We found a woman who has shown great courage telling her story of struggle, hope and success with mental illness. We are passing this along to show those who are struggling today, it does get better.
From her blog: "My name is Nicola and around 5 years ago I had a nervous 'breakthrough'. I write this blog in order to share with others the things that saw me through." For her full story and blog, Click Here.
By Nate Morrow
Is good nutrition developing a bad reputation based on outrageous costs?
A number of recent studies have demonstrated the increasing cost of fresh, nutritious food. Conventional wisdom suggests that this cost can keep you from eating as healthfully as you might like -- this makes it difficult for many people who would rather buy and prepare unprocessed, natural foods.
But is eating healthy really as expensive as everyone claims?
No. No, it's not.
Study Claims a Healthy Diet Costs 10x More -- But Is It Misleading?Much of the recent rabble surrounding the price of food stems from a 2007 study by University of Washington. This study compared the price of snack foods to fresh fruits and vegetables.
In particular, the study claims that eating a healthy diet can cost up to 10 times as much as a diet based on junk food. Well, no wonder people don't eat healthy! With numbers like that, who could afford to?
As it turns out, though, the study uses price per calorie, as it's an easy metric for determining the cost of food. This means that when comparing junk foods loaded with fat and sugar to nutrient-dense foods like spinach, broccoli or apples, the junk food is going to dominate calorie count every time!
If we discount the fact that the calories in junk food are, by and large, nutritionally worthless, a more appropriate metric would be price per serving. Fruits and veggies, by nature, have a much lower calorie count per serving (hint: that's partly why they're better for you).
Full Article: Click Here
By Michele Brennen on Psych Central
"The holidays are here and it’s the happiest time of the year! Except the holiday season is also known for higher rates of depression and suicide. This seems like conflicting information during this time of year, but it’s pretty accurate. However, there is hope to getting through the holiday season. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Remind yourself that commercialization of the season is just a marketing technique. You do not need to succumb to these advertising tactics.
2. Set a budget for Holiday spending and stick to it. If you feel guilty about not spending as lavishly as your friends, just explain you’re trying to focus on the meaning of the season and won’t get caught up in the shopping rush.
3. Focus on the positive aspects of your life, and don’t compare yourself to others or try to recreate images seen in the media.
4. Remember that it is the season for giving, so give your time to a local charity. Giving back to your community is rewarding and fulfilling.
5. Be realistic. You don’t have to attend every party, or commit to everything. You are one individual and can do the work of one individual. Besides if you are stressed out, tired and run down you’re not going to be helpful or joyful anyway.
6. Limit your intake of alcohol during the holidays. This helps advert feelings of depression.
7. Remember that if your depression worsens, reach out for help through the suicide hotline (800) 273-8255."
Full Article: Click Here
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is characterized by recurrent major depression episodes during the fall-winter months, with remissions during the spring-summer months.
A milder form, called Subsyndromal-SAD (S-SAD), also known as the “Winter Blues,” is a sub-clinical level of SAD that produces similar, but less acute, symptoms.
Onset for SAD typically occurs in your late teens or twenties, and younger adults and women are at higher risk for developing symptoms. Among college students in the northeast, seasonal patterns of depression are especially common: SAD affects about 5-13% of the population while the prevalence rate for S-SAD is approximately 16-20%. Studies at Bates and at other New England institutions confirm that women are more likely than men to suffer from both forms of SAD, as are students who have moved from more southern latitudes.
Full Resource: Click Here
By Lexy Gross
"For Eleanor Hasken, a senior at the University of Kentucky, the time change and drop in temperature mean much more than bringing out winter clothes and drinking pumpkin spice lattes.
It means a loss of motivation, a drop in self-confidence and the inability to complete projects.
Hasken is one of many college students affected by a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. This type of depression is most common at Northeastern colleges and affects five to 13% of the population.
"It runs in my family, I have (SAD) and I've seen friends who have it," Hasken says. "I would say a pretty high percentage of students probably have it, and many may just assume it's stress."
Judith Akin, a psychiatrist at Vanderbilt Medical Center, says SAD is most likely to appear in the late teens or early twenties and is most prevalent among women.
Symptoms include a decreased energy level, irritability, an inability to concentrate, a low sex drive and carbohydrate cravings.
Students also tend to avoid social situations more than usual and have trouble sleeping.
"College is supposed to be the best time of your life, but that's a myth," Akin says. "It's stressful being in a new environment — the coursework is harder. This is one myth I find college students won't publicly admit."
The National Institute of Mental Health found in a 2011 nationwide survey that 30% of college students reported feeling "so depressed it was difficult to function."
Bailey Coultrap, a recent graduate of Murray State University in Murray, Ky., says it took her a while to summon the courage to see a doctor about the depressive tendencies she was experiencing as a sophomore.
"I went to a doctor eventually, I was really stressed about it," Coultrap says. "I couldn't talk about it without crying."
Her doctor diagnosed her with SAD and prescribed anti-depressants for the condition. She says the piled-on stress of finals week and mounting assignments at the end of the semester only contributed to her anxiety.
Hasken points to the stereotype associated with depressive disorders as the culprit behind students avoiding the clear signs of SAD.
"It really does get misconstrued," Hasken says. "Depression is underreported for societal and cultural reasons. It's always implied that the 'weird people' on the fringe of society are depressed. If you feel it yourself, you don't really understand it."
Hasken encourages students with symptoms of any depressive order to see a doctor.
Several schools, including Vanderbilt University, provide accommodations for students with depressive disorders. These tools are often underutilized, she says.
Coultrap says the most important step students could take is going to the doctor with their symptoms. The problem, she says, is that students may not realize their symptoms are serious and can affect them long term."
Lexy Gross is a junior at Murray State University.
Full Article: Click Here
By Barry Rouche
Former Cork hurler, Conor Cusack spoke last night of his struggle with depression and how he contemplated taking his own life.
He urged people suffering mental health problems not to suffer in silence but to reach out to others and seek help.
Mr Cusack said that his struggles with mental health started when he was 15 and he began suffering panic attacks which led to him to withdrawing from his family and friends, prompting him to give up school in his Leaving Cert year much to the dismay of his parents.
He told how he would wake at night in a ball of sweat and spend hours weeping with tears as the panic attacks became more intense and frequent until depression overtook him to the point that he spent five months in his bedroom, refusing to go out.
Mr Cusack, brother of former Cork goalkeeper, Donal óg Cusack, chronicled in his blog how he experienced a breakdown in his late teens and described how he came close to taking his own life but how the support of family and a therapist helped him on a journey of recovery.
“I decided one night death outweighed my desire for living. I decided I was going to kill myself . . . For some reason my mother never went to Mass (that evening) and it was ultimately a decision of hers that saved my life,” said Mr Cusack
He went on RTÉ’s Prime Time and told how meeting a therapist helped him to find his inner strength he never knew he had. We sat opposite each other in a converted cottage at the side of his house with a fire lighting in the corner. He looked at me with his warm eyes and said ‘I hear you haven’t been too well. How are you feeling ?’. . . I looked at him for about a minute or so and I began to cry.
“When the tears stopped, I talked and he listened intently. Driving home with my mother that night, I cried again, but it wasn’t tears of sadness, it was tears of joy. I knew that evening I was going to get better. There was finally a chink of light in the darkness.” Mr Cusack said that seeking help with his mental health problems required real bravery.
Full Article: Click Here
By Kristin Jones
"Mark Maseros used to be a repeat customer at the ER — when he wasn’t in jail for drugs or theft.
Now 54, Maseros spent three decades living homeless in Denver. Hooked on heroin that he took to self-medicate what he now recognizes as an anxiety disorder, he was taken to the emergency room after overdosing. Or he walked in with panic attacks.
“It was always good to go to the emergency room, because you’d get things to deal with your uncomfortableness,” says Maseros. “If I said the magic words that I wanted to kill myself, they’d set me up in a bed.”
Over the years, Maseros said he was diagnosed “bipolar, tripolar” and any number of other psychiatric disorders.
But he never got the sustained care he needed until four years ago, when the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless found housing for him, and he joined group therapy to help get the better of his anxiety.
“I’m happy now,” says Maseros, who does rounds through downtown Denver on his bike, looking for others who are suffering as he once did. Maseros tries to point people to the services that are available in the city. He knows that without help some of them will end up dead.
The president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, John Parvensky, says there are many more like Maseros who want help but can’t get it.
He estimates that around 40 percent of the adult homeless in the state suffer from serious mental illness — diagnoses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression that keep people from working and living in housing.
“We saw the biggest spike in homelessness in the 1980s,” says Parvensky, “and it really correlated to both the deinstitutionalization as the state closed down the mental health facilities, and the funding that was promised to provide community-based services … never materialized.”
Full Article: Click Here
Banana's can help those struggling with depression
According to a recent survey amongst people suffering with depression, many felt much better after eating a banana.
This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
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