Stigma via Google:
Stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
"the stigma of mental disorder"
SSRIs via MayoClinic.org
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. They can ease symptoms of moderate to severe depression, are relatively safe and generally cause fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants do.
SNRIs via MayoClinic.org
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are a class of medications that are effective at easing depression symptoms. SNRIs are also sometimes used to treat other conditions such as anxiety and nerve pain.
Melatonin via WebMD.com
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland , a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement.
What does natural melatonin do in the body?Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.
Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression.
Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.
Why is melatonin used as a dietary supplement?Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag or sleepproblems (insomnia). Scientists are also looking at other good uses for melatonin, such as:
Anemia via MayoClinic.org
Anemia is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues. Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.
There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Loss of blood is the most common cause of anemia. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.
Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures. You may be able to prevent some types of anemia by eating a healthy, varied diet.
Vitamin D Deficiency via MayoClinic.org
Vitamin D deficiency — when the level of vitamin D in your body is too low — can cause your bones to become thin, brittle or misshapen. The role of vitamin D and insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and immune function — and how these relate to heart disease and cancer — is under investigation.
Although the amount of vitamin D adults get from their diet is often less than what's recommended, exposure to sunlight can make up for the difference. For most adults, vitamin D deficiency is not a concern. However, some groups — particularly people with dark skin and adults older than age 65 — may not get enough vitamin D in their diet or get enough sunlight for their bodies to produce it.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults is 600 IU of vitamin D a day. That goes up to 800 IU a day for those older than age 70. To meet this level, choose foods that are rich in vitamin D. For example, choose fortified foods such as milk and yogurt and fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna and halibut.
Don't over do it, though. Very high levels of vitamin D have not been shown to provide greater benefits. In fact, too much vitamin D has been linked to other health problems.
EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing via WebMd.com
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It's growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents.
Although research continues, EMDR remains controversial among some health care professionals.
At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.
Go to WebMD.com to read more. EMDR is indeed a fascinating technique that I will try.
Depression via MayoClinic.org:
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn't worth living.More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply "snap out" of. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or both. Other treatments also may help.
OCD via MayoClinic.org
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). It's also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD.
With OCD, you may or may not realize that your obsessions aren't reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.
OCD often centers around themes, such as a fear of getting contaminated by germs. To ease your contamination fears, you may compulsively wash your hands until they're sore and chapped. Despite efforts to ignore or get rid of bothersome thoughts, the thoughts or urges keep coming back. This leads to more ritualistic behavior — and a vicious cycle that's characteristic of OCD.
Mood Disorders via MayoClinic.org
If you have a mood disorder, your general emotional state or mood is distorted or inconsistent with your circumstances. Some examples of mood disorders include:
Oral Contraceptives via InformaHealthcare.com
Increased Risk of Mental Illness and Suicide in Oral Contraceptive and Hormone Replacement Therapy Studies
Epidemiological studies find that takers of contraceptive or menopausal steroid sex hormones are at increased risk of suicide and mental illness. In spite of omitting women from the UK Hormone Replacement Therapy Study who discontinued therapy within the first 12 months, the relative risk (RR) of suicide and suspected suicide was reported as 2.4. In the Royal College of General Practitioners' Oral Contraceptive Study, neurotic depression was the commonest reason for discontinuing hormones, and RRs for attempted suicide for current and former users were 1.42 and 2.12 respectively. In the Oxford/Family Planning Association Contraception Study, first-event hospital admission rates for self-poisoning were 0.83/1000 women years for oral contraceptive users but only 0.21 for diaphragm users. In the Walnut Creek Contraceptive Drug Study, RRs for current users were 3.2 for depressive neurosis and 2.0 for psychosis. The fact that mood and behaviour changes may be side-effects of taking hormones should be considered much more frequently. These changes may be immediate or occur insidiously over a period of time. Significant 'knock-on' effects for family life and society in general are possible. Hormones can cause changes in mineral and vitamin status which are associated with mental illness.
Do you known someone who is taking meds and has suddenly exclaimed: "I feel great!!!! I'm going to start weaning off my meds! Weeeeee!!" (Moi, perhaps?)
Well.... encourage her NOT to do so without speaking with her psychiatrist first. The doc will help the patient evaluate and come up with a plan if needed. If the plan fails (which has often for me)- then the doctor knows and can help with another plan.
For the ones weaning: It's a bad idea to wean and not tell anyone. One day- a friend may find you in a closet, holding a knife in paranoia. Or you may crash and decide to take a bunch of pills, blow your brains out, or jump off a bridge. Seriously, you can go from feeling happy and healthy to something dark and painful in a matter of days.
Figure out your go to person- the person who sees you or talks to you regularly. The person who can help gauge if you are messing with your meds and need help.
And if you are the family or friend, think about what it means to be the go-to person and offer if you can.
Removing the stigma 1 MB at a time. 12/2014