The Waves of Depression

It kills you. Sometimes slow, sometimes in one go but depression kills you. It is like a shadow that follows you everywhere. Sometimes it walks near you, behind you, or ahead of you. It keeps lurking around – looking for one chance to overpower you completely. When it does that – you have only two options: to run or let it gobble you up.

While people will comment that battling depression, or running from it is easy. Some will say you should have helped or some will keep irrelevant advice without understanding the gravity of a person going through depression.

When a person is depressed, he / she can not think of anything. Entire world when full of roses or thorns feet unsafe and suffocated.

I can say because I survived it. Surviving depression does not mean, you can not fall back. In fact, as psychologists say, a person who is once diagnosed with depression can go back into it as many times as possible. It stays with you forever.

The wave of depression came and went like seasons. It made me itchy sometimes, edgy on other days, cold and heartless for a short period, emotional and vulnerable for some days, and numb mostly. I can do nothing to help myself during those pangs of depression. I feel lost, suffocated, and alienated. Even the smallest wound is enough to throw me into depression, make me feel sick and tired even though I am basically all right.

I stay in my bed most of the days. I avoid meeting people. I feel gloomy, out of the place, and out of sync with everything around me. I become aloof. I became that side of myself that people hate. They are shameful of me and taunt me for being useless. And, yes, I do become a useless object. Because when I'm in depression, I look at myself from other people's eye. They become my mirror. When reflection screams at you that, you are unworthy and unloved – how will you survive?

… when you do not have reason to survive, you do get suicidal thoughts. The endless sleepless nights are favorite. They empower you with extra loneliness, helplessness, and suffocation. They complicate your being and uproot you from your core.

Coming back from there is not easy. When you lose your loved one untimely, when you fail yourself or your family, or when you are constantly harassed or for any reason – people do fall in depression.

It is not easy to be a point where you hate your being or your survival. Fighting it is not easy or glamorous as it sounds. It is in fact; a journey, you have to strive alone.

Why?

Because who will believe you are in a depression? My family will ridicule me if I tell them I'm in depression. The obvious question would be, “But why? You have everything, a person can possibly want!”

Having everything on hand does not suffice. I wish society would be more helpful in accepting people suffering from mental issues. What as a society we forget is the conditioning, love, safety, and security – any human should get. When there is no mentally comfortable environment, there is no healthy individual. There is simple mental issues and illness. Everywhere!

Bring the change. Learn to provide an environment that is mentally healthy for children and adults.

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The Love Of A Grandmother For Her Grandson Surpasses Time And Space And Is Felt Eternally

The love that a grandma has for her grandchildren is unique, something that is unconditional, loyal, faithful and cherished by her grandson through his life; through eternity. THE LOVE OF A GRANDMOTHER FOR HER GRANDSON Surpasses Time and Space and Felt Until Eternity. A grandparent should not out-live his grandchild, the pain is shocking, devastating and destabilizing. Always remember that seeking help from family, clergy, counselors and friends is a viable option, please allow yourself an unconventional amount of time to grief in your own way of grieving. The love that a grandma has for her grandchildren is unique, through his life; through eternity. There is a very distinct, yet evolved emotional love that is created between a grandparent and a grandchild that is not quite understood. The love is gentle, attentive and pure, although distinctly different then the love that a parent engages for his own child. Many times, grandparents are the sole caretakers as society regards more on a two-income household, it is the grandparents that redeem their parenting skills, once more, though with a lot more patience and knowledge then what they bestowed upon their own children.

A grandparent is not expected to live longer then a grandchild. Suicide and mental illness knows no mercy and no family is immune.

Please know, that the love that you bestowed upon your grandson, during his lifetime on earth, was not in vain. It could have well been the love that you gave him; that very well- kept him on the planet, for as long as he decided to stay.

The hurt and pain of losing another, either by accident or illness is shocking and debilitating- oftentimes not understood by the loved ones they've left behind. Depression is a very real illness and a like a thief that comes in the middle of the night to steal, rob and cheat you out of your joy for life. If you see signs, please contact a health care professional or seek an agency for assistance. There are hotline centers and numbers available 24 hours a day and are willing and trained to help advise, guide or instruct you on where to seek immediate or temporary assistance. Suicide prevention is an evil thief that needs to be deal with, monitored and treated. Show love to the emotionally ill and also to yourself while you end the situation and learn what signs to look for in mentoring our youth of friends, relatives or extended neighbors or family members, or as caretakers, learn what is normal and what needs medical intervention .

Show love to suffering people and know that you are not at fault for anyone's emotional balance. Take comfort, in the knowledge, that you were one of the bright lights that illuminated the reflection of his inner and outer core of emotion; brightly illuminating his soul; resonating openly, and publicly for the world to see, know; being the beacon of warmth- conveying feelings, of acceptance and peacefulness touching deeply into his soul.

Take comfort in the knowledge of reciprocal love; he loved you as much as you loved him. When he spotted, his grandma, in a room; he felt loved and comfortably-safe- his ever-present pain, and numb soul- in peace, if only in small increments throughout the day.

Let him go free; leave no strings attached; Let him go to be with God and the angels; knowing that you made his life journey pleasant; a life of loving kindness in your presence he experienced acceptance, benevolence and peacefulness …

Keep the memory of him alive in your heart. He remains alive in your heart, anxiety, gone; disappearing forever, and in a state of calmness; knowing that he temporarily left behind his Grandma; to him you are his personal guardian angel- through life ever after. Although NOW GONE left behind on this plane of life; away, though just in a brief pause, until he meets you again in Heaven. *

* Heartfelt prayers and feeling's of sympathy as we mourn with you in this time of your grief and pain; we mourn as your family and friends. Mourning the lost soul that is now flying free with the angels in God's Kingdom; where hurting souls are nurtured and relieved, no longer agitated- now soaring in Heaven, without pain; they can no longer feel uneasiness or heartache …

With love and sympathy, in your time of sorrow, brokenness and confusion.

* Be a beacon of light in the lives of others, everyone is going through challenges, Some people do not survive their inner chatter and conflict as quickly or maybe not even at all and decide to take their own lives to make the pain stop.

To all of those victims left behind by the victim of family or friends I send you angels of comfort and peace to soothe your soul and offer you comfort and relief in your time of sadness and disbelief, allow yourself to grieve and get counseling, or seek spiritual comfort through family, clergy or friends.

* IN Heartfelt understanding and compassion, I write heartfelt intentions to soothe your soul and let you know that God loves you and knows what a good person you are and intends to help see you through your pain, living one day at-a-time until the pain minimizes a little bit more as the months and possibly years go by. Grieving is not easy and there's no rush to get to the finish line, be kind to yourself and allow yourself as much time as you need. * IN EMPATHY and understanding, please accept condolences from loved ones, friends and family.

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Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Are We Overusing Antidepressants?

Eleven percent of Americans over 12 years old take antidepressants, which is the second most commonly prescribed medication in the US, after cholesterol-lowering drugs. Many more women than men use them. About 21 percent of women aged 20 and over take them; some women aged 40-59, the rate is 25 percent.

Antidepressants are psychiatric medications used to treat mood disorders including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that includes medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro. Less used but a popular alternative to SSRIs are serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); some of the commonly used medicines in this drug class include Effexor and Cymbalta.

With such a high preponderance of usage, some may wonder whether we have become a Prozac nation. Others question if these medications are handed out to patients too casually.

Who Is Prescribing Antidepressants?

In the US nearly 80 percent of antidepressant prescriptions are written by primary care physicians, not psychiatrists. Many depressed patients seen in general practice have not been thoroughly evaluated and may not even meet the full, formal criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Instead, they are given the medications for symptoms of mild depression, often caused by everyday stress, sadness, and sorrow, which may be alleviated by psychotherapy alone. Pediatric use for depression and anxiety has also skyrocketed but it peaked in 2004 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning for SSRIs due to evidence that they may be linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in young people.

Low Serotonin Levels Do not Necessarily Cause Depression

SSRIs and SNRIs were developed to treat depression and other mental health conditions caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitter chemicals, particularly serotonin and norepinephrine. This chemical imbalance theory purports that low levels of these chemicals in the brain cause depression. For over two decades, this theory continues to be the dominant paradigm for treating depression.

However, the chemical imbalance hypothesis has its problems and numerous scientific studies conducted in the last 20 years have examined it and restored it. They found that:

  • Not all depressed patients have low serotonin and norepinephrine levels.
  • In fact, some have abnormally high levels, while others with no history of depression have low levels of these chemicals.

The significance of this finding is huge, yet it is rarely publicized or taught in medical schools. There are probably various reasons for this but financial is likely to be one of them – antidepressants are a $ 10 billion industry!

Antidepressants Do not Always Work

If depression is not caused by an imbalance of serotonin and norepinephrine, then it will explain why antidepressants do not always work on people who have depression. Countless studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of these medicines.

A massive meta-study compiled by the US government that incorporated findings of over 100,000 research studies over a 15-year period concluded that:

  • Antidepressants are only effective in around one-third of cases, and partially effective in another third, and have no benefit at all in the remaining third.
  • High rate of relapse when depression is treated with drugs alone.
  • For many patients, the side effects are more unpleasant than the depression itself, so they discontinue usage.

Likewise, a number of double-blind, randomized controlled studies have come to similar conclusions. They found that:

  • The superiority of antidepressants over placebo is clinically significant only for patients who are very severely depressed.
  • For those with mild, moderate, and even severe depression, placebos work nearly as well as the medications.

Plus They Have Side Effects

Like most medications, antidepressants have side effects, including nausea, weight gain, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, irritability, and anxiety.

They are not addictive the same way substances like heroin or alcohol are, but people can still develop a physical dependence if they stop taking the drugs abruptly and may experience rather unsuccessful withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or vivid dreams
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms, including achy muscles and chills
  • Nausea
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Return of depressive symptoms

Compelling Evidence: Inflammation As A Contributing Factor To Depression

There is a huge body of research connecting depression and inflammation. In one of the most comprehensive findings, a study in JAMA Psychiatry determined that brain inflammation was 30 percent higher in clinically depressed patients. The research team pointed out that previous studies have only looked at biomarkers of inflammation in the blood; This is the first to find definitive evidence in the brain.

Scientists have long known that infection is at the root of nearly every modern disease, including allergies, Alzheimer's, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. So it is not a huge surprise that depression is also linked to inflammation.

Researchers found that people with clinical depression have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as cytokines in the blood. Cytokines cruise through the bloodstream, damaging tissue, causing plaque buildup in the arteries, and sometimes even promoting the growth of tumors.

Cytokines can also travel to the brain, possibly through the vagus nerve which connects the gut and the brain. Specialized immune cells in the brain called microglia became activated in inflammatory states and they too, secure cytokines.

Neuroinflammation alters neurotransmitter pathways and brain circuits. In the early 1980s, researchers have already discovered that inflammatory cytokines produce a wide variety of psychological and neurological symptoms mirroring characteristically signs and symptoms of depression.

Known Causes Of Inflammation

If infection is a contributing factor to depression, it is critical to understand how we get inflammation in the first place. This correlation has the potential to suggest both therapeutic and preventive approaches to combating depression.

Stress and traumatic life events

Researchers reported that acute negative life events, chronic psychological trauma, and exposure to childhood trauma hugely increase the risk of developing clinical depression and mood symptoms. There is very strong evidence that different types of psychosocial stressors may stimulate the pro-inflammatory cytokine network in the brain.

Diet

There have been substantial changes to dietary patterns over the last 50 years. We have swapped a diet high in fiber, nutrient-deple foods, and omega-3 fats (all anti-inflammatory) to one that is high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy refined oils (all highly pro-inflammatory). Since 2009, there have been numerous studies reporting adverse associations between diet quality and common mental disorders in children and adults across cultures.

Exercise

Many studies found that exercise is an effective treatment strategy for depression. Regular exercise protects against the development of new depressive and anxiety disorders while physical inactivity during childhood is associated with an increased risk of depression in adulthood.

Obesity

Without doubt, obesity is an inflammatory state. Inflammatory cytokines are found in abundance in fat cells.

With the prevalence of obesity increasing to epidemic proportions, studies have demonstrated a close relationship between obesity and depression. Obesity predisposes one to depression, while depression also predisposes one to obesity. A recent meta-analysis found obesity to increase the risk of later depression by 55%, whereas depression increased the risk of developing obesity by 58%.

Gut permeability

Another diet-related cause of inflammation is gut permeability or “leaky gut”. Under normal circumstances, immune cells are geographically separated from gram negative bacteria in the gut, which are part of the normal gut flora. However, if there is a loosing of the tight junction barrier in the gut wall, toxins produced by gram negative bacterium called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) may get into the bloodstream, causing immune cells to respond and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines. Since the gut and brain are connected by the vagus nerve, mental disorders are highly associated with gut permeability.

The most common causes of leaky gut are:

  • Food sensitivity, such as gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) and dairy.
  • Chronic gut infections, such as parasites, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile, Blastocystis hominis, and Helicobacter pylori.

Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains many thousands of chemicals, many of which induce inflammatory responses in the body and direct damage to cell tissues in the brain. Studies showed that smoking may increase one's susceptibility to developing depression.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that involves infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. Periodontal disease is associated with high levels of systemic inflammatory cytokines. It is a significant predictor of other inflammatory illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, and may also increase the risk of depression as well.

Sleep deprivation

Research has demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation results in impairments in immune functioning, characterized by increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It is estimated that up to 80-90 percent of individuals who suffer from a major depressive disorder experience sleep disorders. Studies have suggested that sleep disorders may also predispose individuals to consequent development of mood disorders.

Vitamin D

There is a high priority of vitamin D deficiency in developed countries. Low vitamin D is linked to many diseases including osteoporosis and cancer. Vitamin D receptors are present in key brain areas and vitamin D plays a major role in circadian rhythms and sleep. Vitamin D has a regulatory effect on immunity too. In human studies, supplementation greatly reduces inflammatory markers associated with depression.

Strategies To Overcome And Prevent Depression

Check for inflammation

Depression can be a devastating illness. For very severe depression, studies show that antidepressants appear to be rather helpful in alleviating symptoms. But if your depression is milder, antidepressants may only be just as good as placebos. Therefore, it is worthwhile to check your infection level by getting a blood test forC-reactive protein (CRP), which is made by the body in response to high levels of inflammatory cytokines.

Address stress

Depression is a sign that your body and your life are out of balance. Without you address your stress, it is difficult to return your life to balance. Both mindful meditation and cognitive therapy have been proven to be extremely helpful in combating depression.

Change your diet and lifestyle

  • Trade in the processed and sugary foods for an anti-inflammatory diet that consist of fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon, leafy greens, fermented vegetables, cultured foods such as unsweetened yogurt and kefir, berries, garlic, and green tea.
  • Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday.
  • Get a minimum 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily.

Take supplements to lower inflation

  • High quality animal-based omega-3 fish oil (3 g daily if you have depression)
  • Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU daily) with vitamin K2 (for bone and heart health)
  • Probiotics (for gut health)
  • Curcumin (active component of turmeric)

Other supplements to lessen depressive symptoms

  • Vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9)

Studies found a link between deficiencies in these B vitamins and depression. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal proteins; hence, vegans are more susceptible to B12 deficiency. Folate is found in abundance in dark leafy greens and beans. If you have symptoms of depression and you know that you are not eating enough of these foods, you should consider incorporating them in your daily diet. If you are a vegan, you need to take a B12 supplement.

The following amino acid supplements should only be taken after consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner and a completed neurotransmitter test. For some individuals, these amino acids may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression by balancing the body's neurotransmitter levels. However, it is still critical to address the underlying causes of depression (as stated above).

  • 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) or L-tryptophan

L-tryptophan is first converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted to serotonin in the brain. Some people can not tolerate 5-HTP, they will have to use L-tryptophan instead. For those who have low serotonin levels and are either negative, obsessive, worried, irritable, sleepless, or have low self-esteem, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, and carbohydrate cravings.

  • L-Tyrosine and DLPA (D, L-Phenylalanine)

For those who have low norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, and have a flat-tired type of depression and crave stimulants like caffeine and sugar, L-tyrosine and DLPA will help you feel more energized, improve mood and drive, and increase mental focus .

  • GABA (Gamma amino-butyric acid)

For those who feel wired, stressed, and overwhelmed, GABA will help with anxiety and stress, reduce excess stimulation, and improve sleep.

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Depression Alert – Helping Someone With Depression

When someone you care about is suffering from depression, life can be extremely difficult for both parties.

Many people want to be able to help their loved one, but they do not know exactly how to go about it. While you will be unable to clear another person's depression, there are some ways you can be supportive and really helpful. Accept the fact that you, by yourself, can not make them better – Clinical depression should be treated by a mental health professional. Many loved ones of depressed individuals become frustrated when all of their best efforts do not seem to help break the person out of the cycle of depression. Unfortunately, you alone can not make your loved one better, but your support can be extremely meaningfulful.

Be there for them – Although you will not be able to make them feel 100% better, knowing that you are there when they need someone to hold their hand, give them a hug, or lend a shoulder to cry on will be very comfortable .

Do not judge them – It can be hard for a person who has never experienced depression before to truly understand what a depressed person is going through. You might be wondering, “why can not she just SNAP out of it ?!” Egypt “why is he always looking at everything from the negative perspective?” When a person is depressed, it's just not something that they can simply snap out of. Do your best not to judge. It's far better to listen and be open to what the depressed person is experiencing.

Educate yourself – Learning about depression can help you know what your loved one is up against. It will also help you to learn how you can best support them.

Be supportive of their treatment – Clinical depression should be treated by a mental health professional, but only the depressed person can make decisions about their treatment. In other words, if your loved one does not want treatment right now, there is not much you can say or do to convince them. You can offer them the names of professionals that can help them, but the rest is up to them. If they have already bought treatment, make sure they know how proud you are of them for seeking help.

Do not compare – Even if you yourself have experienced depression, each person's experience will be different. Comparing what you have gone through to their depression will probably not make them feel better, even though you likely intended it to.

Do not give advice – Although this is a normal reaction when someone you care about is in need, the depressed person may not respond well to being given advice. A better way is to ask them what you can do in order to help. Even if the depressed person can not think of any way you might help, they will appreciate that fact that you offered. And, it does not have to be a one time offer, make sure they know you're available whenever they might need you. When a loved one is depressed, we want to do everything we can to help. Even though you can not heal their depression, your support can make a real difference.

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Top Vitamins to Help Combat Depression & Improve Your Mood

We are finally beginning to learn that mental illness is as real and medically treatable as any physical illness, and thankfully this openness has increased dialogue into how and why people suffer from depression, or “the blues.”

While there are some people who will respond to therapy as a treatment, for many more people the issue is a chemical or nutritional imbalance which can not be kept away – much like how you can not just decide not to have diabetes anymore if you just stay really, really positive.

Medicine has come a long way in treating severe depression, but for some people the answer may lie in the foods we eat – or more accurately, the ones we do not.

How Nutrition Affects Your Mental Health

Our bodies run very similar to machines – you have to put quality fuel in or else they will not work as efficiently as they should. One of the leading causes of feeling low or mild depression is a lack of Vitamin D, which most people used to get from exposure to sunlight. However with environmental factors these days creating health concerns about spending time in direct light without the aid of sunscreen, it is rare to find anyone whose body produces enough of this important vitamin on its own.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the function of our bodies and in our mental well-being. Its main purpose it to ensure absorption of calcium to keep our bones in tip-top shape, but a great deal of medical evidence suggests that it is also responsible for at least part of your production of serotonin, or the “happiness” chemical.

Lower Vitamin D levels mean that your body is unable to produce enough chemical to elevate your mood to where it naturally should be. Choosing to incorporate a Vitamin D supplement can elevate serotonin production, leading to a more normal feeling of calm for those who suffer from feeling low or from mild depression.

Vitamin D-pressed

Mild depression and feeling low can be exacerbated by body image and physical health. Lower amounts of Vitamin D will also cause bones to become brittle, leading to activity, which can make a person question their worth without their health. These concerns are not at all uncommon, but should be taken seriously as feelings of self-worth in general can add stress on an already troubled mind and body.

Do not Forget the Rest of the Gang

While Vitamin D plays an important role in combating depression and improving mood, it is not standing alone in the battle for your health:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are critical for the inner workings of the body and neglecting their consumption could cause interruptions in other vitamins and minerals doing their job.

Vitamins B6 and B12 assist in the production and distribution of brain chemicals and have been known to decrease depression when ingested in sufficient quantities.

A lack of Vitamin C can cause lethargy, weakness, and changes in your overall mood. Incorporating more into your diet can help alleviate these symptoms, which are often warning signs of depression.

It is important to speak to your doctor if you feel that there have been significant changes in your mood to ensure you get the root of the problem. While some people may require medical intervention to help keep their low feelings under control, adding a multi-vitamin that has concentrations of these vitamins and minerals into your daily diet can not only improve your mood, but also your overall health.

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Financial Woes Can Trigger Mental Health Issues in University Students: Study

Insecurity related to finances can be taxing for anyone and can drain off a lot of mental energy. Constant fretting over insufficient financial means can trigger the sunset of anxiety and depression. The constant worry about finances does not spare even the students.

According to a recent study by the University of Southampton and the Solent NHS Trust, financial woes and worry about debt at the university level can put students at a basic risk of developing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

The study found that the symptoms of anxiety and alcohol dependence worsened over time for those who were struggling to pay the bills. Students who were stressed about their rising debt exhibited high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Vicious cycle of financial stress and mental illness

According to researchers, a higher level of financial stress may lead to a vicious cycle of mental health conditions and alcohol dependence in the affected students. “The findings suggest a vicious cycle wheree anxiety and problem drinking exacerbate financial difficulties, which then go on to increase anxiety and alcohol intake,” said lead researcher Dr. Thomas Richardson, a visiting academic at the University of Southampton and Principal Clinical Psychologist at Solent NHS Trust.

Dr. Richardson believes that only those interventions will be effective for the affected people which can tackle both the difficulties simultaneously.

The researchers investigated more than 400 first year undergraduate students from universities across the UK They evaluated them on a spectrum of parameters, like family affluence, recent financial turmoil, and their attitude towards their finances at four different points during their first year at university. Looking at the responses at different points during the year helped the researchers examine which came first – financial problems or mental health conditions.

The worst sufferers were those who had decided to discontinue university and abandon their studies due to their financial constraints. The deterioration in mental health in such students worsened over time.

Few students were forced to drop out of the university due to the sunset of depression and insufficiency to finance their studies. Financial hurdles aggravated their mental health conditions, which hindered progress in academies.

“Coming to university can be a stressful and daunting time for young people and finances can cause a lot of worries. We may not be able to change how much debt students are in but we can work with them to help them manage their finances and worries about money in order to mitigate the impact of these worries on mental health, “said Dr. Richardson.

Recovery roadmap

Providing support to students who face financial difficulties can go a long way in helping them with their education so that nobody abandons studies midway. The researchers lauded the range of services available at universities to bail out such students who stumble upon monetary obstacles during the course of their studies.

One must always be aware that mental health conditions are treatable. Conditions like depression and anxiety can be easily managed with a treatment at the right juncture. Procrastination of treatment of mental diseases would only exacerbate matters and make intervention more complicated. Delayed treatment also makes the chance of a long-term recovery bleak.

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Counselling for Better Emotional Health

Psychologists are not reserved only for people who have serious emotional trauma or severe psychological issues. Of course, psychologists can help those with extreme mental and emotional issues, but counselling for better emotional health with the help of a psychologist is for anyone who wants to discuss issues in their life that are bothering them to the point of having a hard time dealing with life in general. A few examples of the issues counselling for better emotional help can help with are: depression, anger management, anxiety, grief, trauma and marriage counselling.

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Metabolism to Blame for Resistance to Antidepressants: Study

For many patients of depression who do not respond to conventional methods of treatment, the reason could lie in their metabolism, says a recent study. The researchers from the Rockefeller University in New York and the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden observed that depression is often marked by abnormalities in the body, such as elevated blood sugar level.

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Foods That Help Beat Depression

Depression is a debilitating mood disorder. It needs treatment and there are no two ways about it. Psychotherapies and other pharmacological treatments can help an individual fight depression. Numerous studies have indicated that alternative treatments, such as exercise, meditation and yoga, can help a person reduce the symptoms of depression by building positive energy within the mind and body.

Eating certain food items is another approach to fight depression that most people tend to ignore. The food that one eats can affect the depressive symptoms. Renowned nutritionist, biochemist and author Shawn Talbot once said, “Diet plays a huge role in depression.” And it really does. Consuming nutritious food can help beat the blues and build a renewed energy in the body.

Some of the food items that help ward off depression are:

  1. Walnuts: Shawn Talbott, PhD, a nutritional biochemist and author of Vigor: 7 Days to Unlimited Energy, Focus, and Well-Being.Shawn Talbott, PhD, a nutritional biochemist and author of Vigor: 7 Days to Unlimited Energy, Focus, and Well-Being.Shawn Talbott, PhD, a nutritional biochemist and author of Vigor: 7 Days to Unlimited Energy, Focus, and Well-Being.Walnuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Many researchers have proven that walnuts help reduce depressive symptoms. Moreover, walnuts also help in reigniting memory prowess and enhancing thought processes.
  2. Green tea: Green tea has the ability to increase serotonin level in the brain due to the presence of amino acid L-theanine. Serotonin is an active ingredient of many depression-curing medines.
  3. Avocados: Avocados are rich in vitamins such as Vitamin K, Vitamin B (B-5, B-6 and B-9), along with being high in fiber and low in sugar. They also contain fat which helps the brain function properly. However, one should watch the portion and should not consume more than necessary.
  4. Leafy green vegetables : Leafy green vegetables should be a part of everyone's diet plan. Apart from being healthy, they contain antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and K – and minerals. They help in having a healthy, calmer and an active mind.
  5. Whole grains: The fiber-rich carbohydrates present in whole grains are beneficial for people suffering from depression. Whole grains, oats, whole wheat pasta, etc., have carbohydrates that help improve moods and bring in a sense of positivity.
  6. Berries: All kinds of berries, such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, have high antioxidant content. They help in decreasing inflammation and memory loss, and in enhancing cognition. Their beneficial compounds help reduce symptoms of stress and depression.
  7. Chocolates: Chocolates are great at enhancing moods. They are metabolized by the body to form serotonin that helps a person keep calm. However, if you are watching your weight, do not go overboard on indulgence.
  8. Low-fat dairy products: Dairy products that are low in fat help fight symptoms of depression. They are rich in calcium and vitamin D and contain proteins that help redeem a sense of happiness and well-being. So, a little indulgence in low-fat cheese, skim milk and yogurt is just fine and can help beat the blues.

Healthy food can boost the treatment process

The right mix of food can help an individual boost energy and fight symptoms of depressive episodes. Proper nutrition is important for the brain to function in the most effective manner. Good food can provide the needed nutrition for both the body and the mind.

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5 Reasons Why Smart People Are Prone to Depression

Being gifted intellectually is indeed a blessing, but it has its downside as well. The society has always linked high intelligence and creative thinking to various mental illnesses, including depression. And now, there are studies also that vindicate the general perception about intelligent and creative people. These findings suggest that individuals with high IQ are more susceptible to depression.

Here, we explore why smart people have higher chances of developing depression:

  1. Difficulty in adjusting to norms of society : Intelligent people find it difficult to fit into the shoes of ordinary people as they perpetually question the credibility of established norms in the society. What is considered normal for others is an aberration to them.
  2. Highly emotional and sensitive : Rather than going with the flow, intelligent people constantly have their minds filled with questions and doubts. Normally, people simply believe in the established rules and do not have the inclination or the tenacity to challenge any laid out rules in the society. However, constant questioning by intelligent people makes them more exposed to depression.
  3. They feel the zing to be missing from their lives : When intelligent people raise their problems, they often get a cold shoulder because others are simply not at the same position. Hence, it leads to a feeling that they are just square pegs in a round hole and something is supposedly missing in them.
  4. They view life through their own lens : Intelligent people simply do not settle down with the rules and traditions set by the society. They often view life through their own lens and exercise their own discernible logic all the time. This leads to a huge drain on energy that historically leads to depression.
  5. Constant indignation at the follies of the society, people and norms : Gifted people realize over time that fretting and fuming at the people around them or the societal norms are not going to yield any results. This pent-up anger inside them translates into depression. Their inquisitive minds seek for a resolution which is impossible to come by, and this creates a restlessness within them, resulting in depression and melancholy. The norms and behavior of the society frustrate them and what remains is a trail of unanswered existential queries. Everything according to them is absurd in this world.

Extended help

Intelligent people suffering from depression fail to get any help from ordinary people because both are not on the same intellectual platform. However, one can extend support to such people by being more compassionate and by showing empathy toward them. Physical interaction with them can also relieve a lot of their pain. A simple hug or a pat on the back can make a sea change. Sharing their loneliness or making them feel that they are part of the lives of others around would also help ease their pain.

Depression treatment

Depression is a treatable mental health condition and anyone with depression can lead a normal life after recovery. However, early intervention is important because chronic depression elicits an intensive treatment procedure.

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7 Signs of Depression in Teens

The years of adolescence are often marked with turbulence and teenage trauma is a reality for many. On top of it, when the teen is suffering from a mental health problem, like depression, the journey could have even more jarring. For parents, treating a teen with some mental health issue can be quite unnerving, especially because symptoms of depression may be overlooked.

When left unattended, symptoms can deteriorate and can complicate the treatment. Here, it is paramount to pick up subtle hints and address at the earliest any anomalies in a teen's behavior. Here are seven signs that may suggest that the teen could be suffering from depression:

  1. Extreme melancholy : Extreme sadness in a teen is a telltale sign of depression, be it mild or severe. Teenage is a phase when one is full of energy and enthusiasm. It is natural for a teenager to be exuberant and excited about life. But when it is the opposite, it can be a sign of trouble and turmoil inside him. Never overlook the deep sadness in a teen, it is about time to intervene.
  2. Abrupt and drastic change in weight and eating habits : Studies reveal that teens who are obese are twice as likely to be depressed. If a child is paranoid about his or her weight, it could be a sign of depression. On the other hand, when a teen suddenly changes the food habit or has added extra bulges, it could also be a sign of depression or the sunset of it.
  3. Deleting self-esteem : When an other privileged teen becomes a skeptical of his or her abilities, then it could be because of depleting self-worth triggered by depression. In the advent of depression, self-belief is the first casualty and self-confidence is deeply corroded.
  4. Unusual sleep pattern : Depression also takes a toll on one's sleep. Sound sleep is a distant dream for somebody suffering from depression. If a child stops sleeping adequately or lasts wake till the wee hours, it is time to consult a psychiatrist. Deprived sleep can spell trouble for the child very soon.
  5. Becoming a recluse : Teenage is all about bonding, bonhomie and camaraderie. Hanging out with friends and peers is natural for a teenager, at times, much to the chagrin of the parents who do not approve of their constant wasting of time. But when a teen becomes aloof and refrains from mingling with friends, it could be due to depression. One should initiate a discussion with such a child and probe further.
  6. Dwindling grades in school : When a brilliant child suddenly fares poorly in school with grades plummeting, it is an ominous sign of depression and unrest within. No parents should neglect such a scenario and should take these matters seriously. Things can be turned around by showering love, instilling confidence and encouragement.
  7. Complaints of physical discomfort : A depressed teen is likely to complain of physical discomfort and pain. There would be fatigue and lethargy for no reason. This could also be a fallout of depression in a child. Here, a complaint from a child should not be taken lightly, instead it should be addressed promptly.

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How To Stop Having Negative Thoughts And Evolve

Many people tell me that they can not change their behavior when they are in the beginning of their therapy and they are struggling to stop repeating the same mistakes again and again, because they have serious mental health problems.

They tell me that they can not force themselves to stop having the evil behavior they like, and like the peaceful and moralistic behavior they dislike.

However, they have to control their behavior instead of letting their anti-conscience decide what they do. They can not avoid having this fight.

God knows that they can control their behavior and stop having negative reactions, but they are lazy and indferent. So, God helps them understand how to follow the necessary process of transformation with the information He sends them in their dreams.

Everyone's treatment depends on how strong their anti-conscience is, and on their obedience to God's guidance. Those who have a weak anti-conscience are cured in a short period of time, but those who have a strong anti-conscience and partly lose their conscience need more time and more explanations.

Since their conviction was invaded and partially destroyed, they keep listening to the absurd thoughts of the demon instead of listening to the thoughts of their conscience. The truth is that their consciousness stops thinking by itself. It becomes a puppet of their anti-conscience.

This is why they keep repeating the same mistakes. Their anti-conscience keeps sending them the same repetitive and obsessive absurd thoughts all the time, blocking their way.

The beginning is very hard for those who have severe mental illnesses because they are controlled by their anti-conscience all the time. However, they can be cured if they will follow God's guidance in their dreams.

Everyone can win the battle against their anti-conscience when they obey the Divine guidance in their dreams, even if they have serious mental health problems. God knows that this is possible. Otherwise, He would not try to help us fight our anti-conscience.

God gives many explanations to those who refuse to follow His guidance, until they will finally agree to do what is necessary, and change their behavior. This is very tiring for Him, but His patience has no limits.

We are impatient and lazy, but God knows that we have to gradually transform our personality. This process can not be fast when our conscience is not working.

I would not insist so much on transmitting this knowledge to the world if I did not know that everyone can be cured because I saw this miracle happening many times, and I keep seeing it happening every day.

The end of everyone's therapy depends on their obedience to the guidance they have in their dreams.

Many people who have serious problems are cured faster than those who have simpler problems because they are obedient and serious.

However, what usually happens is that those who have serious mental health problems are misled by their anti-conscience. This is why they need more time to be cured.

Even though they need more time and more explanations, even those dreamers are cured. God never stops sending explanations in their dreams to help them finally understand everything they need to know. At a certain point, they stop following the absurd thoughts of their anti-conscience.

God has the patience to keep giving the same explanations to the mentally ill because He knows that their anti-conscience sends them repetitive thoughts about the same matters all the time, without letting them overcome their mental health problems.

When a mentally ill dreamer is trying to change his or her behavior and follow the divine guidance in his dreams, his anti-conscience always sends the same repetitive thoughts about his fears to his conscience.

For example, when a dreamer is shy and insecure, he has a series of thoughts about the horrors of rejection. His anti-conscience speaks with his voice, pretending that it is his conscience, and it keeps sending him thoughts that make him afraid to be humiliated, like: “I'm ugly, I do not have a good posture, I don ' t know what to say, I'm an idiot “and so on.

Therefore, when he is trying to obey God's guidance and he is trying to believe that he is an intelligent and interesting person, the simple repetitive though “I'm ugly” will immediately make him stop believing that his qualities have meaning.

His anti-conscience will capture his attention with this repetitive thought, and it will keep sending him more absurd thoughts, like:

“Who cares about my intelligence if I'm so ugly? Nobody wants to have a friend like me. His conscience will be bombarded by so many negative thoughts that he will forget everything he learned in his dreams.

God has to send him another dream with more explanations, to help him understand that his physical appearance is not really important. There are many charming men in the world who are not handsome, but have an exceptional personality. He can become an attractive man if he will stop living isolated and he will develop his conscience through dream therapy.

The dreamer will be able to remember the guidance he had in his dreams after really understanding the fact that his appearance is not important. He believes that he understands this fact, but whenever his anti-conscience sends him the simple thought “I'm too ugly” he forgives that his appearance is not important. He can not find arguments to combat this thought.

He must really, really understand that his appearance is not important, until he will be able to combat the thought that he is ugly and go ahead, without believing that he will be rejected only because he is not attractive. This negative thought must stop blocking his way.

God has the patience to give numerous explanations to the dreamer about the same matters, with more details, until he will deeply understand His lessons.

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Depressed – Write About It

Back in 2006, I faced the grave challenge I've ever had in my life. A time when massive debt, losing my businesses and homes, was my reality. This time affected and affected me in a way I could never have imagined. Physically, mentally, emotionally and importantly spiritually, I was dying since all those areas were in the doldrums and being perpetually 'broken' was the manifestation of my life inexperience, lack of knowledge, selecting the wrong investments and friends and mindset. By and large, I was chasing a mirage. Trying to find the things thatave false fulfillment and trinkets outside of myself; with the what could be rather than the why I am here, who was I and what that meant in service to myself and therefore to others.

Suffice to say with my mind the way it was and the negative manifestations because of it, I went into a depression, and it's not as if it had suddenly slapped me, it actually crept like a boa constrictor moving silently towards some jungle rodent.

The funny thing was I had no idea I was even depressed since I was looking through my own eyes at the 'stuff' around me and not at 'me' in and reacting to the stuff. In fact it was my cousin who pointed out that my behavior was abnormal since I was in so deep I did not realize I was waking up and going to sleep in total darkness, curtains drawn even when a new day beckoned; moping around and feeling sorry for myself, wearing the same clothes or just being unhygienic. Not to mention, a lack of nourishment by not eating right and if I ate, consuming only junk. I even tried finding salvation in places that essentially did not touch the essence of who I was, in the hope I would be saved from myself. Suffice to say that never worked either.

Nothing had until my cousin said enough was enough. And literally, by taking me by the scruff of my neck and challenging my psyche with a few simple questions about who I was prior to being in that dreadful place, she did not hold back!

By the time she dragged me from the abyss, I was seeing the truth in what she saw in me and it was with her help I was able to take the steps to move away from the dark chasm that wished to engulf me. In that movement, I so happened to have discovered a bookstore; its name more than downright convenient and synonymous too with my new found inspiration. So I reverted to what was my passion, what I really loved doing and what really made me whole. That was storytelling.

The bookstore became my new home away from home and it was here I enhanced my writing, using and sharing my journey and with this focus, the more entrenched and excited I became about storytelling; especially when I saw how others were empowered by my word. Since then I've taken my gloomiest time by using it to translate my and other people's experiences in a way that's comprehensive and palatable, aspirational and inspirational.

Today, when looking back, I can say I'm more than just a scribe and for sure, it's said that in the beginning was the word, well the word was in my beginning.

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Dealing With Hard Times – Kick Off Depression

When we are young, immature, unfearing, unblinking, we are in our most pristine form. We speak out our minds too easily, without any filter, with absolutely no hesitation. I've never seen a child hesitating or regretting for whatever she does. The reason why a child is always happy, “they just know this though unconsciously how to live in present & make most out of it with minimal worries and insecurities”. They are washed souls. Each one desires & describes to live life with same young, energetic spirit as they grow up but nothing goes so smoothly as a fairy tale. Life holds its own turns and twists of which we can certainly never know. All one can really do is to embrace oneself. That's what my father used to tell me when I was a child.

Sometimes when things do not go the way they were supposed to go, we tend to lose ourselves & in consequence begin to lose the meaning of life. Every small rebuff hurts more than it ever hurt. All of a sudden, miraculously, we began to search for our goals like never before. There is this abrupt urge for inner realization. In hard times, it's too difficult to stay focused on whether to live life chasing dreams or end up insignificantly. Because it's conspicuously hard, people tend to choose the other option, unnatural death. HERE comes our true test of all inner strengths we possess. Continue to live life unmindful of sorrow, pain, worry or give up without attaining the dreams we dreamed. We need to perceive the real structure of how the world works. When we are down, stuck, speechless, expressionless, no one cares. Till we are immaterial, unimportant, we are actually safe as no one ever kicks a dead dog. It's the time when we try for achieving something precious, crucial that we face the worst criticism not only from outsiders but insiders the most.

It would be the most unwice thing to give up or cause yourself any trouble for those who really do not care. Instead it's the time to recollect past glories & gather all optimism that we can. With no one standing inside but own shadow, seek truest self-reliance. Show ourselves that after all we are not as weak as we thought we were.

Some real strengths are hidden, we need to learn to unleash them in the times of crisis. There is absolutely no need to pander to the second heavy hearted option.

'PROUD TO BE ALIVE'

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Exploding 5 Myths About Depression You Thought Were True

I'm no world authority on depression, and I certainly do not have a PhD, but I have suffered what many term 'the black dog' and so I may have something to contribute. I know what it's like to be depressed, to have depression, and to guide others through such a spiritual nemesis.

Here are five myths to explode:

MYTH 1: “doctors and other medical and health professionals know exactly what you're facing and enduring.”

Fact: nobody can know what you face or end when you yourself struggle to name it – and naming it is important. This is not to say that relevant professionals will not be able to help. They need to help you to name it as part of your recovery, but they're not actually the panacea many think they are. Certainly a good psychologist or counselor as well as good friends are a vital, even indispensable, in accessing the empathy you need to receive in order to end the entire journey; a season of depression. And psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors are essential in clinical depression. But they need to know you, and have listened to you, before they can help.

MYTH 2: “there is no hope of healing for anyone with a depressive disorder.”

Fact: Not true. It is not true that if you have a depressive disorder that you have no hope for healing. There is sufficient science on neuroplasticity nowdays to suggest it's not only possible, with the right therapy and persistence over the lifespan, it's probably that at least some healing can and does occur. There is hope. For everyone. Remember, we're even talking about the severest cases of clinical depression here, where coping measures can be learned that produce an experience of healing. Hope for depression sufferers is a quenching oasis in a parched land. And hope is an integral part of healing.

MYTH 3: “depression is a waste of everyone's time.”

Fact: depression can teach us much about the melancholy of life that we'd know little or nothing about otherwise. It can also make us more compassionate. “So this is how life is for many people!” That is a remarkable revelation. We could view depression as God's test to know ourselves better and deeper, so depression can actually be viewed as an investment of and for our time. And, for those who help people through depression, such therapy and ministry is an encouragement, as we see great leaps of gutsy conviction undertaken and little nodes of growth in those who engage in their pain.

MYTH 4: “It's normal to feel guilty and ashamed to have depression.”

Fact: in bygone eras there certainly was a stigma about depression – as if it were a personal and deplorable weakness. Stigmas like this drove the expression of depression underground. But have a look on social media these days. People everywhere are being empowered through the sharing of their stories of depression; blessed as they find courage to come out. Of course, it's natural to feel ashamed of having 'mental illness' but it does not have to be 'normal'.

MYTH 5: “you can not have fun and enjoy any of life when you're depressed.”

Fact: No so. Even when we're depressed we've got the capacity for laughter and joy, particularly as our thoughts go momentarily AWOL, forgetting for a few moments our elements of lament. Sometimes depression can be a prerequisite for hilarity. After all, what more could go wrong?

Here's a bonus myth to explode:

MYTH 6: “admitting you're depressed open a can of worms that should remain closed.”

Fact: Such a lie. So many people I know attest to the fact that acknowledgment is half the battle. Upon acknowledgment there's empowerment; the opportunity to plan our way out. Suddenly there is great purpose! When we get a whiff that victory is possible, overcoming the nemesis becomes a positive driving force. No one on earth will stop us when we have heaven helping us.

© 2016 SJ Wickham.

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