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       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.

 

 
 
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Anxiety and Depression after Breast Cancer

 

anxiety and depression after a breast cancer diagnosis, thesilverpen.com

The After period of FBC (f-bomb breast cancer for new readers) presents its own unique set of challenges. The anxiety and depression that sneaked in AFTER my breast cancer treatment was a real shocker. Once I was done with treatment, I thought I was done. However, yet again, FBC laughed right in my face!

The fantastic organization, Living Beyond Breast Cancer recently addressed anxiety and depression issues in a webinar (have you ever done a webinar? They are so great!) with psychiatrist Ruth H. Steinman.

Dr. Steinman assured us that although conflicting emotions can be confusing to you and those around you, anxiety and depression after breast cancer is absolutely normal and these difficult-to-hold emotions usually lessen over time.

Here’s an interesting (and sometimes confusing) thing about anxiety and/or depression after FBC treatment: they tend to occur at various frequencies and levels of intensity.  These emotions can be suddenly re-experienced with “trigger events” such as anniversary dates, birthdays, holidays, etc.

I had a trigger event just last week when a young woman I knew died after a very sudden FBC recurrence. The last time I saw her in New York (about a year ago) she was going to have her radiation tattoos removed. Last week, she died. This sent chills down my spine and turned on my anxiety button. What I know is that these emotions can pop up at any time!

In the webinar, Dr. Steinman described certain things that can provoke anxiety and depression:

  • Pain, fatigue, nausea
  • Body image
  • Inability to care for family
  • Financial instability
  • Tests/scans – waiting for results
  • Appointments with oncology team
  • Hearing of others recurrence or death
  • Feelings of pain or fatigue, or develop a cough

She described the prevalent symptoms of anxiety and depression:



Published By Lindsay, 2014-10-06 15:56:14 Read More...
Psychotherapy

You, New and Improved

      Want to change? How to get to a new you.

                               Self-Esteem vs. Self-Acceptance

 

The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance

How do you fully accept yourself when you don't know how?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though related, self-acceptance is not the same as self-esteem. Whereas self-esteem refers specifically to how valuable, or worthwhile, we see ourselves, self-acceptance alludes to a far more global affirmation of self. When we're self-accepting, we're able to embrace all facets of ourselves--not just the positive, more "esteem-able" parts. As such, self-acceptance is unconditional, free of any qualification. We can recognize our weaknesses, limitations, and foibles, but this awareness in no way interferes with our ability to fully accept ourselves.

 

I regularly tell my therapy clients that if they genuinely want to improve their self-esteem, they need to explore what parts of themselves they're not yet able to accept. For, ultimately, liking ourselves more (or getting on better terms with ourselves) has mostly to do with self-acceptance. And it's only when we stop judging ourselves that we can secure a more positive sense of who we are. Which is why I believe self-esteem rises naturally as soon as we cease being so hard on ourselves. And it's precisely because self-acceptance involves far more than self-esteem that I see it as crucial to our happiness and state of well-being.

 

 



Published By Lindsay, 2014-04-21 19:16:07 Read More...
Med & Health News

Treating Ebola: The Hunt for a Drug

The Ebola Drug Pipeline

The World Health Organization has said that it is ethical to use unproven drugs in the current epidemic. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has granted expanded access to several experimental drugs for use on Ebola patients. The drugs prevent replication of Ebola virus and the vaccines work by triggering an immune response. The drugs and vaccines listed here are in clinical trials and have received support for further development, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Published By Lindsay, 2014-10-28 16:36:27 Read More...
Featured Topics

Andeonia Patients Restors the Ability to Experience PleasureWithin Minutes in Depressed Patients Within Minutes with Ketamine

Ketamine Restores Ability to Experience Pleasure in Depressed Patients Within Minutes

ketamine
Ketamine
Filed Under: Tech & Science, Drugs, Depression, Health and Medicine

There are many faces to depression: sadness, hopelessness, trouble sleeping, lack of motivation, an inability to experience pleasure.

That last one has a medical name—anhedonia—and people experiencing it often no longer enjoy activities that used to bring happiness. Anhedonia is not found just in depression; it can be an important part of other disorders, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and addiction.

In a study published this month in Translational Psychiatry, researchers have found that a drug called ketamine can help quickly reverse anhedonia in patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression (also known as manic-depression or bipolar disorder).

 

Ketamine has previously been shown to help rapidly reverse other aspects of depression in a number of studies; doctors use the drug to treat patients at several hospitals around the country, although it remains illegal to possess without a prescription and hasn’t yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for psychiatric purposes. On the party drug circuit it’s sometimes called “Special K” and is abused for its anaesthetic and hallucinogenic effects.

The researchers found that a single injection of ketamine led to a significant improvement in normal pleasure-seeking behavior in as little as 40 minutes, and this dramatic improvement lasted as long as two weeks for some of the 36 participants.



Published By Lindsay, 2014-10-28 19:11:36 Read More...
Announcements

Petting Away Depression

You've seen the TV commercials, the person in black and white and sad while they watch their friends and family in color happy as can be? Then the sad individual gets help, sees the world in color and has a dog run into frame to play with them, or they are suddenly on the couch petting their beloved cat. Well, there's a reason for that, pets can help individuals with depression/illnesses/anxiety.

"Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression," says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.

Depression affects millions of individuals in the USA alone. A lot of people reading this suffer from some form or know someone who does. A pet might not be right for everyone, so don't just show up with a pet one day for someone you know with depression.

 



Published By Lindsay, 2014-02-27 20:42:41 Read More...
Meds

Celexa May Help Ease Alzheimer's-Linked Agitation

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

 

 

 



Published By Lindsay, 2014-02-19 18:21:07 Read More...
Stories

Speakers share about struggles with mental health

 

The diagnosis of bipolar disorder in her 20s came as a relief to Hope Richardson. There was finally a name for what she felt and something that could be done, she said. Because mental illness is a lifelong condition, staying well takes effort, and she's mindful of that every day.

Once afraid of others not liking her and unable to stand up for herself, Richardson said she often walked around with her head down and hair covering her face. She went through bouts of depression and struggled with anger, manic episodes and suicidal thoughts.

Early on, she was hesitant to talk about her condition.

"I didn't want people to know. I was kind of embarrassed and ashamed," said Richardson, 44, of Des Moines.

Through therapy and support, she has learned to "live with," rather than "suffer," mental illness and says the only way to end stigma is to educate others.

She's part of a group of trained speakers who open up about their disorders through In Our Own Voice, a public awareness program sponsored by the National Alliance for Mental Illness Greater Des Moines. The local chapter began offering the program last fall.

Sharing their stories serves as a type of ongoing therapy for the speakers and a chance to paint a realistic picture of mental illness, which affects one in four adults — about 61.5 million Americans every year. One in 17, or 13.6 million Americans, live with a serious mental condition such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

 



Published By Lindsay, 2014-05-21 14:13:32 Read More...
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