Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mental Self Help - 5 Ideas To Get You Back On Your Feet
By Kevin J. John

Have you had a major setback in your life? Maybe you've lost your job, you have a serious illness, you've lost a loved one. When this happens, you can feel trapped by circumstances, unable to rebuild your life, not knowing what to do where to go. Here are 5 ideas to help you start climbing out of the hole you're in and get back on your feet again.

You are NEVER alone

When you are struggling to recover from a major setback, it can seem like a very lonely place. You may think that you are alone, that this problem is completely yours, or at most shared with your life partner.

You must continually remind yourself that this is not true. There are always other people who have had and are having exactly the same experience as you, maybe they’ve got it even worse. And the vast majority of those people rebuild their lives and are now happy and successful again. How did they do it?

You can find out, actively look for stories of people who have overcome the challenges that you are facing and figure out how they did it. Make yourself receptive to new ideas – any ideas. Don’t dismiss them out of hand. The more ideas you collect, the more you are likely to find the solution you need.

Know where you are going

Yes your life is a mess now, but like everything else in this world, that is only a temporary state. The only thing you can be certain about in this world is that tomorrow it will change. That change may be beneficial for you, it may not, but you can be sure that it will change.

You can maximise your chances of making beneficial changes by knowing where you are going. Spend some time developing a clear vision of where you want to go, who you want to be and what you want to be doing in 5 year’s time. Then work out the major steps you are going to have to take to get there.

Now, as you go through each day, you can ask yourself “am I moving towards or away from my goals?” Spend as much time as you can moving towards your goals and you’ll get there – maybe even faster than you expected!

Look back from the future

Imagine yourself in your future 5 years from now. You’ve succeeded in getting back on your feet, you’re living the life of your dreams.

When you look back, how will today look to you in 5 year’s time?

Think about other times when you’ve looked back on past problems. At the time they may have seemed terrible, overwhelming, insoluble. Yet when you look back on them, they seem much smaller, just minor disruptions in your life’s journey.

Get your current problems into perspective by looking at the larger picture of your life.

Have faith

Faith is sustaining a belief that something is possible when there is no tangible evidence that it is possible. You may have faith in your god, the universe, the spiritual world or in yourself. Whatever you have faith in, you must have faith that you will overcome the setback you are experiencing, with or without the help of an all powerful being.

Faith is fundamental to success in anything you are doing. You will always be in circumstances where you cannot see exactly how something is going to work out, yet to stand any chance of success you have got to believe that it will.

You must develop and strengthen your faith in the outcome you desire day by day.


The most powerful way to strengthen your faith, develop the mental strength that you need to overcome your challenges and stay focussed on your goals is through the use of affirmations. Affirmations have been used since time immemorial to achieve these results.

Your affirmations should be short positive, present tense statements of what you want to be, do and have. You should link them with positive feelings and use them regularly, at least once a day. If you persist for at least 30 days, you will start to notice changes in your life that bring you closer to your desired results.

Your may be experiencing a major setback in your life, but you can overcome it. You will emerge a stronger person with more resources at your disposal. You’ve read about 5 ideas that can help you to overcome the situation you are in. Reflect on them and choose at least one. Put it into practice today and stick with it!

Download my latest e-book here http://www.achieving-your-dreams.com/resources/ecourse/postsign.php Principles of Success. Visit my website for more resources, articles, and support materials about http://www.achieving-your-dreams.com success and personal growth

Kevin John has spent many years helping businesses owners, aspiring business owners, and private individuals to develop the understanding and skills needed to achieve the success that they want.

Find out more about http://www.achieving-your-dreams.com/articles/getart.php

Article Source: Ezinearticles.com

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Suicidal Tendency - Christina Sponias

A lot of our injuries happen when we are least expecting it. We might cut our finger while cutting the bread with a knife, or fall down the stairs because we get distracted by something, even almost lose our life because we cross the street without looking carefully before to see if there is a speeding car coming towards us. So, a series of disasters become part of a routine in our life.
Depending on the severity of the consequences of our inattention, we may even laugh at our stupidity. We simply don’t pay attention to all these accidents if they happen only once in a while, and we believe we are normal people; we may not realize how often they actually occur.
However, these accidents don’t happen by chance or only because we are distracted. Firstly, the fact that we are distracted when we should be very careful, indicates that we don’t have the proper attitude towards serious matters.

Accidents can become a nightmare - they can turn into serious disasters. We better discover their hidden meanings, before they kill us!
People that experience several accidents in their daily life shall not be considered “just a bit vague”. They suffer all the time with many accidents because they have a hidden suicidal tendency.

First of all, we have to consider the characteristics you have from the beginning of your life… Some people seem to adore life. No matter how much they suffer, they are always laughing and trying to be happy. They are often superficial, and usually belong to the extroverted psychological type whose judgment is based on sensations. Other people seem to hate life. They are always afraid and expecting the worst.

People have different psychological types, and each one of us has his own story, full of disappointments, wounds, bad memories, tragic facts and events, besides the joy of some moments and better periods of time. Each one of us has a world inside himself, and a defined psychological type, that induces us to behave in a certain way, based on the psychological function we develop in our psychical sphere.

So, depending on which psychological type a person belongs to, they have a completely different reaction to the same stimulus. This reaction depends also on the personal psychical traumas they have had.

Some people that belong to introverted psychological types for example, are more vulnerable to acquiring a suicidal tendency.

When we see a person that has such a hidden tendency, we have to try to understand why they don’t want to live. Usually they are accepting living under unbearable conditions, or accepting horrible situations, without understanding they have to change and abandon this way of life. They can not accept what doesn’t make them happy without caring about their happiness, and they can not continue to ignore reality forever… There are many problems they may have in their daily life, perhaps during many years repeatedly, that are killing them softly inside. So, their hidden desire is to die, even though they know they can’t actually commit suicide. They don’t accept the idea of a suicide, because that’s what they have been taught. However, deep inside them, they only want to die and abandon forever all the horrors they have to swallow every day… all the problems they know will never find a solution… everything!

This desire is condemned by their human conscience, that’s why is it hidden and appears in an obscured form: it seems to be only a tendency to be negligent.
In fact what happens is that their psyche wishes to die, and they start having strange thoughts, fantasising or dreaming about a sudden death, in which they wouldn’t be the ones that decided to abandon life, everyone and everything, in such a cowardly way.

They start accepting ideas like: “I could easily die if a very simple accident would happen now…”, and “it wouldn’t be my fault…” But these thoughts never create decisive action towards suicide, because their conscience is still alive and not allowing them to accept the act, while pretending they had only an accident.

We never know however who is going to win in the end. Is the human being going to overcome his depression and become healthy and balanced, after winning the battle against the strong tendency to commit suicide, or is this strong tendency going to push him to really kill himself in this hidden way?

My advice is to always consult a psychologist if we’ll observe that we suffer from several small accidents, or somebody else close to us does. The constant accidents are not the result of negligence. They reflect a suicidal tendency, without any doubt.

Perhaps the problem can be solved if we pay attention to what is happening generally in our lives and do something courageous to change the awful situations in which we live, or abandon them. Perhaps the signs of a hidden suicidal tendency will open our eyes to reality and demand from us a serious response.

In the meantime, people that have this problem have to be always very careful, never doing things on a hurry. Until they’ve overcome their problem, they should do things very slowly and always pay attention to what they are doing. It’s better to miss the bus, for example, than to miss a step and lose their lives. They have to allow more to go anywhere, because they can’t run. They are sick, and need to be very careful until they have overcome their depression - when this dangerous hidden suicidal tendency will disappear.

Christina Sponias Chatzidimou

During my studies, I came across Carl Jung’s method of deciphering dreams, which helped me and urged me to continue his research into the unknown regions of our psychical sphere. I set my poetry aside and began to compile my findings. I sought to prove that Jung had discovered the proper method of interpretation of dreams. This exercise actually taught me many things, and I continued to pursue Jung’s research into the analysis of dreams. Learn more at http://www.booksirecommend.com/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Monday, March 12, 2007

St. John's Wort -An Herb For Depression And Insomnia - By Ian Finlayson

St. John's wort has been traditionally used to treat mental disorders as well as nerve pain for centuries. It is also currently acknowledged by herbalists as a sedative and an effective treatment for malaria as well as a balm for wounds, burns, and insect bites.

St. John's wort is currently used to treat mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It has been shown to be more effective than antidepressants generally prescribed for mild to moderate depression.

In some enlightened countries like Germany, the sale of St John's Wort has outstripped many of the major prescription anti-depressants

There have been several dozen studies looking at the effectiveness of St. John's Wort. The British Medical Journal recently conducted a study of 23 randomized trials involving over 1,700 patients. The patients had mild to moderate depression. St. John's wort was just as effective as standard antidepressants. However, none of the studies exceeded 12 weeks in duration making them less than ideal. Fifty percent of patients taking St. John's wort improved with respect to their depression as opposed to only 23 percent of patients that were taking placebo.

More recently, there have been a number of clinical studies that have demonstrated that standardized extracts of Hypericum are more effective than a placebo in the treatment of depression. Active ingredients include glycosides, flavonoids, volatile oils, tannins and resins. The active ingredients in Hypericum are thought to boost serotonin levels, which are usually lacking in depressed people. In several studies, St. John's wort was more effective than standard antidepressants for mild to moderate depression.

St. John's Wort has been known to interfere with certain medications. If you are taking any medications or under doctors care consult your physician before taking.

For example tricyclic antidepressants may interact with St. John's wort.

St. John's wort can also increase the effects of prescription drugs used to treat depression. It can also interfere with drugs used to treat HIV infection, to treat cancer, for birth control, or to prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs.

Pregnant or nursing woman or children under 12 should not take supplements containing St John's Wort Also, persons taking medications such as cyclosporin which are usually prescribed in serious auto-immune problems, organ transplantation to stop rejection or cancer therapy should also avoid St. John's Wort.

Ian Finlayson is chief writer and Webmaster of The Herb Spiral a website dealing with medicinal and culinary herbs. His articles aim to provide a balanced insight into the known and traditional therapeutic properties of commonly used medicinal herbs.

The Herb Spiral also provides current news comment and a variety of articles on each herb discussed. More information on St John's Wort can be found here

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

Friday, March 02, 2007

Finding the Balance and Hope - Antonella Novi

I have been residing in Anacortes, Washington since April of 2001. I came back to town after completing three years at the Evergreen State College. The purpose for not completing my fourth year at the non traditional school is not easy to explain, but I am here to do just that.

The story goes way back… In California, at 13 years old I was indeed rebelling, though not outwardly towards my parents or at school by getting bad grades. I was inwardly very angry with myself. I had very low self esteem, and thus I punished myself on almost a daily basis with harsh words and even thoughts of death. At night I could not sleep, so I did really risky things, like dress in dark clothing and sneak out my window to walk through a dark park that was not safe. I thought I was worthless, but also wanted attention too, so I sought it out through boys at school- not caring if they had girlfriends. One time some girls got mad at me and beat me up.

In March of my eighth grade year two girls from the local high school came to talk to the health class about life; peer pressure, smoking, sex, drugs, etc. They asked the students to write down a question or comment for them, so they could further the dialogue. Something inside me wrote out: “I want to die.”

One of the girls saw this note and brought it to the attention of the school counselor. I told her it was true. Soon, I was riding in the back of an ambulance to a mental hospital. My mom met me there and the journey of getting help began.

I was inpatient at a teen treatment center for two weeks. This place kept me safe from myself, but still the counselors didn’t know why I was so sad, angry, and yet sometimes so full of intense energy. My parents decided it would be best if I went to a long term treatment facility to get professional help. So I went off to Salt Lake City, Utah for eight months. For the first six months I was not honest about my feelings and my actions were erratic. I played with the systems and my medications. I thoroughly enjoyed frustrating the doctors and health care personnel. It wasn’t until I got a real good therapist and my parents sent a prospective letter of possibly moving to a new state that I actually got serious. I did the best I could at being myself. My therapist diagnosed me as “manic depressive.” Within two months of being “stable” I was released. Two days after being at home in California, my family and I moved up to Anacortes, Washington.

I was elated to have left the state that I thought had almost killed me. Upon moving to Anacortes, I made the goal that I would become the girl I had always wanted to be. I had a list of things I want to do, and swore I would do all of them and more. One thing I didn’t promise was I would take my medication. That is a common element with people who are manic depressive/ bi-polar is the issue of compliancy. People who are manic depressive enjoy the manic “Highs” that they get that the meds keep under control.

Well, I decided to do eighth grade over again and I took my Zoloft as I should have that year in fear I would go back to Utah if I didn’t. But come high school, that’s when I really started to mess around with my meds. I realized if I didn’t take them I had the energy to get involved in lots more activities at once; Key Club, Teens Against Tobacco, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, write amazing articles for the Seahawk News and more . My energy would last for over a month, and then I would feel myself coming down like a falling paper air plane. I knew it was time to take my Zoloft to stable me out. I would take it for about three weeks. Then stop again and feel the rush to, “yes”, take on more stuff. “Bumbles Garden” an original musical, why not! Video editing, let’s go! Why not join the soccer team! All on a manic high. I did this scary game all through high school, and it seamed to work.

But, not in college! I decided to go cold turkey from all medication in my first year of college. And boy did I get a manic high! I went almost crazy, without boundaries or inhibitions. But this time I had money to spend and freedom to travel without telling anyone. By summer I was broke and tired.

During my second year in college I saw a doctor who put me on Depakote, a cousin to Lithium. This drug slowed me way down, and made me gain over 35 pounds. But I stayed on it through the school year and into summer. I was tired of the weight gain and of how slow I felt physically and mentally, so my doctor put me on a mood stabilizer called Topamax. I soon lost most of the weight, and felt like a normal able bodied human being again. I stayed compliant on my meds until the second quarter of my third year. Then… I had a research paper to write! “Oh,” I thought. “I know how I can get this done with little effort. Stop taking my meds and get manic again!” Uh oh! Not only was Topamax not Zoloft, but I was no longer a teenager, my body chemistry had changed. So instead of getting a manic high, I got my first manic depressive/bi-polar “depression.”

Oh it was terrible! I couldn’t string two thoughts together. All I felt like doing was lying in my bed in my dark room. Interacting with my peers felt like the hardest thing in the world, for them I had to put on a mask of cheer. I was still trying to write this research paper but I couldn’t find enough information for the topic, so I had piles and piles of unrelated books stacked on my floor. My hygiene was suffering terribly, for I stopped caring for myself.

Again my thoughts were edging towards death. But I couldn’t even think of ending my life because my Grandfather had a glorious trip to China planned for us in the spring. As for school in the spring I planned on writing an independent contract. This is an assignment where student plans the curriculum and keeps in touch with a sponsored teacher throughout the quarter. Completing this task of thinking of what to do while in China was like pulling out my teeth, hair, and nails. I must have called my mom for ideas and support at lest 15 times a week. I dragged myself to the counseling center for assistance, and the woman in charge urged me to go to China just for fun not for credit. I already felt like a failure. Somehow I managed to squeeze out a contract good enough for the professor. In my heart I knew I would never complete the tasks I assigned for myself while on the trip. They looked so difficult, and I felt so weak.

When the trip to China finally arrived I was encased in my depression, but had a good enough mask on to fool the world. I had many fantasies of running away in the crowds, drinking bad water, eating raw meat, yes, death permeated my being. The trip was a blurr. We wet to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and Hong Kong, in a matter of two weeks. Often my grandfather held my hand tightly as if in the large crowds he could read my thoughts of running away. In photos of the trip I am smiling, inside I was broken into fragile pieces. I tried to start taking my medicine again, but I took too many, or not enough. When I got home I cried for an hour. Not because I was relieved to be home, but because I had survived.

Three days later, on May 6, 2001 I tried to eat half the medicine cabinet. So close to Mother’s Day, my mom brought me to the emergency room at Skagit Hospital, and said, “Nice gift.” I stayed inpatient on the third floor there for nine days. It was not fun and games like when I was a young teen. In nine days I was ready to get out. I wanted to get better. I never wanted to be inpatient again! This vow meant I had to stay on my medication always and forever, and to take them correctly.

I am very lucky to see the psychiatrist I do. He tried me out on some very current medications. I decided to begin a journal the day I took these new meds to see if and how they affected my writing or train of thought. Journaling has helped with staying focused in the here and now, especially when I slip into thinking about the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” of the past. I use positive affirmations for myself consistently in my journal. And I am consistently patting myself on the back for taking my medication on a daily basis. Journaling and medication go hand in hand. (As of Feb.29, I am now into my 58th journal since June 14, 2001.) While getting stable, I am lucky to have support not only from family and friends, but from a local manic depressive/ bi-polar support group held the second Thursday of every month at the Skagit Valley Hospital

So, for now, I am a proud “stable” resident of Anacortes. I have been taking my medication consistently since June 14, 2001, and I feel great! I have made a vow to you and to myself to remain honest and compliant! So, what do I do now? I am involved in many activities, and my days are filled with many interesting adventures, though it is nice to say all are done with a clear and focused mind. I would like to keep in touch by writing articles about my everyday experiences within the community. I hope to show that even someone with a mood disorder, or what the psychiatric world has labeled a “chemical imbalance” and a life story of ups and downs, I can still live a happy and fulfilling life.

First I would like to say a personal thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. My interests vary from character sketches, slivers of insight into my life, stories about animals and nature, and more. If you have an interesting idea for a story, but can't seem to get your ideas to fit into form, please contact me and we can work on your story together. I love to brainstorm, and talk-story with people who also appreciate the craft of writing.

I am open to comments and feedback. I am here for you if you need to share your story.

Or you can get to know me a little better through my web-page: http://www.myspace.com/teefrog


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

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Natural Cure For Depression--The Best Scientifically Proven At Home Depression Treatment - Andrea Waggener

"Natural cure for depression" might sound like magic words to someone who is depressed. Can there be such a thing? A natural cure for depression that really works?

Most depression sufferers search far and wide for a natural cure for depression that helps. They try herbs and light therapy and essential oils and body work and all kinds of other alternative therapies. I know. As a bipolar sufferer who once hovered on the brink of suicide during a severe depression, I tried literally dozens of substances (all legal, mind you) and techniques to cure depression naturally.

Most of what I tried didn’t work. But one natural cure for depression did work. And now, scientific proof backs up the natural cure for depression that I used to help make depression a part of my past, not my present.

The Independent UK recently reported that Matthieu Ricard, a French monk who acts as an interpreter for the Dalai Lama, took part in a scientific study designed to see if meditation can affect levels of happiness. Ricard and other long-term meditators (all of whom had completed more than 10,000 hours each of meditation) were given MRI scans to see if meditation had any measurable effect on the brain.

The scans showed that meditation did indeed impact the brain in an observable way. Ricard’s and the other meditators’s scans revealed a high level of "positive emotions" in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This is the area of the brain associated with happiness. The MRIs also showed that the right hand side of that area, which is associated with negative, or depressed, thoughts was suppressed.

Further studies demonstrated that even novice meditators who have done just a little meditation had increased levels of happiness. These studies prove that meditation is a powerful natural cure for depression.

Although it used to be that you had to spend hours and hours meditating to get mood-enhancing benefits from the practice, resent advances in brain entrainment CD technology makes achieving those benefits much quicker. Brain entrainment technology makes meditation a natural cure for depression that is accessible to anyone.

Interviewed after his participation in the study, Ricard told reporters, "Our life can be greatly transformed by even a minimal change in how we manage our thoughts and perceive and interpret the world. Happiness is a skill."

Meditation is a natural cure for depression that can help you effect a happiness-inducing change in the way you think and perceive the world. Using brain entrainment CDs to help you achieve high levels of meditation effectiveness, you can turn your negative depressed thoughts into happy thoughts without taking medication.

When you can retrain your brain to think and perceive in new, positive ways, you can removed depression from your life. Using meditation to change the way you think is the best, and now scientifically proven, natural cure for depression.

Find out how you can use brain entrainment and other techniques to turn your problems into power. Get a free report on how to create outstanding results in your life at http://www.miseryslayer.com Ande Waggener, J.D., is an author and a motivational speaker who shows people how to remove misery from their lives.

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

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Depression-Some Natural Cures From the Health Food Store - Royane Real

Many people who suffer from depression prefer the idea of finding a natural treatment for their condition instead of taking prescription anti-depressants.

Is there anything you can get in a health food store that might help with depression? Yes, maybe, if your depression is in the mild to moderate range of severity. A more severe or long-term depression should be treated by a qualified professional.

If you are already taking prescription anti-depressants, do not also take any natural remedies at the same time without first consulting your doctor!

In some cases, there can be dangerous interactions. Just because something is natural does not mean it is always safe for everybody.

St. John’s Wort

One of the best known and most widely prescribed natural remedies for depression is St. John’s Wort. This herb has been used as a remedy for depression in Europe for decades. It is believed to now be the most commonly used anti-depressant in the world.

Many people who take St. John’s Wort say they prefer the gentle lift this herb provides compared to the side effects of prescription anti-depressants.

The exact method by which St. John’s Wort works is unknown. The main active ingredient is believed to be hypericin. Other factors in the plant may have an anti-depressant effect as well.

A typical recommended dose is 900 milligrams per day, divided. Look for a product that is standardized to contain .3 percent hypericin.

Some side effects with St. John’s Wort may be experienced. They include nausea and abdominal pain. Some people experience increased sensitivity to sunlight and there is some indication that taking it may lead to a higher incidence of cataracts.

Not all studies of St. John’s Wort have shown positive results. Many researchers in Europe say that St. John’s Wort is effective, but at least one large recent American study found it to be ineffective as a treatment for depression.

When buying St. John’s Wort, or any other herbal preparation, purchase only those brands that have a reputation for reliability. Some independent tests have confirmed that not all brands of St. John’s Wort offered for sale actually contain the ingredients being claimed on the package.

If you are already taking a prescription anti-depressant, do not start taking St. John’s Wort without consulting your doctor first. It may not be compatible with your other medications.

Don’t take St. John’s Wort if you have bipolar depression or if you are pregnant.


If you want to find something from the health food store to fight depression, you could ask for SAM-e, also known as s-adenosyl-methionine.

SAM-e is a substance which our body can make using the amino acid L-methionine, and various other nutrients. It is believed that SAM-e can boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which may be able to improve mood.

Research reports from Europe say SAM-e has the same rate of effectiveness as most prescription anti-depressants, about 70 percent, but that it works faster and has fewer side effects. Some studies have found positive improvements in depressed patients in as few as four days.

SAM-e is better absorbed if you take it on an empty stomach between meals. A suggested dose is 400 milligrams per day.

People who have bipolar depression should not take SAM-e. If you are already taking MAO inhibitor antidepressants, do not take SAM-e. SAM-e is not legally available in all countries.

Amino Acid Therapy for Depression

Not all psychiatrists prescribe pharmaceutical antidepressants. Some psychiatrists prefer to treat depression with natural supplements such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.

The amino acids which have been found most effective in treating depression are L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan and L-phenylalanine.

For many decades, the amino acid L-tryptophan was widely used to successfully treat depression. However, in 1989 a contaminated batch of this substance resulted in several deaths, so L-trypophan was removed from the market. Even though the manufacturing process for L-tryptophan has been changed to prevent this problem, the ban on the sale of L-tryptophan in many countries persists.

Today, a product related to L-Tryptophan, called 5-HTP is available in many health food stores. The 5-HTP is believed to have none of the problems that caused L-Tryptophan to be withdrawn from the shelves, and it appears to be effective in lifting depression.

If you decide to use 5-HTP for depression, discuss it with your doctor. People who are taking MAO inhibitor drugs for depression should not be taking amino acid supplements. Very young and very old people should avoid amino acid supplementation.

Other Natural Therapies to Consider

In those countries where the population eats a lot of ocean fish, the rate of depression appears to be low. North Americans don’t eat very much ocean fish, and the rate of depression in North America is quite high. Many nutritionally oriented therapists believe there is a connection.

Certain ocean fish such as tuna and salmon are very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other compounds that are beneficial to the heart and the brain. Eating more of these fish, or getting fish oil capsules from the health food store may be useful in treating some instances of depression.

However, there is a lot of controversy over whether these fish are safe to eat, since many large ocean fish are now contaminated with mercury poisoning.

Does the benefit of the fish oil outweigh the possible danger of the mercury?

Researchers don’t agree about this at this time. But you can try to include a lot more fish like salmon and tuna in your diet to see if it boosts your mood.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the most important nutrients in the body, but sadly, a lack of folic acid is one of the most common deficiencies in the world.

Low levels of folic acid are associated with heart problems, memory problems, and depression.

If you suffer from depression, consider taking at least 400 mcg. per day in a supplement.

Final Thoughts

This has been a brief rundown of natural products you might find at the health food store that can help with depression.

But there are at least two more ideas I want to mention in closing that have been shown to be very beneficial to cases of depression.

Remember that before antidepressants were invented, people mostly relied on talk therapy to try get better. This can still work really well, if you have a good therapist, and if paying for therapy isn’t a problem for you.

Not all types of psychotherapy work for depression. Cognitive therapy teaches the patient new, more realistic ways of thinking. Cognitive therapy has a record of curing depression that appears to be just as the rate of cure of most antidepressants.

Also remember that before therapists were invented, people talked over their problems with trusted friends, family members and spiritual advisors. So, if good therapists aren’t easily available where you live, you can try look for other people to talk to that might help.

And now, one here is one final cure for some cases of depression that is easily available to most of us – exercise.

In some studies, regular physical exercise was shown to relieve depression just as effectively as medications!

So, consider incorporating some of these ideas into your life if you are feeling a bit depressed.

However, if your depression is serious, then professional treatment may become necessary.

Royane Real is a long time science educator and self help author. To learn more ways to improve the way your brain works by using nutrition, exercise, meditation, and other techniques, download her book How You Can Be Smarter - Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative" today at http://www.royanereal.com

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Wisdom Within Depression: A Spiritual View - Julie Redstone

If it can be said that there is wisdom to be gained through hardship or suffering that we would not freely choose, then it can also be said that there is deep learning and truth to be gained through the experience of depression in all its many forms . As with all experiences that are painful and that create limitation, the deeper self or soul can bring out of this, something valuable for the heart and for the spirit. Though this may not immediately be apparent to the self in the midst of pain, grief, or sorrow, what has limitation on the one side, offers the possibility for learning and for greater life on the other.

This paradox is hard for the human self to grasp, because the human response to suffering is to want it to end, and the human heart cannot help but believe that what feels bad - what deprives it of joy, love, meaning, hope, and energy - cannot be the source of something good. However, the perceptions of the soul and the choices that the soul makes during a time of pain or limitation are invisible, and everything depends upon the choices that are made.

For example, it is possible, as a result of feeling disconnected from joy or meaning in life, to begin to seek that joy with a fuller heart, to value life more, to hope for the possibility of experiencing one clear and pure sunlit day without the cloud of sorrow on the mind or in the heart. It is possible in the presence of aloneness or isolation to feel the heart longing more for love and connection. And it is possible to feel, in the presence of the wish to die, an even greater wish to live. These are the choices of the soul. In fact, they are more ‘orientations’ than choices and they turn the inner self in the direction of pursuing the fulfillment that is needed and toward new possibilities for growth. In this sense, though depression may be a ‘dark night of the soul’ which we would not choose and in which it may appear that every light has gone out, the soul, within its own domain, continues to support the seeking of that light and continues to radiate light toward the self that suffers and struggles. For this reason, it would be well to look at all forms of depression as a spiritual crisis in its underpinnings, for although no positive movement may be visible on the mental or emotional levels, on the level of spirit and soul a question is being asked and a question is being answered all of the time, namely, ‘what is this life about, what is its value, and what am I doing in it’?

Whether flooded with feelings, or numb and experiencing merely a sense of deadness, on the level of the soul a groping movement is taking place during this dark and painful night - a search for a way toward the light that is, for the moment, invisible. In the blackness, there is a sharpening of vision as one seeks the promise of the light, and pursues the elusive hope of an end to darkness. Even on the conscious level, where everything may feel quite bleak, there is often a reaching out toward that which may have seemed impossibly far away before, namely, to the awareness, however tentative, of our Divine and holy self, the center of our spiritual being.

For those for whom the higher self or soul remains a hypothesis rather than a reality, this type of understanding may seem invented. However, this, too, is a choice that the inner self must make – whether to adhere to a perspective which emphasizes indifference, loss, randomness, deprivation, and lack in life, or to believe that at all times there is a purpose behind the manifestation of what life brings to us, and that this purpose, when found, can become the springboard to a new and more vital sense of ourselves and of life.

For a list of writings by Julie Redstone, see Pathways of Light, a part of http://lightomega.org For a deeper understanding of the perspective of the soul, see the Purification section of the Light Omega website and also the e-mailed Calendar of Healing.

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

Friday, January 19, 2007

Overcoming Depression

Identifying Depression

Depression, like most mental illness runs the continuum of severity. It can be mild or major. It can last from weeks to months. It can involve anxiety symptoms as well. Depression is primarily characterized by sadness and/or loss of pleasure in nearly all activities. Additionally, there may be symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and psychomotor activity (changes in both mental and physical responsiveness and/or activity).

A depressed person may struggle with feelings of low self worth, recurrent thoughts of dying, as well as difficulty concentrating or making decisions. In children and adolescents the mood is often manifested as irritability rather than sadness. Some people may deny having feelings of sadness; instead they may report feeling numb or having no feelings at all.

Taking Action

First, it is important to look at how severely one’s functioning may be impaired. If the person’s level of functioning has been significantly impaired, i.e. they are having difficulty performing their daily routine, seek professional help immediately. A trip to the family doctor to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing the mood disorder is a good place to start.

Second, assess whether there have been any significant changes in circumstances, relationships etc. that may be contributing to the depression.

Third, if your loved one indicates they have a plan or intentions to harm themselves, take action immediately to get help. Call a mental health professional that you have been referred to by a reliable source or check your phone book for community mental health services. You can also call 1-800-784-2433 a suicide prevention hotline. If the threat is imminent, call 911.

Don’t Wait – Get Help

One of the biggest reasons people do not seek help is the shame they feel about having a mental illness. The reality is that our minds are vulnerable to illness just like our bodies. There is no shame in developing the flu or some other medical condition, so why is there with the mind? Those who avoid seeking help because of the shame they feel only languish longer than necessary.

How Counseling Can Help

A counselor can help a person gain perspective about their illness; resolve problems that may be contributing to the depression and assist the person in developing coping skills.

However, in addition to counseling, depending on the severity of the depression, medication may also be a treatment option. You can discuss this with your counselor, who could then refer you to a psychiatrist to prescribe and manage the necessary medication.

Relief is available for difficulties that plague our minds. It is truly the wise that seek out the help, wisdom and counsel of those whom God has equipped to facilitate the healing of the mind.

About the Author:

Jean LeStourgeon, MA, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Palm Bay, Florida. She also operates the website Christian Counseling Online where you can find lots more information and tools on topics like Depression Help and Signs of Depression , all from a Biblical perspective.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Feel Depressed-Try Exercising - Corinne Prainito

Many studies show that long-term exercise helps relieve symptoms of depression. Even if you’re not depressed, most people — who periodically feel grumpy, irritable, stressed, or sad — report feeling better after working out.

A new study, conducted by Dr John B. Bartholomew and colleagues (2005), tells us that just one 30-minute bout of moderate intensity exercise is enough to improve the mood of patients with major depressive disorder, a serious clinical condition. The study’s authors believe that this single-session mood lift also applies to those of us who just feel down.

The study compared 30 minutes of quiet rest and 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill at 60-70% of each patient’s age-predicted heart rate maximum. While both activities were found to reduce feelings of confusion, tension, anger, distress and fatigue, only exercise was found to significantly improve the patients’ vigor and sense of wellbeing. These beneficial changes tapered off by 60 minutes after the completion of their assigned tasks.

The researchers suggest that these results may be due to biochemical changes that occur during exercise or may be related to a sense of achievement that comes with the successful completion of an activity, or both.

The results of this study do not prove that a single walk or bout of exercise will provide lasting clinical effects against depression, but they do suggest that a brief walk might be a cheap and easy way to get a much-needed emotional lift. This lift could prove invaluable to people who cannot tolerate the adverse effects of antidepressants or to those who have just commenced pharmacologic treatment. In this case, symptomatic relief can take anywhere from two to eight weeks to be achieved.

The investigators conclude that the findings are promising enough to warrant further study "to determine the limits of acute exercise to provide this short-term benefit."

Main Reference:
Bartholomew, J. B., Morrison, D., & Ciccolo, J. T. (2005, December). Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood and Well-Being in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 37(12): 2032-2037.

Corinne Prainito, BSc (ExHealthSc), Adv Dip Nat


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

Monday, January 08, 2007

How To Overcome Depression - Ryan D.

How to overcome depression, it's not a nice subject to be honest, I mean, if you wish to know about this then you would probably be feeling pretty bad and actually be depresses, well, there are ways you can lift yourself back up and get going again and feeling good.

In this article I am going to give you some tips on how to overcoem depression, however, if you feel very, very bad then I reccommend you seek professional advice and assistance, if you think you are in an extremely bad state then go see your doctor.

Here are the tips:

*Think about what you are grateful for - This is a powerful method for realising just how much fortune you have in life, don't think that you have to think of massive things that are highly significant, just think about the things that you are truly glad you have in life, things such as the ability to read this article, the ability to change your feelings and get stuck into life again, these are things that most people take for granted but they are great and you really should understand that there is so much that you can be grateful for.

*Think about what you would like to do with your life - Now, I'm not neccessarily talking about doing things like curing world hunger or creating world peace, those are amazing things to hope for but I am talking about things that you can see being very possible and within your reach, maybe you would like to get a great job, move into a nice home, find some new friends, all these are things that you can look forward to and you will get when you feel better and get going again.

*Stay active - This is extremely simple yet very effective, all you need to do is stay active throughout your day, keep busy doing whatever it is you either need to do or want to do, just keep an active life and you should both take your mind off your depression for a while and also can get you into situations that make you feel great and can help you over depression quicker than if you are just sitting at home all day on your own, get active and do what you want to do.

These are just a few tips on how to overcome depression but as I already mentioned, if you feel very bad then I reccommend you seek advice from a medical professional.

Remember, there have been many, many people in your position who felt just like you do and they are now doing great, so will you soon.

Discover How To Overcome Depression In No Time:

==> http://the-internet-marketer.com/OvercomeDepression

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

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Okay, We Really Need to Analyze Postpartum Depression - Foras Aje

Clinicians and researchers use the term “postpartum depression,” or “PPD,” to refer to non-psychotic depression that occurs shortly after childbirth.

Apart from the fact that it happens soon after childbirth, Postpartum Depression is clinically no different from a depressive episode that occurs at any other time in a woman’s life.

Its symptoms are the same as in general depression, and must meet the same criteria for diagnosis. However, not surprisingly, the content of the symptoms of Postpartum Depression often focuses on motherhood or infant care topics.

The most common elements associated with a postpartum depression symptom include

* restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying

* an inability to sleep or extreme exhaustion or both

* loss of appetite and weight loss, or, conversely, overeating and weight gain

* difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

* an excessive amount of concern or disinterest in the baby

* a fear of harming the baby or one's self

* a loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex

Although health professionals do not know what causes depression (and therefore PPD), they accept that there is no single cause. Physical, hormonal, social, psychological and emotional factors may all play a part in triggering the illness.

That considered, it is safe to say there may be a number of reasons why a woman gets depressed. However in regards to PPD-

During pregnancy, these factors may increase a woman’s chance of depression:

* History of depression or substance abuse

* Little support from family and friends

* Anxiety about the fetus

* Problems with previous pregnancy or birth

* Marital or financial problems

* Young age (of mother)

On the other hand, after pregnancy, hormonal changes in a woman's body may trigger symptoms of depression.

Other factors that may lead to a cause of postpartum depression include:

* Feeling tired after delivery, broken sleep patterns, and not enough rest often keeps a new mother from regaining her full strength for week.

* Feeling overwhelmed with a new, or another, baby to take care of and doubting your ability to be a good mother.

* Having feelings of a loss of identity of who you are, or were, before having the baby.

* Having less free time and less control over time.

Suffice it to say that when one reviews PPD and what it entails, this disorder, in no way, shape or form should be addressed lightly. Thankfully, there are tons of wealth on information in regards to conquering postpartum depression and keeping it under control.

To this effect some authors have culled up helpful books with tips on 'conquering postpartum depression' and you can choose to look into any of the following books:

-Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression
By Marie Osmond

-Depression After Childbirth: How to Recognize, Treat, and Prevent Postnatal Depression
By Katharina Dalton and Wendy M. Holton

-Mothering and the New Mother: Women's Feelings and Needs After Childbirth -- a Support and Resource Guide

By Sally Placksin

In conclusion, considering that it (PPD) doesn't drastically differ from the other forms of depression, with the tips outlined elsewhere in its applicable section of this site and otherwise, it is this author’s sincere hope that some assistance could be derived from the information provided herewith.

Here's to happiness.


Foras Aje is an independent researcher and co-founder of BodyHealthSoul LLC. Stop by His Treatment for Depression Blog today for more information on postpartum depression research

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

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Depression During Menopause - By Andrew Bicknell

As women approach midlife and menopause one of the things to be on the lookout for is depression. While menopause is not thought to be a cause of depression the two can occur at the same time. What is believed to be a cause of depression is changes in estrogen levels which occur during menopause. It is known that women are affected by depression over twice as much as men and that a family history of depression can factor into this as well.

The symptoms of depression and menopause are very similar and include sleep disorders, hot flashes, fatigue, anxiety, and irritability. Many women associate these symptoms with the changes that menopause brings, but they may be a sign of depression that needs to be understood and dealt with. There is no reason women need to suffer from depression during menopause. It is important that they accept the physical changes happening to their bodies during this time and work with their doctor to mitigate the symptoms of menopause, but it is also important that they realize that depression and menopause can be mutually exclusive and both can be dealt with.

As women approach menopause their menstrual cycles begin to change and start to become unpredictable. This unpredictability of their monthly cycle is a sign of erratic ovulation. Erratic ovulation causes unpredictable releases of the hormones estrogen and progesterone leading to mood swings, forgetfulness, hot flashes and all the other symptoms associated with menopause.

Most women going through menopause feel that they are loosing control of their bodies when in fact it is just their natural reaction to the aging process. This feeling of loss of control can lead to symptoms of depression. As the symptoms of both menopause and depression worsen they start to feel that there is nothing they can do and a feeling of hopelessness falls over them. This feeling of hopelessness is a major part of depression and left untreated can lead to severe depression.

Untreated depression is a major health risk. Researchers have found that depression is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and in some cases it can lead to bone deterioration increasing the likely hood of osteoporosis and broken bones.

The treatment for depression and menopause can follow a two pronged approach. It is important to treat not only the depression with antidepressant medications and counseling but also to treat the symptoms of menopause as well. Menopause can be treated with hormone replacement therapy where synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone are used to even out the woman's hormone levels.

If you are a woman approaching midlife and menopause be aware that depression can be a very real side affect of the changes that will happen to you. If start to see the symptoms of depression it is best to talk to your doctor about what treatment options may work best for you.

About the Author: Andrew Bicknell is a writer and owner of http://depression.worfdog.com. Visit his website for more information about depression during menopause and depression itself.

Source: www.isnare.com

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Depression... Effecting 20 Million Women And Counting - Ryan Puusaari

Depression is very common, particularly in women. In fact, about 15% of women will take antidepressants at some point in their lifetimes, with an unknown number of women who never seek help for their depression. Some women simply feel that they can handle it on their own, without the help of a counselor or medication- and others may not realize that the symptoms they are experiencing are depression.

Many people wrongly believe that depression is just the feeling of sadness, or crying all the time. Other symptoms of depression in women include losing interest in the activities that you used to enjoy, difficulty sleeping, weight loss or weight gain, difficulty concentrating and/or sleeping, and social isolation as well as having a lack of energy. Any of these symptoms, either experienced alone or in combination with more than one of the symptoms, can indicate depression.

When a woman begins to experience depression symptoms, they are faced with many complications. Women who are the primary childcare providers of their children will have special challenges related to depression and childcare. What happens to the children when the mom is experiencing periods of crying, or out of control mood swings for example? It adds additional stress to the women, which can contribute to the depression symptoms.

The good news is that most depression is easily treated with a combination of medical treatment and psychotherapy treatment. While there are some minor side effects with most antidepressant medication, most are easier to deal with than the depression symptoms. The most difficult challenge for most women who begin taking antidepressants is that it takes a good month before the medication is effective- but during that time you may experience the side effects. So a woman may feel like the medication isn’t helping, and only adding new problems and concerns. Giving medication a chance to work is a must in order to help overcome feelings of depression.

Ryan Puusaari writes for the blog at http://www.ConquerDepression.net ...Stop by and read more of Ryan's Articles about Depression.

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

Monday, January 01, 2007

Depression Symptoms Should be Taken Seriously - Hector Milla

People go through life everyday, doing routine activities like cleaning the house, cooking, doing the laundry and a lot more. But there are times when problems are encountered unexpectedly, and certain drastic events that occur pose a danger to our emotional stability.

The danger of getting depression is possible, especially those who have recently experienced unexpected events or turns in their life.

Dealing with a disorder like depression is needed because it can create significant impacts in your life. What then is depression? Depression is a mood disorder which causes you to feel hopeless or sad over an extended period of time. Your life, work, health, and the people around you are affected by this mood disorder.

People are affected differently by depression. Others find it easy to deal with depression but there are also those that feel down for an indefinite period. Your daily activities will not be affected if you’re only suffering from mild depression but you should also get some sort of treatment to prevent it from getting worse.

Medical attention is needed by those persons suffering severe depression because they can become incapable of communicating or doing daily activities, and the worst case scenario is suicide.

A great number of people suffering from depression are hesitant to seek medical help for they think it’s a sign of character flaw or weakness, and some think they can resolve it on their own. But they are wrong; by confining it, the depression will only get worse. Facing the problem is the most effective way to address the problem with depression. And seeking medical help is not bad; it is even an advantage on your part.

Depression is triggered by stressful events, certain drugs, other illnesses, inherited traits, or medications. It is linked to having an imbalanced brain chemistry.

Depression has two significant symptoms: hopelessness or sadness and loss of interest/pleasure from daily activities. Other symptoms of depression include:

- due to change in appetite, the depressed person losses or gains weight

- sleeps too much or hardly sleeps

- can’t sit still or exhibits a feeling of restlessness

- feels tired most of the time

- guilty feeling or feeling unworthy

- problems with concentration, remembering, and making decisions

- thinks about death or suicide

You have a major depression if you’re experiencing at least five of the symptoms mentioned including loss of interest o sadness for 2 or more weeks. However, having only a few of the symptoms does not mean that you shouldn’t get assistance.

Aside from the symptoms previously mentioned, some people also experience the following:

- having headaches, body aches, pains

- digestive problems

- loses interest in sex

- feels worried or anxious without reason

- blaming self or others for the depression

- not talking or moving for several hours

- increased anger, tearfulness, tension, anxiety

- arms and legs suddenly feels heavy

- very sensitive to rejection

Indeed depression is a serious problem that should not be taken for granted regardless of age or gender. You must therefore be aware of the early warning signs of depression in order to seek assistance immediately.

At first, the symptoms of depression are subtle and hardly recognizable. Children and teens have different symptoms of depression and are quite difficult to diagnose compared to adults. So if you have children, you should pay more attention to them and watch for possible signs of depression.

Depression should not be taken likely. If you or any friend/family members have the symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible.

Article written by Hector Milla, editor of http://www.mydepressionsymptoms.com/, a website about Symptoms of Severe Depression, thanks for publish this article in your website or ezine keeping a live link.

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