The Color of the Dress

First off I think it is crazy how fast this dress made it to like every social network…
I saw Gold and White, while my sister who wears glasses saw Blue and black. I also had a friend on facebook who would see either color, when she would close and open the picture again.
I read this comment on facebook, and it finally put my mind to ease. I knew it had to do something with how our brain see its, because of what I have learned watching “Brain Games” on TV.

I also took the photo went into photoshop with it, and saw that if you use the eye dropper tool. Click on the Gold/Black lace the color is in fact a brown ish. If you click on the white/blue part the color is in fact a blue ish.

So I hope that helps you understand. Obviously you could probably do more research on this. Learn about how your eyes work, but for now I hope this helps some of you get a peace of mind. 

A Protip from Chips to Neurons

So I was waiting in line to pay for my chips at the library’s cafe when I decided to start eating them. For some reason I chose to eat them with my non-dominant hand. 

Right away I felt this familiar sensation in my brain. It wasn’t so much a sensation as it was that feeling of using extra brain-RAM such as when solving puzzles. It struck me that I could be literally experiencing my neural networks struggling to adapt. 

This naturally led me to the all-knowing oracle of Google. I wanted to see if there were any studies and subsequent findings linking the use of non-dominant hands with neural health. And there is. A lot of it. 

Essentially the increased use of the non-dominant hand, so long as it doesn’t deprive use of the dominant hand, seems to encourage beneficial forms of neuroplasticity linked with creativity and mental capacity as well as facilitating more harmonious communication between the brain hemispheres. Oh, and better physical balance. 

Cool stuff. 

Namaste :)

Democrat and Chronicle - Severe depression is crippling

Many people have experienced episodic sadness/grief in response to losses, relationship issues, financial problems, health issues, or seasonal changes. Also, most of us have had the experience of feeling nervous/anxious in response to a job interview, public speaking or relationship conflicts.

However, there is a big difference between occasional sadness or nervousness and the experience of being paralyzed and crippled with major depression or a panic attack.

Severe depression can cripple every aspect of one’s life, including making the simple task of getting out of bed in the morning a major struggle. Activities such as housework, taking care of bills or reading a book may be difficult, if not impossible.

Other symptoms include a change in sleep patterns, appetite disturbance, crying spells, decreased energy, diminished sex drive, irritability, feelings of worthlessness, irrational guilt, lack of enjoyment in leisure activities and suicidal ideations or the wish to die.

Also, depression can lead to distorted thinking — doubting one’s value as a parent or employee, or feeling unattractive regardless of compliments. People with severe depression may be convinced that their emotional pain is permanent and that the only escape is suicide.

Panic attacks can also have pervasive affects on all aspects of one’s life. When attacks occur, sufferers may fear that they are having a heart attack, losing control or “going crazy.” Symptoms of panic attacks or other anxiety disorders may include sweating, racing heart, shortness of breath, upset stomach, headaches, muscle tension, dizziness and confusion.

There are many potential triggers for having panic attacks, including large crowds, relationship conflicts or being alone. In addition, some people experience panic symptoms in anticipation of being in one of those situations and will adjust their lives to avoid any situation that might trigger a panic attack.

The families and friends of people with severe depression and/or panic disorders often feel helpless and frustrated. They may offer suggestions, such as “try to go back to work/ get together with your friends/ relax and try not to worry so much/ go on vacation/exercise/ join a club/change your diet.”

Sometimes, family members will get so frustrated that they push the depressed/anxious member to do something and then yell at them when they refuse, which often leads to the person feeling more depressed and/or anxious.

Although psychotherapy is hard work, it can lead to lifelong improvements in self-esteem and functioning. Finding the right psychotherapist is important; a good one is compassionate, non-judgmental and competent. These qualities allow a client to develop trust in the therapy relationship and bring a feeling of hope.

Those with severe depression and/or severe anxiety often require the combination of psychotherapy and medications to decrease their symptoms.

The support of family is crucial to the client’s recovery, so many psychotherapists will suggest including them in some therapy sessions to obtain their perceptions, explain the diagnosis and treatment, provide validation and support for their experience with the depressed/anxious family member, and offer suggestions about what they can do to assist with the loved one’s healing. Major depression and panic disorders are very treatable, and treatment is covered by insurance.

For more mental health resources, Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog
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Us human beings are really strange. The chemicals in our brains can make us feel higher than hills and deeper than the ocean. We see things we can not understand. We do not have the words to tell things we feel and experience. We consume stuff that gives a moment from forever, but actually takes away. We ask the wrong questions and expect answers that we would like to hear, and if we do not get that response from one we look for an other to lie, so we would not have to face our fears, our weaknesses and our foolishness. 

This place we call Earth is just a temporary ‘home’ if you even want to call it like that. We were born with a soul created for eternity. What do you believe in? There are only a few possibilities, they might all seem like human products at first. Find people who found something they can not live without, something that reaches out to the unknown forever. If you choose not to believe in anything, that is also something you believe in. But in the end you do not want to look back at your life crying: why did I kept my eyes closed and my ears covered..

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NEW VIDEO! Do you know brain facts from fiction? Test yourself with these 4 popular psychology myths!

“We’ve added a critical new chapter to the story about music and education,” says Kraus. “Due to the overlap between neural circuits dedicated to speech and music, and the distributed network of cognitive, sensorimotor, and reward circuits engaged during music making, it would appear that music training is a particularly potent driver of experience-dependent plasticity in the brain that influences processing of sound related to academics.”



Music Makes You a Better Reader, Says Neuroscience

anonymous asked:

How did you/your dr figure out that you have bipolar disorder?

I’m going to start by sharing my personal journey to getting to my diagnosis, then finish with a general list of things to do if you’re looking to get diagnosed.

This is a super good question! Diagnoses can be really sticky once you get them, so if you’re misdiagnosed at first, it can be really hard for a doctor to realize your symptoms are indicative of a different illness. I was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder at the age of 15. The complicated thing about bipolar disorder type 2 is that depression is one of the diagnostic requirements, since bipolar 2 is a complex mix of hypomania and depression. So basically, my generalized anxiety disorder symptoms were so similar to the way hypomania manifests in me that my symptoms were always just plunked into the box of depression or anxiety. I eventually also was diagnosed at age 20 with post-traumatic stress disorder, which I acquired at 17. Since PTSD is also in the diagnostic category of anxiety disorders, all of these things sort of masked what the biggest problem was. I never felt “right”, though. I felt like my symptoms weren’t fully being treated, even though I was on great medications for the 3 disorders I had been diagnosed with. I was begging my psychiatrist to look at alternate diagnoses, but she assured me that my disorders were just manifesting differently than usual. She was wrong. What ended up happening was that I was on such a high dose of an antidepressant that it pushed me into hypomania for a long enough period of time that someone finally noticed it WAS hypomania, rather than just symptoms of my anxiety disorders. After a while of feeling completely off the wall, I went to the hospital because I thought I was having symptoms of serotonin syndrome, making me have suicidal thoughts, but it turns out it was hypomania! So they checked me into the psychiatric hospital and I finally, finally got an answer that made sense: bipolar 2. Ever since getting put on a mood stabilizer in addition to my antidepressant, I have felt like a human being again because one brings me up and one stabilizes me. 

So yeah, long story short (TL;DR): doctors can get really stuck in seeing you as what you have already been diagnosed with, without considering alternatives, because diagnoses are hard to get rid of and change. If you think your diagnoses are incorrect, fight until someone checks you out again from a fresh set of eyes. Track your symptoms in as much detail as you can in a journal. If you have no diagnosis yet but think you need one to explain your mental health, ask around for a referral to a good psychiatrist. There also are great doctor rating websites like ZocDoc, Vitals, and RateMD, if you can’t find someone who can tell you. If you have a disorder like bipolar disorder, you need medication in addition to psychotherapy. I will be on mood stabilizers and antidepressants until the day I die and that is okay because they are necessary for my mental health and well-being! There is no shame in needing psychiatric medication or treatment for any condition - when you have a mental illness, your brain is different from the average brain (literally, there are parts of it that are different sizes and/or activity levels and neurotransmitter firings from average, neurotypical brains). And that is not your fault and it is not a result of weakness. Sometimes, you can manage with non-medical interventions only, but for severe and persistent mental illnesses, medicine is pretty much required in order to live the fullest life possible.

For those of you who are struggling and have no diagnosis yet to help you explain your symptomology and make you feel like you are not crazy or alone in this, this message is for you: you are not crazy. You are not imagining your struggles. You are not alone. You are loved. You are valuable. You are important. You deserve to get appropriate help. Hang in there. Reach out to me if you need ANYTHING. xo