Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bipolar Syndrome And Guilt

Ever do something you regret and you play out the scene over and over again in your head? Or perhaps you've got one of those nagging recurring thoughts that race through your head from time to time. When you live with bipolar syndrome, this is a way of life. You do stupid things dependent on your mood and then play it back like a broken record for years to come. It's a nasty habit, with some horrible down falls.

Bipolar syndrome can darken your mind and your mood enough without the addition of guilt, whether real or perceived. When guilt is added to the equation though, it can make things that much worse. How then do you cope with guilt and problems, without having it severely affect your self esteem and self worth?

First step is to know yourself and to be honest with yourself. If you know that it's not a normal behaviour for you, breathe, and let it go. Sometimes we make stupid decisions when we're not at our best. Begrudging yourself for it will do no good. Instead, understand yourself, know your warning signs and take a proactive state.

Which brings us to the next item. Have someone you can trust. If you cannot rely on yourself to watch for those behavioral cues, have someone else give you a nudge when you're heading into that same direction again.

Work out your problems. If there is something you do when you're manic or depressed that you don't like about yourself, change it. For me, when I became manic I used to get really drunk and do stupid things as a result. Because of this, I no longer drink, manic or otherwise. This way, reaching for a bottle is completely out of nature, and therefore not something I even tend to do when I'm not in a normal state of mind.

Make yourself notes, lists and reminders. This can be a big help in ensuring things go smoothly no matter your state of mind. When I am manic I tend to forget appointments. As a result, I now right everything down on the calender, in my mood diary, and I also tell my husband. This way should I got manic, as I recently did, life continues on a semi-normal path.

Put yourself into something. Learn a new thing, give back to your community or simply just get a hobby. Having something to pour yourself into can help with your self-esteem and can also combat those negative guilty thoughts that being bipolar can bring with it.

You're always going to struggle with the guilt of your behaviours and simply with having bipolar syndrome, but it doesn't mean it has to take a strong hold on your self esteem. With a few changes, you can take back control, and work towards being a healthier you.

Treatments And Clinical Depression For The Elderly

Aging can bring with it all manner of issues including physical and mental health issues.
Depression among the elderly typically coexists with another illness, disability or life changes. These life changes could be the death of someone close to them, retirement, and/or moving. Family and physicians could miss the signs of depression in the elderly simply because they are expected to become feebler, a bit sadder, and even slow down their lifestyle. They may lose interest in things and even stop eating.

Here are a few facts about Depression in the elderly. Depression will last longer in an elderly person. In nursing homes, it has been found that depression usually accompanies illness. Elderly people are more likely to die from that illness. They also are at greater risk for dying from a heart attack. Depression in the elderly is also likely to end in suicide.

Depression can be triggered by such things as Diabetes, Stroke, and Heart Disease.
Elderly people with Depression also have many higher insurances costs than those who are not depressed. It does not have to be like this for seniors; there are treatments available to them.

Psychotherapy is very helpful in helping the elderly to work out issues and reduce or get rid of depressive symptoms. It is often very beneficial for those who don't want to take medications or those who refuse them.

Antidepressant medication for the elderly may take longer to become effective. There is always the concern that they may forget to take their medications. There is also the concern that they may refuse the medication altogether.

Electroconvulsive Therapy - ECT is known as shock treatments. An explanation of how the procedure is done, can be found below.

Before the procedure is actually done the patient is given both a general anesthetic and a muscle relaxant.

If it is performed correctly, a seizure will result. The muscle relaxant is designed to prevent this.

Electrodes are placed on the scalp and very controlled electric pulses are delivered through the electrodes. This cause brief seizure activity in the brain.

The patient's muscles are relaxed so usually the result is slight hand and feet movements.

The patient wakes up within minutes but is often confused. They do not remember the procedure or events surrounding the procedure.

There are other brain stimulation procedures that can be done but it would be up to the treating physician whether they would be effective for an individual. Some can be invasive. It would greatly depend on the seriousness of the depression.

Since most prescribed medications often have some serious side effects, many people are searching out natural means to treat depression. Depression herbs are mixed in a specially formulated blend that is believed to affect moods. Although herbal treatments are natural, they do have some side, although not as serious or plentiful as with prescribed medications. Also, they could drop the efficacy of a prescription that one might be taking.

Herbal supplements should be made to pharmacy grade to ensure purity and that the ingredients that are said to be in the supplements actually are in it. The metabolic paths should have been tested at the molecular level for each particular ingredient if one wants to obtain the best possible therapeutic benefits. The interactions between the ingredients are also tested.

Treatments & Clinical Depression (for the) Elderly can be tricky because there is the possibility they may refuse or forget to take the medication. There is always the chance they will be fully cooperative with the protocol. Just because you (or someone you love) are aging, does not mean that they have to slow down, feel sad all the time, or change their lifestyles. Given the right care and treatment, they could live very productive lives for a long time.

Meth Use and Symptoms - What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Methamphetamine Use?

Speed, meth, chalk. In its smoked form, it is often referred to as ice, crystal, crank, or glass. Those are all street names for methamphetamine (mAMP). Call it what you may, but meth use and its symptoms are one in the same. If it's taken in large doses, methamphetamine's frequent effects are irritability, aggressive behavior, anxiety, excitement, auditory hallucinations, and paranoia along with delusions and psychosis. Meth abusers tend to be violent. Mood changes are also common, and the abuser can rapidly change from friendly to hostile. The paranoia produced by methamphetamine abuse results in suspiciousness, hyperactive behavior, and dramatic mood swings.

Meth appeals to drug abusers because it increases the body's metabolism and produces euphoria, increases alertness, and gives the abuser a sense of increased energy. High doses or chronic use of meth, however, increases nervousness, irritability, and paranoia. The extreme paranoia that meth abusers can experience is often associated with a distorted tendency toward violence. Adverse consequences of meth abuse include the risk of stroke, heart failure, and prolonged psychosis.

Methamphetamine use has three patterns: low intensity, binge, and high intensity.

Low-intensity abuse describes a user who is not psychologically addicted to the drug and who administers the drug by swallowing or snorting it. Binge and high-intensity abusers are psychologically addicted and prefer to smoke or inject meth to achieve a faster and stronger high. The binge and high-intensity patterns of abuse differ in the frequency in which the drug is abused. While the binge pattern of abuse has seven stages within its cycle: rush, high, binge, tweaking, crash, normal, and withdrawal-the high-intensity abuse pattern usually does not include a state of normalcy or withdrawal.

"Tweakers", which are referred to those who are at the most dangerous state of meth abuse, is a meth user who is tweaking. This meth abuser probably has not slept in 3-15 days and, consequently, the symptoms would be irritability and paranoia. A tweaker does not need provocation to behave or react violently, but confrontation increases the chances of a violent reaction. If the tweaker is using alcohol, his negative feelings and associated dangers intensify.

Several hours after the last meth use, the individual experiences a drastic drop in mood and energy levels. Sleep begins and may last for a long period and, upon awakening, severe depression exists that may last for days. While users are in this depressed state, suicide is a major concern. These meth abuse symptoms occur after meth use and may be reversed by taking another dose of methamphetamine, thereby fitting the definition for a withdrawal syndrome.

Now, get out your pen and paper and take notes if you see these short term effects in your teenager or loved one. Short term meth abuse symptoms are increased alertness, sense of well-being, paranoia, intense high, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, increased heart rate, convulsions, extreme rise in body temperature (as high as 108 degrees which can cause brain damage and death), uncontrollable movements (twitching, jerking, etc...), violent behavior, insomnia, impaired speech, dry and itchy skin, premature aging, rotting teeth, loss of appetite, acne, sores and numbness.

Some of the effects that meth abuse has on the mind are also symptoms of meth use. These meth use symptoms are disturbed sleep, excessive excitation, excessive talking, panic, anxiousness, nervousness, moodiness and irritability, false sense of confidence and power, delusions of grandeur leading to aggressive behavior, uninterested in friends, sex, or food, aggressive and violent behavior, and severe depression.

After excessive meth abuse, there are long term effects as well, such as fatal kidney and lung disorders, possible brain damage, depression, hallucinations, disorganized lifestyle, permanent psychological problems, violent and aggressive behavior, weight loss, insomnia, behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia, decreased social life, malnutrition, poor coping abilities, disturbance of personality development, lowered resistance to illnesses, liver damage, stroke and the inevitable, death.

There are also withdrawal symptoms that a meth abuser will partake in when coming off of meth or "crashing". If you see the symptoms of severe cravings, insomnia, restlessness,mental confusion or depression, chances are that the meth is exiting their system.

If you have been watching your teenager or loved one and your suspicians are pointing into the direction of meth abuse and you are seeing the symptoms of meth abuse, don't ignore them. Go with your instincts and in a loving and caring manner, let your teen or loved one know that you will help them seek the counseling they need to rid themselves of meth or any other drug abuse.. If you continue to see the signs and symptoms of meth use, you may either want to take your teen or loved one to his/her doctor or other medical professional and ask them to screen for the use of illegal substances. If you're not comfortable with revealing your suspicions to an outsider, it is also possible to screen your teenager or loved one in the privacy of your own home with home urine drug testing kits, saliva drug testing kits and hair drug testing kits.

Vitamin D - Depression and Other Mental Illness Treatment

There are many health benefits for the presence of Vitamin D in your body. Many mental illnesses can be treated with Vitamin D. Depression is seen when there is a lack or insufficiency of the vitamin. This is also effective against illnesses such as Seasonal Affective Disorder and dementia. Many health care professionals advocate the use of Vitamin D to ward it off. Vitamin D is a hormone, and not literally a vitamin like the others. The best way to get it is from being in sunlight. There are other sources of it as well such as fish, fortified milk and many dietary supplements.

Types of Vitamin D

You can get the required dose of vitamin D from sun exposure. But too much of it is not good - it can lead to skin cancer. If you want to be in the sun and use a lot of sun block, you might not get the required dosage. Some foods are rich in vitamin D. There are supplements (powders and pills, etc.) also available that can give you the required dosage, thus helping you avoid symptoms like depression.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium. Calcium is important for bone density. Having sufficient doses of this hormone prevents you from suffering from side effects such as depression.

Common misconceptions about Vitamin D

The risk of anything bad actually happening when one does not take enough of it is extremely low. For this to happen, you would have to actually take a lot of the supplement continuously over many weeks for it to actually reach a level of toxicity.


Lack of this vitamin has led to becoming a victim of depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression stem from the lack of Vitamin D. Physicians recommend supplements to boost the levels of Vitamin D in a person's body. Supplements are highly recommended for people who live in high altitude climates or in the northern parts of the country, as the level of sunlight is much lower. Vitamins and other natural remedies can be used to help alleviate the symptoms. There are many signs of depression. They can vary from person to person. They can also range from very mild to very severe and anything in-between. Some signs are an increase or decrease in weight, changes in sleeping habits, change in interests, tiredness, fatigue, feelings that no one likes them, nervousness, feelings of guilt and suicidal thoughts.

The Elderly

This particular age group has been shown to lean towards developing dementia, as well as Alzheimer's, due to the lack of the vitamin. Their levels of Vitamin D are much lower than any other age group - this could be partially why the elderly suffer from depression.


One has to be careful with the levels of Vitamin D. It is not that simple that the body can metabolize it easily. In some extreme cases, it has led to health issues. There can be health issue with the increased calcium intake. It can also lead to toxicity. In very rare cases, it results in cardiac arrhythmias. The importance of Vitamin D in your diet and daily life is an absolute necessity - allowing your Vitamin D level to drop could cause depression. There are many benefits of this wonder vitamin. Studies have shown that it can prevent cancer and it also helps with osteoporosis. It can help people with mental illness and calm them down. If you want to reap the benefits, consult your physician. All it takes is a blood test to determine you level of Vitamin D. Spending only a few hours in the sun weekly is highly beneficial. If you wear a light sunscreen, you will get all the benefits you need. Your body will naturally absorb these ultraviolet rays. If sun exposure is not possible, then speak to your physician about how you can supplement it. The daily-recommended dosage is about 200 IU per day. This amount offers protection against Mental Illness, Obesity, Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, High blood pressure and many kinds of Melanoma.

Side effects

If you have any of the following side effects, make sure that you let your physician know immediately. Vomiting or any sign of weight loss are reasons to be wary of. A loss of appetite, constipation, weakness of limbs, ache in bones, unusual headaches, itching sensations, a sharp metallic taste in your mouth, regardless of whatever you eat, are all possible signs of toxicity. As always, before you start on any kind of medication, change in diet or supplements, it is always best to speak to your physician before starting on it. This is because they know your medical history and know what would be best for you.

Recover Fast From Infertility Depression

Infertility depression is not an easy condition to deal with. Both conditions are two separate problems and when combined causes a more difficult crisis. Infertility can be solved by following the doctor's advice, going through treatments and procedures or by using natural methods to conquer infertility. Depression on the other hand is more difficult because it will make the sufferer go through a long period of trials and when a person is depressed, negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness is on top of the line.

It is important that in dealing with infertility depression, both partners are side by side helping each other to solve the problem. It is also an advantage if friends and relatives are there to give moral support and provide a feeling of hope to these couples. This condition occurs when couples have been trying everything in order to have a baby but have failed several test and procedures that are very costly. Couples become desperate to become parents and will become more hopeless and desperate if they keep on failing.

Upon reading this article and you feel that you are experiencing this problem, well then it's time for you to recover fast. What you need to do is to look over your life now, and realize how counterproductive it is to face a depressed life everyday. You have to be strong and be happy in other ways to brighten your life with your partner. Imagine a person who is known to be a survivor, know her strengths and be like her. You cannot get a solution to infertility if you are drowning in self pity. Read more books and articles about success stories rather than reading about couples who have failed. Enlighten your life with the truth that you and your partner are together and vowed under the holy matrimony to live together forever in sickness and in health. Look for other ways to be happy and don't think that if you can't get pregnant now, you will never be pregnant ever. Maybe you just need time to relax and be happy and to have a greater hope to solve your infertility depression.

Sometimes, it's difficult to recover from infertility depression if you are keeping your feelings from your partner, family and friends. Don't let them guess what you are up to. Don't expect that they will be the one to come to you and open up about this depression because sometimes they cannot tell. People might relate your depression to other common problems. What you need to do is to open up to your partner or to those whom you feel comfortable sharing with, and surely you will feel better. Anger, frustrations and depressions are easily solved when you can vent out your feelings.

The other obvious way to solve infertility depression is to get pregnant! If you are already feeling depressed right now, you have nothing to lose to explore just one more way to snap out of it.

Learn To Choose Foods With Vitamins To Combat Depression

First of all, let's make it clear that we will not be discussing clinical depression. If you suffer from or think you suffer from clinical depression you should seek professional guidance and treatment. Instead, what we will be discussing are forms of depression that are not as serious. This includes seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal depression is most obvious during the cold, cloudy, and dark winter months. While this weather can be depressing by itself, there are physical reasons why this depression can set in. During the winter months it can be hard to find as much fresh fruits and vegetables as during the summer. Therefore, it is difficult to get the vitamins that the body needs from diet alone. Also, exposure to the sun provides a boost to some vitamins that help improve your mood. In the winter you do not get near the amount of exposure to the sun as during the summer.

If you are not getting enough vitamins from your diet you can consider changing your diet or taking supplements. The following vitamins, and their sources, should be considered when you are suffering from forms of depression, such as seasonal affective disorder:

Vitamin B1 - Found in a lot of cereals, such as puffed rice, cornflakes, and wheat bran. Most nuts contain a lot of Vitamin B1, with the highest being Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, and peanuts. Ovaltine is a great source of this vitamin.

Vitamin B3 - Again, cereals tend to have a lot of this vitamin, with wheat bran and cornflakes being the highest. Canned tuna is a great option for high levels of B3. Other food items to consider are most meats, mushrooms, peanuts, dried peaches, and dried apricots.

Vitamin B5 - As expected, wheat bran is high in this vitamin. Eggs and milk are also a great source. You can also find decent amounts in mushrooms, almonds, and peanuts.

Vitamin B6 - Once again, this vitamin can be found in many cereals, including wheat bran. There are some fruits that have high levels of Vitamin B6. These include bananas and dried apricots. The best nuts to get your B6 include walnuts and hazel nuts.

Vitamin B12 - Unfortunately, this vitamin is not found in fruits and vegetables. Instead, it can be found in a lot of meat and seafood options. The seafood with the highest levels of B12 include oysters, sardines, and tuna.

Folic Acid - As with other B Vitamins, wheat bran has a lot of folic acid. Almonds, hazel nuts, and peanuts are also good sources. Also, many vegetables have high levels of folic acid. These include broccoli, endives, spinach, and peas.

The list above is a good start to find natural supplements through changes in your diet. As you can see, you can get the benefits of many of these vitamins above with just a few changes. By adding some wheat bran and some nuts you can receive most of these.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms and Facts

Bipolar disorder is a medical condition. People with such a disorder experience extreme mood swings. They can go very easily from happy to angry without any reason. There are many other symptoms characterizing a person with bipolar disorder. Besides the mood swings one can have a lack of control, uncontrollable impulses and little need for sleep.

Four types of disorder

I - Type I is given for a condition where a person has had one manic episode and periods where he has been extremely depressed.

II - Bipolar disorder Type II is a condition where the patient doesn't experience mania. The person experiences very high energy and bouts of depression which switch from one to another.

III - Third type is also called cyclothmia, which is basically the same as Type II, but less severe.

IV - Type IV bipolar disorder is also known as mixed disorder. In this type the person experiences extreme mania and depression at the same time.

What is mania?

Mostly mania is meant as a very happy state of being. People are usually happy and excited about something. This isn't the same for individuals with bipolar disorder. For them, it means a period of behaving very wildly and having excessive rage for no reason at all.

Hard to give medication

It is very hard to give an accurate diagnosis and treatment to a person with bipolar symptoms. To get the symptoms under control and let the person live a normal life where he can work and communicate with other people normally, the right dosage of drugs have to be taken. It is very hard to give the accurate amount of medication, because the symptoms are in a constant stat of flux and the medication has to be taken accordingly. Thus getting an accurate diagnosis is difficult.

Manic symptoms of bipolar disorder

The patient usually experiences extreme mood swings. He can react to something completely over agitated or display an emotion that isn't usual for that situation. Also, person in a manic state doesn't speak coherently. The sentences might not make any sense in given situation. Above all inappropriate behaviour is commonly seen.

What is the risk group

The disorder affects about 2% of the US population. Younger people get diagnosed more, especially between 18 and 24. Also women are at higher risk on developing the disorder. Bipolar disorder is greatly associated with genetics. If one or both of the parents suffer from bipolar syndrome then it's likely that the child will also have it. The main thing to understand is that bipolar disorder can affect anyone in the world and one has to be properly diagnosed with the disease.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Writing Your Own Subliminal Messages Or Affirmations

Subliminal messages in the form of affirmation are some of the best methods to overcome several life issues, from physical to mental health. Sometimes you just want to have them to maintain excellent disposition or outlook about life.

Moreover, you have the power to create your own subliminal messages or affirmation. This is excellent since there's no one else who better knows your current crises than yourself (despite of what professionals may tell you). This can also be a good test on how severe the issues are. Even at the end of formulating the affirmations or subliminal messages, you will already start feeling empowered or motivated, knowing there's definitely something you can do.

Here are some tips on how you're going to do that:

Find a quiet time and place to write. It's not recommended to write the subliminal anytime you like, especially if you're in a very disturbing or noisy environment. The chatter, movement of people, and business of life can definitely take a lot of your attention. When you're writing subliminal messages it's important you can focus on yourself and the issues you want to face.

Be very specific. The subliminal messages should not be neutral. They should refer to the challenges; otherwise, they are not going to make any sense, and they cannot go much deeper into your subconscious. It is also suggested that you make use of the first-person pronoun-that is, not "you," "we," "us," or "them." After all, the person who is currently in struggle is just you and no one else.

Write the subliminal messages in different places. It's advisable that you write the affirmations in a journal, which you can also utilize to keep track of your progress. However, you may want to maintain a copy of the messages inside your car or post them in other areas of the house, such as in the bathroom or bedroom. Make sure they are easy to read, so you don't have to spend a lot of time understanding what has been written. Moreover, take time to read and allow the message to get into your system. Understand what the words mean and their significance in your life.

Be inspired. Sometimes it's difficult for you to produce some subliminal messages. It can help you if you will be a little more inspired. You can browse through the Internet or read books that contain quotes or mantras. You can customize them to fit your present situation.

Make use of a program. There are also several programs you can already download. What they do is to assist you in making the affirmations. It's a good thing you can also customize them by changing some of the settings.

It may take a while before you can feel the effects of the subliminal messages in your life. After all, you cannot end a deep issue overnight. Nevertheless, you have the messages to encourage you to press on and move forward, knowing you have every ability to end up the victor.

Clinical Depression - A Real Physical Ailment

Depression is a very real physical disease. It's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and can result in a life-alternating situation like the birth of a child or a traumatic event in your life. It's the kind of depression where you literally cannot function in the real world. You can't eat, sleep, laugh, or enjoy life as you did before. You have feelings of guilt, inadequacies and complete sadness. You may sleep a lot or perhaps you're not able to sleep at all because you are awakened with anxiety and panic. Your mind works overtime and your thought processes are completely twisted and incomprehensible to you or anyone else.

There are thousands upon thousands of people that suffer from clinical depression and for some, it becomes so unbearable that they take their own lives because they are ashamed to ask for help or feel they have no one to turn to. Society doesn't help when a person can be scrutinized for becoming lazy, unsocial and housebound. Depression is seen as a weakness, especially for men. Men are far more less likely to seek help for a depressive condition then women because they feel as though they will be judged and looked upon as less than a man.

I had a conversation with someone today, a female, who felt it necessary to say that had I sought out the Lord to heal my wounded psyche and "re-train" my brain to gain a positive and happy outlook on life through the law of attraction, that perhaps I could have prevented the severe depression that I experienced after the birth of my son 24 years. She explained that she had suffered from clinical depression all of her life and with the good Lord above and the Law of Attraction, she was able to turn her life around and avoid the whole treatment route. This woman actually believed that what I experienced was in my control and that I basically could have willed it away had I gotten the skills to re-train my thought processes. This woman has never gone through a true clinical, chemical depression because if she had, she would have understood that everything she said to me was pure crap.

A true chemical imbalance in the brain is a disease that is no different than diabetes or asthma. Sometimes, it cannot be treated by therapy or positive thinking alone. For some, medication is a necessity and for many, it's a life-long treatment that should never be seen as a weakness or a crutch. Sometimes severe depression is only a physical flaw in the brain and doesn't require years of intense therapy to get to the root of a troubled soul. I know, because I deal with it on a day to day bases by way of medication to keep my physical brain working at its optimum levels. I'm just as normal as anyone else. I just need to take a pill every day to keep me that way. Would you deny a diabetic his insulin or an epileptic his anti-seizure medication? Clinical depression is no different than any other disease out there where there is no cure. It saddens me to know that there a lot of people like this woman I spoke to today that believe this disease can be "cured" by a little religion, positive thinking, and the law of attraction. Stop the madness!

The Stigma of Depression

If you haven't had depression and you're curious to know how it feels, try reading Sally Brampton's brilliant memoire called "Shoot The Damn Dog". It's a difficult read as she explains the excruciating pain of living with severe depression. Yet it's well worth the effort.

Few people are brave enough to talk openly about having suffered with depression. The stigma attached to the illness is huge and yet the figures are even bigger.

There is nothing morally, ethically or lawfully wrong with suffering with depression. Nobody does anything to deserve the illness and yet we act as if it is something to be ashamed of.

Dealing with shame about having a problem with your thought patterns will obviously make things even worse.

One of the worst questions to ask someone in depression is the usual "How are you?" This may sound like a normal question but in depression it's one of the worst.

How can you explain that you feel in so much mental pain that you can barely deal with it? Suicide thoughts begin. The idea of living another day with the pain is almost too much to bear.

Maybe that's where the awkwardness sets in.

Depression can lead to suicide and nobody wants to ever think about that. Far too scarey. Far too much to handle in conversation.

Yet the sufferer longs to be heard. To somehow share the burden of what it feels like to be living with depression. Having someone alongside them to listen, to comfort and to say nothing other than "I am with you in this".

The stigma of depression is so strong that it frightens people off. Almost as if associating with someone with depression will somehow rub off on them and they too will be stigmatised.

Have you ever felt like crossing the road when you see a suffering friend or colleague heading your way?

Next time try saying "I want you to know that I am here for you. Let me do something to help. Let me take your ironing off your hands. Let me make you an evening meal. Let me help you clean the house." Offers of concrete help, rather than a fleeting moment of concern as you ask, yet again "so how are you?"

Yes, it's a complicated illness that affects not just the sufferer's thought patterns but those who are caring for them too.

But we have to start somewhere and that somewhere could be with you.

Natural Treatments for Depression in ADHD Children

Children are the last people you'd think would experience inexplicable sadness, listlessness, or hopelessness. After all, childhood is supposed to be the most carefree period of our lives. However, depression in children is not as uncommon as you think, especially among children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Research shows that children with ADHD are three times more likely to experience depression than children without the disorder.

Depression with ADHD can either be "primary" or "secondary". "Primary" depression occurs among children with a family history of depression, and is not triggered by life experiences. Around 50% of children with ADHD cannot regulate their emotions, and this lack of emotional control may be related to primary depression. "Secondary" depression is triggered by ADHD-related problems, such as poor academic performance, lack of friends, or low self-esteem.

The good news is that depression can be treated along with ADHD symptoms, especially if a holistic treatment program is applied. Here are some drug-free options for treating childhood depression.

St. John's Wort

Studies show that St. John's Wort does not treat ADHD per se, but this herb can be used to reduce co-morbid depressive symptoms, especially among children with primary depression. One of the most popular alternative treatments for depression, St. John's Wort has an ingredient called hypericin, which is thought to raise the neurotransmitter levels that affect mood. Hypericin has also been found to reduce excessive adrenal activity, which is related to symptoms of depression. Although you can easily purchase St. John's Wort capsules at a health food store, consult a doctor before giving any to your child.

Bright light therapy

Sometimes, depression in ADHD is caused by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition where children experience depressive symptoms during the cold winter months. Although exposure to sunlight is still the best treatment for SAD, bright light therapy is an excellent alternative if natural sunlight is not available where you live. Bright light therapy involves sitting close to a set of fluorescent bulbs with eyes open and the lights on. The child should not look directly at the light as this could damage the eyes; rather, the child should engage in normal activities like writing, reading, or eating. The important part is that the head and body face the light so that the child receives enough exposure. Light therapy is offered at clinics, but you can also purchase the equipment for use at home. Besides depression, bright light therapy is also thought to regulate the body clock and reduce sleep disorders, another co-morbid problem of children with ADHD.

ADHD diets

Did you know that the food your child eats can also trigger depression? Depressive symptoms can be manifestations of a food allergy, in the same way hyperactivity or lack of focus can be caused by food substances. If your child is already on an ADHD diet, there's a good chance that the depression will go away with the ADHD symptoms if the offending foods have been identified and removed.

Types of Mood Disorders

There are two categories of mood disorders recognized by the psychiatric community: unipolar and bipolar disorder. Both are a type of depression with the difference being those who suffer bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, also experience extreme mood swings between depression and episodes of extreme mania or high energy.

The unipolar, or depression, type of mood disorder can further be broken down into the different types of depression which include:

1. Major depression.

2. Dysthymia.

3. Seasonal affective disorder.

4. Postpartum depression.

Mood disorders are characterized by continued feelings of sadness, despair, guilt, irritability, loss of appetite, constant fatigue and suicidal thoughts. Different people will have different combinations of these thoughts and feelings, making it important for sufferers to seek professional help to help sort through the various symptoms. While some of these feelings are normal in daily life, when they become an on going problem that last for weeks, months and even years it is considered a mood disorder that needs some sort of medical or psychiatric treatment.

The exact cause of mood disorders is not known. It does appear that many combinations of outside events can trigger an episode. It is known that many people who suffer mood disorders also have a chemical imbalance of the brain that makes them more susceptible to these depressed feelings. Research has also shown that the different types of mood disorders can run in families are thought to be a genetic trait.

Treatment of mood disorders varies depending on the disorder itself and any outside influences that may contribute to the disorder. These outside influences include illness, drug or alcohol abuse or a major life changing event. Normally these need to be dealt with along with the mood disorder for treatment to be successful.

The mood disorder itself can be treated with anti-depressant medication, therapy or a combination of the two. The different types of mood disorder can be treated successfully if its sufferers seek help. Unfortunately nearly half of the people who suffer from mood disorders never seek the help they need.

Diet, Anxiety and Depression

Marianne consulted with me because of anxiety and depression. She had tried various forms of medication but was not reacting well to any of the drugs. She was exhausted from lack of sleep, and from the intense anxiety that kept waking her up. While there were challenges in her life, like in everyone's life, none were extreme enough to have this effect on her. She spent her days depressed and her nights awake and anxious.

Marianne had done years of inner work and fully understood that her thoughts create her feelings. She was vigilant about thinking thoughts that were positive, so she could not understand why she was having such a hard time. When she awoke at night in a panic, she could not seem to gain control of her thoughts. She would ruminate over and over about the various challenges in her life. She was very discouraged that she had so much therapy and had done so much inner healing work, and still felt so awful. Sometimes she felt like she was going crazy because she felt so out of control over her thoughts and feelings.

Marianne had a deep spiritual connection. She did not feel alone in her life, knowing that her spiritual guidance was always with her and always guiding her, which made her anxiety and depression all the more perplexing and upsetting to her.

"I just don't get what is happening here. I take really great care of myself. I attend to my own feelings, I eat well and exercise, and I have great friends and a wonderful relationship. My kids are doing well and I love my work. Why am I having such a hard time?"

Fortunately for Marianne, I had gone through the same experience. I discovered the source of my problem through research on the Internet, which proved much more accurate than what my doctor was telling me. It appeared that Marianne was suffering from low blood sugar - Hypoglycemia.

Marianne would fall asleep just fine, but would awake in a panic 4-6 hours after felling asleep and then couldn't go back to sleep. When a person's blood sugar goes too low, the adrenal glands take over and shoot epinephrine, also called adrenaline, into the system to raise the blood sugar, which causes anxiety or even panic.

I suggested that Marianne ask her doctor to give her a glucose tolerance test, and it turned out that she did have hypoglycemia. Her doctor told her to go off all sugar and refined products, such as white bread. Her doctor advised that she eat 6 small meals that are balanced between protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats, and to be sure to eat just before going to sleep. Her doctor, fortunately an alternative medicine doctor, also advised her to take a chromium supplement just before sleep.

Within days of going on this food plan, Marianne started sleeping through the night. When she did wake up, she was not anxious and was able to go back to sleep. She no longer felt depressed. Then one night she went back to not sleeping and having the anxiety.

"Marianne, what did you do the day that you couldn't sleep?"

"I joined a gym and did a hard workout. I read that exercise is good for hypoglycemia."

I asked Marianne to do a little more research on this and she discovered that intense exercise greatly lowers the blood sugar - that she has to eat during exercising. After doing this, she had no more sleepless nights.

It is important to know that anxiety and depression can have physical, emotional, and spiritual causes. The emotional/spiritual causes of anxiety and depression are generally related to what we tell ourselves and how we treat ourselves. Self-abandonment through judging ourselves, ignoring our feelings, turning to addictions instead of to Spirit, and making others responsible for our feelings cause anxiety and depression. Diet, illness, and hypoglycemia can also cause anxiety and depression.

If you are willing to take responsibility for yourself and learn how to lovingly treat yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, you can heal your anxiety and depression.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Depression Needs To Be Treated

Depression is not something you can just ignore and hope it will go away on its own or think that you will just "snap out it". Depression is a serious medical condition and needs to be taken seriously. It is caused by chemical changes or imbalances in the brain coupled with other different factors.

Many people who are diagnosed with depression wonder how and why it has happened to them, but the truth is that depression can happen to anybody. Debilitating depression can be triggered by many factors, but the good news is that treatment is available to help you cope. These treatments will help stabilize the chemicals in the brain and make sure all the vital messages to the brain are sent and received correctly.

Your first step in the fight against depression is to understand how it affects you, its causes and the treatment options available to you. Learn about the different types of medications, psychotherapy or "talk therapy" and other treatments.

Major depression can severely disrupt your life, affecting your relationships, your sleep pattern, appetite and even your daily work. Some of the symptoms that help the doctor to make a diagnosis of depression are:

- Feelings of sadness

- Losing interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy

- Low energy despite lack of activity

- Poor appetite

- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively

- Poor concentration and ability to make decisions

- Feeling hopeless or not worthy

- Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms of depression may also include severe mood disorders. Some mood disorders include but not limited to postpartum disorder and Bipolar disorder.

Postpartum depression affects women who have recently given birth and it normally occurs within the first months after delivery. This type of depression affects the mother's ability to bond with her newborn despite all the joy surrounding the birth of a new baby. It is extremely important that the new mother seeks medical attention if she experiences these symptoms. Postpartum depression can sometimes be confused with the "Baby Blues" which normally occurs within the first few days after the birth of the child but usually goes away spontaneously.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, affects millions of people every year. For sufferers life can have intense highs (mania) and crippling lows (depression). Patients suffering from bipolar disorder describe life as being one giant emotional roller coaster. The good news here is that there are treatments that help control these intense mood swings.

Even though there is no known cure, people with bipolar disorder can live normal lives with proper treatment and management. Patients must manage their condition very carefully just like if they had another illness such as diabetes or heart disease. Building a strong support network can be extremely helpful in treating bipolar disorder.

Living with depression may mean that you have try different types of medications over time until you find one that responds or works best for you. Therapy and lifestyle changes may also be recommended to help elevate depression symptoms.

Change will not happen overnight, but with the right treatment, therapy and lifestyle changes, you can keep depression from overshadowing your life.

Rewrite Your History - How To Change Your Past So You Can Live Fully In The Present

As I fumbled through some old files this evening, cleaning up my home office, I ran across a journal of quotes I'd started in 1994. (Ok, yes, I had quite a stack of books and papers I was going through.) I opened the journal, and right there on the first page was a quote that caught my eye and I knew I had to share it with you. It says:

"Immaturity is allowing someone else to author your history. Maturity is accepting the authorship of your history. You cannot change history, but you can write history." This was a statement made by a professor in my Fall semester of college in 1994 - I was a Junior. I specifically remember this course and especially this professor, Dr. Anderson. As I read the quote, now 13 years later, I'm nostalgic, and am glad I ran across the quote.

So, I ran right into the kitchen where my husband was preparing dinner and was eager to read him this nugget of information - a blast from my past that is just as relevant today as it was then. He was confused. You might be, too. Let me give you my perspective...

What It All Means

Maturity, by definition, means being fully developed in body or mind; we all strive to become mature in our growth. We want to be grounded and centered in our thoughts and in our emotions; we want to feel as if we are somebody and that we've accomplished great things. We envision this coming from a place of maturity... "a time when."

The problem with living in "a time when" is that we fall victim to the stories of our past and the inability to accept what is happening right now. The stories of our past... you grew up in a divorced home, you weren't given the same opportunities as others, or you are the child of an alcoholic. Those are the stories we hold onto. We use them as excuses for who we are, what we're doing, and how we feel. But, that is an immature process.

Create a New Label for Yourself

Maturity means accepting - and I mean really accepting - that your past is yours, and everything in it you created. Yes, you read that right - you created it. And I know this is a hard thing to hear, "What do you mean I CREATED the alcoholic parents I had?" Or, "There is no way I CREATED a childhood like that." Well, no, you didn't create the circumstances of your life (or maybe you did, but that's for another article). But you DID create an emotion and a belief based on that circumstance. From birth through about the age of 18, you were a follower (well, except through the teenage years when most of us rebelled like crazy). But now that you're an adult, you can no longer hang on to the stories of your past, if you want to change your emotions of now.

You see, you can choose to rewrite the stories of your past - your perceptions become your reality. (Instead of, "I'm an adult child of an alcoholic", how about, "I'm an adult child of a loving, caring Mother?" I mean, the reality for all of us is, there ARE positive times that you can draw from in your past - choose to dwell on THOSE and make a new label for yourself.) And when you CHOOSE to see what good came of the situations in your life, then you can move past the emotional upset you have today. It's not the THINGS you're holding on to, it's the emotion. Unfortunately, it's that emotion that is keeping you stuck where you don't want to be - overweight, unsuccessful, broke, sad, irritable, etc.

Immaturity or Maturity?

The choice is yours. Immaturity or maturity? From this day forward, you must decide how you want to live your life - as one who has no control or one who has absolute control over your history, and your future, which will become your new history. If you truly want to move forward, you have to let go of the stories. Letting go is difficult, but it must be done, there is no other way.

I was talking to a colleague today who said he uses the Marine creed with his clients: Improvise, adapt, and then overcome. That is exactly what you must do, but first make the decision. When you are ready to move forward, you will. If you choose to remain stuck, you will. The choice is yours.

Thanks to Dr. Anderson, I learned an important reality on that hot Fall day in 1994, "Immaturity is allowing someone else to author your history. Maturity is accepting the authorship of your history. You cannot change history, but you can write history." Will you choose to write yours?

From Outcast To Insider: Overcoming The Stigma of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder and Society:

The stigma often associated with manic depression and other mental disorders is very real. Many people with bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses are afraid to share their condition with other people for fear of ridicule or judgment.

A World Federation for Mental Health study recently revealed that more than 71% of patients with bipolar disorder felt they could not reveal their illness to others without being judged.

The stigma is so real in fact many will avoid telling friends or family of their mental condition. Many people with bipolar disorder face stigma and discomfort from well-meaning friends and family members that don't really understand bipolar disorder.

Many patients are more than happy to share their "up" phases to the outside world but tend to keep their depression to themselves.

While people may enjoy being around an upbeat hypomanic personality, they may find a depressive bipolar less companionable.

This makes common interactions and social events uncomfortable at best, and undesirable at worst for many bipolar patients.

It is common for patients with bipolar disorder to feel misunderstood. Unfortunately even many health care providers carry with them a biased attitude toward bipolar patients. Many have a difficult time focusing on the real reason a person is in their office. Instead they focus on the mental health issue.

Some patients feel cut off by their doctors or disregarded before they have an opportunity to get at the core of their problem. Manic patients may leave their doctor's office without their dignity and respect.

Respect and Dignity For Mental Health Patients:

What is important for patients and the public at large to realize is that bipolar patients are people too, people that deserve compassion, kindness and understanding.

Far too often even well-meaning doctors fall into the trap of generalizing the public's health or mental condition.

What is true is that all manic depressive patients are different. Not all patients are the same and what works for one may not necessarily work for another.

What the public should also realize is that according to the National Institutes of Mental Health, roughly one in five people suffers from some form of mental illness or another.

That means as a patient, you are more part of family than an outcast.

Most patients with bipolar disorder or some other form of depression are in fact, more commonly the norm rather than the exception to the rule.

Understanding this can help promote greater compassion and acceptance of manic depression and bipolar disorder.

Steps for Overcoming Fear of Bipolar Disorder:

If you or a loved one suffers from bipolar disorder or any other mental illness, there is hope. There are several strategies you can adopt to help promote your health and well being.

There are even more steps you can take to help you feel comfortable and accepted by society at large.

Here are some small steps patients and family members can take to help overcome the stigma associated with mental illness.

- Always accept your condition for what it is.

- Never attempt to hide your condition for fear that others will be un-accepting or misunderstand you.

- Educate friends and family. Direct them to a number of sites that help explain bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Great reference sites include the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

- Confidently explain that one if five people suffers from some form of mental illness or another.

- Remember that you are more an insider than you realize.

- One out of every five of your friends, acquaintances or associates likely suffers from some form of mental illness. -Use support groups to help bolster your self confidence and promote your inner peace and well being.

- Remember to always hold your head high with dignity and respect. Never accept less than the utmost respect when consulting with friends, family or your doctor.

A good friend is often a key support figure for patients suffering from bipolar disorder.

There are various online and offline support groups for patients with bipolar disorder and manic depression. Be sure you check some out to find the support you need when treating this complex and emotional disease.

Remember, there is hope. Bipolar patients are more a member of a large family than anything else.

Copyright 2006 Anne Arthur

Overcoming Mid Life Depression

"Why don't you kill yourself". Incredibly, this was the first line offered to sufferers of depression by the worlds leading specialist. It must be the ultimate question for sufferers of depression and has understandably caused controversy ever since.

Most people who are depressed, and see a doctor or therapist have a measure of control over their condition. They may receive medication in the form of anti-depressants (commonly prescribed are the new form of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs, such as Prozac, Lustral and Paroxatine, which are increasingly effective for the growing amount of people who find themselves depressed), or maybe referred to a counsellor or psychotherapist. For this group of people this question is really worth thinking about; why exactly don't I kill myself?

There is a new and important break through for understanding why people change and has important implications for people suffering from depression. It always used to be believed that we changed by either an increased level of insight into our lives and problems, or through acquiring new skills that allowed us to act more effectively. Hence almost all therapy being dominated by either skills training (such as anger management, drink refusal skills, self esteem building etc...) or insight based approaches (such as core belief identification in CBT, psychoanalysis, etc...).

Recently there has been a quiet revolution amongst these ideas, namely something called Self Perception Theory, which states that "we learn what we believe as we hear ourselves talk". This idea, which has been gathering momentum over the last 20 years, states that our beliefs are not set in stone but are constantly shifting. Furthermore our beliefs are shifting as a direct result of the language that we use and the way we "talk" to ourselves.

This means that if I say "I can't do anything about my depression", I certainly will not be able to, not necessarily because I can't, but because I am learning that I can't as I hear myself speak.

It's not just about throwing out all the negative sounding stuff and replacing it with shiny new squeaky clean positive words that feel empty and unhelpful. It's about recognizing exactly what I am saying, understanding why I am saying it and re-phrasing my words so they stop negatively informing my beliefs.

This is a useful checklist for beginning to change your beliefs and beating mid life depression.

  • Listen Carefully to the words you say, especially when talking to yourself or describing yourself to others.

  • Identify and write down all the negative things that you say (put on one side whether they are right or not and concentrate simply on recording them).

  • Challenge what you have it true?

  • Re-phrase your negative statements with statements that feel more accurate and less negative.

For example, you might replace " I can't help feeling depressed" with "although I feel depressed and can't do anything about it today, I need to remember that all feelings change in time and I can speed up that process by doing things that make me feel good". It certainly gets a lot more long winded but becomes a far less negative statement.

After having gone through this process you will find that your beliefs begin to shift. Different ways forward will open themselves up to you and life will be less negative and you will be able to move away from your mid life depression.

Treatment Plans And Interventions For Depression And Anxiety

Depression seems to be a very modern problem with increasing numbers of people affected by it, doctors now know there are various forms, each with its own individual characteristics. For someone who hasn't suffered from the clinical form it must be a difficult condition to understand, although we can all become depressed about situations on occasion. People who are depressed require specialized medical help with their condition and should seek it at an early stage, you need to be making the right decisions to get through the problems facing you and find out the cause and then deal with it.

We all can feel low and upset at life at some time, especially when we are reacting to something that is going on in our lives. Usually these feelings subside after a short while and are not considered symptoms of depression. Family life or any personal relationship can give rise to depressive feelings, some people feel they are unable to act to correct whatever the problem is, but that is the key element in beating the condition. If you just try to ignore it and do not take any action, seek help or treatment, you may end up with more problems, dealing with the issues as early as possible will save someone from making themselves ill, physically and mentally.

Another common cause is found in the workplace and problems can arise in the relationships with co-workers, it is not uncommon for this condition to result in panic attacks, so outside help is often needed to end the situation.Frequently when someone is unhappy sick leave increases at work, when they become so unhappy they cannot face even going to work a professional must intervene to end the mental conflict. There are times where a person has been prescribed medication for an illness, for example, and a side effect caused by the chemicals in the medication is depression; where side-effects have created these feelings where no real problem exists.

In these circumstances the person's doctor should be made aware of any changes in mood so appropriate action can be taken. Whilst the above cases give a reason for the depression, there is a form of depression that appears to have no cause that can be discovered, making it very difficult to resolve the problem. The problem can arise when the person cannot see that a certain situation or event for instance, as the cause, if they cannot associate the cause with their condition then the way forward is made very hard.

Bipolar or manic depression is notoriously difficult to diagnose there are lots of symptoms and some people can wait anything up to five years to have a correct diagnosis made. Generally the hardest step is admitting you need help and then seeking the correct help. There is no point letting this condition run your life unless you enjoy the distress it causes you and those around you, a full recovery is possible providing you take the appropriate steps.

Mental Anguish Is Psychological Suffering

Anguish, is the psychological suffering that is caused by any one of a number of events, which may naturally occur during a person's life span. These occurrences, can also be brought about by one, or a number of other party's regular activities, or intentional actions.

The word anguish, when spoken, conjures up thoughts of a distasteful, emotional situation that any one of us might have endured in the past. This situation may have been caused by the loss of a loved one, a business failure, an illness or accident. Any of these occurrences can be considered as a part of everyday life and people should condition themselves to cope with these situations. Mental anguish can also be brought about by poverty, the ravishes of war, imprisonment or loss of self esteem, which are not generally considered to be everyday events, however there are millions of people throughout the world who are suffering from the effects of these calamities.

Individuals suffering from mental anguish are extremely prone to the disabling effects of anxiety, depression and stress, which can also lead to a lifelong dependency on illicit drugs, alcohol or prescription medications.

Anxiety and depression are the two most prevalent mental health disorders identified in America. People of all ages, and those from all walks of life can suffer from depression, which if not successfully treated, can lead to a permanent disability, or in extreme cases, even suicide.

According to the World Health Organization, 121 million people throughout the world suffer from depression, and of those, 75 percent either don't realize that they are suffering from a mental disorder, or suitable treatment is beyond their means and not available to them. The latter of these can avail themselves of alternative therapies once they become aware of their problem.

Symptoms of depression can be quite obscure, particularly when the condition is brought about by a lengthy term of mental anguish. Poor eating habits and irregular sleep patterns are usually warning signs that anxiety or depression is disturbing a person's physical and mental performance. By eating regularly, adopting a diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals, performing daily exercise routines, then one's physical condition will improve and naturally restore sound sleeping habits. This procedure will certainly assist the body to alleviate anxiety or depression and ease the burden of mental anguish.

Use of stimulants such as, alcohol, tea or coffee should be avoided and added supplements of vitamin B complex are beneficial in calming the body's nervous system. The ancient Chinese art of acupuncture is very highly regarded as a proven alternative therapy for anxiety, depression and stress. People that have access to a competent acupuncturist are well advised to avail themselves of this form of treatment, as well as take any herbal medicines that the practitioner may recommend.

Mental anguish is an unavoidable adversity that is part and parcel of day to day life. When an individual is confronted with the condition he must be mindful of the fact that dwelling on the event may lead to a permanent mental disorder, and as such, would require proper medical attention.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Clinical Depression and Your Pocketbook

If you suffer from clinical depression, have you ever thought about the effects on your pocketbook? By way of introduction, my name is Dave Kanofsky and I had suffered from the adult symptoms of clinical depression for thirty-five years. In 2007, thanks to a combination of the right medication and years of talk therapy, my symptoms were under complete control but my financial situation/bank accounts were in complete ruins.

Clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, in my case, I was tormented by a continuous feeling of despair. Over the years this feeling would vary by degree from mild to intense depending upon external or situational factors. Nevertheless, the feeling was always there, monopolizing my entire life and inhibiting my ability to make any type of rational decisions.

Just to give you an idea of what that experience was like, when I was in undergraduate and graduate school, I majored in a subject area I did not enjoy but forced myself to go through, not once but twice.. After college, I kept hopping from job to job job. The first several weeks of each job were fine or so I thought. Eventually I would get severely depressed because I really was not happy with the type of job I had applied for in the first place. So I quit, telling myself that the next job would be better. Yeah, right. Never happened.

Since I was in a vicious psychological catch-22, saving money never did exist. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Do you notice a pattern here? When my first wife, who was the bread winner, died in 1998, things went from bad to worse. I maxed out my credit cards by borrowing money to live off of since I was too depressed to work. Eventually, I had to declare bankruptcy and went onto disability.

By the grace of God, things began to turn around in 2007. My doctor put me on some medication that was just right for me. Slowly, all the symptoms began to subside. Soon, after years of talk therapy and a handful of different medications, I was completely free, not of depression but of the symptoms. For the first time in over a quarter century I was finally able to make some rational adult decisions for myself. I retired from the industry I "worked" in all those years. My second wife is working and very supportive. Although, I am still on disability, I created a blueprint for myself on how to earn or make money online so I do not have to totally depend on the federal government for assistance. Eventually, I will not have to depend on government assistance at all.

Now it's your turn. I really want to hear from you. People who suffer from clinical depression often feel alone but I can assure you that you are not. What effects have the consequences of clinical depression had on your pocketbook and what if anything have you done or would you like to do about it?

Thanks in advance for sharing and God bless you.

5 Vital Signs of a Suppressed Anger and How to Manage Them

If you are in the habit of suppressing your anger, you may be accumulating unwanted things into your system without knowing it. It is right time you manage it before it goes out of hand. Suppressing anger may not be the best method of managing your anger because the long time effects of accumulated angers may not be helpful to your health. If you have experienced any of the following vital signs then you are likely to have a suppressed anger and the best thing is to solve the problem. Here are some of the vital signs of suppressed anger that may be visible or invisible and how you can solve the problem.

First, restlessness. The effect is that you are not happy with yourself or the other person who caused the anger for you. Your best bet here is to remain calm and be on top of the situation.

Second, judgmental. You feel judgmental towards others and find fault in them. You also consider yourself to be right. Try and have an open mind and be less judgmental. Reason from the other person's point of view.

Third, you are moody and unhappy. You feel sad, hurt and worried. The best thing to do is to be happy.

Fourth, high tendency to violence. Due to your inability to express the anger, the probability to turn violent is very high. Since you are aware of this, you may leave the scene of the situation without hurting anybody.

Fifth, depression. You feel depressed and unwanted and may harm yourself if no solution in proffered on time. Forget about depression, it is a state of the mind, remove it totally from your mind.

Suppressing anger is a temporary measure of managing your anger but the long term effect of anger suppressed on the person may be worse than expressing the anger in the first place. Avoid suppressing your anger but find ways of positively expressing them, control and manage it. If you consider the signs of suppressed anger such as restlessness, moody, unhappiness, prone to violence, it is better you express your anger but control and manage it. Some ways to solve these problems include:remaining calm, have an open mind, be happy, leave the scene and remove depression from your mind. With all these you will be able to manage your suppressed anger.

Depression in Teens - Is It the Same Story With Your Children Too?

Is your teen behaving in an uncanny manner and trying to avoid you all while sulking most of the time he/she is in your company? Teenage is the time when a person suffers from a lot of hormonal changes in the body and thus, they often go through feelings like irritation, hyperactivity, low energy levels, suicidal thoughts and even rebellious.

This is very common but if you find that your teen is suffering from bouts of depression then it is time to ring the alarm bell! No parent can see their child suffer from depression or other negative feelings but this is also true that the teens hate parents interfering in their personal lives or asking questions when they pass through such a phase. Trying to understand a depression teen is a tough task, and a single mistake can cause your teen to repel all your moves.

If your teen too is suffering from depression and is either protesting or sulking for a major part of the day then it is time that you change your behavior towards him/her. You cannot expect your child to be the same small baby all the time - you need to exercise extra caution while trying to find out the real reason that causes depression in your teens. The very first thing that you need to find out about your child is whether they are into any type of addiction or not.

Do not confront them directly and instead check it out with their friends and classmate - you are sure to land up with some good clues. Try not to restrict your teen's movements and let him/her express himself/herself, whenever they wish to.

You need to extend your helping hand to your child, so there is no reason in treating them badly in front of your guests or their friends. Try to get them involved in various types of family activities so that the negative hardly ever come to their minds. You can even take the help of your family doctor if things worsen due to some reason.

Internet Addiction and Depression - What's the Connection?

Some recent studies conducted by British psychologists showed striking evidence that Internet addiction and depression seem to be related. The study found that a small proportion of Internet users were considered to be Internet addicts and that these people had a greater likelihood of getting depressed than Internet users who were not addicted.

Psychologists say that the reason behind this is that people who become addicted to the Internet eventually find themselves replacing real-life social interactions with online interactions in chat rooms and social networking websites. Since real-life social interactions are necessary for the psychological and emotional stability of a person, lack of it can lead to depression.

The study was conducted based on a questionnaire that was answered by over 1300 young people and adults aged between 16 and 51 years old who used the Internet regularly. A link to the questionnaire was placed on various UK-based social networking sites. The questions mainly revolved around Internet usage, such as how much time they spent online, what they do online, and so on. The questionnaire also included the Beck Depression Inventory, a series of questions that measure the severity of depression or depressive symptoms.

Only about 1.4% of the total number of survey participants were found to be Internet addicts, and they seem to have had more severe depressive symptoms. It was not clear, however, whether people who are already depressed turn to the Internet to fulfill their basic human need for social interaction, or if Internet overuse comes first.

The psychologists reported that over-engaging in social networking websites can easily occur and can just as easily lead to psychological disorders like addiction and depression. People therefore need to consider the large-scale societal implications of social networking sites on mental health.

A similar study, however, gave light to what was missing in the previous study. Another study was conducted in Australia and China, where over 1000 teenage students in China were exposed to uncontrolled Internet use. The students were completely free from anxiety and depression at the start of the study. Sixty-two of them were moderate pathological users of the Internet, while two were found to be severely unable to control their urges to go online. The study took nine months. In the next evaluation, it was found that an alarming eighty-seven of the students developed depression and another eight showed significant symptoms of anxiety.

The study suggests that Internet overuse comes first before depression. Researchers made it clear, however, that the study was conducted in a developing country, so results may differ in developed and underdeveloped countries where the circumstances are different. Nevertheless, they recommend that young people who may be at risk of getting addicted to the Internet should be screened to see whether they need treatment or counseling.

Depression a Symptom of Low Thyroid Function - How to Deal With Low Thyroid Depression

There are many signs and symptoms of low thyroid function, but depression ranks highly as being one of the most serious and hardest to cope with. Depending on the degree of depression, you may need to seek medical help immediately. Studies of patients with depression have shown that a large percentage of them have some degree of hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). It is so important to learn about the thyroid gland and how having an underactive thyroid can be treated to avoid further problems. There are things you can do, other than or along with medications, to help with your thyroid and depression.

Studies have linked a relationship between low thyroid function and depression. In one study thyroid function was evaluated in 250 patients that were referred to a psychiatric hospital for treatment of depression. Out of the 250 patients, 20 had some degree of hypothyroidism, ranging from overt levels to subclinical. Up to 20 percent of all chronic-depression may be related to low production of thyroid hormones. These results suggested that a significant number of patients with depression may have low thyroid function and may be candidates for thyroid replacement therapy. Unfortunately, most patients who are treated for depression do not first get thyroid tests.

Exercise will help with your depression. Any type of exercise will be good, but a nice brisk walk outdoors will be a wonderful way to lift your depressed mood. Walk somewhere that you can enjoy the scenery while you get your exercise. If you have a friend or someone special to join you, to talk to during your walk, it can be very therapeutic as well. Although it may seem hard to get started, usually once you are a few minutes into it, you will suddenly realize that your already feeling better. There is nothing worst than sitting in the house making excuses why you do not feel like exercising. Just do it, you will be glad you did!

Character Development Part III

Personality or temperament types can also be a factor in character's psychological functioning. The actor can push the character slightly away from the normal line to create more drama and more interest. Having some knowledge about these abnormal behaviors will aid in portraying normal characters as well as those at the extremes. The following paragraphs identify a number of personality or temperament types along with the related behaviors.

Personality types fall into two categories. You have the extrovert and the introvert. An extrovert focuses on the outside world. They normally have low arousal/stimulation levels. Behavior is usually directed toward creating change and increasing arousal. The introvert, however, focuses on an inner reality. They have a moderate to high arousal levels and tend to avoid social contact and situations that might further increase arousal. They also maintain more orderly, less impulsive lives.

Behaviors can be further broken down into those that are neurotically abnormal. These have been given medical labels and the following generalizations offer insights about behavioral choices. These behaviors, in a milder form, are found in just about everyone and are thus good resources for building characters.

Manic. A manic thinks he can do anything. They appear optimistic, highly excitable, very social and easily given to emotional outbursts. They can be frivolous and over-talkative, have a short attention span, and their threshold for boredom is low. They pursue what they want, and tend to trample on others with little thought. They may be workaholics, driven by greed, or the belief that everything will work out.

Paranoid. A paranoid person believes people are out to get them. As a result, they tend to be aggressive, desire to be leaders, to have power and prestige over others. They are decisive, stub-born, opinionated, defensive and often competitive. They are also arrogant, conceited, and boastful. Often harbor unreasonable grudges, quick to take offense, very sensitive to any criticism supporting a belief that others dislike them.

Psychopath or Sociopath. The psychopath is one who is mentally unbalanced. The sociopath is one who is antisocial. These two behaviors are often harden criminals who have no moral center. They can be fearless, untrustworthy, out for personal gain, self-preservation, and have little empathy for others. These types of people do not transform during the story.

Depressive. Depressives are subject to black moods of worthlessness and inferiority. They conserve emotional energy and tend to be hypochondriacs or blame themselves even when not at fault.

Obsessive/compulsive is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry, by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety, or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms include excessive washing or cleaning; repeated checking, extreme hoarding, or preoccupation with sexual, violent or religious thoughts.

Schizophrenic. People with this disorder tend to be shy, overly sensitive, self-conscious and easily embarrassed. Protect ego by avoiding open conflict, withdrawn, sulk and generally have a difficult time communicating.

Anxiety Neurotic. People with this disorder worry about and fear everything. They are concerned about personal safety, terror-stricken about what might go wrong and about the general realities of life. For them disaster lurks everywhere and they spend their lives trying to avoid anxiety.

A character with an abnormal personality will not always fall completely in one category. Manic-depressives fluctuate between the two, as does paranoid-schizophrenics. One should draw upon these categories for broad strokes and consistency in creating normal characters or those more extreme, the abnormal.

Drama and conflict can result from relationships between these abnormal or slightly abnormal characters. Paranoids need someone to persecute them, and will find the manic's aggressiveness a threat. The manic finds the depressive's lack of energy and drive a frustration. The psychopath has no understanding of the anxiety neurotic's fear.

As you can see, thinking of your character with some abnormal tendencies can add conflict and complexity as well as give the character an intriguing edge.

Other abnormalities might also include the disorders of bipolar, attention deficit, and Asperger's. The following discussions provide an entry-level to these disorders and should be researched further before applying.

A person with a bipolar disorder might have a wide spectrum of moods; elevate energy levels, coupled with depressive episodes. In some people, depression and mania may rapidly alternate. At extreme, symptoms may include delusions and hallucinations.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is characterized primarily by inattention, easy distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, forgetfulness, and lethargy-fatigue. While found mostly in young children, adults with it tend to make cognitive adjustments and develop coping skills minimizing the behavior.

Asperger's syndrome or disorder is characterized by a qualitative impairment to social interaction, by stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests. Also typical of the condition is an intense preoccupation with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness.

Our conscious awareness makes up only 10 percent of the human psyche. What drives and motivates us develops more from the unconscious, the feelings, memories, experiences, and impressions that have been imprinting our minds since birth. These elements, which are often repressed because of negative associations, drive our behavior, causing us to act in ways that might contradict our conscious belief systems or our own understanding of ourselves.

In portraying a character, one must consider the forces that can cause us to act in ways that contradict our belief systems or our own identities. These unconscious forces achieve more power when they are repressed or denied. Unacknowledged, they can drive people to do and say things against their will. Suppressed, they have more potential to get people into trouble. For instance, a man may appear gentle, but later portrays a violent nature that even he may not have known was there.

The unconscious manifests itself in your character through behavior, gestures, and speech. All the underlying drives and meanings that are unknown to the character will nevertheless affect what he says and does.

Another facet of the character is the private and the public sides. Sometimes there is little difference and with other characters, the change is radical. For instance, a person speaking at a large gathering may display an air of confidence in public, but in private, alone, he's a nervous wreck. This facet of the character also fits those with secret agendas, the hypocrite, and the deceiver. The character will change as the comfort or confidentially level changes.

Characters exist in relationships, sometimes as couples, partners, or teams and at other times, as outright opponents. The ratio between attraction and conflict becomes an important ingredients in the relationship, as does the characters' make up, and the contrast between them. Creating these elements requires a collaborative effort and again the character traits should support the actions and the story.

Characters can also interact as the victim, persecutor, and rescuer. In some stories, they might be labeled as the creator, preserver, and destroyer. In each case, the role of the aggressor can change to any one of the three. One should also know that the victim, rescuer, or persecutor do not always stay the same throughout the story. They can interchange depending on the complexity of the plot. Defining these roles within the scene and story will likewise aid in formulating the characters and the traits that support their actions.

There are, of course, many other considerations in developing the character. These include the back-story, the character's biography. Things like: age, posture, appearance, physical defects, class, occupation, education, home life, religion, political affiliations, hobbies, amusements, sex life and moral standards, ambitions, frustrations, temperament, attitude toward life, complexes, abilities, I.Q. level, personality (extrovert, introvert).

While these considerations have their importance, one should keep asking, how does it affects their present actions. These are qualities the actor can bring to the scene, the actable qualities that embody the character and serve its function within the story.

Constructing the character is a building process, putting the various aspects in place one piece at a time. Working with each piece until it fits in, then adding the next one. Some actors try to create the character in its entirety, complete with every detail and nuance. And while all the elements may be there, the character lacks clarity because the information is too muddled for the audience to understand. Instead, paint the broad strokes, the core, and the function of the character. Then find the actable qualities that convey these character facets, facets that help move the story forward.

As you can see, developing the character demands understanding the entire script, and researching and determining how your character will function within the story. To better understand your character, it's also important to observe the life around you and reflect on your own experiences. Realize that you too have an inner voice, a perspective that can help bring the characters to life and make them unforgettable.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Coping With Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression

In this article I'd like to offer you a few suggestions for helping with for Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression (PND).

Back in the days when homeopathy was being formalized, depression was referred to mostly as 'sadness'. These days we all know that depression can be a whole lot more than 'feeling sad'.. and we also have the biochemical evidence to back up our observation that all kinds of life events can be the cause of mental symptoms which not only feel really bad, make us feel uncomfortable and are often downright scary.

I think of Baby Blues as a natural hormonal response following the incredible event which is 'giving birth'. Think of how hard the body has worked over the previous nine months, growing a new being, copying DNA, putting together the colossal task that is reproducing the blue print of a human being. The birth itself is a trauma for Mum and Bub, and then her body must make enormous adjustments so - isn't it understandable that some weapiness and anxiety will be there? It lasts a few days. Keep an eye on blood sugar levels during this time. Small regular meals are an important key.

But if your feelings of sadness and being overwhelmed have continued.. or have appeared some months later then you must take some action and seek help.

Do you feel tired all the time?
Do you feel guilty about feeling tired?
Do you feel stressed, angry or find yourself crying easily?
Are you not interested in sex any more?
Are you having any emotions.. maybe you feel numb?


Disappointed with the birth?

Did your birth experience go as planned? We prepare for the event with exercises and negotiating the best possible situation for the safety of baby, but if things don't go according to plan - maybe you had to have an epidural or forceps delivery, or a cesarean... then its natural that feelings of disappointment, resentment or even anger can build up and these can be a factor in triggering depression.

Did they tell you the truth?

Did anyone really tell you - I mean sit you down and really tell you the TRUTH.. about how very demanding and tiring it is to have a baby and then take care of him or her, day after day, night after night? Very likely - NO.. and if this has been your second child, did they tell you that the second child is NOT like having JUST ANOTHER BABY.. no, no, no.. a second child is much more work than that!!

Babies get sick!
Then there are the possible problems, colic, skin troubles, colds and little infections, coughs that won't clear up..

Your support network
And support - how much support are you getting? Is everyone's attention on the new baby and none on you?

Sleep and time off
Lay down and sleep whenever baby does.. I know you feel as though you must 'get on with things'.. but sleep and rest are more important than the washing..

You need to have some time off, time for yourself.. relatives can be so helpful. When my babies were small I found a local school girl who came in at 3.15 every week day and looked after both children in another room, or took them for a walk in the pram.. for two hours while I cooked the dinner.

Routine Routine Routine.. a Life Saver!!

Find a routine that works for everyone. If you know that rest times are coming then you can make it through these hours. We used to have tea at five, bath at six and bed at seven and my husband and I swapped days for bathing, washing the dishes and getting the babies to sleep and then having tea in bed the next morning. It worked a treat and we did it for years and years..! So every other day I knew that I could bath with the kids, relax while they were put to bed and have my tea in bed.

Just do what you can manage

Keeping up with the housework and the shopping? Its a HUGE lifestyle change to go from a regular job where you have support and boundaries - to being at home with a new bub. Just do what you can manage each day. If you can't breastfeed for some reason, never mind.. baby will be benefiting from your love and will grow strong and healthy in your care. So - these are all perfectly normal situations and needs and I often thought that it was a miracle if a new MUM didn't show any signs of mild depression!


Feeling overwhelmed, tired and a bit irritable during the early months of motherhood are quite common and to be expected. However, it can feel much more than this on occasion.

Do you have outbursts of irritability or even violent anger?
Do you want to shake the baby in order to get him or her to stop crying?
Do you have suicidal thoughts?
Do you feel like just walking out and disappearing?

These are a few of the symptoms that can indicate more severe post natal depression

Please seek help from your doctor, local support group and relatives. Anti depressant drugs can be helpful but do give natural medicines a good try. And, if you have a history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder you MUST seek help as soon as you notice any depressive symptoms following childbirth.

Homeopathy can really help and you also need daily support and company, exercise, good sleep, good food, hugs and treats and lots of smiling and laughing.


One little tip I used a lot for my depressed clients was to prescribe a good laugh at least once a day. The release of laughter, from a joke or watching a funny movie...even of you don't feel like laughing when you put the film on.. will release floods of those much needed chemicals in the brain.

It really does work.. please give it a try! Our bodies do have the power to heal themselves, but sometimes not in the way we think they will.


There are some fabulous remedies for reducing many of the symptoms of baby blues and post natal depression. Read through these little remedy snapshots and if you find one that fits some of your symptoms.


This great remedy has helped many thousands of women around the world. You feel a bit numb, no feelings, very tired and irritable and have no libido at all. You have this dragging down feeling in the abdomen, you period is heavy and achy. Have a look in the mirror. Have you got a saddle mark across your check and nose, either a yellowish tinge or a bit darker, perhaps some freckles? This is a classic Sepia symptom.


Famous for treating depression, Nat Mur is basically common salt made into a powerful medicine. Do you feel weepy and as though you aren't coping, but you don't want to show it or tell anyone about it. In fact in anyone does offer some sympathy that will really annoy you! You notice that you feel cold a lot of the time, with a physical weakness and lack of stamina. Other symptoms might include headaches, more thirsty than usual, lips feel dry and maybe even cracked.


This is a remedy that seems full of contradictory states. Are you feeling anxious, always checking that the baby is OK? Find your moods change frequently? Are you sighing a lot! People will notice it and maybe ask what you are sighing about. How about coffee and tobacco... Ignatia cannot bear either smells or tastes.. so this would be quite a strong symptom post baby. Are you worried about your weight? Looking at diets to loose the pounds you put on while you were pregnant? These are all good indications that Ignatia would be helpful for you.


We give this remedy after a Cesarean section, to help the would to heal quickly and in case the woman has felt angry or upset during any aspect of the whole birth procedure. Are you finding that you need to talk to people about your birth experience and especially if there are aspects of it that have upset you emotionally. A couple of doses of Staph will release all of those feelings and let you move on in a positive frame of mind.


I put all my new Mums on this remedy as a Tissue Salt, twice daily for at least a couple of months after the baby is born. It helps to bring your energy levels back up gently, and can make sleep deeper and more refreshing.


Now then, Ars Alb friends.. don't offended by these questions! Do you feel really anxious and fearful about the whole business of being a Mum? Worry all the time that baby will catch some illness? Need to have everything tidy and in its place? The house must be clean and all the washing done; shopping and meals prepared and on the table; baby should be clean and tidy in case any visitors come? Do you really need to have someone else close by who you can rely on if the worst happens?

Thats OK!! This is your nature and there's nothing wrong with all that, AT ALL..

Well, your natural anxieties may be causing you a higher level of stress than you need right now.. and a dose of Ars Alb every now and again will really help you to cope better with your own inner drives. A couple of other physical symptoms that Ars Alb people usually experience are.. feeling cold a lot of the time, can't sleep easily, feel generally better in warm dry weather, love acidic foods and drinks and especially coffee.


This remedy has quite distinct symptoms during this time. You feel worse when you first wake up in the morning - kind of sluggish and not able to think clearly. You desperately need a sleep in the afternoon but know that you'll feel bad again when you wake up from your nap. You do feel better if you can have a good chat with a friend or relative, get all of your anxieties out in the open. Talking does make you feel better!

You don't like hot places, can't bear to wear anything tight around your waist, and tend to have physical problems like sore throats more on the left side of your body.


Imagine the little pulsatilla flower, alone in the middle of the vast steppes Russia. It blows this way and that way in the wind! It sits in sandy soil, and closes its petals when it gets hot and at night. SO - the pulsatilla woman loves the fresh open air and finds her moods very changeable. She can be chilly and cries very easily.. sometimes just weeping for no particular reason. You like sympathy and support and rely on your partner for comfort. Not thirsty? that's very pulsatilla.. you have to be reminded to drink. ( If you are breastfeeding your body will be giving you stronger signals of thirst than you usually have.)

Also are you a bit clumsy and uncoordinated? Swollen ankles and wrists? Don't like fatty foods? These are just a selection of the remedies I have prescribed very successfully over the last 20 years for baby blues and post natal depression.

For Nearly 30 Years My Major Depression & Anxiety Was Winning The War Then Something Happened

Looking back, it is difficult to believe that it has been nearly twenty five years since I first walked
into a psychologist's office to see if there might be something wrong with me. I felt very different and out of sorts. I was in my twenties. It was at the counseling center at my local university in southern Ms.

After about six or so meetings, I realized nothing was getting better, and decided nothing was
wrong except that I was suffering the same pressures and anxiety that everyone else did in life. But it was not to be. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Then I decided that if I could land a decent job with a great salary, all my maladies would suddenly
disappear I landed a job as chief writer and editor at a major network in Washington, D.C. At age
thirty six. By age thirty seven, I had read enough about depression to know I had it. I immediately
took action and visited a local psychologist who brought a psychiatrist aboard to try a combination of talk and medicine therapy. Year after year I religiously attended my therapy meeting and took my
myriad of pills, combinations of pills, changing pills, increasing dosages of pills, etc. Nothing worked
yet the medical community continued to applaud me for doing so much better. I begged to them that
nothing had changed (I knew how I felt inside my body a lot more than they did), but they insisted
the changes were so subtle, I would surely notice if I stopped taking my medicines and discontinued
therapy. I did just that. No difference whatsoever. By then, I could barely work much less get out
of bed. I made myself do it. I still don't know how, but felt I needed to.

By 1994, I had moved to the west coast to pursue screen writing as I theorized that if I could just
land one box office hit, happiness would land upon me and my (by then) severe depression and anxiety
would be conquered. Anyone with any sense knows the outcome of that loser's game. And I lost.
After taking a number of seminars and workshops on screen writing, and even writing several full-
length motion pictures, I fell yet into a deeper depression. I went back into therapy and continued
on the newer SSRI drugs, which the medical community told me were "nearly foolproof". I am
glad they mentioned the keyword "nearly" as they were anything but. I remained a fool, thinking
I would find an answer in a pill. It had not worked in the past, why would it now? But they assured
me this new Prozac and family of similar meds worked when nothing else did.

Then my mother, living alone in Mississippi fell ill. I returned home to care for her. This served
to give me a purpose, as she had cared for me as a child, and I felt okay on some days.

One afternoon in 1997, I was reading New Yorker Magazine and I read an article on something
called the Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS). It is a tiny computer chip device about the size of a silver
dollar, implanted directly under the skin and wiring running up to the mood centers of the brain,
emitting a magnetic impulse that allegedly had amazing effects on depression. Again, I was a bit
skeptical but this time there was a big difference. Even though it was not yet on the market for depression, (had been for awhile for epilepsy), in clinical trials, it appeared people who had tried
every other modicum of therapy were seeing dramatic improvement with this device. It was made
by a small medical device firm in Houston called Cyberonics.

I started getting more and more curious and spent a great many hours on the Internet following the
studies. It came close to FDA approval several times, but the powerful AMA and pharmaceutical
lobbyists continued to "find fault" in the studies and kept it off.

By then, I was diagnosed with TRD (treatment resistant depression) which explained the history
of no results. While Cyberonics and the heavy-hitter lobbyists fighting the VNS were slugging it out, I
continued to suffer and I would find out about 10 million cases a year similar to mine were suffering (and dying) as well with the same horrid disease called TRD.

Since I continued to "be punished" in my hometown (was very disenfranchised by then), I started
to research. My search was focused on towns with low cost of living, high quality of life, and an advanced medical community. I was not finding any of that at home. Surprisingly Hot Springs, Ar
became a top choice. The major medical community was in Little Rock, less than an hour away and UALR Medical Campus was considered one of the most advanced in the country (to my surprise). It's name was and is up there with many more familiar names like Sloan-Kettering, M.D. Anderson, and Johns Hopkins.

I moved to Hot Springs in 1999. I continued to research the updates every day on VNS therapy,
went back to school as an adult student, worked on my cartoon project, and opened several e-stores.

In September of 2005, I finally heard that VNS therapy had been approved by the FDA for
treatment of TRD. To my knowledge, it was the only medical modicum that had been approved
for such.

Now the problem was how to "get my name on the list". So I called Cyberonics and they
turned me over to a nurse/caseworker, who got right on the case. She found the (very few)
surgeons who performed this one hour procedure, and she had to talk my insurance into
covering it based on my medical history of years of no results.

On January 25, 2006, almost nine years after I first started following the news of the VNS
implant, I received the procedure in Little Rock, Ar.

I remember waking up and feeling very light. Something had happened, but I was not sure
what. I knew almost immediately that I'd gotten the procedure. I asked a nurse if "it was in" and
she assured me it was.

For the first time since I was about twelve years old, I felt no depression? I still had some
anxiety but it was based on thinking "my mood is about to swing any minute and there is not a
damned thing I can do about it". Minutes passed by and then hours. No mood swing. I felt like
a child playing in the sandbox in kindergarten My worries and stresses were minimal.

Then it got worse. There was a pain in my neck and my voice was very horse and my heart was racing. I went back to Little Rock. The ear, nose, and throat surgeon had accidentally turned up the
device to a higher level than is recommended; not dangerously so, but to a point where some people
experience side effects. I was one of them, but they turned it back down immediately and I was
fine again.

Every month, I continued to go to Little Rock for a computerized non-invasive "tune up"; the
doctor merely turns up the frequency another notch. It is at a point now where it is every three
months and by the end of the year, the depression will be in total remission.

How is my progress? Amazing. I can remember like yesterday that I could not get out of bed,
it was a huge chore to clean my home, studying was a brutal task as was work, and all that changed.

I love what I do, I do it well, and do it joyfully.

My faith has been renewed in both a higher power, people, and the medical community. It had been
long-gone for a good many years.

Is the depression cured? Heaven's no. But today, I can easily call it "temporary blues", the type any person could get.

Many friends and associates suggested I not reveal this story, that people might use it against me.

My reply is "So what? Let them use it. If one person reads this with TRD and learns about it, and
is fortunate enough to receive the implant, people can use it against me all they want. Doesn't matter in the least. Let one person get well from this most dreadful disease and it's all worth telling the story.

Really. Well, back to work. Have a great day!