Depression – caused by the imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Therefore, medications play a key role in recovery. Thus, antidepressant or mood elevator, prescribed to patients with depression to alleviate their symptoms. Antidepressant medicine not only used for the treatment of depression. Additionally, also prescribed in other psychiatric conditions. These include anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), dysthymia (mild chronic depression), etc,.
The use of antidepressants is on the rise. Although, antidepressants do not cure depression, they relieve the symptoms. Andipressants come in various types. The first medication to try may not benefit. However, one must consult their doctor and find the right choice of medication/s for their condition.
Non-adherence to antidepressants – one of the causes of major negative consequences on health. Nonetheless, it also majorly contributes to the under treatment of anxiety and depression in maximum cases in the population. Consequently, a set of reasons why people do not comply with their therapy or treatment must be explored. Firstly, forgetting to take the medicine. Secondly, other factors that contribute to non-adherence of antidepressants include –
Fear of addiction
High cost of medications
Fear of drug-induced sexual dysfunction
Delayed onset of action of the medication
Poor instructions and protocols by the doctor
Fear of side effects
Benefits of Adherence
Nevertheless, adherence to the medication with proper guidance from the doctor will decrease the symptoms of depression. Thus, leading them get back to their normal life. Also, under-treatment of depression at times fatal. However, if the depression escalates, suicidal tendencies can follow. Inspite of and apart from these, suddenly stopping the medications – associated with withdrawal symptoms which can get fatal in severe cases.
Indeed, in recent times – depression – a common problem and the reason for the rise of fatalities that it causes. Thus, the importance to consult a doctor to get the condition’s diagnosis and get on the right treatment. Also, of equal importance to adhere to their therapy and abide by the guidelines.
Depression is frequently confused with natural and circumstantial feelings of grief or sadness. However, depression is not merely a weakness. It is not something to be taken lightly. Indeed, it is quite a serious issue and can last for long periods of time. Accordingly, there are different types of depression and they could present with more than a couple of symptoms.
In fact, depression does not merely involve feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. To summarize, it is much more terrible and has a negative effect on your day-to-day functioning.
Further, there are many different types of depression. These are:
Firstly, Major depression
Secondly, Bipolar depression
Thirdly, Psychotic depression
Fourthly, Chronic depression (even dysthymia)
Fifthly, Seasonal depression
Sixthly, Substance-induced depression
Seventhly, Postpartum depression
Eighthly, Double depression
Ninthly, Treatment-resistant depression
Tenthly, Secondary depression
Finally, Masked depression
First off, signs and symptoms of clinical depression vary. Secondly, they depend largely on how severe, how long lasting and how often they come into play. In addition, there are individual differences. Therefore, while some experience a few signs of depression, others experience more. Hereunder, is a list of symptoms that might indicate that you may be suffering from depression and that you might want to consult a psychiatrist:
Firstly, Being sad for most parts of the day, especially in the morning
Secondly, Feeling like blaming yourself unnecessarily or feeling worthless almost every day
Thirdly, More inclined towards being negative
Fourthly, Sleep Difficulties i.e. Loss of sleep or Excessive sleep
Fifthly, Regular contemplations of death or suicide
Sixthly, Significant weight gain or weight loss
Seventhly, Appetite loss or overeating
Eighthly, Feelings of high fatigue and low energy levels almost every day
Ninthly, Inability to make decisions or impaired focus and difficulty concentrating
Tenthly, Lack of interest in almost all daily activities or hobbies, including sexual activity
You can do a lot (tips) to prevent migraine headaches.
Migraines can be debilitating, annoying, and impact your quality of life — however there is much you can do to avoid them. From identifying what triggers your headaches to making proactive lifestyle changes, it’s possible to get better control and manage your migraine symptoms. Here are some tips to prevent migraine.
1. Be aware of your triggers.
Migraines do not impact everyone the same way and the events that trigger a migraine can vary significantly from person to person. While you will never be able to avoid all triggers, you will be in a better position if you know which triggers impact you. Common triggers include emotional stress, menstruation and other hormonal changes in women, skipping meals, weather changes, irregular sleep, strong odors, lights and other visual stimuli, sudden noises, smoke, exercise or overexertion, or sex.
2. Watch your diet.
Many patients are not aware that what you eat can significantly impact your migraine symptoms. Studies show as many as 50% of migraine sufferers have headaches triggered by a food item. While I find some patients know that migraines can be related to aspartame or monosodium glutamate, they are often surprised to learn that alcohol, caffeine, cheese, chocolate, and processed meats may also impact migraines.
3. Keep a headache journal.
Keeping a headache journal can be a great tool to help you.Also, it not only identify triggers, but also figure out what treatments might work best. This is for preventing and relieving your headaches. Make sure to record the date, time, intensity, preceding symptoms, triggers, medication, and response to medication. You may also want to record how frequently headaches are occurring. Other associated symptoms, where the pain is located, and a description of the pain (e.g. throbbing or piercing). In addition, Consider tracking food intake, any over-the-counter vitamins or supplements you are using. Also, what your sleep is like, and how much exercise you have been doing.
4. Consider a medicinal preventive treatment.
Indeed, I find many migraine patients suffer in silence. While there are no hard and fast rules or guidelines, I generally offer preventive therapy to patients. Especially, if they have more than four migraines in a month. Also, if they have significant headaches that last 12 or more hours or if the migraines are debilitating. There are a number of different medication options that will depend on your particular medical situation.Consult your psychiatrist to learn more about these options.
5. Look into alternative preventive treatments.
Feverfew, coenzyme Q10 and butterbur root are the most widely-studied alternative treatments for the prevention of migraines. Butterbur root is an herbal medicine that is marketed in the United States as a food supplement. In addition, several studies have shown that taking 150mg daily can prevent headaches. In a small study using an antioxidant called coenzyme Q10, a significant number of patients reduced migraines by more than half at a dose of 100 mg three times daily. Feverfew, an herbal plant-based remedy, has also had a number of trials but results on its efficacy are conflicting. Moreover, if you decide to implement an alternative treatment, talk with your doctor to make sure these products will not interfere with any other medical treatments. These products are not as widely studied and not as tightly regulated by the FDA.
Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.
Why is it important to practice good sleep hygiene?
Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health. It can also improve productivity and overall quality of life. Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from practicing good sleep habits.
How can I improve my sleep hygiene?
One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. However, there are recommendations that can provide guidance on how much sleep you need generally. Other good sleep hygiene practices include:
LIMITING DAYTIME NAPS
Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes . Napping does not make up for inadequate nighttime sleep. However, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.
Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. And when it comes to alcohol, moderation is key 4. While alcohol is well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.
Exercising to promote good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality. For the best night’s sleep, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.
Steering clear of food that can be disruptive right before sleep. Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion for some people. When this occurs close to bedtime, it can lead to painful heartburn that disrupts sleep.
THE SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE
Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for individuals who may not venture outside frequently. Exposure to sunlight during the day, as well as darkness at night, helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle .
A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine. A regular nightly routine helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. This could include taking warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches. When possible, try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before attempting to sleep.
Making sure that the sleep environment is pleasant. Mattress and pillows should be comfortable. The bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees – for optimal sleep. Bright light from lamps, cell phone and TV screens can make it difficult to fall asleep, so turn those light off or adjust them when possible. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices that can make the bedroom more relaxing.
What are signs of poor sleep hygiene?
Frequent sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. In addition, if you’re taking too long to fall asleep, you should consider evaluating your sleep routine and revising your bedtime habits. Just a few simple changes can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and night spent tossing and turning.
Contact your psychiatrist to find the right kind of therapy for YOU either counseling or medications or a combination or both for good sleep hygiene.
Natural Sleep Secrets Tailored to Your Nightly Needs
Natural Secrets for a refreshing sleep sounds elusive. Sound slumber results in increased energy and productivity, improved heart and immune system health, a better mood, even a longer life. And hey, you just feel so much better after a satisfying 8 hours of rest. But chances are, you’re not getting it. Sleep issues are epidemic among women today,
Not surprisingly, women tend to get less sleep than men do overall. Even if you don’t have children, levels of sleep-promoting estrogen sink regularly during menstruation and then permanently in menopause. And symptoms related to both—cramps, headaches, hot flashes, and night sweats—also disrupt slumber.
But experts agree that these biological facts don’t mean that sleep deprivation has to be your destiny. Feeling tired should never be considered normal. Yet there are no stock sleep solutions, either: Finding out what works for you takes some trial and error, but it’s well worth it. Sleep is a basic biological necessity—just like eating—and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life. Here are the natural secrets for a refreshing sleep.
Try these 20 ideas to find the sleep formula that works best for you.
Set a Sleep Schedule
If you do only one thing to improve your sleep, this is it: Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning—even on weekends. A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better. Exposure to a regular pattern of light and dark helps, so stay in sync by opening the blinds or going outside right after you wake up.
Keep a Sleep Diary
To help you understand how your habits affect your rest, track your sleep every day for at least 2 weeks. Write down not only what’s obviously sleep related—what time you go to bed, how long it takes you to fall asleep, how many times you wake up during the night, how you feel in the morning—but also factors like what you ate close to bedtime and what exercise you got. Comparing your daily activities with your nightly sleep patterns can show you where you need to make changes.
Reason number 1,001: Nicotine is a stimulant, so it prevents you from falling asleep. Plus, many smokers experience withdrawal pangs at night. Smokers are 4 times more likely not to feel as well rested after a night’s sleep than nonsmokers, studies show, and smoking exacerbates sleep apnea and other breathing disorders, which can also stop you from getting a good night’s rest. Don’t worry that quitting will keep you up nights too: That effect passes in about 3 nights.
Review Your Medications
Beta-blockers (prescribed for high blood pressure) may cause insomnia; so can SSRIs (a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac and Zoloft). And that’s just the beginning. Write down every drug and supplement you take, and have your doctor evaluate how they may be affecting your sleep.
Exercise, But Not Right Before Bedtime
Working out—especially cardio—improves the length and quality of your sleep. That said, 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise keeps your body temperature elevated for about 4 hours, inhibiting sleep. When your body begins to cool down, however, it signals your brain to release sleep-inducing melatonin, so then you’ll get drowsy.
Cut Caffeine After 2 p.m.
That means coffee, tea, and cola. Caffeine is a stimulant that stays in your system for about 8 hours, so if you have a cappuccino after dinner, come bedtime, it’ll either prevent your brain from entering deep sleep or stop you from falling asleep altogether.
Write Down Your Woes
“The number one sleep complaint I hear? ‘I can’t turn off my mind,'” – To quiet that wakeful worrying, every night jot down your top concerns—say, I have to call my insurer to dispute that denied claim, which will take forever, and how can I spend all that time on the phone when work is so busy? Then write down the steps you can take to solve the problem—I’m going to look up the numbers before breakfast, refuse to stay on hold for more than three minutes, and send e-mails tomorrow night if I can’t get through—or even I can’t do anything about this tonight, so I’ll worry about it tomorrow. Once your concerns are converted into some kind of action plan, you’ll rest easier. Are You Nice To You?
Take Time to Wind Down
“Sleep is not an on-off switch,”. “It’s more like slowly easing your foot off the gas.” Give your body time to transition from your active day to bedtime drowsiness by setting a timer for an hour before bed and divvying up the time as follows:
First 20 minutes: Prep for tomorrow (pack your bag, set out your clothes).
Next 20: Take care of personal hygiene (brush your teeth, moisturize your face).
Last 20: Relax in bed, reading with a small, low-wattage book light or practicing deep breathing.
Sip Milk, Not a Martini
A few hours after drinking, alcohol levels in your blood start to drop, which signals your body to wake up. It takes an average person about an hour to metabolize one drink, so if you have two glasses of wine with dinner, finish your last sip at least 2 hours before bed.
Snack on Cheese and Crackers
The ideal nighttime nosh combines carbohydrates and either calcium or a protein that contains the amino acid tryptophan—studies show that both of these combos boost serotonin, a naturally occurring brain chemical that helps you feel calm. Enjoy your snack about an hour before bedtime so that the amino acids have time to reach your brain.
Some good choices:
One piece of whole grain toast with a slice of low-fat cheese or turkey
A banana with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
Whole grain cereal and fat-free milk
Fruit and low-fat yogurt
Listen to a Bedtime Story
Load a familiar audiobook on your iPod—one that you know well, so it doesn’t engage you but distracts your attention until you drift off to sleep. Relaxing music works well, too.
Experts usually recommend setting your bedroom thermostat between 65° and 75°F—a good guideline, but pay attention to how you actually feel under the covers. Slipping between cool sheets helps trigger a drop in your body temperature. That shift signals the body to produce melatonin, which induces sleep. That’s why it’s also a good idea to take a warm bath or hot shower before going to bed: Both temporarily raise your body temperature, after which it gradually lowers in the cooler air, cueing your body to feel sleepy. But for optimal rest, once you’ve settled in to bed, you shouldn’t feel cold or hot—but just right.
…Especially if You’re Menopausal
During menopause, 75 percent of women suffer from hot flashes, and just over 20% have night sweats or hot flashes that trouble their sleep. Consider turning on a fan or the AC to cool and circulate the air. Just go low gradually: Your body loses some ability to regulate its temperature during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, so overchilling your environment—down to 60°F, for instance—will backfire.
Spray a Sleep-Inducing Scent
Certain smells, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang, activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain, which leads to relaxation and helps you sleep more soundly. Mix a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz.
Turn on the White Noise
Sound machines designed to help you sleep produce a low-level soothing noise. These can help you tune out barking dogs, the TV downstairs, or any other disturbances so you can fall asleep and stay asleep.
Eliminate Sneaky Light Sources
“Light is a powerful signal to your brain to be awake:. Even the glow from your laptop, iPad, smart phone, or any other electronics on your nightstand may pass through your closed eyelids and retinas into your hypothalamus—the part of your brain that controls sleep. This delays your brain’s release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Thus, the darker your room is, the more soundly you’ll sleep.
Consider Kicking Out Furry Bedmates
Cats can be active in the late-night and early morning hours, and dogs may scratch, sniff, and snore you awake. More than half of people who sleep with their pets say the animals disturb their slumber, according to a survey from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center.
Check Your Pillow Position
The perfect prop for your head will keep your spine and neck in a straight line to avoid tension or cramps that can prevent you from falling asleep. Ask your spouse to check the alignment of your head and neck when you’re in your starting sleep position. If your neck is flexed back or raised, get a pillow that lets you sleep in a better-aligned position. And if you’re a stomach sleeper, consider using either no pillow or a very flat one to help keep your neck and spine straight.
This technique helps reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, releases endorphins, and relaxes your body, priming you for sleep. Inhale for 5 seconds, pause for 3, then exhale to a count of 5. Start with 8 repetitions; gradually increase to 15. To see if you’re doing it right, buy a bottle of children’s bubbles, breathe in through your belly, and blow through the wand. The smooth and steady breath that you use to blow a bubble successfully should be what you strive for when you’re trying to get to sleep.
Stay Put If You Wake Up
“The textbook advice is that if you can’t fall back asleep in fifteen minutes, get out of bed,” “But I ask my patients, ‘How do you feel in bed?’ If they’re not fretting or anxious, I tell them to stay there, in the dark, and do some deep breathing or visualization.” But if lying in bed pushes your stress buttons, get up and do something quiet and relaxing (in dim light), such as gentle yoga or massaging your feet until you feel sleepy again.
Good sleep habits or good sleep hygiene, are mostly common sense. However life is very busy and we often don’t think about them. So, here are some tips for a magical sleep which may help.
Value your bedtime and have the same getting up time during the work week, regardless of sleep. The body has an internal clock and hormones that control sleepiness and wakefulness. This clock works best if there is a regular sleep routine. When you feel sleepy at bedtime try not to ignore this by staying up, as this is a window of opportunity for sleep. Some tips for a magical sleep.
Going to bed too early can also disturb your sleep. In the hour before going to bed, it is important that you have a relaxing sleep routine to allow you to wind down. This may include any form of “time out” compared with your day e.g. a warm bath, reading quietly or a warm milk drink.
Falling asleep on the couch during the evening reduces your sleep drive and makes it harder to fall asleep when you go to bed.
Caffeine needs to be avoided for at least four hours before going to bed. This includes colas, soft drinks, coffee and tea.
Smoking makes it difficult to go to sleep, so there should be no cigarettes before going to bed or during the night.
Alcohol might help you get to sleep in small amounts but may make it harder to stay asleep. Too much alcohol will make snoring and sleep apnoea worse as well. Stimulating activities should be avoided in the hour before bed.
Mealtime – Your body slows down at night, and eating too close to bedtime i.e. less than two hours, makes it difficult to sleep. Eating too late may impact your glucose metabolism.
Bed – A Place to look forward to – Your bed must be comfortable, warm and restful. Both the temperature of the room and having enough blankets is important – warm hands and feet are essential. Remove distractions from the bedroom e.g. television, computer, radio and telephone. Any clocks in the bedroom should be covered to avoid clock-watching. If possible, do not allow children and pets to disturb you.
Daytime – Exercise is good for sleep, but not just before going to bed. The best times are in the morning and before dinner. It is best to be outside in the early part of the day. Avoid lying in bed during the day.
Using the bedroom to study, watch television, make phone calls and read books makes it harder to sleep as the brain will no longer link the bed with sleep. The bedroom is for sleeping and intimacy only.
Some more tips:
Can’t Sleep, won’t sleep, what shall I do? – Sleep is not something you can force to happen. If you are not asleep within 20-30 minutes of going to bed, get up, go to another darkened room and sit quietly. Boredom can promote sleep!
Do not watch television, use a computer, eat, drink or do household chores. When you feel tired again go back to bed. This helps your mind link bed with sleep – not with being unhappy and not sleeping. Do not look at the clock. No matter what time it is you will have an emotional reaction.
REST IS GOOD – IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SLEEP
My brain won’t switch off – If you lie awake in bed at night and cannot switch off your thoughts, set aside a “worry time” during the evening. Use this time to think about the day’s event, make plans and possible solutions. Then acknowledge any thoughts and learn to “let them go”. Keep the hour before bed as your wind down time – develop a routine that prepares your body and mind for sleep. Listen to quiet music or do relaxation. Our thoughts continue all the time, so try to make them calmer by creating a favorite fantasy place or daydreaming of your favorite holiday spot. If other thoughts come in, consider them for a moment and then try to gently replace them with calm thoughts.
How much sleep do I need?
Most adults need seven to nine hours sleep each day. Younger people have different sleep needs. If you are a poorer sleeper it is important you learn to match time in bed with perceived sleep time to improve sleep quality. If you spend more time in bed, you will be telling your body that it is OK to drift in and out of sleep all night. Going to bed later at night may be the best thing to reduce your time lying awake in bed at night.
If you are taking short afternoon naps (10-20 minutes maximum) without any problems, then you might want to keep doing this. However, naps in the evening or dozing in front of the television can make it harder to get to sleep at night.
Your doctor and medications – If you are struggling with your sleep, seek advice from your doctor who may refer you to a sleep specialist or psychologist. Some medications make it easier to get to sleep but others will keep you awake. It is best to take them only when your doctor or pharmacist says so. Sleeping pills can be good when a specific event in your life is making it hard to sleep but they are only a short term fix. These are some tips for a magical sleep.
Always consult a psychiatrist if your problems interfere with daily normal functioning.
Try to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day. Daily exercise often helps people sleep, although a workout soon before bedtime may interfere with sleep. For maximum benefit, try to get your exercise about 6 to 8 hours before going to bed. Do not exercise within two hours of bedtime.
2. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps people awake. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas and some pain relievers. Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal.
Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep. Avoid all of these things at least 6 to 8 hours before sleeping if you want a good night’s sleep. Also, try to avoid eating any kind of large meal within two hours of bedtime.
3. Darken your bedroom — completely
Recent research has shown that a dark bedroom helps us to sleep better and completely every night. Studies have found that even small things – like the brightness of your watch or the LED of any other device in your bedroom, can reduce the overall quality of sleep.
4. Decrease blue light your Smartphone at night
Sunlight is the largest source of blue light. Blue light regulates our circadian rhythms, which tell us when to sleep, and boosts alertness. Blue light from sunlight can benefit sleep. One of the Tips for better sleep. It is no secret that most of us have snuggled up with our Smartphone or digital tablet, or watched television from the comfort of our beds at some point. These habits that we have so quickly developed could be heavily contributing to our inability to sleep properly. Research has indicated that blue light emitted from digital devices could increase the risk of sleep complications. Actually, it is unlikely that any of us will stop using our equipment in the evening, but there are steps we can take to reduce our risk:-
limit screen time
apply screen filters
use the night mode settings on your devices
download blue light-reducing apps
5. Sleep up to the sunlight.
If possible, get up with the sun in the morning, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight helps the body’s internal biological clock reset itself every day. Sleep experts advised people to contact one hour of morning sunlight for problems sleeping.
6. Don’t be a nighttime watchman
Sticking to a clock in your bedroom, either when you are asleep or when you wake up at midnight, the tension can really increase, making it harder to fall asleep. Keep your watch face away from yourself. And if you wake up in the middle of the night and do not sleep in about 20 minutes, then get up and listen to a quiet, comfortable activity such as reading or listening to music. And keep the lights down; Bright lighting can stimulate your inner clock. When your eyelids are fluttering and you’re ready to sleep, return to bed. One of the Tips for better sleep.
7. If you do not have sleep problems then meet doctor
If you have trouble sleeping at night after night, or if you feel tired the next day, then you may have a sleep problem and a doctor should look. Your primary care physician may be able to help you; If not, you might meet a sleep specialist in a nearby hospital nearby. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively, so you can finally get a good night’s sleep that you need.
8. Go to Sleep when you’re tired
It is just frustrating to struggle to fall asleep. If you are not sleeping after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and relax, like reading or listening to music until you get tired enough to sleep.
For more read a related blog. And, do not forget to consult your psychiatrist.