Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Gentian – when we feel like giving up
Gorse – when we feel like things will not improve
Sweet Chestnut – for deep despair
Mustard – when one is unhappy, feeling gloomy, and depressed for no reason
Willow - for self-pity and resentment
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Symptons of Dysthymia:
an overwhelming yet chronic state of depression, exhibited by a depressed mood for most of the days, for more days than not, for at least 2 years
Poor appetite or overeating
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Low energy or fatigue
Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
Feelings of hopelessness
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
I decided to try the LEVITY formula along with the other suggestions in the book. Soon, I found that I didn't eat as much late at night, I slept better, and I had more energy, and my depression lessened. Research has shown that taking vitamins in higher dosages may offer many health benefits.
The main component of the program are the essential B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, and Selenium. This formula was expressly designed with women in mind. Researchers found that women performed better on the tests than men, when given the LEVITY formula.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin – involves the production of acetytcholine ( a chemical that your brain stores and retrieves information) and protects your nerve fibers. It also helps your body metabolize carbs and proteins, which are essential sources of energy.
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, assists your body in the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine – all chemicals that contribute to a sense of well-being and clearer thinking.
Vitamin B6 is also beneficial for the production of serotonin – the feel good hormone and DHA – a type of omega -3 fatty acid. Researchers have found that B6 improves the mood, promotes sleep, and improves thinking.
Many women are likely to be deficient in Folic Acid , including those who are age 55 and older, who have HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, alcohol dependency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Many Black and Latin women are especially at risk, due to poor diets. According to revolutionhealth.com, Folic Acid deficiency has been found among people with depression and has been linked to poor response to antidepressant treatment. Folate supplements have been used for enhancing treatment response to antidepressants. Folic Acid also assists in improving mood by helping your body produce SAM –E – a natural antidepressant.
Vitamin D stimulates the production of serotonin and release, which is needed, since so few of us get enough sunlight. Exposure to sunlight gives us the essential Vitamin D for well being.
Selenium can improve your mood with in two and a half weeks. It also enhances the dopamine activity in ones brain – which in turn increases sense of pleasure. Studies have shown that selenium may also reduce the risk of cancer.
If you combine the LEVITY formula with daily walks along with exposure to the sun, you should experience a greater sense of well being and a lessening of your depression.
The Benefits of the Right Nutrients
Increased serotonin and dopamine production
Increased feelings of clearheadedness and composure
Higher energy levels
Fewer symptoms of PMS ( in some women)
Enhanced effectiveness of prescription antidepressants
Relief from the symptoms of winter depression
Reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease
If you have three or more or the following symptoms you may have the Body Blues:
- Eating too much and gaining weight
- Low energy
- Irritability or tension
- Sleep difficulties
- Difficulty concentrating
- Daytime drowsiness
- Decreased interest in sex
- Mild anxiety
- Mild depression
- Heightened sensitivity to rejection or criticism
LEVITY Program - Light, Exercise, and Vitamin Intevention Therapy
1. Light- Getting more very bright light during the day, but less at night.
2. Exercise -Going for a brisk outdoor walk, 20 minutes a day, five days a week.
3. Vitamins & Minerals - Taking the LEVITY Formula.Sources:
When Your Body Gets The Blues by Marie-Annette Brown, Ph.D., R.N., and Jo Robinson
This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, care or prevent any disease.
Monday, March 31, 2008
There were few people out on the boardwalk and the beach when I got there. The slate gray sea pounded the taupe colored sand with waves that shimmered silver. The sun danced against an incredible robin’s nest blue sky - baby powder blue with a tinge of turquoise. I did some cleansing breaths to take in the negative ions that I knew would refresh me.
Negative ions are electronically charged particles that remove airborne contaminates from the air we breathe. It is these ions which have a rejuvenating effect when you are near a waterfall, in the mountains or the beach. I was doubly blessed that day because I was getting a dose of much needed sunlight and the effects of the ocean.
Today we live like the cave people we often joke about. We seem to always be indoors, whether it’s in our offices or at home, sitting in front of a computer or television. Sunlight is a premium in this city. Those of us who live in Manhattan get even less sunlight due to the highrises that function as our offices and homes, but also cut off our sun exposure.
Our ancestor’s bodies rose and set in sync with the sun, yet, we set our alarm clocks to get up and we go about our days in dimly lit offices and homes. The average sunny day has about 70,000 lux of light. Most homes and offices only have on average 200-400 lux of light. We seldom take the time to get the much needed sunlight that we need. Sunlight makes our hearts beat faster, increases our metabolic rate and alertness, helps us sleep at night, and improves our mood. It also infuses us with Vitamin D.
Because of our so-called modern life style, we also have low levels of Vitamin D. Sunlight gives us Vitamin D, which in turn stimulates the production of serotonin – the feel good hormone. Women of color are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D, because the darker skinned we are the more slowly we create Vitamin D.
The amount of Vitamin D a light-skinned person produces in 20 minutes takes a dark skin person two hours for the same amount. Getting more sunlight can also be an appetite suppressant. Women who walk every day eat less carbs, according to several studies.
Perhaps we can get more sunlight in practical ways:Go for walks five or more times a week
Walk near a body of water (when possible) on darker days
Use a transparent umbrella on days it rains and snows
Rearrange work furniture to be closer to a window
Take a Vitamin D supplement (200 to 600 mg a day, depending on your age)
Open blinds and curtains in the daytime
Remove overhanging valances on your windows at home
Paint walls a brighter color
Bring lighting fixtures, brighter bulbs, or a light box to work
Switch to subcompact fluorescent bulbs
Wear lightly tinted or clear sunglasses for UV protection
Place large mirrors around your home to reflect more light
Benefits of more sunlight: Improvement in mood
Increased circulation to the brain
Boost your energy
Curb carbohydrate cravings
Control of appetite in general
Deepens your sleep
Source:When Your Body Get The BluesMarie-Annette Brown, Ph.D., R.N. and Jo Robinson
Friday, March 7, 2008
Now, that my depression has lessened, I feel it can be managed with prayer, yoga, meditation, and holistic medicines. Yoga and meditation can also be combined with traditional therapies until you have your depression under control. Also, possibly through yoga and meditation one can cut back on the medications.
Everyone feels "blue" from time to time, but when depression deepens or persists for a long time, it can suppress your energy for living and make you more vulnerable to disease by dampening the immune system. Depression is sometimes a warning that may help you to protect your mental and physical health. It can be viewed as a signpost, signaling "It’s time for a change.”
Yoga, or "Yog" as it is traditionally called, means "Union with the Divine." It is a science of Self which dates back more than 5,000 years, orginating in India. There is no Eastern spiritual or religious practice that has not been directly or indirectly influenced by this path. The first thing a depressed person stops doing is moving. Regular exercise becomes intolerable.
But Yoga exercise, starting with as few as three poses a day in just a few minutes’ time, coupled with correct breath patterns, can become so pleasant to you that soon you will want to do more and more. The heavy, unmoving feeling of depression will be gone. Yoga exercises put pressure on glands and organs, helping them to produce the soothing, healing chemical balance that is needed to feel well and be well.
Yoga exercises improve circulation, sending invigorating oxygen to your brain and all your muscles. The stretching and strengthening movements flush toxins from the body as well.
Often depression sneaks in slowly, as breathing patterns change from too much sitting at a desk, stress, age, or illness. The deep, invigorating breath techniques of Yoga bring large amounts of fresh oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. Like a spring wind, it blows through the system bringing new light and strength to the unused parts of the body and mind where depression hides.
Complete relaxation and meditation practice show you how to access the strength and power of your inner self for a support system that keeps you going through all the ups and downs of your life. Meditation and yoga poses can help you attack the root cause of depression - the feeling that you can't handle the demands of your life. It tones the nervous system, stimulates circulation, promotes concentration, and energizes your mind and body.
Practice a daily yoga routine that includes 30 minutes of meditation and at least 20 minutes of poses. Yoga stretching exercises help improve blood circulation making it easier to break through the lethargy that often accompanies depression.
Amy Weintraub, author of the bestseller, “Yoga for Depression” also suffered from depression for years. “Yogis have always believed that depression is that separation from our source. Yoga, including postures, breathing exercises and meditation is the science of positive mental health. Practice Yoga regularly and it will strip away the obstacles that separate you from your source. You will begin to recognize your wholeness. Practice Yoga every day and it will change your life. It changed my life and the lives of many of my students.”
Ms. Weintraub, makes it clear she doesn't recommend yoga as a substitute for conventional medical treatment for depression." Yoga is not instead of psychotherapy or medication," she said. "It's in addition."
ABC of Yoga.com
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Psychological treatment of depression (psychotherapy) assists the depressed individual in several ways.
Except in the more severe depressions, and bipolar depression, medication is usually an option, rather than a necessity. Antidepressant medication does not cure depression, it only helps you to feel better by controlling certain symptoms. If you are depressed because of life problems, such as relationship conflicts, divorce, loss of a loved one, job pressures, financial crises, serious medical problems in yourself or a family member, legal problems, or problems with your children, taking a pill will not make those problems go away.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I didn’t talk to my mother about my depression. I didn’t talk to her about a lot of things that a mother and daughter should talk about. We didn’t have that kind of relationship. I didn’t talk about it with either of my grandmother’s – both of whom I was closer to than my own mother. From my mother’s mother – I learned how cook – mouth watering greens - picking fresh dandelions from the yard to add to the pot; fried fish seasoned like they do down in New Orleans, and succulent, tender baked chicken, and cornbread. I also learned a lot about men from her. “Don’t let a man know too soon that you’re interested in him. Let him tell you first,” she would tell me, while we worked in her small hot kitchen that smelled of hot cross buns, sweet potato, strawberry rhubarb, and lemon meringue pies and pound cakes. But, I never discussed with her the overwhelming sadness and depression that had begin to plague me in my teen years.
Nor did I discuss my sadness with my father’s mother who was a Pentecostal minister. I grew up saying morning and evening prayers with her on our knees side by side. I knew she would start quoting scriptures and tell me to pray about it instead. But, I needed someone to talk to me about the feelings I was having. I wasn’t ready to take it to the Lord yet.
And I never talked about it with my Aunt Nadine to whom I was also close. Even when we sat and watched tv together. Or the times I would come in from work and go straight to bed and she would check on me to see if I was alright -I never said anything. I guess because no one in my family ever talked about being depressed or blue, not to me anyway. I felt like I was the only one who had this monkey on my back. If there was someone with depression – I never heard about it. I was considered the black sheep of the family, so maybe that’s why I didn’t talk about it.
According to mentalhealthamerican.net the myths and stigma that surround depression create needless pain and confusion, and can keep people from getting proper treatment. The following statements reflect some common misconceptions about African Americans and depression:
“Why are you depressed?
If our people could make it through slavery, we can make it through anything.”
“When a black woman suffers from a mental disorder, the opinion is that she is weak. And weakness in black women is intolerable.”
“You should take your troubles to Jesus, not some stranger/psychiatrist.”
Shauna Curphey, a WeNews correspondent wrote in an article about depression and black women - In California, African American women have the shortest life expectancy among women of all racial and ethnic groups in the state. They also have the highest mortality rate for heart disease and stroke and the highest prevalence of high blood pressure and obesity. Recent research indicates that mental health plays a role in these health disparities in California--and across the nation. But while many black women know and discuss the threats to their physical health, when it comes to mental health, there's silence and inaction.
Latonya Slack, executive director of the California Black Women's Health Project, an Inglewood, Calif., community-health organization, says "There's a fear of putting our business in the street . . . of somehow revealing too much.”
Lorraine Cole, president of the Black Women's Health Imperative, the Washington, D.C.-based parent organization of the California Black Women's Health Project, agrees. "There's a deep-seated feeling that seeking professional help is a sign of weakness," she said.
Slack and Cole, both African American women, have lead efforts to address the physical, mental and spiritual health needs of black women. Both have commissioned studies that revealed many black women are struggling with mental health issues but are not seeking professional help. They and others see improving black women's access to mental health treatment as a crucial element to addressing the serious, but often manageable, illnesses plaguing their physical health.
One study found that the proportion of African Americans who feared mental-health treatment was more than twice that of whites, according to the surgeon general's report. Part of the fear stems from wariness of the medical establishment that arises from past abuses, said Slack, such as the Tuskegee experiment. (In 1932, the federal government sponsored a study to examine the impact of untreated syphilis involving black men. The experiment went on until 1972 without the test subjects' knowledge and most of the subjects died without receiving treatment.)
As a result of the distrust engendered by the now-infamous experiment and the stigma associated with seeking help, many black women rely on spiritual leaders and community members to handle personal problems. There's also an added pressure from the ethic of the strong black woman, a cultural value that promotes toughness and self-sacrifice. "There are so many women who are not diagnosed or are under-diagnosed who are just existing on a thread," Slack concluded. " . . . They think 'My mother suffered. My grandmother suffered. It's just the lot of black women in America. It doesn't have to be that way."
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
May I be pregnant with the expression of a new being:
someone more magnificent than I have ever been.
More powerful than I have ever been;
Healthier than I have ever been;
More alive than I have ever been;
More at cause than I have ever been;
More tender than I have ever been;
More compassionate and merciful than I have ever been; More tolerant, less judgmental than I have ever been;
More at one with myself and all others;
More close to You, dear Lord, than I have ever been.
1. Probably the number one resolution in the country - Lose weight. For me - lose some more weight. I have lost some, but not enough.
2. Practice my yoga and meditation on a more consistent basis - like everyday.
3. Write everyday! I'm not just talking about my blog. I'm talking about the memoir I need to finish or the novel I started or the lyrics I want to write. I just need to get into the habit of writing something everyday.
4. Spend more time with nature. Whether it's taking long weekend walks through Central Park or getting away for a weekend retreat at a yoga center in the country.
5. Save money.
6. Volunteer my time somewhere.
7. Just be good to myself.