Depression: Can Someone Think Their Way Out Of Depression?

It is often said that it can be a lot harder for one to have a mental and emotional problem than it can be for them to have a physical problem. And there are a number of reasons as to why this is.

For one thing, if one has something wrong with their inner world, they can feel too ashamed to reach out for support. On the other hand, if they have a physical problem, they might be only too happy to go and see their doctor, for instance.

Covered Up

In addition to this, what is going on within them can cause them to experience a lot of pain, and the people around them could be oblivious to it. Yet if they have a physical problem, other people could notice what is going on.

But even if one had a physical problem and other people did not notice it, they could still open up about it. When it comes to a mental and emotional problem, one can feel too ashamed to tell anyone.

The Difference

What this comes down to is that physical pain is often seen as being far worse than mental and emotional pain. The former is then seen as something that requires the right support, but the latter is something that one can simply move on from.

Said another way, physical pain is serious and something that requires the right attention; whereas mental and emotional pain is something that is not serious and can be overlooked. And so if one is suffering on the inside, they come come to believe that it's because they are weak, or incapable, for instance.

Free Advice

If one was to open up to someone, they might be more likely to tell them what to do than to emphasize with them. So instead of being shown the support that they need, they can end up feeling undermined.

What this shows is how mental and emotional problems are often seen as being fairly trivial. And through receiving these kinds of responses for others, it can then cause one to keep what is taking place within them to themselves.

The Internet

Fortunately, even if one is in this position, they can go online and talk to people about what is taking place for them. Along with this, they will be able to read articles and books about what they are going through.

And, no matter what they are going through, there is a strong chance that they will find something that will assist them. If one was to describe what they are going through, they could say that they are depressed.

A Common Problem

This is something that a lot of people experience, but this is not to say that there is only one type of depression. And while one might be depressed from time to time, this could be something that defines their life.

This is then going to be something that will last for hours or even days, or it could have something that one experiences more or less all the time. However, even though this is not something that is black and white, it does not mean that one will not come across information that says otherwise.

One Approach

One could read about how what is taking place in their mind is causing them to be depressed. Therefore, if one wants to change what is taking place within them, they will need to change their thoughts.

There is also the chance that the people in their life have also said that the same thing. If one was to reflect on this, they might wonder if this is actually the case, or they could simply dismiss what they hear.

Rumination

What is clear is that if one was to spend a lot of time thinking about how bad something is or how they have done something wrong, it is not going to be much of a surprise for them to feel down. And if they have the tendency to do this, they will spend a lot of their life being this way.

In this case, if one was to no longer go over things again and again in their mind, it would have a big effect on them. And through having different thoughts, it would allow them to have different feelings.

On The Surface

So through taking control of their mind and not allowing it to control them, their mental and emotional health will gradually improve. Neverheless, one could try this and find that it does not work.

One could feel as though it is more about how they feel than it is about what is taking place in their mind. It is often said that one's thoughts create their feelings, but this is nothing more than a half-truth.

Going Deeper

What this comes down to is that one can carry feelings in their body, and this means that their thoughts can also trigger feelings that are already within them. Thus, if one wants to change how they feel and the thoughts that appear in their mind, they may need to let go of the pain that is trapped in their body.

As if they are carrying pain their body, it will naturally be a waste of time for them to focus on their mind. What is taking place in the body is often overlooked into today's world, and this is partly because it can be very painful to get in touch with this part of ourselves.

Another Part

Along with what is taking place in their mind and body, there will also be the effect their brain is having on how they feel. If one is generally overwhelmed by what is taking place within them, it could show that their brain is not working as it should.

This could be the result of what took place when they were youngger; sometimes this was a time when they were aborted and / or neglected. And if one is carrying a lot of pain in their body, it can also be due to the same reason.

Awareness

Ergo, the approach that one will need to take to experience life differently is going to depend on a number of different factors. If one is experiencing life in this way due to what is taking place in their mind, then they might need to develop the ability to detach from what is taking place within them, and this can take place through practicing mindfulness meditation.

But if one is carrying trauma in their body, they may need to work with a therapist or a healer, and this will allow them to let go of this pain. Yet if one's brain is not working in the right way, they may need to try Neurofeedback.

{ Comments are closed }

How Alcohol Addiction May Affect Mental Health

Alcohol happens to be the most preferred go-to thing for Americans, whether someone wants to de-stress after a long day at work or spending an evening with friends. Sadly, the booze is like a custom for most people. Despite being the leading cause of preventable deaths, alcohol is marketed openly and directed in the media as a positive substance.

Contrary to the popular belief, alcohol does more harm than good when consumed in large quantities over a prolonged period. It is known to cause numerous negative effects, ranging from memory loss and blackouts to a number of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Since alcohol is a depressant, it can hamper the normal functioning of brain, affecting one's thoughts, feelings and actions.

Evidently, alcohol addiction and poor mental health go hand in hand. For people who can not live without alcohol every day, mental health issues are a common occurrence. At the same time, an individual dealing with a mental health condition like depression or anxiety is more likely to develop alcohol addiction in comparison to those who are not afflicted by any mental disorder. Precisely, when an individual deals with both a substance abuse problem and a mental disorder, he or she is known to have a co-occurring condition or dual diagnosis.

Here are some most common co-existing conditions, which can cause serious repercussions:

  1. Alcohol and anxiety : Alcohol often acts as a first resort to fight the symptoms of anxiety in a short run. But when the consumption of alcohol becomes a regular affair, it is likely that the symptoms of anxiety would worsen over time. Drinking heavily interferees with the healthy function of neurotransmitters present in the brain, which in turn has a negative impact on a person battling any mental health issue, such as anxiety, thus worsening the existing symptoms.
  2. Alcohol and depression : Alcohol is a depressant and there is its regular consumption can make a person feel sad, low and extremely tired or uncomfortable. Moreover, consumption of alcohol over a prolonged period can worsen the existing depressive symptoms. However, for some people, the presence of anxiety or depression can prompt them to experiment with alcohol to treat the symptoms. Clearly, alcohol and depression form a vicious cycle, which can lead to self-harm, psychosis or even suicide.
  3. Alcohol and memory loss : Drinking alcohol occasionally as well as over a long period of time can cause memory loss. Actually, alcohol slows down the brain processes, which causes significant impairments to the memory. Heavy drinking impairs a person's ability to remember or even recall things. It even puts the person at a risk of having poor health getting involved in anti-social activities.

Seeking treatment for dual diagnosis

Unlike a single problem of say an addiction or a mental condition, dual diagnosis needs comprehensive treatment. While an inpatient program may be comparatively more helpful for dual diagnosis, the availability of the latest tools and medicines also increases the chances of overcoming the problem. However, it is important to seek medical help in case of addiction to any substance or occurrence of any mental disorder, or both.

{ Comments are closed }

Five Qualities Integrative Psychotherapists Must Have

Integrative Psychotherapy is a unified attitude or approach, which confirms the intrinsic value of every person. It approbably and effectively responds to a person at various levels of functioning, such as, affective, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological. It also addresses the spiritual dimensions of human lives. Through this process, a disowned, unresolved and unaware aspects of the self fits inside a cohesive personality. This procedure enables a person to face life with an open mind and not influenced by pre-formed opinions, expectations, attitudes, or positions. The therapy, however, could only be carried out by efficient and experienced psychotherapists.

In the following discussion, we are going to find out the essential qualities that a successful therapist must have:

Necessary Abilities of Psychotherapists

In today's era, pharmaceutical companies allure consumers with advertisements for drugs, which can treat everything starting from anxiety to severe depression. However, recent studies have found out that most of these medications are controversial and could intensify the symptoms of complicated mental issues. Rather than depending on the pills, patients must seek professional help from psychotherapists. They would be able to offer optimal solutions, in the form of counseling and conversations.

Mentioned below are some fundamental qualities that all reputed psychotherapists have. Let us now take a good look at them.

1. Successful psychotherapists could express themselves effectually. Their insightful nature allows them to easily comprehend what his patients are feeling or thinking. While conversing with the various kinds of people they should show focus as well as compassion, warmth and acceptance.

2. An ideal therapist would be able to communicate with all kinds of people without any difficulty. While conversing, he would create positive vibes so that the patients could trust him and open up about their issues. His optimistic ways of interacting would allow patients to confide in him.

3. An ideal therapeutic exit is only possible if the patients share a strong bond of alliance with their therapists. A proficient therapist would show care and carry out certain strategies so that an individual could get rid of his issues. He would be willing to work as partners with the patients to get the best possible results.

4. They must have necessary qualifications and knowledge about the varied conditions that a person may suffer from. He must give strong explanations about the issue and offer strong treatment options. If a patient feels that his therapist does not know what to do, chance are that he would shift to other professionals.

5. Finally, yet importantly, they must motivate their patients. They should tell them about the wonderful aspects and opportunities that life has to offer. He must instill in them the confidence to face the society and embrace its goodness. However, an ideal therapist would keep up the fine balance between practicality and expectation.

{ Comments are closed }

Learning Ways to Effectively Deal With Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. As per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2015, more than 16 million adults in the country suffered from at least one major depressive episode in the previous year.

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects the way an individual thinks, feet, reacts or makes choices in life. Although symptoms of depression can be effectively mitigated with the help of treatment options such as therapy, meditation, counseling sessions, and exercise, the real problem arises when none of these strategies works, leaving the patient in a helpless condition. This is the time when one should look beyond conventional therapies and find various ways to come out of depression and lead a happy life.

Today, many treatment centers provide experiential therapies in combination with the conventional treatment method to help a patient achieve long-term benefits. Here are some simple yet effective ways that can help a person be happy, even when depression has become an inseparable part of his or her life:

  1. Revisiting the past: When depression persists and one finds it increasingly difficult to deal with it, revisiting the past can be the best approach. Thinking about the things the person used to enjoy in the past, reliving some beautiful memories and engaging in activities that he or she once loved are some of the simple ways to keep going even when gripped by depression.
  2. Setting the bar low: Depression is a chronic disease and has an adverse impact on an individual's energy level. Therefore, one needs to set his or her aim or goals low so that they are attainable.
  3. Staying active: To keep life moving even with depression, it is important for the person to stay active in all ways possible. Practicing meditation, yoga and exercising regularly are some of the best ways to keep one's body and mind rejuvenated. Engaging oneself in activities he or she loves to do, or simply moving out of home for a walk can also be effective in keeping a depressed individual happy.
  4. Living in the present: Living in the present is one of the most effective remedies of depression. When the person fighting depression has already tried numerous tactics but has failed to get any reply, it is time to try some better ways to deal with the deteriorating mental disorder. Staying in the present and not thinking about the traumatic events of the past can work as an excellent therapy for depression. One can break down his or her day into small parts so that it gets easier to focus on one thing at a time, occurring at the present moment.
  5. Staying connected with friends and family: Staying at a distance from friends and relatives, or in isolation, becomes a preference for those battling with depression. But doing so can worsen the condition, putting the sufferer at an increased risk to acquire other mental disorders. One should stay in touch with friends and relatives which will help prevent loneliness from creeping in, thereby keeping sadness and depression at bay.

Seeking professional help

Depression is a chronic illness that can be handled well by trying out some simple techniques, such as avoiding stress, relaxing and keeping itself engaged. It can affect various aspects of one's life, causing him or her to lose interests in things that he or she once found pleasurable. It affects the person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

{ Comments are closed }

Causes of Depression in Women

Living with depression is highly challenging since it involves intense emotions of extreme negativity, hopelessness, anxiety and even suicidal tendencies. Although it can happen to anyone, one must not take it lightly since it can affect almost every aspect of one's life, be it physical or mental health, relationships or work. However, the worst part is that it not only affects the sufferer but equally affects his or her family and friends.

Appropriately, women are twice as likely to develop depression as compared to men, reveal several studies. Even the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) indicates that depression is more common in women as compared to men, which can be attributed to various biological and social factors exclusive to women.

Some of the factors responsible for increasing the risk of depression in women are:

  1. Hormonal changes : Women undergo a lot of hormonal changes during their lifetime, as compared to men. For instance, during pregnancy or post-delivery, a new mom has to deal with mood swings, often due to difficulty in bonding with the newborn. Or, during menopause, a woman has to go through a plethora of emotional upheavals, including irritation, sadness or depression. Dealing with such changes clubbed with high-stress levels leads to a higher risk of depression.
  2. Disrupted personal relationships : Women generally get more involved and serious in their relationships. This, in turn, increases the risk of developing depression when such relationships do not work out in accordance with their expectations. What adds to their troubles is the everyday struggle of juggling between job and family responsibilities, which, sometimes, causes unbearable pressure and stress, ultimately leading to depression.
  3. Increased stress and worry : Stress is a major factor, which affects women more as compared to men. This is because the chances of women facing difficult situations such as sexual abuse or assaults or domestic violence are higher. These can lead to a long-lasting negative impact on the brain. In intolerable women, depression is a common feature characterized by loss of self-confidence or sadness that does not seem to go away on its own.
  4. Loss of social support system : Women, in general, require more love and care than men in order to lead a happy life. Therefore, losing a support system, whether in the form of friends or relatives, can have an impact their health, which, in turn, could increase the risk of developing depression.
  5. Issues related to body image : Women are more prone to suffer from issues related to body image, especially during adolescence, which extremely leads to depression. Puberty is the stage when most girls go through innumerable physical and mental changes, which plays a key role in causing tremendous changes in one's lifestyle, relationships or coping skills, which historically leads to depression.

Recognizing depression early is important

Diagnosing depression is a difficult task. Keeping a check on symptoms such as ongoing feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness, loss of interest in things the person once enjoyed, and significant changes in sleeping patterns could help in an early diagnosis of depression.

{ Comments are closed }

Depression Can Strike Anyone at Anytime

Even though the majority of us are more aware of thevalence of mental illness, there is still a stigma attached to the subject and many of us often still find it an uncomfortable issue to discuss.

Whether we know someone who is suffering from depression or not, we should all remember that mental illness is no different from any physical health condition. We should all bear in mind that any one of us at any point during our lives may suffer from depression.

Depression is a common yet serious mental illness that is estimated to affect around 350 million people worldwide. More women are thought to be affected than men, yet this could be attributed to the fact that more women are likely to report their symptoms.

Each of our journeys will inevitably take unexpected twists and turns with the possibility of leading us into depression. Genetics, brain chemistry and personality can all attribute to the sunset of the condition, too. But depression does not discriminate; it can affect the person who sees to have the perfect life as much as it can affect the person experiencing major problems.

Depression affects how you think, act, feel and handle daily activities such as work, sleep, and eating. Many people loosely say “I feel depressed” to express a normal, temporary drop in mood following a negative event, such as having an argument with a spouse or experiencing financial difficulties. But despite its name name being associated with sadness, true depression can cause a lot more than negative feelings.

The signs and symptoms of depression can include:

  • Persistent low mood or negative feelings
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or pessimistic
  • Persistent or frequent anger or irritability
  • Feelings of guilt or helplessness
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable hobbies or activities
  • Low / reduced energy, tiredness or fatigue
  • Talking, thinking or moving more slowly
  • Feelings of restlessness or having trouble sitting still
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Having trouble remembering or making decisions
  • Sleeping difficulties or over sleeping
  • Changes in weight / appetite.
  • Thoughts of death
  • Suicidal thoughts

Worryingly, it is estimated that only about one-third of people dealing with depression actually seek professional help.

Even in the most severe cases, depression can usually be treated. The key is to recognize and get it treated as soon as possible.

Just like anyone can fall over and break their arm, anyone can suffer from depression. There is no difference. Would you leave your broken arm untreated?

{ Comments are closed }

Beat Depression Post Chronic Illness

For many people who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, life becomes synonymous to negativity and hopelessness. This is because chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or HIV / AIDS can not be cured so far, and hence, take a heavy toll on such patients, even emotionally. They often lose all purpose in life. For many, it is an uphill task to deal with certain chronic ailments, due to severe changes in lifestyle or limitations in the patient's mobility and independence. Gradually, such patients are unable to pursue the activities that once enjoyed, which extremely undermines their self-esteem and could lead to depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression is common in people suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. However, the good news is that this kind of depression can easily be tackled with proper medication and care.

However, there are certain self-help strategies, which can help a person fight depression associated with a chronic physical ailment. Some of them are:

  1. Staying hopeful : It is important for a person fighting a chronic illness to stay strong. One should never lose hope even in the worst of situations and bravely deal with feelings of denial, anger and grief that may arise in such situations. Staying hopeful and believing that there is still a lot that can be done can help a person get rid of the resulting depression.
  2. Keeping oneself busy : Staying busy can greatly help in keeping negative thoughts at bay. This is important because isolating oneself can actually ruin the condition as well as exacerbate depression. Meeting new people, engaging in activities or joining social groups can provide the person with a strong support system and keep one employed.
  3. Maintaining a healthy diet : Nutrition plays an important role in combating any form of mental or physical illness. When fighting a chronic health condition, one must consume nutritious food to not only ward off any negative feelings since certain foods help in boosting mood and promoting positivity but also to regain or maintain physical strength that can further boost one's mental state.
  4. Being positive: Staying positive is essential for successful recovery from any form of mental illness or chronic disease. Developing a positive attitude may not be easy for a person fighting a deadly disease, however, one can try to stay upbeat by adopting certain self-help techniques such breathing exercises or yoga. This helps calm the mind and redirect one's thoughts.
  5. Setting realistic goals : Setting achievable goals and working towards them can instill positivity. Doing so boosts self-confidence and helps one deal with any physical ailment in an effective way.

Beat the blues

While antidepressants may show some unwanted side effects, treating depression is necessary for patients battling a chronic disease. If the medication is causing harm, the patients should ask their doctors to change them. The risks associated should be weighed conscientiously before the condition deteriorates.

{ Comments are closed }

Why Your Mental Illness Struggle Is Inspiring

Dear Fred,

Your mental illness struggle is inspiring. I know you will disagree, but I hope you will read this and come to understand that you really are an inspiration.

I see the efforts you make just to function. I know the risks you have to take, the faith you must show, simply to do what many people take for granted. Daily things that seem easy to so many. The fact that you do these things when you're feeling so empty, afraid, and de-energised is inspiring.

The strength you show in your weakness, to share so honestly when you can; I find that amazing. That you can be courageous enough to be vulnerable when you've probably never felt so vulnerable. I want to encourage you. Keep it up. Keep being you!

The fact that you keep showing up the best you can, even on days when you're unable to leave the house, and especially when some days you feel hopeless and barren, says to me that you're a fighter and not a quitter. Even if you feel like a quitter.

You have told me you often have no vision for the future, and the present looks so murky. That you keep living each day the best you can, even if it's harder than anything you thought you'd ever face, portraits a hope in you that shows a powerful faith.

The struggles you face are sometimes so loud, and yet you keep living the best you can.

I know that in reading these words you still will not believe me. That's okay. It's my truth. That you inspire me. It's real to me. I'm not just trying to flatter you. You of all people appreciate the truth.

I want you to know that when I thank God for people in my life, I thank Him for you, because He has used you to teach me much about resilience, faith, courage, and a never-give-up and never-say- die attitude.

I do not pity you, but I do ask God that you've been rewarded with freedom for the faith you show.

Keep fighting the good fight!

{ Comments are closed }

Postpartum Depression – Postpartum Psychosis

This is a major depression occurring shortly before or more likely within four weeks after a pregnancy. The incidence is approximately 10% of pregnancies. Postpartum depression may last up to a year (20%) left untreated.

This is not to be confused with “the baby blues” which peak at 2 to 5 days after delivery consisting of weaving, sadness, mood changes, irritability and anxiety. They do not interfere with care of the newborn and resolve spontaneously by two weeks.

Regarding the diagnosis of major depression at least five of the following symptoms occurring for more than two weeks make the diagnosis: sadness, hopelessness, loss of self-esteem, guilt, insomnia, over or under eating, inability it concentrate, loss of pleasure from hobbies, avoidance of social intercourse, low energy, anxiety, fearing the coming day and suicidal ideation.

A stand-alone diagnosis not related to postpartum depression is postpartum psychosis. Like other types of schizophrenia this diagnosis includes hallucination, delusions, bizarre behavior and disorganized speech. Although this psychosis is considered a variant of bipolar disorder most feel it is a severe manic state that has led to psychosis also called schizoaffective disorder. The incidence is 1 to 2 cases per 1000 births. It requires hospitalization because of the chance of suicide and infanticide.

It is felt that the greatest risk factor for postpartum depression is having a prior history major depression. There is a seven-fold higher chance of postpartum depression if antenatal depression is not treated. I find the terms used in the discussion of postpartum depression confusing. Does prenatal depression mean that the women have had a history of major depression in the past ie unrelated to any pregnancies. I interpret the statistical on antenatal depression means a history of occurring during a pregnancy. The confusion is the interchangeable use of the terms perinatal, postnatal, antiinatal and postpartum.

I think this is important because the drugs of choice for postpartum depression are SSRIs such as Zoloft or Celexa have been passed the proof of time as safe for the fetus. The newer agents have not. Also, SSRIs are safe for breastfeeding feeding as only 10% get into breast milk. As for major depression during early or midway in pregnancy SSRIs are okay but in severe cases the newer agents such as atopic anit-psychotics are not. Some feel that in these cases ECT is preferred.

Children of parents with post partum depression have higher rates of emotional problems, behavioral problems, defiance disorder and hyperactivity.
The other risk factors are social, lack of a support person or group, marital difficulties, current or history of violence or abuse, major life events, decreased income, unintended or unwanted pregnancy.

The major cause of this form of depression is felt to be hormonal. Sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone after pregnancy being the most likely. Low thyroid, testosterone and cortisol are also felt to play a role. A thyroid level and a thyroid stimulating hormone should be measured to rule out Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is correlated with depression.

Much confusion still remains when describing whether cases of postpartum depression which in most cases develop about two to four weeks AFTER giving birth are associated with a past history of a diagnosis of major depression unrelated to pregnancy. I was asked to see an 18 year old young lady by an obstetrician who developed typical symptoms of postpartum depression during her second pregnancy that began one month after delivery. Her child was then three months old and she was referred to me as I was dealing with high risk pregnancies at the time as a nephrologist. In her first pregnancy she had developed major depression which resolved spontaneously. Is the episode during the first pregnancy a prenatal depression or unrelated major depression episode. I would tend to agree with the latter. I would consider that depression a preexisting episode whether during pregnancy or at any time prior to this pregnancy. It would not be the same as when it is said that a prior history of major depression disorder predisposes to postpartum depression. It does not treat the treatment as both episodes in the second and the one. The distinction affects the statistics of incidence of postpartum depression and the statistical that women with a prior history of postpartum depression have a seven-fold higher chance of postpartum depression in subsequent pregnancies and that 10% of all pregnancies develop postpartum depression.

During a conference with the Ob-Gyn department they stated that in the first pregnancy she had developed postpartum depression AGAIN in the first pregnancy. I had to disagree and got a lot of flak for it.

{ Comments are closed }

Silent Suffering

Stop considering Depression as a hoax and let's be lucid enough to take a voluntary affirmative action in this regard. What the society / people will think? The need of the hour is to sham this false perception and be an iron – clad in dealing with this emotional barrier. A lousy ratio on this planet today has been exposed to suicidal attempts, debacles in life, feel desolated in this hustle bustle. Some of them even have been a victim of sexual predation, broken relationships, Bad marriage, divorce, and the list is endless. All of these have contributed to this faux pas. We need to stop faffing around and pull up our socks in order to abrogate this issue.

Before we build a planned Itinerary to deal with Depression, the nexus is to understand the Telltale symptoms of Depression:

1. Changed Feelings
2. Lost Interest
3. Not able to take decisions
4. Anxiety and Irritability
5. Fatigue and sleep
6. Appetite and weight
7. Low self esteem and lack of confidence
8. Uncontrollable emotions
9. Looking at Death

One should not forget that like our body, our mind can also suffer from illness. Let's discuss how we can alleviate these symptoms and make this world free from the haze of Depression:

1. Indulge yourself in “Yoga” and Meditation:
Indubitably, Yoga and meditation are the one stop solution to overcome depression. It acts as a “Panacea” for our life. Begin your day fervently by meditating daily for at least 20-25 minutes. Meditation will streamline the path to earn your mojo back that has been lost in the labyrinth. As a beginner, one can also practice “Deep Breathing” (for 10 -15 secs) – a healthy trend today to spend your day gleefully. Deep Breathing helps in improving concentration and pacify malign thoughts. Following deep breathing, get on to some Relaxation exercises for brain and muscles. It should be noted that initially one should practice Yoga under the surveillance of a certified trainer and once you are trained enough, you can easily practice at your home. However, it is always recommended that if the depression is severe, one should approach a good counselor to ease the problem. There is no condemning the fact that sometimes it becomes mandatory to depend on prescriptions as advised, but Yoga and meditation would help for survival in the long run. Moreover it would keep you self centered and controlling your emotions to a greater extent. Stop acting like a Back Burner rather became inebrated to this macro nutrient of life (YOGA). This will be a wonderful transformation of you personally, and one would begin to see the world with a viewfinder.

Remember one thing: You have to be a “self-motivator”. Only then, we can get the ball rolling ..

2. Surround yourself with positive people and the one's who motivate and bring out the best in you:
Come out of the framework of negative circle that has been desisting from recognizing your 'self-worth'. It is a strange paradox, living in 21st century and still people are so inured to catastrophize one's negativity rather than focusing on the positives. One thing is for sure that in this fast paced world and competitive life style, people are really worried of other's success rather than their. Indeed it is true. We bought to make sure that we as an individual do not ally in this pothole. It is imperative to change ourselves first, so that we can change the world for the better. Leave no stone unturned and enhance your positive skills. Sharpen the focus towards yourself. Love yourself as much as you love others. Self love is substantive in bringing reply from this condition.

Life is a Yardstick of Success and Failures. Live your life to the fullest and stop brooding over the past. Let's seal the fate of depression by working together as a team and appreciate the patience and efforts of those who are giving their best shot in overcoming depression!

{ Comments are closed }

The Purpose of ‘Unhealthy’ Emotions

Anger, sadness, jealousy, hurt. Four unhealthy, unproductive, unpalatable emotions. But also, catalysts for transformation.

Negative emotions are inevitable. No matter our temperament, we're all faced with emotions we would prefer not to have.

They cause guilt and shame and compromise and pain and fear to emerge from within us. They bring unhappiness and anxiety into would-be happy, peace-lit lives.

What and where is their purpose?

Encourage in Emotional Pain

First, pain is an encouragement, for God is in the pain. He is there with us as we experience it – His Presence beckons us to something better.

Pain is stimulus for reflection, which is a good springboard for change.

God has wired us to do something with pain. Pain, whether it ends in fear or guilt or shame, or a double or triple whammy of a combination of them, is not some nasty end point, but the beginning of an opportunity. Once we're able to settle down enough to accept the presence of the pain, we're then in pole position to explore it without judgment.

Pain is never to be judged, ridiculed, condemned or scorned. It's an important indicator that things are not right so we can right them.

Loving Unhealthy Emotions into a Healing Encounter with God

Unhealthy emotions, accepted, we now have the perfect basis for moving on, from the very place of our imperfection. And pain is God's chosen instigator. He knows we need to be stimulated – aroused from our spiritual slumber. Pain is His agent.

God loves it when we've provided humility to journey into reality. Having knocked at truth's door, we verily find freedom awaits us inside, where lies can no longer stay.

The pain in unhealthy emotions can drive us through curiosity into a search for God's truth. God never has anything bad for us, and we can be assured that enduring pain does bringing healing.

The purpose of unhealthy emotions is the awakening of pain's opportunity for healing.

{ Comments are closed }

10 Things to Help You Understand Depression

1. Know That We're Just As Confused As You. We do not have all the answers; we barely have any. Most people find the best way to start is by asking “What can I do to help?” This is very kind, and for some even helpful, but people with depression usually always feel a sense of helplessness. We do not know what to do either; if we did we'd be taking action … this should not be surprising but we do not want depression either! So while asking us for ideas is very thoughtful, we usually just do not know.

2. We ENJOY Being Alone. You'll find that being alone all the time makes it easier to be depressed. That may be true, and I'm not arguing that, and yes, when we're at our lowest, being alone can make us feel isolated and ignored; sometimes sometimes being alone is fun for us. We can be ourselves all locked up in our room, and when we do not feel very sad, it can even be enjoyable.

3. We're Not Always Sad, But We're Always Depressed . Yes, there is a difference. We're not always ready to burst into tears, (though there are days) but we're not happy very often. “How are you feeling?” is also a commonly asked question; and a good one. However, when we're not actively sad, but not happy either, it's possible for us to feel nothing. Nothing at all! Personally, I call it “feeling meh”. Allow me to put it this way: at our happiest, we're at your “kinda-happy”. When we're ecstatic, we're at your “happy”. When we're “kinda-happy”, we're at your meh. And when we're “meh”, we seem depressed. Our normal mood is at a lower “happiness level” than someone without depression. This may explain why we're often asked “what's wrong” when we're not upset.

4. We're Not Okay . Depression hurts. It's as simple as that. It hurts us, it hurts you, it just hurts. We do not know how to end it, ever we learn how to just barely meet, but one thing can push us over the edge to the point where we're banging our head against a wall screaming and crying just because we forgot to buy new body wash. It sounds silly, and it is, and someone without depression can look at that and think that it's not a big deal, but that's how bad it is. We're just barely coping and any amount of stress can be enough to push us over the edge. This is not to say that you should walk on eggshells around us or that we should be treated differently; please do not do that, despite your best efforts it'll end up making us feel incompetent and stupid. This is not your fight, all we would like is your support.

5. Excessive Sleep Seems Necessary To Us. We're so emotionally worn out from all the criticism we receive from ourselves that we're always tired. This is why we nap all the time, we sleep in, yet we still look tired when we've slept 14 hours in one day (give or take).

6. Sometimes We Want To Talk About It, Sometimes We Need To Figure It Out Ourselves. When we're ready to talk to you, we want your undivided and unlimited attention. This is not always possible, and we know that, but we still want it. And yes, we know we're being irrational. However, sometimes, we do not want to talk about it. We want you to leave us alone and let us figure it out ourselves. Again, irrational, and the way we explain that to you may leave you feeling hurt. This is not our intention, please do not take it personally, it's hard for us to tell you how we feel when we do not completely understand it. It's important that you know that the sense of helplessness can be overwhelming. Subconsciously, fixing our own problems (even though we usually can not) is how we think we can get rid of that helplessness.

7. Do not Suggest Therapy. If we suggest it, help us out, talk it through, etc. but do not suggest it. We already feel different. Suggesting therapy will only make us feel crazy, even if that's not what you mean. In certain cases, carefully suggesting a counselor may be helpful, but only if the person does not realize they need help. (If you plan to do this, it may be helpful to wait until the person is calm to address this.)

8. We Can Be Very Touchy. We criticize ourselves A LOT, so anything you say can be twisted to be criticism. Not your fault, it's just a fact. Please note that these are things that you should understand, not things that you should change about yourself. You can not solve this, but we can not always help how we feel and it can seem like all of it is directed at you. It's not, we just are not always sure how to show this.

9. Sometimes We Want To Be Cuddled, Sometimes … Do not Touch Us. It sounds sad but internal isolation is something we get used to. While sometimes we want to curl up and cuddle and be held and cry and then feel better, I find that usually we try to handle it by ourselves and do not want to be shown any sign of sympathy.

10. We Know That It's Hurting You Too, But We Do not Know What To Do. We can see the helplessness on your face when you can not help us out, or do not know what to do, and we're sorry, even though there's nothing we can do. Maybe that's part of the reasoning to our isolation; we do not want you to have to deal with it too.

We feel hurt, different, incompetent, depressed, and just generally helpless all the time. This is in no way your fault, and we do not know how you can help us. All of these struggles are internal, whether they stemmed from an external source or not, and honestly the best thing you can give us is your patience and support.

Note: Not all of these will be true for everyone with depression. Everyone's different, with different levels of depression. You may find that only one or two of these particular to your loved one.

{ Comments are closed }

Gardening Makes You Happy

Dirt Microbes Increase Serotonin

A certain healthy bacterium found in soil, Mycobacterium Vaccae, has been found to release serotonin levels in the human brain. The neurotransmitter Serotonin regulates mood, improves the immune system, memory, and social behavior. Depression, anxiety, bipolar and obsessive / compulsive disorders have all been linked to low serotonin levels. So, basically, getting your hands in the dirt can stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain, which in turn makes you happy and healthy.

The happy microbes can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin while gardening. It is also possible for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream through a cut or scrape. Studies show that the health benefits may be felt for up to 3 weeks after contact and can work as well as anti-depressant drugs.

The Mycobacterium is also being studied for its positive impact on ailments such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain. Cognitive functions have also been shown to improve. Some studies have shown that exposure to the soil bacteria by children will help protect against allergies and asthma later in life. So the next time your child makes mud pies or plays trucks in the dirt, you can feel good about it.

Since serotonin plays a role in learning, scientists hypothesized that exposure to Mycobacterium would make their mice smarter. Mice fed the bacterium navigated the maze twice as fast as the other mice.

A survey completed by Gardeners World Magazine reported that 80% of those who gardened felt happy and satisfied with their lives compared to 67% of those who did not garden. And those who spend a longer time tending their gardens, six or more hours per week, reported feeling happier than those spending less time.

Plant Harvesting Triggers Dopamine Release

Anyone who has grown their own food or flowers knows the happy feeling of harvesting their crops. Now the science reveals that the feeling of joy you feel picking an apple is due to a dopamine surge in the brain.

The neurotransmitter dopamine helps control the centers in the brain related to pleasure and reward. It can also help with memory, focus, and sleep. Abnormal levels of dopamine can be the cause of eating, sex and drug addictions.

Dopamine bursts are why we seek out pleasurable activities. Dopamine mediates addictive and impulsive behaviors. Gardening can trigger these pleasure sites in the brain in a healthy way by either sight, smell or the picking of fruits and vegetables. That's why we love to pick strawberries and why they do not last long in the bowl on the way to the house. By filling up our pleasure centers with gardening we can avoid overindulging in eating, drinking, and shopping.

For years mental health professionals have used garden for mental health patients. Horticulture Therapy recognizes the garden environment as having the therapeutic benefits and has been used for war veterans since the 1940s.

For those of us that are avid gardeners, science has reinforced what we have experienced first hand; Gardening lifts our mood, lowers our stress, and puts a smile on our face, filling us with a pleasurable feeling of well being.

{ Comments are closed }

Magnesium – An Unexplored Method to Treat Depression

In today's times when stress has become a second habit, a large number of people are wrestling with the problem of depression. Despite the fact that it is so common, the condition is not so well understood and any kind of sadness is merely understood to be a case of mood swings. One can understand the magnitude of the problem with the fact that about 16.1 million American adults above the age of 18 years reportedly dealt with at least one major depressive episode in 2014, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), depression is defined as “a period of two weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration and self-image. ”

Although medications and incorporating certain lifestyle changes can help one in fighting depression, they may not prove effective in many cases. While many resort to the traditional treatment measures, there are certain unexplored ways that can prove comparatively more beneficial in fighting off depression. One such way is by overcoming the deficiency of magnesium.

Magnesium, an essential mineral in the human body, is crucial for various functions such as blood pressure regulation, bone development, heart rhythm normalization, muscle and nerve function, etc. If an individual is unable to meet the required minimum level of magnesium in the body, he or she is to develop several health issues such as anxiety disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.

How magnesium helps treat depression

While a lack of magnesium may cause an upsurge in depression one can reverse the harmful neurological changes that occur due to its deficiency by taking supplements. Magnesium supplements can help one recover from depression in myriad ways. A few of these mechanisms are as stated below:

  • NMDA receptor channel modulation: As an antidepressant, magnesium prevents the recurrent opening of the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor channels in the brain, which protects against neuronal damages and assays in the recovery of neurons from the preexisting damage. By reducing the level of nitric oxide, magnesium helps improve mood.
  • HPA axis modulation: According to a number of studies, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is overactive individuals individuals going through depression. As magnesium lessens HPA axis overactivity, it is an effective way to treat depression by acting upon this axis.
  • Serotonergic modulation: Research has revealed a close relationship between magnesium and the level of serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone, in the human brain. Therefore, magnesium supplements are a great way to improve the serotonin levels in an individual and then boost mood to recover from depression.

Apart from these magnesium supplements can improve depression by improving the following in the body: the synaptic density in the prefrontal cortex; hormonal imbalances (such as hypothyroidism and low testosterone); autonomic nervous system (ANS) function; dopaminergic dysfunction and the neurotransmission of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter associated with relaxation; and reduced arousal in the brain.

Maintaining the requisite level of nutrients is essential

While the lack of magnesium increases the risk of developing depression, an individual dealing with depression is also granted to developing a magnesium deficiency. Therefore, one should make sure that the requisite level of magnesium, and all other essential nutrients in the body, is maintained to avoid the development of any major health issues.

{ Comments are closed }

Why I Cannot Tell You About My Mental Illness

Dear friend, thank you for your interest, but I can not share with you, for I fear you will not understand. You can not possibly understand. And even if you would understand, me thinking you do not or can not help me open up to you, nor does it ever help when I think you could be judging me without letting on.

You probably will not understand that thinking, but there you go; you do not understand. Even if you did understand, I could not understand why you would, and I would struggle to believe you.

So you see, we have a real problem if you really want me to have an expectation that I share. And please do not pressure me. Force makes me freeze, and I may never open up to you, if there was a chance I could, or, ever again.

You might think you're able to help – if only I did share. As it is, in my present state, I can not see how you could help, and even if I could see, and you were able to help, I would struggle to allow you to help me.

Please understand.

It feels impossible from in here. But, why am I seeking understanding when I do not for one moment expect you to understand. If I think it's absurd, how could I expect you to think otherwise. Yet, to help, you would need to convince me that you actually do understand. Good luck with that!

I can not tell you what's going on, because I'm so unsure where or how to start. I could just start, but then I would also find myself getting it wrong, and almost anything you'd say could be wrong. Even those who do help also say many unhelpful things. It's great that they continue to try, though, but at best it'searing, and at worst it's insulating. The good thing for them is they can not tell how much some things they say hurt. But, that does not help me.

I also can not tell you where I'm at, because I doubt I have the energy. Breathing is the challenge of the minute right now. Breathing and simply holding my lamentable life together. See, it sounds like a full-blown pity party at happy hour. You do not understand it! Well, how do you expect me to understand? I 'd swap this for anything. And I know damn well there are so many who have it much worse than I; all that does is make me feel more guilty and ashamed, and deer down the sinkhole I go.

Even if I did share it would be brief and I could not give you my whole heart on the matter, because I do not know where to find it. My identity and being seem to have become a mystery, and every effort to found myself on something true seems elusive.

So, please understand that you can not understand, and accept where that leaves us … and suddenly you might begin to help.

Signed,

The Person Struggling with Anxiety and Depression.

***

Being invited into the heart of a person struggling with mental illness is its own miracle. That heart is a sensitive place where listeners are welcome, but can not ever feel at home.

Respect that.

Understand that you can not understand, and suddenly, right there, understanding begins to emerge.

The guilt experienced by those with mental illness is part of the problem. Understand that guilty is a valid emotion, albeit unhealthy, based in the best of intentions to relate in love; to own one's incapacity. Understand that the mind games that they end are unlenting and exhausting.

Let this not be a discourption to give up listening and reaching out. It serves as the opposite. Listeners, helpers and supporters more be more tenacious in their care than ever.

Do not give up if someone says, 'you can not possibly understand'. You can not, but that in itself is a helpful place to start.

{ Comments are closed }