Everyday it seems that our lives are moving faster, giving us less time to adjust, cope with, and enjoy the world around us. We all have the same difficult events to deal with, like deaths in the family, divorce, lost jobs, financial difficulties, health problems, and just the trying task of keeping up with things. Though the world would like us to just "deal with it" and move on, our emotions don't work that way. At times we feel overwhelmed, tired out, unmotivated, and unable to handle everything life throws our way.
Depression is a common illness that strikes about 1 in 15 Americans each year. A person's mood, thoughts, physical health, and behavior all may be affected. Symptoms can include persistent sadness, anxious, or "empty" feeling, loss of energy, appetite, or sexual drive, and lack of interest in socializing, work or hobbies.
Research have found that certain chemical messengers in the brain affect our mood and our ability to cope with the stresses of life. Fortunately, they have found nutritional compounds that help maintain the health and levels of these brain messengers, thus supporting our efforts to deal with our fast-paced lives and the many events that can throw us off balance.
Can chemicals really affect how we feel? Though some may be skeptical that he brain chemicals can actually affect mood, when one considers the effects of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, prescription drugs, and other compounds on disposition and emotional outlook, it is easy to see that many of our emotional reactions are affected by factors other than our thoughts. The good thing is that, similar to the way we can support the body's physical health through good diet and exercise, we can do the same for our emotional health. In addition,
researchers have discovered natural plant extracts and specific vitamins that can help support a strong sense of well being.
Did you know that deficiencies in various B complex vitamins have been strongly implicated in depression. Research have found a connection between levels of B-12 and the age at which depression symptoms may begin to appear. B-12 deficiencies are linked with poorer cognitive performance in individuals with depression.
Lifestyle changes can provide a pathway for getting beyond prolonged therapy. Maintaining a well balanced diet, with good nutritional supplements, getting regular exercise and cutting back on sugar and caffeine are a good start. Other things that can help would be to spend more time with positive people, become better at a sport or craft, or start a new project with a goal. Be good to yourself. Treat yourself to something that you enjoy and always make plans for the future.
Temeria Wilcox, CRNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
Birdsall, Timothy, C. "5-Hydroxytryptophan: A Clinically-Effective Serotonin Precursor"
Levitt, A.J., Joffe, R.T., "Folate, B12, and life courses of depressive illness:, Biol Psychiatr