The following is an overview of Greg McCulley's 7-Step Defeat Depression Wellness Program to defeat depression and insomnia, and improve your overall health:This program is designed to help you break the cycle of depression.
Please Note: It is very important to always consult with your physician before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.
The Keys to Wellness
The following diagram depicts the key factors associated with achieving optimum wellness.
The following diagram depicts the cycle of depression and how negative thinking, low self-esteem, hormonal imbalances, and other factors can either trigger depression or keep you in a constant state of depression. This, in turn, prevents you from achieving optimum wellness.
Note: For more information about how to use these keys to break the cycle of depression and improve your health, refer to my Wellness Program web page.
Wellness Tip: Your personal grooming is important to your overall wellness.
Long-term recovery from depression ultimately requires addressing the underlying relationship causes of depression, not simply symptoms such as chemical imbalance and depressive thoughts. This is why healing both the relationship environment and the whole person is vital in preventing relapse. Studies show that relationships with partners, careers, teachers, co-workers and a supportive social network results in physical and emotional healing, happiness and life satisfaction, and prevents isolation and loneliness, major factors in depressive illness.
Key elements of a successful strategy to defeat depression include:
Please Note: It is very important to consult a healthcare practitioner or physician and never come off antidepressants without their advice.
If you’re living with high levels of stress, you’re putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life.
The goal of stress management is to bring your mind and body back into balance. By adopting a positive attitude, learning healthier ways to cope, and changing the way you deal with stress, you can reduce its hold on your life.
Taking Care of Stress
In our frenetic, fast-paced world, many people deal with frequent or even constant stress. The overextended working mother, the hard-charging “Type A” personality, the self-critical perfectionist, the chronic worrier: they’re always wound up, always stretched to the breaking point, always rushing around in a frenzy or juggling too many demands.
Operating on daily red alert comes at the high price of your health, vitality, and peace of mind. But while it may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level—the bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, your career will always be demanding—you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.
Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun —and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.
Healthy Stress Reducers
Here are some simple stress reducers.
• Go for a walk. Play with a pet.
• Spend time in nature. Work in your garden.
• Talk to a supportive friend. Get a massage.
• Sweat out tension with a good workout. Curl up with a good book.
• Do something for someone else. Take a yoga class.
• Write in your journal. Listen to music.
• Take a long bath. Watch a comedy.
A depressive disorder involves the body, mind, and spirit, and affects your mood and thoughts. People who are depressed cannot "snap out of it" and get better. Since depression affects the Body, Mind and Spirit, then, the solution must encompass the Body, Mind and Spirit.
The Body, Mind and Spirit work in harmony to make you the best that you can be in this life. If one of these three elements is “sick” or out of balance with the other two, then, your entire being will be sick.
Unfortunately, most of traditional medicine focuses on the Body by addressing and suppressing the symptoms and never fixing the underlying root cause of the unhealthy cells. Traditional medicine tends to overlook the importance of the Mind and the Spirit and its role in healing the Body. Man also tends to focus on the Body by taking drugs to relieve pain or by feeding his food cravings to satisfy hormonal hunger – both of which may be driven by emotions such as depression.
If you accept the fact that we live in a spiritual universe and that we are all spiritual beings, you will find yourself equipped with an instrument through which you can exert influence over your body and your blood glucose control.
But, how do you go about tapping into your inner spirit and belief system? Anything and everything is possible if you have faith and you take responsibility of your health problems and follow up with the necessary actions; and, resist the negative influences that will discourage you from making yourself a healthier person.
Unfortunately, many people put their faith in man's drugs instead of the foods that were created by God. And, as long as we continue to believe that man is smarter than God, we will be trapped with poor health and our dependency on these man-made foods and drugs. So, become a victor of wellness, instead of a victim of disease.
Spiritual health allows you to focus on your inner faith and the belief that you must respect and protect what you put into your body to maintain a healthy balance with the mind and spirit. This supports Apostle Paul’s requirement to glorify God in our body, as well as our spirit:
“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost . . . therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]
WARNING!: Using drugs to “trick” your brain into making you feel better is a last resort. Once you start down the road of using drugs to control your brain, it will lead to more and more drugs, more medical expenses, and even more depression.
There are several types of antidepressant medications used to treat depressive disorders. These include newer medications, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the tricyclics, and the older monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Lately Saint John's Wort has been particularly popular as an herbal treatment for depression (although it should be used under a doctor's supervision).
The SSRIs - and other newer medications that affect neurotransmitters such as dopamine or norepinephrine - generally have fewer side effects than tricyclics. Sometimes your doctor will try a variety of antidepressants before finding the medication or combination of medications most effective for you.
"Major depression" is the type of depression that will most likely benefit from treatment with medications. It is a condition that lasts 2 weeks or more and gets in the way in your life. Major depression interferes with a person's ability to carry on daily tasks and enjoy activities that previously brought pleasure. Depression can be caused by a number of factors, but the brain functions differently in people who are depressed. Depression runs in families, and genes appear to be involved. The environment and learning also play a role. Episodes of depression may be triggered by stress, difficult life events, side effects of medications, or medication/substance withdrawal, or even infections that can affect the brain.
Types of Antidepressants
Tricyclic antidepressants were the first line of treatment for major depression from the 1960s through the 1980s. They are no longer the first medication tried for most depressed patients.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are older antidepressants that are effective for some people with major depression who do not respond to other antidepressants. They are also effective for the treatment of panic disorder and bipolar depression. MAOIs approved for the treatment of depression are phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and isocarboxazid (Marplan). These medications can have severe side-effects in some situations, so patients must follow directions very carefully.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are newer antidepressants introduced in the early 1990s that increase serotonin (a neurotransmitter) between nerve cells. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil ), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro). While these medications did not cause some of the bothersome side-effects of older medications, many people noticed a loss of sex drive when taking SSRIs.
Newer medications include mirtazepine (Remeron) - which can be sedating, and bupropion (Wellbutrin) - which tends to be more activating. Wellbutrin has not been associated with weight gain or sexual dysfunction but it can't be used with anyone at risk for a seizure disorder.