The Tell-tale Symptoms of Depression

April 13, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Barry McDonald

People who may be suffering from depression or manic disorders actually exhibit or show each and every kind of symptom of depression that doctors will tell you that depressed people have. Sometimes it’s actually quite easy to overlook such symptoms and not be able to help one’s self or others who are suffering from depression for that matter.

There are actually a lot of symptoms of depression that depressed people may actually posses but they don’t have to suffer from each and every one of them before you actually help them get diagnosed and be treated for this illness. Also, since symptoms of depression actually vary, the time of their “attacks” varies as well.

Here are some common examples of symptoms of depression:

Prolonged period of sadness or not feeling “up to it,” people who are always feeling not in the mood, who’d rather mope around the house and feel sorry for one’s self is the best example for this symptom of depression.

Feels hopeless, perennial pessimist: speaking of feeling sorry for one’s self, another common symptom of depression is when a person actually feels like he/she has nothing to look forward to in his or her life. As for being the perennial pessimist, those who show this symptom of depression are usually very negative about things, again, the feeling of hopelessness comes in to mind.

Guilt-driven, loss of self-worth and helplessness: other symptoms of depression that can be easily seen on people who prefer to mope around all day long are these. Whenever a person feels so guilty over something, that actually makes one a very sad person who feels like he or she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Thus, the loss of self-worth, if that person feels like he or she isn’t worthy of being happy or enjoying one’s self then that’s clear tell-tale symptom of depression. Helplessness also contribute to being depressed, when assuming that things won’t simply go your way, it’s already a clear saying that you have absolutely no hope in your body at all.

Isn’t interested in finding or taking pleasure; just dropping the hobbies as well as the other things that one used to enjoy: this tell-tale symptom of depression just shows how depressed a person can be, if one is actually too sad to take pleasure even in the very things that one loves then that person is seriously lacking something, rather, that person might well have caught the depression bug.

Fatigue, always tired: people suffering from depression, since they’ve lost whatever interest in life that they may have had before are actually lacking of physical energy at all times, if one would prefer to just mope around, probably won’t even eat not get enough sleep, a depressed person may well be on their way to not just a mental illness but depression can actually be terrible for one’s physical health as well.

Having trouble concentrating, having bad memory and is indecisive: a person who is suffering from depression easily gives away this tell-tale symptom of depression. Wherein one’s lack of interest with regards to the outside world or for just about anything for that matter can lead to that person’s inability to lose track of things and actually not be able to remember things that happened or what other people said. Lack of interest actually makes depressed people very inattentive.

There are actually more symptoms of depression that can actually help you see if a person (or you) needs to be brought to the doctor to get some help when it comes to depression: lacking sleep, sleeping too much or waking up at wee hours of the morning are all symptoms of depression (if it happens on a daily basis), appetite loss as well as eating too much may show one’s lack of enthusiasm for life. Be weary of sudden weight loss or weight gain in those around you. Being suicidal, talking about death, about wanting to die is another clear indication that that person is depressed. Being restless and irritable and physical symptoms that are usually brought about by poor mental health such as headaches, digestive disorders and various body pains.

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Depression and Weight: An Undeniable Connection

March 7, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

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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Is Your House Making You Sick? Indoor Chemicals and the Depression Link!

March 5, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Christine Silva

Depression is the most common psychological disorder in the US. Those who suffer from depression usually have physical and psychological symptoms, like insomnia and fatigue. Scientists agree that depression is linked to heredity, illness, certain medications, and pregnancy. Most patients experience at least some success with anti-depressant medication. However, more and more health professionals are acknowledging environmental and chemical triggers for depressive illness. In 1992, the EPA conducted a study in which the urine of 7,000 Americans was tested for toxic chemicals. Chemicals like pentachlorophenol, a wood preservative, were found in 71 percent of individuals tested. According to the EPA, exposure to toluene, the most common indoor chemical, may occur simply from breathing indoor air. Toluene toxicity in both humans and animals has been widely observed, and symptoms include chronic fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea.

Environmental and household chemicals have been linked to numerous illnesses, including; chronic fatigue, skin reactions, depression, low moods, allergic reactions, chronic infection, sinusitis, headaches, and sleeplessness. Strong chemicals are released from new homes, household paint, household cleaners, mold, new carpeting, termites, perfumes, and a slew of other common household items.

If the underlying cause of the depression is chemical exposure (or allergy-related), prescription medication will only offer temporary relief. The ideal would be to eliminate all environmental and health-related depression triggers, and see if depressive symptoms improve or disappear completely. Check the following environmental triggers and see if you can eliminate them from your life! Note: if you are currently taking medication for depression, NEVER discontinue medication without consulting your doctor. Quitting medication “cold turkey” is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted unless under direct advice of a physician.

MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) is a controversial diagnosis, and an active debate exists about its classification as an illness. MCS is described as an adverse reaction to low levels of common chemicals. MCS can also be caused by a major toxic event, such as a chemical spill. Some doctors refuse to accept MCS as a viable diagnosis for various reasons. However, chemical sensitivities do exist, and many individuals experience serious reactions from using common household cleaners, such as; bleach, ammonia, detergent, and fabric softeners. According to the Ohio State University Extension, sensitive individuals should try to limit their chemical exposure as much as possible. If you have recently:

•Moved to a new home
•Discovered mold in your home
•Started a new job (especially one with chemical exposure, such as a factory worker or painter)
•Installed new carpeting
•Sprayed for termites
•Sprayed your lawn for bugs or weeds

You may have reactions to these chemicals. If your symptoms are sudden, or the onset of fatigue, depression, headaches, etc, coincides with one of the events above, you may want to consider a possible chemical sensitivity.

Some common chemicals present in household items are:

Formaldehyde (carpet, particle board, insulation, adhesives)
Pesticides (bug sprays, lawn chemicals, and many household cleaners)
Solvents (household cleansers, paint, acetone)
Latex (paints, gloves, caulking)
Aerosols and chemical scents (air fresheners, perfumes, fabric softeners, detergents)

Reactions to these chemicals may be mild or severe. Usually, sufferers will complain of respiratory problems (allergies or trouble breathing), fatigue, depression, low energy, headaches, and joint pain. A combination of these symptoms is common. If you feel that you might have depressive symptoms related to low-grade chemical exposure, there are many easy steps you can take which may help alleviate your symptoms. Here are 10 easy steps to help reduce chemicals in your home.

•Stop using all air fresheners, perfumes, and scented detergents and fabric softeners
•Switch to natural unscented soaps, unscented detergent and unscented (or “allergy”) fabric softeners
•Purchase a good room air filter, and filter-free vacuum
•Open all windows daily, and let air circulate inside your home—and try to go outside and enjoy some fresh air!
•If you have central heating/air, use the best filters you can afford—many of the better filters trap mold and dust mites, a leading cause of allergies
•Use all-natural cleaners, cosmetics, and creams
•Switch to natural fabrics, (cotton, wool, linen, silk, ramie and hemp) and discontinue all dry cleaning
•Always wash new clothing before wearing, especially dyed clothing. In the case of blue dyes, wash twice (blue dyes are more toxic for some individuals)
•If possible, remove carpeting and replace with wood or laminate flooring.
If you need to paint, wear a mask, and open all windows. After painting, try to leave the house for at least a day
•Discontinue use of all petroleum based products, especially in cosmetics, creams, or other topical treatments

Once again, avoid use of: air fresheners, alcohol, chemical cleaners/detergents, cosmetics, nail varnish, paint, newspapers/printed material, perfumes, petroleum products, solvents, and tobacco smoke. There are freely-available natural alternatives to chemical products. Try eliminating as many of these chemicals as you can, and see if you feel a reduction of symptoms. If you would like to help detoxify your body, you can try; mild exercise (walking outside), mild steam room and sauna use, an allergy diet (simple all-natural foods, check with your doctor). You may feel better within just a few weeks.

Sources: National Institutes of Health, US Department of Labor, Ohio State University Extension, Chemical Hazards Handbook, Environmental Protection

Christine P Silva, BA, CRTP, lives in California with her husband, two children, and three spoiled cats. She earned her undergraduate degree from San Jose State University, and her advanced accounting certificate and California tax registration from Cosumnes River College. She is the founder of the Sacramento Volunteer Tax Preparation Clinic, a free service offering tax assistance to low income and Spanish-speaking taxpayers.

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What Are The Common Symptoms Of Depression?

March 4, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Kitty Barker

Major depressive disorder or depression as it is commonly known is a form of mental illness that leaves the patient in a gloomy state and also severely affects the appetite, work, relationships and all major aspects of life.

Some of the major symptoms are as follows:

Always undergoing feelings of sadness, irritability and tension

Loss of interest in activities of pleasure or lack of libido

Feeling fatigued even though you may not have done anything

Having appetite problems which may lead to increased or decreased diet

Changed sleeping habits, which could translate into too much sleep or too little of it

Always feeling restless or feeling slowed down

Lack of concentration and difficulty in making decisions

Feeling worthless, hopeless and experiencing emotions of guilt

Thinking of death and suicide

What are the common causes of Depression?

Depression is not caused by a single factor and is normally a result of one or more causes. These are not only changes in the state of mind but also physical changes in the brain. It is caused due to the imbalance of a certain kind of chemical in the brain that carries signals to the brain and nerves which are called neurotransmitters.

Some of the common causes of depression are given below:

Family History: Sometimes depression runs in the family and if the parents have depression the likelihood of the children also getting the same increases.

Trauma and Stress: Stressful things like death of a close one, losing a job or a break up can trigger depression. At the same time a change in lifestyle may also cause depression such as getting married or graduating from school or college.

Pessimism: People with low self esteem and who have a negative outlook on life have a much greater chance at getting depressed than cheerful and optimistic people.

Physical Illness: Sometimes the stress that comes when one undergoes physical illness like Cancer or AIDS puts the person under depression. They feel unable to cope with this change in their life and go into depression.

Other psychological Disorders: When people are suffering from other psychological diseases like schizophrenia, anxiety disorder and specially substance abuse the chances of getting a depression increase. Who is more likely to suffer from depression?

It is estimated that around 16% of Americans suffer from some form or the other of depression some time during their life. Although anyone can get depression the chances of women getting it is twice as much as men. This is partly because of the hormonal changes that women undergo in life such as menstruation, menopause and pregnancy.

While men are less likely to get depression than women the chances of them getting suicidal is four times as much as women. This is because many a time depression goes undiagnosed in men and they try to mask it through alcoholism and drug abuse worsening the situation further.

The maximum risk of not getting depression treated is with old people. This is because the people around them treat their change in behavior as normal ageing. However there are several factors in old age which can trigger depression like losing loved ones, living alone and being not as active as they once were.

How is depression treated?

Depression is suffered by 14 million Americans in any given year and it can be treated using medication and talk therapy. The key is to get diagnosed and seek help. Once this is done getting treated is the easier part. You should get in touch with a doctor to seek the therapy that will best respond to you and also suitable to your lifestyle. Two of the common treatments for depression that have helped a lot of people are WELLBUTRIN XL and PAXIL CR however it is imperative that you seek professional help. It is important to remember that therapy or medication will not work immediately and it will take time before you can feel the difference.

Author: Kitty Barker – Kitty often writes for and with Depression-Assistance. You can also see more information on this subject at Symptoms Of Depression – should this link be inactive, you can paste this link to your browser – depression-assistance.com

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What Does It Mean To Be Depressed?

February 19, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Steve Thayer

Depression is an overused word to describe how someone may be feeling. It is often used to describe moments of sadness or disappointment, where those descriptions may be more on target and more clearly define a course of action.

Clinical depression is more than feeling bad for a few days; it is a common, yet serious, illness that affects almost 10% of Americans each year. Unfortunately, only one-third of sufferers seek treatment even though getting assistance can help 80 percent of all people who are affected. Although depression is a real medical illness, many people still mistakenly believe it is a personal weakness. Events such as the death of a loved one, divorce, financial strains, moving to a new location or significant loss can contribute to the onset of clinical depression. It is not only negative events that can trigger depression. It is often the sum of many events, even good ones like getting married or finding a new job.

If you have experience 5 or more of the symptoms below for more than 2 to 3 weeks it is time to talk to your doctor and/or a counselor.

• Do you feel sad or irritable?
• Have you lost interest in activities once enjoyed?
• Have you experienced changes in weight or appetite?
• Have you experienced changes in sleeping pattern?
• Do you have feelings of guilt?
• Are you unable to concentrate, remember things, or make decisions?
• Have you experienced fatigue or loss of energy?
• Have you experienced restlessness or decreased activity noticed by others?
• Do you feel hopeless, or worthless?
• Have you had thoughts of suicide or death?

Clinical depression is one of the most readily treatable illnesses, and getting treatment can truly save lives. The most common ways to treat depression are with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy (talk therapy), or a combination of both.

Steve Thayer is a California State Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™, and co-owner of www.MyVitalFiles.com, a Home Filing Solutions Company. He has written articles for various publications for 30 years, and besides working in counseling and financial consulting, his goal is to help make life less tedious and more fulfilling for people by developing paperwork filing solutions.

You may contact him at www.MyVitalFiles.com and steve@MyVitalFiles.com.

© Steve Thayer 2007 All rights Reserved – May not be copied or distributed with our the authors permission.

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What Can Be The Cause Of Your Depression and Stress?

February 12, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Shezz P

The way we think can be a big influence on whether we are likely to develop depression. There are many articles available about how positive and negative thinking affects the body. A person who generally is a positive thinker is more likely to be a happy, carefree individual, while a person who generally thinks negatively would be an unhappy person and much more likely to develop depression.

For someone who is a naturally positive thinker, they wouldn’t think twice about ‘how they think’ because they don’t need to. They are happy, they are doing everything right, there’s no need for change so no need to think about it. However, for someone who is habitually a negative thinker, it can be very hard to change to the positive thinking attitude. Even when you try your hardest, you may succeed for a while but often that negative thinking gradually works itself back into your mind, it is very, very easy to fall back into the negative pattern.

There are many aspects of daily life that cause you to start thinking negatively in the first place. Things like finances and whether you will have enough money for your future. It can bring you down if you can’t afford the nice luxury items that your friends may all have, if you don’t have nice clothes and a nice big house, these things you are reminded of every day so it is hard to think positively about them.

Some people get very stressed about something they may have done and later feel bad about it. A positive thinker would probably just brush it off and forget about it, but a negative thinker is likely to dwell on it for quite a while.

Unable to break habits like smoking, drinking, eating, all of these are hard habits for anyone to break, but for the negative person, the longer you continue with the habit and not being able to break it, the more negative you feel about yourself.

The type of diet a person has can ultimately cause depression. The foods you eat has such a major effect on your health. Eating the wrong types of food over a long period can lead to diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes, these conditions can be a major cause of depression and stress.

People are faced with difficult situations throughout their lives and some people deal with them better than others. The way we deal with these situations may cause depression. Stress is something that everyone deals with from time to time and for the negative person, stress can really effect your mind and body. The longer you go through life not being able to deal with stress the more effect it will have on your body and depression is quite likely to develop.

Everyone should learn coping techniques and ways to deal with stress. Stress can sometimes be avoided but unfortunately it cannot always be avoided, we will all encounter stressful situations and so it is vital that we learn to cope with them. We need to be able to deal with it, then forget about it. We need to learn to ‘let go’.

If you do suffer from depression it can help to sit down and reflect on your day or week and pick out moments that could be contributing to the way you feel, and see if there is a way that you could deal with it differently.

For the negative thinking person, it helps to keep a notebook or diary and on a daily basis write down all the positive things that happened throughout that day. By writing it down it helps to focus on the positive and not on the negative.

Sheryl Polomka is a depression sufferer who has worked hard to overcome her illness. She is now devoting a website to depression in the hope of helping other depression sufferers. Visit her depression website at www.depressiondays.com or read her own depression story at www.depressiondays.com/mystory.html

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.