December 14, 2007

Publication: Athlone Voice Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 Page: 46

Headline: One in four not alone…

One in four not alone.. A survey recently published has found that more than one worker in four has a "personal experience of depression", meaning that an estimated 300,000 people in Ireland suffer from depression. THE 'LUNDBECK Mental Health Barometer' revealed that depression has affected 28% of the Irish workforce in its latest survey. It found that half of the respondents believed employers would not be tolerant of an employee suffering from depression. Only one in 10 expected employers to be understanding and supportive. An environment that is healthy both mentally and physically is essential for staff, said Mary Maguire of the OHNAI (Occupational Health Nurses Association of Ireland). "The workplace is a very important aspect of everyday life, since much of the day is spent there," explained Ms Maguire. She said the benefits of looking after the mental health environment included improved morale, lower employee turnover, improved productivity, and a better reputation for the company.

The Lundbeck Barometer found that people in Dublin suffered most from stress, at nearly double the incidence of country folk 47% to 25%. The awareness campaign has an information pack, 'Mind Yourself At Work', with resources for both employers and employees. It intends to help and encourage recognition of the signs of depression, and how to handle them. A free copy can be obtained by calling (01) 468 9800.

So what exactly classifies someone as depressed? If more than four of the following symptoms occur for more than two weeks, you may be experiencing mild depression, which can lead to chronic depression. The symptoms are:

Loss of energy;

poor appetite,

significant weight loss or increased appetite or significant weight gain;

 insomnia or excessive sleeping;

loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, or decrease in sexual drive;

feeling of worthlessness, or excessive feelings of guilt;

diminished ability to think or concentrate;

indecisiveness; and recurrent thoughts of death, wishes to be dead or suicide attempts.

Here are some details on what can be used to help alleviate depression. Natural foods useful in depression

Pollen Properties: Pollen stimulates immunity and strengthens immune reactions, and is invaluable for restoring mental and muscular energy, reestablishing nervous equilibrium, fighting depression and fatigue, improving memory and mental: performance.

Method of Use: You: can find it in health food shops, in capsules or sold loose from a jar. On retiring to bed, pour a teaspoonful of pollen into half a glass of water, cover it, let it stand overnight, and take the mix- ture in the morning at breakfast.

Brewer's yeast Indication: Brewer's yeast is a sedative and improves and calms the nervous state, as well as reducing the sensation of hunger and the need for sugar.

Method of Use: You will find it in health food shops and pharmacies as tablets, capsules, flakes (take care, it is very bitter). One dose to be taken three times a day.

Acupuncture Its balancing action is very useful, even indispensable in treating incipient depression. It may also help during withdrawal from antidepressant treatment. Treatment Schedule: weekly or twice weekly sessions are effective in problems with mood, and tiredness. Acupuncture has a calming action and helps with sleep.

Homeopathy Sepia •Four granules at 9c, to be sucked like sweets once or twice a day, between meals Sepia ' Animal origin: cuttle- fish ink

•A great homeopathic remedy for depression, deep despair

• Typical personality; apathetic woman, pessimistic, shuns society You can use Lehning Sepia Complex 20, which contains Sepia 4x, arid Cal. carea carbonica 3x.

• Available in boxes of 80 tablets

• Suck one tablet twice a day Vitamins useful in depression Mainly in group B, especially BI, B3, B5,B6,B12 Dietary sources of B vitamins You will find them mainly in whole cereals, brewer's yeast, wheatgerm, meat (liver), fish and seafood, vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, spinach, lentils), rice and wholemeal pastry…

• If you are looking for an energizing effect, take Berocca, which contains group B vitamins, vitamin C, and also calcium and magnesium:

• Available in tubes of 10 or 20 effervescent tablets

• One tablet to be taken a day for 20 days. Herbal treatment Stjohn's wort This plant is called St. John's wort because it flow- ers in midsummer – St. John's day is 24 June. Once used to treat nervous problems and to dispel low spirits, it has been widely prescribed more recently for its antidepressant properties. The mother tincture contains small amounts of an active compound (hyper- icine), which makes an extract preferable. Plant essential oils Rosemary, for its energizing properties. – Two drops to be taken in a little honey, twice a day. Rosemary This shrub can be recognized from afar by its fine appearance and strong aroma. Rosemary leaves are rich in the essential oil and by tradition it fights fatigue, strengthens the memory, and activates the circulation, as well as improving morale and calming the nerves.