Herbal Remedies For Sadness

Emotions are a big part of us. They are part of being human. If we can not feel sadness and grief then we would kill each other for profit without any remorse whatever. Emotions is what makes us human, and what differentiates us from wild animals. However not all emotions are wanted in specific times. We do not want to feel sad when we are working. We do not want to feel happy when we lost someone. Emotional feelings that prevent productivity are often called negative emotions. Sadness that comes to our lives without any warning or any event nor reason is not wanted.

Sadness due to seasonal change can happen. There are people who get sad due to bad weather and absence of sunlight. These often happen during the winter time. This is how powerful our emotions are. We can suddenly get depressed just because we do not see any sunlight. A great natural remedy for this is sad soother. Sad soother contains homeopathic ingredients designed to combat such change in people's emotional state. Sad soother is designed to specifically target emotional depression or sadness that is caused by seasonal change. This seasonal change that causes sadness is often called seasonal affective disorder and many Americans are suffering from such effect.

There are many types of natural herbal remedies for sadness. They are very effective at alleviating the doom and gloom type of feeling. A natural herbal ingredient to cure depression and sadness is Ignatia amara. This ingredient comes from a tree that is mostly found in the Philippines, which has been proven by Doctors and Psychologists to be able to cure strong feelings of grief and depression. This natural herbal ingredient is very effective and most homeopathic remedies have it as an ingredient. Homeopathic remedies are often frowned upon by the medical field but laTely Doctors from different parts of the Earth are providing evidence and scientific tests that concludes there is a basis and a foundation for homeopathy that homeopathic medicine does in fact work and are very effective.

Nat sulph is also another natural herbal ingredient that is very effective at relieving depression, sadness and grief. This herb is best suited to people that tend to cry and get easily emotional in movies and theaters. This natural herbal remedy is very effective also and very popular. Homeopathic remedies that relieves sadness and grief should have Nat Sulph.

Natural herbal remedies have come a long way. They were once treated as baloney and shunned away by the medical community but as new technology comes, more and more license Doctors and medical experts have come to conclude that natural herbal remedies does work. Natural herbal remedies are safe, non-addictive and very easy to use. They are a good alternative to prescription drugs with severe adverse effects. Rather than using prescription drugs and dealing with the adverse effects these drugs have, people should try natural herbal remedies first. There is really no reason for not trying them since they are very cheap, very effective and the popularity of natural herbal remedies or homeopathic medicine is becoming more and more popular.

{ Comments are closed }

What To Do When Life’s Not Working

“When life's not working, when our relationships are not the way we wish they could be, we feel empty inside.”
~ Dr. Tim Clinton

It is a sad fact in all our lives, that, from time to time, even for endless seasons on end, the hope that compels us forward is continuously frustrated and unrealized.

And notwithstanding our faith, with copious reminders that we are not to complain, we still find these irrevocable feelings welling up from within a point we can no longer deny them. Even the most ardent preacher or leader has times of emptiness. Yes, even Christ felt empty.

ADMITTING OUR WEEAKNESS – ADMITTING OUR EMPTINESS

Whilst much of the world believes in stoicism, the ability to push on through, as if to fire the furnace of resilient flexibility, the Christian mandate is much more effective.

Using a very Pauline method – the theology of the apostle Paul – we can draw on the understanding that God is for us, not against us, in every circumstance of life. Even in our emptiness, when there are so many reminders of broken, unsteady, faltering, and untrusting relationships, with each one reminding us somehow of our own frailties, God's power is there to be drawn upon.

But we only draw on Divine power in our weakness by admitting our weakness; by admitting our emptiness. There is no sin in feeling empty. Indeed, if only we would be emptied of ourselves more often there would be more room for God to fill us.

WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT LIFE WHEN IT IS NOT WORKING?

These ironies that we notice just as easily work for us. We are blessed just as much in our emptiness as at any time. When life is not working as we'd like it to, we are called higher to a sharp cognisance of God. Where the world can not satisfy, God can.

Upon a fresh reading of Romans chapter 8, especially in our dearth, as we dig deeply into our raw and honest emotion, God speaks hope back through into our lives.

Perhaps we are only more discernibly reachable as we approach our rock bottom, when there is no strength left for dishonesty and worldly distraction.

When life's not working and we present before God as need, God transforms our need into power for hope for yet another day. One day at a time our hope moves for us, almost too silently and too gradually to see. One day at a time our dispositions change. And one day at a time we problem solve and do what we can to remove the barriers to a satisfying life.

***

When life is not working, and we feel empty inside, coming ever closer in our need is our Lord who resurrects us, afresh. The more we need God the more we are helped.

When we feel empty there is more room for God to fill us.

© 2012 SJ Wickham.

{ Comments are closed }

Recovery From the Depths of Depression

There is the belief among many counselors that people who have fallen upon hard times have the capacity and resource within themselves to recover. Those having difficulty adjusting to their new situations, many of which have occurred beyond their choice, can negotiate these situations; but help helps.

People in many counseling capacities, whether in private practice, from churches, or as caseworkers, have an innate belief that people come to them with the answers.

The Counselor purely provides space where a special relationship can be developed where perspectives may be viewed together and anew.

But when we fall into a depression, when life turns awkwardly, and we begin feeling incapacitated or overwhelmed, we may stop believing we have the answer.

WHERE WILL YOUR HELP COME FROM?

The concern of where will our help come from – how will we recover, and when? – could become our overriding concern. And such concern can become desperate.

We can become so polarized to the helplessness, we begin to seriously doubt recovery will ever come. We see more barriers than agency. We see more reminders of our helplessness than we do of reason for hope. We may feel incredibly isolated.

We seriously think that the answer might come from within us, for we can not see just now.

Perhaps it may turn out to be that we had the answer all along, but we needed the space and the assurance with which to proffer confidence for a fresh onslaught in the living of life.

Help out of a depression can certainly seem impossible. But it is amazing what support and encouragement, coupled with an openness to explore new perspectives can do.

A VISION OF RECOVERY

A lot of the time the sort of help we need is actually miniscule. But it is no less critically important. It might be as if we are trudging up a cloudy hill, and we have no idea where the top is. The person who helps us may mayrely lead us a few steps to the top where we can see our lives more clearly.

As we pirouette at the top of the hill, we see the cloudy formation we came through, and we begin to see, more, from a safer perspective, that life is full of similarly cloudy formations.

We begin to see the purpose in trudging up that hill. Now others' hills have our attention and empathy. We draw confidence that getting to the top of our hill was due to our own capacity and resources – with a little help from a friend.

When hope has returned, and maybe even embellished our view of life, we have a strange new capacity for living. The rut we ended actually actually worked out for our best.

***

Little things make big differences in the difficulties of life. There is power in renewal as there is power in having openness within ourselves. Seeking help out of a depression can prove the making of us.

© 2012 SJ Wickham.

{ Comments are closed }

Depression Self Help

If you experience depression frequently or in an ongoing manner, it's important to seek professional help. Nonetheless, there are things that you can do on a daily basis to help lift your spirits and shed the mantle of depression – at least temporarily – and perhaps permanently. In this article, we will share a series of practical, doable tips to help you cope with depression in your daily life.

1. Do your best to develop supportive relationships. Sometimes, when we are depressed, it's hard to even notice other people. Be that as of may, try to keep your eyes open and notice the many small kindnesses that people bestow upon you every day. You may be surprised to find that people are generally concerned about you.

2. Do not hide yourself away. Make it a point to get out every day and spend a little time among others. Even if you just visit a mall or park and do a little people watching, it will lift your spirits. Taking part in a social activity once or twice a week is also very helpful. Good places to look for social activities include libraries, places of worship, or your local gym.

3. Learn to substitute positive thoughts for negative thoughts. If you find yourself being pessimistic or thinking negative thoughts, simply cancel them. Substitute something positive in the place of negative thoughts. Act on your new thoughts right away to help them come true.

4. Get plenty of high quality rest every day. Get 8 hours of sleep a night, or if this is problematic for you, be sure to take a nap in the afternoon or at a convenient time during the day to make sure that you have a total of 8 hours of good rest every 24 hours . This is very important to maintaining a good mood because lack of REM sleep and lack of dream cycles can very negatively affect the way we feel.

5. Learn relaxation and stress management techniques to be better able to cope with day to day stressors. Learning to meditate, redirect your thoughts, use muscle relaxation and any other established method of managing stress and relaxing body, mind and spirit will be helpful in alleviating depression.

6. Spend a little time with a pet. It has been proven that time spent petting and playing with a dog, cat, rabbit or other beloved pet, or even just watching fish in an aquarium can have the effect of lowering the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and relieving stress. Stress is a big contributor to depression, and spending time with a pet can help you get rid of stress and enjoy the unconditional love that pets give freely.

7. Be sure to get at least 15 minutes of light-to-moderate exercise every day. Going for a walk, swim or bike ride can be very effective in improving your physical condition and your state of mind. Exercise such as yoga can be extremely helpful in ordering your thoughts and settling your spirit. All of these things are helpful in the fight against depression.

8. Spend a few minutes in the sunshine every day. Although spending too much time in the sun can be bad for your health, it's important to attain a happy medium. Do not stay out of the sun entirely. People, like plants, need sunshine to thrive. Take 5 or 10 minutes to enjoy the sun on your face every day. Combine this with your walk or bike ride outside or simply sit in the sun to read or have a chat with a friend or acquaintenance. It will lift your spirits.

The effect of these tips is synergistic. Each tip alone may not seem to amount to much and will not take much effort for you to perform. Nonetheless, when done together and regularly, all of these tips combine to have a depression fighting effect that is much greater than the effort it takes to follow the tips. If you incorporated these tips into your lifestyle on a regular basis, you may wake up one morning to find that you are free of depression!

{ Comments are closed }

Types Of Depression

The term depression refers to a type of mood disorder associated with feelings of sadness, anger, loss and frustration. Although people normally experience these feelings at one point or another, they usually pass within a short time. This medical condition is persistent and interferes with normal daily life yet it is one of the commonest illnesses that affect around 18 million Americans. It occurs in different ways, from mild to severe and as single or recurring episodes. According to many experts, depressive disorders are chronic conditions that need long-term treatment.

It is not clear what causes depressive disorders despite experts believe they are associated with genetic, biologic and environmental factors. The sufferers may have unusual levels of neurotransmitters, which are types of brain chemicals. Factors that may lead to the conditions include:

– Biochemical and physical changes in the brain.

– Heredity

– Long-term stress

– Nutritional deficiencies

– Sleep problems

– Some types of medications, such as those used to treat irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol or high blood pressure

– Serious medical conditions like cancer and heart attack

– Social isolation

Types of Depressive Disorders

There are different types of depressed disorders and here are the main ones.

– Major depressive disorder has episodes that last for at least a fortnight and often take up to 20 weeks. Also known as clinical depression, the condition affects how people think, feel and behave. The sufferers tend to feel that they do not have any reason for living and experience both physical and emotional problems. They find it difficult to carry out such normal functions as eating, sleeping or studying. Although people may experience several episodes during their lifetime, it tends to occur only once but treatment is often taken through one's life.

– Dysthymia is a chronic type of depressive disorder that is relatively less severe. Its symptoms are similar to those of major depressive disorder, which the sufferers are likely to develop, except that they are milder. The symptoms may last for two years or more.

– Atypical disorder is linked to intermittent feelings of elation when those affected experience something good. It manifests different symptoms than the first two conditions. However, its name is deceptive because it is probably the commonest type of depressive disorder.

– Adjustment disorder is associated with the way the sufferers respond to different experiences in life. For example, some people react to the deaths of their loved ones in ways that manifest depressive symptoms.

– Psychotic depressive disorder involves a combination of severe depressive symptoms and some type of psychosis. The sufferers may break with reality and experience disturbing but false beliefs. They may also see or hear things that other people either see nor hear. The two conditions are known as delusions and hallucinations.

– Seasonal affective disorder, as its name indicates, is associated with changes in seasons and occurs mostly when there is little sunlight. SAD often occurs in the fall-winter season and tenders to lift in the summer-spring season.

– Premenstrual dysphoric disorder manifests its symptoms about a week before menstruation and disappears once the period ends.

– Postpartum mood changes occur in between 10 and 15 percent of mothers who have just delivered. Many new mothers experience “baby blues” because of physical and hormonal changes in addition to the added responsibility. However, this condition is more serious than this normal occurrence.

– Bipolar disorder is rare compared to other depressive disorders. It involves cycling mood changes that go from extreme lows to extreme highs, which is why it is also known as manic-depressive illness. The condition can affect relationships and performance at either work or school and may even lead to suicide. The first symptoms may be experienced during childhood despite people tend to miss the early signs. Fortunately, the condition is treatable.

Different methods are used to treat depressive disorders and many professionals recommend the use of both antidepressants and psychotherapy, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most successful method.

Copyright (c) 2012 Embrace Depression

{ Comments are closed }

Should I Take Medication for My Postnatal Depression?

Whether your journey here has been slow and torturous or brutally quick, you have arrived at a diagnosis of postnatal depression. If you have self-diagnosed, through a variety of research and checkslists, your next step may be to decide whether or not to take this to your doctor. If it was your doctor who helped you come to the conclusion that you are suffering from PND, they will have run through your treatment options and are waiting for you to decide which route to follow.

Please note that I am NOT a medical practitioner, and the suggestions I make below are all dependent on your seeing a GP for professional guidance.

I'm scared to see a GP – they'll make me take drugs!

No ethical medical professional will ever force you to go down a treatment route that makes you uncomfortable or goes against your wishes. Just because you present with symptoms of PND does not mean they will force you to take brain-altering medication. They will give you the facts – how they normally treat women with PND, what the pros and cons are of each type of treatment, success rates, etc. If they do not readily offer this information, ask. You may find it helpful to prepare a series of questions and take them with you in a notebook. Sometimes talking to a stranger about our raw emotions can be overwhelming and it's easy to forget what we really want to know.

How do I know if antidepressants are right for me?

Honestly? You will not know until you try. Sometimes our resistance is really about coming to terms with the fact that we're not very well. It can bring up a lot of guilt and shame and sense of failure.

“If I was a good mother I would not need to take medication to feel better”.

“As a new mother I should be blissed out on love for my son / daughter – if I start popping pills it means I do not love my baby enough.”

It may seem hard to separate the issues, but your anxiety about motherhood and a sense of failure or guilt needs to be addressed while you are getting better. Taking antidepressant drugs does not mean you are a bad mother. Seeking help to improve your psychological wellbeing is actually a sign that you care enough about your baby to be emotionally there for them. This is the case wherever you take medication or choose an alternative route. What matters is that you are actively helping yourself to improve your situation.

If I choose to take antidepressants, will not I get hooked?

A lot of people worry about this one. I certainly did did before deciding to give them a go. It's true that you need to take your medication for a sustained period of time for it to be effective. Many GPs will recommend you continue for six months after you feel better to ensure the symptoms do not return. During this time (typically a year or two) your body will get used to the chemical mix in your system. So it's normal to worry that you will become dependent on them to feel normal. Talk to your GP upfront about your worries. They should be able to tell you the likelihood of experiencing difficulty reducing your dose or any withdrawal symptoms people may experience.

It used to be very common a few decades ago to experience difficulties coming off medication – but scientific advances, combined with a wide range of different types of antidepressants on the market, meaning that it's less of an issue. Your GP should also be able to tell you how they help others reduce their dose, and how long their patients tend to take before coming off them completely. Fear of becoming dependent is perfectly legitimate, but do not let it paralyse you intoaction.

What reactions can I expect when I first take them?

Depending on the type of antidepressant you are prescribed, you may experience a variety of symptoms, from insomnia and heart palpitations to fatigue and restless legs. Your GP should let you know before you start your course what physical and psychological reactions you might expect. Most reactions last just a few days, and should level out within the week. If they continue beyond this time, or you experience some anxiety or mood swings, go back to your doctor, who may try you on a different type of medication.

It's normal to feel frustrated if this happens – having made the decision to take antidepressants, you want them to take effect as quickly as possible, and trying different types can feel like you're taking one step forward and three steps back. But if you find the right one, you should start to feel your mood lifting after about 10 to 14 days. When you're desperate, that can feel a lifetime away, but if you can ride it out, there should be light at the end of the tunnel.

What if I decide not to take antidepressants?

If you research the various types of medication your GP suggests and decide not to go down that route there are other avenues open to you to help you feel better. A non-exhaustive list of options includes:

Alternative remedies -The best known and reviewed is St John's Wort, a herbal compound that has been shown to have similar mood-lifting properties of chemical antidepressants with fewer side effects.

Food and exercise -Good nutrition and exercise will help improve low mood in those with mild anxiety or depression. Foods said to improve depression include garlic, oily fish, brazil nuts and coffee (in moderate doses). To make a difference to mood, exercise should increase the heart rate, such as swimming, running or walking fast. Bear in mind, however, that recent research has shown that exercise only helps mild to moderate depression and has no effect at all on severe depression.

Talking therapies – Many people taking conventional antidepressants will benefit from talking therapies such as counseling or CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and they should be seen as complementary to all types of treatment, rather than a straight alternative. However, if you are sure you do not want to take any kind of medication, it is important to acknowledge and treat your condition in some way. Talking to someone about your feelings should help you identify areas of change and see more clearly what action you can take to turn things around.

Taking medication for postnatal depression is very common, but please remember it does not mean you have failed as a mother. Rather, it can offer you the emotional resilience to see your situation more clearly and work out what actually needs to change in your life, providing your with the energy and motivation to carry those things out. Once you are able to make those changes, your need for medication will reduce, and your ability to accept and manage your emotions and behavior will radically improve.

{ Comments are closed }

66 Is the New 99%

Intrinsically, we want more of almost everything. It's actually in our DNA! What started as an evolutionary need has monstrously evolved to a constant and sisyphic chase after what we would so eloquently define as “stuff”.

Bigger house, faster car, shinier jewelry. Higher score, faster exit, bigger (or smaller) screens- all in the name of success and achievement. It's an interesting, fast moving and often painfully hollow existence to live in. One where the peaks of achievement are high but the valleys of pursuit are often dark, cold and damp.

Worse still, we oftentimes find that reaching the summit is anti-climactic, and upon arrival, we immediately set sights on the next, higher peak, without ever taking a moment to take in the view.

There is no denying- this is the basis of advancement. Discovery and ingenuity drive progress and improvement. But we also recognize the dangerous curves of this yellow brick road. Most of us know why the “pursuit of happiness” is a constitutional anchor while the pursuit of a Porsche is just Seinfeld's favorite hobby. We can feel something is missing, and we sit in our piles of “stuff”, as depressed as ever.

The average American adult has a 20% chance of being identified with a need for some level of therapy. That's around 50 million Americans. The number of people who actually receive treatment? It's around 16.5 million. That is 33%, which is obscenely low, since it means that around 67% of all people in need are receiving no help. If I told you that 67% of cancer patients will not be receiving treatment this year, or that only 33% of all people with cavities will get to see a dentist- would that make sense? Surely not.

Why is it so low? Because mental health is far less visible than the effects of chemotherapy, and less viable than a 3am toothache. Because the barriers to help are significant, and include technical, social and monetary considerations. And while we wait, the need for help often weighs on us from within and collapses one's emotional center of gravity, effecting every aspect of everyday life.

And what do we do about it? Mostly, we find ways to sweep things under the carpet, usually with the courty of mindless prescriptions of anti-depressants, with or without proper therapeutic process, oftentimes with good old suppression. Other times we simply neglect and hope things go away. Or catch a quick self help / motivational talk at 3am. A classic lather- rise- repeat for the soul.

Either way, we seem to have developed an evolutionary tendency to collectively treat symptoms rather than issues, and with mental health, it is so easy to make things all pretty on the outside while the inner substance rots away.

{ Comments are closed }

Where to Go Out of Depression?

“My tears have been my food day and night …”
~ Psalm 42: 3a (NRSV)

How is it that life could have such a low opinion of us that it would castigate us into a bout of depression?

We can be forgiven for asking this question, among others; for questioning the injustice of life that we, properly caring individuals, are malnourished at such depth. Why is it that we, people who may have such empathy for the others' suffering, are lambasted and lashed by this horrendous black dog?

Though these sorts of questions are always logical – and we can tell from hindsight, having recovered our reasonable minds – they can seem appropriate and pitiful, as guilty and self-condemnation recoil through us like a viper in our piqued self-consciousness.

HOW DO WE LOVE A BLACK DOG?

We may never have another opportunity to grow quite so close to God than through the one we have present. This is both an awkward truth and an enlightening one.

It is awkward because we may still ask the question – “Why me?” – yet somehow we know what a special period this is – if we know God. The believer has a special advantage in their depression: they know God. And being part of their number, if we are, we have respite.

Even when we do not feel the rest that God promises, we have hope that we will. We know that relief will come.

But there is an opportunity, even in a bout of depression. What if we could learn to love this black dog? What if we could learn to nurture ourselves in our sadness, in our incapacity, and, in our forlornness? What if we could learn to allow God to nurture us, to hold us, and to love us, and our black dog, through this period and ever more?

IMAGES OF LOVE THAT RESONATE

There is no simple answer for the way out of depression. Each person, each situation, and each case, is different, as are the reasons we suffer in the first place.

But what can help as we plan our recovery, and it always helps to plan, is to find images of love that resonate. We may have sources for empathy about us, counselors and pastors and friends and family, but we have the greatest source of empathy in our faith in a loving God. God loves us many ways, but in these cases most poignantly by images of love that resonate.

Images of love that resonate are like colors of the rainbow; all of the emotions, and not just the sad and mad ones, come into play. God meets us emotionally. As we open ourselves up to images all around us, life in full flight, we allow God to minister to us, healing our hearts. Sunrises and sunsets, soothing rain, silence, music, stories of compassion, and a good book – all examples.

***

Finding a way out of depression is about finding love that is just right for the moment. Those moments provide hope for survival. And survival sees the key to growth and adjustment. Most of all, God loves us ever more through and out of our depression.

© 2012 SJ Wickham.

{ Comments are closed }

A Short Guide To Depression Prescription Drugs

If you suffer with depression, prescription drugs are one common way to alleviate the symptoms of your condition. However, there is a lot you need to know before you agree to take them. Here are some tips and guidance about prescription medication so you can be sure they will help you.

1. Talk to your doctor about whether medication is right for you. Anyone who wants to get medication for depression must get a prescription from a doctor. This is an important first step, because your doctor will be able to prescribe a medicine that should work well for your particular case. Some drugs work by addressing serotonin levels, and some work by addressing dopamine levels. Other medications work slightly differently. By seeing a doctor, you are likely to be prescribed the best medication for you.

2. Find out the cost of the medication. When you have depression, it is important that you start taking medication as soon as possible; in many cases, the drugs will not take effect for about two weeks to one month. To take the drugs as soon as you can, you need to make sure you can afford your medicine. Find out what medications are covered through your health insurance plan, and then find out how much of the cost you will be responsible for. If you have trouble affording your medication, talk to your doctor.

3. Know the side effects of the drugs you will be taking. Even though depression medication is something you may need, be aware that they are drugs and will likely affect your body in some ways. Do as much research as you can to ensure that you know about your medication. Make sure you know the side effects of the drugs you are taking, and make sure you know of any adverse reactions as well. This knowledge will make you better able to cope with your medicine.

4. Realize that your medication use will not affect your ability to work or get a job. You do not have to distribute your medication use to anyone. The only exception to that rule is if your company requires drug testing. Only then do you ever have to let anyone at your job know that you are taking medication or what it is for.

5. Never stop taking depression medication unless specifically told to by a doctor. Once you start taking depression medicine, the drug is affects your brain. If you abruptly stop taking your medication, your body may react in a way that can be somewhat frightening. If you want to cut down, make sure you speak to your doctor so he can tell you how to do so safely.

Having depression can easier to manage if you are prescribed medication. Using prescription drugs for your depression can help you cope in a better way and help you to start feeling like you used to. Use the tips laid out here to think wisely about your prescription drugs, so that you can start to feel better as soon as possible.

{ Comments are closed }

Emotional Intelligence and Happiness

People often lack emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence has been debated in scientific journals. Investigator Daniel Goleman established that EI has to cover the following areas: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management. These are areas that are relevant to depression. Without awareness, for example, you will not know your feelings at all. Without self management you will always be in trouble because you will be unable to control and manage your emotional world. Without social awareness you will be having a hard time establishing healthy relationships with people around you because you will be unaware of their emotional world. Similarly without the ability to manage your relationships you will probably have a lot of problems with people who are around you. All of these are relevant areas that I am sure we all need to work on in order for us to be able to improve our internal world as well as our external reality (think friends, co-workers, family, etc).

When EI is not present, we still feel what we feel. I want to make sure that you understand that what you feel is always Ok. You have to respect what you are feelings. Are you feeling scared? Angry? Lonely? Misunderstood? Stressed out? It's OK to feel what you feel. Respect your feelings and do not let anyone disrespect them either. If people disrespect your feelings they are disrespecting you and that is not acceptable. So understand your feelings, ask yourself what is the cause of those feelings and where are they coming from? Have you felt the way before? Start by being curious about your internal emotional world. In this way, you are more likely to have a better understanding, awareness and perceptual control over your emotions.

Although your feelings are always Ok, you are always responsible for your actions and its derivative consequences. For instance, if you are angry, and hit someone you are responsible for hurting the “someone.” We all responsible for our actions. If you are unfaithful to your women / men and the person finds out. You are responsible for the consequences of your unfaithfulness. You are always responsible for the consequences. I am repeating it because it is important to understand that concept of responsibility. However, please understand that your feelings are always Ok, but how you act out in trying to alleviate your internal world sometimes can be damaging for yourself and in fact, often we run from ourselves. We run from what we are really feeling.

Why? Because its scary to be vulnerable. We are not used to it. It feels uncomfortable. That is why, seldom we faced our emotions. Rarely we faced the reason why we are alone and lonely. Because even though it's not ideal, it is our comfort zone. And guess what comfort zones are comfortable! That is why most of us tend to run from what is bothering us. From what we need to improved. We end up becoming expert at running at being evasive at escaping our reality. Sadly, we tend to find comfort in our pathologies How would people run you ask? Have you seen an anorexic? An alcoholic? A workaholic? Sex addict? Shopping addict?

All of these are type of pathologies that share the same root. They are acting out on feelings that they have not faced. They are running away from what they are really feelings. Many times, these people will have no clue what they are really running from. Some of them will know. But they will not know how to face their feelings. So all of these are example of level of awareness of our emotional world. That is why, is important to know and understand the magnitude of our feelings. It is definitely not easy but the rewards is to gain better control of yourself as an emotional being that you already are !!

These people are not technically alone because they always have people calling them, visiting them and so on or so forth. Or how about workaholics they are always busy with something. This latter group uses their work to try to fill something in their lives.

{ Comments are closed }

Dealing With Depression Effectively Today

Statistics claim that approximately forty percent of individuals will experience depression at some time in life. The symptoms can be not only debilitating but also confusing for the person as well as for family members. Like diabetes, depression is not cured but must be managed in order for the individual to experience any sense of well-being.

Following are some strategies to help with the management of depression:
1. Focus on the present and future – Things of the past need to be left in the past. There is absolutely nothing that can be accomplished by harboring hurts and problems that are long gone.

2. Adopt an attitude of forgiveness – When you refuse to forgive yourself or another person, you are the one who suffers and will continue to suffer. You do not need to forget what happened but you do need to let it go. As my little pre-school granddaughter once told me “That's okay. Everybody makes mistakes”.

3. Choose each thought carefully – The good news is that your brain that only hold one thought at a time. There might be some that are competitive for your attention but you actually get to choose which thought you will allow your brain to have at any time. Write down the things that you want to have happen, in the present tense, and repeat them to yourself through the day. For example, “I can control my emotions”, “I choose to live a healthy life” or “Things are improving every day”.

4. Always say what you want instead of what you do not want – Your mind is like a great computer that does what you ask. If you keep saying things like “I can not sleep”, “My relationships are horrible” or “Things will never get better”, your brain thinks that you should respond by giving you the things you request.

5. Know what you need to be healthy – Pay attention to the things that help you to stay well. Getting enough rest, ensuring that you have a nutritious diet and being involved in positive activities are important. Each person needs a unique amount of each but only you will be able to put the exact formula together.

6. Develop assertiveness skills – People who are passive often become resentful and angry with themselves and others when their needs are not met. Assertiveness means that you know what you need and know how to ask for it in a healthy way.

7. Learn how to establish healthy boundaries – It is acceptable and necessary to say “No” at times. Just because someone asks you to do something or tries to convince you that they have a good idea, does not mean that their idea would be wise for you. Listen to your inner voice!

8. Follow your treatment plan – So many clients tell me that they do not want to take medications for their whole life or that they vary the instructions given to them by their physician, psychologist or psychiatrist even before they have given themselves time to notice if there would be improvement over time. Give good advice a chance!

9. Find interesting things to do – If you are bored then you will become boring to others. Always have something to look forward to even if it is only a walk in the park, a trip to the green house or a telephone visit with someone who has a positive attitude.

10. Be your own best friend – Think of how you would treat someone who you love and enjoy being around and then transfer all that affection and care towards yourself. Laugh at your own “quirkiness”, find enjoyable hobbies that you can do on your own and give thanks for what you do have. Remember, there is always someone who is worse off than you!

A wonderful life does not just “happen”. People who do well are the ones who plan to do well and then follow through on their plans.

{ Comments are closed }

What Is Depression?

To the individual who is experiencing it, depression is an unstoppable force that relentlessly attacks its defenseless victim non-stop. It is an overpowering predator that renders its prey helpless by destroying its will to survive. Depression rapes the soul and extinguishes the fire of the spirit, leaving an empty vessel in its wake. Depression is destruction; physically, psychologically and spiritually. In fact, depression almost destroyed me.

It has been almost ten years since my first battle with depression. For three months I was totally debilitated. At the time I remember thinking, feeling and believing that my life would never be the same again. But to my complete and utter amazement I eventually found help that restored my mind and body to a normal state. It seemed like a miracle at the time, but that was before I learned about the condition.

After having six or seven serious bouts with depression I know how powerful it can be. But through learning and experience I have proven to myself that I, or anyone else else for that matter, can become even more powerful. The individual simply needs to understand the nature of their opponent (depression), believe the fact that it can be beaten (thousands of people have overcome depression), and become proactive in their own healing.

Having lived many years without depression and many years with it, I am convinced that unless someone has actually experienced depression themselves, it is impossible for them to fully understand the total transformation of mind and body that it brings about. Depression brings about an apathy, emotional numbness and lack of energy that is completely unprepened for someone who has never experienced it before. Furthermore, depression is an extremely difficult condition to overcome because, in order to over it, you need everything that the depression has apparently stolen from you in the first place; most notably energy, motivation and hope.

But you must realize that even though YOU MAY NOT FEEL energetic, motivated, or hopeful in a given moment DOES NOT override the ABSOLUTE TRUTH that you ALWAYS HAVE ACCESS to these emotional states. You just need to learn how to access them. And there are no magic words or pills that will be able to do this for you completely. Sure positive affirmations and medications can help you on your healing journey but they are not the ultimate solution. The ultimate solution requires patience, an open mind, honesty with self, and knowledge.

{ Comments are closed }

Coping With Everyday Depression: The Basics

COPING WITH THE BLUES: The Basics.

When someone comes for counseling and tells me that they are depressed, it is important for me to discern how serious their problem is. So I ask them to describe what they are going through. If their problem sounds like deep, ongoing, clinical depression, I refer them to someone more competent than myself. If their problem is perceived as temporary mild depression, I prepare myself to work with them.

In either case, my first duty is to ask them, “Do you want to get better?” They may be startled and respond, “What?” So I ask again, “Do you really want to get better, to get completely rid of your depression?” I hope they say, “Yes, that's why I am here.” But they may hesitate to answer my question. Why would anyone hesitate? Depression is not fun. And, whether mild or serious, most people would want to get rid of depression, right? Not necessarily.

Believe it or not, there are some people who feel good about feeling bad. They may not be conscious of it, but they find some pleasure in feeling down. First of all, depression gets them attention. People around them say, “Oh, you look so down. You poor dear. I feel sorry for you. Secondly, depression gets them out of work and relieves them of a lot of responsibility. When they are down and out, other people will not turn to them for assistance. Instead, others say, “Oh, I'll do this task.

In order to get well, a person must want to get well. I mean really want to get well. They must be determined and be fully committed to do whatever it takes to get well. That means they must be willing to spend whatever time it takes, make whatever effort is necessary, call upon whatever resources are available to them, outlay whatever cash is required and, if they are a person of faith, do constant prayer work in order to get well.

If a hypochondriac comes to a doctor for a cure, but does not really want to get well, nothing the doctor advises will work. As a counselor I am willing to do all I can for a counselee. But if the counselee is not totally committed to getting rid of their depression, I ask them not to waste my time. Nothing I do will work for them.

When a person with everyday mild depression says they are committed to getting well, we are off and running. I go into my five starting questions.

1) Do you get enough sleep?
2) Do you eat balanced meals?
3) How much exercise do you do each week?
4) How much do you play?
5) Are you getting enough light?

These questions are so obvious that I am almost embarrassed to ask them. But dealing with these fundamental issues up front often alleviates much of the problem.

1) As long as I can remember, “Doctors say …” that the average person requires eight hours of sleep to be healthy and function properly. Neverheless, many of us are so busy that we tend to cut back on sleep whenever we can. We try to sneak by with less than eight hours. We justify cutting back on sleep because we have so much work to do.

To motivate ourselves to get enough sleep, it helps to remember that sleep deprivation often diminishes the effectiveness of our actions. Our reflexes are not as sharp. We tend to make stupid decisions. We are less alert when driving. We may say dumb things that we would not say if we more alert. And sleep deprivation often affects our mood. We get cranky and crabby. We feel drained, drowsy and all done in. Guess what the solution is? “Doctors say …” eight hours, or close to it. That's the first step in combating depression.

2) Eating balanced meals is more in the category of “Mother says …” In my case, it was my mother, grandmother and older sister. When I was growing up I was a fun-loving kid who just wanted to go outside and play. I did not want to lose playtime by stopping to eat. Fortunately, my dear mother “forced” me to sit down and eat. And since she was from the farm, she knew what a balanced meal consist of. I grow up healthy and, with good eating habits, have remained healthy. Thanks, Mom.

I have a popular knowledge about nutrition, but am not qualified to give any in-depth advice. Books on good nutrition fill local libraries and bookstores, plus there is a plethora of information available in magazines and on the internet. All of us need to read and keep abreast with the latest discoveries about how to stay healthy. A firm commitment to our physical well-being begins with a firm commitment to be informed.

For a rule of thumb: No one puts cheap fuel in a Mercedes. Our body is much more precious than a luxury car. We need to threaten our body with utmost loving care. We need to provide it with the highest quality and right amount of nutrition. Our body will give us many years of loving service in return.

3) Doctors, mothers, and just about everyone nowdays will tell you about the importance of exercise. It is good not only for physical health, but also for mood elevation, mental alertness, improved digestion, better sleep, greater energy and a sense of accomplishment. Exercise also contributions to longevity.

My mother was physically healthy and mentally alert well into her eighties, in part because she never drve a car! She walked – to the store, to the bank, to church, to the bus stop and, when she wanted to go to downtown Chicago, she walked six blocks to the train. Did I say Chicago? For fifty years she lived in a suburb of Chicago, so that means she often walked in rain, sleet, snow, and wind. What a lady!

“A vigilant five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but other healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.”
– Dr. Paul Dudley White

Getting motivated for exercise is a challenge for many people. They know exercise is important. But they tell themselves, “I'll do it next week.” My advice: find exercise that you enjoy doing. Many people enjoy walking. Others prefer jogging, biking, swimming, golf, etc. One of my earlier forms of exercise was roller-skating. Accompanied by good music, I could skate for hours. Gardening does it for others.

Many people live in cold climates where it is difficult to spend time outdoors much of the year. With no access to a gym, indoor health club, or skating rink, what can they do? Walking around a Mall is a possibility, if a Mall is accessible. Calisthenics is usually possible at home, but for some this is not enjoyable. I recommend music. Play a favorite selection and then dance or “dancercise” to the music.

Another strategy is to pretend you are directing an orchestra. This can be a great upper-body workout. If I were rich enough and had the space I would buy a drum set. Have you ever seen an over-weight drummer? What a happy way to stay fit! The trick is to be creative and find an enjoyable way to work out. Any brisk, rhythmic exercise for at least thirty minutes releases molecules in the brain called endorphins, which quickly work to wipe out anxiety and depression and boost self esteem.

Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. away from it. ”
– Soren Kierkegaard

4) One of the first rules of thumb that we were taught as kids was: “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Without play, Jack is not only dull but also depressed. Play has the power to resurrect the child within us and theby reduce the size of adult problems. Play is a great equalizer, bringing together people of all ages, colors and creeds. Play diminishes our possessiveness of material things, encouraging us to share so that others may join in our play. Play helps us gain perspective. Play is an act of freedom.

“Your mental health will be better if you have lots of fun outside of that office.”
– Dr. William Menninger

“People who can not find time for recreation are obligated sooner than later to find time for illness.”
– John Wanamaker

Most Americans do not feel valuable unless they are useful and productive. So we work and work in order to produce and produce. We need to balance work with play. Putting fun and relaxation into our day refreshes our spirits and renews our energy. Play is absolutely productive, for it leads to a healthier and and more creative life.

The rules are simple:

1. Grab your hat.
2. Grab your coat.
3. Leave your worries on our doorstep.
4. Just direct your feet to the playful side of the street.

“The life without festival is a long road without an inn.”
– Democritus (400 BC)

5) Finally, light. Growing up in Chicago, I know how crabby people can get by the time the month of March rolls around. The result of a long, cold winter is called “cabin fever” or “winter blues”. It is estimated that 10% to 20% of our population goes through some form of this. A more serious illness afflicting 4% to 6% of Americans is called Seasonal Affective disorder, SAD. This is the result of having to spend so much time indoors.

Natural light deprivation leads to depression. Darkness contributions to depression. Because sunlight appears to stimulate the production of melatonin, which influences our mood, proper emotional maintenance involves going outdoors every day. Also, all rooms except our bedroom during sleeping hours should be well lit, with bright colors, cheerful pictures and window curtains opened wide. Full spectrum lighting, which produces light similar to that of the sun, is recommended.

To sum up: In order to progress from blues to smiles to joy, the first step is:
Commitment

Then we need to take stock and see if we are getting enough:

1. Sleep.
2. Nutrition.
3. Exercise.
4. Play.
5. Light.

In Matthew 19:19, Jesus tells us, “You are to love your neighbor as yourself.” Implied in this statement is the obligation to love ourselves. Getting a good night's sleep, eating balanced meals, making time for physical exercise, and enjoying play and light are all part of caring for ourselves.

These strategies are not only an opening plan for dealing with depression. They are part of the basic foundation for a healthy spiritual life. St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that “grace builds upon nature.” If we neglect the legitimate needs of our human nature, our spiritual efforts will have no foundation to build upon. We will be building on air.

{ Comments are closed }

A Few Tips to Make Dealing With Depression Easier

Think of being depressed as a battle you have to fight. Read this article to learn a few tips that should make dealing with your condition easier.

Find new activities you enjoy to help you relax and take a break from your stressful life. Find new hobbies, try new sports and express yourself artistically if this is something you are interested in. Look for things you really enjoy and that give you an opportunity to meet new people and spend some time away from the life that is not satisfying you. Actually, trying new hobbies could lead you to a new career or a new lifestyle.

Spend quality time with people you care about. You should let your significant other, and your family and friends know about your depression so they are not surprised by your unusual behavior and do their best to cheer you up. Do not expect your friends to spend their own time cheering you up though; this can quickly become emotionally exhausting, especially if your friends are dealing with some issues on their own. Spending time with your friends should be about forgetting your issues.

Consider getting a pet. This is great if you live alone and need to be more active. Studies have shown that people who own a pet are less likely to get depressed. A pet will keep you company and you will have something to take care of yourself yourself; This should give you something else to think about. Remember that a pet is a responsibility and you should make sure you will have enough time and money to take care of your new companion.

Taking antidepressants should make your daily life much easier. You should be able to control your negative emotions, feel less self-conscious and find things to enjoy. Talk to your family doctor or meet with a psychiatrist to get a prescription. There are side effects associated with most medication and you should monitor your reaction closely, especially in the first few weeks of your treatments. You should be fine as long as you do not exceed the recommended dosage.

Learn about positive thinking. Taking a few minutes to think back on your day and find a few positive things. You should also look for ways to manage your stress and perhaps make some changes to your life so you find it more fulfilling. Getting over your depression may be as simple as getting a new job, making new friends, or spending more time with your loved ones. In some cases, there might be a defect issues behind your depression; starting therapy is probably the best option. Occasionally, you will learn to deal with unresolved issues you have been coming with for years and get over them.

Try these tips to make a few changes to your lifestyle to combat your depression. Relaxing, having fun and discovering your potential should become a priority if you are not satisfied with your life. Get help from a professional to monitor your progress and possibly do some soul-searching through therapy.

{ Comments are closed }

Why Being Grateful Is Important In Your Life

There is no doubt that it's easier for most people to be thankful when things are going well in their life as opposed to when they are not.

Yet, it's in these difficult and trying times that appreciating what's still good is of the upmost importance.

Sometimes we take for granted the things about ourselves, others, and our lives that are positive and meaningful.

When challenges arise, or when you receive news of something unsettling about your life or someone you know, or in the world, it is a wake-up call to truly appreciate all that is present in your life just as it is.

Whether internal and / or external, these tough times are not only a reminder of what was beautiful and right about your life, but more importantly, what still is right here, right now, this very moment.

It's easy to get talked up in the days as they are and our expectations and perfections of how things “should or should not” be.

You may recognize what's important in your life, but are you appreciating what's really of the essence?

From time to time you may become tricked by your beliefs, the negatives in your thinking or of what's occurring, and find yourself focusing on what's not working out as opposed to the blessings that are still abundant all around you even when you feel they're not ' t.

Sometimes things seem so absolutely unbearable, horrific, unjust, etc. that you just can not see anything to feel grateful about.

There were certainly times in my life where I did not believe there was anything to be happy about or thankful for anymore; where the emotional darkness I held no light. Yet, there was hope.

I became so engrossed with what was occurring and the emotional state I was in that I stopped seeing seeing all the promise that was still surrounding me.

I challenge you to look again during those emotional times. If you can not see anything, look harder.

Let go for a moment of what hurts or that which you feel is causing you remorse, doubt, pain, unhappiness, uncertainty, fear, and so on.

Center yourself and then your attention to what moves you, or makes you smile, or warms YOUR heart.

You may or may not be able to do this right away depending on the circumstances or how you are up in your impressions, but if you take the time, you will find those moments of appreciation are not as far off as you thought they were.

You can be grateful for anyone or anything, big or small, and when you are, a spark of hope and “all is well” begins to return.

Being thankful reminds us that there is still goodness even in the mid of turmoil.

If you change your beliefs toward what is occurring, and you are determined to find a precious and divine moments, you will find them; they are right there inside and outside of you!

If you have not already, start a grateful journal.

Each day write down the things you are thankful for; add some pictures for more of an impact or heartfelt nudge.

When you are experiencing emotional times and having difficulty quieting the endless negative chatter that seems to take over and you can not muster up what there is to be grateful or happy for, you can look over what you have already.

Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder and you are able to become appreciative once again.

Be grateful for your loved ones, your friends, your pets, your sobriety, your car, your job, your home, your bed, your clothes, your shoes, etc. More importantly be thankful for the freedom to still create positive lasting memories if only for a day!

Being grateful not only benefits you but those around you as well. You become an inspiration in your own life and possibly the lives of those you encounter.

You become more hopeful, lighter, happier, more loving, kinder, understanding, compassionate, empathetic, and thankful. It just does not get any better than that.

What are you grateful for today?

Use these techniques with insight to assist you in seeing why being grateful is important to your life.

{ Comments are closed }