Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here. Written by a bipolar person themselves.

Posts tagged ‘help’

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Essential Oils for Grief

Essential Oils for Grief

“Essential oils can provide a great sense of support and relief when we are grieving. Despite what some may think there is not an oil that works for all grief and for everyone.”





 

“Grief is something that we all experience at one time or another. It seems that the words loss and grief are tied together. Grief has many faces. Loss of a loved one, loss of a pet, loss of a friendship, loss of a relationship, loss of a job… actually loss of anything that is important to you.”

“When we are in grief we usually feel it in our heart, and so it makes sense that the chakra that is most affected is the heart chakra. We hear people say my heart hurts, my heart has been ripped open, my heart is empty.”

“Essential oils can provide a great sense of support and relief when we are grieving. Despite what some may think there is not an oil that works for all grief and for everyone.”

“The first thing to do is to look at the cause of the grief. Grief over loss of a mother is quite different than loss over a job. So we always look at the vibrational relationship for the grief when choosing essential oils to help.”

Source: Grief Essential Oils

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10 Tips To Upgrade Your Sex Life (That Actually Work) — Thought Catalog

Christopher CampbellAs a Certified Sex Therapist, I work with individuals and couples in therapy. I have worked with people who have been dating a few months, to couples who have been married for 50 years. I have heard it all; people who have low libido to people who are aroused by taboo fantasies. As much as I…

via 10 Tips To Upgrade Your Sex Life (That Actually Work) — Thought Catalog

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Biggest Barriers in Bipolar Disorder 

  

  • “People with bipolar disorder can face many challenges — from the illness’s fluctuating feelings to its destructive effects on relationships. Below, two experts reveal some of the biggest obstacles and offer strategies to overcome them.”

1. Challenge: Uncontrollability

““Bipolar disorder can feel uncontrollable,” according to Sheri L. Johnson, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley and director of the Cal Mania (CALM) Program. Symptoms, such as mood changes, can seem to appear suddenly and without provocation. And they can diminish daily functioning and ruin relationships, said Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, a psychotherapist and author of The DBT Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder.”
  
Strategies: “While bipolar disorder can seem unpredictable, there are often patterns and triggers you can watch out for. And even if you can’t prevent symptoms, you can minimize and manage them.”

  
“One way to monitor changes is to keep a mood chart, Van Dijk said. Depending on which chart you use, you can record everything from your mood to the number of hours you slept, your anxiety level, medication compliance and menstrual cycle, she said. (This is a good chart, she said.) For instance, you can anticipate a potential depressive episode if you see that your mood has been progressively sinking in the last few days, Van Dijk said.”

  
“Practicing healthy habits is an effective way to lessen the hold emotions have on you. Make it a priority to get enough sleep, going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time, Van Dijk said. Create a calm bedtime routine, avoid substances such as alcohol – which disrupts sleep – and don’t exercise in the evenings, said Johnson, also co-author of Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed.”
  
“Sleep deprivation can trigger mania, and “it makes you more susceptible to being controlled by your emotions, such as irritability,” Van Dijk said. On the other hand, sleeping too much can cause lethargy and also reduce your ability to manage emotions, she said.”

  
“Exercise helps to reduce depressive symptoms. Eliminating caffeine can reduce irritability and anxiety and improve sleep, Van Dijk said. She suggested cutting out caffeine for two weeks and paying attention to any changes. Some people also find that certain foods exacerbate their mood swings. You can check by cutting out specific foods from your diet, and watching the results, she said.”

“You also can use a variety of strategies to stave off the negative consequences from your symptoms. For instance, if impulsive spending is a problem, gain control by having a low limit on your credit cards, Johnson said. When you’re experiencing early signs of mania, have someone else hold onto your checks and cards, Johnson said. If you do overspend, return your purchases, she said. You can even ask a friend to go with you, she added.”

2. Challenge: Medication

““There is no ‘one size fits all’ medication that helps everyone with bipolar disorder,” Johnson said. Lithium is typically the first line of treatment. But for some people the side effects are especially troublesome, she said. Finding the right medication (or combination of medications) can seem like a daunting process.”

  
Strategies: “Learn as much as you can about mood-stabilizing medications, Johnson said, including their potential side effects. “Find a doctor who will work with you to make adjustments based on your experiences with the different medications,” she said. Expect that it might take several tries to figure out the best medications for you.”

  
“Many of the side effects dissipate after the first two weeks, Johnson said. Changing the dose schedule helps to minimize side effects. For instance, if you feel groggy, your doctor might suggest taking your medication in the evening, she said.”

  
 
“Support groups are another valuable tool, Johnson said. (She suggested looking at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website for a group.) For instance, individuals in these groups are usually familiar with compassionate doctors in the area, she said.”
  

3. Challenge: Relationships

“Bipolar disorder is hard on relationships. The very symptoms – swinging moods, risky behaviors – often leave loved ones feeling confused, exhausted and like they’re walking on eggshells, Van Dijk said.”

  
“She also sees loved ones have difficulty distinguishing between the illness and the person. They might invalidate the person’s feelings and either blame everything on the illness or believe the person is making conscious choices when it is the illness.”

  
Strategies: “Bipolar disorder is difficult to understand, Van Dijk said. “Different affective episodes, [such as] depression versus hypomania, result in different symptoms, and one episode of depression or hypomania can be different from the next within the same person,” she said.”
  
“So it’s incredibly important for loved ones to get educated about the illness and how it functions. Individual therapy, family therapy and support groups can help. Refer loved ones to self-help resources and biographies or memoirs of people with bipolar disorder, Johnson said.”
  
“Getting a handle on your emotions also improves relationships, she said. Working on assertiveness is key, too, she said. Individuals with bipolar disorder tend to have a tough time being assertive. Therapy is a good place to learn assertiveness skills. But if you’d like to practice on your own, Van Dijk suggested using “I statements”: “ I feel _____ when you ______.” She gave the following example: “I feel scared and hurt when you threaten to leave me.””
   
 
4. Challenge: Anxiety

“According to Johnson, about two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder also have a diagnosable anxiety disorder.”

  
Strategies: “Johnson stressed the importance of using relaxation techniques and not using avoidance behaviors. As Van Dijk explained, “the more you avoid things because of your anxiety, the more your anxiety will actually increase, because you never allow your brain to learn that there’s nothing to be anxious about.””
  
“Psychotherapy is tremendously helpful for managing bipolar disorder and the above challenges. If you’ve been prescribed medication, never stop taking it abruptly – this boosts the risk for relapse – and communicate regularly with your doctor.”
  

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Try This: BiPolar Advantage 

Become the More Stable You!  

•Bipolar Advantage Online and Live Courses:

Each Course Includes:

  • RECORDED VIDEO LESSONS that introduce the concepts of the course. The videos are available 24 hours a day for your convenience. Many people watch the videos several times to get the most out of them and you can watch them as often as you like during the course.
  • SUPPORTING WRITTEN LESSONS that take the concepts to a deeper level. These written lessons are also available any time during the course and can be read again as often as you like. Like the videos, these lessons are available 24 hours a day for your convenience.
  • SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE EXERCISES that help you put the concepts into practice. These exercises are also available 24 hours a day for your convenience and you can retake them as often as you like during the course. Your work is saved for the next time you take the course so you can easily compare your results and measure your progress.
  • ACTIVE ONLINE COMMUNITY DISCUSSION FORUMS where you can anonymously (if desired) share your questions, ideas and plans at any time. The discussions are available 24 hours a day during the course. You can drop in any time to ask questions or post your thoughts since the discussions are saved for when you are ready.
  • WEEKLY LIVE INTERACTIVE ONLINE SEMINARS WITH TOM WOOTTON with convenient schedules. During the seminars the students ask questions and review the course lessons while remaining anonymous (if desired). These seminars take the concepts to a much deeper level and are the favorite part for many students. You only need to attend one per week since they all cover the same weekly topic, but you are welcome to attend as many as you like. These seminars are accessed via your computer, your tablet, your smart phone, or you can just call in if you prefer. Meeting times are Thursdays at 5 PM and 9 PM (Pacific Time) and Fridays at 9 AM and 1 PM (Pacific Time).

  

Please check out this amazing program! It teaches you how to live with your illness, and embrace it within your life. 

And REMEMBER: 

  

  

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Understanding Thyroid Problems

Is your Thyroid acting up?

  

What are Thyroid Problems???

“Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.”

“Although the effects can be unpleasant or uncomfortable, most thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated.”
  

  
What Causes Thyroid Problems???

All types of hyperthyroidism are due to an overproduction of thyroid hormones, but the condition can occur in several ways:

Graves’ disease: The production of too much thyroid hormone.

Toxic adenomas: Nodules develop in the thyroid gland and begin to secrete thyroid hormones, upsetting the body’s chemical balance; some goiters may contain several of these nodules.

Subacute thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid that causes the gland to “leak” excess hormones, resulting in temporary hyperthyroidism that generally lasts a few weeks but may persist for months.

Pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland: Although rare, hyperthyroidism can also develop from these causes.”

  
Hypothyroidism , by contrast, stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since your body’s energy production requires certain amounts of thyroid hormones, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels. Causes of hypothyroidism include:

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis : In this autoimmune disorder, the body attacks thyroid tissue. The tissue eventually dies and stops producing hormones.
Removal of the thyroid gland: The thyroid may have been surgically removed or chemically destroyed.

Exposure to excessive amounts of iodide: Cold and sinus medicines, the heart medicine amiodarone, or certain contrast dyes given before some X-rays may expose you to too much iodine.You may be at greater risk for developing hypothyroidism if you have had thyroid problems in the past.

Lithium: This drug has also been implicated as a cause of hypothyroidism.

Untreated for long periods of time, hypothyroidism can bring on a myxedema coma, a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires immediate hormone treatment.

  
Hypothyroidism poses a special danger to newborns and infants. A lack of thyroid hormones in the system at an early age can lead to the development of cretinism (mental retardation) and dwarfism (stunted growth). Most infants now have their thyroid levels checked routinely soon after birth. If they are hypothyroid, treatment begins immediately. In infants, as in adults, hypothyroidism can be due to these causes:

•A pituitary disorder
•A defective thyroid

•Lack of the gland entirely

  

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How Yoga Can Help You Become a Better Dancer

Yoga for dancing

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“All dancers are ultimately on the same quest: to become better, stronger dancers. But in order to reach beyond their limits, many dancers find they need additional training methods besides dance, and yoga is a popular choice.”

“But why?”

“Why is yoga one tool no dancer’s survival kit should be without?”

“Increased body awareness.”

“While all dance classes focus on position and alignment, yoga classes take this one step further. The slower pace of a yoga class naturally allows for greater precision. For example, instead of just putting your feet into a parallel position, you have time to check that the outside edges of your feet line up the with the outside edges of your mat, your weight is equally distributed to all four corners of your feet, your toes are spread wide and your pinky toes are anchored firmly into the floor.”

“By taking the time to fine tune the details of proper alignment (including your pinky toes) you learn to build each pose from the ground up to create a strong foundation, and to stack the joints for greater stability and power. In this way, every movement is conscious and deliberate, a moving meditation. Moving slowly and deliberately allows more opportunity to notice and correct habits that might create issues over time, such as rolling in or out on your ankles as you balance.”

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“Increased strength and flexibility.”

“Many of the standing poses in yoga develop the same muscles that are used for developpés, battements, and jumps, while other poses build strength in areas that are often overlooked. The upper body strength developed from downward dog and handstands is useful during promenades and lifts with a partner. Balancing poses have direct application in center floor (particularly during adagio) and backbends and back strengthening poses such as the locust pose help develop a killer arabesque.”

“Even though dancers are flexible, most of us have certain tight areas. Poses that focus on these areas will help you unlock greater range of movement and since yoga stretches are generally held for longer periods, you get greater results and make the body less prone to injury.”

“Linking breath to movement.”

“One of the most valuable tools you will learn in yoga is breath control. Many dancers haven’t been taught to use the breath to help power certain actions. Even worse, we sometimes forget to breathe at all. Most yoga classes begin with tuning into the breath, focusing on lengthening the inhale and exhale, and working from there to maintain a slow, steady breath through the rest of class. Inhales are used for expanding movements, such as arching your back or lifting a leg, exhales are naturally suited for contracting actions such as stepping into a lunge or bending into a forward fold. Learning to link breath to movement helps you harness the energy of breath and use it to your advantage, which is especially helpful during challenging combinations like big jumps or long adagio sequences where you need extra power.”

“Focused breathing has a few other benefits: it helps to keep your mind from wandering, and serves as a way to measure when you have gone too far past your limits. If it’s too challenging to stay for at least three breaths in a pose then that’s a clear indication you are pushing too hard. Developing this awareness is a way to learn to tune into your body’s pain responses so you can avoid injuries.”

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“Health benefits”

“Aside from the more obvious physical perks, yoga also works on a subtle level that isn’t immediately apparent. Spinal twists, for instance, not only keep the spine pliable, they also put gentle pressure on the internal organs, which has a detoxifying effect on the body. Inversions such as handstands and headstands reverse the blood flow, redistribute blood throughout the body, and improve circulation. This helps the mind feel clearer and calmer and may also ensure a healthier heart and lungs. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.”

“Peace of mind”

“An important component of yoga is taking a break from the chaotic pace of today’s busy world through focusing on the present. Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the here and now; this breath, this pose, this moment. This shifts the balance from your sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight part of the brain) to the parasympathetic nervous system (the calming and restorative part of the brain). It also lowers the heart rate and decreases blood pressure.”

“Yoga practice has also been shown to improve depression and increase serotonin levels. Yoga and meditation build awareness, and the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger and stress and add a little more calm wisdom to your thinking. Yoga poses were originally designed to prepare the body to be able to sit in meditation and many people who practice yoga find they carry the meditative quality of yoga with them throughout the rest of their activities. Some decide to add regular meditation to maintain and grow these peaceful feelings.”

“Become your best self”

“Clearly, the benefits of yoga go beyond the physical; yoga is also a way to soothe the spirit and find peace of mind.”

“Whether you are looking to build strength, improve flexibility and balance, or just recalibrate your brainwaves to a more relaxed state, yoga has a lot to offer dancers. By learning to align your body, mind and spirit on the mat you will bring your best self to your dance.”

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9 Mindfulness Hacks To Help You Succeed

Mindfulness
“Many of us are drawn to the peace and happiness promised by a life of mindfulness, but we often abandon it in our daily lives because practicing mindfulness can seem at odds with our desire to succeed.”

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“But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are nine simple ways that incorporating mindfulness into your busy work life can actually help you succeed:”

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“Forgive and forget. Workplace politics are draining, and a waste of time. Don’t let yourself get sucked into drama. Save your mental energy for your own success by forgiving those who slight you, forgetting who said what about whom, and moving on to more important things.”

“Breathe before you blast. Try not to shoot off emails when you’re angry. Take a deep breath first and reflect on what’s behind your anger. Anger-driven emails almost always do more harm than good, to sender and receiver alike.”

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“Stop being ‘judgy.’ Mistakes are an opportunity to learn, not an excuse to look at yourself, or others, with negativity. Assessing mistakes from a neutral perspective allows you and your team to grow from them. Harping on them only serves to bring you, and those around you, down.”

“Do what you want. Mindfulness gurus often talk about the idea of “intention.” But what does intention really mean? It means to make sure you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And to do what you want. If you feel like you are wasting time in your current occupation, stop doing it, and start something new.”

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“Salute the sun. Starting your morning with a quiet mind will help you be more effective throughout the day. Carve out time in the mornings, before the day’s madness ensues, to do a few sun salutations, eat a leisurely breakfast, go for a jog or engage in whichever activity helps you to still your mind.”

“Salute your enemies. The word “namaste” means “I bow to the divine in you.” Having respect for your enemies will help you learn from their strengths and be more objective about your own weaknesses. So salute your enemies. You may also find yourself with fewer of them if you do.”

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“Take victory in stride. It’s important to celebrate milestones, but don’t get addicted to them. If you let yourself become too attached to your victories, you will be less able to cope with defeat. And the ability to persevere through failure is essential to success.”

“Sleep more. According to the Dalai Lama, “Sleep is the best meditation.” Get more of it.”

“Enjoy the journey. Life is short, and you will spend most of it working. Work can either be depressing, or it can be an incredible ride. It’s up to you. The more you enjoy what you do, the better you will be at it.”

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