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Beating the Blues(战胜抑郁)

(2008-05-14 00:36:16)


分类: 健康

Beating the Blues(战胜抑郁)

By Kathy White
Did you know that stress can be healthy? Too much stress, though, can lead to problems such as illness or depression. Experts find out what causes stress and depression, and ways to cope with them.

All change — good or bad — is stressful. Whether it’s harmful depends on each person’s individual personality, their genes, the support of the people around them, their environment, and how they have learnt to cope with change. Some people can tolerate more stress than others, but too much stress over a long period of time can cause anyone to become physically ill or depressed.

Managing Stress
Big changes in hormone levels cause major stress, which is why your teenage years can be scary. Not only does your body change size and shape, but your mood can swing from “top of the world” one minute to feeling sad the next.

The teenage body fights hard to stay healthy but staying up late, eating junk food, drinking alcohol and smoking can affect your body’s hormone levels, which can make you sick and unhappy.

It is possible to manage stress by looking after ourselves and seeking help when necessary. It helps to eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates ), protein and a smaller amount of fat. It also helps to avoid alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and caffeine. Another way to manage stress is to do exercise that you enjoy for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, to keep fit. Doing something relaxing also helps, such as tai-chi or yoga, and getting plenty of sleep.

You can help yourself get on top of things ) by learning problem-solving strategies that help you to work out solutions to your problems. Another way to relieve stress is to talk to your friends or family members about your worries.

Stress for survival
Everyone needs the stress response in their lives. It keeps us healthy, awake, alert and active. Without the stress of hunger we wouldn’t eat. Without the stress of pain, we wouldn’t know we were injured. Our bodies react when they experience stress, whether it is caused by an emergency or a slow buildup of many changes.

When there’s an emergency, your brain activates a relay of hormones (chemical messengers) that are released from the hypothalamus ), pituitary ) gland and adrenal ) glands. The adrenal glands produce the hormones adrenalin, noradrenalin ) and cortisol ).

Adrenalin and noradrenalin increase the amount of oxygen available to the muscles. That’s why your heart starts to pound when you’re nervous or scared. Noradrenalin regulates energy levels, helping you to get up in the morning and sleep at night. Cortisol protects the body from stress by helping it to heal afterwards.

Chemical Imbalance
The body’s natural stress response is perfect for emergencies but not for long-term stress and depression.

Constantly high levels of adrenalin can cause heart disease. High levels of cortisol can reduce the production of another important chemical called serotonin. This can cause problems with your immune system, which can mean you get more coughs and colds. Serotonin affects sleep patterns, which is why too much stress can lead to sleeping problems.

Another “happy” chemical called dopamine ) controls our ability to feel pleasure and pain. When dopamine levels are low, the body produces lower levels of endorphins ) (a natural painkiller), making the person feel like the world is a dark and unhappy place.

Treatment for Depression
When stress or depression gets out of hand, professionals can help. Doctors normally prescribe talking therapy; anti-depressants ) gradually balance the chemical levels that affect the brain and nervous system.

Depression is common and it’s curable. If someone you know is depressed, be a good friend and encourage them to see a doctor.   





















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