Author Archive for DBSA OP Staff

Suicide Help

Recently we heard the tragic news of KC native and fashion designer, Kate Spade. She was believed to have lived with bipolar disorder and is noted to have sought help numerous times. It is not known that this is the reason of her suicide. According to the CDC there are many factors other than mental health that contribute to suicide including relationship problems, substance abuse, crisis, physical health problem, loss of housing, and job/financial problems. As suicide rates are on the rise, it is important that we raise our level of knowledge and understanding of suicide as well. This will help promote suicide prevention. 

CDC’s Preventing Suicide Fact Sheet

World Health Organization’s Suicide Prevention Initiative 

CDC’s Understand Suicide Fact Sheet   

Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center – Including an online chat option

Missouri Suicide Prevention Resource Center

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Including online chat 

National Suicide Text Hotline

SAVE : Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Suicide Prevention | SAMHSA

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Most importantly – Please Remember You Are Never Alone

 

Isolation and Mood Disorders

In January, I ended up in the hospital for my depression. My experience there changed a lot of things for me. One of the really important realizations it led to: isolation is probably my biggest trigger for depression. A couple of things happened that let me see this. First, my doctor told me he didn’t want me to be alone. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Second, the social worker held a “family meeting” for me, where my loved ones and I discussed what I needed to be okay after I got out. We planned for me to spend alternating weeks with my partner and my sister’s family. It wasn’t until I had to spend a week alone that I realized what a difference this was making. My depression started coming back immediately; I didn’t have any motivation to get out of bed. I remembered what the doctor had said. Maybe there was something to not being alone.

Since that time, experience has reinforced that isolating myself is indeed my worst trigger. The support of my partner and my family members is vital. I’m employed again and living on my own again, but I make it a point to spend as much time as I can with my supporters, even – or especially – when I don’t feel like it.

Check out this article by Good Therapy to learn more about emotional and social isolation.

It’s Spring now, why am I not happy?

 

Many of us are accustomed to relating seasonal affective disorder with the dark, cold winter months. Once spring hits and it becomes April, that should all just go away, right? It turns out April can be just as hard on SAD as the winter months. Therese Borchard, a columnist for Everyday Health, offers four different theories on why April can actually make depression and anxiety levels raise in her article 

April Is the Cruelest Month: Why People Get Depressed and Anxious in the Spring

  1. Change
  2. Hormones
  3. Memories
  4. Allergies and toxins

For more explanations be sure to check out the link above. She also has an article on how rainy weather, like we have had in KC for some time now, can affect depression.

Weather and Mood: Rainy With a Chance of Depression

In this article she links to some interesting studies relating weather and mood. 

So, if you just aren’t feeling it yet this month – you are not alone!

Talking to your kids about school shootings

Don’t know how to talk to your kids about what happened in Florida? With so much media attention, school shootings can create much anxiety in children. Here is some advice.

Marcia Weseman, Ed.D, is a child trauma expert and Manager of Community Programs and Prevention at Saint Luke’s Crittenton Health Center.

 

Stressless Self Care

To be the best you for others, you also have to be the best you for yourself. Many of us put other’s needs before our own, but in the long run the stress of doing so takes it toll on everyone. Sometimes the thought of adding self care seems stressful all in it’s own. We struggle to come up with ideas that don’t require getting something special or spending money. Here is a list of ideas that I have used to take away some of the stress. I have recently added #10 to my daily care routine. Not perfectly by any means, but enough to feel a little more put together. I was amazed at how much it helped. 

Simple Electrocardiogram Can Determine Whether a Patient Has Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

Bipolar is often misdiagnosed as major depression. Antidepressants without a mood stabilizer can inadvertently trigger a manic episode. Studies are being conducted at Loyola University to help find a noninvasive procedure to help doctors diagnose bipolar versus major depression. Read more about this study from newswise.com

NFL Player Uses His Feet to Support DBSA

 

When strong safety Tony Jefferson takes to the field December 10 for the Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers (in the nationally televised NBC Sunday Night Football game, 7:00 p.m. Central Time), DBSA will be right there with him. Tony will wear specially designed shoes inspired by his commitment to support individuals living with depression and bipolar disorder. These shoes will later be auctioned off by the NFL Foundation, with all of the proceeds going to DBSA. Last year Tony’s cleats raised $305 for DBSA, but this year will be even better thanks to volunteer supporters from DBSA.

Originally hailing from the San Diego, California area, Tony has a lifelong commitment to raise awareness about mental health stigma. Having learned this from family members facing mental health challenges, he now lends his strength and his very fast feet to help DBSA capture national attention during one of the most important games of the NFL season. You can help Tony and DBSA by going to Twitter and Facebook, then posting your comments in support of his #MyCauseMyCleats campaign and cheering him along. Show Tony how much we appreciate having him as a part of the DBSA family.

Born This Way

Mark your calendars for a Mental Wellness Information Fair followed by an event focused on how parents and other caring adults can help support our young people’s mental wellness.

The event is part of Born This Way Foundation’s Channel Kindness Tour – a series of activations, youth-led service events, and community gatherings that are organized to coincide with Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour.

Attendees will be eligible to win a pair of tickets to Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour concert on Wednesday, November 15th at the Sprint Center in KC.

Please read the BTW FLYER 102517 for more details!

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.