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The concept of depression is broad and encompasses a number of different phenomena. The term is used in the vernacular to refer to a simple "blue" mood. In a medical sense it can label anything from a long-lingering feeling of hollowness to a critical situation ending in a suicide.
The simple "down mood" or "bad hair day" really isn't depression at all. It's merely the experience of normal human emotions in response to external and internal factors. Every case of being sad or lonely is not an example of depression. Low feelings are normal and even healthy. Depression refers to more severe cases where those negative feelings take hold and have a more serious or lasting influence on one's well-being or ability to function.
Dysthymia sufferers have the overall quality of their lives undermined by depression, often without realizing it. They may think they are simply dour people or that life is inevitably something less than enjoyable.
Those with dysthymia are able to function with a high degree of normalcy, but are constantly nagged by feelings of sadness, despair, loneliness and related emotions.
Situational depression can have more severe symptoms. This is the form of depression that rears its head in direct response to external circumstances. Any number of traumas or trying events can trigger a bout of situational depression. The death of a loved one, or the loss of a job, for instance, may produce intense and temporarily debilitating depressive symptoms.
The key to differentiating situation depression from its clinical counterpart is the temporary nature of the symptomology and the fact that it can often be traced back to a specific cause. One should note that traumatic events can also herald the onset of clinical depression, however.
Those suffering from situational depression may find life very difficult for a period of time. They may feel agitated or nervous, have disruptions in sleeping habits, or experience other common depressive symptoms. However, the problem usually passes as the individual learns to cope with the problems that triggered the episode.
Clinical depression is more severe. If one experiences symptoms that interfere with regular functioning for a period longer than two weeks in length, they may be suffering from clinical depression. Clinical depression can last indefinitely and can be quite devastating.
The hallmark of clinical depression is the inability to enjoy almost any aspect of life. In some cases, the sufferer may even begin to consider suicide as an alternative to continuing on in their depressed state. Symptoms can run the gamut from a vague sense of unease to utter and complete hopelessness.
Interventions are usually required for one to overcome clinical depression. These can involve the use of psychotherapy, prescription antidepressants and other strategies aimed at solving the problem. Those who do not seek treatment for this condition may find the problem literally fatal in the long run. Fortunately, these methods can often be successful in helping one overcome the dreaded symptoms of clinical depression.
Depression is a growing problem, and as the epidemic continues to grow, it only makes sense for all of us to gain a better understanding of the disease. The World Health Organization posits that by the year 2020 depression will be second most devastating disease facing humanity, second only to heart disease in its impact. Depression touches the lives of most everyone and all of us should develop a stronger appreciation of what separates depression from simply having a "lousy week."
Although the term "depression" may encompass many things in popular use, in a strict sense it refers to one of the three variations mentioned in this article. Dysthymia, situational depression and clinical depression represent the three primary types of depression. They share a great deal in common, but can be differentiated from one another by the severity of their symptoms and their longevity.
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As always, before you attempt to self medicate or try a new health regimen or program we suggest you retain the services of a qualified health care professional.
Herbs For Anxiety And Depression - A Safer Choice?
Many of us, perhaps most, will admit to feeling anxious on a regular basis and often even depressed, perhaps due to pressures of work, home life, or any of a multitude of other causes. However most of us are not clinically depressed or anxious, to the point where our lives and health are affected detrimentally.
The minority who do find their lives blighted by these conditions can often be found to be suffering from one or all of the following: self harm and potentially suicidal thoughts, insomnia, lack of sex drive, inactivity and tiredness, and lack of concentration.
However where someone is suffering from a milder form of anxiety then there may be alternatives to the common anti-depressant drugs that often appear to make things worse for less serious cases.
Certainly where someone is feeling so anxious or depressed that the medical profession would categorize them as clinically depressed or anxious immediate help should be sought from a professional. Alternative treatments could include herbs for anxiety and depression, although it is always wise to seek medical help before starting any herbal medications, especially if you are already taking any other forms of medication.
Popular herbs for anxiety and depression include St. Johns Wort, Kava, Passion Flower, Ginseng and SAM-e, and many have reported positive benefits to taking these herbs. St. Johns Wort probably has the largest body of supporting evidence and is widely used. Again remember that you should consult your physician before taking any medication, even herbal, and do not take multiple herbal remedies at the same time without consultation with a professional.
There exists a significant problem in taking herbs for anxiety and depression, and other ailments, and that is that unlike other medications government and international drug regulation agencies are not required to test and approve their use. This can mean that drugs could become available that have unforeseen side effects. However many herbs have been used in medical applications for much longer than their modern chemical counterparts and so there exists a large body of admittedly anecdotal evidence backing their medicinal properties.
The critical point to remember is that there are no guarantees with herbal treatments, and care must be taken to ensure you are not exposing yourself to additional problems and side effects. There is little doubt a herbal substitute for a conventional drug, used in moderation, should provide some relief with less of the addictive dangers associated with prescription meds, but it cannot always be assumed that herbs will be a safer option. Do not assume they are a miracle cure and always take heed of the dosage recommendations.
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Treating Depression with Cymbalta
Cymbalta (Duloxetene) is an antidepressant of the SNRI class. SNRI stands for seronontin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and it is sometimes referred to as SSNRI. It is prescribed for major clinical depression as well as neuropathy arising from diabetes-related conditions. As an SNRI, it inhibits the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, instead of just serotonin as in the more popular SSRI class of antidepressants. This allows Cymbalta to positively affect clinical depression as well as chronic pain. However, Cymbalta is only FDA approved to treat major depression and the pain related to diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or DPN. Cymbalta is also being used to treat less severe adult ADHD as well as stress-related urinary incontinence, although it is not FDA approved for either treatment.
The additional effect on the brain's norepinephrine levels appears to have added few side effects. Common side effects include high blood pressure, drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, fatigue, changes in appetite, and increased sweating. These side effects may occur when you first begin to take Cymbalta and may persist for up to a month. If they persist longer than a month, then you may wish to contact your doctor to consider taking another antidepressant. More serious risks include mania, high blood pressure, seizures, liver damage, and an increased risk of suicide. If you are suffering from these symptoms, alert a health professional.
It is important to be monitored by a health professional or loved one to prevent suicide attempts during the first month of taking Cymbalta, as it has been shown that antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide in the first month, especially among adolescents. In a clinical trial testing the efficacy of Cymbalta for treating women with stress-related urinary incontinence, some of the participants attempted suicide or reported suicidal thought despite showing no prior signs of willingness to commit suicide. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor all persons taking antidepressants even if they are using them for purposes other than treating depression.
Cymbalta shares the severe withdrawal symptoms that plague many other SSRI class antidepressants, even though it is an SNRI. If you suddenly stop taking Cymbalta after having been taking it for a while, you may experience a feeling of electric shocks running through your body, mania, wild mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of incredible sadness. These symptoms may persist for a few weeks to a few months after you suddenly stop taking Cymbalta. If you wish to stop taking Cymbalta, you must contact your doctor and get your dosage gradually lowered in order to prevent these withdrawal symptoms, as they are not pleasant.
Cymbalta is a useful drug for treating depression and neuropathy that may accompany it. All drugs carry a risk of side effects, and Cymbalta is no different, so you must keep in mind that side effects may occur when you start taking Cymbalta.
How You Can Conquer Stress, Depression, & Anxiety Quickly, Naturally & Permanently And Enjoy A Brighter, Happier Future Today
Zoloft (Sertraline) is an SSRI antidepressant originally manufactured by Pfizer whose patent protection recently expired, meaning that generic medications are going to be soon available in the market. It is used to treat major depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, bipolar disorder, and panic disorder. Zoloft is one of the few antidepressants that doesn't pass through the mother's breast milk, and so it is safe for breastfeeding mothers to take. However, it can cause fetal defects if taken during the third trimester of pregnancy, so it is not safe for pregnant women to take.
Zoloft has similar side effects to most SSRI antidepressants, including insomnia, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, and lack of libido. It may also cause weight gain. Possible serious side effects include mania and thoughts of suicide, especially in adolescents or in senior citizens. Sometimes Zoloft's side effects may prove to be too serious or inconvenient for you to continue taking Zoloft. In this case, ask a doctor to help you come off of Zoloft, as suddenly stopping Zoloft may cause severe SSRI withdrawal symptoms. Zoloft has been implicated in a number of suicides, and is not recommended for adolescents due to the high risk of suicides for this age group. If you plan to take Zoloft, you will need to have a loved one or doctor monitor you when you first begin to take Zoloft to watch for suicidal thoughts or feelings.
Zoloft, like all SSRI antidepressants, can cause severe withdrawal effects if you stop taking it without the aid of a doctor. If you wish to stop taking Zoloft, you must enlist a doctor's help to taper off your Zoloft usage gradually, so the withdrawal effects are minimized or negated. If you do not, you may experience the feelings of electrical shocks running through your body combined with confusion and extreme mood swings associated with SSRI antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.
There is some controversy about Zoloft's effectiveness. In 2002, a British medical study found that Zoloft was no more effective than placebo in treating major depression. These trials were placebo-controlled double-blind studies. However, other medical tests showed that Zoloft is effective, and you cannot base the perception of the effectiveness of a drug on a single study. St. John's Wort was also tested in this study, and was found to be ineffective. However, other clinical trials involving St. John's Wort have suggested that it is very effective in treating depression. There may have been errors committed in the study, so you should not refuse to take Zoloft because of this one study.
Zoloft, an SSRI antidepressant, is proven to correct major clinical depression. Like all SSRI antidepressants, it carries with it a risk of side effects and withdrawal syndrome, but with the aid of a competent doctor you should be able to avoid major complications associated with the drug. Zoloft is not recommended to adolescents due to the increased risk of suicide, seemingly greater than other SSRI antidepressants.
How You Can Conquer Stress, Depression, & Anxiety Quickly, Naturally & Permanently And Enjoy A Brighter, Happier Future Today
Wellbutrin: A Safe and Effective Depression Medication
Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is an anti-depressant of the aminoketone class. Bupropion is also marketed as Zyban for use as a smoking cessation aid. Most antidepressants available by prescription are of the SSRI class, so Wellbutrin can be effective if common antidepressants fail to combat major depression symptoms. Wellbutrin may, in some cases, also be taken concurrently with SSRI antidepressants.
When Wellbutrin was first introduced onto the market, a high rate of seizures in users caused it to be recalled fairly quickly, and this is still an issue in the minds of those who are considering taking Wellbutrin. However, when the dosage is reduced and spread out over the day, the risk of seizures from taking Wellbutrin can actually be lower than the risk of seizures from other antidepressants. Although no drug is without side effects, Wellbutrin is safer than most SSRI antidepressants. One advantage of Wellbutrin is that it causes no decrease in libido, and in some cases may even increase it. Most SSRI antidepressants can lower or totally eliminate libido.
Zyban is chemically the exact same substance as Wellbutrin except used as a smoking cessation aid rather than as an antidepressant. Zyban therapy is quite effective and lasts a period of twelve weeks. Zyban carries the same risk of side effects as Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin and Zyban can cause a number of side effects, the most serious of which is the tendency to cause seizures when taken in combination with a great range of any other drugs, prescription or non-prescription. Seizures may also be caused by taking Wellbutrin with alcohol or cocaine. Since Wellbutrin is sometimes combined with another antidepressant such of the SSRI class, it is important to know that there is a risk of seizures when taking Wellbutrin with any other drug. If you have epilepsy or another condition which can lead to seizures, you shouldn't take Wellbutrin, as it can make seizures more frequent. As with most anti-depressant medication, Wellbutrin can increase instances of suicide and suicide attempts in adolescents who are taking the drug.
Wellbutrin can also cause dry mouth, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, tremors, and excessive sweating. Psychological side effects are a risk as well, as Wellbutrin has been known to cause aggressiveness, insomnia, and irritability. There is also a risk of Wellbutrin causing permanent liver damage, although this is rare. Jaundice and pancreatitis are possible as well, especially if the user has had a history of alcohol abuse.
Taking 150mg of Wellbutrin rather than 300mg of Wellbutrin is a possibility for many who are worried about the risks of side effects, as Wellbutrin still remains effective at this dosage, while the risk of side effects, especially seizures, are reduced.
Wellbutrin is a good choice for those who wish to take antidepressant medication but are worried about the harsh side effects and withdrawal symptoms associated with SSRI and SNRI antidepressants. Although Wellbutrin does have some side effects, they are generally not as serious as the side effects of other antidepressants, and Wellbutrin has no withdrawal symptoms associated with it.
How You Can Conquer Stress, Depression, & Anxiety Quickly, Naturally & Permanently And Enjoy A Brighter, Happier Future Today
St. John's Wort is a ward against depression that has been used since the times of the Ancient Greeks. In the modern day, it has proved its effectiveness in several clinical trials, and has in one trial been shown to be just as effective as synthetic SSRI antidepressants at treating depression, with a lower incidence of side effects and drug interactions. In some places in Europes, St. John's Wort is prescribed before other synthetic antidepressants when attempting to treat a patient's depression. Unfortunately, modern medical science does not know exactly what substance in St. John's Wort has such amazing antidepressant action, and since the sale of products containing St. John's Wort is not standardized in the United States, they can be of varying quality.
One is known as dysthymia. Dysthymia is a chronic, low-grade depression that lasts over a long period of time. This type of depression is "sneaky" and may not be spotted easily. Its long-lasting nature allows one to "adjust" to its symptoms somewhat, making a depressed mood seem like the normal every day nature of things.
St. John's Wort is thought to prevent serotonin reuptake in the brain, much like the conventional SSRI antidepressants. It is believed that the compounds in St. John's Wort which cause this action are hyperforin and hypericin, but there may be other aspects of St. John's Wort involved in the process. St. John's Wort should not be taken concurrently with other SSRI antidepressants, since it may lead to serotonin syndrome, which is serious and life-threatening. If you are taking an SSRI antidepressant and feel that your antidepressant is not doing much for you, you should talk to your doctor. Remember that you should wait at least a month before judging the effectiveness of any antidepressant, synthetic or natural.
St. John's Wort has mild side effects, with stomach upset, dizziness, and drowsiness being the most common. There are reports that St. John's Wort may cause photosensitivity, but this is a rare occurrence. St. John's Wort is well tolerated by patients and has fewer drug interactions than synthetic antidepressants. However, this does not mean St. John's Wort is totally free of the risk of drug interactions. If you are taking other drugs, it would be wise to talk to your doctor and ask him about the safety of taking St. John's Wort. The effects of St. John's Wort on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is unknown, and you should definitely talk to your doctor before St. John's Wort if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is generally recommended to take just slightly under two grams of St. John's Wort for treatment of mild to moderate depression. Due to the variance of herbal supplements, it is impossible to set an effective dosage in stone. You may wish to follow the manufacturer's instructions in regards to dosage. Currently, it is not known what the effects of a St. John's Wort overdose are.
You can obtain St. John's Wort online or in any store that sells herbal supplements. St. John's Wort is one of the more common and well known supplements, so it is fairly easy to find. You can find St. John's Wort in the form of pills, tinctures, and teas. Currently, nothing is known as to which form of St. John's Wort is the most effective.
The usage of St. John's Wort to treat depression is not a snake oil cure. St. John's Wort is a viable and effective drug for treating minor to moderate depression and should be treated as such. Just because you can get it over the counter does not mean it is perfectly safe. Little is known about possible risks and complications of using St. John's Wort despite its use going back into Ancient Greece. Take note of the risks associated with St. John's Wort before you decide to use it, and preferably you should consult with a doctor.
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