Saturday, December 28, 2013

Manic Depression Symptoms

Manic depression or as it is also known Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that causes the sufferer to have rapid shifts in mood of such a magnitude to affect an individuals normal functioning.

The symptoms of manic depression are quite wide ranging. They normally include large mood swings, ranging from an extreme high, occasionally with irritability, to an extremely low and hopeless mood and back again. In between these two poles of mood are periods of normal mood. {As a ratio, the low and depressive mood is most common at a ratio of 3 to 1 manic, or high, mood.

Manic Depression Symptoms - Manic Episode

When a person has symptoms of manic depression and they experience "mania" it is known as a manic episode.

A manic episode is usually characterized by these manic depression symptoms:

* An extreme increase of energy, increased participation in physical and mental activities or restlessness

* An extreme high or euphoria and an overly good mood.

* Heightened irritability

* Fast talking and occasionally jumping from on topic to the next as a result of ideas and thoughts racing through the individuals mind

* A reduction in concentration levels and being distracted very easily

* Not needing a lot of sleep

* Egomania and a belief in one's abilities and powers regardless of how unrealistic they may be.

* A lack of good judgment

* Spending money regardless of whether it is available to spend or not

* The abnormal behavior lasts for a long period of time

* An increase in sexual drive

* Abusing drugs, in particular alcohol, cocaine and medications to aid sleep

* Aggressive, invasive or confrontational behavior

* Denying that there is something wrong

The diagnosis of a manic episode mostly occurs in an individual when there are three or more manic depression symptoms and they are accompanied by an elevated mood. Then again, if the mood is primarily characterized by high irritability then it must be accompanied by another four symptoms. In either case, the manic depression symptoms must be noticeable for most of the day, nearly every day for at least a week.

Manic Depression Symptoms - Depressive Episode

During a depressive episode, the manic depression symptoms may include:

* Relentlessly feeling sad or empty

* High levels of anxiety

* Feeling hopeless/pessimistic, Dwelling on negative thoughts

* Feeling guilty/worthless

* A lack of motivation and/or energy and feeling like there is nothing worth making an effort for

* No interest in activities usually found pleasurable

* Low or no energy

* Feeling like you are being slowed down or fatigued

* A loss of memory and trouble concentrating on one thing at a time

* Can't make decisions

Annoyance, rage or petulance

* Having not enough or too much sleep

* Appetite change and/or weight loss/gain without any explanation

* Physical symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury, such as aches and pains

* Suicidal or death related thoughts, possible suicide attempts

A person in a depressive episode who is suffering with manic depression symptoms needs all the help they can get. Throughout the depressive episode, there is a greater possibility of suicide and it is strongly advised that professional help is found as soon as a person starts talking about suicide.

What Are The Types of Depression?

Almost everyone experiences some form of depression. Simply put, depression elicits feelings of sadness, worthless, and hopelessness. Depressed individuals are often found to have negative views of things around them. Feelings of guilt may also come with depression.

In many cases, depression requires no medical treatment. Individuals feel sad for one reason or another, but the feeling normally goes away after a few days. In some cases, the feeling of sadness can become severe such that it already interferes with one's health and state of mind. Depression of this form has to be properly managed to eliminate or reduce health risks and suicidal tendencies.

Types of Depression

There are at least 10 different types of depression that you need to be aware of:

Major Depression. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, major depression is the type whereby the affected individual is in a state of gloom for most of the day lasting for a couple of weeks at the very least. Common to individuals with this disorder are the following signs and symptoms:

  • Lack of interest in doing daily tasks.

  • Loss of appetite or overeating

  • Weight loss or weight gain

  • Insomnia or oversleeping

  • Fatigue or lack of energy

  • Loss of focus and concentration

  • Inability to make decisions

  • Suicidal thoughts

Dysthymia. Dysthymia or dysthmic disorder is depression of the chronic type. Individuals with dysthymia are said to be in and out of depression for a period of two years, accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Eating problems (decreased or increased appetite)

  • Lack of energy

  • Low self-esteem

  • Loss of focus and concentration

  • Inability to make decisions

Manic Depression (Manic-Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder). Individuals with Manic Depression have manic episodes in one instance and may or may not have depressed episodes. Manic-depressive individuals appear to be highly irritable for a week or so. Their self-esteem is so great that they may feel as if they are the most important people in the world. Individuals with this disorder:

  • Have an inflating ego.

  • Are hyperactive they may not have the time to sleep anymore.

  • Talk nonstop.

  • Get distracted easily.

  • Have an increased interest in social and work activities.

  • Are engaged in risky habits, such as irresponsible sex and shopping beyond one's limits

Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is major depression that occurs during a specific season, such as fall or winter, for instance.

Post Partum Depression. It typically occurs within a month after giving birth.

Atypical Depression. This type is similar to a major depressive disorder or dysthymia but which comes with a temporary improvement in one's mood after experiencing something nice and beautiful.

Endogenous Depression. It occurs with no apparent reason. One simply feels "out of it".

Situational Depression. This type is brought about by circumstances such as death of a loved one, loss of job or broken relationship. It does not last for more than 6 months.

Psychotic Depression. This kind is major depression than comes with hallucinations and delusions. When somebody who is diagnosed with major depression appears to hear voices, you can be almost certain that person is entering the state of psychotic stage.

Catatonic Depression. It is a subtype of Major Depression characterized by lack of or inappropriate and bizarre voluntary movements. Catatonics meaninglessly repeat movements or words.

Treatment Options

Treatment options will vary greatly depending on the type of depression to be treated. A combination of psychotherapy and medications is usually recommended, and in more severe cases, ECT or shock therapy may be necessary. Treatment will also involve controlling the signs and symptoms to prevent them from posing major health risks.

Getting Started on Your Diet - Finding Motivation to Lose Weight

Two extremely irritating quotes that screech across the chalkboard of my conscience have been the most motivating weight loss words in my life.

"Eat to live, not live to eat!"

I don't know who said it, but I first saw this phrase on a refrigerator magnet, featuring a hefty-looking pig. It was given to the person who lost the least amount of weight in our weight loss club, and the magnet changed hands from week to week. The pig was a real motivator, partly because no one wanted to accept the humbling "prize," but mostly because it was good advice!

When I find my scales tipping the wrong way, it's because my hourly thoughts are consumed by where I'm going to eat this weekend, what sounds good for supper, or whether I have enough Peanut M&M's to munch my way through the day. I live to eat!

The main focus of my life should not be food. I should be eating just enough so that I am no longer hungry-and hunger pangs between meals is not a bad thing. That is the premise of the Weigh Down Diet, an inspirational weight loss book written by dietician Gwen Shamblin.

Gwen encourages readers to begin a small group book study, focusing on weight loss and spiritual support. Her weight loss plan is simple-eat smaller helpings, find support in like-minded people, and find your motivation in God. I've seen the results in one of our local churches. Like most good weight loss programs, it works-if you follow the plan. Eat to live!

"...Whose god is their belly" (Phillipians 3:18)

What a humbling analogy that I stumbled across in my Bible reading! Is that what my rolls of fat says to the world...I worship food so much that I can't get enough of it? To me, that paints a picture of an extremely large person seated at a 24-hour buffet table, who never gets up to leave. He can barely breathe, yet he keeps stuffing more food into his mouth. The analogy portrays an addiction that will surely lead to an early grave.

Is that me? Is that where I'm headed? Perhaps that is an extreme picture, and most of us have not reached that point.

But if my belly is my "god," it still means that food is my main focus in life. What caused my focus to become so imbalanced and unhealthy? What took my thoughts off of helping other people and making a positive difference in the world?

Stress is usually the culprit behind excessive weight gain. And allowing ourselves to fall into depression is the most common response to stress-which adds to our stress. This creates a downward spiral in our emotional and physical health which actually causes our bellies to get fatter!

Dr. Pamela Peeke addresses the fact that stress causes fat to form around our bellies. In her easy-to-read book, Fighting Fat After Forty, she offers a highly detailed description of your body's internal response to emotional upheaval-and how damaging stress can be.

In a nutshell, Peeke's book tells readers how we must change our response to stress. She then gives very specific and practical guidelines for losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The book is based on research from the National Institutes of Health, and includes case studies of clients who have sought out Peeke's assistance.

I have found this book to be extremely helpful in pursuing my own fitness goals, and lost 10 pounds in my first month of applying the principles from her book (which may not be the case for everyone).

Keeping a Journal: Chart Your Weight Loss

Weight loss experts say that keeping a food journal and an exercise journal is very important in a weight loss program. Dr. Peeke says that keeping a journal provides "valuable feedback about how we are learning to care for ourselves."

If you are reading this article, you probably desire a healthier lifestyle; you want to look and feel good. Now that's the kind of motivation that gets results. Your journal will serve as a travel diary toward your destination-a written record of the smooth highways on which you made good progress (weight loss) and those back roads that slowed you down with detours and potholes (too many calories and not enough calorie-burning).

What should your journal include?

Your Exercise Journal:

o Type of aerobic exercise

o Type of weight-bearing exercise

o Number of minutes or reps

o Distance walked or ridden on bike

o Comments about the weather or feelings

Your Food Journal

o Write down each meal, and each snack, being as specific as possible

o Keep track of daily calories, using a calorie counter

o Keep track of fat grams, for each food eaten

Here is the ultimate fitness tool that combines your exercise journal with your food journal, and allows you to keep track of not only your weight, but also how many inches you have lost-which is what really counts! is a unique fitness web site that provides a quick, easy way for your family members (or friends) to track their progress.

The original fitness software program has received top reviews, in providing the most complete picture of your progress. Printable weight loss charts and graphs offer hard evidence of your efforts over the course of a week, month or year, showing which meal plan has worked best for you, and which exercises have had the most proven results.

The web site lets you select the specific foods and supplements you have eaten, and automatically calculates your intake of calories and fat grams.

If you are part of a weight loss support group or member of a fitness center, you will want to check out the Open Fitness web site.

I trust you have found something here to motivate you. Some weight loss groups offer money incentives-if you lose weight over the course of a week, you don't have to pay the collective pot. If you gain weight, however, you pay!

That has never worked for me-I just get discouraged and publicly humiliated! Keeping a written log of my weight loss and fitness journey is the motivation I need. True, a journal forces me to focus on eating. But it also reminds me that food (combined with exercise) is simply the necessary fuel to reach and maintain a healthy life.

Mental Illness Symptoms - Physical and Mental Changes

Mental disorders strike millions of people of any age, income, education level, or cultural background. Mental illness symptoms are described as any disorder or condition affecting human brain and influencing how a person thinks, feels, behaves and/or interacts with others. Although the symptoms and reactions can range from mild to severe and are different depending on the type and severity of mental disorder, a person with an untreated mental disorder often is unable to cope with life daily routines and demands, so the timely assistance of a mental health professional is necessary to manage the illness effectively.

Physical changes need to be observed first when a thought about possible illness comes to mind. Physical symptoms of mental illness include aches and pains that are not supported by medical examinations, loss of concentration and inability to follow the everyday routine, exaggerated tiredness, sleep and food disorders, loss of interest in sex and others. It can be rather difficult for close environment to realize whether a physical symptom is a sign of a mental disorder, or probably suspect an entirely different disease requiring a different treatment. But anyway spotting these symptoms in their early stages and acting accordingly through timely visit to a mental health professional can really help to prevent a person suffering from a long term mental illness.

Other mental illness symptoms are known to include a lost of interest in happiness and enjoyment and the tendency to social isolation when most people feel powerless, lonely and disconnected from other people and the world around them. In such cases a person suffering of mental disorder is known to lose interest in former hobbies, sports, past times and social activities. Very often a mental sickness of different kind from depression to bipolar disorders is expressed as an irritable mood and explosive behavior. This is seen as another popular symptom that many live with without realizing and reacting. Knowing those symptoms can help to understand better the pattens of behavior of a person demonstrating the developing signs of mental illness and seek help of a mental health provider on the early stage.

Diagnosing a mental health condition and prescribing the appropriate assistance can be done by a qualified health professional on the basis of monitoring and observing mental illness symptoms by the close environment. If there are symptoms of a mental illness or a mental disorder or just some strange behavior patterns, a diagnostic evaluation with a mental health provider is the first step to get the right treatment. Different treatment methods including medicine prescription often combined with therapeutic sessions and behavior modification therapy will be ordered depending on the type of a mental illness. Although there are different kinds of mental illnesses and related symptoms, family members and friends of those affected share many similar experiences and are influenced by the situation. Family therapy and counseling can be a necessary part of the mental illness treatment to achieve the best result.

Mental disorders of a close person have an ultimate influence on family and friends that play an unique, essential role in the treatment and recovery of a person with this problem. The closest environment stay in the best position to track changes in behavior and appearing symptoms of a mental illness and to assess the effectiveness of the treatment, thus being in the position to make the living environment as assisting and stress-free as possible. Together with mental health specialists family is a secure basis of symptoms observation, effective treatment and quick recovery, managing the best way a loved one's mental disorder.

Manic Depression Symptoms and Natural Treatment

Manic depression is a disorder where the patient experiences mood swings ranging from overly high to overly low mood. It is also known by another name - bipolar disorder. When someone suffers from this type of depression, there are unusual and drastic changes in the person's moods and energy levels.

This type of depression can hit both men and women. It can be found in people of all ages and from all walks of life. Genetics can play a role in manic depression as it is sometimes found to run in a family. This form of depression has a recurring pattern to it. It needs continuous and probably long term treatment. One of the most important things in treatment is to have proper sleep at regular timings.

Most people resort to medicines for treating manic depression symptoms. Mood stabilizing drugs and antidepressants are prescribed to patients. The thyroid levels of the patient will also be monitored as a majority of bipolar patients also suffer from abnormal thyroid functioning.

It is important not to lose hope or courage while trying to treat manic depression. Whenever you are faced with any doubts, you have to show strong resolve and fierce determination. If you are determined to overcome this disorder, then you may find within yourself enough courage to face hurdles and disappointments.

I suggest that you avoid medication for manic depression treatment. Medicines can cause unwanted side effects. There are other ways of treating this disorder like herbal remedies and even behavior therapy. Herbal remedies may not have as many side effects as prescription medicine. So they are a good option if you want a natural treatment.

Keep in mind that there is a cure for every disease and disorder on this planet. For treating this disorder, you should seriously consider behavior therapy. It teaches you how to manage your emotions and avoid mood swings.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cat Depression - How to Detect, Treat and Prevent

People are not the only ones who get the blues. Cat depression is real and often the result of major changes in a cat's routine, such as the death of an owner or animal friend, loneliness or a change in their living situation. Every cat with depression will behave differently, but you will likely notice a change in her behavior. If she is usually enthusiastic when she's around you but suddenly stops paying attention to you, she could be depressed.

Some other signs of cat depression include:

* Decreased appetite
* Lack of grooming
* Lethargy or changes in personality
* Aggression
* Increased sleeping
* Hiding in an isolated place for extended periods of time.

Although all of these symptoms are major indicators of depression, they can also be signs of other illnesses. It's always important to consult with a veterinarian immediately in the presence of these symptoms to rule out any underlying health conditions.

What to Do

Of course every owner wants to help their cat when she's feeling under the weather so be sure to pay plenty of attention to her; try to play with her for at least 30 minutes a day to prevent loneliness. If feasible, adopting another cat is often beneficial in warding off depression. If your cat is not grooming herself as normal, brush and groom her yourself. This can give her a sense of companionship with you that can help the problem.

If you have to leave your cat home alone for extended periods of time, improve her environment by leaving blinds or curtains open. This way, she can have a view of what is going on outside and also some light. Leaving a radio or TV on during the day can also keep her from feeling lonely.

Sometimes cat depression doesn't go away, no matter how hard you try. That is when the veterinarian comes into the pictures. A vet can properly diagnose your cat with behavioral depression and prescribe antidepressants. He/she can also give you examples of behavioral modification techniques that may help the problem.

Can Cat Depression Be Prevented?

Cat depression cannot be prevented in all case as some cats are just more susceptible just like people. However, the best thing you can do to try to prevent it is to provide a routine, stress-free, loving environment for your feline. You should schedule regular veterinary exams for her to keep on top of her health.

Andrea Yates and Post Partum Depression

Can postpartum depression become so invasive as to cause a mother to kill her children? Since this very rarely happens, many scoff at the prospect. Interestingly enough, postpartum psychosis was first recognized as a disorder as far back as 1850. According to Pregnancy Infonet, (2007), studies on the rates of the disorder have shown that the number of women experiencing postpartum psychosis hasn't changed since the mid 1800s. Expert psychologists, psychiatrists, and behavioral scientists are discovering that postpartum depression can, if not treated promptly and properly over an extended period of time most definitely can escalate to psychosis. Doctor statements and evaluations, insufficient treatment, and failed suicides are things that must be considered in determining Andrea Yates mental defect at the time of her crime.

It has been argued that due to some of Yates' logical and thought out actions that these prove she was sane at the time of the incident. The fact that, on two occasions she refused medication and on another occasion she stopped taking her medication. The fact that she had done a "practice run" of filling up the bathtub and, individually tracked her children down and drug them to their death are all arguments that are being touted as evidence that she had full knowledge of what she was doing.

To understand the concept of Postpartum depression and Postpartum psychosis, one must first realize that the two illnesses are not synonymous. Postpartum depression is described as something that can start at anytime within one year of birth. There is usually sadness, common after such an ordeal as birth, and of course a loss of energy, also a common thing after giving birth. Sometimes there will be a bout with the inability to concentrate, especially for first time mothers and along with that, anxiety about motherhood. All these are symptoms of postpartum depression. Not every woman experiences these and some may experience only a few of them. However, these symptoms are quite different than those of postpartum psychosis. Catherine Roca, (April, 2005)

Dr. Dan Williams, Psy.D., PA-C, "Peace and Healing", (2006), describes post partum psychosis as "very rare". He goes on to say that "It is characterized by homicidal and suicidal impulses, hallucinations, delusions, disorganized and bizarre thinking." Dr. Williams goes on to further describe some of the consistent characteristics of one who suffers postpartum psychosis.

"The dilemma is that these individuals usually refuse treatment. This is a medical emergency situation. If post-partum psychosis is suspected, families need to call 911 as emergency intervention is necessary. Medication most likely will be prescribed. The ultimate goal is to keep the baby and mother safe." "Peace and Healing", (2006)

Yates was first diagnosed July 21, 1999 as having severe major depression by Eileen Starbranch, MD. This diagnoses, came after her attempted suicides. During her week stay at Methodist Hospital Psychiatric Unit, she was diagnosed as having severe major depressive disorder, recurrent with psychotic features. Additional problems diagnosed were social withdrawal and minimal verbal communications. It was during this psychological evaluation that Andrea Yates admitted to having thoughts of hurting herself or someone else.

Eileen Starbranch, MD, Court TV, Psychiatric Evaluation July (1999) On August 5, 1999, Dr. Starbranch along with Dr. Arturo Rics, M.D., had a consultation regarding continued care of Andrea. The findings of this consultation revealed that the onset of her depression began about six week prior along with symptoms of psychosis. Much of the documentation that was reviewed by both physicians indicated that Andrea remained reclusive, guarded and still had a persistent, depressed mood. Eventually Andrea did respond to some degree to her medication but was warned by Dr. Starbranch not to have another child as this could bring on another psychotic episode.

Dr. Arturo Rics, M.D., Dr. Starbranch, MD, Methodist Hospital Psychiatric Center July (1999) Another psychiatrist, Dr. Melissa R. Ferguson, former medical director of psychiatric services at the Harris County Jail, gave testimony that in her opinion, Yates was suffering from psychosis. According to Dr. Ferguson, Yates told her she believed that the cartoon characters on television were telling her how bad she was for giving her children "too much candy and cereal". Ferguson also testified that she believed that Andrea was incapable of understanding the consequences of what she did. Dr. Milissa, Former Director, Harris County Jail.

Andrea Yates had all the classic symptoms of post partum psychosis. Even though medication was administered, there was little supervision to ensure that she followed doctor's orders. Her hospital stays were short and therefore not effective in a medically supervised environment assuring that at best the possibility of her harming herself or others was sufficiently minimized.

There is absolutely do doubt in anyone's mind that Andrea Yates did in fact drown her children in a bathtub. There is no doubt that the "how" was too horrible to fathom. Because of the rarity of this condition and its horrendous results if not treated, many Americans, particular women, will judge women like Andrea Yates without compassion for the suffer or the effort to learn and understand the illness. What those individuals should realize is that by understanding this catastrophic illness, it in no way condones the actions done as a result of that illness.

In conclusion, the state of Texas is to be applauded in its efforts to recognize this rare, yet debilitating and extremely dangerous illness. The Andrea Yates bill became affective September 3, 2003 and it states the following:

"Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious disorder, each year affecting 10% to 15% of women who have delivered children. This disorder, despite its high prevalence, often goes undetected and untreated. In an attempt to address this public health problem, the State of Texas has enacted legislation, House Bill 341 (also known as the "Andrea Yates Bill"), which went into effect on September 1, 2003. This law requires healthcare providers who treat pregnant women to provide them with resource information regarding counseling for postpartum depression and other emotional traumas associated with pregnancy and parenting."
Blue Corss/Blue Shield of TexasPostpartum Depression and House Bill 341


BlueCross BlueShield of Texas; Postpartum Depression and House Bill 341

(2007) Retrieved on September 9, 2007 from the World Wide Web:

Ferguson, Dr. Melissa R. Former

Medical Director of Psychiatric Services at the Harris County Jail. Retrieved on September 8, 2007
from the World Wide Web:

Roca, Catherine , Chief, Women's Programs, (2005) Depression During and After Pregnancy

National Institute of Mental Health, (April 2005). Retrieved on September 7, 2007 from the World
Wide Web: []

The Pregnancy-Info Team, Postpartum Psychosis (2007) Retrieved on September 7, 2007 from the World Wide Web:

Starbranch, Eileen, M.D. Court TV

Retrieved on September 9, 2007 from the World Wide Web:

Williams, Dan Psy.D., PA-C, (2006) Peace and Healing.

Retrieved on September 7, 2007 from the World Wide Web:

Key Symptoms of Teenage Depression and Teenage Stress

Increasingly common problems that teenagers face are teenage depression and teenage stress. Whilst a lot of the problems like drug abuse, eating disorders and teenage problems like ADHD, learning disorders, short height etc can ultimately result in depression; there are other factors, which can cause depression. These factors could be related to family or personal relationship stress, excessive academic pressure at school or home, bullying at school or even depression caused due to hormonal changes in the body. It is extremely important to recognise this problem at an early stage as teenage depression and teenage stress are the biggest reasons for teenage suicides or self-harm. In some cases it could also lead to reckless behaviour or violence on part of your teen. In most cases of depression the sufferer experiences low teenage self-esteem or a lack of confidence, which can severely impair a teenager's future growth and success.

Below are some of the symptoms that can help you recognise if your teenager is suffering from teenage stress or teenage depression.

Physical Characteristics: You can tell that your teenager is suffering from teenage depression or teenage stress if they often feel hopeless and angry, cry a lot more than usual, are constantly worried, lack energy and always feeling tired, suffer from insomnia, lack appetite, feel restless, show a complete lack of motivation or enthusiasm and stop doing things they used to enjoy. Similarly if they constantly complain of unexplained aches and pains like stomachache or headache, without any medical cause, it could also indicate stress or depression.

Social Habits: Another common symptom of teenage depression is avoidance and withdrawal from relationships and friends. Your teenager might try to avoid going to school as the teachers are too strict, or they do not have friends, or others make fun of them. They may also try and avoid other social gatherings and prefer to spend and increasing amount of time alone. Teenage stress can also be manifested in the form of reduced overall communication and introvert behaviour.

Performance: Your teenager could also show complete lack of concentration and try to find reasons not to do their homework or avoid school when they are suffering from teenage stress. In these circumstances it is crucial to probe if they are having a bad experience at school which is causing them excessive stress.

In most cases teenage depression is either the trigger or a result of some of the other teenage problems. Hence you need to understand the symptoms of all other teenage problems like eating disorders or drug abuse to understand the root cause of depression. When looking out for symptoms it is therefore important to look at all of them together, rather than individually, so you can get the best understanding of the state your child is in and can take corrective action if necessary.

In the book "Solving Teenage Problems" all the possible teenage problems, their causes and symptoms have been discussed in detail. Along with this exercises are provided so that parents can understand the severity of problem they are facing and then work through various tips provided to deal with these problems.

Postpartum Panic Attacks: If You Are Plagued With This Condition Here Are 3 Ways To Deal With It

For many women giving birth is a happy time of their life. For others, however, symptoms of depression and panic attacks can occur so strongly as to drastically affect their lives.

Postpartum disorders occur in one in every eight women, so if this your case, you are clearly not alone.

These symptoms go far beyond the typical baby blues that many mothers experience but rather they are intense feelings of not being able to cope and not feeling like you.

What can these women experience?

These new moms worry about really harming their children. This is a large part of the cause for the anxiety as even picturing harming a child can cause anyone to feel just horrible.

Furthermore, the anxiety of raising a child, because of the feeling of not being adequate to the job, is also a contributing factor.

Such questions as how to provide proper care and nutrients to the child just keep swimming in the postpartum mothers mind.

While this depression and postpartum anxiety continues to rage on the feelings will compound, and the situation will just get worse. This is why it is absolutely crucial to seek help at the very first signs of postpartum depression!

Can Postpartum Panic Attacks Be Helped?

Fortunately, postpartum depression can be reversed, and the anxiety attacks that come with this condition, can also be treated. This is certainly not a new disorder and many Mothers go through the same feelings after giving birth.

So What Are The 3 Ways to Deal with Postpartum Panic Attacks?

1.) The best way to start to deal with postpartum panic attacks, are to recognize them for what they are and to seek out a local support group. Just talking to other mothers can reassure you that you are not going crazy.

Furthermore, these groups help to realize that these feelings do not make you a lousy mother.

2.) Another way to deal with these anxiety attacks is to seek out professional medical care. Now obviously you are nursing so the medications you take will have to be taken into account.

Just using some simple and homeopathic remedies has been proven to help many mothers with postpartum depression. As well as relaxing exercises such as some light Yoga or any other relaxing exercise could be very helpful.

3.) The last way is to seek out cognitive therapy and interpersonal therapy. The way this helps is that cognitive therapy helps to overcome negative perceptions, which can result is a lack of energy and depression.

While interpersonal therapy can overcome immediate and difficult problems also help with difficult transitions such as giving birth.

Is This a Common Condition?

While postpartum depression may not be all that common, it is vitally important that you and your family recognize the symptoms of this disorder. Once you have the ability to spot yourself falling prey to this disease it will be easier to seek out the best treatment.

There should never be any stigma associated with seeking out help when you are facing this difficult situation.

Far too many times tragedy has struck many families because they either did not know about this disease or were unwilling to seek out treatment because of the fear of being judged harshly by others.

One Sided Love Can Hurt

This love business can be a darned nuisance, can't it? Mind you, at my age, it really doesn't affect me anymore. I suppose there's always a chance that a gorgeous young lady of about 35 with the figure of a goddess might come along and sweep me... get real, you silly old fool.

Now, I'm very happy to say that it's never happened to me. Oh, I used to see some beautiful young girl and start daydreaming. Surely we've all done that. Ladies, too, are no different. They see some magnificent hunk and start wishing he'd take her in his strong arms. The chances are, though, it stops there.

Unfortunately, there are a minority of cases where it doesn't stop there. I read of a case where this lady fell madly in love with this chap at work. She made no attempt to approach him. They were both married, but this poor woman became besotted with the man.

She reported that she'd dream of him at night. Oh, they were on speaking terms. He was always very polite, a thoroughly nice chap. Her one-sided love for him, though, caused her actual physical pain. One sided love can hurt. This lady genuinely used to do her best to dodge him, try not to see him, because once she did, she'd be unable to eat, sleep or concentrate on work.

Now, although this unrequited love can hurt terribly, it's most unlikely that there's any physical danger involved. Depression and anxiety are two other conditions that may arise because of unrequited love. Most certainly depression, because you'll be brooding about one thing, one person, and there isn't a thing you can do about it.

This can become very serious and end up with you in hospital, suffering from clinical depression.

There's always the risk of obsessive love, man for woman. If this man is normal in every other way, and simply broods over the woman with whom he thinks he's in love, then that's fine. But he may not be normal. In his mind, this woman should have thrown herself into his arms by now, but she hasn't. More direct steps must be taken.

He starts following her home and this could lead to an actual physical attack.

But let's go back to our little lady who's madly in love with her colleague at the office. Obviously, he's handsome, or at least has a very pleasing face, to her, anyway. But what are his hobbies? What's he like as a friend? Is he kind and gentle? Oh, in her mind, of course he is, but is he in reality?

There's going to come a time when she really does start to feel ill. At that point, she has simply got to do something positive about it. One of the best ways is with self hypnosis. Project your mind into the future. See what's going on there. Then look back on the present, and you'll really wonder why you're throwing your life away.

What is the Best Thing About Life?

The best thing about life is being able to live. The best things in life are many things. There are lots and loads of things that you can enumerate which would define the best thing about life. But what is the very core of all the things which life brings that you consider at its best? What is the best thing about life for you? What could be the one thing that makes your life worth living? What is truly the best when it comes to living in order for you to feel fulfilled of everything you have in everything you do?

Life is not about us. It is about what you do for others and for God. It is about how you live your life and do your best in everything for the greater glory of God. Life is all about how you dedicate your living to God. It is about giving, learning, forgiveness and doing good things to honor God.

If you are skeptic all about it then you should start trying in order to for you to see it yourself. People always say that to see is to believe. But what about faith? If life is just about you and me and the things all around us then what is life worthy for? Life is not about making money and getting rich and die. It is about honoring the one who gave us life; who love us so dearly; who gave us His only son to die for our sins. It is about honoring God in all the things we do and all the things we plan for.

Ask yourself - what is the purpose of my life? We all have our own perceptions about how we live life in order to survive. But it is a great thing that we, as human beings, have faith and believe in God that through Him anything is possible. For as long as we honor Him with His name and Glory, everything else will follow. Life is not just about being who we are or what we have to become or what we have become. It is about doing our best with all our efforts and dedication to whatever we do in bringing honor and glory to God.

The best things in life are free. And everything is free if we honor God and give our best in all we do for Him. Put Him first in everything. Seek god first and His Kingdom and everything else will be given to you by Him, by his power and His unconditional Love. That is the very best thing about life.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Can Fish Oil Help Postpartum Depression?

Fish oil supplements are now highly recommended for pregnant mothers, for all but good reasons. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which all contribute to the normal development of the baby in the womb. These omega-3 fats are actually building blocks that lead to the formation of brain cells and a sound nervous system. Omega 3 fish oil EPA specifically aids in the proper development of the respiratory and cardiac systems and promotes a healthy heart. Furthermore, many research studies also confirm that increased intake of omega-3 can reduce the risk of premature delivery and enhance the visual system of the developing fetus.

The benefits of this supplement do not end when the mother gives birth to the child. As a matter of fact, even if you have not taken this supplements early on, it is not too late to enjoy the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats do not only promote good prenatal nutrition, it may even be more important to take for women who have already given birth and/or is breastfeeding.

The fact that it helps counter depression has already been established. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to boost the levels of serotonin in the brain - those so-called happy hormones, and regulate production of chemicals that lessens anxiety and ill feelings. A new study conducted in England revealed that women who consume more seafood and thus more omega-3 during the third trimester are less likely to show major signs of postpartum depression.

There are a sheer number of research studies that provide sufficient evidence that links feelings of depression with decreased reserves of DHA and EPA omega 3 fats. The same is true in the case of postpartum anxiety. To make matters worse, a breastfeeding mother is bound to have depleting reserves of these fatty acids, which might worsen post-partum depression in already deficient mothers.

What all these reveal is that it is indeed important for the proper prevention and treatment of postpartum depression. New or expectant mothers must always prioritize their own and their baby's health so if you are interested in taking fish oil supplement to get sufficient amounts of omega-3, you must choose a supplement that does not put you at risk for mercury contamination. It is important to choose an omega-3 fish oil brand that contains pure, molecularly distilled and ultra-refined fish oil. It is also important to consult a health care provider should you find yourself having postpartum depression that is far from manageable. While there is enough evidence that links fish oil for postpartum depression, it must not be considered as a sole treatment for serious cases.

What To Do When You Lose Your Mojo

Have you ever had that feeling in your life when nothing is working? You're feeling down, people you thought were on your side are suddenly against you? You feel the whole world is against you? Unless you are a manic depressive hopefully this only happens once in a blue moon. What do you do when this happens? This exercise is not for people who are depressive and are on medication for their depression. This is for those times when we have lost it for a few days, our confidence has gone. You know you will go back to your old self soon but it's shit feeling that way you do just now. This exercise should help.

Depending on how deep the mojo losing has gone there are steps you can take to get the mojo back.

It all starts at the start

Recognise when the mojo losing feeling started. Usually there is a trigger event that starts the snowball rolling and the downward spiral of feelings. An example trigger would be falling out with your partner, loss of a job, a failed exam something big but not huge.

Go back to the last known good configuration. This is a computer term meaning that if something goes wrong with a program, revert to a time when it was working okay. It involves going back, in your mind, to the last time you felt good about yourself and the world. This involves visualising yourself in the time when you felt good. Use your mind to the full, get the feelings back, and get the smell, touch, taste, and sounds back. If you can do this a few times a day for the next few days you will see a dramatic difference in the way you feel.

Thank yourself This is important. Feeling down for a few days is not a good feeling, however it reminds us how good our life really is. When we are in the black cloud of feeling down the world is not a good place, when the cloud disappears the sunshine is back. This is the time to thank yourself, thank yourself for your life (it is you who is creating it).

When I do exercises like this it further strengthens my belief that we create, in part, the world around us. If we can control our state of mind we can, effectively, control the world.

Are Psychotic Diseases a Reality?

The understanding of Human Functioning is very complex and due to the very nature of these very complicated combinations of different criteria; it makes it impossible for us to be compared to any "social norm". Social norms are the basic doctrine of the psychological fraternity. We certainly have common or similar behaviour, but the critical inner feelings and reactions to different environments are all uniquely different.

It is therefore totally unrealistic to believe that we can be classified as normal or abnormal and totally impossible to determine a "social norm" scientifically. We are all uniquely different and function from different points of departure. We all have unique finger prints, DNA, looks, voices, hair, and behaviour. So which one of us are normal? Is there any scientific document that can determine a "Norm"? Is there any DNA or fingerprints which can be described as normal. Research has proven that many people have similar looks or trends but the reality is that everyone is undoubtedly uniquely different. The fact is that all of us should appreciate that uniqueness, because in that uniqueness brings very high value. Every individual is irreplaceable.

I am not attacking or trying to discredit anyone's doctrine at all, but I am certainly committed to bring peoples attention to the fact that millions are being exploited, through very carefully designed marketing techniques and strategies. Most these techniques are being presented by the so called experts and many people except the experts advice as truth.

Be that what it may, let me now prove my case through scientifically proven evidence. The scientifically researched data below should help millions of people to stop and think and I urge every person that is taking psychotropic drugs to research the facts for themselves.

Of course people get depressed, have stages of anxiety, feel insecure, etc. However, I will present you with proven scientific facts that prove people do not have mental disorders or diseases but are experiencing part of everyday "life challenges" We are not mental when we all happen to suffer from different negative functioning criteria from time to time. Are we all infected with mental disorders or diseases? That is what Psychiatrist want us to believe. It simple is not true.

Let us start from the very beginning again by asking the following questions;

1. Where is the starting point or ending point when quantifying human behaviour if everyone is uniquely different?
Answer: That has become a million dollar question as the sciences prove that we are uniquely different and therefore it is not possible to create or classify a person into a segment where a "norm" can be justified scientifically.

2. Can any Psychotic disease be tested through any scientific test or pathological examination?
Answer: Any pathological disease is an organism that can be found through blood testing, X-Ray or scan. Not one psychotropic disease or disorder can be detected through pathological examination.

3. So how does one determine that a person is suffering from disorders (diseases) such as; Bipolar, Manic Depression Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, etc, etc.?
Answer: There is not a single test, X-Ray or examination that can determine any psychotic disease.
All these diseases are invented by psychiatry and all these diseases are diagnosed through the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV. Over 370 diseases without one having any scientific background or evidence to prove such mental disorders exist.

So why are their millions of people diagnosed with these diabolical diseases or mental disorders? The mental health experts often say that people have a chemical imbalance such as serotonin or endorphins in the brain, yet there is not one single test to proof their claim. Can this be true? Absolutely!

Unlike drugs such as insulin that corrects a measurable proven imbalance in the body, the Psychotropic medications have no visible or measurable physical abnormalities to correct. One can clearly see the effect of bacterial evidence on an X-Ray, but there is no physical evidence of any psychological disorders either in the blood or any other means.

Conclusion: Without a doubt no behaviour can be described as a mental disorder or disease and the Mental Health Sciences are all about power and certainly not about science or your or my health. The drug manufacturers and psychiatric industries are bed partners and are a very powerful and a very forceful industry.

The reality is that the Psychiatric industry have millions of people around the world believing their industry is a medical science. This is simple untrue but give credit where credit is due they are the worlds best marketers.

Detecting Signs of Depression in Children and Teens

While childhood depression can be triggered by events such as changing schools, divorce, moving, or a death in the family, there is a genetic component to depressive mood disorders, and some children are more predisposed to these feelings than others. In past generations childhood depression was often dismissed as normal growing pains, but now that we know more about the causes, symptoms and long-term effects of depression, early detection and treatment of depression have become important concerns.

If you suspect that your young child may be suffering from depression, do not dismiss it. Depression can take root early in life and have long-lasting effects, but you can take steps now to ensure that your child lives a full and happy life. Here are the most common signs and symptoms of childhood depression:

Family history: If there is a history of depression in your family, pay extra close attention to the moods of your child. Even if neither you nor the other parent have depression, these afflictions can skip generations. If you have any parents or siblings who have struggled with mood disorders, then your child could be at greater risk.

Irritability: The symptoms of childhood depression mimic those of adult depression in many ways, but there are important differences. For one, while depressed adults often become withdrawn and sad, depressed children are more likely to become irritable and have outbursts of irrational emotion. They do not have the emotional maturity to recognize the meaning of their feelings, so they lash out.

Loss of interest in activities: If your child frequently complains that she is bored, or if she does not seem interested in any of the activities she used to enjoy, this could be a sign that her mood has declined.

Social difficulties: Having an active social life is a crucial part of childhood development. Depressed children often have trouble interacting with their peers and maintaining friendships, which can lead to arrested development in the social sphere. If not changed early, this can have negative social effects for life.

Frequent complaining: More often than in grown-ups, depression in children can lead to physical aches and pains. If your child frequently complains of headaches, stomach aches, or other pains, be sure to take her to the doctor for a checkup. If nothing is physically wrong, it could be that the pains are triggered by depression. They may be signs that your child is reaching out for help.

Declining school performance: To do well in school, children need to be focused and engaged. Depression can get in the way of this. If his grades have declined, or if he frequently expresses an intense aversion to school, it could be that depression has begun to interfere with his studies.

Frequent crying: Children who are depressed often cry for seemingly no reason. If your child sometimes cries but cannot seem to tell you what is wrong, it could be a sign of unusually melancholy feelings within.

Violence or aggression: Depression can cause children to become aggressive toward their peers or siblings. Some children are naturally rougher than others, but if your child has suddenly become aggressive or has repeatedly gotten in trouble at school for fighting, it could be linked to depression.

Low self-esteem: Childhood depression often goes hand in hand with feelings of low self-worth. If your child often speaks negatively of herself or seems to lack confidence, these might be symptoms of depression.

Morbid thoughts: Children who are depressed sometimes become obsessed with death or violence, and if they do not express these thoughts openly, it may come out in schoolwork or in things like drawings or writings.

Low Thyroid - Why You Still May Have Symptoms Even When Being Treated for Low Thyroid

Are you being treated for low thyroid, but still suffering with thyroid symptoms? This is a surprisingly common occurrence in people with low thyroid conditions and it is extremely frustrating.

Many people with an underactive thyroid (or low thyroid) visit their doctor with complaints of symptoms such as weight gain, persistent fatigue, prolonged or heavy menstrual periods, depression or trouble sleeping. The doctor suspects an underactive thyroid and checks TSH levels, which confirm the patient's thyroid is indeed underactive or low.

Treatment is started and TSH tests continue to be used to check thyroid function. When "normal" levels of TSH are achieved through medication, it is assumed the thyroid is now fine and working properly. Follow up tests confirm TSH has been successfully brought under control.

Problems occur when despite the fact that your TSH is now under control and your thyroid is functioning "fine" you still have symptoms that brought you to the doctor in the first place. You still feel tired or depressed. You're still gaining weight and having trouble losing weight even with a good diet and exercise program. You're still missing a healthy sex drive. Whatever your low thyroid symptoms are still having them!

You doctor insists your thyroid is functioning fine now, and may even suggest your symptoms are a "normal" part of the aging process. Women may even be told their symptoms may be related to the onset of menopause, even if they are years away from the cessation of menstrual periods.

What's going on? How can tests show your thyroid is "fine" based on your TSH levels when your low symptoms are still the same?

Symptoms of an low thyroid that persist even after "successful" treatment are a red flag that something is still going on underneath the surface. If you're still suffering from underactive thyroid symptoms even though you're being treated and told by you doctor your thyroid is fine, there's a high probability that something's been missed in your diagnosis.

The only way to discover what it is that's "missing" with your diagnosis is through reevaluation. Don't expect your low thyroid symptoms that are persisting to go away in time on their own. Make an appointment with a thyroid specialist for a complete and thorough reevaluation - one that goes beyond evaluating TSH levels and labeling them "normal" or "abnormal" as the only means of determining whether or not your treatment is successful. Only then will you be able to fix the real problems of your low thyroid symptoms and problems.

Morning Quotes to Start Your Day

Many people choose to start their day with morning quotes as a way to set the mood for the day ahead. Quotes are often used as inspiration to live a certain way, as motivation to make life changes or to serve as a way to make a difficult situation seem a little more bearable. It is for this reason that quotes by actors, politicians, sports figures or other respected figures are often circulated to help loved ones overcome difficult circumstances because of their uplifting nature. Morning quotes can also serve as a mantra for the day so that when a difficult situation arises the person can remember the motivational morning quote and respond in a more positive manner. For example, a woman may choose to start her day off with a morning quote for her to remember during the day. Then when she has trouble at work or at home, she can remember the quote she read and she may remember to have a more positive outlook, handle the situation accordingly, and hopefully, have a more positive result. Starting off the day with a morning quote of a prominent male figure can also serve to help men to be more positive figures themselves. If a man reads a quote for him to be a better leader, such as a quote by John F. Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln, he may use that knowledge to be a better leader at work and in his home life.

The benefits of inspirational morning quotes can be great, especially during difficult times in life when we are feeling down. Reading quotes by important figures in our world, present and past, can often remind us that things will get better and that we can turn things around. For example, "There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not," from Robert F. Kennedy can serve as a reminder to think outside of the box and focus on the future not on the past.

Funny morning quotes also have their benefits. Chuck Jones had a good one when he said "I dream of being Bugs Bunny, but when I wake up, I'm Daffy Duck or Wile E. Coyote." I'm sure that he is not the only person to ever feel this way. To recall this quote during the day can help to keep a sense of humor during a difficult day and also to try to be more like Bugs Bunny during a hard day rather than the defeated, Daffy Duck or Wile U. Coyote figures that are always defeated by their opponents. Starting your day off laughter is like waking up on the right side of the bed!

Starting the day off with a quote is a practice that can have definite benefits in improving attitude, and outlook on the events of the day. Whether you prefer inspirational, funny, morning quotes for her, for him, or even for friends, it is a great way to start off every day!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

6 Depression Busters

Most of us have been there, and sometimes without warning. Depression typically attacks those who have suffered a loss, physical and mental abuse, have low self-esteem or are experiencing a lack of fulfillment. The degrees in the severity of depression vary from bouts of mild depression extending to more severe, medical conditions such as bi-polar disorder.

For the milder bouts of depression, it is much simpler to find higher ground than it is for a person who is suffering from a more serious condition.

Although triggered by our own thought processes, depression often throws us into an emotional vacuum that affects our ability to reason and therefore can be very debilitating. The common approach to treating depression is therapy and prescribed drugs such as anti-depressants. Having suffered bouts of depression in my younger years, which ranged in severity, I am speaking from experience when I say that taking medication to manage depression is equivalent to having surgery to lose weight. The root of the problem is not being addressed. If we do not take action by seeking to educate ourselves about how to gain control of our thoughts and change our thought processes, the effects of depression will continue to repeatedly present themselves, along with the undesirable side-effects of taking medications.

Below are six natural methods that can be used to relieve the symptoms of depression. Understanding that there is a lot of difficulty in taking action while in a depressed state, it is important to incorporate these actions into daily life as more of a preventative measure rather than waiting until depression strikes. Either way, always seek higher ground, beginning with the next highest thought and move from that point to the next. Do not try to reach the top of the mountain in a single jump because it will usually result in frustration, leading to a deeper depression. Just take it one step, one thought, at a time.

1. Read, listen to and/or watch empowering material such as personal development books, audios and videos. Make this a daily habit. It is important to explore and learn about yourself and how you process thoughts and why. Once you discover how to become conscious of your own thoughts, you can then begin to learn how to control them. This won't happen overnight, but like everything else there has to be a starting point so why wait? Start today.

2. A healthy diet and exercise play a key role in not only your physical wellness, but your mental wellness. No new news here. Natural foods are full of nutrients and vitamins that promote both physical and mental health, thus warding off depression. Stay clear of foods that are high in sugar. Not only do they have negative effects on the body, but high doses of sugar contribute to mood swings and disorders. Remember the Twinkie defense?

3. Action is life's keyword, both mentally and physically. When we exercise, our body produces hormones and other chemicals that relieve pain, reduce stress, enhance the immune system and relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. There are several other benefits to exercise and if you are one of my regular readers, you know that I promote exercise in nearly every article. Why? Because I am a huge advocate of healthy mind, healthy body - and visa versa. Even a brisk walk can change your entire outlook.

4. It's short and simple - get out of your head and start a project. Write a poem, paint a picture, build a house - do anything positive or productive that will shift your focus from you to it.

5. Find a reason to laugh. I personally love to watch comedy clips. You can also read comics, make faces in the mirror - whatever tickles your funny bone. Have you ever experienced one of those hysterically funny moments that when you thought about it at a later date it made you laugh again as if it had just happened? Collect as many of those moments as you can so you can pull from the memory file when needed. Laugh often - it's life's miracle cure. Seriously.

6. Meditation is a mandatory part of my life and I strongly recommend it to my clients and others. I've had many people tell me that they don't have the time or patience to meditate or they wouldn't know where to begin. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a spiritual guru to understand and learn meditation. There are several beginners guides, online and otherwise, that will guide you through the process. It's very simple and as you continue to practice meditation, you will wonder how you ever got along without it. You can start with ten minutes or less (I recommend five minutes for newbies) and then gradually work your way up from there. My own meditations last approximately 30 minutes. Surely, you can afford to spend 30 minutes a day toward your own wellness. Meditation not will not only prevent bouts of depression, but will enhance your well-being on every level.

Life isn't always easy and I'm not sure it was meant to be. What I do know is we don't have to live it in a place of misery, struggle and despair. We have the ability and the power to transform our lives both physically and mentally. We are not helpless victims. It really is just a matter of taking action and you can start by taking the first step. What is the first step? Begin educating yourself, about yourself. Only you hold the power to change and heal your best friend - you.

Post Acute Withdrawal - Symptoms and Treatments

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is the leading cause of relapse among recovering addicts. Even those who positively engage their treatments and diligently guard against continued cravings can succumb to the painful effects of PAWS. Addicts must educate themselves about this frustrating condition in order to successfully complete their rehab programs and stay clean. Here are some of the most common symptoms.

*Continued drug cravings

*New cravings for food or other substances

*Depression, anxiety, paranoia, and other emotional problems

*Exacerbation of co-occurring mental illnesses

*Lack of motor skills

*Short-term memory loss

*Cognitive impairment

*Lack of focus, drive, or ambition

*Inability to effectively communicate with others

*Sleep loss

*Slurred speech

*Heightened sensitivity to pain

*Emotional numbness

*Constant overreaction

Many of these symptoms actually make recovering addicts appear to be still using drugs or alcohol. This phenomenon has become known as "dry drunkenness," and it is extremely frustrating for people struggling to avoid relapse. Society already stigmatizes addicts, but laypeople can be especially cruel to those suffering from PAWS.

Overall, these symptoms threaten addicts' recoveries in two ways. First, they make it extremely difficult for rehab patients to productively engage their therapies. Even people who are positive and enthusiastic about their treatments cannot focus when they suffer from constant mental, emotional, or physical pain.

Second, PAWS symptoms often continue long after rehab programs are complete - heightening the risk of relapse. Addicts often find it difficult to employ the coping strategies they learn during therapy when they continually experience the same pain they felt during the withdrawal of detox. Returning to drug abuse sometimes seems like the only way to make the suffering stop.

Now that rehab specialists recognize PAWS as the number-one cause of relapse, addiction treatment clinics are beginning to make its management a top priority. Here are a few of the strategies rehab clinicians use to help their patients mitigate PAWS and avoid further drug use.


Though any drug use is dangerous for recovering addicts, medicines are sometimes necessary to alleviate PAWS symptoms. This is especially for patients with chronic depression or other co-occurring mental illnesses. Anti-depressants, relaxants, and even painkillers can sometimes help rehab patients to effectively engage their therapies and stay clean after they leave their treatment facilities.


Appealing to a higher power or greater purpose in life often helps people get through the pain of withdrawal. It has the same effective on PAWS sufferers, who sometimes find it easier to manage their pain when they can see meaning within their daily lives. Rehab patients commonly mitigate depression and physical suffering with prayer and meditation.

Physical Care

Addicts can alleviate a great deal of physical and even emotional pain by taking proper care of their bodies. Good nutrition helps to maintain stable moods and balanced hormone levels. Vigorous exercise can even cause releases of endorphins, the same feel-good chemicals responsible for drug addictions. By experiencing these small, natural bursts of euphoria, many PAWS sufferers find it easier to avoid using actual drugs.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, click the links below to find a treatment center near you. No matter how much you're suffering now, a drug rehab program can help you get back on your feet.

Refuse to Feel Desperately Unhappy - Anxiety and Panic Attacks Under Control!

Treating depression and panic and anxiety attacks is serious business for the families and sufferers of these life sucking conditions.

"Sick patient heal thyself." Often that's what you're asked to do when you are suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. Just get over it. What's wrong with you? Can't you see your fear is irrational? Of course, if you could figure out how to "just get over it" you would. You're still trying to figure out if your problem is mental or physical. Yes, I know when your problem first started it probably had something to do with some fear, trauma, grief, or loss. Now you have been pestered by panic and anxiety attack symptoms for months or maybe even worse years; now the physical symptoms have superseded the original problem and have become uncontrollable.

For depression, it's just the opposite. You're not bothered by uncontrollable body movements. You might even welcome the change of over stimulation in your life at this point. You seem to be shutting down uncontrollably.

Some might have you think that being depressed is some kind of crime. If your dog died, you would be depressed about that-You loved that dog; here's a horrible thought, what if a close relative died. Certainly, that's a justifiably reason to feel a little down, don't you think. You bet these are good reasons for you to feel depression and or be suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. Gee whiz, you're not bullet proof and you don't wear a cape. Don't beat yourself up about the way you feel and don't let others kick you around either.

There is a stopping point to depression and anxiety and you will have to reengage in that process. If you are feeling suicidal or you've gotten to the point where you can't leave your house, it's time to get professional help. You see, part of the problem with depression is inertia. Doing nothing or doing the same thing over and over again. You have to make a commitment to move on to the next step and that next step means changing your processes.

Anxiety and panic attack sufferers you don't have an inertia problem, but you do have an internal conversation problem that you share with depression sufferers. Now, both of you can learn this next lesson and change how you feel instantly. You can learn to use your body to change your emotional state by moving it.

Test this next step immediately!

When I say MOVE I literally mean MOVE your body. You see the fastest way to change how you are feeling (your state of mind) now is to change how you move your body. No, this won't cure your depression or anxiety attacks on the spot; it will change how you feel right now.

Your emotions are directly influenced by how you move (your motions) your body. It's hard to go for a brisk walk and feel depressed; endorphins' are released in your blood stream and you start to feel better. If you are watching your favorite sports team play and you jump up, clap your hands and shout at the other team, your mental state will change and adapt to your current physical movements.

If you are depressed, change your state immediately by sitting or standing straight, hold your chin up, keep your gaze focused, unfold your arms and legs, and breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Imagine you have a million bucks in your bank account and sit or stand as if you did. These body movements take you from depressed to confidence.

Anxiety sufferers you have a different problem. When you feel the symptoms come upon you don't shrink from them. That's part of the problem. Say to yourself "bring it on, I'm not afraid of you anymore" and then wait it out. Remember to as best you can stay relaxed, and focus on the symptoms, become curious and ask yourself questions about the symptoms. This changes your internal conversation from "oh no what am I going to do now" "here it goes again" "I need to get out of here". By adopting a curious or confident posture you immediately change the impact of the symptoms.

This is simply a coping tool to use to shift your emotional state temporarily. The real battle for recovery is the one between your ears. You have created a pattern of internal conversations that keep you in a depressed or anxious state of mind. You don't believe you can undo your mental state and you may also believe your circumstances are more powerful than your own abilities.

You're not alone and this is not uncommon, even if you're not depressed or suffering from panic or anxiety attacks. There are simple techniques that have been working for more than forty years; they use to be available only to the few that could afford to go to a professional psychologist or psychotherapist. You can learn and apply these techniques in the comfort of your own home. You don't have to wait any longer. Don't be afraid to make the commitment to get better.

To your health

Consult your doctor about any diagnosis or medical treatments you may need and do not stop taking any medications before discussing it with your doctor.

Tough Teen Bipolar Disorder Realities

Also known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder is a mental illness, characterized by powerful changes in mood, energy level, and behavior. At one extreme lies mania, usually manifested as extreme restlessness, inability to sleep, irritability, poor judgment, and impulsiveness. Depression is at the extreme end of the other pole, and is distinguished by helplessness, hopelessness, fatigue and suicidal thoughts.

Bipolar disorder begins in early adulthood or late adolescence, therefore teen bipolar disorder is seen often; the challenge lays in recognizing the symptoms early enough to seek help. As anyone who has gone through adolescence can attest, in teenagers, irrational behavior is fairly normal, as are mood swings from very high to extreme lows; consequently, recognizing teen bipolar disorder can be difficult. Also, teenagers can be uncommunicative with their parents about their activities and friends; this makes it problematical for family members to monitor their mood.

If you have suspicions that your child may have teen bipolar disorder, please take the time to watch his or her behavior closely in order to recognize common symptoms.

Depressive symptoms of teen bipolar disorder include insomnia or oversleeping, loss of energy, feelings of emptiness and worthlessness, physical agitation or sluggishness, continual sadness, lack of concentration, and suicidal thinking.

Manic symptoms include increased energy, extreme changes in mood, extreme irritability, rapid speech which leaps from idea to idea quickly without connection, lack of concentration, hyper sexuality, physical agitation, lack of sleep for extended periods of time, and unrealistic optimism

Teen bipolar disorder is the beginning of life long illness, and cannot be cured; nevertheless it can be effectively treated with the help of medication and therapy. Family and friends will also play a pivotal role in treatment.

Young people afflicted with teen bipolar diseases need steady supervision, at any rate, in the early stages when timely treatment can make a big difference. Pay attention to any suspicions you have about this disorder in someone you know.

True, teens are the majority of the time hard to deal with, but it is better to seek treatment early and be in error than to disregard warning signs. Teen bipolar disorder is not to be ignored, but handled with care and as quickly as practical for the best outcome.

Getting the Facts About Depression

Depression can come in many varieties and is defined as an abnormal and persistent mood state characterized by sadness, downheartedness, slowed mental processes, and changes in essential physical patterns such as sleeping and eating. If you feel like you may meet the above criteria you are not alone. It is estimated that on any given day, 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Over the course of the year, about 7 percent of the worlds men and 10 percent of the worlds women face the devilish mental disorder known as depression. While the above numbers may seem incredibly large they have continue to increase. Experts are somewhat perplexed by the continuing rise and ideas are mixed as to how to stem the tide of depression cases. But what is undisputed is that depression is a dangerous condition that robs a person of happiness, joy, and the capacity to receive love.

Major depression is a common disorder. It usually starts when a person is in their early 20s, although it seems to be becoming a more common and serious problem in teens and children. In some cases, the first depressive episode is preceded by milder but recurring symptoms, which over time manifest themselves as depression. Depression is normally chronic and may come and go over periods of months or years. In some, depression can become chronic, creating challenges both in treatment and in the daily lives of those impacted. Depression often co-exists with other conditions such as ADHD, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and substance abuse. Anxiety can also lead to depression is allowed to fester over time.

The exact cause of this condition is unclear, though many experts believe it is linked to neurotransmitter chemical activity in the brain. The fact that over 30 percent more women struggle with depression is likely attributable to the differences in sex hormones in men and women, since women are predisposed to two types of depression (postpartum depression and premenstrual syndrome), both of which are linked to fluctuations in hormone levels. Depression may be inherited and tends to have a hereditary component. Life events, such as a emotional distress, job loss, marital problems, loss of a loved one, divorce, childhood neglect, financial difficulties, and physical illnesses such as cancer and stroke are all major contributing factors.

What Next? Certainly is you are suffering from depression finding help should be your number one priority. You will have a number of different options including conventional medications, psychotherapy, and natural remedies all of which approach depression in different ways; with each method having its benefits. While this may be true many people are choosing to give natural therapies, such as herbal remedies, a try due to their lack of side effects. Two of the most effective herbal ingredients commonly used to overcome mild to moderate depression are St.John's wort and passionflower. Herbal remedies which are able to harness the power of St.John's wort and passionflower are a safe and effective way to treat depression and can be used both as a standalone treatment, or when called for, in combination with other non-prescription therapies for maximum impact.

Different Types of Sleep Deprivation Symptoms to Look Out For

Regardless of whether you suffer from short or long-term sleep deprivation, several symptoms will become evident. Sleep deprivation symptoms range from obvious ones like sleepiness to more severe conditions like memory complications and hallucinations. Understand that severity of symptoms rely on two factors. These include the amount of deprivation versus the amount of time you are awake and the intensity of the symptoms according on your circadian clock. Sleep deprivation symptoms become more evident when you cannot sleep at times you should naturally be asleep.


Sleepiness automatically comes with sleep disorder. When you lack sleep, the body naturally feels sleepy. For people suffering sleep deprivation longer or more frequent, sleepiness can be much worse. Drowsiness can also cause related sleep disorder symptoms like feelings of exhaustion or fatigue. People experiencing fatigue often feel weary and uncomfortable. Along with sleepiness, you can also fall asleep faster when sleep disorder. Short sleep latency causes extreme daytime sleepiness and even narcolepsy in the end. Depending on other conditions you have, sleepiness can be either advantageous or disadvantageous. For people with insomnia, added sleepiness is helpful. For other individuals, additional sleepiness can only get in the way of accomplishing tasks.


Sleep deprivations symptoms also include mood changes. If you lack sleep, you can have a shorter temper. The amount of sleep you have is directly proportionate to your mood. A good night's sleep can bring a great mood while a disrupted slumber can lead to irritability. Changes in your mood may progress other serious complications like anxiety and depression. Previous studies established the link between sleep and psychiatric conditions. Symptoms and disorders usually overlap with depression. For example, health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) come with nightmares and loss of sleep. Additionally, individuals suffering from chronic insomnia are more at risk of suicide. This only emphasizes how important sleep is to overall health.

Lack of Concentration and Decreased Productivity

Good concentration relies heavily on a well-rested mind. If you do not get enough sleep, you damage or impair your ability to focus. In some cases, individuals suffering long enough from sleep deprivation become used to the impairment, making it hard to realize the problem. When a person losses focus, their level of productivity also decreases. Lack of alertness can lead to accidents and errors jeopardizing performance. This only emphasizes how important you should look out for symptoms. If you can pinpoint sleep deprivation symptoms earlier, you can address the problem before it becomes worse.

Cognitive Impairment

Sleep is very important for the thought process. It reenergizes the mind to help you think better and sharper. Without enough sleep, your cognitive abilities suffer. Sleep deprivation affects not only the thought process but also how the mind processes memories.

Many sleep quotes will make you realize how crucial sleep is to your overall health. Get enough sleep to avoid suffering from these symptoms and other health problems.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Anxiety and Depression - Symptoms and Effective Natural Remedies

We all have feelings and emotions. Feeling of fear and nervousness are very common when we face challenges and risks of life. These feelings serve us well most of the time.

But when these feelings exist all the time or when their presence prevents us from enjoying the challenges and risks of life then they become a problem. This leads to diseases like Anxiety and Depression.

If you have anxiety or depression, you may feel hopeless, helpless, and sad and stop feeling pleasure from almost everything you do. You may feel down in the dumps or discouraged. You may also be irritable or anxious or have low energy levels. Other symptoms includes...

  • Racing heart

  • Shortness of breath or sensation of choking

  • Sweating

  • Dizziness

  • Thinking a lot about death or suicide

  • Headache and stomachache (These symptoms are not because of any physical cause)

  • Change in eating and sleeping habits

  • Think and speak more slowly than normal

  • Faded face

  • Fear of losing control, going crazy or dying

Anxiety and Depression limits your performance, limits your willingness to participate at all social events. They affect your thinking, feeling, behaviour and even the physical health.

Anxiety and Depression are closely related. Most who suffer from anxiety suffer from depression at some point. One condition tends to aggravate the other.

Good news is both depression and anxiety have natural remedy.

Effective Natural Remedies

  • Learn and Practice to replace the question 'What if?' with 'So what!'
    When you have depression and anxiety, you always expect disaster which is not realistic and you always ask yourself a single question i.e. 'What if I fail?'
    This negativity is the main reason for depression and anxiety. So replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts and learn 'So what!' approach.

  • Do what you are afraid to do! And Do them again and again!
    Get your calendar and build a task list. List all things (events) that make you feel nervous or fearful and do them! Yes, do them! Prove to yourself that the world will not come to an end. Do them regularly and repeatedly. This approach will build your self esteem and eliminates the nervousness and fear.

ADHD Herbal Remedies - St John's Wort

St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum) is widely used as a natural remedy for chronic depression. Researchers believe that the herb's anti-depressant properties are due to its high levels of hypericin (a natural antibiotic) and other active components like hyperforin and flavonoids. Although St. John's Wort's active ingredients have yet to be determined, what we do know is that it can increase the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates emotions. There are a number of studies that prove the efficacy of St John's Wort as a natural antidepressant. In fact, the British Medical Journal says that St John's Wort is as effective as pharmaceutical antidepressants and produces few or no side effects.

Although St. John's Wort is not generally used as a natural treatment for ADHD, researchers from the naturopathic college Bastyr University wanted to see if it had any positive effects on children with the disorder. Predictably, the results of the study came out negative, but the press had a field day when the results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Despite its negative results, this study is worth mentioning because it shows how science, health, money, and politics are closely interrelated. Before anything else, why would researchers want to test an herb that is rarely or never used as a natural treatment for ADHD? St John's Wort is only given to individuals with ADHD if depression is co-morbid. Another point of interest is how an obscure study by an even more obscure university ended up getting published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals, the JAMA. Not only was the study so small as to be hardly worth noticing, but it was also very poorly designed. In fact, the children who received St. John's Wort consumed an inactive form of the herb, meaning its active ingredients had been tampered with and oxidized. Finally, clinical trials that show negative results rarely get published, much less receive media attention. Why did this study become so well publicized?

The answer to this question becomes clear when you discover that the infamous Dr. Joseph Biederman was one of its authors. Dr. Biederman is a Harvard psychiatrist who published a number of studies that promoted the use of Ritalin and other medications to treat ADHD. Researchers estimate that the studies of Dr. Biederman are responsible for a 300% increase in the use of stimulant drugs by ADHD children over the last ten years. Then a Senate investigation discovered that Dr. Biederman had been receiving millions of dollars from the manufacturers of these drugs, showing that he has a financial interest in testing and endorsing ADHD medications. Why Dr. Biederman bothered to participate in this study is not known, but it is likely that he wanted to discredit the use of St. John's Wort and other herbs as natural remedies for ADHD.

So can St. John's Wort be used as a natural treatment for ADHD? Unless the individual suffers from depression along with ADHD, the answer is no. Before you give any herbal remedies to your child, ask the advice of a holistic health care practitioner.

Selling Gold For Money - Why is Selling Gold So Popular?

Many people are asking about why is selling gold so popular. There are thousands of individuals that do not know exactly how much can be made by selling unwanted and unused gold items.

Why Is Selling Gold So Popular?

In recent times, the price of gold has been skyrocketing. This means that people can make the most profit on their gold right now as compared to previous years. As a result of this increasing demand for gold, millions of people are gathering up their items to sell to gold buyers.

In order to answer the question, why is selling gold so popular, you have to look at the fall of other commodities. Gold price increases have been linked to the dollar's decreasing value. Many people also turn to gold when a recession or depression affects the economy, as they feel that is a sound investment for their money. This makes the demand rise, which makes the price increase.

The Money System

Gold has been used as a form of currency and investment for thousands of years. Even in the earliest civilizations, gold coins were used to purchase goods. It is considered to be a precious metal that has its purest form as 24 karat gold.

The price of gold has allowed everyday people to make a hefty profit on their unused and unwanted items. Millions of people are gathering all of their jewelry and coins from their homes in order to have extra money for bills, gifts and general savings.

Online Gold Buyers

Many people have found that the best type of gold buyer is an online purchaser. They provide free mailing kits so that you can have a fast turnaround on your gold. Their high quotes allow you to get the money that you deserve.

Getting funds for your items is a win-win situation. Changes in the market and the increased demand for gold is the answer to -- why is selling gold so popular.

Will Taking Bodybuilding Supplements Cause Adverse Effects?

You will normally find that those who are serious about bodybuilding will supplement with bodybuilding supplements, but there can often be a worry if there are adverse health effects associated with this.

Surprisingly, or not, many of the most popular bodybuilding supplements can cause adverse effects, especially if not taken carefully and correctly, for example, caffeine can cause heart issues and also paranoia. But if you take caffeine as directed and in the correct doses then you can improve your workout with increased levels of concentration and energy.

Glutamine is slightly different as it has no known big side effects. Glutamine is a great way to keep your immune system in good condition as it already occurs naturally in your body. One of the reasons that glutamine is a popular bodybuilding supplement is that during a workout your levels will tend to drop. If you are looking for quality supplements then you should try a company such as PhD Supplements.

However, it is possibly to experience negative reactions from your supplements. Those with mental conditions should stay away from glutamine as it can cause manic depression which can cause conditions such as bipolar disorder to worsen. There is no way of knowing if you will react badly to glutamine if you have never tried it before, but be sure to contact your doctor immediately if a reaction does occur.

Another supplement that is mostly safe to take is creatine. If you do not take creatine while you are working out too then you will find you get no results, however taken alongside a training programme it can drastically transform your muscle gain. There have been a few reports of dehydration and muscle cramps due to creatine but these have been minimal. Others have complained of worse side effects like kidney problems and heart problems. If you are thinking of starting to take glutamine then you should also follow the previous advice regarding glutamine, the complaints are very few but it is better to be cautious.

Whatever bodybuilding supplements you decide to take, we suggest you do your research first, and consult your trainer or doctor if you are worried about adverse side effects. If taken correctly, supplements can be vital to a training regime and can provide the body with much needed nutrients and can even help repair muscle tissue, but any body building supplement can cause harm if you go overboard. Be aware that different people react differently to certain things so you must always equip yourself with the appropriate information before you start a supplementation programme.

A Bipolar Disorder Lesson From a Bipolar Patient's Point-Of-View

When acquiring knowledge it is best to define terms either before or as they are used. Let us begin by defining:

Bipolar (Affective) Disorder (manic-depression): a "mental disorder" exhibiting oscillating periods of elation and "clinical depression." It is essentially a psychiatric diagnosis of elevated and depressive cognition, moods, behaviors and energy levels. The clinical term for the elated moods is "mania". A gentler form is "hypomania." Following mania, bipolar individuals usually manifest either depressive symptoms or a "mixed state" in which features of both mania and depression are simultaneously present. These up-and-down events quickly slide through "average" mood zones enjoyed by the general population. For some folks,"rapid-cycling" between up-and-down mood levels occurs. Fierce manic episodes can exhibit delusions, psychosis and hallucinations. The bipolar mood range, in increasing levels of manic severity, are termed cyclothymia, hypomania (bipolar II) and mania (bipolar I). Descending levels of clinical depression are cyclothymia, depression (bipolar II) and clinical depression (bipolar I). Clinical depression alone is termed "unipolar." [abridged-paraphrased Wikipedia "Bipolar Disorder" entry]

Patient moods are continuously variable as they ascend and descend this bipolar spectrum, prompting Johns Hopkins leading Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison and Bipolar I patient, to call bipolar disorder "this quicksilver illness."

Here are a few American statistics:

  • Women suffer clinical depression twice as much as men

  • 90% of all suicides result from clinical depression

  • Men and women suffer bipolar disorder equally

  • 1 of 3 bipolar individuals will either attempt or complete the act of suicide

You have likely seen more than enough lists of manic and depressive visible behaviors, but it is important to adhere to those listed in the "Psychiatrist's Bible," DSM-IV(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The DSM-V is soon to be published in 2013. It is from these basic definitions that we can build a discussion and understand what is to follow. Here are the essential "Diagnostic Criteria for Manic Episode:"

  • Abnormally, persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood

  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity [w/uninhibited, skewed volition]

  • Decreased need for sleep, e.g., feeling rested after only 3 hours of sleep

  • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking

  • Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing

  • Distractibility, i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli

  • Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work, at school or sexually) or psychomotor agitation

  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences, e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments

  • Mood disturbance sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others

  • [Giving away money or cherished or valuable possessions]

I have included this last, bracketed symptom, as that has been my own personal experience during my bipolar I episodes and also that of many of my co-patients and bipolar friends. Although this frightening list is not intended for use by "armchair psychiatrists," it is useful for spotting and obtaining professional help for a bipolar friend or family member. Bipolar mania reminds me of the metamorphosis that produces the "Incredible Hulk." My bipolar I episodes always involve an obsession-either "seeking true love" or "starting my own high-tech energy company." Oh, the wonders of manic grandiosity!

Well, DSM-IV has been kind enough to help us understand what bipolar mania is. Here it does likewise for clinical depression in the form of "Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Episode":

  • Depressed mood (can be irritable mood in children and adolescents) most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated either by subjective account or observation by others

  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated either by subjective account or observations by others of apathy most of the time

  • Significant weight loss or weight gain when not dieting (e.g., more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day (in children, consider failure to make expected weight gains)

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia almost every day

  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down

  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day

  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

[Vegetative, catatonic; retarded or loss of motor skills; unable to commit the act of suicide]

Once again, this last, bracketed listing is based on my personal experience and that of many of my co-patients and bipolar friends. When taken together, all of these bipolar states are can be peppered with psychosis, hallucinations and delusions, making a psychiatrist's diagnosis that much more difficult to make.

Bipolar diagnoses are primarily made by psychiatrists (64%), psychologists (18%), and general practitioners (13%). In suspected cases of mental issues it only makes sense to cut to the chase and make an appointment with a psychiatrist. This specially trained professional is best able to treat a mood disorder patient. There are also "mixed episodes" during which an individual will suffer both manic and depressive characteristics simultaneously-pure hell.

Once correctly diagnosed, the patient and doctor will need three years, on average, to sculpt a useful combination of psychotropic (psychiatric) drugs to achieve acceptable patient mood stability, the goal of which is to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of episodes. These potent drugs have wicked side-effects and must be a carefully selected combination chosen from the five major classes of psych medicines:

  • Mood Stabilizers

  • Antidepressants

  • Antipsychotics

  • Anxiolytics

  • Anticonvulsants

When the bipolar patient is manic, he or she is feeling good and is unlikely to visit a doctor unless coerced by another individual. That is why psychiatrists often diagnose bipolar patients with unipolar (depressive) disorder only because the only time he gets to see the patient is when he or she is feeling bad. It is fascinating that nearly 70% of bipolar sufferers are misdiagnosed an average of 3.5 times before that correct diagnosis is dialed-in. The manic individual is on a "high" and feels wonderful-there is "no need" for a doctor.

Because bipolar or depressive disorders involve relative amounts of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) in the brain'slimbic system (that portion of the brain responsible for emotion, behavior, motivation and long-term memory), a paucity of them will result in depression and a surplus of them will result in mania. Neurotransmitters are what transmit electrical signals between nerve endings, and, in this case, those found in the brain. Unfortunately, there are no physical tests, no "dipsticks," blood tests, invasive or non-invasive medical techniques for determining the relative levels of these biochemicals. Bipolar disorder is every bit a physical disease as are diabetes and heart disease. Here are the ways psychiatrists must achieve their diagnoses for their mood patients:

  • Questioning the patient

  • Questioning family, significant others

  • Establishing a patient history

  • Behavioral observation

  • Reading body language

  • Evaluating speech characteristics

Combining the results of these presentations with knowledge and experience

Although bipolar disorder can strike anyone at anytime, it usually can be traced to either a genetic component or a crippling physical, mental, or emotional stressor like child abuse or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that produces tremendous amounts of anxiety. On the genetic side, children having a sibling or parent with bipolar disorder have up to six times the likelihood of inheriting the disorder. Other predispositions and correlations for having bipolar disorder are having a Germanic heritage, a high IQ, or being an artist or scientist. Musicians, composers, poets, painters, philosophers, photographers, comedians, TV personalities, sculptors, etc., have an elevated risk of being bipolar when compared with the general population. My casual study of 277 famous persons revealed 84% were in those fields and suffer(ed) mood disorders. I can identify at least five triggers that launch bipolar episodes:

  • Stressors (including major life events); physical, mental and emotional

  • Substance abuse

  • Sleep deprivation and severe circadian rhythm disruption

  • Seasonal change

  • Medicinal side-effects

When it comes to religion, much of Christendom judges those having mental disorders as being sinful, shameful, lacking faith, weak, self-centered, selfish, storytellers, guilty or demon-possessed. Or "That is just an excuse, you are trying to get attention." These judgments result in private upbraiding, public ridicule, shunning or excommunication. The affected person's beliefs fail when his mind fails. Other significant world religions either quarantine or eradicate mentally persons (defectives) using any means possible, including homicide. It is interesting to note the statistical incidence of people's mood disorders is unaffected by any particular religious belief or affiliation.

Depression is the number one reason for doctor visits in America today and the class of psychiatric drugs prescribed is second only to analgesics (painkillers). It has historically taken an average of four doctors and ten years to correctly diagnose a case of bipolar disorder. Even today only 49% of those with bipolar disorder receive treatment. Most of the remainder, unaware of their disorder, will unwittingly self-medicate with "feel-good" drugs, food, alcohol and wanton (hyper) sex. Denial can seemingly be a mental patient's best friend.

Bipolar disorder is very much like a "mood roller-coaster," with rapid ascents into mania, yet slower descents into suicidal depression stemming from a loss of confidence, identity and neurotransmitters. When manic our thoughts race at disturbing speeds. When depressed we feel envious of anyone who is not in our place. We must train others to understand us and how to help us no matter how impossible that seems. And we must live "in the moment" every day. Our only real duty is to avoid mood swings that steal our reason, for the loss of hope constitutes our desire for death.

Fortunately, public discriminations towards the mentally ill are gradually trending toward better due to higher levels of awareness and today's many campaigns against stigma and discrimination targeting the mentally ill. Stigma of the disorder is fueled by the popular media characterization of bipolar individuals as being crazed homicidal maniacs having murderous/suicidal intent. Stigma means "disapproval and disgrace." It alienates its victims, creates undeserved prejudice against them, and produces a societal shame that delivers a powerful blow to those already suffering a horrific mental disorder. Stigma is every bit as inappropriate for the mental patient as it would be for the heart or cancer patient!The sufferer considers herself a public "killjoy," and hides it as best she can. She and others like her often cannot summon the self-esteem and confidence to share their emotional battles.

Every societal aberrance appears to have its own equal and opposite form of the word "phobia." Should those guilty of fear of the mentally ill be branded "psycho-phobes?" It has been my experience that, like "mean" drunks and "happy" drunks, there are both "mean" and "happy" individuals who suffer episodes of bipolar disorder. The "mean" ones are those few who are violent and make the evening news. After all, most killers aren't born, they're made.

Bipolar individuals, on average, will suffer 8 to 10 episodes over their lifetimes. Bipolar is living hell on earth without a cure. The impact on society includes these facts:

Bipolar disorder is nearly the 2nd-highest reason for federal disability awards

Unemployment is 50% higher than the U.S. Average

Bipolar patient lifespans are 9.2 years shorter than the nominal U.S. age of 78 years

Because drug therapy often requires 2-3 weeks to begin exhibiting a therapeutic effect, hospitalization may be indicated for the patient's safety during a mood disorder episode. Sadly, "new and improved" healthy patient outlooks, beliefs and budding improved behavioral habits, when compared with previous behaviors, can actually spook family and friends and cause a separation of ways. Outpatient counseling is often required to either prevent this ordeal or deal with its aftermath. A new setting may be a big boon to the psychiatric patient. Whether manic or depressed, the individual's feelings must be moderated-restored to a stable range. Julie A. Fast has described a "centered" bipolar's life as being possible, wonderful, having fun and enjoying one's talents. I have also found these aspects of stability to be true.

For me, clinical depression, a crafty adversary, produces the worst suffering. Its simplest definition is "anger turned inward." A depressed patient must find a non-injurious, non-damaging way to vent those demons of anger to slam the brakes on a dangerously deepening depression.

Imagine awaking after being buried 6 feet under, the utter hopelessness of your shouts going unheard, unable to roll over in your coffin, claustrophobic. Clinical depression's hopelessness is worse! Suicide easily becomes a viable, attractive option. In the words of Marybeth Smith, "... I just want to end the pain." The wild mood swings of bipolar disorder in a sufferer have nothing to do with volition, choices or will. With depression, one may unknowingly begin to sink into the abyss of hopelessness.

"You can always think your way into a depression but cannot always think your way out [of one]." - Dr. Lewis Britton

At that point the only options are either drug therapy or ECT.

Because psychiatric treatment usually involves only 15-minute "meds checks," a patient must request a referral for a psychologist who can provide the "talk therapy" needed for the patient to work out thinking, behaviors, lifestyle and myriad other issues. Patients must be ascertain whether or not their psychiatrists and psychologists will communicate with one another to create a holistic continuum of care. The patient must learn habits of living including eating, exercise and sleeping habits. Mood disorder behaviors are non-volitional and re-learning healthy physical, mental and emotional habits is a must for preventing further mental mayhem. Friends and family can neither sympathize nor empathize, never having "been there."

Serenity is my ultimate mental health goal. I have nearly achieved it by eliminating nearly most stressors in my life and it feels great. No problem distracts or bothers me anymore, most likely due to having already survived the worst that can happen to me at both extremes of bipolar mania and depression. In addition to Psychiatric and Psychological help are voluntary support groups, both physical and online. Internet forums and communities, if their members stay on-track, can be quite helpful for depressed and bipolar folks as episodes, doctors, medications and the like are hashed over and common ground is established for self-revelation, sharing and caring.

I am often asked whether there is 1) a greater number of mentally ill persons today, 2) if the bar is being lowered by psychiatric professionals to drum up more patients, or 3) whether there have always been so many of us in the past who were misunderstood, misdiagnosed or ignored. I am inclined to say that it is an amalgam of all three at the risk of sounding simplistic or "politically correct." I say this because I believe all three propositions can easily be tied to the increasingly rapid advance of technology's increasing impact on mankind over the decades. But I'm certainly open for any suggestions to the contrary.

In conclusion, "bipolar disorder" remains a "hot-button" topic today among health professionals, the media, patients and a confused public. Well-meaning websites and blogs litter the internet with both accurate and erroneous content and advice, and these venues must be fact-checked and negotiated with care. Although not up to academic standards, a Wikipedia search of "bipolar disorder" is probably the most handy and accurate source for the average inquisitor. Having read it myself, this mental patient recommends it for all concerned.