February 27, 2010

5 Alternative Methods for Coping with Depression

Depression is primarily treated by a series of prescription antidepressant drugs, including Celexa, Bupropion and Zoloft. However, with these drugs come side effects, causing anything from slight inco-ordination to hallucinations. Because depression can be caused by several different factors, including lack of vitamins and minerals in the body and exercise habits, there are several other methods, apart from taking antidepressant medications that can help with coping with depression.

5 Alternative Methods for Coping with Depression:

  • Eat Healthy – Incorporating foods like brown rice, fish, whole grain oats and cabbage into your diet will improve depression symptoms. Fish, for example, contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are proven to help reduce symptoms of depression, while brown rice and whole grain oats contain folic acid, a crucial component in reducing the stress and anxiety associated with depression. Although cabbage exhibits an extremely distinguishing taste, it too contains folic acid as well as vitamin C, which will additionally help to reduce symptoms of depression and also reduces the risk of cancers, heart disease and infection.
  • Exercise – If you aren’t currently active, start slow with exercise, by setting simple exercise goals and finding an activity that you enjoy that promotes physical exercise. You can talk to your doctor about incorporating exercise into your treatment plan, in a way that fits into your personal lifestyle. Exercise is an important component in combating symptoms of depression because it not only provides a distraction from your worries, but also is clinically proven to increase your energy and self-esteem.
  • Dietary Supplements – If you can’t possibly stand the sight of fish or cabbage, or are unable to incorporate them into your lifestyle, taking dietary supplements of folic acid and or omega 3 fatty acids can help to treat any symptoms of depression. Be sure to talk to your doctor before including any dietary supplements into your treatment plan, as they may interfere with other medications.
  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting needles into specific parts of the body to relieve pain or in this case, depression. A recent study demonstrated that acupuncture is an effect form of treating symptoms of depression, especially in pregnant women.
  • Video Games – It may seem a little hard to believe, but video games can be beneficial to one’s health. Video games that involve exercise, such as those played on the Nintendo Wii console, are clinically proven to decrease symptoms of depression.
Depression can be difficult to cope with, however, these methods all provide an alternative to taking medication for your depression, and may just be what you need to get back on track.

June 17, 2009

5 Ways Video Games Can Improve Your Health

Lately video games have been heavily criticized for all the negative effects they seem to bring out in the children and even many adults today. However, many of these horror stories about the effects of video games come from the improper usage of the video games. If used properly video games actually carry many benefits for the user. Moderate usage of video games combined with physical activity and good nutrition aid the user in more ways than one can imagine.

1. Video games have been known to improve hand-eye co-ordination. Anyone who plays sports on a regular basis knows the importance of good hand-eye co-ordination. Additionally, hand-eye co-ordination is needed for a variety of sports. Therefore, video games may lead to improved physical ability.

2. Video games provide a platform for the player to release negative feelings. Video games provide the player with a place to release all those bad feelings like anger and frustration. Many people blame video games for an increase in violent nature, but if monitored properly video games become a positive outlet. Instead of children fighting at school, they can vent out all the rage they have built up into video games where they or any other child will not be physically injured.

3. Video games may help prevent progressive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Video games are essentially “exercise” for your brain. Studies suggest that if one were to frequently exercise their brain, they may be able to push back the onset of Alzheimer’s. the best example of a video game that is designed to stimulate brain function would be the game “Brain Age.” The game is aimed to develop simple functions such as memory, and simple calculations, which may be able to prolong the onset of progressive mental illnesses.

4. Some video games, mostly on the Nintendo Wii, actually require you to exercise as part of the game. Even games like the new “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out,” for the Wii require you to actually make punching motions. While not as strenuous as an actual boxing match it does make exercising fun. Anyone who doesn’t think that it is “real” exercise obviously hasn’t seen my cousin play. He uses a strategy where he just keeps punching, and by the end of the match he’s covered with sweat. Thus, many of the advancements in technology have led to video games that actually require the player to exercise, promoting physical activity.

5. Video games help boost self-confidence. With the amount of Americans suffering from depression, a boost in self-confidence may be one of the most significant health benefits of video games. Currently 20% of American teens suffer from clinical depression, and if video games will help prevent it, then why not let the kids and even the adult’s play? Video games provide the player with some sort of recognition for their accomplishments. I certainly love the feeling that I get after a match of “Call of Duty,” when I see my name in first place.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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