This is an article about happiness that I think sometimes being happy is not always always easy as we think.  Life gets busy with family , and work.  We can forget our happiness and just say we’re happy to have others worry about us.    When we should be first; but we get so worried about making others happy and jobs and things that we have to do  . Here are some things you can do to help yourself keep in a good place.

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2017/09/three-simple-ways-to-sustainable-happiness/?utm_source=Psych+Central+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ded4e61208-GEN_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c648d0eafd-ded4e61208-30257077.

Information on suicide

Many of these types of comments come from stigmatizing beliefs around suicide and we can all do our bit to help educate others on how hurtful and judgemental these kinds of comments truly are. Whether for those bereaved by suicide already deep in grief, or for attempt survivors who thankfully remain alive and also those struggling with suicidal thoughts – it is hurtful not helpful.
Getting correct information on suicide is essential. Knowing the signs, what to do, what NOT to do – truly make a difference!
Please read these 4 resources to help get better informed on suicide:
1. Helpguide.org – “How to Help Someone who is Suicidal”: http://www.helpguide.org/…/suicide-prevention-helping-someo…
2. (WARNING: There is nothing graphic included but describes the decline toward suicide which may be triggering for some)
The Suicidal Trance – Alliance of Hope by Richard Heckler http://www.allianceofhope.org/…/richard-heckler-on-the-suic…. You can get an e-book of Waking Up, Alive the book which this excerpt was taken from on their FB page.
3. Suicide.org “Suicide is NOT a Selfish Act – It is an Act of Desperation by Someone in Intense Pain” http://www.suicide.org/suicide-is-not-a-selfish-act.html
4. Speaking of Suicide – 10 Things Not to Say to a Suicidal Person http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/2015/03/03/what-not-to-say/
—————
* Always take any direct threat of suicide or a suicidal content comment seriously. *
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS SUICIDAL – CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE LINKS IMMEDIATELY
CANADA – http://suicideprevention.ca/thinking-…/find-a-crisis-centre/ – select province/territory
U.S. – NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE 1-800-273-8255 (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
WORLDWIDE – http://www.befrienders.org – enter country in search box at top of page
ONLINE SUPPORT: http://www.unsuicide.wikispaces.com/Online+Suicide+Help

Depression is a form of a disability

I know we don’t normally think of depression as a disability but it is.   It is an sickness that effects someone’s life;  sometimes even the will to live.. I think about this;   about disability and depression, it makes sense to me looking at it as a difference but a disability. I have been sad and feeling like I couldn’t be much because of my disability;  the only thing I can do without any help is write with a special keyboard and thinking about any job there is not a lot of jobs that just write,  but I never been so down on myself to where I couldn’t think that something good might come one day,  when you when you are depressed you can’t get out of the sadness.  Depression is more than just feeling sad it is the feeling of sadness and you cannot get out of this is a disability.   Here is some more information about depression and what to look for.

”Depression; Research has consistently shown a strong link between suicide and depression, with 90% of the people who die by suicide having an existing mental illness or substance abuse problem at the time of their death.

What is Depression?

More than just temporary blue mood, the despondency of depression is unrelenting and overwhelming. Some people describe it as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. They can’t escape their unhappiness and despair. However, some people with depression don’t feel depressed at all. Rather than sad, they feel lifeless and empty. In this apathetic state, they are unable to experience pleasure. Even when participating in activities they used to enjoy, they feel as if they’re just “going through the motions.” Depression is often linked with anxiety (link).

Specific symptoms must include five of the following:

Problems with eating
Problems with sleeping
Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
Increased irritability
Feeling very slowed down while at the same time feeling restless or agitated
Feeling very tired or fatigued
Feeling of worthlessness or major guilt
Not being able to concentrate very well, can’t make decisions
Recurrent thoughts of death
Feeling sad or depressed for most of the day for at least two weeks
Facts and Statistics about Depression

1 in 10 American adults—or approximately 21 million people―suffer from a depressive illness each year.

Rates of depression in women are twice as high as they are in men. This is due to hormonal factors. When it comes to symptoms, women are more likely than men to experience pronounced feelings of guilt, sleep excessively, overeat, and gain weight. Women are also more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

Causes of Depression

Early life experiences, life events, genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, lifestyle factors, and certain personality traits all play a part in causing depression. Something that causes depression in one person may have no effect on another.

What helps Depression?   Psychotherapy or talk therapy
Antidepressant medication
Taking a daily vitamin and eating well
Exercising on a regular basis.”

”Risk Factors of Suicide

There are a variety of risk factors that increase a person’s risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Recent research has shown that most suicides are the result of an combination of biological, psychological, socio-cultural and family factors.

Youth or adults who experience the following are at a greater risk for suicide and depression:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or rejection
  • Break up of a romantic relationship OR other major loss such as the loss of income, job, home, self-esteem, social network, etc.
  • Family history of suicide, depression, violence, and/or instability
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Current diagnosis or past diagnosis of an eating disorder
  • Mental health disorders, particularly mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and certain personality disorder diagnoses
  • Disruption of routine as caused by changes in relationships, divorce, moving to a new location, or a new job
  • Death of close friend or family member, especially from suicide
  • Clusters of suicide in a fairly short period of time–these can have a “contagion” influence
  • Problems at school, at work or with the law
  • Fear of authority, peers or group/gang members
  • History of impulsiveness, lack of fear, or aggressive tendencies
  • Stress due to new situations like a new school, new job, new home or new location
  • Chronic illness or pain
  • Sense of isolation or feeling different from other people
  • Living with stigmas associated with help-seeking behavior
  • Facing barriers to effective and affordable care for mental health issues/substance abuse
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Concerns about sexual identity
  • Having access to lethal means

If someone you know experiences one or more of these risk factors, encourage them to speak with a professional (link to mental health resource) to help them cope.  The list of Suicide Warning Signs may help you identify someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, and the How To Help page gives you tips on what you can do.”

Dealing with depression. (https://www.cihan.com.tr/en/depression-healing-symptoms-2071293.htm)

Dealing With Depression

Unhappiness, suddenly finding yourself in tears, feeling not able to do anything. You need to spend energy also low energy… if you have some of these symptoms you might be depressed.

Psychologist Seliha Dolaşır, gives some advices against depression which reduces one’s quality of life and expectations. According to her advises it would be possible to get rid of this inconvenient mood with activities during the day.

Us Institute of Psychiatry in Clinical Psychologist Seliyh gave the following information about the symptoms and cope roads of depression: “Depression is a perpetual unhappiness and also it is a mood disorder that causes loosing curiosity.

Depression can lead to various of emotional and physical problems by one’s way of feeling, thinking and acting. It is not a sign of weakness and depression doesn’t let you go simply it may require mid-long term treatment.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

• Sadness, burst out crying, feelings of emptiness or hopelessness.

• Even in small matters bursts of anger, much frustration or sensitivity.

• The loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities like hobbies or sports.

• sleeping disorders such as sleeping little or sleeping too much.

• Even if for small business lack of energy.

• Changes in appetite; often poor appetite and weight loss, but contrary increased appetite and weight gain in some individuals.

• Anxiety, agitation or restlessness.

• Slow thinking, speaking or body movements.

• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

• Blame yourself for the mistakes that are not your responsibility or focus for past.

• Thinking, lack of concentration, wrong decisions and have trouble remembering daily things.

• Thoughts and attempts of suicide.

• Unexplained back pain or headaches, some physical problems.

TO WARD OFF DEPRESSION

1. Spend more time with your family and dearest friends.

2. Express and give importance to your own feelings and needs, as much as other’s you attend.

3. Do not forget the depression cycle! You can be mostly sleepy and feeling not willing to do any activities. If you sit at home and feed symptoms, you can increase the level of depression. ; In this case you should move more, even if you don’t like much!

4. Don’t look and focus past.

5. Increase the positive feeling expressions in your speeches bur also don’t forget to say negative feelings and thoughts in the right time and proper dosage.

6. In the healing process, your feelings can change time to time, ıt could be in positive-negative directions, take it easy!

7. It is important to spend time with family members, not only in home, also making some outside activities together.

8. Don’t forget those two have same effects; making regular open air walks and antidepressant pills.

9. You should reduce the time you spent in bed, take some responsibilities in order to increase your moving capacity.

10. Be sure to take advantage of more daylight. Try to run yourself to get up early to go to bed early in.

this is important, ”Can’t say it enough…Many people think that a suicide attempt is a selfish move because the person just does not care about the people left behind. I can tell you that when a person gets to that point, they truly believe that their loved ones will be much better off with them gone.This is mental illness not selfishness. TRUTH: Depression is a terrible disease and seems relentless. A lot of us have been close to that edge, or dealt with family members in a crisis, and some have lost friends and loved ones. Let’s look out for each other and stop sweeping mental illness under the rug. May I ask my family and friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy and paste this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I did it for my step son. Hope to see this on the walls of all my family and friends just for moral support. I know some will!!! You have to copy and paste this one, no sharing. To copy simply hold your finger on the text and the copy option will appear. Click on it. Then click on your status and paste will appear. Thank you 💚💛❤”’

http://pushliving.com/dear-media-please-stop-saying-we-are-bound-to-wheelchairs

 

How many times do we have to tell you that we are not “wheelchair-bound”? I know you see the letters, the comments on articles, and Facebook groups whose sole purpose is to help you understand.

Yet over and over again the media insists on using the most dramatic, ableist, and sensational terms when referring to people who happened to have a disability.

“Meet the woman helping wheelchair-bound people dance”:

For TODAY, NBC’s Morgan Radford reports on a woman who wants to help make life a little better for people who are wheelchair bound by giving them the chance to dance.” http://www.today.com/video/meet-the-woman-helping-wheelchair-bound-people-dance-648120899918

‘BEYond excited!’ Wheelchair-bound model with muscular dystrophy stars in Beyonce’s new merchandise campaign
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3497703/BEYond-excited-Beyonce-taps-wheelchair-bound-model-muscular-dystrophy-pose-new-merchandise-campaign.html

I am sure it helps you sell ad space, as people love a good victim-overcomes-tragedy story, or how an “Inspiration Porn” feature helps make able bodied folks realize just how lucky they are, but this type of angle is offensive and is defeating all the efforts for normalization, integration, and anti-stigmatism we are all working to achieve.  We honestly do not want, nor do we need, the sensationalism.  We just need equal rights, job opportunities, friendship, love, and access.

So, please, stop it.

We use wheelchairs for mobility.  We are not bound or “confined” to or by them. That terminology is antiquated, and does not reflect how we care to be perceived. It does not even meet the professional standards provided in the National Center on Disability and Journalism Style Guide. It is also clearly an attempt to overdramatize, stigmatize, and marginalize who we are as people (even while you are purportedly trying to feature us positively.) Stephen Feldman helps to put this in perspective: “It’s social darwinism. Wheelchair-bound = less than, less deserving, to put it mildly. “Wheelchair-bound” positively drips with pity. It keeps us in our place — bound to our wheelchairs.”

And, while we’re at it, we are also not “victims” of autism, cerebral palsy or any of our disabilities.

In case it is still not clearly understood, comprehended, or you just need a more visual clarification of what it is that we’re trying to communicate, here’s a picture to help illustrate the difference.

Here is someone who is clearly BOUND to the wheelchair.

Woman seen bound by tape with words written on tape conveying negative stereotypes about disability

“A Paralyzed Life” Image of Rachelle Friedman by Ira Goldstein

Here is someone who USES a wheelchair.

Blonde woman in yellow wheelchair smiling into camera

Model Wendy Crawford is the founder of Mobilewoman.org

So, to the Today Show, and all other media outlets who want to do a positive story about a person who is wheelchair dancing with the fabulous, integrated dance troupe Infinite Flow, doing something noble and exceptional (and no, getting married and getting asked to the prom is not a remarkable accomplishment, so you can also stop patronizing us with these types of stories), creating a remarkable new enterprise, or simply winning the Nobel prize, please remember to be BOUND by what is the morally and factually correct way to describe an entire group of individuals who are trying to overcome pity, fear, and discrimination.

Continuing to use these type of words and descriptions are not helping.

– See more at: http://pushliving.com/dear-media-please-stop-saying-we-are-bound-to-wheelchairs/#sthash.nO0QmiGT.dpuf

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/learn/warningsigns.aspx

Suicide Warning Signs

The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Doctor Q&A: Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Jerry Kennard, psychologist and Associate Fellow and Chartered member of the British Psychological Society, provides some expertise and insight into the diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder.

What causes bipolar disorder?

We don’t really know but current wisdom suggests interplay between physical and environmental factors. For example, although no single gene is responsible for bipolar there is evidence that it runs in families. Chemical imbalances in the brain are also influential. Too much or too little of certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) can result in either depression or mania.

What is the difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II?

Symptoms are the key, although the distinction isn’t always that clear cut. The central feature of bipolar I is mania and this is usually severe enough to require hospitalization. People with bipolar I disorder have experienced at least one episode of mania and usually depression. Bipolar II may be diagnosed if the person experiences a less severe form of mania called hypomania. Again, hypomania and depression are the main characteristics and the intensity of the highs is not severe enough to lead to hospitalization. Sometimes the dividing line between care at home and hospitalization may be quite thin and may depend upon the level of support available.

Bipolar II is sometimes wrongly considered a milder form of bipolar disorder. An episode of bipolar is equally severe whether you are diagnosed as bipolar I or II. There is some evidence that suggests episodes of depression are more severe and more frequent in people with bipolar II.

What medications help treat bipolar disorder?

A variety of medications are available but it may take a little time before you settle on what’s best for you. Mood stabilizing medications are the cornerstone treatment but other medications can be used to help control psychotic symptoms and sometimes these are combined within a single tablet. Many people with bipolar disorder experience symptoms of anxiety so it is not unusual for the symptoms to be treated with medication. Antidepressant medication is usually avoided where possible as it may trigger manic episodes. Depending on your symptoms antidepressants may be recommended and carefully monitored.

What should I do if I have a manic episode?

This is often one of the most difficult areas for the patient and those around them. For the patient the question is why, when you’re feeling so good, so full of energy and great ideas would you need treatment? The answer is the effect this behavior has. Hypomania and mania are characterized by a lack of impulse control that can lead to destructive, disinhibited and high-risk behaviors.

Manic episodes can take months to develop or they can appear within just a couple of days. Your first ever episode may be extremely difficult to predict. You may be buzzing with optimism, sleep less and feel more impatient with the apparent slowness of things around you, but it’s really only with the benefit of hindsight that your emotional and behavioral changes start to mean something.

In order to head off potential problems at a future date it can help if you devise a plan with the support of loved ones and your doctor. Reflect on what happened during your first episode and take practical measures. For example, if you blew your savings and racked up credit, try to ensure this can’t happen again. If your thoughts were leading in a certain direction (big plans, radical lifestyle change etc.) try to monitor these. Perhaps you were expressing grandiose ideas that involved special abilities? Your plan might include such things being monitored and could also involve a loved-one contacting your dortor. Consider keeping a mood diary so you can predict change.

How can psychotherapy help with bipolar disorder?

Psychotherapy can be very useful. It can help to put your symptoms into context and help to define the parameters of the disorder. A therapist can work with you to devise methods for self-observation and will show you important self-help techniques for stress management and stress reduction. Accepting a diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be difficult. Some people resist, some become too accepting and feel disabled as a result. Psychotherapy can help you and sometimes a loved-one and other family members feel a sense of mastery over the situation rather than become victims of it.

How often should I see a therapist?

This is something to negotiate with your therapist(s). In the early stages following a diagnosis you may feel most benefit from regular weekly meetings, for example. These days it isn’t always necessary to meet face-to-face and a telephone or video communication may be acceptable. Different therapists offer different support so your family doctor may ask to see you less often than your counselor or psychologist.

Are there any programs or alternative options to help me manage bipolar disorder?

People who manage their bipolar disorder best will often point out that it’s a lifetime and lifestyle issue. Medication and therapy helps a lot but your own choices and behaviors can help lessen or possibly even prevent bipolar episodes from developing.

Our Western diet of red meats, fats, sugars and simple carbohydrates are not known to influence bipolar disorder directly but a more nutritious diet may help to reduce stress and improve overall health, thus reducing the risk of possible triggers. Fatty fish (mackerel, trout, salmon) a couple of times a week combined with complex carbohydrates (whole-grain breads, beans, vegetables) is far more beneficial for overall health. Avoiding alcohol, smoking, drugs, and even stimulants like coffee are important considerations.

A regular and predictable pattern is important if you are to reduce triggers. Sleep regularly, exercise regularly, eat well and keep stress levels down.
– See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/bipolar/c/458275/166695/doctor-bipolar-disorder/?ap=818#sthash.SxDAibbH.dpuf

http://www.healthcentral.com/bipolar/c/458275/166695/doctor-bipolar-disorder/?ap=818”

http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/05/ten-things-to-do-for-a-panic-attack/

10 Tools for Panic Attack Relief

1. Have an exit plan. Sometimes knowing we have a plan to leave a situation helps us not be so afraid of trying something new. For example, know you can excuse yourself, you can have your own car to drive home, or you have a friend to support you can make all the difference. We are often scared to get anxiety and not be able to do anything about it.  We are afraid of being out of control. Making a plan will make you feel more in control and this counters the anxiety.

2. Have someone you can count on ready to call. In fact, have several, in case the one is busy. Someone who knows about the anxiety and can tell you you are okay, or even better–someone who can make you laugh.

3. Spend time with your pet. (Animal Therapy)

4. Have a tranquilizer with you. Knowing you have antianxiety medication to calm you down within 15 minutes can help you not be afraid of anxiety.  Again, we are afraid of beingout of control of our anxiety so just knowing you have the medicine is all you need. Panic needs you to be scared of it for it to stay.

5. Interact with water. There is something about water that stops the energy of panic.  Sometimes crying releases it (tears). However, consider taking a hot bath or shower for immediate relief. Also drinking hot soup or a hot drink (non-caffinated, please!) can help.

6. Give yourself a massage or have your loved one give you one. This really calms the nerves and calls our attention back out of the anxious mind and into the body.

7. Forward bend. Like a fetal position, any forward bend in yoga counters anxiety. You can get in child’s position. See photo above.

8. Stare at yourself in the mirror. This is called tratak meditation. It helps build trust in yourself. Do this when you are calm to prevent anxiety and panic.

9. Go for a walk. Get a change of scenery and use up some of that excess energy. The biology of fear indicates the release of adrenaline makes your body want to do something. Doing something and feeling a sense of control on the account of that activity is by far the best thing you can do for a panic attack.

10. Laugh. Watch some funny videos on YouTube. Laughter and anxiety cannot live in the same moment together!

What did I forget? What’s worked for you?

By Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Why I’m Speaking Up About How Suicide Is Discussed in the Emergency Room Sally Buchanan-Hagen Sally Buchanan-Hagen Read more: http://themighty.com/2015/09/why-im-speaking-up-about-how-suicide-is-discussed-in-the-emergency-room

As a nurse working in the emergency department, I frequently see people come in for suicide attempts. I’ve noticed there’s a stigma surrounding some attempts, and many colleagues agree there’s a difference in the way patients are treated depending on the type of attempt.

From what I’ve seen, a patient whose attempt is more “serious,” with visible life-threatening injuries or potentially deadly pathology results, is more likely to be treated with understanding, compassion and patience. It’s as if serious injuries validate the mental illness, making the inner turmoil visible to the outside world.

But the “less serious” the attempt is (for example, taking a non-lethal amount of medication or self-inflicted injuries that aren’t fatal), the less sympathy I’ve seen patients receive. This can also be said for patients who have repeat suicide attempts. I’ve heard these patients referred to as “time-wasters,” “attention-seekers,” “taking up beds,” and they’re described as “crying out for help.” Although it’s acknowledged as wrong, there’s still anger and frustration felt towards the patient. I’ve heard many question the reason for their behavior. But I believe anyone who intentionally puts themselves in harm’s way needs help, regardless of the intended outcome, and are still entitled to be treated with dignity, understanding and kindness. 

When I was 23, I tried to jump off a cliff after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital. I have bipolar affective disorder. I rarely call this a suicide attempt, although I would’ve jumped if it weren’t for a person walking past. If that person didn’t talk me down from the edge I wouldn’t be here today. I didn’t end up in an emergency department that night; instead the person called the local psychiatric triage team for advice and made sure I got home safely. The next morning my psychiatrist arranged for me to have electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

I was determined to take my life. However, just because I didn’t end up in the emergency department didn’t make my determination to kill myself less serious. For weeks afterwards I remained suicidal. It’s because of my wonderful family and excellent psychiatrist I got through those weeks alive.

According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people commit suicide every year, and for every successful suicide there are many more people who attempt it. About 20 percent of people who die by suicide have made a prior suicide attempt. But the stigma attached to suicide can be isolating and discourages help-seeking behaviors.

When I was suicidal I was too embarrassed to ask for help from emergency services because I thought I would be judged. That night I stood on the cliff, dying seemed like the only way out. Like a lot of suicidal behaviors, the decision was driven by desperation and impulsivity. The method didn’t matter — only the end result. I was only seconds from death. By complete luck I survived that depression.

In seems people are fearful if we talk about suicide we’ll trigger risky behaviors. But if we don’t talk about it, how are we going to understand it? If we don’t understand it, how can we be compassionate and empathetic? And if we don’t treat those at risk with compassion and empathy, how do we expect them to seek help?

Most importantly, we need to make it known reaching out for help is one of the bravest and best things someone can do. I’ve heard nurses say it’s “heartbreaking” when patients die from a suicide attempt. But what’s more heartbreaking is how often I hear families say the person they lost had been “been unhappy for a long time’” or that “they tried suicide before.” We need to talk about suicide to offer people hope. The courage it takes to reach out must be recognized. 

Every suicide attempt needs to be taken seriously. People don’t kill themselves, mental illness does. The sooner we start understanding this, the sooner we can combat the stigma surrounding suicide. Decreasing stigma encourages help-seeking behaviors and leads to more widespread and compassionate treatment for those who need it. And this treatment needs to be available for everyone however long they need, not just for the people who end up with serious injuries in the emergency department.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Read more: http://themighty.com/2015/09/why-im-speaking-up-about-how-suicide-is-discussed-in-the-emergency-room/#ixzz3t1EghUzv

From; http://themighty.com/2015/09/why-im-speaking-up-about-how-suicide-is-discussed-in-the-emergency-room/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Mighty_Page&utm_campaign=MENTALHEALTH

11 Things Those Who Love A Person With Mental Illness Should Know Knowledge is power.

Relationships are challenging for anyone, but for someone battling a mental health condition, that illness can often hinder more than help. A mental health disorder acts like a magnifying glass to problems. It convinces the sufferer that they don’t deserve someone’s affection. It can cause them to be distant.

In other words? It’s total hell.

The good news is, knowledge is power when it comes to mental illness. Just because someone suffers from a condition doesn’t make them broken. Below are a few things you should know if you love someone who has a mental health disorder.

1. Mental illness is not something they can just “get over.”
It takes time, treatment and acceptance to manage a mental health condition. A mental illness develops in the brain, making it very complex. It’s not something that’s “all in their heads” or a problem they can “snap out of” (although, they wish they could!).

2. It also doesn’t make them “crazy.”
You wouldn’t call someone with cancer “insane” or “crazy,” so the same courtesy should be extended to someone with a mental health condition. Mental illness is just as important as physical illness. Here are a few other terms that should also be avoided.

3. Some days are better than others.
One day they’ll feel excellent, but the next day getting out of bed is a victory in itself. And they never know when it’ll happen.

4. Their mood isn’t because of you.
It can feel like they’re upset with you, but please know it isn’t personal. Many mental health conditions are characterized by mood swings, including feelings of anger, depression and mania.

5. It’s manageable…
Through therapy, through medication, through exercise, through group support… the list is endless. However, it’s important to remember that treatment is not “one size fits all,” so what works for your cousin’s co-worker may not work for them. And that’s OK.

6. …But some days they don’t feel like fighting it.
And that can feel like the absolute worst. Experts recommend encouraging them to go to their appointments or whatever is necessary in their treatment process. Don’t give up on them on the days they’ve given up on themselves.

7. There’s a negative stereotype associated with their conditions.
There’s a large stigma attached to mental health disorders. Only 25 percent of people with a mental illness feel that others are compassionate or understanding of their condition. Your compassion means more than you’ll ever know.

8. Hugs help.
So do phone calls. Or texts. Or ice cream. Or anything that just lets them know that they’re not alone.”It may look incredibly bleak for them right now,” Adam Kaplin, an associate professor in the departments of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins, previously told HuffPost. “It’s helpful to remind them that the feelings are temporary and you’ll be right there with them.”

9. It’s OK to ask them questions.
Education is half the battle. The more you learn about their condition, the easier it is for you to understand. That being said, if they don’t want to talk about what’s going on in that moment, don’t push the issue. Silence doesn’t mean they don’t want your help, they just may be doing their own processing.

10. It’s physically debilitating.
Psychiatric illnesses don’t just mess with their emotions. Conditions like depression and anxiety can cause headaches, soreness, upset stomach and more.

11. They appreciate you.
Even if they don’t express it every day. Your support and patience is vital to their treatment and self-acceptance. So thank you.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mental-illness-what-you-should-know_56339964e4b0c66bae5c2caf

15 Organic Tips For Dealing With Depression September 17, 2015 Sharon Smith

Depression is an invisible illness.

You can’t see it. But you can definitely feel it…

Some days may be worse than others in that you may want to crawl back into bed and forget everything. Other days you may get up and be raring to go with whatever the day throws at you. This is because you feel great. Free of brain fog. Focused and alert.

However, if you have suffered many years with the condition. Brain fog is never far away and is not a nice feeling.

So how do we deal with it especially when it presents itself with anxiety too?

Many take Anti-depressant medication for the condition and this works for the majority. There is a minority who are unable to take it due to health reasons or simply due to personal preference. However if it is due to personal preference it is strongly recommended to seek advice from a GP or health professional first.

Having suffered for many years with the condition, I now wish to help others out of the darkness of depression, and into the light. It can be difficult, and yes we do need to help ourselves, it’s never easy. However, with the help of an understanding doctor- which is definitely a must- you can manage it more properly.

You may not necessarily use all 15 of the tips I am suggesting. You may decide to choose 2 or 3. Even adding some of your own. The choice is entirely yours.

15 tips to dealing with Anxiety and Depression with a little help from above thrown in for good measure…

  1. Spend as much time as you can outdoors. Even if it is sat in your garden or on a balcony. ( Not always easy when you are deep in darkness so the next one should help as they should encourage)
  2. Talk to your family members and friends. Make sure they are aware of the condition and where you’re at right now. Allow family and friends in to help you out.
  3. Try Bach flower remedies. 3/4 drops on the tongue truly do help.
  4. Eat cashew nuts. A great anti-depressant.
  5. Take long walks and or find an exercise which suits you. For example Yoga or Pilates or running and the gym whichever one makes you feel good.
  6. Talk about your worries. Don’t bottle them up. Let it out.
  7. Don’t be afraid to cry.
  8. Take a moment to do some deep breathing exercises. Standing or sitting. For eg: As you make a cup of coffee or tea and waiting for the kettle to boil. It’s surprising how much calmer you will feel.
  9. Do not listen to other’s opinions of you especially if negative.
  10. Stay away from negative situations, people, places and energies.
  11. Eat as healthy as possible. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  12. Listen to music that you enjoy and which makes you feel good.
  13. Find something which occupies your mind and will allow you to refocus for a time such as painting, knitting, crocheting or a puzzle book.
  14. This works very well even if you only manage 2 or 3 off the list. Make a list for the day. Write down the tasks for the day and tick off as you do them.
  15. Ask the Angels for help especially if you need help with a problem that may be causing you your depression. Remember though you have free will so you must ask them. Keep your faith.

Once you calm your mind and let others in. Family and friends and others who can and will help you. You realise there are others like yourself and that you are not alone. You must talk about your anxieties and how your depression makes you feel. Try also to surround yourself with positive thinkers and people who will help lift and guide you out of the darkness and into the light.

Find an understanding doctor or medical practitioner.

Depression can also take its toll on self-esteem and confidence which is another reason to surround yourself with loving understanding people who will listen to you and be non-judgemental.

If you do seek the Angels help remember that they are Gods messengers and the root cause will be uncovered to see why you are feeling this way in order for you to heal they have your best interests at heart and have a plan. Expect the unexpected. Expect to be guided to people, places and situations that you may never have thought of to help you.

And remember you are loved and are beautiful inside and out.

http://thewellnessuniverse.com/15-organic-tips-for-dealing-with-depression/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

15 Organic Tips For Dealing With Depression

Depression is an invisible illness.

You can’t see it. But you can definitely feel it…

Some days may be worse than others in that you may want to crawl back into bed and forget everything. Other days you may get up and be raring to go with whatever the day throws at you. This is because you feel great. Free of brain fog. Focused and alert.

However, if you have suffered many years with the condition. Brain fog is never far away and is not a nice feeling.

So how do we deal with it especially when it presents itself with anxiety too?

Many take Anti-depressant medication for the condition and this works for the majority. There is a minority who are unable to take it due to health reasons or simply due to personal preference. However if it is due to personal preference it is strongly recommended to seek advice from a GP or health professional first.

Having suffered for many years with the condition, I now wish to help others out of the darkness of depression, and into the light. It can be difficult, and yes we do need to help ourselves, it’s never easy. However, with the help of an understanding doctor- which is definitely a must- you can manage it more properly.

You may not necessarily use all 15 of the tips I am suggesting. You may decide to choose 2 or 3. Even adding some of your own. The choice is entirely yours.

15 tips to dealing with Anxiety and Depression with a little help from above thrown in for good measure…

  1. Spend as much time as you can outdoors. Even if it is sat in your garden or on a balcony. ( Not always easy when you are deep in darkness so the next one should help as they should encourage)
  2. Talk to your family members and friends. Make sure they are aware of the condition and where you’re at right now. Allow family and friends in to help you out.
  3. Try Bach flower remedies. 3/4 drops on the tongue truly do help.
  4. Eat cashew nuts. A great anti-depressant.
  5. Take long walks and or find an exercise which suits you. For example Yoga or Pilates or running and the gym whichever one makes you feel good.
  6. Talk about your worries. Don’t bottle them up. Let it out.
  7. Don’t be afraid to cry.
  8. Take a moment to do some deep breathing exercises. Standing or sitting. For eg: As you make a cup of coffee or tea and waiting for the kettle to boil. It’s surprising how much calmer you will feel.
  9. Do not listen to other’s opinions of you especially if negative.
  10. Stay away from negative situations, people, places and energies.
  11. Eat as healthy as possible. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  12. Listen to music that you enjoy and which makes you feel good.
  13. Find something which occupies your mind and will allow you to refocus for a time such as painting, knitting, crocheting or a puzzle book.
  14. This works very well even if you only manage 2 or 3 off the list. Make a list for the day. Write down the tasks for the day and tick off as you do them.
  15. Ask the Angels for help especially if you need help with a problem that may be causing you your depression. Remember though you have free will so you must ask them. Keep your faith.

Once you calm your mind and let others in. Family and friends and others who can and will help you. You realise there are others like yourself and that you are not alone. You must talk about your anxieties and how your depression makes you feel. Try also to surround yourself with positive thinkers and people who will help lift and guide you out of the darkness and into the light.

Find an understanding doctor or medical practitioner.

Depression can also take its toll on self-esteem and confidence which is another reason to surround yourself with loving understanding people who will listen to you and be non-judgemental.

If you do seek the Angels help remember that they are Gods messengers and the root cause will be uncovered to see why you are feeling this way in order for you to heal they have your best interests at heart and have a plan. Expect the unexpected. Expect to be guided to people, places and situations that you may never have thought of to help you.

And remember you are loved and are beautiful inside and out.

Original Article Source Here, With Many Thanks To Sharon Smith.

You Feel Emotions Deeply? These Tips Might Help By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Associate Editor

Do you get overwhelmed by your emotions? You might be going about your day, and suddenly, an interaction sparks a strong feeling. Your fight, flight or freeze response kicks in. Your heart starts pounding, your muscles tense and your breath becomes shallow.

But your environment isn’t the only thing that triggers your emotions. Because you have a very rich inner life, your thoughts or memories serve as triggers, too.

Psychotherapist Joy Malek, M.S., shared the above examples. She calls individuals who feel emotions deeply and intensely “Deep Feelers.”

Deep Feelers also tend to be imaginative and sensitive, which colors the storylines they create, she said. Everyone creates storylines: interpretations (often unconscious) for what triggered you. Deep Feelers’ storylines are frequently filled with “rapture, despair, and everything in between.”

What causes some people to feel emotions so deeply?

Temperament may play a role. “[M]ost Deep Feelers are wired to experience the world first and foremost through their emotions. And this can create strong inner responses to life events.” On theMyers-Briggs personality test, they’re called “Feelers” (versus “Thinkers”), she said.

Deep Feelers also might be highly sensitive people. Highly sensitive people are especially susceptible to physical and emotional stimuli. (See here, here and here.) “For those with high sensitivity, strong emotional responses are natural and need to be processed in order to metabolize them,” Malek said.

Being a Deep Feeler is both a strength and a challenge. Deep Feelers are empathic, intuitive and attuned, she said. This makes them exceptional friends, partners and parents, she said.

“However, feeling deeply can also be a source of overwhelm. Being constantly and intensely tuned in to your own and others’ emotions can be overloading.” Malek shared this example: Your loved one is angry with you. You end up feeling an overwhelming sense of shame and failure because of the specific storyline you created about why they’re upset. Because of your anguish, you lose perspective and become consumed by fear and despair. You also believe that the relationship is irrevocably broken (which often is not the case).

Most Deep Feelers use emotions as a compass. They alert “them when something is wrong or [reassure them] that all is well.” For instance, if Deep Feelers are experiencing painful feelings, they interpret things as very, very wrong, Malek said.

“Because Deep Feelers need time to process big emotions, their emotional ‘pipes’ can get backed up. Then the feelings are just zinging around inside instead of being metabolized.” Here, it’s tough for Deep Feelers to imagine a time when they won’t be feeling this badly.

Below Malek shared five healthy strategies to help you process your emotions — so you don’t get derailed by them.

1. Take a break.

“When a big emotion hits, it’s OK to ask for time to process before discussing it with someone else,” said Malek, founder of SoulFull, where she offers psychotherapy, coaching and creative workshops. You might need time to identify what you’re feeling. Knowing your exact emotion helps you “bring clarity to the conversation.”

2. Explore the storyline behind your emotion.

When you’re experiencing a painful emotion, Malek suggested asking yourself: “What’s the storyline here?” At first you might identify all sorts of stories. But typically one or two will emerge as the most persistent, she said.

For instance, your storyline might be: “I’m not important to others,” “Everything is out of my control,” “No matter how hard I try, I always fail,” “People leave; no one will stay,” or “I’m not good enough.”

Just naming your storyline can help you gain some distance from it, Malek said. Identifying it also reminds you that your “interpretation is not the objective truth.” Understanding the root of your storyline minimizes its power, as well, Malek said. A therapist can help you explore what happened in your development to create this interpretation, she said.

3. Have a list of go-to distractions.

“Distraction techniques help [you] regulate intense emotions,” Malek said. When we’re in the throes of a fight, flight or freeze response, it’s hard to think logically and problem solve. Using a distraction technique helps you refocus while your nervous system settles down.

These techniques can be anything that capture your attention so you’re not ruminating about your painful feeling, she said. This might be playing a game on your phone or watching an interesting TV segment.

4. Explore alternate storylines.

“Once your nervous system has settled, you can begin to explore alternative storylines that will enable you to transform your perspective,” Malek said. She suggested asking yourself these questions:

  • What can I take away from this experience that will make me wiser or increase my compassion?
  • If I look at this experience in the context of my whole life’s story, what does this add? What will I say about it looking back 10, 20, 30 years from now?
  • How will I use this experience to understand and help others?
  • What qualities can I bring to this situation to give myself dignity and pride? For instance, these qualities might be courage, compassion and creativity. “Acknowledging the personal qualities, or resources, that one can bring to painful situations is very empowering.” For instance, you might consider: “How can I use courage here?” or “Could there be a creative approach to this problem?”

5. Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness meditation trains our brains to stay in the moment, rather than ruminating about the past or fretting about the future. Both are big triggers for painful feelings, Malek said.

“Mindfulness also helps us learn to pause when we are triggered, and to hold our storylines lightly.” These make a big difference in helping Deep Feelers have more balance and not feel as blindsided by emotions, she said.

Malek’s favorite practice is something she calls “Cat Mind.” It’s inspired by how our pets use their senses to be fully present in each moment. To practice this, she suggested noticing your surroundings. “When storylines and painful thoughts slip in and begin to rev up your feelings, pull yourself back to this moment, here.” Refocus on what you see and hear.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling emotions deeply. This can be a good thing. But sometimes, as a Deep Feeler, you might get overwhelmed. Trying tips like the above can help.

24 SIMPLE WAYS TO COPE WITH STRESS
1. Change your emotional response.
2. Ask for help.
3. Schedule a down time into every day.
4. Set priorities in your life .
5. Breathe deeply.
6. Take stock of your achievements.
7. Quit trying to fix other people.
8. Get enough sleep.
9. Praise other people.
10. Exercise regularly.
11. Embrace spirituality.
12. Avoid negative people.
13. Break large tasks into bite size portion.
14. Develop a sense of humor.
15. Go outside more.
16. Keep a gratitude journal.
17. Take a bubble bath.
18. Think positively.
19. Look at problem as challenge.
20. Plant flower.
21. Stand up and stretch.
22. Walk at least 15 minutes everyday.
23. Spend time with happy people.
24. Maintain a strong social network.

Great information from the Quantum Healing Kryon/Lee Carroll

New Information About Healing:
The Human body is interesting. It is a piece of biology that is you, but it often seems to be in the other room. What I mean by this is that there is no real communication between you and your system. It is not designed to communicate with you, except through pain. That’s all. It is a one-dimensional aspect given to you early on so you would be able to survive – so you’d know if you were stepping on a hot coal, for instance. Or so you would know if something was hurting or poking you, in order to get away from it.

Pain seems negative and always a challenge. It’s one of your greatest gifts, however, since it keeps you out of trouble. It alerts you if something’s wrong… and that’s all you have as communication and it’s one way. You can’t talk back to it, or ask it questions.

Many of you have said, “That’s just the way it is. What am I going to do? The body cannot speak. It cannot say anything.” You’re right about that if you look at it on the surface.

In fact, this fact can actually work against you… no matter how enlightened you are. For instance, does it make sense to you that an enlightened body like you have, with the complexity that it has, would be silent in the face of a

<span “font-size:11.0pt;line-height:107%;=”” font-family:”calibri”,sans-serif;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:arial;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;mso-ansi-language:=”” en-us;mso-fareast-language:en-us;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””>killer disease that is rampaging through it? Yet it happens every day. I speak now about the disease that kills more of you in North America than anywhere else – cancer. It’s not a disease you “catch.” It’s something your body develops through irritation and unbalance. It is a runaway of growth, uncontrollable, that plows through your own system having its way. You could be sitting in the chair right now and have it raging through your body and not know it until the body decides to give you pain. Then, often, it’s too late.
You might look at this whole Human body scenario and say, “What kind of a system is this? Is the body so dumb that it cannot even alert me to these important things that are going on in myself?” The answer is yes, if you measure this issue from a standpoint of what you have been taught… a very limited scope of view.

I’m here to tell you it is not that way at all. It never has been that way. You have always been able to go to certain levels in order to see what is happening inside, yet few do. It is the difference between accepting a three-dimensional historical idea or expanding your thinking to include something that many don’t even believe in. For years, kinesiology has bridged that gap of communication, yet how many use it? It’s an indictment of the law of logic, isn’t it? Here is something that has been proven over time to be something that allows the body to speak to you directly, yet it has not been generally accepted by humanity? Why? Because it’s out of the scope of what you have learned is possible. This, therefore, is the issue today.

Every piece of DNA has a field around it. Every piece of DNA is next to another piece of DNA, and a field surrounds a field surrounds a field. In addition, it is all grouped, not strung out like in your diagrams. I’ll tell you what that does. It creates a oneness of consciousness. Have you ever wondered why it is in the esoteric world that you can speak to your body as one, yet there are trillions of pieces of it?

Within the DNA is a spiritual component. In the DNA is a piece of God, a piece of home. In the DNA, there’s a quantumness of reality. Within the DNA, as my partner stated, there is intelligent design. The field that is around DNA has been observed and proven by science to be interdimensional. One piece against the other against another creates an interlocking, overlapping interdimensional field that has one address to the universe… and your name on it.

What I am saying to you is that it is a whole body experience when you begin to speak to your body. You don’t have to address your toe or your elbow. For you will address all of it at once because it’s listening all at once. Think of it as one whole body experience because the DNA overlaps; the fields overlap, and those overlapping fields create a larger field that creates even a larger field. By the time you get trillions of them together, literally, that field is something you project with focus and it’s called esoteric light. Meanwhile, it also serves for personal healing. It is ready to “listen to the boss.” My partner touched on this attribute earlier. You don’t really believe that you can speak to your cells. The truth is that you can, and they have always been listening. Think about that!

The fact is that you have total and complete communications in an interdimensional way with this massive DNA field. You are it, and it is you, but if you’ve never spoken to it, it will go its own way. Trillions of pieces of DNA are there, ready to hear you, yet you never even talked to them! You just hope they operate well and if they don’t, you get pain.

As we have told you before, you have been born into a culture and system that carries all sensory attributes and spiritual enlightenment in the head, never understanding that every piece of the body is enlightened. Therefore, you walk around “in your head,” hoping your toe works, hoping your kidney works, hoping your heart survives. You never think that you might be able to actually address these things, or change them. Yet they have been there waiting for you all your life! Now I call this, “your body listening to the boss,” for DNA waits for you to speak to it through your own consciousness. There is an enlightened attribute in your DNA… you would call it your Higher-Self, perhaps.

 Posted 4/29/14

8 Myths About Your Emotions, and Why They Can Hurt You

As a society, we don’t talk much about emotions. Conversations tend to focus more on what we’re doing or what we’re thinking. In fact, most people find it easier to start sentences with, “I think…” instead of “I feel…” simply because it feels less awkward.

Most of us are never educated about feelings. Instead, we’re expected to learn socially acceptable ways to deal with feelings by watching the people around us. But the truth is, many people don’t role-model healthy ways to deal with feelings.

Social norms differ over what is considered “acceptable” in terms of managing and talking about feelings. There are many cultural differences about how to identify and manage emotions as well. In fact, most languages have words for certain emotions that don’t have equivalent translations. (Popular Science(link is external) recently shared 21 emotions for which there are no English equivalents).

It’s no wonder there is a lot of confusion about emotions. Here are 8 of the most common misconceptions:

1. “I should feel differently.”

So often people say things like, “I know I shouldn’t be so upset over something so little,” or, “I really should be happier than I am.” But there aren’t any rules that dictate that your emotional reaction is wrong. Rather than waste energy beating yourself up, accept that you feel a particular emotion right now and recognize that you have choices in how you react to it.

2. “I can’t control how I feel.

Even though your emotions aren’t wrong, that doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck in a particular mood. You can certainly choose to make changes that will influence the way you feel, by changing the way you think and behave .

3. “Venting will make me feel better.”

A widely-held misconception is that if you’re not talking to everyone about your feelings, you must be “suppressing your emotions” or “stuffing your feelings.” But research shows that the opposite is true—at least when it comes to anger. Punching a pillow or calling everyone you know to tell them how bad your day was will only increase your arousal and that won’t make you feel better.

4. “Trying to control my emotions is synonymous with behaving like a robot.

Sometimes people think that regulating their emotions means trying to act as if they don’t have feelings. That’s not the case. A realistic view of emotions shows that we’re capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, but we don’t have to be controlled by them. After a hard day, choosing to do something to help you feel better—as opposed to staying in a bad mood—is a healthy skill.

5. “Other people have the power to make me feel certain emotions.

So often, people will say things like, “My boss makes me so mad,” or, “My mother-in-lawmakes me feel bad about myself.” In reality, no one can make you feel anything. Other people may influence how you feel, but you are the only one in charge of your emotions.

6. “I can’t handle uncomfortable emotions.”

When people doubt their ability to tolerate certain emotions, it leads to avoidance. Someone who experiences frequent bouts of anxiety may pass up opportunities to be promoted. A person who feels uncomfortable with confrontation may avoid meeting with a co-worker to problem-solve a situation. Learning to deal with uncomfortable emotions directly builds confidence. When you don’t allow your emotions to rule your behavior, you’ll learn you can handle a lot more than you imagined.

7. “Negative emotions are bad.

It’s easy to categorize emotions as being “good” or “bad,” but feelings in themselves aren’t positive or negative. It’s what we choose to do with those emotions that makes the difference. Anger, for example, often gets a bad rap. While some people make horrible choices when they’re mad, others choose to use anger in a proactive manner. Many of the world’s positive changes would never have occurred if activists hadn’t gotten angry about injustices they witnessed.

8. “Showing emotion is a sign of weakness.”

While it’s a healthy social skill to be able to behave professionally even when you’re not feeling at the top of your game, letting your guard down at socially appropriate times isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, being aware of your emotions and making a conscious decision to share those emotions with others—when it’s socially appropriate to do so—can be a sign of strength.

Developing an awareness and understanding of your emotions can be difficult when you’re not used to thinking about how you feel. Like most skills in life, your ability to recognize, tolerate and regulate your emotions will improve with practice. Increased emotional self-awareness is key to building mental strength and achieving success in your personal and professional life.

From, http://www.psychiatry.wustl.edu/depression/depression_facts.htm

Depression Facts

 

Of the estimated 17.5 million Americans who are affected by some form of depression, 9.2 million have major or clinical depression

Two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek necessary treatment

80% of all people with clinical depression who have received treatment significantly improve their lives

The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated

Women experience depression about twice as often as men

By the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of “lost years of healthy life” worldwide

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in the United States in 1996

Major Depression is 1.5-3.0 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population

5 Warning Signs Of Depression You Shouldn’t Ignore

Your boss chews you out. A car hits a puddle and splashes dirty water all over you. It’s a bad day, but it’s only one day. But depression, which affects one in 10 Americans, doesn’t go away with a flip of the calendar. Its symptoms usually persist for two weeks or more and typically do not subside without treatment. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that depression’s symptoms aren’t as simple as “feeling sad.” What’s more, every person experiences depression differently, and some may experience more symptoms than others. That means that far too often depression goes unrecognized, and those affected by it are forced to suffer in silence. Read on to learn how to recognize the most common symptoms of depression — whether in yourself, friends or family members — and how to get help.

1. Self-Criticism “We all have an inner critic. For people who are depressed, this critical inner voice can have a powerful and destructive influence on their state of mind. It may be feeding them a distorted commentary on their lives,” says Jaime W. Vinick, M.C., LPC, NCC, chief clinical officer at Sierra Tucson psychiatric facility. What’s more, self-criticism may also predict depression. In a 2009 Comprehensive Psychiatry study of 107 adults, those who were most self-critical were also more likely to be depressed four years later. Pay attention to how often you or anyone else uses the word “should,” says Moe Gelbart, Ph.D., a psychologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California. Frequently referencing your behavior by saying you “should” have done something else is a common sign of self-judgment. Learn how to combat that self-criticism with positive self-talk.

Related: How to Boost Your Mental Well-Being

2. Loss of Interest Losing interest in three-hour meetings and work deadlines is one thing, but with depression, people can lose interest in things they typically enjoy, such as movies, sports and time spent with friends, says psychologist Moe Gelbart, Ph.D. “Loss of interest in pleasurable activities is a common component of depression and is referred to as anhedonia.” This loss of interest may be due to changes in the brain’s levels of reward-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters, according to psychiatrist Robert London, M.D. Unfortunately, a loss of interest can exacerbate feelings of isolation, leading to further depression, Gelbart says. It’s a self-destructive cycle that can be difficult for people suffering with depression to break.

3. Significant Weight Changes Depression can do a number on a scale. When depressed, many people lose interest in eating because they no longer enjoy food. On the other hand, they may emotionally eat in a conscious or unconscious attempt to improve their mood. In fact, according to a 2003 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods rich in carbohydrates can temporarily promote the synthesis of the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain. What’s more, depression-induced inactivity can also contribute to weight gain. If a person experiences a change in body weight of more than five percent in a month, medical attention is necessary, says Robert London, M.D.

4. Unexplained Aches and Pains Often, when depressed individuals do seek medical attention, their complaint isn’t depression at all. It’s aches and pains, such as stomach troubles and joint and back pain, says counselor Jaime W. Vinick. She explains that the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine influence not only mood, but also biological and neurological processes that can result in pain. What’s more, depression can affect how pain is perceived in the brain. “Pain signals from the body that are normally blunted or diverted can instead be amplified,” says psychologist Nick Forand, Ph.D. “People who are depressed also tend to have a lot of negative self-focused attention, so they might be more likely to notice pain sensations and concentrate on them, which can make the perception of pain worse,” he says.

Related: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

5. Anger and Irritability Often, when depressed, people report feeling agitated, restless or even violent, explains psychiatrist Robert London, M.D., who developed the short-term psychotherapy unit at the NYU Langone Medical Center. But anger is not only a symptom of depression, it’s also a possible contributor to depression. According to one Advances in Psychiatric Treatment editorial, when anger is left unaddressed it can lead to passive-aggressive behavior, which can be self-destructive and contribute to feelings of depression. London recommends that anyone experiencing aggression, hostility or just a “short fuse” discuss conflicts with others to work toward a possible resolution. Talking with a counselor or therapist can also prove helpful in sorting through feelings of anger or resentment and coming up with constructive ways of dealing with them.

The original article “8 Warning Signs of Depression You Shouldn’t Ignore” appeared on LIVESTRONG.COM.

By K. Aleisha Fettersp

This video is awesome in explaining what depression feels like.  I don’t know what is like to have depression; but I want to help those who do.   I know it is everywhere this sickness and it’s not something anyone person cure but it is a topic we need to talk about;  and support those who are going through this sickness.  http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_breel_confessions_of_a_depressed_comic.

I want to help anyone who is depressed or can’t find their place in life!   Life is so amazing;  we should support each other through it!

Symptoms of depression

”Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies among individuals and also varies over time.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Insomnia, early morning awakening or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/depression/symptoms-depression.

7.6% of Americans are depressed, but few seek mental health treatment

About 1 in 13 Americans was suffering from depression at some point between 2009 and 2012, yet only 35% of people with severe depression and 20% of those with moderate depression said they had sought help from a mental health professional, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related story: Exercise as a prescription for depression: Here’s how it works
Related story: Exercise as a prescription for depression: Here’s how it works
Melissa Healy
That’s troubling, the report authors write, because therapy combined with medication is “the most effective treatment for depression, especially for severe depression.” Drugs might be prescribed by a primary care doctor, but only a mental health specialist would conduct the type of therapy needed to get well.

The report, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, offers a snapshot of the nation’s mental state during recent years.

lRelated Risk of depression is nearly twice as high for unemployed Americans
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Risk of depression is nearly twice as high for unemployed Americans
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The findings are based on interviews with a nationally representative group of American adults and teenagers who participated in the federal government’s ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. These volunteers answered a range of questions that assessed a variety of physical, cognitive and mood symptoms that are related to depression. Responses from people 12 years old and older were used to compile the report.

Related story: Antidepressants rapidly alter brain architecture, study finds
Related story: Antidepressants rapidly alter brain architecture, study finds
Geoffrey Mohan
Overall, 2.9% of the participants had suffered “severe depressive symptoms” in the two weeks before they were interviewed, and another 4.7% had “moderate depressive symptoms,” the researchers found. Americans in their 40s and 50s were the most likely to be depressed, with 9.8% having moderate or severe depression. They were followed by Americans between the ages of 18 and 39, with a 7.4% depression rate. The oldest (ages 60 and over) and the youngest (ages 12 to 17) people in the survey were the least likely to be depressed, with rates of 5.4% and 5.7% respectively.

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When one sees who their fellows voted into office, one can be and should be depressed. “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea” James Madison 1788
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AT 6:22 AM DECEMBER 04, 2014
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African Americans (9.7%) and Latinos (9.4%) had higher rates of moderate and severe depression than whites (6.9%), according to the report. (No data were reported for Asian Americans.) However, after the researchers adjusted their findings to take poverty status into account, there were no significant differences based on race or ethnicity.

Gender, on the other hand, had a large effect, with women experiencing higher levels of depression than men in all age groups. The biggest gap was among people in their 40s and 50s — 12.3% of women in this age group were moderately or severely depressed, compared with 7.2% of men. That 5.1-point difference was 30% bigger than the 3.9-point difference for the entire study population. Overall, 9.5% of women were depressed, along with 5.6% of men.

Related story: Suicides rose during Great Recession. Could some have been prevented?
Related story: Suicides rose during Great Recession. Could some have been prevented?
Karen Kaplan
Depression took a meaningful toll on people’s lives, the researchers discovered. About 43% of those with severe depression said they had “serious difficulty” managing their work, home and social activities, and another 45% had “some difficulty.” For people with moderate depression, the corresponding figures were 16% and 58%. Even for people with mild depressive symptoms, 4% had serious difficulty with their daily activities and 42% had some difficulty.
Despite these problems, only 35% of people suffering severe depression and 20% of those with moderate depression told interviewers they had seen a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse or clinical social worker. (The researchers couldn’t verify whether these people actually began treatment for their depression.) Latinos were the least likely group to seek professional help from a mental health specialist — only 28% of those with severe depression and 17% of those with moderate depression did so, according to the report.

If science and medicine give you a lift, follow me on Twitter @LATkarenkaplan and “like” Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

emotion eating

Are there days when you can’t seem to find anything that will get your spirit up?  The only thing you can think of that might help some is to eat?   Or maybe it’s the one thing that would just listen to you;  help you feel better for a moment?  May be you are at a place in your life that you are feeding alone like you can not get your feelings out.  So you turn to comfort eating?  Alternatives to emotional eating

  • If you’re depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo or cherished memento.
  • If you’re anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.
  • If you’re exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
  • If you’re bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy (woodworking, playing the guitar, shooting hoops, scrapbooking, etc.).

Though during that time when you feel good you have no one to turn to;  if you don’t think you can talk to someone,  you can write your feelings out keep a journal,  then maybe when you are ready to share it with someone you can.  

Communication Success Be ultra-effective at home, at work, and in the world by Preston Ni, M.S.B.A

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others—and Feel Happier!

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others—and Feel Happier!

Author’s Note: The following is an excerpt from my book (click on title): “How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts & Emotions – A Practical Guide.”

“I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness.”

— Jack Canfield

“Women are so unforgiving of themselves. We don’t recognize our ownbeauty because we’re too busy comparing ourselves to other people.”

— Kelly Osbourne

 

One of the easiest ways to feel bad about oneself is to compare yourself unfavorably to others. We may be tempted to compare ourselves with those who have more accomplishments, seem more attractive, make more money, or boast more Facebook friends.

When you find yourself envious of what someone else has, and feel jealous, inferior or inadequate as the result, you’re having a negative social comparison moment.

Habitual negative social comparisons can cause a person to experience greater stress, anxiety, depression, and make self-defeating choices.

Two interesting notes about negative social comparison:

1.  Negative social comparison has elements of narcissism.

When we wish to look, be, or have like others, we’re not really wishing foreverything about that person, but only the idealized aspects of the individual. This idealized and grandiose perception of another is narcissistic in nature. Chances are, not even those whom your compare yourself with can live up to your idealized images of them. This is why so often when people spend some length of time with their “heroes,” “heroines,” “role models,” or “idols,” they discover that those whom they look up to also have weaknesses, flaws, difficulties and problems just like everyone else.

2.  It’s relatively easy to change from idealizing to humanizing.

For example, you may wish that you have the perfect career and a lot of money like your manager Joe, or the good looks of your friend Kelly, or a wonderful romantic relationship like Samantha. Comparing yourself with them might cause you to feel somehow “lesser.” But when you look at their lives more objectively, you know that Joe has health problems and family issues, Kelly is actually insecure about her looks, and it took Samantha a painful divorce and many hard lessons before she found a compatible mate. Looking at them from a more balanced perspective, you realize there’s more than meets the eye, and that they’re human beings with their own share of challenges like you.

The Buddha reminds us that the four conditions in life which cause suffering are: birth, aging, illness, and death. No one, no matter how powerful, successful, wealthy, or fabulous they seem on the outside, can escape these truths. This effectively makes ALL of us equal. What’s left, then, are values which truly make our brief existence on this earth worthwhile: self-acceptance, quality relationships, and a meaningful life’s purpose. For each of these, the answers and our ability to realize them come from WITHIN. No external accomplishments, privileges, entitlements or materialism alone can achieve them. No superficial status, ranks, stations, or possessions are required to realize them.

“Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine!” 

— Jennie Finch

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.

― Thich Nhat Hanh

For more in-depth tools on reducing or eliminating disempowering attitudes and feelings, see my book (click on title): “How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts & Emotions – A Practical Guide.”

For more on finding your life’s purpose and relationship success, see my publicaitons “The Seven Keys to Life Success” and “Seven Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success.”

5 Ways to Make Anyone Feel Special
Spread the warmth, for their sake and yours.
Published on July 19, 2014 by Isadora Alman, MFT in Sex & Sociability
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ShutterstockIn a new relationship or one seasoned by time, for a female or male friend or relative, young or old, same sex or other, the desire to feel appreciated is universal, and the means of showing that you care are available to everyone. Is there someone you would like to please, someone whom you would love to have think of you warmly? Choose one of the following. Heck, choose ALL of the following. I promise you the deed will be worth the doing:
Give small “just-for-you” presents. Whether it’s a candy bar you know the other likes or a paperback book you found at a garage sale, it really is all about the adage that it’s the thought that counts.
Make it a point to slightly touch him or her often. Nothing intimate; just an enthusiastic hug of pleasure when you greet or part; a casual touch on the shoulder as you pass; a friendly squeeze of the arm as you walk side-by-side. Many studies have shown the power of touch to boost people’s mood and sense of connection; one paper found that even the most fleeting touch of the fingers when a librarian returned a reader’s card made the customer remember the library visit as a more pleasant experience (thought without ever realizing why).
Share a warm memory of the other person with him or her. I was thinking the other day about the time I saw you… Knowing that you are noticed, remembered, or thought of, is wonderfully flattering to anyone.
Make something. Whatever your talent, employ it to create something that will make someone feel special and appreciated. If you can cook, invite the friend for a home-cooked dinner or tea with your own baked treat. Such gestures are long-remembered: A man in my life long ago made me a meal that had almonds in everything—the salad, the main dish, and the dessert, all because I casually mentioned when we first met that I liked them. Needless to say, the fact that he took such a casual comment to heart impressed me even more than the meal. Similarly, a folded paper crane made by a young relative just learning origami has had pride of place on my desk for more than a year and always makes me smile.
Plan an event. A friend once picked me up at work for an arranged lunch date and brought a blanket and packed basket for a picnic with everything—including (chocolate-covered) ants, an experience in themselves! What might have been a rushed workday meal in a crowded food court became a memorable event. This was almost 50 years ago. How many lunches have I eaten with friends in the intervening years I couldn’t guess but this one stands out and so does the person who arranged it.
Many times over our lives, hopefully, we have been made to feel special through such gestures as these. We should all hope that we have spread as much warmth around through our own thoughtful acts, and will continue to do so, as well.

Behind the Smile


“His poetry is lyrical, tender and profoundly moving…It is how those of us with depression live; adrift in the dark depths but forever struggling to the sunlit shallows.” Sally Brampton, author of Shoot the Damn Dog.

At Depression Alliance we’re celebrating the latest critically acclaimed anthology from poet Stan Frith, who tragically lost his son Jason after a four year battle with depression. With all profits from the book being donated to our life-saving work, Behind the Smile explores themes of love, shame and our understanding of life, and is a must-read for all families affected by depression. Buy a copy today from the JustGiving page and let’s end the loneliness and isolation of depression together.

Evolution of the Self On the paradoxes of personality by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.

”’3 Ways to Keep Cool When Life Gets out of Control
Frustration can set you back. Evolve past it.
Published on April 19, 2011 by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. in Evolution of the Self”’

you’re minding your own business. You’ve taken all due precautions. You haven’t had a mental lapse. You’ve been responsible and conscientious. You haven’t hurt anyone, or done anything wrong.

You’re innocent.

And then, out of the blue, someone at the supermarket abruptly turns into your aisle, sneezes in your face—and you end up with the flu. Or, while dutifully following a traffic signal, you stop at a light that just turned red—and are promptly rear-ended. Or you meticulously plan a family reunion picnic—only to have the occasion ruined by a most unseasonable, never-forecast thunderstorm. Or, jogging at twilight, listening to your iPod, you trip on a barely visible sidewalk crack—and fracture an ankle. Or your broker, who came highly recommended by trustworthy friends, crafts a portfolio of equities, all of which turn out to be duds.

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Get the picture?

I’ve come to view such mishaps, or setbacks, as “fines for being alive.” These are fines you can pretty much count on having to pay at some point. Just by virtue of occupying space on planet Earth, from time to time, and without advanced warning, life will deal you a slight, an insult, an undeserved blow of some kind that you can’t experience as anything but unjust.

Why do I find this concept so intriguing? Simply because—personally and as a therapist—I’ve come to believe that discovering how to accept the bad things that gratuitously happen to you—even how to take them in stride—is absolutely crucial if you’re to achieve a steady, virtually unshakeable, state of well-being.

Let’s face it: There are an abundance of things over which you can exert only limited control. So if you’re to overcome the various barriers that temporarily block you from objects of your desire, it’s critical to learn how to maintain emotional poise in the face of them. Even though these obstacles may temporarily deter you, you still need to hold onto your composure and doggedly continue to pursue your goals. Sure, your progress may be impeded, but it doesn’t really have to end. Although your destination may be reached later than you’d hoped, as long as you don’t falter you’ll get there all the same. When, through no fault of your own, things just don’t seem to be going your way, it’s essential that you figure out how not to lose your way.

There are times in our life when we may feel besieged by events seemingly contrived, almost demonically, to overwhelm us. Nonetheless, our capacity for control during these times—our ultimate power—is to expand our space to include such disappointments, challenges, provocations, and demands. And, despite such adversity, to hang tough and resolutely adhere to our life path.

How easy, or difficult, is this to do? In general, I’d say the ability to adapt to life’s frustrations varies in proportion to your personal evolution. Adjusting or accommodating to below-the-belt blows of “outrageous fortune” hardly hinges on some inborn personality trait either. For the most part, it simply reflects how much you’ve been able to learn from painful lessons in your past. And being able to make allowances for, and come to terms with, all that interferes with your desires doesn’t really come naturally. It’s something that requires conscious cultivation. So when something blatantly unfair happens to you, be ever-mindful of how (between your ears) you process it.

You need to carefully mull over how you’re going to respond to anything keenly felt as an injustice. Succumbing to the temptation to react withimpulsive anger may offer the immediate consolation of feeling righteous,self-righteous, or morally superior. But the associated cost of taking this low road to “re-empowerment” is that it inevitably sacrifices your inner tranquility and peace of mind. And the more you invest your vital stores of energy in getting back at whatever you perceive as having harmed you, the more likely you are to turn immediate setbacks into chronic limitations and constraints. In which case your choosing (however unwittingly) not to “get on with it,” not to move forward in your life’s journey, becomes no one’s responsibility but your own. Inadvertently, it’s you yourself who has blocked the way to your satisfaction and fulfillment.

So, when you’re suddenly taken aback by one of life’s periodic fines, how can you best respond?

Here are my three “A’s” for quickly moving beyond unwelcome obstacles in your path:

  • Assess. Ask yourself just how serious this particular “fine” is. Might you be exaggerating its importance? In the moment, that unwelcome “tariff” (or “life tax”) may feel awful, perhaps even catastrophic. But, upon painstaking reflection, is it possibly not that much more than an annoyance, or inconvenience? Finally, how much of your life, if any, do you actually want or need to devote to it?
  • Accept. Just acknowledge that you’ve been fined for, well, nothing. Remind yourself that it makes little sense to stew over whatever misfortune you’ve unexpectedly been subject to. Make up your mind not to let it bother you anymore than absolutely necessary.
  • Act. Now that you’ve decided not to waste your mental and emotional energy by obsessing upon or brooding over your bad luck, or by ruminating about how you might retaliate, what’s the best action to take? How can you best cope with this setback? Might you work around it? Do you need temporarily to put something aside to effectively deal with it? Would it help to get a friend, or professional, to assist you?

Or might it suffice simply to let out a single, extended, self-compassionate sigh—and then, life-affirmingly, begin to put it all behind you?

And once you’ve become proficient in implementing this fairly straightforward problem-resolution procedure, go ahead and give yourselfan “A,” too.

 

Can’t Buy Happiness? Money, personality, and well-being by Ryan T. Howell, Ph.D. 5 Things Happy People Do Every Day (and You Can, Too) Money can’t buy happiness, unless you spend it the right way.

My research team and I just completed a study to examine the differences in how happy people live their lives compared to people who are unhappy. Because we were interested in several characteristics of happy people, including the relationship between money and happiness, we examined the predictors of happiness from 30 different surveys. These surveys measured people’s spending habits, consumer choices, values, and personality traits.
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What Is Fair?
Wired for fairness.
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The results indicated that happy people make 5 little decisions every day that improve their well-being. What are these 5 importance differences between happy and unhappy people, based on our recent consumer behavior studies?

Happy people think about the past fondly.
Perhaps unique among all animals, humans have the capacity to travel backward and forward in time—to use the “specious present” both to relive past life events and to think about the future. Our data shows that happy people appear to relive the ecstasy, but ignoring the agony, of days gone by. When happy people think about their past they focus on their good memories instead of dwelling on the negatives.

Happy people “catch” the emotions of others.
Some sensitive people are vulnerable to experiencing others’ emotions—they can “catch” them during joyful (and sorrowful) experiences. Our data shows that when someone smiles warmly at happy people, they smile back and feel warm inside. Therefore, if you pay more attention to the positive emotions of other people, you should become be happier.

Happy people live in a great community.
A person is happiest when three basic psychological needs are satisfied: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Literally thousands of studies demonstrate the positive effect of psychological need satisfaction on happiness. Our data shows that these psychological needs can be met by one’s community. Happy people say that they feel belongingness where they live and that they look forward to coming home when they have been away.

Happy people manage their money well.
Something that any of us can do every day is to make a budget and track our financial transactions so we don’t make impulsive purchases. Research suggests that individuals will manage their money better when they have a clear goal—for example, paying off a credit card, saving for a comfortable retirement, or starting an emergency fund. Our data shows that if you manage your money better today, you will be happier tomorrow.

Happy people spend their money on life experiences instead of material items.
Almost 10 years of research has investigated the effects of investing money in life experiences, as opposed to material items. There is now robust evidence that when people spend their money on life experiences they are happier than when they spend on material goods. However, our data further shows that people who habitually spend their money on life experiences are happier than people who tend to buy material items.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/depression-frustrations_n_5692649.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

There’s been a lot of dialogue surrounding depression — particularly in light of recent events — as people struggle to understand why and how it affects people in the ways that it does. And for the 350 million people worldwide who do struggle with the condition, it can be just as hard to articulate its effects as it is to understand it.

Depression can make people feel like their minds have completely rebelled against them. From a lack of will to physical pain, it can cause people to function poorly at work, in school and in social activities, according to the World Health Organization. Many people who experience depression can also experience symptoms of anxiety.

But those factors are just the start. Below, find nine things people with depression know to be true (and what others can do to help alleviate them).

The frustration that comes when someone suggests you can “snap out of it.”
suck it up

The hard truth is, depression is not the sort of thing you can just wake up and be over one morning — and suggesting such may be sending an unsupportive message. According to John F. Greden, M.D., the executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, these phrases often stem from a lack of understanding of mental illness.

“When [loved ones] don’t understand what’s happening, their responses are ‘suck it up’ and ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself,'” Greden tells The Huffington Post. “It’s not understood that these are underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities, so what they’ll do is use these phrases. … These comments are probably one of the worst irritations.”

People constantly confusing depression with sadness.
It’s a common misconception that depression is just a result of being overly sad. But as David Kaplan, Ph.D., chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association, stresses, the two are not one and the same.

“People throw around the word ‘depressed’ a lot,” Kaplan previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “Depression is a clinical term — and a lot of times when people say they’re depressed, they really mean sad. The words that we use are very powerful and it’s important to make that distinction.”

There is no such thing as a little victory.
victory

For those who deal with chronic depression, there are no little victories because every accomplishment is a big victory.

While everyday, routine motions come naturally to most people, for someone who is depressed, they are much harder feats, explains Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida. “Why do depressed people lie in bed? It isn’t because of great snuggle time under the blankets. It’s because depressed people can’t bring themselves to get out of bed,” he wrote in a Psychology Today blog. “Almost any activity or task becomes a painful ordeal, even things as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed.”

Lack of energy means more than your run-of-the-mill afternoon slump.
That 3 p.m. slump you feel when you need your third cup of coffee hardly compares to the drop in energy that occurs when you’re in a depressed state. Because of this lack of motivation, depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles don’t work, Greden explains. “It makes it really difficult to go to work, to concentrate, to laugh, to keep your focus on assignments, when you’re hurting in this way,” he says.

There are physical symptoms — and they’re just as taxing as the emotional ones.
pain

“At one point, everyone considered depression to be a mood state, and that’s a huge misconception,” Greden says. “Depression, for most people, actually involves major physical symptoms. And as a result, people don’t consider themselves depressed and they think something else is wrong.”

When someone experiences depression, physical ailments you already have can be made worse, Greden explains. Other physical symptoms include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue. “These physical symptoms as well as the mood symptoms affect their routine life patterns,” he notes. “They’re all tied together.”

Things that used to be fun aren’t quite as enjoyable.
Depression can impact even the smallest pleasures in life. Hanging out with friends, fun activities like golfing and even intimacy with romantic partners all seem less exciting than they were before, Greden says. “Depression makes your life dramatically different.”

This lack of interest, coupled with the physical symptoms, are all major red flags when it comes to identifying the condition. To help someone who may be experiencing this downturn, Greden suggests approaching him or her with an open mind and continuous support, which includes offering to help find treatment.

The difficulty that comes with communicating your emotions.
communicating

When you’re experiencing depression, it can be challenging to put into words what’s going on in your mind when you know that not everyone around you feels the same way — especially when there’s a stigma around your illness. Only 25 percent of adults who experience mental health issues feel that people are sympathetic toward people struggling with mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Depression is a negative view of self, of the world and of the future,” Greden explains. “Everything is sort of being seen through dark-colored glasses. … It’s pretty common, when people are depressed, for them to think that no one understands them — and that’s a really tough place to be.”

The disorder is not one-size-fits-all.
faces

Each person experiences depression in his or her own way — and because of this, experts recommend practicing empathy with loved ones who may be struggling. “Symptoms differ, causes differ, treatments differ,” Greden explains. “Jobs, relationships, families — everything gets changed by this illness.”

As HuffPost blogger Hannah Sentenac explains in a piece on life lessons she learned from depression, everyone’s journey is different: “For some people, medication is crucial. For others, long term psychotherapy might be the answer,” she wrote. “Whatever works. I’m not suggesting that my path is best for anyone but me. But I am suggesting that everyone has a path to healing — and the most important thing is to keep after it. Don’t give up.”

There are ways to help others break through the throes of depression, Greden says. That includes shedding any thoughts that could be perpetuating a stigma about mental health. “We need so much more openness, transparency and understanding that it’s OK to talk about depression as an illness,” he explains. “It’s not a weakness. It’s not a moral shortcoming. It’s not something people brought on themselves. And understanding that is a pretty powerful beginning to helping a loved one with depression.”

Have a story about depression that you’d like to share? Email strongertogether@huffingtonpost.com, or give us a call at (860) 348-3376, and you can record your story in your own words. Please be sure to include your name and phone number.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Quit from; http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201408/breaking-is-hard-do/five-questions-ask-yourself-you-quit

Yes, the adage tells you that “winners never quit and quitters never win” but the truth is that, at one point or another in our lives, most of us will have to let go of a relationship, a job, an endeavor dear to our hearts, or a goal and move on. Transitions are a fact of life. How well we manage a given transition and the act of reinventing ourselves depends on many things—among them, habits of mind, personality, and mind-set, as my book Mastering the Art of Quitting explains in detail—but before you make a move, you need to ask yourself the following five questions. Answer them honestly and you’ll have a better idea of what this period of transition is going to feel like for you, and what problems and opportunities it will present. 1. Am I good at anticipating how I’ll feel and react? 

Most of us are actually pretty bad at predicting our behaviors and thoughts because the problem with tomorrow is that it hasn’t happened yet. In addition, numerous experiments show that people tend to believe that their best and most idealized selves will show up when the going gets tough. I’ve mentioned this study in another post but it’s worth repeating because it’s a dynamite example.  Psychologists Julia Woodzicka and  Marianne LaFrance asked women ages 18-21 to predict how they would react if  they found themselves being harassed by a very intrusive and rude male interviewer in his early thirties. Most of the participants were sure that they’d be proactive and take charge—telling the guy off or even walking out. But when the researchers had the same women take part in what they believed was an actual interview for a lab position under the same circumstances that had been described theoretically, they acted very differently than they’d anticipated. They were much, much meeker and accepting.

We all tend to think about the future in an over-simplified way, both in terms of our own responses and the situation itself, whether we’re anticipating dealing with bosses, spouses, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We don’t take into account that we might feel ambivalent in the moment, or that the situation might end up being less straightforward than we anticipated.

When you think about how you’ll feel once you’ve quit that relationship, paint a picture that includes feelings of sadness and regret, not just the joys of liberation and starting over. Ditto on that job you’re so sick of; you’ll probably feel some relief but it’s likely to be mixed in with anxiety about where you’re going next and how you’re going to get there. The bottom line is to do what you can to imagine the future in a nuanced, in-depth way; just thinking positively or being overly optimistic will actually leave you unprepared for how difficult the transition is likely to be.

2.  How conservative am I?

This question isn’t about politics but whether or not you focus on what you’ve already invested in whatever it is—your work, a relationship, an endeavor, a long-term goal—you’re thinking about quitting. Even though we all like to think of ourselves as creative risk-takers, the truth is that, as the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Twersky showed, human beings are universally loss-averse and far more motivated to avoid a loss than they are enticed by the possibility of gain. If you tend to think in terms of what you’ve sunk into the situation (that’s why it’s called the  “sunk-cost fallacy”), the likelihood is that you’re going to have a lot of trouble leaving it and, if you do manage to get your foot out the door, you’ve going to be stewing about what you’ve lost. Know this about yourself to begin with, and work on reframing your thoughts to focus on the possibilities inherent in the future you haven’t yet encountered.

3.  How do I define myself?

Studies show that the more central whatever it is that you’re planning to leave is to your sense of self, the greater the recovery time and uncertainty once you do quit. According to the work of psychologist Patricia Linville, the people who handle stress best and do better in times of transition are those who have more complex definitions of self; they are more buffered from negative emotional fallout when they have to quit something or are fired because they have other positive and continuing definitions of self which sustain them during times of stress.

Getting a bead on how you define yourself needs to be done first so that you can better anticipate the sense of upheaval you may experience. This profound sense of dislocation can happen even when you’ve chosen to switch paths, as the late William Bridges, author of the book Transitions, discovered after he willingly gave up his career as a college professor and could no longer answer the question “What do you do?” directly. It doesn’t matter whether the definition you’re relinquishing is professor or sales manager, stock trader or lawyer, Dan’s wife or Susan’s husband; what matters is how central it is to your sense of self. The closer what you’re leaving is to your core, the greater your sense of free fall will be.

4. How do I manage uncertainty?

Whether you are motivated by approach or avoidance is going to determine how sanguine you’re going to feel and how well you’re going to do when you’ve quit or have been fired from one thing and there’s no plan B in sight. It could equally be in the area of work or relationship.

You need to take an honest inventory of your motivations. If the arc of your career or love life has been distinguished by avoiding failure—choosing the most reliable path, or the least challenging, or the one that involves the least amount of risk—starting over is going to be harder for you than it will for someone who is comfortable with making mistakes. The work of Andrew J. Elliott and Todd M. Thrash suggests that “approach” and “avoidance” are key aspects of personality. Avoiding failure will, for example, keep you persisting at a task that is doomed to failure, as one study by Heather C. Lench and Linda J. Levin showed. After testing people for approach and avoidance motivation, the researchers gave the participants three sets of seven anagrams to solve in a timed test; the first set was unsolvable. People motivated by approach quit working on the set when they realized persistence wouldn’t pay off; those motivated to avoid failure kept going, and got both stuck and more agitated.

Try to assess yourself honestly; you’re not helping yourself by overstatement or fudging. What motivates you: Fear of failure or the possibility of success? When you hit a snag or obstacle, how flexible are you? Can you change directions or is your default always to stay the course? Take some time and look back over your past experiences and analyze what motivated you and when; you will learn a lot about yourself and how skilled you will be during a transition.

5. How do I manage stress?

The playing field isn’t level, alas, and some of us are better at coping with stress and pressure than others. Make no bones about it: Leaving one thing you know and directing your energies to the unknown future are very stressful. Psychologists have determined that there are two kinds of coping styles, one called “action-oriented” and the other “state-oriented.” These traits may explain why two people with similar goals, talents, and abilities may experience very different outcomes—with one flailing and the other successfully navigating his or her way through the inevitable twists and turns of life. If life were a simple upward trajectory, human beings wouldn’t need to be able to manage their thoughts and feelings.

Action-oriented people manage their emotions effectively, don’t get easily sidetracked, don’t rely on external cues for motivation, and are able to act decisively. If things start to so south, the action-oriented put thoughts of failure out of their minds and focus on what they can do to get their goals met and the obstacles overcome. The state-oriented need structure and deadlines to get going, are sensitive to and need external cues, tend to procrastinate, and have trouble managing negative thoughts. When things go wrong, they tend to get swept up in rumination and second-guessing.

There are ways of improving how you manage your thoughts and emotions but knowing whether you fall into one category or the other will help you prepare for the inevitable stress and strains of transition. Keep in mind that all of life is just a series of transitions. And that, as Lao Tzu put it, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

 

Copyright © 2014  Peg Streep

Interesting read

Our minds create many thoughts that can lead to our being unhappy, the key phrase being, our minds create. The thoughts and beliefs that we hold affect everything about us. Here in the United States, and in most of the developed world, people are consumed by consumerism. So much of our unhappiness comes from wishing that things were different, wishing that we had something else instead of what we dohave.I remember meeting a woman once who had a beautiful daughter. She was very happy with her daughter, but she really wanted another child. Even though her husband and daughter loved her, she was utterly unhappy because she didn’t have a second child. All of her mental energy, all of her mental commentary, went toward that focus and because of that, she suffered greatly. Those of us not in her situation may think that’s funny, or odd, but her story is a lesson I hope can encourage all of us to spend some time, maybe even at this very moment, to reflect upon the question, “In my own life, what am I focused on that I don’t have?

I can guarantee that if we focus on what we don’t have, we’re going to be unhappy, and we’re going to suffer. Our unhappiness can stem from anything that we’re focusing on. Maybe we think we’ll be happy when we lose those extra 50 pounds. Maybe happiness will come when we reach a certain financial level. Maybe when we get that promotion. Maybe we’ll finally be happy when we meet our soul mate and begin a new life together. Or maybe, when we have a child, then we’ll finally be happy. The list can become endless because the moment we fulfill one of our desires, a new one takes its place, and we just continue to suffer. We may want to be healthy, we may want to get a better grade at school, we may want our first car—the list can be endless.

In many ways, our lives are like that of the mythological king Sisyphus, sentenced to the eternal punishment of rolling a large boulder up a hill. But every time he reached the top, the boulder would roll back down, and he would have to start all over again; it never ended. I think sometimes our minds are like that—they just don’t stop. No matter what we desire or wish for, at any age, something else will come along and we’ll say, “Now I want that.” It’s almost shocking if you think about it, and it can continue throughout our lives.

Young children, for example, can’t wait to get presents on their birthday or Christmas morning. But often, and shockingly fast, they tire of their new toys and move on to something else. Does this really ever change? As we get older, our new toys become bigger and grander—a car, a home, a spouse—and yet we can still tire of them and move on. We want something different, something more.

We’re unhappy with what we have, and we’re always yearning after something different.

How do we get off this continuous and debilitating treadmill? Is there any freedom from our Sisyphean task? Yes—and it’s actually shockingly simple. All we have to do is be happy with what we have.

Again: All we have to do is be happy and be focused on what we have right here, right now.

But how do we do this in our daily life, when our minds so quickly tend to want to focus again on what we don’t have? A lot of it has to do with realizing that this type of thinking is not going to help us. We have to really believe that focusing on what we don’t have is going to cause us suffering. We have to believe that focusing on what we do have right now, what we’re blessed with, is going to put a smile on our face. In many ways, this is as powerful as E=MC2, and just as beautiful and simple. All we have to do is focus on what we have and not focus on what we don’t have. We have to be happy with what we have and not think about what we don’t have.

It’s that simple, that elegant, and that beautiful.

We have to realize that this changed philosophy isn’t going to make the marketers and advertisers of the world very happy. They spend billions of dollars trying to get us to be unhappy with how things are now, so that we’ll want something different, so that we’ll feel “less than.” Otherwise, we’re not going to spend money to buy what they’re selling. I don’t want to blame it only on the marketers, though. We’re just as guilty because we do the same thing to ourselves: We think about what other people have—success, possessions, love, whatever it may be. And because we’re thinking about what they have and what we don’t, we become unhappy. What if, instead, we focused on all the beautiful things that we have in our lives? Some of us may have less than others, but we can all still have a beautiful life.

If you don’t know this about me already, I really love to spend time at monasteries. When you choose to live a monastic life, you give up just about everything. Yet the people who live these simple lives are often the happiest people I have ever met in my entire life. They can have virtually nothing, as we know it, and still focus on what they do have. They may not have material possessions, but they have a love of life, right here, right now—and they’re very happy.

Why can’t we do the same? Why can’t we focus on what we do have? Maybe we have a beautiful family, even though we might not have the nicest house in the neighborhood. Maybe we don’t feel very well physically sometimes, but we are free and able to go for walks in natureand can enjoy being outside. Maybe we haven’t yet found the love of our life, but we have friends who care about us whom we get to spend time with. The list of things we do have can go on for a long time if we start focusing on them and celebrating them it. Again, it doesn’t have to be much: Just going for a walk in the early morning, when everything is peaceful and still, can bring us happiness beyond our wildest imagination. Just connecting with friends can be more valuable than staying at the world’s grandest hotel. The list of what we do have and what we can focus on can go on and on. By realizing what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t, we discover one of the key secrets of happiness.

Once we do this, then we can live a beautiful, happy, fulfilled life.

 

Seven Basics to Fostering Love and Happiness

 

The lens by which we each view love and happiness is unique. There is no textbook formula. However, there are things you can do routinely to foster love and happiness:

  1. Love and take care of you.
  2. Be humble and kind to others.
  3. Stay calm and be patient with others.
  4. Be gracious in all things.
  5. Discover what brings peace.
  6. Express gratitude for life.
  7. Do these things daily.

You can also find Dr. Savion on her website, Google+, Twitter, Linkedin andFacebook.

 

Effective Ways of Treating Depression

Step I: The person identifies the content of his or her negative thought process. He or she is taught to articulate any self-attacks in the second person (i.e. “You are so stupid. No one respects you.”) The person is encouraged to say the attack as he or she hears it or experiences it. If the person is holding back feelings, he or she is encouraged to express them.

Step II: The person discusses insights and reactions to verbalizing the voice. He or she attempts to understand the relationship between voice attacks and early life experiences. The objective here is to help the person to develop compassion for themselves.

Step III: The person answers back to the voice attacks. This is often a cathartic experience. Afterwards, it is important for the person to make a rational statement about how he or she really is, how other people really are, what is true about his or her social world from his or her own point of view (i.e. I am not stupid. I have a lot of good qualities that people respect me for.”)

Step IV: The person is encouraged to explore how the voice attacks are influencing his or her present-day behaviors.

Step V: The person then collaborates with the therapist to plan changes in these behaviors. The person is encouraged to resist engaging in self-destructive behavior dictated by his or her negative thoughts and to also increase the positive behaviors these negative thoughts discourage.

What Is Depression?

Some 15 million Americans struggle with depression—an illness that comes in many forms—from major depression and seasonal affective disorder, to dysthymia and bipolar disorder. Depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her.

A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better.

Depression, even in the most severe cases, is a highly treatable disorder. As with many illnesses, the earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented.