Feb 212011

What is mild depression?

Sufferers of mild depression experience many of the same depression symptoms as those who experience major depression episodes, but the symptoms in mild depression are not as severe, and do not persist as long.  Mild depression is extremely common, affecting nearly everyone at some point in their lives.

Mild depression symptoms

The symptoms of mild depression may be mistaken for normal mood swings; the difference between a bad or gloomy mood and mild depression is the duration of the symptoms.  Mild depression symptoms may last for a week or more; if your symptoms last for longer than two to four weeks, you may have more severe depression.

Here are some of the warning signs of mild depression:

  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in social interaction
  • Changes in appetite (either loss of appetite, or excessive cravings)
  • Discontinuing formerly enjoyable activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Low estimate of your self-worth, often accompanied by self-anger
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Frequent mild illness
  • Sleep habit changes – either significantly more or less sleep than is normal
  • Decreased performance and engagement at work
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Changes in financial habits
  • Frequent anger or irritability
  • Apathy or lethargy


Treating mild depression

Antidepressant medication is generally not effective for mild depression (and is of debatable utility in alleviating the symptoms of major depression as well).  In addition to consulting with your physician, you should thoroughly research any depression medication you’re considering.  It’s generally best to attempt holistic treatment of depression symptoms for 60 days before resorting to medication.  Effective results are frequently achieved by a combination of the following treatment methods:

  • Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue contributes dramatically to mild depression.
  • Exercise regularly. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes per day, exercise facilitates chemical changes that remove stress and depression hormones and replace them with the “well-being” hormones, endorphins.
  • Eat healthy foods. Avoid starches and sugars for their hyperinsulin effects.  Eat balanced, fresh, non-processed foods.  Avoid fast food.
  • Moderate caffeine intake. Caffeine may be helpful in small doses, but contributes to irritability and malaise in larger doses.  And caffeine interrupts healthy sleep patterns.
  • Engage in creative activity. Writing, painting, playing music, and other creative activities recruit nonverbal parts of the brain, which has been shown to re-center the emotional state.
  • Make the changes you’ve been putting off. Often we make binding arrangements that come to suit us poorly over time.  We feel that we can’t change them (which is false), and the feeling of powerlessness can lead to depression.  Have the courage to make the relationship, professional, or other personal change you’ve been avoiding.
  • Stop alcohol and drug consumption. Depressants and other drugs wreak havoc on your emotional system and brain chemistry, and dramatically degrade sleep quality.  Avoid them altogether.
  • Begin a guided meditation practice.  Depression is a mental, physical, and biochemical disorder, and treating all aspects of the disorder is an important part of conquering its symptoms.  Because your thoughts create chemical and hormonal responses, recovering from depression is aided dramatically by positive mental imagery exercises.

When to seek professional help

While many people experience symptom relief through the steps mentioned above, it’s important to recognize when you should seek professional help with your depression symptoms.  You should call your medical provider if you experience any of the following:

  • You have frequent thoughts of suicide
  • You have three or more depression symptoms, and they have persisted for longer than two to four weeks
  • You feel a medication you are taking might be responsible for your depression symptoms.  (Note:  DO NOT stop taking your medications without first consulting your doctor.)
  • You feel you should cut back on your drinking, a family member has asked you to reduce your alcohol consumption, or you drink alcohol first thing in the morning.
  • You feel you might be a danger to yourself or someone else.


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Other Forms of Depression

Some forms of depression have specific biochemical linkages, and are somewhat independent of other positive or negative factors in our lives.  The following three types of depression are examples:

  • Postpartum depression (PPD) strikes a surprising number of women every year.  Roughly half of all new mothers report feeling mild to moderate postpartum depression, with up to 8% experiencing more severe symptoms.  Often described using the somewhat dismissive term “baby blues,” the disorder has begun to receive the proper medical attention it deserves.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of mild to moderate depression that arises as a result of the relationship between sunlight levels and the brain’s production of stress and happiness hormones.  As long summer daylight hours and warm weather give way to shorter, colder, darker days change the way the pineal gland regulates the body’s balance of melatonin, serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters.  Increased sunlight exposure during these times can be helpful.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) strikes women around one week prior to menstruation, and abates after menstruation completes.

Causes of Mild Depression

Depression can arise as a result of a number of factors.  Because mild and severe depression result from complex interplay of emotions, mental state, and physical/hormonal activity, a number of situations can contribute to, or be precursors for, your depression symptoms:

  • A major change in life circumstances, whether those major changes might be considered positive or negative.
  • An abusive or troubled relationship.
  • Alcohol or drug use, especially daily.
  • Medical conditions, especially those requiring extensive treatment or with a potential life-shortening consequence (such as cancer treatment)
  • Lack of sleep
  • Financial difficulty
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job or career
  • Lack of exercise
  • Isolation, a particularly common form of depression for elderly people separated from friends and family
  • Sudden change in a family situation, such as when grown children leave the home


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Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Sep 182011

People who have social anxiety disorder fear a variety of social situations. Regular daily interaction with people is uncomfortable for someone with the disorder. People who have social anxiety may feel self-conscious or judged by others. They may begin to shake, blush and sweat when they in are in social situations.

Social anxiety (aka social phobia)is basically a fear of being negatively evaluated by others which leads to feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, inadequacy and depression. People who become anxious in a variety of social situations, but feel comfortable when they are by themselves may have social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety or social phobia is a common disorder that affects many people around the world. Millions of people suffer from the traumatic and devastating problem each day. People with general anxiety disorder may also have trouble socializing with people, especially strangers.

People with anxiety problems can undergo cognitive behavioral therapy to alleviate some of their uncomfortable symptoms. According to research, cognitive behavioral therapy is highly effective, producing permanent positive changes in people’s lives.

Though SAD can be overcome, it takes persistence and consistency. With the exception of cognitive problems caused by disease, everybody with social anxiety disorder can make progress. Effective therapy sessions for those with social anxiety will teach someone how to manage their irrational thoughts so that eventually their neural pathways will be altered. Since the brain is continually learning new information, it is able to change during this cognitive process.

Successful therapy sessions will offer specific strategies to help people overcome social anxiety by helping them to change their thoughts and beliefs (cognitive), as well as doing behavioral practice in different social situations. When people with SAD practice the techniques that they learn in therapy they will experience a change in their thoughts, emotions, perceptions and beliefs.

Anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, can be treated by a specialist who understands the disorder and knows how to properly treat it. People should find a psychologist or psychiatrist that has experience treating people with social anxiety disorder. Those with SAD should find a professional counselor that is friendly and welcomes any questions they may have about their disorder or treatment plan.

Aug 112011

Chances are that you have never heard of the monkey hypothesis. It has influenced retailing today, as well as marketing, so let’s take a detailed look at it. It is also relevant for anyone who desires to stop drinking alcohol cold turkey to be aware of.

Because primates (that would be monkeys) back in the day relied so heavily on fruit as a component of their diet, Robert Dudley at Berkeley came up with the premise that these creatures developed a taste and predisposition for alcohol. This has some logic, since ripened fruit could, of course, get a little bit fermented out in the wilds of the tropical jungles. Fruit sugars could easily be found to have become ethanol alcohol.

The animals would find it by smell (monkey sniff test), and from past experience would know that there was a little bit of ripe fruit and maybe a bit of a buzz inside.

So the idea is that over millions of years we had both fruit and this bit of alcohol in our tastes and and diet because of the monkey world, and then because of our evolving human ancestors.

Humans have lost their taste for excessive fruits in the diet, but monkeys are still right there with it. They still have a taste for fruit with a one percent or so alcohol component.

As far as marketing, we have seen that companies who are in the beverage industry have taken advantage of this early taste for fruit and alcohol. Fruit flavored waters have experiences a surge in growth. Although they are essentially calorie free and without fruit, the fruit taste is extremely popular. Beverages with a wee alcohol component have also enjoyed popularity.

If you are looking to be not drinking or consuming alcohol as a lifestyle choice, you need to be aware that small quantities of alcohol may be included in sweet drinks and beverages. These are often targeted at young people, or those who are not buying hard liquor. Stay away from these beverages if you are wanting to stop drinking alcohol.

Aug 102011

Many people think that depression is just a normal and passing feeling of sadness. They think that it is something that is not serious and can be shaken off the shoulder. depression hurts – It hurts the person affected by it and it affects all other people that are connected to the affected individual. People should understand the impact of depression and the tremendous burden it brings to the family. it is important to understand this so that people know and understand the importance of getting treatment when there is someone in the family suffering from it. depression comes in several forms and differs in severity, so treatment and approach can vary from case to case.

What every person should know about depression is that how to overcome depression without medication is something that is with everyone’s reach. Some types of depression can be treated without medication, especially if the onset is mild. Counselling and anti-depression therapies can alleviate the symptoms and help the person to recover from the cause, event, or experience that has triggered the depression. But for cases wherein depression is triggered by a predisposing factor such as having an imbalanced serotonin level in the brain, the approach for this type of depression must be through the intake of medication that will correct the imbalance. The type and severity of depression cannot always be determined by the layman, diagnostic tests are generally needed to classify the depression and allow the psychiatrist to determine the type of treatment that should be employed.

Depression affects a lot of people in the world today. People should understand that this disorder is something serious and needs serious medical attention. If a depressed person is left untreated, the depression can worsen gradually until such a time when it becomes a serious mental illness.

Jul 252011

Antidepressants are usually the first medications prescribed by the doctor after you have been diagnosed with depression. Even though these medications have been found to be effective for many depressed individuals, most of these people also suffered from the side effects, such as losing interest in sex and gaining weight. Many people do not want to experience the side effects of taking antidepressants and they are opting for antidepressant alternatives. What are the some of the alternatives to antidepressants? Are they safe to use? These are some of the common questions asked by people that are presented with new treatments. Answers to these questions are presented below:

What are some alternatives to antidepressants?

1.      St. John’s Wort: This is an herb that has long been used for treating depression. You can find this in many forms such as tablet and capsule form. This is considered a good alternative to antidepressants because it contains hyperirin. Hyperirin prevents the formation of monoamine oxidaze, which is connected with depression.

2.      Sam-e: S-adenosylmethionine or Sam-e is a good antidepressant alternative because it contains a natural compound from our body called methionine, which is linked to our mood by the production of more serotonin in our brain.

3.      Exercise: Exercising is good for any person suffering from disease. It is also good for depression because it can increase the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. This can help a depressed person feel good about his self, be inspired, and also boost his self confidence.

4.      5-HTP: If you suffer from mild to average depression signs and symptoms, then this alternative is good for you because it is converted to serotonin and affects our mood.

5.      Omega-3 Fatty Acids: This may be fat, but this is an essential fatty acid because it helps in regulating the function of the brain. This can also produce serotonin and will make depressed people enhance their mood.

Are these alternatives safe? Yes, these alternatives to antidepressants are considered to be safe if taken properly. You should consult with your doctor first before taking anything, so that your doctor can help you choose the right alternative for your disorder.

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Jun 282011

There are some key ingredients that make up a happy life.  You can start by considering these tips.

The first key to being happy is to avoid making comparisons between yourself and other people.  There will always be people who have more material possessions, success, and personal attributes than yourself.  Comparing yourself to others leads to dissatisfaction and envy.  Instead, appreciate the good fortune you do have, and everything that makes you unique.  Appreciation, satisfaction, and contentment are signs of a good life.

Second, develop a balance between satisfaction with your present-day life and goals for your future.  This is not as difficult as it may sound.  Think of the future as a journey that begins today.  Find something each day which brings you happiness, while making reasonable plans to reach future goals.

Third, realize that nothing is ever perfect.  Learning to appreciate little things will result in a deeper sense of satisfaction in general.  When you ask yourself what makes you truly happy, you may be surprised to see how much joy is already around you every day.  Avoid taking anything for granted.  Look at all the people, places, and things in your everyday world as being meaningful and important.  Instead of demanding perfection, you can acknowledge the goodness in everyone and everything.

Next, do something nice each day.  If you want to be genuinely happy, do not limit it to only yourself.  Small favors and acts of kindness toward others can bring you more happiness than you realize.  However, when doing for others, do not forget yourself.  Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy life, and treat yourself to something special.  While a happy life is not all play, it is still meant to be enjoyed.  Every new day will be a blessing, ready to bring you happiness.

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Jun 272011

Meditation is a hot buzzword today.  This is not simply because it is trendy, but rather because it is incredibly necessary.   As a culture we are the busiest we have ever been in our lives it is a wonder that we are not breaking down sooner then later.  It is a wonder our health is holding up as well as it is and that we have as many families together as we do.  Our choice to be busy is actually a fundamental problem to the overall health and wellness of our society on a whole and meditation is helpful in addressing some of the symptoms we face from being overworked and too full.

If you have determined that starting meditation is something that you want to do then make a commitment to begin right away and don’t delay.  Even a smaller commitment of 10 to 20 minutes a day is more powerful then nothing at all and it is enough to get you going in the right direction.  It is also sufficient for you to start noticing some fundamental internal changes.

Buddhist meditation for beginners is one of the all time most popular and powerful meditations out there.  This meditation, known as mindfulness, has centuries of practice behind it and is effective in all conditions and circumstances.  There is a saying – Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.  After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.  This is the very essence of this meditation as it is about be present to each moment, which keeps one free from worry and concern about the past and future.  It can be performed through any activity no matter your state or location.

Chakra meditation for beginners is another great first meditation to consider.  This meditation focuses on the body, which may be very good for someone who is highly visceral or physical in nature.  If there is a body connection to the meditation it can be helpful for that individual to keep their attention on the mediation. This process is also very stimulating for the body on a whole.

If neither of these options appeals to you or has been working well then you can consider this third route.  Buy a meditation audio and then plug in.  Yes, it is more of our technological world at your fingertips, but it can still be of tremendous benefit to giving your mind a needed rest.

The time invested in your meditation practice will more then repay itself to you in the long run, with increased peace and calm through your daily living.

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Jun 192011

Do you ever  feel unmotivated or feel like your living under a black cloud or fighting against a mighty upward stream then it could be that you are suffering from depression. Virtually most people have felt low at some point in their life, but it becomes out of hand when that mood just wont lift, research has shown that at least one in five between the age of 35 to 50 will suffer from depression at some point in their life and that twice as many women then men will suffer from depression, which could be a lot to do with hormonal imbalances. It is believed that depression will be the leading cause of sickness from work by 2020.

Depression is a very difficult state of mind to deal with, symptoms can range from feeling isolated and being misunderstood to feeling sad for no apparent reason.  Lack of motivation and an interest in anything are also a big sign and an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness as though nothing inspires you. Depression can also manifest itself into physical symptoms such as not caring about your appearance or personal hygiene if left untreated.   When we feel low we usually turn to the doctor for help, but unfortunately most doctors have little time to spend with their patients so they are unable to get to the root of the problem and as a result end up writing out a prescription for the quick fix anti depressant treatment with little diagnosis, but often this can be a downward spiral as though actually confirming that you really do suffer from depression, making  you feel that the only way to deal with your symptoms is through anti depressants, but although drugs temporarily mask the symptoms they don’t hide the pain.

So what is the answer you might ask, what or who is there to inspire me now when I need it most to guide me back on the path to well being. Fortunately there are a number of natural alternatives that may help to improve depression, for instance St Johns Wort and Valerian are both herbs that have a great affinity with treating the symptoms of depression, it is advisable to source the help of a good naturopath before embarking on this treatment, as they will be able to offer you the best advice and guidance and monitor your progress, adjusting your prescription accordingly to suit your needs.  One of the problems for those with depression is the feeling of isolation as though you have to go through the hard times alone,  finding a support network in your area will help to face your demons and share your experience with others who can offer you healthy inspiration.

Disentangling the web of depression is the most important aspect of treating depression, obvious reasons are stressful life events such as moving house, money worries, bereavement through to the less obvious such as lack of essential nutrients and medical or physical problems.  The most important way to deal with depression is to talk about it with someone else, whether that be a friend or a professional, finding a confidante who will offer you support is going to be key when it comes to guiding you back on the path to well being.

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Jun 052011

Taking care of your brain health must be your priority, too. With all the functions the brain has to do, you will benefit a lot out of having a perfectly healthy brain. The good news for you is that there are certain vitamins that will help you in making sure your brain will be at its best. Here are three important vitamins for the brain and how they can be of help to your mental health:

  1. Vitamin D. Do you know that vitamin D deficiency can increase a person’s chances of developing a depressive mood, especially in people 65 and older? On the other hand, good vitamin D levels in the body can improve memory and information processing. Hence, vitamin D is found out to be one of the key vitamins for memory enhancement. This vitamin is produced by the human body once the skin is exposed to sunlight. There are also some foods such as oily fish that contain this essential brain vitamin.
  1. Folic Acid or B9. One study showed that taking 800 micrograms of folic acid for three years can slow down cognitive decline. It can also preserve the memory in people 50 to 70 years old. A lot of supplements these days contain folic acid and this vitamin can also be obtained from foods such as spinach, strawberries, whole wheat bread, lentils, broccoli, peas, grapefruit, bananas, and asparagus.
  1. Vitamin A. More than memory, Vitamin A is also attributed towards aiding proper brain functioning, particularly learning. Vitamin A affects the brain cell activity linked to memory and learning. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A include liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, fortified milk, egg yolks, and cantaloupe.

Getting enough of these three essential vitamins can be a major help to your healthy brain functioning. However, keep in mind that having all these vitamins in the body is not enough towards optimal brain performance. You must work your way towards getting a balanced meal all the time and proper exercise for great brain function.

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Jun 032011

If you are an alcohol drinker or if you know someone who is an alcohol drinker within your circle of friends or family, then it would be best for you develop a good degree of awareness of the negative effects of binge drinking. The fact of the matter is that a lot of untimely deaths result out of alcohol poisoning as well as from extreme symptoms of alcohol withdrawal each year. This is mostly due to a lack of awareness of the different symptoms related to chronic alcohol abuse and what are the danger signals that might indicate that someone is suffering from acute alcohol intoxication and not from a simple hangover.
With awareness of the different symptoms of alcohol poisoning as well as that of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, you could save a life by merely calling an ambulance or the nearest poison control center in a timely manner. Many people who have died from alcohol poisoning related complications could have been saved if only someone had been around to call the emergency number and seek immediate medical attention for the victim. The fact of the matter is that alcohol poisoning need not be fatal as long as the victim is treated as soon as possible. The problem with alcohol poisoning is that the individual himself may deny that he has a problem and become uncooperative if his peers attempt to take him to the hospital. If the people around the victim are unaware of which symptoms might constitute alcohol poisoning, they may choose to ignore his plight if he has seemingly fallen asleep. The problem is that the victim may never awaken again. Alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream even after the victim of alcohol poisoning has actually stopped drinking alcohol. Once the alcohol concentration in the bloodstream has reached a certain amount, the body’s systems will just automatically shut down just like an electrical circuit overload.

Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression

Jun 032011

Alcohol has a negative effect on the neurons of the brain. You might have heard of the question “does alcohol kill brain cells?” the answer would be no. Research has proven that brain cells are not destroyed through drinking alcohol. However, alcohol can still damage the brain as it is the main target of alcohol.
When a person gets drunk you can noticed that the brain is mostly affected resulting to slurred speech, blurred vision, imbalance in walking, and changes in behavior. Years of alcohol abuse can cause neurological damage to the brain since the neurons are mostly affected. Neurons are important because they are the one that transmit messages across the brain. Wernick-Korsakoff syndrome can occur if there is constant excessive consumption of alcohol leading to malnutrition particularly deficiency from thiamine.  Lack of thiamine is not uncommon especially with alcoholic individuals. Common signs and symptoms of this condition are memory problems, confusion, paralysis of eyes, lack of coordination and memory loss.
Alcohol also has a sedating effect which would prompt the brain to release hormones to compensate. Constant alcohol consumption makes the body adjust its own chemistry to compensate with the effects of alcohol. And if there is a sudden abstinence of alcohol consumption withdrawal symptoms of alcohol can occur. Alcohol withdrawal can be tolerable if it is mild to moderate symptoms but severe alcohols symptoms post a threat to a person’s life since one can die from alcohol withdrawal.
In addition the brain is not the only one affected or gets damage from severe alcohol consumption. Other parts of the body can also be damage such as the liver and the heart.  Knowing the fact that alcohol does not kill brain cell doesn’t mean that it is acceptable to abuse alcohol. Alcohol can still damage the brain and can kill you in many ways.

Depression and mental health resources

Cure for depressionOvercome depressionDepression statisticsMild depressionHow to cure depressionAlcohol and depressionIs depression hereditary? – Beating depression