Withdrawal From Stopping Or Reducing Dosages
Antidepressants are not necessarily addictive, but some can cause physical dependence. It is important to talk to a doctor before stopping an antidepressant. Withdrawal symptoms can occur after a change in dosage or stoppage of treatment. Depressive symptoms can also worsen during the withdrawal process. This should be done under a physicians supervision to minimize risks and complications. Dosage should be reduced gradually and safely.
Symptoms Of Depression In Teenagers
In adolescent depression, the thing people tend to notice first is withdrawal, or when the teenager stops doing things she usually likes to do. There might be other changes in her mood, including sadness or irritability. Or in her behavior, including, appetite, energy level, sleep patterns and academic performance. If several of these symptoms are present, be vigilant about the possibility of depression.
This is especially important because by the time family members and other people around a teenager note her lack of interest in most things, or what we call anhedonia, shes usually been depressed for some time. Depression is an internalizing disorder, i.e. one that disturbs a patients emotional life, rather than an externalizing one, which manifests in the form of disruptive or problematic behavior. As such, it takes a while not only for others to recognize it, but often for the patient herself to realize that her thinking, and emotional responses, are disturbed.
Why Early Intervention Is Critical
When a child is depressed or anxious, her suffering isnt the only reason its important to get help.
In addition to the disorders themselves, there are add-on effects that may cause lifelong issues. With depression comes low energy and poor concentration, two factors that are likely to have a significant impact on social and academic functioning. Anxiety, and the withdrawal that may accompany it, is likewise a detriment to social and academic progress.
Its easy to see the effects of poor academic functioning: falling behind in school undermines a childs confidence and self-image, and can impact her future if its prolonged. But social learning is just as critical as academic learning in childhood and adolescence. This is a time when a girl would normally be learning such things as how to be a daughter, a sister, a friend with either depression or anxiety, she may miss or fall behind on these critical kinds of learning. These deficits not only put her behind her peers, but in themselves they can compound her depression or anxiety.
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Treatment And Ways To Deal With Depression
Hormone replacement therapy
Mental Health therapy
Adopt healthy lifestyle habits that can help support mental health
Understand the cycle of depression. If youâre tired and canât engage in the activities you love, your mood will take a hit, leading to depression, which leads to more fatigue.
Follow good sleeping habits
Use smart lifestyle choices
Exercise can help correct depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
Daily deep-breathing exercises and focusing on your breath
Creating a pre-bedtime self-care ritual
Spending time in nature simply walking or meditating
Journaling your worries and anxieties
Meditation & yoga
Symptoms of Depression and Menopause
While thesymptoms of depression can vary depending on the severity, there are some standard symptoms to watch for. The problem is that symptoms of depression are also similar to the symptoms of menopause. We know that menopause is not caused by depression, but maybe depression has a lot to do with menopause.
Common symptoms include
Estrogen And Postmenopausal Depression
At menopause, estrogen levels fall to very low levels. Interestingly, taking oral estrogen does not improve depression in women after menopause. In large trials evaluating hormone replacement therapy, women taking estrogen reported the same mental health as women taking placebo. After menopause, women’s rates of depression fall, becoming similar to men of the same age.
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A Closer Look: How Hormones Impact Your Mood
Hormones are powerful little chemicals. Theyre designed to keep your body working normally. They control many of the functions of your organs and tissues.
Hormones are controlled by specific glands: adrenal glands, pituitary glands, thyroid glands, and the ovaries and testes. These glands release hormones into the body as needed.
When your hormones swing out of whack, your moods can swing along with them. Imbalanced hormones can leave you feeling tired, irritable, or just out of sorts. You already know about the impact estrogen and progesterone can have. Other hormones that impact your mood include:
Hormones work together with brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Levels of dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and GABA all matter. Let them sink too low, and you can notice your mood slipping along with them. You may feel depressed and anxious or struggle with focus and concentration. Your libido may drop. Fatigue and panic attacks may increase. When you hit that point, you need to find a potential cause for those problems.
Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking
Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future. When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, its important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudesknown as cognitive distortionsarent realistic.
Women also tend to ruminate when were depressed, perhaps spending hours trying to figure out why were feeling this way. However, rumination can maintain depression or even make it worse. You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by just telling yourself to think positive. Often, its part of a lifelong pattern of thinking thats become so automatic youre not even completely aware of it.
You can develop a more balanced way of thinking by identifying the type of negative thoughts that are contributing to your depression, and then learning to replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.
Treatments For Anxiety And Depression
Fortunately, early involvement of health care professionals can shorten the period of illness and increase the likelihood of her not missing important life lessons.
The most common treatment a mental health professional is apt to use is some form of cognitive behavioral therapy, and depending on how young the child is, it may involve teaching the parents as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the idea that a person suffering from a mood disorder is trapped in a negative pattern of thought. Depressed kids tend to evaluate themselves negatively, interpret the actions of others in a negative way, and assume the darkest possible outcome of events. Similarly, a child suffering from anxiety is overwhelmed by fears of negative outcomes long before events occur. In CBT, we teach sufferers to challenge those negative thoughts, to recognize the pattern and train themselves to think outside it. And in many cases we see real improvement in teenagers with depression and anxiety.
If the anxiety or depression is moderate to severe, treatment may involve medications such as antidepressants. For both anxiety and depression, a combination of psychotherapy and medication usually works better than either alone.
Do You Regularly Experience Extreme Highs And Extreme Lows
On the hike of life, we all navigate peaks and valleys here and there and some stretches of steady terrain you know, when things are kind of just ho-hum.
But constant emotional volatility could be a sign of something else.
If youre altering your mood with substances like alcohol, the dramatic changes of a high or buzz followed by withdrawal or a hangover might lead to swings in your state of mind. Check your caffeine consumption, too. That late-afternoon cold brew could be the culprit.
A small indulgence in alcohol, especially during festivities, could modify your mood temporarily. But constant emotional volatility could be a sign of something else such as perimenopause.
If youre in your 30s and 40s, theres a chance its perimenopause. This stage begins several years before we actually stop menstruating, and we usually dont realize it. Our estrogen levels can spike and dive a bit more sporadically during this time, causing fluctuations in mood.
Another more serious consideration, if your shifts in mood follow a pattern, is bipolar disorder . This psychiatric disorder is characterized by extreme mood shifts.
In BP, an intensely elevated mood is called episodes of mania and may involve energetic or impulsive behavior which lasts at least a week.
It can last less if symptoms become so severe that the person must be hospitalized. A plummeted mood, or depression, may involve intense sadness or fatigue lasting at least 2 weeks.
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Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, people-watch on a park bench, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
When It’s More Than Just A Mood
Feeling irritable or short-tempered can be signs of depression. So can feelings of boredom or hopelessness.
Many people think of depression as feeling sad, but depression also can bring feelings of moodiness, impatience, anger, or even just not caring. When depression gets in the way of enjoying life or dealing with others, that’s a sign you need to do something about it, like talking to a counselor or therapist who can help you deal with it. Also, if you ever feel like hurting yourself, that’s more than just a bad mood and you need to tell someone.
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Hormones And The Brain
That’s not to say estrogen isn’t a major player in regulating moods. Estrogen acts everywhere in the body, including the parts of the brain that control emotion.
Some of estrogen’s effects include:
- Increasing serotonin, and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain.
- Modifying the production and the effects of endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain.
- Protecting nerves from damage, and possibly stimulating nerve growth.
What these effects mean in an individual woman is impossible to predict. Estrogen’s actions are too complex for researchers to understand fully. As an example, despite estrogen’s apparently positive effects on the brain, many women’s moods improve after menopause, when estrogen levels are very low.
Some experts believe that some women are more vulnerable to the menstrual cycle’s normal changes in estrogen. They suggest it’s the roller coaster of hormones during the reproductive years that create mood disturbances.
Q: Is My Kid Tired All The Time Due To Extracurriculars Or For Seemingly No Reason
A: If your teen has very little downtime because theyre always busy with extracurriculars and homework, this could be the cause of their exhaustion. Its also a great indication of an over-scheduled teen and not a depressed one.
Or, they could be like 7 out of 10 high schoolers who need more sleep than they get.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, teens ages 13 to 18 should sleep 810 hours a day. Yet their bodys internal clock typically causes them to stay up late, something thats at odds with the early start times of their school days.
If your child is getting enough sleep but still seems tired all the time or just doesnt want to get out of bed, this could be a sign of depression.
Depression can cause sleep problems and have your teen feeling low energy, hopelessness, and less motivated to do things, so they choose to stay in bed.
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Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Walk a dog. If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Changes In Steroid Hormone Concentrations
Testosterone, the end product of the hypothalamuspituitarygonadal axis, has been investigated extensively as putative biomarker of depression. Studies indicate that hypogonadal men are more likely to develop depression . Testosterone treatment has been shown to exhibit beneficial effects on mood in men . These effects may be age-specific as low levels of testosterone seem to be associated with suicidal behavior in older men, while high testosterone levels might be associated with suicidal behavior in youth .
KEY CONCEPT 3 Hypothalamuspituitarygonadal axis
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone is secreted from the hypothalamus and stimulates production of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone in the pituitary gland. LH and FSH then stimulate production of estrogen and testosterone in the gonads. Testosterone tends to be lowered in specific subcategories of men with depression.
KEY CONCEPT 4 Hypothalamuspituitaryadrenocortical axis
Corticotropin-releasing hormone is secreted from the hypothalamus and stimulates the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone in the pituitary gland. ACTH then stimulates the production of cortisol in the adrenal glands. Cortisol tends to be elevated in patients with depression, which is considered a stress-related disease.
Integration Into The Three
In conclusion, the three-hit concept of vulnerability and resilience, fully described elsewhere , offers a theoretical framework integrating the interactions of the HPA and HPG axis-related polymorphisms, methylation profiles, steroid secretion, and endocrine stress reactivity with regard to depression, AUDs, and suicidal behavior in men.
KEY CONCEPT 8 Three-hit concept of vulnerability and resilience
A proposed model stating that stress in early life can affect behavioral adaptation to stress later in life. The first hit is genetic predisposition the second hit is early-life environment, which programs phenotypes by epigenetic regulation and the third hit is later-life challenges.
Genetic risk variants determine an initial vulnerability for depressive disorders, AUDs, and suicidal behavior in men. Hit one represents polymorphisms in the AR, BDNF, 5HTTLPR, FKBP5, and NR3C1, which independently increase the risk of developing depression, AUDs, and suicidal behavior in men. Following the common variant hypothesis, combinations of risk alleles such as a long variant of the CAG repeat length in the AR, a short variant of the 5HTTLPR, and one of the three polymorphisms of the NR3C1 increase the risk for these conditions in men multiplicatively.
Figure 1. Three-hit concept of vulnerability and resilience for a male-specific pattern of depression, alcohol use disorder, and suicidal behavior .
Feeling Depressed Or Suffering From Depression
We often get mixed up between low mood and unhappiness and depression. The two things are very different. Depression isnt about feeling unhappy, its feeling youll never be happy again, explains Colin Grange, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Lifeworks.
If youre feeling low, is it starting to interfere with your day to day life? Are you not doing things that you used to do? Are you losing motivation in and enjoyment of life? Are you starting to not enjoy your hobbies? Is everything becoming an effort?
People suffering from clinical depression often experience a range of symptoms both physical and emotional which can interfere with day to day life. Discovering whether you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms could be an important step towards getting the help you need.
Quiz: Am I depressed?
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Overcoming Depressive Symptoms Related Tohormonal Dysfunction
When hormonal imbalances are behind your feelings of sadness and loss of energy, antidepressants wont get your mind right. But if no one ever tests your hormone levels, you will never know that hormonal dysfunction could be contributing to your depressive symptoms. This could leave you going from one antidepressant medication to another in search of relief without success.
Its also important to investigate whether a past head injury may be contributing to hormonal dysfunction. Brain imaging studies can reveal signs of a TBI that could be the root cause of the hormonal problems that are contributing to your symptoms. In this case, healing your brain is the key to achieving healthier hormone levels.
This is why it is so important to make sure you visit a healthcare professional who will check your hormones and scan your brain as part of a comprehensive evaluation. When you get your hormones right, it may improve symptoms of depression by stabilizing your moods, boosting your energy, and clearing away the brain fog.
At Amen Clinics, we take a unique brain-body approach to treatment that includes brain SPECT imaging as well as laboratory testing to check hormone levels and other important biological factors that could be contributing to symptoms of depression. By understanding the underlying issues causing depression, we can create a more effective, personalized treatment plan for you.
Find out how we can help you today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.