Saturday, April 6, 2013

Depressed or Anxious? Exercise Your Demons Away!

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 18.8 percent of adults in the United States suffer from some type of depressive disorder (this figure includes mental illnesses that have depression as a major component, such as bipolar disorder). Perhaps not surprisingly then, anti-depressants are the most widely prescribed medications in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

But most anti-depressants have uncomfortable, and sometimes disturbing, side effects, which can include sexual dysfunction, weight gain, insomnia, and emotional numbing. Worse still is that some studies indicate that only 35 to 45 percent of anti-depressants remove all depressive symptoms from those who take the medication (Source: The New York Times).

But studies have also found a link between exercise and depression relief. Indeed, exercise has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms of mild to moderate depression.

Symptom of Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness

  • Lethargy

  • Unremitting fatigue

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

  • Insomnia

  • Uncontrollable crying spells

  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Lack of concentration

  • Indecisiveness

Causes of Depression

Moreover, the exact causes of depression are not known. Again according to the Mayo Clinic, the causes of depression are thought to be linked to one, or all, of these factors:

Biochemical. Many studies have shown biochemical changes in the brains of those who suffer from depression. Indeed, most of the anti-depressants are designed to correct these biochemical brain anomalies

Genetics. Statistics show that a family history of depression can make one more vulnerable to developing a depressive disorder.

Environment. Life changes and stressors in the environment (such as the loss of a loved one, job termination, and financial problems) are known contributing factors to depression.

Exercise and Depression

But regardless of the causes of this disease, recent studies on exercise and depression have shown that exercise can be an effective anti-depressant for at least some of the symptoms of this disease.

One such study at Nottingham Trent University tested the effects of exercise on a mood-enhancing brain chemical-phenylethylamine. (In the brain, an enzyme turns phenylethylamine into the acid phenyl acetic, and both have been shown to be deficient in the brains of those who suffer from depression).

For this study, the researchers selected 20 healthy men. The average ages of these subjects were 22, and all were regular exercisers, performing about 4 hours of exercises per week. Prior to this study, the subjects did not exercise for one day so that researchers could test their urine for levels of phenyl acetic acid. (Urine testing is the most accurate way to measure this acid).

The following day, the subjects exercised on a treadmill for 30 minutes. During this workout, they exercised at 70 percent of their maximum heart rate capacities because previous studies had indicated that this level of intensity facilitated mood changes. After this treadmill exercise, the subjects were asked to rate the level of difficulty of their workouts.

Researchers then retested the subject's urine and made a startling discovery-18 of the subjects showed an increase in phenyl acetic acid, and this increase was not a small one. According to the BBC, "[t]hough the average increase in levels was 77%, the increase in individuals ranged from 14 to 572%." (The higher levels tended to be present in those who rated their workout to be difficult on a 'perceived exertion scale').

The results of this study, and others, indicate that exercise and depression may be positively linked and that, perhaps, exercise should be a manadatory prescription as part of a depression treatment program.

Exercise Your Depression Away?

Although experts stress that exercise should never be a replacement for medical treatment as advised by your physician, there has also never been a study that shows that exercise worsens depression. Also, unlike anti-depressant medications, there are also no known side effects to exercise. But how does one get started when one of the more common symptoms of depression is lethargy and fatigue?

While studies have shown that 30 minutes of exercise several days per week can lift depression, there is evidence that as little as 10 to 15 minutes of exercise at a time can improve mood.

How to Get Started

Beginning and maintaining an exercise program is difficult for even those who do not suffer from depression. How, then, can a depressed person begin an exercise routine? The Mayo Clinic offers these tips for starting such a program. Try them and see, for yourself, the positive link between exercise and depression.

Talk to Your Physician or Mental Health Provider

Before beginning an exercise program, be sure to talk to your physician and/or your mental health provider. Aside from ensuring that you are sufficiently physically healthy to commence an exercise regimen, he or she may be able to make suggestions for effective exercises and routines for your particular level of depression.

Change your Attitude

Most people approach exercise with dread and see it as a necessary evil. Such an attitude almost guarantees that it will not be incorporated as a standard lifestyle practice. Instead, change your attitude. Think of exercise as another therapeutic tool to help to alleviate your depression naturally.

Make your Goals Reasonable

Many people fail at their exercise programs because they establish unreasonable goals. It is not reasonable, for instance, to try to walk 3 miles on your first workout session when you have not been physically active for the past few months (or years). Instead, start out slowly. Build up to that 3, or 4, or 5 miles. Build up to 10, to 20, to 30 minutes. Build up to that feeling of achievement.

Feeling Good About Exercising

Even though the thought of exercising may not excite you, there are undoubtedly some physical fitness activities that you actually enjoy. Maybe you hate to go for a walk, but enjoy outdoor cycling. Similarly, some individuals prefer morning workouts, while others prefer evening workouts, and still other individuals prefer workouts to be more spontaneous and avoid routines. Do not endeavor to fight your body clock; rather to maximize your chances of starting (and maintaining) an exercise routine, choose the time of day that is most comfortable for you.

Much research has shown that choosing to exercise can be a choice between depression and happiness. Encouraged by these exercise and depression studies, many people are now adding exercise to their treatment options and are finding real relief from this debilitating condition.

Spirituality, Depression, Illness And Blanced Living

Balanced Living

1) What is balanced living? From the point of a spiritual search, why is balance important?

Much spiritual practice can be defined as an attempt to reach and maintain balance, on a worldly level, so that the spiritual consciousness might awaken and come forward. One of the characteristics of our physical body is the continual effort to maintain a state of homeostasis and relative quiet. From a spiritual perspective this quiet or balance is necessary so that that the traveler may go beyond the surface level and experience what is far below, in the quiet depths, ultimately using this awareness consciously in daily life.

In every day life what is required, is a balance between our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs; to fully engage in the world, each bodily system necessary to express the many parts of our self. It is said, the entire system must be operating and in balance- in order to achieve full active living and a state of optimal health. In fact, this is one of the requirements of the Teaching; that the spiritual traveler be an ordinary, well balanced member of their community.

To achieve this ordinary equilibrium, what are required are correct amounts of work, play, leisure and social engagement. We are multi-level beings, with an assortment of needs, desires and ways to express our self; all of which must be operating in unison to reach a full active life. And once this synchronicity of parts is achieved, as God/Light Wills, some thing else might come forward and begin to operate- the spiritual awareness.

So you see, for the spiritual traveler, the first step is to become an ordinary, balanced citizen who is integrated into their family and society- then the spiritual consciousness can more easily be added. Most often, travelers go on a spiritual search, long before they have achieved worldly balance trying to find the missing piece. At this level, often the missing piece is simply an aspect of normal, healthy living: such as feeling important, having a social group, or expressing self in the world. Hence their search for higher consciousness is doomed from the start, because they are substituting one thing for another and settling for 'fool's gold.'

2) How is spiritual balance different from healthy, balanced living? Or is it different?

Usually when we are discussing spiritual balance, we are discussing a systematic activation of the spiritual centers; usually this is done over a period of time, in sequence, and under the guidance or grace of a spiritual path. This balance is in addition to/or complimentary to balanced healthy living that most travelers are seeking through expressing self in the world.

However, one must not forget that all things are spiritual, so, in a sense the effort toward balanced healthy living and homeostasis is also a spiritual quest.

3) Many seem to be on a spiritual quest, who externally do not seem to be balanced? In fact some of these spiritual travelers seem a little odd. Please comment.

For some, this seems to be an accurate assessment. Many begin a spiritual search, looking for the missing piece, long before they are grounded in their society and have achieved an overall balance expressing self in the world. They become attracted to a teaching because it will give them something which they lack (feeling important, expressing self, finding happiness, being with like minded people); instead of asking self, what they can offer the Teaching.

It is said, only those who love and wish to give- reach journey's end.

4) Many seem to be on a spiritual journey for personal reasons, such as feeling important, or adding something significant into their lives; is this accurate and can you comment on this.

Some of this has been answered above, however, a little more is required. From our point of view, each is born with a primal emptiness that can only be filled by the Light of Eternity. This emptiness or deep yearning pushes us forward from world to world, and day to day. We keep looking or searching for the missing piece, until one day it is defined as a Spiritual Reality. Once this happens, the real searching begins in earnest.

It is this yearning to reach fulfillment, that pushes us forward from world to world until we return home and merge for the final time with our Beloved.


1) Why is it that in spiritual literature and many spiritual traditions little appears to have been said about a wise one's trials with personal illness? It seems as if there is an assumption, that the wise one, with a minimal amount of effort, over came this trial. Also, in some traditions, it is said a wise one is cheerful and content with what the Universe presents. Please comment.

Much of this is due to selective reportage. What we know or read about any wise one is due to what others have reported or decided that we need to know about this person. Also, for the most part, a wise one is cheerful and accepting of what the universe offers. This is a universal truth for a highly evolved, spiritual being; or said another way, an aspect/characteristic of their personality and state of being.

However, keep in mind that each person has a full range of thoughts and feelings that must be expressed in the world. These thoughts and feelings manifest in everyone, even for a moment; they cannot be obliterated, thereby, denying their manifestation. Often spiritual travelers believe that these wise ones were God Men/Woman; what they were, were human beings who had achieved a high level of spiritual capacity. Each having fears, desires and faults- these feelings pushed aside so something else might manifest. One of our teachers used to say- 'if you are going to be happy, be happy with God/Light. Similarly, if you are going to be sad, be sad with God/Light.'

Perhaps, in another tradition, some have reached this exalted state/station of transcendence of physical pain and suffering- I am not able to speak to this point. I can only offer what I have learned and experienced. Just that we are all human beings, who add spiritual capacity and must experience fully the human form; with its range of feelings, joys and pains.

2) From your perspective, what is the correct posture/attitude for a spiritual traveler who is in pain and very ill?

When one is in extreme pain, this pain rules the consciousness and body. It becomes 'master in the house' and must be acknowledged and heeded. Pain is a signal that the body/consciousness is ill and out of balance. Always keep in mind, it is much easier to be 'spiritual and offer up prayers,' when the consciousness is still, free of pain and distracting thoughts.

Can extreme pain be transcended and a joyful, lofty spiritual station achieved? Certainly- in the universe anything is possible. However, this experience transcends the physical laws, is achieved rarely and only for specific purposes.

For most, when extreme pain enters the house- it is a signal the body or consciousness is sick, and out of balance; when pain becomes the master: the body/mind are signaling a return to health and balance is required.

3) It has been said many times, 'illness is the great teacher;' what is meant by this?

When the physical body and ordinary healthy living is taken; that which is Permanent is more easily perceived. In the sick bed, many is the hour, the traveler contemplates what is lasting and most precious.

Many traditions indicate, 'when God/Light loves a traveler, their life is filled with trials, turmoil and testing.' While all of this may be true, also keep in mind, it is the nature of all flesh to decay and everyone tastes death, pain and suffering.


1) Typically wise ones are portrayed as cheerful and accepting of what the Universe offers them; how does this posture/attitude relate to the illness of depression where the individual is in mental/physical pain and profoundly sad?

All emotions are transitory- they come and go. Our consciousness is a kaleidoscope of thoughts, feelings and desires. So when one is discussing permanence of feelings or over riding states of consciousness, this transitory aspect must be considered and acknowledged.

Even when one is depressed and profoundly sad, there are moments of laughter and joy; rare, perhaps, however these moments do exist. Also keep in mind, many treatments for depression include laughter, doing fun things and engaging in healthy pursuits with others. While this is usually very difficult for the depressed person; often these are part of the treatment regimen.

Clinical depression is characterized by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and any restoration of health, includes the use of different treatments (medications, therapy, healthy living) to return to this more healthy state of balance and homeostasis. Often depression can last for months and even years- which is a very stressful period of physical and mental pain. This is the nature of the illness.

Now let us return our attention, to the question of cheerfulness and acceptance in a highly attuned, spiritual individual. All states of consciousness, including emotions are transitory- that is the way we are hardwired; even the higher spiritual states, come and go depending upon the needs of the situation. So can a highly attuned, spiritual individual be both depressed and cheerful, alternating over an extended period of time- why not? Keeping in mind- the healthy human consciousness is so constructed that it usually can only keep one thought in it at a time.

Remember the Teaching: 'if you are going to be happy, be happy with God/Light. Similarly, if you are going to be sad, be sad with God/Light.'

O yes- child of Light, Light and Darkness can manifest and alternate in us- over a period of time.

2) In our time and society, many seem to be suffering from anxiety, depression, and profound feelings of loss and inner pain; how can spiritual practice help with this illness?

Sadly, in this age, many have lost healthy balance and forgotten how to live a full, complete life. One of the positive aspects of the Teaching is that it requires a return to full, balanced living; in order for the Higher Consciousness to emerge, operate and maximize. When balanced, healthy living is disturbed often there is a disruption in the individual's ability to manifest Higher Knowledge. Keep in mind, that even in the most highly attuned, an individual's ability to manifest Higher Knowledge is usually transitory; coming and going, depending upon the higher needs of the situation.

For many, this is an age of darkness, fear and anxiety. Many have forgotten how to live a full, complete life; becoming lost due to the prevalence and acceptance of false beliefs and teachings. The pull of the lower soul and its grounding in materiality- contributes to this growing feeling of alienation. Also we are living in age where the healthy resources of the earth mother have been stretched and in many cases destroyed. As well, this destruction contributes to our own poor physical and mental health. The food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, in many cases, has been tainted/damaged by the greed of others. As we are a complete holistic system, striving to maintain balance and homeostasis- these often over riding negative factors severely affect our health, consciousness and daily activity.

3) As the human body is subject to decay, illness, pain, and death of self and loved ones- what is the correct posture or attitude for some one undergoing these trials?

Because our journey through this life is meant to be a full experience, we are meant to experience all of this. Spiritual capacity is in addition, to a full, complete life; a full, complete life is filled with sadness, sickness, pain, suffering, laughter, joy, happiness, spiritual awareness and a thousand other experiences. Additionally, it is influenced by the historical age and community in which we live. This is all part of the Plan.

O child of Light, you ask, why must this be so? The answer to this question, O dear spiritual traveler, is also part of the journey and must be personally experienced.

Remember beyond darkness is the Light. After every sunset, there is the morning. One cannot be experienced without the other. Yet beyond this duality- there is the One.

That is the First Natural Law- the Oneness of Creation.

4) It is said, one of the goals of advanced spiritual practice, is to accept and even love what the Universe offers us; when this offering is a full cup of sickness, pain, death and profound sadness, how does one get past these trials, reaching this seemingly lofty station of acceptance and love?

As indicated earlier, one must make a distinction between when the spiritual traveler is in extreme pain, first learning of an illness, or hearing of a family member's death. All of these experiences require time to heal and come to acceptance of what is emerging. Remember, emotional reactions cannot be avoided or obliterated; what can be limited is the amount of time one spends honoring and expressing these emotions. This is subject to individual expression and need.

Love is the energy of the Universe and our ultimate destination and expression. On a conscious level, the point, or goal of the journey, is to express this Reality with every breath and action. This is our Goal- however, on a conscious daily level, most vary in this expression.

Yet far below the surface, in our heart of hearts, the inner Light is always emanating and expressing Love's Reality. Deep within- we are always One With the Source. Remember the journey is to consciously express this in daily life.

* *

The sea will be the sea whatever the drop's philosophy.
- Attar

True Cause of Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) - Mental Illness Research


This information is offered for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If your child, teen, or you have any health concerns, please consult your health care provider.

Bipolar patients live on a subconsciously self-controlled mental and emotional "roller coaster."

They rise high and take flight on fantastic hopes and plans that are nearly impossible to achieve. They generate excessive amounts of nervous psychic energy and soar with confidence and optimism. This is a manic state.

In a manic state, they see themselves as powerful or indestructible. They usually display high self-esteem. Bipolar patients become extremely talkative and flooded with ideas, require little rest or sleep, and are unfocused and easily distracted and sidetracked.

"Highs" can result in serious problems such as unreasonable spending, impulsive and thoughtless decisions, participating in unsafe sexual behavior and, often, over indulging in street drugs, alcohol, or sleep and other medications.

In a relatively short while, a bipolar will inevitably crash. After his or her unrealistic hopes, dreams, and objectives fail to materialize, the person sink into depression and despair.

We can all recall having a similar "up and down" experience. However, the bipolar patient has these severe mood swings to an extreme and on a regular basis.

Psychiatrists and physicians treat bipolar patients with combinations of costly psychiatric drugs that they recommend be taken for the person's entire lives. Treatment is supplemented with some type of talking therapy. Symptoms are controlled but not healed.

Bipolar treatments do not heal because essentially the cause of the disorder is wrongly assumed to be "biological" when, in fact, the cause is "psychological."

Bipolar patients live in a state of extreme "selfish reaction" and "selfish control." That happens to be true for all those suffering a serious mental and emotional disorder.

How symptoms vary, relate to personal subconscious factors such as the person's basic selfish disposition (angry or fearful), the specifics of the person's child-to-parent negative agreements, and the degree of personal selfishness and selfish reaction.

Bipolar sufferers are deeply troubled and in extreme reaction to their abusive and unloving childhood experiences.

They use hyperactivity as a way of avoiding and running from, also concealing, their ongoing negative inner psychological states.

As with typical incest survivors, they are experts at maneuvering and controlling others to get what they selfishly want. They have learned from their selfish parents. It was way a way of surviving their parents' extremely controlling, abusive, and sexually abusive choices.

Their range of emotions goes from getting extremely unstable or violent to seeming normal.

As bipolar individuals continue in selfish control, illusion, and reaction, they tend to get worse. Ups and downs occur with increased frequency, length of time, and seriousness.

About 20% are estimated to commit suicide. The destructive and self-destructive symptoms of bipolar disorder make "biological causes" improbable. It should be obvious that the causes are psychological and selfish.

As long as we keep refusing to deal properly with personal negative choices and realities and keep saying that the causes outside of our control, and ourselves we will suffer and never heal.

How Do We Diagnose and Treat Anxiety?

How do we diagnose anxiety? A psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or other mental-health professional is usually enlisted to diagnose anxiety and identify the causes of it. The physician will take a careful medical and personal history, perform a physical examination, and order laboratory tests as needed. There is no one laboratory test that can be used to diagnose anxiety, but tests may provide useful information about a medical condition that may be causing physical illness or other anxiety symptoms. For a person to be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), they must:

Worry Excessively and be anxious about several different events or activities on more days than not for at least six months. Find it difficult to control their worrying Have at least three of the six symptoms associated with GAD on more days than not in the last six months. Those 6 are: Tense Muscles, sleeping difficulties, fatigue, irritability, restlessness and concentration difficulties.

Generally, to be diagnosed with GAD, symptoms must be present more often than not for six months and they must interfere with their daily living, meaning the sufferer to be unable to go to work or school.

If the focus of the anxiety and worry is confined to just one anxiety disorder, this will not be diagnosed as GAD. A physician or doctor may diagnose hypochondriasis if they are worrying about having a serious illness, a separation anxiety disorder if worrying about being away from a relation, anorexia nrevosa if worried about weight gain and social phobia if they are worried about being embarrassed to be in public. Patients with anxiety disorder often present symptoms similar to clinical depression and vice-versa. It is not uncommon for a patient to exhibit symptoms of only one of these.

How is anxiety treated?

With psychological counselling or with prescribed drugs, anxiety can be treated or certainly be controlled. The treatment path depends on the type of the anxiety and what the individual would prefer. Often treatments will be a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medications. Sometimes depression, alcoholism, or other coexisting conditions have such an effect on the person that treating the anxiety disorder must wait until the coexisting conditions are brought under control.

Self treatment

There are times when aniety can be treated in the home without having to visit a doctor but in only certain situations where the extent of the type of anxiety is fairly short and the actual cause is discovered quickly and can then be treated. The person can then take certain actions in the form of exercise that have been recommended by a specialist or doctor that can help relieve the symptom of anxiety. People get to learn and be able to manage and live with their stress. Keeping an eye on how they cope with the stresses and strains of family and work life by taking time away from daily activities with a variety of relaxation techniques. Reading books on relaxation, meditation and health food and acting on them can be simple ways of relieving the stress.

Practising deep abdominal breathing by breathing in slowly through the nose, filling the lungs taking it down to your stomach and then slowly breathing out also slowly through your mouth without doing this for too long as this could lead you to feel faint and dizzy from the extra oxygen.

Learn to replace "negative self talk" with "coping self talk." Make a list of negative thoughts you have, and write a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them.Then Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. Picture yourself as a successful person who has overcome their fear over and over and believe that you can talk yourself round this problem. Talk with a person who is supportive. Meditation. Exercise, this can be anything rigorous or gentle walking pace. Take long hot relaxing baths. Rest in a dark room.


Psychological counceling is regarded as normal methods of treating different aspects of anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help and treat a patients thinking patterns that are related to stress, anxiety and troubled, irrational behavior. There are 2 parts to this type of therapy. There is behavioural part used to alter the way people behave to the situation, person or event that can start a panic or anxiety attack and the cognitive part is designed to reduce distorted thinking.

Say a person undergoing cognitive behavioural treatment for anxiety might work on how the panic attacks is not a cardaicarrest. The people receiving this treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder for cleaning their hands could work with a therapist to try and get their hands dirty and see how long they can cope with longer amounts of time before they are aloud to wash them. Therapists will work with post traumatic stress disorder sufferers by trying to get them to recall the event while they are in a safe environment to help reduce their fear and what reaction it produces.

Exposure-based therapies such as CBT usually have people face their fears and try to help them become desensitized to anxiety-triggering situations Psychotherapy is another type of counseling treatment for anxiety disorders. It consists of talking with a trained mental health professional, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other counselor. Sessions are used to help discover the causes of anxiety and possible ways to cope with symptoms.


Medical help for anxiety sufferers use several types of medication. If the cause of the anxiety is a physical ailment, treatment will be used to get rid of the particular ailment. This might involve surgery or other medication to try and reduce or eliminate a physical anxiety trigger. Often, though, medicines such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta-blockers are used to control some of the physical and mental symptoms. Medication tends to be used as a last resort.

Historically, anxiety has been used with a type of drug called benzodiazepines. Offering to treat the symptoms with drugs has been drastically reduced due to their addictive nature. These drugs tend to have few side-effects except for drowsiness and possible dependency.

How is anxiety prevented? Although anxiety disorders cannot be prevented, there are ways to reduce your risk and methods to control or lessen symptoms. Recommendations include: Reducing your intake of caffeine, cola, and chocolate. Herbal Remedies need to be checked if they contain chemicals that could contribute to anxiety or panic attacks with the pharmacist or doctor.

Exercising regularly, at least 3 times a week. This only has to be gentle exercise of 30 minutes per session. Eating healthy food; 5 fruit per day, brown bread, meat and 2 veg. Fibre and carbohydrates maintains energy levels. Keeping a regular sleep pattern. About 8 hours a night. Seeking counseling and support after a traumatic or disturbing experience. Considerate amounts of alcohol. Men should only drink 21 units per week women only 14 units. 1 unit is half a glass of beer or glass of wine. Avoid taking recreational drugs.

Life With Manic Depression: A Carer's View

Chrissie is a carer. She looks after someone with bipolar manic depression. Life is hard. this is part of her story.

Despite all the known and recognised cases of this type of depression, the 1 in 25 people suffering include: Stephen Fry, the artist Van Gogh, the poet Coleridge and even Carrie the Princess Leila out of Star Wars (you may have watched Fry's biographical documentary) at some stage in their lives, they took the brave step to get treatment - and yet many years of medical experience, cases and medicine used has only brought half acknowledgment. They have not brought about a cure for this rampant and as yet largely incurable condition.

Medication forms the major part of the prevention of worsening symptoms. At best stabilising the condition. It is not a cure and can be intermittently dispersed to a less or greater degree. Similarly abating for a season only to suddenly and swiftly rear up again rendering the sufferer into a terrible journey. All too often, daunting demoralising and frightening for both the victim and the nearest relative into a process, which sadly can so often be the best one can hope to achieve as far as a "cure" is concerned. There are very few cases that are totally cured - and medication is still even today very much in its infancy; still trial and error.

Counselling sometimes helps using cognitive behaviour therapy, either one to one or in a small group; Both for the sufferer and the people closest to them it is at the moment the only other accepted supportive form of treatment.

Not enough is known about, or indeed done, to research the devastating effects of the sufferer and families concerned. Here my aim is to de-mistify this strange and baffling condition. To humanise and inform as many as I can about some of the many symptoms.


What is it? What is the medication? How does it effect you/signs to look out for, the myths and the why/wherefores.

Now before you all start to panic I'll put this in a simple nutshell This fairly common yet disruptive in every way mood disorder is the result of a simple imbalance of the chemicals in the brain. It's not the end of the world. What? Is that it, you ask?

Yep that's it. An imbalance in the brain. It causes an array of not so simple symptoms which will be discussed in good detail.


Firstly and most importantly hospitalisation either voluntarily or not in a safe and professionally trained environment under the watchful observation of a skilled psychiatrist will be needed to avoid further damage danger and, in some cases, death.

Then of course after careful observation to build up a complete picture of the symptoms and suffering there comes the stabilising medication. In the main form this is usually "Lithium Carbonate." This is a powerful but time dependent compound the brain needs in order to function properly, particularly absent in many manic depressives or by normal comparison very low.

With the Manic depressive, the causes of this absence are not known, though doctors argue and have their differing opinions. The brain after all is covered with delicate fluids and hundreds of neuro transmitters, like a tv or a computer. Any major change to the chemicals found in the delicately made brain can cause chaos. Upset.

There are several reasons to consider the contributing factors for the delicate juices of the brain's sensitive balance being swung out of sync.

The chemical imbalance is often thought to be especially predisposed in certain groups of people and to have a predisposition to its lack in the first place. For example, many patients have an alcohol dependent parent (usually the mother) which has affected the genetic makeup of the child. Or it has been inherited - passed down from generation to generation. In others there can be no major reason at all.

No one has found a hard and fast 100% cure.

Lithium or sometimes Sodium Valproate taken over time is the commonest therapeutic substance known to ease the effects of mania. It is generally well tolerated and of significant help to alleviate the most stressful of the distressing/mania symptoms. (More of mania later).

But, for most, the effects are not found to be effective immediately, other than as a calming sedative. It has to be taken for at least a year/18 months for any real significant noticeable improvement or benefits. This difficult time period is true in most cases. Depending, of course, on the severity.

Also, and most unfortunately, like some drugs there are side effects which can be off putting to say the least. Not much to show for 2007 in the name of medical scientific advancement then!

Thirst, weight gain, a bloated feeling, and a tremor, coupled with a chance of possible over toxicity and kidney failure are just some of the main side effects that happen....great! Therefore at least every 3-4 months or bi-annually, depending on the severity and the needed therapeutic dose, simple routine but regular blood tests must be carried out to check the Lithium levels and safeguard against possible toxicity.

But what's the alternative?

Be barking mad? Or be able to be somewhere in-between. The sufferer will instantly say: "mad it's more interesting"! But the voice of conscience, of reason, of propriety in the carer in other words, will roar "LITHIUM PLEASE, and as fast as you can"!


Some say alcohol/drug abuse causes a trigger into psychosis,(this makes sense considering how much damage binge drinking and Class A drugs can do to the body, much less the brain cells!). Others say it is an inherited trait - a defective gene "gone wrong." Still others argue that the disorder is triggered by some life changing trauma, child abuse, family breakdown, marital breakdown, bereavement and long term stress. These factors are probably all to a degree, true, with much hidden other separate factors too.

Cruelly, many people with a high IQ are affected. The condition is indiscriminate. I'm not a doctor and therefore am not qualified to conclude who is right or wrong - probably the cause is a multiple mixture of all that - and much, much more besides.

Even in the medical advances we have today, not enough is known, and treatment consists of trial and error medications, anti-psychotics, sleeping pills/tranquillisers, mood stabilisers and sometimes usually in the worst affected, slow release injections.

No one knows precisely why Lithium works for some and not in others but it is effective in approximately 79% of diagnosed cases. Much is trial and error which poses all sorts of problems and unwanted side effects. Then again, there are sufferers that can be very unfortunately resistant to any treatment, long term. And as much as 40% of all severe diagnosed cases will need indefinite continuing treatment for possible relapse.

Probably Lithium is one of the commonest prescribed drugs in stabilising the moods. There are various different degrees of severity, episodes and symptoms, which can range between fairly mild (allowing the patient to continue normal life with minimum disruption,) to a full blown severe "hypermanic" episode.

Bipolar, the modern more commonly used name, is classified as having a mixture of exaggerated both high and low moods. Contrasting sides of the same coin, sometimes mingling and overlapping each other in a complex cycle of mixed mood/ contradictory behaviours. Hence the name bipolar - opposites to one another.


Let me say now that Manic depression is not Schizophrenia; though in its extreme severity does mimic many of the symptoms. And can be just as alarming. I know that this unpopular stigmatised serious subject has been a long time coming, and in my opinion, well overdue. Exactly why I haven't up to now trusted myself to fully give this subject the honesty, sensitivity, time, description respect and insight so deserving of those who suffer isn't a fact I'm proud of.

Here I want to redress the balance a bit, warts and all, and speak totally openly. Hopefully stimulate discussion, offer insights, open the door of communication dispel myths and pre conceived ideas; offer hope, encouragement of our own experiences; perhaps answer questions that no one else wants to, or can.


Before I launch in I must emphasise that the following range of symptoms are not to be taken for gospel according to Chrissie! Nor is it an individual, professional diagnosis - just my own frank account from the view of the carer of what I have seen and experienced Ok?

Everyone's case is different. I am just the mediator to give a generalised view as a carer for the past 12 years. You may want to add or take away what I cover; it's entirely up to you.

Firstly I'm going to cover some of the complex symptoms and characteristics of the bipolar manic depressive (which, remember, is a baffling complex mixture of two opposite depressive behaviours).


Often slow in speech thought and movement

Inability to concentrate

Lack of appetite/over eating

Inattention to wash /dress

Feelings of despair, gloominess, helplessness

A crippling sensation of impending doom


Feelings of inadequacy/unexplainable fatigue, aches pains in the body

Withdrawal from others





Exaggerated thoughts of a no way out situation



No energy

Over sleeping/not sleeping

Psychotic (i.e. suspicious thinking that the whole world is against them)

The perceptive thoughts impressions are distorted


Lack of confidence


Feelings of low self worth


Zombie like


Mumbling, slurring of the words - or no speech at all

No emotions or/& exaggerated emotion.

Disturbed sleep

Strange dreaming

Relationship breakdown

Sporadic employment

In extreme cases:

Suicide/attempted suicide - death


A false yet very real euphoric feeling

An exaggerated sense of grandiosity (sometimes a complete exaggerated and switch of identity crisis that is convinced of ideas quite beyond reason that they are, say, a king/queen/prolific famous person yes, it sounds hilarious doesn't it?!)

Ego driven



Self absorbed

Fast speed of thoughts, racing through the brain

Disturbed sleep pattern

Spending sprees/running up debt - insolvency

Sexual Libido very very high

Extra marital affairs

Happy (Yey!)

Risk taker

Broken relationships





Fast talking

Incoherent speech

Inappropriate giggling

Laughing, shouting swearing, screaming

High energy


Pacing up and down

Not eating

Extreme Boredom

Hyper activity

Losing money

Not sleeping (this, long term, brings its own problems; hallucination, agitation extreme irritability, violence aggression headaches dizziness)



Nervous exhaustion

Hyper Mania - a serious condition of a euphoric type, and nature causing emotional and irrational behaviour characterised by high nervousness, extreme energy, extreme mood swings, thirst, hunger cravings

The inability to reason properly

The potential to cause harm to yourself &/or others.

Everything "on the run"

Starting projects and never finishing them

Chaotic mood swings and violence towards others

Short attention span.

Eccentric clothing - e.g. summer clothing in the height of winter and vice versa

Clashes with authority/law/social etiquette -another embarrassing experience!

Eventual physical as well as mental breakdown/exhaustion

An unusually high number of sufferers can also suffer with vertigo causing extreme dizziness, stumbling, giddy, fainting

Panic attacks

Inability to control emotion

Loss of inhibitions,including multiple affairs / an addiction to sex


Reduction in the work front with the inability to live in the real world



Depending on your severity if you are having what's called a high mood disorder interspersed with anxiety you will probably be given a therapeutic dose of "Hyperperidol" - a common anti psychotic drug to combat psychosis, bring down any irrational fears and to tranquilize (with varying degrees of success) the effects of mania, bringing the heightened mania side of things to a safer more manageable level.

This is the thing - trial and error.

Lithium Carbonate one of the commonest prescribed drugs to even out mood disorder has had much success in stabilising conditions. Some people are resistant to treatment, where higher doses need to be maintained to have any benefit. Also it can take up to a year or so before any benefits are noticeable. And Lithium can be toxic

Lithium is found naturally in healthy brain chemical balances, and doctors are keen to mimic this so what they discovered was that the Manic depressive has very low levels of this compound in the brain. By raising Lithium levels this can often stabilise the condition. However not without a cautionary price.
Over time it can have a toxic effect on the kidneys and strict monitoring by way of bi-annual blood tests are carried out to safe guard against kidneys failure.

Trial and error is the name of the game which can be frustrating difficult and occasionally cause more harm than good.

Today, 11 years on. the person to whom I care for is considered a moderately stabilised fortunate man.
His psychiatrist whom he is currently consulting once every 2 months at the moment has classified his patient as a low risk, to himself and others and wants to start him on the drug Valproate - apparently a relatively new mood stabilising drug.

There are so many different drugs to try and they are changing all the time. But no one has come up with a cure/treatment that doesn't bring with both initial and long term use; its own batch of side effects.
Please rest assured that the majority of suffers will NOT necessarily experience all of the above alarming list of symptoms at once, and I have painted the very worse scenario so that you can know what you're dealing with here and what you're up against. The ability to empower yourself with some indication of success - in what to do should you need help, or know someone close who would benefit from a mood stabilising prescription cannot be overestimated.

If this is the case, then I can only stress and repeat to you,

Please see your doctor and get a referral if you or someone you know suffers from at least 4 of the above listed symptoms. With any luck it wont be bipolar but if it is there is someone and somewhere to turn to and at least you'll know.

Stress, Adrenal Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia

Most of us can handle the ups-and-downs of our daily stress, even the occasional catastrophe. We suck it up, dig deep, and persevere. However, some individuals have an altered stress- coping system, which prevents them from managing daily stress.

Retrospective studies show that the stress of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood increases the future risk of developing certain symptoms or illnesses. These illnesses include many of the same symptoms associated with fibromyalgia , including fatigue, poor sleep, chronic pain, chronic viral infections, anxiety, and depression.

Apparently, for some children and adolescents, too many traumatic or stressful events de-condition their normal homeostatic stress coping abilities. Thus, stress and particularly traumatic stress, early in life, may alter the set point of the stress response system, rendering these individuals prone to stressful events later in life.

This most likely occurs from over-stimulation and depletion of certain stress coping hormones including serotonin, norepinephrine, cortisol, and DHEA.

Research shows that patients with fibromyalgia have genetic tendencies that cause them to be affected more drastically by the ups and downs of stress. Fibromyalgia patients are also more likely to report a history of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood and adulthood, compared to other patient subgroups.

Sadly, I find that many of my fibromyalgia and CFS patients have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse as a child.

Stress is the main culprit in low adrenal function as well.

The Adrenal Glands

The adrenals are a pair of pea-sized glands located atop each kidney. The adrenal gland consists of two sections: the medulla (inner portion) and the cortex (outer portion). The adrenal glands release certain hormones that allow us to be able to deal with immediate and long-term stress. These glands and the hormones they release allow us to be resilient to day-to-day stress.

Second only to restoring consistent deep restorative sleep, optimal adrenal function is crucial for over coming low thyroid and or fibromyalgia.

Adrenal fatigue is known to cause:

o hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

o hypotension (low blood pressure)

o neural mediated hypotension (become dizzy when stand up)

o fatigue

o decreased mental acuity

o low body temperature (also a sign of low thyroid function)

o decreased metabolism

o a compromised immune system

o decreased sense of well-being (depression)

o hyperpigmentation (excess skin color changes)

o loss of scalp hair

o excess facial or body hair

o vitiligo (changes in skin color)

o auricular calcification (little calcium deposits in the ear lobe)

o GI disturbances

o nausea

o vomiting

o constipation

o abdominal pain

o diarrhea

o muscle or joint pains

The Cortex

The adrenal cortex is primarily associated with response to chronic stress (infections, prolonged exertion, prolonged mental, emotional, chemical, or physical stress). The hormones of the cortex are steroids. The main steroid is cortisol.

Chronic over secretion of cortisol leads to adrenal exhaustion, which accelerates the downward spiral towards chronic poor health. Once in adrenal exhaustion your body can't release enough cortisol to keep up with the daily demands.

Eventually you become deficient in cortisol and then DHEA.

Chronic headaches, nausea, allergies, nagging injuries, fatigue, dizziness, hypotension, low body temperature (low thyroid), depression, low sex drive, chronic infections, and cold hands and feet are just some of the symptoms that occur with adrenal cortex exhaustion.

Abnormal Circadian Rhythm

Cortisol levels are affected by stress and the body's circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). Cortisol secretions rise sharply in the morning, peaking at approximately 8 a.m. After its peak, cortisol production starts to taper off until it reaches a low point at 1 a.m.

Fluctuations in cortisol levels can occur whenever normal circadian rhythm is altered (a change in sleep-wake times). Traveling through different time zones (jet lag) changes in work shifts, or a change bedtime can cause drastically alter normal cortisol patterns.

Therefore maintaining or reestablishing normal sleep/wake cycles is crucial for optimal adrenal health.

Not Enough DHEA

The adrenal cortex, when healthy, produces adequate levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

DHEA boosts:

o energy

o sex drive

o resistance to stress

o self-defense mechanisms (immune system)

o general well-being

and helps to raise:

o cortisol levels

o overall adrenal function

o mood

o cellular energy

o mental acuity

o muscle strength

o stamina

Chronic stress initially causes the adrenals to release extra cortisol. Continuous stress raises cortisol to abnormally high levels. Then the adrenal glands get to where they can't keep up with the demand for more cortisol. As the cortisol levels continue to become depleted from on going stress the body attempts to counter this by releasing more DHEA. Eventually they can't produce enough cortisol or DHEA. Aging makes holding on to DHEA even tougher. Even in healthy individuals, DHEA levels begin to drop after the age of 30. By age 70, they are at about 20% of their peak levels.

Stress and DHEA

DHEA helps prevent the destruction of tryptophan (5HTP), which increases the production of serotonin. This helps provide added protection from chronic stress. Studies continue to show low DHEA to be a biological indicator of stress, aging, and age-related diseases including neurosis, depression, peptic ulcer, IBS, and others.

Testing for Adrenal Fatigue

Self-Test Methods

Ragland's sign is an abnormal drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) when a person arises from a lying to a standing position. There should be a rise of 8-10 mm. in the systolic (top) number. A drop or failure to rise indicates adrenal fatigue. Example: Someone takes your blood pressure while you're lying on your back. The systolic number is 120 and the diastolic number is 60 (120 over 60). Then take your blood pressure again after immediately standing up. The systolic number (120) should go up 10 points (from 120 to 130). If it doesn't increase 10 points, this indicates adrenal fatigue.

Reducing stress, boosting adrenal function with a good multivitamin and DHEA will help you build-up your stress coping abilities. There are several good adrenal supplements on the market, just visit your local health food store.

Friday, April 5, 2013

As the Old Year Fades, So Does My Memory

Memory is a very tricky thing, at least for me it is. Looking back, over a year's span of activity my memory seems to pick and choose what it remembers. It amazes me not so much what a person remembers but what a person forgets.

Often some old-timer will moan about how much he misses the good old days. I'm not sure if he is thinking of World War II or the great Depression. I'm positive that during the great Depression some wonderful memories were created, but I'm not sure anyone wants to return to those thrilling days of yesterday.

The bad was not as bad as we remember and the good was not as good as we boast.

Some things are best forgotten and some things should never be forgotten; my trouble has always been remembering which is which. (Personally, I don't know the difference between "which" and "that.")

Several things about the old year bear serious consideration. The past year, in my opinion, was not just one year but several years flowing together. Sometimes I'm not sure which year I lived.

The year 2004, like all its brothers before it, actually consisted of three years.

First, there is the year that really was. "Just the facts, ma'am."

I'm a little fuzzy about this one. For one thing, looking at my checkbook entries (at least the ones I remembered to enter) the past year was a completely different one than I recall.

I really do not recollect having all the fun indicated by my bank statement. Why is it that no matter how much money I put into my bank account, more money comes out.

Evidently, some phantom creature has access to my checkbook.

President Ronald Reagan was accused of voodoo economics. Reviewing my bank statements, I could be accused of "Who-do" economics.

My income tax statement is another perplexity. I can never figure it out. If the government said I made that much money, I must have made that much money and owe that much in taxes.

Speaking of the government, what I don't understand is how they know how much I owe, to the penny, along with millions of other Americans and cannot find Osama bin Laden. I know exactly how to solve this conundrum.

One surefire way of finding him is leaking to the government that Osama bin Laden owes taxes and he will be caught before April 15, guaranteed.

Second, there is the year I re-member.

This year is much shorter than the previous one, for some odd reason. The year I remember had only two months; this month and last month. And believe me, "last month" is a stretch for me.

Honestly, I remember paying the electric bill, contrary to what the electric company says. My problem with the electric company is that during the space of a year they send me 12 bills and I can only remember two.

They penalize me for screwing up but they do not credit my account when they screw up -- like being without electricity for four days -- twice this past year. Oh, that I remember and remember it well. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly it was more like 90 days.

I remember deducting the monthly service charges from my bank each and every month. Well, maybe not "each and every" month. Why those three checks bounced is beyond my comprehension.

Should the bank charge a larger fee for a bounced check than the face value of the check? I don't think so. Isn't it the bank's business to keep their records straight? Why do I have to spend so much time each month on my checkbook account?

Last, but certainly not least, is the year the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage remembers.

At times, I am tempted to think (at least it's what I call thinking) my wife lives one life and I live something altogether different from hers. The things she remembers that took place during the year are beyond my remembering.

I am beginning to believe she remembers things that never took place. Of course, and I say this with all sincerity, I would never contradict her memory.

For the life of me I don't know where I was when all these things happened that she says happened. Nor do I know where I was when I promised to do all those things she said I promised.

Even in my right mind, (of which I don't have much left) I would never concede to help remodel the family room. I would never accuse her, heaven forbid, of taking advantage of me in this area. The thought is not a stranger inside my head, although rational thoughts are.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, framed his thoughts this way, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;" (Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV.)

Solomon's idea was, "now" is more important than "then."

The Apostle Paul had the right idea with this matter of remembering. "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV.)

It is not important how much I can remember about the past, as long as I don't forget to set Christ before me in all I do in 2005.

Always Feel Sad? This Could Be Why!

Always feel sad but don't know why? This article will cover three reasons that are common in many depressed people, and this could be why you always feel sad. If you always feel down, unmotivated or uninterested, or sad and alone, then the following three reasons need to be considered for why.

Depression affects many people without them understanding why they feel the way that they do, and it gets quite aggravating when these depressed people wish to talk about what they are feeling to someone who has never been there before. Depression is a serious disorder that should be monitored closely and never ignored, as it can only go from bad to worse until it consumes the person, possibly ending in death, mostly suicide.

While depression is a chemical imbalance, a lot of professionals will tell you that you are okay and that these feelings will go away with time, or they will prescribe medicines which usually have an adverse affect on the sufferer. That is because the three reasons below are nothing that modern medicine recognizes or treats, which leaves alternative health options and medicines to help relieve, even eliminate, depression from the body.

One factor in depression could be caused by a fungal overgrowth of candida yeast in the body; while candida yeast in small doses is healthy and good for digestion, having too much can harm the body. When there is an abundance of candida, usually caused from long term usage of prescription medicines and antibiotics, the body is unable to properly absorb the nutrients from the foods that we eat, causing a lack of energy.

When the body is unable to absorb the nutrients in the body, this causes another factor in depression in people, a deficiency of the proper good nutrients in the body. This means that the body is not extracting enough of the vital minerals and vitamins from the foods we eat to help keep our immune system up and running, and it causes our system to slowly start to shut down from overexertion.

This overexertion of the body usually happens in the adrenal glands and the thyroid, which brings us to the third factor in depression. These glands main function is to produce important hormones within the body to keep it working on an even keel, but when they get overworked due to deficiencies, then they slowly begin to shut down or at least severely limit the production that they normally would have when healthy. When this happens the body becomes drained of energy and the desire to face each new day.

So if you find yourself sad all the time without any real rhyme or reason behind the emotions, it is always best to seek out the council of a medical, modern or alternative, professional. They will be able to run some tests to rule out what isn't going on in the body; but if they start treatments that don't work, then one of these three factors above could be the culprit.

Why You Get Fat and Depressed - And What to Do About It

Over the years many clinical studies have shown that obesity and depression tend to be co-morbid. That means that they tend to occur together without necessarily having a cause and effect relationship. When conditions tend to occur together, scientists naturally want to explore exactly how they are connected. Does obesity cause depression? Does depression cause obesity? Could there be a third factor that is driving both conditions? These are important questions, because once we know the answers, we can better direct our research and treatment efforts.

I happen to believe that both obesity and depression are often driven by a third factor-our modern Western diet. It is now clear that excessive fructose mainly from sugar and high fructose corn syrup is the driving force behind insulin resistance and central obesity. When you have insulin resistance it takes more insulin to drive glucose into your cells and high insulin levels tend to trap fat inside of cells where it can't be used for energy. Recent evidence suggests that excessive fructose can alter your gut bacteria flora, further contributing to metabolic syndrome and obesity.

When you have insulin resistance and consume rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, especially from grains, you end up with magnified glucose spikes. Over time these glucose spikes can cause damage to your nerve cells, because unlike most of the cells in your body, neurons don't have an insulin gate. That's why diabetics tend to lose their nerve function and develop neuropathy long before other organs in their body are damaged.

Over time these toxic glucose spikes can trigger a form of diffuse brain dysfunction where your brain no longer functions as intended. The first symptom you experience when this happens is craving for sweet and starchy food, pushing you to consume more of the very food that is frying your brain. You also can develop mild brain dysfunction symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, mood swings and poor sleep. At this stage of brain dysfunction you don't yet have a disease because the symptoms are mild and variable. I refer to this pre-disease condition as "sugar-brain".

As time goes by, sugar-brain can transition to a true disease characterized by up to 22 distinct brain dysfunction symptoms that interfere with your ability to function in multiple settings. I now call this disease Carbohydrate Associated Reversible Brain syndrome or CARB syndrome. Because the brain plays a key role in auto-regulating fat stores, people with sugar-brain and CARB syndrome will start to store extra fat even as they diet and lose weight and lean body mass.

The symptoms of sugar-brain and CARB syndrome develop because people with these conditions have low levels of monoamine neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinphrine and serotonin in their brain. When these neurotransmitters are low, regardless of the reason why they are low, you end up with predictable symptoms. Some of these symptoms would easily qualify you for a diagnosis of depression.

It's important to remember what true hereditary depression looked like 100 years ago. At that time all patients with major depression felt depressed, lost their appetite and lost weight. There was no such thing as a "weight gain" type of depression. This situation has radically changed over the past 30-40 years. Today most patients diagnosed with depression feel depressed, have an increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings and weight gain. In my opinion this form of depression is CARB syndrome, not true major depression. Unfortunately the medical and scientific communities lump both types of depression into one category, when in fact they are dealing with two distinct diseases. Suffice it to say that the great majority of people diagnosed with depression today, in reality have a form of food-induced brain dysfunction called CARB syndrome.

A recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry by Dr. Mark Hamer titled

"Risk of future depression in people who are obese but metabolically healthy: the English longitudinal study of ageing" supports the view that obesity and depression are connect through metabolic parameters, not obesity per se.

Remember that there are really two types of obesity. The most common type is associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. This is the form of obesity that we tend to see with CARB syndrome. The second type of obesity is where a person has excessive body fat without any of these adverse metabolic markers. This type of obesity is seen when a person or lab animal is over-fed healthy food. If you give enough healthy food to any animal, they will eventually develop this type of obesity.

The type of obesity associated with sugar, HFCS and grain-based carbohydrates is not dependent on calories or over-feeding. Although people with this form of obesity always have excessive body fat, especially in the abdominal region, they may not be over-weight and they can sometimes even be thin. It's important to remember that obesity is defined as excessive body fat, so don't be fooled by someone's size or weight.

In this particular study they looked at the correlation between both types of obesity and depression. They wanted to know about the connection between depression and people with "metabolic obesity" and those who were obese but metabolically healthy. As it turns out people with metabolic issues were at an increased risk of later developing depression, whereas those who were obese without metabolic issues were not at an increased risk of developing depression. This is exactly what we would predict from the CARB syndrome disease model.

How does this information apply to you? I assume that most of you would rather not be obese or depressed. If insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are the gateway to most cases of obesity and many cases of depression, the best strategy would be to prevent metabolic problems or to treat them aggressively if you already have them. The best way to do so is to limit your intake of the dietary triggers of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome-sugar, HFCS and high glycemic carbohydrates, especially from grains.

Of course this describes most processed foods that form the core of the modern American diet. Learn to eat real food including meat, fowl, fish, seafood, vegetables and fruit. I'm not a big fan of milk because of its sugar content but a reasonable amount of cheese is acceptable. I would also limit your intake of legumes because of their anti-nutrient content. Some would recognize this as a Paleo-style diet. I simply call it a healthy diet.

If you learn to eat this way you will go a long way towards preventing the metabolic problems that seem to lead to many cases of obesity and depression. There are also many other common conditions that fall under the CARB syndrome umbrella. As with depression, we now believe that the diseases listed below can be triggered by eating these toxic dietary elements.

繚 Anxiety disorders
繚 Autism
繚 Eating disorders
繚 Fibromyalgia
繚 Irritable bowel syndrome
繚 Restless leg syndrome
繚 Bipolar II

I think that it's really exciting that we have now made a connection between food and these common disorders. Think about it. What would you rather do-take handfuls of pills for the rest of your life living in a daze, or simply change your diet? This important study clearly shows the relationship between consuming certain foods and depression. In the years ahead I hope that we will see more studies looking at the impact of diet on common chronic diseases. Gary Taubes, author of the excellent books "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and "Why We Get Fat" has started a non-profit organization called NuSi that is dedicated to funding such research. I plan on supporting Gary in his efforts and I encourage you to do so as well. I don't think that we can count on the agricultural or food industries to fund this type of research so we're on our own. If we are going to stay healthy, we need to stick together.

If you want to learn more about the role that excessive fructose plays in driving metabolic problems, I recommend that you read Richard Johnson's book "The Sugar Fix" or his excellent new book "The Fat Switch". It's never too late to learn and it's never too late to change. For the sake of your health and mental wellbeing, I suggest that you start today.

Quantum Brain Healing Uses - Care With Stimulant Type Herbs

Mania can be associated with manic depression or bipolar, but it can also be caused by drugs such as stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines. Substance abuse issues must be diagnosed and treated to heal mania. Quantum Brain Healing uses many herbs and several of these herbs have stimulative type effects for some people. These include green tea, St. John's Wort, Rhodiola rosea, horny goat weed, ginseng, Carnitine, 5-HTP, and SAME supplementation need to be closely monitored to avoid increasing the magnitude of the mania.

All stimulating supplements and food substances should be avoided including coffee, chocolate, sugar, corn syrup, and tea. These supplements can also be triggers for bipolar patients turning depression into mania.

Electroconvulsive Therapy can trigger suicide in patients with mania. Electro-cranial Stimulation could also result in overstimulation and result in mania for a person having the disease. This patient should not use electric blankets and should sleep with few electrical appliances close to their bed.

Excess thyroid levels may create some symptoms which resemble mania or hypomania like insomnia, hyperactivity, or increased energy. It is important for mood disorder patients to have their vitamin, mineral and hormone levels tested. Many mood disorders are vitamin, mineral or hormone imbalances which are undiagnosed. High thyroid or testosterone levels can produce symptoms of extreme energy or hyperactivity that are also found in mania. Hormone imbalances should have diagnostic blood work and be treated. Many mood disorders may produce elevated daily requirements of certain vitamins or minerals. Nutritional supplementation can resolve mood disorders or calm mania. ADHD can also have symptoms that are similar to mania.

穢Dr R Stone MD Alternative Medicine-India

Four Things You Must Understand To Get SSI For Depression

Nearly three million Americans filed application for SSI benefits in 2009 and many of them will receive their SSI for depression. Depression falls under the category of a mental illness and mental illnesses, if properly diagnosed and documented, do qualify for benefits. But there are four qualifications that you must meet.

In order to receive SSI you must have depression that is "medically determinable".

This simply means that you have been medically evaluated by competent doctors who use acceptable testing to determine the true nature of your illness. This means that there is a diagnosis and a prognosis concerning your future ability to function in daily life and most importantly, your ability to function at work. A doctor has performed tests, prescribed medicines, referred you to specialists and made a real and protracted attempt to remedy your situation.

Your depression must meet a durational test.

Duration means that this particular mental illness must meet the same standard as a physical illness or accident which means that you must have experienced debilitating depression for at least a year. This requirement alone makes it a very wise decision to seek medical treatment for your depression. Far too many Americans do not recognize depression as being a legitimate disability worthy disease and neglect taking care of their situation. Are you depressed? Get to the doctor and start an electronic record of your condition.

There must be documentation of the severity of your depression

There are millions of Americans who do not treat their depression and they are totally functional. The same is true of many folks who do treat their depression and are not effected negatively by their condition. They are regular in their work attendance and performance and they suffer no strains in their relationships because of their condition. But there are multitudes of unfortunate souls who despite every effort to treat their condition they are just not functional in the areas mentioned. These inabilities should be documented thoroughly. By now you should understand that "documentation" is one of the most important concepts when trying to get SSI for depression.

Finally, you must have a diagnosis from a licensed psychiatrist.

Most sufferers will initially seek the help of their family doctor or internal medicine practitioner. However, if you feel like your condition may force you to apply for SSI or SSDI then you should seek the treatment and advice of a psychiatrist. These gifted physicians can give you specialized treatment and they are the only ones that the SSA will accept an official diagnosis from.

Tinnitus And Common Ringing In Ears Symptoms

Tinnitus is a disorder that can have a direct bearing on an individual's personal and professional life. Also known as the "ringing ear condition," this ailment afflicts an astounding 36 million Americans, with almost half the population suffering from ringing in the ears symptoms at some point in their life. While the condition is often considered to be vexing and distracting, it can also be a signal that points to other underlying health concerns. So, if you suffer from ringing in ears symptoms or are not sure if the strange and annoying noises that you hear are a result of tinnitus, here is a look at what the ailments is all about, the different types of tinnitus and common ringing in ears symptoms. It is imperative for people who suffer from the condition to seek medical attention.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is marked by a distinctive ringing sound heard by patients who suffer from the condition. A potentially debilitating disorder if not treated in time, ringing in ears symptoms can get progressively worse leading to depression and other psychological issues. People who experience ringing in ears symptoms often spend nights tossing and turning, which results in chronic sleep deprivation. The condition can ruin a person's ability to have a conversation or even concentrate on a task. There are two identifiable forms of tinnitus and learning about them can help a patient to understand the nature and extent of his condition.

Different types of Tinnitus

Subjective Tinnitus: With this form of tinnitus, patients experience ringing in ears symptoms such as a consistent drumming, ringing or humming sound in the ears; however, this noise can only be heard by the patient. The type of sound heard can vary from one person to another and may include a buzzing, wheezing or even a loud bell ringing sound. While subjective tinnitus is not detrimental to the patient's physical well-being it is generally considered to be more offensive and aggravating than objective tinnitus because the sound heard is loud enough to drown other external noises.

Because the ringing in ears symptoms are persistent with Subjective tinnitus, it is normal for patients to suffer from insomnia, depression and mood swings along with acute sleep deprivation. Also, this condition may be brought on by a loss of hearing due to old age or constant exposure to loud sounds, so it is imperative to consult a physician once symptoms are experienced.

Objective tinnitus: The difference between objective and subjective tinnitus is that in case of objective tinnitus the sound can be heard by a physician by placing a stethoscope or other listening instruments near the ear. The ringing in ears symptoms experienced by patients who suffer from objective tinnitus are similar to those felt by subjective tinnitus sufferers and include loud ringing, buzzing or wheezing sounds. Also known as Pulsatile tinnitus, the sound is often heard in synchronization with the patient's heartbeat; the condition is frequently a symptom of other chronic or acute ailments including high blood pressure and cardiac concerns such as blocked arteries or tumor in the neck or head.

What causes ringing in ears symptoms?

Experts are of the opinion that tinnitus is not an ailment in itself; rather it is a reflection of an underlying condition. So, the common disorders that lead to tinnitus include:

> Hearing loss due to old age
> Cochlear canal damage
> Hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds
> Excess ear wax build up
> Ear infection
> Drug intake including preparations such as aspirin, quinine and aminoglycoside antibiotics
> Meniere's disease
> A brain tumor known as acoustic neuroma that grows on the nerve which supplies hearing
> Pregnancy
> Overactive thyroid
> Anemia
> Vascular tumors
> Intracranial hypertension
> Jaw joint misalignment

Ringing in ears symptoms

The typical symptoms of tinnitus include:

A consistent buzzing or ringing sound is heard by patients who suffer from the condition. While some people may hear the noise continuously and it may be loud enough to block out other external auditory stimuli, in other cases, the symptoms may only be experienced intermittently. Regardless of the intensity of ringing in ears symptoms and their frequency, this condition is cause for concern and patients should consult their physician immediately.

Apart from the loud ringing sounds, other symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, lack of concentration, depression, sleep deprivation, etc. may also be experienced.

If ringing in ears symptoms are experienced suddenly or after a neck or head injury, it is imperative to consult with your physician at the earliest.

In cases where the hearing loss is associated with tinnitus, there are very good chances of reversing the damage to the cochlear canal through medical intervention. Patients should be particularly wary of tinnitus that is only experienced in one ear; this warrants immediate evaluation as it may be a caused due to a tumor. Whether you suffer from objective or subjective tinnitus and even if the symptoms are only experienced intermittently, it is vital to get a diagnosis done.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

7 Benefits to Walking Your Way Away From Clinical Depression

If you have clinical depression and you've gone through some pretty intense and debilitating depressive episodes the last thing you feel like doing is getting up and moving around. In fact, you may be at a point in your life where you sleep a good part of the day and struggle just to get up out of bed to go to the bathroom. If you're lucky you're at least able to do what I did for quite a while, namely, watch television, make something to eat when absolutely necessary, use the bathroom, and sleep. Does that sound like you?

Now I need to ask you, if you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, how is that working for you? Not well at all, I'm sure. Clinical depression puts you into a "psychological catch 22". In order to beat depression or at least the symptoms of depression, you need to battle it head on. But that takes emotional and physical strength which is in rather short supply because of the depression. Ultimately however, you need to be proactive in order to fight your depression. Psychotherapy, medications, different coping skills, and support are all available to you. But you are the one that must take an active role in helping yourself by using what is available.

One of the quickest, easiest fastest, and cheapest coping skills you can use to fight your depression is walking. All you need is a decent pair of walking shoes and you're good to go. To start, a 10 minute brisk walk is all you need. Ideally, you should work your way up to 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. There are numerous physical benefits to a good brisk walk such as weight loss, lower blood pressure levels, improved muscle mass and tone, etc. But as someone who has depression, you should also be familiar with the following 7 psychological benefits of walking:

1. Increases serotonin levels - People with clinical depression have lower levels of serotonin ( a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well being ) in their brain. Brisk walking will naturally cause those serotonin levels to rise and you'll begin to feel better within a short period of time.

2. Improves self confidence and self esteem - Set some goals for walking. They should be small attainable goals at first. Then increase your distance over time. Start a walking journal and record the results. You can always change your goals if necessary You will be surprised at how much your self confidence and esteem will improve by being proactive and attaining your goals. I know I was.

3. Positive coping skill - Unfortunately some people will resort to negative behaviors such as, drinking, drugs, or cutting, when they are depressed. Even ignoring your depressive episode by doing nothing is not a good idea. Walking is an excellent example of a positive coping skill that you'll need to empower yourself to work through future depressive episodes.

4. Walking feels good - Walking simply feels good, unlike other strenuous activity that usually only feels good once you stop. The body and mind have a very powerful connection. When your body feels good, so does your mind.

5. Promotes positive cognition - As you walk and you are in the moment, it will be easier for you to take your mind off depressive thoughts and focus on your walking and interactions with the environment.

6. Provides a social support system - Initially, you might not be ready to walk with anyone else. But over the long run a walking buddy can provide the social support you need to help you with your depression,. especially on those days when your down and feel like doing absolutely nothing.

7. Effectiveness is backed by positive scientific evidence - Scientific research has proven that walking improves an individual's mood and self worth and reduces the symptoms of depression.

Make sure you talk with your family doctor before you start any walking program. If you've been on medication or have been going through psychotherapy, don't stop. Walking is an outstanding compliment, not substitute for standard treatment. Finally, you might want to make a copy of this article and reread it as an incentive any time you feel so down that you don't want to walk. It might be hard at first, but I know you can do it. Now get out there and start feeling better. Happy walking.

ADHD Symptoms Revisited

In an earlier article here on the EzineArticles website, I discussed a piece by L. Alan Sroufe that had appeared in the New York Times, seriously questioning the effectiveness of Ritalin, Adderall and other stimulants used to treat children with ADHD symptoms. My article largely supported Sroufe's view, but I've since come to believe that the issue deserves another look.

Shortly after Sroufe's article appeared, Harold S. Koplewicz MD, President of the Child Mind Institute, wrote a point-by-point rebuttal of it; if you're interested in this issue, the article by Koplewicz bears reading and can be found online. I won't bother to summarize the whole piece, but suffice it to say that he brings some fairly persuasive evidence in support of the effectiveness of stimulants to treat ADHD symptoms in children and raises important questions about the validity of the studies cited by Dr. Sroufe and the conclusions drawn from them.

I still have major objections to the current ways we think about and treat ADHD symptoms, however, and I'm not ready to write off Dr. Sroufe, as Koplewicz does. First of all, any discussion that asks the question 'What is ADHD?' misses the point; ADHD is not a disease condition, as the label would have us believe. Instead, as defined by the APA in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, it's a set of behavioral markers that many people believe indicate a disease state, but can actually be produced by any number of different conditions, including brain abnormalities, early physical insults, emotional trauma, etc.

The disease model of the current DSM, along with marketing strategies employed by the pharmaceutical industry, contribute to the common misconception that an actual "disease state" has been identified not only for ADHD, but also for depression and other psychological conditions. By and large, the effects of the most common psychiatric medications in use today were actually discovered by accident; once their neuro-chemical effects were better (though not entirely) understood, an underlying disease state was then hypothesized but never proven. As I continually state on in my articles here on eZine, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the theory that depression symptoms are caused by insufficient serotonin in the neural synapses.

Even if we accept that ADHD symptoms result from different conditions, isn't it possible that the stimulants currently prescribed remedy these symptoms, whatever their origin? Evidence from a great many scientific studies suggests that indeed they do. But I'm more skeptical about this kind of evidence than most people; whenever someone insists that a drug's effectiveness has been "proven", I want to ask exactly what that means. For the purposes of FDA approval, a drug's effectiveness must be demonstrated via clinical trials designed in scientifically acceptable ways and there must be a statistically significant difference between results for groups receiving placebo vs. the actual drug; that doesn't necessarily say a lot about the degree of the drug's effectiveness, however.

For instance, new cancer drugs that extend the life of a terminal patient by only three months often receive FDA approval because that's a statistically significant difference in outcomes, but such drugs certainly don't cure or eliminate the illness. Koplewicz does make it clear that there is no cure for ADHD, but in my view, he doesn't look hard enough at what these stimulants actually do and do not do for ADHD symptoms. How much do they help? Which symptoms do they remedy and which are unaffected? What are the side effects and do they outweigh the benefits?

Yes, these stimulants help you focus attention and perform repetitive mental work more easily -- and for many, that alone is almost miraculous. They can also help enormously with problem behavior in the classroom. Over the past week, I've spent quite a bit of time visiting online forums where people discuss their reactions to Adderall, Ritalin and other stimulants. This may be anecdotal, unscientific evidence but there's no question in my mind that these drugs have dramatically changed the lives of many, many people. I've also read a large number of accounts from people who felt dull, apathetic or zombie-like while taking these medications; many of them underwent disturbing personality changes and some had psychotic episodes.

In The Gift of ADHD, Dr. Lara Honos Webb describes a person on Ritalin as "like a horse with blinders, plodding along. He's moving forward, getting things done, but he's less open to inspiration." While Adderall and Ritalin are undoubtedly helpful for a great many people, like all psychiatric medications they are a blunt instrument, inflicting all sorts of collateral damage. Koplewicz makes light of the side effects and insists there are no long term consequences of taking them; but if you want a scary read, take a look at the chapters on ADHD medications and the rise of childhood bipolar disorder in Robert Whitaker's The Anatomy of an Epidemic.

What I found most troubling about Koplewicz's rebuttal, however, was the contemptuous, short-shrift he gives to Dr. Sroufe's thoughts about the role of environment in the development of ADHD symptoms. He finds it "distressing" that Sroufe believes "ordinary parents who make ordinary mistakes during a child's early development could produce the kind of brain changes we see in children with ADHD." Koplewicz also finds it "bizarre" that Sroufe believes family stresses like domestic violence, lack of social support from friends or relatives and chaotic living situations might contribute to the development of ADHD symptoms; he's particularly perturbed by Sroufe's statement that "patterns of parental intrusiveness that involve stimulation for which the baby is not prepared" also play a role."

Why is it "bizarre" to wonder if intrusive parents who model or demonstrate distracting behavior can influence their child's capacity to pay attention? Not to mention that this isn't a case of "ordinary parents" making "ordinary mistakes" -- or any kind of mistake, for that matter; these are influential patterns of behavior, likely based on the parent's own psychological difficulties. In his work on attachment theory, Allan Schore has shown how failures of attachment cause the brain of an infant to develop abnormally. Is it such a leap to consider whether repetitive types of intrusiveness and distraction by parents might also affect the development of their child's brain?

From a psychodynamic perspective, that not only seems plausible but I've worked with clients who have discussed such behavior by their parents and how it affected them. We believe that other types of parental behavior and parent-child interactions influence development; why is it so outlandish to believe that distractibility might be modeled? I think the larger issue here is one of guilt, and rescuing parents from the idea that they may have a role to play in their child's condition.

In a piece for the online version of Time, Judith Warner argues that Sroufe's ideas about the role of the environment are a giant step backwards, a return to blaming parents for their child's condition in the way that responsibility for childhood autism was once laid at the feet of "refrigerator mothers." This line of attack seems a little over-the-top to me; I think that Ms. Warner, like many people, can't distinguish between blaming and attributing influence. Her article is full of words like "stigma", "blame" and "victims"; surely there's a middle ground between pointing accusatory fingers, on the one hand, and exploring how parent-child interactions might influence the development of ADHD symptoms. In the end, Ms. Warner's critique devolves into ad hominem assaults on Sroufe's character and motivation, not a terribly persuasive mode of argument to my mind.

In revisiting the question of ADHD symptoms and their origins, I came away feeling that the issue has not been settled. As always, I continue to believe that psychiatric medications have their uses, especially in the short-term, and I'll try to keep an open mind about their usage in treating deficits in attention. But I'll also continue to wonder about the psychological dimension, and whether explanations and eventual help may be found from a psychodynamic exploration of these issues.

How to Cure Depression Naturally

Many people suffering from depression often wonder how to cure it, while medications might not be effective. Depression is not like any other illness and it really depends on you and how you deal with it. As most mental disorders are, depression is a very real yet treatable disorder.

It is not a secret that people suffering from depression are poor communicators and they tend to isolate themselves. Depression affects people of any age, pensioners, teenagers, usually single people, rich and poor, anyone can be affected.

There are different types of depression, and this article has the purpose to inform anyone that is currently in this condition to get over it easily by taking small baby steps. Depression can not be cured in one day. Clinical depression is the most common form of this illness, it affects 12% of the entire population.

Learning how to cure depression all by yourself is not easy, you might not follow the right paths and even make things worse. Depression has different forms, just like in any other disease. Severe forms are usually manifested by a range of symptoms that often interfere with the ability to manage basic daily activities such as sleeping, studying, working, and eating. It can also severely affect one's sexual life.

One less severe form of depression is dysthymia. It usually occurs in teenagers but it can affect people of any age. Dysthymia involves long-term chronic symptoms that can keep one from being happy and feeling good, no matter their activities.

While clinical depression or dysthymia have very similar symptoms in most patients, bi-polar disorder, another form of depression is a lot different. They all have to be prevented. Bipolar disorders are characterized by repetitive mood changes, mania, depression accompanied by low self-esteem. Many teens and adults that do not manage to overcome depression and get confused are prone to suicide. Recent studies have shown that the rate of suicide has increased with over 7.8% only from the past year.

Medication in most of the cases will not treat the root cause, this does not mean it never will, but it's a long ongoing process with pros and cons. The side effects of medication can affect other organs and your normal body functioning.

This is the main reason people often seek a natural cure for depression while medications prove non effective on long terms.

Chris Green a former sufferer has managed to overcome depression without medication. His best selling book 'Conquering Stress' reveals how to cure depression, anxiety and stress using a revolutionary step-by-step program that will eliminate depression and anxiety out of your life forever.

The Correlation Between Writers And Depression

Is there a correlation between writers and depression? Well it may seem so, since so many writers have admitted to having some form of depression or going through bouts of depression. What's interesting is how so many writers seem to welcome their depressive state because they believe that it causes them to write better. Why do writers feel that creativity is born solely from a cathartic event which usually entails some form of suffering either mentally or physically?

True many writers are depressed, but I feel that this is because of the conditions that writers face. Irregular hours, Isolation, a lack of exposure to sunlight, and the greatest factor, financial and professional uncertainty--all may cause a depression or worsen one.
These factors would cause anyone to become depressed; writers are just unfortunate enough to face all them.

Scientists have been debating why writers are more prone to depression, what they should be asking is why some writers enjoy their depression or feel that they create better pieces when they are depressed.

Because of the financial and professional uncertainty there is a correlation between writers and depression. Many writers feel that when there are no major assignments coming in (free lance writer) or no works being published/bought there are depressed. Well this shouldn't surprise anyone. I don't think anybody is ecstatic when they have bills to pay and no way to pay for them.

It's no secret that some writers go through bouts of depression. But what makes them so different from any other creative master? I'm sure that there are many "work at home" gurus who are depressed or painters or even designers. Anyone who has an uncertain future in their career and spends a lot of time alone is prone to depression. Yet, their depression isn't as glamorized as it is with writers.

Writers may be depressed, everyone is sometimes but to say that they are more creative when they are is myth. And I feel that writers should ease up on the affection that they have for their depression. Why would anyone want to welcome an unhealthy state? Why would you want to be depressed in order to create?

Writing is therapeutic, and can be used as an escape and a release. In many ways writing can be seen as an antidepressant. But for anyone to relish in their depression is to deny themselves the real art of creating. If you can only produce a document when you are experiencing one particular state, then you will never know what it is like to create from a different one. It makes me sad to think that any writer would use depression as a crutch for their creativity.

I want to be able to write when I'm happy or sad, when I see something that aggravates me or amuses me, when I'm at my highest point or my lowest. I want to always be able to tap into my writing skills anytime, anyplace. Are some days better than others? Of course, I'm sure that all writers will agree they feel inspired during some moments more than others. But how can anyone have a flourishing writing career when they are dependent on their depression to inspire new ideas. Clinical depression is very real and very serious yet there are writers who refuse to take their medication because they don't feel that they can write unless they are depressed.

You may be a writer, but it is no excuse to neglect your health. Get out as much as you can, eat well, sleep well and exercise. Finding company among other writers is also helpful. There may seem to be an unhealthy bond between some writers and their depression but you must try to find writing in the act itself. Creativity stems from both negative and positive experiences.