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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

6 Kinds of Light Therapy to Treat Seasonal Depression

It’s that time of year again when the highly sensitive types among us who thrive with lots of sunlight begin to wither with the plants as the sun begins to hide.

Not only do we get less vitamin D (and deficiencies have been linked to depression), but the change in sunlight affects our circadian rhythm -- the body’s internal biological clock that governs certain brain activity and hormone production. In some people, the change of mood-related chemicals can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter blues or seasonal depression.

For an episode of major depression to be classified as SAD, a person will have had at least three episodes of mood disturbances in three separate winter seasons -- at least two of which were consecutive. There should also be no association between the episode and a significant situational stressor, such as a death, divorce, or unemployment.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Gluten, Depression, and Anxiety: The Gut-Brain Link

You only need to spend 10 minutes in a supermarket these days before noticing that half of the items seem to be marketed as “gluten-free.” Even raisins and nectarines are labeled that way, as if they ever contained gluten in the first place. Is it a fad much like the “fat-free” hype of the '80s?

Maybe.

But based on my own experience eliminating gluten from my diet, and the stories of people who struggle with chronic depression that I've read in the online forums I participate in, I believe the stuff can be toxic to your mood, especially if you have a sensitivity to it.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Medical Marijuana for Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety & Mental Illness: Can It Help?

The usefulness of medical marijuana for the treatment of mental illness and disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia is an open question today. There have been only a few really good studies on this issue, and their findings are decidedly mixed.

So let's dive into the question and see if medical marijuana can help the symptoms of mental illness, or is it more likely to cause harm?

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How to Chase Away Your Summertime Blues

Does your stomach turn when the thought of summer begins? Do you feel lonely, sad, or depressed in the summer months? Is it hard for you to plan a vacation, or get some good shut eye? If so, don’t feel bad, because you are not alone. In fact, reverse SAD occurs in about less than 10% of the population during the summer months.

Most people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD when winter rolls around, the more common form of SAD. But summertime reverse SAD, while temporary, and short lived, can still be very emotionally taxing for the summer months that are endured.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: August 19, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Guess what? I'm going "off the grid" this weekend. Well, maybe not in the strictest of senses (I'll still have my computer and phone) but in the sense that...well, let's just say I've been neglecting my own personal interests -- things I enjoy and feel help my personal growth -- and it's hurting my mental health. I feel unfulfilled. I have to figure out a way to stop that.

Starting today.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How New Generation Drugs Are Targeting Depression

Two years ago, I talked with a prominent psychiatrist about what could be done for all the people who have treatment-resistant depression who do not respond -- or only partially respond -- to the drugs on the market today.

“We wait for better drugs to come out,” he said.

I wanted a better answer, because my experience with the newer drugs like Zyprexa (olanzapine) -- atypical neuroleptics (a type of antipsychotic) that were supposed to treat bipolar disorder with fewer side effects than typical mood stabilizers like lithium and Depakote (divalproex sodium) -- proved to be a disaster.

But I am coming around to agree with the psychiatrist.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

8 Foods that Boost Your Mood

What we eat might not be able to cure us indefinitely from depression. I learned that hard lesson earlier this year. However, researchers are compiling strong evidence that what we eat can influence our risk for developing depression and can keep persons in remission from possibly relapsing.

Eating better foods has certainly helped my mood and allowed me to get by on less medication. A 2014 review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the link between diet and depression risk and found that a diet consisting mainly of fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains was significantly associated with a reduced risk of depression.1 There are certain foods that are especially good for augmenting mood. Here are eight of them.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Feeling Frazzled? The Cure Might Be in Your Kitchen

A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology late last year found that individuals who frequently take a stab at small creative projects, report having a higher state of mental health and functioning. In a more recent study, it was discovered that little bursts of creativity each day can go a long way towards preserving your happiness and satisfaction as you hustle and bustle in your daily life.1

Cooking and baking ranks as one of the most satisfying and creative outlets, even if you have never stepped foot in the kitchen You need not be a baker, or a chef to reap the health benefits listed below. Making something homemade, or even semi-homemade for a friend, family member, or a special someone, can go a long way towards keeping you happy and mentally sound.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

10 Summer Depression Busters

Although my mood seems to be better with more sun, I understand why a substantial number of folks get more depressed in the summer. Extreme heat is hard to tolerate. In fact, in a study published in Science in 2013, researchers reported that as temperatures rose, the frequency of interpersonal violence increased by 4 percent, and intergroup conflicts by 14 percent.
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