Fighting off Depression After MDMA & Methamphetamine
MDMA, also called Molly and Ecstasy, is a drug that achieves its psychedelic and stimulating effects by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain—including Dopamine and Serotonin. Dopamine and Serotonin are two neurotransmitters that play critical roles in regulating mood and emotions. When a person ingests MDMA, the increase in these neurotransmitters causes the initial “high.” However, as the drug wears off, the activity of the neurotransmitters decreases, and the deficit results in a “low,” often resulting in depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and irritability. Extended use of MDMA can cause the brain to adapt to the increased activity of these neurotransmitters, causing the subsequent “low” to become more significant given the brain’s desensitization to the brain’s naturally occurring Dopamine and Serotonin.
Vitamin D is an incredibly important nutrient both for our physical and mental health. Vitamin D is best known for allowing our bodies to absorb calcium, warding off brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life. However, there is growing and overwhelming body of evidence to show that vitamin D deficiency may also be a risk factor for mental health disorders including depression.
This interesting research is coupled with the fact that a vast majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Why? There are a few potential reasons for vitamin D deficiency, but the most significant is simply not getting outside in the sun enough. Our parents and grandparents often labored outside and as such received their daily dose of vitamin D with ease. Today, however, most of us have jobs at home or in an office where we are not exposed to natural light. Further, wintertime, in most parts of the United States, reduces the amount of available vitamin D simply because the sun is not as strong, and the sky is often overcast. Even skin color makes a difference – those with darker skin require more exposure to get the same amount of vitamin D. The use of sunscreen while critical in reducing the incidence of many skin cancers has also minimized our UV exposure and, by extension, the amount of Vitamin D our bodies can absorb through the skin.
Q: You’re the Wellness Coordinator here at DH. What does that mean?
A: I act as the organizer for groups like our yoga therapy group, which is one of our most popular. We also have mindfulness and meditation which is a huge part of the recovery process in dealing with depression and anxiety – it’s really beneficial. We also introduced a music group which includes the use of music as a therapeutic tool and is highly effective – it’s really fun, too! The clients absolutely adore it.
It is estimated that upwards of six in every 10 individuals with a drug abuse problem also have an associated mental health condition. This is known as dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. There’s always a reason people start using drugs, and oftentimes it’s a pre-existing mental condition. It may be something as simple as curiosity that gets the ball rolling, but for some, there is a deeper reason to use drugs. Interestingly, it is a two-way street, as addiction may heighten the risk of developing a mental illness as well.
While business begins to return to normal within the next few months, we must continue to be cautious. Though restrictions are slowly lifting from the pandemic, its effects are still coming to be understood. A recent survey conducted by Harvard, Rutgers and a variety of other universities across the nation has found that twenty seven percent of people in the United States are exhibiting signs of moderate to severe depression, three times the amount that showed signs before Coronavirus. As healthcare professionals, this is extremely concerning for us.
Written by DH Women's Program, alumni family member, Beth O. March 2017 When I grew up, my mother was our caretaker and did everything for us. She put us through dance and gymnastics classes, voice lessons, drove us to soccer games and saved every last dollar from her two jobs to give us everything we needed and wanted. She was strong, smart and our rock when my father left us during the times we needed him most. I was in middle school and my sister was in elementary school. These were the years we needed our father, but he suffered…
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States today (1). In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported antidepressant drug use had skyrocketed by 400 percent over the last two decades. Antidepressants are the most commonly taken type of medication by people 18-44 years old. In 2008, 23 percent of women who were 40-59 years old were taking antidepressant medications (2). Women experience depression more often than men. Women experiencing depression may feel sad, worthless and guilty (3). While biology and hormones play a role in this difference in women's higher depression rates,…
New information released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that cigarette smoking among U.S. adults—those 18 years and older—has dropped to approximately 14.9 percent.
Even with this encouraging trend in the decline of smoking among adults, it is sobering to consider that these statistics still mean there are over forty million adult smokers in America.
If you have a loved one with manic depression who also suffers from a substance use disorder, you probably know all too well the self-destructive behaviors associated with these co-occurring illnesses, including an increased risk of attempted suicide.
The most important thing you can do to help your loved one is to understand how manic depression, addiction, and suicide are related and what the research says about the best way to treat someone with these co-occurring disorders. Once you arm yourself with this information, you’ll likely find a renewed sense of hope, and that alone can help both you and your loved one approach treatment with a positive state of mind that will help improve the chances of long-term recovery.
Can depression be helped through exercise? Research says yes! Right now in the US, around a tenth of the population suffers from depression, with women 70% more likely than men to be depressed at some point in their lives. Although more serious cases of depression may need to be professionally treated with medication and counseling, it has been shown that even moderate exercise can improve the quality of life for someone struggling with depression.