Sceletium Tortuosum: An excellant adjunct to St.John’s Wort

After seven years of Research & Development, HBC Protocols is excited about the release of a new natural antidepressant called Zembrin®. A 2:1 hydro-ethanol extract of the South African Sceletium Tortuosum plant Zembrin® possesses both SSRI re-uptake abilities with PDE4 inhibition. This quickly imparts a pleasant sense of stimulation and relaxation within twenty minutes. It has been well reviewed in published Journals on Pubmed.gov as well as Fox news for both anxiety and depression. Though Sceletium Tortuosum is a natural pharmacological relative of both Viagra and opium, Zembrin® is completely non addictive, safe, nontoxic and side effect free. Please feel free to read more.

Questions or comments?  Please contact customer service or for product information call 1-800-497-3742.

For the depressed, dating can often be a challenge.

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For the depressed, dating can often be a challenge. Even smiling can be too much of an effort. It’s called wearing “The mask of depression”. Here are some tips that can help interfacing with a potential emotional prospect a little easier. Medication. If you are depressed and on medication, take it religiously. Consistency is king. It will support you in dealing with friends and family, helping you to be a more upbeat, positive people. If you have a love prospect in hand, don’t tell him or her on the first date. Save that for when things are becoming more serious. Don’t feel compelled to do so before the time is right. When that happens you should begin by telling him or her that you have something about yourself that you need to talk about. Don’t just blurt out “I suffer from depression!” Preface it by saying something something like you struggle with with a fairly common issue but that you are taking care of yourself by seeking treatment.

Patience! Men often feel it’s their job to make women happy. It is typically their desire to help, but let him know you can’t always put on a happy face. On the other hand, some women expect men to take the initiative to plan dates or activities. This can be hard to do when you are depressed and you have little energy. Let her know you want to be with her, but it is just as much her responsibility to plan exciting activities. Low libido? Some antidepressants are well known to attenuate libido in both men and women. If you are among them, you should consider libido stimulating protocols.

Don’t repeat past dating mistakes. It is important to know your own weaknesses, your strengths and strengths and understand your dating pitfalls. If you find yourself repeating patterns that didn’t work the first time. (IE: like dating someone who makes you feel bad about yourself), leave the situation, and take some time off or find another companion.

Online dating. Many people scour the Internet for romantic partners. Many of them are good and many of them are not. Be careful. Though many of these sites are a good place to go to, consider mainstream dating sites as well.

Acceptance. You are not alone. I never met a person that didn’t have some kind of baggage. Don’t be too hard on yourself, all people have issues, past and present, (weight, acne, money, esteem, depression . . .) If the relationship is right for you, depression isn’t likely to be a deal breaker.

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New hormone Test Accurately Diagnoses Depression

Researchers say they have developed a blood test that may reliably detect depression. Experts say it could become one of the first objective ways to assess depression via hormones, growth factors and proteins. “Psychiatry is a field that is begging for tests because all of our diagnoses, for the most part, are based on clinical assessments, and clinical assessments are very subjective and can be biased,” says Jennifer L. Payne, MD, a psychiatrist and co-director of the Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.  Another study, involving 70 people with depression (and 43 people who were not) correctly identified depression about 91% of the time, ruling it out 81% of the time. “Chronic inflammation is a big risk factor or part of the process of depression itself,” says an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Additional indicators include hormones, growth factors, enzymes, and other proteins that act as chemical messengers.

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Click Here To Learn More

Valentine’sDay/Love/Oxytocin

Valentine’s Day next week means literally millions across the country will flock to candy stores, flower shops and favorite restaurants to let that special someone know how much they care. Excellent ideas all. Oxytocin Accelerator approaches Valentine’s Day from a more logical stance, the logic being that love is always with us; in our genes, our chemistry, our evolutionary past, our whole nature and there is no faster way to release it.
Click here to read more
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Neurobiological effects of Hyperforin and its potential in Alzheimer’s disease therapy

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Abstract
St. John’s Wort (SJW) has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. Relatively recently, one of its phloroglucinol derivatives, hyperforin, has emerged as a compound of interest. Hyperforin first gained attention as the constituent of SJW responsible for its antidepressant effects. Since then, several of its neurobiological effects have been described, including neurotransmitter re-uptake inhibition, the ability to increase intracellular sodium and calcium levels, canonical transient receptor potential 6 (TRPC6) activation, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonism as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Until recently, its pharmacological actions outside of depression had not been investigated. However, hyperforin has been shown to have cognitive enhancing and memory facilitating properties. Importantly, it has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology, including the ability to disassemble amyloid-beta (Abeta) aggregates in vitro, decrease astrogliosis and microglia activation, as well as improve spatial memory in vivo. This review will examine some of the early studies involving hyperforin and its effects in the central nervous system (CNS), with an emphasis on its potential use in AD therapy. With further investigation, hyperforin could emerge to be a likely therapeutical candidate in the treatment of this disease.

Griffith TN, Varela-Nallar L, Dinamarca MC, Inestrosa NC.

Source
CARE & CRCP, Biomedical, Center, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, P.O. Box 114-D, Santiago, Chile.


PMID:

20015041

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances

LinkOut – more resources

 

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Depression and Salt

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A new study from the University of Iowa found that salt is a good conductor and probably affects our brain function. According to the study, when deprived of salt rats were far less inclined to participate in activities they typically enjoyed—like pressing a bar that stimulated pleasant sensations in their brains. “Things that normally would be pleasurable for rats didn’t elicit the same degree of relish, which leads us to believe that a salt deficit and the craving associated with it can induce one of the key symptoms associated with depression,” Kim Johnson, the study designer, said. “A loss of pleasure in normally pleasing activities is one of the most important features of psychological depression.”

Mrs. Johnson reviewed other salt research as well. Long before the first refrigerator rolled off the assembly line salt was considered the best food preservative. And, it was expensive. Roman soldiers were paid in salt; the word salary is derived from the Latin word for salt. Long before the first refrigerator rolled of an assembly line salt was a coveted commodity. Today, salt is everywhere. 77 percent of our salt intake comes from processed and restaurant foods. There are 260 mgs of salt in one pickle! 135 mgs in the average slice of bread. Even bladder healthy cranberry juice has about 35 mgs of sodium per cup. It isn’t there naturally but added my many manufacturers, perhaps for taste. A slice of bacon contains 1021 mgs of salt. Canadian bacon 2500! There is your daily intake right there.

 

The idea of salt as a  mood-elevating substance might help explain why we are so tempted to over-eat it. The average salt intake per individual is recommended to be about 4 grams per day. The average person takes in approximately 10 grams per day. This may exceed what the body actually needs by more than 8 grams. New U.S. dietary guidelines now recommend that people aged 2 and older limit daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg). People aged 51 and older, blacks and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should consider going down to 1,500 mg per day, many experts say. The American Heart Association believes the 1,500-milligram-a-day recommendation should apply to all Americans.

One theory is that evolution is part of our craving for salt—that we evolved from creatures in the salty seas. And, once on land, our body continued to need sodium and chloride because those minerals play key roles in allowing fluids to pass in and out of cells; and in helping nerve cells transfer information throughout the brain and body. But as man evolved in the hot climate of Africa, perspiration robbed the body of sodium. Salt was scarce because our early ancestors ate a veggie-rich diet and lived far from the ocean. “Most of our biological systems require sodium to function properly, but as a species that didn’t have ready access to it, our kidneys evolved to become salt misers,” Johnson said.

A pleasure mechanism in the brain is activated when salt is consumed.

Behavior also came to play a key role in making sure we have enough salt. All animals—and humans—are born with a taste system designed to not only detect salt but remember where we located it. Think of salt licks placed strategically in cow and horse pastures. Perhaps because of salts ubiquity we have lost all of our sense of conserving it. There is ample evidence that salt is as abused and addictive a substance as sugar, alcohol or any other drug. A sign of addiction is using a substance that we know is harmful. That said, people are constantly being told to mitigate their salt intake, mostly to no avail. People just can’t seem to do that. Another aspect of addiction is intense cravings when drugs are withheld.

The good news is that the tongue grows a new set of taste buds every three weeks. If one wanted to recalibrate their taste buds to not crave salt, all he would have to do is do without it for a few weeks.

Mood elevation that’s tied to salt consumption could be caused by the salt, but it also could be the other way around. Maybe the lack of salt causes anxiety, which is alleviated by eating salt and giving the body what it wants. The study was published in the July issue of the journal Physiology & Behavior with Michael J. Morris and Elisa S. Na, UI graduate students.

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10 Steps to Happiness

altThe gloomy days of January can be the most miserable and stressful of the year, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you follow this ten step guide to distressing your life, then the next few weeks just might become the most serene and fulfilling ones of the year. One step should be carried out on each of the next 10 days. They’re based on the ideas found in the international best-seller “Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.” The book uses a program based on mindfulness meditation developed by us at Oxford University in the United Kingdom to relieve anxiety, stress, exhaustion and depression. Mindfulness has proved in some clinical trials to be at least as effective as drugs or counseling for dealing with these conditions.

So what is this mindfulness? It is quite simply paying full, whole-hearted attention. A typical meditation involves paying full attention to the breath as it flows in and out of the body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them. Mindfulness is about observation without criticism and being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress hovers overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat it as if it was a black cloud in the sky, and to observe it with friendly curiosity as it drifts past.

Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability. When these negative thoughts arise, they dissolve away again more easily. Other studies have shown that people who regularly meditate see their doctors less often and spend fewer days in hospital. Memory improves, creativity increases and reaction times become faster.

Here are 10 ways to decrease stress and increase mindful meditation in your life:

Day 1: Eat some chocolate

At this time of year, it’s easy to eat too much chocolate and other high-carb “comfort foods.” At first, all that lovely rich food is packed with flavor and totally irresistible. but after a while, you hardly notice it at all. And if you are in a rush, it tends to be wolfed down by the handful.

When you eat without thinking you miss out on so many wonderful flavors, textures and aromas. A single bar of chocolate, for example, has more than 300 flavors. How many of them do you normally taste?

Reconnecting with your senses is the heart of mindfulness, so why not try this chocolate meditation to help you enjoy your food again?

Day 2: Go for a short walk

Walking is one of the finest exercises and a brilliant stress reliever. A good walk can put the world in perspective and soothe your frayed nerves. It’s the ideal way of taking a break from all of that work that built up during the holidays.

Walking is one of the finest exercises and a brilliant stress reliever.

So today, why not go for a 15- to 30-minute walk? You don’t have to go anywhere special. A walk around your neighborhood, taken in an open frame of mind, can be just as interesting as a hike through the mountains.

There’s no need to feel that you have to rush anywhere; the aim is to walk as mindfully as you can, focusing your awareness on your feet as they land on the ground and feeling the fluid movements of all the muscles and tendons in your feet and legs.

Pay attention to all of the sights, sounds and smells. You might see the deep red color of the berries on the trees and bushes or perhaps the inky grayness of slushy ice and snow. See if it is possible to be open to all your senses: Smell the mustiness of the winter leaves; feel the rain on your head; the breeze on your face; watch how the patterns of light and shade shift unexpectedly.

Day 3: Take a three-minute breathing space

When you’re becoming angry, exhausted, anxious or stressed, it’s difficult to remember why you should remain calm. And at such times, it can feel as if the whole world was created just to bait you.

The three-minute breathing space was created to deal with such feelings. Its impact is twofold.

First, it’s a meditation that’s used to punctuate the day, so that it dissolves negative thought patterns before they gain control over your life. Secondly, it’s an emergency meditation that helps ground you when your thoughts threaten to spiral out of control.

When you are carrying out the meditation, you may find that your mind repeatedly runs away with itself. This is entirely natural. It’s what minds do. They leap around and offer up thoughts to your conscious self, much as a child holds up his or her toys to an approving adult. When you find that your mind has wandered, gently escort it back to full awareness and continue following the instructions on the track as best you can.

Day 4: Do something pleasurable

At this time of year, exhaustion, stress and unhappiness can easily dominate. You can start to experience “anhedonia” — that is, you can’t find pleasure in life. The things you used to enjoy now leave you cold — you feel as if a thick fog has put a barrier between you and simple pleasures, and few things seem rewarding any more.

You can counteract this by taking baby steps toward the things that you used to like doing but have since forgotten about. You can make a start by choosing one or two of the following things to do (or perhaps come up with your own ideas):

— Be kind to your body. Have a hot bath; have a nap; treat yourself to your favorite food without feeling guilty; have your favorite hot drink.

— Do something you enjoy. Visit or phone a friend (particularly if you’ve been out of contact for a while), get together what you need so you can do your favorite hobby, get some exercise, bake a cake, read something that gives you pleasure, listen to some music that you have not listened to in a long while.

Day 5: The intensely frustrating line meditation

Sometimes life can seem like one big long line. You have to line up to buy gas, to pay for the food in the supermarket and all of the bars and restaurants are crammed with people waiting to order.

Next time you feel like screaming “why don’t they just get on with it!”, try carrying out our Intensely Frustrating Line Meditation instead.

When you are in a line, see if you can become aware of your reactions when something holds up your progress. Perhaps you joined the “wrong” line, and are obsessing about whether to make a dash for another one that seems shorter? At such times, it is helpful to check in with what’s going on in your mind. Taking a moment to ask yourself:

— What is going through my mind?

— What sensations are there in my body?

— What emotions and impulses am I aware of?

Mindfulness accepts that some experiences are unpleasant. Mindfulness will, however, help by allowing you to tease apart the two major flavors of suffering — primary and secondary.

Primary suffering is the initial stressor, such as the frustration of being in a long line. You can acknowledge that it is not pleasant; it’s OK not to like it. Secondary suffering is all of the emotional turbulence that follows in its wake, such as anger and frustration, as well as any ensuing thoughts and feelings that often arise in tandem. See if you can see these clearly as well. See if it’s possible to allow the frustration to be here without trying to make it go away.

Day 6: Set up a mindfulness bell

Pick a few ordinary activities from daily life that you can turn into “mindfulness bells,” that is, reminders to stop and pay attention to things in great detail. There’s a list below of things you might like to turn into bells. You don’t have to turn them all into mindfulness bells — they are just suggestions.

— Preparing food: Food offers a host of opportunities to become more mindful. If you’re preparing food, particularly if they are rich in flavors, smells and textures, then try and pay full mindful attention to all that you are doing.

— Washing the dishes: This is a great opportunity for exploring physical sensations. If you normally use a dishwasher, do them by hand for a change. When your mind wanders, shepherd it back to the present moment. Pay attention to the texture of the dishes, the temperature of the water, the smell of the detergent, etc.

— Listening to friends: If you are planning to meet a friend, or bump into one unexpectedly, it’s easy to lapse into the same tired-old conversations. So why not turn a friend’s voice into a “bell” that’s a signal to pay full attention to what they are saying? Notice when you are not listening — when you start to think of something else, what you are going to say in response etc. Come back to actually listening.

Day 7: The ten-finger gratitude exercise

To come to a positive appreciation for the small things in your life, you can try the gratitude exercise. It simply means that once a day you should bring to mind 10 things that you are grateful for, counting them on your fingers. It is important to get to 10 things, even when it becomes increasingly harder after three or four. This is exactly what the exercise is for — intentionally bringing into awareness the tiny, previously unnoticed elements of the day.

Day 8: Do the sounds and thoughts meditation

Sounds are as compelling as thoughts and just as immaterial and open to interpretation. Certain songs might cheer you up — or send you into an emotional tailspin. Sensing the power of sound — and its relationship to thoughts and emotion — is central to mindfulness and to becoming a happier, more relaxed and centered person.

Today, why not try our sounds and thoughts meditation? This elegantly reveals how the mind conjures up thoughts that can so easily lead us astray. Once you realize this — deep in your heart — then a great many of your stresses and troubles will simply evaporate before your eyes.

This meditation gradually reveals the similarities between sound and thought. Both appear as if from nowhere, and we have no control over their arising. They can easily trigger powerful emotions that run away with us leaving us feeling fragile and broken.

Day 9: Reclaim your life

Think back to a time in your life when things seemed less frantic, before the time when some tragedy or increase in workload took over your daily existence. Or it might be more recent than that, before the run-up to Christmas say, or perhaps a relaxing break in the summer.

Recall in as much detail as you can some of the activities that you used to do at that time. These may be things you did by yourself (reading your favorite magazines or taking time to listen to a track from a favorite piece of music, going out for walks or bike rides) or together with friends or family (from playing board games to going to the theater).

Choose one of these activities and plan to do it today or over this weekend. It may take five minutes or five hours, it might be important or trivial, it might involve others or it could be by yourself.

It is only important that it should be something that puts you back in touch with a part of your life that you had forgotten — a part of you that you may have been telling yourself was lost somehow, that you could not get back to. Don’t wait until you feel like doing it; do it anyway and see what happens. It’s time to reclaim your life!

Day 10: Go to the movies

Ask a friend or family member to go with you to the movies — but this time, with a difference. Go at a set time (say 7 p.m.) and choose whatever film takes your fancy only when you get there. Often, what makes us happiest in life is the unexpected — the chance encounter or the unpredicted event. Movies are great for all these.

Before you go, notice any thoughts that may arise such as, ‘I haven’t got time for pleasure’, or, ‘What if there is nothing on that I’ll enjoy?’

They undermine your enthusiasm for taking action and discourage your intention to do something that might nourish your life in important ways. Once you’re inside the cinema, just forget about all this and be consumed by the film.

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Am I addicted to antidepressants?

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Q. I have been off and on several different antidepressants over the years. Do I have to stay on them forever? Am I addicted to antidepressants?

Possibly. Pharmaceutical antidepressants can be addictive. Especially for children. There are actually laws in place to prevent children from taking Paxil. People do not get addicted to natural anti-depressants. Some, like 5htp run the risqué of habituation, or becoming less effective over time, in limited cases, but, generally they are 100% safe and completely non addictive. This is because they work with the body to help it make the chemicals necessary to feel better. With the exception of St. John’s wort, natural antidepressants are not symptom based protocols. 5htp is a natural way to reduce feelings of depression, and carbohydrate cravings, and insomnia by converting into serotonin. SAMe is a natural substance that we make in our very own liver to detoxify it. It also happens to be a powerful joint rejuvenator and antidepressant. Our bodies make about 10 grams of SAMe per day. I personally take about a gram and a half per day, throughout the day. The body does not habituate to SAMe and it is a great way to boost other antidepressants, be they natural, (St. John’s wort, 5htp, HGH, Omega oils . . . ) Here’s a thumbnail sketch of what we know about the natural antidepressants.

St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is probably the most studied natural supplements for depression. Study results for St. John’s Wort are strong. Several well-designed studies have demonstrated that St. John’s wort relieves feelings of depression at roughly the same level as the pharmaceuticals (Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin . . . ) 65 to 70%.  St. John’s wort also happens to be an anti-viral, antibacterial so it is a good treatment fit for the winter months. It also has anti-oxidant properties that support the circulatory system. A review of 29 trials published in 2008 by the nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration concluded that St. John’s wort was better than a placebo and equivalent to standard antidepressants, but with fewer side effects. Pharmacologically St. John’s wort works with the serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine receptor sites. It has also been demonstrated to manipulate two of the GABA sites which probably explains its mild calming ability. St. John’s wort has been taken all over the world by people for protracted periods of time (up to 30 years) without side effect or habituation (not working any more) issues. It should not be taken with pharmaceutical protocols because they work too similarly so it would be redundant.  St. John’s wort may be used in conjunction with 5htp, SAM-e, DMAE, or HGH.  

SAM-e
The most natural of all antidepressants S-adenosyl-L-methionine, or SAM-e is needed to make key messenger chemicals in the brain. European scientists firs noted SAM-e’s antidepressant effects in the 1970s during arthritis studies. The SAMe compound has been used ever since.  SAM-e became commercially available in the US in the late 1990s. Originally the compound was not very stable. It didn’t like moisture or heat and broke down very quickly. Newer, more stable versions of oral SAM-e are now available.  SAM-e is probably the most powerful liver detoxifier known to man. One study found that oral SAM-e quickly reduced symptoms of depression in people infected with HIV. Another 2004 study reported SAM-e improved depression symptoms of major depression among those taking prescription antidepressants with little to no relief from the drugs alone. Last year, Harvard researchers reported a larger trial in the American Journal of Psychiatry in which 73 patients with major depression whose prescription antidepressants weren’t helping received either SAM-e pills or a placebo as an “add-on” treatment. After six weeks, patients who took SAM-e had a greater improvement in symptoms. Because it is not patentable research is moving very slowly. SAMe is not typically recommended for extremely excitable people as it can magnify this.

5-HTP or Tryptophan
These two serotonin precursors are immediately recognized in the gut (where there are almost as many serotonin receptor sites as in the brain) where it is sent up the vagus nerve to the brain where it enzymatically converts into Serotonin, one of the fundamental feel-good neurotransmitters. They work very quickly. Excellent for high anxiety situations.  Very calming. Good for sleep. Good for carbohydrate craving. The body may habituate after a few months. Breaks recommended that being the case.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s already have a solid reputation as a heart-healthy protocol but they are so much more.  Did you know that omega oils go to the cox2 receptor site like aspirin? They are one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories around today. Our brains are 70% fat and therefore love fish fat. Everything flows better with fish fat in the brain. This is why research on their fatty acids and depression are so popular in the research community. For more than a decade, since the seminal Harvard study on the bipolar afflicted, studies have pointed to an association between fish consumption and depression: Across the globe, rates of depression are lower in populations that eat more fish, particularly omega-3 rich fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. Studies have also shown that omega-3 levels are lower in people with depression than in people without.  These findings, in turn, have prompted hundreds of studies to determine whether omega-3 supplements can help treat depression. Two recent reviews analyzed the data from dozens of the most well-designed of these studies, and they came to a similar conclusion: Omega-3s appear most likely to help people with severe depression

Because they’re so safe, researchers are now beginning to study whether omega-3s might help treat depression in children. A couple of recent, small studies — one in Israel, one in Australia — showed a 40% to 50% improvement of depressive symptoms in children given omega-3s. Other scientists are looking at whether omega-3s might help conditions related to depression, such as anxiety.  In a study published earlier this year, medical students who took a daily omega-3 supplement containing 2,085 milligrams of EPA and 348 mg DHA for 12 weeks had a 20% reduction in anxiety compared with students who took a placebo.

Depression relapse.

Given the vagaries of depression, the many forms (from situational, to post-partum to ontological, to drug induced, to bipolar . . . . ), if you are experiencing your first episode of depression, there is always a chance of a recurrence. This is why it is It is important that you consider several approaches to depression. The average child experiences episodes of 6 months. Young adults, 18 months. Older people seem to run 36 month cycles. For a first episode that has not been around long — say, less than three months — it is important that you stay on your medication for at least four to six months of being completely symptom-free. Of course you could be dysthymic in which you are persistent low grade and will always be on the verge of a mild depression. Then it is just a matter of supporting the body in making all of the feel good neurotransmitters and hormones that it requires to feel optimal.

The chance of recurrence goes up with each episode of depression and with increased duration of symptoms. Family history of depression or bipolar disorder also must be considered. For a second episode, the chance for a recurrence is 80 percent (and 90 percent for a third episode). That is why psychiatrists usually recommend ongoing treatment to prevent future recurrences. The chance that a future episode may be more difficult to treat also factors in to the decision.

Years of untreated depression puts one at an increased risk for brain shrinkage and dementia. One brain chemical, neurotropic factor (BDNF) decreases with stress, anxiety and depression. BDNF keeps nerve cells and their connections healthy. When BDNF is decreased nerve cells atrophy and die and the brain shrinks. This occurs especially aggressive in brain areas where memory and learning occur. Antidepressants reverse this decrease and help restore BDNF.

We at HBC feel that a more diverse approach should be taken in an attack on depression. St. John’s wort is gentile but takes about 6 weeks to ramp up. 5hpt takes less than two but if overused can habituate. SAMe works very quickly and doesn’t seem to habituate but is very expensive. DMAE works very quickly, can have you feeling focused in less than forty minutes but can habituate in a few months so you need to take a break from that; say with Piracetam. All of these protocols may be taken together, meaning at different points of the day. I like DMAE in the morning as it is the precursor to the feel good neurotransmitter acetylcholine. I also like SAMe in the morning as it is stimulating. Subtle St. John’s wort may be taken at various points during the day. I prefer 5htp and L-tryptophan for the evening as it promotes nice deep sleep.  Of course there are other endocrine based options that will boost natural antidepressants. One of my favorites is homeopathic HGH as it supports depression from a visceral level, is non-addictive and very effective. Please feel free to click on the image below for more information.

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Oxytocin: the body’s love drug offers hope to addicts

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The feel-good effects of oxytocin have diminished the impact of drug and alcohol use. Now, Australian scientists have launched clinical trials to determine if intranasal oxytocin sprays, methamphetamine addicts, alcoholics, and chronic marijuana users using oxytocin nasal sprays will benefit from a combination of oxytocin sprays and injections. University of Sydney researcher Professor Iain McGregor said. “With excessive alcohol consumption or methamphetamines or cocaine use, people get depleted levels of oxytocin in the brain. So what we might be doing by treating people with oxytocin is restoring the brain system that’s been changed from alcohol and drug abuse. If you can naturally boost their oxytocin levels you can make people less vulnerable to addiction.”

Prof McGregor outlined the results of rat studies in which adolescent rats were given daily oxytocin injections for 10 days before they had any exposure to alcohol. Upon reaching maturity those who had received the oxytocin were not as interested in alcohol and were more sociable than rats not given the injections. They also had higher levels of oxytocin in their brains, suggesting the injection they received had long-lasting effects. Other studies have found oxytocin has similar effects in deterring rats from wanting to indulge in methamphetamines.

Is there a chance they would get hooked on oxytocin? “We don’t think so,” said Prof McGregor. “We know from giving humans intranasal oxytocin sprays it doesn’t seem to have any abuse potential. People who take it don’t feel like they’re on ecstasy. It has a more subtle effect.” Current clinical trials involving the nasal spray have another six months to run. Meanwhile, research is underway in the United States to see if oxytocin can help manage withdrawal symptoms in cannabis addicts.

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Are you sad? (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that generally recurs during late fall or early winter. It is characterized by periods of depression triggered by shortened sunlight and sudden weather changes during the cooler months. Interestingly, SAD is more prevalent in developed countries. For example, 6 percent of the Turkish population—mostly women—are diagnosed with this disorder each year. Early SAD symptoms are mild but become more severe as winter progresses. Its symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, low energy, poor appetite, morning fatigue, oversleeping, poor concentration, low interest in and/or withdrawal from formerly fun activities are all indicators of Seasonal Affective Disorder. If addressed early, SAD can be prevented from getting worse over time.

Though there are no specific causes for SAD, it is generally agreed that genetics, age, biological clock and changes or drops in serotonin and melatonin levels all play a role in triggering SAD symptoms. Factors such as gender, living far from the equator, family history and a history of clinical depression can make a person more vulnerable to SAD.

During this period, a sufferer’s moods and behavior can make treatment difficult but options are available to ease symptoms. St. John’s wort has been shown to be an effective treatment for SAD. Think of it as sunlight in a bottle. Psychological counseling can also be helpful in coping with changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, as well as with managing stress.

Also consider making some lifestyle adjustment; brighter living environment. More opportunity for sunlight exposure. Sitting next to windows can be effective. Take walks. Eat outside if possible outside, even on cloudy days, can help improve mood. Increased physical exercise can also help relieve stress and anxiety. Uplifting friends, uplifting music  . . . laughter.

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