Depression is a serious medical condition that can range from mild to severe and is associated with feelings of melancholy, loss of pleasure, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts. It is both a brain disorder and a state of mind. How though, can you tell if you’re just feeling sad, or if it’s something more? Depression is more than sad feelings once in a while. It’s when feeling “down” doesn’t go away after a few days, likely interfering with daily activities and interpersonal relationships. It can last weeks, months, or even years. Other signs and symptoms include aches and pains, headaches, cramps, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping. More than 19 million people experience depression each year, with the majority being women. Women and depression seem to go hand in hand since women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. Why is this? Consider the following contributing factors. women and depression
There are psychological, genetic, social, and hormonal factors that can all play a part in depression in women. Women experience many hormonal changes throughout their lifetime which can effect mood (see previous post on “Women & Mental Health”). The many roles women take on can also contribute to an imbalance between the mind and body, causing increased stress levels, which may lead to depression if left unchecked.
Hormonal imbalance is usually associated with pregnancy and menopause, but can also be caused by toxins in the body. The foods we eat, the toxins we absorb, and overall stress levels affect body toxicity and hormone balance. Mental and physical health is affected by these toxins. Talking to your doctor or health care provider can rule out other factors, such as medications and medical conditions, like viruses and thyroid issues, that can cause the same symptoms as depression.
Social factors such as work related stress, family responsibilities, societal expectations, and increased rates of sexual abuse and poverty may also contribute to depression in women. Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, financial struggles, and marital issues are other factors affecting emotional well-being. In the previous post it was mentioned that women are more likely to rehash events in their minds and discuss concerns with others, whereas men are less likely to openly talk about their problems as much. Revisiting negative emotions too often can be harmful due to excessive stress hormones being released. A build up of these hormones can become toxic to the body, both physically and psychologically.
Types of Depression
Women can experience different types of depression in relation to their individual circumstances. Major depression is a severe type of depression where a woman may experience difficulty enjoying things she used to, trouble performing daily tasks, and may have issues with engaging in normal social relationships. It may be accompanied with low self-esteem.
Postpartum depression (PPD) otherwise known as the “baby blues” is typically experienced after pregnancy. Due to a change in hormones and changing responsibilities, a woman may experience postpartum depression.
Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a milder form of depression that extends for a longer period of time, usually lasting a couple years. It can cause difficulty functioning at home and with women being at higher risk for developing it. Brain chemicals like serotonin may be part of the cause as well persistent life stress.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a type of depression around the time of a woman’s menstrual cycle. A woman may experience severe mood swings, anxiety, and negative thoughts, which usually takes place a week before menstruation. women and depression
Healthy family relationships and a strong support system through friends and community is of vital importance in prevention. Even women who are prone to depression can find increased resilience and positive coping skills with the proper amount of support and resources.
Eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise is an absolute must. Taking a 20 minute walk outside can greatly help to improve mood. Please contact us if you are interested in support with lifestyle and diet changes for a free initial consultation with our Holistic Health Coach!
When offering emotional support to someone, it is important to not dismiss their feelings. Instead, show understanding and patience, and encourage them to seek the necessary help, reminding them that with time and treatment they can feel better!
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression and would like professional support, please contact us for a free initial consultation today to begin your journey to healing with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!
About Makin Wellness :
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling.
women and depression
An important part of pursuing and achieving wholeness and well-being is being in tune with your physical health, and chiropractic care is one way that many people use to seek physical healing. According to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the body’s own restorative powers without the use of drugs or surgery.chiropractic care
It is common for people to turn to chiropractic care when experiencing neck and back pain, but many people are beginning to see this type of treatment as preventative instead of solely corrective. Going to see of Doctor of Chiropractic, particularly in the absence of pain, can help you stay more informed in the state that your body is in and find issues earlier than if you wait for symptoms of pain. chiropractic care
There are many advantages to chiropractic care in addition to reduced back pain that you may not be aware of, such as improvements in digestion, blood pressure, energy, posture, and the functioning of your immune system. Other conditions that sometimes improve in response to chiropractic care include acid reflux, anxiety and depression, attention disorders, insomnia, stress, and restless leg syndrome.
What to Expect
Your first clinical exam, which may be preceded by an interview, will likely cover many of the same aspects as a general physical, such as your and your family’s medical history, and your pulse, blood pressure, and reflexes (Spine Health, 2013). Then, the doctor will assess your reflexes, range of motions, and muscles, as well as other tests specifically related to your concerns.
412 Performance Chiropractic
412 PC offers a variety of treatments, including Active Release Technique (ART), massage therapy, nutritional and enzyme therapy, and mechanical traction, which are all explained on their website. Their welcoming demeanor and holistic approach have led to physical and emotional improvements in their clients as they focus their efforts on helping you regain your health, prevent future issues, and improve your quality of life.
About Makin Wellness :
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown, Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .
There are various sources of stress whether it be work related, relational issues, health concerns, or other daily worries. Things like exercise and time outside are encouraged as a way to positively affect our mood and reduce stress. When it comes to our eating habits, we often hear about particular foods linked to increased energy levels and improved physical health. What about mental health though? What does our mood have to do with our food? Surely, it’s unlikely to hear someone say, “My food is really stressing me out.” But it turns out, the old saying “you are what you eat” is ringing true in more ways than one. Consider further evidence of the link between food and its affects on mental health. Mindful eating
An expecting mother will carefully choose what she eats to ensure her developing baby is getting needed nutrients and “brain food” for the brain of her developing fetus. According to nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, “Antioxidants protect the baby’s brain tissue from damage” (S. Kuzemchak, 2018). Dark leafy greens, blueberries, and other dark colored fruits and vegetables provide the most antioxidants. Like a developing fetus, our brains need antioxidants for protection from free radicals – waste produced when the body uses oxygen, which can cause damage to the cells. Eating nutrient rich foods containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain, while protecting it from damaging free radicals, or oxidative damage. Poor nutrition is taxing to the immune system putting one at risk for free radical damage, premature aging, among other health risks.Mindful eating
Think of when you let a cut up apple sit out. It becomes brown from oxidation. That is exactly what we don’t want to happen to our brains. Just as we fuel our vehicles to keep them properly running, we want to fuel our brains. Choosing high quality fuel will produce the best results. Speaking of apples and brains, eating “an apple a day” may actually help “keep the doctor away” since it contains powerful and beneficial antioxidants. A study at Cornell found apples to protect brain cells against oxidative stress, since they contain high levels of quercetin (G, Stemilt. 2016). It is recommended to eat the entire apple, including the skin, to reap all of the benefits. So why not try out the old saying and give your brain a boost by eating an apple a day!Mindful eating
In seeing the positive effects healthy eating has on our brains, naturally we have to question “how does food actually affect our mood?” Often times we are looking for a quick fix in this fast paced world when it comes to meal time. With fast food restaurants being readily available, it has become even easier to grab something to eat without really considering nutritional benefits. Our enteric nervous system (ENS) which directly controls our gastrointestinal system is said to be our “second brain,” with 95% of serotonin being produced in the intestinal tract. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain (E, Selhub, 2018). Since our GI tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, it makes sense that our digestive system guides our emotions. Researchers believe that serotonin (also called “the happiness hormone”) imbalance influences mood which may influence anxiety and depression. Production of neurotransmitters like serotonin is highly influenced by the good bacteria in our gut. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in this regard.
Finding ways to balance serotonin and other neurotransmitters like dopamine and oxytocin, is key to maintaining wellness and improving mental health. One essential way is to be mindful of what foods we’re eating since it directly effects the health of our GI tract, which is so closely linked to our emotions. The process our body goes through when breaking down foods and using them for fuel is a very extensive one. Thus, eating high quality foods is vital to getting the best quality of fuel for our bodies. Below are some tips to boost serotonin, which in turn reduces stress and improves overall well-being.Mindful eating
Tips for improving serotonin levels to improve mental health:Mindful eating
• Take good quality probiotics – Probiotics are the good bacteria found in the gut, which can increase serotonin levels. Dr. David Williams explains the benefits of probiotics and the connection between gut health and mental health at drdavidwilliams.com. He is known as a pioneer in the field of probiotics.
• Exercise – Exercise is known for releasing endorphins, but did you know taking a walk or exercising for just 20 minutes can boost serotonin levels? A little fresh air and sunlight can do wonders.
• Practice Mindfulness – taking time to be present prevents anxious thoughts, allowing one to enjoy the moment and make more meaningful connections with others. This includes being mindful of what we’re eating, thinking, and saying.
• Positive affirmations – We are what we think. Positive thinking improves our overall state of mind, promoting harmony between the mind and body. “I am” statements gives greater opportunity for positive outcomes through a more positive outlook and approach.
• Eat nutrient dense foods – Healthier (mindful) eating habits provides benefits to the brain, which effects our mood and mental health. High quality foods will give you a higher quality of life, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Remember, don’t drink your calories with thinks like soda or other drinks with high sugar content.
• Eliminate or reduce sugar intake – Too much sugar is taxing to the body. Try replacing sugary snacks with healthier options like fresh fruit or trail mix.
• Get a massage – Massage is a perfect way to remove toxins, promote restful sleep, and relieve stress. Essential oils like lavender can be used to aid in relaxation during massage, which has also been shown to increase serotonin levels. Treat yourself to a little relaxation. It just might do you a lot of good!
• Get enough rest – Adequate sleep helps reduce stress and produce serotonin, which improves mood and helps control appetite (healthy eating + restful sleep = improved serotonin levels and improved mental health!)
Practicing these tips can help bring your mind and body into greater balance, improving mental health and overall wellness. If you would like additional support please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists & coaches!
About Makin Wellness :
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, relationship counseling & more . mindful eating
Everyday demands of life present various sources of stress. These include issues related to work-life balance, worries about money, health, family, and media overload. Stress is the bodies natural response to a potential threat or demand, causing a release of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. In emergency situations, the stress response can save your life by heightening concentration and keeping you on your toes. Thus, stress can be beneficial to some degree, helping with motivation and productivity. Beyond a certain level though, stress can be damaging to the body. If it is left uncontrolled, it can lead to chronic affects on your health. The key then, is to find healthy ways to manage stress.stress management Pittsburgh
Chronic stress has been shown to have negative affects on both physical and mental health. It can affect mood, decision making skills, energy level, among other issues. In turn, this can interfere with productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life. Stress Management Pittsburgh
Here are some physical and mental symptoms of stress:Stress Management Pittsburgh
⦁ Digestive issues/weakened immune system
⦁ Lack of motivation or focus
⦁ Obsessiveness and worry
⦁ Forgetfulness/tiredness/sleep problems Stress Management Pittsburgh
The way we respond to stress is like a habit. The more often we activate our emergency stress system, the easier it is to trigger it. Consider a study on the affects of chronic stress on the brain performed at UC Berkelely. It was discovered that people with chronic stress had more white matter in some areas of the brain. This white matter is called white because of a “white, fatty sheath of myelin coating that insulates nerves and accelerates transmission of signals between cells” (Maldonado, M. 2014). According to PsychCentral.com, chronic stress causes more myelin-producing cells and fewer neurons. This disrupts the balance in the brain, causing communication in the brain cells to lose its normal timing, which could lead to problems. Thus, it is essential to recognize triggers of stress and ways to manage it. Please see effective techniques below for stress management.
Tips to manage stress effectively:
In conclusion, stress management is vital in keeping the mind and body in balance. Early intervention can be monumental to prevent the development of mental health concerns. You can download our free Stress Busting Protocol today here ! Stress Management Pittsburgh
If you are struggling with stress, please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!
About Makin Wellness :
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . MStress Management Pittsburgh
So I have tried so many different types of protein powders. Whey, soy, weight gainers, egg protein … you name it. However, I never tried a protein that was vegan before, so when I learned about Arbonne’s protein being derived from peas, rice and cranberries I was skeptical to say the least. My initial thought was that this is going to taste like cardboard. I was definitely proven wrong.
Before I did this review , I personally completely stopped having protein powder after my workouts because of how toxic some of the ingredients are in there. I now resort to natural sources of protein, such as chicken breast, almonds and beans because I was not able to find a high quality natural protein powder. The first thing I checked out was the ingredient list ; it’s short and contains organic or non-gmo ingredients. I also appreciated how stevia leaf was used, rather than a splenda or aspartame (both of which are not good for your physical and mental health). However, I did notice how there is a lot of sugar in these…. about 9 grams per serving , which is slightly less than a green apple . They also contain maltodextrin , which is used as a thickening agent. Their other ingredients such as xanthan gum , guar gum and gum acacia can bother those with a sensitive GI tract. It personally did not bother my stomach and when I asked Arbonne about this , they shared that , according to their development team , there is a minimal amount of gum and is not enough to cause harm.
According to Arbonne, some key ingredients and benefits are:
When I first opened the package, I was surprised at how delicious this smelled. It has a strong sweet chocolate scent. It smells like a dessert , not a protein mix. I mixed 2 scoops with 9 ounces of cold water. The instructions say to “shake vigorously” ; I interpret this as “break out the blender”.
Upon tasting it, I noticed there initially is extremely minimal salt flavor, followed by a rich decadent cocoa. The biggest note I tasted was the chocolate. It tasted very similar to a hot chocolate … but cold. I’m sure if this was blended with hot water it would be a great post workout treat. The texture was pretty smooth overall, but I did notice some slight grittiness in the protein. If you added additional water or blended it longer that could help smooth out the texture . The shake was just the right about of sweetness. If you have a sweet tooth , freeze and blend ½ of a ripe banana with the protein. That will transform this into a “milkshake”.
I am not a vanilla protein person by any means. Most vanilla protein I’ve tried tastes artificial to me. This one has a pretty decent flavor compared to the other ones I have had before. The smell isn’t as powerful as the chocolate, and the consistency is much smoother and less gritty as well. I ended up adding 1 tsp of raw hemp seeds, 2 tsps of organic peanut butter and cinnamon. This makes the shake tastes much more like peanut butter rather than vanilla. This is great option for those , like myself, who love PB protein but dislike how many additional chemicals are added for that flavor. I was once told to never get peanut butter flavored protein because a lot of additives are added in order to get that taste without adding fat.
They were not kidding when they said that this is easily digestible. It did not bother my stomach at all . I also noticed that I had more energy after I drank this , probably due to the ginseng root powder that’s in the blend.
The final verdict:
Depends on your lifestyle
I personally like it! I appreciate how much energy I had after drinking this and how clean the majority of the ingredients are. Many protein powders have a ton of ingredients and lots of chemicals in them, so it was great trying a more natural protein powder that did not. I liked how rich the chocolate was and how easily transformable the vanilla protein was.
If you are a very clean eater and want to avoid the sugar and gums in this , try out the Daily Essential Daily Protein Boost. Overall, you are definitely getting a much higher quality protein and even though it costs more than most protein powders, I think the price is justified. If you would like to try this out for yourself, click here.
What wellness product are do you want us to try out next? Leave your response in the comments below and be sure to share this post with your friends !
FTC : Pittsburgh Fresh sent us the meals. We do not get commission from the discount and they did not pay us for this review.
Nutrition is one of the things I’m constantly blogging or talking about it. It is so important to not only you body, but mental health as well. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to mood swings and disease which are both things that we do not want. Many times when we make the commitment of eating healthier or losing weight we can easily get sucked back into our unhealthy habits because of the following:
The good news is that a meal prep company can help you out with that . Pittsburgh Fresh is a chef created meal delivery service that creates delicious and healthy meals. They even label each meal with their macros. We placed our order and it was delivered about 4 days later. You can either have it delivered to your home for six bucks or pick it up from a variety of locations across Pittsburgh.
We ordered a couple different meals including:
Let’s get right to the review:
Creamy sundried tomato chicken with pasta & mustard greens
Overall, we enjoyed our meals. Our absolute favorite was the vegan burger. It had so much flavor and the quinoa was delectable. We were both surprised at how good it tasted! Our second favorite was chicken was the sundried tomato chicken and mustard greens. We will definitely be ordering again. We also wanted to thank Pittsburgh Fresh for sending us the meals and offering our community a discount !