If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Depression Forums - A Depression & Mental Health Social Community Support Group
Our mission is to create an atmosphere that is both supportive and informative in a caring, safe environment for our members to talk to their peers about depression, anxiety, mood disorders, medications, therapy and recovery.
Our vision is to advance the public awareness of mental health issues so as to eliminate the stigma that surrounds depression and mood disorders through education and advocacy, as well as striving to obtain quality medical care for mental health patients, as it is no different from any other medical illness.
For many people, weight is depressing. Whether consequent to society's hateful weight biases, which expose individuals with obesity to mood-killing bullying, scorn and discrimination, or to personally held beliefs and attitudes, there's little doubt that weight is often a huge psychological burden.
There's little doubt, too, that those who struggle with both weight and depression often feel a tight relationship between them, that their depression would lift were they to lose weight. And for some it does.
A recent meta-analysis of the impact of intentional non-pharmacologic weight-loss programs on depression revealed that indeed weight loss is associated with an improvement in mood. But that's not the whole story. And so, before you rush out and join a weight-loss program, you need to know that the mood benefits shown occurred in folks enrolled in behavioral weight-loss programs, regardless of whether or not they lost weight. In other words, it wasn't the losing that was helping mood, it was something else.
The researchers believe that most likely mood was shown to improve due to either exercise or the social support offered by the programs themselves.
I learned about cognitive distortions in the 1990s from a book by David Burns called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. I’d just moved from the faculty wing at U.C. Davis’ law school to serve as the dean of students. I knew how to teach law…but I didn’t feel competent to help students who were struggling emotionally.
When I shared my concerns with a friend who was a therapist, she recommended Feeling Good. She said it would help me recognize when a student was engaged in distorted thinking patterns that were increasing his or her stress and anxiety. I don’t know who benefitted more from the book: the students I was trying to help or me personally!
Many years later, after I became chronically ill, I found the notes I’d taken on ten cognitive distortions that Burns discusses in Feeling Good. I immediately realized that I had a new life challenge to apply them to. I’m indebted to him for this piece. I’ll describe each cognitive distortion and then include a suggestion or two for how to counter it.
Of course, before you can counter distorted thinking, you have to become aware that you’re engaging in it. To this end, it might be beneficial to make a list of the ten distortions and then look it over every few days. Or, you could write down some of your stressful and anxious thoughts and then look to see which of the ten distortions they fall under.
In my examples, I’ll focus on distortions that the chronically ill are prone to, but those of you who are in good health can substitute a word or two and I’m confident you’ll recognize yourself in these examples.
It’s no surprise when someone adopts healthier eating habits when they’re trying to slim down and look their best for summer. However, rarely do we hear about someone eating healthier in an effort to improve their cognitive skills. A recent study published in the American Academy of Neurology’s journal Neurology has found that adhering to a healthy diet can lower a person’s risk for suffering a decline in memory and thinking as they get older.
It’s time to dump the excuses For a Healthier Lifesyle
By Cindy Brauer
Sore knees keeping you from a brisk walk through Valley Forge? Waiting out an aching back before hitting the Y? Ironically, lack of exercise is likely the reason your body is inflamed. Waiting for it to magically heal itself is not only dangerous but could be making it worse. It’s time to dump the excuses and start cycling, hiking and even singing your way back to a healthier and happier lifestyle. You would be surprised at how quickly and favorably your body will respond to even a moderate, low-impact workout.
Did you know that every one pound gained puts approximately three to 10 pounds more pressure on your knees when walking, running or climbing stairs? Wincing through a barre class may seem overwhelming at first, but keeping your weight healthy, your muscles flexible and your bones strong are essential to pain relief. The endorphin high after a romp on the Radnor Trail can help ease depression; a weekly dance class can work wonders, increasing memory skills and warding off dementia.
No one knows the magical healing benefits of exercise better than the staff at Bryn Mawr Rehab. Domenica Hottenstein of Paoli is a rehab nurse for patients with brain or joint injuries. “Daily exercise is paramount in the rehabilitation process. We get each patient on his or her feet every day no matter what current condition. Even if they are unable to move themselves, our specialists will physically move them until they can.” Domenica says she still marvels at how quickly the human body can recover as long as it keeps pushing its limits every day.
This lesson became very real for Domenica, 49, last winter when she slipped on black ice and severely injured her ankle, requiring surgery, bed rest and a long recovery process. An active runner, Mojo friend and busy mother of three teenagers, she was devastated but she didn’t sit still for long. “I knew it would get better if I did the time,” Domenica says, “and if I didn’t try to stay in shape, it would take twice as long for me to recover.” With the assistance of her doctor and physical therapist, Domenica developed a workout regimen with high-intensity upper-body movements and lots of loud music. It worked. Less than a year later, she is as fit, trim and youthful as she was before her injury.
High intensity/Low-impact tips
As they say, if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. It’s up to you to be creative and persistent in finding enjoyable activities that push you physically. Even moderate exercise can do wonders to ease pain and keep your weight in check. Consult your doctor and/or physical therapist to learn your limitations, but don’t let them become a “reason” to sit on the sidelines.
It’s a myth that a good cardiovascular workout needs to be high impact – with feet leaving the ground – in order to get results. Not true! As long as your heart rate has been elevated for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes, you’re getting a great workout and you can certainly get there with low impact exercises. To add intensity, try accessing the upper body with more power and strength. The more muscle groups used simultaneously, the more calories burned and the bigger the metabolic boost. For instance, if walking is your activity of choice, walk briskly. Consciously engage your core by walking tall with your shoulders down and back. It makes me crazy to see people “power walking” with their arms flaccidly at their sides! Increase intensity by treating your arms like they are weights. Bringing them up higher with more force brings more muscles to life and gives you more bang for your efforts.
Are you someone who stops moving just when your breath gets a little choppy? If so, you are cheating yourself. Keep moving until you reach a level of fatigue and then reach beyond it – regularly and frequently. If your muscles are sore the next day, congrats! It’s a desirable sign that your body is repairing itself and getting stronger for its next play date. Please note that pain is not good. Lay off that movement until you consult a professional.
Raising alcohol taxes may help reduce the binge drinking rate, according to researchers at Boston University.
They found a one percent increase in alcohol prices due to taxes was associated with a 1.4 percent decrease in binge drinking.
The more alcohol taxes increase, the more binge drinking rates decrease, the researchers report in Addiction.
Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting for men, or four or more drinks for women and causes more than half of the almost 90,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States annually, HealthDay reports.
Tennessee, the state with the highest taxes on beer, had the lowest binge drinking rate (6.6 percent) in 2010. In contrast, the states with the lowest alcohol taxes (Delaware, Montana and Wisconsin), had the highest binge drinking rates.
In 2010, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, an independent panel of public health and prevention experts, recommended increasing taxes on the sale of alcoholic beverages, "on the basis of strong evidence of the effectiveness of this policy in reducing excessive consumption and related harms."
Study finds it might be safer alternative to standard antipsychotics
TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The antidepressant Celexa shows promise in easing the agitation people with Alzheimer's disease often suffer, and may offer a safer alternative to antipsychotic drugs, a new study finds.
"Agitation is one of the worst symptoms for patients and their families: it puts the Alzheimer's patient at risk for other system overloads (cardiac, infection), wears them out physically, and exhausts caregivers and families," noted one expert, Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
He said that while antipsychotic drugs are typically used to help ease the agitation, they are also associated with a higher risk of death for Alzheimer's patients, so safer alternatives would be welcome.
The new study was led by Dr. Constantine Lyketsos, director of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center in Baltimore. It included 186 Alzheimer's patients with agitation symptoms such as emotional distress, aggression, irritability, and excessive movem
If you, or someone you know is struggling, please seek help.
Curtis Vanderloo asked SooToday to publish the following letter about his mother's death last year in the hope that by sharing her story, it might help someone else suffering from the stigma of mental illness.
On March 31, it will be the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.
She passed suddenly and unexpectedly, only she didn’t pass suddenly.
She died by suicide. She killed herself. She took her own life. She died by her own will.
Only it wasn’t unexpected, she was depressed.
She was suffering deep grief related to her own parents passing.
She had Seasonal Affective Disorder, she was manic.
you really are a clever person lizzy
and i can only say i admire you
i really do
you are an inspiration to us all
and i love you to bits
please keep up the good work that you do
love and peace to you (sadman101 )
My sister's letter......
I am a pathological liar. I lie to everyone around me.
I say I have friends, that I am busy, happy, nice, smart.
The person I lie to the most is me. I tell myself that I'm worth something and that
I prefer not to have anyone who likes me.
Everyone leaves a room I enter.
People stop talking when I get close.
When I say something it is ignored or made fun of.
In less than a day I can go from bouncing off the walls to don't even want to move.
Sometimes I go entire weeks where having no one who wants me around doesn't bother
me at all, then I cry for weeks for being so pathetic that I don't even have one
“That glazed doughnut is calling my name. Oh yes it is! It’s so sweet and pink and full of sprinkles. I long to taste those delicious sweet tidbits melting in my mouth, giving me a rush of pleasure and energy and making everything okay even when it isn’t.” How many of us have had this feeling around mid-afternoon on a particularly grey and miserable day, when nothing seems to be going our way. I know I have!
Longing for the comfort of a sweet treat, a blanket, a cup of coffee and a reality show on the TV. Just wanting to check out for a while when life gets too demanding and difficult. And if we do this occasionally, we can just call it a “Mental Health Day” and leave it at that. We don’t need to buy into those Sugar Nazis foretelling gloom and doom if we eat one doughnut, especially if we turn off the TV for a bit and eat it mindfully.
In a new study, participants who paid attention to their physical and mental feelings showed small but meaningful reductions in anxiety, depression and pain.
Rachael Rettner, LiveScience
Tue, Jan 07 2014 at 9:20 AM
Meditation programs may help reduce anxiety, depression and pain in some patients, but may not lead to a boost in positive feelings or overall health, according to a new review study.
The review analyzed information from 47 previously published studies with a total of 3,515 participants. Each study included a group that participated in meditation (usually for a few weeks or months), as well as a control group that participated in another activity that required similar time and effort, such as learning about nutrition or performing another type of exercise.
Participants who practiced mindfulness meditation for about eight weeks to six months showed small but meaningful reductions in anxiety, depression and pain. Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation in which people learn to pay attention to what they are feeling physically and mentally from moment to moment.
Most of the improvements in pain occurred among participants who had visceral pain (pain in internal organs).
Meditation programs were not more effective than exercise or cognitive-behavioral group therapy at reducing anxiety, depression and pain, the review said.
Have you given some thought to making any New Year’s resolutions this year? The tradition of setting goals for the New Year goes back about 4,000 years to the Babylonians when once a year people made promises to the gods in hopes of receiving good fortune in return.
January 1 became the first day of the year in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar developed a new calendar, switching from a lunar one to a solar one. He named the first month of the Julian calendar after the two-faced god Janus. Janus could look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead at the same time. The Romans exchanged New Year’s gifts that symbolized good fortune, such as branches from sacred trees and, later, coins imprinted with the likeness of Janus.
Although the date for the start of the New Year is not the same in every culture, the day is a time for making promises and for setting goals for the year ahead. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about half of our population here in the United States makes resolutions each year. Popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans are: losing weight, exercising and giving up smoking.
The approach of a new year is also a good time to set some business resolutions. Think of 2014 as the year you can attain some new heights in your career. Here are six areas to examine. The specifics are up to you.
Forget meditation and yoga: For many stressed-out Americans, the best remedy for a stressful day at work or the sting of a painful breakup is the smell of brand-new clothing, the feel of a silk dress and the sound of a credit card being swiped. If you turn to retail therapy in times of anxiety, you're not alone -- according to a recent survey, nearly one in three recently stressed Americans (which accounts for 91 percent of the general population) shops to deal with stress.
If someone has cancer, heart disease or certain other physical ailments, we have compassion for them. But there is one illness that often elicits shame, not compassion. It is silenced in many families and that silence can add to the burden of those who have it: Mental Illness.
Think about it. If someone in your family suffers from depression, anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia, do you share that information as easily as you do other health conditions? Over the centuries, our society has conditioned us to feel as if mental health issues are something to hide – a character flaw.
When we feed into that stereotype, we may inadvertently send a signal to friends and family with mental illness, that they would be judged, unloved or shunned. Research shows that the causes of mental illness are usually a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.
It is not the fault of the person with the mental illness.