1. Insomnia and Depression- How the Two Dance Together

    December 10, 2013

    Insomnia and Depression- How the Two Dance Together

    Insomnia and depression are 2 conditions that essentially go together, hand in hand. The lack of rest on a nightly basis for a long period of time leads to an incredible amount of damage toward the mental psyche, and causes changes in the way that an individual perceives daily routines. This is something that can be put into consideration on the notion of common sense. The effect a lack of sleep has on mental health has led to a study conducted at Ryerson University, and claim, that curing insomnia and curing depression fall under similar criteria.

    When a body and mind experience a lack of rest over a long period of time the perception toward everything around an individual changes. When the body and mind are exhausted the most mundane and simple tasks can be seen as challenging, and an overpowering sense of negativity can be felt as a result. The development over time of these negative feelings can lead to them gradually taking over the mind and body, and eventually this leads to the very birth of the condition we know as ‘depression’.

    Therapy and Defeating Insomnia

    Therapy that has been based around effectively curing ‘depression’ has put a study into place around the idea of insomnia, and the interaction it has with depression. The study states by taking various thought processes and structuring the way a mind perceives them, a certain kind of ‘calm’ can be achieved, which will lead to acquiring better sleep patterns. From this, the acquiring of better sleep patterns, the mind will be able to function more clearly, and the result will be a more rested and clear psyche. Thus, the claim that curing insomnia can help cure depression.

    When the body is deprived of a need such as rest, than it falls into a position of panic, stress is heightened, and negative thoughts eventually become a common routine. The claim that healthier sleeping patterns will help cure depression is correct, but it is also a statement that is common sense. The more important thing to recognize in all of this is the idea of ‘perception’, and the coping technique of how to mentally digest various thoughts and feelings. The coping technique of how to take various ideas and stresses in is the actual component that is helping cure the depression, the sleep is simply a side-component. Acquiring sleep is definitely something the body needs, but the effective management of things that make us think and cause stress is the idea here that is most important.

    When the mind is racing and thinking about several different problematic ideas, than the opportunity to get a healthy amount of rest becomes quite challenging. The ability to acquire coping techniques to keep the mind frame in a stable place helps treat the problem we know as depression, and it also defeats the other problem, insomnia.  Do insomnia and depression happen together all the time? Not always. Can learning how to defeat insomnia contribute to a healthier mind frame? Absolutely. The important thing to keep in mind however is that insomnia and depression are two entirely separate problems, and while insomnia can worsen the condition of depression, it isn’t the cause of it. Insomnia is a common side-effect of depression.

    The therapy of curing insomnia is based heavily around our problem solving abilities and how to separate thoughts when they come to mind. When you take a stressful situation and learn how to properly break it down and cope with the final outcome, that is a piece of education that is directly relevant toward overcoming depression. Depression is often associated with the inability to think clearly, and the result of this unclear thinking leading to a lack of motivation, and an overwhelming outcome of negative feelings. These negative feelings are the part of the equation that an individual can’t take control of, and usually is the core of the condition we know as depression. The ability to properly cope with ideas, and separate and understand ideas may be considered a way of ‘curing’ insomnia, but more importantly it is a skill that in itself can help deal with depression. Curing and overcoming depression isn’t so much about making it fully go away, but about how to maximize an individual’s control  over the feelings it can bring.

    Curing Insomnia is Curing Depression

    I think that when you take this statement you have to be careful with how far you place the two together on the same concept, as I’ve mentioned before. A lack of sleep certainly does contribute toward the development of depression, but the sudden ability to rest and get a full night’s sleep shouldn’t be deemed a ‘cure’ for depression. The necessity to separate the claim that curing insomnia can help conquer depression as opposed to the claim it can ‘cure’ it is essential. The ability to overcome the mental condition known as depression has far more strings attached beyond the ability to simply get a good night’s rest. The key to overcoming depression is associated with defining what the condition depends on to exist. From these core dependencies the development of an effective plan to manage stress with various coping strategies, a healthy daily routine, and healthy rest all play vital roles when combating depression. Basing depression solely around the idea of sleep is not only an error, but a delivery of false hope for people who struggle with the condition. The ability to see the condition for all that it is will be the only path that leads to eventually curing it.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicoravassard/8552043273


  2. Depression – Can We Break the Social Taboo?

    November 21, 2013

    Depression – Can We Break the Social Taboo?

    by Alexander Thornton

    Even in today’s so-called enlightened times, sufferers from depression and other mental illnesses face the added burden of the stigma that attaches to their condition as well as ongoing discrimination. Sufferers experience isolation from family, friends and others and are excluded from everyday activities that most people consider normal. They find it harder to find and keep employment and their physical health is adversely affected.

    Mental illness has historically been attributed to the effect of demons, character weakness or moral failing and sufferers in most societies have found themselves social outcasts. This means that vast numbers of people face rejection by society. According to the WHO (Fact Sheet No. 369 Oct 2012), depression affects more than 350 million people. Despite its prevalence, less than 50% of depression sufferers receive effective treatment due to lack of resources and trained health care providers. Also the social stigma attached to all mental disorders often prevents many from seeking treatment because they want to hide their problem.

    Depression crosses all boundaries of race and nationality. The recently published findings of a study entitled “Burden of depressive disorders by country, sex, age and year: Findings from the global burden of disease study 2010” by researchers from the University of Queensland published on the PLOS Medicine website show that North Africa and the Middle East have the highest rates while the lowest rates are in East Asia, Australasia and South East Asia. The researchers acknowledge, however, that their findings are likely to be heavily influenced by local taboos and access to services: diagnosis rates are probably higher in the West while rates in east Asia, for example, will be lower.

    In 2009 Time to Change, a programme in England partly funded by the Department of Health, reported that some 92% of people in Britain believed that admitting to suffering from a mental health problem would harm their careers while 56% would not employ someone with a history of mental illness, despite the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995). It is this type of attitude that causes people to hide their problem and so avoid seeking treatment.

    More recently, researchers examined perceptions of depression in 35 countries around the world, producing a report entitled “Global pattern of experienced and anticipated discrimination reported by people with major depressive disorder: a cross-sectional survey.” (Lancet, Vol. 381 Issue 9860. 5 January 2013). The findings are disturbing. Of the sufferers interviewed:

    • 79% reported experiencing at least one form of discrimination.
    • 37% had avoided initiating close personal relationships.
    • 25% had avoided applying for work.
    • 20% had avoided applying for education or training.
    • Experienced discrimination was lower among those who disclosed a diagnosis of depression than those who did not.
    • Nearly half of those who anticipated discrimination had not previously experienced it.

    Many nations are making a concerted effort to change the perception of depression with a view to breaking down the taboos and removing the stigma, so that sufferers are more willing to access treatment and to reduce discrimination.  In April 2012, for example, Time to Change began a pilot project in the West Midlands designed to change the attitudes of young people (aged between 14 and 18) towards mental illness. In the 18 months since its inception the initiative has seen a 1.3% improvement in attitude and a 6% reduction in discrimination. The project has now been extended to the South East.

    Among others in Britain, Depression Alliance runs regular campaigns to raise awareness and reduce discrimination while Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales that works to improve the lives of those with mental illness.

    In the United States a Mental Health Anti Stigma Campaign is just one of many intended to clear up misconceptions about mental illness. Meanwhile, in New Zealand former All Black star John Kirwan is the face of a campaign to raise awareness and reduce the stigma attached to depression. A sufferer during his playing days, he is heavily involved in television advertising and has even written a book “All Blacks Don’t Cry” about his experiences.

    Discrimination has long been part of the human psyche, but barriers are slowly being removed. As discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and so on is increasingly frowned upon so, hopefully, sufferers from depression will gain acceptance and so be able to enjoy fuller lives with uninhibited access to the treatments that can help them so much. It will however, be a long, hard road to erase long held, deep-seated fears and attitudes.

    Author Bio: Alexander Thornton is a mental health specialist who works for Life Works Community. Add Alex on Google Plus or follow him on Twitter at @AlexanderThorn5.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dno1967b/5406671749


  3. The Why Me Syndrome

    November 9, 2013

    I'm unique!

    by Andrew R.

     

    You hear this a lot when time is spent with other people with mental quirks “How come I have depression? Why me?”. This is something I don’t do for the most part and the closest I will come is figuring a past life of mistakes is now responsible for my present but there is no logic there so it does not last long. The other reason I do not fall for this syndrome is I am pretty sure I know what the answer is.

     

    1. Genetics. Both sides of my family have cases of severe depression in more than one person. A number of my aunts and uncles have been on prescription medications for the last decade. So my brain is pretty much hard wired for depression.

     

    2. Coping Mechanisms. Most people get a problem thrust upon them then they handle it then and there. My tendency is to take the problem and swallow the damn thing then later on release the inner turmoil with the help of a razor. Not healthy and the breeding ground for mental illness.

     

    3. Brain design. I analyze every single thing that comes into my brain purely by habit and where most people are able to justify and let go I continue to dig until there is nothing left. I doubt this is scientific fact but i would bet people with a higher intelligence are more at risk then someone with a lower IQ score. Take a tragic event: A person with a lower IQ sees the event and just shrugs it off then is able to move on but someone with a higher IQ tends to see the same event from every possible angle and needs it to be fully justified before letting it go. There has been recent studies done showing the link between highly creative people and mental illness.

     

    Anyway there is my three reasons on Why me.

     

    Image Credit: Ashley Webb – www.flickr.com/photos/xlordashx/8418067887


  4. Escaping Depression: A Middle Class Kid’s Guide

    October 11, 2013

    dealing with depression

    by Tyler Fleck

     

    I feel like a ton of people have this kind of story, the success story that is supposed to be uplifting, and drag how many readers out of a dark hole just on the merit of its ideals and noble notions. But, though I truly hope this can help, this is more of a story of how I dealt with a very dark time in my life, rather than a cure all. I hold no illusions of grandeur, no misappropriated ideals of myself—I know I’m no psychologist or therapist—but, I do know what worked for me, and maybe it can help some of you who might be dealing with a similar issue to work through it. At the least, perhaps it can give you another angle to work from. Anyways, here’s my story of how I was able to defeat depression.

    Background

    When I was younger, I went through a period of time where I felt literally nothing can go right. My friends had all moved away—save a loyal few—I couldn’t catch a break in the dating world, and my family life was crumbling as my favorite relatives left one by one, and my parents divorced. Waking up in the mornings was harder and harder every day, and it came to a point—after one of my best friends and mentors died in a car crash—that I started feeling like the darkness was never going to end.

    I felt depressed, lonely, and sometimes I just wondered what the point was. It was hard, to say the least.

    And yet, at the time, I had this strange dichotomy underscoring my life. It wasn’t really apparent at the time, but I was doing well in school, the bullies—who had marred my life before this difficult time—had all moved on to different targets (or different schools) and I still had those aforementioned loyal friends who always seemed to be there for me, even when we had our differences. But, still, I had my problems, and I had to deal with them, which I did in the only way I knew how—by throwing myself into my passions.

    Escaping the Darkness

    I remember, as a younger kid, when things got really bad, I would retreat into my books and my video games to get away from it all. With all the news as of late, many of you might think that’s wrong, that this would just open up a path for me to become some psycho serial-killer; but, for me, I truly needed the escape. Video games and movies and books gave me a whole separate land to go to that I could be king. Nothing was truly impossible, and I had a chance to get out of my head for a while, and just enjoy life. It’s strange to hear, but I think these fantasy lands actually gave me a strange sort of self-confidence; it was just easier to be me while I was playing/reading, and that transferred into the real world after a while. Even more importantly, I started gaining new friends just through common interests in these medias, which really helped me throughout Jr. High and High school, the period of time when I was rebuilding my life.

    Friends and Therapy

    But, with all this said, I don’t want to promote escapism as the only way to fix your problems. I loved playing video games, reading, and throwing myself into projects that would take my mind off of everything else, but that was only part of what I did to save my mental health. I talked to the people close to me (though there weren’t many), pried the minds of whoever would listen (of which there were even fewer), and did the same for others who needed it. Yeah, at the end of the day, those conversations only lasted a few minutes—and sometimes I would go weeks without anyone to talk about where I was in life—but, those few, fleeting moments of true human connection kept me feeling happy, alive even. It was in those moments that I knew I wasn’t completely alone, and I clung to those as hard as I could. I allowed them to drag me out of the dark place I lived in, and it got me where I am today; a perfectly functioning, outgoing individual.

    I also gained a major appreciation for therapy out of this period of time, as I found a wonderful therapist—a family friend—who was really able to connect to me on an emotional level, and kind of help me through all the bad parts of my life. Honestly, I was really lucky in finding someone who could, in conjunction with my friends, help me see the things that I wasn’t seeing, which I now think is probably the hardest part of getting out of a depressed state. It really was so difficult to appreciate the better parts of my life, when everything else seemed so bad. This is kind of why I have such a high appreciation for therapy now, and is precisely why I it makes me happy to see therapy becoming a much more integral part of our society. I really think that, though it doesn’t work for everyone, just having someone to talk to is the key to getting around the darkness in your life, and a therapist gives you that person if you don’t really have anyone else.

    No Regrets

    The strange thing is, I don’t look back on those moments of darkness and wish they never happened—not anymore at least. I mean, I have no doubt life would have been better then without them, and who knows, maybe it would be better now. But, I honestly feel stronger now because of it. I can see my weaknesses for what they were, and I can push myself as far away from them as possible, which has garnered me a rather large social circle, and an even closer relationship with my friends and family, who stuck with me through thick and thin.

    I know that my story probably isn’t as sad, or as hardship-filled, as many who share here on this blog; but I also know that there are a lot of people out there who do have it good, who have loving friends and family and yet cannot see how great things are because of an unnamed inner turmoil. This story is for you, because sometimes it’s hardest to see that light when it’s everywhere but right in front of you. Just take it from me, someone who has also gone through what you have; you just have to look around a bit to find it.

    Author Bio: Tyler Fleck is a multi-purpose blogger who truly supports the therapeutic industry with all his heart. This is precisely why he wrote this article, to get this stuff out of his head and onto paper, as well as to help support a company whose goal really is quite noble, TurnKey Therapy. So, if you are a therapist looking for a way to connect with more clients, check out TurnKey’s website and their home therapy software. It truly is making a difference in the therapy industry.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhammza/94194086

     


  5. Understanding Personality Disorders

    October 3, 2013

    by Jessica Galbraith

     

    Personality disorders are widely misunderstood by the general public. Although an estimated 10% of people have some type of personality disorder (Mental Health Foundation), the negative stigma that is attached to them makes diagnosing and follow-up treatment difficult. There are ten major types of personality disorders, which cover a wide range of personality spectrum.

     

    Getting diagnosed can be a challenge in itself, and usually includes psychological testing by a registered psychologist or psychiatrist, extensive interviews, and meeting strict criteria specified by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. Let us explore what exactly constitutes a personality disorder, the diagnostic process, and the treatment options available to those who have been diagnosed.

    Getting diagnosed with a personality disorder can be scary, but also brings relief.

     

    What is a personality disorder?

    Each of us has our own unique personality which determines how we behave, process, and feel. We each react to situations differently, from social engagements to trauma. As we go through life, we learn to cope with these experiences. For someone with a personality disorder, this becomes much more difficult. They may feel isolated, misunderstood, and have a generally hard time in every aspect of life. The illness affects their relationships and how they process their feelings.

     

     

    What types of personality disorders are there?

     

    There are ten officially recognized personality disorders, which are categorized into three groups.

    •  Suspicious Disorders: paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder.
    •  Emotional and Impulsive Disorders: anti-social personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder
    •  Anxious Disorders: avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder

     

    Depression and anxiety are often present with a personality disorder, however the severity can range from mild to unmanageable. In addition, many sufferers deal with issues such as self-harm, eating disorders, panic attacks, and substance abuse.

      on the edge of suicide

    90% of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable personality disorder.

     

    Diagnosing and Treatment

    Getting diagnosed is often the biggest issue in mental health. Most people don’t seek help until they are forced to by family or friends, or until their illness escalates into a serious situation. Once a healthcare professional is able to assess what the person is dealing with, they will check if they meet enough criteria to be officially diagnosed with a disorder. A large majority of people who suffer from a mental health disorder, meet the criteria for two or even three others. There is usually multiple interviews to determine if the issues are constant or only related to a recent life changing event such as a divorce or loss. Once it has been established that they are dealing with a personality disorder, a treatment plan is devised. For many years, the general consensus was that there was no cure for mental illness. This is changing rapidly however, as research and mental illness education is becoming more accepted and prevalent. Those who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, more often than not, face a lifetime struggle trying to find a balance through medication and therapy. The goal is usually to manage the disorder as much as possible rather than fix it. Medication can help side issues such as anxiety and depression, and psychotherapy is effective in addressing feelings and concerns as they arise.

     

    Common Misconceptions

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths out there on mental illness. One of the most common is that personality disorders are not treatable. While treatment is never expected to ‘fix’ the person, it does make life manageable; many people live normal lives with families, jobs, and a functional day-to-day. Another common myth is that mental illness isn’t a real condition. This of course, just isn’t the case. Mental illness is as real as any physical illness and has been linked to genetics and other neurological factors. Mental illness is also commonly believed to be a weakness in a person, and that it is something they should be able to snap out of. These types of misconceptions do tremendous harm to those who suffer with personality disorders. It can deter them in seeking help and creates feelings of shame.

     

    The misconceptions about mental illness are immense, but education initiatives are slowly making their mark.  As the general public becomes more informed, hopefully the myths and stigmas attached to mental illness will fade. There is still very limited research on the long-term benefits of various treatment options, but more and more research is being done. The future for those who suffer with mental illness has never looked better; but there is still a long way to go.

     

     

    Author Bio: Jessica Galbraith is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics. In addition to freelance writing she is involved in social media recruiting.

    Image Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytudut/5180391961 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/3685379062/

     

     

     


  6. How My Personal War Affects My Son

    October 1, 2013

    by Matthew L (personal story)

    During my last hospitalization the ex wife and I came to the decision that my son would not come to visit me while I was on the psych ward. At the time he was three and we did not think that a visit on the psych ward was appropriate for him. Normally the ward is a rather calm and boring place to be but there is times when the floor goes off so we did not want to take the chance plus I was going through withdrawal off of Effexor, Wellbutrin, Remeron and Lithium which had my brain going every which way but the right way. Not exactly the image I wanted to be presented to my son.

     

    Every couple of days I would call my son to see how he was doing and what he was up too. These phone calls were essential for the father son relationship but at the same time they took their toll. Mentally I was in an awful place so I needed to psych myself up for the phone call so he wouldn’t have any reason to be worried. My son was told the reason I was in the hospital was because my medications were not working right so the doctors were trying to find the right ones which is basically the reason I was there simplified.

     

    During every phone call my three year old would ask when I was going to be coming home and if I was better which tore my heart out but I always managed to answer him that Daddy was working very hard and would be home soon. After the calls mentally I was a wreck as I felt I was a terrible parent causing stress on someone so young and a couple of times it put me right over the edge. Thankfully every time this happened a good nurse would be on and helped me to work through it.

     

    When it came time for me to go home and my son started his routine visits again every time he saw me he would ask if I was okay which is a brutal question to answer for a parent as it makes you realize that you are not the only one being affected by mental illness. Since my ex wife became pregnant I promised my child to be the best father possible and always be there for him and my personal demons are preventing this from happening to the full extent.

     

    There have been occasions when I have compared whether or not my son would be better off if I was dead and there is a lot of reason on how it could be viewed as positive but I also know that the odds of a child committing suicide because his or her parent did is sky high. The part that always stops this train of thought is that even though at times I am not on top of my game at least I am still there trying and the hope that with time I can be the parent I want to be so I continue to fight.

     

    My son is what stops me from ending this hell that I live in, my son is the reason I have been trying so damn hard to win this war and my sons laughter is what fuels me for the battles ahead. I don’t really care what happens to me but I care what happens to him and that is all I need to keep going.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini – www.flickr.com/photos/dhammza/100817327


  7. How To Find Peace When Struggling With Mood Swings

    September 21, 2013

    mood swings

    by Katie Lewiz

     

    Do you feel swinging between strong emotions? Like you go for a ride, not knowing whether you’re happy or sad, suddenly losing your positive mood to an irritated one? This article is for people who experience continuous emotional swings, unsure why their mood behaves this way while the outside world still remains the same. Typically, women at their pre-menstrual stage or pregnancy period undergo a melancholy of swings which would be exhausting and a frequent malady which can be reduced by continuous effort and proper guidance. Apart from that, teenagers, people suffering from bipolar disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, or anyone who come across stress or pain falls in this unwell state of mood swings.

    Mind – Where Your Swings Originates

    Do you know your mind travels faster than any other media in this whole universe? The complex and greatest processing unit, mind, receives information from five senses and any of it could alter the mood. Let me put down an example here; someone close to you have passed away sometime back and you happened to hear the person’s voice through a record from your friend’s phone recently. This could tear your mental state badly and start to struggle inside with unpleasant thoughts which are possibly not able to solve and ultimately end up in a depressed mood.

    Mood swings can be certain stimulus, which can either be known or probably unclear which shifts your current thought, and it could mostly arise from recollecting events you have tried ignoring. Maybe you are aware that people to cope up their swings, take company of alcohol, drugs, pills to compress their temperament. It is known that millions of Americans depend on pills to control their moods. In a study, during 2011 drug companies sold antidepressants, antipsychotics (to battle mental disorders like ADD, bipolar disorder) worth $11 billion, which was later increased to $18 billion. Unfortunate to say, millions around the globe struggle with swings leading to ill-advised decisions like unnatural quitting from job, packing up business, squabbling with spouse, which doesn’t deserve any pill.

     Not Aware Of Your Swings? Symptoms To Note

    Let me begin with good news, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Mood swings, tag as a weird change of mind or an uncontrolled state where you become totally frustrated, sensitive to all feelings. As mentioned above, more than 75% of women undergo emotional instability during menstruation or menopause period. Here are the common symptoms noted during mood swings.

    • Frustration
    • Irritation
    • Insomnia
    • Inability to think
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
    • Stressed out

    Let the cause of mood swing be any, like menopausal emotional imbalance, hormonal fluctuations, depression, stress, pregnancy, clinical disorders, and so on, the ultimate question is, are you finding peace during this roller-coaster struggles ( a more apt term for bipolar suffers)? Though traditional treatment procedures are effective, with narcotic drugs focusing on serotonin levels (actual mood stimulators in brain), finding peace during these episodes are more significant. Are you ready to open yourself and understand how you can knock out these adversities before it feeds you totally?

    Let’s recollect the struggles and get more practical on how to deal it peacefully.

    Know Your Episodes

    According to NIMH, people with bipolar disorder undergo intense swings of mood which can be over-excited or explosive. During depressive swing they go down badly and become hopeless, and once the mood episodes are known, eventually the person could control over the hypersensitive nature. Bipolar mood swings are not as easy to cope as we say, unless proper effort is put by the person. For example, depressive episode makes the person feel empty and anxious. So recognizing the mood, try to curtail the sad state by involving in activities like reading a positive book, talking out with your friend, running for errands, do some gardening, hence slowly awakening yourself that nothing has actually changed except your mood being unnecessarily sad. If you feel the emotions are way intense to control, it is well advised to get needed help from the physician than fantasizing in your own world. A regular check-up or a talk with your counsellor or psychiatrist will help you as well the psychiatrist to explore the swings and provide with new therapies.

    Make Yourself Comfortable

    It is obvious that we depend on some source during our struggles or hard times to feel comfortable. First, build acceptance in yourself, experience your negatives and positives, as when you start digging deep, you will understand how in reality you can control the changing moods. This could lay stones of hope, courage and seek help to battle the affliction. It is required that you build up a healthy relation with a person who could understand your swings and manage your feelings, thereby pulling you out from the life’s difficult condition.

    Avoid Polarised Thinking

    This is a mental state where the person imagine world is either black or white. For example, if you are not the CEO of a big-fat company you feel total failure; if you didn’t have a good credit rating, you are a scrawny wimp. These kinds of polarised belief demotivate and affect one’s healthy living. Think aloud, AM I A COMPUTER OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE? The answer is 100% NO. Enlighten yourself that, I AM A HUMAN. If you are low in your credit rating, no one could come and kill or screw your life, and daresay you are hunting for a good blow and will achieve it the coming days; if you are not the CEO of the company, of course you are worth a team lead in a reputed firm, when many with higher qualification are not.

    Cogitate No News Is Bad

    Have you at least once thought pondering too much on a situation could finally bring you despair? It is obvious that too much thinking can spoil the goodness in a person, giving way to rumbling clouds of anxiety and worry. Okay, let’s say, a situation like you worked your tail off for a firm and bounced by your CEO, since you don’t know the cause, don’t fill your mind with tumult, instead console yourself saying it’s time for you to step out of the firm as they took much from you, whereas polishing you stronger and sharper for another company which waits for your skills.

    Exercises Beat Mood Struggles

    Equip your routine chart with exercises, yoga and meditation. Throw yourself to a nearby gym, charge your muscles and cut off the bad moods with high confidence. Regular exercise build more bone density, control the overwhelming feeling of unpleasant swings, stress and stabilise your mood much better than you think. If you are ready to practice some moderate exercises daily, around 15 minutes, you would definitely see the change from the earlier disturbing swings. Start adding exercises to your chart!

    No More False Interpretations

    False interpretations arise mostly by externalising from the outside source. It mostly happens like during your swings, the interpretations you build by externalisation could go wrong. For example, if your lover says, you look so lean – alas you start to fight with her thinking she is enough with you and wish for a smart guy. Here the actual reason is, poor girl, she was affected by your health where you took the external matters alone. Don’t make your mood more irritating by unnecessary deceptions.

    Fix Right Foods And Drink Less

    You are here to regulate your mood. So do you believe certain food can affect your mood? Change in serotonin levels alters one’s mood. You obviously know the fact that mood booster chemicals, serotonin is significant to modulate moods. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, wheat, pastas, peas, legumes, peanuts can increase serotonin levels, curbing mood swings. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, sprouts, help in proper liver function, maintain hormonal balance of oestrogen helping you way out of mood swings. Legumes are good for regulating oestrogen, a healthy way to reduce mood swing in women during menstrual cycle. It is good to stay wards away from alcoholic drinks or cocktails, though the booze could charge your nerves for the time being, soon you would get the symptoms kicked up high.

    Cleanse Your Negative Thoughts

    Beading up negative thoughts is the fodder for depressive swings. As you stumble upon a negative thought, purge it out with positive notes. For example, put up a Must-Do-Lists, it maybe not gentle as I say, let it be the exam you were trying for 5-7 years, but once you clear off the clutter of emotional worries and poor self-esteem; you would wonder how brilliantly you have crossed the hurdle which once you thought would never accomplish.

    Have belief in yourself? It is nothing impossible, be patient and start plowing on your swings. Keep in mind, it’s pretty natural everyone get swings, the only worry is how long you ponder on those or is it taking your full energy to come out of the petty matter. Let it be any method you adopt, beware, it’s your mind and you are mastering on the emotions.

     

    Author Bio: Katie Lewiz, a professional blogger, she loves writing on health, fitness, nutrition, technology and medicine, emotional well-being and whatever that provokes a health enthusiast. Off time, she finds herself enjoying nature and its delights and has a long-term obsession with photography.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51615623@N08/5036658861


  8. How to Beat Depression… with Diet

    August 24, 2013

    beat depression

    Depression is a common problem though its severity and symptoms do vary. Unlike occasional sadness that we all feel from time to time, depression is a chronic issue that claims around 850,000 lives each year. There are different types of depression including:

    Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – A disorder that only affects people at certain times of he year, most notably around the winter months with a kind of ‘cabin fever,’ where you may find yourself feeling more sad than normal.

     

    Postpartum Depression – A type of depression that occurs within women that have recently given birth. This form of depression can be a result of powerful emotions that can lead to psychotic episodes.

     

    Bipolar Disorder – This affects 3 out of every 100 adults and can occur when the chemicals in your brain are not balanced.

     

    How to spot the signs of depression?

     

    There are ways to spot if you or a loved one are depressed, here are a few of the telltale signs:

     

    • Constantly feeling sad, irritable or tense
    • Lack of interest in the usual hobbies
    • A lack of energy
    • Changes in appetite, with either weight loss or gain
    • A change in sleeping patterns
    • A lack of concentration
    • Feelings of worthlessness
    • Thoughts of suicide and death

     

    If you experience any of these thoughts for an extended period of time then it is important that you  talk to clinical psychologist or psychotherapist, if left untreated depression gets much worse. Remember that depression is not always just a state of mind, often there are other factors too including hormone or chemical imbalances. I know that there is a social stigma surrounding depression and that it may feel easier to bottle up your feelings but this will not help in the long run.

     

    Could your diet help?

     

    Although depression is not always caused by one issue your diet can help you to take a step in the right direction. A lack of certain vitamins, nutrients and fatty acids can contribute to depression so it is important that you try to eat a healthy balanced diet, while avoiding any unnatural and processed food choices.

    Here are a few food options that could help to improve your mood:

     

    An omelet

    Eggs contain important B vitamins that have been shown to help lessen the severity of depression. Vitamins B-6 and B-12 are particularly important as they can improve neural function, meaning your moods can be improved.

    Eggs also contain protein so can help keep you full for longer and can stabilize blood sugar levels meaning you wont experience those sugar highs and lows associated with high sugar foods.

     

    Nuts and seeds

    Both nuts and seeds contain magnesium that can naturally increase your production of serotonin, a chemical that helps you to feel good. They are the perfect alternative to traditional snacks as long as you stick to the unsalted and unsweetened versions.

     

    Cold water fish

    Cold water fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel are full of omega-3 fatty acids that can help increase the amount of grey matter in your brain. These fatty acids are an essential material for our brain. Those with severe depression have been noted as having less grey matter than others. Again fish is a good source of protein, so the usual benefits of protein can be experienced. It is unlikely that you can enough enough fish to get sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, you will likely need to take supplements as well. In case of depression you need supplements with high EPA-to-DHA ratio.

     

    Ancient grains

    Grains such as quinoa and barley are less likely to be processed and refined with sugar so will not be digested as quickly as those refined with wheat flour and sugar. This will stop any blood sugar spikes and subsequent drop that can result in fatigue, food cravings and mood swings.

     

    Green tea

    In most green tea varieties you will find the amino acid L-theanine that has been shown in EEG tests to stimulate alpha brain waves, which can help to improve your focus and have a calming effect on your body.

     

    In conclusion

     

    Depression is a serious condition and if you suffer from it then you should speak to a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist. A healthy diet can help, but it can only supplement psychotherapy.

     

    Author Bio: Jac Jenkins is a stay at home Mom passionate about health and fitness. She writes about diets such as the Fasting Diet at her own blog.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abstrato/418493178


  9. Having A Mental Illness and Being Positive?

    August 22, 2013

      mental illness - positive thinking

    I hate “think positive” websites because most of them have no clue what it feels to have a mental illness. They give you this overly sweet message – just change this and that and you will be happy and achieve nirvana… Yet, I like Jeff’s blog – the message here is “bitter-sweet”, it doesn’t feel “fake positive” if you know what I mean…  Here, I decided to focus on the positive in my life, so let’s give it a shot:

    1. Finding out who your true friends are. Nothing makes people run away faster than the mention of a mental illness. At the beginning everyone sticks around but as time progresses the number gets smaller and smaller until your real friends are left.

    2. Finding out what your truly capable of. I never knew how much inner strength or will power I truly had until I became sick. After going to your absolute bottom and somehow finding the strength to still fight you find out who you truly are at the core level.

    3. Finding out what is important. At one point I had the middle class dream of a nice paycheck and a house with a white picket fence. After the depression tornado took everything away I learned the only thing that really matters are the people in your life for they can never be replaced.

    4. The ability to start over. After the mental illness beast has finally left your world you are awarded a second chance of choosing on what kind of life you want to live a luxury the “normal” people cannot pull off very easily.

    5. The power of knowing. For a very long time I seem to be wandering around in the dark with no visible purpose in my life and I could never figure out why. When the day came and the realization that I was mentally ill a boulder was lifted off of my shoulder for now I had an answer and knew exactly what I had to do to fix it. The purpose of my life is simple and that is to enjoy life as we only get one crack at it.

    To be completely honest here I am rather amazed that I was able to think of five reasons to be positive and I am sure there is a lot more, but the meds are working a little bit too well tonight so my brain appears to be running in slow motion.

     

    Andrew R.


  10. 7 Simple Tips for Getting Through Postpartum Depression

    August 17, 2013

    Postpartum Depression

    by Angela Henderson

     

    Motherhood. It’s suppose to be one of the most rewarding times in your life. A time that is filled with joy, love, excitement, but for many new mothers this is not how they feel, it’s actually the opposite. Overwhelmed, sleep deprived, confused, mother’s guilt, feeling isolated, second guessing and wondering is this what motherhood is really all about.  During pregnancy and the first year following the birth of a baby, women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety then at any other time.  With depression and anxiety impacting so many amazing women it’s important to identify what the difference between new mother baby blues vs a mood disorder is and having a few simple strategies that might help to ease into a more positive experience as a new mother.

     

    Step 1: Identify the Difference between Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression

     

    All new mothers will experience baby blues to different degrees due to new hormones kicking in and mixed with such a huge life changing moment. It’s important to note that postpartum depression may not happen right away, in fact it maybe many months after the birth or loss of a child when everything starts to peak. Click here for a detailed understanding of the difference between baby blues and postpartum depressions

     

    Step 2: See Your Family Doctor

     

    Your family doctor for the most part, is typically someone who has been in your life for at least a little while and has an understanding of who you are. The sooner you can make an appointment to see your family doctor the better. Be open and honest with your doctor about the way you’ve been feeling. Cry if you need to cry. Your doctor can discuss with you an array of different options that will best suit you. It maybe therapy, it maybe medication, it might a combination, but what ever route you take the process has slowly started on your recovery to feeling better.

     

    Step 3: Surround Yourself with Support

     

    Ruth Nonacs MD/Ph.D wrote a beautifully written book called “A Deeper Shade of Blue”, where she talks about at length the challenges around caring for babies/children in the Western world and the extreme social isolation that comes with this. She also takes it one step further and identifies that “in traditional cultures, a family would gather around the mother directly after the birth of a child, in order to help her learn how to care for her child. But nowadays most women with young children spend most of their time at home, without support and alone.”

     

    So start to surround yourself with support. Join a mother’s group. Most town/cities will have a variety of mother’s groups that you can utilize. By joining a mother’s group, you will have the chance to connect with other women who are going through a similar journey to yourself. They can support you, listen to you, talk to you and cry with you. Mother’s groups are also a wonderful way for your babies to start experiencing the world through play, socialization and new surroundings.

     

    To find a local mother’s group, speak with your family doctor, look in your local newspaper, ask family and friends or even google it.

     

    Another important factor is to ask and accept help from your family. It’s ok to ask for help; in fact it’s a strength. It can also be the small things that increase mothers feeling depressed and anxious; examples: dishes not getting done, laundry piling up, vacuuming etc. Your family will want to help, so let them. They love you and your new baby so embrace this. Ask them to cook you a meal twice a week and invite them to stay and help with the dishes laundry etc. Remember they are family and will do anything for you.

     

    Step 4: Sleep

     

    I believe sleep is the most important part of the equation to feeling better. There has been a lot of research completed around the world that talks about the correlation with depression and lack of sleep. If you don’t have sleep, its simple, your body can not and will not function. Things will start to spiral out of control the less sleep you get, which is difficult in day to day life, but even ten fold when you have a new baby and are already sleep deprived. So the saying “sleep when the baby sleeps” is truly the best advice for mothers. However, the reality of this happening can be difficult especially if you have more than one child, need to work etc.  Therefore, even if you can go to bed early even one night a week at 7:00pm you will start to feel better.

     

    Step 5: Get Some Fresh Air and Sunshine

     

    The majority of us mothers are tired, have limited energy and quite frankly the last thing we want to do is to get dressed and walk out the front door. In saying that, one of the best things we can do as mothers is to get outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

     

    Besides the obvious of getting out and getting exercise, it’s the Vitamin D that is the important part. We are learning that the power of Vitamin D may prevent and even assist in treating symptoms of depression.

    To keep things simple, Vitamin D increases the serotonin levels in the human brain. Serotonin is a chemical that is imperative to maintaining a balanced mood and can even decrease your chances of feeling depressed. In addition, Vitamin D is also necessary for the body’s production of dopamine, which is a potent mood-lifting neurotransmitter, so grab your shoes, pop on your hat and slap on sunscreen and hit the sunshine.

     

    Step 6: Connect with Online Support

     

    We live in a world where technology is at our finger tips, so use the internet as a tool in taking steps to feeling better. There are so many wonderful blogs across the world that focuses on positive components of motherhood, while at the same time being real and remember you are a great mother. I would strongly recommend the following blogs to connect with Be a Fun Mum (http://beafunmum.com/), Seek Act Love (http://seekactlove.com/) and The Imperfect Mum (http://www.theimperfectmum.com.au/)

     

    Step 7: Smile

     

    Remember to smile because “every smile makes you a day younger.” ~Chinese Proverb”

     

    Author Bio:  Angela Henderson is a Clinical Social with a special interest in parental mental health.  In addition to caring for her patients, she sources and supplies toys and products for babies and children that assist them to meet early childhood developmental milestones.  Angela was educated in the United States but is now located in Australia.

    Image source/credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donhomer/1500448757/