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Depression Forums Welcomes You!
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.
The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and if the past is prologue, then many Americans' stress levels will soar during the next couple of months. Who wouldn't want less stress during the holidays? Below are some tips and insights to keep stress down.
Research tells us that about half of consumers will experience increased stress related to holiday shopping. But the cause isn't that consumers hate to shop for gifts. Rather, it's shaky personal finances.
The state of consumers' finances is a big issue. The National Financial Capability Study found that roughly 60% of consumers report that, month after month, they find it difficult to pay all their bills. Holiday shopping just exacerbates the pressures these consumers feel.
What can stressed out consumers do? The short answer is to set holiday spending budgets and avoid carrying a lot of debt. After all, that is what the consumers who experience less stress do.
ADHD Adults: "What It Feels Like to Have ADHD"
by Melissa Orlov
Your brain, and everyday experiences, feel different with ADHD. Here's how.
What does it feel like to have ADHD? And, more importantly, what’s the long-term experience of ADHD like? A recent post at my website (www.adhdmarriage.com) reminded me of how poorly those of us without ADHD understand that ADHD experience, and how critical it is that we think compassionately about our partner’s way of being in the world.
Non-ADHD partners tend to underestimate the significant issues that adults with ADHD face every day. To help provide perspective, I start with some eye-opening descriptions I’ve heard over the years about what it feels like to own that ADHD brain, then close with the life experience described by ‘Richard’ on my site. It’s incredibly moving, and well worth the read.
The ADHD Brain is Different
The ADHD brain differs chemically and physically from the non-ADHD brain. Here are a few of the ways that those with ADHD describe it:
Like having the Library of Congress in my head with no card catalogue”
Contact: HHS Press Office: (202) 690-6343;
Dept. of Labor: (202) 693-4676;
Dept. of Treasury: (202) 622-2960
Administration issues final mental health and substance use disorder parity rule
Final rules break down financial barriers and provide consumer protections
The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury today jointly issued a final rule increasing parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans.
The final rule issued today implements the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and ensures that health plans features like co-pays, deductibles and visit limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health/substance abuse disorders benefits than they are for medical/surgical benefits.
10/22/2013 2:32 pm In Homeland, Claire Danes portrays a brilliant CIA analyst who is determined to prevent another 9-11. Her portrayal of Carrie Mathison, the female protagonist of the cable show, has been lauded with Best Actress awards for two years in a row. Much of the buzz stems from her spot-on depiction of someone with bipolar disorder.
For Carrie and many like her, her mood disorder has a genetic component; her father is also bipolar. Her sister Maggie, a physician, is the ground support for both of them. Carrie displays the behavioral changes that are symptomatic for both the mania and depression of bipolar. During her full-blown manic episodes, we see Carrie talking very fast, her thoughts racing. She behaves impulsively, risking everything, even her job. She moves about restlessly and sleeps little.
Homeland's co-creator and executive producer Alex Gansa has said, "The interesting thing about bipolar disorder ... is that even at the hypomanic stage, which is a degree below the manic stage, these people are incredibly interesting to be with and they are more alive in a way. They fly closer to the sun than the rest of us, and there is an incandescence about them." This is certainly true of Carrie and so many bipolar people I have known.
Students may skirt system to connect with favorite pets
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Harry Potter, a corgi with the Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog group, waits to meet students and staff at Chapman University Law School for some stress relief.
Some enjoy the company of an animal. The presence can be calming, therapeutic or just friendly. Yet while some just enjoy the company, others may need it.
There recently has been a proliferation of service animals in a widening range of occupations outside of the traditional roles as helpers for the hearing or sight impaired.
“It’s just an opportunity to have that human-animal connection,” Valeska Wilson-Cathcart, assistant director of administration and innovation for UCF Counseling and Psychological Services, said. “There’s a lot of research with how it can help reduce stress, reduce anxiety, improve mood and provide relief.”
Lately, there has been a focus on using dogs to help with the emotional and mental stability of an individual in need. This broadening of what a service dog entails has broadened the amount of people that are entitled to an animal that is able to go with them anywhere.
By Cari Nierenberg, Contributing writer | November 25, 2013 08:15am ET
From the glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner to the champagne toast on New Year's, alcohol is often a familiar sight at holiday celebrations.
But if you're taking one or more medications a day — whether they're over-the-counter or prescription — is it safe to raise a glass or two, or should you avoid drinking altogether?
In some cases, mixing alcohol with medications can be dangerous. Some drugs contain ingredients that can react with alcohol, making them less effective.
The holidays can be a time of drinking more alcohol than normal.
Drinking while on other types of medications might have a negative effect on your symptoms or the disease itself. For example, consuming alcohol can reduce blood-sugar levels, leading to poor control of diabetes. [7 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health]
Knocking a few back can also intensify the sleep-inducting effect of medications that may cause drowsiness, making it risky to get behind the wheel or use dangerous machinery.
"The danger of combining alcohol and some medications is real and sometimes fatal," said Danya Qato, a practicing pharmacist and doctoral candidate in health services research at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
"Alcohol works in various and unexpected ways to impact the effectiveness of a medication," Qato told LiveScience.
Nov. 26, 2013 at 10:26 AM ET
Actor Richard Dreyfuss has struggled with bipolar disorder since childhood, but for many years, he didn't know what was behind the intense emotions that filled much of his life.
"I didn't know it was a manic state," he explained during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY. "I just thought I was really happy, and everything that was bad, I turned to good."
But what seemed good to him sometimes seemed odd to those around him.
Dear Forum Members,
Over the last year and a half I have been through some major life changes. I was left by my wife (who I thought was my life-long soul mate...), diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and going through the subsequent divorce.
It was a year of pain, confusion, and struggle. My mental health was in terrible shape, along with my social life and my personal finances.
I often came to this forum for support. It was always safe and supportive place for me.
Thank you to all the members and mods who supported me, kept the forum running safely, and shone a bit of hope on me when I was down in the hole. I often posted here when I was at an extreme low point, I always found kindness and understanding.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
PS- I'm sure I'll need help again in the future, so don't think I'm going anywhere lol. I will also try to help others in my own clumsy way.
Category: Mental Health Diseases & Disorders
By MARC E. AGRONIN, M.D.
The woman described the sensation as a delicate flicker, like a moth
trapped in a small gauze bag. She ran her slender fingers repeatedly
over the spot in her slightly distended abdomen and said, “Doctor, right here.”
Sometimes, she told me, the flicker gave way to a more forceful kick
that rippled beneath her hand and then spread like a warm tide over her
body. She felt contented and soothed as she imagined the baby growing
I was tempted to smile, but I kept still. An actual pregnancy would have been international news: the woman was 83 years old, recovering from a hip fracture and pneumonia. But her delusion was not unique. Indeed, our nursing home was having something of a baby boom.
Just the day before, another woman who had recently suffered a stroke
insisted that she had given birth to twin boys, who were now crying in
the adjacent nursery. I reminded her that she was 90, but my words were
no match for the force of her belief. She looked at me blankly and
called again for her babies.
Her husband, distraught, begged me to consider some pharmacologic
remedy. But I was struck not by any mental suffering on the woman’s
part, but by the opposite.
In the face of terrible losses and confusion, her mind had found refuge
in imaginary children. Their coos and cries brought comfort and hope.
as delusional pregnancy is called, is neither common late in life nor
a normal response to aging or illness. It is a form of psychosis, and it can lead to severe anxiety or disruptive behavior that must be treated.
But it is too easy to see pathology in what may actually be a protective
mechanism in the aging brain. What a psychiatrist might call a symptom
held deep meaning for each woman, and prompted them to focus on
recovering from severe illness.
In each case, I had to act in the opposite direction of my instinct as a
doctor. Medication might have only sedated them and even taken away a
protective cocoon. Instead I let time do its work: the delusions faded,
and physical and mental recovery took hold.
Such examples are relatively rare and, one might argue, easily
romanticized. But they hold a larger lesson about the aging brain.
What we perceive as a brain in flight or decline, disengaging from the
world or tumbling into a netherworld of oldness, might actually be a
more selective, creative and wiser brain.
The paradox is that even as the normal aging brain loses capacity across
numerous discrete skills — memory-processing speed, verbal reasoning
and visuospatial ability, to name a few — it is simultaneously growing
in knowledge, emotional maturity, adaptability to change and even levels
of well-being and happiness.
I witnessed this common phenomenon in a couple I know well. The woman is
a sharp and active 82-year-old who only recently retired as a social
worker. Her new husband, now 92, was a World War II bomber pilot and
retired marketing genius who always prided himself on his mental
discipline and physical stamina.
Recently he began to complain bitterly of creeping short-term memory
impairment and a general slowing of his motor functions. Both factors
can bring him great unhappiness. During a recent meeting, however, I
pressed him on his complaints, asking, “Is that all there is to growing
old — decline, slowing and loss?”
His bride interrupted and told how their relationship was unique because
of old age, in many ways deeper and more intimate than either had
experienced as younger people.
Even as his memory declined, she said, his emotional maturity and wisdom
had increased, opening perspectives and relationships he had never had
before. Here was old age — and an aging brain — acting as a force that
added even as it took away.
In telling this tale as a relatively young doctor who works primarily
with older individuals, I could easily be accused of painting an overly
rosy picture of what I want growing old to be.
If so, I plead guilty. But I do so in the spirit of the gerontologist
Thomas Cole, who suggests that the ways in which we look at old age
begin to constitute its reality.
We will all grow old, and despite the inevitable changes we do have
choices. Indeed, growing evidence suggests that the aging brain retains
and even increases the potential for resilience, growth and well-being.
I have seen this lesson lived in my friends, loved ones and older
patients, whether free of illness or fettered by it. I saw it in the two
older women whose imagined pregnancies brought needed hope at a time of
threatened despair. Their fervent wishes, though unattainable, allowed
them to achieve something better.
Similarly, we can all hope for a vital and meaningful old age — for our
elders, ourselves and our children. In the end, we may actually get what
we wish for.
Dr. Marc E. Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist at the Miami
Jewish Health Systems in Florida, is the author of the new book “How We
Dr. Marc E. Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist at the Miami
Jewish Health Systems in Florida, is the author of the new book “How We
This Month In Pictures