Addictions and depression, health and wellness, Treatment for depression

Addiction and depression: often diagnosed together

10 Ways to Get Noticed (in a Good Way) by Agents, Managers, and Production Executives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my city, like many cities in North America, the opioid crisis is affecting many people and taking many lives. I haven’t lived here for long, but it seems all types of people are suffering because of drug addiction. I just learned today of a person passing away from mixing cocaine and fentanyl; she was young and now she is gone. I didn’t know her, but I feel for her and her family.

It is known that depression and drug addictions go hand in hand for a lot of people. Often, people who are addicted have turned to drugs to relieve stress, trauma and were recreational drug users. The crisis isn’t only occurring in adults; adolescents are turning to drugs to self-medicate when they experience the symptoms of depression.
Writers Store

If you would like an in-depth study, you can take a free course on Edx, courtesy of Harvard University. I have taken it and it is well worth studying to know more about drug addiction and how to treat people with an addiction to opioids. It is highly recommended.

Drug addiction doesn’t discriminate, all socioeconomic classes are affected ranging from homeless people to doctors and teenagers addicted to prescription medicine. How much is too much in a prescription? There is debate going on now about restricting the use of opioids to treat pain because of the high potential for addictions to start by their use.

It is estimated that in the United States, over 1,000 people are treated daily in the country’s emergency departments for incorrect administration of an opioid based drug.

The effects of the dual-diagnosis of addiction and depression

Studies show that women suffer from depression first and men suffer with a drug addiction first. Many feel hopeless and lost and turn to the drugs to feel better, yet they feel worse in the end. A study conducted by the National Institute on Health found that one-third of people suffering from the mood disorder had struggled with an addiction. Men who were addicted to alcohol were diagnoses three times as much as the general population.

Children of people who are addicted are at risk of developing the same addictions; they are also at a higher risk for developing a mood disorder. In an article written by Dennis C. Daley, Ph.D, he sums up the effects of addictions and depression on a family:

“clients with addiction and depression are at higher risk for suicidal and homicidal behaviors, poorer treatment adherence, higher relapse rates to either disorder, and higher re-hospitalization rates (Cornelius et al, 1997; Salloum et al, 1996; Daley & Zuckoff, 1998 & 1999).”

Writers Store
Not only does an addiction and mood disorder affect a family, it affects the local community as well. People who are untreated may not be able to show up to work, school or important events. Locally, the prison has been under investigation involving eight prisoners who died from an overdose. Medical personnel were questioned, and one nurse agreed that communication when an overdose occurs needs improvement. It was said that the problems in the community are now in the jail.

Of course, when news spreads of an overdose in a community it can frighten people and sadden people when it has lead to death. It is important to realize the seriousness of mental illness and drug addiction in combination with one another.

Help for people with concurrent diagnoses

Some people have difficulty finding the help they need for recovery because some institutions or places of help demand that a person be free from drug addiction before they can receive treatment. Having depression and a drug addiction can be difficult to be treated separately because they both affect each other. It seems like double the pain for addicts and persons with a mood disorder. The symptoms of both can be debilitating and the worst consequences of each is death from the condition.

More public awareness is helping to educate people about depression and addiction. There are conversations occurring world wide on how to view addictions. Some people may be afraid to ask for help because illicit drugs are illegal, but some cities are providing immunity in certain cases where drugs are found on the scene of a medical emergency. It is called the Good Samaritan law.

Good self-care can help tremendously as well. Some tips from Psychology Today include:

  • Get some sunshine
  • Exercise
  • Make attainable goals
  • Stand up and ground yourself
  • Get help from a professional

Using illicit drugs and alcohol can make depression worse even though the person may feel the drugs will make them feel better; it is a dangerous combination that left untreated can lead to serious consequences. Alcohol is a depressant that also impairs good judgment; being intoxicating increases the risk of a suicide attempt.

When seeking help from professionals, it is best to ask if they are qualified to help in both areas of addictions and depression. It is important that they both be treated at the same time.

If you are in need of help for suicidal thoughts please visit suicide.org where you can find the resources such as hotline numbers to help with your crisis.

Would you like someone to talk to for free? Visit 7 Cups to talk to an active listener and you can be referred to a therapist if needed.

Writers Store

health and wellness, major depressive disorder family and friends, Treatment for depression

Depression: Focus on what you CAN do and not on what you can’t

Writers Store

Today, I woke up at 5:00 pm. I have never slept this late before, but in all fairness, I was up until dawn as a listener on 7 Cups. I have to say this is not me at my ultimate best, but it is out of my control sometimes when I cannot sleep. I kind of dread being awake now in the midnight hours, but I put my time to good use listening to those who need a kind and compassionate ear.

I sometimes let what I cannot do affect my self-esteem and I think I have reached a point where I have had enough; I am fed up with feeling not good enough. It is time to appreciate what I can do rather than what I can’t do. It is disappointing to not be able to do the things I would like because of suffering from major depressive disorder but I must continually adjust and adapt to each day not knowing what to expect.

Two of the people I listened two left ratings and I now have 5 out of 5 stars. I like to excel at what I do and sometimes the depression makes me feel inadequate on the days where it is even difficult to get out of bed. A frustrating battle of thoughts ensues, and I need to show the same compassion to myself that I show to others experiencing debilitating symptoms of depression.

Too much time has been spent in disappointment about what I cannot do now. What does this mean? It means I carry around shame and a feeling of disgrace because I am not functioning like healthier people can. I know I have tried my best on the road to recovery and must keep this in mind.

Movie Magic Screenwriter 6

Suffering from depression is not my fault and I must keep this in mind. It is unfortunate, but something that is manageable though there have been days when it has felt grueling to face the day. I’m not sure what to say when people ask what I do. I have found writing work at home, but some people don’t consider this to be a real job; I have also tried my hand at selling crafts online, but I could not keep up with what my mind had planned for the small business. It is time for some motivation!

Motivation for easing the self-doubt from depression

What is motivation? Why does it seem to work better on some days? I’m not sure. Not all of what is intended to be good advice or motivation is helpful, sometimes it can feel harmful due to expectations to kind of just snap out of the depression at will. Of course, it is better to think positively but the illness cannot be battled alone with positive thoughts. What kind of motivation is helpful? How can I include radical acceptance? What does this mean for me and most likely others? I need to accept myself at my best when the symptoms aren’t as debilitating, and at my worst. There is no need for self condemnation for being a person with depression. It runs in my family and why should I expect to be any different?

I have been learning mindfulness techniques lately; spending time in the past and worrying about the future is overwhelming. Of course, I appreciate good memories, but having depression has tempted me to ruminate over the negative and relive the pain every time I think of a painful experience.

Am I doing something that makes my depression worse? Yes. The non-stop critical thoughts are painful and sometimes it takes me a while to snap out of it and stop the negative thoughts. I hate struggling, it is wearisome. It is counterproductive when I really am trying hard to feel my best.

Writers Store

Today’s motivation is the thought that I am working hard to be the best that I can. It’s okay to be me and it doesn’t matter if someone else wants to judge me harshly for having a mental illness. I have worked hard to be self-sufficient and strong; although I haven’t gotten to where I want to go in the way I thought I would get there, I am convinced that I will get there eventually even if it doesn’t look like I thought it would. Trying to act healthy when I need to be treated for depression doesn’t work, it doesn’t make me function any better.

Some days I have lost track of my goals and because of my fatigue it feels like I will never accomplish them and then I will l have days when I am full of energy and in control and well on my way to accomplishing the steps necessary reach my set goal. I feel best when life feels exciting; it can be difficult to remember that the weighing despair is not permanent though it feels like it will never go away.

It is hard to describe to others out of embarrassment and the need to be accepted as being a regular human being without prejudice and dislike. I have confided to a few people that I have depression, and some seem okay with it though they don’t know too much about it. I have to say I have accomplished my goals though I have had to adapt around the depression and have been set back by the symptoms and trying to find the right medication that makes me feel better. I am a writer and have had the opportunity to be paid for writing about issues that I learned in college. Listening on 7 Cups is a community service worker activity. So, my hard work did pay off, I am doing what I went to school for even though it isn’t where I thought it would be. I can do it even thought I am not moving as quickly as I hoped I would.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

— John Wooden

health and wellness, Treatment for depression

Mindfulness for my nocturnal self

Writers Store

Mindfulness for insomnia

Everyone in the house is asleep but me; it has been a few days since my sleeping got messed up. Yesterday I slept until it was the afternoon and I was hoping when I fell asleep earlier than I had the past while, I would stay asleep. It is strange being awake when everyone is deep in slumber. This is part of the depression and it isn’t really something new to me. I wonder what I can do to reset my sleep pattern, though my patterns don’t stay the same for long. I’ve turned on Midnight in the Desert on Newstalk radio 1010 for company.

Far too many times have I sat awake ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Tonight, or if you prefer this morning, I’ve decided to try mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present. Research has shown that this helps people with insomnia and I hope it has the same effect on me. I’m feeling quite anxious and before I caught on to what I was doing to myself I was imaging the worst possible outcome to my housing situation and how I’m not prepared for it.

Harvard editor Dr. Ronald Siegel has some guided meditations online that I am going to try. Done. Amazing! I started to yawn while doing the breathing exercises and my body feels much more relaxed. I was told about breathing exercises when I was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder, but I haven’t made it a habit. It felt so good to do the exercise that I’m going to have to make a part of my daily routine. I highly suggest that you try it.

Where did mindfulness originate?

I assumed that mindfulness originated in psychology, but I am wrong. It cannot be described as being an eastern or western concept. There is a history of mindfulness being practiced and taught by Hindus and Buddhists; there are differing thoughts on where mindfulness originated. Known history goes back 2,500 years; the methods have changed but the purpose of practicing mindfulness to end pain is the same. The forms of mindfulness have changed and are part of what is now called ” The Mindfulness Movement”, and Time magazine called the popularity of the practice ” The Mindful Revolution”.

Writers Store

It is understood that Budda was a prince who denounced his privileged lifestyle when he learned of the suffering that surrounded him. He then became a teacher on how to eliminate suffering and be a compassionate person using mindfulness. In the 1970s a psychologist named Jon Kabat-Zinn, of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, was asked to help patients with pain. He had been learning mindfulness at the Insight Meditation Society which has its roots in Buddism. He created a program called the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program using the techniques of meditation. It is now called the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program and is used in psychiatry as a means for healing and management of depressive disorders.

How does mindfulness help people diagnosed with depression?

Mindfulness has been shown to improve the cognitive symptoms of depression. Cognitive impairment can cause a distortion in thinking increasing negative thoughts and affecting concentration. The practice of mindfulness helps the person with depression focus on the moment and recognize their negative thoughts are untrue. People can then see their negative thoughts as being less powerful and therefore lessen the discomfort that these despairing thoughts cause.

It is important for people with depression to detach from their negative and distorted thoughts; mindfulness keeps the person’s mind from wandering and helps a person maintain control of their thoughts. Mindfulness has expanded to include mindfulness-based art therapy. Research studies on 44 people with depression using mindfulness techniques resulted in reduced symptoms of depression over a period of twelve weeks.

What are other benefits of deep breathing?

Mindfulness practices include deep and concentrated breathing; you focus on each breath in and out for a brief time. Deep breathing is also known as belly breathing, abdominal breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and paced respiration. It slows the heart beat and lowers blood pressure.

By making mindfulness a part of your routine you will notice a reduction in stress making you feel more relaxed. When you catch on to your negative thinking you can replace these thoughts with a mantra or saying that you create when you’re in a better state of mind.

 Movie Magic Screenwriter 6

While you can’t will your way out of depression with positive thinking, mindfulness contributes to combating the symptoms that negative thinking leads to. Types of negative thinking includes:

  • Catastrophic thinking- believing the worst possible outcome of a situation will happen. This is not a rare occurrence. It is depression and anxiety talking and the pattern needs to be broken for relief to be felt.
  • Jumping to conclusions- these are beliefs without evidence and the conclusion is usually negative.
  • Personalization-thinking that negative actions or occurrences are solely your fault.
  • Blaming- we are responsible for our emotions; blaming blames ourselves or others for the pain we are experiencing
  • Emotional reasoning-giving in to negative emotions that aren’t true.
  • Overgeneralizing-making a negative conclusion based on limited evidence
  • Black and white-believing opposite extremes without leaving room for in-between answers
  • Filtering-ignoring positive attributes of a situation and focusing only on the negative

As you can see cognitive distortions can cause a lot of needless painful experiences. Using mindfulness techniques eliminates the unrealistic thinking from continuing any further. Depression and anxiety are suffered by many people concurrently and the negative thinking patterns of both conditions can sneak up when you least expect it. Mindfulness helps people to stop and recognize that their harmful thoughts are irrational and not act or dwell upon them. I feel better already just by recognizing that I was catastrophizing what could possibly happen concerning my housing situation. I don’t have any evidence of the earlier what ifs I was toying with thereby making me feel crummy. Mindfulness has helped me tonight, I hope you will try it too.

10 Ways to Get Noticed (in a Good Way) by Agents, Managers, and Production Executives

Continue reading “Mindfulness for my nocturnal self”

health and wellness, major depressive disorder family and friends, Treatment for depression

Antidepressants: Can they all be considered medicine?

Movie Magic Screenwriter 6

What is medicine?

Definition of medicine

1 a : a substance or preparation used in treating disease

  • cough medicine

    b : something that affects well-being

  • he’s bad medicine
  • —Zane Grey

    2 a : the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease

  • She’s interested in a career in medicine.

    b : the branch of medicine concerned with the nonsurgical treatment of disease

    3 : a substance (such as a drug or potion) used to treat something other than disease

    4 : an object held in traditional American Indian belief to give control over natural or magical forces; also : magical power or a magical rite


    “Medicine.” Merriam-Webster.com, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medicine. Accessed 16 Apr. 2018.

     Writers Store

    I respect the practice of medicine, as a matter of fact, I have considered a career in medicine since I was a child. It is my desire to make helping people a number one priority. Having said this. There are some areas and treatments used in medicine that I find to be confusing and downright harmful. Antidepressants affect me personally as I use them for treatment of depression. I trust my doctor and I believe the doctor is acting on training that she has received. There have been a few antidepressants prescribed to me that had ill effects that were so uncomfortable that I had to stop taking them. Seemingly a no-brainer to me is that if a drug is to be considered a medicine it shouldn’t cause harm.

    There have been many news articles and controversies surrounding the use of antidepressants. We see that many people who have committed violent crimes were taking antidepressants and many people are concerned about their detrimental effects. Was it the mental illness that caused these horrendous incidents or was it the drugs or a combination of both? I certainly don’t want to be taking a drug that has the potential to make me violent; this has never happened to me, but I have experienced the negative effects of certain drugs that were detrimental to my well being. My thought is that if a medicine causes harm, can it really be considered a medicine? E.g. Antidepressants that increase suicidal tendencies. Isn’t this a no-brainer that these kinds of drugs cannot be considered medicine? Depression causes suicidal thinking; a medicine should not affect a person trying to relieve the symptoms of depression, and certainly not intensify them. To me this is too risky and not worth any benefit(s) that the drug may produce.

    I am not a doctor and I don’t want to dissuade anyone from taking their prescribed drugs, but the last thing I expect from an antidepressant is to make me feel worse. I met a girl recently who had to stop taking the medicine because her anxiety and depression became worse for a few weeks when she started to take them. During my treatments over the past few years, I haven’t found the right combination or one antidepressant that has enabled me to function as I’d like to for more than a few months. Some people experience bouts of depression for a seemingly short time while others like myself suffer intense symptoms that are debilitating for years. Am I suffering for years because of not taking the right antidepressant for me? Why do some people suffer for a short time and others for longer? There isn’t a cure all type of antidepressant that works for everyone; why is this?


    Why don’t antidepressants work for everyone?

    People diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder each have differing intensities of symptoms, some more than others and scientists conclude it is because of a person’s genetics. The danger, says Dr. Marianne Müller is that people suffering intense depressive symptoms including suicidal tendencies don’t have enough time to try to find the right medicine that rids the person of suicidal thinking. Some people may commit suicide even though they are taking medicine for their depression. The presence or lack of transcription factor levels predicted with 76% accuracy how someone will respond to SSRIs (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitor). This high level of response data is not enough to develop new medicines. It is noted by another doctor not involved in this study, Dr. Victor Reus, that the HPA axis most likely contributes to depression, that is the body’s response to stress. Researchers are looking for genetic differences to explain why different types of antidepressants don’t work well for everybody diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

    It has been estimated that more than half of people prescribed antidepressants don’t feel better after taking them. It has been found that the makers of antidepressant have not made the medicine to get at the more complex causes, instead they have oversimplified the cause and as such the drugs only target these simplified areas. The two main beliefs factored into the making of antidepressants includes difficult life circumstances and an imbalance in neurotransmitters as the causes of major depressive disorder. Depression researcher Eva Redei has found inconclusive evidence that stress contributes to depression, while she notes that the drugs purpose is to relieve stress symptoms. As for the theory that depression is caused by decreased levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine she says that treatments aim at the effects, not the cause. Further research is necessary to determine what the cause is exactly.

    Another finding suggests that reducing the amount of autoreceptors may increase the positive effects of antidepressants. Autoreceptors are responsible for sending messages to the axon terminal deciphering how much of a neurotransmitter has been released. The higher the level of autoreceptors detected, the less effective antidepressants were shown to be.

    An obvious reason that antidepressants won’t work is because of a misdiagnosis. There are questions you should ask before commencing treatment to see if they are right for you:

  1. Is it depression causing pain?
  2. Are you willing to try different treatments for an extended period?
  3. Would antidepressants work best with another therapy such as counselling?
  4. Do you trust your doctor?

Basically, it’s best to realize that treatment may need to be ongoing and a matter of trial and error. Build a trusting relationship with your doctor and communicate about your concerns before taking an antidepressant. Know what to expect and be prepared for trying new medicines to alleviate your pain.

What to do when antidepressants don’t work effectively

If the antidepressants you have been prescribed aren’t helping you may have what is called treatment-resistant depression. It may be mild or severe. If you aren’t already seeing a mental health professional seek one out. They can determine what is contributing to your depressive episode(s) and what can be done about it while excluding other possible causes for your symptoms. Together you may find that you require more time to adjust to the medicine, you may need to increase the dose, or you may need to start taking a different type of antidepressant. This can be a frustrating time waiting for relief from this painful disorder. Reach out and talk about it with your doctor, a counselling phone line or someone you trust to get the support you need to help you through this time.

Other treatments are physical and include electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, and vagus nerve stimulation. In addition, there are other measures you can take to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Live a healthier lifestyle that includes the reduction of alcohol and drugs, eating a more nutritious diet, including exercise into your daily routine, and using stress reduction techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness.

I know from first hand experience about the difficulties faced when antidepressants don’t work. Reaching out to someone to talk about my experience has been helpful, but still caused me great concern when my mood was extremely low with no remedy. Taking pictures of nature was very calming and interesting during daily walks in the spring and summer. It is a frightening experience to suffer from despair and think about suicide daily; many people are speaking up about not having enough resources dedicated to helping people with mental health issues like major depressive disorder. Hopefully, soon enough we will have more options for remedy and relief for our painful symptoms of depression.

Leave a comment. Have you had an experience with antidepressants you want to mention?

Writers Store

health and wellness, major depressive disorder family and friends, Treatment for depression

Children and depression

Writers Store

Diagnosing depression in children

It is difficult to imagine a child suffering from the depths of depression but there are many who are diagnosed with different types of depression.  One may mistake the symptoms of depression as the child misbehaving or being lazy. When you see children acting out of sorts check for the symptoms of depression before you make a wrong judgement that could cause more harm by going without the medical care required to manage the illness. Types of depression includes:

  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Dysthymia
  • Bipolar disorder

If you are concerned talk to your family doctor of pediatrician for a diagnosis and treatment. Even though they are young the thought of suicide can occur, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from the health care professionals including counselors.  


Writers Store

Symptoms of depression in children

The symptoms of depression are mostly the same as for adults, but children need extra tlc so be kind even when children are in the rottenest mood because it is the disorder talking. You may think the child is being rebellious and disrespectful when they show irritability but it is a symptom of all forms of depression. When the child is not doing their homework or is slow in the morning to get ready for school on a regular basis it could be fatigue from depression causing them to be so slow. Children may lose interest in playing with their friends, hobbies and sports. Other symptoms include:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Feeling rejected
  • Sleep troubles — over and under sleeping
  • Aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating



Looking back, I see that doctors started to catch on to my symptoms including stomach aches when I was in grade 8 and just had my appendix taken out. I didn’t have the ability to tell them how I felt suicidal, I didn’t realize it is a medical concern, I thought it was because of a negative attitude. I told one of my friends once that I thought about suicide, but children don’t know what to do to help so I suffered alone. I missed a lot of school in grade 7 and was quite irritable; it is amazing that I had any friends. When you see symptoms please don’t ignore them because it is very painful and confusing to a child, you may save the child a lot of needless pain and suffering alone.  

Writers Store