What are some symptoms of BP? See what bipolar disorder can be like. Pass this along to someone in need. Dark Glasses & Kaleidoscopes - YouTube http://bit.ly/1ExeuNA
I enjoy sharing my affirmations with friends ~
An affirmation 4 u:
"I am drawn to Silence; for in the Silence my soul is restored without fail."
8 Things to Consider When Your Depression’s Not Getting Better
By Therese Borchard
Published Jan 20, 2015
I keep getting the same email over and over again, and my heart aches each time I read it: “I have tried everything to overcome my depression, but nothing has helped. Is there anything else I can do or will I have to live the rest of my life plagued with sadness?”
First, hear these three words: There is hope. If there wasn’t any, I would not be alive writing my blog. I am one of the worst cases out there like you are. I have spent more years of my life fantasizing about death than wanting to be alive. I get it. But now I do enjoy some really good days — where I feel better than I ever have. And those good days keep me motivated to get through the harder ones. From my own 43 years of experience fighting the demon of hopelessness and from all my conversations with folks in my online depression community, Project Beyond Blue, here are some suggestions that you might try.
1. Get a PhysicalThe reason that you may not be getting better despite trying 20 different combinations of medication is that your symptoms of irritability, fatigue, and apathy may not be caused by a lack of serotonin or norepinephrine in your brain, but rather by a tear in your diaphragm or a problem with your aortic valve. A few conditions that are often misdiagnosed as depression are:hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B-12 deficiency, insulin resistance or blood sugar imbalances, and anemia. (See my piece, 6 Conditions That Feel Like Depression But Aren’t). You should really get a physical and have some bloodwork done by an integrative or functional doctor; however, that can be costly, especially if you get a functional doctor who wants to run every test on you.
I asked my integrative doctor, Alan Weiss of Annapolis Integrative Medicine, to give me a list of the three or four most important blood tests a person with chronic depression should ask their primary care physician to do for them, if they can’t afford to go outside their insurance network for a consultation. He suggested:
Dana Trentini has a great post, The Top Five Reasons Doctors Fail to Diagnose Hypothyroidism, on her blog Hypothyroid Mom. If you are sluggish, gaining weight, have brain fog, need to lie down all the time, and are depressed, please have a FULL panel of your thyroid done. Your T3 and T4 levels are needed to detect slight problems that can wreak havoc with your mood and energy level. Now that I am taking natural medicine for that, I have much more energy.
3. Load Up on Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12I was relieved that Dr. Weiss included blood tests to check vitamin D and vitamin B-12 levels, as well, because deficiencies in both of those vitamins can cause severe depression. They are included in my list of 10 Nutritional Deficiencies That Can Cause Depression. According to a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, as many as three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D. Last year Canadian researchers performed a systematic review and analysis of 14 studies that revealed a close association between vitamin D levels and depression. Researchers found that low levels of vitamin D corresponded to depression and increased odds for depression. In another 2009 study, more than a quarter of severely depressed older women were deficient in B-12. I take each of those vitamins in liquid form so that they absorb quickly and efficiently.
4. Adjust Your DietIf you are annoyed at this suggestion, let me say I understand. I was annoyed for the first 40 years of my life when someone would insinuate that there was a tight connection between my diet and my distorted thinking. I thought I ate well. By most American standards, I was a health freak. However, I didn’t realize how much insulin I was throwing into my bloodstream until I stopped eating all sugar cold turkey one day, as well as processed flour, dairy, and caffeine. (Alcohol is bad news too, but I gave that up 25 years ago.) All those nut and fruit KIND bars that are supposed to be good for you, the honey in my tea, the cereal and pumpkin bread in the morning … all of them were creating a blood sugar nightmare that got me high only to make me crash … and hard. No street drugs were involved. Just a lame granola bar that I thought was sanctioned by Dr. Oz. Consider eliminating sugar and white flour from your diet for a few months. As much as I’d like to tell you that the effect was immediate, it took up to nine months before I really started to feel better, before I was free of death thoughts.
5. Get a Consultation With a Teaching HospitalBefore my husband begged me to have a consultation at Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, I had been to six psychiatrists. One of my blogs, in fact, is called The Psychiatric Guide to Annapolis. Let me just say that there are a lot of people who shouldn’t be practicing medicine, like one I dubbed “Pharma King,” who received generous kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company.
The reason I trust teaching hospitals like Johns Hopkins, is that they never stop researching, and they are not afraid to use the older drugs like lithium that have proven track records but aren’t lucrative. Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, wrote an excellent op-ed piece in the New York Times just after the death of Robin Williams called Depression Can Be Treated, But It Takes Competence. She writes:
“Many different professionals treat depression, including family practitioners, internists and gynecologists, as well as psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers. This results in wildly different levels of competence. Many who treat depression are not well trained in the distinction among types of depression. There is no common standard for education about diagnosis.” Go to a teaching hospital. You won’t regret it.
6. Consider Transcranial Magnetic StimulationTranscranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates nerve cells in the brain with short magnetic pulses. A large electromagnetic coil is placed against the scalp which generates focused pulses that pass through the skull and stimulate the cerebral cortex of the brain, a region that regulates mood. The procedure was approved by the FDA in 2008. In September, I featured a story about Stephanie, a woman in Project Beyond Blue, who underwent 30 sessions of TMS and was transformed into a new person. She now moderates a group on Project Beyond Blue called Exploring TMS. Several other people I know have had success as well.
7. Try EMDRMy friend Priscilla Warner first turned me on to eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She devotes a chapter in her bestselling memoir, Learning to Breathe, about it, and how it was instrumental in breaking down her anxiety. It is mostly used for people with some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, but it has also been used to address generalized anxiety from a dysfunctional childhood, a bad marriage, or a boss from hell.
According to the EMDR Institute, “EMDR psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.”
8. Find a Way to Lower Your StressI don’t mean putting a few less to-do items on your list. I’m talking about radical lifestyle changes — like changing jobs in order to work in a less toxic and stressful environment, moving into a smaller home so that you don’t have to moonlight, deciding against adopting a rescue dog or having a third child. It can be practically impossible to keep your mood resilient if you are under chronic stress because it increases the connection between the hippocampus part of your brain and the amygdala (worry central), impairs your memory retention, affects your cortisol production (making it difficult for you to handle more stress), and weakens your immune system.
There are other ways to try to lower your stress besides quitting your job, like practicing mindfulness meditation. I took the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at my local hospital because I read numerous studies on how mindfulness meditation can reset neural passageways and change rumination patterns. As a result of the class, I am now more aware of my thinking, and I try my best to keep coming back to the present. However, nothing beats the anesthesia from depression and the calm I experience after an intense aerobic workout. I swim and run for my sanity.
In summary, the road to my recovery has been rocky as hell. I had to throw out the old system — my belief that medication, therapy, and exercise was all I needed — that the brain lived in another solar system as my body. I now believe that you must approach the illness of depression systematically: there is nothing that you eat, say, or do in your day that doesn’t affect your mood. While that thought can be overwhelming, it also points the way to hope.
You are not a lost cause.
Chapter Spotlight: Congratulations to the Winners of the 4th Quarterly Chapter Spotlight Awards of 2014!
"Please forgive the lateness of the hour.
The primary legislative issue this year was around funding for peer support centers. Original plans to cut all funding were changed after an outcry from advocates including a systematic effort by dbsa members. It was a great effort by many people and showed the power of ordinary people to make a difference when they raised their voices in an united fashion. Lots of reason for everyone to be proud.
Medicaid expansion did not happen and faces an uphill battle next year.
The AOT pilot project in Knoxville will continue for one year. Efforts to extend it past that were unsuccessful.
Several major bills involving mental health are now being debated on the national level."
Larry is at work again this year to rally individuals and groups across the state to keep the peer service centers open. The battle fought and won is back on our doorsteps. I sat with a group of individuals this past week, writing and signing cards to Gov. Haslam. We did it together last year, why not win again this year?
Lately, I am writing about serious issues. These are issues I have overcame in my life and include in my new manuscript. I want to remember and keep my priorities straight. So, I include humor in my day. I got several laughs out of this video. I trust that you will too.
thanks to Erin, Health Nut News
7 Tips To Have A Long-Lasting, Happy Relationship
In today's society, we don't have many role models or common ideal values when it comes to the question of how to have a long-lasting, happy relationship. Most of the things we learn are from trial and error. We're all just trying to figure it out — the ever-present question of how to coexist with our partner in the most harmonious, loving way.
But here are a few lessons that I've learned the hard way. When we are more flexible with ourselves and our partners, we communicate better, and get along better. These seven practices are essential for helping your relationship last — and to be happy, healthy and strong along the way.
1. Realize that it's impossible to "win" a fight. No one will ever win, ever.
When you are involved in an argument with your partner, it often becomes less about coming to a solution and more about "winning" the argument or being "right". The goal in conscious communication is to create more harmony in your relationship and find a solution that you both can agree upon. Rehashing the same ideas over and over again in an effort to feel "right" will not lead to happiness for anyone.
2. Connect to your partner as part of you.
Often, we view our loved ones as separate from us. But in our relationships, all of our interactions are two-sided, and it's important to keep this in mind for a healthy, happy relationship. We are all one, all connected.
When you begin to change your perception from separation to oneness, it is easier to drop the armor and let in your partner. Your communication will be better, and you'll feel more connected. Practice viewing your partner as another part of you that is trying to tell you something important. Always listen with an open heart — and in the case of a fight, listen without having to retaliate.
3. Always be open to the possibility that you might be wrong.
If your loved one has an issue with you, chances are it's at least worth looking into. There are probably very few people that know you better, so listen up instead of making excuses, pointing the finger, or detouring the conversation.
Explore the possibility that you may have something to work on. Reply lovingly with, "So what you're trying to say is ...?" "What are your suggestions on how I can improve?" "I love you and am willing to look into this." It's OK to be wrong. If you are — accept it and simply try making the change. We all want to grow and flourish, right? Those closest to you can play a crucial role in your spiritual growth and evolution.
Furthermore, if you show you are willing to accept your faults, your partner is more likely to follow suit and accept his downfalls too. Whether or not your partner is incredibly wise or evolved, if you genuinely want to have a better relationship, then it's worth it to listen with genuine curiosity and openheartedness.
4. Say goodbye to the silent treatment.
Plain and simple, the silent treatment is useless. If something is bothering you — talk about it. Holding a grudge can have an extremely negative impact on the energy and vibration in your home.
Create a space that is inviting and loving, by being open, honest, and kind. Your home should feel like a sanctuary — a refuge of peace from this often crazy world.
Even if you have a bone to pick, it's important to express that you are appreciative of the things that your partner may do that are awesome. Praise is so effective in drawing the best out of a person. If there is a behavior that you love and enjoy, give him props for it.
Of course, there will always be things that annoy you or make you angry. Ask, "Why does this particular behavior bother me SO much? "Who in my past has expressed something similar and how is this connected?" And so on.
So know you're triggers, so you are less likely to be reactive when something comes up. If you are always just criticizing and bashing your partner, he/she will feel unmotivated to make changes.
6. If you want something, give it.
Another way to say this is "be the change you want to see in your partner". If there is something you would like to see more of from your partner — try giving it to them first. You can't treat your spouse like dirt and expect flowers.
7. Don't expect everyone to express love in the same way.
Everyone has different ways of expressing themselves — especially in intimate contexts. Sometimes all you need is a hug, yet all he needs is to talk. Find a common ground. Ask, "What are the things I do that make you feel loved and supported?" Talk about your needs and ask what his are.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
S.L. Brannon D.Div..