Let’s hear it for the ones who are doing everything right, but still have symptoms.

The ones struggling to find the right treatment, putting up with side effects and still not getting any relief.

The ones who found something that worked… until it didn’t, and now have to start all over again.

I know it’s frustrating. But please, keep going. You’ll get there.

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There is a connection between HIV treatment and HIV prevention. See how they add up to “Treat 2 Prevent.” And how it can help stop the spread of HIV.

Watch the video, talk to your healthcare provider, and find out more at HelpStopTheVirus.com

DIY Sunshine Box

Know someone who’s struggling? Send them a sunshine box! Here’s an easy, cute idea that you can put together quickly. It always made my day when I got mail in treatment. Sometimes people don’t know what to send to a friend who is in treatment so here are some ideas:

  • blanket
  • books
  • chapstick
  • coloring books
  • coloring supplies
  • face masks
  • fidget toys
  • fuzzy socks
  • journal
  • lotion
  • nail polish
  • play dough
  • silly putty
  • soap
  • stuffed animal

If your friend is in an inpatient or residential level of care you will need to check and see what items are permitted within the facility before sending. Otherwise, have fun creating your care package! I made mine a sunshine theme and decorated it with yellow confetti and sunflower stickers.

If you drink more alcohol than you want to or should, you’re not alone. A nationwide survey by the National Institutes of Health found that 28 percent of adults in the U.S. are heavy drinkers or drink more than is recommended.

Yet, most heavy drinkers don’t get the help they need.

“The biggest problem we have in the field is that less than 10 percent of individuals with an alcohol use disorder get any treatment whatsoever,” says George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Part of the challenge, researchers say, is that many drinkers don’t realize that a medicine long used to help people addicted to opioids quit their drug habit can help alcoholics and other heavy drinkers cut back, too.

A Medicine That Blunts The Buzz Of Alcohol Can Help Drinkers Cut Back

Illustration: Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Did you think tuberculosis was a disease of the past? It still claims 1.8 million lives every year.

That’s more than any other infectious disease.

Patients have to take large numbers of pills, and face daily injections, for up to two years.

Side effects can include: Permanent deafness, nausea and vomiting, blindness and psychosis

Five years ago, two new TB medicines were introduced.

They have far fewer side effects, and are much more powerful.

However most patients are denied access to the new medicines and are stuck with the old medicines.

This needs to change.

(Disclaimer: I am not a professional on mental illness or medicine, this is simply advice based on my own experiences with major depression and treatment. So understand it’ll probably not gonna apply to everybody, and take it with a grain of salt)

To those who are or think they might be mentally ill, or are currently or will be taking various medications, it’s important you know one thing:

The medicine alone is not going to “fix” you

That is not to say medicine isn’t effective or crucial, because it absolutely is. This is not a criticism of medicine, on the contrary. Medicine is often vital to mentally ill people.

But medicine is only half the process. The medicine will help balance the chemistry of your brain. It’ll release the chemicals you’re lacking and suppress the chemicals you have too much of. But it will not rewrite the synapses in your brain. It won’t destroy your old habits and create new healthy habits out of thin air.

It’s up to you to rewrite the chemistry of your brain. The medicine only gives you the tools you need to do it.

The medicine will help you get the clarity you need to identify patterns of behaviour or thought, and help you understand the core causes of your mood. But it’s up to you to overwrite those pattern and create new ones. It’s up to you to identify when your behaviour or mood or thoughts might be going off track, and eliminate them, overwriting them before they get reinforced in your brain.

The medicine will give you a healthier brain, but it’s up to you how you use it.

I think the most surreal thing I’ve ever experienced is my abuser actually becoming pretty normal. It’s the weirdest thing.

On one hand, you’re happy that they won’t hurt people. You’re happy that they’ve learnt to manage their emotions. You’re happy that some of the fear of seeing them is lifted off your shoulders. But at the same time, you are so angry. You are traumatized already. It’s just more proof they they can move on while you’re stuck here. The have DESTROYED you, and now you don’t even have someone to be mad at. Or at least you’ll always feel a little guilty that you resent them. They might not yell at you, or call you fat, stupid, worthless, manipulate you, threaten you… but everyday they’re hurting you. And they always will be.

But they get to be recover. They get to be forgiven -And they genuinely have changed… maybe they’re even sorry for how they treated you. But they can form normal relationships. They can cope. They can move on.

But it’s so much harder for you.

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More baby badgers!

This feisty little badger cub arrived at the centre recently after being found alone in a garden. Sadly, despite attempts it was not possible to reunite her with her parents.

She was given a full checkup but lucky was uninjured. She was, however, covered in fleas and ticks, so was given a thorough anti-parasite treatment!
She was moved in to join our smallest badger cubs in our orphan shed and will stay with us until she is old enough for release!

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