Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Combination of Factors Which May Cause Bipolar Disorder

When it comes to the mental illness of bipolar disorder, there are no definitive answers as to exactly what causes it; however, bipolar disorder is biological as it affects a certain part of the brain where the neurotransmitters or the chemical messengers of the brain -which include serotonin and norepinephrine-, experience some type of malfunction.

Researchers believe that some individuals may be genetically predisposed to manic depression which may lie dormant early on in life and suddenly activate on its own or become triggered by outside stress or environmental factors.

Genetic Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder

Researchers believe that genetics may play a large roll in manic depression as it is tends to run in families and it is estimated that about fifty percent of individuals diagnosed with this disorder have a family member who has experienced a mood disorder or mental illness such as depression.

Researchers have also determined that an individual who has one parent or a non-identical twin with bipolar disorder has a twenty five percent chance of developing this illness and that these risks are even greater in identical twins.

Environmental causes which may play a Roll in Bipolar Disorder

Individuals who experience a traumatic event in their life -even if there is no history of mental illness or in their family- may have an extreme "mood episode" which is associated with the symptoms of a manic depression.

A lifestyle which involves alcohol or drug abuse could also trigger this disorder, however, alcohol or substance abuse is not considered to be a cause of bipolar disorder, but it may trigger episodes in individuals who are susceptible to having this mental illness.

Bipolar disorder may also be triggered when an individual is experiencing a lot of stress in their lives or when they are sleep deprived. There are also certain medications which are believed to trigger the symptoms of a bipolar disorder in individuals who have the risk factors for this illness. It is essential if you have any history of mental illness in your family that you tell your doctor so that this can be taken into consideration when prescribing any medications.

Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression - Some Useful Hints That Many Are Not Aware Of

There are many triggers or causes of bipolar disorder and some of them you might not even think of. Your doctor should be able to help in getting a list of factors that can trigger the condition.

If you are manic-depressive and married, you can unwittingly bring a rift between your and your spouse. Unfortunately, this can also trigger off the mother of all depressions in you. It is not a secret at this time, but a marital failure is one of the most potent triggers of bipolar disorder known to man.

You may want to keep an eye on the amount of work-related stress you allow into your life. It is inevitable that you will have some emotional investment in what you do, but because it can trigger a manic episode, or even a depressive one when you suffer from bipolar disorder, you have to at least control it. Promise me you'll try, at least.

People with a genetic vulnerability to bipolar disorder are often the ones most affected by the triggers of the condition. Other kinds of patients are susceptible too, but not quite as badly, and so you have to pay special attention to what factors you expose yourself to when you suffer from this condition.

Every woman who has kids goes through the prenatal development phase of life. When they also suffer from bipolar disorder, they may slip into either mania or depression when they get to that point of their lives, and they may not 'slip' out of it in a hurry. Such a trigger is inevitable, though, but you can take medication to control it.

How Can I Cure My Chronic Depression Fast and Naturally?

Chronic depression is described as a state of intense despair, gloom and sadness that has advanced into a stage where he or she can no longer have coherent thoughts and reactions to daily situations. This type of depression is generally acknowledged to be more intense than normal mood swings or the 'blues.' If you suffer from depression, remember that it is an extremely common mental ailment that affects even the strongest individuals. It is a real mental disease and not an imaginary one and you should treat it accordingly.

Symptoms Of Chronic Depression

When a person shows at least five of the following nine criteria, he or she should strongly take action to nip this disease in the bud. Depressed mood swings, losing interest in people and previous hobbies, dramatic changes in weight, disrupted sleeping patterns, retarded physical reactions, feeling tired all the time, feeling worthlessness, unable to focus, and constant suicidal thoughts.

Safe Natural Remedies For Treating Chronic Depression

To achieve the most satisfying results, you should look for natural anti-depressants herbs like St Johns Wort, Chamomile, Kava Kava, Siberian ginseng, gingko, balm and so on. All these herbs described have natural sedative effects and helps more rigorous blood flow to maintain a healthy mind-body connection.

St Johns Wort

This is one of the most popular natural herbal remedies known to man. This effective herbal supplement has been proven in scientific studies to achieve similar results as per prescription drugs with fewer side effects. Positive results were noted in as little as 3 weeks after taking this herbal remedy. However, you should never take this while on other medication and should only be taken in moderation. Though side effects are rare, sensitivity to light and nausea might be occurring.

Chamomile and Red Raspberry Tea

Chamomile has long been hailed as one of the more effective relief for disrupted sleep patterns. You need to put dried Chamomile flower leaves in a cup and pour boiling water into it to make a sweet tea. It is known to elevate your mood and reduce fevers. Red raspberry tea can be prepared in the same way and can improve your blood flow to increase your mental clarity and alertness and thus improving your coherent line of thoughts.


5-HTP works as a natural supplement which converts into serotonin to elevate your mood. Serotonin is defined as a brain chemical known as a neurotransmitter which has direct effects on your mood, sleep and appetite behavior. Remember that low serotonin levels generally are caused by depression (symptoms) and not vice versa. Like everything else, it should be taken in moderation for the best results. Common side effects if taken too much would be nausea, constipation or headaches.

Fish Oil And Vitamin E

The main components which contribute to elevating depression in fish oil are known as EPA and DHA. The purer the content of EPA is contained in the oil the more effective it is treat the symptoms of chronic depression. EPA play the role of stimulating the nerve functions while DHA is vital for structure of building the brain. Vitamin E is important for both mind and body and sufferers tend to have lower levels of it. This can be easily remedied with canola oil which is a healthier choice for broiling vegetables and food.

Meditation and Positive Visualization

Meditation helps to create mental serenity and balance in your nervous system. It helps to elevate your mood of calmness and trains the mind to focus on a particular thought which helps coherent thinking. Firstly, find a quiet spot and relax comfortably with your spine and head aligned in a straight line. Then take deep breaths and focus on your breathing while thinking happy thoughts about your past. These thoughts should be accompanied by your past success to enlist a sense of accomplishment. You will find regular practice in positive visualization creating a natural instinct for you to stay focused and optimistic.

The Benefits Of Income Insurance

Human nature dictates that prior to buying something, people see to it that they will benefit from the product. Most times, people buy things that they perceive to give them the most benefits. This also holds true when buying an income insurance policy. It is easier to convince people to avail the protection when they know that they can benefit much from their purchase of the policy.

Main Benefit

The main benefit of income insurance is financial protection. It protects your income from any incapacity or disability to earn it from work due to illness or injury from accidents. While it does not pay for your entire income, you will enjoy up to 75% without having to work.

This is not to encourage you to get sick or meet an accident and benefit from the policy. What this means is that while you need to rest or rehabilitate from your sickness or injury, you need not worry where to source your income, as the policy will pay for it up to 75% depending on your provider.

You see, the biggest impact of your disability to work to earn your income is on your finances. If you have to suddenly stop working, this can mess up the otherwise normal flow of money in your household. Consequently, it can cause undue stress, depression and anxiety, and low self-esteem on your part. It can strain relationships and wreak havoc to what used to be an orderly way of life.

Other Benefits

Aside from receiving up to 75% of your income for the duration of your disability which can either be long term or short term, you also get to enjoy the amount tax free. Depending on your insurance provider and the type of income protection you avail, you can enjoy permanent compensation benefit up to the time you have reached your retirement age.

The policy empowers you to continue your retirement plan contributions. It adds to your peace of mind knowing that a stable future awaits you from your retirement benefits. This is not possible without an income insurance to protect your needs.

Another important benefit of the policy is that it gives you the means to pay for your financial obligations. In fact, banking institutions and other financial lenders require protection from insurance to make sure that you are able to pay for your loans regardless of any disability or incapacity on your part to repay the borrowed amount.

You'll enjoy extreme flexibility with this type of insurance. You can choose to go for the fixed term policy or the short-term renewable coverage. You can decide to receive your benefits lump sum or the monthly benefit compensation. Whichever way you choose, you are assured that for the duration of your disability you will still be able to earn a big percentage of your income.

If you wish to find out how to get the best financial protection from your income insurance policy, and where to get it at its most reasonable premium, all you need to do is to avail online services of insurance companies. Not only will these services make it convenient for you to meet your insurance requirements, you will also have all the resources at your disposal to enjoy the best income protection.

Prevent Teen Drug Abuse Using Drug Testing Kits at Home

Teen drug abuse became a serious health problem in United States. It is hurting the healthcare system, burdening the economy, and causing millions of deaths every year. Of the many causes that promote drug abuse among teens, lack of parental supervision is a major one. Teens should be guarded properly by their parents as they are still immature.

Since, early intervention leads to effective prevention of this unhealthy habit, parents should identify drug abusing habits in teens and take preventive measures. Parents can take help of home drug testing kits which are effective and easy to use.

In this article, we will discuss about teens and their vulnerability to drug abuse; how to identify teen drug abuse and how important are drug testing programs at home to prevent teen drug abuse.

Teens - vulnerable to drugs abuse: Many scientific studies have already proved that teenagers are more prone to risk taking and are vulnerable to drug abuse when compared to adults. This typical behavior of teens during adolescence is because of the major changes in parts of the brain that are responsible for functions such as self-control, judgment, planning, organization, and emotions. Since teen brains are not yet fully developed, they cannot take proper decisions and fall victims to unhealthy habits like drug and alcohol abuse.

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse: The primary step towards prevention of drug abuse in teens is to identify their unhealthy habits. Prominent changes, both in their behavior and in physical appearance can be noticed even at the early stages of abuse. Following are the warning signs:

Physical and emotional changes:
• Red eyes
• Finding difficulty to speak
• Sudden fall or rise in weight
• Lack of hygiene and showing less interest in personal grooming
• Aggression and arrogance
• Depression and irritation

Social and behavioral changes:
• Dissociation from old friends and acquiring new social group
• Sudden anger or depression
• Poor attendance and academics at school
• Spending time lonely
• Abnormal odor in breath or clothing
• Pipes, needles and other suspicious substances in their room

Importance of home drug test kits: The moment you see the signs that indicate drug abuse in your teen, it is the time to confirm drug abusing habits using reliable methods. They are useful devices for the parents to confirm these unhealthy habits in teens. They are simple, easy to use, provide instant and accurate results, cost-effective and above all ensure privacy. Some multi-panel drug testing kits can detect multiple drugs of abuse at a shot.

Best drug test methods to implement: When it comes to home drug testing, urine and saliva tests are considered to be the best methods. There are two other methods - blood and hair tests also, but they need special devices and expert supervision, hence are not recommended for home testing.

Urine test can detect the drugs in your teen's system up to three days after use. If you believe that your teen has taken drugs during the last few days, then this method is effective in offering accurate results. However, it is necessary to check that your teen is not providing fake urine sample which can lead to false results.

Saliva drug testing is an ideal drug test if you suspect that your teen abused drugs on that particular day. These kits can detect drug use up to 48 hours.

Need for random drug testing: If you are conducting drug tests on your teens at regular intervals, following a regular pattern, your teen may notice the pattern and either try to manipulate the sample before the test or stop abusing drugs few days before the test. Hence, practicing random drug tests is always an ideal way to identify the drug use which effectively helps in detecting the drug abuse among your teens. Random testing makes teens say 'NO' to drugs as they know that you can conduct drug testing any time at home.

Home drug testing kits can be considered as effective solutions in controlling and preventing drug abuse in your teens. So, make sure that you have some of them at home to test your teen to help him stay away from drugs.

Are You Aware of the Benefits of Being Single? Test Yourself

Although the common trend nowadays is staying single and having the time for fun and enjoying what life has to offer, it cannot be helped but notice that there are still singles out there that are worried about their status and belittle themselves. To help them with their dilemma, I have made three key questions with analytical answers that will show those singles that all is not lost just because they are single.

1.) I am single and that means:

a.) I am stress-free from problems that arise from romantic relationships

b.) I am incapable of developing and staying in long term relationships

c.) I am bound to be and old maiden

The correct answer is A. Since relationships are handled by two unique individuals, arguments and problems arise despite their mutual understanding. There will come a time when conflicts of interests occur and different ways of handling matters show. Although relationships provide a venue for growth for the couples, undeniably it is also a venue for stress causing depression, weakened immune system, even alterations in our blood pressure. That is why being single is advantageous since it frees you from such worries. Being single does not signify that you have troubles developing interpersonal relationships. As a matter of fact, most singles are looking for a long term relationship however they are just currently single because they are still in search for that special person they want to build that certain relationship with or because they are still developing themselves to become that righteous one (with good personalities, successful lives, stable job) when they finally find their partner in life.

2.) I am single and that means:

a.) I cannot go on dating since I do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend

b.) I have the chance to date different people

c.) I am not a dateable man or woman

The correct answer is B. Dating is not exclusive for those who have relationship labels (labels such as engaged, married, or boyfriend-girlfriend). Honestly, single dating gives you the possibilities of knowing people without the serious commitments that interfere with your way of life. With single dating, you can meet variety of people whom you can gain knowledge from, or even discover more about yourself. Your horizons will expand as you meet several people that you have not even considered as possible partners. Casual dating provides you a venue for personal growth.

3.) I am single and that means:

a.) I am a loner

b.) I have no time for developing relationships

c.) I have more time to spend with my family, myself and friends

The correct answer is C. Developing relationship does not only revolve around romantic ones, it also includes cultivating friendships and familial bonding. Being single does not mean that you are having hard time establishing romantic interests. In fact, singles rather invest their time first with family, work, self and friends because they know that once they enter into a relationship, they will be spending less and lesser time with their families and friends. Another important note to bear in mind is that when relationships ends, partners are gone too; a most likely effect of moving on process. That is why singles rather invest their time with family and friends, making their bond stronger as ever for they know their time spent will be paid off once they get into life's hardships.

Depression or Depletion?

In today's world, depression is often thrown about casually. As a coach, it's a subject known to peep its head into conversations from time to time. Recently, on a special coaching ethics call, author, therapist and well-known life coach Patrick Williams (author of Law and Ethics in Coaching: How to Solve and Avoid Difficult Problems in Your Practice) answered questions about topics suitable for coaching, and those better referred out to licensed therapists. There are times when coaching borders the line of therapy - addictions, mention of suicide (yikes!), and sometimes depression. Patrick Williams raised an important distinction, "Is it REALLY depression, or is it DEPLETION?" Discerning this is the first step. How can one tell the difference? There are many free assessments online to quickly determine if speaking with a professional psychologist is the next step or if other strategies may prove effective.

For many, it is simply a matter of depletion. I've noticed patterns of depletion in the lives of my clients and my own. After my book tour (the period after a year-long effort), and then an immediate move to southern California living in temporary quarters -- Ms. LifeCoachMary was feeling a little deflated. I couldn't quite bring myself to use the "depression" word, as that word has been removed from my vocabulary for many years. In speaking with other authors, it's quite common to experience a form of "post-partum depression" at the end of a big cycle of effort -- end of book tour or going to print.

Perhaps you've experienced something similar after a big project. When Patrick Williams raised the question, "Is it depression or depletion?" it sparked new curiosity toward my own droopy situation. If you're feeling a little "depleted," see if one or more of the remedies below could "fluff" your insides back up and reignite momentum. First, let's note what has consumed your energy in the past year? Perhaps you've been working on a start-up or expanding your business. Have you finished a creative project or certification, house remodel, recently moved, gotten married, or had a baby? Maybe your life reflects a combination of big and little projects throughout the year? Take inventory? Write them all down.

1. What do you need to CELEBRATE in your life? Celebration is under-rated. At the ICF Conference, Cynthia Loy Darst, MCC engaged a packed room of coaches about the importance of coaching "celebration" in the lives of our clients. So often, we achieve -- and the next question is "what's next?" Fully feeling the joy of a major accomplishment is just one element that is often glossed over. It's also valuable to take time to explore insights and recognize how you have grown. Minimizing the importance of celebration can bite you in the butt if you're not careful. Engage your family, friends or a special team to help you celebrate appropriately - and deeply. You'll enjoy a smoother, and more joyous transition to the what's next. BONUS: It's rather energizing, too!

2. Does your BEING need NURTURING or SELF-CARE? Significant projects require significant effort and often throw our bodies out of routine and supportive regimens. For me, traveling on the road and then suddenly moving to southern California threw me out of my grounding yoga practice (no Bikram yoga nearby!). My focus had been predominantly "outward" for many months, attending to others needs. Once in the habit of giving, giving, giving and going, going, going, it can be difficult to stop or slow down. But, it's essential for our well-being. In airplanes we're instructed to put our own oxygen mask on FIRST, before assisting small children and others. What a powerful reminder for our lives. Have you been taking the time to nourish your own energy stores? Is it time for a massage, spa day or face mask? How can you deepen your own self-care? You can do this in big ways, such as a week-long meditation retreat or nurturing workshop or vacation. Or, you can do smaller things such as yoga, a bubble bath, a good book, taking in a warm fire or snuggling with your partner. What would nurture you most?

3. Have you been giving yourself SPACE? Space is another element that is under-rated. In our busy world, alone time may be limited to the drive to and from work or the grocery store. Space reconnects us to our creative energy, and exudes abundance and peace. One of my clients periodically takes a full morning on a Friday or Saturday, and retreats to Laguna Beach where he reflects and takes SPACE for himself. It's essential to our well-being, especially if you have families and busy lives. While it's time away from loved ones, it is better for everyone in the long run. I recently took a week to reflect, recalibrate and do yoga everyday, and what a difference it made!! Vacations are great space-makers. Even claiming an hour of uninterrupted SPACE can do wonders in restoring depleted energy. What SPACE is your soul hungry for? Feed your soul with the perfect space.

4. What TOLERATIONS need your attention? In coaching, we refer to "tolerations" as those pesky little things that need to get done, but aren't necessarily urgent. They can zap your energy when they pile up, and contribute to the "depletion syndrome". Getting the oil changed, a lost button on your favorite jacket, a clock battery gone dead or a burned out light bulb are a few examples of tolerations. When "tolerations" are completed, energy is freed up and making life easier. When we're busy, these little energy draining tolerations accumulate and nag on us. Zap. Zap. Zap. Investing 1-2 hours a week to minimize this list (or hire someone to tackle them for you) is a great way to transform a depleted state. Working with a coach is a great way to identify and reduce tolerations. Make a list of the current "tolerations" in your life. Which five tolerations will you handle in the next week?

5. What's your overall PURPOSE? Have you lost touch or connection with your purpose? Even my most successful and focused clients occasionally lose sight of their overall purpose. It's normal. Sometimes we get lost in the detail of one project or task, and disconnect from the bigger picture. If your purpose is feeling fuzzy, now is a great time to refocus and reignite your passion and purpose. A brand new year awaits you. Reconnecting to your purpose is often simply a matter of REMINDING yourself what is most important to you? What do you VALUE most? Your life is constantly leaving clues about your passions. What are you drawn to? What would you "go for" if you knew you could not fail?

6. Where is your INSPIRATION meter? Is it depleted or over-stimulated and fried? Life is not one big race, but rather, it is made up of a series of 5K runs and marathons of various lengths. Each segment requires a fresh infusion of inspiration connected with purpose. Not inspired? Inspiration means "in spirit" or connected to spirit. Check in with steps 1-4 above. Celebrating, self-care and nurturing, taking space and clearing tolerations can UNCLOG a disconnected spirit and make room for inspiration. Beware of the cousin of "droopy inspiration"...which is OVER INSPIRATION. Perhaps there are TOO many things you're excited about (this was one of my challenges recently). Sometimes there are just too many projects, demands, insufficient time, energy or resources to execute. Discern what elements are "on purpose" and what elements are "seductive distractions". Narrow the focus. Simplify. Engage more assistance if necessary. Your purpose will emerge with fresh inspiration. During my one-week personal retreat I wrote down each purposeful goal on index cards, and laid them out on the floor to visualize it collectively. This helped me narrow my focus, and see which pieces were "on purpose" and which "seductive distractions" I could eliminate. Seeing all the pieces working together fine-tuned my inspiration meter and allowed me to see HOW I may be able to realize it. We must believe that we can succeed in order to sustain inspiration.

7. What are your PLANS and STRATEGY moving ahead? Once inspiration and purpose are re-engaged, you're ready to solidify your plans and strategy to execute. Take inventory of your time and resources. Lay it out. Create a project plan. For each project, write down all the necessary steps in greater detail by using one of more sheets of paper to articulate all the steps. Time block and prioritize. Each person has their own favorite way to plan and strategize. Use yours, or enlist a coach if your plan is fuzzy. Whatever you do, don't hold all your plans and strategies in your head. Get it down on paper. Skipping the planning phase sets you up for stumbles down the road. The more complex the project, the more complex the required plan. Take the time, do it right. If you gave your plan and strategy to a team, could they implement it? What strategies will support the realization of your goals? Take a day or several days to develop your plan for the year.

Now you're ready for ACTION. Keep these principles alive throughout the year to avoid the droopy depletion phases and keep yourself in a perpetual and sustainable state of momentum.

SPECIAL NOTE: While this quick list may be just the boost you need to fluff those insides...if the droopy pattern becomes more significant and long-term, don't hesitate to get a professional opinion or test yourself online for free. I believe that depression, (and most depression pills) are over-diagnosed in our society. However, suffering in silence isn't fun. Getting to the root of depression with a skillful therapist may be the best course of action for you. And, perhaps a free online assessment can free your mind as some droopiness.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Justice Not Served: Failings of Judgment, Trial in Of Mice and Men and To Kill A Mockingbird Quotes

The American idea of justice sometimes operates under a layer of mythology. Our "innocent until proven guilty" principle predicates itself on the idea that those accused of a crime will have a fair trial and would be justly judged by their peers. No puritanical Scarlet Letter rashness here anymore. Instead, it is an elaborate system established to thwart prejudice and to prevent the public jumping to conclusions, to protect the innocent and to punish the guilty.

But anyone who has seen an episode of Law & Order knows that justice does not always come that way or even comes at all. For example, in John Steinbeck's Great Depression-era classic Of Mice and Men, justice is carried out cowboy style. No higher order of ethics, trials or even laws, but instead a mob of angry men with guns and rope. No jury selection needed. It's a DIY approach, with George mercifully serving out the sentence for his slow friend Lennie before the others get to him first.

Perhaps one of the most upsetting failings of justice is found in To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee's classic novel about young tomboy Scout coming of age in the South is set against a backdrop filled with prejudicial beliefs and actions against race, disability, class and even gender. Not what you'd might expect from a story narrated by a little girl. No pink dresses or notebook margins filled with hearts drawn around boys' names for her. The novel's most prominent example of failed justice is the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused and subsequently convicted of raping a young, poor white woman in the fictional county of Maycomb. Atticus Finch, Scout's morally upstanding father, brings out the sturdy guns of logic and reason in defending Tom, questioning everything from the location of the woman Mayella Ewel's injuries to whether Tom could physically injure anyone, given that one of his hands is mangled beyond use.

The game plan is to appeal to the intelligence of the jury, not to its racist prejudice and its stereotyped assumptions about black men and their supposed animalistic instincts of lust. Atticus demonstrated an "infinite capacity for calming turbulent seas, he could make a rape case as dry as a sermon," according to To Kill a Mockingbird quotes. Facts before knee-jerks emotions and prejudice is his motto.

Atticus's probing reveals that Tom did not and could not rape Mayella, but to no avail. Tom is convicted anyways by a jury of all white men, his supposed peers. Atticus sums up why such failings of justice happened: "I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system - that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up." Tom, was in a way, a litmus test for the white men's sound consciences. And they failed as justice failed Tom.

Winter Depression Symptoms and Treatment

The weather is wet and windy, the days and nights are dark and gloomy and the hot summer days are another year away. For many the winter months can dampen a mood but for others it can lead to outright depression.

Known as seasonal affective disorder this winter depression is generally thought to be related to the darker days that occur during the winter months and those with this type of depression experience symptoms such as difficulty waking up in the morning and wanting to sleep longer then usual, have an increased appetite that often leads to weight gain and generally feel down beat and unmotivated day after day.

For others Christmas day itself is an especially depressing time of year. For most Christmas is a time filled with warm welcomes, laughter with friends and family and plenty of eating and drinking with an optimistic view of the following New Year.

Two classic symptoms of depression are a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and social withdrawal and when feeling depressed finding the motivation to get involved in the festivities and force a smile can be difficult if not impossible for some. For those with depression in the winter who have few friends or family Christmas day is often spent alone and isolated and consumed with feelings of loneliness, worthlessness and overwhelming sadness with thoughts such as 'the world would be better of without me' and 'life isn't worth living'.

Help and Treatment for Winter Depression:

For those with seasonal affected depression using a light box for a few hours a day has for many been highly effective in eliminating or at least reducing their symptoms of depression. Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed for those with seasonal affected depression as they are for those with depression in general.

These do however take a number of weeks to take effect and for some the side-effects from medication is intolerable and discontinued. For those that can not tolerate the side-effects from prescription antidepressants or for those with mild to moderate symptoms of depression using natural remedies for treating depression may be effective in brightening their mood.

For those that do not suffer from depression but feel concerned about someone who does then the best advice is to show them you care, invite them around for a Christmas meal and drink. If the offer is declined make the effort to phone them Christmas day and remake the offer and remind them you care. Making the offer whether accepted of declined can make all the difference.

Debt Consolidation Quote - Important Things to Know

Economists agree that the current recession is deeper and seems more entrenched than almost any economic downturn since the Great Depression. The recession's recovery not only has been slow, there are disagreements that any recovery is in progress. The toll on American residents and their finances has been severe, leading many to struggle for ways to manage debts that have grown bigger and bigger. Many are getting a debt consolidation quote as a possible solution. Various lending groups provide these kinds of debt consolidation loans. The federal government is deep in red ink and individual citizens are swimming in debt due to the inflated interest on many credit cards, borrowing to survive during periods of unemployment and the money spent on education to try and change career paths. Bankruptcy is one option but not always the best one and the federal bankruptcy laws were tightened in recent years. Debt consolidation may allow struggling Americans to weather the current economic crisis.

Advantages of Consolidation

Fortunately, many individuals struggling with debt are not really as bad off as they think. Their debts are potentially very manageable with just a little knowledge and advice from the right sources. Many individuals continue the same monthly bill-juggling struggle without realizing all their options, or make the wrong choices based on lack of information. One important piece of misinformation is the assumption that debt management agencies charge a fortune for their services, just adding to the debt pile without doing much to solve it. In fact, most debt management companies charge no fee for quotes and information on their debt management plans. Obtaining these quotes is quite simple-a debt consolidation online quote is just a few computer clicks away. No appointments or travel needed and the information is usually available online immediately, providing detailed information regarding programs that can start relieving your debt burden. Starting out online is also a smart move, because you can shop various companies and compare their debt management plans. You can get a good idea of what the costs and potential truly are. With some research you will find options and ideas you had not imagined before.

These debt consolidation quotes can be the first step in not only getting payments and debts in order, but can start the important task of repairing your credit rating and improving your credit worthiness. Using the right credit-debt consolidation loan to avoid bankruptcy will prevent additional adverse reports from appearing on your credit history report. This will help enormously when your finances are finally back under control. You can eventually have good credit and can make other financial moves, like replacing your rent payment with a tax-deductible mortgage payment.

Finding a Debt Consolidation Quote

The depth and breadth of the debt crisis for so many Americans has generated a growth in the number of different entities offering debt consolidation loan quotes or debt management plans. There are lenders who specialize in these loans but many other organizations have stepped in to try and help some of the desperate people they serve, such as religious organizations or other groups you may belong to. Counselors from these groups can help you learn what you are doing wrong, and show how just some smart moves can suddenly make that mountain of debt a very scalable hill. You will better understand your situation--debts versus income--and make any tough decisions necessary to ensure they balance. They can also help you find many ways to save money you might not have been aware of.

Selecting the Best Quote and Plan

There are as many debt consolidation plans as there are companies. There are varied plans offered by each company, providing a wide selection of plans to choose from. This selection can be bewildering, but if you look carefully and consider a few important features of each plan you can choose the right one for you.

Interest Rate Options

The only debt consolidation loan or plan worth considering is one that significantly reduces the interest rate currently being charged on debts. Unless the interest rate is lower, reducing payments and paying off debts faster are problematic. You also need to find out not only exactly what the debt consolidation payment will be but the length of the payment terms--the monthly payment times the number of payments gives a true picture of the total amount of debt being created in the consolidation loan. The company may have unexpected fees that impact the total amount of the debt, the size of the payment or the length of the repayment period.

One of the greatest advantages of using debt consolidation quote providers is their experience dealing with your creditors. Many debtors do not realize how valuable consolidation quote companies can be when dealing with creditors. They usually have developed working relationships with lenders and can help with getting them to agree to lower interest rates, so that the debt can be paid off more quickly at a lower monthly payment.

One good way to judge the professionalism and efficiency of a company is how they treat you as a potential customer. If they provide top-notch customer service, are courteous and prompt in all their dealings, and provide solid answers to your questions, then that probably is how they run their entire operation.

Feeling Uninterested in Your Life - It May Be the Depression Talking

Depression is a mental state that can impact your body mood and thoughts. Left to its own, depression can work its way into every aspect of your life. Make no mistake, a depressive disorder is not something to take lightly or ignore. It's real, and although sometimes difficult to accurately diagnose, is a condition that needs to be treated.

Unlike many illnesses, depression simply cannot be treated by telling someone to buck up and pull themselves together. Nor can depression be treated with medication alone. Depression can interfere with almost every aspect of your life, including work, family relationships, sleeping, eating, hobbies, and anything else that at one time was found enjoyable.

Depression Symptoms

While not a comprehensive list of symptoms, the following are very common with the illness.

1. An Almost Unrelenting Feeling of Sadness or Emptiness

2. Feelings of Hopelessness and a General Pessimistic Outlook

3. Loss of Interest in Once Enjoyed Activities and Hobbies

4. Fatigue or Constant State of Being Tired

5. Restlessness and Irritability

While women are typically diagnosed with depression at a two to one ratio to men, this probably doesn't tell the whole story. Men are much more willing to think they can "tough it out" especially when dealing with an emotional illness such as depression. Men also exhibit additional symptoms that may suggest depression.

These symptoms may include out of character anger and frustration or violent behavior, isolation from family and friends along with alcohol or substance abuse. The Mayo Clinic has suggested that job stress is a common cause of male depression.

Here are a few of the most common issues with today's work environment

1. Unreasonable Demands

2. Supervisor Conflicts

3. Lack of Job Security

4. Excessive over Time

5. Wages Not Commensurate with the Level of Responsibility

6. Lack of Control over Deliverables While Continuing to Be Responsible for Them

Any or all can make someone susceptible to depression. Although these work related difficulties have been identified as a potential cause for male depression, almost anyone working under these type of conditions, male or female, would naturally be affected by them.

Treatment for depression is normally twofold with medication and psychotherapy. By altering your perception of a given situation it's sometimes possible to move beyond the depressive state. The worst possible thing anyone suffering from depression can do is to ignore the situation and go untreated. If you've been suffering with depression and have had thoughts of suicide, it's absolutely critical that you visit your health care professional immediately.

Low Thyroid - A Common Reason For Overweight, Depression and CFS Or ME

Your thyroid is a gland situated in the front of your neck. The hormones (chemical messengers) that it produces affect a great number of your body processes and other glands. So if your thyroid becomes underactive (medical name hypothyroidism), your whole body is thrown off balance.

Official estimates of hypothyroidism in Western populations vary from two to seven per cent, although some experts believe it is significantly under-diagnosed, and that the true percentage is probably as high as thirty per cent. Whatever the case, hypothyroidism appears to be increasing and this is starting to attract the attention of researchers, clinicians and government health departments as an emerging public health problem.

So how do you tell if you might have an underactive thyroid? Lack of energy, weight gain, dry, pale skin, feeling cold all the time and depression are the most well known symptoms. But low thyroid can cause a surprisingly wide variety of symptoms, which can be totally different from individual to individual. Many of the symptoms are also symptoms of other conditions. For these reasons, and because physicians are generally unaware that hypothyroidism is so common, hypothyroidism is a frequently missed diagnosis.

An example of this is the person who complains of putting on weight unexpectedly or being unable to lose weight despite a modest calorie intake. Such a person is almost automatically assumed to be overeating and told to reduce calorie intake. Even if they ask whether it could be their thyroid, they are unlikely to be tested.

Or take depression. What thyroid expert Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield says is quite shocking: "Any patient suffering from depression should be routinely assessed for hypothyroidism. There should be no exceptions; half to one third will be found to be hypothyroid, and as a result of treatment, their depression will begin to lift in weeks." How many people are being treated for depression with medications or psychiatric counseling, when in actual fact they just need their thyroid fixed?

Yet another example is high cholesterol. Studies show that more than ten per cent of people with high cholesterol have hypothyroidism, but unfortunately most people with high cholesterol are not tested for this. That's a lot of people who are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs needlessly.

CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or ME is another condition which experts believe is in many cases actually misdiagnosed hypothyroidism. Low fertility and repeated miscarriages is another. Other problems that can be caused by hypothyroidism include:

  • brittle nails, hair loss, boils and spots, eczema and psoriasis, hoarse voice, slow speech

  • constipation and haemorrhoids, painful irregular periods

  • muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain and stiffness, shooting pains in hands and feet, carpal tunnel syndrome

  • gallstones, visual disturbances, breathlessness, halitosis, candida (intestinal yeast overgrowth)

  • impotence, loss of libido, bladder irritation and frequency

  • deafness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), ankle swelling, palpitations, anxiety and panic attacks

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), poor memory, poor concentration and slow thinking

Even if hypothyroidism is considered as a possible diagnosis by the physician, the problem doesn't end there. Thyroid tests fail to pick up many cases - the current 'normal' ranges for thyroid test results are quite wide, and thought by many thyroid experts to be wrong. Sanford Siegal, DO, MD, a US thyroid specialist, believes that about ten per cent of the population is hypothyroid but that maybe only half test positive with the blood tests that are currently used.

Dr Siegal's experience with patients who test negative but have clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism is that there is often marked improvement when thyroid supplementation is given. His experience has led him to believe that around a quarter of those who have difficulty in losing weight fall into this category and benefit from thyroid treatment.

The test at the centre of the thyroid testing controversy is the TSH. This test measures the amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone your pituitary gland releases. If it is high, it means your thyroid hormone production is low and the pituitary is sending repeated chemical signals to try to get your thyroid to produce more thyroxine. So a high TSH means you are low thyroid.

In the TSH test, the upper limit of 'normal' may be given as anything from 3 µU/ml to 6 µU/ml depending on which country you live in and which lab has done the test. However, Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield, in common with many other thyroid experts, regards even the recently revised limit in the US for 'normal' TSH levels of 3.0 µU/ml as too high. His experience with patients has led him to believe that a level of 2.0 µU/ml should arouse suspicion, and anything over 2.5 µU/ml should be diagnostic and therefore treated as hypothyroidism.

So if you have some of the symptoms in the list above, and particularly if you are having difficulty in losing weight, ask your physician to test you for low thyroid. Be aware of the issues surrounding current methods of testing and make sure you get copies of the actual test results so that you can compare them with the reference ranges used by those thyroid specialists who believe the current 'normal' ranges are too wide.

Similarly, if you have been tested in the past and told the results were normal, get tested again and ask for the actual values. If the TSH is above 2.5 µU/ml, bring the new ranges to your physician's attention and ask for a trial of thyroid hormone replacement.

Unfortunately, agreement of your physician to treat you for hypothyroidism is not the end of the story. There is also controversy over medication and dosage. The 'alternative' thyroid experts feel that patients are not best served by the usual treatment (consisting of replacement of thyroxine - called T4 for short). This is not the only hormone that a healthy thyroid secretes, and they believe that many hypothyroid patients fail to achieve 100 per cent improvement without the other hormones. The reluctance to prescribe better alternatives appears to be down to a mixture of historical practice, mainstream doctors' reliance on the drug companies who make the synthetic T4 preparations for information about treatment options, and a lack of research interest in the subject.

Dosage is a further area of controversy. Complex feedback loops that govern the workings of your thyroid mean that it is actually possible to make a patient worse by giving too small a dose of thyroxine. Many physicians are also constrained in their prescribing by blood test results and the official reference ranges for 'normal', rather than by their patient's clinical symptoms. Some hypothyroid patients fail to improve until their TSH falls to 0.3 or lower, but most mainstream physicians are reluctant to let it drop to even to that level.

It seems therefore that hypothyroids have had a raw deal for a long time. Happily, word is starting to spread amongst thyroid patients that a better quality of life is possible, and patients are starting to become indignant and vociferous in their demands for better diagnosis and better treatment. An indication of this is the recent proliferation of thyroid patients' websites, providing information about alternative treatments and helping fellow patients to locate physicians experienced in using them. Helpful sites include 'Stop the Thyroid Madness' and 'Thyroid Patient Advocacy'.

Although the cause of the increase in hypothyroidism is unknown, there is an interesting theory. This relates to iodine, which is critical for a healthy thyroid. Hypothyroidism is widespread in upland areas of the world which are far from the sea where food is grown on iodine-poor soils. Many countries have a national salt iodization program to combat this problem. Ironically, this may be having the opposite effect in some cases. The trouble is that too much iodine is just as harmful to the thyroid as too little. And it is possible that people who consume a lot of fast food, canned or prepackaged foods or eat in restaurants regularly could easily be consuming between 8 and 10 grams of iodized salt per day. This would provide more than four times the recommended daily allowance of iodine. Could this be a contributing factor to the increasing rate of hypothyroidism in Western populations, and in turn, to the increasing rates of obesity?

More information on how undiagnosed or undertreated low thyroid may make losing weight difficult can be found in the e-book "Why Can't I Lose Weight - The Real Reasons Diets Fail And What To Do About It".

Copyright and 2007

Achieve Happiness in 30 Days

How to be happy everyday? This is one of the prevalent questions before the adults and children these days. This article has some creative suggestions on how to achieve happiness and enjoy your life to the fullest. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You have to work towards achieving it. But most of us pass it over for a brownie, or is happiness the real reason to live?

Often while just reflecting we think that we are unhappy with life. Some part of a riddle is missing in our life that makes our life imperfect. And is life meant to be complete, in every aspect? Happiness is right around the corner. All you need to do is open the door and let it in. ?Isn't happiness a choice? ?'How to be happy all the time' is a question whose answer I have been seeking for a long time. Now that I have the answer to my question, I just cannot resist sharing it with the whole world.

Don't let anything get you down. Try to enjoy every moment of your life! Here are 30 tips that will each give you reason to grin and help increase your overall happiness.

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Keep a consistent sleep schedule and get 7-8 hours each night for more energy and less moodiness.

  2. Start a hobby. People who engage in captivating activities are more satisfied with life. Lose yourself (and your worries) by sewing, writing, cooking or dancing.

  3. Cultivate friendships. The happiest people spend the least time alone. Attend social gatherings, host a party, and call your close friends to catch up as often as possible.

  4. Develop your spirituality. Research shows that people who are spiritual tend to be both happier and healthier than those who are not. Consider meditation, spiritual readings, prayer or other religious practices.

  5. Take action. If you don't like your job? or other life circumstances, make a plan and take charge. You create of your own reality, and you can change your life if you're unhappy. Start today!

  6. Find meaningful work. The nature of your job isn't as important as how you approach it. A positive attitude and a focus on the meaning behind your work make it more rewarding.

  7. Smile! Grinning, even if you don't feel happy, releases serotonin in the brain, instantly lifts your mood and makes you feel better. Plus, smiling people are viewed as sincere, attractive, and sociable.

  8. Make time for yourself. Pursuing personal growth is just as important as spending time with others. Pencil in some "me" time, even if it's just a few minutes each day. Savor every bite. Eat

  9. Savor every bite. Eat in a calm environment and use all of your senses to explore the texture, smell, appearance and flavor of your food. You'll be more satisfied after every meal. ?

  10. Simplify your life. Unburden yourself of possessions that lock you in the "rat race" of earning more money to pay for more things you don't really need. Spend time and resources on things that add real meaning to your life.

  11. Start a journal. Use it to record positive experiences and things you are thankful for. Read your own words during times when you feel down to remember how fortunate you truly are.

  12. Eat chocolate! Dark chocolate is healthy in moderation, but it can also increase well-being and boost your mood. Savor a small piece to satisfy that craving.

  13. Be optimistic. A positive outlook is associated with better health, a longer life, and greater joy. When you look to the bright side and believe people are good, you directly increase your own happiness.

  14. Exercise regularly. Physical activity produces "feel good chemicals" (endorphins) in the brain, which promote satisfaction and well-being. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, most days of the week.

  15. Don't compare yourself to others. Happy people judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have. Keep up with yourself-not others.

  16. Play with your pet. Simply petting an animal can decrease anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. So give your pet a little extra attention and you'll increase your own calmness and pleasure.

  17. Forgive and forget. Refusing to forgive fosters anger and resentment, which makes your own life miserable. Let go and put your energy into something positive so that you can be happier.

  18. Help others. Sharing your time or talents with the less fortunate can help you appreciate how much you truly have and feel better about your circumstances.

  19. Beat stress. Life's difficulties can take a toll on your mood. But stress busters like exercising, talking to a friend, and journaling can help clear your head and calm you down.

  20. Get some sun. Sunlight improves your mood and can help prevent the onset of seasonal depression. Don't forget the Sun Tan Lotion!

  21. Maintain your health. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to be happy. Eating right, exercising, getting preventive care, and reducing your stress level can all enhance health and happiness.

  22. Spend time outside. Getting closer to nature can help you feel more connected to the world at large. Spend time outside today walking, biking, picnicking, or raking, or planting a tree.

  23. Just say no. If you're already overworked and overscheduled, don't take on more tasks in order to please others. You have to remember to please yourself too.

  24. Create a mantra. Does a particular word, phrase or quote make you feel better? Make it your mantra. Write it, think it, and repeat it any time you need a little perspective or a pickme-up.

  25. Connect with your family. Make time for your loved ones, partner and children each day. Reminisce, celebrate, and just have fun together! Enrich your life with family memories for greater purpose and satisfaction.

  26. Do your best. Your accomplishments are important and deserve recognition, so be proud of a job well done. Mastering skills and meeting goals can increase your own selfesteem and self-worth. ?

  27. Grow a garden. Watching plants grow and thrive under you care is a great experience! Dig in with ?cheer, knowing you're beating stress, becoming more active, and surrounding your home with beauty.

  28. Make a donation. Clear the clutter in your home and give all those "extras" you don't use to someone who needs them. By downsizing, organizing and giving, you'll help yourself and others at the same time.

  29. Laugh out loud. Visit a comedy club or watch a funny show. Laughing makes you feel good, so make time for fun and humor every day.

  30. Lastly ask for help-if you need it. If you feel dejected most of the time, talk to a therapist, career counselor, or spiritual advisor to help you find what makes you happy.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Are Poems About Death Actually Poems About Life? Heaven Is Like a Rainbow

When a loved one dies, it seems like the world is about to end. It doesn't matter if that person is a parent, a spouse, a child, or a close friend - the grief of your loved one's sudden departure hits you like a ton of bricks.

Death seems so final. Is there any way to recover your peace of mind, without falling into a dark pit of depression and sadness?

Yes. You and the ones close to you can have peace of mind. That's when the power of sympathy messages becomes the most important.

The Power of Sympathy Messages

Many sympathy messages are wrapped up in poems about death. Poems about death that are inspirational poems can help the grieving process during funerals and dealing with loss of a loved one. You can go beyond saying, "My condolences" to express your sympathy at this difficult time.

At this difficult time, give angel poems, grief poems, condolence messages, and sympathy messages that provide grief support to loved ones who are coping with death.

How to Transform Coping with Death

Coping with death first happens at a funeral. If you are involved with planning the funeral services, make time to find sympathy poems that offer a hopeful message. Poems about life after death and heaven help ease the grieving process.

Why do these poems ease the grieving process? You can ease a person's grief by providing the opposite, words of comfort and words of hope. Funeral readings with these poems can help all those who came to share their love and support.

But what about after the funeral? Does grief and loss linger?

The truth is: grief and loss don't disappear overnight. People miss their loved ones. Their loved ones are no longer physically there. Only their pictures, letters, and personal possessions remain. How do you share your words of condolence as a compassionate friend?

Poems about death that turn into poems about life can reinforce your words of condolence. A letter of sympathy, sympathy quotes and memorial poems can be shared weeks, months and years after a loved one has died. Many people want to be assured their loved ones are still alive, at peace and happy.

What You Can Do

Yes, you can do something to help. This is when you can help a lot. If you or a friend is bereaved, words of comfort, added to poems about life and heaven, can help them more than you can imagine. Having a special poem, with a message and picture of hope, is a dear treasure that can dispel depression and sadness.

What better thing can you do to comfort yourself or a grieving friend, that to express your words of comfort with a poem about life when death happens.

Ways to Treat Depression - Helping Yourself Get Over With Depression

Prescription antidepressants and tranquilizers are usually the first line of treatment for depression. But for some experts, these drugs should be used only as a last resort to treat this psychiatric disorder. The drawbacks of these drugs are their side effects such as anxiety, sleeplessness, weight gain and aggressive behavior. Though they are effective in some cases, they are sometimes not enough to relieve all the symptoms associated with depression like fatigue and physical pain.

The natural ways to treat depression are much cheaper than prescription drugs and are also considered to be effective. These include exercise, meditation, sleep, NLP and hypnosis as well as having a balanced diet.

 Exercise is one of the good ways to treat depression because it acts as a mood booster and is believed to be better than prescription medications in preventing the recurrence of mild to moderate depression.

Meditation is beneficial in treating depression by controlling negative thinking like failure and worthlessness. Getting enough sleep at night is also good to avoid a depressed mood which is commonly associated with sleeplessness. Diet is about eating healthy foods especially those that help produce serotonin like oats, bananas and whole wheat. Other foods that are good for those with depression are foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and tuna and folic acid like beans and peas.

Yoga and acupuncture are also some of the other alternative ways to treat depression. Yoga helps alleviate the symptoms of depression because it quiets the mind and gets you into focus. The old practice of acupuncture on the other hand, does not only restore your body's emotional balance but also lessens the physical pain associated with depression.

These natural ways to treat depression are more preferred by many over prescription drugs because antidepressants and sleeping tablets can be addictive and may result to additional problems. But if the patient is already taking prescription antidepressants, you have to check with your physician if any of these alternative treatments will be good for your case.

When it comes to natural supplements, the herb St. John's wort is also considered effective in managing symptoms of depression. Passion Flower is another remedy that helps dispel depressed feelings and supports a positive mental behavior.

Since stress helps trigger depression, you should also learn to manage stress effectively and avoid taking illegal drugs or those that were not prescribed by your doctor to avoid substance abuse.

Psychotherapy is another option in treating depression. It is recommended to help relieve the symptoms of depression like anger or despair to regain self-control and sense of happiness. NLP and hypnosis have also been used in conquering depression and the many psychological factors and symptoms that comes with it.

In some cases, supportive care that involves counseling sessions with your doctor is also as helpful as prescription antidepressants. It would also help a lot if you get support from family as well as from other people having this disorder. Other treatment being considered is the combination of behavioral, cognitive and interpersonal therapy.

Aside from these ways to treat depression, there is also the electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock, which uses electric current in stimulating nerve cells. However, this procedure is still being controversial considering the long term and adverse effects it can give to the sufferer.

Splenda - The Medical Research & a Self-Test to See If You Have a Splenda Sensitivity

Splenda is a zero calorie sugar alternative in those little yellow packets that's been manufactured since the 1990s. Splenda is made from a chemical process that is created from the chlorination of normal sugar. Splenda is a sugar that has been chemically adapted. Splenda has enjoyed a great rise in popularity, and many dieters and diabetics find it has less of an aftertaste than any other artificial sweetener.

Between 2000 and 2004, the number of US households using Splenda jumped from 3 to 20 percent. Splenda sales surpassed $177 million in a recent year during which there were only $62 million in sales for the aspartame-based sweetener Equal and $52 million in sales for the saccharin-based Sweet 'N Low.

The company that makes Splenda, McNeil Nutritionals, says that Splenda has endured some of the most demanding food trials on record for any food additive. McNeil says that over 100 such studies have been conducted on Splenda. Most of these studies have involved animals, which throws into doubt the safety report for humans.

At issue in the concern over the safety of Splenda is it's possible toxicity in the body. Our foods today are laden with artificial ingredients and chemical enhancers. Toxicity in the body leads to disease, illness, premature aging, weight gain, malnutrition, and even mental health problems. Splenda is, indeed, an artificial product. The degree to which it acts as a toxin or poison in one's body has not yet been determined. The likely truth is that it produces some amount of toxicity, the severity of which will vary from person to person. The accumulation of toxins in the body is a very real part of life on planet earth in the 21st century. Most every person would benefit from learning about what is and is not toxic to the body and make an effort to reduce or eliminate your expposure to toxins and periodically do a body cleanse detox program.

Is Splenda REALLY Sugar?

The chemical name of the Splenda molecule is sucralose. While sucralose starts off as a sugar molecule, it is the process by which it's made that raises concern. Sucralose is a purely synthetic chemical that is produced in a five-step patented process. During this process, three chlorine molecules are added to a simple sugar molecule. The initial, natural sugar molecule is a disaccharide made up of two single sugars bound together; fructose and glucose.

The chemical process to make sucralose modifies the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is converted into a molecule that does not normally occur in nature. Because this artificial molecule is not naturally occurring, the body does not know how to process it. According to the manufacturers of Splenda, this is the very reason why Splenda is calorie neutral -- it is not metabolized or digested in the body. Splenda simply makes its way through the digestive track without depositing any calories.

This is deceptive, however, as Splenda's zero calorie status would only apply if the body did have the capacity to metabolize it. More troubling, the fact that Splenda is an artificial ingredient evokes questions about its safety, especially if used in unsparing amounts over a long period of time. There is the additional problem of insulin reaction. While research reports are still inconclusive, the medical community widely speculates that Splenda triggers an increase in insulin levels, which, whether or not calories are present, will tell the body to hold on to fat reserves or even store more fat.

One research finding nullifies the notion that Splenda is not absorbed by the body. In this study (conducted on humans), one in eight participants did not eliminate any sucralose after three days of ingesting Splenda. Another study (conducted on animals) found that 15% of ingested sucralose is absorbed into the digestive system and is thenstored in the body.

Splenda Under the Microscope

Nutritional and medical reseachers have studied Splenda and make these observations:

  • Splenda is a chlorocarbon, which has a history of producing organ impairment, genetic mutation and reproductive problems.

  • Splenda can impair the thymus gland, which plays an essential role in healthy immune system function.

  • Splenda can create swelling of the liver and kidney stones or calcification of the kidneys.

  • The studies promoted by the makers Splenda only report cherry-picked results and do not show an accurate picture of the actual health impact of Splenda.

  • The chlorine that is used in the process of producing Splenda is a carcinogen, according to the OSHA Hazardous Waste Handbook.

  • Sucralose is not as dangerous as Aspartame. If you had to choose between the two, choose Splenda. Saccharin is the only artificial sweetener that is in any way acceptable. But it is best to use a natural form of sweetener.

  • The extra sweetness of sucralose (Splenda is rumored as being 600 times sweeter than sugar) only creates greater addiction to the taste of sweetness.

  • Unless digestion is hampered, any food or substance you ingest will be absorbed. If we feed the body a wholly indigestible material (such as margarine), it will travel through the body undigested, if it doesn't get bound in the gall bladder. If Splenda is really indigestible, that is a bigger problem than the matter of assimilation.

  • The only benefit to using Splenda is the earnings the manufacturer gains.

Splenda Reaction Symptoms

  • Skin welts, blisters or other irritation

  • Rash

  • Allergic response

  • Itching

  • Swelling

  • Bloating

  • Diarrhea

  • Headache

  • Tremors

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Depression

  • Forgetfulness

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Lack of focus

  • Lightheadedness

  • Feelings of panic

How to Detect if Splenda is Harming You

The best way to determine if sucralose is impacting your health is to perform this simple test. First, eliminate sucralose completely from your diet for a period of two weeks (this goes for all other artificial sweeteners). After two weeks, eat three to five servings of Splenda for up to three days. Do not take any other variety of artificial sweetener during this time. Observe very carefully how your body responds. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, there is reason to believe that you have a sucralose intolerance. If you have strong reactions, especially on day one, this is a very strong sign that Splenda has an adverse effect on your body. You will do well to avoid Splenda completely, and you will benefit from a body detox program. This self-test can be done with any of the artificial sweeteners.

Regardless of any Splenda reaction you may experience, it is a good idea to sweeten your foods with healthy, natural sweeteners. There are many healthy sweeteners to chose from, some you may never have heard of, and most of which will not produce toxicity or digestive side effects for you.

Grief Into Depression - 'Why Can't Mom Just Snap Out of It'?

Last year, I received a call from Sharon, the adult daughter of a potential client, Bette. Her father, Burt, had passed away a little over a year ago from an extended battle with cancer and Bette had been his primary caregiver. Until his passing, Bette was mobile, energetic and rarely sick. Once Burt passed away, Bette became a 'different person' rarely leaving the house. Her sunny, upbeat disposition had turned into an apathetic approach to everything and everyone in her life.

Sharon shared that she admired her mother more than anyone she had ever met for being able to 'handle anything'. She had always met life's challenges with strength and optimism, being able to formulate a plan to overcome any obstacle put in her way. Now, she was little more than a shadow of her former self and unable to properly maintain the house, herself or any of her relationships. Sharon was concerned because she was unable to 'snap out of it' and Bette was beginning to decline physically.

Because Sharon's life was so hectic, she felt terrible that she could only get over to her mother's house a couple of times a week, and when she got there she was overwhelmed with what needed to be done, grocery shopping, cleaning out the fridge, making sure there was easily accessible meals to be prepared and questioning whether she was taking her medications as prescribed, etc. The house itself was also being neglected severely, with the bare minimum being done to keep things going.

While both Sharon and Bette would benefit from a home care worker, there were deeper issues that needed to be addressed. Bette had been the primary caregiver to her husband of 60+ years as he lost the battle with cancer. She had focused all of her energy and purpose into his care for several years. When he passed away, Bette faced a dual life transition. She had lost her life status as a caregiver and she was no longer Burt's wife of 60+ years. With his death she was faced with excruciating loneliness and loss of purpose. Her family had been there for her right after his death to help but had assumed that she was adjusting well and would be able to handle things. A year later, it was clear that what may have started out as a normal bereavement and grief period had extended beyond a healthy timeframe. At this time, she felt dependent on her family for care and this new dependence pushed her even deeper.

It is not uncommon for the 'strong and capable' family member in this situation to experience depression due to their history of being 'strong and capable'. Often, those around them and they themselves have the expectation that after a 'normal' period of time, they will 'pull themselves up by their boot straps', as they always have. Paradoxically, this is the person that is least likely to ask for help may be suffering silently. It is as if they are unable to see themselves as needing any help or being unable to ask for it. Additionally, physicians tend to overlook signs of depression with seniors and many assume that depression is a normal part of loss. Old assumptions and patterns are tough to overcome.

After speaking with Sharon, I advised her to make an appointment immediately with Bette's physician regarding her decline. She also had to have a gentle talk with her mother about the possibility of being able to see a brighter world through possible interventions of medication and counseling.

We did provide a caregiver for Bette for about 4 months. In the meantime, Bette's doctor found the right medications and she participated in support groups. After a while, Bette turned the corner and was increasingly able to care for herself and her home again. She now does her own grocery shopping enjoys making her meal and even invites others, primarily from her support group, over for meals. Now, when her family visits, they are able to enjoy her company and provide the companionship that only family can provide. They no longer are in the role of caregiver, which is only helping to restore Bette back to her old self.

Every bereavement experience is unique, but if you have a loved one that is not improving after about two months, a visit to their physician may be in order in addition to grief counseling. Counseling and/or medications can make the fog of depression lift, allowing them to slowly begin to feel pleasure and purpose again, the two reasons we ALL need to lead a satisfying life.

Eat Healthy Foods To Combat Depression

One of the most important things to do while suffering from depression is to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy diet. When you eat junk food, you suffer from sluggishness and other ill effects. These are not problems that are only existent for depression sufferers. However, depression sufferers will find that these are symptoms that will exacerbate your depression, instead of making it better.

A key element to fighting depression is maintaining a constant energy level. If you start to drift lower in energy, you will find it even harder to get out of bed, even harder to make a conscious effort to fight off the symptoms and effects of depression. Diets come and go but balanced nutrition changes rarely. The best way to make sure that you are eating properly is to consult with a nutritionist.

If, however, you are not ready to take that step, then there are a few things to keep in mind. Going back to what you were most likely told as a child, start by eating your vegetables. At dinner, try to eat about half a plate of vegetables, along with your meal. A starch at dinner, such as potatoes, bread or rice is less important than once emphasized. You should plan your meal to include more vegetables and meat.

Breakfast and lunch should include vegetables and carbohydrates, as these will give you energy for the rest of your day. The low-carb/no-carb diets that are all the rage currently are not helpful because they unbalance the diet. Fruits should also be a major part of any nutritional plan. The suggestion has been floated that meals should include a rainbow of colors. Bananas, chicken, blueberries, lettuce and carrots. All of these foods, in concert, will get you the energy that you need to fight your symptoms.

Finding The Positive Effects of Laughter in Your Life

Let's talk about the positive effects of laughter. It is amazing how much a baby can laugh. Some of the most popular YouTube video's are of babies and children laughing. As children we laugh much more than adults. Unfortunately, as adults we don't laugh as much. Did we lose that ability or do we simply start taking life to seriously?

I am sure studies have been done on laughter. I did find a comment that children laugh 400 times daily compare to an adult only laughing 15 times. I can see how some bosses would lower an adults laughing.

Laughter is important for both mental and physical health.

Norman Cousins proved this to the world back in the 1960's.
After becoming ill Mr Cousins read a book called: The Stress of Life. He concluded that since negative emotions were bad for your health, then positive emotions would be good for his health.

Mr Cousins hired a nurse to read him funny stories. He also had her play funny movies from the Marx brothers and Laurel and Hardy. The positive effects of laughter started to work for him. He found that 10 minutes of hearty belly laughs could give him 2 hours of pain free sleep.

Soon he was off his painkillers, sleeping pills and medicines.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a 1989 article entitled "Laugh If This Is a Joke." which agreed that laughter therapy could improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Laughter therapy can give relief or improvement of the symptoms of disease.

None of this is new except to many of us. It was recorded in Proverbs 17:22, written thousands of years ago when it was stated "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

A natural stress reliever, laughter is a healthy form of exercise for the body and the soul.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes on laughter:

"Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused." -- Unknown

"A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heartburn?" -- Bob Hope

"Laughter is higher than all pain." -- Elbert G. Hubbard

Take these steps towards using and cultivating the power of laughter in your life.

o Don't take a job where people aren't having fun.

Make it a point to have fun at work and make work fun for others.

o Hang out with silly kids for a while to see if you can catch it.

o Don't take yourself too seriously, no one else is.

o Make your spouse and children laugh and laugh along with them.

o Brighten another's day with a clean funny joke.

Go ahead and laugh from deep in the belly, it's fun.

o Tell a funny story on yourself.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Helping Your Teen To Overcome Depression

Statistics on teenagers suffering from depression and other mental ailments are alarming. Various studies suggest that 1 in 4 teens suffer from some sort of mental illness. Teenage mental illness, to include depression, can have dire consequences. Teenage suicide is on the rise. It is the third leading cause of death in the age bracket of 15 to 24 years. Dealing with depression in teens is an important step in reducing these numbers in our society.

Many things can lead to depression. A teenager is just learning how to handle the pressures and emotions of an adult. Only 30% of teens suffering seek help. The others just suffer through and do their best to get through. Adults have difficulty dealing with many things, asking a teenager to deal with it on their own, is not be the best option.

Learning the signs of depression for our youth can be difficult. Depressed teenagers are often just seen as being a teen. Signs of irritability, fatigue, withdrawal and changes of eating and sleeping habits, are seen as normal signs of growing up and hormone surges. They are also signs of depression. Learning the difference in your teen's behavior may be key in getting them the help that they need.

Learning to talk to your teen may be your best investment in their mental health. Parents and adults in a teen's life struggle with this aspect. They often want to see the teen as still a child where the teen wants to be seen as an adult. Learning to bridge this gap and communicate efficiently may be a daunting task, but can be managed.

An adult should learn to offer support when conversing with a teenager. Let them know you are there for them. Ensure them that you are available to them at any time. Show them that you can listen without being judgmental. Don't try to talk them out of the way that they feel. Show them that you can understand and give them the help that they need to deal with how they are feeling.

Trust your own instincts. If you have a teenager that is showing signs of depression get them help. Trusting your own feelings and emotions may be what sets the teen on the road to better mental health. They may resist getting help at first. Be firm. Let them know you are there for them and willing to work with them, but insist that they find someone they can work with to help them through this difficult time in their life.

Often a teen will find it easier to speak with someone other than a parent. Consider a peer mentor for your teen. These are teens that are trained to work with others. They become a positive influence. Teen mentors can become a confidant and will be there for the teen that may be in trouble otherwise.

Teenage depression is a serious problem, but can be treated. Learn to recognize the symptoms and get help as soon as possible. Turn the teen in your life into a success story instead of a statistic.

Life Quotes to Revolutionize Your Life - Top 10 Ways Quotes Will Improve You

A few well chosen words can completely change your life for the better. Life Quotes are hugely popular today, because people are searching for answers and meaning to modern living. Not only do they bring you the wisdom of the ages and sages, but they can revolutionize your whole perspective on life.

Here are the Top 10 ways that reading Life Quotes will benefit you:

1 - Motivate and Energize - Do you have personal or professional goals you want to reach? Then you need something to inspire you. Life quotations can help awaken the sleeping giant inside and speed you to your destination.

2 - Your Child's True Potential - Inspire your child to reach their true potential by sharing great quotes with them. They can teach skills that make their journey to adulthood smoother and more rewarding.

3 - Relieve Stress - Stress is one of the top killers today. It can seriously damage your mental and physical health. Avoid it, get your priorities right and practise the wisdom of the greatest life sayings.

4 - Improve Conversation - Spice up your communication and conversation skills. Never be lost for words. Sound intelligent and interesting, with a few powerful quotes.

5 - Create a Smile - Become one of the most popular people in your group by bringing a smile to people's faces. Brighten up someone's day with a funny quote from life.

6 - The Meaning of Life - What's life really all about? Insightful quotations can help us understand the true meaning of life, so that we can appreciate and enjoy it all the more.

7 - Improve Grades - If you are a student looking to better your grades, why not consider using some good quotes in your next essay or assignment. It shows good research, and adds impact.

8 - Ease Depression - An inspirational quote a day is a great prescription for beating the blues.

9 - Impress Colleagues - The ability to use a brilliant quote will make you an instant hit with friends, and colleagues at the next office party.

10 - Improve Relationships - When you are away from someone you care about, why not send them a good quote. You can email, text or write it in a letter. They will appreciate you for it.

Depression Victims - Extending a Helping Hand

The most disheartening thing about depression is that it's fairly common and yet many people either don't realize they are affected by it or simply close their eyes and ears from accepting it. Just like the patients, their family members and loved ones also bear the brunt of this mental disorder. Hence it's important all the people around the patient are aware of the dos and don'ts so as to support their precious friend or relative 100% and make their own job as a caregiver more productive.

Coach yourself- study depression, its symptoms and causes: This will help you track the progress and improvement of your friend/relative. Also whenever possible give your feedback to the patient's doctor to help them make a better judgment.

Network with people in similar situations: Communicate with other caregivers or support groups to comprehend things at a wider perspective; this will help you understand your loved one and their symptoms better.

Be patient: The line between over-reacting and firmly dealing with a disgruntled person is very thin, be careful not to step over. Give space to yourself and your ward. Do not hold your pent up emotions against the patient.

Don't suppress: patients affected by this ailment might often say things that sound irrational, do not get impatient or argumentative with them. Be calm and help them understand that it is all going to be fine.

Be at their side: Depressed people are bound to feel worthless and have low self esteem, they often think of themselves as an unnecessary burden. Communicate regularly with them and make them understand that they are as important as anyone else. Give them a shoulder to cry on and you unconditional support.

Protect yourself: Caring for a depressed person can be over-whelming, so you have to be extremely caring towards your self too. Feelings of depression can be contagious in a way, so detach your self from the whole situation once in a while to freshen up your body and mind.

Understand them: It is worthwhile to step into the shoes of the depressed person and understand how they must be feeling. This will help you deal with the frustrating situations more empathetically.

Depressed people often ignore your advice and may not even be able to concentrate on simple chores around the house, do not mistake this with laziness and encourage them.

Even The Successful Get Locked Into Failure

A very successful speaker was about to go on stage and motivate and inspire hundreds of people as he had done hundreds of times before. However, right before hitting the steps, he turned to a colleague and said, "I'd much as hell rather be fishing," as his fading scowl turned into his stock and trade million-dollar smile.

Even the successful can get stuck doing that which they despise. But if you have an open mind, are able to think freely, creatively, and see the numerous matrices that exist around you, then you hopefully won't get locked into failure.

There are many people who are locked into failure. They feel that because they have been following a certain path--with blinders in place, of course--that there is no alternative. They only see what they have been conditioned to see on a limited basis because of a lack of study. Of course, if a person puts enough work into something, over a long time--month, years--then it may be difficult if not impossible to give up on that chosen path. Let me give you an example.

Coming from the world of academia, to a degree I believed briefly that I wanted to obtain my PhD and get a fulltime teaching position at a university. And this with an initial plan twelve years ago to go back to school, obtain my BA and MA, teach six years, and then go at it on my own--which I have done. However, I was briefly enticed with the idea of getting a fulltime job because of the security it would bring my family. This happening, of course, during some financially lean times. I was also enticed because of the belief that I would enjoy the intellectually stimulating environment of the academic world. Fortunately for me, I kept my mind open, free, and clear of any such permanent thoughts.

Even though I was enticed briefly, I realized that personally and economically the path I chose twelve years ago was the right one. First, I am not employable. I considered working for a university fulltime and found it stifling, especially stifling to my plan of aiding a greater number of people through writing independent of any university, institution or academic mindset. I also realized that economically it was not feasible. I could go into depth on both of these issues but the point here is that I was able to keep my head up long enough to see the forest and not just a few trees. I didn't allow my ego or desperate need for money to distract me from keeping to the path I had chosen (believing in and following the wisdom of the intuitive / creative voice), that which in the long run would be most beneficial to me, my family, and all those I could potentially help.

Unfortunately, when one stays on an undesired path, it will eventually creep up on the stroller--five, ten, twenty, thirty years later--creating emotional turmoil and angst, the individual having a difficult time trying to decipher its cause or source because over the many years they have created a dam of lies about the wrong path being the right one, making it difficult if not impossible to break through to the truth. Not that changing paths or careers is ever easy or a road not fraught with failure. But we were never put here to merely live out our time being unchallenged and stifled in personal growth and development. And by not following the needed path, symptoms will appear, such as unexplained anxiety, depression, anger, and so on. I have seen people get thrown onto a particular path not of their choosing and stay on it merely because they had been there a while. They didn't choose to be there. They weren't excited to be there. But because they had spent five, six, seven years on that path, they stayed.

I know of a woman who believes so much in her path, has convinced herself so well that the path she is following is justified, she justifies it by getting excited, even angered when she doesn't see others on her path show the same enthusiasm for the work they share. This may happen to you. You must look honestly at your career and ask yourself whether you are defending or supporting what you have chosen to do.

I know of an entrepreneur who runs a very successful business selling a very good product that provides long-term health solutions who was attempting to get a woman to come on board as a salesperson. However, because she had been on a path for some time--one that consumed a lot of her time, mostly through schooling and training--she couldn't see the great possibilities of fulfilling her dreams by becoming a salesperson for the entrepreneur. If she had become a salesperson and took the training, the position would have allowed her to build a great income and freedom, freedom to do others things she had only dreamed of. But because she believed that if she redirected her life and followed this new path that the thirteen years of following the wrong path (my words) she was on would go to waste. She hadn't chosen the path she was on nor did she particularly enjoy the path she was on, but merely because she couldn't see changing paths because of the time-spent factor she couldn't see the forest for the trees.

My brothers and sisters don't get locked into failure.

You love to do something. Do it. You know that there is something that you would love to do. Do it. At least try it. And as you continue to try those things you see as good possibilities, eventually you will run into that something that works.

From my personal experience, I initially wanted to be a professional athlete when I was in high school. I played basketball, football, and baseball. The sport I spent the most time on was basketball. I played basketball before school; during school; after school. My freshman year I played on the freshman team, the junior varsity, and the senior varsity. I played during the summer at summer camps. I played a lot and often.

In order to become a good shooter, I'd stand at the foul line and shoot one-hundred baskets. If I didn't hit eighty percent I'd start over. I became a very good shot. I loved basketball and couldn't get enough of it. However, by the time I graduated from high school, I realized that I didn't love it enough to continue to pursue that dream. But the practice, success, and team play provided a priceless education and great experience. I changed my mind because I had found a new love: music.

Before and during high school, I had played drums in the fife and drum corps, trumpet and trombone in the high school band, but it wasn't until I turned eighteen that I discovered the guitar and Jimmy Page. I soon applied the same attitude to guitar playing that I had to basketball. I sat and listened to and learned every Led Zeppelin song. I'd spend hours and hours and hours learning chords and leads. I eventually joined a band with a keyboard friend of mine and we began playing gigs and even writing songs. However, I realized that being in a band was only a hobby not a profession for me, that there was something else that I needed to be doing.

I thought that thing was standup comedy, which I pursued for over five years, using the same hard work ethic I had used in learning and playing basketball and guitar. And the experiences, challenges, and growing that I acquired doing so was priceless. But once again, this was not where my genius, my destiny lie.

After performing for four years, I decided to go back to school and work on my writing--my first love or a love that came about the same time as music did. I remember loving to read since a child. Before adolescence I'd grab a good book, climb a tree and read for hours. I was always fascinated by the words and worlds I encountered in books. I began writing at about the age of sixteen--mostly poetry. It was poetry that helped me get through my emotional down time and my more troubled, quiet and introspective years. At the age of twenty-eight, I returned to that world to stay.

It was a long, difficult, winding path that I have followed, but not atypical. There has been many a successful person who has tried and tried and tried again before finally achieving success. Napoleon Hill, author of the famous Think and Grow Rich, spoke of how the majority of successful men didn't become so until they reached their forties and fifties. Abraham Lincoln, a case in point. As I've mentioned previously, he failed at business and politics again and again, until he found success in his late forties.

Very rarely is it ever a straight line or obvious, clean and neat, simple and straight path. If it ever is, just imagine all the neat lessons you'd be missing out on. Thank heavens for the crooked path. However, beware! You may move down a path feeling great, full of purpose, assured by all signs, signals, and feelings of giddiness that this is where you need to be. Don't get too comfortable, for a few years down the road--it may be two, three, five, seven--you may realize something is missing. You get uncomfortable again. So you go off on a tangent. You pursue another dream. You work hard, you fail, you feel frustrated, friends and acquaintances call you a loser, silly and stupid, too dumb for words. But that's OK, for each path you take teaches you something new, something important, something life changing. And that, my friend is why you are here: to change.

Personally, even though I've had forays into the computer field, entertainment, academics, and now business, each field, each move, each day presented me with priceless opportunities to learn: how to deal with difficult people on the job, be responsible, on time, honest, work hard or lose the job / work, make adjustments on the fly, learn, study, write, express myself clearly and thoroughly, come to a greater understanding of the plight of those around me, get it done on my own, self-reliance, accountability, appreciate and respect others, on and on. These are priceless lessons, knowledge, understanding that can not be bought for a price. These are the gems we take with us when we go. These are the lessons that are not taught in school and learned in books. And when the book of life closes, these are the things that people will remember us by. They won't remember our car, our house, our toys, our exotic vacations. They will remember our smile, our gestures, a wink, a nod, an act, word or action of appreciation and kindness. These are the gems that the gem builders are know for and remembered for.

Success is there. It is waiting for you, but life has set up failures, and great they may be, for your benefit, growth and education, for we come here to grow, and to take that growth in for our betterment and, most importantly, for the betterment of others. If we use them correctly, very few of our experiences are wasted but can be used as building blocks at the foundation of a successful, purposeful life. For what do we take with us when we die? Only our thoughts. Hopefully soothing, satisfying thoughts of lessons we've learned about loving and being loved. Find your genius. Give and grow.