Tag Archives: mental health

Defining #Depression @beyondblue #MentalHealth


“While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.” [Beyond Blue]

I’m sure that many depression sufferers will agree with  me that, when you are on your lowest, when you are down in the dark, you feel like no-one on earth can understand what you are going through.

You think that feeling bad is your fault, like you had a choice. You feel so alone. The thing is that many thousands of people are suffering just like you. Websites like Beyond Blue brings hope to depressives. It creates a safe environment where people can discover the truth about their disease and find a way out of their own, personal darkness.

Why don’t you pay them a visit today? Click here.

If you wish to discuss your depression with  me, please complete the contact form below and I’ll be in touch.


BEYOND BLUEWhat is Depression?  [Web:] sta.cr/2Ozux  [Date of Access:] June 21, 2017.

** Image source: herzimbabwe.co.zw


Memory Loss? Seven common Causes Of Forgetfulness

Via @HarvardHealth

Image via Psychology Today [3]

[Read full article by  Harvard Men’s Health Watch here.]

Have you ever went into a room, fully prepared to do something there and, upon arriving, that ‘something’ totally went AWOL from your mind? During a conversation, have you ever meant to tell a friend something, only to forget exactly what you wanted to tell? Names, for instance, that is quite a problem these days….always on the tip of the tongue, but rarely in your memory. It is frustrating; and certainly cause for concern. Are you experiencing the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Dementia?

“Anyone concerned about memory should talk with a doctor for further evaluation,’ says Dr. David Hsu, a geriatric psychiatrist with the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.” [1]

Harvard Health suggests that, before visiting your medical practitioner, you need to consider the following questions:

[Excerpt only. For more detailed discussion, click here to read full article.]

  1. Are you fatigued?
  2. What medications to you take?
  3. How much sleep are you getting?
  4. Do you exercise regularly?
  5. Are you stressed?
  6. Are you depressed?
  7. How much alcohol to you drink?

Any of the above can reduce memory performance. Some medications and alcohol have even been known to cause total memory black-outs. Society is moving at an alarming pace and we struggle to keep up, so feeling stressed and fatigued may be a normal part of your life, but it can indeed cause memory loss. The same goes for depression and lack of sleep. Answering the above questions doesn’t mean you’ve diagnosed yourself effectively and that you can now rest assured that your memory loss is normal. Visiting your physician is still important, as there can be underlying problems leading to fatigue, lack of sleep, depression and so forth. Having answered these 7 questions though, you will be prepared to have an open and honest discussion with your physician and it will certainly help him to decide on further tests and treatment.

Memory Healers posted a brilliant infographic that contains 8 tips those struggling with memory loss can use to help them get by. Have a look below:

Image via MemoryHealers [2]

Dr. Hsu adds that “a perceived change in your memory performance may simply be due to the well-documented slowdown in thinking speed with aging. Give your brain a break, and take a little more time to recall facts and to commit new ones to memory.” [1]


  1. Harvard Health: Memory Slips? Consider these seven common causes of forgetfulness.
  2. Memory Healers: Prevent Memory Loss
  3. Psychology Today: Case of the Malleable Memory [Image only]

3 Major Causes Of Depression — How To Heal Them Without Meds

Via @MindBodyGreen

[Excerpt only, read full article here.]

In this article dr Paul tells us about the book “The Emperors New Drugs” by dr Irving Kirsch. According to research explored in this book, it would seem that a lot of the things we believe, and have been told, about depression is wrong. The idea that brain imbalance causes depression, something that can easily be corrected by drugs, was actually an invention by pharmaceutical companies. Drugs, it would appear, only have a placebo effect on depression and the relapse rate for depressives on medication is higher than for those sufferers who seek psychological help.

Having worked with depression in patients for years, dr Paul identifies three particular causes for depression OTHER than brain imbalance:

  • Painful life situations like the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, financial problems, etc.
  • Physical causes from the gut – research has proven a link between imbalances in gut flora and depression.
  • Self-abandonment – implying that you feel a certain loss of control over your life. Issues like judging or shaming yourself constantly, addictions as means to avoid responsibility, ignoring your feelings, refraining from self-care (exercise, good nutrition), procrastination, etc.

[For more details on these causes, read full article here.]

Dr Paul suggests that the only successful treatment for depression is psychotherapy and/or trauma therapy. In doing so the sufferers will be helped by professionals who can teach them how to use certain healing techniques or tools, like self-actualization, acceptance, stress management and many more. [Read about the techniques, suggested by Dr Paul, on how people can heal their depression. Click here.]

MBG – Editor’s note: This piece was written by Dr. Margaret Paul, a therapist with more than 40 years of experience. It’s not a diagnostic tool but is hopefully a resource.

[Read full article by Dr Margaret Paul on MindBodyGreen. Click here.]


3 Major Causes Of Depression — And How To Heal Them Without Meds – mindbodygreen.com

9 Signs Of A High-Functioning Alcoholic

Teenage Stress: What’s normal and when to get help

Teen stress: What’s normal and when to get help | Fox News.

@elizabethrenter @foxnews 

Teen stress: what's normal and when to get help

[Read Elizabeth Renter’s article on Fox News. Click here.]

The subject of childhood stress and depression seems to surround me this week. Everywhere I turn on the web and in the newspapers, someone somewhere mentions it in one way or another. It is obvious that we are all very concerned for our children.

With the memory of the 14-year old who committed suicide earlier this week still fresh in our minds, I would like to continue my discussion on depression, stress and its symptoms. In my opinion one cannot be over-informed on this subject. Our children are precious and they have the right to grow up healthy and successful, without the added emotional baggage that goes with depression, stress and anxiety. It is important that we teach our children how to deal with their issues early on. As parents it is our responsibility to give them the necessary tools to deal with stressors so that they can become adept at using their skills to combat any emotional strain in future. One cannot avoid stress in our day and age, but one can learn to deal with it in a healthy, non-destructive way.

We, as parents are not only here to feed and clothe our kids, or give them a home and pay for schooling, we need to prepare them to become adults in an unforgiving world and, in the process, we may learn valuable lessons of our own.

Elizabeth Renter recently published an article in Fox News about teenage stress. The article gives insight into normal levels of teen stress and provides a list of tell-tale signs and symptoms that could indicate that the teen is overwhelmed. While teenagers, in general, have a certain amount of stress in their lives, and while some stress can even be beneficial, parents need to be prepared to confront issues if their child presents with these symptoms that show he or she is under abnormal amounts of stress. DO NOT HESITATE TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM.

[Click here to read the full article.]

The American psychological Association conducted a survey in 2013 and found that teens report unhealthy stress levels that exceed those of adults. 31% of teens reported feeling overwhelmed by stress and 30% said stressors were the cause of their sadness and/or depression. [Source: FoxNews].


[Source: FoxNews via dr Jamie Howard]

*         Changes in eating and sleeping habits

*         Overwhelming worries about things that are beyond their control (like global events, being ‘’perfect’’, etc)

*         Fear of humiliation when doing everyday tasks (eating in front of others or saying the wrong things)

*         Recurring and intrusive thoughts they cannot seem to control (fear of germs, paranoia, e.g. someone is out to ‘get’ them)

*         Refusal to be away from parents or refusing to go to school


[Source: FoxNews via the American Psychological Association]

*         Listen to what they say – do not interrupt them

*        Provide thoughtful responses

*        Do not over-react; keep calm 

Renter closes the article with the following statement: “By talking to your child, keeping a close eye on her behaviors, modeling positive stress management techniques and not being afraid to reach out for help, you’re most likely to set your teen up for success.” [Source: Fox News]

This article contains added links and has more valuable information about teen stress and depression, please do yourself and your child a favor, click here, and read it in full.

Understanding Depression

Via @lifehackorg @DoSomething.org #Suicide.Org @Guardian_UK @PsychCentral

Depression via The Guardian

Yesterday an article in one of our local South Afican papers, Maroela Media, shocked the country. A beautiful, talented 14-year old girl jumped to her death from the second storey of a popular mall in Northern Johannesburg. Her parents were caring and considerate, they knew about her worries and she was receiving treatment, yet she still felt it was necessary to take her own life. I cannot imagine the pain those parents are going through….to think that, despite their efforts, their child was still silently suffering.

Recently I heard someone say that for every statistic, be it murder, suicide or death by natural causes, a family is torn apart by grief. One should never lose sight of that….death causes pain, but imagine the guilt and confusion when someone commits suicide, when someone suffers from depression, yet hide it so effectively that none is the wiser.

Depression is a disease of our times; everyone suffers under the stress and strain, not to mention the trauma, of daily life. Children in pre-school are already pressured into performance, they are measured by a certain yard-stick, they are boxed and packaged and, if they do not fit, they are bullied, scolded and isolated from the ”group”. That is only the beginning….and only at school. Have you noticed how many children in school come from broken homes? Single-parent homes? Children torn in a battle between Mom and Dad, children shunted from one home to another, children with alcoholic parents, children with deceased parents, abandoned children….the list goes on and on and, in the meantime, the pressure builds.

In adolescence it only grows….trying to fit in with the crowd, battling to make your grades, please your parents, please your teachers, perform well in extra-curricular activities…and, of course, the old teenage-angst…the hormones going every which way, the love triangles, etc, etc.

Adulthood brings more responsibility, more stress –  money problems, relationship problems, being pressured into having a successful career, being the best mother/father/spouse, competing on a social level with the in-crowd….it simply never stops. And I am not even talking about the conflict we are bombarded with every day in the media…it seems that the whole world is a confusion of death, war, famine, disease, natural disasters…life is truly overwhelming and many people, adults and children, may feel they are not merely living anymore, they are simply surviving.

Therefore it is no wonder that, when I Googled ”depression, statistics” I immediately got a startling result. Have a look:

[Statistics and information via DoSomething.org]

  1. 1 in 4 young adults will suffer an episode of depression before age 24.
  2. More than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally.
  3. The WHO estimates that depression will be the 2nd highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, 2nd only to HIV/AIDS.

Keeping in mind the connection between depression and suicide, I continued and had a look at the statistics for global incidents of suicide.

[Statistics via Suicide.org and The Guardian UK]

  1. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29
  2. Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year
  3. The global suicide rate is 16 per 100.000 population.
  4. On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
  5. 1.8% of worldwide deaths are suicides
  6. In the past 45 years, global suicide rates have increased with 60%

This is indeed frightening, isn’t it? To think that people we see everyday, those that we pass on the street, family, friends, may hide this dark secret, this terrible pain…and when they take the final step, we wonder how we could have missed the signs. What could we have done to prevent it?

Dr Shekhar Saxena, director of the department of mental health and substance abuse at the WHO said: ”Suicidal tendencies are transitory. People who have an intense desire to commit suicide grab the nearest possible means. If you can restrict their access, even for a few hours, you can save a lot of lives. People think about it and talk to people and decide not to do it.” [Via The Guardian UK.]

The question remains: How do we prevent suicide? Depression lies at the root of suicidal tendencies and if we are well versed in the typical symptoms of depression, we may be able to save a life.

[Information via PsychCentral.com]

Typical symptoms of clinical depression:

  1. Constant depressed mood – feelings of sadness and emptiness. People may appear tearful, morose or irritable.
  2. Diminished interest in activities that previously brought pleasure. Person may seem brooding and isolated.
  3. Significant weight loss or weight gain or decrease or increase of appetite.
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  6. Constant fatigue or loss of energy
  7. Constant feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
  8. Inability to concentrate or to think clearly. Person seems indecisive.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or recurrent suicidal ideation or suicide attempt. [More details on symptoms can be found here.]

If you think someone you know may be in danger, please do not hesitate to confront them directly. Sometimes all these people need is just someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on…a friend that will understand.

The infograph below, compiled by Lifehack.com, will provide more information about the nature of depression. Understanding the disease is the first step in conquering it and, perhaps, saving a precious life.



The Guardian


How Reiki Can Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety

Via @mindbodygreen by @acu_margarita

How Reiki Can Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety - mindbodygreen.com - Photo Credit: Stocksy

[Quote from MindBodyGreen-article by Margarita Alcantara. Read full article here.]

‘When a patient comes to me requesting a Reiki treatment, I know they’re ready to release old energy, patterns, and/or beliefs that no longer serve them. They may be fully aware of this, or just know on a subconscious level that whatever they’ve been doing has not been working. The idea of experiencing a Reiki session to balance their chakras seems to just feel right.

Reiki is an energy healing technique that uses “hands-on” and also “hands-off” healing. This technique can assist in relieving or reducing pain and discomfort by balancing the body’s energy centers, more commonly known as the chakras. It is a natural process that supports relaxation and healing by removing blocks to the flow of energy in your body and facilitates balance and support on all levels.

The reason why Reiki can be so powerful and effective is because it infuses your chakras and your body, with Universal light energy. Your body takes exactly what it needs to at that point in time. As a practitioner, my responsibility is to simply act as a conduit for Universal energy in order to help healing take place optimally, so that your body can heal itself…..’Continue reading here.

‘Reiki helps us reconnect with our heart, our true center, realigning us with our Higher Self.

Fear is often a strong emotion, but it is ultimately an illusion, albeit a powerful one. Love, however, is real. And, Reiki helps us reconnect to ourselves — to Love.

So when we use Reiki to clear out the energetic debris in our chakras and reconnect to our self-love, as well as our love for others, we become aware of the destructive patterns we’ve been holding onto. That’s when we can start to learn how to break them…..’Continue reading here.


‘During a Reiki session, you’ll feel calmer, and be able to take full, deep and easy breaths. Your muscles start to release tension, your heart rate will become moderate and adrenals will be put at ease. There’s a deep sense that everything will be OK, despite all of your struggles...’Continue reading here.

How Reiki Can Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety – mindbodygreen.com.