Elevate Mood – 5 Foods That Can Get You Out of the Slump

In a bad mood, or feeling a little blue? You're not alone. Almost 30 million adults in the US (9.5%!) Suffer from some sort of mood disorder.

Maybe your feelings are not enough to be a diagnosable condition, but not feeling great about yourself or your life has some serious drawbacks. With so many people in America feeling a little down in the dumps, is it any wonder that we are dealing with the epidemic known as obesity?

Many people turn to food when they are feeling low, and many times that means you are shopping for the next-size-up in jeans, which does not do much to elevate your mood. And so the cycle continues.

You can learn how to break the over-eating, poor mood cycle and how to lose weight fast. Here are 5 foods that can help get you out of the slump.

1. Honey

Sweet treats may make you feel good temporarily, but sugars and artificial sweeteners can actually release free radicals into your body. Free radicals can cause infection and diseases that could have contributed to your down-in-the-dumps feelings.

Honey is an all-natural sweetener that has benefits for more then just your sweet tooth. Honey can actually fight against harmful free radicals that might be in your body and reduce inflammation.

2. Chocolate

Not all chocolate is created equal. Sure they all may taste good, but Dark chocolate also has more benefits then just simply treating your taste buds.

Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which fight against those pesky free radicals and encourage more blood flow to your brain. Dark chocolate also contains phenylethlamine, which stimulates the production of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin can naturally elevate your mood and combat depression.

You do not have to go overboard to get these benefits. Just a few ounces of dark chocolate can help you get the boost you need.

3. Bananas

Bananas are another great food to elevate your mood. Bananas are filled with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B6, Potassium, and Vitamin C. Bananas also contain one more important component: Tryptophan.

Nope, it's not just in your turkey dinner. The tryptophan in bananas is used by your body to produce more serotonin. When your serotonin levels are well balanced, you feel happier, relaxed, and more optimistic.

4. Swiss Chard

If you are not getting the necessary nutrients from your diet, your body and your brain can not function the way they need to. Magnesium is just one mineral that you might be lacking if your mood is on a downward spiral. Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is a great source of magnesium.

You need magnesium so that your brain can make necessary connection and function properly. Magnesium can also help you have the energy you need to fight depression-induced cravings and instead hit the gym to lose weight fast.

You can toss Swiss chard in with your salad or blend it into a smoothie for a mood-elevating boost.

5. Oatmeal

If you want to elevate you mood, try starting your day with a steam bowl of porridge, aka oatmeal. You can even slice that banana on top for a truly mood elevating meal.

Oatmeal is a great food to get you out of your slump. Oats are rich in soluble fiber, which works to balance your blood sugar and prevent you from feeling irritable and cranky. Oats are also great if you have been wondering how to lose weight fast . The fiber helps you stay full and avoid cravings.

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Best Natural ADHD Diet for Children

Although, some claim that the condition could be treated with the improvement of the environment and prescribed medication, it was found that certain type of foods better improved the symptoms. Here is how the ADHD diet for children benefits their condition.

An ADHD diet helps the brain to have a better focus decreasing inattentiveness and hyperactivity among children. While there are some controversies to certain types foods, it is clear that a diet enriched with essential fatty acids (EFA) help to improve the cells of the neurons responsible for receiving and conveying messages especially at the synapse point. One problem pointed in ADHD among children is the problem in receiving messages where the neurons scoop their own blocked messages. With an EFA diet, the problem of neurons reacting to its own messages is improved. Sources of EFA diet includes nuts, fish, algae, eggs, and flax seeds which are known to be a good source of omega 3. It should be noted though that fish such as sword fish, shark, mackerel, and shellfish should be avoided because of their high content of mercury. Mercury is believed to take away the ability of children to think and concentrate.

Including vitamin B in an ADHD diet for children is also found helpful in making the nerves healthy that improving neural activity. Good source of these are liver, whole grain, yeast, milk, rice, bread, soy, and leafy greens. The inclusion of vitamin B should always be under the supervision of a dietician or the physician because of the possible side effects it produces. Food sources should be organic as much as possible. Experts believe that pesticides and other chemicals and additives used in gardening increases hyperactivity in children.

To maintain the energy of children with ADHD, their diet should also include protein. Protein should be even distributed throughout the meals of the day. Wrapped cheese is a good snack and so is yogurt ateen with bread. The use of butter like cashew or peanut proves to be a good source of protein as well. However, before giving any source of protein to your child with ADHD the child should first be tested for gluten sensitivity. It was found that gluten free diet is better and it provides effective results in reducing the symptoms.

Fast food should be discouraged as a part of the ADHD diet for children because it was found that it contributed to the negative symptoms of ADHD among children. An Australian research reveals that processed foods like red meats and other ingredients mixed with spaghetti, hamburger, French fries are associated with the disorder. Likewise, candies should be avoided as they are among the causative factors.

Finally, ADHD diet for children should include trace minerals like zinc and iron. Children with ADHD are found to have low levels of these minerals. Good sources of trace minerals include fruits, animal products, and vegetables or in the form of a multivitamin. Iron is found to regulate neurotransmitter dopamine and effectively transmit messages resulting in the improvement of the child's hyperactivity.

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Cures For Anxiety

A certain level of anxiety advances you from turning into Evel Knievel and attempting to jump Snake River on a motorcycle, while wearing a star-spangled jumpsuit with attached cape. In short, not all anxiety is a bad thing. Flashy jumpsuits should be avoided at all costs. But, there is a point where anxiety impedes your life and you are left searching for cures for anxiety.

On a fairly regular basis, newscasts will trot out the fact that anxiety medications and antidepressants are among the most widely given prescriptions. They present varying theories on the reason for the increased prescriptions. The real answer is simple. Drum roll, please. The reason is because more and more people are anxious and depressed.

If your anxiety is affecting your day-to-day life and you would prefer some non-prescription options, you have come to the right place.

Get Off Your Figurative Motorcycle

While you probably have no intention of pulling an Evel Knievel (or even a Fonzie, when he jumped the shark on water skis), you may be doing simple things that increase your anxiety level.

* While searching for cures for anxiety, it's time to scale back on the caffeine. Emergency Rooms see a fairly steady stream of people (particularly men) who believe they are having heart attacks. In reality, many of them are the victims of too much caffeine.

* You already know that too much caffeine can make you jittery. There's another component to the caffeine / anxiety connection. Each time you reach for coffee or a soda, it is a time you are not reaching for a glass of water. Dehydration increases anxiety attacks.

* In your quest for an anxiety cure, do not enter Margaritaville! Alcohol and anxiety do not mix.

B All that You Can B

B-vitamins work in conjunction with other anxiety cures. In fact, anxiety symptoms can be signs of vitamin B deficiencies. Taking a B-complex vitamin supplement will ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of all of the B-vitamins.

Do not be a Freud of Therapy

Therapy is much more than the cartoons of the psychiatrist who sounds like Sigmund Freud. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be one of the thinking cures.

A qualified therapist can help you determine what it is causing your anxiety. It's not always as obvious as it may seem. A therapist can also help you change negative thinking patterns that are playing a role in your anxiety.

Breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques are anxiety cures that a therapist can assist you in utilizing.

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Helping Bipolar and Depressed Individuals’ Mood Disorders: Beyond Psychiatry and Psychology

The noble and satisfying desire to help others in need must extend to those afflicted with clinical mood disorders. These include anxiety, bipolar disorder, and clinical depression. Because one out of six Americans suffers some form (s) of mental illness, there are many interpersonal, financial and quality-of-life reasons for family and friends to help them. Because mental patients often feel “the outside world” can not understand their pain, they often turn to publications written by both unknown and famous mental patients.

Unfortunately, most memoirs of the famous tend to only glance at the mood disorders and only graze the surface of underlying medical issues; they emphasize the wrong things, telling stories about their families, other luminaries and Hollywood, sports, or political intrigues. Books written by the average sufferer of manic-depression contain more detailed descriptions of their episodes and better weave them into their life stories.

The little talked-about and often misunderstood epidemic of mood disorders is sweeping across America. Today's statistics are chilling: Clinical depression is the number one reason people go to see their doctors and the class of psychotropic drugs prescribed is second only to that of analgesics (pain killers). Bipolar disorder is the second-highest reason for US disability rewards. Unemployment is 50% higher for those with mood disorders than that of the general population. Women suffer clinical depression twice as much as men do. The mood disorder suicide rate is 33% when a person is left untreated; it is 20% when properly treated. And 90% of all suicides result from clinical depression. Only 33% of the clinically depressed receive treatment. Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally and 83% of cases are severe-yet 37% neither recognize nor admit to suffering the condition. Only 49% of bipolar individuals receive treatment.

As a bipolar mental patient and burn victim, I can attest to the fact that psychic pain often explains that of physical pain, both in intensity and duration. Utter hopelessness and suicidality transcend verbal description. There is no cure for mood disorders, no “dipstick” with which to test the brain's neurotransmitter levels that regulate the human feelings and emotions that drive our aberrant behaviors. Exotic and expensive medications and psychotherapy are the primary means for mitigating the pain and skewed behaviors experienced by those of us saddled with mood disorders. The doctor-patient goal is to reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of bipolar and clinically depressive episodes, and to encourage the patient to reform old habits into positive, healthy and beneficial lifestyles.

Today the social stigma of mental illness remains the equivalent of unwed mothers before the 1960s: “hush, hush and put them away.” And deep down inside the general public there is that private feeling of “there but for the grace of God I go.” That must end-there are too many of us to ignore any longer. One partially effective pain relief method for assisting mood disorder patients is peer interaction and comfort found in either physical or cyber discussion and support groups. Another means of relief is to share the stories of other mood disorder sufferers.

Unlike live groups, there can be no incidental or intentional personal attacks or judgmental evaluations when reading about mood disorders. Stories written by mental patient peers can help ease the pain for those who suffer mood disorders, both manic and depressive episodes, by entertaining and educating the reader. There is wonderful relief for patients just to know there are others who suffer the exact same malady as they do. A search through a library or bookstore psychology / manic-depression category yields many books that bring understanding, hope, help and healing for sufferers of bipolar disorder and clinical depression, and their families and friends.

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Menopause and Mood Swings: You Don’t Have to Live With Them

Hormones play a role in mood swings during menopause. Your body is undergoing a large number of hormonal transitions. Estrogen influences the production of a mood regulating neurotransmitter known as serotonin. Not only does it increase the sensitivity of serotonin receptors, it also increases receptor levels. All can lead to the mood changes commonly associated with this stage of life.

PMS & Postpartum Depression

If you have had symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual tension) in the past, you are more likely to suffer from mood swings and hot flashes along with other hormonal changes. Women who suffer from postpartum depression (depression that occurs in the first few months after childbirth) or noticed emotional changes during pregnancy may be more predisposed to menopause and mood changes. Hormone treatment options are available and should be discussed with your doctor if you fall into this category.

Sleep Disturbance And Menopausal Symptoms

Sleep deprivation can increase symptoms of menopause and mood changes and anyone who wakes up from night sweats may be suffering from this. Further, as you get older, you are more likely to suffer from a sleep disturbance.

If you are under stress, this can affect normal sleep patterns. Ideally, you need to get at least seven hours of sleep each night to keep mood swings from becoming an issue during menopause. Learn how to better manage your stress and speak to your doctor if sleep is an issue, so you can get a good night's sleep and reduce those mood fluctuations.

Diet, Menopause And Mood Swings

Your diet may be playing a role in the mood swings. If you are taking in too much sugar, you will often find that your mood tends to fluctuate more. This is due to the roller-coaster effect that too much sugar has upon insulin regulation in the body. The same is true if you are taking in stimulants such as caffeine or if you consume alcohol. Some simple changes to your diet may be all you need to have your mood lying out again.

Many things can play a role in Menopause and mood swings. Hormones, a lack of sleep and an improper diet are just three of them. You can greatly improve your mood by eliminating certain foods from your diet. You can reduce stress by learning relaxation techniques, which in turn will greatly improve your sleep. Menopause does not have to be a trial if you know what to do and where to seek help.

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How to Conquer Anger Using Improved Diet Plan

What is anger?

Anger is a change in mood of a person when he comes across situations unsuccessful to him. He feels unpleasant due to many reasons. Problems at work or school, stress, traffic jams, money worries and relationship conflicts are some of the unpleaser situations normally trigger anger.

What causes change of mood?

The main chemical responsible to control mood are the neurotransmitters in the brain led by the pleasure “drug” serotonin. These substitutes decide whether you feel good and energetic or tired and irritable. They run on sugar, preferably the form that comes from low glycemic carbohydrates. Therefore, doctors recommend to keep up a stable blood sugar level through the day, slowly feeding these substances into the brain. One can get the daily dosage of Low glycemic carbs from whole grain bread, beans, whole grain crackers, soy, apples, pears, peaches, and other fruits.

Expert psychologists recommend that stress and anger management is reliably easy if one were to talk and share these feelings with someone, either close a friend or relative, or a counselor who would help him see the way through the tension and make happy results. Besides this, your diet also plays a major role to gain control over anger.

What is the relationship between type of diet and anger?

Eating is the single most important act for one's body. Quality and quantity of food intake is very vital for nourishment of the body's tissues and forms a foundation for nourishment of the mind and emotions. As explained in the Ayurvedic tradition, there are three types of diets. Sattvic diet plan include most vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. In contrast, a Tamasic diet plan includes onions, meat, and garlic and Rajasic diet plan include coffee, hot peppers, and salt. Therefore, a person having sattvic food is normally a slim, calm and one with a clear mind. A tamasic food eater is normally one who likes to have a strong, pungent smell in their foods that gives them a sense of dullness or indoctoxication or sluggish in their activities. These people are normally bulky and heavy in body structure. Whereas, a rajasic food lover loves to consume rich, spicy foods. Their taste buds always warn for tasty foods filled with spice, oil, and deep-fried items. These people are typically aggressive, hot-tempered, and violent by behavior and are having huge bodily structure.

What diet plan do the doctors recommend to stay away from anger?

  • Eat healthy and balanced nutritious meals at least three times a day. You should include more carbohydrates in your diet. Avoid skipping meals and especially your breakfast.
  • Ensure to maintain a stable blood sugar. Ensure that you have a gap of five hours between your meals or snacks.
  • Drink plenty of water through the day. The minimal intake should not be less than eight glasses of purified warm water. Such practice will help you keep fresh and hydrated at all times. If you keep up such freshness, automatically your mind will support calmness and will never get agitated. Which means your anger will be totally under your control.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits. They will give you enough sweet and energy to last you through the day. Doctors recommend having at least five servings per day. Ensure that you eat fruits before any meal and not along with or after a meal. This prevails your stomach bloating.
  • Avoid too much of tamasic and rajasic foods. Prolonged consumption of food leads to frequent adverse mood changes resulting in to development of stress and anger.
  • Stick with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and fatty fish or flaxseed, which are full of healthy omega-3 fats. Original omega-3 harvested from salmon living in cold waters of Mediterranean Sea is available in pearl form in all medical stores.
  • Avoid consuming too much caffeine.

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How Does Anxiety Affect Someone With Bipolar Disorder?

For people who are suffering from bipolar disorder, their problems may be compounded by anxiety. In 1921, Dr. Emil Kraepelin described it as an “excited depression” and “anxious mania”. According to him, anxiety is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. This view is highly debatable because some psychologists argue that anxiety is not a symptom. How does anxiety affect a person with bipolar disorder?

To understand how anxiety can affect people who are suffering from bipolar disorder, it's necessary to answer the question from both angles. On one side, let's look at anxiety as a symptom of bipolar disorder. In this case, the bipolar patient will suffer from less anxiety as the disorder improves. On the other side, let's look at anxiety as a condition which is separate from this condition. In this case, the bipolar patient's condition may improve but the anxieties problems may still persist. The patient will receive separate treatment for anxiety and bipolar disorder. Now, the problem is that antidepressant medication is used to treat anxiety but the medication is not suitable for bipolar patients because it makes the disorder worse.

When anxiety is a symptom, the patients say that they feel some kind of “agitation”. This can be diagnosed in the way the patients walk around the room as they are being interviewed or they are found to be picking their nails. Other times, the patients may experience the feeling like they have “too much energy” within their skin or their thoughts are racing very fast. In more severe cases, the person may not be able to perform any task at all because he or she will be experiencing racing thoughts that are extremely random and overbearing so the person will not be able to concentrate, even for a few seconds. It can be very hard for people who experience this kind of anxiety to another person.

Sometimes, this form of anxiety may also be accompanied by irritability, which is a manic symptom. In this case, the person may turn to a short-term solution like alcohol to ease the awful experience. When these attacks occur, you will have an impulse to want to end the suffering. Alcohol can help to reduce the suffering for a couple of hours but the symptoms will return with greater fury when the effect wears off. Some people just keep drinking to control the symptoms but extremely, they fall into a spiral, which may result in successful suicide. If you are suffering from anxiety as a symptom of bipolar disorder, you should seek professional help at once.

In the case where anxiety is a separate condition from bipolar disorder, it can appear in various forms. The bipolar patient may suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder or specific phobias. Specific phobias refer to the fear of heights, water, spider, snakes, and so on. Again, it's best to seek professional help when you are suffering from these types of anxiety.

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The Man With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

He lives in Bali, on the Indonesian island. He suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His particular obsession is glass. More accurately, broken glass.

Should he break a glass, then he writes down in a special notebook, the exact time he broke it, the hour, day, month and year, what type of glass it was. He double checks all this information with the utmost care and only when he's completely satisfied, does he close his notebook and put it away.

Recording broken glass is far from his only obsession. He must know the name of every person who passes his house, and if he sees dead chickens lying along the road, he must visit them and inspect them in the most minute detail. If he fails to find the name of someone who has passed his house, his obsession is so strong that he wants to commit suicide.

The terrible tragedy is that his condition is completely ignored, as is that of people with other mental illnesses. He works for the Government, but receives no help from them for his crippling condition.

There are healers to whatever he can go. One of them told him that he was the victim of black magic. The cure was to give him a gold amulet, imbued with white magic, and he had to undergo a purification confession. As may be expected, these treatments left him feeling no better.

Researchers are studying the ways in which mental illness in general affects people in other countries. For instance, the OCD sufficed by this man is totally different from that of an American. It's vital to know the culture of the patient you're treating.

If a native from the island of Tonga walks into the psychiatrist's waiting room, it's no good whatever for the doctor to treat him in the same way as he would a Westerner. Supposing the patient comes from a land where demons seem to reign supreme and are all-powerful. To Western eyes, the poor man would appear to be psychotic, but perfectly normal in his own country, where he's fighting real demons.

As I've pointed out, OCD varies from country to country. In the West, cleanliness seems to be a major problem, whereas in the Middle East, the observance of religious ritual is of vital importance. Another Western fear is that the person with OCD will commit some terrible sexual act. In effect, they need to be guard against themselves.

It's estimated that around 3 million Americans suffer from OCD. These 'rituals' that victims of OCD put them through; repeated hand-washing, or hoarding useless items, are found mainly in the West.

The key is to try to join the meanings of OCD and other mental illnesses from the West to other countries.

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Why Put Labels On People?

“Hey, did you know that bloke was afraid of mice? Right wimp. Whoever heard of a grown man being afraid of mice?”

The fact that you climb the wall when a large spider appears on the scene, is not mentioned.

Now, there's the rude labeling, labeling that can hurt and insult people, but there's the other kind of labeling. You go to your doctor and he tells you that you suffer from depression. You're a depressive. This can be helpful to people who were not sure what the heck was wrong with them.

The problem is that if we do not visit the doctor; If we simply 'tough it out,' then a loss of control over our lives can be the result. I mention depression, because it's so infernally prevalent. So very many people suffer from it, but at some time down the line, they've mentioned it to one of their relatives and been told;

“Oh, do not be such a drip.

Oh, I see. We all feel clinically depressed, do we? Big strong men have no trouble getting over clinical depression, do they? Oh no. Clinical depression is depression, only the doctor gives you pills to clear it up.


Why put labels on people at all?

“What's wrong with your husband?”

“He has clinical depression,” so this woman trots home to her husband and tells him that poor old Bert's mad!

The Human Condition is what these various ailments used to be called. They were accepted as part of life, most especially in the last century. They'd use the motor car analogy.

“Oh, you're just a bit run down.” Yeah, like a car battery.

“It's his nerves, poor man.”

Thank God more enlightened thought has started to take over. A good psychotherapist can very well make the condition seem more normal.

Let's look at grief. Some poor woman has just lost her mother, which she idolized. She simply can not stop crying. The good therapist will quietly point out that she's suffered a terrible loss, and what she's experiencing is perfectly normal. Hellish though it is at the moment, the grief will pass.

Gradually, gradually, day by day, the light will shine through again. You'll cling to it and start to find little moments of happiness, where all was darkness before.

Personally, I think that this thoughtless labeling of people who suffer through no fault of their own, is quite despicable. Supposing a lady sees someone shot in front of her. What do you think she'll do? Go about her merry way, rejoicing? Of course she will not. She's been very badly traumatized. She'll probably wake up in the middle of the night and in her mind, hear a gunshot.

But this is the beauty of our make-up. Slowly, slowly, these hellish thoughts will leave us. So before you label someone out of your own ignorance,


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Does Panic Away Work?

The Panic Away Program is a well-known self-help treatment program, developed by Barry McDonagh. He originally put the program together while studying at college.

But does the program actually work? I asked myself the very same question around 2 years ago.

The program is pretty controversial since since challenges firmly held beliefs and effectively turns them on their head.

For instance, many experts believe that the best way to prevent having a panic or anxiety attack is to keep the subject calm, and not to produce any more stress to that person than they are already experiencing. This is not the Panic Away mindset!

Who is the Panic Away treatment program aimed at?

It is primarily used to treat panic and anxiety-related disorders. These could be caused by a number of factors from a phobia to a fear of a social situation. We are complex creatures and react to our environment in a variety of different ways. A fairly mundane event to one person can be an extremely stressful occasion to someone else.

So what makes it so different?

Their approach is quite simple but at the same time pretty radical.

They believe that by stimulating the body to experience more stress (albeit in a controlled way) that the body will eventually start to respond and react differently when real stressful situations occur. In other words, the subject is encouraged to feel more stressful during the treatment process!

When the body feels stressed, it produces adrenaline, which in turn causes the heart to beat more rapidly. Once this adrenaline has been depleted then the body moves naturally to a relaxation phase, at which point the attack subsides.

Using a series of exercises, the subject is able to both recognize and control their own responses to a series of stressful situations. This instills a new confidence in them and enables them to absolutely not only alleviate the symptoms but to banish them from their lives forever. They effectively learn that these attacks are not harmful in themselves and that they can be conquered.

Is it right for you?

My answer is it depends. It certainly worked for me and cured my anxiety disorders. But I am a very visual person and I need to have practical exercises that I can follow in order for it to be effective.

Some may benefit from using self-help books, while others may respond better to one-on-one therapy or even hypnotherapy.

It's also worth finding out from your doctor whether there are any underlying chemical or hormonal factors causing or exacerbating your symptoms.

Whatever you decide, it's time to declare war on your condition!

Wishing you all the very best,


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Depression or Depressive?

Is it depression or are you a depressive? This is a probably a difficult question to answer as the symptoms are exactly the same for each condition.

Spirituality developed as the result of recognizing that some conditions are actually a 'soul sickness'.

What this means is that the condition we suffer from is not ancillary to our being but is actually an indistinguishable part of it. To be a depressive means that the depressed reaction to life is a part of your being and is something that has become automatic.

Depression for me falls into the same category. Am I suffering from depression or am I a depressive? To be effectively reacting to situations in a depressive manner and then being unable to stop or change that behavior, requires a personality change to fix it.

A personality change can be thought about by the practice of spiritual principles. When I feel victimized by life I feel depressed. In order to change this state of affairs I need to change my attitudes and practice new ones.

Practicing gratitude is the best defense against depressed thinking and if practiced long enough and hard enough will become a working part of your mind. This is then a fundamental personality change. What this personality change means is that your automatic reactions to life are now different. A change in your thinking can be taken about by first changing your actions. No matter how depressed or victimized you may feel, or want to feel, about certain situations in your life, you can actually practice interacting differently. If you persist in the new behavior then it will soon become a working part of your mind.

Motivation follow action. If you persist in practicing the new and positive reaction then the thinking will catch up, even if at first you feel the new reaction is a phony. It will feel phony for a while because it is so different to how you usually have felt.

Depressive reactions may have been learned very early on in life or developed through a traumatic episode. Depression is useful to humans as a means of controlling extreme emotional instability such as elation but when it continues on long after the original event it was used for, you may have become an automatic depressive. This is why depression becomes paralyzing and is so hard to get rid of. Just like fear or any other normal human emotion, if the condition lasts long after it is required, it can become an automatic reaction, even when it is not needed.

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Bipolar Disorder – From Devastation to Delight

Bipolar disorder can totally destroy your life if you are afflicted by it. It can also put extreme pressure on relationships with friends and loved ones. Quite often it has been the major cause of these important relationships breaking down. Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depressive disorder, does not need to dominate one's life like that. It can be well managed. Imagine the delight for the afflicted person and their friends and loved ones, if this does occur. It would give them all back control of their lives.

Unmanaged manic depressive disorder can be totally in control of one's life. Swinging between manic episodes and depressive episodes is frightening. When will the next high or low hit? Can you tell the difference between being high and being happy? Can you tell the difference between being depressed and being sad? Even that state of normality between mood-swings can be terrifying. When will the next of your manic episodes or depressive episodes arrive?

Suicide Does Not Need to Be a Threat

Of all the mental disorders bipolar disorder has the highest successful suicide rate and attempted suicide rate of them all. The USA National Institute of Mental Health advise that up to 20% of bipolar people will successfully commit suicide. The USA National Institute of Health state that between 25% to 50% of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder will attempt suicide at least once in their life. Both of these organizations also advise that these rates drop markedly if the afflicted person is receiving proper treatment for their manic depressive disorder.

Manic episodes and depressive episodes can certainly be successfully managed. Achieving this gives the afflicted person, their friends, and their loved ones a much more comfortable life to live. Even if manic depressive disorder episodes are experienced they are nowhere near as frightening as unmanaged episodes can be. Can you think of the relief this would bring to all parties. The way to start managing these episodes normally comes from within the afflicted person. Manic depressive disorder is best managed when there is a strong DESIRE from within for this objective to be achieved.

The First Step to Managing Manic Depressive Disorder is Having a Strong Inward DESIRE to do so.

This DESIRE ensures that the prescribed treatment period is strictly followed. This is a big step forward towards successful management of bipolar disorder. A proper understanding of the disorder will be gained. Good communication between doctor and patient is needed to ensure that the prescribed medication is achieving the required results. Hopefully friends and loved ones will also obtain a good knowledge of the disorder. This knowledge helps them considerably as they provide support to help good management of the disorder.

The successful management of manic episodes and depressive episodes goes a long way towards giving back control of your life. Imagine the delight for yourself, your friends and your loved ones. Can it be time for you to take back control of your life? Take the first big step. Build up a strong DESIRE to do so.

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What Are the Causes of Mental Illness?

The exact cause of most mental illnesses is unknown, but there are many known factors at play. These can be biological, psychological or environmental. The cause varies from person to person and it can be complicated. For most people who suffer from mental illnesses, the cause is some combination of these factors.

Genetic Factors

Most mental illnesses run in families. Twin studies have shown that there is a definite genetic factor. While your family history does not necessarily cause you to have the illness as well, it does put you at greater risk for developing it. In the case of schizophrenia, for example, people with close relatives that have the disorder are ten times more likely to develop it themselves. Chronic depression and bipolar disorder are similar.

Chemical Imbalance

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain through which the brain communicates with the nerves. When these chemicals are not working properly, the brain does not function regularly and this abnormal functioning leads to mental illness. This is why medications are used to treat symptoms. They restore normal brain functioning.

Early Development

Neglect or abuse in early life can lead to serious mental problems in adulthood. Severe emotional, physical and sexual abuse can all be contributing factors. The loss of a parent or any other traumatic event can lead to lifelong mental problems.

Long-Term Drug Use

There's a strong connection between drug use and mental illness. It's often hard to tell if the person is self-medicating to get rid of the symptoms or the drug triggers the symptoms. Marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, psychedelic drugs such as LSD, alcohol and even seemingly harmless caffeine have all been linked to mental disorders. Long-term abuse of any substance can lead to anxiety, depression and paranoia.

Disease or Injury

Traumatic brain injury or exposure to toxins in the womb can cause mental illnesses. Lead in paint has been found to cause mental problems and certain foods are shown to contribute to ADHD. Infections that affect the brain can cause damage to areas involved in personality and thinking. The effect of disease and injury on the brain is not well understood because researchers have few chances to study real-life cases.

Life Experiences

Any kind of trauma that is either extremely stressful or persistent can lead to mental problems. The death of someone close to you, the experience of war, long-term harassment, working too hard or even being unemployed for too long cause cause problems.

Society and Culture

Societal factors also contribute. There is a higher level of mental illness among immigrants, the poor, and people who lack social cohesion. Many blame the hectic pace of modern life and the dissolution of traditional values ​​for the rise in psychological disorders. Racial oppression can also be a factor. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these social and cultural factors.

If you're worried that you may suffer from a mental illness, seek professional help immediately. A qualified professional can diagnose you, help you find the causes, and get you started on the right treatment.

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Bipolar Disorder – The First Steps to Managing It

Bipolar disorder, you have just been diagnosed with it. So what do you need to know about it? The short answer is that you best learn as much as you can about it. You should know all about a depressive disorder. You would also need to know what a manic episode involves. Indeed, knowledge of a hypomanic episode would be extremely useful. There are very good reasons this knowledge is essential. If you wish to manage bipolar disorder this level of knowledge is a key to achieving that objective.

Knowledge you gain about bipolar disorder enables you to learn to manage the disorder. By managing your disorder you give yourself the best possible odds for regaining control of your life. Normally this disorder goes in cycles. By this I mean that each person has a regular pattern they follow for each of their cycles. For instance take a person with bipolar type 1. A common pattern for this is hypomanic episode – manic episode – depressive episode. This is frequently followed by a period of stability.

A hypomanic episode can be treated far easier than an episode of mania. This being said there is often a danger in respect of hypomania. The danger is simply this. Many people find that the pluses of a hypomanic episode outweigh the minuses. The result is that they fail to acknowledge that a hypomanic is being experienced. Another possibility is that they fail to seek treatment for the hypomania. The unfortunate result is that manic episode arrives. These are far harder to treat than hypomanic episodes.

The good old saying “What goes up must come down” certainly applies in respect of an episode of mania. Often these are followed by a depressive disorder. Bipolar type 2 and cyclothymaic's disorder do not normally lead to mania. However, it is very likely that a depressive disorder will follow hypomania. For a person with bipolar, type 2 the depression can last for a very long time. This can be months, or even longer.

In my experience recovering from depression often only occurs when the afflicted person tries to make it happen. By this I mean that they must want to recover and make a strong personal effort to ensure that they do. Remember, not all people cycle from mania to depression. By learning about the disorder the afflicted person (or their friends and lovers) can recognize any bipolar episode at the earliest possible moment. For some people their cycle starts with a depressive disorder.

Whichever order their cycle runs seeking professional help is a must. This should be done at the first moment you suspect that a bipolar episode is being experienced. This gives the best possible chance of managing the disorder. In turn the best chance of regaining control of the afflicted person's life is experienced.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy With Light Therapy for SAD

In some countries of the world where lengths of days and nights fluctuate, some persons react and get affected. Some develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a continuing series of daily moods of depression.

Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder via exposure to artificial light. Seasonal affective disorders usually occurs at certain times each year, usually in the fall or winter.

The causes of SAD are still unclear, except for some. Experts believe that it is triggered when the internal clock of the patientís body goes out of sync with the present patterns of light.

They may also have higher concentrations of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. it may also be triggered with body temperatures or maybe the genes for it, if ever.

Benefits of Light Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder

On one study of SAD patients undergoing treatment, about 80% of the cases were found to have clinical improvements when bright lights are administrated at the optimum early hour. If the treatment is done later, the response rate goes down by 40%.

Symptoms are usually similar with depression. They include less energy and ability to concentrate, loss of interest with work and other activities, sluggishness, increased appetite and weight gain, and increased daytime sleepiness.

Symptoms go away after season changes, but they can improve much faster with this technique using light. Long walks in daylight hours, getting exercised on the way, or being socially active can make symptoms better.

How SAD Light Therapy Works?

The healing process works by exposing the patient to artificial daylight for at least 20 minutes daily. As per the National Institute of Mental Health, it is considered a non-chemical anti-depressant for people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

In certain countries when daylight hours decrease, some persons have their sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythms) disrupted. This is a contributing factor to the depression on people with seasonal affective disorder.

The process simply tricks the body that there is still light which keeps the patientís circadian rhythm stable. To be effective, the treatment session is best scheduled when the patient feels very lethargic. For most people, mornings are most ideal right after waking up. (Evening sessions may disrupt the sleep pattern.)

It also keeps the melatonin levels at bay so reducing depression. (Melatonin increases when there is less daylight.) For first timers, beginning sessions can start at 15 minutes and to increase by five minutes every time. Depending on the patientís need, daily sessions of the therapy can go from 30 minutes to two hours.

Light box devices used for the treatment generally have 2,500 lux to 10,000 lux. (Lux is the amount of light you receive from a source.) The light in an average living room in the evening is less than 400 lux. A bright sunny day is 100,000 lux. Devices with 10,000 lux need a 30-minute session.

Some patients need a supplement of anti-depressant while on light therapy medication and some do not. Light therapy is best for pregnant or breast-feeding women and to those people who react poorly to antidepressants.

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