What is Huntington’s Disease?

You don’t hear much about this disease, and I found it extremely interesting to read about.

Quick Answer: Huntington’s disease is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder. It is a devastating disease for which there is no currently “effective” treatment.

Nerve cells become damaged, causing various parts of the brain to deteriorate. The disease affects movement, behavior and cognition – the affected individuals’ abilities to walk, think, reason and talk are gradually eroded to such a point that they eventually become entirely reliant on other people for their care.

Huntington’s disease has a major emotional, mental, social and economic impact on the lives of patients, as well as their families. Continue reading “What is Huntington’s Disease?”

Triggering Triggers (PTSD)

Trigger Warning!!

Triggers can pop up just about anywhere.  Just when you think that you have tackled an issue, whether it is dealing with a traumatic experience or re-living memories in a disorder called (PTSD), post-traumatic stress disorder, triggers may resurface.

A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.  PsychCental.com

For me, traveling the tough therapy road, confronting issues relating back to my horrid past of childhood sexual and emotional abuse (PTSD), I lived with flashbacks and frightening dreams.  Certain smells, certain surroundings…..hard to pinpoint, can trigger a recollection.  Luckily, I have moved on with my life and can swiftly shove these painful thoughts aside.  It took years though to be able to achieve this.

A couple of years ago, a tough test for me tackling triggers was put to the test.  Nine years of hospitalizations ended in 2002, and I had not visited the inside of any hospital ward since that time.  My psychiatrist’s office was in the hospital, and although I had to pass by the doors to the ward for each appointment with him, it never bothered me due to the fact that I was an outpatient now.

Continue reading “Triggering Triggers (PTSD)”

What is codependency? Am I codependent?

The term “codependency” was coined more than 20 years ago by authors who studied the negative impact of drug and alcohol use on families. Since then, use of the term has been expanded to include a pattern of psychologically unhealthy behaviors that are learned by individuals as a way of coping with a family environment marked by ignored or denied emotional turmoil.

Most people are able to enjoy a sense of healthy, mutual interdependence in their lives. However, people with codependency seem to habitually form relationships that are one-sided and emotionally destructive.

Continue reading “What is codependency? Am I codependent?”

Lupus: Help, I’m losing my Hair ~ Tips to Prevent Hair Loss

Many of these tips apply to everyone taking medications

Hair loss is a huge concern to many lupus sufferers, at times very slight and unnoticeable or unfortunately for some, it can be quite severe causing significant anguish.

The list of tips below may help you prevent lupus hair loss:

Is it Lupus or my Medication?

Determine the reason for your hair loss. Could it be lupus or perhaps your hair loss may be caused due to the medication you’re taking? If it’s medication-related, please consult with your doctor about possibly changing medications.

Follow Your Medication Instructions

Always take your medication as instructed including the right time of day. Don’t skip your medication for any reason, and phone your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions.  This is extremely important.

Start your Lupus Treatment As Soon As Possible

Lupus treatment should begin immediately preventing you less anguish from hair loss.  Consult with your doctor and insist on getting a diagnosis as quickly as possible if you show any signs of lupus.

Always Be Aware of the Medication Prescribed Continue reading “Lupus: Help, I’m losing my Hair ~ Tips to Prevent Hair Loss”

Hey, are you filling my prescriptions properly? Beware!! 4 Pharmacy errors that can spell danger

This is critical information for everyone.  Each time you pick up your prescription – check it!!

How to avoid pharmacy mix-ups that can mean serious consequences for your health

How often do serious pharmacy errors happen? Actually, nobody knows. There is little data tracking the problem across Canada.  So what do you need to know to stay safe? Here are four errors to watch out for that can have serious consequences for your health.

CBC News and Marketplace have been investigating pharmacy errors for several months in the largest hidden-camera test of its kind in Canada. Follow our continuing coverage at cbcnews.ca. Watch the complete investigation, Dispensing Danger, on Friday at 8 p.m. on CBC TV and online.

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada, medication problems are often caused by a combination of factors. Here are some problems to watch out for:

Illegible prescriptions

Continue reading “Hey, are you filling my prescriptions properly? Beware!! 4 Pharmacy errors that can spell danger”

What is Hashimoto’s disease?

Valuable information on autoimmune disease and your thyroid gland 

Hashimoto’s disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances.

In Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and interfering with its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes accumulate in the thyroid. Lymphocytes make the antibodies that start the autoimmune process.

Hashimoto’s disease often leads to reduced thyroid function or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone for the body’s needs. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism—the way the body uses energy—and affect nearly every organ in the body. Without enough thyroid hormone, many of the body’s functions slow down. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease?

Continue reading “What is Hashimoto’s disease?”

7 Outstanding Tips for Traveling with Back Pain

Image result for back pain

Back pain has millions of sufferers and traveling can be horrendous.  Sitting in one position for a long flight or lugging heavy luggage around just increases the misery, but who doesn’t wish to travel and explore the world?

These are some excellent tips to help lessen your pain while traveling:

1. Schedule your flights wisely

Traveling with back pain can be miserable, especially on a plane.  You are sometimes the one stuck in an economy-class seat, with little room, leaving your spine feeling out of whack.   To minimize time in the air, some travelers choose to book non-stop flights if available.

2. Get up and move, move, move

Continue reading “7 Outstanding Tips for Traveling with Back Pain”

7 other pains worse than childbirth

As a chronic migraine sufferer who has never given birth, I’m incapable of comparing pain. On a scale of 1-10 (as doctors insist on using), my excruciating pain sometimes exceeds 10+, but, I can envision childbirth close or equal. Let’s face it, any horrible pain is a horrible pain.

7 Horrible Types of Pain (not in particular order)

(people at random said)

1.   Toothache

2.   Migraines

3.   Trigeminal Neuralgia

4.   Gout

5.   Serious Burns

6.  Pudendal Neuralgia

Continue reading “7 other pains worse than childbirth”

BINGE EATING DISORDER ~ Different from Anorexia and Bulimia

binge eating

I was searching for information on bingeing and came across this article on (News-Medical.net), where they wrote that binge eating disorder is different from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

It was stated that food addiction is not yet recognized as a mental disorder but certain obese individuals clearly display addictive-like behavior towards food.  To achieve a formal diagnostic status, ‘food addiction’ requires a stronger evidence base to support the claim that certain ingredients have addictive properties identical to addictive drugs of abuse.  This topic is up for debate in the session, ‘Binge eating obesity is a food addiction’.

Continue reading “BINGE EATING DISORDER ~ Different from Anorexia and Bulimia”

Is there a Link between Caffeine and Depression?

COFFEE1

What is the relationship between caffeine and depression? Does caffeine make depression worse?

The exact relationship between caffeine and depression isn’t clear.  There’s no evidence that caffeine — a mild stimulant — causes depression.  However, some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than are others. In such individuals, caffeine may worsen existing depression.  How or why this occurs isn’t clear.  But several theories exist.

·         Although caffeine initially gives you a “lift,” it may later have the opposite effect as the effects of the caffeine wear off.

·         Caffeine can make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.  A lack of sleep can worsen depression.

·         Caffeine appears to have some effect on blood sugar, especially in people with diabetes.  Fluctuations in blood sugar can be associated with mood changes.

Continue reading “Is there a Link between Caffeine and Depression?”

Psychodynamic Therapy

My first involvement with therapy back in the early 1990’s was Psychodynamic Therapy, and at the beginning I was uncertain what it involved.  This form of therapy was used to confront the issues dealing with PTSD, but little did I know I was in for an incredibly bumpy ride.  Back then there wasn’t much information on types of therapies used, and wished I had researched and had use of the internet and resources that we do today.

The information on PsychCentral.com site explains:

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.  The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.  In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

The article continues on PsychCentral.com

What is Huntington’s Disease?

Quick Answer: Huntington’s disease is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder. It is a devastating disease for which there is no currently “effective” treatment.

Nerve cells become damaged, causing various parts of the brain to deteriorate. The disease affects movement, behavior and cognition – the affected individuals’ abilities to walk, think, reason and talk are gradually eroded to such a point that they eventually become entirely reliant on other people for their care.

Huntington’s disease has a major emotional, mental, social and economic impact on the lives of patients, as well as their families.

Fast facts on Huntington’s disease

Here are some key points about Huntington’s disease. More detail and supporting information are in the main article.

–Huntington’s disease is, to date, incurable.

–Huntington’s disease attacks nerve cells gradually over time. Continue reading “What is Huntington’s Disease?”

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised grief” is when your heart is grieving but you can’t talk about or share your pain with others because it is considered unacceptable to others. It’s when you’re sad and miserable and the world doesn’t think you should be, either because you’re not “entitled” or because it isn’t “worth it.”

See if any of these examples of disenfranchised grief ever applied to you:

Your relationship is not recognized by others because they didn’t know you had a close relationship.

This can occur when there is a miscarriage; a friendship not known to the family; caregivers such as a health professional when a patient dies; a former exchange student lived with you for awhile and when she went to her home country, she was killed; when you are extremely close with someone and someone they love is dying of has died; or the family knows about the relationship, but doesn’t know how close it was.  It could also occur because you had to give up a child for adoption or if you were given up for adoption.  Children can experience disenfranchised grief when they experience a loss and their grief is not acknowledged.

Your loss isn’t a person. Continue reading “Disenfranchised Grief”

Narcissistic Parents – the most harmful type of parent

ptsdsad3“Deb, we talk about your weight almost every day and you’re still not losing any. You are just not listening to us. Just remember, if you ever want a boyfriend or get married then lose the weight.”    OR

“Deb, I don’t have time to read your “1st Prize” essay right now, I’ll read it later, I’m busy with my knitting and then I have to make supper. Just go and read a book or something”.

Other cruel communications were endless during my childhood, getting to the point where the words went in one ear and out the other ear or I disassociated. 

Those words continue to sting until this very day, for I lived in a household with toxic parents, and I’m the unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother.  I blame her for the viciousness, lack of empathy and relentless criticisms. Growing up was hell, and she accomplished that.

This well-written article below is from Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. onNarcissistic Parents from PsychCentral.com/Psychoanalysis Now (blog)

Over the years I have often been asked what is the most harmful thing a parent can do to a child. There are many harmful things a parent can do, too many to point out. It is easier to focus on the kind of parent that does the most harm.

The most harmful parents are the parents who have a narcissistic need to think of themselves as great parents. Because of this need, they are unable to look at their parenting in an objective way. And they are unable to hear their children’s complaints about their parenting.

Continue reading “Narcissistic Parents – the most harmful type of parent”

Impaired Sleep in Fibromyalgia Pain Explored

Patients coping with the complex (pain disorder) fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping, and a new study published in The Journal of Pain reports that despite the negative quality of life implications, poor sleep is not a significant predictor of fibromyalgia pain intensity and duration.

The complexity of fibromyalgia as a pain disorder is rooted in the variable, patient-to-patient, influence of physical, psychological, social factors that contribute to clinical pain, and their influence often is difficult to understand. Previous research has shown that variables such as negative mood and the number of localized pain areas are significant predictors of clinical pain in fibromyalgia patients.

Continue reading “Impaired Sleep in Fibromyalgia Pain Explored”

NOCTURNAL PANIC ATTACKS: The Cause?

.image: about.com

Panic attacks can occur at any time of the day or night and can even awaken you from sleep.  However, nighttime (nocturnal) panic attacks are less common than daytime panic attacks.

Nocturnal panic attacks are characterized by an abrupt waking from sleep in a state of panic with no obvious trigger.  During a panic attack, you may experience sweating, rapid heart rate, trembling, shortness of breath and hyperventilating, flushing or chills, and a sense of impending doom.  These signs and symptoms often mimic those of a heart attack or other serious medical condition.  Although nocturnal panic attacks usually last less than 10 minutes, it may take much longer to calm down after such an episode.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes panic attacks.  Heredity, stress, and certain biochemical factors may play a role. Your chance of having panic attacks increases if you have a close family member who has had them.

Most people who have panic attacks at night also have them during the day.  Between 44 percent and 71 percent of people with panic disorder have had at least one episode of nocturnal panic.

It is important to have a complete physical examination to determine whether a medical condition other than panic attacks is the cause of your signs and symptoms.  This may include a sleep assessment to rule out an underlying sleep disorder.

Although nocturnal panic attacks can be extremely disconcerting, the good news is that there is effective treatment — including cognitive behavior therapy and anti-anxiety medications — that can alleviate or eliminate these episodes for most people.

Source of information:  MayoClinic.com

Psychodynamic Therapy

My first involvement with therapy back in the early 1990’s was Psychodynamic Therapy, and at the beginning I was uncertain what it involved.  This form of therapy was used to confront the issues dealing with PTSD, but little did I know I was in for an incredibly bumpy ride.  Back then there wasn’t much information on types of therapies used, and wished I had researched and had use of the internet and resources that we do today.

The information on PsychCentral.com site explains:

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.  The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.  In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

The article continues on PsychCentral.com

Medical Marijuana to Reduce Depression

Scientists are studying chronic stress and depression, with a focus on ‘endocannabinoids’, which are brain chemicals similar to substances in marijuana.  The findings raise the possibility that components of marijuana may be useful in reducing depression that results from chronic stress.

“In the animal models we studied, we saw that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behavior,” says RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD.

Continue reading “Medical Marijuana to Reduce Depression”

The Dark Path to Antisocial Personality Disorder

An article in (ScienceDaily.com) reporting on personality disorders, stated, with no lab tests to guide the clinician, psychiatric diagnostics is challenging and controversial.  Antisocial personality disorder is defined as “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood,” according to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association.

DSM-IV provides formal diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder.  This process may be guided by rating scales that measure the traits and features associated with a personality disorder.  But, until now, no one has studied the dimensional structure associated with the DSM antisocial personality disorder criteria.

Continue reading “The Dark Path to Antisocial Personality Disorder”

JOB BURNOUT: I’m frazzled and stressed!

Are you at risk of burnout?  Discover what you can do when your job begins to affect your health and happiness.

It’s time to head back to work after your brief vacation. You have a demanding job and carry a great deal of responsibility on your shoulders. Even though your time off was relaxing, you dread going back to work. A trusted friend thinks you have job burnout.

Maybe you’ve started to wonder whether you have burnout yourself. Or maybe — like many people — you’ve tried to avoid the question all together. A closer look at burnout and why you may have it can help you to face the problem and take action before it affects your health.

What is Burnout and Who’s at Risk?

Continue reading “JOB BURNOUT: I’m frazzled and stressed!”

SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (social phobia)

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It’s normal to feel nervous and awkward in some social situations?

Going on a first date or giving a presentation may give you that uncomfortable feeling of having butterflies in your stomach, for instance.  For some people, though, common, everyday social situations cause extreme anxiety, fear and self-consciousness, and they may become impossible to engage in.

You may go to great lengths and come up with many excuses to avoid dating or giving presentations. You may not even be able to eat with acquaintances or write a check at the grocery store, let alone go to a party with lots of strangers.

Continue reading “SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (social phobia)”

Self-Harm: Why was her daughter Cutting?

This is such a compelling article I discovered in the (The Telegraph), written by Anne Stone, who discovered her daughter at the age of 15 was cutting herself.

Self-injury, also called self-harm, is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration.  MayoClinic.com

She went on to state that an “astonishing number of people I knew had children who were cutting themselves”.  Comparing it to anorexia, she identified that it seemed to particularly affect girls, however, unlike anorexia it’s “highly visible” and she mentioned a new film exploring cutting –  entitled “How I Live Now”.  Continue reading “Self-Harm: Why was her daughter Cutting?”

EATING DISORDERS: CHEWING AND SPITTING

When I had my assessment for the Eating Disorders Program, I was asked do you ‘chew and spit’ your food?”.  I considered this an odd question, answered NO, yet after researching I came to realize that is a serious ‘eating behavior’.

On Scienceofeds.org they describe the behavior and provide comments to their article.  A TV programme had an entire program dedicated to this eating behavior.

Related Articles:

Chewing and spitting: an eating disorder of its own (Examiner.com)

The Silent Secret Eating Disorder – Chew and Spit (Anorexic to Athletic)

Fatal Prescription: Women and Painkiller Overdoses

In EveryDayHealth.com, they report that more women than ever are dying from painkiller overdoses.  This article was written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and asks, “How can you spot signs of drug abuse in a loved one?

Americans’ abuse of prescription painkillers has reached epidemic proportions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that 15,000 people die every year in this country from overdoses involving opioid or narcotic pain relievers.

Continue reading “Fatal Prescription: Women and Painkiller Overdoses”

Living with Chronic Pain a Struggle

New research discovers that individuals who live with daily chronic pain often face a struggle with their sense of self and find it difficult to prove the legitimacy of their condition.

More on this study at:  PsychCentral.com

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Hellish Headaches?….this condition could be the reason

Source: Via Pinterest.com from Melissa Haselton

I’m always looking for other reasons that cause migraines or headaches and came across this:

 Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformation is a congenital (i.e. present at birth) structural problem at the base of the skull that affects the brain and spinal cord.  In fact it is not a malformation of the brain at all.  More accurately, the lower portion of the skull, the portion known as the posterior fossa, is too small to accommodate the lower portion of the brain.  As a result, a portion of the cerebellum called the tonsils is forced to protrude into the spinal column.  This results in compression of the brain stem and spinal cord and interferes with the flow of spinal fluid.  It is the compression of the brain stem and spinal cord that is primarily responsible for the symptoms.  We have learned that compression that is sufficient to cause symptoms can occur even when the cerebellar tonsils protrude by as little as 1 millimeter.

Symptoms Continue reading “Hellish Headaches?….this condition could be the reason”

CLINICAL DEPRESSION ~~ What is it?

Depressive disorders range in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Doctors use the term “clinical depression” to describe the more severe, persistent form of depression.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Persistent sadness or feeling of emptiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Loss of concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Continue reading “CLINICAL DEPRESSION ~~ What is it?”

Workplace Suicide

People with protective services job, like police and firemen, are at more than three times great a risk of workplace suicide than people in the general population, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  Workplace suicide represents a small fraction of the total number of U.S. suicide deaths—more than 40,000 Americans died of suicide in the U.S. in 2013, on par with traffic accidents deaths.  Still, the rate of work place suicide is rising across the board, the study found.

Continue reading “Workplace Suicide”

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a preoccupation with a defect in the person’s physical appearance. The defect is either imagined, or, if a slight physical anomaly is present, the individual’s concern is markedly excessive.

Continue reading “Body Dysmorphic Disorder”

Are Natural Remedies for Depression Effective?

Natural remedies for depression aren’t a replacement for medical diagnosis and treatment.  But, for some people certain herbs and supplements do seem to work well.  More studies are needed to determine which natural remedies for depression are most likely to help and what side effects they might cause. Here are four natural remedies that show promise: