Gardening Makes You Happy

Dirt Microbes Increase Serotonin

A certain healthy bacterium found in soil, Mycobacterium Vaccae, has been found to release serotonin levels in the human brain. The neurotransmitter Serotonin regulates mood, improves the immune system, memory, and social behavior. Depression, anxiety, bipolar and obsessive / compulsive disorders have all been linked to low serotonin levels. So, basically, getting your hands in the dirt can stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain, which in turn makes you happy and healthy.

The happy microbes can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin while gardening. It is also possible for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream through a cut or scrape. Studies show that the health benefits may be felt for up to 3 weeks after contact and can work as well as anti-depressant drugs.

The Mycobacterium is also being studied for its positive impact on ailments such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain. Cognitive functions have also been shown to improve. Some studies have shown that exposure to the soil bacteria by children will help protect against allergies and asthma later in life. So the next time your child makes mud pies or plays trucks in the dirt, you can feel good about it.

Since serotonin plays a role in learning, scientists hypothesized that exposure to Mycobacterium would make their mice smarter. Mice fed the bacterium navigated the maze twice as fast as the other mice.

A survey completed by Gardeners World Magazine reported that 80% of those who gardened felt happy and satisfied with their lives compared to 67% of those who did not garden. And those who spend a longer time tending their gardens, six or more hours per week, reported feeling happier than those spending less time.

Plant Harvesting Triggers Dopamine Release

Anyone who has grown their own food or flowers knows the happy feeling of harvesting their crops. Now the science reveals that the feeling of joy you feel picking an apple is due to a dopamine surge in the brain.

The neurotransmitter dopamine helps control the centers in the brain related to pleasure and reward. It can also help with memory, focus, and sleep. Abnormal levels of dopamine can be the cause of eating, sex and drug addictions.

Dopamine bursts are why we seek out pleasurable activities. Dopamine mediates addictive and impulsive behaviors. Gardening can trigger these pleasure sites in the brain in a healthy way by either sight, smell or the picking of fruits and vegetables. That's why we love to pick strawberries and why they do not last long in the bowl on the way to the house. By filling up our pleasure centers with gardening we can avoid overindulging in eating, drinking, and shopping.

For years mental health professionals have used garden for mental health patients. Horticulture Therapy recognizes the garden environment as having the therapeutic benefits and has been used for war veterans since the 1940s.

For those of us that are avid gardeners, science has reinforced what we have experienced first hand; Gardening lifts our mood, lowers our stress, and puts a smile on our face, filling us with a pleasurable feeling of well being.

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Magnesium – An Unexplored Method to Treat Depression

In today's times when stress has become a second habit, a large number of people are wrestling with the problem of depression. Despite the fact that it is so common, the condition is not so well understood and any kind of sadness is merely understood to be a case of mood swings. One can understand the magnitude of the problem with the fact that about 16.1 million American adults above the age of 18 years reportedly dealt with at least one major depressive episode in 2014, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), depression is defined as “a period of two weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration and self-image. ”

Although medications and incorporating certain lifestyle changes can help one in fighting depression, they may not prove effective in many cases. While many resort to the traditional treatment measures, there are certain unexplored ways that can prove comparatively more beneficial in fighting off depression. One such way is by overcoming the deficiency of magnesium.

Magnesium, an essential mineral in the human body, is crucial for various functions such as blood pressure regulation, bone development, heart rhythm normalization, muscle and nerve function, etc. If an individual is unable to meet the required minimum level of magnesium in the body, he or she is to develop several health issues such as anxiety disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.

How magnesium helps treat depression

While a lack of magnesium may cause an upsurge in depression one can reverse the harmful neurological changes that occur due to its deficiency by taking supplements. Magnesium supplements can help one recover from depression in myriad ways. A few of these mechanisms are as stated below:

  • NMDA receptor channel modulation: As an antidepressant, magnesium prevents the recurrent opening of the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor channels in the brain, which protects against neuronal damages and assays in the recovery of neurons from the preexisting damage. By reducing the level of nitric oxide, magnesium helps improve mood.
  • HPA axis modulation: According to a number of studies, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is overactive individuals individuals going through depression. As magnesium lessens HPA axis overactivity, it is an effective way to treat depression by acting upon this axis.
  • Serotonergic modulation: Research has revealed a close relationship between magnesium and the level of serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone, in the human brain. Therefore, magnesium supplements are a great way to improve the serotonin levels in an individual and then boost mood to recover from depression.

Apart from these magnesium supplements can improve depression by improving the following in the body: the synaptic density in the prefrontal cortex; hormonal imbalances (such as hypothyroidism and low testosterone); autonomic nervous system (ANS) function; dopaminergic dysfunction and the neurotransmission of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter associated with relaxation; and reduced arousal in the brain.

Maintaining the requisite level of nutrients is essential

While the lack of magnesium increases the risk of developing depression, an individual dealing with depression is also granted to developing a magnesium deficiency. Therefore, one should make sure that the requisite level of magnesium, and all other essential nutrients in the body, is maintained to avoid the development of any major health issues.

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Why I Cannot Tell You About My Mental Illness

Dear friend, thank you for your interest, but I can not share with you, for I fear you will not understand. You can not possibly understand. And even if you would understand, me thinking you do not or can not help me open up to you, nor does it ever help when I think you could be judging me without letting on.

You probably will not understand that thinking, but there you go; you do not understand. Even if you did understand, I could not understand why you would, and I would struggle to believe you.

So you see, we have a real problem if you really want me to have an expectation that I share. And please do not pressure me. Force makes me freeze, and I may never open up to you, if there was a chance I could, or, ever again.

You might think you're able to help – if only I did share. As it is, in my present state, I can not see how you could help, and even if I could see, and you were able to help, I would struggle to allow you to help me.

Please understand.

It feels impossible from in here. But, why am I seeking understanding when I do not for one moment expect you to understand. If I think it's absurd, how could I expect you to think otherwise. Yet, to help, you would need to convince me that you actually do understand. Good luck with that!

I can not tell you what's going on, because I'm so unsure where or how to start. I could just start, but then I would also find myself getting it wrong, and almost anything you'd say could be wrong. Even those who do help also say many unhelpful things. It's great that they continue to try, though, but at best it'searing, and at worst it's insulating. The good thing for them is they can not tell how much some things they say hurt. But, that does not help me.

I also can not tell you where I'm at, because I doubt I have the energy. Breathing is the challenge of the minute right now. Breathing and simply holding my lamentable life together. See, it sounds like a full-blown pity party at happy hour. You do not understand it! Well, how do you expect me to understand? I 'd swap this for anything. And I know damn well there are so many who have it much worse than I; all that does is make me feel more guilty and ashamed, and deer down the sinkhole I go.

Even if I did share it would be brief and I could not give you my whole heart on the matter, because I do not know where to find it. My identity and being seem to have become a mystery, and every effort to found myself on something true seems elusive.

So, please understand that you can not understand, and accept where that leaves us … and suddenly you might begin to help.

Signed,

The Person Struggling with Anxiety and Depression.

***

Being invited into the heart of a person struggling with mental illness is its own miracle. That heart is a sensitive place where listeners are welcome, but can not ever feel at home.

Respect that.

Understand that you can not understand, and suddenly, right there, understanding begins to emerge.

The guilt experienced by those with mental illness is part of the problem. Understand that guilty is a valid emotion, albeit unhealthy, based in the best of intentions to relate in love; to own one's incapacity. Understand that the mind games that they end are unlenting and exhausting.

Let this not be a discourption to give up listening and reaching out. It serves as the opposite. Listeners, helpers and supporters more be more tenacious in their care than ever.

Do not give up if someone says, 'you can not possibly understand'. You can not, but that in itself is a helpful place to start.

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Depression – Natural Treatments For Depression

You may not think you have depression, but what about a case of the blues? The fact is, more people suffer from a down mood or actual full-blown depression than is often realized.

Depression is a condition that can strike anyone, young or old, healthy or unhealthy. Do not discount the fact it may be impacting you. If you have …

  • felt down for more than a few days in a row,
  • had difficulty finding the energy you need to do the activities you enjoy during the day, or
  • feel as though you have lost your zest for life;

these can all be signs you could be struggling. Many people do not seek proper medical care for depression because they are accused to speak of their feelings, but you really should not be. It is more common than you think. Now, this said, many doctors are quick to promote medication to help treat depression. And while meds can certainly help in many cases, do not be too ready to dive into them. The fact is, often natural treatments will work just as well and will not come with the unwanted side effects medications do.

What natural treatments should you consider? Here are three suggestions …

1. Fish Oil. Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, and it is these fatty acids that may help get you. Omega-3 fatty acids can serve to boost your mood and your overall outlook, helping you feel better again sooner.

While you can just eat salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts to get your omega-3 fatty acids, most people are simply not eating enough of these foods on a day-to-day basis to reap the benefits.

2. Exercise. Next, consider getting some exercise. A brisk walk, a session at the gym, or playing your favorite team sport are all great ways to combat feeling down. Exercise causes the release of positive, feel-good endorphins, which will be a good mood booster.

Remember any activity counts here. Do not think it has to be incredibly intense or prolonged in duration to make a difference.

3. Social Interaction. Last but not least, consider social interaction. While getting together with friends may be the last thing on your mind right now, it is something you should be putting effort into.

Those people who have strong connections with others enjoy some protection from feelings of depression and may also bounce back faster than a rough day. So call up a friend or see a family member you have not seen in a while. It may be just what you need.

Keep these three tips in mind and implement them in your life. You may just find you feel a lot better because of them.

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The Lies I Have Heard When Going Through Depression

At the beginning of going through depression, I did not even realize I was in one. I never self-harmed, and I never thought about suicide. I never even considered that I needed to see a professional or just talk to somebody. I did not realize I was in depression because what I was going through did not seem like anything they show on television.

I know some people that are going through depression and how they can not get out of the room for the entire day, but me I did everything I ever did, and I did it with all my heart. I was not feeling anything like that.

And that was the first thing that my depression lied to me about – I was neglecting the fact that I am going through depression.
It did it in a way that I woke up every morning doing my usual and routine activities, I went to work regularly, and I did that every following day. And the rest of the free time that I had, I would sleep it all off.

I thought that all the work I've done exhausted me. I needed time to rest and recover but had no idea that my depression was the one guilty of it. I was ignoring and neglecting the fact that my depression was the one that made me tired and wanting to sleep all the time.

Later, I had confronted the second lie my depression told me. The one that I was in control and everything is OK when clearly it was not. I obsessed over my food intake making sure that everything I eat is the healthiest option. Or making sure I worked 8 hours a day, did yoga and some relaxation techniques. I did everything but did not realize that going through depression is not all sadness and avoidance, but neglecting and controlling.

However, just a little time later this being continuously restrictive and controlling has turned up against me, and I started losing my inner peace and balance.

It was the third lie my depression told which was probably the one that hurt most and slowly begun to open my eyes. It was the time when I started doubting myself constantly thinking that I am not good enough.

In these times, it was like I forgot all the people that loved me for who I am and the ones that always reminded me of that. I started losing sight. Going through depression had me fooled that even the people that cared most about me did not. It was then when the insecurities hit me, and I started questioning myself. I started pushing myself to do better and be better for people to love me, even though they already did. It was exhausting.

This process followed with the hardest phase – I pushed myself away from all that I loved and loved me back and built my giant walls up against them. In these times one should realize that going through depression not only hurts you but also hurts the people around you who love you.

To make it even worse, it followed the fourth lie that my depression told me. This one was that I was not suffering and did not have any anxiety. I did not have real problems; I had everything I could ever dream of. Often I experienced this anxiety which implied fears that I could not control. This feeling made my real anxiety and depression even worse.

It was then when the fifth lie hit me, and it walloped me. It was the feeling that the things are not bad enough. I recalled all the things I did right and fooled myself that it is not bad at all that everything is under control.

Finally, I got untangled from all the lies and admitted that it really exists, but I would never let it define me.

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Natural Remedies For Depression In A THREE Fold Path

Every person must have experienced some kind of depression at any point of time in his or her life. Depression is expressed like through lethargy, moodiness, reclusiveness, etc in several ways. This state of mind can be due to the imbalances, which can take place either externally or internally. People suffer from internal turmoil due to any past emotional wounds, which remained unresolved at that time. Now the past can be any event that occurred decades ago or even two hours ago. When the body deals with emotional issues, there is no bound time and even today, a person can feel the same pain remembering a situation, which he or she faced years ago. When some events remain unsolved in your life, then the pain tends to stick and makes the emotions even more toxic. When people neglect such emotions, they build up even more and at some point of time become unbearable for the person. The mental faculties start depleting and a lot of energy gets drained out.

Depression also comes due to several external and environmental issues like too much work stress, unsatisfied home-life, financial problems and much more. The elimination of these factors is quite essential to minimize depression. However, when to come to the heart, people behaving differently depending on their own perceptions. As per Ayurveda, the capacity of an individual to digest emotions depends on his or her strength of the Sadhaka Agni. People having strong Sadhaka Agni are conscious about their feelings but do not allow them to rule over. On the other hand, people with weak Sadhaka Agni face difficulties in processing their emotions.

The Sadhaka Agni has influence on the neurohormones as well. These cells are there in the heart, brain and spinal cord. On the basis of the strength of the Sadhaka Agni the neurohormones of the heart signal the brain whether to register an emotion as joyful or depressive. Listed below are some ways in which you can strengthen the Sadhaka Agni and control depression:

  • It is important to align the body as per the rhythms of nature. This means you must get up with the sunlight and fall sleep with the light of the moon. This helps you in getting adequate amount of sleep.
  • Try to practice detachment. You must realize that nothing in the world is constant and change is the real truth. So see the beauty in the change and move on.
  • A little change is also advisable in the diet, which can pacify the Kapha imbalance, which is one of the causes of depression. You should add more plant-based food items in the diet and go for whole fresh foods which are uncanned and unpackaged. Seeds, nuts, and avocados can also great for the body and mind.

The Ayurvedic treatment for depression also advises the incorporation of certain herbs which help to alleviate depression:

  • Shatavari
  • Vacha
  • Clove
  • Amla
  • Cardamom
  • Ashwagandha
  • Brahmi
  • Arjuna

Yoga practices also work wonders in treating depression. You can practice some of these posts on a daily basis to get good results:

  • The camel poses, which is also called the Ustrasana. It is great for emotional detox.
  • The Head-to-knee Forward Bend which helps to calm down the mind and stimulates kidneys and liver.
  • Supported Headstand is a pose, which helps oxygenated fresh blood to reach the brain.
  • Forward fold also helps to eliminate depression.

You must not detach yourself from nature, as all human beings are part of it. You can absorb many nutrients from nature, which is immensely healing for the body and mind.

The meditation called Smile Inside is one of the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for depression . When you smile internally then a lot of positive energy is established in the body. The smiling meditation brings a lot of peace to the whole being of an individual. You must practice this for about 15 to 35 minutes daily. You can also visit the physician for Ayurvedic medicine for depression, which ensures a faster recovery.

Thus, treating depression is a three-fold path involving strengthening the Sadhaka Agni, herbal remedies and practice of mild yoga and meditation. You can certainly feel the difference after incorporating these naturopathic remedies in your life.

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Dealing With Anxiety And Stress – What Is The Solution?

Anxiety and stress creates trouble and health consequences for many people. Also, there are some, dealing with anxiety every single day. Not only their personal life gets disturbed but their profession also gets less productive, and under severe circumstances they even have to give up. Dealing with anxiety is certainly possible and you can do this in several different ways.

Many people take support from meditation and relaxation therapy to treat their anxiety disorder. When you are meditating you basically are letting all the negative thoughts get out of your mind and relax. Not only your mind but also your body will benefit from it, as meditation helps in reducing anxiety and stress as well.

Your Course of Actions

You can add a few more techniques to this era such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery and affirmations. There are many trigger points that bring on anxiety problems, and identifying them is important. Get a pen and paper, list down all the things that get you worried. Once you have all the problems of concern written down, start thinking about how you can manage these issues in a better way, just one at the time. This also means, not making any excuses for yourself and saying there is not a way out; because there is a way out.

There are times when people realize that all their anxiety triggers can actually be avoided once they make a list of them and think it over. However, if your anxiety triggers are not avoidable than think about ways to make them less troublesome and more productive.

Another step you can take, is scheduling a particular time when all your worried being done. I would say that you make a time when you can worry about everything daily; put it in your daily planner but make sure that this was done within a certain time frame. Now, when you get an anxiety attack due to being worried about something, tell yourself that you will do it in your worry session and move on.

Last but not the least: Start investing time into hobbies you are passionate about. If you like cooking, gardening, swimming, or simply anything starting doing that every single day. Your mind will start focusing better and your negative thoughts will automatically disappear. Plus, when you are busy having fun you do not get worried naturally. Do not let anxiety take you down; get in control of it before it gets worse. By focusing on a purpose of general feeling and of dissatisfaction, you'll be more likely to realize your goals, purposefulness is a big source of motivation.

Panic Attacks

An intestinal feeling of fear is what a panic attack is all about. Although they are not dangerous but that particular moment can turn out being very horrifying. Everyone dealing with this issue experiences the worst time when a panic attack comes; This situation is really uncomfortable. It becomes hard to defeat and overcome that miserable situation that can actually make that attack even worse. Once a person deals with a panic attack, he or she fears that another one will come soon. Panic disorder is what anxiety and fear is actually called.

Things can really become easier for the victim with proper knowledge to take back control.

Social anxiety can turn out being terrible and ruin your life if not treated. There are usually times when the victim dreams as if there is no way out of fear, humiliation, and distress. Actually, there are ways out of this situation and anyone can easily treat their social anxiety right away. There are various techniques you can go through; some might work for you and some might work for someone else since we are all different, but one or two out of them would certainly be for you.

People dealing with social anxiety often take things to their hearts and hold on to them for a long time. They regret about why that happened and why this happened, and this drowns them. Change your views and spot the positive aspects out of every single situation. Try to let things go and ignore the little things.

Treating Anxiety Before It Becomes Depression or Stress

Anxiety is a common process which we all go through with at some point in our lives. It brings us some problems and a lot of other things that we might never thought it would. Sometimes it teaches us lessons that we never wanted to learn. Whatever the situation may be, anxiety has always been a culprit into many lives and everyone wants to get rid of it sooner or later.

There is this problem that in some cases anxiety, if not controlled can develop into depression or stress. Treating this by natural means is by far a better option than medication which sometimes is the cause of such things. Re-organize your life with a routine exercise such as walking in fresh air which helps to clear your thoughts. Exercise your breathing, being angry makes your breathing shallow. Try to lengthen your breathing deeper into the belly, hold your breath for several counts before breathing out.

Too much caffeine is a stimulant which increases adrenaline; this is a hormone you want to avoid. Avoid coffee, colas, sodas, soft drinks, chocolate, and limit strong black cups of tea, use herbal and green teas. This is part of keeping your blood sugar level low to stabilize mood swings. Eat healthy, be on a good diet, use a well-chosen supplement that includes omega 3s. Divide projects into smaller steps. Aromatherapy, listen to music you like. If anxiety and stress is building up too often, talk to yourself, self-affirming positive thoughts can help. If not seek help, talk to someone about it.

Taking drug medication, even for depression, should always be your very last option. However, despite still being tested an illicit party drug also used to tranquilize horses could become of benefit as a game changer for treatment of depression and / or anxiety. So far drug medication has not cured any depression with the exception in cases where the patient included alternative options.

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Guided Meditation Can Help Fight Depression

Depression can prove fatal at times. People feel depressed for various reasons, and if not treated immediately, the condition can have a permanent or at least a lasting effect on their lives.

Depression changes a person's personality and behavior in ways they never expect. Therefore, it is important that you fight depression and treat it the right way. While saints and religious people have been practicing different methods for fighting depression, some ways are not bound to any specific religion, cast, and race but are open to all.

Meditation is an extremely helpful tool that should not only be used in times of distress but also on a daily basis. This pathway can help lead towards happiness and personal progression. While meditation helps you feel good and emit a positive vibe, it is also a great solution if you are seeking relief and calmness from emotional and mental problems.

There are different forms of meditations, one of which is Sahaja. Anyone can learn this practice easily and quickly. It harnesses inner energy and improves your mental and emotional condition. Sahaja is not a new or a modern practice. In fact, it is almost a century old and now that its benefits are scientifically proven, it is more commonly used today.

Sahaja meditation origin somewhere in the East. However, its knowledge and techniques are universal so people from all parts of the world can use it for fighting depression. Sahaja offers you an experience that transforms your life for a peaceful and happy future. It helps you get rid of all the negativity. Moreover, it promotes a healthy lifestyle and ensures your wellbeing. Sahaja meditation not only helps you overcome depression but also helps you learn different ways that keep you from falling into depression again.

There are many benefits of Sahaja and zero reasons of not trying this guided meditation technique. It also helps you enhance your personality and build your confidence, allowing you to chase your dreams and goals fearlessly. It gives you a window to escapism so you can connect purely with yourself and the universe.

You can pay undivided attention to just yourself and figure out ways of getting out of various difficult situations. The great thing about Sahaja is that you do not have to break the bank for it. You do not have to spend an exorbitant sum of money on receiving treatments for your condition, and at the same time, can improve your life in ways you might not have thought possible. There are many websites that offer Sahaja guided meditations at no charge.

If you think you are mentally stressed or are struggling emotionally, you should try Sahaja meditation as an alternative option than visiting a psychiatrist or taking medications. Many people from different parts of the world with the same issues as yours are trying to seek peace and happiness through this method. This would help you connect with them, share your experiences and learn from them. In the process, you can make new friends who have been through the same situations as you and can connect with them.

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Depression, Depression: The Cancer That Is Killing Many, Slowly

What is Depression?
Feeling of continuous misery, melancholy and sadness is broadly categorized as depression.

I am not a Psychologist nor do I have a degree in any type of Psychiatric field, however, I am surrounded by people from all walks of life that are suffering from Depression in some form or the other. Getting irritable, not being able to control your emotions, breaking down in any situation, not being able to face people as you would like to, getting slowly into your own shell, etc. are few of the signs that people showcase when they are depressed. There are some others who express themselves so well in public but are unable to put on that mask when they are alone. No one knows the real cause of Depression getting triggered in teenagers or adults, but, what we know is that the term exists and the symptoms are at times very hidden. We have seen big celebrities across the world who have gone through depression and come out of it OR some who have simply succumbed to it.
To name a few who are known to have suffered from Depression in Tinsel town- Deepika Padukone, Manisha Koirala, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Anushka Sharma, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Late Robin Williams (our favorite comedian growing up), the handsome hunk Owen Wilson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Princess Diana (world's favorite Princess), and Many more …

As a child I was a tomboy and felt very content with my friends, did all the crazy things that all kids my age do, but all that changed when I moved into a highly conservative Co-Ed school. I will not name anything here, but the fact remains that I am aware that my personality became completely different as I evolved from that institution. I became a girl with an inferiority complex than someone with a fully evolved out-going personality (looking at me now, you would not feel the same, however, I have been through that phase of regret and complexity that probably everyone in their teens goes through) I was easily offended and never felt in-charge of any situation, anytime, while I was growing up. This actually dominated my personality for a majority of my life, however, the different surroundings and people as well as cities, changed that over a period of time. Today, I am a different person and pretty happy with the way life has evolved for me. Had I over-analyzed the situation at that time OR felt incompetent (though I did think that) OR gone in my cocoon, that would have been termed as Depression? Should I have taken my life in this situation? I doubt that is or will be an answer anyone wants to hear.

We all go through various types of #Depression in our lives-
Mental Depression- Stuck in a marriage which is abusive or mentally and emotionally disturbing, can lead to depression. Not being able to give an opinion to your spouse or in-laws, can give way to slow depression. Not being able to cope with kids and their pressure or the anxiety of having to be perfect can also lead to depression. These are just a few of the thousand reasons that can actually trigger Depression.

Postpartum depression: I have been through this and I have no idea I had it. I only realized this at a much later stage, after reading extensively about it, but the support around my family and friends was tremendous. I did not even know this term exhausted, but yes it did and I went through it and CAME OUT a Winner. This is a hard reality and almost 20% women who give birth every year have #postpartum depression. It slowly creeps in and you will spend hours brooding and crying, but you need to be strong to recognize it and read well about it. If you have this form of depression, DO NOT PANIC. There is a way to treat this well and it is best to seek help. Your baby if your biggest gift, no matter what. You are a special woman who has given birth to the most miraculous gift on Nature.

Cribbing- It is quite a surprising thing, however, over a period of time I have realized that people who over crib about everything are also slowly getting sucked into depression. They see things very negatively and even if there is a positive exit they do come out with a negative side to it. They can complain about everything around them and I have, over a period of time, realized that this is also a form of depression. Why you ask? Well, if you can not see happiness in small things in life, then it will lead to a severe form of depression that will eventually eat you up.

Failure: This is probably the BIGGEST form of depression plaguing and consuming teenagers more than anyone else. The fear of failure or the fear of losing or not being accepted can also lead to depression. This is probably very difficult to understand for any common person, since you have not been through it, you would not know about it. We can not ignore this form of depression as it has the highest SUICIDAL Rate across the globe. (About 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, of these 135,000 (17%) are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. rates in southern and eastern states of India- Courtesy Wikipedia) The pressure that the kids of today are being subjected to, in the form of studies or extracurricular activities or peer pressure, etc. makes it difficult for some children to cope up with this and eventually ends in Depression. Depression can play with the mind in many forms, leading you to take the most drastic measures to end it- like suicides, drugs / drug overdose, exogenous elements and much more.

This is a plague that has taken over the world and crept in the lives of at least 1 member in every family that it is difficult to identify the normal ones from the depressed ones, at times.

How can WE (You and I) collectively Help Each other and help those with this symptom, overcome it? Most importantly, how can THOSE who suffer from this HELP THEMSELVES?

Communicating: We have all heard it before but communicating helps in every way and any way for those going through depression. It is important to try and speak with the person in anyway possible and not let the person close up. Many men, who go through this phase, often do not want to talk about their feelings and hide them deep down inside. If you notice any of the symptoms, please do talk to the person. He / She may not want to communicate at all with you, please DO NOT GIVE UP. They are not comfortable talking about and since you need to have all the PATIENCE in the world to deal with them. Please be PATIENT (even the most impiant ones)

Internal Drive: Get behind the drivers wheel, before the wheel runs over you. If, as an individual, you can experiencing this phase, please speak with someone. It will help. Do not let the world smother you. Write down all your emotions and feelings in a journal. Journaling has helped a lot of individuals to become focused in life again and also sort out problems that you have. If you see yourself being drawn in the cocoon or a getting withdrawn in your shell, YOU HAVE TO FIGHT IT.

Seeking External Help: If you feel speaking to someone you know may not help or you feel too embarrassed to speak to your close ones, try talking to your best friend. If that too is not a viable option, then please do seek external help from a reputed Psychologist. Kindly understand that seeking help from a professional is not going to hurt your reputation or your standing in the society. Do not let external sources bog you down mentally to confront the most inevitable. It is good to get help before it is too late.

Exercising: Getting involved in mind exercises along with breathing techniques can help you battle depression. This will not act as a distraction but also help you connect with your inner-self without any qualms. Realizing toxins from your body will lead to lightening your mind and senses, eventually and gradually moving out of depression. Any form of physical exercise is a great way to battle any deterrent in your life.

You need to recognize these tracks in you or your loved ones before it takes them or you over. If you think there is no purpose in life, please think again. Shitty things happen in life, but let it not be that ONE single cause to Define us. WE understand it is not easy to feel what I write, however, it is an earnest appeal to everyone to make the best of this world that you have been brought into. You Do Not Want to be remembered as that HEADLINE on One Date of a Month When You Reported to NOT come out. Do not let your near ones to become one of this headline, that does not exist anymore. Strive hard to get over it and come out stronger than before.

“MORE YOU SUPPRESS, MORE YOU GET DEPRESSED”

WE ARE ALL THERE TO HELP YOU! SO COME OUT AND SPEAK BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

Help people with Depression around YOU and DO NOT make fun of the situation, as you do not know what it is to deal with Depression.

BE STRONG

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Different Types Of Herbal Remedies For Depression For Vata, Pitta And Kapha Depressions

Ayurveda is the ancient form of treatment and medicine which originated in India. It generally helps to treat diseases using the natural remedies along with meditation and exercises. This natural treatment is not only famous in the Asian countries but many Western countries have also adopted the medication owed to its effectiveness. It is seen that Ayurveda has been successful in curing several acute diseases. It also works wonders in the treatment of depression. When people go for conventional methods and treatment of depression through psychiatry, they face many side effects which harm the other facets of life. Moreover, it is seen that conventional medication can not fully cure depression rather it just offers a temporary relief to the patient. Ayurveda on the contrary offers an effective and natural method of treating depression. It also prevails the re-occurrence of the disease to a great extent. Thus, experts always recommend natural remedies for depression rather than the conventional ones.

What Are The Causes Of Depression ?

As per Ayurveda, there are mainly two reasons for depression:

  • Due to imbalance in the three types of doshas.
  • When a person is unaware of his or her inner self.

Mostly, depressions due due to the imbalance of Kapha, which in turn, leads to the imbalance of other two doshas: Pitta and Vata. Owing to the loss of balances in the doshas which are the basic elements of human body, there is feeling of hopelessness and negativity. This causes the nervous system to function abnormally which results in depression.

The Ayurvedic Treatment for Depression :

The Ayurvedic treatments always varies from person to person and can not be generalized. They depend on the constitution of the body and mind of an individual. Treatment for depression also depends on these two factors. It is also determined by the type of doshas which are suffering from imbalances. The treatment has been classified on the basis of the following:

Remedies for Pitta Depression :

  • Dietary changes need to be included in your daily life so that the Pitta element of your body is pacified. You must not take any rich or spicy food like red meat, fish, vinegar, cheese and tobacco. Include foods in your diet that help you to cool down like sweets, dairy products, cool drinks, etc. It is best if a person can maintain vegetarian diet.
  • Yoga and meditation are great for faster recovery.
  • Do avoid the sun as much as possible.
  • Try to take herbs like coconut, aloe, sandalwood, shatavari and mint.
  • Always bath using cool water. Try to avoid taking hot water showers or bath.
  • Practicing of Panchakarma is also great for the body and mind.

Remedies For Vata Depression :

  • You must always go to bed early and sleep for sufficient time at night.
  • Mild exercise and yoga routine is great.
  • Changes in the diet are also essential. Intake food which is heavy, warm and gives strength. Do avoid the intake of fruits, salads and food products containing caffeine. Restrict the consumption of spicy food, milk, nuts and dairy products. Eat food like pasta, rice, and soup which are heavy and warm.
  • The use of herbs like cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and Gotu kola is great in this type of depression.
  • It is also good to get a daily massage of the whole body. However, if you do not have much time go for the head and foot massage daily.

Remedies For Kapha Depression :

  • Avoid the sun.
  • Mild exercises and meditation is always recommended.
  • Use herbs like ginger tea, turmeric and pepper in your food.
  • In the dietary changes, you must restrict using fat elements, oils, meat, sweets, desserts, and food items which are not warm. You must eat spicy food and soups in your daily diet. It is also good to take honey in small amounts daily which help to pacify the Kapha.

Along with the above-mentioned remedies, expert doctors can also suggest you effective Ayurvedic medicine for depression which ensures great results in the long run.

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I Am Depressed!

Listening to yet another friend saying “I'm depressed”, I wonder if we've overdone the whole psychology thing. I mean, on one side we have the strict Indian parents who call it “unnecessary drama.” And on the other side we have the newbies – people who've had access to all the information in the world on Google, which Facebook news feed always brings up videos and articles on depression and how its symptoms are ignored until it's too late, who read stories on wattpad about the depressed and lonely girl catching the eye of the most popular guy in school and all that … Have we somehow glorified depression?

Asolescents, we all have mood swings. A sweet text from a random stranger can feel like the top of Mt. Everest while mom asking us to clean our room can make us feel like we're being forced to jump off Mt. Everest. Nothing new in it. This has happened with every teenager over the years, though the battleground may be different in each generation. We want our parents to be good listeners and then we feel they're introducing our personal space if they ask how our day has been. To some of us, our peers seem to be the only ones who 'understand us', while to others peers are the thorns that must be avoided on a daily basis. We want love but we do not understand what love really is. We want freedom but we do not know what we really need to be free from. But as we grow up, we usually come to realize that although none of the people around us were perfect, they loved us and meant well for us. That's how it's been till now.

But suddenly, out of the blue, we had Google flinging phrases like 'depression, neurosis, Insomnia, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, etc' at us. And we were like “Oh my Gawd, that's something new.” Soon we had scholarly articles on depression and anxiety jumping at us out of our mobile screens. Every story would have a depressed person, usually a girl who cuts her wrists and a guy who finds that beautiful somehow and selflessly, altruistically draws her out of that dark hole. And we loved it. We loved the fact that we had someone to blame for our mistakes.

Of course, I do not mean to say that depression is not real. It is very, very real and due to the rising pressure on children these days, it is becoming more spacious which is probably why it has begun gathering so much attention. But when fifteen year olds start behaving like the world has ended when their phones are confiscated, or when seventeen year olds drink to “drown their problems” ie Dad asking them what they are going to do in life if they do not study, or when children commit suicide for not being allowed to watch some TV serial (one such incident happened in India in the year 2013) … you know something is going wrong.

These days we have more books and articles and TV shows and seminaries on how to be good parents and not much is being said about being good children. Somehow, we have understood this as our license to live the way we want, act irresponsibly, let all our God given abilities go to the devil and still expect our elders to smile and stay silent. We want our parents to be perfect; we want people to accept us even if we act like bratty, moody, sulky little monkeys. We have learned that it is always their fault that we are miserable, that it's because of the way they treat us that we are 'depressed'.

And I know what I'm talking about. At the risk of sounding like an old hermit, let me say that I have been through this. I never smoked at people or made an effort to talk to them and expected them to love me and reach out to me. I thought that my parents are torturing me just because they expected me to study. Just study, nothing more. Nobody forced me to do anything I'm not capable of. Nobody left me in isolation willingly. What people said to me or did to me was just a reaction. The reason I was miserable was because I was not doing anything about the calling God placed on me. (And believe me, everyone has a calling). But I tried to make everyone around me miserable because I in my mind, was the damsel in distress while everyone else was an ogre.

And now, I see the same thing in most teenagers I meet. We do not want to live responsibly, act compassionately, or talk encouragingly. But we want all of that from others. We do not see how everything is just a reaction to our actions. So when we do not get what we want, what do we do? Throw the adolescent version of a temper tantrum – go into 'depression'

Do not be fooled, my friends. Do not be fooled into thinking that depression is 'cool' or 'beautiful' or whatever. Do not think that saying “Nobody loves me” is the new fad. Depression is a devil inside your head all the time. And most of us can not even begin to comprehend how that feels. Do not use depression as a sword against people who love you just because they do not always act the way you want.

So instead of trying to make everyone around us perfect, why do not we focus on being better people, better students, better children, better friends, and better humans? It's OK to make mistakes. That's how we grow. We do hurt people. That's being human. But never palm off the responsibility of your mistake onto somebody else. Ask for forgiveness from God and men and move on. Try again. Do the best you can do, be the best you can be. Find your calling and owe your life to it. Then you will find peace and grace flowing into your life and joy flooding your heart.

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A Sober Drunk, Finally

In 2015, I dedicated all of my writing to the addict who still suffers. The user that can not stop pulls at my heartstrings. I was that person. I drank until I almost poisoned everything in my life. The losses can not even be calculated when you include my self-esteem, integrity and life spirit.

As a writer, I want to share and convey anything that can help. No one has to face addiction alone. Many do. No one who ever experienced is immune to the chemical hooks which take hold without notice and trap the victim in a cycle of use and abuse.

Government funds are finally being funneled into the opiod crisis and it is constantly in the news. 'Alcohol use disorder' is so common that it now infects one in ten. Overdose and addiction maladies have taken more lives than any war to date and the numbers are climbing rapidly.

I need to be part of solution out of the gratitude I feel for waking up clean and sober and spending my days that way. Finally. So much lost time and scary memories. I'm a black-out drunk. By the time I turned away from ethanol alcohol for good, I was weakened by the fight.

I could not quit drinking and did not want to be a burden to society. I was useless in the work force, my body was breaking down and my thoughts were desperate. If I could not stay sober, I did not want to be here anymore. It was gut-wrenching to think of disappointing my people one more time.

I gave up trying to stay sober at some point. My self-worth was so low. I could not imagine being a blessing in anyone's life. In a blackout, I overdosed. After seven days in a coma, I woke with no memory of giving up. I thank God for that.

Next, a police officer came to my hospital bed and asked if I could stand on my own. He then helped me out of bed and walked me to a police car waiting outside. He said he preferred not to handcuff me if I came peacefully.

He delivered me to a psyche ward about two hours away. I had no idea what was happening until I was turned over to the staff and shown to my room. I was scared spitless. The place was filled with mental patients that were psychotic and heard voices.

One lady walked around with a plastic baby that she thought was real. The man who sat next to me once told me he was Jesus of Nazareth. Another woman thought she was famous. I tried to stay near the guards.

Today, my wits have returned. With medication, I can control the anxiety and depression that led me to self-medicate in the first place. Building a life is such a better use of energy than existing.

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Depression: A Strong Predictor of Death

Cardiovascular diseases and depression are some of the most common disorders seen in developed countries. These health issues can tremendously affect one's quality of life and increase the economic burden on him or her. The relationship between heart diseases and depression has been a subject of popular interest and scientific research.

Some studies suggest that mood disorders, such as depression, are simply the expressions of somatic feelings. Depression is expressed as a feeling of heaviness in the chest resembling a “broken heart,” with individuals going through the problem of depression having the potential to trigger other problems, such as angina, heart attack and myocardial infarction.

Depression has been acknowledged as an independent risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases and cardiac mortality. A study led by Heidi May, Ph.D., cardiovascular epidemiologist, Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, trial finding the relationship between the onset of depression and the risk of death following a cardiovascular disease diagnosis.

The study found that people with heart diseases are two times more at risk of being diagnosed by depression compared to others. Irrespective of when and how depression emerges, it is a risk factor that needs to be addressed consistently. Therefore, patients with coronary diseases need to be screened for depression to determine treatment and follow-up accordingly.

The study focused on patients diagnosed with a heart attack and stable or unstable angina, which reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart due to plaque buildup in the treaties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States with over 614,348 deaths every year.

Depression and coronary diseases

The study entailed around 25,000 patients who had angiographically determined the coronary artery disease (CAD) and tracked for an average of 10 years following their heart diagnosis. The average age of the participants was dominated by whites (90 percent), with 70 percent being male and their average age being 64 years.

About 3,646 or 15 percent of the participants had a follow-up diagnosis of depression. Out of this, half perished during the study period compared to 38 percent deaths of the 20,491 participants who did not have a depression diagnosis. This suggests that individuals with heart disease and depression were twice as likely to die compared to those without depression.

Following the adjustment for age, gender, risk factors, other diseases, heart attack, chest pain, medications and follow-up complications, the study concluded that depression was the strongest predictor of death among these patients. This association persisted even among those without any prior depression diagnosis.

Because depression has a significant impact on one's life expectancy, the researchers endorse that clinicians should seek better ways to identify depression in patients with CAD. They suggest the use of questions designed to screen for depression or active monitoring to comprehend the signs of depression during the follow-up examinations.

“This study shows that it does not matter if depression emerges in the short term or a few years down the road – it's a risk factor that consistently needs to be assessed,” said lead author May. “I think the take-home message is that patients with the coronary disease need to be continuously screened for depression, and if found to be depressed, they need to receive adequate treatment and continued follow-up,” she adds.

Depression is an illness, not a weakness

Some symptoms of depression include the persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness, anxiety, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, etc. In recent years, depression has been associated with behaviors that can cause negative consequences on health as a result of nonadherence to medications or prescribed behavioral regimens. It is advisable to seek early intervention to prevent the aggravation of this mood disorder.

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Reducing Rumination Can Help Manage Depressive Symptoms

Depression is a serious mental disorder that alters the functions of the brain. In 2015, over 16.1 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the United States. In some ways, depression can change a person's state of mind by provoking negative thinking and low mood that interfere with his or her daily life. They may feel sad, discouraged, disinterested and fatigued for long periods and find that many of their goals and dreams are insurmountable.

In addition, they may develop an outlook that is biased, resulting in increased despondency and melancholy. People going through depression also risk being overwhelmed by incessant troublesome thoughts relating to past failures and mistakes. Due to the nature of depression, individuals may experience challenges with regard to decision-making and problem-solving skills as well as rational and analytical thinking. The chances are high that a depressed individual is more likely to focus on his or her distress and its possible causes and consequences as opposed to its solutions.

Such ruminating exercises have been consistently found to be associated with the onset and occurrence of depressive disorders. Perhaps rumination is the brain's natural way of adapting and tackling certain problems that defy easy understanding; however, it can also lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms, if unaddressed.

Reducing rumination to manage depressive symptoms

A thought may only be a thought, but for depressed individuals, the fine line between such thoughts and reality can become blurred. Professor Roger Hagen and colleagues from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) published their study on the role of metacognitive therapy (MCT) in treating depression. They revealed that reducing rumination can help in alleviating symptoms witnessed in patients diagnosed with depression.

The study entailed 39 participants – 23 women and 16 men – with an average age of 33.7 years, ranging from 18 to 54. The group had an average of 1.2 children per participant and three were treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In addition, 30 participants had earlier received treatment for depression, nine reported being treated with SSRIs for depression, 21 had received depression treatment at psychiatric outpatient clinics, three had received inpatient treatment and one had undergone electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment.

The participants received 10 sessions of MCT over a period of 10 weeks. After six months, it was found that about 80 percent of the participants had achieved full recovery from their depression, with the exception of four patients. Consequently, the follow-up six months later showed the same patterns of recovery.

Potential for MCT to be standard for depression treatment

The success of MCT was a breath of fresh air for the participants as some of them had already experienced the failure of prior depression treatments. Hagen reinforces the fact that primary treatment of depression has high relapse rates, with 50 percent relapse rates in a total of 100 patients following a year of treatment and relapse rates of 75 percent in two years.

As of now, MCT is an upcoming intervention with a lot of studies and clinical trials reporting of its efficiency in treating depression. It can teach individuals to exercise control over their thoughts and differentiate between how they perceive things and the actual reality. Hagen encourages mental health professionals to consider this form of therapy to promptly assist individuals to recover from their depression.

Depression is an illness, not a weakness

Talk therapies and medications have come a long way in addressing the symptoms of depression and in accelerating the entire process of recovery from it. Such treatments are not only effective in writing off painful negative consequences associated with depression, but also empower people in adopting coping mechanisms that allow them to lead fulfilling lives.

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Collaborative Care: Setting Milestones in Mental Health

When it comes to delivery of mental health services across the age groups, older adults are likely to get the short end of the stick. Although great advances have been made in the reduction of mortality rates and improvement of health and overall well-being, mental health care providers continue to predominately exclude older adults. This is a major public health concern that not only threaten the United States, but the entire world.

For most Americans, old age is an important phase when they want to remain jovial and adventurous like before. Since people are now living longer and healthier than before due to the advances in the field of medicine, it has caused a dramatic increase in the proportion of the older population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that the growing global population of older people will almost double from 12 percent to 22 percent between 2015 and 2050.

On the one hand advances in the field of medicine have proven to be a boon for older adults, on the other far too many older adults have to deal with difficult life situations and mental illnesses that affect their ability to draw out the most from life. Considering such a contradictory situation, it calls for greater commitment from both government and private organizations to develop policies and mental health services that are specifically aimed at older adults coping with the symptoms of mental illnesses.

Collaborative care – a remedy for depression in old

Old age is often accompanied by the weakening of organs and deterioration of mental sharpness. Moreover, compared to the youngsters older adults are more prone to developing problems like depression, anxiety and dementia. Other physical and social factors, such as loneliness, lack of appropriate facilities and support, etc., further accentuate the risk of developing mental disorders.

Such conditions usually arise due to other health complications, major life stressors, or the use or cessation of certain medicines. Therefore, older adults require an approach that is different from the standard approach used for screening mental disorders. Until recently, collaborative care for older adults was believed to be capable of alleviating the symptoms of only the severe cases of depression. However, a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that older adults with subthreshold depression can also benefit from collaborative care.

Simon Gilbody, Ph.D., University of York and colleagues had randomly assigned 705 older adults with subthreshold depression (as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -IV (DSM-IV)) into two groups for delivering depression treatment.

One group received the usual care from their physician, while the other received collaborative care and primary care. The patients in the collaborative care group had participated in six 30-minute sessions spanning over seven to eight weeks that focused on the need to address the behavioral repercussions of depression, such as the lack of social interaction and absence of rewarding activities. Some key findings of the study are as follows:

  • Progression of subthreshold depression did not vary between the two groups at the four-month mark; however, at the 12-month mark, it reduced greatly for the collaborative care group compared to the usual care group (15.7 percent versus 27.8 percent).
  • The collaborative care group also witnessed improvement in anxiety, functional status and more compared to the usual care group.

These findings suggest that short and reliably cost-effective methods can alleviate subthreshold depression in older adults before the disorder becomes severe. However, before widening the scope of collaborative care among all forms of depression, there is a need for conducting more studies and researches.

Seek collaborative care to lease benefits

Oftentimes, older adults in the US do not receive mental health services for their problems. Various factors, such as denial of the problem, inadequate funding, and other barriers like the existence of stigma around mental illness prevent the delivery of treatment to those who need it the most.

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