People troubled by depression usually experience their dark moods in an on-again, off-again fashion. In that respect, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) differs only in that the oscillations follow a seasonal schedule, with depression usually starting in autumn and lasting through to spring. Lack of light is often blamed for SAD. Experts are still debating whether the lack of sunlight in winter triggers SAD. Light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a bright light for a short time each day, helps some people who suffer from SAD. But anti-depressant medications may work just as well.
Marijuana affects each person differently depending on their biology, the plant’s potency, previous experience with drugs, the way a person uses the drug, and the use of alcohol or other drugs at the same time. Some people feel nothing while others feel relaxed or high. Others suddenly get anxious and paranoid (the link between marijuana and schizophrenia was blogged by me earlier). We are still learning about how marijuana affects the brain and how long the effects will last.
Regular marijuana use has also been linked to memory and relationship problems, poorer mental and physical health and less career success. Short-term effects include learning attention and memory problems, poor coordination, increased heart rate, anxiety and paranoia; as well as sleep problems. Long terms effects include becoming addicted to marijuana; long-term learning and memory problems; risk of chronic cough or bronchitis; risk of schizophrenia (as already discussed in a previous blog).
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder, characterized by abnormal mood shifts as well as fluctuations in energy, activity levels and the ability to complete everyday tasks. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that can damage relationships, career prospects, academic performance and can lead to suicidal tendencies.
A person with bipolar I disorder has severe fluctuations on mood – from depression to mania and visa versa. Usually, moods are normal in between the peaks and troughs. Bipolar disorder is severe, debilitating and incapacitating. Fortunately, it is treatable, and with proper care and the right medication people with it can perform well at work and academically, thereby leading full and productive lives.
Should you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s important to know that you’re not doomed to suffer indefinitely. Many mental illnesses don’t have a cure, they all have multiple treatment options.
Hence, there are various treatments for mental illness . A treatment that works great for one person might not work at all for another. Some common approaches include:
- Medication. Mental illnesses involve the biological brain. Like illnesses affecting other organs, psychiatric medication can help.
- Therapy. Mental illness also has a psychological aspect. Working with a psychologist can help you sort things out and move forward.
- Alternative approaches . Treatment approaches like acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy and other oil uses, supplements, and more have been found to be effective for some.
- Other methods. There are other valid and effective treatments for mental illness. These include but are not limited to Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), vagus nerve stimulation, and other medical procedures.
It is important to work closely with your medical and mental health professionals to determine what is safest and most effective for you. It can take patience to find what works best for you, but mental illness treatment is available. You can take charge of your mental health and regain control of your life.
Forgiveness is a word used often; it is associated with something important for our inner peace. Forgiveness means letting go of the past and moving forward. However, this is easier said than done. Remember though forgiveness is not synonymous with forgetting.
Try these tips to help you forgive and let go:
- Focus on the “letting go” part. That is about you and your choices.
- Know that it is a choice. You are choosing to let go rather than hanging on to negative thoughts and experiences.
- Know your values. What’s important to you? Which one will move you toward the life you want, the person you want to be: hanging on to the past or letting go and moving forward?
- Practice mindfulness