You can ask pharmaceutical companies if they have special discount programs or rebates for your brand-name medication. For example, I take a hypertension medication, Diovan, which erupted to a $75 copayment under my new health insurance. Astonished, I inquired about this high expense by calling the pharmaceutical company and managed to get a discount card for $25 off each monthly refill for a year. You can look into discount prescription cards, which are made available by organizations independent from insurance companies. For example, in the United States, where I live, Drug Card America, UNA Rx Card, and "your state" RX Card can be accessed online for immediate coverage. Once you fill in your name and address, your card is ready. Click, print, and begin using it at cooperating pharmacies. My local pharmacies, Target and CVS, both participate--which makes me happy and pocket-change wealthy. Don't be a coupon discount snob. Money saved is money earned. Check into your country's discount prescription card programs. Another avenue to obtain affordable medication is to go the generic route. As mentioned earlier, generic medications have similar compounds as brand-name, but cost significantly less. Though active ingredients in generics are considered to be bioequivalents of their brand counterparts, there can be variations in the inactive compounds (fillers and binders). Generics are not identical medications to brand-name medications. So it's crucial to discuss with your prescribing healthcare professional if a switch from brand-name to generic is a feasible idea. When the patent for Prozac expired in 2001, I waited to see how its generic equivalent, fluoxetine, fared the medical field. Noting that it was well received and tolerated by most first-time users, I decided to join the generic bandwagon. Luckily, I felt no difference whatsoever as I made the switch. Cut Down on Temptations: That said, if an unhealthy food is not in your house, you can't grab it from the cabinet during a weak moment.

So even if you're not overly focused on what to eliminate, you can also resist temptation by turning certain foods, like ice cream or donuts, into special foods that you thoughtfully plan to enjoy outside the house. Plus, out of sight is out of mind, so there are some foods you might not remember to crave without the visual trigger of seeing it on your shelf. If you work in an office, temptation will likely be constant. There are candy bowls, birthday cakes, breakfast meeting bagels, and other types of extra food lying around. If you bring food with you to work that you actually enjoy, you'll experience less desire to eat the extra food. You can leave the room, bring your own food into the meeting, or sip on a hot beverage. If others push you--"Don't you want a piece?"--practice getting comfortable saying no. A simple "I'm good, no thank you" or "I already brought my breakfast" or "I just ate my lunch, thanks" can often suffice. While studies examining acupuncture's impact on depression are limited, they are promising. For example, in a randomized controlled study, 755 depressed patients were divided into groups that received acupuncture, counseling, or neither. After three months, acupuncture and counseling both proved effective at significantly reducing depression. Follow-up testing a year later showed similar results. According to Professor Hugh MacPherson, who helped conceive and design the study, "In the largest study of its kind, we have now provided a solid evidence base to show that not only can acupuncture and counseling bring patients out of an episode of depression, but it can keep the condition at bay for up to a year on average." He adds that their research "provides a significant step forward in treating chronic pain and managing depression, because patients and health professionals can now make decisions on acupuncture with more confidence. Not only is it more cost effective, but it reduces pain levels and improves mood levels, which could reduce overreliance on drugs that can sometimes result in unwanted side effects."[1] This treatment approach uses fragrant essential oils derived from plants. When inhaled or applied to the skin, these oils can have a positive effect on physical, emotional, or mental well-being. Some of the more common reasons people turn to aromatherapy include managing pain, reducing stress, relieving symptoms of depression, improving concentration and clarity, relieving muscle soreness, and improving respiratory health. We all have stories like this every single day. Imagine how easy conversation will become when you can whip out a new one of these whenever you need to. You don't need to rack your brain for something interesting or topically related - just describe anything in your life and people will draw from it whatever they like. It's actually kind of fun once you get the hang of it.

I won't sugar coat things for you - there will be situations in which you get embarrassed. It just happens. What really matters is not what other people think of you in these situations, but how you respond to them in the first place. If you react properly and keep from making things worse, trust me - you'll get away with far fewer scrapes and bruises than if you tried to cover up it all up. Because we've all been there and the world is filled with stories about embarrassment, there is an endless well of examples to draw from. Here are a few situations and ways to get out of them tactfully: Jokes About Sex - Some people have flappy jaws and will say whatever comes to mind. Jokes about sex related to you can be extremely embarrassing, especially if the crowd is inappropriate. To handle these situations, let the joke pass, cover it up, or throw something back. Exes in the Room - If you run into an ex, the easiest way to handle the situation is to be calm and go about your business. If they talk to you, be polite and act as though nothing is a big deal. The only time these moments become truly embarrassing is if you treat it as anything but a run of the mill encounter. Falling Down, Dropping Something, General Clumsiness - When you make a goof, spill a drink, fall on our face or otherwise show off your clumsiness, be good natured. Brush yourself off, laugh a little and make sure people know that you're okay with it. Using the Wrong Name for Someone You Just Met - This is a tough one. People will be extremely put off when you can't remember their name. The easiest way to handle this is to apologize, explain why it happened and if you have the composure, tell a joke. That might prove tough, but it's not impossible if you focus hard enough. Embarrassment is part of the human experience. You may not like it, expect it, or know how to handle it, but it will happen. While aromatherapy is gaining popularity in general, does it really work?

Particularly with regard to the impact of aromatherapy on depression, what have various studies revealed? According to a study conducted at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, brain scans of mice exposed to the scent of jasmine showed an increase in the calming neurotransmitter GABA. Some aromatherapy advocates "suggest that essential oils may affect a number of biological factors, including heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function." =Whereas little or no side effects were seen with brand-name antidepressants, the taking of generic equivalents for some of my patients resulted in many new complaints--headaches, stomachaches, and, worst of all, insufficient reduction of depressive symptoms. A swift return to brand-name medication brought back the needed equilib-rium and well-being. I think we'd all agree that feeling better trumps saving money. ealthcare varies around the world. In the industrialized countries of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia, coverage is funded through various government-subsidized programs. Canada, Taiwan, and France use private-sector providers and privately-run hospitals that are paid by government-run insurance. The best-rated healthcare coverage occurs in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan, where nonprofit insurance companies and government subsidies ensure all citizens receive healthcare.13 The worst-rated healthcare system is in the United States of America, where nearly fifty million citizens receive no health coverage. Those who do receive healthcare benefit from either governmental programs, subsidies, or out-of-pocket payment for private coverage. It's a question that has been pondered by everyone from Plato to Al Green, and the answers vary as widely as the people asking. The word happiness derives from the word for luck, as in "happenstance" or "haphazard." At least going back to before the Enlightenment, many viewed it as a matter of random luck or divine fortune if someone felt happy or not. To a degree, this is true--several researchers have made a case that happiness is genetic or hardwired into our personality. At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe happiness can be boiled down to an equation: a certain level of dopamine plus stimulation to a particular part of the brain, and bingo, you're happy. But for many who have looked into the question, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Researchers have answered the question "What is happiness?" with two different, awkward-to-pronounce adjectives: hedonic and eudaemonic. Hedonic happiness is all about maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain, and tends to be characterized as momentary or superficial. It may be the satisfaction you get from eating a great meal, or the good feeling after a workout or a successful date--whatever experience gives you, personally, enjoyment and delight. Critics point out that using this simple "more pleasure than displeasure" equation fails to really get at what it means to be happy. These folks embrace a different definition of happiness: eudaemonic happiness, a broader sense of psychological well-being--that you are living a fulfilling life in line with your personal goals and values, and perhaps contributing to the larger good of society while you're at it.

It's a concept Aristotle defined in his Nicomachean Ethics as a flourishing, fulfilled life, rather than a transitory feeling of pleasure, "for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy." Both forms of happiness will put a smile on your face, but each leads to a distinctly different kind of fulfillment. From a scientific perspective, assessing what can foster these different types of happiness requires different types of measurements and different criteria as well. While the term hedonism is usually applied to high-living libertines looking to indulge every vice they can think of, hedonism in the study of happiness isn't just about physical pleasure. It can include your feelings about a wide range of positive and negative aspects of your life, summed up as subjective well-being. Report complaints regarding your healthcare. In whatever country you reside, you can register complaints if you experience difficulties getting medication or psychotherapy for your depression. For example, consumer watchdog organizations, ombudsman services, and state departments are available to investigate and arbitrate issues. For specific information for your country, see appendix B at the end of this book. In addition to having these resources at the ready, you need to do the following: o your homework. Before you lodge any complaints or queries, know your healthcare coverage. This means reading through paperwork or accessing information online to learn exactly what you are entitled to receive. If you're in a depressed state or in a compromised mood, have someone explain the details of your health plan to you. Keep a folder on all your healthcare issues. Create a main folder-be it old school with paper and pen, or geek chic with a computer file--that includes all your medical records. Medication, treatments, reports, and so on should be included in this folder for easy access. Start a journal record of your contacts. Whenever you make an inquiry regarding your healthcare, record every contact you have and with whom you speak. This keeps a running tab of the calls you've made, e-mails you've sent, and the information you've received. When speaking to anyone, get her or his full name. Ask the customer representative to spell his or her name for you--first and last.