May 27, 2010

Dreaming Links to Depression

Filed under: coping with depression,Depression,sleep — Tags: , — drwatson @ 12:08 am

Dreaming and DepressionDepression has become a relatively common condition in the modern society. In North America alone, it is estimated that over nine million people struggle with depression on a day to day basis. For some people, dealing with depression will involve fighting what is usually described as a “black curtain” of despair, while others experience constant irritation or find that they have no energy to complete their daily tasks. Although depression is not caused by one single factor, sleep patterns and dreaming have been directly linked to those who suffer from depression.

The dreaming component of sleep is called REM sleep (short for rapid eye movement sleep), and usually occurs after a couple hours have passed since the time when you fell asleep. During REM sleep, only the chemicals that are responsible for the emotions and visual imagery of your brain are activated, while the other chemicals in your brain that are associated with rational thought and reasoning remain turned off. Because of the “emotional overflow” which occurs as a result of depression, many people who are struggling with depression will often dream more – causing the symptoms of exhaustion that are associated with depression to occur, and effectively creating a twenty-four hour cycle of depression.

If you find that you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, especially over-exhaustion, vivid dreaming and what may feel like an “emotional overload”, you can talk to your doctor about treatment methods to help treat your condition. These methods may include anything from relaxation techniques and practices such as yoga or taking naps to compensate for lack of restful sleep due to over-dreaming, to speaking to a therapist in order to relieve what you may perceive as an “emotional overflow”, to taking anti-depressant medications. Your doctor will choose the method that will treat your depression most effectively.


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.

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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