January 2019

The Truth about Unforgiving Heroin Addiction

 Through the media, society is given a false representation of what a heroin addict is truly like. In T.V shows, movies, and on the news heroin addicts are seen as 'junkies.' The typical 'junkie' stereotype is a homeless man, dirty, old, and poor. In reality, the face of heroin addiction has many different sides.

Heroin addiction can look like your neighbor, your coworker, or your little brother. It can leave an individual destroyed from the inside out. It can leave track marks all over an addict's skin, as well as lesions, bumps, and scars from constant needle abuse.

Long-term side effects of heroin

The long-term side effects of heroin use can be unforgiving on both the body and the mind. It can destroy the teeth and gums, leaving them raw, sore, broken, and discolored. When an individual is on heroin they may feel a deep urge to scratch their skin and pick at their scabs, which can cause permanent scarring.

It can also completely diminish an addict's sex drive. In men, it can cause permanent impotence. It can also cause liver disease and irreversible kidney damage. It can also lead to lung infections, collapsed veins, and blood clots. Heroin addicts also risk destroying their nasal cavity and contracting diseases such as AIDs and hepatitis.

Long-term heroin abuse can also cause many lasting health effects that impede a person's daily life. It can lead to a severely diminished immune system. This can cause an addict to get sick much more frequently, and be susceptible to more infections and dangerous bacteria.

Heroin addiction also affects an addict's loved ones. It can be extremely painful for someone to watch their loved one destroy their life with addiction. It can cause them to feel stressed, depressed, and even to blame. Sometimes, it may even cause loved ones to develop an addiction as well.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be awful. A person can be vomiting constantly, as well as be stricken with violent diarrhea. At the start of a detox, an addict can feel extreme emotions such as depression and possible suicidal thoughts. Physically they may get very sweaty, cry unintentionally, and have a runny nose.

As the addict begins to cleanse their body of the toxins, their symptoms may get much worse. They may have violent mood swings and become agitated by simple interactions. It will be almost impossible for a recovering addict to get sleep, and when they do they may experience night terrors.

No matter how hard an addict tries, when they are detoxing it will feel impossible for them to get comfortable. They will feel jittery, restless, and might be unable to sit still. They may be biting their nails or pulling and twisting their hair. During withdrawal, an addict's blood pressure and heart rate may also increase.

Drug stigma and its troubling effect

In the United States, there is a huge problem when it comes to the negative stigma attached to heroin drug addiction. People see addicts as the scum of society. Many do not think that addicts deserve the same care and compassion as other sick people. Addiction is not seen as a disease, but rather as a choice. Many jobs are not understanding in giving employees time off for going through a drug detox. Many insurance companies will not cover the expensive care that a recovering addict may need.

Many addicts were once full-functioning individuals, with families that loved and cared about them. At some point, they lost their ability to fight off their urges, and succumbed to their addiction.

Many addictions stem from untreated mental illnesses. When a person begins to develop depression, they may seek out dangerous substances as a way to treat that feeling of sadness. This soon leads to the individual developing a tolerance, and an addiction.

Drug addiction can also stem from an addiction that developed from a previous injury. Doctors over-prescribe dangerous, addictive medications with no regard for what is going to happen to their patient once they leave the office. When a person has a serious surgery, the doctors write the script for the pain, and don't realize the deep correlations that their actions have with contributing to the opioid epidemic.

Opioid addiction crisis

The opioid epidemic is spreading to all corners of the world, and a lack of constant supply causes some addicts to turn to harsher drugs to curb their cravings. This drug will most likely be heroin.

Heroin is cheap to produce, and easy to sell. Dealers get their customers hooked in one sale, and control the prices, and favors, that they want in exchange for access to the drug. When addicts run out of money and options, they may even begin to sell their body on the streets to afford even a small fix.

It was found that of all heroin users, 23 percent of them got hooked on the first try. One bad mistake, and their lives would never be the same. Heroin dominates the brain and takes precedence over any of the body's other needs. It takes the stage over thirst, hunger, and shelter. It holds weight over even basic human hygiene and health.

Heroin recovery

Heroin recovery is not impossible. There are countless options for treatment centers all over the nation that can provide personalized care for addicts. These facilities can provide both mental and emotional care for an addict, as well as any necessary medications they may need during the detox.

It is best to leave a recovering addict in the care of a trained medical professional. To support them, you need to express your feelings for how important it is to you to get them back to being a healthy, functioning member of society.

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Women's Depression

Although often perceived as the weaker sex, women endure many difficult, important roles throughout their lives – mother, wife, employee, friend, employers, caregiver, and the list goes on. The complexity of all these roles can cause pleasant emotions as well as stress. Some of these mood swings may be due to unfortunate life events or due to a hormone imbalance.

In general, after a few days, emotions tend to level out and you are not affected by the mood swings anymore. But if you are suffering from depression, your bad mood doesn’t just go away after a few days and may interfere with your relationships and daily life. This debilitating cycle can occur due to a number of causes. Symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years and can be an intermittent or one-time occurrence.

Types of women's depression

Depression is almost twice more likely to affect women than men and tends to be caused by different reasons in women than it does in men. Such contributing factors include poor gut health, reproductive hormones, different female response to stress, and social pressure that are unique to a woman’s life experiences.

Major depression

Major depression is a severe form of depression when a woman loses her ability to find pleasure in activities once considered enjoyable. The condition affects a woman’s ability to sleep and eat normal and brings a negative impact on interpersonal and social relationships. With a major depression disorder, your depressed state may persist for an extended period of time and is often accompanies with low self-esteem.

Postpartum depression

A depression that occurs after the birth of a baby. Typical symptoms of depression begin during the months after the birth of a child, while in some women, they can occur while still pregnant.

Persistent depressive disorder

Persistent depressive disorder is considered a milder form of depression. Major depressive episodes may still occur during persistent depressive disorder.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

This type of depression is tied to women’s menstrual cycle. During this form of depression, severe mood swings, anxiety, and negative thoughts present themselves in the week prior to the start of menstruation and dissipate once the menstrual period begins. Although lasting only for a short period of time, depressive symptoms are severe enough to negatively impact the interpersonal relationship and interfere with daily activities.

Causes in women’s depression

There are numerous genetic, hormonal, psychological, and social factors that come into play when citing the cause of depression in women.

Biology and hormones

Biologically speaking, depression is a gene that runs in the families – with scientific evidence that some genetic makeups are more prone to depression, whereas some generic makeups are more resistant to it. However, environmental factors also play a huge part in your well-being. That is, just because you may be more prone to depression because of your genes, healthy family and social relationships can increase resilience.

Other biological factors, such as issues with pregnancy, fertility, perimenopause, menopause, and menstrual cycles increase women’s risk factors for developing depression. Most of these are due to hormonal imbalances and rapid fluctuations in reproductive hormones. Some risk-induced behavior, such as smoking or dieting can also prompt depression in women.

Psychological causes

With a tendency to be more emotional, women are more prone to psychological causes of depression than men and they are more likely to rehash negative thoughts during bouts of depression.

Major psychological factors that tend to affect women more than men are negative body images and stress-induced depression. Women are more prone to stress than men because their increased levels of progesterone have been shown to now have such good ability to level out stress hormones. Negative body image issues typically begin in adolescence and seem to be correlated with the onset of puberty.

Social Causes

Relationship, lifestyle choices, and coping skills affect women differently than men. As a woman, you are more likely to develop depression from martial or relationship problems, work-life balance issues, financial troubles, and stressful life events, including a loss of a loved one.

In addition to the biological, social and psychological causes mentioned above, the National Institutes of Health indicated that the following also play a trigger factor of women’s depression:

•    Death of a parent before age 10

•    Divorce, relationship problems, job loss

•    Physical or sexual abuse during childhood

•    History of mood disorders

•    Use of certain medications

Antidepressant addiction

Your doctor may prescribe you antidepressants to help you cope and to lessen the symptoms of your depression. Unlike three decades ago, doctors prescribe these dangerous medications for non-depression diagnoses, such as anxiety, insomnia, and neuropathic pain. Many people unnecessarily take these drugs, believing that just because they are prescribed by a doctor they are safe. However, dangers of doing so include facing the risk of harsh symptoms from antidepressant withdrawal and even addiction.

Treatment

If you are a woman suffering from depression, it is best to seek treatment right away. Your first step should be visiting a doctor or mental health professional. The most common treatment options for women suffering from depression include therapy and medications. It is important you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or may become pregnant during the treatment as certain medications may affect your growing baby.

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Consider Alternative Medicine for Cancer Treatment

<p>People struggling with cancer are interested in any kind of help, including complementary and alternative cancer treatments. They may research traditional Eastern medicine or perhaps jump on the latest food craze for help. If cancer makes you feel as if you have no control over health, alternative cancer treatments may relieve some cancer treatment symptoms. However, many alternative cancer treatments are not approved and some may even be dangerous.</p>
<p>To help you figure out the good from the bad, here are some alternative cancer treatments that are considered safe. Moreover, there is growing evidence that these alternative treatments may provide some benefit.</p>
<p><b>How can alternative medicine help cancer patients? </b></p>
<p>Alternative cancer treatments may not play a direct role in curing cancer, but they can help the patient to cope with symptoms caused by cancer and chemical treatments. Commons symptoms can include anxiety, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, pain, insomnia.</p>
<p>A cancer patient should work closely with his doctor to determine the right balance between traditional medicine and alternative cancer treatments. While alternative cancer treatments, such as acupuncture, may reduce nausea or pain, they generally are not powerful enough to replace cancer medications prescribed by the doctor.</p>
<p><b>Which alternative cancer treatments are worth trying?</b></p>
<p>Here are 10 alternative cancer treatments that may help cancer patients. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in trying:</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Acupuncture</b>. During acupuncture treatment, a practitioner inserts thin&nbsp;needles into your skin at precise points. Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. Studies had shown that acupuncture may be helpful in relieving nausea caused by chemotherapy. Acupuncture may also help relieve pain (including headache) in different regions of the body.</li>
</ul>
<p>Acupuncture is safe if it is performed by a licensed practitioner who uses sterile needles. If you are interested in this therapy, ask your doctor for names of trusted practitioners. Keep in mind that acupuncture is not safe if you are taking blood thinners or if you have low blood counts, so consult with your doctor first.</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Aromatherapy</b>. Aromatherapy uses fragrant plant oils, including essential oils and other aroma compounds to provide a calming sensation. Oils, infused with scents such as lavender, can be applied to your skin during a massage, or they can also be added to bath water. You can also heat the fragrant oils to release their scents into the air. Aromatherapy may be helpful in relieving nausea, pain and stress.</li>
</ul>
<p>Aromatherapy can be performed by a practitioner, or you can also do it on your own. While aromatherapy is safe, oils applied to your skin can cause allergic reactions. Patients with cancer that is estrogen sensitive, such as breast cancer, should avoid applying large amounts of lavender oil and tea tree oil to the skin.</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Exercise</b>. Physical activity may help you manage symptoms during and after cancer treatment. Light exercise may help relieve fatigue and stress and help you sleep better. Many studies had shown that a special exercise program may help people with cancer live longer an improved their overall quality of life.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you haven’t been exercising regularly previously, check with your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Start slowly, adding more exercise as you go. Aim to work your way up to at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Hypnosis</b>. Hypnosis is a deep state of human consciousness. During a hypnotherapy session, a therapist may hypnotize you by talking in a gentle voice and helping you to relax. It can help you focus on controlling your pain and reducing stress.</li>
</ul>
<p>Hypnotherapy may help cancer patients to relieve anxiety, pain, and stress. It may also help prevent anticipatory nausea and vomiting that can occur during chemotherapy. While hypnosis is safe when performed by a certified therapist, make sure to mention if you have a history of mental illness.</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Massage</b>. During a massage, your practitioner kneads your muscles and tendons to relieve tension and stress and promote relaxation. Several message methods exist. Massage can be light and gentle, or it can be deep with more pressure.</li>
</ul>
<p>Studies have found that message can help cancer patients to relieve pain as well as fatigue and anxiety.</p>
<p>Message sessions are safe if you work with a knowledgeable massage therapist. Many cancer centers have them on staff, or your doctor can refer you to a massage therapist who regularly works with cancer patients.</p>
<p>Avoid massage if your blood counts are very low. Ask the massage therapist to avoid messaging surgical scars, radiation treatment areas or tumors. If you have bone cancer or another bone disease, such as osteoporosis, ask your therapist to use light pressure, rather than deep massage.</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Meditation</b>. Meditation is a practice of deep concentration during which you focus your mind on the positive image or idea. When meditating, you might also do deep-breathing or relaxation exercise. Mediation may help cancer patients to relieve anxiety and stress.</li>
</ul>
<p>Meditation is completely safe. You can meditate on your own as often as you want or you can attend a class with a certified instructor.</p>
<p>Alternative cancer treatments may not play a direct role in curing the disease, but they may help the patient to cope with signs and symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments. If you are interested in alternative medicine, consider <a href="https://www.synergylifestylemedicine.com/">Synergy Lifestyle Medicine</a>&nbsp;takes an individual approach with every patient. Doctors at Synergy use a variety of specific lab results and genetic biomarkers to help guide optimal treatment for cancer and all chronic disease state.</p>
<p>Synergy uses a wide range of complementary therapies to enhance your immune system to more effectively and efficiently fight cancer and chronic disease. They also offer Fractionated Chemotherapy with Biological Modifiers, a low-dose chemotherapy protocol designed to target cancer cells better while leaving healthy cells intact.</p>
<p>For more information, visit Synergy Lifestyle Medicine's website.</p>