Author Archive for DBSA OP Staff

Wellness Strategy Exercise

The Wellness Journey

If we think of wellness as a journey, we’ll need three things to get started.

A Destination

Where do you want to go?

What is my wellness goal?

A Map

What’s the best route to take?

What steps do I need to take to reach my goal?

A Means of Travel

Do I drive or fly?

What is my strategy for reaching my goal?

Example:

Wellness Goal

Have a better relationship with my partner.

Steps Needed

I need to improve communication and spend more quality time with my partner.

Strategies

Write down thoughts before discussing an important topic.

Practice active listening.

Schedule time to have fun together.

Wellness Strategy Exercise

This exercise is going to focus on the strategies people use to meet their wellness goals and what those strategies help them accomplish.  We’ll explore two questions:

Question 1:  What is something you do to stay well?

Question 2:  How does that help you reach your wellness goal?

Even though we come from different backgrounds, have different experiences, and face different challenges, we also have many things in common. The definition of wellness is different for everyone, but as we think about what wellness is, we can fit our definitions into a few broad categories, e.g., physical health, relationships, self-esteem, self-improvement, financial security, career, etc.

Likewise, many people use similar strategies to accomplish their goals. These may include journaling, exercising, getting rest, mediation, and many other strategies.

Strategy

What it does

Take a walk every night after dinner

Reduces stress

Allows for quality time with spouse

Journaling

Enhances self-understanding 

Provides an outlet for frustrations rather losing my temper

Aids memory

Get sleep, exercise,  eat right

Makes me physically well

Read a lot about my illness

Helps me be active in my treatment

Helps me discuss my illness with others

Create your own list of strategies or view a sample of strategies created by our past conference attendees.

Not All Wounds Can Be Treated With Stitches

In the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas earlier this week, it is important to think about how to help all the victims – those with and those without visible wounds. Post-traumatic stress disorder effects approximately 44.7 million people. There are different types of treatments available for PTSD including medication, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and EMDR. Currently in Las Vegas a temporary crisis center has been opened up to victims, family members, and anyone else impacted by recent events. This push for immediate support is called “psychological first aid”, and it is becoming the new response. Read more about what is being done to help victims with PTSD in Las Vegas in CNBC’s article The rush to help PTSD victims in aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.

Second Youth Mental Health First Aid Planned For Aug. 29 at Tri-County

Tri-County Mental Health Services will host a Youth Mental Health First Aid class, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 29.

The eight-hour program teaches participants how to provide initial help to young people experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance use disorders.

The training is excellent for anyone who has direct contact with youth, including coaches, faith communities, parents, police officers and other emergency responders. Topics include signs and symptoms of the most common mental health disorders among youth, preparation for appropriate reaction when a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis and more.

The program will be held in the second floor conference room of the Northland Human Services Building, 3100 NE 83rd Street, Kansas City. Thanks to sponsorship by Missouri’s Department of Mental Health, the program is free and includes lunch.

The program is limited to 24 people and an earlier class filled quickly. To register, contact Kelsey Prather, you suicide prevention specialist, at 816.877.0496 or at kelseyp@tri-countymhs.orgThis flyer also provides more information.

Summer Depression

When we think of seasonal affective disorder we often associate it with winter, but it can also happen in the summer. For some, summer SAD happens every year at any point of the summer months. For others, like myself, it’s directly related to extreme temperatures. The sun may be out and it looks great outside, but if it’s too hot to do anything, it will only make my mood worse. I also tend to isolate in the comfort of my air conditioning, not wanting to go outside, which drives my depression and anxiety levels. Maybe you are still going outdoors and feeling depressed. Did you know that even mild dehydration can increase depression? If any of that sounds familiar to you, maybe these 10 Summer Depression Busters is just what you need too!  

Change

Change is a terrifying thing for everyone, especially those of us with mood disorders. Tonight is our first time meeting in our new location, and it came with a slew of changes. My fear of making all these changes led me to look for some ways to cope. I found this article for 7 tips on How To Deal With Change.

If you struggled to make it to group, maybe some of these tips can help you make it next week! 

 

Blood Test to Diagnose Depression in Teenagers

Nearly one-fourth of all teens will experience depression before adulthood. However, only about 30 percent of those are receiving the help they need. This is especially alarming, since suicide is closely related to depression and is the third-leading cause of death in individuals from ages 15 to 24. In fact, every 100 minutes, a teenager will take his or her life.

Read the full article from The Treatment Center here.

For more information on The Treatment Center, please visit their website.

 

Cleaning the Clutter

I found this article today that totally hit home for me. I know it seems a bit off topic for a depression and bipolar support group, but I think many of us struggle with cleaning up clutter without it being emotionally draining. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE WHEN YOU FEEL PARALYZED BY “THE MESS”

Chris Cornell: When Suicide Doesn’t Make Sense from Psychology Today

Article By Julie A. Fast

Sometimes, people commit suicide and we are able to make some sense of why it happened. It’s scary and upsets our world, but on a basic level we think we understand. Robin William’s suicide comes to mind. He had a history of depression and his health was failing. We all wish he could have found more help, but I don’t think it was surprising as much as it was devastating and sad for the millions who loved him.

Then there are suicides that make no sense. The idea doesn’t fit with how we see the individual’s personal life or with how they describe their life in public. The partner or other loved ones are shocked and usually vehemently deny that the person was acting suicidal. Society likes to look for something deeper when they hear that the person wasn’t outwardly suicidal, such as a possible secret life.

I have a different opinion based on personal experience that I would like to share.

Click here to read the full article.

If you are a fan and his death is hitting you hard, now is a good time to take care of YOURSELF. He is at peace now. I believe this. We are the living and we are here to keep going.  I am sad, but I’m not depressed. There is a difference. 

If you need help, a crisis line is a good start. 

People with bipolar disorder have an illness that gets triggered.  We are strong. Get help if you need it. 

I am going to celebrate the joy he brought to my life. This is the best way I can remember him. 

If you have comments on this article, please share them on the Psychology Today website or on my Julie A. Fast Facebook page. You can find the post there where others have commented. I am also active on my Julie A. Fast Twitter page. 

Thank you very much for the kind emails. Please know that due to the number I receive, I am not able to answer personally. If you are looking for coaching as a partner or partner, you can click here. If you want to talk with me about mental health, the best place to interactant is on Facebook. I often do live Q&A sessions. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

 

Check out Mental Health America‘s website for more information

Personalized Approach to Medication for Depression

A new study is linking personalized bio markers to antidepressant effectiveness. This is another step towards ending the trial and error approach to prescribing antidepressants.

“The future of psychiatry is in a precision, personalized medicine approach to refining diagnosis and tailoring treatments accordingly. This study demonstrates that currently available markers are poised to improve patient outcomes without introducing new costs. Markers such as BMI are likely to complement others being developed out of neuroimaging and genomics,” added Dr. Williams.

Read the full story here

*Elsevier Health Sciences. (2017, May 1). Personalized psychiatry matches therapy to specific patients with depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 3, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170501112534.htm