Depression: A Chat

depression

Let me get this out there right away: there is no poster child for depression. We do not know what it looks like on the outside. You cannot look at a person and figure out they are battling depression. This makes our discussion tricky, but also dicey. We, as in the scientific community, do not know a whole lot about depression. We know it is a mental illness. We know that it can be genetic. We know that some medications help alleviate it.

But, trust me, misdiagnosis happens frequently. Some doctors are doubtful, think you are putting up an act, or they have trouble figuring out what kind of depression you have. See, there are two types of depression: major depression and manic depression (also known as bipolar depression). Essentially, major depression involves feeling sad all the time. It is not just sadness. It is also a crippling view of life. There is no hope. There is no energy. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.  WebMD shares, “With major depression, it may be difficult to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy friends and activities. Some people have clinical depression only once in their life, while others have it several times in a lifetime.”

For me, major clinical depression runs in the family, so it is hereditary, but for others it just happens. The chemicals in their brain just become unbalanced. WebMD adds, “Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships — symptoms that are present every day for at least 2 weeks. In addition, according to the DSM-IV — a manual used to diagnose mental health conditions .” It is the two weeks that doctors really look for. I had depression since I was a child; I had a suicidal tendencies for a long time, but early last year, I had crying spells. I just would start crying. When I finally sought help, the doctor’s first few questions were about when and why I was crying. The thing with depression is that you do not really know why you are crying, why you are tired, why you have gained or lost so much weight. All you know is that life is too hard for you right now.

But “my” type of depression is not the only kind of depression out there. There is also bipolar depression, which is characterized by two phases: a depressive state and a manic phase. WebMD explains, “Bipolar disorder is a complex genetic disorder. The mood swings associated with it alternate from major, or clinical, depression to mania or extreme elation. The mood swings can range from very mild to extreme, and they can happen gradually or suddenly within a timeframe of minutes to hours. When mood swings happen frequently, the process is called rapid cycling.”  The mania is hard to explain, but since I have a friend with bipolar depression, I can give examples about it. Essentially, when the mania hits you, you feel invincible. You feel confident, almost cocky. You feel like you can take on any workload, even scary workloads.

Just as major depression, we do not know much about how bipolar disorder comes about. We do not know what causes it, how it is passed down in families. All WebMD can muster is a weak “Like with other mood disorders, what causes bipolar disorder is not known. What is known is that bipolar disorder has a genetic component and can run in families.”

depressed man

Yet,

“Marked by relapses and remissions, bipolar disorder has a high rate of recurrence if untreated. Patients with severe mania usually require hospitalization to keep them from risky behaviors. Those who are severely depressed also might need hospitalization to keep them from acting on suicidal thoughts.”

 

And that is really sad. I think what is unfortunate about depression is that it is so misunderstood because we do not talk about it. I personally get shy and shamed for having depression, but, as my doctor says, it is a chemical unbalance. It is an illness. But, here is the thing: it is not a flu, fleeting and temporary. It can last a whole life time, or a couple of months. I have met people who had depression for a while and then just, one day, stopped.

The concept is amazing, of course. I do not know if I will ever not be depressed. But, I do know that I will always be ticked off if someone says that they feel depressed, because it is not a feeling. It is an illness. It is a struggle. It is a haunting scary experience and it cannot be reduced to taking a mental health day or a day off. Many people suffering depression use different types of treatments such as neurostar.

But this is not it for depression. There is another type of depression. WebMD explains, “Postpartum depression (PPD) is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman after giving birth. According to the DSM IV, a manual used to diagnose mental disorders, PPD is a form of major depression that has its onset within four weeks after delivery. The diagnosis of postpartum depression is based not only on the length of time between delivery and onset, but also on the severity of the depression.”

I do not know much about postpartum depression, but I do know that it is tough and that it is stressful. But, as WebMD shares “Postpartum depression is linked to chemical, social, and psychological changes associated with having a baby. The term describes a range of physical and emotional changes that many new mothers experience. The good news is postpartum depression can be treated with medication and counseling.”

There is a lot more to depression. And, I do not think a thousand words or a million words are enough for me to tell you what it is like. My advice is to be compassionate and understanding. If you are depressed, seek help and be patient.

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Let’s Sound Off About The Effects Of Music On Your Body

Woman Relaxing Listening To Music Wearing Headphones

Since the dawn of time, music has played a vital role in the everyday lives of cultures and communities across the globe. While there are plenty of examples of the importance of music and how it has helped shape the course of humanity, an increasing number of people have posed the question, “how does music affect me?”.

With a seemingly endless number of ways to enjoy our tunes – thanks to advancements in technology – you can now enjoy your favorite songs from anywhere and everywhere. What effects, if any, does sound and audio have on our bodies, our minds and our health? We’ll discuss these potential impacts below, so that you can be well-informed about the issue the next time you fire up your MP3 player. These days, with the rise of medical tourism, people get to have world-class medical services at much lower costs. Additionally, in many cases they get to have these world-class services abroad in the comforts of their own home. How? The answer is through telehealth. Telehealth is the new form of medical procedure diagnostics and pre and post patient treatment is done through the latest telecommunications. best possible telehealth physical therapy services is a that is provided by the top medical tourist companies. Usually, Telehealth is done through videoconferencing and remote monitoring. Some even go as far as robotic technology. Telehealth does not only relate to doctors and patients, but also to doctors talking to other doctors about a certain case. These days, doctors even get prescriptions through e-mail, which is also part of telehealth. Since health care is involved, those who conduct telehealth should be experts in their field or have medical expertise to conduct the session. Usually, this can be used to provide patient care before and after procedures. It is through telehealth that nurses and other experts can monitor a patient’s vital statistics, pain, rate of healing, etc. This can be done through remote monitoring saving the patient huge amounts of both time and money.

The History of Sound

Various archaeological studies have suggested that music and the art of dance preceded the concept of language itself. This is important to understand; without spoken language, the role of music in societies would have served as an ulterior form of communication. Some of the functions that song and dance served during this time included the ability to introduce each other and convey emotion without the need for spoken language.

In many cultures throughout the world, the concepts of sound and medicine were tightly intertwined. From the Far East to Native American cultures, the sound and body were considered reliant upon one another for thousands of years. It was only in the 1700s that the concept of health and music therapy began to take on different roles: since then, music has been considered a form of entertainment and medicine began to take a more scientific approach. Did some cultures take the wrong path in separating these two concepts, though?

Music’s Reported Effects on the Brain

There is plenty of modern evidence to suggest that music plays an important role in language development and a healthy emotional state.

Oxford University has reported that music can immensely aid those who suffer from motor disorders, making it possible for those with disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome and Parkinson’s can drastically improve their ability to both understand and speak with the aid of song. Music therapy has also been shown to stimulate neural activity in patients with Alzheimer’s, helping these individuals recall past details and associating long-lost memories with the present.

When we examine cultures in the Far East and in Medieval Europe, the notion of frequency in song has also been a long-standing consideration.

Some people may have heard of the Solfeggio frequencies, which correspond with the more commonly-known concept of “do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do”. Buddhist monks have long used these exact frequencies in meditation, while European artisans and musicians believed that the connection between these frequencies and song was of divine origin. One thing is clear: many cultures from around the world have associated powerful connotations with these frequencies without input from or collaboration with one another.

How Does Music Affect My Body?

While the effects of music on brain development and recovery are clear, how does music affect our bodies at-large?

For starters, Harvard University has found that the role of classical music can aid recent victims of heart attacks and surgeries in their recoveries. In addition to this vital benefit, regular sessions with your favorite audio tracks correlate to an increased performance of your immune system, making it a great preventative measure for the common cold and other airborne illnesses.

In addition to these findings, music can help those who suffer from seizures; when Mozart music was played via electronic piano for a trial group of seizure patients, most of them immediately began to suffer from fewer seizures. Forms of music therapy such as this are great, minimally-invasive ways to counter the negative effects that age and disease can have on our bodies.

The Short-term Effects of Music

Music has a tendency to lift our spirits and take us to a different world, and that is perhaps the most valuable short-term effect it provides. Whenever we are feeling down, we can plug in our earphones and enjoy some of our favorite tunes to feel better. The emotional release that music provides can be valuable in plenty of circumstances – those in which we already feel good and those in which we may be a bit down.

The release of endorphins during our favorite music sessions can also increase our motivation to exercise, which obviously can produce beneficial short-term and long-term health outcomes. With a recommended regimen of 30 minutes of exercise per day, music may be the key to fulfilling this oft-ignored mandate. The National Institutes of Health recommends the use of music while exercising to boost performance.

Our short-term memories are also dramatically improved through the use of music. While harsher, more intense forms of music can actually distract us and create false memories in retrospect, classical music and other, more soothing forms of music boost our ability to recall specific details and may even impact our ability to recall these instances over the long-term.

How Does Sound Impact Long-term Health?

Various studies have pointed out that classical music can play an important role in early childhood development, which is why so many people opt to listen to this genre while pregnant or with their newborns.

The effects are even more obvious for those who have learned how to play a musical instrument. One study by Northwestern University reported that those who play a musical instrument for at least four years will enjoy faster response times to speech and sound throughout their entire lives.

What This Means for You

The introduction of music at an early age in life can have a myriad number of positive effects on the human brain and body. Not only will most benefit from a better outlook on life and more enjoyment, but the health-related advantages are also numerous. Those who want to increase their ability to recall details, exercise more, stave off the aging process and be happy in general have a lot to benefit from if they incorporate music into their daily lives. The next time you fire up your MP3 player, remember that there’s a reason you enjoy music: it’s good for you!

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ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

skin cancer

Have you ever noticed a new, strange looking mole that has appeared on your body? How about a mole that has changed in shape or colour? No matter the appearance of your skin condition or the length of time you have left it, you should book a consultation with a dermatology shrewsbury expert to make sure you keep yourself safe and healthy. What may have popped up in your mind is “oh my god, what if it is skin cancer”?! Mole removal treatments exist if you have this issue but before there are five simple rules for detecting cancerous moles. There are different procedures to alter one’s look like getting a square chin.

A

Asymmetry – If you take a look at your mole and the shape is not even or symmetrical this could be a sign of a cancerous mole.

B

Border - If you notice an irregular border on your mole this could also be a bad sign. This includes borders that are broken and straying from a circular shape.

C

Colour - If you see that there are two or more different colourings to one mole this could be a sign of skin cancer. One example would be a mole that is light brown with a smaller black colour inside of it.

D

Diameter - If you have a mole that is 6mm or larger in diameter then you might have a problem.

E

Elevation - If there is any elevation to your mole this could be a sign of skin cancer, although there are many normal moles that have elevation also called an elevated nevus.

If you have one or more of the signs above in your mole, refer to your physician. It is also good to get a professional opinion even if your mole does not have any of the signs above.

Jarvis, C. (2009). Physical examination and health assessment. (1st Canadian Ed.). Toronto: Saunders Elsevier. Chapter 3: Assessment of the skin, hair, and nails (Page 280).

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Meteorite Hits Russia – Shatters Windows And Causes Bright Flash

There is an asteroid that’s going to be passing by Earth today and it just so happens a random meteor plummeted to Russia.

meteor

Apparently windows got blown out from this! Good thing there aren’t any recorded fatalities but still more than 500 are injured. Local residents and astronomers were taken by surprise because they didn’t expect this piece of rock to hit.

For the last 10 years there has been many programs dedicated to finding the objects whose trajectory lines up with our planet, but sometimes some whiz right by surprising everyone. There are lots of space agencies working to track meteors, comets and asteroids classified as Near-Earth Objects. NASA’s NEO program hopes to spot at least 90% of the estimated 1000 asteroids and comets larger than 1 kilometre on track to approach Earth.

The problem is that even if that upper 90% is spotted there are 10% that will fly by undetected. Here’s to hoping they don’t miss another one that breaches our atmosphere.

The asteroid that is expected to streak by Earth is known as Asteroid 2012 DA14 and has been followed for months now.

It is reported to be a complete coincidence that this asteroid is to pass by today and a rogue meteor flew by on the same day. “This is rare. There hasn’t been one like this in a long time,” says Randy Attwood, the senior editor of SpaceRef.ca.

Luckily even though meteor material rains down on our planet daily most of it is dust and happens in uninhabited areas.

“I suspect this one was the size of an SUV,” Attwood said. “It’s not huge, but as it hit the atmosphere going tens of kilometres a second, it created an enormous shock wave.” The meteor would have been travelling much faster than the speed of sound, Attwood says, so it created a sonic boom that caused windows to shatter.

It just happens to be that the last major meteor to hit a populated area was also in Russia in 1908. This meteor was called the “Tunguska event” and leveled trees across a 100 kilometre range without harming anyone. It was about 30-40 metres wideand considered to be the largest impact event in recorded history on Earth.

Astronomers will be analyzing  the composition of today’s meteor to learn more about it’s origins among other scientific research.

Check out the video:

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