Supporting a Bipolar Family Member

Family members respond differently to bipolar in the family. For some there may be a sense of relief that the extreme mood and behavior has a name and can be treated. Others may find it difficult to accept the diagnosis and attribute the person's behavior to their personality, stress or some outside factor. Commonly, there are times of sadness, anger and grief both for the changes that occur in the person and their relationship. There is also the worry; what effect will the bipolar disorder have on their loved one's future and how will the family cope with a bipolar family member?

It is vital to keep in mind that there are a number of bipolar medical treatments and helpful strategies to deal with bipolar and many people live well despite the illness. However, bipolar disorder can affect people differently. Some people have very frequent episodes. At the other extreme, others seldom become unwell. Many people with bipolar suffer from aging mild symptoms. Even mild depressive symptoms can affect their daily functioning. People with bipolar need to be aware of their vulnerability to overstimulation and sleep disruption as these can trigger mania or hypomania. In addition to taking bipolar medication, altering and regulating their lifestyles helps many people keep well. Appropriate support from loved ones can also make things a lot easier.

If you have a bipolar spouse who seldom has a bipolar episode and is mostly symptom free, your relationship may not change much, except when they become ill. Bipolar in the family can mean that you need to take on extra responsibilities at home or financially. Neverheless, you may enjoy being with the interesting and creative person you married and respect their courage in dealing with bipolar. However, if they are frequently unwell, there may be little time to relax or enjoy usual leisure activities. You may feel very grown up and alone as you try to hold your bipolar family together. Every relationship has its ups and downs and bipolar can make conflict worse. You may wish you could regain some of the more equal and rewarding relationship or family life you once had.

Coping with bipolar family member can be challenging for other types of family members too. It can be very disturbing for a parent when their child is ill. Having an adult child with bipolar can make it hard to know when to step in, especially if they are struggling to manage their illness and experiencing some of the more severe bipolar effects (eg financial consequences or relationship breakdown). Some adult children with a bipolar parent may feel that they have always had a parental role. Siblings may feel left out, as if the focus is always on their bipolar sister or bipolar brother. They may worry that they will get bipolar too.

Research has shown that bipolar carers or caregivers are at increased risk of developing depression and other health problems. Bipolar family members may neglect their own health (eg not exercise, eat unhealthy food, miss necessary medical appointments, even neglect their own hygiene) as they devote them to caring for their unwell relative. Do not ignore signs that you are becoming stressed or depressed. There are helpful ways to cope when a loved one has bipolar.

If you are coping with a bipolar family member, for information and bipolar family support see:
http://www.bipolarcaregivers.org/taking-care-of-yourself

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Connecting the Dots From the Gut to the Mind

Is your gut writing checks your brain can not cash?

It seems like a lifetime ago that I used to eat buckets of red licorice to help me stop fretting over CJ's illness and think nothing of it … I honestly had no idea what harm I was really doing.

If someone would have told me that my gut was really the one steering my ship and not my brain, I would have laughed. But it's true, you are not in control of your life if your body is filled with bad bacteria. I decided to take control of mine. How about you? I consider this article life changing to learn.

You may take this for granted, and it might sound silly to ask, but do you often feel overwhelmed? Plagued with anxiety and panic attacks to the point that you can not function half as well as you really should? Do you know things just are not right?

Worse yet, do you have no idea why you feel this way?

Nobody likes to talk about mental illness, and no one wants to believe their stress might be a more serious problem. Unfortunately, mental disease is an often-silent terror that's severely misunderstood, and as a result, is not deal with the way it should be. Prescription pills are the common solution, but medication should never be the first option – it only masks the problem, leaving you numb and clueless as to what was going wrong in the first place.

This has to change, and it has to change soon. Thankfully, I discovered that you can combat the scourge of mental illness right from your kitchen.

A new study has just confirmed what my family and I found out some time ago – that your digestive health has a direct and significant impact on your mental health and behavior.

The study was done by McMaster University and found that when gut bacteria are disrupted, the body experiences an increase of brain derived neutrotrophic factor (BDNF) that has been linked to depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, it confirmed that when gut bacteria are restored to their natural, optimal state, brain function returned to normal and the symptoms of depression and anxiety vanished.

This is not the only way your digestion affects your mental health: bipolar disease, savage road rage, out of control PMS symptoms – all of these extreme emotional implosions and explosions can be caused by a lack of neurotransmitters in our brains and bodies. These neurotransmitters are fueled by amino acids, which can only be delivered to your body through a properly functioning digestive system. As such, if your digestive system is out of whack, you're probably short on amino acids and there before your neurotransmitters are likely shot – it's a dangerous situation that can potentially open the door to all kinds of mental health trouble.

If you're confused or frustrated, do not worry. It's really very simple.

What I always say is “Be good to your gut, and it will be good to you.” Think of it as your body's processing system – it's where your food is digested, and where so many of the nutrients, minerals and amino acids you need are extracted or created before being redistributed around your body, especially to your brain. Specifically, it's the gut bacteria (what I like to call your “gut bugs”) that that live in your digestive system that is responsible for carrying out this processing work. If your “gut bugs” are depleted – as seen in the study – your body has no way to get what it needs, and regular functions like your mental health may easily deteriorate.

So how are you destroying those helpful “gut bugs”? Antibiotics do it, as can stress and environment, but the sad truth is that the average American diet of processed foods does plenty of damage all on its own, slowly killing your supply of “gut bugs” without replacing them. You can address this by adding more fresh foods and quality probiotics to your diet to replenish your supply of friendly gut bacteria. In turn, this will boost your body full of beneficial amino acids that will set your brain on a path to calm and healing.

The wonders of probiotics are just being discovered by modern medicine, but many ancient cultures understood and harnessed this power through fermented foods, many of which are still with us today. We've developed a series of fermented, probiotic drinks that are a tasty, refreshing addition to your family's diet and can restore the good bacteria in your belly.

May was Mental Health Month, and there sadly was not enough discourse to be found about the impact of diet and digestion on mental health. Based on figures reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the year 2020 will see mental disorders surpass physical as as leading cause of disability worldwide. As we get closer to that date, we'll hopefully see more studies linking mental health and digestion, but you should not wait until then. By paying closer attention to what you're putting in your body, you can greatly reduce the chances of mental disease in your family, as well as the overwhelming frustration and anxiety hijacking your thoughts and feelings every day. It's not a burden you have to live with.

If you take care of your gut, it will take care of you!

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Treating Bipolar Disorder With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, otherwise known as fish oil, have been shown to stabilize the mood of people suffering from bipolar disorder. Yes, that's right, fish oil.

Researchers at Harvard University back in 1999 made a very amazing discovery. During a research study involving omega-3s and people with bipolar disorder it was discovered that those taking fatty acid supplements made such striking progress in regards to mood stabilization that the experiment was stopped after 4 months so that the control patients, those taking placebos, could start taking fish oil. All of the people in the study suffered from bipolar disorder.

The study was initially setup with 35 test subjects. During the test they continued to take their normal bipolar medication. Among the 15 that took the fatty acids 11 of them improved after 4 months and 2 of those suffered temporary relapses. The control group of 20 was given olive oil and of those only 6 of the 20 showed any improvement and 11 experienced a relapse. The patients taking the omega-3 fatty acids had longer periods of remission and when their symptoms did reappear they were less severe.

In fact some of the patients were able to stop taking their prescription medications and remain symptom free on the supplements alone. While there were some side effects such as nausea, belching, fishy taste and loose stools, these were small compared to the side effects of more powerful bipolar drugs and easily controlled.

Because of the relative short amount of time since this study was done the long term benefits or assumptions of using fish oil to treat bipolar disorder are not known. What is interesting about this study is it shows that dietary therapy can be as effective for a major illness as prescription drugs.

So how do omega-3 fatty acids help with bipolar disorder? No one really knows. Fish oil is made up of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s tend to concentrate in the eyes and brain, where they are present in cell membranes. It may be that eating fish oil increases the concentration of omega-3s in neuronal membranes, and theby slows nerve signaling, which in turn may stabilize mood.

There is some evidence that omega-6 fatty acids such as found in vegetable oils, margarine, and mayonnaise may negate the beneficial effects of omega-3s. Correspondingly, patients taking fish oil for their bipolar disorder should probably decrease their intake of omega-6s.

Although fish oil has shown great promise in the treatment of bipolar disorder it is important that anyone suffering from this disease not treat themselves and use omega-3s under the care of their doctor or therapist.

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What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects people during the winter months. It generally begins as the days shorten in September and begins to go away as spring begins in April. Also known as winter depression, seasonal affective disorder is responsible for around 10% of all cases of major depression. Research has also shown that SAD is more prevalent and lasts longer in the higher latitudes. It is not disorder that is found in more tropical latitudes.

The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are much the same as major depression and include:

• Sleep disorders – Chronic fatigue, oversleeping but not feeling rested and needing afternoon naps.

• Depression and anxiety – Daily tasks that are typically easily accomplished becoming frustrating to do.

• Weight gain – Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates leads to weight gain.

• Family and social withdrawal – Sufferer becomes increasingly anti-social and irritable.

• Physical symptoms – Stomach and digestive problems, muscle pain and joint pain and headaches.

As spring approaches some individuals who suffer from seasonal affective disorder may begin to exhibit signs of mania and have boundless energy and creativity. If these seasonal episodes of depression and mania are sufficient enough the sufferer may diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

The cause of SAD according to most research is a lack of bright light. It is thought that bright light sends signals to the brain suppressing the release of melatonin. Melatonin is released during periods of dim light or darkness and helps the body relax and sleep. Research has also found that while an increase in melatonin exists in the brain chemistry serotonin is not properly being accessed across neurons in the brain. Serotonin is considered the happy hormone and depressed individuals nearly always have low levels of it.

The treatment for seasonal affective disorder is exposure to bright light. During the winter months with cold temperatures and short days those afflicted with this type of depression do not get enough light exposure. Although outdoor light is the best treatment sitting in front of a 2500 to 10,000 lux light for 15 to 45 minutes per day will normally alleviate the symptoms.

Just how bright is 2500 lux light? It's five times brighter then a normally lit office and most living room lights are normally around 100 lux. So simply sitting in your home with all the lights turned on will not be enough to banish the symptoms.

For more severe cases of SAD light therapy may need to be augmented with anti-depressant medications and psychological therapy. It is important that anyone who thinks they may suffer from seasonal affective disorder to seek treatment from their doctor or therapist.

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ADHD Inattentive: Silent ADHD Subtype – What You Should Know

ADHD inattentive is one of the three sub-types of ADHD. Its manifestations are forgetfulness, procrastination, inattention, low concentration, lethargy and sluggishness. Children who are afflicted with this mental disorder are generally misunderstood by teachers and parents as irresponsible, immature, careless and lazy. This ADHD subtype is more common among girls than boys and usually goes undiagnosed because those who have it are not disruptive in school or at home. As a result, children who have the disorder and remain undiagnosed have higher chances of dropping out of school or failing in their academic endeavors.

Later in life those who have ADHD inattentive will most likely have problems in maintaining personally satisfactory relationships and keeping a good job. Growing-up burdened with negative labeling is likely to have a negative impact on children's self-esteem and could well result in the development of other mental- health disorders such as (but not limited to) promiscuity, anxiety and depression. The good news is people who have this ADHD subtype have lower risks of becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol and having issues with the law compared to the other two ADHD subtypes where high risk and thrill seeking behaviors are very dominant.

ADHD inattentive is genetic and 70 percent of those who have the disease also have blood relatives who have the same condition. This condition is due to the chemical imbalance in the neural networks; hence, it affects the general cognitive abilities and the brain's executive functions. This condition is diagnosed through a standard questionnaire containing symptoms questions for parents and teachers to answer.

The first line of intervention is the use of ADHD prescription drugs. However, the drug will only address the symptoms, but can never actually cure the disease. The effects of the drugs are temporary, and there is also a growing concern about the side-effectsrought about by the long-term use of drugs. The disability usually coexists with other conditions such as depression, oppositional and defiant behavior, anxiety and depression and conduct disorder. Those who have coexisting mental issues are highly at risk of psychotic and suicidal episodes if they take ADHD drugs and as a result require constant monitoring. Some parents resort to alternative interventions such as meditation; homeopathic medicine and ADHD diet because they are known to alleviate the symptoms of the disease without any side effects.

Behavioral modification techniques can also help manage ADHD inattentive. Giving the child a daily schedule to follow, being consistent about rules, helping a child staying organized and rewarding good behavior and giving short, simple and easy to under instructions will help a lot. It is also very important that parents should establish good rapport with the teacher to be able to closely monitor the ADHD inattentive child's progress in school and make follow-ups at home

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Remedies for ADHD: Better Alternatives to ADHD Prescription Pills

Studies have shown that prescription drugs for ADHD can do more harm than good. In fact, like cigarettes they come with a black box warning from the FDA that prolonged use can result in heart problems, psychotic episodes and even abuse. Children who are given ADHD drugs have higher chances of developing drug tolerance too. There are alternative remedies for ADHD and they are proven to be effective, safe and affordable. These alternative remedies for ADHD do not only treat the symptoms, they also address the root cause of the problem.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses needles to activate pressure points to restore balance in the body. Children who have received this treatment are reported to have shown better performance in school, less agitated, have increased attention span, sleep well and relaxed. Among the alternative remedies for ADHD this one is gaining so much popularity among medical doctors. In fact, even some medical insurers today already cover this alternative form of treatment.

Biofeedback

Among the alternative remedies for ADHD this one used to be the most controversial because some claimed that its effects are only placebo. However, over the past two decades biofeedback has been very successful in treating ADHD and other forms of mental health disorders. A research study done by the Rationale and Empirical Foundation revealed that 75 percent of children with ADHD had a positive response to biofeedback as a treatment. It works by normalizing the abnormal brain rhythms. The patient is made to wear a head gear with sensors while watching a computer screen. The scene on the screen correlates the person's brain activity. The patient moves the characters on the screen using his or her brain activities. This activity teaches the patient to control his / her brain to have better behavior control.

Meditation

A 20 minute mental quietness a day can greatly benefit the nervous system. It changes such body functions as blood circulation, breathing and stress hormone regulation. Meditation can promote connectedness to the frontal areas of the brain that controls executive functions in the body. Children with ADHD who are doing meditation every day at school are observed to have low stress level, improved academic performance and improved memory.

Homeopathic Medicine

ADHD symptoms can be treated naturally using herbs and supplements. Supplements such as iron, zinc and magnesium will help maximize brain functioning. Herbs like gingko biloba, red clover blossom, kava kava, chamomile and goto kola can reduce anxiety and stress, boost memory power and concentration and increase blood flow to improve brain functioning.

ADHD is a difficult and challenging affliction, but it can be managed if one is using the right intervention program. Alternative remedies for ADHD are a very accepted reality even in conventional medicine. They are effective and safe and are worthy of every consideration.

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The Link Between Panic Attacks and Menopause

Panic attacks happen to everyone, to teens and adult men and women alike. However, not many people are aware of the fact that women who are in the perimenopausal and menopausal stages are also susceptible from panic disorders. When they are in the initial phase of menopause, women may fear that something unforeseen would happen soon. The anxiety leads to such attacks. It has been said by the medical experts that the hormonal changes have psychological and physical effects. They can make women more fidgety for no reason at all. It is imperative that everyone be educated with the link between panic disorders and menopause so that they can be instructed accordingly.

The symptoms are just the same. It includes rapid breathing, dizziness, chest pains, hot flashes or sudden chills and even fainting at times. There are different things that can trigger a menopausal panic attack. Most of the time, it is linked with the changes in the hormonal levels as hormonal imbalances can induce more stress. Of course, there are still the frequent problems that can contribute into the occurrence of an attack. Worries about job, family and other things can be the causes. At times, it is not triggered by anything. They can come unannounced.

If left untreated, it can lead to phobia. Frequent panic attacks can worsen your physical and mental health in the long run that is why it is important that it will be treated with as soon as possible. Do not lose heart though as you are not totally powerless to shield yourself from it. Prevention is better than cure so they say. You can help yourself. Follow the tips below.

• Acceptance is important. If you would admit that you have attacks at some time, the thought will penetrate into your system and it will help you to guide yourself with the symptoms you would experience.

• Identify what makes you feel afraid and what triggers it? Although the attacks may happen anytime and the fear you would feel does not have any connection with your actual situation, there might be a pattern you can find if you will look at what happened previously. Try to find out what can causes your depression and deal with it once you did.

• Keep in your mind that menopause does not and can not make a person insane. Yes, you may be experiencing fear for no reason at all but that may be caused by the hormonal changes in your body and not your own doing.

• Find something worthy you can do. Divert your attention to activities that are beneficial so that your focus will be shifted from what causes your anxieties. Get a hobby.

• Do not blame other people. Remember that it is no one's fault. Treating someone badly and then realizing afterwards that you should not have done it will only contribute to your stress that might already be too high. If you will be able to maintain good relationship with key people around you, you will agree with your panic disorder faster.

• Make it a point that you relax. Take a break from the stressful work. Even mommies can have a day off. Learn relaxation techniques like proper breathing as it will come in handy when you are in the middle of a stressful situation. Doing yoga in a regular basis proves to be beneficial. Find a “safety valve” that will suit you.

• Hormonal replacement therapy and some supplements may help you. This can alleviate menopausal symptoms. If you would stay healthy, physically and mentally during the premenopausal and menopausal stages, there will be fewer chances that you would have episodes of panic attacks.

• Learn breathing techniques. Deep breathing eases the tension in the body and relaxes stiffened muscles. You can seek help from vocal coaches on how you can do it effectively.

Women who are in the menopausal stage and experience panic attacks, should not take it lightly as it can have adverse effects if you will not do anything to cure panic attacks. Aside from the additional discomfort to menopaal symptoms that it can bring about, the attacks can lead to agoraphobia and may interfere with your life. It may ruin your job, your family and everything else that is important to you. At the sunset of the warning signs, it will be best to consult your doctor right away.

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Support for ADHD Sufferers and Parents

Support for ADHD sufferers and their parents is extremely important because it is the key to ADHD survival. Coping with ADHD can be equally difficult for both child and parents. For ADHD sufferers the difficulty of coping in school, keeping a stable and successful job, maintaining a happy relationship with a partner and keeping a functional family life can be tremendous. Among parents of children with ADHD, it is common for them to feel isolated, frustrated, stressed and to struggle with guilt. Here, it is important for all of them to get all the help they could get to survive ADHD.

Online is a goldmine of support for ADHD sufferers and parents. Online organizations provide support, information, advices and share resources and experiences that will help in dealing with ADHD.

HADD

This is a family support group that was organized and established 25 years ago by parents of children suffering with ADHD. The organization is based in Ireland, and the name is an acronym for Hyperactivity Attention Deficit Disorder. The mission of the organization is to provide support to ADHD sufferers and their parents by raising ADHD awareness, providing support to those who have to deal with the disease and sharing experiences and ADHD information. The organization is open for adults with ADHD, parents of children who have ADHD and health professionals. ( http://www.hadd.ie/ )

Conduct Disorders

This is not an online support group, but it is an online community for all parents who are raising children who are difficult and resistant to traditional or normal parenting approach or style. This organization is not exclusive for parents with children who have ADHD only. Members help one another by coming up with an intervention plan that will probably work for a specific child. The organization also serves as an online resource that will help parents with children who have ADHD make educated and well-informed decisions about their children's future. ( http://www.conductdisorders.com/ )

MOMS with ADHD

An important online online support for ADHD sufferers who are mothers. Mothers can discuss online their parenting ADHD issues and find support through online forums. Also, the website provides helpful and educational articles on how to deal with ADHD and children with ADHD.

Other online support groups worth checking are CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) and the New Zealand ADHD Support Group.

There are many online support organizations and groups for ADHD sufferers and their parents; Reach out and maximize the use of help available online to successfully deal with ADHD.

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ADHD Remedies: Four Ways to Beat ADHD

ADHD is a chronic and lifelong health situation that requires sustainable, effective and safe management, otherwise this ailment would lead to learning and development disabilities, serious behavioral problems and social malfunctioning later in life. There are four major ADHD remedial procedures that are a previously available: prescription drugs, behavioral modification, psychotherapy, and ADHD diet in conjunction with homeopathic supplements.

ADHD Prescription Drugs

Dextroamphetamine, dexmethylphenidate and methylphenidate are psycho-stimulants used to stimulate the brain in order to increase brain activities in areas where there is neurotransmitter imbalance. Makers of the drugs claim that 80 percent of the recipients of the drugs are showing positive response. However, there are side effects to the drugs and prolonged use can be dangerous. In fact, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has put in place a black box warning concern ADHD drugs today. According to the FDA warning, prolonged use of ADHD drugs will result in the following: serious cardiovascular episodes, psychotic episodes, intolerance and varying degrees of abnormal behaviors and increased risk for suicide. Withdrawal from the drugs can result in depression or over-activity. Prolonged use can also result in drug dependence.

There is much evidence to suggest that the negative effects of psycho-stimulants outweigh their positive effects. Here parents feel doubtful of this intervention and they would like to find other ADHD remedies.

Behavioral Modification

This type of intervention works well if implemented together with other ADHD remedies. For children and adolescents this has three elements: special education treatment, classroom modification techniques and parents being trained for effective child behavior management.

Children with ADHD will benefit a lot from parents who are predictable, consistent, firm and who are good role models. Positive reinforcement of good behavior, establishing a structured daily routine, giving clear and simple instructions, reducing destructions (TV and video games) and engaging the child in mind-developing and constructive activities will greatly improve a child's behavior.

Psychotherapy

ADHD needs to be treated with at a holistic level because children are also affected by their environment. Family therapy is an integral part of the psychotherapy program for ADHD patients. Parents and other members of the family need to receive counseling to help them cope and adjust to living life with a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD.

Individual counseling, coaching and group support are some of the very essential ADHD remedies available through psychotherapy.

ADHD Diet and Homeopathic Medicines

A number of studies reveal that there is a connection between diet and ADHD. Food additives can worsen the symptoms of ADHD; Proper diet is required to balance the vitamin and mineral deficiencies observed in people with ADHD in order to maximize their brain functioning.

One of the best ADHD remedies is to eliminate junk foods and processed foods from the child's diet and to provide instead healthy, home cooked meals consisting of legumes, vegetables, fruits and grains. The diet can also be supplemented with specially formulated ADHD homeopathic supplements that have magnesium, iron, zinc and omega 3 and 6. Proper diet and taking homeopathic ADHD supplements is providing to be a better alternative to taking ADHD prescription drugs; it proved to be safe, effective, affordable and sustainable life treatment plan for ADHD.

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Ideal Diet for ADHD: A Natural and Sustainable Health Solution for Children and Adults

Recent clinical findings have shown that prescription pills for ADHD management can cause a long list of side effects such as stunted growth, hallucinations, anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, heart problems and chromosome damage (which opens the door to cancer). Here, there is a shift to the natural approach to ADHD intervention today, and one of them is changing the diets of people with ADHD. What is the best diet for ADHD?

Diet plays a crucial role in alleviating the symptoms and in the treatment of ADHD; however, there is no single diet that will work for all. This is because ADHD is a spectrum disorder. Every person who has it is biologically unique and needs individualized treatment intervention. Probably the right question should be what is the diet that would best suit your loved one who has ADHD?

Children and adults with ADHD are observed to have nutrient deficiencies; they have low levels of zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) in the body. Certain foods such as sugar, caffeine, carbohydrates, wheat, dairy and food additives are observed to worsen the disorder. It has been found that the most effective diet for ADHD has two components: the supplementation of nutrient deficiencies and the avoidance of foods that exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.

Prior to trying out any kind of diet for ADHD it is advised that one needs to consult a medical doctor first to insure that the diet plan is ideal for one's specific health condition.

Elimination of foods

No food is proven to cause ADHD; however, studies have shown that certain foods can worsen the symptoms of ADHD, for example food additives (artificial coloring, artificial sweetener and artificial preservatives) because they trigger allergies and increase the manifestations of ADHD. Organophosphate, which is commonly found in non-organically grown vegetables and fruits, also causes short-term memory problems, behavioral changes and affects brain development. Here, people with ADHD are advised to eat organic or home grown vegetables only and resist eating foods that have synthetic ingredients and preservatives.

Eliminating diets that are commonly used by people with ADHD are the gluten free diet (no carbohydrates from wheat), Feingold diet (no additives diet) and Casein free diet (no protein from milk products).

Supplemental Diet

An ideal supplement diet for ADHD is one that is loaded with vegetables, legumes and fruits. This is because these plants are rich in polyphenols. Polyphenol is not only beneficial in fighting and treating cancer, it enhances the brain cognition, memory and over all functioning. The Mediterranean Diet is known to promote longevity, but it is the best brain diet too. It is therefore, an ideal supplement diet for ADHD. However, children can be picky eaters and people's fast paced lifestyle makes it impossible to prepare home cooked meals all the time. To bridge the gap for dietary deficiency people with ADHD will benefit a lot if they also take homeopathic ADHD supplements. Such supplements are rich in omega 3, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Studies have shown that people with ADHD benefit a lot when they take homeopathic ADHD pills.

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Interventions for ADHD: Managing ADHD for Better Social Functioning

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental problem characterized by consistent and abnormal hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive behaviors among children and adults. Less than 20 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD outgrow this condition, but for many it stays. Therefore, interventions for ADHD are extremely important because if left untreated it may lead to learning disabilities in school, difficulty in keeping a job, substance and alcohol abuse and problems with the law later in life.

It is possible for children who have this condition to live normally functioning and happy lives. In fact, some notable people in history have this condition and to name a few they are Mozart, Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. It is normal for many parents to feel distracted that their child has ADHD. The good news is among the long list of mental health disorders, ADHD is the most manageable and treatable disease.

ADHD Background

ADHD is a conditionrought about by the mutation of the genes assigned to control the neurotransmitters. Studies have shown that people with the condition have higher levels of neurotransmitters compared to those who are not suffering with ADHD.

This condition affects a person's major executive functions such as planning, organization, memory, regulating speech, flexibility and separating reason from emotion.

Some of the common symptoms are excessive running and climbing even inappropriate situations; going in and out the classroom, even when the teachers expect the whole class to remain imprisoned, carelessness in answering tests, not listening when spoken to and difficulty in sustaining activities.

Studies have shown that the condition is worsened by family problems, abuse and neglect and deaths or separation in the family. Foods with colorings and additives can also worsen the problem; that is why as part of the interventions for ADHD is providing natural and well-balanced meals.

ADHD Treatment / Management

There are four major approaches used as interventions for ADHD today. They are home interventions, medical, psychotherapy and life style changes.

Under home interventions parents implement structured activities at home, reduce distractions such as computer games and TV viewing, positive reinforcement of good behavior and looking for activities that the child is good at.

For the medical approach, doctors would prescribe psycho stimulants. The medicine works by stimulating and increasing activity in the brain where there is a neurotransmitter imbalance. Drugs that are considered as psycho stimulants are dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate and dexmethylphenidate. These drugs can cost from $ 50 to $ 200 per month depending on the dosage and brand. However, there are negative side-effects observed when taking the drugs: low appetite, sleep disturbances, lethargy and anxiety are just some of them. Many children adjust and build tolerance to the drugs within few days. Those who are suffering with depression and who also have bipolar disorder are highly vulnerable to the side-effects. Studies have shown that those who are taking the drugs are more functional and are living a better quality of life compared to those who do not.

Taking supplements will also fall under the medical interventions for ADHD, but it will fall under the “natural medicine” category. Studies have shown that fish oil and zinc will greatly improve the symptoms of ADHD among children.

Psychotherapy is one of the most common interventions for ADHD, and it includes ADHD coaching, group support, counseling and family therapy. This type of intervention will help enhance focus, and assist a person with ADHD to cope and function socially.

Lastly, a healthy lifestyle (diet and exercise) can greatly improve the quality of life and functioning of people with ADHD. Studies have linked ADHD to diet. Hyperactive children are sensitive to sugar and caffeine. Cutting out sugar, chocolate and fried foods, avoiding food colorings and MSG and any kind of processed meat will greatly improve a child's ADHD symptoms. A daily vigilous one hour play outside will also improve a child's mood, concentration and attention level.

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Bipolar Symptoms – What Are Common Symptoms and Behaviors of Bipolar People?

Have you ever visualized what it's like to have bipolar disorder?

Imagine mania. Your mind constantly buzzes with energy. Everything you encounter is an opportunity for productivity. People notice your enthusiasm and comment on your refreshingly positive attitude. But you are easily angered. Your energy can easily be translated into a short temper. Sometimes you feel as though people are tip-pointing around your always active mind, afraid to say the wrong thing.

Afraid to break the spell of mania.

Now imagine depression: the overwhelming fatigue, the uncontrollable sadness, the frustration of not being understood. You lack motivation to get anything done. You suddenly lose interest in things you used to love. You might even feel as though your life is meaningless.

Brief spells of depression can ruin your day. Every day.

Now imagine if mania was COMBINED with depression.

Bipolar disorder is a baffling combination of these two states. A bipolar brain is continuously shifting between the two -in a very sporadic way. A bipolar person is given no warning; their mental state is totally reliant on an unpredictable chemical imbalance in their brain. People do not understand why their bipolar friend is positively buzzing one day, but sulking relentlessly the next.

The reign of bipolar is surprisingly widespread – approximately 4% of the worldly population will experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately, despite the simple explanation for their condition, many people with bipolar do not understand themselves any more than their friends do. Thousands of cases of bipolar disorder go undiagnosed for years.

This is undeniably because of the misled stigma which surrounds any mental health concern.

Our society has yet to realize the simple reality of a mental illness such as bipolar. The predominant cause is a simple chemical imbalance in the brain. A malfunction in a body.

“Mentally ill” should not be automatically associated with words such as “dangerous”, “unstable” or “crazy”.

A sickness in the mind should not be any more embarrassing than a sickness of any other part of the body. Nobody has a perfect body. Some people have imperfect bones, hearts, or digestive systems. And some people have imperfect minds.

And yet thousands of people shy away from seeking treatment! Living with an undiagnosed case of bipolar means missing out of the simple treatment to reverse the chemical imbalance.

It means needlessly living with the debilitating symptoms of the mental illness.

Living with the symptoms means giving bipolar control of your life.

In most cases, a mental illness such as bipolar is in no way the fault of those it affects. No one should EVER feel ashamed of their mental health.

However, everyone SHOULD take steps to protect their minds, and keep them functioning at optimal strength.

The very best way to keep your mind as strong as possible – with or without bipolar disorder – is to live a healthy lifestyle. You may not be aware of the striking connection between mental and physical health – but each are a drastic indicator of each other.

There are three simple steps you can take towards bipolar prevention and a healthier lifestyle.

1) Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day.

2) Ensure you are eating a well-balanced diet.

3) Provide your body with the vitamins it needs to function properly.

Having a healthy body means having a healthy mind.

Start strengthening both today.

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Information on Bipolar for Caregivers

Bipolar disorder (previously called manic depression) affects not only the life of the bipolar sufferer, but also the life of their close family and friends. These bipolar carers or caregivers can be a vital source of support to sufferers. However, bipolar carers may be faced with the person's extreme bipolar symptoms and their consequences without much information on bipolar or how to cope. Many bipolar carers report feeling very stressed. The risk of depression and other health problems is high among these carers. If the person is not very ill, things may be easier. Other factors can also help:

Information on bipolar
Research shows that many carers want information on bipolar, mania, bipolar depression, bipolar treatment, ways to help and to deal with bipolar symptoms, bipolar crises and the impact of bipolar on their loved ones and themselves.

Support
Family and friends agree better with a loved one's illness when they have support from health services, peers, family, friends or a counselor.

Acceptance
A diagnosis of bipolar in the family or a close friend can be hard to accept. Some degree of acceptance is necessary to work out how best to deal with bipolar and adjust to the changes it can bring.

Hope
Many carers worry about the person and the future. However, as they and their loved ones find ways to deal with bipolar and adjust to the changes they find new hope.

Boundaries
The person and the carer benefit from maintaining some independent interests and identity. Even a little time out or reply can help carers to feel refreshed and maintain perspective.

Mastery
Knowing ways to deal with their caring situation can make close family and friends feel less helpless. This does not mean curing or controlling the person's bipolar. Rather, a sense of mastery occurs when carers have a healthy appreciation of their limits but find helpful ways to tackle problems, make changes (even small changes) or make the most of things that can not change.

Finding out what works to deal with the bipolar disorder of a loved one can be a trial and error process. The first step is get reliable information on bipolar to educate yourself and to better understand the disease, and the available treatments.

Working together with the bipolar sufferer will involve different levels of support at different times. There are many resources which can support you in your own health and that of the bipolar person.

http://www.bipolarcaregivers.org is a freely available information source for family and friends dealing with the bipolar of a loved one.

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Do I Have Depression Or Am I Just Sad?

How many times have you heard a friend whine “I'm SO depressed” because something did not turn out exactly the way they had hoped? And how many of those times have they bounced back to normal by the end of the day?

Depressed is not something you can “be” for a couple hours after you get discouraging news.

As a society, we have yet to grasp the difference between depression and disappointment.

Depression is an illness, and it needs to be treated and regarded as that. But by constantly misusing the term, we belittle the effects the actual disorder can have on a life.

Although there is a horrible stigma associated with any mental health issue, depression is just as much of a sickness as diabetes or cancer. Just as a diabetic must take injections of insulin to stay healthy, people with depression need to take medication as well.

It's important to realize that in most cases, chronic depression is a result of chemical imbalances in the brain. Specifically, the neurotransmitters dealing with serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine – hormones which regulate emotions, the body's reaction to stress, and the drive for pleasure – are not working properly.

But how do you know when your sadness is a result of the chemical imbalance which causes diagnosable depression, and when it is a simple passing situation?

If a person experiences 5 or more of these symptoms for a period longer than 2 weeks, they may be clinically diagnosed with depression.

Is your sadness a result of a chemical imbalance in your brain?

Check yourself against the following symptoms of depression:

  • Have you experienced a sudden loss of energy?
  • Do you feel as though you have no control over your emotions?
  • Have you been sleeping significantly more than usual? Alternately, have you been experiencing the effects of insomnia?
  • Have you experienced sudden gain gain or loss?
  • Have you had any suicidal thoughts?
  • Do you have any aches or pains that you do not know the cause of?
  • Have you been feeling guilty all of a sudden?
  • Are you more nervous than usual?
  • Do you lack the ability to focus or concentrate on simple tasks?
  • Have you lost interest in things that used to excite you?
  • Are you easily irritated?

If you have been experiencing 5 or more of those symptoms for longer than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor about the possibility of diagnosing and treating your depression.

Whether or not you answered yes to 5 of the above, it's important that you realize the prevalence of depression in society today. A surprising 10% of the population has a mood disorder – the most common of which is depression.

Depression is a devastating mood disorder that has the potential to ruin day after day of your life. If there was a solution to this gripping problem, would not you want to learn about it?

Instead of suffering with your mood disorder, it's time to learn how you can live with it.

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How to Treat Bipolar Effectively and in the Proper Way

Bipolar disorder is able to seriously disrupted a person's life. This is why treatment is so important, especially if you want to live a normal life. Otherwise you will find every area of ​​your life being affected.

Treating Bipolar Disorder With Medication

Fortunately, there are several different types of medications available to treat bipolar disorder. They are mood stabilizers, anti-seizure, and antidepressants. This is good because whenever one does not help, you can either have the dose adjusted or try something else. Of course, you will also find that medications and treatment will vary from person to person.

The most commonly used medication is a mood stabilizer. This medication will help to stabilize and regulate your mood so that you will not experience bipolar episodes that range from mania to depression. Anti-seizure medications are also used to prevent mood swings in someone who has bipolar disorder. They are most commonly prescribed to those who have Bipolar II or another type of bipolar disorder that is rapid-cycling.

While antidepressants are sometimes prescribed as well, they are not all that effective whenever it comes to treating bipolar disorder. In the past it was more commonly prescribed than it is today. In fact, they are actually controversial now as some doctors feel that they may actually trigger manic episodes.

Some anti-psychotic medications may also be beneficial. This is especially true of Quetiapine, which is more commonly known as Seroquel. It is known to treat both manic and depressive episodes, so the FDA has approved it for this very purposed.

Keep in mind that regardless of which medication is used there are going to be some side effects. This is why it is important to provide your doctor with a complete list of all of the medications that you are taking, as well as any preexisting conditions that you may have. Also, females who want to become pregnant should share this information with their doctor so that any risks to the unborn baby can be minimized.

Treating Bipolar Disorder With Therapy

Therapy should also be used in conjunction with medication. There are several types of therapy including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches how to manage stress and triggers by replacing them with positive, healthy behavior.
  • Family therapy will reduce triggers within the family by improving communication therein.
  • Group therapy will allow you to listen to others who are also suffering from bipolar disorder.

In conclusion to treating someone with bipolar, you should remember this. There is no one treatment that will work for everyone!

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