Four Different Biotypes of Depression

Is there a role of Biological balance and Biotypes in the onset and prognosis of depression in people? Born with unbalanced biochemistry, many people struggle with depression for most of their life. After taking anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, or acid therapies like 5-HTP, etc. or other herbal remedies, people realize that over time, their symptoms have worsened rather than soothing. Some of these medications helped little, but due to presence of nasty side-effects they actually make you feel worse.

Lot of psychiatrists believe that depression is caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which makes SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to be the standard medication. This approach does not consider the unique biochemical imbalances and different symptoms of each individual.

There was a research conducted by William J. Walsh, Ph.D., at the Walsh Research Institute, and clinical applications by Drs. Albert Mensah. They condicted detailed study of about 300,000 blood and urine test results and 200,000 medical history from approximately 2,800 patients diagnosed with depression, They found that there are majorly 4 depression biotypes.

Typical symptoms of Patients with different Subtypes

Patient with Subtypes 1 and 2 – these people often report more fatigue. Subtype 1 were more likelier to benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Many people take the antidepresant based treatment although their subtypes wants them to be treated with TMS.

Patients of Subtypes 3 and 4 often have difficulty in feeling pleasure. Brain on one hand have reduced connectivity in its network causing depressive anxiety, fear, etc., on the other hand people with subtype 3 and 4 has hyperconnectivity between stimuli center and brain control.

This subtyping helped in greater diagnostic precision, as well as finding accurate prognosis for patients bringing lot more relief with proper indivisualized treatment.

Different Biotypes in Depressive population

1. Type 1 – Undermethylators

2. Type 2 – Overmethylators

3. Type 3 – Pyrroluria or Pyrrole Depression

4. Type 4 – Copper Overload

7 Strengths for 7 Stressors of Today

The modern world today has been the worst all across human history for the stress effects on our daily life. There are many people who are feeling the psychological burden. Lot of us are feeling very tired and withdrawn from everyday routine and daily activities. The constant exposure to media is aggravating the situation towards the downward spiral because of the environmental and social events happening all around us and in the world we live.

Here are some of the top stressors in the current times and how we can overcome them to live a simple yet fulfilling life. Following these tips will mobilize your strengths towards achieving greater resilience and buoyancy in daily life.

1. The world is going through tough times and going to a shallow bottom – there are many horrific events like fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding. The political environment all around is also not giving any sense of stability either.

To cope up, remember that in all the times of despair and calamity, we see many resources being mobilized by people to care for others whom they do not know or never met. This is the human nature which has made us coexist since so long. The feeling of altruism, sympathy, and empathy are still in all of us fundamentally. Be helpful and provide hope for yourself and others.

2. Are we destroying our planet and making it inhabitable – The population of the world has been growing ad currently it is over populated, due to which we are consuming more and more resources. This causes Earth to suffer due to waste, deterioration of resources, oil reserves, etc.

Well, think that the basic step starts from you. We must do all that we can individually and collectively to make our planet better.

3. Feeling Lonely – We are living in a mobile world where people are moving constantly for school, work, leisure, etc. Therefore, we are often lonely with extended family living at distance, whether hundred miles or thousands of miles. Disintegration of community and relatives is making us get lesser and lesser emotional support.

To cope up with feeling of loneliness, we do need to be with others and feel part of a group. Invite friends over for dinner or extended an invitation to someone for coffee. Be inspired and extend yourself to an activity or an invitation and savor some connection.

4. There is so much anger around us with people upset naturally always. – The frustrations of life comes out in any form at any time with minimal or no provocation at all. Well, you might have heard it million times before, but the coping mechanisms remain same – exercise, meditation, friends and family, vacation time, etc are all the ways to reduce the daily life frustration. Do what you enjoyed once and stopped doing it due to time and its relevance.

5. How can I help or how can I get help – Healthy stepping back from your own world can take you to the longer road of good and destressed life. Keep in mind that grief and loss are part of life. What does loss or grief mean to you? How have you managed your own loss or grief in life? What helped, what didn’t? How can you cultivate them? Time to introspect and help others introspect.

6. Accept that stress is part of life – When stressful situations arise, remind yourself that they are part of life and will come and go. Nothing in this life is permanant – neither does your stress. So take a relaxed approch towards stress in life.

7. Have a realistic outlook about everything in your life. Do not see the world through rose-colored glasses rather have your own outlook which is realistic. You also need to check the silver lining in the tough circumstances. Stressful circumstances are there to make you become stronger and better.

Are you having Self Control over yourself?

Self control is defined by the experts as the impulse control or the ability to delay displaying gratification and controlling emotions. According to the prominent university research, if the person has a better self control, then it leads to better health and prosperity further discouraging crime and substance abuse. It is a vital ingredient in day to day behavior for achieving desired goals and remove all the harmful impulses or emotions.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Do you want to know where you stand towards the self control aspect and how do you think it is going to impact your life? Try answering these questions and know how control you have over yourself?

Are you Emotionally Stable – Do you have generally stable and peaceful mood which does not change drastically within span of hours or minutes, until and unless there is any reason/event for such change?

Are you feeling stable with respect to Self-Image & Life Goals – Do you know who you are and where you are going in your life? Are you certain about your position, standing and journey in life?

Do you have a stable personal relationship – Are you in a stable relationship and you are living peacefully in that relation?

Do you exhibit caution while taking important decisions in your life? – Do you think carefully before saying something or taking some action?

Do you follow genuineness in your day to day life? – Do you have theatrical or attention-seeking ways of speaking and acting?

Do you maintain Chasity in your like and avoid having casual sex (“one night stands”)?

Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health

Each and every one of the us are important and so our thoughts in their individual way are important. We need to take care of our mental health along with the physical health. There has to be a balance which is needed to keep things under positive routine. Follow these tips to help find the right balance in your life.

We should be Valuing ourself – You should be treating yourself with kindness and respect. You should not opt for self-criticism, since it tend to take things in wrong direction. Take your timeout for hobbies and favorite projects, Spend time for something like crossword puzzle, planting in garden, dance lessons, learn to play musical instrument or learn another language. Challenges as well as satisfaction you get by overcoming these hobby related challenges gives greater sense of self respect and value.

Start taking god care of your body since healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Take some of the important steps such as eat nutritious meals, say no to cigarettes, drink lots of water, do regular exercise and get enough rest or sleep. Researchers have time and again proven that sleep deprivation is one of the leading cause of people becoming depressed or mentally unfit.

Always be in company of good and positive people. You can just surround yourself with people who take life as it comes and live it to the fullest. According to research in different universities across locations, people with strong family or social connections are healthier than those who lack a family support network. If being with family is a challenge, then you should participate in activities where you can meet new people, such in a club, class or support group.

Give your services and time for someone else. You can volunteer your time and energy to do something for others which can be tangible for helping others in need.

Stress is present in all phases for all types of people. The only solution to stress is to learn how to deal with it. You can start by practicing good stress coping skills like following One-Minute Stress Strategies, do Tai Chi, exercise, take a nature walk, or write a journal Remember that a good laugh can boost your immune system and reduce stress.

Empty your mind from negative thought and make it free from noise. You can do this for meditation, mindfulness and prayers. It can help improve your state of mind and outlook on life.

Expectation, whether from self or from others are doomed to fail someday. The only solution to this common issue is to set realistic and acheivable goals. Whether the situation is academic, professional or personal, write simple steps which can make you realize your goals. Try not to over-schedule. Progressing towards your goals make you get the satisfaction and determine your own self-worth.

Keep changing your routine things to ensure any monotonous fatigue creeping in your mind. You should break the monotony and perk up a tedious schedule. Someday, try to change your jogging route, take a unplanned road trip, choose different park for your daily meetup, etc.

Say a big NO to alcohol and drugs. These things can only aggravate problems and gives no relief, whether temporary or permanant.

Reach out for help when you think you have some trouble in your daily life and you have tried some of the above tips without remarkable changes. Asking for help is a sign of strength and it is in no sense a type of weakness. In order to lead a full, rewarding life, we should take advice and help from the experts and other people with similar experiences. At the end we are the social animals and the only way to solve our problems is to discuss and seek help.

The Subtle Signs of Depression

Depression doesn’t always “present” as it should. Prolonged sadness, lack of hope, or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities are the most commonly mentioned symptoms on mental health websites and in antidepressant ads, and they can certainly be the most affecting. But sometimes the disorder is subtler, and harder to identify, since it can make itself known in stranger ways than we’d like. Below are some of the less obvious, but nonetheless important, symptoms of depression – those you should be aware of (and which you should make your psychologist/psychiatrist aware of, if you’re seeing one). Knowing that depression can play out in counterintuitive ways is important, since knowing that you’re depressed is the first step in seeking help for it.

Externalized Symptoms

Depression can poke through in unexpected ways, both physical and behavioral – it’s kind of like depression is finding a way out, if it isn’t being acknowledged otherwise. “Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression,” says psychologist and author of When Depression Hurts Your Relationship, Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD. “Depression symptoms come out through excessively drinking alcohol, seeking out an affair outside of the relationship, becoming aggressive, or withdrawing from those you love. Similarly, physical symptoms like backaches or low sexual desire are less recognized as depression because they’re externalized.” Extreme fatigue – both mental and physical – is a common symptom (of course it can be indicative of other things, so it’s important to get checked out), as are changes in eating habits (not eating, or conversely, overeating) or sleep patterns.

Lashing out

This is an extension of the one above, but worth highlighting, since it’s more specific, and may actually indicate a more severe form of depression. Sometimes the disorder can emerge as irritability or anger – when some part of you is at a loss internally or feeling helpless or hopeless, it’s easy to lash out. “Experiencing irritability, hostility, anger, and being sensitive to rejection are all common symptoms when depressed,” says Kolakowski. “Less well known is the fact that not only is irritability a sign of depression, but that it often signals a more severe level of depression. Hostility and irritability are also linked to a higher likelihood of having other mental illness, like anxiety. Other emotions such as sadness, shame, or helplessness often underlie the irritability, but irritability is what shows up on the surface.” If you’re noticing that you’re very short-tempered, or yelling at your spouse or kids a lot, or otherwise lashing out, take some time to think about what might emotion/s might be driving that behavior.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism and depression have been long connected to each other, and research studies have underlined the association for years. “Having all-or-nothing, rigid, and exceptionally high or unrealistic expectations are all symptoms of perfectionism, and can all contribute to depression,” says Kolakowski. “Perfectionism in depression tends to belie the idea that others will only love and accept someone if they’re perfect.” Self-esteem is what seems to mediate the link between perfectionism and depression, since perfectionists often think that they must be “perfect” to be acceptable, both to peers and themselves. “To perfectionists, to make a mistake is a sign of a personal defect or flaw, rather than the fact that it’s human to make mistakes, and that we all make mistakes. To counter the self-blame, fear of failure, and shame that comes with this, practicing self-acceptance and compassion are essential.” That may be very hard to learn to do on your own, so might need the help of a capable psychologist.

Inability to Concentrate

Everyone has problems concentrating from time to time, especially if something specific is on your mind. But pronounced concentration issues – so much that they affect your work or relationships – can also be a sign of underlying depression. “Concentration difficulties are a common symptom of depression, yet one that people may not associate with depression (think ADHD),” says psychologist Jon Rottenberg, PhD, author of The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic. “Many of the symptoms of depression are private experiences like sadness or feeling worthless, problems that people can conceal from others. What’s striking about concentration difficulties is that they directly impair functioning – these difficulties make it harder to work or go to school. Concentration problems can make people miss assignments or deadlines.”

He adds that it’s often these issues that prompt a person to get help in the end, since they’re less easy to hide from one’s coworkers, boss, or family. Concentration may be compromised because of another serious symptom of depression – rumination – in which a person turns certain topics over and over again in one’s head (past regrets, future worries), which can be time-consuming, futile, and depressogenic itself. And it can severely compromise one’s ability to concentrate on the present.

Extreme Guilt (about Ridiculous Stuff)

Guilt is obviously a natural sensation at times, but sometimes a deep feeling of guilt about many or most areas in your life can signal depression. Rottenberg calls it “pathological guilt,” and says, “what’s different for the depressed person is that the guilt can become all-consuming. He or she scans the past and sees only a series of failings. Sometimes the guilty thinking can become quite fanciful. The depressed person can feel guilty for being born, guilty for having had depression, and be unable to think of any major life role (friend, son or daughter, parent) without being consumed by feelings of regret.”

You Don’t See ‘Smiley Faces’

Being a “Debbie Downer” is sort of a funny joke, but there’s a much more macabre side to it: When you immediately pick out every negative element of a situation, and roundly ignore the positive, this pattern can escalate till it’s sabotaging. Humans are primed to pick up on negative cues, because they might indicate that action is required in the face of danger. So in a sense, negativity is an occupational hazard of being human – but when finding the negative colors your entire life, it starts to blur into depression. “It is striking that recent research suggests that someone with depression is less likely to visually focus on happy faces than a non-depressed person,” says psychologist Suzanne Roff-Wexler, PhD, founder of CompassPoint Consulting. “If we observed carefully, could we notice how a depressed person avoids happy faces or situations while being more ‘comfortable’ with the opposite? I wonder if someone with depression is even aware of this visual bias toward the negative.”

Being a “realist” can subtly shift into being pessimistic which can subtly shift into being negative and even feeling “at home” with depression. Watch yourself for how you react to neutral or even good news – does it seem good, or do you immediately discount it because it will surely turn out poorly in your mind?

Toggling

This is a critical one, because the “toggle” can be a big clue that something more serious is going on. When you’re depressed, a happy event can take you out of it, and things can seem fine, for a little while – but the depression typically returns once you acclimate to the event. “An interesting ‘symptom’ of depression that may not be well known,” says Roff-Wexler, “is when someone with depression is temporarily lifted out of that state due to a positive event, opportunity, or interpersonal connection. The depression is real and does not go away with a positive experience but it seems briefly alleviated, later to return. Think of it as toggling between being depressed and then not feeling depressed given outside circumstances.”

Self-Medicating

This is not such a subtle symptom, but is definitely worth mentioning. Depression often carries with it the comorbidity of addiction – people with depression are more likely to drink alcohol heavily, smoke, have eating disorders, and have other dependencies and addictions. After all, when you’re depressed, it’s natural to want to use the tools at your disposal to cope with it – the problem is that we’re not very good at picking healthy tools. It’s much easier to smoke and drink than to go to therapy and exercise. Of course, the former methods will ultimately make the depression worse, while the latter two will put you on track for recovery. If you notice that you’re engaging in any kind of substance or behavior more than you used to, or so much that it’s messing up your life in other ways, think seriously about talking to someone about it.

The subtler symptoms of depression definitely deserve attention if you’re experiencing any (or several) of them. Talk to a friend, or even better, reach out to a psychologist if you think you might be depressed. There’s no magic bullet for depression, but there are certainly treatments that are effective. It’s often just a matter of finding the right one, or the right combination. And remember you’re not alone: Lots of people deal with and recover from depression – and the more people talk about it, the easier the road to recovery becomes.

Internet Use And Depression

Excessive Internet Use Causes Depression and Related complications

No one can deny that the Internet is most influential force on society in the entire human history. We never had such an unprecedented access to news, knowledge, and entertainment from cultures all around the world, before the advent of Internet. Although this treasure of information is huge and precious, this wealth has led to something called digital information overload. The human minds cannot handle such kind of constant influx of information without making changes.

Internet addiction is recognized as a psychological disorder which can make people spend too much time on a computer.  This affects their health, job, relationships or finances. Whether it is depression which causes people to turn to the Internet for social fulfilment, or whether excessive use of the Internet can make people depressed – this is subject to research and discussion.

A new research study by psychologists at Leeds University, England postulated that people who spend 10 hours or more a day online are more likely to show signs of depression.

Over-engaging in websites that replaces the normal social interaction like Facebook might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction. Moderate to severe depression is likely to happen among people who are addicted to the Internet.

Recognizing Depression due to surfing online

People who spend high amounts of time surfing online does not realize the impact of lack of social interactions. Slowly the depression symptoms start piling on them. Know these early signs of depression from the National Institute of Mental Health:

  1. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  2. Decreased energy and fatigue
  3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  4. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  5. Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  6. Irritability and restlessness
  7. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once found pleasurable
  8. Overeating or appetite loss
  9. Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems
  10. Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  11. Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

Ketamine for Bipolar Disorder

Ketamine Helps Patients With Bipolar Disorder – All you need to know about Ketamines?

Ketamine is an anesthetic and if it is used in higher doses it can also relieve depression within hours when taken intravenously. According to a research by Morteza Jafarinia and colleagues in the Journal of Affective Disorders, oral ketamine can help in treatment of mild to moderate depression in people with severe pain.

In this study the scientists compared 150mg daily doses of oral ketamine to 150mg daily doses of the anti-inflammatory pain reliever Diclofenac over 6 weeks. The subjects were interviewed after week 3 and week 6 and the ketamine group reported fewer symptoms of depression than the Diclofenac group.

This effect of Ketamine is the result of the blockade of a particular receptor for the neurotransmitter glutamate (the NMDA glutamate receptor). Researchers originally thought that the NMDA blockade was linked to ketamine’s antidepressant effects, but this appears not to be the case.

How Ketamines works?

Ketamine are strange substance and they works in a completely different way from other medicines you have ever taken for depression, bipolar, PTSD, or anxiety. Most of the medicines work by manipulating the quantity of certain neurotransmitters in your brain, which can have miserable side effects. Ketamine works differently since it briefly blocks a certain type of receptor in the brain from being triggered. Ketamine is not a one-time, permanent cure but it has the potential for lasting relief.

In general, a series of multiple injections gives longer, faster and lasting relief than a single infusion, and younger patients tend to get longer relief than older ones. For patients who relapse, getting additional infusions can often restore the relief.

Further use of Ketamines

According to a study, adding two more existing drugs to Ketamines, prolongs the effect of Ketamine which otherwise has very short lived effects. They after the addition effectively reduce symptoms of depression and suicide in patients with bipolar depression.

Walking is the New Found Therapy

Walking can be your natural medicine for happiness as it helps release happy hormone called endorphin.

Walking not only helps you burn calories but is also considered the most effective anti-depressant. Almost 97 percent walkers revealed that it helped them improve their mental health and emotional well-being. The survey also revealed that walking helps control stress among people across age groups. While 42% of the elderly feel that walking helps beat stress, 50% of the millennials experience reduction of stress and hypertension, post walking, it added.

This is the highest for millennials. Interestingly, over 40% of the respondents are motivated to walk because of interesting walking apps and gadgets that help them track their health.

Usage of gadgets is more prominent among millennials. The Survey further said those who don’t walk regularly are more prone to depression nearly 15% of non-walkers admitted to be suffering from depression and high stress levels.

According to the survey, walking gives millennials time for self-introspection, while it gives 21% elderly the feeling of self-reliance. But there is a flip side as well. About 43% are unable to walk as long daily commute leaves them with no time for walking, 29% get bored while walking and believe that walking will not have a positive impact on their personality, 21% lack company to walk, and 21% are unaware of the benefits of walking on their mental health.

Video Games Relieve Depression

Can Video Games Help Relieve the Symptoms of Depression?

According to research and multiple studies conducted across the western world, there is promising results shown in the treatment of depression with a video game interface which fights with underlying cognitive issues associated with depression. They just do not manage the symptoms only.

Different studies on Depression and Video Games

There were many studies conducted on the implications of video games on depression. The first study enrolled older adults diagnosed with late-life depression into a treatment trial where they were randomized to receive either a mobile, tablet-based treatment technology developed by Akili Interactive Labs called Project: EVO or an in-person therapy technique known as problem-solving therapy (PST).

Project: EVO was an app running on tablets or mobile phone and was designed to improve focus and attention at a basic neurological level. The people who were using the app from Project: EVO demonstrated specific cognitive benefits compared to the behavioral therapy, and saw similar improvements in mood and self-reported function.

Joaquin A. Anguera, from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who is a researcher in neurology and psychiatry, performed this study and intervention manufactured by Akili Interactive Labs, Boston was used.  The study is funded by National Institute of Mental Health.

As per another research study going on at the University of California, Davis – using video games and brain training applications can help treat depression. The study found that not only can video games potentially treat depression, but when participants are reminded to play games, they are more likely to play more often and increase time playing.

An App, a Video Game, and a Placebo for Depression

A larger trial was conducted with more than 600 participants having mild or moderate depression. These participants assessed the value of different video games in the treatment of depression. One group played Project: EVO, second used an app called iPST, while the third used placebo control who used an app called Health Tips, suggesting health suggestions.

For mild depression, all three groups’ experienced similar improvements, while people who had more than mild depression saw greater improvements with iPST and Project: EVO than with the placebo app.

Video game has nothing to do with mental health, but it can help fixing brain function in people who suffer from this particular flavor of depression.

Video Games Relieve Depression

Video Games has the power to relieve depression

Researchers have found promising results for treating depression with a video game interface that targets underlying cognitive issues associated with depression rather than just managing the symptoms.

According to Dr. Patricia Areán, a UW Medicine researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, the findings are both intriguing and promising.  The first study enrolled older adults diagnosed with late-life depression into a treatment trial where they were randomized to receive either a mobile, tablet-based treatment technology developed by Akili Interactive Labs called Project: EVO or an in-person therapy technique known as problem-solving therapy (PST).

Project:EVO

The Project: EVO runs on phones and tablets and is designed to improve focus and attention at a basic neurological level. The results showed that the group using Project: EVO demonstrated specific cognitive benefits (such as attention) compared to the behavioral therapy, and saw similar improvements in mood and self-reported function. The studies were funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Another research on Video Games effects on Depression

Researchers at the University of California Davis are using video games and brain training applications to treat depression. The study found that not only can video games potentially treat depression, but when participants are reminded to play games, they are more likely to play more often and increase time playing, which may help patients gain further benefit from the treatment, though the researchers did not measure that.

The study used six, three-minute specifically designed video games played by 160 student participants with an average age of 21. The study showed in most cases playing a game helped participants feel they had some control over their depression. The games were an adaptation of neurophysiological training tasks shown to improve cognitive control in people with depression.

The messages used to remind participants to play the video games targeted depression as either internal from a chemical imbalance or hereditary, or external from environmental and lifestyle factors. The reminder messages had differences in approach but all concluded with inspirational notes to encourage participants to play the game.