Articles on major depressive disorder

In the Grasp of Anxiety - When Worrying Has Become a Disorder

Ms. Pallavi Tomar, Psychologist
Everyone is familiar with anxiety.It may pop up as a feeling of unexplained apprehension, or a flood of constant worrying thoughts, a sudden burst of panic, or even an intense dread or fear. These feelings are all to situations, things and people perceived as overwhelming, unsafe or threatening. In all its manifestations, it is unpleasant and it is quite natural to want to avoid or eliminate these feelings.But before we move on to discussing anxiety as a disorder, lets understand the evolutionary function of this seemingly out of control beast.The essential evolutionary function of an anxiety response is to prepare an individual to deal effectively with danger and threat. That is why it exists at all.Take a look at a few symptoms and the function they may serve:The feeling of restlessness and increased heart rate may keep us physically prepared for action.Our interpretation of ambiguous information as threatening may actually be aimed at reducing the probability of missing any threats around us.Our mind racing with multiple thoughts of all that which can happen may actually keep us prepared for all possibilities and scenarios.The lack of sleep will allow us to be constantly alert.It propels us, makes us strive, challenges us and pushes our limits. Toss away anxiety and you may lose out a great deal of your motivation, persistence, excitement and caution.So ideally if anxiety is experienced in the right manner, for the right reasons and for the right duration – it is only natural!But how do we recognize the transformation of this natural experience of anxiety into a disorder?There are a few things to consider. Anxiety reactions manifest in three basic forms:As an emotion: The fear, the apprehension, the worry, and the despair.As a thought: Of an impending doom, of things going wrong, of death, of injury.As a physical response: To avoid, to evade, to check, to run, to become immobile, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing etc.In an anxiety disorder, these three basic forms of anxiety may be experienced as difficulties in any of the four below mentioned domains.Intensity – Is the experience of anxiety exaggerated and far too intense than what may be warranted in a situation? Does the individual find it difficult to contain and manage the anxiety? Is the individual finding it difficult to cope with the intensity of the signs and symptoms?Frequency – Are the signs of anxiety experienced too frequently by the individual? Is the individual repeatedly reacting to the same stressor/threat without developing newer ways to cope or deal with it?Pervasiveness – Are the signs or symptoms of anxiety experienced at most times across all situations? Does it seem to be pervading across all aspects of an individual's life?Dysfunction – Is the experience of anxiety impacting the individual's functioning in their personal, professional or social life? Does the individual have to make too many changes to accommodate and cope with the experience of anxiety? Is it affecting others around the individual?If your answer is affirmative to any of these questions, your experience of anxiety may not be serving the evolutionary purpose it is essentially meant for. But before you go ahead and diagnose yourself, I encourage you to talk to a mental health professional about your concern.

Hiking- Nature's Healthy Solution for Adhd and Anxiety!

Dr. Deepak Shah, Homeopath
The next time someone tells you to take a hike, don't be offended – do it! Your mental well-being and overall health will thank you . By know, we all know that exercise is a great way to keep weight in check, but it's also an ideal way to boost mental clarity, fend of depression and reduce anxiety. Why turn to Big Pharma drugs that promise to do the same, when you can take a walk in nature and improve your health, minus the high costs and terrible side effects?In fact, studies have proven that hiking provides tremendous health benefits. One such study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that, compared to people who walked for 90 minutes in an urban environment, those who walked for that same amount of time in a natural environment reported lowered levels of persistent negative thoughts.Hiking in natural environment lessens depression, negative thoughts-The published study, which notes that 70 percent of people are projected to live in urban areas by 2050, states that talking a "90-min walk through a natural environment may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world."Outdoor activity in nature boosts creative thinking ability, diminishes ADHD symptoms-A different study also found that spending time walking in nature can help children who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Those with ADHD tend to demonstrate hyperactivity, have difficulty remaining focused and have impulse control issues. However, it was found that children who participated in "green outdoor activities" had reductions in such behaviors, making the case that exposure to nature is helpful for anyone in need of controlling their impulsive actions or waning attention span.Walking or hiking in nature has also been found to reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem and diminish stress levels.A focus on "park prescriptions" over Big Pharma-So important is spending time walking in nature that many doctors are even "prescribing"patients what's been dubbed as "park prescriptions" and it's anything but the typical recommendation you might expect from a medical professional.The mental and physical benefits of walking in nature are plenty; do your best to get out there and experience the benefits for yourself!Sources for this article | | | | | Natural.News

Hyperacidity : Minor Symptom or Major disorder?

Dr. Kaustubh Kane, Ayurveda
Almost 70% - 80% of adults knowingly or unknowingly suffer from hyper-acidity. Most of them know but show a casual attitude towards it, and consider it as a minor symptom and ignore it for a very long period. Many people claim to take antacids for long time yet symptoms are seen as soon as the effect of medicine subsides. This casual attitude of many people helps this simple symptom grow into severe ailments like Heart diseases, Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Hypertension, etc,.  Long standing hyperacidity causes degenerative changes in body. It either starts with indigestion or causes indigestion later in process which again presents different set of challenges for human body. Which signs you should look for ?Heart burnSour belchingBurning sensation in stomach/ anal region.Mouth ulcersNausea/VomittingSome severe symptoms to watch out for....Retrosternal pain (Pain in middle of chest)Migraine (Severe headache)Problems of sightAccording to Ayurveda hyper-acidity may be termed as 'Amlapitta' and can be treated successfully with minimal or no recurrence. But patient has to follow certain dietary regulations suggested by vaidyas for long term effects. Ayurveda has described 6 properties of pitta which helps in various aspects of digestion. Because of this deep thinking, Ayurveda not only cures hyperacidity but also rectifies damages done by it. For treatment Ayurvedic doctor judges by which of these properties the pitta is aggravated, there are various herbo-mineral drugs like Sootshekhar ras, Kaamdudha ras, etc. which are proven remedies. (Ayurvedic Medicines to be taken under ayurvedic supervision only).At early stages hyper-acidity can be controlled by by simple yet effective home remedies. Below are the following home remedies helpful for hyper-acidity. 1-2 Amla (Indian goose berry) - For Burning sensations, Nausea, Ulcers...10-15 Black raisins thrice daily - For Heart burn, sour belching, nausea...1 cup Cow milk with 1 tsp cow ghee in morning 1 tsp cow ghee in morning.All these remedies are more effective when dietry regulations like avoiding sour and spicy foods and Non-veg, drinking to much water early morning, avoiding fermented foods are applied. 

6 Important Thoughts About Life

Dr. Swapna Patker, Psychologist
Depression is becoming common these days. People have many reasons to feel sad depressed and suicidal. More the advancement, more the expectations from life and more the disappointments. Less marks in exams, love break up, death of loved ones, professional disturbances, joblessness, loneliness, insults and helplessness are a few highlighted reasons that lead to severe depressions and suicides. Younger generation is less tolerant and gives up on the intimidation of every thing that's not as per their thinking. Of course, the pressure on the generation now is too high, to perform well, to live well, to look good and to be accepted. In the bargain, the mental health goes for a toss. Suicide is not an option at all. Meeting a psychologist and taking help is more easy, ethical and intelligent than leaving this world for some reason that could be sorted. 6 Important Thoughts that you need to know about life are: 1. Depression is a choice. If you allow too much negativity to seep in your thought process, you are bound to feel low. Positive attitude of people keeps depression away from their minds. Practice positivity for a depression free life. 2. Don't depend your life on people's judgements about you. Believe and respect yourself. Don't fall for over appreciation or hurting comments and insults of people. Don't give up your mood or  life because someone said something wrong to you. Be aware of yourself and don't let anyone tell you your worth. Take control of your self image and self worth. 3. Be comfortable with yourself. The way you look, the way you are and the way life is treating you is your life. Accept it. There are sarcastic and condescending people in this world, learn to mute them in real life. Don't let that affect your peace. Your life is precious; it's not worth giving it up for people who do not accept you the way you are. Learn to accept facts about yourself and plan to make the most out of whatever you already possess. 4. Mental wellness is more important than physical beauty and worldly pleasures. Skin colour, disability or illnesses should not be issues of depression in life. Love yourself. Some people intend to corner you and make things difficult for you. Don't fall for their trap. Safeguard yourself from people who are not concerned about your well being. 5. Each one feels low or lonely at some point time in life. Some succumb to the pressures of emotional turbulences and some get swayed away into the limbo called hopelessness. Take charge of your feelings and elevate yourself every time such negative thoughts touch your mind. 6. Help is available. If you ever feel that your mental pressures are beyond your control, take help of a psychologist or a counselor. Don't hesitate. It's better to take help and sort things than spoil or give up a precious life . Life is beautiful, if you can see it that way. Life will treat you the way you see it. Practice positivity and love yourself.

Depression - a Slow Poison

Dr. Naresh Vadlamani, Psychiatrist
Throughout the course of our lives, we all experience episodes of unhappiness, sadness, or grief precipitated by unexpected events like failure in exams, rejection by loved one, death of a close one, personal tragedy or difficulty such as divorce, loss of a job, etc and may feel depressed (some people call this "the blues"). Most of us are able to cope with these and other types of stressful events. Over a period of days or weeks, majority of us are able to return to our normal activities. This is called Normal Reactive Depression.Normal Reactive Depression is different from Medical Depressive Illness.Normal Reactive Depression requires no treatment. Just assurances, supportive empathy and encouragement would be useful. It does not affect day to day activities and routine life. People bounce back within a few days.Medical Depressive Illness is not a normal variation of mood. The symptoms of this disease last for weeks and months and the person suffers a lot affecting their regular pattern of living.It is the illness in the brian's nerve circuits that affects or changes our thoughts, moods, behavior, activity, attitude, habits and personality from what we normally are. Some neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine are less in quantity in some parts of the brain leading to dysfunction of the brain's neural circuits. If one has depressive disease, they are often unable to perform daily activities as before. They may not care enough to get out of bed or get dressed, much less work, do errands, or socialize. During this phase, the depressive illness fluctuates with few normal days of functioning and mood. One may feel better on few days of the week but then the depressive symptoms prevail on most days and gradually the number of days of depressive illness increases. When one meets their doctor, they usually complain of:Headache, back pain, body pains and pains in other parts of the body especially hands and legs.Weakness despite eating well especially in the hands and legs.Tiredness despite doing regular work.Sleep disturbances - difficulty in falling asleep or dissatisfaction in sleep.Decreased appetite.Gastric problems like acidity, constipation and bowel problemsOther psychological symptoms include:Feeling sad or depressed.Loss of interest in job - leading to decreased efficiency,changing jobs and in some job loss; loss of interest in housework - leading to unclean, unkempt house, delays in washing clothes and dishes and cooking food; loss of interest in day to day activities like brushing teeth, bathing, wearing non-ironed clothes and lacking interest in appearance.Feeling tired most of the time despite doing regular or less than regular work leading to postponement of regular work, delayed bill payments and procrastination.Lack of enjoyment or pleasure in activities than before leading to dropping of hobbies, avoiding socialization, going out or watching movies.Feeling lazy, lethargic and being slow leading to postponement of work.Decreased concentration leading to memory problems and forgetfulness leading to poor academic performance or accidents.Decreased confidence, self esteem, self worthiness or feeling inferior to others.Become indecisive, fickle-minded, dependant, unable to organize, plan etc.Thoughts that other people are bad, thinking bad about themselves or ignoring them and will not help them.Thoughts of worthlessness, being a burden to family members, unworthy of love of near and dear ones.Thoughts that the world is a bad place, full of negativity etc.Thoughts of guilt, self hate and frustration.Thoughts that current situation will not improve in future, hopelessness, helplessness and thoughts of being alone in the whole world.Decreased initiation, motivation or enthusiasm than before.More irritability, anger, explosive behavior than before.Sleep disturbances like difficulty in falling asleep leading to internet surfing or watching TV ( channel surfing), waking up early or late, wanting to sleep more and feeling dissatisfied with the sleep.Appetite disturbances( change in eating habits) - not interested in eating or eating more than usual or even late night snackingAll these thoughts lead to sleep medication abuse, alcohol misuse, headaches/backaches (unexplained/no clear medical cause) and pain killer abuse, antacid abuse etc.Ideas, thoughts, plans of wishing to die, suicide harming oneself, suicidal attempts in severe patients.Treatment includes medicines and counseling or psychotherapy including other treatments like Cognitive behavior therapy, supportive therapy.MEDICATIONSAntidepressants are generally prescribed.Treatment is provided by psychiatrists who are medical doctors who have completed specialized training in depressive disorders and treatments.Antidepressant medications are not sleeping pills or addictive in nature.They have to be taken initially at a small dose with gradual increases in doses under supervision of a psychiatrist for about 6 - 9 months on the dose to which they respond.In those who have been suffering from the depressive disease for a long time or repeatedly, the medication have to taken for at least 2 years or longer as advised by the psychiatrist.People with depressive disease can safely be treated in a series of outpatient visits.Hospital care may be necessary for people with more serious symptoms and is required for those who are contemplating suicide or cannot care for themselves.

Depression in Children and Adolescents – Not a Myth but a Candid Reality

Dr. R.Manoj, Psychologist
Many parents who come with specific behavioural or academic problems in children are taken aback when they are told that their child is depressed. The usage of the term depression itself makes the parents so uncomfortable that either they try to argue within the professional say that these may be temporary blues which every one experiences on regular basis caused by transient events or just fail to turn up for the next session. Some even request the professional not to mention the term “depression” in the report whenever the same is demanded by the professional or the institution that referred the child for consultation.One of the least recognised and acknowledge fact is children having depression.These are primarily because most of the adults feel that, children have no problems, worries or responsibilities which would make them prone to depression. But what they fail to understand is that the children’s problems, worries and responsibilities are big enough for them to become stressed and if adequate support is not available it can very well lead to depression. Moreover they are dependent on parents in every way, and the parents expect their children to live a life as per the parents aspirations and manage the problems by the methods and directions provided by the parents Any independent move by the child to handle their problems on their own or in consultation with anybody else is only felt as an act defiance which only leads to further pressure from the parents to tow the expected lines. These factors only create a feeling of powerlessness, lack of control and helplessness in children which only escalates the status in the children who are already stresses or prone to depression.In case of adolescents, most of the behavioural, cognitive and emotional changes are viewed as a natural part of their developmental process and parents turn a blind eye to their deterioration even when its obvious. It’s a well known fact that adolescence is a period of stress and storm and they have to handle multiple pressures both internal and external which can easily make them prone to depression. But parents never even think about the possibility even though they know that their child is undergoing a lot of turmoil which can be difficult for them to manage by themselves.The other important reason why parents find it difficult to acknowledge this fact is because children are not so articulate as adults in expressing their emotions. Most of the time it is manifested through behavioural problems or deterioration in performance, on various functionalities for which parents have their own interpretations which actually clouds their rational mind from looking into the possibility of the child being depressed.One more factor, that make diagnosis of depression challenging even for professionals is that most of the behavior and cognitive symptoms when existing alone can be diagnosed for other disorders such as mood deregulation disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorders specifically Asperger's syndrome. In case of adolescence, it can also be diagnosed for substance use disorders. Many a times even when the parent decide to take a professional help they only project a single behaviour or problem which they feel as most significant or the most disruptive ignoring many other changes which they feel insignificant or the after effect of the significant one. This can mislead the professional and unless and otherwise the professional is willing to spend time to collect all other relevant information they may misdiagnose it for some other specific disorder. The difference between these disorders and childhood depression in childhood depression there are multiple symptoms along with explicitly noticeable emotionality. The other important difference is that the changes in behaviour, thought process and emotions occur in a short period of time which is quite obvious to people who see these children regularlyWhat every parent needs to understand is that depression in children are a reality, a highly prevalent mental health issue and its life threatening. The increase in the number of suicides among children and early adolescents for flimsy reasons which is just a nano percentage of the depressed population is the proof for the same. The prevalence rate of depressive disorder is estimated to be 2% in children and 4-8% in adolescence and 70% of children with a single depressive episode will experience a recurrence within five years, with the Lifetime prevalence of depressive episode being 20% by the end of adolescence.Untreated depression in children, can lead to devastating consequences, including consistent problems in school, at home and with friends, the loss of critical developmental years, increased risk for antisocial behavior and in some cases even suicide. Just like every other health issues depression in children can also be cured with early diagnosis and appropriate intervention.Listed below are few signs and symptoms which you should look for in your child which would be early warnings for you, of your child being prone to depression. These signs and symptoms can be categorized under four major functional areas of everyone’s life.BehavioralØ  There may be sudden or gradual changes in activity levels. They may show lack of interest in the activities which were pleasurable to them or even their day today responsibilities which they had been doing without ant push.  The child may either show lethargy in his activities or involve excessively in activities which the parents had been denying him from doingØ  School,refusal and high resistance to academic related activities  are one of the  symptoms which is commonly seenØ  Frequent expression of being tired and being bored about everything failure to involve in any of  his  activities inspite of  consistent encouragement can also be witnessedØ  There may be noticeable increase of sluggishness in their actions, reactions and even play and entertainment related activitiesØ  The children may withdrawal tendencies. They may suddenly or gradually move into isolation or keep themselves occupied in activities which are done in isolation such as playing video games. Places of isolation become their preferred and favourite ones and you can find them escaping to such places at the first opportunity.Ø  There may be a sudden or gradual loss of interest in family affairs or involvement with their favourite family member or even friends.Ø  In some children there may a dynamic opposite behaviour. They make show an increased level of dependency and express an exaggerated sense of insecurity in the form of fear of doing even very simple things such a short absence of parents.Ø  Sometimes the children may show  excessive interest in praying, repeating a few acts etc to ward off their fearØ  In some cases they may involve in self-injurious behaviour  hitting or biting themselves and in other times they may involve in reckless or aggressive behaviour for which they are sure to be punished physically. Sometimes it may even go the extend of attempting suicideØ  Sometimes they may become over-demanding and throw temper tantrums whenever their demands are not metØ  In case of adolescents there are possibilities of the child involving in substance abuse which includes, tobacco,  alcohol and other dangerous psychotropic drugsEmotionalØ  The child may look sad cry frequently for even simple issues or provocations which can be explicitly look as unreasonable. Some times the crying spells may for long spells even without any provocationØ  The child may show highly sensitive reactions such as being upset, disturbed, offended or disappointed even for simple criticisms or negative experienceØ  There may be a significant increase in expressed anger, and even aggressive reactions even without any reason. Sometimes they may pick up fights with their friends parents or siblings without any provocationØ  The child may become anxious, tensed and even panicky for no apparent reasons. They may show startled reactions even regular happens that happens abruptly such as noise of the horn etc.Ø  Expression of fear about even simple things, known people and situations , environments they have been already exposed to. They even show excessive avoidance  to everything they fear aboutØ  They may be seen worried, brooding a lot, getting irritated and frustrated even for very simple happenings frequently. They may also have difficulty in making choices regarding simple thingsPhysicalØ  There may be a significant change in appetite which may range from starving to overeating. This may even lead to significant weight loss or weight gain in a short period of time. Sometimes these children are found to be skipping regular meals and spending time munching junk foods excessively.Ø  They may also have sleeping problems which range from lack of sleep  to excessive sleep. In some cases the sleep is disturbed, the sleep cycle is disrupted and they may also have nightmares because of which they feel drowsy most of the time.Ø  The children who are depressed may also fake illness. In some other cases, they may complain of  pain in various parts of the body or even show symptoms of some specific illness which cannot be diagnosed by physical examinations.Ø  Enuresis (bed wetting) and encorpasis (inability to control their bowel movements) which develops after the control is already established also point towards depressionCognitive signsØ  There may be deterioration in attention and concentration which reflects in most of their activities. They may also been seen drifting into their fantasy world irrespective of the task they are engaged in. They also have difficulty with their short term memory because of the same.Ø  They may have feelings or worthlessness and self-depreciating thoughts which are expressed by self-criticisms  and good for nothing mindset even for simple failures.Ø  Poor self-esteem and low self-confidence which is expressed consistently through their inability to complete even simple tasks is one more important indicator.Ø  They may show pessimistic attitude towards everything, every event and even everybody they come acrossØ  They have significant feelings of guilt and express the need to be punished even over their perceived faults. They blame themselves even for mistakes in which either they have a limited role or no role at all.Ø  These children may express the belief that they are destined to suffer nad have to live their life the way it is which is an indication of strong feelings of hopelessnessØ  They have strong feelings of helplessness and they have strong feelings that nobody can help them and hence they  have difficulty in seeking help. They feel they are all alone in this world because they believe that there is nobody around whom they can trust, who would understand and help themØ  Suicidal thoughts which are expressed as death wishes are the clear signs of depression and if these thoughts are witnessed, then have no doubts, the child is suffering from depression.Depression should be addressed just like any other physical illness. Children cannot articulate their emotions or even identify that they are depressed. So it’s the responsibility of the adults specifically the parents and teachers to recognize it by observing the changes that happen in their behaviour, emotions, physical health and habits and their cognitive process and take appropriate measures. Its not necessary that the child should have all the symptoms mentioned above for the child to be diagnosed. If the child has even half of the symptoms mentioned above  you need to become cautious because you child may be in depression or prone to depression. If your child is experiencing even half of the above said symptoms, it is a good to get an evaluation by a professional clinical psychologist with experience in handling childhood disorders. If their child is either found to be depressed or prone to depression then effective intervention measures and appropriate support can be provided to prevent the condition from escalating and also safe guard them from  social isolation, losing their self confidence, developing negative self-esteem and safety risks that result from persistent depression

Did You Know That All Scars Can Be Healed? Yes, Depression Is Treatable 100%

Dr. Sheetal Mehta, Homeopath
ARE YOU DEPRESSED? YOU NEED HELP! YOU NEED COMPASSIONATE CARING MEDICAL TREATMENT!Take a free depression test and assess for yourself:Do you feel sad or irritable?Have you lost interest in activities you once enjoyed?Have you experienced changes in weight andappetite?Have you experienced changes in sleeping pattern?Do you have feelings of guilt?Are you unable to concentrate, remember thingsand make decisions?Have you experienced fatigue and loss of energy?Have you experienced restlessness or decreased activity?Are any of your symptoms being noticed by others or have they given you any remarks?Do you feel hopeless, or worthless?Have you had thoughts of suicide or death at any moment of time?SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION:Anger/and /or irritability:Sadness/feeling low/feeling emptyFeeling of low self worth/worthlessness/low selfimage/feelings of guiltFeeling of restlessness and anxiety , constant worry etc related to a job or work not being done the right way, or not being done on time, or regarding health, or could be simply vague, not related to any attributable cause.Disinterest in physical appearanceDisinterest in activities that you once enjoyed  or you normally enjoy doingChanges in appetite, weight, mood, and sleep.Frightful, scary or anxious dreams. Sleep could be decreased or could become more as well.Constant feeling of low stamina, tiredness,exhaustion and fatigue. Low energy.Feeling “stressed”Psychomotor agitation or retardation: the person may be either agitated or restless, or physically slowed down in their movements.Brain fag: inability to think, concentrate or take decisions.Thoughts of death: a depressed person may have frequent thoughts of suicide or death, though they may or may not have any  plan to carry it out.TREATMENT AND HOW CAN HOMEOPATHY HELP YOU:There are many aspects of depression. It affects your lifeon all levels, physical and mental, career, job, family , home andrelationships. A proper treatment would target at all of these aspects. Justtreating or focusing on the symptoms and their elimination  IS NOT ENOUGH. One needs to look beyond andaddress the internal causes.While some symptomsmay be attributable to external causes, but depression is not a extrinsic but aintrinsic disorder. Hence care in the form of compassionate medical treatment isessential. Medicines are a important part of the treatment,though many people would not consider it important to seek and take treatment.However, medicines improve your mood , treat your symptoms and make you fit foreveryday life.Homeopathic medicines do not have any side effects and they are safe for your body, brain and mind. It is important to note that depression is treatable 100%. Apart from medications, your doctor would help you with counseling, and other forms of therapy like dance therapy, music therapy, drama therapy,and other creative pursuits suited to you after assessment. Negative thoughtsare helped by CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) by counseling guided by yourdoctor/counselor.COPING UP AND SELF HELPJoin a support group. It could be online or offline.Reduce your stress. Relax. You could turn to yoga or meditation for relaxation too.Sleep on time.Eat your meals on healthy balanced dietwith lots of water, salads, fruits, and veggies.Exercise . walking, jogging, cycling and manyother forms of exercise could be incorporated into your routine.Forgiveness can help depression. Holding on to anger about past events cancontribute to depression. Forgiveness can help us heal and move forward, butthe way we often define forgiveness may prevent us from taking this important step. Do we really have to forget what happened and act like things are okay? To enjoy the benefits of forgiveness, however, we don't have to take it that far.Causes of depression:1. The causes are not clearly understood but it is thought to be multifactorial.It involves disturbances in neurotransmitter functioning. Environmental factors may play an important role. Depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the neurotransmitters which are involved in mood regulation. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances which help different areas of the brain communicate with each other. When certain neurotransmitters are in short supply, this may lead to the symptoms we recognize as clinical depression.2. Female sex hormones:It has been widely documented that women suffer from major depression about twice as often as men. Because the incidence of depressive disorders peaks during women's reproductive years, it is believed that hormonal risk factors may be to blame. Women are especially prone to depressive disorders during times when their hormones are in flux, such as around the time of their menstrual period, childbirth and perimenopause. In addition, a woman's depression risk declines after she goes through menopause.3. Poor nutrition:A poor diet can contribute to depression in several ways. A variety of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are known to cause symptoms of depression. Researchers have also found that diets either low in omega-3 fatty acids or with an imbalanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 are associated with increased rates of depression. In addition, diets high in sugar have been associated with depression. So taking a diet rich in omega3 fatty acids, e.g. eating fish or taking fish oil supplements, flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, nuts such as walnuts, could help depression.Vitamins such as b complex, folic acid and vitamin c can help. You should ensure that you are getting it enough from your diet and you may in addition take supplements but it should be advised and monitored by your family physician.Some mineral deficiencies such as magnesium , zinc, calcium, iron, manganese and potassium also contribute to depression. 4. Medical illnesses:Illness is related to depression in two ways. The stress of having a chronic illness may trigger an episode of major depression. In addition, certain illnesses -- for example, thyroid disorders, Addison's disease and liver disease -- can cause depression symptoms.5. Drugs and certain medications.Coffee, tea, alcohol, smoking, and certain prescription drugs can cause depression. Cholesterol drugs may cause depression. Abstinence from alcohol in a habitual alcoholic can also cause depression.6. Stressful life events.Stressful life events, which overwhelm a person's ability to cope, may be a cause of depression. Scientists have theorized that the high levels of the hormone cortisol, which are secreted during periods of stress, may somehow induce depression by affecting the neurotransmitter serotonin.Depression is linked to stress and the amount of stress.7. Grief and loss.Although grief is a normal response to death and loss, the extreme stress associated with grief can trigger an episode of major depression8. Moving,and depression in children.Some research has shown that certain factors like, changing schools, leaving friends, divorce in the family and past depression can increase the risk of depression in your child. CONCLUSION:A healthy lifestyle can help treat depression to a great extent. So, do not despair. Help is at hand. Do not be alone anymore. Homeopathy is here to help!FURTHER READING:

Premenstrual Tension: Symptoms and Solution

Dr. Ramna Banerjee, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Approximately 5% of women experience severe premenstrual symptoms which include depression, anxiety, irritability and loss of confidence, and physical symptoms including bloating and mastalgia. PMS is ‘a condition which manifests with distressing physical, behavioural andpsychological symptoms, in the absence of organic or underlying psychiatric disease, which regularly recurs during the second half of each menstrual (ovarian) cycle and which disappears or significantly regresses by the end of menstruation’.The degree and type of symptoms can vary significantly from woman to woman. The precise aetiology of PMS remains unknown but cyclical ovarian activity and hormonal fluctuation throughout the month has been implicated.Absence of PMS before puberty, in pregnancy and after the menopause supports this theory . It can be graded as mild, moderate or severe depending on the degree of symptoms. Since patients can find these symptoms very debilitating and often get depressed, patiently listening to them and good support from their doctors and family is always helpful. I advise women to do regular exercise throughout the month like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. Maintaining a optimal body weight and eating a well balanced diet also helps amongst other things in order to get a sense of confidence back.Also reducing tea, coffee, salt intake in the second half of the cycle is helpful. So is yoga.There are medicines available in extreme cases to help with symptom control that can be prescribed by a doctor. These are usually hormonal pills to maintain a balance throughout the cycle or a group of drugs called SSRI's. Also in some cases vitamin supplements like evening primrose oil and vitamin E are prescribed. In extreme cases injections and surgery may have to be considered.