Fatigue and Depression

Fatigue and Depression

Depression and chronic fatigue often occur in conjunction with one another. In fact, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic depression are often mistaken for one another and doctors can often misdiagnose depression when it’s actually chronic fatigue. Find out how are fatigue and depression linked, what are their common symptoms and how to cure these ailments with the help of a vitamin, natural supplements, foods and nootropics.

Chronic fatigue syndrome and depression generally affect people differently, although they may share common symptoms. With depression, a person may feel fatigued and not be interested in pursuing activities that they used to enjoy.

In chronic fatigue syndrome, the person may want to pursue the activities but feels too tired to do so. Although chronic fatigue and chronic depression are two separate disorders, a person may actually have both. Fatigue can lead to depression and vice versa.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness and loss of interest in daily activities. Chronic depression is not just about having the blues. It’s a serious illness that often requires long-term treatment. Many factors can contribute to the onset of depression, including: difficult life circumstances, traumatic experiences, grief, genetics, changes in hormone levels, medical conditions, stress, substance abuse. Any of these conditions can contribute to depression on their own or in conjunction with other factors.

The World Health Organization states that depression affects approximately one in five women and one in ten men at some point in their life, making it one of the most disabling disorders in the world. Depression affects emotions and behaviors as well as physical health.

Fatigue and depression

Some of the major symptoms of depression are:

  • feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and anger;
  • loss of interest in friends, family, and favorite activities including sex;
  • having trouble concentrating and making decisions;
  • memory loss;
  • thoughts of or attempts at self-harm;
  • delusions and/or hallucinations (usually occur only in very severe depression);
  • withdrawal from people and societal functions;
  • substance abuse;
  • missing work and other commitments;
  • fatigue and lack of energy during the day even after sleep;
  • unexplained body aches and pain;
  • weight loss or weight gain and/or changes in appetite;
  • sleep disturbances: insomnia or hypersomnia (too much sleep);
  • sexual issues.

Although people with depression may not have all of the above symptoms, they generally have at least a few of them to receive a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Having one of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate depression. A person with depression will generally have several, if not most, of the above symptoms.

What Is Fatigue?

General fatigue is characterized by tiredness, lethargy, listlessness or exhaustion. Chronic fatigue is fatigue that persists for more than a month but, generally, a diagnosis is given when the fatigue is present for at least six months.

Both physical and mental fatigue may occur in conjunction with depression. Chronic fatigue is a condition that causes a person to feel excessively tired. The diagnosis is given when no other underlying causes for the fatigue can be found.

With chronic fatigue, symptoms often include:

  • Fatiguefatigue;
  • extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24 hours after exercise;
  • loss of memory or concentration;
  • unrefreshing sleep;
  • headaches;
  • joint pain (particularly pain that moves between joints without redness or swelling);
  • muscle pain;
  • sore throat;
  • tender lymph nodes.

Similarities and differences between chronic depression and chronic fatigue:

Chronic depression symptomsChronic fatigue symptoms
Feel better after exerciseExtreme exhaustion post exercise
Unrefreshed sleepInsomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
Patients attribute illness to external experiencesPatients attribute illness to psychological factors
Feeling weaker and having more painFewer pain complaints
Frequent or recurring sore throatN/A
Tender lymph nodesN/A
Performed worse on cognitive tests than healthy patientsPerformed worse on cognitive tests than healthy patients
Low DHEA levelsLow DHEA sulfate derivative level
More non-REM sleep disturbancesMore REM sleep disturbances

Can Depression Cause Fatigue and Vice Versa?

Both fatigue and depression can have a common cause and can occur in conjunction with one another. Chronic fatigue can also cause depression and, likewise, depression can lead to chronic fatigue. People who experience chronic fatigue generally want to engage in life activities but cannot due to feeling exhausted all of the time. Not being able to engage can lead to feelings of depression.

Guilt is a common symptom of major depressive disorder. In depression, guilt can be delusional or broad where a person may not really know why they feel guilty. In chronic fatigue, a person can feel guilt over their inability to engage in activities. This guilt can translate into broader feelings of depression.

Stress is a very common sign of both fatigue and depression. When stress levels become too excessive, our bodies are affected and both mental and physical fatigue occurs. If the stress continues, a person can reach a state of despair. Despair, in turn, can cause additional fatigue which sets up a vicious cycle of chronic fatigue and depression, making overcoming the disorder difficult.

What Are Symptoms When You Have Fatigue and Depression?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is generally a physical disorder whereas depression is primarily a mental one but both conditions can have overlapping symptoms:

  • depressed mood;
  • Loss of appetitediminished interest in favorite activities;
  • weight loss/gain and loss of appetite;
  • sleep disturbances or non-restful sleep upon waking in morning;
  • constant fatigue and loss of energy;
  • feelings of guilt and worthlessness;
  • inability to concentrate effectively;
  • thoughts of death and suicidal tendencies;
  • physical complaints such as muscle and joint pain;
  • general feelings of anxiety.

How to Treat Depression and Fatigue?

If fatigue is present due to depression, treatment with an antidepressant will generally help. As the depression fades, the feelings of tiredness and lethargy will go as well. In chronic fatigue, however, therapies beyond antidepressants are usually needed. Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic fatigue and since it affects people differently, treatments can be wide ranging.

Lifestyle changes can help patients of both depression and fatigue. Other than prescription medications, finding an effective way to reduce stress is generally the first step in alleviating symptoms of depression and fatigue. Improving sleep patterns through reduced stress or over-the-counter sleep aids is also helpful in relieving depression and fatigue.

Vitamins

For severe depression and fatigue, it’s generally recommended that you seek the advice of a doctor. But there are some natural cures using vitamins that people can take to help with feelings of depression and to boost energy levels.

B vitamins

Vitamins B, particularly folic acid and B6, can play an important role in helping to beat depression. These vitamins help to produce brain chemicals that affect mood and low levels of B12 and B6 have been linked to depression.

Vitamin D can also help. Studies done on patients with depression showed that vitamin D supplementation helped to combat their anxiety and depression. Also, the main function of vitamin D is to increase absorption in the intestines of calcium and phosphorus, and interferes with the development of cancer.

Natural Supplements

A lot of times, depression and fatigue are caused by excessive stress. There are natural supplements and herbal remedies that can help diminish to stress. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that can actually counteract stress before it even happens. Taking 500 to 2000 milligrams before a stressful event can help to mitigate stress and anxiety.

Adaptogen herbs are a group of natural substances that increase resistance to stress and also increase general well-being. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used successfully in the treatment of depression. As with any at home treatment, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice if you have any serious medical conditions.

Foods to Fight Fatigue and Depression

Simple changes in diet can help depression and fatigue. Using food to fight symptoms is a time-tested method of creating general wellness.

Good nutritional habits can boost energy without having to resort to substances like caffeine that can have negative effects. Often in depressed patients and also patients with fatigue, magnesium levels will be low. Adding nuts to your diet can help boost magnesium levels and your energy.

Complex carbohydrates from whole grains can also boost energy levels naturally since they’re absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly thus keeping blood sugar levels low. Too much fat in your diet can make you feel sluggish, but adding healthy fats from foods such as avocados, coconut, and olive oil can give your body what it needs without weighing it down.

Foods to fight fatigue and depression

Beat Depression and Fatigue with Nootropics

The best meds to combat depression and fatigue tackle the problem at its source: the brain. Taking nootropics (a drug used to enhance cognitive function and memory) for depression and fatigue is a common treatment. These cognitive enhancers, also called smart drugs, help to improve brain function and have mood-boosting properties. Some nootropics that are used for fatigue and depression are Aniracetam, Sulbutiamine, Noopept, Adrafinil, and Inositol.

Can Modafinil Help to Cure Fatigue and Depression?

Modafinil, or Provigil, is a eugeroic drug that helps to promote wakefulness. Although its primary function is as a treatment for daytime sleepiness, Modafinil has been used as an off-label medicine to treat depression. Since Modafinil is a nootropic or smart drug, it is one of the best meds in overcoming cognitive impairment or “brain fog” typically seen with depression. It also treats fatigue by promoting wakefulness. Armodafinil is a drug with similar actions. These drugs can cause nausea but can be taken either before or after eating.

When Do You Need to See a Doctor?

Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome are serious disorders. If symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, it’s important to see a physician in order to rule out any other illnesses. Quick treatment can help to alleviate symptoms and stop the vicious cycle of depression and fatigue. ModafinilXL offers the best solutions for treating these ailments.

Study with Depression

Study with Depression

The National Institute for Mental Health estimates that 16 million American adults per year experience at least one major depressive episode. Statistically, this means that you or someone you know is currently affected by the disorder, and is hampered in their ability to work, play, or study. The good news is that there are many different forms of treatment available that can be tried without even talking to a doctor. See which of the following are the most appropriate for you.

What Is Depression?

First, gaining a clear understanding of what depression is and how it affects the body and mind is important. The American Psychiatric Association defines depression as “feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed”. Although doctors have not been able to identify a single cause for depression, it is believed that the condition is linked to a serotonin deficiency in the brain.

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Many of the most effective treatments for depression involve restoring serotonin levels, either through healthy habits or medication. Take a look at a few of the suggestions below to restore balance to your own levels. Remember that unstable mood and swings can be first signs of bipolar disorder.

Ways that Depression Can Affect You

It is crucial to understand that depression affects the mind as well as the body. Those experiencing the disorder will feel more sluggish and tired than usual and are less likely to want to engage in productive activities. Studying with depression can be a major challenge, as the ability to focus, learn, or even work up the motivation to begin can feel impossible to those suffering. Finding out how to overcome these symptoms is the first step toward regaining control of your life.

Also, keep in mind that depression is intertwined with anxiety. Periods of lethargy and inactivity can be paired regularly with moments of heightened awareness and self-consciousness. The goal when treating depression and anxiety-related disorders is to strike a balance between the two.

Study with Depression

How Can I Know That I Have Depression?

There are a few tell-tale signs to look for self-diagnosing depression. If you are experiencing more than a few of the following with regularity, then it is likely you are suffering from the disease.

  • lethargy and excessive sleeping;
  • lack of appreciation for once-loved activities;
  • drop in productivity;
  • diminishing of social contact.

Try Next Exercises

Often, the most immediate and effective way to treat the effects of depression and resume working is to go for a quick jog or trip to the gym. Physical exercise has the effect of boosting feel-good chemicals in the bloodstream, called endorphins, and improving mood. While it may not be a long-term solution to depression, working regular exercise into your routine can be a strong cornerstone to a healthy and happy life.

Talk About It

Woman talks with manTalk therapy has been a simple but effective way doctors can treat the effects of depression and rebuild the patient’s positive outlook on life within a matter of months. However, turning to those close to you can be a more readily-available alternative for many people. Even if your goal is to resume study and depression is the hurdle standing in your way, taking a few minutes out of your schedule can be a way to save time in the long run.

Call a Friend or Family Member

Sustained relationships are the best for long-term success against depression; however, it can sometimes be difficult to find new people to engage with when we are already feeling low. That is why turning to those we already know can be a good option. Family members and lasting friends will often be willing to lend an ear, and after just a short phone call you might be surprised how effective their conversation can be.

Take a Walk

Combining light exercise and sunshine is a great strategy to lift your spirits in a moment of crisis. The sun can warm us up and make us feel positive, but it is also a natural source of vitamin D. As long as you live somewhere that receives direct sunlight, getting your daily dose is just a matter of stepping outdoors for 20 minutes. And for those who have cold, cloudy weather for some or all of the year, don’t worry. You can get your own vitamin D supplements through online pharmacies.

Meditation

Sometimes, the best way to take back control of the mind for study during exams is to find a quiet space and concentrate. Meditation has shown many positive benefits for those struggling with depression and anxiety. The goal is to allow practitioners to let go of their past regrets and future fears, focus on the present and enjoy the benefits of a collected consciousness.

Eat Something Tasty

Tasty foodYour local coffee shop is often a great one-two punch for treating anxiety. For one thing, it gets you out of the house and around other people, but secondly, it offers a selection of coffee and tasty treats. Enjoying something sweet in moderation can help boost the brain and pull it out of repetitive cycles of depression and anxiety.

Have a Rest and Try to Sleep

One of the symptoms of depression is increased sleep, and over time increased sleep can actually make individuals feel more depleted than refreshed. However, when the world feels like too much and you could use a break from it all, taking a short nap can be an effective reset switch. Power naps, or rests that last for between 15 to 30 minutes, can be surprisingly effective for those with depression when used strategically.

Treatment Options

There are a number of antidepressant medications that have proven effective over recent decades. However, different individuals react uniquely to each kind and so sometimes a long-term solution can be a process of trial and error. SSRI drugs work by regulating the serotonin levels in the bloodstream, generating a sense of well-being over time. While they take several months to fully enter the body, they can provide a sense of stability once they start working.

Try Smart Drugs

Modafinil smart drugAlso known as nootropics, smart drugs are stimulants that can be helpful if you find that trying to study while depressed is too much of a challenge. Smart drugs like Modafinil or Modalert can boost focus, energy, and brain power dramatically after just taking a single dose. You can find a wide selection of different nootropics on Modafinilxl.com, whether you need help to study, staying awake, or treating your long-term depression. If you want to know more, read this article about Modafinil smart drug and depression.

Take Vitamins

Getting a full dose of different vitamins is an important cornerstone to long-term health, both physical and psychological. Take a look at a few of the major players and see what kinds of benefits they can bring to the table.

Vitamin B1Helps regulate metabolism and preserve energy
Vitamin CKeeps your immune system happy and healthy
Vitamin EAn powerful antioxidant
NiacinGreat for digestive health and an energy boost

All of the above can be found in common multivitamins, which are a simple and cost-effective way to promote bodily health.

Use Herbal Supplements

If more traditional options don’t prove effective, then turning to the wide world of herbal supplements can be a great alternative. Modafinilxl.com has a wide selection of different options that can do everything from boosting energy levels, to instilling a sense of calm, to improving your positive outlook on life. With a variety of unique blends, finding an option that is perfectly tailored to your taste is just a matter of careful shopping.

When Do I Need to See a Doctor?

Doctor helps to treat depressionMany forms of depression can be treated with quality and consistent self-care practices like those listed above. A combination of exercise, healthy eating, vitamins, nootropics and medications can all add up to a life of psychological health that lasts for the long term. However, it is also important to realize when self-care practices aren’t working.

After you have exhausted the above options without success, then looking for a qualified medical professional should be the very next step. Also, if you are facing suicidal thoughts or have expressed a tendency toward self-harm, then contacting a doctor immediately is advised. Do not hesitate to seek the help you need, whether it comes in the form of a pill, some hearty exercise, or the experienced care of a physician.

Narcolepsy Definition and Causes

Narcolepsy Definition and Causes

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes drowsiness, sleep attacks, and physical collapse. Be prepared, and learn the forms, causes, side effects and dangers associated with this disease. Protect yourself and your family.

Narcolepsy has a dual origin originating from the Greek word «narke», which means numbness, and the English word epilepsy. Some may only have slight drowsiness and can function in everyday life. Those with narcolepsy are said to be more susceptible to relaxing situations, something as simple as sitting on a couch could make them fall asleep.
Some patients find relief from the use of modern medicines. Thanks to this, they feel more confident and live a full life.

Narcolepsy Definition

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder characterized by extreme sleepiness and drowsiness in the day. The dictionary definition for narcolepsy description it as an incurable sleeping disorder whose severity varies from person to person. Hence the word narcolepsy. Some people tend to fall asleep even when they are just slightly relaxed. Relaxation causes some narcoleptics to fall asleep suddenly. In the medical field, they call this a sleep attack. Narcolepsy can be very dangerous because approximately seventy percent of patients with narcolepsy also have cataplexy. Learn more about narcolepsy so you can recognize the signs and symptoms. Narcolepsy symptom list:

  • cataplexy;
  • excessive daytime sleepiness;
  • sleep paralysis;
  • hypnagogic hallucinations;
  • sleep and automatic behavior disruption;
  • brain damage.

Narcolepsy definition and causes

Are There Different Forms of Narcolepsy?

As with many diseases, there are different types of narcolepsy. In this case, however, it can be narrowed down to two main forms: one with cataplexy, and one without cataplexy. Narcoleptics without cataplexy are rare, and the cause is still unknown. Since they don’t experience muscle weakness, it is less dangerous and the milder of the two.

What is Cataplexy?

Cataplexy is when a strong emotion, like laughter, causes a person to lose muscle control and collapse. Meaning all of the person’s muscles, the face, arms, legs, and chest, can be affected causing delayed motion, slurred or staggered speech, and even the complete inability to move one’s body.

Strong emotion

An attack of cataplexy can look similar to passing out because they are both brought on by bouts of extreme emotion. The severity of a cataplexy attack can also vary significantly.

Sometimes it will show itself as a brief tingling feeling, numbness or weakness in the muscles. Other times it can cause a person’s entire body to collapse. It could take seconds to minutes for the person to regain control of their body.

Secondary Narcolepsy

The details of secondary narcolepsy are not widely known. This very rare type of narcolepsy can cause hallucinations, physical weakness or muscle collapse, seizure, stroke, or even result in death.

Secondary narcolepsy is the product of an extreme infection that caused irreparable damage to the hypothalamus section of the brain. In this case, the hypothalamus cannot send the correct nerve signals because the brain is too damaged to function. This misfire sends signals of sleepiness and could cause sudden sleep attacks, seizure, and even cessation of full motor control. It is always dangerous for a person with narcolepsy because they can lose muscle control and collapse at any time.

What Causes Narcolepsy?

The secret of the cause of narcolepsy was only partially revealed at the end of the 20th century. The whole fault is the structure of the brain, responsible for changing the fast and slow phase of sleep. In our brain, thousands of chemical reactions pass every second. Neurotransmitters are substances that transmit the nerve impulse from one cell to another.

The neuromediator responsible for wakefulness was called orexin. It is the lack of orexin that provokes narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is usually hereditary. Often there will be documentation of this disorder in adults of the family. In rare instances, narcolepsy has resulted from severe trauma to the brain caused by an extreme bacterial infection which is more common in elderly and in adults.

Diabetes

Other reasons for the reduction of orexin include:

  • diabetes;
  • brain trauma;
  • infectious diseases of the nervous system;
  • stress disorders, exhaustion;
  • genetic predisposition.

What part of the brain does narcolepsy affect? In a human brain, the narcolepsy cause is in the hypothalamus, a large section in the forebrain. This section of the brain coordinates the autonomic nervous system. In adults, it controls many essential body functions like hunger, thirst and moderating body temperature. It is a fundamental component for our motor skills to work correctly.

What Type of Doctor Treats Narcolepsy?

Many people wonder what kind of doctor treats this disease. A neurologist is usually the doctor to help treat this disease.

Since the disorder itself is neurological, a specialist in the medical field can contribute their expertise to give you a full physical exam and rule out the possibility of secondary narcolepsy. From there they can assess the severity of the particular case, and prescribe medications to help. A lot can change with the support of a responsible neurologist. With the right treatment, a narcoleptic can relieve stress and lead a considerably normal and happy life. Narcolepsy statistical chart:

Estimated Americans with narcolepsy215,923
Rate of undiagnosed cases of narcolepsy0.06 %
Average age for start of narcolepsy15-20
Percentage of family members also with narcolepsy8-12 %
Percentage of narcoleptics with cataplexy70%
Narcoleptics with all four symptoms (cataplexy, EDS, sleep paralysis, hallucinations)10-35%
Cases reported in Canada23,902
Cases reported in the United Kingdom44,316
Cases reported in China955,035

In the online pharmacy ModafinilXL you can buy such pills as Modalert, which were designed specifically as a medicine to help people with sleep problems improve cognitive function and help maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

Definition and Types of Depression: Part 2

Definition and Types of Depression: Part 2

Did you know that 1 in 10 Americans are suffering from some form of depression? Full description of depression types: chronic (neurotic or dysthymia), functional, secondary, situational, comorbid, episodic depression and other types. When you need to see a doctor?

You may find it shocking to hear that 121 million people worldwide are suffering with some kind of depression. With so many people in crisis, it is vital that we understand the symptoms, causes and treatment methods for this serious mental illness in order to protect ourselves and others from the condition.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the lesser-known aspects of the mental illness, including the differences between chronic and episodic depression, and we’ll examine how some can suffer from depression and remain functional, while others struggle to even maintain normal speech.

Definition of Depression

For a depression definition, you can refer back to Definition and Types of Depression: Part 1. You will also be able to learn more about major depressive disorder and its sub-types, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and facts and statistics about clinical depression.

Depression Types

There are many different varieties of depression that people can suffer from, some of which are outlined in Part 1 of this guide. In this article, we’ll outline the symptoms and causes of the following types of mental illnesses: chronic,  depression and dysthymia, episodic depression, functional and mild depression, secondary type, comorbid type, catatonic form, antenatal depression, existential type, vascular form.

Definition and Types of Depression: Part 2

Chronic, Neurotic Type or Dysthymia

Persistent Depressive DisorderDysthymia, also often referred to as persistent depressive disorder (PDD), chronic or neurotic depression, is diagnosed when an individual suffers from depression over the course of many years.

Symptoms of chronic depression tend to be very similar to that of major type, but often they are a little less severe. However, major depression can occur in chronically depressed people, in which case their symptoms become more dramatic. Sometimes an episode of major depression can occur before someone develops dysthymia.

Functional Version of Disease

When an individual suffers from mild but persistent depressed symptoms, it is known as “functional depression.” In these cases, sufferers find it possible to hold down a job and social life, but they still feel unhappy, low in energy and motivation, and experience feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness on a regular basis.

Simply because someone is functional does not mean that their illness is not severe enough for treatment. Often, functional depressed people are overlooked because sufferers simply put up with the mild symptoms under the belief that it is normal for them to feel that way.

Medication and talking therapies can be successful treatments for functional depression, which is why individuals suffering from the condition should seek medical support.

What Is Secondary Depression?

DepressionSecondary depression, sometimes called double depression, is named as such when a depressed person already has an existing disease which has led to their melancholy state.

The pre-existing condition may be a mental or physical illness, but it is often a chronic or long-term disease or disorder which is negatively impacting their daily life. In many ways, the secondary type is similar to reactive depression which we outlined in Part 1, since it occurs as a response or reaction to something else.

Although secondary depression can be treated in a similar way to major type (with medication and therapy), it is often helpful to treat the pre-existing condition first or at least find ways of better managing symptoms of the pre-existing condition. By going about treatment from this angle, it is possible to rectify the trigger of the depressive episode in order to reduce the risk of future relapses.

Comorbid Type

Comorbid depression is another term used to describe secondary type depressive episodes. Comorbidity in the medical community refers to the presence of multiple conditions at one time.

Situational Form

Situational DepressionSituational depression is an episode of very low mood and mild depressed symptoms in response to stressful or traumatic life events. Many psychology experts deem it to be an adjustment disorder and not true depression, but if left untreated it can develop into the reactive type of major depressive disorder, which we outlined in Part 1.

There are many reasons why an individual may suffer from situational depression. Individuals in midlife may experience it after being made redundant or after the loss of a loved one. In young people a depressed episode could be triggered by something like changing schools or moving to a new city. In the elderly, adjusting to the loss of a spouse or to a move into a retirement home could trigger a serious downturn in mental health.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which situational depression could come about. It is important that sufferers acknowledge the depressive symptoms they experience when undergoing a major life change or planning to start a new life, in order to seek treatment where necessary and reduce the risk of it developing into severe major depressive disorder.

Antenatal or Maternal Character of Disease

Antenatal (also known as prenatal) type refers to depressed symptoms which occur in women during pregnancy.

There are a wide range of causes for antenatal depression. First of all, the physical effects of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, lethargy and breast and back pain can take their toll on the mental wellbeing.

Secondly, changing hormone levels can trigger changes in the brain and cause biological depression. Thirdly, the emotional implications – worrying about the health of the baby, the lifestyle changes the baby will bring, the financial implications of raising a child – can put pressure on mental health and lead to increased stress, worry and anxiety.

Maternal depression, also known as postnatal type, occurs after the birth of the baby. Much like prenatal form, it can be caused by a range of biological, hormonal and emotional triggers.

Treating antenatal and postnatal depressive episodes may be difficult, as some medications may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, talking therapies can be extremely effective in helping new moms and moms-to-be in overcoming the illnesses.

What Is Catatonic Form?

Catatonic DepressionCatatonic depression causes sufferers to experience “catatonia”, in which they become speechless and motionless.

Catatonia can occur as a result of various different mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and PTSD. It is thought that it occurs due to the mental illness causing disruption to neurotransmitters.

Although most commonly catatonia results in a lack of speech and motion, sometimes it can cause sufferers to have sudden unusual movements instead. Catatonically depressed people may also find it difficult or impossible to eat or drink, feel agitated by their inability to communicate, or, when they are able to speak or move, find themselves imitating the speech and movement of those around them.

Definition of Anxious or Anxiety Depression

Depression and anxiety disorders are different conditions, but they are often understood to be the same thing because they share similar symptoms and many people can experience anxiety disorder and depressive episodes at the same time. People with both conditions are sometimes diagnosed with Mixed Anxiety-Depression Disorder (MADD).

Aside from the common symptoms of major depressive disorder (such as reduced energy, motivation and attention span, feeling bored or disinterested in pleasurable activities, deep sadness, lack of self-worth, thoughts of harming oneself), anxious depression tends to cause the following symptoms:

  • racing thoughts, irritability and sudden anger;
  • physical manifestations such as chronic pain, breathlessness, rapid heartbeat, hot flashes;
  • panic attacks;
  • insomnia;
  • problems with memory and concentration;
  • irrational and constant fear or worry.

Since anxiety disorders and depressive disorders share much of the same symptoms, depression can often be masked by anxiety and vice versa.

Suicidal Depression

Suicidal DepressionSuicidal depression usually occurs in people who have suffered with very severe symptoms of the illness, sometimes over a long period of time. Other factors, such as other mental or physical illnesses, can contribute to feelings of self-harm and suicide.

People who feel suicidal often have intense feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, which leads to them feeling that suicide may be the only way to find relief from their state of mind. In some cases, a specific traumatic or stressful event may push someone towards suicidal thoughts or behavior in a similar way to reactive depression, which was discussed in part 1.

Individuals who feel suicidal should seek help immediately by calling emergency services or visiting a hospital. Medication and therapy are often the best long-term treatments, but the first step is to find a safe environment for the individual to attempt to prevent them causing harm to themselves.

Vascular Form

Although there is still much research to be done to fully understand the vascular form of the disease, also known as subcortical ischemic depression, it is a condition thought to most commonly affect individuals over the age of 65.

The condition is believed to be caused by lesions on the brain, which can be detected via an MRI scan. Although many of its symptoms are similar to major depressive disorder, vascular depression is distinctive because it tends to correlate with these lesions and is most common in elderly individuals whose age makes them more susceptible to vascular disease.

What Is Episodic Depression?

PhysiciansEpisodic depression refers to depressive disorder which occurs in episodes, as opposed to chronic depression or dysthymia, both of which are ongoing and can last for years.

Individuals may suffer from one or several depressive episodes in their lifetime, but if they have had multiple episodes, physicians may be interested to know more about their state of mind in between each episode to determine if they actually have a more chronic mental illness.

Existential Type

Sometimes referred to as an ‘existential crisis’, this type of depression is caused when individuals question existential topics, such as life, death or the meaning of their existence.

Since it is not possible to achieve a definitive answer to these types of philosophical questions, individuals may find themselves struggling to find their purpose or place in the world, and develop feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness as a result.

In some instances, existential depressed episodes may be triggered by a major or traumatic life event. For example, someone grieving the sudden death of a loved one may find themselves questioning life and death and this in combination with their grieving emotional state may trigger depressed symptoms.

Mild Depression

Mild DepressionMild depression is often referred to as “functional”, as discussed earlier. People who suffer from mild symptoms of the illness may not struggle to continue with their daily activities like those with moderate to severe symptoms. However, their behavior, mood and general state of mind will be less positive than if they were not depressed at all, and is likely to appear weird and out of character to others.

Regarding treatment, medication is often not deemed suitable for individuals with mild depression. Instead, therapies such as CBT, self-help programs, and regular physical exercise may be more effective in managing mild symptoms.

Other Types of Depression

The forms of disease outlined in parts 1 and 2 are some of the most common types of depression, but there are many more varieties of the mental illness, such as the following:

ConditionDefinition
Melancholic DepressionA sub-type of major depressive disorder in which individuals struggle to find pleasure in positive things. Agitation, insomnia and loss of appetite are common.
CyclothymiaMoods cycle between mildly depressed and elevated or hypomanic. Similar to bipolar disorder but significantly less severe in terms of depressive and manic episodes.
Adolescent DepressionDepressive symptoms in teenagers, often caused by various triggers, such as changing hormone levels during puberty, having low self-esteem, being victim of bullying, childhood abandonment, or exposure to violent or sexual abuse.
Psychotic DepressionA major depressive episode in which the sufferer experiences psychotic symptoms such as hearing or seeing things that aren’t real or experiencing delusional, paranoid thoughts.
Preparatory GriefThis is the type of grief that individuals go through when they know they are dying. It is often deemed a type of depression as it shares many symptoms with the mental illness.

How Can I Know That I Have Depression?

PsychologistIf you’ve been suffering with many of the symptoms listed in this article or in Part 1 on modafinilxl.com for a significant amount of time – usually two weeks or more – it is possible that you’re suffering from a depressive disorder. A healthcare professional, such as a physician or psychologist, will be able to diagnose you and help you to understand which type of the illness you are suffering from.

When to Consult a Doctor?

You should consult a doctor if you’ve been experiencing symptoms for more than two weeks, no matter how mild your symptoms are. Individuals with mild or functional depression may not deem it necessary to visit a doctor, but unless they seek treatment and advice on how to live with their symptoms, their mental health could decline into a severe episode of major depressive disorder.

Individuals experiencing suicidal symptoms should seek urgent care if they are having strong thoughts of harming themselves or committing suicide. Those who are dealing with chronic depression may not have much hope that medical intervention will help them, but with perseverance it may be possible to find medication or methods of coping that significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms.

If you are living with someone with a depressive disorder, you should encourage them to seek medical support if you feel their quality of life, relationships and daily routine is suffering as a result of the illness. If in doubt about someone’s mental state it may be helpful to consult a physician for advice, but ultimately they must seek help from a doctor on their own terms.

Definition and Types of Depression: Part 1

Definition and Types of Depression: Part 1

What is depression? Did you know that 121 million people worldwide are suffering with some kind of depression? Full description of depression types: major, bipolar and severe depression. What should you do if you have it?

1 in 10 Americans will suffer from some form of depression at some point in their life, with women more likely to develop the mental illness than men.

Although most common in people aged between 45 and 64, people can experience depression at any point in their lives, and it may be a one-off occurrence or they could relapse multiple times.

With so many people suffering from depression, it is vital that we learn more about the condition and its variations in order to recognize symptoms of the disorder and seek treatment, both for ourselves and our loved ones.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder which results in a persistent sense of sadness and loss of interest in daily activities.

There are various different forms of depression, and you’ll find that the depression definition varies for each type. However, all types of depression can impact the way you think, feel and behave. Depression can manifest itself both mentally and physically.

Definition and Types of Depression: Part 1A depressed person may experience the following symptoms:

  • feeling deep sadness or intense emotions;
  • experiencing sudden, unexplained bouts of anger or irritability;
  • persistent anxiety;
  • low in energy and motivation;
  • bored or disinterested in activities that were once pleasurable
  • low sex drive;
  • lack of focus and difficulty remembering things or making decisions;
  • feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt;
  • thoughts of harming themselves or others;
  • unusual sleeping patterns – insomnia or excessive sleeping;
  • headaches;
  • dramatic loss or increase in appetite.

DepressionThe severity of these symptoms may vary from individual to individual depending on the nature of their depression and the type of depressive disorder they are suffering from.

Living with Depression

It can be difficult to know how to live with depression, and often medication and/or therapy is required for a full recovery or to manage symptoms well enough that the disorder doesn’t continue to impact daily life. Once an individual seeks help from a physician or expert in psychology and gets the right treatment, overcoming depression is possible and individuals can have the opportunity to start a new life without relapse.

Depression can sometimes be situational, with external factors contributing to the mental illness. For example, depression in the elderly may be caused or made worse, by loneliness, particularly if they have reduced mobility and struggle to get out the house or if they have lost their spouse.

In other cases, depression has no external cause and comes about biologically or as a result of genetics. However, situational circumstances and environment could make symptoms worse or make recovery more difficult. In both scenarios, it can be helpful to identify the trigger or aggravating factor and find a solution to it to aid recovery in conjunction with medication and therapy.

Helping Others Deal with Depression

Depressed PersonLiving with someone with depression can be incredibly difficult, but the most important thing is to be supportive, let them know you’re there to talk to when they’re in crisis, and encourage the individual to seek medical help and treatment.

If you find the depressed person is avoiding social situations and their mental illness is becoming worse as a result, it may be possible to support them in becoming more sociable or finding methods to improve their mood. For example, you could invite them to go out walking, suggest you get dinner together, or find another activity that you would both enjoy together.

The other thing to consider is the type of depression an individual has, because the way they behave will differ depending on the type and severity of their depression. By learning more about the various types of depression, you may be more able to recognize symptoms and find an angle from which to support them most successfully. Regarding long-term conditions such as bipolar disorder, this step is perhaps most important.

Types of Depression

There are many different types of depression, with the most common being major depression. 16 million adults experience this every year in the US. In Part 1, we’ll go into detail about three types of depression: major depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

ConditionSymptoms
Major DepressionSadness, anger and irritability, low energy and motivation, disinterest in activities, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, feeling of worthless or guilt, disrupted sleep patterns, headaches
Bipolar disorderRecurrent episodes of extreme depression and extreme mania, the latter causing dramatic increase in reckless behavior, energy, motivation, creativity, racing thoughts and lack of control
Seasonal Affective DisorderLow mood, lack of energy and motivation, increased appetite, sleeping longer than usual – all experienced during autumn and winter months

What Is Major Depression?

Depressive DisorderMajor depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is diagnosed when symptoms of depression have been experienced for two weeks or more. It is the most common type of depression, and is often referred to as “unipolar” depression because mood remains in one emotional state for a significant period of time.

Reactive Type

When major depression is caused in reaction to external life events or circumstances, it is known as “reactive” depression. Difficult and stressful events, such as the ending of a relationship, the death of a friend or family member, or a traumatic incident such as a fire or burglary, could be a trigger for depression.

Although these types of events would cause anyone to feel low, anxious or unhappy for a short period of time, if symptoms become more severe or persist for a significant period of time, it could mean that an individual is suffering from reactive depression.

In young people, depression may be triggered by stressful relationships or friendships, as a result of bullying, or due to academic pressure at school. For those in midlife, financial worries, instability in their living situation, or being made redundant are all examples of incidents that could trigger reactive depression.

Exogenous Type

Exogenous depression is the clinical term used to describe reactive type depression. “Reactive” is more commonly used since it more clearly describes the way in which depression occurs as a reaction to a traumatic event.

Atypical Form

Symptoms Atypical RejectionAtypical rejection is another sub-type of major depression which tends to be identified by the following symptoms:

  • appetite increase and weight gain;
  • excessive sleeping;
  • significant fatigue;
  • mood reactivity.

It is mood reactivity that particularly distinguishes atypical depression from other types. Individuals with the disorder will find their mood changes with their environment, so if something particularly positive happens, they will feel a little happier and more positive, something that individuals with other types of depression would be unlikely to experience.

Atypical depression is not usually triggered by a specific event like reactive type depression, and many sufferers have experienced depression from their teenage years. Atypical depression also often causes sufferers to be particularly sensitive to rejection.

Definition of Endogenous Depression

Endogenous depression refers to depression which is not caused by a stressful or traumatic event. It is also often known as “biologically based” depression, because there is no apparent triggering factor; it instead occurs as a result of biological or genetic factors.

Symptoms of endogenous depression are almost identical to those of major depression, and they usually come about very suddenly and with no clear reason.

Resistant Character of Disease

AntidepressantsIndividuals who do not respond sufficiently to antidepressants medications are known as having treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Clinically, an individual must have had little response to at least two different types of anti-depressants in order to be diagnosed with TRD.

It is estimated that around 45% of individuals treated by primary care physicians respond successfully to the treatments. Solutions to the problem may involve:

  • changing the type of antidepressants;
  • increasing the dose of antidepressants;
  • adding more medications;
  • psychotherapy.

Refractory Form of Illness

Treatment-refractory depression is another term used to describe treatment-resistant depression, as discussed above, in which an individual fails to successfully respond to anti-depressant medications.

Episodes of Major Type

An episode of major depression is usually defined by symptoms which occur for two weeks or more. Individuals may experience multiple episodes of major depression over the course of their lifetime, but in these cases physicians may look more closely into the symptoms and frequency of episodes to determine if the individual is suffering from a different type of depression, such as bipolar disorder or dysthymia, in which there are frequent, recurring episodes.

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar DepressionBipolar depression definition: a condition in which mood swings between extreme highs and extreme lows.

Bipolar depression, also often known as bipolar disorder and previously known as manic depression, causes individuals to experience extreme episodes of depression and extreme episodes of mania in which they feel overactive and out of control. Bipolar is cyclical, with sufferers cycling between depression and mania potentially throughout their lives.

Depressive and manic episodes tend to last for periods of longer than a week at a time, and can occur for months at a time. During a manic phase, individuals are often not aware that their behavior is weird, out of character or risky, and after coming down from a mania it is not uncommon for sufferers to find it shocking the activities they did during the manic phase.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

During a depressed phase, bipolar disorder sufferers will experience many of the symptoms of major depression, but these are often far more severe than someone with simple clinical depression.

During a manic bipolar phase, individuals may experience the following symptoms:

  • extreme euphoria;
  • very high energy;
  • ambitious, creative and filled with profound ideas;
  • not feeling able to eat or sleep;
  • talking quickly;
  • becoming very irritable and angry very quickly;
  • spending lots of money on things they can’t afford;
  • increase in sex drive;
  • paranoia, delusions and feeling nervous without real cause;
  • psychotic episodes in which they see or hear things that aren’t really there;
  • intractable and feeling out of control of their actions.

Manic Depression or Hypomania

HypomaniaManic depression is an archaic term used to describe bipolar disorder. Bipolar is deemed a more accurate term for the condition because it focuses on the very stark differences between high and low phases of an individual’s mood, rather than simply the depressive episodes.

Hypomania is a term used to describe relatively mild periods of mania. During a hypomanic episode, which tends to last just a few days compared to weeks or months of mania, individuals might experience the following symptoms:

  • happy, confident and with high self-esteem;
  • creative;
  • racing thoughts;
  • restless, on edge and fidgeting;
  • social and talkative;
  • taking more risks than usual;
  • high in energy and not wanting to sleep.

One of the key differences between mania and hypomania is the level of control an individual might feel. Someone with hypomania may find themselves feeling more productive and able to use the hypomanic episode for positive changes in their life.

However, individuals who experience manic episodes often feel out of control of their actions, are not aware that their behavior is abnormal or could cause problems for themselves or others, and they may find themselves suffering from delusions, paranoia or psychosis that they cannot control.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a form of depression which is affected by the changing seasons. Symptoms of depression typically occur in autumn when daylight hours get shorter, and become the worst through the winter months. In spring, the depressive mood begins to lift and sufferers usually find themselves feeling back to their normal mood by summer.

It is thought that SAD occurs as a result of less exposure to sunlight, since symptoms begin when days become shorter. Sunlight has an effect on the hypothalamus in the brain, which works to control serotonin, a hormone which helps to regulate sleep, appetite and mood. Symptoms of Malfunctioning of the HypothalamusWith a lack of sunlight, the hypothalamus may not function correctly, resulting in the following symptoms:

  • low mood and disinterest in normal daily activities;
  • irritability, guilt, despair and worthlessness;
  • lethargy;
  • sleeping longer than usual;
  • increase in craving carbohydrates which can lead to weight gain.

SAD is most common in climates where daylight hours are short, but there are some instances in which it occurs in people living in tropical climates. In these cases, individuals experience periods of depression in the summer months rather than the winter months. It is not fully understood why this happens and much more research is yet to be done to discover more about the condition.

Severe Depression

Depression can affect people in a myriad of different ways and severities, with some people experiencing more symptoms than others. Someone with moderate symptoms shouldn’t feel any less worthy of treatment than someone with acute, severe depression, but those experiencing more intense symptoms may choose to seek treatment particularly urgently, especially if they’re struggling to remain functional with daily activities or work, or have frequent, severe thoughts about harming themselves or suicide.

Do I Have Depression?

Part 2If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms outlined here, it is possible that you’ve been suffering from depression. However, be sure to read Part 2 on modafinilxl.com to learn more facts and statistics about different types of depression to get a better understanding of your potential condition.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Individuals who have been experiencing problems symptomatic of depression for two weeks or more should seek advice from a doctor. Those who have masked their symptoms from others for a significant amount of time should also visit a doctor for treatment, because suffering in silence will likely only make their condition worse. Anybody who has extreme thoughts of harming themselves or suicide should seek urgent medical care.

Mood Rollercoaster: Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Understanding bipolar disorder and its symptoms is the first step in improving. Most medical professionals can point you in the right direction if you feel you may suffer from bipolar disorder. It may also involve speaking to family or friends, to determine if there are other genetic mental problems within the family and see what loved ones have observed about you.
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St. John’s Wort for Depression and ADHD

St. John’s Wort for Depression and ADHD

How often do you make a difficult choice between a natural remedy and professional medication? A lot of people prefer herbs and dietary supplements. Are they really as effective as traditional drugs? We hope this article will help you find some answers and make the right decision. Certainly, we cannot review all natural pharmaceuticals. In this article, we will try to give the detailed information on Saint John’s wort, as it is famous for its huge range of uses and benefits.

What Is St. John’s Wort?

This flowering plant has the scientific name hypericum perforatum. It blossoms with yellow flowers. It natively grew in Europe and Asia, but were spread all over the world as it is an invasive weed.

The curative properties of this plant have been well-known for many centuries. In Ancient Greece and Rome, and further in the Middle Ages, people used it as a part of theriacs, in half-magical elixirs for all diseases and poisonings. Not for nothing, we must say, as this flower has many properties proved by modern scientists, and is used in modern medicine to help with various illnesses.

You should not use St. John’s Wort as a replacement for the prescribed medicines. The Federal Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) did not approve it as a regulated drug, so usually it is sold as the herbal supplement. The herb has the name of St. John the Baptist, as it blossoms in the end of June when Christians feast for this Saint. Earlier it was used mostly in the forms of oils and snaps, now it is also available as pills, capsules, extracts, teas, and topical preparations.

Here are some other common names for this medical plant:

  • Rosin Rose;
  • Klamath weed, Tipton weed, Goatweed;
  • Amber;
  • and Hypericum, which is used most widely.

It is marketed and sold under various labels, so it is difficult to point out the best brand on the market. The most popular are Hipericum, NeuroIgnite, Perika, and others. Try to use only those products that include the instructions with information about the expiration date, recommended dosages, adverse effects, and precautions. Also, make sure that the package and the guidelines include detailed information about the manufacturer and import distributor.
St. John’s Wort for Depression and ADHD

How Does It Work?

As any other medical herb, hypericum perforatum contains a wide range of chemical compounds that provide its curative features.

Hypericum perforatumThe most well-studied active constituents of Saint John’s Wort are:

  • hyperforin, together with adhyperforin, are the reuptake inhibitors of such neurotransmitters as dopamine, serotonin, glutamic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glycine, choline, norepinephrine and other monoamines. Hyperforin is believed to be the main anti-anxiety, anti-panic and antidepressant active substance of the medicine;
  • hypericin and pseudohypericin are the inhibitor of the monoamine oxidase enzyme, they are also responsible for antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of hypericum perforatum;
  • flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, isoquercitrin among others) provide the antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and other effects.

As you see, the active constituents of the Hipericum medicine regulate the level of neurotransmitters in the central neural system, which makes it an effective drug for mood and emotional disorders.

Saint John’s Wort Effects

Let’s look deeper into the beneficial effects that the medical plant creates for human health. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, people often use it for various gastro-intestinal illnesses, as well as diseases of the kidneys, liver, and gallbladder. It cures inflammations and infected wounds. It is believed to be effective against tuberculosis and hepatitis, and some researches claim that hypericin inhibits the human immunodeficiency virus. Other antiviral actions include effectiveness against herpes, the flu, cytomegalovirus, Sindbis fever, and many others. The low dose of hypericin and pseudohypericin can increase the immunity, but you better go easy on it, as an overdose of these substances can depress your body defences. Hyperforin inhibits the development of some kinds of skin cancer.

Depression

State of depressionMajor depressive disorder (further MDD) is a serious state of mental health that requires professional medical assistance. If you have some serious concerns about your health, you should consult a doctor. In mild conditions, some doctors administer St. John’s wort for depression as an alternative remedy. Increasing the level of serotonin and other neuro transporters, the active constituents of hipericum perforatum bring the moods and emotional states to order, effectively cure sleeping disorders, and elevate the interest in life and motivation.

Anxiety

Anxiety, agitation, and panic attacks are some of the signs of generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD). With the help of the same mechanism of action and working ingredients, Saint John’s Wort can help with GAD as well as with MDD. It is highly debatable, though, as there are no reliable studies on this topic, and the reviews from users give totally opposite opinions.

ADHD/ADD

Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is the old term for the newer and more correct disorder named ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is characterized by a lack of focus and concentration, high impulsivity, agitation, and changeable behavior. Some doctors still use the term ADD to indicate the condition of low attention without hyperactivity.

There is no common opinion on the efficacy of St. John’s Wort for ADHD among scientists. Some research studies did not find any measurable difference in responses of the groups that took placebo and medications. Other studies claim that hypericum perforatum, as the serotonin and other neurotransmitters’ reuptake inhibitor, can effectively eliminate some symptoms of the attention deficit disorder.

Studies on St. John’s Wort Benefits

AnxietyAnd still, how effective is this herbal medication according to the reliable scientific research? The opinion on the effectiveness of the Saint John’s wort varies from study to study. For example, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine sponsored the trials that did not find any difference between the effectiveness of Hypericum and a placebo. On the contrary, the analysis of the trials published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2005 and in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience in 2008 declare St. John’s wort to be able to cure depression in minor and moderate cases in adults. The same meta-analysis did not determine any beneficiary properties of the herb as compared to a placebo in teenage and elderly patients with depression, anxiety and other mental diseases.

What Dosage to Choose?

There is no universal dosage for all medicines with the St. John’s Wort extract. It is fabricated in various forms and strengths, and there are no official standards approved by medical authorities. It is better to ask your medical advisor how much medication you can use per intake and per day. Start with the recommended initial dose that is indicated in the instruction. Does it work well for you? Then keep using it and monitor your condition. Remember that if you change the brand, the dosage may change, too. It depends on the strength of the particular drug.

There were the articles in the Clinical Pharmacokinetics journal and the British Journal of Psychiatry that standardized the content of the active agents of Hipericum in extracts and pills. The drugs with 3-5% of hyperforin and 0.3% of hypericin showed good effect in patients with depression after one year of administering. The dose varied from 200 mg to 300 mg of the extract thrice a day for adults, the teenage patients started from 150 mg thrice a day and then the dose was increased up to 300 mg. Such medical therapy helped to eliminate the signs of MDD.

Side Effects and Warnings

Side effects of St. John’s wort

Pay attention to all changes in your condition when you administer St. John’s wort. According to the medical trials, it has moderate side effects as compared to traditional antidepressants, but still can cause some adverse reactions.

Be alert if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • digestion problems;
  • changes in the blood pressure;
  • excessive tiredness, low concentration;
  • allergic reactions;
  • dry mouth, sensitive skin, especially to the sunlight;
  • dizziness, headaches, confusion.

Remember, that hipericum perforatum is not fully studied and not all adverse effects are known. All undesired and adverse reactions should be immediately reported to a doctor.

You may wonder, can you take St. John’s wort with antidepressants or other medications. It is not recommended to mix Hipericum with other nootropics, stimulants, serotonin reuptake, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Immunosuppressants that are used after transplantation, birth control pills, and some cardiovascular medications may not work properly together with the extract of hipericum perforatum. It can also reduce the effectiveness of the antiretroviral therapy.

How to Take St. John’s Wort?

To understand how to use every particular brand of Hipericum, you should read the medication guide that goes with the drug. Usually, it contains the information about the dosages and schedule. The average daily dose of the standardized extract for an adult person is 900 mg divided in three intakes. Still, pay attention to the chemical composition of the drugs you purchase, as they may differ in strengths and compounds.

The efficacy of the herb does not depend on food, but you should not take it with alcohol. It is also forbidden for kids younger than 6 years old and pregnant women. There are no reliable studies about its toxicity during the breastfeeding period. It is better to avoid taking this medication at that time.

What Else Can I Try for Depression?

Online pharmacyComparing St. John’s wort vs antidepressants, we came to a conclusion that the effectiveness of the herbal medication is not fully proven. Natural herbal remedies can be very popular among people, they are believed to possess great curative properties, but alternative medicine may be not effective enough or give no result at all. It is always better to rely on professional medications with guaranteed positive effects and well-studied actions.

In our online drugstore ModafinilXL, you can buy such medications, for example Modafinil, Modalert, Armodafinil, and others drugs. Our nootropics will help you to get rid of bad moods, concentrate on your work or studies, normalize your intimate relationship, and give you energy and joy for life.

Exposure Therapy for Depression

Exposure Therapy for Depression

Potential triggers permeate our daily life. People get used to avoid the irritants but if they do it right? Popularized in the 1950s, exposure therapy helps to deal with fears: from minor ones, such as spiders, to major ones, like a war. What do we know about exposure therapy today? Whom and how can it help?

The most powerful but still poorly understood, exposure therapy appears to be a way out for anxious people with hard emotional experiences, difficult memories, or traumatic occurrences.

Experiencing a stressful situation in a controlled surrounding strengthens an individual’s coping skills. Let’s have a closer look at how it works in practice.

What Is Exposure Therapy?

Exposure therapy is a psychological treatment that was evolved to help people withstand their fears. Usually when a certain object, activity, or circumstance makes people afraid, they do everything possible to avoid it. The escaping helps shortly, but the danger feeling remains and may take a turn for the worse in the future.

In such cases, psychologists recommend a program of exposure therapy to address the fear once and for all. The therapy implies environmental conditions in order to elicit the reaction to things that the people are afraid of. This method in safe conditions helps to ease and reduce fear and reject their further avoidance.

The procedure has been scientifically recognized as a helpful therapy for psychological disorders which is widely used for:

  • agoraphobia (fear of open spaces);
  • panic disorder;
  • anxiety disorder;
  • social phobia;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD);
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • generalized anxiety disorder.

Exposure Therapy for Depression
The therapy has several types depending on the strategy:

  1. In vivo exposure. A few examples: those who are afraid of reptiles receive instructions how to carry them, and those who feel anxious about speaking in public should address the audience.
  2. Imaginal exposure. A person should imagine the scarring object or circumstance and share the impressions in order to reduce the fear feeling. This method works excellently for PTSD.
  3. Virtual reality exposure. This technology helps to reproduce the virtual environment that scares a patient. Patients with aerophobia are offered to have a virtual voyage in the psychologist’s cabinet where sights, sounds, and smells of the airplane are involved.
  4. Interoceptive exposure. Aforethought bringing on sensations that make a person afraid. Panic disorder patients may be offered to do exercises for speeding up the heart rate and seeing that this feeling is not dangerous.

PsychologistA personal psychologist suggests the most effective method of treatment individually.

The therapy is placed in different ways:

  1. Graded exposure. The psychologist helps his client to define the fears according to their difficulty, starting from soft exposure and progressing to the hardest ones. Gradual approach shows very good results.
  2. Flooding exposure therapy. The therapy begins from the most difficult moments.
  3. Systematic desensitization. Exposure may be combined with relaxation techniques for better management and association with the feared objects.

Most people have some fears and would be glad to relieve symptoms that prevent them from living. The first logical question which comes to mind: does exposure therapy work? It is thought to help in several ways, notably:

  1. Adaptation. Getting through the same situation several times reduces the fear.
  2. Extinction. The exposure practices weaken the first terrific impressions that are related to particular situation and ensures a good outcome.
  3. Self-efficacy. The therapy encourages the client, making him to believe in his own power to overcome the anxiety.
  4. Emotional processing. New, more realistic beliefs are formed during the exposure sessions. A fresh look at the issues helps to relieve symptoms.

This type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) technique is proven when it is used by a skilled and authorized professional who specializes in this kind of therapy. When used properly, it is a powerful method of an influence on negative emotions that helps a person to overcome phobias and social anxiety.

Exposure Therapy for Depression and Anxiety Effects

State of depressionExposure therapy was the first psychosocial treatment described in detailed procedures. This definition appeared in 1960. Continuing to date, the exposure sessions have been developed, studied, and refined. Relief from anxiety-related disorders has become much more likely than it was several decades ago. Such disorders like OCD are highly treatable today. However, some patients do not benefit from this type of therapy, and many remain symptomatic.

Some experts are sure that exposure therapy may be useful for severe depressive states. While PTSD and depression have certain characteristics in common, such as flashback and memory flooding, these disorders have significant dissimilarities, too. Depression does not always imply trauma, but the archives of memories that are related to a certain stage of life or failure are defective.

The results of exposure therapy trials in depressed people showed that they can analyze the events and rede them into the more positive light. A psychologist helps to build up the «positive emotion system». But a curious fact is that depressed people may sustain a fear of having positive emotions. That sounds paradoxical, but in fact, people are frightened to change their thoughts because they are afraid of repeated complete collapse and get even more depressed because of that.

The first sessions are usually afflicting. This condition lasts up to 4 weeks. Regular work with minor fears are the steps to improvement. Homework allows doing exercises outside of the sessions and is a necessary part of the therapy. For depressed people, the total course duration is 20-24 sessions.

To improve the effectiveness of the exposure therapy in treatment of anxiety and depression, it is used in combination with virtual reality equipment. It allows transporting a patient to a calm and supportive surrounding through a series of mental visualization exercises. The aim of the procedures is the response prevention, precisely the permanent memory loss the ability to trigger intense emotional responses.

The Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment published the data which affirms that the combination of exposure therapy and virtual reality bring better results than with exposure therapy only. Encouraging outcomes prove high acceptability and satisfaction with the inclusion of virtual reality. The National Center for Biotechnology Information study says that virtual therapy works better than a combination of drug therapy and virtual reality therapy.

Virtual reality was used in prolonged exposure therapy to military servants. It is a costly therapy treatment which is not available over-the counter. The results are quite individual and highly depend on the skills of the psychologist to tailor the most efficient treatment to a client. This type of CBT still requires more evidence of its effectiveness.

Exposure therapy side effectsThe therapy may cause severe, moderate, or mild side effects or last without any health changes.

The reported conditions after exposure therapy courses are:

  • flashbacks;
  • anxiety;
  • nightmares;
  • panic attacks;
  • excessive sweating;
  • aggression;
  • negative projection about an unknown outcome;
  • blurred vision;
  • stomach problems;
  • vivid dreams with complex plots;
  • disturbance;
  • anguish of mind;
  • dread;
  • agoraphobia;
  • increased anxiety;
  • vertigo;
  • dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder);
  • agitation;
  • back spasms;
  • easy fatigability.

A patient should look at the pros and cons before starting therapy and be emotionally ready to overcome the bothering psychological disorders.

How Exposure Therapy Works?

The information about every situation, thought, object, and place go through a prism of our brain which decides whether it is dangerous or harmless. The risk factors turn into anxiety, a warning cue to alert a person and prepare for escaping from the incident in order to reduce the anxious feeling.

Avoidance is a reason for the continuance of any anxiety disorder. Escaping does not reject anxiety but only stops it for a while, preventing the brain from realizing that the incitement is not dangerous, in fact. Averting leads to worsening the anxiety in the future. In order to fix the problem, the brain should be re-trained and learn how to react differently without an anxious reaction.

Fear is a natural response to physical and emotional menace that is related to many kinds of ailments. Frightened people lose control and cannot handle the brain work or «talk» their brain out of anxiety problems. Here comes the exposure therapy that is based on extinction and used as a widely adopted method of fear control.

To make the extinction work naturally, a person should face the object of fear and be in the presence of it until it does not cause an anxious feeling. Most people do not do that, choosing avoidance as a method of saving. Fighting one’s own fearful thoughts and making the brain stop thinking about the bothering things is not successful, either.

Fear extinction was thoroughly studied. The results showed that the human brain habituation to stimuli when they fail to produce the expected reaction. Forcing a person to confront the unpleasant strong emotion for a longer period makes the mind essentially adapt to the stimulus to such an extent that it is extinguished.

Fear

What is happening in the human brain during the treatment? The mechanism is not completely understood. However, the direct connection between two brain areas was identified. They are the basolateral amygdala (BLA), that is involved in fear memory, and nucleus accumbent (NAc), the region which responds for positive, rewarding events. The network got the name the BLA-NAc circuit. The BLA is tightly linked with fear memory and positive reward learning, too. Important is to study out the following question: when a person expects something bad to happen but nothing wrong occurs, does the brain perceive it as a good matter?

Exposure therapy is one of the most successful therapies for fear-based disorders. Unfortunately, its effect is not permanent. Scientists still try to find out how to make it permanent using the rewarding extinction therapy. The tentative steps for enhancing the long-term benefit in people who suffer from phobias and PTSD were tested on rats. The test showed that the effect may be stretched for at least two months by assisting the circuit’s activity during the therapy. Further recovery of fear after two months is still unknown.

All that the researchers noticed was that the circuits remained active during the processes of fear learning and extinction. Comprehension of the molecular structures of the sub circuits are different and would promote the development of the fear extinction pathway and become a progressive step in cognitive therapy. Using such brain technologies as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) or EEG (electroencephalography) could assist the learning of the potent ways of activation of the specific brain parts during exposure therapy, including the BLA-NAc reward circuit.

Does It Work for Different Types of Depression?

Virtual reality methodExposure therapy cures the depressive states which are overlapped with anxiety. The therapy was developed with strong support for phobias and panic disorders, as well as aimed to cure painful reactions to traumatic events.

Being a complex of poorly understood conditions, depression is often accompanied by excessive self-criticism which is a great impediment for recovering. A bit more love to one’s own personality could help sufferers to instigate long-term change. And that is what scientists of University College London and ICREA-University of Barcelona wish to attain using the virtual reality method of exposure therapy.

A trial with 15 adult patients with depression showed that virtual reality experience has made a positive impact in self-compassion, reduced self-criticism, and the symptoms of severe depression. Nine patients were completely recovered, and four patients felt significant improvement. This technique was adopted for depression cases when self-criticism is prevalent. It also could be used for people who do not admit that they have problems or seek any help.

To enhance the effect of exposure therapy for depression, doctors use deep brain stimulation (DBS) which consists of stimulating the particular areas of the brain using small electrical charges. It is a highly effective method for extreme depression.

DBS is a surgical procedure that is used in treatment of various neurological disorders, such as dystonia with concomitant depressive states. DBS is approved for people with documented OCD duration of at least 5 years, those who have completed the trials of CBH, or in cases where at least 3 selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs) failed.

It should be noted that DBS is not appropriate for patients with such illnesses as dementia, personality, psychotic, neurological, bipolar, or cognitive disorders, but people with anxiety and/or depression that are accompanied by OCD may be considered a candidate for DBS.

Is Exposure Therapy Effective?

EmetophobiaThose who want to get rid of phobias and other psychological disorders get curious is exposure therapy effective. It has been recognized as the most efficient method for people with various anxiety disorders and deals with deeply unpleasant runaway intrusive thoughts. Depending on the patient’s history, the method of treatment may vary.

It is helpful in such extraordinary cases as emetophobia (fear of vomiting). Light exposure therapy deals with seasonal depressions. Narrative exposure therapy is successfully used in people who have suffered from traumas due to political, cultural, or social forces (for instance, refugees). Narrative therapy tests show high effectiveness in PTSD and is conditionally recommended for the curtailing of traumatic experiences.

Getting Started With Exposure Therapy

The first important tip is to find a qualified and experienced person for this procedure. Ask a family physician for a referral or contact the American Psychological Association or the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Before starting the treatment course, a patient should receive a training manual and know in details what to expect from the therapist.

Being an effective maneuver for anxiety disorders, CBT may not bring positive results even after adequate dose of treatment. The latest research has shown that the effect may be improved by the use of cognitive enhancers that augment the core learning process of CBT.

Online pharmacyModafinil (brand name Provigil) and its relative Armodafinil (Nuvigil) are wakefulness promoting agents that are approved by the FDA for treatment of excessive sleepiness, shift works disorders, and other sleep disorders. In addition, it has been used off-label as a psychostimulant for the therapy of cognitive dysfunction in some psychiatric conditions and as a general cognitive enhancer. Modafinil for depression in monotherapy showed beneficial results in severe cases even when other therapies appeared ineffective.

Consult with a therapist about the concomitant use of nootropics with exposure therapy together.

Generic versions of various psychostimulants at affordable prices are available for purchase in our drug store (see the products catalog).

Top Natural Depression Treatments

Top Natural Depression Treatments

Depression is one of the most common types of mental disorders, as it affects about 340 million people around the world. Not all sufferers favor medication, and some seek natural treatments. Let’s speak about all possible ways of overcoming depression without drugs.

Over 18 million US citizens suffer from depression. Each tenth man and each fourth female aged 40-50 y.o. takes antidepressants. Some experts explain this fact by the fast-moving periods and life style changing within this age range. Whatever the reason is, the depression statistics are staggering.

Unfortunately antidepressant drugs are helpless sometimes. They only really work for 30% of users.

Unbearable adverse reactions, suicidal thoughts, and high risk of usage during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence are the important factors that discourage using antidepressants. 80% of people with depression never receive relief. So what are other options for depression treatment? Let’s speak about this today.

How to Cure Depression with Herbal Remedies?

Our ancestors had stress, too. For centuries, herbal remedies have been used for general well-being and depression therapy, as well. When antidepressants are not always beneficial and cause various side effects, herbal remedies become helpful solutions.

Since this psychological disorder may be caused by different causes, natural remedies can not replace the qualified medical scheme of cure, but, at the same time, we should not underestimate their effectiveness.

Ginkgo bilobaThere are 10 natural remedies that may help to lift mood during mild or moderate forms of depression:

  1. Arctic Root. The plant that grows in Chinese mountains and the Arctic is used for boosting physical and mental health. It’s adaptogenic action is similar to serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The remedy reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue quicker than some drugs. It brings fast results for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatment.
  2. Ashwagandha. The most remarkable plant used in Indian Ayurvedic healing, this adaptogen significantly cuts down cortisol level (the stress hormone) and struggles against anxiety and sleep disorders.
  3. Chamomile. The daisy-like plant provides overall relaxation and is used for multiple purposes. It is represented in various forms (tea, capsules, tincture, oils, etc) and is used not only for depression and anxiety treatment, but for stomach problems, too.
  4. Curcumin. The compound of this Indian spice is known for its anti-inflammatory and brain-activating qualities. It enhances the levels of neurotransmitters which respond for the good feeling. The action is similar to Prozac. The spice is effective for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive states.
  5. Ginkgo biloba. One of the most popular ancient Chinese remedies that improves memory function, enhances blood circulation in the brain, and diminishes cortisol levels.
  6. Saffron. The expensive culinary spice activates serotonin metabolism and struggles with stress, OCD, and premenstrual symptom (PMS).
  7. Omega-3 fatty acids. Cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and flax oil include the fats that are useful for treating depression and bipolar disorder. The recommended doses work beneficially for the heart.
  8. Lavender. The oil is widely used in aromatherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Clinical trials showed high efficiency as compared to several antidepressants with no side effects, drug interactions, or contraindications.
  9. Melissa. Essential oil is multifunctional and treats a number of health problems: sleep disorders, anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dementia.
  10. Valerian. Classified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a «GRAS» (Generally recognized as safe) substance, this herb is widely used for the treatment of neurologic disorders and insomnia.

Therefore, herbs are increasingly gaining prominence in official pharmacology. Being natural antidepressants, they may be considered as a secondary way of treating depression.
Top Natural Depression Treatments

Get Outside More

As well as taking medical treatments for depression, suffers should not close themselves inside and miss a chance to enjoy the sunlight. Vitamin D is synthesized in our skin and is vital for the body. Studies show that it improves brain disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Severe deficiency of this vitamin raises the risk of dementia by 125% and predisposes people to depression. Scientists believe that optimal doses of the vitamin enhance the brain’s chemical processes and protect brain cells, recover damaged neurons, and promote anti-inflammatory and immunity-modulating effects.

In sunny weather, forest therapy is highly suggested, too, and it is recommended for restoring the generally good feeling. There are at least 11 scientifically proven motivations why outside walks are useful.

AnxietyBeing out in nature:

  • boosts working memory better than urban environments;
  • restores energy and recovers mental fatigue;
  • decreases heart rates and cortisol levels;
  • reduces inflammation processes;
  • makes a protective effect on the eyesight;
  • improves concentration;
  • stimulates thinking processes and imagination;
  • promotes the production of anti-cancer proteins;
  • boosts immunity system;
  • eases anxiety, depression and other mental disorders;
  • alleviates the suicide risks.

Highly sensitive people should pay special attention in the social circle. It is important to recognize when people are stealing inner strength and energy, constantly complaining, or criticizing you. Best of all is to communicate with positive and supporting friends. Good evenings with optimistic individuals sometimes works better than a clinician or tablets. Detect negative personalities and exclude them from your social network or diminish your communication with them as much as possible. Pleasant memories also make good impacts on psychological health and mental stability.

Exercise

It is obvious that exercising is the last thing a depressed person wishes to do. If a person wants to get rid of this annoying feeling and get enough motivation, the activity starts to make sense.

Sports help to prevent and support general health. It normalizes blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and improves mood. The direct link between exercise and mental disorders is not clearly understood, but it definitely eases the symptoms. Systematic training:

  • releases the natural brain chemicals that respond for good mood and inner harmony;
  • distracts from obsessive thoughts;
  • improves self-confidence, self-esteem;
  • gives a chance to meet and communicate with people who have strong pro-life stance;
  • motivates for healthy living style.

Physical activitiesPhysical activities and exercises are not the same thing, but they are both good for health. Exercise includes various activities that are not necessarily hard. The important thing is that they help you to feel better. Among them are:

  • running;
  • athletics;
  • fitness;
  • basketball.

Any kind of active rest that pumps the heart is helpful. Even just washing the car, walking down the street, gardening, or anything that makes a person get up from the couch helps to improve mood and rise above negative thinking.

If physical activities are new or not easy to come by, start by doing them gradually. In the beginning, it would be good to take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park the car a little farther away from work to walk the rest of the distance. Biking to work is also a good solution. All of this will help to clear the mind, fulfill the body with new energy, and focus on the positive things.

Adhere to Diet

Those who seek a natural treatment for depression should pay attention to their daily rations. There is no specific diet to cure this mental disorder; however, eating a more healthful diet has a positive effect on the psychological condition. Scientists highly suggest avoiding sweets, as well as refined and fried foods, and instead filling the menu with products that beat depression. These are:

  1. Green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, lettuces, and leaf beet. This class of plants creates a powerful immunostimulatory action, protects from cancer, and can fight against inflammatory disorders in the organism. Since the severe depressive states are related to inflammation processes in the brain, the vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as minerals and phytochemicals are essential for recovering.
  2. Walnuts. The source of omega-3 fatty acids maintain brain functioning.
  3. Avocados. Rich in healthy fats, protein, and vitamins K, B, C, and E-12, fruits help the brain to work properly.
  4. Berries (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, etc.) are effective antioxidants. Long-term usage lessens depression, fixes cells, and prevents cancer.
  5. Onions and garlic. The anti-inflammatory flavonoids contained in these vegetables benefit mood and reduce the risk of cancer.
  6. Tomatoes. Scientific researchers noticed the lack of folate in depressed people. Tomatoes contain folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid and regulate the levels of homocysteine that restrict the producing of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
  7. Flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are very useful for mood normalization.
  8. Apples. «An apple a day keeps the doctor away». It is a well-balanced fruit that includes vitamin B, fiber, iron, and magnesium. Apples promote brain functioning and help the cardiovascular system. Their antioxidant properties prevent inflammation and repair oxidation damage.

Changing the diet is a promising step in the cure of depression. It relieves depression symptoms but should be considered as one of several options for the cure.

Food with Magnesium

Food with magnesiumMagnesium is a chemical that serves as a natural relaxer. Since ancient times, it has been used for calming the nervous system and releasing tension. It is highly recommended for anxiety and depression treatment.

The Norwegian Hordaland Health Study found that people who have less magnesium in their daily rations are more at risk of depression. This chemical has caught the attention of Austrian, Russian, and American scientists. All testimonials showed great effectiveness of magnesium in the treatment of psychological disorders, such as aggression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is available in supplement form but the types of magnesium may differ, therefore some of them are beneficial and some are not. The magnesium in the food is the chemical that is used by organism naturally. Along with products that contain magnesium, our organism receives vitamin B6, folate calcium, and other beneficial nutrients that also take part in depression and anxiety treatment. With the product rich in magnesium, we receive a super pack of natural vitamins for depression and anxiety with no risk of overdose or waste money on unsuitable supplements.

The products that contain magnesium are:

  • cereals (rice, barley);
  • wheat and oat bran;
  • buckwheat flour;
  • pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax seeds;
  • nuts (almond, cashews, Brazil, black walnuts, peanuts, pistachios);
  • legumes;
  • dark chocolate;
  • tofu;
  • mustard, collard, beet and turnip greens;
  • herbs and spices (dill, celery, sage, basil, fennel, tarragon, coriander, marjoram, cumin).

It is necessary to pay attention to mineral water. It has many helpful ingredients that usual water does not contain. Two liters of mineral water a day prevents dehydration and supplies an organism with 25% of the daily magnesium norm. The label on the bottle represents the chemical composition, and usually it is about 20-110 mg of magnesium per liter. Magnesium is absorbed better when water is taken along with meals than in the periods between them.

Forget About Coffee

CoffeeMedical opinions regarding coffee are divided. Some specialists are sure that caffeine relieves depression symptoms while others warn that it worsens the psychological condition.

There is no direct link between caffeine usage and depression. The Chinese studying done from 1980-2015 note that caffeine generally decreases the risk of depression, providing protection action. Depression risks may be increased only in case of exceeding the daily norm of caffeine. Caffeine contains chlorogenic, ferric, and caffeic acids, all of which reduce nerve cell inflammation that leads to depression. The caffeine antioxidant properties help to soothe the damaged areas of the brain.

Opponents warn that those who are sensitive to caffeine’s effect or intake too many caffeinated beverages may sustain unwanted reactions. Caffeine messes with the body’s clock and mood, and falling asleep becomes more problematic which subsequently diminishes the sleep time and worsens depression symptoms, especially when depression and anxiety occur together. If a depressed person is a keen coffee drinker, abrupt quitting may cause withdrawal side effects, such as migraine, fatigue, irritancy, and dejected mood. Thus, limiting or avoiding caffeine should be done by gradually reducing its intake.

Heavy caffeine intake does not have supporters and is not recommended. It leads to such symptoms as:

  • agitation;
  • migraine;
  • hypertension;
  • fast heart rate;
  • sickness;
  • indefatigability.

Excessive caffeine intake is strictly forbidden for people who are inclined to have panic attacks. Providing a short time boost to the nervous system, it can cause major mood drops.

Try to Drink Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is useful in many health problems. The research has shown the significant positive impact of green tea in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. As a non-specific way of treatment, four cups of green tea help in mild and moderate depressive states.

To make the taste less bitter, do not steep the leaves too long and poor in less hot water. Infuse the leaves for one minute and get a mildly bitter flavor with incredible health benefits.

Folate, one of the B vitamins, is an effective mood enhancer, polyphenols provide anti depressive actions, and theanine increases dopamine and serotonin levels. Being a natural stimulant, green tea increases energy levels and improves the sex stamina in men and can help combat fatigue. Its antioxidant content maintains the work of the cardiovascular system and raises decreased blood pressure.

InsomniaAmong numerous advantages, herbal tea might cause side effects:

  1. Sleeplessness, poor sleep. Green tea contains caffeine that may alert the sleeping regime and lead to exhaustion, nervousness, disturbances, or worsening of the anxiety symptoms.
  2. Allergy. The high concentration of herbs may cause various reactions in hypersensitive people.
  3. Fast heartbeat. A common reaction from excessive caffeine which occurs after immoderate green tea consumption.
  4. Hypertension. This symptom is also a result of high caffeine levels.
  5. Enhanced effect of medicine. Green tea may interwork with anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, increasing its effect and raising the risk of bleeding. Green tea extracts also increase the effectiveness of antibiotics as a result of the antioxidant effect.
  6. Drugs interaction. Green tea interworks with antidepressants and sedative preparations. Caffeine conflicts with the drug’s action and causes alertness.

Green tea is not recommended for ulcer and gastritis sufferers because it may irritate the stomach mucosa. Those who use antidepressants and sedative medications should finish the medical treatment course first and avoid drinking green tea during it.

Eat Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seedsHow to treat depression by eating pumpkin seeds? Easily!

As was mentioned above, pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium which is vital for proper work of the cardiovascular system. It supports blood circulation to the heart and relaxes the bloodways. Blood pressure control is a good prophylaxis against heart diseases. Pumpkin seeds include phytosterols that regulate cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular problems.

A high concentration of tryptophan in seeds supports serotonin production which is converted into melatonin (the sleep hormone) later. So for happy sleeping at night, just eat a handful of pumpkin seeds along with some fruit.

The tryptophan and phenylalanine contained in the seeds are amino acids that are critical for the production of serotonin and norepinephrine which respond with calmness and a positive mood. Pumpkin seeds are especially recommended for vegans for consumption of the amino acids in the organism that are usually gained through animal meat.

Depression is often caused by a deficiency of vitamin B6. It converts the amino acids into neurotransmitters and is important in order to maintain a good mood. This vitamin is available in supplement form but should be cautiously used due to risk of overdosing. You can safely get this vitamin from pumpkin seeds without fear of overdoing it.

Seeds also have healthy fats that are useful for physical and psychological processes in the organism.

Pumpkin seeds also contain a lot of zinc that is important for immunity functioning and protecting organism from viral infections. Vitamin E and selenium present in the seeds strengthen the organism’s resistance. Seeds are especially healthy for males due to prophylactics of prostate gland problems and is highly suggested for stopping benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Meditate

It is not a secret that stressful factors chase us daily. Depression and anxiety may be considered as challenges instead of illnesses. Meditation is a healthy lifestyle habit that helps to recover from these psychological disorders and prevent them in the future.

MeditateThis is a scientifically proven method of struggle against mental disorders. The Psychiatry Research confirms the effectiveness of meditation for generalized anxiety disorder. Those who use mindfulness techniques showed higher level of stress management. The practice is not really aimed at treating psychological disorders, but it can be a great part of the specified therapy.

During depression, people often suffer from feelings of worthlessness. Meditation becomes an effective tool to observe negative thoughts though abstracting from the external world. But the practices are not alternatives to classic treatment. Possibly, it could recover depression completely but, as the skilled practicers mention, that requires a pretty long period time: about two years of daily work.

There are views that meditation may cause psychotic disorders, which means that people may lose touch with the real world and experience delusions, hallucinations, and disturbing thinking. Meditators have positive and negative experiences. The main problem mostly consists in the lack of meditation skills. Those who are new to this often overdose and, as a result, may make themselves ill. There are practices which may last up to 10 hours a day but this should be done after a rich experience or under the control of a skilled professional.

The key factors of meditation are rethinking and reanalyzing the things that make a person feel helpless to change, as well as recognizing that an individual has enough power to change them and feel happy.

Acupuncture Treatment

AcupunctureAcupuncture is rooted in Western medicine and used for therapy of sickness, asthma, and neurological disorders. Its mechanism is still unclear. The clue of the process is related to the increased level of endorphins and enkephalins (neuro biologically active substances). Possibly, it includes the release of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

The studying of acupuncture depression treatments are limited, although a few scientific reports compare this type of cure with traditional therapy and prove that it can treat depression, anxiety, and stress completely. However, clear biological explanations do not exist.

The acupuncture is as follows: the specialist (acupuncturist) inserts fine needles into certain acupuncture points that are thought to be energy sources in Chinese medicine which respond for the work of exact organs. Once the needles are in, the patient lies quietly on the table and listens to lovely music. Aromatherapy is often incorporated into the process.

The function of acupuncture consists in releasing the roadblocks on the energy way. Each point leads to an exact organ. For instance, according to Chinese medicine, anger is caused by a blockage in the liver. Therefore, acupuncture is aimed to correct the balance through activation of natural painkillers.

Most conditions require eight or more sessions for recovery. Acupuncture is not always a cure-all for severe depression without parallel medical therapy, but it may significantly improve the condition.

Acupuncture cures depression in pregnant women. Clinical trials inform us that at postpartum, the women had reductions in depression symptoms. For most patients, the procedure is pleasant and relaxing.

Homeopathic Medications

Homeopathic medicationsHomeopathic remedies are a safe and effective method to cure depressive states, sadness, and anxiety. Under surveillance of a professional homeopath, this type of therapy becomes a possible alternative to other treatments. The most popular homeopathic remedies are:

  1. Aurum metallicum. It is suggested for deep depression, melancholy states, periods with financial troubles, love failure periods, and suicidal thoughts.
  2. Natrum muriaticum. This is an effective remedy that helps to get over depression caused by the loss of a loved one, an unhappy relationship, or heavy stress.
  3. Calcarea carbonica. This is an efficient medication for overbearing depression, exhaustion, and doubtful conditions that may control constant crying.
  4. Stannum metallicum. According to Chinese medicine, the lungs are connected to grief emotions. This remedy heals the lungs and helps to treat certain types of depression. It is effective for people with low spirits, those who are disconnected with life and hypersensitive to social opinion.
  5. Mercurius solubilis hahnemanni. The remedy by means of which that is possible are to manage irritancy, society withdrawal, deep sadness, and excessive nervousness.
  6. Ignatia Amara. This is an effective method of treatment for recent depressive states accompanied by extreme affliction, blubbering, desolation, and society escaping.

It is worth it to note the Bach flower which does not technically belong to homeopathic remedies but, due to its soft action, is a very helpful depression treatment. Bach’s Clematis is especially facilitative for stabilizing an overwhelmed feeling and calming down worrying emotions.

Take Vitamins

One of possible causes for depression is the deficiency of vitamins. Along with medication treatment, vitamins play an important role. The essential nutrients that come from food provide more benefits than supplements. Supplements become a way out when a certain nutrient is missing in the organism.

Vitamin BHere are the groups of vitamins that may help to correct depressive conditions:

  1. Vitamin B. Essential to mental health and the well-being feeling. It includes:
    • vitamin B1 (thiamine);
    • vitamin B3 (niacin);
    • vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid);
    • vitamin B6 (pyridoxine);
    • vitamin B9 (folate);
    • vitamin B12 (cobalamin);
    • folic acid.
  1. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). A helpful supplement, especially when depression is accompanied by surgery or inflammatory illnesses. Stress in the perimenopausal, postmenopausal, and postnatal phases can be treated by vitamin C, as well.
  2. Minerals. The lack of minerals often causes physical and mental health problems. The minerals include:
    • magnesium;
    • calcium;
    • zinc;
    • iron;
    • manganese;
    • potassium.
  1. Vitamin D (sunshine vitamin).

All these vitamins take part in the formation of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are the neurotransmitters that respond for happiness. Some vitamins work on their own while others enhance the action of prescription drugs or natural remedies for depression. Therefore, it is necessary to receive a medical consultation before beginning a supplement course.

Be aware that some companies produce low grade supplements that are usually very cheap. Purchase pure pharmaceuticals only from a verified and authoritative seller.

Use Supplements with St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort usesSt. John’s wort is the best known antidepressant.

It is widely used for the treatment of many psychological problems such as:

  • atypical depression;
  • mood disorders;
  • severe depression;
  • anxiety;
  • OCD;
  • SAD;
  • sleeplessness;
  • symptoms of the menopause.

The remedy should not be used for manic depression (bipolar disorder).

The standard adult dose for depression is 300 mg three times a day. After the initial treatment it may be decreased or increased up to 600 mg.

Usually the medication does not cause side effects. Among rare adverse reactions are the following:

  • agitation;
  • thirst;
  • light sensitivity;
  • vertigo;
  • stomach problems;
  • migraine;
  • low libido;
  • exhaustion.

The remedy is not recommended for expectant and nursing mothers. St. John’s wort interacts with other drugs, therefore a preliminary medical consultation is highly recommended. It can not be used along with:

  • other antidepressants;
  • anti pregnancy pills;
  • vasoconstrictor drugs;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) medications;
  • cancer preparations;
  • cyclosporine.

HypertensionSome people, particularly hypertension sufferers, may sustain unwanted reactions using St. John’s wort when eating foods high in the amino acid tyramine, such as beer, wine, many sorts of cheeses, meat, sauerkraut, chocolate, and fermented soy products. Rejecting alcohol and minimizing doses of caffeine is highly suggested during the St. John’s wort treatment course.

St. John’s wort enhances the beneficial actions of many herbs (ashwagandha, capsicum, valerian, and others), increasing the risk of side effects’ severity.

Light Therapy

Light therapy (phototherapy or bright therapy) deals with symptoms of SAD and several types of depression. The essence of the process is the impact of the brain chemicals that are linked to mood and sleep by a light therapy box. It gives off light that imitates daylight. It is often used for treatment of:

  • depressive states;
  • jet lag;
  • sleep disorders.

It may help to stabilize the «biological clock» and control sleeping/waking time.

This type of therapy is safe and may be combined with other depression treatments after medical consultation. If the symptoms of depression do not disappear or become worse, it is necessary to discuss the expediency of this type of treatment with a therapist.

Bright therapy may cause the following side effects:

  • eyestrain and various visual disturbances;
  • sore head;
  • anxiety;
  • sickness;
  • sweating.

SleepEscaping unwanted reactions is possible through regulating the amount of time spent under the lamp.

The best effect is achieved when the lamp is used in the morning after waking up. Some patients with SAD inform about improvement after using bright therapy for 1-2 hours in the evening but no later than 1 hour before bedtime. The results of the cure are seen on the second or third day, but might take up to 3 weeks.

See a Therapist

It is possible to overcome depression without medications. There are various training centers which help people who are dealing with feelings of grief, clinical, postpartum, and other types of depression. The recovering program is mostly based on the theory that depression is caused by sets of beliefs and ways of thinking. The self-empowering tools offer the opportunity to deduce the painful beliefs, in order to analyze and change them. Mind and soul training build up the internal sense of freedom and transform sadness to happiness.

Tools and strategies to enhance self-confidence, ease, focus, and self-esteem, help a person to seize opportunities for being happy even when a person does not see a way out. The programs have many positive reviews. After finishing the course, depression sufferers become happy, confident, and optimistic for the future. They can also improve relations with relatives. The programs help manage long-lasting forms of depression that torture people up to 20 years and can change their life outlooks completely.

Professional psychological centers develop different programs for various disorders, for instance:

  • anger;
  • anxiety and panic attacks;
  • depression;
  • eating disorder;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • self-confidence practicing;
  • stress;
  • fears and phobias;
  • parenting;
  • relationship;
  • grief.

The most effective way of treatment can be found through private dialogue with a therapist which is available both for individuals and couples. Many patients are absolutely satisfied with the results and have successfully overcome depression.

What Else Can I Try to Fight Depression?

Smart drugsIf you have tried everything and still suffer from depression, you should try smart drugs (nootropics). These are effective mood enhancers with many benefits for brain health. While depression is a spectrum problem that requires global life changes, smart drugs can provide real relief. Their action differs from common prescription antidepressants by having a softer effect.

Nuvigil (Armodafinil) is helpful for those who suffer from mental and mood disorders. Used as a wakefulness aid for narcolepsy patients, it has become an off-label drug that potentially fights depression. Its ability to promote concentration, sharp thinking, and ability to focus on exact tasks may help to get rid of negative, intrusive thoughts. The drug increases dopamine activity in the brain, acting like most popular antidepressants. This drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 which means it may be used safely.

Another option among smart drugs is Provigil (Modafinil). It was approved in 1998 for the treatment of narcolepsy, shift work disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea; it improves energy levels, decreases fatigue, and combats psychomotor activity, which are the most common depression symptoms. Its feature to increase norepinephrine and serotonin in certain brain areas makes its action similar to antidepressants. Provigil tends to reduce or completely reverse the signs of depression.

Check out the complete lists of nootropics in our catalog and defeat your depression once and for all.