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.
Hello Everyone. My name is Jodie and this is my first time here. I suffer from depression, anxiety attacks as well as panic attacks. This website was heaven sent because it kind of just popped up on me. I'm hoping that here I can get help and also help others. Even when I do get better, I will continue to post here and help all of you. One thing I want to say is that we WILL get better! It may take some time but we will succeed! Stay strong and do whatever is neccissary to helpyourself. We Can do it (jodieandvee)
Misdiagnosed By Professionals And Unrecognized By Loved Ones
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder or manic depression,
is a psychiatric disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy,
activity levels, and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. It is a
serious mental illness requiring specialized treatment, but the problem,
according to Kimberly Dennis, M.D., medical director at Timberline
Knolls Residential Treatment Center, is that bipolar disorder often gets
misdiagnosed by professionals and is unrecognized by loved ones.
"Bipolar disorder commonly co-occurs with other illnesses and
addictions, making it hard to diagnose without a thorough diagnostic
workup that includes looking at substance/drug abuse and use, and an
evaluation for possible early life trauma both of which can produce
symptoms that look like bipolar disorder," said Dr. Dennis. "Many times,
residents come to Timberline Knolls with a diagnosis of bipolar
disorder, but once evaluated are properly diagnosed with a drug abuse
problem, which looks similar to bipolar disorder when an individual is
going through stages of intoxication and withdrawal. Additionally, the
diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be missed by professionals who think
the patient is just suffering from substance abuse or dependence."
Not only do professionals miss the diagnosis, but loved ones and family
members many times do not recognize the real problem either because they
do not know what bipolar disorder is, or because they are focused on
something else, such as a co-occurring drug abuse problem.
Signs of bipolar disorder in its manic state include:
-- extended periods of feeling overly happy or outgoing
-- extremely irritable mood, agitation, or jumpiness
-- being easily distracted
-- little to no sleep for several days in a row without feeling tired
-- having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
-- behaving impulsively
-- suicide attempts
Signs of bipolar disorder in its depressive state include:
-- isolation from friends and family
-- loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
-- feeling tired or slowed down
-- having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
-- abuse of alcohol and drugs, especially cocaine
-- dependence on sleeping pills
A correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and ensuring the appropriate
treatment is offered, is critical for those who face and treat bipolar
disorder and co-occurring disorders. People with this illness can
achieve long-term physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. Dr. Dennis
encourages everyone to remember this is a disease, and the individual
did not choose to have the disease. Sufferers can choose to get
treatment and recover. Help is available and manageability is possible
when someone is connected to the right support system and specialized
treatment is sought.
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