Mood Disorders

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    I signed up!

    Pathways to Wellness in MS is this Thursday afternoon. The sign-up form was easy. It sounds like a really good Zoom by the MS Society that will cover all kind of topics affecting us:

    February 9 virtual program, Pathways to Wellness in MS: emotional, social and spiritual wellness. A free interactive virtual program for everyone affected by MS. You'll learn about mood disorders and stress management, how connections to nature religion or mindfulness can positively impact your life and develop strategies to strengthen relationships at home, work and in your community.

    To Reguster:

    #PathwaysToWellness #MultipleSclerosis #Support #newlydiagnosed #MightyTogether #ChronicIllness #Depression #Disabilities #Caregiving #Disability

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    I may look healthy enough, but I have wounds and scars you can't see. When I warn people of my "issues", they look at me and dismiss or minimize them. They think because I look healthy that they can't be all that bad. That is because to the naked eye, they are invisible. When people encounter me and I begin to value our interactions and relationships, that's when my invisible "issues" become visible. That is when they realize that what I warned them about is true. That is when they begin to distance themselves from me. And, eventually, that is when they walk away from me. Unfortunately this compounds my "issues" and causes them to become even more debilitating. It reopens wounds and continues a cycle of victimization, thus making me "sicker". This is the nature of my invisible trauma which, after repeated cycles, has morphed into mood disorders and finally a personality disorder. It has gone from me having "mental issues" to a complicated mental illness. Just because you can't see my wounds, scars, trauma, and illness, it doesn't mean they aren't there. It's time we put faces to these illnesses so that others can see that not all illnesses are readily apparent. Perhaps then we can change the perspective of what mental illness really looks like. #MentalHealth #MentalIllness #Trauma #wounds #Scars #invisible #InvisibleIllness

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    I am not a look, am a feeling

    The third time I went for my routine checkup, my therapist suggested a couple of books and music, one of them being: “Finding Balance In Bipolar” Ellen Forney, this drove me closer to Ellen Forney. I started listening to her interviews, paying attention to her arts, talks, visiting her social handles frequently etc. and that’s how I learnt how to conquer my demons in this manic stage. I started creating; I realized the maniac stage gave me power to be the best I’ve never been. I was high on creativity. …

    In her intensely personal, funny, and inspiring presentation, Understanding Bipolar through Comics, Ellen Forney discusses her firsthand experience and creative work on struggling, coping, and thriving with bipolar disorder. Integrating images from her New York Times bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, and its companion book, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life, a manual for maintaining mental health, she offers company, encouragement, and coping tools that anyone, with or without a mental illness diagnosis, can use to stay on an even keel.

    Following her helped me to find balance in my dark days, when I couldn’t go for therapy sessions I could listen, read her materials and find peace.

    Through her, I found courage to share my darkest journey of mental illness with refreshing honesty, humor, and authentic detail, to also help anyone who is fortunate to hear me.

    When the doctor told me, I am expressing maniac disorder, I was new to all this, But Ellen offered firsthand experience and shared in-depth. She made me feel less isolated, and it is okay to speak out.

    When I fell into a crushing depression a few months after starting to record DD’2, I realized that no matter what happened to my art (my passion, my livelihood, my identity), my survival depended on stability. Desperate, I succumbed, and set out into the dark, tangled forest of meds, blood draws, side effects, and big learning curves. It was dark. After a years-long arc of frustrations and triumphs, recorded in stacks of sketchbooks and journals, I found a tentative stability that became increasingly reliable. I wanted to make sense of that overwhelming tangled mess, and I turned to my art to shape my experience into a bunch of tracks.

    I’d never felt so much pressure on myself to get a story right. I needed that for my own psyche, but I also wanted to offer my story up to whoever might find something useful in it. I wanted to give a specific tool to anyone undergoing the same situation I was in. I’m a survivor in progress.

    After long talks with family, friends, and doing research, I wanted to offer myself as a scientific case study correlating mood disorders and creativity. I wanted to transform my negative experience into something positive. I wanted my thoughts to be pure and honest, I was expressing different moods when I was writing and recording, I wanted a good tape.

    In December 2021, I turned in doing few collections of my art: It was a strange feeling: a combination of exhaustion, excitement and tremendous anxiety. I’d always been quiet about my experience with bipolar disorder. What would happen when people found out? Would I be forever dismissed as crazy, untrustworthy? Would people be shocked? Would it be worse if they weren’t? Insecurities of should I stick to one theme or go raw just I always do, I guess art speaks best when you’re venerable.

    I learned something huge from putting my story out in the world: as I’d hoped, people told me I was giving them company, but I was given so much company, too. I was not a weirdo bipolar artist specimen. Strangers, friends, listeners, even interviewers would more often than not (I mean that) disclose their own personal experience with mental illness: their own diagnosis, their family history, their friend’s suicide, their son’s struggle. I didn’t know — couldn’t have known — how many chords my story could strike, or how many people were ready to be given an opportunity to come out.

    My own, originally unexpected conclusion about being a crazy artist is that stability is good for my art. Mania was too distracting to get much work done and depression was too stifling. My current meds don’t pin me down, and a healthy lifestyle of regular sleep and good nutrition doesn’t rob me of my creativity.

    Stability is relative — I’ll always live with bipolar disorder, and I’ll always need to deal with that.

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    How to Boost Serotonin Naturally Through Diet

    Part 1 of 2 Serotonin is a type of chemical called a neurotransmitter that is thought to stabilize mood and improve sleep. A deficiency of serotonin in the brain can cause depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Since the 1960s, when the link between serotonin deficiency and depression was identified, the treatment of mood disorders has centered around influencing the serotonergic pathways in the brain using medications. These antidepressant medications, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), treat depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, freeing it to facilitate messages between neurons.

    Symptoms of Low Serotonin Levels
    ·       Mood instability:

    Serotonin is thought to regulate and enhance mood. At normal levels, serotonin induces feelings of happiness, calmness, emotional stability, and focus. Therefore, mood fluctuations and irritability are common symptoms of serotonin deficiency.

    ·       Depression and anxiety:

    Serotonin is recognized as the “feel-good hormone”; as such, feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and even suicide can be linked to low serotonin levels.

    ·       Sleep disturbances:

    Serotonin is the chemical precursor to melatonin, the night hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycles and lets our body know it’s time to sleep. Therefore, serotonin deficiency is associated with low-quality sleep and insomnia.

    ·       Chronic fatigue: Low serotonin is associated with fatigue due to its impact on sleep, energy, lethargy, and lack of motivation.

    ·       Changes in attention and memory:  A 2018 study discovered that the serotonin receptor CA1 is involved in memory formation. Therefore, changes in cognitive functions like learning, memory, and attention can be explained by a drop in serotonin levels.

    ·       Gastrointestinal (digestive) complaints: Approximately 95% of serotonin is released into the gut and serotonin is involved in regulating bowel movement. Your digestive system increases serotonin levels to help eliminate any harmful or unpleasant substances you may have ingested by inducing diarrhea. Serotonin also signals the part of your brain that stimulates nausea. Moreover, serotonin is the molecule implicated in irritable bowel syndrome and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, which is why serotonin receptor antagonists were originally developed for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

    Why look for natural ways to boost

    Some people with low serotonin levels may require pharmaceutical intervention in the form of antidepressants or other medications. However, many people may not be candidates for this type of treatment due to several reasons, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, age, alcohol use, involvement in occupations that require operating machinery or driving, the use of St. John’s Wort, access to treatment, cost of medications, and personal choice. For these people, it is important to find natural ways backed by strong scientific evidence to enhance serotonin. Diet and mood are inextricably linked, and many researchers have examined this association in detail.

    Scientifically Proven Ways to Boost Your Serotonin Through Diet
    Serotonin is produced from the essential amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan deficiency can lead to decreased serotonin, which can cause mood dysregulation. This amino acid is introduced into the body through diet in protein-based foods and dietary proteins like meats, dairy, fruits, and seeds. The estimated daily dietary requirement of tryptophan is 5mg/kg/day. Foods that contain high tryptophan are eggs, milk, meat, soybean, potatoes, cereal, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, kiwi fruit, plums, bananas, walnuts, fish, seafood, and tomatoes. Meals with higher carbohydrate-to-protein ratios have also been found to increase tryptophan levels, which in turn enhance serotonin levels. Although carbohydrates themselves do not contain tryptophan, their consumption triggers the release of insulin, which encourages the peripheral uptake of other amino acids that compete with tryptophan for the same route across the blood brain barrier. This enables tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier with much less competition. The best way to take advantage of both the naturally occurring tryptophan in proteins and the insulin-stimulating effect of carbohydrates is to appropriately time your protein and carbohydrate intake.

    First, eat a protein-rich meal (such as eggs, beef, fish, or turkey) to ensure an adequate supply of tryptophan. Then, allow some time to lapse (so tryptophan can travel to the receptors) before consuming carbohydrates, which will promote the secretion of insulin. Simple carbohydrates like fruits, sweets, and refined grains (e.g., bagels, chips, crackers) give you a short (~2 hours) but quick se

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    Be Inspired #wedogetbetter #dreammchaser #Recovery #MentalHealth #MoodDisorders

    Write a poem, sing a song, light a candle, the list goes on… fill your time when things that matter…

    Read a book, take a shower, take a nap for half an hour.. Or two or three.. if that’s what you nee…d…

    Let go of what binds you… seek the things that find you…

    Follow your passion, follow your dream, chase after things even if it don’t seem… to be rational by the things humans say… sometimes it’s not exactly logical to find your own way…

    Test the unknown… find the unseen… and BE INSPIRED

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    Overlapping Autistic and BPD Traits

    Sensitivity to Abandonment

    Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is common among Autists and Adhders. Rejection sensitivity is an intense sensitivity to rejection or perceived rejection. People with RSD often go to great lengths to avoid situations that cause them to feel rejected. They also have strong reactions when they perceive themselves as being rejected.

    A Diffuse Sense of Self

    A diffuse sense of self. A core feature of BPD is a “diffuse sense of self” or lack of “self-identity,” often resulting from early childhood development/trauma. High-masking autists, who learn to socialize through copying/becoming chameleons, often lack a true social identity

    Chronic Feelings of Emptiness

    These feelings are commonly reported among high-masking autistics. This likely is related to diffuse identity due to social masking. Many autists also experience a sense of emptiness during burnout and when not actively engaged in a task

    Social Difficulties

    Social interactions & maintaining long-term relationships can be challenging for both groups. However, the core reasons behind difficulty often have different origins and must be considered.

    Emotional Dysregulation

    Emotional dysregulation is a core feature of BPD. Autists also struggle with emotional dysregulation due to the autistic brain wiring/chemistry. Sensory overload and sensory meltdowns can also lead to emotional dysregulation

    Depersonalization and Derealization

    Depersonalization involves the sensation that a person’s body/self is unreal or altered in a strange way.

    Derealization involves the experience of the external world being bizarre, unreal, or dream-like.

    Insecure Attachment Style

    BPD is characterized by an insecure attachment style (typically anxious/preoccupied)

    Autistic people often experience insecure attachments. Autistic people are more likely to have an avoidant attachment style: One study found a higher rate of avoidant attachment styles among Autistic individuals. No association was found between anxious attachment and autistic traits

    Eating Disorders

    Both have a high % of eating disorders (may function as a method of self-soothing/gaining a sense of control)

    One study found that 53.8% of people with BPD met the criteria for an Eating Disorder (21.7% anorexia nervosa and 24.1% bulimia nervosa) (Salters-Pedneault).

    While the rates vary, most researchers agree that about 23% of people diagnosed with anorexia nervosa are Autistic. However, it is likely an underrepresentation due to the fact Autism often goes undiagnosed within this population

    Co-occurring Mood Disorders

    Both groups have an elevated risk of having co-occurring mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

    According to one study, 79% of Autists met the criteria for a co-occurring psychiatric tradition at least once in their life (Lever and Geurts).

    Major depressive disorder and PTSD commonly co-occur with BPD. One study reported 83% of those with BPD would meet the criteria for Major Depression at least once in their life

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    Dr Lachlan Soper Sharing Healthy Habits to Live Longer and Better

    Although we can’t control how long we live for, there are many healthy habits we can form to encourage a healthier and longer life. These habits can also improve the quality of life while encouraging longevity. While it’s easier to fall into bad habits that can affect our health, it’s so much better for the mind, body, and soul to be nourished every day. Follow these healthy habits to live longer and better:

    Regular Physical Activity

    It should come as no surprise that exercise is a great habit to form to live a healthy lifestyle. But just the simple act of moving every day, even if just a little, can massively improve your health and wellness. If you’re not up for hitting the gym every day or lifting weights, start off slow by making it a habit to take a stroll around the neighbourhood. If you’re feeling up for a little more, take a lazy jog for a kilometre or two.

    By moving every day and engaging in some form of exercise, you can reduce your risk of age-related diseases such as certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. A healthy amount of exercise can also strengthen bones, muscles, and boost overall life expectancy. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, which is recommended by the CDC.

    Eat a Balanced Diet

    This habit should also come as no surprise. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can have a huge impact on the quality and longevity of your life. By eating well, you can keep your weight and body fat down while also giving your body the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs.

    A healthy diet should include dark leafy greens, starchy and non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, and calcium. Ideally consume two fruit and five vegetables most days. To get in a full range of vitamins and minerals, try to choose a range of colours for your fruit and vegetables. Try to also get your protein from lean meats. Plant sources of protein like nuts and beans can also have a great influence on helping you to live healthier and longer.

    Have a Regular Sleep Schedule

    To live a long and happy life, sleep is essential. Having a regular sleep schedule (sleep-wake cycle) will affect your body’s overall functioning. If you have an inadequate sleep schedule, you run the risk of serious health conditions such as hypertension, inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders (like depression and anxiety) and obesity. These risks contribute to a shorter lifespan, which is why a regular sleep schedule is important for longer life expectancy. Ideally go to bed and rise at the same time every single day (including weekends). Even if the bed time shifts a little, ideally the waking time should remain the same time every day.

    A healthy amount of sleep for an adult is at least 7&½ to 8 hours of sleep.

    #healthylving #Health #Advice

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