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Published By  Lindsay

 

Mental Health Awareness Month: 10 things I know about mental illness

By Jessica Gardner, May 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm                                                                                                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

 

  1. People with mental illness are not stupid or lazy. Some of the most intelligent and most accomplished people in the world have suffered from mental illness. Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Sylvia Plath, and Vivien Leigh are just a few people who are known to have suffered from mental illness and no one would call them stupid or lazy.
  2. 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.

 

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Published By  Lindsay

Mental Health Week encourages women to speak out

Published By  Forum Admin

After spending billions to get ready and fending off concerns of potential terror attacks, the world will be watching as the Sochi Olympics head to Opening Ceremony

 

SOCHI, Russia — The largest and most expensive Winter Olympic Games in history likely will be remembered for palm trees, reminders of Cold War tensions between the United States and Russia and high-flying flips in new events that offer X Games thrills.

Much is at stake for Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has made these Olympics his baby. From the outset, Putin has been heavily involved, from lobbying the International Olympic Committee to bring the Games to Russia to inspecting construction sites, testing the facilities and meeting with athletes arriving this week. Putin said he hopes hosting such a large-scale event gives the world "a better feel of today's Russia."

Spectators — near and far — will get their first glimpse of that vision during Friday's Opening Ceremony.

SHIFFRIN: Poised to be USA's Sochi headliner

GOLD: Teen could seize USA's skating throne

 

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Published By  Lindsay

When the weather turns cold and daylight hours dwindle, it's easy to blame seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for a blue mood.

  • Man looking depressed iStock

 But chances are, there's a whole lot more to your SAD story. Before you flip on a light box, make sure these other seasonal mood-busters aren't dragging you down.

You're not moving enough

Cold temps make it all too easy to curl up on the couch and let your gym habit slide, but it's common knowledge that regular exercise holds the power to lift your spirits. "Moving around is helpful to everyone's mood," says Harvard psychologist Dr. John Sharp, author of The Emotional Calendar. You don't even have to commit to a full-on routine. In a study published in Perception and Motor Skills, researchers found that even a single exercise session at any intensity can increase positive mood feelings and decrease the negative ones. If you live in a wintery clime, take advantage of the snowshoeing and ice skating to shake up your exercise routine.

 

You're worried about money

Holiday expenses take a bite out of your bank account, and fretting about credit card bills can rob anyone of good cheer. Before you start racking up the bills, decide if expensive gifts are even necessary. A homemade present can mean much more than a pricey package. "Don't be afraid of the B word: a budget," says Sharp. "It can be a big or a small number. Spread it around in a way that can make you happy, but don't put yourself in the hole."

 

You're overwhelmed with family obligations

'Tis the season for familial gatherings—and all of the holiday stress and drama they can bring. But guess what? It's entirely within your power to decline any stress-inducing invites. If you'd rather not trek to Aunt Linda's house three hours away for a holiday dinner, politely say no by saying you're eager to start making new holiday traditions at home. And if you just can't avoid sitting next to a relative that drives you crazy, take a deep breath before engaging in conversation with her: Research from Harvard Medical School shows it decreases tension and anxiety.

 

 

 

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Published By  Forum Admin

 

Deborah King

Deborah King

 
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.

 

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Published By  Lindsay

 

New Google-based research suggests that we're happier -- and saner -- in the summer months

 

Is mental health seasonal? (Credit: Shutterstock)
This piece originally appeared on Pacific Standard.

Pacific StandardSpring has sprung, at least for most of us, which means sundresses, seersucker and boozy croquet parties on the front lawn. Goodbye happy lamp, hello mimosa.

But it’s not just champagne that’s lifting our spirits and banishing the wintertime blues. According to Google (and a team of researchers from the University of Southern California, Harvard and Johns Hopkins) mental illnesses — such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anorexia — are far more seasonal than we think.

The epidemiologists, led by John Ayers, combed through every Google search performed in the United States and Australia between 2006 and 2010, looking for queries like “symptoms of” and “medications for” OCD, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, depression, anorexia, bulimia and schizophrenia.

 

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