Author Archive for DBSA OP Staff

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.

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!