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.
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.
Two high school students tried to tell stories about teen mental illnesses
Susan Antilla: Schools need to have open conversations about mental health
She says kids suffering from mental illness crave information that can help them
Antilla: A town in Connecticut has seen good results when it fosters discussion
Editor's note:Susan Antilla is an award-winning financial writer and author of "Tales From the Boom-Boom Room: The Landmark Legal Battles That Exposed Wall Street's Shocking Culture of Sexual Harassment." Follow her on Twitter @antillaview. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Madeline Halpert, a junior, and Eva Rosenfeld, a sophomore, had undertaken a Herculean task. After bonding over the discovery that both were being treated for depression, they linked up with other journalism students and gathered highly personal stories about mental illness from teenagers in their school district.
Incredibly, all their subjects agreed to be identified. No unnamed sources. No pseudonyms. These were reporters who did their homework, and subjects who saw the merit of going public about their experiences with everything from depression and anxiety to eating disorders and drug abuse.
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.
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.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and although millions and millions of families are affected by mental health issues, I have found that mental illness is one of the least talked about topics. In fact, I would go so far as to call it taboo.
My family is no stranger to mental illness and how it wreaks havoc. As I've recently discovered, various degrees of mental illness go back generations.
This post isn't about my family in particular and I'm not going to get into specifics. That's a whole series of blog posts for another day. I only share with you that I have personal experience in this area in order to let you know that I know of what I speak. I'm also not a mental health professional and my statements below are my opinions, based on my experience.
People with mental illness don't want your pity or to be condescended to. First and foremost, people with mental illness want and deserve to be treated with respect. Take your cues from them. Be patient. They can't always get their thoughts out quickly, but by being patient and not rushing or cutting them off shows respect, treats them with dignity, and re-enforces their value as people.
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.
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
Estela Villanueva-Whitman, Special to the Register; 11:05 p.m. CDT May 18, 2014
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.
I love this place... wub.gif
Anything I need to know is here. And it's great to get to know people... there's a real sense of community here. I experienced a brief period of recovery, I guess, and didn't post for about a year, and I came back about a month ago, to the same caring and supportive environment that helped me so much the first time around. It's incredible to see how others will reach out to you when you're in need, and just to know that someone, somewhere is reading what you've written... someone who understands. Not someone who simply nods and says, "Ah, sorry to hear that." If someone asks how I'm feeling, I don't feel pressured to say "fine" and keep going, which is how I feel when people greet me face-to-face. Whether you need a willing ear, an experience, an answer, or simply a distraction, it's all here.
I hope you find the same comfort here that I have. (astralis)
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
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, describes...
Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today Wednesday, 30 July 2014 22:00