Saturday, March 23, 2013

Using Personal Strength to Overcome Depression

Because depressive states are considered serious illnesses, sufferers may need special attention to overcome the disease and regain their lives. In learning how to overcome depression, they will want to build an extensive support network of friends and relatives. Even during the days when they feel particularly down, they should try to engage in social activities with people who love them and care for them. In fact, interacting with others is one of the ways in which the worst of the depression symptoms can be lessened. Playing guitar, attending a sporting event, or having a picnic are all low-key activities that can help.

Physical exercise is perhaps one of the best tonics for mild to moderate depressive episodes. Because even just a bit of cardiovascular exercise can release feel-good hormones that will surge out of the brain, this is one way to elevate mood and improve outlook. Men and women who have never exercised much in their lives may find it hard to know where to start. If they fancy any particular activity and have wanted to try it for years, then they should commandeer a friend and start right away. Lovers of the outdoors can hike in the local woods at the first faint blush of dawn. Positive moods should soon follow.

Avoiding unnecessary stress is yet another way to prevent one's depression from spiraling out of control. For example, if individuals have been under undue financial strain for some time, they might want to procure some debt relief assistance. This will help them to improve their financial standing, and they will no longer remain awake at night endlessly replaying their economic problems within their own minds. If the downturn in their mood has been caused by the loss of a loved one, then they might attend counseling sessions. Reputable counselors can suggest specific techniques for avoiding negative thought patterns.

Lastly, medication can also help. Psychiatrists suggest that some people may be incapable of normal thinking without the benefit of certain medicines. These medications can reestablish proper brain chemistry, which will help pull people out of their negative states. As with most medicines, individuals should read the capsule sidebars carefully so that they can identify any potential side effects.

Because depression is a serious illness that can lead to severe mental impairment, sufferers should get help as soon as they can. With the assistance of loved ones, depressed men and women should receive professional care on a range of fronts. Social activity, exercise, and medication can all combat various symptoms of the disease.

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not, nor is it ever intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice or professional recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician(s) or other qualified healthcare provider(s).

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

Depression, in terms of psychiatry, can be referred as state of low mood in which one can develop feeling of intense dislike to any activity. It brings problem not only for an individual who is affected but also for his family. A depressed person usually likes to spend most of his time behind the doors all alone, avoids meeting with his family members and friends, and thinks about the event that might be the major factor for the current lapses of the depression. Although it can strike up at any stage of the life but the studies suggest that the chances of developing depression are much higher at the younger age as compared to old age. It can be a simple episode in which they are upset because of a break up. Or, it can come in a constant, heavy depression that can and does destroy lives.

The symptoms for the depression might include the lack of concentration, feeling of being worthless, thinking most of the time about death, change in dietary habits as well as trouble sleeping. These symptoms can appear in a multitude of combinations, but the key is that they will show up and last for more than two weeks at a time. In chronic depression cases that last for months, some changes in the physical attributes have also been observed like acne development, loss of weight, darkening of skin due to melinocytes activation, weakness, loss of sexual feelings, pain in the muscles, hands trembling and in some cases the phenomena of polypepsia and polyuria have also been observed.

There are three major factors that might contribute to the development of the depression namely environmental, genetical and biological. A combination of these three factors can result in clinical depression, a severe depression disorder that can completely ruin a person's life. The environmental factor mainly includes the failure in love, business failure, death of any loved one, divorce, poverty, homelessness, joblessness etc. The people that are suffering from depression due to environmental factors may exhibit depression for a determined time. A change in the brain chemistry i.e. changes in important hormones are thought to be the biological factor that causes depression. Genetic factor constitutes the family history of depression. If any one of the parents has a depression history, chances are there that the child will also suffer from depression at some time in his life. The other factors that might contribute towards developing the depression might include the lack of sleep, an unhealthy diet, use of alcohol and heroin, side effects of certain medicine, any injury or due to a long term disease.

Medicines that are advised for depression are known as antidepressants. Almost all of them are prescription drugs. Norpinephrine and serotonin are the chemicals in the brain that get increased by the use of antidepressants. But it is important at the same time to consider that depression will be cured with the new attitude one will adopt in one's life henceforth, because your family needs you and because you need a meaningful purpose in your life.

Depression Test - Are You Depressed?

If you feel like you could be suffering from depression, it may be a good idea to take a depression test. This depression test is not definitive and can not diagnose depression, but if any test symptoms relate to you, you should investigate further and seek help from a professional. Read on to take the depression test now...

  • Part 1) Your mood. Do you... Feel sad? Feel Irritable? Have a lack of self worth and self hate? Feel as though there's no point to life? Fact: Did you know that genetics play an important part in depression. After you have completed the depression test check to see if anyone else in your family suffers from depression. Suggestions: Did you know that exercise is a great way to lighten your mood. Make sure you exercise regularly, this could range from a long walk in the country to an hours workout in the gym.

  • Part 2) Your physical state/health. Have the following things changed... Your apatite, has it increased/decreased? Your sleeping pattern, has it changed drastically are you sleeping more or less than normal? Are you less energetic, do you feel fatigued? Fact: Breaks up, financial problems, and big changes in your life can all bring on depression. Suggestions: Take it easy. Try not to pile too much onto your plate at once, and make sure you don't change too many things in your life at once.

  • Part 3) Your social interaction. Do you... Find it hard to concentrate? Find it hard to make important decisions? Feel like you don't want to leave the house? Feel like you have withdrawn from your normal life? Fact: If you suffer from an existing medical condition it may be contributing to your depression. In addition, if you're severely depressed this may contribute to any illness that may already have. Suggestions: Once you have taken this depression test you should see your doctor and discuss the results and your depression. If depression goes untreated it can worsen.

  • Part 4) Your emotional state. Do you... Feel like you have lost interest in life? Have feelings of guilt? Feel like life is passing you by? Have suicidal thoughts? Fact: Most people with depression never seek help. As soon as you have taken this depression test get some help. Suggestions: If you take just one positive step towards getting help you will start to feel a whole lot better.

Depression test results: If you feel like some of the statements in the depression test relate to you and the way you are feeling at the moment, you may be suffering from depression. Make you you seek professional help and get a diagnosis. If you would like some further information on depression and depression tests some more help click on the links below.

Bipolar 101 - Common Episode Trigger Points

Bipolar disorder can be one of the most debilitating disorders. On one hand you have the manic episodes which can be extremely productive times in which energy and efforts put out are at top levels, and on the other hand the depressive episodes which can consume the very person who suffers from it. Finding a balance between the two can be very time consuming and difficult at best for the person suffering from the disorder.

One way we can minimize and try and prevent some of the cycling is by realizing our triggers.

Here are some of the most common triggers:

Drugs or alcohol consumption. Due to instability of the bipolar individual's moods and mental state, substance abuse can be the very worst thing for them. It can trigger emotional instability and cause the onset of a manic or depressive episode dependent on how the time goes while using these substances.

Stress. Most people can cope with stress. For the person with bipolar syndrome, stress can send them into a spiral either manically, in which they are actually able to cope with and fix the source of the stress. Or depressive, where the sufferer would rather lock the world out and pretend the issues and stresses are not even there. In either case, if not dealt with appropriately, it can cause an offset of issues due to the persona mental instability.

Life events. Life happens. And so do episodes. Things like a death or birth can trigger an episode. Even something as simple as losing your job, or having to move can cause the onset of an episode.

Lack of sleep can cause it as well. When your body is not rested and able to cope, it is easy for it to turn to mania or depression as a method of coping with the overall lack of sleep.

The changes of the season can also affect a bipolar sufferer. Any one can be affected from the changing of the seasons. Winter brings with it cabin fever, from staying indoors so long, which can easily cause a depressive episode. Summer often brings with it a level of mania, as the sun and the warmth bring out the promiscuity and carefree attitudes.

Having some idea of the trigger points can help you prevent or minimize the changing of your moods and triggering of episodes. It may also be wise to let your doctor know the times of year your episodes most commonly occur. This way in winter time when depression levels are higher, you can increase your antidepressant medications, and in summer when mania is more present, you can adjust your anti-psychotics.

Psoriasis Causes And Treatments - What Might Bring On Psoriasis And What Might Stop Them

The exact cause of Psoriasis is currently unknown. According to scientists, at least 10% of the general population may have a predisposition to psoriasis because they inherited the genes from their families. Scientists believe that only 2-3% of the population actually develops this disease. According to their studies, a person will only develop psoriasis if he or she has the genes that cause it and if he or she is exposed to certain psoriasis triggers. What are these triggers and what might end an attack of psoriasis? This article discusses these things.

Specific external factors or, the "triggers" that cause psoriasis are not universal. This means that the trigger that caused you to develop psoriasis may not affect another person.

Known Triggers of Psoriasis Are

  • Stress

  • Skin Injury

  • Medications

Let's take a quick look at each of these individual triggers:


Stress is one of the known triggers of psoriasis. Studies have shown that stress causes psoriasis to flare up and also aggravate existing psoriasis. To prevent stress, do some meditation and relaxation. Regular aerobic exercise also helps reduce stress and promotes relaxation.

Skin Injury

Skin injury can also trigger psoriasis. Traumatized or injured areas of the skin are common areas where psoriasis occurs. This phenomenon is called the Koebner phenomenon. Scratches, sunburns, and vaccinations are some of the triggers that cause the Koebner phenomenon. If caught early, a Koebner response can be treated easily.


Certain medications can also trigger a psoriasis attack. Some of these medications are:

  • Lithium - used to treat psychiatric disorders such as manic depression. Those who take lithium medications report that it aggravates their psoriasis.

  • Antimalarials - hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, quinacrine, and plaquenil are antimalarials that can cause psoriasis to flare up. The flare ups usually occur two to three weeks after taking the drug. Hydroxychloroquine is believed to be the safest of them all because it has a lower incidence of causing these side effects.

  • Inderal - this is a medication for blood pressure that aggravates psoriasis in about 25% to 35% of psoriasis patients who take it. It is unknown if every medications for high blood pressure can worsen psoriasis, but they could have that potential.

  • Quinidine - Many have reported that this heart medication worsens some psoriasis cases.

  • Indomethacin - this is an anti-inflammatory drug that is used to treat arthritis. There are reports that it can worsen some cases of psoriasis. Other anti-inflammatory drugs can be substituted if it worsens your psoriasis symptoms. The negatives effects of Indomethacin can be minimized if it is taken properly. The benefits you get from taking this drug usually outweigh the side effects.

There are other, scientifically unproven things that can trigger psoriasis attacks such as weather, diet, and allergies. Though not yet approved by the medical community, there are also other natural treatments for them that are becoming increasingly popular. Maybe someday will know how to get rid of psoriasis and prevent them from reoccurring without using medicine of any kind.

Workplace Violence - Detect the Warning Signs & Triggering Events

Our other articles on workplace violence describe its nature and scope, our POSTAL formula and behavioral profile, and defusing techniques. Here we describe the warning signs and triggering events ... and what to do when you detect them.

The POSTAL Formula for Workplace Violence Prevention:

Profile + Observable Warning Signs + Shotgun + Triggering Event(s) = Always Lethal

The Profile is most useful during the hiring process, to screen out potential perpetrators. For your existing workforce -- and when dealing with outsiders -- we turn to the...

Observable Warning Signs

These warning signs, which can be newly acquired negative traits, parallel and overlap the profile, but now we focus on current behavior. So, instead of a previous history of violence, our first warning sign is observed...

  1. Violent and Threatening Behavior

  2. For Patrick Sherrill (the first postal worker to "go postal" in 1986), it was tying up neighborhood dogs with bailing wire and a strong fascination for weapons.
    In general, this also includes:

  • Destruction of property or threats of sabotage

  • Disregard for the safety of others or violation of safety procedures

  • Threats, intimidation, bullying, e.g., Seung-Hui Cho of Virginia Tech and Harris and Klebold of Columbine (as both perpetrators and victims)

  • Violence against a family member, e.g., Mark Barton murdered his wife and children just before his Atlanta day-trading massacre

  • Stalking or harassing others. Cho was involved in at least three stalking incidents, the first occurring 18 months prior to his rampage. Also, he placed harassing phone calls to his roommate and took cell phone pictures of female students' legs under their desks.

  • Strange Behavior
  • Patrick Sherrill's neighbors noted his strange behavior in the neighborhood -- mowing his lawn at midnight and peering into neighbor's windows while wearing combat fatigues. His coworkers said he preferred his own company and described him as enigmatic. Cho was known as the question mark kid. He had an imaginary girlfriend who lived in outer space.

    In general, strange behavior can include:

    • Becoming reclusive, e.g., a sudden withdrawal from friends or acquaintances

    • Poor personal hygiene or a deteriorating and unkempt appearance

    • Inappropriate dress, e.g., Cho never took off his sunglasses, even indoors

    • Bizarre or paranoid behavior

    • Erratic behavior or an extreme change in behavior

  • Emotional Problems
  • For example, Patrick Sherrill was often angry and frequently depressed. A district court found Cho to be: "an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness." Professors described him as insecure and depressed, as were the boys of Columbine. This also can include:

    • Drug or alcohol abuse

    • Appearing to be under unusual stress; signs of depression or despondence

    • Inappropriate emotional display, e.g., screaming, explosive outbursts, rage, crying

  • Performance Problems
  • Sherrill's coworkers perceived him as a problem employee and a consistent non-performer. Virginia Tech declined to divulge details about Cho's academic record, but Cho's mother was increasingly concerned about his inattention to class work and his time spent out of the classroom. Performance problems also can include:

    • Inability to concentrate ... decreased energy or focus

    • Deteriorating work performance

    • Attendance or tardiness problems

    • Increased need for supervision ... coworkers have to take up his slack

  • Interpersonal Problems
  • Cho was described as awkward and lonely ... arrogant and obnoxious ... timid, dorky and pushy. Sherrill was a habitual complainer. This also can include:

    • Numerous conflicts with supervisors and other employees

    • Hypersensitivity or extreme suspiciousness

    • Resentment and frustration

    • Exaggerated perceptions of injustice

  • At the end of his rope
  • The last warning sign on our list is also the last warning sign a potential perpetrator probably will display. For example:

    • Has a plan to solve all problems. What do you think that plan might entail?

    • Indicators of impending suicide (e.g., selling property, closing Credit Union account).

    • Other indications of extreme desperation, marital discord, financial distress, etc.

    Cho purchased guns in the two months preceding his rampage, spent time at a local target range, began working out at the gym, and shaved his head military style. Also, there was the media package Cho sent to NBC News. [It was not received until after the massacre, of course, but wouldn't his roommates have had some awareness of its preparation?]


    The 'S' in our POSTAL formula simply is access to and familiarity with weapons -- not only shotguns, but also handguns, rifles, explosives and knives (or box cutters). Also martial arts training.

    Patrick Sherrill had been a Marine sharpshooter and was a member of the National Guard marksmanship team. Cho and the boys of Columbine acquired this ability.

    Shotgun is not a warning sign. Hunters and gun collectors are not more likely to commit workplace violence, unless they're obsessed with their guns. It's just that, without access to and familiarity with weapons, that violence probably won't be lethal.

    Triggering Event(s)

    The Triggering Event is the last straw or set of straws -- experienced by the perpetrator as no way out, no more options. This could be:

    1. Job/Career Related

    2. Patrick Sherrill's rampage appeared to be an act of revenge for a poor performance review. The morning before the murders, the senior supervisor threatened to terminate Sherrill ... and he was scheduled to meet with his immediate supervisor the morning of the murders to discuss performance issues. Remember the significance of obsession with the job in the Profile.

      But job/career-related events -- such as being disciplined or fired or even criticized -- are only one type. It also can be...

    3. Institutional
    4. -- foreclosure on a mortgage, bankruptcy, a restraining order or custody hearing.

    5. Personal Crisis

    6. For example, divorce, death in family or a failed or spurned romance -- as it may have been for Eric Harris, whose girlfriend had recently broken up with him.

      It may even be a...

    7. Benchmark Date

    8. For example, turning 40 or a 10-year company anniversary ... and feeling he's going nowhere in life. Or the anniversary of some other event that is significant to the individual.

      The Columbine massacre occurred on April 20th. Do you know whose birthday that is? Adolf Hitler. Not a date most of us celebrate or even know, but significant to these two budding neo-Nazis.

    All of us have experienced one or more of these unpleasant events in our lives, which probably triggered negative feelings. Such events can trigger violence in those already primed for it, i.e., they fit the Profile and/or display the Observable Warning Signs.

    These events would tend to shake anyone's sense of balance, at least temporarily. A violence-prone person already is unbalanced. The triggering event pushes him over the edge.

    Applying the Observable Warning Signs and Triggering Events

    Look for the Observable Warning Signs and Triggering Events as you:

    • Deal with your employees on a day-to-day basis

    • Interact with customers ... and observe strangers

    How you handle individuals who exhibit the warning signs will vary considerably depending on the severity and situation. At a minimum, sit down and listen to the troubled employee or customer.

    The one absolute: Never Ignore!

    In the words of the husband of one of the victims at Lockheed-Martin:

    Obviously, he was a sick guy. I wish somebody had given him some help ... before he destroyed my life and my kids' life.

    Our prescription for preventing employee-initiated violence is:

    • Benevolent, motivational management practices [Some organizations are breeding grounds for violence.]

    • Appropriate use of counseling, EAP, disciplinary action, and/or law enforcement

    • Employee and management training -- all employees need to know about the warning signs (and the anger-defusing techniques covered in our other article)

    • Sound security measures, which, at a minimum, eliminate Shotgun from the equation

    • And a zero-tolerance violence policy -- effectively communicated and enforced

    A clarification about zero-tolerance: This term is often used to mean applying the same severe punishment for even minor offenses. That is not what we mean. Minor offenses and potential red flags should never be tolerated or ignored, but your response should be proportional and appropriate.

    The goal of this article has been to prevent violence from ever occurring at your workplace, at least as initiated by employees. Our "Defuse Hostility" article will show you how deal with outsiders and potentially violent incidents.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Exercise Improves Your Health and Your Life Insurance Rate

    Life insurance companies are basically gambling against your death. The more risk factors you have for an early death, the higher your premiums will be. There are certain pre-determined risk types that you will fall under depending on the condition of your health. If your health is excellent, and you are leading a healthy lifestyle, have no major medical history, you may be able to qualify for the super preferred category. The super preferred category has the least premiums because the odds against you living a long life are high. Other categories include preferred and standard premium rates. Standard is the category most Americans qualify for. There are categories lower than standard which are very expensive.

    How does exercise help qualify you for cheaper life insurance premiums? A regular exercise routine of 30 minutes a day, five days a week is necessary for maintaining good health, increasing longevity and for feeling better. Most doctors recommend a brisk walk, bicycling, swimming, gardening, dancing or other forms of recreation.

    • Exercise along with a healthy diet can help you lose weight. By maintaining a healthy weight you will better your chances of avoiding several major risk factors associated with being overweight such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and joint pain.

    • Stress is another health-related factor that may cause high or low blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Exercise is a good stress reliever. Exercise has stress-busting effects that help ward off stress, anxiety and depression. By keeping stress levels at bay through regular exercise, you may be able to avoid any physiological implications on health stress may have.

    • Exercise can help you feel good about yourself. Engaging in exercise stimulates the production of chemicals called endorphins which elevate the mood.

    • Can exercise increase longevity? A Harvard Alumni Health Study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 1995), noted that exercise and longevity were related. Those who engaged in regular, vigorous exercise tended to live longer.

    • According to MedlinePlus (National Institutes of Health) regular exercise (including walking) can decrease your risk of anxiety, depression, heart attack, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis, some types of cancers, and stroke. It also helps to improve good cholesterol levels.

    So, it is a well known fact that improving your health can improve your life insurance rates. A few chronic health conditions that can prevent you from getting a good rate on insurance are high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Life style-related conditions such as smoking, obesity and drinking also have a negative impact in underwriting your life insurance rate. The only way you can improve your chances for a good rate is by keeping yourself fit and healthy. Maintaining a regular exercise program is one great way of doing just that.

    Another way to improve your chances of getting cheaper life insurance premiums is by shopping around. Online insurance quote providers can find hundreds of life insurance quotes from reputable insurance companies. This helps you compare quotes and find the most affordable life insurance as well as one that best suits your needs.

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome In A Nutshell

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a leading cause of infertility in the world. Having PCOS does not mean a childless future; there are treatment options available to women suffering from this condition.

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition where a woman has problems in her endocrine system. Some estimations say that as much as 10% of all women have this syndrome in one form or another. It is common that the first symptoms of PCOS appear at the beginning of the reproductive years of a girl. It is important to diagnose PCOS early, before it cause more severe symptoms, such as infertility.

    What Are The Symptoms?

    Symptoms begin early and are very subtle and may go unnoticed for many years. Normally a woman only begins to think there is a problem if she is trying to conceive and is not getting pregnant. Other symptoms include:

    - Obesity and difficulties to lose weight.

    - Hair growth in areas that are typical for men, but not for women. These include, for instance, chin and chest.

    - Your hair start to thin.

    - Irregular to absent periods. Some women also experience heavy bleeding when menstruating.

    - Symptoms of depression.

    What Tests Can Be Done?

    Before making any tests, a doctor examines the patient in case of some physical signs of PCOS. As mentioned above, one symptom of PCOS is hair growth in unusual areas of your skin. They will also ask your own feelings about the symptoms you experience.

    If your symptoms and externally visible signs indicate the possibility of PCOS, your physician orders you to go to more precise medical tests. The tests may include:

    - Blood laboratory work checking for insulin, thyroid and hormone levels.

    - Determining the presence of ovarian cysts using ultrasound device.

    However, sometimes a woman does not have any cysts on her ovaries, and yet she has PCOS. That is why the condition can be diagnosed even without ultrasound examination. In those cases the syndrome is diagnosed based on the blood test and other symptoms.

    PCOS treatments

    Diet and exercise play an important role in controlling PCOS. Statistics show that excessive weight exacerbates PCOS symptoms. Since PCOS often leads to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes type 2, it is important to adjust the diet to help with this. An approved diabetic diet, low in refined carbohydrates and heart healthy is preferred.

    In some cases, the addition of medications might be necessary. Some medications given might be birth control pills, which can help regulate a woman's cycle. Androgen-lowering medications might be given to help with acne and facial hair growth. Another medication that might be given is metformin. This medication is used in diabetics, but studies have shown it is effective also in women with PCOS.

    PCOS is a very common disorder all around the world. Even though you have been diagnosed with PCOS, it doesn't have to affect too much to your life. With a proper medication and lifestyle changes the condition can be kept under control.

    A Good Solution for Treating the Symptoms of Depression

    Effexor is used primarily for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder in adults. It is known as one of the most activating of the newer antidepressants. While this can be helpful to some, as a number of depressed patients report feeling exhausted and unmotivated, to others it poses the risk of increased anxiety and agitation.

    Effexor is an effective antidepressant for many persons; however, it seems to be especially effective for those with treatment-resistant depression. Some of these persons have taken two or more antidepressants prior to Effexor with no relief. It has also been found to reduce the severity of 'hot-flashes' in menopausal women.

    In addition, a September 2004 Consumer Reports study ranked Effexor as the most effective among six commonly prescribed antidepressants. However, this should not be considered a definitive finding, and responses to psychiatric medications vary significantly from individual to individual.

    Substantial weight loss in patients with major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social phobia has been noted in taking Effexor, but the manufacturer does not recommend use as an anorectic either alone or in combination with phentermine or other amphetamine-like drugs.

    As with most antidepressants, lack of sexual desire can be a very disturbing side-effect for some persons. Effexor can raise blood pressure at high doses, so it is usually not the drug of choice for persons with high blood pressure. Effexor should not be used in children. Caution should also be used in those with a seizure disorder.

    The energizing effect of the drug may come unwanted to some, possibly leading to an increased anxiety or depressed mind state. While the specific modality of effect is not well understood, a Black Box Warning has been issued with Effexor and with other SSRI and SSRN anti-depressants advising of risk of suicidality.

    Some studies have questioned the effectiveness of the drug in helping depression. The black box warnings advise physicians to carefully monitor patients for suicide risk at start of usage and whenever the dosage is changed. Family members should be advised of this potentially fatal side effect so they may bring the patient to a hospital emergency for surveillance and protection.

    This drug is particularly risky for patients whose mental condition includes poor impulse control such as Borderline Personality Disorder, and if there is comorbid substance abuse.

    Effexor is sometimes used for the treatment of depressive phases of bipolar disorder. However, this has some potential danger, as Effexor can induce mania, mixed states, rapid cycling and/or psychosis in some bipolar patients, particularly if they are not also being treated with a mood stabilizer.

    Another risk is developing Serotonin syndrome. This is a serious effect that can be caused by interactions with other drugs and is potentially fatal.

    Some common side effects of using Effexor include:

    • Insomnia

    • Nausea

    • Sleepiness

    • Increased blood pressure

    • Vertigo

    • Dry mouth

    • Sexual dysfunction

    • Dizziness

    • Vivid dreams

    • Sweating

    Disclaimer: The information presented here should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor for more information about Effexor.

    Can A Blood Test Predict Postnatal Depression?

    Quite a number of women suffer from postnatal depression a few weeks after they have given birth. According to researchers, approximately 14 percent of women who have given birth will suffer from the depression. Some women who suffer from this form of depression go through a lot of turmoil, sometimes lasting for more than a few years. In this light, it can be helpful for the expecting mother to know if she will develop it. Scientists are experimenting with some methods to determine if a woman can develop the depression. One of these methods involves a simple blood test. Is it possible? Let's take a look.

    The symptoms of post birth depression include irritability, anxiety, reduced sexual drive, crying spells, changes in sleeping and eating habits, and sadness. It's important to distinguish it from "baby blues" where the symptoms are temporary and milder. Most women go through a period of "baby blues" because of the demands of motherhood and the changes in their lives. As for women who suffer from this despair, the illness can be quite devastating. If they don't get the necessary professional help, it can spiral into something more serious.

    According to a study conducted at the University of Warwick Medical School, the researchers propose that it's possible to predict the likelihood that a woman will suffer from post birth depression. This is done by checking for specific genetic variants, and the researchers are confident that a blood test can be used to make a similar prediction. On May 7, 2012, the University of Warwick's professor of molecular medicine, Dr. Dimitris Grammatopoulos, presented the findings of the study to the European Congress of Endocrinology/International Congress of Endocrinology.

    Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Score, the researchers from the university studied a group of 200 pregnant women. The first time that the women were assessed was the time of their first prenatal visit. After that, the women were assessed for a second time about two to eight weeks after they have given birth. The researchers discovered that the women who suffered from it had a higher probability of possessing specific genetic variants such as the hormone receptor-1 genes that release corticotrophin and the glucocorticoid receptor's rs242939 single nucleotide polymorphisms and bcl1. The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, an endocrine system, is controlled by these receptors. This system is activated by stress.

    Dr. Grammatopoulos explained that the University of Warwick's study was the first to prove that there's a link between postnatal depression and the specific genetic variants of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. Buoyed by the findings from this study, she revealed that the university will be expanding their research with women from other parts of England in a bigger, multi-centre study. The focus will be on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis' other genetic elements.

    As you can see from the results of this groundbreaking study at the University of Warwick, it's possible to predict this depression with a blood test. It will be a great help for pregnant women if they know that they are likely to develop post birth depression because they can be better prepared to deal with it.

    What Are the Symptoms to Be Watched for to Determine If You Are Suffering From Depression?

    "I'm depressed." Does this statement sound familiar to you?

    The word "depressed" became the generic term used by people in the society referring to their feelings when they are upset or sad. However, the symptoms of depression are more serious than merely feeling blue. In fact, depression can intensely impair the daily functions of an individual affecting the physical, emotional and mental aspect of the person. Worst of all, depression is indeed fatal.

    The following questions may serve as guide to determine whether you are really suffering from depression. An affirmative answer to every question is equivalent to one positive symptom of depression.

    Have you unintentionally lose or gain at least 5% of your weight?

    A depressed individual may experience alteration in his/her eating pattern. The person may immensely lose appetite. Thus, a sudden decrease in his/her body weight would be evident. Otherwise, a depressed person may overeat as well. Overeating becomes his/her coping mechanism towards stressful situations.

    Are you experiencing insomnia or hypersomnia?

    Difficulty of sleeping or insomnia is one of the symptoms of depression. Usually, a depressed person over thinks about the stressful situation or event, keeping him/her awake throughout sleeping hours. On the other hand, depression might also make the person over sleep during waking hours. This serves as the person's escape from facing the distress he/she is experiencing.

    Are you always feeling tired or fatigued?

    People suffering from depression always feel tired or fatigued in any activities including those which they previously enjoy. They have lack of motivation or energy to socialize and even perform their favourite leisure pursuit.

    Are you feeling worthless or excessively guilty about something?

    Depressed persons generally feel that they are insignificant to others. They feel worthless and useless. They feel guilty about all the misfortunes in life they are experiencing. They keep on blaming themselves for everything.

    Are you having difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering details?

    Depression usually makes a person preoccupied with the distressing situation. As a result, the person would experience impairment in decision-making and remembering details. In like manner, a depressed person loses focus on whatever he/she does.

    Are you having suicidal thoughts?

    Having suicidal thoughts is the most dangerous aspect of depression. If this symptom would not be cleared out from the system of the depressed person, there is a very high percentage that the person might end up committing suicide.

    If your answer is yes to at least more than one of the questions above, you might really be experiencing depression. To top it all, you must be suffering from the symptoms about two weeks or more to confirm that you are really depressed.

    However, the most authorized person to diagnose depression are professionals on the medical field or mental health experts. Therefore, depression is not an illness anyone can just claim any moment when someone is experiencing the symptoms discussed earlier. On the other hand, every person troubled by the aforementioned symptoms must really seek for medical attention. Besides, there is nothing erroneous with being cautious about one's health.

    Depression - What You Must Know

    There are many misconceptions about depression. Some of these include depression is a character flaw, it can be cured with drugs, it is life threatening condition, it is easily recognizable, it is caused by life choices, it is not a real illness or it is caused by negative thinking.

    Symptoms are considered to be the illness and the real cause goes untreated and uncured. The lack of measurable symptoms makes the curing process almost impossible to complete.

    The most dangerous misconception is that depression should and can be treated with legal mood alternating drugs. The fact that modern medical has eliminated some diseases, which have been killing us for years, has giving us the feeling we can solve all of our health problem with a pill. This is very dangerous because of the side effect of these drugs and the fact that the mood alternating drugs do not cure but only mask the illness and you remain sick. Of course there are good drugs, if a drug improves you quality of life by keeping you alive (like blood pressure meds), it may be worth the risk of the side effects.

    The side effects of these Doctor prescribed mood alternating drugs, not the depression, can kill you. Depression does not cause death. Do we gamble that we will be one of the lucky ones who do not suffer the deadly side effect of these powerful drugs.

    The test to determine if this illness is life threatening is to ask yourself, will not treating this illness cause the body to stop working or cause death.

    The cause of depression is not a illness, but a shortage of nutritional ingredients, which the body uses to make neurotransmitters. These are chemical messengers used by neuron (nerve cells) to communicate in the brain. This shortage of neurotransmitters causes communication to be unclear and mis-understood. These confusing responses shows up as symptoms of depression.

    Depression is caused by our 24/7 stressful life style, plentiful (but depleted of many usable nutrition) food supply and the food processing and cooking system.

    The solution to depression is to give the body what it needs to correctly function. And the fastest and easiest way is to add a nutritional supplement developed to give the body what it need to produce neurotransmitters for the brain to function normally.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Poisoning - Its Clinical Manifestation and Management

    Acute poisoning accounts for about 4-7% of admissions into major general hospitals in the world. Poisoning may be suicidal, accidental or homicidal. The high incidence of poisoning is attributed to the widespread use and free availability of insecticides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals for use in agriculture and industry. Depending upon the cost and local availability, varied substances are used.

    In the order of frequency, the toxic agents include organophosphorus compounds, barbiturates, vegetable poisons, phenothiazines, corrosive acids, and several others. The precipitating factors which drive persons to commit suicide are depressive illness, financial problems, domestic conflicts, and frustration in studies, jobs or incurable illness. Among epileptics and alcoholics, the incidence of suicidal poisoning is high. Accidental poisoning is common in children. Persons engaged in the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture and in industry are liable to suffer if proper safety precautions are not adhered to.

    Clinical presentation of acute poisoning: Though poisoning by many chemicals lead to characteristic clinical features, in the majority of cases, symptoms are nonspecific and may be mistaken for other acute illnesses. The common presentations are coma, acute psychosis, convulsions, gastroenteritis, circulatory collapse, or pulmonary edema. Corrosive poisons produce noticeable lesions at the points of maximum contact such as the mouth, esophagus and stomach. other poisons affect specific organs maximally, e.g, Liver damage in paracetamol poisoning, renal damage in copper sulphate poisoning, and Cardiac dysfunction in Cerebral odullum poisoning. Poisons consumed on an empty stomach are absorbed more rapidly than if taken on full stomach. Also, if taken along with alcohol, many poisons are quickly absorbed and their damaging effects are cumulative.

    Diagnosis: Diagnosis is rendered easy if proper history or evidence of the material is obtained, but in many cases such help is not available. A high index of suspicion on the part of the physician is absolutely necessary for arriving at an early diagnosis in such cases. Abrupt occurrence of acute illness in a person who is in good health should suggest acute poisoning as a possibility. Smell of alcohol or kerosene, severe respiratory depression, circulatory collapse, convulsions, constricted pupil, Cardiac arrhythmia's, dystonic postures, and muscle fasciculations add support to this diagnosis. The outcome depends upon factors like:

    1. The amount of poison and its mode of administration
    2. Presence of food in the stomach at the time of ingestion.
    3. delay in starting treatment.
    4. Age,
    5. General health and concurrent illness, and
    6. Availability of specific antidotes.

    Patients who are comatose owing to acute poisoning face the twin dangers of the toxic effects of the chemical and the grave consequences of an obstructed airway.

    general management of acute poisoning: Acute poisoning is a medical emergency and is best treated in a well-equipped hospital with teams specially trained to handle such cases. Since in many cases the nature of the poison will not be evident at first, the aim of treatment is to keep the patient alive with support of vital functions and eliminate as much of the poison as possible from the body. Specific antidotes are given as soon as the nature of the poison is known.

    Supportive management: Most important is to clear the airway and ensure adequate ventilation. If there is respiratory depression, stimulants like nikethemide (500 mg) should be given along with oxygen inhalation. Intermittent positive pressure respiration has to be instituted after tracheostomy or endotracheal intubation, if conservative measures fail. The patient should be turned from side to side at four hourly intervals to prevent aspiration and hypostatic Pneumonia. Frequent bronchial suction helps in preventing atelectasis and aspiration Pneumonia. Shock is managed on the usual lines. Maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance is of utmost importance in all cases. An intake-output chart should be maintained and a urine output of 1500 ml should be ensured. Replacement of electrolytes and correction of acidosis should be done with proper laboratory monitoring. Maintenance of nutrition is equally important. Diet containing 2000 calories should be given through a nasogastric tube or parenterally. Repeated examination of blood and urine help in monitoring the level of poison in blood and the amount eliminated.

    How to Treat Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder

    Anxiety and bipolar disorder are two different mental abnormalities affecting many these days. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. Patients suffering from this disease travels between mania, an abnormally high-spirited mood and depression, a terribly low mood. It has been found that a patient having bipolar disorder can also have anxiety. It is good to know the various treatment options available, so that you can take a well informed decision on how to treat anxiety and bipolar disorder.

    There are many antidepressants which can effectively treat both anxiety and bipolar-disorder. The most popular drugs are serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. They stop the brain from recycling norepinenephrine and/or serotonin, the two neurotransmitters which are involved in mood. Mood stabilizers are medicines which can manage the symptoms of both bipolar disorder and anxiety. Lithium is a highly effective medicine which can stabilize mood. Valproic acid is another medicine given to those suffering from bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. Mood stabilizer may be prescribed to an anxiety disorder patient to improve the effect of the initial anti-anxiety medication. Benzodiazepines are medication to treat anxiety and they act on the receptors in the brain. Examples of such medications which are used for anxiety disorder treatment ate Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam etc. A bipolar disorder patient can take such medication for getting relief from anxiety, sleeplessness or symptoms of agitation.

    It is essential to know about natural remedies also to find how to treat anxiety and bipolar-disorder. You can include supplements with the permission of your doctor. The popular supplements include Sam-E, St. John's Wort and Omega-3. Serotonin and Dopamine are two brain chemicals which play a major role in bipolar-disorder. These chemicals have an impact on mood and if their levels are low, it can result in depression. The fact is that by remaining active and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, you can enhance the production of these essential chemicals. You can also join a support group, where you can share information with others who are tackling the conditions.

    Dealing With Manic Depression

    Life is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes, we are up, and sometimes we are down. This is a similar scenario with people who suffer manic depression. However, the downward and upward spikes that they encounter are much steeper. A week they will be "Oh, so happy". Then, after a week, they will experience a very intense sadness or depression. This article aims to inform people about the nature of this bipolar disorder.

    It is also known as manic depressive disorder or bipolar affective disorder. This type of mood disorder is characterized by an abnormal elated mood or mania, and its milder form which is hypomania. People who undergo mania commonly experience episodes and symptoms of depression. There are even situations when both of these extreme moods are present, which is known as mixed episodes.

    The episodes of mania and depression are sometimes separated by normal moods. Hence, there are times that the patient is actually in his or her normal state. However, this episode should not fool you, as one of the moods might surface some other day. If the normal moods are not present, mania and depression would alternate, this situation is known as rapid cycling. This mood episode is subdivided into different levels: bipolar I, bipolar II and, cyclothymia. The divisions are based on the severity and intensity of the episodes experienced.

    According to a study conducted in United States shows a variation regarding lifetime prevalence: a rate of 1 percent for Bipolar I, and.5% to 1% for Bipolar II or cyclomythia. The full symptoms of bipolar mostly surface during young or late adulthood. Bases of the diagnosis are: patient's self-reported experiences, and observed behaviour. Distress, disruption and attempted suicides, are just few of the episodes that are associated with this abnormality. There are patients who have devastatingly long-lasting bipolar disorder. On the other hand, there are episodes that are associated with achievements, striving goals, and creativity.

    The root of this case is usually detected on the genetic arena. This is the factor that greatly contributes to a person's risk of developing bipolar disorder. Of course, there are also studies that claim the implications of environmental factors. Usual treatments are medications or other psychiatric drugs. There are also therapies available as treatments, such as psychotherapy, which provides a recovery of stability for the patients. If the case is severe, wherein the patient harms oneself or other people, involuntary commitment is recommended.

    Cases that call for an institution or asylum are those that involve sever manic episodes, hand in hand with dangerous behaviours, and suicidal attempts. Another issue that these patients encounter would be the stereotypes, prejudice, and social stigma that are associated with their disorder. In addition, their case can be misdiagnosed as another serious mental illness like schizophrenia.

    The relationship that exists between mania and melancholia has long been a topic amongst the people of medical field. The first formal study, that started it all, was from a team of French psychiatrists back in 1850s. It was a German psychiatrist named Emil Kraeplin who coined the term manic-depressive illness or psychosis. The name that was given is used to characterize any kind of mood disorder back then. It was in year 1957, when the episodes are classified properly by Karl Leonhard, a German psychiatrist. The terms that he gave birth to are unipolar disorder - major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

    Too much of something can be dangerous. This saying applies to your emotions and feelings too. Just like these cases of mania and melancholy, or manic depression. A little of those two in our lives are just normal. However, if they are too intense, that it halts our regular activities to push through, then an expert's advice must be taken.

    The 5 Stages of Grief Explained

    Grief is a complicated and very powerful emotion. Unfortunately, it is very likely that at some point of your life you will go through it. In any case, the stages are nearly exactly the same for each person.

    Some people go from one stage to another quickly, or skip some of them. Others get stuck and need help to go on.

    Knowing the stages of grief, knowing what to expect, can help you to deal with your emotions.

    Once you are faced with your own personal loss and grief, it helps enormously to know what is going on. It does not matter if what you experience is slightly different than the theory. It will also give you a sense that you are not alone with your pain. Others have gone through it and survived it. So will you.

    Knowing the stages of grief also helps when you are trying to help a person you care for to deal with his or her grief.

    Each stage of grief has a meaning. When going through them, your goal is to process each stage with all its issues and move on to the next. Until you are able to accept your loss and can move on with your life.

    These are the 5 classic stages that affect everyone who encounters a loss of some kind. They are just guidelines, not strict rules. I hope that they will help you to go through the pain of your loss. I also hope that what you learn and what you experience will make you stronger. One day you will need that knowledge and that strength to help with someone else's grief.

    1. Shock and Denial

    The first reaction of most people when hearing the news of a devastating loss is shock. Frozen disbelief and denial follow. If someone brings the news to you that someone very close to you has passed, it is very likely that you will react with shaken "no, no, no." Your mind is simply not able to process such horror and is protecting you by completely denying the reality. You might decide to believe that someone is making a practical joke. Or you might even laugh when hearing the news, the way children laugh in the dark to dispel fear.

    The numbness follows. It is the nature's way of letting you deal only with emotions you are capable of handling.

    Denial is a very helpful stage of grief. But, at some point, you will be ready to face the reality. Reality means a range of very painful emotions that will follow.

    There is no rule how long should you be in denial. There is no rule that everyone has to go through the denial stage. You might be able to jump straight into highly emotional stages such as anger or guilt.

    If you persist in denying the reality of your loss, you need help. It can be a close friend or a relative who knows you. Sometimes the help of a trained therapist or a grief counselor might be necessary. You need to accept that the loss is part of life and that the pain that comes with loss will slowly pass. The love you feel will remain. You will always have the memories. You need to let yourself continue to grieve, in order to reach the acceptance. Only then the life can go on.

    2. Pain and Guilt

    Once you get out of the denial and face the reality, the pain will hit you will full blast. It might feel overwhelming at times. It is very tempting during this stage to try to dull the pain with drugs or alcohol.

    But, the pain can be healing. Like the pain of birth, it results in the new reality, the reality of your new life.

    The feeling of guilt is very common during this stage. It may come from unresolved issues. It can be the guilt of surviving, especially if the loss you experienced is the loss of someone younger. You might feel guilty for not showing your love while you could, or showing proper appreciation.

    The excruciating pain experienced during this stage may lead to anxiety, especially with more emotional people.

    While the feeling of guilt will pass once you are able to think rationally, the pain will remain. It will be part of your life throughout the grieving process, and beyond.

    But, slowly, you will be able to function and live with your pain and the reality of your loss, and move on.

    3. Anger and Bargaining

    Your overwhelming pain takes many forms. It is very common that people feel powerful feeling of anger. Anger against doctors who could not do more, against relatives who did not give more time, against God or destiny. Why me? How could this happen to such a nice person?

    Anger is healthy after the destructive feeling of guilt in the previous stage of grieving. Pain leaves you without anchor. You feel totally out of control of your life. Anger puts you back in control - we are trained to control anger from very early age. Anger gives practical outlet to your devastating pain.

    It is very important not to vent your anger to those closest to you. They are also grieving. You need them. You do not want to lose them. You have lost enough already.

    The stages of grief do not follow each other in the same order for each person. Anger can easily combine with guilt and turn on yourself. Even when you lash at others, deep down you might feel that you failed your loved one in some way.

    If someone you love is terminally ill, you might try bargaining. You might try to bargain with God, or with destiny. You might promise to be a better person, or to stop smoking or to be more generous, if only...

    Bargaining is particularly powerful stage of grieving for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

    Bargaining for your own life can offer hope, or a channel for pain that gives more control.

    As with other stages of grief, anger and bargaining can last a short time, weeks, months, or you might skip them altogether. It is important to look for signs of uncontrolled anger which can irreparably damage your relationships with those closest and dearest to you.

    4. Depression and Loneliness

    All the powerful emotions that follow denial are exhausting, but they represent hope. Strong emotions are one way your pain shows its ugly face. But, at some point, the hope fades and you face the reality. The reality is devastating. The loved one is really gone.

    There is no way to change that fact. The life will never be the same. You are left alone. You might feel that the life makes no sense any more. The depression sets in.

    Feeling depressed is normal reaction to a devastating loss. In a way, if you do not get depressed, you are not really facing your loss.

    Those around you might have difficult time seeing you so low. "Snap out of it' you will hear a lot. You will be offered anti-depressants and phone numbers of therapists.

    Your priest will offer counseling. Your friends will offer numerous casseroles. Everyone wants you out of the blues.

    At some point, you will start noticing that life goes on. The depression will slowly start to lift. The pain will remain, but with less intensity and with less hopelessness.

    Sometimes the depression continues to deepen and you might refuse to fight the hopelessness. Thoughts of suicide start intruding. That is the time when help is necessary. People who suffer from deep clinical depression they cannot shake are not able to look for help. The help has to come to them. Family members and friends need to be on the lookout for the depression that keeps getting worse instead of better and look for professional help.

    There is no rule how long should you allow depression to wash over your soul. Days, weeks, it depends on your personality, the enormity of your loss and the support you have from those that love you. Alone or together, you need to rejoin the life with all its pain and memories. Don't forget, it will get better in time.

    5. Acceptance

    Accepting your loss does not come in a moment of epiphany. It is a slow and painful process. It is the result of all the stages your grief went through. It is the new form your pain takes, the form that will be part of your new life.

    Accepting your loss does not mean that you are through with it. It just means that you accept that death is part of life. You accept that you are starting with the new life. One enriched by the person who was part of your previous life. The life that you will build on the ashes on the previous one. The life that will celebrate the loved one you lost and not mourn.

    There will be times months and even years after your loss when you will revert to one of the stages of grief, for a moment or two, or even longer. There will be painful reminders which will drag you back into the depths of your despair. But, they will be rare and you will be strong enough to deal with them.

    Holidays will be for ever painful for you, because they will remind you how they looked like when you celebrated them with the person you lost. You can prepare for them and deal with them in your own way.

    Some of The Main Types of Depression

    In the previous article "What is Depression, Some of its Types" I have discussed two main types of Depression, Major Depression and Atypical Depression. Psychotic Depression, a third type of depression, starts to hear and see imaginary things like sounds, voices and visuals that never exist like hallucinations or delusions. In this type of depression the sufferer come to believe that his or her thoughts are not his or her own or that other can hear their thoughts. Some of the victims of this disease know that these thoughts are not true and try to hide them because they feel that such thoughts may be shameful for them.

    The fourth type of depression is Dysthymia, lies under the type of low-grade depression. The sufferers of this type of depression just walk around seeming depressed. It is the problem with the people of dysthymia that they experience little or no joy in their lives; they may be unable to remember a time when they felt happy, excited or inspired. They have a tough time enjoying things and having fun. The people with dysthymia worry habitually and criticized him or her being a failure, when they are withdrawn from their posts.
    Dysthymia is a type of depression which affects women two to three times more than men. The diagnosis must be given for two years to the patients of such depression, and for children it's duration should be for one year. Remember that the mood of patient during medication may be irritable rather than sad or depressed.

    Manic Depressive, 4th type of depression, is actually an emotional disorder characterized by changing mood shifts from depression to mania which can sometimes be quite rapid. Manic depressive illness is also known as bipolar disorder. Bipolar mean two poles, high and low, used for depression. It is actually a brain disorder that causes unusual changes in the person's mood, energy, and ability to function. This type of disorder affects both men and women. Manic depressive illness is found among people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, and social classes. Bipolar disorder not only affects the life of sufferer but also it is dangerous for caregivers. The sufferers of manic depressive illness have an extremely high rate of suicide. Bipolar I disorder refers to patients who have had at least one episode of Mania and Bipolar II disorder refers to patients who have had both hypomania and depressive episodes. The victim of bipolar disorder must have had a manic episode lasting for at least one week, in order to diagnose.

    Bipolar Disorder, Sexuality And You

    Our society is ingrained with sexuality. Everywhere you look there is sexual innuendos, signs and issues. It is always pushed to the forefront our minds and in many ways our lives. What happens when the way you think and act are governed by an issue such as bipolar disorder and your behaviours change as a result, and so too do your degrees of sexuality.

    You have the one end of the spectrum, hypersexuality, that is often associated with mania. This in itself isn't the issue. It's the coupling of it with mania end of the spectrum that is. So what if a guy or gal wants to get down a little more than often, that really isn't a problem. Mix it with the dangerous thinking associated with mania and you have a big problem. You have a lack of judgement, you have impulsiveness, and worst of all you have the long reaching effects that all of this can have on your life and those of others.

    During these periods, one of the last things thought about is protection. A week of different flings each night with different people can have a widespread effect on someone's life. It can result in pregnancy, and possibly even death. It can break up families, marriages, homes and everything in between. It can rob someone of their life. Completely. And utterly.

    One of the only ways to curb this is to ensure that the bipolar person is being treated for their disorder. The proper medication and therapy can go a long way to preventing and minimizing manic episodes and the issues relating to them such as hypersexuality.

    It can also help to have a very strong support system in place. One that will help ensure your morals and mind are about you, even when they may not be.

    It may also be to a point where the sufferer needs to understand, and realize that when they are in a manic episode, it is often better to stay home going crazy with boredom, then to be out at the club or other such place where the behaviours are only sure to escalate. It may seem strange or even over the top, but sometimes locking yourself up at home during these periods is the only thing to do to prevent the results of a dangerous encounter in an altered state of mind.

    You may also find, either as the person suffering from it, or the outsider watching it, that after the fact a whole lot of remorse kicks in, a whole lot of soul searching and pain and confusion. What they (or we) did in that mental state haunts us. It was abnormal behaviour for us, and even if the negative consequences aren't seen by outsiders, we feel them, within ourselves.

    It is very difficult to live and feel like this. To do your best no matter you mental state to fight off urges and behaviours we know in our heart of hearts are wrong, and not something we would normally ever consider. This quote says it better then I can: "You often see a lot of regret for the past behavior because they put themselves in very bad situations," says Viguera. "When they're well, they reflect back on that and there can be a lot of regret and remorse. It's just another clue that shows you that that was not their normal state." And this in itself can cause the depressive side of bipolar to be even worse. Living with the remorse and pain of what we did in an altered state.

    Which of course brings us to the other side of the spectrum. The depressive side. Where nothing in the world could make us want to be sexual in anyway. Where the last thing in the world we want is to be intimite with another person, even if they are our spouse, or someone we love and care about deeply. The depression eats us alive, and along with it our libido.

    Dr. Last, author of When Someone You Love Is Bipolar, writes several contributing factors:

    Your mate feels physically unattractive (old, ugly, fat) and sexually undesirable.

    Your mate feels vulnerable or fragile and can't handle intimacy right now.

    Your mate no longer pays attention to his or her grooming and isn't comfortable relating on a sexual basis.

    Your mate is withdrawn and wants to be left alone.

    Medication side effects have decreased your mate's sexual desire or interfered with his/her ability to achieve erection/orgasm.

    Your mate is feeling exhausted and doesn't have the energy for the exertion that sex requires.

    Your mate can't experience pleasure from anything right now, including sex.

    So where is the balance? How do you make it work, not only for yourself but those you love and care about and those who love you as well?

    Honesty is the best remedy. Being completely open with your partner about your urges, your feelings and most of all your condition is just one thing to start with. If they don't know what is going on with you, they cannot help you, no matter how they try. If they don't understand what you're going through and that you don't mean to behave in some of the ways you do, it can help.

    Support is another big one. You need to have someone to confide in. Someone who won't judge, who won't point there finger when you admit your deviant behaviour, someone who will help you overcome the guilt of living with those behaviours. Someone to listen to you.

    Common Clinical Depression Symptoms

    General Background Information About Clinical Depression

    It is estimated that clinical depression affects approximately 10 percent of all Americans older than 18 years of age, and a vast majority of those suffering from it do not even know that it is depression.

    Commonly, depression is attributed to a simple feeling of sadness or unhappiness, however that is an extremely ignorant oversimplification of clinical depression symptoms. Depression is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a disorder that affects the physical, mental, and emotional state of well-being of humans, and it is not something that is "in your head" as many would try to make you believe.

    Though it can be caused by a recent event that triggers a dose of sadness, clinical depression is caused in most by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that prevent the successful transmission of endorphins to the nerve receptors where they are needed most. Many medications are available to help combat this condition, though there is no singularly effective treatment method or indefinite cure. One of the most defining characteristics of depression is that a sufferer is feeling down during an event or activity that would generally make him or her incredibly happy.

    Symptoms And Indicators Of Depression

    There are many indicators that can determine whether or not a person is suffering from depression, and a couple of these include:

    • Decreased ability to focus, especially on tasks and activities that would generally interest the afflicted.

    • Decreased energy and motivation.

    • Little or no feeling of worth to the world.

    • Loss of hope.

    • Problems with successful sleep, including insomniac behavior.

    • Inability to sit still, overcome with feelings anxiety. Feeling restless for an unknown reason.

    • Lessened importance of sexual intercourse or activities that once held your interest.

    • Increased or decreased appetite; generally drastic and causes weight problems such as sudden weight loss or excessive weight gain.

    • Pain in the abdominal region, headaches, etc.

    • Episodes of crying or excessive sadness that can overtake your day.

    • Entertaining the idea of committing suicide to escape the pain that often comes with depression.

    While there are a great deal of clinical depression symptoms, there are also many treatments available to help you break free of the chains associated with depression and continue your life. If you are feeling any of the side effects listed above, contact a psychiatrist or psychologist as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to get the help you need.

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Are You Suffering From Chronic Clinical Depression?

    Occasionally, anybody feels down, but there is a major difference between these feelings and those of chronic clinical depression. The majority of folks at times experience issues in their lives that are too much to deal with, and so they feel melancholy. At times we might want to just disappear and avoid our responsibilities. We eventually feel better again, despite whatever the causes for these feelings are.

    Unfortunately, there are those who can't just spring back. The problem doesn't fade in a couple of days, and the individual normally feels worse over time. Those cases where the feelings continue for months or even years are known as chronic clinical depression.

    Has your desire to stay away from others resulted in the loss of friends or contact with family members? Are you always on edge, starting fights without cause? Have you lost your job because of your poor performance or too much missed time? Has turning to drugs or alcohol caused you to lose someone close to you? You may have chronic clinical depression if you answered yes to any of the above.

    Even when people close to them try to help, those who suffer from this condition are in denial most of the time. They will protest that you just don't know them any longer; they're not depressed, they've just changed. These statements demonstrate the way the mind fools someone into believing they are okay. However feeling this way and isolating yourself from friends and family to the damage of your personal life is not normal. Anybody can be impacted by this debilitating condition at some point in their life and treatment is the one way to solve the problem.

    Someone experiencing these kinds of difficulties in their life can try two approaches to treatment. They could either admit to themselves that they are facing an issue and get assistance by themselves, or they could be forced to get help by those near to them. Unfortunately, someone who suffers from chronic clinical depression frequently has to become really ill before asking for assistance. Usually, they won't admit that a problem exists and will thereby reject counseling or pharmaceutical treatments.

    Many times an intervention needs to be staged, where friends and family face the person with the issues in his or her life. This helps in starting the cure for chronic clinical depression and has saved the lives of many people.

    From Depression to Happiness - A Journey of 1,000 Miles Begins With a Single Step

    It seems like everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed as depressed or who may not be clinically depressed but still experiences sadness from time to time. For a lot of depression sufferers, symptoms include loss of pleasure, loss of appetite, low energy and lethargy, guilt, sleep disturbance, negative self-image and irritability. How constant these symptoms are in one's life, and how strong they are, will determine the level of depression. Depression robs the brain of a chemical called dopamine, and that could be what prevents a person from any feeling of pleasure and happiness.

    Get a dose of ancient Chinese wisdom

    So, what should you do if you are depressed? Focus on taking the first step. There is a common Chinese saying, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." This is wisdom from 5,000 years ago, based on the spiritual classic Tao Te Ching written by Lao Tzu. These days, depression is so prevalent, it has been called "the common cold of mental illness." Like other problems we face, feeling depressed could be overwhelming and seem like a such "messy" thing you don't know how to address it. Using Lao Tzu's wisdom, why not take one small first step first to address this. It can stop the downward spiral and provide momentum for things to turn around.

    For example, as a first step, understand that depression is a treatable illness. If your depression symptoms are strong to intense, and you know that depression is a treatable illness, then you may be motivated to go for an appointment with a qualified health practitioner or mental health professional. The sooner you do this before the condition worsens, the easier it is to reverse the downward spiral. Check with the doctor, psychologist or therapist on what the best treatment options are and then choose a plan of action to address the situation.

    Sometimes, you may just feel sad as you are had a bad episode come up and your symptoms are not persistent or severe enough to warrant seeing a doctor or therapist. In that case, you can just focus on taking a first step to uplift yourself. Make it a step that is small, doable and fun. Here is one simple suggestion - go for a short 10 minute walk. Psychologists and therapists working with patients know the benefits of getting your body in motion. You brain will start stimulating more neurotransmitters and neuromodulaters like dopamine and norepinephrine, and that will help you to feel better. Not to mention the positive effect of the sun and fresh air depending on the time of day and where you are walking.

    Treating Mental Health and Forensic Populations

    No longer is it possible to assess and/or treat a mental health population without also interfacing with forensic issues such as legal infractions, Courts, violence, sexual behavior problems, delinquency, crime, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, substance abuse, and others. The training and approaches to the mental health population is different than that for a forensic population. So what is to be done, if a person has both issues? We must be cross trained for dually affected clients.

    How Are the Populations Different

    A Mental Health population is comprised primarily Axis I disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Major Depression, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders. Daily functioning is on a continuum. Recovery is quick for some and slow for others and is also on a continuum. Well controlled intermittent, mild to moderate episodes of a mood or anxiety disorder will not necessarily interfere with daily functioning. Someone with severe, chronic Schizophrenia or Mood Disorder requiring periodic hospitalizations and extensive community support, will have impairment in daily functioning. Goals for these folks are often pro-social and involve being an active member of society. A therapist can be fairly sure that the mental health client without forensic issues will be relatively honest in his or her interactions and the therapist can take most of what he/she says at face value. An emphasis on a strengths model works well when no personality disorder is involved.

    A forensic population can be defined as having personality disorders, interpersonal difficulties, behavioral problems, multiple problems and life long courses of various levels of dysfunction or difficulty. Again, this population fills the full spectrum of effective daily functioning. However, social functioning is often the most severe impairment. There are issues of trust, appropriate relationships, ego centrism, moral development, honesty, manipulation, and danger to self and others. They often have a negative view of themselves and others, especially authority figures. Moral development is often delayed leaving them at the egocentric stage of development. This means that what serves the self is what matters and empathy for others and the ability to have an honest relationship with another person may not yet have developed. Their goals are often self-serving.

    The capacity to understand the importance of the best interest of the group through laws and rules that we voluntarily follow, may not be well understood. Many, if not most, have histories of childhood abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence. The assessment and interventions with this population is necessarily different that those for a people with no Axis II disorder or trait. The people with forensic issues do not always tell the truth because of their lack of trust in relationships. The therapist cannot take what he/she says at face value. The therapist must separate the sincere from the manipulative moves for self-gain. The internal boundaries are such that they need the therapist to put external boundaries into place for them. Information must be checked with other sources of information.

    How Assessment Tools Differ

    In a mental health population, assessment can quite effectively be done through instruments such as the MMPI-A, BASC, and MACI. These self-report tools are quite sufficient for this population and will elucidate psychological dynamics and mental illness, if present. Self-report is not as much of an issue as it is in the forensic population, where third party verification is more important. However when a youth has multiple problems, both mental health and forensic, a combination of tools is preferred.

    Forensic evaluation tools rely less on self-report because of the trust issues and because it is not always in the client's best interest to be completely truthful. Self-report assessment instruments can be used, but third party and official reports should also be used in the evaluation phase of a forensic assessment. Courts are concerned with public safety, therefore, the need for tools that assess future risk of dangerousness to others. Risk of future aggression and sexual behavior problems that have been derived from statistical models (actuarial tools) should be part of the evaluation since clinical assessment of risk of future dangerousness is only a little better than chance. While risk assessments are not perfect, they are better than clinical judgment in this area.

    How are Interventions Different?

    Major Mental Illnesses, while often chronic, can often be very effectively treated with medication and therapy. At the higher functioning end of the continuum, therapy can be supportive, psychotherapeutic, family, or cognitive behavioral. Therapists are trained to accept what the client presents and start where the client is functioning and how the client sees the world. The clients are usually self-motivated and seek therapy voluntarily. They accept responsibility for their behaviors and for making changes in their lives. Use of a strengths model is often very effective. Many people recover fully and lead quite "normal," non-disrupted lives. When someone is on the lower end of the continuum, with major disruption in every day functioning (work and family),despite medication and therapy, major supports for housing, jobs, and activities of daily living and medication are needed for a very long time, perhaps a life time. However, their life goals are often still pro-social. Serlf-directed care works well with the mental health population without Axis II diagnoses.

    In the area of intervention, different approaches are needed for the forensic population. Some level of social and family dysfunction is generally intergenerational and lifelong. These clients are often Court ordered to an assessment or therapy or they are having significant problems at work or within the family causing others to seek assessment or therapy for them. They do not always accept responsibility for their actions or for changing. There are skill deficits that need to be addressed, such as social skills, anger management, and problem solving. You cannot take what these clients say at face value. Third party information is always needed. This is because you need to trust someone in order to be honest with them and most of these folks have been abused, neglected, or exposed to domestic violence and a suspicious arm's length treatment of others is a coping strategy that is difficult to give up.

    This population often has multiple problems so that Multi-systemic Therapy that approaches many areas that need to be addressed is often effective (treating the whole person). Group work and trauma therapies are also good tools. Self-directed therapy may not be effective because of the need to protect oneself from what may appear to be an unsafe world. Nurturing, setting good boundaries, and structure are essential in this work. Motivational interviewing and stages of change can be very helpful. When clients have issues in the mental health and forensic arenas, both approaches must be used to the extent possible.


    Clients in a mental health setting range from the single diagnosis of a major mental Illness to the dual diagnosis of a major mental illness and a personality disorder and/or forensic/legal issue. The approaches to these dissimilar populations is unique when clients are dually diagnosed, both approaches are needed. Assessments and treatment for a mental health population can be self-directed and strengths based.

    However, the approach for the forensic population cannot be self-directed because the client's goals are often antisocial and by definition counter to the best interests of society. The therapist or evaluator cannot accept everything the client says at face value because not being honest is part of the disorder that the therapist is treating. Motivational interviewing seems to blend the views of traditional mental health and forensics in a way that is beneficial for the client and society.

    How to Interpret Depression Signs

    There is no cure for depression! Did you know that when depressed people take antidepressants these will only work completely in about 35% of cases? That means there are a lot of people who will only get partial relief and that the condition will linger on for years. That figure compares very unfavourably with the effect of a placebo which relieves signs of depression in about 20%. Another figure which is quite shocking is that about 5% of cases have a worsening of symptoms when they are on these depression meds. Experts are now looking at changes in lifestyle which can make a positive impact on depression but will certainly not cure the condition. How can we interpret depression signs and realise that we may have a problem or that a loved one may be depressed?

    It seems that genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain and the environment all play a role in the cause of depression but nobody is quite sure. Signs of depression will be noticed when they persist for quite a long period and we are certainly talking about a period of two weeks to a month here. We might also notice that the depression signs seem to be preventing us from functioning at work or at home like we used to.

    Depression signs are evident when there is a loss of energy to do things and a lack of concentration too. There may be a problems with indigestion and or problems with eating which can manifest itself in a loss of appetite or an increase in appetite for no apparent reason. Add to that weepiness (usually present in women) and a loss of interest in any sexual activity. Other depression signs which are even more alarming are talk of suicide or constantly thinking about death in an obsessive way. There may be a tendency to self mutilate which could be a precursor of suicide. If only some of these are present, we should seek medical help and also have other conditions ruled out which could and sometimes do have similar symptoms.

    We now know that depression is such a common disorder that there is less stigma attached to it nowadays, fortunately. Experts tell us that Americans are ten times more likely to suffer from a depressive disorder of some sort than our grandparents were, sixty years ago. These disorders can range from bipolar to SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

    Once signs of depression have been spotted and diagnosis has been carried out, we can start thinking about treatment. Antidepressants are one choice but as we have seen above, there is no guarantee that they will work and some people favour herbal remedies such as St. John's Wort and the Passion Flower which have much fewer side effects and will be more effective than the antidepressants in some patients.

    How to Find the Right Term Life Insurance Quotes Tailored to Your Circumstances

    While looking for some really good term life insurance quotes, we generally do not go beyond our usual reference circle. Many of us even do not calculate how much a small discount can matter especially as the time period involved is quite long.

    A small savings every time ads up to quite an amount over the life time of the policy taken. But do we really calculate. All we do is asking a few of our family and friends, who at best have partial information about the subject. The most we can do is visit the bank and ask our banker. They in turn try to sell us the policy of the insurer with whom they have marketing tie-up.

    So what do we do? Give up and resort to the old practices. You at least are not one of them. The Internet is the best place of finding what we are looking for. Here the companies cannot fool us by there posh offices or up-market locations, every body is in the same plane if you know how to search.

    Insiders in this business have always referred to the term insurance quotes of the New York Life Insurance as the best in the industry. It is a known truth within the insiders' circle, that when it comes to affordable life insurance New York Life Insurance is the very best of the lot. Here you with get some very good risk coverage at an affordable rate.

    No, it is not a question of bargaining or buying cheap. It is a way for them to show that they really care about there clients welfare, after all there is no point in wasting money. The cost of living is going up every day, why unnecessarily add higher life insurance cost to the already stretched family budget? Money is scarce my friend - very scarce.

    No matter how unrelated you are from the field of life insurance you must have heard about them. This company was established in 1841, it was called Nautilus Insurance Company over the years they have grown and strengthen their reputation as a safe custodian of people's wealth and a friend who is there in the dark and gloomy days of our lives. This company has seen it all from - the outbreak of Cholera in late 1840's, The Civil War, World War - I and II, The Great Depression, Influenza Epidemic of 1918 - 19, September 11, 2001 and the recent Recession. It seems to have come out of every storm with renewed strength. Today their operations have spread to almost every part of the globe.

    OK it was not my intention of shamelessly promoting this company; I was a bit carried away. But you can take my words for it - when it comes to life insurance rates, you will not find a better deal.

    Can a Male and Female be JUST Friends?


    Have you ever heard or have you ever seen, father-son; mother-daughter; husband-wife; boss-subordinates; brother-sister as a friend? Might be yes, but how often and how genuine. At the end of a day, the message is, "mein tumhara baap hoon, jo mein kahta hoon, who karo" (I am your father, do what I say). Recently, I posted one query, "Can an adult male and female be just friends", and replies are just shocking (read below). That is why, I say, friendship is a relation of choice. But, do you know the meaning of "FRIENDSHIP", yes, you know, you have read in some newspapers and magazines, but what about applying the same.

    Understanding Friendship

    Before I start I know, as you probably know, that a friendship can be an antidote for loneliness or depression or even boredom. But it should be just more than an antidote for these problems. What are the qualities that lead to a solid friendship?

    First of all, friendship must be genuine. In friendships we reveal what we are and who we are capable of becoming. Friendships demand that we reveal ourselves without pretenses or masks, without affection or deception. G.K. Chesterton knowing the risks involved in cultivating a solid friendship, summed it up when he said, "Friends are those with whom our faults are safe."

    Another ingredient necessary for the cultivation of a friendship is that one must be generous. The friendship is its own reward. Christ summed up the element of generosity when he said, "greater love than this no one has than he who lays down his life for his friend."

    Another quality needed for a friendship is that it be gratuitous. It is a free donation or offering of one person to another. Friendship is never marred by jealousy. There must be a certain freedom between the two friends. Otherwise, there could be the problem of possessiveness or even suffocation of the friendship.

    Other qualities could be mentioned so that solid friendships can be cultivated. A sense of humor, charity, understanding, compassion is only some of the ingredients that have to be cultivated for a solid friendship with another.

    Just one more thought on this subject. For many people in this world, life is cold, lonely and hard. If they had one friend, their lives would not only be different, but happier. A friendship is a touch of heaven on earth. And you can bring a touch of heaven into someone's life.

    Friendship between male and female

    Hence, strong friendships between a man and woman are sometimes difficult to understand and accept though relationships between two women or men is more readily accepted by our society. When a man and woman hold hands in public, automatically they are assumed to be lovers. Friends are friends and lovers are lovers. Very few people are physically affectionate with their friends. People find it difficult to dissociate love from sex. If two people express love and affection for each other it is assumed that they are lovers. The truth is fairly simple: two people like each other, are comfortable together and a special bond of friendship develops between them.

    Sometimes friendship is taken for granted and people are willing to give it up when they fall in love, want to marry or have a long term relationship. Sexual or romantic love is assumed to be better and therefore preferred.

    There are factors which decides if a male and female can be JUST friends or not and we will discuss here, one afrer another.

    1) Your Mental and Emotional Make-up: It need high level of maturity, understanding and wavelength for any couple to keep that thought of intimacy away from their heart throughout the relation.

    2) Type of School and College you have studied in: If you have studied in "all boys or all girls" type of schools and colleges then there is a high chance that your relation with your counterpart of opposite gender will not be clean and transparent as compared to those who have studied to "Co-Education" system.

    3) Number of friends with Opposite Genders: If you have more friends from opposite gender than there is a chance that your friendship with those people will be clean...with any thought of intimacy compare to those who have one or just limited friends from opposite gender.

    4) Family Background: If the family of more orthodox, traditional, with very strict value system...then also at times... there are chances that you cannot be JUST friends with a person from opposite gender.

    5) Stage of life you are going through: If you are facing lots of rejections, emotional instability, frustration, lots of struggle and if your performance is not appreciated by your bosses and colleagues...then also you try to find that solace, that comfort by intimately getting involved...because their you find acceptance and emotional comfort.

    6) Profession you are into and type of organization you are working in: As we have discussed in one of the cases...if it is male or female dominated company or department...there are also people tend to get involved with people of opposite genders.

    7) Successful, Happy Married Life and Unsuccessful and Unhappy Married Life: If you don't have successful and happy married are not getting that time, care, and affection as you want and if you have a friend from opposite gender who is taking care of you, giving you time, affection and emotional support than also there are high chances of developing those intimate relation...much above your "JUST" friendship thought.

    So, it is possible to be "JUST" friends with people of opposite gender and it depend on your maturity, mindset and your need at that particular time. We can talk about our thoughts; our feelings but you cannot say the same thing about the person of opposite gender. You never know what your friend is talking about you in his or her group of friends.

    As far as my personal experiences goes...I have lot many "Female Friends" from different cities, different countries, from different age groups, married-unmarried-singles and now gender hardly matters to me. We discuss about our experiences, go out for dinner, movie, and picnic and also give comforts...if there are any issues at professional and personal fronts. But, as I said earlier...I can say how I feel, what I think...I cannot say with any surety as what they feel and think.

    If the sexual element in a relationship is lost, no friendship is left and the couple moves away from each other in every respect. Instead of seeing sexual relationships as friendships, which include sex, couples often see them as separate from any kind of friendship. If people could break away from this tradition they could be friends with their lovers and ex-lovers and enjoy close, happy and meaningful relationships. This would also reflect a certain amount of growth and maturity of the personality.

    My Gift to all my friends for their Friendship

    I love you not only for what you are,

    but for what I am when I am with you.

    I love you not only for what you have made of yourself,

    but for what you are making of me.

    I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

    I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart,

    and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things
    which you cannot help dimly seeing there,
    and for drawing out into the light
    all the beautiful, radiant belongings,
    that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

    I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool

    and weakling in me,

    and for laying firm hold

    on the possibilities of good in me.

    I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me,

    and for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.

    I love you because you are helping me

    to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a Temple,
    and of the words of my every day not a reproach but a song.

    I love you because you have done more

    than any creed could have done to make me good,
    and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

    You have done it just by being yourself.

    Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all

    Saying so, I never mean to say that, I will be giving you solutions for all your problems

    As a friend, I may not be able to give solutions to all of life's problems, doubts, or fears; but I can listen to you, and together we can seek answers. I can't change your past with all its heartache and pain, nor the future with it's untold stories; but I can be there now when you need me to care.

    I can't keep your feet from stumbling. I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall. Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness are not mine; yet I can share in your laughter and joy.

    Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to judge; I can only support you, encourage you, and help you when you ask. I can't give you boundaries, which I have determined for you, But I can give you the room to change, room to grow, room to be yourself.

    I can't keep your heart from breaking and hurting, but I can cry with you and help you pick up the pieces and put them back in place. I can't tell you who you are. I can only love you and be your friend.

    And every morning when you open your eyes, tell yourself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every second is a gift from God, you've got to dance like nobody's watching, and love like it's never going to hurt.

    People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.


    "Friendship is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful friendly hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and, with a breath of comfort, blow the rest away."

    Not only in Friendship but also in all the relations love is the driving force that creates and sustains it. The kind of love friends have for each other is the desire to know, serve and share. It is the antithesis of lust - the desire to acquire, possess and control. It is what makes one want to connect with another human consciousness - intellectually, emotionally and physically.

    Unspoken doubts and suspicions are barriers that limit the possible depth to which a friendship can progress. Love empowers friends to say how they feel about each other without inhibition or fear of hurting each other's feelings. It thereby allows them to resolve their doubts and suspicions about each other, thus removing the barriers and opening the way to an ever-deeper friendship.

    Because friends love each other, one never attempts to force, coerce or control the other to change for the better. One friend only informs the other of the way he or she feels. Love will motivate the informed friend to change him or herself for the better. Because friends love each other, they will never use each other as a means to an end - as a human resource to be used and abused for self gain. A friend - as a precious sentient consciousness - is an end in him or herself. That end is the joy of sharing experiences and reciprocal love.

    Let me know, what you have to say about it.

    With lots of love and care,