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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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Managing Holiday Stress

 

 

Coping with Depression

Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people they are anything but. Learn about statistics and how to cope.

Written by Michael Kerr
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD

 
Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people they are anything but.

Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety of the holiday season—especially during the months of November and December (and, to a lesser extent, just before Valentine's Day)—may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.

Part of the problem, according to Adam K. Anderson, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is the bombardment of media during the holidays showing images of smiling families and friends.

"[People] may start to question the quality of their own relationships," he says. 

According to one 1999 Canadian study of patients treated by emergency psychiatric services during the Christmas season, the most common stressors were feelings of loneliness and "being without a family."

Facts & Statistics: The Truth About the Holiday Suicide Myth

The myth has been repeated so many times, most people consider it common knowledge: more people commit suicide between Thanksgiving and Christmas than at any other time of the year. Although it sounds reasonable, it simply isn't true.

Contrary to popular belief, December actually has the fewest suicide attempts of any month of the year. The facts, while seemingly encouraging, may be more complicated, however.

While it's true that suicide attempts tend to drop off just before and during the holidays, there is a significant uptick in suicide rates following Christmas—a 40 percent uptick, according to one large Danish study. Christmas itself seems to have a protective effect with regard to certain types of psychopathology, say researchers, but there is a significant rebound effect immediately following the holiday.

Although fewer people utilize emergency services or attempt suicide during December, there is an increase in certain other kinds of psychopathology, including mood disorders such as dysphoria and substance abuse.



Published By Lindsay, 2014-11-12 15:29:27 Read More...
Psychotherapy

Why Won’t You Take Your Medication?

 


by Pete Earley


“Why won’t you just take your medication? I take pills for my cholesterol every night and its no big deal?”

“Every psychiatrist we’ve seen has said you have a mental illness. Why won’t you accept it? Why would the doctors tell you that you’re sick, if it weren’t true?”

“Let’s look at when you were doing well and when you got into trouble. What was the difference? Medication. It was the difference. When you were on your meds, you were fine. And when you weren’t, you got into trouble. Can’t you see that?”

These quotes may sound familiar to you if you are a parent and have a a son or daughter with a severe mental illness. I’ve said everyone of them to my son, Mike.


It often is frustrating for us – parents — to understand why our children will not take anti-psychotic  medication or take it only until they get better and then stop. The remedy seems so clear-cut to us, so simple - and watching them experience the mania, depression, and delusions that happen when they become psychotic is heartbreaking and horrific.

Early on, I tried every trick out there to get Mike to take his pills. Those of you who have read my book know that during one of his first breakdowns, I crushed his pills and mixed them into his breakfast cereal only to be caught by him. I snuck into his room and counted his pills too one day and when I discovered that he had stopped taking them, I followed the advice of a therapist who had told me that I needed to practice “tough love.” I told Mike that if he didn’t take his medication, he had to move out of my house. He did – that very same day.

Another time, I offered to pay him to take his medication — a $1 per pill.


Xavier Amador
It was my friend, Xavier Amador, author of the book, “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” who finally convinced me to back off. “I can promise you, Pete,” he said, “your son knows exactly how you feel about medication. You don’t need to ever mention it to him again.”

And since that day, I haven’t. Not a word.

So why do persons with mental illnesses refuse to take their medication or stop taking them as soon as they become stable?

I am asked that question more than any other after I give a speech.

Let’s skip the obvious reasons –that some anti-psychotic medications can dull a person, make them feel physically lousy, kill their sex drive, cause them to gain weight or send them to bed exhausted even though they are already sleeping for 16 hours a day. Let’s ignore the fact that no one really knows the long term health impact that medication can cause on a person’s body.

Instead, let’s dig deeper.

One day, I asked Mike to explain to me in writing why he had struggled so much when it came to taking his medication.



Published By Forum Admin, 2014-11-11 17:30:50 Read More...
Med & Health News

Signs You're Depressed — and Don't Know It


The beginning of the year is a bummer for many — the combination of dark days, no more holidays to look forward to and never-ending bad weather make this time of year ripe for Seasonal Affected Disorder, or clinical depression with a seasonal onset.
 
 



The major symptoms of SAD and clinical depression are the same, Dr. Brandon Gibb, a psychology professor at Binghamton University, told weather.com. You’ll experience an enduring sadness most of the day every day for at least two weeks. (It’s this duration that separates true clinical depression from a few sad moods.) You’ll also experience a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.

“The other really key thing is [depression] starts to get in the way of things: work, your ability to do your job, your relationships with people,” he said.

But for some people, there are more subtle signs, counterintuitive to traditional depressive symptoms. Even if you’re working hard at work and going out with your friends, you still could be depressed, in fact.

  Some people find it hard to accept compliments when they’re depressed or when their depression is starting to return. One explanation: A compliment disrupts a depressed person’s low self-esteem, so he or she refuses to accept it. Feeling self-centered (when’s the last time you complimented someone else?) is also a sign someone is retreating toward depression.

 



Published By Forum Admin, 2014-03-20 11:18:38 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

Dating With a Mental Illness

 

Your condition doesn't have to keep you from finding love.

A happy young couple sits and talks in a coffee shop.

Having an open and honest conversation with your date can help you decide if he or she will be worth your time and effort.

By + More

First dates are supposed to be exciting – but when you have a mental illness, the fun of dinner and drinks and the chemistry between the two of you can be dwarfed by worrying over how your date will react when you open up about your condition. If you tell him too soon, you might scare him off. Wait too long, and you run the risk of her feeling misled. So what do you do?

Molly Pohlig, a 36-year-old New Yorker, has depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder – conditions she says have made dating difficult in the past. "Several people were taken aback," she says, "and I've had some relationships or dates end pretty abruptly because of it."

The issue, says Pohlig, who has written about dating with a mental illness, is that many people have not had any experience interacting with someone with mental illness. "All they’ve seen are TV shows, and they think that if you say, 'I have a mental illness,' it means you’re a psychopath."



Published By Lindsay, 2014-12-19 16:47:55 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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BTW, this forum so far has been a good place for me to express some of my frustrations anonymously as I'd never want to air any of the "dirty laundry" of my marriage to my friends because that seems very inappropriate.. Thanks to all of you.
(worried_husband)

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