Depression, Mental Health, and the Ongoing BattleĀ 

Alternative therapies are paving the way for a future for people battling crippling depression and you can sign up for the clinical trials

Depression is a word used lightly, but to those who suffer from it, it is the heaviest thing in the world. Depression is a serious medical illness, but the worst thing about this illness is that it is invisible, and nobody is safe from its grip. Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know what battle someone might be fighting on the inside. As an outsider, there might not be any way to tell that someone is suffering from depression, but it is very real and it has no mercy.


There are several different symptoms of depression, and they can vary in both severity and types; some of these symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • feeling sad
  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy
  • changes in appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • thoughts of death or suicide

All of these symptoms can severely affect how a person can function, making their home or work life extremely hard. Simple day to day tasks can be grueling and daunting to someone who is suffering from this invisible illness. Depression is a mental illness, but it can manifest physical symptoms. A person struck with depression can often suffer from headaches, back pain, and even gastrointestinal problems. These symptoms, on top of all of the emotional and mental symptoms, can truly cripple a person.

Who suffers from depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health has reported that approximately 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one episode of depression in 2015. This number equates to about 6.7% of the United States population. While nobody is really safe from depression, it tends to appear most in the 18 to 25 age demographic, and it is higher among females compared to males. In South Africa, it has been reported that one in 16 people are currently experiencing depression. Broken down even further, 6.2% of South Africans between the ages of 16 to 85 have suffered from a depressive disorder.


Often linked with depression is anxiety. Anxiety can come from several different factors, such as genetics or just somebody’s environment; additional causes of anxiety can range from brain chemistry, life events, personality traits, and stress. There are many types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and so on. These anxiety disorders can also be extremely crippling to a person and their day to day life. For example, someone suffering from agoraphobia might be stuck at home because the thought of stepping outside cripples them to a point of no return. A person suffering from separation anxiety might not be able to be away from a specific person that might act as their security blanket. A person with a generalized anxiety disorder might start sweating or feel shortness of breath in certain situations that other people might not even think twice about. Just as depression, anxiety is an invisible illness that people can often conceal very well while in the presence of others.


Thankfully, there are many steps that a person can take to help their anxiety level. If anxiety is extremely severe, it is best to consult a doctor and perhaps start some form of treatment. However, there are little steps that someone can also take that can be a tremendous help.

If you’re feeling anxious, take time out to meditate

Focus on five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can smell, and so on. This technique can put your body and mind into a more relaxing state. Be sure to limit alcohol and caffeine, as they are both big triggers of anxiety.

According to this article eating well-balanced meals and getting enough sleep is also key. Feed your body with good nourishing foods rather than junk and processed items can do a world of wonder. After all, it is said that you are what you eat. Exercising is also great for anyone who is suffering from anxiety, and even depression; the endorphins that your body releases when it’s in motion are feel-good chemicals. You will also feel good knowing that you are taking care of yourself.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Depression and anxiety are very real, even though they can not be seen by the human eye. There are many different ways to treat these illnesses, and turning to a professional is never something a person should be ashamed about.

Doctors know these illnesses are real, and those who suffer truly suffer deeply. It is possible to live a happy, healthy and normal life while living with depression and anxiety; do not let it win.

Mental Health is just as important as physical health, depression has no boundaries

Common Misunderstandings About Depression

Depression is a highly prevalent condition across the world, a mental health condition that is mainly characterized by a few key symptoms that manifest in most, but not all, patients. The predominant symptoms are somewhat self-explanatory from the name, the net underlying symptom for patients suffering from depression is a generally depressed or otherwise hampered mood. This can take many forms depending on the case and the person and their daily life, but largely this comes in the form of either phasic periods of depression offset by upswings in mood, or it can just be a general low hum of depressed mood throughout one’s day, and to some degree, life.

Life After Depression

Symptoms of depression

The more specific symptoms of depression are very dependent on the person, but they come in a few broad categories. The first being appetite, patients dealing with depression may experience either a reduced or increased appetite, or, they may alternate between these two extremes. There are also other accompanying symptoms that go along with these depressed moods like anhedonia. This is a state in which one doesn’t really derive the same pleasure from life events and activities that they once did, furthering the depressed mood and causing something of a feedback loop that continues to bring the patient down. Other symptoms include withdrawing from social circles, increased or decreased levels of sleep and feelings of fatigue and exhaustion throughout the day, and general emotional reactivity.

The prevalence and absence of these symptoms do not mean a patient does or does not have depression, as it can truly manifest in a variety of ways depending on far too many factors to list here.

What causes depression

The underlying mechanism behind what causes depression isn’t fully understood yet, as with anything dealing with the brain and its functioning there is a ton of wiggle room and space for confusion based on the individual variance between humans. The general cause, biologically, as we understand it is related to the function of serotonin in the brain and arises when there is a relative dearth of serotonin found in the brain. This could also manifest as a reduced ability of the brain to respond to serotonin, not just a reduction in the overall levels of the neurotransmitter in the body. There is some evidence that indicates depression is accompanied by a reduction in the mass of specific areas of the brain, with that mass returning when the depression is treated and the patient reports fewer symptoms, however, a causative relationship is difficult to pin down in that case.

Depression is a mental illness

Moving away from the biology aspect, depression is chiefly a mental illness, one that inhabits the mind and is caused in large part by life events. Abuse early in life, neglect, social rejection, loss of a loved one, difficult times in one’s life, these can all be causes of depression and neither is more or less valid than each other as an inciting event. There is of course sadness that follows sad times, or the loss of a loved one, however, it is when these feelings spiral beyond grief at the loss, or a general sense of struggle and begin to infect daily life and taint one’s thoughts that depression occurs.

Treatment options

In terms of treatment, depression is dealt with in a couple of key ways, therapy, and medications. The medication primarily used to treat depression is a class of drugs called SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In layman’s terms, this means that the drugs work to increase the serotonin available in the brain without actually increasing its production, hopefully helping the brain receive appropriate signaling from the chemistry at work inside, these pills take some time to work and are definitely not without negative side effects. When dealing with neurochemistry, there is a fairly large margin of error, with side effects ranging from weight gain to weight loss, to actually worsening depression.

Seek a mental health professional

One must always be in close contact with a medical professional when starting or changing to a new medication regimen to treat depression. Therapy is the other side of this treatment, with cognitive-behavioral therapy being the most frequently utilized and common style. Essentially, the goal is to help overcome the internal monologue associated with depression and anxiety, taking the harmful self-thoughts and with the aid of the therapist, making them stop. These treatments aren’t comprehensive, and there remains a great deal to learn about this condition and how to best overcome it, but the most important note is: Depression is serious, and your feelings are valid and important if you feel that you or a loved one are suffering from depression take the time needed to help with that, mental health is as important as physical health.

New Science to Counter Age Old Problem of Premature Ejaculation

What is premature ejacuation?

Premature ejaculation is one of the many sexual-related conditions that can either impair or diminish the quality of a person’s sexual life, either for a specific period of time or in a permanent fashion. Compared to other similar complications, premature ejaculation is not as severe, as it doesn’t completely ruin a person’s sexual experience. It can be very unsettling, specially if the person becomes too self-aware because of it and develop psychological insecurities. In that case it can lead to erectile dysfunction, which then in many cases completely ruin a person’s sexual life. Or it can make someone completely avoid having sexual relationships, trying to avoid the embarrassment resulting from it.

Since there are many personal and subjective reasons for someone to think that their ejaculation is happening too fast, the International Society for Sexual Medicine standardizes the condition as when someone ejaculates on the first minute after penetration. For reference, information is available that says about three-quarters of men ejaculate within two minutes of penetration in over half of their sexual encounters, and the more general categorization says that the typical process of ejaculation takes between 4 to 8 minutes. Of course ultimately the partner or partners of each person is supposed to communicate if they feel that ejaculation is happening too quick, and anyone who experiences this can and should be looking into ways to deal with their situation, since mutual pleasure is essential to any healthy sexual relationship. But what that standard serves for is to diagnose when a medical intervention would be necessary. Still, that diagnosis can only properly happen after dialogue with the patient, and a specific analysis of their particular case.

With that many variations of cases, it is very hard for doctors or health professionals to establish a cause for premature ejaculation

There seems to be a strong correlation between excessive masturbation and complications with sexual sensations in general, including in some cases premature ejaculation. Psychological reasons can come from all sides, and can only be useful in individual, case by case, appliances. The most radical, and somewhat rare cases, may be an indication that a person has prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate gland which requires medical intervention for many other reasons, beyond the symptomatic effect on ejaculation.

In some cases, people are able to perform self-treatment, and just ‘re-educate’ their psychological processes during sexual intercourse, since naturally the mental processes are as responsible for those processes as the physical ones. Although some people report managing to delay their ejaculation, this type of procedure tends to make the sexual act feel unnatural or disrupted, and so they are not recommended as truly capable of improving the quality of sex life someone would be seeking.

Usually, for those who want to cure themselves, the method with a higher success rate and that feels more natural is to explore the physical sensations, along with the partner, and try to find the sensations, rhythms, touches and ways of having sex that make the most sense for each person.

For those who are not able to sort their situation in these manners, there are treatments, some of them quite easy and without dangers, and, even better, with a very high success rate

Out of those, the one that has the most striking record of improving people’s sexual performance, even if they do not feel they ejaculate too fast, is the set known as Kegel exercises. Those consist on movement that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor by doing repetitive movements with their genital apparatus and related regions, in order to work the muscles the same one would do with their arms and legs. Another techniques that are mentioned as having helped people looking to deal with premature ejaculation are called Master and Johnson’s “stop-start technique”, which consists in creating very short but constant intervals that make the sensitive responses more controlled, and the “squeeze technique” one, which consists in squeezing one’s penis in a moderately aggressive way until the arousal is reduced.

Drugs can also have a similar effect, such as the substances known as paroxetine, dapoxetine or clomipramine. They are able to increase the time one takes to ejaculate even 10 times more than before the treatment started. Those are intense substances and can bring about many undesired effects, and should be considered a last case scenario.