Using Aromatherapy and Essential Oils to Treat Depression

203286_orig

For nearly 6,000 years essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes. A number of ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them for cosmetics and perfumes as well as for rituals and spiritual reasons. Oils are documented by the Greek physician and botanist Pedanius Dioscorides in the first century in […]

Could Depression Be an Allergic Reaction?

PET-image

Most people are still locked into the theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain – a shortage of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin that deliver messages from one neuron to another. That explanation works well for public consumption because it’s simple and it makes for great pharmaceutical commercials. But depression is […]

Is Depression Always a Disease?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like most mental health writers, I have compared depression to other illnesses like diabetes in the past, and stressed the biochemical aspect of mood disorders in my efforts at reducing stigma. Somehow talking about the gene G72/G30 located on chromosome 13q (that may predispose individuals to depression and bipolar disorder) makes it more legitimate, as […]

10 Ways to Curb Mania and Hypomania

8113284229_724a92e2a0_o

Bipolar disorder is one of the most difficult illnesses to treat because by addressing the depression part of the condition, you can inadvertently trigger mania or hypomania. Even in Bipolar II, where the hypomania is less destabilizing than the often-psychotic manic episodes of Bipolar I, persons often suffer from a debilitating depression that can’t be […]

10 Diseases that Make Depression Feel Worse

15_patient_doctor_with_smiling_patient

Consider these statistics: Nearly 50 percent of asthma patients suffer from symptoms of depression. At least 40 percent of persons with Parkinson’s disease experience depression, and anxiety is often reported. Forty to 65 percent of patients who have had a heart attack suffer from depression. The lifetime risk for depression in patients with multiple sclerosis […]

10 Quick Ways to Calm Down

Picture 10

As a highly-sensitive person (as defined by Elaine Aron in her bestseller The Highly Sensitive Person), it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed, or over-aroused (not in a sexual way—not on antidepressants). I have been compiling ways to calm down over the years. I learned some in Aron’s book, some as part of the mindfulness-based […]