How to Fight Anxiety and Depression AND WIN 1 11

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Depression and Anxiety

A little history…

I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was 14 years old. I remember when I was first diagnosed I was in a bad place. I had no confidence. I had been beaten down in a figurative sense. I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want to play the sports I had always loved. I didn’t want to do ANYTHING. I didn’t have the energy or the self esteem to stand up and fight. I cried a lot, for no reason. Over little things, big things, anything! The worst part was I didn’t understand why I felt that way! That was when my Mom took me in to get help. I saw a therapist but I didn’t feel that it was overly helpful as I had a great childhood. I hadn’t suffered any major loss or tragedy.(not bashing talk therapy- it just wasn’t for me.) I was treated badly by some friends in middle school but nothing earth shattering. I was confused and scared because no matter what I did, I was SAD. Like REALLY, REALLY SAD. I didn’t feel like this feeling was justified and then I would get angry at myself and that soon turned to resentment and anxiety about my being depressed. After trying to talk about my “problems”  I was told that I had Major Depression Disorder and was started on medication. If you haven’t been on anti-depressants the real kicker is when you are as low as you can be it can take up to a month for the medication to start to make a difference. This is when people who are depressed need help more then ever. The trouble is the same medication that works for some may not be the one that works for you. If that is the case you then need to try a different medication which can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month.  This process then continues until you find something that works for you.

After about a month and a half I was started on Wellbutrin. I was so fatigued all the time,  that the excitability factor of the Wellbutrin really helped my depression. Unfortunately, it ramped up my anxiety and then had to be started on a SSRI for anxiety. After 16 years of dealing with this I feel like I am in a good place to share my story and coping mechanisms. I want to support others who suffer with mental illness. Sadly, mental illness has been placed on the back burner for decades. People with legitimate illnesses including veterans with PTSD are often sent home from the ER in crisis mode due to a shortage of beds and mental health professionals. States have closed down most of their mental health facilities due to budget cuts. The worst part that I witness almost everyday in the ER is that the spots that are available, go to people who abuse the system. They know the right words to say to get admitted so they can be taken care of and have a place to stay, while others who really need the help are sent home with a help line in case they feel like killing themselves. It is not something doctors and social workers want to do, but it is the reality we are dealt with.

I have so much more that I want to say on this topic but will leave it for another post!

fight-and-win

– From a self proclaimed expert!

Most importantly talk to your doctor and get on medication if you are suffering, you can’t live life that way!

  1. Vitamin D and B – If you are having issues with depression and anxiety I suggest asking your doctor to check your VITAMIN D levels. Especially if you live in the North where you don’t get enough vitamin D through sunlight. According to Mayo Clinic, Vitamin D helps the body absorb Calcium and Phosphorus. Most people who suffer from SAD or seasonal affective disorder are usually deficient in Vit D.  A few years ago my nurse practitioner check mine after new studies had concluded that Vitamin D levels are indeed directly related with depression symptoms. Weird mine was critically low.  If you do decide to take vitamin D as a supplement a safe dose is usually  – 2,000 – 4,000 IU.  Higher doses are not uncommon but check with your physician before taking them. Another supplement you may want to check out if you are feeling extremely fatigued is Vitamin B. B Vitamins help metabolism and energy. Try a Vitamin B complex supplement that contains up to the 8 different kinds of Vitamin B that our body needs to stay energized throughout the day.
  2. Exercise– this is not new. Exercise raises your  endorphin levels. This has been proven in medical journals for decades. It has been proven to reduce stress. Now I know this is easy to say when you don’t feel well and all you want to do is sleep. But I promise if you can get up for 30 minutes a day you will FEEL better. If vigorous exercise is not for you, try a yoga class. This gets you to focus on your breathing as well as letting go of tension and stress.
  3. Get Outside– Go for a walk, take your dog out, learn to love winter. Cross country ski, snow shoe, get some warm walking boots. You will be surprised how good the sun on your face feels when its cold and it’s the dead of winter. If you are up for it, look up skijoring!  It’s a blast and everyone gets some fresh air! I promise the kids, dog and you will sleep amazing. If you live in the north just  try to get out and enjoy the snow.
  4. Caffeine…lots of caffeine. (controversial)  Now this is more of how I cope with my lack of energy and the desire to lay and bed and sleep the day away. I understand that sometimes caffeine can make anxiety worse but when you have depression and two little boys to take care of, the only way to get through the day and out of bed is caffeine. If tea and coffee are not for you I will refer back to the vitamin B supplements. I notice a huge difference when I take my sub-lingual (under the tongue) vitamin B.
  5. Deep breathing– when you feel your mind start to wonder, whether it’s at night and your trying to sleep but your mind keeps racing or it’s the middle of the day and you can feel the anxiety creeping in. Stop what you are doing. Seriously, STOP. Give yourself a minute. Go to a quiet room.( I realized this is easier said then done.) But if you can give yourself a few minutes it will save you. This is what you need to do.                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Count to 4 very slowly. While you are counting to 4- Start taking a slow, deep, breathe and count 1…….2……3…….4. When you get to four, your lungs should be full. Now hold your breath for 4 seconds. Again count slowly. Slowly start to release the breath over another slow four seconds.  As you do this you will be slowing your heart rate and getting your body out of your “flight or fight” mode that we put ourselves in in when we start getting anxious.  Continue doing this until you feel better. It will happen, try it. It is physically impossible for your mind and heart to race if you focus on your slow breathing.
  6. Stop your negative self talk. The more and more we talk badly to ourselves and about ourselves the more times those neurons in that path in your brain fire. Making it easier for your mind to actually think and believe the negative stuff you tell yourself on a daily basis. To change the way your brain actually thinks you have to consciously tell yourself to STOP letting that neuron path from firing. When you feel those thoughts coming through, I know you know the ones…. “I’m not good enough, I should have done better, that was a stupid thing to say, did I say something wrong, etc etc etc…. fill in your blanks. You need to tell yourself stop. Then think of ONE thing that went well.  Say you are at work and you have a horrible day. It was a crash and burn nothing went as expected.  On the way home you feel all of those negative thoughts repeating, and you obsess over them in your head. This is when you says “STOP”. Seriously, out loud if you have to. Then think of one think that went well even if its just MY OUTFIT KICKED ASS, or , MY NEW HAIR CUT LOOKS AMAZING. I HAVE AN AMAZING FAMILY. I mean anything to stop that neuron track from firing. It gets easier and the more you are aware of the negative talk in your head, the more times you can tell it to shut UP!
  7. Stop APOLOGIZING! – I am doing this all the time. I don’t know where or why I started doing this but I apologize for things that I have no control over or things that don’t have anything to do with me. Not only is this another way to feel like you did something wrong, but it makes you think you actually did something “bad” in the first place. When you catch yourself saying “I’m sorry” for something you had no part of change your words. If you are trying to be empathetic instead of saying “I’m sorry” acknowledge the issue at hand.  For example- Instead of “I’m sorry you had a bad day.” Try “That must be really frustrating, aggravating, maddening, sad, etc. When you apologize because you were raised to think it is polite, remember that it runs that negative circuit in your brain making you feel worse. Ask yourself , why am I apologizing?? Most of the time it is probably unwarranted.
  8. Say No. This goes hand in hand with the apologizing.  Start putting you and your family needs first. Don’t overbook or stress yourself out if it’s not something you have the time and energy for. It’s okay to be selfish with your time!  This is also a biggy for me. I will go above and beyond at work or take on too many things and then I end up frazzled and stressed out. When I come home I end up crabby and short with the ones I love the most. It’s not fair to my husband and kids. Being kind and helpful is great, but not at the expense of those you love.
  9. Photo therapy– This can be especially helpful for those who don’t see a lot of sun over the winter months and suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. They actually make lamps that can deliver full spectrum light that can help treat depression and SAD as an additional therapy. There are a ton of different companies who sell these lights just make sure you do your research and use a legitimate light.
  10. TALK– get a good counselor, therapist, psychologist. Get a good base about understanding depression and anxiety and what your stressors are. This may not be something you need all the time but highly recommended if this is a new diagnoses. Friends are also a great outlet.
  11. Take it easy on the ETOH! – Alcohol is a depressant so logically it will make you feel worse. This is true for me, especially if I’m at a big party or holiday and I have more than one or two drinks. Not only will you have a headache but my anxiety is through the roof on the next day!

Disclaimer: I clearly  am not a licensed therapist but a RN and a long time sufferer of depression and anxiety. I have been there again and again. (don’t wean yourself off your meds when you feel good!!)

These are all personal ways that I have fought and won over the years.

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Signs that Your Body is Full of Toxins & How to Detox Naturally 0 13

signs you need to detox
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It’s easy to forget that we are surrounded by toxins every day. Most things around us are packed with chemicals. This can be true of foods, as well as products. The result can be that our body absorbs some of this – and the evidence may show up on our skin!

Signs that Your Body is Full of Toxins

  • Lack of energy
  • Exhaustion
  • Itchy skin
  • Rosacea
  • Other skin breakout or rash
  • Overheating
  • Sinus issues
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Gallbladder issues
  • White (or coated) tongue

If you’re experiencing any of the above – it may be time to detox! Detoxing sounds laborious – but it can actually be very simple.

Natural Detox Remedies

Probiotics

One of the first things I do when it seems that my body is suffering from toxins or other issues listed above – is to ensure that I’m getting the probiotics that my gut needs. I prefer this NLA for Her – Her Probiotics, but you should research and decide on one that fits your needs best.

I also like this Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics & Probiotics.

Epsom Salt

Taking an Epsom salt bath helps to raise the magnesium levels in the body and thus helps to eliminate toxins. Relax in an Epsom salt bath to help relax and soothe aching muscles. Add a cup or two of Epsom salt to a bath and soak.



Green Tea

Green tea is packed with antioxidants. It helps to remove free radicals and prevent liver damage. Try swapping out your coffee for green tea to prompt your body to detox toxins that may be causing any of your above symptoms. I like to try for two or three cups of Green Tea a day during a detox.

green tea detox

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is my favorite way to detox! It is so simple and I, personally, love the taste of adding a little lemon juice to my water. Lemon juice stimulates the bile production and helps to absorb more nutrients. It alkalizes the body and helps boost your immune system. You can mix this with warm water or cold water. Do this as soon as you wake up each morning. There are also a lot of great pre-made lemon detox drinks if you prefer.

Water

It’s amazing the lack of hydrating water that we get into our diet. Our body is largely made up of water – and every part of our body needs it. Ensure that you are consuming the appropriate amount of water each day for your body size. This will help to naturally flush the body and provide your organs with the hydration they need to function properly.

skin toxin detox natural bloggy moms

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7 Common Car Accident Injuries 0 1

Driving Safety Tips
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Have you ever been involved in a car accident? I was involved in a car accident in 1998 and my memory of that day still haunts me. It had just started raining and the roads were wet. The light had just turned green as I approached the stopped traffic in front of me as I was slowing down. When traffic wasn’t moving as quickly as I was expecting, I had to come to an abrupt stop and the car behind me was following to close. As I looked up in my rearview, my worst fears were about to come true. The car ran into the back of my SUV. I remember briefly blacking out before looking up to see if I was about to hit the car in front of me.

Disclosure: Please seek medical advice from a doctor if you have questions or concerns about any injuries as a result of a car accident. Once stable contact a personal injury lawyer for questions regarding your specific injuries.

After the accident happened, I remember moving my car to the median to get out of the way of oncoming traffic. I quickly turned around to check on my daughter, who was almost 2, to make sure that she was okay. She was buckled tightly in her car seat and she didn’t show any signs of being injured. Looking back, I probably should have had her check out.

At the scene, I didn’t notice any signs or symptoms of a major injury. A few hours later the effects of the car accident started surfacing. I noticed that my neck and back was starting to hurt so I went to the ER to be checked out. The ER performed x-rays and sent me home with several bottles of medication. Around day 3, the pain continued to increase. When I noticed that my pain wasn’t going to go away, I contacted a personal injury lawyer.

Dealing with medical bills and on-going pain is a scary experience, especially when you are living on a fixed budget. A personal injury lawyer, Hunter Law, P.A., has the experience to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Plus, the last thing that I needed was to accidentally say the wrong thing to the other parties insurance company.

Enough about my story, we wanted to share with you the different types of injuries that can happen when you are involved in a car accident.




Neck and Back Injuries

A car accident can leave you with neck and back injuries. These injuries can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the crash. Even if you don’t feel like you are injured or feel any pain, it is best to seek immediate treatment. Sometimes it can take several weeks or even months for injuries to surface from a car accident and without treatment, these injuries could manifest into permanent damage.

The force that is put on your body when you are in a car accident can cause neck and back pain, typically low back. Injuries can be found in the tissue that surrounds your neck or spine. The injuries that are seen frequently occur in the muscles, tendons, facet joints, nerves, and discs. You will need to be seen by a doctor that is familiar with injuries from car accidents.

The damage to facet joints can’t be seen on x-rays or MRIs. A trained orthopedic or pain management doctor can diagnose these injuries using physical palpation.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a common injury that typically occurs when you are involved in a rear-end collision. When your car is struck, your head violently jerks backward against the headrest and thrust forward. It is even possible to hit your head on the steering wheel when your head thrusts forward. This sudden movement causes the muscles and tendons in your neck to stretch or tears depending on the severity of the head movement.

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, you should be checked by a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of whiplash:

  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • neck pain
  • additional pain when moving your neck
  • tender or pain felt in your shoulders, upper back or arms
  • numbness or tingling that travels down the arm
  • fatigue (even your neck/back muscles)
  • dizziness
  • tinnitus
  • blurry vision
  • confusion
  • problems sleeping
  • memory problems
  • new or worsening depression symptoms
  • difficulty concentrating

Herniated Disc (Bulging Disc)

Your spine has 24 donut-shaped discs. The discs are positioned between the vertebrae. Each disc is made up of a tough connective tissue that is filled with a jelly-like substance. Discs are designed to act as a shock absorber and prevent the vertebrae from rubbing together. A disc isn’t designed to move due to limited space. When you are involved in a car accident, the discs can swell and it can push through the outer layer. A disc may become distorted or bulge. The bulging disc can weaken the outer membrane and can cause the disc to tear. A bulging or torn disc applies pressure to the surrounding nerves. If the disc tears or ruptures it can cause the jelly-like substance to leak out into the spinal cord and causes it to compress surrounding nerves.

A herniated disc is very painful and can cause major complications depending on where the problem disc is located on the spine. It is important to heed the painful warning signals and seek treatment immediately to prevent long-term problems. A car accident can cause herniated discs. If your doctor finds evidence of a problem with your discs, your medical bills can rise very quickly. With proper treatment, it is possible for the disc to heal itself. However, this occasionally doesn’t happen and will require more extensive testing and possibly even spine surgery. Never take “no” or have a doctor tell you that your disc “isn’t that bad” if you are still in pain. Continue to seek answers so you don’t settle too quickly or think that the problem will eventually go away. This is what happened in my personal injury case and now I suffer from major complications because I was told that I was young and my body would eventually heal itself.

Burns

A car accident that results in a fire can inflict burns if you are trapped inside of the car or when being pulled out of the burning car. Burns are painful injuries and can be classified based on the severity of the tissue burned.

  • First-Degree Burns – Are minor burns that cause injury to the skin’s surface. It causes redness, swelling, and pain.
  • Second-Degree Burns – A second-degree burn causes damage to the outer layer and the second layer of skin. It causes painful blisters, swellings, severe pain, and permanent scarring.
  • Third-Degree Burns – Third-degree burns cause major damage because it penetrates to the fat layer that is beneath the skin’s surface. It will cause major permanent scarring, possible damage to nerves, feel numbness in the area burned, increased risk for infections, and even life-threatening breathing issues.

You can also receive burns if the airbags deploy and even get burned the friction caused by the seatbelt locking into place.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The tissue surrounding your bones can be injured when you are in a car accident. Soft tissue injuries are harder to diagnose because doctors don’t have imaging to provide evidence of the extent of the injury. They can papillate the area where it hurts but they don’t always understand how much it hurts. Please speak up if you feel that you have soft tissue injuries. When I was injured in my car accident, my personal injury lawyer and doctors never mentioned potential injuries to the soft tissue in my back. It is important that you are honest with your doctor and personal injury lawyer so that they know the extent of your injuries.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are a common injury that typically occurs in high-impact collisions. The crash causes an extreme amount of force that is applied to the bones. Too much force or pressure can cause a fracture or severely broken bones that require surgery to correct. If you have broken bones, you will need a good personal injury lawyer to represent you. Part of their representation includes helping you with the medical bills, time off for work recovery, and expenses incurred if you are unable to work.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Car and motorcycle accidents account for half of the new spinal cord injuries every year. While accidents cannot always be prevented, it is important to stay completely, unless the vehicle is on fire, still if you suspect a spinal cord injury or possible damage to your spine until paramedics arrive. The EMT’s have the proper training to be able to help move you safely so that the chances of permanent damage decrease.

Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent disability. Even if you have been evaluated by a doctor in the Emergency room immediately after the accident, it is still important to watch for the signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury. An injury may not show up immediately. The symptoms of a spinal cord injury or damage to your spine, surrounding soft tissue, ligaments, tendons, and discs, can even come on slowly.

Emotional Problems

It isn’t uncommon for car accidents to cause emotional problems. While most people tend to focus on their physical injuries, we wanted to make sure that you are aware of the emotional problems that may arise after a motor vehicle accident. Look for the following symptoms of emotional problems:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • anger
  • feel humiliated
  • despair
  • sleep problems
  • nightmares
  • crying spells
  • lack of appetite
  • no longer interested in things you enjoy

Don’t feel guilty for feeling the emotion side effects that are a direct result of an auto accident. It has been almost 20 years since my accident and I am still fearful of being in a car wreck. I don’t make a very good passenger either as a result because I am not in control of the car.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding can be a life-threatening injury and needs an immediate examination to determine where the bleeding is at so that it can be stopped. If you suspect that you have internal bleeding or injuries try to relax and stay as calm as possible until EMTs arrive on the scene. They can do a quick examination and get you to the emergency room quickly for an evaluation by a doctor. Don’t be surprised if they cut your clothes off because they don’t want to move you until they know that you are stable. If you do suffer from internal injuries, you will need a personal injury attorney to help you with the medical bills, expenses, and pain and suffering.

Hiring the right personal attorney is important if you were involved in a car accident that left you with injuries. Most personal injury lawyers don’t require payment upfront and only get paid when you get paid. Car accidents can be devastating and you don’t have to go through it alone.

Have you ever sustained an injury as a result of a car accident? If so, did you hire a personal injury attorney?

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