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Deb's Mental Health And Wellness Guide

"Face Yourself - Free Yourself"

My Blog


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Posted on 3 March, 2018 at 12:03 Comments comments (1)
I moved from one apartment to another and have not had a computer for over a week. So sorry I have been away!

I am hopeful the computer continues to work and I will get back to work bringing you more information. 

Thanks for your patience! The move has been very tough.I will do what I can to get back on board with my website.

Love Deb

Article - Bipolar Magazine -

Posted on 22 February, 2018 at 16:14 Comments comments (2)
Autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder share molecular traits, study finds

Most medical disorders have well-defined physical characteristics seen in tissues, organs and bodily fluids. Psychiatric disorders, in contrast, are not defined by such pathology, but rather by behavior.

February 8, 2018 —LOS ANGELES, CA—A UCLA-led study, published in Science, has found that autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share some physical characteristics — and important differences — at the molecular level, specifically, patterns of gene expression in the brain. Gene expression is the process by which instructions in DNA are converted into a product, such as a protein.
“These findings provide a molecular, pathological signature of these disorders, which is a large step forward,” said senior author Daniel Geschwind, a distinguished professor of neurology, psychiatry and human genetics and director of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment. “The major challenge now is to understand how these changes arose.”
Researchers know that certain variations in genetic material put people at risk for psychiatric disorders, but DNA alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Every cell in the body contains the same DNA; RNA molecules, on the other hand, play a role in gene expression in different parts of the body, by “reading” the instructions contained within DNA.
Geschwind and the study’s lead author, Michael Gandal, reasoned that taking a close look at the RNA in human brain tissue would provide a molecular profile of these psychiatric disorders. Gandal is an assistant professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA.
Researchers analyzed the RNA in 700 tissue samples from the brains of deceased subjects who had autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or alcohol abuse disorder, comparing them to samples from brains without psychiatric disorders.
The molecular pathology showed significant overlap between distinct disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, but also specificity, with major depression showing molecular changes not seen in the other disorders.
“We show that these molecular changes in the brain are connected to underlying genetic causes, but we don’t yet understand the mechanisms by which these genetic factors would lead to these changes,” Geschwind said. “So, although now we have some understanding of causes, and this new work shows the consequences, we now have to understand the mechanisms by which this comes about, so as to develop the ability to change these outcomes.”
In addition to Geschwind and Gandal, the study’s authors are Jillian Haney, Neelroop Parikshak, Virpi Leppa, Gokul Ramaswami, Chris Hartl and Steve Horvath, all of UCLA; Andrew Schork, Vivek Appadurai, Alfonso Buil and Thomas Werge, all of the Institute of Biological Psychiatry, Mental Health Services Copenhagen in Denmark; Chunyu Liu of the University of Illinois at Chicago; Kevin White of the University of Chicago; the CommonMind Consortium; the PsychENCODE Consortium; and the iPSYCH-BROAD Working Group.
The study was supported with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative and the Stephen R. Mallory schizophrenia research award at UCLA.

Thank you...

Posted on 22 February, 2018 at 16:11 Comments comments (1)
Thanks New York, France and Redmond, WA for taking the time out to visit my website.I really appreciate it.

Love Deb

Article - Bipolar Magazine -

Posted on 21 February, 2018 at 12:49 Comments comments (3)
7 Athletes Speaking Out About Anxiety, Depression and Bipolar Disorder

With strength and grace, these sporting legends are using their own personal experiences to create awareness and break down the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

#1  Dorothy Hamill
This Olympic figure skating legend was diagnosed with depression in 1993 and has a strong familial history of anxiety and depression. She advises that having a core support group, medication, and therapy helped her find happiness. She is now a motivational speaker for mental health sufferers. “I think it’s important for people to know that just because it looks like everything’s fabulous on the outside, it isn’t always.”

#2  Amanda Beard
The former Olympic swimmer has battled bulimia, unhealthy relationships, drug abuse, clinical depression, and self-harm. “Some days, it was hard to just get out of bed,” Beard told Esperanza “There were all these great things going on in my life, but on the inside, I hated everything about me.” Her life turned around when she found therapy and antidepressants.

#3  Keith O’Neil
The former NFL linebacker has a long history battling heavy drinking, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and major manic episodes until finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “I was mentally in a cold, dark, sad place and no one could help me,” O’Neil told bp Magazine. “Finding the right medications, along with my faith, has made all the difference in the world.” He’s now tackling stigma and helping to raise awareness to mental health.

#4  Chamique Holdsclaw
This former basketball superstar and Olympic gold medalist was initially diagnosed with major depression in 2004, but was re-diagnosed with bipolar disorder when her antidepressants triggered her mania and sent her into over-the-top spending sprees. Her message to others living with bipolar: “I want them to understand it can get better. I went through a period when I had no hope, when I didn’t want to be here,” she revealed to bp Magazine. “I hope they see my journey and get inspired to keep moving forward every day … and utilize the resources around them.” 

#5  Suzy Favor Hamilton
The former Olympic runner harbored intense hypersexuality linked with her bipolar I disorder and suffered from intense peripartum depression. “In my case, my bipolar was driving me toward sex. It could have just as easily have been driving me toward drugs and alcohol or gambling,” she told bp Magazine. “The message, though, is that it can be treated if diagnosed correctly, with the help of medical people and family and friends. There is hope, and I’m living proof.’’

#6  Clint Malarchuk
The former NHL goaltender is perhaps best known for having his neck slashed with another player’s skate blade during a game in 1989, almost killing him. Following this he was plagued by PTSD, alcoholism, OCD and a suicide attempt, until finally pulling himself out of depression with medication, talk therapy and meditation. “I realize now that playing hockey gave me the platform for my real purpose—to raise awareness of mental illness, and to help reduce the stigma surrounding depression and anxiety so that no one has to feel alone.”

#7  Terry Bradshaw
While celebrated as an NFL star quarterback, Bradshaw is also a broadcaster, writer, musician and actor. He was diagnosed with clinical depression in 1999 after experiencing anxiety attacks, anger problems, drinking issues and sleeplessness. He now maintains his mental health with medication, therapy and faith. “You know what, I’m not ashamed of who I am,” he told Esperanza “It’s the way I was made.  I just got some issues here, and I dealt with them. And I’m proud of it.”

Ashburn, VA, USA Thank You!

Posted on 19 February, 2018 at 7:19 Comments comments (3)
The numbers were amazing on Sunday but I want to thank Ashburn, VA for making a special effort to visit the website. I am very grateful.

Hope it was helpful!

Love Deb

Article - Bipolar Magazine -

Posted on 16 February, 2018 at 7:55 Comments comments (4)
Largest Study of App Delivery of Mindfulness Practices Finds Anxiety Decreased by 46%

Sustained Reduction in Anxiety Experienced with Continued Usage of Stop, Breathe & Think app

Jan. 30, 2018, LOS ANGELES, CA — New data analysis confirms that consistent usage of Stop, Breathe & Think mindfulness and meditation activities over time yields significant mental health results, including decreased anxiety and increased positive emotion.

Dr. Nicholas J. Schork, a prominent biostatistician and health data expert at UC San Diego, analyzed data from over 10,000 users of the popular emotional wellness app Stop, Breathe & Think over a 13-month period. The results were dramatic, with an impact as early as the first session.

“This analysis paints a beautiful, promising picture for everyone in the greater community working alongside us to understand and apply the maximum benefits of mindfulness, meditation and digital therapeutics,” commented Stop Breathe & Think Co-Founder and President Jamie Price. “Our mission is to make these practices as accessible and routine as physical exercise, and with this information, we are also being shown that users are reaping benefits every bit as tangible as those from physical exercise.”

Anxiety is the number one reported problem users endorse in the app, reported twice as much as the next problem area. The sustained long-term benefits of using the unique check-in feature paired with mindfulness activities averaging five minutes also included improved mood overall.

• 52% of people come into the first pre-activity check in saying they are anxious
• After just 10 sessions, baseline anxiety improved with 41% of users reporting feeling anxious
• After 100 sessions, baseline anxiety continued to improve with just 28% of users reporting feeling anxious (a 46% improvement in anxiety)
• With only 30% of users reporting feeling predominantly positive prior to meditating for the first time, that percentage more than doubled to 78% immediately after their first session.

• Baseline sentiment continues to improve over time and with length of usage.
Users of Stop, Breathe & Think complete both a pre- and post-meditation check-in to reflect on their baseline mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and are then provided with short activities tailored to that information.
This unique feature allowed researchers to examine both the immediate and long-term changes in users’ emotional states. Stop, Breathe & Think has collected over 11 million emotional check-ins to date. The analysis was based on responses from May 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, from 10,000 users who completed ten or more sessions with the app.

Schork presented aspects of his findings at the MIT Media Lab’s Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Development to Improve Public Health.
Schork, who serves as Distinguished Professor of Quantitative Medicine at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Director of Human Biology at the J. Craig Venter Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Diego, is currently preparing the analysis for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. He also serves on the Stop, Breathe & Think scientific advisory board.

“As we were developing this app, we of course became very familiar with the studies establishing the positive brain level effects of meditation and mindfulness,” said Julie Campistron, CEO of Stop, Breathe & Think. “This data analysis offers additional insight because it was culled in real time in the real world, and looks at both short-term and cumulative effects of meditation using the Stop, Breathe & Think platform and methods. In an age of such widespread anxiety, especially with younger generations, we are thrilled that our Stop Breathe & Think users are experiencing this sustained improvement in their sense of wellbeing, and excited about what this data says about the general efficacy of long-term emotional wellness programs. We continue to explore factors that contribute to people’s sense of wellbeing and how they might impact their experience with the app.”

“The science on mindfulness to promote emotional well-being continues to show positive benefits, even when delivery is via mobile devices and apps,” shared Susan Smalley, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Fully Present, and head of the Stop, Breathe & Think Scientific Advisory Board. “With this analysis, we can look at benefits across large numbers of people and over time. With SBT’s initial data analysis of 10,000 users, we see well-being improve and anxiety decrease in the first session, but even more interesting, the change is steady over time, even with short practice sessions. While additional research is needed, including controlled trials to determine the source of this change, the initial data provide intriguing support that app delivery of emotional well-being practices is feasible and quite useful.”

About Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, Breathe & Think is the first emotional wellness platform for the “under 25” generation, with the mission to help kids, teens and young adults build the emotional strength to tackle life’s ups and downs.

The 5-star-rated app, winner of the 2017 Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Health App, is paving the way to everyday emotional wellness with bite-size personalized content and activities based on user emotions.

Co-Founded by Jamie Price and Julie Campistron, Stop, Breathe & Think has reached a large consumer appeal with over 3M organic downloads. Its personalized experience has been praised by users and media and has allowed the team to build the world’s largest database of real life emotional data with over 11M emotional check-ins to date. That data is unequivocally proving the efficacy of the app, especially as it relates to stress and anxiety. Stop, Breathe & Think was born out of Tools for Peace (TFP), a non-profit dedicated teaching mindfulness and meditation to inner city teens. Ten percent of Stop Breathe & Think’s net sales work to fund TFP and help further this mission. Stop, Breathe & Think is available on iOS, Android, Alexa and Slack and can be accessed here:

Article - Bipolar Magazine -

Posted on 16 February, 2018 at 7:49 Comments comments (1)
Brain Activity Shows Harder to Gain Emotional Control with Bipolar Depression

It’s no easy task to clinically distinguish bipolar depression from major depressive disorder. While both are brain-based disorders with impaired emotion regulation, research has found that brain activity differs from the other.During manic episodes, when behaviors like talking unusually fast or taking risks are more common, it’s much easier to diagnose. Yet in the depressed state when symptoms like hopelessness and social withdrawal appear, it can easily be mistaken for unipolar depression. Also, since people with bipolar typically spend more time in a depressed state than in a manic state, it can be tough to understand what’s going on. However, while it’s extremely important for mental health experts to decipher between the two, in terms of treatment strategies, symptoms alone are not the only distinguishing factor. In fact, people with the two conditions actually have different types of brain activity, according to a July 2015 study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.For the study, researchers compared behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) emotion regulation data of people who were medication-free and during both depressive and remissive states. 42 people with major depression, 35 with bipolar and 36 healthy control study participants were asked to rate how they felt after they saw photos of people portraying happy, sad, fearful, and neutral emotions.

Researchers found that when those with bipolar were in a non-depressed state, they had increased brain activity, compared to patients with major depressive disorder, in an area of the brain responsible for emotional regulation. And when people with bipolar were in a depressed state, they had a decrease in brain activity compared to those with unipolar depression.The results also suggest that although neither group varied in terms of regulating sadness while depressed, people with bipolar disorder have to work harder to have the same level of emotional control.

Visitor Numbers Are Amazing...

Posted on 16 February, 2018 at 7:44 Comments comments (5)
San Francisco, CA, USA thank you for visiting! Your numbers are amazing!

I want to also thank everyone else for visiting as I have regular visitors from around the world and I am so thankful for your time.

Again thank you for visiting my website!

Love Deb

Article - Bipolar Magazine -

Posted on 15 February, 2018 at 8:07 Comments comments (4)
Bipolar & Health: How Yogic Breathing Helps Your Mood

Breathing-based meditation gives people an active way to experience a deep meditative state, helping with mental, emotional and physical health; here’s what you need to know:

The science
Medical science now proves the real benefit people with depression and anxiety receives from yoga and its breathing exercises, the foundation of ancient yoga practice. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine found that a breathing-based meditation called Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped alleviate severe depression in people who did not respond fully to antidepressant meds.
How it works
This breathing-based meditation of Kriya involves a “series of sequential, rhythm-specificbreathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful and meditative state: slow and calms breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths.” Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body feel more balanced in stressful situations and helps improve your mood.
How to do it
To perform Kriya breathing, take several elongated deep breaths. Breathing in and breathing out should each take about 10 or 15 seconds. As you breathe in, direct the pranic/life energy, into your heart center. This energy flows from the back of your head, through the medulla and into your heart. As you exhale, the flow of energy reverses itself. Finish with the repeated chant of “om,” which creates vibrations in the abdomen, chest and throat.

Redmond, WA, USA

Posted on 12 February, 2018 at 7:24 Comments comments (2)
You are always an amazing visitor. I want to thank you for always making my website one of your favorites.

Love Deb