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