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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses the 4 Causes of ALL Health Concerns, most of which your medical doctor will never consider.
If depression is a concern for you, consider clicking on any of the links to your right, listen to our radio show on Liver Health and Depression and scroll down to read the full article.
When you are ready to get to the source of your depression, Dr. Huntoon is ready to help.
Depression - major; Unipolar depression; Major depressive disorder
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The exact cause of depression is not known. Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a problem with your genes, or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely, it's a combination of both.
Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if you have no family history of the illness. Anyone can develop depression, even kids.
The following may play a role in depression:
Alcohol or drug abuse
Certain medical conditions, including underactive thyroid, cancer, or long-term pain
Certain medications such as steroids
Stressful life events, such as:
Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
Failing a class
Death or illness of someone close to you
Childhood abuse or neglect
Social isolation (common in the elderly)
Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you.
People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude. They cannot imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.
Symptoms of depression can include:
Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
Becoming withdrawn or isolated
Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
Fatigue and lack of energy
Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
Thoughts of death or suicide
Trouble sleeping or too much sleeping
Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.
If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.
Signs and tests
Your health care provider will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. Your answers and certain questionnaires can help your doctor diagnose depression and determine how severe it may be.
Blood and urine tests may be done to rule out other medical conditions with symptoms similar to depression.
In general, treatments for depression include:
Alternative treatment with NeuroEmotional Technique (NET) or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Medications called antidepressants
Talk therapy, called psychotherapy
If you have mild depression, you may only need one of these treatments. People with more severe depression usually need a combination of these treatments. It takes time to feel better, but there are usually day-to-day improvements.
If you are suicidal or extremely depressed and cannot function you may need to be treated in a psychiatric hospital.
NeuroEmotional Technique (NET) is practiced by many Holistic Chiropractors who are certified in this form of care. The practitioner through Manual Muscle Testing is able to determine with the help of the patient the underlying cause of the depression and then is able to work with the patient to remove the cause and replace it with a more balanced and agreeable outcome. This form of care also involves taking homeopathic remedies to help support the removal of residual thoughts and belief patterns. The outcome is a person who feels empowered about their life and can overcome their original depression. Go to www.netmindbody.com for an overview of NET and find a practitioner near you.
Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, breathes fresh air into the emotional therapy process by borrowing from the Chinese meridian system. While acupuncture, acupressure and the like have been primarily focused on physical ailments, EFT stands back from this ancient process and points it directly at emotional issues. It is dramatically different from conventional therapy practices and that is why it often works where nothing else will. Go to www.garythink.com/eft/whatiseft.html for an introduction to EFT.
MEDICATIONS FOR DEPRESSION
Drugs used to treat depression are called antidepressants. Common types of antidepressants include:
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), venlafaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Other medicines used to treat depression include:
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
If you have delusions or hallucinations, your doctor may prescribe additional medications.
WARNING: Children, adolescents, and young adults should be watched more closely for suicidal behavior, especially during the first few months after starting medications.
If you do not feel better with antidepressants and talk therapy, you may have treatment-resistant depression. Your doctor will often prescribe higher (but still safe) doses of an antidepressant, or a combination of medications. Lithium (or other mood stabilizers) and thyroid hormone supplements also may be added to help the antidepressants work better.
St. John's wort is an herb sold without a prescription. It may help some people with mild depression. However, it can change the way other medicines work in your body, including antidepressants and birth control pills. Talk to your doctor before trying this herb.
CHANGES IN MEDICATIONS
Sometimes, medications that you take for another health problem can cause or worsen depression. Talk to your doctor about all the medicines you take. Your doctor may recommend changing your dose or switching to another drug. Never stop taking your medications without first talking to your doctor.
Women being treated for depression who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should not stop taking antidepressants without first talking to their doctor.
Talk therapy is counseling to talk about your feelings and thoughts, and help you learn how to deal with them.
Types of talk therapy include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you how to fight off negative thoughts. You will learn how to become more aware of your symptoms and how to spot things that make your depression worse. You'll also be taught problem-solving skills.
Psychotherapy can help you understand the issues that may be behind your thoughts and feelings.
Joining a support group of people who are sharing problems like yours can also help. Ask your therapist or doctor for a recommendation.
OTHER TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the single most effective treatment for severe depression and it is generally safe. ECT may improve mood in people with severe depression or suicidal thoughts who don't get better with other treatments. It may also help treat depression in those who have psychotic symptoms.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses pulses of energy to stimulate nerve cells in the brain that are believe to affect mood. There is some research to suggest that it can help relieve depression.
Light therapy may relieve depression symptoms in the winter time. However, it is usually not considered a first-line treatment.
You can often ease the stress of illness by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems.
Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who utilizes NeuroEmotional Technique (NET) or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) would be beneficial for anyone who suffers with depression. Being able to address the unwanted thought patterns and corrupt belief systems and why they exist is important. This allows for a return to normal in emotion and mood. This form of care should always be considered first before starting the antidepressant medications many doctors will recommend.
Some people with major depression may feel better after taking antidepressants for a few weeks. However, many people need to take the medicine for 4 - 9 months to fully feel better and prevent the depression from returning.
People who have repeated episodes of depression may need quick and ongoing treatment to prevent more severe, long-term depression. Sometimes people will need to stay on medications for long periods of time.
As with all medications, being sure to discuss with your doctor or pharmacist all the side-effects and complications of the medication is important before starting any medication. Sometimes, the medication can create side-effects that feel worse than the original depression. Always consider this and ask about what is involved in coming off the medication if the side-effects are too strong. Many times the ability to stop the medication is prohibited.
People who are depressed are more likely to use alcohol or illegal substances.
Complications of depression also include:
Increased risk of health problems
Calling your health care provider
If you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself or others, immediately call your local emergency number (such as 911) or go to the hospital emergency room.
You may also call a suicide hotline from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-999-9999.
Call your doctor right away if:
You hear voices that are not there.
You have frequent crying spells with little or no reason.
Your depression is disrupting work, school, or family life.
You think that your current medications are not working or are causing side effects. Never change or stop any medications without first talking to your doctor.
Medicines Two Choices for You
Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who utilizes NeuroEmotional Technique (NET) or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) would be beneficial for anyone who suffers with depression. Being able to address the unwanted thought patterns and corrupt belief systems and why they exist is important. This allows for a return to normal in emotion and mood. This form of care should always be considered first before starting the antidepressant medications many doctors will recommend. Using this form of care before you become depressed is the best way to prevent depression from occurring.
Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. These substances can make depression worse and might lead to thoughts of suicide.
If you are using prescription medication for your depression, take your medication exactly as your doctor instructed. Ask your doctor about the possible side effects and what you should do if you have any. Learn to recognize the early signs that your depression is getting worse.
The following tips might help you feel better:
Get more exercise
Eat better quality, natural food
Maintain good sleep habits
Seek out activities that bring you pleasure
Volunteer or get involved in group activities
Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling
Try to be around people who are caring and positive
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
Serving All Your Heath Care Needs ... Naturally!
Dr. Richard A. Huntoon