Link – Depression is NOT Sadness

“As someone who has been through a major depressive episode, I can assure you that depression is nothing like sadness.  Sadness is a normal emotion that people feel at times.  Sadness comes and sadness goes.  At times, sadness is the least of the feelings or emotions that someone in a depressive state may be experiencing.  In fact, I believe that one small part of the lack of understanding is the way people overuse the word “depression”.  People use it synonymously with the word “Sad”.  How many times have you heard someone say, “This weather is depressing?” or “I missed the show, I’m so depressed”.  This significantly diminishes the severity and debilitating nature of depression.  Would we ever describe the weather as “Cancerous”?”

A legitimate question. There is a wide gulf between feeling sad, and suffering from depression, despite have casually people throw the word around. It’s like having the common cold and describing how you feel as “having the plague”. A cold is irritating, annoying, and can make you feel fairly miserable for a few days. The plague is a much more serious problem that requires medical attention.

See the difference? That’s sadness and depression.

Depression is NOT Sadness

Reviews Elsewhere – Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania

From last year, but a review and profile of the author Andy Behrman appeared on the Every Day Health website.

“I knew if I didn’t get better, I would get worse,” he says, “and if I got worse, I would probably die.”

He spent two years trying to find the right medication with the help of a psychiatrist, but eventually underwent electroshock therapy. A nurse referred to him as “electroboy,” which became the title of his autobiography.

Today, the father of two has found the right combination of medications to curb the mania and has refocused his life toward helping others with mental illness.

Link – Paul Gascoigne’s struggle is not entertainment. Mocking him only adds to the mental illness stigma

“So let us be clear at exactly what is happening. A national newspaper has reported the struggle of an ill celebrity and a legion of social media users are now mocking him for exhibiting signs of that illness. Would they be quite so quick to do so if the illness was a physical one? If it was a sports star in a wheelchair, or with MS, or going through chemotherapy? I don’t think so. I certainly think there would be less jokes or pseudo-sympathetic photo-sharing lighting up the Twittersphere.”

This is what mental health stigma on the internet looks like. Mocking a public figure who is clearly struggling sends a message to all those people around you who are not public figures that the world would say the same things about them if they did something as crazy as asked for help.

And yes, that list of people very likely includes people close to you, who are afraid to tell you they struggle just the same as that guy you’re mocking.

Link – Pokemon Go’s mental health benefits are real

pokemongo photo
Photo by edowoo

“Twitter is flooded with stories about Pokemon Go’s impact on players’ anxiety and depression, with thousands of people lauding the game for getting them out of the house and making it easier to interact with friends and strangers alike. These simple acts are crucial milestones for anyone struggling with depression, Grohol says.

“The challenge has always been, if you’re depressed, your motivation level is nonexistent,” he explains. “So, you want to go out and get some fresh air, or even take a shower, and it can be a very difficult thing to even comprehend, much less do. I think the impact of something like this, this game, can really be beneficial.””

Mock it if you will, but seriously, if something as silly as Pokemon can get people to go outside, walk around, and interact with others as they play the game and that can help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety, then it can’t be all bad.

I still worry a bit about the addictive personality folks, but really, there are a lot worse things to be addicted to than a game that makes you get exercise. Just be careful in traffic and don’t trespass, OK folks?

Link – Survey – Parental Responses Following Child Experiences of Trauma

The aim of this study
We are conducting a research study looking at how children cope shortly after being involved in any kind of frightening experience. We hope that 300 parents whose child has experienced a frightening event will take part.
Parents are usually the main source of support for children following frightening experiences and we want to learn more about the ways in which parents support their children. This will help us gain a better understanding of things parents do to support their children which may help us to provide better information about child coping to families and professionals in the future.

I’m not a parent, so all I can do is pass this along to anyone who might be interested in sparing 10 minutes to help them with this research study.

Link – About TheHopeLine®

TheHopeLine® offers REAL HELP, RIGHT NOW.
Want to know more about TheHopeLine®? Since 1991, as part of the Dawson McAllister Association, TheHopeLine® has been helping people navigate difficult life issues. Whether the issue is relational, emotional, physical or spiritual, we can help. And we want to help. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have received real help by connecting with us via private one-on-one chat. More have found help through our blogs and online content. We are confident we can help you too. Our mission is simply, we seek to reach, rescue, and restore those in need of hope.

This entire site seems like a good mental health resource whether you want to actually chat with a coach or just take a look through the resources.

Link – What It’s Like To Be The Child Of An Alcoholic

As the daughter of an alcoholic, I have never felt the security and comforts of a sober father. I often spent days at a time on my holiday visits in a state of hyper vigilance, because it’s never safe to predict your alcoholic parent’s behaviour on any given day.

Yes, as the son of an alcoholic, some things may have affected me differently, but the one constant is the state of hyper vigilance, and the unpredictability of home life. That’s not something that is going to lead to well-adjusted adults without some work. Much like child abuse, it short circuits the normal development of a child, and taught us how to survive in that situation, not how to be an adult.

Link – The Many Faces Of Trauma

“To showcase just how trauma can and does manifest, The Establishment has compiled a series examining the issue. Far from a comprehensive overview—especially in a society so fraught with trauma—it is a drop in the bucket.

But hopefully a few more people will be able to see their reflections in it.”

This is a series of articles about individuals dealing with trauma. Hopefully, some of the stories will resonate with you.

Link – Why sex offender registries don’t work

Meiners pointed out that the preventative intent of registries, is based on a common misconception about sexual violence: the myth of stranger danger. “Registries really operate on this idea that these are the bad people, and if we have a scarlet letter on the bad people we’re going to be able to prevent or reduce child sexual violence,” she says. But the truth is that less than a third of sexual violence is committed by strangers. Most victims know their assailant.

This has been one of my biggest misgivings about the whole idea of registries. The other being the number of people put on a registry for things that are not actually sexual violence, and then being hunted down vigilante-style. But this reality that many people check the registry, see that they live in a neighborhood without a registered offended and assume their kids are safe, or that they can tell their kids to avoid this person, and they’ll be safe. It doesn’t work that way, at all. Instead of the billions of dollars spent on these registries, I would rather see that money spent on programs that teach parents and kids about safety, that reach into individual lives and help all of us raise children who are less likely to be targeted, or that allow us to prevent truly dangerous predators from being released to start with. Instead, any and all programs like that suffer from serious resource shortages while we track people who may or may not be dangerous, missing many, many who are so dangerous that they’ve never been caught.

Why sex offender registries don’t work