One of the most common mental disorders in the United States is depression. Many people struggling with depression don’t know the correct steps to follow to achieve relief on their own. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make adjustments on your own and incorporate your own personal strategies in order to gain your mental health competence back!
Following these steps may help you take control of your depression and increase your quality of life.
· Get In a Routine - Allowing yourself to get into a routine can help your mood significantly and help decrease the depressive symptoms you are experiencing. Setting a schedule each day forces you to be consistent, which typically leaves less room for distractions. Staying organized is key!
· Set Goals – Setting goals is a great way for you to understand what you want and how to get there. Make sure to set reasonable goals and expectations for yourself though. Meeting each goal will boost your confidence and faith in yourself and will motivate you to reach your other goals! Goals help us understand the power of self-growth and how strong we truly are.
· Exercise- Exercise can be the perfect solution to help you let go of the stresses that might be straining your mental health. It is a great way to boost endorphins, which in turn, can improve your mental and overall health.
· Eat Healthy- Food can affect your mood, especially processed foods or foods that contain a lot of sugar. A healthy diet helps increase energy levels, and provides you with the correct nutrients to feel healthy, confident and stronger!
· Get Enough Sleep- Not getting enough sleep can trigger symptoms and cause your depression to worsen dramatically. You need enough sleep to allow your body to fully recharge and be ready to take on the next day. Put your electronics away at least an hour before bed and try to get into bed at the same time every night!
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) occurs when you feel worried and stressed about many everyday events and activities. Often the things you are worried about most turn out to be small or not important. However this type of worry can disrupt your life most days. While you might be thinking that everyone gets worried or anxious sometimes, people with generalized anxiety disorder experience more than just normal everyday worries. Anyone can get generalized anxiety disorder at any age. However, it usually starts when you are a child or teenager. Most people with GAD have felt nervous or anxious as long as they can remember. Many people who have GAD also have other problems such as depression, other anxiety illnesses, alcohol abuse, or personality disorder.
The cause of generalized anxiety disorder is not known. Some studies show that it might be passed through the family or some problems such as hyperthyroidism can cause generalized anxiety symptoms. People who have generalized anxiety disorder tend to get worried and stressed about many things almost every day. They usually have a hard time controlling their worry. Adults with GAD will often worry about money, family, health, or work. Children often worry about how well they can do an activity such as school or sports. They can also suffer from physical symptoms:
Feeling tired or irritable, or having a hard time concentrating
Having a hard time swallowing
Having headaches or muscle aches
Feeling shaky, sweating, or having hot flashes
Feeling lightheaded, out of breath or sick to their stomach
Going to the bathroom often
Feeling like they can’t relax, or being startled easily
Have problems falling or staying asleep
If you are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, we are currently enrolling volunteers for a clinical research trial! Learn more today about requirements and participation by filling out your information HERE!
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a very serious mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, like other mental health disorders, a majority of people believe things that are not true about PTSD. Here are some myths about PTSD and the truth about them that everyone should know about:
Myth 1: PTSD is in your head. It doesn’t really exist: It does exist. It is a recognized mental health problem that has been studied for many years. You may get PTSD if you have lived through a traumatic event that caused you to fear for your life. Strong emotions caused by this event can create changes in the brain that may result in PTSD.
Myth 2: Only soldiers or people in war zones get PTSD: Anyone who has seen or went through a traumatic even can develop PTSD. A traumatic event would be considered as a horrible and distressing experience where during the event, you may think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel that you have no control over what is happening. These events can include violent crimes, sexual assaults, childhood neglect or abuse, and natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
Myth 3: You should be able to move on after a traumatic event: The strong emotions you may feel during the traumatic event can create changes in your brain that result in PTSD. Because of this, you may not be able to “move on”. It is important to remember that PTSD is a medical condition, and people with it deal with the condition as best as they can.
Myth 4: PTSD always happens right after the traumatic event: PTSD symptoms can develop at any time after a traumatic event. Your symptoms can start soon after the event, or you may not have them until months or years later. They can also come and go over many years.
Myth 5: People with PTSD cannot function: PTSD can cause severe symptoms, however, counseling, medicines and support can all help people to adjust. People who have PTSD can have jobs and relationships. They enjoy life and are active members of their communities.
If you or a loved one are living with PTSD, consider a research study with us today. Click HERE to sign up.
If someone close to you or someone you’re in a relationship with is suffering from depression, there are actions you can take to be supportive in their time of need. 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression and is the leading cause of disability for people ages 15-44 in the United States. As we approach the holidays, more and more people will be affected by depression due to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which occurs when an individual experiences depressive episodes during certain times of the year. A majority of people who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder are affected during the winter due to the cold and dark months.
Here are 7 ways to support someone you know with depression:
1. Do what you can to learn about depression and all that comes along with it. Educating yourself is one of the best ways to support someone else and gain empathy.
2. Try to be there for them. Depression can be an isolating condition. A way to combat that isolation is to be around other people. Let them talk about their feelings, but don’t try to offer quick solutions, just let them get it out.
3. Try to be proactive. Keep up with suggestions on different ways to alleviate symptoms such as exercise or journaling and meditation. But don’t be too pushy.
4. Keep in mind that you aren’t a cure-all- no one is a panacea for depression. Take the pressure off yourself and focus on support rather than solutions.
5. If your significant other is struggling with depression, give couples counselling a try. A significant amount of people with depression are hesitant to attend therapy alone, so suggesting couples therapy may be the answer.
6. Assess your future and how to better the relationship and know what you need, don’t get bogged down and sacrifice your own mental health.
7. Take them seriously with whatever they are discussing with you in regards to their thoughts and emotions. Understanding is one of the best way to help.
If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health disorder, reach out and get professional help. If you are struggling with OCD, Depression, Schizophrenia or PTSD, you may qualify for one of our research studies. Click HERE to see if you may qualify.
There Are More Than 10 Common Warning Signs of Mental Health
Trying to tell the difference between expected behaviors and the signs of a mental illness isn't always easy. There is no simple test that allows an individual to understand whether or not they have a mental illness or if their actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors. However, there are many signs and warnings of mental health to look out for.
Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults can include the following:
Excessive worrying or fear
Feeling excessively sad or low
Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
Avoiding friends and social activities
Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
Changes in sex drive
Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
Thinking about suicide
Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health disorder, reach out and get professional help. If you are struggling with OCD, Depression, Schizophrenia or PTSD, you may qualify for one of our research studies. Click HERE to see if you may qualify.
Do You Have OCD Without Knowing It?
OCD is a very common disorder that affects people of all ages. In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 40 adults are living with OCD… that is about 2.3% of the population. Although OCD is common, many people around the country are also undiagnosed. So how do you know if you have it?
Before diving any deeper into the signs and symptoms you should look out for, there are two terms that you must know.
1. Obsessions- Obsessions are powerful and consistent unwanted thoughts that compromise a person’s quality of life. These unwanted thoughts are also accompanied by mental images and urges, which can cause sever anxiety.
2. Compulsions- Compulsions are a person’s way of coping or responding to the obsessive unwanted thoughts, imaged and urges.
There are currently no laboratory tests that identifies or determine OCD in a human, so how does one know whether or not they are living with it? If you are concerned you have OCD, you should see a mental health professional to get a better understanding of if what you are living with is OCD. Before you do that, check out a list of some pretty common symptoms most people with OCD experience.
Common symptoms include:
Consuming unwelcomed thoughts, mental images, and urges
Fear of contamination, sickness, illnesses, germs
Hoarding and anxiety
Depression & anxiety
Symptoms, however, are not the only way to get a better understanding of if what you have is OCD. The list of thoughts below are common thoughts that intrude a person’s brain with OCD.
The things I touch are infected
My actions could hurt others
I could hurt a child
I will never know if I am gay or straight
I am a risk to myself
Objects in my life are infected with trauma
My face and body are deformed
I am living in sin
It is common to feel many of these symptoms and experience many of these thoughts. If you feel as though these symptoms mirror what you are experiencing, you should see a mental health professional.
If you have an OCD and are looking for new treatment options, consider a clinical trial with us today.
Clinical research offers important insights for combating diseases and health related issues. That’s why people like you matter so much to clinical research and clinical trials! When you volunteer to participate in a clinical trial, you are helping researchers improve health care and find better treatment options. Clinical research improves the health and quality of life for people, people just like you!
Here at Pharmasite we want to make sure you have an understanding about clinical trials because we firmly believe they are the key to health breakthroughs of the future!
What are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are conducted in volunteers with the purpose of evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral treatment. Through this, researchers are able to discover the safety and effectiveness of new treatments as they are designed to determine if a treatment works, if it works better than other treatments and if there are any side effects.
How do Clinical Trials work?
Clinical trials advance through four phases to ensure treatments are adequately tested and confirmed safe.
· Phase 1: Assesses and evaluates the safety of a new drug or device
· Phase 2: Measures the effectiveness, safety, and optimal dosing of a drug or device
· Phase 3: Assesses safety and effectiveness, in larger populations, and may compare the drug or device to standard treatment
· Phase 4: Post Marketing Trial - Continues to study the safety and effectiveness of a treatment even after it has been approved by the FDA.
Why do people volunteer?
Participating in a clinical trial allows individuals to contribute to medical knowledge. Clinical research advances the development of groundbreaking new treatments. Participating in clinical trials allows patients to help others, have the opportunity to receive investigational treatments not currently available in the market, and receive regular monitoring by medical professionals.
So why should you participate? What’s in it for the patient?
Clinical research improves the health and quality of life for people, people just like you! Volunteering to take apart in a clinical trial makes it easier access for you and the people you love to receive new medicine or treatments. Increased participation will allow clinical trials to progress quicker, decreasing the time it takes between medical discovery and patient’s access. Working together is the best way to advance the clinical research industry forward.
Are you curious about clinical trials and interested in joining one?
Click HERE for a list of all of our clinical trials we are currently enrolling in!
Living with OCD can be a life-altering disorder if you don’t know how to control your symptoms or don’t take the necessary steps to do so. Regardless, the disorder requires outside help, whether that’s from friends, family, mental health professionals or more self-care. Just like any other disease or illness, or anything else that affects your daily life and activities, it’s essential to do research and be an expert on your own condition. With proper coping strategies, treatment and support, you can still live a healthy and normal life, regardless of your OCD. Check out some quick self-help tips below to help you do so!
Reduce Additional Stresses – Living with something that affects you every day can be stressful and anxiety-induced. Other aspects of your life that are causing you stress needs to go! Anything from unhealthy relationships to poor work environments are something you need to address. Sit down and do some reflecting on what stresses you can reduce so you can focus more on your mental health.
Brush Up On Your Facts – Do some more research, even if you think you already know everything about OCD. New research surfaces every day and it’s important to be an expert on your condition.
Understand Your Anxiety – Start carrying around a pen and paper and jot down the situations that cause you anxiety and in turn, cause any compulsions. Do this for a few weeks and go back and read all of your entries. This will help you understand what makes you anxious and what situations you should avoid moving forward.
Exercise – This can be a tough one for many of us whether we struggle from OCD or not. Exercise is a proven method of relief in many situations and OCD is one of them. A study is 2017 proved that exercise (specifically aerobic) significantly reduces OCD symptoms both short-term and long-term.
If you are struggling with OCD and your current treatment or strategies are not working for you, consider a clinical research study with us. You can fill out a form by clicking here.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects between 4-6% of the U.S. population, and can occur during different seasons for different people. For those of you whose depression worsens over the summer, you are not alone. Money is tighter, body image insecurities are more persistent, sleep and daily schedules are more inconsistent and if you don’t enjoy the heat it’s easy to feel stuck. While all of this can be hard to avoid, there are some tips to follow that can help stop depression from ruining the rest of your summer
Assist Potential Causes:
The first step is recognizing the root of your depressive symptoms.
Body issues: Many people feel anxious and uneasy about having to show more skin with the blistering heat.
Financial issues: If you’re already on a budget, the activities that come with summer doesn’t help your situation and can be a contributing factor to your worsening symptoms.
Heat: The never-ending heat can also be the root of your worsening symptoms, especially if you aren’t a fan of being outside on a hot day.
Loneliness: Social media plays a huge role in depressive symptoms, especially in the summer. It’s hard to watch and see people participating in activities, trips and having fun doing things that you aren’t.
Keep a Journal:
Once you address the root(s) of what’s causing your symptoms, write about them! Journaling is a fantastic form of personal therapeutic release. Write down exactly what you’re feeling and then go back and re-visit your thoughts to see if your mood and depression have improved or worsened.
Talk to a Professional:
There is absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about seeing a therapist. If your symptoms get worse during the summer and you aren’t sure what to do about it, you could get so much relief and so many answers from someone who specializes in what you’re feeling.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and yes, even your depression! Join a gym, go for a run, or lift some weights to get sweaty and release some of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Consider asking a friend too! Interaction is another great way to relieve some of your depressive symptoms.
What is it?
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder influenced by over-active thoughts causing you to have unwanted urges that don’t leave your brain until they are fixed. OCD causes the brain to stay focused on the one issue that needs to be fixed before you are allowed to think about the next issue. It’s obsessive and completely uncontrollable.
If you have OCD you typically will fall under the following categories:
Washing: If people enjoy washing or cleaning, OCD would enforce a more obsessive way of doing so. For example OCD patients would be afraid of contamination so they over-actively wash or clean themselves and items around them much more frequently and aggressively than the average person.
Hoarding: People who hoard are attached to certain objects that they feel they must keep and either refuse or have an extremely difficult time getting rid of. People who hoard often feel like they are physically unable to let go of an item. Those who suffer from hoarding can also be suffering from depression, PTSD, ADHD skin picking or tic disorders.
Checking: Next, people who are used to double checking to make sure they did something can be turned into an obsession for OCD. They feel like they repeatedly have to check to see if they locked the door, closed the windows, shut the lights off or check to see if they turned the stove off even if they have already checked 5-6 times. Some compulsions are done up to 20 or more times.
Doubting/Superstition: Next, people who have OCD tend to doubt many things and feel like if everything isn’t perfectly done, something horrible will happen either to themselves or to the people they love.
Symmetry: Lastly, people who have OCD can be obsessed with symmetry of certain products and the order of them. They have certain superstitions about numbers, colors and arrangements.
Symptoms and ways to help:
If you notice someone who has constant fear of contamination, losing control, excessive focus, fear of losing items, and obsessed with order and symmetry they may be suffering from OCD. It is best to talk to them and discuss what they can do to get help. It’s best they don’t avoid their fears, because the more you avoid them the scarier and more severe they can become. Recognizing OCD urges before it turns into an obsession is very important. If you or someone you love is currently suffering from OCD, please fill out the information below to see if you qualify for a research study we are enrolling in. A study representative will contact you shortly to discuss qualification and participation.
If you are living with OCD and are seeking new treatment options, you may qualify for our research study. If you or someone you know is interested, please fill out your information HERE and a study representative will reach out to you shortly to discuss participation and qualification.
Migraines cause unbearable pain, usually on one side of the head, which causes discomfort and in some cases, the inability to carry out every day activities. Across America, 39 million people suffer from migraines and experience symptoms including:
Sensitivity to light and sound
Throbbing pain on one, or both sides of the head
Nausea and vomiting
By tracking the foods and drinks you consume, you can better determine the triggersof your migraines. . Some common triggers are usually dairy products, chocolate, eggs, meat, nuts, tomatoes, onions and apples. Also, beverages, like red wine, regular alcoholic drinks and caffeine drinks are associated with migraine triggers. Be aware that the food you consume three weeks prior to a migraine could be a factor.
Ways to help:
Some simple ways to decrease migraine activity is to eat foods with high calcium, magnesium, complex carbohydrates and fiber. These foods include cooked vegetables, brown rice, collards, spinach, broccoli and dried non- citrus fruits. Also, acupuncture is another form of migraine relief.
If you suffer from migraines, you may qualify for one of our research studies. To learn more, click the link below to fill out your information and someone should be in touch with you shortly.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. These mood swings will range from emotional highs and lows, highs being mania or hypomania (which is less extreme), and lows being depression. During mania and hypomania individuals may experience symptoms including, but not limited to:
Decreased need for sleep
Exaggerated sense of wellbeing and self-confidence
Participating in impulsive and risky behavior
The lows of bipolar disorder include severe depression. Symptoms of depression include, but are not limited to:
Lack of interest
It is proven that bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It is possible to develop this disorder at any point in your life, but studies show that the average age is to develop the disorder is 25 years old. It is suggested that almost 3% pf the population every year is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 83% of those cases are severe.
Types of disorders:
Bipolar I disorder: Individuals who have experienced one manic episode
Bipolar II disorder: Individuals who have experienced at least one major depressive episode
Cyclothymic disorder: Individuals who have experienced hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms
Ways to help:
If you or a loved one are struggling with irrational outbursts of emotion or continuously struggle with mood swings, these symptoms may be caused by bipolar disorder. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please talk to a mental health expert or a doctor to receive the proper care.
If you are living with bipolar disorder you may qualify to participate in our research study. To learn more please visit: http://bit.ly/2IVyBhl
As the marijuana legalization movement continues to push forward, the conversation on marijuana’s effects on certain conditions are becoming more prevalent among medical professionals and researchers.
A study was recently conducted by scientists from Washington State University where they used data from medical marijuana users to get an idea of the severity of their symptoms before and after smoking. In this specific study, symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress were being researched. The data was pulled from an app called Strainpoint where they were able to gather data from 12,000 anonymous entries. This data also helped researchers dig deeper into the effects of the two main compounds in marijuana: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Results of this study showed that a majority of users reported a reduction in symptoms, meaning their symptoms improved. There were also some reports of increased symptoms, meaning the smoking made their symptoms worse, but was significantly less than those who reported positive results.
Below is a breakdown of the results pulled from the data.
Depression: Symptom ratings were reduced in 89.3% of the sessions, increased in 3.2%, no change in 7.5%.
Anxiety: Symptom ratings were reduced in 93.5% of the sessions, increased in 2.1%, no change in 4.4%.
Stress: Symptom ratings were reduced in 93.3% of the sessions, increased in 2.7%, no change in 4%.
Both women and men reported an overall reduction in symptoms, but women reported a greater reduction in anxiety symptoms.
An analysis of the strains smoked also presented some interesting findings. Different outcomes were shown depending on the percentages of THC and CBD in the marijuana.
For depression, strains higher in CBD and lower in THC produced the largest reduction in symptoms.
For anxiety, CBD and THC percentages seemed to make little difference in the results.
For stress, users reported significant symptom reduction when using strains high I n both CBD and THC.
Read the full article here.
If you are currently struggling with depression, you may qualify for a research study we are currently enrolling in. For more information on this study, please fill out a form by clicking the link below and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly.
Similar to many other mental disorders, there is a stigma attached to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Many people misinterpret the disorder for simply being tidy, perfect and clean. While these are definitely symptoms of the disorder, there is so much more to OCD that people overlook because the term is so loosely thrown around.
According to Psychology Today, OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts in response to these thoughts or obsessions. The disorder affects a reported 2.2 million American adults, and thousands more who are undiagnosed.
In order to help put an end to the popular stigma that OCD is simply perfectionism, we wanted to shed light on the cruel reality of life with OCD and the variety of symptoms different people with the disorder live with.
Different types of OCD
Constant checking and inspection. Constant checking and inspection can surface both mentally and physically. Mentally, individuals with OCD find themselves checking their memory to make sure that an intrusive thought they had was just a memory and didn’t actually happen. Physical symptoms include constantly checking to make sure windows, car doors, knobs and doors are locked or to ensure they blew out a candle, turned their gas or water off in terrible fear that something awful will happen. Sometimes these “checks” are followed through anywhere between 10-50 times as a result of the anxiety disorder.
Contamination. Contamination is another very popular form of OCD. Individuals suffering from the disorder are in constant fear that everything around them in dirtying them and as a result go to the extreme to shower, wash their hands and brushing their teeth. Some cases are so extreme that skin starts to deteriorate, rub off and leaves these victims with visible wounds from the excessive cleaning. Yes, some people are very self-aware when it comes to germs, but the difference is that people with OCD often carry out this out a concerning amount of times, often accompanied by rituals, until the person “feels clean” rather than someone without OCD who will wash or clean until they “see” they are clean.
Intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are one of the more mentally challenging forms of OCD. Individuals with OCD have continuous, invasive and many times inappropriate thoughts that can be horrifying, torturous and detrimental to their state of happiness. Because these thoughts are repetitive and not voluntarily produced by the individual, it causes the sufferer to extreme distress because they feel so terrible that they are capable of thinking such thoughts.
Intrusive thoughts can include the following:
If you are one of the many people who contribute to the stigma of OCD and throw the disorder around as if it were simply a term, try your hardest to change that habit and make a point to spread awareness about this awful disease that affects millions.
If you have OCD, you are not alone. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are suffering from OCD, we have a research study that you may qualify for. You can fill out the form below and someone will be in touch with you shortly.
According to Psychology Today, OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts in response to these thoughts or obsessions. The disorder affects a reported 2.2 million American adults and thousands more who are undiagnosed.
New research has found that patients with OCD lack coping skills, and therefore have a hard time keeping their OCD under control. Because OCD is a daily, difficult and in some cases debilitating disorder, it’s important for patients with OCD to understand coping skills and how to get into a routine in order to keep their OCD at bay.
Check out some tips from thiswayup.org!
Can your diet make a difference with your depression? Research conducted by Deakin University's Food and Mood Centre in Australia sought to explore that. The participants were divided into two groups. Half of the group adjusted their diets to become healthier, while the other half continued to eat their previous not-so-healthy diet.
The half who maintained a healthy diet for 3 months saw a significant decrease in their common depression scale, an average drop of 11 points. Of the participants who maintained a healthy diet, 32% of them had scores so low that they could no longer be considered depressed. On the other hand, the half who consumed the unhealthy diet only saw a 4 point drop and only 8% were considered no longer depressed.
In light of this research, we thought it was important to shed light on the foods that can have a direct impact on your depression.
Foods that will help your depression:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fatty fish (includes: salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout)
Dark leafy greens (includes: spinach, chard, kale, lettuce)
Cruciferous vegetables (includes: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radish)
Foods that will not help your depression:
High sodium foods
Highly refined, processed oils
If one can regulate depression by eating a healthy diet, why not? Not to mention all of the other positive aspects of maintaining a healthy balanced regimen. Food for thought!
If you are currently suffering from depression and are looking for new treatment options, please contact us and learn more about our depression research opportunities.
Contact Us: 310-208-7144
Depression can rob you of motivation and can make you feel like you don’t matter. Hobbies can be a necessary source of joy and enthusiasm for people coping with depression. On the days where getting out of bed feels impossible, having a hobby and the promise of enjoying a few hours of doing something you love can be the extra push you need to get through the day. Here are some ideas for hobbies to take up to help cope with depression.
Exercise. You’ve probably heard it before but in addition to keeping you physically fit, exercise can shape up your mental health as well. Exercising releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins that trigger positive feelings. If working out isn’t currently a part of your life, start small, say 10-15 minutes a day being active.
Take care of living things. Forging connections with living things around you can counter how depression makes you feel unimportant.
Offer to babysit or pet sit for friends or neighbors
Get a houseplant
Build a small garden with flowers or vegetables
Join a group. Break through how isolated depression can make you feel by spending time with people you have something in common with.
Join a book club or create a new one
Find a support group
Join a recreational sports team
Get creative. There’s a particular sense of gratification that comes with making something, which can be a rewarding boost when depression has you feeling down.
Musical activities like singing or play an instrument
Drawing or painting
Knitting, sewing, or crocheting
Whether it’s something you used to love that you’ve lost interest in or an activity that’s totally new to you, having a hobby can help you get back on track and feeling like yourself again.
If you or someone you love suffers from depression, fill out the contact form here to see if you may qualify for CalNeuro’s clinical research opportunity for depression.
More than 42 million adults in the United States live with some type of mental illness - that’s about 1 in every 5 people 1. Whether it is depression, bipolar depression, schizophrenia, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental illness is a medical diagnosis that should be taken seriously. Many of those who have never experienced mental illness do not understand these disorders and at times do not take them seriously. The current stigma surrounding mental illness negatively impacts those living with them and it’s important we do what we can to try and table that stigma.
Here are some things you can do to end the stigma against mental health:
· Change your language: It is insensitive to throw around the words lunatic, psycho, and crazy. By doing so you are adding to the stigma surrounding mental health. Change your language and encourage others to do the same. You would not want someone using derogatory language to describe you.
· Show compassion: One of the most important things you can do is show compassion and try to understand that people living with mental health disorders are dealing with different challenges. If you can show that you have a desire to understand what they go through, it can make a significant difference in how you view one another. Displaying love and respect towards everyone, including those with a mental illness, is what’s most important.
· Educate one another: If you want to be compassionate and empathetic, you need to seek out information about mental illness. Furthermore, you should respectfully challenge others when you believe they are perpetuating stereotypes. Instead of taking the back seat, inform them.
· Push against stigmas in the media: In the media and on social media, people with mental illness are portrayed in a negative way. When you see this in articles, social groups and by politicians, it is your job get the story straight. Write a letter and respond online to those that blame the mentally ill in order to deflect the real issues.
· Openly speak about mental illness: Whether it is you or a friend, or a family member, it is important to speak about mental illness. Speak about the struggles, the transitions, the tough days and the brighter days. Mental illness is very common and yet it seems to be a secret. Don’t shy away from the topic.
Understanding Hypo-Active Sexual Desire Disorder
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is essentially the same as a “low libido” and is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions in women. The most common symptom in HDSS is a disinterest in all activities and thoughts related to sex. According to everydayhealth.com, as many as 43% of woman have experienced sexual dysfunction at some point in their life. While this is true, you may only be diagnosed with the HSDD if the disorder is causing distress in your life.
“Some people don’t want to have sex. If it’s not causing distress, it’s not dysfunction,” says sexual dysfunction expert Raymond C. Rosen, PhD, chief scientist at the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, MA.
HSDD Symptoms Include:
Low sex drive
Disinterest in sex
Disgust and physical symptoms such as pain
Risk Factors Include:
Changes in hormones
Physical health conditions
Emotional or mental issues including general life stress
Medication interference (Certain drugs can interfere with sexual function, including codeine, chemotherapy drugs, morphine, and some psychoactive drugs)
If you or your partner are suffering from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, treatment is available! Treatment options include therapy options such as: hormone therapy and individual/couples sex therapy. Besides therapy, CalNeuro is currently seeking participants for clinical trial opportunity in Los Angeles, CA testing a gel. If you are interested, please call CalNeuro at (310)208-7144.
Living with OCD | The Do's & Don'ts
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the name given to a condition in which people experience repetitive and upsetting thoughts and/or behaviors. OCD has two main features: obsessions and compulsions and living with it can be overwhelming and difficult to understand/cope with. People with OCD are not able to control or ignore unpleasant thoughts, which in turn causes frequent distress, anxiety and suffering. If you have OCD, you are not alone! OCD is more common than people think, affecting 1 in 44 U.S. adults.
Get Help: If you are experiencing symptoms of OCD, reach out to someone and seek professional help. OCD is more common than you think and is not something to be ashamed of.
Be Proud: You have an illness that some people can’t begin to understand living with, yet you do... everyday. Be proud of your ability to live with an overwhelming illness and recognize your efforts. Be proud of your strength. Be proud of your progress, whether big or small. You do what you need to do despite your OCD, and THAT is something to be proud of.
Forgive Yourself: Rid yourself of the past and focus on improving your future. People living with OCD tend to be very hard on themselves. Remember: You have an illness and that’s okay. Continue to move forward and try to put any regretful thoughts or behaviors behind you. It’s a new day.
Accept Risk and Challenge: When you least expect it, life will throw risk and challenge your way and it’s important to confront it, not run from it. Risk is unavoidable, so when presented with it, try to accept it and look at it as a positive opportunity to potentially make some progress.
Speaking of Progress: Don’t Get Impatient With Yours: Don’t get irritated if you aren’t making the progress you think you should be, and DON’T compare yourself to anyone else. We all move to the beat of our own drum!
Live with Guilt: OCD has a way of carrying painful or regretful memories. Put the past behind you. Every day is a new day, and with every new day comes new opportunities for progress and advancement. Try not to dwell on things you cannot change, and focus on the things you can!
Give Up Hope: Hope is so important! Always keep hope in your pocket and never lose sight of it. Hope will guide you down the path of success and potentially rid you of your OCD in time.
Think You Are Alone: 1 in 44 adults in the United States alone are living with OCD. And if you don’t want to talk to someone with OCD, you have professionals and countless resources like hotlines, chats, and support groups.
If you are struggling with OCD and are living in the LA area, we are currently enrolling patients diagnosed with OCD. Please call us at 310. 208.7144!