Many people fear that everyday acts of forgetfulness, such as not remembering where you put your car keys, are early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Although forgetfulness can be an early warning sign, the memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease is more serious than normal age-related memory difficulties. Misplacing your keys only … Read More
Depression varies in severity. For some people, the feeling of sadness is mild and relatively fleeting. Others feel depressed day after day with no reprieve. More severe depression that does not let up is referred to as clinical depression, or major depressive disorder. Nearly 7 percent of Americans have clinical depression, making it one of the most common mental health issues.
To be diagnosed with clinical depression, you need to have a depressed mood or lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, plus four or more of the following symptoms, for at least two weeks:
? Decrease or increase in appetite ? Weight loss or gain ? Trouble sleeping or getting too much sleep ? Agitation or restlessness ? A feeling of slowing down ? Fatigue or lack of energy ? Feelings of worthlessness or guilt ? Trouble thinking, concentrating, or making decisions ? Thoughts of death or suicide
Everyone experiences depression differently, but to qualify for a diagnosis of clinical depression, the symptoms must be significant enough to interfere with your day-to-day life. Clinical depression makes it more difficult to go to work or school, and interrupts your normal social activities. Some people experience sporadic episodes of clinical depression, while for others, the condition is more continuous and persistent.
Although clinical depression is a more severe form of depression, it does respond to treatments. The first step is to see a mental health professional for a diagnosis. During the evaluation, the doctor can rule out other conditions that can mimic clinical depression, including thyroid disorders or substance abuse.
Once clinical depression has been diagnosed, it can be treated with medications and talk therapy. Antidepressant drugs alter levels of brain chemicals that influence mood. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta). These medicines may be paired with psychotherapy, which teaches strategies to manage depression.
Often, high blood pressure is a byproduct of an unhealthy lifestyle or other modifiable factors. Here are five blood pressure risk factors that you can modify with some guidance from your doctor.
An Unhealthy, High-Sodium Diet
You’re probably aware that sodium is the dietary devil when it comes to high blood pressure. … Read More
Vitamin B12 is best known—and most promoted—as a cure for fatigue, but this vitamin is important for much more than keeping energy levels up. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include everything from depression, fatigue, and memory loss to canker sores and dizziness.
Vitamin B12 … Read More
It’s important to make sure your diet contains sufficient amounts of the selenium, an important trace element that is necessary for healthy brain, immune system, thyroid, reproductive, and lung function. Make sure these selenium foods play a starring role in your regular diet.
11 Foods High in Selenium
- Brazil nuts (these … Read More
Exercise can be useful for normalizing sleep patterns. Exercise not only burns calories and body fat, it also helps to reduce stress and raises body temperature, potentially promoting deep sleep at night. Engaging in yoga for sleep improvement, in particular, has even more benefits on your overall health.
An analysis of … Read More
Up to 60 percent of adults have had nocturnal leg cramps. These recurrent, painful cramps usually strike the calf muscles and can cause frequent awakenings and severe insomnia. They are more common in people aged 50 years and older. If you’ve suffered through them, read on … Read More
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the human body, is best known for its important role in bone health and protection from osteoporosis. However, in addition to its key role in imparting strength to bones and teeth, calcium plays a critical role as a messenger in … Read More
One of the most important, yet most neglected, aspects of depression treatment is preventing depression from returning. Relapse refers to the returning signs of depression after a period of weeks or months of doing well. The term recurrence sometimes refers to a relapse that occurs late, after many months … Read More
Once your medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests have been evaluated, your medical provider may diagnose you with one of the following types of arthritis. It also is possible that you may be diagnosed with a multisystem disorder.
OA is the main cause of degenerative arthritis. It can affect … Read More
It happened just like that. You sat on the couch, spoon in hand, to enjoy a few spoonfuls of your favorite ice cream. Suddenly, you were staring down the barrel of an empty carton, with remnants of Rocky Road splattered on your chin. “Not again,” you cried. As you pondered … Read More