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Manage Depression Without Drugs

Depression, also referred to as clinical depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity. It is a serious medical condition that involves the brain. Feeling sad or depressed is a normal reaction to life’s struggles and disappointments. People generally use the term “depression” to describe these types of feelings, but depression is actually much more than just a feeling of being "down” or "blue" for a few days. For the 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings don’t simply go away. They persist in day-to-day life and interfere with a person's ability to work, study, eat and sleep.

Depression can be familial, suggesting that a biological vulnerability to depression can be inherited.  It usually begins between the ages of 15 and 30, and tends to be much more common in women. There are several forms of depression with major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder being the most common. Major depressive disorder, also called major depression, recurrent depressive disorder, clinical depression, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder, is characterized by low mood that is usually accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in enjoyable activities. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person's lifetime, but in majority of cases, it recurs throughout a person's life. On the other hand, dysthymic disorder, also known as dysthymia, is characterized by chronic but less severe symptoms that may not disable a person but can affect normal functioning or feeling well.

Depression Symptoms

Not everyone who is depressed experiences all the symptoms. Some person experience just a few symptoms while some may show many. Moreover, the severity of symptoms also varies widely among persons. In general, a depressed person will experience or manifest some of the following symptoms: persistent sadness, anxiety or feelings of emptiness, helplessness and hopelessness; loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy; appetite or weight changes (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month);   difficulty sleeping or oversleeping; irritability or restlessness; feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained; problems concentrating, remembering details and making decisions; persistent aches, pains or digestive problems that are not responding to treatment; social isolation; crying spells; and contemplating suicide or suicide attempt.

Depression Treatment

Understanding the underlying cause of depression may help overcome the problem. In general, the severe depressive disorders, especially those that are recurrent, will need antidepressant medications along with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and psychotherapy for the best outcome. Antidepressant medication does not cure depression, they only help the person feel better by controlling certain symptoms. Among the most commonly used medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

SSRIs are often the first-line of treatment for depression because they have fewer side-effects than TCAs and MAOIs. Unlike MAOIs, the SSRIs don’t interact with tyramine in foods and therefore don’t necessitate the dietary restrictions of the MAOIs. In addition, SSRIs don’t cause orthostatic hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias like the TCAs do. SSRIs are generally well tolerated by persons and the side effects are usually mild. The most commonly reported side effects are agitation, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, and nausea.
In ECT, an electric current passes through the brain to generate controlled convulsions. ECT is useful for persons who cannot take or have not responded favorably to antidepressants, have severe depression or at a high risk for suicide. As for psychotherapy, it is used to help ease the pain of depression, and addresses the negative feelings that accompany depression. Psychotherapy features a number of approaches that include interpersonal, behavioral, cognitive, psychodynamic and problem solving therapy.

Mangosteen Help for Depression

There is a multitude of mangosteen fruit benefits, many of which have been used for decades in folk and allopathic medicine. Recently, the medicinal properties of mangosteen have been extensively documented by laboratory, medical and experimental techniques.  It has been shown that mangosteen has a lot of promising medicinal benefits, including depression.

Mangosteen has been shown to help in the battle against all forms of brain disorders, allowing the neurons to grow and neurotransmitters to function properly. It also prevents damage in brain cells, enabling the mind to think better and provides a sense of well-being. This is actually the anti-depressant property of mangosteen. In fact, food scientists believe that mangosteen has mood enhancing ability. Moreover, taking daily mangosteen supplements enhances the absorption and function of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet. What’s so important about this compound is the fact that it serves as a precursor for serotonin which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. The functions of serotonin are numerous, including the control of appetite, sleep, mood, behavior and depression.

The link between serotonin and depression has been firmly established for the past couple of years. From several studies, the most solid proof of this connection is the decreased levels of serotonin metabolites in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain tissues of depressed individuals. If depression, as shown, is a consequence of decreased levels of serotonin in the brain, then mangosteen is right on target to help people who have been battling the horrors of depression.

Finally, studies also suggest that depression is related to certain deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (vitamin B9), Vitamins B6 or B12 and Omega 3 fats. Mangosteen can facilitate the absorption of these as it is likewise known to improve digestion.

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One of the best benefits of mangosteen is its ability to give the user a feeling of well being. Plus, tryptophan -- an essential amino acid -- is enhanced by taking daily doses of mangosteen. Tryptophan is directly related to serotonin, which is responsible for sleep, moods, and appetite.
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