Category Archive Depression

ByAnxious Minds

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Could it Work for You?

Anxiety disorders can be very difficult medical conditions with which to live. However, if you are suffering from panic disorder, social phobias, generalised anxiety disorder, or any one of the numbers of other anxiety disorders, all is not lost. By talking to your doctor, you can get help controlling your symptoms and treating these disorders at the core. One form of treatment you can consider is cognitive behaviour therapy.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy. With cognitive therapy, a person learns to understand and change their thoughts and beliefs. With behavioural therapy, a person learns to change specific actions. Combining these two treatments is not difficult and have provided anxiety disorder patients with the very best results.

Cognitive therapy focuses mainly on patients recognising certain things within themselves. Many people are confused about cognitive therapy—it isn’t about changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts to push for happiness. Instead isn’t about changing destructing thoughts that are often repetitive and feed into anxiety to thoughts that are more easily controlled and do not trigger anxiety attacks.

Behaviour therapy, on the other hand, focuses on changing your actions instead. Relaxation and breathing exercises are common with behavioural therapy for anxiety disorder patients. Another type of behavioural therapy treatment commonly used is desensitisation, which places patients in situations that cause anxiety gradually, to get used to the idea and control the anxiety.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy does not work well for absolutely everyone. While there are many people who can benefit from this form of treatment, there are others who will do better with other treatments. If you are considering cognitive behavioural therapy, you need to meet two qualifications. First, you have to be motivated to change. If you are resistant to change, you won’t do the work required to make cognitive behavioural therapy work and recovery is not possible. Secondly, you need to have access to a therapist specially trained to deal with cognitive behavioural therapy. Your doctor can help you find a professional in your area.

In short, think about trying cognitive behavioural therapy as a form of treatment for your anxiety disorders, even if nothing else has helped you can come along to Anxious minds support groups. When you seek treatment, you put yourself on the right track for actually feeling better. Seeing a doctor and learning about all of your treatment options is the first step towards overcoming your anxiety disorder and controlling your life once again.

ByAnxious Minds

Loving Someone with Bipolar

Giving unconditional love for bipolar disorder patients is a tough job. If you do not understand what is happening to your loved one, then you will have difficulty relating to them.

Trust is essential to individuals with the Bipolar disorder. You’re loved one needs you to trust them. To build up trust, an open and honest communication is needed. Keep the communication line open. An open and honest communication is vital. Encourage you’re loved one to talk about what they think and feel. Let you’re loved one suggest ways on how you are supposed to relate to them.

Do not suppress what you feel. However, there are positive ways to let you’re loved one know how you feel. It is recommended that you avoid nagging, preaching or lecturing an individual with Bipolar disorder. Such negative actions will drive him to detach. If you are concerned about them, let them see how concerned you are in a gentle and encouraging manner.

Let you’re loved one do things their way. Along with trust and communication, let the person experience what they can do for themselves. Let them solve problems if they can find solutions. Let you’ve loved one live the way they want to.

Be there. Although you allow them to do things there own way, it does not mean that you will not be there when you’re loved one needs you to. Let them do things their way but make sure that you are around to assist when needed.

Most importantly, apart from assistance, you need to offer your love, understanding and support and just love each other. Anxious minds offers support to family’s and friends

ByAnxious Minds

Bipolar Disorder in Children

Bipolar disorder is a being diagnosed in children as young as six years old in recent years. Some doctors think this is a good assessment of many children while others think the diagnosis is overdone. While it may be just an intellectual controversy to some, others who know a child who may have bipolar disorder will not be amused. It is important therefore to take into account all the facets of the disorder.

It is a tricky diagnosis, to say the least. Bipolar disorder in children often appears similar to ADHD, or as simply rambunctious childhood behaviour. Young children may cycle fast, meaning that they go from a depressed state to a manic state and back, etc. very quickly, often within weeks or even days.

Suicide attempts often happen on the spur of the moment, with little or no warning. This is different than in most adults where the depression is often long-lasting, and suicide attempts may be well thought-out. For this reason, it is imperative that children with the disorder be treated successfully.

Bipolar disorder in children often presents in mania. In the younger children, this is often likely to come with hallucinations, both auditory and visual. It may seem that these would be difficult to distinguish from a healthy imagination. Sometimes, in fact, it is. Many times, though, the visions and voices are more disturbing and threatening than a healthy child would imagine.

Teens with bipolar disorder are, for the most part, similar in their symptoms to adults. A major complicating factor with teens is the use of drugs and alcohol. As with adults, this practice of trying to use street drugs and alcohol to control mood swings is called “self-medicating.” It is a dangerous business and often masks the symptoms of the disorder. Bipolar disorder in children should always be considered when drugs are being used by them if only to rule it out.

Bipolar disorder in children who are older, such as teenagers, is still different from the adult disorder in that the person with the disorder is still a minor. This leads to situations where the older child has an adversarial relationship with authorities and is therefore hard to convince that treatment is a good thing.

There are some ways to cut down on the confusion. Speaking with the child’s teachers gives an outside opinion of how the child is doing day-to-day. Also, this shows how the child fares in a different setting from the home environment. Bipolar disorder in children, if it is masquerading as some other form of disorder or behaviour, is more likely to be found out if more people are alert to its symptoms.

Getting a second opinion is also very important since so many doctors disagree on bipolar disorder in children. Once the second opinion is obtained, the family can make a more informed decision as to what the problem is and how to proceed. Doctors may not all agree on bipolar disorder in children, but a second opinion should help to clarify the situation. The parent or guardian can listen carefully and determine if the doctor’s explanation sounds accurate. Then, ultimately, it is the parents’ job to make the call. Misdiagnosis and wrong treatment would be unthinkable, but if bipolar disorder in children is the correct diagnosis, it is surely better to accept it.

ByAnxious Minds

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

There may come a time when a person needs to determine if a loved one needs to seek help for his or her problems. In fact, there may come a time for many, when it is essential to be able to recognise bipolar disorder symptoms.

Bipolar disorder symptoms fall into three main categories. These are manic symptoms, psychotic symptoms, and depressive bipolar disorder symptoms. If several of these symptoms are occurring, it may be time to go in for a consultation.

Manic bipolar disorder symptoms are numerous. They all share a certain feeling, though. Everything is faster, grander, and generally bigger than life. A person in a manic state may be much more active than usual. He or she may think and talk faster than he or she usually does. Everything about that person is exaggerated, including his or her overwhelming feeling of self-importance.

Such a person may have grand schemes and adventures in the works. When these plans don’t pan out, that person will generally blame some extraneous factor if, in fact, he or she takes the time to consider it at all. Usually, it’s simply off to the next idea. These are not just whimsical behaviours but are actually bipolar disorder symptoms.

When manic, people tend to be reckless. They can end up doing things that affect their personal relationships or may go so far as landing them in jail. This may be seen by someone who is not alert to bipolar disorder symptoms as simply a problem with their conduct. The truth is that those people probably need treatment to do better. It isn’t just a matter of making up one’s mind to do the right thing.

There are also physical bipolar disorder symptoms of mania that may be quite obvious. A person who feels little or no need for food or sleep may turn out to be in a manic state. While some may be able to function this way, at least for a while, most of us need rest and sustenance to maintain ourselves.

Psychotic bipolar disorder symptoms come mostly with mania, but can often come with mixed moods and occasionally with depressive bipolar disorder symptoms. Psychosis merely refers to a break with reality. This can come in the form of hallucinations, both auditory (hearing voices, etc.) and visual. Delusions, or false beliefs, are also bipolar disorder symptoms. For example, a person may falsely believe that he or she is actually some famous historical figure.

During the depression, bipolar disorder symptoms can often be easily seen if one is willing to look carefully. Apathy may be a sign of depression, but other clues are even more telling. Indecisiveness and low self-esteem seem to go hand in hand in depressive bipolar symptoms.

Physical bipolar disorder symptoms of depression include fatigue, weight gain or loss, and eating or sleeping more or less than usual. The person who is displaying bipolar disorder symptoms of depression seems to be telling the world that he or she simply doesn’t care enough take good physical care.

One should never look for trouble where there is none. There is no need to be afraid of any slight variation in the moods or habits of a loved one. However, if things just don’t seem right, it doesn’t hurt to be able to recognise bipolar disorder symptoms.

ByAnxious Minds

Food for the Soul: Walking Made Me Feel Good

I have always loved walking. I am not able to really explain why, but the simple act of walking, of putting one foot in front of another and the creating a movement of motion, has always made me feel good, giving me a sense of freedom. I remember that summer especially, when I decided to go for a week-long hike on the way to Santiago, in Spain. My bag was a little bit too heavy, and my feet were hurting me, but I felt like I was liberated.

For me, it has always been easier to talk while walking. On that trip, I was alone with a friend, and our adventure, our sharing of something only us could see, made communication much easier. My anxious mind started to soothe. Walking along the seashore, and the mountain and the forests calmed me down. I was focused on my goal for each day; I had to reach that town or this village, and it was the biggest thing on my mind – maybe sharing a little bit of space with the food breaks! Every day, I could say that I had achieved something, I had accomplished the aim I had set for myself in the morning.

It may sound trivial, but it is actually quite important. Having something to be satisfied with – even proud of if I may say – at the end of each day is crucial to boost your self-esteem and feel better about yourself. Personally, it makes me feel like I am worthy of something, that I can still accomplish things in my life. It’s all about the little things, as the saying goes. Even if I am at home all day with nothing in particular to do, I now try to go out and take a little stroll. If anything, I have managed to get myself out of the house for a few minutes, to get dressed and make myself look acceptable for the outside world. This simple gesture makes me feel like my day was not completely wasted and keeps me from losing grip completely.

Being outside, looking at life going by, the animals, the people, the sea, has some kind of magical, relaxing effect. I stop thinking about how miserable I may feel, or how anxious I am. I start acknowledging the world can be pleasant. I close my eyes, and I soak the sun in, or I feel the cold wind on my face, and somehow I feel rejuvenated. Almost like a new beginning.

ByAnxious Minds

5 Smartphone Apps against Depression

Positive Activity Jackpot

Not so long ago, we were talking about the benefits of engaging in fun and positive activities to stop the vicious circle of depression. If what you need to start is a little help and inspiration, Positive Jackpot Activity is your cue! This free app is based on pleasant event scheduling and helps you finding activities near you, available at the time you are looking. No need to think and to twist your brain around, Positive jackpot Activity has it sorted for you.

Smiling Mind

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety? Smiling Mind is an innovative app specially designed to, well, make your mind smile again. Its originality lies in the fact that it primarily targets teenagers. It has been developed by psychologists with special training in adolescent therapy and is as such extremely reliable. The app gives you a choice between several mindfulness meditation programmes arranged by age groups, with a new session every day. You can keep track of how long you have meditated and complete a little self-check questionnaire after each session to track the progress made on your general mood and feelings. Perfect for the meditation beginners.

Mood coach

Now, this is an app I have recently started using. Mood Coach helps you motivate yourself by setting weekly goals and activities you have to complete. First, you start by selecting up to five categories (health, friendship, work, …). Each week, you will then choose a certain number of activities that you have to complete in each category. Each activity will earn you points depending on your own assessment of how enjoyable, difficult and important they are. Be honest and let the coach help you feel better ! You can also track the evolution of your daily mood and take a more comprehensive test every other week to let you know where you stand with depression and anxiety.

Secret of Happiness

This app takes you on a 30-day challenge to make you feel happy. Every day in the morning, the app will ask you to focus on one thing that makes you happy. It can be things you are thankful for, or something you enjoy doing. At night, before you go to sleep, the app will ask you again, and you will have to answer with something that made you happy during the day. After 30days, your brain will be trained to be more aware of the things that make you happy, bringing your general happiness up significantly. It’s in the little things…

Sleep Cycle

Being anxious, depressed, or both does not often leave a lot of space for some good quality sleep. You may find yourself either sleeping too much or too little, always being tired. Sleep Cycle is an app that analyses the sleep through your movements during the night and wakes you up at the most optimal time during your sleep cycle (i.e. not when you are in the middle of a deep sleep !). The alarm is set on a 30-minute window and can be preset if you need to be up for work or school at a certain hour.

ByAnxious Minds

Anxiety, Depression and Defense Mechanisms

Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, came up with his own theory of explaining the occurrence of anxiety and depression as part of human experience. His explanation of this phenomena traces its origin from the three divisions of the psyche. According to Freud, the human psyche is divided into the id, ego, and superego. These three divisions are only acquired eventually as a person also grows. To have a better understanding of the psyche and its three divisions, one should start with the world and its components.

The world is made up of numerous and different components, and one of those components is the human organism. A human organism has a special ability to survive and reproduce, his guiding force being his needs such as hunger, thirst, fear of pain and sex. It should be noted that these needs are part of a person’s unconscious mind. A person’s psyche is sensitive to these needs and transforms them into instincts, drives or wishes. This division of the psyche functions with a process called the pleasure principle and it is described as the id’s responsibility to take care of the needs immediately. This behaviour is mostly observed during infancy just like when a baby cries when it is hungry or thirsty. However, when a person’s need is not satisfied by the id his or her need just becomes stronger.

This need then enters the conscious mind which is associated with another division of the psyche. This part of the psyche is called the ego and it relates a person’s consciousness or reality. This part of the psyche operates based on the reality principle. The reality principle is about the belief that the ego will respond to satisfy the need as soon as it finds the appropriate object to satisfy it. However, as the ego continuously responds to an organism’s needs, it sometimes experiences obstacles against attaining its goals as well as things that assist it to attain the goals. The ego keeps track of these two types of factors, particularly the rewards and punishments that are given by two of the most influential persons in an organism’s life, his or her parents. The records that the ego keep about obstacles to avoid and the strategies it must take are all passed onto the superego, the third division of a person’s psyche. It is only when someone is around five or seven years old that this part of the psyche becomes complete.

The superego is divided into two subparts, the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience is the internalisation of the punishments and the warnings while the ego ideal is based on the rewards and positive models that a person had encountered. The superego, together with its subparts, communicate their own requirements to the ego through feelings such as shame, guilt, and pride. Because of the existence of the superego, a person also acquires a new set of needs as well as wishes. However, these new sets of needs are based on social rather than biological origins. These new wishes coming from the superego are sometimes in conflict with the wishes from the id, often leaving the ego overwhelmed or threatened.

This overwhelmed and threatened feeling of the ego is where anxiety comes from. According to Freud, there are three kinds of anxiety. The first kind is called realistic anxiety and it takes the form of human fears which are consequences of threats from the physical world. The second one is known as moral anxiety and it is a result of the threat that the ego perceives from the social world. It usually takes the form of feelings such as guilt, shame, and fear of punishment. Finally, the third kind of anxiety is called neurotic anxiety and it is a result of the fear of being overwhelmed by the impulses.

In order for the ego to deal with these threats without feeling overwhelmed, it sometimes unconsciously blocks the impulses or distorts them into more acceptable forms. This process of blocking and distorting is what Freud called a ìdefense mechanism.

Defence mechanisms come in various forms. One mechanism, in particular, is called turning against self. This happens when a person feels negative impulses such as hatred, aggression, and anger towards others but displaces these impulses to one’s self. This explains human emotions of inferiority, guilt, and depression. Depression, Freud further explains, actually results from anger that a person refuses to acknowledge.

As more and more people, nowadays, experience having problems with regards to their anxieties and depression, a better understanding of these concepts from a Freudian perspective can actually help in resolving it. According to Freud, resolution can only be achieved when a person is made aware of those experiences or ideas in the unconscious and therapy be directed to the root of the problems which are most likely rooted in the unconscious.

ByAnxious Minds

Peer Pressure and Depression

It’s hard to get out around other people when I am depressed, and I have been depressed all my life. My self-esteem makes me think that I in no way measure up to others. I wonder if maybe, I am too tall, overweight, clumsy, don’t wear the right clothes, people hate me, people think I am a bum. Those are all of the things I am thinking when I go out in the world. I feel I am under constant scrutiny.

I have been trying something different lately, and sometimes it works. I have been trying not to look at people to see if they are looking at me. Now I realise that if I go through life with my head down or with blinders on, people may look at me even more.
What works for me (sometimes) is to focus on other things. We are all people watchers, but I try to limit it
to watching people at a distance. At close range I try to focus on something else like the scenery, be it trees, buildings or the traffic light (when I am waiting to cross the street).
It is very discouraging and heartbreaking when we don’t feel like we are just as good as other people.

On bad days when I try to get out and do something such as go to the shops or see my family, I soon feel the need to get back to my home. Sometimes I cover the windows with my blinds and hibernate.

It feels almost like my identity is being absorbed when I am out and about. It takes a long while to feel better after I’ve returned home. It’s a terrible feeling which I am sure many people have…..low self-esteem which can go even lower when around people. It seems like a loss of myself that leaves my physique grasping at anything just to feel better. I will drink more, eat a lot more, and be very restless.

I try to keep busy and also try to sleep as much as I can. It really does feel as if “I” don’t exist.
When you are depressed, it is so hard to keep yourself motivated and get out of bed. When you wake up, you just lay there. You try to enjoy your coffee when you do get up and not just drink it because you need it.

The last few days I have sought to do at least something such as wash clothes one day and dishes the next. The important thing is that I give myself credit for what I do, no matter how little it is.
I think I have motivated myself to get out of my house today and do some walking (I picked the coldest day of the year so far. ha! ha!)

When we are feeling like this, it is our struggle and no one else’s. Our self-esteem is low, our confidence is low, and we feel lost. We are in control of what we actually do accomplish. Yes, a pat on the back is in order, even if all I do today is wash my dishes. Anxious minds together we will beat anxiety and depression.

ByAnxious Minds

Winning the War Within: High Anxiety Hits UK Soldiers

Almost always, the leading stories in the evening news were about the daily tragedies in Iraq and Afghanistan when the wars were on. News, highlighted by graphic images of the war, reporting about mounting pressures of serving on the frontlines. From roadside bombs to encounters with the Taliban fighters  — the constant threat posed by unseen enemies have been hounding UK troops since Day One of the war.

Anxious Minds understands that wounds sustained in the service of your duties is not always physical and can affect anyone,  Our founder was diagnosed with clinical depression, chronic Anxiety and PTSD  after he left the Armed Forces and struggled to find support.  We understand that the real battle for those affected in service can often begin at home. More than 30,000 UK personnel have been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, with a third of that number completing at least two tours of duty. Those who actually have to do the fighting try to exercise the will to win, not because of the politics, but because they need to survive to gain the victory.

For others, the cause of anxiety is not just the dangers of being out on combat patrols or missions in enemy-held territory. The loneliness of separation from family and loved ones can be an emotionally draining situation, whether one is in war or not. While facilities have been put in place to allow soldiers on a break to call their families and friends, these do not seem to make up for the lost time. Missed birthdays, anniversaries, and even the burial of a parent or close relative only add up to the painful detachment of the soldiers from being a regular part of the lives of those most important to them.

It is not unusual to hear of stories of soldiers who celebrated the birth of the first baby, not in the delivery room, but in some shell scrape in the middle of the desert, thousands of miles away from home. Others were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan just a few days after getting married, a situation that certainly puts an early strain on newlyweds who need to have a strong foundation for their marital relationship.

Those who survive the tour of duty can get back to their normal lives out of the Army. They choose not to talk about their experience in the war. Most would rather forget the war to focus on getting a job and to go back to the lives they led before they entered the Armed Forces. However, many ex-soldiers are still struggling to survive the war long after they have left the deadly streets and mountains of Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to reports, 12 percent of all UK servicemen and women who were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It is a psychological condition that is brought about by witnessing or being exposed to a traumatic event. Some symptoms of PTSD include depression, memory problems, isolation, emotional numbness, helplessness, and other signs of distress. Cases of marital problems and job instability have also been associated with PTSD sufferers.

The high anxiety that was mainly a result of their deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan has left PTSD patients unable to relate to other people, even to those closest to them. Others reported feeling a tremendous sense of guilt especially for the deaths of friends or civilians caught in the middle of the armed conflict. The range of adverse effects of PTSD can be mild to severe emotional distress. Some with serious cases of this disorder are already emotionally and physically dysfunctional.

Emotional healing is a difficult but necessary process that every PTSD patient must go through. To assist those diagnosed with the disorder, Anxious minds has already organised small group therapy sessions and regular psychiatric consultations. Other forms of interventions to address PTSD include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family education and therapy
  • Social rehabilitation therapy
  • Medical Treatment

In cases where psychiatric counselling is no longer effective, PTSD patients may be given anti-anxiety medication to help alleviate the symptoms of the disorder. While some improvements have been seen in ex-soldiers who volunteered to undergo counselling, a growing number of traumatised men and women who came home from Iraq and Afghanistan have yet to access information and services they need for their psychological health. Winning the war against sadness and trauma is a battle that all PTSD patients must win if they ever hope to really get out of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Anxious minds is a veteran lead charity supporting all suffering with PTSD  together we will beat Anxiety and Depression.