1. Addiction CAN be Overcome

    June 10, 2014

    Addiction CAN be overcome

    by Audrey  Hollingshead

    I don’t even know where to begin. I have tried opening this with another fictional situation.  I have tried opening this with a line like “Whether we have lived it or lived with it we all know addiction is hard.” I have even tried jumping right into the studies and forgoing the intro all together. But it all seems so fake-untruthful, and if there is one thing I know about addicts (and the loved ones of them), they can smell fake like dogs smell fear. They know when someone is not being “real” with them. So let me be real with you:

    I have an alcoholic mother that I love. Every time we visited her in whatever rehab she happened to be in we were lectured on what addiction was. It was a disease. It was inherited. It was gene activated through horrible stress and depression. I began to see myself as some sort of expert on the subject. I knew the results of the famous drug studies, and they ALL said the same thing: Drugs are SO addicting that even one try gets people hooked. That’s it. One single try. Middle school echoed this notion in health class and I soon believed that hard drugs could steal your life without much effort.

    Until now. For the first time in decades I am starting to understand that addiction is not so hopeless. The reason that many like my mother have a hard time getting over their addictions may have MORE to do with what they were dealing with BEFORE they became addicted then their addictions themselves. But before we delve into these hopeful revelations let us first look at one of the most infamous studies that fostered the “One hit to hooked” mentality.

    Boxed In

    B. F. Skinner (March 20th, 1904-Agust 18th 1990) is a famous Psychologist, behaviorist, author and inventor. He’s most known for studying positive and negative reinforcements and invented an operant conditioning chamber dubbed The Skinner Box. Inside The Skinner Box there is a loudspeaker, light, food dispenser, lever, and an electrified floor to punish the animals (usually rats or pigeons) in study.

    In an article Cracked.com linked me to experimental psychologists decided to use The Skinner Box to test out how addicting hard drugs really were. They fixed it so the rats would be tethered to the box while a needle was permanently stuck in their jugular vain that could inject drugs any time the rats wanted by pressing a lever. The rats pushed the lever often, which prompted the study authors to conclude exactly what we hear everyday. Drug addiction happens fast. But not every psychologist saw it that way.
    Bruce K. Alexander ( December 20th 1939-) was an experimental psychologist in the 60s and hated how the rats in most studies were treated. They were given little food, or no food at all. Their metal cages were also isolated them from other rats. This, he thought, might have been main fault in the earlier drug studies. So he, along with fellow colleague’s, conducted a new one at Simon Fraser University.

    This study was completely different from the ones before it. Instead of putting all rats in boxes, he only put in half. The other half got to live in what became known as Rat Park. Instead of being the small and constrictive, this wooden park had many wings filled anything a rat could dream of. There was ample food, naptime areas, cans to hide and play in, exercise wheels, and wood shavings to shuffle around. The only thing these two environments had in common was easy access to meth. The results? Isolated rats consumed MUCH more morphine then those who got to run free. This prompted Alexander to conclude that it’s NOT drugs that make the addict-it’s the environment. And this isn’t the only study to conclude so.

    According to another article Cracked.com linked me to, not everyone who tries drugs becomes addicted. In fact, only small portions of those who continually use become addicted. How is this possible? Lets look at Colombia University psychologist Carl Hart. Hart grew up around addiction and was determined to find a cure. So he put an ad in the Village Voice saying he’d pay addicts 950 dollars to smoke government grade crack as long as they lived in the study’s hospital.

    They’d start each day blindfolded while a nurse gave them a portion (that varied from day to day) of crack. The researchers watched through a two-way mirror as they smoked up. They would get more chances to toke throughout the day, but with a twist.  Instead of just handing over more crack, they gave them a choice: another hit, or five dollars they could use when they left. The results: Those that were given large amounts of crack asked for more. Those that got little opted for the cash. What’s amazing is that Hart replicated the study with meth users and got pretty much the same results- even more so when the choice of five dollars shot up to twenty.

    So what does this mean exactly? And how can this new research help addicts? By showing them they are not slaves to their addictions. People like my mother don’t drink and use because OF their addictions. They drink and use to ESCAPE their problems. Problems so huge they feel like drugs are the only option. But they don’t have to be!

    Addiction CAN be over come! How? By confronting the issues that lead them to addiction in the first place. They have to realize that drugs aren’t the answer and then, with the help of a strong support group, face the problems that made them think they were. It’s not easy, but it is possible!

    And remember,

    Dream Well! Dream Positive!

     

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jb-london/10227588043


  2. What Causes People to Develop Anxiety – According to Frankl

    May 22, 2014

    What Causes People to Develop Anxiety – According to Frankl

    Frankl’s concepts are based on finding a meaning or purpose in life.  He has stated that all life circumstances have meaning, even the ones that are hard or make us miserable.  He goes on to state that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances”.  What does this all mean?  In basic terms, it means we may not have the power to control the circumstances into which we are thrust, but we do have the power to control the way in which we think about those circumstances.

    Frankl used his views to look at and discuss treatment options for several mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and neurosis.  He also used his views to help terminally ill patients.  His thoughts regarding mental illness were if we could simply recognize the purpose of our circumstances, we could (possibly) master our mental health issues.  Let’s explore this further.

     

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  3. Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens to Become Depressed?

    May 8, 2014

    Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens to Become Depressed?

    Teen depression is becoming more and more common all around the world. Teens are known to have a hard time becoming their own person. Their pasts’ and the present affect how well-adjusted they become. If signs of depression are presenting themselves, they should be treated right away.  However, most teenagers who come down with depression aren’t sure how to handle it or where to turn for help. If signs of depression are presenting themselves, they should be treated right away.

    There are many causes of depression in teens, way too many to list but here are some of them:

    Stress Academically: School can cause a lot of stress for teens including the pressure to get good grades, make friends, be popular, get in with the “cool” crowd, what classes to choose, what sports to be a part of, and all of the homework that they are required to do. Other stresses include the pressure of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Each factor listed above is a major cause for depression in teenagers.

    Peer Pressure: Everyone, especially teens, want to be liked by their peers. When children become teenagers, they are still trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Most teenagers are looking to be popular in their group of peers. Some of the ways they attempt to reach their popularity is often through trying drugs and risky behaviors. They may also change who they are to become who the popular crowd would like them to be. This can lower the teenager’s self-esteem quite a lot. This type of peer pressure often claims many teens mental state which causes depression.

    Relationship Break-Ups: Teenagers aren’t usually ready for serious relationships. However, there are many teens that are dating and falling in love prematurely. This is not saying that teenage relationships can’t last forever but the honest truth is that most of them don’t last past high school. However, this fact doesn’t make a break-up any easier. When a break-up occurs, it will often leave the teen feeling helpless and depressed. This is one of the most common causes of teenage depression.

    Divorced Parents: In another regard to relationships, when a teenager has to deal with their parents getting divorced, they can become very confused. They may also feel guilty as well. It is important to note that parental divorces are never the child’s fault. However, the guilt that the teenager feels often manifests itself as depression. If this is the case, the teen should see a therapist or a counselor right away.

    Genes: There are many illnesses that are linked to heredity. Many studies have linked depression to genetic traits. If a teen has a family member who has had or is suffering from depression, they are more likely to have depression themselves.

    Having Low Self-Esteem: Unfortunately, there are many teenagers who suffer from low self-esteem. There are many reasons for this including acne, not having what they consider enough friends, and sometimes even the parents aren’t supportive enough.

    If a teenager is dealing with any of the above mentioned factors and they are feeling depressed they should talk to a therapist or a counselor as soon as possible. If they are dealing with any of the above issues and they aren’t depressed, it still may also be a good idea for them to see a therapist or a counselor to talk their feelings through before depression takes over.

    The first step in battling depression for teens is coming to an understanding of what is happening to their lives and their own bodies. Once they can grasp these understandings, they will be more likely to get out of and stay out of depression. While therapy or counseling is the first recommended treatment for depression in teens, some cases of depression do require anti-depressant medications. It is not a bad thing if a teenager has to be put on these medications; it just means they are getting their depression under control. If you are a teenager and you are feeling signs of depression please contact someone right away. Also, if you are a friend or a parent of someone who has signs of depression ask for help as well.


    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merfam/71578640/


  4. Jung and Frankl on the Meaning of Life

    March 17, 2014

    Carl Jung and Viktor Frankl on the Meaning of Life

    by Karen Fernandes

    It is widely agreed among psychologists that a sense of meaning and ‘purpose’ is critical to a healthy psyche. Without a framework to give our lives purpose, we can find ourselves falling into an existential depression (often itself the catalyst for a mid-life crisis) or drifting aimlessly with no sense of direction and no interest anything life has to offer.

    Unfortunately, applying meaning to a seemingly random and chaotic universe is not easy for us, and many of the big concepts are really beyond any chance of human comprehension. We don’t know where we came from (even though we might have beliefs on the matter), we don’t know why we were put here – we don’t even know if there will be any lasting consequences of our actions on Earth. As far as we’re aware we came from nothing and will return there when it’s over.

    So where then does this crucial sense of purpose come from? How does it form in a healthy mind? How does someone decide what they believe and how they should spend their time in light of so little information and so much mystery? These are questions that many thinkers have attempted to answer with mixed results. Here we are going to examine the views of two key contributors: Carl Jung and Viktor Frankl, which demonstrate how this process of finding meaning fits into the complex puzzle of the human mind.

    Jung’s Theories of Individuation

    Individuation is a widely used term that essentially describes the psychological process of becoming ‘an individual’. Often this transformation is said to occur during the adolescent years and early-adulthood; when a young person will ‘try out’ different personalities and ways of life to see which fit them best. Most of us can remember a ‘gothic’ or ‘preppy’ phase in adolescence (probably while cringing) and will likely have moved between friendship groups and ideals as we gradually started to learn about ourselves and develop a concrete identity (parents of teenagers will likely be all-too familiar with this period of development). If all goes well though, the individual should come out of the process with a stable personality (even if their beliefs and interests change) and a sense of ‘who they are’ and what their role is in society.

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  5. When will Spring come? Overcoming Seasonal Depression

    March 12, 2014

    When will Spring come? Overcoming Seasonal Depression

    by Daniela Aneis

    I had a depressed patient in psychotherapy that used to ask me frequently “When will Spring come?” meaning when would she overcome depression and see the light at the end of the tunnel (We started treatment in the Fall so her question made sense at the time). A few months into treatment and feeling quite better, she said to me: “I don’t know why I thought it would all be better in the Spring. It’s still raining and cold and I feel better. It’s all me [referring to several changes she made in herself, her habits and the way she saw herself and depression].”

    To set the record straight: clinical depression is a life threatening condition if not properly treated and needs professional treatment. Both pharmacological and psychological treatment. But I’m not going to talk to you about clinical depression but about what might be called seasonal depression – a mood fluctuation due to seasons passing and usually is felt during the Fall or Spring. People go through it without realizing but it can make small damages into your life. You may feel inexplicably sad, without the motivation and energy to pursue your goals, isolated. And if you’re having other problems in your life, you might just be opening the door to let the clinical depression settle into your life.

    So watch out for the signs before you open the door to let depression in. Instead try to make it feel like Spring is here earlier.

    Seasonal Depression: What are the signs?

    • Do you feel drained? Without energy?
    • Do you feel like sleeping too much or not enough?
    • Are not motivated to do things or start new projects?
    • Having been feeling sad lately for no good reason? Or experiencing mood swings?
    • Have you cried more than usual?
    • Do the things you used to love doing not give the same pleasure as they used to?
    • Do you feel like staying at home all the time and don’t feel like going out or being with friends as often as you did?

    If you’re experiencing some or must of these signs, you may be experiencing a seasonal depression. Watch out for these signs and try some of the strategies presented below.

    A few to tips on how to let the Spring in earlier:

    • Open your windows, let the sun in. Winter is a season where there’s less natural light, the weather is gray and rainy most of the days and lack of natural sunlight often aggravates depression.
    • Clean the house. Literally! Organizing your home space and getting rid of the junk will make you feel lighter.
    • Make the best out of the sunshine. Are you feeling tempted into spending a lazy Sunday indoors? Go outside and get some sun!  Even if just for an hour it will have enduring effects on your mood.
    • Practice exercise. Exercise creates a relaxation state and helps you take off the steam.
    • Be with friends. Isolation is not only a sign of depression but it works as fuel to the depression cycle. Break the cycle and set a date with your friends.
    • Sleep well. Not much! And wake up early. A good night sleep is usually everything. So try to keep health sleeping habits (like going to bed at the same time every night, doing relaxing stuff before going to bed)
    • Make the best out of your day. Try to do different things and step away from your routine.
    • Watch out for the signs. And make necessary adjustments to counteract its effects. What do you need to change in your life that will ease some of the seasonal depression’s signs and effects?

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35924887@N02/5448338240


  6. Benefits of Positive Attitude for Addiction Recovery

    February 8, 2014

    Benefits of Positive Attitude for Addiction Recovery

    by Emily Syane

    Recovering from any type of addiction, whether it’s drugs or alcohol, is a long process. An addict cannot simply change overnight, as the nature of addiction is that this is an impulse they cannot control. There have been many types of addiction treatments and therapies over the years and many are still in use today. However, all these treatments, therapies, and retreats would simply be useless if the addict himself simply is not interested in changing. A positive attitude is one of the most powerful weapons people looking to stop their addiction can have. A positive outlook allows them to carry on and stick to their treatments. While some people may think that this is all psychological mumbo-jumbo, a positive attitude towards one’s self, the treatment, and in general, the world, can make a big impact on treating addiction. Let’s take a look at the different ways such an outlook can benefit recovering addicts.

    Reduce Depression

    It’s common sense that if you have a positive attitude, you won’t be depressed, but for addicts, this can practically guarantee their recovery. People treating addicts have coined a term for people who are overly negative – “Stinking Thinking.” This can cause real, clinical depression, but is also very dangerous for people who are trying to get rid of an addiction. This happens when people are overly negative and become pessimistic about their future. This increases their chances of relapsing and even make people around them suffer. Even if they stop taking drugs or alcohol, they recovering addict might not be happy in sobriety and be driven to go back to old habits. And, when people are depressed, even the smallest things can set them off and send them back to the bottle.

    Boost Immune System

    Believe it or not, a positive attitude can actually boost the immune system. A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine showed that people who meditated and experienced happiness had a higher level of antibodies in their blood. This meant that people who had a positive attitude could potentially fight off infection better than those who do not.

    Positive Attitude

     

    Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

    Having a positive attitude can also have benefits to heart health. Various studies have shown that a positive attitude can generally benefit the body because this can lower the level of stress hormones and inflammations, which are good signs for better cardiovascular health.

     

    Increase Self Efficacy

    Self-efficacy, according to psychologists, is an individual’s belief that they have the ability to achieve their goal. Self-efficacy and positive thinking go hand-in-hand and help an individual achieve their goals. This means that people can reach their goals by simply thinking they can do it. Many people can help improve their self efficacy by accomplishing small goals, seeing other people achieve these goals, and even through therapy.

     

    Other Benefits…

    There are many other benefits people (in general) can get from simply having a more positive outlook on life. People who have a positive outlook are able to better handle stress and adversities in their lives. They can problem-solve and tend not to let the bad things that happen in their lives to bring them down. They have more energy to do more things in their lives. A positive attitude can help people live longer, as they experience little stress and as mention earlier, have a better immune system. In general, people who have a positive attitude are happier and make those around them happier as well.

    Recovering from an addiction is not an easy road. It is often painful and a lot of hard work. However, many people all over the world recover from their addiction, and in many of those cases, a positive attitude was not only necessary, but pivotal. Having a positive attitude is one of the best ways to recover from an addiction. It has many benefits, but in general, it can help prevent relapses and make recovering live happier lives in sobriety.

     

    Author Bio: Emily Syane is a health blogger and customer service representative for LA based body Detoxification Company. She loves to write a blog about life, career, and anything about new research. You can read her informative blogs on www.helpmepassadrugtest.com

    Image Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/jackheart/5188367113

     

     


  7. Natural Ways to Treat Depression

    February 6, 2014

    Natural Ways to Treat Depression

    Dealing with depression is something that many people have to do every single day of their lives. Depression prevent them from experiencing total happiness or any hint of happiness at all. Many turn to anti-depression medication for assistance, but these pills can have deleterious consequences themselves. What are some natural methods they can try to beat depression?

    Find Your Faith

    Sometimes, people are depressed because they feel all alone in the world. They don’t think their family and friends are there, and they are seeking a source of guidance. Finding faith in God can have a tremendously positive impact on people who are suffering from depression. This connection lets individuals know that God is there for them and watching them. Furthermore, people have the confidence that they can pray to God for help and receive an answer. They might practice formally with a congregation or pay on their own.

    Practice Yoga

    Other individuals are uncomfortable with religious practices, or they may not have faith in God. Instead of relying on that type of treatment, they can turn toward yoga. In some ways, yoga is a spiritual experience, but those who practice it are getting more in touch with themselves and, sometimes, the natural world as well. Joining a studio can help bring depressed people into a group of supportive individuals, and practicing some tapes at home can help individuals to really get to know themselves and find different channels for their frustration.

    Getting Away from the Pandemonium

    When individuals are depressed, their daily routines can make everything worse. They might feel as though they are not really living anymore or that they are just going through the motions. While packing everything up and moving to an entirely different location is not a possibility for most people, they can go on a holiday. Spending a weekend or several days away from the ordinary and dull routine can be enough to pick them back up. They might even discover new activities or hobbies while they are on this holiday.

    Spending More Time Outdoors

    Seasonal depression is something that people really experience, and this can provide some hint of a solution to depression. When people are trapped inside all day, they might feel as though the world is passing them by and that they are missing out on their lives. Even if it is raining out, jumping in a puddle can bring a huge smile to someone’s face. When the days are chilly, throwing on warm clothes and going for a jog can be all that it takes. Fresh air provides so many benefits to individuals who bask in its delight.

    Address the Inhibitors

    While depression is often a condition that people suffer with internally, outside factors can contribute to it and make it worse. For example, people who are in abusive relationships should examine how to get out of them. Individuals facing huge amounts of debts should start crafting a plan for paying it off. Moving away from and on from the problem can be majorly positive.

    When people want to treat depression naturally, they need to consider how intense their condition is. Clinics like Noosa Confidential can provide the much needed support and care people require to overcome their internal issues; you’re not alone.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jstar/512847096

     


  8. Depression – When the Initial Treatment Doesn’t Work

    January 31, 2014

    Depression - When the Initial Treatment Doesn’t Work

    Depression is a condition that stems from a variety of different factors, and this makes it difficult to treat effectively.  Upon diagnosis and development of a treatment plan, there is no guarantee it will be effective. While this can be quite discouraging, it is important to consider why things didn’t work. If you are someone who suffers from depression, consider the following points of view as an explanation for why, and see if it applies to you in any given way.

    Wrong Diagnosis

    It can be uncommon, but sometimes the diagnosis of depression can be wrong all together. There are various mental illnesses that have the patterns that depression follows, and if this is the case, then the treatment of depression isn’t going to be the answer. An example would be something like hypothyroidism, which is a condition that produces consistent fatigue, a lack of overall motivation, and problems with concentration. While these all sound like depression, and the similarity is significant without question, a treatment for depression will not cure hypothyroidism.

    Substance Abuse

    When there is a plan put together to help resolve depression symptoms, the use of alcohol or other drugs can hinder the effect of the medication. Something as simple as a beer or a glass of wine can interfere with the medicine being absorbed properly, and the intended effect will not take place.

    Living Situation

    Sometimes the individual diagnosed with depression is in a living situation with many different stressors that need to be addressed. Without successfully dealing with the stressors, the depression will be very hard to treat. If there is a lot of tension at home, work, or other areas of the person’s life, then the effective treatment of depression will be very hard to achieve.

    Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

    While depression medication is geared to help the mind deal with any chemical imbalances, it isn’t necessarily designed to cure insomnia. If an individual is not sleeping properly, the lack of rest can prevent the mood from improving.  Lack of sleep can prevent someone from getting better all together. The likelihood for heightened anxiety is more likely from someone who doesn’t get the proper amount of rest, as well.

    Stopping a medication too soon

    When a person is prescribed anti-depressants, the concern for dependence might cause fear, and in some cases, this will stop the person from using the medication. This will prevent the medication from developing its optimal effects. Medication has to be taken as prescribed for a period of at least 2 weeks to see any improvement, and for several months to gain the desired effect.  Coming off of the medication too quickly can cause side effects or even withdrawal symptoms, and the positive developments will have to be started all over again.  This can take longer each time the person starts and stops his/her medication.

    Depression is something that can be very difficult to understand, and it’s even more of a challenge when you are the individual with the condition. While discouragement is something that may occur during your first attempts at treatment, it’s essential to consider the reasons as to why it didn’t work, and to continue pushing forward for other solutions. Depression is a very intense feeling to manage, but as long as there is a will there, then a way will be available in due time.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmican/260122970/

     


  9. The “Tomato Effect” in Treating Depression

    January 29, 2014

    The Tomato Effect in Treating Depression

    The “tomato effect” is something that happens when you attempt to treat a condition, and your mind has already reserved a view or opinion on just how successful that treatment is going to be. It’s an assessment based on the way an individual believes the treatment is going to affect him or her, and this supposed mental awareness can have an impact on the success or failure of treatment.

    The “tomato effect” is often associated with a joke commonly seen on doctor-oriented TV sitcoms. The patient claims to have some type of illness, the doctor prescribes them “medication” (aka, sugar pills), and magically, they are cured. The idea of convincing a person that a particular treatment is going to be effective and can work is often half the battle; belief has a lot of power over the effect of a particular treatment. People’s minds are complex, and the association of an idea, a strong will, and the pre-conceived notion toward how a treatment is going to work has a lot more power than some might think.

     

    Medicinal Approach Versus Nutritional Balance

     

    There is a lot of talk surrounding the treatment of depression with medicinal approaches versus adjustments made with regards to basic nutrition. The medicinal treatment comes with the risk of certain side effects, which in some cases, can’t be reversed. The change in nutritional intake, however, is something that can be adjusted without the risk of long-term change in various bodily functions. For individuals that are hesitant toward trying a medicinal approach, research has shown that the proper increase in certain B-Vitamins, which have a lot to do with energy and focus, can lead to increased cognitive behavior and more energy and productivity. The avoidance of unhealthy substances, such as trans fats, also leads to a positive outcome, both in physical development and mental processing.

    One problem with the medicinal approach is previously held opinions about the success or failure of a certain medication. If the patient believes that medicine is a bad idea, then the likelihood of recognizing any kind of positive change could be compromised, whether the changes are happening or not. People may fear side effects, or simply not trust in the success of a particular medication. When treating depression, if the mind doesn’t want to believe it’s being helped, then the treatment may be less successful.  The alternative treatment of making nutritional changes is sometimes the more acceptable approach for certain people, and there really is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; as long as the individual believes that it can work for them, then it is a step in the right direction.

     

    Belief has more Power than Treatment

     

    Some treatments used to manage a mental condition are going to be viewed as a possibility for success or as a negative option.  This is before the patient even begins using it on a regular basis. It is human nature to develop opinions and to view something as a good or bad idea; these views and the ability to keep an open mind can have an impact on just how successful treatment is going to be. Human beings and their mental psyche are incredibly complex; by grasping an understanding of exactly what the mind can do, it has a great influence toward how effective treatment can be. It is important to factor in the opinions of a person toward any treatment solution; the ignorance toward something that crucial can be the very platform that defines a successful treatment attempt, or a waste of time all together.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pistoletty/3651313640/


  10. How You Can Get Over a Nervous Breakdown

    January 21, 2014

    How You Can Get Over a Nervous Breakdown

    Suffering a nervous breakdown is a frightening and exhausting experience. Though no one wants to experience a nervous breakdown, life events and circumstances land many people to such on the journey of life. What do you do when you realize that you are in the midst of a breakdown? How do you even realize that you’ve hit that point?

    If you are suffering from severe anxiety, fatigue, moodiness, brokenness, fatigue, and significant mental and emotional issues, you are likely to be going through a breakdown. Maybe you have gone through a tremendously difficult situation like a divorce or the loss of a loved one. Or perhaps you lost your job or lost your ability to work after an accident. There are many reasons why people suffer a nervous breakdown, but there is hope in getting through one and back on your feet again.

    Tips for getting through your nervous breakdown:

    When you are right in the midst of a nervous breakdown, life does not make much sense. You nerves are shot, your thoughts are irrational and worrisome, your emotions are all over the place, and fear covers you like a blanket.  It is quite a suffering of the soul and in order to overcome it, it is first important to recognize you are IN it and make a decision to reach for help and do what it takes to get out.

    Treat the symptoms

    What symptoms are you experiencing? Are your nerves on high alert, making it difficult to eat and sleep?

    Meditation and breathing. Perhaps you can take up deep breathing and relaxation exercises. Mediation is also a wonderful tool that helps alleviate stress, anxiety and the racing thoughts that run through the mind. Some people find prayer or attending a religious function helps them get through as well.

    Journaling.  It’s a great idea to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Keep track of your entries so that you can gauge where you’ve been and where you are going. You can also write down some positive affirmations and recite them out loud on a daily basis. As you do, your thought life will get better and as your thoughts affect your emotions, your emotions will get better as well.  Write down affirmations like:

    • My life is getting better.
    • I am feeling better every day.
    • I can handle anything that comes my way.
    • This season of brokenness is over.
    • I am a strong, independent, loving person.
    • My mind is clear and my thoughts are positive.
    • I am safe and loved.

    Get therapy.  If you are in the midst of a nervous breakdown, it will do you good to see a therapist. There you will have a safe place to let out your feelings and get some insight as to why you ended up on the road to a breakdown in the first place.  Commit to therapy for a season, like 6 or 9 months, and watch how you progress!

    Take up exercise. Exercise is a great stress reliever. If you are able, commit to an exercise regimen three to four times a week so that you can feel better physically and mentally.

    Invest in yourself.  Go to a seminar on personal development. Read some good books that will help you grow. Pop in an audio CD in the car on your way to work. Take some time to invest in yourself in various way so that you can become stronger mentally and emotionally.  Even 15 minutes a day encouraging yourself will help you lift up out of the breakdown.

    Face the root cause

    There is bound to be one or several factors as to why you are suffering a breakdown right now. Are you in an abusive relationship? Have your actions caused you a load of guilt and regret? Do you hate your job/boss/spouse/life? Are you under significant financial strain? Dig deep and discover has brought you to such a point. You can do this yourself or you can have a therapist help you.

    You can get over a nervous breakdown if you follow these tips and really make some life changes.  A nervous breakdown is not always a terrible thing. In fact, some men and women will tell you that their breakdown was in fact a stepping stone for a spiritual awakening.  Sometimes it is at the darkest moments in life where people learn a lot about themselves and life in general.

    Don’t give up hope.  Get going THROUGH your breakdown today.

    Image Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlieeclark/6191679822/