Tuesday 15 April 2014

Depression, Burn Out and Writing Code

When your livelihood depends on what you can do with your brain, fighting depression and the fatigued fog that swirls around it is a frightening battle.
I read a post written by Noah Kagan of appSumo.com tonight in which he honestly and plainly described what that fight is like from the inside. He also shares some of the tools he uses like pursuing small wins, developing relationships with people you can talk to and taking a break from the stresses that are hounding you.
That post really spoke to me because I’ve been living through that reality for a long time. Most recently I went through a claustrophobic and dark winter where it took all of my strength to just keep plodding through day by day. A cold and gloomy winter, frustration about my job, stalled projects, constant lack of sleep and adjusting to living without 20 doses of nicotine a day all wore on my soul and sapped my energy.

More from source:

Depression, Burn Out and Writing Code - muddylemon

Friday 31 January 2014

Man Tracks Down Stranger Who He Says Saved His Life

A man who says he was stopped from taking his own life by a stranger has been reunited with him after a launching an online campaign to find him.
Mental health campaigner, Jonny Benjamin, was ready to jump off Waterloo Bridgein London in 2008, before a stranger convinced him not to do it.
He had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and wanted to take his own life.
He launched a global internet and social media campaign in mid-January to try and find the stranger and thank him.
More from source:

Man Tracks Down Stranger Who He Says Saved His Life - Lifestyle

Wednesday 25 December 2013

I had a black dog, his name was depression

Don’t Fight Depression

"During this period I heard from hundreds of successful people who also have struggled with depression. As I synthesized these discussions, I consistently heard that people were generally deeply ashamed of their depression. They hid it. They struggled with what it meant. And they were afraid to talk about it, especially with co-workers and investors. These conversations were liberating to me, and hopefully helpful to a lot of the people I talked to, as it created a context where serious, hard working, and accomplished people could explore depression – and what it meant – in a safe (e.g. with me) environment." - Feld.com - Don't Fight Depression

Monday 30 January 2012

Notice the Clues and Manage Your Depression

There were several cues to my depression. I was becoming increasingly moody.
I was having trouble making even little decisions, like what to wear on any
given day. I was sleeping a lot. The day seemed to get away from me. I found
myself seeking out motivational materials, things I know all too well. Yes,
I read other motivational people's work but lately, I felt a need for it
rather than a curiosity about it.

I have come to a turning point in my life. Is it a mid-life thing? Maybe. My
46th birthday is fast approaching.
Part of it is that I have too much time on my hands and my mind was drifting
into negative territory. The hospital I work at as a psych nurse has been
closed for renovations for the past three months. With the added space in
time and no distractions, I have the ability to look more closely at my

And sometimes I just think too much!
So I am in this funk. It is what it is. It will pass. But as an upbeat,
positive person on any given day, I'm not used to feeling this way. I work
with depressed individuals all of the time, however, and am all too familiar
with its subtle and destructive nature. So I thought I would share about it

Depression is a funny thing. Everyone experiences depression at some point
in life. It is important to recognize it and identify what you need in order
to take care of yourself. There are a few things you can do to ensure you
come through it quickly and remain healthy. Depression can become 'clinical
depression', where medical treatment is needed. You need catch it quickly
and manage it responsibly. Here are some tips to get you through.

1) Gather support.
Let your family and close friends know what you are going through. Don't
assume they know what you are thinking or feeling. People are not mind
readers! Inform them AND ask for what you need. If you need them to check in
on you daily or every few days, ask them to do that. You have to reach out
for help.

Many people find prayer helps. Returning to a place of worship provides the
supportive community that adds some security and positive emotional energy.
If you do not have positive people in your life, hire a therapist or locate
a free support group. Most workplaces offer an Employee Assistance Program
(EAP). Do not use the excuse that you have no one. If you are reading this,
then you have me! If you truly love yourself and want help, help will be
provided you only need to look for it and ask.

The one thing you hear me say often is 'don't go upstairs without adult
supervision'. What that means is that we can easily get stuck our head
trapped in our thoughts. Don't get lost up there! You need to have others
who can help you sort through what thoughts are real and what is imagined.

2) Observe yourself.
Notice the negative thoughts. They are not truth but if given enough
attention they run your life. Become a master observer. Self-awareness is an
essential life skill.

Depression shows up in the present and affects your mood but the thoughts
that produce the depression are often about the past or a negative outlook
on the future. Observe the thoughts behind the sadness. The best way to do
this is using a journal.

Negative thoughts build on themselves often creating a negative spiral. You
have to find ways to question and challenge these thoughts. But first, you
have to notice them.

3) Envision success.
Envision how you want to be. How do you normally behave? What is your normal
mood? Remember this. Keep it in the forefront of your mind. This is what you
are working to regain.

Knowing how you want to feel is essential to not get stuck. Find moments of
positive emotional states either by thinking about it or by embracing the
moment. Revel in those moments. Remember that emotion is brought on by
thoughts; you can conjure positive emotions by thinking about positive
emotions and then feeling them.

4) Practice good self-care.
Be gentle with yourself. Be careful what you feed your mind and who you
spend time with, especially during this time. Read success books and
articles. Read positive and motivational materials. Commiserating with
others will only add fuel to the fire.

Exercise. Yes, even though your energy may be low, push yourself to care for
your body. This releases endorphins that are necessary for recovery.
Take a bath. Read a novel. Get a message. Listen to music. Go dancing. Have
sex (safely). Watch a funny television show or movie. Do something to shift
your energy and allow positive energy to flow in.

5) Look for what is good.
This is often difficult during a depressive episode however, noticing what
is good about your life will help you challenge the negative thoughts and
balance them with more positive and realistic perspectives.

Your observations during this time should include the good in your life:
What are you grateful for? What do you enjoy? What is positive and healthy
about you and the things you have done in life? What are you looking forward
to in the future?

Seek balance in your thinking. Trying to be overly positive won't help
because your brain cannot process it while you are in a depressive episode.
But small doses of realistic assessments about life and love and happiness -
or at least what is NOT bad - will help to temper the negative thoughts.

6) Get out of your own head.
Depression causes us to become self-absorbed. We retreat into ourselves. Not
a bad thing necessarily; but be careful not to get lost there. Sometimes,
shifting the focus of your thoughts and actions on how you can contribute to
others can help you. Other times, people fall into depression because they
have not been giving themselves enough attention. In order to know how to
best care for yourself, you must identify the message the depression is
sending you.

Depression is like any other emotion. It's a message. It lets you know that
something in your life is not working the way you like or that something
needs attention. Honor this. What is the message? Is there some way you are
living - or not living - that you need to correct or change?

Talk to your supports do you get out of your own head and gain new
perspectives and ideas. Don't trust that your current thinking is 'right'.
You do not want to become consumed by negativity; this is why we seek
support, journal, get a therapist/counselor or even a coach to put you in
action. You have to remain vigilant and use your coping skills to pull you
out of the funk.

And remember, This Too Shall Pass. Change is inevitable. Whatever you are
going through will pass. It will change. You will find your way.

As a nurse, I can tell you there are times when medication is helpful. If
you cannot seem to shake the emotional state, if you are crying too often,
if the mood or depression becomes overwhelming that it interferes with your
ability to conduct your daily affairs, then reach out to your doctor. Your
primary care physician may not be as skilled at dealing with depression as a
psychiatrist. If you feel it is necessary, then ask for a referral to a

Whatever you do, don't just let it go. Depression can take on a life of its
own. Be with it. Acknowledge your emotions. Get support. Trust that answers
will come and that it will pass - because it will - but you will still need
to work through it. As Buddha said, "You, above all, deserve your love and

Julie Donley, RN BSN MBA is a psychiatric nurse, success expert and author
of several empowering and motivating books including Does Change have to be
so H.A.R.D.? and The
Journey Called YOU: A Roadmap to Self-Discovery and Acceptance
 . She is
dedicated to inspiring you to be your personal best and feel good about
yourself as you navigate through life. Visit her website www.JulieDonley.com
for self-help resources, to purchase her books and to subscribe to her
inspiring and informative blog and be your best today!

Monday 1 November 2010

Treating Depression With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

If you or someone close to you suffers from depression, you
know that it is a very serious and potentially dangerous
illness. Fortunately, over the years, the health care
community has discovered several different treatment
options, which prove effective in giving someone with
depression a chance at a more normal life. One of the most
proven and effective methods of treating mental health
disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT, as it is
known, is a treatment for several mental health issues, but
has been found to be especially helpful for sufferers of

Depression is an illness that can show itself in a few
different ways, ranging from a lingering feeling of sadness
and resulting lack of energy, to thoughts of suicide. One
surefire sign of this condition is when one starts to lose
interest or motivation to engage in activities that they
normally enjoy. Another common sign is when someone isolates
socially, which can occur in a few different ways: either
through an extreme and total withdrawal, a withdrawal that
seems to occur cyclically, or one that is more singular and
situational - as in an understandable response to a death or

Cognitive therapy treats your depression by essentially
making you your own therapist. It does this first by making
you aware of NAT's or Negative Automatic Thoughts. It then
proceeds by using its four basic tenets:

1. Challenge negative thoughts: In CBT, awareness is the
key. This step teaches you to be aware of when negative
thoughts arise. In doing this, it helps you discover whether
certain situations trigger moods, or whether the thoughts
occur first, and essentially create the negative situation.

2. Challenge core beliefs: During childhood, we form ideas
about ourselves which, whether there is any truth to them or
not, can be hard to change. This step involves shedding light
on, and beginning to modify, long-held negative beliefs about

3. Behavioral activation: Learning what experiences engender
positive thoughts, and how to reinforce and expand these

4. Behavioral experiments: In this stage you will be
experimenting with your positive triggers, to see if
improved moods will in fact occur.

As you can see, CBT is largely about creating awareness of
your moods, and learning to observe your own triggers and
resulting behaviors. If you or someone you care about is
suffering from depression, the time to do something about it
is now, and CBT is a proven and highly effective method of

About the Author:

Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed http://netbiz.com internet
marketing strategist. If you are in need of a psychologist
in New York City, who has experience treating mental health
issues with cognitive behavioral therapy, he recommends
http://www.cbtdbtassociates.com .

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Depression - Let's Move

If you are dealing with depression, as many of us are, you
might be interested in a way that you can lift your spirits
from time to time and help yourself to be able to cope
successfully with the depression you're dealing with.
Unfortunately, it is going to take some effort on your part
to be able to feel any relief from this illness but by
putting forth the effort, you will feel almost immediate
relief at least to a certain extent. What could be so
beneficial that it could help us to relieve our anxieties
and depression naturally?

Believe it or not, I'm talking about exercise and if you are
able to exercise on a regular basis, you can actually
diminish the amount of depression that you are feeling as a
result. Many of us are familiar with the fact that exercise
releases endorphins into our body and these are feel good
hormones. As a matter of fact, many people who exercise on
a regular basis are addicted to a certain extent to these
feelings that they get because of their exercise. Even
though it may not remove your anxiety and depression
altogether, it can certainly help you to be able to feel
better and to cope more readily.

There are two basic types of exercise that you can do,
aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise seems to be the
most beneficial for those who are dealing with depression.
It gets your heart rate up, gets you sweating (which
releases toxins from the body) and if you continue to
exercise in this way for 20 minutes, a flood of endorphins
will be released into your body. Most people find that
after they exercise regularly for one to two weeks, they
begin to recognize differences in the way that they feel.

Another reason why exercise may be beneficial to your
depression is because it helps you to even out many of the
things that might be out of balance in your body. Exercise
makes you healthy and a healthy mind and body is more
readily able to fight the depression that you are feeling.
Not only that, most people feel good about the way that they
look whenever they begin to tone up from the exercise that
they are doing. Give it a try and stick with it for long
enough to recognize a difference. You will be happy that
you did.

About the Author:

Learn What Psychotherapy Does Not Teach You and What
Medication Can't Possibly Give You.

Thursday 14 October 2010

AstraZeneca Launches 'Take on Depression' Campaign Through Facebook and Twitter

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is launching a new campaign called "Take on Depression" through a "Take on Depression" Facebook page and a @FaceDepression Twitter feed to support, educate, and inspire those affected by bipolar depression and major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as depression.

The "Take on Depression" Facebook page will provide tools and resources to individuals who are struggling to manage their symptoms of bipolar depression and MDD. The @FaceDepression Twitter feed will provide articles, links to Web sites, tips, and community events that will help people learn more about their illness and have a more effective dialogue with their physician.

"AstraZeneca believes the best way to help those who are still struggling with bipolar depression and major depressive disorder is to provide them with resources and tools to help understand their illness and manage their symptoms," said Sandy Sommer, Executive Director and Commercial Brand Leader at AstraZeneca. "With the launch of these Facebook and Twitter pages, AstraZeneca hopes to amplify conversations about mental health and provide important health information in innovative ways."

Eighty percent of consumers have searched for health information online(1). Sixty percent of American adults who look online for health information, or one-third of adults, access social media related to health(1).

To "like" the "Take on Depression" Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/TakeonDepression.

To become a follower of "FaceDepression" on Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/FaceDepression.

About Bipolar Disorder

Millions of American adults are affected by bipolar disorder(2,3). People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings ranging from highs, called bipolar mania, to lows, called bipolar depression(4). Bipolar disorder can significantly interfere with thoughts, activity, and physical health(5). The depressive episodes of bipolar disorder often produce symptoms like prolonged periods of sadness, a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, and feelings of worthlessness(4). For many individuals, the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder are often the predominant mood episode. This means that for people living with bipolar disorder, their depressive symptoms may recur more often and last longer than their mania(6).

About Major Depressive Disorder

MDD is estimated to affect approximately 14 million American adults in a given year(7,8). Unlike normal instances of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, MDD is persistent and can interfere with an individual's thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the US(3).

Symptoms of depression include persistently sad or irritable mood; pronounced changes in sleep, appetite, and energy; difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering; physical slowing or agitation; lack of interest in or pleasure from activities that were once enjoyed; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and emptiness; recurrent thoughts of death or suicide(4). The diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode in MDD is the same as for a depressive episode of bipolar disorder with the major distinguishing feature between the disorders being the absence of manic or hypomanic episodes in MDD(4).

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of $32.8 billion in 2009. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $14.8 billion healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).


Fox, Susannah. The Social Life of Health Information: Americans' pursuit of health takes place within a widening network of both online and offline sources. Pew Research Center. Pew Internet & American Life Project. 2009. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/8-The-Social-Life-of-Health-Information.aspx?r=1. Accessed on July 26, 2010.
Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry. 2005:62(6):617-627.
National Institute of Mental Health. The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. 2008. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml. Accessed on June 9, 2010.
American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: APA; 2000, pp. 382-397.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Recovery. August 2008. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=67728. Accessed on April 15, 2010.
Calabrese JR, Hirschfeld RMA, Frye MA, et al. Impact of Depressive Symptoms Compared with Manic Symptoms in Bipolar Disorder: Results of a U.S. Community-Based Sample. J Clinical Psychiatry. 2004;65:1499-1504.
Kessler, RC, Berglund, P, Demler, O, et al. The Epidemiology of Major Depressive Disorder Results From the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). JAMA. 2003; 289: 3095-3105.
Rush, A, Trivedi, MH, Wisniewski, AA, et al. Acute and longer-term outcomes in depressed outpatients requiring one or several treatment steps: a STAR*D Report. Am J Psych. 2006;163:1905-1917.

SOURCE AstraZeneca