Depression (mood)

Mental Health Treatment Can Save Lives, But The Right Diagnosis Can Take Years

1,277 days. That’s approximately how long it took Nic Newling to figure out he was dealing with bipolar disorder after first reaching out for help.

Newling was born and raised in Sydney. He first began to notice something was wrong when he was a young teen in school. He felt panicked and burned out ― sometimes for no reason at all ― and it was severely destabilizing his everyday routine.

“I was a high achiever in school,” Newling recalled. “I was really dedicated to it, but halfway through that school year, I noticed I was getting really stressed and anxious. And from there it was a really long journey of trying to find the right help.”

He was admitted into an adolescent psychiatric hospital at age 14, where physicians believed he was dealing with some form of psychosis. He stayed for nine months.

Newling was diagnosed with major depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizoaffective disorder. He received medication and therapies to treat those specific illnesses. Nothing seemed to work.

At age 16, he underwent shock therapy, also known as electroconvulsive therapy. The controversial treatment sends small electric currents through the brain to alter its chemistry and treat issues like depression.

Newling reports feeling suicidal at the time. He knew, deep down, that he wasn’t getting the right help.

Data published by the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association found that 69 percent of people with bipolar disorder are originally misdiagnosed, and more than one-third remain misdiagnosed for a decade or more. Many factors can contribute to this, including the delayed onset of certain symptoms or patients not sticking with treatment.

After three and a half years of incorrect diagnoses and different treatment methods, Newling finally found relief during a stay at a different psychiatric facility. His attending doctor caught him in a period of mania. After another evaluation, his physician diagnosed him with bipolar II disorder and gave him more specific medication to treat it.

“I felt skeptical at first,” Newling said. “I’d been told I have so many different conditions over the years, and each one came with months or years of traveling down a path of no relief and diminishing hope.”

The major reason people are misdiagnosed is because their symptoms often materialize in different ways, says Bob Carolla, a spokesperson and senior writer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Finding the right treatment plan comes in stages,” he said. “Not all symptoms may be appearing at the same time. Others may not be immediately recognized as symptoms.”

This is especially true when it comes to high-functioning people. For example, if a person is ordinarily achievement-oriented or creative, it may not be obvious they’re having a manic episode, Carolla said.

While there are no definitive statistics on how often mental illnesses are misdiagnosed as a whole, research suggests that bipolar disorder is the most misdiagnosed condition. This could mean more treatment costs and lost workplace productivity, as well as increased risk of suicidal thoughts if the person isn’t getting the most effective…

How Not to Let Negative Thoughts Trump the Positive Vibes

Have you ever had one of those positive moments in life spoiled by a negative thought? Or maybe your life is constantly being clouded by these negative thoughts and its creating anxiety, stress and low mood.

If so, stick with me. I’m going to teach you a solution. Something that embraces biology and psychology, something you might not have thought of, something that has already helped hundreds of people dispel negative thoughts.

I’m going to teach you the unique equation that you can start using right now to stop these negative thoughts from suppressing your life. Stay with me, it might change your life forever.

It’s annoying to have a wonderful moment ruined by a negative thought.

You know when you’re having a good time and you’re completely in the moment. Not necessarily a life changing moment, but just good positive vibes.

Then that negative thought creeps into your mind and says ‘I’m not going let you have this moment’.

These negative thoughts are something I call ‘Positive Emotion Suppressors’. Why? Because they suppress so many aspects of life, take a look…

Out with friends… ‘I’m not going let you have this moment’.

Spending the day with your child… ‘I’m not going let you have this moment’

Having a good day at work… ‘I’m not going let you have this moment’.

Having a meal with your family… ‘I’m not going let you have this moment’

It takes the moment away. Your heart sinks and you have that rush of adrenalin and you’re suddenly not in the moment anymore. Instead you’re stuck in spiral of negative thoughts.

So, I’m going to teach the fool proof equation to stopping this and it’s probably not what you’re expecting.

This information is so valuable as it is the bridge between you enjoying these moments and breaking free from Positive Emotion Suppressors. When you think about it, that’s what life actually is… Being in the moment. When you’re not in the moment and focusing on negative thoughts, you’re not really living your life. This leaves you open to things like depression, anxiety and stress.

Before everything else, know where your negative thoughts come from.

When I say negative thought, I don’t just mean something negative that pops in your head for a few seconds. I’m talking about an uncontrollable obsessive negative thought that clouds everything and stops you taking in the moment.

This is created by 2 factors. It’s not just about psychology, but biology as well.

Let me explain…

This might sound complicated and sciencey. So let’s keep it simple. Imagine you have a bucket in your body. This bucket’s for stress hormones. If this bucket is too full, it starts to effect how well your body and mind function. It effects how well feel-good neurotransmitters work like serotonin (these…

This BLM Meditation Can Help People Cope With The Tiring Cycle Of Oppression

The “Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma” was released on Aug. 1, 2016.

Another unarmed black person ― this time a 15-year-old in Texas ― was killed this weekend by a police officer. When incidents like this occur, they can lead black Americans to feel a frustrating mix of despair, anger and hopelessness.

Dr. Candice Crowell, a professor at the University of Kentucky, was intent on creating a way for black Americans to cope with these devastating news stories. She created the “Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma” to help them attend to their spiritual health.

The 17-minute guided meditation was released in August 2016, less than a month after the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which Crowell said increased her interest in creating the audio. The meditation contains positive affirmations that were inspired by feelings of unworthiness Crowell picked up on from…

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study 1 published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression2 . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression3 worse explains4 the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study5 published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.6, social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially…

Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Compelling — And Chilling

Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel as the Handmaids Offred and Ofglen in Hulu’s new limited series,

Be warned: This story talks about characters who are forced into sexual slavery.

Hulu’s excellent adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a horror show unveiled in slow motion.

As the first episode begins, Mad Men alumna, Elizabeth Moss, is running, fleeing security forces with her daughter, minutes before they are both captured.

Then, time jumps to the near future. We learn Moss’s character is now a Handmaid, a woman forced to have babies. In one scene, we see her sitting in a simple room in a vast house, clad in a white bonnet, blood red dress and a shroud of melancholy thick as a suffocating blanket. “I had a window with white curtains and the glass is shatterproof,” she says in a weary monotone. “But it isn’t running away they’re afraid of. It’s those other escapes; the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge. My name is Offred. I had another name, but it’s forbidden now.”

Moss is compelling and relatable as Offred, a woman who seems both bewildered and numbed by the hideous world she’s living in. The series debuts on Hulu today.

Fans of Atwood’s 1985 novel know the setup: A brutal, totalitarian theocracy has replaced the U.S. government, sterility is rising due to environmental contamination and fewer women can have babies. Fertile women are captured and forced to serve as Handmaids to society’s elite leaders. Offred’s name denotes the commander she serves, Fred Waterford, played by Joseph Fiennes.

One searing scene features Offred’s memory of Aunt Lydia, the abusive headmistress who trains new Handmaids, quoting scripture and shocking the women with cattle prods. Eventually, she explains their duties as breeders. “You girls will serve the leaders of the faithful and their barren wives,” says Aunt Lydia, who cites Tinder as one source of the moral turpitude which…