Monday, August 26, 2013

Meditation: another level to recovery

Mindfulness meditation is the art of being aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment.  Meditation can help you direct your attention away from negative thinking and meditation exercises can reduce stress, anxiety and depression as well as help you with bi-polar illness and lessen negative thinking and destruction and improve your mood.  Pay attention, listen closely, and think of meaning and uniqueness. Work towards a way to develop a habit of understanding other people and delay your own judgments and criticisms.  You can make the familiar things in life new again by identifying new details in the objects you haven’t paid attention to.  Sit in a quiet place and focus on your breathing, feel your breath moving in and out of you.  Let your awareness of everything else fall away from you and don’t judge yourself.  Remember you’re not trying to become anything, only to be aware of what surrounds you by every breath you take.  Meditation is the practice of concentration and focus upon a sound, an object, breath, or movement itself, in order to increase awareness of the present moment.  Meditation reduces stress, helps on relaxation and enhances both personal and spiritual growth.  You’ benefit from meditation if you are with or without acute medical illness or stress.
As meditation is a training of the mind, you can say it is similar to a training of the body.  The combination of therapy and medication is a great part of recovering from a mental illness.  There are methods other than therapy and medications which can help you on your road to recovery and these methods of self-discovery can help you to get in touch with your mind, body and soul, giving you the ability to gain control over your recovery.  Meditation is a mindfulness practice which helps you to relax and become present in the moment you exist.  There are many meditation techniques which can work with one another.  Sitting quietly is form of meditation of which you can do for up to 5 minutes or many hours depending on the time you have.  Meditation takes practice and retraining your mind doesn’t happen in an instance, yet practicing once a day or a few times a week, you’ll find it’s easier to being to understand the frame of mind you are seeking.

Written by Donald S

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Smoking, Diabetes Linked to Natural Deaths in Schizophrenia Patients

That is the title of this article I am writing this blog about. “Smoking is one of the top natural causes of death in patients with schizophrenia, according to a new study.  Researchers found that schizophrenia patients were 4.7 times more likely to die within the 6.2 years of follow-up if they were smokers.” They do not say how much they smoke.  I used to smoke one and a half packs a day.  I was coughing in the elevator one day and this guy said you smoke and I said yea he said you’re not going to make it to fifty.  That is not the reason I quit.  My ex-wife was supposed to quit because my granddaughter was born and was going to live with her.
I quit because I wanted my granddaughter to be able to come and visit me.  I went to the doctor and he prescribed wellbutrin.  My friend sent me a list of the side effects from this medication and darn if I did not have all the side effects.  My mouth and tongue tasted awful.  After a month of this the doctor gave me another prescription although I did not fill it.  I had already quit and it has been fifteen years.  I was skinny and spent all my money on cigarettes not on food.  “But in half the patients with immune conditions, diabetes was also a leading cause of death.  Nearly one third of patients with schizophrenia also had urinary infections.  These findings underscore the life-shortening effects of smoking in this population and the urgent need to more vigorously promote smoking cessation, said study author Faith Dickerson of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, Baltimore.” I do not want diabetes that is why I walk every day.
I have not lost any more weight because I do the same walking every day.  If I do extra like on Saturday and Sunday I work out on the treadmill.  I would keep gaining.  I also watch what I eat.  I do as I have said before I want to be there when my youngest grandson grows up.  I want to make sure they are ok before I die. “Of 517 participants in the study, six died of unnatural causes and 25 died of natural causes, primarily heart-related conditions.  Other natural causes were respiratory, neoplastic, infectious, blood disease, and mental (delirium, in one patient).” I am going to keep working out even if I get no results.
The article goes on to say: “Problems concerning the immune system were found in 20 percent of patients who died compared to 4.7 percent of those who did not- raising the risk of death to a significant 4.5-fold increase.  The most common immunologic condition was insulin-dependent diabetes, found in 16 to 33 patients with such conditions. Cardiovascular problems were most common in survivors as well as in patients who died, and were tied to a 2.5-fold increased mortality risk. Finally, genitourinary conditions, particularly urinary tract infections, were found in 32 percent of patients who died, compared with 8.6 percent of those who survived – a 4.35-fold increased mortality risk.  It is of note that urinary tract infections have been found to be highly prevalent in persons with acute psychotic symptoms, said the researchers.” Diabetes most of us get it from taking the medication. It is good to take walks or any kind of exercise to not get it. Even if you do not have grandkids it is worth it to enjoy life without a disease.  Why suffer it is not so hard to take a walk when it is getting dark and cool to enjoy the day.

Monday, August 19, 2013


When someone dies; a person you loved or respected intensely, you may become faced with grief of such a loss many times over—even later on in life, being years afterwards.  These feelings of grief might return on a certain special day, the day this person passed away, a birthday or any particular day you shared with this loved on which may be special.  Such feelings of grief are reflections that this person of whom has passed away from this life has left to you and remain important to you.  As I have experienced the passing of someone important and loving to me, I know that after 10 years since their death, I am still having moments of grief and that have not fully healed nor do I cope fully with such a loss.  I have reminders which exist in everyday life, and as anyone else, these reminders can be of sight, taste, sound and even smells, which can set you into a mode of grief.  This could exist for anyone whom has past, a “ghost” as you might have it, of an adult or even child of who has passed from this life.  Memories can be very intense when it comes to the loss of a loved one.  Celebrations of a myriad of sorts may cause the grieving process to surface, if you have shared memorable times with the person of which you grieve.  During these moments of resurfacing grief you may experience, sadness, loneliness, anger anxiety of fatigue; these memories are very powerful as feelings of your loved ones passing.
Dealing with grief is a complicated chore, a challenge to speak of and in this process you are recovering the pieces and healing the wounds so you can carry on with your life without the feelings of any betrayal, because the feelings and emotions you once shared with the person who has passed away still exist, though they do not.  There are many emotions that overcome the living of those which have passed from this life, even if the survivors knew that death was imminent.  The loss of a loved one can drain your energy and cause confusion and disorganization.  You cannot override the pain, but you can cope with the grief by; knowing that grief and mourning is natural and that respecting such is expressing how you feel and realizing you have an inner loss and an empty feeling about your loved ones passing.  Know your pain and accept the pain you feel, it’s a part of grieving.  Search for support; being alone sometimes is fine, yet understand that isolation is wrong.  Don’t make decisions which may be important while you are grieving, the mind is curtained while you are grieving and if you must make important decisions find the help of someone close to you that can be trusted.  Most of all take care of yourself, your physical health is important even as you may be grieving.

Written by Donald S

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

‘Overeducation’ Linked with Poor Mental Health

That is the title of this article that I am reviewing today. It says: “People with too little education to meet their needs are known to be at increased risk of certain mental health problems, but now a new study suggests that too much education may also have detrimental effects on mental health.
 People in the study who were ‘overeducated’ – who had more years of education than their jobs required—were at an increased risk of depression, the researchers said.”  In time like now you would think they would just be happy to have a job.  I am different than most people I guess I have master’s degree and yet I scan medical records that do not require a degree. Although I have a second job in Research and Development for the same company that does challenge me so I am happy with both jobs.

Well let’s get to the why of this article: “The study analyzed information from more than 16,600 employed people age 25 to 60 in 21 countries in Europe.  Researchers measured participants’ levels of depression based on their answers to survey questions, and presented their results here Saturday (Aug. 10) at the American Sociological Association meeting. The reason overeducated people may have an increased risk of mental distress could be because, by definition, they are not challenged by their jobs, and cannot use all their skills they acquired during their education, said study researcher Piet Bracke, a professor of sociology at Ghent University in Belgium.” I guess I am different that most folks.
It does not bother me, maybe because of the way I received my master’s degree.  I only went to college to get a bachelor’s degree and start work right away.  It was in human services and I was a drug and alcohol counselor in which I wanted to work with young people to not have to go through all I went through.  Although doing my internship I was working with a young man who I though was doing well in my groups although the people I worked for wanted to throw this young man out of the program because of the way his parents thought.  They never asked my how this young man was doing.  That made me mad and when I finished my internship and college.  That summer they asked me to work for them and I said no I am going for my master’s and that is how and why I received it.
I am very stubborn person and I remembered the counseling or lack of it I received when I was on probation twice for DUI.  He never counseled me or even tried although the reason why is a whole another story in itself.  “The new study also found that having highly educated people in a given country can have detrimental effects on the mental health of all people with college degrees.  In countries where more education did not provide significantly more job security or salary, even those with degrees who had jobs that matched their skill level saw declines in their mental health on average, Bracke said.  If the economic returns of education decrease, it affects the mental health of all the well-educated, Bracke said.” It looks like it could happen to anyone that works.
The end of the article says: “While people may start out with a job that they are overqualified for in the beginning of their career, they need opportunities to move upward in their field within a few years, or they could experience declines in mental health, Bracke said.”  I guess that makes sense.  You need to feel like you’re moving up and accomplishing something.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Being Yourself

= Self-identity:  identity of a thing with itself, awareness of one’s individual identity.
= Self-image: conception of one’s self, identity, abilities.
= Self-knowledge: knowledge of one’s own qualities, character, abilities.
= Self-esteem: belief in one’s self, self respect, undue pride in one’s self, pride.
What is logical in this world is that a person is who they are.  We are unique creatures with our own individuality in our own private space.  We have our own self-identity and a self-image where we see ourselves as being apart from others with abilities to share, give and  build upon ourselves so that our qualities are a part of not only the knowledge of ourselves, but imparted upon others.  All of this sums up to be a part of our own self-esteem, where we maintain self-respect, pride in self and strength.
Our value, what we praise, is what we find worthwhile as a part of our life and what you also believe.  Making decisions is also a part of the level of your own self-esteem.  Your opinion of yourself is a part of the honesty you feel about your strengths and weaknesses and this is about your self-esteem, your mental well being and your resilience.
When you think negative about yourself, you devalue yourself; your identity is not good.  Good things such as knowing your own thoughts and what you perceive give growth beyond the negative.  How you react to people and how they react to you are a part of your identity and self-image as well.  Are you of an accepted culture or religion, or do you have an important role in society?  All of this can change by identifying with someone else’s thinking, justifying what is positive for the mean extreme of maintaining self-knowledge and pride in one’s self.  Being yourself is having the qualities of identifying with yourself, knowing what you are capable of achieving and having the knowledge of your own abilities and being aware of your own character.  This is self-esteem without conceit; this is belief in yourself and respect not only for yourself, but respect for others as well. 

Written by Donald S

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recession Hit Those with Mental Health Problems the Hardest

That is the title of this article  I am reviewing. Last week we talked about Social Cognition and employment now we will talk about how the recession hit those with mental illness harder than the rest of the population. “Unemployment rates for people with mental health problems rose more than twice as much than for people without mental health problems during the recession, according to new research.” Is it stigma again that is the cause of this problem? It would be some form of why they would not want to hire you because you have a mental illness.
They also found out that: “Researchers from King’s College London also found that this gap in employment rates was even greater for men and for those with low levels of education.  For the study, the researchers collected data in 27 European Union countries from more than 20,000 people in 2006 and again in 2010.  Using the Eurobarometer survey, the assessed mental health, stigmatizing attitudes, socio-demographic information, such as age, gender, education level, and current employment rate.”  This study was done in Europe does it have the same effect on the recession her in the United States?  Either way someone is prejudice against people with mental illness.
The article goes on to say: “At the start of the study, unemployment was at 7.1 percent for people without mental health problems, compared to 12.7 percent for people with mental health problems.  In 2010, this rose to 9.8 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.  This corresponds to an increase of 5.5 percent for people with mental health problems. The economic recession has had enormous impact across much of Europe, but there is little information about specific impact of the recession on groups who are already vulnerable to social exclusion specifically people with mental health problems.”  That is a lot of people who need money to make it in this world.  It has to be hard knowing just because you have a mental illness they are prejudice against you making any money working.
The article says: “During periods of economic recession, attitudes to people with mental health problems may harden, further deepening social exclusion, …Governments need to be aware of these risks, and employers need to be aware of their legal duty to comply with Equality Act to support people with mental health problems coming into, and staying in, employment.” It should be whether or not there is a recession.  If you would like to work there should be no discrimination.  “Do any of you readers have any experiences related to the impact of the recession on their job hunting or job stability?”

Monday, August 5, 2013

Diabetes and Fatigue

Fatigue is the most disabling and most common of all diabetic symptoms.  As many people know, exhaustion can interfere with many parts of your life.  So what causes diabetic fatigue and how is it so common with diabetics?
Diabetes can cause fatigue whether the blood sugar is high or low within any diabetic person.  When the blood sugar is high, your body is getting less oxygen and its necessary nutrients; you have a drugged feeling that results in fatigue.  Lower blood sugar causes fatigue, because there are not enough nutrients for the body’s cells to work.  Inflammation through high blood sugar results with the blood vessels and when this happens immune cells flood the brain, causing once again fatigue.  If you are diabetic and you suspect that your fatigue may be the cause of your condition, you may be solely suffering from anemia and not diabetes which is a lowered blood count and deficiency of iron and certain other vitamins.  People with thyroid problems tend to have diabetes and they tend to feel tired and depressed from hypothyroidism.
Infections suffered by diabetics such as bladder or urinary infections as well as other bodily infections can cause fatigue.  These infections can raise the blood sugar levels and use more energy to fight off the infections.  Be sure to get a professionals opinion if you are experiencing fatigue while diabetic because relying on a self diagnosis of having a problem even as such as fatigue or other infection, though knowing yourself is the beginning of finding a solution with the proper help, mistakes will not be made in trying to overcome the problem.
Dealing with diabetes all the time is dealing with emotional stress and these emotional upsets can lead to negative emotions which affect our blood glucose levels.  As diabetes can be a devastating illness you must also face the truth that there is no cure for it and that taking care of yourself is a challenge.  This is why living with diabetes requires coping skills, from learning to control the diabetes to working with the emotions of having the illness.  

Written by Donald S