KC Kudra's Articles
This website is about depression, in all its forms, including what it is and how to relieve it. You might wonder what makes this site different from other sites with much loftier credentials in the medical field, and that is a fair enough question. My name is Christine and for the past 23 years I have been able to share my life with my husband. Now these days this itself is somewhat special, but my husband has a unique set of challenges. You see, he suffers from the devastating effects of PTSD, severe depression and terrible anxiety attacks which have, on more than one occasion, turned into full-fledged panic attacks.
If you have ever known anyone with such challenges, you will know firsthand what many doctors miss. These are real people with real medical afflictions who need first and foremost our compassion and understanding. They did not ask for this and they did nothing themselves to cause their medical condition. Panic attacks alone are amongst the worst feelings a human will ever experience - feeling that you are dying and having no relief or escape from the pain.
Over the years, Ken and I have been through a lot, with both my health and his. What we have learned is there are things we can do to help lighten the load and make day-to-day living more pleasurable. If you a reading this, I assume that either you or a loved one suffers from one of these afflictions. I am here to tell you that life does get better and there are things you can do to help these awful feelings to pass.
For many people, it is possible to fight depression and anxiety without the use of medications, or supplementing the use of medications, to help with both anxiety and depression. Different people have different types of depression, so there is no 'one size fits all' cure unfortunately. Also, you might have to experiment with various treatments and remedies before you find something which suits you and offers some kind of relief.
For some depression sufferers, that might be some kind of herbal supplement or, for others, daily exercise such as walking your neighbor's dog or taking up yoga, spending more time outdoors, talking about your feelings with your partner or best friend, or even investing in a desktop lamp for light therapy or learning some relaxing breathing techniques. You might need to combine several therapies and be patient too, as it can take days or weeks to notice an improvement in your condition. Depression is not something which can be cured instantly. Nor is it something a sufferer can simply snap out of. Depression is a recognized medical disorder, although the good news is that there are natural remedies for depression which can offer relief.
Overcoming depression is not easy or quick, but it is possible. You cannot beat depression by 'willing' yourself better, but you can take steps to try and improve your life and overcome the depression. You do have some control. Simple lifestyle changes like eating healthy food, taking daily exercise, challenging negative thoughts, taking time to relax, and spending time with other people, can help greatly. Begin with small goals and then build up from those.
Even if you only have a little bit of energy, you can perhaps manage to call a friend for a chat or take a walk around the block. These steps might seem insignificant and small, but they will add up fast, and putting energy into self-help for depression means you can get yourself to feel better by learning about what works for you. You might feel like isolating yourself from others but a chat could be just what you need. You might be craving junk food but a simple healthy meal will give you more energy.
Some illnesses can be treated and cured with a course of tablets, a cream or lotion, physiotherapy, or a surgical procedure. Depression is not like that. There are different types of depression and also different levels ranging from mild depression which lasts a few days or weeks at a time and then lifts, to feeling suicidal almost all the time. The way to deal with depression is first of all to find out more about it, including the signs and symptoms of depression, and the various types, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, or postpartum depression. Next it is important to realize that different patients require different treatments. Some people benefit from counseling, some from medication, some from taking more exercise, making a change in their daily activities, or combining natural treatments and therapies. There is help out there for depression sufferers and if you are depressed then you need to realize you are not alone.
Getting the emotional support you need plays a huge part in relieving depression. It can be very hard to maintain a good perspective on your own, and loneliness can make depression worse, so maintaining good relationships is very important. Reaching out to family and friends can seem scary, since you might feel guilty about neglecting the relationship in the past, or scared your loved ones will not understand what depression is, but remember your loved ones care about you and will want to support you in any way they can. Even if you do not feel like keeping up with social activities, you should try. Being around others can take your focus off how low you feel. Support groups for depression can also help, since you will feel less lonely and you can give and receive encouragement and share your experiences with people who know how depression actually feels.
Whatever is going on, there is no doubt that recovery starts with you taking action to seek help and guidance through these troubled times.
Have a Great Day, and thanks for visiting,
Christine and Everyone here at Natural Help Depression
Do you feel a black cloud hanging over your head? Do you feel unhappy but cannot put your finger on the reason why? Perhaps you are finding it hard to enjoy anything and other people do not seem to understand. Depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder can all make you feel like this.
A lot of people suffering from some form of depression have these feelings and the changes might be gradual. Perhaps you feel blue for no reason, maybe your weight has been creeping up, or dropping off, even though you are not consciously dieting. These are warning signs of depression and literally millions of Americans suffer from depression without realizing it or without being able to give it a name. Depression does not just make you feel bad. It can also have serious financial and health consequences.
Our website, Natural Help Depression, has been created to confirm that you are not alone and there is definitely help out there for you. This website is owned by people who know first hand about the potentially devastating effects of depression. We are not scientists or doctors and those people often have no idea of how depression actually feels and how it can have a serious impact on life quality.
I have been battling with depression myself since I was fourteen years old and, although it still rears its head at times, I now have a quality of life I could not even envision previously. I am a good father and I have four lovely sons, who inspire me with the strength to make it through the bad times and live life to the fullest.
Before losing hope, I should say that I am perhaps a rare case. A lot of people find help from depression through such routes as pharmaceutical or natural medication, exercise routines, diet changes, and talk therapy. In addition, a lot of people only need this type of help for a short while. Every day, more is being discovered about depression and better drugs are being formulated to help.
It is very important to remember that you are certainly not alone and if you have had depression symptoms for more than a couple of weeks, you should see a professional. I would recommend a professional in the field rather than your usual doctor because they can understand the issues of depression on a deeper level and they have more experience. You might need to visit your doctor first though, so that he or she can recommend a specialist for you.
A lot of people suffering from depression find a lack of understanding from their nearest and dearest. The phrases "keep your chin up" or "smile, it might never happen" are hardly going to lift someone from depression to joy. Depression is very misunderstood and it is a real medical condition, which affects millions of people. You do not have to suffer in silence because help is available. Every human life is unique and valuable at the same time and we all lose when we let someone slip through the cracks when they could have been helped.
If you have a loved one or a friend who seems to be more than under the weather, please try to understand how they are feeling, even if you have never suffered from depression yourself. Your depressed friend might say things they do not mean or seem to be neglecting you but these are symptoms of the illness and your friend really cannot help it. Somebody suffering from depression will say or do nearly anything to escape from their pain and this is why they need your conviction and strength to see it through.
I am blessed to share my life with a partner who has been my rock when I was just a pebble. Even when I was not a nice person to be around, she has been by my side for twenty years now. I count my blessings every day, for this and for other small gifts. Looking at the picture as a whole, I realize that I have some of the most beautiful things life has to offer and I am a lucky man.
It is our hope that this website shows you that there is hope for you, there are tomorrows and you can make it through the depression and out the other side into the sunshine once more, as impossible as that looks right now. Depression is nothing to do with being crazy. Rather, it is a recognized medical condition and your brain is wired slightly differently. Please remember that there is hope and you can rid yourself of depression. The answer might seem far away or like an impossible dream but it is not.
People who are depressed often wish to hide themselves away and be alone. They worry that others will not understand their sadness, or that their depression will rub off on others and make them feel low too. However, this is not the case. People who love you and care about you want to help however they can. They miss seeing 'the old you' and want you to be happy again. It can be very hard to find the energy to talk to others and get involved in social activities again but this can help to take your mind off your mood, and it can also help to make you feel better. Reaching out to others is an important step in treating depression.
Depression can strike anyone, young or old, male or female, and rich or poor. Absolutely anyone can have depression; it is not tied to a particular gender, ethnicity, age, or socio-economic group. Some people go through very difficult lives full of disappointments and struggles yet do not suffer from depression at any time. Other people have seemingly perfect lives with a great family, lots of friends, no money worries, a wonderful job and house, and yet are clinically depressed.
Depression is unrelated to who you are, your personal history, where you live, your age, or your gender. Some of these might make you a more liable candidate for depression but none of them guarantees you will or will not develop it. So what are the most common signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression varies from person to person, although there are some signs and symptoms which many depression sufferers share. Someone who is depressed might sleep too much or find it hard to get to sleep or to stay asleep. They might feel helpless or hopeless, or find it hard to concentrate on tasks which seemed easy before.
They might seem more short-tempered, irritable, or aggressive than usual, or engage in reckless behavior like gambling, drinking or smoking to excess or driving carelessly. They might be eating more than usual or less than usual. Someone who is depressed finds it hard to control their negative thoughts and they might even feel that life is not worth living, since they cannot take pleasure in anything.
Any of these symptoms can be part of normal life, since we all have ups and downs, but the more of these symptoms you have, the longer they have lasted, and the stronger they are, can be used to diagnose depression. If you have some of these symptoms and you find they interfere with your everyday life and you feel overwhelmed, it is time to seek help.
Although depressed does not necessarily mean suicidal, it is important to be aware of suicide warning signs if you are depressed or if you are seeking help for a friend or family member who is depressed. Suicide warning signs can include visiting or calling people to say goodbye, a preoccupation with death or dying, talking about self-harm or suicide, acting recklessly such as taking up a dangerous sport or driving through red lights, or suddenly acting happy and calm. There is no on/off switch with depression so suddenly seeing the sufferer happy should set alarm bells ringing.
Giving away prized possessions, writing a will or saying things like 'I want to end it all' or 'you'd be better without me' can also be warning signs, and should be taken seriously. If you are feeling suicidal or someone you know feels this way or is displaying any of these warning signs, it is very important to seek help without delay. You could save a life.
Depression symptoms and signs are not necessarily the same thing. Many people who are depressed are ashamed of their symptoms. They believe (wrongly) that depression is some kind of personal weakness rather than a real medical disorder. They might try to hide their symptoms so there will be fewer visible signs of depression. They might fake their smiles or claim to be fine. If you are concerned about someone, it is usually best to express your concern and compassionately try to get them to talk about how they are feeling.
They might become emotional or angry, but remember this is the depression talking, not them. Nobody wants to feel depressed or anxious, so getting them to recognize there is help out there is the first part of the overall solution to beat the depression.
Mental Health - Mental health problems can affect people at any time of life and in different ways. They can include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, self-harm and dementia...
Mental Illness - Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by ...
Mental Health Problems
Mental Health Problems - A mental health problem can be a short-term reaction to a stressor. If the situation does not abate or if the symptoms of distress are interfering with other aspects of life...
Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar disorder is a disorder characterized by extreme swings in mood, energy, and ability to function. The mood changes of bipolar disorder are more dramatic than ...
Anxiety Disorder - Anxiety is a term which describes a normal feeling people experience when faced with threat or danger, or when stressed. When people become anxious, they ...
Depression - Depression is a mental illness. People experiencing it are sad, lack interest in everyday activities and events, and feel a sense of worthlessness. A depression can be ...
Mental Health Articles
Mental Health Articles - A collection of Mental Health Articles on different aspects of depression, anxiety, and other related topics. Many of these articles are written by people who know first had the black whole of mental illness and share their knowledge with a unique perspective on the subject. Don't suffer alone through depression and anxiety there is help out there...
It is very difficult to describe how depression feels, to somebody who has never been depressed, since it is so much more than just a passing sadness. Depression is one of the most crippling illnesses of all. Just because you can't "see" depression does not mean it is not a horrible and crippling disorder.
It is possible to find relief from depression and to be happy again, so why would anyone prefer to remain depressed or choose not to seek help? Depression is not something you choose, but a recognized medical disorder. There is help out there, so you do not have to suffer in silence any more.
Your depression affects those around you - your husband or wife, your partner, your kids, your parents, and friends - all of these people can see your inner struggle and wish you were better. Those closest to you want to see you happy again and want to have fun times with you again.
Although you might feel that nothing is going to shift that big, black cloud above you, there is light at the end of the tunnel for many depression sufferers. You do not have to be depressed forever. There are therapies, natural cures and other helpful resources available to you.
Thousands of people suffer from depression and many have already been helped by taking steps to identify and treat their illness. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. You want your life back. Well you can have it back.
Here is just a sampling of our anxiety and depression articles you'll find plenty more inside the site.
Being depressed is not like having a sprained wrist or a headache. You can put a bandage on a sprained wrist or take an aspirin to relieve a headache. You can also openly discuss what happened to your wrist or say you have a headache without feeling ashamed, and know that you will soon be healed. Depression is not the same. Although depression can be treated, that is not the same as saying there is a cure. Also, there is no 'one size fits all' cure, since everyone's depression is different and reacts to different treatments.
Medication and counseling are two things which are often prescribed for depression, since they have a high success rate, but some people do not find medication or counseling helpful, or they continue to have depressive episodes, panic attacks, or other mental problems whilst taking the medication or having the counseling sessions. Others are prescribed medication for one or two years and then they might find their depression stays away, or they might find it recurs weeks, months, or years later.
Treating depression is largely down to trial and error, simply because it is impossible to predict what will work for each individual sufferer. Some people might find that a daily walk around the block and changing their diet helps drastically with their depression. Others will need to take strong medication or combine various natural therapies, and they will still not find total relief.
If you are looking for a cure for depression, it is important to realize that depression care is an ongoing thing. You cannot simply pop a pill and expect your depression to disappear. The road to recovery can be long and hard but, as long as you realize it is possible to find relief from your depression, or even cure it entirely, by making a few changes, you can do it. Depression can be cured, or it can be alleviated, but remember this might or might not be a permanent cure, since very sufferer is different. You might still have relapses.
This photo aims to give an idea of how depression feels. The woman in the image is holding her head, looking down and feeling sad and alone. Depression can take many forms - emotions can range from fear to melancholia to rage, a depressed person might overeat or stop eating, be unable to sleep or not get out of bed, cry for hours or bottle everything up. Someone with depression might feel they are in a deep pit with no hope of ever escaping, but depression is beatable. If you are battling depression, there is help out there. You are not as alone as you might feel right now.
Sadly, there is a stigma concerning mental illness because it is not understood. In fact, most people know very little about depression unless they are a sufferer themselves, or know a family member or friend who has it. This not only makes it more difficult to diagnose, but it also means a lot of sufferers of major depression try to hide it because they are ashamed or embarrassed, and this can make diagnosis harder. Someone suffering from major depression will not be able to hide all the signs though.
Feelings of general sadness are one of the most common depression signals. General sadness does not mean you feel down because your boss shouted at you or your dog got sick. General sadness means you feel unhappy about everything, without a particular reason. You might also feel frustrated or irritable, even about little things which normally would not matter.
Perhaps your sex drive has disappeared or you are sleeping less or more than normal. You might have lost interest in activities you used to enjoy, or find it hard to take pleasure in the activities you used to like. Perhaps you are isolating yourself by not returning your friends' phone calls or not wanting to leave the house at all.
Depression often causes a decreased appetite which results in weight loss, but some people might be having increased cravings and comfort eating. This can result in weight gain. Angry outbursts can be a sign of major depression, as can restlessness or agitation, such as an inability to sit still or pacing up and down the hallway. Slowed body movements, speaking or thinking is another sign of depression.
Major depression can cause difficulty in concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things, as well as feelings of guilt and worthlessness, blaming yourself when things are going wrong, or fixating on past failures and replaying the bad times over and over in your mind. Tiredness and lack of energy are common with major depression and you might have unexplained physical problems like headaches or backaches. Crying spells for no reason, frequent thoughts of death or suicide, and decreased concentration, distractibility or indecisiveness are further major depression symptoms.
There is not one checklist of symptoms because depression is not the same in everyone. For example, one person might be crying every day for no reason, feeling guilty and worthless, and isolating himself from his friends and family. Another person might not have any of those symptoms, but instead he might be driving recklessly, gambling, and drinking to excess, having angry outbursts, and thinking about death constantly. Both of those people have a mental issue which needs to be treated, although outwardly their symptoms appear very different.
Gender, cultural background, age, and inherited traits all play a part in how depression might affect you, or how it might manifest and what your symptoms might be. For example, a depressed man and a depressed woman will both feel sad but in most cultures it is a sign of weakness for a man to cry but more accepted for a woman to cry, so the depressed woman might cry in front of her husband, while the depressed man might not want anyone to see him crying, so he might drink to excess to try and block the mental anguish instead. Both of these people are depressed and need help, although each exhibits different behaviors.
Although both men and women can suffer from depression, the rates are twice as high in women as in men. This is partly due to hormonal reasons such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), postpartum depression (depression after giving birth), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (severe PMS), and depression to do with the menopause.
Women can also suffer from depression for no apparent reason and without any specific cause, like men. It is believed that as many as one woman in every eight will develop depression at some point during her lifetime. Women also have a higher incidence of thyroid disorders. Hyperthyroidism can cause depression, which is why this disease should be ruled out by a doctor in a depressed woman.
Women have similar signs and symptoms to men, but they are more likely to sleep excessively, overeat and gain wait, and experience extreme feelings of guilt. They are also more likely than men to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is depression that occurs during the winter months. Other signs of depression in women include difficulty concentrating, a lack of energy, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities enjoyed before, a depressed mood, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.
Women are more likely to experience atypical depression than men are. While the majority of depressed men will sleep more, eat more, and gain weight, depressed women are more likely to sleep less, eat less, and lose weight.
Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression are, and this is true across economic, ethnic, and racial divides, and is found in most countries in the world. Hormonal problems can cause premenstrual problems in women, such as bloating, fatigue, irritability and out of control emotions. Many women have mild PMS but some experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is severe enough to disrupt their lives.
Hormonal changes which happen during pregnancy can also cause depression. Unwanted pregnancy, infertility or a miscarriage can also play a role. Postpartum depression, or 'baby blues', is another type of depression. Although this usually disappears in a few weeks, it can continue and cause problems for the new mother. Women might develop depression during the perimenopause (just before their menopause) because of fluctuating reproductive hormones, especially if they have a past history of depression.
Apart from biological and hormonal causes, women are more likely to dwell on things when they are depressed. They are more likely to ruminate on the negative feelings, try to figure them out and cry a lot. This can make the depression worse. Men are more likely to look for a distraction from their depression. The female physiological response to stress is different from a man's response. Women produce more stress hormones than men and progesterone, the female sex hormone, stops the stress hormone system switching itself off like it does in men.
Because of female biological differences, women are usually given lower doses of antidepressants than men are. They are also more likely to have side effects. Simple lifestyle changes like daily exercise, eating healthily, making time for rest and relaxation, and socializing, can help with depression, although there are lots of types of depression and each woman is different, both in what type of depression she has, and what helps her individually to deal with it and find relief from it.
Depressed men are less likely than women to acknowledge feelings of hopelessness or sadness are. This is because depression is a loaded word in our culture, and many people wrongly assume that depression is a sign of weakness instead of what it actually is - a medically recognized illness. Depressed men tend to mask their signs of depression by claiming to be tired or stressed. They often wrongly believe that depression is a 'women's illness' and will not admit to how they really feel.
Because of this, it can be harder to recognize and diagnose depression in a man, since he will often try hard not to display the telltale symptoms of sadness and tearfulness that a women would be more likely to show. Men might be irritable or lose interest in their work or hobbies. Other signs of depression in men include reckless behavior, substance abuse, aggression, anger, and sometimes violence. Depression rates in women are twice as high as in men, but men (especially older ones) are a higher suicide risk.
Depressed men might experience changes in sexual desire and performance and they are often embarrassed about this and unwilling to admit to having sexual problems. They might mistakenly believe the problems are related to their manhood rather than accept they are caused by a medical issue such as clinical depression.
Although depression is a crippling disease and feels truly horrible whether you are a man or a woman, there are differences in how men and women experience and handle their feelings. This is not true of every depressed man or every depressed woman, but research shows that, in general, depressed men will feel irritated, angry, agitated, and restless, which depressed women tend to feel sad, worthless, scared, and nervous. Depressed men often create conflicts while depressed women will avoid conflicts at all costs.
Depressed men will try to distract themselves from the depression with TV, sport or alcohol, while many depressed women will try to find comfort in food and friends. Women find it easier to talk about despair and self-doubt than men, who find it 'weak' to talk about such things. Depressed women often have trouble setting boundaries, while depressed men feel the need to be in control at all costs.
Now this does not apply to all depression patients, but it is a pattern which is often seen, which is why it is important to understand there are basic differences between depressed men and depressed women, both for identifying your own behavior and depression, and for helping someone you know who has it.
Depression in men is sometimes traced to cultural expectations. Men are taught to rein in their emotions, stay in control, be successful, and provide for their family. If they feel overwhelmed or sad, they are taught to show 'tough guy' behavior such as anger or aggression, rather than crying or talking about their feelings.
Depression is not a normal part of aging, but many older men have medical conditions like cancer, stroke, or heart disease which can contribute to the development of depression. Retirement is also difficult because men end up with no set routine to follow, and this can cause a loss of self-esteem and then depression. The good news is that men can be treated for depression as successfully as women can, either with natural help for depression, medication, counseling, or a combination of therapies.