Tag Archives: Mood Disorder

Taming food addiction

Enhancing moods with the right food

Enhancing moods

Enhancing moods with the right food is very essential

Enhancing moods with the right food: Sudden holiday weight gain

Are you planning for a vacation this year? Are you also working out and you are worried that you may add instead of losing during your vacation? If these are your concerns, then you are just in time for a more informative discussion about enhancing moods with the right food during vacations. Why is this important? It is because neither stress nor holiday weight gain should ruin your holidays this year. From where we sit as professionals from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury, we are going to share with you some guidelines about good eating habits and foods that can enhance your moods when stressful situation strikes.

Enhancing moods with the right food: Mood stability 

The stability of your moods will play a great role in coping with any element of stress and depression during the holiday season. With a stable mind set you will not only feel better, but will obviously avoid indulgence in over eating. Therefore serious considerations needs to be taken about what you feed on during the holidays. For this to be effective, doctor Dalal Akoury registers that it will begin with choosing the foods that your bodies will absorbs slowly will help in maintaining your blood sugar stable. The slow digesting foods which are likely to help your moods or feelings stable may include:

  • A peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • A spinach salad and half a turkey sandwich with milk
  • Brown rice with salmon or chicken breast
  • Whole-grain cereal with milk

Remember that foods that absorb quickly, such as sugar, white bread, or anything refined, confound blood sugar high then cause it to crush unexpectedly. With the crashing you’ll feel bad-tempered and hungry, which can only lead you into sinking into bad feeding habits with bad food stuff like chocolate bars or candy setting yourself up for yet another blood sugar dive.

Enhancing moods with the right food: Boost your mood with feel good serotonin

Did you know that high-protein diets may help you lose weight, but they won’t do much to raise your spirits? This is because your body craves serotonin, the feel-good chemical found in foods that boost your mood. Carbohydrates are essential for moving tryptophan (the amino acid that makes up serotonin) across the brain. When your blood sugar drops, less carbohydrate is available in the bloodstream; less tryptophan moves across into the brain and your mood can plummet. It is important to note that serotonin also fights holiday weight gain. It informs you when you’ve had enough by causing satiety (a feeling of fullness) and reducing your appetite.

Enhancing moods with the right food: Sudden holiday weight gain



Drug seeking and cravings to the brain

Drug seeking and cravings to the brain: Addictions effect on the brain’s reward system

Drug seeking and cravings to the brain

Drug seeking and cravings to the brain. Ideally drugs are a serious threat to your health and the brain is one of the organs affected the most.

Drug seeking and craving to the brain is very interesting more so when we consider how the brain functions. It is true that the brain has evolved over time in a way that ensures human survival. And in fact our brain’s reward system is part of that survival system. In many instances we often experience an urgent need for food whenever we are starving and generally have a powerful desire for sex too. According to doctor Dalal Akoury MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, the brain’s reward system rewards food and sex because they ensure our survival. Unfortunately, drugs of abuse operate within these reward systems which leads people to experience an urgent need or powerful desire for drugs or addictive activities.

The brain’s reward system has ensured our species survival. You may have not known but food, water, and sex are some of the elements that activate the reward system. Therefore when the brain’s reward center is activated, it releases dopamine. Dopamine then creates a pleasing, enjoyable sensation which then motivates us into repeating these behaviors which are necessary for our survival. The reason why this is happening is because dopamine has rewarded us with a pleasurable feeling. Doctor Akoury recommends that from an evolutionary standpoint of view, it is very helpful to have a reward system that works. Like for instance, imagine that there is very little food and you’re wandering about looking for food. When you finally find something to eat, this triggers your reward system. This pleasing feeling (dopamine “reward”) will become associated with whatever behavior that led you to that food. This causes you to want to repeat that behavior. Moreover, the reward system is closely tied to emotional and subjective memories. If you were successful and found food in a particular place for instance, in the future you will want to look for food in the same location. This reward system increases the likelihood that you will be successful in finding food there the next time. This is because your brain chemicals are rewarding you with a pleasing sensation. It also helps you to remember how and where this pleasant feeling occurred.

Drug seeking and cravings to the brain: The negative dopamine reward sensation

It will come to you as a surprise that the element that motives your survival is unfortunately the very same reward system that ensures your survival also rewards drug use. Doctor Akoury says that all addictive substances and activities will trigger the release of dopamine which rewards us with a pleasant sensation thereby succeeding in motivating us to continuously indulge in these harmful behaviors. It is nowadays common knowledge that peoples with addiction problems will all it takes to get their drug of choice and in the same way, they continue with their addiction despite the harm it causes to themselves or their loved ones. It is therefore very important to note that all these characteristic of addictive behaviors arise from the brain’s pleasure and rewards centers. Therefore seeking for lasting solutions becomes a must to do for all victims. This may not be a very popular thing owing to the addictiveness of some of these drugs, but nonetheless it is the best option if you want to have a healthy life that is free from all sorts of addiction. You can schedule for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury for the commencement of your journey to recovery.

Drug seeking and cravings to the brain: Mesolimbic pathway

We now have a basic understanding of the purpose and functioning of the brain’s reward system. Let’s interrogate it a little bit further. The circuit most associated with pleasure and reward is the mesolimbic pathway which is located in the brainstem. The objective of this area of the brain is primarily concerned with basic survival. Within the mesolimbic pathway is an area called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA projects to the nucleus accumbens (thought to be the reward center). The neurotransmitter most commonly linked with the mesolimbic system is dopamine. Many people consider dopamine to be the driving force behind the human pursuit of pleasure. The release of dopamine is a pleasurable sensation. The release of dopamine motivates us to repeat behaviors or activities that prompted this release. This system’s purpose was to promote survival by rewarding life sustaining behaviors such eating and procreation.

All addictive drugs and activities release varying amounts of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens with stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine releasing the most. However when it comes to drugs like alcohol or heroin, the brain’s own opiate system (endorphins) also gets involved. Doctor Akoury further says that even though different forms of addictions have different effects in the nucleus accumbens, they share one common denominator that they all activate the reward system which in turn motivates us to repeat those behaviors, even though they may be harmful. Besides what we have discussed about the concepts of reward, pleasure, and craving together, it is however very important to appreciate that there is a distinction between pleasure-seeking and drug seeking. Note that pleasure-seeking is all about the pleasurable, rewarding aspect of addiction while drug-seeking refer to the craving aspect of addiction. Dopamine may be more involved in drug-seeking (craving) component of addiction. The opiate (endorphin), GABA, or glutamatergic systems may be more involved in pleasure-seeking aspect of addiction too.

Pleasure-seeking and drug-seeking (cravings) are inter-related, yet distinct. Research has established that natural rewards (food, water, sex) typically lessen their influence on the reward system over time. As a behavior occurs more often, dopamine levels tend to decrease in the process. Psychologists call this habituation. This makes sense. Once you’ve eaten enough food, you don’t need to be rewarded for eating more food. Then you would be eating too much, or too much of one type of food. Therefore everyone needs to take heed of keeping the brain free from all attacks be it from substances or otherwise. Talking to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury should be your starting point. Call and make that appointment today for the commencement of your journey to full recovery from your addiction.

Drug seeking and cravings to the brain: Addictions effect on the brain’s reward system




Understanding Depression

What is depression?

Depression is one of the common symptoms of addiction from drugs. It refers to a condition or illness that causes a constant feeling of sadness and lack of interest. The depressed person will in most cases stay isolated and doesn’t like talking to other people around. Although it is common that any human being will at one time feel moody and not willing to talk with people around, this happens for some time then it disappears. In the case of depressed persons this state doesn’t seem to go away.

What causes this depression?

depressionDepression mostly is caused by chemical compounds which lower neurotransmission levels, which in turn depresses or reduces arousal or simulation in various areas of the brain. These drugs which contain this compound known to cause depression are widely being used all over the world either as prescription medicines or illicit substances. These drugs are used for their effects which are initially friendly e.g. pain relief, sedation etc. but in the long run or abuse, they result into depression.

Which are the indicators of depression?

Depression symptoms can be identified through behavior of the depressed person, or through the feeling of the depressed. Some of the common symptoms of depression may include;

  • Concentration difficulties, difficulties in remembering details of something and even decision making difficulties. The depressed person can be observed to possess at least one all even all of these challenges.
  • Loss of interest in activities. The person may loss interest in activities that he/she liked previously. For instance, a person who liked playing chess, may no longer show any interest in playing it and his/her friends may be able to observe this abrupt change in taste.
  • The depressed person may show signs of chronic headaches, cramps, pains etc.
  • Sometimes the depressed person will possess intense sadness, anxiety and “feeling” towards the people around.
  • The person may look restless. In many cases, a depressed person will not seem to settle and often he/she looks disturbed by something unknown.
  • Some victims of depression are faced with fatigue and decrease in energy that they initially possessed.
  • A depressed person may feel worthless and helpless. This can be observed when the person possessed indicators of low esteem.
  • A depressed person will either miss sleep or oversleep. In terms of sleeping they do it to the extremes.
  • Another symptom worthy mentioning is that a depressed person possesses thoughts of suicide or sometimes attempt to commit suicide.

Note: The depressed person may possess several of these symptoms at the same time and thus, do not over rely on one indicator to judgment. Also note that sometimes, what you see as a symptom may actually not be. For instance, not all the times being moody will be considered a symptom of depression!

Diagnosis of depression

The detection of depression and determination of its type and intensity requires a professional person. Are you wondering where you will get these professionals? Then you don’t have to worry anymore! At AWAREmed, we have professionals who will diagnose you and if diagnosed with depression, you will be given the appropriate treatment for you to recover completely.

How we diagnose

It is a fact that we had for long been accustomed to doctors using specialized blood tests or some other expensive lab tests which helped them in making a conclusive diagnosis. This is no longer helpful when it comes to depression. One of the most powerful tool which has been proven effective is talking to the patient, as you try to analyze the situation and identify symptoms. This is the tool that we mainly use to ensure that we give you the most appropriate and effective treatment which will lead you to a very fast recovery from depression. The importance of it is to give you a sustained recovery. It has been common that depression as a mental problem in many cases may have some other underlying factors, which not unless they are addressed, the result may not be sustained for long and thus lapse may occur.


How do we treat depression?

Just like any other disease, treatment of depression begins with diagnosis. Once you have been diagnosed with depression, you can now proceed to the step of treatment. Here, the doctor will discuss various depression options with you. The appropriate treatment for depression will depend on the type of depression you have. For example, based on the type of depression that you have, the doctor will decide which of either antidepressants, psychotherapy or both will work best for you. The appropriate treatment will then be administered.

Sometimes, a person may be subjected to a given treatment and then he/she doesn’t respond to the standard depression treatment. In this case, the doctor may opt you train your brain via simulation techniques. Whatever treatment the doctor prescribes to you, it is importat to note that there is no instant solution. You must be patient to heal slowly and finally be fully depression free. You must remember that you should not give up in the race of addiction recovery.

What is depression?


AWAREmed: Depression Affects Daily Life, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

AWAREmed: Depression Affects Daily Life, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Depression is described by most as feeling sad or blue.  Some say they are unhappy or “down in the dumps.”  Most of us feel this way at one time or another, for short periods of time.
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.

AWAREmed: Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors

Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Staggering recent statistics reveal that 57.7 million Americans suffer from a variety of mental disorders. In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for 2 or more disorders.
Most people cannot pinpoint the exact cause of depression.  There are those who blame it on a breakup, alcohol or drug abuse, or a death of a loved one.  Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a problem with your genes, or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely, it’s a combination of both.
Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if you have no family history of the illness. Anyone can develop depression, even kids.
The following may play a role in depression:
* Alcohol or drug abuse
* Certain medical conditions, including underactive thyroid, cancer, or long-term pain
* Certain medications such as steroids
* Sleeping problems
* Stressful life events, such as:
o Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
o Failing a class
o Death or illness of someone close to you
o Divorce
o Childhood abuse or neglect
o Job loss
o Social isolation (common in the elderly)

AWAREmed: Symptoms of Depression

Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you.
People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.
Symptoms of depression can include:
* Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
* Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
* Very difficult to concentrate
* Fatigue and lack of energy
* Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
* Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
* Becoming withdrawn or isolated
* Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
* Thoughts of death or suicide
* Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.
If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.
The good news is that experts in health, lifestyle, and medicine at AWAREmed can teach you how to avoid becoming one of these statistics as you reclaim your health and vitality.

AWAREmed: Depression Affects Daily Life, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

First, we will help you to understand Mental disorders, whether your interest lies in its prevention or treatment. Much is known about mental disorders prevention, and our Four Pillars program will give you the tools to build a healthy lifestyle and prevent all types of disease.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mental disorders, it is important to understand both the diagnosis and your treatment options – and there are many. Knowledge leads to empowerment, and our health and medicine professionals will help you advocate for yourself and find the best options for you and your life.

AWAREmed: Treatment Comes In Many Forms

A number of treatments, both alternative and complementary, are available for Mental Disorders, Some of these include:
* Therapeutic nutrition
* IV therapies
* Mind-Body-Spirit counseling
* Psycho-neuro-immunology
* Constitutional hydrotherapy
* Homeopathy
Turn your life around with the help of our experts, in a medically supervised program tailored just for you.
Anxiety and depressive disorders are major public health problems, and desirable changes in lifestyle, such as exercise and proper nutrition, can be of great potential for prevention and treatment. There is growing evidence that physically active people are at a reduced risk of developing depression and that exercise interventions are associated with significant benefits for patients with mild to moderate forms of depression as well as in reducing anxiety. These findings have led to the proposal that exercise may serve as an alternative or a supplement to traditional forms of therapy. The prevalence of depression is lower in countries where the consumption of seafood is high, and omega-3 fatty acids seem to be beneficial in the management of mood disorders. Stimulants are often used as forms of self-medication in patients with anxiety or depressive disorders. Although providing short-term relief, they may have long-term adverse effects.
To learn more about the benefits of our health programs, call 843-213-1480.

AWAREmed: Depression Affects Daily Life, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina