Saturday, April 12, 2014

Is it Seasonal Affective Disorder and How Do I Fix It

Sad? Bone-weary? Can't get enough potato chips, pasta or sweets? Not wanting to get up in the morning? Got the blues? Would you be surprised if someone said that you are depressed? Have you felt like this before during the winter only to find you feel better when the sun comes back out in the spring/summer? It might be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sometimes the symptoms are mild; sometimes they are debilitating.

If you have this pattern that tends to occur during the fall and winter months, only to have the symptoms go away of their own accord in the spring and summer, it could be SAD. Most people that get SAD have normal mood the rest of the year. Some say their symptoms just seem to spring out of nowhere and others say that they began to feel this way gradually and that they kept getting worse. 

The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder vary among people. Those symptoms can include sadness, depressed mood, fatigue/low energy/lethargy, loss of interests, craving of carbohydrates, weight gain, social isolation and withdrawal. Other symptoms might include decreased sexual interest, and hopelessness. In extreme cases suicidal thoughts could be present and require immediate attention. The symptoms of depression can be mild to severe. 

Where does SAD come from? Most sources link SAD to a general lack of sunlight in winter which affects brain chemistry and a person's biological clock or circadian rhythms, which puts them out of step with their own daily routine or schedule. Most sources believe that January and February are the most difficult times for SAD sufferers. It has also been suggested that some people are more pre-disposed to Seasonal Affective Disorder than others. 

How can it be treated? If you are having these symptoms, it is appropriate to seek an accurate diagnosis for your symptoms, then help to reduce those symptoms.  Most respected sources agree that increased exposure to sunlight can reduce the symptoms of SAD.  So, you can look at your schedule and daily routine and figure out how you can maximize your exposure to sunlight on a daily basis. You could go for one hour walks daily. You might make sure that you let the sunshine into your home or office and move your furniture around so that you spend time in that sunlight. There is also "light therapy" that your doctor might recommend with an appropriate diagnosis of SAD. It has also been suggested to put your bedroom light on a timer where it will come on before you want to awaken. This could be helpful in one of your symptoms is difficulty awakening in the morning. Other options might include psychotherapy and/or antidepressants, especially SSRIs. Daily exercise and a balanced diet wouldn't hurt. Proactive problem solving, including being aware of and planning for lowered energy levels, can help reduce your stress and thus help manage your depression and other SAD symptoms. 

Psychotherapy, especially cognitive therapy, is helpful. One of the ways that cognitive therapy helps is in challenging the negative triad of depression. These negative thoughts about self, the world, and the future, might tell you that you have always felt this way, deserve to feel this way, and will always feel this way. If you know that you have SAD, you can challenge those cognitive distortions with the reality that it is a real illness, that you didn't feel this way before the fall/winter, and that you will be feeling better by the spring/summer. Being aware of your symptoms and taking steps to take care of yourself is the first step in feeling better. There is no good reason to wait until you feel worse. Take action now and feel better soon.

Looking to Restore Your Marriage? Learn 4 Signs of Depression

I just read an interesting statistic: in the year 2007 between 30 and 50 percent of married couples who suffer marital strife; one partner suffers from depression! (and I'm sure that these statistics haven't got any better.) I think that we can safely assume, according to these statistics, that a good place to start to restore your marriage is to tackle depression.

The first step to overcome depression and restore your marriage is obviously to diagnose that you or your spouse is suffering from depression and not some other disorder. After you "name it", the saying goes, then you can treat and "claim it".

In this article I will show you 4 tell-tale signs of depression that will be a warning for you to look for help.

1. Prolonged periods of sadness. I don't mean that if you or your spouse are sad for a day or two then you should run to your doctor to check for depression. Life has its ups and downs. However, if you see that you feel sad, Even After The Cause Of The Sadness Has Stopped, then the time has come to look for help.

2. Loss of self-worth and helplessness. Another symptom of depression is when you begin to hear from your spouse (or you notice your own self talk) how you are not a good mother or wife, how you are not a good father or husband, or that you are "a mistake". In my experience with parents and people, you are probably an all right mother/wife/father/husband/, who is doing a good job but could be better. Perfection is definitely not the default mode in this world.

3. Perpetual pessimism permeates your life. People generally feel that tomorrow (or next week, month, or year) will be better. This keeps the human race going. If you see that For A Long Period Of Time you see a very dim future, then you are probably suffering from depression and should look for some ways to overcome it.

4. Lose interest in taking pleasure and hobbies. Another sign of depression is when you lose interest in doing the things that normally give you pleasure for no understandable reason. If, however, you are crazy about a certain music artist and he dies suddenly so you can't listen anymore, this is NOT a sign of depression. Losing interested in hobbies and pleasures is only a sign of depression if you lose interest in them for no reason and you lose interest in ALL of your hobbies and pleasures.

Studies point in the direction that people who suffer from depression also suffer from marital strife. If you suffer from a bad marriage and want to restore your marriage to the way it was in those first enjoyable few years, then learn to spot the symptoms of depression so you can treat it and once again enjoy married life.

The Different Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Here we will look at the imbalance in estrogen level. The symptoms that follow when estrogen levels drop are:

·                    Irregular or Missed menstruation:  

The function of Estrogen in women is to help uterus to receive fertilized egg from ovaries. After the age of 40-50 years the ovaries stop functioning and cause less or complete cessation of menstruation. Women whose ovaries have stopped functioning also suffer from hot flashes. It is the primary indication of low estrogen. 

·                    The Skin

Due to low estrogen, related to menopause, the skin gets affected and appears dryer and easily develop acne. The dryness of skin can be cured with estrogen replacement therapy, but is not safe because it can cause other health problems. It is concluded through research that supplements which contain red clover isoflavones can maintain elasticity and firmness of skin and help in reducing effects on skin due to decrease in estrogenlevel.

·                    Bones

Thinning of bones or osteoporosis is another known symptom of showing decrease in estrogen level. After menopause, estrogen level drops and this lack of estrogen slows down the absorption of calcium and vitamin D in body, both of which are the basic requirement for keeping healthy and strong bones. Therefore following menopause, after the age of 50 years, it is important for women to take calcium and vitamin D supplements to reduce the symptoms of decrease in estrogen.

·                    Sexuality        

It has been proved that estrogen level plays an important role in women's sexual health. Vaginal dryness and thinness is caused by Low estrogen, which makes the intercourse painful and thus decreases sex desire in women. The lack of sex desire again causes vaginal disorders.

But on the other hand, in some women, in spite of vaginal dryness, sex drive increases after menopause as there is no risk of pregnancy. Vaginal dryness, in most cases can be relieved by using any K-Y lubricants.

·                    The Brain

After menopause, most women suffer from:

- Mood swings
- Fatigue
- Depression
- Anxiety
- Headaches
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating

It is noted that women who went through anxiety and depression before their menopause are likely to have these symptoms more after the menopause. It is necessary to treat depression especially if it is leading to suicidal thoughts.

Mild depression and mood swings due to low estrogen level can be treated with natural anti-depressants. Some symptoms of low estrogen can also be reduced with dietary supplements.

The Great Gatsby - Is Nick Carraway Gay?

In The Great Gatsby Scott Fitzgerald presents a study of wealth and ambition through the prism of pathetic characters for which one can find almost no socially redeeming values.

What The Great Gatsby portrays is the sordid story of small band of feeble characters engaged in cheating, adultery, deception, and debauchery. The lavish parties -Jazz-age style- that Jay Gatsby throws to recover Daisy Buchanan (his lost illusions and perfidious lover) are all but wild bacchanalians.

When one thinks about of the rest of the nation, we can breathe a sigh of relief to see that the rest of Americans are engaged in productive enterprise, in rebuilding the nation after the waste of resources that was the First World War. The sordidness of the story applies, almost in its entirety, to that small band of marginal, misguided, and unsavory characters. It isn't a book about the spiritual dismemberment of America (as many have interpreted the book to be) that came in 1927 with the Great Depression.

While in Ernest Hemingway's short story "The Killers" we experience the objective voice of a disinterested narrator, in the Great Gatsby we are deceived by the relentless biases of Nick Carraway, a likable character --and narrator-- who not only has an interesting story to tell, but also has an agenda. His agenda is a laundry list of things "to clean up," events to smooth over, and a guilty consciousness to cleanse. In a similar vein as the Confessions penned by Augustine, Rousseau, and Ben Franklin, Nick exacerbates other people's crimes and misdemeanors while obscuring and diminishing his own.

From the outset of the narration, Nick Carraway makes it clear that the story he's about to tell is a very personal story, and that he is going to be a protagonist. So, with these words: "In my younger and more vulnerable years..." he begins to tell the story about himself and about young people coming of age, people who at present are in the midst of finding their own identity, groping for goals and a more certain future. It is a generational story in which ambitious Dough Boys-having returned from fighting a world war--vie for position under the sun, vying for a spot not in the tedium of poverty or disenchantment, but for a share of splendor in wealth and love.

Although Nick makes the calculated decision to come East to pursue a career in Wall Street, his heart moves him in a different direction; his heart is in literature, and he lets us know what his intentions are: "I was rather literary in college-one year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials for the Yale News-and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the 'well rounded man.'" (GG, 4).

Having attended Yale University, he is justified in calling himself a 'well rounded man' who is fully equipped by experience, education, and talent to become a writer, a literary man.

As he commences the narrative, he even indulges in the author's pleasure of even knowing the title of his book: "Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction." (GG, 2). He also engages in moments of meta-narration. When in the second book of Don Quijote the hero learns that he is the subject of spurious adventures by a spurious author, we can only enjoy the pleasures of meta-narration. Nick Carraway also engages himself in bits of meta-narration as when we read that he is reviewing his work as he progresses with the writing:

"Reading over what I have written so far, I see I have given the impression that he events of three nights several weeks apart were all that absorbed me. On the contrary, they were merely casual events in a crowded summer, and, until much later, they absorbed me infinitely less than my personal affairs." (GG, 56).

Indeed they were but mere casual events, yet very much intertwined with his own personal life. Though Nick presents the Gastby life as the main thread, his own autobiographical strands of data are weaved into the fabric of the story.

While Meursault-Camus' absurd-man narrator of The Stranger chooses a stark, hallucinatory jargon to depict his alienation from the world, Nick Carraway chooses a lyrical and often incantatory language to embellish the sordid world of a low-level American tragedy.

Nick takes licenses and reports hearsay, a narrator's sin that endangers his credibility. What is disgusting is that in the end, Nick doesn't denounce his cousin Daisy, even though he's privy to the knowledge that Daisy was the driver that fated night, and that Daisy kills Myrtle Wilson (Tom's mistress). Was this really an accident? Or did Daisy actually run over Mrs. Wilson intentionally? We can only go by Gatsby's recollection of the accident as he recounts it to Nick.

That Daisy was driving and that she was maneuvering to pass a car coming the other way is clear. What follows is that Daisy first attempts avoid hitting Myrtle, but it is possible that as she recognizes Myrtle she changes her mind and runs over her. After all Myrtle Wilson has been a constant thorn in her flesh throughout the summer, causing her much pain, anxiety, and depression.

While Nick tells us there was an inquest, he omits telling us that he didn't testify, despite the fact that his truthful testimony would have implicated his cousin Daisy. Nick then is complicit in the cover up of a hit and run crime. Furthermore, the night of the accident when Nick plays peeping Tom, he observes Daisy and Tom in a conspiratorial tete-a-tete:

"The weren't happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or the ale-and yet they weren't unhappy either. There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture, and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together." (GG, 145).

In Garcia Marquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, when Remedios the Beauty ascends to heaven, the reader accepts this fact because the woman in her simple mindedness never sees that her beauty hurts people; or even kills them. But when Nick Carraway paints Daisy as a southern beauty filled with charm and innocence, he scratches a discordant note, for her actions belie that.

Is Nick Gay or Bisexual? Nick has a fixation with noses and we see this under-text surface throughout the narration, and the only way to break the habit is by actually "breaking" it violently just as Tom Buchanan does when he breaks his mistress's nose. In addition, Daisy compares Nick to a flower: "Nick, you remind me of a--of a rose, an absolute rose." Is she implying Nick is a closeted gay? Well, Nick never pursues Jordan with the vigor of a male in heat. And there's a scene in which another male removes his garments.

During a get-together in New York, Nick meets Mr. McKee, a photographer: "Mr. McKee was a pale, feminine man from the flat below. He had just shaved, for there was a white spot of lather on his cheekbone (30)." Afterwards McKee takes Nick to his home where they spend the night. Nick later remembers: "I was standing beside his bed and he was sitting up between the sheets, clad in his underwear."

To confirm McKee's homosexuality and by implication Nick's, we see a phallic image as the elevator boy warns "hands off the lever." To which McKee responds "I beg your pardon...I didn't know I was touching it." Was McKee touching the lever or the elevator boy? Early in the Twentieth Century, American literature had certain taboos that an author could only approach and conquer as the Jew conquered Jericho-around and around and with noise. The noise being the carefully selected word-codes and phallic imagery.

Can anyone imagine a heterosexual man obssessing about another man?:

"Mr. McKee was asleep on a chair with his fists clenched in his lap, like a photograph of a man of action. Taking out my handkerchief I wiped from his cheek the remains of the spot of dried lather that had worried me all the afternoon." (p.36)

Nick Carraway, the narrator, never acknowledges that he is an amiable pimp. Nick rents his West Egg house with a male, "when a young man at the office suggested that we take a house together in a commuting town, it sounded like a great idea. He found the house, a weather-beaten cardboard bungalow at eighty a month, but at the last minute the firm ordered him to Washington, and I went out to the country alone." (p3).

If Nick isn't gay, then he is bisexual: "I even had a short affair with a girl who lived in Jersey City and worked in the accounting department, but her brother began throwing mean looks in my direction, so when she went on her vacation in July I let it blow quietly away." (p56).

And as he meanders through midtown Manhattan, he fantasizes: "I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden street, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness." (p56).

Notice Nick's self-examination that carry the despairing musings of old maids, spinsters, and old bachelors: "I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade (p135)." As he looks down the lane of bachelorhood at this point in his life, Nick considers a life-presumably a sexual life with single men only: "The Thirty-the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair." (p135). This is a poignant remark that confirms his loneliness and how he will comfort himself in his bacherlohood.

Nick Carraway presents himself as a simple, unassuming, and likeable character, who thrives in gaining the confidence of friends and strangers alike. Yet, there's nothing simple about him. As his narrative progresses and we get to know him better, we conclude that he is a complex character with many facets.

While many sides of his personality are interesting, the reader cannot help being seduced by the moralistic preponderance of his judgments. On the surface, Nick presents himself as the voice of measure, reason, and virtue, but as we scrutinize his deeper strata we find an array of wild emotions, impulses, desires, and irrationalities that border on an unstable, sexually confused life, as he himself acknowledges: "Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marhes, but after a certain point I don't care what's founded on." (GG, 2).

Depression - You're Never Really Cured

There is a misconception about people who suffer from depression that once they are treated, the underlying causes revealed and the proper medication given, they are cured and can go on to live normal happy and healthy lives without ever having to worry about suffering from the symptoms of depression or becoming depressed ever again. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Depression is not a disease with a cure. Depression, like alcoholism or drug addiction, is a disease that a person must constantly fight against, even with all the medication in the world. The reason for this is simple. Most people who suffer from depression are prone to it because of a number of factors, not just physical. Many times the combination of factors makes it so that no one treatment will be effective enough to insure that the sufferer will never experience symptoms of depression again. There are cases where a person suffered from depression for years, was symptom free for years and suddenly developed symptoms again for no apparent reason; though there are always reasons.

Sometimes it's simply a matter of a further chemical imbalance in the brain that the current medication the patient is taking is unable to correct, either because it is the wrong medication, the wrong dosage or just not strong enough any longer. In other cases, where the person's depression stems from an unhappy childhood with many conflicts, the person may have been going through a tranquil period in their life when suddenly something terrible happens, such as illness or injury, that makes a sudden and drastic change in the person's life. Because this person was prone to depression in the first place, it became easy for him or her to sink back into a depressed state, especially if they never were prescribed any medication for their symptoms because they were treated through simple therapy.

So what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that a person who suffers from depression is going to be depressed for the rest of their life? Not at all. A person who once suffered from depression, even if it was many years ago, can go through the rest of their life and never develop any symptoms again. There are things that a person can do to help see that the symptoms don't come back, but it is important to also understand that there are some things that are beyond the person's control.

The best way to make sure that symptoms of depression don't return is to lead an active life. Don't allow yourself to sit around and think too much. People prone to depression often think about things that make them depressed or even about the fear of becoming depressed again. It is important to keep a positive attitude, keep active, keep busy and don't dwell on negative emotions. It is also important to understand your illness and realize that you are never really cured. By understanding this, you can prepare yourself in advance for the unexpected things that life can and will throw at you.

If you're prone to depression, you probably always will be. That doesn't mean you have to give in to it. You can win this war. One day at a time.

4 Ways to Reverse Depression

What is Depression? Depression is defined as: a sadness exceeding a normal time of grief both in duration and intensity. In short more often than not you are unhappy, frustrated, pissed off, negative and any other emotion you can throw in the hat. There are 3 major types of depression:

  1. Major depression - is characterized by a combination of symptoms that last for at least two weeks in a row, including sad and/or irritable mood that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat. These episodes can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime.

  2. Bipolar disorder (manic depression) - is a group of mood disorders or cycles of moods that include at least one episode of mania which are often chronic and recurring. Sometimes, the mood switches are dramatic and can cause unwise business or financial decisions when an individual is in a manic phase. 

  3. Dysthymia - is a less severe but usually more long-lasting type of depression. It involves long-term (chronic) symptoms that do not disable but yet prevent the affected person from functioning at "full steam". Episodes of major depression can occur and this combination of the two types of depression is referred to as double-depression.

In the context of Health we have to realize the body is responding to what is cultivated in our minds. So it is critical to focus on what we feed our mind as much as what we feed our body. Before we do this lets take a moment to look at signs that people exhibit in a depressive character: 

  • Persistently sad, anxious, angry, irritable, or "empty" mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism and worthlessness

  • Loss of interest

  • early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

  • Fatigue

  • Crying spells

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

  • Physical symptoms, chronic pain, headaches, loss of appetite

The causes are numerous and to lengthily for purposes of this article but it is worth the time to reflect in your individual case some of the reasons that could have affected you. Grief, sadness and mourning are all natural responses to certain circumstances, but as described above the extended effects of these emotions is what pushes us over the line into depression. 

In discussion all this clinical talk is fine but living in the midst of depression requires more than talk, you need help.

I would like to share a few ways with you that may help to reverse depression:

  1. Medication - There is a real connection between a bodies chemical imbalance and depression. If you cannot do it yourself get help to find out if you have conflicting medication. You may also have a nutritional imbalance it might take some time to research but you may solve a big chunk of your problem in this one area

  2. Protect Your Mind - You know down inside what affects you negatively, stay away from these things. The last thing you need is to add extra negative stress on top of your depressive state.

  3. Layoff - Take it easy on yourself, layoff you. Self-Condemnation is one of the most vicious cycles to break, it consumes you day and night. Since it is a thought it can be as cancerous as any tumor.  To compound depression thoughts can manifest itself into physical problems and you don't need that.

  4. Release - Depression is a poison and like any other poison you need to get it out of you body. Write, talk, exercise, find what works for you and get that poison (depression) out of your body.

I know easier said than done but if you have the will to change then change you will. Take small steps so frustration won't stop your progress. Lets accept the fact that some people like the "Rut" and that's the way that is.

Very disruptive to your life and a complex matter this depression is, but you have to start somewhere and if you have the will to change that's half the battle. 

Don't you give up, that's what depression wants and it can't survive if you have hope.Depression puts you in a very small box where there is no room for hope and the alternatives it offers are not very good.

Folks, in my worse days my hope was that I would not wake up the next day, death was my hope. Now my hope is in some small way as a chick breaks out of it's shell that you can break out of the shell of depression and re-discover what good things life still has to offer.

Remember we have One Life - One Body


Friday, April 11, 2014

Cars From the 30s

When you think of cars from the 30s you would be forgiven for thinking 'slow and ugly'. However, in many cases you would be wrong. In fact, many cars during the 1930s were equipped with heaters and radios - not as old, or as technologically challenged as you may have thought! This article has been created to share the joy and magnificence of cars from the 30s.

The Need for Speed

Despite the fact the decade of the 1930s was almost a century ago, there were cars capable of reaching incredible speeds of up to 270 mph [1]! With a horsepower of 736, this incredible car was a Mercedes-Benz race car driven by (now legend) Rudolf Caracciola. Who could have imagined a car would be able to hit 270 mph in the 1930s?

Got the Power

In the modern world cars have developed to such a degree where people love them for completely different reasons; whether it's the way they look, who they are made by, their top speed or the overall power of the car.

In the 1930s Ford set the standards for performance and efficiency with the introduction of the flathead V8 engine into mainstream vehicles. However, the big step was taken by Cadillac with their V-16 that was launched in January 1930 - the industry's first production car to offer an amazing sixteen-cylinder engine that was in high demand from people who could afford it! Imagine the car insurance quotes people were getting back then!


You don't usually associate 1930s cars with the word 'technology', but it's true that by the end of this incredible decade for cars the majority of what you see in your shiny new car today was around in some form back then. Below are just a few of the things you could expect (or ask for) in your 1930s car:

• Independent front suspension - The Lancia Lambda 9th series was built in 1931, and only 500 were available. [2]
• Tempered Glass (or toughened glass) - the late 30s saw the introduction of tempered glass, a huge leap forward for the industry.
• Radio - Developed in 1929, the radio quickly became a hit in the 30s and was in almost every car.


The majority of cars in the 20's and early 30s were based upon the Austin Seven - a simple box saloon. However, as the Great Depression began, integrated fenders and fully-closed bodies were the best sellers, with some cars even having a boot at the rear for extra storage.

The Great Depression resulted in many auto manufacturers going out of business quite quickly, but the ones who were left grew and began to really change the design of automobiles post-war.
From the incredibly quick Mercedes-Benz and the staple-car of the early 20th Century - the Austin 7 - to the Ferrari's and Lamborghini's we have today, cars will continue to fascinate humans from all over the world because of their design, power and speed.

[1] Rudolf Caracciola Speed Record (2010).

[2] Lancia Lambda (2010).

The Positive Intention of Negative Behavior

All behavior has behind it some intention and some purpose. Behavior is creative and strives to meet a need or fulfill a want. However, the behavior may appear to be irrational and dysfunctional from a "normal" perspective. For example, it's certainly not logical for self sabotage to be in some way helpful or useful, but it often is. Self sabotage can protect a person from facing success which can be terribly frightening. I've worked with several college students who suffered with text anxiety. They knew the information cold but when it came time to take the test, they would freeze up, do poorly and get a C or worse on the test. In just about every case, after some discussion, it became clear that if they were to get an A on the test they would feel the pressure to keep it up and by only getting C's, that pressure was eliminated. They sabotaged their success to avoid stress and pressure. There is a positive intention in that - it is somewhat protective. Now, the problem was no longer text anxiety but rather the pressure and stress of maintaining success, which was addressed.

Another common example is a child who misbehaves in the home. In many cases the misbehavior is tied to parental conflict. When the parents are fighting or in some form of conflict, the child misbehaves in an attempt to draw the attention away from their conflict and to the child. And, it often works. If parents are squabbling about something, when the child misbehaves, the squabbling stops and they have to focus on the child's behavior. There is a very positive intention in that misbehavior! Even if parents are not in conflict, a child's behavior is often a means of getting attention. In a child's mind, negative attention is often better than no attention at all. For a child, gaining parental attention is a positive intention. Or, take a situation in which an adolescent is involved in gang activity. The gang offers a sense of belonging which the adolescent may not get at home. The motivation to belong has behind it a very positive intention.

Emotional states such as depression and anxiety can also have at their basis a positive intention. Depression can keep a person from facing difficult challenges in their life. Although this is avoidance, it is also protective. A person with fragile self confidence may feel threatened by the possibility of failure and rather than acknowledge that and work to improve their confidence, they simply create a situation wherein they are not able to meet that challenge - they become depressed. The depression is protecting their sense of confidence. Granted, this is somewhat irrational. But, the mind is a funny place and can "make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven." The same is true for anxiety or panic attacks. The positive intention behind these emotional/behavioral experiences can in some way be highly protective.

Even some horrific behaviors such as rape or murder can be viewed as having a positive intention behind them, although there is no argument that the behavior itself is unacceptable. These behaviors are almost always an expression of power and control. Rape is not about sex and murder most often does not have as its goal the ending of the other person's life. The goal in these cases, more often than not, is to experience a sense of power and control and that, in itself, is a positive intention because we all need to feel, to some degree, a sense of power and control over our life. People who strive to experience power and control through these types of behaviors are clearly maladjusted. But, it's hard to argue against the positive intention of seeking a sense of power and control. The question is how can we best satisfy that intention, without harming others? Wars are fought to try and ensure security. Who would say that seeking security is not a positive goal? Destroying "enemies" is about seeking safety. Who would say that safety is not a positive objective? Suicide is an escape from intolerable pain. Or, in some cases to escape dishonor. Those are not negative intentions. That course of action is so often not a wise choice; yet, the underlying motivation is positive.

Despite the fact that so much of our negative behaviors arise from underlying motivations which are reasonable and, in some cases, even noble, we too often focus on the behavior. We criticize and condemn behaviors without considering the needs from which those behaviors arise. This is not to suggest that we should condone such behaviors. But, we could, and should, place much more emphasis on correction than on punishment. For, one of the hallmark qualities of being human is our capacity to be corrected, to adjust, to change....given the proper education and support. We can learn better ways to satisfy the intentions which give rise to our behaviors.

How to Cope With Infertility

It shouldn't be surprising that if you are experiencing infertility, that depression may well accompany it. The medical community usually focuses on the more physical aspects of infertility, and they don't always take into account the emotions that you feel during the process. There is actually a correlation between the success of infertility treatments and the positive emotional state of the participants.

Studies have shown that over fifty percent of patients who work within a body and mind therapy will get pregnant within about six months, as compared to only twenty percent in the control group of the studies. Women who become depressed because they are infertile will have a lower success rate with treatments for infertility. If the depression is treated, you may stand a greater chance of a successful pregnancy.

The type of depression that is associated with infertility is different than what might be called typical depression. Psychologists who counsel couples who are experiencing infertility feel that depression of this sort is caused by various combating emotions, including grief, anger, and jealousy as well as sadness.

Jealousy may be the most painful part of infertility depression, since it isn't an emotion that is socially acceptable. You may also feel guilty, for depriving your spouse of the chance to have a child. In addition, you may feel that you have let your parents down, if they are waiting for grandchildren. There is also a measure of obsession in this type of depression. Many women simply cannot stop thinking about their infertility, and they even feel it in their dreams.

Depression is now believed to be a real part of infertility treatments. The reason for this could be that every month you will be reminded that you have failed to become pregnant, yet again. You may experience many emotions, from loneliness, to issues with children, and on to occasional faith crises. Faith may help in some ways, but in other ways, it can make it more difficult, too, since you may well feel that God does not wish for you to have a baby. This can be quite a struggle.

Even if your husband is supportive of you, you may still feel that he doesn't understand what you are truly going through. Men will not usually react the same way to the anxiety and stress of fertility treatments as women will. They don't deal as much with it on a day-to-day basis like the woman usually does. Your monthly menstrual period may also add to your sense of sadness. Men just want the problem fixed, but women can't put this aside like men can, to concentrate on other things.

Infertility can test a relationship, since it may affect many aspects of your life. Once you are undergoing fertility treatments, you are with it every day. There may be injections to be done, and you can't drink or smoke. This can cause couples to become distant and isolated, and this will make your depression even worse. Seek out a counselor who has experience in fertility depression, so that you can head into or through fertility treatments with a more positive attitude.

How To Stay Happy!

Happiness is a state of mind! Have you ever met someone who just seemed to be happy no matter what was going on in his or her life? They are pretty hard to find these days, but they are out there. What is the secret to their happy existence? What makes them stay happy even though it seems that the whole world around them has come crashing down?

These people know that true happiness is not based upon their circumstances. They know that in life, disappointments, hand ups, let downs and difficulties happen to everyone. Sometimes it seems like someone is out to get you! The movie, "The Pursuit of Happiness" was based on a true story of a man who was the single parent of a small boy. There were extreme trials his life took him through before he finally came out of it all with the true happiness he was seeking. He kept his faith, stayed the course and against all odds kept a positive outlook on life. If you have never seen the movie, I highly recommend that you do! It is an extremely good one in that it is very inspirational, encouraging and at the end, uplifting!

True happiness is not found in money! Many people think that if they only had a bunch of money, they would be truly happy! That is just not the case. Some of the unhappiest people in the world are also some of the richest people in the world. Look at the drug use and suicide rate of the rich and famous! Money can buy you things, bit it cannot buy you true love or real happiness!

True happiness comes from within! It takes a solid and unwavering determination to be happy! One must have a "no matter what" mindset! We must be thankful for what we do have and should not complain about what we do not have. A good way to accomplish this is to make a "Blessings Journal." Sometimes when tough times or circumstances hit, we seem to forget just how blessed we actually are! Everyday write down 5 new things you are blessed with and thankful for. If you are really struggling with this, you likely have hands, feet, eyes, ears, and a nose. That starts you out. The second day, you can be thankful for you bed, the roof over your head, one of your friends, your health, and the fact that you are alive etc...

Singing happy songs can really help too! Try to make some songs up; it works the best of all! Nobody will hear them but you, so who cares if they are off-key or don't sound all that great! Just sing words of thanks and sing about how you won't let things get you down! Sing things like: "I know things are going to get better!" "I am glad to be alive and I know I will make it through this!" Keep positive! Keep yourself from thinking negative thoughts. When one comes into your mind, reject it! Say out-loud so you can hear it yourself, "I reject that thought and my miracle is waiting just around the corner! I know everything will soon be better!"

Do whatever you can to help make things better. If you have lost your job, as so many of us have lately, work diligently at getting another one. And if the job you wanted went to someone else, just say, "Well, I guess there is an even better one waiting around the bend for me!"

If you believe in prayer this is a good time to be praying. I have found it to be one of the most powerful forces on earth.

The fact is you have a choice to either be happy or be depressed. You choose which one you will be. Depression is stifling and will rob you of your incentive. It is like quicksand, always wanting to pull you down! There are no productive properties in depression at all! Happiness is just the opposite. It will produce positive thoughts and inventive ideas. Happiness is the key to success and victory! When one is happy, everything is moving forward whether it is actually visible or not. The universe and creativity are working with you and not against you when you are in a positive mind-set! So hold your head up high, be positive and happy and don't let that evil robber depression have its way with you! You will come out on top if you are down right determined to be happy! "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"

Guilt - Mankind's Dual Nature is to Sin and Then Feel Bad About It

We all struggle with guilt and sin. Not just some of us, all of us. It is our nature.

The Bible talks about our sinful nature, but what does that mean?

Basically, we are born with a preference to sin because our predecessors, Adam and Eve, messed up by eating the forbidden fruit. They didn't mean to do it anymore than we mean to sin. And, yet they did it and so do we.

If you carefully read and reread Romans chapter 7 in the Bible it explains this phenomena. But, it also makes most people say, 'what?' because it is so difficult to explain or understand. So I'm going to try to say it more plainly because it's important that we understand why we sin like there's no tomorrow. And, we all know there is.

Sin by the Bible's definition is doing something that leads to death. We all know that eventually we will all die, but you can die while still alive if your spirit is broken or destroyed by depression, pain, sickness, hardship, abuse, isolation or the death of loved ones. Humans are not immortal and no matter how good you are, you will eventually die physically. Mother Teresa died. Pope John Paul II died. We all die.

We are considered "alive" only when we are totally and completely without sin. Nuns, priests, ministers, pastors and other highly religious people are not alive anymore than you are. Why?

Because you cannot be "alive" as long as the body you currently possess is still physically alive. The body contains the sinful nature whether you are a Christian or not. The mind or spirit is a different matter. We all start out with a sinful mind. Our thoughts make us do things we want to resist but for some reason can't.

Once you become a Christian you are given a spirit helper (Holy Spirit) who now resides in your mind but so does that stupid sinful nature. Unfortunately, it doesn't go away when you become a Christian. This is when the dual nature part kicks in.

Once saved, we don't want to think bad thoughts about the driver in front of us who can't go faster than a snail, but we do. We know those thoughts are sinful but now we feel a pang of guilt. We are suppose to love everyone without regard to their actions, but some people make it really hard. We know what is right, think the bad thought, feel the guilt, wish we could stop feeling the guilt and vow to do better next time. Then another driver pulls out going even slower than the last one. Arrrrg, your sinful mind screams. Ah-hem, the spirit mind reminds. And we cycle through right, wrong, guilt, remorse, and promise of better next time.

Does it ever end?

No. I'm afraid it doesn't. But it does get easier to listen to the Holy Spirit instead of the Enemy (the devil). And, just like a muscle, the more you use your spirit mind and ignore the sinful mind, the stronger the spirit grows until it can easily overshadow the sinful nature.

Jesus promises our suffering on earth will end after we die and that we get to join him in heaven for eternity. Once the sinful body is gone, the sinful mind goes with it. Only the spirit mind remains and it can transcend the physical realm. We are only finally free of our sinful nature after our physical body dies.

You may be contemplating taking your own life to end your suffering, thinking I just gave you the perfect solution. Think again.

The Holy Spirit will never lead you to take your own life. Never. So if your sinful mind is strong enough to convince you to commit suicide, you will not transcend suffering in the afterlife, you will get to suffer even more and this time for an eternity. Do the math: 80 years of suffering now vs. an eternity of suffering later. Even if every day of your life sucks and is horrendous, it is but a tiny span of time compared to forever! In Save Yourself! The Plain Truth, I explain how you can tap into the Holy Spirit by accepting salvation. Salvation makes suffering here on earth much more bearable and guarantees an eternity filled with good things (love, joy, peace, etc.), and no bad.

Sin only becomes sin once you know what sin is. Sin is not sin if you don't know anything about it or aren't capable of understanding it. This why animals cannot be sinners even when they kill, which we all know is one of the biggest sins you can commit. Animals don't have the capacity (or the vocabulary) to understand sin is the willful disobedience of God's commands. The mentally challenged, very young children and indigenous people with no contact with the outside world are also exempt from the sinful nature.

Does that mean if you don't believe in God, you don't have a sinful nature?

No. It's the lack of knowledge about right and wrong (God's commandments) that exempts you from that sinful nature. God has uniquely equipped humans who live in isolation to believe in a higher spirit being without "knowing" about sin. Anthropologists who study isolated cultures have found they have a natural reverence for nature, food sources, water and each other. They kill only to eat or when threatened, just like animals. Most of these cultures lack sins that modern cultures have, such as coveting material things -- they share naturally to preserve the whole community -- or lying -- they live so closely to each other they have nothing to hide. They are "innocent" of sins.

The awareness of sin brings shame. That is why Adam and Eve hid and covered their nakedness from God after they had sinned. Before sin they had no reason to be ashamed. Unfortunately, the awareness of sin made Adam and Eve, and most of us, more likely to engage in sinful behavior. We seemed to be wired to be willful and to disobey when someone tells us not to do something. The Bible even says that we will struggle with this.

We are filled with shame when we do bad things even when we don't want to. It's the sin acting, not us. But we have the choice to listen to the Holy Spirit rather than our sinful nature. Nobody said it was going to be easy but the rewards are greater.

The Bible says the sinful mind brings constant thoughts of death, while the spirit filled mind brings abundant life and everlasting peace.

You know you are using your sinful mind, rather than your spirit filled mind, when you consider anything that would lead to death -- yours or someone else's:

  • Taking your own life to stop your suffering

  • Getting even or settling a score by hurting someone else

  • Purposefully driving in a manner that endangers others

  • Physically harming yourself or someone to get them to do what you want

  • Physically harming yourself or someone to teach them a lesson

  • Using children, the elderly, women or any other "weaker" person for inappropriate sexual purposes

  • Taking or using alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs in a manner that impairs you physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually

  • Abusing any substance that could lead to your diminished health or well-being -- tobacco, alcohol, diuretics, stimulants, depressants, or fatty, sugary, preservative-laden foods to excess

  • Participating in "jackass" type behavior -- dangerous stunts or risky activities like skateboarding behind moving vehicles, jumping from rooftops, etc.

  • Ignoring life threatening diseases and illnesses or refusing to seek medical attention for yourself or others

  • Harming, torturing or killing animals for fun or any other reason except as a food source

  • Any other activity, behavior or action that endangers yourself, others or nature (animals, the environment)

  • Any obsessive thoughts that would lead you to consider any of the aforementioned things

It's tricky to understand how you can be "alive" while you are "dead" in sin. The only way to feel "alive" is to ask for salvation through Jesus Christ. Salvation begins with a simple prayer (explained in my book, Save Yourself! The Plain Truth) and ends with a new life where you feel more alive and at peace than you ever thought possible. This is what it really means to be born again. You get to start fresh.

Hope Quotes - Why You Need Them

"Hope never abandons you. You abandon it." George Weinberg

Sometimes we see our friends and loved ones in pain and don't know what to say or how to help. Sometimes we need a little help ourselves when things are tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Often it's the simplest things that get us through like an inspirational quote or affirmation that speaks to us on a deeper level. Allowing us to tap into the strength and fortitude needed to work through the pain or distress. Words of wisdom or optimism have the power to transform the way we view a situation or circumstance. Therefore resonating with our innate will to survive.

Hope quotes used in conjunction with affirmations can have a huge impact on the way you perceive yourself and the world around you and allow you to find clarity and purpose in the wisdom of others. Like any other goal you have to work at it. For instance, if you want to get fit, first you have to exercise. You have to put one foot in front of the other and work on it. It's the same for the human brain. We have to train our brain to see the world differently if we want to achieve a new way of thinking. Instead of training with weights we exercise the brain with positive affirmations and quotes.

Positive quotes and affirmations are especially useful to combat symptoms of depression and anxiety. Reading a quote before bed and first thing the morning is a reminder to fight the despair or worry. It's a way of training your emotional muscles to look at the positives rather than the negatives. To see the sunlight rather than just the clouds.

We all have to remember it's our choice what information is worth holding on to. So is it going to be words like give up, why bother, nothing good ever happens to me anyway. Or is it going to be hope to dream. Dream to hope. It's up to you. It's the same as computers, they don't accomplish anything without input. Your brain will accept the things you continually say to yourself. You decide if the input is positive or negative. If your natural tendency is to only input pessimistic or negative statements about yourself and your environment then use the words of others who perceive the world differently to find a new reality.

In a difficult world full of challenges and ordeals we all need take inspiration where we can find it. Quotes and affirmations are like using vitamins to help boost your resources to get through the difficult times. Most of us are used to doing a lot of things to keep our bodies healthy but we cannot forget to put the same effort into keeping our minds healthy.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Signs of Depression Due to Infertility Issues

Infertility is a very personal issue and one that weighs heavy on those who are experiencing it. Because society seems so focused on birth control, infertility issues can make women feel as though they are alone. A woman who is suffering from depression due to infertility may not be as open about her problems because she may not feel that others can understand her particular situation.

If you feel that a loved one may be experiencing depression due to infertility, it is important to look for the warning signs. Depression is a very serious disorder, thus it must never be taken lightly.

- She seems sad or anxious for an extended period of time. A bad mood or a feeling of sadness is fleeting, but depression lasts for weeks at a time and is so severe that it may interrupt regular, daily activities.

- She cries much more often than normal. Some women feel better after they cry through their problems, but those suffering from depression due to infertility may cry every day, though they may keep it hidden well enough that others may not notice.

- She seems fatigued, listless, and idle. This does not necessarily only apply to women who were once very active and suddenly are not. If a woman seems often tired, takes more frequent naps, and has difficulty rising from bed, this could be a sign that she is depressed.

- She avoids interaction with others. This can be apparent if your loved one has started avoiding the public and no longer wishes to talk to people.

- She experiences changes in appetite. If she is suddenly eating much more or much less than she previously did, this could be her way of handling depression. This is a serious sign as it could develop into an eating disorder, which may only prolong infertility.

Once you have scrutinized the symptoms of depression, it is wise to remember that some of the signs of depression can also be caused by side effects of certain fertility treatments. That does not mean that symptoms of depression should be ignored, but that your loved one should be given the opportunity to express herself freely and openly.

If you do believe that your loved one is suffering from depression due to an inability to conceive, reach out to her. Let her know that you are there to listen and do not judge. Try not to offer advice about fertility treatments or to make light of her situation, as sometimes this can cause more harm than good. Instead, listen to her words, console her, and if you feel it is needed, encourage her to seek professional help.

A Natural Approach to Solving Depression

Depression is a condition that currently affects many Americans and if you are one of them you know how hard it can be just to get through the day sometimes. There are many great pharmacological solutions on the market, but they come with costly side effects that can leave you feeling worse. There are also many natural approaches to controlling depression that have good results. It is amazing how solutions as simple as exercise, nutrition, and taking time for yourself can help with the oppressive symptoms of depression.

Exercise Your Way to Happier Feelings

Exercise actually releases chemicals in the brain that can change your mood. These chemicals are called endorphins and they have the ability to reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. They actually act in the same way that analgesic do in the brain.

You do not need to do strenuous exercise to reap the benefits of endorphins. In fact, a brisk walk, swim or a bike ride will do just as much good. You simply have to find a physical activity you enjoy and get moving.

Another great thing about endorphins is they are non-habit forming so you can find relief for depression without fear of dependence.

Nutrition that Will Improve Mood

Depression can make it hard to eat the right amount and kinds of food. Many people react to depression by eating either too much food or too little. However, your diet does matter when it comes to controlling the symptoms of depression. Simply put, food is fuel for the body and if it does not get the right fuel, then it will not work in an efficient manner.

Balance is the key when it comes to diet. You need to eat a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. One fat that it is good to get more of is omega-3 fatty acids. A lack of omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to cause depression.

Another vitamin which you may not get enough of, but may help keep depression down is B-12. It may not decrease depression, but if you are low in B-12, then it could make the problem worse.

Meditate Your Way to a Better Perspective

When you are depressed either you have trouble calming your thoughts and you are anxious, or it seems as though your thoughts are running in slow motion. Meditation is a way to bring these thought patterns back to the center. It will allow you to work through thoughts and emotions causing feelings of depression. There are some thoughts and feelings you will be able to tackle on your own, and there are others for which it is best to see a professional therapist to help you. In either case you will be one step closer to understanding the root of the problem with meditation.

Make Sure you are Getting Enough Time to do What You Love

It may sound simple, but find something you love to do and set aside a healthy amount of time to engage in that activity. First, it is important to take time for yourself. Secondly, a hobby you enjoy can have a similar affect to endorphins helping improve your mood. This is probably one of the most natural ways you can decrease depression.

Are You at Risk For Bipolar Manic Depression?

If you've ever had crazy mood swings, you may be wondering if there is a chance that you might have bipolar manic depression. Though the disease does affect 1 in 100 people, it is not as common as you might think. There is a vast difference between every day regular mood swings and bipolar manic depression.

In order to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you will need to be experiencing mood swings which last for weeks or even months. You may in a great, euphoric mood for weeks, only to experience a horrific depression for months afterward. This spiral is troubling in a great many ways. It can effect your work life, your family relationships, your spouse, and your normal day to day routines.

Many of those who have bipolar manic depression are able to treat their symptoms through medication and therapy. But, before treatment can begin, a diagnosis must be made. You must first talk to you doctor about your symptoms and have him provide a thorough mental evaluation.

If you are having volatile mood swings, it is important to ask your doctor about them. Since manic depression is highly affected by genetics, you will have a bigger risk of being bipolar if either of your parents suffer from mental illness. Tell your doctor about your family history at the same time you talk to him about your mood swings. He may wish to refer you to a psychiatrist who can further investigate your problem. If you are given a diagnosis of bipolar manic depression, it is not the end of the world - it is only the beginning to the possibility of a new and better life.

Cheap uPVC Double Glazing - A Twenty First Century Guide

With the advent of the internet no longer should cheap double glazing rustle up visions of poor quality product shoddy workmanship or home owners worse nightmares. With a little homework, householders can now buy cheap double glazing and save huge amounts of cash.

Instead of buying from household names whom everyone is widely aware still employ the same old sales tactics to get a signature on an order tonight! often at greatly increased cost to the homeowner (visions of a 瞿2000.00 door spring to mind etc), people are becoming more aware, more savvy of both the big company direct sales tactics and their outlandish prices, with the recession sparking the need for the homeowners cash to go much much further.

What to look for in a good double glazing company.

Make sure the company is reputable not take your cash and run, Certass or Fensa Registered normally sorts the wheat from the chaff, look for genuine insurance backed guarantees and the paperwork to back them up, check with the governing bodies are they really members? Check the internet for happy or disgruntled customers by typing in the company's name. Does the company provide a full survey and fitting service? Steer clear of large national household names to them its just another job. Look for smaller independently owned firms who genuinely care about their installations and their reputation. These are all check points that you must be totally happy with before investing hard earned cash.

Product. Products are the actual uPVC doors, uPVC windows, composite doors, and conservatories the prospective company is offering, are they energy efficient? A or B rated? What locking mechanism is been used standard espag or improved shootbolt locking? Are all windows manufactured to manufacturers specification with all reinforcement in place, are all windows and doors fully welded? inferior windows and doors often have a mechanical transom in, giving a weakness to the door or window creating major security issues as they are easier to break into.

Are all double glazed units 28mm thick, offer the latest warm edge spacer technology and filled with argon gas for improved heat retention? Again inferior products will be missing one of these key factors which are of great importance for both heat retention, cutting heating bills in the winter and solar reflection, to give greater cooler comfort in the summer.

Do the windows comply to building regs with an escape window fitted as standard, can the homeowner benefit from easy clean friction stays or (hinges) fitted so that the windows upstairs can be cleaned more easily by the depression of two buttons on the friction stay (or hinge) and sliding the window across the outer frame in order to gain easier access for wiping?

An important question to also ask any double glazing salesperson is what profile is being used in the manufacture of the windows and doors? Some high end industry, indeed world recognised profiles include Veka, Kommerling, and Rehau, which any window fitter in England would tell you are profiles that are synonymous with high quality security and most importantly longevity.

The cheaper profiles among many faults do not offer the same wall thickness, important again in security issues with locks and hinges all being secured and screwed through the profile where a full 3mm wall thickness must be in place along with suitable reinforcement to give maximum strength and anti burglar characteristics.

As often happens in life quality comes from Germany which all the aforementioned profiles do, however two British stable mates worthy of a mention and worth looking at are WHS Halo and Synseal both of whom have excellent industry standing.

Deposit Levels and Guarantee

Nowadays every reputable replacement window company in the UK should have a full deposit indemnity scheme accompanied by a full insurance backed guarantee. The deposit scheme is normally given when a customer signs a contract and protects the house owners deposit should the company cease trading for any reason. Normal / acceptable levels of deposit should be no more than 10% of total contract value for windows and doors. Be aware of smaller companies asking for large deposits, giving no deposit guarantee forms or paperwork at the point of sale, delaying work, or even worse not doing any work at all and running off with the money!

Conservatories however normally have a higher deposit level of 25% of total contract value but still should be fully deposit indemnified. The larger deposits being the norm simply due to the extended building works prior to any windows and doors arriving. A further payment of 35% of contract value would also be deemed acceptable subject to the base being totally completed (obviously not including plastering electrics or heating as this is an internal job that can only be completed once the conservatory is in the dry and erected) and all the windows doors glass and roof being on site. The remaining balance of 40% of contract value naturally paid when the homeowner is completely happy with every aspect of the installation to include a part P certificate issued by a fully qualified electrical contractor if any electrical work has been undertaken.

Quotation Availability

Most window companies want or even insist to see the customer in order to put a sales person in to pressurise them into buying their windows and doors on the night or been barraged with phone calls in the week later until they sign, however with the help of the internet thankfully these days are beginning to be numbered.

Most people simply want a quote and don't want the hassle of sitting through a two or three hour sales presentation with quite often heaps of pressure being applied to buy now or lose the discount. Genuine companies who offer none inflated products can give quotes straight from the net with no hassle what so ever. The homeowner will naturally want to see what they are buying which can easily be arranged when the surveyor calls to take final manufacturing sizes.

Sales Techniques.

Sadly an awful lot of people still take sales people at face value, examples of sales techniques used to gain orders are the show home offer using the house for future references which companies never do, agreeing for a board to go outside or the possibility of a refund due to the increased business levels again a very rare happening. Sign now or your lose the point of sale discount is another common technique or let me phone my manager as he has more authoritative to give more discount. The truth being these are exactly the techniques which give horror stories where people have been charged outrageous or hideous amounts of money for product, thus giving the whole double glazing industry a bad name where homeowners perish the thought of having their windows replaced.

The Net - a Twenty first answer to cheap double glazing

The internet now can genuinely help with real reputable companies offering quality reasonably priced double glazing compared to the high street names who still today are ripping people off, with so many people still falling victim.

The moral of the story being do your homework find reputable companies who are reasonable and who are willing to quote without the need for sales people, phoning their manager, or using any sales techniques, who will give a quote over the phone and who can install correctly and offer a real after sales care! with fully insurance backed guarantees. After all its not rocket science or splitting the atom just double glazing!

Students Stress and Anxiety!

High school and college students suffer from and are faced with significant amounts of stress and anxiety that can result in both physical and emotional health issues.

A recent study shows that five times as many high school and college students suffer and are dealing with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues as their counterparts that were studied during the Great Depression. This research study is based on the responses of 77,576 high school and college students who from 1938 through 2007, took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).

* Students themselves point to everything from pressure to succeed - self-imposed and otherwise - to a fast-paced world that's only sped up by the technology they love so much.

* Another major contributor appears to be the unrealistic feelings ingrained in young people, that they need to have huge amounts of money to be considered a success. This leads to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression.

* In addition, today's youth is brought up in a "you can do anything" environment. This leads to false expectations which when not met results in anxiety and depression.

Are you a student or parent of a student that suffers with stress and anxiety? Here are some ways for students to maintain good health and keep their sanity.

* Establish a quiet space to study. This is a place were you can focus and concentrate away from distractions. If you live with a noisy roommate, find a quiet spot in the library or your favorite coffee shop.

* Create a schedule. Leave yourself plenty of time to study for exams and get work done.

* Don't pull "All Nighters". Make sure to leave yourself enough study time.

* Stay away from caffeine, alcohol and drugs. Caffeine only provides a temporary jolt. You will eventually crash from excessive use. Need I say anything about excessive alcohol use other than moderation my young friends, moderation. And please just forget about drugs altogether.

* Get on a healthy diet.

* Get plenty of sleep.

* Don't obsess on results. Test scores are important but you need to keep things in perspective. Otherwise you will become overly anxious about a test's outcome which can actually cause you to do poorly. You need to shift your focus and stay present minded. Try some positive affirmations and visualization techniques to change your perspective, and remember that Yoga and Meditation techniques are time tested and proven stress relievers.

* Know your learning style. Not everyone learns in the same way. It's important to know if you're a visual, auditory or kinesthetic type learner.

* Practice visualization techniques. Imagine yourself having already achieved your desired results.

* Develop optimism. People that are optimistic are healthier, less stressed, and more successful.

* Use stress management techniques. The Yoga Awakening Meditation Collection is comprised of over 24 stress reduction techniques and exercises that will help. This meditation collection is complete and comprehensive, and includes everything you need to control and manage stress and anxiety.

There are so many secrets that Yoga and Meditation will reveal to you. There are so many ways that Yoga and Meditation can make your life easier and more fulfilling. Come and explore these secrets with me now by going to:

PTSD And The Connection Between Anxiety and Depression

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is typically categorized as an anxiety disorder, but the symptoms also include any form of depression disorder as well. The relationship between anxiety, depression, and PTSD is so strong that many people are misdiagnosed with any form of anxiety or any form of depression disorders. It is also interesting to note that many people are diagnosed, or misdiagnosed with personality disorders as opposed to PTSD. This is probably because anxiety makes you high strung and depression makes you slow down. The two are at odds with one another.

I believe that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is more of a stress disorder and is the umbrella disorder that encompasses depression and anxiety. If you have PTSD, you naturally have all of the symptoms of both depression and anxiety disorders in addition to other symptoms. In fact, the other symptoms of PTSD can produce anxiety and depression, which makes it all a big revolving door.

For example, someone who suffers from PTSD can experience a trigger about their experience. Any sight, smell, sound, or thought that is related to trauma can trigger a particular feeling or memory. These can very shocking and upsetting to the person, which, in addition to other reactions like anger and rage, causes an abundance of stress. Stress, in turn leads to the hyper vigilant and hyper aroused response, which can produce physical symptoms like hyperventilation or heart palpitations. When a certain stress threshold has been reached in someone who has PTSD, the person is hyperventilating, their heart is going 90 miles and hour, this is called anxiety and the person is apt to experience panic attacks.

Anxiety inevitably translates into depression in someone who has PTSD. When stress levels are high and the person is on overload, their nervous system will disengage by causing the person to become very spacey. This is called dissociation, or disengaging and it is a physical symptom as well as an emotional one. As the person dissociates, they do tend to calm down, however, depression is never very far behind. As the limbic system, the brain, and the body relaxes, so does the hyper vigilant response and the surge of hormones that engage the fight or flight response. Mentally, it's like letting the air out of a balloon. Can you see how this is a revolving cycle in someone who has this disorder?

It's no wonder that so many people are diagnosed with multiple conditions, put on multiple medications that counteract one another, and are treated for the wrong conditions. PTSD is an anxiety disorder and a depression disorder. It is a unique condition that presents equal and opposite symptoms. The constant oscillation between depression and anxiety is exhausting and makes no sense to people that do not understand this disorder. The good news is that once you learn how to relate one symptom to another in a way that makes logical sense to you, you are in a better position to minimize these up and downs and regain your equilibrium.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hidden Depression Symptoms and Their Impact on The Treatment of Various Chronic Illnesses

Several studies performed on patients with chronic health conditions have revealed a significant prevalence of clinical depression in most of them. In most of these studies, about a quarter of the chronically ill patients personally admitted to have experienced various depression symptoms subsequent to the onset of their illness.

An illness is termed chronic when it either keeps recurring or persisting for a long time, mostly due to lack of reliable treatment technique. Some of these 'untreatable' medical conditions can last for durations that range from a few months to a lifetime. Such illnesses include high blood pressure, HIV/Aids, heart conditions, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), arthritis, epilepsy, kidney disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Chronic illness complications and symptoms management is mostly done through medication, physiotherapy or exercise, restricted diet among other techniques. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the majority of chronic illnesses patients complain about similar complications that revolve around their social, psychological and physical wellbeing.

Psychological problems such as depression often stem from the incessant physical pain, social isolation and neglect, emotional anguish, false beliefs about the illness, symptom overwhelm, diminished physical capabilities and energy, medication side effects among other factors. Apart from that, depressive illnesses can be caused directly by illnesses and medications which affect the brain, the central nervous system or endocrine system.

Ailments such as multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy have direct biological effects that alter the structure and functionality of the neurological and endocrine systems. These changes frequently contribute towards the development of depression.

Clinical depression is a serious medical condition whose symptoms include pervasively low mood, motivation and energy levels, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, irritability, tearfulness, mysterious bodily aches and pains, sleeping problems and appetite changes. Other important symptoms of depression include social withdrawal, reduced mental abilities and lack of interest in seeking rewarding or pleasurable activities.

Unfortunately, most of these chronically ill patients rarely receive treatment nor tested for depression as should be the case. Possible reasons for this anomaly include a lack of awareness about depression and its symptoms or the mistaken assumption that the experienced depression symptoms are actually part of the chronic illness.

Untreated depression considerably weighs down on the effectiveness of any chronic ailment management method. Depression sufferers who also have an underlying chronic health problem respond very poorly to treatment for both ailments. However both physical and mental health specialists agree that proper psychological health is essential for a quick and problem free recovery process of most illnesses let alone chronic ones. Therefore, as part of their recovery strategy, such individuals should ensure that they undergo diagnosis and treatment for depression as a way of enhancing their healing process as well as improving their health overall status.

Clinical Depression and Daily Life

Clinical depression is a challenge that can frequently make you believe there is no hope, as if you are in the rock bottom of despair. When you feel like there is no hope and you are in the pits of gloom then you may have clinical depression. It is a dilemma that millions of people face each and every day. Depression can be very hard to defeat but if you are up-to-date about the illness of clinical depression then you have a better prospect at getting healthy. It is imperative to know how depression works and some of the many treatment options available to assist and heal this problem.

While everyone is prone to sad feelings on occasion, these feelings of misery are typically related to a specific occurrence. However when expressions of hopelessness surface over and over, then you may be suffering from clinical depression, especially if these feelings of sadness have no definite source. Many diagnosed with clinical depression often feel depressed without a clear explanation. Although both girls and men can battle depression, research studies demonstrate that girls experience depression twice as often as males.

Experiences of self-hatred and sadness, low self admiration and an absence of interest in contributing in daily activities are general signs of clinical depression.

Depression may crop up in families and is thought to be a genetic issue. Over half of all victims have a familial temper to the illness. Being a part of your family history or not, let's not forget that specific life events can often absolutely trigger a case of depression. There are several things that can initiate the onset of clinical depression can involve the demise of someone close to you, a loss of employment, the unintended demise of a relationship,relocating to a new house or neighborhood or even a serious lifestyle transformation can all contribute to the onset of depression.

Clinical depression is thought to be because of an insufficient numbers of neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemical agents, called, neurotransmitters are chemical agents that help us to have precise emotions. So it makes sense that if there is a lower amount of these neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephirne, within the brain, then clinical depression can quickly take hold. Since there is a clear relationship of neurotransmitters to depression, one of the primary meds used to deal with clinical depression is a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs. These meds cause the brain to be unable to soak up the excess serotonin that is there. With this weak point, there is more serotonin available in the brain, which can be very advantageous in abolishing the depressed feelings.

Although you may not feel like making the call, it is absolutely necessary that if you are aware that you are hopeless enough that you believe you may have clinical depression, it's central to speak with your healthcare provider immediately. delay. Depression deserves to be treated and to be treated without delay and effectively. While depression doesn't display obvious physical signs, the consequences of untreated depression can be harsh.

So don't go one more day without making that phone call and getting the help you require in order to be free from clinical depression.

The Adrenal Glands and Your Mental Health

Hormones are major links in the mind body connection. They are chemical the chemical messengers that can turn on and off a variety of genes in every cell in your body-including your brain! All known hormonal imbalances may manifest as psychiatric disorders, such as depression, mania, anxiety, ADD, memory disturbances, dementia and even psychosis. On the other hand, bearing the burden of any of these disorders, over time, will affect your hormonal function as well. Hormonal imbalances also mimic the side effects of anti-depressants by causing weight gain, brain fog, sexual problems, and depleted energy levels. It is clear then, that hormonal problems go hand-in-hand with depression, and sorting out "hormone triggered" depression from clinical depression is not always easy. Most patients have a mixture of the two. For this reason, in the practice of Whole Psychiatry, a detailed assessment of the hormonal systems should be a routine part of every psychiatric evaluation.

A hormone called cortisol (made by your adrenal gland) is part of the body's shock absorber system. We all drive down the road of life. and we hit real or imagined pot holes. If our shock absorbers are functioning well, its like we are driving a Cadillac. We feel the pothole, but only briefly and then we make a quick recovery. If we have poor shock absorbers, we feel like we are driving an old pick-up truck over a dirt road. We hit a pot hole, are stunned by it, and may even veer off the road.

What determines how our shock absorbers work? Some of it is genetic, and some of it is set by the time we are 11 or 12 weeks of age! In addition, chronic stress, nutritional and chemical factors, social environments, attitudes, perceived sense of control, spiritual orientation, and interpretation of the meaning of events play an important role.

Your body's glands take their cues from your brain. When an event is perceived, a meaning is assigned to the event, and a hormonal response appropriate to the assigned meaning occurs. Thus your brain determines the exact timing and amount of cortisol that is released into your blood stream: too much cortisol at night, and you can't fall sleep, too little cortisol in the morning, and you can barely peel yourself out of bed!

By the same token, your brain then gets a message from your adrenal glands via the cortisol in your blood stream, which provides a status update on hormone production and release. The constant relay of information between your brain and your adrenal glands keeps your brain, immune system and stress response functioning normally.

But this system's equilibrium can be upset when you take a blow from, say, depression, manic depression, anxiety, chronic stress (such as a divorce or chronic illness), chronic pain, or recurrent bouts of low blood sugar. In fact any of a number of hormonal imbalances (e.g., adrenal, thyroid, reproductive hormones) are one of the major reasons that many anti-depressant treatments don't work, or why patients with bipolar disorder are not stabilized.

In summary, if you have a mood disorder, check into your hormonal status, looking at adrenal function, thyroid function (check a TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, body temperature), blood sugar regulation, reproductive hormones, and melatonin.

Give the wide variety and effect of pesticides and hormone interrupters in our world, I strongly advocate for organically grown foods. Aside from the superior nutritional content, and health benefits seen in experimental animals, there is growing concern that the chemicals we accept in our environment cause significant hormonal problems in the population at large, by mimicking or blocking the functions of our own hormonal systems.

The Anger Funnel: Mastering the Destructive Emotion

If you enjoy Mark Twain quotes as much as I do, you appreciate their profound ability to simplify the things that are easy to overcomplicate. Twain says, "Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." It's hard to argue with the fact that anger does great damage to the "vessel" in which it's stored, yet this knowledge isn't enough for most people to keep their anger in check. Just because most of us aren't running around keying cars and chucking our smart phones into the water doesn't mean we're immune to the ill effects of anger. But if anger is such a destructive emotion for the person in whom it burns, then why do we feel it so often? The answer is the anger funnel.

Anger is experienced so frequently that it is considered one of the five core emotions, but emotional intelligence black belts know that 99% of the time anger is not really a unique emotional state. Unless you are experiencing anger that enables you to ward off immediate physical harm, your anger is simply a replacement for another, less palatable emotion.

Why Replace an Emotion with Anger?

We live in a society where emotional expression is generally feared and avoided. We're taught to bottle emotions up or avoid them all together. Anger is considered more socially appropriate than other (presumably "weaker") emotions like fear or shame. This makes the experience of anger far more tolerable for most people than what they are really feeling. So, they funnel their fear, shame, regret, apprehension, guilt, embarrassment, sorrow, or what have you into anger. If you think about it, it's much easier-and far more tolerable-to get angry and point the finger at someone else than it is to sit with a powerful, negative emotion.

A beautiful illustration of the anger funnel at work comes from one of our Top 10 EQ Moments of 2010 - at a press conference with Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson after his team had suffered a humiliating loss to the 49ers. Anderson's laughter on the sideline while his team was being slaughtered would have registered as only a blip on the public's radar had he showed composure during the post-game interview. There certainly wasn't anything about the reporter's questions to warrant Anderson's response. The reporter provided Anderson ample opportunity to explain himself by asking difficult questions carefully and respectfully. At first, Anderson was merely defensive, trying to avoid shame by denying that he had been laughing on the sideline. When the reporter revealed that the laughing had been broadcast on television, Anderson immediately funneled his profound shame and embarrassment into anger. This sequence shows how quickly and easily strong emotions can morph into anger.

It's as if we're all walking around with funnels around our necks, just waiting for our emotions to be poured into them. In Anderson's case, a little self-awareness would have helped him realize he was heading down this path before he exploded, and self-management would have enabled him to tolerate the embarrassment of being caught red handed, knowing that getting angry would serve only to make things worse.

Putting Away the Funnel

The question we all need to ask ourselves is not, "Do I funnel my emotions into anger? " Rather it's, "When, where, and how do I funnel my emotions into anger? " Turning off the anger funnel is really a matter of educating yourself on the sources of your anger. Emotions are funneled into anger in an instant. It's unrealistic to assume that you'll stop yourself as you're pouring your emotions into the funnel. Instead, you can turn off your anger as soon as it's aroused by asking yourself three simple questions. To help illustrate, I've put my own answers to these questions from a recent incident in which I was cut off abruptly by another car on the freeway.

1. Why am I angry?

The answer to this question is usually going to involve some finger-pointing. That's OK, as it's part of the process. Usually something or someone around you helped you to begin moving toward anger. In my case, my answer was, "I'm angry because that car almost ran me off the road. "

2. How did this incident really make me feel? (aka, what was the feeling that I funneled into anger?)

As long as you're willing to feel vulnerable, the answer to this question should come pretty easily. In my case, the answer was obvious: fear. Getting cut off like that made me feel intense fear. The fear was so intense that a fuming, smoke-out-my-ears anger came out the other side of the funnel. I knew it was time to ask myself these three questions, as opposed to giving in to my burning desire to teach the guy a lesson (aka, road rage). My anger was like a big red balloon that was going to pop, but as soon as I realized this anger was a substitute for fear, it sent all of the air rushing out of the balloon. I went from shocked that I couldn't get the car in front of me out of my mind to shocked that anger that intense could simply evaporate.

3. Why was this feeling so intolerable?

By the time you get to question #3, your anger will have largely subsided. The whole thing felt kind of silly by this point. I felt silly for being so angry and silly for being so vulnerable to fear. So, I asked myself why? I've been driving for decades here in Southern California where getting cut off is a regular occurrence. So why did this one get me going? The answer is that I'm now a father. My drive to remain safe and be there for my son magnified my fear. What was really intolerable was the thought of not being there for him. Learning why the feeling is so intolerable isn't intended to help your anger subside-at least not this time. This third question improves your self-awareness so that you're less likely to use that funnel the next time someone cuts you off.

Depression Tests - How To Diagnose Depression With Depression Tests

Depression is a very vague term, that confuses a lot of people. It's hard to tell whether you suffer from depression or not. However, there are certain depression tests are out there to help diagnose someone suffering from depression, and what kind of treatment is required, based on the type of depression they may suffer from. If you want to learn about the different depression tests potential depression patients undergo, then you should read this article.

The fact is, the quicker you can identify the depression, the quicker you can expect to recover from it. It is important to recognize early warning signs of depression, before it has a chance to fully set in. One of the best ways to determine if you have depression is to undergo different depression tests with the help of a professional.

Typically, when any relationship is created between a patient suffering from depression and a professional therapist, the first part of the relationship is spent on diagnosing the patient. Depression is a generic term that is used to cover a variety of different disorders which cause unhappiness in an individual. This means the doctor needs assessment time for figuring out exactly what the type of depression is, in order to know what to do to effectively treated.

Unless a proper diagnosis is made, relief from depression can be troublesome.

Some of the ways the doctor uses depression tests to make a diagnosis is to first consider the patient's background as well as their symptoms which seem to trigger the depressive episodes. This means the more truthful you are to the professional's questions, the more accurate the results of your depression tests will be.

They also observe the different types of emotional and physical suffering processes of the patient. For example if a symptom of withdrawal occurs in the patient, the doctor looks at this as a signal that the person may be in a state of depression, because of this emotional suffering. Other indicators that doctors use are extended fatigue, low motivation and energy, chronic frustration, disruption of eating habits, and irregular patterns asleep, just to name a few.

Also, there are certain tests used to determine the mental state of the patient. These tests may cover a patient's reaction time, certain word association exercises, as well as examining whether the patient's core beliefs are healthy or not.

In conclusion, these are some of the depression tests that are administered for feedback, to get information on what type of depression, if any, the patient suffers from, as well as what type of treatment is required.

Anxiety and Depression Symptoms - 4 Ways it Effects the Psyche

Stress and anxiety can become a part of every day life as we deal with challenges at work and home. When these two aspects are combined, great psychological difficulties can occur. When left untreated, it is likely to escalate and manifest into severe deterioration of your mental well being. Here are some anxiety and depression symptoms and 4 ways it can effect your psyche.

Depersonalization is a feeling of detachment, with the sensation of being separated from the situation, and sometime even feeling as though there is a separation from the body itself. You may feel as if you are 'unreal' and no longer exist as a person. You may even feel that you have become invisible and those around you are real, but you are not. Some describe it as feeling like a robot and no longer like a human being. Depersonalization tends to happen immediately after the onset of a panic attack, during an attack or with other severe anxiety symptoms. Once depersonalization has been experienced, it is likely that it will occur more frequently and will be triggered more easily.

Derealization, like depersonalization is caused by a shift in the part of the brain that provides us with a 'real' awareness of our environment. This part of the brain is directly linked to the organ that is responsible for anxiety, the amygdala. In the case of derealization, that which seems to be unreal is your surroundings. At times, you may feel as if reality is no longer something you can fully grasp. You may even question the existence of things and wonder if life itself is a dream of some type. This symptom can be described as being inside a bubble or trying to see everything through a curtain or thick fog. However, as anxiety levels are reduced, derealization will also disappear.

Of all anxiety and depression symptoms, nightmares are not uncommon. Nightmares can be caused by excessive stress, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and certain medications such as antidepressants. They can be described as dreams in which terrible and traumatic events take place and can feel so real that some wake up feeling the physical symptoms of anxiety; sweating, rapid heart beats, tremors and fear. Some of the most common anxiety induced dreams are of falling, being chased, losing teeth and being naked in public.

Automatic Negative Thoughts
Automatic negative thoughts are a component of stress induced anxiety. They are the kind of thoughts that instantly follow a presented situation, such as a short notice meeting scheduled for the next day. Anxiety sufferers may automatically think that they won't be prepared for it and it will be a disaster, regardless of the meeting's importance or subject matter. Stress induced anxiety sufferers may additionally act on these thoughts unconsciously. For example, if one says that they will fail a test, then it is likely they will not study hard enough and fail the test.

Anxiety and depression symptoms can be seriously debilitating and wreak havoc on our lives. Not only do they effect us psychologically, they can do great damage to our physical and emotional well being. Fortunately, there is help for the depressed and anxiety stricken. If you or someone you know is affected with this condition, it is highly recommended to seek out the proper treatment in order to cope with these symptoms

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Canine Addison's a Letter to Owners of Any Breed That Is Known to Carry Addison's

Where is Addison's centered?

Addison's is an imbalance in the adrenal glands; it is an imbalance in hormone levels. Addison's is believed to be primarily genetic with environmental triggers. The adrenal glands are located in front of the canine kidneys and produce hormones. These hormones are important in a body's ability to cope with stress (physical and psycholocigal) plus balance minerals critical to life. Of the two adrenal glands, the Adrenal cortex produces hormones essential to life, including mineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid. Addison's is basically hyposecretion of the hormones or the lack of mineralocorticoids whereas the result is a loss of sodium, and the ability of the body to retain potassium and water. All of the various adrenal produced hormones (there are more than just mineralocorticoid) need to be balanced, the increase in one or decrease in one hormone causes illness. Commercial drugs (corticosteroids or steroids) are available to substitute for the lack of mineralocorticoids produced naturally. However, while low levels of mineralocorticoid causes illness (Addison's), high levels of these steroids (given for other reasons) has a profound effect in the opposite direction and can actually trigger Addison's or bring on an Addison's crisis in dogs that carry the genetics for Addison's. Simply put Addison's is believed to be genetic, even requiring two or more specific genes; however environmental factors are believed to trigger these genes. Without the trigger even those with Addison's genetics may never have or even know they carry Addison's.

When would you see the signs?

Usually after a stressful situation (psychically or psychological) in dogs between the age of 18 months to 7 years of age Addison's symptoms may arrive. The younger age in that range occurs if, for other reasons, steroids have been given to the dog.

The problem with Addison's is that many times it goes undiagnosed until it is too late. What to look for are the commonly reported symptoms, which can vary from dog to dog, and include loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, hind-end pain, muscle weakness, tremors, shivering, increased thirst, dehydration, excessive urination, a painful or sensitive abdomen, muscle or joint pain, and changes in coat, which may become thicker, thinner, longer, or even curly and about 15 to 20 percent of Addisonian dogs will have dark, tarry stools or blood in their vomit, mental depression, patches of darkened skin, a slow and weak pulse, low body temperature, low blood pressure, and pale mucous membranes. These symptoms usually come in waves; the dog is sick and then seems to get over it for no apparent reason multiple times over a year or longer. Many owners miss these bouts as they can be short in time. This temporary illness is when the adrenal functions are fluctuating but not yet at a critical stage. As the illness progresses a lack mineralocorticoid results in marked changes in blood serum levels (potassium, sodium and chloride). Excess potassium causes a decrease in heart rate leaving the dog predisposed to circulatory collapse and renal failure (acute renal failure is a common misdiagnosis). An adrenal crisis is an acute medical emergency. The dog will need fluids, emergency doses of glucose and perhaps glucocorticoid. This is sometimes given even if the ATCH (Addison's test) is not back yet but blood levels indicate changes in levels of potassium, sodium and chloride (specifically elevated potassium, low sodium, elevated BUN and creatinine, elevated liver enzymes, low glucose, high calcium, low protein (albumin and globulin), anemia, low cholesterol, and metabolic acidosis. A sodium/potassium ratio of less than 27 is strongly indicator of Addison's) indicating Addison's. Once these drugs are given the dog will be over the crisis and seem back to normal. This of course is a preliminary indication that the problem is indeed Addison's. Note, only an ACTH stimulation test can determine positive Addison's. Currently there is NO test to determine if your dog carries the necessary genetics for Addison's. UCDavis is working on this test but it may be years before one is available. Currently, prior to any illness the best you can do is follow the recommendations:

Always keep your dog on high quality foods low in grains (no wheat, corn, and soy); I cannot say this enough; a good food is well worth the price in exchange for long term health. Dogs are carnivores not omnivores, they are not able to digest grains and making a canine body to digest grain causes daily stress on the dogs complete system.

If you are worried, because a dog in your dog's pedigree line has Addison's, you can supplement with licorice root (pill or liquid) daily (consult a holistic vet) to help your dogs body deal with stress. Research has shown that licorice helps prolong the activity of natural (and synthetic) corticosteroids like hydrocortisone.

Digestive enzyme powders (probiotics or good bacteria) are a sensible addition for any dog with digestive problems and can be found at almost all pet stores.

Melatonin (consult a holistic vet) is recommended occasionally (one 3-mg tablet or capsule for a medium-sized dog) 20 to 30 minutes before stressful events such as fireworks, thunder, long distance moves, etc., if a dog has reactions.

Be aware of Addison's symptoms

IF a crisis arrives along checking for other issues (obstructions, etc) request a blood test be preformed to check potassium, sodium and chloride levels. If levels indicate possible Addison's, run a ACTH test (this test is two blood draws one hour apart, after the first an injection is given to stimulate cortisol both blood tests check for cortisol levels) and IF the crisis is a critical situation treat for Addison's with fluids and glucocorticoid. The ACTH test is a blood test and can take up to 24 hours to get the results, the time some dogs do not have.

IF your dog has been diagnosed with Addison's the recommendation is to move to a holistic veterinarians for long term treatment. A dog on long term treatment can lead a normal happy life. Treatments vary depending on a dog's size and the extent of illness plus a negotiated price at your vet for blood work and finding the lowest cost treatments. But in general, long term treatment can be holistic or commercial drugs or usually best a combination of both to reduce dependence on synthetic drugs and lower costs, all and all about $30/month on average. Addison's groups on line can help find the lowest prices for long term treatments. Each dog will vary on what is effective and what is not so obviously that cost varies as well.