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Thursday, October 22, 2015

. . . to love life . . .

"To love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again."
― Ellen Bass

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NEW DBSA campaign . . . I'm here.

Hurting people are not asking for the world - just let them know you are there. Say, "I'm here."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Visit from Dr. Vickery, mindfulness, and GLAD

We had the great pleasure of hosting Dr. David Vickery this past Monday.  What an honor and privilege it was to hear about the latest scientific research regarding neuroplasticity and neuron regeneration.  One of the biggest discussion topics was about how Mindfulness Meditation practices can help lessen the severity of depression symptoms.  Dr. Vickery talked about how the Benson's Relaxation Techniques have been scientifically shown to greatly benefit those who suffer from Depression.  He left us with a homework assignment to begin implementing GLAD into our daily lives.  Mindfulness can also work for those who have Bipolar disorder too. Dr. William R. Marchand, MD, has published the book "Mindfulness for Bipolar Disorder" which discusses in depth the techniques and benefits of mindfulness.

If you have been diagnosed with a mood disorder and are looking for a support group, we would love to have you.  You can contact us at (731) 215-7200.  We meet every Monday starting at 6:30pm hosted inside The Life Church located off of Hwy. 18 headed towards Boliver.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Neurons Controlling Anxiety Identified

Neurons Controlling Anxiety Identified

Researchers have identified a cell type in the brain, which controls anxiety, a complex behavioral state, and have elucidated the underlying mechanisms. These findings thus improve our understanding of the brain processes which are triggered in states of anxiety and which are dysfunctional in anxiety disorders.

The lifetime risk of suffering from an anxiety disorder is fairly high – around 20%. Unfortunately, however, while the number of patients is substantial, existing therapeutic options are often inadequate.

This is partly due to the fact that the brain processes giving rise to anxiety remain poorly understood. Interestingly for fear – a similar emotion – the brain regions involved are well known, and the interaction of the underlying neuronal circuits is increasingly well understood.

Fear vs. Anxiety

Though sometimes used interchangeably, the terms "anxiety" and "fear" need to be distinguished: fear is a response to an imminent, clearly defined threat, which takes the form of freezing, fight or flight. In contrast, anxiety is a complex emotional reaction to a diffuse, potential threat, with no immediate trigger; this makes it more difficult to study.

Andreas Lüthi and his team at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have now identified neurons in the amygdala – the structure known as the brain's fear center – which can cause anxiety behavior. In addition, they demonstrated that the same cells are also involved in the fear response.

Lüthi explains:

"A subpopulation of central amygdala neurons plays a key role in the regulation of anxiety. These cells express a protein kinase called PKCδ, which makes them readily identifiable."

On their surface, the neurons have receptors for GABA, a neurotransmitter.

"PKCδ neurons are continuously inhibited via the GABA receptor," Lüthi adds. "GABA is, as it were, the natural tranquilizer for these cells."

In their study the neurobiologists showed that anxiety behavior is observed as soon as the tranquilizing effect is reduced – i.e. when the amount of GABA receptors is decreased.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The scientists also found an association between fear and sustained anxiety. They showed that, as well as triggering a fear response, a traumatic experience can lead to reduced GABA receptor-mediated inhibition and hence to anxiety states.

This could help to explain how a complex anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder can be triggered by a fear-inducing event.

Lüthi comments:

"It's absolutely fascinating to see how a single cell type in the amygdala can control something as complex as anxiety behavior. With our study, we've been the first to establish such a clear link. It's also interesting that the neuronal circuits controlling anxiety and fear overlap but can still give rise to clearly defined complex behaviors. These findings help us to gain a better understanding of how anxiety disorders arise – and suggest possible therapeutic approaches."

Paolo Botta, Lynda Demmou, Yu Kasugai, Milica Markovic, Chun Xu, Jonathan P Fadok, Tingjia Lu, Michael M Poe, Li Xu, James M Cook, Uwe Rudolph, Pankaj Sah, Francesco Ferraguti & Andreas Lüthi
Regulating anxiety with extrasynaptic inhibition
Nature Neuroscience (2015) doi:10.1038/nn.410

HAPPY SUNDAY!!!! A healthy spiritual life is important for our wellness.


Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) (also known as Mental Health Awareness Week) was established in 1990[1] by the U.S. Congress in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. It takes place every year during the first full week of October. During this week, mental health advocates and organizations across the U.S. join together to sponsor a variety of events to promote community outreach and public education concerning mental illnesses such as major depressive disorderbipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Examples of activities held during the week include art/music events, educational sessions provided by healthcare professionals, advertising campaigns, health fairs, movie nights, candlelight vigils, and benefit runs.
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older - about one in four adults - suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year.[2] However, stigma surrounding mental illness is a major barrier that prevents people from seeking the mental health treatment that they need.[3] Programs during Mental Illness Awareness Week are designed to create community awareness and discussion in an effort to put an end to stigma and advocate for treatment and recovery.
Mental Illness Awareness Week also coincides with similar organizational campaigns in early October such as World Mental Health Day[4] (World Federation for Mental Health), National Depression Screening Day[5] (Screening for Mental Health), and National Day Without Stigma[6] (Active Minds).
SOURCE: Wikipedia