Self-help strategies to manage depression

Self-help strategies to manage depression

Depression remains the primary cause of disability worldwide with nearly 300 million people suffering from it, highlights the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), in a given year, more than 15 million adults in the United States are afflicted with the disorder. Despite being so rampant in the U.S., not many people come forward to seek support for the fear of being stigmatized. However, untreated depression can become very debilitating and lead to other mental problems or addiction. Continue reading

Debunking myths surrounding depression

Debunking myths surrounding depression

Unlike some common ailments where an afflicted person might be in a position to express his or her agony and call for help, depression is mostly a silent disorder where the patient keeps figuring out about the actual issue. Depression is manifested by sleepless nights, miserable feelings during a particular time of the year or compelling need to cry all the time. People try hard to keep these behavioral traits under the wraps either because of being unaware of the magnitude of the problem or because of the fear of being ostracized. A person with depression yearns to be around loving people yet, remains a loner and avoids social interactions. Continue reading

Emotional turmoil significantly higher among parents raising children with special needs

Emotional turmoil significantly higher among parents raising children with special needs

Parents taking care of children with special needs, which includes a range of problems, such as learning disabilities, cognitive-behavioral problems, food allergies, terminal illnesses, etc. have to go through immense stress and strains. Yet, there seems to be no high road to achieve a lasting solution to this. It is common for such parents to ride through the distressing times of loneliness, exhaustion and elevated stress. Continue reading

Tips to conquer menopausal blues

Tips to conquer menopausal blues

Menopause is an inevitable phase of a woman’s life when she experiences emotional ups and downs due to significant physical and psychological changes. For some women, the symptoms might be mild and the phase might end soon, however, for many others, menopause can be a horrendous experience. From hot flashes to erratic mood swings and insomnia, it can severely affect the quality of life. Continue reading

Diet and depression – 4: Magnesium foods uplift mood in depressed people

Diet and depression – 4: Magnesium foods uplift mood in depressed people

Treatment for mental illnesses cost billions of dollars to the American government. Among various mental health problems that American people suffer from, depression is the most common affecting roughly more than 16 million adults every year, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scientists attribute the onset and development of depression to many reasons including genetic traits, hormonal abnormalities, substance abuse and inactive lifestyle among others, while clinicians stress on the need to get depressed patients screened for any existing nutritional deficiencies that may result in manifestation of signs of a depressive disorder. Continue reading

Using phones at night may cause depression in teens, finds study

Using phones at night may cause depression in teens, finds study

Mobile phone usage has witnessed a steep rise over the last decade, especially among teens who stay awake for hours hooked to their mobile phones. According to the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of teens are online every day whereas, 24 percent are online “almost constantly.” The researchers have been repeatedly highlighting the adverse effects of overusing mobile phones manifested in the form of high stress levels, poor body image, low confidence, eating disorders, and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Continue reading

Diet and depression – 3: Can vitamin B-12 deficiency be responsible for depression?

Diet and depression – 3: Can vitamin B-12 deficiency be responsible for depression?

Feelings of hopelessness and grief can sometimes be overwhelming and disrupt daily activities. When sadness does not pass away with time and causes persistent pain, it may indicate presence of a depressive disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 16 million American adults experience depression every year while one in six adults is expected to experience depression symptoms at some point in life. While the increase in cases of depression may be attributed to many factors including genetic, social conflicts, professional failure, hormonal imbalance and sedentary lifestyle, scientists look for additional causes such as nutritional deficiencies. Continue reading

Using probiotics can help relieve depression, finds study

Using probiotics can help relieve depression, finds study

Since time immemorial, mental disorders like anxiety and depression have been thought to be linked with various gastrointestinal conditions. What goes on in one’s gut has a direct impact on his or her brain can be understood from the fact that people often feel “butterflies in their stomach” when feeling nervous.

And now a 2017 study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology suggested that there is a definite brain-gut connection and that using probiotics, meant for relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can provide significant relief from depression. IBS, which affects the large intestine, causes intense abdominal pain, apart from altered bowel habits like diarrhea and constipation. Chronic anxiety and depression are also predominant symptoms in people with IBS.

Brain-gut connection

The brain-gut connection has remained a debatable issue for a long time now. The gut is a host to various forms of bacteria, parasites, protozoans and fungi. Some aid in the process of digestion, others are responsible for gastrointestinal infections. Questions have been raised regarding the ability of the gut to communicate with the brain. Certain microbiome existing in the gut are believed to release signals or neurotransmitters in a pattern similar to the activity of the neurons present in the brain.

Probiotics are the new wonder medicines. Primarily, probiotics are a class of bacteria that are considered a cure for a slew of illnesses ranging from an upset stomach to cancer. Every human being has good or bad bacteria existing inside his or her body. Good bacteria help in the metabolic processes and also assist in the process of digestion, however, bad bacteria are responsible for causing innumerable diseases, including coughs and colds. Some of the most common strains of bacterium found in foods such as yogurt and chocolate are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, which are often added to common dairy products.

In the present study, the researchers evaluated 44 adults with IBS and co-existing anxiety or depression. Of all the participants, half were given a daily dose of the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001e, while the remaining half was given a placebo, over a span of 10 weeks. It was observed that depression scores decreased consistently in patients taking probiotics. At six weeks, 14 of 22 (or 64 percent) of the patients taking the probiotic had decreased depression scores, as compared to seven of 22 (or 32 percent) of patients given only placebo. Even functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) showed that there was a considerable improvement in depression scores associated with changes in multiple brain areas involved in mood control.

According to Dr. Premysl Bercik, an associate professor of medicine at McMaster and a gastroenterologist for Hamilton Health Sciences, “This study shows that consumption of a specific probiotic can improve both gut symptoms and psychological issues in IBS. This opens new avenues not only for the treatment of patients with functional bowel disorders but also for patients with primary psychiatric diseases.”

Depression is treatable

Research has shown that probiotics have therapeutic effects on mental disorders like anxiety and depression. Apart from having a positive impact on the mental function, a good gut health can also help a person to remain calm during the stressful situations. Looking at the benefits of probiotics, these can be considered as an effective alternative treatment for depression and anxiety.

There are treatments that can assist people afflicted with depression to regain normalcy in their lives. Rather than just relying on medications, people going through the devastating symptoms of depression should share their fears and problems with their family, friends and other loved ones. If you or your loved one is struggling with depression, the Florida Depression Helpline can assist in finding the best depression rehab centers in Florida that offer coping mechanisms to manage stress. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-267-5177 or chat online with our expert for further assistance on one of the finest rehabilitation centers in Florida.

Depression increases the risk of falls in elderly

Depression increases the risk of falls in elderly

Depression is a common mental health condition among the elderly. Though late-life depression is known to affect nearly 6 million Americans aged 65 and older, only a fraction, or just 10 percent of them, receive treatment for their deteriorating mental health conditions. The most probable cause for this medical apathy is that depression in the elderly is often mistaken as a sign of aging or other illnesses that have symptoms similar to depression. Many times, depression is misconstrued as the side effect of common medications used by the elderly. Depression can be deadly, with several studies pointing out that people aged 80 years and above are more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Continue reading

Diet and depression – 2: Overcoming deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids

Diet and depression – 2: Overcoming deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids

Scientists attribute depression to reasons like genetic traits, emotional problems, hormonal imbalances, lack of sunlight, nutritional deficiencies and prolonged sedentary lifestyle characterized by lack of exercise among others. Doctors examining their depressed patients usually prescribe antidepressants that can help elevate their moods. However, some scientists recommend their patients to undergo tests for any potential deficit of nutritional adequacies. Continue reading

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