By Natural Advocate | October 31, 2010 - 5:21 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

It’s pretty much a commonly known fact that more women suffer from depression than men. Well, at least we can say that more women ADMIT to suffering from depression and occasional blue moods than men, if that counts for much. 

Herbal depression treatments have become an increasingly sought after remedy to ward off bad moods and volatile mood swings, because traditional medical depression treatments simply have too many side effects, and in some cases are even a risk for dependency. 

New research is suggesting that not only do women suffer form depression more than men do, but they also are increasingly suffering from anxiety disorders as well.  According to the latest numbers, women are at least twice as likely to suffer from anxiety and anxiety disorders than men. Is this a sign of the times?

Are women pressed to feel like they are super women, doing the whole career and home making thing?  Or are men just more chilled and laid back naturally than women are about their duties in life?  I’ve seen examples of both actually.  I think that generally, as a women, we do tend to take like a little more seriously than men, and also to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect in every aspect.

We could do ourselves well to learn from the way men don’t take some things as seriously. Now don’t get me wrong, there is plenty that men could learn from us as well!  Not only are herbal remedies for depression and anxiety booming, but anti anxiety medications like Xanax are booming as well, and many of the people buying these things are women. 

Are women just more likely to seek treatment for emotional disorders like this, or is it truly something that we women are just genetically more predisposed to? I think myself that it’s a combination of the times we live in and the natural predisposition of women to try to be perfect.

By Natural Advocate | October 29, 2010 - 10:26 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

When I read this story, I thought it was so reprehensible that I felt compelled to write something, at least a short something, on what is wrong with the healthcare system in general here in the US, as well as what’s wrong with the mentality that we should only give to those who can afford things, or who have exactly the right combination of prescription, health coverage and money. Please also see our page on herbal remedies to help asthma.

Of course, I know that is over simplifying this story of a woman who was denied an asthma inhaler at a CVS pharmacy, when it was probably just due to the bad judgment of one single pharmacist, who is likely in hot water with management after this story went national and made the pharmacy look bad, but this is just a general commentary on how things are going right now in the US, and it’s not a good thing.

If you have asthma, then you know that when you get an asthma attack, it can really knock you off your feet, and make you incapacitated for a good while until it passes. And the more upset you become, the worse an asthma attack usually will be. This woman in this story no doubt felt the effects of that principle at work as she was denied an inhaler at a CVS pharmacy that she frequented when she was shy just a few bucks to get her prescription renewed and was in the middle of a full fledged asthma attack.

Here’s how their story goes ( I realize the pharmacist may have another story, but the store has not spoken to that yet, so I’m going off what I have, just wanted to mention that to be fair).  A young woman and her boyfriend were walking home from McDonalds when the girl started to have a serious asthma attack. The couple went into a CVS store that she says she frequented for prescriptions for her inhaler, and requested an inhaler refill.

The couple only had $20 on them and the bill came a little over that. The woman was refused an inhaler based on the fact that she was short a few bucks, even though they pleaded with the pharmacist to leave collateral and swore they would come back with the rest of the money. What could have been going through the pharmacist’s mind to deny a woman who was clearly in need of medical help the very thing that would have relieved her problem?

I have no idea, but can only speculate.  This is quite a shocking and disgusting story as it stands now though, to me personally, because I have asthma and I know how it feels when you are having an attack.

By Natural Advocate | October 27, 2010 - 1:00 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

A new study makes some pretty bold claims that all cancers are caused by the modern day society we have come to know and love, and that it is all basically caused by the modern diet, as well as modern environmental presences such as chemicals, medical testing and more – basically if you are a human and you live in a modern society that is surrounded by all the amenities, you are at a risk for cancer basically.

The reason this theory abounds is because they say that ancient mummified remains show an extreme rareness in cancer, and that is because society back then was not inundated by the same environmental and diet factors as we are today.  The study makes the controversial claim because they truly believe that cancer was virtually nonexistent before modern day time periods with pollution and poor diet choices.

However, there are also some good arguments against this theory, which suggest that yes, there is definitely an environmental factor to higher rates of cancer now, but there are also suggestions that cancer did exist thousands of years ago, it’s just extremely hard to detect because the remains are so old. Not only that, but to detect cancers in mummies this old, the cancer would have arguably have to had affected the bone, and if it didn’t, then there’s no way for us to tell if the remains were affected by cancer.

Not only that, another compelling argument, which I happened to think of my self as I was reading it, is that the life expectancy was much, much shorter back then. Today, we rarely see cancers in younger people, it is primarily a disease that takes time to build up and grow, and that may be why it was incredibly rare back then as well. As we age, our DNA and our cells are more easily damaged, and this may explain why we develop cancer so much easier as we get older.

By Natural Advocate | October 25, 2010 - 8:43 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

No matter how generally happy we are, we all have periods of time where we just aren’t feeling quite ourselves, where we need a little nudge in the right direction to brighter moods and better outlooks, and just generally more stabilized emotions.  This is true especially for women (I’m not knocking women, believe me, I am a woman).

Women tend to experience more emotional ups and downs than men simply because that is how we are physiologically built. We have a lot more hormonal fluctuations due to things like pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause, and that can definitely be damaging to our mood at times.

Not that men don’t experience depression and moodiness too – they certainly do, and who knows, that may be just as hormonally related (or many times guys just get cranky when their blood sugar is out of whack and they need to eat something) as women’s are.  At any rate, there are always times we could use a boost to our mood, and more and  more people are turning to natural antidepressants and mood enhancing supplements with St. John’s Wort.

While St. John’s Wort can have interactions with drugs and should not be taken with certain foods like caffeine, asthma medications and several other types of foods and stimulants, as well as drugs, it has proven to be a very useful remedy to ward off depression for women and men alike.  St. John’s Wort, while it is not known by exactly what mechanism it helps to boost one’s mood, is thought to work by helping the body to maintain serotonin levels, although this is not conclusive.

One study done overseas even cites the fact that St. John’s Wort seemed to work on patients with mild depression as well as, or better than, traditional medications for depression.  This is pretty compelling for a supplement that you can buy for cents a day when you think about it.  The dosages are a little fuzzy too. Some say you only need 300 mg. a day, while the bottle recommends you take 300 mg. 3 times a day.

I always recommend that you start small, and go up if you are not feeling better. For me personally, more than one St. John’s wort a day made me get dry mouth and a headache, and I found that just taking one pill in the morning – WITH BREAKFAST since it can upset your stomach if not taken with food and drink – worked well for me to calm my moods and make me feel generally more upbeat and positive.

I felt more “light” like you’re supposed to feel in life instead of that heavy, tired, depressed feeling that haunts your moods once in a while.  If you are thinking about taking an herbal depression treatment, then you may really want to consider trying St. John’s Wort out. It may not be for everybody, but it certainly is worth a try if you’re experiencing mild depression once in a while.

It’s important to look up any potential side effects of drug interactions with St. John’s Wort before you buy, so that you can gauge whether it’s a good fit for you and your lifestyle first.  This can be a powerful herbal mood enhancer, but it can had certain contraindications which must be researched first – actually, just as with most other potent herbal remedies.

By Natural Advocate | October 22, 2010 - 3:49 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

Depression and anxiety are more rampant than one may expect. It’s unclear exactly how much this rate has changed in the past few decades, because rates of depression on US citizens was not always tracked so well, but right now, about ten percent of the population is said to be depressed. That is quite a large figure when you consider how large our population is, and when you also consider that this number is not inflated.

The medical options for antidepressants are intimidating, especially since most people have to try several before they find one that works for them and actually makes them feel better, and that is exactly why milder, less habit forming herbal depression treatments are so popular now.

If anything, it’s not as large as it should be since it most likely is not the greatest or most reliable measure, and relies on people to be honest in their responses to questions. People aren’t always willing to admit they’re having problems with depression. They’re often afraid that they’ll be seen as a sad person, or one of those hopeless mopey people if they admit to it.

Depression is still by and large viewed as something to be ashamed of and to try to hide.  But that really just makes depression worse, which is why talking about it with a therapist is all that much more important. Thankfully there are also some great natural remedies that help relieve both depression and anxiety as well, so those are worth looking in to.

Depression is wide spread across the US, but there are some states who have been hit with it worse than others. Mississippi, for example, is actually the worst hit with about 14% of it’s citizens reporting symptoms of depression. And again, that’s just the ones reporting it, so in reality this number is probably much higher. Some of the other states with higher depression rates are West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Louisiana.  Interestingly, these are all southern states.

I found that really interesting because one of the factors associated with depression is lack of sunshine and light, and you’d think that southerners would have plenty of sunshine and light therapy, so there is clearly some other factor at work here making the depression rates in these areas worse than others.  Perhaps it has to do with economic factors and jobless rates as well.

Or it could have to do with the typical southern diet which is high in fat and low on veggies and vitamins and minerals. Of course, this is generalizing, but that is what the southern diet is known for.  There are so many factors behind depression and anxiety that it’s hard to pinpoint one single factor.

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