Depression

Ways To Decrease Depression Naturally

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of Americans have reported symptoms of depression since April – coinciding, of course, with the onset of COVID-19. But help is available.

ARE YOU DEPRESSED?

Your spouse says you might be depressed or a little on edge. Your co-worker, during a department meeting via Zoom, told you to “snap out of it.” But if you don’t know what depression is, how can you “snap out of it” without help?
The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers this succinct definition:

“Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”

HOW TO NOT BE DEPRESSED

If they’re not treated, symptoms of depression can be life-threatening, especially if they lead to physical health problems or even thoughts of suicide. Sadness and worry can pass on their own, but if they don’t, you may need professional help. Here are steps you can take on your own to not be depressed; some may work, others not so much – the point is trying.

Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly is a great way to tweak your mental health for the better. The Mayo Clinic says exercise is helpful in many ways:

  • Raises body temperature and calms the central nervous system.
  • Boosts positive moods by releasing chemicals like endorphins.
  • Restricts immune system chemicals that contribute to depression.

Dial back on social media

Cut back on your social media time for your own benefit:

  • Disable automatic mobile phone notifications of new Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram posts.
  • If you see a news item in a feed that interests you, never automatically assume it’s the truth.
  • Verify what you’re reading through multiple, respectable sources.
  • Avoid engaging in “spirited discussions” with online trolls.

Build a routine

  • Put an X through the current date on the calendar when you go to bed. Recognize the passage of time, so it doesn’t seem endless.
  • Try and go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Eat meals with the family.
  • Practice good personal hygiene habits.

Foster strong relationships

Stay connected with friends and family. Organize a virtual game night, or have lunch with a co-worker while practicing social distancing.

Don’t avoid the great outdoors

Physical distancing guidelines recommend staying home and keeping at least 6 feet of distance from other people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside near your home. That’s good news, because natural sunlight is known to reduce symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder or just the “blues” from being cooped up so long.

Simplify your daily choices

Little things can reduce stress levels:

  • Learn to make faster decisions.
  • Cut back on the volume of weekly decisions by preparing the week before. Try meal planning, or deciding which outfits you want to wear in advance.

Do something that makes you happy

Some people are happy with alone time – or at least they were pre-pandemic. Now, we’re all chomping at the bit to get outdoors, go to a restaurant or movie theatre, or just go shopping. We may not be able to do those things, yet, but you can still do things to make yourself happy and fight off depression:

  • Try DIY painting, sewing, or building projects.
  • Buy a new house plant.
  • Try a new cake recipe and add lavish decorations.
  • Buy an old fashioned crossword puzzle book.

Banish stress

Take little steps to reduce the stress in your life and, as a result, toss depression into the trash. Avoid over-commitment, practice meditation, be willing to let go of things you can’t control.

Respect where you live

Maybe the pandemic dashed your hopes or plans to move into a new home or relocate to another city for a new job, but that doesn’t mean you should let your current home go to pot. Clutter is a known stressor. Tidy up around your house each week, maintain yard chores, finally commit to that small home improvement goal you’ve had for years but never had time to work on – until now.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Depression, even in the midst of a global pandemic, doesn’t have to be a life sentence and isn’t anything to be ashamed about. It’s a mental health disorder that affects millions, regardless of gender or other socioeconomic factors. If you or a loved one are depressed, get help. Talk to a doctor or contact us today to learn more about treatment options, which may include psychotherapy or innovative new treatments like ketamine infusion therapy.

Depression

Manic Depression Symptoms

Kanye West. Selena Gomez. Nessa Barrett. The biggest benefit of being a celebrity right now is its power to bring to light an illness that typically is dismissed as moodiness. In this case, the illness is manic depression or bipolar disorder. Read further to learn more, and how it can be treated.

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?

If you experience tectonic shifts in your moods, from exhilarating highs to confidence crushing lows, and from bottom-of-the-barrel lows to being the “king of the world,” you may be suffering from bipolar disorder. Highs are episodes of mania, while lows are times of depression. The mood changes can blend, leaving you filled with depression and elation all at once.

But bipolar disorder affects everyone, not just celebrities. In fact, some estimates say that more than five million people in the U.S. live with some form of the illness. That is not a comforting statistic, but the numbers alone mean it is garnering attention. Today, studies indicate the symptoms can be managed with a combination of psychotherapy and drugs like ketamine, which affects the brain’s neurotransmitters.

MANIC DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are often divided into those for depression, and those for mania. Sometimes, they overlap.

Symptoms of mania

Mania itself is a power to be reckoned with, sometimes causing other symptoms, but normally identified by seven key signs:

  • You have feelings of being “high” or overly happy for unusually long periods of time
  • Your stamina appears unhuman, with your body needing less sleep
  • You talk like a speed reader, with your thoughts spewing out uncontrolled
  • You feel extremely impulsive or restless
  • You are easily distracted
  • You are overconfident in your abilities
  • You seem to enjoy risky behavior, like unprotected sex, gambling with your child’s college savings money, or otherwise ignoring your household budget and spending randomly

Symptoms of depression

  • You feel sad or hopeless for a long time
  • You withdraw from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • There has been a big change in your eating habits
  • You experience fatigue or low energy
  • You have trouble with concentration, memory, and decision making
  • You are preoccupied with suicide

WHAT CAUSES MANIC DEPRESSION?

Many healthcare providers will tell you there is no one cause for manic depression. It is more likely attributable to many factors that increase a person’s risk of suffering from the illness.

  • Almost predictably, the brains of some people with the disorder show differences compared to the brains of people who are not bipolar or who do not have any other mental illness. More knowledge about disparities may help scientists comprehend bipolar disorder and decide which treatments will work. As of now, healthcare providers arrive at diagnosis and treatment plans based on a patient’s history and symptoms, instead of diagnostic tests or brain imaging.
  • People with certain genetic markers. Research shows that people with a blood relative with bipolar disorder have a bigger chance of getting the illness. Many genes, not one, are involved. More knowledge about the role of genes in bipolar disorder could help researchers create new treatments.

HOW DO YOU GET DIAGNOSED?

Like other mental illnesses, manic depression is usually diagnosed in a doctor’s office and normally includes four components:

  • A physical exam conducted by a medical doctor or certified healthcare professional to rule out any medical issues causing the disorder.
  • A mental health evaluation conducted by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other certified mental health professional. Your thoughts, feelings, and behavior problems will be discussed.
  • Reviewing your daily moods.
  • Using the DSM-5 to evaluate criteria for the disorder.

HOW IS MANIC DEPRESSION TREATED?

Normally, manic depression is treated with one or more kinds of therapy – psychotherapy or electroconvulsive therapy – which occurs over regular sessions, often for months or years. Once diagnosed, you and your mental healthcare provider can talk about treatment options, which could also include the use of medicine or alternative therapies.

DOES MEDICINE WORK?

In certain cases, a doctor may prescribe the use of mood stabilizers or antipsychotics to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder, but recent studies show a newer treatment option called ketamine infusion therapy works to improve functions within the glutamatergic system. A study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health “found that a single dose of ketamine produced rapid antidepressant effects in depressed patients with bipolar disorder.” The drug is dispensed through infusion therapy or as a nasal spray.

CONCLUSION

The main takeaway is that manic depression affects millions of people globally, but the symptoms can be managed. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat the symptoms of depression we can help. Contact us today to learn more.

Depression

Techniques to Naturally Manage Depression

Sadness is a normal part of human existence, but that doesn’t make it any easier. A ton of things in everyday life can lead to sadness: loss, hopelessness, disappointment, guilt, shame. Sometimes it doesn’t take as much – you may be sad simply because it’s a rainy day when you hoped you’d see some sunshine.

That said, sadness is just one part of the human emotional spectrum, and is ultimately a good thing in a backwards sense. After all, it is the bad times’ existence that allows us to appreciate the good times in the first place.

Sometimes, sadness goes above and beyond the normal levels. If your sadness is especially intense or long-lasting, you may instead be suffering from clinical depression.

Depression

Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a mental health condition accompanied by intense sadness, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, and social isolation. One in three people will suffer from a major depressive episode at some point in their life.

Symptoms of Depression

Physical signs and symptoms of depression include the following:
• Loss of appetite and excessive change in weight
• Loss of interest in pleasurable activities and hobbies
• Lack of energy and fatigue
• Changes in sleep patterns, either sleeping too much or too little
• Slowed thinking and speaking

Psychological symptoms of depression include the following:
• Chronic feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or helplessness
• Difficulty making decisions
• Consistent self-critical thoughts or guilt
• Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

How To Stop Depression

Social Support Net

Depression is an incredibly socially isolating condition. It can make a person feel completely alone and makes you lose any sense of objective perspective on your own life. This condition gets in the way of your personal relationships and tries to make you withdraw from everything.

As overwhelming as it may be at first, an extremely important part of the road to recovery is reaching out for support. That support can come in many forms: friends, family, a support group, therapists, etc.

Spend Some Time On Yourself

Sure, this one seems pretty obvious. But in the middle of a depressive episode, it can be difficult to find anything that you really enjoy. Even old hobbies might not be fun to you anymore. Take some time to care just about yourself – self-care and engaging in your hobbies can be very therapeutic.

Support Your Health

Mental health and physical health are closely tied to one another. For good mental health, make sure to support your physical health: get around eight hours of sleep a night, eat a well-balanced diet, and get regular physical activity.
Ketamine Treatment for Depression
Research indicates that ketamine treats depressive disorders by binding to certain receptors in the brain, increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter glutamate being released. This then sets off a chain reaction that affects thinking and emotional regulation.

This means, in layman’s terms, that the brain reacts to ketamine infusions in a way that triggers hormones that help the brain create more positive emotions. Unlike other treatments, ketamine can provide this relief within hours or days of the first infusion, although it is most successful as a series of infusions. Contact us today at Exodus Heath to find out if a ketamine treatment is right for you.

Depression

What Is Depression?

Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a medical condition that deeply affects the way a person feels, thinks, and acts. Depression can cause feelings of sadness as well as making you lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can make it difficult to function at work and in your personal life.

The most common depression symptoms include the following:
• Feelings of sadness
• Depressed mood
• Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Changes in appetite – eating too little or too much
• Changes in sleep patterns – sleeping too little or too much
• Loss of energy
• Fatigue
• Slowed movement and speech
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
• Trouble concentrating
• Trouble making decision
• Suicidal thoughts or actions

Everyone experiences sadness from time to time. Sadness is a normal human emotion, but sometimes these feelings of sadness go above and beyond normal levels and make it difficult to function in your everyday life.

The line separating sadness and depression is not always clear. You may find yourself wondering what the difference is between the two, or what depression is in the first place. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Difference Between Depression and Feeling Sad

Any number of things can happen to a person that can cause them to feel sad or melancholy. Some of the most obvious examples include the loss of a loved one, natural disasters, or stressful changes in your professional life.

It is perfectly fine – even normal – to grieve and experience intense sadness sometimes. Per the American Psychological Association, the sadness you experience in everyday life is different from depression in a number of aspects:

• If you are experiencing grief, these feelings tend to come in waves and are intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. If what you are experiencing is depression, overall mood is decreased for a period of most of two weeks.

• During periods of grief, self-esteem is typically maintained. However, during periods of depression, your self-esteem is brought down by feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing.

What Causes Depression?

Depression is like other mental health conditions in that it is a complex result of a number of biological and environmental factors rather than the result of a single cause. Things like temperament, life experiences, and family history of depression can increase your likelihood of developing depression on your own.

That being said, some of the most common causes of depression are the following:
• Family history
• Early childhood trauma
• Brain structure
• Medical history
• Drug abuse
• Stressful events

Depression Treatment

In the same way that you should not feel shame for seeking treatment for a sickness like the Flu or high cholesterol, there should be no shame in seeking treatment for conditions like depression and other mood disorders. Depression may not show obvious outward signs or symptoms, but that does not mean it isn’t real. The symptoms are still felt and can be debilitating.

Fortunately, the future of treatment for depression looks more optimistic than ever before. Traditional treatments, such as antidepressant medications, as well as innovative new techniques, such as ketamine infusion therapy, present options for treatment and relief from your symptoms. Ketamine infusion therapy is proving to be more effective than traditional medical treatments, providing relief more rapidly and without the negative side effects of other antidepressant medications.

If you feel you have depression and would like to seek help for it, reach out to your Primary Care Provider or find a mental health provider to establish a diagnosis and start on the road to being a better you.

 

Contact us today at Exodus Health to learn more about our innovative ketamine infusion treatments to treat depression.

Depression

Am I Depressed?

Sadness is a normal human emotion that everyone alive is going to feel from time to times. Depression is when these feelings of sadness last longer and go above and beyond normal levels, making it sometimes impossible to function in your daily life.

The line separating sadness, the emotion, and depression, the mental health condition, is not always so clear, and you find yourself asking “am I depressed?”

Depression vs. Sadness

There are a number of things that can happen to a person that can lead to feelings of sadness or melancholy. Some of the more common examples: loss of a loved one, natural disasters, or stressful changes in your professional life.

Make no mistake – it is normal and perfectly fine to grieve and experience even intense sadness. The sadness you experience in everyday life does differ from depression in a number of aspects, per the American Psychological Association.

  • If you are experiencing grief, these feelings tend to come in waves and are intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. If what you are experiencing is depression, overall mood is decreased for most of two weeks.
  • During periods of grief, self-esteem typically is maintained. However, during periods of depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing replace your typical self-esteem.

Am I Depressed?

Perhaps the best way to figure out if you have clinical depression is to schedule an appointment with a trusted physician. In lieu of that, however, you can educate yourself about the symptoms of depression and compare those with your own feelings to see if they match up.

The hallmark symptoms of depression include the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or things you once enjoyed
  • Trouble sleeping (or adversely, sleeping too much)
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of low self-esteem
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

You generally have to have some of these symptoms for at least two weeks for them to be considered signs of depression. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you should reach out for medical help or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Causes of Depression

Depression, like most other mood disorders or mental health conditions, is actually a complex mix of a number of factors rather than any one single cause. Factors like temperament, life experiences, and family history can make a person more or less likely to develop depression.

That said, there are some common causes that tend to bring on depression in many cases.

  • Family history
  • Early childhood trauma
  • Brain structure
  • Medical history
  • Drug abuse
  • Stressful events

Treatments for Depression

Just like you should not feel bad for seeking treatment for a condition like the Flu, you should not feel bad for seeking treatment for your depression. Although depression is all “in your head”, that does not mean that it is any less real.

Fortunately, the future of depression treatment looks more optimistic now than it ever has. Traditional treatments like antidepressant medications and innovative new techniques like ketamine infusion therapy both present options for treatment and relief from your condition.

Contact us today to learn more about our treatments for depression.

Depression

How depression is diagnosed

If you or a loved one suffers from depression, there may be some comfort in knowing you’re not alone, and you’re not any different than the more than 17 million American adults who experience its symptoms every year. Finding a common bond – in symptoms and understanding that mental health disorders aren’t a death sentence – can be a source of strength. Managing depression requires knowledge, resources, and a commitment to finding treatment appropriate for your symptoms.

Depression

Are depression and anxiety genetic?

Mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, describes a wide variety of mental health issues — disorders affecting thinking, mood, and behavior. Examples of mental disorders include schizophrenia, addictive behaviors, and eating disorders. Many people experience mental health concerns occasionally. But a mental health “concern” morphs into a mental illness when persistent symptoms and signs create recurrent stress and affect a person’s ability to function. Studies have linked anxiety, depression, and other disorders to genetics.

Depression

5 Treatments for Depression & Anxiety

Somewhere around seven percent of the US population, or about seventeen million American adults, suffer from depression each year. Depression may occur only once, but for some, depression typically occurs in episodes where symptoms provide stress for days or weeks at a time. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Differences in sleep patterns, such as getting too much or not enough sleep
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or other normal activities
  • Frequent outbursts of increased irritability
  • General feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Dramatic weight loss or weight gain
  • A heightened sense of anxiety
  • Trouble focusing
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Unexplained aches and pains

Not only does depression cause a litany of emotional problems, but many physical symptoms or ailments as well. Adults suffering from depression may be sixty percent more likely to develop heart disease. This can be further complicated by excessive weight gain, sometimes caused by an increase in cravings while depressed. Depression may lead some down a road to alcohol or drug abuse, which then only worsens the symptoms of depression in a vicious cycle. Those suffering from depression may withdraw from social situations with friends and family and isolate themselves. Additionally, many with depression also develop anxiety or panic disorders.

Anxiety disorders take many different forms, such as Agoraphobia (a tendency to avoid situations that may cause you to feel panic), or Social Anxiety Disorder. Most anxiety disorders share some common symptoms, such as: feeling restless or nervous, a sense of impending doom, increased heart rate and breathing, or gastrointestinal problems.

There are many different treatments for anxiety and depression, but many suffering will find that they suffer from treatment-resistant forms of these mental disorders. While SSRIs and other antidepressants may take weeks at a time before the effects start to become noticeable, there are quite a few options that can help relieve your depression and anxiety, sometimes within hours.

How to Find Relief from Treatment-Resistant Depression or Anxiety

Ketamine Infusions

An innovative new treatment option, Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that has been found to provide rapid relief from depression and anxiety when infused at a low dose. The FDA has recently approved Esketamine, a nasal spray comprised of a compound based on Ketamine, for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. Research indicates that Ketamine stimulates the regrowth of synapses within the brain, essentially rewiring the parts of the brain that may be causing distress. Ketamine is also available as an infusion. Some researchers maintain a 75% success rate when treating those suffering from depression or anxiety with Ketamine Infusions.

Adopt a Serotonin-Boosting Diet

Serotonin, known by its scientific name 5-hydroxytryptamine, is a chemical messenger used throughout the brain and blood vessels to transmit messages between nerve cells. While it has many uses in the human body, it is thought to play an important role in the body’s happiness and overall mood, and also regulates sleep and memory.

It is currently unclear how serotonin may contribute to depression, but there are a number of drugs and medications that alter serotonin levels to treat depression or anxiety. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft) are approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Fortunately, eating foods that contain tryptophan can boost serotonin levels in your brain. Research into tryptophan has shown that serotonin levels drop when practicing a diet low in tryptophan. Foods that can increase tryptophan or serotonin levels include:

  • Eggs. Egg yolks are rich in tryptophan, and other nutrients good for the human body, such as protein or omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Cheese/Milk. Milk can also provide calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth.
  • Nuts/Seeds. All nuts and seeds have been found to contain tryptophan. Eating just a handful of nuts once a day may also lower your risk for cancer or heart disease.
  • Salmon. Salmon is also a strong source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin-D. Eating just two portions of oily fish a week provides enough tryptophan for most people.

Get Outside and Absorb Sunlight

Like the foods listed above, sunlight itself is a great source of serotonin. Research has shown a link between decreased sun exposure and dropping serotonin levels.

A modest amount of direct sunlight can boost the body’s Vitamin D levels and can decrease the risks of cancer.

Fortunately, for those suffering from Agoraphobia, one can buy a lightbox and participate in what’s known as phototherapy. The lightbox simulates natural sunlight to increase serotonin levels in the brain.

Try Meditating

While immediate relief is usually not possible with meditation, habitual meditation not only reduces thoughts of depression and anxiety but also allows a person to practice how they react to stress and anxiety.

Research shows that the medial prefrontal cortex (the mPFC) is a key part of how the brain processes anxiety depression. Often referred to as the “Me Center” of the brain, the mPFC is where information about the self is processed. When stressed, the mPFC becomes hyperactive. The amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response, often works in tandem with the mPFC to spike the stress hormone cortisol.

Meditation has been found to help break down the connection between the mPFC and the amygdala, which allows a person to better control the stress and anxiety one may be feeling.

Avoid Caffeine as Much as Possible

A 2019 study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that the caffeine from tea and coffee may disrupt important neurotransmitters like dopamine. For those with depression, a drop in dopamine can lower motivation and increase the craving for stimulants.

A heavy intake of caffeine often results in unpleasant side effects such as anxiety, headaches, an increase in blood pressure, or nausea. These symptoms may only further exacerbate depression and anxiety.

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