Beat Your Depression

Tips, Facts and Information About Overcoming Depression

Archive for October, 2007

The Stress Epidemic!

October 31, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Causes, Stress matters 2 Comments →

It is well known that excessive stress can lead to depression!  This article makes us look at some of the causal factors of stress in our lives and how we can reduce or eliminate stress.  Read on and make sure that you do not become a “statistic.”

How To Stop Yourself Becoming Another ‘Stress Statistic’

by Jennifer Summers

The statistics are truly <<shocking>>…

* Over 19 million Americans are currently suffering
from stress and anxiety related disorders.

* Up to 75% of people in employment are dissatisfied or
unhappy with their jobs.

* Stress related accidents are increasing year on year.

* Stress levels have increased substantially in children,
teenagers and the elderly.

* The majority of people that are suffering from such
stress disorders refuse to seek medical help.

* Stress is now considered to be a key factor in health
complaints such as stomach disorders, certain cancers
and heart condition.

Stress is not simply a problem, or even an epidemic; sadly
it has now actually become a way of life for the majority
of people!

As the statistics above demonstrate, the biggest group
affected by ‘stress’ appears to be those in employment. This
doesn’t suggest we would be better off not working, merely
that working conditions are felt to have become more
demanding in recent years.

In addition to those in the workplace, children and
teenagers are also becoming more prone to anxiety, perhaps
due to ‘peer pressure’.

The aged too are increasingly becoming concerned, they are
living longer, may have financial worries and many fear for
their safety.

Modern life has become very demanding. Mobile phones mean
that we are almost always contactable; leisure time has
become reduced for many, replaced by longer working hours
and health risks have increased with a rise in cancers and
‘new conditions’ constantly being discovered.

All of us will experience situations that may cause us to
become ‘stressed’ or feel ‘anxious’.

Reasons are too many to note but can include, buying a
property, having guests stay over (in-laws!), being bullied,
exams, looking after children, managing finances,
relationship issues, travelling etc.

Stress is a ‘normal’ function of everyday life. Only when
it appears to take over our lives does it then become a

Everyone will have different reasons why a situation causes
them pressure. As a rule it’s usually when we don’t feel in
control of a situation, then we feel it’s grip tightening
around us causing us to feel worried or ‘stressed’.

If stress is caused by us not ‘feeling in control’ of a
situation, the answer is to try and reverse this, and
‘retain control’.

If you’re not happy at work, for whatever reasons, speak
with your boss and try to work out a solution that would
make you feel more comfortable.

If you don’t get on particularly well with someone you know
(partner, family, friends), rather than bottling it all up
inside – talk to them about it. You’ll either strengthen
your relationship or not but either way the problem will
be out of your system.

If you know you have an exam or deadline looming, don’t wait
until the night before to try and get everything done as
this just puts undue pressure on yourself.

Examples of stressful situations are endless and I’m sure we
can all think of many that affect us personally. Often we
spend too much time looking for answers instead of simply
analysing the cause.

Write down all the areas in your life that currently cause
you to feel stressed.

* How much is your attitude responsible rather than
external factors?

* What could you do differently to change this?

* How would you like these situations to be?

* How do you feel this can be achieved?

Try and keep your answers realistic and recognise that every
problem has a solution.


1. Experiencing a stressful situation is not uncommon.

2. Stress is a warning and should be taken seriously.

3. Look at what may be causing you to feel this way (is
it you or the situation, perhaps both).

4. Communicate – talking or writing about your issues
may help ‘get things off your chest’.

5. Finding the solution to our stress can often seem
easier ‘said than done’ but there is a solution out
there, don’t be afraid to look for it.

Don’t become another ‘stress statistic’, retain control
over your life and enjoy it.

Good luck,

Jennifer Summers

The author Jennifer Summers has developed a TOOLKIT called
“How To Find Happiness”. It comes complete with many Stress
Busting exercises & techniques, guides to Time and Anger
Management plus lots more. A must for anyone interested in
managing their stress & gaining a new perspective on life!
Check out ===>

© How To Corporation. All rights reserved.


What causes the chemical imbalances that lead to depression?

October 25, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Depression Information, Depression Treatment 11 Comments →

The medical fraternity often claims that a major cause of depression, anxiety, and other forms of emotional disorders, is chemical imbalance. However, there is seldom any discussion about what causes the chemical imbalance. I have been searching for answers to this question and so far I have found that there is very little information provided by doctors, scientists, or clinical researchers.

There is a considerable amount of information discussing what the chemical imbalances are and what can be done, medically, to adjust the imbalance of chemicals. However, despite a lot of research over a long period of time, it appears that there are only several theories put forward regarding possible causes. One of these relates to a sustained increase in the production of adrenalin as a result of daily stressors, and a corresponding and compensating reduction in the production of the neurochemicals [or neurotransmitters] such as seratonin and cortisol.

Another theory suggests that disturbed sleep patterns and/or chronic pain cause seratonin to be used quicker than it can be replaced by the body. This leads to a situation where the synapses [the region where two or more nerve cells meet and across which an impulse passes] have insufficient amounts of neurotransmitter in them to allow the passage of complete signals relating to sleep, pain control, and mood control. This, in turn, often results in a snowball effect that compounds the problem.

There are some people out there who believe that pharmaceutical companies may know more about the causes of the imbalances than they are prepared to divulge because it may lead to a downturn in the lucrative sales of their products. Perhaps the tobacco industry’s record caused them to have this slant on their outlook? They may have a point though as I understand that not all sufferers of depression and anxiety etc. have a chemical imbalance; many people do not respond to antidepressants used to compensate for chemical imbalances; and there are times when sufferers respond positively to placebos. In other circumstances it is time that tends to heal the problem.

I believe that the medical profession really is trying to get a much better understanding of the problem. viz:-

“A study at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston may lead to a better understanding of how antidepressants like Prozac work — and how to make them more effective.” 2005

“Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Eric Gouaux at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and colleagues Satinder K. Singh and Atsuko Yamashita published their findings August 8, 2007, in an advance online publication in the journal Nature. ….. The researchers began their studies with the goal of understanding how TCAs interact with their clinical target, sodium-coupled neurotransmitter transporters. These transporters mop up neurotransmitters from the synapse, the junction between neurons. Neurotransmitters are molecules that neurons use to communicate with neighbouring neurons. TCAs work by inhibiting the reuptake of neurotransmitters by neurons.

Disorders such as depression, epilepsy, autism, or obsessive-compulsive disorder can result from impaired function of sodium-coupled neurotransmitter transporters. Thus, these molecules are the target of a variety of drugs, including TCAs.

It has been a great challenge, however, to understand precisely how these molecules function and interact with drugs. The problem, Gouaux said, is that the transporters found in humans are not amenable to study.”

Another person has remarked that life would be miserable if we did not have some chemical imbalances that affect our moods. When you think about this there is some merit to the statement. Without mood swings, ostensibly brought about by chemical imbalances, we would all be like the legendary Zombies, or living dead. We would not enjoy the natural highs of endorphin, the body’s opiate-like hormone, brought about by singing, dancing and exercise. Nor would we be able to display sorrow or grief when it is appropriate to do so. And if we did not have our down days we would not have a yardstick to measure against and appreciate the good days.

We are all probably aware that it is our thoughts that generally prompt the secretion of the various hormones. For example, if we think that our safety is being threatened, we quickly secrete adrenalin and its cohorts to equip us for fight or flight by closing down nutrient supply to some organs, such as the digestive system, and re-directing the nutrients to the muscles, heart and lungs until the threat is gone and our system can return to normal.

When we anticipate [think] something favorable is about to happen, we produce hormones that put us in a good mood; and thinking of a sumptuous meal causes us to salivate in anticipation of partaking the meal.

This, together with my personal experiences, convinces me that, if our thoughts influence our body’s endocrine glands [those that excrete the hormones and saliva etc.] then, by controlling our thoughts we can influence the secretions of hormones, and the timing of such secretions, to our advantage. Cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] is a relatively new method of treating problems associated with depression and anxiety etc. and is certainly a step in the right direction. This, and other forms of mental programming, will be the subject of much of my discussion in future.

In my case, I applied the information that I gleaned from the “Total Success Library” and listened to relaxation recordings to hasten my recovery from depression.

Note: Since I originally wrote this post I have been searching for the answer to the question that I posed. My research has caused me much to be alarmed about, especially when a prominent psychiatrist has stated that chemical imbalances of the brain is the only disease spread by word of mouth.

There seems to be a considerable number of psychiatrists who disagree with the position taken by the pharmaceutical companies that produce anti-depressants and the many doctors who prescribe them. One such psychiatrist is Douglas C. Smith, M.D. from Juneau, Alaska, who stated “One hundred years from now, people will read current psychiatric text books with the same incredulity we have about blood-letting and snake oil…”

I was particularly concerned to read about the association of anti-depressants and suicide, attempted suicide, homicide and attempted homicide by people who take anti-depressants, plus the fact that during the first 12 years after its introduction, there were 40,000 reports of adverse effects from Prozac submitted to the FDA.

Expect to read more about these concerns in future posts.

Depression – When you are at the bottom of the pit

October 11, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Depression Treatment, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression 3 Comments →

Depression-Depression-Depression- Depression

It is generally known that there are basically four types of depression. These are:-

1. Topography – A hollow or sunken part e.g. a pit.
2. Weather – A low barometric pressure surrounded by higher pressures.
3. Economy – A decline in business activity accompanied by unemployment and lowering of income. [This can often give rise to the type of depression described in 4.]
4. Personal – A lowering of vitality or functional activity or the state of being below par in physical or mental vitality.

The medical profession further catagorizes item 4 into into a number of groups and sub-groups that you can read about in the book Understanding and Curing Depression.

When people suffer from depression [4.], amongst other things, they often say that they feel lost, in a fog, overwhelmed, anxious, or at the bottom of a pit.

The good thing about this is that if you are at the bottom of a pit the only direction left to go is up and out of the pit. 🙂

If you manage to find yourself at the bottom of a pit because you lost your way in the darkness or in a fog, or you were overwhelmed and pushed over the side, or slid to the bottom as a result of slippery or crumbling sides, do not give up hope. You should be able to manage to walk or climb out of the pit, especially when the dust settles, or the fog lifts and you can see better.

Should the sides still be slippery or crumbling then you may occasionally slip back a little, or even right to the botttom again. However, as you are now aware of the problem, you can take more care and preventative action, or even take a different route. You can even call for help. Quite often help is closer than you think.

Help could take the form of the end of a rope thrown to you, or a ladder lowered to you. However, you will still have to do some work yourself. This includes, tying the rope around your waist and climbing the sides with the rope to steady you, or you may have to climb the ladder with, or without the security of a rope around your waist.

If you managed to injure yourself during your descent to the bottom of the pit and could not contribute to your rescue, help may be needed in the form of a rescue team to recover you.

We can use the information above as a parable for overcoming depression. Then the pit would be the depression, and the feelings of being lost, in a fog, overwhelmed etc would be the symptons associated with depression. The rope and ladder would be the counseling to assist you, and the physical act of climbing out yourself would be what YOU do to help yourself to recover and prevent problems in the future. Should the situation be dire enough for you need a rescue team, this may equate to the need for you to take a trip to hospital. Hopefully, this will not be required.

I liken the need for counseling to receiving a laceration to the forearm, hand, or hip as a result of a nail protruding from something that you pass by frequently. You will probably need to disinfect the wound and place a dressing, such as a bandage on it to protect the wound whilst the body repairs itself. You may even need a suture or two if the wound is large. Then you would need to take action to prevent similar problems in the future. This could involve hammering the nail flush with it’s surrounds or removing it altogether.

If you treat only the wound and not the cause of the wound you can expect more problems. I recommend undertaking counseling for depression and working on yourself to prevent problems in future. This is what I did to assist in my recovery from depression.

I shall be discussing ways and means of beating your depression, without the need to resort to taking anti-depressants, in future posts. I have found from experience, discussions with other sufferers, and in-depth reading to determine what causes the imbalance of chemicals that medical practitioners say causes depression, that it is quite possible that anti-depressant medication can cause more problems than they remedy. This will be discussed in much more detail in future posts and in great depth in my book when it is completed.

When you were at the bottom of the pit you may have experienced some anxiety. This is often related to depression and is a combination of fear and worry. Should you find yourself being anxious, try to remember that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, and worry is like being in a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.

You can learn more about how to cure anxiety and panic attacks here. This gives solutions, other than medication, to cure anxiety and panic attacks and much of this can be applied to beating depression as they are all closely associated.

Overcome Depression with “The Precious Present”

October 04, 2007 By: John Category: Attitude, Depression Facts, Overcoming depression 6 Comments →

It appears that many people are having trouble understanding or accepting Rule #6 in the article” Ten Rules for Being Human,” posted on September 12th, 2007. Viz:-

6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

Perhaps if I share a little of the book entitled, “The Precious Present,” by Spencer Johnson M.D. this could assist to enlighten those people as to what I believe is the essence of Rule # 6. You will just have to replace “here” with “the present” and “there” with “the future.”

You may recall that Spencer Johnson M.D. also co-authored the best selling book entitled, “The One Minute Manager,” which was so popular that it was translated into seven languages.

Apparently, The Precious Present is a reflection of Dr Johnson’s life. He had a happy childhood and a remarkable career with many accomplishments, including earning a degree in psychology; an M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; training at the Harvard Medical School; and membership of national societies in philosophy and psychology. He also authored many books and had over a million copies of his books in print before his fortieth birthday. However, despite these achievements, he was unhappy as he felt that there was something missing from his life. [This seems to be a common trait in many people who suffer from depression.]

He finally discovered the secret of personal happiness after years of study, traveling, and searching his own mind. Dr Spencer Johnson shares this secret in parable form in The Precious Present. Here is an excerpt:-

“Pain is simply the difference between what is and what I want it to be.

When I feel guilty over my imperfect past, or I am anxious over my unknown future, I do not live in the present. I experience pain. I make myself ill. And I am unhappy.

My past was the present. And now my future will be the present. The present moment is the only reality I ever experience.

As long as I stay in the present, I am happy forever: because forever is always the present.”

From my experience, understanding each of the ten rules for being human can be truly beneficial to people who want to break the shackles of depression. However, I believe that living in the present is THE most important.

The Precious Present is one of the books that has assisted me to overcome my depression by re-adjusting my mindset. Another great book that goes into more depth about the value of the present moment is, “The Power of NOW” by Eckhart Tolle.


My wife was unaware that I had made this post last Thursday and she came home from work tonight [Monday] with a quote that she had written down from an email that she had received from a man who was retiring from the work force. When I read the quote I began to wonder if this was a coincidence or not. Here it is:-

“Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called The Present.”

Symptoms and signs of depression

October 01, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Depression Information, Depression Symptoms, Manic Depression 1 Comment →

Symptoms are the things that a person feels. For example a person may feel pain from a burn or may feel dejected because of a bad experience.

Signs are what others observe. Examples of these are when one person observes another person exhibiting the signs of apparently being in pain for some reason, or when they notice that somebody is not being their usually bright self with a positive outlook on life.

If you feel that you may be suffering from depression then you will need to check out your feelings as well as your actions.

If you are concerned that a loved one may be depressed, you will need to observe their behavior and make judgments about how they may be feeling. It may even be advisable to ask the person how they are feeling. However, you may get a vague response and even a sharp retort. Your ability to use tact may be put to the test.

Before we proceed, we need to realize that short term feelings of “the blues” are quite common and do not necessarily constitute a state of depression. Things such as, the death of a loved one, a failed relationship, the loss of a job, or the disappointment of missing out on a promotion, etc., can make us feel sad for quite a while. However, time tends to heal most wounds and we generally pick ourselves up and get on with life again. It is when a reasonable amount of time has passed, and the condition has not improved, that we need to consider the possibility of depression.

Let us look at the symptoms of depression:-

  • Low self esteem.
  • Inability to sleep well at night. Managing to get to sleep well but often waking in the early hours and unable to return to sleep.
  • Oversleeping or wanting to sleep during the day.
  • Constant feelings of fatigue.
  • Being unable to enjoy life as well as you used to. [Chronic low grade depression].
  • Not being able to function to the best of your capabilities.

The symptoms mentioned above are typical of the depression condition known as dysthymia, or as the ancient Greeks called it, ill humor. It usually has a slow onset and persists for two years or more.

With more severe cases of depression [clinical, or major, depression] some of the following symptoms will also be noted:-

  • Change of mood from being ill humored at the beginning of the day to being much better at the end of the day.
  • A change in appetite. Appetite may decrease and result in weight loss in many cases, especially in older people. In other cases binge eating may occur and weight may increase.
  • A lack of interest in hobbies and other interests. You just cannot be bothered doing what you used to enjoy in the past.
  • A loss of libido. Sexual activities diminish or cease.
  • Feeling sad or crying for no apparent reason.
  • Having feelings of shame, guilt and/or worthlessness.
  • Feeling vulnerable or anxious.
  • Feeling overwhelmed, or that you are lost in a fog or in a deep chasm.
  • Inability to make decisions or to concentrate on a subject.
  • Becoming withdrawn from society, including family and friends. Wanting to be alone and then often feeling rejected when you are left alone.
  • Being easily agitated and angry.
  • Failing to look after yourself [appearances, hygiene, well being etc.].
  • Considering, or causing, self harm. This can culminate in suicide in severe cases. Statistics suggest that 80% of suicides relate to people who were suffering from depression.

The above sets of conditions are known as unipolar conditions.

When a person experiences extreme mood swings from being “on top of the world” to being “down in the dumps” this is known as bipolar condition and was previously called “manic depression”.

Depression can be cured, and because suicide is a real possibility you need to seek help very soon if you are suffering from it. Talk to somebody about your feelings because a problem shared is a problem halved. I am sure that you will find a sympathetic ear without too much trouble.

Make sure that one such person is a doctor. One factor associated with depression is often an imbalance of chemicals within the body. Doctors can provide quick relief with the modern medications that are available nowadays. More on this, and causes of the imbalance, will be in future articles.

If you have a loved one whom you consider to be in need of help, you will have to use a lot of tact and discretion when broaching the subject. Perhaps drawing their attention to this article may be useful.

The first step to recovery is to acknowledge that help is needed and that it is readily available. Remember that when a person has reached the bottom of a pit the only direction left to go is up.


Check out the Recommended Resources section for more detailed information.