Understanding Link Between Mental Illness and Drug Addiction

Since time immemorial, comorbidity drug use-related disorders and mental health problems has baffled scientists. This association has always given rise to question: which problem could have possibly come first – the drugs or the mental illness.

This has been quite a challenging mystery to unravel, the reality being, any given mental ailment can significantly increase the chances of drug abuse for immediate or short-term relief, whereas, those who are habituated to prolonged drug use could start manifesting early symptoms of mental health problems.

Although the two are closely linked with each other, one may not directly cause the other. In most of the cases, self-medication with alcohol or drugs to alleviate depression or anxiety may have serious side effects and can heighten the risk for more serious problems, in the form of mental disorders, in the long run. Such a high rate of comorbidity between the two calls for a holistic approach to identify, assess and treat both theorders.

Determining one's vulnerability to co-occurring disorders

Although it is difficult to determine what causes a chronic disability, such as a mental disorder or a substance abuse problem, one can check his or her vulnerability to acquire the co-existing condition by looking at the following factors:

Family history : If someone's parents or grandparents have struggled with a mental disorder, besides drug or alcohol addiction, it is likely that he or she will be at a greater risk of developing these problems.

Sensitivity to alcohol or drugs: If someone is highly sensitive to the effects of alcohol or drugs, or is able to notice a close connection between substance use and his state of mind, it calls for an immediate break on addictive behavior.

Symptoms when sober: If depression or anxiety persists even after one has achieved sobriety, it could be a sign of a mental health problem.

Diagnosis and treatment

Dealing with strong urges for drugs or alcohol has always been a daunting task. Moreover, things can get further complicated if someone is struggling with mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. In other words, battling co-occurring disorders can pose an aggressive challenge to the patient as well as the caregiver.

Dual diagnosis calls for a comprehensive approach to treatment, which can identify and evaluate each disorder concurrently. Thus, it becomes imperative for a patient seeking psychiatric illnesses to get screened for substance use disorders and vice versa. Since an accurate diagnosis is complicated, it may be necessary to observe patients after a period of absence in order to distinguish between withdrawal symptoms and those related to comorbid mental disorders. In a rehab center, a patient is likely to undergo the following four phases of treatment:

Evaluation and assessment: It helps the patient and his family to create a foundation for treatment and to determine appropriate treatment.

Detoxification: It involves safe management of withdrawal from alcohol and drugs.

Rehabilitation: It is the primary phase of treatment which includes assessment and implementation of a personalized treatment plan, such as individual or family therapy.

Continuing care: It offers a continuous, comprehensive support to patients after discharge.

Road to recovery

Regular care from trained doctors and customized therapies may greatly help a comorbid patient to cope with stress. These programs are specifically designed to help patients recover from the dual conditions through integrated interventions. In many instances, healthcare practitioners may stick to only behavioral therapy for patients who are uncomfortable taking medications, given their history of substance abuse.

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Depression in Older Adults May Go Unnoticed, Ways to Identify It

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ” Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging .” However, older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression, the CDC cautions.

Depression in older adults often go unnoticed and untreated, says a recent study. A number of reasons make it difficult to properly address the issue of depression in the adult population, the researchers noted.

Insomnia is symptom of depression

Self-reported insomnia is associated with decreased odds of receiving depression treatment, said the researchers. ” Insomnia is common in old age and also a symptom of depression .”

Our finding may indicate that physicians, to a lesser extent, recognize depression in the presence of sleep disorders.” This is in line with previous findings that patients presenting with primarily somatic symptoms of depression are less likely to be recognized as depressed in primary care , “the researchers said.

Depressed people less likely to participate in studies

The fact that the study included its population-based design and the “comprehensive” examinations under the guidance of experienced doctors is its strength. The weaknesses are poor response rate of 73 percent and the possible biased selection. This is because depressed people are less likely to participate in such population-based study.

Another drawback of the study is that individuals with dementia were excluded, which means the prevalence of depression was overlooked. And the fact that information on participants' depression treatment was based on self-report is a notable limitation.

Older patients may not be getting required treatment

Moreover, interpreting the results is also challenging, the researchers said. “It is a little bit challenging to interpret these results, as they appear to assess for the presence of current symptoms, so it's hard to know if those patients with few or minor symptoms represent successfully damaged depression or people who have never had depression, said the Medscape Medical News, citing Donovan Maust, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

According to Dr. Maust , a startingling fact was that the researchers did not seem to address that 207 patients with no depression were on antidepressants. On the contrary, they found that 14 of those 25 adults with major depression who should be on an antidepressant were not.

While it continues to be that older adults with depression are not receiving appropriate treatment, there are far, far older adults who appear to be symptom-free and are on a medication that they may not need ,” he added.

Not easy to diagnoseose depression

The path to diagnosis and consequent care is also not devoid of impediments, making it difficult to address the issue of adult depression. The problems in disease factors may include unusual presentations of depression late in life and less discussion on it, but rather on somatic symptoms, cognitive symptoms, like memory complaints, more prominent anxiety and apathy.

The problems in clinician factors include inadequate education and training to recognize and treat depression and a paucity of time in busy primary care practices. Improving on these limitations and drawbacks can help older patients troubled by this.

Depression is treatable

Depression is treatable and even if it is in older adults, a turnabout is possible with the right intervention. There is a litany of credible depression treatment centers where comprehensive programs absolve people of depression, helping them lead normal healthy life. One should support a depressed person and help him or her in seeking the right treatment.

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It Is Heartbreaking to Inherit Depression – Ways to Avoid It

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the United States. As per the latest statistics released by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 16 million adults suffered at least one major depressive symptom in 2014.

A number of studies conducted across multiple generations have established that depression is highly familial. Individuals who parents and grandparents suffer from depression are three times more likely to experience major bouts of depression during their lifetime. Psychiatrists also believe if parents have experienced any symptoms of depression before the age of 20 years, their children's risk to develop the disease may increase four to fivefold.

Those in the high-risk group also have to deal with the associate stigma, which in turn aggravates their condition by initiating a vicious circle of despair and dejection. This association between depression and family history has raised the question whether depression can be passed on to generations just like heart disease and diabetes.

Helping children from families with a history of depression

Children who are genetically vulnerable to depression measure the high-risk group. Parents of children who are predisposed to depression must ensure that they consult a mental health professional before their children manifest any symptoms of depression. It is incumbent on adults with a history of depression and other mental health problems to educate themselves about related symptoms in children in order to identify and cope with such conditions, if necessary.

A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry tried to analyze the effects of treating mother's depressive symptoms on her child's well-being. There are higher odds that depressed mothers would provide less care and attention to their children due to their ongoing mental battles. Such an environment can be stressful and nerve-racking for the children during their early years. The only possible remedy to handle such a situation is to treat the mother for depression. The welfare and well-being of the child is directly linked to the mental health of the mother.

Learning coping strategies to deal with depression

Depression is a treatable disease, but the treatment may vary from one individual to the other. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to mental disorders. Here are some tips to help a person lead a stress-free life:

Taking healthy diet: Unhealthy food could aggravate one's existing mental illness. Moreover, it could create obstacles on the road to recovery. Deficiency of vitamin B is generally associated with depression.

Doing daily exercise: Moderate exercise on a regular basis can work wonders to improve the mood and can influence the way depressed people feel about themselves.

Getting adequate sleep: Insufficient sleep can drastically affect someone's physical and mental well-being. Sleep-related problems may trigger or contribute to depression. It is widely observed that insomnia is a major outcome of depression.

Sharing problems: Sharing problems with someone trustworthy is an effective therapy in itself. It is an effective way to offload anything that seems to be a burden on the mind.

Avoiding stressful situations: Stress is useless as it can have a negative impact on the mind causing depression and other mental health disorders. There could be times where avoiding stress becomes impossible, but there is always a way to minimize the impact.

You are not destined to be depressed

While these depressive disorders are still being studied, thankfully there are ways to deal with them so that one may continue to live a normal life. Many people have been using a combination therapy that involves medication and psychotherapy for regular mental illness. Seeking counseling and professional help can treat depression in an effective way.

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Coach Your Way Out Of Depression

One definition of depression is sadness, unhappiness, low spirits, pessimism and discouragement. Who in their life hasn’t experienced one or more of these feelings? Yet something has changed which means that when we feel sad or unhappy, we are now labelled as depressed. When really we might be feeling sad or unhappy.

We are told not to feel sad. But it’s a perfectly normal emotion. It’s actually healthy to express this emotion in the right way. We can acknowledge that we feel sad and then do something about it. We don’t need an antidepressant to numb the sadness, we need to be lifted out of it.

What we are seldom taught is that everyone experiences feelings of discouragement, unhappiness or sadness from time to time. It isn’t something we need to apologise for or take a pill for. It is part of life. And it’s part of what makes life so interesting and full. If we don’t experience the lows, how can we know when we’ve hit a high?

Modern media displays peoples lives in their brightest and happiest light, and that’s not real life. We see the highs but rarely do people advertise their lows. And why should they? You don’t need to hang your dirty washing out. But we tend to compare ourselves and this can steal our joy.

Sometimes people do need the drugs to help them, I’m not talking about these kinds of circumstances. I am talking about when we go through a rough patch in life. When we feel sad or unhappy with a job, with a partner or a particular situation in life. It isn’t necessary to offer a drug, its necessary to offer a way out.

The rate at which antidepressants are being issued is astonishing. They are addictive. I’ve coached people through the relinquishment of the drug and it isn’t easy. What clients have said is that the drug has trapped them further. It seemed like a quick fix, but it hasn’t resulted in a quick fix. If anything, it has put them back further.

If people were offered a coach instead of a drug, we could transform a generation. We don’t need to be numbed from another type of substance available to us. We need to be lifted to our highest potential. Lifted to becoming the person we deep down know we are capable of being. Coaching can help this process. I know because it’s worked for me.

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Understanding the Correlation Between Insomnia and Depression

Feeling sad and low due to stress at work and home is a part of life. However, when such emotions persist long enough to overwhelm a person and disrupt daily routine, it is a symptom of depression. Depression is a severe mental health issue that affected approximately 16.1 million American adults aged 18 or above at least once in 2014. The above data once again underlines the growing menace of depression.

Overall, depression is not an easy condition to deal with. It affects the way a person eats, drinks, sleeps and thinks. Unlike other aspects, an individual’s sleeping pattern and depression are dependent on each other, as they are responsible for triggering each other. Both of them have common risk factors and biological repercussions and in most situations respond to similar treatments.

For a few, the lack of sleep, also known as insomnia, is a major trigger for depression. For others, depression is a major contributing factor to an individual’s inability to sleep properly and other problems related to sleep.

How depression affects sleep patterns

Depression affects an individual’s sleep pattern by disrupting the natural brain functioning, which, in turn, disturbs the normal sleeping cycle of the person. An individual with depression is likely to witness a variety of sleeping problems. Here some of the common ones:

  • Initial insomnia: Its main features include a delay in getting to sleep despite lying in the bed and the intent to sleep due to wandering thoughts. While in some cases people do eventually manage to sleep, in others people remain awake the entire night.
  • Middle insomnia: Also known as middle-of-the-night insomnia (MOTN) or nocturnal awakenings, the person frequently wakes up during the night and is unable to get back to sleep easily.
  • Late insomnia: Also known as early morning wakening, a person with this sleep problem wakes up early in the morning and is unable to get back to sleep again.

Though there are times when a person with depression is lucky enough to get a sound sleep during the night, this does not imply that he or she will feel fresh the next day. In fact, he or she is likely to feel tired and exhausted even on the following day. A person with depression is also likely to sleep a lot and spend most of his or her day in the bed that also results in him or her feeling tired the next day.

Deprivation of sleep causes negative thinking

It has been scientifically established that a person must get at least eight hours of good sleep during the night. This is because all the essential body processes responsible for protection from any sort of health problems occur during this time. Additionally, it builds mental and emotional resilience in a person.

In case of a person going through depression, it is normal to develop an inability to enjoy a sound good night’s sleep. This is because depression disturbs one’s normal sleep cycle and does not let the brain rest.

The deprivation of good sleep not only deteriorates a person’s mood but also causes negative thinking. This in turn tends to make the person feel more depressed, thereby creating a vicious cycle of negative thoughts.

Don’t treat sleep problems as normal

Though depression can be treated using a combination of psychotherapy and drugs, taking proper rest can be of great help in curbing its symptoms. For someone with a sleep problem and on the verge of developing depression, it is essential to get good sleep. Other activities, such as regular exercise but not two hours before the bedtime; avoiding alcohol, particularly in the evenings; and practicing relaxation techniques can be of great help.

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Your Depression As Proof of Your Being and Purpose

Love is Blindness by U2 is a song, for me at least, that proves a universal truth. Sad songs drip with truth. They speak to the spirit, opening the door to the soul.

Motion pictures piquing the emotions prove the mind was made to think, the heart evoked to feel. Somehow, we feel more alive when we've been taken on a journey.

Then there is that tyrant, Depression. I want to suggest a possibility to ponder.

Depression is a gate into a garden lush with shrubbery for pruning, which is impetus for being and purpose. Being gentle with ourselves, we clip each day the best we can.
I do not believe there is any journey to being and purpose without recourse, and I believe there's no request without challenge, involving trial, requiring endurance, punctuated by pain.

Pain's opportunity is endurance, the way through trial, the only way to request.

Whether you're depressed for a day or suffering from clinical depression, I pray you might be richly encouraged and convinced in your inner being. Your search for being has great purpose. Your pain has vast meaning. In your gleaning is gold, but the search is a testing one, as you well know.

Please, think about it this way:

Our world, CG Jung (1875-1961) would say, has forgotten the individual. Everything is about numbers and mass; organizations, programs, conversions, return-on-investment – as if God designed greedy growth as the purpose of life. When we're depressed we're swallowed by the idea that we're unimportant, insignificant, incapable. We believe the world's lies.

Indigenous communities of the world knew their strength lay in dignifying the individual. These communities worked so well because they knew how much communicating in unity relations on respecting the individual. They were God's creative norms, and they did so because they focused on cooperation, which elicits safety, and not on competition like today's world does, which rips wellbeing apart. These indigenous values ​​have all been as much as completely lost in this perverse age.

But do not forget, God wrote the Book of Life, and He says your being and purpose matters as much as anyone else's, ever – past, present or future. The truth is about to be revealed to you in eternity, but you do not have to wait that long to discover it.

The world may have you believing your shreds of worth are insufficient for being and purpose, but that just is not true.

Your very passage through depression is poignant. Allow it not to kill you, but to refine you, as you reach feebly forward to God. Find His unconditional acceptance in your unconventional surrender; a comprehensive sense of being and purpose for life.

To this manner of being, find your purpose centrally there. It's there to be found by you.

The depth in your depression is proof of your search for being and purpose. When we believe such a search has a destination we're prepared to embark on that journey.

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Depression: Can Feeling Helpless Cause Someone To Be Depressed?

There can be times when someone's life will go how they want it to and times when it will not. It could be said that this is simply part of life, and not something that can be changed.

However, although this is the case, it is going to be down to one to decide how they will respond when it does not go how they want it to. It has been said that while one can not control what happens to them, they can control how they respond.

It's Clear

During this time, they might soon begin to think about what they need to do in order to move forward. It may not take very long for this to take place, or they might need to be patient.

This is something that can all depend on what it is that is not going as they would like it to go. Also, even though one might have an a number of challenges up until this point, it does not mean that they will find it easy to overcome what is currently consuming their attention.

A Break

One could then take a step back from what is taking place and to go and do something else. They may find that if they were to go for a walk, they might soon begin to gain a new perspective.

This is likely to be due to the fact that they are creating the space for something new to enter their mind. Yet, when they are focused on what is not right about their life, it can stop them from being able to do this.

Outside The Box

It is then going to be as if they have stepped outside of their own mind, and this is likely to make their life a lot easier. On the other hand, if they were going over the same information over and over again, they are not going to get very far.

In the same way that updating a computer can allow it to do different things; receiving new information can have the same effect. It could then be said what is taking place in one's mind is going to define how free they feel.


If one feel's trapped on the inside, it will not matter what is taking place on the outside. Therefore, what this shows is how important it is for one to do what they can do open their mind, and to take in new information.

When one is unable to do this, they could have a problem in their life but they could find that they are unable to do anything about it. This could be seen as something that they just have to put up with.

Two Sides

Now, if this relates to something minor, they may find that it does not end up having much of an effect on their life. They might think about it now and then, but that could be as far as it goes.

At the same time, this could be something major, and this is then going to stop them from being able to overlook it. This one thing is then going to have a big effect on every area of ​​their life.

For Example

What this could show is that one was in a relationships with someone who has just left them, or they might not even get this far. If they do not get his far, it could mean that they are unable to attract someone to be with.

Alternately, one could find that they can not earn enough money support themselves, and they might even have a family. Or, one could be studying for something and it could be too much for them to handle.


Based on what is taking place for them, one can then feel as though there is nothing they can do. From the outside, it can appear as though there is nothing wrong with their life, but this could not be further from the truth.

One can feel as though they are in a prison, and this is going to be a prison that they can get out of. Regardless of whether they feel as though they have control over other areas of their life, this is going to be seen as something that they have no control over.


What is going to have the largest effect on them is then not going to be what is taking place; it is going to be how they feel about what is taking place. They are going to believe that they are completely powerless.

And although there is the chance that they have not tried to change what is taking place, there is the chance that they have. But even though they have looked for answers, it will not have had much of an effect.

The Outcome

Through experiencing life in this way, it is not going to be much of a surprise if they end up feeling depressed. This could be something that comes over them from time to time, or it could take over their whole life.

If they were to look in the mirror, they could come to the conclusion that they are a shadow of their former self. And the longer this goes on, the harder it can be for them to get back on their feet.


It would be easy to say that one just needs to be positive and their life will soon change. This could work; another option would be for one to look for the part that is within them that will not give up.

As well as this, it goes to be vital for them to do everything they can find the support and the information that they unfortunately need. They need to keep going, and if they can do this, there is always the chance that they will find what they need.

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Christmas Holidays May Lead to Depression in Some People

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, when people are cheerful themselves and spread joy around through active participation. However, the holiday season may not be joyful for everyone. Many people feel a burden of grief during this time of year. And in most of the cases, the culprit is not a person or his circumstances, but the depressive symptoms that come along this season.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Christmas is the time of year that people experience the highest incidence of depression.” As cases of depression witness a significant rise during the festive season, there is a steep rise in the number of suicide attempts by people across the nation.

Holiday depression triggered by multiple factors

Holiday blues can be triggered by multiple factors, such as heavy losses, failures in life, stress and loneliness. However, these factors may be aggravated around this time of year due to various pressures, self-induced or social, leaving people vulnerable to depression and other mental health conditions.

Moreover, those who have experienced the loss of a loved one in the family or have experienced the pain of divorce are more prone to depression, especially when old memories of happy days reappear. However, circumstances such as personal loss, failure or trauma, may not always be liable for depression in certain individuals. In fact, there are some people who brains are wired to get depressed around the festive season.

It can be extremely difficult to cope with depressive episodes, especially when everyone around seems to be filled with joy. Such a situation can make reaching out for help even more difficult and awkward. At times, holiday blues can be a direct result of excessive commercialization of the festivities, which emphasize on the importance of “perfect” way of carrying out social activities.

Interestingly, some people tend to delve into excessive self-reflection about the inadequacies of life, especially during December, and end up feeling victimized.

Tips to cope with depressive feelings during Christmas time

Seeking support: In case of severe depression, the best option is to get in touch with a qualified mental health professional.

Managing finances : It makes sense to set out a budget for gifts, parties and social events during the festive season.

Focusing on reality: It is advisable not to get carried away by what the media or other institutions want the public to believe as the perfect celebration of festivals. Maintain reasonable standards is the best way to avoid problems.

Doing some charity: Contributing in a non-monetary way, such as taking out time to help in a favorite charity and other meaningful causes is an ideal way to keep the festive blues at bay.

Showing gratitude: Being grateful to everyone in life is an excellent way to be happy as there are so many who are less privileged and have many unfulfilled needs during the season.

Participating in church activities: If someone is religious then taking out time to attend services at church and participating in other activities that focus on the real meaning of the festival can be really helpful.

Doing some planning: Planning ahead of time to ensure a festive season filled with physical activities, outings and time outdoors can help in combating mood swings.

Leading a depression-free life is possible

It is shocking to live with depression, particularly during the festive season when everyone around in celebrating. Emotional health is as important as physical health.

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Ignoring Depression Can Be Life-Threatening

Sally (name changed) was the apple of her father’s eye. Her father, a Vietnam war veteran, was always away when she was growing up. She missed her father, especially on the occasions like her birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Life was going fine, but tragedy struck on her 13th birthday when suddenly she heard that her father was no more.

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Female Prisoners Are Prone to Co-Existing Conditions

The female prison population in America has been at an all-time high owed to extensive law enforcement efforts and leading to more stringent drug sentencing laws. According to the 2015 report by “The Sentencing Project,” a research and advocacy center working for the effective US criminal justice system, “between 1980 and 2014, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700 percent, rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 215,332 in 2014. ”

But when it comes to ethnicity, the Hispanic women are twice as likely to end up in prisons as compared to their white counterparts, whereas black women are four times more likely to be incarcerated than an average white woman. Such a phenomenal rise in the numbers of female inmates is probably linked to various drug-related offsets, escalating severality of offsets, and inadequate community sanctions and treatment for women who violate drug laws.

There is a high prevalence of mental health problems among jail inmates, and in case of female inmates, the rate of mental disorders can be higher than the general population. Further, women in prisons are three times more likely than the general population to report poor physical and mental health, which may also increase their vulnerability to substance abuse.

Is treatment more important than incarceration?

According to the 2014 report by the National Institute of Justice, a Washington, DC-based think tank dedicated to reducing society's dependence on implicationment, “Two-thirds of drug offenders leaving state prison will be re-arrested within three years, and that nearly half of the released drug offenders will be returned to prison either through a technical violation of their sentence-such as failing a drug test-or on a new sentence. ”

Studies have shown that most of the female prisoners suffer from chemical dependence and mental health problems stemming from interpersonal victimization. Unfortunately, at present, there is no significant treatment to address the co-existing conditions faced by such women.

The need of the hour is to provide facilities for an early diagnosis and treatment for those who are highly prone to criminal activities and the resulting dual diagnosis condition. The government should work on ensuring alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders battling with dual diagnosis. Moving them to alternative treatment options would ensure appropriate treatment in the therapeutic settings, curb overcrowding in a correctional set up, as well as minimize relapse rates and incarceration costs.

Steps to treat dual diagnosis in a clinical setting

Nowadays, integrated intervention is the most widely accepted method to treat dual diagnosis because it focuses on both the mental illness and the substance abuse. The steps followed in a typical clinical setting are:

Detoxification: During the process, the patient is monitored 24/7 by a trained medical staff for up to seven days, wherein tapering depths of the substance, or its medical substitute may be administered to ease the effects of withdrawal.

Inpatient rehabilitation: Patients suffering from serious mental health conditions and risky patterns of drug abuse are generally admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation center for a more comprehensive and closely monitored care aimed at eradicating the underlying causes.

Medication: Depending on the various mental illness symptoms a person is experiencing, specialist doctors prescribe different medications to facilitate a smooth recovery with minimal withdrawal effects.

Psychotherapy: It deals with making patients aware of their mental health conditions and how their beliefs and behaviors influence their thoughts.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): It helps people with dual diagnosis learn new coping strategies to change ineffective patterns of thinking.

Self-help and support groups: It is a platform for like-minded people to share frustrations, successes and referrals for specialists in order to promote recovery.

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5 Signs That Antidepressants Are Ineffective

Major depressive disorder, commonly known as depression, is a mood disorder which makes a person experience sudden mood swings and inability to handle everyday tasks, such as eating, sleeping, etc. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 16.1 million American adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2014.

The NIMH figure highlights the magnitude of the problem. As such, the treatment for the mental disorder is not common for everyone, but is designed according to the patient's requirements. One of the common treatment options available for this condition includes a combination of antidepressants and some form of therapy.

While a person may be comfortable using prescription drugs for his or her condition, it is difficult to judge the effectiveness of the medication. Most of these medications take weeks and sometimes even a month or more to show their effects.

Here are some of the signs to understand if the antidepressant prescribed to a patient is working fine or not:

  1. Understanding the response time: The effectiveness of antidepressants can be understood depending upon one's response time. Typically, the time period for witnessing relief from depression due to an antidepressant is two to 12 weeks. Any kind of quick response to antidepressants is most of the time a side effect or a placebo effect. Antidepressants make a person feel better by increasing the level of feel-good neurochemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain. Since this process takes some time to show its effects, consulting an expert is advised if one notices immediate signs of relief.
  2. Experiencing no relief : It is common for antidepressants to take some time to begin showing their effects. However, if an individual has been taking these medications for long with no signs of relief, then it is time to consult a doctor. One should ensure that such issues are shared with the doctor so that he or she may advise the most suitable option. Additionally, it is important to not stop taking the medication as this may cause some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, nausea and anxiety.
  3. Feeling unexpected high on energy along with sadness : There is a possibility that a person taking prescribed medications for depression may feel high on energy, but is still unable to recover from his or her condition. This is probably due to the imprecise working of the antidepressants. Such feelings also increase the suicidal tendencies in people. Therefore, it is crucial that one reports any of these symptoms to his or her doctor as soon as noticed.
  4. Developing tolerance to antidepressants: If one has been consuming a certain antidepressant for quite some time, it is possible that he or she might develop tolerance to the antidepressant. Therefore, if one thinks that taking the same dose fails to display similar effects as it used to, then it's time to consult a doctor and check if the dose can be increased for better results.
  5. Witnessing adequate relief: Owing to the high tolerance level, it is possible that a person is unable to witness the satisfactory level of relief due to antidepressants. By consulting a doctor, one might be able to attend additional ways to improve the condition, such as another medication, counseling sessions, psychotherapy, light therapy, etc.

Antidepressants not the only solution

One can avoid depression by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced diet. However, if the condition has increased to several levels in the person, it is important to seek help from an expert.

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Cocaine Users Are More Prone to Depressive Behavior

Overwhelming feelings of dejection, loneliness, inability to fall asleep, insensibility and digestive disorders are some of the manifestations of depression which can wreak havoc on an individual’s overall well-being. Life-shattering experiences often drive people insane, rendering them vulnerable to using mind-altering substance to alleviate their suffering.

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Including Walnuts in Their Diet May Help Young Men Improve Their Mood

The benefits of eating walnuts, often regarded as a wonder food, are plenty. Walnuts are good not only for physical health, but also for mental health of young adults, especially men, says a recent study by the University of New Mexico (UNM).

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Music Therapy Can Help Manage Depression in Teens and Children: Study

It is said that music has a universal language which knows no barriers. Music is also divine and has the ability to heal. Listening to music can be soothing and it caresses the bruised soul. Now, a team of researchers from the Bournemouth University, Poole in England and the Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland have found that music therapy also has the power to minimize stress in children and teens with behavioral and emotional problems.

The researchers, in partnership with Every Day Harmony, which is the brand name for Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust, found that children and teens, aged eight to 16-year-olds, who underwent music therapy showed better self-esteem with a significant dip in depression compared to those who received treatment devoid of music therapy.

The researchers chose 251 children for their study, which took place between March 2011 and May 2014. Two groups were formed, of which 128 received the usual care options and the rest 123 were given sessions, along with the conventional usual care. All the children were being treated for emotional, developmental and behavioral problems.

Music also helped improve communicative and interactive skills

Young people aged 13 and over who received music therapy showed great improvement in their communicative and interactive skills, the study found. Those who did not receive any music therapy but only the usual care, did not exhibit these improvements. Not only this, music therapy also helped improve social functioning over time in all age groups.

“This study is hugely significant in terms of determining effective treatments for children and young people with behavioral problems and mental health needs,” said lead author of the study Professor Sam Porter of the Department of Social Sciences and Social Work at Bournemouth University.

“The findings contained in our report should be considered by healthcare providers and commissioners when making decisions about the sort of care for young people that they wish to support,” Porter said .

The finds bought forth the importance of music therapy. The researchers emphasized that it should be included as a mainstream treatment option. They also believed that these recent findings score above earlier finds based on anecdotal evidence and small-scale research as to how well it works.

“Now we have robust clinical evidence to show its beneficial effects. I would like to record my gratitude to the Big Lottery Fund for its vision in providing the resources for this research to be carried out,” said Ciara Reilly, Chief Executive of Every Day Harmony, the music therapy charity which partnered in the study.

“Music therapy has often been used with children and young people with particular mental health needs, but this is the first time its effectiveness has been shown by a definitive randomized controlled trail in a clinical setting,” said Reilly.

Speaking about the importance of the study, Dr. Valerie Holmes from the Center for Public Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast and co-researcher, said, “This is the largest study ever to be carried out looking at music therapy's ability to help this very vulnerable group . ”

Recovery road map for depression

Depression is often overlooked and is not attributable the importance given to various other serious mental disorders. However, it is a serious psychological disorder and when neglected, symptoms can only get worse. There are some credible treatment centers where depression is treated comprehensively offering long-term recovery to patients.

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Losses of Depression – When You Can No Longer Feel

One of the greatest challenges in the battle for mental health is the weakness we experience because we can no longer feel. What a dreadful satire life is when we plummet to this influx point.

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