Suffering from a psychological disorder like depression, OCD or dementia could adversely affect your thought processes, preventing you from thinking and reasoning in the same way as a normal and healthy individual. “Research has suggested that processing speed — the ability to take in information quickly and efficiently — is impaired in individuals who are depressed,” explains Natascha Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and behavior therapist in Great Neck, N.Y. If you have panic attacks time and again or you feel unduly anxious, then, you’re most likely to have a distorted view of yourself, your illness, and everything directly or indirectly impinging on your wellbeing. You could also end up making mistakes without even realizing that you’ve done so, which could aggravate your suffering.
Robin Williams. Chester Bennington. Chris Cornell. Kurt Cobain. What do they have in common aside from being a famous Hollywood celebrity? They all committed suicide.
Suicide is a deliberate act of killing oneself. Persons who are suffering from major depression, chronic medical conditions and serious mental illness are prone to suicide. Some experts say that it is an act of expressing an internal conflict related to perceptions of hopelessness and despair while others justify the act as a form of liberation and being free from all the hardships.
“Even though the majority of youth victimized by bullying/cyberbullying do not commit suicide, in many cases bullying increases a young person’s risk of thinking about suicide and making a plan.” says psychologist Margaret R. Paccione, PhD.
Life Events Impact Your Mental Health
Some cases of depression are often triggered by a traumatic event. Being diagnosed with cancer can affect your emotional health. Feelings of depression, fear and anxiety are very common and normal responses to this life-changing news. Often, people with depression after getting the news of a cancer diagnosis will pretend everything is okay so as to not feel that they would further burden family members.
“The nightmares or recollections may come and go, and a person may be free of them for weeks at a time, and then experience them daily for no particular reason.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said.
It is important that you deal with your feelings and you should consider seeking out help from a number of online resources such as online Depression Chat Rooms. It’s impossible to predict how you will react or feel about being diagnosed with cancer. You could experience a number of feelings and emotions such as:
- Shock and disbelief
- Guilt and blame
- Sorrow and sadness
- Fear and uncertainty
Are you feeling depressed?
Depression is a medical illness that negatively affects your emotional well-being and impacts your ability to function in your daily life. Depression also not only affects those who have it but also those around depressed individuals. The symptoms of depression will vary between people. You may experience a few or all of the symptoms. These symptoms can also present between mild and severe levels and can include:
- Feeling sad
- Feelings of hopelessness, restlessness, anxiety and low self-esteem
- Loss of interest in the activities you used to once enjoy
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss or gain
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Give Depression Chat Rooms a Try
Speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings is a good start. You can try talking with people close to you, doctors or even therapists. Always remember depression is treatable.
There are a number of different forms of therapy and supports resources you can use. Seeking out support and getting help can sometimes feel very challenging. We often fear that people may judge us or feel afraid about burdening other people with your problems.
Most often we fear people would see us as weak so we pretend everything is okay. One of the support resources people with depression can use is stranger chat, where you can freely and without prejudice seek support and advice.
“Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression.” says Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD.
Take Advice to Heart
“A cancer diagnosis strikes at the core of our being. We may feel that life as we have known it is over and we face a dark and painful journey into the unknown with no light at the end of the tunnel.” The Upside of Cancer: How a Terrifying Illness Can Lead You to a New Life by Christopher Foster
Being diagnosed with cancer is not the end. It is okay to go through the emotions, it is alright to feel afraid and you are allowed to ask for help. You do not have to deal with this alone. Find the support platform that works for you and start your journey toward healing your mind. Ask for advice, voice your emotions and feelings and take from that what works for you.
Sometimes, voicing your emotions out loud can be distressing. “When people come to us with a problem, it is almost instinctual to attempt to solve it. This is due to us wanting to help as well as our desire to solve problems.” says Jennifer Artesani Blanks, M.Ed., LMHC. Often people find it difficult to speak about how they feel. This is where Depression Chat Rooms are most helpful. Putting your feelings and emotions into written words could be easier for you. Speaking to others with depression also helps in understanding that what you feel is not uncommon or a sign of weakness. There are millions of people across the globe that share similar emotions, symptoms and even anxiety and fear about being diagnosed with cancer. You are not alone and all that is needed is for you to reach out.
Telling people that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can imaginably be difficult. Some people may doubt if you are making up your condition, which is something that a lot of millennials get accused of nowadays. Others say, “At least it is not depression or anorexia or autism.” Yes, there can be discrimination when it comes to mental health disorders as well. According to Patrick W. Corrigan, PsyD, “people with mental illness were significantly less likely to get cardiac care compared with another group that was not labeled that way. I would argue that the general healthcare system is one of those bodies that tends to treat people with mental illness differently.”
It would be a blatant lie to claim that it is not bothersome at all. You are not a saint; you can be sad or feel upset towards the individuals who are trying to invalidate your illness. However, you should not be surprised as well if that’s what’s happening. Even in the past, the people who come out with rare psychological conditions end up in asylums. Being born in the 21st century is one thing you should be glad about because everyone is more accepting than ever towards folks with mental disorders.
Nevertheless, it is too evident that there’s so much that people do not understand about psychological conditions, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder. In hopes of reducing the confusion about it, here are five things you should realize regarding OCD.
1. It Is Somehow Connected To Anxiety
You can think of the actions of a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a set of routine. For instance, if they have to go to the bathroom at precisely 8:30 AM and be out of the house after an hour, both activities have to happen at those specific times. If a minute or two passes, and they still cannot do either, that is when an anxiety attack comes. They start worrying about their body, work, traffic, and everything else. According to Jennifer Alosso, PsyD, “Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can range in severity from slightly annoying to completely debilitating. Obsessive thoughts and their associated compulsive behaviors create significant anxiety. They tend to be distracting, time-consuming and can interfere with work, school and relationships with loved ones.”
2. OCD Is Difficult To Overcome
Someone with OCD may try to break their routines, but it will undoubtedly be tough. Their mind and body are programmed to do the same things on time. Even if they no longer want to do it, they cannot control their movements. Many patients sign up for therapy to get rid of the disorder, but they tend to find that the coping mechanisms only work during the sessions. Once treatment is over, they unintentionally slide back to old habits.
3. People Think It’s An Imagination Disorder
Some individuals say that obsessive-compulsive disorder is more of an imagination disorder. After all, the mind is in control of everything we do. If it means that you should organize everything, you cannot disagree with it — you have to do it. Still, over time, you will get used to knowing what’s real and what’s a product of your imagination.
4. Doubt Worsens Everything
OCD patients are extremely unsure of themselves, in the sense that they keep on doing the same things because they have second thoughts about what will happen if they don’t do that. Hence, the doubt that they feel causes them to become obsessive with specific activities. “Most people experience occasional doubt about relationships, but for people experiencing relationship OCD, anxiety and doubt hijack their relationships,” according to Misti Nicholson, PsyD, director and clinical psychologist at Austin Anxiety & OCD Specialists.
5. Only You Can Help Yourself
As mentioned above, therapy is not a sure way to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. A lot of individuals have done it, but not all of them have come out with fewer symptoms than ever. That should tell you that OCD, in this case, is no different from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. None of the treatments will work unless you focus on helping yourself, not letting others help you.
Let’s be kind to one another, why don’t we? OCD is a real psychological condition — no one with this illness should feel invalidated merely because it is not as common as the other diseases.
Earlier symptoms of anorexia nervosa can be mistaken for regular dieting; the only difference is the person starts to become preoccupied or somewhat obsessive with food and dieting that it consumes their entire life and may disrupt relationships, careers, self-image, etc. Psychologists site that anorexia nervosa is common in most women and can be easy to conceal from other people. If you feel that you or someone you know is overwhelmed by their body image, and are becoming quite obsessive towards eating and weight loss, here are the mental, behavioral and physical signs you may have anorexia.
Mental And Behavioural Signs Of Anorexia
- Frequent skipping of meals
- Obsession with weight on the scale
- Avoiding eating out with friends/relatives
- Adopting certain eating rituals, such as slicing food into smaller portions/pieces or spitting food out after chewing
- Not admitting to hunger
- Fasting for multiple hours on end
- Exercising tirelessly even without having eaten anything
- Lack of energy
- Lack of emotion
- Weighing yourself repeatedly
- Always check the mirror for flaws, usually after eating
- Counting calories
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- Using natural or chemical laxatives
- Use of Dietary supplements
- Use of non-prescription drugs that are said to cause weight loss (Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroine, etc.)
- Consuming appetite suppressants
Anorexia occurs when an individual becomes obsessed with their weight, particularly losing it, and developing a fear of gaining more. According to Dana Harron, PsyD, “An eating disorder is about using food and the body as a way to cope with deep and complex emotional issues.” The eating disorder may develop commonly through life experience related problems, genetic inheritance, or the general pressure society weighs on the idea of being “skinny” and losing weight. It also develops more within young women in their adolescent years.
Anorexia can be recognized with two inter-related patterns:
- The refusal to maintain healthy body weight or BMI for a man/woman, mainly wanting to be underweight
- Incredibly distorted self-image (Body dysmorphia) and settling with the idea that the individual is overweight even when he/she is not.
Physical Symptoms Of Anorexia
- Weak nails
- Irregular heartbeat
- Dry/pale skin
- Gets cold easily
- Drastic weight loss
- Irregular or loss of menstruation
- Thinning hair
Anorexia occurs when an individual starts to go through extreme measures to restrict eating and lose weight drastically. Most individuals with anorexia nervosa also exercise excessively even while fasting. Anorexia is a mental illness that can push an individual to starve up until he/she is severely underweight, and even then this person can still perceive themselves as overweight. In an article she wrote, Lauren Muhlheim, PsyD, states that “Research suggests that when combined with the intense fear of weight gain or fat and significant body image disturbance experiences, as little as a 5 percent weight loss may indicate clinically meaningful eating pathology, qualifying the patient as having a diagnosis of atypical anorexia nervosa.”
Experts mostly associate anorexia nervosa with excessive dieting and the stereotype that someone who has anorexia is automatically skinny. In an article she wrote, Heather Gallivan, PsyD, states that “Dieting can lead to anorexia when a diet becomes so restrictive you have an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure.” Anorexia is much more than disordered eating patterns; it is a severe mental illness that takes a heavy toll towards someone’s mental health and self-image. Signs of the eating disorder can be actions of coping with stressful life experiences and an obsession with being physically “perfect.” Therefore the illness can come in any shape or form and can affect each person differently.
Many other mental disorders may accompany anorexia nervosa (Co-occurring disorders) such as:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Most aren’t fully diagnosed with co-occurring disorders due to the difficulty in identifying such in each patient. Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness that has established itself as the voice in your head that tells you to stop eating. Over the years anorexics are a broad audience online through multiple websites and apps filled with people who help each other restrict and maintain food intake or weight. Most individuals with anorexia call the voice in their heads “Ana” and go on these “Pro-Ana” websites to live their lives trying to reach an unhealthy and unattainable body goal.
Effects Of Anorexia
- Brain damage
- Heart attacks
- Heart palpitations
- The shutdown of major body systems
Anorexia usually develops itself at an early age, as the youth are more prone to caving into superficial standards the media push onto young women and men every day. It is essential to recognize that anorexia does not have a particular body type, and can exist within different kinds of people in different ways.
Anorexia is a mental illness that convinces an individual that the body they are in is “too fat” even when the person is at an average weight. This mindset and assumption, therefore, pushes the body to severe and deadly limits to lose weight. If you or anyone you know, show or have any of the signs and symptoms, see, numbers on the scale does not define who you are. Do not be afraid to talk to someone or seek professional help.
Laura Castro is a Reiki Master at Blue Osa at the Osa Peninsula, South of Costa Rica. In 1998, back when she was still a student at Gaia Institute and taking up her massage course, she was also introduced to Reiki, Yoga, and other meditation techniques to improve her skills and supposedly, her mental health. In an article he co-wrote, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states that “Meditation is used to treat a variety of symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, stress, pain and insomnia, as well as to promote overall health and well-being.” Laura was suffering from issues which required therapy but didn’t go to the treatment at that time.
She claimed that after her first Reiki session, there was a sense of calmness, her body was more relaxed, and she was in a better mood. According to Michaelene Ruhl, PsyD, “Reiki is a simple, sacred, and safe method for healing your physical, emotional, and energy bodies – mind-body-spirit.” And in 2001, after her graduation, she chooses to apply the Reiki technique because she loves how her hands would feel warm every time she channels out her energy. However, those times, she is still completely ambivalent as to how Reiki and yoga works and how it could change her life.
How Reiki Made Me Who I Am And Where I Ended Up!
When Laura was in her late twenties, she turned her back to yoga and Reiki as she followed what her heart dictates. But all did not go well while overseas, she broke off her engagement and went back to Costa Rica depressed and defeated. A year has passed, and she has not still gathered herself, feeling miserable and lost at the same time. And it was also then that she felt the urge to find the meaning and purpose of her life.
While searching for positive changes in her life, she remembered the experiences she had while doing Yoga and Reiki and that was when she also decided to go to the Osa Peninsula, specifically to Puerto Jiménez with the determination to deal with her life in the most positive way.
Upon arriving at Golfo Dulce, she was welcomed by large red Macaws and the crystal green waters of the sea. She was stunned by the beauty of Osa and right then and there, she felt that her soul was summoned to the place.
In the early days of her stay at Osa, she began with her healing process doing yoga and Reiki. More so, she also started eating healthy and regularly. She would go hiking to a nearby forest with a bottle on hand and a full stomach, immersing into the beauty of nature while continuously doing breathing meditations and more importantly living the moment.
Through her daily rituals, she came to realize that over the past years with all the hardships, she has forgotten about herself. This realization was the start of the real healing process of Laura. She came to realize what was holding her back and making her miserable in life. It was also then that she stopped blaming other people for her misfortunes and started to take all the responsibilities of her actions.
She seriously changed how her outlook in life was. She stopped judging herself and started to change, heal and grow together with the “present.” She started to be more accepting, compassionate, forgiving, patient, and simple especially to herself. And this, according to her, was the first part Reiki changing her life.
Over the years, Laura felt she was becoming more in tune with her old self, and when the second phase of the Reiki initiation was right in front of her, she was blown away with the experience which is far more different from the first phase.
Laura’s perception of the world has shifted positively. It was also then that she realized that everything around her is vibrating energies only at different frequencies. With all new learning about different Reiki symbols, she can now send Reiki to other people despite the distance.
She has found fulfillment in sharing with other people the opportunities that Life has given her using yoga and Reiki healing. Although she still believes that one is responsible for finding their path, Reiki can be a great tool to reach the emotional and psychological issues that are affecting the physical body.
After which, Laura continued to practice yoga and Reiki, read self-help books, and therapy. She found healing and inner growth especially with her Reiki sessions and yoga practices. Later on, she received her third Reiki level together with the master symbol. After all that she had gone through, she was now left with the choice whether to be a Reiki practitioner or to prepare herself for the final Reiki initiation to which she gladly chose the previous.
At present, Laura is now a Reiki Master and still residing at the Osa Peninsula. She works at Blue Osa as a Reiki healer, yoga instructor, and an integral masseuse.
According to her the changes in her life because of Reiki were intense. And to give back, she is happy to continuously spread the Light and help those who want healing change, spiritual awakening, and also spreading their light. Susan Franklin, PsyD, said “Reiki is helpful for many physical ailments like pain, injury, and healing from illness as well as emotional challenges like anxiety, life transitions, grief, confusion, or depression.”
Reiki has changed her life, and that is the same reason why she is offering Reiki to others as among her treatment modalities.
Anxiety disorders, as well as mental illnesses in general, have historically been treated with less importance than other diseases, partly due to its effects manifesting more on the mind than on the physical body. “Anxiety comes in waves, and managing the disorder means learning coping tools and strategies to help surf those waves rather than expecting the waves to disappear entirely.” says a licensed mental health counselor Caitlyn McKinzie Bennett.
This is another case of examining which comes first — did depression cause the eating disorder or did the eating disorder cause the development of depression? Singularly, these are two separate mental states that need exclusive treatment. However, if these are present in one person, then the treatment plan is more complex and will require the intervention of psychiatrist, nutritionist and primary care physician.
Tale of an Abused Child
I remember my own childhood every time I see my kids happy. My kids would laugh together and make jokes to one another. As for me, it wasn’t like that. My brother and I would hide in the closet scared to the bones as we wait until our stepfather would pass out and sleep. If we’d go out before he dozed off, we’d be whipped. At times, Lance and I slept inside that closet overnight, afraid to get out. We’d hold each other and recite the song “You are my sunshine”. That was our way of releasing tension and fear.
Depression is a serious problem that a lot of us have to deal with every day, and it is undeniable that it can be a cause of some severe health problems. Most of us think that depression is not to be treated because some of us believe it is more like loneliness, but it is much more than that. “Sometimes the stigma of mental illness gets in the way of people getting the help they need.”, according to Jessica Koblenz, PsyD.Much more than people with severe depression who could not handle it any longer commit suicide. People with severe depression feel alone and think that no one can help them.