Sunday, May 4, 2014

10 Ways to Slash your Grocery Bill


1. Plan all your meals for the month.
     By doing this, you'll know exactly what to shop for each month, for the whole month. Your shopping list will get easier and more precise.

2. Get a good sized freezer.
     Any freezer space is good to begin with. Many things that you want to last longer, especially leftovers, you're going to need an extra freezer.

3. Cook one large meal and freeze portions.
     This is a good one. If you plan your meals then you know you'll eat certain dinners 3-5 times a month or so. You might as well make it all at once. That way you can freeze the extra dinners for later on in the month. It's easy for someone else to 'make dinner'.

4. Buy in bulk.
     Buy planning your meals, you'll know exactly how much of each item you'll use, down to the amount per or pounds each, and then can buy those in bulk. Freeze, or cook and freeze portions for later use.

5. More whole food, less packaged 'food.
     If you think about it, any food that is packaged has been cooked/baked/prepared somewhere else. You can do it at home, and it will be much healthier and cheaper. More food made from fresh fruit, vegetables, rice, nuts, seeds and beans are going to be better for you. Cheaper. Less chemicals and processed organisms. Better for your brain and body.

6. Learn how to Can.
     This is the process of cooking food, or preserving fresh produce without having a freezer. Putting the finished product in jars, that is sitting in large pots of boiling water, and putting lids on properly will preserve the food in an airtight container while sitting for a long time at room temperature.

7. Juice it yourself.
     Buying fresh produce and juicing it yourself is cheaper than buying juice, and it's less sugar. Stop buying mostly water anyway. You can also make Soy, Rice or Almond milk with a large juicer. The pulp or 'meat' of the fruit can be added to many dishes and breads. The remainder can be added to compost and recycled into the ground in your new garden.

8. Organize multi-family potlucks.
     Or have arranged dinners once a week at someone else's house. If you do this with a few families, then at least 1-2 times a week you don't have to cook dinner. You have the pleasure of other's company, and it's easier on the wallet for everyone. Instead of cooking the food, trade excess of products with others.

9. Cook more.
     This is simple. Whether you spend money eating out, or your buying prepared food such as frozen dinners, boxed meals, or canned soups you will save money by again, buying more whole food and less packaged.

10. Grow your own.
     Simple enough. You can hang planters off a wall or fence, have small buckets on the back porch, or even a full area in the ground. Automatic drip systems are worth the time and money. It saves water and also assures that your food doesn't go bad. Check on them as often as you remember. Make sure no bugs are getting into the area. Dawn dish soap mixed with some water in a spray bottle is a perfect harmless pesticide.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Top Ten things I want for Mother's Day


Mother's Day is almost here, and for all you ladies, I know you're thinking the same thing.

1. I want coffee as soon as I wake up. Get up early, make it, have it ready, keep it hot and fresh and make it the way I like it. As soon as I open my eyes and sit up, hand it to me. You might have to stand there a while, silently breathing, keeping the coffee hot and fresh somehow.

2. The kind of breakfast you would make if it meant life or death.. I want the whole shebang. I'll stay in bed waiting patiently, and don't forget to refill my coffee.

3. I'm still confused about the whole kid thing on Mother's Day. Is it about me, or them? Do I take them somewhere fun, or are they to not be heard all day? Is there a camp they're supposed to go to?

4. The house cleaned, and not just half assed, I mean do it all. Don't leave anything for me the next day.

5. I want to watch whatever shows or movies I want. I'm going to play whatever music I want to as well, and you're gonna like it. I shall dance and you shall like it!

6. No, I'm not wiping anyone's butt today.

7. I hereby absolve myself of answering any questions today whatsoever.

8. For dinner? Reservations!

9. A nice long, hot, uninterrupted bath, while the kids get put magically to bed, and everything is quiet and peaceful.

10. Wreck it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Borderline Personality Disorder BPD ~ Help for you and your loved ones

Here is a list of all the posts I covered that day on my Facebook page located at



Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships.


Extreme reactions—including panic, depression, rage, or frantic actions—to abandonment, whether real or perceived

A pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often veering from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)

Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, which can result in sudden changes in feelings, opinions, values, or plans and goals for the future (such as school or career choices)

Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating

Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting

Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days

Chronic feelings of emptiness and/or boredom

Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger

Having stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality.
Photo: ~shell

Borderline personality disorder is quite different from bipolar I disorder. The mood swings seen in borderline personality disorder seldom last more than one day. Mood swings in bipolar I disorder last much longer. Borderline personality disorder doesn't exhibit the prolonged episodes of decreased need for sleep, hyperactivity, pressured speech, reckless over-involvement, and grandiosity that are ...characteristic of bipolar I disorder.

Borderline Coping Styles

◦Feels misunderstood, mistreated, or victimized.

◦Blames her own failures or shortcomings on other people or circumstances; attributes her difficulties to external factors rather than accepting responsibility for her own conduct or choices.

◦Gets into power struggles.

◦When upset, has trouble perceiving both positive and negative qualities in the same person at the same time (e.g. may see others in black or white terms, shift suddenly from seeing someone as an angel to seeing her as a devil).

◦Becomes irrational when strong emotions are stirred up; may show a significant decline from customary level of functioning.

◦Has little psychological insight into her own motives, behavior, etc.

◦Is unable to soothe or comfort herself without the help of another person (i.e. has difficulty regulating her own emotions).

◦Tends to “catastrophize”; is prone to see her problems as disastrous, unsolvable, etc.

◦Tends to hold grudges; may dwell on insults or slights for long periods.

◦When distressed, tends to revert to earlier, less mature ways of coping (e.g. clinging, whining, having tantrums).

◦Relationships tend to be unstable, chaotic, and rapidly changing.

Tips for Friends and Family of Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

It can be difficult to deal with a friend or loved one who has borderline personality disorder (BPD). Use these tips to handle tough times and help maintain a safe environment:

•Read as much as you can about BPD — knowing about the disorder helps you deal with it.

•If you live with someone who has BPD, join a support group or consider therapy for yourself to help you deal with the issues you face.

•Understand that BPD behaviors aren’t about you. Try to depersonalize what’s happening.

•Even if you understand BPD behaviors, you need to know your own limits and stick by them — don’t ever allow yourself to be abused.

•Understand your loved one’s hot buttons and try not to push them — yet know that you won’t always succeed.

•Realize that sometimes the only thing you can do is leave the relationship when your loved one repeatedly runs over your limits or when your loved one refuses treatment.
Photo: ♥  ~Judy

As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren't fully understood. Experts agree, though, that the disorder results from a combination of factors. Factors that seem likely to play a role include:

•Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental disorders among family members.

•Environmental factors. Many people with borderline personality disorder have a history of childhood abuse, neglect and separation from caregivers or loved ones.

•Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.


(Some of these are more for when a person may be agitated. You don't have to treat us like there is something wrong all the time.)

1. Be realistic.
You will not eliminate another person's borderline behavior, no matter how well you communicate. Only that person can do that.

2. Leave if necessary.
You do not have to tolerate physical threats or emotional or verbal abuse.

3. Simplify.
When speaking with a BP, especially about sensitive issues, remember emotion is likely to be so strong that neither of you can do high-level thinking. Make each sentence short, simple, and direct. Leave no room for misinterpretation.

4. Separate the person from the behavior.
Make it clear to the BP that when you dislike behavior, you do not dislike the person.

5. Address feelings before facts.
In ordinary conversation, we put facts before feelings. We assess facts and react with our feelings to them. But people with BPD often reverse this process.

6. Keep focusing on your message.
Ignore the BP's attacks or threats or attempts to change the subject. Stay calm and reiterate your point.

7. Ask questions.
Turn the problem over to the other person. Ask for alternative solutions.

8. Remember the importance of timing.
There are good times and bad times to bring up certain subjects.

9. In the midst of an intense conversation that is escalating and unproductive, practice

Delay, Distract, Depersonalize, and Detach.


Delay, Distract, Depersonalize, and Detach.

Tell the other person, "Why don't we think about things and talk about this later?" or "Give me some time to think about what you're saying." Speak calmly and in a way that affirms the other person as well as yourself.

Suggest, for instance, that the two of you run an errand together.

Throughout, you will do better if you remind yourself frequently that the BP's harsh criticism of you is not real, but still feels very real to that person. Don't take the other person's comments personally, however cutting or cruel they may feel to you. This is the nature of the disorder.

Remove yourself emotionally from getting caught up in the emotional whirlwind. Resolve to yourself, "I'm not going to get so involved in this."

Borderline Personality Disorder Coping Skills:

•Reduce the intensity of the emotional distress you feel

•Reduce the likelihood that you will do something harmful (e.g., engage in self- harming behaviors) to attempt to escape from the emotional distress

•Reduce the likelihood that you will engage in behaviors that destroy relationships (e.g., physical aggression) when you are upset

•Improve y...our ability to be able to continue to function well even when in stressful circumstances

•Build confidence in your ability to handle difficult situations

•Ultimately reduce your overall experience of emotion dysregulation

•Social Support. Talk to others who may understand what you are going through.

• Behavioral Activation. Engage in an activity that might take your mind off the stressful situation for a little while.

Relaxation Exercises. Practice a relaxation exercise, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

• Grounding. Practice grounding exercises that are designed to keep you "grounded" in the present moment, rather than caught up in replaying events in your head, worrying about the future or zoning out.

•Mindfulness Meditation. Practice mindfulness meditation, which helps you to observe and describe your experiences without judging or rejecting them.

•Active Problem-Solving. Consider the problem at hand: Is there a way to solve the problem directly?

Many psychological treatments for BPD, including cognitive behavioral treatments such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), focus on teaching healthier coping skills to manage strong emotions.

“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction”), who defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Photo: <3

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) ~ Help for you and your loved one

Here is a copy of all the PTSD posts I made on my page found here at:


PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened ...even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms>

Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating

Bad dreams

Frightening thoughts.

2. Avoidance symptoms>

Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience

Feeling emotionally numb

Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry

Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past

Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms>

Being easily startled

Feeling tense or “on edge”

Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

Risk factors for PTSD include:

Living through dangerous events and traumas
Having a history of mental illness
Getting hurt
Seeing people hurt or killed
Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
Having little or no social support after the event
Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home.
Resilience factors that may reduce the risk of PTSD include:

Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
Finding a support group after a traumatic event
Feeling good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
Having a coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear.


Psychotherapy - “talk” therapy.

Exposure therapy - It exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way.

Cognitive restructuring - This therapy helps people make sense of the bad memories.

Stress inoculation training - This therapy tries to reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety.


How Talk Therapies Help People Overcome PTSD

Talk therapies teach people helpful ways to react to frightening events that trigger their PTSD symptoms. Based on this general goal, different types of therapy may:

Teach about trauma and its effects.

Use relaxation and anger control skills.

Provide tips for better sleep, diet, and exercise habits.

Help people identify and deal with guilt, shame, and other feelings about the event.

Focus on changing how people react to their PTSD symptoms. For example, therapy helps people visit places and people that are reminders of the trauma.


You may feel scared and frustrated about the changes you see in your loved one.
You can take steps to help a loved one cope with stress brought on by a traumatic event.
It is important to learn about PTSD so you can understand why it happened, how it is treated, and what you can do to help.

~~Here are ways you can help~~

•Learn as much as you can a...bout PTSD. Knowing how PTSD affects people may help you understand what your family member is going through.
•Offer to go to doctor visits with your family member.
•Tell your loved one you want to listen and that you also understand if he or she doesn't feel like talking.
•Plan family activities together, like having dinner or going to a movie.
•Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or do some other physical activity together.
•Encourage contact with family and close friends.

~~If angry or violent~~

•Agree that either of you can call a time-out at any time.
•Agree that when someone calls a time-out, the discussion must stop right then.
•Decide on a signal you will use to call a time-out. The signal can be a word that you say or a hand signal.
•Agree to tell each other where you will be and what you will be doing during the time-out. Tell each other what time you will come back

~~How can I communicate better?~~

•Be clear and to the point.
•Be positive. Blame and negative talk won't help the situation.
•Be a good listener. Don't argue or interrupt. Repeat what you hear to make sure you understand, and ask questions if you need to know more.
•Put your feelings into words. Your loved one may not know you are sad or frustrated unless you are clear about your feelings.
•Help your family member put feelings into words. Ask, "Are you feeling angry? Sad? Worried?"
•Ask how you can help.
•Don't give advice unless you are asked.

Crisis resources

You may feel helpless, but there are many things you can do. Nobody expects you to have all the answers. If you feel there is a crisis for you or your loved one, use one of these toll-free, confidential hotlines:

•The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline* is a 24-hour hotline for anyone in emotional distress: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is also an online Lifeline Chat* availabl...e from 5 pm to 1 am EST, weekdays.

•The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with VA responders through a 24/7 hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), PRESS 1. There is also a 24/7 online Confidential Veterans Chat or text message support at 838255.

•The National Domestic Violence Hotline* offers 24/7 anonymous access to shelters and domestic violence programs as well as legal advocacy, public education, and training: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

•The National Sexual Assault Hotline* operated by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is a 24/7 resource to link victims to counseling and legal advice: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). There is also a National Sexual Assault Online Hotline* for messaging.

•The National Child Abuse Hotline* is a 24/7 resource you can contact if you suspect a child is being abused, if you fear you might hurt your child, or if you have been abused: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453).

Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include:

◾Natural disasters
◾Car or plane crashes
◾Terrorist attacks
◾Sudden death of a loved one
◾Sexual or physical abuse
◾Childhood neglect

Following a traumatic event, almost everyone experiences at least some of the symptoms of PTSD. When your sense of safety and trust are shattered, it’s normal to feel crazy, disconnected, or numb. It’s very common to have bad dreams, feel fearful, and find it difficult to stop thinking about what happened.

These are normal reactions to abnormal events.

For most people, however, these symptoms are short-lived. They may last for several days or even weeks, but they gradually lift. But if you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms don’t decrease. You don’t feel a little better each day. In fact, you may start to feel worse.

While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms:

1.Re-experiencing the traumatic event
2.Avoiding reminders of the trauma
3.Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event

◾Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
◾Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)...
◾Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
◾Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
◾Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)

Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing

◾Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
◾ Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
◾ Loss of interest in activities and life in general
◾ Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
◾ Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)

Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

◾Difficulty falling or staying asleep
◾ Irritability or outbursts of anger
◾ Difficulty concentrating
◾ Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
◾ Feeling jumpy and easily startled

Other common symptoms:

◾Anger and irritability
◾Guilt, shame, or self-blame
◾Substance abuse
◾Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
◾Depression and hopelessness
◾Suicidal thoughts and feelings
◾Feeling alienated and alone
◾Physical aches and pains


◾Be patient and understanding.
Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment for PTSD. Be patient with the pace of recovery and offer a sympathetic ear. A person with PTSD may need to talk about the traumatic event over and over again. This is part of the healing process, so avoid the temptation to tell your loved one to stop rehashing the... past and move on.

◾Try to anticipate and prepare for PTSD triggers.
Common triggers include anniversary dates; people or places associated with the trauma; and certain sights, sounds, or smells. If you are aware of what triggers may cause an upsetting reaction, you’ll be in a better position to offer your support and help your loved one calm down.

◾Don’t take the symptoms of PTSD personally.
Common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include emotional numbness, anger, and withdrawal. If your loved one seems distant, irritable, or closed off, remember that this may not have anything to do with you or your relationship.

◾Don’t pressure your loved one into talking.
It is very difficult for people with PTSD to talk about their traumatic experiences. For some, it can even make things worse. Never try to force your loved one to open up. Let the person know, however, that you’re there when and if he or she wants to talk.

Anxiety ~ Help for you or your loved one

Here is a wrap up of my Anxiety posts from my page, here at


Anxiety brings a multitude of symptoms from everywhere:

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger, an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation.

Emotional symptoms of anxiety

In addition to the primary symptoms of irrational and excessive fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms of anxiety include:

◾Feelings of apprehension or dread
◾ Trouble concentrating
◾ Feeling tense and jumpy
◾ Anticipating the worst
◾ Irritability
◾ Restlessness
◾ Watching for signs of danger
◾ Feeling like your mind’s gone blank

Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:

◾Pounding heart
◾ Sweating
◾ Stomach upset or dizziness
◾ Frequent urination or diarrhea
◾ Shortness of breath
◾ Tremors and twitches
◾ Muscle tension
◾ Headaches
◾ Fatigue
◾ Insomnia

Symptoms of anxiety attacks include:

◾Surge of overwhelming panic
◾Feeling of losing control or going crazy
◾Feeling like you’re going to pass out
◾Hot flashes or chills
◾Feeling detached or unreal
There are six major types of anxiety disorders, each with their own distinct symptom profile:

generalized anxiety disorder,
obsessive-compulsive disorder,
panic disorder (anxiety attacks),
post-traumatic stress disorder,
and social anxiety disorder.

Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders #1:
Challenge negative thoughts

◾Write down your worries. Keep a pad and pencil on you, or type on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. When you experience anxiety, write down your worries. Writing down is harder work than simply thinking them, so your negative thoughts are likely to disappear sooner.
◾Create an anxiety worry period. Choose one or ...two 10 minute “worry periods” each day, time you can devote to anxiety. During your worry period, focus only on negative, anxious thoughts without trying to correct them. The rest of the day, however, is to be designated free of anxiety. When anxious thoughts come into your head during the day, write them down and “postpone” them to your worry period.
◾Accept uncertainty. Unfortunately, worrying about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable—it only keeps you from enjoying the good things happening in the present. Learn to accept uncertainty and not require immediate solutions to life’s problems.

Self-help for anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders #2:
Take care of yourself

◾Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.
◾Adopt healthy eating habits. Start the day right with breakfast, and continue with frequent small meals throughout the day. Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar, which can make you feel more anxious.
◾Reduce alcohol and nicotine. They lead to more anxiety, not less.
◾Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.
◾Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings, so try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night.



It's important to realize that while anxiety is not a physical condition, it's also not something that can be cured through logic or reasoning. Like a disease, anxiety is something that needs special treatment.
It's much more complex, much less controllable, and something that can force changes on you that make it harder to cure.


DO let this person know that they can talk to you about it openly, without any fear of judgment.
DO spend time with them as much as possible.
DO tell them to call you anytime, anywhere.
DO be forgiving.
DO exciting activities. Try to be outdoors.
DO be proud of them when they improve.
DO be yourself.

DON'T get frustrated.
DON'T bring up the anxiety often.
DON'T let anxiety affect you as well.
DON'T expect massive, immediate turnarounds.
DON'T guilt trip.
DON'T give up hope.

Be predictable and reliable. If you say that you'll be somewhere at a certain time, make sure that you are.

•Let the person you care for set the pace of their recovery. Don’t push them to do too much too soon, but encourage them to keep moving forwards.

•Try to get the person you care for to remain positive throughout the recovery process. Encourage and praise them, and don't focus on the things they can’t do.


What to Do When Someone You Love Is Anxious

Knowledge - Learn as much as you can about anxiety and its symptoms, causes and treatments.

Criticism - Fair criticism directed at specific behaviors may actually work better than unconditional acceptance.

Accommodating. In fact, too much acceptance can often inadvertently lead to a poorer prognosis through accommodating behaviors and reassurance. I...t is not too late to make a change and set some limits.

Limit setting. This is a simple concept but surprisingly hard to implement because setting limits requires patience, strength and consistency. It doesn’t hurt to have a supportive, alternative statement prepared for when tough situations come up—something along the lines of “I love you, so I refuse to participate in this behavior because we know it is harmful to you in the long-run.”

Coaching. If your relationship is a good one and you feel you can manage it, work with your loved one to coach them in their battle with anxiety.

Contracting. Clearly outlining--in writing--the goals and the plan to reach them can help to organize and commit to the purpose. This would ideally include vows on both sides—what each of you will do to improve the situation.

Self-care. Perhaps the most important point, remember to take care of you.

Photo: It hurts my heart when I hear "oh get over it", "don't you ever smile?", "My life is 10x worse than yours and you don't see me crying over it".  I don't know where it is written that people should be gauging the severity of their illness based on someone else's symptoms and pain.  Just because one person can handle their depression better or one person's medication works better does not mean my illness and my symptoms/pain are any less painful or horrible to live with. 

We all have to live in a society that advocates popularity contests...who's the prettiest, who's got the most money, who's got the best breasts, who's got the best figure...etc.  There is no way I will not stand up and scream NO WAY when society wants people with mental illnesses to compare themselves to each other to see who is the "most depressed".  I think it is outrageous and insulting.  Everyone deals with their illness and their pain/symptoms and lives their own way and nobody is "more sick" than anyone else.  It saddens me profoundly that in 2014 we are still living in a society where lists such as this are still needed.

You will not find any of these statements said here.  Your feelings matter, you matter.  We love you all just the way you are.  ~JR

Depression ~ Help for you or your loved one

Here are the posts from my page on Depression:

Depression Symptoms:

Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

Fatigue and decreased energy

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

Irritability, restlessness

Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

Overeating or appetite loss

Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive
problems that do not ease even with treatment

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts.

Are There Warning Signs of Suicide With Depression?

Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) -- or the deaf hotline at 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).

Warning signs of ...suicide with depression include:

A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy

Always talking or thinking about death

Clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse

Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights

Losing interest in things one used to care about

Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless

Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will

Saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out"

Talking about suicide (killing one's self)

Visiting or calling people one cares about

Remember, if you or someone you know is demonstrating any of the above warning signs of suicide with depression, either call your local suicide hot line, contact a mental health professional right away, or go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.


Understanding depression in a friend or family member:

◾Depression is a serious condition. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.

◾The symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. In addition, depressed people often say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.

◾Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. Don’t be an enabler. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you are making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment.

◾You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Don’t try to rescue your loved one from depression. It’s not up to you to fix the problem, nor can you. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for his or her happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.



Remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice!

Being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.

What you can say that helps:

◾ You are not a...lone in this. I’m here for you.
◾ You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
◾ I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
◾ When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.
◾ You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
◾ Tell me what I can do now to help you.

Avoid saying:

◾ It’s all in your head.
◾ We all go through times like this.
◾ Look on the bright side.
◾ You have so much to live for why do you want to die?
◾ I can’t do anything about your situation.
◾ Just snap out of it.
◾ What’s wrong with you?
◾ Shouldn’t you be better by now?


Supporting the depression treatment process

One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.

◾Provide assistance the person needs (and is willing to accept). Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed.

◾Have realistic expectations. It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is important. Even with optimal treatment, recovery from depression doesn’t happen overnight.

◾Lead by example. Encourage your friend or family member to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.

◾Encourage activity. Invite your loved one to join you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Exercise is especially helpful, so try to get your depressed loved one moving. Going on walks together is one of the easiest options. Be gently and lovingly persistent—don’t get discouraged or stop asking.

◾Pitch in when possible. Seemingly small tasks can be hard for a depressed person to manage. Offer to help out with household responsibilities or chores, but only do what you can without getting burned out yourself!