If you are reading this blog perhaps it's because you suffer from depression or know a loved one who is. Before we venture into this difficult and troublesome subject, if you have an apparent reason to be depressed, you are going to have to figure out how to resolve the issue causing it. Depression could be caused by anything from financial problems, marital problems, work problems, health problems, family problems and much more. If these issues and more are causing your depression or anxiety, you need to work on a resolution even with the assistance of a professional counselor or a trustworthy person that will listen and possibly give suggestions how to conquer the problem(s).
Now, for those of you that have no real reason or issue that you can identify why you are depressed or have anxiety, here are some thoughts and suggestions.
Brain chemistry is a mystery in and of itself. It is possibly affected by a variety of things: Foods, drugs, alcohol, environmental elements, injuries, stresses, thoughts, genetics and more. Even nutrition plays a great role here. Let's first address nutrition and its importance for proper brain function. Schools are so busy educating us by making us memorize a lot of useless information about health. So, by the time we graduate from high school or college, we still don't know what the body and brain needs nutritionally. I am reminded when I was a little boy, my mom would line us kids up going out the door to school as she made us take a teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil as we left the house. We'd gag then and all the way to school. Today, I don't think I could take Cod Liver Oil because of the memory of this awful tasting stuff. Don't misinterpret me, Cod Liver Oil is good but there are many other things to take in its place to avoid the horrible taste. The good news now, various fish oils are now in capsules or in pleasant flavored liquids. It has been researched that marine oils in general are for anxiety, depression, focus and concentration, and various other brain functions. Further, fish oil assists in having proper skin texture, joint lubrication, and hormone balancing. So, are you eating enough fish? Are you using fish oil as a supplement? It takes about 30-40 days consistently for it to get effectively into your system to feel the difference. I might add that Essential Fatty Acids or Omega 3s found in fish oils are essential. Remember the word "essential" means that your body body can't maintain it and you need it daily. No wonder there is so much depression. It has become so finite in the last few years, that the EPA and DHA designation found on the back of labels of all fish oils should be substantial in concentration. At least 1,000mg of the EPA/DHA when combined should be taken daily. Many fish oils are very inferior and low in mgs of EPA/DHA. Two of my OmegaPerfect capsules taken daily provide 1,000mgs of EPA/DHA. Further, nobody is burping it either because of the way the oil was extracted from the fish. This should be taken daily along with a supplement of the twelve essential vitamins and the seventeen essential minerals. As we eat properly, we still don't know if our foods are providing us with all of the essential nutrients for good nutrition and brain health. Thus, the importance of supplementation. My formula of VitaPerfect is a food-grade multiple vitamin/mineral capsule that provides these essential vitamin and mineral components.
If you are taking a prescription for some health issue, ask your doctor if there are mental implications such as depression or anxiety potentially accompanying it. Remember drugs of any kind will ultimately go to the brain and may cause an upset of brain chemistry. We all react somewhat differently to the variety of medications out there. During a hospital stay many years ago following an injury, they gave me shot of Demerol for pain. After the third day of receiving Demerol shots, one late night awakening from a deep sleep, I had acute anxiety for the first and only time in my life. A wise nurse came to my hospital room after I frantically punched the emergency button by my bed. She saw and heard my severe stress and said they would change my medication immediately to oral pain pills instead of Demerol shots. I lived with serious anxiety for about 3 hours until the shot wore off. I was lucky to find out from this nurse about the anxiety reaction I was having. Some people never have the reaction I had but the same is true with various medications society is prescribed for health issues. Some people just don't know the cause of their anxiety until a detailed analysis of their life is completed.
Bad childhood experiences have made themselves manifest for some people late in life. With some, it takes years for the brain to recall and recreate the traumatic experience. Many women experience anxiety or depression as they approach menopause because of hormone imbalances. Western medicine has dozens of prescriptions for hormones. Alternative medicine also has natural components to assist with hormone balancing. Again, there are dozens of books written about the importance of marine oils in assisting with hormone balancing.
Western medicine will prescribe anti-anxieties which unfortunately for many will move the patient into depression in the process of alleviating anxiety. Some of the antidepressants will make the patient ambivalent and numb towards life in general. Finding the right medication is often a crap shoot with you as the "guinea pig".
I am a proponent of essential oils. Smells are immediate and often have great positive effects. Finding the right one for you is a part of your challenge to find the right one(s). Taking hot baths at night with Epsom Salts or Magnesium Citrate powders are relaxing to the body physiologically and also relaxing to the mind. It can also create a better sleep habit which is necessary to relieve anxiety. Placing the essential oils in the bath water is effective as well.
Meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga, and daily prayer are stress, anxiety, and depression relievers. Reading uplifting books and literature aids many. Today's hectic schedules and surroundings need to be moderated. Find your happy place and go to it often.
Mild to moderate exercise will assist in raising your "feel good" hormones. Endorphins and Serotonins coming from your brain are stimulated by motion. Find time to enjoy movement of some sort with your favorite apparatus helping you or by simple walking, hiking or jogging.
Doing any or all of these natural suggestions should assist you in having a happy healthy brain function.