Psychosis As Innovation – Observations

By Kevin A. Sensenig

Can schizophrenia/psychosis be a type of innovation? What sort of innovation might the person be
showing as part of the psychosis? Is there an attempt to compensate for this or that, or to resolve
certain questions?[1] Is there an attempt to practice something, or to hone a skill? What of failure?


Charting A Successful Path To Creativity And Innovation – F&M


Note that failure is part of the risk of innovation, and this natural view can allow for some space
for the person. What story is the psychotic person “writing”? Is there a way to temper the action,
so that inner multi-faceted reflection can occur?

Creativity
Innovation

Each situation is going to be unique and different. This is part of the challenge of a humanistic
psychiatry. And innovation and creativity may apply to different degrees.

In psychosis, how many givens and default assumptions are there? How easily are conclusions
drawn? What is the impact on logic?

The person innovates an answer to a series of questions.

The person gets so caught up in his or her own world that it becomes disruptive, or leads to a sort
of paralysis. Inner logic unfolds in indecipherable ways. Thus the musician St Vincent’s statement
that she wanted to be “accessible”. Yet her music needs to be decrypted! But it’s very interesting.

In psychosis, points of logic are revealed, but much in between remains unspoken, or not
indicated through speech and action.

The person’s focus on innovation and complete fascination with his or her own world may
additionally lead to the conclusion that nothing is wrong with what he or she is doing, when
confronted with intervention, and the intervention may be seen as interference in the person’s own
reasonable world. The intervention may be seen as unjust, and unreasonable.

There is a clue here: because the person may be working with reason, it may be possible to work
with reason with the person, to decrypt speech or action. This is accomplished through language.

And this once again points to the efficacy of Open Dialogues (as presented by Seikkula and
Arnkil), where words get put to experiences that otherwise would remain embodied in the
symptoms.

It may be possible to work with reason and perception through language and art, where the person
has to innovate, and be creative, with innumerable things possible as expression.

To see psychosis as an attempt at innovation may inform treatment in an exciting way. The
treatment team could be very participatory with the patient’s view. It might chalk up some things
simply to a failed attempt, failure that is sometimes a natural part of innovation, but that failure
which you don’t want to choke off an illumined view, and success at perception.

Earlier I wrote, “The person innovates an answer to a series of questions.” Is it possible for the
treatment team to backtrack in dialogue, to find some of these root questions, and help the person
find new avenues or ask the questions in a different way, and re-work the logic, likely with multifaceted
reflection? This would be dynamite, and as a person who has gone through psychosis, I
identify with such a process.

This paper definitely could be expanded on, and might have very much to do with the psychology
of psychosis, in a very interesting way. The person is actually trying to innovate a way out of a
jam! …or to resolve a question. You could then review what the person is doing, and offer open-ended
guidance toward a deeper resilience and sense of self-reliance.

Footnote
1. You wouldn’t want to penalize someone for attempting to answer a question in at least
somewhat reasoning manner, although the answers could be challenged. The push to resolve a
question, if present, should be acknowledged.

Bibliography
Open Dialogues and Anticipations: Respecting Otherness In the Present Moment, Jaakko
Seikkula and Tom Erik Arnkil, 2014.

– 7 Principles Of Open Dialogue (a video, Jaakko Seikkula, comprehensive review of OD)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHo1rinStM8

 

Nature vs. Nurture and the Effects of Mental Illness

(Photo via Pixabay by Unsplash)

Article written by Eric Johnson

Mental illness affects an estimated 57 million people in the U.S., yet there is still a lot we don’t know or understand about the ways a person can be affected. When it comes to the cause of mental illness, scientists have studied for decades to try and find out whether genetics play a definitive role, but they are still coming up short. The truth is, many believe that genetics does have something to do with mental illness, but that environment and events are just as important.

If a person displays signs of schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder, one of the first things a doctor does is check the family history, as the chances are good that at least one family member was diagnosed with it at some point in their lives. However, one study in the U.K. showed that pregnant women who had a major stress event–such as the loss of a loved one–during the first few months of pregnancy were more at risk for their child having schizophrenia.

“It is not a question of genes versus environment. It is a question of how genes interact with whatever the environmental factors might be. And that is probably true of all of the disorders that we call mental illness,” said Dr. Thomas Insel of the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Substance abuse has also been closely linked to mood disorders such as depression, along with suffering trauma during childhood, losing a child or parent, enduring sexual or physical abuse, living in a dysfunctional home, or living with extreme stress. These events and behaviors can exacerbate mental illness that may have already been present, or they can mask the illness, making it harder to diagnose properly.

Studies have shown that common variants in genes can contribute to both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and that neither of them are caused by one specific gene, but rather a combination. Doctors say that it’s important to remember that genes can change after birth, as well, meaning even if a person isn’t born with a particular gene variant, they might still have the genetic cause.

“It’s also important to know that even if you don’t inherit a gene for mental illness, you can still have a genetic cause. Genes can alter after birth and contribute to mental illness also. This is called a de novo genetic change,” says Dr. Vishwajit Nimgaonkar, a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Perhaps the most telling argument for a split between nature vs. nurture is the fact that studies done on twins show that although they share the same genes, a diagnosis of a mental illness in one twin doesn’t necessarily mean a diagnosis for the other. In fact, that’s true in about 50% of the cases studied.

Some of the most common mental illnesses are:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Autism
  • Attention-deficit disorder
  • Alzheimer’s disease

It seems that, for now at least, there isn’t one definitive answer when it comes to whether or not nature or environment has the most say regarding mental health.

 

Addiction is a Disease, Not a Choice

By Erica J.

My name is Erica J. and I am a recovering addict. I have been sober since 2012 (Oxycodone was my drug of choice), and I am passionate about working to help combat this problem that has affected myself and my family as well as many close friends. Your page had a lot of helpful resources, which is great. I think it is so important to educate our young people about the dangers of this alluring and deadly issue.

I am very passionate about how drug addiction is viewed by society, and also do a lot of speaking to young people and audiences, sharing my story and talking about the dangers and risks of making drugs part of your life. Some of it is tough to hear, but I try to get a positive message across, because it is something that NEEDS to be addressed. Talking about addiction is the first step, in my opinion, to preventing people from ever getting involved.

I originally was prescribed some pain killers for a knee injury I sustained, and I found I really liked the way they made me feel mentally, even more than the effects they had on my pain. I have had bouts of depression and anxiety throughout my life, and I would say I definitely was taking Oxy’s and any other opiates I could get my hands on to mask my emotional feelings. When I took a pill (or snorted it), I would feel happy and not have to face the issues and struggles of every day life. Soon enough though, I needed more and more to feel that same way, and when I realized this was becoming a problem, it was already too late- I was hooked.

In the end, I was taking them not to get high but to avoid going into withdrawal. I went to rehab for 30 days, but the way I have managed to STAY sober is going to meetings, staying involved, and helping others by spreading the message and sharing my story in hopes that it may help someone else. I definitely was using drugs as a coping and self medicating mechanism to deal with my emotional and mental well-being.

It was a scary time, but I am very grateful to have been able to get into recovery, and life today is better than I imagined it could be. I really find it rewarding to give back and help spread awareness about the disease of addiction, because it really is a DISEASE, not a choice, and we need to have as much education as possible on addiction. The public perception needs to change, and people who are suffering need to feel comfortable asking for help fighting their disease, just as someone with any other kind of disease would seek treatment.

 

Stuck in a Rut? 3 Ways to Get Out of a Funk

By Eric Johnson

Sometimes, you just know at the start of a day that it’s not going to go well. Other times, you seem to have a string of bad luck that leaves you feeling stuck in a rut for days. If things don’t seem to be going your way and you’re having trouble getting motivated and mustering up the resolve to think positive, here are a few ways to overcome a funk, lift your spirits, and regain control of your life.

Help Someone Else

When you’re feeling down and out and like the whole world is against you, it’s hard to feel charitable. But doing something selfless for the benefit of someone else can be one of the most powerful things you can do to lift your mood.

“I think it has something to do with tricking your mind and body (and the person you are helping) that you actually have your stuff together, so together, in fact, that you are able to offer assistance,” explains Therese J. Borchard, Associate Editor at PsychCentral.com.

Next time you’re discouraged with the way things are going in your life, extend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Pay for the person’s order in line behind you at the drive-thru. Take therapy dogs to your local nursing home or assisted living community. Help someone stranded along the side of the road change a tire, or give a friend in need a ride to a job interview. The feel-good vibes you get from making someone else’s day just might make yours, too.

Celebrate Small Wins

When you’re depressed and unmotivated, the mountain of work that may be awaiting you at the office probably seems like an insurmountable obstacle. Often, people in this position end up doing nothing because they’re so overwhelmed by the project as a whole that they don’t know where to begin.

Break down large projects into smaller, bite-sized tasks and start working on the tasks that you can cross off your list in a few minutes. Tackling these smaller tasks helps you feel more accomplished and capable, which also helps to boost your mood. Celebrate these small wins each time you cross an item off your list, and you’ll soon find yourself more motivated to tackle the more demanding tasks.

Make a Mood Board

For some people, few things are more enjoyable than browsing through glossy magazines and cutting out inspiring images that reflect your current mood and goals. If you’ve never made a vision board or mood board, give it a try. It’s a worthy activity with a variety of uses, ranging from project planning and organization to providing a creative outlet and forcing you to take time away from technology to focus on your goals for the future.

What’s more, your completed mood boards can serve as artwork and get your creative juices flowing to benefit other projects. If you have dreams floating around in your head that don’t seem concrete, creating visualizations to illustrate your ideas can make them seem more realistic and achievable, giving you the motivation you need to start taking action. Finally, mood boards can be cathartic, allowing you to express your innermost thoughts and feelings to get them off of your mind.

If mood boards aren’t your thing, try journaling or meditation. Take a relaxing walk through nature, or try your hand at painting or drawing. There are many creative outlets that provide a means to express emotions, which is an uplifting experience that helps you get negative thoughts out of your head.

Everyone gets stuck in a rut from time to time, but you don’t have to let a streak of bad luck get you down. Anytime you’re having a bad mental health day (or week), use these techniques to overcome the obstacles in front of you and start making positive progress.

Image via Pixabay by Sh1ra

 

Unilateral Action, Referees, Players, and Commentators – Observations

By Kevin Sensenig

In a commitment, the psychiatrist acts more as a referee than either as a teacher or as a problem-solving therapist asking open-ended questions.

What does this referee look like?  What qualities?  What if the patient realizes that any qualities are always in context?  What would the psychiatrist set forth?

Note that the sports referee often seems to take unilateral action.  Is this respected?  What does society seek, in sports or in a commitment?  In a commitment, what of the patient and those around him or her?  What does the state expect and why?

The playoff sports commentators do open dialogue, among each other (of course) with the viewers participant as watching.  Is there anything learned?

The sports commentators refer to the calls made by the referees.  They also refer to the plays themselves (with sometimes detailed analysis) and the players.

The referee does not indicate absolute deficiency on the part of the player penalized on one play, nor on multiple penalties across several plays.  The penalty is simply called.  The referee also clearly communicates: what the infraction is and the ensuing penalty. 

Psychosis or depression may indicate more subtle and sometimes more problematic dilemmas.  Yet, this popular culture expression may explain some things.  In psychiatry, one might go back and forth with the patient about behavior and thought-and-action, in an illuminating way, including listening and guiding toward open questions; or in a circular way, with others present.

How to explain discipline of training, discipline of the mind, discipline of mental and physical effort?  Alertness and awareness are part of the referee, the player, and the commentator.

Life isn’t so clean cut competition or even competition in totality (in the first place). Is ‘referee’ called for at all?  If, in part, what does it consist of?  And what else should be present?  Should it also be commentator inclusive of the patient, in an open dialogue sort of way?

What is re-orientation after a play, from the various standpoints?  How might such a suggestion of re-orientation apply to psychiatry?

What if psychiatry was the study of: Reasonable inner calm, resilience, orientation, behavior, and realism; and their exceptions?  How would it explain and describe things differently?  How would it explain and describe things the same?

Bibliography:
Open Dialogues And Anticipations: Respecting Otherness In The Present Moment, Seikkula and Arnkil, 2014.

 

 

Givens, Assumptions and Unfolding Worlds: A Deeper Sense of Logic and Reason

lead_largeBy Kevin Sensenig

What are your givens?  What are your given assumptions?  How did you conclude these?  My experience has been with psychosis, and it seems that I got carried away with chains of premise-given-logic-conclusion in ways that led to confusion and a disruptive state.  I’m still working on what makes this distinctive to a psychotic state of mind and the thought-and-actions that one picks up, and I wonder if this type of thing applies to others going through psychosis, as well.

This past time, in early 2015, I got caught up with givens that proved not to be true, and spent a lot of time working with material that led, through a false sense of logic that was not well-considered, to an expression that was angry and within a false world.  I put a lot of energy into it.  How did this happen?  What are the givens one picks up?  How does one validate the world he or she is working with?

In a manic state, one can perhaps develop unfolding sequences of “worlds” that unfold very quickly; that is, to very quick jumps in “logic” or “reasoning” that take one far off base very quickly.

How does one tell when one is working with a deeper, true sense of logic and reason that actually goes somewhere helpful, that one could look back later on and say, “that was a really profound insight” or “there was a logic to that [train of thought] that really works”?

The relation of thought-and-action is very important, and I think psychiatry could allow the patient more resources to consider these in a step-by-step manner.  Perhaps you have a therapist who already works on such a level, or you can consider the material yourself given some rudimentary “tools”, and engage in a careful type of reflection on thought-and-action, and unfolding logic.

“Tools” might be indicated in Buddhism by the statement that reason is manifest in the universe, that one can tap into; or in Christianity, by the wisdom from above mentioned in James; or in secular thought by a careful study of the chains of logic or questioning of assumptions, and to observe as much as one can.  These may overlap, in some ways.

Then, one can illuminate energy levels and consider step-by-step what is before one, and see if these tools speak in different ways to a calm state, again multi-faceted reflection, and often in the context of those around one.  How do thought-and-action interconnect, within oneself and within the world?

 

Silenced by Gender Roles

Human Heads with Colorful Gears Vector Illustration

(Image taken from Onlinelearningtips.com)

By Johnston Kelso

What do you think of when someone asks you what it means to “be a man”? Although we all have a different idea of what “being a man” is, this idea is most likely based on the environment we grew up in. I don’t doubt that it fits a stereotypical image of a muscular, stern, working man, void of emotion and led only by his duty to work, family, and God. Certainly, when you ask the majority of people what a man looks like, they do not describe a man as emotional, vulnerable, compassionate, or empathetic, but rather the complete opposite. This is the gender role being set out by society for a male, particularly the straight male.

There are some good aspects of this image. It encourages strength, leadership, and a sense of honor and duty among men. However, there are negatives about this image as well, and they are appearing, or rather not appearing at all. An overwhelming majority of males wish to fit the shoes of what it means to be a male as dictated by this image, and according to research they are willing to fit this role at the expense of their mental health. How? They simply just don’t talk about it.

According to metrics obtained from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 6-million men suffer from depression while 12-million women suffer from depression. However, even NIMH states that this is not the full story and that the numbers might be skewed due to males not admitting to their mental health issues based on stigma. Most speculate that they don’t want to admit to having a mental health issue because they fear that it will affect the image of strength and mental fortitude embedded in a traditional male sex role. Whether that is correct or not, this next piece of data certainly highlights that there is a problem. According to another NIMH metric, out of all reported suicides in 2011 78.5% were committed by males and 21.5% by women. If anything, this indicates that when men have something wrong, they don’t talk about it and let is fester.

Many experts attribute this behavior to the characteristics of the male sex role detailed in the last paragraph, and that may be correct. However, since we cannot immediately change the sex role assigned to men by society since the inception of the modern Western world, we must look for temporary solutions until we can change that stereotype. Thankfully, NIMH has steps on their website for spotting symptoms and creating a dialogue with males

Additionally, if you wish to speak about your mental health issues in a safe, judgmental free zone, feel free to attend one of our Men’s Depression Support Group meetings. They take place on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday of the month from 7 pm to 8:30 pm in Room D-155 at 630 Janet Avenue, Lancaster, PA.

 

The Depression that Stays Hidden: Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder

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By Johnston Kelso

If you’re someone who works in the mental health field or have ever seen a movie or a show where someone was extremely sad for long period of time, you can more or less have a good idea of what depression looks like, right?  Nope, wrong. 

A lot of us know the signs behind Major Depressive Disorder because they are extremely disruptive to that person’s quality of life. Symptoms include: sleeping all of the time, never sleeping, crying all the time, marked absence from work or class, pessimistic, and self-defeating thoughts. When many of us see these symptoms, we know that person is depressed.  However, it is not always so obvious.

There are many different forms of depression. For example, there is Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Dysthymia. I wish to speak about the hardest to spot, and as a result, the least well-known form of depression previously mentioned: Dysthymia. Dysthymia is often extremely hard to spot, simply because the symptoms of Dysthymia are mild in nature, mild enough to hide, and mild enough for a person to function daily without much impediment. To get a better idea of what Dysthymia is, let us look at it in the contrast to the poster-child of depressive illnesses: Major Depressive Disorder.

Let us first look at the many similarities between Dysthymia and Major Depressive Disorder. Both of them obviously include the depressive thoughts, rumination, and pessimism. They both can involve over or under sleeping, a feeling of always being fatigued, and a lack of motivation. Both mental illnesses can launch someone into suicidal thoughts and thoughts of inadequacy. So by now you may be asking, “Well what’s the difference then?” There is one main difference between Major Depressive Disorder and Dysthymia: the intensity of these symptoms.

Under Major Depressive Disorder, a lot of the symptoms are so intense that it often gets in the way of that persons normal functioning. They experience crying spells they cannot control, are so fatigued, tired and unmotivated they cannot make it out of bed. They also have such a hard time concentrating that they cannot function in an environment that requires even minimal amounts of attention.

Dysthymia is not as intense. In many cases, those with Dysthymia are able to function under normal circumstances due to the diminished nature of its symptoms in comparison to Major Depressive Disorder. The symptoms of Dysthymia are much more subtle than Major Depressive Disorder, which is why it’s so difficult to spot. It’s important to actively listen to what people say and pay attention to the behaviors they display.

There is another feature of Dysthymia worth mentioning. This feature actually caused a change in name for Dysthymia in the DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition). It is now called Persistent Depressive Disorder due to the feature that in order to diagnose Persistent Depressive Disorder one must have exhibited the symptoms for at least two years! This is one of the most notable features that separate Persistent Depressive Disorder from Major Depressive Disorder.

depression-600x300

Finally, there is one last piece of information you should take into consideration when thinking about Dysthymia, or as we now call it, Persistent Depressive Disorder. This piece of information is that people who suffer from Persistent Depressive Disorder are more susceptible to having Major Depressive episodes.

If the reasons are not already apparent, imagine a boat that is filled with a little bit of water. At this point, the water is only weighing down the boat not sinking it. This represents a person with Persistent Depressive Disorder. Then a storm comes. This storm represents a traumatic life event. The storm causes waves that fill the boat up and eventually sink it. This is a metaphor for a traumatic life event throwing someone with Persistent Depressive Disorder into a Major Depressive episode.

In summation, Persistent Depressive Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder are equally as important to diagnose and to treat, but Persistent Depressive Disorder can be hard to see due to its muted symptoms.  If you think a friend might be suffering from even a minute depression, take time to talk with them and really listen.  You would surprise the good you can do by simply listening and asking the right questions.

References

Mayo Clinic article from their website www.mayoclinic.org which references these sources:

Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia). In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Kriston L, et al. Efficacy and acceptability of acute treatments for persistent depressive disorder: A network meta-analysis. Depression and Anxiety. 2014;31:621.

AskMayoExpert. Persistent depressive disorder. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.

Hales RE, et al. Depressive disorders. In: The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2014. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Depression. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Cristancho MA, et al. Persistent depressive disorders: Dysthymia and chronic major depressive disorder. In: Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. 1st ed. John Wiley and Sons; 2015. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781118625392. Accessed Oct. 13, 2015.

Stewart D. et al. Risks of antidepressants during pregnancy: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Coryell W. Unipolar depression in adults: Course of illness. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Ciechanowski P. Unipolar major depression in adults: Choosing initial treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Ravindran AV, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies as add-on to pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2013;150:707.

Natural medicines in the clinical management of depression. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/ce/CECourse.aspx?cs=MAYO&pm=5&s=nd&pc=09-30&searchid=53681138#keywordanchor. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.

Hoban CL, et al. A comparison of patterns of spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting with St. John’s wort and fluoxetine during the period 2000-2013. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 2015;42:747.

Marchand WR. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2012;18:233.

Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 22, 2105.

Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 27, 2015.

 

The Best Types of Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

bipolartreatment(Photo via Pixabay by geralt)

By Jennifer Scott

Bipolar disorder affects millions of Americans, and many cases go untreated because they haven’t been diagnosed. It’s difficult sometimes for those affected to separate their true feelings from the symptoms of the disorder, causing depression and, at times, even suicidal thoughts.

The good news is that there are many treatments available, ranging from therapy to medication to a combination of both, and there are behavioral therapies one can undergo, as well. It’s important for people who believe they are suffering from bipolar disorder to talk to their doctor immediately in order to be diagnosed and to begin receiving the best treatment for them as an individual. Here are several of the most well-received options.

Therapy

Because depression and bipolar disorder have very similar symptoms, they are sometimes mistaken for one another. It’s extremely important to see a doctor and have a complete mental and physical evaluation before starting any regimen–especially medication, because some anti-depressants work against bipolar disorder–and figure out what approach to take. If it’s determined that you do indeed suffer from bipolar disorder, therapy may be the right path. A psychotherapist can help you understand how to assess the negative thoughts and find out what triggers them, as well as how to cope and even turn them around into something positive.

Mood stabilizing medication

With the help of your doctor, you may be able to find a medication that’s right for you. When carefully monitored and taken consistently, these drugs can help control the mood swings and manic behaviors. You might even ask about taking natural drugs, such as St. John’s Wort, which is believed by many to have a positive effect on mood.

Meditation

Practicing what is known as “mindfulness” means you focus on the present moment and try to break the repetition of negative thought patterns. Breathing exercises and yoga are perfect for this sort of therapy.

Self-care

It may seem obvious, but many people don’t practice adequate self-care, which can lead to a lack of proper sleeping and eating habits. There are many ways to practice self-care, and they’re not all the same for everyone. Sit down and really think about your daily activities; look for any room for improvement. Would it be helpful for you to make lists in order to get things done? To wake up a little earlier in order to get some yoga in? Cater your schedule to your needs and make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy and happy.

Make the most of your abilities

Because bipolar disorder affects a person’s abilities to function well at work or school, it’s important to focus on your strengths. Get creative and try something new if you’re not happy with what you’re currently doing. Making the most of your talents can help you focus on the positive and learn to make real change in thought patterns and behavior.

Consider getting a pet

Service animals can be immensely helpful for those struggling with mood disorders and anxiety. Studies have shown that having a dog or cat around to love and take care of can help lower blood pressure and improve one’s ability to function in society.

 

Join Us for This Year’s #ExtraGive!

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The Extraordinary Give is here again, and we are asking our MHALC supporters to be a part of Lancaster County’s largest day of online giving! On November 18 from midnight until 11:59 pm that same day, you will have the opportunity to go online to our personal giving page to make a gift to our organization. There will be THREE different gift options to choose from:

$25 CAN: Support the promotion of mental health through resources and advocacy efforts.

$50 CAN: Help facilitate a group meeting to develop coping skills and support for inmates suffering from a mental illness in Lancaster County.

$100 CAN: Provide advocacy to children and families in order to learn about the services they qualify for and break the barriers that prevent them from accessing care.

For our personal giving page, please visit: www.extragive.org/designee/mental-health-america-of-lancaster.

Our Facebook event page is: www.facebook.com/events/310779672629926.

This year, we have the support of Philhaven to provide $5,000 in matching funds at the SECOND $5,000 we raise at this year’s event.

We will also be partnering with Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation and Tabor Community Services for some exciting events happening on November 18. Please see below for more details:

lohfLOHF – 2016 Extraordinary Give Breakfast Celebration
Sponsored by LOHF & MHALC!
11.18.16 | 7:30 am – 9 am
128 E Grant St | Lancaster, PA 17602
Free Breakfast

Please join Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation (LOHF) & Mental Health America of Lancaster County (MHALC) to learn more about our joint effort to improve access to mental and behavioral health services in Lancaster County during this time of special giving!

Donations for both LOHF & MHALC will be accepted during this time.

To register, please visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-extraordinary-give-breakfast-celebration-tickets-28556321727.

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Tabor Community Services – Drop-In Pre-Party 
11.18.16 | 5 pm – 8 pm
308 E King St | Lancaster, PA 17602

Free Parking: Available at the corner of Locust and Shippen

Live Entertainment:
5 – 5:50 | Fire in the Glen (Celtic)
6:10 – 6:50 | Matt Wheeler (Lyrical Folk Rock)
7:10 – 8 | Temple Avenue (Jazz/Swing)

Food Trucks:
Lancaster Brgr Company | Mad Dash Artisan Grilled Cheese | Lancaster Cupcake | Penny’s Ice Cream Truck | Mara-Leo’s Italian Food Truck | Uncle Jerry’s Kettle Corn

Partnering Organizations:
Bridge of Hope | Clare House | Lancaster County Council of Churches | Lancaster County RMO | Mental Health America of Lancaster County | No Longer Alone | Neighborhood Services | Tabor Community Services | TLC: Bridges to Housing