My life story is one of struggle and happiness like anyone else. I started out as a kid going through the mental health system. I would act out in class and I had a lot of extra energy I still kind of do till this day. I needed medication to help with the extra energy and focus. I had great parents that helped me through my ups and downs and they still do. I love my parents very much. They stuck by me when I went off meds and went through some mental health struggles. Since I didn’t accept my illness I had problems with meds. I would go on and off and swing back into a delusional state. My parents believed in me so they stuck by me. Now in the past few days I’ve accepted my mental illness and I take my meds every day and I feel much better now than I did when I was off them. My thoughts are clear and I’m able to reality test more. My life has been better with meds so to anyone who thinks otherwise it’s not true. The meds help a lot. No matter what I need my meds plus the therapy. Recovery is really possible.
Exercise is good for your body and your mind. Exercise helps your heart rate, encourages healthier eating habits, and boosts endorphins, which make you feel better, happier, and helps with anxiety and depression. My personal favorite exercises are riding a bike, walking, and using the treadmill. I try to exercise for about 1 or 2 hours a day, alternating between different types of exercises and stretches and breaking it up over the course of the day. When I am done exercising, I feel good but tired and feel refreshed.
Experts say exercise helps you lose weight, improve your mood, get more energized, sleep better, take your mind off negative thoughts, cope in a healthy way, and release happy chemicals. Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel good, get healthy, and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 45 minutes of physical activity every day, or schedule five 60-minute workouts per week. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.
Depression is not just a state of mind. It is a state of the brain. This is particularly true of people who have Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. The above image compares the activity levels of different areas of a depressed brain versus a healthy brain. Here, a P.E.T. scan (Positive Emission Tomography) is used to produce an image of a cross section of a living human brain. It works by administering a radioactive tracer dye in the blood stream. This tracer, usually FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose), enters neurons just as normal glucose would. When a neuron is active, it burns glucose for energy by metabolizing it and splitting it apart. Because the neuron treats the FDG as regular glucose, it is metabolized as well. The difference is that, once split, the FDG releases radioactive particles that are detected by the P.E.T. machine. After detection is complete, a computer produces an image of brain tissue. Active brain tissue is represent by the colors orange and yellow. Inactive tissue is more green and blue. The difference in images is stark and unsettling. How could someone with Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder function and feel good with such a hypoactive brain? Often, the answer is that they don’t. These illnesses are truly brain disorders, and must be understood with that taken into consideration. Of significance, when someone with a depressive disorder responds well to treatment, brain activity begins to normalize as seen with follow-up scans.
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.