies has yet to be determined.

Many of the patients who are taking heavy doses of antidepressants are generally suicidal anyway, so it makes it difficult to tell if the drug itself is actually contributing to suicide or if the teens are either not taking their drugs, or the drugs are not acting quickly enough to relieve depression. It should also be noted that the use of anti-depressant drugs have probably helped more teens than not.

Thorough research should be done before making any decisions to take anti-depressants. Talk to friends and family and ask around if they know anyone taking anti-depressant drugs and their successes. After starting treatment careful monitoring of you child should be done by you and your doctor. Many times 1 type of anti-depressant may not work so another can be tried.
There are other treatment options available for your depressed child. Depression chat through counseling is one possible option if your child is not suffering from severe depression.

Alternatively, you could consider electroconvulsive therapy or nerve stimulation as possible treatment options for those suffering with teen depression. Magnetic and hormone based therapies are also possibilities for treatment, but they are completely experimental at this point and nobody knows for sure yet if they will actually work to prevent depression in the long term. Understanding depression and its symptoms should help you determine what type of depression your child may or may not have and help you to seek out the professional that may be needed.

Dennis M DriscollUnderstanding DepressionDennis M DriscollThe Key To Understanding Depression

Article Source: Article Hub

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mistakes We Knew We Were Making - By Joshua Poon

How do you deal with your past mistakes? I would like to recommend a great way to burden your mind, waste time, and lower your self-esteem.

It's called Condemning Yourself for Past Mistakes Game.

Try it out on yourself and people you dislike! It's very easy to do, and anyone can do it. It is great for injecting endless hours of frustration and stress into your life!

I've known many people who do this very well, but just in case you're having some difficulty, here are some pointers to send you on your way?

First, think of all the things you did or failed to do in the past. Especially, things which you cannot do anything about it now. Constantly remind yourself of them and beat yourself up for them.

A good way to do this is to keep whining about them. If you can regularly complain to others, it is even better! Remember to sigh a lot too. There is nothing like constant verbal repetition for these past mistakes to really stick.

Then, tell yourself that you'll never be able to adjust your behavior to prevent similar errors in future. Learning from mistakes just never crossed your mind. Remember, self-improvement is a myth.

This kind of thinking will start a vicious cycle. Remembering how incapable, unlovable, and foolish you are will enable you to continue repeating past mistakes. Now this part is essential in order for the entire self-loathing process to work.

In no time, you'll be able to whittle your self-esteem down to such a degree that you will have no problem thinking you're absolutely incapable of success and happiness. The strategy is laughably simple: reinforce negative thoughts and experiences and they will inevitably lead to negative feelings and outcomes.

Remember, you are not special, you are not unique. The world simply doesn't need another loser like you. If you're doing everything right, by this time, you would have lost most of your friends, alienated your family members, lost your appetite for food and life, and are looking forward to a lonely, meaningless existence.

So, if you're ever bored, and need to kill some time, depress your spirit and embrace failure as lord of your life, try condemning yourself for past mistakes. Have fun!

"Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain." Kahlil Gibran

Joshua Poon is the webmaster and publisher of He has been collecting inspiring quotes, stories, poems and music etc as he comes across them. He also writes articles about self help, inspiration and personal development. So come and visit his website for more self help articles and stories

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Postpartum Depression - By Michael Colucci

Postpartum depression is a condition that is primarily seen in women who have just given birth. While it may also be present in men, it is not as extensive. This disorder is considered to be a type of major depression, and there are a number of ways it can be treated. Postpartum depression is experienced by over 70% of women who have recently given birth. The symptoms for this condition may last for hours or days, and patients will be irritable, unable to concentrate, and may also experience a loss of sleep or headaches.

The diagnosis for postpartum depression is similar to other forms of major depression. However, the difference between PPD and other forms of depression is that those who are suffering from PPD will typically begin having symptoms a month after they have given birth. In addition to this, the condition may also develop during the pregnancy as well. Many of the causes of PPD are not well understood. However, there are a few factors that are believed to cause the disorder. One cause is the prenatal depression that may be experienced during pregnancy. A woman who has a low self esteem is also at a higher risk for developing PPD.

Women who are not receiving social support, or who are in a bad relationship with their spouse will also have higher chances of developing PPD. In addition to this, women who have previously suffered from depression are also likely to develop postpartum depression after they have given birth. Many women who given birth do not have the support of the father, and this person may not be present. In situations like this, the development of PPD is likely. Some studies also indicate that hormone changes in the body of a woman who has just given birth may cause PPD, but there are currently no concrete facts to support this.

When a child is born, both parents will be responsible for altering their lifestyle in a way that will benefit the child. In a situation like this, some believe that the radical changes that may need to be made to support the infant may play a role in the development of PPD, but there have been now studies which have found that this theory is accurate. While it is rare, some women can develop extreme forms of PPD, and this can lead to delusions or other severe mental health problems. It should be noted that only about 0.1% of women experience this, and most women only have moderate forms of the disorder. However, a women who has a mental illness before you gives birth is very likely to develop an extreme form of this condition.

Studies which have been conducted on animals indicate that a parent will not invest in the well being of their young when costs involved are higher than the benefits. Some animals have even been observed killing or abandoning their offspring. Because human babies require so much care, a mother who is forced to care for the child on her own may not have the necessary tools to care for the child, and may risk harming herself. Many of these women may begin to have negative fews of their children, and may not be responsive to the needs of the child.

Michael Colucci is a writer for Postpartum Depression which is part of the Knowledge Search network

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Monday, July 17, 2006

The Mental Depression Serotonin Syndrome - Brain Health Insights - By Robin J. Derry

Mental health. Our worst fears exposed? Depression, fear and anxiety continue to mark a curse on children and adults around the world. Internal "issues" build, then burst into potentially life destroying anxiety panic attack. It's now wonder that more and more people are focused on brain health issues.

So, how do you determine "normal" brain health, and whether your brain's glands are producing either too much serotonin or not enough?

The Serotonin Depression Link. In the mind-body health matrix, mental and physical operations are intimately connected. Our understanding of this mind-body connection has rapidly expanded due to the world of neuro-science research, where brain health experts theorize that important brain "mood" regulators include natural serotonin and norepinephrine. Meanwhile, these same neuro-scientists theorize that your body utilizes these hormonal regulators as a chemical arbiter for "physical pain".

Create a serotonin deficiency and you'll gradually see the tentacles and growth in mental depression along with physical pain and discomfort.

Too Much Serotonin Versus Low Serotonin - What's Important? Brain chemistry is complex stuff. Further complicating "guidelines" advice is the fact that natural serotonin levels can vary significantly between persons. Here's the generalized every-day-understanding to know about.

* Low Serotonin Levels.

Can "show" through a menu of distressed behavior patterns including obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety panic attacks, drowsy and bulimia food aversion.

* Too Much Serotonin.

An imbalance or serotonin overdose creates its own brand of crises, including the potential for fever, headaches, migraine, feel less hungry, coma, brain seizures, damages to your heart and cardiovascular system and in the event of true serotonin syndrome (toxicity) even death.

Technical Stuff To Know -

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor "Side Effects". Any of the "psycho" drugs including the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor compounds act to increase serotonin across all neural pathways. Results? Side effects can include ongoing anxiety, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal imbalance, dry mouth, nausea. On one hand, a serotonin norepinephrine increase addresses depression and pain. Taken too far, these therapies trigger nuisance side effects, which left undiagnosed can build into other health risks.

Bottom line? Your body adjusts to medical interventions, creating a "tolerance", so many of the "potential" down-side risks of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor compounds are relegated to "nuisance" factor for most people.

Will A Serotonin Supplement Work?

Yes. Consider that your brain has over 10 billion cells and perhaps 4 million miles of nerve fibers, so you're exhibiting one of the most complex organs ever developed. Even while each of these billions of cells may also have a network of over 25,000 "connections" with other cells, a serotonin supplement can, and will, work its way in between these "connections".

Result? Brain cells will now "talk" differently to each other because receptor sites can be adjusted to slow down or speed-up messages, which we experience as "mood", "thought", "physical pain or pleasure" and so on. Imagine that all of this complex stuff, and whirring action is happening at around 120 mph through your brain's neural network!

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Depression and How It Affects Our Lives - By Stephen Graham

Depression affects us all during our life time. Some are held in it's grasp to a greater degree than others. Depression can affect our sleep habits, our outlook on life and even our life. It can change the way that we think and act. It can keep us locked within dark places for long periods of time.

Our functioning as human beings can be affected and curtailed by this disease. Genetics plays a role in this malady. Suicide rates are higher in some familles than others. People who suffer from this malady feel as though they are in a big and dark hole . Extricating themselves from the hole that they have dug for themselves is one big problem. Psychiatric help with the use of drug treatment is one viable alternative.

The society that we live in and the problems associated with it greatly contribute to depression. When a spouse leaves or when any other traumatic event occurs can contribute to depression. Most of us do not have the family structure available to handle these situations. We feel as if we are alone and isolated on an island. Many times the affected person can have an established family structure and still be affected by this disease. Whether it be the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, the end results can often times be the same.

Many people that enter depression do not have a viable reason for entering that dark and deep hole. Two people that are affected by the exact same dilemmas can react totally different to the same problem. Some people are not effected by problems that send many others into a life threatening situation. Many people have built in coping mechanisms that derail the onset of depression. Good ways for people to off set the affects of depression is to do something that they enjoy. A vacation or get away may be good for one person but may not be good for another.
Being among people may enhance recovery for some people and send others plummeting into despair. Family members and friends should treat this as a disease and recognize the fact that one usually has no control over the matter without professional help.

Depression can lead to death. A deeply depressed person can not rationalize how to escape his dilemma. Just the act of thinking about his problem is apt to drive him deeper into that depressive state. Rely on professional help and the good sense of family members and friends who can recognize problems in a person that the afflicted may not even recognize himself.

Depression is one of the leading ills that affects modern day man. Many situations may contribute to it. Sometimes it requires no trigger mechanism to initiate the feelings of hopelessness and the feeling that life is not worth living. Those who think this way often rationalize that the best solution to the problems of life is to disconnect themselves from the problem of life. The pain that they have been suffering from would finally end. There is real pain in depression. The thoughts of doom and negativity are sometimes so great that the only solution for a person in a deeply depressed state is to terminate life.

Even though all of us suffer from stress related problems there are answers for many who suffer from extreme depression. There are hot lines set up for many sufferers in crisis type situations. Help is just a phone call away. There is also help for sufferers in the medical community. Maybe a conversation with a representative of a favorite religious community can help turn the torment. Our society recognizes that it has created many of the problems that effect sufferers. There is help out there for those who suffer.

Stephen Graham-Studied and graduated with a degree in Psychology. His writings are based on his life studies.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Always Tired, fatigued, Anxiety filled? Maybe you need a Depression Test. - By: Synergize Marketing

Depression has become one of the most widely increased diagnosed disorders in this country over the past few years. Things like the falling economy causing a decrease in personal finances, in addition to lifes daily stresses and worries have caused many Americans to become depressed.

You may have seen the recently advertised television commercials offering depression testing. Depression not only saddens an individuals state of mind, but also causes symptoms like fatigue, anxiety and loss of motivation, even in the simplest of daily activities. People who are depressed are not temporarily moody or sad. The condition is unfortunately, long-term and negatively affects the way a person feels, thinks and behaves.

Depression is a genuine medical condition that can be treated, but the help has to be sought out. That in itself can often times be a difficult task for someone experiencing this ailment. A Depression Test is important because depression is a disease that requires attention and medical treatment. If it is not treated, it can last for months, and in some cases, even years.

If you have been feeling out-of-sorts for an extended amount of time, you might consider taking a depression test. There are several ways you can do this. If you dont feel up to a doctor visit, go online. Visit a website that can offer you a simple questionnaire to decide whether or not you might be clinically depressed. There is a wonderful website called that offers a very good depression test which is in the form of a simple questionnaire. You will also find answers there to any questions you might have about the way you are feeling. Another good web resource is Please keep in mind that if your depression test results lead you to believe that you are in fact suffering from depression, you must make an appointment to see a physician and get treatment.

If you are, or know someone who is suffering from depression, seek help. There is nothing to be ashamed. You shouldnt have to live in sadness so dont continue to let life pass you by. You are valuable part of this world and you deserve to experience the same happiness as everyone else around you.Have you been feeling lathargic? Anxiety and loss of motivation? You just may have a mild to cronic form of depression. Find out with depression test.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

The Secret to a Happy Life - by Marsha Jordan

There seems to be an epidemic these days of depression.

Everyone I talk to, it is experiencing some degree of depression. As I wonder about the cause of this twenty-first centuryphenomenon, I think of my great grandmother who raised my dad in the back woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the Great Depression.

She had a hard life raising twelve children and two grandchildren, seeing two die as toddlers as well as two as adults with cancer. She supported her sick husband who was twenty-two years older than she was. She struggled through the great depression, yet (according to those who knew her best) she was never depressed a day in her life! Why? Maybe because she was too busy just surviving to stop and think about feeling sad.

She came to this country from Holland as a child. She married at the age of 13. Her parents went back to Holland without telling their children. She fed her family by raising animals and a large garden, in addition to taking in boarders and caring for the elderly and sick. She sold her homebaked goods and ran the local post office. She entertained traveling preachers and live-in teachers.

She cooked on a woodstove in a house that was so cold the water in the tea kettle would freeze during the night if she didn't get up and stoke the fire. She could see the snow outside through the cracks in the walls. She had no phone, no electricity, no running water, no shower, bathtub or indoor toilet! There was no television to watch as she relaxed in the evenings. In fact, she didn't relax in the evenings. That's when she sewed the family's clothes. To listen to the radio, her family had to walk half a mile to the nearest neighbor's house. She was up before anyone else in the morning and she was the last to go to bed at night.

Her children were the only ones in school who had real meat to eat and didn't have to take lard sandwiches in their lunches. Her kids had shoes to wear when the neighbors didn't, but they put cardboard inside those shoes to cover the holes in the soles. Though they lived in a tar paper shack, they were better off than most of the folks they knew. When beggars came to grandma's door, she would always give them a meal and a dime, though a dime was a lot of money in those days. She and her children rarely took baths. To do so, they had to pump the water from the well, heat it on the stove, and fill the metal tub in the kitchen by the fire. They never went to a doctor when they got sick. They couldn't afford such a luxury. And in those days, there was not a whole lot that doctors could do for them anyway. (Modern medicine has come a long way in the last 70 years). This may sound like a story from Laura Ingalls Wilder books about the 1800's, but I'm talking about the 1930's!

My great grandma and her family rarely drove the 13 miles into town because gas was too expensive and they couldn't all fit into the car anyway. When they didgo to town, they had to change flat tires every few miles and in the winter they froze with no heat in the car and frequently got stuck in the snow even though they had put chains on the tires. As a newlywed, when mygrandmother moved to her new home with her new husband, she packed all her belongings into a horse-drawn wagon. As they drove away from her parents' home, she said "I forgot to bring a broom." Her husband replied, "The house we'll beliving in has a dirt floor, so you won't need a broom."

This was my grandmother's life. How many of us could live like that and still be happy? Maybe part of the reason she could be happy was that she did not have the high expectations that we have these days. She expected to lose children to death. She expected to have to work hard and not have much to show for it. She accepted whatever happened and kept going, taking each day as it came. Maybe our problem is that we cannot accept hardship when it comes because we expect our lives to be better and easier than they sometimes are.

When I compare my life to my great grandmothers, I realize that we are very fortunate to have all the good things we enjoy in our lives. Let's count our blessings and be thankful!

During this joyous season, when we celebrate the fact that God loved us each somuch that He was willing to give up his only son to die in our place, we can be very thankful for THAT and for many many other blessings.

Question of the Day: How many blessings can you count in your life that youare grateful for?

Marsha Jordan, Director
HUGS AND HOPE FOUNDATIONA ministry designed to share God's Word and His love with families of critically ill children Join Us! Together we can make a difference

About the Author

Marsha is a disabled grandma who lives in northern Wisconsin with her husband and toy poodle, Louie. She founded a nonprofit organization to help sick children called The Hugs and Hope Club. She enjoys collecting antiques and having fun with her grandson.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Types of Mood Disorders - By Andrew Bicknell

There are two categories of mood disorders recognized by the psychiatric community: unipolar and bipolar disorder. Both are a type of depression with the difference being those who suffer bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, also experience extreme mood swings between depression and episodes of extreme mania or high energy.

The unipolar, or depression, type of mood disorder can further be broken down into the different types of depression which include:

1. Major depression.

2. Dysthymia.

3. Seasonal affective disorder.

4. Postpartum depression.

Mood disorders are characterized by continued feelings of sadness, despair, guilt, irritability, loss of appetite, constant fatigue and suicidal thoughts. Different people will have different combinations of these thoughts and feelings, making it important for sufferers to seek professional help to help sort through the various symptoms. While some of these feelings are normal in daily life, when they become an on going problem that last for weeks, months and even years it is considered a mood disorder that needs some sort of medical or psychiatric treatment.

The exact cause of mood disorders is not known. It does appear that many combinations of outside events can trigger an episode. It is known that many people who suffer mood disorders also have a chemical imbalance of the brain that makes them more susceptible to these depressed feelings. Research has also shown that the different types of mood disorders can run in families are thought to be a genetic trait.

Treatment of mood disorders varies depending on the disorder itself and any outside influences that may contribute to the disorder. These outside influences include illness, drug or alcohol abuse or a major life changing event. Normally these need to be dealt with along with the mood disorder for treatment to be successful.

The mood disorder itself can be treated with anti-depressant medication, therapy or a combination of the two. The different types of mood disorder can be treated successfully if its sufferers seek help. Unfortunately nearly half of the people who suffer from mood disorders never seek the help they need.

Andrew Bicknell is a writer and Webmaster. Please visit his site for more information about the Types of Mood Disorders

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sadness -- Like a Wilting Rose - By Kathy Pippig Harris

For us to feel sadness, there must be something that touches us in a positive way

Something good, or the potential for good those are the essentials for the emotion of sadness

For were it not for the favorable and beautiful in life or for the potential for something grand and wonderful, we would feel no sorrow

Sadness is the counterweight to joy and insight It is the balance for that which inspires and lifts us up

The beauty of the rose which fades in the wilting The fragrance of its life's breath which lifts the senses Are missed more as the rose's petals wilt and the perfume ghosts away

It is the same when we are missing that something, someone, or someplace special Or that missed opportunity, a wasted moment, or the chance for a blessing to be accepted

That is sadness... For us to feel sadness there is that which is good in thought, desire, intention, providence, opportunity, and experience that must go before

So, in retrospect, there is light and beauty in sadness We grieve for what was, or could have been And, knowing that, sadness is a reverberation of something grand; an echo of that which is sterling and precious

A different way to look at it... A brighter hindsight!

© 2006 Kathy Pippig Harris

Kathy lives in California's San Joaquin Valley with her husband and furry family. She is a weekly columnist for the publication "Frank Talk" and a published author of five novels. She states, "Were it not for her need, desire, and love of writing -- she would surely go mad!"

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Don't Be Afraid to Seek Depression Help - By DM Driscoll

Many people feel that depression is their own problem suffering alone, and often feeling isolated.

Getting depression help can be hard when you are in a state of mind, where you feel no one will understand you. Getting depression help can mean the difference between having a slight or mild case of depression, or lapsing into a severe heavy state of depression which could require long term antidepressant use or even hospitalization. Understanding Depression can be the first step to recovery. Once you understand your depression and realize you are not alone, getting depression help will be much easier.

When you are first diagnosed with depression, many doctors on the first visit will skip prescribing one of the many antidepressants and will often suggest that you to see a counselor.

Often seeking depression help from a counselor maybe all you need to cure your depression, and the use a antidepressants may not be necessary. Furthermore, even if you are not clinically depressed, seeking the aid of a counselor or support group can get you back on your feet without the use of drugs. Understanding depression and the many types and treatments available should be the first step you take when seeking depression help.

By understanding depression you will realize that you are not alone and there are many good resourses that will help you get the depression help you need. There are many different types of depression, here are just a few and some basic descriptions of each.

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar actually used to be called “manic-depression”. It is recognized for its erratic mood swings. The sufferer usually swings from great highs with wild ideas to extreme lows where they can become at risk of “suicide”.

Major Depression

Major depression also known as Clinical Depression or Unipolar Depression is considered the most serious type of depression in terms of symptoms and severity.

Dysthymic Disorder

Dysthymic Disorder is less severe in symptoms then major depression but its duration is usually diagnosed after experiencing two or more of the following symptoms for more than 2 years.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is considered much more sever then Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) for its characteristics of deep depression and irritability usually a week or two prior or during menstruation.

If you are a teen and need depression help a good online resourse can be found at:

The most important thing for people to know is that even in your hardest times, there is more to life than nothing at all. Life is a worthy challenge one must always meet.

Understanding depression and getting depression help is sometimes only a click or a phone call away.

DM Driscoll Petoskey, MichiganUnderstanding Depression

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Using Exercise to Battle Depression - By Andrew Bicknell

The last thing most people who suffer from depression want to do is exercise. The dark hole of depression can make even getting out of bed everyday a seemingly impossible task. If you suffer from depression it is imperative that you see your doctor or a therapist first, but don’t be surprised if they prescribe some sort of exercise regimen for you to follow in addition to some of the more normal treatments for depression.

Now as hard as it may seem to get out and start exercising when you are depressed there are some real benefits to be had.

1. Improves your confidence. As you get in better shape you will gain more confidence in yourself and your ability to meet your goals.

2. Increases your self-esteem. Exercise will improve your appearance and your sense of self worth. It will also improve your health and vitality.

3. A distraction. Having a set schedule for your exercise routine, no matter what it is, gives you something to look forward to and can help take your mind off of your problems.

4. Stress relief. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and frustration.

5. Getting out. Exercising allows you to get out and interact with other people, whether at the gym or just greeting people during your nightly walk.

6. Good coping strategy. Exercise is beneficial to anyone who does it. It is a positive way to deal with depression, anxiety or stress because you will benefit in the long run from it.

An important thing to remember is that as hard as it may seem to start exercising when you are depressed is that if you can get started the benefits will far outweigh any negative thoughts you may have about doing it. And once you get going don’t give up. Once you’ve decided to start exercising make sure you don’t over do it. Because nothing will cause you to loose all interest than a sore and broken body. Here are some general guidelines to consider before you start your exercise program.

1. Talk to your doctor or therapist first. They can help guide you and refer you to someone who can help you set up an exercise program that’s right for you.

2. Set simple goals. Exercise should be fun and make you feel good. Don’t approach it like you are training for the Olympics. Start easy and build from there.

3. Go with what you enjoy. If you have worked out in the past and enjoyed what you were doing start with that again. For some people just simply going for a walk is enjoyable for them.

4. Find a workout buddy. Exercising with a friend is great for helping lift your mood. It gives you someone to talk to and enjoy your work-out with.

5. Go outside. Getting out in the fresh air and sun is always a good way to improve your mood. Even if you work-out in a gym, take the time to go for a walks a couple of times a week.

6. Don’t let setbacks get you down. Some days you may not be able to get in your exercise. Don’t let that bother you, it happens to everyone. Keep at it and you will see your growth.

Using exercise as a treatment for depression is a growing trend. But you should always consult your doctor or therapist if you are feeling depressed or exhibit the symptoms of depression.

Embarking on an exercise program on your own is not the right thing to do. It should be used in conjunction with other treatments such as medication and therapy. Taken together with these other therapies, exercise can be a great way to help battle your depression.

Andrew Bicknell is a writer and owner of

Visit his website for more information about depression during menopause and other depression disorders.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Piece of the Puzzle - By Terry Coyier

Being bipolar is a royal pain in the butt, no doubt about it. But, when I was first diagnosed it was actually a relief to me. Finally there was an answer. The answer meant I was “crazy,” but it made perfect sense. It explained away so many things. I had a reason for why I lashed out at people and why I was suspicious of everyone’s intentions towards me and why I could be so joyful one minute and so glum the next. Then to find out that I could take some pills and feel better, I was nearly beside myself with the glorious expectations. Couple that with some therapy and I would be “normal.”

Well, I was consumed with being bipolar. I read everything I could get my hands on. I enlisted family and friends to act as my support group and to serve as my guinea pigs. Everything I learned I tested out on one of them. Did this example fit my behavior? Did I act this way or that way? What about such and such? I monitored my moods, my dreams, my meds, my cycles, my side effects, my habits, others habits, how many times I let the dog out – okay not that one, my triggers, my warning signs, even my chocolate intake! I was finally monitored out!

But I was bipolar and that was something. So, I was doing just fine and decided to switch meds (with the approval of my pdoc) because I had somehow gone from a size 7 to a size 14! Big mistake. Just inside of 6 weeks I landed in the ICU for a 4-day visit and then another 5 days in the psychiatric hospital. This was a great hospital though (with the exception of one grouchy nurse who thought she was a doctor). I was well taken care of, it was clean, the group therapy was actually productive and I got back on the right meds again.

I had outpatient therapy for about two weeks after I was released from the hospital. The therapy there was wonderful as well. I learned the proper responses to difficult situations. I learned I wasn’t the meanest person in Texas (there was another guy there who took my spot!). I learned how to fight fair and express my feelings. Most important, I learned how to give up control.

Now, control is a big issue for me. I don’t like to be in situations that I don’t have control. It’s not an ego related problem, it’s an “I don’t have control over my feelings, so I will control everything else” problem. It took me a long time to get to this point. I had been reading self-help books for half my life (13 years) and thought I had some idea of how things worked. Ha! I was still pretty clueless. But, now I was finally getting somewhere. Unfortunately it was at a snail’s pace.

Control isn’t relinquished at the drop of a hat. Especially a triple Aries with a type A personality! This is one obstinate ram here, and with red hair and green eyes, I am as pigheaded as they come. Very slowly I came around. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m still relentless in my quest.

Terry J. Coyier is a 37-year-old college student studying for an Associates of Applied Sciences degree. She is also a freelance writer who writes about bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Terry was diagnosed with bipolar ten years ago. She lives with her son in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Terry is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers and her personal portfolio can be viewed here.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Understanding Bipolar Depression - By: Zach Bashore

Bipolar depression is a mood disorder characterized by the alternation of depressive and manic states. The distinguishing characteristic of bipolar depression is the presence of at least one episode of mania. It is also presumed to be a chronic condition because most of the people having manic episodes are likely to have another episode of it in the future. Every person with bipolar depression has a pattern of mood cycles, combining manic episodes with depression, which is unpredictable until the path is found. Bipolar depression usually begins during the teen or early adulthood years and continues throughout one`s lifetime. It`s usually not considered a psychological problem because it happens in episodes, but those who have it may suffer for years without proper treatment.

The exact cause of bipolar depression has not yet been determined. However, most scientists agree that there is no single cause for being bipolar. Scientists believe that stressful factors trigger the first episodes of mania. One reason a person may be bipolar is that the condition is genetic. It appears that many different genes act together in conjunction with a person`s surroundings which create the symptoms associated with bipolar depression. Another cause of bipolar depression could be from the differences in brain structures. MRI tests have shown that those suffering from bipolar depression may have slightly different brain structures than the people who are not effected by the condition. There is also evidence that bipolar depression may be triggered by environmental stresses such as the death of a loved one, the birth of a new baby, or the loss of a job. After a stressful event, a psychological cycle of depression and mania develops in the people with bipolar depression.

Some people do not understand that depression can cause a person to be unable to make simple life decisions. That is why it is important that people with bipolar depression educate their friends, family, and co-workers on the signs of their depressive episodes. Some of the warning signs that you should educate these people on are:

* Lethargy

* Fatigue

* Insomnia

* Lower activity levels

* Loss of interest in activities.

Educating these people puts you in a position to help make sure you take proper action at the start of the episode.

The intensity and frequency of mood swings will vary from person to person. Individuals with bipolar depression may progress to a different category of bipolar depression that gets worse over time of their illness. There are four categories of bipolar depression:

* Bipolar I

* Bipolar II

* Bipolar NOS

* Cyclothemia

The treatment of Bipola I disorder requires one or more mixed or manic episodes. The previous course of the illness may include depressive episodes and hypomania, but the treatment requires only one mixed episode. Bipolar II, the most common form of bipolar depression, is characterized by episodes of disabling depression and hypomania. The diagnosis of Bipolar II requires at least one hypomanic episode. This is used primarily to change from unipolar depression. A patient may be depressed and it is very important to find out if the hypomania has ever caused manic episodes in which the patient was in an uncontrolable state. Bipolar depression is not treated the same way for everybody. Only your doctor can determine the proper cure and exact classification of bipolar episode.

About the Author:


Read more articles by: Zach Bashore

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Sorry Everyone!

Hello readers,
I just wanted to apologize for not posting articles the last couple of days. I had a family emergency. My Father is in the hospital. We've really been so busy staying with him there that I haven't had much time for anything else. So, I just wanted to first of all Thank You all for being loyal readers and secondly, I wanted to apologize for not posting. I will post more articles as soon as possible.

Thanks again,
Anna A.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Depression and Weight: An Undeniable Connection - By Danna Schneider

There has been some recent press about the long speculated correlation between one's weight and depression, or state of mind. Well, new studies are showing that overweight or obese people are significantly more prone to depression and mood disorders, which is contrary to the popular myth of the "fat and jolly" individual.

This newest study, which consisted of more than 9,000 adults of both male and female sex, found that obese individuals were approximately 25 percent more likely to suffer from depression than their slimmer counterparts.

Not only that, but contrary to earlier theories that obese women may have been more prone to depression than overweight men, the newest findings show that both men and women suffering weight problems are equally as likely to battle depression. But the question still remains, why is depression more common in the obese segment of the population, and what are some of the theories as to why this is the case?

While these new studies provide almost irrefutable evidence that obesity is strongly linked to depression and other mood disorders, there are unfortunately no definite answers as to why exactly this is true. There are theories of course, and there are also many documented cases of patients who are obese or simply over a healthy weight standard that are also suffering from depression and mood swings.

I'm sure if you think about it, you may be able to come up with someone in your life who you can make this correlation with. It may even be you. As I previously mentioned, there are a number of theories as to why depression occurs so much more often in people who are obese or overweight. One common sense theory is the simple fact that an individual may feel inferior or out of control if they have lost control over their weight.

They may emotionally beat themselves up over and over because they view themselves as "fat", which has a direct impact on their every day interactions with people, their self esteem, and therefore leads to depression and feelings of sadness, lethargy and hopelessness. This may seem the most obvious of all theories, and it is, but it nonetheless is a very valid theory.

Another theory, which has been discussed in numerous diet and health books is the link between depression and weight through blood sugar and other key chemicals in the body and the brain which can be upset by the presence of obesity and a poor diet. The blood sugar link is the one I believe is most likely to be true, as I know from a personal perspective for me, when my blood sugar is bottoming out, I am the last person you'd want to be around.

Not only am I unpleasant, but I start to have feelings of despair, anxiety and anger for no apparent reason. Then, once my blood sugar is regulated again through means of "healthy" food, I'm back to my pleasant self, and those much-needed feelings of well being. This is not to discount other theories, as I think they all kind of work together. Weight and depression can become a vicious cycle for many of us.

When we're thinner, we tend to feel better about ourselves, which produces more endorphins and feelings of happiness, which happens to also suppress our appetite, which in turn keeps us on the "thin track", and vice versa. When we feel down or depressed, we may tend to overeat or binge on comfort foods as a temporary means of feeling good again, which in turn makes our weight balloon, which in turn makes us feel bad about our body image.... and so on and so forth.

You get the picture. Weight and depression in itself can become a vicious cycle, if we don't learn to harness the power of our mind and take control of our bodies and our health. Not only will it lead to a more slender, heart healthy and longer-living you, but chances are, it will also lead to a much happier, mentally alert and content you. And that's worth more than any size five jeans in my book.

Danna Schneider is the co-founder of the online magazine for weight loss and dieting, including diet and fitness product reviews and alternative ideas for weight management and mood management called Dieting Magazine : Weight Loss. You may also find valuable information on depression and natural remedies for correcting and avoiding depression here Herbal Remedies : Mood Enhancers.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Truth About Depression - By: Graeme Notega

You’ve probably seen the commercials on television talking about the “you” you used to be before depression set in. Such commercials are generally aired by drug companies promoting an anti-depressant. But what these commercials fail to tell you is depression is common, and not everyone who feels down or blue is suffering from depression. You need to know the facts about depression before you and your doctor determine you are indeed suffering from this illness.

That’s right. Depression is a real mental illness that often requires anti-depressants or therapy to relieve symptoms. You can’t fix depression by yourself, and without treatment, you’ll likely face an uphill battle you probably aren’t going to win. More than 18 million people a year—or nine and a half percent of adults in America—are diagnosed with some sort of depressive illness such as depression.

The first thing you need to know are some of the symptoms that are common with depression. Symptoms include: feeling persistently sad or anxious, being overcome by hopelessness or pessimism, loss of interest in things you normally enjoy, having a lack of energy, feeling excessively tired, having difficulty making decisions or concentrating, insomnia, sleeping too much, excessive weight gain, excessive weight loss, irritability, restlessness and thoughts of suicide. If you’ve experienced any, most or all of these symptoms for a period of two weeks or more, you’re likely to be suffering from clinical depression.

What causes depression? In some instances, depression is genetic and is passed from generation to generation while others who suffer from depression will find there is no history of depression in their families. If you tend to have low-self esteem or you generally are pessimistic, you may be prone to depression. Many changes—such as death in the family, illness, financial difficulties and other stressors—can also be the root cause of depression.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to see a doctor to discuss treatment options. Once your doctor diagnoses depression and eliminates any other possible causes, you and he will determine the best treatment option for you. Antidepressants are often the most chosen form of therapy, and it’s important to know—no matter what antidepressant you go on, you must be sure you never just stop taking them. Simply stopping medication can have severe consequences.

If you take an anti-depressant, you may experience any of a series of side effects including dry mouth, constipation, bladder problems, dizziness, sexual problems, headache, nausea, nervousness and insomnia. If the side effects are too severe, seek your doctor’s advice.

The good news is, if you’re suffering from depression, you’re not alone. You can get help. There are people who understand and who can help you and your family learn to make things better. The key is to seek help, and before you know it you’ll be on the path to happier times.

About the Author:

Graeme Notega is a contributor to Healing Point A One-Stop site for all depression info. For more information,go to:

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Birth Control Pill And Depression - By: Melissa B. Rayn

If you are struggling with depression, or have at one point in your life, it is important to learn more about how the birth control pill may affect your depression. Depending on the type of depression you have, birth control pills can improve it or make it worse.

PMS or Menstrual related depression can be improved by using the birth control pill. Depression that only sets on during “that time of the month” is caused by hormonal changes in your body. Those rapid changes can be “mellowed” by taking the pill. Many women with menstrual or PMS related depression see an improvement in the way the feel after being on the pill for a couple of months.

If you constantly suffer from depression, it is probably not hormone related, at least not related to the hormonal changes associated with your period. Taking the pill in this case can make things worse instead of helping relief your depression. Many women feel increased depression after being on the pill. There are also some who don’t start feeling depressed until they start taking the birth control pill. Usually using an alternate form of birth control in addition to some natural or prescription medication will get you back out of depression.

Different types of birth control pills seem to affect depression in different ways. In general pills with higher levels of progesterone are most likely to worsen your depression.

If you are currently suffering from depression talk to your health care professional about treatment options prior to starting on the pill. If you are already on an antidepressant, you may want to discuss birth control with your physician to see which option will have the least effect on your mental health and to make sure there isn’t any interaction or reaction with your depression medication.

If you are feeling depressed and think it may be caused at least in part by your birth control pill, make an appointment with your physician to discuss how the two of you can get you back out of depression and feeling better.

About the Author:

For more information about, its causes and treatment options, as well as other women’s health issues, visit http://www.healthandbeautyinfo.comRead more articles by: Melissa B. Rayn

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Depression Is An Equal Opportunity Condition - By Belver Ladson

Depression is a serious medical condition that can affect anyone. Men, women and children are all susceptible to this disease which can have devastating effects on someone's daily life.

Depression can come on suddenly, for no reason, or it might follow a traumatic experience such as a death or some other traumatic experience.

Symptoms of depression can interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study and enjoy life in a fruitful way. If you find that these symptoms persist for more than a few weeks you should discuss it with your doctor. The symptoms to look for include: sadness, irritability, no interest in hobbies and activities which once were loved, hopelessness, problems sleeping, fatigue, thoughts of suicide or death, feelings of guilt and significant weight change.

Once these symptoms start affecting the way you live your life, it's time to seek help. M.I., who has had depression on and off for many years says, "I never really knew what was wrong with me. I would have these bouts with trying to cope with life, but all I would end up doing is staying sad and crying all the time. I couldn't see any way out of what I was dealing with in my life, but I'm glad I hung in there. Being able to find out what was wrong with me and knowing that I could get treatment for it changed my life."

Depression an also affect the physical health of a person, which is a symptom that is often overlooked. I. A., a depression sufferer shares, "I would get these pains in my arms, shoulder and hands. My doctor told me that he couldn't find anything wrong. Nothing wrong with my bones or my joints, but the pains never seemed to go away. Now I know it was related to the depression."

No one knows what exactly causes depression, but some believe it might be caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain, and in that instance you and your doctor might decide that you need to take antidepressants. One form of depression called "Seasonal Affective Disorder" (SAD) uses light therapy as treatment since it's thought that a lack of sunlight during certain times of the year could be a cause.

If you think depression might be entering your life, don't wait to get help. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and trying to get help. Many people are too afraid or feel guilty about asking for help for depression. A lot of the world still thinks that depression is "just the blues" or just a person feeling down. Depression is a very real medical condition that is just as valid as having a broken bone that would need to be treated.

"A reluctance to get help can lead to years of disability and not having a good and happy life," says B.D., "I could have gotten help a long time ago, but I waited for about ten years before taking action. I thought I should have been a person strong enough to beat depression on my own. I sure wish I had made the move toward help instead of waiting."

Remember, depression is a treatable condition that can get better. You need to take the steps to get the help you need.

About The Author

Belver Ladson is a successful entrepreneur, motivational coach and graphic artist. Belver strives to help people notice the goodness in life and that hope is always present. Belver can be reached at

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