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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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Latest News

Your Pets Are Actually Improving Your Social Life

 

 

  If you've been wondering whether or not you should get a pet, here's a pretty good reason to: A new study reveals that young adults who have a strong connection

with a pet also experience social and relationship benefits.

 

Posted:

"Our findings suggest that it may not be whether an animal is present in an individual's life that is most significant but rather the quality of that relationship," said the paper's author, Megan Mueller, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and research assistant professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, in a statement. “The young adults in the study who had strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships.”

For the study, published in the journal Applied Developmental Science, more than 500 young adults (ages 18 to 26) were surveyed about their attitudes toward and interaction with animals, as well as their general characteristics (confidence, caring, depression, etc).



Published By Lindsay, 2014-02-04 03:36:14 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

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

Fact vs. fiction: Ending the stigma of mental illness

Many times we think we understand something well, but we may just not have all the facts.

 When it comes to mental illnesses, there is a misunderstanding on what it is, and most importantly what it isn’t. If you are considering treatment for yourself or someone you love, it is crucial to differentiate between fact and fiction. Here’s some help to know the truth:

FICTION: Only “crazy” people get mental health treatment.

FACT: Mental illness can happen to anyone. You are not alone. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMH) states that “one in four adults, approximately 61.5 million Americans, experience mental illness in a given year and approximately 20% of youth ages 13 to 18 experience some kind of mental disorder in a given year.”

FICTION: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

FACT: Mental illness is not caused by personal weakness. It is a disease like any other and cannot be easily cured by positive thinking or willpower. Mental illness is not related to a person’s character or intelligence. It falls along a continuum of severity. Some people require proper treatment.



Published By Lindsay, 2014-03-17 18:43:20 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

Casey's Story: defeating my demons and taking control of my life

 

At twenty years old, my 6 year battle with anorexia nervosa had finally caused my life to come crashing down.

 
Anorexia, anxiety, depression, gp, occupational therapy

 

My eating disorder had taken complete control of my mind and dominated my every thought. In just a few months I had lost over 2 stone, had drastically reduced the amount I was eating to just 200-300 calories a day and was wasting the little energy I had on excessive exercise. For so long, my ‘diet’ had given me a false sense of control and now it was apparent that, in reality, it was something that was controlling me.

I was finally forced to reach out for help when my starvation and decreasing health made it impossible to keep up with my student lifestyle. I had become depressed, was in a constant state of anxiety and no longer had the energy to pretend everything was OK. I was lost, confused and desperate for a way out, but felt unable to confide in any one.

 

My thoughts were so distorted by my illness; I was convinced that I was ‘much too big’ to have an eating disorder, despite being underweight, felt my friends and family would not understand, thinking I was just an attention-seeker. However, when I finally found the courage to reach out for help, the response I received was over-whelming and I could not have got where I am today without their support.

 

For a long time I was in denial of how ill I was, and was under the delusion that I would be able to continue at university and recover. However, it soon became clear that this was not possible and the decision was made to suspend my studies, return home and concentrate on recovery. I was diagnosed with anorexia and referred to a specialist eating disorder team, consisting of a psychologist, an occupational therapist and a dietician.

 



Published By Lindsay, 2014-01-23 17:11:31 Read More...
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Patients Suffering From Chronic Pain Feel Anxious Or Depressed As A Result Of Their Pain

Three In Five Patients Feel Depressed Or Anxious As A Result Of Their Pain
22 Oct 2008   

Despite treatment efforts, chronic pain management is failing one in three (n = 377) patients suffering from severe chronic pain, and three in five (n = 336) patients feel moderately or extremely anxious or depressed as a result of their pain. Whilst eight in ten (n = 377) chronic pain patients are taking prescription medication, one in two (n = 307) of these patients are suffering the additional burden of side effects. These are the findings released today from the interim data from PainSTORY (Pain Study Tracking Ongoing Responses for Year), the first survey of its kind to provide in-depth insight into how chronic pain impacts the lives of patients over one year in 13 European countries.

Today's data provide a picture of patients' lives over the three months since the survey was initiated and shows that despite consultation with a healthcare professional and treatment patients are still struggling with their pain, impacting patients' quality of life.

"Interim results from PainSTORY are important and highlight that patients continue to suffer from chronic pain despite seeking medical attention," said Dr Varrassi, President of the European Federation of IASP Chapters, a leading pain society. "The medical community need to provide adequate treatment for patients in moderate-severe pain, but there seems to still be barriers that need to be overcome".

Since their initial interview three months ago, for 77 percent (n = 377) of patients the level of pain they experience has either stayed the same or even deteriorated further. 33% (n=377) of patients continue to suffer from severe chronic pain, 15% (n = 377) had progressed from moderate to severe pain, and 1% (n = 377) from mild to severe pain.

PainSTORY shows that both the physical and psychological aspects of patients' lives are affected by their pain. Six out of ten (n = 336) patients are experiencing problems walking about and over half (n= 336) experience problems sleeping. The influence of pain also extends into patients' working lives, and almost half (n = 195) have changed the way they work. "I couldn't interact. The pain trapped me and I couldn't socialise. I felt like a prisoner of the pain and really conditioned by it," said patient 14 from the United Kingdom.

Today's data show patients are being prescribed suboptimal treatment for their pain. Of the 81 percent (n = 377) of patients in moderate-severe pain on prescription medication, only 13 percent were prescribed strong opioids. Over half of patients were suffering at least one side effect as a result of their prescribed medication (n = 162), including constipation, dizziness and drowsiness, which are common symptoms for both weak and strong opioids.

"Side effects are affecting these patients. Patients are finding themselves in situations where they need to choose between using pain relief medications, or compromising their pain management by not taking medications to avoid the burden of side effects," stated Professor Erdine from the World Institute of Pain. "We are interested to see the next wave of results for PainSTORY. There has already been some interesting issues that have been brought to light. This survey demonstrates the pressing need for improved management of pain across Europe."

About the survey

PainSTORY (Pain Study Tracking Ongoing Responses for a Year) is the first study of its kind to track patients with chronic pain for a year, providing a picture of the lives of people living in pain, and the management of pain in 13 European countries.

Baseline results from the study show that chronic pain has a significant impact on the daily lives of patients. The survey aims to better understand the management of chronic pain across Europe.

The PainSTORY survey is being conducted by an independent research company, IPSOS, in collaboration with the following independent third parties:

- European Federation of IASP Chapters
- World Institute of Pain
- Arthritis and Rheumatism International
- OPEN Minds
The survey is sponsored by a restricted educational grant from Mundipharma International Limited.

Methodology

PainSTORY recruited patients suffering from non-malignant (osteoarthritis, back pain / lower back pain, osteoporosis, neuropathic pain, mixed pain, other long term pain), moderate to severe (rate 5-10 on a pain scale) chronic pain (i.e. lasting for more than three months). Respondents are studied for 12 months. The research is being carried out in 13 countries across Europe: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway by an independent research company, IPSOS.

The study consists of four waves of qualitative interviews between April 2008 and March 2009. Interim engagement activities between the four waves are sent to patients to provide additional insight, such as diaries and lifebooks. Comparisons between baseline data and subsequent wave results will show how the impact of pain and pain management changes over the course of a year.

About the European Week Against Pain

The European Week Against Pain (EWAP) which takes place annually, was started as part of the European Federation of IASP Chapters' (EFIC's), Europe Against Pain Initiative, in October 2001. EWAP aims to create more awareness of pain as a major healthcare problem amongst the general public, healthcare workers and healthcare policy makers.

The theme of this year's EWAP is fibromyalgia, a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder that occurs predominately in women. Unexplained widespread pain occurs in about 10% of the general adult population in Western countries, with approximately half of those affected meeting American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for fibromyalgia.

The PainSTORY survey was sponsored by a restricted educational grant from Mundipharma International Ltd, Cambridge, England 

Forum Admins note:  results from the pain story is in the link below. 3-2010

PainStory.org

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