Tag Archives: mental illness

When the music dies and other such signs of depression

Repost from Dr. Psych Mom.

Lesser Known Signs of Depression: Can You Feel The Music? 

by Samantha Rodman (4.7.2016)

Many times, I work with clients who tell me that they aren’t depressed, and therefore won’t try medication or in any other way augment our work together, or even come into my office often enough to give me a true shot to help.  There are so many reasons that it is helpful to know that you’re depressed, including:

  • If you know you’re depressed, you realize you may be seeing things as more negative than they are
  • If you know you’re depressed, you realize the “problem” may not be your job, husband, kids, friends, etc, but that you are depressed and see everything as a problem
  • If you know you’re depressed, you may seriously reorganize your life, prioritize exercise, health, personal time, and so forth

But many people can look at the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder and not know if their symptoms exactly qualify.  So here is a list of some other “symptoms” of depression that you won’t see in a diagnostic manual, but that may resonate more with you.

  1. Music affects you differently.  You can’t listen to sad songs anymore because they make you cry, or you can’t listen to upbeat music because you find it boring.  Or else you have no desire to listen to music at all, even though you used to love it.
  2. You’re not as generous anymore.  You used to care about people’s troubles more, or you used to donate to charity.  Now you find yourself unmoved by the whole idea of charity or giving your precious spare time to listen to or to help your friends and family.  You’re looking out for number one.
  3. You don’t feel refreshed after sleeping.  You can sleep 12 hours and you still don’t wake up with a bounce in your step.  Or you can have a luxurious afternoon nap, and instead of it feeling luxurious, you feel like you were hit by a truck when you wake up.
  4. You don’t find things as funny.  You can’t remember the last time you laughed till tears came, or couldn’t restrain yourself from laughing.  If you watch a movie you used to find hilarious, you think it’s kind of stupid and you don’t remember why you even liked it so much.
  5. You are irritable.  This, along with anger, is actually a diagnostic criterion for depression, but it’s usually not one most people are aware of.  If everything your spouse does annoys you, and work seems to be filled with idiots, and your kids seem spoiled and ungrateful much of the time, this may be a red flag.
  6. Your relationship changes with food.  For many, food loses its appeal, and nothing tastes that awesome.  For others, food becomes the only bright spot in their day, and it is something to fantasize about.  Usually people with the latter extreme are suffering from atypical depression.
  7. Your body hurts.  Your back, joints, neck, or head hurts all the time, or your stomach is always unsettled.  You constantly feel, or state aloud, that you don’t feel well.  You’re almost relieved when you actually have a cold or even the flu, because finally there seems to be an actual reason that you always feel kind of sick.
  8. Your creativity tanks.  Some people are creative with crafts, others with cooking, others with cracking jokes, others with planning surprise day trips for their family.  Whatever your typical outlet is, it feels like your creative juices have dried up, and you can’t understand how you used to be filled with inspiration.
  9. You don’t feel romantic.  Many people with lower sex drives, like women with small kids, are used to feeling less easily aroused than they used to be.  But this is different.  Now, you don’t understand the need or reason for romance either, when you used to love it. Your husband finally brings home flowers and you don’t care.  Or your wife looks objectively nice and you can’t bring yourself to care or comment.
  10. Your kids aren’t cute anymore.  Well, they are objectively, you guess, but they don’t strike that same chord in your heart.  Or you may be a new mom and your baby strikes no chord in your heart, besides annoyance or anxiety.  If your kids don’t tug at your heartstrings, this is a sign something is wrong, and it’s usually not your deep fear that you’re actually just a cold person and parent.
  11. You give up on aspects of your life and your identity that used to be important to you.  Maybe you were always into fitness, but now you think spending your limited time exercising is dumb.  Or you used to entertain, and now it seems like too much work to clean and shop to host people you wouldn’t even really want to talk to.

My dad learned that his reading slows dramatically when he starts to get depressed – when the number of books that he flies through suddenly decreases in a week, he makes an appointment to see his therapist.

For me, it’s my friends that first point out that I’m “up” – the “when was the last time you ate?” question never stops, but it turns to “so for the past three days you’ve said you hadn’t slept last night…” or “wow you’re speaking quickly this morning!” or “so….when was the last time you took your meds?”

What are your personal signs that you may be sliding into a depression (or into mania)?

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can I get a redo?

My experience with psychotherapy supports the findings that we can “rewire our brains.” In cognitive therapy, I learned to stop negative thoughts and suicidal ideation, rewrite those thoughts and replace them with more accurate ones. In therapy I’ve learned to reframe my life experiences as meaningful – as preparing me to be a better mother, wife, and daughter, […]

via Bipolar Disorder and Neurocounseling — Kitt O’Malley

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how do you feel today?

“Bipolar is not just a disorder of mood, it’s a disorder of judgment.”

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ones and twos.

Has anyone ever gone from Bipolar I to Bipolar II? Or vice versa? How do/would you feel about it?

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“I begrudge the fact that it took you so long to tell me your name, the mask you wore hurts me so much.”

From a letter to bipolar, written by blahpolar.

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research.

Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Medical School have teamed with the University of Southern California and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT for a four-year, $16 million study to better understanding bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

It is the largest study of its kind funded to date, and the National Institute of Mental Health will provide the funding.

U-M will work with the partnering institutions to study the genetic material of 10,000 people of European, Hispanic and African-American descent. Researchers will study whole genome sequencing, where they will read all 3 billion pairs of DNA in each subject.

“We hope to gain a better understanding of these diseases that directly affect 1 percent of the population, but impact countless friends and relatives,” Michael Boehnke, principal investigator and director of the Center for Statistical Genetics, said in a statement.

“From what we learn, we hope we can identify better targets for drug development or better targets for the drugs we now have. We also could imagine improving our ability to predict who might get these diseases.”

Boehnke said the collaboration builds on previous research by these same investigators. They worked together on a smaller genome sequencing project, and each has a specific role in the work that begins this month.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes mood shifts, and dramatic ups and downs in energy and activity level.

Schizophrenia is also a brain disorder that can cause people to have irrational fears, and other reports suggest that people who suffer from this disease have the feeling that people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting against them.

There is clinical and genetic evidence of overlap of these illnesses, researchers say, which is cause for emphasizing the importance of a combined genetic analysis.

Symptoms of these disorders impact personal, social and vocational capabilities due to ongoing and fluctuating symptoms. Researchers say that suicide occurs in as many as 20 percent of cases.

Both conditions can be genetic and are thought to result from interactions between biological and environmental factors.”

Original article published on mLive.

Read a similar news release from USC’s Keck School of Medicine here.

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