World Health Organization defines depression as:

Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, a tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850,000 lives every year.

Depression is reported as the leading cause of disability and the 4th leading contributor to the global burden of disease . According to the World Health Organization, by the year 2020, depression is projected to reach 2nd place as the global burden of diseases, for all ages and both sexes.

It is reported that depression occurs in persons of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. It currently affects about 121 million people worldwide. It is among the leading causes of disability worldwide. Fewer than 25 % of those affected have access to effective treatments.

It is also reported treament generally consists of anti-depressant drugs and clinical therapy. I am not fond of the World Health Organization. In my opinion they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I am also not fond of the prescription drug treatments . They do nothing to cure depression. The longer they are consumed, the worse ones situation will become. The side effects speak for themselves. Depression is easily cured with hope. We are creative beings and need to spread our wings. We are unable to do so because society is structured to keep us in line. We will explore this more in future posts.

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined as a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. The symptoms may be mild or severe. They may last for a few months, a few years, or a life time.

It is suggested that getting treatment as soon as possible after post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms are grouped in three types:

• Intrusive memories; “Flashbacks, or reliving the traumatic event. Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event”

• Avoidance and numbing; “Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event. Feeling emotionally numb. Avoiding activities you once enjoyed. Hopelessness about the future. Memory problems. Trouble concentrating. Difficulty maintaining close relationships.”

• Increased anxiety or emotional arousal; “Irritability or anger. Overwhelming guilt or shame. Self-destructive behavior. Trouble sleeping. Being easily startled or frightened. Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there.

According to research and medical journals, It’s normal to have a wide range of feelings and emotions after a traumatic event. The symptoms listed above are common. It is recommended however, if lasting more than a month, to seek professional help from a qualified medical practitioner, especially if suicidal thoughts are present.

PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of issues including inherited mental health risks, life experiences, temperament, brain regulated chemicals and hormones. It can affect all races, ages, and genders.

In addition, PTSD may increase the risk of certain medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease, and musculoskeletal conditions.

Though PTSD is best known to affect war time vets, it can also result from abuse, neglect, long term untreated depression, genetics, violent crime, and a host of traumatic experiences. Also included on this list; fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, assault, civil conflict, car accident, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack and other extreme or life-threatening events.

Considering the statistics for both depression and PTSD, it would appear we have a global epidemic on our hands. We have not even discussed Bi-Polar. If only 25% of sufferers have access to effective treatment, what are the rest of the 75% doing to relieve themselves of such suffering? On the other hand, it has been reported large amounts of these anti-depressant drugs are found in our public water supplies. The long term effects of these drugs is in question by many concerned. Is it possible the effects of the drugs may be worse than the condition itself?

What is rarely reported except by alternative media sources, is the affects of heavy metals, flourides, and other poisons and cantaminants on the human body. These toxins are being disbursed at an alarming rate into our air, water, and food supply chain. Is it possible these poisons could be affecting our ability to think clearly, causing emotional instability? And what about the effects on our physical health? With statistics such as these, we must start considering the ramifications to our physical, emotional, and mental well being. The human race is at risk. This is a fact and can not continue to be ignored if we wish to regain our health and well-being.

Next: “Stress 101: Oxidative Stress”