WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

DEPRESSION

In this article I am going to discuss the most painful thing that can badly affect the physical and mental health of a person. Occasional depression is a natural human response, but it has been estimated that nearly one in four people will need treatment for depression in their lifetime, with the risk being slightly higher for women than men. Depression tends to run in families and evidence suggests that in more severe cases there is an inherited factor. Modern psychology describes depression as mood or emotional state that is marked by sadness, inactivity and a reduced ability to enjoy life. However, true depression is very different from simple grief, bereavement or mourning, which are normal emotional responses to the loss of loved ones. The natural history of depression is extremely variable from person to person, it may be fleeting or permanent, mild or severe, acute or chronic. When a person is found to be experiencing alternating states of depression and mania extreme elation of mood he or she is said to suffer from a manic depressive disorder, also known as a bipolar disorder.

 SYMPTOMS

Although there are varying degrees of depression it is generally described as being much more intense than feeling low in spirits for a short period of time. Depression commonly results in a number of symptoms including a feeling of despair, general lack of interest and concentration, poor sleep, and low appetite, with every task seeming like a great burden. Other symptoms include tiredness, weight loss, lack of energy, waking early, aches and pains, feeling of worthlessness, irritability, and suicidal thoughts.

CAUSES

Although a single factor has not yet been identified to cause depression there are two main areas of interest which have been formed in an attempt to explain this condition. One area is psychological, while the other focuses on the activity of certain biological substances in the brain known as biogenic amines. Monoamines, such as serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, are produced from building block proteins in the body. An imbalance in their conversion into monoamines, can result in depression. There is mounting evidence to show that level of substances such as phenylalanine and tyrosine in the body may be responsible for the depressive states in such people. Phenylalanine (PEA) which has an amphetamine like activity in the brain. It has been found that depressed individuals have low levels of PEA. It is also interesting to note that this substance is found in high concentrations in chocolate a favorite comfort food in depression sufferers.

THE CONVENTIONAL APPROACH

Depending on the type of depression various anti-depressant medications are commonly prescribed. Drugs from the tricyclic group of medications (such as amitriptyline and prothiadine) are often the first choice in the treatment of depression. More recently, a relatively new range of medications known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been widely used (such as Prozac and Seroxat). These new drugs appear to offer fewer adverse side effects than traditional antidepressant medications.   

COUNSELING

Simply talking through your feelings with an unbiased person often helps to resolve your worries. Try to find someone you can trust to share your feelings with, perhaps a friend relative, or a health professional. It is trying to find a self-help group where you will meet people with similar problems who can empathize with you.

COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES

It is worth supplementing your diet with amino acids. The D and L forms of phenylalanine are commonly available as the supplement known as DLPA which has been successfully used by many sufferers-discuss using DLPA with your physician.

L-Tyrosine is another beneficial amino acid for depression. Try taking 1,000mg L-tyrosine supplement twice daily, about half an hour before food. After one month, it is recommended to halve this dose.

It is important to consult a health professional before starting nutritional therapy. Many prescription drugs can have dangerous interactions with amino acids and they should not be taken together.

HERBAL MEDICINE

For centuries traditional herbal medicine has used the “sunshine herb” to battle against depression. Recently this herb known as St. John’s Wort (Hypercom perforatum) has been studied in Germany. The discovery that the active agent, hype ricin alters brain chemistry and improves mood supports the traditional herbal teachings. It is generally recommended that 300mg dose (containing 0.125% hype ricin) is taken two to three times daily.

HOMEOPATHY

Homeopathic remedies such as Aurum metallic (homeopathic gold) are frequently successful in treating depression. Consult your homeopath to discover for the right one for you.

I hope this article will help you to find the best solution if you are dealing with this problem.

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