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Oxytocin and Depression

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If you are looking for ways to treat illnesses and ailments, then there are more avenues to take than ever before. The consensual opinion merging of all types of nationalities and cultures through the Internet means that there are more alternative treatments for any given problem. While proven medical justification for many supposed remedies varies, many alternative treatments are now being recommended by physicians themselves. This article examines the symptoms of depression and the use of oxytocin in alleviating them.

Depression in the modern world

The CDC states that depression affects roughly 1 in 10 adults in the US, which is a figure that echoes around most of the western world. As it stands, depression is therefore a very relevant issue for the general health of the populace, and it becomes even more important when the symptoms of depression are noted.

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Oxytocin and Postpartum Depression

Also known as ‘post natal depression,’ postpartum describes some of the emotions that surround the period immediately after childbirth when the bond between mother and baby is often cemented by the production of milk during breast-feeding.  But for many mothers this cementation is made more difficult when their natural hormones don’t kick in and they find it hard to lactate – and this pressure builds up till it spills over into the whole family relationship.

Way back at almost the beginning of the last century, 1906 to be exact, a British scientist discovered a naturally occurring hormone, secreted during childbirth called oxytocin (translated from the Greek meaning ‘speedy birth’) and found that it had a couple of primary functions; first it contracted the uterus to help the birthing process and then it stimulated the mammary glands to begin lactation. While it was Sir Henry Dale[1]  who first discovered the hormone and its connections, much work has been done in the area of postpartum across the years and most recently James F. Paulson, PhD et al, talked about the issue in the ‘Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics’[2]  in an abstract from an article that looked at the links between postpartum on mothers, fathers and parenting. In the full article they discuss the role of oxytocin in lactation and the impact that the reduction or even cessation of milk production can have on stress levels for the whole family.

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Oxytocin and You

September 5, 2012 Oxytocin and Depression, Oxytocin and Sex, Uncategorized Comments Off

Oxytocin is a peptide created in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, and acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, rendering itself highly important for many physical processes in the body, alongside social and emotional processes and development in the body and in the brain.

Oxytocin and its role in the body

Oxytocin was first discovered for important roles in reproduction, including uterine contraction and regulation during childbirth, and the letdown reflex for breastfeeding. It has since been discovered to be just as important for human social function and anxiety reduction, and to form relationships and trust between members of social groups and for intimate relationships. In this way, oxytocin holds a great deal of control over our emotional responses to social situations, helping us to stay calm and content and get on with things. This makes it a very important hormone in the grand scheme of things, which is why it has been the subject of intense research since its discovery.

How oxytocin works

The whole system in which oxytocin works involves many parts of the brain and body including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the brainstem and the heart. This makes it difficult to pinpoint its precise role and function, but what is known is that the hormone initiates a system similar yet opposite to the role adrenaline plays in stressful situations. While adrenaline gets us ready for the ‘fight or flight’, oxytocin calms us down and makes us more comfortable. Simple things like eating chocolate or sharing a hug release oxytocin in a normal healthy human.

Relationships

There is little to dispute the positive effect of oxytocin in relationships. A paper published in 2008 in Biological Psychiatry showed that it can reduce levels of cortisol when couples argue, helping to significantly reduce levels of stress. This article mirrors a wealth of other reports which show how there is a definite positive correlation between oxytocin levels and amiability and content within a given relationship.

Sexual Implications

There is not a huge body of evidence to show any direct links between the hormone and sexual performance, and as of present the direct link between oxytocin and sexual response is not clear. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest however that oxytocin has its role to play with sexual stimulation, response and function, and because oxytocin and sex are both linked so closely to emotional behavior, it comes as no surprise that they are both linked at least as an indirect positive correlation.

The things which can affect a healthy sex life are often the same – things like anxiety, communication, connection, trust and security. When there are problems with these types of things within a relationship, a couple’s sex life is often the first thing to be affected. Problems like this often produce a negative feedback effect, which further deteriorates the quality of the relationship and the happiness of both partners. The good news is that the links between all of these emotional and social ailments and oxytocin are proven, and so there are very effective ways to help improve your sex life if you think these things might be affecting you.

What can be done?

We live in a world where stress is more common than ever before. Fast paced lifestyles, employment stress and a ‘quick fix’ mentality are all acting to increase levels of anxiety and stress in people all around the world. The American National Center for Health Statistics released an MMWR report on depression among US adults, which has found that just under 10% of US adults qualify as under depression, and around 4% with major depression. This accords with antidepressants being one of the most prescribed drugs in the US.

How does this link in with Oxytocin? The more depression you experience, the more difficult it is for your body to produce oxytocin, and to experience all the benefits that this hormone creates. You are less likely to produce natural oxytocin when you are under high levels of stress, which means that oxytocin supplements can often be required.

Oxytocin Factor is a supplement of choice among many physicians and professional practitioners, with proven results in reducing stress and anxiety, and the many problems associated with them, such as sexual arousal and maintaining a healthy sex life. So taking oxytocin could be just the supplement you are looking for, with many people finding stress affecting their sex lives stating really positive changes when they take it.

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

 

Oxytocin and Anxiety

July 13, 2012 Oxytocin And Anxiety, Oxytocin and Depression Comments Off

The human body is a complicated organism, linking a vast network of cells and vessels all helping to keep the body stable and healthy. The brain likes to keep healthy too, but the brain is also extremely complicated. There is still a great deal to learn about the most complicated object in the known universe, but we know enough these days to combat all sorts of problems that link to chemical production and reception in the brain, and there are also plenty of supplements which can be freely purchased to aid medical diagnosis and treatment. This article looks into the problem of anxiety, its effects, and a new candidate for treatment called oxytocin.

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Oxytocin Eases Stress and Anxiety, Research Says

September 16, 2011 Oxytocin and Depression, Oxytocin In The News, Uncategorized Comments Off

Wouldn’t it be great to have an antidote to stress and anxiety? Given oxytocin’s power to reinforce feelings of safety and trust, scientists are increasingly finding it’s one of the most relevant neurochemicals for stress relief, particularly in social settings.

The oxytocin response can also prime the brain to react more calmly to future stress just by thinking of those we love, scientists say. According to researcher Phil Shaver of the University of California-Davis, the chemical release in the brain that this simple action causes acts as a stress buffer before it even occurs. 

Want to feel better? Want to stop feeling sad all the time? Watch the YouTube video, “How to Feel Better…Hugs, Love, Touch, OXYTOCIN

 

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Oxytocin’s Effect on Sleepiness Likely Tied to Mixing with Other Chemicals, Researchers Say

 It’s well-known that sex can make people sleepy. So can melatonin, a hormone available in pill form that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. But where does oxytocin fit into this? Scientists are still figuring that out, though oxytocin seems to combine with other chemicals and situations to bring on the zzzz’s more quickly.

Assessing the influence of oxytocin on the sleep pattern of male rats, German researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry reported that oxytocin released in the brain under stress-free conditions naturally promotes sleep. Their study, published in July 2003 in the journal Regulatory Peptides, used an oxytocin “agonist” – a drug that binds to cells to produce a certain response – to determine that natural oxytocin produced in the brain brings on sleep.

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Natural Oxytocin, Anxiety and Depression

Did you know that approximately 6 million American adults suffer from anxiety, that’s roughly 18% of all adults in our country, and additionally, according to www.mercola.com, “Each year, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States?

Despite all of these prescriptions, more than one in 20 Americans are depressed, according to the most recent stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those depressed American’s, 80 percent say they have some level of functional impairment, and 27 percent say their condition makes it extremely difficult to do everyday tasks like work, activities or daily living and getting along with others.”

Why? Stress. We live in a stressed out, non-relational, quick fix world.

The Outcome? We become oxytocin deficient. Oxytocin is the anti-stress hormone. Without this calming hormone to dampen the stress pouring from our overwhelmed amygdalas, we become conditioned for anxiety and depression.

Want help to stop worrying, depression, anxiety, and stress? Watch our video, “No More Worry

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