Depression has risen to epidemic proportions in this country. According to an article in USA Today, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that the percentage of Americans being treated for depression more than doubled during the ten-year period between 1987 and 1997, with the number of individuals receiving treatment increasing to 6.3 million.

Women seem to be more susceptible to depression than men, maybe because women are thought of as being more emotional than men, or there may be a female reproductive hormone connection. At any rate, scientific studies are showing that by taking specific amino acids to restore the brain, depression can be alleviated.

Emotions play a part in this devastating condition, which leads to depletion. The underlying origins for depressions are bottled-up anger or aggressions turned inward, great loss and the inability to express grief, and negative emotional behavior often learned in childhood to control relationships. There may also be drug-induced depression, because prescription drugs create nutrient deficiencies. Amino acid deficiency occurs when there is prolonged and intense stress. This creates a biochemical imbalance with nutrient deficiencies.

Ten warning signs of anger

Listed below are the ten warning signs of anger. If you can relate to any of these signs, anger could be playing a big part in your emotional and physical healthy.

  • Overly critical
  • Low self-esteem
  • Divorced parents
  • Inability to get close to people
  • Overly controlling
  • Blames others for mistakes
  • Untrusting
  • Confrontational
  • Overreactions
  • Indifference or nonsupport from parents

Forgiveness is the antidote for anger. It literally short-circuits a cascade of stress hormones that accelerate heart rate, shut down the immune system, and encourage blood clotting. Conversely, un-forgiveness and holding on to anger increases your chance of a heart attack fivefold! They also increase your chance of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a host of chronic diseases.

Forgiveness is a decision you have to make. You must consciously choose to give up your feelings of un-forgiveness and anger. Forgiving is not necessarily forgetting. It is unrealistic to think that you can forget about an injustice, hurt, or wound inflicted upon you by someone you love. You do have a memory, and the memory will always be with you. Forgiving is letting go of anger and the hurt attached to it and moving on with your life.

Forgiveness lowers blood pressure according to a study at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida. A group of hypertension patients took an eight-week forgiveness training program, conducted by head researcher Dick Tibbits. The patients who took forgiveness training had lower blood pressure than the control group who did not. The most dramatic reductions in blood pressure occurred in people who began the program with a lot of anger issues.

Recognizing Depression

A person is considered depressed if they exhibit at least four of the symptoms listed below nearly every day for at least two weeks. Clinical depression is very different from emotions that are an integral part is the human experience, like sorrow, anger, fear, and guilt. According to the National Institute of Mental Health in 2001, chronic, mild depression affects roughly 3.3 million U.S. adults in a given year.

  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Insomnia or increased sleep
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, or decreased in sexual drive
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Agitation or sluggishness in movement
  • Poor appetite and significant weight loss or increased appetite and significant weight gain

Overcoming depression

Many people have experienced ‘the blues” at some point in their lives. Maybe it was the baby blues following childbirth, or maybe the blues came after the death of a loved one, a failed relationship, job loss, or even the death of a beloved pet. These days, just reading the newspaper or listening to a news program can send us into a tailspin. But usually, with time our grief dissipates and our mood lightens, allowing us to go on with our life.

But true depression is not a temporary condition. It is much more serious and cuts into our soul. It is a powerful affliction that can leave us totally debilitated, unable to deal with daily responsibilities, to maintain relationships, or to hold a job. It is a total body disease with far-reaching symptoms that damage our physical and emotional state.

Research have now discovered that several neurotransmitters or chemical messengers, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, regulate our moods and keep us happy. Depressed people tend to have lower levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This may explain the occurrence of endogenous depression, which comes from nowhere, seems to linger forever, and ruin the lives of many.

Depression tends to run in families, but a great deal of research has gone into looking for psychological or environmental causes. Unrelenting stress, anger, and hopelessness are often seen as precursors to depression. Nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disorders, allergies, chronic pain, and hormonal imbalances can also play a role.

There are natural solutions to the problem of depressions. You must begin by eliminating three substances from your diet: alcohol, which is a depressant; caffeine, which can leave you physically and mentally drained; and sugar. After giving you a burst of energy, sugar causes a letdown, which will leave you tires and depressed.

Natural support for depression

  • B-complex vitamins
  • Vitamin B6; needed to manufacture serotonin
  • Vitamin B12; helps the brain make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory
  • Folic acid; needed to make mood elevators called catecholamine, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine

The following supplements have shown to aid in the management of depression. It is recommended that you choose one at a time so that you can see how well you respond. (Note: If you are already on a doctor-prescribed antidepressants, do not stop treatment without first consulting with your doctor. Stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, vomiting, fatigue, and headache, not to mention a reemergence of depression)

  • SAMe, 400mg has been a blessing to depression sufferers, relieving both depression and pain in main instances
  • St. John’s wart is a natural antidepressant. Take 300mg three times daily. It should not be taken in conjunction with SSRI medications.
  • 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) naturally increases serotonin levels (natural Prozac). It is important in the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain. It should not be taken in conjunction with SSRI medications.
  • CoQ10 stimulates immunity and helps decrease immunodeficiency in times of chronic anxiety, depression, and grief.
  • Omega- 3fatty acids
  • Gingko biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Phenylalanine
  • DMAE
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