Browsing Tag:

mental health

  • Articles, Health, Sheroes, Woman's History

    Important Women in the Field of Mental Health

    May has just ended, and is mental health awareness month, which is why I want to celebrate the achievements of some of the many women who have made significant advancements in the field of mental health. Before we can get into that, here are some important mental health resources:

    Free online counseling: https://www.betterhelp.com/
    Birmingham Crisis Center Teen Hotline (call or text the following number): 205 328 5465

    Here are some of the most important ladies that have made some lasting impressions on the field of mental health.

    Dorothea Dix (1802-1887)
    Dix was an important activist on behalf of the mentally ill in the US. She helped establish the first generation of American mental asylums through a rigorous process of lobbying. Additionally, she helped change people’s perception of the mentally ill as being more human than animal in the US and in Europe.

    Eve Johnstone (1943- present)
    Johnstone has contributed a hefty amount of research to the clinical study of schizophrenia. She is most famous for her 1973 study that shows the differences in the brains of schizophrenic patients vs the control group. Additionally, she has written a total of 6 books on the topic of schizophrenia.

    Melanie Klein (1882-1960)
    Klein was a psychoanalyst that contributed knowledge and techniques that influenced child psychology and therapy. She thought that children’s play was their primary way of emotional communication, and attempted to decipher the specific meaning of child’s play.

    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004)
    Kubler-Ross was a pioneer in near death studies. Near death studies is a field of psychology and psychiatry that studies the after effects of near death experiences on individuals. She innovated the 5 stages of grief, which is known as the Kubler-Ross model. Her book On Death and Dying came out in 1969, and was groundbreaking for the time period.

    Sula Wolff (1924-2009)
    Wolff worked as a child psychiatrist in Britain with children who were mostly socially withdrawn and reclusive. She is the author of 2 different books on the topic of child psychology. Additionally, she was the first person to receive a grant from the Medical Research Council Grant to study child psychiatry. Her work emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

    Wolff also understood and pushed the importance of talking to and addressing children in a non stigmatizing way. In the end, her work became used as the basis for a lot of research being done today on Aspergers and autism.

    sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Dix
    https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/dorothea-lynde-dix
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalysis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_Johnstone
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanie_Klein
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sula_Wolff
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_studies
    https://www.goodtherapy.org/famous-psychologists/sula-wolff.html

  • Depression

    My Story On Living With Anxiety and Depression

    My Story On Living With Anxiety and Depression

    Living with anxiety and depression is exhausting. You swerve between being unable to sleep because you fear everyone you love is going to die, to feeling absolutely nothing when someone actually ends up in the hospital. You spend hours fighting the thoughts in your head that tell you that people would be better off without you. You can’t stop clenching your fist to stop your hand from shaking, as your heartbeat paces uncontrollably. Depression and anxiety can take up so much of your headspace, that you can no longer keep up with day-to-day activities, like eating nutritious meals, maintaining a work schedule, or sometimes even being able to get out of bed. The worst part is, you may dismiss your feelings as unimportant: but this dismissal is as much a symptom of needing to consult with a mental health professional.

     

    When I was dealing with anxiety and depression, I was scared that I would have to rely on medicines forever. My doctorwas quick to assure me that mental health recovery, like all disease management, was not that unmanageable. He told me that while counselling and (when needed) medication were primary to recovery, there were small lifestyle changes I could make to ease out, quicken and sustain the recovery process. Just hearing this reminded me that I had control over my life. It made me feel less anxious and more hopeful. If you are living with anxiety and depression; besides getting trained help, here are some small lifestyle changes I made that can be beneficial for you too:

     

    Food

    When I began experiencing the symptoms of depression, I was in college. Living away from the home for the first time gave me the independence to eat and drink what I want. I ended up drinking alcohol and eating junk food a lot, due to stress and the party culture in colleges. This took an instant toll on my mental health because I would feel guilty and hateful towards myself the whole week. So the first lifestyle change I made was in my diet.

     My doctor suggested to have healthy foodsand to incorporate vitamins in my diet, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E into my food as studieshad found Vitamin C and E can help reverse the neurochemical imbalances that cause anxiety.

     I added fruits containing Vitamin Clike guavas, blackcurrants, and peppers, and Vitamin E-rich food like almonds and kiwis to my meals. Not only did I feel mentally and physically better, I even felt I had regained control over my diet and body.

     

    Fitness

    I was an ardent swimmer when I was younger, but I had stopped swimming as I grew up. During a depressive spell, I had beaten myself up this and felt as though could never return to being a good swimmer. My psychologist alleviate my fears and told me to simply plunge into the pool and keep at it for a week. At the end of the end of the week, not only was I feeling happier because I had conquered my irrational fears; the exercise also boosted my endorphins, which made me feel happier. While researching, I also found that another factor could have helped me feel better: the sun. I found out that Vitamin D deficiency can cause depressive feelings, and eating foods rich in Vitamin D and exercising in the open can be the best way to lap up this vitamin.

     

    Perspective

    Dealing with anxiety can be debilitating because your irrational thoughts often conquer you. If my parents wouldn’t pick up the phone, I would keep ringing them till they did, because I irrational thought the worst had happened. My friend (who was also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder) would lose sleep if her desk was not arranged in a certain way. We both found that a few perspective changes would actually help stop these thoughts. If I felt as though I couldn’t stop thinking about my loved ones dying, I would force myself to focus on my sensory abilities. Sometimes, I slowly chewed a raisin and tried to mentally describe its texture, taste and shape. Other times, I would walk on wet grass and focus on its sensations on my feet. This usually distracted me from my thoughts and curb their power over me. If this did not work, I would write down whatever I was fearing, and tear up the sheet. This helped me feel unburdened. 

     

    Supplements

    However, when my anxiety or depression really acted up, I resorted to a few supplements besides my standard medication. As these supplements were primarily plant-based, they had no side effects and did not cause any issues. I tried fish oil supplements, filled with healthy Omega-3 acids, which has been foundto help counter the effects of depression. I also took CBD Oil for anxiety, as it helped me de-stress and relax. I also added saffron to my tea. Not only did it add a wonderful flavour, but it helped in healing my depression.

     

    Now that I have recovered, and my mental health is much better, I find, that in fact, it is these small lifestyle changes that helped me get healthy quickly. It is by incorporating these changes that I can now sustain my mental health and live happily and healthily.

     

     

  • Articles, Home Life, Lifestyle

    Unplug and Experience the Present

    Unplug and Experience the Present

    guest post by Martha Underwood, CEO of Executive Estrogen

    Do you have a hard time concentrating on one thing? Do you check your Instagram or snapchat first thing in the morning? Do you seem to lose track of time? Do you panic if you lose or forget your phone? Do you take the phone into the bathroom with you? If you’ve answered yes to two or more of these questions you may have a cyber addiction. This can have a negative effect on your health and life without realizing it. These habits can contribute to ADHD, anxiety and low self-esteem.

     

    Discover the Real

     Being online can feel like an escape from your emotions, but it’s not, because it’s not real. Some people put more value on the experience they create online than what they encounter in real life. The danger is that you can become immersed and sucked into the online presence they created instead of what’s truly real. That turns into an attachment to a fantasy. If you can relate to this, take small steps to reduce your time online and replace that reduced time with true human engagement. You can start with calling someone you’ve known for a while but only engaged with them through social media. Commit to finding real connections with people in your life and find ways to deepen those connections without technology.

     

    How to Unplug

    Disengaging and limiting your screen-time  is easier said than done. So, what steps can you take to help you unplug from your smartphone?

    Give yourself a list of things you must do before you get online. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do:

    • Read 3 chapters of a book
    • Create something – draw, compose a song, write a poem, write a short story
    • Practice playing an instrument
    • Play a board game with a friend or sibling
    • Take a dance class
    • Create a new hair style without recording it
    • Work on a jigsaw puzzle
    • Meet a friend at Starbucks

    You may be damaging your mental health while missing out on life by needing to see what’s happening online instead of connecting with the people right in front of you. It will still be there when you look an hour or two from later. I promise it will (unless you’re on snapchat 😉) Until then……Find your balance.

     

    Keep Shining,

    Martha

  • Articles, Stress

    How Women Influence For The Better

    How Women Influence For The Better

    by Aulana Dudley

    A woman can be very important to a girl or boys life, they can shape who we are and how we react to certain things.
    A woman who has had a significant influence on me is Elizabeth Gross. Elizabeth has been my therapist for a little over a year. She helps me while I deal with my fear of human emotions and my anxieties mixed together. Elizabeth’s influence consists mostly of teaching me ways to handle human emotions (mostly when people cry) without becoming uncomfortable and ways to calm my mind down. For example, before I started going to Elizabeth I bottled every emotion up until I would explode and only anger would come out; I would also have panic attacks with no way of calming myself down and eventually I would just end up falling asleep. Since I’ve been seeing Elizabeth,  I’ve been able to control the number of emotional outbursts I have and I now know what can trigger them to happen. I can also find specific music to help guide my brain back to a placid mental state of mind during panic attacks.
    With Elizabeth’s influence, it has affected how I live moreso because now I know what my brain can handle and what can push it over the edge, this is what affects my character the most. She has also helped me find loopholes for my separation anxiety between my father and older sister, Satura. Elizabeth’s influence also alters my confidence; because she also aids me with my social anxiety which helps me get rid of some of my shyness and my fear of public speaking. She also helps me feel more confident in expressing how I feel about things that make me uniquely myself such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, and cartoons. Elizabeth has helped me in so many ways that I feel as though she has been a big impact in how to view certain things and my personality. Being able to see what a colossal change in my life Elizabeth has made on my life for the better has been one of the most heartwarming things I have ever been able to do.
  • Articles, Depression

    Depression and Suicide. Know the Signs. Help A Friend.

    Have you ever been so frustrated or overwhelmed to the point where you sob uncontrollably or even lose consciousness of your physical movements? Maybe you became upset because the winged-tip of your eyeliner on your left eye doesn’t match the winged-tip on your right eye even though you spent 30 minutes carefully applying each stroke of the black liquid to your eyelids. Or maybe that cow lick refuses to cooperate no matter how much hair product you apply to that one spot. Because these things are such a big deal at that moment in time, you overreact and become so worked up you forget that these things really aren’t “that deep”. There are individuals in other places battling their inner selves on a daily basis and their battles involve much more than winged eyeliner and a cow lick. You may be wondering what things could be more serious than not having the perfectly “beat” face or the most “laid” hairstyle, so I’m here to tell you…suicide. We may know what this term means, but do we really understand the factors that lead up to this mental illness that overtakes both youth and adult people? Are we aware of the signs or even ways to prevent suicide? If not, we are here to learn together.

    As celebrities are pushed to the forefront in everyday news, you may be aware of the recent suicide of fashion icon, Kate Spade. Reports have shared the possible reason Spade chose to take her own life in early June, which seems to have been confirmed in a suicide note she left her daughter, Frances. Sources have also shared that Spade’s last moments were spent joyfully, which made it seem as if everything was fine. Little did her family know, she’d finally made the decision to succumb to the worries of the world.

    Unfortunately, we fail to notice, or even to acknowledge, the signs of suicide until it is too late. Young people have become comfortable with sayings such as, “kill yourself” or “kill me now” in reference to an overwhelming situation. However, these phrases should never be used, not even jokingly. We never know what’s going on in someone’s life; especially not in their heads. As human beings, we neglect to pay attention to the actions and words of our friends and acquaintances and fail to take them seriously. It’s a negative characteristic we all carry that can be fixed with simply listening and becoming aware of the signs.

    Is My Age Group Affected by this Crisis?

    YES. People of all age groups struggle with this mental illness everywhere. However, statistics show youth struggle and give in to this illness each day. Risk factors that contribute to teen suicide include:

    • A recent or serious loss (family, friend, or pet)
    • Depression, trauma, stress
    • Alcohol and other substance use and/or abuse
    • Struggles with sexual orientation
    • A family history of suicide
    • Lack of social support
    • Bullying
    • Difficulties receiving mental help or restriction from receiving such help

    Some youth also send indirect cries for help through social media usernames as well as through the context of the messages they send through statuses, tweets, or snaps. We must become aware of the warning signs as well as prevent contributing to risk factors of this detrimental illness in order to prevent the rise in suicides.

    How Can I Help?

    • Remember that you never know what someone is going through; even if they seem to be the happiest person on the planet.
    • Pay attention to negative comments about oneself or the value of life itself
    • Brighten someone’s day by saying something nice! (You never know, they may have fought with their eyeliner that morning)
    • Pay attention to the words one uses on social media accounts.
    • BE AWARE OF WARNING SIGNS!!
  • Puberty, Sexual Health, Teen Pregnancy

    We all go through it…The Change

    Puberty – How Your Body Changes

    Your body is changing; your moods may be unpredictable and sometimes hard to explain. Don’t worry. These changes are normal. Our guide to teen health is designed to help you understand the common physical and emotional changes you are going through, and deal responsibly with new personal and social situations you may encounter. These changes are called puberty.

    Puberty lasts for several years and marks the life stage when your body is changing from a child to an adult. Hormones help trigger and guide this process. Hormones are natural chemicals in your body that produce gradual physical changes during this time and may also cause emotional changes that can sometimes seem uncontrollable. These changes are common during puberty, and they happen to everyone. Although it may seem that these changes and feelings are out of your control, don’t worry—you’re still you, just the “growing up” version.

    Common Physical Changes in Girls

    Girls going through puberty often notice physical changes, such as larger breasts, hair growth in new places, acne and changes in the shape of your hips, waste, bottom and thighs. Below are some of the common physical changes you may experience.

    Menstrual Periods & PMS

    Menstruation is a turning point in your development from a child to a teenager. It’s important to remember that this is natural and something that makes being a woman special.

    Larger Breasts

    One of the first changes you will notice are your breasts growing, usually between the ages of eight and 12. Once your breasts start growing, you will most likely want to buy a bra.

    Common Social and Emotional Issues

    Today’s young women face many emotional and social challenges during puberty. Below are some of the common tough issues you may find, and tips for handling them.

    Self Esteem & Peer Pressure

    The foundation for positive self-esteem is built at an early age and is influenced by relationships between you and your family. Your feelings about yourself will change as you grow.

    Sex & Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    When to engage or not engage in sexual relations is one of the most important decisions a person can make. From getting pregnant to becoming infected with an STD, make sure you understand the risks.

    Mental Health & Abuse

    Overall health means more than simply being in shape and eating properly. Mental health, which includes your thoughts and feelings, is just as important as physical health.

    Hair Growth

    Hair will start to grow under your arms, on your legs and on your pubic area. Shaving your underarms and legs is a personal choice, but talk about it with one of your parents first.

    Acne

    This aggravating condition may be mild (blackheads and whiteheads), moderate (larger inflamed-looking blemishes) or severe (large cysts or nodules). Acne is caused by a build-up of oil, microorganisms and dead skin cells in the hair follicles under the skin.

    Eating Disorders

    With a more prevalent preoccupation with appearance and weight in today’s society, girls may be at risk to develop eating disorders.

     

    Substance Abuse

    During your teenage years, it is a good idea to take some risks, like trying new activities or sports. However, some risk-taking behaviors, such as drinking alcohol, smoking and using drugs have negative effects.

     

    Visiting Your Doctor

    Before the onset of puberty, discuss your questions and concerns with your health care professional. It is also a time for you to gather printed material on a variety of health issues, including your menstrual cycle, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • Articles, Depression

    Ways to help with depression

    The first step to feeling better: Talk to an adult you trust

    Depression is not your fault, and you didn’t do anything to cause it. However, you do have some control over feeling better. The first step is asking for help.
    Talking to your parents about depression

    It may seem like there’s no way your parents will be able to help, especially if they are always nagging you or getting angry about your behavior. The truth is, parents hate to see their kids hurting. They may feel frustrated because they don’t understand what is going on with you or know how to help.

    If your parents are abusive in any way, or if they have problems of their own that makes it difficult for them to take care of you, find another adult you trust (such as a relative, teacher, counselor, or coach). This person can either help you approach your parents, or direct you toward the support you need. If you truly don’t have anyone you can talk to, refer to the resources below and at the end of this article. There are many hotlines, services, and support groups that can help.

    No matter what, talk to someone, especially if you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or others. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do, and the first step on your way to feeling better.

    The importance of accepting and sharing your feelings

    It can be hard to open up about how you’re feeling—especially when you’re feeling depressed, hopeless, ashamed, or worthless. It’s important to remember that many people struggle with feelings like these at one time or another. They don’t mean you’re weak, fundamentally flawed, or no good. Accepting your feelings and opening up about them with someone you trust will help you feel less alone.

    No matter what it feels like, people love and care about you, and if you can muster the courage to talk about your depression, it can—and will—be resolved. Some people think that talking about sad feelings will make them worse, but the opposite is almost always true. It is very helpful to share your worries with someone who will listen and care. They don’t need to be able to “fix” you; they just need to be good listeners.

    Try not to isolate yourself—it makes depression worse

    When you’re depressed, you may not feel like seeing anybody or doing anything. Just getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult, but isolating yourself only makes depression worse. Make it a point to stay social, even if that’s the last thing you want to do. As you get out into the world, you may find yourself feeling better.

    Spend time with friends who make you feel good—especially those who are active, upbeat, and understanding. Avoid hanging out with those who abuse drugs or alcohol, get you into trouble, or who make you feel insecure.

    Cut back on online time. Think about how you feel after spending hours upon hours playing videos games or checking social media. Not too great, right? Spending too much time online is not good for your mental health. Even if you’re interacting with friends, it’s no replacement for in-person contact. So be smart about your online time. There’s a time and place for it–just don’t let it take over your life.

    Get involved in activities you enjoy (or used to). Getting involved in extracurricular activities may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re depressed, but you’ll feel better if you do. Choose something you’ve enjoyed in the past, whether it be a sport, an art, dance or music class, or an after-school club. You might not feel motivated at first, but as you start to participate again, your mood and enthusiasm will begin to lift.

    Volunteer. Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and happiness booster. Volunteering for a cause you believe in can help you feel reconnected to others and the world, and give you the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference.

    To boost mood, keep your body healthy

    Making healthy lifestyle choices can do wonders for your mood. Things like eating right, getting regular exercise, and being smart about alcohol and drugs have been shown to make a huge difference when it comes to depression.

    Get moving! Ever heard of a “runners high”? You actually get a rush of endorphins from exercising, which makes you feel instantly happier. Physical activity can be as effective as medications or therapy for depression, so get involved in sports, ride your bike, or take a dance class. Any activity helps! If you’re not feeling up to much, start with a short daily walk, and build from there.

    Be smart about what you eat. An improper diet can make you feel sluggish and tired, which worsens depression symptoms. Junk food and sugary snacks are the worst culprits! They may give you a quick boost, but they’ll leave you feeling worse in the long run. Make sure you’re feeding your mind with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Talk to your parents, doctor or school nurse about how to ensure your diet is adequately nutritious.

    Avoid alcohol and drugs. You may be tempted to drink or use drugs in an effort to escape from your feelings and get a “mood boost,” even if just for a short time. However, substance use can not only make depression worse, but can cause you to become depressed in the first place. Alcohol and drug use can also increase suicidal feelings. In short, drinking and taking drugs will make you feel worse—not better—in the long run. If you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs, seek help. You will need special treatment for your substance problem on top of whatever treatment you’re receiving for your depression.

    If you’re suffering and don’t know where to turn…

    In the U.S., call the TeenLine at (800) 852-8336. It’s free, confidential, and available from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Pacific Time, seven days a week.

    Article From: helpguide.org