Saturday, June 23, 2007

Depression is the fourth most important cause of disability worldwide

I found this video on You Tube and thought that it made some important points. It stresses the importance of exercise in helping to deal with depression. When your depressed it is hard to think of doing anything,let alone exercising, but as you excericise certain chemicals are released in our bodies and they help to control depression.

For a great book on dealing with depression visit:

Better Life

Here is a short video called Better Life giving some statistics on depression and how common it actually is. It is really a disease that effects your family, friends and communinity, and knowing that your not alone can sometimes help.

For some great help in coping with depression Visit:
Facts On depression

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Treatments For Childhood Depression

Faye B. Roberts

Treatment for childhood depression varies. What works for one child may not necessarily work for another. The first and most important step is finding a child psychiatrist to evaluate and treat a depressed child. A child psychiatrist has received specialized training in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders in children. Other health care practitioners including family doctors and pediatricians may have taken a course in child psychiatry, but a great majority are not experts in the field.

As a general rule, with mild to moderate depression, one first tries psychotherapy. This may include family therapy to help the members of the family understand what the depressed child is experiencing. It has been shown that family therapy can speed recovery and help prevent a relapse. Discussions with your health care provider can help you determine which psycho therapeutic method is best suited for your child.

Studies have shown that treatment for childhood depression using cognitive-behavioral therapy may work the fastest, but the child's psychiatrist will determine which method is best. Cognitive therapy works by helping a child examine and correct negative thought patterns and erroneous negative assumptions about them self. Behaviorally, it encourages the child to use positive coping behaviors instead of avoiding situations or giving up. When therapy has been completed, the child may benefit from scheduled or "as-needed" booster sessions.

If therapy does not produce enough improvement then an anti-depressant may be added to the regime. Again, this depends on the degree of the depression. If it is severe depression or there is serious acting out your health care provider may start medication at the beginning of the treatment.

The medical treatment of child and adolescent depression using SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors -- Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.) has proven very beneficial. The side effects of SSRIs are not as annoying as those of the older medications and are less toxic in overdoses. Compared to adults, adolescents are a bit more likely to become agitated or to develop a mania while taking an SSRI. The doctor should warn you about the symptoms of mania, especially if there is a family history of Bipolar Disorder. If your child has had a manic episode in the past, some doctors will suggest adding a mood stabilizer like Lithium or Depakote.

The treatments for childhood depression vary from child to child. Using psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both can help your child overcome depression. And the best news of all is that childhood depression can be treated successfully.
Faye B. Roberts is an independent researcher on divorce and the effect it has on the entire family. Find out how to start enjoying your life again.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Identifying Depression In Children

Faye B. Roberts

Depression in children is different from the normal "blues" and usual emotions that happens as a child develops. Just because a child seems depressed or sad does not necessarily mean they have childhood depression. But if these symptoms become ongoing, disruptive, and interfere with daily social activities, their schoolwork and their home life, it may indicate that he or she has a medical illness called depression. Keep in mind that while depression in children is a serious illness, it is also treatable.

Because they are often passed off as normal growing pains, the emotional and psychological changes that occur for a child who is depressed are often left undiagnosed and therefore untreated. The symptoms in children are very similar to the symptoms for an adult in that they will display sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, and mood changes.

Some of the symptoms and behaviors linked with depression in children include:
* Irritability, crying, feeling sad, helpless or hopeless
* Continuous feelings of worthlessness
* Loss of interest or pleasure in social activities
* Fatigue and loss of energy nearly every day
* Fearful, tense, anxious
* Repeated rejection by other children
* A drop in school performance
* Inability to sit still, fidgeting or pacing, difficulty concentrating
* Repeated vocal outbursts, shouting or complaining
* Doesn't interact with other children
* Repeated physical complaints without medical cause (headaches, stomach aches)
* Significant change in appetite (not due to appropriate dieting)
* Change in sleep patterns
There are also some serious and critical symptoms associated with depression in children. Medical intervention is imperative if a child displays any of these symptoms.
* Suicidal thoughts, feelings or self-harming behavior
* Abuse or prolonged use of alcohol or other drugs

As difficult as it may be to accept, studies show that children as young as 6 years old use street drugs. The use of drugs and alcohol among children is known to create depression. Drugs can cause mood swings, but on the other hand, someone with depression or mania may use drugs to take away the pain of uncontrollable mood changes. Determining if drugs or alcohol plays a part in a child's depression often requires some expert detective work. Parents need to be objective and discover if indeed that is part of the situation and be prepared to delve into all possibilities.

The correct diagnosis of depression is complicated and a mental health practitioner should be consulted. Working with your doctor you can come to a consensus as to the proper treatment for the child. Depression in children is treatable. Noticing any unusual symptoms is the first step. Getting help is the second one.

Faye B. Roberts is an independent researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit Facts On Depression

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I ran across this quote today and it really hit home. Even though you may feel at the end of your rope now, better days lie ahead.

"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."
--- Dr. Al Lorin

Faye B. Roberts is striving to help people with depression have brighter days. For more great information on depression Visit: Coping with depression

Saturday, June 9, 2007

How To Identify Depressed Behavior

Faye B. Roberts

Only a member of the medical profession can properly diagnose your symptoms of depression and should be consulted if you, or a loved one is displaying signs of depressed behavior.

There are however, a few behaviors that you can look for that will help you recognize depression. There are two underlying symptoms that are predominant. The first is a loss of interest in daily activities to such a degree that you no longer receive pleasure in activities you used to enjoy. The second is having a depressed mood. You may have crying spells and you feel helpless and hopeless. In addition, for a health professional to make a correct diagnosis, most of the following signs and symptoms of depressed behavior must also be present for at least two weeks:

* Having sleep disturbances. Sleeping too much or too little can be a sign you're depressed. Waking in the middle of the night or early and not being able to get back to sleep are typical.
* Your thinking or concentration may be impaired. You may have trouble concentrating or making decisions and have problems with your memory.
* Your weight changes. An increased or reduced appetite and unexplained weight gain or loss may indicate depressed behavior.
* Agitation. You may seem restless, agitated, irritable and easily annoyed by everyday common occurrences.
* Your body movements slow down or you feel fatigued. You feel weary and lack energy nearly every day. You feel as tired in the morning as you did when you went to bed the night before. You feel like you're doing everything in slow motion or you may speak in a slow, monotonous tone.
* You have low self-esteem. You feel worthless and suffer from excessive guilt.
* Decreased interest in sex. If you were sexually active before developing depression, you may notice your level of interest in having sexual relations is dramatically decreased.
* Persistent thoughts of death. You have a recurring negative view of yourself, your situation and the future. You may have thoughts of death, dying, even of suicide.

Recognizing the symptoms of depressed behavior is the first step, but the proper diagnosis should be done by your family doctor. From there, working together you can design a plan that works best for you. The good news is that depression is treatable.

To get a great book on living with depression Visit Coping With Depression

Friday, June 8, 2007

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Faye B. Roberts

Bipolar disorder, known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that creates unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from overly "high" and/or irritability to sadness and hopelessness, and then back again, and can have periods of normal moods in between. Severe changes in behavior and energy go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression. It is far different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through because the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe.

About 2.6 percent of the population age 18 and older have bipolar disorder. It typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood however some people develop it later in life. Bipolar disorder is often not recognized as an illness because it is episodic and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated.

Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often destroys the desire and will to live. Biological in its origins, it feels psychological during an episode. It is an illness that is unique in that it confers advantage and pleasure at one end of the scale, but it brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and often suicide.

Symptoms of a manic episodes include:

* Increased energy, activity, restlessness, and extreme irritability
* Excessively "high," overly pleasant, euphoric mood
* Racing thoughts and fast speech patterns, jumping from one idea to another
* Can't concentrate well
* Needing very little sleep
* Unrealistic beliefs in one's powers and capabilities
* Poor judgment
* Excessive spending sprees
* A lasting period of behavior that is unusual
* Increased sex drive
* Abuse of drugs, particularly alcohol, cocaine, and sleeping medications
* Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior

Symptoms of a depressive episodes include the exact opposite:

* Lasting periods of sadness, anxiety , or feelings of emptiness
* Feelings of pessimism
* Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
* Loss of interest in sex
* Decreased energy
* Difficulty in concentration
* Restlessness or irritability
* Sleeping too much,and/or can't sleep
* Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
* Chronic pain and other bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury
* Thoughts of death or suicide.

But there is good news: bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

Discover new skills for overcoming depression quickly, simply and effectively and throw light on a subject that has been in the dark far too long... For a free report that shows you how to get the help you need visit: Free Report

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Effects of Postpartum Depression

Faye B. Roberts

One in ten women suffer from Postpartum Depression after childbirth. The effects of can be very severe. Postpartum depression is not the same as having baby blues, which is a typical reaction to child birth. The symptoms of Postpartum depression include:

# Sluggishness
# Fatigue
# Exhaustion
# Feelings of hopelessness or depression
# Disturbances with appetite and sleep
# Confusion
# Uncontrollable crying
# Lack of interest in the baby
# Fear of harming the baby or oneself
# Mood swings

Studies clearly show that the effects of Postpartum depression are an indication of the risk factors for a child's intellectual, social, and cognitive development. Infants as young as three months of age are able to detect the moods displayed by their mothers and modify their own moods in response. It also can have long lasting, traumatic effects on a woman's confidence in herself as a mother, which in turn can effect her parenting skills.

Children whose mothers suffered postpartum depression after childbirth face a greater risk of violent behavior by the time they reach the age of 11. The violent behavior among such children is especially high if their mothers suffered repeated bouts of depression. Compared to their peers,these children have more diverse and severe aggressive behavior. Male children are more prone to violent behavior than female children.

The link between a child's violent behavior and the mother's postpartum depression is associated with the children's problems in regulating their attention and emotions. Their cognitive skills, expressive language development and their attention span difficulties have been adversely affected by maternal depression.

There is little biological basis identifiable for postpartum depression. The occurance may be increased in certain risk groups including women with a previous history of depressive disorder, complications during delivery, and some other obstetric factors. Some of the psychological stressors consistently associated with postpartum depression include unemployment, marital conflict and lack of personal support from family and friends. But here again, the strongest association appears to be with women who have suffered previous depression.

These findings emphasize the importance of early detection and treatment of postpartum depression by family physicians. A woman's level of exhaustion and irritability when her infant is two weeks old and nursing frequently may not be normal when her baby is four months old and sleeping soundly through the night. The intensity and degree of a woman's coping response may also indicate a pathologic state. Loss of energy and diminished concentration are frequently the result of sleep deprivation. However, for a postpartum woman to have no energy or to have such difficulty in concentrating that she frequently loses her train of thought or has considerable difficulty making decisions is not normal.The effects of postpartum depression can cause significant problems in both mothers and fathers in the United States.
Faye B. Roberts is an independent researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit Facts On Depression

Monday, June 4, 2007

Am I Depressed?

Faye B. Roberts

Do you think you may be suffering from clinical depression? Have you ever asked yourself "Am I depressed"? Take this simple screening test. It cannot replace an evaluation by a professional, but it will make you familiar with depression symptoms and give you a general idea whether or not you meet the criteria for clinical depression. Answer the questions as honestly as possible:

Q: Do you frequently feel sad or irritable?
Q: Have you lost interest in activities that you once enjoyed?
Q: Have you experienced notable changes in your weight or your appetite?
Q: Have you experienced changes in your sleep patterns?
Q: Do you suffer with feelings of guilt?
Q: Do you find yourself unable to concentrate, remember things, or make decisions
Q: Have you recently experienced fatigue or loss of energy?
Q: Have other people noticed you seem restless or have decreased activity levels?
Q: Do you have feelings of hopelessness, or worthlessness?
Q: Do you think of suicide or death?

If you answered more than 5 questions with a "Yes", the National Mental Health Association suggests that you may be suffering from clinical depression. Keep in mind this test cannot substitute for a visit to a mental health professional. It is only meant to give you an idea where to start a dialogue with your healthcare provider. Self diagnosis is not an option with depression since it is a serious illness. It will only give you a partial answer to the question, "Am I depressed"?

There are a variety of reasons that you may have answered "Yes" to any of the previous questions that are not necessarily an indicator of depression. For example, if you are recently bereaved the questionnaire may be slanted because of your recent experiences. Bereavement is not necessarily a form of depression. It is a general feeling of loss that may make you think you are depressed. Each situation should be considered individually. As in any circumstances, discussions with your health care provider is your first step towards healing.

Depression can make you feel hopeless and helpless. But just taking the first step — deciding to get treatment — can make all the difference. The good news is that there are many forms of effective treatments that can help you cope with depression. These include drugs, psychotherapy or counseling. Sometimes a combination of treatments works best. Your response to the treatment methods are determined by too many factors to list here, but when you find the right one it can be very effective. Your physician can help you determine the method that will work best for you and your first step should be to consult him or her.
I hope this helps you answer the question, "Am I depressed"?

Faye B. Roberts is an independent researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit Facts On Depression

What Are The Characteristics Of Depression

Faye B. Roberts

Depression is a ailment that affects one in six people making it the most commonly diagnosed mental health problem. It affects your disposition,way of thinking,conduct,floods your mind with negative emotions and even your physical health. Some of the characteristics of depression include a depressed mood, low self respect, disturbed sleep patterns,restless sleep and/or a disturbed appetite, loss of libido, fatigue and loss of interest or motivation and impatience. Anxiety and panic attacks are also characteristics of depression. This is by no means a comprehensive list and you should contact your medical provider for a the right diagnosis.

Years ago, it was thought that depression was "all in your head" and that you could change it or "snap out of it if you tried. With the many advancements in medicine it is now known that this is not the case and should not be treated by yourself. Many folks unfortunately still do not recognize this as a real illness and therefore do not seek medical attention.

Studies suggest that this despondency may be caused by an imbalance of two naturally occurring chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain and the body. In the brain, these two chemicals are thought to be associated with mood; therefore their relationship with depression. It is thought that when a person undergoes a stressful situation, the resulting characteristics of depression that materialize may well be determined by the amount of serotonin and norepinepherine in the brain. The more these chemicals are present in the brain, reduces how depressed that %person% will become, and vice versa. One form of treatment based on these assumptions is an attempt to alter the chemical imbalance in the brain.

This is done with medication to increase the serotonin and norepineepherine in the brain. These are commonly known as mood-stabilizing drugs or antidepressants. With your physician's approval, you may also want to consider self-treatment to find relief from the characteristics of depression. These include meditation, relaxation technique, goal setting and exercise. Psychotherapy has also proven very %beneficial% for some forms of melancholy. Although there are many natural alternative treatments in the marketplace it is hugely recommended that these be approached with caution and only after discussing them with your doctor.

People of all ages and races experience depression. It knows no racial, gender or ethnic boundaries. Treatments also vary from region to region and even from country to country however, the first step is to have it properly diagnosed. Then the doctor, working with the patient, can plan a treatment technique that is best suited for him or her. With the right treatment the symptoms of ennui can be taken away or even ended. With so many treatments available, there is no need for folks to live with any of the characteristics of depression.

As an independent researcher, Faye B. Roberts has gathered information on understanding and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life.. Visit
Facts On Depression

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Living With and Understanding Depression

Faye B. Roberts

Living with someone who is depressed is very challenging. Understanding depression is very difficult for a person who is not depressed. It is hard to comprehend how depression alters brain function and more importantly the thought process of a depressed person. It is a very serious medical illness that can be life threatening. It is still a mystery but is linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain with the lack of the hormone serotonin as well as a hereditary factor.

Serotonin is a hormone found in the brain as well as other parts of your body. It has two important purposes in the body. The first is to act as a neurotransmitter which is necessary for communication between nerve cells. The second is a vasoconstrictor which is a powerful constrictor of the blood vessels. The lack of serotonin in the brain is thought to be a cause of depression. It can also be referred to as or 5-hydroxytryptamine.

Body temperature, sleep, mood and behavior, appetite and physical coordination are body functions regulated by the nerve cells that utilize this hormone. Realizing this you will be able to see why the symptoms relate to serotonin.

Symptoms of Depression

1 Change in Sleep patterns - difficulty sleeping, waking early or oversleeping, not wanting to get out of bed
2 Change in weight - more often weight loss, but can be weight gain
3 Depletion of self esteem - feelings of worthless, useless, and undeserving
4 Loss of identity - isolation from social supports, not wanting to communicate
5 Lack of concentration - focus, commitment and follow through
6 Feelings of anxiety- anxious and panic attacks
7 Disturbing thoughts - death or dying, or suicidal thoughts
8 Low energy - fatigue, lack of motivation

Understanding depression is knowing that it is a lot more than moodiness or the feeling of being "down in the dumps" for a short time frame. Know that this is not something that a person can change at will or that they brought on themselves, but is indeed a mental illness. A person might have supportive friends, a good job, financial security and a loving family yet still feels unhappy or as if life is not worth living. Sometimes being depressed can arise for what seems like no specific reason at all. It can be originated by a traumatizing life event or it can creep up over time.

A variety of treatment methods are available for this illness, including counseling and anti-depressant medications, but the first step is always to get a physical assessment by a professional to determine if you have a depressive illness. Working together you can develop a personal treatment plan, as all forms of depression are not treated in the same manner.

The cause of depression and what triggers it are constantly being researched to discover what the actual cause is of this potentially disabling disease. Maybe someday we will closer to fully understanding depression and the mystery surrounding this illness.

Faye B. Roberts is an independent researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit Facts On Depression

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Is Depression Hereditary?

(c)Faye B. Roberts

Is Depression Hereditary?

"Depression runs in the Family" or "It's in your genes" are commonly given as causes of depression. If you are suffering from depression, being told you are "bound to get it", can be a very unhelpful statement to have tossed at you. After having looked at the information let's try to answer the question,” Is Depression Hereditary?"

There is evidence that some forms of depression have a genetic basis, in particular manic depression, or bipolar disorder. However, with those two exceptions most depression is learned, not genetic. Because depression has to do with styles of thinking, behavior and interpersonal relationships, depressive styles can be passed down in families. So if you had a parent or close family member who suffered from depression you will have learned the basic behavior models from them.

Does that mean that because you experienced the results of depression as a child you will automatically suffer from it as well? No. It is now known that most family depression is learned, not genetic. It only means that you are more predisposed towards that behavior. Just as a person, who as a child experienced an overbearing or domineering parent, that child does not necessarily exhibit those same traits when they become an adult, so with depression.

Even if you do have a genetic predisposition to depression passed down by a family member, it's nothing more than a predisposition. You are not certain to become depressed, not by any means. There is no gene for depression, and there never can be because genes just don't work that way. But keep in mind, it's incredibly hard not to be effected by a depressed person and as children much of our behavior is learned from our parents.

Depression can occur, or be triggered by an existing medical condition as well. The physical effects of depression are real and often very debilitating, but only around 10-18% of depressions are set off by another medical condition. And as depressing as some diseases are, they don't automatically cause depression. Pain, for example, can cause an inability to enjoy daily activities, disturb sleep patterns, make life less pleasant, and cause general feelings of hopelessness. Some food allergies, when undiagnosed cause low energy levels, interrupted sleep, and increased worry as the person tries to figure out what is wrong with them. But they do not cause depression.

To fully understand the link between physical causes of depression, and depression itself, a close examination of the thinking styles associated with depressive behavior must be made. It's similar to the age old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" In this case it's, "What came first the depression or the pain?” Are you depressed because you are in pain, or are you in pain because you are depressed? A person with a family history of depression may answer that question totally differently then a person with no depression history.

So, to answer the question, “Is Depression hereditary?” the answer is no. Someone may be predisposed towards depression if members of their family suffered with it, but this however does not guarantee they too will become depressed. Learned behavior does play a role, but learned behavior is a choice we as adults can alter.

Faye B. Roberts is an independant researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit Facts On Depression