Heal Your Emotions: The Anti-Anxiety Diet, Herbs, and Food Supplements for Wholeness

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How to Treat Anxiety and Depression Naturally

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. ALL THE MATERIAL PRESENTED HERE IS NOT INTENDED FOR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT OF ANY TYPE OF MEDICAL CONDITION. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER.

Native Remedies Can Relieve Anxiety, Depression Naturally




Native Herbal Remedies, anxiety remedies, depression remedies, natural depression remedies, Anxiety remedies, alternativie medicine anxiety, alternativie medicine depression, natural depression medicine, natural anxiety treatments, natural anxiety remedies, natural anxiety medicine, natural depression treatments

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Introduction to Herbal Remedies     Anxiety Disorder Treatments: The Best Herbal Remedies for Anxiety     Learning How to Treat Anxiety Disorders and Finding Natural Panic Attack Remedies     Medication for Generalized Anxiety Disorder     Medication for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Alternative Anxiety Disorder Treatments     Herbs for Anxiety: How You Can Find an Alternative to Anti-Anxiety Prescription Medication     Anxiety Symptoms and Treatment: Finding the Best Anxiety Treatment Program for You     Natural Treatments for Anxiety: How You Can Find Natural Anxiety Relief     All that You Want to Know about Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy     Causes and Signs of Anxiety and Depression in Adolescence     Anxiety and Depression After Cancer     Anxiety and High Blood Pressure     Panic Attack Treatments: Create Your Own Holistic Home Spa     Panic Attack Treatments - Take Your Life Back     Natural Treatments For Anxiety - What Are My Options?     Bipolar Co-Morbid Depression Anxiety-Medication     Treatment for Depression and Anxiety: Is Taking Prescription Medication for Anxiety the Best Option?     Natural Cures for Depression: Exploring What Works When It Comes To Herbal Remedies for Depression     Bibliotherapy as a Treatment for Depression - A Viable Option     Major Depression Treatment Options: Why Psychological Treatment Methods for Depression Can Work Better     Herbal Treatments for Depression: Expanding the Options on Your List of Depression Medication     Alternative Treatment for Depression: Learning How Herbs Can Aid in Treating Depression Naturally     Ayurveda - Natural Treatments for Depression     Self-Help - The Best Mild Depression Treatment     Chinese Herbs for Depression     Depression Medications without Sexual Side Effects     Depression Treatment Guidelines for Old People     Identifying and Treating Adolescent Depression     Interpersonal Therapy Treatment for Depression     SSRIs for Treating Depression - Why They Are not Recommended in Some Cases



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WHAT ARE SOME COMMON WORDS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION?

Other names for anxiety include: worry, willies, uneasiness, uncertainty, suspense, shakes, restlessness, panic, nervousness, jitters, fretfulness, foreboding, generalized fear, dread, doubt, distress, disquietude, apprehension, and angst. The kind of anxiety most often requiring professional treatment is the kind of anxiety that interferes with one's normal ability to function in daily life. The same thing is true regarding excessive moods of depression.

Other names for depression include: woefulness, vapors, unhappiness, the blues, sorrow, sadness, qualm, mortification, misery, melancholy, melancholia, lugubriosity, lowness, hopelessness, heavyheartedness, gloominess, gloom, ennui, dumps, dullness, dreariness, downheartedness, dolor, dolefulness, distress, dispiritedness, discouragement, disconsolation, despondency, desperation, desolation, dejection, cheerlessness, blues, bleakness, blahs, abjectness, abjection, abasement. An upleasant or negative mood such as the kind of depression that interferes with one's normal ability to function for long periods of time require professional treatment.

Agoraphobia means a morbid fear of open spaces often including a fear of being caught alone in a public location often while feeling trapped or having no escape from the situation. Related words include: phobic neurosis, phobic disorder and phobia. This aspect of anxiety is also covered on this website.


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ANXIETY DISORDER TREATMENTS: THE BEST HERBAL REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY By Tess Thompson

Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health disorders and affect the lives of millions of people every year, including approximately 19 million in the U.S. alone. If you are one of them, you may wonder if your symptoms are standard, and if there are behavioral and medical treatments that might be effective for you. While everyone experiences anxiety in some form -- perhaps before giving a public presentation or in the midst of major life changes -- those with anxiety disorders experience it unusally often and irrationally.

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, each of which have unique features, but all of them share the symptoms of dread and excessive fear. Five common types are panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. As with most disorders, each individual will experience symptoms slightly differently, and response to treatment will vary as well. While there are prescription medications for anxiety, for those who are wary of the side effects there also exist natural treatments for anxiety which contain herbal ingredients that can produce equally positive effects.

Passion flower (or Passiflora Incarnata) is a natural ingredient that is often used for anxiety relief, as well as to treat hyperactivity, insomnia, nervous tension and even Parkinson's Disease. Passion flower helps to calm and soothe and is believed to be able to reduce nervous tremors and lower high blood pressure.

Lavendar (or Lavandula Augustifolia) is one of the most popular natural ingredients for treatment of a variety of conditions, including anxiety disorder. Lavendar is a general tonic for the nervous system and is well-known for it's calming properties, making it among the most effective of natural panic attack treatments. The active ingredients in lavendar are tannins, flavinoids, coumarins, triterponoids and volatile oil.

Lemon Balm (or Melissa Officinalis) is a natural ingredient that is used as a resorative for the nervous system and also calms the digestive system and reduces blood pressure. Lemon Balm has also been used to treat Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism), and to treat depression and insomnia.

There are no quick fixes for anxiety disorder and anxiety disorder treatments should usually focus heavily on behavioral therapy. No matter how many times you might hear that you "worry too much" or that you should relax, your symptoms are not character flaws but indications of a serious disorder that is not your fault. Anxiety disorder is caused by biological, physiological and genetic factors, and may make your life seem stressful and difficult. There are many others like you who have found effective treatment through therapy, medication, herbal remedies for anxiety or some combination of the aforementioned, and you too have the ability to overcome your disorder to lead a happier, healthier life.

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LEARNING HOW TO TREAT ANXIETY DISORDERS AND FINDING NATURAL PANIC ATTACK REMEDIES
By Tess Thompson


With over 19 million adults affected by them, anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental illnesses in the United States. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks, to name a few, but all of them produce symptoms of excessive fear and dread and can be debilitating to those who suffer from them. Learning how to treat anxiety disorders requires time, practice and patience because in almost all cases, anxiety is best treated by behavioral therapy and not by prescription medication.

Panic attacks are a particularly disabling kind of anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Panic Disorder is characterized by repeated episodes of intense fear that occur frequently and without warning. Panic attacks can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to over a half hour. Most people who suffer from panic episodes usually experience sweating, trembling, rapid heart beat and shortness of breath, and can sometimes also experience chills, cramps, hot flashes, nausea and dizziness.

Panic Disorder is most effectively treated with a combination of psychotherapy and learned relaxation techniques. Many researchers believe that panic attacks are tied to the body's natural "fight-or-flight" response to danger, and learning to recognize the physiological sensations that accompany this response is an important first step in anxiety relief. Therapy can also focus on identifying the irrational fears that produce attacks (fear of dying, fear of embarassment...etc) and teaching coping skills. Relaxation and imagery techniques are also commonly taught to help those who suffer from Panic Disorder to alleviate symptoms of panic attacks while they are experiencing them. In all cases, exercises and techniques taught in therapy must be practiced daily in order to be truly effective.

While prescription medication is not usually an appropriate treatment for Panic Disorder, there are natural treatments for anxiety which have been used safely and effectively for centuries to treat symptoms of anxiety. Lavender (or Lavendula Augustifolia) is on of the most popular popular panic attack remedies and is used for its calming properties and its role as a general nervous system tonic. Passion Flower and Lemon Balm are other excellent natural anxiety and panic attack treatments.

If left untreated, Panic Disorder can intensify to a crippling degree and leave some sufferers fearful of even leaving home. Professional help and a true commitment to battling the disorder are necessary components in your ability to overcome your anxiety and to begin to lead a less anxiety-ridden, healthier life.

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MEDICATION FOR GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER

Anxiety disorder has become a common ailment that seems to be striking at will. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that seventy five percent of people afflicted with anxiety disorder experience their first bout at an average age of 21.5 years.

More and more people are falling prey to this disorder in the United States. Given the seriousness of the problem, medication becomes necessary to control the epidemic and provide anxiety relief. Different classes of medication are prevalent in anxiety disorder and panic attack treatment.

The physical symptoms of anxiety disorder and panic attacks are characterized by sweaty palms, dizziness, insomnia, restlessness and feeling of uncertainty and apprehension. Increased rate of heartbeat, rapid breathing and a tingling sensation in the limbs are other symptoms of anxiety.

The line of treatment in such cases is focused towards improving the level of motivation of the person under treatment and enabling him to face his anxieties. This is achieved by addressing the condition in two phases. The first phase deals with the physical symptoms and depression. The second phase is the manifestation of the attack itself.

Medication has been found to be helpful in treating these phases and the positive effects of it have been ratified through clinical trials. The primary medications that are being used for anxiety disorder are the antidepressants, benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These may be used singly or in combination.

Amongst the tricyclic antidepressants, Imipramine (Tofranil) has been used successfully for a long time. It is non-addictive and has a long lasting effect. It is effective in reducing anxiety attacks and elevating depressive mood. Clinical studies have shown that Imipramine is beneficial for seventy to eighty percent of patients.

The other tricyclic antidepressants that are used regularly by the physicians are clomipramine, amitriptyline, doxepin and desipramine. Physicians usually recommended them to be taken along with the benzodiazepines. The latest formulations of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that have been reported to be beneficial are fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine and sertraline.

These also have fewer side effects than tricyclic antidepressants. Clonazepam and alprazolam are the most commonly used benzodiazepines. These work faster than the tricyclic antidepressants. In fact, alprazolam offers almost instant relief.

Though these are capable of offering faster relief and also have fewer side effects, these can have withdrawal effects. It is important to note here that these medications should be taken under the supervision of a physician. All these chemical formulations have some or the other side effect and hence it is crucial that these be taken as per the recommended dosages.

Because of this reason, the natural treatments for anxiety are becoming popular with people. However, these natural treatments can only supplement the treatment and will never be able to diminish the importance of the medication.

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MEDICATION FOR GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER AND ALTERNATIVE ANXIETY DISORDER TREATMENTS
By Tess Thompson


Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the most difficult of the anxiety disorders to diagnose because it lacks many of the more dramatic symptoms of other disorders. People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are not always prone to panic attacks, for example, and do not necessarily fear social situations. GAD usually includes subtler symptoms, such as excessive worry about things like work, family, health or money, and can be accompanied by physical symptoms that include muscle twitching, headaches, sweating, or gastrointestinal trouble. The National Institute of Health classifies a specific symptom of GAD as being excessive worry or anxiety occurring more days than not for at least a six month period. Many who experience this can begin to feel frustrated and helpless, but there are a variety of successful treatments and therapy that can help restore patients to a normal life.

Individual therapy is generally recommended for people with GAD, as many do not feel comfortable discussing their symptoms in a group environment. Therapy sessions should focus on identifying stress factors, practicing relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, and helping the individual find a balance between work, family, personal time and other obligations.

Doctors occasionally prescribe medication as one of the treatments for anxiety if the individual's symptoms are so intense that they interfere with psychotherapy and relaxation exercises. Benzodiazepines such as diazepam (also known as Valium) and lorazepam (Xanax) are the most commonly prescribed medications for this type of disorder, but it should be noted that there is not much clinical research that has shown these types of medications to be more effective than others. Benzodiazepines can produce sedative side effects that affect performance and daily functioning, and medication for Generalized Anxiety Disorder should only be taken if absolutely necessary and always under professional supervision.

It can often also be beneficial to explore alternative anxiety disorder treatments like herbal medications. The herb Passiflora Incarnata (Passion Flower) is regularly used to provide anxiety relief, and as a treatment for isomnia, hyperactivity and nervous tension. Lemon Balm is an overall nervous system restorative that can also successfuly calm symptoms, as well as Lavender - the most popular and widely used natural ingredient for treatment of anxiety and an active ingredient in panic attack treatments as well.

Successful treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is attainable and should generally include a much more intense focus on therapy than on prescription medication. Many who suffer from the disorder are able to overcome the symptoms purely through focusing their energy on learning how to identify stressors in their lives and regularly practicing methods for coping with them. Each person's life is different, and so are each person's symptoms, but individualized treatment can go a long way toward alleviating anxiety and restoring a healthy life.

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HERBS FOR ANXIETY: HOW YOU CAN FIND AN ALTERNATIVE TO ANTI-ANXIETY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION

Anxiety Disorder can be a debilitating and all-consuming condition for many of those who suffer from it. Whether you are affected by Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder or one of the many other forms of the disorder, you may have investigated the option of using prescription medication as part of your treatment.

With over 19 million people in the U.S. alone reporting suffering from some type of it, anxiety disorder is the most common of all mental health disorders. Fortunately, anxiety disorder is highly treatable, and with professional help, it can often be completely overcome. Many times, successful treatment depends only upon individual or group therapy and learned relaxation techniques. In some cases, however, anti-anxiety prescription medication is also recommended. The most commonly prescribed anxiety medications are benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, because they tend to have fewer side effects than anti-depressant medications. But benzodiazepines also carry a risk of alarming side effects and can be highly addictive, spurring many people to seek safer, more natural alternatives.

There are many natural herbs for anxiety which have been proven to effectively ease many of the symptoms of anxiety with a very low risk of side effects. Just as with prescription medications, everyone reacts differently to natural medications, and it can take time to find the right combination and dosage for your body. There are many combination remedies on the market that include a mixture of effective ingredients, and that may provide you with long-lasting anxiety relief.

Passion flower, an ingredient that is often used in natural medicine, alleviates hyperactivity, anxiety, insomnia, nervous tension -- and is even sometimes used to treat Parkinson's Disease. Passion flower soothes and calms and can lower high blood pressure.

Lemon balm is a general restorative for the nervous system, can reduce blood pressure and also calm the digestive system.

Lavender is an excellent anxiety treatment and one of the best natural panic attack treatments. Lavender is a general tonic for the nervous system and a natural relaxant.

Valerian is a popular natural ingredient that can be used as a sedative and a painkiller. It is often effectively employed as a treatment for anxiety and for insomnia, as well.

You may find that with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation exercises or support groups, or some combination of all of them, you do not need any medication. But if you do decide to explore the option of medication, natural treatments for anxiety can provide you with safe, effective results, without the risk of side effects that prescription medications pose. Natural medications are becoming increasingly popular as awareness of them grows, and you might find that they are the right treatment for you as well.

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ANXIETY SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT: FINDING THE BEST ANXIETY TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR YOU By Tess Thompson

Many people feel anxious at some point in their lives, such as before an important exam or when called upon to speak in public. Anxiousness is a normal reaction to stressful events, but if anxiousness becomes chronic and excessive, it may be the sign of an anxiety disorder.

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, each with its own anxiety symptoms and treatment options. Some of the most common types are generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social phobia and panic disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by constant and exaggerated worrisome thoughts and unnecessary tension about routine events and everyday activities. The symptoms must have existed without interruption for at least six months. Generalized anxiety disorder lacks many of the more dramatic symptoms of other anxiety disorders and so can be harder to diagnose, but it can include physical symptoms like headaches, sweating and gastrointestinal trouble. Individual therapy is usually the best treatment method for finding anxiety relief and should focus on helping the patient identify stress factors and find a balance between work, family and social obligations.

Post traumatic stress disorder can occur after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event like a murder, rape, mugging, car crash or natural disaster. Those who suffer from this disorder can experience the event repeatedly in nightmares and flashbacks and also begin to feel depressed, angry, irritable, can scare easily and become emotionally numb. Post traumatic stress disorder is treated in a similar manner to generalized anxiety disorder and includes identifying stress factors, coping emotionally with the traumatic event, and developing relaxation techniques for coping with anxiety.

Social phobia is characterized by an overwhelming fear of embarrassment, scrutiny or humiliation in social situations which causes people with the condition to avoid normal social activities. Treatment can include medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy, a type of therapy that concentrates on examining the symptoms and reasoning through them, as well as exposing the patient gradually to the circumstances that cause their panic.

Panic disorders are characterized by a frequent and irrational occurrence of episodes of intense fear, otherwise known as a panic attack. Effective treatment usually includes a combination of psychotherapy and learned relaxation techniques.

Anxiety disorders almost always require professional treatment. It is not usually possible to "just get over it", as it is a genuine mental illness that deserves medical attention. Consulting a doctor and developing an appropriate treatment anxiety treatment program is the first step in overcoming this debilitating disorder.

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NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR ANXIETY: HOW YOU CAN FIND NATURAL ANXIETY RELIEF By Tess Thompson

If you find yourself worrying uncontrollably about everyday tasks or if you are constantly and excessively anxious about issues like family health, finances or your job, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. While everybody experiences anxiety occasionally, people who suffer from G.A.D. experience it so excessively that it can interfere with their ability to perform ordinary tasks. In order for the condition to be diagnosed, you must have suffered from these symptoms for at least six consecutive months. And if you are in fact suffering from G.A.D., you may find physical relief in certain natural remedies.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder should be treated by a mental health professional, and treatment is usually multifaceted and tailored toward each individual, especially since the condition is often accompanied by depression or substance abuse. Most professionals recommend behavioral or cognitive therapy, or a combination of both of them, along with relaxation techniques, as an essential part of treatment. Some also recommend prescription anxiety medications, which can be effective in alleviating many symptoms. But increasingly, doctors and patients are finding that natural treatments for anxiety can provide much of the same relief as prescription medication, but without the potentially alarming side effects.

When combined with relaxation exercises, kava kava (or piper methysticum) is an excellent anxiety remedy that can also be used to promote sleep (insomnia is a common symptom of G.A.D.) if taken in a higher dosage. It should not be used as a sleep aid for longer than four months.

Valerian is a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia that is extremely popular worldwide. It is also used as a natural sedative and painkiller, and when taken at bedtime it can help prevent panic attacks.

Passion flower is an ingredient that can successfully treat insomnia, hyperactivity and nervous tension. Passion flower is naturally soothing and calming, and can also be used to treat hypertension and lower blood pressure.

Lavender is a popular natural remedy for a variety of conditions, one of which is anxiety disorder. Lavender is a nervous system tonic and one of the best natural panic attack treatments.

If you are already taking prescription medication and decide to stop in favor of natural remedies, it should always be in consultation with a healthcare professional. Natural remedies can provide a safe and effective alternative to other medications, but as with all medicine, it can take time to find the correct dosage for each individual, and it might take a few weeks before you see the effects. With patience and resolve, you may find yourself on the rewarding path to finding natural anxiety relief.

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ALL THAT YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION DURING PREGNANCY

Even though pregnancy is supposed to be the happiest period in the life of a woman, a tenth of all women go through this phase facing some symptom of anxiety or depression. About 5 percent of women undergo major depression during pregnancy. Anxiety and depression during pregnancy is fairly normal and if you are going through this phase, you should know that a large number of women face similar thoughts and worries.

Feeling anxious about the nutrition that you need to take for the child, being worried about the health of the baby and the future of your life with your partner after the baby comes, is something that most, if not all, women go through. Thoughts about how you will manage a small baby along with your ambitious work life and home management can send shivers down the calmest of people.

Nervousness and apprehension can get severe at times and even cause panic attacks. But help for panic attack treatments and anxiety relief is available and there is no need to worry incessantly about these aspects. To avoid anxiety from manifesting in panic attacks, try and stay calm. Talking about your concerns with your partner, your caregiver and other women who are pregnant or have just delivered can help you calm down a lot.

Discussions with your partner may bring out certain apprehensions that he may also have and will help both of you bond more in this beautiful phase of your life. Avoid stressful situations and reduce the workload that you have. Don�t fret about a messy cupboard or room and if you are a workingwoman ensure that you leave office on time and learn to say no. Try and pamper yourself and pay attention to your nutrition. Ensure that you exercise regularly.

Effective natural treatments for anxiety are yoga, deep breathing, aromatherapy and stretching. This relaxes the muscles causing you to relax. Joining or creating a support group can also be a great idea. Antenatal depression is somewhat different from anxiety. It is more serious since it is often undiscovered and is mistaken for mood swings caused by hormonal changes in the body.

Depression is also a biological illness wherein the hormones cause certain chemical changes in the brain. Extended sadness, lack of sleep, under eating or overeating, lack of interest in any activity, thoughts of death and suicide and lack of concentration are all key symptoms of depression. Women who have a history of depression in the family are at a higher risk of experiencing clinical depression during pregnancy.

Relationship issues with partner, earlier pregnancy loss, extended fertility treatments and an otherwise stressful and demanding lifestyle can trigger of depression during pregnancy. The reason why it is critical to detect antenatal depression is because, if untreated, it can harm the baby. Depression leads to poor nutrition, an increase in alcohol consumption and smoking, all of which are extremely harmful for the development of the baby. Factors like these can cause premature birth and low birth weight.

Help should be sought immediately in the form of support groups or psychotherapy or medication or light therapy depending on the recommendation of your caregiver. If your case is severe and requires medication, opt for natural remedies to start with. These are harmless for you and for your baby. In case your particular case requires medication and cannot be treated by other means, make sure that the medication is safe.

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CAUSES AND SIGNS OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION IN ADOLESCENCE

Anxiety and depression in adolescence has been on the increase of late. A fairly significant 5 percent of the kids and teens population suffers from clinical depression. This clinical anxiety and depression should be understood as different from the loose manner in which we tend to use the words anxiety and depression. Depression is the extended feeling of sadness, hopelessness, pessimism and despair that desists the adolescent from carrying about normal daily activities required in life.

The causes for anxiety and depression have not been identified unambiguously but there are certain factors that are known to increase the probability of anxiety and depression in adolescents. The first of these causes that has been researched and established as one that determines the risk of anxiety and depression in adolescents is heredity. The National Institute of Mental Health claims in a press release that depression is 40 to 70% inheritable. Experiences in the past that are linked to a major loss or setback can also trigger anxiety and depression in adolescence. Circumstances like the death of a close friend, parent or sibling, rejection from peer group chronic illness, psychological or sexual abuse and a physical disorder may lead to a higher probability of being afflicted with anxiety and depression.

Though there are medications available to ensure anxiety relief and depression management, these medications are not free from side effects and can cause more harm then help especially among adolescents. Natural treatments for anxiety are a much better option that can be sure to provide risk free solutions.

The first thing however is to understand the key symptoms that can give you the first indications of anxiety and depression in your teens. If these individual or combinations of symptoms persists for more than a period of 2 weeks, you should take action and probably use a Beck Depression Inventory to access the severity of the case. A depressed teen will show signs of an all-consuming sadness that leads to a feeling of emptiness and low self-esteem. Depressed teens tend to withdraw and cocoon themselves in a shell of their own. They loose interest in activities that they used to enjoy earlier. On the physical aspect, they may develop an eating disorder and either loose appetite or become anorexic. They may feel that they are tired all the time and as if someone has sucked out all life from them. This leads to a feeling of dejection and failure.

The physical manifestations of anxiety and depression in adolescents lead to many psychological issues. Concentration levels decrease and a sense of hopelessness and being worthless surfaces. A nagging fear of being abandoned by friends, relatives and parents constantly hounds these teens and at times results in panic attacks. The severity may reach a level where the teen may talk about suicide and delve on the subject for too long. The effect of anxiety and depression in adolescence has far more outreaching consequences. The effects lead to a lack of interest in hygiene, intermittent and short periods of crying, increased and sudden irritable bouts and aggression, fears and phobias.

Some of the more recognizable and commonly known symptoms of anxiety and depression disorders are recurring nightmares, irritability, loss of appetite and at times, even terrorism. Psychosomatic symptoms like headaches, dizziness and vomiting also start showing up in extreme cases.

Knowing these symptoms can help in identifying the issue and taking specific steps before it is too late. It is however, important to remember that this is just the start of the problem and that extreme patience and love shall be required to treat anxiety or clinical depression.

Make sure that you use the right counselor or psychologist to ensure that the best treatment is meted out to your teen.

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ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION AFTER CANCER

Cancer is a dreaded disease that can cause a significant level of psychological distress in the patient and may lead to anxiety or depression. A person who has been diagnosed with cancer knows that surviving cancer is more than just killing cancer cells and getting through treatment. Patients have to deal with the emotional, social, and financial consequences of a cancer diagnosis. This has been proven by a clinical study that established the fact that the patients experienced distress during the treatment and had difficulties in making adjustments in their lives in the long term. The same study also indicated that more intensive cancer treatments are associated with an increased risk of anxiety.

The anxiety or depression in people, who have been diagnosed with cancer, stems from the fears and uncertainties that they experience. Contrary to the expectations, patients especially in advanced stage of cancer experience anxiety or depression not because of fear of death, but from the fear of being left alone, fear of uncontrolled pain and dependency on others.

However, many of these causes can be alleviated with treatment to provide anxiety relief. The treatment for providing relief from anxiety should start by educating the patient with the information on cancer and the treatment it requires. This will help him or her completely understand the situation and the treatment options. Most cancer patients go through a phase of extreme anger and helplessness that stems from a feeling that life has been unfair to them. The only way of overcoming this feeling is to channel the anger towards positive action like seeking adequate and appropriate help.

Another major cause of depression or anxiety in cancer patients is the fear of being left alone. This is activated if the family shows signs of being scared of the condition. A cancer support group can be of great help by providing avenues of talking about the condition to other people who understand the situation better and can provide valuable inputs on how to manage life, going forward.

These support groups can also help the family in understanding that the condition is nothing to be scared of so that they can mete out humane treatment to the patient. Even those lucky few who are diagnosed in the early stages of cancer and have been successfully treated may suffer from anxiety or depression due to thoughts of a relapse that can hound them. Though some people are able to grow out of the shadow of this worry, there are some who may be troubled by it.

The anxiety associated with this increases when another member of the family falls sick or during follow-up visits to the doctor. Such people need to develop a positive mental attitude, find ways and means to relax and most importantly talk about your feelings with others. In cases where these approaches do not work, medications for anxiety relief may be used in combination with these techniques.

Natural treatments for anxiety are also gaining prominence since they do not have side effects and are not habit forming.

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ANXIETY AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

High blood pressure is a condition that cuts across all the age groups. It is important not to neglect this condition and one should get help as soon as he or she is diagnosed. It is a symptom of stress and anxiety and should be diagnosed properly since the blood pressure in a normal person can fluctuate during the day due to the effect of stress, anxiety, alcohol intake and the likes.

To confirm a case of high blood pressure, persistent elevated readings should be recorded at different times during the day, on different days and in different circumstances. It is a well-established fact that acute stress and anxiety can lead to a momentary increase in blood pressure due to changes in the flow pattern of blood from the heart.

Chronic anxiety can lead to prolonged hypertension. Anxiety disorder has been linked with increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular mortality. Close to seventy percent of all the high blood pressure problems are linked to emotional stress or anxiety during difficult situations. Conversely, higher levels of anxiety have been found in hypertensive subjects. When this phenomenon becomes recurrent, it can lead to long-term permanent damage like heart attacks, kidney failure or liver failure.

Also, when one is anxious it is easy to resort to other unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking, which can further aggravate the problem. Hence it is critical that the treatment being administered for controlling high blood pressure should also provide anxiety relief.

Here are some tips which can help you manage your condition of high blood pressure and at the same time will help in providing relief from anxiety. One should eat regular meals and avoid stimulants like coffee. Preference should be given to foods that are natural like fruits, whole grains etc. It is also important to exercise regularly. It will help relieve tension and also boost the cardiovascular system.

However, it is prudent to consult your doctor before embarking on an exercise regimen. It is equally important to get adequate rest since it will relax the muscles and help in relieving the buildup of stress and anxiety. If nothing works, it is advisable to consult your doctor for medication to address your blood pressure as well as providing relief from anxiety.

Since these medications have their side effects, it is wise to evaluate the natural treatments for anxiety relief in consultation with your doctor. This can help you provide complete relief from anxiety, thereby eliminating the root cause of your high blood pressure.

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PANIC ATTACK TREATMENTS: CREATE YOUR OWN HOLISTIC HOME SPA By Tess Thompson

Let’s face it: life can be overwhelming at times – to say the very least. The ways in which we deal with stressors are as individual and unique as our different personalities. What works for one person may not be the remedy for another, but there are some strikingly similar physical and mental symptoms we may experience, leading us to seek solid panic attack treatments so that we may live fuller, healthier lives.

There are several holistic treatments that respond favorably to anxiety, and you can use them in the peace and privacy of your own home to thwart the next panic attack that assaults your system.

When the television is blaring, the phone is ringing, and someone has just arrived at the door, you may feel as if there is no way out, becoming overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with the situation.

Yet it is entirely within your power to manage anxiety – and resulting panic -- in a healthier way. You may not have control over what happens in your life, but you can control your reactions to difficulties you encounter.

Of course, a knee-jerk reaction to anxiety is to try to remove it entirely from your life. But this is not always possible and, in some cases, it may not be the best approach. Instead, you might consider limiting your contact with whatever causes your anxiety and look around your own home for ways to find anxiety relief:

1. Take a break -- just a few minutes away from the situation can help clear your head, enabling you to better handle anxiety in the long run.
2. Eliminate “all-or-nothing” thinking. If you’re having trouble studying for a test, do you assume that you are going to fail the entire course? If you have a disagreement with your spouse, do you think he or she will eventually leave you? If your mother is ill, do you begin worrying that she will die soon? Such disaster-oriented thinking will lead to further anxiety or panic. Adopt a more realistic approach to problems to limit your emotional reactions.
3. Begin to focus on performing tasks well rather than perfectly. Cut yourself some slack!
4. Abandon the “winner-take-all” philosophy. If you feel you always have to win, you’re setting yourself up for competition -- even with yourself. Adopt an “everybody wins” philosophy. Following this viewpoint will alter your perspective of your own anxiety, helping you to just “take life as it comes.”
5. Anticipate your panic. When you feel it coming on, visualize something calming, such as an ocean or a tree. Don’t give into the temptation to self-destruct. Getting angry will not solve your problem. If you feel as if your blood is about to boil, take a step back and reassess your options.

That’s just the short list; there are many natural treatments for anxiety. Granted, it is not easy to control the onset of panic and anxiety. But if you learn to make a habit of controlling your reactions to anxiety, it will be well worth the work involved.

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PANIC ATTACK TREATMENTS - TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK

You might already know that there are a number of treatment options available for people suffering from debilitating panic attacks. Many of these options belong to the natural remedies category and they promise to offer instant as well as long term relief from panic attacks. You can take your pick from herbal tablets, liquids and capsules.

Panic Attack Treatments � Popular Products

Most of the popular natural panic attack treatments have propriety ingredients, which are usually plant or vegetable extracts. For example, Nerve Tonic is one such product and it taken by the sublingual method � meaning it is dissolved under the tongue. Nerve Tonic is not at all addictive and can be discontinued at any time.

Similarly, another product worth mentioning is PureCalm, which manages to tackle panic attacks using the theory of aromatherapy. All you need to do is have about twelve to twenty drops of PureCalm per day and you will feel yourself more calm and relaxed. PureCalm is 100% natural and does not have any side effects.

Natural Treatments And Group Programs

Understanding the reason behind your panic attacks can also help you cope with them better. Natural treatments for anxiety include group therapy programs that focus on panic attack treatment and help people overcome them without any medications (pharmaceutical or otherwise). You can search for a program in your area and join one - you might just be surprised at how taking a simple class can help you manage your panic and anxiety attacks.

Massage And Acupressure

Many people consider massages as relief only for physical problems. However, special techniques such as acupressure and shiatsu are known to provide anxiety relief as they for focus on certain stress points of the body and exercise those points. This is probably one the best ways to fight panic attacks; however, they do take some time to have an effect. Therefore, you need to be patient when using acupressure and massage remedies to help you overcome anxiety.

There are new innovations in the field of panic and anxiety relief on a regular basis so it is quite likely that you will be able to find newer ways to treat your panic and anxiety attacks in the years to come.

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NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR ANXIETY - WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Anxiety attacks are manifested both mentally and physically. Thus, any natural treatments for anxiety have to take the needs of both the mind and body into account. Though you might be tempted to take prescription medications, you may want to look into alternative treatments.

If you are willing to spend some time and effort in treating your anxiety problem, the following anxiety relief tips can lead you in the right direction:

You Are What You Eat

Food has the ability to heal as well as nourish the body � but natural treatments for anxiety don't include junk food! If you are suffering from anxiety attacks, you need to pay special attention to what you eat and avoid any items that are high in sugar, as they can lead to hyperactivity of the mind and body.

Many dieticians recommend limited intake of tea and coffee, which are part of a high-stress lifestyle. Stimulants should be avoided and this includes alcohol and chocolates as well!

Natural Treatments For Anxiety Include Exercise!

Sometimes anxiety attacks can happen when a person has worries about their health and overall fitness. The first thing to do to tackle this type anxiety is to start working towards good health. You can choose simple exercises such as walking on a regular basis or visiting a gym to get a personal trainer put together a program for you.

Taking up a sport is even better, as it provides you with a structured fitness program. A few days of regular exercise go a long way towards reducing your stress and anxiety levels.

Going Back In History�Picking Up From Ancient Herbs

People in ancient civilizations seem to have a better understanding of how to cater to the well-being of their bodies and mind than we do.

Chinese and Indian traditions have some excellent natural treatments for anxiety which are prepared with the help of natural herbs, which can significantly reduce anxiety levels.

Aromatherapy, which has become a buzzword in natural remedy circles, has been around for centuries. Though the above anxiety relief tips sound simple, they take a good amount of will power to execute.

You can also include a multi-vitamin in your diet, which give you an extra boost of energy and help your body fight anxiety attacks.

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BIPOLAR CO-MORBID DEPRESSION ANXIETY-MEDICATION

Research has not established any specific class of diagnosis that can determine co-morbidity of depression and anxiety.

However, there is a broad acceptance that a general sense of fear, with or without panic symptoms, does appear along with depression in nearly half of the reported cases. Co-morbidity of bipolar depression and anxiety can be extremely difficult to manage in a patient.

Just as a passing feeling of sadness cannot be termed as clinical depression, brief periods of anxiety cannot be labeled as anxiety disorders. The symptoms for either disease need to be prevalent for approximately six months and impede normal working to be termed as an anxiety disorder.

There are different types of depression:

1. Mild chronic depression - A persistent feeling of continuous sorrow that lasts for at least two years. This depression is also called dysthymia.
2. Major depression - A condition of intense sadness, which may or may not be recurring
3. Bipolar Disorders: A cyclic and episodic condition of depression and severe or mild mania (hypomania).
4. Post-natal depression – A condition caused due to exhaustion from delivery. A depression is termed as a post-natal depression only if it occurs within 2 years of delivery.

Similarly, there are also different kinds of anxiety disorders that exist.

1. Panic disorders - A fear of impending and unreal doom.
2. Obsessive compulsive disorder – A condition of wherein the patient gets perpetually upsetting thoughts.
3. Post traumatic stress – Anxiety that is caused due to extreme physical trauma or threat of physical harm.
4. Social phobia – A chronic fear of being watched and judged by others.
5. Specific phobias - Extreme fear of something of harmless objects or people.
6. Generalized anxiety - A general state of hyperactivity and extreme worry.

Treating depression and anxiety in the same person can be a challenging task. Co-morbidity of these disorders actually needs treatment for three different types of symptoms - anxiety, depression and mania. There is fine line that separates all three conditions. Treating such a patient involves assessing the extent of each condition so as to provide accurate prescriptions.

Antidepressants and mood elevators can be used to treat the depression phase of the bipolar disorder and anxiety. But when the manic phase of the bipolar disorder surfaces, the patient needs to be administered mood stabilizers. Providing the correct dosage for each of these medicines becomes extremely tricky and leaves no scope for mistakes. A minute oversight or misunderstood symptom can be catastrophic and result in aggravation of the existing condition.
Alternative therapies and natural remedies for depression can play a significant role in treating bipolar and anxiety co-morbidity. This is because they have little or no side effects. They are also are easy to handle and do not require micro level management of the case.

Treating depression naturally with the aid of nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbal extracts, exercise, yogic postures, psychiatric counseling, acupuncture and acupressure may prove to be a better option in cases of unpredictable rapid switching of alternating symptoms.

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TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: IS TAKING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION FOR ANXIETY THE BEST OPTION? By Tess Thompson

Here is the good news about anxiety disorders: They are treatable. There are a variety of treatments for anxiety, including behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques and medication. But the question more and more patients are posing to their doctors is: Is prescription medication the best treatment option?

Anxiety is complicated to diagnose because it is often found to be a symptom of other medical conditions or a side effect of other behaviors. For example, some people react to too much caffeine by exhibiting symptoms of anxiety disorders, including, occasionally, panic attacks. Other conditions that can be accompanied by anxiety are hypoglycemia, hyperthyroid, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and, most often, depression.

When a patient who is suffering from depression is also suffering from anxiety disorder, doctors can often see it as a good sign. In general, it means that the person has not accepted or given in to their depressed condition, and is anxious about it. To alleviate the anxiety, doctors can recommend different types of therapy, each of which can work equally well. Most doctors recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps the patient first to identify the cause of his anxiety, talks him through it, and then slowly and carefully exposes him to situations which make him feel anxious and teaches him how to cope.

In addition to therapy and learned relaxation techniques, doctors will sometimes recommend prescription medication for anxiety -- most often benzodiazepines like Xanax. These medications should not be taken for more than a few months at a time and should not be relied upon as a permanent treatment option. They can be highly addictive and can also produce disturbing side effects, which makes many examine them closely before agreeing to try them.

In many cases, anxiety can be treated without any medication at all. In cases where medication is recommended, there are also natural treatment options for those who are reluctant to begin a regimen that includes prescription medications. If you decide to pursue this route to anxiety relief, look for remedies that include ingredients like passion flower, which is also used to alleviate hypertension, insomnia and nervous tension. Other effective ingredients are lavender, which is one of the most popular panic attack treatments, and lemon balm, a natural anxiety treatment that also serves as a general tonic for the nervous system.

Whichever methods you employ, remember that there are many effective methods of treatment for anxiety and depression, and that patience and persistence will eventually lead you the healthy option that is best for you.

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NATURAL CURES FOR DEPRESSION: EXPLORING WHAT WORKS WHEN IT COMES TO HERBAL REMEDIES FOR DEPRESSION

At any given time 9.5% of the population is suffering from some form of depression. Many of these people never seek treatment or are unaware that depression is in fact treatable. While not everyone experiences the same symptoms, if you are suffering from depression, you may feel consistently sad or empty, experience feelings of guilt or helplessness, lose interest in things you once enjoyed, suffer from insomnia and decreased energy, or have thoughts of suicide.

There are many potential causes for depression, and cases vary from person to person. Depression can run in families, which leads some researchers to believe that the condition can be inherited. In some cases, people who have experienced trauma or are suffering from severe illnesses will also develop a depressive disorder, suggesting that depression can be caused by psychological or physical changes in one's life as well. Depression is more common in women than men, and can sometimes be caused by hormonal changes in the body, which women are more prone to.

Any diagnosis of a depressive disorder should be accompanied by a physical evaluation and conducted by a doctor. There are some viral illnesses, as well as other medications, that can cause symptoms of depression, and these should be ruled out. Once a diagnosis is obtained, your doctor should work with you to develop the best treatment for you.

Depression can often be treated with therapy alone, but some patients do decide to try prescription medication. The most commonly prescribed medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It can take a while to find the right medication or combination of medications for each person, but all prescription depression medications have a risk of minor, or occasionally major, side effects.

If prescription medications aren't working as well as you'd like them to, or if you're unhappy with the side effects and risks that accompany them, you may decide to explore herbal remedies for depression. There are many natural cures for depression available in the marketplace, but it's best to look for ones with a few key ingredients:

St. John's Wort is one of the most effective natural ingredients for treating depression. In fact, in some countries like Germany, St. John's Wort outsells many of the major prescription anti-depressive medications. The active ingredients in St. John's Wort are believed to naturally boost serotonin levels, which helps lift spirits and ease depression.

Passion flower is a natural ingredient that is often used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. It helps to soothe and calm, and when combined with St. John's Wort can be a wonderful aid in treating depression naturally.

Depression is a life-consuming condition, but you do not have to suffer quietly. If you think have a depressive disorder, seek professional help to find the treatment options that are best for you and your condition, whether they include prescription medication or natural remedies for depression, and remember to explore a variety of options before making a decision.

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BIBLIOTHERAPY AS A TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION - A VIABLE OPTION

Out of the numerous treatment options, self help is probably the best way to get out of depression. The reason why self help works best is because this method of treatment presupposes that the patient is aware of the problem and willing to do something about it. This is also the reason why psychotherapy works best when the patient goes to a therapist on his own volition instead of external pressure.

Bibliotherapy is a recent addition to the already available options of treating depression. In the early stages of development of this therapy, it was used to treat only children and teenagers. With increasingly encouraging results, the concept was adopted and tried for adults too.

Bibliotherapy can be best described as a ‘reading therapy’. It involves prescription of books to patients for reading. This method can be adopted as part of psychotherapy where the patient is asked to read certain books between sessions. Self help is elemental to the concept of Bibliotherapy. It is primarily based on cognition, the psychological result of perception, learning and reasoning.

Research and studies conducted in the past decade have established that self help manuals prove to be very effective in purging emotional tensions. It is a natural human tendency to identify with others in similar situations, especially in literature. Books that give specific details about how people in similar situations met the challenges and succeeded are selected.

Under Bibliotherapy such books are recommended for reading so that it becomes clear to the patient that others also face similar situations. The positive literature chosen allows the patient to understand that it is possible to get over complicated situations and meet challenges head on. Basically the kinds of books that are chosen eulogize the maxim that ‘tough times do not last but tough people do’. In technical terms this process is known as cognitive behavioral therapy.

The key aspect of the entire therapy is in the selection of books. If the books chosen for reading are not relevant, they are likely to have no impact on the individual. These books should also contain logically valid information about how to defeat depression.

Bibliotherapy can form an integral part of treating depression naturally at the primary care level. There are many instances of mild depression where medication is not necessary. Bibliotherapy in conjunction with natural remedies for depression can play an effective role in self management of depression. But the general practitioners and primary health care providers need adequate training and understanding of the concept. There is every possibility of Bibliotherapy gaining momentum. With more and more books coming out specifically for use in Bibliotherapy, the time should not be far when this concept may prove helpful in managing chronic disorders also.

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MAJOR DEPRESSION TREATMENT OPTIONS: WHY PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT METHODS FOR DEPRESSION CAN WORK BETTER

Millions of people who are suffering from depression are currently taking antidepressant medication in an attempt to battle the condition. Oftentimes, doctors are quick to prescribe the medication -- in fact, many times, it's the first thing they do after diagnosing a patient.

One of the keys to understanding and treating depression is understanding what antidepressants really do: they tackle the symptoms of depression, not the roots. In many cases, psychotherapy and behavioral therapy are much more effective in treating depression and preventing relapse than medication is. Antidepressants can be useful, especially in cases where the symptoms are so intense that it prevents the patient from receiving any other kind of treatment. But even in those cases where major depression treatment is needed, antidepressants alone are rarely enough to permanently battle the condition -- they are just an effective way to temporarily relieve the patient's symptoms enough to allow him/her to receive proper treatment.

Antidepressants are used to treat chemical imbalance in the brain, but what many do not realize is that the chemical imbalance is usually a symptom of depression and not the cause. Even when treating the symptoms, antidepressants can be highly unpredictable. In one third of the cases, the medication is effective; in one third, it is partially effective, and in the remaining third, it is not effective at all. In many cases, even when the medication is working, the side effects are so unpleasant that the patient elects to stop using it. Also, antidepressants are not meant to be taken permanently. When a patient stops taking them, he/she is likely to relapse.

Depression is often better combated without any medication at all. Psychological treatment methods for depression -- especially certain kinds of psychotherapy -- have proven highly effective in treating the condition permanently. Good counseling will break down each patient's cycle of depression and help the patient identify unhealthy behaviors or thinking patterns and teach him/her how to change them. If there is a particular event that triggered the depression, counseling can help the patient work through that as well.

Some herbal remedies can be a good complement to therapy by helping to naturally relieve some of the symptoms of depression. St. John's Wort is generally considered to be one of the most potent natural remedies for depression, and is so effective that it outsells prescription medications in some markets. Other popular choices for treating depression naturally include ginko biloba and passion flower.

In all cases, depression should be treated with the help of a professional. However, the more responsibility you take for learning about your condition, the better you'll understand your options, and the more participation you'll have in deciding which treatment is best for you. Remember to allow time for whichever treatment option you choose to take effect, and to speak up if you are uncomfortable. Eventually, you will find your path to better health.

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HERBAL TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION: EXPANDING THE OPTIONS ON YOUR LIST OF DEPRESSION MEDICATION By Tess Thompson

Over 20 million adults in the U.S. are suffering from depression, and many of them have explored the use of antidepressant medication to help alleviate their symptoms. Not all people who suffer from depression choose to use medication; oftentimes, therapy alone is enough to successfully treat the condition. But those who do are faced with a variety of options -- including herbal ones.

Antidepressants are more widely used to treat serious depression than mild depression. There are several kinds of antidepressants, all of which work slightly differently. One common type is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This type of medication specifically targets the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is essential in monitoring mood. Commonly prescribed SSRIs include Prozac, Paxil, Luvox and Zoloft.

Another kind of antidepressant is the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs are usually only recommended to patients with atypical symptoms, and are not usually the first type of antidepressant prescribed to a person. If a patient is not responding to other types of antidepressants, a doctor may recommend an MAOI. MAOIs work by reducing the amount of monoamine oxidase in the brain. Monoamine oxidase is the substance that breaks down neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepenephrine, which help regulate mood. Reducing the amount of monoamine oxidase in the system can help restore brain chemical balance. Nardil and Parnate are examples of MAOIs.

While prescription antidepressants can work for some patients, they also produce an alarming amount of side effects in many cases. Sexual dysfunction, nausea, diarrhea and headaches are just a few of the commonly reported side effects. Even more disturbingly, these medications can also cause thoughts of suicide, particularly in younger patients.

Many who are fed up with the side effects of antidepressants (or who simply don't want to risk them in the first place) turn instead to natural remedies for depression. Some remedies have proven to be so effective that they outsell prescription medications in some markets. St. John's Wort, for example, is one of the herbal treatments for depression that works so well that in Germany, it outsells many major prescription antidepressants. St. John's Wort is believed to boost serotonin levels in the brain, naturally lifting spirits and alleviating feelings of depression.

There are many other natural ingredients that are effective in treating depression, including passion flower, ginko biloba, and kava kava, among others. You should always consult a doctor before beginning or ending any prescription medication, and if you decide to pursue the option of treating depression naturally, remember to give the medication time to take effect. Whatever choice you make, patience and perseverance in exploring the options on your list of depression medication will ultimately lead you to a happier, healthier life.

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ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION: LEARNING HOW HERBS CAN AID IN TREATING DEPRESSION NATURALLY By Tess Thompson

If you are like many of the 20.9 million adults in the U.S. who are suffering from depression, you have probably debated the pros and cons of taking prescription antidepressants. While depression can often be combated with therapy alone, some professionals do recommend medication for certain cases. The right type and dosage of a prescription medication can sometimes meet with success for a patient, but many experience side effects that outweigh the benefits.

Side effects vary between the different types of antidepressant, but the most commonly prescribed medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft are all SSRIs, and often produce side effects such as sexual dysfunction, nausea, diarrhea and headaches, and in some cases thoughts of suicide. In order to avoid these, more and more people are deciding instead to explore natural remedies for depression.

Among those who know, St. John's Wort is almost unanimously agreed upon as the alternative treatment for depression. Many believe that it is more effective at treating depression than many prescription medications but with fewer risks. The active compounds in St. John's Wort help naturally reduce feelings of sadness, anxiety and worthlessness, and many who take it also report less exhaustion and fewer headaches. Best of all, this herb often produces no side effects, although some might experience sensitivity to sun or other minor side effects.

Ginko Biloba is a natural ingredient that improves circulation in the brain, which often in turn improves memory and also alleviates some symptoms of depression. It is not as effective as St. John's Wort, but it can be taken in conjunction with other natural ingredients as an overall mood-booster.

Siberian Ginseng aids the balance of essential neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Taking Siberian Ginseng regularly can lead to improved feelings of general well-being.

Passion flower is another natural ingredient that can help treat depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. Passion flower is a natural salve that helps to calm and soothe. When it is combined with St. John's Wort, it can be very successful in treating depression naturally.

These and many other herbs are helpful in alleviating many of the symptoms of depression, and as with anything you put into your body, each person will react differently to them. It is important to allow a trial period in order to feel the effects of the natural medications, as some will take several weeks to take effect. As always, you should seek a doctor's advice before you decide to stop taking a prescription medication, and you should avoid combining prescription medications with natural medications. Hopefully, you will find a safe, healthy combination of natural ingredients helps you to feel consistently better over time.

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AYURVEDA - NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION

Clinical depression is radically different from a passing feeling of sadness. It is a phase of low mood that lasts for more than three to four weeks at a stretch. Typical symptoms of depression are social withdrawal, insomnia, change in appetite, weight gain or loss, extreme pessimism and a feeling of worthlessness.

Passing phases of sadness can potentially lead to clinical depression if not attended to. It is imperative that you arm yourself with some protection to avoid such a situation. Some simple procedures including natural remedies for depression can prove very helpful in boosting energy levels and avoiding depressive moods.

According to the ancient Indian therapy Ayurveda, disease is caused by an imbalance of the three aspects. These aspects are the basis of the healthy functioning of a body. They are vata (wind), kapha (phlegm) and pitta (heat). Depression occurs when this imbalance is accompanied by “lack of awareness of one’s deeper, inner Self.”

Apart from targeting diet and lifestyle changes that restore this imbalance the main focus of Ayurveda in treating depression is on natural meditation and awareness of the inner Self. Ayurveda uses techniques like meditation and yoga to help in combating depression. One does not need to be a yogic expert to perform these basic exercises. These exercises can be performed in the comfort of your home. They can help in achieving inner bliss and can promote positive thinking.

The most significant aspect of Ayurvedic treatment is that it does not have any of the side effects that are associated with conventional medication. Ayurveda can be very helpful in treating depression naturally.

According to Ayurveda one should sleep before 10pm, which is the start of the “kapha” time. This ensures a sound sleep that is not disrupted by emotional distress and tossing in bed. Sleeping late makes you feel hungry. Eating at odd hours in the night puts an undue burden on the digestive system. The digestive system, therefore, does not get the rest and is unable to carry out the natural detoxification process effectively. Sleeping through late mornings leads to a choking of the system and causes dullness and reduced communication between the heart and mind.

Ayurveda proposes getting up early in the morning and performing some basic deep breathing exercises. Exercise is a great stress reliever and it also helps you remain in good shape. The early morning sun provides positive energy and uplifts moods. A walk in early sunlight also helps in easy bowel movement, which is necessary for the energy that you need to meet the challenges of the day.

Ayurveda recommends dietary changes that are easy on the digestive system for easy elimination. These are natural foods that help in creating stability in emotions, balance in the natural body systems and therefore aid in attaining a healthy body. Oily and fried foods should be avoided. Instead opt for healthy foods like milk, clove, walnut, pear and coconut. Fresh cheese, raisins, nuts and dates are natural sources of healthy proteins. Coffee is a stimulant that increases anxiety, a major cause behind depression. Homemade buttermilk prepared from fresh yogurt is a healthy substitute to coffee.

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SELF-HELP - THE BEST MILD DEPRESSION TREATMENT

Clinical depression is a condition that is far removed from the everyday meaning of “feeling depressed”. Occasional sadness or absence of motivation does not classify as clinical depression. A clinical diagnosis that refers to a prolonged state of sadness, melancholia or despair is what constitutes clinical depression. The sadness needs to have reached a level where it starts hampering work schedules and social activities for it to be apt for drug treatment.

Mild depression basically means that there are some symptoms of depression but the individual is still able to do justice, although with difficulty, to family, societal or job commitments that he may have. Treating depression with antidepressants is not advisable if you are suffering from mild depression. Mild depression can be managed using natural remedies for depression.

Even though it may not need drug treatment, mild depression should not be ignored. Simple solutions can save the day if such cases of depression are identified and addressed. Sometimes it is a simple case of giving vent to your feeling in front of a relative or a friend. Sometimes sharing your experience with others who have undergone similar experiences can help a lot. Self help groups or local agencies can be approached. Select a self help group that deals with conditions in certain specific areas like bereavement, marital issues, and childhood abuse. If all this does not work, you can consult a counselor who can give professional guidance and can suggest workable tools and methods to meet the challenge head on.

If you are hesitant to seek external help, try some of the following methods. Some of them may sound a bit far fetched but they have proven to work for many people. All you need is an open mind and a positive approach.

Depression is usually triggered by negative thoughts like fear. This could be fear of the future, some perceived impending disaster and sometimes even fear of success. Fighting depression that emanates from fear involves trying to find positivism in what is actually feared.

Read books that tell of how to meet challenges can be helpful. This therapy called bibliotherapy has known to show good results in treating mild depression. The books that are chosen should deal with situations that are similar to the ones that you are facing. Reading about how someone else fought and struggled and ultimately emerged victorious can be a great motivating factor.

Even though depression may pull you down, force yourself to go out for parties with friends. Once in the party, the mood is likely to change, making you feel better. Try to keep away from people who always tell doomsday stories and are critical about everything.

Join a laughter club. To start with you may find it a bit odd to laugh without reason. With the passage of time you will realize that you can even laugh at sorrow.

Treating depression naturally can also be achieved by listening to music. There are many music albums that you can find that help you relax. This kind of music can help you ease the tensions that have been troubling you.

Meditation and deep breathing are easy to learn. Just find a quiet place where you can introspect about what is going wrong with your life. You may realize that you can actually come up with solutions to problems that seemed impossible to handle before.

You should not get too disturbed with passing phases of depressive moods. Avoid medication and try your hand at self help to get out of them.

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Chinese Herbs for Depression

The ancient Chinese medical science treats depression very differently as compared to conventional modern medical science.

Traditional Chinese medical science believes that

1. Depression is just another disease.
2. Each emotion is linked to the five elements - water, wood, fire, earth and metal.
3. Emotions are closely attached to the overall physical well being of an individual.
4. In a diseased body the vital energy forces are blocked and need to be released.

The Chinese medical theory further segregates depression on the basis of the five elements. It purports that depression symptoms can belong to three groups.

1. Earth-type depression – This is depression that is accompanied by worry, lethargy, loose stools, weight gain and fatigue.
2. Water-type depression – This depression is associated with symptoms of reluctance to get up, impotence, fear and urinary problems.
3. Wood-type depression – This type of depression is believed to be a result of stagnation and anger that is directed inwards.

Natural remedies for depression like the mimosa tree are the mainstay of the Chinese remedies for depression. The entire plant - the silvery bark, young leaves and yellow flowers play some role in treating depression.

1. The bark is used as a tranquilizer for emotional disturbances, bad temper, sleep disorders and memory loss.
2. The flower is used as a sedative and helps in symptoms like heaviness in the chest.
3. The leaves also aid in inducing sleep.

Since anxiety and stress cause depression, some of the other Chinese herbs that help in reducing stress can be successfully used in reducing depression. Herbs like amber, fossil bone, wheat berries and oyster shells can be used to provide relief from stress related depression.

The Chinese approach to treating depression naturally is mostly based on conscious awareness and releasing the blocked vital energy. Traditional Chinese theory also lays emphasis on the concept of vital energy or Qi. Another way of releasing it is attempted through the aid of other Chinese therapies like acupuncture and acupressure.

Herbal medicines have limited or no side effects that are usually associated with stimulants and antidepressants. Chinese herbal and natural remedies for depression are therefore safe and can be used without fear.

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DEPRESSION MEDICATIONS WITHOUT SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS

Despite the fact that conventional treatments are effective, their use involves a fair amount of caution. This is mainly due to the side effects that accompany them. In cases where there is a pressing need for treatment, these side effects are often sidelined. The result is managing these side effects after they start appearing one by one.

One such side effect of using conventional medicine for treating depression pertains to sexual activity. Results of surveys conducted in this field do not match the claims made by most drug manufacturers. The fact remains that antidepressants inhibit sexual functioning.

Conventional depression treatment is based on the understanding that mood is controlled by brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Antidepressants are used to maintain a certain level of these neurotransmitters.

Depression has been known to reduce the desire for sex. Antidepressants used for treating depression exacerbate the condition by decreasing libido levels. They can also result in erectile and orgasmic problems.

However, there are certain practices that can adopt that can help you in avoiding or reducing the sexual side effect.

The antidepressants that are prescribed are not selected at random. There is a logical sequence that is adopted after considering the condition of the patient. Sometimes a minor reduction in dose can help you reduce your depression while keeping you sexually active.

If the dosage cannot be dropped due to the specific condition, the exact timing of the dose can be scheduled right after the sexual activity. The idea is to indulge in sexual activity at a time when the level of the drug in the body is at its minimum.

There are certain drugs that can help you reverse the sexual side effect of these antidepressants. Drugs like sildenafil (Viagra) that treat erectile dysfunction can be used in some cases. You will, however need to check with your physician whether it is safe to be taking these drugs in conjunction with antidepressants.

Your doctor may allow you to take a drug holiday as some antidepressants can be discontinued for short periods of time without affecting the overall treatment. You can also discuss changing your drug. SSRIs have been known to have minimal or no effect on sexual desire or functioning.

The other option is to change the course of your treatment and adopt natural remedies for depression. These remedies are totally devoid of any side effects. Homeopathic remedies, herbs, meditation and exercise can reduce symptoms of depression to a great extent. Treating depression naturally can prove to be healthier option that will not interfere with your sex life at all.

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DEPRESSION TREATMENT GUIDELINES FOR OLD PEOPLE

Old age brings a significant reduction in mental and physical abilities. This translates into an inability to fight disease and handle difficult situations. This sudden reduction in capabilities causes depression due to low self-esteem. Strength of character and previous achievements are no guarantee against depression as it can occur even without any visible precipitating factor. Certain drugs and medication can be used to treat depression. However, over-prescription of these very drugs can cause further depression if not ingested carefully.

Apart from the conventional medications, there are other methods of treating depression naturally like psychotherapy or ‘talk therapy’. There are also natural remedies for depression like herbs, homeopathy meditation, hot baths and other relaxation techniques.

For older people doctors normally choose antidepressants that work upon brain chemicals called neurotransmitters responsible for moods, thought and behaviors. One such category of antidepressants that is in use nowadays is SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). For psychotic depression that is accompanied by hallucinations and delusions, an antipsychotic drug is prescribed along with an antidepressant.

Factors that should be kept in mind once you start taking antidepressants include:

* Management of side effects.
* Interaction of other drugs that you might be taking.
* Dosage.
* Withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation.

SSRIs have fewer and more manageable side effects but they can interact with other drugs and cause serious damage. You should ensure that you indicate all medication that you are taking to the physician before you actually start the medication. Your alcohol intake, including wine and beer, is another matter that should be discussed with your doctor as hard drinks can interfere with antidepressants. Once on the medication, it is important to disclose all changes that may occur.

Psychotherapy is of little or no use in cases where older people are suffering from dementia, which is a mental deterioration of organic or functional origin. In most other cases, psychotherapy is a safe way of treating depression. Depending upon the condition of the patient, different types of psychotherapy are used to treat mild depression as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with medication.

* Cognitive behavioral therapy - to identify and correct pessimistic thoughts and beliefs.
* Interpersonal therapy - to improve relationship issues that might be the cause behind depression.
* Supportive therapy - to provide emotional support.
* Problem solving therapy - to help in managing problems.

Psychotherapy involves visiting a psychiatrist who ‘talks’ to the patient - alone or in a group. Psychologists may even ask older people to do some ‘home work’ in order to put the therapy to practical use. It is a slow but effective procedure and requires a concerted effort before it can show significant results.

Family support goes a long way in treating depression in older people. Older people need help and specific guidance as they are less likely to take care of the condition themselves. Late life depression can be a source of problem not only for the person suffering from it but also for the family and care givers. The family needs to adjust to the abnormal behavior of a loved one lest symptoms are aggravated. Depression in older people needs to be managed with a great amount of patience and perseverance. Untreated depression is the most common cause of suicide in America and older people are at double the risk of suicide than the national average.

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IDENTIFYING AND TREATING ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION

Parenting is a challenging job! Your child needs your guidance and help in practically every sphere of life. One of the major challenges that parents face today is related to the management of emotional upheavals in their teenagers. The emotional turbulence that a child goes through is normal and part of the process of growing up. But emotional trauma can potentially lead to depression in certain adolescents. Untreated depression has serious repercussions and may even lead to suicide.

It is highly unlikely that an adolescent will come crying to parents with an emotional problem. In our society, crying in public is not seen as an adult act and most adolescents are at a stage where they are trying to prove that they are adults and mature human beings. The fact, however, is that they are in the process of becoming adults. Therefore, there are times that they do need adult intervention to sort out matters. But for them, asking for help is like accepting the fact that they have not grown up yet. Moreover, they are too caught up with own emotions to ask for help and the adults fail to understand that subtle intervention is required in certain areas.

Developing a healthy relationship with children helps but it may not be possible to draw them out every time. The options for treating depression in children are limited. And therefore, it is essential that you understand the potential situations that can cause depression. It is also pertinent that you realize the various initial signs of depression in children so that you can identify the potential and address it before it is too late. You should be especially careful if your child has been through a chronic illness or lost a loved one. Neglect or abuse can also bring symptoms of depression.

Some of the symptoms to watch out for are:

* Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
* Lack of concentration.
* Drop in grades in school.
* Indecision.

Some physical symptoms like headaches, low energy, insomnia or inability to stay awake and loss of appetite may also indicate prevalence of depression. Behavioral changes like irritability and belligerence also suggest that the child has some mental problem. If your child is spending more time alone and is missing class, you need to delve further and find out the reasons for the same. In fact any change in behavior that shows negative patterns should be enough to raise an alarm for you to address the problem.

Depression is a clinical illness like any other medical condition and should be treated as such. It is not advisable to administer habit forming drugs like antidepressants to youngsters. Parental support is a prerequisite for treating depression naturally as children are not fully equipped to handle depression on their own. Some things that you should do are:

* Respect your child’s problems. They may seem to be trivial to you but remember that they appear as real challenges to teens.
* Respect his/her privacy and avoid talking about his problems in front of other people. Try to put yourself in his position and see how you would feel if someone was do the same to you.
* Teens usually develop imaginary fears. Many times it is just a minor inability, say, dancing, that makes them stay at home rather than go out and enjoy. Youngsters are very good at identifying with parents. Talk to your child about how you got out of similar problems (even if you have to concoct a story) in your childhood.
* Many schools have psychologists who are experts in dealing with adolescent depression. Encourage your child to go and talk to a counselor in school if it has one.

Except in the unfortunate event of a severe depression, treatment should be restricted to natural remedies for depression. If you find yourself unable to tackle your child’s depression on your own the best alternative is to convince him that a psychiatrist can help. It is better that your child chooses that option on his/her volition. Your child will be more receptive to treatment in that case.

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INTERPERSONAL THERAPY TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION

Treating depression naturally should always been the first preference. This is primarily due to the fact that there are side effects and addictive properties associated with most medications that are used for treating depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy, as different from the traditional ‘talking therapy’ has been established as being the most effective among the recent natural remedies for depression.

Interpersonal therapy can be considered as an offshoot of cognitive behavioral therapy. This is because most of the techniques that are used in interpersonal therapy are modifications of the intervention methods that have been used extensively in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive therapy emphasizes on the internal mental processes. In conjunction with behavioral therapy it focuses on how people think about themselves. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a short but highly focused form of treatment that addresses the problems related to social functioning in patients suffering from depression.

Interpersonal therapy can help significantly in certain specific areas.

* Interpersonal disputes that can arise from distress and difference in conceptualization of situations.
* Grief, as in loss due to death.
* Transitions of roles at critical junctures in life like retirement, childbirth and aging.
* Interpersonal deficits or the inability to build relationships.

Various questioning, listening and intervention styles are used to treat interpersonal issues. Some of the techniques used are:

* Clarification - questioning in a style as if to seek clarifications from the patient in order to do away with biases.
* Supportive listening - it is a technique of silent listening using only meaningful interjections.
* Role playing and Communication analysis - techniques used as behavioral interventions for treating interpersonal disputes.
* Encouragement of affect – a toll that allows patients to accept the unwanted emotional component of an interpersonal issue.

Interpersonal therapy may involve 12 to 16 sittings of at least one hour each. The therapist uses the initial sittings to:

* Gather information
* Understanding the nature of illness and interpersonal issues.
* Structure IPT sessions and the course of treatment.
* Explain the interpersonal issues involved.

Treatment usually involves addressing the various aspects that cause problems in relationships. No attention is given to the depression except for enquiries into the severity of symptoms and the reaction to treatment.

The therapist functions within the manual. There is some sort of debate as to the role of the therapist. The debate is around the level to which the therapist should be active. Even in absence of clear-cut guidelines interpersonal therapy can be of great help in identifying and treating problem areas in building relationships

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SSRIS FOR TREATING DEPRESSION - WHY THEY ARE NOT RECOMMENDED IN SOME CASES

Antidepressants are the most common type of drugs that are used in treating depression. Since insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of depression, these drugs are often used to elevate depressive moods and induce sleep.

Among the various kinds of antidepressants, SSRI’s are among the latest that are now being used extensively for treating insomnia. Despite their rampant use, the efficacy of antidepressants like SSRIs to treat insomnia is not supported by clinical studies. Using SSRI’s to treat insomnia has also not been approved by the FDA.

SSRIs are indicated mainly for clinical depression. This class of drugs should be used to treat insomnia only if it is one of the many symptoms of depression. However, primary care physicians tend to over-prescribe and suggest that SSRIs be used for insomnia to get quicker results.

Different antidepressants have varying effects on depressive patients. An antidepressant is a drug that acts by blocking the reuptake of brain chemicals like norepinephrine and serotonin making more of those substances available to act on receptors in the brain. SSRIs act to maintain the level of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is involved in sleep, memory and depression) by restricting its absorption.

Some of the selective serotonin inhibitors are:

* Fluoxetine (trade name Prozac)
* Paroxetine (trade name Paxil)
* Sertraline (trade name Zoloft)

All antidepressants have side effects and SSRIs are no exception to the rule. SSRIs intake may produce side effects like:

* Sleepiness
* Headaches
* Vivid dreams
* Drowsiness
* Nausea
* Loss of sexual urge
* Changes in appetite
* Weight loss or gain
* Liver or kidney damage

SSRIs are also known to cause hypomania, a mood state characterized by lasting and permeating elated or irritable mood. They also cause thoughts and behaviors associated with such a mood on withdrawal. All classes of SSRIs therefore, must be tapered off gradually under professional guidance. Since SSRI’s also cause drowsiness, patients run the risk of bone fractures and injuries.

SSRIs, like other antidepressants, require adequate dosage for a continuous period of four to eight weeks to take affect. In many cases the side effects may surface before the drug has had the desired effect on the depression of the patient. Treating depression naturally by means of psychotherapy coupled with antidepressants prove more effective in treating depression related insomnia than using either method as a standalone strategy.

Natural remedies for depression are another safer option for treating insomnia. Herbs and herbal teas, homeopathy and relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing exercise are time tested remedies for treating all variants of insomnia including depression related insomnia.

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