A new study suggests that oral anti-depression protocols won’t lighten a person’s mood until they brighten his or her personality—two personality traits that predispose people to depression must be affected first. They are high neuroticism* and low extraversion**, both of which have been linked to depression. As measured on a standard personality questionnaire, high neuroticism […]
Everyone knows that a bag of salty fries and a big Mac can make your ankles swell up like fire hydrants because the body so wants to dilute the salt that it traps fluid in bod tissues but did you know that antidepressants can also be part of the problem?
Water retention can have many causes such as a long flight on a plane, hormonal changes during menstruation, standing for long stints, pregnancy. Even a hot day can cause swelling. Venous insufficiency is part of the cause and too. When this happens it damages valves in the legs’ which hinders blood flow back to the heart. Hence, fluid collects in the legs and feet. This is called edema. Damaged veins then leak fluid (blood plasma that is mostly water) into nearby tissue. Sometimes edema is caused by heart, kidney or liver disease. When this happens water accumulates in the lungs, abdomen and elsewhere.
Peripheral edema, term for swelling or fluid buildup in the lower legs or hands, can also be induce by pharmaceutical SSRI antidepressants like: Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Xanax, Wellbutrin, Celexa and Effexor. Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and the antianxiety drug Xanax can as well. Nortriptyline Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, Advil and Aleve can also aggravate edema. So can the diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia. Two classes of blood pressure medications can also aggravate edema as well as calcium-channel blockers Amlodipine and Norvasc. ACE inhibitors such as Enalapril, Vasotec and Lisinopril and Prinivil.
During sleep the body can re-absorb some excess fluid. But, we should all be concerned if swelling continues or worsens, especially if it is accompanied by shortness of breath as this probably indicates a life-threatening condition such as heart failure or kidney, liver or thyroid disease. In the case of heart failure, the abdomen, legs and lungs swell because the heart is too weak to pump blood. That allows fluid to accumulate.
Click the image below for a list of non-fluid retentive depression protocols.
Everyone knows that looking into a dogs eyes is a nice thing to do. Every wondered why the dog-human bond is so powerful? According to Japanese scientists it is oxytocin, the bonding hormone. A new study found that oxytocin is just as critical a component of the human/canine bond as it is the human/human bond. Researchers (Nagasawa, Kikusui, Onaka, and Ohta) believe that oxytocin causes us to employ the same signals with our dogs that we use with our own children. Furthermore, these signals have played a big role in the domestication of dogs
Oxytocin, pets, and pain. Oxytocin is a natural analgesic. One study demonstrated how adults in pet therapy while recovering from total joint-replacement surgery required 50% less pain medication than those who recover without the additional support. It was found that the oxytocinergic neurons project to other brain areas (Sofroniew 1985) which had the effect of elevating the pain threshold. Dogs with higher levels of pain also had elevated oxytocin in their urine. This is a good time to remind ourselves that pain isn’t always all about us. Sometimes our dogs are in pain and we need to remain sensitive to them as they too often suffer in silence.
If your dog seems a little off—maybe he is reluctant to climb the stairs (bad back? Hips?) or seems withdrawn and inactive (fever? Stomach ache?) he or she may be in some unidentified pain. Ironically, oxytocin helps us to open our eyes and see more accurately the nonverbal clues our pets (and children, and parents and friends . . . ) exhibit such that we can make a better assessment of whether or not a ride to the doctor is required. Just remember that the power of oxytocin does not stop with our ability to bond with our dog, (and vis a vis) but our ability to truly “see” and be seen by them. By the way reptiles don’t make oxytocin but they do make a form of it called arginine vasotocin. I will be discussing this in another blog about the evolution of emotion and mammals and lizards and frogs.
Social withdrawal is typically one of the first signs of depression. It is especially pronounced in older men. This iinfluences not just psychosocial well-being but their physical health. “When we’re clinically depressed, there’s a very strong urge to pull away from others and to shut down,” says Stephen Ilardi, PhD, author of books including The Depression Cure and associate professor of psychology at the University of Kansas. “It turns out to be the exact opposite of what we need.” “In depression, social isolation typically serves to worsen the illness and how we feel,” Ilardi says. “Social withdrawal amplifies the brain’s stress response. Social contact helps put the brakes on it.”
One recent study investigated relationships between loneliness, health, and depression in 217 older men over the age of 65. The men completed a self-report of loneliness, social support, depression, and physical health. Lonely men reported much higher scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) with a significant response to declining health and functional impairment. Retirement is a big problem. Physical mobility is also important. Much of it comes back to the loss of women in their lives. Women are usually far more social and naturally assume management of the social activities in a relationship. Women are constantly coming up with ideas to get both of them out of the house. If they are no longer in the picture men become lost and gradually withdraw altogether. The loss of family and friends, gay partners and other companions (check: dogs and cats) were very significant.
As older men begin to physically fall apart their endocrine systems (the hormonal system and shock absorber to their well being) begins to cannibalize their general health and well-being leaving them even more tired, depressed and at a loss as to what to do. Of course the older they feel the older they act and so on and so forth. More begets more. Or, in this case less becomes less and they eventually find themselves in a vacuum of social nothingness, with nothing to look forward to, and not a clue as to how to get out of it.
One of the best ways to address age related depression and chronic disease is by supporting the endocrine system with homeopathic human growth hormone. Not only does it roll back the clock on how they feel, but how they look. By reintroducing the vibrational signature of HGH on a sub-atomic level the body begins to release more of its own HGH. The net effect is that everything seems to look better—the sky is bluer, the grass is greener—they have more energy, they feel like moving around, walking the walk, talking the talk . . even talking on the phone! Homeopathic HGH is not to be confused with shooting high exogenous doses of HGH. That can be dangerous. Homeopathic human growth hormone (HGH) is actually a way for old men (and women) to remind their bodies, via a super low dose, that life is still worth living and can be done so vitally, no matter what your birth certificate says. Here is a link to read more.
Piracetam reverses the effects of aging in the brain. Piracetam also appears to be effective in treating cognitive impairment in alcoholism. Piracetam is useful as a long-term treatment for clotting, coagulation, and vasospastic disorders such as deep-vein thrombosis as it operates through the novel mechanism of inhibiting platelet aggregation and enhances blood-cell deformability. Some research suggests that piracetam’s overall effect on lowering depression and anxiety is even higher than memory improvement. Piracetam has become a popular supplement in the subculture of lucid dreaming. Its use has been largely made popular by a book published by Thomas Yuschak titled Advanced Lucid Dreaming The Power of Supplements. A daily dose of 4.8 grams is considered optimal.
A new study from the University of Pittsburgh involving 967 two-parent families and their teens determined that 13 year olds who received harsh verbal discipline were prone to symptoms of depression at age 14. They were also more likely to exhibit aggression, misconduct, vandalism and anger. Yelling and screaming at your kids is just as bad as hitting them, the study found. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” couldn’t be less true. Words yelled in anger can be as harmful as spanking. One need not raise their voices or their hands to their kids to be effective.
Context, context, context. Just like “location, location, location” is the mantra of real-estate value—context is to anger We are all allowed to raise our voices from time to time. It’s a birthright. But, screaming ‘You’re worthless,’ is totally different from screaming, “Put your clothes on!” Here are some more tips on how to reach your children without making things worse than they already are:
- Look directly into your kids eyes and tell them what they need to hear without shouting.
- Never, ever, name call! Don’t attack your child’s self-esteem with statements like “Your stupid.” Or, “I don’t love you anymore” or “I wish I’d never had you.”
- Lower your voice until you are almost whispering. Ronald Regan, a master communicator knew this and was able to draw people closer and closer with this technique.
- Defuse anger with humor. One mom sprayed water on her son instead of yelling at him. He ran away laughing.
- Create a key phrase that lets them know of the severity of the situation. “If I were you I would do what it takes to get out of trouble.”
- Set appropriate consequences.
- Count to three
- Send your kids outside. Calmly walk to the door and open it. tell your children to step outside and get some fresh air for a specific time period.
- Walk away and refuse to listen to arguing.
- Put yourself in a timeout. Go to your bedroom, close the door, lie on the bed with a cool rag over your face. I like to use my eyeshade.
- Negotiate with your children. Dignify them and their intelligence
The suggestions above address emotional abuse as being just as bad as physical abuse. Think of them as ways to discipline your children without abusing your power as a parent. There’s a very fine line.