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Bloggers from around the globe, discuss mental health issues facing people, friends, families and communities worldwide.

5 Ways To Effectively Treat Minor Depression

A few ways to help with minor depression.

Consider adopting a pet. Studies have shown that individuals who own pets, including cats or dogs, live a happier and healthier life. The reason is because pets provide companionship and unconditional love, which is one of the reasons that they may help to eliminate minor cases of depression and/or stress.

A regular fitness regimen may help to treat depression, including walking or a leisurely jog. Experts believe that walking for 30 minutes each day may help to ease stress and anxiety, which often lead to depression, and may also improve cardiovascular health.

Find a hobby that you enjoy. If you have too much time on your hands, consider volunteering at a local hospital or becoming involved in some type of community activity that offers you personal satisfaction and enjoyment. After all, busy hands are happy hands.

The loss of sleep is one of the leading causes of stress and anxiety, which are directly related to depression. In order to improve the quality of your sleep, make sure that your mattress is comfortable, along with your pillow. It may also help to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature so that you can sleep soundly through the night without being disrupted by hot or cold temperatures. And finally, the use of portable air filters will help to remove allergens in the air and will leave your room with a feeling of cleanliness. This may help to ease allergies, which often disrupt sleep and can lead to anxiety throughout the day.

Consider the cause of your depression and try to remove it from your life. Whether it be a job or a relationship, you may be able to effectively eliminate the depression by getting away from the cause. If your work is stressful because of the amount of hours spent on the job, consider cutting back on overtime in exchange for more enjoyment at home and with family. If your schoolwork is too demanding, consider evaluating your courses and which are most important for your education. If a relationship is what has you in a rut, consider a counseling session for couples or talk with your partner about whatever it is that’s troubling you. If the problem is too great to work through, consider some time apart to reevaluate your relationship and see if the depression eases after a trial separation.

This article is to be used for informational purposes only. The information contained herein should be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional medical advice relating to the treatment of depression. Anyone who notices the symptoms of depression, or believe that they may have a problem, should consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and/or treatment recommendation.

 Reference: ZIP Articles

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Ayurveda regime for winter depression

Long nights, short days, sweaters, warm clothes and chilly weather make many of us sick and depressed. This depression which surfaces especially in winter is a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and is often called as winter Time Blues or Winter depression. The exact cause for this depression is as of yet unclear. But yet few scientists believe lack of exposure to sunlight as the reason for this disorder.

The symptoms of winter depression are tendency to over eat, craving for carbohydrates and sweets and weight gain.

Had our ancestors observed this change in humans? The answer is yes. Have they recommended any remedies? Yes, they have recommended simple and effective natural remedies to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder. They have laid down explicit guidelines about diet and lifestyles which have to be followed according to seasons.

The winter season is marked as Hemanta ritu and Sisira ritu in ayurveda. Hemanta ritu starts from mid November and ends in mid January. This falls in southern solstice which is called as visarga kala or dakshinayana in ayurveda. Sisira ritu starts from mid January and lasts till middle of March. Sisira ritu falls in Northern solstice which is called as Aadana kaala or uttaraayana.

The response of human body to this season is very well explained in ayurveda. People will have increased strength and their digestion capacity is increased .This is marked by increased hunger. These symptoms are caused by increased body fire which is supported by vata. Vata inside  body increases in winter because of cold and dryness which is prevalent in outer atmosphere.

The winter time depression is noticed mostly in persons who have vata as major constituent in their prakriti or body constitution. The cause for this type of change is longer nights of winter.

Light therapy is recommended by doctors for wintertime blues. Exposure to artificial light may cause headache, irritability, eye strain, Inability to sleep and fatigue. Exposure to sunlight and if sunlight is not available sitting near fireplace is the remedy suggested in Ayurveda.

Keeping the home well lit with lights help to reduce the intensity of depression.

Moderate exercise like yoga is another remedy for winter depression. Ayurveda recommends oil massage (abhyanga)  to body and head (moordha taila.). Indulging in sexual act to keep the moods elevated and to keep the body warm is another strongly suggested ayurvedic remedy.

Meeting friends who are kind and understanding boosts morale and brightens up the day. Spending time with friends on the beach helps to expose your body to sunlight and keeps your spirits high.

Relaxing with meditation, massage, light music and laughter helps to great extent.

The following ayurvedic tips help to prevent and reduce the intensity of seasonal disorder of winter, the wintertime blues.

  1. Expose yourself to sunlight as much as you can. In absence of sun light sitting near fireplace is very helpful.
  2. Massage your body with vata balancing herbal oil (abhyanga). Never forget to apply oil on your head (moordha taila.).
  3. Then remove the oil by taking hot water bath. A mixture of flours of yellow gram (channa), green gram (moong) , fenu greek seeds (methi) in equal proportion is the best herbal scrub which can be used to remove the oil. This mixture prevents the washing of natural oil from skin.
  4. Consume hot soups.
  5. Use vata balancing foods like wheat, oil, corn, black gram and jaggery.
  6. Tickle your taste buds with sweet, sour and salt tastes
  7. Always use hot water for all daily routine activity.
  8. Use thick blankets and sheets made of cotton, silk and wool.
  9. Always wear footwear.
  10. Indulge in sexual act.
  11. Spend your leisure time with friends and relatives whom you like.

In short, stay warm, spend time with friends and love ones and remember Spring is coming.

Reference: ZIP Articles

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Self Care with Bipolar

Self Care with Bipolar

Taking care of yourself enriches your life and attracts better, more stable people. 

These past few months have been a struggle for me. In August the mysterious pain in my hip developed and it clearly is here to stay. The first hospital trip didn't give me any reasons on to what happened or even a direction to look in. I was prescribed a steroid (prednisone) for the month of October and other than the terrible side effects, the pain was lessened.  On halloween, I got in a car accident which triggered the pain to return. I went to see a doctor and he prescribed me a very potent anti- inflammatory that has helped with the pain quite a bit.

I have lived with bipolar disorder since I was 13 years old and I was just beginning to understand the illness. Now I have to learn how to handle my physical pain as well. I have been able to be in contact with my professors which has helped with understanding my situation but I still need to learn how to live with this. The only other example I know is my father, who lived with chronic pain for 25 years before he passed away. He never took care of himself nor was he energetic enough to make a difference. I certainly do not want to live that way.

While in school, self care has been addressed a lot because of the profession we are pursuing. It will be almost impossible to reach out and help a youth without first addressing your flaws to learn and overcome them. Currently I am working on a project that goes into detail of my childhood and how I was raised, it has been interesting. During these homework sessions, I become overwhelmed with how much shit I've gone through and the things I will never get to say, especially to my dad, because the opportunity is gone. This has been especially difficult.

Some self care methods I have are:

  • Taking a bath/shower with music playing
  • Reading a book/listening to an audio book
  • Cloud watching
  • Taking a walk/exercising 
  • Playing a video game
  • Writing down how you feel
  • Meditate and breathing exercises 
  • REPEAT


The last one is key. Self care is not a one time fix all. That would be like going to a dentist and walking out saying "I'll never have to brush my teeth again!" I know how hard it is to think of yourself first because of low self esteem but putting yourself on the back burner is not healthy for you or your relationships. Remember, all you have is yourself- so take care of you.

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Copyright

© Jenna White

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They'll Never get Better

Support is a vital component in life.  It doesn’t matter your age, race, religion or if you have a mental illness, physical disability or you’re healthy as an ox; a term my grandma would often say. We all need support from family and friends at precise periods of our life.  We should be supportive to those who have helped us, and to someone we may barely know.  If you battle with mental illness, support from your therapist and psychiatrist typically isn’t enough.  For most, support from family members and friends is critical to our well-being. Now, there are many individuals who not only battle with their mental illness.  They have to battle stigma and misconception from the same family members and friends who give them no support.  Love ones should take the time to understand what you’re going through and learn from others, how you struggle and fight daily with your mental illness.  Learning and understanding will stop the stigma and in most instances open them up to listening, assisting their love one in getting through tough periods when your mental illness can knock you down, again, and again.

Below is an excerpt from my book “Welcome to My Our Hell”

Chapter 4: Understanding Mental Illness: Bricks and Sprinklers

During a group session at the outpatient program I attended, a woman talked about how her family wouldn’t listen to her when she attempted to explain her mental illness. They also had no desire or had not even attempted to understand her mental illness and created their own conclusions and misconceptions. Family members would call her a home body, and tell others that she prefers to stay in her dark, lonely bedroom, hiding from the world. She explained that among all the family members to add their two cents or hurtful comments, her dad’s comments and his unwillingness to accept her illness, devastated her emotionally and hurt her the most. I remember the sadness in her eyes, the tears rolling down her face, and she had the look of someone who had given up on life.

This not only hit home with me, but with almost everyone who suffers from a mental illness, has had the same issue with people not understanding or drawing their own conclusions about mental illness and continuing to build a wall of stigma. So I understood their frustration and that day in group session I not only understood this woman’s situation and frustration, but I could feel the emotional devastation she had suffered due to her family just giving up on her. I’ve had the same experiences with family and friends. Many of them would call me a home body and it drove me absolutely crazy. I’ve always enjoyed going out, doing activities with friends and family. But the truth was that my addiction to pain medication and the severity of my mental illness kept me a prisoner. All I wanted was to be left alone. I rarely made an appearance at a family event or function, and if I did make an appearance, my body was in attendance but not my mind. When I didn’t show up for events, friends, my kids and my wife would just tell people he’s having a bad day, his back is really bothering him. They were telling the truth and giving me exactly what I wanted; time to be left alone. I’m not sure how many times friends and family members, explained to people that I was having a bad day or made excuses for me; but it had to be a couple hundred times.

That’s just one of the many ways we drag our loved ones through hell with us. So when a friend or family member called me a home body during that period, they were just being honest. Now that I take my medications, use coping skills, and enjoy life every day, I haven’t heard the word homebody in a long time. I just wonder how many times my friends and family members thought, he’ll never get better.

I always wonder about certain individuals who had no support system, and others who lived alone. Does the statement, “they’ll never get better”, apply to most of them and will it be their outcome. I don’t believe it has to be. With increased government funding to mental health charities, and just not the big charities or the research groups. We need funding and donations to help smaller groups who are making a difference in the community, working with and providing opportunity to people with mental health disorders.

If you battle, anything can happen!

My son was around ten years old and there was one thing he really desired; a snake. Now I’m not a snake fan, however he did work around the house to make some money and my wife and I helped purchase the snake and glass aquarium and other items. To feed this young and growing snake, we had to purchase mice every week or whatever the correct eating schedule is for a snake. Now you have to flick the mouse with your finger or smack the mouse against the glass aquarium the snake live in. This stuns the mouse so they won’t bite the snake. One week my son had a stubborn mouse, my son beat that mouse all over his bedroom, and it never passed out or died. Until this day, I have no idea how that little mouse stayed alive. Finally, my son fed the snake another mouse and decided to kill the first mouse and throw it away. However, my daughter would have none of that and came to the rescue.

My daughter took the time to give support to this little mouse. This mouse, which should have been dead, and till this day, I’m not sure why he wasn’t. After a few days, that little mouse got up and started walking and eating; that’s when my daughter named the little mouse Miracle. About two weeks later, I heard a continuous sound coming from upstairs. I went upstairs and both the kids were sleeping, however the sound was coming from my daughter’s room. My daughter had bought Miracle a hamster wheel, and he was running on that wheel like there was no tomorrow. For the rest of his life, he ran on that wheel and gave great joy to my daughter; all due to the support of one little girl, who never gave up on that little mouse named Miracle.

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