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What is Depression?

What is Depression?

Periods when you are feeling blue or sad are just part of life, and usually last a couple of days.

Depression lasts for longer periods of time, can interfere with daily life routines and can adversely affect any and all relationships in various ways:

  • Emotions which are constantly sad or "empty"
  • Hopeless or pessimistic feelings
  • A belief that one is guilty, worthless or helpless
  • They may be irritable or restless
  • Disinterest in activities, hobbies or sex
  • Fatigue, insomnia and diminished energy
  • Difficulty focusing, recalling details and decision-making
  • Changes in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Various persistent physical problems (aches/pains/problems)
Common Depressive Disorders

Major Depressive Disorder (or Major Depression, Clinical Depression): Depression which inhibits your ability to, or decrease your interest in, conducting regular life activities (like working, sleeping, studying and eating). It can last all day, for nearly every day, for two weeks or longer.

Chronic Depression: Major depression that has a two-year (or more) duration.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD, or Dysthymic Disorder or Dysthymia): People who experience less severe depressive symptoms for at least two years.

Other Types of Depressive Disorders

Agitated Depression: High mental/physical energy -- restlessness, irritability and insomnia -- combined with depression.

Atypical Depression: A temporary improvement in mood and other areas (like weight, restfulness or emotional sensitivity).

Bipolar Disorder (also called Manic-Depressive Illness): Click here to learn more about Bipolar Disorder

Catatonic Depression: An extended period of depression, when a person neither speaks, moves or both. It includes at least two of the following:

  • Lost voluntary movement (or an inability to react to one's environment)
  • Too much movement (without purpose)
  • Opposition to instructions/suggestions
  • Weird voluntary movements, mannerisms, expressions or postures
  • Involuntary repetition of another's words or movements, without any meaning

Double Depression: Dysthymia and major depression combined. For example, a person never fully returns to normal in between bouts of major depression.

Endogenous Depression: Depression which arises without logical reasons.

Melancholic Depression: When a person either doesn't find pleasure in positive things, or their mood does not improve in response to positive events. They must also have three of the following:

  • Depression that differs from grief or loss
  • Significant loss of weight or appetite
  • Deficiency in conscious movement
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Excessive guilt
  • A mood that is worse in the morning

Postpartum Depression: Depression that is felt by (10-13% of) women after childbirth, often due to hormonal or physical changes. In these cases, women feel very overwhelmed as a new mother.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Women experiencing depression when their period starts. They may also be moody, irritable, anxious, tired, hungry or not hungry, unfocused or feeling overwhelmed.

Psychotic Depression: Severe depression accompanied by hallucinations, paranoia or delusions.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Depression which generally occurs during changes in the amount of natural sunlight (usually October through April).

Situational (or Reactive) Depression: Depression that arises as a result of a stressful situation or event (like a job loss, divorce or death). Symptoms generally exist between 3-6 months after the event.

Learn More About Your Depression

You can get relief from depression. In fact, many depression sufferers go on to live symptom-free or maintain considerable control over their condition.

If you feel pharmaceuticals aren't for you, EMPowerplus Advanced™, combined with other healthy lifestyle changes, may be the answer. Learn more about how EMPowerplus Advanced can help by clicking here.

See How Alyson Beat Depression

"I feel a lot being just being on the EMPowerPlus. I have family members who don't live around here, and when they had seen me for the first time since being off all that medication, they have commented on how totally different a person I am. They said even looking into my eyes they see a huge difference. That the lights are on and somebody's home. So, that's a great compliment to me and and to the product that it does work. I find that being on the EMPowerPlus, I'm able to handle a lot more stress in my life than I used to be able to. I have a full-time job, which I hadn't been able to do for probably 12 years, and I work in a very stressful environment. For anyone who's considering going on EMPower, absolutely, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain."

How EMPowerplus Helps

If you are one of millions of people who prefer natural treatments to pharmaceutical medications, Truehope could be the answer you have been searching for.

If you suffer from symptoms of a mental illness or a mood disorder and you want to address the cause effectively rather than "cover up" the symptoms with medication, Truehope EMPowerplus Advanced™ can help.

Made up of 36 clinically proven vitamins, minerals, amino acids and anti-oxidants, Truehope EMPowerplus Advanced is scientifically proven to effectively help with depression.

Extensive independent research shows that when the body and brain are provided with the essential nutrients found in EMPowerplus Advanced, they are able to function properly—often negating signs and symptoms of depression. Don't be fooled by imitations—only Truehope EMPowerplus Advanced contains these nutrients in a microground form so the body can actually absorb them into the bloodstream.

Since the symptoms of depression are caused by chemical issues in the brain, why treat your condition with more chemicals? Try EMPowerplus Advanced today to see for yourself how nature can work in harmony with your body to help you feel like your best self.

Click here to see one recommended plan to begin addressing your depression with micronutrients.

Clinical Research

Vitamin–Mineral Treatment of ADHD in Adults: A 1-Year Naturalistic Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Journal of Attention Disorders, Published online before print May 7, 2014, doi: 10.1177/1087054714530557
Full Text Summary

"Dominant treatment from the end-of-treatment to follow-up was investigated as a mediator of outcome; those staying on the micronutrients performed better than those who switched to medications or discontinued micronutrients."

OBJECTIVE
Despite widespread use, there is little data investigating the long-term impact of micronutrients on psychiatric disorders. This study investigated the naturalistic outcome 1-year post-baseline of a randomized controlled trials (RCT) that compared micronutrients with placebo in 80 adults with ADHD.

METHOD
All participants were contacted and clinician-rated questionnaires completed.

RESULTS
A total of 72 (90%) of the sample participated; although there was significant regression in psychiatric functioning from the end-of-trial on all measures, outcomes remained significantly improved from baseline. Dominant treatment from the end-of-treatment to follow-up was investigated as a mediator of outcome; those staying on the micronutrients performed better than those who switched to medications or discontinued micronutrients. Cost was the most substantial reason why people stopped micronutrient treatment.

CONCLUSION
For the small number of participants who stayed on micronutrients, the benefits conferred through the controlled trial were maintained. The results are limited by small sample, lack of blinding, expectation, and reliance on self-report of symptoms.

Vitamin-mineral treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial
The British Journal of Psychiatry, Published online ahead of print January 30, 2014, doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.132126
Full Text Summary

"Specifically, participants taking the micronutrient formula reported greater improvement in both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity compared with those taking a placebo."

BACKGROUND
The role of nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is gaining international attention; however, treatments have generally focused only on diet restriction or supplementing with one nutrient at a time.

AIMS
To investigate the efficacy and safety of a broad-based micronutrient formula consisting mainly of vitamins and minerals, without omega fatty acids, in the treatment of ADHD in adults.

METHOD
This double-blind randomised controlled trial assigned 80 adults with ADHD in a 1:1 ratio to either micronutrients (n = 42) or placebo (n = 38) for 8 weeks (trial registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000308291).

RESULTS
Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant between-group differences favouring active treatment on self- and observer- but not clinician-ADHD rating scales. However, clinicians rated those receiving micronutrients as more improved than those on placebo both globally and on ADHD symptoms. Post hoc analyses showed that for those with moderate/severe depression at baseline, there was a greater change in mood favouring active treatment over placebo. There were no group differences in adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS
This study provides preliminary evidence of efficacy for micronutrients in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in adults, with a reassuring safety profile.

Could yeast infections impair recovery from mental illness? A case study using micronutrients and olive leaf extract for the treatment of ADHD and depression.
Advances in Mind-Body Medicine Journal, Summer 2013 - Vol 27, No. 3
Full Text Summary

"One case was followed systematically over a period of 3 y[ears] with documentation of deterioration in psychiatric symptoms (ADHD and mood) when infected with Candida and then symptom improvement following successful treatment of the infection with olive leaf extract (OLE) and probiotics."

ABSTRACT
Micronutrients are increasingly used to treat psychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, stress, and anxiety. However, a number of factors influence optimal response and absorption of nutrients, including the health of the gut, particularly the presence of yeast infections, such as Candida. As part of a wider investigation into the impact of micronutrients on psychiatric symptoms, many participants who experienced a yeast infection during their treatment showed a diminished response to the micronutrients. One case was followed systematically over a period of 3 y with documentation of deterioration in psychiatric symptoms (ADHD and mood) when infected with Candida and then symptom improvement following successful treatment of the infection with olive leaf extract (OLE) and probiotics. This case outlines that micronutrient treatment might be severely compromised by infections such as Candida and may highlight the importance of gut health when treating psychiatric disorders with nutrients. Given the role that inflammation can play in absorption of nutrients, it was hypothesized that the infection was impairing absorption of the micronutrients.

Feasibility of a Nutritional Supplement as Treatment for Pediatric Bipolar Spectrum Disorders.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, July 2012, 18(7): 678-685. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0270
Full Text Summary

"Exploratory analyses of mood symptoms throughout this pilot trial suggest decreases in depression and mania symptoms over the course of EMPowerplus Advanced supplementation"

OBJECTIVES
Current psychotropic medications for childhood bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSD) are associated with significant adverse events. As nutrients play an important role in physical and mental health, they may be useful in treating mood disorders with few side-effects. This open-label study explored the feasibility of testing therapeutic effects of a multinutrient supplement, EMPowerplus (EMP+), for pediatric BPSD.

DESIGN
EMP+ was started at one capsule t.i.d. and escalated to a goal of four capsules t.i.d., which eight children attained. Four (4) of these increased to the maximum dose, five capsules t.i.d. Mood symptoms were assessed seven times over 8 weeks.

SUBJECTS
Ten (10) children, age 6–12 with BPSD, were enrolled in 6.5 months. Seven (7) participants completed the full trial. Three (3) dropped out due to palatability and/or adherence issues.

RESULTS
Mean medication adherence was 91%. With one-tailed nonparametric Fisher's randomization tests, intent-to-treat analyses demonstrated a 37% decrease in depression scores (p<0.06) and a 45% decrease in mania scores (p<0.01) from the start of treatment through final visit, suggesting improvement and possible treatment response. Study completers demonstrated significant decreasing trends in both depression and mania scores from baseline to final visit (p<0.05). Side-effects were minor and transient, mostly temporary gastric discomfort.

CONCLUSIONS
Future randomized, placebo-controlled trials of EMP+ are warranted and feasible.

Database analysis of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder consuming a micronutrient formula.
BMC Psychiatry, 2010 Sep 28;10:74
Full Text Summary

"...severity of bipolar symptoms was 46% lower than baseline..."

BACKGROUND
Eleven previous reports have shown potential benefit of a 36-ingredient micronutrient formula (known as EMPowerplus) for the treatment of psychiatric symptoms. The current study asked whether children (7-18 years) with pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) benefited from this same micronutrient formula; the impact of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on their response was also evaluated.

METHODS
Data were available from an existing database for 120 children whose parents reported a diagnosis of PBD; 79% were taking psychiatric medications that are used to treat mood disorders; 24% were also reported as ADHD. Using Last Observation Carried Forward (LOCF), data were analyzed from 3 to 6 months of micronutrient use.

RESULTS
At LOCF, mean symptom severity of bipolar symptoms was 46% lower than baseline (effect size (ES) = 0.78) (p < 0.001). In terms of responder status, 46% experienced >50% improvement at LOCF, with 38% still taking psychiatric medication (52% drop from baseline) but at much lower levels (74% reduction in number of medications being used from baseline). The results were similar for those with both ADHD and PBD: a 43% decline in PBD symptoms (ES = 0.72) and 40% in ADHD symptoms (ES = 0.62). An alternative sample of children with just ADHD symptoms (n = 41) showed a 47% reduction in symptoms from baseline to LOCF (ES = 1.04). The duration of reductions in symptom severity suggests that benefits were not attributable to placebo/expectancy effects. Similar findings were found for younger and older children and for both sexes.

CONCLUSIONS
The data are limited by the open label nature of the study, the lack of a control group, and the inherent self-selection bias. While these data cannot establish efficacy, the results are consistent with a growing body of research suggesting that micronutrients appear to have therapeutic benefit for children with PBD with or without ADHD in the absence of significant side effects and may allow for a reduction in psychiatric medications while improving symptoms. The consistent reporting of positive changes across multiple sites and countries are substantial enough to warrant a call for randomized clinical trials using micronutrients.

Multinutrient supplement as treatment: literature review and case report of a 12-year-old boy with bipolar disorder.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2009 Aug;19(4):453-60
Full Text Summary

"EMP+ [EMPowerplus] resulted in superior outcome to conventional treatment. This report adds to accumulating preliminary evidence that further basic science and clinical studies of multinutrient supplements are warranted."

ABSTRACT
Early-onset bipolar disorder has significant morbidity and mortality. Development of safe, effective treatments to which patients will adhere is critical. Pharmacologic interventions for childhood bipolar spectrum disorders are limited and are associated with significant risk for adverse events (Kowatch et al 2005). Diet and nutrition research suggests vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are important underpinnings of general physical and mental health; further, they may even be useful in treating mood dysregulation by providing a more favorable risk-benefit ratio than contemporary psychotropic agents (Kaplan, Crawford, Field, & Simpson 2007). This article reviews the literature on multinutrient supplementation and mental health, and examines a case study of a 12-year-old boy with bipolar disorder and comorbid diagnoses treated for 6 years with conventional medication and finally a multinutrient supplement.
The multinutrient supplement in this case study is EMPowerplus (EMP+), a 36-ingredient supplement containing sixteen minerals, fourteen vitamins, three amino acids and three antioxidants. It was used to treat a 12-year-old boy initially diagnosed with bipolar disorder-not otherwise specified (BP-NOS) at age 6, whose diagnosis evolved by age 10 to bipolar I (BP-I), mixed, with psychotic features. He also met criteria for generalized anxiety disorder by age 8 and obsessive-compulsive disorder by age 10. After six years of conventional treatment (ages 6-12), he received fourteen months of EMP+. Symptom manifestation over seven years is described in conjunction with treatment history. EMP+ resulted in superior outcome to conventional treatment. This report adds to accumulating preliminary evidence that further basic science and clinical studies of multinutrient supplements are warranted.

Improved mood and behavior during treatment with a mineral-vitamin supplement: an open-label case series of children.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2004 Spring;14(1):115-22
Full Text Summary

"The fact that symptom improvements were sustained or even increased at 6 months strongly suggests that the benefit cannot be attributed to a placebo effect."

ABSTRACT
A group of scientists from three Alberta universities and the Alberta Children’s Hospital published the results of 11 unselected children with mood and behavior problems. The diagnoses of the children included attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Asperger syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Prader-Willi Syndrome depression, anxiety, and rage. The children were assessed for a minimum of 8 weeks on an adult dose of EMPowerplus, which was well-tolerated. Outcomes were measured with the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (YOQ), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).

RESULTS
For all 9 children who completed the trial, the micronutrient treatment was clinically beneficial, and all effect sizes were large (>.8). Improvement was significant on the YOQ (measuring children’s mood, physical symptoms, self-harm behavior, interpersonal relationship problems, social problems, and attention problems), the YMRS (measuring symptoms such as irritability and disruptive aggressive behaviors), and 7 of the 8 CBCL scales (withdrawn behavior, anxious/depressed mood, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behavior, and aggressive behavior).

Treatment of mood lability and explosive rage with minerals and vitamins: two case studies in children.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2002 Fall;12(3):205-19
Full Text Summary

"When taking the supplement, the boys had fewer emotional outbursts, fewer anxious and obsessional thoughts, more positive mood, and better temper control."

ABSTRACT
A group of scientists at the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital reported the effects of EMPowerplus on 2 medication-free boys with explosive rage and mood disorders (atypical obsessive-compulsive disorder and pervasive developmental delay), using an ABAB (off-on-off-on) study design.

RESULTS
In both cases, symptoms increased when the micronutrient supplement was withdrawn and improved when the supplement was introduced. When taking the supplement, the boys had fewer emotional outbursts, fewer anxious and obsessional thoughts, more positive mood, and better temper control. Improvements were noted on the Conners Parent Rating Scale (CPRS) mood and temper symptoms, Children’s Version Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS) obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) symptoms of aggressive, delinquent, and anxious/depressed behavior, as well as social and attention problems. Neither boy experienced any adverse effects from taking an adult dose of the nutritional supplement. At the time of publication, both boys had been stable on the nutritional supplement for over 2 years.

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