Depression: What, How And Why

Depression, technically, is the mood that goes hand in hand with sadness, disappointments, frustrations, heartaches and the like. But depression is more than just feeling down in the dumps. Depression is an illness that could lead to more dreadful psychological problems or even suicidal tendencies. Depression as an illness has greater intensity of sadness. It also has longer duration. A person may claim to be depressed but would feel better within a couple days, but one with real depression illness goes more than two weeks being depressed. Depression disorder has severe symptoms and functional disabilities than is normal.
Depression: What, How And Why

Signs of Depression in Men
How Men Can Cope With Depression Caused by Pattern Baldness

Depression in Women – Signs and Symptoms
Helping a Severely Depressed Child

High-Risk Depression States in the US
Risk of Stroke Higher Among Depressed People
Supermoms Prone to Depression?
Positive and Negative Effects of Depression on a Person’s Quality of Life
Depression in Elderly People

How Do You Know if It’s Postpartum Depression?
Yoga – Fight Depression Naturally
How to Deal with Depression Effectively
Depression in Elderly: Some Coping Strategies
An Overview of Minor Depressive Disorder

Use of Neurofeedback for Treating Depression
The Early Symptoms of Depression
Know the Signs of Teenage Depression
A Diet Recommended For Seasonal Affective Disorder
Are You Depressed?

Getting the Blues during Winter? It Could be Seasonal Affective Disorder
Terrifying Side Effects of Antidepressants
Kinds of Depression Experienced by Women

What triggers depression is not definite. It may be because of genetics; those with a family background are more vulnerable to depression. Traumatic experiences could also be the cause of depression, such as abuse, break ups, death of a loved one, rape or bullying, whether it is recent or from childhood. Shy personalities, low self-esteem, and anxiousness can also contribute more to depression.

How do you know that the simple “blues” is far off than it may seem? Here are some indicators: feeling hopeless and helpless that it seems no one could ever understand you, feeling guilty and always blaming yourself for every unfortunate circumstance, and even the lack of excitement and pleasure on the things you usually enjoy.

You may also lose weight because of lack of appetite or in contrast over-eat and gain weight. Lack of or difficulty in sleeping is also a symptom. Brushing off any thoughts of social interaction is another symptom. In the darker stages of depression, thoughts about ending your life may surface.

There are various types of depression: Bipolar, Dysthymia, Clinical, Postpartum and Psychotic are just some of the types of depression. Each differs in symptoms and gravity.

Bipolar – This type of depression includes series of manic and depression episodes or sometimes even without the depression episodes. Mood swings are at an all time high. Extreme irritation that may lead to harming themselves and even others.

Dysthymia – A chronic depression that could last up to two years. In contrast with bipolar depression which is constantly shifting from one mood to another, dysthymia has a nearly steady mood in a long run.

Clinical, or also known as major depressive disorder, is one of the most common types of depression. This occurs with most of the symptoms that lasts throughout the day, every day for at least a couple of weeks.

Postpartum – This is the type of depression that occurs after pregnancy. Because pregnancy causes hormonal alterations, it may cause minor symptoms. Although, if not treated immediately, it could lead to psychotic depression which would be accountable for deaths of children.

Psychotic – This type of depression has a more acute depressed mood compared to other types. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions.

Most effective cures for depression are antidepressant medication and therapy. Both are actually better when combined. Guidance of friends and family could prevent worsening of this illness. If symptoms begin to surface, consult a doctor immediately to avoid more grave and serious effects that may eventually lead to psychosis or suicide.

depressed man sitting tired

It’s depressing to know that more than 5 million men suffer from depression each year. Clinical depression, which causes sadness and loss of interest in supposedly pleasurable activities, can affect a person’s quality of life significantly. Are you or someone you know suffering from depression? Here are some signs that can indicate if this is so. If you confirm this, it’s a must for you or that person to get professional help immediately.

Fatigue is one of the most common signs of depression. It is more prevalent among depressed men than depressed women. Apart from fatigue, men suffering from depression also experience psychomotor retardation, wherein their physical movements, mental processes, and speech are slowed down significantly.

Excessive or Lack of Sleep
Sleeping problems can also indicate that a person is depressed. Insomnia, sleep deprivation, or excessive sleep can raise a red flag. Some depressed men can still feel exhausted even after 12 hours of sleep.

Body Aches and Pains
Men suffering from this psychological disorder are prone to constipation or diarrhea, headaches, and back pains. Chronic pain and digestive disorders often go together for men who are depressed. This is according to a focus group study done by the National Institute of Mental Health.

While women show signs of sadness and remorse, depressed men on the other hand are known for their irritability. Negative thoughts that pervade their minds often cause them to snap back at other people over the smallest of things that they normally wouldn’t be annoyed or angry about.

Difficulty Concentrating
Since depression can inhibit a man’s ability to process information, depressed men are seen to have difficulties in concentrating on work and tasks. Instead of focusing at the task at hand, a depressed man is more likely to occupy his mind with various negative thoughts.

Men are more likely to admit that they are stressed than depressed. The latter has a social stigma of being an emotional problem, and therefore is perceived as a “woman’s mental problem”. Of course, that’s not the right way of looking at depression. It’s also a must to know that stress can be both a cause and a symptom of this disorder.

Studies show that there is a strong link between depression and various anxiety disorders. Men are less prone to anxiety than women and it’s easier for men to talk about feelings of anxiety than of depression.

Substance Abuse
Since women are able to vent out their negative emotions and thoughts to other people more easily than men, men look for other outlets for their depression. They usually turn to substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol. Males who are depressed are twice more likely to resort to substance abuse problems than their female counterparts.

Sexual Dysfunction
This one is common among both men and women who are depressed. Loss of sexual desire and erectile dysfunction are some effects of this disorder. It’s a vicious cycle since poor sexual performance can bury a person deeper into depression.

top and front pictures of a bald guy's head

Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) refers to the receding of a man’s hairline accompanied by thinning hair at the crown. This is the most common reason for baldness in men. Because hair significantly contributes to the way we look, a male unwillingly experiencing baldness can suffer depression. Knowing how to deal with this kind of depression is important in order to maintain a healthy disposition.

The Problem of Pattern Baldness Depression in Men
Pattern baldness can be caused by several factors. It might be genetics, hormones or something with cells responsible for the production of new hair. Although pattern baldness does not lead to serious physical health risks, it can affect men emotionally. For some men, baldness can be distressing, especially to those who place great value on their appearance.

A receding hairline can be cause for embarrassment and self-consciousness. Distress over a receding hairline can sometimes turn to depression. A depressed male will then feel especially unattractive and inferior. He may avoid society for fear that his baldness will become the butt of jokes. Depression can severely affect a male’s quality of life. If he is unable to deal with the depression, his physical health may ultimately be affected.

Dealing with Pattern Baldness
Because this kind of depression is primarily caused by pattern baldness, most treatments men look for focus on correcting hair loss. Common hair loss treatments include the use of herbs and other natural supplements to decrease hair loss, surgical treatment and Propecia® for pattern baldness in men. Surgical treatment for hair loss refers to hair transplants. Propecia® for male pattern baldness is a medication (generically known as finasteride). In studies involving this drug, nine out of ten men showed positive results, effectively reducing hair loss.

Dealing with Depression
To combat depression and stress caused by male pattern baldness, self-help activities are suggested. These activities include regular exercise, sharing and communication, self-care and volunteering activities. Regularly exercising helps relax both body and mind. It also keeps one from having to think stressful thoughts by focusing on the exercise routine. Being able to share one’s thoughts and worries always lightens one’s emotional burdens. Thus, it is always a wise decision to confide one’s thoughts and unburden one’s mind.

Engaging in a recreational interest or doing something that one is passionate about also helps combat stress and depression. For a man, it is always wise to keep in mind that going bald is not a signal for ending enjoyment in life. There are always other aspects of him to consider, not only the amount of hair on his head.

depressed woman's face

Depression is generally experienced by more women than men. Apart from the general symptoms of depression, women may also experience many other symptoms. Moreover, depression in women mostly occurs between puberty and menopause. Hormones may also play a major role in causing depression in women. Additionally, many social factors contribute to the problem.

Symptoms of Depression in Women
To be diagnosed with depression, women should show at least four out of nine common symptoms. One of the main symptoms is anxiety or sadness for a very long time. They tend to develop negative feelings. Also, women with depression will be very pessimistic with tendency to easily feel very guilty. The common symptoms of depression such as fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, and suicidal thoughts are also observed. Some women may experience loss of appetite, while some others start to overeat. Apart from these, physical symptoms are also seen including body aches, digestive problems and headaches that aren’t relieved with treatment.

Somatic symptoms include muscle or joint pain, headache and abdominal pain. Often women visit their doctor regarding pain or aches somewhere in their body. This type of pain is usually caused by problems with mental health. Moreover, the pain will not be relieved with any kind of treatment unless the underlying problem is identified.

For the normal functioning of the body, some level of anxiety is necessary. However, in depression the level of anxiety is so high that the patient will not be able to do day-to-day activities. The symptoms of anxiety can range from emotional disturbances to physical illnesses. In women, hormones also play an important role in causing anxiety.

Anger and Hostility
Anger and depression are directly connected to each other. Some women express their anger while some others suppress it. Depression is commonly seen in women who express their anger. They are also more prone to developing heart disease later in life. On the other side, suppression of anger is also not good for health. Women with type-A personality have to learn to control their anger, which can lead to depression. Anger management courses may help. Being optimistic towards life is also a great help.

Atypical Depression
The main symptoms of atypical depression are weight gain and excessive sleeping. Women with depression tend to eat more, and they gain weight. Some women may also experience excessive sleeping due to fatigue. In both cases, the underlying reason will be depression. Women taking anti-depressants may also see a tremendous increase in their weight.

severely depressed boy

When a person experiences low moods and a dislike for engaging in activities that are considered to be fun or pleasurable, it is said that the person is in a state of depression. A depressed person may exhibit several symptoms, including weight loss, fatigue or feelings of restlessness, and sadness. In the most serious cases, a severely depressed person can be suicidal.

Although depression most commonly affects adults, there are instances where a child can also affected. Parents who have concerns about whether their child is severely depressed should seek help from an expert.

Reasons for Depression in Children
There are a number of reasons why a child can be depressed. Genetics can be a contributing factor why a child easily experience depression. Exposure to a number of stresses can also trigger childhood depression. Chronic health problems, such as asthma or epilepsy can also contribute. Mental, verbal and physical abuse also causes a child to be severely depressed.

Signs of a Severely Depressed Child
There are a number of telltale factors to suggest that a child is severely depressed. If a child starts to have crying episodes and easily gets frustrated or irritated, he needs to be observed and given attention. If a sudden shift of moods is accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as insomnia, eating disorders or suicidal tendencies, have him checked by a qualified expert. Other signs of child depression include temper tantrums, increased aggressive behavior, stomachaches and headaches.

Treatment for Child Depression
For a child, it is important to take note that denial is possible. A child does not easily figure out his feelings and therefore will have trouble expressing them. Because they do not know what is causing their gloomy moods, they have trouble acknowledging the way they feel and this makes depression even harder for children. To treat a depressed child, psychotherapy combined with psychotropic medications is generally implemented.

Before any form of treatment can begin, it is important that a doctor, or an expert in the field of psychiatry, correctly diagnose the condition. To get a better diagnosis, a psychiatrist who specializes in child depression should be the one to evaluate a potentially depressed child.

An expertise in dealing with children is important because unlike an adult, a child has not yet mastered expressing his feelings. The doctor may need to use different techniques to draw out unexpressed negative feelings. In treating a severely depressed child, having a support system at all times is a big factor in increasing the possibility of successful treatment. When a child feels that he is surrounded and supported by people who deeply care for him, it will help speed up his recovery from depression.

residential area quiet and depressed

You always hear people say that happiness is a state of mind. And that’s true. If you’re not happy here, you can’t be happy anywhere. But it’s also true that there are some places in the country that have higher rates of depression cases.

While personality and circumstances vary from one person to another, it’s believed that poor health care and unsanitary living conditions can contribute to the development of depression disorder. Here’s a look at the top most depressing states in the US.

Arkansas is often number one on the list of most depressing states. It has a very high rate of mental health problems, particularly among young adults. It is for this reason that the first lady of the state, Ginger Beebe, went on a “listening tour”, talking to parents and families of mental illness patients.

Slow economy, high rate of unemployment, and poor mental health care are the reasons Indiana places second on this list. Not to mention, there is also a shortage in psychiatrists due to the state’s very low budget. Because of this, mental health cases are not given the proper attention they require.

Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. It also hits rock bottom on almost every aspect of health care from heart disease to diabetes to mental illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mississippi has the highest rate of depression at 14.8 percent. It also has the third-highest rate of mental stress at 13.5 percent. Depression can aggravate symptoms of chronic diseases.

With its glitz and glamour, it’s hard to imagine Nevada taking a place in this list. Las Vegas, in particular, is known for its gambling and partying that evoke a fun and carefree lifestyle. But what also happens here is the chronic cases of depression. About 1 out of 11 residents of Nevada experiences major depression every year. This is especially true after the economic crisis hit the state. Budget cuts of tens of millions of dollars make matters worse.

Poor mental health along with unemployment and drug abuse contributes to the prevalence of depression in this state. When a person doesn’t have a job to support his/her family, it’s more likely for him/her to succumb to depression than a person who has a well-paying job. The depression and everyday stress can lead to substance abuse.

One look at Oklahoma and you can easily guess the root of depression in this state. Flat barren landscape, weary weather, and high poverty rates are the obvious causes. Apart from these, the state also has very low rates of health insurance coverage. It’s not a surprise that the state’s official rock song is just as depressing. The song entitled “Do You Realize?” by Flaming Lips has lyrics that denote sadness “Do you realize that happiness makes you cry? Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?”

Some parts of Michigan suffer from unemployment rate as high as 20 percent. Joblessness along with other misfortunes contributes to the psychological fallout in the state. Lack of mental health care further worsens the condition.

depressed guy sitting on his bed with his head down

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. About 143,000 of the 795,000 people who suffer from stroke die from it each year.

Stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is cut off due to:
– artery blockage
– hardening of the arteries
– embolism to the brain from the heart (blood-clots from the heart travel to the brain arteries)
– rupture of an artery

According to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are five major signs of stroke and these include sudden onset of the following:

– Numbness or Weakness of the Face, Arm or Leg
This may particularly occur on one side of the body. Sensation and voluntary movement may be partially or completely lost. This is often accompanied by tingling sensation in the affected areas.

– Confusion and Trouble Speaking or Understanding
– Vision Trouble in One or Both Eyes
– Struggle Walking, Nausea, Dizziness, and Loss of Balance and Coordination
– Unexplained Severe Headache

Risk Factors
Countless studies have been done to investigate stroke and the risk factors that make people more prone to it.
It is a common knowledge that some factors make a person more susceptible to stroke, such as:
– obesity
– high blood pressure
– high levels of cholesterol

Another Risk Factor: Depression
Recently, a study showed the depression can also increase the risk of stroke. People who are suffering from this mental disorder are more likely to succumb to stroke than people who are in top mental state. Not only that, the study also noted that their strokes are more likely to be fatal. These findings were published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Compared to hypertension and other health conditions that damage blood vessels, depression is a minor risk factor. However, as high as 4 percent of the average 795,000 stroke cases that take place in the country every year can be attributed to this mental problem.

depressed person's brain with high risk of stroke

An Pan, who is a PhD and a lead author of the analysis and a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said that a person doesn’t have to pay too much attention to stroke risk if he/she doesn’t have any other health issues than depression. But if a person is depressed and at the same time is obese or have hypertension, his/her risk for stroke is increased significantly.

Pan and his research team collected findings of 28 studies from the mid-1990s. These included about 318,000 people. About 2.7 percent of the participants had a stroke during the studies. These studies ranged from two to 29 years.

– Ischemic Stroke
The researchers have found that people who were depressed were 45 percent more likely to have a stroke and 55 percent more likely to die from it. The particular type of stroke that depression increased the risk of is ischemic stroke, a condition in which the blood vessel is blocked and the blood supply to the brain is cut.

Depression is a risk factor for stroke because people who are depressed are more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle habits such as:
– heavy smoking
– drinking
– eating of poor diet

Apart from that, depression can also promote the production of stress hormones that in turn can inflame the blood vessels.

On top of all these, some antidepressants can cause weight gain or obesity, which are known risk factors for stroke.

busy mom dealing with phone call, her kids and the dog

The kids can’t find their socks and they’re late for school. The husband is having a hard time organizing his things and he’s starting to hit his top. The food is not yet ready but they’re almost done. Do not fear, here’s supermom to the rescue! In a matter of seconds, everything will be in order, thanks to the all-powerful, multi-tasking, super-efficient, never-ever-tired supermom!

Truly, the supermom model has become all the rage these days. Many working mothers are striving to hit the perfect balance between home and work. They juggle their time in perfect sync to be able to perform all tasks expected of them. Most of these tasks seem too complicated and too varied for a normal human being. Thus, the term supermom was coined.

Just recently, a study was done on “supermoms”. It was found that while working mothers are less likely to go into depression than those who stay at home, those who have higher expectations of themselves are the ones most likely to be depressed.

Having a job is necessary to improve a mother’s overall mental health and well-being. It’s actually a good thing not only for the mother but for the entire family as well. This is according to the lead researcher Katrina Leupp from the University of Washington Sociology Department. However, those who wanted to be “perfect” at both their careers and home are more susceptible to depression.

The study, which analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Labor, included 1,600 married women whose average age was 40 in 2006. These women who were surveyed in 1987 while they were still in their 20s, gave their insights about working mothers. Those who supported combining career and motherhood had greater risk of depression than those who thought that women are meant to stay at home to raise the children.

Guilt Feeling
It’s not clear why but those who had expectations linked with the supermom myth are more prone to feeling guilty whenever they have to make sacrifices such as leaving work early to pick up the kids or miss the child’s program at school to attend an important meeting at the office. The feelings of guilt and sadness over these sacrifices can be considered the root of the depression that supermoms may experience.

busy mom on the phone and watching her child

The danger also lies in the fact that some of these women have too much expectations of themselves. It’s very important for every working mother to accept the reality that balancing work and family is a big challenge. That would lessen the possibility of feeling guilty or unsuccessful whenever you fail to devote as much time as you like to either of the two.

Time For Yourself
Moreover, it’s also crucial to include oneself in the picture. Many supermoms see their lives divided into two: family and career. They usually miss out on an important ingredient and that’s oneself. It’s a must to include some “me” time. Give yourself a break to do things that you enjoy. Go out with your friends once in a while. Invite your hubby for a dinner date. Enjoy a long warm bath. Never feel guilty about giving time for yourself. A happy mom is a much better mom than a supermom who’s not happy.

depressed guy sitting in his dark bedroom

Depression Promotes Analytical Reasoning
Depression, as unusual as it may sound, has a positive effect on a person’s life. According to a research published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, depression promotes analytical reasoning required in completing complex tasks. This is despite of the findings that depression symptoms interfere with people’s cognitive functioning. This is the reason why some depressed people turn out to be successful once they are able to overcome the depression.

Now if all depression cases have a happy ending like this then it would have been great. Unfortunately, more often than not, depression has negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health. Here are some ways on how depression can take a toll on a person’s quality of life.

Health and Hygiene Suffer
A common sign and effect of depression is sleep deprivation. When you’re not sleeping well, you won’t only lack the energy you need for the next day, your immune function will also drop significantly and make you more susceptible to ailments. This is why, people with depression commonly have other health problems that make them even more depressed.

Another thing that can wane a depressed person’s health is unhealthy habits. Many people undergoing depression turn to alcohol and drugs in hope that these can help them escape troubles and negative thoughts. Drugs and alcohol are addictive and people can develop dependence on them. Apart from that, these can also take a toll on a person’s physical health.

Deterioration in personal hygiene is also prevalent among people who are depressed. It’s typical for people with this condition to refuse to take a bath, comb their hair, or wash their clothes. They feel they have no reason to clean up. This and lack of sleep are both detrimental to a person’s health. Not to mention, depressed people also don’t have the appetite to eat so they don’t get the nutritional value they need to stay in top shape.

Professional Life Suffers
A person’s career can also be harmed by depression. When you’re depressed, you find it extremely difficult to maintain the same level of productivity and enthusiasm that you had for work before. Because of this, people who are depressed are not able to meet deadlines, attend meetings, and accomplish tasks, especially when under pressure. Their poor performance affects their already low self-esteem and this buries them deeper into depression.

Relationships Suffer
Apart from health, hygiene and career, relationships of depressed people are also affected greatly. A depressed spouse finds it hard to fulfill his/her partner’s emotional needs since he/she cannot even fill up his/her own. A depressed parent struggles with the responsibilities of tending his/her children. The family is filled with negative emotions like remorse, guilt, self-hatred, and many more. It’s not just the relationship with the family that is affected but so is a person’s relationship with friends, neighbors, coworkers, and so on.

It is for these negative effects that a person with depression needs to seek professional help immediately.

depressed old man

What Triggers Depression in Elderly People?
Depression, a common chemical imbalance occurring in the brain, is caused and deepened further among seniors by these additional problems:

• Current physical condition or disease – deteriorating health problems dampen their feelings.

• Lack of mobility – not being able to travel alone or work worsens their melancholy.

• Death of a loved one – losing a spouse, sibling or relative causes a major emotional hardship.

• Being thrown or admitted into a caregiver home or institute – it deepens the sadness they feel due to the isolation from their family.

• Living alone – being away from their loved ones makes them feel sad.

All of these situations cloud their feelings and lead them to depression that may last for a long time if proper care and attention are not provided.

How Worse Can It Get?
Detecting depression among seniors is hard. Symptoms like insomnia or lack of appetite are common signs of aging-related health problems. It is not bad to feel depressed sometimes but prolonged melancholy leads to complications such as heart disorders, chronic insomnia and other vascular diseases.

Studies show 30% of people aged 65 years and up are suffering from clinical depression but they can be easily treated if detected early. Undetected and severe depression may lead to suicide.

How to Help Depressed Patients?
On the other hand, a figure of 90% of people suffering from depression is curable. Treatment is often successful even in the most serious cases. The immediate attention given to its early detection is most helpful. Medication or therapy is implemented by doctors on depression patients, yielding great results.

Following are main types of antidepressants commonly administered:

– Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

– Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

– Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

– Bupropion

– Mirtazapine

– Trazodone

Therapeutic meditation is also receiving great attention by health professionals these days due to its high success rate.
Meditation tabs into the power of the mind to achieve a peaceful state. It enables the brain to think clearly, de-cluttering from negative thoughts. It is a beneficial method to answer the problems of seniors concerning depression.

If you feel your mother, grandmother, or any senior loved one is under depression, reach out and seek for help today. Consult an expert for the right solution.

depressed mom with her baby

Your baby won’t be called a bundle of joy without a good reason. A baby can bring heaps of happiness to parents and family, especially the mother who for nine months carried this little being inside her womb. If not for the pain of childbirth, you’d probably see moms jumping up and down with joy once they see their cute angels.

But do you know that on the other side of this joy and delight lies a dark area where a condition called postpartum depression exists?

What is Postpartum Depression?
Many moms, especially new ones, experience baby blues, mood swings, and crying spells during the first days after childbirth. These can be due to the pain or suffering they’ve gone through or the fear of being responsible for another human being. Normally, these negative emotions fade away in time, particularly, after they’ve gotten into the mantra of being a jolly mom. When they don’t face away, the condition becomes what they call postpartum depression.

A mother with postpartum depression may begin to act strangely, have delusions about things that aren’t there, and even pose danger to herself and her little one. She would also feel extreme sadness, anxiety, emptiness and hopelessness. She would lose pleasure in things that used to make her happy and excited. She would have trouble concentrating, eating or sleeping.

This condition is caused primarily by the changes in the hormone levels after pregnancy. It can also occur after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or many months after giving birth to a healthy baby. Postpartum depression is more common in women who have had this condition before, who lack support from spouse/family/friend, who have babies that are prone to sickness and colic, who undergo high levels of stress in life, or who have relatives that have bipolar or manic depression disorder.

In rare cases, women would have negative thoughts of harming their babies. Most of the time, these are not urges but simply fleeting thoughts like “what if I accidentally dropped my baby?” or “I won’t be able to forgive myself if I make my baby eat spoiled food”. The mother may become so distraught about these negative thoughts that she may be prompted to suicide just to avoid harming her little one.

Fortunately, postpartum depression can be prevented. To minimize the effects of hormonal changes and stress of parenthood, ask all the help you can get. This would enable you to get the right amount of sleep and rest you need to stay in the pink of health. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet so you’ll have the energy required as a mother. Exercising shouldn’t be left out of the picture as well since physical activity doesn’t only make you stronger but also boosts your mood by releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain called serotonin.

Stay away from alcohol and caffeine that would only throw you off the track of wellness. If you are at high risk of postpartum depression such as if you have family history, it is a must to inform your doctor immediately. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

woman meditating to fight depression

Depression, also called Mood Disorder, affects a person physically and mentally. It interferes with the day to day functioning of life and activities while inviting other forms of the syndrome as well. Battling depression is not an easy task. Although there are several medications that can help you to control depression, many individuals look for alternative ways to fight it. Those who are suffering from mood disorder need to know that they can fight depression with yoga besides relying on medicines to overcome it.

What Triggers Depression?
Before you undergo any treatment, it is necessary to know and understand the causes and symptoms that are responsible for depression.

Main causes of depression are: change in lifestyle, environmental surrounding, unhealthy diet, loss of interest, aches and pains with sleepless nights

Sometimes depression may lead to serious diseases such as obsessive–compulsion disorder, diabetes, several autoimmune diseases and cardio-vascular diseases. If you want to make yourself physically and emotionally strong and stress-free, it is advisable to include yoga in your daily life style.

If you happen to be among those who are suffering from depression then it is advisable to fight depression with yoga as it is considered an effective treatment for depression. It will soothe your entire body while having a holistic effect on you.

Why Yoga?
The reason why you should fight depression with yoga is because it helps you feel better physically and makes you emotionally stronger. Yoga is a form of mental and physical exercise. Practicing yoga on regular basis helps an individual to struggle against depression and bring about a positive flow of energy in your life.

Nowadays even doctors recommend yoga as a part of the treatment for depression. Research has shown that if we take depression lightly it can gradually drive a person towards illness. Yoga helps you to fight depression easily and effortlessly. Yoga is the most successful treatment that makes your mind stable and empowers you to control your life.

For a healthy and stress-free life, yoga therapy has been proven to be the most effective way to heal depression. Yoga helps the mind and body to relax completely through its several forms of asanas (sitting body positions). There are several breathing exercises which have positive effect on the body and mind to help you get rid of depression.

There are also several books and audios available in the market and online.

depressed guy sitting on a chair

Depression is a state of mind involving aversion and low mood. It is described as an illness affecting the body, mood and thoughts. Depression is often times misunderstood as being sad or having the blue mood, but depression is more than just that. Sadness and other feelings of discouragement and downfall are normal reactions to certain situations such as struggles and discouragement. In the case of depression, it goes beyond reacting sad or being discouraged. It interferes with one’s day to day ability to work, think, eat, sleep and have fun. The feelings of hopeless and worthlessness are very intense that the things that were once pleasurable to them are not interesting anymore.

Signs and Symptoms
Depression varies from person to person and there are classifications made to specify those types. However there are some common signs and symptoms. These symptoms include loss of interest in daily activities, feelings of hopelessness, loss of energy, insomnia, oversleeping, weight changes, concentration problems, irritability, strong feelings of guilt, worthlessness, chronic fatigue, and unexplained body aches and pains. Depression causes changes in thinking, behavior, feelings, and physical well being. Some cases of depression cause contemplation and attempt of suicide.

Depression is known to be caused by low levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These low levels are triggered by several factors. Drug addiction, diet, aging, medications, illness, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, marital problems, trauma, abuse, and other life’s stressful events are known to cause depression.

How to fight Depression
Treatment and other ways to fight depression are different from person to person. In most cases, a combination of lifestyle changes, emotional support, emotional skills building, and professional help is the best approach to fight depression.

• Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes may be difficult because one will be struggling to take away their old habits. But lifestyle changes can be very effective in fighting depression. Getting regular exercise and sleep, as well as eating healthy will naturally boost one’s mood. It helps in promoting proper circulation and increase low levels of neurotransmitters.

Enrolling in classes that best interest you will help you divert your attention away from stressors. Joining stress management classes and learning relaxation techniques are also helpful in fighting depression.

• Seek Emotional Support
Seeking emotional support from your family, friends or support group is one way to fight and prevent the occurrence of depression. Emotional support helps in fighting depression because it prevents you from being isolated. Isolation is one factor that triggers depression. Having someone to talk to about what you are experiencing will help you release the load of your emotional sufferings. You will also receive feedback from what you shared that will help you discern reality.

• Emotional Skills Building
Many people have problems managing their emotions. They find it hard to balance what they feel and manage stress. You can join support groups or enroll in emotional management classes. What you learn from them is the ability to cope with the stressful life events you are experiencing.

• Seek Professional Help
Many depression treatments are available if you want to seek help from a professional. Professionals are experts in managing depression cases because they have studied it well. Seeking professional help will really be effective in fighting depression. Usually depressed clients are given anti depressant drugs and are recommended to participate in different kinds of therapy. Knowing your options will help you find the right kind of treatment and therapy that are effective for you.

depressed old woman looking outside window

Depression is very common among elderly people. They also have the highest rates of suicide in the United States. Unfortunately, many seniors hesitate to undergo treatment because they do not want to burden their families with the problem or because they can’t admit to themselves that they are undergoing a psychological difficulty. If you have an elderly family member or you’re looking after a senior as a professional caregiver, here are some ways on how you can help cope with depression

One of the most overlooked causes of depression among elderly is lack of communication and interaction with other people. When you grow old and your kids have gone on with their own lives and you don’t see your friends anymore, you’re usually on your own with no one to talk to. That’s when depression can start creeping in. That is why, when you’re around older people, take time to talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling and listen attentively to their stories even if you’ve heard them many times before. This would not only make them happy, but would also make them feel that they’re important. Listening always provides comfort and support.

Look for Signs
Remember that depression is not normal sadness or stress. Depression, which is a psychological problem, involves loss of appetite and loss of interest in activities that a person used to enjoy. Other signs include wringing hands excessively, inability to sit still, agitation, and irritability over the smallest of things. It’s crucial to recognize those signs. An elderly person who is depressed may possibly deny it. In fact, many depressed seniors would always say, “I am not sad” or “I’m not depressed” because they don’t want to worry their family. But if you know these signs, it would be easier for you to know when it’s necessary to get professional help.

Don’t Take Over
It’s a common mistake for family members or caregivers to do everything for the elderly because they want to help out. This is not the right way to do it. What you should do instead is to let older people do what they can do for themselves. This is especially true for depressed older people. If you do everything for them, this will only reinforce their false belief that they are useless, worthless and incapacitated. Remind your elderly that you’re there to help but it would be better if he/she did things on his/her own. Be sure to praise any efforts to reinforce initiative and positive behavior.

Be Patient
Caring for an elderly is very difficult. Many would agree that it’s a lot more difficult to care for an elderly than for a baby. But you have to be very patient. It’s understandable that there would be times when you’d be short on patience because you’re stressed out yourself. Before you snap at your elderly, close your eyes for a moment and put yourself in his/her shoes. Imagine how you’d feel if you were him/her and you have someone bickering at you. You would feel bad right? Doing that for a few seconds before you let out anger or frustration can calm you down.

depressed woman with her head down

Minor Depressive Disorders are often not taken seriously, which can eventually lead to serious consequences in life. It can have a huge impact on everyday life, if not diagnosed early. A minor depressive disorder is quite different from a major depression. Even then, the patient will require treatment at the right time to avoid its progression.

To diagnose a condition as a major depression, it should meet specific criteria. In minor depression, there will not be any expression of symptoms. But, it still needs proper diagnosis and treatment. In reality, the condition is diagnosed only in very few people.

Signs and Symptoms of Minor Depressive Disorder
The diagnosis of minor depression is very difficult, as there will not be any change in behavior like in major depression. More studies are being conducted in this field to make the recognition of the symptoms easier. At present, the same criteria of symptoms for diagnosing major depression are used for minor depression also. The only difference is that out of the total nine symptoms, only 2 to 4 symptoms should be present for diagnosing the condition, whereas major depression will need five or more symptoms. Usually, a person having minor depression will not express any symptom like a depressed mood all the time.

The main symptoms include depressed mood, loss of weight or weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, problems with concentration, decreased interest in doing things, suicidal thoughts, and negative feelings about oneself. In minor depression, 2 to 4 of these symptoms will be present.

Consequences of Minor Depression
Even though the name of the condition is minor depression, in reality it can cause major consequences in one’s life. There isn’t a real difference between minor and major depression. A person having four symptoms of minor depression will be similar to a person having five symptoms of major depression.

This disorder can affect the mental and physical health of a person. These problems can in turn affect the quality of life, making it too restricted. Moreover, it can also affect relationships with friends and family. They will also have financial problems as they may not be able to do any work due to lack of concentration.

The treatments are the same as for that of major depression, and it includes medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. General practitioners must be able to recognize the signs and symptoms, and have the patient referred to a psychiatrist to initiate treatment. Family and friends should also be supportive to achieve the best results. Also, the patient must be ready to accept the treatment and continue it according to the instructions from the doctor.

patient connected to Electroencephalogram Biofeedback

Neurofeedback is a very effective treatment used for depression symptoms. The signs and symptoms of depression vary in different people. But studies have revealed that use of neurofeedback can result in major changes in those who have been diagnosed with depression.

Description of Neurofeedback
In neurofeedback, the brain waves of the patient are changed to get relief from the symptoms of depression. To do this, the wave needs to be charted first by the use of Electroencephalogram Biofeedback (EEG). In this procedure, sensors are placed on the scalp and ears of the patient, and the brain waves are monitored. Based on the feedback obtained, your therapist can then decide how to the change the pattern of the waves to eliminate depression. Some studies show that irregular brain wave patterns in the temporal lobes are one of the ways to detect the presence of depression.

How it Works
When the normal pattern in which the brain waves move changes, people tend to stay away from normal activities. So, instead of being social, they will not be interested in mingling with others. Also, they will show less interest in activities they normally do. When the sensors are connected to the head and the brain activity is marked on a chart, the patient can view the wave patterns on the monitor. This way, they can know what is happening inside their brain.

These brain waves are retrained to change their way of movement. When the waves move in a normal pattern, the patient will get a positive feedback on the screen. This positive feedback encourages the patient to change thinking patterns and thus, the pattern of the waves. When the brain wave is not moving in the right direction, the patient will not receive any positive feedback. Even though it takes a long period to achieve complete recovery, the treatment is very effective. The duration also depends on the severity of the condition. In ADHD, the use of neurofeedback involves the alteration of frequency of brain waves.

Assessing the Benefits
This way of monitoring brain waves is very beneficial. Scientific researchers have evidence to support this. More studies are now being conducted to find out if the use of electronic equipment is enough to cause an improvement in people suffering from the condition. But overall, if you have depression, neurofeedback may or may not work for you. It differs for each and every individual. However, many neurologists are using this technology to treat patients, and many of them receive a positive outcome. More studies will be necessary to use the technology more efficiently.

four depressed people's faces

Depression is one of the most common conditions that affect millions of people around the world. The intriguing thing about depression is how easy it can be to miss spotting the symptoms. Many physicians who treat depression state that one of the hardest things is for the patient themselves to notice that they are suffering from depression. This article focuses on helping an average person know what symptoms to look out for that may indicate they are suffering from major depression.

Perhaps the best way of describing depression is having a general outlook that feels like one is looking through a dark veil. Experts believe that this analogy best explains how depression affects one’s senses. A person suffering from depression may often have their senses dulled. At times, they may completely disregard all the activities that had previously given them great pleasure. Depression is tricky as it manifests slowly. It takes its time to grow and once it is identified, it becomes difficult to get rid off.

Difficulty in Spotting the Early Symptoms of Depression
Spotting the early symptoms of depression is quite difficult. Moreover, there are no blood tests or brain scans that can test for depression. Depression evaluation involves a comprehensive evaluation of signs and symptoms. Some may argue that depression can be tested using brain imaging scans, however, scans are used only to pinpoint physical mood disturbances such as those caused by thyroid disease.

Early Mental Symptoms
So what are the early symptoms of depression? The best sign that a person is suffering from depression is that person’s inability to experience pleasure. Such adults who were once socially outgoing may now isolate themselves from their social circles. These adults may have a need to be left alone for long periods of time. While being left alone may not seem like a major symptom, it may reflect on problems that are more difficult. These include suicidal ideations and overwhelming sadness and pessimism.

Physical Symptoms
There are two main depression symptoms that manifest physically. These are changes in sleep patterns and appetite. Patients who suffer from major depression often have trouble sleeping and exhibit irregular sleeping patterns. In some cases, they may tend to sleep more than usual in an attempt to escape their perception of a hopeless reality. These depressed patients often have trouble with their appetite. In most cases, it is more a case of not eating than overeating.

Clearly, the early signs of depression are quite subtle. One has to be careful to check on these symptoms to avoid depression.

depressed teenage girl

The teenage years are the time of life when we are most vulnerable to depression. The main part of a person’s mental and physical development takes place at this stage. As the number of teenagers affected by depression is increasing in our society, it is important that you should know the signs and take action immediately.

What Causes Depression in Teens?
In modern times, too many responsibilities are imposed on teenagers that most of them fail to handle properly. It is a period of transition from a child’s life to an adult’s life. A number of factors affect their mental health at this stage of life such as decisions about the future, their relationships with peers and society, romantic relationships, and social responsibilities.

All these put extra pressure on their emotional health making them more susceptible to depression. According to a study, almost 20% of teenagers will suffer from depression at some time. But, only a very small number are identified with the condition. So, help reaches very few of them.

Signs of Teenage Depression
Although teenage depression symptoms are very similar to adult depression, the expression will be very different. When adults are depressed, they will be in a sad mood, whereas teenagers will show anger and irritability.

Usually, a diagnosis is made based on the nine major symptoms of depression. If a person presents with a depressed mood along with four symptoms, then they are suspected of having depression. This is then, correlated with many other factors affecting teenagers to reach a conclusion. The nine major symptoms are:

1. Depressed mood. For children and adolescents, this may be irritable mood.
2. A significantly reduced level of interest or pleasure in most or all activities.
3. A considerable loss or gain of weight (change of weight for 5% or more in a month when not dieting). This may also be an increase or decrease in appetite. For children, they may not gain an expected amount of weight.
4. Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia), or sleeping more than usual (hypersomnia).
5. Behavior that is agitated or slowed down.
6. Feeling fatigued, or diminished energy.
7. Thoughts of worthlessness or extreme guilt.
8. Reduced ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions.
9. Frequent thoughts of death or suicide, or attempt of suicide.

Teenagers will also be vulnerable to self mutilation, suicide attempts, violent behavior, and problems at school. They may even run away from home. When they are depressed, teens will not have the ability to cope well with problems and tackle the consequences.

How to Recognize the Signs of Teen Depression
Often, depression in teenagers can be identified by their behavior:

– Most of them will not have any interest in mingling with family and friends.

– They will not be able to concentrate on anything, whether it is studies or sports.

– Also, they look very sad and unhappy all the time.

– Often, they spend most of the time alone thinking about their failures in life.

– They won’t be able to face criticism from anyone and will get irritated very easily. Often, these kids are labeled rebellious, instead of finding out what the real problem is.

Adults have better abilities at hiding their depression, but teenagers don’t. So, it can be easy to recognize the signs.

depressed-looking snowman

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects people mostly during the winter season. However, SAD can also occur when summer changes into fall. As with all other types of depression, a decreased level of serotonin in the body triggers the condition.

Seasonal affective disorder can be treated by:
– antidepressant drugs
– psychotherapy
– phototherapy

A less complex form of these treatments is by watching the food that a sufferer eats. SAD can be controlled by managing the types of food that positively or negatively affect this form of depression.

Foods To Avoid
Basically, foods that contain simple carbohydrates are not recommended for people with SAD. This is because these types of food are easily converted into glucose and causes blood sugar levels to increase in the body. This will, in turn, increase insulin levels in the body and eventually cause the blood sugar level to drop. When blood sugar quickly drops, it will lead to fatigue and low moods.

Examples of food that have simple carbohydrates include:
– sweets
– candies
– white bread
– white rice

As much as possible, also decrease the amount of coffee intake. Caffeinated products also reduce the production of serotonin in the body, causing depression.

Foods To Eat
Foods that help prevent the occurrence of SAD basically contain:
– complex sugars
– essential fats (omega 3 and 6)
– vitamins (vitamin B-12)
– amino acids (tryptophan)
– minerals (selenium and zinc)

These types of food stimulate the body to produce more serotonin and help prevent depression. Examples of recommended foods include:
– fresh vegetables and fruits
– cold-water fish
– brown rice
– potatoes
– broccoli
– pasta
– nuts
– wheat germ
– oysters
– fresh drinking water

The Link Between Vitamin B-12 and SAD
Studies have shown that a decreased level of vitamin B-12 increases the possibility of depression. Vitamin B-12 also helps the production of serotonin in the body. Thus, just like serotonin, an increase in the level of vitamin B-12 in the body reduces the risk of a person from being hit by depression.

Foods that are rich in tryptophan are also rich in vitamin B-12.
Some examples of these foods include:
– meat
– fish
– egg
– poultry

The amino acid Tryptophan is primarily responsible for the production of serotonin. Thus, a diet with good quantities of this amino acid is highly recommended.

depressed guy sitting on the floor of his doorway

It’s actually depressing to know that so many people are undergoing depression right now. About 15 million adults in the United States are currently diagnosed with this psychological problem. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that a large percentage of these people are not getting the help they need. Even though this is a severe illness, it can be treated. A person just needs to get appropriate help.

How do you know if you’re depressed?
Feeling sad from time to time is normal. What isn’t normal is when the sadness doesn’t go away to the extent that the person feels empty and hopeless. The first thing to dwindle in a depressed person is his quality of life. He would lose interest in the things that he used to be passionate for. He would withdraw from friends, feel exhausted all the time, and even refuse to take up employment.

Other significant symptoms of depression include difficulty to focus on even simple and mundane tasks, feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, inability to control negative thoughts, anxiety, and nervousness, loss of appetite or excessive eating, short temper and irritability, sleep deprivation, self-loathing, and suicidal tendencies.

In severe cases of depression, the feeling of hopelessness in a person makes him feel that suicide is the only way to escape the pain. If you or any other person have thoughts about death or suicide, it is crucial to seek help immediately. Talk to a family member or to a doctor.

What Are Treatment Options Available?
There are many effective treatments available for depression.

Psychotherapy combined with drug therapy is the most common form of treatment. Doctors will prescribe antidepressants that work to strengthen the nerve cells that connect parts of the brain. The most common types of drugs for this ailment include SSRIs, like Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. Taking medicines is usually done on a trial-and-error basis, with a doctor prescribing a different medicine if the first one prescribe doesn’t seem effective for you. The effect of an antidepressant usually lasts for weeks or months.

In addition to that, therapy is important for any depression treatment. Even though this doesn’t yield overnight results like the antidepressant medications, therapy has longer lasting benefits. There are various kinds of therapy. A popular one is the cognitive behavioral therapy that enables to you analyze your own thought patterns and teaches yourself how to change them. Therapies can be done in a one-to-one session or in a group session. Keep in mind that all conversations inside a therapy are kept confidential by a licensed therapist.

There are also natural treatments that have been pointed to alleviate depression. These include fish oil, folic acid, St. John’s wort and valerian, among others. But so far, studies are yet to prove the effectiveness and reliability of these forms of treatment.

Moreover, lifestyle changes can also play a role in boosting a person’s mood, thus helping a treatment work better.

depressed woman in winter

If you’re constantly feeling sad whenever winter arrives, you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression caused by changes in season. If you’ve heard of the term “winter blues”, you probably have an idea about this psychological condition. Most people who suffer from this condition experience severe depression during the late fall up to winter time. Only a minimum number get depressed during spring or summer. This condition is most common among young adult women. In North America, it affects 6 out of 100 people.

Causes of SAD
The exact cause of SAD is not known. However, medical researchers theorize that the chemical changes in the brain caused by reduced sunlight may be the reason of the onset of depression. People who live in geographical locations where there is little or no sunlight are more prone to this condition. It may also be caused by genetic factors. Some experts believe that this form of depression runs in the family.

Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of SAD are similar to the general form of depression. People who are suffering from this condition typically experience depressed mood, loss of interest in social activities and favorite hobbies, isolation, fatigue, loss of energy, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. For most people, the symptoms emerge during the same time every year, establishing a familiar cycle pattern. Like most types of depression, SAD also affects a person’s quality of life, hindering her from engaging in activities and impairing relationships with family and friends.

Symptoms may also vary per season. For example, if a person experiences this condition during wintertime, she would be sleeping a lot, craving for sugary and starchy foods, consuming alcohol, feeling irritable, and gaining weight. Those who experience SAD during the summer suffer from weight loss, insomnia, poor appetite, agitation, and anxiety.

For the common form of SAD, which is winter depression, the most frequently used treatment method is the bright-light therapy, which involves exposure to bright artificial light. It is effective in relieving symptoms for about two thirds of people suffering from this condition. A 30-minute daily exposure to a 10,000 lux of bright light therapy device each day can alleviate depression symptoms. Bright light therapy products may be purchased at $200 to $500. These devices include visors, light panels, light boxes, and blankets.

As for prevention, spending at least 30 minutes of your day outdoors can help prevent the onset of this type of depression. Prevention ultimately begins within one’s self. It’s important to maintain a positive outlook in life to reduce the tendency of succumbing to this disorder. Plan for activities that you enjoy, go out with friends, and find time for relaxation activities. It would also be a good idea to exercise regularly since physical activity triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, which are feel-good brain chemicals that are effective for mood boost.

anti-depressant pills

Sadness is a normal part of the range of human emotions. People occasionally go through ordinary ups and downs in mood, due to difficulties, frustrations and disappointments.

Are You just “having the blues” or Clinically Depressed?
Unlike ordinary bouts of sadness, clinical depression involves deeper feelings of emptiness and despair that don’t seem to go away easily. They tend to interfere with a person’s personal life in a more pervasive way. A great percentage of depressed individuals report a certain level of functional impairment in their daily productive activities and social functioning.

Are Antidepressants the Only Option for a Cure?
There is a wide range of behavioral, social, and psychoanalytic therapies that are designed to address clinical depression. In reality, however, majority of depressed individuals are choosing to take antidepressants, thinking that it is the most effective way to alleviate their mood and improve sleep, appetite and concentration. Popping a pill may be seen as a more convenient remedy, but studies are now proving that these drugs may actually cause more harm than good.

What are some of the Harmful Side Effects of Antidepressants?
• Increased risk of suffering a stroke – According to one study, antidepressants have an adverse effect on blood clotting and may increase a patient’s risk of suffering a stroke by up to 45 percent.

• Increased risk of bone fractures – Drugs used to treat depression were found to cause brittleness in the bones, which may lead to spinal fractures and other bone fractures, especially in women. It is because serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is linked to depression, is also involved in bone formation. Therefore, changes in serotonin levels due to medication for depression may also affect bone density.

• Increased risk of stillbirth or birth defects – Another study revealed that mothers who are taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as remedy for depression, were more likely to have a stillbirth, premature delivery, or to deliver babies with low birth weight. The drugs were also attributed to a number of birth defects such as cleft palate.

• Increased risk of type 2 diabetes – Although findings are still inconclusive and a cause-and-effect link is yet to be established, experimental research suggests that there is a clear association between taking antidepressants and developing type 2 diabetes, especially for those who have a higher predisposition for the disease.

• Increased risk of suicidal behavior – While antidepressants are geared towards treating depression, a nasty side effect of antidepressant withdrawal often leads to suicidal ideations and violent behavior.

• Increased risk of immune system disorders – Antidepressants can cause the immune system to become out of whack. SSRIs in particular, may cause serotonin to linger in the nerve junctions, interfering with the normal signals between immune cells of the body.

When the time comes that you feel the need to ask your doctor for an antidepressant prescription, take a moment to consider the risks first and ask yourself if really you’re willing to take that gamble.

depressed woman sitting in her dark livingroom

Depression can severely affect a person’s relationships, social life and self-worth. Although it can affect anyone regardless of age or gender, there are types of depression that are specifically experienced by women only.

The primary reason is that depression is related to bodily and hormonal functions only women are capable of, such as menstrual cycle and pregnancy. For women, knowing how to deal with these kinds of depression is important in order to maintain good emotional, mental and physical health.

Depression before the Menstrual Cycle
A number of women usually feel irritable, sad and tired a few days before the menstrual period. These emotions and physical symptoms, such as tenderness of the breasts, distension of the stomach and headache, are collectively termed as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This type of depression normally goes away after a week. Studies have shown that this syndrome normally occurs in women between 30 to 45 years old and disappears during menopause. In a few cases, premenstrual syndrome has been observed to worsen after childbirth. Women who experience this kind of depression usually show mood shifts, severe irritability, frequent outbursts of anger or rage and exhaustion. Sometimes, when the symptoms occur, this kind of depression affects a woman’s relationship with others.

Contraceptive Pills and Depression
Although there is no solid proof about the connection between pills and depression, there are women who feel depressed after taking contraceptive pills. Basically, the function of a contraceptive pill is to lower the tryptophan in the bloodstream. Tryptophan is important in producing Serotonin (a hormone that plays a major role in controlling a person’s mood, appetite and sleep). It has also been reported that contraceptive pills enhance antidepressant drugs. Thus, a woman who currently takes antidepressants and contraceptive pills may find herself having an excessive amount of antidepressants in her body.

Menopause and Depression
Menopause is the term used to describe the permanent termination of the functions of a woman’s ovaries. With the start of menopause comes the end of menstruation. On average, menopause period starts around age 51. During this time, women may become irritable, easily fatigued, and often despondent. Hot flushes and sweating have also been observed in these women. What causes this depression is the decrease in estrogen level, which is said to affect a woman’s moods.

depressed woman sitting on the ground

Not all women who are already in the menopausal stage experience depression. Only about 25 percent of menopausal women experience depression, a majority of which are women who have had their ovaries taken out prior to menopause. A possible treatment for this type of depression is to take estrogen supplements, as it has been proven to decrease the occurrence of insomnia, anxiety and despondency and other symptoms.

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