Knowledge » Depression ::..

This page lists a variety of different resources for understanding and managing depression.

Information on Depression


You may want to try one of these online tests for depression, they should not replace a careful assessment by a qualified professional, but they can be useful in helping you decide if you need to see a professional.

Depression Online Screening Test OR Goldberg's Depression Test

Nutritional Therapy - a safer alternative?

If you are feeling depressed or even a bit low, you might also want to consider looking at your diet and considering nutritional therapy. This can be a very effective alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and there is a growing body of evidence to show certain nutritional supplements are as effective or even more effective than prescribed anti-depressant medications. Most also have virtually no side effects. You should be careful about combining some nutritional therapies if you are already taking a prescribed anti-depressant or are pregnant, have high blood pressure or are schizophrenic. It may be advisable to see a qualified practitioner.

Many people find their depression lifts if they supplement a some amino acids notably 5htp and tyrosine. 5htp helps the brain make serotonin which lifts low mood and tyrosine helps the brain make dopamine and noradrenaline which help with motivation. There is a single supplement called Positive Outlook which combines both these amino acids plus glutamine (which gets converted to GABA to help with anxiety) and some B vitamins. We have found this to be very helpful in stabilising and lifting low mood. Click here to order Positive Outlook developed by Higher Nature.

You might also want to consider taking some Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils as these too have a beneficial effect on mood, plus some recent research has been published into Chromium Picolinate. Chromium has been found helpful for atypical depression where you feel tired a lot and crave carbohydrates and comfort eat.

Another treatment worth considering is Pure EPA. EPA along with DHA make up fish oil. EPA is very effective in treating depression, see Professor Basant Puri's book The Natural Way to Beat Depression: The Groundbreaking Discovery of EPA to Successfully Conquer Depression. Prof Puri is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Hammersmith Hospital and in this accessible self-help book explains how EPA works to treat depression. You can order a high quality EPA via the internet by clicking here.

Follow this link to the Brain Bio Centre for more information and research on Nutritional approaches to depression.

You may also have heard about St John's Wort - which can interact with other medications and isn't suitable for everyone (if you are pregnant or HIV +ve and on combination therapy for example).

Queer Blues: the lesbian and gay guide to overcoming depression

Kimeran Hardin PhD and Marny Hall PhD, Forward By Betty Berzon PhD. New Harbinger Publications, 2001

Key Elements: A clear and coherent exploration of how and why lesbians and gays experience depression, a well rounded approach to helping gays and lesbians deal with the particulars of depressions from a perspective that supports the diversity the of the gay and lesbian community.

Chapter 1. 'Shades of Blue: What Depression Is and Isn't' there is an overview of depression, the symptoms of major depression, varieties of depression, an summary of the causes of depression, the role of the biological, psychological and environmental causes.

Chapter 2. 'Blue Passages: How Society Contributes to Depression for Lesbians and Gays', looks at the role that culture plays in depression, the passages that we have from one stage of life to another.

Chapter 3. 'Blue Genes; Internal Contributions to Depression' provides diagrams that explain the nervous system, the brain, the nerves and neurons, the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, the hormone connection , genetics, links between the brain chemistry, hormones, and genetics.

Chapter 4. 'Blue Portraits: Queer Stories', there are different types of 'Blues covered in chapter 4, they are, 'The Winter Blues'. 'Survivor Blues'. 'Bipolar Disorder', 'Gender Blues' and 'Postpartum Blues'.

Chapter 5. 'Tips for Main Squeezes: How to Cope With A Depressed Partner', information about the myths you may have heard (about depression), the informal signs of your partner's depression, it also provides information on what to do if your partner is suicidal.

Chapter 6 .'Monitoring The Minotaur: Self - Management and Self-Nurturing', here the relationship between cognition, beliefs and behaviour, it also how to increase your awareness of negative thoughts.

Chapter 7. 'Queer Psychology Therapy: The Talking Cure-How to Choose a Therapist' details are given about psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and other practical issues related to therapy, along with summaries of different theoretical approaches.

Chapter 8. 'Medications and Other Biological Treatments: Queer Psychiatrists Speak Out', sums up the medications for managing depression, Heterocyclic (commonly prescribed antidepressants), Selective Serotonin Reuptake (SSRI), Monoamine Oxidase (MAOIs), other novel and atypical antidepressants, there are also conversations with authorities.

Chapter 9. 'Befriending The Black Dog: Putting It All Together', gives views of the holistic views of the blues, the politics of identity, profiles in courage, and 'leaving the queer blues'.

How to Lift Depression []

Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrell (2004)

A practical approach using some of the latest thinking on how to tackle depression. This is a very useful self-help book. Part One is on understanding depression, Part Two, how to lift depression and Part Three is on seeking professional help.

Lift Depression website


(Download PDF)

Web Resources

Chronic low-grade depression means gay men more likely to have casual unprotected sex

Lesbian Depression Online Discussion and Support Group

John McManamy, award-winning mental health journalist and author has dedicated the last 12 years of his life to researching and writing on depression and bipolar disorder for people like yourself - patients and loved ones:

McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web


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