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How To Be “High Functioning” Bipolar?

What does “high functioning” bipolar mean?

Does it mean that you don’t need help?

Do you have less severe symptoms?

Before we answer these questions lets learn about bipolar disorder.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood.

It causes shifts in energy, activity levels and focus. Also, it affects the ability to finish out day-to-day tasks.

It affects 1 out of 100 people and needs to be managed long-term. For some people Bipolar Disorder is disabling but there are others that are high functioning.

Bipolar Is Different For Everyone

What it means to be bipolar is different for everyone who has it. There are some that have bipolar I and others that have bipolar II.

Someone with bipolar I has more severe manic or high energy episodes. Bipolar II has less severe manic episodes.

It’s common for someone to have at least one bipolar episode every few years. However, there are others that have “rapid cycling” bipolar. This means that they have at least 4 episodes a year.

Even high functioning bipolar is different for everyone.

What Does “High Functioning” Bipolar Mean?

The term “high functioning” bipolar disorder doesn’t apply to how severe the illness is. Instead it applies to how someone manages it. This means that symptoms like anxiety are happening, but they’re managed well enough to maintain daily functioning.

Someone with high functioning bipolar disorder can appear normal. They might have steady jobs and solid relationships with others.

However, they put in a lot of energy and effort to handle the turmoil that comes with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder is managed with medication and therapy. Also it’s managed with lifestyle changes and using coping strategies.

How To Be “High Functioning” Bipolar?

High Functioning Bipolar Disorder doesn’t mean not having support from a therapist. This is far from the truth, having a therapist helps to manage symptoms.

Therapy is part of your bipolar treatment. There are different ways to manage symptoms alongside therapy.

Different Ways Include:

Keeping In Touch With Your Therapist

Keep in touch with your therapist as part of your treatment. Stress and anxiety can push you to the brink and trigger bipolar symptoms. When this happens your therapist will help you get through rough patches.

Making Lifestyle Changes

Bipolar Disorder is managed with lifestyle changes. Choosing a healthier lifestyle helps with overall well being.

Regular exercise leads to less stress and anxiety. Also, it helps with boosting self-esteem and helps with brain function.

Changing Diet

It turns out that diet plays a role in triggering bipolar episodes. It helps to avoid eating foods that are overly processed and high in fat, sugar and salt. Instead try eating Whole Foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.

Sticking to a healthy diet is good for your mental health. It sets you up for fewer mood episodes and leads to a happier life.

Please Click Below To Learn About Processed Food’s Role In Triggering Mental Illness:

Focusing Your Energy

Anxiety happens to all of us, especially if you have bipolar disorder. It may feel like you have “nervous energy”.

There are so many different ways to focus that nervous energy. Start by accepting that you’re anxious and release it.

Release it by breathing or listening to music. Then you should take action by focusing that energy into something good.

Get Creative

A lot of famous artist, actors and musicians have or had bipolar disorder. They include artist Vincent Van Gough, actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and musician Kurt Cobain.

A lot of people with bipolar disorder might be creative. They’re more likely than others to have a creative talent.

Having a creative talent such as painting is a way to cope. When there’s nervous energy painting is a good thing to take up.

Start Journaling

Keeping a journal helps in many ways. It boosts your mood and sense of well being. Also, it helps you keep your thoughts organized.

There are other benefits to journaling. It not only improves your writing skills, but it also can become more than journaling. This blog started off as a journal entry.

How Do You Manage Bipolar Disorder?

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If you liked what you read and you want to learn more, please click on the button below and download a copy of “10 Coping Strategies For Bipolar Disorder”:

Sources:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

https://www.yourhealthinmind.org/mental-illnesses-disorders/bipolar-disorder#:~:text=Bipolar%20is%20different%20for%20everyone,least%204%20episodes%20per%20year.

https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-1-vs-bipolar-2#bipolar-vs-bipolar-

https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/guide-drawn-to-art

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How To Stop Social Media Triggers!?

Social Media is a big part of 21st century life.

Using it has brought benefits to its users, however using social media has a lot of triggering effects like loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Let’s learn how to stop social media triggers!

What Is Social Media?

Social Media refers to websites and applications that allow users to be part of a social network. They allow users to create and share content.

Different Types Of Social Media Include:

  • Social Networks: Websites such as Facebook that allow users to post information, comments, images and messages.
  • Microblogging: Sites such as WordPress that allow anyone to post comments to a micro blog that attracts an audience.
  • Photo Sharing: Sites such as Instagram that allow users to share digital photos online.
  • Video Sharing: Online video platforms such as YouTube allow users to upload, convert, store and playback video content on the internet.

What Is Social Media Used For?

Social media platforms help users connect, share and give information and connect with millions of other users.

It’s important not to ignore social media, since it is an important part of our lives today.

There are roughly 3.5 billion people worldwide that use social media. That’s 45% of the world’s population. As of 2019 an additional 360 million people started using social media.

What Are Some Pros and Cons Of Social Media?

Pros Include:
  • Marketing Tool: Social media can be used for marketing a business. Since so many adults use social media it is a great for getting leads.
  • Self Education: Social media platforms such as YouTube have changed how we teach ourselves. Whether it’s a video blog (vlog) or a video posted by a college professor social media has changed how we learn. 
  • Build Relationships: At its root the purpose of social media is about connecting people to people. As you build these relationships there are opportunities to tap into new networks that may open up new opportunities.
  • Share Your Expertise: Social media is great for sharing what you know. Sharing what you know can attract other connections.

Cons Include:
  • Depression And Anxiety: A major effect of social media is being a trigger for depression and anxiety.
  • Cyberbullying: A person can be bullied by another person on social media through triggering messages.
  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): We get anxious seeing something more exciting going on in someone else’s life. We also feel jealous and angry when we think we’re missing out.
  • Internet Addiction: Using social media can turn into an addiction. 
  • Unhealthy Sleep Patterns: The overuse of social media via electronic devices makes it harder to sleep.
  • Poor Body Image: Social media can cause a user to have a poor body image. They may start comparing themselves with other users. 
  • Half Baked Ideas About Life: Social media paints a picture of what life should be like and we become addicted to posting the perfect post in order to receive likes. 

How To Stop Social Media Triggers?

The triggering effects of social media harm a user’s mental health.

There are users called trolls that cause a lot of problems for other users.

What Is A Troll?

A Troll is a social media user that starts fights or upsets other users. They post triggering and off topic messages in order to provoke other users.

Once a user has a presence on social media, it’s hard to totally avoid trolls. I’ve learned over time how to handle them.

Not letting trolls bait you online is good for your mental health.

Tips For Handling Trolls Before You Get Triggered:
  • Be Empathetic: A troll might be having mental health problems of their own. They may use social media to vent their problems.
  • Be Aware Of The Issue: Before things gets out of control, find out why the troll is angry. If it’s being caused by something you’ve done, apologize for it.
  • Take It Offline: Talk to a troll privately through private messaging.
  • Ban Or Block Them: A troll may have to be banned or blocked. Especially if they’re still trying to trigger you.

How Do You Handle Social Media Triggers?

Please Like And Comment!

Please Click Below If You Have Bipolar Disorder and You Want To Learn About Some Coping Strategies:

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-media.asp

https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

https://www.howtogeek.com/465416/what-is-an-internet-troll-and-how-to-handle-trolls/

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Applying 2020 Lessons To Your Life

The year 2020 was described as being a “Dumpster Fire”!

The term “Dumpster Fire” describes something that’s a colossal mess. It’s something that no one wants to deal with and makes someone very anxious.

Year Of Intense Anxiety

Intense anxiety affected us all over and over again in 2020. 

From fear over COVID-19 to the isolating effects of social distancing fed the dumpster fire. Also, social and political unrest, natural disasters and financial struggles have fed it even more.

Many people have never experienced mental health issues like anxiety until 2020. Also, they’re very anxious about what 2021 is going to bring. 

Anxious Before 2020

There are a lot of people who’ve been living with an anxiety disorder, long before 2020.

For some their symptoms got worse, but for a few symptoms improved. 

Those few sufferers felt equipped to handle the present. They took the time and effort to work on their mental health and they also learned valuable life lessons along the way.

Life Lessons For Coping With A New World

The year 2020 has taught us many lessons to live by. These are the same lessons that chronic anxiety sufferers live by.

Life Lessons Include:

Self-Care Is A Priority, Not A Privilege

It’s hard to put yourself first. You have to pay attention to work, your family and other obligations.

Self Care is the attention paid to yourself in the spirit of growth and wellness. It’s important for staying healthy.

It’s often seen as a luxury. At times it’s mistaken for self-absorption and “me first”. However, self-care is really an important necessity for taking care of yourself, so you can take care of others.

Failure Is Inevitable For Success

Small or big changes in our lives happen that tear us down and cause us to fail.

Failure might make us feel unworthy for not succeeding. I got news for you, it’s an inevitable part of life.

Instead of seeing failure as a bad thing it’s important to see it differently. Failure should remind you to approach a goal in a different way based on the lessons you’ve learned. You might end up reemerging stronger than ever.

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Staying open minded is important, because things aren’t always what they seem.

Sometimes people, situations and certain events end up being different that how we see them. It comes to show that how you see a situation is neither correct, nor your beliefs are well adjusted.

Our minds have a habit of jumping to conclusions and rushing into things.

Be Intentional With Everything You Do

What does this mean? It means to live with intention, which means to consciously choose to create the life you want.

It also means to not have your life dictated by other people. Instead you do everything with a clear purpose and focus.

Listen To Your Gut Instinct

A gut feeling is something only you experience. It’s a personal feeling that no one else can weigh in on except you.

Often, its anxiety that comes as tightness in your chest or stomach.

It’s an intuition that tells you that a situation is off. Listening to it helps you avoid unhealthy relationships and situations.

Don’t Waste Your Time With People And Things That Don’t Add Value To Your Life

This is very important. It makes anxiety worse when you spend time with the wrong people. They’ll not only add zero value to your life, they also make your anxiety worse.

Please Click Below To Learn About Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower:

How Did 2020 Affect You?

Please Like And Comment!

Sources:

https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/anxiety-poll-2020

https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/treating-pandemic-wave-anxiety-depression-requires-team-effort

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm#:~:text=The%20coronavirus%20disease%202019%20(,same%20period%20in%202019.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/people-say-anxiety-changed-2020_l_5f7f3914c5b664e5baba8de3

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-illness-in-america/202001/making-self-care-priority

https://exploringyourmind.com/stay-open-minded-things-arent-what-they-seem/

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Importance of Having A Purpose

What Does It Mean To Have A Purpose?

Purpose is a reason why something is done or used. It also refers to the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something.

Most adults want to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. They want to improve themselves and also give back to others.

However, in reality the majority of adults have no clear sense of purpose in their lives. 

What Happens When Your Life Has No Purpose?

 It’s interesting how having no sense of purpose in your life can cause problems.

Living A Lifeless Life

There is such a thing as a lifeless life. 

Imagine not wanting to wake up every morning, but also not wanting to go to sleep at night. 

Picture yourself with no will to work, no friends or company to spend time with. Also, no reason to continue living.

Your mind is blank with nothing to think about. Also you lack emotions, whether negative or positive.

A lifeless life is one with nothing to look forward to.

An Anxious Life

A life that lacks purpose can be an anxious one. 

When your life lacks purpose it’s senseless. It might feel like nothing you do in life is connected and doesn’t fit.

Anxiety is triggered when your mind thinks your life is in danger. 

However, a lack of purpose triggers anxiety as well. Your brain translates a lack of connection as a threat to your life. It sees anything that doesn’t seem fit as dangerous.

Lack Of Motivation

A lack of purpose leads to a lack of motivation. 

Little or no motivation comes from anxiety that prevents you from taking action. The anxiety comes from not not being connected with your goals and purpose.

Affects Your Overall Health

A life without purpose is not good for your overall health.

The strain on your mind from a lifeless life leads to increased stress and anxiety. 

There’s a connection between mind and body. Your strained mind not only leads to hair loss and fluctuating weight, but there’s also less tolerance to pain and a higher risk of heart disease.

The Importance of Having Purpose

A sense of purpose is very important to have. It’s the  motivation that drives you toward your future. However it also helps you put your life into perspective right now.

What Does Perspective Mean?

Perspective is the way you see something or how you see yourself.

Having a sense of purpose guides life decisions, influences your behavior, shapes your goals, offers a sense of direction and creates meaning in your life. 

It also leads to a change in perspective. For example having a healthy sense of purpose causes you to see life in a better way and see yourself in a better way as well.

Tangible Benefits Of Having Purpose Include:

Get The Motivation To Get Things Done

Being connected to a purpose gives you sustained energy and keeps you motivated.

Having a sense of purpose leads to strong personal motivation. It’s that driving force which allows you to achieve your goals and go after what you want.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety comes from the doubt and distress that comes with trying to find your purpose.

However, once you find your purpose you’ll find that you’re less stressed and anxious when you’re no longer in doubt about your life.

Helps You When Things Go Wrong

Finding your purpose helps you to become more confident, resilient and focused. When something goes wrong in your life you’ll be able to face it and refocus on getting back on the right path.

Improved Health

If lack of purpose leads to poorer overall health then finding purpose has the opposite effect. Feeling less stress and anxiety when connected to your purpose leads to a lower risk of heart disease and overall better health.

How To Find Purpose?

We were all born with a unique life purpose.

The most important actions to take are to identify, acknowledge and honor your life purpose.

Tips For Finding your Purpose:

Explore What You Love

Your purpose is something that’s not something that you make up. Instead it’s already there; you just to need to explore it.

For example your purpose should be something that comes natural. If you’re naturally good at blogging then explore it some more until you master it.

Follow Your Inner Guidance

Let your heart be your guide.

One of the main ways your heart can be your inner guide is by noticing your feelings. These are feelings that come with warmth and encouragement.

Be Clear About Your Purpose

Keep your mind focused on your purpose once you’re clear on what it is. The feeling you get from following your heart is the joy that your purpose brings, which brings clarity.

Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose

Once you know what your life purpose is, it’s important to organize all your activities around it.

If your purpose is to help others through blogging, move ahead and align yourself with that role.

Lean Into Your Life Purpose

Learn how to lean into your life purpose little by little.

When you start to live your purpose notice subtle changes in how your life changes and how you see yourself.

Have You Found Purpose In Your Life?

Please Like And Comment!

Click here if you want to learn about the importance of being your authentic self:

Sources:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purpose

https://www.lifehack.org/879897/life-without-purpose

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/docs/default-source/senseability/sense-of-purpose-hand-out.pdf?sfvrsn=2

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/perspective

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-life-purpose

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Tips For Helping Your Circadian Rhythm

Have you noticed your bipolar symptoms change with the seasons?

Have you noticed your symptoms get worse around the holidays?

Seasonal Change And Less Daylight

I’m from New England. From November to March the weather gets colder and the amount of daylight goes down, especially after daylight savings. 

I find that the change in daylight makes my bipolar symptoms worse. It’s important to manage symptoms in a different way.

Why Seasonal Change Affects Mood?

Here’s an interesting fact!  Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, but also a circadian rhythm disorder as well.

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

A circadian rhythm is an internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It repeats each time the earth rotates every 24 hours. 

The daylight from the sun helps sync your internal body clock to the outside world. 

When the seasons change there’s a change in daylight. Depending on where in the world you live you’ll notice that you’re mood is off during the day and less motivated to stay focused.

Any change to your internal clock is hard on your mood and sleep patterns, especially if you’re managing bipolar symptoms.

Quick Facts About Your Circadian Rhythm

Here are some quick facts about why your circadian rhythm is important:

  • Internal Clocks Are Tied To Everything Around You: Body functions such as alertness, hunger, metabolism, mood and fertility are tied to your circadian rhythm. It’s important to keep them healthy.
  • Changes In Sleep Messes Up Your Internal Clock: Whether you have insomnia or you’re looking at your smartphone while you’re going to sleep it can mess up your internal clock. It’s recommended that you get 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • The Bipolar Brain Is Different: There’s evidence that bipolar disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder, along with being a mood disorder. A neurotransmitter called somatostatin regulates your internal clock and there’s less of it in a bipolar brain.
  • Irregular Circadian Rhythm Leads To Mood Episodes: An irregular circadian rhythm causes problems with manic highs and depressive lows.
  • Sunlight Is Connected To Serotonin: Exposure to sunlight has been linked to an increase of a hormone called serotonin. It helps to boost mood and calms you down and stay focused.

How To Help Your Circadian Rhythm?

Here are some tips for circadian rhythm health:

  • Increase Physical Activity: Exercise is very important for a healthy circadian rhythm. If there’s snow on the ground in the middle of winter I recommend a fun activity like snow shoeing.
  • Don’t Stay In Bed Or On Couch All Day Long: When you’re tired you might feel like laying down all day, which messes up your circadian rhythm. Avoid staying in bed unless it’s for sleep or love making.
  • Increase Your Light Exposure: If there’s less daylight it’s recommended that you try bright light therapy to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Take Some Vitamin D: Taking vitamin D helps improve sleep and mood. It helps your brain produce melatonin and makes you less anxious.
  • Avoid Or Limit Caffeine: Consuming caffeine can delay you circadian rhythm, especially when it’s before bed time. So, avoid or limit it if you can.

How Do You Make Up For Less Daylight?

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If you’d like to learn more about the role sleep plays in managing bipolar symptoms please click on the button below:

Sources:

https://www.bbrfoundation.org/event/circadian-rhythms-and-bipolar-disorder

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2867040/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6812517/#:~:text=In%20bipolar%20patients%2C%20irregular%20circadian,about%20light%20in%20the%20environment.

http://sleepeducation.org/news/2012/11/13/winter-sleep-and-your-circadian-rhythms

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32156230/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Vitamin%20D%20receptors%20and,human%20circadian%20rhythms%20and%20sleep.

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Overcoming Sleep Problems When You’re Bipolar!

A core symptom of bipolar disorder is sleep problems. The emotional state you’re in determines which sleep problem occurs.

If you’re manic or hypomanic you may feel like you need less sleep. Overtime you may develop insomnia.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and also to remain asleep long enough to feel rested.

Manic episodes can cause you to experience symptoms such as:

  • Elevated Mood
  • Inflated Self-Esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Increase In Goal-Driven Activity
  • Trouble Focusing

All these symptoms can contribute to insomnia. Sometimes mania can cause you to stay awake for more than 24 hours or only sleep 3 hours a night.

Insomnia not only leads to worsening anxiety, daytime fatigue and trouble concentrating, it’s also an indicator of a coming depressive episode.

Insomnia Makes Depression Worse

If you don’t get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep it can take a toll on your mental health. It can heavily influence your outlook on life, energy level, motivation and emotions.

If you have bipolar disorder insomnia brought on by mania can lead to depressive episodes that make you feel so low that you won’t want to get out of bed and end up sleeping too much.

How To Manage Mania So You Can Sleep Better?

The key to managing bipolar mania is to practice good sleep hygiene.

Good Sleep Hygiene Tips Include:

  • Create a Schedule: It’s important to have a regular sleep schedule. Establish a regular time to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. Having a regular sleep schedule is one of the easiest ways to practice good sleep hygiene.
  • Optimize Your Bedroom: Try to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible. This includes having a bed that’s right for you along with a pillow that’s right for you. It’s also important if you eliminate light, noise and other distractions.
  • Limit Other Activities: Make sure your bedroom is for sleeping only. Try to limit activities such as watching TV, texting on your smart phone or working on your laptop in your bedroom. It’s interesting to note that electronics emit blue light trick your brain that the sun is still out and this makes it hard to fall asleep.
  • Adjust Your Diet And Exercise: There are many things you should avoid before bed including alcohol and coffee as well as a big meal. Also, you should keep a few hours between exercise and bed. Exercise can make it easier to sleep, but it can also energize you as well.
  • Take Time To Relax: It’s important to read to take time to relax before bedtime. Try reading a book or try meditating before turning off the lights. If you want to learn more about meditation please click on the button below:

Have You Ever Had Trouble Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep?

Please Like and Comment!

If you’re feeling stuck in life, have limiting beliefs about yourself or negative thinking is holding you back please click on the button below and download my ebook:

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321357/

https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/sleep

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How To Improve Brain Fog?

What is Brain Fog?

The term “brain fog” is not a medical condition. It is used to describe symptoms that can affect your ability to think. 

When you’re feeling anxious, confused, disorganized, finding it hard to focus. Also, if you’re having a hard time putting your thoughts into words it can be described as brain fog.

What Causes Brain Fog?

Causes Include:

  • Low Iron Levels: Low Iron or Anemia occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells in your body is reduced. This can lead to low energy along with brain fog.
  • Mental Health Issues: Brain fog can be caused by mental health issues. These include conditions such as bipolar disorder, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), major depression and different anxiety disorders. 
  • Overuse Of Electronics: Brain fog happens when you spend too much time on your smart phone or tablet.
  • Certain Medications: There are many medications that cause brain fog, including those taken for chemotherapy, anti-anxiety (effexor) and sleep. Talk to your doctor if you suspect your medication is making you feel foggy.
  • Poor Diet: A nutritionally inadequate diet can not only affect your physical health, but also brain fog. A poor diet consisting of foods that have high fructose corn syrup can make you feel foggy, due to spikes in blood sugar.
  • Lack Of Exercise: It’s interesting to note that when our bodies are inactive for too long our brains become inactive as well.
  • Lack Of Sleep: Sleep deprivation can disrupt your brain cell’s ability to communicate with each other. This leads to lapses in memory and visual perception.
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea occurs when an obstruction in your airway causes your breathing to frequently stop and start while you sleep. Over time it not only causes brain fog, it also causes brain damage from lack of oxygen.
  • Diabetes: Sugar is your brain’s main source of energy. If you have diabetes your blood sugar is out of whack and this causes brain fog.

If you’re interesting in learning about high fructose corn syrup please click on the button below:

What Are The Consequences Of Brain Fog?

Consequences of Brain Fog Include:

  • Poor Memory: Memory issues caused by brain fog may be short or long term. 
  • Trouble Concentrating: When you can’t concentrate because of brain fog, you may feel impulsive, have intrusive thoughts, overreact or be inattentive.
  • Difficulty Carrying Out Tasks: Having brain fog causes you to have difficulties with starting and finishing tasks. These can include tasks that need to be complete within a specific timeframe.
  • Unable To Communicate Effectively: It’s interesting to note that not being able to think clearly can cause you to not only stumble over your words, but also affect how you build rapport with other people.
  • Worsening Mental Health: Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to an increased risk of brain damage, which can cause dementia, chronic depression and worsening anxiety.  

How To Improve Brain Fog?

It’s important to identify what’s causing your brain fog.

Once the cause is identified, the next step is to take action to improve it.

Here Are Some Tips To Improve Brain Fog:

  • Get More Sleep: When you improve the quality of sleep you’ll notice that your mind is clearer. For example if you have sleep apnea, it’s important to use a CPAP machine to not only assure that you get good sleep, but also increase oxygen to the brain.
  • Eat Healthier Foods: When you’re fighting brain fog it’s important to put food into consideration. For example foods such as dark green vegetables, avocados, olive oil and omega-3 rich foods like salmon are recommended for brain health. Also, along with dark green vegetables such as spinach it’s important to consider raisins, cashews, beans and red meats as sources of iron.
  • Exercise: When you get moving and exercise it promotes the growth of neural connections in the brain.
  • Spend Time In Nature: Exercise is a great way to promote brain health. However you’ll have the added benefit of increased oxygen from nature when you exercise outside.
  • Take Supplements: If you’re not able to get omega 3s from salmon, then you might want to consider a supplement.
  • Make Time For Self-Care: It’s important to take a time out once in a while for self-care. For example you can spend this time pursuing a hobby such as gardening which not only relaxes you, but allows you to produce your own dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Reduce Stress: Taking time out to focus on stress relief helps a lot. It helps to focus on the present moment by meditating and breathing deep.
  • Reduce Smart Phone Usage: The blue light emitted from your smart can keep you up at night. It’s important to shut it off a least an hour before bed.

How Do You Handle Brain Fog?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/brain/ss/slideshow-brain-fog#:~:text=%E2%80%9CBrain%20fog%E2%80%9D%20isn’t,put%20your%20thoughts%20into%20words.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320111

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/can-screen-time-cause-health-issues

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/brain-fog-potential-causes-and-treatment

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/brain-fog-diabetes

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121121818.htm

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/brain-food-for-fatigue#3.-Avocados

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Overcoming Procrastination

What Does It Mean To Procrastinate?

Procrastination refers to the action of delaying or postponing tasks. This is especially true for tasks that need to be accomplished by a certain deadline.

Why Do People Procrastinate?

Procrastination often occurs due to being afraid to fail at the tasks that need to be completed. 

It could be a habitual or an intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences. 

For some people procrastination might be a symptom of a mental disorder. It’s been linked to depression, irrational behavior, low self-esteem and anxiety, which are associated with disorders such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and even bipolar disorder.

Procrastination has many consequences attached to it. It not only causes serious stress and illness, but it also causes self sabotage that can ruin your chances at success.

What Are Some Signs Of Procrastination?

Whether it’s habitual or intentional, or due to mental illness there are many signs of procrastination to look out for. 

Signs Include:

  • Having Uncertain Goals: Even if you’re not diagnosed with a mental illness having uncertain goals can trigger fear and anxiety, which lead to procrastination. However, if you’re certain of what your goals are you’ll have less fear.
  • Hard Time Concentrating:  Whether it’s from lack of sleep, stress or a short attention span you’re more prone to procrastination when you have a hard time concentrating.
  • Making Excuses: It’s a sign of procrastination if you’re making excuses for not finishing a task.
  • Being A Perfectionist: Perfectionists have a fear of being unable to finish a task perfectly.
  • Limiting Beliefs: There are a lot of limiting beliefs around both fear and guilt that can stop you from completing a task. For example “I fear that I’m good enough to finish this assignment”!
  • Setting Unrealistic Goals: When you set unrealistic goals you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Then it can lead to fear of failure which can cause you to put off tasks.
  • Feeling Anxious: It’s interesting to note that anxiety and procrastination go hand in hand. When you’re feeling anxious about something, you’ll put it off.
  • Unstable Moods: Having conditions such as bipolar disorder can lead to unstable moods. It’s hard to stay focused and get a task done on time when moods are hard to regulate.
  • Fear Of Failure: Setting unrealistic goals and facing disappointment can lead to a fear of failure. You’ll find yourself putting off things because you’re afraid of failing again.

How To Overcome Procrastination?

  • Promise Yourself An Award: When you finally complete a difficult task you should reward yourself. If you like coffee, buy yourself one as an award.
  • Get Plenty Of Sleep: If you’re having trouble focusing and keep putting things off, it could be something as simple as not getting enough sleep. When you get enough sleep you’ll be able to focus better.
  • Rephrase Your Internal Dialogue: Your inner dialogue may be telling you “you have to” complete that task and it’s making you stressed and anxious. Try reframing the thought into something more empowering, for example say “you want to” instead.
  • Minimize Distractions: It helps to minimize distractions so you can complete a task. This includes turning off social media, email and television.
  • Improve Mood Management: There was an interesting study done about procrastination. It concluded that it is more about emotional management rather than time management. For example you may avoid a certain task because it’s associated with a negative emotion and unless you face that emotion the task will never be finished.
  • Letting Go Of Perfectionism: Learning how to let go of perfection is important for overcoming procrastination. Start by letting go of unrealistic expectations, practice self-care and stop obsessing over what others think of you.

If you’re interested in reading a previous post about overcoming fear please click on the button below:

How To You Overcome Procrastination?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

http://literacy.kent.edu/salt_fork/time_priority/timemanagement/procrastination.html

https://www.medicinenet.com/difficulty_concentrating/symptoms.htm#:~:text=Difficulty%20concentrating%20is%20a%20normal,how%20we%20think%20and%20concentrate.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201908/how-recognize-anxiety-induced-procrastination

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm

https://www.postpartumhh.com/blog/3-steps-to-letting-go-of-perfectionism

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How To Get Off Of Effexor?

Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) is an antidepressant and nerve pain medication.

It’s prescribed to treat conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s part of a class of antidepressants called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI)s. They increase the level of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain by blocking or delaying their reuptake by nerves.

As far back as the year 2000 I was prescribed Effexor. During this time I was diagnosed with ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

At the time there were tangible benefits including reduced anxiety and less depression. However, my symptoms keep recurring and my doctor increased the dosage and the symptoms subsided. This was an endless cycle that kept occurring until the dosage was maxed out at 300 mg. By this time I started having problems.

Over time there were fewer tangible benefits to being on Effexor; anxiety and depression began to worsen and I started experiencing worsening mood swings. 

I wanted to get off this medication, but due to severe withdrawal symptoms I gave up and continued taking it for a number of years. 

Why Is Effexor So Hard To Withdraw From?

Trying to get off of Effexor is easier said than done. This is due to very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which vary in severity depending on how much the dose is reduced. Also, these symptoms occur even when you miss one dose.

Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Brain Zaps (mini seizures)
  • Body and Muscle Aches
  • Sleep Problems
  • Recurring Anxiety and Depression

My Motivations For Getting Off Of Effexor?

Reasons Include:

  • New Diagnosis: After changing therapists in 2017 it was determined that I didn’t need to be on Effexor. It turned out that I had high functioning bipolar disorder instead of ADHD and the medication was making my symptoms worse.
  • Class Action Lawsuit: Due to some really nasty side effects such as severe withdrawal symptoms and numerous birth defects there have been numerous class action lawsuits against the makers of Effexor.
  • Side Effects: Over time the benefits of being on Effexor were outweighed by the side effects. These include long term problems with sleep problems, weight gain, worsened anxiety and depression, mania, memory issues, brain fog, confusion, inability to focus and high blood pressure.
  • Psychological and Physical Addiction: Effexor is not considered an addictive drug, but some users can become psychologically and physically addicted to it. This means you can have a mental and emotional attachment to a substance.

How To Get Off Of Effexor Successfully?

Starting in 2017 I worked with a new therapist to start slowly tapering off of effexor. It’s not recommended that you quit taking cold turkey.

Here are some tips for minimizing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms:

  • Taking Benedryl: Benedryl is an over the counter allergy medication that has been reported to minimize effexor withdrawal symptoms. Be careful to not take too much.
  • Stay Active: When you’re tapering off effexor it can be difficult to stay motivated, so it’s important to start slow with a 20 minute walk a couple days a week.
  • Stick To A Schedule: It’s important to stick to the schedule layed out for you, because it makes withdrawal more painful if you jump ahead of schedule.
  • Taking CBD Oil: There’s a lot of promising research into CBD oil and it’s usage for treating withdrawal symptoms, especially when you’re feeling anxious and nauseous. 
  • Eating Nutrient Dense Foods: What you eat affects your mood. A lot of processed foods that contain white flour and sugar can make withdrawal anxiety worse. The foods that are recommended are anti-anxiety superfoods such as blueberries, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, avocados and turkey, which are nutrient dense.

Please click on the button below to read about blueberries being a superfood:

  • Supplements: It’s important to include supplements when you’re having withdrawal symptoms. These include Omega-3 Fatty Acids, B Vitamins and lots of Vitamin C.

Getting off of Effexor was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Benefits To Getting Off Effexor Include:

  • Lost 50 pounds
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Better Sleep
  • Clearer Mind
  • Improved Memory

Have you ever had a hard time withdrawing from a medication?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20044970

https://www.verywellmind.com/brain-shivers-as-effexor-withdrawal-symptom-1065516

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/getting-off-venlafaxine-can-be-incredibly-challenging

https://www.terrybryant.com/houston-drug-injury-lawyer/effexor-lawsuit

https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-to-reduce-antidepressant-withdrawal-symptoms-1066835#:~:text=If%20you%20were%20on%20a,it%20has%20a%20sedating%20effect.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/12-ways-to-soothe-antidepressant-withdrawal-1362312753700918.html