HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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any possible adverse drug interactions. Ask your doctor about side effects to watch out for. Do not stop taking the antidepressants on your own, even as you begin to feel better; follow your doctor’s guidelines to safely cut back on the dosage. Getting outside and exercising is another good way to combat depression. Although face-to-face meetings with friends and family are discouraged or restricted by social distancing guidelines and mask wearing, many seniors are embracing the technology of apps such as Facetime and Zoom to stay connected with their loved ones. It’s not the same as meeting in person, but it’s certainly better than nothing.


Depression is not a normal part of aging. If you find yourself increasingly unable to get your spirits up to your previous levels, be sure to talk to your primary care provider. Certain medications and some medical conditions can cause the same symptoms as depression. Your doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam. She will be able to help you find ways to get back to your sunny self again, looking forward to gleeful, not gloomy, golden years.



GLOOMY GOLDEN YEARS?


Risk factors for depression can be genetic; it’s known that people who have a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose families do not have the illness. Older adults who had depression when they were younger are more at risk for developing depression later in life. People with depression may have different brain chemistry than those without the illness. Depression, especially in middle-aged or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease.


Treatment for depression often includes medications such as antidepressants (which help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress) and psychotherapy – talking to a psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist. Different people respond to different treatments in different ways, so you may have to try multiple treatment options before finding one that works for you. If you do take antidepressants, be sure to follow the recommended regimen. If you are taking medications for other conditions, tell your doctor so she can be aware of

Especially now, during the isolation and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, depression is a very real problem for many senior adults. According to the American Psychological Association, 15 percent to 20 percent of Americans over age 65 years have experienced depression. Important life changes that happen as we get older often cause stress and sadness. These include the death of a spouse or other loved one, retiring and dealing with physical illness or other problems of aging.


Depression is more than just “feeling sad.” It can be a threat to your physical as well as your mental health. It can compromise your immune system and interfere with your ability to fight infections – something that could be dangerous in the face of the current pandemic.


Some signs of depression include: