Archive for Uncategorized – Page 2

Zero Suicide

With suicide rates on the rise (9.6% in Missouri and 12% in Kansas since 2013), there is a movement happening locally and nationally to prevent suicide. Zero Suicide is using many tools including smartphone apps like MY3 and mystrength. The goal of the crusade is not to lower but eliminate suicide.

“You wouldn’t want an airline to say they hope to prevent crashes but they can’t prevent them all. With suicide, the goal should be zero.” Scott Perkins, NAMI, Missouri chapter.

World Health Day – 7 April 2017

7 April 2017 – WHO is leading a one-year global campaign on depression. The highlight is World Health Day 2017, celebrated today. The goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help. Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Read more on the World Health Organization’s website here.

Exciting Advancements in Medication

A team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California has trained a computer to be able to predict those with bipolar who will (or will not) be responsive to lithium treatments. Lithium is considered a miracle treatment for bipolar; but, unfortunately, only 30 percent of people taking it reap those benefits. Using a few cells and a powerful computer, the team has developed a method that is accurate 92 percent of the time. Breakthroughs like this are crucial to finding a better way to find the right medicine. Read the full article here. Learn more about the Salk Institute.

 

Food for Thought

What I Wish Family & Friends Knew About Bipolar

An article By Jess Melancholia from bp Magazine

Printed as “What I wish family and friends knew about bipolar”, Winter 2017

Here are three basic premises that I wish they knew:

You can’t understand my bipolar and you never will.

When I’m manic or depressed, that’s not the real me.

Your coping skills won’t “fix” me.

You Shop, Amazon Gives!

Amazon has a large variety of gifts that are perfect for Valentine’s Day including electronics, jewelry, clothing, and more.

Need more information on what Amazon Smile is? Click here to read our blog post about it!

Impact on the World

In “A World Without”, DBSA celebrates the amazing accomplishments of some of history’s most notable figures who live(d) with mental health challenges. Visit DBSAlliance.org/LifeUnlimited to read inspirational stories of people who live their life unlimited by their experience with a mood disorder.

 

Musical talents at DBSA OP

December has been a very busy and stressful month so far, but I couldn’t be happier that I fought that isolation urge on this cold night to join the DBSA OP group. While it seems no one knows me better than my couch while I’m depressed, I truly am understood here. Tonight is also a special night being the 3rd Annual Holiday party, complete with musical talents of some of our members. Sometimes support is as simple as being amidst others, singing, smiling, and laughing.

Mood Boosting Workouts

how-exercise-helps-with-depression

Whether it’s SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or just a regular old mood disorder depression, one way to combat the sadness is with exercise. Many of us do not like to workout, especially when we are depressed, but studies do show it is an effective tool in battling the blues. Here are 3 mood boosting low impact workouts to try right at home:

1. Yoga

There are many techniques to yoga that don’t involve complicated poses or even a mat. The first step involves controlled breathing. Lynn Louise Wonders, a yoga teacher and the owner of the Yoga Room, in Marietta, Georgia advises, “Breathe in through your nose to the count of five. Hold for two counts, then exhale through your nose to the count of five, emptying your lungs completely.”  She also recommends “Look for a beginner’s class with a qualified instructor (find a studio through the Yoga Alliance Registry; yogaalliance.org).” For home practice, try Yoga for the Rest of Us with Peggy Cappy. Amy Weintraub, founder of LifeForce Yoga and author of Yoga for Depression, describes in her new book Yoga Skills for Therapists “powerful techniques, which are not always included in yoga classes, including breathing exercises (pranayama), easy meditations, and hand gestures called mudras that empower one to self-regulate one’s mood and develop increasing feelings of self-efficacy and control.”

2. Cycling

Stationary cycling can get your heart rate up while limiting impact on joints. Energy levels have been shown to increase after a single 30-minute cycling session. “The cycling seemed to activate brain neural circuits that make a person feel energized,” says Patrick O’Connor, a professor of kinesiology at UGA. “We tend to think of physical activity as being tiring, but in fact physical activity adds energy to our lives,” says Kate F. Hays, Ph.D., a clinical and sport psychologist in Toronto. Another study has shown cortisol, stress hormone, levels will drop after just 15 minutes of stationary pedaling. For more information see Bicycling Can Sharpen Your Thinking and Improve Your Mood; Riding a bike is good for your cognitive health and emotional well-being. Posted May 26, 2015 on Psychology Today.

3. Weights

No, I’m not talking about becoming a gym rat with bulging biceps. I’m talking low intensity weight training. It’s something that can be done while sitting on the couch watching TV. Light strength training can get blood flow through your muscles and help you feel stronger. Not having dumbbells isn’t an excuse for not trying these exercises.  Cosmo magazine has compiled a list of household items that can be used in 17 Household Items That Work Just as Well as Weights. Try starting with just two sets of twenty repetitions. If it’s too easy, either increase the weight or try a body-sculpting class at a local gym or a DVD (like Step-by-Step Strength Training, With Petra Kolber). Skip a day between workouts so your muscles have some time to rest.

Exercise classes can also be a good choice for people battling depression. Classes can give a feeling of belonging as well as help to build relationships. As always, before starting physical activities you are not used to doing, talk to your doctor. More than likely they will be happy with your wanting to exercise, but you may have to start more slowly if you haven’t done it in a while.

 

Get The Most From Talk Therapy

therapist_puzzle

Today I spent time reading countless different recipes for macaroni and cheese. All of them were for the same dish, but each unique in their own way, and every one of them was someone’s favorite recipe. Just as there was a different kind of mac ‘n cheese for each person, there are also different types of talk therapies for each person’s needs. Finding the right talk therapy can be just as important as finding the right medication. Also, knowing what type of therapy you think will work for you can help direct you to a therapist who will best fit your wellness goals. 

CBT* (cognitive behavioral therapy) focuses on identifying and replacing negative thought patterns. By replacing those negative thought patterns, it thereby enables positive behavior changes. Feelings of defeat with thoughts of never being able to do anything right can be realized as such and replaced with “based on my prior experiences I was able to do this by…” positive thoughts. According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): “Oftentimes someone being treated with CBT will have homework in between sessions where they practice replacing negative thoughts with with more realistic thoughts based on prior experiences or record their negative thoughts in a journal.” – See more at: nami.org

DBT* (dialectical behavior therapy) is an offshoot of CBT. The major difference being DBT emphasizes the acceptance of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors instead of being uncomfortable with them. It was developed to treat those with suicidal thoughts or tendencies, working to take the stigma out of such internal thoughts. Incorporating mindfulness and meditation techniques, it promotes power to accept and release thoughts while making efforts to change behavioral patterns. Similar to CBT, there is continuing work between therapy sessions to identify and cope with thoughts and feelings. Yes, this means homework. Successful DBT treatments will improve coping skills leading to less frequent and less severe dangerous behaviors.

Similar to DBT is ACT* (acceptance and commitment therapy). Also based on mindfulness, the techniques used in therapy sessions are different. ACT works to help separate how you feel from who you are. Instead of saying “I’m bi-polar”, it teaches you to think “I’m feeling depressed today because…”. 

EMDR* (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy) uses techniques to desensitize feelings associated with certain memories. It has been used to treat PTSD in particular. These emotional changes are accomplished with repetitive back and forth eye movements for 20-30 seconds while recalling the traumatic event. While alleviating the emotional distress of the event, it also allows you to apply new cognitive insight to the situation. “EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.” – See more at: emdr.com

These are just a sampling of types of treatments therapists can incorporate into talk therapy sessions. For more types or detailed information, please see nami.org or reach out to your current therapist. Providing feedback to your therapist on what you feel will (or will not) help you in your road to wellness, will also help him or her to help you. Our brains are like snow flakes; there isn’t one magic pill or one type of treatment that is right for everyone. We must work the puzzle everyday to complete it.

*These are summaries of complex treatments by a non-medical professional. As always, please consult with your mental health practitioner