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Month: March 2015

Medications for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There are a number of different medication options available if you are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Used alongside other treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, medications can be extremely effective in alleviating and controlling the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Your doctor or mental health care professional will be able to discuss all the options with you and help you to decide which may suit you best. All medications tend to have side-effects, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each before making a decision. Taking medications for Generalized Anxiety Disorder may be a short-term...

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Celebrates 10 Years

I’ll be blunt here, I’ve never called the National suicide prevention Lifeline.  But if it had been available from 1998 through 2002, when my ptsd symptoms increased and the Depression that it caused was at it’s worst, I may have been a regular caller. In reality, most of the staff would have known me by my first name. The lifeline launched in 2005, and in the past ten years, volunteers have answered more than 6 million calls from desperate and frightened people with mental health issues in need of someone to listen. The lifeline is one of the most visible services offered by SAMHSA. Calls are answered at more than 160 different call centers around the United States. SAMHSA also reaches out to prevent suicide with additional programs, including education efforts in the workplace and in schools. Other organizations offer a variety of suicide prevention resources, but so much more is needed. I wish that my friend was one of those who called. He took his own life last year after battling a deep Depression that he felt unable to share with those closest to him. His suicide was not in the news like Robin Williams’ was, but it hurt those who loved him deeply. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline has answered more than 6 million calls since it began, and has established a network of...

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Bipolar Disorder: Mania Street USA

Or, “I once spent my mortgage money on African violets. Yep, $1,500 on African violets. Then I got depressed and let them all die.” Among mental illnesses, bipolar disorder isn’t terribly uncommon – it directly affects 2.6 percent of the American population. (In comparison, borderline personality disorder affects 1.6 percent, schizophrenia 1 percent, and agoraphobia 0.8 percent. Statistics from the National Institute of mental health.) Its prevalence, combined with our growing acceptance of mental health discussion, means most people have at least a vague idea of what it is. For better or worse, some of us drop the word...

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When I Stand In Your Shoes: Open Letter from a Mom to a Teen

I’m going to say to you what I wish I’d gotten a chance to say to my daughter. In 2013 she took her own life at the age of 15 due to severe depression. Since I’ll never be able to say these things to her, as part of me getting better, I’ll say it to you instead (thanks for listening): Just because I don’t understand you, talk too much and don’t listen, think I know everything (which I definitely do not), can be demanding and harsh, expect too much of you, and don’t show an interest in what you are into, doesn’t mean I still don’t love you. I get so worried about how I’m going to pay the bills, buy the groceries, make the rent and car payments, buy you the things you need like new clothes and stuff for school that I lose sight of you as a person. I start thinking of you as one more responsibility that I have to take care of-and that’s when I turn into a dreaded parent. I stop being ME, and I take on this super-mom attitude, and then we’re reduced to the parent and child, which isn’t working anymore, because you’re not a child anymore. You’re becoming an adult-and it completely throws me off. Your friends have become the people you talk to now, and suddenly I’m the odd man...

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Self Help Strategies for Bipolar Disorder

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then medication and therapy may become important tools in managing your condition. However, there is also a lot you can do yourself to take control of the illness and garner a much better quality of life. Used alongside appropriate medical treatment, self-help strategies can make a huge difference in managing Bipolar. One of the most important steps you can take is to find out as much as possible about the type of Bipolar you have and how it affects you. There are numerous organisations which provide information, fact sheets and support...

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