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Diet and You: How Diet Affects Your Physical and Mental Health

In the modern era, we don’t think about our daily diet. In a world where there is a McDonald’s on every corner and there is a rack of candy by every checkout, we have every excuse to eat poorly. But what happens when we have a consistently poor diet? Unfortunately, the saying “you are what you eat” rings true.

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Can Smartphone Apps Provide Mental Health Support?

Smartphones as an extension in providing mental health support

Mental health problems are things that the world needs to address more seriously. Cases of such problems are increasing around the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. Even first world countries like Japan aren’t safe from the high rate of suicide due to depression. Read more of this post

The Self Cleaning Brain

Evolutionary psychiatry, as a practical matter, is a way of applying evolutionary theory to the practice of medicine in order to elucidate low-risk, holistic, and effective ways to improve and prevent common modern mental health conditions. Though we are born with certain genes, temperaments, and can’t always prevent neglect, abuse, and trauma as we develop, there are many ways in which we can alter our environments and habits to more closely emulate the evolutionary past. One of the most important interventions I use as a practicing psychiatrist is to try to improve sleep quality. Read more of this post

Anti-Depressant Drug Found on Easter Island

Scientists in Texas are working on a way to help prevent the cognitive decline that happens with old and Alzehimer’s disease. In their searches, they have  found a drug on Easter Island that could help make people smarter, less anxious, and also act as an antidepressant. Read more of this post

Happiness by Judith Atwood

This is the story of me, finding happiness.  That may not matter very much to the general public, but for people who struggle with depression, maybe my story will help you write your story. Read more of this post

Entheogens: Experiencing Magic Mushrooms – Part I

Drugs again? No not really. Not at all actually!

I’ll be a Golden Teacher today and let you in on a secret. The drugs we call drugs, the drugs we correlate with negativity all have one thing in common; they’re addictive.

What is addiction?

Addiction is being enslaved to a habit or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent where cessation can cause trauma. As of now I have never heard of anyone being addicted to psilocybe mushrooms in my life. There are no addictive properties to it. Read more of this post

Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About

This is a guest post from one of our loyal readers honesttogodjo.

Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About

There are some things that are not comfortable to talk about.  Not to yourself and certainly not to other people. The reason things are uncomfortable to talk about is mostly that we worry about what people will think of us. In other words we are judging ourselves and then projecting the judgment out on to the world. It’s rather mental, but it’s a cultural habit we all have. Read more of this post

A Message to The Government and The Powerful Elite

Please come assassinate me.

I am spreading truth and positivity too fast, I need to be stopped.

You have done it in the past, so why not do it again right?

You killed Kennedy because he foiled your plans to fake terrorist attacks on Americans by vetoing the bill your Joint Chiefs of Staff approved.

Never heard of Operation Northwoods? Read this article.

How about just hiring a hooker to lure me back to a house where you can do experiments with psychedelics on me.

Never heard of Operation Midnight Climax? Read this article.

God Bless America? God Bless Truth, not Propaganda.

It is pathetic how you get away with so many things that people have no idea about.

Even if they knew about it, they probably wouldn’t believe it anyway because you cover it up so well.

Thanks to the internet, I have learned all of your secrets and plan on infecting everyone with this knowledge.

It is even more pathetic that you have been doing this throughout history, and have made people believe that your actions are for the benefit of society as a whole.

You have constantly brainwashed your own citizens to believe a certain way.

You control the media, and most people will believe anything they see on television and read in the newspapers.

You create depression and make people depressed, then conveniently sell the cure for it in the form of anti-depressants. 115,000,000 suckers each year. No wonder pot needs to be illegal. You would be out of business if it wasn’t.

It’s too easy right?

I know it is.

I wish I had your power so I could do the complete opposite.

So like I said, please take me and my crew down, we are going to go right ahead and change the world if you don’t.

I am willing to die spreading truth. It is the only thing that matters in this crazy world. 🙂

Top 10 Ways to Alleviate Depression

Jim Carey suffers from depression

Jim Carrey, Owen Wilson, Ellen Degeneres, Russell Brand;  are all comedians that suffer from depression.

Depression is a commonly diagnosed mental illness that can range from mild to severe low mood  leading to suicidal ideation and attempts.

You would think these happy-go-lucky, funny, rich famous people have no reason to be depressed, but depression is not picky and can sneak its way through anyone no matter the shape, size, sex, financial status, social status and occupation of the person.

Yes, there are environmental variables that can exacerbate depressed mood, triggers that cause onset of depression, poor diets, work pressures, financial stress,relational conflicts, health concerns, loss of a loved one and chronic stress, all in which contribute to depression.

People carry depression genes

IT’S IN THE BRAIN.

More than likely, someone who experiences depression is predisposed to it, meaning they carry a “depression” gene. An individual’s biological make up is believed to be the etiology of the disease. You will usually see patterns of depression in families because depression is hereditary just like diabetes, cancer, obesity, height and eye color is. That does not mean if depression runs in your family you will definitely have it. It just means that you may be more sensitive to it and would benefit from learning prevention techniques or coping skills to avoid or manage it just as someone who may watch their sugar intake if both of their parents had diabetes.

Depression can get in the way of our jobs, productivity, family relationships, friendships, motivation, creativity, self-care, concentration,sex life, sleep and overall wellness. Although depression is an intrusive, destructive and uncomfortable experience, there is hope to alleviating depression, but first we have to be aware of it.

Warning signs of depression

Warning Signs-If you experience at least five out of eight of these symptoms for two weeks or more you may be suffering from Major Depression, but definitely see a mental health professional first to talk in more detail.

1. Subjective feelings of sadness and emptiness (tearful) for most of the day nearly every day

2. Diminished interest and/or pleasure in all daily activities

3.Weight loss or weight gain, loss or increase of appetite

4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly each day

5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day

6.Fatigue and/or loss of energy nearly every day

7.Feelings of hopelessness or excessive guilt nearly every day

8.Diminished ability to focus, concentrate, make decisions and think clearly nearly every day

9.Recurrent thoughts of death, disease, suicidal ideation without a plan or suicidal ideation with a plan and suicide attempts.

Top ten ways to alleviate depression.

1.) DON’T ISOLATE!

Depression eats away our desire to socialize and be near people. Since depression is related to feelings of worthlessness and loneliness, isolating will only reinforce and justify your idea that you are not worth being around people and keep you sitting alone in your own head.

Socializing keeps you distracted and connected with others. Emotional support is key to feeling better, even if it’s just a hug from your friend. As hard as it is for a depressed individual to get up and get moving, sometimes you must force yourself up and do something you don’t want to do because if you are depressed you more than likely don’t want to do anything. Depression makes everything a lot more complex and difficult than what it is, so whatever social plans you make, keep it simple so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Make plans to go for lunch or a drive, not a ski trip just yet. It gets easier with practice!

2.) DON’T “MUSTURBATE!”

According to the well-known American psychologist Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), individuals who “Musturbate” tend to become more depressed than those who don’t musturbate.

What is musturbating?

Ellis describes musturbation as the tendency for humans to place  rules and demands on themselves and hold thinking patterns with internal dialogue such as “I MUST do this or I MUST do that. Ellis came up with a list of words that human beings tend to use that cause intense feelings of anxiety, guilt, anger and depression.

Musturbatory Words:

Must

Should

Shouldn’t

Have to

Need to

These are just a few of the commonly used phrases that Ellis believed to be a cause of emotional distress, depression and other mental health issues. For example, some people may hold the belief that their friend or significant other SHOULDN’T break plans with them or a mom/wife may hold the belief that she MUST have dinner ready before 6:00. Thinking and talking using these phrases will only make things worse. Try replacing those “Musturbatory’ thinking patterns with more realistic and easy-going words. Lets try it.

Mom’s Musturbatory thoughts – “I MUST have dinner ready before 6:00 or else my family won’t eat on time and I’ll disappoint them, therefore I’m a bad mom.”

Mom’s healthier thoughts – “I’d like to try to have dinner ready by 6:00, if not I’m sure 7:00 will be fine; my family isn’t starving and can tolerate feeling hungry for an extra hour, it doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom or wife, I just had a busy day.”

Doesn’t the 2nd one sound so much more easing?!

So anytime you find yourself using words like these, try replacing them because you really don’t HAVE to do many things you think you do. Ellis thinks we really “SHOULD” implement this to start feeling better.

3.) Structure

Make a daily schedule for yourself to avoid having to make too many decisions as to what to do for the day. Because depression can cause indecisiveness, have plans already decided on to avoid any added stress or feelings of guilt on the decision you made. You may want someone to help you with this as it may be hard to find the motivation to plan activities. Buy a planner and use it.

4.) Stand clear of boredom

Keep your mind busy and active. When we have too much time on our hands we think too much. We start thinking about how horrible we feel and feel sorry for ourselves.

Simple activities like organizing your desk, color coordinating your clothes, cooking a new recipe, shopping, decorating a room in your house, watching a movie ,playing a video game or reading a book are activities that can take up your time and distract you from yourself. Just try to stay out of your head because that will only feed the depression.

5.) REFRAIN FROM BLACK AND WHITE THINKING

Try to see the gray areas in situations instead of labeling things as either BLACK or WHITE, good or bad and all or nothing.

If we develop a pattern of perceiving life events and ourselves as so ABSOLUTE, we leave no room for all of the shades of gray in between.

For example, if your best friend forgot to call you back one day when you really needed them we can choose to anger ourselves more and cause more distress by labeling them as a bad friend and terminating the friendship, which most likely will lead to feelings of anger, guilt and depression.

Instead, we can see the gray area which would be, “It sucks they didn’t call me back,I’m pissed off right now, but they are my best friend for a reason and they probably didn’t mean it to hurt me”. You can even apply this to your own emotions. Some people who overcome depression get really upset when they have a day when they’re not happy therefore they believe they are supposed to be depressed and sometimes it can lead into a vicious cycle. It’s ok to be in the middle, average, or just “ok”.

6.)Act as if you are not depressed

When you’re depressed try to act as if you’re not.

Don’t shlep around in sweat pants and an unwashed face. Try to put on nice clothes, take a shower and force a smile. Train your brain to believe you’re not depressed. You will be surprised how helpful this could be and research indicates that we have the power to change our neural pathways in our brains just by practicing alternative styles of thinking and behaving. See this one as a brain exercise.

7.) Eat right

Eating healthy balanced meals also plays a role in helping to treat depression. There is a correlation between depressed individuals and deficiencies in Folic Acid, vitamins b12 and b6 and omega 3 fats; most commonly correlated with a Folic Acid deficiency. You can find Folic Acid in beans, leafy green vegetables and seeds.

8.) Exercise

There are two reasons why exercise helps alleviate depression.

One is the release of endorphins commonly known as “runner’s high”. These endorphins that are released during exercise attach to the same receptors as opiates do concluding that elevated mood and sense of elation occurs during and after exercise.

Secondly, exercise improves our self-esteem, the way we look and gives us a sense of accomplishment. You don’t have to join a gym to exercise!

9) Sleep right

Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep affects the chemical activity in our brain leading to more disturbed mood, fatigue and irritability. Try getting at least 6 hours per night and no more than 9 hours per night. If you have difficulty falling asleep or experience sleep disturbance avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as you can, clear the clutter in your bedroom and do not bring any stressful triggers in your bedroom like bills, storage, conflict. Keep your room strictly for relaxation.

Laughter is healthy

10.)LAUGHTER

All of the comedians listed above have the right idea.

Laughter is like medicine for both the mind and the body.

Laughing is associated with happiness and friendships. Laughter brings people closer and creates intimacy across many cultures. It also helps us to physically relieve stress and relaxes our muscles for as long as 45 min after our laughing episode.

Laughing releases endorphins, leaving us feeling peppy and light. When you can laugh at yourself, your catastrophic and disastrous perception of your life can change and you may start  not taking yourself so seriously.

Keep in mind depression is a serious illness and these tips for alleviating depression are easier said than done for some people.

You may want to seek professional help such as a psychiatrist who can prescribe you anti-depressant medication at first to help get you moving. Then, you can see a psychologist, mental health counselor or any trained mental health professional to guide you through the suggestions listed above.

Technology, Media, Fear, “Depression”

This blog is exhibit A.

At the end of this article please do not think I am bashing everything 21st century or anything more advanced than a Post-it Note, because I am not. Our greatest successes ironically are the primary catalyst to our downfall.

Ever since society got wind of the electrical circuit and microchip, advances in technology have been phenomenal. From the first black and white television to the most recent iPhone that will do everything but wipe you’re ass for you. All these advances are great for the individual but horrible for society as a whole.

Technology has given us the luxury of just sitting on the couch and watching T.V. or just Googling “News” to catch up on the most recent set of happenings in the world.

This has taken from the foundation of what has helped us evolve, THINKING.

This is a whole different subject, that I could rant about but my primary focus is on this economy.

Technology has created this bubble that burst in the 2008. Economist will say that it was the mortgages that shouldn’t of been given to people who couldn’t afford to pay their car insurance every month but the bank thought they could pay a $1,500 mortgage.

This is one of the many reasons but what about the recovery, how has the recovery been affected by technology and media ?

Well let’s start off with these “experts”… experts are always coming out with these predictions on what the economy is going to do… How many times have you seen an article with the title “Experts predict… Experts think … Experts say… “ Most of the time it is followed with something negative.. something to drive fear into the market to move in one direction or the other.

Now I am no conspiracy theorist but this does tickle my skeptics’ bone.

These media titles spread like a virus in today’s day and age- lets go back to my initial statement “Our greatest successes ironically are the primary catalyst to our downfall” We boast about how much faster information can travel and how quickly we can do things but fail to step back and view the implications this has had on our economy.

This is what contributes to negativity spreading – our economy is media driven.

That’s the fact of life today, we are a bunch of drones that just follow the leaders/”experts”. Why don’t they just keep their mouths shut and stop predicting the economy and let it fail or succeed without the influence of their opinions. Let us humans go back to the basic function of THINKING. Obviously this is NEVER going to happen but it’s just something that bothers me as an investor.

One day you do your research and you say “yeah this is a good stock” and all it takes is one idiot to say “ I predict ….” And there goes your hard work and money. A great example of this would be the most recent swings in the European market– one day they say something to boost the economy the next they predict something else to cause the DOW to drop 300 points… This volatile market isn’t going to stabilize any time soon with today’s media being so fast and negative.

This is my theory on why this “depression” is greater than the Great Depression. Granted we are not feeling the same effects as the jobless rate that was enormous back in the Great Depression but I don’t see an end in sight with technology and media the way it is today.

Feel free to comment or rebuttal with any relative debate or agreement.

Partners Section:

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