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Protected: Bipolar superpower

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Recovery Tips for the Optimal You

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Recovery Tips for the Optimal You

This is an article by Adam Cook that he wanted to share on my blog.

Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction.

Addiction recovery is difficult. Its success is not measured quickly, but rather over a long period of time. People often speak of beating addiction, but the real challenge is not defeating one’s substance abuse but being able to successfully contribute to your recovery. Relapse can happen anytime, but it is also quite possible to avoid if one works hard and surrounds oneself in the right kind of support. There are ways to bolster ones recovery to ensure success in the long run.

One way to help maintain sustainable sobriety is through a holistic perspective. Holistic refers to a whole-body approach to dealing with conditions such as addiction. A whole-body approach treats not only the addiction, but also its causes, while simultaneously providing comfort and support so that long-term change is possible.

Create a healthier you through diet and exercise
Optimal physical health is crucial to successful recovery. One can ensure health by eating right and increasing their physical activity. Those who have dealt with addiction also might find that they are nutritionally challenged. Substance abuse is so diametrically opposed to healthy living that addicts’ diets are often horrendous. Bodies are physically ravaged from addiction, too, so nutrition is needed to repair damage.

This year, focus on your diet by incorporating more vegetables and good fats. All vegetables and fruits are healthful, but adding avocados and olive oil can make you feel more full and satisfied. Believe it or not, doctors and nutritionists now advocate for bacon as a component of a healthy diet. So enjoy a salad with bacon and avocado and watch your health improve, little by little.

Exercise is another way to improve one’s health holistically. Fitness helps build strength that is crucial for stamina during recovery. Exercise also can help push addictive behaviors out of one’s life. Exercise triggers similar brain chemicals that result from using substances. When people work out, they feel senses of elation and stamina. Both of these characteristics help in managing addiction.

More importantly, exercise and diet foster healthy living. When someone exercises and eats better, they tend to make other decisions that support both of these components of their life. When you have a great day working out, you are less likely to eat junk food, go drinking or skip sleep or rest. The positive quality of exercise and diet can help those fighting addiction to persevere.

Get outdoors and benefit from nature
When exercising, try to incorporate some outdoor activities in the mix. As helpful as exercise is to managing addiction, outdoor exposure is linked to increased mood. When you feel better, you are much more likely to strive to be better. Outdoor exercises that are helpful include hiking, walking, running, cycling and swimming. Each of these exercises can also be done indoors to some degree, but the natural element simply takes the experience to another level. Treadmills and stationary bikes are boring. A beautiful mountain vista is anything but boring.

Keep sobriety going with a positive hobby
Another way to support addiction recovery is through finding a positive hobby. It doesn’t matter so much what the hobby is – just make sure that it is something that you enjoy. The overall goal is to fill your life with positive and rewarding activities. Hobbies can bring joy to anyone’s life, but are especially beneficial for someone going through recovery.

By combining a healthy diet, exercise, outdoor exposure and hobbies, anyone who is going through addiction recovery can help power through the tough days. This fuel is key to sustained addiction management.

At peace 

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I am in a contemplative state. My mind is full of thoughts about life. I am thinking about some patients that has touched me, and the new job I’ve begun in. It is still amazing to me that I have come so far in my life. 

Now i will rest for a while,

Quote from Pinterest

Summertime gladness

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In two weeks we will be in Croatia. I can’t wait, but unfortunately have to. Not only that, these two weeks will be very busy, since I have much work to do. Due to a change in the group of patients I will work with, I have to say goodbye to many of my trauma patients (but not all, luckily), and that means overtime.

But, it will be worth it. I can process the loss of not seeing many of my lovely patients while lying on a beach in split, and look forward to all the wonderful people I will see in my office come August.

The sound of earthquakes

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You stand there. From one moment to the next, an ordinarily day is turned into a nightmare. The earth starts shaking. Objects are falling down, shattering when they hit the floor. You freeze, trying to not move. Your heart thumps, terrified. Will you survive this earthquake ? 
earth

What Do EMDR, Running, and Drumming Have in Common?

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• September 1, 2015 By Lisa Danylchuk, EdM, LMFT, E-RYT, GoodTherapy.org Topic Expert

Nope, this isn’t a strange riddle where someone is found in the desert in a scuba suit. The answer to the question posed above is actually pretty simple: brain integration.

What is that? Excellent question; I am glad you asked. As you may know, we have two hemispheres of the brain. Neuroscience is a relatively young field, and we are continuing to learn more about the complexity of the brain and its function with time and as research evolves. We do know that there are different roles played by different sides and areas of the brain, and that integrating neural networks appears to be helpful in resolving traumatic memories.

The success of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in treating trauma and mental health challenges teaches us that alternating right- and left-brain stimulation, via visual, auditory, or tactile experience, helps facilitate emotional processing. Through the simple act of holding something that buzzes between your right and left hand, or listening to something shifting from your right to left ear, a memory that was once charged with emotion can become less distressing. During the process, it is common for relevant associations to arise, for memories of thoughts and body sensations to arise. With support, this process can facilitate lasting and integrated healing.

Find a Therapist for Trauma / PTSD

Right-left brain stimulation may sound like a scary, science fiction-like process, but I assure you there is no electricity involved in this type of therapy. Your body receives input in the form of sound, touch, or sight, without any added energy.

Along with helping us process emotions, EMDR can help build up positive memories, experience, thoughts, and feelings. We call this resourcing, and use imagined or real resources to cultivate feelings of peace, nurturing, protection, and wisdom. In addition to and as part of processing negative experiences, it is crucial to cultivate the positive, sometimes the opposite of what occurred in the experience of trauma.

Think about your life for a moment and ask yourself: when do I engage in an activity that engages my right and left brain in alternating rhythm? How do I feel before, during, and after the fact? How can I incorporate this information into my healing path?

How do walking, running, and drumming factor in? Think about it for a moment. When you walk, run, or drum, you are using your body in a rhythmic way, alternating the stimulation or use of your right and left brain throughout the activity. Have you ever gone on a hike or run and felt that you were sorting through your thoughts, developing new insights, or becoming less distressed about something? We know that exercise has many benefits; EMDR highlights for us some of the mental and emotional benefits.

There are a million ways to alternate right- and left-brain activation, including dance, yoga, and some tai chi moves. People have naturally gravitated toward right-left movements in many healing rituals across the world. Think of how many sacred rituals involve drums, movement, or voyages on foot. Understanding brain integration, plasticity, and resilience gives us some insight into why these rituals have been effective and why they continue to be passed down through generations.

Think about your life for a moment and ask yourself: when do I engage in an activity that engages my right and left brain in alternating rhythm? How do I feel before, during, and after the fact? How can I incorporate this information into my healing path?

If you are looking to heal from specific traumatic memories, I highly recommend working with a skilled EMDR professional who can provide structure and guide you toward health and resolution. Consider how your own choices outside of therapy can support your process as well. Perhaps you will choose to walk or bike to your therapist’s office this week, or do a little dance after your session. Whatever you choose, may it serve your healing and integration.

© Copyright 2007 – 2018 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.

Empathic vampires

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We become vampires with getting bitten. In other words: we are becoming more empathetic.

The wisdom of psychopaths, Kevin Dutton

Get the whole book here

Enlightenment now

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If you want to read a book that will change your perspective, enlightenment now is the book for you. Even if you’re a skeptic, not believing that the world is actually getting better contrary to what the news tells us, you should read it. If it just is to argue about what he writes, that’s good too. We need good discussions, and the book gives you plenty of examples to impress others with. It’s so packed with new information that I used months reading it, just to digest everything before I continued with it. The trip to this surprising world, so much better than I though, was refreshing and showered me with hope and inspiration. Still not convinced? Why not check it out yourself ?

You can find the book here: Amazon.

If you want, I can even send it to a lucky follower of my book through audible. Just comment and it will be yours for free.

Protected: A walk to remember

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Memories Of Child Abuse, Other Traumas Hide In The Brain; Changing Patient State Of Mind May Help Retrieve Them

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This is a reblog from medical daily. You can find the original text here: Medical daily

trauma
Scientists discover a brain process that explains why some fear-related memories may not be accessible to traumatized patients. TraumaAndDissociation, CC by 2.0

While some victims of trauma too easily remember what causes their pain, other victims suffer tremendous anxiety for no apparent reason whenever they’re in some innocuous-seeming place — a room in their grandparents’ house, for example. Some mysterious event clearly happened there, yet no memory exists. In a new study (conducted on mice), scientists discovered a brain process that explains why some fear-related memories may not be available.

“Distinct neurobiological mechanisms can explain why some trauma victims go on to remember and re-experience their trauma, whereas [other victims] develop dissociative amnesia (an inability to consciously access a stored memory),” Dr. Jelena Radulovic, principal investigator and a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, toldMedical Daily in an email.

Scientists have long understood that there’s more than one pathway through the brain to the storage closet of memory. Now, Radulovic and her colleagues track a unique trail directly related to trauma. In fact, the microRNA-GABA pathway they describe in their new study may also indicate how susceptible each of us is to developing amnesia after a traumatic event.

They discovered this pathway by exploring a special phenomenon of learning.

What Influences Memory?

Learning is a state-dependent process, which means that when we learn something new in a particular situation or state of consciousness, we’re able to remember it best when we place ourselves back in the original circumstance or state of mind. Students, then, who learn information in one room will get higher scores if they are tested in the same room. Not only place, but time of day as well as common drugs also influence memory abilities. If students learn something while drinking coffee, for instance, they will remember it best when they return to their original caffeinated state.

Based on this phenomenon, various researchers have used drugs to try and access hidden memories. But while some pharmaceuticals may return the brain to the state of consciousness that occurred during encoding — the first step in memory storage — they haven’t done well in excavating traumatic memories. A drug targeting different processes in the brain, then, would be necessary for fear-based recall.

So, Radulovic and her colleagues focused on two amino acids in the brain: glutamate and GABA. These work in tandem to control levels of excitation and inhibition in the brain, and, under normal conditions, remain balanced. Hyper-arousal, however, which occurs when we are terrified, causes glutamate to surge.

Glutamate, is known as the excitable amino acid; it’s also the primary chemical that helps store memories across distributed brain networks. GABA, on the other hand, is calming and partly works by blocking glutamate and its excitable actions. Synaptic GABA receptors, in particular, will balance glutamate receptors in the presence of stress. Yet, extra-synaptic GABA receptors also exist. These work independently, responding to levels of a variety of neurochemicals, including sex hormones and micro RNAs.

Between the drugs amobarbital and diazepam, only amobarbital, which binds to all GABA receptors is able to stimulate memory recall — diazepam is ineffective, due to the fact it only binds to synaptic GABA receptors. Knowing this, Radulovic and her colleagues hypothesized the ability to remember stressful experiences might be mediated by the extra-synaptic GABA receptors.

For its experiment, the research team injected the mice with gaboxadol, a drug that stimulates extra-synaptic GABA receptors. Next, they placed the mice in a box and gave them an electric shock. When the mice returned to the same box the next day, they moved about freely and without fear. Clearly, the rodents did not remember the electric shock.

Then, the scientists injected the mice with the drug once again and returned them to the box. This time, the rodents froze in anticipation of another shock.

Rerouting Painful Memories

When extra-synaptic GABA receptors were activated by a drug, the researchers said, the brain used completely different molecular pathways and neuronal circuits to store the memory. The brain rerouted the memory so that it couldn’t be accessed. The researchers say their findings imply that in response to trauma, some people will not activate the glutamate system but instead the extra-synaptic GABA system.

This system is regulated by a small microRNA: miR-33. Some patients with psychiatric illnesses have different levels of miR-33 compared to healthy individuals.

The power of any memory lies, to a large extent, in the amount of processors within the cells creating a pathway through the brain, explained Dr. Vladimir Jovasevic, lead study author and a former postdoc in Radulovic’s lab.

“The role of microRNAs is to fine-tune the amount of the processors, so they can function at optimal level,” said Jovasevic, and “miR-33 sets the optimal amount of processors involved in state-dependent learning.” But when levels of miR-33 change, this “results in an increased predisposition to psychiatric disorders caused by improper processing of state-dependent memories.”

Evidence from the new study, Radulovic and Jovasevic said, may lead to new treatments for patients with psychiatric disorders who cannot recover unless they gain conscious access to the memory of what caused their trauma.

Source: Jovasevic V, Corcoran KA, Leaderbrand K, et al. GABAergic mechanisms regulated by miR-33 encode state-dependent fear. Nature Neuroscience. 2015.

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