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  1. Forum Admin

    Veterans Day

    Veterans Day U.S. World War I veteran Joseph Ambroseattends the dedication parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War. Also called Armistice Day Observed by United States Type National Celebrations The Veterans Day parade Date November 11 Next time 11 November 2019 Frequency annual Related to Remembrance Day Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day should not be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.[1] It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military. History On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day, in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans: The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.[2] A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made November 11 in each year a legal holiday: "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."[3] Veterans Day parade in Baltimore, Maryland, 2016 In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the "Father of Veterans Day."[4] U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.[5] Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since.[6][7] The National Veterans Award was also created in 1954. Congressman Rees of Kansas received the first National Veterans Award in Birmingham, Alabama, for his support offering legislation to make Veterans Day a federal holiday.[citation needed] Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October (October 25, 1971; October 23, 1972; October 22, 1973; October 28, 1974; October 27, 1975; October 25, 1976, and October 24, 1977). In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will normally be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively.[citation needed] Observance Poster for Veterans Day 2018, the 100th anniversary of the endof World War I Because it is a federal holiday, some American workers and many students have Veterans Day off from work or school. When Veterans Day falls on a Saturday then either Saturday or the preceding Friday may be designated as the holiday, whereas if it falls on a Sunday it is typically observed on the following Monday. When it falls on weekend many private companies offer it as a floating holiday where employee can choose some other day. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011.[8] Non-essential federal government offices are closed. No mail is delivered. All federal workers are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay for that day in addition to their wages. In his Armistice Day address to Congress, Wilson was sensitive to the psychological toll of the lean War years: "Hunger does not breed reform; it breeds madness," he remarked.[9] As Veterans Day and the birthday of the United States Marine Corps (November 10, 1775) are only one day apart, that branch of the Armed Forces customarily observes both occasions as a 96-hour liberty period. Election Day is a regular working day, while Veterans Day, which typically falls the following week, is a federal holiday. The National Commission on Federal Election Reform called for the holidays to be merged, so citizens can have a day off to vote. They state this as a way to honor voting by exercising democratic rights.[10]
  2. Forum Admin

    Christmas

    Christmas Day Christians around the world celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, each year. For many, it’s a day of merriment and giving of thanks, marked by gatherings with friends and family, shared meals and the exchange of gifts. Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. Christmas Facts Christmas Day is celebrated by millions of Christians around the world, usually on December 25th. It is also a popular holiday celebrated by non-Christians. Christmas Day is an annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although the exact date of Jesus' birth is unknown it is estimated to have been between 7 and 2 B.C. The date of December 25th was chosen in the 4th century. The popular customs of celebrating Christmas include gift-giving, sending holiday cards, Christmas trees and lights, caroling, a feast and church celebrations. Interesting Christmas Facts: The word Christmas originates from the words Christ's Mass. In old English (first recorded in 1038) it was referred to as Cristesmæsse, which literally means 'Christian Mass'. A common figure known throughout the world and associated with Christmas is Santa Claus. Other popular Christmas figures include Christkind, Saint Nicholas, and Father Christmas. Anglo-Saxons referred to the holiday as 'midwinter' or 'nativity'. The word Noel entered the English language in the late 1300s. It originated from the Latin word 'natalis' which means 'day of birth'. Christmas decorations that are popular today include Christmas trees, Christmas lights, wreaths, garland, holly, mistletoe, and nativity scenes. Christmas lights were invented in 1882 by Edward Johnson. The first evidence of a Christmas tree is from a pamphlet that dates back to 1570. In order for Santa to visit all the homes on Christmas Eve he would have to visit 822 homes each second. The tradition of hanging stockings comes from a Dutch custom. They would leave shoes full of food for St. Nicolas' donkeys and St. Nicholas would then leave small gifts in return. 12th century nuns left socks full of nuts, fruit and tangerines at the doors of the poor. This is where the tradition of putting tangerines in stockings came from. The three wise men who visited Mary and Joseph when Jesus was born brought gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts. Some believe that Jesus was born in a cave and not a stable. The tradition of Christmas caroling began as an old English custom. It was originally called wassailing and was a toast to long life. St. Francis of Assisi began the custom of singing Christmas carols in church in the 13th century. There are approximately 60 million trees grown in Europe each year. The letter X in Xmas is a Greek abbreviation for Christ. In 1950 the world's largest Christmas tree was placed in a Washington Mall. It was 221 feet high. Jingle Bells was originally written by James Pierpont in 1857, for Thanksgiving not Christmas. It was originally called One Horse Open Sleigh. The traditional Christmas meal in England before turkey was mustard and a pig's head. The world's biggest snowman was 113 feet tall and was built in Maine. The Christmas wreath is symbolic of Jesus. The red berries symbolize his blood and the holly represents the crown of thorns. In Germany they call Santa Kris Kringle; in Italy they call him Le Befana; in France they call him Pere Noel. The best-selling Christmas song ever is White Christmas by Bing Crosby. It has sold more than 50 million copies around the world. Christmas is one of the most profitable times of year for many businesses.
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    Hanukkah From candle-lighting to Maccabees and latkes to dreidels. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Date: Dec 2, 2018 – Dec 10, 2018 Also called: Festival of Lights, Festival of Dedication Observed by: Jewish people Wikipedia Historical Origins of Hanukkah Beginning in 167 BCE, the Jews of Judea rose up in revolt against the oppression of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid Empire. The military leader of the first phase of the revolt was Judah the Maccabee, the eldest son of the priest Mattityahu (Mattathias). In the autumn of 164, Judah and his followers were able to capture the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been turned into a pagan shrine. They cleansed it and rededicated it to Israel’s God. This event was observed in an eight-day celebration, which was patterned on Sukkot, the autumn festival of huts. Much later rabbinic tradition ascribes the length of the festival to a miraculous small amount of oil that burned for eight days. How to Celebrate Hanukkah at Home Much of the activity of Hanukkah takes place at home. Central to the holiday is the lighting of the hanukkiah or menorah, an eight-branched candelabrum to which one candle is added on each night of the holiday until it is ablaze with light on the eighth night. In commemoration of the legendary cruse of oil, it is traditional to eat foods fried in oil. The most familiar Hanukkah foods are the European (Ashkenazi) potato pancakes, or latkes, and the Israeli favorite, jelly donuts, or sufganiyot. The tradition developed in Europe to give small amounts of money as well as nuts and raisins to children at this time. Under the influence of Christmas, which takes place around the same time of year, Hanukkah has evolved into the central gift-giving holiday in the Jewish calendar in the Western world. Celebrating Hanukkah in the Community Since Hanukkah is not biblically ordained, the liturgy for the holiday is not well developed. It is actually a quite minor festival. However, it has become one of the most beloved of Jewish holidays. In an act of defiance against those in the past and in the present who would root out Jewish practice, the observance of Hanukkah has assumed a visible community aspect. Jews will often gather for communal celebrations and public candle lighting. At such celebrations, Hanukkah songs are sung and traditional games such as dreidel are played. Hanukkah’s Theology and Themes Like Passover, Hanukkah is a holiday that celebrates the liberation from oppression. It also provides a strong argument in favor of freedom of worship and religion. In spite of the human action that is commemorated, never far from the surface is the theology that the liberation was possible only thanks to the miraculous support of the Divine.
  4. Hello Folks! People who have been prescribed prednisone may have experienced one of this medication's most troublesome and talked-about side effects: mood swings. These changes can be so problematic that someone on prednisone who's ever been diagnosed with clinical depression or another psychiatric disorder may need to be working with a psychiatrist while on the drug. Regardless of mental health history, if a doctor wants to prescribe prednisone, it may help to have an understanding of how it may affect mood. Prednisone and Mood Swings This medication is a corticosteroid that's prescribed for an array of conditions because it works to relieve inflammation in the body. Some of the conditions that prednisone is used to treat include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), some autoimmune diseases, asthma, and other allergic disorders. It's an effective drug, and it's inexpensive, which means that it's prescribed a lot for many conditions. A 2001 study found that an estimated 10 million prescriptions for prednisone are written every year. A person may need to take prednisone for only a short amount of time (often called a "short course") or it may be prescribed for an extended period. In either case, it can have effects on mood which have been described as everything from euphoria to anxiety, anger, and depression. These feelings can pinball back and forth in quick succession and seem to come about for no reason and without provocation. In other words, a person receiving prednisone may find themselves feeling incredibly sad or mad and have absolutely no idea why. Besides these rapid changes in mood, prednisone has been associated with more serious problems such as psychotic disorders, delusions, and dementia. When there's a concern that the changes have gone beyond a mood or a feeling and have become a concern that limits life activities or seems dangerous in any way, the problem should be reported to a doctor right away. Changes in mood caused by prednisone usually go away once a person stops taking the drug. However, discontinuing prednisone must be done gradually and according to the schedule that is prescribed by a physician. The adrenal glands make cortisol, a substance similar to prednisone and, they need to be given the opportunity to take over production again. If not, there can be side effects such as fatigue or there can be complications. It's also often necessary to taper off prednisone slowly because a change in treatment might be necessary. Getting Off the Emotional Seesaw Not everybody has mood changes while taking prednisone, and most of the time the effects are considered "mild" (though it might not feel that way at the time). Knowing that mood swings are a possibility and that they can be variable is the first step in coping with them. The second step is learning how to recognize when they happen and understanding that they're not necessarily connected to an event. Here are some tips for coping: Talk to a doctor about the potential for mood swings, and find out what to do if there are changes in behavior that are extreme or that interfere with daily activities (such as work, school, and social events). Tell family members and friends about prednisone and that a common side effect is something that can appear to be irrationality or rapid changes in mood. This may help in instilling understanding and empathy if any mood swings do occur. Be prepared and get into the habit of using stress relief tools (meditation, mindfulness, calming rituals) to be one step ahead of the game if they're needed. Do a regular check up on current emotional state. Are there moods that feelings that are outsized compared to what's actually happening? If it's not clear, check in with a trusted friend or loved one for perspective. A course of prednisone can be challenging when it comes with side effects. The physical side effects can be extreme but the #mental ones are less often discussed and can be damaging to relationships. Understanding that mood swings are caused by the medication and explaining what's happening to friends, family, and coworkers can help in getting through a course of prednisone without too much emotional damage. I hope this helps! ~Lindsay, Forum Super Administrator, Founder Article Sources © Brown ES, Chandler PA. "Mood and Cognitive Changes During Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy." Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2001;3:17-21. Kenna HA, Poon AW, de los Angeles CP, Koran LM. "Psychiatric complications of treatment with corticosteroids: review with case report." Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2011 Oct;65:549-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2011.02260.x Mrakotsky CM, Silverman LB, Dahlberg SE, et al. "Neurobehavioral Side Effects of Corticosteroids During Active Treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Children Are Age-Dependent: Report from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocol 00-01." Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Sep;57:492-498. doi: 10.1002/pbc.23060
  5. Welcome Labionda, Thank you for joining our community and sharing your story. After five posts you can start a blog and please excuse the "dust" right now as our fab developer is redoing our website. Please don't hesitate to ask questions to any of us, we are here for you. ~Lindsay, Forum Admin
  6. Hi Sage, My step daughter was prescribed Effexor and even though she was overweight, she actually lost some weight while taking Effexor and it worked beautifully on her depression and anxiety. YMMV, like with all meds it does not work right away, maybe 4-6 weeks and there may be some side effects which should not last long but does not hurt you! And as Tim said everyone is different, but I feel all in all it is a good med to take with no worries. We all are here to support you. Your Dr. should be the one to give you your medical advice though. Take very good care of YOU! ~Lindsay
  7. Hi Beyond, Thank you so much for your thoughtful words! It really makes me feel so wonderful inside to hear the appreciation coming from my members after all these years. I wish I would have reached out sooner to everyone. It has been 17 years since Depressionforums first became a website I just cannot believe it. I was just with Sydni, the twins and my daughter today. We went to Target (Tarjayyy') for a bit as the twins wanted to spend their birthday money. It was so refreshing to be with Sydni and the girly girls. To see Syd smile and have some sparkle in her eyes a bit felt good, but then she started to get a tad cranky and tired. I hope the Zoloft kicks in soon. Hugs, ~Lindsay
  8. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It's growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents. Although research continues, EMDR remains controversial among some health care professionals. At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events. What Can You Expect From EMDR? An EMDR treatment session can last up to 90 minutes. Your therapist will move his or her fingers back and forth in front of your face and ask you to follow these hand motions with your eyes. At the same time, the EMDR therapist will have you recall a disturbing event. This will include the emotions and body sensations that go along with it. Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones. Some therapists use alternatives to finger movements, such as hand or toe tapping or musical tones. How Effective Is EMDR? More than 20,000 practitioners have been trained to use EMDR since psychologist Francine Shapiro developed the technique in 1989. While walking through the woods one day, Shapiro happened to notice that her own negative emotions lessened as her eyes darted from side to side. Then, she found the same positive effect in patients. EMDR appears to be a safe therapy, with no negative side effects. Still, despite its increasing use, mental health practitioners debate EMDR's effectiveness. Critics note that most EMDR studies have involved only small numbers of participants. Other researchers, though, have shown the treatment's effectiveness in published reports that consolidated data from several studies. What Do the Guidelines Recommend? Guidelines issued by more than one professional organization have recently boosted the credibility of EMDR. These guidelines define who may benefit from the treatment. For example: The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has noted that EMDR is effective for treating symptoms of acute and chronic PTSD. According to the APA, EMDR may be particularly useful for people who have trouble talking about the traumatic events they've experienced. The APA guidelines note that other research is needed to tell whether improvements from EMDR can be sustained over time. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have jointly issued clinical practice guidelines. These guidelines "strongly recommended" EDMR for the treatment of PTSD in both military and non-military populations. They also note that this approach has been as effective as other psychological treatments in some studies, and less effective in others. How Does EMDR Work? Even the most enthusiastic supporters of EMDR have not agreed on how the therapy works. At this point, only theories exist. By inducing the recall of distressing events and diverting attention from their emotional consequences, EMDR in some respects borrows basic principles used in prolonged exposure therapy, the gold standard behavioral psychotherapeutic treatment of PTSD. Some therapists believe that EMDR reduces anxiety. This allows patients to better take control of their upsetting thoughts. Others simply say that we don't yet understand how EMDR works. According to the APA guidelines, EMDR needs further study to more fully understand it. Getting EMDR Treatment EMDR techniques are performed by trained professionals who are also qualified to treat panic disorder, such as psychologists or mental health counselors. If you are currently seeing a therapist who is not trained in EMDR, you can ask him or her to provide you with a referral. EMDR practitioners can also be found through online directories, including the EMDR Institute, Inc. directory or the EMDR International Association's list of treatment centers.
  9. Forum Admin

    Columbus Day

    Columbus Day Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, and Columbus Day 2018 occurs on Monday, October 8. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a federal holiday until 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s. Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who set sail in August 1492, bound for Asia with backing from the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Columbus intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia. Instead, on October 12, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings established colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century. Did you know? Contrary to popular belief, most educated Europeans in Columbus' day understood that the world was round, but they did not yet know that the Pacific Ocean existed. As a result, Columbus and his contemporaries assumed that only the Atlantic lay between Europe and the riches of the East Indies. Later that October, Columbus sighted Cuba and believed it was mainland China; in December the expedition found Hispaniola, which he thought might be Japan. There, he established Spain’s first colony in the Americas with 39 of his men. In March 1493, Columbus returned to Spain in triumph, bearing gold, spices and “Indian” captives. The explorer crossed the Atlantic several more times before his death in 1506. It wasn’t until his third journey that Columbus finally realized he hadn’t reached Asia but instead had stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans. Columbus Day in the United States The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order—better known as Tammany Hall—held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.” In recent decades, Native Americans and other groups have protested the celebration of an event that resulted in the colonization of the Americas, the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade and the deaths of millions from murder and disease. European settlers brought a host of infectious diseases, including smallpox and influenza, that decimated indigenous populations. Warfare between Native Americans and European colonists claimed many lives as well. Indigenous Peoples Day The image of Christopher Columbus as an intrepid hero has also been called into question. Upon arriving in the Bahamas, the explorer and his men forced the native peoples they found there into slavery. Later, while serving as the governor of Hispaniola, he allegedly imposed barbaric forms of punishment, including torture. In many Latin American nations, the anniversary of Columbus’ landing has traditionally been observed as the Dìa de la Raza (“Day of the Race”), a celebration of Hispanic culture’s diverse roots. In 2002, Venezuela renamed the holiday Dìa de la Resistencia Indìgena (“Day of Indigenous Resistance”) to recognize native peoples and their experience. Several U.S. cities and states have replaced Columbus Day with alternative days of remembrance. Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota have officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, as have cities like Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal organization. Columbus Day Alternatives Controversy over Columbus Day dates back to the 19th century, when anti-immigrant groups in the United States rejected the holiday because of its association with Catholicism.
  10. @_E_ I do agree with @uncertain1, I believe that you should consult with a another Psychiatrist or at least that she should be changing your meds. This should not be happening for months on end let alone years. Please get some help. Also sending you wishes for peace. ~Lindsay
  11. Hello and welcome to Depressionforums.org. You'll get more replies probably posting in "Welcome New Members" first. Just make it a little different. Especially on a weekend..Most everyone goes out or away this time of year. Plus we just did an upgrade to the Forums! So sorry. Your Dr. is smart to titrate you up slowly! Yes we are active, I never took Zoloft, but it is an SSRI and it generally takes 4-6 weeks for it to start working well. All the SSRI's are very simular. I would not worry with Zoloft though, not at all. It is a wonderful antidepressant. You could ask him for something mild to add for your anxiety. See what he says. You do not die from side effects and they do dissipate within the time frame I told you about. Good look with everything. Hugs, ~Lindsay, Super Administrator, Founder
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  13. Forum Admin

    Hanukkah

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    Hanukkah The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. Happy Hanukkah! Depressionforums.org
  14. Forum Admin

    Christmas

    CHRISTMAS A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts. Merry Christmas! Depressionforums.org
  15. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) has 2 websites that offer secure chat with crisis counselors 24/7 as an alternative to telephone support. Counselors are available to help with ANY crisis, not just SI. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org www.veteranscrisisline.net (For active-duty U.S. Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families. Web chat and SMS/text messaging.) Some members have said they have used the chat support as an integral part of their safety plan. If you are having a rough day, and don't feel up to talking by phone due to anxiety. I imagine that I'm not alone in that respect, this information may help others. ~Lindsay
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    Halloween

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    Quote

    “Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.” ― George R.R. Martin

     

  18. Forum Admin

    Flag Day

    The History Of Flag Day The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'. On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day. Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag. Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered. In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating. Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself." Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
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    World Bipolar Day: Why I will never hide my bipolar diagnosis from anyone Hattie Gladwell for Metro.co.uk Thursday 30 Mar 2017 7:00 am (Picture: Metro.co.uk/LibertyAntoniaSadler) I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1 just under two years ago. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, that was formally known as ‘manic depression’. It can often mean that your moods swing from one extreme to the other – though each mood will last a significant amount of time, ranging from weeks to months on end. With bipolar type 1, I generally experience more extreme manic moods than I do lows, though when I do feel low, I feel on the verge of suicidal. There are many forms of mania, however. I will be very, very irritable and quick to anger. I become very paranoid and over-think everything. Despite taking sleeping tablets, I will sleep as little as two hours, often waking around 4am to do something out of my usual character. I will feel invincible and I will act irrationally and compulsively, loving every second of that surge of adrenaline that comes with it. And I’ll soon regret it when the mania wears off. For example, I’m a natural blonde but 5 years ago I dyed my hair brown, and have kept it that way (bar the occasional other dark colours such as black or deep red) ever since. (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler) But a year-and-a-half ago, I decided when I woke up that I was going to go back to blonde. I didn’t ‘have time’ (meaning I didn’t want to wait) for an appointment, and so I ran to the shop, grabbed two packets of bleach powders, and re-bleached my hair over and over in one day to go from a dark brown to a white blonde (with some yellow patches, of course). I then spent the next few days dying it from silver to lilac, before getting bored and dying another dark colour over it. I spent the following year and a half treating it with coconut oil, getting several hair cuts before ultimately cutting it very short and having to grow it out all over again because it was so ruined. Oh, how I kicked myself for ever touching it in the first place. Another time, during a bout of mania which lasted for several months, I got 19 tattoos. I started with just a couple on my arms and my hip, and ended with tattoos covering my legs, my stomach, my back and the back of my neck. Luckily, I still love them – but would I have waited a little longer to get them had I not been manic? Certainly. There’s always one other indicator that I’m going into a manic episode – I’ll write a book. During one episode, I woke at 4am to write a book, wrote three chapters and sent it off to several publishers thinking I was going to be the next J.K. Rowling. As you can tell, I’m not. But the depressive times are just as bad as the manic times, and sometimes worse. I often end up feeling so low that I have repeated suicidal thoughts day in, day out. I sleep too much as opposed to too little. I become very anxious, I have a constant feeling of guilt in my stomach and I am so very angry. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk) I feel vacant and numb and I struggle to concentrate on anything. The worst part is that I never know when it’s going to end. But bipolar is something I’ve got used to over time. It’s not something I would wish away because for me, these feelings are ‘normal’. Alongside this, despite how crazy some of my emotions and outbursts may seem, I would never hide it from anyone – because while my illness does not define me, it helps shape who I am. I will never, ever be ashamed of my bipolar diagnosis. Because, quite frankly, it’s out of my hands. I didn’t ask for it, so why should I struggle with it in silence? When meeting a new person it’s not my first topic of conversation – but when the conversation gets deeper I have never, and will never shy away from it. It’s up to the other person how they want to deal with the information, and that’s totally out of my control. I also feel it’s incredibly important to talk about it. So, so many people avoid opening up about their mental health out of fear of judgement or disbelief. They’re scared that they’re going to be told ‘it’s all in your head’ and that it ‘isn’t really there’, followed by suggestions such as ‘you need to take a long walk’ and ‘if you drink more water your head will be clearer’. But just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It doesn’t mean it’s any less important than a physical illness and it most certainly doesn’t mean it’s any less real, either. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk) I will continue to talk and write about my experience with bipolar because I want to help those who don’t have the courage to. I want people to find real experiences when searching for advice in Google as opposed to forums disregarding it. I want people to see how open I am about it and realise that they can be too. But most importantly, I want people to realise they are not alone – no matter lonely they may feel in their own minds. And hopefully, alongside people who have already received diagnosis, my experiences will somehow find their way to a person who is currently questioning symptoms, but too scared to go to a doctor for help. I hope someone struggling mentally but too afraid to seek help will realize that there’s nothing shameful in doing so, and that seeking help is the first thing they can do to finding the strength to both understand and accept that they are struggling – before they receive the help and education that they need to start to cope with it. I will never, ever be ashamed of my mental illness, no matter how much I struggle, no matter what people think of it – because it is a part of me, and it always will be. I just pray that others going through a similar thing will some day realize the same thing.
  20. Presidents' Day in the United States Washington's Birthday, also known as Presidents' Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. The day honors presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the USA's first president. George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. iStockphoto.com/Jason DiLorenzo What Do People Do? Washington's Birthday officially honors the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The day commemorates past presidents of the USA. Washington's Birthday is sometimes known as Presidents' Day. This is because while most states have adopted Washington's Birthday, some states officially celebrate Presidents' Day. Some states pay particular attention to Abraham Lincoln, as his birthday was also in mid-February. In the weeks or days leading up to the holiday, schools often organize events and lessons for students about the presidents of the United States and George Washington in particular. It is a popular day for stores to start their sales. The US federal holiday is on the third Monday of February each year, but records show that George Washington's birthday is on February 22. Public Life Many businesses are open as usual and many stores hold sales on Washington's Birthday. Many delivery services, except for the Post Office, have a regular service and many, but not all, public transit systems operate on regular schedules. Some schools close for the whole week for a mid-winter recess. According to some government sources, Indiana observes the Washington's birthday holiday in December. Background George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. His first term as president was from 1789 to 1793 and his second term from 1793 to 1797. Before he became president, he played important roles in the military, leading the American Continental Army to victory over the British in 1783. Washington is often seen as the father of the United States and is probably the best known American politician ever. The likeness and name of George Washington can still be seen in many places in the United States. There is the portrait of him and three other American presidents carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His image is also used on the one-dollar bill and the quarter-dollar coin. The capital of the United States, Washington D.C., Washington State and at least three universities are named after him. Washington's Birthday was first celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia in 1880. It was made a federal holiday in 1885. The holiday was originally held on the anniversary of George Washington's birth, on February 22. In 1971, this holiday was moved to the third Monday in February. This holiday is legally designated as "Washington’s Birthday". Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is the federal government’s policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law. Below are all the 45 Presidents of the United Stated of America.
  21. until
    National Mental Health Month raises awareness about mental illness and related issues in the United States. In recent times, attitudes towards mental health issues appear to be changing. Negative attitudes and stigma associated with mental health have reduced and there has been growing acceptance towards mental health issues and support for people with them. Despite this shift in attitude, the idea of a mental health awareness campaign is not a recent one. In the late 1940's, the first National Mental Health Awareness Week was launched in the United States. During the 1960's, this annual, weekly campaign was upgraded to a monthly one with May the designated month. During this month, National Health America, the main organization which sponsors this event, run a number of activities which are often based on a theme. In 2010, the theme was 'Live Your Life Well'. 'Live Your Life Well' encouraged people to take responsibility for the prevention of mental health issues during times of personal challenge and stress. Many mental health problems can be avoided by taking positive lifestyle choices in how we act and think before they can manifest. To coincide with Mental Health Awareness month, Other mental health campaigns & activities also run during this month. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is one such campaign. This event is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA). Other activities have included 'Blogging for Mental Health' and 'Help For People Seeking Psychological Services'.
  22. Groundhog Day Every February 2, thousands gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to await the spring forecast from a special groundhog. Known as Punxsutawney Phil (link is external), this groundhog will emerge from his simulated tree trunk home and look for his shadow, which will help him make his much-anticipated forecast. According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow the United States is in store for six more weeks of winter weather. But, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, the country should expect warmer temperatures and the arrival of an early spring. History of Groundhog Day Groundhog Day originates from an ancient celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox—the day right in the middle of astronomical winter. According to superstition, sunny skies that day signify a stormy and cold second half of winter while cloudy skies indicate the arrival of warm weather. The trail of Phil’s history leads back to Clymer H. Freas, city editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper. Inspired by a group of local groundhog hunters—whom he would dub the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—Freas declared Phil as America’s official forecasting groundhog in 1887. As he continued to embellish the groundhog's story year after year, other newspapers picked it up, and soon everyone looked to Punxsutawney Phil for the prediction of when spring would return to the country.
  23. Valentine's Day in the United States Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. It is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers or presents to their spouse or partner. They may also arrange a romantic meal in a restaurant or night in a hotel. Common symbols of Valentine's Day are hearts, red roses and Cupid. What Do People Do? Many people celebrate their love for their partner by sending cards or letters, giving gifts or flowers and arranging meals in restaurants or romantic nights in hotels. People who would like to have a romantic relationship with somebody may use the occasion to make this known, often anonymously. Valentine's cards are often decorated with images of hearts, red roses or Cupid. Common Valentine's Day gifts are flowers chocolates, candy, lingerie and Alcohol or sparkling alcohol. However, some people use the occasion to present lavish gifts, such as jewelry. Many restaurants and hotels have special offers at this time. These can include romantic meals or weekend breaks. Public Life Valentine's Day is not a public holiday. Government offices, stores, schools and other organizations are open as usual. Public transit systems run on their regular schedule. Restaurants may be busier than usual as many people go out for an evening with their spouse or partner. Valentine's Day is also a very popular date for weddings. Background There are a number of Saints called Valentine who are honored on February 14. The day became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages in England. This may have followed on from the Pagan fertility festivals that were held all over Europe as the winter came to an end. Traditionally, lovers exchanged hand written notes. Commercial cards became available in the mid nineteenth century. Symbols The most common Valentine's Day symbols are the heart, particularly in reds and pinks, and pictures or models of Cupid. Cupid is usually portrayed as a small winged figure with a bow and arrow. In mythology, he uses his arrow to strike the hearts of people. People who have fallen in love are sometimes said to be 'struck by Cupid's arrow. Other symbols of Valentine's Day are couples in loving embraces and the gifts of flowers, chocolate, red roses and lingerie that couples often give each other. About Valentine's Day in other countries Read more about Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day History Pagan festivals, Christian saints, Chaucer's love birds, and the Greeting Card Association of America by Borgna Brunner Roman Roots The history of Valentine's Day is obscure, and further clouded by various fanciful legends. The holiday's roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day. Valentines Galore Which St. Valentine this early pope intended to honor remains a mystery: according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by that name. One was a priest in Rome, another a bishop in Terni, and of a third St. Valentine almost nothing is known except that he met his end in Africa. Rather astonishingly, all three Valentines were said to have been martyred on Feb. 14. Most scholars believe that the St. Valentine of the holiday was a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. At this stage, the factual ends and the mythic begins. According to one legend, Claudius II had prohibited marriage for young men, claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies but was eventually apprehended by the Romans and put to death. Another legend has it that Valentine, imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed "from your Valentine." Probably the most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one not focused on Eros (passionate love) but on agape (Christian love): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. In 1969, the Catholic Church revised its liturgical calendar, removing the feast days of saints whose historical origins were questionable. St. Valentine was one of the casualties. Chaucer's Love Birds It was not until the 14th century that this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. According to UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine, it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance. In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. As was the poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day. In "The Parliament of Fowls," the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day are linked: For this was on St. Valentine's Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate. Tradition of Valentine's Cards Over the centuries, the holiday evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American colonies. The tradition of Valentine's cards did not become widespread in the United States, however, until the 1850s, when Esther A. Howland, a Mount Holyoke graduate and native of Worcester, Mass., began mass-producing them. Today, of course, the holiday has become a booming commercial success. According to the Greeting Card Association, 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines.
  24. Martin Luther King Day: A Day On, Not Off 01/12/2017 10:52 am ET | Updated 2 hours ago Sharon Schweitzer International Protocol Expert, Best Selling Author, Cross-Cultural Consultant CONTRIBUTOR On January 16th, our nation unites in honor of the leadership and compassion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He tirelessly lead the United States in her struggle for civil rights and community values. His vision of a United States free of discrimination and oppression inspired numerous nonviolent movements across the country. Dr. King’s courageous stance against systemic racism helped him become one of the most well known leaders during the Civil Rights Movement. Many pay tribute to his legacy of peace and commitment to the community each year through acts of service. Signed into law in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King Day was first recognized as a federal holiday in 1986. In 1994, Congress designated Martin Luther King Day as a national day of service, noting it was a “day on, not a day off.” In 2009, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama launched United We Serve. This initiative reaffirms the call to service to “create a sustained, collaborative, and focused effort to meet community needs.” Reminding citizens that “injustice remains in many corners of our country” and that “it is our mission to fulfill King’s vision of a Nation devoted to rejecting bigotry in all its forms,” the holiday inspired numerous projects nationwide. This National Day of Service has inspired numerous projects, as citizens volunteer at soup kitchens, Veterans Affairs offices, and local schools. This year, find a creative way to serve, maybe with one of these ideas and organizations to further Dr. King’s legacy of civic engagement. 1. Support a Local Food Bank: Feeding America has numerous initiatives devoted to ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry. Find a volunteer opportunity near you, and spend the day preparing meals, organizing supplies, or collecting goods. 2. Plant Trees in Your Neighborhood: With tree cover declining in urban areas and air pollution on the rise, planting trees is a simple act that promotes environmental wellness and community health. Gather some friends and find a site to plant your tree. Be sure to follow these Utah State University guidelines. 3. Become a STEM mentor: President Obama has prioritized math and science education for our nation’s students. Mentorship provides future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers with guidance and inspiration, which is especially crucial for low-income students. If you are called to be a STEM mentor, learn more here. 4. Teach Financial Literacy: Most of us don’t learn the ins and outs of budgeting, credit, and savings in high school; many never learn effective tools for financial literacy. Teaching money management helps community members avoid pitfalls and possibly poverty. For more information, read these guidelines from the Corporation for National and Community Service. 5. Help Families Access Health Care: For low-income families, receiving proper medical care may be a struggle, and parents may be unaware of resources. CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) provides free or reduced cost care to families and children. Help families receive the care they need by organizing outreach events to educate families. Citizens can also find local volunteer opportunities or register their own event with the All For Good website. However you decide to honor this holiday and spread Dr. King’s message of compassion, my team and I wish you a happy Martin Luther King Day, and hope that everyone finds a meaningful way to celebrate. Did you know that one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s advisers had recommended that he leave out the "I have a dream" phrase for his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963? Luckily, King ignored that recommendation. That speech and quotes from many others have inspired us and given us the courage to act upon our own dreams. In honor of a great man, let us all hold our dreams up for the world to see and our hearts to embrace. Here are a few of King's pearls of wisdom to help remind you of the power of a vision. "Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase." "There comes a time when silence is betrayal." "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." "Only in the darkness can you see the stars." "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that." "Let no man pull you so low as to hate him." "That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right." "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." "Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education." "We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience." "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." "I have decided to stick to love ... Hate is too great a burden to bear." "Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live." "No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for." "Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude." "Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others." "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." "We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope." "I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls." "We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools." "Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals." "People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other." "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies." "No person has the right to rain on your dreams." Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural consultant, an international protocol expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She is accredited in intercultural management, is the resident etiquette expert for CBS Austin’s We Are Austin, regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, The New York Times, and numerous other media. She is the best-selling, international award-winning author of Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2015 and recipient of the British Airways International Trade, Investment & Expansion Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards. Learn More: Martin Luther King Jr.
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