Daily Archives: October 15, 2017

7 Signs That Online Therapy Might Be Right For You

Somehow, in just a couple of weeks, I'd disclosed more to my online therapist than I had with my previous therapist that I'd worked with for over a year.

About the anxiety, a plan!

About the anxiety, I wake up with it every morning. Suffocating, thinking the most awful, frightening thoughts about what could happen to my loved ones. Every morning, terrified, panicked, what a way to wake up. Somehow I make it out of bed and make myself coffee.

Coffee helps dispel some of the gloom.

Doing something helps.

By evening I am fine. Back to my normal self. No doom, no gloom.

This happens everyday!

Can’t really increase Lithium, hairs falling out again.

I’ll increase Seroquel. I’ll live with a poochy stomach to get away from being tortured every morning. Maybe no poochy stomach as I am joining a Crossfit class for 6 weeks.

Hope that helps too.

So my plan is:

1) Coffee

2) Increase Seroquel*

3) Crossfit and Barre, and Woodworking workshop.

4) Julie Fast’s (www.bipolarhappens.com) Health Cards.

5) Still will try Havening a few times more at least

6) Deep breathing

7) Allergy shots (?)

8) And if terrifying intrusive thoughts still intrude, I hope they don’t, but if they do, I’ll challenge them and try to believe my words

* I’ll talk over the medication changes with my doctor of course.

I sincerely hope people out there are suffering from this kind of thing, but if you are, maybe making a plan in conjunction with your doctor will help.

Simply doing something immediately makes me feel a little better.

Change of seasons, change of moods, hang on everyone, we’ll get through it! We have done every year so far!


Having a hell of a time with anxiety. Stomach churning, heart hammering anxiety. Can’t tell if it is due to things happening in my life or due to a mood state change in bipolar as the seasons change. Maybe both. Can’t tell if I’m over reacting or not. I’ve had bipolar 1 disorder since 1985. Still suffering with its effects. It just does not want to let me go so I can live my life in peace.

I did just order Julie Fast’s books and health cards (https://www.juliefast.com/julies-books/)

The health cards are supposed to help you and your family and friends manage your bipolar symptoms.

Just this act of ordering has made me feel better, at least I am trying to do something to make myself feel better!

Ok, now I have to shower and get ready for an appointment.

Rather not sit in my bedroom and worry about things that may or may not happen. Shut up brain, just please shut up!

Depression Symptoms Declined with Mediterranean-style Diet

The healthy Mediterranean diet helps relieve symptoms of depression! Pretty amazing and significant!

“Story Highlight

In the first randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a healthy diet on depression, individuals on a Mediterranean-style diet were more likely to achieve remission after 12 weeks than patients who received no nutritional guidance.”


A Mediterranean-style diet involving lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains may relieve symptoms of depression, according to a study published January 30 in the journal BMC Medicine.

The study, led by Felice Jacka, Ph.D., a NARSAD 2010 Young Investigator at Deakin University in Australia, is the first randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a healthy diet on the symptoms of depression.

Story Highlight

In the first randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a healthy diet on depression, individuals on a Mediterranean-style diet were more likely to achieve remission after 12 weeks than patients who received no nutritional guidance.

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Randomized trial finds depression symptoms declined significantly after 12 weeks on a Mediterranean-style diet.

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The trial, which the researchers called Supporting the Modification of Lifestyle In Lowered Emotional States (SMILES), involved 67 participants with moderate to severe depression, most of whom were already being treated with psychotherapy, medications, or both. Such treatments continued during the trial.  At the outset of the trial, all of the participants reported a poor diet—lots of sweets, processed meats, and salty snacks and little lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber.  Among those not allowed to participate in the trial were people who had failed antidepressant therapy two or more times. This was to reduce the chance that people included in the trial were atypical responders to existing antidepressant therapies and not (for whatever reason) unusually resistant to being helped by them.

After selecting the study participants, Dr. Jacka and her colleagues, including 2012 Young Investigator Olivia May Dean, Ph.D. and 2015 Colvin Prizewinner Michael Berk, Ph.D., MBBCH, MMED, FF(Psych)SA, FRANCZP, who are both at Deakin University, randomly allocated them into two groups. Those in the dietary intervention group met regularly with a dietician and were encouraged to follow a diet made up mostly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean red meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, eggs, nuts, and olive oil, while reducing their intake of fried foods, processed meats, and sweets and limiting alcohol consumption. The diet was not designed for weight loss, and there were no restrictions on how much participants could eat. Individuals in the control group met on the same schedule with a research assistant for social support, which is already known to be helpful for depression, but received no dietary counseling.

After 12 weeks, depression symptoms had declined significantly more in the group that had followed the improved diet. About one-third of the group following the Mediterranean diet had achieved remission, whereas only 8 percent of those who received only social support reached remission.

Larger studies will be needed to validate the findings, but the authors suggest clinicians should consider promoting healthy eating and providing nutritional support to patients suffering from major depression, in addition to other treatments.

The Lone Wolf Strikes Again

It is gun control, or the lack thereof.

It is Hollywood.

It is religion, or the lack thereof.

It is radical Islam.

It is a conspiracy.

It is a “false flag” operation.

It is substance abuse.

It is toxic masculinity.

It is hatred.

It is anger management issues.

It is evil.

It is desire for fame.

There are plenty of suggestions for what causes events like the Las Vegas shooting. The one that amused me most is that men do not have close friends and don’t play enough (despite the prevalence of golf, tennis, softball, bowling, basketball, and a lot of other recreational sports). But the go-to explanation, once race and religion have faded into the background, is mental illness.

This time around the shooter is a white male belonging to no terrorist cell or cause, so he gets called a “lone wolf.” (Do I hear that resonate as a symbol of pride and freedom? Don’t rebels and renegades of all stripes identify themselves with lone wolves? Aren’t lone-wolf types celebrated in movies and TV shows and novels and video games? It’s certainly a “nicer” epithet than “terrorist.”)

And since Stephen Paddock was on one anti-anxiety medication, a (very loose) case is being made for mental illness. Again. Despite the fact that he was never diagnosed, treated, hospitalized, or gave any other indication of mental illness. Unless you count shooting hundreds of people.

Certainly a person who did what he did would be tested for mental illness after he committed such a horror, had he not killed himself. But before the fact? Was he mentally ill – a “known” hazard?

He was quiet, a loner. (Aren’t they always?) He may have had financial problems related to gambling. He took a benzo.

Think of all the quiet men you know that have financial problems, perhaps even addictions such as gambling. How many of them have stockpiled guns and shot hundreds of people? Hell, my husband is a loner with financial problems, takes an antidepressant, and has access to guns. Why hasn’t he?

Because these men – millions of them – do not become mass shooters as a rule. And when one does, well, he must have been crazy.

You and I know the statistics. One in four people will experience some form of mental disturbance in their lifetimes. Yet 25 percent of us do not become mass killers. The unfortunate fact is that there is no way to predict who is going to. Even after the fact, there is no way to say, “We should have known,” because so many people fit the criteria.

It’s a complex problem, difficult or impossible to untangle. Just as one cannot say that cyberbullying was definitely what caused a suicide, there are myriad factors at work in violence, and blaming just one “obvious” cause does not explain or help. Look at Columbine. Harris and Klebold may (or may not) have been bullied. But they also lacked supervision, had trouble with the law, and had access to guns and explosives. Can any one of those factors be viewed in isolation from the others?

There are some voices that have started to question the automatic link between mental illness and violence. Julie Beck wrote a fine article for the Atlantic (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/06/untangling-gun-violence-from-mental-illness/485906/?utm_source=fbb), which I hope will be widely read and influence many people. I’ve written about the problem too, small contribution though it may be (http://wp.me/p4e9Hv-6A).

Beck calls the easy leap from mass killing to mental illness “a consistent and dangerous narrative.” She points out that “[o]nly 4 percent of the violence—not just gun violence, but any kind—in the United States is attributable to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression (the three most-cited mental illnesses in conjunction with violence).  In other words, 96 percent of the violence in America has nothing to do with mental illness.”

And, she says, “Other research shows that reading stories about mass shootings by people with mental illnesses makes people feel more negatively toward the mentally ill. This only heightens stigma, which could lead to more people going untreated.”

That’s a second horror, not as sensational or sensationalized as mass killings, but a chilling one nonetheless. None of our anti-stigma campaigns speaks as loudly as gunfire.

Filed under: Mental Health