Saturday, August 10, 2013

Understanding Your Moon-Sign

Almost everyone knows their 'Sun-sign' or what is sometimes called a 'Star-sign' but few of us understand our Moon-sign. This is a shame, for the sign of the Moon is a vital element in self-knowledge and understanding. Sun-sign astrology has developed because of its commercial viability - you only need to know your day of birth in order to be categorised as one of twelve signs. Your Moon-sign however is not quite such a simple matter!

Your Moon-sign is not related to your day of birth in the same way your Sun-sign is; just because you were born on 1st September for example does not make your Moon-sign Virgo or Pisces, in the same way that your Sun-sign would be guaranteed to be Virgo. Your Moon-sign could actually be any one of the twelve zodiac signs, Aries through to Pisces. To find it we would have to look at the ephemeris for your exact date of birth, and look up the Moon's position.

The Moon represents our instinctive self and is related to innate personality more so than the Sun. The Moon shows who we are when we are not trying to be anything else; it is symbolic of our habitual way of being and says something about our emotional responses and the way in which we need to be nurtured. The Moon also suggests something about how we are at home, in domestic settings, and perhaps about our family of origin. If we do not recognise the needs of our Moon-sign we may quickly become unhappy and depressed. The Moon is a sensitive planet, and she needs to be fed in a particular style, this style being dependent on her sign and placement in the birth chart.

Let's say you have Moon in Aries - then your instinctive needs revolve around independence, initiative and action. If you are smothered or asked to compromise once too often, you will suffer! With Moon in Gemini you simply must have mental stimulation, to be able to breathe the ideas which are your very air and nourishment. A Moon in Scorpio needs to brood, to engage with deeper, darker elements of the self whilst a Moon in Pisces simply must have an outlet for escapism in its life: music, spirituality, the occasional glass of wine, movies, just something to take it out of the realm of the everyday.

Moon in Sagittarius has to have boundless room to feel nurtured; it must sense that life's possibilities are still open and stretch far and wide. Moon in Taurus must have comfort and security; it will resist change and feed itself on the accumulation of resources and a life built up brick by brick. Moon in Leo must shine in dramatic fashion, having the freedom to be creative and playful whilst Moon in Virgo requires the calm and order of a carefully planned routine. Will the Moon in Libra ever be happy in an ugly environment where people shout and aggress? - never! Calm and aesthetically pleasing surroundings are essential to its very well-being.

Moon in Capricorn has to be taken seriously and needs its responsibilities to feel that life is as it should be whereas Moon in Aquarius cannot bear to live without its principles and concern for others. The Moon in Cancer needs protection, a haven of homely safety within which to explore the ebb and flow of its feelings.

Starting to get the idea? This little taster of the Moon in the signs may give you an intimation of how fundamental the Moon is in our basic character, and how important it is to nurture her in a manner that accords with our authentic selves.

Declined For Life Insurance? Not A Bad Place To Start!

I won't pretend that being declined for insurance doesn't carry a sting. A common thought that comes with the decline is, "Do they think I'm about to die, or what?"

Some perspective might help and maybe a little insight into how life insurance companies decide what will drive approvals and declines. It's important to know that not all companies work from the same guidelines. What drives one company screaming into the dark is exactly what another company is looking for to balance out their risk pool. A case that doesn't even get to the underwriter's desk at one company because, for instance, bipolar disorder was mentioned on the application, will not even slow down at another company as they work diligently toward approval.

A decline is not so much a statement about your health or mortality as it is a statement about that particular company's marketing philosophy and their personal risk tolerance. Before your application every came through the door, and the agent you're using should know this, the company they chose may well have a policy of automatically declining things like type 1 diabetes or a history of breast cancer.

I've said it many times, but it bears repeating....the wrong agent taking your business to the wrong company will end with bad results almost every time. Which begs the question, how do you know if you are partnering with the wrong agent and how do you know if they are steering you to the wrong company? The task of making sure you're in the right hands, while it seems daunting because you're not in the business, is really pretty easy.

You understand your medical or mental situation from having talked to the doctor, sometimes for years. When you talk to an agent you should get the feeling that they also understand the variables of your impairment. The questions they ask should seem relevant and if they ask a question that you don't know the answer to, they should be able to fully explain why the question is important and why the answer plays a key role in underwriting. First clue that you've run into the wrong agent is if they don't ask enough questions. They have to know what will drive an underwriter's decision. It's their job.

Beware the agent that shoots from the hip with quotes on serious impairments. Most agents can get away with that on less significant history such as hypertension, high cholesterol or family history, but if you have a more serious history of say, heart disease, cancer, diabetes or depression, the agent shouldn't provide quotes until they have presented, informally, all of your information to their underwriter (if they work for only one company) or all of the underwriters they work with if they are independent agents.

A sample email that I send out to multiple companies might go something like this. "Proposed insured born 3/14/53, 5'10, 175, non smoker. Diagnosed 10 years ago with type 2 diabetes. Has full blood workups quarterly. Most recent labs showed A1c 5.6 and all kidney functions normal. There are no collateral health issues. Good family history. Takes Janumet and Actose and preventably takes Propanolol and Simvastatin. Last blood pressure was 117/76 and most recent cholesterol was 142 with HDL 50. Looking for $500,000 term."

I will generally send that email to the companies that I know have the best underwriting philosophy on type 2 diabetes. On average I will get 10 to 15 answers back telling me what rate class to expect on approval if all the facts are accurate. I provide quotes to the client from the best 1 or 2 companies. I always double check the email with the client before sending it to make sure it is accurate and nothing has been left out. When an application goes in the email from the underwriter is attached to the application. This ensures that it will get back to the same underwriter that previewed it and also makes it virtually impossible for them to change their minds unless they find some important information that wasn't divulged to me and therefore wasn't provided on the quote request.

Your agent should be willing to shop your case in this fashion, willing to show you the outgoing email and also the responses from underwriters and be able to explain why they picked the company they did. With that process in play you can be comfortable that you have an agent that has been there, done that and has every intention of winning your business by providing the best possible outcome.

Bottom line. Almost every client we serve has been declined. That's why they come to us. Occasionally a decline is legitimate, but I don't drop that bomb and just leave them. I let them know why it isn't currently insurable and what it will take for them to be insurable and I set a followup to check in with them and see if they have done what it takes to warrant another look at it. Sometimes we will simply shop it every 6 months to a year just to see if an underwriter has changed their stance or possible a company has hired a new underwriter that will open some doors. Don't give up!

Teenage Depression - How Physical Illness Can Cause It

Teenage Depression and physical illness are closely related. There exist substantial evidences that physical illness is largely a contributing factor to the start and development of teenage depression. Several illnesses such as; diabetes, cancer, physical disability, chronic fatigue, chronic pain and even obesity are all high triggers of depression in adults and indeed teenagers.

Apart from the listed illnesses, illnesses that are rather considered not too serious or life threatening such as flu can also cause depression. I once experienced a long bout of depression due to prolong nasal congestion as a result of sinusitis that lasted for about 4 weeks! During this period, I always felt hopeless and handicapped. At some point, I even felt I was going to die. My depression worsened each time I remembered the fact that my response to the various treatment received was rather slow. My experience personally strengthened my convictions that depression is more prevalent in people with illnesses and the depression experienced is usually caused by the burden of not being well and undergoing treatment.

Several factors can be attributed to the causes of depression in people with physical illnesses. It is believed that biological and genetic factors are all causes of depression in people with physical illness. But from my personal experience the following are possible reasons why a physical illness causes depression;

1. The stress or problem of coping with a particular illness can be a trigger of depression or teenage depression.

2. Some medications received during the treatment of a physical illness may also induce depression, depressive reactions and subsequently depression symptoms.

If as a teenager you are depressed or as an adult you are experiencing some form of depression, please take note that it might actually be due to whatever physical illness you might be contending with. Don't also forget that the medication you are taking at the moment in treating a particular illness is also a possible reason for your depression. The good thing though, is that there are effective depression treatments available. You can find information about this here.

Understand the Common Causes of Teen Depression

There are many causes of teen depression and the depression can be transitional or transient in nature and can come from a wide variety of factors.

Depression can be a transient response to many situations and stresses. In teen depression, it may be from one factor, multiple factors, or in some cases, nothing that can be pinpointed. Teen depression is often common due to emotional factors, hormonal changes and the simple stress of being a teenager as well as parental issues and conflicts that may be taking place. Because your teens sometimes have the odd blue feeling day, many parents and even physicians don't see the overall picture and teen depression is often overlooked.

Teen depression is one of the fastest growing issues in not only America but also Australia, England, and several other countries. There are many types and causes of teen depression, and there are many different treatments that may address and help them. These include medication, nutritional supplements, and counseling and family therapy.

Depression in a teen can be reactive to some event that has been overly disturbing, such as the death of a close friend or relative, the breakup of a relationship, a school problem or failure, or even lack of close friends. Girls are more likely to suffer from serious depression than boys, while those who are lower in self-esteem, live with particularly critical family members or are emotionally or mentally abused may suffer more from depression. Those who feel that they have no personal control of their life, and are self-critical are far more likely to become depressed and suicidal than those who are not. These are also very much at risk for depression when they are presented with a stressful event in their life.

Real, long-term depression is hard to pin down in teens in some cases because the teen years tend to present us with some very high moods as well as some very low ones. On any typical day a teenager may express both the "life is amazing" as well as "life is horrible" moods. This makes real depression sometimes difficult to assess.

In cases of real teen depression, the mood lows will last for days or weeks. You will see some real and pivotal changes in the behavior of the teen in a relatively short amount of time. Neglecting family and friends, anger or depression, the inability to concentrate, loss of interest in school or outside activities are just a few of the things that you can look for to ascertain whether a teen that you know is depressed.

Long-term depression in the teen years is as destructive as it is in an adult. Get a handle on your depression by asking for some help. If you simply aren't enjoying life as much as you could be, or used to be, try talking to someone and sorting through your own emotions. It's possible that you are suffering from teen depression. There is help for your problem and asking for help means that you're going to be enjoying life again very soon!

Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse

In a multimedia cyber world, the awareness of Bipolar Disorder continues to grow. You can go on the internet and search "Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder" and some names that will pop up are Britney Spears, Mel Gibson, Ben Stiller, Kurt Cobain, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray, Axl Rose, Virginia Woolf, Linda Hamilton, Sting, Jean-Claude Van Damme and many more. Because celebrities are in the public eye, and constantly under the close watch of the media, any unusual behaviors are seen and scrutinized.

Many individuals with Mood Disorder can recall years or manic and depressive behaviors. They did not seek help until there was a notable impairment of function of their daily activities. Prior to seeking help, some individuals with mood disorder try to cope with their manic depressive mood swings either through exercise, hobbies, yoga, art, music or talking with close friends or family. Unfortunately, most individuals choose to self medicate with alcohol and illicit drugs. 60% of individuals with bipolar disorder will develop a substance abuse disorder at some point in their lifetime.

Bipolar disorder is categorized as a mood disorder wherein a person will cycle between a manic state (hyperactivity, distractibility, decreased need for sleep, grandiose behavior, flight of ideas, racing thoughts, pressured / rapid speech, impulsivity, poor judgment, hypersexuality, spending sprees, dangerous behaviors and unrealistic optimism) and depressive state (sadness, crying spells, decreased sleep, loss of interest or pleasure in activities or hobbies, excessive guilt, low energy / motivation, weight gain, feelings of helplessness/hopelessness/worthlessness, restlessness or irritability, poor concentration and suicidal thoughts or attempts).

The prevalence of Bipolar Disorder in the United States is 1 -2 % of the general population. The age of onset is around 19 years old with most cases presenting between ages 15 - 20 years old. The Incidence between male and females with bipolar disorder is equivalent with no general association with a socioeconomic class or ethnic group. Only one-third of those with Mood Disorder are formally diagnosed by a physician and of the one-third, approximately 25% is actually treated. Untreated Bipolar Disorder has a lifetime risk of completed suicide of 15%.

An individual with Mood Disorder may look very different when manic or depressed thus making the disorder frequently misdiagnosed. In regards to substance abuse, often times an individual may deal with their depression by using cocaine to elevate their mood. When dealing with their mania, an individual may consume alcoholic beverages, benzodiazepines or opiates to bring down their mood. The question that one should ask is if the substance abuse is a result of the Bipolar Disorder or if the signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (mood swings of mania and depression) are a result of the substance abuse. Such individuals may be bounced back and forth from Psychiatric inpatient hospitals or Drug Rehabilitation Centers. Often times, individuals are refused treatment or are become frustrated with the system that they no longer pursue treatment.

To help better manage this question, Dual diagnosis or Mental Illness and Chemical Addiction (MICA) Units were developed. These units recognize both "Mental Illness" (Major Depression, Bipolar or Schizophrenia) and "Substance Abuse." These units are comprised with Psychiatrists, Nurses, Psychologist, Therapist, Social Workers and various other support staff. Such programs provide a medically supervised and safe detoxification process; individual treatment plan addressing both psychiatric illness and substance abuse and a central location limiting disruption and enhancing continuity of care.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Puppy Mill Horrors and The Benefits of Pet Adoption

Imagine spending your entire life in a cage that is 6 inches taller than you and 12 inches wider and longer than you. Now imagine that you are surrounded by identical cages, like yours stacked 3 or more high, your own personal tic-tac toe board from hell. In this cage is a water and food bowl. You have no choice but to soil your environment because you don't have anywhere else to go. Unfortunately, neither do the 2 or more captives stacked above you. The waste from the other captives could very possibly fall into your water and food bowls and there is nothing you can do about your condition.

Now, if this is not quite a bleak enough picture, let me add just a few more layers. The only time that you are allowed to escape this cage is that 'special time'. The times you are in heat and are able to become pregnant. During pregnancy you are returned to your cage. Special care of your additional nutritional needs during pregnancy are not met. Your own health declines as the few vitamins and minerals available are robbed from you because the fetuses need them more. Finally, your babies are born. Now, you are sharing your cage with your pups. No worries though, at the first possible time (and maybe a bit too early) your pups are weaned, separated, and shipped off for sale, Now your cycle will begin again, as it does over and over until you are no longer able to conceive.

Where do these puppies go? Mostly, they are distributed to major pet store chains. These puppies are shipped, bathed, and groomed then put in another cage, slightly better maintained, and sold to an unsuspecting consumer.

As you are reading this, I am sure that questions are flooding your brain. You really want to believe that no-one is really cruel enough to hurt defenseless animals, right? WRONG! Puppy mills began to spring up during extreme depression of our economy. Breeding and selling puppies was a way to make money with very little overhead costs. We all have seen greed. My description of a puppy mill is the result of greed and excess.

I felt it important to arm you with this knowledge so that it will put an exclamation point on the continued education about the value of pet adoption verses purchase when deciding to add one of our 4 legged friends to your family.

Some of the reasons commonly listed as reasons to purchase a dog rather than adopt:

My family wants a AKC Registered Pure Breed
Personal Breeders ensure that my puppy will be healthy and socialized
Dogs found in shelters are riddled with behavioral problems, that is how they got there
If I buy my dog, I will know his full personal history
Shelter dogs are all mutts and no-one knows the history of the animal

Rebuttal arguments for each of these reasons:

Specific Pure Breed shelters exist for most breeds.

Just Google "how to find a reputable dog breeder". Many so called breeders are really puppy mills who sell malnourished, sick, and genetically unsound dogs that can still be called pure bred and eligible for AKC registration.

Dogs end up in shelters for many reasons. Many are surrendered by owners who chose a dog that did not fit their lifestyle, or a major change in life left them no longer able to properly care for the dog. They are not all 'problem dogs'.

Buying a dog in a pet store, even a large chain pet store, is the very worst choice if you want complete history of a dog. The minimum wage store clerk will usually not even know where the dog was born. Again, many puppy mills provide even well known pet stores with their inventory.

Shelters will take a full history of any animal that is surrendered by owner. Because their main goal is to find homes for these dogs, they will spend time with the dog. Document or witness specific behaviors and socialization with other dogs and humans. It is likely that you will be able to have a very detailed history of any dog available for adoption in a shelter.

The decision to add a dog into your families lives is a major change of lifestyle. You will really need to do your research so that your final decision is the best 'fit' for your family. There are so many animals that can provide years of companionship and happiness to you that are just waiting to be adopted. They are innocent victims of our world and are helpless to change their own fate. I hope that through your research you will understand my passion for spreading the horrors of puppy mills and the rewards of dog adoption.

Depression Symptoms Checklist For Those Who Suspect They Have the Blues

Depression symptoms can create behaviors that you don't readily notice especially if you've had a low level of depression for an extended period of time. Since depression affects your quality of life and your ability to take care of others and form meaningful relationships, it helps to recognize the symptoms in black and white, so you can become aware of the impact they have on your life. In this article, you'll learn about the symptoms and a natural, simple way of getting past this soul-sucking monster called Depression.

Main Symptoms of Depression

Below are a list of symptoms. You may not have all of them. The key is their duration. How long have these symptoms been affecting your life?

  • The blues

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Crying spells with no obvious reason

  • Weight loss or weight gain

  • Indecisive

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • No desire for sex or inability to achieve orgasm

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

  • Loss of motivation and interest in life

Before we blow past these depression symptoms and talk about treatment, let's consider for a moment how these symptoms affect your quality of life. For instance, let's take one symptom: loss of motivation. If you've lost motivation, what is it like for you to wake up in the morning and drag yourself out of bed? What is it like to just go through the motions every day? Do you remember what it was like to wake up with joy and enthusiasm at the prospect of a new day? And at the end of the day, do you remember what it was like to express gratitude for the people in your life, the roof over your head and all the simple, but deeply satisfying pleasures that make up your life?

These positive feelings can be yours again. You do not have to live your entire life with depression and you do not have to medicate yourself with drugs. There is a way out. Since all drugs have side effects and many of the anti depressants on the market actually worsen depression symptoms, I recommend natural remedies.

The reason has clear. Researches have shown that there is a link between nutritional deficiencies and the main symptoms of depression. While taking anti depressants like Zoloft may suppress the symptoms of depression (while creating all kinds of side effects like weight gain, anxiety, loss of sleep, etc.), it does not heal the cause of depression. After all, you're not deficient in Paxil, which isn't even a natural substance, but your brain may very well be deficient in the nutrients needed to manufacture serotonin and the feel-good neurotransmitters that create a natural high in the brain.

This is why hundreds of thousands of people are getting off drugs and turning to natural remedies that are formulated specifically for depression. Be aware though that not all remedies are created alike. Look for a remedy that is FDA-approved and contains effective ingredients like St. John's Wort and Passion Flower which have been proven effective in overcoming depression symptoms. Natural remedies have no side effects, but best of all, they give the brain the nutrition it needs to heal itself. So with regular use, you can eventually start taking them.

So there you have it: the main symptoms of depression and a safe, natural means to overcome them and get back to a sense of balance and wellness in your life.

Bipolar Disorder - From Devastation to Delight

Bipolar disorder can totally devastate your life if you are afflicted by it. It can also put extreme pressure on relationships with friends and loved ones. Quite often it has been the major cause of these important relationships breaking down. Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depressive disorder, does not need to dominate one's life like that. It can be well managed. Imagine the delight for the afflicted person and their friends and loved ones, if this does occur. It would give them all back control of their lives.

Unmanaged manic depressive disorder can be totally in control of one's life. Swinging between manic episodes and depressive episodes is frightening. When will the next high or low hit? Can you tell the difference between being high and being happy? Can you tell the difference between being depressed and being sad? Even that state of normality between mood-swings can be terrifying. When will the next of your manic episodes or depressive episodes arrive?

Suicide Does Not need to be a Threat

Of all the mental disorders bipolar disorder has the highest successful suicide rate and attempted suicide rate of them all. The USA National Institute of Mental Health advise that up to 20% of bipolar people will successfully commit suicide. The USA National Institute of Health state that between 25% to 50% of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder will attempt suicide at least once in their life. Both of these organizations also advise that these rates drop markedly if the afflicted person is receiving proper treatment for their manic depressive disorder.

Manic episodes and depressive episodes can definitely be successfully managed. Achieving this gives the afflicted person, their friends, and their loved ones a much more comfortable life to live. Even if manic depressive disorder episodes are experienced they are nowhere near as frightening as unmanaged episodes can be. Can you think of the relief this would bring to all parties. The way to start managing these episodes normally comes from within the afflicted person. Manic depressive disorder is best managed when there is a strong DESIRE from within for this objective to be achieved.

The First Step to Managing Manic Depressive Disorder is Having a Strong Inward DESIRE to do so.

This DESIRE ensures that the prescribed treatment regime is strictly followed. This is a big step forward towards successful management of bipolar disorder. A proper understanding of the disorder will be gained. Good communication between doctor and patient is needed to ensure that the prescribed medication is achieving the required results. Hopefully friends and loved ones will also obtain a good knowledge of the disorder. This knowledge helps them considerably as they provide support to help good management of the disorder.

The successful management of manic episodes and depressive episodes goes a long way towards giving back control of your life. Imagine the delight for yourself, your friends and your loved ones. Can it be time for you to take back control of your life? Take the first big step. Build up a strong DESIRE to do so.

Bipolar Disorder and Diabetes - What's the Connection?

Diabetes and bipolar disorder are co-morbid conditions. This means they often coexist, with many people having both bipolar disorder and diabetes.

Research indicates that this is more than an unfortunate coincidence. Some studies have shown people with bipolar disorder are up to three times more likely to have diabetes than members of the general population.

Also, there is evidence that people with bipolar disorder and diabetes are more likely to face other health challenges such as being more prone to rapid cycling, and more likely to have chronic, as opposed to milder, mood episodes. There may be other negative lifestyle consequences as well. One Canadian study found that 81% of bipolar people with diabetes were receiving disability payments, versus 30% of bipolar patients without diabetes.

In diabetes, because of either a shortage of insulin, or an inability by the body to make use of insulin, sugar and other food can no longer be correctly metabolized and turned into energy. Sugar simply continues to accumulate in the blood, causing a variety of health problems.

The diabetic mood swings resulting from excess sugar and carbohydrates in the body are extremely similar to the mood swings experienced in bipolar disorder. A person with diabetes may seem depressed, or manic, or both.

There is also pre-diabetes, some experts consider America's largest healthcare epidemic. Also known as Syndrome X or metabolic syndrome, this condition occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. As of 2009 there are 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes.

To make matters worse, several of the leading medications used to treat bipolar disorder can cause significant weight gain, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia.

Diabetes is usually treated by changes in diet and through medication, for example regular injections of insulin.

The most important dietary changes are to opt for foods high in nutrition but low in calories, sugar and fat. As stabilizing blood sugar is so important, it is ideal if you can eat your meals at the same time every day, and consume a healthy proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, with little variation to the ratio from day to day.

Increased physical activity such as the kind of exercise program that also protects against mood swings and depression is also important in both treating and preventing metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.

Why do diabetes and bipolar co-occur? This question has yet to be answered definitively. However, there are several theories, including the following:

  • The stress hormone cortisol tends to be elevated in both bipolar patients and diabetics. In particular, very high level levels of cortisol have been observed in people suffering from bipolar depression. Too much cortisol leads to insulin resistance so it is possible that the elevated cortisol in people with bipolar disorder leads to diabetes.

  • People with bipolar disorder often self-medicate with food, including the "comfort foods" high in sugar and saturated fats that contribute to both metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.
    All people diagnosed with bipolar disorder should immediately have a comprehensive physical exam to check for the presence of common co-morbid conditions, especially diabetes.

All people diagnosed with bipolar disorder should immediately have a comprehensive physical exam to check for the presence of common co-morbid conditions, especially diabetes.

Manic Depression - Signs of This Disorder

Manic depression is a disorder that is characterized by mood swings ranging from elation to depression so severe that the patient can only think of suicide. It is also known as bipolar disorder and it can be so disabling that the patient cannot function normally in social or professional settings. It can be treated once properly diagnosed by a medical doctor and with care and patience, patients can move on to live a productive life. Manic depression cycles between two states: mania and depression.

What are the symptoms of the mania state?

A manic episode is where the patient experiences happiness and enjoyment that can last for a week or longer. This mood lasts all day, every day during this episode and it can be characterized by three more symptoms. Increased activity and energy, euphoric moods, and increased sex drive are just some of the more positive attributes of this state. Irritability, racing thoughts out of control, the inability to concentrate, talking too dast, drug or alcohol abuse, and poor judgement are the negative side of the state. When three or more of these symptoms are present, the patient can be considered in a manic state. Hypomania is a mild to moderate episode, leaving the patient feeling good and being able to be productive. It is a dangerous and misleading state and if left untreated can send the patient suffering manic depression into a deeper depression than before.

What are the symptoms of depressive state?

On the opposite side of the coin is the depressive state of manic depression. Like the manic state, it can last from a day to more than two weeks. Five symptoms are usually present when a patient is in this state including anxiousness, feeling as if their life is empty, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of interest in things they used to enjoy, fatigue, and more. Chronic pain with no apparent cause is another common symptom for people suffering manic depression and when it is left untreated, the patient could slip into suicidal tendencies. When this happens, immediate medical attention should be sought out.

How is manic depression diagnosed and treated?

Through a series of psychological and medical testing, a doctor can help a person determine if they are suffering from manic depression. These tests include a physical and lengthy discussion about the symptoms the patient has been experiencing. The patient may be referred to a psychological expert for more treatment and testing to help find the root of the problem and the proper treatment plan.

Manic depressives can find relief and live a productive life by working with their doctor on a treatment plan designed specifically for them. They will have to work at it for the rest of their lives as short-term treatments will not cure the disorder. Medication such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics may be prescribed. Psychotherapy will help patients learn how to change their behaviour, show them that they are not alone, and can even guide friends and family members in helping the patient and themselves understand what they are suffering. If the depression is severe enough and there is danger to the patient, the patient's doctor may recommend a brief hospitalization.

Managing Long Term Care For Bipolar Disorder

Need for Long term care management of bipolar disorder:

o Most bipolar disorders require long term course management for the effective treatment.

o Complete recovery of the individual Bipolar Disorder cannot be said to occur, if the initial symptoms subside for sometime under the effect of medication. There can be several episodes of relapse.

o In fact Bipolar disorder has one percent chance of lasting for a lifetime even after diagnosis and treatment.

o Bipolar disorder differs from one individual to another in its severity, frequency of cycles of mania and depression, and various psychotic states that can be debilitating.

o A single or few episodes of relapse can trigger further relapses.

o In many cases the patients stops having medication once the initial symptoms have subsided.

It is exceedingly vital that, a proper plan of action is formulated for long term course management, in order to make the treatment viable. Due to the progressive, chronic and episodic nature of the illness, long term treatment is essential for most bipolar disorder patients.

Long term course management for bipolar disorder requires careful consideration of various components like:

o Proper diagnosis and assessment of the degree, and type of the disorder.

o Course of the treatment and its goals.

o A plan to combine various therapeutic procedures along with medication.

o Continual management of the drugs course and possible alteration depending on individual need on a long term basis.

o Careful consideration of the psychosocial factors

The main goals of a long term or at times life long management or maintenance therapy are:

o Treatment of the attacks of depression and manic.

o Prevention of relapses.

o Limiting the side effects of the treatment.

o Enhancing the quality of life and functioning.

An optimum long-term treatment strategy and course manage is still unavailable. In this scenario there can be two distinct mode of action depending on the individual patients need, namely
- Mono-therapy

- Combined-therapy

Managing the long-term course for treatment of bipolar disorder

1. A proper diagnosis is the first step for long term course management of bipolar disorder. It requires thorough investigation about the degree of dysfunction in the work place, family and interpersonal relationship.

The family medical history and the risk that the individual patient poses for him/her self and others also need to be investigated. Further the presence or absence of psychosis, requirement for urgent medical help, the severity of the disorder, patient's medical history as well as history of substance abuse also needs to be investigated. All this go a long way in helping in setting up the treatment pattern.

2. The second step, in long term course management for treatment of bipolar disorder, is to set up a proper pharmacological treatment course based on the diagnosis. Certain drugs are more useful for, rapid cyclers, while others are more effective for manic or depressive attacks.

Certain patient can be resistant to some medicines, while others are incapable of tolerating the side effects. An expert can recommend a monotherapy or a combination treatment, according to the requirement of the bipolar patient. The treatment plan and course, for a patient with a mixed state is completely distinct from one with more pronounced manic or depressive attacks.

3. At the acute stage the main aim is to get the individual patient to respond to the treatment. Finding the right therapy and treatment course may take some time.

4. When the patient is on his/her way to recovery the frequency of therapy and treatment may reduce. At this point the patient can be educated by various psychotherapeutic techniques to identify the signs before a relapse and be warned of their dangers. The services of an expert psychotherapist as well as the support of the family should be pitched in.

5. There is also a need to build a strong and therapeutic relationship between the patient with bipolar disorder and the doctor.

There is a dearth of proper studies regarding a properly designed management therapy for long-term course maintenance of bipolar disorder. Due to this treatment can sometimes be inadequate and improper.

Medication for long-term treatment of bipolar disorder and its management

o It has been established by various controlled studies that, atypical antipsychotic like olanzapine, risperidone, and quetiapine, play a major role in the management of long term courses. These act as mood stabilizers and have greater tolerability profile in comparison to antipsychotic.

o At times mood stabilizers like Lithium, lamotrigine, carbamazepine and divalproex may be used. However many patients are unresponsive to such drugs, or incapable of tolerating their side effects.

o Although Lithium is the oldest and most commonly used drug for Bipolar disorder, it may pose various problems when used as long term drug. Certain individual may be resistant to lithium, while certain others find the side effects intolerable, some individuals may experience manic attacks when taken off Lithium abruptly.

Further lithium can cause nervousness, excessive sweating and hyperthyroidism. Certain recent studies however reveal that lithium as well as lamotigine has efficiency as a long term drug for bipolar disease. Further lithium is the only drug that is recommended by FDA for children with bipolar disorder.

o Lamotrigine has been found to be of high efficacy for long term course maintenance. This anticonvulsant can however cause skin rashes, and is not effective for acute mania patients.

o Studies have found that divalproex is also a viable option for long term course maintenance, and can help reduce the incidence of relapses. According to certain studies, Carbamazepine and valproate have fewer efficacies as drugs for long-term course.

Thus Bipolar disorder most generally may need life long or at least a long term treatment program. Managing a long term treatment course for bipolar disorder is a challenge. It requires proper diagnosis, a suitable mode of treatment for the acute and initial stages, subsequent maintenance therapy and treatment and psycho education or psychotherapeutic intervention, support of family, in addition to the pharmacological treatment.

Lastly each individual case is different and hence management of long term course for treatment of each bipolar patient will be distinct.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What About Free Laughter Online? Not a Joke

It is an inescapable truth that we live in a stressful world and stressful times. Everyday we all are face stress at many places at home, at work. There is no one who can say that he is stress-free. Everybody is stressed by something, parents, Children, teachers, students, young, old, admin, I mean everybody. It is something that everybody experiences from time to time that causes us some degree of tension, anxiety, anger, disturbance and depression. What is the best way to handle depression? What can I do about it? How can I get relief from stress? Well, the answer all of these questions is very simple. Here's one free method to beat stress - Laugh.

It may sound funny to you, but it is absolutely true. Laughter is one of the best prescriptions for stress relief. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cool down your stress response. Laughing helps you relax, and not only this-it helps other people relax, as well. Laughing brighten our perspective, improves our quality of life, and lightens the load. Laughter adds enjoyment to ordinary things. It is to a life what cream is to a cake. Laughter develops our level of confidence and makes us more creative. We become in tune with our natural state, which is basically joyful. Laughter can turn a sad day into joyful one. Researchers indicate that laughter significantly reduces the effects of stress, lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and increases the oxygen in your body at both cellular and organ levels.

How can I make myself laugh? Well, there are several methods to get your laughter motor going. One of the best way is Jokes and funny sayings. They are really fun to read and can help out in almost any situation. They make you laugh when you are sad. They bring grin on your face when you are stressed. Funny saying on good colored posters on work space can really brighten up the work area and keeps your mood good & fresh throughout the day. One can even put funny sayings on his t-shirt and grab everyone's attention on the street. So, Funny sayings, indeed, keeps your laughter motor going smoothly.

Simplicity is beautiful, so keep the life simple, to make it beautiful. Live life with love and joy. You need not to make those hassle filled activities like going to cinema and spend money to reduce your stress. Instead of these hassled-filled activities, just turn on your computer and read some funny sayings and jokes. It doesn't cost you even a single penny and it is better than going to cinema. So guys, Sit Down! Relax and read some funny sayings. I bet you will feel good after going through funny sayings. These funny sayings give you nothing but 200% happiness and laughter - that is my guarantee.

Is There a Link Between Depression and OCD?

Depression is a mental disorder that puts you in the state of sadness and blues. It is one of the most common diseases that human beings suffer from. People from all over the world suffer from depression every year. It affects all ages, even children are not spared. It can be severe to mild. It is a treatable disease; the treatment of depression depends upon the types of depression one is suffering from. The cause of depression is still unknown, but there are some beliefs that it happens due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Approximately 80% of the depressed people get fully recovered by following the proper treatment method. If not treated or ignored it might put you in huge trouble.

OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) is an anxiety disorder. It generally causes unnecessary obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors repeatedly. OCD affects your daily routines. Obsessions and compulsions do not make any sense and people that suffer from OCD do realize it. OCD is not as common as depression. It affects both men and women equally. It generally affects people of the age group 18 to 55. The exact cause of OCD is still not known, but much like depression it has something to do with chemical imbalances in the brain. It is a treatable disease; patents usually get fully recovered from OCD.

OCD symptoms involving obsessions are:

1. Unnecessary thoughts of contamination or dirt by touching any object or shaking hands with people.

2. Repeated thoughts of guilt.

3. Hair loss or baldness, people suffering from obsessions often fund pulling their hairs as a result of which hair loss or baldness occurs.

4. Extreme level of stress when things are not symmetrical.

5. Sufferers avoid shaking hands with people; they feel they will get dirty.

OCD symptoms involving Compulsions:

1. They wash their hands continuously until the skin of their hands turn raw.

2. They also exhibit the signs of extreme worry or fear; they keep on checking the doors to make sure the doors are properly locked.

3. Sufferers repeatedly go to the kitchen and makes sure that stove is off properly.

4. Sufferers exhibit unusual ways to go about simplest things in life. They make life confusing for themselves.

The treatment of OCD should be taken in the administration of the specialist. Various treatment methods are available for the treatment of OCD such as, medication, psychotherapies and the combination of medication and therapy methods.

OCD and depression has a link between each other. The biggest link between OCD and depression is that, people suffering from depression has strong chances to suffer from OCD as well and vice -versa. Person suffering from OCD also exhibits so many symptoms that are associated with depression and those symptoms are: Inability to make decisions, feelings of guilt, anxiety, low self esteem and tiredness. Another thing that establishes link between depression and OCD is the treatment method. Treatment methods used for OCD and depression are almost same. This is due to the strong relationship between the symptoms of depression and OCD.

Manic Depression

Have you encountered a person undergoing extreme mood swings, or sudden behavioral changes? The person is suffering from bipolar disorder or manic depression. These sudden mood swings can last for hours, days, weeks or even months. Bipolar disorder or manic depression results in quite distinct mood fluctuations that, once traced and analyzed, can be anticipated.

You are in depression when you deviate yourself from your normal activities. Your zest for life gets a backseat because of depression. There is a tendency to isolate oneself from the external environment and develop this strange behavior, which highlights your lack of confidence. Always remember that when you are in depression, others are also affected by the rough patches in your life.

Bipolar disorder or manic depression is not restricted to any particular age group. Though bipolar disorders usually start during late adolescence or early adulthood, they can also affect children or elderly people. This form of manic depression is not restricted to a particular sex, i.e. male or female, or to a particular race or class. It must be however notified, that manifestations of bipolar disorder or manic depression is different in men and women.

Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder or manic depression can be treated under proper medication and consultation with medical experts. Usually, bipolar disorder or manic depression is associated with certain general types of mood swings, namely, hypomanic episode, a major depressive episode, and a mixed episode.

Bipolar disorders or manic depression can be either categorized under Bipolar I disorder or Bipolar II disorder. Bipolar I disorder is characterized by elevated moods for at least a week, talkativeness, decreased need of sleep, flight of ideas, and so on. Bipolar II category, on the other hand, is characterized by depressive mood behavior with at least one hypomanic episode. The second disorder seriously hampers the social life of the patient because of erratic mood changes.

Bipolar disorders or manic depression are usually indescribable and are no instant cure for the illness. Such forms of depression can go on for hours, weeks or months if left untreated. It is always advisable to consult the doctor immediately if sudden changes in mood occur. Bipolar disorders or manic depression can always be treated with proper medications and therapy. But never leave it untreated because it worsens a person's mental and physical condition to a great extent.

Always remember, more than doctors, it is the family and friends of the patient who help him or her in overcoming the problem. Always encourage him or her to seek the help and care of a psychiatrist immediately

How Do We Measure Happiness?

What is happiness, and how can we measure it?

The first "happiness study" was published in 1978, in the Journal of Personality and social Psychology. The question the researchers asked of people who were interviewed was: what do you think will make you happy?

The researchers thought this would highlight some fundamental elements that contribute to happiness in most people's lives. They assumed money and comfort would probably be mentioned as main contributing factors by the people interviewed. What they found, instead, was that people often mispredicted which future events would make them happy. They predicted material possessions, financial improvements, a vacation, etc would affect how happy they would feel. In reality, though all these things can make one feel better, at least temporarily, they didn't make them HAPPY. People who had good things happen to them seemed to be as happy as people who did not.

Some more recent books in this field (The Politics of Happiness by Derek Bok, Happiness around the world: the Paradox of Happy peasants and Miserable Millionaires by Carol Graham and Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert) reached similar conclusions, thirty years or so later. Peasants in Bangladesh, for instance, report twice the level of happiness as the Russians, who make four times as much income, one of the books quotes.

Clearly, according to these studies, there seems to be no direct connection between the amount of income (though having more money of course can make life easier) and one's level of happiness.

I am not surprised by these results, as the people who come to my office feeling unhappy come from all different socio-economic backgrounds and yet they express similar feelings about how they see their lives. Happiness is very complex concept difficult to define, and the factors that contribute to it are many.

One element, for instance, that is absent in these studies is the level and quality of social and emotional connections a person has in his or her life. We know people who are alone tend to be unhappy and more vulnerable to depression and other emotional symptoms. We know they tend to have poorer health than people who are in happy relationships. If we measure wealth not as G.D.P. but as social capital, perhaps a different picture may appear.

If we go back to the Bangladeshi peasant, for instance, we may see that his strong family and social networks may create a positive counterbalance to the challenges and stressers that come from his low income. Looking at this problem this way, we may discover that this peasant is actually "richer" than the wealthy American who lives in a huge suburban house all alone and disconnected from his family and community.

Jean Baker Miller, a psychologist who became quite known in the seventies, was the first to point out the value and "wealth" offered by healthy, supportive, accepting social connections for individuals. The lesson here is that, in addition to all the elements that these books studied to determine what creates happiness in people, the importance of healthy social connections should be ignored when we research what makes people happy.

A Typical Manic Depression Symptom is the Need For Speed

Like times when you have a wild assortment of ideas. Then there are other days, weeks, and months were you don't want to get out of bed. One manic depression symptom is evidenced by the inability to sleep. Another is that you begin to notice that you can become irritable almost without provocation, and you don't think anyone is listening to your great, if not somewhat far fetched, ideas.

If you are prone to starting many projects and unable to complete any of them, and then seemingly out of the blue you are apathetic to those same projects, you maybe experiencing a manic depression symptom. Manic depression symptoms are triggered by an imbalance of the chemicals in your brain that keep you from over or under reacting. During a manic phase, which can last weeks and even years, you are highly functioning in your job, especially if you are in the position to delegate.

This is very important to know, because as we've said, completing the projects yourself can get difficult. Not because you don't want to, but because the ideas are coming so fast that you can't keep up with them. You are the life of the party and enjoy going out and probably spend a lot of money. Then comes the crash. The depression side takes over and all of a sudden you don't feel like doing anything.

Jobs are lost, apathy abounds, and life has no meaning. You may even consider suicide, but even you couldn't really say as to why. This is a manic depression symptom as well. Unfortunately, because the two sides of the illness often don't show themselves within weeks and so go largely undiagnosed as the actual illness. You may see your doctor regarding the sleeplessness during a manic episode, but don't know that the depression episodes are part of the same illness.

Without complete information, most cases go misdiagnosed.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bipolar Disorder In A Nutshell

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive illness, is one of several disorders known as mood disorders. Mania and depression alone or in combination are the hallmarks of the mood disorders. Mania is characterized by a feeling of euphoria in which the individual has grandiose ideas, exhibits boundless energy, needs little sleep, and exhibits great self-assurance. While in a manic state people's thoughts race, they speak too fast, and they demonstrate poor judgment. Manics may impulsively spend too much money, commit sexual indiscretions, and alienate people with their irritability and impatience. Hypomania refers to a milder form of mania that is an excessive amount of elation but does not significantly impair the individual's life.

Depression can be characterized by many symptoms, including feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and sadness. When one is depressed, life seems empty and overwhelming. The depressed individual has difficulty concentrating, cannot make decisions, lacks confidence, and cannot enjoy activities that previously were pleasurable. Physical symptoms may include gaining or losing weight, sleeping too much or too little, agitation, or lethargy. Depressed individuals may be preoccupied with death or suicide. They may believe that they have committed the unpardonable sin and that loved ones would be better off without them.

Bipolar disorder is so named because those afflicted with it experience both mania and depression, in contrast to those with unipolar disorders, who experience only one extreme, usually depression. Bipolar disorders are categorized into two types, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. In Bipolar I the individual experiences both mania and depression; in Bipolar II the individual experiences hypomania and depression. Mania or hypomania is the key to diagnosing bipolar disorder. A person who experiences a manic state even once is presumed to have bipolar disorder. Manic and depressive states may immediately precede or follow one another or may be separated by long time intervals, and the individual may have more episodes of one pole than the other. Some individuals, known as rapid cyclers, will experience four or more episodes per year.

The age of onset for bipolar disorder is younger than for unipolar depression and usually begins in the late teens or twenties but seldom begins after age 40. In some cases it is preceded by a disorder named cyclothymia, which is a milder form of mood disorder, characterized by marked moodiness and mood swings for at least two years. Bipolar disorder is a chronic disorder and even with treatment less than half of the individuals who experience it go five years without a manic or a depressive episode. People with bipolar are at risk for suicide in the depressive phase and are more prone to accidental death in the manic phase due to impulsiveness and poor judgment.

The causes of bipolar disorder are unclear, but it is probably determined by multiple factors. Family and adoption studies have consistently indicated a genetic predisposition toward mood disorders. First-degree relatives of persons with bipolar disorder are much more likely than the general population to experience bipolar depression, unipolar depression, and anxiety. At this point, however, there is no clear evidence that a particular gene is linked to the transmission of bipolar disorder; instead it seems that a family history increases vulnerability to several disorders.

Neurotransmitters in the brain have been widely investigated and are very likely involved in bipolar disorder but in complex and interactional ways not yet understood. The relationship between neurotransmitters and the hormones secreted by the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands seems to be significant. There is also speculation that bipolar disorder may be related to circadian rhythms because some people with bipolar disorder are especially light-sensitive and show abnormalities in sleep patterns such as entering REM sleep too quickly, dreaming intensely, and missing the deeper stages of sleep.

Stressful life events may precipitate episodes of mania or depression but do not seem to be the primary cause of bipolar disorder. Psychosocial factors such as attributional style, learned helplessness, attitudes, and interpersonal relationships all seem to be correlated with bipolar disorder but have not been identified as causes; they are often the result of having such a disorder. It seems that a genetic vulnerability coupled with stressful psychological and sociocultural events may result in bipolar disorder.

Three primary treatment modalities are most frequently used for bipolar disorder. Medication is commonly used, especially lithium. For reasons not yet fully understood, lithium reduces the frequency of episodes, and many persons with bipolar disorder are maintained on lithium for long periods. Lithium levels must be carefully monitored through blood tests, and there may be side effects such as weight gain, lethargy, and kidney malfunction. Because of the side effects of medication and because they miss the energy of hypomania and manic states, people with bipolar disorder may discontinue their medications. The newer antidepressants that affect serotonin levels are often used, but there is some suspicion that they may contribute to more rapid cycling. Antiseizure medication, such as carbamazepine, is also being used.

A second treatment approach that is sometimes used is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This approach is used only in severe cases in which uncontrollable behavior or the threat of suicide makes it impossible to wait the two to three weeks for medication to take effect. ECT, used to treat people who have not responded to other forms of treatment, is often effective but is subject to side effects: temporary short-term memory loss and confusion immediately after treatment.

Psychotherapy is the third treatment approach. While many psychotherapeutic approaches have been tried, cognitive therapy and interpersonal therapy are currently the most popular. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying and correcting faulty thinking and attributional styles, so that the client can gain cognitive control of emotions. Interpersonal therapy focuses on developing the skills to identify and resolve interpersonal conflicts, which frequently accompany bipolar disorder. Both of these psychotherapies are highly structured and short-term. Many people receive a combination of both medication and psychotherapy to stabilize them and prevent relapse.

In addition to addressing the potential causes of bipolar disorder, psychotherapists help people cope with a number of problems that arise in living with the disorder. One is the difficulty of living with interruptions to one's life that manic and depressive states bring. People may be too ill to work or parent and may even be hospitalized. Another problem is undoing or coping with inappropriate behavior that was performed during a manic state, when the individual may have recklessly spent money, made grandiose promises, or said inappropriate things. A third common problem is dealing with negative reactions and the distrust of family, friends, and co-workers who have been affected by the individual's extreme mood swings. Taking medication regularly is a struggle for some people, a struggle that is compounded by the tendency for people in a manic or hypomanic state to feel that they do not need medication. People with bipolar disorder deal with the constant anxiety that their feelings may spin out of control. They often feel powerless and as though their illness is in control and may take over any time. There is also the question of why God allows people to go through such struggles. People with bipolar disorder need therapists who help them exercise cognitive control over their emotions, recognize when they are getting too high or too low, manage interpersonal relationships, cope with life stresses, and understand how to accept and live successfully with bipolar disorder.

Getting Older: A State Of Mind Or A State Of Body?

A few years ago I turned forty - a scary time for the supreme, alpha male warrior.

I'm not sure, but I reckon there's some correlation between decreasing testosterone levels and increased neurosis and insecurity in blokes.

Not me, of course...but I've heard it happens to some men.

"Darl, feel how big my biceps are."



There's a thesis for some Phd. student right there.

I don't know why, but I never pictured myself being so 'old'. Not that I envisaged some untimely early death or anything, but nothing prepared me mentally or emotionally for the onset of crows feet or for the amazing ability a forty year-old body has to gain body-fat in a matter of hours (or so it seemed). I reckon there should be a government mandate that we all undertake some type of preparatory course in our thirties to help us negotiate our fifth decade on earth (actually forty one is the start of our fifth decade but you get my point).

For over twenty years I had been helping older people get in shape and then overnight, I was one (in my mind at least). Just as I was about to immerse myself into a massive depression and wallow in my own pathetic self pity, I vaguely recalled a lecture from University (one of the four classes I attended). I remembered that there are different types of age; chronological age (how many years we've been on the planet), emotional age (I'm nearly sixteen now) and physiological, or biological age. In order to estimate our biological age people in white coats put us through some physical testing (fitness, strength, blood pressure, body-fat, flexibility and a few others) and then they compare our results to scientific 'norms' (how other people have scored). Then they tell us how 'old' our body is. If you're lucky they'll say something like, "well Sally, even though you've been around for thirty eight years, you have the body of a nineteen year-old" (or if you've punished yourself, possibly the other way around).

After dragging my depressed forty year-old body around for a few days and getting

no sympathy from anyone, I decided that it was time to get over myself. 'How can someone become old in a week,' I thought. Last week I was thirty nine and life was good, this week I'm a middle aged man, with a sore back shopping for a retirement village'.

Well, almost.

Logically I knew that my body was no different to the week before when I was in my thirties but I 'felt' different. Could it possibly be that I was creating a problem? Perhaps my body was fine but maybe my attitude that was the issue. Maybe my body hadn't aged but my thinking had. Sure a few lines had crept onto the face and the Levi's might have been a bit tighter, but the truth is that turning forty proved to be more of an emotional and psychological challenge for me than it was a physiological one.

We don't stop playing because we grow old,

we grow old because we stop playing

Does this story sound familiar? Perhaps someone you know?

For years I've watched people begin to 'act' old once they reach a certain age. It might be forty, it might be fifty, but at some stage they begin to live, behave and communicate like 'old' people: "I'm fifty you know; I need to start winding down."

The truth is that beyond thirty five is when we most need to follow some type of structured exercise program, whether it's in a gym, at the park, around the streets or in our lounge room. Until we're about mid thirties most of us can get away with not doing too much structured exercise. The tragedy of most suburban gyms is that the people who really don't desperately need to be there (the eighteen to thirty age group) often spend half of their life there, and those who would really benefit from some regular, structured exercise (the thirty five plus group) are too intimidated, lazy, busy, embarrassed, fearful or indifferent to pick up a dumbbell.

Some of the best results I have seen in my twenty plus years as a trainer and exercise scientist have been achieved by people in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond; people who stop rationalising whether or not it's 'sensible' or 'appropriate' for them to be lifting, running, riding or jumping, people who realise that age is really a state of mind not body. People who understand that we can literally turn back our body clock when we give our body what it needs.

So, maybe it's time to stop thinking about it and start doing it.

Over the last ten years there have been countless studies conducted which have repeatedly demonstrated the ability that people have to change their body shape and their level of strength and fitness into their seventies, eighties and nineties. I have personally worked with people in their eighties who have more than doubled their strength in twelve weeks and I have worked with fifty and sixty year olds who have totally transformed their body shape and their life within a matter of months.

If a ninety year-old can get fitter and stronger, so can you.

About twelve years ago I started training a woman who was 55 years young. While she was not particularly out of shape for someone in her fifties, she was not particularly fit or strong either. Within a short amount of time she began to make amazing progress, seemingly getting fitter and stronger by the week. What amazed me most about Jan was that she didn't have an 'old' mentality. She didn't seem to think like a lot of people do once they hit forty, fifty and beyond. She didn't provide me with the "remember I'm an old woman" line, instead she approached every session and challenge with the enthusiasm of an excitable young kid. It was so refreshing to work with someone who didn't come into the process thinking and behaving old or limiting herself before she had even started. Some people reach a certain age and seem to adopt an old mentality; not long after, this attitude is reflected in their physiology.

Jan just came to exercise and to learn, whatever that was going to be. She lifted weights, boxed, ran, stretched, biked, rowed and did whatever was asked of her. She didn't rationalise whether or not each workout or activity was appropriate for someone her age, she just did what was asked of her. Within a short amount of time she began to make amazing changes to her body and her life. At a stage when many people are quietly 'sliding into their retirement years' this average woman with an amazing attitude decided she would get fitter, stronger and leaner than she ever had before in her life; not fit for an older person, fit for a person of any age.

These days this grandmother who runs fifteen kilometres at a time, does push ups with the boys and rides her bike up to 200 kilometres in one hit, is an absolute inspiration to everyone she comes into contact with; an inspiration not because she is

extraordinarily gifted or a genetic freak but because she has an amazing attitude and a refreshing outlook on life.

Once a week Jan gets together with a group of her friends to do a killer fitness session; the session is an hour of pain and is not for the faint-hearted. These sessions are usually competitive and designed to take the participants to the 'edge' for a bit of a look. Every week without fail Jan is the first one ready to train. Aside from her, the average age of the group is around thirty. While most people her age would not even consider getting involved in something so 'inappropriate' for a 65 year old, she is sweating her butt off and not trying to rationalise whether or not her behaviour is 'sensible' or 'normal'.

Some of the most amazing results I have seen have been achieved by people in their forties, fifties and beyond; people who stop rationalising whether or not it's 'appropriate' for them to be lifting, running, riding or jumping.

People who realise that getting older is a state of mind, not a state of body.

Facts About Teen Depression You Need To Know

The term 'emo' is a common slang used by younger generations nowadays to describe people who show frequent melancholic behavior. Fashion statements have been created about it. Even music and other form artistic release has been inspired by the emotion. But if you think being called 'emo' or emotional is just a fad, then might just think twice once you have learn about clinical depression.

People who suffer clinical depression are those who are diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Major depressive disorder is a common mood disorder which is often underrated. As opposed to Bipolar disorder, it is unipolar (only one side of the mood spectrum). When you are a depressive, your moods are characterized only by the repetitive patterns of emotions such as despair, intense sadness, numbness, feelings of worthlessness and pessimism among others.

Clinical depression should not be confused with the common feeling of sadness which can be experienced daily. A person suspected with major depressive disorder should be diagnosed medically, in order to undergo proper psychotherapy and medication.

Although considered by many to be a personal weakness, depressive disorders affects around 18.8M American adults and about 9.5% of the United States' population age 18 and above. Surprisingly, statistics show that at least 4% of preschoolers in the US are clinically depressed. This means that over a million preschoolers are the main consumer of antidepressant medication. It is estimated that the growing rate of 23% of children per year become depressives.

For teens, a depressed mood is common because it coincides with the crucial growing up stages-including the normal body maturation process, raging hormones and other stress related factors. Because of supposedly normal adolescent behavior, genuine depression is harder to detect amongst teenagers and this poses a problem for those who are truly afflicted with the disorder.

Similar to the number of adults suffering from MDD, there are around 15-20% American teens who are experiencing serious episodes of depression. It is said that adolescent girls are twice as likely to have depression compared to teenage boys. Some factors which increase the risk of depression with teens are disturbing experiences, stressful life events, poor social skills, family background and of course, physical and emotional abuse.

Aside from psychotherapy and prescribed medications, teen boot camps are alternative methods which can aid the treatment and management of clinical depression. In most cases, teen boot camps help in the mood improvement of teens with MDD as they may inject a 'reality check' or self introspection.

Depression and Chronic Back Pain - Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Depression is by far the most common emotion associated with chronic back pain. The type of depression that often accompanies chronic pain is referred to as major depression or clinical depression. This type of depression goes beyond what would be considered normal sadness or feeling "down for a few days". The symptoms of a major depression occur daily for at least two weeks and include at least 5 of the following (DSM-IV, 1994):

  • A mood that is depressed, sad, hopeless, low, or irritable, which can include periodic crying spells

  • Sleep problems of either too much (hypersomnia) or too little (hyposomnia) sleep

  • Poor appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain

  • Feeling agitated, restless or sluggish (low energy or fatigue)

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities

  • Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt

  • Problems with concentration or memory

  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishing to be dead

Chronic pain and depression are two of the most common health problems that family physicians, spine specialists and mental health professionals encounter, yet relatively few studies have investigated the relationship between these conditions in the general population (Currie and Wang, 2004).

Major depression is thought to be up to four times greater in people with chronic back pain than in the general population (Sullivan, Reesor, Mikail & Fisher, 1992). Studies on depression in chronic low back pain patients show that the prevalence is even higher.

Depression is common for those with chronic back pain

Depression is more commonly seen in patients with chronic back pain problems than in patients with pain that is of an acute, short-term nature. How does depression develop in these cases? This can be understood by looking at the host of symptoms often experienced by the person with chronic back pain or other spine-related pain.

The pain often makes it difficult to sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability during the day.

Then, during the day, because patients with back pain have difficulty with most movement they often move slowly and carefully, spending most of their time at home away from others. This leads to social isolation and a lack of enjoyable activities.

Due to the inability to work, there may also be financial difficulties that begin to impact the entire family.

Beyond the pain itself, there may be gastrointestinal distress caused by anti-inflammatory medication and a general feeling of mental dullness from the pain medications.

The pain is distracting, leading to memory and concentration difficulties.

Sexual activity is often the last thing on the person's mind and this causes more stress in the patient's relationships.

Understandably, these symptoms accompanying chronic back pain or neck pain may lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness and other symptoms of a major depression or clinical depression.

A recent study by Strunin and Boden (2004) investigated the family consequences of chronic back pain. Patients reported a wide range of limitations on family and social roles including: physical limitation that hampered patients' ability to do household chores, take care of the children, and engage in leisure activities with their spouses. Spouses and children often took over family responsibilities once carried out by the individual with back pain. These changes in the family often led to depression and anger among the back pain patients and to stress and strain in family relationships.

Psychological theories about depression

Several psychological theories about the development of depression in chronic back pain patients focus on the issue of control. As discussed previously, chronic back pain can lead to a diminished ability to engage in a variety of activities such as work, recreational pursuits, and interaction with family members and friends. This situation leads to a downward physical and emotional spiral that has been termed "physical and mental deconditioning" (See Gatchel and Turk, 1999). As the spiral continues, the person with chronic back pain feels more and more loss of control over his or her life. The individual ultimately feels totally controlled by the pain, leading to major depression. Once in this depressed state, the person is generally unable to change the situation even if possible solutions to the situation exist.

Fight Club, Consumer Psychology, and Redemption

The movie Fight Club was one of those unique films that help define a generation. The movie was preceded by the novel from Chuck Palahniuk, who created such a stir with the book and later the movie that people began to treat Chuck himself like Tyler Durden, often offering to "take care of" people at his request. So what was it about his movie that struck such a cord with people? Many were simply engaged by the movies entertaining elements, but upon deeper examination the movie had a much deeper meaning that this analysis will attempt to explore. Although we start with the idea of an analysis of Tyler Durden, his alter-ego, referred to in the movie as "Jack" is also highly relevant to this discussion.

The narrator "Jack" begins the movie with a raging case of insomnia that is brought on by existential crisis. Much like the character of Meursault in Albert Camus' novel The Stranger, who commented that "life had begun stalking him" Jack has reached a point in his life that is also utterly devoid of meaning as evidenced by his quote, "this is your life and its ending one minute at a time." Finally Jack seems to embrace the Buddhist idea that meaning in life can be achieved by actively meditating on one's own death. He joins a number of survivor's groups where he can see people at the very end of life, and this seems to bring him a great deal of peace. Perhaps a part of him is taking solace in the fact that fate has been cruel to others while it continues to spare him, and this gives him a sense of peace where he can finally get some sleep.

Everything changes when Jack meets Marla who is suffering through a similar existential crisis. Marla, although every bit as lost as Jack, does not have a place in mainstream consumer America and is essentially a bottom feeder in society. All the same, Marla and Jack are kindred souls, and there is an immediate attraction that Jack is unable to act on, until his subconscious creates Tyler Durden.

So Jack's spilt into Tyler can be partially explained by looking at the fundamentals of dissociation. This occurs when someone's thoughts become too uncomfortable to consciously process, and they go into another state as a psychological defense against these painful feelings. The question therefore becomes what was so uncomfortable in Jack's life that he needed to create an alter ego? The answer can be found in looking at our greater American society and how consumerism creates a sense of the empty self.

In Adam Curtis's documentary entitled The Century of the Self, the roots of American consumerism are explored by following the trail of Sigmund Freud's nephew named Edward Bernays. Bernays had studied his uncle's works extensively, and became convinced that people could be manipulated into buying products based on their instinctual drives towards aggressiveness and sexuality.

To back up a second, Freud posited that our subconscious is made up of three separate functions known as the id, ego, and superego. The superego takes the function of what we consider to be the "conscience" which urges us towards moral and just behavior. The id on the other hand is our drive towards destruction and sexuality which Freud thought was inherent in human nature. The ego acts as a kind of referee between these two forces to create a balance where people can successfully function in line with the rules of the society.

Freud believed we were all inherently aggressive and that the id is the dominant force in our lives, and is only curtailed by society's conventions. In Civilization and its Discontents, Freud stated "men are not gentle creatures, who want to be loved, who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness. As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him."

So to return to Edward Bernays, he felt his uncle's ideas could be used to exploit the American public into buying things they didn't need if he could make them feel that these things would make them more sexually powerful or perceived as more aggressive. Consider Tyler's comment; "God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need" in this regard.

A part of Jack has begun to understand that constantly acquiring furniture and other things for his condo is a meaningless pursuit totally devoid of purpose and fulfillment, and he feels a strong impulse to act on this feeling. Much of Jack's dissociation has to do with this empty sense of self that he realizes he has for years been filling up by buying things, i.e. "What kind of dining set defines me as a person?" Tyler also makes a comment that, "We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no great war, no great depression. Our great war is a spiritual war, and our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. We're slowly learning that fact, and we're very, very pissed off." Jack has begun to reject the consumerism he has become a kind of slave to, also evidenced by his comment that "the things you own end up owning you."

Tyler's comment has a great deal of validity and can be historically supported. Prior to industrialization in this country, most people lived in rural communities where there was a shared sense of community and values of hard work and self-reliance were emphasized. With the coming of industrialization people began flocking to the cities, and with this migration, many of the core values of the rural way of life were also left behind. As people began living in close proximity in the US, a desire to "keep up with the Joneses" soon developed where people wanted to acquire as many possessions as their neighbors to keep up appearances. This mentality was soon exploited by people like Bernays, who worked with business to create adverting campaigns that capitalized on this idea.

World War 2 interrupted the county however, and the "sense of purpose" Tyler refers to came from taking on Adolph Hitler and protecting the world from the spread of fascism. Following World War 2, the consumer machine kicked back in however, and we soon returned to the idea of buying newer and better things in accordance with our deeply rooted subconscious desires. The next generation partially rejected this idea however, and in the 60's a number of social causes such as the Women's Movement, Civil Rights, and brining an end to Vietnam War energized people, and once again created a sense of unified purpose.

The children born after this generation are Tyler's "middle children of history". With more media outlets than ever constantly bombarding them, and no political or social causes to get behind, "Generation X" became one of the most restless and unfulfilled in history, and this is where we pick up the story of Jack.

One interesting piece of Jack's story comes from analyzing his ideas about women and sex. At the beginning of the movie we see him holding a catalog likes it's a porno magazine and we see instead it's an Ikea advertisement. Jack, through filling up his psychological desires by purchasing things, has suppressed his sexual urges and become celibate. When he does create Tyler, he is able to finally release his pent up sexual frustration and release the desires of his id. But when Jack lets this genie out of the bottle, sexual conquest is not the least of Tyler's desires. Freud also believed our drive towards destruction would emerge when society's conventions are stripped away, and this is exactly what happens in the case of Tyler, who wished to destroy the consumerism that has prevented Jack from acting on his natural primitive urges.

Tyler's actions suggest that destruction can also be evolutionary, as evidenced by his comment that "only when we lose everything do we have the power do to anything." By destroying Jack's possessions he feels he has set him free, but it is also important to understand what Jack is now free to do. "Tyler's advice that "self-improvement is masturbation, but self-destruction is where its at" is interesting to consider. In setting himself free has Jack found redemption? This returns us to his comment at the end of his journey, where he remarks "all of this has something to do with a woman named Marla Singer."

So, is love Jack's salvation? This is certainly one hypothesis. At the end of the film, when Jack destroys Tyler, we see two things. One, the towers of consumerism crumbling to the ground, and two, him joining hands with Marla in perhaps their first moment of real intimacy. Perhaps this suggests that Jack has destroyed the power of his addiction to consumerism while also understanding there was a drive in the human instinct more powerful than simply sex.

So is that the message of Fight Club? That love can be the redemptive force that sets us free from our shackles? I think this is a likely explanation. Although as a viewer I particularly enjoyed watching Tyler/Jack free themselves from the bondage of consumer addiction, we still have Jack's comment that "all of this has something to do with a woman named Marla Singer." The nature of the psyche is such, that the ego's defenses aren't stripped away without being replaced by another force to protect the ego. In Jack's case by killing Tyler he has freed himself from his disassociation and unified the forces inside of him into a single front. Bringing down the towers exorcises the demon forces of consumerism that have been filling up Jack's empty self, and he is now free to live through the redemptive powers of love.

Chronic Back Pain Limitations

Thousands and thousands of people annually seek medical care for back pain. For some, the pain is gone within 6 weeks. For others, it becomes chronic back pain.

Chronic back pain affects individuals in various ways. Most make repeated visits to physicians, seeking relief. They want to know what causes their chronic back pain. They want new tests. They want to try whatever treatment may be available.

Chronic back pain sufferers may report difficulty in performing normal daily activities. They may believe the pain is increasing. They may simply want someone to sympathize, and agree that it is not "all in your head" at all.

Although back pain is the main reason people visit orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons, and the second main reason they visit primary care physicians, an estimated 5 to 10 percent of those visitors will receive no cure. They will go from low back pain to chronic back pain.

Patients are frustrated because physicians do not cure back pain. Physicians are frustrated because they cannot cure low back pain. Many think they can do little to prevent occasional severe back pain from becoming chronic back pain.

If nothing is done, however, chronic back pain limitations can seriously impinge on daily activity.

Possible Limitations

A look at possible chronic back pain limitations reveals a long list. There are limitations placed by a physician, but there are many more limitations that patients place on themselves. They may include physical limitations, emotional limitations, or mental limitations. Of the many chronic back pain limitations we can discuss only 7 here.

1. Depression: One of the most common limitations of chronic back pain, depression affects everyone involved in the daily life of the sufferer. The type of depression experienced by sufferers of chronic back pain is not simply a matter of feeling sad or "down at the heels" for a day or so. "Major depression" and "clinical depression" are the terms used for this kind of depression.

When chronic back pain limitations include a major depression, the person feels emotionally miserable everyday for at least two weeks. He or she also may have unexplained crying spells; major appetite changes; fatigue, sleep problems; agitation; and thoughts of death or suicide. There may be little interest in activities that were normally enjoyable.

2. Social Activity: A second of the chronic back pain limitations reported is that of social activity. People suffering chronic back pain become reluctant to attend parties and other social functions. They may curtail recreational activities or outings with the family.

3. Work Time: Those who suffer chronic back pain are also more likely to take off more work time. Statistics show that back pain causes the loss of more than 83 million days of work time each year due to back pain.

4. Job Loss: Since it often means lost work time, another of chronic back pain limitations is job loss. Too many lost days, or poor performance due to chronic back pain, can result in replacement.

5. Work Ability: Chronic back pain is a leading cause of work limitations. Back pain limits workers' ability to lift, carry, and perform other duties that are required. It places restrictions on workers, and narrows the job field for many people.

6. Low Pay: Chronic back pain limitations include financial limits for some. Those who are limited in work by chronic back pain earn, on average, only two-thirds the amount of those without back pain.

7. Housework: One of the largest limitations of chronic back pain appears to hit normal activities associated with housework, gardening, and lawn work. Patients with back pain that lasted more than 60 days often report they are no longer able to do any gardening, lawn work, or normal cleaning activities such as vacuuming, mopping floors, etc.

Clinically Proven Limitations

For the patient, it is difficult to believe that chronic back pain limitations are often unnecessary. They continue to believe that the pain has a cause that can be readily diagnosed, despite their physician's repeated assurances to the contrary. They believe the physician can find a medical sure for their back pain if pressed often enough and hard enough. As for treatment, patients often believe that until the cure is found, the best treatment is bed rest and limited activity.

The result of such beliefs is that back pain that could initially be resolved with exercise becomes chronic back pain. Chronic back pain that might still be resolved if the patient were to exercise regularly gradually develops and produces chronic back pain limitations.

TIP: Back pain is very, very common in our society. Rather than let it lead to complications and limitations, you may want to ask your physician for gentle exercises that may resolve your back pain before it becomes chronic.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Holistic Dog Care - Bring Your Dog Out of Depression

When I first told my friend that my Corgi suffers bouts of depression, they find it hard to believe. Like humans, dogs do occasionally suffer from depression. They get lethargic, stop eating, and drink only minimal amounts of water, stop wanting to play, and even lose drastic amounts of weight. My Corgi is such a case. He caught us totally unaware. He went on and on like this for 2 weeks before we surrendered and brought him to the vet. The vet ruled out all physical problems and told us that Corgi is a little bit "depressed". We were shocked to learn that dogs do suffer from depression! However, the minute he stepped out of the veterinary, he became his old self again.

What can cause this in pets?

Grief, change of scenery, or sometimes it is a chemical imbalance, needing medication to correct it. In my Corgi's case, it resulted from a sudden action from my dad. He accidentally pressed hard onto his hands when he rolled over in his sleep. And Corgi happens to be sleeping besides him. From then, Corgi recoiled into his own protective world for two weeks! Despite all the persuasion and treats, he refused to step out of his shell. My whole family was worried sick for him.

As a pet owner, how do you fight an invisible, inner enemy? The first step is recognizing the problem. You've ruled out all the possible physical causes with help from your veterinarian, now it is time to start looking at the mental causes.

Has your pet recently lost a friend? Perhaps a neighbourhood dog he played with is gone, or perhaps he missed someone close in the family, out on vacation? My sister's dog, Ebby was restless for a week when she was away for holidays. He slept beneath my bed the entire week and only came out for his meals.

Pets do grieve

Losing a playmate, especially an in-home playmate is often a reason for depression. When my stray dog, Casper was killed in a car accident 3 years ago, my old dog, Gal saw us crying and holding him. She became so quiet and still that I could almost feel the sadness in her. We may not notice it very often, but pets do grieve, and in some cases, especially concerning a violent death or just a disappearance, dogs can grieve to a dangerous point, and it can be very hard to bring them out of it.

Signs of depression

How do you tell that something is bothering your dog? He is slower in response or appears to lose interest and initiative. If you notice this is happening to your pet, do something now and start to make life fun for him again. Ask your vet about Anti-depressants available as well. Depression if left too long could very well turn into a life-threatening physical condition.

Be sure to have all physical aspects of your dog's health checked out by a veterinarian first. Pain is frequently the cause of moodiness and irritability in a normally pleasant pet, but often locating the source of discomfort requires veterinary help, and often x-rays. Those blood tests your vet mentioned could be crucial in determining the problem.

How to bring your dog out of depression

Once you and your vet have determined that depression is the cause, there are a few options. One is medicated therapy. This could be veterinarian recommended anti-depressants.

An increase in your activity level or at least your dog's will also likely be called for. In cases of grief, arrange play dates with your dogs and with other dogs may be a good way to draw him into the happy mood again.

If you are ready, you may even consider getting another dog.

Depression can be both a physical and mental cause. Taking care of your dog's well-being involves commitment to go through with him, his life's up and downs, just like a human companion. A dog is a healthy dog! Help him embark on a healthy body and mind and allow him to live longer through well researched dog food recipes by clicking

Remember, a happy dog bring happiness to owner and whole family!

Difference Between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression

Unipolar depression is also known as major depressive disorder. It is a mood disorder commonly identified by sadness or blues, irritation, decreased interest in favorite activities, significant changes in weight, sleeping problems, fatigue, problems in concentrating and focusing, feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, nervousness, poor self esteem, suicidal thoughts or suicidal tendencies.

It is a treatable disorder. If you exhibit more than five of the above symptoms for more than two weeks, then you need get a diagnosis. Unipolar is more common in women then men. People of any age group can suffer from it and it needs to be treated timely; if goes untreated it may cause severe problems. Psychotherapy, Medication and ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) are very good treatment options.

Unipolar and bipolar are both the types of major depression. Following are symptoms that establish differences between both the disorders:

1. Sleeping disorder Insomnia generally occurs as a result of which sufferer finds it difficult to get off to sleep. On the other hand in bipolar Hypomania generally occurs in patients, as a result of which tiredness and too much sleeping becomes a problem for sufferers.

2. Unipolar is more common in women and generally affects later in life at the age of forty plus. On the other hand bipolar occurs equally in men and women and generally occurs at adolescent stage.

3. Patients suffering from the first mentioned disorder are often found eating less, as a result of which they often loose plenty of body weight. Patients suffering from bipolar may exhibit increased eating habit or decreased eating habits, binge eating is the biggest symptom and patients may loose or gain weight suddenly.

4. Bipolar depression involves symptoms like, inactivity, psychomotor retardation etc while unipolar depression involves, Agitated state of mind, restlessness, and pacing etc.

5. The depressive episodes often last for long time and can be short and long both.

6. UD is more responsive to treatment than BD.

7. Suicide rate and drugs abuse is low in UD. On the other hand BD has slightly high rate of suicide and drugs abuse.

8. UD exhibits sadness, helplessness and worthlessness as common symptoms and BD exhibits guilt as the biggest symptoms along with sadness, helplessness and worthlessness.

9. There is not much difference in the treatment methods of both the disorders, unipolar easily responds to common methods like while bipolar depression does not respond to these methods easily. Psychotherapy and ECT are good treatment methods.