Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Depression is a true medical illness, just like having diabetes or high blood pressure. It’s not a weakness, having the blues or something one can just snap out of. Fortunately, like most illnesses, it is treatable through medication and psychotherapy.

Common symptoms of depression include feeling sad, unhappy, irritable or frustrated; a loss of interest in things that usually bring pleasure; feeling worthless; fatigue, excessive sleeping or insomnia; indecisiveness and decreased concentration; and in some cases, thoughts of death, dying or suicide.

Many of us may briefly experience any of the above symptoms, but the person with true depression lives with these symptoms day in and day out.

Some risk factors of depression are having biological relatives who have depression or who have committed suicide and experiencing stressful events, such as the death or loss of a loved one. Women are also at risk, especially after a pregnancy. Other risk factors are serious, chronic illness and abuse of alcohol, drugs or nicotine.

In general, the most effective treatment for depression is a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

There are many types of antidepressant drugs available, and finding the right one may take some trial and error. Antidepressant drugs may take several weeks to take effect.

A patient who experiences undesired side effects should not stop taking the medication without consulting the prescribing doctor. In many cases, one must taper off the drug to avoid withdrawal.

Psychotherapy is provided by a trained and licensed professional, who can help one to understand one’s thoughts and behaviors and guide one in making effective changes. Ideally, this treatment can also provide a regained feeling of hope, happiness and control.

If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is needed immediately. Here’s what needs to be done:

– Contact a family member, friend or clergy member for help.

– Call a suicide hotline number. Our local number is 877-663-5433.

– Seek professional consultation from a doctor or a mental health provider.

If someone you know is on the verge of, or has attempted, suicide, call 911 immediately for professional and rapid help.

Depression is not a weakness; it is a treatable illness. A doctor can help.

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Interesting facts from medical literature

Beginning today, I will occasionally share with you some interesting facts from articles I have read during my review of current medical literature.

Did you know:

  • Skin cancer on the head or neck is more deadly than on other parts of the body.
  • 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week can reduce blood pressure between 5 and 8 points
  • Extensive use of flip-flop shoes can cause pain in the heel, ankle, lower leg and toes.
  • Pessimistic heart patients are almost twice as likely to die within six to 10 years as heart patients with an optimistic outlook.
  • Trans fats, found in many processed foods, not only increase the risk of heart disease but also increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 9-1-1, then chew and swallow one 325 mg. aspirin
  • Exercising in water burns more calories than doing the same exercise on land.
  • People, who engage in vigorous cardiovascular activities regardless of their size, are healthier and live longer than their sedentary counterparts.
  • Fish oil may help to ease depression.
  • To halt a lower leg calf cramp, flex your foot by pointing it up toward your shin. You can grab and pull the toes and ball of your foot to help flex it.
  • Sixteen percent of people between the ages of 20 to 69 suffer significant hearing loss.
  • Memory loss is linked to low levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol
  • The spread of flu is linked to airline travel. The fewer people who travel by airline over the Thanksgiving holiday, in particular, the slower the flu moves across the country.
  • Vitamin C may fight wrinkles.
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol leads to increased risk of pre-diabetes.
  • Eating or drinking food high in cocoa improves blood flow to the brain and may help prevent stroke and dementia.
  • People with type 2 adult onset diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease, mostly because of increasing cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Those who receive the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine may be at a lesser risk of heart attacks.
  • Adult muscle mass decreases by 1 percent a year after the age of 30.
  • Drinking up to three cups a day of black or green tea reduced stroke risk by 21 percent.
  • Symptoms of depression can be improved by eating less processed sugary foods and increasing foods such as grains and vegetables.
  • For acute low back pain, a day or two of bed rest may be helpful. For more rapid healing, it is best to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible.
  • Newer cooking recipes have larger portion sizes. Stay conscious of portion size when eating.
  • Drowsy driving is linked to 100,000 motor vehicle accidents causing 1,000 deaths and 40,000 injuries.
  • Accidents with dogs and cats cause 80,000 emergency room visits annually for their owners in the United States.

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