Tag Archives: depression

Can suicide be in your family’s future?

-Written by Sherry Genga, author of The Shattered Oak

With suicide you never know what thoughts are racing through the saddened mind. Sometimes we can’t fathom that our friend, sibling, mother or father committed suicide. People around them felt like they were so happy, always laughing and smiling, never revealing signs that they were so depressed. Look at Robert Williams the famous comedian, who was always passing a joke. Suicidal people wear a mask and rarely share their true self or feelings. Whether they are ashamed of their depression or feel alone where they cannot trust anyone, they keep their thoughts a secret. Suicidal people want their privacy and don’t have the courage to ask for help when their mental state manifests the thoughts of choosing death. They may feel like they are in a vacuum, with darkness slowly seeping in and their breathing trending towards hyperventilation. Suicidal minds can feel blurred and even upside down, bringing them to the brink of insanity. In successful attempts, their demise is silent and not very forgiving. I know first-hand as a family member experienced several suicide attempts.

            As I described in the book, The Shattered Oak, the victim was a recipient of domestic abuse from her husband. She took solace under the strong oak tree in her front yard. As she sunk further into mental illness, the oak too became distress and ill.  In Barbara’s case she was lucky by surviving three suicide attempts. As we know some aren’t so lucky. I think most of us do occasionally struggle with depression but most filter it back out and let it go. Sometimes struggling makes us a stronger and gives us perspective to let go of our past and absorb our mistakes along the way. Most of us struggle with self-worth issues, but normally we rise to the occasion and succeeded. Depression can intervene in that thought process and cause us to focus on the negative. Psychologists continually try to understand why a person’s negative view of their situation outweighs their desire to live. Clinical studies have shown that stressful situations can actually bring on a form of mental illness where the person is not totally in control of their decisions. For the families of those victims many questions go unanswered.

            Surviving suicide attempts and addressing mental illness can alter our viewpoint. Life is meant to present choices from our experiences that can change us for the positive. Barbara recovered after living through heartaches and burdens that transformed her future. Even those of us who live relatively normal lives, can learn that we have the sole capability to make beneficial choices in life. It’s how we elect to see, digest and live our lives that matters. The survival of the victim and her family in The Shattered Oak inspires us and reminds us that if we are struggling from thoughts of suicide from domestic abuse there are resources available. Family members should watch for the warning signs and not let the victim distance themselves from everyone. Suicide is on the rise and it is time we looked more closely at the link to stress from a variety of conditions including domestic abuse, as a primary trigger.

-More information on the book, The Shattered Oak can be found on the website:

www.theshatteredoak.com

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New advice on being happy.

I just did a video on an easy trick to get over depression, low self worth, anger, sadness (at least temporarily). Check it out:  It’s the 2nd one on the page for my upcoming Reinvent Yourself webinar series.

Why do adaptogenic herbs adjust to the person?

rhodiolaplant

 

 

Rhodiola Rosea plant

Adaptogenic herbs are “medicines” that move the body towards health by adjusting to the specific needs of each person. Ashwagandha helps to strengthen the adrenals, which helps hormones affect energy and mood. As an adaptogen, the herb used by a person with low adrenals will see improved energy and stamina, but a person under stress may see a lowering of their cortisol levels and a calming effect. Pub Med lists 688 studies on Ashwagands for a wide variety of illnesses such as cancer, kidney damage from diabetes, pain, gout, anxiety, depression and neurodegenerative disease. In specific cases it can make the person more resistant to physical and psychological stressors and improve energy and endurance. Ashwagandha is probably safe for short-term use. In large doses Ashwagandha may cause stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting; side effects of long-term use are unknown. People with thyroid, auto-immune or liver issues should not use this herb.

 

Boswelia, also called frankincense, has 346 studies in the NIH database. It is made from gum resin from the Boswellia serrata tree. It is extremely effective to modulate inflammation in places that no drug except steroids can touch.  But if no purified to remove beta boswellic acid to less than 5%, it can actually cause inflammation so you must be careful when you buy it.

 

Our favorite adaptogenic herb is Rhodiola Rosea. This has been used to lower the cortisol production, thereby rebalancing the cortisol and lowering the stress response. Evidence suggests that Rhodiola rosea may help those suffering from depression, to climb out of their psychological hole. Clinical studies on Rhodiola rosea have been performed at leading Soviet universities and medical academies. Rhodiola activates the enzyme lipase which is key to getting energy (ATP) released by cells which benefits athletes. In studying 112 athletes, researchers discovered that 89% of those supplementing with Rhodiola rosea showed a more rapid improvement in performance in sports such as track and field, swimming, speed skating and ski racing. Rhodiola rosea’s normalizing effect on the adrenal glands may also have the same effect on cholesterol, blood sugar, potassium levels and blood pressure thereby decreasing many risk factors for heart disease. It has many other benefits including improving memory and hearing, helping with Parkinson’s, weight management and immune support.

 

Be careful when you buy it. According to researchers, true Rhodiola rosea contains rosavin, rosin, rosarin and salidroside, while its adulterant contains only salidroside. The true Rhodiola rosea is the most biologically active, Unfortunately, often so-called Rhodiola rosea herbal formulas sold in the United States contain no rosavin. They are standardized using only common salidroside. For true Rhodiola rosea check out this product:  Click Here  Email the publisher for a free ebook which will be out Spring 2015: safe@bcn.net

Gluten and digestion

Gluten is found in wheat and other grains such as rye and barley. It is basically an elastic protein that is left behind after starch is removed or washed away from the flower. It is sort of the glue that holds baked goods together and is often used as a thickener or flavor enhancer. Gluten contains several different proteins, primarily gliadin and glutenin which are difficult to digest. Undigested proteins trigger the immune system to attack the inner lining of the small intestine, resulting in conditions of intolerance.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity besides digestive disturbances, diarrhea and bloating may be skin problems such as rashes, brain fog, joint pain, depression and numbness in your extremities. If left untreated, gluten sensitivity can morph into Celiac disease which affects about one in every 133 Americans.

Many people take enzymes to help with breaking down the gluten protein. It is necessary to be specific as proline-rich peptides (main reason for gluten intolerance) must be addressed. Specific proteases that can break down prolyl-enriched peptides are required. There are many enzyme formulas that claim to help with gluten breakdown. Some may work for you, but the best “cure” is to avoid foods with gluten. Shopping for cookies, flour, frozen waffles, burritos, crackers that are all gluten free, have never been easier than it is today – even in your local supermarket.

Holiday stress can trash your adrenals.

When adrenal function is impaired or weak, a person may suffer from low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low body temperature, and a total feeling of exhaustion. When stress is prolonged the organs begin to weaken and other health related problems can set in such as hypoglycemia. Some of the common causes that contribute to adrenal exhaustion  in addition to stress, are poor diet, over-consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates, overuse of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and vitamin B and C deficiencies.  Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, depression, PMS, nervousness, inability to concentrate, lightheadedness, sweet cravings, irritability, insomnia, and headaches.

According to the American Institute of Stress, up to 75-90 % of doctor visits in the US are stress related. Work is the biggest stressor (46% of all employees are stressed out according to the Washington Business Group on Health), with women being affected more than men.

Stress is directly related to adrenal gland fatigue. They are responsible for producing several important hormones and are critical to the stress response. The medulla, which is the inner part, pours out epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These hormones speed up the body’s metabolism in order to help us to cope with stress. These are the two most important hormones in the body. They govern the fight or flight response (alarm reaction), and are almost a direct extension of the nervous system.

So what can we do about this? Number one is to try to reduce whatever is stressing us out. Next, watch your diet and stop eating so much sugar or high-glycemic carbs and cut down on your caffeine and nicotine. Add  supplements like pantothenic acid, vitamin C, Vitamin B 6, Zinc, and Magnesium to your vitamin regimen. Also investigate reish mushroom, holy basil (a good antiflammatory as well as having a calming effect), ashwaganda and certain flower remedies. Getting more sleep is a good thing as it helps prevent adrenalin spikes that may occur because you are tired and not able to cope with stress. Homeopathics also may be right for you as there are many combinations that help reduce stress. You also should be aware that low adrenal function may be directly related to thyroid insufficiency. Therefore, if you have tried through diet and lifestlye changes to get your adrenals back in line and you still experience symptoms a visit to your doctor for a thyroid test may be in order.
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