Saturday, July 13, 2013

Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by extreme swings in mood, energy level, and cognitive ability. These dramatic swings are much more serious than the usual ups and downs everyone experiences. A person who is bipolar can go from manically happy and energized to so depressed they can't even move. These swings can be quick or very long-lasting.

The Damage Done by Bipolar Disorder

During manic periods, you may have lots of ideas and energy. Some people who suffer from this don't eat or sleep during their manic episodes. They may be overly aggressive, irritable and/or impulsive. This impulsiveness can lead to risky behavior and bad decision making.

When in a depressive episode, a person with bipolar disorder feels worthless and lethargic. It's not uncommon for people to contemplate suicide. It's easier to recognize that a person has bipolar disorder by these depressive episodes, which may last for days or even weeks.

In severe cases, the swings may be so bad that the person can't function at all. They may lose their job, drop out of school, have family problems, or have trouble with social relationships. Many people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide.

These cycles can be extremely rapid or they can last as long as a couple of weeks. Some people with severe bipolar disorder are never in a state of balance between the two extremes.

What Causes This Issue?

Most people develop bipolar disorder symptoms in their teens or early adult years. More than half do so before the age of 25. There are a number of risk factors that make developing the disorder more likely. It contains a genetic component. If you have a close relative who suffers from the condition, it's more likely that you will too.

This is caused by changes in brain chemistry. Certain physical problems that affect regular functioning of the brain can cause it. Trauma or damage to the brain can as well. Sometimes, it's triggered by extreme stress, traumatic life events, or major life changes.

Is Bipolar Disorder Treatable?

Yes, it is completely treatable. Many people who suffer from it seek treatment and are able to live happy, productive lives. There is no cure but like any other mental illness, it can be successfully managed through the many treatment options available.

Treatments include:

  • Medications to treat symptoms and keep an emotional balance

  • Techniques for recognizing triggers that cause manic and depressive episodes

  • Individual and group therapy

  • Lifestyle changes that can help such as dietary changes, exercising and learning to cope more effectively with stress.

Treatment is overwhelmingly effective but there's one barrier that keeps people from getting the help they need. This barrier is their failure to recognize the warning signs. When bipolar episodes goes undiagnosed, this is when the real damage occurs. If you think you may suffer from bipolar disorder, talk to a doctor immediately.

Debt Stress Test - 12.5 Warning Signs That Debt is Ruining Your Life!

Getting help with your debt is a big step. It's a scary situation, because there is a lot of bad information out there, and bad people that will cause you even greater financial harm. This is no excuse for you or your family to continue suffering.

If you've been battling the stress and depression caused by debt, then you know what a living hell it can be. It's time to stop letting the fear of shame hold you back from solving your debt problems.

Here are 12.5 warning signs that debt is ruining your life...

#1) If you've been yelling at or fighting with your loved ones because of money problems.

#2) If you're living paycheck to paycheck, with no emergency savings fund.

#3) If you're considering using cash advance checks ("convenience checks") or taking out a payday loan just to meet basic expenses or pay credit card bills.

#4) If you can barely afford to pay the minimum payments on your credit card bills.

#5) If you've taken cash advances on one credit card just to pay the minimum payment on another credit card.

#6) If you've lost sleep over not being able to pay your bills.

#7) If debt, credit or financial stress is affecting your health.

#8) If you haven't been able to enjoy daily activities with friends or family because your mind is worried about money, bills and your looming debt.

#9) If you find yourself hiding bills or financial secrets from your spouse.

#10) If you're looking at credit card offers in the mail, hoping or praying you'll qualify for just a small amount in order to "get by."

#11) If you have no more available credit on your credit cards.

#12) If you've been afraid to pick up the phone or check your mail for fear of debt collectors or collection letters.

#12.5) If you park your car different places each day to avoid repossession.

IF... any of these warning signs are showing up in your life, THEN...

It's time to "DO" something about it!

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. He was a pretty smart guy. He also said the most powerful force in the universe is "compound interest." This is the force that's been working against you.

It's time to do something different.

Debt relief is available for you, and you can experience it very quickly if you make getting out of debt a priority and take action.

These are the keys: decision and action.

Decide to make getting out of debt a priority, and take action to solve the problem. Repeat these two simple steps over and over until you feel real relief from your debt stress and are on track to be debt free.

Debt freedom is possible, and it can probably happen for you sooner than you think.

There is no magic bullet, and no "easy way out," but one thing is for sure: it's easier to face the music now and solve your debt problems than it will be to live with them for the rest of your life. And it won't get any easier if you wait!

So, in the spirit of St. Nike, "Just do it!"

Depression in Teens - How to Prevent Depression in Teens

Depression in teens is a very serious subject. Each year, 4% of teenagers will suffer serious depression, and need professional help.

While feeling sad is a healthy feeling, prolonged sadness without recovery leads to depression. If your teen is depressed, you will most likely find they will have problems with school work, relationships with friends and family, and engage in potentially harmful actions like drug use and unprotected sex.

The fact is that depression in teens can be treated with the proper resources. Yet, most depression cases in the United States, dealing with teens, go untreated. This is terrible, because if depression goes untreated it will get worse, last longer, and be harder to reverse if treatment does take place.

The two most common forms of depression in teens are reactive depression and manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder. Reactive depression is the most common type of depression, and deals with prolonged states of sadness and feelings of worthlessness. Bipolar disorder is characterized by a disturbing change of moods, usually from extremely manic to extremely sad, in short periods of time.

There are certain symptoms you should look for, when evaluating depression in teens. If your teen is sad a lot, and doesn't feel the usual relief after crying, this is a very critical sign.

Also, if they often express feelings of guilt, for no adequate reason, and their self-esteem is low, that is another sign. Other indicators are frequent indecision, a negative outlook on life, irregular sleep patterns, and high irritability, to name a few.

The first step a teenager needs to take if they feel depressed is to communicate with somebody they trust can help them. There are many different options for it teenager to discuss their problems with, such as their parents, their family doctor, somebody they trust in their church, and school counselor, or professional psychologists.

Depression in teens is typically treated with psychotherapy and/or medication. Typical psychotherapy sessions for depression in teens revolve around talking about how they feel with a trained psychotherapist, and trying to understand the root cause of the depression. Most often, depression is caused by a faulty understanding of reality, which can be easily corrected under the proper guidance of a professional.

In more severe cases of depression in teens, medication is also often prescribed. Depending upon the level of depression, medication might be required first before progress is made.

In conclusion, I have given you some facts to consider, relating to depression in teens. Use this information to determine the best course of action for you or your teen today, to make sure there is no unnecessary suffering being caused by depression in your life.

Postnatal Depression - Facts and Symptoms That You Never Knew!

You are probably here either because you heard about postnatal depression but is unsure what postnatal depression is about or you're probably suspecting that you have this illness. Whatever the reason, here are some facts that you should know. First of all, this illness affects one in ten women and usually begins in the first six months after childbirth. However, postnatal depression can begin in pregnancy for some women. Besides, an important thing to note is that postnatal depression can occur at any time within the first year after the birth of a baby and can last for longer than a year if no help is seek and received. Therefore, do seek help before it worsen as untreated postnatal depression can lead to the breakdown of relationships with your partners or children.

Are you being unsure whether you've contracted this illness? Fret not, here are some of the usual symptoms of postnatal depression.

You are anxious and fearful- You may feel very anxious and may even become obsessed with unjustified fears of your baby, yourself or your partner. Besides, you may feel unsafe when no one is by your side and you need someone to be with you all the time. Another postnatal depression symptom also include you having overwhelming fears for example you or your baby dying.

You worry a lot- You have unjustified worries about the things that you normally take for granted. Everyone have worries from time to time, but something is definitely wrong when worrying become more than it would be usual for you. Therefore, you may have postnatal depression. Consult your doctor before it worsens.

You have uncontrollable feelings of panic- Your heart beats faster, your palms of your hands becomes sweaty and you may feel sick, even that you are going to faint. These attacks can happen at any time but are most common in new or stressful situations.

You feel tense- You feel tightness in your neck and shoulders and may be unable to unwind and relax yourself no matter how hard you try. Instead, you feel more tense up the harder you try to relax.

You have more physical aches and pains- This is another symptom of postnatal depression that includes headaches, blurred vision and stomach pains. These are however, signs of tension and that your body is telling you that you are not feeling well.

You are easily irritated- You may find yourself shouting and snapping at your children, baby, partner or other for no good reason at all. In fact, they can't understand the reason of you shouting at them and why they deserve your anger.

You feel sad-There are a different level of sadness that vary from just feeling low, to utter despair which you feel as if your world is an empty space. Besides, you think about negative things that focus on your failures all day long. In worst case, you might even feel that your baby and partner will be living better without you.

If you have any symptoms or similar symptoms, do consult your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment of postnatal depression will result in a faster recovery. Therefore, don't lose hope too soon!

Major Depression Is Highly Treatable

What is major or clinical depression?

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a condition characterized by signs and symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Depression is common and often goes undiagnosed, because, the onset of the first episode of major depression may not be obvious if it is gradual or mild.

According to the DSM-IV -- a manual used to diagnose mental health conditions.For a major depressive episode a person must have experienced at least five of the nine symptoms below for the same two weeks or more, for most of the time almost every day, and this is a change from his/her prior level of functioning. One of the symptoms must be either (a) depressed mood, or (b) loss of interest.

a. Depressed mood. For children and adolescents, this may be irritable mood.

b. A significantly reduced level of interest or pleasure in most or all activities.

c. A considerable loss or gain of weight (e.g., 5% or more change of weight in a month when not dieting). This may also be an increase or decrease in appetite. For children, they may not gain an expected amount of weight.

d. Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia) or sleeping more than usual (hypersomnia).

e. Behavior that is agitated or slowed down. Others should be able to observe this.

f. Feeling fatigued, or diminished energy.

g. Thoughts of worthlessness or extreme guilt (not about being ill).

h. Ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions is reduced.

i. Frequent thoughts of death or suicide (with or without a specific plan), or attempt of suicide.

To be considered major depression:

Your symptoms aren't due to a mixed episode - simultaneous mania and depression that can occur in bipolar disorder

Symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others

Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as drug abuse, taking a medication or having a medical condition such as hypothyroidism

Symptoms are not caused by grieving, such as temporary sadness after the loss of a loved one


Although major depression is a serious mental disorder that profoundly affects an individual's quality of life. It is highly treatable. Many types of treatment are available. Medications and psychotherapy are very effective for most people. Some studies have shown that antidepressant drug therapy combined with psychotherapy has better results than either therapy alone.


Medications include:

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)

Atypical antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors


There are several types of psychotherapy that have been shown to be effective for depression including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps to identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) focuses on the interpersonal context and on building interpersonal skills.

Public Speaking Tips - Lessons From Former US President Ronald Reagan

If you want public speaking tips, what are the ten insights you can learn from former US President Ronald Reagan who was known as 'The Great Communicator'.

The news of the death of former US President Ronald Reagan at 93 in June 2004, has again focussed the world's attention on both his achievements and great communication skills.

So what can we learn about life, business and success from Reagan?

Well, after reading the tributes that have poured in for the man they called 'The Great Communicator', here are my 10 insights.


While most people are enjoying retirement, others are just reaching the height of their power and influence. At the age of 69, Reagan was the oldest person ever to become president of the United States.

What do you plan to do at that age?


There's a saying that behind every great man, there's an even better women. Reagan knew his strengths and importantly his weaknesses, such as a lack of attention to detail. His wife Nancy made up for this and they became an 'unshakeable and unbreakable couple'.

This highlights the power of a good relationship with a life partner.


Reagan had a rich and deep well of life experiences on which to draw from. The shoe salesman father, the economic reality of the 1930s Depression and at 25, the excitement and drama of being a slick sports broadcaster.

All these experiences helped shape his values, beliefs and ability to communicate with audiences.


Despite the early success and attraction to Hollywood as a B-grade actor, Reagan never forgot his roots.

On the assassination attempt on his life in March 1981, he turned to his wife in the emergency room afterwards and said, "Honey, I forgot to duck."


Like many people with charisma and charm, Reagan had that rare ability to build instant rapport with people he met. He connected with people on a personal level and people liked him for that.

How can you use charisma to build your personal brand?


While many have criticised his lack of detail and intellectual rigour, Reagan's great gift as a communicator was to take the complex, like a solution to the Cold War, and make it appear simple to the masses.

Like Clinton's often quoted comment, "It's the economy, stupid', Reagan was a master at delivering simple concepts that everyone could understand.


Reagan know how to dress, network with the right people and manage his image. Skills learnt early in the cut-throat world of the Hollywood movie industry.


There are reports that Reagan's reign as President was tightly managed and scripted. So what if there were chalk marks on stage outlining where to stand and his use of cue cards as memory joggers prior to important meetings. His background had taught him the importance of attention to detail. Sports broadcasters around the world are meticulous to their approach to big matches. Reagan approached presidential duties no differently.

These are the little things that can make a big difference to the impact of your message.


Out of the millions of presentations given every day, few achieve this goal. Yet, I believe it should be the outcome of every speech.

Reagan had it. An online biography from 'The New Book of Knowledge' takes a deeper look at this rare skill.

"As a freshman, Reagan took part in a student strike that resulted in the resignation of the college president, who had proposed cutting back the curriculum and the teaching staff because of a shortage of funds. Reagan made the main speech at a rally that won support for the strike from nearly all the students. He later said that he learned then what it was like to succeed with an audience. His skill with audiences was to be a major factor in his successes in later life." (Source: [] )


Research shows that optimism is a learned skill and optimistic people achieve more from life.

This is the one quality I admire most in Reagan. He had it until the very end, as this quote delivered on November 5th, 1994, announcing he had Alzheimer's disease, demonstrates.

"In closing let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Biopolar II - Techniques to Help Restore Inner Balance

Living with bipolar is a real challenge! The mood fluctuation can feel like riding a never ending roller-coaster. The extensive medical utilization of drug therapy to manage the highs and lows is not only hugely expensive but may be accompanied by a range of side effects. It is scary not knowing when the next high or low will hit and this can feel like one is out of control.

Feeling alone in your struggle is not uncommon as support is rare as often the people close to you do not know how to support you or how to react to your moods which further complicates the situation. It can be easy to feel like a victim and at the mercy of something far bigger than you. Learning techniques that will assist you in managing this serious illness can help you to support yourself and decrease the impact that bipolar has on your life.


Part of the management of bipolar is recognising the onset of a mood change. Keeping a daily journal and recording how you are feeling can help to recognise your mood fluctuations. Symptoms of mania, hyper mania and depression are experienced differently by different people. Checking in with yourself daily can facilitate you to take quicker action as you begin to see a mood fluctuation.

Behaviour changes

A change in mood is usually accompanied by a change in behaviour. Take a moment to reflect on how you behave when your mood is either up or down. Often we may feel high or low and not be aware of how this impacts on the way in which we behave. Behaviour changes associated with depression may include a change in sleeping and eating habits, a withdrawal from social activities, a lack of interest in hobbies or activities and a generally pessimistic view of life. Manic or hyper mania behavioural changes may include talking faster or more loudly than usual, less sleep, driving fast, increased social interaction, over working, increased risk taking with money or the law and generally shocking people.

These are just some examples of changes in ones behaviour that can result from a mood change. You need to evaluate how the up's and down's affect your behaviour.


If bipolar represents two opposite poles (the highs and the lows) and you being pulled from one extreme to the other than the challenge is to remain in the centre. With our mood fluctuations we lose this centre point and we act out of balance. Usually drugs are used to help to restore the lost balance. If we are low we may use medication which will improve our mood and move us closer to that middle neutral point.

Acting out of mood swings

Often when we up or down we instinctively act out of this space. In other words we act depressed when feel depressed or we act manic when we feel manic. When you are manic and sleeping less, working more, socializing endlessly, listening to load music, etc., you actually feed the mania. We may go with the mood and hand ourselves over too it. The more out of control you behave the more out of control you feel.

The same is true for depression, withdrawing from life as a result of depression seems to not only perpetuate the depression but also disrupt one's life. When we hand ourselves over to depression and can't get out of the bed or perform daily function life can get out of control very quickly.

Your strength

Have you ever felt something really intensely and made a conscious decision not act on the feeling? Maybe you felt intense anger or hurt but you knew showing or acting on it would not be in your favour so you did not. We all possess this self-control or self-discipline and can develop and build on it. Rudolf Steiner referred to this as your will. In realizing you are more than your feeling you have the capacity to feel one thing, think about the feeling and then choose your action accordingly. You may not be able to control your mood swings but being aware of the shift in yourself you can develop the capacity to consciously choose your actions. There is no denying what you really feel; in fact the power to change your behaviour lies in really acknowledging what you do feel.

Creating balance

Developing the capacity to act from the centre when feeling either very high or very low takes practise and also requires the acknowledgment and belief that there is more to you than the 'bipolar'. We all have the capacity to feel something and choice not to act out of this. In order to bring yourself down from mania you could adjust your behaviour, for example consciously walk, talk and drive slower. One could also resist going shopping or partying and instead do a yoga class or take a bath and stay away from wild entertainment. The aim is to consciously choose activities that bring your mood down and thereby bringing you closer to the centre.

The same would apply to depression. Once acknowledging you are feeling depressed you would then work against the downward pull in mood. This could be accomplished by keeping active, going to gym or engaging in exercise or activities that you enjoy, trying to keep to your schedule and focusing on thing that uplift you like movies, books, friends and company. The natural tendency to go down and feel negative about everything has to be counter acted. Taking up the daily practise of gratitude and meditation can be most helpful. Generally you will feel better when you are accomplishing something and not just lying on the bed which will make one feel worse.


Using these tools to help you to gain some awareness and control of your behaviour can affect the rest of your life positively. Friends and family can be very affected by moods swings which result in major behaviour changes. If one is able to contain these mood swings and decrease the impact they have on your life, your family, your work and on general social interaction you will feel more in control.

Bipolar is a serious illness and medication may be a life-long necessity. Using this process does not replace medication or other forms of therapy but it will help you to find ways that help you to live a balance full life. A combination of medication, therapy and life style changes may all be part of managing this illness.

Five Natural Cures For Depression

I am crying because I feel normal. I don't know how long this is going to last. I had forgotten what normal feels like. This is the real me. I can think, and laugh, and cry normally, under normal circumstances. I can feel lightly about things. I am not mulling things over and over again, rather, I am just living the moment, and thinking clearly.

This was a note I wrote to myself a few years ago when I first started taking antidepressants. It was the very next day after I took a famous antidepressant sold on the market. I felt fantastic.

If you know anything about antidepressants you would recognize that this was simply a placebo effect. The fact is antidepressants take months to take effect on the body, and most of the time are not very effective. Many report the "placebo effect" of immediate relief of depression symptoms after their first few doses of antidepressants.

Sadly, this placebo effect is over quickly, and people are left disillusioned and often feel worse than before. In my story, the normal feelings gradually disappeared within a week, and I did not feel "normal" again until years later when I discovered natural cures for depression that completely improved my quality of life, and ended over 20 years of suffering from depression.

For years I tried to get that "normal" feeling back. I worked harder than ever to get it back with medication, and the best professional counseling. I knew what normal felt like, and wanted to get that feeling back so bad. I was tired of being tired, and sad, and even suicidal.

After years of research, trials and errors, I have achieved this "normal" feeling on a permanent basis. No more depression. Something I never thought possible!

I realize many people are suffering with depression, just as I did for so many years, so I want to pay it forward to those who struggle with debilitating depression, as much as I did.

Here's five natural cures for depression that can help change your life forever:

1. Move. As simple as this sounds, exercise is a huge contributor to people feeling happier.

Strength training plus aerobics is a must to get rid of the body's accumulated stress toxins. Exercise daily, at least six times a week, with strength training, followed by 20 minutes of aerobics exercise.

Join a gym, or set up a home gym. Even a home gym is easy as you do not need that much equipment for a good workout. You can find many free resources on the web on how to properly workout.

2. Drink And Eat More Often. Athletes have this system figured out for best body-mind performance and muscle toning and building. The body connects to the mind, so we need to take care, and feed our body well so our mind can work properly as well.

Drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy meals five to six times a day keeps your body and mind balanced and fueled throughout the day.

Spread your meals apart by eating your three main meals, especially a hearty breakfast, but save some portions for a mid morning and mid afternoon snack.

Eating healthy snacks between meals, especially proteins, help your body stay constantly fueled and well satisfied.

Drink lots of fluid, especially water all day long, at least eight glasses daily. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugared, and carbonated drinks, for these interfere with your body and brain's natural ability to maintain balanced levels of physical and mental energy.

3. Sleep On It. Many can lose their depression simply by getting proper sleep.

Lack of sleep is one of the biggest causes of depression. With so many options for late night entertainment such as TV, computers, video games, etc., we tend to stay up later and later at night.

Make sure you go to bed at the same time every night, and get up in the morning even if you feel tired.

Ensure you get the full amount of sleep necessary to feel fully rested. Be truthful to yourself about this. Most people need about 5 to 9 hours sleep, but everybody is different. Figure out what is the proper amount of night sleep for you and stick with it.

Avoid naps during the day. Naps tend to interfere with restful sleep at night.

If you can't sleep, stay in bed. Getting up to do things just keeps you away from your goal of sleeping. Avoid reading in bed, as this stimulates your mind. Instead, do some self-guided meditation where you mentally take yourself somewhere peaceful.

4. Schedule Your Worries. The biggest symptom of depression is the non-stop ruminating of thoughts and worries.

Schedule a daily "worry" appointment with yourself, preferably late afternoon, and give yourself 20 minutes of worrying. If you have worrying thoughts, write them down to defer it to your "worry time," and press on with your day knowing you'll tackle that issue later.

During your worry appointment, review your worry list and problem solve the issues. If you have no control over a situation, give yourself permission to let go of that worry.

The idea is to reduce and eliminate the ruminating of thoughts and worries throughout the day, yet not ignore your problems. Rather, you are facing your problems in a time and setting that is convenient for you. You tackle your worries at your own time, rather than your worries control your daily life.

5. Do A Good Deed For Someone Every Day. Depression tends to keep a person thinking about themselves all the time.

Break that selfish pattern by looking for ways to help others. Volunteering to help the needy, helping somebody in your own family, or simply doing a good deed (daily) is rewarding, and keeps the "poor me" self-talk away.

Following these simple but very effective steps can break the depression pattern for good. You deserve the happiness, energy and love that makes life such a wonderful event.

You can feel "normal" too. I know you can. I go through my routine every day and not only feel great but I feel emotionally and physically stronger.

Smile easily as you stroll around your neighborhood and think of a funny thing that happened to you. Welcome your own smile that you know livens your face, as you greet strangers walking by.

Start your new life! Follow the steps above and you'll see fantastic results almost immediately. Live well, be happy, live depression free.

Behind the Smile

"I wanted you to know, I love the way you laugh, I want to hold you high and steal your pain away" - Seether ("Broken")

Somebody smiles, and that means they're happy. Not always. How many times have you seen somebody smiling, but seen sadness in the eyes?

I plan to explore what really lies behind the smile. Not easy, but I think a necessary thing to understand in order to make sure that the people in your life truly are happy. I believe that a person's eyes are the key to how a person truly feels. When I look into my wife's eyes, I see love and happiness - most of the time. I look into my wife's eyes a lot, she has such beautiful eyes, I've thought so since the moment we met. Sometimes they are full of mischief, others they are full of adoration. At times though, looking into her eyes I can see that she is troubled. That is when the love and happiness have been replaced. That's not to say that she is not happy, or that she does not love me, it means that something, somewhere inside her is holding them at bay. It means she is worried or concerned about something, troubled. I can see immediately - the sparkle and peaceful light that is normally there has gone, to be replaced by dull vacancy (in a good way!) that means her mind is elsewhere.

9 times out of 10 when I ask my wife if she is okay, or what the matter is, the reply I get is "I'm fine". I know that's not true. When she is ready and has gone through her thought process, she will tell me what has been troubling her, and we can discuss it. This helps put things out there and hopefully sort the troubles out, once that's done I see the sparkle return to her eyes, they light up and become vibrant. She smiles, and the corners of her eyes crinkle, and I know the smile that I see is genuine. In turn, the sparkle returns to my eyes, and my smile is genuine - because when my wife is troubled, then so am I, but when she is smiling, my smile joins in.

But what about the people on earth, who have to spend their days alone? Their smiles are genuine, right? Maybe some of them, but in the UK 12% of the adult population will suffer from depression in any year (think about it, that's 4-5 people on every full bus) add to this the fact that the UK has the highest rate of self harm in Europe (400 per 100,000 of the population) and then think about the children - 10% of whom will suffer from depression at some point during their childhood. These are frightening statistics, and all will be explored in future articles. But we are looking at smiles - what I am trying to show is that on average 1 in 4 people who show a smile are not feeling it on the inside.

We see comedians, they make us laugh. In order to do that they must be vibrant people, always happy on the inside, life and soul of the party etc. Not true! So many great comedians have been manic depressives - Stephen Fry, Tony Hancock, Jim Carrey - but why is this?

A joke: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world, where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says the treatment is simple. The great clown Terrifini is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up. Man bursts into tears: "But doctor... I am Terrifini."

Sums it all up. The reason I bought up the comedian thing, is because they exhibit the 2 extremes - on stage in front of the camera, they are vibrant and funny, but off duty they are miserable. They put a front on when they turn into their alter ego, "Funny Man"! A lot of people do this. They put a front on and don't let their true feelings show through. Maybe they are private people, who don't want to share their personal feelings or maybe they just like feeling sad. I have personal experience of people who are bi polar. When you see them they are full of energy and happy smiley - the life and soul - but the smile is just a front, inside they are anxious, unhappy that they are on their own. This is the same whether they are 20 or 50 - nobody wants to be alone.

So, how do you bring the smile out in someone? That's not an easy one to answer. It depends what makes the person smile. For some people its a silly face, it could be a joke, it could be a reassuring smile from you, it could be a comforting arm and understanding, it could be letting them have space to think through whats troubling them or it could be a sympathetic non judgmental ear. Listen to whats troubling the person and offer words of comfort. If its someone you know who's alone, then let them know that they aren't - just knowing that, although you don't share their home, you share their life and their smiles and if they need someone then you are only a call away. Evey one is different, and you have to work around this to successfully cheer somebody up. A manic depressive cannot be cheered up though by all of this, they need understanding. You have to go with the flow with manic depressives, enjoy the high times, and understand the low times. I am notoriously hard to cheer up, once my smile has gone its not there for a long time. My wife has learned that I need space to think, at the same time as her reassuring gestures, and genuine sparkly smiling eyes showing me she loves me - with this combination the smile soon returns to my eyes and I come alive. For this understanding I am eternally grateful, and never have I been so truly understood.

With children its hard - you know when your child is unhappy. You need to find out why. They may have a teacher they don't like, they may be being bullied, they may have issues that they don't understand or don't know how to deal with, they may feel alone like nobody understands. You need to be sympathetic and understanding, remember how you were when you were young - leave them to sort it out in their own mind. When they've had time, approach them gently asking open questions that will help them understand, get through it. Give them some time, occupy their minds with fun things - allow your child to express themselves, and by the time they go to bed hopefully they will be smiling real smiles. If your child is a teenager, you know when they are most open to being approached and talking. Let them strop, let them be moody, and when they get to the point that you know is openness (it may be the next day) approach them and let them talk - be a non judgmental ear. Help them to sort things out, you will not only get closer, but the smile will be back in their eyes, the eyes that when they were born you gazed into and made connection with. Keep that connection there, and be a conscious parent.

Smiles linger, long after the happiness has gone. Smiles remain, where happiness doesn't. These are the smiles of fiction - so called "reception smiles" - a smile that is there despite the inner turmoil. The eyes betray the smile, and the inner turmoil shows through. So next time you look into the eyes of somebody you care about, look and ask yourself are they truly happy? If you think not, then just remind them that you are there for them - a gentle touch, a smile, a friendly gesture, remind them your ears and mind are open to receive. The rewards you get are infinite - happy people around you with sparkling happy eyes, who bring out the real happiness in you. If your eyes sparkle then so will those of the people around you. Reward yourself, by smiling a true smile!

(C) Copyright Dale Preece-Kelly March 2010

Anxiety Depression Symptoms - 3 Things You Can Do To Recover From Anxiety Attacks and Its Symptoms

Are you suffering from anxiety depression symptoms or can't recover from them? Well rest assured most people are looking for ways to handle anxiety symptoms because of the amount of stress involved in today's environment. Believe it or not, stress can be associated with practically everything you do during the day. However, it does'nt have to be that way. It is only natural to look for means to treat your anxiety symptoms so you can try to have a cool and collected attitude toward life. Here are a few things you can try.

Drink less caffeinated beverages.

You can lower caffeine intake and substitute coffee with decaf coffee or herbal tea for to make you less anxious during the day. Caffeine tends to increase stress and trigger your anxiety. It is optimal to eliminate all caffeine from the diet for anxiety recovery. This means that not only coffee, but tea, colas and chocolate should be minimized or avoided. You may want to consider substituting them with decaffeinated coffee, tea and soft drinks instead, to make these changes easier and still effective for your anxiety.

Start exercising regularly.

Starting and continuing to exercise is excellent way to treat anxiety depression symptoms. However it is very important that you choose exercises that you enjoy. There is no point in performing exercises you don't like or find difficult to do as it only leads to frustration and added stress. Also, you won't stick with the program.

There is a large variety and combination of exercises you can choose to employ from to help you recover from for anxiety symptoms. These exercises include walking, aerobics, running, cycling, swimming and jumping rope. These exercises tend to increase circulation and improve your cardiovascular fitness while helping in anxiety recovery by reducing stress and anxiety. It is even better if it is done outdoors as you then have the added benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

There are also strength training exercises that help you with your anxiety as it tones your muscles while reducing stress. The most common form of strength training is weight lifting. However it is better to do this under the guidance of an expert for not only better effects, but also for safety reasons.

Keep active with additional activities that may require a social setting and instruction.

While it's good to take up regular exercise such as running and weight lifting, it is also best to take up other physical activities to help you with your anxiety symptoms but also help you improve your self mentally. Also, these activities you should take in a classroom environment with the help of an instructor.

Yoga is commonly practiced for anxiety symptoms recovery, which benefits not only your mind, but also your body and spirit. However to practice yoga, you should join at least a beginner's class or at least get a good yoga video. With yoga, your body becomes flexible while you improve your posture and range of motion.
Taking up martial arts is a very effective in anxiety recovery. The focus on mastering the art itself helps in taking the focus off your stress while alleviating all forms of anxiety. This makes you feel completely relaxed. You can also turn to tai chi videos from easy to challenging workouts available in the market for your road to anxiety recovery.

While suffering from anxiety depression symptoms is an unpleasant experience for those who have them, you have the control to use these three suggestions above to help you reduce anxiety attacks or over come anxiety symptoms.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is highly recommended you seek a physician for medical advisement to discuss your condition. The information in this article is not a substitute for specific medical advice.

Love is Imperative

Today, yesterday and as far back as anyone can probably remember, love has been a topic roundly discussed. From Shakespeare to Fitzgerald, from R&B singers to politicians and from toddlers to the elderly, questions of its relevance, positives, negatives and definition have been asked. People born into cultures on opposite ends of the earth have some concept of love and how it should look. Certain groups might say that love is that burning feeling felt inside when looking at someone you care about. Others might suggest that it's just another word for being nice while different circle might say it is the willingness to jump in front of a speeding train for a friend. Some might believe that love is a man-made concept concocted in a quest to find an emotion deeper and less carnal than lust. A lot of attention is directed at what can occasionally be seen as an abstract notion to the point where it can become easy to dismiss along with all the other chatter the world does. That'd be a mistake because love was one of the paramount teachings of Jesus and if He was so focused on it, those of us who call ourselves Christians should be too. Through Jesus, we can learn what true love really is and why it should be practiced unceasingly by all Christians.

What is this love that Christ spoke of? In John 14:15, He told his disciples that if they loved him, they'd keep his commandments. That lets us know that love is an action, not a warm and fluffy feeling. No matter what they felt about Jesus inside, if they didn't actively follow His commandments they didn't love Him. Being sorry about not doing them wouldn't suffice nor jumping in front of a train as penitence either. That goes for all of us alive today. Feeling bad about sinning while continuing to do so or planning to act holy for a day after a weekend of wild partying doesn't make up for anything. If you don't do what Jesus said do, you don't love Him, plain and simple. Emotions on the inside are irrelevant in this situation. Luckily for us God is gracious, forgiving and lovingly gives chance after chance but we must at some point make a decision to totally follow Him so our relationship can grow, making us able to walk in our destiny and be a benefit to those who need us.

Now since we've reconciled within ourselves to do what God says as a way of loving Him, we can now define love because it's better to not know, than have knowledge of and not act. Put simply, 1 John 4:8 lets the world know that God and love are one in the same. Where there is love, there is God. Where there is no God, there is no love. The Holy Ghost brings it into our hearts upon salvation and it's our job to pray and nourish this love with reading of the Word so it becomes real enough in our lives to guide and shape our characters. Sometimes the Bible is referred to as a love letter and that is accurate because it's a letter from God to us. The more of His Word that gets into us, the more we can love because God cannot be separated from what He says. The love that wells up in someone that has spent time with and communed with God is impossible to fake, forge or copy. It's more than being nice. Some of the most hateful people can smile and open doors for strangers while boiling with rage or merely sleeping on the inside. Love isn't always nice but it's never rude. It's not shown in traditional deeds and phrases many are taught as youngsters and done mostly out of habit. Love is conscious and shown through actions done on purpose. We should be so saturated with Him that when people look at us they should be able to see love. One might say, "I don't know what it is but there's something different about you than everyone else." A comment like that doesn't come up from just saying, "I'm a Christian," and then following the rest of the crowd. It comes from God's love exuding from your being. The inquiring mind might wonder at the logic of love supposing to be an action and then its ability to be seen like a coat. An easy comparison is weightlifting. Lifting weights is an action but you can look as someone on the street and see weightlifting all over them because of the time, effort and dedication they put in. It's the same with love. When it becomes part of your daily activities, you're mindful of, and deliberate with it, love will not be able to nor willing hide itself.

Everything that God's gives us isn't supposed to be shared with everybody all the time. Love is. The simple fact that God is love and doesn't turn Himself on and off lets us know to express Him to everyone we come across. Jesus commands his disciples to love each other (John 13:34) and love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). We are also told to love others as we do ourselves (Leviticus 18:19, Luke 10:27) and for that to be effectively done self-hate, low self-esteem, pity parties and all other forms of self-loathing must be quickly done away with and become things of the past. It's impossible to love anyone else if you don't love yourself first. It's an order from God therefore not optional. We can't do anything on this Christian walk until we rise from the pit of depression, despair and desolation, realizing that we're the salt of the earth and the light of the world. God chose us, filled us with His Holy Ghost and expects us to walk with our backs straight because He doesn't make mistakes. Hating ourselves is the same as hating Him. You can't share with someone else something you don't even have enough of for yourself. The muscles on a weightlifter don't bulge until there's more than an adequate amount to handle the chores through daily life. It isn't about arrogance or conceit but knowing you are a crucial element in the Body of Christ and being beaten down emotionally hinders the work of the Lord.

Since we now made the decision to start or continue loving ourselves we must next love other Christians as Jesus told his disciples to love each other. A family in which the father constantly ridicules his wife and children, the mother publicly makes off color jokes about the husband and the kids openly say their parents are fools would be called dysfunctional. The same goes for Christians. It's one thing to be derided by people with whom there is no relationship but the hurt is multiplied when it comes from those that are supposed to help you stand. When a Christian can no longer depend on other children of God then there's nowhere else to turn to but the world. Yes, our source needs to be God but the Lord is relational and means for us to be so as well. We all can't be on our own little islands without communicating and relying on each other. Humans naturally are influenced by the people they're in relationship with, so if you find the most comfort among unbelievers, their thought processes, culture and philosophies will began to infiltrate what God has already put in your heart. That's why it's vital for Christians to spend quality time with, affirm and pull up a fellow brother or sister during a fall. Having a circle of Christian friends but cursing the church down the street is no better either because nothing stifles the work of God more than infighting among believers. God's people can't constantly be in a civil war and expect to defeat the enemy. Jesus even tells us that a nation who fights itself is destined for destruction (Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:24, Luke 11:17). There are some doctrinal points that might vary from church to church or denomination to denomination but that in no way should stop us from doing what Jesus ordered and loving one another. We don't have to like them, but they're fellow children of God, possess gifts necessary for the Church and have to be treated as such.

Along with loving ourselves and other Christians, we are commanded to love our enemies. This can be very hard to do but doing what God says usually is. The people who hate you, irritate you, gossip about you, lie to you and throw any other sinful dart in your direction have to be responded to in a loving way. Once again, this doesn't mean liking them or handing over self-respect, but it does include abstaining from profanity laced rebukes, verbal threats, rudeness or whatever else an uncrucified flesh can dig up. When someone at work, school or on the street does you wrong, remember they're not the problem. There's a spirit inside of them at war with the Holy Ghost inside of you (Ephesians 6:12). Getting out of character, falling for the bait and doing what the world taught us was expected is jumping obediently through the enemy's hoops. It shows we haven't yet allowed the Holy Ghost take control of our lives. People are watching us and when we react to negativity in a way that isn't Godly, it tells them that our Lord has no power. They wonder how great can He be if His children act like everyone else. We are the only Bible that some will read (2 Corinthians 3:2) and they judge God by our actions so we need to strive to make our heavenly father proud.

In order to love ourselves or anyone else effectively, we need to get to know God better because He is love, which means reading and studying the Bible daily as well as having a constant prayer life. Without doing so we dim the image of God that we're supposed to be. Once learning and practicing love as Jesus intended, we as Christians can finally walk in the power and dominion that has for so long been preached about. Anything less would be relegating our God-given assignments to the back burner and having unbelievers curse Him because of our hypocrisy. Let's not misrepresent Christ and do what needs to be done.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Detect Drug Abusing Teenagers

The effects of substance abuse in teens are not only individual; they can also be seen on the society. They may face problems at school or college and may involve in criminal activities. It is therefore very important to detect drug abusing teenagers. Drug testing should be conducted on a regular basis at schools and homes to identify and save them from harmful drugs of abuse.

Signs of drug abuse
Identifying certain signs helps you to detect if the kid is addicted to the drugs. Some of the common physical and emotional signs are:

• Change in sleep patterns
• Poor motor coordination
• Poor hygiene and illness including nausea and excessive sweating
• Irregular heartbeat
• Impaired thinking
• Mood swings
• Hyperactivity or overtired
• Depression

Drug abusing teens lose their interest in family activities, often abuse verbally and physically at home or school, and disrespect the family or school. In addition, abrupt decrease in grades, memory and attention loss, and lack of interest and concentration on studies are some of the signs at school. The moment you observe any of the above mentioned signs, you need to immediately check if the kid is abusing drugs. Drug testing is one of the safest and easiest ways to detect the drug abuse among teens.

Types of drug tests
There are different types of methods to detect the teens who are using drugs. Some of the common ones are urine, saliva, hair, and blood tests.

Urine drug test
Of all the types, urine testing is used most commonly as it is inexpensive method used to detect a drug user. You can use urine test kits at home or school to check if the child is addicted to illegal drugs. Quick and accurate results are obtained by these test kits.

Saliva drug test
It is more advantageous as it is relatively non-intrusive. Saliva from the mouth is taken through a swab and is checked for the presence of drugs. Most recent drug abuse can be detected by saliva tests. Conducting saliva test is very easy and also provides accurate and immediate results.

Hair drug test
This method is also non-intrusive. A hair sample of 1.5 inches in length is enough for conducting the test. Drug or its metabolites deposited at the hair shaft are detected by hair tests. You can get very reliable and accurate results by this method.

Blood drug test
You can also use a blood sample of the teen to detect illegal drug usage. It is however expensive and you need to approach laboratory as you cannot conduct it at your home.

Detection periods
The detection period depends on the method of test conducted. These detection periods vary from the type, dosage, and frequency of drug used.

Urine drug test can detect drug or its metabolites for 30 days in frequent users and for 2-3 days in occasional users. The test detects Cocaine for 4-5 days, Heroin for 2-4 days, Methamphetamine for 3-5 days, PCP for 3-7 days, and Codeine for 2-4 days.

A saliva test is mostly used to detect recent drug usage. However, it can also detect drugs consumed 3 days back. Of all the methods, hair drug test has a longer detection period. It detects illegal drug consumption for about 90 days.

What if results are positive?
Once the kid is tested positive by drug test kit, talk to him/her about the result. You can get a confirmatory result through laboratory tests. Communicate with him regularly regarding the effects of drug abuse. Ask him to leave companions or friends who are habituated to drugs. If necessary, send him/her to substance abuse treatment program.

Importance of intervention
Detection and intervention of drug abuse at primitive stages can prevent further damage. Drug intervention is an attempt made by family members or school authorities to help the teen get out of drug abuse or addiction. The main objective of intervention is to make the teen understand the physical and mental destruction caused by drug abuse. If you are not able to speak to the kid on this, you can take help of your friends or relatives. You can also consult specialists who counsel drug abusers and help them get back to their normal life.

Parents and school authorities should always keep an eye on the behavior and activities of the teens. Necessary measures have to be taken in order to prevent them from taking drugs.

Extreme Depression

Extreme depression is also known as major depression, clinical depression, unipolar depression, and major depressive disorder. Individuals who suffer from this type of depression have a persistent feeling of sadness. There is no more pleasure in activities that were at one time pleasurable. Individuals who suffer from extreme depression can also have many different mental and physical problems. Loss of appetite, sleeping patterns change, trouble concentrating, memory issues, aches and pains, a sense of worthlessness, and usually they feel their situation is helpless and cannot be fixed. Trying to snap out of it proves to be impossible and can feel like they are falling into a dark deep hole with nothing to hold on to.

Extreme depression can affect anyone at any age but is most prominent in individuals who are between the ages of 25 and 44. It can last anywhere from six months to nine months on average and if left untreated it sometimes will disappear by itself.

Recent studies have shown that there is strong biological rather than psychological issues that play a bigger part in extreme depression. Interestingly enough it has been shown that stress only plays a part in the first two episodes of extreme depression. After that all subsequent episodes seem to take a life of their own and does not need stress to get it going. It is obvious that genetics and temperament are what play a major role at this point. Any treatment plan should include one that deals with genetics, temperament, and stress.

For a diagnosis of depression at least five of the symptoms listed below need to be present during a two week period. At least one symptom must be either a depressed mood or a loss of interest in pleasurable activities.

  • Be in a depressed mood on most days which can be noticeable by the individual or by others. In children or young adults there can be irritable moods.

  • A loss of interest in pleasurable activities. This can be with all or most activities almost everyday which can be noticed by the individual or others.

  • Marked changes in weight where there is a loss of weight when there has been no diet plan is being followed or there can be weight gains. There may be a decrease or increase in appetite on most days.

  • A change in sleeping patterns. Having trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively almost everyday.

  • There can be psychomotor agitation or retardation on most days

  • Loss of energy or fatigue on most days

  • A feeling of worthlessness or excessive guilt when there is nothing to feel guilty about on most days

  • Unable to focus or concentrate on most days.

  • Fixed thoughts on dying and thought of suicide without an actual plan, having a specific plan of suicide or an actual suicide attempt.

If the symptoms are not attributable to any existing physical illness then there is a good chance extreme depression may be what is wrong. Seeking treatment with a professional such as a physician mental health professional will help get through this type of depression successfully.

Asperger's Syndrome Symptoms in Adults: 3 Tips for Overcoming Depression and Anxiety

One common set of symptoms that many Asperger's syndrome adults have is feelings of depression and anxiety...and a sense of meaninglessness in their lives. Since Asperger's adults have so much difficulty with social activities in their lives, as well as everyday activities and employment issues, sometimes it can seem like nothing ever goes right. Repeated failure leads to low self-esteem.

If you can't work, what do you do with your time? Even if you can work but you have no social contacts or friends to spend time with, nothing to do that interests you, how do you make your life seem worth living?

Asperger's adults may very well want to participate in all the social activities that the rest of us take for granted, but there is so much that they have to consider that the ordinary person would never consider.

The symptoms of those with Asperger's syndrome are familiar to family and friends. Many times, people with Asperger's syndrome are not comfortable being spontaneous or doing anything spur-of-the-moment; they need to plan ahead. Noisy, boisterous events are just too overwhelming. Just going out of the house can be a big gamble. Are the sensory aspects of the event worth it? Can I handle it? Will I have a meltdown? Is it worth it? Am I going to be able to seem social enough?

Asperger's Adults Can Be Smart But That Isn't Enough

These are very smart people, often with college degrees or even higher; but just because they can work their way around a textbook or a classroom doesn't mean they can handle the world outside it. Many, but not all, Asperger's adults end up living with their parents, and feelings of resentment build over this. It can be hard to compare yourself to others and not measure up. Depression can set in. Sometimes, it's hard to think of a reason to get up in the morning. If you are someone you know is in this situation, it may be helpful to follow the tips below.

How To Lead a Meaningful Life As An Adult With Asperger's Syndrome

Change your life in small but important ways. Shake it up a little bit. Find ways to deviate from your normal routine so you don't feel so stuck in a rut. Go out to lunch with someone you haven't talked to before. Join a club. Volunteer somewhere.

1. Volunteering

The single most important thing you can do to raise your feelings of self-esteem is to volunteer somewhere. It just plain makes you feel good about yourself! Volunteering can be a great way to meet others and gain some social contacts, and gives you a sense of connection and belonging in your community. When you are appreciated for a job well done, it makes you feel like you made a difference in someone else's life.

Think about what your interests are. If you like working with kids, you can volunteer at an after school program, or a mentor a kid who needs it. You could tutor someone in a subject you know well - finally all that academic knowledge you have stored away will be useful for something! If you like to write, you could volunteer to write for a local newspaper, or start a blog.

You can work in a soup kitchen, do some office work for a non-profit, or volunteer to straighten books on the shelves at your local library. If you like to garden, offer to help out an elderly person with their yard. The possibilities are numerous.

2. Hobbies

Another way to add some spark into your life is to try to take up a hobby. Something you can become enthusiastic about, something that you can look forward to. For example, if you like taking pictures, get a camera and start snapping shots of everything you can think of. Publish your best shots online. Learn how to cook, or get into reading. Start exercising; perhaps you could join others for daily walks or even join a sports team.

3. Groups

To get a sense of meaning in your life you must gain some feeling of social connection. To this end, it can be very helpful to join social groups centered around your interests. Maybe you enjoy chess? Writing? Photography? Try to find local groups that you may enjoy. One way that you can do this is to use the website Or join an Asperger's group and meet people you can relate to.

The best way to make your life feel more meaningful is to work around the obstacles and limitations you have in your life as best as possible. If you think something is impossible, it may not be with a little accommodation. Don't be afraid to ask for help or modification of activities to fit your needs. Just try to get involved in something. You will find yourself looking forward to it, and it will get your mind off your worries. Don't focus on the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome or the treatments but focus your efforts on accomplishing something worthwhile.

Is Dementia Contagious?

All caregiving is stressful. We help caregivers reduce the stress of caring for loved ones with dementia, but we can't eliminate it. The two most common results of caregiver stress are increased illness (reduced resistance to disease) and depression.

A recent study done at McGill University in Montreal found that untreated depression can lead to dementia. In other words, in some situations you can catch dementia from your loved one.

Depression in caregivers is more common and long-lasting than in all other caregiver situations.

Scientists speculate that this is because, on average, dementia caregivers provide care for a much longer period of time than do any other caregivers.

Below are nine questions your physician might ask you if he suspected depression. You might have a depressed mood (not true depression) if you have even just one symptom, but if you have five or more symptoms you qualify for a diagnosis of major depression.

Do you have:

  • A persistent sadness or general unhappiness

  • Chronic fatigue or lack of energy

  • A lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy

  • Consistent irritability or consistently feel agitated

  • A progressive change in your appetite or your weight

  • A change (not caused by your loved one) in your normal sleep pattern

  • Feelings that you are worthlessness or you feel excessive or inappropriate guilt

  • Difficulty concentrating or feel you are not thinking clearly

  • Any thoughts of ending it all or committing suicide

If you feel you have more than five of the above symptoms you might want to do a quick self test on your memory. As one physician once told me "If you can't seem to keep track of your keys your probably just getting older, but if you can't remember what keys are you may have dementia".

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see where you fall on the memory scale. Do you have:

  • Difficulty remembering things much more often than you used to

  • Difficulty remembering how to do things you've done many times before

  • Difficulty learning new things

  • Experiences where you repeat phrases or stories in the same conversation

  • Trouble making choices or handling money

  • Difficulty keeping track of what happens each day

Caregivers who don't get help to resolving depression may get dementia. If you answered "yes" to more than three of the above questions you may be experiencing abnormal memory loss. Consult your physician with these test scores and ask his opinion. Both depression and dementia can be reversed. Often they are symptoms of vitamin deficiency, lack of sleep, medication side effects, or simply stress. Your physician can help you sort them out.

Bipolar Medications And Their Side Effects

There is no absolute and permanent cure for bipolar disorder just yet. Bipolar medications that are made available in your nearest drugstore are meant to suppress manic depression symptoms. There are some good and some bad things to know about these medications. This article will discuss these, together with tips and and cautions about side effects.

Bipolar medications are not ordinary drugs. They are strong and can be addictive. So if you are not diagnosed as a bipolar disorder patient, never even think of taking them. These medications are always taken with the doctor's prescription.

Some Tips in Taking the Medication Safely

* Do not stop taking the medication unless your doctor tells you to. These bipolar medications are prescribed along with a dosage recommendation. You were prescribed with the medication based on your bipolar diagnosis so if you are advised to take them once a day at a specific time, then do so.

* Always consult your doctor. As mentioned, the medicine is specifically prescribed to you. Never attempt to change or buy a substitute medication without getting your doctor's approval. Furthermore, never even think of mixing your medicine with other non-prescribed ones.

* Even when you feel that your condition is already under control, don't take it upon yourself to stop the medication. Many bipolar patients fall into this trap. At manic highs, they stop their medication believing that everything is manageable. Remind your self that any decision to discontinue the prescribed medicines must be done with your doctor's consent.

* Be accurate in adhering to the dosage and schedule of medication. Always ascertain your dosage amount and when you must take the medication. Most importantly, do not change your dose if you have no approval from the doctor who prescribed them.

* Be religious with your bipolar medications. Follow the items above and stick to your schedule and dosage. If you are able to maintain other habits, why not add this to your list? After all, it's for your own good.

Some of the most common bipolar drugs are antidepressant, anti-convulsants and mood-stabilizer medications. Examples of the commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs are tricyclics, valium, and lithium. These drugs are different from each other and have different effects. It is best to heed your doctor's advice.

Bipolar medications are not guaranteed safe. While your doctor does his best to analyze the information you provide about your condition, leading towards manic depression diagnosis, he can only do so much, given the current state of medical knowledge about the disease.

Possible Side Effects

Some medications may work effectively but may have long-term side effects. They can cause hair loss, weight problem, and even problems in sexual performance. If you experience side effects with your medication, it may help to change your prescription. But again, you must remember not to do that yourself. Always consult your doctor.

Taking bipolar medications can endanger your health if not done properly. If this risk is ignored, the problem can become more damaging. That is the reason many doctors will take necessary steps in monitoring and observing your progress closely. Always take your medication closely with your doctor's advice. Never make your own decisions or judgment about your dosage. Never alter your prescription. Most importantly, just trust your doctor.

Most Depression Is Diet Related

It seems strange to think that depression is diet related. But it has been estimated that 90% of chronically depressed people are deficient in proper nutrition.

Depression is a serious and debilitating illness which can break families apart. It can cause problems at work and often leads to suicide. The trend is, alarmingly, on the rise.

Depletion of the neurotransmitter called norepinephrine can result in loss of alertness, a poor memory and clinical depression.

The medical solution is to prescribe anti-depressants. These not only take time to work, but are toxic in nature. They do not deal with the cause of depression. Side effects can be extremely unpleasant. And one of them compounds the depression, making it worse.

There are as many causes of depression as there are people with it, so this is a complicated area to venture into. Everyone needs a different solution, to match their individual needs. And the best way to resolve the cause of your depression, on an individual basis, is through homeopathic treatment.

However, there is also something you can do yourself. Dr Abram Hoffer and Dr Andrew Saul (author of Fire Your Doctor) have discovered that depression can be significantly improved, if not cured, by increasing your nutrient intake.

It has been said that the west has never been do well fed but so poorly nourished. Not only do most people lack the knowledge of good nutrition, the modern farming methods are focused on quantity rather than quality. However, there are ways around this.

The production of norepinephrine can be increased dramatically by increasing your levels of vitamin C and the vitamin B complex. However, before you rush out and buy these vitamins as supplements, you need to be aware of problems they can cause.

The majority of nutrient supplements on the market today are isolated and synthetic. They are made in a laboratory. They can give you a short term favourable result, but can be harmful in the long term. Your body does nor recognise nutrients in isolation as it has been designed to get all its nutrition from the perfect balance of healthy food.

All nutrients are co-dependent on a complex array of other nutrients. So your best source of perfect nutrition is to eat healthy foods. With 90% of depression diet related, discover the way to cure it, along with any other ailments, with healthy eating.

By the way, all medical drugs upset the absorption of nutrients, further compounding your depression.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bunny Love: Benefits of Rabbits as Pets

Are you thinking of adopting a rabbit for a pet? We don't blame you--rabbits are very cute animals, who can give you many years of affection and amusement.

However, be sure you are ready for the responsibilities of taking care of this animal. While they are certainly easier to manage than dogs, they still require some attention.

For example, rabbits molt four times a year, so be prepared for a little fur on your sofa every few months. They'll need hay, a litter box, and a cage (clean frequently with white vinegar to remove odors). If you use hay or woodstove pellets for their litter boxes, you can use these to fertilize your garden when it's time for a litter change.

When you own a rabbit, you need to accept that a little nibbling is part of the territory. Protect electric cords with casings (available at hardware stores) since the poor pets may get quite a shock if they try to test their teeth on them!

You should also be willing to pamper your rabbit with petting and play (rabbits get depressed if they don't get enough exercise). Rabbit gyms are available in pet stores. They have tube tunnels that will encourage your pet to run and race, even if you can't let him out in the garden. Those tube tunnels will also make an interesting conversation piece for your guests--talk about the "new" form of "installation art"!

Not all veterinarians are trained to take care of rabbits, who are considered "exotic pets"/ You may need to shop around and call various clinics, which are usually listed in the phone directory. The pet store may also refer you to veterinarians. .

And finally, if you have children, do talk to your pediatrician first before buying a rabbit. The doctor is in the best position to tell you whether your child has any allergies, asthma problems or other health concerns that may be aggravated by rabbit fur. It's better to be safe than sorry!

But these sacrifices are nothing compared to the benefits of having a pet rabbit. For one thing, your pet will inspire you to change your diet--since you have to keep a supply of fresh vegetables for him, you might as well make yourself a salad! Recent studies also reveal that owning a pet significantly reduces blood pressure and can even help with depression.

You don't need to take rabbits for a walk, or worry about the inconvenience of walking around with a "pooper scooper". Just let him out in the early morning or dusk, and watch him play while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

Nor do you have to worry about your rabbits disrupting the neighbors. They don't bark or meow, and the "loudest" they ever get is the patter of their feet on the floor. That makes them ideal pets for apartment dwellers.

Rabbits are also ideal pets for the elderly, who may not have the energy to take care of a very large animal. They love being petted and are the ideal "lap pets".

Test Thyroid Symptoms - Do You Have Thyroid Problems?

The thyroid makes hormones that control metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when too few hormones are produced due to decreased thyroid gland activity. The condition often goes undetected; estimates, though, put the number of people affected as high as 40% of the U.S. adult population.

Symptoms are numerous and can include chronic fatigue, feeling cold all the time, inability to lose weight and skin conditions such as acne and eczema. In addition, there can be psychological components of the condition, particularly chronic depression, anxiety and panic as well as poor concentration and poor short-term memory.  

Sexual complications can sometimes include low sex drive, impotence and infertility (especially low sperm count). Chronic constipation, hair loss, heart palpitations, brittle nails, muscle weakness, and muscle and joint pain are additional symptoms. Women often experience menstrual problems, such as excessive bleeding, painful syndrome and very late or very early onset of menses.  

Also, an increase in age-related and immunodeficiency disease such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease, is associated with populations that are low in thyroid hormone.  

When thyroid hormone levels are low, the body doesn't produce enough heat, so the extremities tend to be cold. Cold fingers, cold toes, and a cold tip of the nose are common indicators that not enough heat is being produced. In general, being colder than other people can be an indicator that your thyroid output is insufficient.  

Conventional treatment for this hypothyroidism is often times clouded by misdiagnosis and by incomplete testing. This is because there is such a wide variety of symptoms, other diseases are often blamed, and the thyroid condition goes undiagnosed.

It's a Mad, Mad World! Mental Health - An Ayurvedic Perspective

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 450 million people worldwide are affected by mental, neurological or behavioral problems. However, determining that someone has a mental illness, and which one it could be, is one of the greatest challenges psychiatrists and psychologists face today. To date, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the psychiatrists bible), lists over 400 disorders.

It's quite normal to sometimes feel happy or sad, anxious or fearful, forgetful or confused. These are the hills and valleys of emotion in our daily lives. But when a person's emotions, thoughts or behavior frequently trouble them, or disrupt their lives and those around them, they may be suffering from mental illness. Even though as many as one in five people are thought to suffer from a form of mental illness, it still carries with it stigma and discrimination. Because of this people are reluctant to admit they have a problem and seek help and treatment. Unfortunately, when mental illness goes untreated the result can be suicide, which claims 873,000 lives a year. The economic costs of these conditions are also enormous and growing. According to the WHO, depression is expected to account for more lost years of healthy life than any other disease by 2030, except for HIV/AIDS.

What Causes Mental Illness?

Western scientists can tell us what happens as a result of certain mental health issues, but they cannot give us the underlying cause. For instance, brain scans have directly linked depression with changes in levels of neurotransmitters - chemicals that convey messages across neurons - people suffering from depression often display lowered levels of neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin's main effects include improving mood and giving you that "satisfied" feeling from food. It's also thought to help promote sleep and relaxation. Alzheimer's disease, a major source of dementia and memory loss in the elderly, is a result of an accumulation of protein plaques, which choke neurons in the brain. Untreated HIV infection, syphilis, Lyme disease and malaria are also thought capable of triggering a variety of mental illnesses. Modern medicine does not recognize a link between the body, mind and emotions. They look at the body as a machine, working independently of the mind.

The 5,000-year-old holistic science of Ayurvedic medicine, on the other hand, views the human being as body, mind and spirit, including the emotions and psychology, on all levels. It incorporates longevity, rejuvenation and self-realization therapies utilizing herbs, diet, yoga; breathing and physical exercises and meditation, massage, aromas and mantras. Ayurveda uses the concept of three biological humors; vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth) that if become unbalanced can affect us mentally, with disturbed emotions and thoughts, this will usually be reflected on a physical level also and visa versa. Through recent scientific research Dr. Candace Pert has come to a similar conclusion in her book Molecules of Emotion. Pert refers to the mind-body connection or a network of emotions linking the mind to the body. She demonstrates that cells throughout the body secrete 'emotional' hormones; these are then picked up by nerve impulses to produce the corresponding changes in mood and behavior. The immune system is linked with the brain (pituitary gland) and the endocrine system. Endorphins are the body's natural 'opiates' or pleasure hormones and are known to be increased by pranayama (yogic breathing) and yoga asana. Stress affects the body by releasing hormones, adrenaline and corticosterone from the brain and the immune system. Once in a stressed state the body itself can continue the stress cycle by the continuous activation of corticosterone. Depressed and traumatized people have high levels of corticosterone and often have a decreased level of immunity. This physiological state can be deactivated when the trauma and stress are released. In Ayurveda this means transforming the negative emotions, like fear, pain, anger and grief into positive ones.

The Function of the Astral Body

In Ayurveda and many other natural healing methods a subtle astral or emotional body is recognized to exist simultaneously with the physical body. It is linked to the physical body by energy centers or chakras. Subtle channels known as nadis transport prana or the essence of life energy and thought to corresponding glands around the body. Disruption in the flow of these energies causes psychological disease. As mentioned yogic breathing can keep these energies circulating, as can certain herbs such as calamus, basil, turmeric, guggul, myrrh, frankincense and cedar.

There is a shield between the astral and physical bodies, which protect us from negative thoughts or energies that are within the astral atmosphere. For instance, there is so much accumulated fear within the world projected from wars, the slaughter of billions of animals, pain and suffering of women and children that exists in the astral plane that if the link becomes weak we can no longer discriminate the physical from the astral. The fear, pain and anger "out there", affects our thoughts, fantasies and emotions, and we lose control. A physical trauma such as a severe blow to the head, sexual or physical abuse, excessive alcohol and mind-altering drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, cannabis and heroine can weaken this shield. Persons who are channelers open themselves up the astral plane also. One striking example of this is schizophrenia. This is a distorted view of reality, which may include hallucinations, hearing voices, delusions, and paranoia. Ayurveda recognizes this to be a symptom of a destructive astral force or entity entering the physical body commonly known as possession. Many Hindu priests, as well as Catholic priests, are taught a certain practice through prayer and sanctified water to rid the sufferer of the negative energy. Calamus, Holy basil and Gotu kola are then administered with perhaps some time being spent in a 'sattvic' or loving monastic environment.

Allopathic Psychiatric Treatments

Psychiatric treatment for mental illness can take many forms. The patient is encouraged to recognize their problems, understand what may trigger undesirable behavior, and develop coping strategies. Mood-stabilizing aim to moderate manic episodes of bipolar disorder and may also reduce recurrences of depression. Recently, however, some experts think there has been a rush to medicate and have questioned the effectiveness of many drugs. There is also controversy about using these drugs - such as Ritalin or amphetamines to treat children.

Various Mental Disorders and Ayurvedic Treatments


Among the most common mental illnesses is clinical depression. It is described as a prolonged, debilitating sadness, and feelings of hopelessness that is often accompanied by no highs or lows, just a bland existence which will ultimately lead to thoughts of suicide. The numbers of adolescents suffering from clinical depression have risen alarmingly in the last 10 years. Statistics show that suicide is the third leading cause of death in youths between 10 and 19 years old.

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is an affective disorder that causes periodic mood swings in which they cycle from depression to mania. Depression may be characterized by having a lack of motivation, difficulty doing tasks, short attention span, decreased appetite, crying spells, difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping too much, and in the more severe cases thoughts of self harm. Mania is separated into two types: Full mania and hypomania. Mania may be characterized by a decreased need for sleep, decreased self-control, overspending, increased sexual activity, irritability, rage, risk-taking behaviors, and in the more severe cases psychotic states. Hypomania is described as having the same behaviors, to a less extreme level.

Ayurvedic Treatment

A need to arouse the sufferer's interest and enthusiasm in life is introduced to the sense of taste. Spices like ginger, cardamon and basil are used to open the heart and mind. Calamus teas are given with a little ginger and honey. Mints and sages of all types are useful. Triphala is given to alleviate constipation. Color therapy is used with warm tones of yellow and gold. Long walks are encourages in nature at her best; sunshine, river, lakes and forests. All these places are filled with pranic energy.

Cutting or Self-Injury

Self-injury involves self-inflicted bodily harm that is severe enough to either cause tissue damage or to leave marks that last several hours. Cutting is the most common form of SI, but burning, head banging and scratching are also common. Other forms include biting, skin-picking, hair pulling, hitting the body with objects or hitting objects with the body. Although suicidal feelings may accompany SI, it does not necessarily indicate a suicide attempt. Most often it is simply a mechanism for coping with emotional distress. People who select this emotional outlet may use it to express feelings, to deal with feelings of unreality or numbness, to stop flashbacks, to punish themselves, or to relieve tension. Although SI is recognized as a common problem among the teenage population, it is not limited to adolescents. People of all sexes, nationalities, socioeconomic groups and ages can be self-injurers.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Often, the sufferer feels the need to stimulate themselves by pain. Ayurveda uses nervine herbs like Trikatu, cayenne, cardamom, cloves and calamus. Warming and nourishing these feed the emotional heart. Pippali is good also, 1/4 teaspoon with honey every few hours. Avoid sleeping during the day.

Anxiety Disorders

These include post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anger disorders, hypochondria, and phobias such as agoraphobia (open spaces), claustrophobia (small places), acrophobia (heights), arachnophobia (spiders) and social phobia (being around people). These are all characterized by powerful feelings of panic and physical signs of fear, sweating, and a racing heart - due to some cue in the environment, or for no obvious reason at all. Many sufferers believe they are either going insane or going to die.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Anxiety is mainly a Vata disorder and Ashwaganda is generally given am and pm in warm milk. Aromatherapy, using rose and jasmine is used. Warm massage and gentle, slow yogic techniques. Maha Mantra and Shrim mantra should be spoken.

Eating Disorders

There are three common eating disorders; anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Each disorder has different affects on the human body. A disease that used to be associated with young women is now appearing in young men. Anorexia is characterized by a significant weight loss, which is usually resulting from excessive dieting. Sufferers see themselves to be overweight, or fat, no matter what their actual weight may be. Anorexics may also use compulsive exercise to control their weight. Anorexics commonly strive for perfection in all the things they do. They set extremely high standards for themselves, and feel that they always have to prove themselves. They may also feel that the only thing they have control over in their lives is their weight. People with bulimia engage in cycles of gorging or binging themselves on large quantities of food and then purging through vomiting or use of laxatives. This can have a disastrous effect as with repeated purging the sufferer will lose their teeth from stomach acid and the use of laxatives will eventually render the bowel muscles useless.

Ayurvedic Treatment

To begin with the patients should fast on orange juice and water for first three to five days. After the juice diet the patient may adopt an all fruit diet for a further five days, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, oranges, pineapple, peaches at five hourly intervals. Thereafter they may adopt a restricted diet of easily digestible foods, consisting of lightly cooked vegetables, juicy fruits, and buttermilk for about ten days. During the first three to five days of the juice fast, the bowels should be cleansed with a warm water enema each day. Teas of cardamom, fennel, and fresh ginger to help regulate digestion and stop vomiting; valerian, nutmeg, herb ashwagandha. Massage with sesame oil, and sandalwood.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

ADHD, sometimes known as ADD, is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why. Children with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They can't sit still, pay attention, or attend to details. Recent research links smoking during pregnancy to later ADHD in a child. Some studies have even suggested a link between excessive early television watching and future attention problems. It has been advised that children under 2 years old should not have any "screen time" (TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games) and that kids 2 years and older should be limited to 1 to 2 hours per day, or less, of quality television programming.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Child's diet should consist of fruit, grains and vegetables full of natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Eliminate caffeine, sugar and other sweets, processed food, MSG, aspartame (NutraSweet) and other sugar substitutes, and any foods that contain preservatives, food dyes or other chemicals and eating at fast food chains. Drink water, fresh homemade vegetable and fruit juices. Eliminate sodas and caffeinated beverages. No white bread. No processed peanut butter: It contains aflatoxin, a fungus that causes cancer. Instead use almond butter from your health food store. Children need a lot of rest and should go to bed early. Proper exercise daily- outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Play with your children!

Note: Ritalin closely resembles an amphetamine. It is a cocaine-like drug that induces zombie-like behavior in children. The public school system's idea of ADHD treatments is prescribing Ritalin which, like all toxins, come with a long list of side effects including nervousness, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, joint pains, headaches, increased blood pressure, fever, rapid heartbeat, abdominal pain, and psychosis.

Knowledge is Empowering

Many people take medication to help control or manage the symptoms of their mental illness. A clear knowledge and understanding of medication and possible side effects combined with knowledge and understanding of both oneself and one's illness is often important in achieving a sense of personal control over the symptoms of the illness. Knowledge enhances your ability to self manage your medication to get the maximum benefits from it while reducing the potential for side effects and the risk of relapse. Acquiring knowledge also enhances your ability to negotiate effectively with the treating doctor about dose, frequency and the types of medication choices. Keeping up with current advances in medication research and the new drugs as they become available also increases your medication and treatment options. Remember it is your body and mind, and your decision what treatment you are going to choose.

Depression - A Lack of Faith Or a Lack of Focus?

Psalms 143:7-12 (NLT)
7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don't turn away from me, or I will die.
8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. (emphasis mine)

Times change...some people love it and some people hate it. Personally, I wish they would leave it alone. We could stay on standard time year round and I would be happy. Oh well, that won't happen and I am digressing with my thoughts today.

We have come to the time of year that we affectionately call the holidays. From now until the first of the next year, there will be parties, family gatherings, festivities and the like. During this time there will be lots of cooking and eating, gift exchanging, and many other activities that are to bring joy and happiness.
We have also come to the time of year that more people suffer from depression than any other time. The days are shorter which means less sunshine. People remember lost loved ones more during the holiday season. Families that are in turmoil create a sense of anxiety for the members. People just seem to be at a loss of purpose as well. Suicides and suicide attempts are actually higher during the winter months than any other time.

What depressing thoughts! I realize that what we want to be a happy time often turns into a very sad time. We actually have a disorder called SAD which means Seasonal Affective Disorder because of the lack of sunshine during the winter months and peoples response to that. One of my Facebook friends actually asked if he could be a rent a cave for hibernation during this time. I am not saying he suffers from SAD, but that is many people's attitudes about the fall and winter months.

Now that I have painted a very bleak picture of what might be my favorite time of the year, let me give some encouragement to all today. Many people suffer from all types of depression. If you watch TV at all, you have seen commercials for every kind of depression medication there is. If you suffer from chronic depression, you might need to see your doctor. But, most of the time the doctor will prescribe one of the medications without talking to you about the causes of depression or the effects of the medication. Medication which is good to help take the edge off of depression only masks the symptoms and does not heal depression.

Taking chemical imbalances as well as other biological reasons for depression out of the equation, the root cause of most depression (if not all) is rejection. With that in mind, let me ask you how do you feel rejected? Whom do you feel rejected by? OK, the counselor in me has to ask questions. Folks, what do we do with rejection? Many times we seek to get even with the person that we feel has rejected us. Many times we try to hide our true feelings and never express them in a constructive manner. A good definition of depression is internalized anger. Anger always has an object. Anger is not a sin as Paul writes "be angry and do not sin." We get angry when we feel someone has wronged us or rejected us and then we "swallow" that anger and allow it to fester inside. Now I am not saying that we need to attack the person that has rejected us. That would be sinning in our anger. I am saying that we need to express our hurt and then forgive the person who has rejected us. I know that is easier for me to write than for you to do. Yet it works. The psalmist in the passage above turns to the One who has never rejected him. David who is called a man after God's own heart felt depressed. Many of the biblical heroes of the faith felt depressed. Elijah even went so far as to hide in a cave. Peter was going to leave the ministry. David commits adultery after staying in bed till 3:00 in the afternoon. Many others suffer from depression throughout scripture.

I want you to know that I do not believe that it is a lack of faith to be depressed. I believe that it is a lack of focus. Elijah had the faith to raise people from the dead. He had the faith to call fire from heaven. He had the faith to ask God to stop it from raining for 3 ½ years and then to have it rain again. He outran a chariot. He was a man of faith who lost his focus. David had faith to kill a giant...he lost his focus. Peter walked on water and was the instrument to heal and bring Pentecost...he lost his focus.

David in this Psalm refocuses. Most of the time, we need to refocus so that we are not looking at the rejection all of the time or the hurt, but we look at the God of the universe who NEVER rejects us.