"Helping you to help your ADD ADHD child"by Anthony Kane, MD
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Prescribed MedicinesIf you suffer from clinical or more severe forms of depression, then it likely that you will be prescribed medication by your Doctor. There are several different types available and these include Tricyclics (TCAs), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) and many others. All of them work in various ways to alter the activity of certain chemicals in the brain that have an impact on our mood and how we feel.
St John's WortSt. John's Wort or Hypericum perforatum has increasingly been recognised for the beneficial effect it can have on mild to moderate depression. It appears to work, at least in part, in much the same way as Prozac by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin.
One of the main concerns with St. John's Wort is that it does interact with many other drugs to produce some undesirable effects so it is particularly important to discuss the implications of taking St John's Wort with your GP first.
5-HTPThe full term for this is 5-hydroxytyptophan, which is a type of amino acid produced by the body that can be converted into serotonin. As well as lifting mood by increasing serotonin levels, it also appears to improve sleeping patterns, aids weight loss, and exerts a positive influence on many other physiological processes.
It has been used to help alleviate the symptoms of migraine, insomnia and Fibromyalgia amongst others, but is most commonly used to help treat depression.
Fish OilPeople suffering from depression tend to have lower levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood and supplementing with fish oil has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression and other mood related disorders including bipolar disorder and post natal depression.
The most important Omega 3 fatty acids are Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), however, DHA is important for healthy structure of the brain but it is EPA that appears the most significant for healthy brain function on a day to day basis.
EPA has powerful anti inflammatory properties, can increase serotonin levels and improve blood flow to the brain. Research indicates that fish oil with a high EPA content is better than standard fish oil containing lower ratios of EPA to DHA.
Homeopathic RemediesThere are a number of doctors and other health professionals who also prescribe homeopathic remedies. Although it is possible to purchase homeopathic remedies over the counter, it is wise to seek the advice of a trained homeopath that will be able to take into account many other factors in order to give the most appropriate preparation.
Homeopathy works on the philosophy that "like cures like" so that whatever causes the symptoms of a particular condition can be cured by the very same thing if given in a much diluted form.
Examples of homeopathic remedies include Veratrum album, Natrium muriaticum and Ignatia, all of which can be used to treat depression. One of the main benefits of homeopathic remedies is that they are safe to use and you don't have to discontinue other medications whilst taking them. The Homeopathic Association keeps a register of qualified doctors, nurses and dentists who are also qualified homeopathic practitioners.
Depression and anxiety are serious conditions that can strike anyone at anytime. For more information about depression and self help come and visit http://www.fightingdepression.co.uk
Anthony Kane, MD
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