Lets talk about diagnoses and the technical details

John H. johnh at faraway.com.au
Tue Dec 9 21:13:31 EST 2003


Michael,

1. Melatonin reduces the very brain chemical believed to be deficient in
ADD: dopamine. Melatonin will not cure depression, it increases one aspect
of the immune system implicated in depression. Don't take it, it needs great
care and in your case may create more problems than it solves as it can make
you very drowsy. Seasonal Affective Disorder relates to loss of sunlight in
vulnerable individuals. Loss of sunlight increases melatonin and decreases
serotonin. You need to increase serotonin, not melatonin. Sleep problems are
very common in depression and in part probably drive depression.

2. ADD is associated with other problems, depression being one of these.
Your case is not that unusual and not surprising given that your mother also
experiences depression because there is a genetic component in depression.

3. The conversations in your head are another part of depression, it might
pay to compare these with what people actually say to you and how they treat
you. I suspect you'll find that comparison interesting. Write it down in two
columns.

4. Social isolation itself can drive depression and is a key marker for
depression. Try to spend time with people you can trust. Whatever you do,
don't let yourself slip into total social isolation as this will probably
deepen the depression.

4. You should be seeing a medical professional but as that appears not
possible I suggest:

Sleep:

Regular exercise but not within 3-4 hours of bedtime as sleep will be more
difficult then. Exercise can help in depression, at the last Annual Society
for Neuroscience Meetings there were some presentations on this and it has
been documented in the literature before. Exercise helps slow down cortisol
output, cortisol is a key stress hormone implicated in depression. Exercise
will also help to stabilise your immune system, which also plays a role in
depression. Exercise is very good for stabilising sleep patterns.

Exposure to bright sunlight in the early morning is important, will help
stabilise your sleep cycles and increase serotonin levels.

Boost your intake of vitamins B and E, either through vitamin pills but
preferably through diet. Eating fruit and vegetables is a damn good idea.

Learn to relax one hour before going to bed.

You need to increase foods in your diet that are rich in tryptophan, the
amino acid that is essential for serotonin production. Fish is good because
it also contains high levels of omega 3's which have been shown beneficial
for depression.

Get on your Dad's case, you should be seeing a doctor about this. If that
isn't possible there are a number of excellent web sites relating to
depression. A warning however, there are also some bloody idiots out there
so choose those sites that clearly are maintained by medical professionals.
No, I'm not one of those and I'm no particular fan of the general approach
to depression by the professional community but they are far better than so
many quacks out there promising miracle cures.

Put this post up at sci.med.psychobiology. There are some excellent
psychiatrists who visit that ng. who specialise in depression and they may
offer some advice. Understand though that quite rightly they cannot diagnose
or prescribe remedies over the internet. As suicide is already an issue you
need to find professional help. If at your age your already interested in
general relativity then it would be a great loss. You strike me as a rather
intelligent chap, there are ADD cases that demonstrate strong intellects and
creativity, you could well be one of those cases. Before you can realise
your full potential however you must find a way to deal with this depression
issue.

PS: I was the same at school: hated the schoolwork but read every book I
could get my hands about things that interested me. Over time that tends to
change and you should be able to attend to school and university work more
easily. It's a bloody hard struggle but typically ADD symptoms decline as we
move into adulthood though residual symptoms remain. So remember this: "The
essential thing in heaven and on earth is that there should be a long
obedience in the same direction, there thereby results, and has always
resulted in the long run, something which makes life worth living."
Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil.


"Michael S." <m.sabino at comcast.net> wrote in message
news:NKbBb.469203$HS4.3663427 at attbi_s01...
> Hello,
>
> When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with ADD (without hyperactivity).
> This is ususual since I'm a male, and most of those who exhibit symptoms
of
> ADD without hyperactivity are female.
> There are a few reasons why I think this may be the case. But I think
there
> is an early-childhood origin in rearing that led to these symptoms in me.
> Mostly, I was educated from my parents in areas that differed from the
> material tought in school. As an example... when I was 5 in preschool, my
> dad would teach me about electric circuitry at home, while at school the
> teachers would watch in amazement as I'd drift offtopic while they were
> teaching something as commonplace knowledge in that agegroup as the
letters
> of the alphabet.
> I also notice that this parallel exists when females are tought less
> education-orientated topics than males from their family, so I wonder if
> that's the reason why females more often develop the add without
> hyperactivity than males. Does encouraging distraction by barbie dolls
allow
> the brain to be deficient in long-term thought processes (such as those
that
> occur in the prefrontal cortex)?
> Anyway, I digress. There were many family troubles that gave me problems
> with what I perceived as depression at an age as young as 10. I would
easily
> be distracted from the task at hand, or become anxious due to the negative
> thought patterns that enveloped the task that I should've been completing.
> My mom suffered from depression, and I'm concerned that I may be
developing
> this same condition.
> There's even a more significant parallel between my mom and I than that of
> general depression. I've become really concerned with what others are
> saying, and have been completing conversations in my head without being
> completely sure of what's going on. These conversations that I believe I'm
> overhearing are almost always about bad things about me. This may stem
from
> my fear of actually becoming involved in the conversation, since I'm
afraid
> to be around people (somewhat because of acne).
> I get so nervous at school sometimes that the whole world seems to tune
out.
> Sometimes I've considered suicide, and sometimes I've feared that will be
> how I'll meet fate.
> Right now I'm 16 and having difficulty focusing on schoolwork because of
> this anxiety, and my dad keeps stalling about seeing a counselor or a
doctor
> since he doesn't like their advice. The counsoulers apparently give me
> advice that's too much towards my own aims, and not much towards his,
while
> the doctors always prescribe medication. I don't believe this to be true,
> but if he does, there's nothing that I can do.
> My last counsoler was "too intellectual". Perhaps my dad would be more
> satisfied by the cajun women downtown who can give me some all-natural
fruit
> juice to remedy my problems. Then again, that would be too easy, wouldn't
> it?
> I get very distracted by things outside of school, and it's constantly
been
> driving me away from schoolwork... I'd much rather read about general
> relativity than about how to draw stupid conceptual models in junior
> chemistry.
> These problems don't exist during the summer regardless of whether I'm
> waking up at 6am for summer school or not (though summer school lasts 4
> hours, compared with the usual 7hrs of school). Does melatonin have
> something to do with this? (I think I read somewhere that melatonin
> concentrations are higher during the summer due to a reaction involving
> sunlight)
> Would pure melatonin pass the blood brain barrier? do you know of any
sites
> that provide a list of chemicals that cross the blood brain barrier and
are
> synthesized into a particular neurotransmitter?
>
> After searching on google I can across: "Some people become more depressed
> in the winter months when days are shorter and darker. The sun and bright
> light seem to trigger a response to a brain hormone known as melatonin
> (produced by the pineal gland), which is, in part, responsible for
> preventing the "blues." Stay in brightly-lit rooms on dark days. Research
> reveals that two hours of morning sun is very effective in lifting
> depression. The evening light had comparatively little results."
> What drugs can I take to make me feel this way during the winter?
>
>
> Thanks.
>
> Michael S.
>
> I stayed home today to complete my homework and I didn't really get any
done
> :(
>
>





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