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.

August 11, 2009

Music Has The Power To Move You… And A Lot More!

Music SheetsMost people enjoy listening to music. There are so many different types of music out there to choose from, such as rock music, metal, rap, R&B, pop…etc. And when people say that music has the power to move us they’re right.

Music actually affects us on a very deep level. Certain music can pump you up, which is especially useful right before that big game. Other types of music can calm you down and help you de-stress after a long day at work. Music truly is therapy for the soul and apparently treatment for a lot of other things.

Music is actually used as a treatment for seizures, to lower blood pressure, treat ADD in children, mental illness, depression, aid in healing, stress, and insomnia. Music has become much like a drug in medication because of the great impact it has on the human mind. Additionally, music has not only helped humans, but plants as well. A study was done where classical music was played around a plant and it actually helped the plant develop and grow significantly faster.

Music is an incredible tool and is a great outlet for built up emotions. Writing music can be a great stress reliever in itself. Writing lyrics or even guitar riffs may help you express some of that built up stored emotion in a positive way. Also, people will probably think that you’re pretty talented if you keep writing music, it’s not a very easily mastered skill.

December 12, 2008

Will Elavil help treat depression?

Elavil is a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants, used to treat depression. It affects the chemicals in the brain that may have become unbalanced. Elavil is also used to treat symptoms of depression.

Before using Elavil, tell your doctor if you have allergy reactions to Elavil or to other medications. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant and are breast feeding a baby. Also let your doctor know about all the prescription and non-prescription medicine, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs that you are using on regular basis especially those medicines which makes you feel sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxes, medicine for seizures, or other antidepressants).

Do not take Elavil if you have any of these medical problems:

  • Heart disease
  • A history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures
  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depression)
  • Schizophrenia or other mental illness
  • Diabetes (Elavil may raise or lower blood sugar)
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Glaucoma
  • Problems with urination

How should I take Elavil?

Follow the instruction of your doctor or the medication bottle label/pamphlet as prescribed to you. Speak to your doctor before you stop taking Elavil, if medication is suddenly stopped, unpleasant side effects will occur. It may take up to 4 weeks for Elavil to take effect, if your symptoms have not improved, talk to your doctor.

If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. Skip the next dose, if it’s almost time and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on dosages. Do not drink alcohol when taking Elavil. It can cause dangerous side effects. Grapefruit products may interact with Elavil, talk to your doctor about the use of grapefruit products.

Precaution, while using Elavil:

  • Be careful while you are driving or operating any machinery as it may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Do not give Elavil to anyone under 18 years old without asking your doctor.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays. Elavil can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and cause sunburn. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you are out for long period of time.
  • Do not use Elavil if you have taken cisapride (Propulsid) or used an MAO inhibitor such as is carboxazid.
  • You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old.

Serious side effects:

  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heart rate, chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
  • Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance
  • Hallucinations, or seizures (convulsions), feeling light-headed, fainting
  • Restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck, uncontrollable shaking or tremor
  • Skin rash, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all

Less serious side effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth, unpleasant taste
  • Feeling dizzy, drowsy, or tired
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Blurred vision, headache, ringing in your ears
  • Breast swelling (in men or women)
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

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