How to Fight Depression in Men

When you feel depressed, do not suppress it, in fact, you are right when you express it. Before now, depression is thought of as women's problem, usually expressed by them as a feeling of worthlessness and sadness. While women show signs and symptoms of depression. Men by virtue of societal expectation that they are likely to be the stronger sex, oftentimes, they conceal symptoms of depression, men displays it in one or different ways by being workaholic, getting angry unnecessarily, exhibiting reckless behavior and taking risks that are not worth it, through gambling and other unproductive activities. All these are classical symptoms to suppress emotional imbalance which are symptoms of depression. Also, identifying victims of depression is not rocket science. Depressed men will display additional classic symptoms such as; lack of interest in hobbies, work, and other productive activities.

No class, race or ethnic group is immune to depression, it affects the functionality of it victims. Sometimes, family and friends of the depressed may be dragged into the circle of depression, it can alter how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you. Depression, when it is neglected for a long time, it can lead to suicide or homicide. This tendency is four times higher in men than women, it is important that men begin to treat depression like every other life-threatening disease, by opening up to help and support from professionals and loved ones.

When any combination of the following is experienced, it is time to seek help;

i. You may notice a sharp increase in your alcohol consumption

ii. Maybe you get irritated by little things

iii. When sleep becomes difficult and it is accompanied by loss of appetite

iv. When you become overwhelmed by negative thoughts and you are not interested in friendship anymore

When any of these get into your life equation, you need help.

Causes of Depression

It has been discovered that men with erectile dysfunction, impotence, and any other sexual abnormalities easily get depressed. Other biological, social and psychological factors that can set of depression are;

a. Constant financial problems

b. Inability to attain certain goal

c. Chronic illness, injury, disability, and similar health problems

d. Loss of loved ones, especially family members

e. Family and marital problems

f. Excessive exposure to stress at work, home or school and

g. Loss of freedom

The following social support has been proved to be potent in the fight against depression- having a deep conversation can be of great help, you may not have to talk to experts, all you need is a friend with listening ears. Move out of your comfort zone and meet with new friends and expand your network. Also, simple acts such as volunteering, participating in social activities, being a part of a group that fights against depression in men and participating in your favorite sport will provide immense benefit.

In addition to above treatment, you can seek medical help which may involve administration of appropriate antidepressant. Oftentimes, medical help only provides temporary relief because it does not address the root cause of depression.

Here are things you can do to avoid depression;

1. Clamp down sugar and carbohydrates consumption because they make you feel good about yourself, but suddenly relegate your mood and energy.

2. Try as much as you can to reduce caffeine and alcohol intake

3. Feed on food that contains Omega-3 fatty acid and examples of some of this food are walnut, salmon and mackerel fish

4. Examples of food which are sources of magnesium and vitamin-B are banana and spinach, aforementioned nutrients will enhance your mood tremendously and promote alertness.

Get enough sleep and reduce stress, always manage your work schedule in such a way that it will give you sufficient time to relax, sleep and engage in other life enriching activities.

Finally, when you notice that your friend or loved ones are suffering from depression, the best help you can render is to show love to them. Talk and listen to them with much compassion and resist the urge to judge them. Refer them to a medical doctor or counselor and go with them, at least, for the first appointment.

{ Comments are closed }

Depression: Don’t Let It Take Over

Exercise
Exercise is wonderful for both the body and mind. While this will not cure severe depression, it can help to lessen the symptoms to make them more manageable. If getting out of bed looks like a chore, it may take some effort to go for a morning run. If a morning run looks like a bit too much at the moment, start off slow. A brisk walk around the block or through the park will still have a positive impact on both the body and the mind, and on symptoms of depression.

Get out of the house
This mental health condition can make a person feel like they never want to leave the house. It is normal for a depressed individual to close the blinds, leave the doors closed and then stay in the house as much as possible. While this may be what a person feels like doing, it can make the symptoms more severe.

Human beings are created to interact with one another. The body is also designed to benefit from natural sunlight. Going for that walk in the morning will help, as will simply getting out of the house. Going window shopping or to the grocery store can help lift a depressed person's spirits just a little bit.

Thai massage
Getting a regular Thai massage has proved to be beneficial for a mirage of health conditions, including mental health conditions like this one. As the Thai masseuse stretches and manipulates the body into different poses, it has the same impact on the body as exercise; the brain releases specific endorphins that will help make a person feel happier.

Recognize the symptoms
Individuals that have been clinically diagnosed with depression that would rather not take prescription medication are encouraged to pay attention to their body and their mind. Instead of waiting until they are too sad to get out of the bed in the morning, they can address the issue as soon as it arises and get the help that they need.

Patients can do this by keeping a daily journal of thoughts and feelings. Reading the previous day's entry will give an idea as to whether a depressive episode is coming on.

Counseling
While most individuals are not keen on the idea of ​​counseling due to various stigmas attached to seeing a professional, counseling can help every individual that is dealing with this mental illness. Severe cases of depression may be helped with medication, particularly if they are due to a chemical imbalance.

If a person is not comfortable taking prescription medication to deal with their mental illness, counseling can still help. They can provide their clients with useful ways to help deal with the symptoms of mental illness, guaranteeing that this mental illness does not take over their life.

What works for one individual may not work for another individual with the same mental illness, and those that work in the counseling field understand that. Through counseling, patients will learn a variety of different tools to help them deal with their mental illness, and they will learn about the impact that it has on their life, helping them lessen the impact that their mental illness has on their life and their relationships .

{ Comments are closed }

Importance of Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis refers to a condition where a person is suffering from two problems – usually a mental health problem and a substance abuse issue – existing side by side. A coexisting condition can appear in many different combinations, such as an eating disorder along a substance abuse problem. An individual suffering from depression could also be struggling with an addiction to drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana and so on.

Nearestheless, while addressing a dual diagnosis case, sometimes doctors might attempt to treat one problem at a time. However, studies have shown that they have not been successful in eradicating the underlying causes. On the other hand, treating both problems concurrently betters chances of recovery and a shooter route to sobriety.

Dual diagnosis issues are certainly not limited to food, drugs, or any other toxicants. In fact, researchers show that the underlying cause of most mental health ailments and substance abuse problems is the inability to cope with emotional pain. According to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers suffer from a serious mental health issue. Of all people diagnosed with a mental disorder, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.

Sequential treatment is ineffective for dual diagnosis

Historically, doctors and medical practitioners never treated a dual diagnosis problem simultaneously. On the contrary, which condition condition was known to create the most negative impact on an individual was considered as the primary condition and given priority over the other. Moreover, doctors would focus on the secondary condition only after treating the primary one, till it reached a stable state.

In many cases, long-term use of sequential methods of treatment was attributed to the scarcity of medical experts well equipped in multiple disciplines. As a result, only one condition received all the attention and the other was almost neglected. For example, sequential treatment for a dual diagnosis case, involving chronic alcoholism and depression, often focused primarily on the drinking problem due to its visible physical impact.

Such a preferential treatment of one condition, where the other was parked for a later period, mostly led to a further deterioration of the other condition, which also affected the ongoing treatment of the previous one. While the substance abuse problem was being treated with positive consequences, the mental health condition was ignored and left to intensify.

There is a huge possibility that both the co-occurring disorders could have risen from the same latent cause, such as a traumatic event in one's personal life, or the addiction problem might be due to an attempt to self-medicate for anxiety or depression. This is one of the major reasons why sequential treatment has been significantly replaced by the integrated treatment.

While treating two problems simultaneously, each of the two problems is given equal importance and valued as a primary condition.

Seeking professional help

Co-occurring disorders are complex and their diagnosis and treatment may often be challenging. However, it is important to treat both theorders simultaneously to effectively address both substance abuse and psychiatric conditions. If you or your loved one is suffering from co-occurring disorders, it is imperative to take the necessary medical help before matters go out of control.

{ Comments are closed }

The Best Way Out Of Depression

My most recent episode of depression has been the hardest one. I sacrificed and sacrificed while dark heavy cloud hovered above my head. I went back to bed everyday and all I wanted to do was sleep. I barely had the energy to get dressed and feed the cats.

Over the years, I have spent a fortune on overcoming depression. And after years of trying various types of therapy and paying a fortune for the privileged, I have finally found an answer that is not only free but is insanely simple. What could be better? But having the discipline to apply it everyday is pre-requisite.

It started when my dear Auntie reminded me to think of everything I did have and how lucky I was. And she was right. It was so simple yet so profound though it actually took a few months before it sunk in and I began applying it. By which time I had entered into an overwhelming period of feeling low and completely lost.

I started to de clutter my life and stop trying to juggle so many tasks and taking things too seriously. Then I simplified my morning routine to just two things. Meditation and gratitude. The word gratitude is talked about so much these days and we can think we are a grateful person, saying thank you when someone helps us out or serves us in a shop.

But knowing the word is just the start, saying thank you when someone helps you is obviously polite but actually feeling grateful, with focus, with deep reverence and appreciation for what you have now is where the magic is.

The world is moving so quickly these days, everything is super fast and we want things before they are even available. We want to feel better and are promised that we can feel good quickly, but until we really feel deep gratitude for now, for the amazing things we already have in our lives now instead of looking at what we do not have, then we can not transform our lives.

I am only on day 3 of my new gratitude mission! In 3 days I have turned a corner and although I know I'm not fully out of the woods yet, I am feeling so much happier and healthier. It is day 3 and I intend to practice this everyday now for the rest of my life. One word applied with feeling is life changing!

{ Comments are closed }

One Day’s Depression in a Deluge of Discouragement

Dark clouds descend like smoke over the highway of our day, bringing spiritual progress to a standstill. Purpose wanes mysteriously. Everything becomes an effort.

From where these clouds came from we have no idea. Yesterday seemed so easy in comparison, and it's likely that tomorrow will seem like a sweet breeze. But then there's today. Today; it's horrid.

One day's depression – a melancholy that shakes all confidence inwardly, though we remain functional for others – comes as a deluge of discouragement. And it's not always easy to track why. The day before could've been a paroxysm of encouragement.

There is something deeply spiritual in the attack of one day's depression. We know what goes through our minds, and it's not good. We experience hearts that are unexpected and uncertain. Although we're able to put up a good front, we're insecure and anxious, and this is felt within the state of self-consciousness. As we're honest in what we're thinking and feeling we're disconcerted.

Then, during such a day, where capacity is low, though few detect it, there is the reminder that power is accessible and present.

One day's depression is a spiritual reality reminding us we're in a spiritual fight in a war against a spiritual enemy. God blesses us most in the calm acceptance we're weak this very day. He will save us up for a better, stronger day.

We venture into the Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, or 2 Corinthians. And we're encouraged! Our hope is revived that hope will soon return, and we're patient in the waiting.

We survive one day's depression when we accept our vulnerability, knowing hope will soon return.

{ Comments are closed }

Depression – Bravery and Safe Exposure for Vulnerability

Mental ill-health is either bigger now than ever or it's just being reported more – or both. Certainly, there's less stigma, but the more aware we are of our mental health, the more we'll feel its bite. Awareness works both for and against us. For instance, notice the early warning signs of depression helps us respond sooner and more effectively so we recover better. But, equally, the more we think about depression, the more we may be sentenced to it.

When depression hits there is vulnerability everywhere. At a time when we least wish to be exposed, we find we are, and feeling especially self-conscious, without having the ability to protect ourselves appropriately, we're easily crushed under the weight of a life that is far too big, at that moment, to manage. It's like we're in a chess game and every piece that could protect our king has been taken.

The trouble with this scenario is, because we feel so fragile, we're likely to isolate and shut out important people in our lives – people who could help – just at a time when we need them most.

Finding safe expression of our vulnerabilities is the way out of depression; the way into healing. We need to problem solve for strategies. And that's possible only as we speak with caring, compassionate others, who listen and place no time pressure on us to 'get over it'.

When we're feeling vulnerable we need a form of safe expression. Such expression must be safe, because when our flaws are down we're most given to self-loathing. Anyone we share with must cherish our openness respectfully. What needs to be appreciated is a person's bravery to expose their vulnerability, especially when they least wish to be exposed.

In exposing their vulnerability in order to process their pain, a person afflicted with depression needs to find safe, respectful people to help them.

{ Comments are closed }

Exploring the Link Between Chronic Sinus Infection and Depression

A stuffy nose and a prolonged irritable cough can make anyone feel low. Swollen, itchy eyes, accompanied by a constant feeling of pressure at the center of the forehead, can amplify mental stress and wreck one's mood. Needless to say, the resulting headache and difficulty in breathing may cause feelings of despair, resulting in troubles with daily activities.

A long-repeating sinus infection not only affects the tissues in teeth, face and jaw, causing excruciating pain, but also causes full-blown depression in an otherwise upbeat and energetic person. Similarly, depression may also aggravate sinus-related problems, making it worse over time. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 38 million Americans suffer from sinusitis-related problems, including chronic inflammation of the domestic cavities, each year.

Connection between sinus health and mental health

Paranasal sinuses include four pairs of air-filled spaces surrounding the cheekbones, low-center of the forehead, eyes, and the bones behind the nose. Healthy and clear sinuses help drain the mucus that is accumulated during breathing. Allergies, medication, pollution and several other factors often block or clog the sinuses, causing inflammation and impairing their functioning.

A chronic inflammation may result in nasal congestion, pain around the facial cavities, ear fullness, sore throat, jaw aches and fatigue. Such symptoms may trigger depression or aggravate existing anxiety in multiple ways, some of which are:

  • Continued physical discomfort may take a toll on one's well-being, creating additional stress, which could lead to depression.
  • People prone to allergies may experience worsening of their depressive symptoms, caused by inflammation-causing agents that are released during an allergy attack.
  • Chronic sinusitis patients are deprived of sound sleep, which can affect their mental health.

Once an individual is in the grip of depression, it can get difficult to manage sinus-related symptoms, rendering them incapable of performing day-to-day activities. Studies have established an association between depression, or anxiety, and chronic sinusitis.

It is generally observed that chronic sinusitis patients, who also suffer from depression, experience high degrees of sinus-related pain, as compared to those who are not depressed. Both chronic sinusitis and full-blown depression feed on each other and may end up aggravating the symptoms. In such cases, it is important to seek professional diagnosis and treatment to manage both the under conditions.

Natural remedies for sinusitis

Although sinus infection can produce chronic inflammation, there are ways to reduce the discomfort and prevent further problems. Here are some tips that can help keep your nasal passes moist and clear:

  • Hydrotherapy: Warm, moist compresses placed on the sinus areas can less the soreness and discomfort by boosting blood flow and easing the pressure in facial cavities.
  • Hot and cold therapy: Applying alternate hot and cold compresses on the facial cavities is beneficial to reduce congestion and open up clogged areas.
  • Natural aromatic medication: Oriental remedies, such as balms filled with aromatic extracts of menthol, eugenol, cineole, cinnamon, and camphor, when rubbed into the sinus area provides great relief.
  • Intake of water: Drinking large quantities of water at room temperature keeps the body hydrated and breaks down the thick mucus infecting the sinus cavities.

Way forward

When you're battling constant inflammation or any sinus-related problem, it is not uncommon to develop some depression and anxiety as well. But a prolonged sinus infection may create a lot of stress, leading to depression-like symptoms.

{ Comments are closed }

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

Divorce can take a heavy toll on the lives of those involved. The feelings of anger, loss, confusion and betrayal can be overwhelmingly painful. For those who have undergone divorce, it can be extremely tough to even imagine what it takes to part ways with a loved one. For most of them, dealing with uncertainty is tough, and the only thought that runs wild in their minds is, ” now what ?”

Karen was one of those who was plagued with the thought – ” how to thrive outside of the relationship ?” When her unhappy marriage of six years came to an end, it became difficult for her to deal with rejection and a broken heart. The negative feelings were so profound that panic attacks became a regular feature, and soon fear, loneliness and boredom began to creep in.

Gradually, depression became her identity, and in a bid to escape from reality, she resorted to drinking. A few shots of alcohol made her feel light-headed and numb to the emotional pain. However, each drink left her craving for more. Her brain began to depend on alcohol to release the feel-good chemicals. Unfortunately, she ended up being a victim of addiction, which further aggravated her mental condition.

Coping strategies to combat pain of divorce

Divorce is neither shameful nor an indicator that life is over. The bottom line is that some relationships work, while others simply do not. Undoubtedly, divorce is unfortunate, regardless of the causes or the circumstances, but one must learn to move on in life, rather than dwell on the past. Here are some tips to thrive after moving away from a loved one:

  • Regaining lost self-worth: Believing in oneself is the key to regain the diminished self-esteem. It is common to experience grief and bitterness but it just takes a bit of focus and a new intention to allow oneself to keep going and regain the lost self-worth.
  • Staying busy: As the old saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil's workshop,” an occupied mind can effectively counter the feelings of dejection. Investing time in pursuing something gratifying goes a long way in banishing undesirable ideas.
  • Letting bygones be bygones: Clinging onto remorseful feelings and resentment is futile. While it is essential to acknowledge the past as there could be several lessons to learn, dwelling on it only prevents an individual from getting ready for the next thrilling phase of life.
  • Seizing the moment: Life is too beautiful to ignore. Getting the most out of life by seizing the moment is the remedy to stop worrying about what tomorrow may hold. What matters is this moment in time, which is too precious to lose.
  • Setting right priorities: Knowing one's purpose in life will steer an individual in the right direction, and keep him or her away from unproductive thoughts and anxiety. Setting priorities in life is a compass which gives life a goal and meaning.

Moving toward a better life

Divorce is not shameful, but it is not something easy. It can be a nerve-racking transition and may lead to depression in the absence of proper support and counseling. Talk therapy helps a patient to recover from post-divorce depression by incorporating partnership, support, relationship, collaboration, communication, understanding, action, and participation.

Talk therapy has been effective in addressing depression by changing the perception, thoughts, beliefs and moods of a patient towards a more positive direction. Occidentally, some patients are resistant to it and may require the next stage of medical intervention.

{ Comments are closed }

Co-Occurring Disorders Are Prevalent in the US

A chaotic and frustrating environment at home, forced Joe (name changed) to spend more time outside. It was a relief to be away from the depressive environment of his home. It was in high school that he first smoked weed and started drinking each night. It was so much fun, because everyone in the dorm did the same. But soon the urge to try something new led him to cocaine, Adderall, valium and other hallucinogens.

During vacations, when Joe would return to the quarrelsome and toxic atmosphere of his home, he would feel totally out of place. In those times, drugs and alcohol became his only escape, which helped him ignore the reality and convince him that everything was alright. In no time, he developed tolerance to the toxics. Soon, even larger doses failed to produce the desired effect. In a bid to overcome depression, Joe had fallen prey to substance abuse. He was suffering from comorbidity.

Joe is not alone, there are millions in America who struggle with chronic comorbidities in their daily lives. As per the Vital Directions for Health and Healthcare, a new study initiative by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), “About 34 percent of the total adult US population, more than 79 million people, have three or more chronic conditions.”

In addition, “some 5 percent of adults, about 12 million people, have three or more chronic conditions and a functional limitation that makes it hard for them to perform any basic daily task, such as feeding themselves or talking on the phone,” the NAM study says.

Why co-occurring disorders are ignored by the powers that be?

In the past, co-occurring disorders and other forms of multi-morbidity were not only viewed as a financial burden to society, but often associated with poor opportunities due to various reasons. Some of those were:

  • Patients suffering from co-occurring disorders generally exhibited a high degree of complexity, and did not fit in the normal standard of care models and clinical guidelines.
  • Traditional medical treatment models actually tend to disregard the holistic view of an individual, largely based on their diagnosis on a single disease.
  • Payment and reimbursements models for healthcare providers were centered around single procedures and interventions, the focus being on volume, not patient outcomes.
  • Narrow indications determined the regulatory pathway for review and approval of medicines and medical devices.
  • Communicating a clear picture about complex co-occurring disorders was a daunting task, especially when disease-related awareness and healthcare marketing practices tended to focus on single disease conditions.

Change is underway

As per experts from the Vital Directions for Health and Healthcare study panel, the need of the hour is to look beyond the disease-specific medical model, wherein the doctors and medical practitioners function within the boundaries of their respective areas of specialization, towards a more integrated model contracting of both multi-morbidity as well as multidisciplinary healthcare facilities.

Measures are being taken to foster a comprehensive and holistic treatment, which encompasses all real-world complexes and conditions, without solely relying on individual indications and diseases. Health care marketing and communications professionals have undertaken a unique responsibility of spreading awareness among holders about the current menace of chronic co-occurring infirmities and developing more strategies to shift from a volume-based to a value-based health care model.

Making help available

Mental health and substance abuse often overlap at a very complex joke. On the surface, they may appear to be distinct, but in reality they feed on each other. Therefore, a careful assessment is needed to establish the existence of both disorders. Although that may prove difficult, since the symptoms of one disorder can mimic the symptoms of the other.

{ Comments are closed }

Managing Your Partner’s Bad Moods

As with many things in life, a relationship with one's better half is a double-edged sword. Although it is a wonderful feeling to want someone and be wanted in return, but even such a bond comes with its own challenges. Intimate emotional ties can make an individual emotionally vulnerable. One not only gets easily affected by how the other feels, but if in such a scenario one happens to suffer from mood swings, the going can get really tough.

Studies show that one in every five adult sufferers from mood swings, and yet very little importance has been given to the consequences of such mental imbalances and the way they can affect intimate relationships. If neglected, such mood swings can lead to other serious mental disorders.

A bad mood in general can be caused by a variety of reasons. But when persistent, it may indicate a mental disorder of which anxiety and depression are the most commonly diagnosed ones. These two conditions have the potential to increase conflict in an intimate relationship and even cause an emotional breakdown. The common symptoms include, persistent irritability, varied degrees of social withdrawal, low self-worth and complete lack of zeal and interest, which can damage the relationship between intimate partners.

The strange thing is that a depressed or moody friend or colleague does not seem as provocative as an upset or sulking spouse or partner. In fact, people are always willing to offer a kind word to a morose stranger, but shy away from showing concern to an anxious partner. Is not it weird that emotions often explode in unpleasant ways when it comes to someone so close? One way to deal with such a situation is to not react and stay calm in spite of the other's behavior. Although it is easier said than done.

Strategies to cope with an irritable and moody partner

Marriage or living together requires a lot of adjustments and efforts. However, if one partner is acting moody or is sooner to outbursts, there are ways in which the other can reach out and help. Here are some tips to deal with a partner's mood swings:

Identify the problem areas: If one or both partners have a mood disorder, it's critical to understand the causes and the effects, and seek a remedy. It is good to identify and understand the way one generally responds to the partner's bad mood, because such moods can be highly contagious.

Learn to take ownership of one's own mood: It is cruel to understand one's own reaction to a partner's bad mood, as this can prove decent in resolving or aggravating a conflict. Mood disorders can destroy relationships by inhibiting intimacy or by causing aggression.

Encourage honest communication: Pretending that things are fine or hiding one's frustrations will not yield results in the long run. It only allows resentment to pile up which will explode at some point. Instead, confront the challenges by offering non-judicialal mutual support to each other.

Plan one's reaction: Sometimes all it takes to placate a moody partner is for the other to validate what is going on in his / her mind. Most of the time, an individual in a bad mood does not seek help, he or she simply wants to be understood. Being empathetic can solve many problems.

Understand that bad moods do not last: Mood swings are a passing phase, though some people may take longer to come out of it. Sometimes, a bit of emotional or even physical distance can help ease tension.

Seek treatment for mood disorders

Mood disorders or depression are usually not under an individual's control but are treatable. One can choose to make his or her life better by cultivating certain habits which can help prevent depression and can also assist in recovery.

{ Comments are closed }

Understanding Medication or Substance-Induced Depression

Everyone experiences bouts of stress and anxiety at some point in his or her life. Butterflies in one's stomach before a job interview, having clammy hands while going through an embarrassing social situation or cold sweats trickling down when thinking of a challenge, all can be attributed to increased levels of physical and mental stress. In most of the cases, it could be a normal transitory phase.

Sometimes, people grappling with prolonged fear, mental and physical uneasiness or tension look for easy ways to tie themselves of such feelings. They often start abusing drugs or alcohol or take certain medications to boost their low self-worth, alleviate their agitated minds or douse their inhibitions. But what happens is exactly the opposite – the substances which they had associated with good feelings, actually make them feel worse. As a result, the passing feelings of restlessness or paranoia aggravates and lasts for a much longer period of time.

However, most people do not realize that it is alcohol and drugs that cause the anxiety. They are totally unaware of the fact that they might be suffering from substance or drug-induced depressive disorder.

Certain drugs alter brain chemicals

Drug-induced depression is a cause of concern because of the associated comorbidity and risk factors. However, it may differ from person to person. For example, those with a family history of mood disorders, depression-related problems, bipolar disorder or drug abuse may be such a condition. An individual's decision to abuse an illicitary substance or a prescribed medicine in order to obtain relief may aggravate the discomfort instead of alleviating it.

Whatever may be the reason, depression occurs when drugs or certain medicines alter the chemicals in the brain. For instance, in the case of Isotretinoin, which is prescribed to treat acne problems, a long-term use could possibly cause depression in some individuals. Similarly, drug-induced depression may also be the outcome of certain oral birth control pills, hypertension medications, and some drugs used to treat high cholesterol levels.

However, an efficient way to ascertain if a medication or drug is affecting mood or mental health negatively is to know which medicines can trigger feelings of dejection or elevate anxiety levels. Consulting one's doctor to identify the symptoms of induced depression or requesting an alternative set of medications could always be a better option.

However, for a doctor to conduct a diagnosis of drug-induced depression in an individual, the symptoms have to be considerately affecting all aspects of the patient's life, causing a huge emotional upheaval. The symptoms may include excessive sleeping or drowsiness, prolonged disinterest, social and emotional withdrawal, persistent feeling of helplessness, suicidal tendencies, weariness and frequents bouts of irritation.

Making help available

There is no doubt that drug-induced depressive disorder can interfere with a person's day-to-day living. Regardless of its cause, depression needs to be properly treated, because, if left untreated, it can take a heavy toll on one's physical and mental health. A long-term depressed behavior may lead to other serious functional and physical problems.

{ Comments are closed }

The Signs of Teen Depression

Adolescents face many obstacles every day as they grow and learn new things about themselves and their environment. In our current society, adolescents are faced with more stress and pressure from their peers. This has caused many teens to become depressed. Depression is more than just being sad for a day and it is important to understand the disorder, to see how depression has changed over the last decade, and always maintain current knowledge of the key aspects of this illness.

The Signs:

Teen depression is a serious medical disorder that creates a strong feeling of sadness that leads to crying for unknown reasons, losing interest to do daily activities, and causes many emotional and behavioral changes. The following is a list of examples from the Mayo Clinic that shows some emotional and behavioral changes that may occur:

Emotional Changes:

Be alert for emotional changes, such as:

  • Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Irritability, frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Behavioral Changes:

Watch for changes in behavior, such as:

  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite, such as decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Agitation or restlessness – for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Frequent complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches, which may include frequent visits to the school nurse
  • Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
  • Neglected appearance – such as mismatched clothes and unkept hair
  • Disruptive or risky behavior
  • Self-harm, such as cutting, burning, or excess piercing or tattooing

Depression is more common in our awareness than many realize. There will be at least 5% of teens that will experience depression at some point during this stage of life, as they deal with situations in their lives that creates unwanted pressures (Framingham, J. 2016).

During the teenage years, they also have many changes happening with their own bodies. Developing hormones for all discrimination can be a difficult time. For a teen that is having a difficult time dealing with the unwanted stress, this change in development can create confusion.

If you can refer to any of this, please do not ignore the teen in your life who is struggling. These teens need support from you to help them understand the things they, themselves, do not understand.

If you are the parent to a teen and notice that your teen shows some or all of these signs, talk to your teen. If they are unable to communicate with you, find someone they feel comfortable talking to. Do not take their silence as an insult. These teens are so worried about upsetting you that they hold it all in.

When becoming a parent, anything and everything is done to protect the new baby. Teens still need the same protection.

If you are a friend that notices these signs, please try to communicate your concerns. If that gets you no where, reach out to an adult.

It is important that we all take action for these teens we love, to help them emerge from their dark cocoon. to grow their wings; and become a butterfly.

#thinkofthebutterfly

~ Nova

xo

References:

Framingham, J. (2016). Teenage Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/teenage-depression/

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012). Teen Depression. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/teen-depression/home/ovc-20164553?p=1

{ Comments are closed }

Understanding Link Between Mental Illness and Drug Addiction

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

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

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

Determining one's vulnerability to co-occurring disorders

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

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

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

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

Diagnosis and treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Road to recovery

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

{ Comments are closed }

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

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

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

Insomnia is symptom of depression

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

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

Depressed people less likely to participate in studies

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

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

Older patients may not be getting required treatment

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

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

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

Not easy to diagnoseose depression

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

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

Depression is treatable

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

{ Comments are closed }

It Is Heartbreaking to Inherit Depression – Ways to Avoid It

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

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

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

Helping children from families with a history of depression

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

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

Learning coping strategies to deal with depression

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are not destined to be depressed

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

{ Comments are closed }