Saturday, February 1, 2014

Actors: Are You Sure You Want To Be an Actor? Read On!

Lunatics, manic depressives, people with too much ego, people with too little ego. People with so much talent it's scary. People with so little talent it's scary. And just about everyone else in between. The ideal acting candidate carries the following in his DNA: ear, energy, intelligence, imagination, and intuition; the ideal acting candidate somewhere develops the following character traits: determination, drive, refusal to be beaten, resilience, pride, awareness of self and others. Wed those two lists of requirements and you have a potential actor--or saint!

So you have all those characteristics! Great. Now for a couple of comments:

Actors fib. Maybe it is a requirement. But fib they do. I have asked several actors why they want to act. Mostly they fib but here are some of their more truthful replies, followed by my own observations.

1. "I thought it would be fun."
FUN? Let's see. Work 9-5, beg to come in late so you can sign up for an open call. Or instead, get up at six AM and stand in a line outside the Equity building in every kind of weather. I remember waiting outside for two hours in 13 degree temperature for an open call for 簫 appropriately 簫 "The Grapes of Wrath." That was life imitating at least the title of the play!

FUN? Tech and dress that goes on until one AM. A long subway trip home. Up at seven to be to work at nine. Get off work whenever. In the theatre at seven. Curtain at eight. Hours and hours and hours of rehearsal. There are ten people in the opening night audience.

FUN? Four months of open calls nearly every day and not one callback. The air is laden and leaden with depression, rejection, doubt, loneliness. Suddenly a small house and family in Nebraska sound like Eden.

FUN? After an audition, being told by the director you are better than the "star name" they cast, but golly gee you know the business! Gotta fill those seats! Subtext: You're a nobody. "How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog." This is small example of why I push for actors to read poetry. No actor sums up being a nobody better than Emily Dickinson.

FUN? You have the female lead in a 35 minute short film, opposite a huge name actor who won't even speak to you because you are not also a "name." ["I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too?"] In fact he won't even sit next to you in a bar scene. Me? Once that Northern Irish temper set in (controlled of course!) I was OK. Till then, I felt like Dickinson's frog TAKE TWO.

FUN? Five years later you still have the scar on your arm from the nail some indifferent carpenter failed to hammer in properly and you, rushing off stage, slashed your arm on it. The wardrobe mistress blasts loose language not even heard even in triple XXX rated because you got blood on the costume. Excuse me!

FUN? You're doing Shakespeare behind the NY Public Library. The woman whom you have a scene with in three minutes tears her ankle and you have to improvise both sides of the dialogue because the plot depends on this scene, all the while you keep the verbal balls in the air in dazzling iambic pentameter. When it's over you grab the Xanax or go into cardiac arrest.

Endless examples. If you're in it for "fun," go dance on the rim of Etna or Vesuvius, or any other volcano, while its sizzling. Now that's fun!

Reason # 2 which actors give for becoming become actors:
"I thought I'd give it a try."

Me: Don't bother. Fire swallowing is an easier occupation. Try it.

3. And yet another reason for becoming an actor:
"I was in a play in high school. It was a good memory."

Me: Don't ruin a perfectly lovely memory.

4. Reason (Usually at the bottom of very few lists, if there at all!)
"I just have to. It's like breathing. It's something I have to do."

Me:Oh dear, hope he's talented. His answer is impeccable.

With the possible exception of the "just have to" response, it is my own opinion that 15 minutes in the sun is what lures people into acting. You want sun? Go to Phoenix.

However, it is that same drive for recognition and praise that draws us all, regardless of how noble our professed protestations for wanting to act. The person who lacks that drive for recognition and praise won't work his tail off trying to get auditions and trying to get roles.

Anyone who doesn't want recognition is fibbing. Any actor who says he pays no attention to reviews or recognition has a daddy who's a director, a studio nabob, a producer. If you are just acting for yourself ("I don't care what people think just so long as I am pleased with what I did."), then you don't need an audience and it's less draining to play charades on Friday evening with friends and neighbors.

So my bravos to those who truthfully say, "Yeah, I'm all for fame and glory. I want recognition. I want to be famous." Then let the drive for fame also be the drive that gets you auditions and bowls over the directors and producers. But also love acting, and honor the profession, and want to be the best actor you can be.

Acting, every word and every eyebrow twitch, is a challenge. Let the challenge be a reason to become an actor. Because acting, especially on stage, is one of the toughest jobs in all of the arts. Challenge doesn't begin to describe what it means to make an audience forget you and mix you up with character you are playing.

I remember once auditioning with the Duchess of York's monologue as she curses her despicable son, Richard III. Although the director later cast me, her response to my monologue was, "I wouldn't want to cross you!" That was not me. Those words were Shakespeare's. Not mine. The challenge was to make The Duchess sound real -real with variety and energy. The director's comment was not intended as a compliment. But it was to me-because of the challenge of Shakespeare's words.

My advice to almost everyone who wants to be an actor is DON'T. Find something you really like to do where you can earn a living and then do community theatre. If you live in a large city, there are often movies shot in your city and you could do extra work. In other words, train for a good profession and yet keep your finger in the acting pie, only as a good amateur rather than someone struggling to live off acting.

Although what I am about to say goes against many people's opinion, nevertheless let me say it--with the caveat that it is MY opinion and is not written on a tablet from Mount Sinai. I am not Moses..

There is, I firmly believe, a performing mentality: positive, gutsy, determined, self-confident (about self and ability), full of energy and vitality. I do not believe it is the role of a teacher or a coach to pull or to elicit from a student the energy, the vitality, the joy, the confidence that this profession requires.

Acting requires almost superhuman self-confidence, at least during an audition or performance. You certainly can be taught how to say a line or deliver a speech. But that drive to perform must be so strong that no amount of doubt can prevent or destroy your ability to shine at an audition or performance.

Not long ago a June graduate of one of America's prestigious drama departments asked if I would coach her acting and guide her in how to audition. I agreed. Then she went home (Ohio) to visit a brother and his children. When she returned, she said their life was so good (family and home) that she wondered if she really wanted to act. I strongly suggested that she return home, find a job she enjoyed, and build a good life. I was absolutely sincere in my advice.

I am most alive on stage or in front of a camera. Not to act is not to be whole. BUT THAT IS ME. Relatively dull in real life, but a cyclone when performing. I do not recommend this profession to anyone unless you have the drive, the talent, the ability to function well in spite of rejection, and a joyous inner energy that is contagious to casting people and to audiences.

I wish you luck and sincerely hope that in another ten years we will see your name in lights on Broadway or on a movie marque on 42nd Street. Or that you will be happy in Montana, or Maine, or Mississippi, with a good job, a home, and a lovely family.

But to those who really want to act, read some of my later articles, as well as the ones already published here. See if you have what it takes. Then if your answer is "yes" we will guide you and help you weave the magic necessary to reach OZ with as few twisted ankles or pained psyches as possible.

Bipolar II Disorder - Do You Suffer From This Mild Form of Bipolar Disorder?

If you have bipolar II, you should consider yourself lucky. Bipolar II is defined as a person having at least one incidence of depression in their lifetime, in additional to one episode of hypomania, an excited state.

As opposed to bipolar I, bipolar II doesn't interfere with your working schedule, due to a lack of severe manic episodes. Some symptoms of bipolar I include, hypersexuality, hypomania, and mild depression.

1.) Hypomania

Hypomania can also be quite pleasant, and offer you a boost in your productivity. People in a hypomanic state will be happy and very sociable, the life of any party.

2.) Hypersexuality

Hypersexuality is an increase in sexual desire, which can lead to indiscretions such as affairs or promiscuous encounters.

3.) Mild Depression

Someone with bipolar II will have down swings in mood, but these usually aren't so severe as to affect work. Maybe you will feel tired after work for an entire week, or lack the energy to conduct your usual hobbies. Generally, mild depression will not force any major lifestyle choices.

Bipolar II can usually be treated with fish oil, such as the omega-3 at your local drugstore, and therapy can be used to understand your feelings, and learn to control impulses.

Some forms of therapy that can help include social rhythm therapy, which can help you maintain a regular schedule, as well as behavioral therapy, which can teach you to maintain a healthy body and eschew crutches like alcohol and tobacco. Two other forms are light therapy, which uses full spectrum lighting to treat depressive symptoms, and cognitive therapy, which can help you think positive thoughts and overcome irrational depressive thoughts.

Is Chocolate a Mood Stabilizer?

Why do so many of us crave chocolate when depressed? The common sense explanation is simple emotional eating. After all, chocolate is probably the world's number one comfort food.

However, psychiatrists have traditionally identified loss of appetite with classic depression, and labeled depression with increased cravings for food as "atypical depression".

Now there is new thinking that speculates this atypical increased appetite and food cravings may not be "mental" symptoms, but instead may be an attempt by the body to rebalance itself. In other words, cravings - including the craving for chocolate - may be rooted as much in physiology as in mental or emotional health.

In a recent Australian study, the overwhelming craving of choice was for chocolate. The study participants reported that chocolate made them feel less anxious and irritable, as well as less depressed. Researchers began to suspect that the chocolate cravings were not a symptom of depression, but rather an attempt to re-balance emotions and over-all equilibrium when they did some further study into the personality types of the chocolate cravers. The group rated high on measures such as anxiety, self-criticism, irritability, sensitivity to rejection, and self-focusing.

Chocolate is surprisingly complex and contains over 350 chemicals. Some of these chemicals like tryptophan can increase serotonin - the "feel good" neurotransmitter. However, it is only present in small quantities - not enough to have a measurable effect. Also, chocolate triggers the release of endorphins and opioids, well known for creating feelings of well being. Chocolate also activates some of the same the same brain receptors as marijuana - but again this effect is very small and you could never eat enough chocolate to get "stoned" as with smoking a joint.

So does chocolate have a future as a mood stabilizer?

In summary, chocolate does have a settling effect, especially for those of us who suffer from things like anxiety and irritability. Further, it is possible that our chocolate cravings do represent a natural "healthy" attempt by our bodies to re-balance. The downside? The helpful chemicals in chocolate are present in such small amounts that the effects are only mild and are very short-lived. Compared to the mood swings, weight gain, and blood sugar disturbances caused by all the fat and sugar, any fleeting benefit is greatly outweighed in the long run.

Now THAT is depressing!

Depression - Can Dolphins Relieve Depression Symptoms?

There are various treatments for depression but this one can be not only original, but also effective. Swimming with dolphins can be an effective therapy for depression according to a research carried out in Honduras. It was known that these animals had healing properties for other diseases but not alleviating depression.

Under support of biophilia theory, which shows how human health and well being are dependent on our relationships with the natural environment, the research showed that swimming with dolphins is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.

According to the British Medical Journal a randomised controlled study of animal facilitated therapy with dolphins in the treatment of depression.

The study was performed in Honduras with 30 patients diagnosed with mild or moderate depression. 50 per cent of them were assigned to the experimental group and the other 50 per cent to the control group.

Patients of the experimental group swam and snorkelled in the water with dolphins for one hour a day during a two-week period. Meanwhile, patients of the control group exercised the same water activities, but without dolphins, in order to control the influence of water and the natural setting.

Antidepressant drugs or psychotherapy were discontinued for all patients at least four weeks before the research and they were also not allowed to take drugs during the study. The average severity of the depressive symptoms was more reduced in the experimental group than in the control group.

The experts that led the study stated that effects caused by the animals were significantly greater than those of just the natural setting. They also explained that the emotions raised by the interaction with dolphins may explain the mammals' healing properties.

Participants from both groups reported lasting improvement and did not require treatment even three months after the study. Which This suggests that in patients with mild or moderate depression, using drugs or conventional psychotherapy may not be necessary when biophilic treatment with animals is used, they conclude.

The Happiest Happiness

What is ever alluring can be correspondingly ever elusive. The capture of happiness is the grand scheme of life, but many, even most, don't know how to go about it, where to look or, worse, they go in the wrong direction. By far a better method is captured in the following quote:

A true man never frets about his place in the world,
but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature,
and swings there as easily as a star.

~Edwin H. Chapin (1814-1880)

The world is robbed hand over fist of its instinct for happiness. And this is because of the hedonistic desire that is sown into our lives through the media machine; we are told, subliminally, to 'put on' happiness via things that can be bought, attained or achieved.

Yet, not everything can be bought nor attained nor achieved. We are sold a lie for happiness. We tend to believe the lie, though, because it has infiltrated the entire world.

Happiness is not sourced from without; it's sourced from within - yes, even from God who lives within.

Particularly when we are faced with great challenges, our sense of ourselves aligning with the truth-in-reality is critical to future experiences of the happy-us. Many, not all, depressions come because of warped self-perceptions.


Stuff happens, apparently. We all know it. Things occur within our lives we have no control over, but for our attitude in living out these moments and making the most of the ever-changing future.

Not only does stuff happen, stuff has happened. We are where we are. We are who we are. We are, also, why we are. All of the things that have enrolled us in ourselves, to this point in time, have been the making of us in conjunction with the circumstances presented. These are our lives.

No matter what has happened to us, even with the fact that these things have defined us, we are not defeated. Indeed, being ourselves is the very essence, and platform, for success in our lives. It's just that our definition of success needs to be adjusted. Everyone's does. We need to redefine success as happiness from where we are.


This, for me, is the essence of the Chapin quote, besides the implicitness of peace we feel in reading the full quote.

We cannot help how our nature - otherwise known as our personality - interacts with the world; it gravitates certain ways. No amount of self-analysis will determine the reasons why, nor will it prove the springboard for shaping us into a different direction.

Achieving peace is, therefore, going with the gravitation of our nature; it truly is self-acceptance. If we can go with our personality, allowing it not to be judged by ourselves, we nourish the relationship we have with ourselves. In fact, we cannot go with the gravitation of our natures without constantly talking with ourselves and affirming ourselves in the presence of reality.

Knowing and accepting ourselves is the basis of true happiness. And I'm not sure how that can be achieved without some positive relationship with God.

The happiest happiness is the deliberate achievement of accepting the gravitation of our nature - our personalities. We accept the past and present, as it is, as well as determine we are okay, within ourselves, for the future. Happiness is an inside job and it begins now, today.

穢 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Visual Art and the Need for Mental Illness

It is not by chance that the best representation of the mental illness ever to be published is neither a photo of a mentally ill patient nor a representation by a psychiatrist, but the creation of an artistic mind. It is "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. Reproductions of the painting decorate psychiatry textbooks, mental health websites and psychiatric articles. In fact, The Scream is one of the most recognizable works of art in the world. Munch himself was subject to mental distress, suffered from anxiety, hallucinations and paranoid thoughts but until the mental disease took the best of him, he used various techniques to masterly express his anguish in his paintings.

Munch is hardly an isolated case in the world of art. Many other visual and other artists are known to have suffered from mental illness and the history of art is, at least in part, a history of the mental illness.

Alive between the years 1770-1827, a musical genius changed forever the shape of classical music: Ludwig van Beethoven.

Struggling with depression, intestinal disturbances, alcohol and opium abuse, and possible lead intoxication, Beethoven created musical more powerful than anything created before and since.

"The Heiligenstadt Testament" written in 1802, 25 years before his death and the first out of three testaments he produced during his lifetime, is a vivid representation of his feelings of despair, lineless and hopelessness. So profound is his despair that he is convinced that even death would not free him from his sufferings.

Despite and maybe because his despair, it is during the years of despair that Beethoven's artistic proficiency was at its best.

Beethoven did not consciously commit suicide, but his alcohol abuse was the cause of his demise through extensive liver damage he inflicted to himself.

The famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh lead also a life of abuse and despair, prematurely ended by suicide at age 37. Documents left after his death point to numerous psychiatric symptoms, including insomnia, nightmares hallucinations and depression.

The list of artists with documented symptoms of mental illnesses includes many of the modern and classic artists.

Even before descriptions of mental illnesses existed, mentally ill artists left the mark of their disease in art. From Michelangelo to the unknown sculptor of the Medusa head, from Durer to Hyeronimus Bosch, the common denominator of creativity is madness, especially depression.

In neurosciences, the left hemisphere of the brain, which is the dominant hemisphere in all of us is the part of the brain dealing with reason and depression, while the right hemisphere of the brain, deals with creativity and is responsible for mania. It is therefore at least strange the fact that so many artists show a hyperactivity of the left hemisphere as manifested by depression. A modern therapy for depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation (stimulation of the left prefrontal cortex with a powerful magnet) has been shown to temporarily increase artistic creativity.

In conclusion, throughout history, artistic creativity has been associated with mental illness, especially with depression. The traditional view of creativity being localized in the right hemisphere of the brain might need to undergo further scrutiny.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Bipolar Disorder and Social Security Disability

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by highs and lows; one who has the condition can experience the lows of depression to the highs of mania. Such mood shifts may only occur only a few times a year, but in some cases, they can happen as often as several times per day. In some cases, bipolar disorder even causes symptoms of depression and mania at the same time. Due to the symptoms experienced by those with bipolar disorder, people with the condition often find themselves unable to work/maintain employment. This being the case, they may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on Bipolar Disorder. Here, bipolar disability will be discussed in more detail in etiology as well as in relation to applying and qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

About Bipolar Disorder

Several factors seem to be involved in causing and triggering bipolar episodes. Some of these factors involve the following:

  • Biological differences. Physical changes within the brain;

  • Neurotransmitters. An imbalance in naturally occurring brain chemicals;

  • Hormones. Imbalanced hormones may be involved in causing or triggering bipolar disorder.

  • Inherited traits. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a blood relative with the condition.

  • Environment. Stress, abuse, significant loss or other traumatic experiences.

The exact symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from person to person. For some people, depression causes the most problems; for other people manic symptoms are the main concern. Symptoms of depression and symptoms of mania or hypomania may also occur together, which is known as a mixed episode. Signs and symptoms of the manic or hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder can include the following:

  • Euphoria

  • Extreme optimism

  • Inflated self-esteem

  • Poor judgment

  • Rapid speech; racing thoughts

  • Aggressive and/or risky behavior

  • Agitation or irritation

  • Increased physical activity

  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals

  • Increased sex drive

  • Decreased need for sleep

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Frequent absences from work or school

  • Delusions or a break from reality (psychosis)

  • Poor performance at work or school

Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder can include:

  • Sadness

  • Hopelessness

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

  • Anxiety

  • Guilt

  • Sleep problems

  • Low or increased appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of interest in daily activities

  • Problems concentrating

  • Irritability

  • Chronic pain without a known cause

  • Frequent absences from work or school

  • Poor performance at work or school

Bipolar disorder requires lifelong treatment, even during periods when you feel better. The primary treatments for bipolar disorder include medications; individual, group or family psychological counseling (psychotherapy); or education and support groups. A variety of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder, including Lithium, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, Symbyax, and Benzodiazepines.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits Based on Bipolar Disorder

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program designed to pay monetary benefits to qualified applicants who have worked long enough and paid their social security taxes. Based on medical evidence, work history, and education history, the Social Security Administration determines whether or not applicants qualify for benefits and how much each applicant can receive. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets forth specific criteria when qualifying applicants for benefits. With regard to bipolar disorder specifically, the medical evidence must be consistent with SSA's classification within the following criteria:

12.04 Affective disorders: Characterized by a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Mood refers to a prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life; it generally involves either depression or elation.

The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied, or when the requirements in C are satisfied.

A. Medically documented persistence, either continuous or intermittent, of one of the following:

1. Depressive syndrome characterized by at least four of the following:

a. Anhedonia or pervasive loss of interest in almost all activities; or

b. Appetite disturbance with change in weight; or

c. Sleep disturbance; or

d. Psychomotor agitation or retardation; or

e. Decreased energy; or

f. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness; or

g. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or

h. Thoughts of suicide; or

i. Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking; or

2. Manic syndrome characterized by at least three of the following:

a. Hyperactivity; or

b. Pressure of speech; or

c. Flight of ideas; or

d. Inflated self-esteem; or

e. Decreased need for sleep; or

f. Easy distractibility; or

g. Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences which are not recognized; or

h. Hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thinking; or

3. Bipolar syndrome with a history of episodic periods manifested by the full symptomatic picture of both manic and depressive syndromes (and currently characterized by either or both syndromes);


B. Resulting in at least two of the following:

1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or

2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or

3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or

4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration;


C. Medically documented history of a chronic affective disorder of at least 2 years' duration that has caused more than a minimal limitation of ability to do basic work activities, with symptoms or signs currently attenuated by medication or psychosocial support, and one of the following:

1. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration; or

2. A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a minimal increase in mental demands or change in the environment would be predicted to cause the individual to decompensate; or

3. Current history of 1 or more years' inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement, with an indication of continued need for such an arrangement.

Keep in mind that the depression symptoms which meet the criteria for receipt of benefits may develop as a result of the disease process and/or the medications prescribed and used, or the residual effects of procedures used to treat the disease.

The medical evidence supporting one's argument that he or she may meet these criteria, and therefore qualify for disability benefits, is crucial to obtaining a favorable finding. Physicians are considered experts in their field of practice, and their diagnosis, treatment and prognosis concerning a person's condition are key to determining if someone who suffers with bipolar disorder qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits.

Steps To Follow Before And After HIV Tests

Undergoing an HIV test can be quite an overwhelming experience for many people. Owing to the social stigma associated with this disease, undergoing a test is an emotionally disturbing experience. Depending on their mental strengths and confidence levels, people can experience a wide range of emotions such as depression, frustration, fear, anger, hopelessness, despair, panic or even plain denial to accept the truth about their status.

Therefore, just before the test is conducted, the person must be given psychological counseling, also referred to as 'Pre-Test Counseling' to strengthen him or her from within and enable him or her to face the test with full confidence, irrespective of what the result may be.

The pre-test counseling is very important to control the emotional trauma and the fear of the impending dangers and consequences associated with the positive result of a test.

If the person is found to be HIV negative, then the person can be sent away after advising him some prevention measures for the future. However, if the person is found to be HIV positive, then the person should be told about this only after another round of psychological counseling, referred to as 'Post-Test Counseling'.

The objective of post-test counseling is to ease the worry and tension in the patient's mind and to support him or her emotionally when their status is disclosed to them. The counseling is necessary to prevent suicidal tendency in the patient and to keep his emotions in control. The counselor should project the situation in a positive light and emphasize that it is actually good that the patient has learnt about his or her positive status early because this will make treatment easier and enable him or her to handle the future complications associated with this disease better. The counselor should also help the individual regain his confidence, infuse a determination to live his remaining life better.

The Telltale Signs of Depression

It's normal to feel down from time to time, but sometimes those feelings happen for no reason and won't go away. Depression is more than just a short bout of the blues - it's a condition that makes it hard to function and get through life. When you're depressed, it's easy to feel hopeless, but the right kind of treatment can help. However, you still need to understand the condition and determine what's best for you. Let's look at some of the signs of depression to help you discover whether or not it's affecting your life.

Some of the signs of depression are having problems sleeping, or they sleep away most of the day. Tasks that used to be easy become difficult, and concentration can be tricky. Thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness are common, and many people have trouble controlling their negative thoughts. They may feel short tempered or irritable, or easily burst into tears. Lack of appetite and extreme over eating are also common. You may feel that life's not worth living. These can all be depression signs.

Other signs of depression also manifests in the inability to enjoy things that used to be pleasant, a reduced sex drive, and significant changes in weight. If you lose or gain more than five percent of your body weight in a month, it's considered significant. You may feel keyed up and agitated, or sluggish and slow. Making decisions, keeping track of things, and staying focused can be extremely difficult. You may feel strongly guilty or worthless, or overly criticize your errors and faults. Many people with depression signs find that small tasks take much longer or are very tiring.

Depressed teens and adolescents are often irritable, rather than sad, and may seem hostile. Unexplained pain is also common in depressed young people. Older adults are also likely to complain about physical symptoms, and may focus on them to the exclusion of the emotional signs. Poor health is extremely common in depressed older adults.

Women are twice as likely to be depressed as men, in part because of hormonal factors, but also possibly because of social factors. Women are more likely to overeat, gain weight, sleep too much and experience strong guilt, while depressed men are more likely to be aggressive, violent, reckless and to complain about lack of sleep or fatigue. Men are at a higher risk for suicide from depression than women.

So, if you have some of these signs of depression, what can you do? There are a number of options. Many people choose to see a professional about their depression, and this is a very good idea. However, you shouldn't assume that being depressed or seeing someone for the problem means you have to take medication for it. Lifestyle changes, counseling, herbal remedies and many other methods are also available to help deal with depression, and for some people they work much better than conventional medication. Investigate all your options and find out what's available, but make sure you do something!

Fish Oil and Depression - They Go Together Naturally

Ever wonder if fish oil and depression go together? Well I've got good news. They do and they go together well. Depression can hit people of any age at any time. Depression isn't simply a case of the blues that lasts for a day and then goes away. It is a long lasting sense of helplessness, gloom and doom, or feeling that you simply haven't been happy in a long time and you aren't going to be happy.

Treatments do exist than can assist with your feelings and help to elevate the moods, permitting you to be happier and more involved in your own life. Some kinds of studies indicate that more natural methods of treatment are very helpful when used in cooperation with other medications. One such adjunct treatment is fish oil, which has been studied in depth in terms of how helpful it may be in combating depression.

In fact, there are studies that indicate that fish oil, when used as a supplement, might be nearly as effective as some kinds of tricyclic anti-depressant medications when prescribed in the right dosages.

Dr Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic believes that the two, when taken in combination, will be far more effective than simply one or the other alone. He also states that a great deal more research will be necessary to determine how the fish oil supplements work and why fish oil for depression is a good form of therapy.

The one conjecture is that fish oil is an excellent source of fatty acid such as the omega 3's. These acids are well known to play a significant role in the function of the brain along with the normal development and growth of the brain and body.

New research indicates that some people who may suffer from depression could be affected by lowered level of EPA, which is also called eicosapentaenoic acid and is one of the acids or fatty acids which are part of the makeup of fish oil.

While Dr Hall-Flavin believes that it is too soon to be able to recommend treatment or to oppose treatment with fish oil for depression, he believes that it may be helpful. As with any other kind of treatment or therapy that you are considering, you will want to always visit with your physician about the possible side effects or interactions that may occur when using it.

In reality, there are several very natural ways to get the fatty acid called Omega 3.You may eat a diet that contains more fish products such as salmon and tuna fish. In addition, the other natural methods of finding EPA and omega 3 are seedpods such as pumpkin seeds and some varieties of nuts, including walnuts. Canola oil is also a good source of the Omega 3 fatty acid.

Stages of Depression Most Common in Men

Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans today. And with the current economic demise, it is no wonder why depression has become a common condition. And contrary to what has been always the case, it seems like depression cases in men are continuously growing as doctors give more attention to them than before. As a matter of fact, today, there are six million American males who are suffering from different stages of depression.

It is a traditional belief that depression is not common in men maybe because they are biologically stronger and less emotional than women. Strong, bold, and aggressive- this is how the society perceives them. Men seems to always carry the obligation to be vogue and invincible at any given circumstances. And it is for this reason perhaps that men tend to hide their condition rather than come out and ask for help.

There is a clear difference as to how depressed men and women express their depressive condition. While it is a natural trait for women to be more vocal and showy when it comes to their emotions, men see this as a sign of weakness and of being less of a man. If women get depressed, they pour their heart out through tears into someone, thereby relieving them from pain. Depressed men, on the other hand, handle stress and problem differently. They tend to hold back the tears and pretend to be alright. This, however, would only aggravate the situation.

Depressive men also resort to alcohol and drug abuse as their coping mechanism. This only makes the problem worse as it could results in addiction that can be a source of violence. Depressive men sometimes vent out their depression through anger. They become frustrated of not being able to help their selves out of the rust of depression. This anger is often expressed through violence that oftentimes make their loved ones suffer as well.

Early detection of the stages of depression plays a role in the effective treatment of this condition. Common signs of depression in men include lack of interest in normal activities that usually gives joy to them, development of eating disorders, fatigue, and development of sleeping problems. Depressive men tend to just lie in bed and lack the drive of getting up from bed. Lack of sexual drive also serves as an indicator of depression in men.

Depression is a mental illness that requires proper handling of emotion to help treat it. This may be the reason why most depressed men remains suffering from this condition since it is in this department that most men are weak. Getting out from depression may prove to be very hard especially to men who are naturally not as showy as women. But through proper medical guidance and help, emancipation from stages of depression is not impossible. As soon as this condition is diagnosed, it is crucial to go through several processes to determine your stage of depression for administration of proper treatments. Otherwise, the condition can be made worse.

15 Signs of Depression, Are You Depressed?

Depression hurts. It is an illness that can cause physical pain, stresses relationships, and can break homes. Many people feel down during their day, I've been one of them, but are you just a little downcast, or depressed? How can you tell? There are 15 signs that you should look for. If you hit on most of them, you should probably head in for a doctor and get checked.

Here are the 15 Signs of Depression that you should look for.

  1. Feeling sad or unhappy.

  2. Reduced or loss of interest or pleasure in everyday activities.

  3. Insomnia or oversleeping.

  4. Restlessness or agitation. Wringing hands, pacing, and/or pacing.

  5. Easy to distraction, indecisiveness, and decreased concentration.

  6. Feeling as if you're worthless or guilty, focusing on past failures or holding yourself responsible when things are going wrong.

  7. Thoughts of dying, death or suicide.

  8. Physical pain or problems with no explanation.

  9. Frustration or irritability over matters big and small.

  10. Diminished sex drive.

  11. Appetite changes. Depression can either cause lack of appetite and weight loss, or cause an increase in eating and weight gain.

  12. Slower thinking, body movement, or speaking.

  13. Tiredness, fatigue, less energy. (Even doing minor jobs seem difficult to accomplish.)

  14. Difficulty concentrating, thinking, making decisions and remembering things.

  15. Crying for periods of time with no apparent reason.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you need to act as soon as possible. Talk with a family member or friend and let them know what is happening. The next thing is to get help from a doctor, or mental health provider.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity?

I remember a great quote by Sir John Harvey Jones, he said "The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression"

This is still the approach many customers take when it comes to Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. However, with high profile events over the last few years, along with new legislation, many customers are driving forward with projects to protect their business should an unplanned interruption occur.

As computing power gets ever more powerful and costs keep falling, in addition to the high availability of broadband network services, the time has never been better for customers to consider tackling this critical issue; but where do they start?

Do you want a Hot Site, Warm Recovery, Cold Space? Do you want Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity? Do you want A Mobile, Static or Business Recovery Centre? What do want you cover? How quickly do you need it? (once you've decided what it is!). Etc, etc, etc.

No wonder the customer is confused and ends up putting the exercise off. I spoke to a customer recently who had been subscribing to a Disaster Recover service for many years, only to find that when he needed the service it failed to work! This was because they had been focusing on a Disaster Recovery service, and not Business Continuity.

So what is the difference?

Disaster Recovery services tend to focus on the provision replacement resources. These are often provided on a shared subscription basis by specialist suppliers (hardware, network connections, office space, computer rooms, voice etc.). Business Continuity is exactly what is says on the tin; Business Continuity. In other words it provides continuity of business following an unplanned interruption. But there are many areas that need to be explored before a full Business Continuity Plan can be developed and tested.

The common steps that need to be taken are shown below.

Threat Assessment - The very first step on any successful Business Continuity Plan is the Threat Assessment. If you don't know what you are trying to protect yourself against how can you possibly protect yourself?

Many customers find this exercise invaluable as it also highlights risks to their business that could be reduced, or in some cases removed all together: Therefore, prevention forms a very important part of the pre-planning phase. Any areas needing improvement should also be highlighted at this stage.

Many customers identify the more obvious threats such as bombs, air crashes etc, but many ignore the less obvious, such as non-physical disasters or environmental side effects such as bomb warnings, adverse weather conditions or loss of access to the building caused by a localised incident. How many customers are aware of what risk their neighbouring business pose? Do they house combustible or toxic materials? Would they attract attention of extremist groups? Could a localised incident prevent you from accessing your facility? If so, for how long?

Business Impact Review - This is when it really gets down to the true impact on the business. One of the problems of constructing a successful Business Continuity Plan is balance: What do I want, and when do I want it? It is quite simple really, the quicker you want it the more is costs! To balance this, the customer has to review the real impact on his business of an outage (loss of revenue, loss of customers, impact on share price, legal requirements, cash flow protection etc.). Even if the impact is so severe the customer will find it very difficult to re-deploy their entire workforce to a recovery facility within very short timescales. Several emergency events in London have highlighted the impact on public transport and the road system (these were so severe that some customers found that they could not get their staff to a recovery facility!). Therefore it is essential that recovery options are priorities for short, medium and long term.

Resource Requirements - Now we know what we want, and when we want it, it is possible to start looking at the Disaster Recover element of Business Continuity. Remember I mentioned short, medium and long term recovery? Well, this is where Hot, Warm and Cold come into the picture.

Hot Recovery - is normally available in minutes. This service would utilise a complete live replacement service, at an alternative facility, with a suitable network connection in place. This would enable customers to transfer operations to the recovery system with minimum (sometimes zero) impact to the business. The obvious disadvantage of this is the cost.

Warm Recovery - Although Hot Recovery is gaining in popularity, Warm Recovery is still by far the most common solution deployed. Warm services are usually based on a shared subscription (shared risk) basis, and are available within hours of invocation. Typically it would take up to 24 hours to have the systems up and running to support the business. Warm can be provided in several ways; ship-to-site, where the equipment is loaded onto the back of a van, delivered and installed on the customers' site (obviously there has to be a site to deliver it to!). If the compute room was impacted by the outage the service could be delivered in a Mobile Recovery Facility (a computer room in a lorry). And if the site is not accessible at all a remote Recovery centre could be utilised.

Cold Solutions - Although less common, cold space (empty office and computer facilities) can still be attractive for the medium term. Enabling customers to recover 50% to 80% of their operation via Hot or Warm options, and relocating within a few days or weeks to a suitable location.

Business Recovery Centres - Business Recovery Centres are located around the world and can help the customer streamline resumption of normal office-related business processes following a disaster. These facilities include up to a thousand desks equipped with PCs, phones, and computer rooms. They also offer meeting/board rooms, canteen and recreational facilities and even secretarial support, along with full telephone switch and communications capabilities including PABX/ACD, ISDN,ADSL, SDSL, MPLS and other networking connections.

Now it's just a simple matter of writing the plan and testing the recovery! And of course, looking at standards such as BS 25999; but that will have to wait until my nest papers.

For more information visit EMA Continuity

Identify The Hidden Links Of Depression

Depression is a complex disorder. About 30 million Americans have had at least one incidence of serious depression in their life time.

Depression can be associated with traumatic events in your life, such as loss of a loved one, stress and hormonal changes, infections, specific medicines, or drug/alcohol abuse. Recent researches have shed new lights on different causes of depression.

Depression Is Linked With Inflammation.

Anyone who has suffered a viral or bacterial infection understands what it means to feel sick. Sickness brings on fever and nausea, lack of appetite and loss of interest in physical and social surroundings. Sick people tire easily, and have deprived sleep. Additionally, they feel sad and irritable; agonize from shortened attention span and temporary memory loss.

Just as terror is normal in the face of a predator, sickness is a normal response to infection prompted by factors named inflammatory cytokines/markers created by body's immune and inflammatory cells.

There is a growing evidence to suggest that inflammation is associated with depression. Here is some of the evidence:

--Increased levels of inflammatory cytokines can stimulate depressive behavior.

--Inflammatory cytokines can enter the brain and alter the levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

--Amounts of inflammatory cytokines are much higher in people facing stress, anguish, sadness, and other difficult emotions.

--Higher levels of inflammatory markers preceded the beginning of depressed mood in a senior population with no psychiatric history.

--Depression is frequently connected with a variety of factors (e.g., psychosocial stress, medical illness, obesity, poor diet, diminished sleep, social isolation) that are known to result in an increase in inflammatory markers.

--Depression is a recognized complication of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

--Depression shares similarities with 'sickness behavior', a normal response to infection or inflammation.

--In cancer and hepatitis C patients receiving immunotherapy, depression appeared in up to 50% of patients.

--Neurochemical findings in autopsy studies suggest an inflammatory component to depression.

--Medications with an effect on the immune system can affect mood.

Inflammatory Cytokines Play An Essential Role In Depression

Researchers do not know why inflammatory cytokine levels are higher in depressed and anxious people. They speculate that psychological stress can change blood pressure and heart rate. These stress-related changes can lead to the production of cell signaling molecules that stimulate cytokine production. Other source of elevated inflammatory cytokines include smoking, fat-rich diet, and being overweight.

Numerous scientific observations implicate inflammatory cytokines have a key role in depression. Inflammation may trigger, aggravate, and extend depression through:

--Hyper-responsiveness to acute stress

--Weakened immune system

--Neuronal damage and neuron death

--Impaired neuron revival

--Enhanced neuronal toxic end products

Links Connecting Depression And Inflammatory Diseases

Accumulating studies have shown compelling relationships among depression and well-known inflammatory or autoimmune diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Therefore, it is important to realize inflammation as a common factor that may cause multiple health issues.

Depression is a recognized risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, as well as an independent predictor of poor prognosis following a heart attack. For example, patients with heart disease are three times more susceptible depression than the general population.

Stress could be a hidden trigger that causes the development of both depression and heart disease. Stress can precipitate depression by activating the nervous system, interrupting heart rhythm, increased tendency for clotting of the blood, and intensified inflammatory responses, all of which negatively influence the cardiovascular system.

Inflammation that impairs both the disease and the tendency towards depression is observed in diabetes and cancer. While negative emotions may not increase the risk of advancing diabetes or cancer, they could intensify these illnesses.

There is evidence that once you have cancer, psychological stress and depression can worsen the cancer through increased levels of inflammatory cytokines. Research proves that inflammatory cytokines can cause resistance to chemotherapy, accelerating the conversion of tumor cells into full-blown cancer. Some cytokines appear to encourage the establishment of new blood vessels that feed tumors, the key process in tumor metastasis.

Several large studies showed the evidence that patients with COPD are at an increased risk of developing depression. Despite advances in various treatments, the death rate associated with COPD has doubled in 30 years. The existence of anxiety and depression has been linked to increased death, weakened functional status, and decreased quality of life.

Of people who suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), more than 20% have depression. Evidence also suggests depression can worsen IBS.

Links Connecting Depression And Inflammatory Skin Disorders

Depression is commonly accompanied with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and rosacea.

Psoriasis is a hyper-proliferative inflammatory skin disease that often appears as thick, red, flaking patches. Several studies have established that depression is a widespread challenge among psoriasis sufferers, which can modify the progress of psoriasis as well as the effectiveness of treatments.

The connection between depression and acne has long been documented, especially in teenagers. Acne increases the risk of depression and suicide attempt. Depression can also exacerbate acne.

Control Of Inflammation Represents An Innovative Approach To Relieve Depression

Evidence shows that inflammatory cytokines induce not only signs of sickness, but also true disorders in susceptible individuals and physically sick patients despite the fact that they have no previous history of mental disorders.

The findings that inflammation can actually initiate depression and various chronic disorders suggest that targeting inflammatory responses could be a novel strategy to treat depression and associated health concerns. Various studies are under way to treat symptoms of depression with anti-inflammatory drugs including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Encouraging results have been achieved by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines in psoriasis and from the treatment of COX-2 inhibitors in patients with depression.

Natural Treatments For Relief of Inflammation And Depression Symptoms

For decades, NSAIDs have been widely recommended for various aspects of flu-like symptoms or sickness-related behaviors. Unfortunately, 25% of NSAIDs users encounter severe and sometimes fatal complications such as stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. The newer NSAIDs such as selective COX-2 inhibitors (Vioxx and Celebrex) have been associated with an increased risk of severe adverse cardiovascular events including heart attack and stroke.

In this scenario, the good news is that safer approaches are available. You can control depression and anxiety without the side effects of antidepressant drugs or NSAIDs! Nutrients, anti-inflammatory herbs and herbal remedies have been demonstrated to relieve depression symptoms.

By keeping inflammation under control, anti-inflammatory remedies may:

--Improve sleep and diminish headaches and anxiety

--Help rebuild the balance of nitric oxide and prostaglandins, which contributes to the severity of depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction

--Repair the body's antioxidant defense

--Enhance the vascular healing and repair

--Reestablish vascular cell function and integrity

Millions of people go undiagnosed or untreated for depression. Without treatment, depression may remain for 6 months or longer, with increased occurrence and severity of episodes.

If you feel the pain from depression, or your symptoms of depression continue despite the treatment of anti-depressant drugs, or your anti-depressant drugs become less efficient, you may need to recognize inflammatory sources and benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment.

Natural Cures For Panic Attacks & Depression

Panic attacks are manifestations of anxiety and fear that plague individuals who are prone to these causes. Anxiety and panic disorders are possibly the most common and frequently occurring mental disorders. Panic attacks are caused by an excess of the hormone adrenaline that include a group of conditions that may be considered as principal disturbance of mood or emotional tone. It is not just an annoying condition but something which can literally fill with terror and fear in most times.

Many people employ different solutions that may help them in dealing with their disorder and in which they believe in time should eliminate them altogether. Some of them turn to modern drugs. Unfortunately, most of these drugs may cause side-effects that oftentimes lead to more medical complications. Eventually, most of the sufferers have considered natural anxiety treatments as the best alternative or option for anxiety cure. It is believed that treatments which involved natural processes can easily cure panic attacks. This is because it can be taken on a long term basis and with little or no worries of side effects or complications.

Natural cure means all natural and do not use traditional medicines and drugs. Some example of natural cure are therapy, herbs, meditation, relaxation and hypnosis. Therapy may include acupressure, acupuncture and massage. These are quite common and is often used even if there is no panic or anxiety to deal with because it aims to relax muscles and nerves to enable the individual to calm down and be soothed. Exercise may also be one of the remedies in dealing with panic attacks because it can bleed an adrenaline rush according to people who use it. There are also various techniques in relaxation like visualization, deep breathing and muscle relaxing. It helps bring back the body into balance by reducing stress and slowing down the heart rate.

Not only modern medicines have done countless blessings and increased the average life expectancy but these natural cures have also done miracles for this age. Many of these natural cures have already proved their worth. Above all, a healthy diet, a better lifestyle, a proper rest and avoidance of smoke, caffeine and alcohol are the safest ways to cure panic attacks. These methods may not necessarily make attacks go away completely but somehow teach us the best way in dealing with them and reducing their severity and length.

When looking for a solution, one must always have an open mind and be willing to try different options.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - An Introduction and History

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach used by therapists to help to promote positive change in people by addressing their thought patterns, feelings and behavioural issues. Difficulties with irrational thinking, dysfunctional thoughts and faulty learning are identified and then treated using CBT. Therapy can be conducted with individuals, groups or families and the goals of CBT are to restructure one's thoughts, perceptions and responses which facilitate changes in behaviours.

The earliest form of CBT was developed by an American Psychologist, Albert Ellis (1913-2007) in 1955, naming his approach Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT). Ellis (right) is looked on as 'the grandfather of cognitive behavioural therapies' Ellis credits Alfred Korzybski (who developed the theory of general semantics, which in turn influenced NLP) and his book 'Science and Sanity' for starting him on the path of founding REBT.

In the 1960s an American Psychiatrist, Aaron T Beck, (below) developed another CBT approach called 'cognitive therapy' which was originally developed for depression but rapidly became a favourite model to study because of the positive results it achieved. CBT therapists believe that clinical depression is typically associated with negatively biased thinking and irrational thoughts. CBT is now used to provide treatment in all psychiatric disorders and also increases medication compliance, resulting in a better outcome in mental illness. A major aid in CBT is the ABC technique of irrational beliefs, the three steps are:

A is the Activating event, the event that leads to a negative thought.

B is the Beliefs, the client's belief around the event.

C is the Consequence, the dysfunctional behaviour that ensued from the thoughts and feelings originating from the event. An example would be: Susan is upset because she got a low mark in her math's test, the Activating event A is that she failed her test, the Belief, B is that she must have good grades or she is worthless, the Consequence C is that Susan feels depressed. In the above example, the therapist would help Susan identify her irrational beliefs and challenge the negative thoughts based on the evidence from her experience and then reframe it, meaning, to re-interpretate it in a more realistic light. Another very useful aid in CBT is to help a client identify with the ten distorted thinking patterns:

1 All or nothing thinking - seeing things in black or white, if your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2 Overgeneralization - seeing a single negative event as a never ending pattern of defeat.

3 Mental Filter - you pick out a single negative defeat and dwell on it so as your vision of reality becomes darkened.

4 Disqualifying the positive - you dismiss positive experiences by insisting that they 'don't count' maintaining a negative belief.

5 Jumping to conclusions - you make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion, this includes 'mind reading' and 'fortune telling' or 'assuming.

6 Magnification (Catastrophising) minimization - exaggerating things or minimizing things, this is also called the 'binocular trick'.

7 Emotional reasoning - assuming that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are, 'I feel it, therefore, it must be true'.

8 Should statements - 'shoulds', 'musts' and 'oughts' are offenders.

9 Labeling and mislabeling - instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to it, ie 'Im a loser'.

10 Personalisation - you see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not responsible for.

These are just some of the techniques used in CBT, others are, relaxation tecniques, communication skills training, assertiveness training, social skills training and giving the client homework assignments.

In a nutshell, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aims to help a client to become aware of thought distortions which are causing psychological distress and of behavioural patterns which are reinforcing it, and to correct them.

Signs of Depression - Physical Symptoms

In the world of mental health depression is the 600 pound gorilla in the room. And if that is not bad enough this gorillas has a bad attitude. This condition affects millions of people to varying degrees and can present itself at any age. This has never been more of a worry than it is today with countless adolescents and teens experiencing bouts of severe depression. In this informational article titled "Signs of Depression - Physical Symptoms" we will explore how depression can present itself in a number of sometimes unpredictable physical ways.
Let's take a look at depression through the eyes of 17 year old Becky.
To her friends Becky is the bubbling example of a positive teen. She counsels her friends when they have problems and is the rock that they lean on when times get tough. But here lately Becky hasn't quite been herself. The change was brought about by her long time boyfriend dumping her for another girl. Her friends have noticed that Becky is now skipping lunch and sometimes she gets sick at her stomach for no reason. She doesn't seem to have the energy she once did. She also seems to be plagued by chronic headaches combined with constipation. Every time Becky thinks about the fun she and Ben had together her blood pressure shoots through the roof.
Her parents are watchful and have read the stories concerning teen suicide. They are concerned enough to make Becky an appointment with their family doctor. After the examination he concludes that this is a case of depression. Upon hearing the diagnosis Becky gets angry and animatedly denies depression is the issue. She claims to have a new boyfriend and is now focusing on cheerleader tryouts next month. The doctor isn't buying it and warns her parents to keep a close eye on her.
Depression is a dangerous condition which can be brought about by a number of different types of loss. It can affect teens, adults, and the elderly with equal severity. Once signs of depression are recognized a professional evaluation should be considered.
Additionally, many people of all ages are considering the use of natural alternative treatments for depression. Natural depression remedies have been shown to be effective in supporting emotional wellbeing, lessening common feelings of the blues and are considered to be very safe. If you are looking for an alternative to prescription medications this is an option worth considering.

What a Depressed Person Can Do to Ease Depression Naturally and Safely

In a given year, a depressed person is merely one of the 20 million or so adults in the United States who are suffering the same fate. Most people do not recognize the symptoms of depression, attribute them to something else, or fear to seek help for stigma associated with seeking help from the mental health community. Depression can either be depressive disorder, or a symptom of some condition, like hypothyroidism.

A depressed person can do a lot of things to naturally maintain their emotional health and drive away depression. Keep your body's natural feel-good chemicals up to par with fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain in your diet. Get enough exercise, fresh air, sleep, and sunshine and eat foods that help maintain healthy serotonin levels.

Among the natural and herbal remedies great for lifting depression are:

St. John's Wort, an herb that helps a depressed person to alleviate worry, sadness, nervousness, and sleep disorders, is a recognized remedy. Clinical trials seem to indicate that it can be as effective as antidepressants in cases of mild to moderate depression.

The herb has traditionally been used as a support to balance mood and maintain mental equilibrium. The active ingredients in the herb are flavonoids, glycosides, volatile oils, tannins and resins. Passion Flower also has flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids and saparin, which clinical studies indicate can support usage as a soothing herb.

If you are feeling depressed, Omega-3 fatty acids, needed for normal brain function, intake can help. Higher amounts of fish in your diet help avoid depression as evidenced by the really low occurrence of such illnesses in fish eating cultures. Cold water fish including sardines, salmon, and anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

SAM-e, or S-adenosyl-L-methionine is a chemical found naturally in the body that could increase levels of serotonin and dopamine. SAM-e can me bought over-the-counter as a food supplement, and will help you fight the sense of feeling depressed. Amino Acid Supplements are also a good idea with special emphasis on specific amino acids that are the precursors to neurotransmitters. Other dietary supplements like folic acid, vitamin B6, and magnesium also help.

As a general rule, lower your sweet intake, and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Regular exercise particularly aerobic exercise, help to release the natural mood-elevating chemicals; try dance classes, tennis, or gardening. other natural remedies like flower remedies, yoga, acupuncture, and light therapy can also help.

Homeopathic and natural remedies can make a huge difference in the life of a depressed person without the side effects of prescription drugs, but can take a couple of weeks to build up in your system. For the best results, take them at the same time every day, and follow the directions. Homeopathic remedies used along with a healthy diet and moderate exercise can turn your life around once and for all and bring back your sense of meaning and engagement with life.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Types of Depression

Depression by definition is a mental illness that is usually characterized by prolonged periods of sadness and melancholy. Of course when one person is moping all the time and just generally hating the world around him or her, doesn't mean that it's depression. It is when this kind of behaviour is enduring in a destructive manner and the feelings of hollowness, loss of self-worth and no hope continues, then, yes, this individual is showing clinical signs of depression.

Depression affects people in different ways frequently due to the harshness and the individuals themselves but also due to the lesser known types of this disease such as Manic or Bipolar. These are characterized by swift and severe changes in one's mood wherein one instant he or she is in an elevated state of euphoria while the next minute (day or week) he or she is feeling like they are in their own personal hell.

Another kind is Postpartum depression which is characterized by a lengthy woe and a feeling of desolation by a new mother. Again the source of this pain are noticeably personal but contributing factors are often associated to the physical stress of bearing a child and uncertain such as that of relations and responsibility towards the new born baby.

Dysthimia is akin to depression but considered to be a less brutal form. Of course with the ever present possibility of falling into a more dangerous state of mind it is advised to be cared for sensitively once identified in the person.

Cyclotemia also holds comparable traits to other more dangerous and pronounced forms of depression . Like Manic and Bipolar the individual suffering may illness may irregularly suffer from severe changes in one's moods.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized the shifts in moods according to the season. Studies have shown it's not uncommon for people to feel more down during the winter and fall seasons. This type of disorder also has frequent mood swings going from happy to sad in a relatively short period of time.

Clinical depression is one of those terms frequently kicked around which has generated an unnecessary amount of negative stigma attached to the label. By definition it is just when a doctor can make out the symptoms and that there is a problem and diagnoses it. While for many this recognition may seem like a terrible thing, many doctors remain greatly positive as with the earlier the treatment the odds of a total recover are dramatically increased. Patients who have been actively searching for treatments for Clinical depression have proven to be pretty successful in their quest. Statistics show that eighty percent of those have found relief from this disorder.

For people who are anxious about any of these signs in the variations of depression and are seeking added information on a exclusive topic the depression section of the health centre is highly recommended. Local libraries regularly provide helpful books and the internet offers a great deal of information. However these are not a substitute for profession medical advice, specialists can provide all sorts of support for all those effected. Check your directory, local G.P, hospital or even search on the internet to find local specialists.

Does Depression Cause a Migraine Or Does a Migraine Cause Depression?

Migraine triggers and other causes of headaches can come from many sources. So often we are looking for just one thing that causes migraines and headaches when in reality it is a combination of many factors. The most frequent cause of headaches in general is stress, but all too often mood plays a large role.

Quite frankly, until you are able to recognize and accept this, you might not have much success in getting these headaches under control. The effects of lifestyle on headaches cannot be underestimated.

Depression and anxiety can greatly affect your headache profile and are recognized by headache experts as a migraine trigger. Now wait!! Before you dismiss the idea, up to 85% of all chronic pain sufferers have depression and/or anxiety to SOME degree. It's almost like the chicken and the egg, which came first?

Pain and depression impact each other; the more pain, the more depressed you feel and then that makes the pain worse. If you have a headache, doesn't crying or being upset make it worse? This is the anxiety fueling the headache. Along the same vein, if you have headaches or migraines on a regular basis, are missing school, work and family outings, you are bound to feel a bit depressed.

Too many times this is one of the most difficult concepts for people to get their minds to accept; that they may have some degree of depression which makes the pain more chronic and more severe. Don't be too hard on yourself! The receptors and pathways for headache are similar and sometime the same as anxiety receptors in the brain. Without getting in to a medical lecture when they are all firing off you have a headache and are anxious. One basically fuels the other.

Treatment of Anxiety and Depression in Headaches

Just like treating the headache itself, it is important to realize that treating mood is multi-factorial. Counseling with a good psychologist is invaluable. The rule of thumb when getting counseling is to give it at least three visits to see if you and the counselor "mesh" so to speak. Not all patient/provider relationships are perfect.

Counseling will allow you to dump some of the stress, in addition to learning how to develop good coping skills for future life stressors. Try too, to develop a good social structure. Even if you can't participate in activities that your friends may do (sports), you can still invite people to your place for a get together once a month or so. Regular human social contact is a form of support and can help stave off depression. In fact, more than 6 million women experience depression each year in the USA.

Many people disregard the recommendation to take medication for mood in the presence of headaches. So many times people make this mistake and think there is something wrong with them if they accept the fact that they are anxious or depressed. Even MILD depression can make headaches worse. Many of today's medications can treat BOTH mood and headaches.

SSRI's: This group of drugs are seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (what??). Seratonin is one of the natural "happy drugs" in the brain, but is taken up by nerve endings and recycled, so to speak. By slowing this process, you have more of it in the way you need it and feel happier. Side effects include weight gain, odd dreaming, mild episodic vertigo and rarely some of them can cause headaches to be worse. Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac and Paxil are all in this class. Paxil and Lexapro are excellent if you have more anxiety. If you are over the age of 60, you may need to start at a lower dose than normal.

TCA'S: Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) are an older class of drugs that are NOT first line for depression. I mention them here because they are used in the treatment of headaches and can reduce headache pain.

CYMBALTA: Cymbalta is a drug that functions with two effects. Part of the drug is an SSRI but most of the drug functions on another pathway called norepinephrine. The end result is another brain chemical is boosted and you feel happier. It also has and effect of calming back pain in some patients.

Treatment of depression that is fueled by migraine involves treating not only the migraine but the also the mood. Until both sides of the problem are addressed, progress may be slow.

Alcohol Depression - How to Get Through It

If you drink for a long period of time you will experience alcohol depression. Alcoholics who are maintenance drinkers, or drink a specific amount of alcohol on a regular basis in order to feel normal have one of the symptoms of alcohol depression.

Binge drinkers tend to experience alcohol depression as an acute hangover which passes with time.

Real alcohol depression is the result of the brain and body beginning to shut down during periods of extended alcohol abuse and can lead to death.

When the alcoholic has a low level of alcohol in their blood, the body is so used to having it that they can go into convulsions if they don't get a drink.

Bottles of whiskey were kept in the homes of early Alcoholics Anonymous members to give to the man detoxing before hospitals and social detox centers became popular.

There is also the type of alcohol depression that comes with early sobriety. As the alcohol leaves the system and people begin to recover, the disease of alcoholism fights with the brain, causing the phenomena of craving often associated with relapse.

The alcoholic begins to be unable to imagine life with alcohol or without it, and the alcoholic depression that results can lead to suicide idealization or attempts.

Only a period of continued, long term sobriety can alleviate the symptoms entirely and the odds will increase in your favor dramatically if you join a twelve step program.

If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol depression as a result of continued alcohol use or early recovery, there are depression medications that can ease the symptoms.
See your primary caregiver for details.

It is also important to note here that people who drink will often use stress as an excuse. You can alleviate some of these excuses by decreasing your stress. An excellent E-book you help you recognize the signs of stress is "Conquering Stress," by C.J. Green.

What Is PMDD and What to Do About It?

What is PMDD? What does it do to women? How does it occur? If you believe you suffer from this condition, or think you do, then you probably know some of this, but most people do not really know that much about this fairly common condition. This article aims to help you understand PMDD further so you can take action to treat it!

PMDD, or PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (a mouthful to say the least!); can be rather confusing to understand. We all know what premenstrual is from the more well known PMS condition, and we know what a disorder is for the most part - but what is this funny word dysphoric? What does it mean?

Dysphoric - An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease.

This is the main part of what PMDD is, the emotional turmoil that can show itself as depression, rage, anxiety, panic, sadness and crying, or a host of other emotional troubles. This causes this disorder to fall under the broad definition of a psychological condition not a physical one (though there are also physical symptoms as well.)

One way that some look at it is that PMDD is actually a very severe form of PMS. This idea has merit as the same base causes are linked to both conditions, but when we look at the word severe we need to really pay attention to that. This is not just a little bit worse than PMS - this is a massive shift of emotional state to make you feel like you are not yourself at all during the last week of the menstrual cycle!

Rather than a feeling of sadness, you might be close to clinical depression. Rather than being a bit testy, you might be irritable and angry to the point of explosive rage for a whole week. Rather than feeling a little on edge, you might feel so anxious and nervous you make yourself sick. This is how PMDD feels and it is not pleasant - and is NOT an exaggeration!

However, after all this talk of emotions and psychological, the root cause of PMDD is not mental - it is physical. The root causes are hormonal and coincide with the end of the cycle because that is when a massive natural hormonal change happens in your body already. On top of this your regular hormonal woes that might not show during the other weeks come to the fore leading to the mayhem and misery of PMDD before subsiding again after the onset of bleeding.

Preventing Gifted Depression

Depression comes in many forms for the gifted adult. The word 'depression' is used so commonly these days, the meaning people associate with it can be anything from feeling a little down or not quite yourself, to full-blown clinical depression that requires medication to address.

For the most part, depression among the gifted stems fundamentally from the gap between who you are and who you were meant to be. This is not always a conscious gap, but for sure you feel it there.

Gifted adults always have to be learning and exploring. That's just part of your nature - a big part that you can't live without. When you stop growing you start dying, in a sense, which for many shows up as depression.

If you get bogged down with taking care of other people, or you find yourself stuck in uneventful routines day after day your brains start clamouring for your attention. And you start to feel it in your everyday emotions. Add to all of this the high levels of emotion you perceive regularly anyway and you have a recipe for trouble.

If you start to notice that you're spending more time in the lows than in the highs in your life, take note of what you've been doing.

  • Have you been eating well and physically moving to help keep your body healthy?

  • Have you been taking time for yourself to explore some of the topics and do some of the things you're interested in?

  • Have you been challenging yourself to do something unique that really excites you?

  • Have you been connecting with other gifted people so you can share your experiences with other people who understand you?

  • Have you been looking toward future ways to keep your life motivating?

If you're feeling down and you've answered no to some of these questions, then you now have a place to focus on to begin picking yourself up. Pay attention to what helps you feel better and when (maybe you need to be busier in the morning instead of the afternoon, for example). And write down your reflections during your up times so you can go back and look for any connections between them later on.

And, above all, please share what works for you or someone you know so gifted adults can continue to learn and grow together.

Understanding the Lithium Interaction With SSRIs and Your Health

Overview of Lithium SSRI

Over the last few years the Lithium SSRI combination has been accepted by the medical community for treatment of Bipolar Type II Depression, also called BD II and Type II Depression, but with reservations due to problems with SSRI's. BD II is one of the less severe forms of Bipolar Disorder. Symptoms are more likely to be anxiety or irritability than actual mania. BD II is, however, very capable of interfering with a person's ability to live a normal life.

Lithium is a mood stabilizing drug often used to treat mania and less frequently to treat depression. SSRIs are a class of anti-depressants that are, among other things, also used to treat depression and anxiety.

The most current research suggests that SSRIs, on their own, do little to help with MD II, and one study even compares them to sugar pills. Use of SSRIs by themselves, in this context, can even be dangerous. It can lead to increased manic episodes and in extreme cases suicide, especially when used over long periods. SSRIs can also cause the manic/depression cycle to accelerate.

The preferred treatment for MDII is Lithium or a similar mood stabilizing drug. It takes time for the medicine to work. A couple weeks is common. Then the dosing must be adjusted, possibly several times. With some trial and error it will usually work.

When it does not, in some cases, the addition of an SSRI will help. The SSRI supports what the Lithium is already doing by attacking the same problem from a slightly different direction.

Lithium does not negate the risks that come with the use of SSRIs alone. It does allow the SSRIs to be used in lower dosage, which minimizes the danger. Unfortunately, periodic treatment with SSRIs does not work. Giving SSRIs to a patient currently in a depressed state will not alleviate their immediate problem.

The answer generally recognized is to give the SSRI only when it is clear Lithium alone will not end a person's cycle of moods. When taken its use must be regular, but it is temporary. Once the patient's moods are stabilized the SSRI is discontinued.

Lithium and SSR's are both strong and dangerous drugs that should only be taken under supervision of a doctor. In addition to the problems already mentioned, each has powerful potential side effects of its own.

Some of the side effects of either Lithium or SSRIs may be more annoying than problematic. Others are serious and require immediate medical attention. Be sure to get, and study, a full list of side effects from your doctor.

Summary of Lithium SSRI

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Depressed Inventors, Innovators, and Creative Geniuses - More Common Than You Know!

Not long ago, a gentleman from contacted me about an article I wrote, as he was researching issues concerning depressed inventors, innovators, and highly creative genius level individuals. So, is the stereotype type true? Are those who are so highly creative really mentally problematic, and often suffering from depression? Well, it turns out that is not typically the case, but there are still a higher number of depressed creative people by percentage than in the overall society as a whole.

So, when we talked about "Depressed Inventors" - I asked him if he himself was depressed? Why you ask? Well, because it seems that with brilliance often comes baggage. I've read several books on creativity of some of the greatest geniuses of all times, it seems this is quite common, but those innovators which succeed the most seem to have very mild depression (if any) and then hyper-manic states. Interesting isn't it?

Indeed, I asked my acquaintance; "what have you learned on this topic in your online personal research?" Turns out there is not a lot of relevant information on the topic, but there is some, in fact, I have studied this dilemma the prior, perhaps we need more research on this. Maybe rather than giving depressed folks pharmaceuticals, we might instead test them for creativity, and move them into some sort of creative study, at least when it comes to kids in school. It's a thought.

Interestingly enough, as a coordinator for a think tank which operates on the Internet, I've run across some wicked smart people, and some truly genius level creative types, and I have noticed at least some which do have mild depression now and again. It seems it may be something that just goes with the territory sometimes, and that's why we have the stereotype, that we've all come to believe in. But, I'd warn the reader from buying into this line in every case, because, I've also observed folks who seem very even keel, and are definitely genius level innovators.

You see, stereotypes are fun to contemplate, and they are also worthy when profiling, but, they can be damaging too, and quite problematic. Therefore, be careful if you think that all creative geniuses are manically depressed, it simply is not so, in fact the chances are greater that they are not. However when pitted against over all society in percentages it is true that there are more chronically depressed or mildly depressed artists, painters, musicians, which fall into the genius category spectrum. Please consider all this.

Diabetes and Depression - The Startling Link Between the Two

For some as yet undetermined reason, those with diabetes seem to be at high risk for developing depression. Possibly it is merely because people with an illness generally have more to be unhappy or sad about than someone in perfect health. And with diabetes, you have the constant reminders of how dependent you are on certain devices.

For example, before or after each meal, you are pricking your finger to test blood sugar. You are constantly reading the labels on foods making sure that you are not taking anything that will harm your condition. And, in the more advanced cases, you are constantly having to remember to take your medications.

Diabetes symptoms can also sometimes mimic the signs of depression, making it difficult to tell one from the other. For instance, those with diabetes often suffer from low energy levels and listlessness due to the inability of their cells to make use of the glucose in their blood stream. These symptoms are also typical signs of someone in a depressed state. Likewise, the weight of someone with diabetes may dramatically fluctuate. This is another symptom that both diseases have in common. Seeing your doctor is the wise thing to do in either of these cases. He is the only person that can make a true diagnosis of your symptoms.

What is confusing many researchers, however, is that recent studies seem to point to the fact that depression is not a result or side-effect of depression. Rather, they point to depression as being a predictor of diabetes.

The famous Johns Hopkins study of 2004 included over eleven thousand non-diabetic test subjects. The study followed these people for over six years. The results were startling in that a large percentage of those who developed depression in those years, later also developed diabetes. Other studies, while not replicating the exact conditions of the Johns Hopkins study have, nevertheless, found very strong associations between the two disease - diabetes and depression.

Other factors pointing to some unusual connection between the two diseases is that some drugs commonly prescribed for depression have been found to affect glucose blood levels also. There are various theories as to why this is so. One of the most common theories that has taken hold is that drugs for depression affect hormones such as cortisol, which are also implicated in diabetes. The only way to find out for sure is to have more controlled clinical trials, which are on the way. In the meantime, if you are currently being treated for depression, it would make good sense to begin to watch out for diabetes symptoms as well.

Depression is a serious enough disease of its own. A person with depression often has a lack of self esteem and powerlessness that may begin to affect how she takes care of herself. She may become lax in taking the proper medications for both diabetes and depression. That is why having a strong support system is critical for anyone with depression. A support system of family, friends, health care professionals,and so on can help someone with depression keep focused on caring for herself and keeping herself healthy.

Gatsby and Daisy Forever? (or for 5 Minutes?)

If you have read Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' you may have thought it was a love story. To some it is, but to most who study it in school or read it with an analytical eye start to wonder about the romance that dominates the narrative. Does Gatsby really love Daisy, or more specifically does e love her as a person, or just as a status symbol. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides.

We'll start with the idea the idea that Gatsby does love Daisy as this is the most common interpretation taken from the book. Lets have a look at some quotes from the great Gatsby to prove this.

Well for a start there is Gatsby bought the house so Daisy would be just across the bay, and the casual way he remembers that the last time they saw each other was five years last November. Even the weather thinks Gatsby is in love with Daisy, when they meet again for the first time in years the room is filled with twinkle bells of sunshine.

So is it clear that he loved something about her but we still don't know what. One of the most easily believable options is he wants her as a trophy wife. The perfect women to complete his perfect image. He says that fact that 'many men had loved her increased her value in his eyes' which makes you think that he doesn't care about the girl but about her image, what people think of her and therefore her husband. He also spends a lot of time talking about how beautiful her house is, again hinting that what he loves about her is her status as the richest and most desirable girl, rather than anything about her personality.

A third option is also on the table and it's one that I personally agree with. Gatsby doesn't love her as a person, and doesn't just want her to look good on his arm, although that is a fringe benefit. He wants her just for the challenge of getting her, the thrill of the chase. Gatsby is obsessed with the American Dream, of making himself perfect through nothing but the sweat of his own brow. Daisy rejected him for being poor in his youth so now he has to prove how much he has climbed the social ladder by winning her love. I like this idea the most because it makes sense of his ridicules need for her to say she never loved Tom, if he loves her, as a person or a status symbol he would quit while he was ahead, but he can't.

In conclusion, Gatsby definitely loves something about Daisy, that much is clear but whether it is her as a person, her as the perfect wife,were just the fact she's the next to do on his to-do list is up for debate. Personally, I think intentions were good, I think he really thought he did love her but when the moment came he found she tumbled short of an expectations and the only thing he knew how to do was carry on trying to live the dream.

Spot the Signs and Causes of Teenage Depression

Too often, signs of teenage depression are mistaken for the typical ups and downs associated with teenage hormonal mood swings. But, what behavior is normal for the average teenager and how can it be differentiated from more serious instances of clinical depression?

If you're a parent of a child between the ages of 10 and 18, asking yourself that very question is critical. Depression can affect one in five teenagers before their 18th birthday. Unfortunately, the disease often goes undiagnosed because it's believed to be a normal part of life. 

Recognizing the Signs of Teenage Depression

Too often, parents dismiss the common symptoms associated with teenage depression as just typical teenage behavior. In addition, many teen suffering from this affliction will either hide their feelings or refuse to admit that there's a potential problem. They may also be averse to seeking help from family or friends.

There are numerous symptoms associated with teenage depression, and they often mimic depression symptoms in adults. These include chronic fatigue, trouble focusing on tasks, lack of concentration and irritability. As depression progresses, the teenager can become anxious and distracted as they attempt to deal with this debilitating problem. Other symptoms include crying, shouting, general complaining or lethargy.

As with adults, depression may also become visible in a variety of unexplained and incurable physical problems such as aches and pains, headaches and digestive issues like an upset stomach. Other signs include a change in appetite and subsequent weight gain or loss along with a change in sleeping habits, such as insomnia or chronic fatigue. More serious symptoms include talk or thoughts of suicide or death.

If five or more of the above symptoms are exhibited for a period longer than two weeks, mothers and/or fathers should talk to their teenagers and seek professional help. Of course, if there is a threat of suicide, then parents should seek treatment and intervention immediately.

Causes and Effects of Teenage Depression

Teenage depression is often caused by external stress-inducing circumstances. These may include a divorce in the family, an upset in the family dynamic, financial problems, sexual or physical abuse, alcohol or drug problems within the family, a death in the family or trouble dealing with a recent trauma or tragedy.

Other teenagers see depression as a result of being unable to reach particular goals, whether these are social, academic, athletics or body goals. For example, if a teenager has trouble making friends or is rejected by their peers, this can often cause depression. Or when depression runs in the family, the teenager may be genetically disposed to the condition.

The effects of teenage depression are most often seen socially and at school. Typically, a teenager exhibiting common symptoms sees their grades drop as they miss school, lose focus and abandon their drive to achieve and succeed. They may drop out of extracurricular activities and are also more prone to abuse drugs or alcohol.

The Impact of ADHD

It is difficult to establish the impact of ADHD from a financial perspective since there are many segments of society which have benefitted from these creative, impulsive, high energy personalities who tend to be impatient and forgetful. A handful of examples would be special education teachers, pharmaceutical companies, mental health specialists, doctors, divorce lawyers, and job placement services.

On the other hand the impact of ADHD on those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is profound getting the short end of the stick when it comes to relationships and social interactions, earning power, and overall mental health and wellness.

The impact of ADHD - Generalization

We have all had those days when we can't find our keys, forget to charge our cell phones or other important electronic devices, make inappropriate comments at just the wrong time, and can't seem to get our schoolwork or job projects done on time. But for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder these days can be a regular occurrence rather than an isolated event.

Then there are those children or adults who may be borderline ADHD where their doctor doesn't quite find them ADHD enough to justify a diagnosis leaving them feeling bored, worthless, hopeless, and seemingly always being one step behind their peers without any hope of professional treatment.

Some believe the full impact of ADHD is not fully realized because only about twenty-five percent of children and ten percent of adults are ever diagnosed and treated. The ten percent number in adults seems particularly low, and may be, primarily due to the diagnostic criteria which was designed for children as does not accurately reflect the impact of ADHD on adults.

Additionally, many adults struggle muddle through for years with undiagnosed adult ADHD not realizing that there are a number of over the counter homeopathic remedies, behavior therapies such as CBT, along with diet and exercise regimes that could really make a big difference in their lives.

But for the ADHD adult even when they do recognize the condition and seeks out professional help they may be thwarted by the possibility that their ADHD may be co-existing. According to Theresa Cerulli, MD there is a seventy percent chance that common mental health conditions such as clinical depression, bi-polar disorder, OCD, and anxiety will be present.

The impact of ADHD - Workplace and School Hard Facts

The statistics below were compiled during ADHD awareness week by the ADHD Awareness Coalition. I believe you will find them interesting.

Sixty percent of those surveyed said they had lost, or changed, a job or blamed their termination on their ADHD symptoms. Thirty six percent said they have had four jobs or more in the last ten years with seven percent having had ten or more jobs over the course of the last ten years.

Forty-four percent of parents of ADHD children when surveyed said their child was dissatisfied with their school life, with responses ranging from extremely dissatisfied to slightly dissatisfied and forty-one percent saying their child was unhappy with their social status at school.

The survey also indicated that to reduce the impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder many turn to exercise with half of adults and thirty-nine percent of children admitting they had used exercise at some point to manage symptoms.

The Impact of ADHD - What Else?

Approximately twenty percent of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has learning disabilities; eighty percent under achieve academically; and forty percent of ADHD children have issues with self-esteem, opposition to authority, depression, or anxiety by the time they reach adolescence.

In conclusion, those with ADHD are generally creative intelligent people who struggle with structure, organization, and fitting into societal norms making the impact of ADHD quite broad ranging and difficult to reverse without a thoughtful comprehensive approach to symptoms management.

Both parents of ADHD children and adults will have many treatment options from which to choose ranging from risky prescription stimulants to alternative methods of treatment such as side effect free homeopathic remedies and behavioral therapy.

That said, most experts agree that the key to leveling the playing field for both ADHD children and adults is embarking on some type of treatment sooner rather than later and then closely monitoring the results for effectiveness.