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General Health Information
Depression is a common mood disorder that in its mild-to-moderate form is characterized by lethargy, weight loss or gain, too much or lack of sleep, hopelessness, withdrawal, guilt, and low self-esteem. Severe clinical depression often involves thoughts of suicide and is a serious emotional illness requiring medical intervention. It is not known exactly what causes depression, but what seems to be important is the proper balance of the brains neurotransmitters (chemical messengers responsible for transmitting information between nerve cells). Herbs and nutritional supplements that may aid the brains neurotransmitters include St. Johns wort and 5-HTP. Other natural supplements that may promote nervous system health and proper brain chemical balance are SAMe, phenylalanine, phosphatidylserine, and ginkgo biloba.
Proper nutrition plays a key role in the formation of the brains neurotransmitters as well as insuring healthy function and balance. Therefore, supplementing with daily vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants and essential fatty acids may be helpful?especially omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and several B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, B-6, and B-12.
Optimizing nutrition and lifestyle is also important. A healthy diet not only provides proper nutrients for the body and brain, but also helps to balance blood sugar and thus helps to balance moods. Avoid sugar, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Exercise is important also because it increases the bodys production of endorphins, ?feel good? brain chemicals that can help to bring about a positive mental attitude.
Wellness Centers Related to Depression
Additional Information on Depression