Posts tagged with "depression"

CBD: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs?

In the modern world, our first approach to treating an illness is to find the most suitable pharmaceutical drug, which we typically get either over-the-counter or on prescription. However, while these medicines are normally effective, they can unlock a whole new box of issues, including dependency and side effects.

Becoming reliant on medication can be mentally unsettling, and nasty side effects like nausea and dizziness typically require further treatment, leaving patients on a cocktail of pharmaceutical-grade drugs before they know it.

In the case of opioid painkillers, dependency may even be life-threatening, with the risk of overdose frighteningly high. In 2016, abuse of prescription opioid painkillers and recreational opiates accounted for more than 40,000 US lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This cycle of illness, drugs, side effects and more drugs is wearing thin with many, and combined with the new wave of medical cannabis science, a clear divide has formed between those who favor prescription drugs, and those who’d rather take natural, plant-based medicines.

From a historical perspective, medicinal cannabis use makes perfect sense, with the herb being used for millennia across the world, but particularly in Africa and Asia.

Technological advancements have greatly developed our knowledge of cannabis, and scientists now know which compounds are responsible for various effects. For example, the psychoactive “high” mostly comes from a therapeutic cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, numerous other cannabinoids have medicinal properties, sans the hallucinogenic effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most studied and seemingly most useful non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and the market for CBD products has exploded in the 2010s, thanks in part to the relaxation of laws surrounding non-psychoactive hemp.

CBD over opioids
Opioid-based painkillers like Tramadol are now regularly prescribed for chronic pain, with stronger synthetic drugs such as fentanyl available on prescription for the most extreme discomfort. These drugs are designed to interact with opioid receptors in the opioid system. The pain relief from these drugs is substantial, however sustained use leads to increased tolerance, stronger doses and addiction.

However, CBD may be helpful for chronic patients, and also those who have ended up dependent on opioids, as the cannabinoid seems to exhibit anti-addiction properties by interfering with pleasure-reward mechanisms.

By elevating concentrations of anandamide in the body, CBD is promoting a neurotransmitter that works to ease both physical and mental pain. How CBD tackles addiction is less clear, but some evidence indicates that CBD is active in the opioid system.

Not all pain is the same – for example, some chronic pain is persistent and always at a similar intensity, whereas the worst effects of inflammatory and neuropathic pain tend to come from flare-ups.

For internal neuropathic pain, CBD vape oil and e-liquid treatment is ideal, because the relief comes very quickly. Meanwhile, lingering pain is economically and perhaps more efficiently managed by orally-consumed CBD products (e.g. capsules, edibles, coffee).

Experimenting with gels, creams and balms infused with cannabis or CBD is a novel method of coping with localized pain. These ensure that the cannabinoid receptors in the affected area are directly activated.

CBD: the new anti-inflammatory drug?
Immune system response is still not well that understood, and this has made it difficult to control. Researchers have struggled to find ways of influencing inflammation, but studies into the endocannabinoid system have found that immune system response is accessible via cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids look to signal a stoppage in inflammation, after a wound has fully healed or an infection is neutralized.

This discovery may be crucial, as the current leading class of anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) are known to cause concerning side effects, including stomach ulcers.

The best CBD product for inflammation depends, unsurprisingly on the type of inflammation. Internal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which could be exacerbated by endocannabinoid deficiency, respond well to both CBD vape juice and CBD edibles, or even tincture oils.

For osteoarthritis, a form of inflammation which affects the joints, CBD creams and other topicals are likely to produce better results.

CBD’s promise as an antidepressant
Cannabinoid research is providing genuine hope for antidepressant researchers, after decades of stagnation in medication development. The current situation with depression medicine is far from ideal, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) slow to show benefits – for up to 40 percent of patients, these drugs may not even work at all. And then there are the side effects to contend with, which range from drowsiness to impotence. Depersonalization and derealization have also been anecdotally reported with SSRIs.

However, a glut of promising studies on CBD and the brain have found that the ECS could be important in correcting off-balance brain chemistry. The CB1 receptor modulates many variables, mood being one, and the bond between anandamide and this receptor is important for good mental wellbeing. Factors outside of the ECS also affect mood, but the potency of anandamide as an antidepressant makes the link with the CB1 receptor an essential one.

Some of the most exciting research on cannabinoids has been on their neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties. Studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and cannabinoid treatments, which are associated with depression, have demonstrated that CBD is able to repair these regions of the brain, by restoring neuronal circuitry and helping to form new brain cells.

A 2018 study on rats carried out in Brazil showed that CBD was effective from the first treatment and for up to seven days after the last dose at blocking synaptic proteins which damage neuronal circuitry in the prefrontal cortex. Meanwhile, CBD-initiated neurogenesis in the hippocampus helps to regrow the brains of adult rats with depression. These results have not yet been replicated in humans, but rats are used for such studies because their brains are similar to humans. General memories and our autobiographical memory are stored in the hippocampus.

The only CBD products that aren’t suitable for managing depression are topicals, as the cannabinoids remain in the skin, and do not reach the brain.

Rock Solid Research On How To Prevent Dementia

Dr. Timothy R. Jennings speaks expertly on a subject that concerns over 5.5 million people across the nation: how to prevent dementia and keep our mind sharp as we age. A psychiatrist and international speaker, Jennings introduces his new book, recently rated #1 by Amazon in books on dementia, The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind.

Dr. Jennings prescribes simple, everyday actions we can take to stave off disease, promote vitality, and prevent dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s. “The choices we make now can help us to keep our minds sharp and maintain our independence as we age,” says Jennings.

An easy-to-use guide to maintaining brain and body health throughout life, The Aging Brain is based on solid, up-to-date scientific research, and the interventions discussed can prevent progression toward dementia, even in those already showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. The recommendations also may help reduce disability and depression.

“This book isn’t just for people hoping to slow the aging process,” says Jennings. “It’s also for anyone who is a caregiver to someone at risk of or already beginning to suffer from dementia. It offers a hopeful, healthy way forward.”

Jennings, who maintains a private practice in Chattanooga, TN, has authored several books, including The God-Shaped Brain and The God-Shaped Heart. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries.

For more information about Dr. Jennings, please visit the website: https://www.agingbrainbook.com.

To connect with Dr. Jennings, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/DrTimJennings/ and https://twitter.com/timjenningsmd.

TWLOHA Announces Tour Dates

Melbourne, FL – August 6, 2018 – To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is thrilled to announce three dates of “An Evening With To Write Love on Her Arms.” The tour will run from September 18-20, hitting Tampa, FL, Gainesville, FL, and Atlanta, GA, respectively. The evening will consist of TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski speaking, plus performances by two-time National Poetry Slam champion, Sierra DeMulder and musician JP Saxe. For more information, please click here

“After mostly speaking at colleges in recent years, I’m so excited to get back into music venues. These will be small ticketed shows, which represent something new for TWLOHA and for me. If these go well, our goal is to add more dates so that we can bring these nights of hope to folks all over,” shares Tworkowski.

Tickets for all three nights are on sale now. General admission tickets range from $13-$15, and VIP tickets are $40, which includes a pre-show Meet & Greet + Q&A. Further event details are listed below

An Evening with To Write Love on Her Arms:

TAMPA, FL

When: Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Where: The Attic // 1510 E. 8th Ave.

Time: 7:30PM (Doors @ 7PM)

Tickets: https://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms/

GAINESVILLE, FL

When: Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Where: High Dive // 210 SW 2nd Ave.

Time: 9PM (Doors @ 8PM)

Tickets: https://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms-2/

ATLANTA, GA

When: Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Where: The Masquerade (Heaven) // 50 Lower Alabama St. SW, Suite 22

Time: 8PM (Doors @ 7PM)

Tickets: https://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms-3/

To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. It exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $2.1 million directly into treatment and recovery and answered over 200,000 messages from over 100 countries.

This past September, TWLOHA wrapped its 6th annual campaign to honor National Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day. The organization was overwhelmed by the amount of love and support shown during this year’s campaign, titled, “Stay. Find what you are made for,“during which over $103.5K was raised for treatment and counseling. The campaign was shared by supporters all over the world, including NBA player Kyle Korver, US Women’s National Soccer Team stars Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and Ashlyn Harris, actress Shantel VanSanten, Switchfoot‘s Jon Foreman, Dustin Kensrue of Thrice, actress and singer Debby Ryan, The Ready Set‘s Jordan Witzrigreuter, and Jess Bowen of The Summer Set, all of whom were featured in a special video message directed by Dustin Miller, a Florida-based filmmaker and longtime TWLOHA collaborator: https://youtu.be/37cB2CQt_YA.

Kate Spade

55 year old American fashion designer Kate Spade passed away on Tuesday from an apparent suicide by hanging after she was found in her Manhattan apartment. At 10:10am, Kate’s housekeeper contacted the police. A suicide note was also found on site, naming both her daughter and husband in the letter. She had been suffering from anxiety and depression for many years and had been regularly visiting her doctor for treatment and medications.

She revolutionized the fashion industry with her iconic stylish handbag designs after she founded Kate Spade New York in 1993. Kate Spade was an absolutely must have item in the 1990’s and her brand quickly became popular as a result of the style, functionality, and sophistication of her elegantly designed bags. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy will live on for years to come.

SAPT WORKS!

October is Depression Awareness Month, and a great time to focus on ways to overcome the blues and keep depression away. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 16 million adults each year experience the most common type of depression, which is Major Depressive Disorder. The disorder is characterized by having at least five of the symptoms, in which at least one of them is an overwhelming feeling of sadness or a loss of interest and pleasure in most usual activities. The good news for those who would like to keep depression at bay or who are looking to beat the blues is that they may need look no further than consistently exercising.

“Making exercise a consistent part of your life has some amazing benefits,” explains Coach Sarah Walls, personal trainer and owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc., who is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. “Those who engage in exercise regularly feel the difference it can make in one’s life. It can impact everything from how you see yourself to how well you sleep at night. It’s that powerful.”

Before anyone cringes and says they don’t have time to fit in exercising, it’s important to know that even a little bit can go a long way. New research published in the October 2017 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry shares details from a landmark study conducted on nearly 34,000 Norwegians. What researchers found was that even small amounts of exercise can protect against depression, regardless of age or gender. They report that sedentary lifestyles are becoming the norm around the world, and depression rates are growing. What’s more, their research showed that those who don’t exercise at all have a 44% increased chance of developing depression. They found that the mental health benefits of exercise are found within the first hour of exercise each week, showing that even giving an hour per week to exercise does a world of good.

Here are 5 ways exercise helps to beat the blues:

  1. Natural chemicals. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Those endorphins are a natural opiate-like chemical that acts as a pain reliever, reduces stress, and helps people be able to sleep better.
  2. Clears the mind. Exercising is a great way to help alleviate worries and anxiety. Those who may be worrying about something or having a difficult emotional time can engage in exercise and find they feel a lot better by the time they are done with the session.
  3. New connections. According to Harvard Medical School, exercising spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. This helps to lead to improvements in brain functioning.  The exercising supports nerve cells in the hippocampus, which helps to relieve depression.
  4. Better image. Most people who engage in exercise see a difference in the mirror and in the way their clothes fit, and they like it. The changes they see can be uplifting and give them more confidence.
  5. Weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43% of adults with depression are obese, and adults who have depression are more likely to be obese. Exercising regularly helps people lose weight and be able to better maintain a healthy weight.

 “There are so many good reasons to exercise and not one good one to avoid it,” added Coach Walls. “I work with many people and I see the difference that even a little exercise per week can do for them. Get the endorphins flowing and see for yourself how great you start feeling!”

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there is a connection between breast cancer and depression. According to BreastCancer.org, those who have breast cancer may feel sad or depressed, resulting from the diagnosis, treatment, breast cancer treatments, aging, hormonal changes, or other factors. While they report that sadness is a natural part of breast cancer experience, they offer several tips for helping to address depression, including exercising.

Sarah Walls has over 15 years experience in coaching and personal training. Owner of SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc, founded in 2007, she offers coaching to develop athletes, adult programs, team training, online coaching, and more. She is also the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and has over eight years of experience working as an NCAA D1 strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com.

SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc.

Located in Fairfax, Virginia, SAPT Strength & Performance Training, Inc. is a high performance training club that specializes in helping to develop athletes of all ages. They offer athletic training programs for youth, college students, and amateurs. The company was founded in 2007 by Sarah Walls, a professional strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer with NCAA D1 experience, who is the strength and conditioning coach for the WNBA Washington Mystics team. To learn more, visit the site: www.saptstrength.com or www.sarahwalls.com.