Category Archives: News

5 Qualities of a Good Special Education Advocate

Are you the parent of a child with autism that is having a dispute with school personnel, and would like some help? Are you the parent of a child with a learning disability, or another type of disability, that could use an advocate to help you in getting an appropriate education for your child? This article will give you 5 qualities that make a good special education advocate

An advocate is a person that has received special training, that helps parents navigate the special education system. In some cases the advocate is a parent of a child themselves, but this is not always the case. Before you hire an advocate check on their experience, and also make sure that the advocate is familiar with your child’s disability, so that they are able to advocate effectively

Qualities:

1 A good advocate must be familiar with the federal and state education laws that apply to special education, and be willing to use them, when needed. This is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), State rules for special education (how they will comply with IDEA), and No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The advocate does not have to memorize the laws, but should have a basic knowledge of what is in them. The advocate must also be willing to bring up the laws, at IEP meetings, if this will benefit the child.

2. A good advocate should not make false promises to parents. If an advocate tells you. that they will get the services that you want for your child, be leery! Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in special education, and advocates should not promise things that they may not be able to get. An experienced advocate who knows the law and your school district, should have a sense about what can be accomplished.

3. A good advocate should be passionate about your child, and the educational services that they need. Advocacy sometimes takes a lot of time. If the person helping you is not passionate about your child, they may not be willing to help you for the length of time that it takes to get your child an appropriate education.

4. A good advocate must be willing to stand up to special education personnel, when they disagree with them, or when the school personnel tell a lie. If the advocate you pick, has every quality, but is not willing to stand up to school personnel, he or she will not be an effective advocate for your child.

5. A good advocate is detail oriented, and makes sure that any services promised by special education personnel, are put in writing. A good advocate will read the IEP before they leave the meeting, and bring up any changes that should be made. Sometimes the little details are what makes for success!

By keeping in mind these 5 qualities, you will be better equipped to finding an advocate that will be able to help you, get an appropriate education for your child.

What Is the Relationship Between My Education and Oppression Today?

The expression of education and oppression in today’s modern society can be traced to the very premise upon which the institutions of education are predicated. Theologian Cardinal Newman’s views[1] on education shed light on this meaning, “This implies that its object is, on the one hand, intellectual not moral; and on the other, that is the diffusion and extension of knowledge rather than the advancement (p. 122)”. Here we find the very idea of my own journey into higher education specifically in the context of my Catholic faith. The numerous sources described various situations were ideological choices of purpose are bestowed upon the students. In one case the affluent student must continue the rise of his family honor and in the next case the poor student seeks “liberation” (p. 124).

My own story is one of seeking liberation from a “historically oppressed minority” (p. 126). Choosing this type of Catholic education at Creighton resonates with me. The correlation of stagnancy and ignorance to lack of education seem very real as I am sure is does to the Native Americans in Pine Ridge and Rosebud Lakota (p. 133). Creighton University has taught me that through upright character and the art of Christian living (pp. 128-129) that action follows faith. Theologian Michael J. Buckley, S.J. captured this idea with, “a new orientation towards social action and efficacy and a conjunction between literary education and moral and religious formation” (p. 128).

In today’s world of mammon allowing for access to education, I would not have chosen this path if not for my inherent knowledge that my whole person will be evaluated in the context of my community. The pathway forward out of oppression for me is to serve the greater good. This includes my family and the community of like-minded people working for God’s glory. It is this type of education even in this online format that makes the end goal of being a “better human being” (p. 130) possible.

Lack of Education Contributes to Crime

As more and more low-income families move into neighborhoods that once catered to the middle or upper class, one must be on the lookout for his own personal safety and report any criminal activity going on in their surroundings. Crime is everywhere in these neighborhoods where kids find too much time on their hands after school hours or after the school year lets out.

What also contributes to the crime rate in such places? Is it just the lack of money for low income families? Sometimes, crime can be attributed to the lack of education on the part of the perpetrator or their families.

It is a statistical fact that the crime rate is inversely proportional to the education level of the culprit. Kids who grow up in families that do not stress the importance of getting an education are more likely to be living out on the streets, doing drugs, joining gangs, or ending up in prison.

Sometimes parents who raise such kids were raised in similar conditions when they were youngsters. Nothing has changed. An education should be foremost on parents’ minds when rearing their kids. In fact, an education is the key out of poverty. As the old saying goes, “The way out of the gutter is with a book and not a basketball.”

Kids who do not have a good education in school are more likely to have difficulty with finding jobs, getting into college, or staying out of trouble with the law. Many times they have family issues that are attributed to the loss of a parent at a young age due to a death or an incarceration.

Kids from single-parent homes run that risk of growing up as an “at-risk” child. This is due to the fact that the parent must work to provide food and shelter for the child, and the absence of the other parent fails to provide leadership and guidance for a growing mind. A parent who is incarcerated will definitely not be around to guide the child to getting good grades in school.

What kind of message does an incarcerated parent send to a child? Is it okay to be dumb and stupid and end up in prison like their daddy? Like father, like son. Right? Is it okay to skip school and join a gang like their daddy once did?

The truth of the matter is that kids who drop out of school will face hardship in their lives as they grow older. Lack of education on their part means lack of money to support a family. Lack of money translates into robbing a bank or convenience store.

We hear in the news every day a robbery that occurs in our city or elsewhere. Or perhaps a shooting on the part of the perpetrator that caused an innocent life come to an abrupt halt.

What are kids doing nowadays? How can we prevent our own kids from becoming troubled kids? For one, a parent must be a good role model and stress the importance of a good education. That means the parents must take an active role in their child’s education by monitoring how much television the child is allowed to watch and taking charge of knowing the kinds of friends that his child associates with. Furthermore, this means maintaining communication with his teachers at school and looking over his report card regularly.

A child with poor academic performance may indicate something wrong at school. Perhaps he does not like school due to external influences; i.e. bullying, difficult teachers, taunting by other students, or peer pressure.

It is better to catch the child’s problem as early as possible before it comes to the point that the child is truant from school, or worse, acts out his frustration that is reflected in another Virginia Tech-like massacre.

A child should like his studies and should show interest in his schoolwork. He should be taught that good grades will help him get a good education so that he can get a good paying job and be a productive member of society after he graduates.

Teach your child that involvement in gangs, violence, drugs, and/or extortion will not get him anywhere but prison. Once a person ends up doing life in prison, there IS no second chance. There is no freedom for him. There is no TV, no video games, no music, nothing! Not even a chance to get an education behind bars. If there is school in prison, the education is very limited.

If you are raising a child, question your child as to what is going on in school if he/she displays academic difficulty. Spend some quality time with him/her. Help them with their homework if possible. Remember, you are not just his/her friend, you are their parents. You are the first role model that a child looks toward from infancy. So be a good one and teach him/her what is right by staying in school.

There is a story in Austin, Texas a few years ago. It involved a troubled 17-year-old kid, Manuel Cortez, a high school dropout, who went out with his friends in a stolen car one sunny afternoon, and shot another student, Christopher Briseno, whom he did not even know because Briseno allegedly was teasing the sister of Manuel’s friend. Manuel Cortez is now serving life in prison because he made a stupid decision. Now families of the victim and the perpetrator are suffering two losses from society. All for what? Because Mr. Cortez chose to drop out of school and associate with gangs and/or violence? He chose to give up the possibility of an education so that he can run around gang banging? Or did he not have the proper support and guidance from his parents?

Special Education and the Importance of Collaboration

Collaboration means working with an individual or a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Its importance is most visible in education. Every day, teachers work together with their peers, school counselors, and other staff for the success of each student. And when it comes to special education, collaboration becomes the single most important thing for a teacher.

A teacher for special education has to collaborate with school administrators, general education teachers, school therapists, psychologists, and parents and guardians. Students with mild disability have now been included in regular classroom teaching, according to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act. This has led to general and special education teachers working together, often with the help of the best fun educational apps. The role of the educator in a general classroom, involves teaching the curriculum and assessing and evaluating special children. It’s important that a the educator brings in a set of personal skills to enhance student learning. Skills of both the general teacher and the special educator should come together to help a student.

A special educator has to work closely with the school management. It’s a vital part of the job. Working with the management will help the special teacher follow the necessary laws and procedure, work with individualized education plan (IEP), and make sure that special children are accommodated in the appropriate classroom. It’s always important to forge a strong relationship with these people for ensuring the success of a special student.

Working with parents is a major challenge for all special education teachers. It’s important to make strong and regular contact. It’s a nice idea to allow parents come and volunteer in the classroom, so that both the educator and the parent can help the children. A special child can obviously relate more to a parent. If parents explain the use of the best fun educational apps for kids, it’s likely to be more believable to the children.

Working with school therapists and psychologists is another key collaboration of a special educator. A therapist can inform the educator about the limitations of a special child. He/she may even recommend the best fun educational apps for kids so that special children pick up social skills faster. The educator, on his/her part, can update the therapist on how a child is progressing. The therapist is also responsible for diagnosis of a special child.

The work of the school psychologist is also largely similar. They too test children for disabilities and ensure that the IEP is being properly followed.

Collaboration is an important part of a special educator’s job, regardless of which part of school education he/she is involved with. Whether it’s working with the school administration, other teachers, parents, guardians, counselors, or therapists, a special educator has to work as part of a team for the betterment of special children. The needs of a special child are much different from that of a neuro-typical. Besides, each child is different. The best fun educational apps can keep the child engaged besides imparting important social skills.

Over-Identification of Minority Children in Special Education – What Can Be Done?

Are you concerned about the amount of minority children that are being diagnosed with disabilities in your school district? Are you worried about the large numbers of African American boys receiving special education services? Are you concerned about your child who is in a minority group and being found eligible for special education! Much has been written in the past several years about the increased numbers of poor African-American children receiving special education services. This article will discuss this issue, and also underlying causes of this.

In 1975 when the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed Congress found that poor African-American children were being placed in special education much more often than other children. These difficulties continue today. In the Findings section of IDEA 2004 Congress stated about the ongoing problems with the over-identification of minority children including mislabeling the children and high drop out rates.

About 9% of all school age children are diagnosed with a disability and receive special education services. But African-American children receive special education services at a rate about 40% higher than the national average across racial and ethnic groups at about 12.4%. Studies have shown that schools that have mostly white students and teachers, place a disproportionately high number of minority children in special education.

Also, rates of mental retardation and emotional/behavioral disturbance are extremely elevated within the African-American population, roughly twice the national average. Within the African-American population the incidence of mental retardation is approximately 220% higher than other ethnic groups. For emotional/behavioral disturbance the incidence is approximately 175% higher than other ethnic groups.

Factors that may contribute to disabilities include:

1. Health issues like prenatal care, access to medical care, child nutrition, and possible exposure to lead and other pollutants.

2. Lack of access to good quality medical care as well as services for any mental health disorders.

3. Cultural issues and values or stigma attached to disability

4. Discrimination along the lines of class and race!

5. Misdiagnosis of the child’s behavioral and academic difficulty.

A few ideas that could help decrease the over identification:

1. Better keeping of data to include increased information about race, gender, and race by gender categories. More detailed, systematic, and comprehensive data collections would provide a better sense of demographic representation in special education that could better help understand this issue.

2. More analytic research is needed to improve our understanding of the numerous factors that independently or in combination contribute to a disability diagnosis.

3. More people that are willing to help advocate for children in this situation. I believe that some of this issue, is related to the inability of some special education personnel to understand cultural differences.

4. Better and clearer guidelines for diagnosing disabilities that could reduce the potential for subjective judgments that are often cited for certain diagnosis.

5. More improvements are needed in general education to help children learn to read and keep up with their grade and age appropriate peers.

I hope over time this issue will get resolved so that all children receive an appropriate education.

Robert Kiyosaki Says There Are 3 Types of Education For Financial Success

According to Robert Kiyosaki, there are 3 types of education that are key to financial success in life.

-Scholastic education: This education teaches us to read, write and do math. This education is very important in today’s world.

-Professional education: This education teaches you how to work for money and if your smart get a job as a doctor, lawyer, accountant or other professional trades such as plumbers, builders, auto mechanics and electricians. The country is full of school that will give you this education to help you become more employable.

-Financial education: This is the education where you learn to have money work for you rather than you work for money. This education is not taught in most of our schools.

So many of our parents taught us the “Poor Dad” mentality where we had to get our education to go and work for someone else. Well, with the economy as it is right now, it is less stable having a corporate job than a work at home job. But as Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” taught him, “If you have a poor financial education, you will always work for the rich.”

I don’t know about you, but I am psychologically unemployable having gained the knowledge of a financial education through my Wealth Masters International system. I am no longer employable to work for money. I need to work for myself and have my money working for me. Nothing else makes sense, not even if I was broke would I go back to work for a paycheck. When there are opportunities on the internet where you can work form home and spend less time and create a profit rather than a wage the sky is the limit.

I came to realize that the direct sales system is a way for anyone to acquire great wealth. The system is open to anyone who has drive, determination and perseverance. Or as I also like to categorize it, the correct Mindset, Marketing and Mission. It doesn’t matter your age, gender, race, or popularity. The direct sales industry is about how much you are willing to learn, share and grow.

My experience with direct sale and network marketing is that people are very willing to share their newly acquired systems to make money. They become teachers of their trade and give back to the economy in a positive manner.

So let us all share what we have learned for ourselves about financial education so we can all create wealth and not work for the rich man any longer.

Listing Education on a Resume

So you’ve gone to the time, expense and effort to complete some aspect of formal education. Or maybe you started to work on this, but then inevitably, life happened… had to take a job to pay the bills, got married, had kids, moved, etc. etc. There’s a universe of things that life can throw at you that can interrupt even the most well-intentioned plans for education.

There are some rules of thumb out there when listing education on a resume which should be considered.

1. DON’T list the year you graduated. Unless you are in an education, government, scientific or highly technical field where having a date of graduation is essential, please don’t broadcast how old you are by including this information. (Human resource managers do the math!) Sure, if you are an adult learner who just got done with a degree, it’s new and important to you just like it is to a person fresh out of high school who immediately went to college. However, resist the temptation to perhaps look younger by listing the graduation date!

With the exception of the four fields mentioned above, the cold, hard truth about education is this:

Most employers really only care whether you graduated… Yes or No.

They don’t care what your GPA was, how many times you made it to the Dean’s list, what scholarships you landed, and sure, you can list that you graduated as magna cum laude or summa cum laude… but that often isn’t a deciding factor as to whether or not to hire you- it just becomes distracting with all of the scholarships, awards, grade points, etc. Keep it clean and simple.

2. A common mistake recent graduates also make is that they want to list their education FRONT AND CENTER… naturally because this is generally the MOST IMPORTANT THING the person has ever done in their lives to date. However, most human resource managers are really probing for what kinds of experience that the person has, not their education. So the best advice is to put the education later in the résumé rather than near the beginning.

3. DO list all of your education. Some people in this economy are becoming sensitive about feeling ‘over-qualified’ or ‘over-educated.’ Think of it this way- employers are in the catbird seat right now… they can afford to hire workers that they couldn’t dream of hiring just five years ago. So they are ‘cherry-picking’ the top candidates and if they can find a top leader in a field who is willing to come work for them, they’ll gladly take them. Who wouldn’t?

Additionally, if you didn’t complete a degree, you can indicate: “Program coursework in: (area of study).

Give yourself credit for the time you’ve put into it, even if the end result isn’t what you had hoped for. It shows initiative and a desire to improve your knowledge and skills.

I’ve had a few clients that I’ve worked with who had put down a degree name on their résumé, but it turned out that during our consultation, that, well, they never ever REALLY ended up finishing their degree.

This kind of misrepresentation is one of the oldest tricks in the job search book… if this sounds like you, it would be in your best interest to be as forthright as possible about your educational background. Human resource managers are well aware of this trick!!! Quite honestly, the EASIEST background check to do in the world is to verify whether a person graduated or not from a particular institution. Fudging it or trying to convey a different impression is a fast-track to the trashbin for your résumé.

So this is an ‘either’ or an ‘or’ situation.

EITHER you got the degree OR you took program coursework in a field.

If you are currently in progress, you can indicate:

Degree name (spelled out, please): area of study (anticipated completion date: ______)

As for the rest of your education, anything else that is not from a formal, accedited institution or career school falls into the ‘professional development’ category, and can include everything from industry certifications, workshops, trainings, continuing education units (CEUs), conferences, seminars, conventions and the like.

You’ll want to call this specific section “Professional Development,” which conveys to an employer that you are always actively taking steps to improve and hone your skills so you can do your job better.

Not working right now? Have some resources? Try keeping up on industry trends by registering for a class in your field through a trade association. It’s a great way to keep your ‘toe in the pool’ and stay current.

Keeping your mind engaged while looking for employment is very important. Sometimes, being laid off is the very opportunity needed to open a new chapter for professional enhancement… there simply wasn’t time for it previously. You never know where this can lead to! A recent client of mine spent the money to get certified with another industry credential. One of the requirements of the certification was to take an exam. When she showed up at the exam location, she found out that she was the only unemployed person there- everyone else was there through their company. The amazing thing was that she got three highly-qualified job leads by talking to the people there at the exam location… and she was so thrilled that the exam itself wasn’t the highlight of the day!

An Integrated Approach to Treat Depression – Depression

Depression, anxiety, phobias and mental health feature almost daily in the media and it appears that depression is fast becoming one of the biggest problems experienced within society. These conditions increasingly affect people living in the modern world and research has led to estimates that at least 17% of the adult population have had, or will have, an episode of depression of sufficient clinical severity to warrant treatment. A special national Institute of Mental Health report on Depressive Disorders in 1973 stated that depression accounts for 75% of all psychiatric hospitalisations and that during any given year 15% of all adults between 18 and 74 may suffer significant depressive symptoms. Current studies indicate that the lifetime risk of depression in an adult population could be as high as 30%.Along with the increased incidence of depression has been an explosion in the use of prescription drugs to treat the condition, but recent reports have questioned whether these are effective or indeed simply create more problems for the patient. Accordingly there is a growing interest in finding a fresh approach to the treatment of these conditions. Having trained in clinical psychology and psychotherapy I am able to incorporate a lot of the accepted practices. However, the more I worked with individuals and with groups I found that by integrating the eastern inspired approaches that I learnt in India, I was able to achieve far more effective and lasting results within a shorter period of time.Understanding DepressionIn Psychiatry depression is referred to as a mood disorder. Mood disorders have been known to man since antiquity; the old Testament describes King Saul as suffering from severe depressive episodes. However, the term encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from deep depression to unbounded elation and mania and so understanding the behaviour of individuals suffering from depression can be very challenging.All people experience a range of emotions and in general they are a healthy part of life and feeling appropriate emotions contributes positively to our well being. However, emotions are of two main types; firstly affective emotions, in other words a short lived emotional response to an event, and secondly mood, which is a lasting and dominant emotional response which colours the whole psychic life.More than 90% of depressed people experience prolonged moods of sadness, discouragement or a sense of not caring any more. However, to classify someone with a major depressive episode clinicians look for five or more of the following symptoms to have been present during the preceding two weeks. There should also be a noticeable change in previous functioning with at least one of the symptoms being either a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.Symptoms:
1. Depressed mood most of the day.
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day.
3. Significant weight loss when not dieting, or weight gain eg. A change of more than 5% of body weight in a month. Or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
4. Insomnia (sleeplessness) or hypersomnia (excessive sleep) nearly everyday.
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day.
6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
7. Feeling of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness
9. Recurrent thoughts of deathNo single casual factor as to why people get depressed has been identified. Research points to many factors that seem to contribute to its development, including genetics, biochemical changes and personality theories. Several research papers have reported findings which suggest that relatives of patients with major depressive disorders have a higher prevalence of depression than people in the general population. Other research has focussed on biochemical correlates of depression and studied the role of chemicals that transmit nerve impulses from one neuron to another in the brain. Whilst several theories related to depression have been developed regarding personality types.My experience as a Doctor has led me to view each client as an individual whose requirements need personalised attention. Human beings are a complex creation whose health and wellbeing depends on a balance in all dimensions of their lives, from physical health to behavioural, energy and even environmental aspects.Treating DepressionConventional western medicine generally treats depression using medication eg. Tricyclic, heterocyclic anti-depressants and the new SSRT drugs. The commonly used psychological therapies for the treatment of depression are individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy. Eastern Psychotherapy integrates eastern methods, such as meditation, yoga, pranic, or energy, healing, mantra and sound healing, with elements of the traditional psychotherapy developed in the West. When treating depression and other mental health conditions it is vital to look for the causative factors and explore the issues using ayurvedic principles as well as acknowledging the spiritual component. It may sometimes also be appropriate to study the astrological chart of the person being treated to seek a better understanding of the influences affecting the individual and gem therapy, which is a commonly accepted practice in many parts of Asia, may be recommended.The treatment of conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety is undoubtedly enhanced by the use of complementary techniques. The value of seeking help from professionals who have worked with both approaches is they can select the right choice of treatment for each individual. Orthodox techniques often deal effectively with the symptoms, however eastern practices can be more helpful with the underlying causes. A therapist who understands the personal needs of each individual is more able to provide them with an empowering approach to their illness. For some the focus may be on the traditional Western methods, but for others accelerated and positive results can be achieved by blending the best of East and West in an integrated treatment programme.With an integrated approach to depression most individuals are able to benefit within 3 or 4 sessions, sometimes even less, depending on the nature of their condition. It is important with any therapeutic approach to ensure clients do not develop a dependency on the treatment or only enjoy a temporary respite because the underlying causes have not been addressed.CASE STUDYMiss K, a 35 year old female failed to respond to conventional treatment. An holistic approach included energy and environmental assessments as well as her medical background. She had a five year history of depression which had been particularly severe in the preceding six months. She was using anti-depressants and had undergone several sessions of counseling which she did not like.The assessment on the energetic level revealed some blockages in the heart and solar plexus chakras. The environment at home was dark and sombre with black and grey being her main choice of colours; there was no flow of energy.She was recommended to try a combination of energy therapies including Reiki and music/mantra treatment along with some suggestions of changes to the home environment. She also used a herbal remedy (St John’s Wort), massage and acupuncture and embarked on six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy. Her programme lasted six months, but she responded very well and has been free of depression for more than a year reporting that she feels generally well, is taking an active interest in her life and in her personal development.TEXT ENDSNovember 2008

Treating Depression With Fish Oils – Depression

What is Depression?Depression is a serious medical condition that an estimated 19 million people suffer from on a yearly basis. A large number of individuals do not seek treatment for a depressive condition; however, such a condition often requires crucial attention in order to prevent the condition from worsening or other conditions from developing. Generally, those that suffer from this condition have a lack of energy or motivation, they lose interest in activities that were once enjoyed, have a loss of appetite, or become easily frustrated and irritable, which often interferes with daily life–work, family, and socialization. However, such a condition has become widely recognized and accepted over the years with the over-whelming number of people–children and adults alike–that suffer from depression.Depression is not a condition to be ashamed of, and is an understandably accepted occurrence in today’s society. With mild, moderate, and even severe anxiety, there are all natural treatment options available–such as the use of fish oils. When most people seek treatment for depression they are initially prescribed medication from their physician in the form of a pill or are referred to a therapist for further evaluation of the condition. Although these anti-depressant medicines may work, there have been several dangerous side-effects linked with anti-depressant medications and the individuals that suffer from depression and take these medications on a regular basis.If these side-effects occur, it could further hinder those that take the prescribed medications. In more severe cases, there have even been anti-depressant medications that have been linked to suicide or suicidal thoughts and tendencies. However, there is an all natural, side-effect free way to help fight depression and gain your life back. It has been scientifically proven that the use of fish oils is linked with increased serotonin levels in the body, which directly help ease symptoms of depression. Additionally, a daily intake of fish oil greatly helps to reduce, or even cure, a depressive condition.What Causes Depression?Depression is caused by physical changes in the brain and an imbalance of chemicals–neurotransmitters–that carry the brain signals to your nerves. Specifically, low serotonin levels in the brain are responsible for depressive changes. There is not one particular cause that triggers depression, and it usually develops from exposure to several different factors together. Such as genetics, which means the condition very well could have been passed on from a parent or from past generations. If you are aware of relatives that have suffered from depressive episodes or long term depression, the odds of developing the condition yourself automatically increase.Traumatic events and stress are also substantial causes of depression. In today’s economy, people are stricken with financial woes and fears of where their next paycheck may come from or how to put dinner on the table. Also, those that suffer the loss of a loved one, or a person carrying a traumatic experience, such as an assault, with them on a daily basis also commonly battle depression. Most people often think individuals with low self-esteem already suffer from depression, and simply have low self-esteem because they are depressed. On the contrary, those that lack self-confidence or self-esteem are often found to be pessimistic people by nature, and eventually exhibit depressive symptoms at some point in their lives after dealing with low self-esteem issues for a substantial period of time. Individuals that are products of a sexually, physically, or emotionally abusive environment, or an environment with constant conflicts, such as an impending divorce, often develop a case of depression.The consumption of certain medications have also been linked to cases of depression. It has been found that many individuals that suffer from high blood pressure and take medication to help control such conditions, such as beta blockers or reserpine, often develop depression because of the interference in the transmission of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Additionally, there are also individuals that suffer from other physical and medical conditions–such as cancer, HIV and AIDS, or even heart failure–that struggle to come to grips with the fact that they may have a decreased or limited amount of time with family and friends, and are unable to accomplish all of their desires before leaving everyone and everything behind them. With depression, it has been established that other conditions often accompany depression. These other conditions include, but are not limited to, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, as well as substance abuse in order to acquire a small level of relief from such depression conditions. With the daily intake of fish oils, however, the odds of developing depression or additional condition that coincide with depression greatly decrease or become eliminated all together.Why Use Fish Oils to Treat Depression?There have been many beneficial scientific studies, which have shown that increased levels of omega-3 rich fish oils greatly decrease the symptoms of depression, and possibly even cure depression all together. In 1993, a psychiatrist from Harvard’s McLean Hospital stumbled across the link between omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils to decrease or eliminate symptoms of depression while researching for a new treatment to be used against manic depressive disorder, otherwise known as bi-polar disorder. In 1998, the first study results were released and published in the ‘Journal of Affective Disorders’, stating that individuals with lower than average levels of omega-3 fatty acids–found abundantly in fish oils–in their red blood cell membranes were prone to develop a depression condition or already suffer from a depressive disorder.An article following in 1999 by a group of medical doctors was published in the ‘Archives of General Psychiatry’, declared results they found in a controlled study group of 30 severely depressed individuals, which received omega-3 fatty acids via fish oils. More than 60 percent of individuals in the controlled group that received a mere 10 grams of the omega-3 rich fish oils marked a vast improvement when the 10 grams of fish oils were taken on a daily basis for a 4 month period. In other countries with higher fish consumption, due to fish being the main delicacy, it has also been found that those societies in whole have tremendously lower rates of depression overall, which also directly enables scientists to further accredit their study results. Also, in 2007 a study was conducted that included 10 clinical trials of individuals suffering from varying levels of depression, which studied the effects of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils, and the correlation between increased levels of fish oils and depression.The conclusion of the studies found that fish oils, which are polyunsaturated fats that can not be produced by the body naturally and are derived mainly from the consumption of sea foods, had a significant impact on decreasing depression symptoms and essentially the fish oils acted as an anti-depressant. Scientists and researchers alike are pushing for the natural, side-effect free fish oils to be used more widely in order to help treat or cure depression, which in turn will help alleviate other conditions that are often developed due to depressive conditions. Given the largely positive results from the years of research, it is widely concluded that the use of fish oils is imperative to proper bodily functions and the reduction or complete elimination of depression symptoms.How Fish Oils Decrease DepressionBiochemical researchers point out that cell membranes are all partially made up of omega-3 fatty acids, meaning the brain is made up of these omega-3 fatty acids, and the walls of neurons are also made up of the omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oils. As a matter of fact, researchers from Harvard’s McLean Hospital say that most of the brain’s dry weight is made up from fat. Fish oils contain essential fatty acids that are not found in our bodies naturally, and our bodies only receive the beneficial fish oils through our diets. Fish oils cannot be manufactured or synthetically created–it must be ingested from a natural source or a source created with the natural fish oil ingredients.If individuals increased their daily intake of the omega-3 fatty acids by consuming more essential omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oils–by taking pill supplements or adding fish to their diet 2 or 3 times per week–it would be made simpler for serotonin–the chemical that carries messages from one brain cell to another–to pass through cell membranes, which would regulate bodily functions and minimize or eliminate symptoms of depression conditions. Since omega-3 fatty acids–found in fish oils–directly affect serotonin levels in the brain, as well as change the way our bodies function, the use of fish oils is strongly recommended, and there have even been talks of prescribing the omega-3 rich fish oils along with medications such as Prozac.What Causes Low Levels of Omega-3 and Serotonin?Researchers have found through multiple studies over the years that, within the last several decades, changes in dietary habits–such as ridding diets of saturated fats and cholesterol, found in red meats or eggs–are contributors to increasing low levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in the body because the items cut from daily diets are rich sources of the omega-3 fatty acids. In today’s society, and with the many medial advancements and findings on cholesterol and hyper tension, doctors are increasingly counseling their patients to remove or reduce the amount of foods that once supplied them with the proper levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which were keeping serotonin levels in check.In order to alleviate high cholesterol or hyper tension, dietary changes may need to take place under the guidance of a physician, however, proper supplementation of the omega-3 fatty acids–found in fish oils–must also occur to retain proper levels of serotonin in order to prevent depressive disorders, mood swings, as well as the development of anxiety disorders. It is especially common in individuals that do not eat sea food, or are allergic to sea foods, to have lower than average levels of the essential omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. If consuming fish is a difficult task, it is recommended to find supplementation elsewhere, such as adding fish oil supplements via pill form in order to prevent dangerously low levels of serotonin, which may create a depression condition.Forms of Beneficial Fish Oil SupplementsThere are several different forms of fish oils that can be taken in order to receive the proper levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which keep your serotonin levels and depressive condition under control, and return balance back to your body. Sometimes, adding a real piece of fish to your daily diet will help start to restore the proper amount of omega-3 to your diet through the essential fish oils. However, not all fish are created equal and the amount of Omega 3 in each fish varies. It is also important to remember that consuming too much fish can lead to mercury poisoning due to toxins absorbed from our polluted oceans by the fish’s skin.To protect you from this, many health professionals advise getting the recommended dose of Omega 3 through ultra refined ultra high dose fish oil supplements. Companies selling these supplements filter out the impurities from the fish oil so people taking the capsules are ingesting only the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids and not harmful toxins such as mercury, lead, PCBs and other contaminants. Such supplements can be purchased for low or moderate costs online, at local vitamin stores, department stores, or health food stores. Since fish oils cannot be manufactured or synthetically created, all of the fish oil supplements available are made with natural fish oil ingredients.

How to Deal With Pregnancy Depression? – Depression

Many women suffer from pregnancy depression. Recent research shows that pregnancy hormones don’t protect a woman from depression. In fact, a sudden rise in hormonal levels can trigger depression. This is why pregnancy depression is not as rare as you many think. Many women go through the same, but they are often undiagnosed because they don’t always seek professional help or they believe the mood swings, anxiety and depression they experience are a normal part of pregnancy.Who is at Risk?All women can develop pregnancy depression, but there are some risk factors you might want to consider: History of depression: If you have a personal or family history of depression, you’re more likely to become depressed in pregnancy.
Problems with your pregnancy or previous pregnancies. If you experience problems in your current pregnancy or if you’ve had problems in your previous pregnancies, it’s more likely that you’ll become depressed.
Stress. Stressful events can trigger depression. It can be anything from death in the family, financial issues or problems in your relationship.
Other factors. Some of the other risk factors include: past history of abuse, being of a young age, being single, having an unplanned pregnancy or getting pregnant after a lot of trying or after a fertility treatment.Feeling DepressedIf you suspect you might be depressed, it’s important to accept it and work towards solving this problem. You may even take a pregnancy depression test online to see where you stand, but note that these tests are made for orientation only and can’t be taken as a real diagnosis or a medical opinion. It’s important to talk to someone about the way you feel. It can be a doctor or someone close to you, such as your partner or a friend. It’s important to get some help or a treatment to feel better. Remember: you deserve better than to feel depressed during pregnancy.After Pregnancy DepressionAfter pregnancy depression is called postpartum depression and it’s triggered by sudden hormonal changes. After you give birth, your hormone levels get back to normal very quickly, which can lead to depression. This condition is somewhat common and it’s not surprising. It’s also estimated that about half of women who suffer from pregnancy depression will experience postpartum depression.There are also some other factors which can lead to postpartum depression, such as difficult childbirth, feeling tired after delivery, lack of sleep, stress from changes in your daily routine because of the baby and more. One of the common complaints is doubting your mothering skills or having unusually high expectations of being a good mother.Just like depression during pregnancy, postpartum depression is treatable. You should seek medical help if these feelings stay for too long, but you should always have a support network that will help you go through this difficult time. Your partner, family members and friends should be there for you. They can help you with the baby and they can support you. It’s important for you to feel you have someone to trust. Another important thing is to always find some time for yourself, no matter how short it may be. This is a very good way of fighting against pregnancy depression and postpartum depression.

The Astounding Truth About Depression – What They Don’t Tell You! – Depression

Everyone experiencing depression will know that it is impossible to “think” a way out of the darkness. No matter how hard we try to understand depression we cannot lift the dark cloud hanging over our head. So what is depression really about? Why can’t we solve it or get rid of it as easy as a cold?Although we may feel like depression is the beginning of the darkness, it is not. The truth is this: Depression, in reality, is the end of the darkness. This may seem impossible to believe or contrary to what others say. So if this doesn’t make sense yet – that’s okay, keep reading.Life offers every individual a unique journey to learn and evolve. If we head off track on our journey, we are given opportunities to be naturally redirected. Depression is one natural indicator of how lost we have become. When we experience depression it is highly likely that we are being given a signal that something is not right in the way we are living life – it is like a “wake-up call”. It means an awakening is beginning inside. Although it may seem like the darkness is new, it is not. This is because for the majority of people experiencing depression life has always been dark. The difference now is that the awakening is making them aware of the darkness. The darkness has always been there – they just have not noticed it until now!When a person first becomes aware of the darkness, they feel scared, uncomfortable, isolated and hopeless. Naturally people with depression may want to get rid of these unwanted eerie feelings in the same way that one gets rid of a cold or flu. It is not that simple though as these feelings arise from a person’s whole being – their body, mind and spirit. The darkness is not a condition of the physical body or mind alone. The only way to find effective relief from depression is to enliven the whole being.By taking a “whole of being” approach to depression, it can be a gateway for transforming our life into an incredible journey of meaning and self-discovery. This involves doing a bit of self-work to tap into our inner power to transform the darkness into joy. Through some self-discovery we then start to understand how we got off track, what we want in life and what would give us a deeper sense of purpose and meaning.Often people with depression do not want to do the self-work as they simply want their life to return to how it used to be. This is impossible though because when the “the awakening” of the darkness begins there is no turning back. It is like trying to forget how to walk after you know how – you can’t unlearn awareness. That’s because life constantly moves us forward. The purpose of life is to learn, grow and evolve. Whether we like it or not, awareness of the darkness is there. Naturally we can take action to either “slow it down” or “speed it up” but we can never return to being blissfully unaware of living life in the dark again.If we truly want to come out of depression, we need to get back on track and undergo a whole of being transformation (often involving some physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformations or shifts in perspective). The best and most effective way to journey out of the darkness is to seek holistic guidance. This helps to put an end to the continual suffering, confusion, hopelessness and isolation. Holistic help includes activities for the body, mind and spirit – all three are equally important on this journey. These may include activities such as taking better care of our body; relaxing our mind and being more aware of our thoughts; connecting with the natural world around us; working out what we want in life; practising yoga, tai chi or another form of body-mind-spirit connection; meditating; and discovering the purpose of our life.At first the truth about depression may seem overwhelming for someone with depression as self-discovery may seem like a lot of effort and a slow fix. Permanent quick fixes for depression however are extremely rare. The journey out of depression is a gradual process of increased awareness and a shift in consciousness that will continue for an entire lifetime. It’s an amazing journey of spiritual evolution and freedom. As each individual’s journey in life is unique, there is no set path that must be followed to come out of depression. Some common elements that may be required however are: a strong desire to come out of depression; patience; willingness to do some self-study; and courage to take a new and unexplored path in life.Depression is not a dark mystery – it is the signal that a person is “awakening” and seeking real joy and meaning in life. This awakening is one of life’s biggest hurdles and a person experiencing depression has already courageously jumped that hurdle. A life of light is already beginning for them. With some holistic help, self-discovery and increased awareness, they can get back on track, reignite their inner Spirit and start creating a meaningful and joyous life.

I Knew S/he Was Crazy! Telltale Signs of Depression and Suicide in the African American Community – Depression

As a research scientist, I am asked what The Telltale Signs of Depression and Suicide are and befuddled, I say the usual, “search the web”! Since, I deal with diverse populations, many of the top search engines, especially health websites, are NOT always people of color’s “BFF’s”. When explaining to diverse groups about the symptoms of depression and suicide, there are plenty of “yes, buts” or “what ifs” that countermand adherence to medical directives. These actions still occur even when a Nobel Laureate physician wrote the major symptom section for the DSM-IV revised!I have personally witnessed on numerous diverse social media websites the grossly inaccurate information posted on them. I myself has been subject to ridicule and harassment. As a result, I am relaying and translating the societal and cultural nuances so that diverse laypeople all understand the key symptoms of depression and suicide. I am translating these symptoms for the African American community because I am African American and many people have come to me wondering if there is a way to identify these symptoms. Disturbingly, they may have lost a loved one to suicide and they wonder if there was anything more they could do to stop it. While reviewing top health websites for depression symptoms, I found there was a lack of cultural competency in explaining these symptoms. While it is clear that not ALL of these symptoms are seen in every case of depression or suicide, the key symptoms outlined in major online health websites do NOT translate with “any culturally nuanced depression symptoms”.At this time, I will not be listing what to do on how to manage these symptoms. I organized this “Translation Navigator” so that everyone is “on same page”. I mean no disrespect to those who understand this information, but seriously, looking at the mental health disparities, something MUST be done for the lack of cultural competence described in my symptom review. Anyone using this information is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be used as a diagnostic. Moreover, it can complement a professionally licensed health care provider’s directive, but it does not supplant or supersede any treatment plan by a licensed provider. Nor does it counteract against the written referenced material.The Translator/NavigatorCulturally Competent Telltale Signs for Depression in the African Americans

The inability to concentrate often resembles forgetfulness This symptom occurs almost everyday and people who are depressed often forget important tasks, like missing due dates for bills, or forgetting to call key people like doctors. It is not the casual forgetfulness of losing keys or dementia like getting lost, or even Alzheimer’s, which is VERY different! This forgetfulness is after a profound conversation/argument with the depressed person, and s/he STILL forgets to pay the cable bill!

Being fatigued or decreased energy If the depressed person goes to church Sunday at 11:00 AM, and then stops suddenly, to which s/he complains of fatigue or “I’m tired”, when they did nothing physically strenuous, then it probably a depression. It is the dramatic shift in routine over a month.

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness These symptoms lack articulation by diverse depressed individuals. Moreover men do not discuss these feeling freely. If men say anything, it resembles blame on any perceivable target-usually the caregiver! Depressed women complain, whine, and then blame. Shortly, I will explain later how that resembles in diverse communities.

Hopelessness and/or pessimism Depressed individuals often have “sarcastic commentary” that teenagers are more than happy to provide whenever anybody makes comments. For example, when the caregiver says, “Let’s go to the Beach, it is a nice sunny day!”, a depressed individual would retort, “Why? To get burned by the sun!!!”

Insomnia or excessive sleeping: I have not noticed diverse depressed individuals to be unable to sleep unless they have an anxiety/PTSD or a mania, but I have seen sleeping all day for several days without being sick, or having that dark room, because light hurts. Depressed individuals often choose that darkened room during a sunny day rather than enjoying the outdoors–an active choice that is made.

Irritability or restlessness: Irritability often looks like whining and snapping at whatever is said. A caregiver could just say “BOO” and the depressed person combined with the feeling of guilt would bite the caregiver’s head off for saying it. The restlessness is often combined with the forgetfulness. Watch when they cook. Request the depressed person to make lemonade from powder and s/he will get flustered by making a simple recipe. And remember, the behavior is not random; it is consistent over a month or two.

Lost of interest in activities once pleasurable, includes sex: This symptom is combined with the forgetfulness, fatigue, guilt, pessimism and excessive sleepiness symptoms. It could be any activity that the depressed person enjoys often as a tradition or ritual, and for some unknown reasons it is suddenly dropped! An example is, with the “holidays approaching” the depressed loved one for no reason, refuses to participate in an activity once thoroughly enjoyed. It is not because s/he has a new life situation, but the excuse is that s/he does not want to do it and is likely to berates it. Remember, the behavior is consistent over a few weeks and is not completely random!

Changes in eating behavior: What a depressed individual does is overeat a lot of carbohydrates (carbs, sugars, etc.): breads, cakes, chocolates, candies and sugar! Apparently, the medical aspects of depression feeds off of glucose in the brain, the full mechanism is unknown. Moreover, the meal is one time of day–all day and does not stop until sleep! Alternatively, what a depressed person looks like when his/her appetite is lost, s/he has failed to shop for grocery and all that is left is something indistinguishable, often the depressed person is living off of something bizarre like gum or rationalizes vitamin supplements as nutrition. Most of the symptoms mesh with each other, so this one is combined with forgetfulness, inability making decisions, helplessness and hopelessness. Moreover starvation through dieting can cause the insomnia…

Persistent malaise: A depressed person complains all the time about physical issues and when s/he chooses to see a primary care physician, only the immediate aches and pains are treated with drugs rather than the psychotropic medications due to health treatment limitations and standards of care. Meaning, if there is no adherence to these drugs, why force the patient to take them? Laboratory tests and manifestations cannot convince the depressed person of his/her ailment is depression. Remember this is another symptom that meshes itself with other symptoms, so if this one symptom is seen, then it is likely that others will be seen…

Persistent negative thoughts: A depressed person says as a complaint or whine that “nobody likes them” or any absolute statements: NEVER, ALWAYS, and NOBODY. Often seen as a judgment with accusations: i.e. “You should’s” and “You must’s” and “everybody’s”. The empty feelings look like a comatose person-especially when asked a simple question like “How are you going today”? The depressed person will respond with a shrug or say “I don’t know” on a consistent basis. Remember, this type of symptom is meshed with the other ones. This symptom is a “trigger” symptom or a “red flag” symptom, meaning when you start hearing them frequently, more than 3 times overall, this is the time when the caregiver’s antenna needs to be raised and attempt to get professionally licensed help!!!

Thoughts of suicide: I cannot emphasize this statement any stronger: when this comment is made, it needs to be taken seriously! Whether or not there is a plan: DO NOT TAKE THIS COMMENT LIGHTLY! DO NOT DISCOUNT IT! By the time, the depressed person vocalizes it, s/he has actually intensely rationalized it and has given serious thoughts about it, and now they are beginning to venture out really to get help on it! PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO UNDERSTAND THIS SYMPTOM OR TALK THEM OUT OF IT! PLEASE GET THEM TO PSYCHIATRIC CARE!!! This key symptom is the neurophysiological course of the depression disease. Literally, the brain is damaging itself due to the aforementioned symptoms. It is thought that all the symptoms meshed together overload the system and crashes the “logic centers” of the brain–somewhat like a computer hard drive crashing. But in this case the other organs actually attempting to save the body at the same time: such as the heart, the muscles, the stomach, the liver and the kidneys, plus many more. The organs try to override this “cerebral self-destruct” button. Remember, this behavior is not always night and day, or random, but it does not lessen the impact, please watch this behavior closely.
So please permit me to use some creative license and combine some of the warning signs to suicide that I have translated into culturally competent text from major online health websites:There are some key symptoms that caregivers MUST watch and be vigilant with someone suffering from depression, especially as it relates to suicide! I cannot stress this enough the depressed individual is NOT about him/her being crazy or funny, this is about him/her suffering from a major medical neurophysiological disease like any other illness and requires professionally licensed care and treatment. Moreover, these are the telltale signs: These are the signs used when one does NOT want to say “if I could have done anything differently…” The way to think about this is the splinter in the tiger. The tiger by itself is a man eating animal, but when there is a splinter in the paw, the tiger writhes in pain and while you might think “it is not a big deal”, because it is a man-eating tiger and usually it will kill itself or gnaw off its paw off to minimize the pain. If someone removes the splinter, it is thought the tiger is grateful and remembers that person always. Loving a depressed individual, like that splintered tiger, is perilous and as a caregiver it takes a team to support that individual, which a licensed provider must be consulted. Unfortunately, hospitalization cannot be enforced upon any unwilling mentally ill person who has not committed a crime or threat. However, a caregiver, can learn about the basic suicide symptoms described below:

Suddenly switching from very sad (depressed) to calm/appearing happy or tranquil: While obviously stated, this symptom often this looks like the depressed person has found “resolution” to his/her problem. Unfortunately it is committing suicide… Like a wrong answer game show buzzer–EHHHN–this inaccurate conclusion erroneously looks like a calm in the suicidal ideation depressed individual. One way to confirm one’s thoughts are to ASK what his/her wants are. This is a question of autonomy, because it determines if a definitive decision has been made. If s/he has a formal plan with times and dates, get professionally licensed help immediately or call 9-1-1!

Always talking and writing about death: Listed as dressing in “Gothic paraphernalia”, like always wearing black like a vampire… Seriously, this is probably the most egregious example of culturally incompetence I have seen in regards to understanding suicidal ideation and symptoms. To make this symptom culturally competent for African Americans, this often resembles when young people attempt to look like or live like “gangsters” or “thugs”, with the guns, paraphernalia, and listening to “profane gangsta rap” or “thuggish” music and actually believing the lyrics are real. And the discussion looks like dark and dreary kinds of lifestyle, such as robbing people, misogyny, prostitution, and prison life, etc. This symptom meshes with another symptom as described later.

Having a “death wish”–taking unnecessary risks: such as running red lights… This symptom is another egregious example of missing the social determinants of health and the mental health disparity in diverse communities. In the African American community, especially for young men, running red lights is deadly in the United States, so that would not be something we would see often. The risk factors taken would probably be carrying a gun into a club as to protect oneself as an “unnecessary risk”. The death wishes we have is getting involved in very dangerous activities known to ruin one’s life and are self-destructive–which leads us to our next symptom

Substance abuse: Alcohol is a depressant, and some illegal substances, like marijuana and methamphetamine make irrational thoughts worse. Many people in our community abuse substances to self-medicate for their depression. It is a self-destructive habit. This is probably one of the single elements that is seen more in the African American community than others. The symptom looks over and beyond the normal consumption of these substances–a functional alcoholic or smoker, etc. And substance abuse treatment differs from depression treatment, while the two are intertwined inexplicably, first the addiction is treated then the mental health issue. More often than not most substance abusers RARELY get treated for their mental health issues.

Acting impulsively: Acting impulsively is doing something without thinking about it and letting the chips fall where they land–meaning if the depressed person dies, that will be where the chips landed… The depression symptoms are meshed with this suicide warning sign, such as guilt and hopelessness. It is reckless. One possibility is once they get that gun, what more will they do–such as robbery, going along with the violent crowd, rioting, killing people. The mentality is the suicidal person with erroneously thing that they have to see the end of this bad course of action.

Poor performance in school and work: Young people often have failing grades and it is known they are able to do the work. For adults, it accounts for massive sick days and absenteeism from work, lack of follow through on projects and missed deadlines. There may be some hostilities between the depressed loved one and co-workers. The depression symptoms seen meshed with this suicide warning sign are lack of concentration, fatigue and excessive sleeping.There may be others.

Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, writing/changing a will, giving away prized possessions: So many depressed African Americans feel they do not have anything, so changing wills is infrequent occurrence. This suicide warning sign resembles vandalism or destruction of property. The depressed person’s thinking is “Since I have nothing to lose (hopelessness) and everyone thinks I am worthless (guilt, worthlessness), I will vandalize this property by graffiti or I will destroy this property by stealing/thievery of key items”. What makes this illogical thinking occur in a depressed person is putting the affairs in order or tying up loose ends… This a suicidal warning sign shows the welcomed risk of arrest! As usual, this symptom travels with other depression symptoms as well as other suicidal warning signs like substance abuse or a death wish.

Feeling strong anger or rage: It has been told to me that depression is anger turned in on one’s self. The anger people have is due to unresolved hurts and pains or experiencing what is perceived as a traumatic event. Some people casually say, “This is what is called life, deal with it”! Saying this statement to a depressed person is an abusive, insensitive, destructive and harmful comment, because it will tip them over from thinking about suicide to actually committing suicide. The heartless comment often is misconstrued by a depressed person who is already having inaccurate absolute conclusions and this comment causes the person who cannot articulate in his/her feelings to verify his/her self-worth through the “depression and suicidal lenses”. What is seen is either the first suicidal warning sign of “listlessness” or “empty” feelings or an anger/rage unloading, often with crying. What causes this anger? I have a blog on anger as it is written from my bipolar POV at Crazy Black Woman
Remember, it should be noted that some people who commit suicide do not show ANY warning signs. So, loved ones may still feel, “I knew s/he was crazy, but…” And if caregiver’s actively see these symptoms and want to help him/her, judgment does not help them either! What is optimal is professionally licensed care and treatment! A few pastors have qualifications for mental health care treatment. If a pastor says that ONLY prayer or telling one to just be saved cures mental health, that is HOLY UNETHICAL!Many professionally licensed providers lack cultural sensitivity and could look “crazy” to you! Finding the what works for you is a personal choice. The key is to ask MANY DIRECT QUESTIONS, learn to navigate the mental health care system, and implement mental health and wellness goals! If that is of interest to you as a “diverse woman”, please feel free to join us at SistahMentalHealth dot com and start your PQ Interest Questionnaire TODAY!

Depression – Simple Tips to Beat the Blues – Depression

If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone.Depression affects many people at some time in their life, with some of us going through periods of depression that can lift after a very short time, while for others, it can be ingoing for many years.Whichever category you fall into, here are some simple tips to help you manage your depression.Depression – What is it?Depression is best identified as feeling in a low mood. It may not stop you leading a normal life, but things may seem less worthwhile.Most of us will admit to feeling depressed from time to time and this is perfectly normal.Depression becomes a problem when it interferes with your day to day activities.What Causes Depression?Depression may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain or can be triggered by significant life events including:-o Bereavemento A traumatic experience, such as rape or physical attacko Childhood eventso Illnesso Frequent use of recreational drugsHow Do I Know if I am Depressed?Symptoms of depression may include:-o Preoccupation with negative thoughtso Difficulty in concentratingo Feeling in a low mood most of the timeo Feelings of numbness, emptiness or despairo Low self-esteemo Lack of sex driveo Lack of confidenceo Pessimistic view of the futureThis is no a definitive list and you may experience all or some of these symptoms.You may also notice changes in your sleeping pattern, your eating habits, or there may be a rise in your alcohol or tobacco consumption.Depression – Helping YourselfKnowledge is power. The more you learn about depression, the better equipped you will be to deal with it.Go to the library, do some research on the internet or join a self-help group where you can gather information about depression and the treatments available.Being aware of the choices available to you will help you to make an informed choice about treatment if you need to seek help from your healthcare provider.Whereas many of us may experience bouts of mild depression or low mood, clinical depression is a serious medical condition and if you have been experiencing symptoms described above for some time you should seek medical help as soon as possible.Depression – Don’t Suffer in SilenceWhile clinical depression is a serious illness, it can be treated and you do not need to feel ashamed, embarrassed or suffer in silence.Some people allow depression to go untreated for years but clinical depression will not disappear by itself.
Professional help may include a course of antidepressants together with some counseling.Depression – Help YourselfHelplessness is a feeling often experienced by people with depression.Together with professional help try and help yourself.o Stay focused – depression can feed on itself and you can find yourself trapped in a vicious circle of negative thoughts that it seems impossible to get out of. Focus on positive thought and the positive things in your life. If you can’t think of any, think of a positive goal you would like to achieve.o Avoid your own company – depression feeds on loneliness. Try and break the hold that depression has on you. Join a club or self-help group where you can talk to people who have successfully overcome depression.o Do something worthwhile. Keeping yourself busy will give you less time to dwell on pessimistic thoughts. Take up a hobby or why not join a gym. Regular exercise will have a mental and physical impact on your wellbeing.o Let go of the past. Many of us make the mistake of hanging on to past hurts and this too can cause depression. If there are things in your life that have caused you upset, past grudges, guilt or anger, perhaps it is time to let go.Depression is not an easy thing to overcome but it can be done, all you have to do is make he decision to make a change.

Important Tools to Fight Depression – The Proactive Way to Achieve Happiness – Depression

So you missed the flight and got lost on the way home! Or maybe you just got ditched by your long term companion! An exam did not go through as well as you thought. Some one close suddenly passed away! For a substantial number of people, these are some of the many reasons that can set up a cascade of thoughts leading to depression. Whatever the reason that started it, once you are in the “loop” you just feel inclined to think of the few most depressing aspects of your life! Some people are born resilient and can easily overcome this. For most others however it leads to a few days or even weeks of self loathing and regret.But depression can be objectively analysed and self healed. It does not take a lot to control your mind to be free from depression. Even in the worst of circumstances, a clear thinking mind is of more value than a mind that is depressed and afraid to act. So how can depression be beaten on its own turf? How can you play the game of cat and mouse with depression and come out winning every time? What are the thought processes that make a resilient mind?Rule No. 1: Treat depression as a person and not as a thought!Depression is a process in your brain. In fact when you are depressed you are an altered version of your self. Whatever may have started the cycle of depression – at the lowest point you are the same “altered” image of your self. Once you realize this you can treat the battle with depression as a battle with your altered self. This “other person” has a set of characteristics – that you already know of! So when you are depressed write down your behavioral pattern some where in bulleted text – to make your mind remember this “other self” completely.Rule No. 2: Start making a list of normal day to day activities that you hate doing when you are depressed and then try to do them without emotion!We all do certain things when we are depressed, and are loathe to do certain other things when we are sad. These activities which irk you during a depression – are actually the key to beating depression. That is because it will not take much on your part to learn to do these activities objectively and without emotion. Try doing these activities when you are normal, but do them mechanically – Step 1, Step 2, Step 3…etc. Break up these activities into steps and just follow the routine! Once this can be achieved (even for a couple of such tasks) – you can do them just when you are starting to get depressed. This sets up a reverse feedback loop. You are proactively using the cues from your depression to convince your own mind – that you are not depressed!Rule no. 3: Understand that your happiest thoughts are equal to your most depressed thoughts, and that all your thoughts are equal to just a handful of processes in an organic machine!This usually is the most difficult thing to achieve for most depressed souls. Since depression makes you more emotional – logical reasoning usually fails. But the key here is not to start this process of logic when you are depressed, but rather when you are happy! So when you are your happiest self – just pause for a moment and verbally say aloud (quietly if you want it to be private – but do say it ) – “I am extremely happy but I understand that this is a chain of thoughts in my brain. I want this chain of thought to exist in my brain always. I want to cultivate this way of thinking”. After you are able to remember and do this successfully every time that your are happy, start using this method to fight depression. Whenever you get depressed say: “I am very sad but I understand that this is a chain of thoughts in my brain. I do not want to think this way. I will try my best to think in the way that makes me feel the happiest.”Rule no. 4: Choose an arbitrary new activity if you find yourself going into the loop.When you are depressed, trying to do things that make you feel good land up feeling hollow and eventually these activities may completely fail to provide joy – even on the days that your are not depressed. That is because once you do it while you are depressed a sad feeling gets associated with the activity. This leads to new connections in your brain – which may in fact make the activity less desirable in the future! The best solution to this – use an arbitrary activity to distract yourself. Borrow your friends guitar and strum it – even if you have hardly ever touched a guitar all you life! Try to cook something – even if you do not know a single recipe! Jog to the mall! Buy a leather whip and beat a wall! Do something that you can do discreetly and without looking like a fool – and yet is completely different from your usual activities. This will distract your mind and prevent it from turning into your “other self”.Rule no. 5: Verbalize, write down and analyse your depressive thoughts, and then fight them when your are stronger.When you are most depressed – use some of your time to write down the things that are making you depressed and why you are feeling the regret and unhappiness. Afterward when you are your most energetic self and feeling happy – pit your mind against those depressive thoughts. This is often the most abhorred step and yet is the most beneficial. There is a slim chance that looking at your depressed thoughts can make you a little “less” happy, but the very fact that you decided to take the fight to your altered depressed self, makes it more likely that you will not falter the next time this “other person” is trying to get a grip over you. Keep repeating the word “ridiculous” as you read through your list of reasons for your depression! It is like training your mind for the battle – so the next time you are much stronger on the battlefield!These are some of the important tools to fight depression in a proactive manner. This is not superficial advice which makes you feel good as you read it. That is in fact the job of the therapist. No! These are tools to reach the remedy and not the remedy it self. This advice is for you – if you want to teach yourself the method to beat depression. Use them to slowly gain confidence and when you are “ready”, you feel lighter at your whim – in the worst of circumstance!