Major Depression and Body Pain
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Depression can have both psychological and physical repercussions. Learn more about the relationship between major depression and body pain here.
Transcript: The effects of depression aren't all in your head. About 30 percent of those diagnosed with clinical...
The effects of depression aren't all in your head. About 30 percent of those diagnosed with clinical depression also have persistent body pain. And research shows that as painful symptoms get worse, so do psychological complaints. That's because brain functions that let us feel and manage PAIN are closely aligned with brain functions that produce feelings of depression and anxiety. Research shows that both PAIN and DEPRESSION travel along the same neurological pathways and the same neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, are responsible for regulating them. When body pain is associated with DEPRESSION, the pain often comes on as ACHES or SHARP SENSATIONS in the head, back, chest, stomach and joints. Some people also experience bouts of fatigue and exhaustion, no matter how much sleep and rest they get. Unfortunately, many doctors aren't aware that pain symptoms can be associated with depression and they search in vain for some other physical source. Some studies suggest that if physicians evaluated all pain patients for mood disorders , they might discover that 60 PERCENT of them had UNdiagnosed depression. If you suffer from undiagnosed chronic pain OR have been diagnosed with depression and pain in combination, treatment may include: *Medication, such as antidepressants *Cognitive-behavioral therapy to ease depression and help you change your pain response * Stress management, including relaxation techniques, hypnosis, or biofeedback * Supportive individual and or family counseling. Keep in mind, it might take some time to find the right treatment or combination of treatments to ease your pain AND manage your depression. But if you work with your doctor, the chances are very good that you will find what works for you.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-30 | Tags »
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Even if you feel your depression meds are working, don't stop taking them. Learn why depression meds & compliance is critical to your treatment.
Transcript: When you take cold medicine, in an hour or less your symptoms diminish. That makes it easy to see why...
When you take cold medicine, in an hour or less your symptoms diminish. That makes it easy to see why you should KEEP dosing yourself. But it's less obvious-at least right away-why you should STICK to an antidepressant. The benefits don't kick in immediately-in fact, it can take up to two months before you feel significant relief from your depression. For some people, that can be so frustrating that they don't want to stick with the therapy. A depressed person plagued with pessimism and negativity might give up TOO SOON. For others, the SIDE EFFECTS associated with the medication are troubling and make them reluctant to take the meds. And for still others, depression makes them disinclined to seize control of their wellbeing and take full responsibility for becoming healthier. They are just not willing or able to comply with treatment recommendations. On the flip side, some people stop taking the medication as soon as they start to feel BETTER. In reality, you should stay on your meds for at least 6 months, and LONGER if you've had 2 or more major depressive episodes within 5 years. But whatever the reason, many, many people FAIL to follow their doctor's prescription for antidepressant therapy. In fact, different studies have reported that only about 20 percent of patients comply, according to the World Health Organization. This is VERY risky behavior, because stopping medication abruptly or taking it sporadically can increase depression-like symptoms or plunge you back into full blown major depression. When it IS time to come off antidepressants, your doctor will put you on a tapering-off schedule so your body can gradually adjust to going without the medication. To learn more about antidepressants, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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Your lapses in memory may not be coincidental. Learn more about the relationship between memory and major depressive disorder.
Transcript: Major depression is commonly associated with symptoms such as BODY pain, insomnia, FATIGUE, and decreased...
Major depression is commonly associated with symptoms such as BODY pain, insomnia, FATIGUE, and decreased libido. But an even more troubling, and harder to pin down side effect is memory problems. Research has found that chronic depression may damage your HIPPOCAMPUS, an area of the brain mostly responsible for short-term memories and new learning. And the longer you suffer from major depression, the greater your risk for memory loss. The hippocampus contains receptors for the stress hormone CORTISOL. People with major depression are known to have cortisol levels that remain slightly but consistently higher in that region of the brain. Prolonged exposure to cortisol may SHRINK or ATROPHY the hippocampus, causing memory loss and maybe even mild cognitive impairment, which is the stage of memory problems that comes before Alzheimer's disease. A 2010 study performed at Rush University Medical Center even indicates that depression may DOUBLE the risk for Alzheimer's disease. If major depression is TREATED early enough, memory loss MAY be avoidable OR reversible. However, in rare instances, people reported memory problems as a side effect of almost all antidepressants but those problems went away when they stopped taking the medication. If you have major depression and are experiencing memory problems you've never had before, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Watch other videos in this series to learn more about major depression.More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-01 | Tags »
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If you've just had a baby and you're feeling less than ecstatic, be on the lookout for post-partum depression! Learn the signs.
Transcript: You've just had a beautiful baby, and for some reason you can't seem to stop crying. If this sounds familiar,...
You've just had a beautiful baby, and for some reason you can't seem to stop crying. If this sounds familiar, know that you aren't alone...as many as 80 percent of new moms experience some sadness postpartum. In most cases, these "baby blues" are a passing state of emotions that only last a few days or weeks after delivery. Moms who experience postpartum blues may feel irritable or sad, and have trouble sleeping. Normal post-baby sadness doesn't interfere with a woman's ability to care for her baby. In about 10 to 20 percent of new moms, however, the baby blues are more severe. Postpartum depression is a condition that DOES interfere with a mom's ability to care for her child. This illness was brought into the spotlight in 2005, when model and actress, Brooke Shields came forward to discuss her struggles with postpartum depression. Shields even wrote a book, "Down Came the Rain," to publicize the condition. The symptoms of postpartum depression include frequent crying jags, sleep disturbances, thoughts of suicide, weight and energy loss, lack of interest in anything, and feelings of guilt. An even more serious postpartum disorder is known as postpartum psychosis. This rare condition leads to psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, following a baby's birth. Moms with postpartum psychosis are more likely to have obsessive thoughts about their babies and may act upon ideas of hurting them. No matter what postpartum condition a new mom has, a hormone imbalance is thought to play a role. That's because levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol fall rapidly in the 48 hours after delivery. Women who develop a postpartum disorder are more sensitive to these changes. Women with a history of depression or other mental illnesses, women experiencing relationship problems, and moms who have had a previous postpartum condition, are all more likely to develop one of these illness. But there is help for postpartum disorders! Moms who have the "baby blues," may find that being surrounded with a support network, talking to other mothers, and getting more rest will usually lead to an abating of symptoms in a few short weeks. Women experiencing postpartum depression, however, will probably need a little extra help. Your doctor may suggest psychological counseling, or group therapy. She may also prescribe an anti-depressant medication, like Paxil or Prozac, which will help regulate hormone imbalances. If you're breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about medications that are safe for you AND your baby. If your doctor diagnoses you with postpartum psychosis, your treatment will involve more intense therapy and an anti-psychotic medication. If you are among the women who experience postpartum sadness, remember that you are not alone and that you WILL recover. Above all, do not be embarrassed about this common condition! Please, see your doctor if you are concerned about post-partum depression.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-23 | Tags »
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Finding a therapist, and finding the right one, is important when you're dealing with a mental health issue. Learn what questions to ask, and how to know if you need a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Transcript: Over 30 million Americans visit a licensed therapist each year. Some seek treatment for a mental illness,...
Over 30 million Americans visit a licensed therapist each year. Some seek treatment for a mental illness, or help coping with tragedy, while others want assistance with a troubled marriage or advice on how to manage stress. Regardless of your motivation, there are some simple guidelines that can help you find the right therapist. A good first question to ask is whether you need a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Both psychiatrists and psychologists can provide therapy, but in general only psychiatrists can dispense prescription medications. If you are suffering from a mental illness like bipolar disorder then you should see a psychiatrist, otherwise it is okay to see whatever kind of therapist you prefer. You shouldn't see an unlicensed therapist. While all licensed therapists are bound by a code of ethics, which protects your confidentiality, no such ethical code applies to unlicensed individuals. Also, you should be wary of anyone unable to complete the training necessary to receive a license. Finding a therapist can be confusing. A key thing to remember is that effective therapy occurs in an environment where you feel comfortable being honest and can trust the advice you receive, even when it isn't what you want to hear. You shop around for a car; shop around for a therapist. Possibly the best way to pick a therapist (or any kind of doctor) is to ask friends and colleagues that you trust for recommendations. Winnow the list to 2 or 3 names of therapists who are considered very good and then make appointments with each. It may take a little time to find a therapist you can work with can, but putting the effort into finding someone with whom you feel comfortable is well worth it. Use your intellect and intuition when deciding on a doctor. When you are considering a particular therapist, here are some questions to ask: How frequently do you see people with my condition or concerns? What is my prognosis? Am I likely to be helped by therapy? How long do you think it will take for my condition to improve? No therapy is magic. Any therapist who promises a quick "cure" is trying to sell you a bill of goods. Although some patients will feel better after just one session, most problems that take time to develop usually also take some time to resolve. Want to learn more? Check out other videos and sources on this site for more information.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-23 | Tags »
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What is depression? It's different from an occasional feeling of sadness. True depression is a clinical disorder. Learn the varying degrees of depression.
Transcript: Most people know what depression is - almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms...
Most people know what depression is - almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms like sadness, pessimism and low energy. It is only when depression lasts two weeks or more that it becomes a clinical disorder, at which point it is called Major Depression. People sometimes have a hard time understanding the difference between depression and normal sadness. It is important to understand that when someone has depression there are actually physical changes in the structure of the brain as well as reduced levels of important chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that allow communication between nerves, but they are also important for mood regulation. People suffering from depression typically have reduced levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Lower levels of serotonin lead to mood destabilization and depression. People suffering from depression can also have related changes in their brain structure. For example, people with a history of depression have a smaller hippocampus than others. This is important because the hippocampus is an important serotonin receptor.Although people commonly think of depression as a single illness, there are actually many different types, with different causes and treatments. One common type of depression is Major Depression. Symptoms often include overwhelming feelings of sadness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, low energy and feelings of worthlessness. It may also result in poor sleep, appetite changes, and negative thinking. Another kind of depression, Dysthymia, is characterized by a chronic lack of pleasure in life. Its symptoms are less severe than major depression, but Dysthymia tends to last for long periods of time. Adjustment depression disorder can occur in the aftermath of a sad or traumatic event. A period of unhappiness is normal, but if the depressed feelings continue for several months then it is called adjustment depression disorder. One other common kind of depression is Seasonal Affective Disorder, a pattern of depression related to a lack of exposure to sunlight. Typically, SAD sufferers notice symptoms during winter, when days are shortest, and can often be helped with a light box that replaces lost sunlight. Depression is really a catch-all term for many related illnesses. Excellent treatments exist for most kinds of depression, but self-diagnosis is tricky. If you think you are suffering from depression, the first step towards feeling better is to see a doctor. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out other videos and sources on this subject.More »
Last Modified: 2014-02-04 | Tags »
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Common methods of treating depression range from medications and antidpressants, to talk therapy. Learn more about options for treating depression.
Transcript: Depression can be treated effectively with both therapy and antidepressants, but it is important to rule...
Depression can be treated effectively with both therapy and antidepressants, but it is important to rule out organic causes, like viral infection, before commencing treatment. The first treatment step is an evaluation to determine the severity of the depression and to assess contributing factors like genetics and substance abuse. Depending on the outcome of this evaluation, psychotherapy, antidepressants, or a combination of the two may be prescribed as treatment. Because depression is often a neuro-chemical phenomenon, antidepressants can be extremely helpful to many patients. Antidepressants correct imbalances in the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. Most antidepressants fall into one of three categories: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Prozac, Paxil, and Wellbutrin are the most commonly prescribed SSRIs, and typically have few side effects. Tricyclics and MAOIs have more side effects than SSRIs, but can be more effective for some patients. However, when someone is taking MAOIs they need to avoid eating cheese, tofu and drinking beer and certain wines. It can take time for antidepressants to become effective-sometimes up to 8 weeks - so it's important to continue taking medications for as long as they are prescribed. Antidepressants aren't habit-forming, but often need to be stopped gradually to give the body time to adjust. It's never a good idea to stop your medication or change the dosage without consulting your doctor. Herbal remedies like St. John's Wort have been used for centuries to treat depression. Research has shown antidepressants to be more effective than St. John's Wort, though it is still considered by some to be effective for treating mild depression. People who do have a mild form of depression may see significant improvement with just psychotherapy. But even when antidepressants are also used, integrating psychotherapy into the treatment can provide lasting benefits. When successful, psychotherapy can actually bring about physical changes in the brain - in other words, effective therapy has a healing power that is emotional, but also actually physical in nature. If you have depression, your doctor will often recommend that you add a regular exercise regiment to your lifestyle as well. Although exercise is not a cure for depression, its psychological and physical benefits can improve your symptoms. Small amounts of activity - just 10 to 15 minutes at a time - have been shown to improve mood. If you need a little push to get started, try scheduling a few sessions with a personal trainer. Depression can be a challenging illness to live with, but there are good treatment options available. If you think that you are suffering from depression, talk to a medical professional. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out other videos and sources on this subject.More »
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Exercise is one of the top 10 blue-mood boosters. It helps release feel good brain chemicals that can fight off depression. Watch for more feel-good clues.
Transcript: Feeling blue? Ban that down-in-the-dumps mood with these ten simple tips. If you're suffering from depression,...
Feeling blue? Ban that down-in-the-dumps mood with these ten simple tips. If you're suffering from depression, you're not alone...up to thirty percent of Americans battle feelings of melancholy on a regular basis. A person's mood and well-being are strongly influenced by a group of chemical messengers called monoamines, which include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These "feel-good" hormones are responsible for happiness, but low levels of monoamines can result in a feeling of depression. While severe depression should be treated by a doctor, people suffering from mild bouts of unhappiness may not have to look further than their refrigerators. But that doesn't mean you should dive into the junk food! Fats and sweets cause blood sugar spikes, which only leave you feeling more depressed when sugar drops later. Instead, consume foods that are rich in tryptophan and tyrosine, like bananas, turkey, tomatoes and whole-wheat bread, which stimulate the production of serotonin. Proteins like chicken and tuna increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. So making a simple sandwich-swap can help boost your mood! People with depression often experience a reduction in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is found in fish like salmon and mackerel. Because DHA helps the brain send messages properly, eating more of it can reduce depression. What you eliminate from your diet can be as beneficial as what you add! Cutting back on caffeine, which can increase anxiety, and alcohol, which is a depressant, can help banish the blues. A. Nutritional supplements can help, too. B. Vitamin B-6 is essential in making all monoamines, C. and folic acid and B-12 aid in many other biochemical processes. Another natural mood-booster is the herbal supplement Saint John's Wort, which helps to raise serotonin. Because St. John's Wort can interfere with other drugs, it should be taken under the direct supervision of your doctor. One of the most effective ways to eliminate mild depression is with exposure to serotonin-inducing sunlight. If it's nice outside, enjoy a brisk walk. Or, invest in a light-box, which is designed to mimic the natural rays of the sun. Sometimes, depression can be alleviated by activating pressure points on your head. This acupressure technique helps to release blocked energy, which contributes to depression. The acupressure point GV 20 lies in a slight hollow near the top center of the head. GV 21 is one inch in front of it, and GV19 is one inch behind. Press these points gently for depression relief. Research has found that exercise can be as effective as some prescription medications for treating depression. Get the benefits by working out for 30 minutes three times a week. You may also want to try smelling your way to a better day! Aromatherapy experts attest that lemongrass, sage and rosemary are all uplifting scents. Shop for essential oils in these scents and add a drop or two to a relaxing bath. If you have a willing partner, indulge in a gentle massage using the oils. While depression can be tough, natural therapies can help! Remember to see your doctor immediately if you experience recurring depression that doesn't respond to treatment.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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Prozac, an SSRI, is an antidepressant used for treating depression, OCD and panic attacks. Learn more about the effects of Prozac here.
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Lexapro is a prescription antidepressant. Learn about how Lexapro can help treat depression, and about possible side effects.
Transcript: Escitalopram is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Lexapro. This...
Escitalopram is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Lexapro. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Like other SSRIs, Lexapro is believed to work by increasing the brain's supply of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. This corrects an existing chemical imbalance, improving mood and creating a feeling of well-being. Lexapro is used to treat both generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Lexapro is available in five, ten, and twenty milligram tablets. A peppermint flavor oral-solution is also available. Lexapro should be taken once a day with water, preferably at the same time each day. Once you have been taking this medication regularly, do NOT suddenly stop, as serious withdrawal symptoms can occur. The most commonly reported side effects of Lexapro include severe nausea, vomiting and sexual dysfunction, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience suicidal thoughts, seizures, or any other significant changes. Lexapro should never be taken with MAO Inhibitors, like Nardil, or with alcohol. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with Lexapro. Lexapro is commonly prescribed and it can help ease the symptoms of people with GAD and major depression. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking Lexapro.More »
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High academic demands, financial stress, and social adjustment can lead to major depression in college students. College isn't four years of fun for everyone. Take a look at this video.
Transcript: Feeling seriously down in the dumps? There's help for depression, and it starts with knowledge about...
Feeling seriously down in the dumps? There's help for depression, and it starts with knowledge about the condition. According to University of Michigan researchers, 15% of college students suffer from clinical depression during their time in school. Clinical depression is a brain disorder characterized by a near constant state of sadness and loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. One of the reasons depression is prevalent on college campuses is that the condition tends to occur during times of social adjustment. In addition, heavy course loads and studying, coupled with the changes that living away from home brings, can lead to depression.It's important to understand, however, that clinical depression is different from being "depressed," which is just another way of saying you're feeling down. All college students feel depressed sometimes, but the condition only becomes a problem when it's persistent. Some of the signs that depression is cause for concern include feelings of guilt and anxiety, lack of motivation, extreme fatigue, and thoughts of death or suicide. Major depression is an often disabling condition, which adversely affects a person's family, work and/or school life. It also impacts sleeping and eating habits, and general health; so if you find that your typical life habits are being affected, it's time to take your depression seriously.And while depression like this is treatable, only 33% of those affected actually seek out help, the same University of Michigan study found. If you're dealing with depression, be among those students that do seek help by making an appointment with the campus counseling center. There, an experienced counselor will talk to you-usually for free-about whether repeat counseling will help ease your depression. Sometimes, antidepressant medications, like Paxil or Effexor, may be prescribed to help ease depression symptoms. In other cases, group therapy with peers facing similar challenges may be your best route to recovery. Whatever treatment that ends up working for you, take charge of your depression by actively seeking help!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-05 | Tags »
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Zoloft is apopular antidepressant, and can also help treat OCD and anxiety disorders. Learn more about Zoloft and its possible side effects in this video.
Transcript: Sertraline hydrochloride is a prescription medication which is available both as a generic drug and under...
Sertraline hydrochloride is a prescription medication which is available both as a generic drug and under the brand name Zoloft. Sertraline belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Like other SSRIs, sertraline is believed to work by increasing the brain's supply of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. This corrects an existing chemical imbalance, improving mood and creating a feeling of well-being. Sertraline is most commonly used in the treatment of depression. It can also be effective at treating obsessive-compulsive and social anxiety disorders. Zoloft is available in twenty-five, fifty, and one-hundred milligram tablets. A liquid concentrate is also available. Sertraline should be taken once a day with water, preferably at the same time each day. Once you have been taking this medication regularly, do NOT suddenly stop, as serious withdrawal symptoms can occur. The most commonly reported side effects of sertraline include weight loss, sleepiness, and sexual dysfunction, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience suicidal thoughts, seizures, or any other significant changes. Sertraline should never be taken with MAO Inhibitors, like Nardil, or with the Tourette's disorder medication, Orap. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with sertraline. Zoloft is commonly prescribed and it can help ease the symptoms of people with depression. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking sertraline.More »
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